Podcasts/Sacred Tension-STStruggleforJustice

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STStruggleforJustice SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, tst, fucking, laws, fight, abortion, criticism, world, happening, satanism, rights, religious, life, rage, privacy, feel, person, community, long, point SPEAKERS Stephen Bradford Long, Chalice Blythe

Stephen Bradford Long 00:00 You're listening to a rock candy podcast 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 All right, well, I am here for a casual chat with my friend and colleague Elise Blythe. But before we get to that, as always, I have to thank my patrons. My patrons are my personal Lord and Savior's and this week, I have to thank Scott Armstrong, Anna, King zombie, lunar Loon, and a dose a start. Thank you so much. You are all funding my truly debilitating content creation, addiction and keeping me from selling my own internal organs on the street. So thank you so much. I truly could not do this without you. And for anyone listening to this who want to join their number, just go to patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long, and you ensure the long life of my work. All right. Chalice, how are you?

Chalice Blythe 01:23 Hi, I'm doing all right. How are you doing today?

Stephen Bradford Long 01:27 I'm fucking exhausted. As we were just also, my audience will always know when I'm having a rough week when there isn't a show that comes out. And it's to the point now, where if I don't put a show out, I start getting emails like, are you okay? And I'm like, Yes, I'm fine. I'm just very busy and very tired. Yeah, but yeah, no, I'm fine. How are you? I already asked you that. I'm glad you're well.

Chalice Blythe 01:58 Yeah, you know, I am also I'm also very tired. I had a long week of traveling, and I just got back really, really late. Well, technically, I guess Thursday morning, it would be so yeah, Wednesday evening, Thursday night, and yeah, I'm still recovering from from that it was good to travel. But you kind of have to, you know, take time off from your time off. So

Stephen Bradford Long 02:25 absolutely. Yeah. I saw pictures of you up in Salem at headquarters. Yeah, headquarters.

Chalice Blythe 02:31 It was very lovely. Um, you know, got to see the Albany congregation is kind of starting back up and doing events and doing more in person things. So we decided to do a group trip to Salem headquarters. And so yeah, we went and did that site Q. Went around Salem did all the typical touristy things. We saw Tom's Tom's tour that he did that he does. And that was, that was pretty good. And yeah, so

Stephen Bradford Long 03:14 fantastic. Well, that's great. I have been working the retail grind as as always. And I feel like I feel like whenever I have someone from ordination Council on and I asked them at the beginning, so how are you in there? Everyone is like, oh my god, I'm so fucking exhausted. Yeah, but basically, we're basically anyone who works in TST in any proximity whenever I have them on, they're always like, oh my god, I'm so exhausted. So I should probably provide some background here. She Elise, you are co member on ordination council with for the Satanic Temple. And we oversee the operations of the ordination program. So that for people who are completely lost right out of the gate, that's, that's who we are what we're talking about.

Chalice Blythe 04:08 Yeah. And it's okay. Nobody should know who the fuck I am. I don't even know who I am so

Stephen Bradford Long 04:14 perfect. All right. Well, so I asked you to come on, because you were one of the first people I thought of to have on in light of the just terrible news out of the Supreme Court. And I I know that I'm really late to this topic. I tend to be late to a lot of topics but I so I know that I'm late to this topic, but better late than never, I guess. How did how did the what were your first? What were your first thoughts in the moment when you heard the news that there was this leak out of the Supreme Court that basically spells the demise of Roe v Wade.

Chalice Blythe 04:55 So my initial reaction was not being If at all surprised that it was going to happen, because we've known this was the stated goal and purpose of our lawmakers for a long time now, and for those who actually show up on do the work, so to speak, to instill their viewpoints and values at the detriment of those that do not share their values. So, yeah, my initial reaction was, well, the time has come, you know, we all saw this coming, immediately followed by a rage that I can only describe as something that I have not felt since my youth youth, I wanted to I, frankly, I had very violent thoughts. I was reminded of the quote unquote, good old days when, you know, the union workers, if they're, if the boss has violated union rules, or anything like that, they drag them out of their house and beat them within an inch of their life in front of their families. And those kinds of thoughts gave me a lot of comfort, because I really felt that that was going to be the only proper appropriate way to deal with the people that had just made the decision. And, you know, for a good week or two, I think, my feelings on it, were just, I don't know what to do now. Because in the in the immediacy, in the immediacy of this, usually what has ends up happening is the question is asked, Well, what do we do? What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do? And it took me a good week, week and a half to even be able to think about that, because I, I needed to be in the emotion of what, what I just kind of had to deal with my feelings on it. You know, it just because you're not surprised by something doesn't mean it doesn't have a very deep impact. The reality of it, despite knowing it was coming, just hit a hit a lot different than other things have hit, I usually like to pride myself in being very quick to hearing devastating news and immediately trying to find a way to either be the source of comfort or fix something. But in this instance, I, I was just despondent for about a week and a half, I had no answers for anybody, I could not provide comfort to anybody. I was just like, Yeah, this fucking sucks. And I'm just gonna sit, I'm just gonna sit and feel helpless for a little bit. And then, you know, after after processing the emotion of it, processing the reality of it and processing the feelings of well, not necessarily feelings, but you know, going through the checklist of okay, so I gotta renew my passport, I got to look into different countries that do the kinds of things that I do professionally, and would like my resume. So though, you know, a little those things, those things start turning, and then then eventually starting to think about what can be done. I actually have no idea what the answer to that is. I still have no idea.

