The Church Of Satan Is looking For A Few Outstanding Individuals: An Interview with Magus Peter H. Gilmore, High Priest

September 27, 2010

Satan. One of the most feared names in the world. The word conjures up thoughts of Slayer, devil horns, and an array of various other imagery for me. For others, it may be thoughts of evil, sacrifice or horror. I can now say, after taking the time to research The Church of Satan, that I find both thought systems equally as ignorant as the other.

Throughout the years, there have been many atrocities carried out by individuals in the “name of Satan”. At the same time there have also been many atrocities carried out by individuals in the “name of God”. I’m not here to say whether Satanism is right or wrong, just as I’m not here to say whether Christianity or other religions are right or wrong. I am here however to discuss the many misperceptions of The Church of Satan.

The Church of Satan was forged from a group of individuals known as the “Order of the Trapezoid” and established on April 30, 1966 by Anton LaVey. The church was created in opposition to what LaVey called “the stagnation of Christianity”. According to Blanche Barton’s “The Church of Satan- A Brief History”, “LaVey saw there must be a new representative of justice, someone who understood the torments of being human, who shared our passions and foibles yet was somehow wiser and stronger”. Blanche goes on to say of LaVey “He began to realize that most of our progress in science and philosophy had been achieved by those who rebelled against “God” and the Church, or the dictates of conventional society. We needed a representative for that revolutionary, creative, irrepressible spirit within us. The single figure who fit the bill was clear to LaVey from an early point in his life; a deity whose rebellious, passionate nature had been described, either in awe or fear or both, from the dark beginnings of time”.

The Church of Satan has received much press throughout the years for things such as public Satanic Baptisms (which was first performed in 1967 on LaVey’s daughter Zeena), Satanic Funerals & nude female alters. Even the film “Rosemary’s Baby” (which was a loose depiction of The Church of Satan) received much public backlash and had churchgoers passing out small buttons which read “Pray for Anton LaVey” in response to the films promotional buttons which read “Pray for Rosemary’s Baby”.

Anton LaVey died on Oct 29th, 1997 leaving the church to be run by High Priestess Blanche Barton, LaVey’s biographer, lover & mother of his only son Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey. In 2001 Magistra Barton appointed long-time administrator & LaVey associate Peter H. Gilmore as High Priest and in 2002 appointed Peggy Nadramia, wife to Gilmore, to succeed her as High Priestess. Magistra Barton remains chair of the Council of Nine, editor of The Cloven Hoof, and mother of LaVey’s son.

The following is an interview conducted with the head of The Church of Satan, Peter H. Gilmore, via email. The church does very limited interviews, so I’m grateful to Peter that he took the time for mine. I urge the reader to keep an open mind while reading the following. As I told Peter in our email correspondence, I may not see eye to eye with him on all of their views, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to keep the lines of communication open in a forum such as this.

An Interview With Magus Peter H. Gilmore, High Priest of The Church of Satan. (more…)

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