Lucien Greaves, the public face of The Satanic Temple, is also well known by the name Douglas or Doug Mesner (Wikipedia editors, “Lucien Greaves”; Bugbee, “Unmasking”). In October 2017, Greaves/Mesner appeared to implicitly confirm that his name is in fact Douglas Misicko (Greaves, “Correcting”). The apparent admission that Doug Mesner and Lucien Greaves are both aliases or assumed identities of Douglas Misicko came in the form of a response by the latter to a “fact sheet” published in that same month by the Church of Satan (a rival Satanist group whose representatives have made repeated claims that The Satanic Temple are not “true” Satanists like them). Misicko called the publication of The Satanic Temple’s leaders’ legal names by the Church of Satan “a low attempt at ‘doxxing’” (ibid.). However, it’s worth pointing out that the identities of both Malcolm Jarry and Lucien Greaves/Doug Mesner had already been revealed by a number of journalists and activists years prior (as early as 2011, in Misicko’s case). Journalist Dawn Eden Goldstein (who has been critical of The Satanic Temple for reasons very different from those of the Church of Satan) identified Greaves/Mesner as Douglas Misicko in two articles published at Patheos in May 2014 (“Harvard can do better”; “Take Action”). Anna Merlan, a journalist writing at the Village Voice, also identified Greaves/Mesner as Misicko in July 2014 (“Trolling Hell”). A Roman Catholic student association at Harvard also did the same in May 2014 (Gomez, Cummins, and Fierro). A blog post from 2011 similarly identifies Mesner as Misicko (Stop Child Abuse, “Douglas Misicko”). Given the previous attention which bloggers, activists, and journalists have drawn to Douglas Misicko being the public figure known as “Lucien Greaves” and “Doug Mesner,” highlighting this fact in the present study does not constitute doxxing, which refers to the publication of previously unpublicized private personal information.
Misicko is a native of Sterling Heights, Michigan, a suburb located north of Detroit which forms part of the city’s greater metropolitan area, and allegedly studied “cognitive science” at Harvard University (Bugbee, “Unmasking,” “Lucien Greaves of the Satanic Temple”; Facebook). Detroit is also home to the largest chapter of The Satanic Temple (Kim). While a thorough analysis of the significance of Detroit as the milieu in which The Satanic Temple is rooted will be reserved for a later chapter, it is worth mentioning now that Michigan has historically been considered “fertile ground for the far right” (Gross). Dearborn-based journalist Richard Bak notes:
During the 1920s, the KKK’s heyday, Michigan reportedly had more Klansmen than any state in the country—as many as 800,000, according to some estimates, though historians today believe a figure in the range of 80,000 to 120,000 is more plausible. Roughly half lived in metro Detroit.
Also telling is the fact that two former Nazi concentration camp guards were discovered living in Misicko’s hometown of Sterling Heights in the 1990s and 2000s, in addition to several others who were found living in adjacent suburbs (Wowk and Cardenas, see also 3.1.1).
Additionally, Detroit is headquarters to the NSM (or “National Socialist [sic] Movement”), widely reported as being either the largest or one of the largest explicitly neo-Nazi organizations in the United States. As previously noted in the preface to this work, the NSM has been linked to a Satanist sect called “Joy of Satan Ministry.” Far however from the NSM and Joy of Satan being unique or special in their pairing of Satanism and neo-Nazism as a religio-political hand-in-glove, we will find a large number of similar liaisons among other groups, including virtually every modern “Satanist” group. For now though, let’s restrict our focus to Douglas Misicko.
Misicko has been involved in a significant number of other projects alongside and in addition to The Satanic Temple, many of which are of interest to the present study. He has carried out much of this activity under the alias “Doug Mesner,” particularly that activity which was carried out before the emergence of The Satanic Temple onto the public scene in 2013, after which time Misicko adopted the Satanic “Lucien Greaves” persona as his new identity. It is worth considering Misicko’s overall “activist” career in order to get a clearer picture of the trajectory which led to his becoming the public face of The Satanic Temple.
