Podcasts/Sacred Tension-Ross BlocherMASTERED6otf8

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Ross_BlocherMASTERED6otf8 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, scientology, talking, satanism, satanic temple, carrie, satanist, world, questions, listening, life, podcast, satan, satanists, religion, feel, beliefs, kinds, find, forbidden SPEAKERS Peterson Toscano, Stephen Bradford Long, Ross Blocher

Peterson Toscano 00:00 You're listening to a rock candy podcast. Hi, I'm Liam Hooper. And I'm Peterson Toscano. Together, we co host the Bible bash podcast. Each month we look into a different ancient story. We're curious to find insights into our own queer lives. We discuss these and share our findings with you. You can find the Bible bash podcast pretty much anywhere you listen to podcast, new episodes come out at the end of each month.

Stephen Bradford Long 01:00 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long, and we are here on the rock candy Podcast Network. For more shows like this one, go to rock candy recordings.com In this episode, I have the pleasure of speaking with Ross falacci your co host of my all time favorite podcast. Oh no Ross and Carrie oh no Ross and Carrie investigates fringe scientific claims. They join cults, they join fringe religious movements, they investigate every weird, outlandish, interesting claim, and they do so with kindness and compassion and listening while also managing to be skeptical. They are truly a fantastic podcast. Also, if you haven't heard my interview with Carrie Poppy from several weeks ago, who is the other co host of oh no Ross and Carrie, please do that. She is also wonderful. In this episode, we discuss what Ross has learned from Scientology, the positives that he has gained from exploring friends religious movements, we also talk about the rise of conspiracies in America and how to deal with that as people dedicated to science and skepticism. And we also spent a good chunk of time talking about my own Satanism, he was curious to understand where I'm coming from. And he asked me some really great questions about my own religious practice. So you can look forward to that as well. But before we get to all of that, I have to thank my patrons. MY PATRONS really are getting me through this rough financial time right now. And they are ensuring the long life of my work, they are guaranteeing that I can bring you interesting content on the blog and podcast every week because this really does take an enormous amount of work and I believe in what I'm doing, and I believe in bringing it to the world for free. I believe in providing free interesting conversations for everyone to enjoy. But it does take a lot of time. A lot of work, a lot of equipment, a lot of editing and a lot of misery sometimes and so my patrons really keep me going for this episode. I have to thank my latest patrons Jim Melanie Mobius trip Audrey Catherine, Megan, gutter sniper and Victoria. Thank you so much. I truly could not do this without you. You're my personal lords and saviors. And if you're listening to this and interested in joining my Patreon then please go to patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long there's a link in the show notes for $1 A month or $5 a month you get extra content every week. This show is also sponsored by the satanic temple.tv. The Satanic temple.tv has all kinds of amazing content from live streams movie nights, feature length films, documentaries, really all kinds of fascinating stuff for anyone who is satanic or Satan adjacent or just interested in a cult weird fringe new religious stuff. And if that interests you, you can get one month free by using my promo code at checkout sacred tension all caps, no space. Also, most of the conversation about my work takes place on my Discord server. Sometimes it isn't enough to just listen to a podcast. Sometimes you need community sometimes you need like minded people. And if you're interested in joining my wonderful little community of degenerate unicorns, then just follow the link in the show notes and I would love for you to take part in the conversation. And finally there are many other ways to say support this show. If you're unable to give financially, don't worry, I completely understand life is hard right now, the economy is rough right now. And I really need you to take care of yourself. First and foremost, however, there are other ways that you can support the show. The best way is to just subscribe wherever you're listening, share it with your friends. If you like the work that I'm doing, please take the time to like it on Twitter, share it on social media. And if you have a bit more time, then please leave a five star review on iTunes on Apple podcasts. And I will read it on the show and give you a little shout out. All right. Well, with all of that out of the way, I am delighted to welcome Ross Blocher to the show. Ross Blocher, welcome to the show.

Ross Blocher 05:49 Thank you so much for having me, Stephen. Yeah, so talk to you.

Stephen Bradford Long 05:53 It's great to have you on the show. And, you know, listeners will know that several weeks ago, I had Carrie, your co host on the show. And I will refrain from raving about your show to you the way I did to Carrie, but just don't don't refrain, just know, just know everything that I said about her. And her work applies equally to you. And in that you do so much you and Carrie have had such a huge influence on me. Such a huge influence on my journey out of Christianity, my journey out of theism and and supernaturalism and into kind of a a kind atheism or a kind non theism and I've found my home in the Satanic Temple. And I really credit your show. Oh, no Ross and Carrie as being a crucial part of that journey. So everything everything that I said about carry applies to you. So I owe you an enormous thanks. Just because your work has been super influential on me with that out of the way.

Ross Blocher 07:02 Yeah, I was gonna say that's the highest compliment we can ask for. And, and it's weird, because I still kind of picture us as upstarts, in my mind. So for you to mention us being part of your journey. I have to remind myself That's right. We're coming up on 10 years you are and joining fringe religious groups undergoing alternative medical treatments and all kinds of other crazy things that we do for the podcast. Absolutely.

Stephen Bradford Long 07:24 And I think that your show Oh, no, Ross and Carrie is maybe the only show that I've listened to, I think almost every single episode of so Oh, wow. Like all of the I don't even know how many 1000s of hours that is at this point.

Ross Blocher 07:39 Yeah, I was just gonna say I calculated it a while back. And how intimidating How much was it? I'm now curious. Now. I'm trying to remember. But it was over over 300 hours. Oh, Jesus

Stephen Bradford Long 07:50 Christ. Yeah, exactly. So I have listened to you and Carrie talk for over 300 hours. And wow, you know, and it was therapeutic, honestly, because I was in a place where what I needed the most was kindness. And what I needed the most from, you know, as I was working through the incredibly difficult process of, you know, my faith falling apart, losing my Christian faith. And it was a long process. It was a years long process. And it was just so raw and so painful. I realized, I realized, looking back that what I really needed was kindness. And I didn't find a lot of that in the atheist world. I didn't find a lot of kindness in the skeptic world. But I found it on your show. And love. Yes,

Ross Blocher 08:47 yes. Sad, but understandable. I mean, wonderful that you found in the show, but sad that it wasn't elsewhere for you. And I think that knowing my own experience, and having talked to many others, I think we all go through these fairly similar stages. As we get out of faith. There's that initial phase of questioning where you have to kind of reorder your priorities and allow yourself to ask questions about these things that you've always been kind of taught not to put on the chopping block when it comes to questioning, and then you get down the road. And then you have to find that moment where you can actually switch your way of thinking and try looking at the world in a new way. And then you go into this kind of selfless fugue where you really just want to have debates with everybody and just hash all this out and you've got Oh, I went through that fresh knowledge. Yep, you just need to share it and get on the wrestling mat and like have it out with others and and I think all along the way. There's different approaches and materials that you're interested in and need to internalize and I did all of that. But then you get to a point where you think okay, well now I've got to move on with my life and form community and replace some things that I had before. And yeah, if you don't have that kindness and you don't have relationship with and all that you're you're kind of unmoored.

