The Guardian newspaper has asked a revealing question in one of its latest television reviews, with an article entitled: “Devil’s advocate: are satanists now the good guys in the fight against the evangelical right?”
The answer is obviously, “No”. But the framing gives an important insight into the mentality of fake news media journalists and editors, especially at an historically leftist publication like the Guardian.
The feature, by freelancer Steve Rose, is about a new television series produced by Magnolia Pictures, the same firm that created the anti-Steve Bannon movie The Brink.
“Hail Satan?” is described by Rose as portraying “the Satanic Temple as a voice of reason and humanism in the US”. He then asks the question: “Has the time come to rehabilitate the dark lord?”
“Now, a documentary threatens to rehabilitate Satan. Directed by Penny Lane, Hail Satan? follows the early adventures of the Satanic Temple, an institution that has hit upon the perfect counter-strategy to the evangelicals’ efforts to recouple church and state. Based in Salem, Massachusetts (where else?), the Satanic Temple is officially recognised as a tax-exempt religious organisation. As such, it has been claiming the same rights and privileges as those obtained by evangelical Christian groups – albeit with a prankster sensibility.”
The release of Hail Satan? is a blessing and a curse for the Satanic Temple. It should bring new members and much-needed revenue to the cause (the church’s only income is direct donations and merchandise sales), but it also puts [Lucien] Greaves in the limelight, possibly even the crosshairs. Towards the end of Hail Satan? we see him appearing at a satanist rally in Little Rock, Arkansas, next to the notorious Baphomet statue. Before he steps out, he puts on a bulletproof jacket.
Not only are Rose and the Guardian shilling for the Satanic Temple in the review, they’re also concerned for the safety of its leader, a compassion rarely shown for conservatives or Christians in public life.
Artwork for the movie portrays the Statue of Liberty with the head of Baphomet, a goat-like symbol used by the Church of Satan since the 1960s.
Hail Satan? is currently being distributed by Apple iTunes, Amazon, AT&T, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirectTV, Fandango, Google Play, SuddenLink, Verizon FIOS, VUDU, Xbox, and YouTube.