Michel Temer has had a rough first couple of days as Brazil's interim president, following being called up from the vice presidency thanks to his boss being impeached.
(It's even scarier in this version with background music to help set the mood.)
The event helped fan the flames of a rumor that's been circulating endlessly around the Internet: is Temer actually involved in demonic activities?
"So," you ask, "how did the story that Temer is a Satan worshiper even get started?"
People certainly are curious. The search terms "Michel Temer satanist" were Googled a lot during the 2014 elections and reached a peak this April, with the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.
Google's suggested searches on Temer also make clear that people really want to know the truth about their new interim president.
Temer himself has even commented on the subject in interviews. He told Brazilian news journal Estadão that this story arose during the 2010 elections and created "many serious problems for his image."
Congressman Marco Feliciano recorded a video with Temer in early May and posted a message on his Facebook page to try to help end the story.
Congressman Silas Malafaia — who is also a pastor — made a video last month saying that "Michel Temer is not a Satanist in any way" and that this was spread by a "mentally disturbed person, who pretended to be Michel Temer's son."
The "disturbed person" Malafaia was talking about is Father Daniel Mastral, a former Satanist, and author of the book "Son of Fire", which relates how he was "recruited by the Empire of Darkness" and how he lived while he was a "worshiper of the Devil."
"There are people like you and me, flesh and blood, who worship the devil," Mastral wrote in his book. "Many in our world suffer demonic influences without even knowing it. But to worship the prince of darkness, make a pact with him, and to receive the powers of hell reserves one to an organized, strong, and united group formed by thousands of people who are masters of High Magic, through which the community prepares for the coming of their Messiah: the Antichrist.
That's what this book is about. It tells the story of someone who was recruited by the Empire of Darkness, was part of hell on earth and was a Son of Fire; however, who was also rescued from the darkness and came to know the Truth—Jesus Christ!"
Mastral has given interviews in which he says that many people connect the characteristics of one of the book's central characters, called Marlon, to Michel Temer.
Marlon is portrayed in the book as a politician whose mission is "to be one of the facilitators of satanic influences" in the Brazilian nation. Mastral describes Marlon's characteristics during the course of the story and says that people "found in the current Vice President, Michel Temer, similarities to the traits described" in the book. "The Brazilian people are very creative," he said.
There is one other thing that makes people believe in the story, according to Mastral. A supposed resemblance between him and Michel Temer, which gave rise to the rumor that they could be father and son:
That's a lot of evidence, but...you're going to have to show us Temer standing inside a Pentagram before we're convinced.
Alexandre Orrico é redator do BuzzFeed, em São Paulo.
Contact Alexandre Orrico at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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