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The Satanic Temple

Guest Article

The Satanic Temple

June 9, 2023

What’s going on with David Silverman and The Satanic Temple?

Note: A previous version of this article lacked the updates between June 9 and June 28, 2023, but also treated too credulously and authoritatively The Satanic Temple Sober Faction’s description of Doug “Lucien Greaves” Misicko reduced role in the organization when combined with Dex Desjardin’s description of Misicko as being “semi-retired”. The recap and responses remain unchanged otherwise except for new additions.

What happened?

One of the co-owners of the Temple received a new firestorm of criticism from members of much of the rest of the organization after noted transphobe and longtime reactionary dingus David Silverman was touring The Satanic Temple’s headquarters/art gallery in Salem with Christine Shellska.

Satanic Temple owner Doug “Lucien Greaves” Misicko took a picture with Silverman (and Shellska) in front of TST’s “Baphomet with Children” statue.

Instead of apologizing or even explaining his seeming endorsement of a person now primarily known for being loathsome, Misicko doubled down and blamed everyone criticizing him in a variety of mediums.

Wait, that’s it?

Yeah, and it’s been tearing The Satanic Temple’s membership apart for the past few days to the extent the entirety of TST UK ended up leaving the rest of the org over it.

OK. Back up. Who is David Silverman? Is he the Nazi lawyer guy?

That’s Marc Randazza you’re thinking of, but it makes sense that you’re confused because there are a lot of these figures. TST is awash in them, and that’s part of the problem.

For Silverman, though, the short version is that he got removed as leader of the prominent national organization American Atheists in 2018 over allegations of an improper business/sexual relationship and financial conflicts of interest.

Buzzfeed wrote the definitive piece on this when it happened.

buzzfeednews.com
An Atheist Leader Was Just Fired After Complaints Of Sexual Assault And Financial Conflicts
David Silverman raised the profile of American Atheists through billboard campaigns that mimicked the tactics of the evangelicals whose message he opposed. Now he stands accused of financial confli...

For more, Adam Lee of Patheos and now OnlySky wrote a series of articles about all of it and the fallout as Silverman got hired by Atheist Alliance International, did some “creepy touching” to a woman at a party, and then got fired from there and went into the right-wing grift full-time.

From the third article:

Wow. That’s really bad.

Uh huh. But all of that is to say, his turn into right wing grifting of course has to include all the latest panics of the day which is Covid misinformation…

David Silverman
@MrAtheistPants
·
Jun 5
·
Thanks to my friend 
@LucienGreaves
 for a great tour for me and Kris 
@CShellska
 at 
@satanic_temple_
 !  Great to see you again and thanks as always for your activism!
David Silverman Retweeted
Patrick Webb
@pwleaks
·
Jun 4
BREAKING: BBC admits COVID-19 vaccines are linked to a rise in cases of heart inflammation and scarring.

…and of course transphobia.

Just one more:

Oh God. And it’s Pride month.

“Hail Satan and it’s Pride month,” our comrade in Lucifer.

But yes, that definitely did not help Misicko. More importantly, Misicko has been committed to not helping himself because his answers on this have been absolutely atrocious.

Lucien Greaves email
Hello Madilyn Love,

Before he came to Salem recently, I last met Silverman when he was head off (sic) American Atheists and I was speaking at their conference. I haven't kept up with him through the years, and I have not kept up with his opinions. He stopped in and said Hi. We're open to the public. Countless random people also get pictures with me and I do not vet their social media first.

Lucien Greaves
Cofounder, spokesperson
The Satanic Temple

Which, well, funny how many pieces of shit Doug just happens to wind up next to but keeps knowing nothing about.

Like ol’ Ragnar Santorum, even.

Consider also just how factually inaccurate that excuse is. They definitely worked together, apparently followed each other and occasionally interacted on Twitter, and in 2019 after two failures with atheist organizations, The Satanic Temple was still having him on their shows to spew garbage.

This was pointed out as a problem at the time by “Tertia Withershins,” a TST leader in Houston, in since-deleted exchange.

C. Widdershins 12/29/19
I'm less than 10 minutes into the interview with David Silverman, and I'm so disgusted. This guy has spent the entire time so far railing about the "woke left" and feminists and his innocence. I just don't know where to start with this. 

This interview should have been cut off five minutes in and scrapped. Fucking hell. If I took a shot every time the interviewer seems to agree with David's anti-feminist bullshit, I think I'd be drunk already.

