Baptized Some of my earliest memories take place in the Christian church. I remember being held by my father as incantations were being said by a stranger in a robe. The ceremonially clad stranger then dripped water on my head and face. Everyone clapped and then there was music. I was four years old at the time.
That was not the only time that I would be baptized however. The next time I went forward in front of a church congregation was to claim “membership in heaven”. The fun part about this? I did it for positive attention from my parents because I was tired of all the negative. My “real baptism” was based on selfishness. Pretty Christian in my experience, so I guess what I did was “normal” for the church.
The pastor whooped and hollered with joy and happiness as I walked down the aisle towards the front of the church. As I approached him, he swooped down and hoisted me upon his shoulders and paraded me around the church like a prize. The congregation shouted out “hallelujah” and “praise gods” as the applause became almost deafening. It was like a scene from a movie – the terrible little child had finally resigned to serve god.
I will never forget what the pastor bellowed after the applause died that day. “This child here, this child of god, .. has been on a path to hell! In school, at home and even here in this church, this child of god has been shaken by Satan himself! But today.. today god has won! Forever will this child be free of Satan’s grasp and on a path of righteousness and love.”
God in the Home “God” was always around at home. If I ever made a mistake and my parents found out, there would be stern prayer and discipline. Sometimes, the punishment itself would be more prayer and Bible study. I was always confused by this.
Before every meal, my father or mother would say a long prayer, usually centered on events of the day. After the night progressed there would be more prayer still. Just before laying down to bed, one of my parents would come and pray with me, while we knelt beside the bed.
God’s at School By the time I would make it to school I would be done with God. But that luxury came to an end when my parents decided that I needed to attend a military school. They picked one owned by the church. Now, I would have God at school as well. Jesus fucking christ.
For six years I attended a christian military school. Attendance to church was mandatory and happened at least three times a week. I quickly found the best way to attend the long and monotonous ceremony, was to join the choir, so I did just that.
In the choir loft we were not forced to rise and kneel with the rest of the crowd. We were up floor and behind them. They didn’t see us, they could only hear us. It was the perfect situation for slacking and getting to sing. Two things I loved to do.
God at Therapy? My parents found me to be too hard to handle and sought out therapeutic help. Being the good Christians that my parents were, they asked the church where to look for good therapists.
Dr. Rosario DelCastillo would become my therapist and it wouldn’t be long before the prayers started. Part of her “therapy” involved digging deep into my past and “psyche” to find the demons that were “possessing” me. When she found the “Demons”, we would pray together to “cast them out”. We would then work together to create prayers for the week, to protect me from more demons coming in and making me bad. I was twelve years old.
Worship I loved singing. I would run through our house singing and annoy my family with loud singing in the shower. When I would attend church, it would be the only time that I took pleasure from services. I would sing loud and true and sometimes even sing up front with the “Christ band”.
In school, I joined choir and by the second year, I became the choirmaster [lead]. All the music that I was learning and singing repeatedly was christian and worship music. It is burned into my memory, probably forever. Sometimes I will still find myself humming an old Christian hymn and it always makes me shake my head in disgust.
Outreach I was dragged along on several missions with my parents through the years. I attended a Promise Keepers conference before I was twelve and worked for our church as a groundskeeper. By sixteen, I was attending business conferences with my dad at Glen Eyrie, for Navpress – Billy Graham’s publishing group. I was fully indoctrinated, but I still held on to my disbelief, silently.
The Good This is a painfully blank section.
The Bad None of these things were optional for me. If I wanted to live peaceably under the roof with my family, I was a Christian. It was never a discussion or choice. From the moment I became part of the family and to this day, I heard one story from my parents and it was “The Bible”.
I was led to believe at a very early age that I was “evil”. I was verbally and physically abused in the name of god. I was even sent to “professionals” that further abused me in the name of god. The true “evil”, is that the bad is intertwined with “good” intentions and actions. The most cunning of evils is the Christian “faith”.
When I was finally presented with a chance to be free of the Christian faith, I left it behind. But, it still haunts me through politics and memories. I am tainted by the Christian faith. I want them to stop indoctrination.
The moment I first read The Satanic Temple’s “Seven Fundamental Tenets” I was shaken to my core. I had finally found a set of principles that I could agree with, wholeheartedly. I knew my life would be better lived by always applying the Seven. The following are my personal views on TST’s “Seven Tenets”.
¹One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.
All living things deserve compassion. We do not want to cause pain or take life. We should take care to say what we mean and should strive to disarm fights, rather than start them. If someone is hurting and wants support and we are capable of rendering aid, we can give aid. Taking joy in others’ pain is not a feeling we should relish.
To empathize with another creature is to understand it’s pain and share it with them. Some creatures are more capable than others at expressing empathy. Take care of yourself first, so that you can help others.Taking a break from social spaces is okay, we all need to recharge our “empathy batteries” sometimes.
Using reason in all things is very wise. If your life is in danger, protect yourself. Protect those whom you think want your protection. Being compassionate and empathizing with others is not a weakness. It is a strength and it builds deeper connections with one another.
For love, love, for sword, sword; always within reason and with compassion.
²The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
Justice cannot be defined by those who refuse to submit to it. Tyrannical control must be resisted and torn down wherever possible. When all other means have failed, sometimes action must be taken.
Not all laws serve everyone. Some laws are ancient and others rendered irrelevant by language interpretation. Even more important, are the laws that are being made by authoritarians. We must take care to push for fair and equal legislation, and if that fails, look for other options to complete the mission.
Not all authority is bad or tyrannical. While the individual is paramount, we shouldn’t take away from the communities we are in. Equal, not authoritative. If civil disobedience is the outcome, it is not the failure of those who resist, but those in power who failed to listen.
³One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
Your body is your own. Nobody can tell you what to do with your body. It is yours. You are responsible for your own actions and nobody has the right to force anything unto your body and mind. Bodily Autonomy is your religious right!
Religious reproductive rights are very important in cultures all around the world. To Satanists, life does not begin at conception. We follow our best scientific understanding of reproductive systems. If a person desires to rid themselves of a unwanted fetus, it is their business and it is the safest way to end an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy. Abortion is healthcare.
If you want to alter your appearance through chemical or physical means, so be it! It is your body, do what you will with it! Do so within reason and be careful to not stray into pseudoscientific health remedies or miracle changes.
Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary people are Non-binary.
Gender, Race, Size, ALL THINGS to each their own.
⁴The 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.
Freedoms should not be defined only in law. All people deserve respect until they have shown they do not deserve it. Using a reasoned mind to decide when to speak up and when to listen is very important to successful communication.
If you feel that someone has offended you, say something. For every action, an equal and opposite reaction. This does not mean that you have to respond, but it means you have the right to. If you respond poorly, you have opened yourself to retaliation. Everyone has the right to speak, within reason.
If you retaliate and you are in the wrong, do not expect it to go well. You have forfeited your rights by encroaching on somebody else’s.
Be kind, or be tactfully devastating.
⁵Beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one’s beliefs.
One of the most important tenets, is that of science. Science ties into everything we are and do. We are but a small part of an expansive universe(s).
