Podcasts/Sacred Tension-Lucien s Law Final6wutp
Lucien_s_Law_Final6wutp SUMMARY KEYWORDS satanic temple, people, religion, satanism, homicide, tst, free speech, called, law, defense attorneys, opened, watched, fair trial, freedom, rights, fucking, canceled, culture, left, fight SPEAKERS Stu De Haan, Stephen Bradford Long
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Stephen Bradford Long 01:17 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long and we're here on the rock candy Podcast Network. For more shows like this one, go to rock candy recordings.com. In this episode of sacred tension, I speak with satanist criminal defense attorney and Old Ben Kenobi of Satanism. Stu De Haan, we discussed the political activism of the Satanic Temple free speech, and why the Satanic Temple should be seen first and foremost as a religion and not a political activist group. But before we get to that, just a few pieces of housekeeping first, if you enjoy my work and want to support it, please go to patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long, and for a few dollars a month you get extra content and you support the long life of my work, you ensure that I can continue to bring you interesting content every single week on my blog, and podcast. Also, on a personal note, I am incredibly excited to announce that I am now an ordained minister of Satan within the Satanic Temple. This is a really big deal to me, it's been a long time coming. I have been so excited about this. And finally completing the ordination program and being able to put m s after my name meaning Minister of Satan. It's a huge accomplishment. I just wanted to take a moment to announce that I'm also incredibly excited about more Satanists joining the program. And I'm really, really excited about the future of the Satanic Temple and the future of the ordination program. Finally, if you want to join the discussion about my work about this episode, or any of my blog posts or previous shows, please consider joining my Discord server. There is new conversation going on there every single day. It is an incredibly cool group of people and you are welcome to join them. There is a link in the show notes. I also love hearing back from my audience via email or in comments on my website. So please go to Steven Bradford long.com. And I would love to hear back from you. All right. Well, with all of that finally out of the way. I'm delighted to bring you my conversation with Stu De Haan. Stu De Haan. Welcome to the show.
Stu De Haan 03:42 Hey, thank you for having me.
Stephen Bradford Long 03:43 So let Hold on I think the cat is wanting into the office of course, right? Just the moment that I start recording. Give me just a second. I have six cats. So you're one of those.
Stu De Haan 03:56 You're the guy with all the cats.
Stephen Bradford Long 03:57 I'm the guy with all the cats. So I like to think of myself as like the crazy cat lady of Satanism. I am I'm like the, the Appalachian Mountain Swamp Witch of Satanism who like lives up here in my little cabin on the mountain surrounded by cats that that's how I like to see myself.
Stu De Haan 04:19 I like that you have that I have one too. I like to think of myself as like the old Ben Kenobi of Satanism.
Stephen Bradford Long 04:25 You are definitely the old Ben Kenobi of Satanism.
Stu De Haan 04:29 Just out in the desert like waiting for someone to call upon me to do something.
Stephen Bradford Long 04:35 Cool. So for people who aren't familiar with who you are, tell us some about who you are and what you do.
Stu De Haan 04:42 Oh, well, I am a career criminal defense attorney actually came here from the Netherlands when I was 18. Military Family, very diverse religious background between both of my parents, and I made a career out of doing private criminal defense. I now do some public criminal defense. And I got involved with the Satanic Temple around 2015. That's when I joined. I was kind it was on my radar, but I joined in about 2015.
Stephen Bradford Long 05:11 So what? Sorry, sorry, go on.
Stu De Haan 05:13 Oh, no, I was just, I could go through my tsp resume here. I was the co founder of The Arizona chapter. I was on national council before his International Council for several years. I then became the first attorney for tst. And House basically started the TST legal team, which has now been passed on to Matthew because I for the most part, and then I was involved with the ordination program. So that's kind of my arc,
Stephen Bradford Long 05:38 you gave some amazing lectures for the ordination program. And I'm super excited about them because they're super good. And so anyone who ends up taking the ordination program will get to sit under your tutelage.
Stu De Haan 05:52 So I really, I really enjoyed doing it.
Stephen Bradford Long 05:55 Yeah, it was, it was really good. So for people who don't know, could you tell us what a defense attorney criminal defense attorney is? Like? What do you do? What is your job?
Stu De Haan 06:07 So it's kind of unique to other kinds of law, because criminal law is separate from civil law and civil law pretty much encompasses the rest of law. So what we deal with is we fight against the government, the gun
Stephen Bradford Long 06:19 by and by we You mean criminal defense lawyers? Yeah. Criminal Defense Lawyers
Stu De Haan 06:23 in general. So the plaintiff is always going to be the prosecuting agency, which is different than most kinds of laws, most kinds of law practice. I mean, so, you know, if you work for the State of Arizona, or if you're in that jurisdiction, the state of Arizona is the plaintiff, if it's a federal system, the federal government, so it's the United States of America versus your client, and you represent the the little guy accused of of various crimes. So I've done it at every level I I've done from dog leashes to homicide and everything in between. Wow, about 15 years of practicing that. Yeah, so
Stephen Bradford Long 06:57 you have worked with all kinds of people, and you are fulfilling kind of the this constitutional role of I forget what the exact wording is, but like access to an attorney and a fair trial, right, for even for people who might end up being criminals, they still have the right to that, and you fill that role.
Stu De Haan 07:19 We have force, you know, due process, we make sure that the powerful, you know, there's a lot of power that the government has with police and government agencies, and we do our best to protect the very unpopular, often very unpopular defendants from essentially, which ones I mean, there's the best way I could put it is very unpopular, people who have often done very terrible things. But in order for justice to be served, the idea is that somebody gets to tell or, you know, has the duty to tell their side of the story. Yeah, I would say that if they do get sentenced harshly, their rights were safeguarded, so that's my duty. And that's been my pretty much my my career. Yeah. So
Stephen Bradford Long 08:02 in a way, you're kind of like the legal manifestation of the archetype of Satan, where it's like, you're, you're the voice for the outsider, literally, in the legal system.
