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Guest Article

Lawsuits, The Satanic Temple

December 3, 2021

Playing “a shell game”: Arkansas claims it needs federal court’s help to get to deepest circle of Satanic org’s finances


ACLU and state agree it’s time to get on with long-delayed 10 Commandments case that TST pushed itself into

Lawyer for The Satanic Temple says he’s “a little bit confused” at state’s requests for documents to clear up which TST entity is actually intervening in Cave v. Thurston

The federal lawsuit surrounding the installation of a 10 Commandments monument at the state capitol in Little Rock, Ark., has gone on so long one of the plaintiffs has actually died. Yet, rather than letting the ACLU actually go do its job in First Amendment litigation, The Satanic Temple seems focused on bungling and obfuscating the nature of their own involvement in the case and continuing years-long petty personal feuds.

On Monday, the ACLU filed a motion that essentially said, “Look, The Satanic Temple keeps filing motions that have nothing to do with us, trying to re-open discovery, but that was supposed to be done by April 2020, and both us and the Defense have taken care of our business. Let’s get on with it.”

The Cave Plaintiffs are ready, willing and able to submit their motion for summary judgment on the merits of their claim that the presence and display of the Ten Commandments Monument on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The Cave Plaintiffs understand that Defendant Thurston is prepared to file a similar motion in defense of the Ten Commandments Monument. The Court should permit these motions to be filed without any further delay.

The Cave Plaintiffs urge this Court to deny any efforts to reopen discovery and further delay resolution of this lawsuit, which has been pending on this Court’s docket for over 40 months (May 2018).

It’s terse.

This follows on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporting on some of the latest filings between The Satanic Temple and the state, which mainly involve Lucien Greaves and The Satanic Temple’s lawyer Matt Kezhaya embarrassing the hell out of themselves.

Reporter Dale Ellis got some great quotes from Michael Cantrell, assistant solicitor general with the state Attorney General’s office, but this barely scratches the surface.

Defense contends Satanic Temple not turning over documents in Ten Commandments lawsuit

As a federal lawsuit filed over a Ten Commandments monument placed on the grounds of the state Capitol passed the…www.arkansasonline.com

Michael Cantrell, an attorney with the office of the Arkansas attorney general, representing Secretary of State Thurston, accused attorneys for the Satanic Temple, an intervenor in the case, of not turning over relevant documents sought by his office. Cantrell said requests for documents pertaining to the Satanic Temple’s identity and financial organization had not been turned over and that the organization had mounted conflicting claims as to why the information should not be given.

They claimed that they are the United Federation of Churches LLC, they claimed to be the Satanic Temple Inc., repeatedly rejected requests and refused to turn over documents on the grounds that the Satanic Temple is not, quote — unquote, a discrete entity,” Cantrell said. “We’ve asked the court to compel the Satanic Temple to provide documents responsive to those requests.”

Matt Kezhaya, attorney for the Satanic Temple, maintained that all documents sought by Thurston’s attorneys had been turned over as ordered.

“I’m a little bit confused about what the defendant is seeking,” Kezhaya said. “We provided the articles of incorporation; we provided the bylaws for the Satanic Temple Inc.”

Cantrell accused Kezhaya of being less than forthcoming, however, about the role of the Satanic Temple Inc. in the lawsuit to the exclusion of other entities, saying the organization is active in a number of areas through its affiliate entities and local chapters.

The Satanic Temple includes more than just the Satanic Temple Inc,” he said. “This appears to be a shell game the Satanic Temple is playing in trying to avoid providing responsive documents that we’ve been trying to get for well over two years now.”

Kezhaya responded by saying he would turn over any documents ordered by the court but that he was still not clear exactly what documents were being sought.

So let’s try to take you through this and help you understand how we learned that:

  • Lucien Greaves admits he dips into The Satanic Temple’s general fund as needed (but says he doesn’t really keep track of how much).
  • Contrary to public and private statements, Greaves swore under oath that he hadn’t heard his own antisemitic rant “in a long time” and claimed it was manipulated audio before initially fleeing the room where his deposition was being recorded.
  • Greaves gets dangerously close to stating outright that in TST’s first really successful stunt, the “Pink Mass”, neither a gay couple or lesbian couple actually were gay, lesbian, or couples; and Greaves claims he wasn’t sure whether any of the actors were paid or not.

