Blanche's Letter to Chris Bray, Rebuttal

Where it says BB it is from Blanche Barton's letter to Chris Bray. The rest is a reply from Dr. Michael Aquino from the ToS. Jeff posted the Barton to Bray letter to show samples of CoS homophobia. Interesting information, in light of the barrage of slanders the CoS lackies are posting against Egan of the FCoS! Same old shit.

Subject: Re: pointing to "CoS-leaders"
From: (Dr. Michael A. Aquino)
Date: 2000/11/20
Newsgroups: alt.satanism


In article <8vae2v$keb$>, SVsite wrote:

>They take their lead from Ms. Barton, as you
>can see below in her letter to
>Mr. Bray. 

My comments to the "Blanche Barton" letter to Bray are appended below.

Michael A. Aquino


TEMPLE OF SET Post Office Box 470307 San Francisco, CA 94147

March 13, 1996

I have just had forwarded to me a Usenet post purporting to be a letter from Blanche Barton (Anton LaVey's mistress) to Christopher Bray. There are immediately several curious things about this letter:

(1) It is dated "XXVIII (1994)", but XXVIII is 1993.

(2) The street address for Bray on Burley Road is incorrect.

(3) The letter consists wholly of accusations and insinuations on topics which predated Barton's involvement with Anton LaVey by years. It is also phrased in Anton LaVey's personal writing style, with which I am well acquainted. Presumably it was written by him, like _Secret Life of a Satanist_, and Barton's name merely signed to it because of his fear to take responsibility for it.

(4) In 1993 Bray, a UK occultist, was conducting a fervent if inept campaign of disinformation concerning the Temple of Set, Magister David Austen, and myself. In his various tracts he reprinted anything from any source he thought could be used to smear us. Yet nowhere does this Barton letter, or anything from it, appear.

(5) Magister Austen, who corresponded and spoke with Bray frequently at that time, was never told about any such letter - which seems improbable given Bray's belligerent attitude.

I suspect that this is actually a fairly recent letter, authored by Anton, backdated to exceed the statute of limitations for libel, and attributed to Barton to protect himself [as usual]. It is further noteworthy that it apparently appeared on alt.satanism not by Barton, nor even by Nadramia, but by being "leaked" to a non-LaVey party (Filan) known to be on a current hate campaign against myself. Again the motive appears to be Anton's evasion of responsibility and accountability for a tawdry and transparent collection of character assassination falsehoods.

With this in mind I will set the record straight on the contents, and routinely provide copies to anyone who questions me about this document henceforth.

BB> Sorry for my delay in adding fuel to the funeral pyre
BB> you and Mr. Freedom have stoked under Mikey's feet
BB> lately.

Christopher Bray was/is proprietor of a British occult shop. After courting the British tabloids for some time, he decided - when the "SRA" scare reached the UK, that he wanted no further attention from them. When one of them ambushed and filmed him anyway, he blamed Magister David Austen of the UK branch of the Temple of Set (who had nothing to do with the incident). Bray then demanded that I purge Austen from the Temple, which I had no cause [nor personal authority] to do. When I declined, Bray added myself and the Temple of Set generally to his anti-Austen propaganda campaign, which eventually fizzled out after Bray had made himself sufficiently ridiculous thereby.

BB> Dark Lily has been kind enough to forward copies of
BB> the original Lamp of Thoth gem, and Reservist Aquino's
BB> subsequent meager scratchings attempting to whitewash
BB> both himself and his boy loving UK representative, as
BB> well as your excellent letters of rebuttal.

_Dark Lily_ was a UK Satanist newsletter edited by Magda Graham. _The Lamp of Thoth_ was Bray's newsletter. Before I refused to cooperate with Bray's attack on Austen, Bray was friendly to the Temple of Set and myself, and published an article of mine, "Horns Across the Water", introducing the Temple in Britain. Anyone wishing a copy of it, to judge its fairness and objectivity, is welcome to send a SASE to the Temple of Set office (P.O. Box 470307, San Francisco, CA 94147).

David Austen is not and never has been a pedophile, of course.

BB> I think it's fine testimony to Aquino's stupidity that,
BB> when publicly confronted with damning evidence against
BB> Austen, he didn't just cut his losses and say, "Yeah, the
BB> guy's a bad egg - he's no longer playing on our team."
BB> Quite the contrary, he goes to painful lengths to lie, deny
BB> and try to justify his way out of a no-win, obviously very
BB> harmful situation.  And, as always, Aquino uses the
BB> interchange as a forum for gratuitous Church of Satan-
BB> bashing.

As there was no "damning evidence against Austen", there were no "losses to cut". Austen remains today a widely-respected British occultist, recently invited to lecture at the prestigious Oxford Golden Dawn Society & routinely consulted by UK occult/ religious literary authorities, for instance; and the Temple of Set UK is doing just fine.