Stephen Bradford Long 10:09 Yeah, absolutely. So before we get too far along, in this conversation, tell my audience some about what you do about the work that you do on your podcast.

Ross Blocher 10:17 Yeah, so. So for anyone who hasn't listened Oh, no, Ross, and Carrie has a show where my friend Carrie and I, we really did just start as friends kind of like minded friends. We want to report on things to do with spirituality and claims of the paranormal and alternative medicine, fringe science, anything that has a component of something that might Buck against science, scientific consensus, or scientific understanding of the world. And we want to try it out firsthand, we want to just get in there. And if it's a group, you know, this is all formed, of course, long, pre COVID. You know, we want to join, we want to be there, we want to see what happens, how do they bring new members in? How do they respond to your questions? When did they ask for money? How much money do they ask for? What did they give you to read? You know, what is the whole strategy for bringing new people in? And so while we'll try to get some additional information and go in depth, to give people kind of a hopefully fuller sense of what the beliefs are of a particular group or practice, what I think we're mainly focused on is giving people that idea of what it's like off the street, what is the experience if you just show up? And and we say we show up, so you don't have to? So there's the idea that that's kind of vicarious, or viruses, that you're getting the experience through us. But also, you know, we do and of course, you can do it on your own. If you hear our experience, and you decide, yeah, I want to check this out on my own.

Stephen Bradford Long 11:56 I want to join Scientology, I'm going to go to the local, local site. No, I'm not personally going to join join Scientology, but you can with Rawson carries inspiration. Yeah, so actually, that brings up a question that I always have listening to your shows, which is, is there anything? Has there been anything that has actually been useful, that have saved from Scientology, say from Mormonism from really unexpected places, really unexpected groups? And practices? Have there been useful things that you have been able to incorporate into your own life that you like, even though even though you aren't a believer, and you are not a Scientologist? I mean, I guess technically you were a Scientologist. Since you were right, you joined? Technically, you were a Mormon since you joined. But yeah, Is there stuff in unex? In these unexpected places that you've actually been able to incorporate into your life and find healthy and helpful,

Ross Blocher 12:58 um, in the quick answer is yes, absolutely. And there's, there's kind of the the general benefit of interacting with other people and ideas and just learning more about the world and, and learning to kind of understand a little better the variety of experience in how to interact with people. But for me, personally, I would say yes, to use Scientology as an example, because they're sort of one that you could easily point to and say, well, there's not too much Oh, yeah, sign various.

Stephen Bradford Long 13:28 Exactly. They're one of the most, you know, spooky and demonized new religious movements right now in America. Yeah. And so they, like, spook everyone.

Ross Blocher 13:37 And they're fascinating for many reasons, because there's so much that they do that, on the face of it is just the actions of destructive cult. And, and I think for many people on the outside, it's just this kind of train wreck that we love to watch. But right now we're focusing on the positives. And one thing I can say is that they they have this analogy slash illustration slash piece of tech that L Ron Hubbard came up with, and it's the

Stephen Bradford Long 14:05 describe, describe what they mean by tech real. Okay.

Ross Blocher 14:08 Yeah, that's, that's a good word

Stephen Bradford Long 14:11 for new religious, for new religious movement nerds like us. We know what tech means. But what do but for people who don't know what does that mean? Yeah, so

Ross Blocher 14:20 one of the hallmarks, or one of the checkbox lists for a cult is the creation of new language, new vocabulary. And, you know, I always say, it's, it's really hard to describe Colt in any kind of meaningful terms. And I always think of it more as like a checklist, a system of behaviors. And if you hit enough of the checkboxes, you've kind of entered that category, Carrie, and I use that term very advisedly, but it fits Scientology. So as part of the custom language that L Ron Hubbard created, there, there's certain words that get used like critical is a really bad thing. You know, if you're going critical Oh, you're, you're off morally. And so that's a good way for them to get people a bit inured to the word critical when they see it, it sets off little warning lights. So in the same way, tech is short for technology and essentially any system that L Ron Hubbard has created, whether it be for succeeding at business or teaching students how to learn, they'll refer to that as tech short for technology. So, so yeah, one of those pieces one of those little methods they have is the thing called the aarC triangle. And it's actually it's one of the triangles in the Scientology logo, you see, it kind of looks like this big fancy calligraphy calligraphic s, and it's got two triangles behind it. One of them is the KTRC triangle one is the aarC triangle. So I'm talking about one of those. And it stands for affinity reality and communication. And the idea is that you have affinity, which is just how much you like somebody how much you feel a connection to them a reality is your shared reality and understanding of the world. And communication is just you know, that one doesn't really need explanation, we know what communication is. And the idea is that as you seek to foster and create relationships in life, as you increase any one of those three edges of the triangle, you'll increase the others. And I love the way they describe affinity, they describe it as like how close you want to be to someone, and that you can kind of physically see it when you don't have affinity with someone, you either with body language, you kind of shy away from them, or you just will remain standoffish. But the more you feel connected to someone, you'll want to get closer to them. And and I like that as a model, I think, you know, you can evaluate relationships and sort of look at aspects of it and say, Oh, hey, that's a sign, you know, we're kind of staying away from each other that shows we lack affinity, maybe I can increase a bit of our communication, maybe I can increase a bit of our shared reality, maybe find common bases that we can talk on. So I like it as a model. I don't think that knowledge is exclusive to Scientology. I don't think you can't, you can't. You can separate it from Scientology. There's nothing that says you can't do that, from the practices and beliefs of Scientology. But I think it's a really helpful little illustration.

