Michael Aquino, the founder of satanic cult the Temple of Set, has “remanifested from his physical body” at the age of 73. In addition to his satanist activities, Aquino was a military intelligence officer.
Aquino founded the Temple of Set in 1975 after leaving Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan due to his unhappiness with the direction of the group. A statement on the Temple of Set’s website says that been suffering from ill-health for some years. It’s unclear when exactly Aquino died. A Reddit thread dedicated to Aquino’s death first appeared on June 29.
The Temple of Set statement says that Aquino “remanifested from his physical body” on “Sunday, September 1, LIV of the Aeon of Set.” Religious studies expert Dr. Dave Bromley of Virginia Commonwealth University told the BBC in February 2014 that groups such as the Temple of Set are known to follow their own calendar.
Aquino Made His First Mainstream Media Appearance in 1988 on ‘The Geraldo Rivera Show’
The public-at-large was first exposed to Aquino during his appearance on The Geraldo Rivera show in 1988. The episode was titled, “Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground.”
According to Aquino’s Amazon profile, Aquino was a retired Lt. Colonel, Psychological Operations in the United States Army. Aquino says that he was a “Green Beret” and a graduate of the U.S. Army Intelligence School and the U.S. Army Space Institute. Aquino says that he received multiple awards during his military career. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2006. Aquino’s Amazon page credits him with writing dozens of books on satanism. Aquino’s IMDb page shows that he has contributed to various documentaries on satanism since 1972, the most recent coming in 2020.
Aquino says that he had various qualifications in political science and government-related studies from the University of California Santa Barbara and George Washington University. He was an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity.” The profile ends by saying, “[Aquino] his wife Lilith, and inevitable, innumerable, and immortal cats live in San Francisco, California.”
Aquino Said That He Became Interested in Satanism While Serving in Vietnam
In August 1998, a Washington Post profile on Aquino said that he made his first inroads into satanism in the 1970s while he was stationed in Vietnam. Aquino had a correspondence with Satanist Anton LaVey around this time. According to the Post article, Aquino was made a high ranking priest in the Church of Satan upon his return to the United States. The Post article also noted that Aquino had an “abnormally keen interest in the life of Anton LaVey” which extended to Aquino writing an 800-page biography of LaVey.
Allegations of Ritualistic Child Abuse Have Followed Aquino & His Followers Since the 1980s
Allegations that Aquino and The Temple of Set’s followers were responsible for ritualistic child abuse were first leveled in the 1980s, Wired reported in May 1997.
The Los Angeles Times reported in August 1988 that prosecutors had declined to bring charges against Aquino after a 3-year-old girl accused him of molesting her in a home in San Francisco.