The below article was originally posted in San Francisco newsgroups for Halloween by Jeff Farris, who shares first-hand impressions of Zeena in early life. Farris and Zeena attended the same schools yet have never met. Many thanks to Mr. Farris for allowing us to reprint his article here! An afterword from Zeena follows his article:
Lucifer's Daughter in the Richmond District by Jeff Farris
In San Francisco on California Street, between 23rd and 24th Avenues in the Richmond District, there once was a house that was painted pure black long before it was fashionable or cool to do so. The home was rumored to have a real live roaring lion as well as human occupants, we were warned, who were devotees to the Prince of Darkness himself. Other than the austere and gloomy color, it was an unassuming little home just a few blocks down the road from where I grew up.
A typical San Francisco A-framed, 3 story Victorian, The Black House, as it was known for many years, was the official First Church of Satan and the home of Anton LeVay, aka, The Black Pope and Lucifer’s Great High Priest and author of the Satanic Bible, as well as his family, including 2 young children and his companion, the self professed sorceress and High Priestess, Diane Hegarty. An ex-carnival worker and notable chronic liar, Anton established the Church of Satan in 1966 where it had a run for about 35 years until it was eventually torn down in 2001, only to be replaced, unceremoniously, by a cheap, 4 unit apartment complex commonly known among locals as a Richmond Special. The son of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants who had arrived in the United States sometime near the turn of the 20th Century, Mr. LaVey had finally made a name for himself in the late 1960’s with his audacious ambition to create the first church of Satan ever, anywhere.
San Francisco, at the time, was ripe for such a plan and Anton soon found himself at the center of controversy along with much welcomed attention from the ranks of luminaries such as Hollywood elites, avant-garde artists, and rock superstars of the time. One of his first and most celebrated religious ceremonies held at The Black House was the “Baptism” of his youngest daughter, Zeena, in 1967, when she was just 3 years old.
You may have some familiarity with Anton LaVey, but it’s his daughter, Zeena, that I am most curious about today. Anton, who died in 1997, seemed more like an opportunist and a showman than that of a bonafide Satanist, but not Zeena. She was destined for a much more televised profile than her father, becoming the official spokesperson for the Church of Satan in the mid-1980’s during the days of what is now called the “Satanic Panic” wherein born-again, Christian fundamentalists and the U.S. media sensationalized what they said was rampant Satanic Ritual Abuse all across America, especially towards children. In actuality, there was really none happening at all.
Some say that it was a modern day witch-hunt fueled by rumors and hearsay, but it was not without serious repercussions when innocent citizens, mostly teachers and staff from 19 daycare centers and pre-schools, were convicted and some even imprisoned based upon the fabricated testimony of toddlers and therapists who said they had uncovered memories of ritual abuse after hypnotizing previous students. Basically, Christians giving false testimony and acting more like Satan, than, well... Satan.
Zeena was invaluable during this time, advising police departments throughout the country with a general understanding of Satanic practices which helped quell, at least some, of the satanic ritual abuse allegations. I guess that one could say that the first person to have ever been publicly christened, if I can even use that term, for dedication to Lucifer, could have no other destiny in store for her other than to set the record straight regarding the activities of Beelzebub and his followers.
Zeena was one year younger than I, born in 1963, and we went to the same middle school, Presidio Jr. High, on 30th Avenue in between Geary and Clement. I remember her as a very attractive young girl with sensuous lips and an almost ever present furrowed brow. I didn’t know her personally, but being that her father was a somewhat famous, or better yet, infamous San Franciscan, everyone knew who she was, even I. She got pregnant in the 8th grade, at the age of 13, which didn’t help her reputation at all. Vicious rumors went around school stating that it was her father who had impregnated her. Kids can be so mean but, to my knowledge, not one of them had the guts to ever confront Zeena personally. We were all afraid of her clan and no one was brave enough to start trouble with Lucifer’s very own baptized child.
Anyhow, as the years have transpired, I have kept my eye on the life and times of Zeena LaVey, or Zeena Schreck, which is her current last name. I wouldn’t say that I am a stalker, but I have always felt for her as one would feel towards any misunderstood outsider. I felt bad for her, actually, not that she needs my sympathy and she could probably care less of what I think, for that matter. But I’ve always believed that she was a good soul under extraordinary pressure from circumstances beyond her control. She was a San Francisco kid, caught up in those crazy times, no different than I, but definitely more complicated and dark.
