Lucien Greaves Responds to Church of Satan “Fact Sheet”

Image Source: Mark Schierbecker via Wikimedia Commons
Image Source: Mark Schierbecker via Wikimedia Commons

For some time, there has been simmering tensions between The Satanic Temple (TST) and the Church of Satan (CoS). It is a push and pull in which the younger TST asserts their legitimacy while the older CoS has been particularly hostile toward the younger. The argument generally centers around CoS claiming that Satanism should only exist as codified by LaVey and other groups use of the term is disingenuous.

Yesterday the Church of Satan released two posts regarding The Satanic Temple in general and their abortion rights lawsuits in Particular. The posts, taken together, both apparently sought to delegitimize The Satanic Temple, and disambiguate the two groups to make clear that CoS does not agree with The Satanic Temple’s methods. In a rare move, TST co-founder Lucien Greaves has posted a point by point refutation of the ‘fact sheet’ on his personal website calling post “so egregiously cherry-picked, willfully misinformed, and outright false, that it demands correction.”

Purpose of Fact Sheet

Greaves begins the refutation with speculation on the purpose of CoS issuing such a document. He says it suggests that though TST’s aspirations have changed over time that CoS refuses to accept that, though as The Satanic Temple’s membership and overall mission has grown the organization has become an international religious organization. He goes on to suggest that the fact sheet seems to imply that TST is somehow trying to hide this information from the public.

Greaves writes:

“In fact, we’ve been quite open in interviews regarding the origins of TST, and neither me nor TST’s other co-founder had the audacity to imagine in the beginning that TST could be what it is today. We wanted an active and relevant Satanism, one that would do exactly the things that TST are doing presently. We didn’t need an organization to tell us how to think, how to properly be “true” Satanists, or as a mere social club in which we could construct ourselves into the highest ranks of a false hierarchy. We wanted an organization that served a mission statement and pursued organizational goals. Of course, we didn’t have one, and the idea of constructing one from the ground up seemed a lofty delusion, but we had plenty of ideas of what such an organization would do.”

The post goes on to detail how early decisions were made and how those plans changed as the group gained popularity and membership increased, which allowed for more structured and cohesive group actions. The brief history is then followed by addressing each point of the CoS factsheet directly. The CoS sheet makes claims including claims that TST was originally a theistic religion, that co-founder Malcolm Jarry hired Lucien to play the role of the second co-founder, and that TST members are not Satanists. He also responds to the Church of Satan doxing information about him in their piece.

You can read his full article “Correcting the Church of Satan “Fact Sheet” on his personal website here.

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  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    Speaking for myself, I found the “fact” sheet to be shamefully ignorant. At best it’s cherry picked propaganda, at worst it’s plainly false. If the CoS intended this to be some kind of exercise in lesser magic and manipulation of the media, all I can say is that they failed the moment they cited S.M.A.R.T as an authority on anything. Neither of the news items published were written by Magus Gilmore, but this kind of literature wouldn’t appear on the official news feed if he hadn’t reviewed and approved it. I’m severely disappointed that the CoS is building a foundation for itself upon a No True Scotsman fallacy.

  • http://www.zxh-creative.com Jack Matirko

    Oh hey James. I really appreciated your post on LeftHandTarot last month regarding why you’ve changed your mind about TST as an organization. It’s nice to see that some of us CoS and TST folk can come to an understanding despite the institutional quarreling. Ave

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    Given the “official” word coming out of the CoS newsfeed, I’m an extreme outlier. To be honest, the latest temper tantrum in the news feed is making me reconsider if the CoS continues to deserve my support. HS.

  • Cris Corcoran

    What makes you think your “support” means anything to anyone? You’ve an awfully inflated opinion of yourself.

  • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

    When you have no supporters, you will have no church. That’s how important individual support is.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    You know what? Scratch that previous comment: this episode of persuaded me that I’m done with the CoS. http://www.lefthandtarot.com/2017/10/im-leaving-church-of-satan-and-heres-why.html

  • http://www.zxh-creative.com Jack Matirko

    Dude … thank you. That was epic.

