Why the Satanic Temple is suing Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Why the Satanic Temple is suing Sabrina the Teenage Witch

CultureNovember 12, 2018 By Reilly Capps

It's a witches' brew, as a satanic church is suing a teenage witch.

The Satanic Temple has filed a copyright lawsuit against the producers of a Netflix reboot of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," citing intellectual property theft.  

No, the Satanic Temple hasn't trademarked Satan, and it doesn't hold the patent on Hell. But it does have a copyright on a statue of Baphomet, a goat-y demi-god that the temple says cost $100,000.

The temple says that the show, "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," violated their copyright by fabricating a copy of the statue and using it as a prop in the fictional headquarters of an evil organization.

"Defendants misappropriated the TST Baphomet Children in ways implying that the monument stands for evil," the lawsuit said. "Among other morally repugnant actions, the Sabrina Series' evil antagonists engage in cannibalism and forced-worship of a patriarchal deity." 

In other words: the TV show stole their art, and is using it to trash satanists. The temple is suing the production company for more than $50 million.

The producers say they weren't copying the temple's Baphomet; there are lots of statues of the goat-dude. Any resemblance to actual demon statues is purely coincidental. The temple's leader, Lucien Greaves, wasn't buying it. He tweeted this comparison of the two statues. The temple's is on top. 

photo - Satanic temple statue compared to the Sabrina statue

The Satanists in the Satanic Temple could put a curse on the production company, could just summon the Dark Lord to maim their children and foul their lands. But … Satanic Temple satanists don't believe in magic, or curses, or even — weirdly — satan.

The biblical satan is, for them, just a symbol, a metaphor, for the rejection of tyranny and oppression from church and state. Baphomet is a symbol of knowledge and reason. The Satanic Temple is trying to re-brand satanism for the kids, as a return to humanist virtues and earthly concerns. Basically anti-christian atheism but with cooler tattoos.

[Kiernan Shipka plays the updated version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, a comic book character from the 1960s, and a popular campy TV show from the 1990s.]

In real life, the temple, which has its headquarters in the old witch-burning Massachusetts town of Salen, uses their Baphomet statue as a kind of weapon. When Christians try to put up Christian monuments on public land, the temple demands that a Baphomet statue be erected, too — since the constitution demands that all religions be treated equally. Rather than share space with the prince of lies, the Christians sometimes back down. This tactic helped boot a Ten Commandments monument off the Oklahoma state Capitol grounds.

When "Sabrina" equates their Baphomet statue with forces of evil, with killing children and destroying the world, it damages the Satanic Temple's reputation, and perverts what they're actually trying to do. They've asked that the statue be scrubbed out from the shows airing now.

A New York judge will rule on the case. No timeline has been set.

[Cover photo: The Satanic Temple's statue of the goat demi-god Baphomet, which they see as a symbol of knowledge and the rejection of tyranny, not of evil.]