Recently, The Satanic Temple has filed a suit against Netflix over a depiction of the symbolic deity Baphomet in their series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. As a significant number of people seem to be confusing this with us, we would like to clarify that TST is a political activist group that has nothing to do with us, nor with the religion of Satanism which we founded over 50 years ago. The Church of Satan has not filed a suit against Netflix, nor do we have a problem with their Sabrina show, which we’ve previously discussed.
Regarding the suit itself, while we do use a graphic we named the Sigil of Baphomet in our logo as part of our trademark, we do not claim ownership of all renditions of Baphomet, the sculptures and full-body drawings of which represent a balance between male/female (more information on Baphomet can be found here and here). The most popular representation by Éliphas Lévi which was published more than a century ago is in the public domain and can be easily found online. TST appropriated Lévi’s image of Baphomet for their sculpture with the intention of frightening and angering Christians by threatening to place it on public property along side of Christian images, a goal we’ve previously discussed. Like 19th century French Freemasonry versions, The TST version removed the female elements which eliminated the balance between male and female, making it a masculine figure. Many tarot decks depict two people standing in front of “The Devil”, which TST obviously referenced for their statue however they changed the adult figures to children, a decision which we consider to be pedophilic given that the stylized erect phallus (caduceus) in Baphomet’s lap, as we have discussed here. Netflix built their own Baphomet sculpture for their show which obviously references the TST version, but also references numerous public domain versions. Differing details in the chest, wings, beard, and head as well as the scale of the children to the central figure and lack of a pentagram emblemize tombstone shaped background make it clear that the Netflix version is not an exact copy of the TST version, rather a situation of fair use of public domain and popular cultural imagery.
While TST’s sculpture is cast in bronze and Netflix’s appears to be marble, the images TST is using for publicity appear to be from the “first look” plaster version before it was finally cast in bronze and assembled, perhaps to make the statues seem more similar to the public who may be unfamiliar with the actual works.
To reiterate, while TST is known for childish PR stunts such as fake political rallies, mailing “cum rags” to congress and rubbing genitals on grave stones to turn people gay after their deaths, these actions are not in anyway representative of the apolitical, individualistic and atheistic religion of Satanism. Please do not attribute their actions to us.
—Reverend Joel Ethan