  • Cris Corcoran

    Nobody knew who this guy was until he decided to accuse the C/S of doxxing, homophobia and fascism, all while claiming to be a member. None of which is true. So no, not “epic”. Just a shit disturber.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    Don’t attempt to lie when you know full well you’re not in possession of all the facts. It only makes you look stupid. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3113f60be1cbe3c08645ec86ba991b9104e824ba01589820e2cb328de3ceebec.jpg

  • Cris Corcoran

    Where’s the lie though? I’ve never heard of you and no one else has either until you posted this libelous slander.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    You may find this difficult to believe, but not every active member of the CoS knows every active member of the CoS. I’ve never sought to be actively promoted by the CoS, join any of the RFS podcasts, or appear on any of the TSN shows. As I stated on my approved application for active membership, I don’t believe that membership in the CoS is to receive any benefit, but only to show support for an organization who’s championed literature that’s had a big impact on my life. I’ve never needed the CoS to succeed, and I struggle to understand how my relative degree of familiarity in the public CoS interwebs has any bearing on my observations. But seeing as you’ve already proved yourself a liar, I’m done giving you the time of day.

  • Cris Corcoran

    I wasn’t lying when I said that nobody knows who the fuck you are dude. You came out of nowhere and shat on the rug. Now you’re bitching. You should know what that makes you …

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    I draw the line at cussing. Welcome to my block list. Enjoy your stay.

  • Cris Corcoran

    Oh no whatever will I do??

  • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

    Go kiss your mom with that mouth?

  • WonKa

    hey since you overpaid for your little card there can you get me one of those Infernal Empire wanna be motorcycle gang jackets?

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    Meh, the jackets are over-rated. Used to be you had to actually own a motorcycle to get away with wearing one and not looking pretentious, but these days every hard-boy has a “battle jacket” with his edgiest patches sewn on.

    I’ve said what I wanted about the CoS and I think I’ll be hard pressed to discuss the matter any further, but as far as the member card goes I never felt that the money I paid was for the card. I feel the same now as I did then that the one-time member fee I submitted was to show support for an organization who’s championed literature that’s had a big effect on my life. At the time, I didn’t differentiate between the literature and the organization so it felt like a reasonable way of expressing my gratitude. Looking back, I’d have been better served by spending the money to take my friends out for sushi and sake, but what can I say? Live and learn.

  • WonKa

    I never thought of it that way. Without my exposure to CoS I don’t know if I would have found Feral House/Process Media or UA or other publishing houses like them. that’s a great point and makes me even sadder now that CoS is what it is now.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    Yeah, but you could follow the CoS news feed for free and still find out about them because of the promotional advertisements they’re always making?

  • Venomous Bane

    Perhaps it is because you suffer from Bipolar II, that you have an exaggerated sense of yourself. Or perhaps it is because of your major/ chronic depressions and the hypomania that comes with Bipolar II, you did not get recognized for anything in the C/S so you’ve found a means to promote your worthless self to get yourself out of your hypomanic state of depression by bashing an already established org, and sympathizing with a bunch of losers, where of course you fit in.

    Waiving around a C/S card means nothing, given you’ve already publicly separated yourself from the C/S, and have declared yourself no longer affiliated with the C/S. Moreover, Cris, is not lying. But of course, you have an exaggerated sense of yourself because of your mental health disorder, and will believe whatever you write as truth, and the gullible will eat up whatever you say; because, they lack critical thinking skills and do not see your petty attempt at slamming the C/S as you are nothing but a disgruntled member who did not make any friends in the org, but now you have a voice with pseudos who will give you the time and space to do so.

    Any person that is astute enough to see what you’re doing, knows that you are only doing this to direct traffic to your meaningless website.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    To be specific, I’ve struggled with bipolar type 2 (not otherwise specified), although my mental health has no bearing on the arguments I’m making or the citations I’ve provided to document them. Although I’ve never hidden my mental health issues, I’ve also never pushed them in people’s faces as a condition of knowing me or held them up as a defining characteristic. You can try to reduce me to a random piece of trivia about me, but I think that my reasoned arguments speak for themselves. If you choose to not believe me, that’s your decision. Life, so they say, is what you make of it.

    Regarding my membership card, that’s an old scan that I’ve kept on hand just for the occasion that somebody tries to say that I was either never a member of the CoS at all, or that I was never mutually recognized by the administration as an active member with a thorough understanding of the literature and philosophy. My member cards are on their way back to New York as we speak, but I’ll keep these scans on file in case anybody else wants to try erase the fact that I was mutually recognized by the administration.

