Originally Published On The Huffington Post
At the Temple of Priapus, all church members worship members — it’s a prerequisite.
The pagan temple began in San Francisco in the 1970s as a tribute to Priapus, a Greek god of fertility and the son of Dionysus and Aphrodite.
Since then, temples have opened in other cities, including Montreal, where David Francis Cassidy has served as Temple Pontifex since the early 1990s.
The Montreal temple and its members are featured in “The Dickumentary,” a documentary rolling out March 31 on VOD and DVD.
“Cultures have worshipped it, and circumcised it,” the film’s Facebook page explains. “Men have sought ways to make it larger. Across 14 countries, featuring interviews with more than 40 experts, ‘The Dickumentary’ tries to answer some of the greatest questions of our time, like: What happened to Jesus’ foreskin? Why do Hindus worship Shiva’s lingam? And, does size really matter?
According to the Montreal Temple’s NSFW website, the church says the male sex organ is holy and that at least four hours a week should be devoted to masturbation or assisting others towards that goal.
The temple’s website is explicit about the sexual nature of the group (we don’t even want to link to it). Prospective members must participate in an interview where they submit to sexual desires of church elders.
Cassidy tells filmmakers:
“The temple is a gathering place for us to express our sexuality. The temple is a place for us to feel free and uninhibited, to explore ourselves, learn about ourselves, to grow within ourselves and to become ourselves.”
Only men now belong to the church, but the temple would welcome female worshippers.
Cassidy was an original member of the San Francisco church and became Pontifex of the Montreal chapter in the early 90s. The organization holds services on the first Monday of every month, according to parishioner Ray Batson.
“[Cassidy] does this thing in front of the altar with the candles and the incense, and then we stand there naked and we’re praying for whatever,” he said in the film. “And then after, we just do whatever we feel like doing.”
The altar where the services take place is filled with phalluses of different sizes and from different points of history.
“We try and have the old and the new together in the service of the god we worship,” Cassidy said.