The Black Mass at Harvard
The Satanic Temple was invited to perform a Black Mass ceremony in Memorial Hall at Harvard University. The controversy over this invitation sparked an international debate where religious bigots dismissed the validity of satanic rituals and ceremonies. The Black Mass at Harvard was conceived as an education event intended to challenge the stigmatization of marginalized groups. It was not intended to be political, or a publicity stunt, but it quickly became politicized because of Catholic outcry. The first hour was to be an education lecture, the first 30 minutes from Harvard ethicist Christopher Robichaud about how we define ideas such as hate-speech and blasphemy, followed by a lecture on the history of the Black Mass. The Black Mass performance was based on the description of the Black Mass from the nineteenth-century French novel La-Bas, which translates to “Down There” by Joris-Karl Huysmans. The enactment of the Mass was based upon popular conceptions of what a Black Mass is supposed to be. A performance by Boston’s SADIST was to follow the event.
The Pink Mass
The Satanic Temple visited Meridian Mississippi on July 18, 2013 to perform a ritual ceremony known only to a select few called the “Pink Mass.” The ceremony was performed over the gravesite of the mother Fred Phelps, former head of the Westboro Baptist Church — an organization deemed a hate-group by the ADL and SPLC. The Pink Mass ceremony was designed to “make the deceased gay in the after-life” for those who believe. Every time a gay couple kisses over the tombstone of a person who has had the ceremony performed, it is said that they are “pleasured” in the spirit world.
Rally for Governor Rick Scott
On January 25, 2013, The Satanic Temple held a rally in support of Florida governor Rick Scott. In particular, Satanists were impressed by Scott’s support of Senate Bill 98, which allows school districts to draft policies allowing students to read “inspirational messages” at assemblies and sports events. “The bill is something we felt we could latch onto,” Lucien Greaves, a spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, told the Daily News. “It does allow for an alternative point of view.”
In TST’s press release, the group praised the bill, which went into effect July 12, 2013 for reaffirming “our American freedom to practice our faith openly, allowing our Satanic children the freedom to pray in school.” Greaves added the bill, which was slammed by groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, helps “alternative, marginalized religions.”
“When it comes to faith-based initiatives, that’s the kind of the thing that gives minority religions access to foundational funding,” he said. “In the ’80s and ’90s, there was a moral panic against the Satanists,” Greaves told The News. “But things seem to have leveled off a bit. “We are a compassionate religion, with humanitarian goals,” he added. “We endorse people to pursue happiness so long as it doesn’t intrude on other people’s happiness.”