40 Facts about the Church of Satan

A very early picture of Anton LaVey, either late 1950s or early 1960s. Church of Satan Archive

39. It all started with LaVey’s weird lectures on hypnotism and arcane lore

In the 1950s, LaVey worked as a freelance ghostbuster, checking out ‘nut calls’ sent his way by his friends on the police force, which supplemented his income as a hypnotist and virtuoso-organist at certain bars and strip clubs in San Francisco. Unsurprisingly, he became a local celebrity, and his mystical reputation attracted others interested in bizarre lore and occult theology. From these would-be acolytes, LaVey selected a ‘Black Circle’ to whom he delivered weekly lectures on his research. Preparing the lectures made LaVey reassess all he had discovered, and soon an idea began to take root in his mind…