The Nine Satanic Sins
by Anton Szandor LaVey ©1987
1. Stupidity—The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It’s too bad that stupidity
isn’t painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on
people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture
that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford
to be stupid.
2. Pretentiousness—Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn’t applying the cardinal rules of Lesser
Magic. On equal footing with stupidity for what keeps the money in circulation these days. Everyone’s
made to feel like a big shot, whether they can come up with the goods or not.
3. Solipsism—Can be very dangerous for Satanists. Projecting your reactions, responses and sensibilities
onto someone who is probably far less attuned than you are. It is the mistake of expecting people to give
you the same consideration, courtesy and respect that you naturally give them. They won’t. Instead,
Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of “Do unto others as they do unto you.” It’s work for most of us
and requires constant vigilance lest you slip into a comfortable illusion of everyone being like you. As has
been said, certain utopias would be ideal in a nation of philosophers, but unfortunately (or perhaps
fortunately, from a Machiavellian standpoint) we are far from that point.
4. Self-deceit—It’s in the “Nine Satanic Statements” but deserves to be repeated here. Another cardinal
sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are
expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered into is when it’s fun, and with
awareness. But then, it’s not self-deceit!
5. Herd Conformity—That’s obvious from a Satanic stance. It’s all right to conform to a person’s wishes, if
it ultimately benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting an impersonal entity dictate to
you. The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the many.
6. Lack of Perspective—Again, this one can lead to a lot of pain for a Satanist. You must never lose sight
of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We are making history
right now, every day. Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key
to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit things together as you want the pieces to fall
into place. Do not be swayed by herd constraints—know that you are working on another level entirely
from the rest of the world.
7. Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies—Be aware that this is one of the keys to brainwashing people into
accepting something new and different, when in reality it’s something that was once widely accepted but
is now presented in a new package. We are expected to rave about the genius of the creator and forget
the original. This makes for a disposable society.
8. Counterproductive Pride—That first word is important. Pride is great up to the point you begin to throw
out the baby with the bathwater. The rule of Satanism is: if it works for you, great. When it stops working
for you, when you’ve painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, I’m sorry, I made a
mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow, then do it.
9. Lack of Aesthetics—This is the physical application of the Balance Factor. Aesthetics is important in
Lesser Magic and should be cultivated. It is obvious that no one can collect any money off classical
standards of beauty and form most of the time so they are discouraged in a consumer society, but an eye
for beauty, for balance, is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for greatest magical
effectiveness. It’s not what’s supposed to be pleasing—it’s what is. Aesthetics is a personal thing,
reflective of one’s own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that
should not be denied.
A List of "The Nine Satanic Sins", outlined
and described by the founder of The
Church of Satan, Anton Szandor LaVey.