You can believe anything you want, as long as it fits modern scientific standards. NEVER distort facts to fit your belief(s). This includes the misrepresentation of facts. Mixing lies with truth is not scientific, it’s plain dangerous. Allowing yourself to remain open to new interpretations of our reality is important, but one should take care to keep a reasoned mind.
Ignorance is not an excuse for actions taken based on arcane doctrine or beliefs. Cognitive dissonance must be resisted and remedied with education, when possible.
In all things, science.
⁶People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one’s best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.
We all make mistakes. Sometimes they are mistakes we could not control and other times they were purposeful. To follow a path of abuse and violence willingly can lead to your own destruction.
If you make a mistake, take responsibility for it. Only you can control yourself. Once you have claimed your mistake, try and fix the damage. If it is irreparable, do everything you can to remove yourself from the equation while remaining self focused.
If you become a bully to stop bullies, you have lost your way. Do not expect forgiveness and do not forgive unless you feel it right.
Own it. Fix it. Let it be.
⁷Every 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.
All things should be done with good intentions and a reasoned mind. Even resistance can be done in the spirit of compassion, wisdom and justice. If we disagree with what is written, speak up! Do not just find problems, find solutions!
Wisdom comes when we treat others with compassion, listen with noble intentions and act in the spirit of justice. Critical thinking is one of our most powerful tools as human beings. Perseverance is also an important part of reasoned action. Nobility in action sometimes calls for repeated attempts to complete the same goal. Having the strength to approach our problems again and again, until we succeed, is a true example of nobility.
Every tenet is important. While they may seem to stand alone, each one strengthens the next. These are guidelines for living life deliciously, while allowing others to do so as well.
Declare your independence from superstition. Hail Thyself, and bring compassion and empathy into this world with a reasoned mind. We are godless, freethinking rebels. Blasphemy is our right.
Blasphemy Day, also known as International Blasphemy Day or International Blasphemy Rights Day, educates individuals and groups about blasphemy laws and defends freedom of expression, especially the open criticism of religion which is criminalized in many countries. In some countries, blasphemy is punishable by death, such as in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. As of 2015, at least fourteen member states of the European Union maintain criminal blasphemy or religious insult laws.
For Satanists, blasphemy goes a step further. It has become part of our individual religious practice.
“We identify with the symbolism of “blasphemy” as an expression of liberation from superstition. We bow to no Gods, & we reject all arbitrary edicts & unjust authority.” – Lucien Greaves
Blasphemy is not always practiced in the same way. For some, blasphemy is simply a means to get a rise out of someone who has different beliefs. Trolling others’ beliefs simply to entertain yourself and others is a non-religious form of blasphemy. These are best described as “Lesser Blasphemy”.
There are some “universal Blasphemies” that can both be “troll” and “Self-empowering” to a large audience. Some of the most common phrases: “God is dead” and “There is no God” can be personally empowering and indirectly blaspheme all theistic religions. These types of blasphemies can best be described as “Grey Blasphemy”.
Deeper, more meaningful acts of blasphemy CAN be considered ritualistic religious acts of self- empowerment. Usually this begins with the blasphemous act of rejecting supernatural beliefs and authoritative structures built on faith. It transitions into a deeply personal act of self-healing and empowerment.
We recall negative experiences wrought on us by those with supernatural beliefs and transform them into deeply empowering psychodramatic experiences. Some of this is to redirect the negativity out of our lives and back to the source of it, and prevent the same harm to others. All of the personally empowering, deeply meaningful blasphemy is best described as “Greater Blasphemy”.
How long have you been trans? I have been transgender my entire life. One can say, “I was born this way”. I did not realize that I was trans, specifically, until a later age. When did you first ‘know’ you were trans? I didn’t know I was trans until I was 21. I knew that I was different than other folks around me but didn’t know what it was until I encountered a trans person for the first time. Have you had ‘the surgery’? Asking about medical procedures is both rude and unusual. Would you ask your friend about their genitals? Are you gay? I am Grey Ace, but usually drawn to feminine humans. Grey Ace folks experience sexual attraction or desire sex only rarely or under certain conditions. This has NOTHING to do with the fact that I am transgender.
Why Satan? I am not okay with tyranny. I am not okay with the “status quo”. I will speak up for myself and others. I will never stop questioning those who would hold authority over me. Satan embodies all these qualities, in literature. Why Satan? Because nothing else fits me so perfectly. Why TST? The Satanic Temple has an incredible community of people and a doctrine that aligns with my core beliefs, precisely. TST’s Seven Fundamental Tenets resounded with me the first time I heard them and the community continually reminds me, in action, that I am in the right place. What is your role with TST? I hold no official leadership role within TST. I am a member. What is BaphoNet? BaphoNet is a social media network that serves the members, friends and supporters of The Satanic Temple. BaphoNet is not officially affiliated with TST, but it is operated by several TST members, including myself. BaphoNet offers a: web server, Discord server, KAST [movie night], book club, merchandise and a large community of like-minded Satanists. Find all the links here: Https://BaphoNetAntisocialNetwork.com
What branch? I served in the United States Army. I was in 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). Did you deploy? I did. I deployed twice to Afghanistan and once to Africa. Have you killed anyone? Yes. Even though I was in the military and under orders, I regret taking human lives to this day. What was life like in the military in combat/out of combat? It was sometimes very fun and informative and at other times, sad, hard and devastating. Out of combat was spent mostly training for combat. Combat was short and intense and many times, brutal.
What is your stance on:
Abortion? I do not have a reproductive system. That said, I think those people that do should have full say over anything that happens to their body. That includes ridding themselves of an unwanted fetus. I am Pro-Choice. Death Penalty? I do not think a governing body should ever have the right to kill its own people. I am not a strong supporter of nation states to begin with but ones that kill their own have earned my contempt. Second Amendment? Every citizen should have the right to protect themselves. If the government and police force have arms, the people must also have arms to defend themselves – in case of authoritarianism. I am a supporter of the right to bear arms. (Any arms that the Police can use, we can use. Including S.W.A.T.) Immigration? Open the borders. Nations are such a waste of time and block human progress. At minimum, let’s do something about the fucking cages. Covid-19? I follow the recommendations of the CDC and the World Health Organization. I have had Covid-19 and barely survived it. Wear your mask and keep away from others until there is a viable vaccine. Listen to the science! Donald Trump? Arrest him. Try him. Convict him. Sentence him to life. [after he is voted out] Political party? I am not a member of any political party. I am best described as a leftist. Police? There is NO way at this point, that any cop on the payroll is “good”. ACAB. Civil disobedience/protest? Civil disobedience and protest are valid forms of social dissent when a governing body is stepping over the line. Things should remain peaceful, within reason. Polyamory? I love having such an honest and open relationship with my wife and girlfriend. We keep things honest and informed at all times. If you think it is something you want to try, there are a lot of resources out there to learn from! Marriage? Marriage is up to the people choosing to do it. I do NOT think it should be a legal necessity for tax purposes or any or legal reason. Education? I feel like public education is woefully underfunded. Cut our defense budget in half and dump it all into our schools. America can rise through science and reason via GOOD education. Voting in 2020? I am very reluctantly voting for Joe Biden. He has the best chance of legally beating Trump.