Stu De Haan 08:14 That's my job. It's my passion. And it's me, you know, taking on the satanic law, so to speak, was kind of conceptually par for the course for me taking on the the underdog, the one with an uphill battle, the hated the despised, and the one that you know, that's the kind of rights that need the most protected. Same with freedom of religion or speech. Nobody was popular, no one that's popular has to fight for their rights.
Stephen Bradford Long 08:38 Ya know, I'm a big free speech guy probably annoys a lot of people. But you know, free speech is like one of my hills, I will fucking die on that hill. I just did an interview actually, with Adam Goldstein from the organization fire, which you may or may not have heard of. It's It's like one of the biggest free speech legal organizations about free speech within within the academic world. And it's super cool. So for people who want to know more about my views on free speech, they can listen to that they can also listen to my interview with Lucien Greaves about free speech. What's that? Like? For you? What is it? What's it like emotionally and socially defending people who are often reviled by society?
Stu De Haan 09:25 Well, it's, everyone hates a defense attorney until they need one, you know, it's can be said for cops and everything, and a lot of other things. Right. So, you know, from one side, I get the I can't believe how do you get the questions such as, you know, how do you put those people those people back on the street or, you know, from the other side, they think, you know, fighting cops is a noble cause. So it just depends on the person but I think generally people who understand justice in a very basic concept, understand why I do what I do, and But there was a lot of that like, how do you defend those people? How do you know that kind of thing? So, but the general disdain for defense attorneys you'll see always comes up when there's a controversial trial, OJ the current trial related to the George Floyd murder in Minnesota, alleged murderer at this point, we'll see how that pans out. But, but yeah, you'll see how defense attorneys get real unpopular during the controversies, depending on who the defendant is, of course. So there's kind of this flippant view of of due process and justice you'll often see, when you know, whenever if someone hated by one side, or the other, is trying to tell their side, they often say, you know, this person doesn't have rights. This person doesn't deserve a fair trial. You know, Satan doesn't have rights, if you've even seen that sign. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. So it's, I think, I think the natural human compulsion is to dehumanize and say this person scum, they don't deserve a fair trial. And you see that in every context every which way. And it's just, you know, to me, that's a witch hunt, you dehumanize and you destroy it. They don't deserve they're not even human. They don't even deserve a fair trial or rights. And I see that in every context daily, you know, whether it's a police officer on trial, or a poor person on trial or person of color onto somebody who's saying, they're they're subhuman, ya know, that's trying to avoid with fair trials.
Stephen Bradford Long 11:23 Yeah, I, you know, I really feel like a lot of these kind of foundational liberal principles of things like due process and free speech, freedom of religion, a lot of these things are, are so counter intuitive to the human psyche, and so hard for us and hard for me like they they are, it takes practice to think in this way, it takes practice to think in a in this way that allows for for greater stability, and pluralism and acceptance and tolerance, right. And I I'm just endlessly fascinated by like the tension between human nature and these really important principles that like keep society running and how hard it is for us to maintain them,
Stu De Haan 12:09 I would say that that's a symptom of what when there's a large enough people in a pool, whether that pool is your precinct, or your state, or your country or whatever, or your religion, or whatever it is, the bigger it becomes, the more the people inside of that group become mere abstractions, a name on a screen, a thumbnail of something, and there become those people. And I think that those people concept has been around, you know, they say, when a group gets above, they say, when a group gets above 150 people, there's usually some kind of schism. Yeah, whether it's a religious group or anything else. And I think what happens in a society this large in this interconnected now world with the internet, there is a lot of people that fall into the category of those people. And I think that's universal. And you see it, especially when you start this career, you see it and when you have a situation where you read a police report, and you like, this guy sounds like a monster. And then you go down to the jailhouse, and you meet this guy, and it's the scared young man that was dealt and, and all of a sudden, it just shatters what you read in the newspaper about your client before you met him, you know, and you have this kind of happen over and over and over again. And then you realize people are just people there aren't those people. It's just what side were you on in that moment when this thing occurred where you were caught doing your job or you citizen reading a newspaper, in this is the abstraction of other human beings that creates our biases is kind of the way I look at it.
Stephen Bradford Long 13:33 How much do you feel like social media plays into into this whole dynamic? Like, I feel like we have this natural tendency of of Gooding or batting of demonizing or Angelica lysing, I guess would be the word. You know, we already have that tendency, like that's hard baked into human nature. But I I really feel like social media has made it much worse for everyone. I mean, no one, no one is immune. Right, left, right, left, right, center, a political, it doesn't matter. These are universal human glitches. And I feel like social media just tends to amplify it for a lot of reasons that I've covered on my blog, which I won't get into here. But But do you think that's the case? How do you think that plays out?
Stu De Haan 14:17 Absolutely. Because, you know, that's the ultimate of reductionism and absolute ism. So you see one statement that a person makes in the same size font as everyone else's with the same size thumbnail. And you take what they said, and you reduce it to its most base form, and then you judge that person accordingly. As that's their entire person. Based on one sentence you disagree with you have now reduced someone to an image that you have of them. And we're doing this back and forth and back and forth, and you could see best friends unfriending each other on Facebook over minor minutia.
Stephen Bradford Long 14:52 The narcissism of small differences I see this especially in my with a lot of my comrades and lefty spaces where It's like, okay, you know, we're all ultimately on the same page. But it's like seizing the means of production. You have like slight differences of you have slight disagreements over that. It is like fucking all out war.
Stu De Haan 15:17 Obviously, this is natural. This is natural in that in human circles, because when was there one party, you know, there's the Communist Party USA, there's the Socialist Workers Party, there's the revolutionary communist party. That's just in current state America, you know, you had the Bolsheviks, you had the Trotskyites, you could go on and on and on, and that, you know, the Protestants, the Episcopalians, I don't even know what the difference is, to be honest with you, you know, like, from the outside looking in, it's, you know, no one knows the difference between the Church of Satan or the Satanic Temple, unless they, you know, sit down and talk to someone or read about it, or all these things that take time and effort that no one's going to put in, because we're getting this for every direction. Yeah, all the time. 24/7 news cycles. So yeah, it does divide us it even divides friends, you know, Brother against brother situations. Yeah. So I do think that it has a lot to do with social media.
