Religious freedoms have certainly dominated Australian politics of late. First mooted by conservatives after Australia gave their resounding support for marriage equality, the bill has been nothing short of a divisive measure concocted to further entrench discriminatory practices and law.

However, not all religious organisations are out to exploit this newly written rule book. The Noosa Temple Of Satan is doing everything they can to highlight both hypocrisies and flaws in Australia’s proposed religious freedoms bill, as Brother Samael Demo-Gorgon explains.

We were established last year in response to the Morison Governments proposal for a religious discrimination bill,  I would say it’s a satanic activist response to that. It’s highlighted the hypocrisy of religious people, be they gay or straight.

Unlike the traditional views of God as a divine power, Satan is seen as a powerful metaphor for rebellion against arbitrary authority, as well as a champion of enlightenment, advocating for critical thought and reason. Satanism also strives to support causes that would bring greater access to reproductive health and euthanasia, as well as causes that would restrict the influence of religious institutions over public schools and other public spaces.

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 It’s also interesting to note, that in Australia, as in many other countries, over 50% of Satanists identify as LGBTQI. A point that Brother Samael is particularly keen to drive home.

It’s an all embracing, and I would hate to call it a religion, most of the people who follow Satanism are atheists.

“We don’t believe that Satan exists, but a lot of people find their spiritual home within Satanism because of the rituals and the symbols and the principles that come with the organisation. Satan has never discriminated ever against gay and lesbian people unlike most other religions, I think that’s why the LGBTQI community has found satanism to be their spiritual home.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be Australia without some form of uproar being directed towards a newly formed organisation such as the Noosa Temple Of Satan.

For me it’s completely not religious and secular but it seems to have caused a lot of irritation. There is a petition that has gotten over 70,000 signatures, and local Catholics in particular have been up and arms.”

The petition that Brother Samael mentions, paid particular attention to the fact that a Black Mass planned for October 30 was to be the first satanic ritual to take place in a government building in Queensland and also Australia.

The Black Mass is a ritual conducting by Satanists, it’s a common ritual that are conducted to cement the spiritual community and helps focus the mind, that’s basically the principle behind the Black Mass. Of course,people have taken it completely the wrong way and seen it for something that it isn’t.

My personal take on it is that it’s like a blasphemous Rocky Horror Picture Show, high camp, and very entertaining.

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 The building in question is the J Theatre in Noosa. Established in 2006 and run by local council it serves as a space for community, youth and commercial events. There is one other religious organisation that has caught the ire of Brother Samael and The Noosa Temple of Satan.

The council also rent the venue to Hillsong every Sunday to have their service. So council really couldn’t refuse us permission to hold our service, otherwise there would have been hell to pay with discrimination and all that, so they had to support us through this.

“Yet it’s very ironic that Hillsong gets to put up a board outside a Noosa Council Venue that say it is their campus when they are just renting it. So, in us seeking to rent a space once a week that should entitle us, in our opinion put up a sign next to Hillsong’s.

Hillsong discriminates against LGBTQI people and yet Noosa Council rents a space to them, even though the council have an anti-discrimination policy themselves.”

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 Albeit at a local level Brother Samael’s concerns very much feed back into the national debate on Religious Freedoms. With Prime Minster Scott Morrison having just last Monday joined a number of other politicians and national leaders, including Labor’s Anthony Albanese and Governor-General David Hurley, in speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, raising more than a few eyebrows.

In response to this occasion, Brother Samael concludes the interview with but one question.

“If the PM is really serious about this ‘religious freedom’ crusade that he is on, then I’m sure he’d be keen to share in our celebration of religious freedom at our Halloween Black Mass. It would only be fair to do so.”

The Noosa Temple Of Satan’s Satanic Black Mass held on Oct 30 has sold out of tickets, but will be available to stream online, for more info on the event or Noosa Temple Of Satan, click here.

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