The Nine Opening Statements of the Satanic Bible

Principles of Anton LaVey's 1969 Satanic Bible

The Satanic Bible, published by Anton LaVey in 1969, is the principle document that outlines the beliefs and principles of the Satanic Church. It is regarded as the authoritative text for Satanists, but is not considered sacred scripture in the same way that the Bible is to Christians.

The Satanic Bbleis not without controversy, due in large part to its vehement and deliberate contradiction of traditional Christian/ Judaic principles. But an indication of its ongoing importance and popularity is seen in the fact that the Satanic Bible has been reprinted 30 times and has sold more than one million copies worldwide. 

The following nine statements are from the opening section of the Satanic Bible, and they summarize the basic principles of Satanism as practiced by the LeVeyan branch of the movement. They are printed here nearly exactly as they appear in the Satanic Bible, though slightly corrected for grammar and clarity. 

01
of 09

Indulgence, Not Abstinence

Statue of Anton Szandor Lavey in Wax Museum, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco.
Flickr: Dr. Anton LaVey/Fernando de Sousa/Wikimedia Commons

Nothing is to be gained by denying oneself pleasure. Religious calls for abstinence most often come from faiths that view the physical world and its pleasures as spiritually dangerous. Satanism is a world-affirming, not world-denying, religion. However, the encouragement of indulgence does not equate to mindless submersion into pleasures. Sometimes restraint leads to heightened enjoyment later--in which case patience and discipline are encouraged.

Finally, indulgence requires one to always be in control. If satisfying a desire becomes a compulsion (such as with an addiction), then control has been surrendered to the object of desire, and this is never encouraged.

02
of 09

Vital Existence, Not Spiritual Illusion

Reality and existence are sacred, and the truth of that existence is to be honored and sought at all times--and never sacrificed for a comforting lie or an unverified claim one cannot bother to investigate.

03
of 09

Undefiled Wisdom, Not Hypocritical Self-Deceit

True knowledge takes work and strength. It is something one finds, rather than something handed to you. Doubt everything, and avoid dogma. Truth describes how the world truly is, how we would like it to be. Be wary of shallow emotional wants; all too often they are satisfied only at the expense of truth.

04
of 09

Kindness to Those Who Deserve It, Not Love Wasted on Ingrates

There is nothing in Satanism that encourages wanton cruelty or unkindness. There is nothing productive in that--but it is also unproductive to waste your energy on people who will not appreciate or reciprocate your kindness. Treat others as they treat you will form meaningful and productive bonds, but let parasites know that you will not waste your time with them. 

05
of 09

Vengeance, Not Turning the Other Cheek

Leaving wrongs unpunished merely encourages miscreants to continue preying on others. Those who do not stand up for themselves end up being trampled.

This is not, however, an encouragement for misbehavior. Becoming a bully in the name of vengeance is not only dishonest, but it also invites others to bring retribution on you. The same goes for performing illegal actions of retribution: break the law and you yourself become the miscreant that the law should come down on swiftly and harshly.

06
of 09

Give Responsibility to the Responsible

Satan advocates extending responsibility to the responsible, rather than acquiescing to psychic vampires. True leaders are identified by their actions and accomplishments, not their titles.

Real power and responsibility should be given to those who can wield it, not to those who simply demand it.

07
of 09

Man Is Just Another Animal

Satan sees rman as just another animal--sometimes better but more often worse than those that walk on all-fours. He is an animal who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all.

Elevating the human species to a position somehow innately superior to other animals is blatant self-deceit. Humanity is driven by the same natural urges that other animals experience. While our intellect has allowed us to accomplish truly great things (which should be appreciated), it can also be credited with incredible and wanton acts of cruelty throughout history.

08
of 09

Celebrating the So-Called Sins

Satan champions the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental or emotional gratification. In general, the concept of “sin” is something that breaks a moral or religious law, and Satanism is strictly against such following of dogma. When a Satanist avoids an action, it is because of concrete reasoning, not simply because dogma dictates it or someone has judged it “bad."

In addition, when a Satanist realizes that he or she has committed an actual wrong, the correct response is to accept it, learn from it and avoid doing it again--not to mentally beat yourself up for it or beg for forgiveness.

09
of 09

Best Friend the Church Has Ever Had

Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years.

This last statement is largely a declaration against dogmatic and fear-based religion. If there were no temptations--if we did not have the natures that we do, if there was nothing to fear--then few people would submit themselves to the rules and abuses that have developed in other religions (specifically Christianity) over the centuries.

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Beyer, Catherine. "The Nine Opening Statements of the Satanic Bible." ThoughtCo, May. 5, 2017, thoughtco.com/the-satanic-statements-95978. Beyer, Catherine. (2017, May 5). The Nine Opening Statements of the Satanic Bible. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-satanic-statements-95978 Beyer, Catherine. "The Nine Opening Statements of the Satanic Bible." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-satanic-statements-95978 (accessed November 18, 2017).