The main problem with the so-called ‘satanism’ of Howard Stanton Levey is that, philosophically, it offers no unique ontology, no unique epistemology, and no unique theory of ethics, and thus is not a philosophy, per se, but rather a personal world-view cobbled together from various sources, as many personal world-views are.
For example, the so-called “nine satanic sins” in Levey’s ‘Satanic Bible’ – regarded by many admirers of Levey as encapsulating his ‘satanic philosophy’ – are nothing original, echoing as they do social Darwinism, Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, and the thoughts of others, including the pseudonymous Ragnar Redbeard, with a popular (mis)understanding of Epicurus mixed in.
Similarly, the chapter entitled The Book of Lucifer in Levey’s ‘Satanic Bible’ – admired by many admirers of Levey and often quoted from – offers nothing original in terms of ontology, epistemology, and ethics, but is instead a rather rambling discourse – strewn with ‘populist pragmatism’, populist materialism, populist sociology, and popular and self-help psychology – about what Levey considered was wrong with society, wrong with Christianity, and what his type of ‘satanism’ is supposed to mean. Even when he mentions “a balancing factor” in life it is just a vague statement. For his over-riding unoriginal sentiment regarding his world-view was that “if it works, don’t knock it.”
In essence, what Levey wrote in his ‘Satanic Bible’ – and his other writings – is what many capitalists, bankers, self-made men, egoists, businessmen, criminals, and others, believe about themselves, believe about other people, and believe about the world. Levey simply applied the label ‘satanism’ to the world-view of such people and saw his materialistic (non-evil) version of ‘satan’ as the prime symbol of such a world-view.
Furthermore, for Levey ‘satan’ is a symbol of ‘free thought’, of ‘rational self-interest’, of ‘rational individualism’, of self-consciousness, and of man as ‘just another animal’. Which points to a fundamental flaw in his ‘satanist’ world-view: for if man is ‘just another animal’, and should – carnally and in other ways- indulge himself, what value does being ‘rational’ – as in finding rational alternatives and as in being a rational individualist – have? Which is where his vague (but yet again unoriginal) idea of “a balancing factor” in life comes in.
In summary, those who follow or who are inspired by the ‘satanism’ of Howard Stanton Levey are – in all ways but one – no different in personality from the millions of other people in the modern societies of the western world who are ‘self-made men’ or who are capitalists, bankers, egoists, businessmen, criminals, or other such types imbued with the ethos of materialism and self-interest. The only real difference is that those millions of others usually know who and what they are while self-described modern satanists labor under the delusion that by calling themselves ‘satanists’ they really are different: ‘natural outsiders’, rebels, transgressives, or part of some “alien elite”.