Anton Szandor LaVey was an occult practitioner, writer and musician but also became infamous as the founder of the Church Of Satan - LaVey was also, arguably, the father of non-theist Satanism and advocated a system of beliefs based upon materialism and individualism.
LaVey was not, by any means, an outright evil man - however his philosophy was very much at odds with that of many and his approach towards society could be considered as selfish and, at times, dangerous.
LaVey was unusual for an occultist in that he didn't believe in supernatural beings to the same extent as other so-called "pagans" - in fact he believed that humanity should become their own gods and each individual should be free to rule as they see fit, he did warn however that while the "seven sins" were to be admired the more extreme examples (such as murder) should not be openly abused, not out of any ethical reason but out of simple logic - a man who mercilessly kills others would be more likely to invoke their wrath and thus risk his own well-being.
LaVey was also anti-Orthodox religion, believing that religion (in general) existed to put restraint on people and demonize what he believed were perfectly acceptable human behaviors, to LaVey lust and material greed were not sins but simply a part of human nature that should be embraced.
In short LaVey's perfect "Satanic" world was not that of mass-murdering orgies and psychopathic cults but rather of a world where each man and woman was free to give and take as they saw fit, he was against human sacrifice and animal cruelty (which is unusual, given popular belief on the subject) but believed that if a person felt wronged they were justified in taking vengeance as they saw fit - providing they were prepared for the consequences of such actions.
LaVey's most famous works were the Satanic Bible, The Satanic Witch and The Satanic Rituals.
LaVey is survived by his daughter, Karla LaVey - who has become a champion of the non-theist Satanist cause following her father's death.
LaVey's Satanism Versus Theist SatanismEdit
it is important to understand that their is a major difference between theist Satanism and the Satanism LaVey created - theist Satanism is what we would consider true devil-worship and although it exists it is a fairly rare cult that is often used as a scare tactic during moral panics.
LaVey's Satanism is largely symbolic and focuses on humanity being its own master, both are considered branches of Black Magic - however LaVey's Satanism is against the use of human or animal sacrifices, instead LaVey promoted sex-magic as a way of sacrificing oneself (in a symbolic sense).
Due to LaVey's dislike of orthodox religion (especially Christianity) he was quite happy to add all manner of demonic symbolism - such as Baphomet's image, reverted pentagrams and so forth but these were largely for show and he did not believe in worshipping outside entities: believing true power lay within.