Customer Reviews


193 Reviews
5 star:
 (122)
4 star:
 (29)
3 star:
 (14)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (21)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and Interesting, but also Inconsistent
The Satanic Bible certainly makes for an entertaining read. If nothing else, LaVey was an intelligent and highly talented author and humorist. He also sets forth a reasonably compelling argument for a life of pure egoistic hedonism. And let's be honest: from a contemporary scientific standpoint, it is very difficult to mount any rational counter argument as to why we...
Published on 30 Oct 2011 by Theo

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The most dangerous book of the century NOT
When I was a teenager, the Satanic Bible was considered to be the worst and most dangerous book ever written, with the possible exceptions of "Mein Kampf" and "The Anarchist Cookbook". Everyone was talking about it, but nobody had actually read it. I believe they sold copies of it in some dim lit corner of the local science fiction bookstore. Naturally, the Church of...
Published on 24 Aug 2008 by Ashtar Command


‹ Previous | 1 220 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and Interesting, but also Inconsistent, 30 Oct 2011
By 
Theo (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)
The Satanic Bible certainly makes for an entertaining read. If nothing else, LaVey was an intelligent and highly talented author and humorist. He also sets forth a reasonably compelling argument for a life of pure egoistic hedonism. And let's be honest: from a contemporary scientific standpoint, it is very difficult to mount any rational counter argument as to why we should not live our lives in this way.

However, LaVey combines this position with a number of magical rituals. And while there are times when he speaks of these rituals simply as psychodrama, there are also times when he speaks quite clearly of them as having real, physical effects. This is where things get tricky.

If you believe that we are just animals in a universe that is pretty much the one described by modern science, then the idea that magical rituals actually work is self evidently absurd. On the other hand, if you believe that magical rituals work, then there is clearly far more to the universe than is even dreamed of by our science. If that is the case, then the scorn that LaVey unceasingly pours on any kind of spiritual approach to life becomes far more open to question.

Of course, the idea that "there are more things in Heaven and Earth" does not necessarily imply that any of the mainstream religions are actually right. But it does at least open up the door to the possibility that values like forgiveness and self sacrifice may not be pure hokum. LaVey simply ignores this rather obvious line of reasoning.

On that basis I am inclined to see Satanism, or at least the form of it expounded in this book, as ultimately a matter of faith. As much as LaVey or any other religious leader may ridicule the views of the competition, at the bedrock all we are left with is raw assertion.

On a more down to Earth level, we must also deal with widespread reports that LaVey ended his days in a state of real poverty. Given that he quite openly claimed to have wholly materialistic aspirations, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that his rituals simply don't work.

I also have other qualms about the Satanic Bible. Specifically, as to whether the author really believed in its contents. From a strictly philosophical point of view this is technically irrelevant: any given claim must stand or fall on its own, irrespective of the views of its proponents. But in the real world, most of us would like to know if those arguing for a given position truly believe in what they are saying. And if we are to take the Satanic Bible in its broader context (by which I mean remarks made elsewhere by both LaVey and by current and estranged followers) there are inconsistencies.

In the Satanic Bible, LaVey expounds what is now known as "atheistic Satanism". In a nutshell, this means treating Satan as no more than a symbol of certain fundamental truths, or of certain aspects of our own nature. In atheistic Satanism, there is no belief in a personal devil. Yet if you do a bit of Googling on your own, you'll discover that it's quite easy to find many, many reports of LaVey speaking of Satan as a real entity. These reports appear to come from sources ranging from estranged follower Michael Aquino (founder of the Temple of Set) to LaVey's own final wife and authorized biographer Blanche Barton. I should make it clear that I haven't checked out the sources of these claims carefully. But I can definitively tell you that if you care to look on YouTube, it's very easy to find footage of LaVey himself speaking of Satan or "the devil" as if he actually exists.

Given the current schism between theistic and atheistic Satanists, I for one would find it ironic if the chief architect and advocate of atheistic Satanism was a theist at heart. If you are interested in doing a little background research on your own, you might like to start by viewing the documentary "Satanis" (Satanis the Devil's Mass / Sinthia the Devil's Doll). This is available for sale here on Amazon, but you can also view it for free on YouTube - or at least, most of it. The reviews of the DVD do speak of some nudity, which I didn't see in the version on YouTube.

