Robin: What’s your favorite fruit?
Lucien: That’s not an easy question. Today I’ll say kiwi. It’s almost like a mixture of many fruits. It’s somewhat banana-like, it’s somewhat other things-like.
What’s the latest movie you saw?
I almost don’t wanna say. I don’t wanna offend anybody, but I didn’t like: it was Midsummer.
Robin: It was actually one of the last movies I saw and I didn’t like it either.
Lucien: Fuck, good!
Mattias (photographer): I thought you were gonna say ”The birth of a nation” or something.
What’s the best album that has been thought to have background playback saying something satanic?
I guess, for historical purposes, Judas Priest’s Stained Class. It’s the first that come to mind. It’s not really my favorite album by any means but I’m fascinated by the fact that it went to trial and they spent all this time dissecting whether or not there were background messages in these songs. All the while nobody was questioning whether even if there were, people would be able to reconstruct those, subconsciously, those messages, and then if they would be compelled to act upon them. I mean that’s a story that goes under-recognized for a ludicrous moment that was in the miscarriage of justice. That that even came to trial in that way and that that even had expert witnesses speaking upon this ludicrous idea without dissecting the nonexistent science behind it.
I totally missed the Judas Priest thing, can you bring us up to speed?
Judas Priest actually went to trial. There were these two high school kids in the 1980s who made a suicide pact together. The one died and the other did not die of the gunshot wound he inflicted upon himself. But it seriously disfigured him and permanently damaged him for the rest of his life. He’s dead now, he had a limited lifespan after that.
But the parents blame the music they were listening to, Judas Priest, in particular. And the claim was that there was backward masked messages in their songs that compelled somebody to commit suicide. And this made it all the way to trial and they had an expert witness talk about the power of subliminal messaging and the reality of backward masking music and they spent this time listening to Judas Priest’s songs backward in the court room to try to determine if there were these messages to compel these kids to kill themselves. It was ludicrous.
Do you remember what the message was that they said was from the Judas priests backwards music?
Oh, something like ”Kill yourself”, something pretty straight forward, so. But there were a lot of other factors in these kids lives, obviously. And that’s what makes it so insane that they would reach for something as obscure and unscientific as this explanation that they had.
Listen to Better by you, better than me by Judas Priest and try to listen to the subliminal ”Do it”.
Lucien Greaves is the co-founder of The Satanic Temple. I interviewed him at Way Out West where he was to promote the movie Hail Satan?
Hail Satan? is a documentary about modern Satanism, about the separation between Church and State in the ”Christian” United States. It’s my favorite documentary of the year. We’re watching it at Cult of Llama, if you wanna join the Cult come by the cafe and I’ll tell you all about it.