Stephen Bradford Long 16:09 Yeah. Yeah. For people who are curious, I've written a fuck ton about this. And like the corrosive effects of social media and, and all of that stuff. Maybe I'll put some links in the show notes for people who are interested. Okay. So because I'm, I'm just curious. So this is going very far afield from the topic that we were intending. We'll get there eventually. But you mentioned the trial of George Floyd. And what's what's your just because you are involved in the criminal justice system? What what is your take on that situation?
Stu De Haan 16:48 This is this is the trickiest question. That should not have happened. I personally think, Oh, it was an abomination. It was it was it was a homicide.
Stephen Bradford Long 16:58 I totally agree with you. Okay. So
Stu De Haan 17:00 regarding the we call it the George Floyd trial, I mean, that's the name that's in everyone's mind. But if Derek Chauvin we all we all watched what happened. And you know, in my opinion, that clearly was a homicide and extreme abuse of police force and things like that. Now, one thing I've seen that's disturbing or disturbing trend is I see people posting this one specific meme that says something to the effect of you, we know that the United States is a failed state, because there's a trial currently going on for homicide. We all watched it to me, that is, that is a disturbing statement, because it's saying, giving the accused the fair trial means we're a failed state. It is so unbelievably backwards to me with the fact that this man has a fair trial is one of the last free things in this country, in my opinion that that due process exists for us all. And as a criminal defense attorney, I kind of winced when I see these kinds of statements, where it's something happened, and it needs to be sorted out in a court of law, you know, does that fit the definition of what a homicide is, or the various other accounts. And I think that is the beauty of the system that we that we have the rights universally, to be able to sit and have a trial. So you know, I think the process going through this process is exactly what should happen. I'm not on that jury. I'm not watching this 24/7 feed. So I won't give more of an opinion than that. But from from what I've seen and heard, that was a homicide. Yeah,
Stephen Bradford Long 18:31 no, I agree with you. And I'm and I'm, I'm really disturbed by a lot of a lot of people I would call them you know, intellectual, Dark Web errs, who are who are like, well, we don't really know what happened. I do we know is a homicide or not. And I'm like, you know, maybe they come by that opinion, honestly. But to me, it's pretty, it's pretty obvious and it becomes this. To me, it's kind of dishonest in my mind for people to see all the evidence that we have, and say that it wasn't a homicide. I don't know what your take on that is but
Stu De Haan 19:09 a lot of it is. We live in a very fearful society. I think Americans are very scared people.
Stephen Bradford Long 19:15 Yeah, I agree with that for
Stu De Haan 19:16 one reason one reason for that is of the disinformation campaigns, you know, the sky is falling at every minute, it doesn't matter what's the political spectrum is coming from the sky is falling right now all the time. 24/7 Combine that with a very separated into nuclear families, very separated in our offices, really kind of segmented away from each other. We're scared of anything that's different. And I think we have this weird uniform warship. In America, whether it's police or military, we worship men and women in a uniform and we need to follow their orders and they you know, they protect us and everything would fall apart. So I think we give them more deference.
Stephen Bradford Long 19:55 Okay, pause. They are really fucking hot though.
Stu De Haan 20:00 Well, the problem is what's inside you to form?
Stephen Bradford Long 20:02 Sometimes they're fair. So do you have faith that that? Do you have faith that the system is fair enough, though to grant a fair trial?
Stu De Haan 20:15 Okay. That's a very tricky question. Okay. Loaded question. But I will say this. I've been doing this for a very long time. I have seen good and bad, everything good and bad. I've seen good and bad cops, lawyers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, defendants, everything in between, there is no great way to deal with this. And I think the flaws in the criminal justice system are really being exposed right now, which I think is a good thing. Yeah, for sure. You know, it's like if someone asked me recently, do you believe or agree with the death penalty, and I said, look, the government that doesn't have the sense to legalize marijuana should not hold the keys to who lives or dies, you know, it just is that kind of, like, it's like, we get things so wrong. So often, because we're fallible people, that all we can do is try to course correct the best we can, in any time in history, you're in something really fucked up is going in the criminal justice system. And you might not even know what it is, you might be barking up the wrong tree on that. So it is very complicated. I just think that there is a system in place that is more fair than a lot of other places. If oftentimes, if stuff goes wrong, it's not the fault of the justice system. It's either the legislature and the way they've written laws, or it's the bias public in those two things cannot be controlled by the by the the judiciary, those things are independent of it. So it is a very complicated question. That's really,
Stephen Bradford Long 21:37 really fascinating. Yeah. And, you know, it reminds me of a quote by Alexander Solzhenitsyn that I just keep coming back to again and again and again, where he says the line dividing good, dividing between good and evil, it doesn't run between states, it doesn't run between groups of people, it doesn't run between organizations, it runs through every single human heart, and it vacillates with time. And, and he says, you know, with within the best person there is there, you know, within the most evil person, there is a small bridge head of good, and vice versa. And, and it vacillates with time. And so we I do sometimes think and I have this bias, right? Like I have this tendency to to black and white institutions, or to to cast whole institutions in in 100%, good, 100%, bad, etc, etc, you know that that's something that I become aware of in myself, when the reality is the the line dividing good and evil. It doesn't run between institutions, it runs through every human heart.
Stu De Haan 22:39 And I think I think the more separate you are from an institution, the easier it is to do that because your information is limited, so you can make that quick judgment. But the closer you get to a system, the more you see, there's positives and negatives everywhere. Yeah. And sometimes, if you got to ask me the question of how to solve it, my answer would be I have no fucking idea. Yeah. I don't know. I know what things I think would make it better. But if you ask 10 other criminal defense attorneys, they might have 10 different answers. And that's why you know, let's say Satanism, it's the same kind of thing where I get asked, you know, what's the position of the Satanic Temple on something? And I'm like, ask 10 of us, you'll get 10. Yes, exactly. So I don't know. I can't answer that.