BB> You have armed yourself with plenty of ammunition
BB> against David Austen to show him for the reprehensible,
BB> vile worm that he is. Through the public disclosure of this
BB> information, you have seen that Aquino is truly no better.
BB> Birds of a feather really do flock together.  As with Austen,
BB> it is important to understand the man's basic character and
BB> motivations.  It does little good to attack the issues and
BB> expect some actual response.  Aquino loves to spar and
BB> "dialogue."  That's his form of masturbation. One must
BB> recognize and acknowledge that first with him -- that
BB> you are providing him with more material to jerk off
BB> over.

Actually I [and Austen] begrudge any time expended on refuting falsehoods circulated by Anton LaVey, or other people who for whatever their passions feel that they need to out- draw us in the main street of Dodge City. Careful observers will note that we do not initiate antagonistic confrontations, but simply - as in this instance - respond as necessary to provocations.

BB> That's one reason why we haven't responded directly to
BB> his lies about Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan for
BB> many years.  To do so, to get an actual letter from the
BB> C/S -- something he hasn't received since 1975 -- would
BB> only cause him multiple orgasms, even if it was just a
BB> terse postcard saying "Fuck off, slimeball."  (Excuse me,
BB> Ipsissimus Slimeball).  But, regardless of that knowledge,
BB> we do occasionally take the opportunity to refute some
BB> of Aquino's more blatant lies, just for the sake of accuracy.

As I haven't written any lies concerning the Church of Satan or any of its representatives, it would be difficult for Anton to respond to any. Occasionally he has, anonymously or through other people, tried disinformation - for example the unsigned diatribe in _Dark Lily_ against the Temple and myself, "Pretenders to the Throne", years later claimed by Peter Gilmore but, in my opinion, probably composed by Anton LaVey because of the style and long-pre-Gilmore contents. Individuals wishing a copy of "PT" can contact the Gilmores. Those wishing a copy of my rebuttal to "PT" may again send a SASE to the Temple of Set office.

It doesn't hurt my feelings that I haven't received any letters from Anton, since as far as I am concerned this merely speaks to his cowardice in hiding behind a series of women's skirts, or anonymous tracts, to vent his petty hatreds. A real man would have the guts to state his opinions personally, send them directly to me, and sign his name to them. Not once since May 1975 has he had the balls to do this. [Here again he hides behind Barton, who evidently wears the pants at 6114 these days.]

BB> Aquino is compelled to inform on others, a natural
BB> stoolpigeon. Others' privacy and security are, to him,
BB> things to be violated. He specializes in divulging home
BB> addresses and personal problems, thereby endangering
BB> professional or occupational stability.  Unlike Austen,
BB> who apparently divulges such information for monetary
BB> gain, Mikey does it in the guise of being "open and
BB> aboveboard."  Many have been vandalized, boycotted
BB> or persecuted by his malicious compulsion to snitch.

If someone comes to me courteously and responsibly with a question about anyone or anything, I will give as fair, complete, and accurate an answer as I can. Sometimes I am asked about persons or organizations of a disreputable, fraudulent, or dangerous nature. In such cases I am equally frank with the questioner - and I stand openly and personally by what I say.

As for addresses or occupations, I consider respect of personal information a courtesy, not a right. Persons fearful of being held to account for their conduct should conduct themselves in a way to elicit respect and tolerance. If they are afraid of the consequences of advocating controversial religious or philosophical views - for example the provocative, aggressive slogans in the _Satanic Bible_, methinks they should *not* advocate them. It's a bit silly to deliver a belligerent Ragnar Redbeard speech, then whine "foul!" and hide under the bed when someone actually confronts you about it.

BB> Aquino seeks out his own kind and uses them to validate
BB> his lies.  His few temporal cronies (TOSsers) are, with few
BB> exceptions, little more than aimless derelicts whom he
BB> elevates to lofty stations. He _must_ defend their "high
BB> quality" rather than admit to running a haven for
BB> miserable losers.  We know of at least two Temple
BB> associates who were admitted members of NAMBLA
BB> (the National Man-Boy Love Association).

The Temple of Set has never conducted membership campaigns, and has grown gradually over the years by word of mouth & recommendations from current Initiates. The quality of its current membership is evidenced pretty well in the profiles presented in its InterCommunication Roster, a current copy of which is always available to every Setian worldwide.

I do not "elevate" anyone to degrees or offices within the Temple. All higher degrees, and Temple offices, are administered by a decentralized review, consideration, and approval system mandated by the Temple By-Laws. Over the last two decades it has functioned, on the whole, very fairly and objectively.

Some years ago two persons joined the Temple who concealed their NAMBLA affiliation in their applications. The first one (James Martin, still advertised by Scott Locklin in his alt.satanism FAQ) resigned from the Temple immediately when we accidentally learned of it through his publication of an article in a UK pedophile magazine. He then told us about the second one, who convinced Temple officials that he had never committed any pedophile actions and immediately resigned from NAMBLA. He continued for a time as a Setian in good standing, and we have no knowledge of any crime, pedophile or otherwise, committed by him.

