Aquino on the CoS Funds

Aquino is answering Kevin Filan on a message that Kevin had posted on alt.satanism. The relevant part is found in the information about corporations, where Aquino reveals information about documents that were hushed down among the general membership. Aquino's reply has been included in its entirety below.

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Subject: Re: Question for Aquino
From: (Dr. Michael A. Aquino)
Date: 2000/12/28
Newsgroups: alt.satanism
Hash: SHA1

Aquino starts:

I normally do not respond to Filan posts, since his motives are routinely malicious. But in this one he both raises and personally serves as an illustration of some points which alt.satanism readers may think significant.

Kevin said:

>In article <92c44q$nuv$>,
>Kevin Filan <> wrote:

>I presume that Dr. Aquino is referring to the
>Church of Satan as a "financial game." If that is
>indeed the case, I also presume that he has some
>evidence of financial shenanigans or misdeeds on
>the part of the Church of Satan's administration.

Aquino replied:

There are two aspects to this answer: the theological and the corporate.


The Church of Satan was founded as, operated for its first nine years as, and represented itself as a church believing in and dedicated to the worship of Satan, the metaphysical conscious entity standing apart from and in contrast to the singularity of the cosmos.

As with any religion, the Church tolerated varying shades of literal belief in Satan among its lay membership, but where the Priesthood of Mendes was concerned, there was no question of the literal sincerity of the Church whatever. At the lay level, see for example the Adult Rite of Satanic Baptism, with particular attention to its Oath, as contained in Anton LaVey's _Satanic Rituals_.

The Oath administered to Priests and Priestesses of Mendes was equally unequivocal. The entire Ceremony of Ordination is sworn not to be revealed to the profane, but I think this specific passage is justifiably quoted here:

"Advance to the altar of Hell, that the eye of Our Lord Satan may seize upon you. As your mind is revealed to the Lord of This World, do you affirm your cause with Satan and accept of your free will his eternal Priesthood? [Response]

"I bring your hand to that of Azazel, High Herald of the Infernal Empire, who shall set upon you the seal of the Priesthood of Mendes.

"In the name of Satan, and of his Exarch upon Earth, I name you to our Fellowship and send you forth - beyond the Abyss - to walk in ways of strangeness and of beauty. You are become as Belial - knowing no master - and you are a glory to your race and a brilliance before the sight of Our Lord Satan."

My point is simply that, as I have recounted here and elsewhere at length, this belief in and allegiance to Satan was absolutely and unequivocally at the core of the original Church of Satan. Just as pointedly the Church was vague about this in its interactions with the public, for the obvious reason that it was much more easy for it to be tolerated as a mere psychodramatic/symbolic affair than as a deadly serious religion dedicated to the Devil, his Daemons, and Black Magic.

Thus when in 1975 Anton LaVey announced that all degrees, including the Priesthood, were henceforth for sale simply for cash, and shortly thereafter renounced his own High Priesthood as "symbolic, not literal", he instantly destroyed precisely what had made the Church of Satan exactly and authentically what its name bespoke. After that it was simply his personal fan club, taking in money from persons who at least initially thought they were joining the authentic Church as it had existed the previous nine years. Anton LaVey knew quite well that it was no longer even a shadow of that, but went right on capitalizing on its reputation. That was fraudulent at the most essential level, of which fees and dues elicited from applicants was only a symptom.

Note: the following section is important and has been emphasized.


The Church of Satan was formalized 9/20/1971 as a California non-profit corporation, Article #8 of its Articles of Incorporation providing that: "The property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to charitable and religious purposes, and no part of the net income or assets of this organization shall ever inure to the benefit of any director, officer, or member thereof, or to the benefit of any private persons."

Nevertheless on 4/25-26/1985, Anton and Diane LaVey signed an Agreement in which they defined the Church of Satan as wholly their personal property in partnership. This document was never made known to any of the current "membership" (who, per this Agreement, had no legal membership status of anything whatever), and surfaced only when Diane sued Anton in 1988 [as an exhibit in that suit].

In that lawsuit Anton, under penalty of perjury, swore on 6/1/1989: "Defendant denies that plaintiff and defendant formed a partnership on or about April 30, 1966 and took steps to form a non-profit corporation." This document was not published to the "membership of the Church of Satan" either.

Following that lawsuit Anton filed for bankruptcy, and on 4/22/1992 swore, again under penalty of perjury, that: "My income derives from my operation as a sole proprietor known as the Church of Satan", and then on 1/31/1992 that "no revenues are generated by or through the Church of Satan". Again neither document was published to the "membership of the Church of Satan", who might well have wondered where their $100 fees, $150,000 Church of Satan franchises [as stated by Sharon "Blanche Barton" Densley in Gilmore's magazine #5/1991], $200/hour consultations, and royalties for all of the Church-authorized trinkets the Gilmores were selling to them were going.

After that court case the lid went down again, so nobody but Anton and Densley probably knows what labyrinths the money trail led down thereafter. We do know that the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board both refused to grant the Church of Satan federal/state tax-exempt standing.

As for anyone suing the "Church of Satan" on grounds of fraud, I doubt that anyone of its post-1975 membership caliber either really cares or even has the slightest idea who/what/how to sue - particularly given the ever-morphing legal entity of the "Church", Anton's demise, and the sworn-to $0 bank balance of whatever-it-is!