Stephen Bradford Long 08:15 Yeah, you know, I don't, that whole process that you just described, is the process that so many people are going through right now, because it is a genuine blow to equality. And it is a genuine blow to, like I I can't imagine anything like more fundamental to someone's personhood than their own body. And to lose that to lose one's fundamental ability to choose and have authority over their own body, the cry of rage, the roar of rage that just swept this entire country is I'm it's what you just described is, is what so many people have been expressing and I think it's entirely appropriate. I mean, I not that I'm the one to say whether it's entirely appropriate or not, I'm not directly affected by this issue. But it seems entirely appropriate to me that rage and helplessness would be the first and despondency would be the first reaction to this.

Chalice Blythe 09:27 Yeah. And I think you know, the rage. You know, the rage I felt was twofold. You know, the rage that I felt against, you know, those who, you know, were the ones doing the thing, the ones who had contributed to this effort, and were the ones making these decisions, but I also felt another rage and the other Rage was we knew this was coming. We knew we knew what was going on. They haven't been quiet about it. They haven't you know, made a decision. Correct. So with all that notice with all that knowing what was happening, and really wanting to see those who claim to support bodily autonomy, you know, support our right to, you know, the, basically our privacy, you know, they say the words, they get on their Twitter accounts, and they rage, and they do that. But the only thing they do is engage and eating their own, the only thing they do is, you know, discredit, and, you know, levy attacks not against those who are oppressing us, but but those within our own spheres that don't meet certain, you know, purity qualifications, you know, to be on to be to have the ability to be on the same side, my rage was also against that as well, because we have always had the ability and the opportunity to fight against this in a meaningful way. And to stop it from happening. Because, you know, this whole thing is just, I mean, this is just the RIP, this is just the final, final death, death howls of a dying privilege. You know, I mean, this is white Christian, conservative men seeing their power diminished, seeing their status as the dominant class in America going away, um, they're wanting to reclaim their privilege, you know, they're turning to and the way they're doing it is turning to lifetime appointments, and an unchecked branch of government to retain and reclaim that status and privilege. You know, they're seeing their pews emptying, they're seeing their labor force dwindling, they're seeing people of color ascend to equal status, and gender and sexuality no longer being defined to the binary, you know, things like that they're terrified. And this is why this is happening. And we know this has been happening, and yet, so you know, what they do is they band together and they get it done. You know, despite the consequences, despite the fact they're hypocrites, and we all know, they're hypocrites, they know, they're, they're hypocrites, but they do it anyway. Because at the end of the day, they have a goal and they want to achieve it. And yet, those who claim to want to defend, you know, our rights to our autonomy, our rights to a quality really can't stop. over things that don't fucking matter at the end of the day. And so, you know, it's like nothing was ever done, there's no teeth, there's no real effort to defend, you know, it's, you know, people just want to be seen as fighting the fight without actually doing the work, because the work is hard. It takes a long time, it sometimes, you know, means that you have to compromise and you have to negotiate, and you have to deal with people you don't like, um, you know, that's what that's what that means. And you know, sometimes you have to do things that might seem to not necessarily be in line with your own values, but the end of the day has a greater as a greater goal purpose and you know, greater outcome outside of yourself. And then efforts not being done on the side of, you know, those who want to protect, you know, protect your rights, or at least they claim to So, that was the other rage I was feeling. I feel

Stephen Bradford Long 13:31 like like you said, the right falls in into fucking line the, and as fractious and, and balkanized. As the right is, when there is a cause that they are fighting for, they fall in fucking line. And, like I I remember several years ago, watching Protestant and Catholic like conservative Protestants, conservative evangelicals and Conservative Catholics and I mean, like ultra conservative Catholics, the two groups who have historically hated each other consistently for like 500 years fall in line together against their quote unquote, common enemy, which is trans people and gay people and women and all people of childbearing potential and you know, it color was that people of color people of color Yeah, exactly, and and, and leftists and so on and so forth. And and I'm just like, they have this ability that the left doesn't have for whatever reason and the left has always had this problem the left has always had this problem of in of being of infighting, and I mean, going all the way back to the calm the communists and the socialists like refusing to work with each other to defeat Hitler like to combat Hitler like refusing to like it, this shit goes way back. This is part of the left's history and, and I just don't know how to fix it, I don't. And so, and sometimes I, I've noticed this trend inside of myself to where I sometimes feel like the real problems in the world just feel so huge. But you know what I can do? I can fucking criticize this one leftist content creator on YouTube who I hate. That's what that feels. Instead there's something about it that feels productive. And, and I do this, I have done this and I have experienced the the temptation to do this still, nonstop. It's like, all I want to do is criticize my fellow lefties and my fellow progressives for doing leftism are wrong. And is that really the wisest allocation of resources? When theocracy is encroaching? Right now. And climate change is coming for all of us. Like, is, but But I, after doing a lot of introspection, because I think I did engage in some of that behavior last year where where I wrote some stuff that I think was, was it was critical of the left, but I don't know if it was critical in a helpful way. And, and looking, looking at that and doing some self reflecting. I think the reason why I did that, why I resorted to that was, oh, because that feels like I'm actually doing something. But that feels like it's actually accomplishing something. Because the big problems feel so helpless. They feel so hopeless and so huge. And they take time, and they take energy, and they're slow. And so having to, you know, buckle down and do that shit, it is so hard. But that's what we have to do in order to progress.

