Satan’s Goat Pardoning and an Ugly End to Ross Camp

Can’t we all just get along? Not if social media algorithms have their way

Members of the local Satanic Temple of Santa Cruz (TSTSC) were minding their own business, staging a beachside ritual involving a goat, when they found themselves taking crap from tourists recently.

This was not an animal sacrifice. Temple members were holding their first-annual Goat Pardoning Ritual on April 27. Roughly 20 members of the Satanic Temple from around the Bay Area descended upon Seabright Beach—clad in black and armed with vegan, potluck lunches—to celebrate the life of, and help name, the Santa Cruz chapter’s latest member. Lil Baphy is a white baby goat saved by Watsonville’s Little Hill Sanctuary from imminent slaughter. LHS has set up a Facebook donation page which has raised more than $2,000 to fund the goat’s medical costs.

The scene apparently goaded onlookers (who did not ask anyone what was going on) into thinking that they were about to witness a sacrifice of Biblical proportions.

“We were all gathered around the goat pen when the lifeguard showed up,” explains Satanic Temple National Councilmember Sadie Satanas. “We showed her were just symbolically pardoning the goat and she said, ‘That’s not the call I got.’”

After a few minutes of explanation, and some tasty, animal-free food, the lifeguard saw there was no threat to the goat. “When we told her what we were doing, [the lifeguard] got really excited,” claims TSTSC chapter head Lanna Navalia. “She even said, ‘Well, we have on-leash rules for dogs, but nothing about goats in pens, so you’re fine!’”


It was just after midnight on Wednesday, May 1, when Sam Bahu saw a scuffle happening outside the Ross Camp homeless encampment just off Highway 1. With the camp set to be disbanded after a court battle, Bahu, a 30-year-old Ben Lomond native, says he was driving down the highway at around 50 miles an hour when he skidded to a stop.

“I see a group of young men, all around my height, around 6 feet, throwing everything they could possibly grab at the homeless camp,” Bahu tells Nuz. “They were going at it for at least 30 seconds in my view.”

Bahu says he also saw the group throwing rocks and other objects on the ground, so he called 911. “The first dispatcher blew me off,” he says, and a second told him that a crew would be dispatched, but that nothing was likely to come of the report.

Prior to the Ross Camp’s eviction, four camp residents also told reporters at GT that people had thrown objects, including rocks and frozen water bottles, at people in the camp. One woman who lived at the camp also recalled an incident where a homeless man’s dog was shot repeatedly with a paintball gun.

With the former residents of the Ross Camp now scattered at the city’s ever-rotating slate of encampments, Bahu says he hopes that someone—anyone—will do something to improve the situation.

“People have found a group to target,” he says. “I just want to hear some type of urgency.”


Nuz has been wondering as of late what the true point is of the app and website Nextdoor. Is it to fill us in on what’s happening in our neighborhood, or to let us know how bigoted our neighbors really are?

Option two, unfortunately, is closer to the truth, according to a new in-depth piece of explanatory journalism by Vox.

Not only is Nextdoor’s “Crime and Safety” tab a hornet’s nest for racial stereotyping, but the site feeds a vicious cycle that foments an (often) irrational fear of crime. What’s more, it also now has competitors. A rival app called Citizen is now on the scene, and Amazon has launched its own version called Ring. With this new renaissance, Santa Cruz homeowners will have more avenues to traffic in fear-oriented misinformation than ever before.

We can only imagine what they think of goat pardonings.

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