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#39345 - 06/16/10 04:43 AM Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist'
School Bully Offline
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Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist'

Kenneth Anger's crazy, gorgeous, disturbing films almost landed him in jail. The avant-garde pioneer talks Simon Hattenstone through all his demons

....

Lucifer Rising, a celebration of pagan ritual featuring Marianne Faithfull, had a soundtrack written from prison by Bobby Beausoleil, a convicted murderer and an associate of the Manson family. Wasn't Beausoleil a boyfriend of his? "He was a friend. We lived together." Has he known a lot of bad boys? "I seem to be attracted to bad boys, but I never let it go too far. In other words, there's always, 'OK, it's time for me to move out.'" I ask Anger if he was a bad boy. He smiles. "I was a smart boy. Too smart to be involved in badness." He has always preferred badness by association.

Anger was also a friend of Anton Szandor LaVey, who founded the Church of Satan in the 1960s. Is he a satanist? "No, I am not a satanist. I am a pagan. Satanism is another thing." But, I say, people look at your dystopian films, with their myriad references to the devil, and assume you are a devil-worshipper. "Well, I can't help what people see in them," he says. Were you playing with ideas or was it your belief system? "Well, I suppose, a belief." In what? "Underneath it all is an appreciation of nature."

In Lucifer Rising, Faithfull plays Lilith, a demon. It was Anger's most expensive film because it involved a trip to Egypt. "I said to Marianne Faithfull, don't bring any drugs because they'll execute you. So she hid her heroin in her makeup box underneath her face powder. I think she was powdering her face with heroin."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/mar/10/kenneth-anger-interview
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#39348 - 06/16/10 05:40 AM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: School Bully]
Jake999 Offline
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Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
I was lucky enough to meet Kenneth Anger at The Black House on a couple of occasions, and while he and Dr. LaVey mostly sat together in the front room and joked and reminisced while we were doing out thing in the office, there were times that he spoke of projects he was involved in, or interested in doing... little snippets of his life, life when he KNEW he wanted to ride a motorcycle, so he went to buy one that someone was selling. He had never ridden in his life, but climbed aboard, gunned it and promptly laid it down, HARD. He told of his twisted knee, the scraped paint, the sounds... painting a word picture that was clear as being there.

He had such a wry, Self-deprecating way of telling the story that you were drawn in, mesmerized. Then he looked at me and said, "I understand you ride motorcycles, Jake. Did you bring it with you tonight?" I did... and I wasn't giving him my keys!
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#39354 - 06/16/10 01:20 PM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: School Bully]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
Ken was not a registered (degreed/dues-paying) member of the Church of Satan 1970-75, but was carried on the Cloven Hoof mailing list in a complimentary status. But I think it's fair to say he had been a Satanist, since he was one of the few persons participating in the Walpurgisnacht 1966 ceremony in which ASLV inaugurated the Church of Satan. Along with Anton he also officiated at the Satanic funeral of U.S. Navy seaman Edward Olsen the following year. And from my The Church of Satan

 Originally Posted By: M.A.A., COS
Once the Manson Family was identified and arrested, of course, Anton had much more reason to be upset. Not only had Susan Atkins been involved with the Church, but another Family member, Bobby Beausoleil, had been a close associate of Ken Anger. Beausoleil had been introduced to Black Magic by Anger in 1967, when the two of them were living together in an old San Francisco house called the “Russian Embassy”.

After filming the Crowleyesque Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome at Samson DeBrier’s 6114-like salon in Los Angeles in 1956, Anger had become increasingly fascinated with Crowley’s legacy, even traveling to the Sicilian town of Cefalu to seek out and restore the exotic murals which “the Great Wild Beast” had painted on the walls of his Abbey of Thelema.

Now Anger invited Beausoleil to play the Devil in a new Satanic film entitled Lucifer Rising, which was eventually released in 1969 as Invocation of my Demon Brother. Anton LaVey also made an appearance as High Priest in that film.

Beausoleil may also have participated in Church of Satan activities. Said Ed Sanders in The Family: “Robert Beausoleil, who would later murder Gary Hinman, had extensive contact with a Devil-worshipping cult operating in San Francisco in 1966 and 1967.”

In October 1967, two months before he would assist Anton at the funeral of Edward Olsen, Ken Anger traveled to Washington to assist in the famous “exorcism of the Pentagon” by conducting a ritual beneath a truck parked in front of that worthy [and still rather possessed] edifice. Relates Sanders:

 Originally Posted By: Ed Sanders, The Family
While various Diggers and exorcists were standing atop the flat-bed truck screeching “Out, demons, out”, Anger, bare from the waist up, revealing what appeared to be a tattoo of Lucifer upon his chest, burned a picture of the Devil within a consecrated pentagram, shouting oaths and hissing as he flashed a magic ring at inquiring reporters thrusting microphones at him hunched down in the gravel.

