The evangelist claims he is a son of the late satanist
In his harrowing testimony, Jess LaVey tells how he was groomed by his infamous father--the late Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan--to become the next top leader of the international satanists' group. He recounts physical beatings and sexual abuse that occurred before he broke from his occult background and found Christ.

But critics say that Jess LaVey is not the son of Anton LaVey as he claims--and that the only connection he has with him is the same ability to gain attention through false stories.

Telling his story in churches, radio interviews and postings on the Internet, Jess LaVey said that he was born at the satanists' mother church in East Berlin in 1968. In April, Charisma News Service, Charisma's e-mail news service, reported how LaVey said his father was "a bizarre, sick man" who had raped him and forced him to attend rituals.

A pop icon of the 1960s and 1970s, Anton LaVey boasted membership of 50,000 for the Church of Satan. But many of his claims of his movement's supposed activities and influence have been widely discredited and dismissed.

Jess LaVey claims that he rebelled at the age of 10, sending away for a Bible correspondence course and later made contact with a church where at 14 he received deliverance from demons. He later graduated from Bible college and founded Sword of the Spirit Ministries. Based in Yucaipa, Calif., the 33-year-old speaks about the dangers of the occult.

But John W. Morehead, a researcher with Watchman Fellowship, a cult-watching group, said that he has been unable to corroborate LaVey's claims. Records show that Anton LaVey had only three children, he said, and while several other people have claimed to be related to Anton LaVey, none of their claims have been substantiated.

"Sadly, many have claimed to be LaVey's child in order to gain financial support from churches and to give credibility to their ministries allegedly addressing satanism and the occult," Morehead said. In addition, Jess LaVey's descriptions of LaVeyian satanism "have no basis in fact and do not represent [it] as expressed in satanist literature."

LaVey supplied Charisma with several documents he said confirmed his identity. But these turned out to include a Social Security number issued to someone of another name and were said by an identities investigator to have been "clearly altered" in places.

When then asked to provide Charisma with an original copy of his birth certificate, potentially available upon request from the U.S. State Department, which records foreign births of American citizens, Jess LaVey declined. He also admitted that he knew the Social Security number on the document he submitted to Charisma as proof of his identity was not the correct number. He then refused to supply his true number because he said he did not want to entertain a fight in the media over his identity.

James Barkley, a pastor who helped minister to LaVey when he attended a Vineyard church in California in the 1980s, said that LaVey had spoken at that time of his connection to Anton LaVey, but had never shown any documents confirming it. Barkley said LaVey seemed to have come from a background of occult involvement.

Of CNS' original report of Jess LaVey's testimony that now is in question, CNS editor Andy Butcher said: "Our initial inquiries were not as thorough as they needed to be. In the light of the unanswered questions, we regret having given the story further exposure."

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • Jezebel puppets

    10 Ways to Spot Jezebel's Spiritually Slick Undercover Con Artists

    It's time to stop tolerating Jezebel in all its many manifestations.

  • Highway exit signs

    Prophetic Word: Watch for the Exit Signs to Light Up This Season

    Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty in the harvest fields. The "barnyard anointing" ...

  • Finger pointing

    The Accuser vs. Donald Trump—and Us All

    This isn't a political persuasion piece, but a current-event case study in the strategies of ...

  • Lance Wallnau

    Lance Wallnau Is on Fire and on Target With His Insights on the Culture and This Election

    I'm sickened by the self-righteous, weak-kneed "evangelicals" who want to be liked by ...

  • Daily scripture reading, meditation and prayer can seem elusive with your busy schedule.

    10 Small Steps to Deeper Intimacy With Holy Spirit in Your Quiet Times

    If deep quiet times seem just out of your reach with your busy schedule, try one of these ...

  • In October, many things will be realigned in your life, including your vision.

    5 Prophetic Revelations About God's October Surprise

    "The winds of apostolic change are blowing across the land and realigning you."

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit