I am a member of The Satanic Temple Executive Ministry, a non-theistic religious organization that facilitates the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists and advocates for individual liberty. I’m also the Director of the Detroit Satanic Temple chapter (thesatanictempledetroit.com) and organizer of the Baphomet Unveiling this past Saturday the 25th – the largest Satanic event in history.
Verifing my identity: Website: http://thesatanictempledetroit.com/jex-blackmore-ama-on-july-28-2015-at-10-pm-edt/
Did you change your name to make it sound satanic?
I didn’t change anything. I was born Satanic.
What would you consider the goals of Satanism? In realistic terms.
To empower individuals to challenge tyrannical systems.
That is a noble cause, that many fight for without satanism. How does your organization differ from that of change.org?
A unifying attribute of all Satanists is our embrace of our outsider status. Satanists adhere to the principles of individual sovereignty and rejection of tyrannical authority. Additionally, Satanism is deeply rooted within a rich historical and literary framework, which spans thousands of years in cultures across the globe. We embrace our philosophic roots as part of our religion. These histories and concerns are of tantamount importance to us, but are not fundamental components of Humanism or other secular philosophies. http://thesatanictempledetroit.com/about-us-2/
We oppose theocratic law.
What is the most annoying misconception you come across, about Satan? And would you like to clear it here?
Most annoying misconception is that Satan is real. He’s not.
Which Detroit coney dog does the Satanic Temple endorse: Lafayette or American Coney Island?
We think all Coney islands should be endorsed equally.
Whose genius idea was it to weed out protestors by having everyone in attendance sign a paper selling their souls to the devil? Did anyone actually leave at that point? Were there any other security protocols put in place that we may not have heard of?
The contract was my idea. As far as I know nobody left. We had a decoy location that ticket holders had to first visit before receiving the secondary location – which was one of four intersections surrounding the venue. Attendees then had to find a “psychopomp” wearing a red scarf and recite the passphrase “as above,” and wait for the response “so below”. They were then led by foot to the actual venue.
What’s an out-standing point of view that many people don’t know about your group?
Everyone involved is incredibly sincere, as opposed to being trolls.
What practices do you have?
Activism as worship.
Does your status affect your relationships with other people?
Being a spokesperson who receives death threats occasionally gets in the way of my social life – In fact, I’m currently yelling at my funny guy for not coming up with a funny response to this.
Has your group ever thought about changing your name to avoid poor preconceived notions of what your organization is about?
We have no interest in changing who we are to comfort the superstitious. We are Satanists, therefore we belong to a Satanic organization.
Can you tell us a little about what Satanists believe in and what it means to be a Satanist?
I cannot speak for all Satanists. There are many different understandings of Satanism and Satanic philosophy. That beings said, Satanism stands for individual sovereignty in the face of tyranny, and the pursuit of knowledge even when that knowledge is dangerous. We believe in the power of individual will, not the collective consciousness of the mindless masses.
How many souls were sold to the devil last weekend? What do you say to devout Christians (who don’t know how to google) who are totally 100% convinced you’re in league with the actual devil?
Approximately 666-700 souls were sold to the Devil. To those Christians whose minds are enslaved by biblical mythology we say: Don’t waste your prayers on us.
How did you get involved with The Satanic Temple and the religion?
I became a Satanist after my experience within the church, learning that the what’s natural was often condoned as “sinful” or “satanic”. I got involved with the Temple after interviewing Lucien about the Temple right after they announced the formation of the organization.
What kind of involvement do you have with the legal challenges surrounding the 10 commandments at various courthouses and the potential placement of your statue?
Our only involvement is in regards to our own attempt to install the Baphomet next to the 10 commandments statue in Oklahoma and wherever it goes next (hopefully Arkansas)
What would you like to see happen with regards to religious symbols on state property?
We believe it’s best that no displays of religion are promoted by our government. However, if there is to be any religious expression it is better that a plurality of beliefs are represented.
What’s your perspective with regards to the establishment clause?
The establishment clause should be upheld.
