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How Anton LaVey Founded The Church Of Satan

By 1966, Anton LaVey had built a large enough following to start his own movement. On April 30th, he officially founded the Church of Satan.

He purposely chose that date since it coincided with Walpurgisnacht — an old Christian festivity that honored a Medieval abbess. Notably, Saint Walpurga was originally celebrated for protecting Christians against witchcraft. So it’s no coincidence that LaVey chose to hijack that day.

LaVey’s “Black House” on California Street soon became the headquarters of his new religion. There, he hosted “rituals,” which often included scantily clad women. Sometimes, they would dress like witches and perform nightclub-like shows, but other times they’d simply lay across altars or other random pieces of furniture — completely naked.

As for LaVey, he often adorned himself in horns to look like the Devil during these “rituals.” He became known as the “Black Pope” to loyal audiences, who were encouraged to join in on the festivities — which often teetered between religious ceremonies and full-blown orgies.

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