The Baphomet, an anthropomorphic, androgynous goat-headed figure, has become the unofficial official symbol of modern Satanists (Who don’t really believe in Satan, or God, or…it’s complicated, okay?) but it has its origins in the history of the Knights Templar, who were accused of worshipping “Baphomet” or “Bahomet,” which is a mispronunciation of Mohammed. In other words, it was alleged, among other things, that the Templars had gotten a bit too cozy with their Muslim neighbors in the Holy Land, going so far as to become secret Muslims. (There is no such thing as a “secret” Muslim, as such secrecy would fly in direct opposition to the tenets of Islam, but people back then weren’t any more knowledgeable about it than people today are, like those dim-bulbs who asserted that Obama was a “secret Muslim.”)
Anyway, folk artist Frank Fleming was completely unaware that he had created a Baphomet when he created his sculpture “The Storyteller,” which is located today in the Five Points area of Birmingham, Alabama. In fact the connotations, which came later, distressed him, but they needn’t have. They merely made his statue a curiosity piece, which ultimately led, and will lead, to more people seeking it out and seeing it. We were saddened to learn that Mr. Fleming passed away recently. As with any artist, he leaves behind his work to speak for him.
If you’re ever in the Birmingham area, make it a point to see “The Storyteller.” It is neither Satanic nor Muslim, but it’s cool, all the same.