We’ll also take you through how, more substantially to the history of alt-right and worse behavior, former TST collaborator Shane Bugbee claims:

  • Greaves is such a big fan of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, Greaves traveled to Italy to see Mussolini’s childhood home.
  • In 2011, Greaves talked about wanting to write a sequel to Might Is Right the grotesquely bigoted, proto-fascist work that has inspired violent white nationalists for decades, but Greaves wanted to make his sequel “more evil than the first by orders of magnitude”, in Greaves’ words, something the two men ended up unsuccessfully pitching TST co-owner Cevin Soling when getting TST off the ground in the summer of 2013.
  • Even before there was any actual organization capable of doing anything, in 2013 the idea was to sell people a membership card maybe with rights printed on the back or a lawyers number or something to promote the rights they have thru being a member of this religion.”

As you can tell, that is a lot to get through so we’re largely going to skip through the history of Cave v. Thurston itself because that is really complicated and more to do with the ACLU.

Just understand that the whole thing goes back to 2015 (a date that will be important later), that the first 10 Commandments monument was actually placed at the state capitol in 2017 but had someone hit it with a car the day after it was erected, and that the current monument has only been up since April 2018, which is why the federal case only officially starts in May 2018. If you want more details, you can read them here:

Federal judge tells parties in Ten Commandments lawsuit to get a move on

As litigants in a federal lawsuit over a Ten Commandments monument placed on the grounds of the Arkansas state Capitol…www.arkansasonline.com

OK, let’s do this.


In 2018, The Satanic Temple pushed themselves into the middle of the ACLU’s case as intervenors, likely due to co-owner Lucien Greaves’ ongoing feud with State Sen. Jason Rapert. This is something that was close to a main storyline for Penny Lane’s incredibly TST-friendly 2019 documentary “Hail Satan?” but the feud was also cited by ex-national members as one of the many factors leading to the Great Schism of 2018.

Cave v. Thurston was a fight that the ACLU already had well under control and one that likely been incredibly draining to TST’s limited finances in the more than three subsequent years and dozens of filings TST has engaged in. The only benefit seems to have been that it allowed TST to go after Rapert and the American History and Heritage Foundation to further Greaves’ mutual grudge with them.

That said, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker had been generous to The Satanic Temple thus far in the case, and at the last major juncture in October, Judge Baker ruled in TST’s favor on a number of motions as the state of Arkansas continued to work to get at just which entity it was dealing with in this case and what all records of its own it needed to hand over.

But in this more recent interaction, The Satanic Temple had a truck full of bad news back up and dump the whole load out into the public, not just related to this case (such as TST missing deadlines and pissing off the ACLU) but to the fundamental legitimacy of The Satanic Temple and its two owners: Lucien Greaves and Cevin Soling.

(Greaves’ government name is “Douglas Alexander Misicko” and he has in the past also used the public pseudonym “Doug Mesner” among others, but unlike Cevin “Malcolm Jarry” Soling, Greaves does not try to keep a separate public life from TST, so we’ll keep referring to him that way for sake of clarity.)

The absolute worst news of all was Greaves having to confront his own words and deeds as a matter of court record and sworn testimony.

The Satanic Temple is in this mess because when TST proposed placing their Baphomet statue at the Little Rock Capitol in September 2015, United Federation of Churches LLC was the only corp by that name who could have done it.

You may notice from that motion to intervene that, initially in 2018, Greaves tried to get himself added onto the case as that trademarked pseudonym rather than his government name. This is one of the many things that made the state upset at TST in the first place and start looking into it more deeply. Then Arkansas seems to have kept running into lots of different issues with the way TST was representing themselves for the purposes of the case.

As we’ve pointed out before, the Temple is rather loose and vague about how all of these various corporations that constitute it actually related to one another and share finances.

