I spent most of last Summer looking through this book over and over. It is an absolutely delightful read and I consider it one of my favorite reads of last year. The scope is amazing- to name only a handful of it's topics, the book covers Aleister Crowley, Nazi Occultism, the "dark side" of the New Age movement, the history of the Church of Satan
, virtually every pseudo-Satanic and devil worshipping group one can imagine, Satanic music and music erroneously labeled Satanic.
In it's pages, I was introduced to the works of Boyd Rice, Diabolus Rex, Coop, Kenneth Anger, and many other Satanists for the first time. This exposure gave me a much better idea of the potential applications of Satanism.
As can be seen in the reviews above, one widely criticized element of the book is its coverage of pseudo-Satanists and devil worshippers. On the one hand, I have to agree with some of this criticism. Michael Aquino's split from the Church of Satan
is called a "Reformation" if I remember correctly. This seems a rather glorified way of describing his often questionable actions.
On the other hand, the inclusion of the devil worshippers and pseudo-satanists made it clear the difference between the Church of Satan
and Pseudo-Satanic groups. Real Satanists have created many original and unparalleled creations; pseudo-satanists have little to show for their efforts except occultnik babblings. By the end of the book, the difference between real Satanism and the fakes is clear.
The interviews of real Satanists are a treat. I particularly enjoyed the ones of Dr. LaVey and Magister Boyd Rice. Almost immediately after finishing this book the first time, I went out and bought everything by Rice I could get my hands on. His personal philosophy is allowed much coverage and is fascinating.
Overall: there's a good chance, you'll want to read this book again after you finish it!