Who are you?
We are the Albany NY congregation of The Satanic Temple (TST), a nontheistic Satanic religious organization and IRS-recognized church. We represent Albany NY and the Greater Capital Region. As we are currently the only official TST congregation in Upstate New York, we have members across western and upstate New York State. We also accept members from western Massachusetts and southern Vermont.
What do you believe in?
Do you worship Satan?
No. We do not believe in the existence of anything supernatural, nor do we worship any beings or deities.
Similarly, we do not believe in or promote symbolic "evil." We believe that things that cause unnecessary suffering are bad, and that things that alleviate suffering are good.
So why Satan?
Satan, to us, is a metaphor representing personal liberation, the unfettered pursuit of knowledge, and rebellion against arbitrary authority. Our Satan is the literary Satan of Anatole France, John Milton, and William Blake. It is not the evil being of Abrahamic mythology or Hollywood fantasy. We did not invent Satanism. Modern nontheistic Satanism is over 50 years old, with roots stretching back to the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. We are simply one of the newest and largest manifestations of a rich religious heritage.
What does your Congregation do?
We hold monthly meetings and social events and participate in community projects and fundraisers that support both our local community and The Satanic Temple’s global campaigns.
Do you officiate marriages?
Yep! Minister Dex Desjardins is ordained through TST's Satanic Ministry and can perform legally-binding marriages in New York State. For information on marriages, please email Minister Dex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I don't live in the Albany area?
If you are interested in joining our congregation but live further Upstate, in central or western New York, in the Berkshires, or in southern Vermont, there may still be a place for you in our group. We do expect a commitment from you, even if you can't attend meetings or events all the time. We encourage satellite members to volunteer time via work that can be done online.
If you live south of Poughkeepsie NY, you should consider joining TST NYC.
What we are
We are a religious organization for nontheistic Satanists who live in accordance with the Seven Tenets. We seek to cultivate a space for like-minded individuals, working to mutually support each other in our growth as Satanists. Community engagement and mission-specific activism are components of what we do. When TST engages in activism, it tends to fall into one of two broad categories:
Asserting our right as religious Satanists to equitable voice in the public forum
Pushing back on theocratic encroachment on government and civil liberties
What we are not
TST is not a social justice organization or a catch-all activist group. Any community work or activism in which we might engage must be directly related to our Tenets, TST’s mission, and our religious identity. Many worthwhile causes exist that other organizations are better equipped to handle. If your primary reason for joining is for TST’s mission-specific activism, you should consider getting involved in one of TST’s campaigns.
If you are unclear on TST's mission, please refer to The Satanic Temple's FAQs.
Do I have to be a Satanist to join your Congregation?
While some Congregations require you to be a Satanist to become a member, we do not. We accept allies who agree with our ethos, the Seven Tenets, are committed to growing our Congregation, and supporting TST's national campaigns.
New to Satanism and/or the Left Hand Path?
You should minimally understand what TST is, and what TST is not. TST generously shares knowledge, resources, and original content through our national websites and social media pages. We don’t expect you to be an expert on Satanism, but we do expect you to be self-motivated when it comes to learning. The more obvious it is that you are putting in effort to learn, the more likely it is that people will be willing to help you learn more. If you are not sure where to start, check out the following reading lists:
Coming from a Western LHP, esoteric, or initiatory inclination?
As Satanists we embrace our outsider status and take pride in our heterodox views, perceptions, and positive assertion of our values. As a 21st century emergence our lineage is rich and complex, with Classical, Enlightenment, Modernist, and Postmodern influences. Esotericism and occultism are in the mix, yet, our Satanism is derived from the Miltonic-Romantic and French Decadent literary traditions, and is thus political, intellectual, and artistic at its core. Our community supports a diverse range of interests, and each member is encouraged to develop their personal practice/path.
What is expected of Congregation members?
We expect members to help grow our Congregation as well as support and further The Satanic Temple's causes. This includes, but is not limited to: contributing to meetings and educational programs, helping with events, hands-on volunteering, and project logistics and planning. We do also realize that each of us are human and circumstances can change. We will work with you to stay a part of the group. However, we expect a level of drive and follow-through on your part.
Beyond engagement and time, we also uphold a code of conduct that every member is required to sign. We expect professionalism, common courtesy, and respect to those around you. We are all working for the same causes. If you are a member of the Congregation, your fellow Congregation members are your allies. Treat them accordingly. This group has a zero-tolerance policy for racism, bigotry, misogyny, transphobia, and the like. We strive to be an inclusive group for all people who agree with our Tenets and mission, and the safety of our membership is paramount. If you cannot abide by this structure, this is not the group for you. Congregation Leadership reserves the right to dismiss a member at anytime.
I feel like I am ready to join! What do I do now?
Please fill out our membership application here. All membership decisions are made on a case by case basis and there is no guarantee that you will be accepted. If after reviewing your application Congregation leadership believe you might be a good fit, a representative will contact you.