For the past couple of years the half-real-half-prank organization known as the Satanic Temple has been threatening to unveil a giant statue of a goat-headed Baphomet and place it on the steps of the Oklahoma state house. As of this weekend, it's managed to complete half of those goals.
Saturday night in Detroit, that city's Satanist chapter -- described as one of the temple's oldest and most active -- lifted the curtain on the one-ton heavy metal creation to the cheers of hundreds. The "ceremony" took place in an undisclosed warehouse and the invitation-only crowd made the whole thing more resemble an old school underground rave than your typical stodgy church-related affair (or the moody, candle-lit "consecrating the bonds of obedience" scene from Animal House). You've gotta give it to the Satanic Temple's creativity: In order to keep out a rumored hijack by pearl-clutching Christian protesters, the Satanists insisted that everyone in attendance sign their soul over to the Dark Lord by way of a supposedly binding contract.
It read as follows:
I agree that by signing this document under any name, given or adopted, actual or pseudonymous, I am hereby avowing my soul to Satan (aka Abbadon, aka Lucifer, aka Beelzebub, aka The Antichrist). I do so knowing that He (aka The Fallen One, aka The Father of Lies) or any of His representatives may choose to collect my eternal soul at any time, with or without notice. I understand that my signature or mark representing any name, real or made up, upon these papers constitutes a lasting and eternal contract, and that there will be no further negotiations on the matter of my eternal soul.
If you'll pardon the pun -- hell of a way to keep those who fear the wrath of an angry God from your doorstep. But really this kind of thing is exactly what's made the Satanic Temple so brilliantly subversive throughout its rise to pop culture infamy. The entire organization knows exactly which buttons to push to expose the hypocrisy of Christian zealotry as well as render the zealots themselves an apoplectic mess. Granted, despite the crystal clear logic of its mission to place the Baphomet statue near the Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma -- that logic being that if you willfully break the barrier between church and state, you open up the state to churches you may not like -- the statue was eventually barred from Oklahoma's state house grounds. Still, the point was made -- and the battle gained the Satanic Temple more publicity than it ever could've dreamed.
So the big Iron Throne with a goat-headed figure sitting on it -- flanked by two smiling children, because kids love Satan! -- turned up in Detroit, which God left long ago anyway (probably right about the time Ted Nugent first rose to fame and Kid Rock was born). Even though cameras were expressly forbidden, a couple of people risked their immortal souls to document the event -- one snapping the above picture and another shooting a Vine of the big reveal that you'll be happy to know ended in a final thumb in the eye of the God of Mike Huckabee by including a big ole gay kiss between two shirtless men.