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History of Satanism[edit]

A wood engraving from the Compendium Maleficarum.

It is apparent from a study of history that the earliest forms of Satanism were in fact fabrications by various groups of Christians. Many of the erroneous beliefs about Satanists still believed today can be traced Medieval and Renaissance books such as Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch's Hammer) (1486) by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger.[1] However, Satanism in general is extremely diverse, Satanism is not one religion or one belief system. There are many different Satanic Organizations and Sects, then there are simply independent Satanists whom are not a part of any sects or organizations. There are some Satanic Sects that base their religion on ancient Pagan religions, such as Ancient Hinduism, Tibet, etc.

The Church of Satan[edit]

The Church of Satan was founded by Anton Szandor LaVey (1930-1997), author of The Satanic Bible (1969). In that book, LaVey argued that religions such as Christianity rejected the physical world; he was attempting to create a religion which uplifted it.

Other books written by LaVey on the subject include The Compleat Witch (1971), The Satanic Rituals (1972), The Devil's Notebook (1992), and Satan Speaks! (1998). LaVey appointed Blanche Barton command of the church, and she assumed the role when he died in 1997.