BB> As you have seen, when presented with incontrovertible
BB> evidence against himself, his consistent line of defense is
BB> first to deny, then proceed with excessive obfuscation and
BB> distraction.

To date I have seen no "incontrovertible evidence against myself" [for what?]. Certainly I will deny false or malicious accusations. As for the clarity and directness of my answers to questions, I have written enough over the years to allow readers to judge this for themselves.

BB> One stock accusation is insisting that anything written
BB> against him must emenate from the pen of his present
BB> detractor, for no one else could possibly take issue with
BB> him (i.e. John Freedom). Conversely, anything written
BB> relatively objectively or respectfully ("sycophantic",
BB> "adulatory", or "self-serving", in Mikey's view) about
BB> Anton LaVey during the past 18 years must be written
BB> by Anton himself.

"John Freedom" was an alias used by Bray, and easily exposed as such, in anti-Temple of Set tracts. The writing style was obviously his own, and he was the one who personally responded to letters regarding the "JF" diatribes.

Several colorful articles about Anton LaVey have been written since 1975 by reporters or anthologists. Other articles, such as the famous _Rolling Stone_ expose' by Lawrence Wright, have been more a mixture of amusement and criticism.

I am not aware of any specifically self-praising articles written by Anton since 1975. I do think it obvious that _Secret Life of a Satanist_ was ghost-written by Anton, with Barton's name merely tacked on to avoid the inelegance of endless self-praise. My basis for this conclusion is again the style of writing, vocabulary, topics of emphasis, and general thought-organization - for example, tacit assumptions about certain topics with which Anton was easily familiar, but which a groupie such as Barton would have fumbled even with Anton looking over her shoulder. [Here I will invoke my 25 years' experience as a PSYOP and intelligence officer, to include extensive work in the field of documents analysis.]

BB> Contrary to his posturing as the "ethical" evolution
BB> of Satanism, Dr. Aquino is a thief.  Soon after his
BB> indignant departure from the Church of Satan, he
BB> tried to rip off the title "Church of Satan" for _his_
BB> group, and found he couldn't do that because it was
BB> already a legally registered and acknowledged
BB> organization.

The founders of the Temple of Set obviously knew the Church of Satan was incorporated long before the crisis of 1975. Before the North Solstice X Working [resulting in the _Book of Coming Forth by Night_], we frankly didn't know what to do, or even if a continuation of the uncorrupted Church of Satan were possible. [That was the point of the NSX Working.] In the brief time between the crisis and the NSX Working, we considered briefly a "Second Church of Satan", but that was little more than a conversational term of no serious practicality.

BB> So he stole the titles of ruling bodies within the
BB> Church, groups that are still active bodies such as
BB> the Order of the Trapezoid and the Council of Nine, and
BB> tries to give the  impression that he thunk them up all
BB> by himself.  Or that, at the very least, the Dark Lord
BB> has graciously bestowed these responsibilities upon
BB> him because Anton LaVey wasn't doing it right.

The pre-1975 Order of the Trapezoid was a nebulous term in the Church of Satan, used in several different ways according to Anton's whim. My _Church of Satan_ history and the Order of the Trapezoid's informational statement in the _Crystal Tablet of Set_ discuss these in detail. In any case it had no organization, fixed membership, or activities within the Church. As Anton made me a member of it upon my ordination in 1970, I can speak to that.

The original C/S C9 was an _ad hoc_ body of C/S San Francisco members who met in the LaVey home until 1970 to screen new [local] members and advise Anton informally about activities and programs. Once again I was made a member at that time and attended meetings. Shortly thereafter, as the Church ceased SF activities and became a national organization, the C9 ceased to function except as a name which the LaVeys and I occasionally used to "dress up" communiques.

When the Temple of Set was founded, we considered it the legitimate continuation and evolution of the authentic Church of Satan, and accordingly retained - and cleaned up/made operational - many of the C/S features. [The aforementioned IC Roster is one of those.] The former fictitious C9 became an actual, legal corporate board of directors with authority above that of the High Priest. The O.Tr. was dormant until the Wewelsburg Working of 1982, when it was formally revived as an Order of Knighthood within the Temple. Since then it has enjoyed a spectacular history of activity, numerous publications, and research, for the benefit of its own members and Setians generally.

Anton has continued to assert the Order's name, all the more since he has become aware of its flourishing under the aegis of the Temple of Set, but like his fictitious "C9" it remains just a phrase which he uses for the sake of advertisement. The real O.Tr. views this with bemusement - - and some embarrassment at such behavior by him.

BB> He finally called his group the "Temple of Set" because
BB> he happened to hear Anton LaVey whisper "Set" at the
BB> end of a particular ritual Mikey attended (one of only
BB> two or three rituals he attended in the Black House). 
BB> The following week might have been "Typhon" or "Loki,"
BB> but because Mikey heard "Set," he figured that was the
BB> _real_ entity the High Priest invoked.  He became
BB> obsessed with Nazi paraphenalia after Anton LaVey
BB> showed him a S.A. dagger.

Oh, brother.