Chalice Blythe 17:08 Yeah, well, and so yeah, well, I mean, you know, making, making criticisms is the easy thing, right? That's actually something that we talk about a lot is it's, you know, it's so easy for somebody to, you know, fight imaginary monsters, because, you know, fighting the real ones is really difficult and seems impossible. So, it I mean, it makes us feel good, but it doesn't really require anything out of us. And then that and that's why it's always the go to so I mean, I'm hoping, well, I say the word hoping but I don't think I have any hope left. That's the problem. I'm, but I'll use it I guess. I mean, we've seen what effective although a pourraient we've seen what effective rallying together for a cause can accomplish. And it didn't happen overnight. And but they got the job done. And that is not going to stop at abortion. And it's going to continue with with other aspects of our lives. That if you're not a white Christian, conservative male, your mere existence is going to be punishable by death. I mean, and in some cases, and you know, so I would hope that people would see this and realize that the bullshit infighting and you know making criticisms of people for not falling directly into your idea of what a good so and so you are and just do the hard thing fight the fight you know, put in the time put in the investments, you know, realize it's not going to hope, you know, happen overnight, but still continue to do the work. You know, I hope that that's what people do. And you know, I'm not you know, saying you know, left or right but anybody who is going to be negative who is negatively impacted by this has the end You know, they have the means to do so. Take a lesson out of the take a lesson out of the handbook we were just given on how to you know, and how to effectively institute change on a federal level and use those use those lessons as a tool of defiance. That's all I really think we can do at this point, because it's not it's not going to end with with abortion. The two laws at issue have to do with privacy. They don't have anything to do with abortion specifically or they don't they don't say anything about abortion specifically. It has everything to do with people's right to privacy. And what's gonna end up happening, what people don't realize is that, you know, a court a case like Roe v. Wade has other implications, it has implications on people's right to love who they decide to love that has implications in who people decide to marry, it has implications and people's rights to the type of medical care they have, that don't have anything to do with abortion. This is going to, you know, this won't affect wealthy what you know, this one, you know, affects, you know, the wealthy, it won't affect anybody who, when they have the need for the services, they can get on a private jet and go somewhere to make sure it gets done. This is going to affect the poor, it is going to affect the abused, it's going to affect struggling mothers, it is going to affect the LGBTQ IA and community it is going to affect the bipoc community, it is going to affect everybody in so many ways. And it is going to get to the point and I say this not as a, you know, reaching to the worst conclusions, but just going off of what these lawmakers have actually said is their intent. You know, they they want to make biology in itself. Whether it's relating to reproduction, whether it whether it's coming to, you know, like the trans community, just making those things just illegal. So illegal, and you know, you're gonna be a felon. And you know, what, felons can't do? They can't vote.

Stephen Bradford Long 21:39 Exactly. It is. So basically, in some of the laws are, especially in like, like Louisiana are so unbelievably draconian. Yep. And could you just like, I don't know, if you know, these facts off the top of your head, but, I mean, it's a it's a fucking litany of horrific things that the states are making, pregnant people go through.

Chalice Blythe 22:10 So you know, we've got things that we're dealing with trigger laws, meaning laws that have already been written and put into place, in so far is that once Roe v Wade is overturned, those laws will automatically become laws, you know, they're already voted on. And they're only applicable once Roe v. Wade is overturned. And, you know, this, this can come down to some of the ones that I've heard of that are, that are either a trigger law, or at the very least, they're currently going through committees and being voted on are one such as stating that an individual human life starts at conception. And that any, you know, whether who have an egg that I wouldn't even know how they would determine that, but you know, sometimes fertilized eggs don't implant, you know, sometimes that just happens again, that is just how biology works. And so, you know, just a normal, just a normal cycle of somebody who has a normal period. Well, guess what, you're a murderer. I mean, if you have a period tracker on your phone, they could probably use your data to determine whether or not you know, you're, you know, oh, why, you know, says here in your data that your period was late by two weeks, you know, why was that? Did you have an abortion, you know, things like that. I mean, I really, we're talking about witch trial shit, you know, it's one of those things. Speaking of Tom Salem walking tour, we learned a lot about witch hunts in and the ways in which people would accuse those of witchcraft and sometimes it would just come down to, I simply just don't like this person, you know, it could it could be the next witch hunt, you know, if these if these laws do get passed, and I'm specifically talking about the laws that would consider a fertilized egg, a unique individual person, and the destruction of that egg would be the equivalent of murder of you know, killing, you know, killing another human being, you know, if you simply don't like somebody, all you have to do is just, you know, point the finger and say, this person did this or whatever, and it's not like you can really, you know, prove things on a microscopic sales scale. So, you know, but it doesn't really matter anymore. Like, the ability to prove things, you know, basing anything off of what we understand medical science to be or anything like that, that shuts out the window. Now, nobody cares. I mean, like, that's the world we live in. And that Yeah, so I mean, other trigger laws that are gonna go into making in the performing of an abortion, a felony sometimes and in some of the It's not like even even if it's to say the life of the person carrying the fetus. That would be a felony not only on the purse on the pregnant person, but the doctor who would perform it, whether that's a surgical abortion or providing any medications for that. And yet all abortions would be illegal punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines.