*Gather members into a circle, or if online, into each member’s ritual space.*
*If alone, create a circle using your Seven Sigil candle. Enter the circle with all supplies needed for the Ritual.*
*Ring the bell. As the tone fades, the officiant will read the Invocation*
“Let us stand now, unbowed and unfettered by arcane doctrines born of fearful minds in darkened times. Let us embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat of the Tree of Knowledge and dissipate our blissful and comforting delusions of old. Let us demand that individuals be judged for their concrete actions, not their fealty to arbitrary social norms and illusory categorizations. Let us reason our solutions with agnosticism in all things, holding fast only to that which is demonstrably true. Let us stand firm against any and all arbitrary authority that threatens the personal sovereignty of One or All. That which will not bend must break, and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared its demise. It is Done. Hail Satan.”
It is done, HAIL SATAN!
Come now, let us fulfill our senses and desires! Our bodies and minds are our own. We walk a path of our own choosing. Let no person stand in our way. Reason in all things!
*participants all light incense, start music and sip their ritual drink*
Reading of The Seven Tenets
The Seven Tenets are fundamental guidelines by which we aspire to live. We challenge ourselves to live deliciously and to do so within reason. Let us now recite the Seven Tenets with reasoned minds in darkened times:
*participants will go around the circle taking turns until each Tenet is read*
*The bell will be rung after each Tenet*
One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward 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 one’s best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one’s beliefs.
People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one’s best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might 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.
Sigils are personal and can be drawn to create special connections with objects or phrases. Now we shall draw our own special connections to the Seven Tenets. Each Sigil can be created in a way that is personal to you. (I recommend using a VVitch’s Ritual wheel)
If you like, you may also recreate these simple interpretations.
*Create a Sigil for each Tenet. Recite the Tenet aloud and light a candle. Place the candle atop your Sigil.*
*Everytime a participant finishes a Sigil, ring the bell as they light their Sigil candle*
After Sigils are Complete
With these Sigils we have drawn special power to each Tenet in our own heart. Let them empower you and guide you throughout your week / life. No power is stronger than our own. We will continue life in Compassion, Justice, Reason, Responsibility, Science, Autonomy and Freedom! HAIL SATAN! NON SERVIAM!
Hail Satan! Hail Thyself!
*Ring bell three times*
*Extinguish all candles and incense, end music*
*clean ritual space, saving your Seven Sigils*
It is done.
*The Invocation and The Seven Tenets are part of The Satanic Temple’s religious affiliated literature. Find out more about TST here: https://thesatanictemple.com/
**I do not speak for TST, though I am a member of TST Houston. I urge all Satanists to create your own “Seven Sigils” as you learn more about TST’s religious beliefs and make them your own.
The darkness enveloped her. She lay in her bed, skin moist with sweat from the heat of the blankets and night air. Sleep would not come to her. The sheets rustled as she rolled over for the sixth time, disturbing the body next to her.
“Are you okay my love?” a sweet voice whispered from the dark.
“Yes babygirl, I just can’t sleep, again” she returned flatly.
The sweet voice belonged to the sleepless woman’s partner, awoken by her lovers malady. The lovers rolled over, seemingly in unison, and embraced each other gently. The embrace was hot, clammy and sticky, but neither woman cared. They held each other for what seemed like ages as the night sounds rang out, a symphony in the dark.
As they separated from the embrace, the sleepless one reached out to caress her lover’s face. Her lover accepted it with a gentle sigh and returned the caress in kind. Her hands did not stop at the face however. Babygirl had been awoken from her slumber and would be satiated. Her hands began the exploration of the sweat stricken body of her lover, bringing moans of satisfaction.
The night fell silent as the lovers embraced passionately and explored each other with hands, mouths and sex. The darkness blanketed their naked bodies as the night’s silence was pierced with moans of ecstasy and climax. She whispered to her sleepless lover…
“If you can’t sleep, I shall stay up with you and ride it out”.
They both giggled and continued to frolic in the night. Loneliness was not welcome in this bed. The lovers rested, covered in sweat and sex. They spent what seemed like an eternity staring faintly into each other’s eyes as they shared sweet truths with each other.
They embraced again and whispered gently to each other, “Hail Satan and Hail Us”. They laid against each other as they drifted off gently into the depths of their own dreams.
I co-authored this manifesto with the incredible Stephen B. Long. As public Satanists in the time of Covid-19, we are both striving to uphold our Satanic values of compassion, empathy, and reason in online spaces. This article is the result. I hope you enjoy and take some of this to heart. Please be sure to check out Stephen’s work at: https://stephenbradfordlong.com/.
We live in an increasingly online world. With technological advances booming and Covid-19 keeping us indoors and at home, we rely on our online interactions more than ever. Be it personal or professional, communication on the internet is now a necessity.
But are we held to the same moral and ethical standards that we are held to in person, while online? Do those standards change at all?
The following is an attempt to clarify our own moral standards for online engagement in an increasingly interconnected world. We list several important themes we wish to embody on the internet, and we explore how we live these themes individually. You are welcome to adopt or modify our suggestions for your own use.
In our day to day lives we should always strive to be compassionate and empathetic, within reason. This should extend to all facets of our lives, including our online interactions. While we can easily adopt false personas online and surf anonymously, when we do interact, we always have a choice to engage justly and compassionately.
It is wise to always to engage with calm and reasoned responses. Calm responses can diffuse a conflict before it even arises, or at least slow the escalation. If someone deserves compassion or needs empathy, we should give it freely if we have the courage and strength. Never overextend yourself.
Contrast: Aria – “I get quite a lot of messages throughout the day. Many of the folks that reach out are in need of compassion, empowerment and encouragement. If I have a few minutes to take out of my day to help, I take it! Don’t rise to obvious bait either – ignore it or disengage quickly.” Stephen- “Like Aria, I receive a good number of messages from people seeking insight or validation. I do my best to provide support, compassion, and a listening ear. The far greater challenge is how to respond to people who are ugly on social media. My personal method is this: always assume they are acting in good faith. In practice, when people tell me I’m going to hell, I tell them that I understand their concern is genuine, and I thank them for their concern. I also tell them that, because I am a nontheist, I cannot take their concern seriously until I am convinced that the afterlife is real. I tell them that if they wish to learn more about me or Satanism, to not hesitate to ask. If it becomes evident that someone is not acting in good faith, I ignore them.”
If an argument arises and it is not diffused by reasoned compassion and empathy, the struggle for justice should begin. One must always be careful when becoming the arbiter of justice. We can only know any one situation from one perspective: our own. Online interaction is even harder because we usually do not see the person we are communicating with. We don’t know what their day has been like, or even their age or maturity level.
Reporting bad behavior and trolls can be satisfying. It removes that bit of reality from our lives and lessens the white noise that fills our inboxes and timelines. Cutting off people from the information that you share is a great way to stop harassment, but be ready to do so on every outlet you use. Stephen has a counterpoint that is also good to consider when facing adversity online.