Set's name appeared now and then in all sorts of contexts in the original C/S, for example in the _Satanic Bible_'s list of demons. Anton and others called the name out occasionally in various rituals at 6114, and Satanists in plenty of other Grottos did so too. Point being that Set was "just another demonic name" of no especial significance to myself or anyone else.

Shortly after the founding of the Temple and its obvious success, Anton began telling people that a jar on his fireplace mantel contained the ashes of Set. [Before then he had claimed it to contain the ashes of Bram Stoker. Perhaps Bram Stoker was a reincarnation of Set?]

I don't remember Anton showing me a Nazi SA dagger, but it certainly wouldn't have sent me running out the door in a Nazi regalia frenzy. I have seen plenty of WW2 memorabilia over the years. Indeed, before I met Anton in 1969, I had seen one of the world's greatest collections of Nazi memorabilia - - including cases and cases of swords and daggers - in the museum of the 82nd Airborne Division wherein I was a Lieutenant at the time [& Life Member of the Historical Society]. Interesting, but hardly obsessing.

BB> You are correct in recognizing Aquino's deep-seated
BB> anti-Semitism, his acquired Nazi fixation notwithstanding.
BB> For example, he used the stark inverted pentagram as
BB> the TOSser symbol in order to exorcise the "vile Hebrew
BB> characters" from the Baphomet.  Though his mother
BB> and father set the stage, Dr. LaVey unwittingly provided
BB> an epiphany by displaying a Nazi relic with an interesting
BB> history (one of the few existing Roehm-inscribed SA daggers
BB> which had escaped being ground down or destroyed after
BB> 1934).  Dr. LaVey might have just as easily displayed an
BB> Israeli Massad (secret police) bade, a rare British Enfield
BB> jugle carbine and regimental pith helmet, or a French
BB> Foreign Legion kepi.  But after experiencing the Nazi
BB> dagger, Mikey was off and running.  "Wewelsburg, here
BB> I come!"

Complaints about anti-Semitism coming from Anton LaVey, who plagiarized Redbeard's ferociously "Aryan"-supremacist harangue in his _Satanic Bible_ and published the "Elektrischen Vorspiele" as a ritual performed by the SS [again inaccurately]? Whose idolization of Hitler was an "open secret" throughout the entire Church? Don't make me laugh.

The _Book of Coming Forth by Night_ indeed removed the Hebrew letters and Azazel-goat from the Pentagram of Set, being later corruptions of the unembellished pentagram. As the Temple of Set did and does not recognize Hebrew gods or demons, this does not seem illogical. We certainly have no objection to other religions using whatever letters or symbols they wish.

Unlike Anton, who draft-dodged the Korean War, my father fought against the Nazis in World War II and received the Purple Heart for combat wounds as an armored car commander in Patton's 3rd Cavalry. My mother, who had many friends in pre-Nazi Germany, deplored the Nazi era, and after the war worked in many relief efforts to assist the desperate condition of Germans in their ruined country. For this she was honored by _Inter Nationes_, the prestigious cultural exchange institution of the Bonn government, in the 1950s.

BB> As editor of the _Cloven Hoof_, the highest office of
BB> administrative recognition he achieved in his brief
BB> stint with the Church of Satan, Aquino was privy to
BB> a limited mailing list which he appropriated (i.e. stole).

As noted above, the Church of Satan had no offices other than those of High Priest and High Priestess (Anton and Diane LaVey). It did have a degree system, and I was the sole person to hold the IV*/II of Magister Templi [the next-senior Initiates - - John Ferro, Charles Steenbarger - holding the IV*/I of Magister Caverni]. Diane was "degreeless", and Anton alone held the Magus V*. I was named to the Order of the Trapezoid & Council of Nine in 1970, but as noted above these were merely symbolic "institutions".

In 1971 the LaVeys asked me to become the Editor of the _Cloven Hoof_, and thereafter Diane and I regularly handled the Church's *complete* mailing list, to include all new, renewing, and departing notices & changes. This went on monthly until the 1975 crisis.

BB> He bombarded the unfortunate few on that list with
BB> insulting anti-LaVey propaganda after he decided their
BB> High Priest had "betrayed the Prince of Darkness."  Most
BB> would-be inheritors of Dr. LaVey's mantel come and go
BB> quickly; the only reason Mikey has lasted is because he's
BB> been buoyed up by mommy's money to keep his
BB> newsletters going.  Michael Aquino has contributed
BB> nothing original to the literature, philosophy, or legacy
BB> of Satanism except a lot of muddled spiritualism, self-
BB> serving "revelations" and the opportunity for the media
BB> to link Satanism with an accused child molester.

At the time of the 1975 crisis, I used the Church mailing list just once - to send out a short letter alerting the membership to Anton's decision to corrupt the Church, announcing my resignation accordingly, and inviting interested persons to contact me.

Neither my mother nor I have funded the Temple of Set since its inception. It has been entirely self-supporting by membership dues and contributions.

