A crowd of several hundred gathered Saturday night to see Detroit’s newest resident: A 9-foot, 2,000-pound statue of a goat-headed occult idol named Baphomet.
The Satanic Temple unveiled the bronze figure to an estimated 700 attendees at an undisclosed location. The group’s initial venue canceled after local religious groups protested.
The group’s approach to secrecy with the second venue led to little opposition on Saturday, Director of the Detroit Satanic Temple chapter and national spokeswoman Jex Blackmore told Fox News.
“Protesters arrived for a short time at our first ticketing location, but retreated after only about 30 minutes,” Blackmore said. “One woman attempted to block the event entrance and was removed by the police in cooperation with the building's owner. “
Guests were washed in red light shining down from the rafters at the venue as “dark punk” bands played and DJs performed from a stage located beneath a lighted, upside-down crucifix. Satanic Temple officials delivered speeches and a pair of shirtless men held candles on either side of the statue, prior to its unveiling.
Despite the dark pageantry, however, the Temple says its concept of Lucifer is as a literary figure. “The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people,” the group’s website states.
The statue will now be stored out of public view until the Temple can find it a permanent home. The group hopes to display it at the Arkansas State Capitol, next to a monument of the Ten Commandments.