The Nine Satanic Sins

The Church of Satan, begun in 1966 in San Francisco, is a religion that follows the principles outlined in the Satanic Bible, published by the church's first high priest and founder, Anton LaVey, in 1969. While the Church of Satan encourages individuality and the gratification of desires, it does not suggest that all actions are acceptable. The Nine Satanic Sins, published by Anton LaVey in 1987, target nine characteristics Satanists should avoid. Here are the nine sins, along with brief explanations.

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Satanists believe that stupid people do not get ahead in this world and that stupidity is a quality entirely contrary to the goals set forth by the Church of Satan. Satanists strive to keep themselves well informed and not to be fooled by others who seek to manipulate and use them.

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Portrait of smiling man at desk in his office

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Taking pride in one’s achievements is encouraged in Satanism. Satanists are expected to thrive on the basis of their own merits. However, one should only take credit for one’s own accomplishments, not those of others. Making empty claims about yourself is not only obnoxious but also potentially dangerous, leading to sin number 4, self-deceit.

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Satanists use this term to refer to the presumption many people make that other people think, act, and have the same desires as themselves. It’s important to remember that everyone is an individual with his own individual goals and plans.

Contrary to the Christian "golden rule" that suggests we treat others as we want them to treat us, the Church of Satan teaches that you should treat people as they treat you. Satanists believe you should always deal with the reality of the situation rather than expectations.

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Businessman trying on a tie

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Satanists deal with the world as it is. Convincing yourself of untruths because they are more comfortable is no less problematic than letting someone else deceive you.

Self-deceit is allowed, however, in the context of entertainment and play, when it is entered into with awareness. 

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Herd Conformity

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Satanism exalts the power of the individual. Western culture encourages people to go with the flow and to believe and do things simply because the wider community is doing such. Satanists attempt to avoid such behavior, following the wishes of the larger group only if it makes logical sense and suits one’s own needs.

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Lack of Perspective

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Remain aware of both the big and small pictures, never sacrificing one for the other. Remember your own important place in things, and don’t be overwhelmed with the viewpoints of the herd. On the flipside, we do live in a world larger than ourselves. Always keep an eye on the big picture and how you can fit yourself into it.

Satanists believe they are working on a different level than the rest of the world, and that this must never be forgotten. 

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Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies

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Society is constantly taking old ideas and repackaging them as new, original ideas. Do not be fooled by such offerings. Satanists are on guard to credit the original ideas themselves while discounting those who attempt to alter those ideas as their own. 

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Counterproductive Pride

Sky-view of wooden chess board with pieces

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If a strategy works, use it, but when it stops working, abandon it willingly and without shame. Never hold on to an idea and strategy out of mere pride if it is no longer practical. If pride is getting in the way of getting things done, set the strategy aside until it becomes constructive again.

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Lack of Aesthetics

Car driving on a bendy road in glorious sunlight

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Beauty and balance are two things Satanists strive for. This is particularly true in magical practices but can be extended to the rest of one’s life as well. Avoid following that which society dictates is beautiful and learn to identify true beauty, whether or not others recognize it. Do not deny classical universal standards for what is pleasing and beautiful. 

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Your Citation
Beyer, Catherine. "The Nine Satanic Sins." Learn Religions, Aug. 27, 2020, Beyer, Catherine. (2020, August 27). The Nine Satanic Sins. Retrieved from Beyer, Catherine. "The Nine Satanic Sins." Learn Religions. (accessed March 28, 2023).