The quality and relevance of my writings I will leave to others to decide. More importantly the Temple of Set has provided a forum for a *great many* individuals to express and publish their research and ideas. Today the Temple's _Scroll of Set_ newsletter (available in all back-issues) is complemented by scores of Order and Pylon newsletters, as well as many individual papers and presentations. Setians may enjoy all of this for themselves, with no comment from me being necessary.

In 1987 my wife and I were suddenly and surprisingly victimized in a "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scam at the Presidio of San Francisco. We defended ourselves exhaustively and ultimately successfully, and through our outspoken refutation of the "SRA" witch-hunts helped to bring about and end to that disgraceful episode.

Anton LaVey, meanwhile, did absolutely *nothing* to combat the anti-Satanic propaganda except hide in his house and write one or two poor-little-me-articles for the _Cloven Hoof_. Even when Geraldo Rivera and I both asked him to appear on the Halloween Special and personally denounce the SRA-scam, he once again hid behind Zeena's skirts and sent her instead.

Even more: When CID investigators were interviewing people about Lilith and myself, they interviewed Anton, who [as does Barton here] referred to me repeatedly as "Mikey" (the name used by the chaplain for his scam), accused me of sexually assaulting his daughter Karla, and of homosexually assaulting him. [It was easy enough for me to later produce plenty of original/dated correspondence from him and Karla disproving this. Karla herself was not present and was never questioned by the CID.] The point is that Anton lied as much as he could possibly invent to try to have us sent to prison for a fictitious crime. When asked if he thought Lilith or I could have committed a crime as alleged by the chaplain, his answer was: "I wouldn't put it past them." [He was promised by the CID that his statements would never be told to me, but years later I obtained them during the Discovery phase of my lawsuit against the CID.]

BB> For years, Mikey tried to convince people that the
BB> Church of Satan didn't exist anymore, that Anton LaVey
BB> -- old and grey -- had faded into obscurity.  He captioned
BB> one informal 1975 snapshot of Dr. LaVey as the "last
BB> known photo" of him, already throwing dirt upon his
BB> grizzled head.

At the time (1983) it *was* the most recent published photo of Anton [posed by him, taken by a newspaper photographer]. Only in the last few years has Anton reappeared in current published photos. [Incidentally the photo appears in the photo section of _COS_, but immediately following it from 1986 editions on is a very flattering 1986 photo of Anton from the _Washington Post Magazine_.]

BB> Since that was patently absurd, he has tried to promote
BB> the idea that he was Anton LaVey's right-hand man,
BB> his second-in-command. This is as far from the truth as
BB> was his previous lie.  He was officially a member of the
BB> Church from 1969-1975, which isn't a particularly long
BB> time to begin with.  But diring that time he was pushing
BB> papers in Vietnam, transferred to Louisville, and thence
BB> to Santa Barbara for the rest of that time, mostly so he
BB> wouldn't be too close to Central Grotto and Anton LaVey's
BB> discerning eye, where he might have been earlier
BB> discovered for the cowardly turncouat he turned out to be.

Mostly previously answered. As the C/S existed 1966-75, I think that 1969-75 was a reasonably-long tenure with it.

In Vietnam I was assigned to joint MACV/JUSPAO Psychological Operations and Special Forces units/missions, as I was qualified in both specialties. This was active field work, for which I was awarded the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry - - and promoted to captain shortly before the end of my tour.

Upon returning to the USA I was assigned as a tank company commander, then to the faculty of the Armor School at Fort Knox. Later I left active duty and returned to Santa Barbara to work for Merrill Lynch and complete my Ph.D. During this entire time Anton visited me several times at my homes, staying as a guest, and I visited him and Diane occasionally at their SF home. We also corresponded extensively, as documented in _COS_, and spoke often by telephone. It was entirely pleasant until Anton's 1975 decision to corrupt the Church, also documented in _COS_.

BB> There were no limitations in being a Satanist somewhere
BB> other than San Francisco; we have always had many
BB> respected and effective members who live in far-flung
BB> areas of the world. But (and this is an important key to
BB> Mikey's personality) there were many people in the
BB> organization in much higher positions of trust and
BB> authority than Michael Aquino.  And he couldn't stand
BB> that.  That's the real reason why he worked himself into
BB> a snit, picked up his toys, and went home to Mommy.

Well, I wish there *had* been some other national-level officials besides Diane and myself, as we had to carry pretty much the entire load of administrative tasks. John Ferro dropped out of active involvement in 1970, returning briefly in 1974 upon my urging, and Chuck Steenbarger was only active in the local Denver area (despite my efforts to get him to play a more active national role).

BB> Burton Wolfe's biography of Anton LaVey, _The Devil's
BB> Avenger_, was published in 1974 and included quotes
BB> and descriptions of many members close at hand at that
BB> time.  Mikey was _not_ among them. If he had been such
BB> a notable figure in the organization, Wolfe would have
BB> made reference to him.  Now, twenty years later, Aquino's
BB> trying to stomp his feet and _write himself into history_
BB> as heir apparent in order to (borrowing a phrase from
BB> Dr. LaVey) "ease the pain of his own insignificance."