Stephen Bradford Long 17:21 Yeah. And you know, I run into little things like that all the time. And one of the things that I find myself thinking about frequently is truth is true, no matter who says it or something is helpful, no matter who says it. And so even if it comes from you know, terrifying cultists. Yeah, it if it's true, and it's helpful. It's, it's almost like we can I find it empowering to take truth from wherever I find it, even if it is from some darker places. You know, it's funny,

Ross Blocher 17:55 even when I was a Christian, I remember being taught and told that the best way to Yeah, the best place to hide a lie is between two

Stephen Bradford Long 18:06 truths. Exactly. And now I've taken that and run with it. Yeah,

Ross Blocher 18:10 exactly. So you know, Carrie, and I come into these things, knowing that usually they're full of good people, well intentioned people, because most humans are good and well intentioned. And oftentimes, when they've been led to do something bad or hurtful, it's because it's kind of hijacked their good intentions. And Scientology is really good at that the people who join think they're saving the world. And this is, you know, their duty and and what they can contribute. And so that's sort of been hijacked in that sense. But yeah, I can think of other things too, that I've pulled as, as useful takeaways from our other investigations, like one I often mentioned is our speed reading episode. Because I learned that it's silly to think that you can just sort of flip through the pages and read through, you know, at that kind of absurd pace. But from the class we took, I learned all of these really helpful strategies, and it gave me confidence. And I tried a lot of those different things. And I ended up every year since then, I've increased the amount that I've read. And I found that for me, that's something that really increases my personal life enjoyment.

Stephen Bradford Long 19:20 That's fantastic. So is there anything that and actually, I announced on Twitter just a while ago that I will be interviewing you, and if anyone had any questions, and one person did have a question, let me pull this up real fast.

Ross Blocher 19:34 Okay. While you while you're doing that, I'm gonna throw in one additional, really big personal benefit, and that was, yes, please do Seventh Day Adventists that that we interacted with, they were the ones that convinced me to go vegetarian. Whereas, you know, hanging out with Carrie all the time didn't quite put me over the line. Talking about all of the weird birds that you can't eat according to the Bible, and just sort of seeing that they had I found this sort of loopy way to get to vegetarianism sort of told me Well, if they can do it for their reasons, why can't I do it for mine? That's great.

Stephen Bradford Long 20:07 I am also a vegetarian. So I welcome you into the nice vegetarian fold. We will also be great for the apocalypse that's happening in 2021. Because we are grass fed, and we are we taste better than everyone else. So we haven't had a free range for a while, though. Fair. Yes, we've not free range. But you know, I do manage it local organic grocery store, so I mostly organic and grass fed. So I am publicly announcing here and now that I offer my flash to the masses in the apocalypse. Okay. Um, so you were talking. You were talking about your upbringing as an evangelical. So, you know, we just discussed things that you have found helpful in your investigations. Megan, on Twitter asked as a former evangelical what occult stuff still gives you the creeps? If so, is there? Is there anything in your investigations that still creeps you out? Or makes you go? Ooh, like, what? What does that for you?

Ross Blocher 21:18 Yeah, I, I mean, I can still connect with that feeling. I had of things being forbidden and dark. And you know, something to avoid right now. We're in a series on exorcism book, which

Stephen Bradford Long 21:34 is great. It is so good. Oh, thank you. Every everyone needs to go Yes.

Ross Blocher 21:38 With with Bob Larson. Yes,

Stephen Bradford Long 21:41 I grew up under the with the influence of Bob Larson. Like I, I grew up where Bob Larson was like a household name. So okay, it's a really cathartic list. And I and my, like, parents were, you know, they did deliverance ministry and exorcism and I grew up with this shit. So your current series on exorcism is very cathartic. Everyone needs to go listen to

Ross Blocher 22:07 it, Bob Larson is still very active. But you know, he's pushing this vision of the world that is filled with all of these demonic principalities and demons and, and, you know, we're fighting the spiritual warfare, and I can still remember that mindset. And so when I, for the investigation, you know, we step into something like a psychic shop, and we see the crystals and the, you know, someone doing Reiki or even when we went to the Ordo Templi Orientis. That was like a real moment where you had the naked priestess on the altar, and eating, eating these crackers that may or may not have semen baked into them. And I just remember thinking, this is everything that the Bob Larson's of our childhood warned us about and had fever dreams about and here, I now you're doing it. I would say that it's almost more exciting to me than creepy, but I can connect with that creepy feeling. And there's the sense of, kind of, it's more fun, because it's forbidden. And I still have that sense of forbidden Enos,

Stephen Bradford Long 23:17 I think that my family probably inadvertently contributed to me being a Satanist. Because of the dynamic, that exact dynamic that you just described. Yeah. Yeah,

Ross Blocher 23:30 go counter me if I'm wrong, but it feels like kind of the appeal of the Satanic Temple is that it does sort of just poke the rib of That Christian sensibility and sort of delight. And it goes and it tickles

Stephen Bradford Long 23:45 it. Yeah. And, and, you know, it isn't, it isn't. Yeah. And it isn't for anyone's benefit, but our own. And also, that isn't a universal experience within Satanism. You know, there, there are a lot of Satanists who come from atheist households, they were never a theist, they were never Christian, or they come from completely different religions. I mean, we, you know, they're, I, I say, we have as if I can speak on behalf of the temple, which I'm not my observation is that we have people from all different types of religious backgrounds or no religious background, but there is a pretty strong thread of especially, you know, women, LGBT people, etc, from Christian backgrounds, who were demonized and mess associated our sexuality with the demonic. And it's like, you do that to a group of people and guess what they're going to start to, they're going to start to associate the demonic as an empowering thing, right? Yeah, exactly. They'll lay claim to it and make it there we we have lay and that is exactly what I've done. Where you know, my Satanism is deeply intertwine with being a gay person and with my queerness and Satanism and queerness are like almost one in the same for me. They're deeply, deeply intertwined. And there is, but there is still that sense of the forbidden because of my upbringing, which is also kind of sexy. It is totally sexy. It is no, it is super hot. And it is.

Ross Blocher 25:22 I remember a friend joking that, you know, as we're all rightly debate, rightly fighting for gay marriage equality. One of my friends was joking well sex won't be as fun if I'm allowed to be married to my partner because it won't be as forbidden anymore,

Stephen Bradford Long 25:40 which is when you have to you know roleplay and like go out to the woods and pretend to do it that way. You know, yeah. And so you have to like get into the headspace of it being forbidden.

Ross Blocher 25:52 Oh, Mike Pence is so mad right now.

Stephen Bradford Long 25:54 It Mike Pence is exactly. Now you're talking

Ross Blocher 26:01 Yeah. to the to the listeners question. Like I still actively collect in fact, my wife was just chastising me for this today I collect tarot cards and I'll buy stuff online I've got a full my own set of dowsing rods my own pendulum you know, I tried to get the nice stuff and you get buki stuff. I sleep next to a haunted doll and under my pillow. There's like a little voodoo implement the carry got me years ago and I totally forgot about until I reached my hand under my pillow. A few weeks back and realized Oh, that's right, that's still under there. I've got like a whole cabinet of curiosities. And I was just lamenting the other day I realized, oh shoot, I don't have my own crystal ball and I've never actually gotten a crystal ball reading note to sell get crystal ball reading.

