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The Satanic Temple

Guest Article

Lawsuits, The Satanic Temple

June 6, 2024

The Satanic Temple does not care about its members

TST’s own court filings show it is not interested in any structural reform or protections for people in the org, only protecting the Temple’s owners

The Satanic Temple has been suing Newsweek since February 2022 over a critical article the magazine published in October 2021 that focused on TST’s SLAPP action against the four of us that also quoted a few other former members who all independently echoed some of the same complaints.

The last issue to be resolved in the case against Newsweek’s is whether The Satanic Temple is a public figure (it definitionally is) and whether “accounts of sexual abuse being covered up that were more than anecdotal” was defamatory to quote someone about; again, pretty definitionally, no, that’s just part of reporting, especially given all that has been revealed in discovery so far.

This most recent round of filings ahead of a potential trial involved TST revealing that it had spent more than $43,000 on “crisis management” firms, including at least $25,000 on the same guy who helped the Catholic Church deal with its child sexual abuse scandal.

However, The Satanic Temple subsequently released even more damning evidence about itself, seemingly without any ability to recognize what it was doing. We’ve long said that when TST sycophants tell you to “report things the right way” or “go through the proper channels”, it’s because TST controls those channels and can stonewall or ignore you.

But we didn’t think they would go out and just put it into the federal court record on their own.

Now, these are public court records and the name being used by the person making the report seems to be a pseudonym. That said, we’re going to not include it or their emails here just as a matter of courtesy to someone who should never have gotten dragged into this suit, certainly not by the party they tried to notify about inappropriate and unwanted sexual behavior in their local TST chapter in San Jose, Calif., back in 2017. We’ll do the same thing for all of the non-leadership figures mentioned as well.

We’re going to start with the emails from the person making the complaint and then include the responses from TSTers after to try to keep it chronological. Also, while a lot of the people at the thighest levels of TST saying these awful things within the Temple are no longer members, it’s notable that none of them seem to have been kicked out for any of this awful stuff, just being insufficiently loyal about something else down the road or leaving for reasons completely unrelated to conscience. When you read accounts of their ousters, do not spare any sympathy for these ghouls who were willing to put up with so much except, perhaps, a direct insult at their own person.

Anyway, the first email:

So, notice a few things here. This is someone who is trying to make a professional complaint but doesn’t know exactly where to turn to given that supreme power is invested locally in the same people who are the subject of the complaint. Regardless of what terms they have ever described it, TST has always been shaped like a pyramid, and if there is a problem above you, it’s nearly impossible to know where to turn since anybody who could do something about it won’t know you and probably will know the person you’re complaining about who has all of the local power. That original email was actually sent to the general address “info@thesatanictemple.com” in the hopes it would reach someone who might care about the purported mission and culture of The Satanic Temple and try to do something to uphold it.

But that’s not what happened.

For help deciphering this, “Sarah Ponto Rivera” is a former public relations head for The Satanic Temple’s Grey Faction, the group that continues Doug Misicko’s longtime hobbyhorse against Satanic Panic therapists but also against Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD). But at this point, along with Greg Stevens, Rivera would also have been on the “National Council”, the small leadership level just below the two-person “Executive Ministry” of Misicko and co-owner Cevin Soling a.k.a. “Malcolm Jarry”. That “Michelle” or “Michelle Eris” is more commonly known as “Sadie Satanas” and previously was a leader of TST Santa Cruz as well as a future member of the National Council. Chalice Blythe, who forwarded all of this to Greg Stevens again in June 2023 for the court case, was a lot of things for TST prior to quitting in May 2024 when her own red line got crossed.

So the people discussing all this really are the highest level of oversight you could want.

And maybe you spotted it yourself, but it sure seems like none of them are especially concerned with whether there actually is a culture that facilitates sexual harassment or worse, right? The concern is “paperwork” and “our protection”.

But if you think that’s unfair, the internal email exchanges a month later in January 2018, again forwarded by Blythe to Stevens for the litigation, show exactly how fucked up TST’s priorities are.

We don’t get to see what the whistleblower is responding to except for a few clues. Apparently TST legal rep and former TST Arizona Chapterhead Stu de Haan told the person “your behavior is a legal matter now”, compared them to Christian opponents of TST who send “death threats”, and took issue with their tone. It’s not clear whether the bolded section was such in the original or if it was something de Haan was trying to highlight.

Regardless, other members of the National Council would jump on the excuse to discredit the person rather than give any amount of concern to the claims themselves.

You might think the self-identified slur was in appropriate, and they do sound a bit irritated. But notice how much up-front apologism they’re already engaging in. Notice what they’re actually looking for here but also clearly never going to get.

If you have ever wondered how The Satanic Temple talks about its people at the highest levels, including when they bring legitimate complaints about the way people are being treated in the organization, look no further than David Moses, otherwise known as “Kym LaRoux”, who was part of the Atlanta group and all-in on their work until being expelled himself in 2022.

TST has done worse things, but please read this for yourself.

“At least she gave us what we would need to show how unstable she is if she does decide to go to the press.”

If we were to tell Satanic Temple sycophants that this is the way TST treats sexual harassment claims coming to them, they’d call it defamation. But no, this is just what TST puts into the public court record about itself on its own.

Rivera closes out the conversation by refocusing on the real business, of course, whether local leadership fucked up so bad it’s worth starting over with new people. Not addressing any structural problems, mind you, just nuking all the institutional knowledge and doing it all over again.

6/7/24: Previous version of was not specific about year David “Kym LaRoux” Moses was pushed out of TST; it also misstated the timeline of Michelle Eris joining the National Council, which took place in September 2018, after this email exchange.

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