In fact, in August 2018, Cave v. Thurston includes one of only two references anywhere we’ve come across “The Satanic Temple, LLC” which was supposed to be the amended caption in response to the state challenging TST’s ambiguity.

In lieu of bickering over whether it was really “ambiguous” which “The Satanic Temple” and which “Lucien Greaves” were involved, proposed intervenors submitted an amended complaint in intervention which amends the caption to reflect “The Satanic Temple, LLC” and “Doug Misicko (aka Lucien Greaves).”

Consider that: not “United Federation of Churches LLC d/b/a The Satanic Temple” or “The Satanic Temple Inc”; is it some other corporation, a typo, another nickname?

Actually, the only reference we‘ve been able to find such a thing is a 2014 Facebook post by The Satanic Temple sharing a WhiteHouse.gov petition presumably TST created about why religious organizations should be taxed. Otherwise, nothing.

(The irony is that United Federation of Churches LLC is a for-profit corporation while The Satanic Temple Inc. is a tax-exempt religious nonprofit.)

So apparently, for those purposes in 2014, “The Satanic Temple LLC” is/was an alternate name of “United Federation of Churches LLC”, just one that was unofficial and looks a little fancier(?)

In August 2018, it seems like that must have been what they meant as well since it wasn’t till May 24, 2019, that the nonprofit “The Satanic Temple”, full stop, changed its name to “The Satanic Temple Inc.”, which was after the IRS approval and partially why so many places list the tax-deductible charity as the doing business of name of TST’s primary for-profit.

Seems just a teensy bit confusing, one might even hazard intentionally so, but surely the owners can at least keep track of all this stuff and the buck stops with them, right?

Right?


Here’s Lucien Greaves (government name Douglas Alexander Misicko) when he has to address TST’s front companies on the record from an attorney with the power of a state behind them. The transcript is edited slightly here for clarity of the exchanges, so if you want to check for yourself, read it in full.

Page 183 from text of link, talking about Cinephobia, United Federation of Churches, Reason Alliance, and The Satanic Tempel Inc

Q. Does the United Federation of Churches have any legal or financial oversight by anyone else?

I’m asking: Is there anyone to whom — yeah, who — who supervises your legal or financial activities?
A. No. I mean, we — if there’s question, we would consult
parties on how to reach the goals we want to achieve.

But we don’t answer to some kind of higher authority who makes executive decisions on, like, where things are allocated or anything like that. That’s like — we’re the highest rung of the ladder. Malcolm and I.

Q. So there’s no board? You’re not accountable to a board of oversight or a board of directors or anything of that nature?
A. Correct.
Q. Okay. Has the United Federation of Churches ever made public disclosures of its income or expenditures?
A. I — I was under the impression, maybe wrongly, that all of these things are are public record, but — but I might not — I might not be correct in that.

Greaves goes on to explain that the creation of Reason Alliance Ltd. also in 2014 was so that “donors could get their tax writeoff” and done under the advisement of Cevin Soling’s business lawyer James MacNaughton.

(Greaves does not mention this, but MacNaugton is the one who would go on to represent TST’s clients in the Mary Doe and Judy Doe abortion rights cases in Missouri, all of which failed at every level, state and federal.)

Greaves is not really able to answer anything about United Federation of Churches LLC despite being either the sole or one of two governing officers, and likewise, Greaves flounders as it comes to Reason Alliance Ltd. The story repeats again as the state’s attorney asks Greaves questions about The Satanic Temple Inc., founded in 2017. But as we said, it would only get IRS recognition as a nonprofit church in 2019 and become active then.

On the matter of Cinephobia LLC, Greaves gives a more coherent answer about wanting a separate for-profit corporation — owned by the same people out of the same building using a similar dba— for their streaming service, but when pressed about why they need all the non-profits and for-profits, it’s back to not knowing. Actually, there are even more associated corporations, but, at least in this excerpt, additional for-profit corporations “64 Bridge LLC” and “Winstonian Enterprises Ltd.” do not come up, so those may not have been known about to be asked about.

