SATANISM encourages its followers to indulge in their natural desires. Only by doing so can you be a completely satisfied person with no frustrations which can be harmful to yourself and others around you. Therefore, the most simplified description of the Satanic belief is:


People often mistake compulsion for indulgence, but there is a world of difference between the two. A compulsion is never created by indulging, but by not being able to indulge. By making something taboo, it only serves to intensify the desire. Everyone likes to do the things they have been told not to. "Forbidden fruits are sweetest."

Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary defines indulgence thusly: "To give oneself up to; not to restrain or oppose; to give free course to; to gratify by compliance; to yeild to." The dictionary definition of compulsion is: "The act of compelling or driving by a force, physical or moral; constraint of the will; (compulsory, obligatory)." In other words, indulgence implies choice, whereas compulsion indicates the lack of choice.

When a person has no proper release for his desires they rapidly build up and become compulsions. If everyone had a particular time and place for the purpose of periodically indulging in their personal desires, without fear of embarrassment or reproach, they would be sufficiently released to lead unfrustrated lives in the everyday world. They would be free to plunge headlong into whatever undertaking they might choose instead of going about their duties half-heartedly, their creative urges frustrated by denying their natural desires. This would apply in the majority of cases, but there will always be those who work better under pressure.

Generally, those who need to endure a certain amount of hardship to produce to their full capabilities are in basically artistic vocations. (More will be said later about fulfillment through self-denial.) This does not mean to imply that all artists fit into this category. On the contrary, many artists are unable to produce unless their basic animal needs have been satisfied.

For the most part, it is not the artist or individualist, but the average middle-class working man or woman who is lacking the proper release for their desires. It is ironic that the responsible, respectable person - the one who pays society's bills - should be the one given the least in return. It is he who must be ever conscious of his "moral obligations", and who is condemned for normally indulging in his natural desires.

The Satanic religion considers this a gross injustice. He who upholds his responsibilities should be most entitled to the pleasures of his choice, without censure from the society he serves.

Finally a religion (Satanism) has been formed which commends and rewards those who support the society in which they live, instead of denouncing them for their human needs.

From every set of principles (be it religious, political, or philosophical), some good can be extracted. Amidst the madness of the Hitlerian concept, one point stands out as a shining example of this - "strength through joy!". Hitler was no fool when he offered the German people happiness, on a personal level, to insure their loyalty to him, and peak efficiency from them.

It has been clearly established that the majority of all illnesses are of a psychosomatic nature, and that psychosomatic illnesses are a direct result of frustration. It has been said that "the good die young". The good, by Christian standards, do die young. It is the frustration of our natural instincts which leads to the deterioration of our minds and bodies.

It has become very fashionable to concentrate on the betterment of the mind and spirit, and to consider giving pleasure to one's body (the very shell without which the mind and spirit could not exist) to be coarse, crude, unrefined. AS OF LATE, MOST PEOPLE WHO DEEM THEMSELVES EMANCIPATED HAVE LEFT NORMALCY ONLY TO "TRANSCEND" INTO IDIOCY! By way of bending their behinds around to meet their navels, subsisting on wild and exotic diets like brown rice and tea, they feel they will arive at a great state of spiritual development.

"Hogwash!" says the Satanist. He would rather eat a good hearty meal, exercise his imagination, and transcend by means of physical and emotional fulfillment. It seems, to the Satanist, that after being harnessed with unreasonable religious demands for so many centuries, one would welcome the chance to be human for once!

If anyone thinks that by denying his natural desires he can avoid mediocrity, he should examine the Eastern mystical beliefs which have been in great intellectual favor in recent years. Christianity is "old-hat", so those who wish to escape its fetters have turned to so-called enlightened religions, such as Buddhism. Although Christianity is certainly deserving of the criticism it has received, perhaps it has been taking more than its share of the blame. The followers of the mystical beliefs are every bit as guilty of the little humanisms as the "misguided" Christians. Both religions are based on trite philosophies, but the mystical religionists profess to be enlightened and emancipated from the guilt-ridden dogma which is typified by Christianity. However, the Eastern mystic is even more preoccupied than the Christian with avoiding animalistic actions that remind him he is not a "saint", but merely a man - only another form of animal, sometimes better, more often worse, than those who walk on all fours; and who, becuase of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development", has become the most vicious animal of all!

