For weeks, the city's been abuzz with talk of Satan—more accurately, Baphomet, the (sometimes) woman-breasted but otherwise anatomically male devil figure with a goat's head. Specifically, the talk focused on the Detroit Satanic Temple's plan to unveil a 9-foot tall statue of this horny fella (flanked by adoring children) at a secret location revealed to guests the day of the event. When one potential site learned who they'd taken a reservation from, they returned the temple's $3000 deposit. That locale, by the by, was Bert's Marketplace. Since this refusal, proprietor Bert Dearing has suffered some rental woes of his own, engaging in a very public, very vitriolic media fight with his landlord over a planned auction of the Bert's Marketplace building at Eastern Market.
Other locals in the know tell Curbed Detroit that the temple's members mostly work as servers for a trendy midtown restaurant, information confirmed by a server at an even more expensive place who told us that the temple doesn't so much exist to worship the devil as it does to draw a hard line between church and state by challenging things like statues of religious figures or monuments to the Ten Commandments on public property. Before Oklahoma's state supreme court declared one such commandment display at the capitol unconstitutional, the temple wanted to install Detroit's massive Baphomet (and his kid friends!) statue on the capital grounds in Oklahoma City, right next to the ten commandments monument. That plan has a sharp pitchfork in it now that the court has put the kibosh all such state supported displays of religious iconography.
Saturday, just before midnight, the statue made its debut to raucous cries of "Hail Satan!" The guests, each of whom paid $25 for basic admission to the rite or $75 for those that wanted to pose for pix on Satan's lap, paid with more than earthly money. In an attempt to keep religious protests inside the event to a minimum, the temple required guests to sign over their souls to Satan as a condition of admission. This didn't deter the group Church Militant, who adamantly opposed the unveiling. While the protestors failed to see any humor in the situation, they did add their own touch of total absurdity by dragging in a 6-foot-tall statue of the archangel Michael to do inanimate object battle with the devil statue.
Saturday's Detroit party (and there truly ain't…er, isn't…a party like a Detroit Satan party, even though the Satan party did, in fact, stop) took place in the Rivertown Warehouse District on property owned by the Lauhoff Corporation. Over 250 temple members and guests partied down and posed for pix, while Church Militant members stood vigil nearby with their pickup truck full of Michael statue, taking pix of the party goers and praying (probably). While the OKC plan is nixed, at least for the time being, Baphomet won't permanently plant his cloven hooves in the Motor City. The temple's new plan is to take him to Arkansas, whose capitol grounds also (most conveniently) have a Ten Commandments monument. The Satanic Temple wants people to understand that they truly don't worship Satan—or any deity. As their website explains, "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."
·More Satanic Statues in Major Cities, Please [Curbed Flipped]
·Detroit Christians conspire to prevent Satanic Temple from unveiling statue [Salon]
·Archangel Battles Devil in Detroit [WND US]
·Drama Galore as Bert's Battles Landlord in Local Media [Curbed Detroit]
·Satanic Temple asks attendees to transfer their souls to Satan at Baphomet unveiling [Times Live]
·Detroit Satanic Temple: Our Mission [Detroit Satanic Temple]