LaVey was perhaps the first person to embrace the label "Satanist." He did not, however, take himself as seriously as some who come after him have done. From an Amazon.com review:
"LaVey's book is *not* an occult text: he is openly contemptuous of "occultniks." Rather, it is a bitter yet ultimately life-affirming rant, in the tradition of Great American Misanthropes like Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce. If you read it the way you might read *Huckleberry Finn* or "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," you'll Get the Point... and the Joke. (LaVey was also a humorist who frequently wrote with tongue-in-cheek... something which many of the Deadly Serious Death Metal Types all too often forget)....If you want to understand modern Satanism -- or if you want to receive a refreshing blast of bitterness and misanthropy from one of the last great cynics -- this book is a must for your collection." --Kevin T. Filan
This is an entertaining work in small doses, but imo it's a bit much all at once. I find cynicism wearing after a time. Still, this is a valuable work that should not be overlooked in any study of modern religious and spiritual paths.
The author provided a useful perspective on the nature of man and society, as long as the author isn't taken too seriously. Fun and irreverent.
There was a lot of anti-satan worshiper talk when I was growing up, and I dislike talking about things when I don't really know, so I sought out information. They do not sacrifice babies or dogs in the woods. They revere animals and children as ideal spirits, and are respectful of all wild things. Satanism is essentially ritualized atheism for horndogs who love pissing off christians. I agreed that the human animal needs ritual and fellowship in the ritual structure. The big problem for atheists is filling that need without compromising belief. The big problem with the church of satan is that it's progenitor structured it in a way that even now after his death it's a bit of a personality cult.
Interesting viewpoints, and thought provoking. Definitely worth a read, even if you don't end up agreeing with everything. You won't be bored!
This book was both good and bad.
Bad, because LaVey did not supply a bibliography and hardly any references throughout the book. He talks shit about Crowley when his chapter in the Satanic Bible is called Satanic Magic in Theory and Practice. Crowley was the only guy who made a book with the title Magic in Theory and Practice.
Also bad because he copied many ideas from Nietzsche, Ragnar Redbeard, Crowley, and also poorly mistranslated the Enochian Keys.
However, I have some respect for this book because it was what brought Satanism to be an official religion, and also I love some of the rituals described in the Book of Belial. The four crown princes of hell were also copied from another source but I forgot where.
As a Satanist, this book belongs on my bookshelf, but I don't hold it in the highest regard as I would other books. Make sure you read The Satanic Bible with an open mind but take everything with a grain of Salt. I would say that the Satanic Bible was the first thing I read that set my path in stone when it comes to philosophy. LaVey's writings lead me to read the works of Nietzsche and Crowley, which I highly recommend. You will get more out of the Satanic Bible if you read the original books that LaVey used in his writings.
I didn't even read this book. I glanced thru it and it just creeped me out and made me feel uncomfortable. I just want to get rid of it!
I thought my boyfriend was going to have heart failure when he seen it. LOL... So glad it's still a wishlist book.