Wolfe, _TDA_: "For reasons too painful for me to discuss at length, my story of ASLV and the C/S concludes with the year 1970." As I never met Wolfe, did not join until 1969, and spent 1969-70 in Vietnam, there was no reason for Wolfe to mention me. Nor did I take offense; Wolfe and I corresponded quite amicably after _TDA_ was published. My _COS_, obviously, does cover the years after 1970, with appropriate documentation. Again readers may judge for themselves.

BB> The only reason he got any personal attention from
BB> Dr. LaVey was because 1) Mikey was such an anal retentive,
BB> spit-and-polish young Boy Scout that he presented the kind
BB> of image the C/S was compelled to promote at that time, in
BB> violent contrast to the laid-back, long-haired, barefooted
BB> image of the hippie 60s, and 2) Mikey's proclivity toward
BB> diarrhea of the typewriter was clear and proved useful in
BB> handling some of the overwhelming correspondence the
BB> Church had to contend with.  He was rather tedious to be
BB> around, didn't have much originality of mind or spirit --
BB> but he served a practical purpose.  So Dr. LaVey used
BB> him.  He used him later, and continues to use him as an
BB> effective stratification device, but that's a secret.

Yes, I did project a "Boy Scout" image [I had just finished a term as National Commander of the Eagle Scout Honor Society before joining the Church!] together with that of an Army officer, etc. I was happy to lend such prestige as I had to the fledgling Church, and also pleased to do what I could to help solidify its social standing.

BB> Most recently, Mkey proved himself to be a real shit by
BB> giving extensive attention in his newsletters to Dr. LaVey's
BB> painful legal battles.  While this is a personal matter,
BB> _not_ involving the Church of Satan directly in any way,
BB> Aquino desparately interpreted a judge's ordered dissolution
BB> of the partnership assets of Dr. LaVey and his longtime
BB> companion, Diane Hegarty, as a dissolution of the Church
BB> of Satan.  Ms. Hegarty was never a "partner" in the C/S;
BB> the C/S was not part of that order or any ordered dissolution
BB> and I defy Michael Aquino to produce _evidence_ that the
BB> C/S no longer exists.  (If we're no longer in business, I trust
BB> the IRS will return that rather substantial check we were
BB> required to pay last month in taxes!)

Reliable information coming out of Anton/the post-75 "Church of Satan" was essentially nonexistent until the Hegarty-LaVey lawsuit. The Temple of Set was often asked about the "Church", particularly because of the procession of applicants we had - continue to have - who were first burned by sending in huge amounts of money to an organization which they later discovered was just a name trading on its pre-75 laurels.

The Hegarty-LaVey suit forced a lot of previously concealed documents into the public record, and Anton's subsequent bankruptcy, which was also done for the Church of Satan, forced additional documents & financial records into the public record. Of course the Temple of Set and I were interested; we do, after all, consider the Temple of Set as the authentic continuation & evolution of the original Church.

As to whether I have correctly represented the substance and outcome of those two court cases in _COS_ and elsewhere, interested persons can review the documents for themselves and judge. Hegarty v LaVey, S.F. Superior Court #SCV-891863. LaVey bankruptcy, US Bankruptcy Court, S.F., Chapter 7 (dissolution), #91-34251.

The Church of Satan's corporate papers in Sacramento establish it as a non-profit corporation, which, if recognized as such by the IRS, would be tax-exempt. The IRS, however, denied Anton's repeated attempts to claim tax-exemption. It would be interesting to see exactly how a corporation ordered liquidated under Chapter 7 by a federal judge and denied IRS recognition of its non-profit status, files tax returns. [Perhaps Barton will send me a copy of the returns and the cancelled check so I may clarify this.]

BB> Upon close examination, one begins to see Mikey not as
BB> a magically-evolved, rational arch-nemesis of herd-
BB> mentality as he would have people believe, or even as a
BB> rather intelligent man dangerously obsessed with Psy-
BB> Op intrigues and Nazi philosophy... Rather a picture
BB> emerges of a decidedly dense, media-saturated ninny
BB> who can do little besides parrot Anton LaVey, using a
BB> vocabulary designed to obfuscate rather than clarify.
BB> He is less interested in military strategies than in pop sci
BB> fi icons.  He is clearly obsessed with the character of
BB> Spock from _Star Trek_.  That's where the funny hairdo
BB> comes from, the thoughtfully-templed fingers, the
BB> posturings  of logic and intellect above all things (despite
BB> his diabolic revelations), ethics and integrity (Vulcans
BB> are incapable of lying), along with the preposterous
BB> claims of naturally pointed eyebrows.  (I've seen his
BB> pitifully-doctored baby picture with drawn-on eyebrows.
BB> I wish he'd send you a photocopy -- it's a hoot!
BB> Unfortunately for him, I've seen photographs of him
BB> when he was a member -- sorry, Mikey, no Vulcan
BB> eyebrows).

