The UK chapter of The Satanic Temple was established in 2016. While based in London, our membership branches throughout the country. The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, to reject tyrannical authority, and to advocate practical common sense and justice. We desire that individuals be directed by their conscience to undertake noble pursuits, guided by their own will.
As atheists we neither believe in a god nor devil nor other superstitions. Our ideology is instead rooted in courage, compassion, and science. These ideals are enshrined in our Seven Fundamental Tenets [hyperlink to Tenets]. The Satanic Temple have a history of advocacy for vulnerable and marginalised communities, and of public opposition to those who would force their personal beliefs on others.
For more information, please email us.
Do you believe in / worship Satan?
No. We are atheists which means we don’t believe in the existence of the supernatural. This means no god, no demons, no angels, no ghosts (holy or otherwise) and no devil. Worship is an expression of adoration to something which one reveres. In our case, we revere ourselves as individuals capable of the greatest human expression of compassion and empathy. We have hearts and minds that are imbued with warmth, rationale, and a quality of curiosity that can reason, resolve, and navigate profound existential experiences. That’s essentially the heart of Satanism. This philosophy can be thought of as a type of selfism.
If you don't worship the devil then why do you call yourselves The Satanic Temple?
Buddhists don’t worship Buddha, but they follow those teachings. The name Lucifer actually means lightbringer, and nothing is could be more illuminating than the truth. In fables, Satan was the first to speak out and voice rational inquiry to an authoritarian god that demanded blind obedience, and for it he was cast out. Of course we don’t believe this actually happened. But, historically, we know that those who speak out against the injustices committed by governments, religious dictators, and corporations that consistently prioritise profits over people are often imprisoned, killed, or branded terrorists of the state. So we believe the allegorical teaching of Satan is the need to use one’s own voice as an honest tool of evidence-based dissent against corrupt regimes where one sees it. Use of the name also requires individuals to think about what it is that they actually believe. To its detriment, much of the world’s cultural experience is informed by religious dogma and institutional influence and it can be hard to disentangle what one actually believes from what one has been told to believe. Associating with something typically seen as forbidden and characterised as evil when evidence shows that thing to be ethical and charitable for the benefit of all mankind, requires a level of rationality and critical thinking that we encourage in our membership.
So then you’re activists, not Satanists?
We are Satanists, make no mistake. It is the lessons of the literary Satan that we follow –the importance of dissent, rational inquiry, vigilant self-assessment, and the continuing struggle for justice. And because we’re committed to acting on our beliefs, this philosophy takes the form of activism. And like anyone else who calls themselves religious, it’s our commitment to these deeply held convictions that our organisational identity represents. So, yes, we’re Satanists…and activism is just our way of doing the devil’s work.
Won't the name Satan make it harder to accomplish your goals? Wouldn't it be better if you called yourself something else?
People can be superstitious and reactive and that’s often a symptom of ignorance. We’d like to change that. Of course it’s an uphill battle, but every movement towards social equilibrium needs someone on the forefront. If the world would take steps to shift our collective approach to differences away from defensive and protective, and make a move towards a vigilance and integrity in our approach to truth, understanding, and self-awareness then we might realise we’re capable of great adaptability and far less vulnerable, which is empowering.
So you don't have rituals or kill babies?
What most people think they know about Satanism comes from Roman Polanski films like Rosemary’s Baby and The Ninth Gate, The Omen trilogy, and Hammer Horror films like The Devil Rides Out. It’s not surprising - those are great films- but that’s fiction, folks. We do perform rituals, but so does everyone else in their daily life. Crossing the street is a ritual in which you look both ways beforehand. Checking your email can be a ritual if you have a routine for it - do you check it in when you first wake up…with coffee? Do you play music and dance around the kitchen while cooking supper? That’s a ritual too. We ritualise life because it provides comfort and it can be a hallmark for important events of recognition, such as the ritual of marriage. The Satanic Temple here in the UK performs rituals too, but it isn’t black magic, it’s just a celebration of life.
Are you related to the Church Of Satan
No. We have similar beliefs but we also have different beliefs and policies. For example, membership with The Satanic Temple is always free.
What is The Satanic Temple doing in the UK?
We feel it’s important to add a clear and public voice of reason to counterpoint the alternative facts, political agendas, and media spin one hears today. We hope others recognise the truth in our words and know we’re looking out for them. Casual glances into history will turn up numerous examples of abusive and tyrannical practices one still sees today, perpetrated by Christian extremists who don’t even practice what they preach. How many times have we heard a politician insist on drug testing for those on social welfare, denying LGBT rights, or restricting women’s access to family planning services; only to be subsequently exposed for abuses of government funds, arrested for possession of illegal substances, or paedophilia? It happens so frequently that you can virtually set your watch to it. In the eyes of the Satanic Temple, London & UK public bigotry is probable cause. And it is these people who would make themselves our leaders, who force their thoughtless and poorly constructed ideals on us, and bring their lunacy into our classrooms and our homes. Well, we say ”hell no.” And since national census data shows Satanism in the UK has grown by 285% in the last 4 years, we think others share our beliefs.
So do you hate religion?
Religious practice can be a source of immense emotional gratification. We’re a religion ourselves, so –no- we don’t hate religion. What we hate is abuse and bullying. When Catholic Charities are taking social welfare money earmarked for HIV prevention with positives but hiding the condoms because they don’t believe in them, that’s a type of moral bullying with epidemic consequences. When families in one of the most dynamic capitols in the western world burn to death in substandard housing because of greed supported by casual classist attitudes, that’s economic bullying and a form of genocide; and if you’re a bully, especially one who uses religion as a get-out of-jail-free card in place of compassion and reason, then we’ll probably be seeing each other soon.
Do I have to be a goth/like metal music to join?
Absolutely not - we believe in individuality & free expressions, and appreciate the value of diversity.
Does it cost anything to be a member?
Membership is free and we will never pass around a collection plate.