Stephen Bradford Long 26:46 Amazing. You know, I share that exact same affinity for spookiness where, you know, I have so many tarot cards and decks and you know, my office is full of all kinds of spooky things. So I am right there with you.

Ross Blocher 27:04 That's one of the fun things about the podcast is it gives us an excuse to buy ghost meters and some fun like tech equipment when we did a flat earth investigation. Well, I guess I just have to buy the nikon p 900 with the super zoom lens

Stephen Bradford Long 27:18 I got I guess so by the way, that was a great series he did on flat Earth everyone needs to go to that as well. Yeah, so everyone who is interested in weird fringe things like flat earth or demon possession or your something we say that one more time. Urine Therapy, urine therapy, okay, i By the way, I am still fucking haunted by by the audio, it was just the audio of you and Carrie drinking your own fucking urine. And like the mouth sounds of of you and carry drink or your own area? And I've like I would I'm on my deathbed with dementia. This is what I'm going to remember. Like no, not the not the wonderful moments with my partner. I'm going to remember that. But you're anyway, Europe. Yes. Great. So all that aside, anyone who's interested in stuff like flat earth or urine therapy, or anti Vax Rawson carry probably have a series on it. And it is definitely worth listening to, which kind of leads me to something else that I want to ask you. Which is I feel like everyone who is listening to this probably has at least one of those friends who is anti Vax, who is Q anon who is flat Earth Flat Earther. So on and so forth. You know, we all I know, I know those people in and, you know, we have to live in, we live in work with them, you know, these are people, and these are people we love. That's the thing. These are friends, these are family, these are people who are fun at parties. These are people who we who we probably really enjoy the company of a lot of them, what advice would you give to people? And by the way to contextualize this, we are recording this on January 11. Which which means just last week, we watched the conspiracy fueled insurrection at the Capitol. Yeah. And, you know, and I really think conspiracy played a central role in that. And so conspiracy is 100% You know, and so we all watched Jaws agape as Q shaman and, you know, all stormed the Capitol. Yeah. And we're cosplaying. We're LARPing as insurrectionists and managed to actually get people killed in the process. And so I feel like can speak Mercy theory is on a lot of people's mind. What advice would you give to listeners of how to engage productively with people who believe presumably crazy things?

Ross Blocher 30:10 Yeah. Oh, man, that just to address the the times, I feel before you had kind of the separation of church and state skeptics versus a Bigfoot skeptics, and whenever you would talk about these kinds of fringe ideas, even even 911, or the moon landing or JFK assassination, it felt like it was at a removed from everything else, or at least things that had real import and would affect people's lives. So you always had to sort of make the case of all what is the harm, and it was always a few steps removed from something. But yeah, I think we we've now kind of reaped what society has sown in terms of just the the lack of requiring solid evidence for claims, the ability to the ability to just sort of take someone at their word when they say crazy things that that resonate with you on an emotional level. So yeah, this these are tough times. And to the question of what to say to people, I'll just preface it by saying that I am not the paragon of the best behavior at all times. I think a lot of people look at my responses online and say, Oh, you're very patient, but I lose patients many times. And for example, I have a cousin who is very much into all of these things, and they really do lump together you know, show me an anti vaccine advocate and I'll show you someone susceptible to Q anon and 5g radiation fears it's

Stephen Bradford Long 31:48 like a the, you know, physicists are looking for the theory of everything. It's like the conspiracy of everything. It has merged. It's all merged now into like this conspiracy of everything. But in but it's all internally inconsistent. Yeah, go on one of

Ross Blocher 32:05 my first forays into this world to waylay the question, just another moment was creationism, like I was a creationist. And learning about the science of evolution was one of the things that really fueled my exit from Christianity. And one of those revelations was recognizing that all of the creationist arguments weren't arguments for creation, as much as they were seeking anomalies within the theory of evolution and pointing to those and say, Well, what about this one item that was carbon dated to be 100,000 years old? And now? Okay, well, it because carbon dating is only accurate up to, you know, so many 10s of 1000s of years, you know, and, and I think I see that within all of these beliefs is that the belief itself isn't as important as just poking holes in the prevailing wisdom. And the uniting. Like, the platform on which it sits is this distrust of institutions and others, and that's really hard to pull people away from. So I think what Carrie and I always talk about on the show, is, when you have this person in your life, the most important thing to do is still be there for them. Let them know that you care about them enough that your care rises above your disagreement, and that you'll you'll be there for them so that they know if they do start to have questions about this belief that you're not someone who's there, waiting just to point a finger and go haha, you're an idiot, that, that you're someone who will listen to them and entertain their doubts and their questions and seek the answers with them and collaboratively and demonstrate that kind of a care for evidence, which is a really tough position to be in because then whenever you post something, you have to you know, measure twice and cut once you have to be really careful to go check your sources look it up in a in a separate search and, you know, at least do due diligence. What is the source of this? Is this a reliable source? And you model that behavior and try to stick to the facts. I know it's tough, because you want to get in that quick dig, you want to say that little thing that cuts them down. But it's more important to keep the lines of communication open. And let them let them at least see you as someone who will still be there for them if they finally come out. But just know this is I think the most important thing. You will never talk someone out of a belief like that in the span of a conversation. Absolutely no and super rare. Almost never bright. Yeah, no. Yeah. interactions don't end with you know what, actually, you're right. I don't believe in this q&a stuff. You're right. That's silly. What was I thinking? Everybody needs time. to internalize that, to digest it and to make it their own, so that they own that knowledge and that journey out of the belief, so, so if you want to be there for them, just be willing to plant a seed to use the Christian metaphor, and let that seed grow and try to be patient and kind. I'm not always the best example of that. But that's, I think, what we can strive for.