The following bullet points are a summary of some of the key projects, organizations, and individuals which Misicko is known or rumored to have implemented, led, taken part in, collaborated with, or publicly expressed sympathy with:
- The Process, “an art and philosophy collective formed in the early 1990s” which was in turn largely inspired by the Process Church of The Final Judgement (also known as the “Process Church” or simply “the Process”), a cult which began in the 1960s as an offshoot from the Church of Scientology (Wikipedia editors, “The Process [collective],” Mesner, “Posts”). The Process was also the title of a magazine published by the Process Church during the 1970s. Notably, Charles Manson, the leader of the serial killer cult known as the “Manson Family,” contributed to this original version of The Process in 1970–71 (Introvigne, Satanism: A Social History 333). Misicko is the main contributor to a blog maintained by The Process collective at the website “process.org” (where he goes by the name “Doug Mesner”). The Process collective was founded by Genesis P-Orridge, a British musician, occultist, and self-declared hater of “christianism and leftism” while in the United States during what has been described as “self-imposed exile” stemming from “allegations of child abuse” in the United Kingdom (Powell, Farber, P-Orridge 31). The case, which was brought against P-Orridge in 1992 (and eventually dropped), has been described as one episode in a larger series of events that Misicko and The Satanic Temple frame as a “moral panic” or “witch-hunt” called the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare or the “Satanic Panic of the 1980s and 1990s” (a theme which is central to the discourse of TST). P-Orridge has claimed that the accusations arose from a film that a close associate of P-Orridge made about “young boys […] who […] put [‘an implant’] in their cocks” (Simpson). Without necessarily passing any judgement on the credibility of the accusation(s) made against P-Orridge, it may nevertheless be worth taking into consideration the contents of a book on so-called “practical magick” called Thee Grey Book (sic), which was authored by P-Orridge and originally published in 1982 and republished several times since then (most recently in 2010 as part of Thee Psychick Bible [sic]). Alarmingly, a passage in Thee Grey Book implicitly, though quite unmistakably, condones pedophilia and incest. The passage in question imparts instructions for performing a ritual called “Thee Sigil ov 3 Liquids” (sic) which requires the so-called “magickian” to come up with and write down on a piece of paper a “most intense sexual fantasy” that “would generate the maximum possible excitement […] regardless of the identity […] or age of [the person(s) appearing in the fantasy].” The “magickian” is further instructed to “be completely honest with [himself/herself]” and “not write something because […] it might satisfy other people” (i.e., to specifically avoid taking into consideration social mores about what constitutes unethical or taboo sexual behavior). This, along with the explicit instructions to disregard age and identity as limiting factors in the selection of a partner, has clear and ominous implications. Even worse, it is further stated that “the purpose [of this ritual] is to make these things [i.e., the things occurring in the sexual fantasy] really happen,” (P-Orridge 48). It is also notable that Misicko has a tattoo of something called “the Process ‘P’ cross” on the back of his upper left elbow (Vice, “The Satanic Temple’s Protest for First Amendment Rights” [tattoo visible between 12:36 and 12:41]). Thee Psychick Bible identifies “the Process ‘P’ cross” as one of “three power symbols” (the others are the swastika and the “Psychick Cross”). Noting that each of the so-called “power symbols” can be manipulated to form the others, it is said that the “connection” between “the Process ‘P’ cross” and the swastika “explain[s] the essence of power that THE PROCESS comprises” (385–389).
- The False Memory Syndrome Action Network (FMSAN), a group that works to discredit “traumatic dissociative amnesia” as “an explanation for […] delayed recall [of memories of childhood abuse]” (Facebook, “False Memory Syndrome Action Network [FMSAN]”). Misicko (going by the name Mesner) administered the group on Facebook in 2013 and another member of The Satanic Temple named Sarah Ponto Rivera is currently an FMSAN group administrator on Facebook (Currim 11; Facebook, “FMSAN”). The FMSAN seeks to have the mental disorder DID (dissociative identity disorder) removed from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a medical reference book, because the group “challenge[s] the existence” of DID (Facebook, “FMSAN”). Paradoxically, the FMSAN considers that “false memory syndrome” is “appropriately descriptive terminology” for individuals who “[come] to believe an untrue memory and re-structur[e their lives] around that false memory,” despite not considering “false memory syndrome” to be “a diagnosis,” even though the term clearly attempts to mimic the clinical jargon of medical professionals (ibid.). “False memory syndrome” has never been recognized as an actually existing mental disorder by the medical community. The FMSAN works closely with the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), founded in 1992 to defend alleged child sexual abuse perpetrators. Probably the most infamous incident involving the FMSF occurred in 1993, when it came to light that two members of the group’s Advisory Board, Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield (who were married to one another), had granted an interview to an allegedly “academic” magazine called Paidika: The Journal of Paedophilia, a Dutch pro-pedophilia publication. Underwager resigned from the organization following the scandal but Wakefield remains a member of the FMSF “Scientific and Professional Advisory Board.” Apologists for Underwager and the FMSF often attempt to claim that critics misconstrued their statements in Paidika, often only referring to a single line in the interview which they allege was taken out of context, but, looking at the interview more closely, it becomes clear that they put forward a consistent set of arguments. Below are a few examples of the outrageous arguments advanced by Underwager and Wakefield in their notorious Paidika interview. (Note that the comments of the FMSF Advisory Board members, whose subpar ability to form sentences seems to reflect the inadequacy of their demented thoughts, have been slightly edited, with some of the phrases uttered by the interviewer included in brackets to increase the clarity, readability, and concision of the ideas being expressed, without affecting their meaning):
“[‘(S)exual relationships between adults and children in the United States’] could range from neutral to harmful” but “putting positive views [of ‘good, healthy, positive (sexual) relationships between men and boys’] into the picture in order to come to an understanding” is “somewhat easier [in the Netherlands] than [in the United States,]” (Wakefield, in Paidika interview).