Sorry, "Blanche", no "doctored eyebrow" photos here - but plenty of photos all through my life with the natural points. As for Mr. Spock, I keep hearing about my "fascination" with him with some bewilderment. I enjoy _Trek_ like anyone else, but am scarcely a "Trekkie", Vulcan or otherwise.

BB> One of his great magical Workings has been rewriting
BB> _Star Wars_ and _Raiders of the Lost Ark_ several times.

Actually sequels (_The Dark Side_ and _Secret of the Lost Ark_), which I enjoyed doing and which some of the principals involved with the original films (who will remain nameless) also had fun with. Both stories were also "laboratories" to further explore concepts in the original films which interested me. See them at:

BB> He convinced himself _The Omen_ series of films was
BB> really about him to the point that he had "666" tattooed
BB> under his hairline and, for a time, used a masthead
BB> picturing himself before the Seal of the United States,
BB> gearing up for his presidency, no doubt!

_Omen I_ no. _Omen II_ had so many similarities to my own history and appearance at that age that I couldn't help but wonder. _Omen III_, which again featured an actor who was almost a double of me (minus the eyebrows!), and dated his "reign" from 1975, also amused me. As for the "666 tattoo" rumor: I first heard that on _Oprah Winfrey_, and I guess it's going to join the Vulcan bit as Michael Aquino apocrypha! I am not about to shave my head bald to disprove it; I would probably be accused of imitating Anton's pate!

BB> His walls are crowded with professionally-framed 
BB> certificates attesting to his importance -- everything from
BB> his kindergarten citizenship and Eagle Scout awards to his
BB> military commendations that were given to everyone
BB> who stepped off the plane when they arrived at or returned
BB> from Vietnam.  his doctorate and all other official
BB> paraphenalia is to reassure others, and most importantly
BB> _himself_, of his high ethics, integrity, and intelligence.

Actually I haven't had that stuff on my study wall for decades, and even back then I used to joke about it as my "ego wall" [nothing from kindergarten though - I was a slow-starter]. Since Anton last saw them, the certificates have roughly quadrupled in number. For some reason they seem to bother him, as he keeps sniping at them.

BB> As for his claims of a "top military security clearance,"
BB> according to one high-ranking Army investigator who
BB> interviewed Dr. LaVey regarding Aquino's child
BB> molestation charges, his particular level of security
BB> clearance qualified him to read and report on the
BB> graffiti in the men's room.

I held a Secret clearance 1968-76, Top Secret thereafter until I retired in 1994, and from 1987 onward several additional clearances above TS which are themselves classified. My clearances were routinely suspended during the CID investigation, then immediately restored on its completion in 1989.

The "high ranking Army investigator" who talked to Anton LaVey [see above] was a mere agent on the local CID staff, who knew nothing of my clearance details, as he had no "need to know".

BB> If I were a sociologist or a psychiatrist, M.A. would be a
BB> good candidate for a case study.  It has been said by more
BB> than one discerning investigator that Aquino acts, toward
BB> Anton LaVey, more like a spurned lover than anything else.
BB> He has carried on an obsessive one-sided love affair with
BB> Dr. LaVey for over two decades now, first trying to cast
BB> him as his father/lover, then, like many fan-mentality
BB> creeps, he has tried to consume/destroy his love object. 
BB> This is especially flagrant in his hysterically screeching
BB> attempts to discredit Anton LaVey's well-publicized past
BB> _amours_.  As observers have queried, "Why should it
BB> matter to him (Mikey) so much?" In spite of perpetual
BB> attempts to sanitize (and sterilize) Anton LaVey, both
BB> he and his daughter Karla have had rather strained,
BB> fumbling overtures made toward them by Aquino,
BB> which led them both to believe his sexuality is confused
BB> at best.  According to past intimates, his sexual
BB> preference is decidedly anal.

I am quite contently lifelong heterosexual and have been happily married throughout my adult life. Anton has repeatedly and obsessively made these homosexual allegations involving himself, which I suggest speaks more to his fixations than to mine [I have certainly never made any such suggestions about him.]

Indeed it has long been a habit of Anton's to make homosexual insinuations about people he dislikes, of the homophobic slur type ("dish queen", "fruit", etc.). I think this reflects more upon his character than on his targets, whatever their actual orientation.

Karla LaVey and I were good friends for years and never insulted one another's person or dignity in any way. I assume this is just one more effort by Anton to exploit a member of his family for his own petty vindictiveness.

BB> Certain allusions were made by investigating police
BB> to compromising photos of his mother and himself
BB> found during the raid on his home several years ago.

There are not and have never been any "compromising" photos of my mother and myself. She was a good and decent person, and my respect and affection for her were entirely normal as a son.

All items taken by the police in the raid on our home (caused by the chaplain's attack on us) were returned to us, and no adverse or even questioning comments concerning any item appeared anywhere.

BB> Far from being a self-possessed mastermind, he is a
BB> sweaty, excessively oily creature who is known to bathe
BB> or shower several times a day in order to "purify" himself.

