Satanism may have more of an influence on our world than we may want to believe. If one digs into the history of Satanism, one will uncover a large trove of history and writings, and the people who wrote them and followed their directives. And continue to do so.
Here’s a look at the top five satanic entities that have helped shape our modern world.
Anton Szandor LaVey was the founder and High Priest of the Church of Satan as well as a writer, musician, and actor. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 11, 1930. His father, Michael Joseph LaVey, was an alcoholic who left the family when Anton was just five years old. His mother, Gertrude, was a strict Catholic who encouraged her son’s interest in the occult.
LaVey was a self-taught musician and began playing the violin at the age of seven. He also had an early interest in black magic and the dark occult. When he was sixteen, he left home and joined a carnival where he worked as a sideshow performer and animal trainer. It was during this time that he began to develop his own Satanic philosophy.
In 1966, LaVey founded the Church of Satan in San Francisco, California. The church was officially incorporated in 1967. LaVey wrote The Satanic Bible in 1969, which outlined the beliefs and practices of the Church of Satan. He also wrote several other books on Satanism, including The Satanic Rituals and The Satanic Witch.
The Church of Satan attracted a lot of media attention and gained a following of celebrity members, such as Jayne Mansfield and Sammy Davis, Jr. LaVey appeared on several television shows, including The Tonight Show and The Merv Griffin Show. He also composed music for several films, including Rosemary’s Baby and The Devil’s Rain.
In the 1980s, LaVey’s health began to decline and he withdrew from the public eye. He died of congestive heart failure on October 29, 1997, at the age of 67.
Aleister Crowley was a British occultist and ceremonial magician who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He founded the religion of Thelema, and is considered one of the most influential figures in modern occultism.
Crowley was born into a wealthy family in England, and he was educated at prestigious schools. He showed an early interest in the occult, and began practicing ceremonial magic while still in his teens. He quickly rose to prominence in the London occult scene, and became known as one of the most talented and controversial mages of his time.
Crowley’s views on magic and religion were highly unorthodox, and his practices often scandalized Victorian society. He caused a stir when he proclaimed himself the Beast 666 in a public ceremony, and he was later denounced by the press as a Satanist.
Despite the controversy surrounding him, Crowley’s influence on the occult world was considerable. He was a prolific writer, and his books on magic and Thelema continue to be read by practitioners today. He also founded several influential magical organizations, and his ideas have shaped modern occultism in many ways.
Aleister Crowley was a complex and often contradictory figure, but there is no doubt that he was one of the most important figures in the history of occultism.
Michael Aquino is a former United States Army Lieutenant Colonel and a high-ranking member of the Temple of Set, an American Black Magick organization. He is also a convicted felon, having been convicted of sexual abuse of a child in 1992.
Aquino was born in 1946 in San Francisco, California. He joined the Army in 1968 and served in Vietnam, where he was decorated for his service. He later attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in 1974.
Aquino left the Army in 1976, after becoming involved with the Temple of Set, of which he became the High Priest in 1990. The Temple of Set is a Satanic organization that believes in individualism and self-improvement, and that Satan is a positive force in the universe.
Aquino was convicted of sexual abuse of a child in 1992 and served two years in prison. He is a registered sex offender in the state of California.
Since his release from prison, Aquino has continued to be active in the Temple of Set. He currently resides in San Antonio, Texas.
Peter H. Gilmore
Peter H. Gilmore is the High Priest of the Church of Satan. He is also a writer, public speaker, and musician.
Gilmore was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Queens. He attended New York University, where he studied English literature and philosophy. After college, he worked as a paralegal for a Wall Street law firm.
In 1984, Gilmore joined the Church of Satan, and became its High Priest in 2001. He has written several books on Satanism, including The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Rituals. He has also produced and starred in several Satan-themed films, including Satan: A Documentary.
Gilmore is an accomplished musician, and has played keyboards and bass guitar for the Church of Satan’s black metal band, Lucifer. He has also composed music for the Church of Satan’s television show, The Devils Advocate.
In addition to his work with the Church of Satan, Gilmore is also a practicing attorney. He currently resides in New York City with his wife, Daisy.
Matthew Hopkins was an English witch-hunter. He is credited with being responsible for the death of 300 people, which earned him the nickname “The Witchfinder General”.
Hopkins was born in Suffolk in 1620. His father was a Puritan minister. Hopkins himself became a Puritan, and in 1644 he joined the Parliamentary army during the Civil War.
After the war, Hopkins returned to Suffolk, where he married and became a lawyer. In 1647, he was elected as the Constable of Manningtree.
It was during his time as Constable that Hopkins began hunting witches. He believed that witches were in league with the Devil, and that they were responsible for all sorts of evils, including crop failures and bad weather.
Hopkins would often use torture to extract confessions from suspected witches. He would also force them to take “witch’s teat”, a kind of truth serum made from the udders of a cow.
Over the course of his career, Hopkins is thought to have killed around 300 people, most of them women. In 1648, he even wrote a book about his witch-hunting exploits, called The Discovery of Witches.
Hopkins’s witch-hunting days came to an end in 1649, when he was arrested and imprisoned for witchcraft himself. He was eventually released, but died not long afterwards, in 1647.
Some people believe that Hopkins was simply a man ahead of his time, and that he truly believed that he was doing God’s work. Others believe that he was nothing more than a sadistic murderer. Whatever the truth may be, there’s no denying that Matthew Hopkins was one of the most prolific witch-hunters in history.