@LEDFlashing [Jack Matirko, the interviewer] Can you say something about this? What was the purpose of this interview? I've made it to 18 minutes, and the dumpster fire is just getting hotter. Now he's railing about being called a [transphobe]. Wtf.

Jack Matirko
At the time he was running AAI and the new allegations hadn't surfaced. Had he not resigned, do you think this would've helped or hurt him? Because he made very short work of finding a new (arguably better) job without my show's help.

Ope, and wouldn’t you know it Greg “Priest Penemue” Stevens popped up in the replies. Again, this is the guy that was close friends with Mike Cernovich and Milo Yiannopoulos for years overlapping with his time in TST and as a leader.

Penemue
‏
 
@PriestPenemue
 6h6 hours ago
More
Replying to @SatanicTv @LEDFlashing
So..... let nobody ever say that @LEDFlashing shies away from controversial people or topics. 🤣

1 reply0 retweets3 likes
Reply 1 Retweet  Like 3

𝕁𝕒𝕔𝕜 𝕄𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕣𝕜𝕠
‏
 
@LEDFlashing
 5h5 hours ago
More
How do you think I ended up here in the first place?! :P

Prior to that petulant “this conversation is over” totally-not-a-red-flag Tweet addressing the situation, people gave Misicko lots of chances, too. This comes at the end of a long, long conversation.

Which is almost worse than not saying it at that point.

Then June 20, there was a whole Patreon article about it where Misicko said he would not cave to the angry mob of performative activists.

So still very much the opposite of learning lessons or applying to himself the same standards members and local leaders are expected to apply to themselves.

And now (June 28) yet another whole softball podcast with lackey Stephen Bradford Long.

It’s funny because Misicko did sort of tell all of us this way back in 2019. Or maybe the quote just reads worse now.

But like, this is still TST, right? So people are sticking by Doug Misicko anyhow.

Less than you’d think and way less enthusiastically that you’d expect.

In fact, Dex Desjardins appears to have made his play to replace Misicko as national spokesperson, but since Misicko is still the owner and face of the org, we’ll see if our lil’ garden sticks the landing.

Dex Desjardins

Dex Desjardins
4h · 
My thoughts on everything going on:

• I believe TST org should have been more promptly and visibly responsive and supportive regarding Black lives and the escalating assaults on trans rights, along with all the violence that has afflicted those and other marginalized communities.

• Lucien isn’t responsible for who takes pictures with him, BUT
• He needs to be aware of and responsive to how his public image reflects on our community AND
• His response to calls for clarification on his own beliefs have been milquetoast and defensive, BUT
• TST is not Lucien Greaves.

• *We* are what makes TST what it is, AND
• TST org has (finally) made a formal policy statement on trans rights, AND
• TST org has announced concrete actions in support of trans rights will be made public soon, AND
• I believe we stand a better chance against christofascism in all its manifestations if we’re as united as possible, SO
• I strongly support calls for action and reform within TST, BUT
• I also strongly urge NOT allowing one semi-retired man’s personal Twitter account to be the straw that fractures a decade of work by thousands of people, including many members of the marginalized groups we’re trying to support, such as our SoCC, who are working tirelessly within TST improve our community and our strategic effectiveness.
Dex Desjardins, Media Relations Specialist in a then-public Facebook post

The Satanic Temple UK

The whole chapter up and left, even, a least this second time this has happened after what would become Global Order of Satan in 2018.

TST Salem of course deleted the announcement post after not too long.

Did anybody else speak out?

A few. We’ll put some of them below for flavor, and as of now, these are all public posts.

The Satanic Temple Sober Faction

Let’s start with The Satanic Temple Sober Faction, who definitely wished it were true that Doug Misicko weren’t the face of their organization and didn’t represent everyone else in the religion he claims to own.

Dex Desjardin then came in to clean up and clarify that nothing had changed and Misicko was involved but claiming to be involved less in the future in favor of other people stepping up to parrot TST positions but not set new ones.

