Previously, we had four separate articles up reporting on fascism and abuse within the Satanic Temple before our WordPress got taken down. We’re going to be reuploading them here, covering TST’s troubling alt-right associations and politics.
TST is a religious and political activist group that puts forth the facade of a progressive organization that does activism for human and civil rights and makes a safe space for LGBTQA+ individuals and others who are in vulnerable and oppressed communities. TST also does work and hosts events that counter religious oppression and its encroachment into the State and politics. It should be noted that TST has done good and legitimate work on these fronts in the past, and credit should be given where it is due. But the unfortunate reality is that, from the top-down, TST is a crypto-fascist organization with some members being outright neo-nazis. Of course, it must be mentioned that TST has some members who aren’t neo-nazis or neo-fascists and some are even antifascist; that said, we encourage those who are antifascists within TST to take a hard look at the reality of the organization they’re involved with and consider exiting the group.
It should be clear at the outset here that Trident Antifa are not disgruntled ex-members who suddenly have a vendetta against the organization. We’re simply reporting on fascism within organizations like the Satanic Temple.
It’s important to view these #AltRightTST articles with nuance and to take in the whole breadth of TST’s leanings and flirtations with fascism, what we call “the fascist creep” (the creeping of fascism into other non-fascist cultures and subcultures). Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to the more restrained, held back, less noticeable, and implicit politics that lend to fascism within TST, such as its views on free speech and hate speech, as well as looking at, specifically, TST co-founder Doug Misicko’s (AKA Lucien Greaves/Doug Mesner) views on antifa and the modern antifascist movement (he’s staunchly against antifa, taking a pro-fascist anti-antifa stance). With that said, in this series, we’ll be covering such things as free speech; Doug’s views on activism, protest, and violence; to TST’s outright and explicit associations with alt-right figures and neo-fascists. Looking at all of this in tandem will paint a clear picture that shows Doug’s and TST’s crypto- and pro-fascism.
It’s not hard to find what Doug’s views are on free and hate speech online. For example, here’s a video where Doug claims that punching nazis legitimizes them and gives them exactly what they want. This, of course, is a prominent (and tired) argument that liberals are quick to give in rebuking antifascist protesters and it’s often heard along with dishonest claims that antifascists are just as violent as nazis and that they actually are nazis, which is also another claim that Doug has made in the past.
In an interview with Haute Macabre, Doug says that he defends Milo Yiannopoulos’ right to free speech, and that includes Yiannopoulos’ attacks on a transgender student. Not only that, Doug includes his support for Yiannopoulos’ factually incorrect and bigoted claims that transgender people suffer from a “psychiatric disorder” and that trans women are essentially sexual predators who invade women’s bathrooms. Furthermore, in the interview, Doug says that he’s never listened to Yiannopoulos speak, but even still, he doesn’t actually care about the content of Yiannopoulos’ words.
Doug goes on to say that if Milo has posed a legitimate danger to people in inciting violence, defamation, or in invading their privacy that these people should consult civil courts and legal representation. But this overlooks the fact that the legal process can, in turn, further victimize trans people and other vulnerable or minority groups; not to mention that legal institutions and the State, in general, are systems that uphold white supremacy and patriarchy. In the same breath, Doug claims that antifascists suffer from cognitive dissonance and that they, the antifascists, are in fact the ones who are acting like fascists, and that hate speech itself should be protected under the first amendment.
Doug also says that antifascist protestors are the ones responsible for creating the wave of celebrity that Yiannopoulos enjoyed, who are “ignorant little assholes” who cause violence for the sake of violence and who target innocent and random people in the streets. This is entirely dishonest, as antifascists organize to deplatform specific fascists who target real, tangible, flesh-and-blood people who aren’t guilty of anything save for being a specific skin color, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Doug’s claim of violence also overlooks the other work that antifascists do which consists of non-violent actions, such as researching for countless hours fascists and fascist organizations, putting together resources and information that make their communities aware of fascists in their area, doing community actions such as food drives and solidarity events, and doxxing campaigns that out violent fascists and rallying to get them fired. It must be reiterated that violently opposing fascists in the streets isn’t the only action that antifascists undertake, while they fully acknowledge that fascism must be physically opposed with violence if need be.
On the claim that opposing fascists gives them the attention they want, it would seem that this has been falsified, as prominent fascists and alt-right figures have seen a decline in organizing and have had their funding stripped in some cases, such as, you guessed it, Milo Yiannopoulos.
But wait until you read Doug’s hot take on punching nazis and fascism in the US today. He’s entirely against punching them and he dishonestly asserts that antifascists go out of their way to engage in brawls and engage in indiscriminate violence. He thinks that the Nazi Party isn’t going to gain prominence and he overlooks the resurgent rise of fascism here in the US. At all times, he downplays the role and violence that fascism is having in recent events. In fact, the interview in which he says all this was published June 28th, 2017, just two months prior to the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in which white supremacists rallied chanting “Jews will not replace us” and which culminated with James Alex Fields Jr. running his car into a crowd of people. (As an aside, we recommend following Emily Gorcenski [@EmilyGorcenski] and Molly [@socialistdogmom] on Twitter specifically for information on the groups and people who were active in Charlottesville for Unite the Right. Additionally, check out Emily’s site First Vigil which tracks court cases involving fascists, and Molly’s Patreon.)
