|Full text PDF:||10.17192/mjr.2002.7.3733;|
The status of The Satanic Bible as an authoritative scripture-or, perhaps more accurately, as a kind of quasi-scripture-within the Satanic subculture was initially brought to my attention during my first face-to-face encounter with Satanists in the Spring of 2000. Via the internet, I had found a small Satanist group in Portage, Wisconsin, which was about an hour south of where I resided at the time. This group, the Temple of Lylyth, distinguishes itself from Anton LaVey's brand of Satanism chiefly by its emphasis on feminine nature of the Dark Power. I arranged to meet with them in Portage on a Friday evening in connection with a research project on which I was working at the time. Over the course of our conversation, the founder and then leader of the group mentioned that on Friday evenings he was usually downtown where a small group of fervent Christians regularly set up what might be called a 'preaching station' to spread the Gospel. This young fellow (he was nineteen at the time) would confront them as a practicing Satanist. He always carried a copy of The Satanic Bible with him, not just so he could quote some of accusations LaVey leveled against Christianity, but also so he could correct anything these evangelists might say about Satanism by citing an authoritative source. I'm sure this is something of a caricature, but I was left with the impression of dueling religionists, Christians hurling Bible verses at my informant as he matched blow for blow with quotes from The Satanic Bible. This experience led me to pay attention whenever other Satanists mentioned The Satanic Bible.