TST Houston FAQ
How can I join?
- To join The Satanic Temple National organization, go to: thesatanictemple.com/pages/join-us
- To apply for membership in The Satanic Temple Houston congregation, go to: satanictemplehouston.org/about-us/virtual-office-hours
Are there restrictions for membership?
There are no restrictions for joining The Satanic Temple national, however, there ARE several for becoming a member of the Houston congregation. These local restrictions are put in place to ensure we cultivate a safe environment of Satanic values for our members.
To be considered for membership a person must be:
- At least 18 years of age
- A Satanist
- Willing to be an active participant in the group
What are the benefits of joining The Satanic Temple Houston congregation?
Joining The Satanic Temple Houston congregation will give you a place in our community of close-knit, family-friendly and active Houston area Satanists. Upon acceptance into the congregation, you will be given a seat as an active participant in meetings that steer direction and projects of the chapter, as well as invites to private rituals and parties.
Joining our mailing list will put you on our emailing list so that you can stay up-to-date on our public activities and charities. This includes book club meets, rituals, parties, and meet-and-greets in the Houston area.
Are you the Illuminati and can you make me rich?
No. We have no relationship with the Illuminati or other conspiracy groups. Because we do not believe in magick or souls, persons must do the work of obtaining their own riches in life.
Beliefs of The Satanic Temple
Do you worship Satan?
No, nor do we believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural. The Satanic Temple believes that religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition. As such, we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan. To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions. Satanists should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things. Our beliefs must be malleable to the best current scientific understandings of the material world — never the reverse.
What does Satan mean to TST?
Satan is a symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority, forever defending personal sovereignty even in the face of insurmountable odds. Satan is an icon for the unbowed will of the unsilenced inquirer – the heretic who questions sacred laws and rejects all tyrannical impositions. Our metaphoric representation is the literary Satan best exemplified by Milton and the Romantic Satanists from Blake to Shelley to Anatole France.
Is TST a media stunt/hoax/trolling, etc.?
Some have conveniently concluded, upon observing The Satanic Temple’s media coverage, that attention is the primary objective of our activities. While media outreach has helped to raise awareness of the campaigns we have initiated, these campaigns have articulated goals related issues that are important to us and our membership.
So inured is the general public to the idea that there is only one monolithic voice of “the” religious agenda that any attempt at a counter-balance — or assertion of a minority voice — is often viewed as a targeted provocation against those who enjoy traditional religious privilege.
What are some of the rituals of TST?
Some of the rituals that have been held by TST members include:
- Black Mass — a celebration of blasphemy, which can be an expression of personal liberty and freedom
- Unbaptism — participants renounce superstitions that may have been imposed upon them without their consent as a child
- Destruction ritual — participants destroy an object they own that symbolizes a source of pain in their lives
- Defiance ritual — a pledge to challenge the status quo in a way that is personally meaningful
How does TST’s Satanism differ from Laveyan Satanism?
TST has its own guiding principles and tenets, distinct from the LaVeyan school, that we feel represents a natural evolution in Satanic thought. The overriding principle calls for utilizing the best scientific evidence available to make the most rational real-world decisions. To that end, we reject LaVeyan social Darwinist rhetoric that fails to agree with what is currently known regarding social evolution, specifically as it relates to research in evolutionary biology, game theory, reciprocal altruism, cognitive science, etc.
TST also strongly rejects the LaVeyan fetishization of authoritarianism. We believe this is antithetical to Satanic notions of individual sovereignty. Further, while LaVeyan Satanism is atheistic in that it rejects the notion that Satan is a conscious entity, it nevertheless adheres to supernaturalism. TST does not forward supernatural theories of the universe and finds little value in LaVeyan edicts such as those that instruct one to “acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.” (From the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth, Anton LaVey)
Does TST Houston have a temple?
No, there is no physical temple for TST Houston at this time.
Do you promote evil?
No. The Satanic Temple holds to the basic premise that undue suffering is bad, and that which reduces suffering is good. We do not believe in symbolic “evil.” We acknowledge blasphemy is a legitimate expression of personal independence from counter-productive traditional norms.
If you do not believe in the supernatural, how is TST a religion?
The idea that religion belongs to supernaturalists is ignorant, backward, and offensive. The metaphorical Satanic construct is no more arbitrary to us than are the deeply held beliefs that we actively advocate. Are we supposed to believe that those who pledge submission to an ethereal supernatural deity hold to their values more deeply than we? Are we supposed to concede that only the superstitious are rightful recipients of religious exemption and privilege? Satanism provides all that a religion should be without a compulsory attachment to untenable items of faith-based belief. It provides a narrative structure by which we contextualize our lives and works. It also provides a body of symbolism and religious practice — a sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values.
What do you believe?
We believe in reason, empathy, the pursuit of knowledge and our Seven Tenets:
- One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.
- The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
- One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
- The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one’s own.
- Beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one’s beliefs.
- People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one’s best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.
- Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.
Do you adhere to “The Satanic Bible” or have any books that you recommend?
The Satanic Temple does not have any sacred book or scripture and we do not adhere to “The Satanic Bible”. We do have a suggested reading list that provides some illumination on the philosophical origins of our beliefs: https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/the-satanic-temple-library.
How are you different from humanists?
A unifying attribute of all Satanists is our ability to embrace our outsider status. In addition, Satanists adhere to the principles of individual sovereignty and rejection of tyrannical authority. These concerns are of paramount importance to us but are not fundamental components of Humanism.
How are you different from other Satanic organizations?
Many Satanic organizations focus on pointless and misguided efforts to establish a monopoly on a vision of the one ‘true’ Satanism. This obsession with ownership has fomented an unfortunate culture in which Satanism’s most vitriolic critics are often self-identified Satanists.
The Satanic Temple is not interested in establishing itself as the sole arbiter of Satanic practice. Rather, we are open to working with other self-identified Satanic organizations to promote general recognition of Satanic legitimacy.
While many Satanic organizations seem to revel in superfluous hierarchies while isolating themselves in petty organizational autocracy, the Satanic Temple eschews rigid, centralized authority and focuses its efforts on effecting tangible constructive change. We believe in building a politically active Satanic movement and invite others to join us in these efforts.
Does TST Houston host services?
No, TST Houston is not interested in preaching or proselytizing to our members and supporters. Instead, we regularly have formal and informal conversations in which all members are invited to participate equally.
Charities & Causes of TST Houston
What kinds of causes does TST Houston support?
TST Houston members collectively select issues, charities, and causes that are close to the hearts of our members in an effort to give to our community. These include:
- Organizations that have helped our members in their times of need
- Charities that relate to the tenets and values of Satanism and TST
- TST National campaigns and protests
Can TST Houston help me with my cause?
Unfortunately, TST Houston is not always equipped to help, nor is it appropriate for us to help solve all injustices that happen across our city and state. However, if you have a specific cause with a Houston-area focus that relates to our satanic values or directly affects our members, please reach out to us and we will consider your case.
We believe that when an injustice happens, individuals must do the hard work of raising awareness and fighting those injustices themselves. Pleas to our chapter for help from individuals outside our organization who are not currently working to curb those injustices may not be considered by TST Houston.