  • sleepdirt

    What No True Scotsman fallacy? If TST were actually following the same ideas that LaVey had put forth in his books and other writings, then it could be argued that this was the case. However, the case cannot be made that they’re even the same religion when the tenets of TST are a blatant embrace of ideologies (i.e. egalitarianism) that Anton LaVey openly despised and made no secret about in his writings.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    It amuses me that you think it’s more important to argue against a NTS fallacy than to question whether it’s appropriate for the CoS to be tweeting personal, identifying information about a Satanist to Christians. What possible reasons could exist to explain why the CoS is tweeting at fundy Christians?

  • Matt De La Roche

    You couldn’t deny that sleepdirt proved your accusation of the COS using a NTS fallacy wrong, so you deflected by crying about the COS doxxing Doug again. Cute.

    The COS didn’t tweet AT anybody, they simply posted it on their public Twitter account. If a “fundy Christian” happens to find it, oh well. They could have found that information themselves if they wanted to. It seemed pretty easy for the author of the Fact Sheet to do it. And as I said in my last comment, TST openly shares the address and phone number of their headquarters in Salem, MA. If “fundy Christians” wanted to terrorize Doug and his ilk, they could have done so already.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    “So the spiteful brats who can’t bear to be ignored at times strike back by posting personal information about our members and representatives with whom they’re obsessed, or by stealing the sort of copyrighted material they could never create and illegally transmitting it (a real crime, folks). If that doesn’t give them away for failures, squealing for attention, then you might belong in their company.”

    Source: http://www.churchofsatan.com/map-for-the-misdirected.php by Magus Peter H. Gilmore himself.

  • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

    “Magus.” Snort!

  • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

    Know what’s funny? When I see ‘CoS’ I think ‘church of Scientology.’
    It’s interesting that the other CoS is using Scientology tactics. Did they learn it from L. Ron Hubbard?

  • sleepdirt

    Stop deflecting. No personal information was divulged. He put that information on one or more forms that would be publicly available. If anything, he should be beating himself up for not setting up a business address or maintaining his own confidentiality beforehand.

    Simply put, the guy screwed himself.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    The same is true for Magus Gilmore. He uses his legal name in all his dealings, but what about his home address? That’s not published anywhere on the CoS website, but c’mon – how many Addams-family looking houses can possibly exist in Poughkeepsie? The man’s even said that his house has become a destination for trick-or-treaters every Halloween.

    So somewhere in the public interwebs, Magus Gilmore’s home address is also available. It’s unfortunate that Magus Gilmore hasn’t done more to hide his address, but you know, if people REALLY wanted to find it, there’s nothing that can be done. Would you really be making the same argument if TST for reasons that I can’t imagine at the moment hypothetically decided to publish Magus Gilmore’s home address?

    The relative confidentiality of the information is not the point of this discussion. The point is that the CoS is violating its own principles and in the words of Magus GIlmore himself is a “failure” that’s “obsessed” with TST and is “squealing for attention.” If the principal point of Satanism is that you can change your own world first without changing anybody else’s, then the CoS is failing at Satanism according to the rules which it has set for itself. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c0d2e14d93193982c92b4c7ae37c3bafb4d0ab89cba9c69f5ca1110bd6d5e05.png

  • Matt De La Roche

    Interestingly, you don’t seem to mind encouraging others to invade people’s privacy while you’re trying to make a buck. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fe9ef74a34ac2db98ee198f4f638de02f27fe538fc8b6bf74e6a6c519b7f115d.png

  • Alder Strauss

    “If the principal point of Satanism is that you can change your own world first without changing anybody else’s, then the CoS is failing at Satanism according to the rules which it has set for itself.”

    How does this imply that the CoS is failing at Satanism?
    It’s actually referring to the concept of helping yourself before you can help others (or that charity begins at home). This has no relevance on the fact sheet sent out to journalists requesting information outlined in it for clarification of the differences between the CoS and TST.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    “So the spiteful brats who can’t bear to be ignored at times strike back by posting personal information about our members and representatives with whom they’re obsessed, or by stealing the sort of copyrighted material they could never create and illegally transmitting it (a real crime, folks). If that doesn’t give them away for failures, squealing for attention, then you might belong in their company.”

    Source: http://www.churchofsatan.co… by Magus Peter H. Gilmore himself.

  • Alder Strauss

    That doesn’t address my question.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    Q: How does this imply that the CoS is failing at Satanism?