The Satanic Temple Sober Faction June 6 at 4:49 PM · Public The Satanic Temple Sober Faction strives to build a culture of anti-white supremacy, anti-patriarchy, and a culture of equity. We are proud to be called home by so many individuals, many of whom are not welcome in many spaces, including their own homes, people whose bodily autonomy and basic human rights are being systematically stripped away. We are proud to stand with and for 2SLGBTQ+ and BIPOC people and communities, women and trans youth, people with disabilities and who are neurodiverse, people in active addiction and in recovery, whatever that may look like. We are not represented by anyone who makes light of these issues or makes excuses or exceptions for people who hurt these communities in any way. We hope to model the VII Tenets and learn from them. We believe in Tenet VI and understand human fallibility, but we hold greater still the second part of that Tenet, taking personal responsibility and rectifying wrongs. We will always give folx a chance to learn and grow, take responsibility for their own actions and rectify any harm they have caused, but that chance is not eternal. There are people who have made clear they will never learn or grow. Our community’s safety means the world to us, and in the spirit of Tenet II, it’s health and safety comes first. We will always defend you. Hail Sober Faction!
Jacob Stinson Did a situation arise where this needed to be clarified? The Satanic Temple Sober Faction a co-founder of TST, who is the former spokesperson, had some questionable interactions with a publicly known transphobe who had been accused of other crimes in the past. We want to ensure our community knows this person does not represen… See more Jacob Stinson is Lucien no longer the spokesperson of TST? Is there any news updates I can read about this? The Satanic Temple Sober Faction he’s no longer the spokesperson, Ministers Chalice Blythe & Dex Desjardins are the new spokespeople for TST. I’m unsure of any news articles on the change.

Richard Proctor

Next, Richard Proctor, the Neurodivergent Satanist.

I Am Not A Representative For The Satanic Temple.

Can our guy consider that maybe we aren’t talking about this as fresh ammunition or to sow division but because it’s a real issue that we (and many others) have been pointing to for literally years now?

See also:

Richard Proctor (the neurodivergent satanist) Facebook post. "Everyone: Freakin out cuz of Lucien drama. Me:" <Still of man being hanged and saying "First time?" from the Ballad of Buster Scruggs. >

Yeah, like, maybe this should just be a sign you’re in a bad organization/corporation/religion owned by two shitty dudes rather than something you resign yourself to putting up with?

Imagine a megachurch and its congregation behaving this way toward a pastor/church-owner and how that already sounds.

Richard Proctor
10h ago
My thoughts are just too long for a Facebook status and I even cut some stuff out. I have been quite vocal about the subject so far and so I am posting this and then refraining from further discussion on the matter for at least today.
I am tired. My DMs are open but please have patience.

NEURODIVERGENTSATANIST.COM

6 comments
Illiamshadows Christobal
Richard. That really helped me. Thank you so much for your insightful and wonderful thoughts.

Rose NoChill Bastet
This is wonderfully stated.

Anthony Early
I get those that are outraged. I just feel sad myself.

June Everett
Thank you for somehow wrapping your words around the thoughts in my brain. As a CD, I feel that I am a Representative for The Satanic Temple, and how do I plead that 
I’m not? Because I have no plans to quit. In fact, I want to fight even harder.

Richard Proctor
June Everett TST is our house. I'm not walking away cuz the family dog shat on the carpet.

June Everett:
Well, more like the owner shat on the carpet and then raised rent on all of us.

The conversation ends with with this quite valid analogy: “Well, more like the owner shat on the carpet and then raised rent on all of us.”

Really think about that and how this so-called religion works. Yes, it is like Cevin Soling and Doug Misicko are your landlords — and you live in a state with virtually no tenant rights because this is America.

You cannot reform your landlord as a tenant by voting on it because they’re already said your votes don’t count. It is not possible.

Carmen Love

Morgana East

Recently Lucien Greaves was photographed with an asshole because he didn't know the guy was an asshole when he took the photo. Not a problem, people are fallible.
What IS a problem is that instead of rectifying his mistake and attempting to resolve the harm he has had it made unambiguously clear to him he has caused, he is instead choosing to be snotty and defensive. It must be so nice to have the privilege to decide that [to paraphrase the man's own words] the work our community is doing is too important to get bogged down with trivialities like holding himself accountable for his actions.
This is not Allyship.
This is not Leadership.
This is not any satanism I recognize.

Pandora Noir

I'm not a council member or spokesperson, so I can't speak to it officially. I can express my own exasperation & say that "come get your boi" is about how everybody feels rn. we are Not Pleased. Not cool Lucien Greaves Not cool.
Pandora Noir, public Facebook post

Salem Seladonia

I've said it often before but it bears its own post:
Lucien is NOT to TST what LaVey is to CoS.
Salem Seladonia, public Facebook post

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