Michigan Man Arrested For Plot To Bomb The Satanic Temple

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by blueapples
Wednesday, Jan 17, 2024 - 19:45

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Under the guise of secular humanism, Satanism has been able to find a home in the embrace of modernity's cultural ethos in a way that would have been thought to be impossible in bygone generations. From after school Satanic clubs, public displays on government property, and permeating into pop culture through music and other mainstream entertainment, public perception has never been as accepting of Satanism as it is now. Conversely, that acceptance has also led to a reactionary opposition out of concern for the pervasive ulterior motives that are inherent in anything Satanic. While most of that fervent opposition has been relatively restrained, it stands to reason that those intent on summoning the embodiment of pure evil would conjure ill-will aimed against them of the same magnitude. That inevitability has been realized following the arrest of a Michigan man who plotted to bomb The Satanic Temple headquarters in Massachusetts.

Emergency response to a bomb threat made against The Satanic Temple Headquarters in Salem, MA in February 2023.

Police apprehended 30 year-old Luke Isaac Terpstra on January 2nd, charging the Grant, Michigan resident with possession of bombs with unlawful intent. Terpstra's arrest came following a tip made to the Kent County Sheriff's office from the assailant's mother. Her tip was made after a visit from Terpstra's stepfather to aid him in clearing out his home after being evicted from the property. While clearing his possessions out of the rental property, Terpstra raised a major red flag when he mentioned that "he needed to disarm and dispose of some explosives that he had." This shocking remark prompted his stepfather to photograph the eventual evidence before the Terpsta's mother was able to file the tip Michigan State Police responded to the tip by bringing their bomb squad to the residence. Using robotic equipment, the bomb squad was able to find and disarm the improvised explosive devices.

Terpstra had admitted to his stepfather that he had traveled to Salem, MA in an effort to scout out the target of his planned bombing — the headquarters of The Satanic Temple. Founded by Lucien Graves and Malcom Jarry in 2013, The Satanic Temple has become the most public-facing iteration of Satanism in the wake of other organizations like the Church Of Satan and Temple Of Set which laid the groundwork for them to follow. It wasn't until 2016 that The Satanic Temple would move to the apropos city of Salem, MA, the scene of the eponymous and most famous witch trials in American history, to set up its headquarters in a vacant funeral home.

Since moving to Salem, The Satanic Temple headquarters has been targeted by opponents on several occasions. In 2022, the headquarters was the scene of an arson which was quickly contained. In February and March of 2023, it was the target of other bomb threats just ahead of one month before the group was scheduled to host Satancon — a convention promoting Satanism rife with opportunities for guests to get their latest COVID boosters — in nearby Boston.

Terpstra's recent bomb threat triggered a response that is becoming all-too-familiar from the Salem Police Department:

"The City of Salem and the Salem Police Department recognize that it is frightening and concerning that there are individuals who would threaten or carry out violent attacks against others based on their beliefs and that we are a target," read an official statement statement. "On the one hand it is gratifying that our federal and local partners were able to thwart Terpstra. On the other, it is terrifying that he walked in our midst planning such violence."

Since his arrest, Terpstra's mother has plead for understanding for her son. She has stated he is dealing with mental health issues. According to police reports, Terpstra told his step-father he was targeting the temple because "there are pedophiles there and they're bad people."

While its supporters certainly haven't welcomed the violence threatened against them, Terpstra's underlying motives are perfect ammunition for The Satanic Temple's public relations department to caricature its opponents as unhinged alt-right domestic terrorists. The Satanic Temple has been especially active in using the press to cultivate its public image, most notably by latching onto the cause of pro-abortion groups that saw it featured in Cosmopolitan, offering the magazine's readers tips on how to perform a Satanic abortion ritual. The Satanic Temple has also filed numerous unsuccessful lawsuits challenging statewide bans on abortion across the country. It has also opened a telehealth service in New Mexico aimed at providing abortion pills under the name of The Samuel Alito's Mom's Satanic Abortion Clinic as a direct slap in the face to the justice who wrote the majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.

Though it is likely Terpstra is indeed suffering a mental health crisis given his poor judgment in declaring his motive to bomb The Satanic Temple headquarters with apparent disregard for the obvious response that would receive, the rationale behind his motive isn't exactly unfounded. From Michael Aquino, the former US Army Lieutenant Colonel working in the military branch's psychological warfare division, MKUltra agent, and founder of The Temple Of Set to studies on ritualistic abuse in which nearly half of victims reported their abusers were fueled by Satanic ideologies, adherents to the modern Satanism movement have been inextricably tied to child sex abuse.

Despite that evidence, most claims regarding ritualistic child sex abuse by Satanists have been dismissed as the latest episode of the Satanic Panic. However, the mainstream media's inseparable ties to groups like The Satanic Temple illustrated a conflict of interest that gives their position the optics of being disingenuous. After all, it has been said that the greatest trick the Devil ever played was convincing the world that he didn't exist.

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