Another incongruity that comes out in Satanis is that while in the Satanic Bible LaVey speaks of man as "just another animal", and the current Magus of the Church of Satan has been widely quoted as saying that "we are just tissue", in Satanis LaVey accepts the existence of the soul. Strangely, he then goes on to dismiss it as of little worth or value; a curious position indeed. It is because of inconsistencies like these that I question whether the Satanic Bible really gave us the whole story when it came to what LaVey himself believed, or what his church stood for.

Of course, these very questions presuppose that LaVey took the enterprise seriously. There are certainly plenty of people who believe that he didn't: that the entire thing was either a complete con or a giant practical joke, and perhaps a little of both. When considering this possibility, it is hardly irrelevant to observe that the schism that saw the defection of much of the priesthood of the church of Satan, and the founding of the temple of Set, was sparked by LaVey selling the higher degrees of the church to whoever would pay him enough money.

One must also bear in mind that evidence suggests that LaVey was very far from being a scrupulously honest man. To my knowledge, ALL independent investigators who have examined LaVey's account of his own life, including specifically his claims regarding his ancestry, career, and education, have concluded that his account was almost entirely a work of fiction. You can decide for yourself whether you want to chalk this one down to harmless carny hucksterism, or whether you want to apply Einstein's famous adage that "whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters".

Finally, one must also deal with the fact that it is now quite openly accepted, even by the church of Satan itself, that some pages of the Satanic bible are "take from" Ragnar Redbeard's infamous tract MIGHT IS RIGHT. A more cynical person might say plagiarized.

And yet... Even given all this, heck, I find that I like Anton LaVey. Another major advantage of doing a little research of your own by watching the videos of LaVey on YouTube is that you get much more of a sense of the man. Many of the head-shots he seems to have released of himself depict an individual positively incandescent with supernal malignity. But to see him speak he is far more real, and yes, far more likeable than most might expect. Truth be told, he even comes across as something of a geek, although I mean that in the most affectionate possible way. Had he been born into a different generation, I could easily imagine sitting `round the kitchen table playing Dungeons & Dragons with this guy.

And I'm quite certain he would've made an awesome DM.

Theo.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling Read, 2 May 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)
Anton certainly had a gift - not only for clarity of thought and purpose, but also for writing. His style is impeccable and makes the words a joy to read, even if you find the content abhorrent. The philosophy contained within was vastly ahead of its time - and is still to this day. The aesthetics do not appeal to me, but there is much and more to be learned from this book about others, and about yourself. It is the sort of book which will reflect back at you exactly the kind of person you are. For many this will be decidedly unpleasant. For a few it will be like coming home.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Give the Devil his Due (Review!), 11 Mar 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is unexpectedly thought provoking and suprisingly good -- "suprising" to anyone coming to the topic with no prior knowledge of the subject. First point to be made to those wanting to get a preview of the book: This has nothing to do with "worshiping" or some malicious little man in a red suit with horns and a tail; nor is it about "being bad".
La Vey's message is rational and compelling. And, to those who would argue that it isn't 'real Satanism' or that he is some kind of phoney because he doesn't advocate killing virgins or molesting children, I would suggest that you have problems more immediate than religious/philosophical concerns you need to deal with before concerning yourself with any of this.
'Satan' is a concept of Judaeo/Christianity symbolizing it's 'Evil' (That Good and Evil are relative terms is the fundamental underlying concept). Therefore REAL Satanism is NOT about absolute contrariness, performing anti-social acts, gratuitous harm inflicting -- and all for absolutely no purpose other than "to be 'Evil'". That is not Satanism -- that is Moron-ism. That is performing actions for no reason which is the the definition of irrational behavior.
As Judao/Christianity is itself an eclectic and often contradictory meandering hodge-podge, with a LONG and winding history (both in its ideological development and in its institutions) -- and as its concept of 'Evil', 'the Devil' etc. is at LEAST as ecclectic, meanderind and complex as it itself -- it is only fitting that LaVey's Satanism takes on the freedom to empoly this ecclecticism in organizing and defining itself. This does not make it "phoney" -- on the contrary, it adds to its legitimacy.
Satanism as the book illustrates, brings religion out of the realm of power-wielding authoritarian institutions, corruption, politics, un-human & un-natural codes of behavior, hypocracy, and in general being a totalitarian-minded BURDEN upon the individual -- to its proper function: being an agent of FULFILLMENT TO THE INDIVIDUAL! Satanism as the LeVey suggests, is all about freedom. Freedom of the individual, and breaking off the chains of an oppressive, and not on the whole beneficial or 'Good' established religious establishment in our society.
As you can see, I was impressed with the book and would recommend it. It takes what is seemingly a non-topic and very compellingly and rationally brings it to life!
If you are a druggie kid who's into killing cats or wants to see what stabbing a person is like and is looking for a book that glorifies his idiocy and pointless behavior, you are not a Satanist: You are a Butt-Head-ist, and you have serious emotional problems. This book will not provide any cofort to you. Similarly if your idea is to "sell your immortal soul" to some little ill-tempered goat-boy with a pitchfork for whatever reason -- you are just wacky.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Great theology, bad religion, 4 Sep 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)
Let me start by saying that Anton LaVey is first
and foremost a showman. He is a carnie, a performer, and a trained hypnotist. Many of his
arguments are founded on camp psychology and use
techniques similar to those used by any other hypnotist. Before you start thinking this is evil, though, Scott Adams of Dilbert fame is also a trained hypnotist.