While Anger was thus preoccupied, Beausoleil supposedly absconded with equipment and footage from Lucifer Rising, so infuriating Anger that he concocted a cursed locket to transform his former roommate into a toad. Shortly after the funeral of Olsen, Kenneth Anger also parted from the Church of Satan.

Concerning that parting, Burton Wolfe recounts in his ASLV biography The Black Pope:

 Originally Posted By: Burton Wolfe, BP
Ken Anger brought McClure, along with “Freewheelin’ Frank” (Frank Reynolds), secretary of the Hells’ Angels, to the Black Mass. The experience may have been one of the factors that caused Frank to include in his book Freewheelin’ Frank, Secretary of the Angels, as told to Michael McClure, the line ”…nearer to Satan than the average normal being can be. I feel as though I am part of him.”

McClure had become enamored of the lion Togare and was writing poetry extolling both Satanism and lions. At the black house he met what he construed to be women who were truly satanic, his soul mates, and he made it obvious that he considered himself to be irresistible to them. And there before him, with bared breasts, was Monique von Cleef, arguably the most satanic woman imaginable. What could be more natural than for Michael McClure, the famous (in San Francisco, at least)”underground” poet-playwright, to stride boldly up to Monique, wrap his hands around her tits, and give them a hearty squeeze.

The speed of her reaction stunned him. It seemed to take no more than two seconds for her to push McClure away, grab Anton’s cat-o’-nine-tails and slash him across his face with it while spitting a verbal slash at him: “Nobody touches me that way unless I invite them.” McClure, stung and humiliated, meekly slinked away and came no more to the black house on California Street.

Anton also soon lost his favorite warlock, but not because of the incident with Monique. Ken Anger had suffered what he considered to be the most unnerving setback of his life while making a film called Lucifer Rising, in which Anton was to play Satan and Zeena the part of a fairy queen. Anger was deep into the hippie explosion and planned to provide many roles in his new film to the longhairs. A dozen of them were living rent-free and food-free in a Victorian house Anger had acquired, and he was also supplying them with clothing, musical instruments, and whatever else they needed. Then one day Anger found that his film footage, camera equipment and some of his most treasured possessions had been stolen – by people he had befriended and trusted, people purportedly living by the creed that “possessions are hangups” and ought not to be a life’s pursuit. Anger burst into a rage. Even people supposedly in revolution against a corrupt society were not to be trusted. What hope was there for the American nation, he asked himself. It was so enmeshed in selfishness, greed, dog-eat-dog competition, Anger concluded, that nothing and no one could save it.

In such a dark mood, engendered by a feeling of having been betrayed, someone whose life has been lived altruistically will abandon altruism and reform. Instead of attempt to reform that which angers him or her, he or she escapes from it. He or she decides: “I will make myself as comfortable as possible in a place and situation best suited to my tastes. Let those who wish to remain, where there is no hope for improvement, rot in the shit stew.”

And so Ken Anger, the most talented of the so-called “underground” filmmakers, left the United States for a retreat in Europe, vowing never to return. (He did return, but not until 1974. After filming a new version of Lucifer Rising on location in Egypt, Anger came back to San Francisco to work with Anton on various projects.)
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#39355 - 06/16/10 01:59 PM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Jake999 Offline
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Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
Ken was not a registered (degreed/dues-paying) member of the Church of Satan 1970-75, but was carried on the Cloven Hoof mailing list in a complimentary status. But I think it's fair to say he had been a Satanist, since he was one of the few persons participating in the Walpurgisnacht 1966 ceremony in which ASLV inaugurated the Church of Satan. Along with Anton he also officiated at the Satanic funeral of U.S. Navy seaman Edward Olsen the following year. And from my The Church of Satan


That's true... and you can bet your ass I would never have thought of saying he "wasn't a Satanist." There were people who you KNEW belonged there whenever you saw them and there were people who you knew were there for a reason. He was there because he was welcome, for sure.
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#39356 - 06/16/10 01:59 PM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Fnord Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 2085
Loc: Texas
Dr. Aquino,

Do you know if Manson himself ever met ASL or was involved with the C/S in any way beyond the somewhat tenuous ASL/Susan Atkins tie?