Stephen Bradford Long 23:19 Cool. All right. Well, so let's, let's pivot some here to the legal work that you do for tst. So there's this phrase that's been floating around and it is Lucians a law? What is Lucians law?
Stu De Haan 23:31 Well, so what I wanted to talk about Lucians law. The reason I I'll start here, the reason I wanted to talk about and thought it was important was that John Oliver recently did a thing on on Tucker Carlson and what a scumbag Tucker Carlson is. And I went back before I watched it to look at Tucker's interviews with Lucien Greaves, and he said a couple things that were striking to me.
Stephen Bradford Long 23:54 Let's let's pause real fast Lucian grieves for people who are new to the show co founder of the Satanic Temple.
Stu De Haan 24:00 Yes. Yeah, I wasn't sure what you're who's watching. So maybe I should explain some of these things a little more. No, it's
Stephen Bradford Long 24:05 all good. We get new we get new people with every episode. So I try to define terms each time. Yeah,
Stu De Haan 24:12 so Lucia grieves the federal Satanic Temple when on Tucker Carlson twice in two weeks. And I think my theory is, Lucien kind of owned him the first time. Yeah. I think he wanted to get him back for revenge. And he was a little master to him the second time watching. And, of course, Lucian owned him again. But anyway, the thing that was striking to me was, you know, this whole concept that we're out there, the Satanic Temple is just out there to bother people. That word that that phrase kept coming, and you're just trying to bother people. And I started thinking about it. And I was thinking about the concept of Lucians law and how I think it's time for a little refresher for everybody. And for those that are new, or seasoned, curious, maybe this concept is something that would be helpful to kind of define the parameters of what what we fight and how we Fight it. So that being said, Lucians law is the reason I got involved in the Satanic Temple in the first place. This was a phrase that was coined by a guy I don't know, named David Williamson. He was the head of the local chapter of the Central Florida free thought community. The way this came up was back in. Let's see, I think it was May of 2015. Andrew Seidel wrote a guest post I patios, Andrew Seidel is one of the head attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. So he's a kind of big time constitutional lawyer. He's like the new generation, he's around my age. And he writes this, this guest post, talking about this new term called Lucians. Law. What happened was, there were Florida in a school public school Florida Bibles were being passed out. And a number of organizations tried to stop the saying, Hey, this is a violation of the Establishment Clause. And what that means is the government cannot endorse one religion over another. So if you're handing out Bibles, not as a educational thing, but as a this is what you should believe thing. Clearly, that seems like Christianity is being endorsed by a public school. Well, the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote letters, The Free Thought organization wrote letters, and nothing was getting them to take these Bibles down. So in comes Lucien Greaves, who at the time was was pretty, you know, the Satanic Temple was very new. And the way that this was countered was okay, fine, keep your Bibles in school. But here is a coloring book, that is the big book of satanic children's activities, that is when all hell broke loose. And then they decided to take out the Bible from the public schools, because they said, Look, if you don't let us have our satanic coloring books, we're going to sue you. Because then you're endorsing your religion over ours. And like that, boom, they called it they also other solutions law, they called it the nuclear option for separation of church and state. Now, from an outside perspective, you can see how this might look look like mere trolling, if you don't know kind of the big called, you know, contextual background here. So the way Andrew Seidel described this, and I'm going to read it verbatim here, the principle is that the government will either close open forums when the Satanic Temple asked to speak, or censor the Satanic Temple, thereby opening itself up to legal liability. That's the very basic, very important aspect of Lucians law. So what you'll see is people will continually say, Oh, the Satanic Temple is just trying to get rid of religion in the public sphere. Now, there's a great irony to this. Because what happens is that when we asked to do something, all we're asking is for inclusion, the same exact thing that they're doing, we will never go into a forum where we're the religion doesn't already exist. So you're not going to see us passing out satanic literature in a school that doesn't already have Christian literature. So we're just saying, you've opened up the forum, you've opened the door, we're going to walk through that same door, because you have the same rights. If they shut that forum down, that's their choice, not ours. They did that. They closed the public forum on you. We didn't do that. Nor did we ask. So you know, you don't get to say I'll turn this bus around and then say, look, what you made me do you know, we didn't make you do anything you chose that. And what it does, first of all, is it exposes two different things. It exposes the fact that religious liberty is basically Christian supremacy, religious liberty laws are exclusively made for Christian what it also does, secondarily. And I think more importantly, is it will cause people who make these rules to think Who else am I opening the door for? If there's a group I don't like maybe we should just not have this in the government, which was I think, you know, the founders intention. If you ask Andrew Seidel, he's got books on this. So you know, that's our intention is to be included. My personal idea of this is that secularism is a fantasy. The concept of government not being led by religion is a complete and utter fantasy. It's the way it should be. It's a normative value. But in reality, there are rules all over the place that open up the public forums to religion. And I'm not asking you to take those down. I'm just saying, if you're going to do this, you've got to do it equally, and we will not be disenfranchised, we will not be taken out because you decided which religions are acceptable for religious liberty. This is such a basic concept, but it seems woefully misunderstood by the public by politicians, to the point where I find it to be dangerous. You know, you're creating a bigoted system where religious liberty means someone's losing their rights. That's religious liberty means is we're giving you have the right to discriminate. That's your religious liberty. That's what the courts have done. And we're saying no, this is not acceptable. So that's the general the general idea there.
Stephen Bradford Long 29:41 Yeah. So and what I hear from this, and this is kind of the analysis that Joseph Laycock laid out in his book Speak of the devil, which is when a minority religion walks through the doors that the theocrats opened right, and that that the theocrats opened in the name of religious for Edom and then the ensuing clusterfuck that inevitably happens when a minority religion walks through those doors that were open in the name of religious freedom and the ensuing panic attack that takes place
Stu De Haan 30:16 that we will now use as the brouhaha because that's what the federal judge called it in into the Scottsdale case when 5000 emails came in or 50,000 it was some Matt huge amount of emails came in and he called it the brouhaha which I would love to use as our term for this.