As you can imagine, Zeena and her family weren’t very welcome in our working class, multicultural, mostly Catholic, and Asian, and Russian Orthodox neighborhood. In a 2012 interview with Vice Australia, she explains that she had to transcribe for the SFPD death threats left for her on her father’s answering machine wherein she was to be raped and killed. She was 11 years old at the time. She also states that her father may have haphazardly fallen into the role of The Black Pope by sheer accident and that the Church of Satan was created after a local publicist described Anton as a neighborhood eccentric and “the first priest of Satan.” Anton then seized the idea and transformed it into a religion and that it all took off from there.
To be clear, Anton’s belief system did not include an actual deity or entity that one would call Satan or Lucifer, the Angel of Light. He believed that there wasn’t a devil at all. It was an ego driven theology. Each person is a God, in essence, and the tenets of the religion are almost all selfishly motivated and self aggrandizing. It’s also important to note that the Church of Satan, for the most part, was ultimately a failed venture leaving Anton destitute by the time he died. He sold his soul for nothing more than a limited and fleeting run at popularity, poor thing.
By 1990, Zeena had renounced her father’s church and belief structure, and likewise the Church of Satan vehemently denounced Zeena, commencing a campaign to discredit her name. I don’t think she ever had contact with Anton after that. She claimed that her father was basically a charlatan and a con artist and that he never had the depth of knowledge to be a true Satanist and that it was all for show and celebrity.
Whether or not I believe her completely is predicated upon the publication of the Satanic Bible, which is still the definitive go to resource for anything Satanic. It is clear that he gave that book some thought. Nonetheless, Zeena then applied her spiritual endeavors towards the Temple of Set, which could best be described as a pre-christian, Egyptian mystery religion, but highly influenced by other ex-members of the Church of Satan and the writings of Aleister Crowley. But even here, Zeena failed to find an environment that was to her liking and she resigned from her post as High Priestess in 2002. She then formed the Sethian Liberation Movement, donned with a title that could only be conjured up by an ex-San Francisco kid who survived the citywide pandemonium that the Symbionese Liberation Army caused when they kidnapped Patty Hearst in the early 70’s.
Currently, Zeena is a self avowed Tibetan Tantric Buddhist and she offers counseling services and specifically ministers to victims of extreme circumstances, the socially stigmatized, outcasts, and those otherwise subject to prejudice. By use of yogic, meditative and shamanic exercises, she offers short-range treatment, she says, without having to become an initiate of any particular spiritual path. Like the Phoenix, she claims that she can help you rise from the ashes of difficult experiences, find your own inner mystical resources, and have a spiritual awakening towards a foundation of inner strength.
Personally, I believe in her and I want her to succeed. If anyone has experience of overcoming difficulties, Zeena is among those who have. It seems poetic to me that a young girl from San Francisco, without any act of her own volition, was baptized at the tender age of 3 into the milieu of post-modern sensationalized Satanism, only to come out the other side finding peace and stability from the teachings of someone as self effacing and modest as the Buddha. I sincerely hope that she ultimately finds the peace that surpasses all understanding. As a fellow San Franciscan, I am rooting for her. How about you?
– Jeff Farris
San Francisco, Halloween 2014
Afterword by Zeena:
Thank you Jeff, wherever you are! Though it's true we never met, nor shared any words in those years, I never forget a face and knew it was you, because you still look the same, some 40 years later. You are correct that most people didn't have the guts to speak to me then in school, unless antagonistically. The same character traits usually remain on into adulthood. People who refuse to educate themselves about what they're frightened of, find comfort in remaining ignorant. So thank you for your curiosity to educate yourself, and for your candid recollections.
And, as you alluded to, I have found peace and contentment. When we have peace within ourselves and develop intrinsic happiness and relinquish hope for extrinsic sources of happiness, we have peace and joy wherever, and in whatever, situations we find ourselves.
Wishing you [all] a fantastically Happy Halloween.
Vintage clip from Radio Werewolf's 'Songs for the End of the World' 1991 German tour.
Music video clip from the Zeena Schreck/Radio Werewolf Archives: Concert footage from early 90s.
More vintage Radio Werewolf from the Zeena Schreck/Nikolas Schreck European collaborative years will be featured regularly on this site and Zeena's YouTube channel.