Greaves says he isn’t sure why the website as of February 2020 still tells people that “contributions/donations support the efforts and campaigns of The Satanic Temple but are not tax deductible”, and he says that should get updated eventually.

But as we’ve talked about, to this day the website TheSatanicTemple.com involves a level of subtlety so minute it is difficult not to view it as intentionally misleading. Some items are donations to the tax-deductible 501(c)3 church, but most have no such language and seem to continue to benefit the for-profit corporation United Federation of Churches LLC.

Which apparently is just dumped into “a general fund”.

Q. Okay. And when a person makes -- makes a purchase
on TheSatanicTemple.com of one of these items, where does
that money go? Does it go to a particular -- one of the
particular legal entities? Or does it go into an account
controlled by you? Or by Malcolm Jarry? Or what happens
to that?
A. Well, that -- that goes into a general fund.
Q. Okay. A general fund for non-tax exempt
contributions?
A. A -- a general fund I guess generated by the -- by
the for-profit incorporation of The Satanic Temple.
Q. Okay. And so that would be -- that would be the
United Federation of Churches?
A. I assume. I assume so.
Q. All right.

Greaves is essentially saying, “I thought it was totally normal and on-the-level to be able to refer to ‘The Satanic Temple’ as a for-profit or non-profit as needed despite them sharing the same building, website, and owners, etc., just whatever was most convenient at the time. ” Which, especially as someone who likes to go out into the world and present himself as some kind of Harvard-graduate brain-giant, is a bit staggering to claim.

Really, read that deposition. If you think we’re being unfair or leaving out critical details of these exchanges, let us know. By all means.

But what do we always say?

“When it comes to The Satanic Temple, there’s always more, and it’s always worse.”


There’s a very natural question to ask as a follow-up, and, indeed, the state’s attorney asks it: how exactly does that general fund get used?

Well, turns out sometimes Lucien Greaves needs a little help covering his rent.

There’s no receipts related to this, but Greaves claims it’s never more than $2,000 per month (not counting business expenses), and apparently TST members and donors are just supposed to trust him on all this.

Portion of deposition of Doug Misicko a.k.a. "Lucien Greaves".
Q. How about you and Cevin? Do you receive a salary or compensation?

A. No, we don't receive regular compensation.

Q. Okay. How do you make your life -- well, I'll ask -- I'll ask that another time. How -- how does The Satanic Temple -- how does the Satanic Temple compensate the managers? So Cevin Soling -- excuse me -- Malcolm Jarry, and yourself?

A. There -- there is no regular set compensation, salary, or anything like that. I haven't taken income from The Satanic Temple in probably, like, four months now.

Q. So formerly you took an income?

A. Some -- sometimes to pay rent and that kind of thing. It wasn't like -- there -- never more than $2,000 a month.
Q. Okay. So what all of business expenses does Satanic
Temple pay for?
A. Are you able to narrow this down at all?
Q. Well, sure. Say, take housing.
A. No. Well, I mean, if you consider having taken
payment that goes towards rent, then -- then yes. But
there is no set protocol within our standards that --
that -- in which The Satanic Temple automatically pays
monthly my rent.
Q. Okay. So do you take dividends? Or anything of that
nature?
A. No. I just stay afloat.
Q. You stay afloat?
A. Correct.
Q. Okay. So I take -- how does this work? Do you
and -- and Malcolm get together and decide what -- what
is to be done? How things are to be paid? What income is
to be paid out? What compensation is to be made?
A. I -- I never -- I never sat with him and agreed
upon a salary for the manager of -- of Salem or the
part-time employees, so that's -- that's been within his
purview. I'm not sure what  -- what their actual -- what
their actual payments are.

Are you starting to see why the state of Arkansas isn’t just harassing The Satanic Temple when it’s trying to get at the financial records of an organization with numerous front companies, a pool of general money the owners can dip into as they see fit without any oversight, and yet regularly calls itself a nonprofit?

Salome DeMeur, the former TST member from Florida, told Newsweek she got pushed out after asking Greaves why “he was going to sue Twitter like it was personal vendetta, but then using TST money to do so.” But when it’s all just Greaves’ money to spend as he considers most appropriate, why not?