Stephen Bradford Long 25:24 Yeah, it the list just goes on. It just goes on. It is the most fucking medieval shit I have ever seen. In this country, like, it is absolutely ridiculous.

Chalice Blythe 25:39 Yeah, and, you know, again, it's it's not going to stop at abortion, this this is not going to stop these are these cases pertain to a person's privacy. And so once privacy is out the window, anything goes any any rights that we have, as part as, as part of our basic human rights that we have had to fight for, under the under the umbrella of having the right to privacy, you know, those could go to and since this is like the dying, gasp, the dime scream of you know, terrify conservatives, zealots. You know, they're pretty much gonna do everything they can with the limited amount of time that they do have on this earth. Um, yeah, there's, I'm sure we're gonna be looking at a whole bunch of laws enshrined that we see as common sense, but those can get ruled out, you know, especially since the Supreme Court has basically said your right to privacy is now, you know, is not federally protected, it's up to the states to determine what your rights to privacy are. And that's essentially what the Supreme Court has said. So, um, yeah, so fuck them first and foremost, right? You know, it genuinely

Stephen Bradford Long 26:53 makes me wonder if the the response is going to have to be far more on the basis of religious freedom. And I don't know enough about law or whatnot. Like, I, I don't have enough understanding about any of this to really speak coherently on this subject, which is one reason why I don't talk about it. But I genuinely wonder if privacy will no longer be grounds for autonomy, will, will it be the case, then that religious conviction will have to be and so for example, certain I, as I understand it, a lot of Jews believe that life begins at first breath. Yeah, so so that is a religious conviction. Could like a group of Jews who are in a synagogue, could they bring a lawsuit or whatever, on the basis of that religious belief, I don't know enough about any of this. But I'm like, it's going to have to be replaced with something. And because there's already such precedent in the United States for religious freedom for Christians to do whatever the fuck they want, other other religions, other than the Satanic Temple are going to have to start using that other religions are going to have to utilize that other than just TST, in order to press for progressive causes.

Chalice Blythe 28:25 Yeah, I was actually talking to Lucien about this earlier. We were having a rage conversation. And this, this whole idea of, you know, you know, kind of the basis of the fights that we have in the courts, leverages the fact that we live in a country that has spent years putting into law putting into culture, this idea that people's religious, like religious rights outweigh and are more than anyone else's rights, right. You know, we have, you know, the RiFRA laws and, you know, we have essentially had to the nightmare reality we live in right now, is the result of us is the result of people's religious viewpoints being made to be having more weight and more importance than people's basic human rights. So because of that, in theory, if, if you are a religious person, it's not just Satanists. This could be any religious person, let's say, as part of their tenants as part of their beliefs as part of their religious practice. It is required that when it comes to the topic of you know, people's civil rights, or when it comes to the topic of abortion, and you know, like, you know, like you said, you know, the Jews believe that life begins at first breath, it's actually in their scripture. Um, In certain, you know, in certain sex, there's, if if the life of the pregnant person is at risk, you are required to make sure that you know, you value put value on the life of the pregnant person over the fetus and an abortion is required if it's medically necessary. And if it's to save the life, or if it's for any reason, then you have to do it. And there's no shame or guilt or anything surrounded, surrounded by that decision from a religious point of view. And then you have, you know, Satanists who believe that they, they have the sole rights to their bodily autonomy, they believe in you know, science, and we should not distort any beliefs, to had conflict to conflict with that, we're, you know, we don't distort things for the sake of making that fit our our own personal narrative. And, and these are part of our religious beliefs. So if you have a bunch of us coming in and saying, Well, this, this violates, you know, civil law happens, let's say like the six week abortion ban or something like that, and, you know, any anything related to these bands, anything related to that does not allow us to, you know, engage in our religious faith, it goes against our religious practice in our faith, the logic is that that should be respected, and that we would win in that case. Now, I say that, as in theory and legal practice, in theory, that's how that should go. Because of the precedent that has been set by you know, one, one particular religious group that has been using linchpin, leveraging that to take all our rights away. But these are also things that are used and utilized to benefit the majority to benefit those of which the those in which the we're the ones who need this, if you are someone of a faith belief, that is deemed reprehensible, if you have somebody, let's say you have a judge who thinks, you know, Satanists are evil, if they are anti semitic, if they have any issue, any issue at all, with with your belief system, your organization, whatever the case may be, what we have found in the Satanic Temple, and all of our legal proceedings, that the same rules do not apply, that we are required, we are subjected to way more criticism and way more needing to justify ourselves way more than anybody else. And because of that, we end up being in a position where the theory the legal theory keeps getting just it doesn't go anywhere. And, you know, people, you know, some some assholes like to think that, you know, because we keep, you know, running into issues with our court cases that it means we don't know what we're doing.