Stephen Bradford Long 30:31 So so when the brouhaha happens, and and you know, members of the dominant religion lose their fucking minds over a minority religion, taking advantage of the privileges that and walking through the door that they opened that suggests to me that they never believed in religious freedom to begin with.
Stu De Haan 30:52 That's exactly right. And they demonstrate openly the, you know, the I think Joe Laycock in his book named a chapter equality gone too far, which was actually a statement by one of the city council members saying allowing the satanists to have religious liberty is equality gone too far. And the fact that she would say this to the constituency shows that it's not only it's not only present, they're flipping about, I mean, this is a this is something that was said in a public record, they don't even care. They don't even care that they're like, Yeah, we don't like this minority religions. So we're not going to have them like the bigotry is in the open in nobody really does anything about this. But us, as far as this type of suit, you know, a lot of the other secular organizations, they asked for the removal of the things we don't we ask for the inclusion, but we're not going to be discriminated against. So if they pull the plug on the public forum, like I said, that was an art doing.
Stephen Bradford Long 31:41 So So you mentioned secular groups and and the legal battles that they've engaged in. My impression is that in the fight against the autocracy, and maybe I'm biased and misguided here, because I'm a member of the Satanic Temple, but my impression is that the Satanic Temple has gotten a a level of success and publicity from their legal battles, that has not been necessarily the case with purely secular organizations fighting the same battle. A Do you think that's the case? And B, if so, why do you think that is? Well, it's
Stu De Haan 32:17 a good question, because it does raise it raises a very wide open concept of what is a victory? We have not won any of our cases that that has to do with Lucians law. Now, a lot of people like to criticize, oh, but what did they want? I like that. I like I kind of like it when people ask that because the victory is broader.
Stephen Bradford Long 32:38 Yes. It's a cultural victory, right? So
Stu De Haan 32:40 for example, one thing that we've won, so to speak, is we did have a federal judge, say and a ruling in district court that Satanism has all of the merit the Satanic Temple in particular has all of the merits of of a, quote real religion, this has this satisfies the legal requirements for religion, I think that's a huge victory. Yes. Secondarily, the media fiascos we create we don't even intend to people lose their shit whenever we take a piss sometimes, and it's like, people are starting to ask the questions over and over and over. Why are these guys so bad? What What's so bad about? These guys are out there picking up Park parks and cleaning up roadways and they've got commute. You know, it's everything that religion is what's so bad about these guys. And then you get the Satanic Panic, blood libel eating babies shit all the time and stuff. That's obviously projection, first of all, and in bullshit. Second of all, yeah. But you know, there's that aspect. But there's one thing that I like to point out recently. So, for example, here's a great example of Lucians law in action and what is a victory? Well, we lost the case in Scottsdale, we Matthew Casaya, took over that case at the end, did the oral arguments in the Ninth Circuit pending ruling we don't know what the outcome but assuming we still lose something that happened. That blew my mind was in a southern border town of Nogales, Arizona, right on the right on the border of Mexico. They opened up a public prayer program in the city council, just like all these other cities in Arizona, in the media without us having anything to do with this. We never talked to anybody we never asked to give a talk. The media asked the mayor, what are you going to do on the Satanic Temple? You said, Hey, I opened the door. Everyone's welcome. Well, is that true or not? California? However, the fact that the media asked the politician what happens when we come is saying first of all, that we're on the media's constant attention. Yeah. Secondly, that it's showing that it's effective, because win or lose we cost Scottsdale, a lot of money and a lot of bad press to defend that case. And all we wanted to do was give was talk for two minutes. But now the aftermath is when other when other cities make rules. They're being asked by the media. Hey, you're Making this rule where are you gonna do? I think that's a that's a bigger victory than any court case. In my opinion. Yeah,
Stephen Bradford Long 35:05 yeah, no, I definitely think that there is a that it's an incredibly powerful cultural lever, right. And so even like, like the that Lucians law is an incredibly powerful form of like culture jamming, and it's a powerful cultural cultural lever that kind of exposes the dark underbelly of theocracy in America. Yeah,
Stu De Haan 35:27 I can. I can give a second example to you know, the Oklahoma situation Oklahoma pet was the first 10 commandments situation that the Satanic Temple got involved in that that point our monument was a merely basically a cocktail napkin drawing. And eventually that 10 minutes came down the Satanic Temple got a lot of credit for it. We didn't we didn't win that case. We never filed that case. What happened was we exposed it. Yeah, I mean, she was so interested was interconnected with our monument. And there's that it raised the cultural connection of weight to these guys have a point that was the first time they're losing weight. These guys seem like they might have a good point, the 10 commandments come down ultimately, not because of us. But we were credited almost for that victory, so to speak, just because we were the ones that put that in the spotlight that might not have been as national news as it was without us. So I think these questions even being asked, are are part of Lucians line action?
Stephen Bradford Long 36:17 Hmm. So as I'm listening to you talk I the pattern that I see is that a, you know, the far right, and the Christian nationalists, they open the door under the name of inclusion, right under under a broad name of something like religious liberty, which on its face sounds pluralistic, and diverse and metropolitan and so on and so forth. Right. It sounds it has on pure face value religious liberty, when they say it, it sounds great, right. But then it is ultimately a weapon that they use for Christian supremacy, and they lose their goddamn minds when a minority religion steps through the door that they opened. So that's the pattern that I'm seeing. I'm wondering if that pattern rhymes with the same use of phrases on the right, like free speech? Absolutely. What's What's your take on that?
Stu De Haan 37:23 So the two examples off the top of my head are people use terms for political gain? The National Socialist Party, the Nazi Party was was named that because socialism was all the rage at the time and people liked that word, the Democratic Republic of North Korea, do you think they got an accuracy there?
