Satan Speaks

I am Nature, the Mighty Mother,
I am the law: ye have none other.

I am the flower and the dewdrop fresh,
I am the lust in your itching flesh.

I am the battle's filth and strain,
I am the widow's empty pain.

I am the sea to smother your breath,
I am the bomb, the falling death.

I am the fact and the crushing reason
To thwart your fantasy's new-born treason.

I am the spider making her net,
I am the beast with jaws blood-wet.

I am a wolf that follows the sun
And I will catch him ere day be done.

C.S. Lewis (1919)

This work is in the public domain under US law.

Satan Speaks! also happens to be the last book (© 1998) written by the late High Priest of the Church of Satan, Anton Szandor LaVey. The exclamation point is a part of the official title, which featured a cover illustration by the artist Coop (who illustrated the Lords of Acid CD cover for the album Voodoo-U) and a foreword by 90's era shock rock musician Marilyn Manson. The introduction was written by LaVey's last female companion, Blanche Barton.

All in all it's essentially the same thing as The Devil's Notebook, only more of it. This isn't to say that it's redundant, but either book could have been published before the other and had the titles swapped and no one would be the wiser. Included are essays with titles such as "The Genesis of the Fuckup" and "Don't Bathe." (There are 61 essays total.) This book differs from The Devil's Notebook primarily in that LaVey seemed to have lost all interest in persuading people into joining his church (for the low lifetime cost of $100) and just decided to write whatever he felt like. This isn't to say that he didn't write totally off-the-wall stuff prior to this book. He always had a strange fetish with technology and robots for some reason, and thus we get the essay "Why Walk?" which insists that we should fine a way to create a non-polluting conveyance that replaces the human need to walk because being as technologically advanced as we are, we should be somehow transcend the necessity to walk from time to time. Sounds kind of like Ginger aka the Segway, doesn't it? We learn more about LaVey's obsession with "total environments" as well, which are basically just a form of obsessive-compulsive house / community / dwelling controlled by one's person's absolute desires. Kinda like anyone who's been on Cribs, you might say.

On page 27 we learn LaVey's naughty secret -- women make the best initiatives / servants / slaves / whatever when you're a big, bad High Priest running a Church of Satan, and the best, most powerful and effective way to get them to serve you is to shock or embarass them in such a way that they wet their panties. Uh huh. One might think LaVey is just acting out another of his sexual fantasies in text form, because the majority of his followers believed pretty much everything he said about his life no matter how unprobable or unlikely it sounded, which empowered his ego with a sense of invincibility -- the easiest and sleaziest way to construct one's own reality. This is confirmed on page 73, when Anton gives us a "new perspective on an old fetish." I have nothing against panty-pissing (his words), but in a book mostly stuffed with essays that attempt to convince people that his ideas are sound, rational, and worthy of serious consideration, it's kind of ridiculous to be evangelized to about the pleasures of seeing another human urinate.

For much of my teen years I considered myself a Satanist of sorts and even published a newsletter called Trinity Denied. I read everything LaVey wrote and like any good writer he filled his bibles with nuggets of wisdom and humor and the like, which convinced me that the whole was better than the sum of its parts at a time in my life where I felt the need to rebel and be different. When this book was published I was 18 and was dying to read it. I thoroughly enjoyed The Satanic Bible, didn't really get much out of (read: didn't find worthy of reading cover to cover) The Satanic Rituals or The Satanic Witch (a "Satanic Bible of Self-Sluttery" for women) but highly enjoyed The Devil's Notebook and would still recommend it as an entertaining read for those who wouldn't be offended by his blasphemy. I figured this would be more of the same, and for the most part it was.

Fortunately by the time this book was published I was already pretty cynical regarding my "Satanic Religion" and LaVey's ridiculous rantings extolling the virutes of pissing and the Tao of Pigpen were enough to show me that this was clearly just a silly guy having a good time and making a decent amount of cash money in the process. Of course I knew that the whole time and sort of respected him because of it, but this was enough to forcefully embarass me from associating myself with "LaVeyan Satanism" and any other form of "Satanism" for the rest of my days.

This isn't to say that there isn't any entertaining or meaningful material in this book. If you've got no real interest in Satanism but are curious and would like a good "bathroom book," pick up The Satanic Bible or The Devil's Notebook before you get this one. It's definitely worth picking up if you like LaVey, whether you agree with him and want to genuinely learn more about what he has to say, or just enjoy his often clever, boisterously heretical writing style.

As a sidenote, being unemployed and able to apply to the majority of potential positions online, I can personally say that being dirty sometimes isn't such a bad thing, but if you do plan on being in the same room as other people, you shouldn't go longer than a day, two tops, before bathing. I mean, yeah, it saves water, saves shampoo and soap and so on, but you can only push it so far before you'll be pushing your friends and loved ones out of your life.

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