Stephen Bradford Long 33:15 I was just about to bring that up.

Chalice Blythe 33:17 Yeah, people. Yeah. And you know, and that's, and that's their thing. And, you know, my response to that is how are you not seeing this for what it actually is? Like? Obviously, we're hearing you know, where these criticisms are not coming from anyone with any legal expertise, mind you, but how are you not seeing these legally sound arguments that we're making, and seeing that no matter what we do, we are consistently discriminated against, and we are consistently, you know, thrown out of court, or we are consistently being ruled against as not being the exact result of the discrimination and the way in which these laws are meant to benefit the majority and not the minority? How are you not seeing this for what it is, as you know, this system was created and rigged to benefit somebody over the other and that our rights are not equal. And it is purposely made that way. Because if our rights really weren't equal, we wouldn't be in this fucking mess. We wouldn't be dealing with the shit we're dealing with people of you know, like LGBTQ community, the bipoc community, the anyone who's a religious minority, anything like that, if our rights were truly are like people that are having to deal with like gerrymandering, I mean, it goes even into our ability to vote. How are they not seeing this? How are they not realizing that it's not indicative of us not knowing what we're doing and us not fighting? The fight that's that's that, you know, that should be fought. It's proof of what it's proof of how much we are devalued in society and how much they fucking hate us and don't want us to have equal representation or equal voice and do anything they can do to take that away from us. I just don't get it. You know,

Stephen Bradford Long 35:24 like, Well, it's because they, it's because they hate us. I mean, I hate to be cynical. It's because we are an easy target. It's because I don't mean, which is, I don't care. Exactly. But I need people to not lie about us. They do it because it's an easy target. And it feels good. It's what we were just saying earlier in the show, it it. It feels like when people criticize TST by saying, Oh, look at their legal track record, isn't this proof that they are, you know, just apps completely, completely inept, at what they do isn't as proof that no one should ever support tst. And like you were just saying it's like, it's like you're you're suddenly expecting the wolves to treat the sheep, you know, fairly and kindly. You now that now that it's TST, trying trying to fight against the wolves like, oh, okay, suddenly the wolves are reasonable. Suddenly, the theocrats empower the religious conservative forces in the judicial system, oh, suddenly, suddenly, they are reasonable arbiters of justice, all of a sudden, all of

Chalice Blythe 36:39 a sudden, all of a sudden, yeah, in so you know, with this, what SCOTUS has demonstrated is that you're their ability to look at anything from a neutral point of view and merely keep it to the Constitution and merely key in and keep their personal opinions, their allegiances, everything like that, keep them at the door and just be this neutral body whose sole purpose is to make sure that nothing violates the Constitution, we I mean, that has proven that that is not possible. That's not the case. And we've known for so many years that when it comes to, you know, you know, state, federal, you know, anybody in some position of power, you know, always brings their biases and every end and in, yeah, they always bring their biases with them. And that tends to inform how they make a ruling, how they make a judgement, how they evaluate these cases, you know, and the way laws are written the way they're rewritten, you know, the people who have a vested interest in things being exactly the way that they are, you know, we'll do anything to make sure that those with privilege continue to be of in that privilege, and the rest of us get in line, get in line, shut your mouth, do as you're told. And, you know, and make sure that if we do there are, they can use the power of the state to enforce our silence. And so yeah, the the absolute insanity of just because you hate something, you know, those who hate GST, fine, whatever, you know, I still talk to a lot of people who think GST is fucking terrible, you know, and, and are constantly asking me, why are you still in it? And, you know, not to be shitty, but just constantly like, you know, like, I'm useless, right? You know, and I have my own reasons for still being a part of it. Now, I've worked really, really hard over many, many years to get to a place where the work I do is solely the work I want to do and not the work I don't want to do which what I did for years you know, being in leadership and and, you know, building various things, you know, within the organization and having to deal with things in that in that way. You know, I did all that work to get to the point where I'm no longer a member, you know, not leadership anymore. I get just I just get to be a nerd about Satanism all day. That's my job. That's what I get to do. And that's what all what I've always wanted. You know, I don't I'm not anyone's boss. I don't I don't like I'm not over anybody. I don't make decisions. or anything. It's the most wonderful thing in the world. It is so awesome. All I get to do is just read and write and learn more about Satanism and hopefully, like be able to pass that knowledge on to other people who have interest in Satanism, and it's not even just like, you know, how she is to define Satanism. I'm talking about the ISM the you know, you know everything to do with with Satanism, its history, its current practice, you know what the future looks like, I get to be a fucking nerd and I love it, it's my favorite thing in the world. And, but just because I've had that ability to get to that point, and nothing is has happened yet, um, that has been my that is, you know, just kind of been why I'm done moment. Even though I've actually had quite a few instances where I've almost said, I'm done, I stick with it for my own reasons and things I get to do and the things that, you know, I determine is not being my I'm done moments now, just because that's the case for me, does it mean that I don't understand other people's, you know, criticisms on, you know, their, their informed their informed criticisms, their, you know, their reasons for not wanting to be a part of it, and, you know, their frustrations for, you know, feeling like, you know, the two dudes at the top, just do whatever they want the name of T is T and, and the rest of us have to deal with the consequences. I'm like, I've been doing that for years. I know what that feels like. And it's really frustrating. But, you know, but because I view TSG as not being just two people, it's, it's, it's a whole other thing, it's a whole other, it's got a life of its own, it's all of others. Yeah, there's, there's so like, it's not just these two people anymore, and it's not the dump bullshit things they said 20 years ago, and it's not, you know, it's not any of that it's the community we've made, it's the various, you know, good works that come out of it, you know, all the, all the things that have inspired, then, you know, that had been inspired by it, you know, the core principles, and the core idea of what you see can be, you know, I just don't get distracted by the, by the cringe, I don't get distracted by the things I see as like, well, that's dumb, I wish they had done it anyway, you know, it just, you know, I just don't get distracted by it, because I just don't care. Because at the end of the day, I have a completely different perspective of what TSG is, and it is completely divorced by just whatever the, whatever the founders do, or say or whatever. But all that aside, I know that for some people, you know, that has a big impact, you know, they they don't feel like they have that voice and they don't feel like they have that ability to criticize without there being some kind of either negative reaction or anything like that. So you know, they decide to leave fine, it's fine. I like I don't care, find your happiness, you know, maybe you know, you know, not every community is for everybody. And because this is an ever evolving thing. What used to work might not work for that person anymore, so they leave in their own volition and that's fine. I'm very good friends with a lot of people in that circumstance and it has not sold our friendship at all in fact, you know, now outside of the context of teas, tea, I get to know them as like people, like you know, other aspects of their lives. It's like wow, you're way more interesting than you know, just the one facet that I know about you that all being said all that frustration all that hate all of the the conspiracy nonsense the basically Q anon level conspiracy theories, you know, all of that is, you know, I just I don't understand why people waste their time and energy the way that they do like, Don't you have something better to do? And you know, why why is it so important to see us fail so hard that you would take the side of the oppressor just so that, you know, you could you know, just stick your finger in our face and just laugh and just being like, I told you so. You know, because anything we do anything that we lose is indicative of what they're going to lose.

