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The Devil’s PartySatanism in Modernity$
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Per Faxneld and Jesper Aa. Petersen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199779239

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199779239.001.0001

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Hidden Persuaders and Invisible Wars

Hidden Persuaders and Invisible Wars

Anton LaVey and Conspiracy Culture

(p.123) Chapter 6 Hidden Persuaders and Invisible Wars
The Devil’s Party

Asbjørn Dyrendal

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses a long neglected dimension of Anton LaVey's work, namely his ambiguous play with conspiracy theories. Through a close reading of two texts, two major strands of conspiracy thinking is isolated in LaVey's Satanism. On the one hand is the straightforward incorporation of conspiracies and conspiratorial agents as a negative Other or positive exemplar. On the other hand is an ambiguous postmodern duplicity concurrent with LaVey's insistence on a “third side” or “satanic alternative” to traditional dichotomies. The former is found in his early writings as well as later texts such as “The Invisible War”; this is reminiscent of the agency panic prevalent in conspiracy culture broadly conceived. The latter is visible in “Insane Ramblings” and illustrates that LaVey should be read carefully and understood with tongue firmly in cheek. In both cases LaVey's focus in on the individual, using conspiracy as a resource for developing a satanic anthropology.

Keywords:   Satanism, Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, conspiracy culture, agency panic, Invisible War, the third side

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