My comments in red. Everything else is from Satanism 101. Here's the official site of the CoS.
I'm going to start with this very important FAQ:
Question: "What is the difference between Satanism and devil worship?"
Response: "Satanism and devil worship are two distinctly different animals. Devil worship is what it is: the worship of an external deity, much as it could be labeled inverse Xtianity. The Satan in Satanism is an archetype, one many know by name and is relative to the culture. Some Satanists choose different aspects of this archetype, depending on geography or just plain aesthetics, but the same characteristics still hold true. It would make little sense for us to claim to embody the archetypal qualities of Satan (rebellion, rational self-interest, carnality, etc.) on one hand, and then attempt to worship an anthropomorphic Satan on the other. In laymen's terms, it's hardly rebellious to worship a figure that represents rebellion. Devil worshipers need to be subjugated, ask for it by their own actions. The Satanist finds such unproductive and one-sided idol worship to be draining and useless (not to mention hypocritical).
Here's a passage from a "letter to satanic youth":
There is no one way that a Satanist is "supposed" to be. Uniqueness and creativity are encouraged here, not mindless conformity. It doesn't matter what kind of music you like to listen to; it doesn't make any difference whether you prefer gothic music, black metal music, classical music, old popular tunes, or show tunes. It doesn't matter what style of clothes you like to wear. What does matter is that you are a mature, sensitive, self-aware individualist who revels in the Darkness, and who wishes to align yourself with others who share your views. In this world of prefabricated, media-saturated, unoriginal drones, it is up to the Satanist to cherish, maintain, and preserve true individuality and creativity. Satan represents freedom from hypocrisy, from convenient lies, and challenges that which is presumed to be true. He is strong and defiant, and inspires us to our own strengths.
INDIVIDUALISM!!!! how can you not love a religion that says " Uniqueness and creativity are encouraged here, not mindless conformity"? I love it...
The Church of Satan also doesn't accept members under 18 years old. A very good thing. This prevents parents like those who baptize newborns and force kids to go to church and shove their religion down their kids throats before they're old enough to know better.
The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth
I Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
II Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure that they want to hear them.
III When in another's lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
IV If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
V Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
VI Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the person and he cries out to be relieved.
VII Acknowledge the power of magic if you have used 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.
VIII Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
I wish more people would adhere to this...
IX Do not harm little children.
X Do not kill non-human animals unless attacked or for your food.
XI When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
"destroy"? a little harsh, dontcha think?
1967, Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan
The Nine Satanic Statements
I Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
indulgence, but not compulsion. the bible goes on to explain this one more.
II Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
III Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
IV Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!
V Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!
VI Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!
psychic vampires are bad. the bible explains this more, too.
VII Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development", has become the most vicious animal of all!
VIII Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
IX Satan is the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years!
The Nine Satanic Sins
For years, people have asked Church of Satan representatives, "Well, okay - your philosophy is based on indulgence of human instincts but do you have sins like any other religion?" Our answer has always been "No". But the time has come to amend that response. We have grown steadily over the past 21 years and find that it is appropriate to have some clear guidelines on, not only what we strive for,but also what we work to avoid - what we disapprove of. The difference is where other religions develop sins that people can't avoid, we consider a number of things "sinful" that people could avoid if they worked a little.
Stupidity -- The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid.
The world would be a much better place if people followed this one.
Pretentiousness -- Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn't applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic. On equal footing with stupidity for what keeps the money in circulation these days. Everyone's made to feel like a big shot, whether they can come up with the goods or not.
Solipsism -- Can be very dangerous for Satanists. Projecting your reactions, responses and sensibilities onto someone who is probably far less attuned than you are. It is the mistake of expecting people to give you the same consideration, courtesy and respect that you naturally give them. They won't. Instead, Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of "Do unto others as they do unto you." It's work for most of us and requires constant vigilance lest you slip into a comfortable illusion of everyone being like you. As has been said, certain utopias would be ideal in a nation of philosophers, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, from a Machiavellian standpoint) we are far from that point.
"do unto others as they do unto you" is quite different than "treat others as you wish to be treated". The latter will allow people to walk all over you, and you being nice to them, hoping they will be nice to you.
Self-deceit -- It's in the Nine Satanic Statements but deserves to be repeated here. Another cardinal sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered into is when it's fun, and with awareness. But then, it's not self-deceit!
Herd Conformity -- That's obvious from a Satanic stance. It's all right to conform toa person's wishes, if it ultimately benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting an impersonal entity dictate to you. The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the many.
One of my favorites. I wish more people would follow this one, too
Lack of Perspective -- Again, this one can lead to a lot of pain for a Satanist. You must never lose sight of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We are making history right now, every day. Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. Do not be swayed by herd constraints -- know that you are working on another level entirely from the rest of the world.
Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies -- Be aware that this is one of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something "new" and "different," when in reality it's something that was once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package. We are expected to rave about the genius of the "creator" and forget the original. This makes for a disposable society.
I think LaVey made this one saying, "dont forget me!" But I do understand it.
Counterproductive Pride -- That first word is important. Pride is great up to the point you begin to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The rule of Satanism is: if it works for you, great. When it stops working for you, when you've painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow," then do it.
Lack of Aesthetics -- This is the physical application of the Balance Factor. Aesthetics is important in Lesser Magic and should be cultivated. It is obvious that no one can collect any money off classical standards of beauty and form most of the time so they are discouraged in a consumer society, but "an eye" for for beauty, for balance, is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for greatest magical effectiveness. It's not what's supposed to be pleasing -- it's what is. Aesthetics is a personal thing, reflective of one's own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should not be denied.
1987, Anton LaVey
Now that you've read this (hopefully), is your view of Satanism different from what you previously thought?
Am I a Satanist? Hmm....I'll get back to you on that.....:-)