Approximately 800 individuals, including numerous attendees clad in sinister-themed attire, congregated in Boston over the weekend for the second edition of SatanCon. This impious gathering brings together supporters of The Satanic Temple, which gained recognition through the critically acclaimed documentary “Hail Satan?”. The event witnessed a significant increase in attendance, more than doubling last year’s figure of around 300 participants, as reported by the organizers.
Group members strongly refute the common and misguided assumption that the organization consists of malevolent “trolls” who worship the devil through blood sacrifices. They emphasize that their brand of Satanism is primarily focused on free thinking, advocating for independence, and promoting personal expression. Their ideology centers around championing individuality and embracing diverse perspectives rather than engaging in sinister rituals.
Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry founded The Satanic Temple in 2013 due to their dissatisfaction with other groups that were inactive, apolitical, and focused solely on individualism. The organization’s website states that they sought to provide modern Satanists with an alternative to the existing, more established groups.
Exploring the Tenets and Mission of The Satanic Temple
Over the past decade, members of The Satanic Temple have initiated numerous notable campaigns and legal actions, driven by their mission to promote benevolence and empathy, reject oppressive authority, advocate for practical common sense, combat injustice, and engage in noble pursuits.
Based in Salem, Massachusetts, and with congregations spanning the globe, The Satanic Temple adheres to “Seven Fundamental Tenets” that serve as guiding principles for their beliefs:
The Satanic Temple follows the “Seven Fundamental Tenets,” which include the following guiding principles:
- Acting with compassion and empathy toward all creatures based on reason.
- The ongoing pursuit of justice, which should supersede laws and institutions.
- Recognizing the inviolability of one’s own body and the autonomy to make decisions regarding it.
- Respecting the freedoms of others, including the freedom to offend, and refraining from unjust encroachments on those freedoms.
- Aligning beliefs with the best scientific understanding of the world, avoiding distortion of scientific facts to fit personal beliefs.
- Acknowledging fallibility and taking responsibility to rectify mistakes and mitigate harm caused.
- Embracing each tenet as a guiding principle to inspire noble actions and thoughts, with the spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice prevailing over mere words.
These tenets inform the beliefs and actions of The Satanic Temple.
In contrast to the Church of Satan, which was founded by Anton Szandor LaVey in the 1960s and positions itself as politically neutral, the Satanic Temple openly embraces an active role in political and public affairs. Congregants of the Satanic Temple frequently convene to participate in activities that promote secularism and individual liberty, aiming to advance these principles in the broader society.
The Satanic Temple has actively addressed various social issues through their advocacy efforts. These include advocating for the abolition of corporal punishment in public schools, promoting equal representation in the public display of religious symbols, championing reproductive rights and access to abortion, and raising awareness about the importance of mental health care. Their endeavors encompass a range of causes that aim to foster a more equitable and compassionate society.
According to Dex Desjardins, a spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, the group is actively making efforts to attract a more diverse range of members into their congregations. Desjardins highlighted that the congregations have historically comprised predominantly white individuals, and the organization is actively working towards fostering inclusivity and expanding their membership base to encompass a wider spectrum of diversity.
Satanism: A Haven for Marginalized Individuals
Emma Yama, a 26-year-old minister from Minnesota, expressed how joining her local chapter of the Satanic Temple expanded her worldview significantly. As a Vietnamese American who was adopted into a white Catholic family in the Midwest, she found that her involvement in the Satanic Temple provided her with a broader perspective and a sense of belonging beyond the confines of her upbringing.
“I didn’t even comprehend what it truly meant to be a person of color,” Yama reflected. Initially, she dismissed the Satanic Temple as mere “trolls” when she first encountered information about the group during her high school years. However, as she ventured into post-college life, Yama found herself yearning for avenues to authentically express her individual identity and cultivate a supportive community. Consequently, she started taking the Satanic Temple more seriously as a viable option for fulfilling these needs.
“I have strong opinions, and I’m driven to make things happen… I longed for a community where I truly felt a sense of belonging,” Yama expressed. She went on to state, “And I found it. They have become like family to me.”
Yama, who serves as a minister and spokesperson for the Satanists of Color Coalition, highlighted that prior to joining her local chapter in Minnesota, she had never had peers of color in her life. Her involvement in the Satanic Temple provided her with an opportunity to connect with a diverse community that resonated with her personal experiences and background.
Yama shared that her involvement in the Satanic Temple enabled her to explore and express her Asian identity more freely. However, her disappointment with the group’s initial lack of response during the social justice protests in 2020 motivated her to take the initiative. As a result, she took on a leadership role within the Minnesota chapter, spearheading their support for the Black Lives Matter protests. This act of advocacy and engagement reflected her commitment to promoting social justice and amplifying marginalized voices within the community.
Despite finding a sense of camaraderie among like-minded peers at the “largest gathering of Satanists,” Yama acknowledges that there is still a significant lack of diversity in terms of racial representation within her ministry. As one of only two people of color, she recognizes the need for greater inclusivity and diversity within the Satanist community. While she finds it empowering to connect with individuals who share similar beliefs and values, the ongoing challenge lies in fostering a more diverse and inclusive environment that truly reflects the richness of human experiences.
Yama and Desjardins highlight that numerous Satanists have encountered targeted harassment, physical harm, and social exclusion due to their beliefs. This is particularly true for individuals who already face systemic racism, making it challenging for them to join a community that could potentially add additional strain to their existing support systems. The fear of experiencing further discrimination and alienation acts as a barrier for individuals, considering the potential risks and challenges associated with openly embracing their Satanic beliefs.
Desjardins, who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and was raised in the Jewish faith, points out that Satanism offers similar advantages to organized religion, but without the need to align with figures in whom they do not believe. By embracing Satanism, individuals like Desjardins can find a sense of community, shared values, and the benefits that come with organized religion, while being able to uphold their own beliefs and principles. This allows them to maintain personal authenticity and align themselves with a belief system that resonates more deeply with their own convictions.
Desjardins emphasizes the universality of religion, highlighting that when one loses their faith, they also forfeit the accompanying aspects that come with it. These encompass not only personal beliefs but also the sense of community, the organized structure, and the shared values that religion often provides. Desjardins acknowledges that leaving a religion entails relinquishing a comprehensive support system that encompasses various dimensions of one’s life.
While there are no official statistics available, Desjardins notes an observed increase in the participation of diverse individuals within Satanism during his eight years of involvement. He highlights that the group has seen a greater representation of women and queer members in leadership positions. However, Desjardins acknowledges that there is still a need for further diversity within the community. Efforts to foster inclusivity and ensure that diverse voices are heard and represented are essential for creating a more inclusive and representative Satanist movement.
Desjardins expresses his observation that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Satanists are gradually gaining a stronger presence and voice within the community, which he believes is long overdue and heartening to witness. He acknowledges the growing diversity within Satanism and expresses a hope that this positive trend will continue and further progress in the direction of inclusivity and representation. Desjardins’s aspiration is for the community to continue embracing and amplifying diverse perspectives, fostering an environment where individuals from all backgrounds can participate and contribute to the Satanic movement.
For More Business News Visit