Stephen Bradford Long 37:42 Or republic
Stu De Haan 37:43 in when you're in the United States, we've got this big boner fetish for the word liberty. If you look at all of these right wing foundations, it's always this, you know, foundation defending liberty and justice, freedom, Eagle, jerk off.com, you know, like, it's fucking Liberty terms. And it's like, it's almost repugnant to me, like, it's gross that they use, they use the Liberty, but the way they see it, and I think this has become clear, I don't even think this is this is debatable at this point. They believe truly, they they're in their heart of hearts. They believe that their liberty is to suppress and oppress other people. That's the right eye. And if you say, Hey, you can't discriminate against this group. But really, what about religious rights? Not I have a religious right to discriminate against this group. That's a deeply held belief of mine. And it's not surprising. I mean, I personally think that Abrahamic religions were founded to suppress women in particular, but, you know, this is part of it. They have, they've got to control their wives, they've got to spread the word. You combine those two things, it makes perfect sense that they believe they have the ultimate freedom to discriminate. I mean, well, why would they not believe that? Right? I mean, I think comes down to that. And then you had the word freedom and he put an eagle and American flag on everyone was out from other freedom boners at
Stephen Bradford Long 38:59 all everyone just had everyone has a just a collective freedom. Orgasm.
Stu De Haan 39:04 Oh, ridiculous.
Stephen Bradford Long 39:08 Yeah, no, it's just it's really fascinating, because I feel like as I've watched, the far right, especially, you know, they were obsessed with this when Trump was a president. But but especially after Biden won the election, they've really turned their sights on to cancel culture. Now. I think we can all agree that there are problems on online spaces, right. We can all agree that there are pretty big issues with how we talk to each other online. Definitely in leftist spaces, but the way that they have captured that conversation while they are the counselor that the cancellers Supreme day fucking love canceling, right?
Stu De Haan 39:55 So it's so bizarre. I know you and I have talked about this. We have our own I'm very critical opinions of the concept of canceled culture but what you're saying is absolutely it but when you're in there are it is problem it is a problem how we communicate leftist circles when we divide ourselves into smaller and smaller factions that become completely useless. We could go on about this all day. Yeah, but but and I've stepped in online over this. But that being said, what I realized and I think I was ignorant to at the time, admittedly, I didn't realize this was happening is the right kind of took this concept in molded into an attack on their bad behavior. And it's like, well, like, Wait, that's not what I was criticizing. I was criticizing the whole reductionism and absolutism of how we treat each other on the left, I think is gross. Not saying hey, what you just got caught doing something shitty, and now that's canceled culture. That's not what that meant. That's not
Stephen Bradford Long 40:50 what that meant. And honestly, you know, because of this, I have decided to just shift my terminology away from using the term canceled culture to, you know, to use to use more precise language, right? Because it's like, okay, the the using the word cancel culture, it's, it's too broad to be helpful. And it's been so weaponized, and it's also a red alarm now for people on the left, because they hear the word canceled culture and and they assume that I'm a right wing goon. And so I've scratched it from my lexicon. And instead, I tried to use much more specific language, hopefully in a way that that is less prone to be weaponized. And all the end, you know, all this to say, while there are problems within leftist spaces that I've talked a lot about, it isn't an existential threat compare anywhere near compared to the far right, like,
Stu De Haan 41:41 yeah, that's, that's a really good point. So these are these buzzwords, and I find them across the political spectrum. I call it the Mad Libs. So it's, it's like, if you see any conservative politician talk about, you know, their ex, their version of the existential crisis of culture, you're going to find these terms like radical left Kancil culture. Yeah, you know, just like on the left, you see all these essentially Marxist platitudes that don't mean anything anymore. Because 19th century Germany, right. You know, it's like, I want you to talk about the historical dialectic. Okay? But when you're saying things like, you know, kill all the landlords, it's like, well, I mean, I don't work in the 21st century. But anyway, it's, you know, you start plugging in these these Mad Libs like Kancil culture and radical left and freedom literally Liberty all these words mean jack shit anymore, but they did really commandeer the phrase and they're acting like like you said that you're acting. They're acting like this. This is a real threat to them, which it's not I mean, canceling a right winger requires them committing usually a pretty heinous crime and then they cancel themselves. Exactly. Nothing to do with this.
Stephen Bradford Long 42:54 Exactly. And, and take the case of someone like Milo Yiannopoulos he was cancelled by the right he was taken down. By the far right the left had nothing to do with that the left
Stu De Haan 43:07 also while you're on Milo. Yeah, the left likes to brag about some type of D platforming people I'm a big I'm very anti D platforming. And I like to use Milo as the example for exactly what you just said. He took himself out with a fucking tweet. He liked the fact that he had a Twitter following is why he got canceled he did it to himself. The left didn't cancel they made a more popular by trying to do platform is the way I see
Stephen Bradford Long 43:32 it. My understanding is that Milo was cancelled by the far right a he was taken off of Twitter because he broke the Twitter terms of services by harassing a black actress who was in Ghostbusters. Right and and unleashed his horde of racist monsters on her and it was it was truly abusive and I watched the tweets happen I watched that thing happen and it was truly unacceptable and horrific.
Stu De Haan 43:58 I didn't even know about that I saw he got I started guide who's asked canceled by his weird pseudo pedophile
Stephen Bradford Long 44:04 Yeah, so So that was the other thing that was the so he got he got kicked off of Twitter for the harassment that he incited but then he was taken down for like seeming to condone pedophilia and but it was the right that did that it was the right that shut them down.