Stephen Bradford Long 35:24 Yeah, it's a, and it's for the long haul, like, it's the long game. That's, that's what's so hard about this. And And just to clarify this, for the audience, my view is that if we're able to do this, it, that's great. A lot of us just might not be able to, like, we might just not have the spoons, you know, a lot of especially if it deals with minority issues, and you are a minority, like, yep, you know, trans people, you don't you don't need to deal with, you know, anti trans bullshit gay people, you don't need to deal with anti gay bullshit, like your, your well being comes first and foremost. But yes, you know, if if we are able to relationship is really where transformation happens, you know, and I look at the history of civil rights and equal rights and, and so on. And I see this common thread appealing to common humanity and drawing a broader circle, you know, creating a broader circle, which includes those who we think are really fucking wrong or have really awful beliefs. But it's that, you know, when when they draw a circle, I forget who said this, there was some a Pisco Peter Singer. I think it was Peter Singer. Yeah. Some was some Episcopal priest, an activist who is queer, who said, No, it wasn't it was someone else I

Ross Blocher 36:53 know, about the Expanding Circle of Yes, but we know when,

Stephen Bradford Long 36:57 when they when they draw a circle that excludes you, I will draw a larger circle that includes larger circle is humanity, our common humanity and appeal to that common humanity and our common needs, and, you know, our our common values, and I, I find that the best method, when it also comes to conspiracy bullshit, is, you know, appealing to that broader humanity, I find that it is helpful in that context as well.

Ross Blocher 37:30 Yeah. Yeah. And you made such a good point there that it is not your job to do any of that. Exactly. And you feel free to tap out anytime, even if you've got no one to tap. And, you know, it takes a lot of research and time, like all

Stephen Bradford Long 37:46 emotional labor, and you might already have a full time job, right? Like, like you might, you might already be busy, this is not your job. So I just always have to clarify to listeners, when I veer into this, when I veer down this road, it is not, there is no judgment, and there is no obligation. There is no duty to do this. This is entirely voluntary and

Ross Blocher 38:13 very important. Yes. And sometimes you have to put that barrier in place again, for your own sanity. You know, you see those posts where people say, Hey, if you're still at this point, if you're a Trump supporter, you need to unfriend me right now, you know, that kind of thing. I haven't done that haven't felt the need to but you know, when you do put up those borders, again, for your own sanity, maybe you can lay them in such a way that you say, Hey, I'm here for you when you're ready to talk. But right now, I feel like we can't have a productive conversation.

Stephen Bradford Long 38:42 I think that's wise. So where do you think where do you think this comes from in our culture, and by this, I mean, this lack of trust in the prevailing narrative, this lack of trust in authority and authority figures, and, you know, I can do my theorizing, I feel like it's a very American thing. I feel like there's something about American culture that kind of lends itself to this. And I think that it is, historically American, you know, America has been like a hotbed of all kinds of crazy and and, you know, religious innovation and woo and all kinds of stuff. And, you know, part of me wonders if it's like our hardcore Protestant background, and this deep distrust of a mediating priestly class of any kind, and that maybe that was transferred from from the Protestant Reformation to like culture at large. I don't know, does. Where do you think this comes from?

Ross Blocher 39:39 Yeah, I? Well, first of all, I'll recommend a book that I thought was incredibly insightful on this topic, and it's a fantasy land. I think the author is

Stephen Bradford Long 39:48 key. Yes, that's right. I've been meaning to read that.

Ross Blocher 39:52 Yeah. And it's like the 500 year span of American history and what in our DNA kind of makes us unique. A predispose to fantasy and its various forms. And it goes into everything from Scientology to, you know, even Walt Disney. You know, I say that advisedly is a big, obvious fan of Disney but and also just religious revivals. Yeah, there's a whole soup there. But I think some of the important components are that we we tend to embrace people who say things that are out of the ordinary, rather than just saying, L Ron Hubbard you're crazy. Or you mean

Stephen Bradford Long 40:35 as a as a culture in America? Are we as the human race?

Ross Blocher 40:39 No, as a culture in America. And of course, you can point to other cultures, and a lot of these beliefs have gained currency in other countries. So you know, I don't want to say that this is completely unique to America, I just think that we are uniquely fertile soil when it comes to these ideas. But yeah, when someone sits on the street corner and starts preaching something, we'll give them a listen, you know, we have this kind of sense of fairness, where we won't just immediately toss someone aside and say, You're an idiot, cut it out, we'll say, Well, okay, let's give you a listen in. And, you know, it seems to come from a good place that we want to give people a fair hearing. But with someone like, you know, Joseph Smith, or L. Ron Hubbard, or you know, someone who's kind of compulsively a liar, Trump, they shouldn't be afforded that. And that's when it becomes a glitch rather than a feature, or a bug rather than a feature that, that we give them too much of a hearing, when we really properly should sort of shut them down and say, well, you're just pathologically unreliable. Yeah. Another thing that I think maybe sparks the distrust is this desire to sort of take the the world situation as it is, and work backwards from that, assuming that someone plan this. And I think it's a certain assumption of agency. So we see the world and you we see JFK get shot. And we think, Well, it can't have just been like one guy who wanted to kill him, there has to be a much deeper story here. So who wanted him dead? And so as soon as something happens, people work backwards from that, and then work their logic out so that George Soros wanted, you know, X to happen, and Bill Gates paid for why to occur. I think that's another big factor.

Stephen Bradford Long 42:27 And, you know, as a former conspiracy theorist, myself, and I mean, I was deep, I was really, really deep in it for in my early 20s. And I believed all of it, you know, I thought 2012 was going to be the end of the world. I thought, I truly, I was terrified, you know, it, like ruined my life for a couple of years. Because I was like, everything is going to collapse. I believed Obama was going to institute FEMA camps, you know, just yeah, like, yeah, all the all of the all of the crazy Alex Jones shit, I believed it. And part of it looking back was this. It was, it was hard for me to understand that no one ruled the world. Hmm. It was hard for me to because I think that I have a really high pattern seeking brain. And I think that I see patterns when they aren't there. And I think I think that might be a quality of conspiracy theorists where it's like, I think I see a pattern. And it's hard for me to think that there might not be something behind that.

Ross Blocher 43:33 And obviously, it's the underpinning of religion as well. You know, it all comes down. Absolutely. Wow. Uh, you know, lightning just struck my house. There's something out there that's angry at me, and what can I do to appease it? Do I have to get somebody or something? It's like,

Stephen Bradford Long 43:49 the default is to assume agency. Yeah. And I think that there's a theory about this, like, if you're, you know,

Ross Blocher 43:57 right, there's type one and type two error. Where Yeah, exactly. Yeah,

Stephen Bradford Long 44:01 the type where it's like if you see if you see a rustling in the bushes, you know, your primordial man, and you see a rustling in the bushes, and it's a tiger, but you don't, but your brain doesn't register it as a threat or having agency then you're more likely to die,

Ross Blocher 44:18 there's a survival benefit to treating it like it's a tiger, even if it's just the rustling of the wind, it's still exactly going to you know, more often than not result in you surviving, if you treat it like a tiger and you get the heck out of

