A press release from last week that claimed that a cult called "The Satanic Temple" was planning a rally in support of Florida Gov. Rick Scott for his defense of religious freedom might have been false, a source has revealed.
Neil Brick from the website Ritualabuse.us told The Christian Post in an email that the man identified by the press release as the leader of the Satanic group, called "Neil Bricke," does not exist, and the reference was likely targeted at his work fighting real satanic ritual abuse.
"The Satanic Temple embraces the free expression of religion, and Satanists are happy to show their support of Rick Scott who -- particularly with SB 98 -- has reaffirmed our American freedom to practice our faith openly, allowing our Satanic children the freedom to pray in school," Lucien Greaves, who identified himself a spokesperson of the supposed group, said in a press release, referring to Florida Senate Bill 98. The bill which came into effect in July does not allow school officials to participate in prayers or "inspirational messages," but opens the door for students to meditate, offer a quiet prayer, or share such messages.
The press release was reported on by several news outlets, including ABC News, the New York Daily News and The Huffington Post, but the Miami Herald, which first reported on the story, has now written in a blog post that the group and the supposed Jan. 25 rally in favor of Scott might all have been an elaborate hoax for a movie casting call.
"Greaves is listed as the casting director of a feature film called …wait for it…'The Satanic Temple,'" the Herald wrote upon further investigation.
"We are seeking people from all walks of life, goths, grandparents, soccer moms, etc. to be the followers of a charismatic yet down to earth Satanic cult leader," the Herald writes quoting a post on ActorsAccess.com. "The shoot will be on January 25th in downtown Tallahassee. Actors will be required to wear tasteful Satanic garb."
The film is said to be a mockumentary about the "nicest Satanic Cult in the world," although it remains unclear what connection, if any, it has to Gov. Scott.
The Satanic Temple website referenced in the press release was still live on Monday, and states that its members believe in both God and Satan.
"Although Satan is subordinate to God, he is mankind's only conduit to the dominion beyond the physical. In addition, only Satan can hear our prayers and only Satan can respond. While God is beyond human comprehension, Satan desires to be known and knowable. Only in this way can there be justice and can life have meaning," the group explains.
The website collects money for membership into the group, however there is no contact information or location of the supposed temple available.