Last year, a group of Harvard students attempted to celebrate Black Mass—a traditionally Satanic ceremony that mocks Catholic teaching and the Eucharist. Harvard pulled the plug at the last minute, much to the chagrin of The Satanic Temple, a New York-based group who ostensibly serves as the most visible manifestation of Satanism in America.

And yet, all may not be as it seems.

In addition to Harvard’s attempt at Black Mass, The Satanic Temple either supported or sponsored a number of other “Satanic” activities in 2014, including the push to erect a statue of Baphomet (a goat-like figure Satanists adopted from the Knights Templar) at the Oklahoma Courthouse and distributing Satanic coloring books to children in Florida.

In all of these activities, there were churlish hints of tongue being planted firmly in cheek. The statue included young children sitting happily at the feet of Baphomet’s horned personage. The children’s book featured word jumbles and mazes.

While Satanism undoubtedly remains alive and well in America and many other countries, most of The Satanic Temple’s recent activities sound more like the work of another type of monster: trolls.

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