Contrast: Aria – “I generally only block people that are obvious trolls, bots or direct enemies. I like to take the time to discuss with people that disagree with me, within reason of course. I receive a lot of mail and messages. I do not have time for obvious unwanted nudity or harassment on my timelines. BLOCKED!” Stephen- “I personally try to never block people except in extreme circumstances, because being blocked gives people a badge of honor that further entrenches them in their views. Instead, I mute them or just unfollow them, so that I don’t get distressed by seeing what they say. Also, if I start to get distressed by what I’m seeing on social media, that’s my cue to log of for a while. However, I probably hold this view because I’m a dude, cis, and white, so my experience online is not nearly as fraught and existentially threatened.”
We have to be reasonable. The internet has billions of users. No matter what we do and where we go, someone is always watching our interactions. Taking a moment to think about what we post with a calm, reasoned mind can reduce typos, misunderstanding, and alleviate a lot of stress.
Context is very important to good communication. Sadly, context is the most frequently lost piece of communication when texting or replying via an instant chat forum or thread. Without the context of each individual post, a conversation can be quickly lost. As a result, we must make a concerted effort to be as clear as possible.
Contrast: Aria – “I try to always read my posts back to myself and spell check them before clicking send. In the process, it gives me a chance to rethink what I am posting from several angles. Responding off the cuff when you have plenty of time to respond via text, is wholly unneeded. Slow down.” Stephen- “I give myself a cool off period. If someone sends me a frustrating or angering message, I force myself to wait a few hours before responding. This often allows me to think more clearly, and sometimes, I realize that the original message wasn’t offensive at all, and I was just in a bad place when I read it. I can’t assume that everything I immediately feel is true.”
Debate is Healthy
Don’t shy away from an argument. Healthy debate is a great way to change a mind or shed the scales from the eyes of believers. Be careful not to become toxic when debating, and try to keep calm and centered on the topic at hand.
Debate is an art, and not everyone masters it. It is best to practice arguing topics with friends so that you can learn how to keep debate topics and responses above the belt. Forming attacks during arguments and debates usually lead to a war involving the debating parties. In such a situation no side ever really wins.
Contrast: Aria – “It is VERY important to stay even headed and polite when debating. You control your actions, not theirs. If you do not know an answer to something, research it. Do not answer questions with speculation. Respectful but devastating.” Stephen- “I believe that asking people for evidence is a sign of respect. As such, I ask people to substantiate their claims. I also think it’s incredibly important to take debate off of social media platforms, because the context itself encourages escalation. I therefore try to funnel people away from twitter and facebook, and instead encourage them to engage me on discord, my website, and email.“
Respect can go a very long way in online interaction. Some of the most common things taught as children: “Please” and “Thank you” or “You’re Welcome” can go a long way. These simple additives to conversation online can change the entire tone of the discussion.
Respecting each other as equal human beings is the first step to good communication in any environment. Doing so online will make you much more successful at communication with those around you. Remember, everything you do online is there, “forever”. If you remain respectful online, you also develop better reputation and discourse.
Contrast: Aria – “When you enter a conversation online, say hello, be courteous and direct. Respecting everyone like they are human beings is paramount. As a trans woman, I receive a lot of disrespectful messages and comments. I choose to ignore them, or reply curtly and calmly. Keeping others in mind when we talk is a form of genuine respect, even when they are attacking us. If you remain calm and logical, respect comes easier and many times as a byproduct of reason.” Stephen- “I always remember that I am on a public stage, and people are watching my conduct. If I need to vent/blow off steam, I do so privately with friends or my boyfriend. We sometimes need to say uncharitable things to release stress, but it is not appropriate to do so on a public platform. I remember that I am always being watched, and my conduct matters.“
Don’t be a Bully
The very last thing you want to become is a bully. Being an online bully is easy, and the lowest of low. The things we say and do online can hurt people, seriously or even lead to their death in extreme circumstances. If we see someone being piled on, don’t join the pile. It doesn’t matter how just we think the pile-on is – online justice frequently gets out of control, and we don’t want to contribute to unjust mobs.
If we really want to have successful, uplifting times online, we need to be part of the solution. The more positivity we put out, the more that we will get in return. This is not just a mantra to say. It is a challenging task to teach ourselves to be kind online, even when we don’t have to be.
Contrast: Aria – “An uplifting message or comment from a friend can change our days for the better. Be that friend. If you see someone being dogpiled online, reach out to them. Don’t look for a fight, look for solutions. No matter what we do in our lives, we must be careful never to become “God”. We do not want to identify with a tyrannical figure. Be “Satan” online, stand up for yourself and for others who cannot or will not.” Stephen- “I never, ever subtweet or comment on someone else’s conduct on twitter. Instead, I focus on putting out uplifting and encouraging content, and engage with my audience. Even if I think it just to denounce someone on twitter, the algorithmic laws of twitter make it likely that it will spiral out of control, and entrench everyone involved even more deeply into their beliefs.“
Take a Break
Getting overloaded by social media is not uncommon. Human beings may be social creatures, but the world online offers much more than we are used to. We can hear about the latest music and view cute pictures of cats, but in between these posts we read about death, war and impending political doom. It adds up quickly.
Removing yourself from social media can sometimes be difficult. We like to know what is going on around us, even if we all define “around us” differently. One common way to “stay connected” while taking a “mental health break” from social media, is to stick to your DMs only. Replying to messages and socializing directly can be healthy and helpful in keeping away from the dread of the thread.
Take what you can and remember that social media is a tool for us to use. Becoming addicted to social media is possible, and becoming dependent on anything we don’t need to live can be dangerous.
Contrast: Aria – “I take a few social media breaks a year. I usually only need a day or two away before I am ready to dive back in. On those days, I only take messages from a select few people. I have a very high capacity for the stresses that come with social media use.” Stephen- “I frequently ask myself, “where am I living?” Meaning, what is taking up the majority of my headspace? Am I thinking about/constantly scrolling twitter, or am I mostly engaged in long-form content like books, film, podcasts, etc.? If the former, I am in critical danger of spiraling into mental unhealth, and I need to recalibrate how I use my time. I personally do this by banning social media completely on my phone, and only scrolling it on my laptop.“
Be Careful What You Share
When you post anything on social media, it can be out there forever. With screenshot capabilities and data banking, your online interactions are always recorded. If you share extremely personal information, in personal messages or on the Facebook walls and Twitter threads etc., it will be banked and accessible for a VERY long time.
With quarantine, we have all been spending a very large portion of our days on social media. Complacency can set in quickly. Try your best to remember that your own security and well-being is of utmost importance. Not everyone online has your best interests in mind.
Contrast: Aria – “I post a lot online. I am quite careful with certain aspects of what I post, however. I don’t mind my nude body and words being out there. I do keep the thought in my mind whenever I post. Each time I remind myself that it could be around until long after my death.” Stephen- “I have a few rules I follow to maintain a sense of privacy. I never share images of my partner, my satanic altar, or my home. These are sacred, private things for me. I also regularly ask myself: “is this thought better in my journal? Is this something I should process publically?” Some thoughts are better kept private.“
Bring good into this evolving form of communication. Thyself is thy Master.
