I need to start with this great quote that really does sue up the intent of the satanic temple. – “He knows goddamn well this is a mission,” he adds. “Especially for me.” – doug mesner/lucien greaves of the satanic temple
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about a month ago I was interviewed for a cover story that appeared in the village voice, a new york weekly newspaper. this is the first journalistic piece on the satanic temple that has been presented in the media… the rest, including my piece for vice have been attention seeking, one sided, and/or pro/fun pieces that really don’t investigate or probe too deep.
The village voice piece came out decent with minor factual errors, but errors are to be expected when a writer has their piece edited down… and, presently newspapers struggle to stay afloat so they cut more and more staff… back in the day, when I’d be interviewed by a publication of this caliber, they’d have a fact checker call and go over the quotes… for instance, the village voice piece says “But not long after the Rick Scott rally, Bugbee says, the Temple’s mission statement seemed to shift in a way that made him uneasy.” – it was actually after the “pink mass” that this happened… not a big deal at all… for me that is.
as I re-read over my complete interview with the village voice I thought the village voice should have just used it all and made the entire piece about me – hehehehee… but really, it made me think, why not post the interview in it’s entirety? it can help to clear up anything that isn’t and maybe clarify my position and, as an added bonus, and, something I always find of interest – “the process of creating”. now, you’ll get to see the entirety of the interview the writer & editor had to work with and compare that with the words they chose to sculpt their piece with… I also think highly of my time and effort so – what the fuck… the internet affords me the opportunity to add my complete thoughts on the subject and show all of the interesting questions the writer, anna merlan had to ask…
beware, don’t fuck with anna merlan, anna probes deep! I hope one day she’ll probe me deeply!
at the very bottom of this blog, I’ll post some of the inaccuracies in the article… minor to some, major to others but, again, what the fuck, oh, and I’ll also show off the satanic temple logos I mention in the village voice piece.
here is a direct link to the village voice article:
and here are the questions anna merlan sent and the answers I sent her back…
– How old are you? Do you write full-time, or do other work as well?
How old? Well, I have the liver of a 60 year old, the kidneys of a 72 year old, the curiosity of a 12 year old, the wisdom of a 120 year old man on a mountain and have lived the life of ten men.
What does age have to do with this? I’d guess to make jokes maybe? I don’t know, of course, but it’s a strange question relative to the context of this interview… Funny, when I tell folks I’m a metal head, the age seems to make it funny, except when I’m dealing with Europeans, who seem to accept you for what you are without an age bias.
I do not write, I hack together words in an attempt to communicate… I have been paid for the words I sculpt. I’m a creative entrepreneur and/or a person who exploits situations creatively… I’ve been called an artist, filmmaker, author, radio show host, poet, speaker, sculptor, painter, publisher, consultant, marketeer, advisor and plumber and have been paid for all of those titles.
I’m presently making ends meet doing a couple video portraits, I have a handful of sculpture commissions that I’m working on, I’m also building websites for a couple local artists and businesses as well as helping to get my wife’s vanilla company off of the ground.
– You’ve known Doug since at least 2001, is that right? What was he like as a person and a friend, before all this?
Yes, that is correct… I’ve known Doug for a long time.
What was he like? Well, young and willing and excited to be involved with what I was working on at the time. He was very interested and drank up all the knowledge I could give and took advantage of any and all opportunities to perform and produce… I guess, very much like he is today, just with a youthful and enduring naivete.
– My understanding is you first started working as a consultant for Doug/the Satanic Temple prior to the Pink Mass? Or was it even before the Rick Scott thing?
I never worked for Doug or the satanic temple, I did work for Cevin Soling AND his film company spectacle films… Doug was/is also employed by cevin. I started advising doug as his pal before the Rick Scott thing and, before the rick scott deal I was asked to play the role of lucien greaves.
I turned down the roll of lucien greaves simply because they couldn’t meet my contractual request of editorial approval of how my image would be used and my name exploited.
I also helped to lay ground work for the oklahoma monument, though, I must add, I would have never taken the tits off of the baphomet, I mean, really, what’s a baphomet with out the bare breast??? and, the bullshit excuse I’ve heard doug give about not wanting the statue tot be rejected due to a nude breast is at the least confusing, and most likely bullshit to coverup ignorance or maybe a suppressed hatred of women… I mean, you’re going to mock america’s twisted interpretation of religious freedoms AND give into censorship? really, there is plenty of public art that shows the female breast.
I need to make this real clear, as clear as I made it to doug and cevin, that I was not and would not be employed by any of their individual projects and would only accept the consulting gig if I was hired by cevins film company. why you might wonder? I didn’t want to lessen the value LaVey put into our relationship when he award me status in his organization and I didn’t want to see my name pop up in their film as a friend, member, or employee of the satanic temple at a later date. I’m pretty guarded as to how my association with LaVey is used.
– You’ve written that TST was presented to you as ” a practical joke, a Satanic “Yes Men” style group making a mockery of the constant push to intertwine Church and State by Christian fanatics and kooks” (which is a great description).
I did. I like a good joke and a joke on the public at large and, in general, the grossly inept media. it was thrilling to participate in. the hoax on the media might be part of the satanic temples slant I didn’t make clear enough in the piece I wrote for my site, part of the joke was to make the media look bad, to highlight their lack of research or the lazy work ethic of taking a press release and running with it… regardless of facts. Is there a question here I’m missing or not answering?