Stephen Bradford Long 43:59 Yeah, and yeah, we might we might as well just go ahead and say it so a lot of this a lot of this frustration that we're venting right now has to do with the fact that Illuminati who has a million plus subscribers on YouTube just posted another hit I mean, not not another one of her hit pieces on us but just another and a long series buy from a lot of venues have have have pieces that are not merely critical of this community. But are but are deceptive. That's the difference. That's the difference for me. I I welcome and I embrace criticism because honestly, my track record in life is that I am wrong way more often than I am right. Like I look back at my life and all the different shit that I have believed I'm wrong way more often than I am right and the only way, very often, that I become less wrong is through criticism, through through people actually caring about me enough to criticize me. And so I see criticism, even if it's brutal criticism, even if it is blunt criticism, I see all of that criticism, I see that as a sign of respect. It's that kind of criticism, that kind of feedback is telling me okay, you trust me to handle this. And the reason you trust me to handle it is because you care about me, genuine criticism is, is respectful it is it is a form of respect, even if it's brutal. Lying is not,

Chalice Blythe 45:42 it is not Yeah, well, the you know, the only way you evolve and grow and you get out of you unlearn bad things, and you know, you become better, whether that's as an individual or as an organization is you is you take the constructive criticism. And that has never been, well, more often than not, that has never been an issue for anybody to have those things and have them being listened to and have their ideas listened to, I mean, the whole reason we have a whole new, a whole new TST that has, you know, congregations and the pillar system, the whole reason it looks the way that it does now is because people were you know, those within have their had their criticisms. And, you know, we're we're talking about the things that they felt were necessary for TST you evolve and grow. And we were like, Alright, let's try it out. Let's figure it out. Let's, let's see if this works. And that's why the organization looks the way that it does now, but you know, people have their opinions but and, and people are, they are allowed their opinions, but I think my philosophy is you are allowed your informed opinion. And a lot of the times, what ends up happening is those who really want to believe in the absolute insane conspiracy elements of what they think TST to be, like, someone's going to say it and then other people who either don't know enough about it to, you know, really say anything about it, or you know, out of fear that they'll they'll be seen as culpable or anything like that, or impure. Or, you know, those who just want to who just really want to believe that that's the case, for whatever reason, um, you know, that's, that's the stuff we have to deal with all the time. And I just, I don't care about that stuff. You know, I haven't seen the video of this Illuminati person. I just don't, I just have better shit to do with my time. I know that, you know, and I know that like certain claims that go out there, you know, really deserve some kind of response. As far as I know, we do not charge groups, you know, exorbitant amounts of money to be a part and you know, pay to play is not a thing like, I have not given like, I've been with GST for nine years, and I haven't given them a single penny V two. single fucking cent.

