The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth

By Vexen Crabtree 2003

#satanic_ethics #satanism

1. Legalism: How to Approach 'Rules' in Satanism

#satanic_ethics #satanism

The Satanist [...] should have the ability to decide what is just.

"The Satanic Bible" by Anton LaVey (1969)1

Satanism is individualistic, not legalistic, especially when it comes to morals and rules, which is a feature of left-hand-path religion in general. Outsiders to Satanism sometimes approach the rules and laws too legalistically: they assume that like religions they are familiar with that there is a taboo involved in breaking the laws of Satanism. There is no taboo. It is not compulsory for Satanists to follow "rules". It is not expected. Satanists never engage in debates over whether someone has broken these. A Satanist who absconded another and said "hey, aren't you forgetting this particular Satanic Rule of the Earth..." would be laughed at and generally considered a legalistic sheep. Unless of course that the Satanist in question cannot defend himself, in which case, he's fair game. A left-hand-path religion is where the individual mostly learns for hirself what is right or wrong. According to one's personal beliefs "right" and "wrong" can differ greatly. There are very few absolutes or universals in Satanism.

For more, see:

2. The Rules

#satanic_ethics #satanism

2.1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked

For an experienced, young, stupid or naive person operating within a Satanic community, or in any formal setting, this is very good advice. Knowing your own naivety is a high blessing. However it is not universal advice and there are many times when your opinion is warranted even when not sought. For example, I could voice my opinion on something to aid someone's understanding, or for many reasons, and derive many benefits such as friendship, constructive debate or a sense of accomplishment. This rule is good advice, but if you are a mature person then it is redundant in most situations. I call this a "neophyte" rule, something that you can ignore once you've got your bearings.

This Rule is more related to discussions of religion, as it is a religious statement itself. I employ it to mean "Do not give opinions on Satanism unless you are asked" which is damn good advice. It is good advice not to casually talk about Satanism. Just say you're non-religious-->. Even the most evangelistic Satanists do not wonder around introducing themselves as "John, a Satanist"... This would be the height of self destructive rebellion in the name of cheap thrills at the expense of all respect. If you are the type of person to show yourself up with pretentious and immature public Satanic declarations then this rule is very much for you! Simply do not give your opinion unless asked!

2.2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them

This is wise. I had in mind initially to write that this advice is simply ignored... but thinking about it, it is common sense and is something I adhere to. I don't whinge, publicly moan or attention-seek through telling people my problems. My friends and those that trust in me are the ones I divulge my troubles to, because I know they benefit from doing the same to me, a trusted friend, in return. The disadvantages of whinging to those who aren't interested are manifold, they will think you are immature, failing, a psychic vampire leeching off of their attention.

2.3. When in another´s lair, show him respect or else do not go there2


This seems like a type of generic morality that is always destined to fail. It doesn't teach anyone anything, i.e, if you are in someone's house as a worker, the showing of respect is mere professionalism, and if you're there as a friend, you don't need such basic advice. It might be useful to those who are starting to learn how to be sociable. In which case, it is useful. There are a number of asocial Satanists who might actually value this advice.

In 2012 Oct 02, I was sitting around in the Public Library of the City of Bath, UK, and spotted a book which I thought I'd browse through - "Life in the UK Test: Study Guide" (2008)3. This is about the Citizenship Test that grants British nationality to those who weren't born here. Interestingly, there was a page on Human Rights, and UK and European Law, and the UN's HR documents, all of which the UK is signed up for, and is taken very seriously by government. Religious groups and Catholic charities have fallen foul of them, for example. What do I find as an "interesting note" on that page?

There are, however, a small number of jobs where discrimination laws do not apply. For example, discrimination is not against the law when the job involves working for someone in their own home.

Well well! It is Satanic Rule of the Earth number 3, enshrined in law! The advantage is obvious: people want to feel safe and secure in their own homes and they can invite who they wish (or not). Put in a barbaric way the disadvantage of this can mean having to let people be racist (or whatever other biases they feel) with who let in, if they so wish. But your own home is your own domain; a private sphere, so it seems right to have more freedom and authority than you enjoy when in public places.

2.4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy

There have been multiple times when someone in my "lair" has annoyed me. Sometimes I forgive, sometimes I don't. However I don't think I've ever treated anyone cruelly and without mercy. Likewise I have definitely annoyed people (sometimes even intentionally) when in their own domain. They haven't treated me without mercy either, and I don't believe they'd have been warranted to do so (authoritive condemnation of my actions would be a much better start). These two laws are pretty broken, or, I am not capable of interpreting what LaVey meant by them. I think he may meant "you have a right to treat people in your home how you wish", which would explain why you have to give respect in someone else's place, because they too have this right.

