The following interview was given for In the Morgue, an extreme music magazine, April 2000 CE.
Tell us your name, age, and occupation if you would please?
I was born John Dewey Allee on March 8, 1951 at 8 pm. My current occupation is High Priest of the First Church of Satan. I am investing my full energy to promote Satanism as a mainstream alternative religion and thousands in legal fees to register the First Church of Satan as a legal, non-profit corporation. Also, overcoming any and all obstacles in our quest to be recognized by the federal government, so donations will be considered tax-deductible. We must not merely consider our immediate future, but a long range perspective as well.
Give us some background on the First Church of Satan and how it came to be?
As early as 1970, I was a member of the early Church of Satan lead by the late Anton LaVey, born Howard Stanton Levey. Back in the early 1970s, I can fondly recall the libertarian, Dionysian bent of the Church in those days. I believe, as did LaVey in that exalted period, in the sovereign uniqueness of each individual, and in the right, if not the utter responsibility, of each human being to cast off the preformatted identity handed down by society in order to remake the self--in the right to truly become yourself, as Nietzsche put it, by freeing the mind of the inculcated control mechanisms of The Matrix.
When I returned to the Satanic scene years later, I discovered spokespersons who did NOT subscribe to the democratic form of sovereignty-for-all that the original CoS embraced. Instead, the fading, threatened shell of a once great organization was reduced to babbling inanely and disdainfully about “elitism” and “eliteness,” terms which in their view apply exclusively to their own ever-shrinking membership under their current hapless High Priestess Blanche Barton.
This seems to be tied up with a fondness, which they of course continually deny, for all things Nazi, Adolph Hitler and company being the ultimate symbol of the Apollonian mentality taken to its logical, deadly extreme: Order as Death, in other words. The CoS, while still claiming to be rooted in a “Dionysian” philosophy, in reality appears to be composed of a joyless conglomerate of straight-edge Neo-Nazi types who eschew all forms of transformative, “Dionysian” pleasure and attack those who espouse it as being mindless hippies.
At first, I resurrected the First Church of Satan because I was angry. I wanted to hurl a gauntlet of diabolical disdain in the warped faces of these neo-fascists and demonstrate, once again, that the angelic mafia was alive and well. However, behind this facade of Luciferian pride and rebellion was a message—one of cohesion and Unity. I realized Satanists were dealing with two conflicting philosophies; altruism and egoism—either extreme is destructive, both individually AND collectively. I took a cue from our Tantric roots; the needs of the many must be BALANCED with the needs of the few . . . or the one.
When these National Socialist types rationalize behavior that is almost always predatory and combative with expressions like “Lex Talionis” or “Survival of the Fittest,” I am eager to remind them that they are focusing on one aspect of Nature! Surely, besides the food chain, there is parenting, nurturing and self-sacrifice which occurs just as commonly with animals. This tendency to move from one extreme to another—to replace herd mentality with dictatorial rule, reflects poorly on Satanists in general and does NOT lend itself to individualism.
What is your main objective with the FCoS?
To champion Satanism, not as a religion, but as an alternative spiritual path. Again, I wish to suggest balance; for instance, the black mass is a polemic against the sacred cows of the participants—one way to achieve a Golden Mean. This means you are living your life free of moral absolutes because you have moved in an opposite direction from your own (absolutes)—the black mass was never meant to be taken literally—Satanists take aim towards the center! We denigrate and blaspheme archaic societal institutions, not the very force which produces life. Always bear in mind; one man’s supreme deity is another man’s court jester.
Our purpose is to promote indulgence, not compulsion—moderation, not addictive behavior—balance. Satanist are free thinkers, moving forward spiritually through self-exploration and spiritual stimulation. We strive to benefit society and aid charities which accelerate and expand human growth and potential.
What does the FCoS have to offer people interested in membership?
Besides online fellowship, the thrill of belonging to a dynamic organization. We are forming Chapters in every major city and currently fighting to attain status as a non-profit entity where donations are tax-deductible (U.S.)
What is Satan to you?
Many, many things. Being manifested from boundless darkness, SAT and TAN, Hadit and Nuit, Yang and Yin. Satan is Capricornus, the Goat, who leaps upon the mountain to reach its loftiest heights. Satan is the Godhead which becomes manifest in Man as Aegipan, the All. The Open Eye of the exalted Sun (masculine principle), the Secret Eye of the Moon (feminine principle). Satan is Man and Woman made God.
How long have you been a practicing Satanist?
Since the year 1970 CE.
What made you decide to seek out the left-hand path in life?
I was a born again Christian and crew leader in a payroll processing firm. There was this bully in my department who wanted my job so badly, he would sabotage my work efforts and lie to my supervisors about it. This went on for months. I kept turning the other cheek. Well, one day, I ran out of cheeks—I put a curse on the man and he was promptly fired.
How does your home town accept you and the FCoS?
Salem, Massachusetts is populated with witches—most are terrified I might bring the wrath of Christianity down on them. Cowards.
Tell us a little about your television show?
Witty, sarcastic with a biting edge at first, but I’ve become aware of the fact that grabbing the public’s attention is not necessary. Expressing a cogent philosophy is unnerving enough in this day and age—sensational special effects from Hollywood have subdued critical thought. If I appeared on television and professed undying love for all mankind, I’d STILL be considered hateful.
It seems as if the CoS has a bad disposition with you. Can you tell us how the rivalry came about?
The CoS has a “bad disposition” with EVERYONE. Why should I be treated any different?
What are your feelings on the late Anton Szandor LaVey and the organization he founded?
An organization which flourished under ASL’s flamboyant leadership, reached its peak, then fizzled out after nine years, only to re-emerge as a cliché.
Do you ever feel that you are in the shadow of LaVey?
How do you feel about the modern CoS now run by Blanche Barton?
A volatile cult, capable of terrorism, blackmail, thought control and murder.
What are your thoughts on Karla LaVey starting her own organization in opposition of the CoS?
I deeply admire her courageous efforts.
Are there any other organizations that you would like to mention in support of?
Libertarian Party, American Civil Liberties Union, Life Extension Foundation,
What are your feelings on Satanism this day and age?
What lies in the future for the FCoS?
More and more visibility.
Thank you for your time, feel free to take this opportunity to say whatever else you like.
I’d like to thank Magister Joe Necchi for teaching me the value of a nobility which transcends birth, rank, wealth and status.