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Mission Statement

The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will. Politically aware, Civic-minded Satanists and allies in The Satanic Temple have publicly opposed The Westboro Baptist Church, advocated on behalf of children in public school to abolish corporal punishment, applied for equal representation where religious monuments are placed on public property, provided religious exemption and legal protection against laws that unscientifically restrict women’s reproductive autonomy, exposed fraudulent harmful pseudo-scientific practitioners and claims in mental health care, and applied to hold clubs along side other religious after-school clubs in schools besieged by proselytizing organizations.

Seven Fundamental Tenets

  • One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
  • The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  • One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  • The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one’s own.
  • Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
  • People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and remediate any harm that may have been caused.
  • Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

FAQs

Do you worship Satan?

It is the position of The Satanic Temple that religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition. As such, we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan. To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions. The Satanist should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things. Our beliefs must be malleable to the best current scientific understandings of the material world — never the reverse.

Do you promote evil?

The Satanic Temple holds to the basic premise that undue suffering is bad, and that which reduces suffering is good. We do not believe in symbolic “evil.” We embrace blasphemy as a legitimate expression of personal independence from counter-productive traditional norms.

What does Satan mean to TST?

Satan is symbolic of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority, forever defending personal sovereignty even in the face of insurmountable odds. Satan is an icon for the unbowed will of the unsilenced inquirer… the heretic who questions sacred laws and rejects all tyrannical impositions. Ours is the literary Satan best exemplified by Milton and the Romantic Satanists, from Blake to Shelley, to Anatole France.

If you do not believe in the supernatural, how is TST a religion?

The idea that religion belongs to supernaturalists is ignorant, backward, and offensive. The metaphorical Satanic construct is no more arbitrary to us than are the deeply held beliefs that we actively advocate for. Are we supposed to believe that those who pledge submission to an ethereal supernatural deity hold to their values more deeply than we? Are we supposed to concede that only the superstitious are proper recipients of religious exemption and privilege? In fact, Satanism provides us all that a religion should, without a compulsory attachment to untenable items of faith-based belief: It provides a narrative structure by which we contextualize our lives and works. It provides a body of symbolism and religious practice — a sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values.

Is TST a media stunt/hoax/troll, etc.?

Some have conveniently concluded, upon observing The Satanic Temple’s media coverage, that the media attention itself is the primary objective of TST’s activities. While media outreach has helped to raise awareness of the campaigns we have initiated, these campaigns have ultimate goals related issues that are important to us and our membership.

So inured is the general public to the idea that there is only one monolithic voice of “the” religious agenda that any attempt at a counterbalance — or assertion of a minority voice — is often viewed as necessarily a mere targeted provocation against those who enjoy an unquestioned tacit assertion of sole squatters rights in the religiopolitical dialogue.

What do you believe?

We believe in the pursuit of knowledge and freedom of Will. We believe
in our Seven Tenets:

  1. One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
  2. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  3. One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  4. The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one’s own.
  5. Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
  6. People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and remediate any harm that may have been caused.
  7. Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

Materially, we believe in nothing that is not demonstrably true, and hold to even those beliefs with an understanding that they, too, must remain open to revision in the light of new scientific understandings.

How are you different from humanists?

A unifying attribute of all Satanists is our embrace of our outsider status. In addition, Satanists adhere to the principles of individual sovereignty and rejection of tyrannical authority. These concerns are of paramount importance to us, but are not fundamental components of Humanism.

How are you different from other Satanic organizations?

Many Satanic organizations focus on pointless and misguided efforts to establish a monopoly on a vision of the one ‘true’ Satanism. This obsession with ownership has fomented an unfortunate culture in which Satanism’s most vitriolic critics are often self-identified Satanists. The Satanic Temple is not interested in establishing itself as the sole arbiter of Satanic practice. Rather, we are open to working with other self-identified Satanic organizations to promote general recognition of Satanic legitimacy.

While many Satanic organizations seem to revel in superfluous hierarchies while isolating themselves in petty organizational autocracy, the Satanic Temple eschews rigid, centralized authority and focuses its efforts on effecting tangible constructive change. We believe in building a politically active Satanic movement and invite others to join us in these efforts.

Who is Lucien Greaves?

Lucien Greaves is the spokesperson for The Satanic Temple.

Is Lucien available for speaking engagements?

Possibly, depending on the event. Please contact us at info@thesatanictemple.com with the details about your event.

How does TST’s Satanism differ from LaVeyan Satanism?

TST has its own guiding principles and tenets, distinct from the LaVeyan school, that we feel represents a natural evolution in Satanic thought. The overriding principle calls for utilizing the best scientific evidence available to make the most rational real world decisions. To that end, we reject LaVeyan social Darwinist rhetoric that fails to agree with what is currently known regarding social evolution, specifically as it relates to research in evolutionary biology, game theory, reciprocal altruism, cognitive science, etc.

TST also strongly rejects the LaVeyan fetishization of authoritarianism. We believe this is antithetical to Satanic notions of individual sovereignty. Further, while LaVeyan Satanism is atheistic — in that it rejects the notion that Satan is a conscious entity — it is still supernaturalist. TST does not forward supernatural theories of the universe and finds little value in LaVeyan edicts such as those that instruct one to “acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.” (From the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth, Anton LaVey)

Join

Prospective Member Agreement

Members of The Satanic Temple (TST) are individuals who agree to uphold the organization’s tenets and endeavor to impact the world through nobility in action and thought. Once you have signed this agreement, you are considered to be a provisional member for a three month probationary period in which you must remain in good standing with the group and follow TST’s Code of Conduct. This ensures that members commit to behaving in a way that presents a positive image of their involvement, reflecting of integrity and dedication. After the three month period is complete, provisional members will become full members of the San Marcos chapter.

Membership is a privilege, which is subject to renewal, revocation, or termination for a member’s failure to conduct him or herself in a manner consistent with the spirit of The Satanic Temple and its tenets. Membership does not grant anyone the authority to act as spokesperson for The Satanic Temple as an organization. If at any time during your involvement with TST you violate the Code of Conduct or endanger the organization’s goals will be placed on a three month probationary period or dismissed immediately depending on the severity of your actions.

By signing below, I agree to uphold the following principles and realize that a breach of any of the following in the first three months (probationary period) of participation could result in my dismissal as a Member of TST.

As a provisional member of TST, I will:

  1. Keep all TST business confidential. I will not disclose the identity of TST members; discuss TST meeting locations, rituals or potential actions with non-TST members, or in any public forum.
  2. Respect and uphold TST’s Tenets and Code of Conduct.
  3. Refrain from identifying myself as a full member of TST until after the probationary period.
  4. Not make any statements on behalf of TST without prior approval from leadership.
  5. Not engage in hate speech, harassment, distasteful commentary, gossip in relation to TST or engage in infighting. This includes online interactions.
  6. Be an active member of the community, attend meetings and chapter events/actions.
  7. Be responsive to requests from leadership.