Or as former St. Louis Chapter Head and National Council member Nikki Moungo put it back in 2018:

Though I cannot claim malfeasance in this matter (lacking access to the records), I find the lack of visibility on event expenditures and earnings unsettling and an odd practice. I did request summary financial information and suggested it be made public on their website as a transparency commitment to donors, whether or not it was required. My requests and suggestions were ignored.

Again, this is something we’ve talked about before because The Satanic Temple tried to fundraise $30,000 for their nonprofit church “The Satanic Temple Inc” while suing us with the for-profit “United Federation of Churches LLC d/b/a The Satanic Temple”.

But it should be something anyone who is considering handing to The Satanic Temple any money in any fashion ought to be thinking about. Lucien Greaves is one of two people, and sometimes the only one, who officially owns all of these overlapping corporations that are supposedly set up to segregate money properly. And yet he cannot talk intelligibly even to how much money he was drawing from The Satanic Temple’s coffers, and they show no one.

“Just trust us” is not sufficient financial disclosure or transparency for an organization that, at a minimum, brings in many hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

We have tried, in a more thorough way, to really examine these organizations and what their boundaries are. But in spite of Greaves’ professed belief that all of the financials were already out there in public for everyone, that’s only true for regular nonprofits that report more than $50,000 in annual revenue, like Reason Alliance Ltd. If you’re a for-profit corporation or a nonprofit church, you don’t have any requirement to disclose your finances to the public.

The Satanic Temple doesn’t have many legal victories on the religious exemption front, but in getting IRS recognition as a religious nonprofit, TST probably won the only religious exemption it ever actually cared about.

Much of that money is donated with the best of intentions, as a (justifiably) outraged response to the escalating conservative assaults on abortion rights.

In response to the recent “abortion bounty bill” Texas SB8 and the ongoing hearings in Dobbs v. Jackson out of Mississippi to overturn Roe outright, the relative certainty of it and people’s powerlessness about it have made them eager to “do something” and engage in magical thinking that it can succeed. Just off of Texas and presumably just counting The Satanic Temple Inc., TST publicly announced raising at least $300,000 in two campaigns since February 2021. But as to other fundraising campaigns, Amazon Smile, and all the other incorporated entities — who can say?

Back when they had less money to be responsible for, maybe it wasn’t as important.

IRS Form 990-EZ from 2016 for Reason Alliance Ltd with $8,672 cinubg ub cakked "grants" and "$7,340" expended under the line "encourage reasoning"
Same IRS Form 990-EZ for 2016 but it says $5,000 was granted to the for-profit "United Federation of Churches", also owned by Cevin Soling and Doug Misicko

But with that exception of Reason Alliance, they’re not releasing Form 990s or other transparent financials for people to see where money is going to apply oversight.

Even with those filings, compare how the abortion access provided Texas Equal Access Fund shows where its money is going in a required filing, including having a separate accountant and larger oversight board, versus Reason Alliance, which is two dudes saying they don’t take money but explicitly admitting in past years they gave the money back to themselves through their for-profit United Federation Churches LLC under the justification “encourage reasoning”.

To the extent that TST loyalists even acknowledge their courtroom defeats, they often try to excuse them as a function of the courts’ rightwing bias, which — granted — obviously exists and has for many decades before TST existed.

However, that is the game TST decided to play, and when you consider how much money TST raises from the idea that its theory of social change must be within the realm of court proceduralism, an alternate view of TST emerges: as an organization that requires the threat to abortion access to consistently grow worse in order for TST to sustain its own murky operations (at least so long as no one looks too closely at those operations).

That possibility should make everyone think twice before sending a single dollar more to them, particularly given a moment when so many other, more responsible organizations with better track records desperately need resources.


If financial transparency is not that important to you, or you just think it’s plausible that Cevin Soling trusts Greaves enough to handle soliciting nudes on Twitter for TST holidays but doesn’t trust him enough to make serious financial decisions and therefore keeps Greaves on a tight leash, we’re not going to convince you at this point. So let’s move on.