If you found out a member threatened a theist or had violent extremist inclinations, what is your policy on that? And in extension, is there a standard of absolute honesty among members within the organization?
We have no tolerance for violent threats, racism, or misogyny within TST. I’m not sure I understand what you mean about absolute honesty. We respect our member’s privacy and don’t demand they indulge personal information or other content they are uncomfortable sharing.
Where is your gift shop!?
Which movie do you feel most embodies the spirit of Satanism?
Defenders of the Faith – Judas Priest
Do you plan to build more Satanic temples in the future?
There is no future.
On a regular basis I see other religious groups set up at train stations or other public locations to pass out literature and to witness. Does your Ministry actively set up anywhere public in order to recruit or spread your word?
We have set up information booths in public locations. However, we do not proselytize or actively recruit.
Saw you on Let it Rip the other day. You held your own well but it seems at times like you’re a little unpracticed in front of the cameras but I can totally understand that and I think you have a strong personality and it will come through consistently in time. My question is more organizational — is TST moving forward with you more as the face of the organization over Lucien? Is Lucien still a part of TST, and if so has his role been diminished? I’m not a member but I’m what you would call an interested observer who has followed you guys for a few years and being supportive while thinking of joining. Also – any plans to modernize your forums? They seem pretty dated frankly from a tech standpoint.
I do not have any media training but I do my best to be as transparent, eloquent and sincere in interviews. I hope to improve over time. Both Lucien and I are spokespeople and we are both members of the Executive Ministry. I’m not in charge of our forums, but I’m sure if we had the resources to update, we would.
I met Anton LaVey in a book store in San Francisco quite a few years ago. Really nice guy. Read his book (The Satanic Bible) and it made a lot of good sense to me. Is the Satanic Temple part of or the same as the Satanic Church, and how close to LaVey’s original ideas is it today?
We are not part of, nor do we endorse The Satanic Church. We find LaVey’s ideas archaic. http://thesatanictempledetroit.com/about-us-2/
Is it possible to have a wedding at your temple? Just yesterday, my girlfriend and I were having a conversation about marriage, and we both decided that if we ever opted to wed, we would want to tie the knot in a Satanic ceremony.
We are able to officiate weddings. Contact us if you decide to tie the knot.
How do you feel about Doug Mesner’s past as an advocate of “Might is Right” philosophy? On his Three Ring Radio show with Shane Bugbee they both often made racist, sexist and anti-Semitic jokes. On one occasion they referred to Adam Parfrey as a money grubbing k***. Do you think he changed his views since then and that he reformed?
I’m embarrassed by that interview and cannot speak for Doug, however, I can tell you that as an organization we do not support the Might is Right philosophy, and if for whatever reason Doug was to begin promoting those ideals I would not continue my involvement with the Temple.
What ever happened with Brian Werner of Vital Remains? He seemed like a big part of the Satanic Temple, and now isn’t, as far as I know.
He was asked to resign.
Is there still talk of moving the Baphomet statue to Arkansas, and if so how is that whole thing going? As a Little Rock native, I absolutely cannot wait to sit in his lap!
We are currently reviewing the process to submit a display on capitol grounds. We will move ahead as legally permitted. I hope you get a chance to sit upon the lap of Lucifer!
Some say satanists are just our for attention. What would you say to those people?
Hey there, just wanted to say it was great meeting you and I loved the event. Everything was amazing and so well organized. I drove fourteen hours just to see it and it was worth it. I was wondering about what must be done to start a chapter? I would love to begin one in Iowa.
I’m glad you enjoyed the event! Was it you with the wolf mask? We are currently suspending the creation of new chapters – but stay tuned because we will announce new opportunities as they arise.
How do you feel about theistic satanists and would you welcome them into the Satanic Temple despite not sharing their beliefs?
So long as people adhere to our Tenents they are welcome to join. People may determine if they would like to join us or not.