“[R]adical feminism” causes “child sexuality hysteria” because “men […] say[ing] that maleness can include the intimacy and closeness of [‘male bonding’] and [‘paedophile sex’] may make women jealous [and say,] ‘Wait a minute, we’re not going to let you do that!’” (Underwager, in Paidika interview).
Pedophiles are advised “to become more positive and make the claim that paedophilia is an acceptable expression of God’s will for love and unity among human beings,” (ibid.).
There is a “[‘reasonable’] need for paedophiles to engage in a discourse [about ‘see(ing) paedophile sex decriminalized’]” with the “goal” of advancing the claim that “the experience be positive, at the very least not negative, for their [child] partner [read: victim] and [child] partner’s family,” (Wakefield, in Paidika interview).
Although it “is impossible in the U.S. right now,” it “would be nice […] to do a […] study [‘a long time in the future’] of […] twelve year old boys in relationships with loving paedophiles,” (ibid.).
- Grey Faction, a sub-project of The Satanic Temple. The main impetus of the False Memory Syndrome Action Network appears to have been transferred to the so-called “Grey Faction.” The scope of “Grey Faction” is virtually identical to that of the FMSAN and Sarah Ponto Rivera, administrator of the FMSAN on Facebook, was also made Director of “Grey Faction.” “Grey Faction” activities include infiltrating, disrupting, and protesting conferences organized by psychiatrists on topics such as trauma and dissociation (GreyFaction.org, “Grey Faction Invades Conference for Mental Health Professionals”). These anti-psychiatry actions are done under the pretext of the claim that psychiatrists and therapists are guilty of implanting so-called “false memories” of abuse at the hands of Satanic cults into their clients, creating a condition which has been termed “False Memory Syndrome” in order to give the appearance of scientific validity, despite not being an actual diagnosis recognized by practitioners of modern medicine. We will see in subsequent sections how the term “Grey” carries a large number of esoteric connotations, some of which have already been alluded to (e.g., Thee Grey Book, the section of Thee Psychick Bible which encourages pedophilia and incest).
- The Center for Healing Spiritual and Cultic Abuse (CHSCA), a now defunct “nonprofit, charitable corporation” whose website described it as offering “healing resources for spiritual trauma, with fees based on income” (Internet Archive Wayback Machine, “Our Mission”). Two members of the CHSCA’s advisory board were known Satanists (Douglas Misicko, aka “Mesner,” and Shane Bugbee, a former longtime associate of Misicko) and another was Dennis Erlich, an ordained minister of the Church of Scientology who, despite coming out as a critic of Scientology, has nevertheless continued to call himself “reverend” and “minister” based on his ordination by the Church of Scientology in 1969 and claims to have “filed taxes as a minister” annually since that same year (Internet Archive Wayback Machine, “thechsca.org”; Lom; Pignotti). Oddly (for a nonprofit ostensibly dedicated to helping people to heal from “cultic abuse”), part of the self-described “unique position” of the Center was its “focus on […] not promoting […] anti-cult agendas,” (Internet Archive Wayback Machine, “thechsca.org”). Misicko is said to have “[played] a key role in [the] organization” (Pignotti). The executive director of the CHSCA was a “therapist specializing in cult-recovery counseling” named John Knapp (Carol). Misicko published an interview with Knapp in 2008 which is still available at “process.org,” although the CHSCA website has been taken down (Mesner, “Leaving the Cult”). In September 2011, one year after Knapp was accused of behaving abusively towards a client in a formal complaint lodged at the New York State Office of Professions, Misicko and fellow Satanist advisory board member Shane Bugbee both resigned from the CHSCA (“Therapist Abuse,” Pignotti). Ultimately, Knapp “was found guilty of practicing his profession with negligence, as well as with incompetence, on more than one occasion, and of unprofessional conduct” and had his license revoked in 2014 (New York State Education Department). Knapp is said to have admitted that he was himself a member of a cult during a 23 year period (Pignotti). Knapp