Stephen Bradford Long 44:31 there. And, and you treat it as they're being agency. They're behind it. And so now, it's like our brains. You know, our primitive brains are looking at, you know, the entire fucking world. And there's that same instinct to see agency when it isn't there. You know, and also, I had survived a shooting when I was 19 years old. This is a whole long story that I've already told on the podcast, so I don't need to get into it now. But I survived a shooting. I was right there when it happened, and then, you know, had massive PTSD afterwards. And I really think that Oh, my God, trauma of the shooting, you know, I was super hyper vigilant. And I think that put conspiracy brain into high gear. And I think that I really think that the trauma of what I experienced and the hyper vigilance, I think that just totally, like routed my brain to think like a conspiracy theorist. And I think that's also where that came from, for me,

Ross Blocher 45:28 wow. And a lot of it, well, this kind of ties in, I was gonna say a lot of it comes down to who gets to you. First, there's sort of a time based component to this, because if the first time you hear about 5g is from someone who is telling you how dangerous it is, and that their young COVID is somehow communicated by 5g or weakens your immune system, or if that's your association, it's really hard to read do first impressions. So then when someone else comes along and says, Oh, actually, it's just this new technology, it's kind of short range. That's why you need to have more antennas around but it'll get you faster internet. So you don't need to burn down the towers, you now that explanation has to fight against this discomfort you have from hearing the term 5g. Whereas if the first time you were exposed to it was just in the technology capacity, and you understand how non ionizing radiation works, and that it's perfectly safe, then you hear someone saying, this is going to cook you and it's going to mess with your mind, then you can easily sort of toss that aside and say, well, it's silly. So a lot of it has to do with just where you hear these things first. And I had a dalliance with conspiracy theory. In the eighth grade, I remember I had a teacher who got me to read behold a pale horse. And yes, the Montauk Project and the Philadelphia Experiment, and I was getting really into all that stuff, subliminal messages. So definitely, I kind of understand that mindset. And I had that for a long time. And that sort of got me first. And later on. I had to, as Yoda would say, unlearn what I had learned.

Stephen Bradford Long 47:09 Yeah, so it's kind of like what sticks first, like what lodges in your brain first. And, you know, I had just assumed that the Bilderberger group, and Trilateral Commission, the Trilateral Commission, and then bones, yeah. skolan bones, the Illuminati. And, uh, what was the other? What? Bohemian Grove? Yes, that's right, you know, that, that they that that was the Go on, go on.

Ross Blocher 47:38 All these things tie together. So you Exactly. Like people, you know, my, my aunt. She's the mother of this cousin that I talked about. And I think she was infected by a lot of these ideas that my cousin talks about all the time. And, uh, she would have Bible study meetings where they would get together to talk about the Illuminati. And you think, Oh, God, what is what is Psalms have to do with the Illuminati, but it all it's the syncretism, you know, where are these ideas just come together. And most people can withstand quite a bit of internal inconsistency. And this is something Carrie and I talk about on the show, we think that something that makes us as people a little resistant to this is that we're big time consistency, seeker consistency seekers. So if someone makes a statement, we immediately start weighing it against other statements. Well, that's interesting. If that's true, then that can't be true. Whereas I think a lot of people can just let all these different ideas sort of sit in a soup together, and it doesn't really bother them. That, you know, Illuminati belief isn't necessarily consistent with a God who has the world in his hands and controls everything that happens

Stephen Bradford Long 48:53 or listening to a podcast with a flat earther and a hollow Earther. And they are like really getting along, right? They're like, really into it and like, wait

Ross Blocher 49:06 a second,

Stephen Bradford Long 49:07 these can the entire time you're like, I'm not seeing the Venn diagram. I'm not. I'm not seeing the overlap here.

Ross Blocher 49:14 Right. And so often, Carrie and I walk into one of these, like, conferences like the conscious life Expo, where some people are preaching about aliens, some people are talking about free energy devices, some people are talking about crystal healing. And, you know, you have three different booths and each of them have their own little spiritual leader that they all follow. And you think why aren't they all fighting against each other? They should be trying to figure out who's right who is the one correct truth but for whatever whatever reason that doesn't bother them and instead they have the common enemy of the shadow government or you know them they you know, whoever it is the in the ether who's trying to keep us from spirituality,

Stephen Bradford Long 49:58 which is a fantastic booked by Jon Ronson, by the way them but yeah, Ronson. It's brilliant it is about this topic like, it's about conspiracy theory. So everyone, it's the one where he breaks into bohemian grove with Alex Jones. And then like, accidentally launches Alex Jones his career Oh, man. And yeah, oops. But it's it's a great book anyway. So before we wrap up, you said before we started recording that you had some questions for me about Satanism. And I would like to give you the floor to ask those if you'd like,

Ross Blocher 50:35 Oh, wow. I mean, I'm just always curious to know more, and I haven't spent much time within the Satanic Temple. So you've mentioned that you kind of drift through a lot, you drifted through a lot of different beliefs and ideas and groups? How did you find this as sort of your spiritual home? Is that a correct thing? Sure.

Stephen Bradford Long 50:56 Yeah, I would call it a spiritual home in a non theistic, non Supernaturalists sense, a spiritual home? Yeah. I think that I, I think that I came to the realization, this was back in, I would say, 2016 2017, I came to the realization that two things about me could actually coexist. Two things that I had thought were in conflict, or that actually coexist. One is that I am that that I had become a deeply skeptical person and could no longer take at face value claims of the supernatural or claims of God without due evidence, you know, without, without good evidence, I'm not saying it's out there. I'm not saying it isn't out there. I'm just saying, I haven't seen good enough evidence, you know, it's like I'm agnostic, I allow for the possibility of there being some wickety shit in our universe, I just, I just want sufficient evidence for it, right. And there's that part of me, and there is the fact that I'm a deeply religious person, I gain a sense of I, that doesn't mean that people can't be happy without religion, I think people can flourish without religion. But for whatever reason, I personally don't want to, and I value the role of religion in my life, I have, I have always been deeply religious, and, you know, I, I kind of went to the Episcopal Church to for my faith to die, that it was like this wonderful hospice for my faith. And they were great. They were so good. You know, they were they were fantastic. And that's really where my faith died. And but I found that my, what I originally wanted was to remain a non theistic Christian, and to remain in the Christian world as a non theist. But you know, it was just like,

Ross Blocher 52:52 I bet there's a lot of people that fit in that. There.

Stephen Bradford Long 52:55 There are after a lifetime, though, of fighting for my inclusion as a gay person, you know, just a lifetime a lifetime of fighting for a place at the table. It was like there was this one last battle with your loved ones,

Ross Blocher 53:11 you could have kept Steven, if you'd just been more welcoming of gay people.

