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Satanic Temple headquarters to open quietly in Salem


When The Satanic Temple officially opens its doors on Friday, Salem will become home to the organization’s international headquarters.

But pitchfork-wielding mobs protesting the move seem unlikely, as the fire-and-brimstone theology of the Puritans who once populated the city has given way to a “live and let live” attitude in present day Salem

Less than a mile from Gallows Hill — the notorious spot where villagers executed more than a dozen people accused of witchcraft in the 1690s — an 1882 Victorian on Bridge Street will serve as The Satanic Temple’s first physical headquarters, said Lucien Greaves, the temple’s spokesman.

“The history of Salem is also part of the history of Satanism,” Greaves said. “I feel that [Salem] is a very appropriate place for this” temple.

The Satanic Temple building, which is zoned as an art gallery, will open to the public with art installations, lectures, and film screenings, said Greaves, a Cambridge resident.

Those expecting the kind of demonic scenes portrayed in Roman Polanski’s 1968 film, “Rosemary’s Baby,” will likely find themselves disappointed.

Dating back centuries, Satanism has been misunderstood by wide swaths of American society, Greaves said. Satanists do not worship an Antichrist, or any other deity. Rather, Satanism preaches independent thought and using evidence-based science as a basis for understanding the world, and views Satan as a literary figure representing an eternal struggle against authoritarianism.

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