is also alleged to have worked under a supervisor who “became a certified trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming [NLP] and Hypnosis in 2008,” making it plausible, if not likely that NLP could have contributed to his incompetence (Lom; Obituary). This is all quite fishy, given that NLP, whose seminal text is called The Structure of Magic, is widely regarded as pseudoscience and has itself been called a “dangerous cult” by the Interministerial Mission in the Fight Against Cults, an agency of the French government (Potier). Philip H. Farber is one example of an occultist who claims to be a “master NLP practitioner”; he wrote a book titled FUTURERITUAL: Magick for the 21st Century, which was published in 1995 and features an introduction authored by Genesis P-Orridge and is purported to be “one of the first books […] to incorporate Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) into magical ritual.” Besides this, claims about the alleged use of hypnosis by psychotherapists to implant “false memories” in their patients are central to The Satanic Temple’s “Grey Faction” and “False Memory Syndrome” discourses on psychiatric abuse. Given that Misicko was on the advisory board of a mental health organization that fell apart due to abusive behavior and professional misconduct, quite possibly entailing hypnosis and cult-like pseudoscientific practices, we must conclude that a significant degree of hypocrisy, or perhaps psychological projection, imbues the accusations levelled by Misicko and TST against the medical establishment.
- Reason Alliance, an allegedly “non-profit” company that ostensibly “promotes pluralism, fights for reproductive rights, protects children from abuse at school, and defends the unfairly or unjustly marginalized,” (reasonalliance.com). Reason Alliance appears to be a financial or fundraising arm of The Satanic Temple.
- United Federation of Churches, a company managed by Misicko which was founded in February 2014 (Bizapedia). According to legal documents, the company is “doing business as” as The Satanic Temple, which is a United Federation of Churches registered trademark (Burstein, Justia). The trademark attorney for The Satanic Temple is listed as Daryl Abbas, a Republican politician elected to the New Hampshire state house of representatives in November 2018 on a reactionary dog whistle-ridden platform of “Taxed Enough Already” rhetoric and pro-gun, pro-War on Drugs, and anti-“spending” positions (ibid.; Ballotpedia; darrylabbas4nhstaterep.com).
- Cinephobia, another company managed by Misicko and fellow Satanic Temple co-founder Cevin Soling (also known as “Malcolm Jarry”) (OpenCorporates). It was founded in August 2018 (ibid.). Its name and the timing of its foundation suggest it may be connected to the production of Hail Satan?, a propagandistic documentary film on The Satanic Temple’s “public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority” which was originally scheduled to hit theaters on April 19, 2019, but later bumped up to April 17 (hailsatanfilm.com, “Story”; @hailsatanfilm, Feb 27). Notably, April 19 is the eve of Adolf Hitler’s birthday (April 20, 1889); certain Satanist groups with plausible ties to The Satanic Temple (outlined below and in greater detail in 126.96.36.199 as well as later chapters) celebrate April 20 as New Year’s Day, using the initialism YF, short for “Year of the Führer” or “Year of Fayen,” instead of AD or CE to count years from the Nazi dictator’s birth instead of from the birth of Jesus Christ, whose Jewish origin constitutes a key factor in motivating many neo-fascist white supremacists to repudiate Christianity and embrace Satanism.
- It has also been said that Misicko “is a card carrying member of the Church of Satan” by Shane Bugbee, who was ordained as a “minister” of the Church of Satan by Anton LaVey and describes himself a former employee of Spectacle Films, the production company said to be behind the original would-be mockumentary film turned actual politico-religious sect The Satanic Temple (Bugbee, “religion” [sic]). Bugbee was also a partner of Misicko at the Center for Healing Spiritual and Cultic Abuse and they recorded a number of podcasts featuring an enormous amount of racist and extreme right-wing content together in the 2000s. (See below for more on some of what was said in these podcasts).
