After the death of Anton LaVey in 1997 at the age of 67, there was a lot of speculation and interest in his life. Although LaVey had given a detailed account of his life in the Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey authored by Blanche Barton, some journalists did not agree with some of the details of the biography. Many sought to understand who this man was and what his association with Satanism was. However, despite different accounts on the life of LaVey it is certain he is recognized as the founder of the Church of Satan.
His early life
Anton LaVey was born on 11 April 1930 at Chicago. He was born as Howard Staton LaVey. His parents Michael Joseph and Getrude Augusta Coultron LaVay later moved to San Francisco when LaVey was still young and this is where he grew up.
When he was 16, he dropped from high school and joined the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra as an oboist. Later at 17 he joined the Cylde Beatty Circus where he tamed lions and tigers. He also regularly accompanied other travelling shows performers on the Pacific coast. He also worked as a crime photographer for San Francisco police department (SFPD). He also investigated occult affairs.
Founder of the Church of Satan
LaVey was fascinated by magic and occult and his exploration of magic and occult led to weekly occult seminars and witches workshops at his home and. The group that was part of these meetings was named the order of the Trapezoid.
Later in 1966, the group was renamed as the Church of Satan. The church was made up of atheists but contrary to popular believe the followers did not worship the devil nor did they peg their belief on him. Satanism that was taught by LaVey was not about evil or sacrifices but it was more about rational thinking and the hypocrisy surrounding other religions. He encouraged his followers to live for the day rather than for an afterlife that probably did not exist.
His Works and Accomplishments
LaVey published the Satanic Bible in 1969 which explains the teachings and rituals of the church of Satan. In 1971 he authored The Complete Witch which was later rereleased in 1989 as the Satanic Witch which teaches lesser Magic. The Satanic Ritual was his other work which was an accompaniment to the satanic bible. His other works include two essays referred to as the Devils Notebook and Satan Speaks authored by LaVey in 1992 and 1998 respectively. He is also known for the release of the Satan Takes a Holiday a musical recording and Satanic Mass which features the recording of a satanic ritual and reading excerpts from the Satanic Bible.
In 1967, he made national headlines when he presided over the first ever satanic wedding between John Raymond a radical journalist and his New York socialite bride Judith Case.
LaVey died on 29th October 1997 from a valvular heart problem. Some people claim that he died on Halloween. He was accorded a satanic burial where only very close relatives attended the ceremony and his remains were crameted.
Anton LaVey was survived by his two daughters Karla Maritza and Zeena Galatea LaVey and a son Satan Xrxes Carnacki LaVey. His lifelong companionship and the mother of his son Blanche Barton and was appointed the high priestess of the Church of Satan after the death of LaVey. Later in2011, she appointed Peter H. Gilmore to be the head priest of the church.