ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) – On a cold, rainy night in Albany, there is a meeting of the Satanic Temple taking place.
There are 17 chapters of the Satanic Temple nationwide, and CBS 6 was given exclusive access to the Albany chapter of The Temple which has dozens of members, to find out what it means to be a Satanist.
“Dex Desjardins” and “Sekhmet” are in charge of the local chapter, which has been around about a year.
“We are a religion, we have core tenets, core beliefs, we are a group of people who believe strongly and passionately about something, and if that’s not a religion I don’t know what is,” “Sekhmet” tells CBS 6.
They’ve asked us to not show their faces, and we’re using the pseudonyms they’ve chosen to identify them. They took us through the tenets of their religion, which has beliefs that may surprise you.
Tenets include “act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures,” “the freedoms of others should be respected” and “If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it.”
“We’re not devil-worshippers. We actually don’t believe in anything supernatural,” said “Dex.”
“We don’t worship Satan, it is a matter of taking responsibility, going out into the world, and being the best that you can be,” “Sekhmet” tells CBS 6.
The Temple has made headlines across the country. Last December, The Temple was successful in getting a Satanic statue placed in the rotunda of the Illinois statehouse, much to the ire of some residents who protested it.
Temple members also displayed a statue of the goat-headed, winged creature named Baphomet in Arkansas last summer to call for the removal of the Ten Commandments from Capitol grounds.
“When you do see Baphomet on any state capital’s lawn, it is in direct reaction to some form of religious tyranny,” said “Sekhmet.”
Collin first found out about the temple through their demonstrations in other states, and says he’s happy he found like-minded people in the Albany chapter.
“The more I looked into the group, the more I found their values aligned with mine - it’s a subtle rebellion. I don’t believe in Satan, but I like that symbol - I didn’t realize that I was going to connect with these people so deeply and it’s been fantastic,” said Collin.
The Satanic Temple members say they want to continue to help those in need throughout the Capital Region. On the night we met them, they were gathering donated menstrual products which they brought to local non-profit Equinox. The group coined it the “Menstruatin’ with Satan” campaign.
“We’re upholding our beliefs, while trying to give back to our community,” said “Sekhmet.”
“We’re not here to threaten anybody. We’re your neighbors. We’re friendly people, we just want to make the world a little bit better like everyone else,” Collin tells CBS 6.
You can find out more about the Albany Chapter of the Satanic Temple on their website and Facebook page.