- Shane Bugbee has additionally claimed that Misicko informed him that he (Misicko) was “asked to write some private reports for [the Central Intelligence Agency]” (ibid.). At dysgenics.com, a website maintained by Misicko which was originally pro-eugenics but which Misicko now claims is merely pro-“eumemics,” Misicko writes in apparent sarcasm, in what appears to be an attempt to mock “conspiracy theorists” that, “Dysgenics is a propaganda site for […] the Central Intelligence Agency’s continued MK-ULTRA research programme,” (“What It is”). The website is devoted in large part to covering the same themes which are treated by Grey Faction and the False Memory Syndrome Action Network. In an online advertisement for dysgenics.com which ran on a podcast recorded with the Bugbees, Misicko puts forward typical eugenicist ideas, arguing:
“Natural selection in modern civilizations has ceased to exist. Today we live in a world overpopulated with bottom feeders. […] There is no inherent value on a human life. […] [M]ost people are worse than worthless; they are counterproductive. What can be done? WWW dot dysgenics dot com,” (Mesner, “Might is Right Special” [this ad can be heard from 19:26:55 to 19:27:22]).
The website’s namesake (the word “dysgenics”) is a concept expounded by the ideology of eugenics, wherein it is refers to “racial degeneration” and is posited as the only possible alternative to eugenics (which refers to “racial improvement”). The above advertisement is not the only instance in which Misicko has openly supported eugenics in the past (see below), but his website, recently taken down, was later updated to claim that dysgenics “may be better stated as ‘[d]ysmemetics’, a study of bad ideas” (“What It is”). This does little to remove the concept from its racialist connotations however, since “race” is itself an idea and the notion that “every race […] expresses a certain idea” is found in the canonical literature promoted by the modern neo-fascist movement (Yockey). The claim advanced by Bugbee, that Misicko bragged about writing CIA reports may just be more of the same disdainful sarcasm that we find on “dysgenics.com,” but the fact that Misicko is alleged to have uttered such a statement in private does seem to cast it in a somewhat different light.
- Although The Satanic Temple attempts to present itself along politically progressive lines, Douglas Misicko has collaborated with a significant number of individuals holding prominent positions in white supremacist and neo-Nazi movements. In 2003, Shane Bugbee published a new edition of a book called Might is Right with illustrations by Misicko. Originally published in 1890, Might is Right is considered an influential work among right-wing extremists. Amy Bugbee, wife of Shane Bugbee, calls it “a cornerstone […] of the modern White Power movement” (Suffering and Celebration 90). The then most recent edition of Might is Right, published four years prior to the Bugbee edition, was published by “14 Words Press,” an openly neo-Nazi publishing house, and features a variant of the swastika on the cover (RationalWiki editors; ADL, “Triskele”). The preface to Bugbee’s 2003 republication of Might is Right which Misicko illustrated was written by Katja Lane, the co-founder of “14 Words Press” and wife of the white supremacist terrorist David Lane (1938–2007), who is remembered mainly for coining the “Fourteen Words” slogan (which has become popular among so-called “white nationalists” and goes, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,” [ADL]) and for having been a key member of “The Order,” a neo-Nazi terrorist group best known for carrying out the assassination of Alan Berg (1934–1984), a Jewish radio talk show host (“Art Talk – Shane Bugbee”). The afterword of the edition of Might is Right illustrated by Misicko was written by George Burdi (1970–present), who, as the frontman of a band called RaHoWa (a syllabic abbreviation for “Racial Holy War”), was an influential figure in the Detroit-based neo-Nazi skinhead “hate-rock” scene of the 1990s. Burdi was also a leader of the Canadian branch of the World Church of the Creator, a neo-Nazi religious cult whose pseudo-theology inspired his band’s name. Misicko, along with Shane and Amy Bugbee, gave a sympathetic interview to Burdi during a 24 hour long “Might is Right” podcast recorded on September 11, 2002. (Although Burdi claimed to have left the neo-Nazi movement behind him after being imprisoned for assault in 1997, a 2017 interview with Burdi on FSN.tv, a Youtube channel run by German neo-Nazis, demonstrates otherwise [FSN, “Interview mit George Burdi”]).