Alt-Right Lawyer Marc Randazza
The Satanic Temple has recently run into controversy involving Doug’s decision to use alt-right lawyer and Twitter troll Marc Randazza to represent the temple in a religious discrimination case pro bono, that is, free of charge. Randazza has, of course, represented neo-nazis in the past such as Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer and has represented InfoWars dingbat and alleged Proud Boy Alex Jones. The decision to recruit Randazza has resulted in some TST members exiting the organization and even some prominent members documenting abuse that has went on in TST.
Just as Doug did in supporting Yiannopoulos, in a Vox article Doug said that he didn’t research Randazza’s politics and further, that he doesn’t care what Randazza’s views actually are and that Randazza’s views should be of no consequence to him or TST. At all times when Doug is questioned he blatantly admits that he has no regard whatsoever about the content of the words that problematic, bigoted alt-righters espouse: Doug seems to be completely fine with the fascists he sympathizes with espousing hate speech such as that which demonizes trans people as having mental disorders, that Jews are subhumans who need to be eradicated, or that African Americans and other people of color should be killed or enslaved based on their skin tone.
In the Vox article, it’s said in passing that through Doug’s associating with troubling people such as Randazza that TST is too willing to let the voices of its membership, straight and white men, crowd out the wishes of a diverse membership. The claim is on point here but it’s lacking information about TST’s central administration, the co-founders of TST: Doug Misicko (Lucien Greaves/Doug Mesner) and Cevin Soling (Malcolm Jarry). While Doug acts as a spokesman for TST, Cevin Soling seems to be the sole person responsible for TST’s funding. In reuploading this series, we’ll be providing profiles on both Doug and Cevin, but for now, all we’ll add about Cevin is that he denies Israel perpetuates genocide against the children of Palestine and he seems to be an unwavering Zionist nationalist. Both are white, cisgender men who, as we’ll show throughout this series, don’t actually care about a diverse membership or about its current members who are part of LGBTQA+ and vulnerable communities, and that they both are tied to the alt-right.
As it turns out, there are some TST national council members who have associations with alt-right figures. One such council member is Greg Stevens. He’s friends on Twitter with Mike Cernovich, who’s a male supremacist, a violent rapist, and rape apologist. Cernovich also has ties to violent far-right street gang the Proud Boys. He’s supported them financially, raising up to $87,000 for Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman and donating $5,000 for transportation to one of the Proud Boys’ violent “Free Speech” rallies. The Proud Boys claim to not be affiliated with nazis but they regularly have nazis in their ranks.
Stevens’ also appears to be friends with Yiannopoulos.
Additionally, Stevens has interviewed Mike Cervovich numerous times on his YouTube channel where Cernovich is given a platform to defend his bigoted behavior. And despite all of this, it appears that Doug is completely fine with his national council members freely associating with and giving a platform to violent and bigoted alt-right people.
What is more, and what goes a long way in showing Doug’s and TST’s crypto-fascism, Doug has rallied for fascists such as Augustus Sol Invictus having a platform on which they can spread hateful rhetoric about white ethnostates, purging deplorables and degenerates, and demonizing marginalized people. Invictus is a fascist alt-right figure, white supremacist “identitarian” who has called for a violent second civil war to preserve “Western civilization”. He’s also a Holocaust denier and has advocated for eugenics, even writing about it in a paper he wrote for law school that he titled “Future or Ruin”, which is the same name of a speech that Hitler gave in 1921.
In 2016, organizers of the International Left Hand Path Consortium had invited Invictus to be a guest speaker, but pressure from antifascists caused them to cancel Invuctus’ appearance. As it turns out, Doug was also invited to be a guest speaker; however, he was dismayed at the decision to deplatform Invictus and so he had a temper tantrum where he withdrew himself as a speaker. Doug stated that “the dis-invitation sends a harmful message in support of censorship.” Doug also said, just as in his supporting of Yiannopoulos and Randazza, that he was unfamiliar with Invictus. This is a piss-poor attempt on Doug’s part at plausible deniability. It seems that whenever Doug expresses his support for some bigoted alt-righter, he can leave an out for himself by claiming ignorance of the views of those that he supports. This is a crypto-fascist tactic, and we’ll come to see more of this behavior throughout this series.
Through Doug’s troubling personal politics and in his managing TST and acting as a spokesperson, it’s clear that he and TST are just A-Okay with absolute free speech, including hate speech that demonizes and discriminates based groundlessly on race, gender, sexuality, etc. Doug has demonstrated himself to be entirely in bed with the alt-right and he wholeheartedly supports, tolerates, and sympathizes with fascists like Augustus Sol Invictus, and it’s clear what his stance is regarding protest and antifascism, that is, that he’s entirely against antifascism. At all times, Doug has demonstrated himself to be a useful idiot for far- and alt-right figures to gain entry into his organization, and he exposes those marginalized and vulnerable individuals in TST to the fascist creep. This is entirely reprehensible and deplorable, as TST bills itself a vehicle for progress and social justice.
If you’re looking for alternative, countercultural, or subcultural religion, or a social justice political group, we recommend staying clear of the Satanic Temple, as it’s entirely a crypto-fascist organization. We encourage antifascists to show up, protest, and shut down the public events that TST put on.
We’d like to thank antifascist comrades who have contributed information pertinent to TST and who support our work. TST has issued harassment campaigns in response to those who have exited the organization and to those who share our articles and information showing TST’s troubling behavior and crypto-fascism, and we’d like to offer our solidarity; we stand with you against religious oppression and fascist terror.
Follow along with this series on Twitter with #AltrightTST