The other main area where TST is a net negative in any cause it barges into the middle of is the history of its most prominent figure, especially as it comes to his infamously low regard for observant Jewish people.

Indeed, after some questions about a certain tattoo on Greaves’ arm, the state of Arkansas asks Greaves about that “moment of cringe” as some have tried to minimize and explain it away.

Confronted, Greaves first attempts to give his usual excuses: It’s out of context! It’s a long time ago! You can’t trust the source!

(Reminder: it is not out of context, and the context makes it much worse.)

But unlike pliant podcasters, reporters, or Texas State University professor and author Dr. Joseph Laycock, the state of Arkansas is a bit more dogged about demanding answers.

So Lucien Greaves and Matt Kezhaya just walk the hell out the door because Greaves actually can’t address it. Not honestly, anyway, and not if presented with audio before and after and made to answer for himself.

When they come back, Greaves refuses to authenticate the antisemitic/eugenics audio and continues to pretend he didn’t hear it a ton less than two years before this deposition when all the major chapters left in 2018.

This same fragment makes the rounds every couple of years, brought up by people trying to discredit Lucien,” TST’s meeting notes for Sept. 18, 2018, read.

Indeed, this is exactly contrary to how Greaves himself portrayed the clip in a recent podcast interview with Cinephobia LLC employee Stephen Bradford Long, where Greaves said he didn’t mind addressing it because it came up so often.

Yet: “I would be listening to it for the first time in a long time,” Greaves says in his sworn deposition, and claims he couldn’t even authenticate his own voice.

Well, which is it, Doug? Is it like the legal status of all the corporations you’re supposed to be the top level of, and you just use whatever is most convenient as necessary? Or is there an honest answer we can hope to get to the bottom of someday?

Despite defenders of The Satanic Temple saying, “This was a long time ago and has nothing to do with anything,” no, actually.

This is part of a filing made in an ongoing case that involves TST’s supposed bread-and-butter of opposing Christian monuments on public land, and the incident itself is from a deposition recorded just last year, March 2020.

Yeah, it’s embarrassing. Yeah, it’s grotesque. But yeah, it really fucking matters.

We can also already hear TST defenders saying, “The Satanic Temple is fundamentally different from the worst things Lucien Greaves said and did with Shane Bugbee before TST ever existed, even if it’s coming up in court right now.”

Well.

Honey, you’ve got a big storm comin’

For those who need it, here’s a quick recap of Shane Bugbee’s relevant history with The Satanic Temple. For those already familiar, feel free to skip down to the next section.

Shane Bugbee was a one-time member of the Church of Satan, renaissance man of hate speech such as organizing the “Angry White Male” tour in 2001 and that collection of scumbags; Bugbee had re-published Might Is Right, the 19th-century proto-fascist screed that had fallen into the public domain, but Bugbee’s edition included an introduction from Anton LaVey, editor’s note by white supremacist publisher Katja Lane, and afterword by George Burdi of white power band RaHoWa.

In 2003, Bugbee released another edition of that book, but this one also had illustrations by his friend Lucien Greaves, then going by the pseudonym “Doug Mesner”. Together, Shane Bugbee, Greaves, and Shane Bugbee’s wife Amy put on a 24-hour live Internet radio stream via “Radio Free Satan”.

(Note: this is often mistakenly dated to 2002 and erroneously referred to as a “podcast”, and but the live listener call-ins were supposed to be an important element of the show.)

Might Is Right Special : shane bugbee, amy stocky, doug mesner : Free Download, Borrow, and…

Can You Chip In? The Internet Archive is growing faster than ever before, and we need your help. As an independent…archive.org

Full transcript

Those 24 hours included a lot of included a bunch of really horrendous interviews with violent white nationalists, slurs, and some apparently quite serious conversations about the need to re-introduce forcible sterilization and eugenics to the world.

Greaves and Shane Bugbee continued to have a consistent working relationship after that for some time, and Greaves seems to have tapped Bugbee to come in and try to fix The Satanic Temple around the summer of 2013 after the first attempt at a launch in January 2013 came off like a wet fart.