- A number of signs clearly point to Misicko’s continuing sympathy for and affinity with right-wing extremists. In March 2016, Misicko announced that he would be boycotting a Satanism-related conference called “Left Hand Path Consortium” in solidarity with Augustus Sol Invictus (also known as Austin Gillespie [1983–present]), a neo-Nazi lawyer and occultist who had been slated to speak at the conference before organizers apparently decided that it would be best to exclude him (Greaves, [Facebook post]). As a lawyer, Invictus/Gillespie defended a white supremacist named Marcus Faella (1973–present) in court (Pierson Curtis). Faella was a leader of a neo-Nazi terrorist group called “American Front.” Faella’s rival for leadership in the “American Front” was James Porrazzo, a former member of a now apparently defunct, ostensibly “pro-North Korean,” third positionist political cult called “Rural People’s Party,” some of whose members, including Joshua Caleb Sutter and Jillian Hoy are suspected to have gone on to form an openly pro-human sacrifice and pro-terrorism, Satanic neo-Nazi cult called “Tempel ov Blood” (@eggfordinner; Thayer, “White Power and apocalyptic cults”, “U.S. Soldiers Uncovered”). Tempel ov Blood, which may be considered as a US branch of the UK-based Satanic neo-Nazi sect called the “Order of Nine Angles” (although it is likely that the original incarnation of the latter was as something analogous to a UK branch of the US-based, Church of Satan-derived Temple of Set [see: 6.1.1]), is known to have ties to the neo-Nazi terrorist group “Atomwaffen Division” (Hatewatch Staff, Hanrahan). Additionally, Porrazzo is alleged to have attended an event at the headquarters of The Satanic Temple in 2015 and to have received political funding from a self-avowedly fascist and Satanist publisher of far-right, neo-fascist literature named Adam Parfrey (1957–2018), whom Misicko personally eulogized on social media after he died in 2018 (Trident, Feral). It was Parfrey’s company, Feral House, which published the pro-Satanism, pro-Nazism book Siege: The Collected Writings of James Mason in 1992, which would go on to become the bible of Atomwaffen Division. In a statement of solidarity with Invictus/Gillespie, which remains on Facebook where it was originally posted in 2016, Misicko opines, “Fascism legitimately has a place in discussions upon political philosophies,” and affirms that “[Invictus/Gillespie’s neo-Nazi] perspective […] legitimately falls somewhere on a broad spectrum of recognized ‘Left Hand Path’ philosophies.”
- In 2017, Misicko was adamant in demanding the defense of the “free speech” rights of Milo Yiannopoulos, who, as an editor and writer for the far-right media outlet Breitbart News under its executive chairman Steve Bannon (who would shortly thereafter become chief executive of the Donald Trump presidential campaign and later the USA’s first ‘White House Chief Strategist’), worked to bring neo-Nazism into the mainstream by courting a number of right-wing extremists in order to amplify their voices under the concocted “Alt-Right” label. Notable here is Bannon’s open flirtation with Satanism in the immediate aftermath of the election of Donald Trump. Business Insider reports that in November 2016, Bannon declared, “Darkness is good […] Satan [is] power,” (Tani). Among the individuals Yiannopoulos collaborated with under Bannon’s direction was Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer (1985–present), an American man with a large swastika tattoo on his chest who is also an administrator at The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi online media outlet (Bernstein). After low-level members of The Satanic Temple announced their intention to protest an event featuring Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, Misicko quickly chastised them, disavowed TST’s willingness to protest the neo-Nazi-promoting “Alt-Right” figurehead, and shared a Breitbart article on Twitter announcing TST’s position of defending Yiannopoulos’s right to “free speech” (Pringle, Greaves, Sangs).