    A: So the spiteful brats who can’t bear to be ignored at times strike back by posting personal information about our members and representatives … If that doesn’t give them away for failures, squealing for attention, then you might belong in their company.”

  • Alder Strauss

    This doesn’t apply to the issue of doxxing, etc.
    This is quote mining and taking what Peter Gilmore has stated out of context.
    Here is what immediately follows your quote, putting into perspective what Peter Gilmore is actually talking about in when he refers to the posting of personal information:

    “If they had something to offer, something original, they wouldn’t be using our imagery and names to play the old “bait and switch” game. They’d let you know up front that they are not offering Satanism as synthesized by Anton LaVey and carried forward by we who are his chosen successors who maintain the Church which he founded.”
    The link so that others can see the entirety of what you quoted from:
    http://www.churchofsatan.com/map-for-the-misdirected.php

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    I linked the essay the first time I quoted him in this discussion thread, too. I don’t think I’m taking him out of context at all since his statement seems pretty unambiguous about what it means when Satanists start posting other Satanists’ contact information against their wishes on the Internet for others to see. I think it’s safe to say at this point that we’re probably not going to find mutual ground here, so unless you’ve got something more constructive to say I’ll consider my concern to your responses exhausted.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    Wow, that was easy: I thought I’d have to get on the Internet WABAC machine or dig through the archived web pages to find Magus Gilmore’s home address just like the CoS had to do in order to find all the different pieces of information they posted about Lucien Greaves, but in fact it only took me less than 2 minutes on Google. If I were Magus Gilmore, then I’d see nothing wrong with collecting and posting all the personal information I could find about him–including his residential mailing address and what appears to be his home telephone number?–but for reasons you might not understand, I think that’s wrong and am going to give him the luxury of privacy that he’s denied to others. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb63c192cf006aa680049770b4b2fb830f4d889297899b47025492c35c8f75cd.jpg

  • cary_w

    I love how this little spat looks exactly like different factions of Christianity accusing each other of not being “true” Christians! Just like Christians, there is no specific requirements to be classified as a Satanist. If you call yourself a Satanist, you are one; if you call yourself a Christian, you are one. There is no set of rules nor any person who has the authority to say who is more “true” to what Satanism or Christianity is all about. If anything this disagreement should help prove that Satanism is indeed a real religion because it shares the same ambiguity and infighting of mainstream religions.

    On that note, I’m siding with The Satanic Temple. Not because I think they are any more true to Satanism than The Church of Satan, but because I like their activism and Seven Tenants better than what the CoS has to offer. Just like the Christian who chooses to attend a church that reflects their values rather than seeking the actual true word of God, I choose to become a member of TST because they reflect my values. The only difference is I’m perfectly willing to admit it, as opposed to the Christian who argues their chosen church is following “true” Christianity.

  • Sophotroph

    I wonder how much rent they get out of those seven tenants…

  • Nos482

    /rimshot

  • cary_w

    good catch, my proofreader is on vacation.

  • sleepdirt

    There’s a major difference here. The varying Christian groups are all following the supposed teachings of Jesus Christ from the Holy Bible. This is why Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, and etcetera are all considered Christians.

    Satanism was successfully codified over fifty years ago by Anton Szandor LaVey with the establishment of the Church of Satan in 1966, followed by the publication of “The Satanic Bible” in 1969. Numerous religious scholars, some of them begrudgingly, are in agreement that Anton LaVey was the first person in human history to establish Satanism as its own bonafied religious philosophy with any permanence or influence.

    Now, some 44 years after it was established, some other group comes along that doesn’t even practice the same concepts is somehow trying to make some claim that they’re the same religion because they call themselves Satanists.

    Right…nice try. To quote Tyler Durden, “Sticking feathers up your butt won’t make you a chicken.”

  • Kevin K

    I’m just wondering why this squabble is posted in the “non-religious” section of Patheos…

  • Desertphile

    Probably because the Church of Satan and The satanic Temple are non-religious.

  • Kevin K

    Except they’re claiming to be otherwise. From TST’s web site…

    IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE SUPERNATURAL, HOW IS TST A RELIGION?

    The idea that religion belongs to supernaturalists is ignorant, backward, and offensive. The metaphorical Satanic construct is no more arbitrary to us than are the deeply held beliefs that we actively advocate for. Are we supposed to believe that those who pledge submission to an ethereal supernatural deity hold to their values more deeply than we? Are we supposed to concede that only the superstitious are proper recipients of religious exemption and privilege? In fact, Satanism provides us all that a religion should, without a compulsory attachment to untenable items of faith-based belief: It provides a narrative structure by which we contextualize our lives and works. It provides a body of symbolism and religious practice — a sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values.

    https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/learn

  • ORigel

    Nope. This was the Atheist Channel, and Satanists are atheists.