How about yourself? Had you ever met any of those folks in that time? I have about a million questions to ask you about this but am trying to stem the flow. \:\)
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#39364 - 06/17/10 12:42 AM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: Fnord]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Fnord
Dr. Aquino, Do you know if Manson himself ever met ASL or was involved with the C/S in any way beyond the somewhat tenuous ASL/Susan Atkins tie?

No, Anton never had any contact with CM. Atkins didn't join the Manson Family until long after her Topless Witches Revue & 6114 visits time. And of course the last thing Anton would have wanted after the "satanic cult murders" in L.A. was any contact or connection between him and CM/the Family. His brushes with Atkins and Beausoliel were already too close for comfort.

 Quote:
How about yourself? Had you ever met any of those folks in that time?

Nope. I didn't join the C/S until 1969, long after the Atkins/Beausoliel events.

When Nikolas Schreck was still involved with ASLV in the 1980s, he had quite a fascination with CM and produced this documentary and wrote this book. But according to Nik & Zeena, ASLV was again not involved with either.
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#39368 - 06/17/10 10:45 AM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: Jake999]
School Bully Offline
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Posts: 142
Loc: Melbourne
There's something of the Wildean tragic about Anger - but I think all gays are tragic in their own way anyway. A brilliant raconteur who still has celebrity but he's vulnerable and struggling for money in his old age. Just mention the word "Satanism" and I would not be surprised if they'd pull your funding. Far better to describe yourself in New Age terms. He's a survivor. Good luck to him. Nice anecdote, Jake.
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#39369 - 06/17/10 10:50 AM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Fnord Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 2085
Loc: Texas
Thank you Sir!

I've been studying Manson/The Family for decades and have heard of a Manson/LaVey connection in rumor. Schreck doesn't actually deny any connection but rather hints at one being there (my interpretation) in his documentary. Anyway, having your insight puts the matter to rest for me.
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#39378 - 06/17/10 11:21 PM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: Fnord]
felixgarnet Offline
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Registered: 10/17/09
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Loc: UK
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV89WCXgFhI&playnext_from=TL&videos=BF1IqUsauKc

Wonderful lecture by Anger at UCLA. Enjoy!
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"Here's to Artifice!" - Anton Szandor LaVey.

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#39379 - 06/17/10 11:28 PM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: felixgarnet]
felixgarnet Offline
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Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 688
Loc: UK
And for those of you who swoon at recalling the Magician/Beast actor in "The Inauguration Of the Pleasure Dome" - here he is! An interview with SamsonDeBrier as a very elderly Goth. \:\)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhb2OTEKWIY
_________________________
"Here's to Artifice!" - Anton Szandor LaVey.

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#40246 - 07/14/10 02:23 PM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Fnord Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 2085
Loc: Texas
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino

When Nikolas Schreck was still involved with ASLV in the 1980s, he had quite a fascination with CM and produced this documentary and wrote this book. But according to Nik & Zeena, ASLV was again not involved with either.


Dr. Aquino,
Not to belabor the conversation, but in THIS document, third point the following statement is made:

 Quote:
Amnesty should be considered for anyone in prison because of his alleged “influence” upon the actual perpetrator of the crime.


Last year, I asked the question over at the C/S if this idea was influenced by Schreck's fascination with CM. I got locked down for asking. Do you have any insight as to the timing of this (ie had you seen this prior to the date at the top) and whether or not it was influenced by Schreck?

PS
It doesn't really matter, I'm just a curious type and the thread begged to be pulled a little.


Edited by Fnord (07/14/10 02:28 PM)
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#40252 - 07/14/10 04:01 PM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: Fnord]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Fnord
... Last year, I asked the question over at the C/S if this idea was influenced by Schreck's fascination with CM. I got locked down for asking. Do you have any insight as to the timing of this (ie had you seen this prior to the date at the top) and whether or not it was influenced by Schreck?

Nikolas was "on board at 6114" at least through 4/13/90 (when he and Zeena had their last phone conversation with Anton). Exactly what Nik's status was there I personally don't know. Jake might be the better person to answer this.

By the time I met him post-90, Nik was no longer particularly interested in CM.
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#55840 - 06/14/11 11:48 AM Re: Kenneth Anger: 'No, I am not a Satanist' [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
111Cal Offline
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Registered: 12/22/09
Posts: 143
well Nik is STILL into CM as his new updated version shows
(Or maybe hes just looking to make a quick buck off charlie once again!)

http://www.nikolasschreck.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=73&Itemid=55

as for Anger... wasnt he living with LaVey for a period of time when LaVey and Diane seperated?? I thought Stanton mentioned that to me before... and also thought court records showed that too?

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