Images of Satanic statues being sold at the Christian arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby recently drew confusion from fans of the brand. It was later revealed that the images were generated using artificial intelligence.
Jennifer Vinyard, a member of The Satanic Temple, designed the images with a generative artificial intelligence program called Midjourney. The images in question were of statues of the demonic god Baphomet displayed on shelves in a Hobby Lobby.
“I think we need to talk about what is going on at Hobby Lobby…won’t somebody please think of the children!?” Vinyard wrote in the caption.
The post was shared over 6,000 times and amassed over a hundred comments before the comments were turned off.
The fake images caused Hobby Lobby enthusiasts and supporters to express their concern and confusion.
“Hobby Lobby is gonna get canceled if people believe these are real,” one commenter said of the images.
One person, believing the images were real, shared them on TikTok and expressed her confusion over the demonic statues.
"Apparently, Hobby Lobby has a ... ton of Baphomet and demon-like statues on the shelves right now, which is really confusing because Hobby Lobby is a super Christian-based company," the TikToker, known as WoahThatIsStrange, said in the video discussing the photos. "So, to my avid Hobby Lobby goers, have you seen these in your stores?" she asked.
The video has been viewed over 237,000 times.
As reported by ChurchLeaders.com, the images were initially posted to a private AI Facebook group before making their way across social media.
“I couldn’t believe how many likes and shares the photos got,” Vinyard told Motherboard Tech by VICE. “I’ve read so many comments that cracked me up, mostly from the people who thought they were real and were super angry. I even got some mean Messenger messages from them.”
Vinyard said the images took her about 10 minutes to create. She added that she would have spent more time on them if she knew they were going to go viral.
“I’m actually a little embarrassed that they weren’t better…If I knew they were going to blow up the way they did, I would have spent more time on them,” she added.
When asked why she made the images, Vineyard replied, “I just thought it would be funny to use the Satanic décor, since Hobby Lobby pretends to be a Christian store.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.