Bluntly, Satanism as a religion is completely dumb as he portrays it. What LaVey's real point
has been all along is just that organised religion
is completely incorrect, and has failed miserably in its aims of making the world a better place. He condemns Christianity and every other religion at every turn. He preaches the superiority of Satanism. But what he doesn't tell you is that the religion he's founded is actually not Satanism at all.

His most common tactic is inertia. He draws one conclusion after another with crystal clarity and total conviction, and once he gets you roped in with his correct conclusions he slips in something about Satanism. Not only does he preach the superiority of Satanism here, he also redefines the term. Satanism, to LaVey, is more akin to secular humanism. (Big difference, in my opinion; not a big difference at all, according to some.)

There are some excellent critiques and criticisms of modern religious theory and thought here. It's an enjoyable read, and filled with fantastic insights. But the Satanism angle is just to sell books. This book really has nothing to do with evil or Satan; it has its own definition for Satanism, which of course is not guilty of any accusation leveled at the more traditional definitions. It's like starting with the position that Nazis really didn't kill the Jews, because *real* Nazis don't join the military. This is a ludicrous statement, but almost exactly analogous to LaVey's new Satanism; Satanists, it seems, don't actually worship the devil, and don't really hold black masses, and actually when you come down to it they're just a loose coalition of selfish misanthropes who slap a big label of SATANIST on themselves in a desperate cry of "LOOK AT ME".

In all fairness, the book is very well written; LaVey is a true philosopher, and quite obviously brilliant. While the conclusions he draws and the arguments he makes are certainly valuable and a worthwhile read for any serious religious thinker, the big label of SATANIST tends to scare people away. In contrast, most people who are attracted to the SATANIST label will pick up the book and find it completely uninteresting except for the title's shock value.