Be Kind and Hail Satan! You can find Aria and Stephen here:
BaphoNet began with a simple conversation [on Twitter] between Satanists. But the dream I had of a place free of Facebook’s corruption came long before. I finally decided to say something, so I tweeted into the void:
It was not long after this tweet that one of BaphoNet’s server architects replied with:
The dream was now a reality.
BaphoNet’s server was “stood up” [functioning] on October 31st, 2019. Happy Halloween, BaphoNet!
In its early stages, BaphoNet had six folks in the newly formed “BaphoCouncil”. Two were server architects, two administrators, a CFO and myself; the appointed spokesperson. Of the six, three are still actively part of BaphoNet. These two and myself would become known as “The Founders”.
I am from Houston, TX where I live with my wife, two cats and our dog. I am a proud Satanist and trans woman. I have been a part of TST for three years. BaphoNet was a dream that I have had for several of those years, but hadn’t formed a name or an audience for it. When it finally came to fruition, I was both overjoyed and anxious. I knew the work had finally begun.
Anytime BaphoNet “tweets” or posts on any social media outlet, that voice is myself. I have always tried to remain reasoned and fair when responding while also responsive to DMs. It can be a lot, but I have the time and read too fast so it gives my mind something to do.
I “sat down” with the other two founders, Shylo and Catie, to ask them a few questions and get their perspectives and insight into BaphoNet.
Here are the “interviews”.
Tell my readers about yourself! “Well – I don’t like to tell people about myself – so that’s a thing. To be honest, there’s nothing noteworthy about me at all. Cis/het dude aged 18-64 with no disorders, disabilities or trauma. Average height, average build. I like to be alone and don’t feel any need to be seen or validated. For all intent and purposes, I’m content to let the world think I’m a bot or imaginary.“
What inspired you to create the server? What keeps you motivated to keep the server going? “I already had a server online for a thing I’ve been creating. Someone at The Black Rainbow thought I’d find it funny, so they tagged me in Aria’s original tweet and pointed me to another tweet around the same time. It came down to my sense of humour. I don’t like hypothetical “what ifs”. I’m more of a “Too late for discussion. I’m already doing it. We’ll find out how sweet it actually is afterward” kinda guy. Plus – I think random unexpected acts of “kindness” are hilarious. Nobody ever sees it coming. The more unexpected – the greater the LOLs. I dunno. I guess you’d have to be there to get it.“ “It keeps going because it’s open-source software. Once it’s running, it will keep going until it dies. I have a lot of experience running this sort of stuff, so it’s not difficult. It’s simply what I do. It doesn’t require a lot of motivation. Plus – I’m in front of my computer a lot of the time, so it’s no major deal.“
What kind of improvements do you see in BaphoNet’s future? Can we expect an app? “That’s tough. I’m really busy most of the time and coding is time-consuming. I don’t really have an opinion of my own. So it really depends on what anyone wants. I know real-time chat is a big thing and I have some stuff I’ve been working on that we may be able to roll into BaphoNet… but yeah – time. If anyone is familiar with OSSN and keen to jump in, I’m keen to facilitate.“ “There will be an app. This is a new area for me though. I’ve got some reading to do, but I think I have most of the prerequisite information I need to start moving in that direction. I’m an autodidact.“
Do you have any other Satan adjacent projects that you work on? “I’m part of The Black Rainbow. Surprise – not a member of TST. It’s a branch of Satanism that is rooted in street skateboarding and BMX. We all came up on The Satanic Bible (though there is a lot of cruft we don’t care for), our values align with the tenets of TST and the pillars of GOoS, we have common ground with CoRS. However – in all things – we believe in scene, not herd so membership and rules don’t appeal to us. Also – we follow the teachings of Evel Knievel and ‘concrete examples’ (literal concrete).” “So – a couple of years ago it was decided that the skate and BMX scenes needed a Satanic cult brand ‘cos that would crack us up. After losing my job this year, I went to work full time for Black Rainbow. We’re not organised enough to put our religion into a canonical text, so we’re spreading our message through merch and product and possibly regular vlogs.”
Is there anything you would like to add? “Nope… got acts of Evel to perform in the real world. Later xxx“
Tell my readers about yourself! “I met my wife [Aria] through social media and she introduced me to TST. While I was raised a catholic, I’ve been a lifelong atheist and the tenets succinctly coalesced my beliefs. I’m a trans woman and rarely could find a safe space to, “be me”, but those few spaces were also rampant with misogyny and christianity.”
What inspired you to get on board with BaphoNet? Why CFO? “With a burgeoning interest in a chosen religion and a fledgling social media platform for that community on the horizon, I wanted in. As far as becoming the CFO, someone needed to do it and I knew I was capable.“
What all does BaphoNet offer? “We offer a web based server, like Facebook, but we advertise user owned goods and services instead of outside advertising agencies. We also offer a Discord server with over 80 channels and a very large community base. We also run weekly movie nights via KAST. It is free for all our users to join, watch, chat and have fun. We have shirts for sale! They are available right now exclusively through contacting BaphoNet directly on any of their social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, IG etc). The shirts are $22 USD and shipping is free in the US.“
What kind of expenses do you expect in BaphoNet’s future? “First, let’s talk about funding! Right now, funding comes from the founders, community members, and merchandise sales. We currently PAY for web-hosting services, premium services from KAST and Discord, and finally, we pay shipping for our T-shirt sales. We set aside a portion of each donation towards the financing of development of a BaphoNet App.“
Is there anything you would like to add? “I never really felt like I belonged anywhere and while there were some places I could fit in, I always felt like an outsider. I was hesitant with satanism until I started interacting with others and found I wouldn’t be judged by arcane doctrine. I have always wanted to find a community that I wanted to contribute my time and effort to. I found that through BaphoNet and The Satanic Temple.”
What is BaphoNet though? What purpose does it actually serve?
I can answer both of those for you!
BaphoNet is an (Anti)social Network. They offer much of the functionality that social media users get on Facebook, on their server. BaphoNet does not sell your data nor does it censor your body. While it does have community guidelines, they are written in such a way to compliment The Satanic Temple’s “Seven Tenets” in every possible way.
BaphoNet also does not prompt you to use it. BaphoNet’s server does not offer push notifications. You can use it when YOU want to, not be prompted by your phone or computer “pinging”. BaphoNet did start offering a Discord server, however. Discord does allow push notifications, but they can be muted by our users.
The overall Mission of BaphoNet is quite clear. BaphoNet serves the missions of The Satanic Temple, The Seven Tenets, and Members and Friends of TST. This includes people that are geographically incapable of joining official TST chapters and FoGs, but claim membership to TST and/or align with The Seven Tenets. This mission is unchanging.
The Web Server
The web server for BaphoNet can best be described as a “Satanic Facebook”. The layout is not far off from Facebook, before they had an app. While it is highly functional and getting larger everyday, it is a private server.
