The Satanic Temple, not to be confused with the Church of Satan, has been making headlines for years saying it would help protect the right to abortion by claiming it as a religious sacrament protected by the First Amendment. There is no evidence that their legal theory would do any good, and the organization is deeply problematic.
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of the Constitutional right to abortion and the complete abortion ban in Texas, it’s no surprise that concerned people are looking for a way to fight back. . Many of them find a home with the Satanic Temple, which has announced that its members recently surpassed 700,000. This would put them on the level of Unitarian Universalists in numbers, and there are congregations in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth.
From the beginning, the Satanic Temple has always been at least half-troll rather than a devout expression of faith. He made a name for himself raise funds to build a statue of Baphomet which the temple would install on public land wherever Christian religious symbols were permitted. They also tried to start satanic book clubs after school, because another way to thumb their nose at them is Christian domination. In less savory endeavors, the temple would also desecrate graves to make people’s souls gay in the afterlife.
Yet the rapidly rising tide of religious extremism in the country has made such trolling look like activism. The goodwill of people frustrated with Christian nationalism made the temple and its founder, Lucien Greaves (birth name Douglas Mesner), a folk hero. The temple filed a complaint in 2021 following the six-week abortion ban in Texas.
This obscured some of the more disturbing aspects of the Satanic Temple. For one thing, Greaves himself has several ties to white fascist ideology. He illustrated an addition from the proto-fascist tome strength is right by Ragnar Redbeard. The book has since become a flagship work of white supremacy. The man responsible for the resurrection strength is right of darkness, Shane Bugbee, had Greaves on his podcast in 2003where Bugbee’s wife claimed that Jews had exaggerated the Holocaust for political purposes with no response from Greaves.
Then there’s Greaves’ association with Marc Randazza. Randazza, a recently disbarred attorney, was consulted by Greaves when the temple sued Twitter for discrimination. Randazza is a minor alt-right celebrity who has championed both Alex Jones and the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer. Defense of Greaves against Randazza caused some congregations to split over their association with extremists.
Unfortunately, Randazza’s involvement is a good example of how evil the Satanic Temple is towards the law. Jinx Strange in Luciferian Dominion did an exhaustive breakdown of how often the temple failed to win in court and pays particular attention to the temple’s misdesigned abortion trial. In short, the temple completely misunderstands how the Religious Freedom Restoration Act works and is asking the Food and Drug Administration for permission to store prescription drugs on temple property without the supervision of a physician. or a pharmacist. The legal “theories” behind their lawsuits are more of a rhetorical trap that might score points on Reddit, but have consistently inflicted them losses in nearly every courtroom they’ve appeared in. There’s a reason reputable organizations like the Texas Equal Access Fund denounced the efforts of the temple.
Then there’s the fact that these lawsuits are used as fundraisers and there’s not a lot of transparency in how the money is spent. queer satanic, a website that has long hosted reviews of the Satanic Templecollected statements from several former members, including Jex Blackmore who appeared in the film Glory to Satan?, saying that there is no clear accounting. Another former member Told Newsweek she was ousted from the group after asking Greaves why he was using temple money to fight personal vendettas against Twitter. Nikki Muongo, former head of the Saint-Louis chapter, says his requests to have a public record of how temple money is spent have been ignored.
To sum it up: The Satanic Temple has spent at least a decade trolling the legal system with little success in rolling back Christian nationalism. Its leader has a habit of praising white supremacist literature and associating with outright Nazi defenders. The legal framework to restore abortion in Texas involves an ignorant reading of the law and an assertion that would make every church in America capable of acting as a pharmacy. The temple raises hundreds of thousands of dollars and several former members say the accounting is completely opaque.
There is simply no reason to join or donate to the Satanic Temple if the goal is to restore access to abortion in Texas.