The notion of Satanism as an organized religion only entered the public mind with the antics of Anton Szandor Lavey and his “Church of Satan” in the 1960s. Fittingly for his background as a circus performer and amateur psychologist, Lavey turned Satanism into a media circus, where ritual and black magick was nothing more than “psychodrama”, and an actual being called “Satan” did not even exist. Thus began the great heresy called “Modern Satanism” or “Atheistic Satanism”, which subverted traditional Satanism by removing its whole metaphysical basis – the belief in Satan. In its place, Lavey offered a hodgepodge of modern secular ideas borrowed from the likes of Ayn Rand, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ragnar Redbeard and P.T. Barnum.
If the essence of the Satanic is moral and cultural inversion, then Lavey’s Satanism was indeed Satanic, for it did invert the values of traditional Satanism, while at the same time…
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