Genre categories: #performanceart #postindustrial #soundscapes #experimentalmusic #avantgardemusic
#darkambient #neoclassical #postpunk #darkwave #nikolasschreck #zeenaschreck
Zeena's Magical, Musical, Mystery Reunion with Legendary Swiss Event Promoter Arnoldo Steiner of 'Magic Circle'
A Message from ZEENA:
"After twenty six years, I'm thrilled to have just reconnected with the very dear Arnoldo Steiner, who was the event organizer of Radio Werewolf's final concert "The Zürich Experiment." He recently posted a collection of his images from that night and, with his permission, I'm featuring them in my Photo Gallery on my website as well.
My memories of the event are entirely positive and wonderful. Without a doubt, Arnoldo was the most gracious host I'd had in all of my music experiences.
Arnoldo has always had, and still does have, an Old World charm which one expects of the Goth sub-culture, but in recent years is often lacking. A true emanation of Shelley-Byron style Romanticism at its best. As a result, his events' decor, his personal presence and classic style had a positive influence on the Zürich Goth scene which, to my recollection, were an ideal audience that particular night! It's safe to say that Arnoldo has had a longstanding reputation as 'The Source' for such alternative entertainment as what Radio Werewolf represented. Best described in the advertizement of the Radio Werewolf performance he organized (also in English below):
' GOTHIC OPERA
The commitment to youth culture of Zurich's Arnoldo Steiner dates back to the 'Halbstarken' era of the 1960s [Halbstarken def: Americanization of post-WWII Europe via pop culture].
In recent years, he has organized unusual gothic and rock parties, with fans from all over Switzerland. This will also be the case on 30 December, the day before New Year's Eve. For the first time, the cult group Radio Werewolf from L.A., based in Vienna, will perform in Switzerland. These prophesies of doom offer more than just an ordinary concert. Their performance is an opera, a ritual, a magical work of art. Before and after the midnight spectacle, the original -Big Apple- DJs Walky, Andy and Arnoldo will spin wave and gothic rock classics.'
It was wonderful to have had an organizer who not only totally got what we were doing musically, but also made everything so pleasant! (In 1991, being a vegetarian was not an easy thing to add to the rider! )
Many thanks to Arnoldo for providing these images and fun memories from Radio Werewolf's past !"
Go to PHOTO GALLERY for the images from RADIO WEREWOLF's final concert courtesy of Arnoldo Steiner - thanks again Arnoldo !
A slideshow and video from the Summer Solstice ritual can be now be seen on the
NEW permanent feature 'Photo Gallery of Events and Activities' page of our website.
Click on this link:
Video clip of the ritual is below in this post.
San Francisco is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. This week also marks the dark-side of the city's history. On May 23, 1967 Zeena made her international debut as performance-artist at the first public satanic baptism, orchestrated by her parents' in-house carnival show. She has commemorated the event by creating a personally charged meditative ritual in the form of a soundscape and video collage.
To my Fallen Angel Godfather, wishing him a spectacularly cosmic 90th solar return. -Zeena Schreck
Interview with Zeena recalling memories of her artistic mentor and godfather Kenneth Anger
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IF YOU MISSED GETTING A 2017 ZEENA CALENDAR: There are still a VERY few left!
First come first serve gets you 10 Euros off. Autograph options in description at http://www.zeenaschreck.com/…/2017_ZEENA_Calendar-Meditatio…
Thanks to writer/journalist Nicholas Diak for these images of his own personally autographed ZEENA calendar!
In response to the many requests for portraits of Zeena, Kaliyuga Clearing House presents a selection of some of the most iconic images of Zeena throughout her life. Each month highlights an aphorism by Zeena as well.
Options for personalized autograph/New Year's greeting from Zeena are listed in the purchase menu.
This 2017 calendar is printed on fine quality Premium Paper 200 g/m² suitable for cropping and/or framing after use.
Dimensions: 200x300mm / 8”x11½”
THANKS TO CLAUS LAUFENBURG for these rare and legendary concert stills from Radio Werewolf's early '90s European "End of the World" concert tour . These stills are from concert footage Herr Laufenburg filmed for Video Werewolf music documentary videos.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE NEWS ON THIS THEME: A massive video-to-digital transfer project is currently underway to save many of Zeena's archived VHS video cassette tapes for posterity. Plans are to re-release the videos that the stills in this gallery are from, as well as many other vintage Radio Werewolf videos and formerly lost TV and film appearances of Zeena from the 80s and 90s! This will be a laborious, time intensive project. So please have patience. We will keep you posted as new additions to the archives are available.