Guide for Interlocutors

If you have never attended religious services by The Satanic Temple, read About Our Religious Services before you do anything else. That page gives you an overview of what services are like and what to expect.

The core of each service is a live stream of a round-table discussion led by the minister on a topic of the minister’s choice. Members of the round table who engage in the discussion on the live stream for everyone to watch are called interlocutors. Generally there are only 4-6 interlocutors who appear on the live stream. Most of the audience members only view the live stream discussion, and use the text chat to react and socialize with other audience members.

How do I become an interlocutor?

If you would like to be an interlocutor, arrive as early as you can. The text chats always open about an hour before the service actually starts. Ministers will often pre-select their panel of interlocutors. However, sometimes there will be an “open call” for panelists to join from the chat. When there is an “open call” the Chat Moderator will post a Zoom link with instructions on how to join, usually around thirty minutes before the service starts. The available spots on the panel usually fill up quickly, so plan to arrive in the text chat no later than thirty minutes before service starts.

When you go to the Zoom link that the Chat Moderator posts in the chat, you will be placed in a waiting room. Please remember that there are limited spots for interlocutors, so you may not be added. The selection of the interlocutors is up to the minister leading the services each week. Some ministers may add people on a first-come-first-serve basis, while others may hand-pick participants that they feel will provide the best discussion of the topic.

If you are still in the waiting room when services begin, it is likely you will not be added to the live stream. Please remain in the text chat and enjoy the services as an audience member.

What if I am added to the live stream?

If you are added to the Zoom meeting as an interlocutor, immediately check two things: 1) on Zoom, make sure that your microphone is muted, 2) on your browser, make sure the video stream is muted or paused. 

You must mute or pause the live stream video in your browser because you will also be receiving the audio for the services from the Zoom meeting. Once the discussion starts, receiving audio from both will create a distracting and confusing echo effect that will disrupt you and everyone else.

The minister will chat with you in the Zoom meeting before streaming of the services begin. They are likely to talk to all of the interlocutors to ensure that you know how to perform basic Zoom functions (mute/unmute, raise and lower hands, turn video on and off, and so on). If you unmute your microphone while chatting before services, please remember to mute your microphone again when services begin.

The service will open with the minister giving the Invocation and the Declamation. This may take between 10 and 20 minutes. During this time, please watch and listen in the Zoom meeting. The minister will indicate clearly when the discussion is about to start.

What is proper conduct for interlocutors?

The purpose of the religious conversation portion of services is to have an informal, personal exchange of ideas where a variety of voices will be heard. The minister is responsible for guiding the discussion. Although religious conversations should be organic and free-flowing, we have found that observing the following guidelines helps to create environments that are positive, inclusive, and productive:

  • Use the “raise hand” function in Zoom to indicate that you would like to speak.
  • Wait until the minister recognizes you before unmuting your microphone.
  • Mute your microphone when you are finished speaking, and remember to “un-raise” your hand.
  • Decide what you want to say before you start speaking.
  • Don’t feel like you need to fill up silences: some people take longer to speak up than others, so allow some silences to give room for others.
  • Express your opinions as opinions, not as facts.
  • Assume that people are speaking with good intent, even if you fear that they are not.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask “what do you mean?”
  • Follow The Satanic Temple’s Code of Conduct.
  • Follow the Seven Tenets.
  • Be open to the value of the thoughts and experiences of others.

What if I have questions?

If you have any technical questions after you have joined the Zoom, a Zoom Tech will be in the meeting with you to answer any questions. If you are having difficulty with the link or have other questions before you have gotten into the Zoom meeting, you can direct your questions to the Chat Moderator who will either be able to answer, or will direct you to someone who can.