Who Said It: Anton LaVey or W.C. Fields?

By: Staff
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About This Quiz

What do Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey (1930-1997) and American comedic legend W.C. Fields (1880-1946) have in common? More than you might think. Do you have the wits to discern which iconic figure said the following quotes?

"A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her."

W.C. Fields frequently expounded on his love of booze and contempt for women. In fact, you could say he pretty much made a career out of it. He frequently praised the effects of alcohol and complained of nagging women, but he never claimed to "get no respect."

"I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I see a snake, which I also keep handy."

Anton LaVey loved snakes, which he thought possessed an "uncanny perfection." But he eventually gave up much of his drinking for health reasons, enjoying only an occasional glass of Dubonnet on the rocks. In this instance though, it's Fields talking.

“Every religion in the world that has destroyed people is based on love.”

That's Anton LaVey's cynicism to a tee. The former high priest of the Church of Satan never claimed supernatural powers. His philosophy, LaVeyan Satanism, was largely hedonistic, materialistic and individualistic. But the church's followers were never shy about carrying out ceremonies full of black robes, naked women and ceremonial candles either.

"Do what you want as long as it's paying off for you, but once it's become a liability, then something is wrong and you better find out what it is.”

Aleister Crowley was an English occultist, ceremonial magician and contemporary to W.C. Fields. Crowley popularized a similar quote, "'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” (which in turn refers to a quote by French writer François Rabelais), but the words in question belong to Anton LaVey.

"I don't drink much anymore, because it's supposedly not good for me. I still have gallons of it around though. I smell the cork and do a lot of wishing."

You can thank LaVey for that one. He and Scottish comedian Billy Connolly both tried to give up drinking. W.C. Fields even put down the bottle for more than a year when a friend died of alcohol-related causes, but eventually fell back on old habits.

"Wouldn't it be terrible if I quoted some reliable statistics which prove that more people are driven insane through religious hysteria than by drinking alcohol?"

Those are the words of W.C. Fields, who was no more enamored with religion than he was with dogs, children and women. He remained an avowed atheist his entire life, though he did consent to his son's baptism.

“It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful.”

The quote is LaVey's, but Fields likely would have agreed with it. The comedian famously said, “It's morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money.” As for Mae West, for all her hedonistic zeal, she was a teetotaler and shared a mutual disdain for Fields, her "My Little Chickadee" co-star.

"Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has."

Those are the words of "Naked Lunch" author William S. Burroughs, who was also a member of the Illuminates of Thanateros, an occult society rooted in ritual magic. No stranger to candlelit rituals and individualistic mantras, LaVey would have likely agreed.

"Some things are better than sex, and some are worse, but there's nothing exactly like it."

You can thanks Fields for that oft-used gem.

"Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream."

LaVey certainly swam upstream when it came to mainstream social norms, but those are the words of W.C Fields. The comedian and the Satanist blazed their own trails through life, each making bold and cutting statements along the way that still provoke both outrage and contemplation.

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