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_The Church of Satan_

To: alt.satanism
From: (Xeper)
Subject: _The Church of Satan_ (4th Ed.)
Date: 05 Mar 1999 03:18:56 GMT

Hash: SHA1

As a result of the latest discussion (or back-arching/
tail-poofing contest) between "Dr. Lao" and myself on
this newsgroup, I've received several emails asking
for further information about my _Church of Satan_
history: When will it be available, to whom, and
what changes can be expected?

This fourth and final edition will be ready sometime
between June & December of this year. As with the
previous editions, it will not be available to the
general public, but only to Setians and others who
demonstrate a serious and responsible interest in
the Church's philosophy and history. For example,
copies of the 3rd Edition have been acquired by
various historians, nonsensationalistic journalists,
the Institute for the Study of American Religion, etc.

This reflects the Temple of Set's general approach
to its initiatory publications: that they should be
accessible only to those with the probable
intelligence, education, common sense, and
good judgment not to misunderstand or misuse
them. The flagrant abuse and misrepresentation
of the _SB_ and the _SR_ by the Great Unwashed -
and particularly its religious-crank and "witch-
hunting" extremists over the years - is a lesson
in point.

Copies of _COS_ have previously been produced on
a by-order basis, in exchange for a donation to the
Temple of Set to cover the costs of reproduction and
mailing. The 4th Edition will probably continue
this, but I am considering going back to the high-
quality stock, "elephant hide" professional binding,
and color plates of the 2nd Edition. That would
make it more of a collector's item, but also more
costly. So it is a tradeoff between elegance and
maximum accessibility. Still undecided.

The 4th Edition will not be simply the 3rd with an
added chapter about the events ca. Anton's death.
Rather I am going through the entire work with two
basic ideas in mind:

(1) Earlier editions were written for an audience with
some personal familiarity with the social eras and
climates of the 1960s/70s. We now see new generations
of persons interested in Satan and Satanism, many of
whom weren't even born in 1975. A bit more background
into the Haight-Ashbury climate of San Francisco in
the mid-60s, the antiestablishment counterculture
of the later 60s, and the New Ageism of the early 70s
as they all influenced the Church are called for.

(2) The magical and philosophical personalities,
ideas, and sources which influenced Anton and other
Satanists in those days need to be brought out in
greater detail. By today's Internet standards, the
"occult philosophy" field in the 60s was far more
primitive and difficult to access.

Those were the days when Lovecraft was unknown
unless you were among a relative few who had heard
about him and ordered the few hardcover collections
of his works from an equally-obscure Arkham House.
"Satanism" was a virtually untouched topic outside
of a sprinkling of antiquated reprints (_La-Bas_,
Montague Summers, etc.) and Dennis Wheatley's
novels. German occultism, both Weimar and Nazi,
was unexplored. The Crowley renaissance was yet
to occur, with the now-famous Castle Books pirate
edition of _Magick in Theory & Practice_ the only
thing of his around outside of old private collections.

Anton LaVey came on the scene with these & related
resource limitations, but also with an interesting
assortment of non-traditional personalities, ideas,
and literature to add to the stewpot. Among the best
parts of the _Satanic Bible_, _Satanic Rituals_, and
_Compleat Witch_ were the dedication pages of the
two former items and the bibliography of the latter.
[I understand that the dedications pages have been
censored from current printings of the _SB_/_SR_.

Since the 3rd Edition of _COS_ much interesting
research has been done within the Temple concerning
those dedication sources, most particularly by Dr.
Stephen Flowers in his _Lords of the Left-Hand Path_
and _Black Runa_ books (Austin: Runa-Raven Press).
Zeena and Nikolas Schreck have also provided
extensive documentation and personal commentary
on many early influences and later orientations.

"Eat your heart out, Isaac!" Dept.: While I am tempted
to include the full frontal photo of Anton (he is wearing
his horned cowl, however) from that famous magazine
_Jaybird_, I will probably forgo it in favor of a vastly
more shocking item: his Cub Scout membership card
from 1940 (he was a Bobcat Cub Scout and promised
to be square and obey the Law of the Pack). Guess that
became trapezoidal and the Law of the Jungle later on.

As with previous editions, the 4th will cover the
Church's functional existence 1966-75, with only
marginal attention to the zombie-throes thereafter.
The reason for this is primarily theological and
metaphysical: that I think prior to 1975 the Church
was on a very real, very authentic path to the
Mysteries of the Powers of Darkness, and that
thereafter all of that evaporated into simply the
manufacturing and selling of the Anton LaVey
personality cult. Persons interested primarily in
that can of course consult the 1980s stuff produced
by Densley and her entourage. _COS_ will correct
as many of their falsehoods as reflect upon the
reality of the 1966-75 Church, and leave the
post-75 intrigues to be argued over by others.

I expect _COS_ #4 to "close my personal book" on
the Church of Satan. Thereafter I will be looking
at a history or personal memoir of the Temple of
Set 1975-96 (when I retired from the High
Priesthood). That project has previously proved
impractical, simply because the range of activity
within the Temple of Set, the material produced,
and the multiplicity of personalities involved
have been so much more vast than its predecessor
organization. But I'll give it a shot, since the
ability to footnote to the _Scroll of Set_ back-
issue collection, the _Jeweled Tablets of Set_,
etc. won't require the "all in one" format of _COS_.

Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D.

Version: PGP Personal Privacy 6.0.2


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