Stu De Haan 44:21 There becomes a point where they're so bros that even the rights like shit now we can't endorse this guy anymore. Yeah, but I think that goes all around,
Stephen Bradford Long 44:28 you know and I, I really see Milo as a failure of the left and the reason is because he was taken down by his own side. The reason is because he was he was he was not taken down because the left was able to destroy him. He was not taken in, in the in the world of in the in the discourse. We weren't able to actually take him down using argumentation using better speech. We we weren't able to to take him down in that way, he was taken down by the right. So I ultimately see the fall of Milo as a failure of the left
Stu De Haan 45:10 or to to, in, you know, this whole kicking and screaming, and it's actually your turn that I've been using the contagion, the contagion left, where people seem to be so afraid that if we hear the wrong ideas, we're going to be sucked into some q&a on which I mean, there's some justification to worry about that, since we've all known someone that got sucked into that shut down. Yeah, for sure. But the thing is, you got to doesn't mean you can start curtailing what people are allowed to see in here. Because who would you give that power? To? What one one person or committee or agency? Would you say, Yeah, I'm gonna give you the authority to tell me what I can hear and read. If you've turned it on yourself. It's like, well, wait a minute. But you know, when it's other people were easily to be like, you know, this person shouldn't get a hold of this stuff. Well, that's easy for me to say, but what are they gonna say about what I'm allowed to hear and see, and it's, you got to put yourself in the shoes and be like, I don't want what I hear to be censored? Why would I want that for other people? And if it goes awry, the best thing you can do is keep speech free and keep keep injecting it with better ideas with with more wisdom, not less.
Stephen Bradford Long 46:18 Have you seen the new Q anon into the or the Q into the storm series on HBO?
Stu De Haan 46:25 I have not been I've been told it is a must see it is it is
Stephen Bradford Long 46:29 stunning. It is one of the most incredible documentaries I've watched, maybe ever, like, it is so fucking good. But, but listening to the director, he not necessarily on the show, but like in interviews and whatnot, he says that the extreme speech that we see on the internet has to do with the loss of privacy, and the selling of that data for sweat, he calls sociopathic algorithms that, that manipulate and categorize and isolate for the sole purpose of profit. And that that is one reason why we have seen this explosion, this rise of dysfunction on the left and all out hatred on the right. Is is because of because it's systemic. It is it is algorithmic. And so when I look at that, I really wonder if if our kind of old school liberal intuitions about free speech are coherent on a place in a place like Facebook, right? Because there's this shadow mechanism organized across gigantic data centers hidden in giant data centers around the world. That's not my line, that's Jaron Lanier, is line that are collating and collecting data on us and isolating us and and deliberately if I can use this word triggering us and escalating that for the sole purpose of profit. And so I sometimes wonder if we are operating from a, that our old school liberal sensibilities of free speech, which are foundational and important, are completely thwarted by this new system that we're all communicating in.
Stu De Haan 48:18 And that's a really good point. And I think that is something to be cognizant of going going forward for all of us really, you know, the algorithms are obviously sociopathic. There's no morality tied into it. Yeah. It is. It's an absolute fact that you get more clicks on bad news and good news. That's I mean, by an exponential factor. So there is a huge incentive to catastrophize news. Yeah, we nancial dollar amount incentive for him. Now add the fact that we just spent the last year mostly isolated from each other. Talk about your pool worth where people become abstractions shrank. Now it's outside your front door. People are abstractions. Right. So, you know, I can sit here. And, you know, a caveat to what I was just saying earlier about censorship, we already know. And I'm well aware that what I'm being fed on a daily basis, and what we're all being fed on a daily basis from the news sources we see are heavily curated for clicks. Yeah, I mean, we even a clickbait world. And this is, this is kind of, you know, it's kind of fraying the concept of a liberal democracy because no one's informed. Everyone's misinformed about everything. How do you have a functional democracy when everyone's misinformed intentionally for money legally? Yeah. Where do you go from there? And you know, these are huge questions, and I certainly don't have the answers. Yeah, same. But it is definitely challenging my, my own notions of, of freedom of speech, because, you know, the q&a on stuff made it dangerous for us. We are very out in public Satanists when they believe that there are a cabal of us molesting children and stuff, even though they're going to the church where that's probably actually happening. You know, this, but this projection is real. Yeah, we believe that and that puts us in a dangerous situation. So, on one hand, I'm sitting here going, you know, let everyone say whatever they want the other hand to go on. Yeah, well, the misinformation can be deadly. And I do realize that actually, the phenomenon has gotten much worse in the last few years than it ever has been to a point where it's unprecedented. I don't know, how to where do we how do we go backwards? Now? Yeah, as you said, the other thing is disinformation is cumulative. You know, if you go if you Google disinformation from 10 years ago, you'll find it and it just keeps building. So there's more and more of a pool of it over time, and that that part actually freaks me out a little bit.
Stephen Bradford Long 50:35 Yeah, same. And you know, what, Colin Hoback, the director of cue into the storm says, in response to things like hate speech and misinformation online, what our, our response has generally been, okay, let's give the tech platforms more algorithmic power. Right. But algorithms were the problem that got us here in the first place. And and, and so silencing people silencing people isn't on on these platforms, isn't what's going to fix the problem, a complete restructuring of the digital system is what will fix the problem, it needs to be a top down reform of places like Facebook and Twitter, and Google, which curates the entire world's information. And that is such a gigantic task that I just don't even know how to begin. Think about that, that challenge, right?
Stu De Haan 51:35 So especially the United States isn't notorious for fixing problems. We for some reason, when we detect a problem that's universal, we dig in harder. i It's something that I've never understood. It's quite a phenomenon. You know, it's like the war on drugs, it doesn't work. Well, let's double down on it, you know, stuff like that. It's where I feel like the social media problem, it's the same thing you were just saying, where the algorithm the human, the more algorithm freedom, essentially. And I think the idea was, if it's if you take morality and politics out of an algorithm, what could go wrong? And the problem is, it turns everyone sociopathic.
Stephen Bradford Long 52:11 Exactly. Yeah. So So let's pivot back to the Satanic Temple. So after, after your description of Lucians law, and the legal battles that TST is engaged in, I think a lot of especially outsiders or newcomers to the temple might be under the impression that TST is purely a legal and activist organization. Right. And and I run into this assumption all the time that TST are humanists pretending to be Satanists. And because Satanism is a powerful lever in the culture wars, and so that it is, so that it is the assumption is that it is kind of on a fundamental basis, really ironic. It's kind of sad. It's an irony to capture the public imagination and the legal system. And and because it's a powerful lever. I think that's often the assumption of people going in. what's your what's your response to that?