Will you be doing a tour with the new statute? I really wanted a picture with it and I live in Tulsa, so OKC would’ve been perfect. Secondly, can I still hope that it’ll be installed in Oklahoma? Our governor is a real douchebag so I kind of think we earned this.
No plans right now for a tour – but we’ve discussed it. It looks like the supreme court decision stands regarding the 10 commandments monument, and in that case we won’t pursue placement of the Baphomet. I agree that your governor is a douchebag. I encourage you to find ways to challenge him throughout his term.
If religion were to change, like if people started treating Harry Potter like they do Christians today, would you change your organization to be “voldemortists”?
YES. and no – Our organization was not founded to oppose Christianity. We have affirmative beliefs as Satanists.
What type of socioeconomic system do you support based on your satanic philosophies?
Personally, I support Anarcho-syndicalism. However, I don’t speak for all.
What’s the reason of life?
That’s for you to determine.
How was the Baphomet statue paid for?
What is next for you and the promotion of TST? It is good to have eloquent speakers to whom others will listen to, and have reasonable discussions with, and you have mentioned many times an interest in having such discussions. Any such plans or similar promotions to the grand Baphomet Unveiling that gave, imho, a great positive view on Satanists?
In Detroit we are working on several local campaigns in regards to reproductive rights – a topic that is dominated by the religious opinions of legislators. We also hope to host a public conversation regarding the nature of religion and history of Satanism.
Thanks for doing this, this is super fascinating and I’m learning a ton. Let’s say someone wanted to join your organization, right? How would you recommend they go about talking to their friends and family about this change? I can imagine you guys have quite the stigma despite you standing for pretty solid and upright things. But how would you advise someone on talking to loved ones about becoming/identifying as a Satanist?
Thank you for your question and support. I think it’s best to come to the table with good information about what you believe and why. Remember, you do not have to be apologetic for your beliefs, but you can offer people an opportunity to understand.
What are the future plans for the statue? What’s next for the chapter in Detroit?
Hopefully to move the statue to the Arkansas state capitol. Reproductive rights is one area we are focusing on in Detroit.
Why do you choose to worship something that by most other “religions” is considered bad? Even if all of it was real and God and Satan wear real… why would you lean towards something that represents hate anger darkness lies ect.
We do not believe that Satan represents hate, anger, lies, etc. We do not conform to the Judeo-Christian concepts of evil or God. We are Satanists and unapologetic. We have no interest in changing who we are to comfort the superstitious.
Do you actually believe in supernatural entities or is it all metaphorical/symbolic?
The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religious organization dedicated to Satanic practice and the promotion of Satanic rights. We understand the Satanic figure as a symbol of man’s inherent nature, representative of the eternal rebel, enlightened inquiry and personal freedom rather than a supernatural deity or being. http://thesatanictempledetroit.com/about-us-2/
If Satanism isn’t about worshipping Satan, why do you still call it Satanism?
No gods, no masters is our philosophy. Supernaturalism is not a prerequisite for sincerely held beliefs, of which we have many. Learn more here: http://thesatanictempledetroit.com/about-us-2/tenents/.
I guess with no supernatural beliefs calling it a religon seems strange to me. It sounds like a fulfilling cultural lifestyle but no different from many other non religious identies such as psyraver, goth or starwars fanatic. These all have spiritual aspects and I identify myself as a hippy psyraver. But I find the term religious implies an actual belief in the supernatural you are gaining spirituality from. Though this might be a nationality thing. I’m in Australia where there is no real reason to identify as a religon while in the US it seems like everyone must have a religious category assigned to them.
The idea that religion belongs to supernaturalists is backwards, and offensive. There are several other recognized Religions that are largely considered to be atheistic (Buddism for example). 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. Read more here: http://thesatanictempledetroit.com/about-us-2/
Do you or a number of you have prejudice against Christians? Since your ideals and beliefs are very opposite and contradictory.
We do not judge those with whom we disagree, however we stand against those who unjustly force their beliefs upon others.
How has being a “national spokesperson” affected your personal life and persuits?
I feel personally rewarded when fighting for a cause I sincerely believe in.