- In August 2018, Misicko announced that he would be working with a lawyer named Marc Randazza to sue Twitter for alleged “religious discrimination” for temporarily suspending his personal account and that of The Satanic Temple on the social media platform. Randazza is infamous for defending neo-Nazis and white supremacists in court cases. He is currently defending several neo-fascists on trial in connection with their roles in the infamous August 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia “Unite the Right” rally (Domonoske). Among the defendants in the case (Sines et al v. Kessler et al) are Augustus Sol Invictus, Jeff Schoep (leader of the neo-Nazi group “NSM,” which, besides its known ties to “Joy of Satan Ministry,” also has numerous links to crime, including child abuse and terrorism [CBS5; Morlin; McKinley]), Andrew Anglin (an editor at the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer) and white supremacist terrorist James Alex Fields, Jr. (the member of the “Alt-Right” neo-Nazi group “Vanguard America” who drove a muscle car at high speed into a large group of antifascist protesters during the Charlottesville neo-fascist rally, killing an anti-racist protester named Heather Heyer and injuring numerous others [Justia]). Many of the defendants are affiliated with groups which are in turn affiliated with the “Nationalist Front,” an umbrella organization through which numerous right-wing extremist sects have united, including the previously mentioned NSM and Vanguard America (Tanner). Among the co-founders of “Nationalist Front,” we also find sects with names like “Aryan Terror Brigade” and several others which claim affinity with “Combat–18,” a neo-Nazi terrorist group based in the UK which was formerly led David Myatt, who inspired to so-called “London Nailbomber” neo-Nazi terrorist attack of 1999 (McLagan) and was also the founder the previously mentioned human sacrifice-advocating “Order of Nine Angles” (Introvigne, Satanism: A Social History 357–358), a UK-based Satanic group whose sympathizers in the United States formed the also previously mentioned “Tempel ov Blood,” which has built discernable links with the so-called “Alt-Right” (Buntovnik, Ryan, Hatchet). Notably, the entire membership of the Los Angeles chapter of TST withdrew from TST in protest over Misicko’s decision to work with Randazza, its members apparently either having tolerated Misicko’s numerous other fascist affiliations up to that point or else having been incredibly ignorant (Burton). In an essay published on August 7, 2018 titled “Down the Spiral of Purity” Misicko disingenuously defended his choice of lawyer by painting Randazza’s legal work with neo-Nazis as a matter of “defend[ing] […] offensive speech,” despite Randazza’s active role in a case involving neo-Nazis whose actions clearly go beyond “hate speech,” into the realm of terrorist violence. The title of Misicko’s essay (“Down the Spiral of Purity”) may be an oblique reference to the cult of personality dedicated to Charles Manson—a well known piece of trivia surrounding the album “The Downward Spiral” by the band Nine Inch Nails, later remixed as “Further Down the Spiral,” is that the album was recorded in the same house where members of the Manson Family committed the Tate murders (Ali, Novak). Additionally, the terms “purity spiral” or “purity spiraling” are neologistic jargon used by followers of the neo-Nazi “Alt-Right”; according to a February 2018 post on “r/DebateFascism,” a neo-fascist forum on Reddit, the term is frequently “mentioned in right[-]wing circles these days.” Among the top results of a September 2018 search query on Youtube for “Alt-Right Read Siege” (note: “Read Siege” is a loose label for an assortment of neo-Nazi “Alt-Right” groups influenced by the cult of personality of Charles Manson) was a video (which has since been removed) titled “Hitler on Purity Spiraling,” which featured a voice reading a passage from Mein Kampf accompanied by a photo of Adolf Hitler. There is even a neo-Nazi website called “ThePuritySpiral.com,” which is affiliated with something called “Radio Aryan.” A post on a white supremacist (neo-Confederate) blog titled “Dixie Patriot” defines “purity spiraling” as “the Alt-right version of being called a ‘right-wing nut job’.” Given the subject matter of Misicko’s essay (defending himself from accusations of cozying up too closely to a defender of the so-called “Alt-Right”), his choice of title (“Down the Spiral of Purity”) can be read as a clear dog whistle to his neo-fascist friends. In a move to clamp down on dissent within TST and “prevent elaborate conspiracy theories,” Misicko moved in early September 2018 to make all TST chapter heads sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which would include “a broad […] ‘non-disparagement clause’ that prevents former chapter leaders from […] making disparaging commentary related to the organization even, or especially, upon their departure from [TST]” (Mehta).
- During the previously mentioned “Might is Right” podcast, Misicko also granted a cordial interview to Tom Metzger, a former “Grand Dragon” of the California Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of a neo-Nazi group called White Aryan Resistance. Metzger is perhaps best known for helping to popularize the figure of the “lone wolf” as an ideal model of organizing white supremacist terrorism (ADL, “Tom Metzger/White Aryan Resistance”).
It’s worth taking a closer look at the content of Douglas Misicko’s interview with Tom Metzger on Shane Bugbee’s podcast to get a better idea of just how steeped in far-right, racist discourse The Satanic Temple’s spokesman was in 2002. This interview provides a vital piece of the contextual backdrop which must necessarily color our understanding of Misicko’s more recent displays of solidarity, sympathy, and elbow-rubbing with prominent white supremacist and neo-Nazi figures in the so-called “Alt-Right” movement and the decision to work with a lawyer currently involved in a case whose defendants are neo-Nazi terrorists.