Every user on BaphoNet is added by a human being [admin]. The process has been refined over the last year to include a simple Google form, an email response and then a simple login process for the new user. Once on the site, the new user is prompted to edit their profile and then begin their infernal scrolling.
BaphoNet offers group pages, business pages, Blogs, emoji responses (including a dislike button) and even offers a relaxing game of Tetris! There is also a chat function that is inlayed into the bottom of the browser page. It’s all pretty great.
The Discord Server
BaphoNet’s Discord server was not created until December 16, 2019. The call for an easy instant chat forum or a BaphoNet app was deafening. Within the first two months of beginning the BaphoNet experiment, I learned to listen to the users, very carefully. After many calls for it, I conferred with the BaphoNet admin team and created the BaphoNet Discord server.
Upon its creation, the Discord server had ten channels and about eighty users. Today, BaphoNet Discord has eighty-five total channels and 821 users. The conversation never ends. The channels range from “cooking” and “pets” channels to channels on “ritual” and “Satanic panic”.
BaphoNet has recently created their newest channel, a forum specifically for Spanish speaking Satanists. After many calls from Spanish speaking users, I again conferred with the admin team. We worked to hire someone that would moderate the alternate language forum. I found someone that could do it and so far, it has been a success!
Above all else, BaphoNet exists to create and serve the community. Human beings are social creatures. Being able to reach out to others, in a safe forum, is a privilege that not everyone has. I wanted to be sure that a place like that existed for Satanists, because like me, they are often chased off other mediums by dogmatic community guidelines or algorithms.
I thought it would be best to hear from the BaphoNet community itself. I posted these questions in the Discord server:
“How do you feel about BaphoNet as a whole? Would you recommend it to other Satanists?“
Here are some of the responses:
“I have a very high opinion of BaphoNet as a whole. A portion of the community here has become something of an extended Satanic Family to me. As someone who is a more recent convert to Satanism, I felt very welcome and accepted. The community is diverse enough to allow for the sharing and challenging of viewpoints while staying generally close-knit and cordial.” “I would recommend BaphoNet to other Satanists who are seeking a community. This is a shared space, and that comes with both rights and responsibilities. We are here for each other, and I feel a sense of commitment is a prerequisite to belonging to any community. If the 7 Tenets resonate with you, I encourage you to seek out a community to belong to. For me, BaphoNet was that community.” – Alexi Miika Flowers
“Overall, my experience with BaphoNet has been a very positive one. It has enabled me to connect with other like-minded individuals in an environment where I can just be myself. The community is welcoming, supportive, and diverse, yet united by the 7 tenets. “I absolutely recommend BaphoNet to other Satanists. It’s the community you never knew you were missing in your life. There’s something here for every Satanist.” – Remus Lucien
“BaphoNet is by far the best thing to happen to me in 2020. Out of everything the world has thrown at me recently BaphoNet has stood alone as a beacon of hope and camaraderie.“ – Archie H
“A great escape from the downers of other social media outlets. A place for satanists to gather, without the clutter of being attacked by those who refuse to understand our stance. So many channels and friends to meet who have similar interests and hobbies. 100% recommend to others looking for a place online.” – Lightfall ArcticWolf
“10/10 would recommend. The service here is wonderful and the wait staff is patient and funny” – Your Friendly Neighborhood trash panda
BaphoNet has just recently begun “merchandising”. While they only have one item so far, more are planned for the future. They offer a black shirt with the official BaphoNet logo on the front. The reverse side displays a spooky looking “666”. The future could hold stickers, hoodies and Coffee/Tea mugs!
BaphoNet is completely non-profit and runs on donations and personal funds from the founding members. The merchandising will hopefully lead to profits that can be saved for the development of an app. Apps are not cheap to develop from scratch, so merchandising has become necessary to attempt to raise the funding needed.
BaphoNet plans to be a permanent fixture in social media and will continue to serve the need of The Satanic Temple’s friends and members. This includes creating an app and updating our current platforms to match security and user concerns. On the drawing board currently are the app, more merchandising ideas, group rituals [online] and more!
If you ever have any questions about BaphoNet, feel free to contact me! I can be found on all major Social Media platforms or at my email AriadneSatanas@gmail.com. Find BaphoNet at the links below!
Coronavirus A plague has befallen the world. It was slow to spread at first, but human mistakes and inadequate leadership has led to an ongoing global crisis. On February 11th, 2020, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus would be dubbed “COVID-19”, by the World Health Organization. Following best practices, the name of the disease was chosen to avoid inaccuracy and stigma in an already dangerous situation.
Covid-19 would find its way to Texas and inevitably, Houston. With a population of over six million people, coronavirus spread like wildfire through the entire area. Hospitals are still filled with patients. Masks are mandatory to visit stores or public places. Yet some people, defy reason and the law to go out unprotected.
I was not one of these people. I always wear a mask and sanitize my hands regularly. I still managed to get infected. At first, I was unsure if the symptoms I was displaying were serious. A few days after my first symptom, I tested positive for Covid-19 at the Veterans Affairs hospital in downtown Houston. Thus, my fight with the coronavirus began.
The First Week
First, I must comment on the testing procedure. They took a cue-tip, that was about six inches long, and inserted it all the way up and into [my brain it felt like] my upper sinuses to scrape a sample. It was not a fun experience but it would still be the “highlight” of the next three weeks.
The first week things got weird fairly quick. At first, I had developed a cough and my sinuses were acting up, which was usual for being sick. What was not normal however, was my sense of smell and taste disappearing entirely. It was one of the strangest sensations I have ever had. I could feel my mouth, but not taste a thing. It is very hard to explain.
I was beginning to get tired easily now. Towards the end of the week, I was sleeping more than I usually do and the cough had gotten worse. Things were beginning to look bad.
The cough was persistent. My chest was on fire and nothing calmed the storm that was building in my head. It would pound worse each time my chest heaved as a cough would force its way out. I was very tired and breathing was getting harder and harder.
By the middle of the second week, I was in bed and unable to get out. I would sleep anywhere from sixteen to eighteen hours a day, had intermittent fevers and I was in considerable amounts of PAIN.
The pain was almost indescribable. It felt as if clamps had been placed on every bone and joint in my body and was tightening each hour. My head felt like it was the size of a watermelon and I still could not taste a thing.
My wife would bring a bucket and help me sit up to relieve myself. It was easily the point at which I have felt the weakest in my entire life. I was helpless. But somehow, I didn’t care. I just wanted the pain to end. I wanted the cough to end and to be able to breathe out of my nose again.
I wanted to live…
By the third week not much had changed. My wife would regularly check my SpO2 levels and temperature. The only treatments she could administer were cough syrups, nose decongestants, pain relievers and headache medicines. Throat spray would help the burning in my throat and the cough suppressants slowed the cough, sometimes.
I have come close to death several times in my life. I had never once felt this close to death however. Everytime that I closed my eyes, for several days, I worried it would be the last time I did. I felt of death. I was scared and made a silent vow to myself.
I am keeping that now.
I was still in bed and unable to stay awake for more than a few hours at a time. For the few hours I would be awake, pain and dizziness were my partners. There were moments in which I still am not sure if I was awake or asleep – dream or reality.