Stephen Bradford Long 53:14 I mean, it's probably true. It's absolutely true. Probably. I mean, I think that I ultimately left because I stopped believing in it, but the gay part and the way I was treated, you know, I went through ex gay therapy. I did all of that, you know, I went through that. And so the gay part definitely played a pretty big role. And it was like, there was this this one, this last battle of trying to find a place in the church that was accommodating to non theism. And it was like, No, I'm too tired, I'm done. And I discovered the Satanic Temple online. And it was like everything, it it had the non theism, it had the non theism and it had the symbolism, it had the it had the symbolism, the community, the ethnos, the the the ethics of a religion, the the symbolism, the ritual, the ability to still enter a state of enchantment without believing it, you know, the enchantment is really important to me the the ability to kind of slip in and out of this unchanging state that religion offers us without also having to blur what is objective reality. You know, that's, that's really important to me. And I found all of that in Satanism. And, you know, everyone every everyone is like, Oh, this was such a huge step. You know, how do you go from being a Christian to being a Satanist? You know, it's that it seems like a really huge step

Ross Blocher 54:47 and then into the fire Correct? Metal.

Stephen Bradford Long 54:51 And the truth is, I don't think I don't think it was a big step because it's like I've I've always been, I've always felt demonized. Just because of my sexuality, I've always felt like an outsider. Being included has always been a fight for me.

Ross Blocher 55:08 And now you have a community of outsiders, and now

Stephen Bradford Long 55:11 I have a community of outsiders and so being a gay Christian was perfect practice for being a Satanist.

Ross Blocher 55:15 Okay, so here's the question because I feel like the conspiracy theorists in our lives believe that secretly, we must be doing all of these horrible things. We're taking marching orders from Bill Gates or George Soros or, you know, and I always think how silly that is because a if they only knew how, I don't know how busy I am, how much I spend my time just training, get work done. I've got my nose on the grindstone. You know, like, if you really just sat and watched my life 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it would not be exciting or salacious in any way. Like, right example, these fever dreams of us eating babies or whatever. So I'm curious if, let's say, conspiracy theorists or believers, or whoever had the sky camera where they could just watch you all the time? Is there anything that is a component of your Satanic Temple membership, that they would be able to point to? And be like, Ah, see, look there? He's harming the world?

Stephen Bradford Long 56:12 No, no, I mean, so. So there's, I think that we can answer this on two levels, I think on the objective level of behavior, no,

Ross Blocher 56:22 you know, we, we according to secular ethics, things that we Yeah,

Stephen Bradford Long 56:26 you know, or not, according to body. Exactly. But also, you know, we, in general, we practice non violence, we, you know, we we follow the seven tenets, if you're, if you're not familiar with the seven tenets, which are kind of the the core, the seven core statements of our of the temple, and, you know, it has, you know, the first one is one should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason, you know, the struggle for justice is an ongoing, unnecessary pursuit that should prevail for laws and institutions, and it goes on and so in, in practice, there's really, we have picnics together, like, you know, we have potlucks, you might we might also have orgies, but they're always consensual. And so you know, but then there's the symbolic level and people I think, see right see symbolism as many people see symbolism as on par with with with actual abuse and actual degradation and

Ross Blocher 57:36 actual the mere depiction or Baphomet or something is

Stephen Bradford Long 57:40 a mere the mere depiction Yeah, and you know, I have my altar back here. You can't see it. It's kind of dark, but I have my altar right back there. And it has all kinds of spooky stuff on it.

Ross Blocher 57:50 I rich, my sister ritual freaked out, she wouldn't get anywhere near that. Yeah,

Stephen Bradford Long 57:55 yeah. And then my partner is a pagan, and so the rest of the house is full of pagan shit.

Ross Blocher 57:59 My family doesn't like that. I haven't a Ouija board on my shelf. Oh, I

Stephen Bradford Long 58:03 haven't a Ouija board to what?

Ross Blocher 58:05 Oh, this is you know what, actually, we got a new one because the other one really didn't work well. And uh huh. It's partially hidden behind a boomerang. So I can't tell you the brand name or anything, but it's the other one.

Stephen Bradford Long 58:17 So I would say symbolically they would look at everything we do symbolically and be like this is proof

Ross Blocher 58:24 that would be their indictment just based ours ecology that would

Stephen Bradford Long 58:29 be and and, you know, but the truth is, you know, to quote Lucien Greaves, who's our founder, evil done in the name of Christ is still evil and good done in the name of Satan is still good. And, you know, what we, one of the things that I personally really try to, to emphasize is that our intuitions are often wrong. And the the feeling of disgust or the feeling of wronged that something is wrong, that is an incredibly unreliable feeling. And we have to look at people's behaviors, we have to look at the evidence and and how people treat one another. And so the what I you know, whenever people are like, isn't, isn't the word satanist a bit too extreme, you know, when you have a better track record?

Ross Blocher 59:22 If you were, it's like, it's almost it's kind of setting yourself up for these kinds of conversations.

Stephen Bradford Long 59:28 It is and and it isn't deliberately to do that, you know, it isn't ultimately, you know, my conversion to Satanism was an interior one that really didn't have to do with offending anyone. It didn't have it had entirely to do with me. And, and in fact, you know, my plans were to just keep quiet about it for like, the rest of my life. And then that did not turn out well. But, but the a lot of people are like, you know, is I like what you do Do you give this gives me the creeps. And don't you think that you would have a better track record in terms of your activism? If you didn't use the name Satanists isn't? Isn't it a branding problem? And, you know, there are two answers. There are many answers to that. One of which is well, I can't really call it anything else because I is a Satanist is what I am. I'm not a humanist pretending to be a Satanist. I'm a Satanist. Who happens to be a humanist? Oh, well, I'm, yeah, but But then the other part of it is that feeling that you have when you hear the word Satan that, that icky feeling that gross feeling, that's the exact same feeling that a lot of people still have when they think about gay people, or trans people that feeling it is, and we cannot judge based on that feeling. And so Satanism is kind of accidentally a challenge to our intuitions.

Ross Blocher 1:01:01 That's interesting to hear. Because, yeah, it seems like to me, I've always kind of thought people who identify as Satanists, they're sort of willing to stand in that gap in society and say, we're going to, you know, whenever the Christians try to put up their memorials, or monuments, well, we're gonna say, well, then we get put up our stew. And, you know, the Satanic Temple is performing a particular service to the community, by community by forcing everyone to remember when we talk about religious tolerance, well, then we're really talking about tolerance. And here's what it means. Look, now we're passing out pamphlets and holding meetings at your child's school. How do you feel about that?

