The “largest public satanic ceremony in history” took place last
Saturday in Detroit, a city that has the largest and oldest chapter of a
national Satanist organization.
unveiled a nearly 9-foot tall bronze statue of a goat-headed Baphomet in
a private ceremony attended by 600 ticket holders, Lucien Graves,
co-founder of the national Satanic Temple organization in Boston. The
Satanic Temple in Detroit has more than 200 registered members.
“They are so active and well-organized,” Graves
said. “There’s probably been another wave of interest since this event.”
said. He credits the Detroit chapter’s founder Jex Blackmore with the
growth of the chapter since it was established there in August 2014.
“It’s more or
less because of her. She was just a very confident person who started
working with us,” Graves said further. The pair met in Boston and then
she moved to Detroit and set up a chapter there.
of the city and many are drawn to us as a force of positive, effective
change in this community,” Blackmore said.
but the state’s supreme court banned all religious displays there,
including the Ten Commandments. The statue was created through $28,180
fund-raised by 1,041 people on Indiegogo.com last year. The fundraising
page said the statue’s purpose was to contrast the Ten Commandments
monument that was previously on display.
Satanic Temple, “facilitates the communication and mobilization of
politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual
liberty.” Among the causes it supports are gay marriage, reproductive
rights and eliminating corporal punishment in schools. The national
organization does “not promote a belief in a personal Satan.”
supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions,” the FAQ of
served “as a call-to-arms from which we’ll kick off our largest fight to
date in the name of individual rights to free exercise against
self-serving theocrats,” according to the invitation.
public opinion or not,” Greaves said. “Groups will take it as slander
against them and it’s just not the case. We don’t really care if they’re
offended or not.”
recognition of it as a satanic figure and it illustrates the
“reconciliation of opposites,” Blackmore said.
pointed toward the sky, the other to the ground,” Blackmore said. “It’s
representative of the dualities of our nature