As I entered the fourth consecutive week of my battle with coronavirus, things finally seemed to be getting a little better. My taste was beginning to return and food had honestly never tasted quite so good. I was still coughing and very, very weak. Several days later I would make my first solo trip to the bathroom in two weeks. Things were looking up.
By the end of the week, my taste had almost fully resolved and my appetite was beginning to return. While the weakness and cough would persist for the coming weeks, I was on the mend.
I was not going to die.
Jump forward two weeks and the cough had all but dissipated. I was almost able to breathe normal again and was declared by my doctor to be “no longer infectious”. It was time to finally go outside again. I was ready but also very nervous. Outside had the virus that almost killed me. Was it worth it..?
At first, the walks were to the mailbox and back. The short walk was about one tenth of a mile. I was exhausted after each trip. My joints and muscles ached with every movement and demanded that I rest. Sleep was still coming easily and I would take daytime naps a plenty.
By the eight week I considered myself to be ninety percent cured. I was now able to go for longer walks and was beginning to get back to a “normal” schedule. I recall joking, “I must be better, my insomnia is back”. It was true, my long nights had returned and my short sleep schedule was getting back into gear.
I was not the same, however. My focus was off. I also found it difficult to control the random outbursts of emotion that had begun manifesting. I would be manic hyperactive as a child at times, and was diagnosed with ADHD. I had not experienced these types of feelings for over fifteen years. I also found that certain things that had interested me before had lost their luster somehow. It is also hard to describe.
It has been three months since my brush with death. Covid-19 is extremely dangerous and if you develop symptoms, fight them with all you have. Rest as much as you can and drink water. It’s about the only thing that tastes normal during the infection anyways. Be prepared to feel a “different normal” after getting well.
Please, wear a mask and wash your hands as often as reason calls for it. Sanitize your surfaces and be careful around those that you trust. They may be asymptomatic or immune, and can still transmit it to you unknowingly.
If you are around people that you do not live with, wear a mask. Stay away whenever possible. Save yourselves and others!
Covid-19 vs. Lucien Greaves and a Really Good Film
2020 has been a very tumultuous year and for many, deadly. Covid-19 washed over the world like a raging stampede. Health regulations were not followed because political powers that be are tyrannical and apathetic and so, lives are being lost. Quarantine has helped save some lives but has also left most of us feeling very isolated. Enter, Lucien Greaves.
Near the end of March, with the lockdown starting to really get to folks, he started up “TST Movie Nights”. A few days later, the first KAST party would bring together Satanists from all over the world to watch a movie together and chat, online. All of a sudden, we weren’t totally alone.
For the average movie goer, TST Movie nights may be hectic and the movies themselves, bad – But those that ritually attend the affair, are not your average anything. They are Satanists who can see the true beauty in the alternative and strange side of cinema. From Neil Breen to Satanic Cheerleaders, TST Movie night really does have it all.
One of the most important takeaways from this all? Community. TST has a largely diverse demographic of members, many of whom frequent TST Movie Nights. For some, these nights would become a much anticipated part of their weekly ritual. Including myself!
I have my very own ritual when it’s movie night. I prepare my glass(s) of wine, pack a bowl and get comfortable. My wife joins me some nights and we will enjoy the films and chat together. I think I come to them more for the people that also attend, than the movies themselves. They really are enjoyable, regardless!
One of the popular themes, and cover of TST Movie Nights, is Mystery TST Science Theater 3000. In fact, the hashtag, #TST3K has developed a small following. The movie night regulars that have many great memories to share. So, since I shared my own, I talked with several of the “TST3K Fam” and asked for their thoughts on TST Movie Night’s on TST TV.
Here is what they had to say:
“Movie nights are one of the best things to happen to me. As a social person, quarantine has been really hard on me. Not to mention I also suffered a breakup, a fire which evacuated me from my home and then a move to another country. Movie nights has given me a break from the chaos, a safe space, a fun social circle to interact with and also a family in which I can confide in and seek comfort with. I have never met a more giving, selfless, fun and sinful group of people. I am proud to call everyone involved in TST3K not only my friends but my family. Oh and my favourite movie is “He Who Gets Slapped”.” – Jesika Vaylen
“2020 has been simultaneously overwhelming and underwhelming. Our world is more chaotic and volatile than ever before; yet, day-to-day living has become mind numbingly predictable and monotonous. I love #TST3K movie nights because I can expect the unexpected. Unlike ‘normal’ movies, we never know what could happen from one moment to the next or what fresh (and wonderful) Hell awaits us on-screen, once we login! All that being said, what I love the most about movie nights is the hilarious, open-hearted, witty, strange, loving and accepting (mostly Satanic) community members who attend religiously. It may sound silly, but these folks have made such a profound impact on me over the past five(ish) months. I don’t think I would be able to make it through this pandemic without sinking into a deep depression if it weren’t for my #TST3K family. Twice a week (every week) I know they’ll be there to remind me the world isn’t completely terrible after all. My personal favorite movie was “He Who Gets Slapped,” a silent film (the version we watched had been re-soundtracked) where Lon Chaney portrays a heartbroken clown. It was beautifully depressing… in the best way possible. Also, I would be remiss if I failed to praise The Supreme Breen (Neil Breen) and his Breenius flick, “Fateful Findings!” Hail, Breen! Hail, Satan. And Hail, Yourselves.” -Sherry
“Movie nights with Lucien have been the most unexpected happy thing to happen during quarantine. I’ve always loved weird B movies and would typically watch them alone and hope to discover more as I went. I love Neil Breen, The Room, Frogs, Miami Connection, Samurai Cop, all the old school Godzilla movies, Bad Taste, among others, so you can imagine how lucky I got to have found a crowd of people that are into the same weird stuff and to top it off we get to hang with Lucien, which in a way feels like the equivalent of why people go to church. I look forward every Wednesday and Saturday to Lucien’s post with vague clues about the movies we are watching, and most importantly to get to spend time with the friends I’ve made thanks to movie night and get a kick out of whatever Lucien throws at us that day. I have a lot of favorites but as far as favorite movie shown goes, I’m gonna go with the “troll porking in the forest one” – I don’t remember the name but it was a foreign film. Also the one with the strange grunting and Luther the Geek. TST3K is my happy place during this pandemic and I’m thankful for every single one and for all the amazingly kind, funny people I’ve met thanks to it. #HELLSQUAD“ – Tanooki Lizzz
“I love movie nights for the genuine friends I’ve made. Especially @mikmilk98 who is one of my closest friends today! We met during movie nights w/ Lucien and hit it off. Fav movie: Cemetery Man because porking in a cemetery is totally goals.” – Kore