The Satanist asks, "What is wrong with being human, and having human limitations as well as assets?" By denying his desires the mystic has come no closer to overcoming compulsion than his kindred soul, the Christian. The Eastern mystical beliefs have taught people to contemplate their navels, stand on their heads, stare at blank walls, avoid the use of labels in life, and discipline themselves against any desire for materialistic pleasure. Nevertheless, I am sure you have seen just as many so-called desciplined yogis with the inablility to control a smoking habit as anyone else; or just as many supposedly emancipated Buddhists become just as excited as a "less aware" person when they are confronted with a member of the opposite - or in some cases, the same - sex. Yet when asked to explain the reason for their hypocrisy, these people retreat into the ambiguousness which characterizes their faith - no one can pin them down if there are no straight answers that can be given!

The simple fact of the matter is that the very thing which has led this type of person to a faith which preaches abstinence, is indulgence. Their compulsive masochism is the reason for choosing a religion which not only advocates self-denial, but praises them for it; and gives them a sacrosanct avenue of expression for their masochistic needs. The more abuse they can stand, the holier they become.

Masochism, to most people, represents a rejection of indulgence. Satanism points out many meanings behind the meanings, and considers masochism to be an indulgence if any attempt to sway or change the person from his masochistic traits is met with resentment and/or failure. The Satanist does not condemn these people for giving vent to their masochistic desires, but he does feel the utmost contempt towards those who cannot be honest enough (at least with themselves) to face and accept their masochism as a natural part of their personality make-up.

Having to use religion as an excuse for their masochism is bad enough, but these people actually have the effrontery to feel superior to those who are not bound-up in self-deceitful expression of their fetishes! These people would be the first to condemn a man who found his weekly release with a person who would beat him soundly, thereby releasing himself from the very thing which could, if unreleased, make him - as they are - a compulsive church-goer or religious fanatic. By finding adequate release for his masochistic desires, he no longer needs to debase and deny himself in his every waking moment, as do these compulsive masochists.

Satanists are encouraged to indulge in the seven deadly sins, as they need hurt no one; they were only invented by the Christian Church to insure guilt on the part of its followers. The Christian Church knows that it is impossible for anyone to avoid committing these sins, as they are all things which we, being human, most naturally do. After inevitably committing these sins financial offerings to the church in order to "pay off" God are employed as a sop to the parishioner's conscience!

Satan has never needed a book of rules, because vital natural forces have kept man "sinful" and intent on preserving himself and his feelings. Nevertheless, demoralizing attempts have been made on his body and being for his "soul's" sake, which only illustrate how misconceived and misused the labels of "indulgence" versus "compulsion" have become.

Sexual activity certainly is condoned and encouraged by Satanism, but obviously the fact that it is the only religion which honestly takes this stand, is the reason it has been traditionally given so much literary space.

Naturally, if most people belong to the religions which repress them sexually, anything written on this provocative subject is going to make for titillating reading.

If all attempts to sell something (be it a product or an idea) have failed - sex will always sell it. The reason for this is that even though people now consciously accept sex as a normal and necessary function, their subconscious is still bound by the taboo which religion has placed upon it. So, again, what is denied is more intensely desired. It is this bugaboo regarding sex which causes the literature devoted to the Satanic views on the subject to overshadow all else written about Satanism.

The true Satanist is not mastered by sex any more than he is mastered by any of his other desires. As with all other pleasurable things, the Satanist is master of, rather than mastered by sex. He is not the perverted fiend who is just waiting for the opportunity to deflower every young virgin, nor is he the skulking degenerate who furtively hangs around in the "dirty" bookstores, slavering over the "nasty" pictures. If pornography fills his needs for the moment, he unashamedly buys some "choice items" and guiltlessly peruses them at his leisure.

"We have to accept the fact that man has become disgruntled at being constantly repressed, but we must do everything we can to at least temper the sinful desires of man, lest they run rampant in this new age," say the religionists of the right-hand path to the questioning Satanist. "Why continue to think of these desires as shameful and something to be repressed, if you now admit they are natural?" returns the Satanist. Could it be that the white-light religionists are a bit "sour-grapes" about the fact that they didn't think of a religion, before the Satanists, which would be enjoyable to follow; and if the truth were known, would they too not like to have a bit more pleasure out of life, but for fear of losing face, cannot admit it? Could it also be that they are afraid people will, after hearing about Satanism, tell themselves "This is for me - why should I continue with a religion which condemns me for everything I do, even though there is nothing actually wrong with it?" The Satanist thinks this is more than likely true.

There is certainly much evidence that past religions are, every day, lifting more and more of their ridiculous restrictions. Even so, when an entire religion is based on abstinence instead of indulgence (as it should be) there is little left when it has been revised to meet the current needs of man. So, why waste time "buying oats for a dead horse"?

The watchword of Satanism is INDULGENCE instead of "abstinence" . . . BUT - it is not "compulsion".

Copyright ©1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey - All rights reserved, which includes the right to reproduce this material or portions thereof in any form whatsoever except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law. For information address Avon Books, Inc.