Barton must have been looking at an old photo of me from Vietnam, when after a few days in the triple canopy jungle, I would agree I was pretty repulsive! Since then I have never been faulted for my personal habits or appearance (a comment item in officer efficiency reports, by the way, in which I have unbroken "1"s since my 1968 commissioning).

However tit for tat: "During the 23 years I lived with defendant LaVey, his health was always a pivotal issue. Though he refused to attend to his teeth or his personal hygiene - never bathing or seeing a dentist - he worried constantly about his hypertension and his heart murmur, diagnosed by Dr. Irving Warner in 1970." - Diane Hegarty, sworn statement under oath, S.F. Superior Court, 9/3/91

BB> People who fall for Aquino's bullshit and get involved
BB> with his little group usually smarten up quick if they have
BB> any brains to do so. The main complaints we've heard
BB> from disgruntled ex-TOSsers are that other members
BB> intefere with and try to dictate personal relationships,
BB> that they're generally afraid of conjuring forth the very
BB> Dark, Base elements within themselves they claim to be
BB> representing, and they waste far too much time and
BB> energy on their precious degree system.  That was MIkey's
BB> problem in the Church of Satan as well.  LaVey was trying to
BB> smash the stagnation of Christianity and Mikey was busy
BB> fussing over what color Baphomet everyone was allowed
BB> to wear (different colors for different degrees).

The initiatory environment of the Temple of Set can stand quite comfortably on its own feet without any comment from me. As for the old C/S degree system, it was instituted by Anton in 1969 without any input from me whatever, and he simultaneously selected the Baphomet medallion colors. In 1972 I suggested blue and purple for the IV* and V* respectively, as Anton had complained about what he called the "chimp art" of the earlier handmade medallions and requested me to come up with an improved version. The new supplier, Wolf-Brown, was able to do enamel in the limited quantities needed.

BB> Not to mention, TOSser initiates are confused and
BB> eventually peeved that all T/S meetings seem to
BB> disintegrate into a LaVey-bashing session.  It's been
BB> 20 years, guys.  As we say in America, "Get a life, Mikey!"

Not to my knowledge. Anton's name generally comes up only in reference to his significant magical/philosophical work, which I would agree "has been 20 years" now. As for "bashing", from what I hear the Barton household doesn't say or do much else except take cheap shots [like this one] at the Temple or myself. Get a life, Howard.

BB> Unfortunately for us all, journalists like to come to
BB> Aquino, when they even know he exists, because 1) he
BB> tells lots of juicy lies about Anton LaVey and the Church
BB> of Satan and 2) because he postures like the arrogant,
BB> obfuscating accused child-molester that is much more
BB> comforting for reporters to cast as a "Satanist".  As you
BB> have pointed out, no calculating Christian could have
BB> done the Satanic movement more harm.

Journalists who contact me routinely ask for verification and/or documentation of important points, and are obviously free to make their own decisions about credibility and relevance. I do not tell lies about Anton or the Church of Satan, and I am of course neither a child molester nor regarded as one in the mainstream academic or journalistic communities. That my wife and I were attacked in the "SRA" witch-hunts of the 1980s is known; that we successfully defended ourselves and were never charged with anything is also known.

My contributions to the significance, consequence, and evolution of the "Satanic" traditions of human history are not for me to argue, but will be decided by others - as will the influence of Anton LaVey both pre- and post-1975.

BB> For decades, Aquino's done everything he can to discredit
BB> and undermine Satanism's spearhead organization and its
BB> chief  ideologue, all the while misrepresenting its most basic
BB> tenets.

What I have done for the Church of Satan has been to preserve its actual history and accomplishments, as well as those of Anton LaVey pre-1975, and to resist efforts by Anton, Barton, or others post-75 to distort or conceal these for purposes of personal exploitation.

BB> Dr. LaVey has pointed out, however, that Mikey has a
BB> remarkable ability to make himself look like an ass and,
BB> as you said to Austen, an anti-charisma that makes
BB> enemies wherever he appears. Contrary to the cliche,
BB> Aquino can fall into a bed of roses and come up smelling
BB> like shit.  I trust these abilities will not fail him and, as
BB> long as people like you keep attacking him and s long as
BB> we all make it clear that he in no way represents
BB> Satanism or can speak on its behalf, his voice will be
BB> limited, at least to those with some level of intelligence. 
BB> As for the rest, we reinforce our battlements and remain
BB> ever-watchful.

I do have very little tolerance for people who degrade or discredit what I feel to be a sublime and sacred religious tradition. That indeed makes me an annoyance to persons who want simply to prostitute or profiteer "Satan" or "Satanism".

BB> May the Dark Ones give you strength and clarity, and may
BB> you prosper as you so richly deserve.  Keep in touch.
BB> Blanche Barton

Hail who? "The titles 'Infernal Empire', 'Exarch of Hell', etc. are symbolic, not literal." - Anton LaVey, June 20, 1975 (24 hours before the NSX Working)

Michael A. Aquino VI* High Priest of Set