“As someone who has a few medical conditions that make me particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, I am very glad I found TST3K back in the spring. There’s a lot of ways I can say it, but the heart of my feelings is that I literally don’t know if I would be sane or alive right now if not for the fellowship and support of friends I’ve met at TST Movie Night. That is me being as serious as I can be. I know how both pandemics and Donald Trump work, so when the lockdown started back in March, I realized that we were in for a very rough time that was going to last not a month or two but maybe as long as a year. The thought of that, knowing that my survival would depend on a long stretch of isolating with my family, was like being sentenced to prison. All I could see, all the way to the horizon, was loneliness and despair, with not much to look forward to except watching a couple hundred thousand Americans die needlessly. I was on Twitter with a burner account I used back then because I hate Twitter, and I saw that Lucien Greaves and TST were showing movies on Kast. I’ve followed and admired TST for many years now for their work shielding the First Amendment. So I decided to show up just to see what it was all about. I’m a cannabis smoker because I don’t mix well with alcohol, so I smoked a bowl and went to the chat. I’m a longtime fan of the classic bad-movie-comedy-show Mystery Science Theater 3000, but I always thought the thing that’s missing from that show is raw vulgarity. My personality when I’m around my in-person friends is to be extremely vulgar. All the comics I care about are very frank and funny about sex and these weird bodies of ours, and that is definitely how I’m bent as well. The first sentence of the Satanic Temple’s Fourth Tenet is: “The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend.” So that first night, with nothing to lose except people I would likely never see in person, I decided: let’s see how serious they are about that Fourth Tenet. I went in there and just let it rip. I don’t have much of a filter. But for that first Movie Night, I turned my filter all the way down to zero. I’m not a professional comic, but you’ll hear the best comics talk about how a person can channel deep anger and rage into being funny. Sitting there, a prisoner in my house, lost in America in the midst of a plague, as high as Tenzing Norgay’s ballsack in ’53, I just let all the anger and frustration I was feeling come out. Not as violence, but as this pitch-black, pervert-on-the-gallows humor, riffing on these terrible fuckin’ films and the things people were saying in chat. I expected to get kicked out at any moment, as I was literally trying to see how funny-offensive I can be. It was definitely a digital suicide mission. But instead of Greaves booting me, people started laughing. Through the laughter of others, and the hilarious, equally-vulgar things they came back with, I started laughing too. By the end of that night, because of their acceptance of me and all the crazy shit I needed to say to purge all this darkness and fear, I felt better than I had in weeks… maybe — because we also live in Trump’s America, after all — maybe months or years. It was like I was sitting in a gray cell somewhere, and a butterfly flew in through the bars and lit on the back of my hand. That’s poetic considering I mostly make dick jokes and do shit like laying out the ground rules for TST’s First-Annual Sexual Hunger Games. But that’s exactly what it felt like to me: being reminded in an ugly place that somewhere things are still beautiful. I’ve since become a ride-or-die TST3Ker, and have made friends I never would have had otherwise. There’s TST Movie Night folks who I have come to care about as much as my own family. That’s no shit. Which is so strange, considering that, in most cases, I’ve never even heard them speak. But that’s the magic of it. It’s not for everybody, of course. The humor in there gets dark as the Devil’s sock drawer and it’s usually perverted as hell. But what TST3K has done for me is open my eyes about friendship, what we all need, and the concept of “religious fellowship.” That’s what I’m really doing in there after all: I’m finding strength in the like-minded companionship of others that I cannot find alone. Isn’t that what a church service is supposed to do? Lucien Greaves, by the way, has all my thanks. He has spent months putting in at least 12 hours a week to hang with the folks at TST3K, in addition to the time he spends looking up terrible movies and shorts and cutting that all together, sorting out TST3K’s legendary Technical Difficulties. He’s a busy guy, and that’s time he could have spent reading or writing or making his own things. But instead, he’s putting together bullshit movies to make the people who find their way to Movie Nite feel better. I hope he makes himself feel better in the process too. He is sacrificing his time to help people feel a little more comfortable and secure in a confusing world that just wants to fuck us all over and grind us all down to dust. At the end of every Movie Nite, Greaves unfailingly says: “I love you all.” Aren’t those the things a pastor is supposed to do? I could go on, but you get the picture. Over the past five months or so, it’s not just that my circle of friends has broadened tremendously. It’s that my family has grown. There’s about 20 people I know from TST3K that I would drive a couple hundred miles to bail out of jail if they called me from the drunk tank. Where I’m from, that’s family. I told somebody last night that — as a pretty committed atheist — I know the only afterlife is people remembering you fondly. For a lot of the people who come to TST3K, their memories of the Covid-19 pandemic — one of the most traumatic experiences in all our lives now — are inextricably tangled up with their memories of TST Movie Night. Most people are never going to forget this time in their lives, which, for TST3Kers, likely means they’re never going to forget TST Movie Night. I like to think of some of the younger people, decades from now, remembering the horror of what we’re all going through for their grandchildren. But then maybe they’ll recall the laughter and fellowship of Movie Night as I always will: shining through the darkness like a ray of light; fluttering in through the bars of a lonely place like a butterfly. I had a part to play in making that happen. And it makes me very proud. To my TST3K fam: I love you all. That includes you, Aria.“ – Father Flanagan.
Shortly before the pandemic blanketed the world, TST TV came into existence. It is the official streaming media service of The Satanic Temple. Lucien Greaves decided that TST Movie Nights would be better served on Satanic TV, so KAST was dumped and the party moved over, with great success!
TST TV offers a stable chat function, free access for movie nights and good audio and streaming quality! It is secure and feels much more “Satanic” than KAST ever could. I am so glad to be here at the start of the first real Satanic TV station. Hail fucking Satan!
BaphoNet also hosts a movie night. You can usually find big name movies on BaphoKAST, like “The Exorcist” and “The Devil’s Rain”. BaphoNet’s KAST party usually happens twice a week, on days that TST Movie Night does not. I am at every event, enjoying them with regulars and new folks that join us. Neil Breen also frequents all of our screens. He is a rash that will never go away.
BaphoKAST has no plans of changing or leaving. Covid-19 will be around for quite a long time. We will continue showing movies until the last person loses interest, or covid is defeated by science.
Good question! I had to ask Lucien Greaves to answer this one for TST Movie Nights. I asked him “Lucien, do you see TST Movie Nights becoming a permanent fixture in your schedule?”
“Currently, I put the playlists together in the intervening time between movie nights and I haven’t created full playlists ready to deploy in case of unforeseen circumstances or technical difficulties. This is something I’ll clearly have to do for TST Movie Nights to continue after the pandemic when I get back to a rigorous travel schedule. It’s nice to operate under the delusion that each week has a certain shared sense of humor, a certain mood that I can capture with my (somewhat) last minute selections, but I also foresee a time in which I’ll finish a speaking engagement or a Satanic Planet performance and hurry back to the hotel just to chat with the TST3K family while bizarre, confusing, confused, avant, or just plain awful films stream. I used to think that Movie Night was the best thing to happen in the pandemic. Now I realize that it will continue to rank high on my list of preferred activities regardless of whether or not we are social distancing.”– Lucien Greaves
As for BaphoKAST, NO, the film will not be stop rolling any time in the foreseen future. It is a great way to keep the online community connected with each other. Movie, popcorn and chat! Keep your eyes peeled to BaphoNet’s Twitter.
BaphoKAST usually happens Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays on KAST.
TST Movie Night takes place Wednesday and Saturday evenings on TST TV.