More on all that here:

What the hell is “The Satanic Temple”? — Ep. 3: United Federation of Churches LLC
For more information, see The.Satanic.Wiki

medium.com

The short version is that Bugbee was — for all of his many faults — someone with a lot of indie credibility and necessary media connections for something like TST to actually get off the ground. He understood social media far better than they seemed to. And Bugbee understood that if they wanted to make money, they needed to give people something to invest in, like quality merch or the promise of a magical idea.


It’s not obvious whether the state of Arkansas sought out Shane Bugbee or if he went to them. It would seem one of the reasons that The Satanic Temple’s recent filings seek the correspondence between the state AG’s office and Bugbee is to get at that very question, and possibly intimidate other people from coming forward with information against TST and its owners.

That’s the conclusion the state comes to in its response, with Arkansas joining with the ACLU in opposing the re-opening of discovery 40 months after it closed and against further extending the case where, again, one plaintiff has already expired.

As examples of TST’s consistent bad legal behavior, the state includes some cases followers of our social media may already be acquainted with: Belle Plaine, Boston, and, ahem, ourselves.

(Moreover, we’re still being sued by The Satanic Temple in federal court. Check our pinned post on Facebook for more.)

But boy, did Bugbee deliver a ton of stuff to the state of Arkansas himself, and, thanks to The Satanic Temple seeking to exclude it all, TST called more attention to it for all the public to see.

Excerpts will be included below, but please read the full deposition by Shane Bugbee and look at its supporting documentation for yourself.

Some of this, we didn’t know for certain, but people had suspected.

All of the folks who looked at The Satanic Temple’s second major publicity stunt, the so-called Pink Mass, and said “real gay people don’t kiss like that”, you have been vindicated.

This assertion seems to have been the source of a line of particularly funny and humiliating questioning, which you can read about on your own in this summarized form or in full for yourself because there’s still a fair bit to get through.

Shane Bugbee is willing to swear that, for Lucien Greaves, all that stuff about dipping into general funds whenever he was traveling for “official” business of The Satanic Temple or helping out with rent was very much the goal from the start, not an accident.

But maybe you think Shane Bugbee is not to be trusted in regards to his mere word. You say that he’s got a grudge, and he’s willing to lie in sworn statements about it (which is possible).

And yet, Bugbee brings the receipts on lots of things many people have suggested or pointed to over the years, us included.

One of the things Bugbee brings up is his and Lucien Greaves’ interview of White Aryan Resistance (WAR) founder and former KKK grand dragon Tom Metzger in the 2003 “Might Is Right” stream. Bugbee points out in sworn testimony that Metzger and Greaves largely agreed in the matter of good and bad Jews.

In fact, in this area Greaves has the more extreme position, asserting that there was a “distinct phenotype” of Jewishness to be considered, whereas Metzger demurred about opinions differing. As we have talked about elsewhere, that’s all something that severely undercuts Greaves’ excuses about how he was just trying to inarticulately express some idea he had back then because he badly misspoke this one time; in the interview with Metzger, Greaves is the one to push this line of conversation, just as hours earlier, Greaves — completely unprompted — brought up Nazis ruining the word “antisemitic” to continue a point about Nazis ruining the concept of eugenics.

Bugbee’s deposition goes further to put to rest all the nonsense about Lucien Greaves being so completely different from the Jew-hating, eugenics-loving edgelord we heard in 2003. Yes, those leaked emails about “Might Is Right II” from June 2013 look even worse with the additional context of 2011.

This is the real Doug Misicko, the real “Doug Mesner”, the real “Lucien Greaves” as he was just 10 years ago. This is him with his guard down talking to a friend in emails he surely never expected would show up later when he was a public figure cultivating a completely opposite persona as the face of a kinder, more caring, more liberal Satanism.

As of that email in 2011, The Satanic Temple (probably) doesn’t exist yet, but two years later, Greaves even pitches a similar idea referencing an updated book that includes “altruism”. Except in 2013, to Cevin Soling, Greaves leaves out that part about “more evil than the first” while claiming — completely implausibly — that the antisemitism in Might Is Right is just referring to Jews “in an ambiguous fashion”.