Stu De Haan 53:14 Yeah, I think it's a very main duty of mine to kind of debunk that as the one who's a pivotal, you know, member of the legal team, I started a legal team, I did a lot of the public statements on our legal cases. But I like to emphasize very heavily, this is one of the many things that we do. This is this is the part that's going to make the news, this is the part that everyone's going to be talking about, they make documentaries out of, but that's why I'd like to dial it back a little bit internally within the Satanic Temple to work more on on the culture, cultural and religious aspect, which we have done. Yeah. The ordination program, book, you know, book recommendations and book clubs and ritual practice books on ritual, specific to TST, made by Shiva, honey, the devil's tone, all of these things over time, create a more kind of robust religious culture, so to speak. And I think it's one that's been missing for a lot of people because the institution that does exist for Satanism, the Church of Satan is shadowy and secretive, and it's individualistic, and you don't really get that community as much. They might say, otherwise. I've got no beef with the Church of Satan. I don't agree with them on a lot of things, but I got no beef with them. But I think it's fair to say that not everyone in our camp likes some of their teachings and vice versa, and that's fine. That's fine. But I like to say I'm not an activist, and this is not an activist group activism occurs because we end up having to fight for our rights. And absolutely that was a component when this first started. However, this is a real religion. This is mainly a religion and what I do in the legal aspect, is because I have to, if nobody He does it, then we're our rights are gonna get trampled on and we can't have that. So, yeah, it's it's important the legal work of some of the most important things we do, but it's for a greater purpose. We're not suing for the sake of suing, this is we see a very corrupt system. This is our way to fight it from within the system. But from outside of that, we also have free exercise. So that's the establishment component. But the Free Exercise is, when we're not in the public square, we still do the things that we do our ritual practices, our personal philosophies regarding Satanism, whether you're from the romantic milieu, romantic Satanism, or the occult, or the anarchist, you know, some people come from the anarchist vision of it, like the Bolsheviks in the Bolshevik Revolution, the anarchists like the Coonan, and stuff you've seen as a social kind of counter reactionary metaphor, or what have you. And I think these things are all intrinsically tied together, to create a whole. So it's, it's just one part of the whole. And I would definitely say, if you're not a self identifying sameness, or if you don't even know what that means, not go away. Just wait, wait research, figure out what we do. You're going to find things you love and things you don't love about what we do when you figure out if this is your place, and then absolutely everyone should join. But the lawsuits of the activism is only one small component.
Stephen Bradford Long 56:20 Yeah, it's really just the tip of the iceberg. And the vast majority of the activity within the Satanic Temple is within our own communities. I mean, we have private rituals. We have come thriving communities, we have support groups, we have all kinds of stuff that the public would just never ever see from the outside. And you know, what, what it really reminds me of is the Quakers. You know, the Quakers have been on the front lines of political activism for decades. Well, it would be absurd to look at the Quakers and say, Oh, they aren't really religious. Because they are politically involved. They aren't really religious. And it's like, no, that's, that's absurd. The Quakers are politically engaged because of their religious convictions. And I think it's the same. Yeah, and I think it's the same with tst. We are politically engaged because we are religious Satanists, it flows from our religious convictions from our deeply held religious beliefs.
Stu De Haan 57:21 The way that I would symbolize this, and this is this is something I want to emphasize is our particular Baphomet monument encompasses Lucians law. And the reason why is because of its the breasts being absent, right? You know, people would say, where the titties Oh, it's not authentic level as if we forgot, oh, you know, I gotta call up the sculptor, he forgot the tits, you know, obviously, you know, in the whole thing is we know that we're going to try to put this on the public square to to, you know, fight for pluralism, and we don't want to get embroiled in an obscenity battle. Because, you know, this is a country that just several years ago had an Attorney General Ashcroft, who was covering up Lady Justice in the capital, because she had the statue had an exposed breast. These are the people that were tangling with. So I think that dichotomy, the reconciliation of opposites, as the Baphomet represents the sabbatic goat, add to that we're fighting in the public square, so it's got to have a certain decorum, so we can even broach the subject. Yeah, I think that our monument, the way that it is designed, is perfectly encompassing, both the reconciliation of opposites of what the bathroom it represents. Not only that, but also the private and public realm that the Satanic Temple engages with.
Stephen Bradford Long 58:40 Awesome. I think that's a great note to end on. For for people who are curious about what you do or want to follow you online. Where can they do that?
Stu De Haan 58:50 You know, my Facebook is pretty open. I got off Twitter, I got on and off real quick, because there's a lot of drama on there, and I don't have time for it. And you just think about going back, but I'm just on Facebook under my real name. And I post mostly silly and facetious things. I offend people from time to time because I look very flippant, but I swear to you that this is dead serious business.
Stephen Bradford Long 59:12 Awesome. And you also have a show on the satanic temple.tv.
Stu De Haan 59:16 Yes, and I'm hoping that we start back up we I am on the devil's dispatch with Jackman Turco, who else writes for patios and he and I do the double dispatch, I don't know what it's gonna look like this season. We ended back on Halloween. We're looking to start back up but might be two separate shows we might have a little different format. But what I like to do is get people on that are making waves and doing important things for Satanism, especially the Satanic Temple. So I'm hoping that season comes back up shortly. I'm also doing a ritual series kind of thing for TST TV where we do we demonstrate rituals from the devil's tome that Shiva honey wrote.
Stephen Bradford Long 59:54 Amazing, awesome and by the way, this show is sponsored by the satanic temple.tv And so people who are curious and checking out all the shows there, they can use my promo code which is secret tension all caps, no space and they get one month free. All right. Well, I think that's it for this show. The music is by the jelly rocks and 11 D seven. You can find them on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to music. This show is written, edited and produced by me Steven Bradford long and Dante salmoni, as always Hail Satan. And thanks for listening