  • Nos482

    …except for those few who aren’t. Rebellious xtians come to mind.

  • ORigel

    There are those few Theistic Satanists, but this blog is by an atheist so it belongs on an atheist channel.

  • Nos482

    I am not denying that.
    My intent was solely to correct your blanket statement.
    (and to snark a bit, but that’s a given if you know me =P)

  • ORigel

    Yeah, I should’ve said “most Satanists.”

  • http://www.zxh-creative.com Jack Matirko

    Remember when the Non-religious channel was the Atheist channel until December? Satanists are atheists, so we fit in better here than anywhere else.

  • Kevin K

    Well, not that I’m unsupportive of the brand name and the goals of the TST (at least, I don’t really know enough about the other to form an opinion), but there’s that whole “it’s a religion” thing which I just posted in reply to desertphile that belies your statement “fit in better here”.

    You can’t really have it both ways … declared yourself to be a religion and declare yourself to be a suitable fit for the “nonreligious” channel.

    I’m not stomping my feet or anything — perhaps it’s time for your own channel?

  • http://www.zxh-creative.com Jack Matirko

    The Atheist Rabbi is a Humanistic Judaism blog and they’re here too. Some of us misfit toys just don’t fit neatly into boxes. 😉

  • Kevin K

    Maybe that’s the new channel name. The Misfits! Starring John Wayne Ed Brayton.

  • http://www.zxh-creative.com Jack Matirko

    If we called it that then Glen Danzig would be mad at me too, lol

  • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

    It was easier to navigate, that’s for sure.

  • Desertphile

    This is amusing considering the Church of Satan was and is created by atheists who lack belief in gods and demons and Satan, and exists only as a for-profit circus side show.

  • Nos482

    What’s less amusing is that these dickbags published Greaves’ legal name and home address… are they just ignorant of the risks or do they actually want him to get harmed?

  • http://www.zxh-creative.com Jack Matirko

    I personally find it hard to believe their twitter admins lack the savvy to know the implications of doxxing.

  • Matt De La Roche

    FYI – nothing was “doxed” in the fact sheet. Everything in it was pulled from other public sources. If your real name and address are already on public record it cannot rightfully be considered “doxing” when someone shares that information.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    Doxxing: “Search for and publish private *OR* _identifying information_ about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.”

    Quacks like a duck, walks like a duck…

  • Matt De La Roche

    The Satanic Temple publicly shares the address and phone number of their headquarters in Salem, MA.

  • Cris Corcoran

    Public information isn’t doxxing dumbass. That’s like saying citing a source in an essay is doxxing…
    Walks like stupid quacks like stupid.

  • http://www.lefthandtarot.com James Bulls

    Citing a source in an essay is a LOT different than collecting somebody’s personal information in one place and then sending it to interested parties.

  • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

    Tell it to the anti-gay Oregon bakers who posted public info for the couple suing them.
    Choices have consequences, ALWAYS.

  • sleepdirt

    Bad analogy. Sweet Cakes by Melissa were fined because they published the non-public information (home address and phone numbers) of the couple that filed the complaint against them. That couple did indeed suffer harassment because their information was published.

  • Cris Corcoran

    To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Rick and Morty. The humor is extremely subtle, and without a solid grasp of theoretical physics most of the jokes will go over a typical viewer’s head. There’s also Rick’s nihilistic outlook, which is deftly woven into his characterisation – his personal philosophy draws heavily fromNarodnaya Volya literature, for instance. The fans understand this stuff; they have the intellectual capacity to truly appreciate the depths of these jokes, to realize that they’re not just funny- they say something deep about LIFE. As a consequence people who dislike Rick and Morty truly ARE idiots- of course they wouldn’t appreciate, for instance, the humour in Rick’s existencial catchphrase “Wubba Lubba Dub Dub,” which itself is a cryptic reference to Turgenev’s Russian epic Fathers and Sons I’m smirking right now just imagining one of those addlepated simpletons scratching their heads in confusion as Dan Harmon’s unfolds itself on their television screens. What fools… how I pity them.