On a lighter note, it has served quite well to scare several Jehovah's Witlesses off my porch.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you need to find yourself, you are here..., 13 Jun 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)
Anton Szander Lavey created a brilliant masterpiece when he wrote The Satanic Bible. Before the time of this books initial publication (1966), few people had ever touched on the subject of Satanism as a full-fledged religion. Of course, there was Crowley, but this wasn't exactly Satanism - it was mereley a misunderstood concept called Satanic by the masses. However, The Satanic Bible touches on the TRUE issues of Satanism and sheds light on the REAL subculture, not the assinine people slaughtering animals, each other and desecrating gravesites. Once you read this book, you will discover a new meaning behind the title "Satanist" and it will forever change your outlook on what the term means. I have been a Satanist for more than 12 years, and have reffered hundreds of people to Anton's literature.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but a little flawed., 11 Mar 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)
I found this book a fascinating read, and agreedwith far more of its points than I do about Christianity generally (not that that's much ofan achievement). However, I get the impression that Lavey has gone about not promoting a positivereligion, but rather discussing the completeantithesis to Christianity. I feel that thereare some good points to the Christian ethos,and in my opinion Lavey has decided simplyto oppose outright any views that are expressesby the church, rather than giving them a fair evaluation.At times, I found the book sliding worryinglyclose to the views of the political far-right,ideas seemed to be corresponding to dogma expressed by neo-nazi groups. I also foundsome elements of hypocricy, in that the bookat one time expressed views promoting individualfree will (fair enough), also about the strongestdoing what they want (not so fair enough), andthen ensuring that a satanist does not do anythingharmful to innocent's, like children, which couldbe interpreted to not fit in with the second point.At times, it did seem to fall into the trap ofpreaching satanic truths in much the same wayas the christian church which it so rightly condemns.Nonetheless, a fascinating version of a trulymaterialistic outlook on life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A unique look at the world from a courageous individual., 7 Oct 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)
While the title and author may may seem to invoke thoughts of demons and devils, this book is definetely not about sacrificing babies and planning to overthrow the world. It is in fact a deep and at times even disturbingly humorous look at the world through the author's eyes. While the title leads you to believe that you hold in your hands the spoken truths of the anti-christ...it is in fact merely a political essay on what Lavey sees wrong with everything in general. However in his defense I will be bold enough to say that almost every thing that he has written about religion, politics, and life in general are all things that many of us have thought and few have actually had the courage to say aloud. His view of Satanism is infact just modified Christianity. I am not a Satanist...but recommend this book for anyone with the courage to face and consider someonelse's view point for the fact that if one man had the courage to speak what he believes despite persecution, then mabye we should take a similar risk and listen to what he has to say.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Its long but please read the whole thing, 28 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)
You know how people always say that Satanism is bad, even though it not at all that? Do you know who those people are? They are Christians! Who is the evil, brain washing one now? If you aren't Christian, and you still think Satanism is bad, well you can consider yourself Christian because it is them who have led you to believe that Satanism is evil, people should have their own choice about religion, and not right away be exposed to the ways, or beliefs of one, and told that that is the way things are supposed to be!!! this book basically explains Satanism and I really think more people should read it, it tells you what Satanism actually is. If, right now you're contemplating weather or not to buy this book, do, it will make you think so much more. If you're saying to yourself "oh well those other people said it was bad, maybe i shouldn't read it" well then think about this: those are people who thought Satanism was bad and after reading the book, refused to realize that they were wrong about it!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Not an antithesis, but a replacement., 12 Aug 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)
A work of eclectic philosophies and humanistic concerns, LaVey's only significant flaw is his lack of credit due to Ragnar Redbeard for "Might makes Right."
The book entails a very egocentric religion suitable for those of us who prefer not to bow down before any being higher than ourselves. A mixture of hedonism and 'tit for tat' reactionism, this text sets forth the precepts of the Church of Satan, and dispels many of the myths that have sprung up around it. The book sets forth not an antithesis to Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc., but a replacement with a human at the wheel, but retaining the dogma on which so many depend.
The most impressive point of the book, however, is its use of emotive language to draw the reader into its philosophies by transferring the third-person view onto the first-person view, through explanations of "The Satanist," intended to be seen as an extension of the reader, who gradually accepts "The Satanist" as a title for herself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Not for Everyone, 15 Dec 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)
The Satanic Bible, when approached in the right mood, can and will permanently change the way you look at things. It is written in a logical, informative, and generally enlightening format that is focused on bringing the best out of your self instead of focusing on another being.
Satanism is a self-improvement religion. It focuses more on the self than on another being. That is what is so well explained in The Satanic Bible. After reading it, I incorporated many of the ideas in the book into my own philosophy and have found wonderful results. R.I.P. Anton LaVey.
However, Satanism is not for everyone. Those who are closely dependant on their religion will find no pleasure from reading the book- LaVey talks some pretty mean trash about Christianity.
In general, it is still a good read and I recommend it for anyone who finds nothing attractive about the 'right hand path.'
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 220 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Satanic Bible
Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey (Mass Market Paperback - 30 April 1992)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews