Anton LaVey on Ritual, Elitism, & the Concept of Equality

The following is an except from Jim Goad’s interview with Anton LaVey printed in ANSWER ME! Issue #2: The Wrath of GOAD. The new edition of the ANSWER ME! collection is due out by the end of January. Check for details.

Acknowledging that humans have a Jungian need for ritual, LaVey melded applied psychology with appropriately dark theatrics. He doesn’t accept “Satan” as the persona understood in Christian theology—it would be rather stupid to worship a fallen angel whose damnation is sealed at an omnipotent creator’s hands. For LaVey, Satan is the creator, or at least a convenient symbol of nature’s dark, randomly brutal forces. The devil’s a lusty archetype, a superhero of the liberated id.

As leader of the “Alien Elite,” LaVey promotes a pruning of the gene pool through “bright supremacy”. Far from espousing noble savagery, he advocates strengthening the police to keep all you assholes in line. He yearns for a future of android slavery and self-contained environments. In a statement which won our hearts, he claims that “population is the biggest problem facing us now.”

Well, naturally—I say “naturally” as a Satanist—I don’t believe in equality. I don’t believe there’s anything equal. […] The most equal of human beings, I would say, would be on the lowest level. Because there are, I mean, God must have loved them, ’cause he made so many of them. But when you get higher up on the evolutionary scale—or social order, whichever you prefer—you’re going to find more differentiation in human beings as you ascend. And then, of course, the higher you go, the more unequal you find those from the ones at the bottom. What is usually meant by “equality” is really ‘common denominators.’

But I feel that the question that would normally be put to me would be, “Well, who are you to say who is equal and who is not equal, or who’s superior and who is inferior?”. And my only answer to that would be simply based on the product or the impact that these individuals have on the cosmology as we know it, our world. And the contrast between the performers and the audience—those who are the performers in life are certainly not equal to the audience, who occupies a much vaster space than the performers onstage. That isn’t to say that everyone has to be a performer, but certainly as far as inequality is concerned, the performer, or the stimulator, as I like to call him, is someone who deserve a little more, if you want to call it, subsidizing, than the person who needs stimulation and gains stimulation from that performer. As far as I’m concerned, the greatest need of human life is stimulation. That allows these spores in this great yeast mold to know that they’re alive, that they’re actually functioning. They feel something. The stimulation is sort of like a cattle prod or a mild shock. Anything will do to give these people an awareness that they are indeed alive—they have a functioning nervous system. I call them people because, to me, the word ‘people’ is not a positive thing. It is very much a derogatory expression.

And the second-most vital need would be identity. Obviously, collective identities—that is, herd mentalities—seem to be in the majority. And of the herd mentality, people in the world—and again, I use that derogatorily—people—there are very few, or fewer, certainly, that are not collective in their identities. In other words, they haven’t gotten their identities from something that’s been prepackaged or mass-produced, but they’ve found something a trifle different to get more of a personal identity. And this is not to say that it’s less important to them than it is to the people, but it still, to me, is probably the second-most-important human need.

And getting back to equality, or staying with equality, rather: The whole concept, the entire concept of equality is simply one of wishful thinking or flight of fancy that, very much like the concept of reincarnation, will allow the lowest to feel that they are equal to the highest. And the concept of equality, with that in mind, is designed to keep the lowest satisfied, to serve as pap, or serve as sort of cosmetic indulgence or enticement to the lowest so that they, too, can feel that they are of the same stuff as the highest.