Stephen Bradford Long 1:01:39 You know, I appreciate I won't read the passage right now. But Joseph Laycock, who wrote kind of the definitive book on TST, the history of tea, oh, it's fantastic. Strongly recommend it. It's published by Oxford Press. He's a religious studies scholar. He talks about how TST kind of fills the role of, of accuser and job where they what TST does legally is a test to the limits, it tests the limits of the values that people are professing. So do people profess free speech? Or rather, do people profess religious freedom? Yeah, TST is going to lean on that and test the limits. And when you break, you were never committed to that principle in the first place. See, I

Ross Blocher 1:02:31 think before I would have said that the Satanic Temple largely serves as kind of a a more activist involved version of like pasta, foreign ism, you know, something like that, but but from talking to you, it sounds like it does fill a more personal role for you.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:02:47 That's correct. We, you know, my observation is that people in the temple just, you know, my anecdotal experience, you know, from all the you know, interviewing the founder, Lucien all the way down to just you know, hanging out with general membership is they really see it as a religion. They don't see it as satire at all, you know, and in fact, if it were, if it were satire, it'd be really bad satire because it takes our because it makes our lives miserable. You know, in a lot of ways it it is not pleasant to go about life as a Satanist you know, if you've seen the movie Hail Satan, Lucien Greaves put on put on a bulletproof vest. You don't you don't put on a bulletproof vest in the name of a hoax or in the name of satire, maybe you do, but but it that, for, for me, it is very much first and foremost a religious identity. And my understanding is that the, the activism really only takes place when the temple feels like its rights are being infringed upon. And really, the vast majority of the life of the temple is interior, you know, it is it is within the temple outside of the public eye. They do rituals, they have huge, huge online communities they have and and most of that stuff people just the outside world never sees.

Ross Blocher 1:04:17 Yeah, that was that was gonna be my last question, which is just what's the time commitment? Obviously, there's no time for Bernie cats or anything but you know, you mentioned potlucks you having like,

Stephen Bradford Long 1:04:28 yeah, services is so because it is an individualist religion. It is entirely what you make of it. And I would say that I've sunk a lot more time than I would have ever expected into Satanism. You know, I have a pretty thriving online community, which is mostly made up of Satanists. And so I think a lot of time into that. I'm on the ordination Council for the Satanic Temple. I think a lot of time into that, but there's all So just the way and so the level of community that you engage in or the level of ritual that you engage in, it's entirely individualized. You know, some people are, you know, lonely swamp Satanists who just live out in the wilderness, away from everyone. And then they're really, really interconnected in their local chapter or what have you or online. But there's also just the reality that in for me, my experience is that in the same way, following Christ kind of just permeated my entire existence, you know, it, I lived my life through the filter and the lens of Christ, you know, to live as Christ to, to follow Christ. I really live my life informed by the myth of Satan. And

Ross Blocher 1:05:53 by and you say that of Satan. So you do not believe there

Stephen Bradford Long 1:05:57 is a real correct Yeah, we're I'm a non theist. It's all symbolic. Yeah. Yeah. And, and for the temple as well. It's non theistic, it is symbolic. But that doesn't make it That's

Ross Blocher 1:06:08 powerful. That's always the first thing I try to communicate to believers. When I'm talking about this. You're so worried about Satanism? You know, the satanists I know of and have met, don't actually believe in Satan. So yeah, exactly. Exact, get that out of your head. But it's really hard to, it's really hard to reframe

Stephen Bradford Long 1:06:23 it and you know, non theism non theistic religion. It's such a huge gap. It's such a huge chasm for people to tell you exactly, yeah. And so, you know, it's like, I live my life and formed by the story of Satan by the myth of Satan by that symbol, which means that, you know, if I'm reading alone in my basement, I still a Satanist. And there's a way in which it appears, you're clothed in it, it permeates you.

Ross Blocher 1:06:54 We've talked about this in our exorcism series, but like Satan is almost defined in the negative spaces in the Bible. Like there's very little, actually about him. And, and even then, it's cobbled together from other things where they're actually talking to some long forgotten king or other figure, you know, and it's just been assumed to be talking about Satan. You know, it's a reference to Venus as the morning star and it got turned into suffer. You know, I, I, again, I could go on this forever. But I would love to hear more about kind of where you pulled the different pieces of the myth Absolutely. And and aspects of his personality does it include other texts and non canonical texts? I'd love to learn more about that.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:07:33 The primary source is Milton, that's where so actually, there's this there's a litter. So it's specifically rooted in a literary tradition, which started with Milton, and that's where the bulk of it comes from, is this literary stream which kind of started with Milton. And that's like the gold vein. That's, that's the main source of inspiration. And then the Romantics took that took Milton and valorized his Satan, associated him with feminism associated him with enlightenment, right with, with science with reason, with revolution, with the French Revolution, so on and so forth, and socialism, a lot of socialists associated Satan with their cause, and, and that all started with Milton, and the literary influence. And then we there's this long literary tradition up to the current day of

Ross Blocher 1:08:37 inconveniently all of these enemies of the church and organized religion have been grouped together under the banner of Satan.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:08:45 Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So anyway, we're at our time

Ross Blocher 1:08:54 here for answering those questions. Yeah, of course,

Stephen Bradford Long 1:08:56 my pleasure, you know, you've one does not become a public satanist without, you know, being willing to talk about it a lot and answer lots of questions. So it is always my pleasure. Any final thoughts before we wrap up?

Ross Blocher 1:09:11 No, it's been a great conversation and up to keep in touch. I'm sure. I'll have more follow up questions.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:09:17 Yeah, absolutely. Truly anytime. And you're welcome on the show. Anytime. You and Kerry both. Thank you. And where can people find your work for anyone who's interested? Oh, yeah. Well, we're

Ross Blocher 1:09:28 part of the maximum fun family so you can find us at maximum fun.org We're one of the shows there. Also, Oh, no. podcast.com We're on all the evil social medias so Oh, no podcast on Twitter and on Mrak Oh, in our AC four. Oh, no, Ross and Carrie on Facebook. So yeah, follow along and hope you enjoy the adventures. People always want to know where to get started. I would say just kind of look at the list of investigations and see what sounds interesting to you.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:09:56 Absolutely. And then you will sink hundreds and hundreds of hours into Like I have all right well that is 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 produced and edited by me Steven Bradford long and as a production of rock candy recordings as always Hail Satan and thanks for listening

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