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The Satanic Temple has been suing us since April 2020, and we are still here.


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Guest Article

Lawsuits, Lawyers Are Expensive, The Satanic Temple

January 25, 2024

Moreover, we’re no longer being sued by The Satanic Temple in federal court

Update: As of Feb. 5, 2024, TST is indeed pursuing their state court case, but they have dropped the defamation claim entirely, making their nearly four-year federal SLAPP case against us a complete loss

Original article:

Good news everyone! (Maybe.)

We have a voluntary dismissal of what remained of The Satanic Temple’s federal court case against us.

United Federation of Churches LLC v. Johnson
Notice of Voluntary Dismissal (case) — Document # 58
District Court, W.D. Washington

So we may finally get to take this part out of the ol’ standby:

“Moreover, we’re still being sued by The Satanic Temple in f̷e̷d̷e̷r̷a̷l̷ ̷c̷o̷u̷r̷t̷ ̷a̷n̷d̷ ̷n̷o̷w̷ King County Superior Court.”

If you would like to help us cover our ongoing legal expenses as they are about to reach into a fourth year, you have some options here:

If you need a refresher on how we got here, including the Ninth Circuit opening the door for TST to have another crack at its defamation claims:

If you’re wondering, “Wait, why is The Satanic Temple (still) suing you?” or want to help other people with questions understand what’s going on:

The Satanic Temple is also still suing Newsweek and its reporter (but maybe not her anymore!) for writing about us. In addition, TST is now suing a TikToker in Texas for talking about our case.

The Newsweek case continues to progress; the TikTok creator not so much.

If we’re very lucky, The Satanic Temple will finally take its L and use this as an opportunity to close out its state case, too.

If you remember, a little more than a year ago, the Temple and its owners were in a very similar position and given the choice to walk away from their twice-failed federal case to focus on the sort of good work they claim is so important to them.

However, we knew at the time that TST could appeal (which they did) or move part of the fight to a new case in a new court (which they also did).

Likewise, here it’s more likely is TST will add in the defamation claim to the currently stayed case sitting in King County Superior Court to consolidate everything there than do the smart thing and walk away.

Without being privy to their internal discussions, TST probably did this voluntary dismissal because the federal appellate court only allowed TST to revive the defamation claim insofar as they actually specified what was defamatory about statements made against them. This was already difficult given that it was news article, former members, and TST’s owners in their own words being described as defamatory, but then TST had to positively show Facebook posts linking to news articles and previous statements by TST owners had defamed TST to the tune of $75,000. If it was less than that, it wouldn’t meet the threshold of importance for federal court… and TST’s lawyer already admitted once that they were making up the dollar numbers specifically to keep the matter in federal court.

The state court case has been stayed since last year while TST was simultaneously appealing the federal court loss those issues originated from. Now we have to fight in that state court track, and discovery (the part where you turn over evidence to each other) can begin much more quickly. So in some ways it’s much more onerous than federal court.

But, the devil willing, we will beat them there are well because these ghouls have to be stopped by someone until they stop doing this to former members who criticize them, and so far, we’re the ones who have stood up them and their threats.

If you’re still a TST member or know people who are, see if you can get TST’s owners to justify using other people’s money to keep a failing SLAPP action going four years after they started it and lost every step along the way.

How much much have they wasted so far on this?

When will it be enough?

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