The Satanic Temple unveiled its controversial statue to about 700 people in Detroit, much to the distress of Catholics in the area.
The ceremony was supposed to be held at a well-known Detroit restaurant, but an array of intimidations forced the owner to withdraw from accommodating the event. Lucien Greaves, the co-founder of the “religious organization” told reporters that people were threatening to burn down the original venue.
Group planning to unveil bronze statue featuring goat-headed Satan in Detroit: http://t.co/dUgY3R02mF pic.twitter.com/QTuGgyzasf
— WOOD TV8 (@WOODTV) July 25, 2015
Mass held to protest Detroit Satan statue: Hundreds line up to get close look at hellish effigy as Christians … http://t.co/KQ7EN6GTXq — TOI Jewish Times (@TOIJewishTimes) July 27, 2015
The owner, Bert Dearing, was also not aware of the uncommon affiliations of the group.
“When I rented the place, I just thought it was a church. I didn’t know about the unveiling of a statue. We weren’t aware they were into devil worshiping,” said Dearing who had to give back the $3,000 rental fee.
So instead, the 8½-foot-tall statue of Baphomet was presented at a secret location with a decent-sized audience, all paying for tickets. However, this second venue was also met with hostility, though not as prominent.
Hundreds line up in Detroit for tickets to unveiling of #Satan statue. Protestors pray quietly #SatanicTemple #local4 pic.twitter.com/uqe2eYCv9D
— Priya Mann (@Local4Priya) July 26, 2015
The event itself was flooded by pageantry as red lights, shirtless men with candles, and punk bands made appearances. And of course, there were also the obligatory speeches from the Satanic Temple leaders prior to removing the Baphoment’s covers.
The statue, which was reportedly designed and constructed for over $100,000, is not intended to remain in Detroit. According to Greaves, the group is planning to place it in Little Rock, Arkansas, next to a Ten Commandments monument. Though the task would be difficult since the plan to erect the statue near a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma was not permitted.