Stephen Bradford Long 48:21 The only money that has been given to TST from my household is because my partner is what I call a mug, a Satanist, where he's only he has only in it for the mugs, which is great. And so yeah, he has he has dropped so much money on the T s. T handcrafted mugs from the from the shop on the main website. That is the only money that we have to Yeah. But I think that there's a deeper issue here, which is whenever something like this comes up. The question that I always want to ask is, what kind of world is this specific reaction? Creating? What kind of world is it moving towards? So for example, when someone accuses Our dearly beloved friend Lucian, grieves of, you know, saying, of being an anti Semite because of something he said 20 years ago, which I genuinely think it was a bad thing to say, I wish he hadn't said it. I think it was gross. But here's the thing, here's the thing. Do we want to live in a world where people can never recover from a stupid thing they did in their 20s? Or do we want a world where someone can do good in spite of what they've done in their past? Which of which of those worlds do we want? And that's the question that I that I find myself asking of the of bad faith actors. but not not literally because I try to avoid those conversations, but it's the thing that I find myself wondering and and the other thing is when when we brutalize other people who are working towards the same cause? What kind of world does that create? Does it create a world where we are closer to our goals? Or does it create a world where we are all collectively less likely to live? To live in a better world? I think it's the latter. And so so often I see these responses to to what TST is trying to do, and none of this is to say that TST is above criticism. We are not above criticism. No, no, we are absolutely not. I've done my fair share of screaming Oh, me too. Yeah, I mean, all of us have, and but the criticism is either Is it the criticism is always pointing towards a specific world, that we are going to live in that it is pointing towards a specific type of world and how we treat others and, and so if we, if we brutalized someone for not being just like us, even if we have the same goal, or if we are, or if we are criticizing someone for something they've said 20 years ago, despite the fact that everything that they have done sense points towards a, a different value system, that we're living in a world that hurts all of us. That's what that creates is a is an unsustainable world, where none of us get out of get out alive. That is what that leads to?

Chalice Blythe 51:46 Well, it does. Because what it what it does is, it creates a world where in the online sphere, you're considered a victor. Because you shame somebody for you know, treasons, whether that's real or imagined, but in the real world, everyone else is, you know, successfully taking your rights away, and the white nationalists win. But in the internet worlds, things are way more simple than that. And that's the world that people tend to put a lot more emphasis on, on important so that's why I really just don't engage or care about what some asshole on Twitter thinks TST is or isn't doing, especially when that claim is fucking ridiculous. Like, some YouTuber who probably found you know, stuff that sounded sexy, but didn't even bother to ask somebody who actually like lives and breathes this stuff, whether or not any of it had any validity, like you think I'm gonna take them seriously. You know? And it just why why would why would I bother doing that I know what I'm about, I know what I do and what I don't do, and I know what my colleagues do and don't do what they what they do and don't believe and the things that matter that brings us together. In in this you know, in this, you know, religious philosophy we share, you can't you can't sit there and say that you the, you know, you identify with these tenants and also hold beliefs of you know, being anti semitic, you can't hold the seven tenants as you know, deeply held beliefs and, you know, be you know, bigoted or you know, want to cause harm to the LGBTQ community or you know, the bipoc community. They just, you can't sit there and say that so, you know, then so, yeah, so it's just all nonsense, you know, like, you know, people being like, oh, where's the money going? Where's this? What's this? Like? How dare Lucien Greaves be a 20 year old white angry guy from Detroit he was a member of Church of Satan you know, how dare he say these things and then literally do everything completely awesome opposite to what he was saying in the 20 years ensuing including creating the organization that you know you yourself said you were you know, diehard fan of at one point I just I just don't care so you know, if some YouTuber of some idiot on Twitter wants to just you know, continue pushing this narrative of this eat, you know, this evil pyramid scheme organization that's only interested in your money and and that's all they do. And, you know, there's nothing good about it, then. Be my guest Be my guest. I don't care because at the end of the day, I know I live it, I see it, I know what this community is capable of that is not distracted by the hygiene. So it is not, you know, embroiling itself in turn, you know, making it a you know, just a you know, like, you know, dog eat dog. You know, I know what it means for people determined to not want really live their religious truth, you know, and, you know, legitimately do good things for the community, but also put in the work to make sure that others have that community as well, you know, whether it's, you know, campaigns like gray faction or even sober faction or things like that, or whether that's ministry, having ministers and all the, all the great education and guidance and all the things that, you know, has been happening, all the discussion, all of the, you know, very honest, hard discussions that are have because of, you know, like, you know, with our religious services and things like that,

Stephen Bradford Long 55:42 meanwhile, there's a story that I keep coming back to, that I find so compelling. And I really need to actually look up, I forget which book I read this in, and I've used this story so many times now that I really, like need to fact check myself and make sure I'm not fucking it up. But legal battles, and the battle for justice, as our tenant says, is ongoing. And that is so often hard, grueling, boring work. Yeah. And I think a fantastic example of that was, there was an LGBT. There was a, there was a an LGBT group that lobbied for years, they they were activists for years and years and years, for one thing, and that one thing was for the Library of Congress to acknowledge an LGBT category for literature. And that that's what they did they, and it took years, and they, but they finally did it. Yep. And the ripple effect of that in culture, that suddenly writing and content that suddenly it existed, where it didn't previously exist in the Library of Congress. And then that rippled out to all other parts of culture. And its fights like that, that so often go unnoticed, but have very real consequences for the world. But the thing is, those fights are boring, and you never know about them. Right? Those fights are so dull, and they take forever, but they have such a huge impact. And so we're in this for the long haul. And that's just another story. That's a story that just emphasizes, like the significance of the compound effect of little things over time, and attaining those little things as hard work, but they add up.

