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Greg Stevens a.k.a. "Priest Penemue" in his own words
- My name is Gregory Stevens. I am over the age of 18, of sound mind, and am capable of making this unsworn declaration.
- I am submitting this declaration under my real name despite the risk of the catastrophic side-effects I may encounter from the controversy surrounding this case.
- I am a member of The Satanic Temple (“TST”) and hold its tenets as sincere religious beliefs.
- I joined TST in 2015. I was on the National Council, the body responsible for governing TST's chapters, from 2016 to 2018. I developed the technical framework for our community video streaming website ("TST TV") that launched in 2019, and I continue to provide technical and administrative support for the platform.
- I currently serve as the Director of Ministry. I supervise the Ordination Council which is a team of five ministers who review and approve candidates for ordination, and plan and organize activities and develop resources for our community of ministers. I developed our ordination program, which launched in 2021 and forms the core religious training for our congregation leadership and other members who wish to become ordained clergy in TST.
- To become an ordained member of TST clergy requires one to complete a ten-hour curriculum on the history and philosophy of Satanism and The Satanic Temple, pass a final exam with a score of 80% or better, write a self-development essay, pass a background check, and receive a written letter of commendation for community activities and involvement from a member of TST leadership. Every year following their ordination, Ministers of Satan must complete a one hour lesson and receive an updated letter of commendation to keep their ordination active.
- Half of my role is project management. I brought together a team of ministers in the U.S., Europe, and Australia to manage our weekly online religious services and personally wrote out tracking and best practice documents. I personally created and maintain the "ticketing" system that the Ordination Council uses to keep track of ordination candidates as they progress through the program. I im- plemented an online library catalog system our ministers use to catalog books available at our congregations, as well as original scripts they have written for Satanic rituals. I hold weekly one-on-one meetings with each member of the Ordination Council to make sure they are making progress with their own projects to help our ministerial community.
- Half of my role is being a minister for our ministers. I make myself available to hear frustrations and concerns from ministers, offering them advice and encouragement. I personally talk to new ministers who are nervous or unsure of themselves, answering ques- tions about how to get tasks done and introducing them to others in our community. I meet with members and groups who have big ideas for projects and use my experience in the organization to offer suggestions for how to best achieve their goals.
- The Satanic Temple fills a niche that I think is important and absolutely needed: a religion that provides a sense of community, shared values, and shared purpose among people who otherwise find themselves to be outsiders in society. This is a religion that empowers individuals, but that is also rooted in empathy and community and compassion. These are people worth supporting, and this is a community worth nurturing.
- When I see the pride in a new minister's eyes when they complete the ordination program, hear cheers from members of a new congregation that has become part of our church, or read a "thank you" email from a member who says that our religious services are the first time they felt connected, safe, and understood in a religious community, I think: I helped to make that possible. This is the most meaningful work that I can imagine doing.
- CourtListener.com, Appendix Appendix to Plaintiffs' Rule 65 Motion — Document #40, Attachment #1