Here ends the relevant part.

Kevin said:

>you persist in trying to market your group
>as "the authentic Church of Satan" or the
>"Improved Church of Satan," despite the fact
>that your philosophy bears little if any resemblance
>to Anton LaVey and despite the fact that LaVey
>publicly and repeatedly disavowed any connection
>between your respective organizations.

Aquino replied:

The Temple of Set has always considered itself the religious/authentic continuation and evolution of the original 1966-75 Church of Satan, as we made quite clear from the moment of our founding. We have just as explicitly made it clear that we disclaim any connection with the personal business that Anton LaVey ran under the name of the "Church of Satan" after 1975.

Someone (Aquino?) had said:

>> So Locklin threw a big tantrum because he was actually
>> *identified* as the author of that document? My answer
>> is: "Grow up. If you're not prepared to assume personal
>> responsibility and accountability for what you say
>> and do, then don't say or do it."

Kevin said, in reply to the above:

>Well, then: would you have any objection to someone
>making your neighbors aware of the 1987 events at the
>Presidio daycare center? Given that you were rather
>loudly and repeatedly connected to a particularly nasty
>child molestation scandal -- and given that quite a
>few people still believe you were guilty of some pretty
>horrendous crimes -- it seems that maybe the pillars
>of your community need to be apprised of your history,

Aquino replied to Kevin:

Well, there's a very fundamental difference between those two situations: Locklin *did* a dangerous thing when he advertised persons/groups including a pedophile, human sacrifice, neo-nazism, and financial fraud, to a readership of all ages, including minors - without acknowledging his personal responsibility for it. In doing this he recklessly jeopardized legitimate Satanism, which was only then recovering from a decade of false accusations on *precisely* those grounds.

As for Lilith and myself, we did *nothing* except to be surprise victims in a $3 million financial scam by an Army chaplain and his wife, which we both then and since have quite thoroughly detailed - which means that either you are too stupid to see the truth [which I doubt], or just unprincipled and malicious enough to keep trying to misrepresent that scam for your shabby little smear purposes.

That you, as a spokesman for the "Church of Satan", would try to smear two innocent people with "SRA" propaganda, all the more when knowing that this plays right into the hands of fanatics who are trying to paint *all* of Satanism with that brush - just because Anton LaVey hated me for refusing to go along with his financial prostitution of the Church, and because you thus hoped to suck up to him/Densley - is, in a word, nauseating. *And*, I think, glaringly evident to the readership here as well, whatever philosophical differences they and I may have during ongoing discussions.

Kevin said:

>I take it, then, that you DON'T object to someone
>sending copies of "Armies of the Night" to your
>neighbors. Duly noted.

Aquino replied:

Sometimes I can only shake my head at your naivete, even when you're doing your best to be a prick. In this case you have *no idea whatever* of the length, ferocity, and in this case sideshows of the Adams-Thompson/Presidio scam.

Do you suppose for a moment that the SFPD, the FBI, and the Army CID didn't interview and reinterview *everyone* on our block, hoping that *someone* could say they'd seen us with children? Do you think that they didn't interview and reinterview all of our acquaintances, and of course as many people who had any kind of grudge against us whatever? What do you think the SFPD/FBI/CID wanted to do - clear us? The fuck they did. Their agenda was to pander to the accusing parents, get patted on the head by the "SRA"-frolicking news media, and of course do a favor for the Good Christian Mainstream of the country by exterminating [ugh!] "Satanism". If there had been *any way whatever* that they could have managed to frame Lilith and myself to make the chaplain's scam stick - and they tried to the extent of several attempts to conceal or destroy exculpatory evidence, manufacture evidence, and lie to federal courts - they would have done it in an instant and we'd have been toast.

As for "Armies of the Night", that was one of the most inaccurate and witchhunt-blatant newspaper articles of the Presidio scam, by a reporter who had already become famous for her unquestioning fanning of the flames from the moment the scam started [long before it occurred to the chaplain to try to make a fast $3 million by accusing us]. I sent a detailed refutation of it to the publisher, and none of its falsehoods ever reappeared in that paper. Indeed later that same reporter, to our astonishment, sent a letter to Lilith and myself expressing regret and sympathy for the ordeal that we'd been through.

So much for your "great threats". They were both tried before, much more intensively and with a much more aggressive frame-agenda behind them.

But in your Filanesque fashion you have indeed [and doubtless unintentionally] highlighted exactly how dangerous Locklin's FAQ was. At least until I corresponded with him about this, it's entirely possible he was utterly clueless about what could result from those advertisements. He hadn't been through anything remotely resembling our ordeal. So it was very easy for him - especially anonymously - to shrug it all off. What he did was to stick his hand personally - and legitimate Satanism's hand reflectively - into a rattlesnake cage. Lucky for him and lucky for the religion, the rattlesnake wasn't paying attention. If I happened to annoy Locklin enough to make him pull his hand out a little sooner, well, you know, it just *might* dawn on his silly ass one of these years that it was an unbelievably stupid thing for him to do.

If you yourself have the sense to realize and respect this, well and good. If you don't, and just try to come up with a "cute" retort, so much for that.

Michael A. Aquino

Version: PGP Personal Privacy 6.0.2


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