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Satanist group founder may face charges

A man who may face perjury charges over a legal bid to have Satanism taught at Queensland schools has emerged from court smiling, saying: “Satanists always tell the truth”.

Noosa Temple of Satan founder Robin Bristow has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions and Queensland Police for allegedly lying in his testimony.

Mr Bristow – who calls himself Brother Samael Demo-Gorgon – had been directed to face a Brisbane Supreme Court judge on Friday to explain why he should not be prosecuted.

After an August 2021 hearing, Justice Martin Burns this month dismissed the temple’s application to challenge the state government’s refusal to let the group offer religious instruction at schools before taking aim at Mr Bristow.

Justice Burns said he had no doubt parts of Mr Bristow’s affidavit were untrue.

Mr Bristow was asked to show cause why he should not be referred to the DPP and police but he did not offer any submissions on Friday.

“We do not resist,” said defence barrister Chris Wilson acting for Mr Bristow.

Mr Bristow emerged from court all smiles after Justice Burns referred documents including affidavits and a transcript of his evidence to the DPP and police to consider whether criminal action be pursued.

“Satanists always tell the truth,” he said.

“Satanists have great plans for the future of Australia.

“Hail Scott Morrison and hail Satan.”

Temple leader Trevor Bell had launched the application, asking the court to set aside the Queensland government’s decision that the Noosa group created in 2019 was not a religious denomination or society.

The temple had earlier notified four schools – Centenary and Sunshine Beach state high schools as well as Tewantin and Wilston state schools – of its intention to provide religious instruction.

The group claimed it aimed to “provide students with information about the religion of Satanism, including belief in Satan as a supernatural being, the canons of conduct and the tenets”, according to court documents.

Mr Bell backed Mr Bristow’s decision not to show cause on Friday.

“This was not the forum to be discussing the ins and outs of why Robin is innocent of perjury,” he said outside court.

“It was perfectly normal and appropriate to say to the judge ‘if you want to refer this matter, do it’ because the merits of that will be discussed somewhere else.

“In terms of Mr Bristow’s evidence, I can assure you it was entirely truthful.”

Mr Bell has not ruled out appealing his application’s dismissal by Justice Burns, who described the attempt to get approval to deliver Satanic school lessons as “nothing more glorified than a base political stunt”.

“I have 28 days to decide whether to appeal. I am considering that,” Mr Bell said.

“In the judgment His Honour indicated that he thought the application was to some extent a waste of resources – with respect, I would disagree.”

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