In the Might is Right podcast, Misicko engages Metzger in a lengthy discussion in which Misicko questions Metzger about “Jewish bloodlines” and the racial policies of Nazi Germany (Bugbee and Mesner, “Might is Right Special” [note: the interview, which lasts 36 minutes, starts at about 19:27:30 and ends at 20:03:50]). At one point during the recorded conversation with Metzger, Misicko states, “I think there should be eugenics policy, population control policy. Something that ensures quality reproduction.” Although Misicko qualifies his pro-eugenics statement with the caveat that his ideal eugenics system would be based on IQ testing or “intelligence laws” (as opposed to being based strictly on racial grounds), it is known that IQ testing is culturally biased and that race is a cultural construct. Thus when Metzger objects that “[although] there are gray areas […] if you judge the black race by its whole, you must come up with the idea that they’re definitely an inferior race,” Misicko tries to win Metzger over to his position by implying that eugenics would still decimate the Afro-diasporic population even if it was based on IQ testing instead of race when he argues, “But that being the case [i.e., the case being that posited by Metzger—that “the black race by its whole (is) definitely an (intellectually) inferior race”], you still wouldn’t have to enact racial laws, you’d just have to enact intelligence laws, and if that [black intellectual inferiority] was being the case, then that good segment of the population would have to drop off.” Here it is clear that what Misicko euphemistically posits as “that good segment of the population” is an intellectually “inferior” segment of the population whose “race” is disproportionately Black. What is essential to comprehend about this segment of the interview is that Misicko is attempting to sell de jure “IQ-based” eugenics to Metzger as de facto Black genocide. Metzger responds to Misicko’s idea by saying, “Well, we’ll leave you the project of raising the IQ of the black race to about 140 and I’ll be standing by when you’re successful,” prompting laughter from Misicko and his co-interviewers, Amy and Shane Bugbee. Shortly after that, Amy Bugbee (the wife of Shane Bugbee) chimes in to assert her belief that white people are not “necessarily the same species as blacks or Asians, you know, or any number of different races.” Tellingly, the Confederate battle flag was prominently displayed at the studio where Misicko recorded with the Bugbees (see: 5.2), who also strangely claimed that they held their wedding ceremony “in South Carolina because it is legal to fly the Confederate flag there” (Sula). The interview ends with Misicko promising to send Metzger a “personalize[d] copy” of Might is Right.
That Misicko continues to run in the same far-right social circles is further evinced by the fact that he contributed (a chapter about The Satanic Temple) to Satan Superstar: A Handbook of the Infernal and the Immaculate in Popular Occulture (a book published in April 2018) alongside Boyd Rice, described as “a cult figure in the racial underground musical world” on Race and Reason, a TV show hosted by Tom Metzger that ran in the late 1980s (“Boyd Rice on Racist TV Show”). Rice appeared on Metzger’s show in 1986 or ’87 and spoke about his relationship with other musicians “moving more and more towards racialist stuff,” including David Tibet (who, like Misicko, is an associate of Genesis P-Orridge) and the band Death in June, which Rice eventually joined as a member and which he described as “very racialist-oriented,” (ibid.). Death in June is known to draw on Nazi themes (Hatewatch Staff, 7.4). According to Zach Black, the founder of “the Satanic International Network, the largest […] social media site for Satanists,” LaVey intended for Rice to take over as leader of the Church of Satan after he died (Merlan, “Trolling Hell”). Satan Superstar also features an interview with Nikolas Schreck, a neo-Nazi musician and son-in-law of Church of Satan frontman Anton LaVey. Like Rice, Schreck appeared on Metzger’s Race and Reason TV show (“Nazi Interviews Satanic Goth, Nikolas Schreck”). The title of Satan Superstar echoes that of Charles Manson Superstar, a 1989 film written and directed by Schreck that promotes the Charles Manson cult of personality, glorifying the cult leader as “one of the last true heretics of our time,” (3:35). In the film—which also features pro-Manson commentary from James Mason, the neo-Nazi author of the Adam Parfrey-published Siege (1:05:30)—Schreck articulates the view of Manson as a founding father of neo-Nazi Satanism:
“Inspired by the exploits of [Nazi German] Field Marshal [Erwin] Rommel, the ‘Desert Fox,’ in the ’40s, Manson began a massive project of stealing and converting cars into dune buggy attack vehicles. They would be a new Afrika Korps that would rule this [California] desert domain far from the sick city. The motorcycle clubs that Manson had brought into the Family—the Straight Satans, Satan’s Slaves, the Jokers from Hell—would serve as auxiliary troops,” (34:57 – 35:30).
CONTINUE READING… 3.1.1 Evidence of Possible Familial Ties to Nazi War Crimes
OR RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS (Anatomy of a Crypto-Fascist Sect: The Unauthorized Guide to “The Satanic Temple”)