We will spare you the screenshots of extended quotes about “Jew-Bankers”, “hulking thick skulled Negros”, and extermination of inferior breeds unless you want to click on them to read.

“Outdated.” “Ambiguous.” “What we can learn from it today.”

Uh huh.

“When it comes to The Satanic Temple, there’s always more, and it’s always worse.”


Again, a lot of this is stuff we already basically knew. It’s just sworn testimony now with evidence in the federal court record, so it’s going to be a lot harder for TST owner Cevin Soling to keep this off of his Wikipedia page entry claiming mere rumors or claiming that the Village Voice is a tabloid and its reporting is not to be trusted.

Even something like Shane Bugbee telling us in sworn testimony that Lucien Greaves “has taken a particular interest in Mussolini, even visiting Italy to see Mussolini’s birthplace” is only surprising in its particulars, for those who’ve been following closely.

The assertion that Greaves had a sympathy to fascist ideology and its emphasis on power doesn’t completely run contrary to the public statements and actions of Greaves over the past two decades or so, a person following Greaves’ public career might well conclude. Again, as we have written about at some length before.

But something in this quote from Bugbee’s email jumps out as new and deeply disturbing in what it signifies:

AND MEMBERSHIP CARD… to promote the rights they have thru being a member of this religion

With people overwhelmed by looming certainty that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade — ending legal abortion access to millions across the nation — there is a natural inclination for magical thinking. There’s a fresh wave of people encouraging each other to join The Satanic Temple under the idea that TST is somehow uniquely capable of protecting abortion rights with their cleverness, with their power to use the arguments of reactionaries against them and bind their enemies with superior reasoning.

Yet the idea of The Satanic Temple’s unique efficacy is itself propaganda, a marketing gimmick from before TST even formally existed.

And according to sworn testimony accompanied by documentation, Shane Bugbee was the one to come up with that marketing gimmick, all the way back in June 2013, back when TST was still rather openly part of a Spectacle Films prank documentary.

Even before TST was anything other than a handful of odious dudes and these emails, the plan was always merchandising from the idea of members having special exemptions/rights while relying on countless people and media institutions not to notice or not care until afterward that those exemptions didn’t actually exist.

According to Joseph Laycock in book Speak of the Devil, one line of Soling’s pro-TST manifesto describing its purpose was supposedly this:

Action is based on the theory that when the rules that are used to subjugate a population are applied to the people who create and enforce those rules, constructive changes occur.

Which could be easily debunked by the pseudonymous Frank Wilhoit’s ever-more cogent aphorism:

Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

The Satanic Temple cannot save anyone. But maybe they’ve always known that.


The Satanic Temple’s most ardent defenders often accuse us of slander, bias, or just wanting to tear down TST and its owners. They are probably too far gone, but that’s just a handful, and most of the rest of you are capable of changing your mind when you learn new information.

We encourage you to apply a similar level of scrutiny to your own organization rather than accepting at face value demonstrably untrue press releases or pre-prepared excuses they literally train people to repeat.

What leaders of TST say in podcast interviews, and what they say when confronted with evidence they can’t make disappear with the usual talking points, are completely different things — if they’re able to say anything at all.

Sometimes, as with Lucien Greaves fleeing the room of his deposition, it’s because there are no real answers left to give: this stuff is utterly indefensible. Other times, they’ll do their best to ignore it.

And sometimes, they attack and attempt to silence people. But nothing stays buried forever.

The thing The Satanic Temple and its defenders hate more than anything is being confronted by how indefensible what they’re doing is. And you can choose not to be one of them.

Moreover, we’re still being sued by The Satanic Temple in federal court. If you’ve learned anything new today, please throw a few bucks our way.

Legal Fund for Victims of Satanic Temple, organized by Leah Fishbaugh
Former members of The Satanic Temple – Washington are being unjustly targeted during a pandemic by the International…www.gofundme.com

Be gay, do crime, fuck fascism, and hail Satan.

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