2.5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal

People have asked what is the mating signal? I interpret this to mean, simply, that you should take care. Be careful not to make up signals due to your own wishful thinking.

2.6. Do not steal (paraphrased!)


In full: "Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved".

Exceptions abound to this and always have done. I needn't give examples. I think this rule is designed to make neophyte Satanists and young rebels think before they steal, to make them reconsider if what they are doing is truly good for themselves. Without rules like this, Satanism could fail be a prop in a person's development if they need such a prop. It's a "just in case you're a moron, I wish to tell you not to steal" kind of rule.

This Rule is very similar to rules of other major religions. In Buddhism it is reflected in the Second Precept (of the Five Precepts of Right Conduct in Therevada Buddhism), "not to take what is not given"4 and Christianity's eighth Commandment, "Do Not Steal". What Satanism has over these other religions is that in Satanism there is no idealism or absolutism behind such a simplistic rule. Who wouldn't steal a weapon from a murderous maniac? It is only meant as a simplistic guide.

2.7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained

See "Satanic Ritual and Satanic Magic: Supernatural Magic" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)

2.8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself

This is one of the greatest pieces of social advice ever. Satanists aim to be powerful people, taking their lives into their own hands because if you can't look after yourself, no-one else will. If something is wrong that you could easily change then change it. It's pro-active. Don't moan, complain or whinge, simply deal with it. Life is not fair and never will be, you need to not complain about that which is not fair and go about rectifying the problem.

2.9. Do not harm little children, for they are our future

Similar to rule 6, I think this acts as a statement to deter some of the crazy people that Satanism attracts. These people will either avoid LaVey Satanism or adopt it and change their ways. In either case there is no excuse for the harming of our young, LaVey expands on this law along with most the others in his writings, and states "do not harm little children, for they are our future".


2.10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food

#animal_sacrifice #animal_welfare #christianity #islam #judaism #sikhism

Similar to 9 and 6, in that this serves to act as a prompt to those who think that Satanism involves animal sacrifice. Harming animals is stupid and pointless. Once this statement is understood, along with others, to be a kind of disclaimer as to what Satanism is not about, you can also understand the exception to this rule. For example farmyard animal are frequently killed for food even if not for your own food. Sometimes killing animals that are suffering and in pain is good. These exceptions distract from the literal interpretation of this rule, but not from the intended function of this rule which is to point out that Satanists are not (and should not be) immature animal torturers.

People are messed up and some of these messed up people find their way to Satanism. If they take it seriously, such advice will aid their development past rebellious and misguided behavior that involves animal abuse.

World religions such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism embody traditional and bizarre animal sacrifice rituals in their holy texts, resulting in enduring practices that are awful for animal welfare, but, generally protected under religious-freedom laws, even in modern countries. Although it might seem reasonable in the West to allow butchers to sell halal food, at the core of this familiar label is weird ritualistic behaviour that belongs in the dark ages. The ideals of pluralism have blinded us to the stark reality that some religious practices are simply unacceptable. Animal rights campaigners have joined forces with moral activists to try and curb religious ritual slaughter of animals. The general public associate blood rituals involving animals with Satanism, not realizing that they were all invented, and are still practiced, by mainstream religions - and that Satanism does not involve animal sacrifice. Sikhs will specifically not eat meat slaughtered in accordance with Jewish or Muslim practices due to the unnecessarily cruel methods used5.

"Animal Sacrifice and Blood Rituals in Traditional World Religions and Satanism" by Vexen Crabtree (2008)

2.11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him

It is not ethical to allow our species to decay and self destruct because the individuals that make up society are too meek to confront aggravating behavior. (See Satanic Social Ethics and Teachings on Morality in Satanism: Lex Talionis).

I do not interpret "destroy" to mean "kill", as this would be stupid to kill those who merely bother me. I interpret this to mean that you should not take any shit whilst going about your life. Don't let yourself get trampled on. "Destroy" means that you remove that person as a risk.

"Satanism and Violence" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)

Instead, this rule is about reality. Machiavelli wisely wrote that to forget about reality when attempting to pursue what is good behaviour is ruinous: "Anyone", he wrote, "who abandons what is for what should be pursues his downfall rather than his preservation; for a man who strives after goodness in all his acts is sure to come to ruin, since there are so many men who are not good"6. Behaviour should be gauged to the moment, and not remain fastened to untenable ideals.