Chalice Blythe 58:02 Yeah. Well, I mean, if you think about it, if you think about just the story of Satan, right, this, you know, this figure who, against insurmountable odds, fought the fight anyway, even knowing that, you know, he was going to lose that, you know, he, and you know, depending on the story that you were referencing, didn't want to win. You know, because the the battle or you know, the, the victory, the victory that one has is killing the God within yourself and not, you know, the literal God. But, you know, I keep, I keep coming back to this idea, when when I get really frustrated when I keep getting asked, What do we do? And my answer is always, well, what we do is we start the work, because you are not going to get anything, any immediate answer any immediate reprieve for what we are facing. And that makes people feel bad, makes me feel bad. You know, if I could have a quick fix, don't you think I'd fucking do it? You know, I would. But that's just not it took so many years for us to get to this point, and is going to take a lot more time for us to get back any of our, like any of our rights back that are that are currently being dismantled. And so when I think about the story of Satan, and I think about the fact that right now we're Facing insurmountable odds, we have an obligation as Satanists to fight the fight anyway. We have the obligation to you know, have the fight that is the hard fight, the long fight the one that seems completely impossible, and one that we might not even see the any positive effects of in our lifetime. I mean, I had to make my piece a long time ago with the fact that anything that we do in this life year are anything that I feel strongly about and put my efforts into trying to see come to fruition, probably will not be something I ever get to benefit from, and I'm okay with it. Because at the end of the day, you know, if if not you, then who else, you know, and, you know, if you don't start somewhere, then you're never going to get anywhere, like whole generations fought, just to die, right before any of the any, anything that they fought for actually was something that became, you know, either whether it's a law, whether it's right, you know, whatever the case may be, whether there was any kind of victory of any kind. So, um, people may not agree with the tactics, and we may not, you know, we may just continuously prove time and time again, through our efforts, that if you belong to a minority religion, if you belong to any type of group that is not Christianity, the system is set up in such a way that it will always come back to not benefit you, or give you as much equal justice as it would, you know, the, the majority of our fight will probably just end up proving that point, time and time and time again. But we have to try, we have to do it, because otherwise, you know, are we actually living our values? Are we actually, you know, would that make us hypocrites, you know, when I, I couldn't live with myself, calling myself a Satanist. And saying that, you know, the seven fundamental tenants are things that are deeply held beliefs of mine, without actually putting those beliefs in action. And that includes the action that is going to be not, you know, it's not going to be glorious, it's going to be hard, it is going to involve a lot of difficulty a lot of time. And it's not going to be the, it's not going to be flashy, or sexy, or anything like that. But it's worth doing. And that, to me, is an obligation I have as a Satanists to do, I'm not going to have any legacy to speak of, meaning that, you know, I'll never have children, I'll never, I mean, once I'm dead and gone, I'll be done gone forever. You know, one of the things one of the legacies that I want to have one of the little, tiniest, little, little fingerprints on this world I want to make is the knowledge going into my grave that I did everything I could to best, you know, exemplify and live, the values of which I have, which I have fully embraced, you know, the fact that when I discovered Satanism, and when I, I, when I realized that I was a Satanist, that came with an obligation that I hold on myself, that, you know, these deeply held values of mine need to be not only just what I what I think and the things that go on in my head, but the actions that I take in my daily life. And if that means that I have some little part of the fight that starts and ends after my lifetime, but at least it gets started. Now. You know, I, you know, I that's the kind of legacy I want, whether anyone remembers my name or not, doesn't matter. But you know, I'll go into the grave knowing that that's what I did, and that I didn't, that I didn't violate my own values for the sake of ease for the sake of the easy life for the sake of not being bothered. For the sake of just, you know, not wanting to put in the effort. So yeah, we'll see. We'll see how that goes. I'm probably not great, but I've come to terms with it. You know,

Stephen Bradford Long 1:04:05 I think that's a great note to end on. should at least fly. That's always a pleasure.

Chalice Blythe 1:04:10 Always a pleasure. Thank you so much for talking to me and hearing me rant and rave.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:04:14 You are so good at ranting and raving. And as always, you're always welcome back. It's nice to it's it's nice to talk to you outside of a meeting. It feels like Yeah, it feels like all Satanists do is have meetings. It's like Jesus Christ. I feel like I'm a Presbyterian. Again, if there's one thing that Presbyterians and Satanists have in common, it is way too many fucking meetings. Yeah,

Chalice Blythe 1:04:39 we're the ones that were the ones that funded zoom throughout the pandemic, that's for sure. Actually, we were the ones that kept it alive pre pandemic.

Stephen Bradford Long 1:04:47 That's true. Very, very true. All right. Well, I will I will talk to you soon. And this has been great. All right. That is it for this show. The theme song is Wild buy eleventy seven you can find it on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to music. The show is written, produced and edited by me Steven Bradford long and it is a production of rock candy recordings, as always Hail Satan, Satan, and thanks for listening