– At some point, though — and this is what I’m interested in — it seems as though the idea of being a fake Satanic group making a mockumentary was dropped and Doug started presenting the group as a real movement. Is that when you stepped away?
the dissolving of the original idea of making a mockumentary and the rise of a want for a real religious sect seemed to happen very quick… I started to step away as I questioned the intent and, when I did step away, the rhetoric turned into that of a want to form a religious sect to be taken seriously, talk of the psychological need for religion, that humans are hard wired to want religion… this happened the week before and like a week after I stepped away… the week before I quit working with cevin and doug I started to hear comments from doug including “this could turn into something substantial as far as income goes” – when I asked doug to define a “substantial income” he replied “something you’d miss if it went away” – this was a huge red flag to me and really made me question the true intent of the project… it was definitely one of the straws that broke the relationships back… but, as far as my reasonings for breaking from a good pal and a decent pay check… it is never one reason, is it? there was a plethora of bad management mistakes that I became frustrated with, the first and probably the most irritating was the incredibly ignorant logo they had, it was a fucking cow, not something fitting a philosophy that promoted breaking from the herd, that encourages the individual to be individual… and when I complained and insisted on a new logo – it got worse, the clueless cevin then presented a new logo and one even worse, a logo that looked like it was out of a children’s coloring book or as doug himself called it something that looked like it was advertising a “baphomet petting zoo”… so, cevin became very irritating to me, he was repelling.
the cow logo smack’d of a practical joke on satanists and that I wasn’t interested in… not only was I not interested in lampooning satanists, I would be downright pissed off if I was inadvertently involved in something to defame those I have befriended and even relate to without my knowledge, I would really hate to be a part of the punchline rather than in on the joke.
and as I type the description of the child-like logo that really pissed me off, I have to wonder if cevin’s intent isn’t something perverse that ties into children rather than protecting the children as his http://www.protectchildrenproject.com/ states. he has a definite interest in children yet has no children… I don’t know, I can’t stand kids and usually defend myself in social situations with the thought that, do you really want a older guy who has no children to be interested in your children? it makes no sense to me… but I digress.
– You’ve said they have a “questionable agenda” and no real relationship with Satanism prior to this. What do you mean by that? What do you think the agenda is?
well, as far as a questionable agenda, the possibilities are endless as is my imagination. I think it’s probably as boring and typical as a careerist move towards a career… cevin makes films, he wants attention and understands base controversies are the easiest way to gain that attention.
I wonder if one of them wants to belong so desperately to a movement they’ve never fit into or maybe, they wanted to lampoon a culture who’s members at onetime, maybe in his high school/junior high school made fun of one or all of them.
and, what I’ve said regarding “no real relationship with Satanism” is that cevin and his partner david guinan have no ties to any satanic organizations and cevin has absolutely no understanding of the satanic culture… this was questionable to me and made me think that is was possible they were just using doug to get close to a subject that they’d eventually make look as silly as religious zealots of all beliefs and that is in direct opposition of Anton LaVeys work, of Crowley’s work, of my work and other freethinking artists and movements progress.
– Is Cevin Soling going by “Malcolm Jarry” now, do you know?
well it seems obvious to me that cevin is malcolm… there are three owners of the satanic temple, I’ve named them in the piece I wrote that’s on my website… there are no other founders of the satanic temple, and with cevin’s interest in children and the only place I see Malcolm Jarry quoted is within the context of children and, with the satanic temples history of using fake names and the media accepting those names, I’d say cevin soling and malcolm jarry are the same person… malcolm jarry is credited as a founder of the satanic temple, there are only three founders, so it’s one of the three.
the satanic temple is incorporated, so I wonder if you couldn’t research that more… will cevin not talk to you for your piece? they are incorporated in new york, is there no easy way to get this info?
– I talked with Doug a bit about all this last night and he said you two had a falling out over money, when you felt you weren’t paid your full consulting fee and bonus. Any truth to that?
no, there is no truth to that… how absurd and desperate. I took doug under my wing and our relationship grew to one of family, I truly have loved doug as family… and still do to a degree… I’d never let money get in the way of that. that kind of comment is beyond absurd and desperate, it is offensive… I’ve lived a life dedicated to my politics and my expression and, have blown off and turned down profit time and time again to indulge my political and artistic intent.
if anything, I could have been a guy who went along with cevin’s lame ideas, laughed at his bad jokes and, catered to his moments of lonely, much like doug does, and collected money each month, easy money for going with the flow… I did not do that, did I?
I take folks as individuals and had multiple issues with cevin and made it clear, I would continue to work with them making a mockumentary only if he was a silent investor and let doug run the entire show.
I had a falling out with doug because he tried to bullshit me over the use of my copyrighted footage in a propaganda piece for the satanic temple… when he presented the video, I noticed footage from a film I did called CLUB SATAN: THE WITCHES SABBATH and asked him not to use that footage… he told me that was no problem and even pulled the video from youtube – I later found the video he made using chunks of my footage re-posted on youtube under the satanic temple account, I thought what a fucking asshole… I get copyright is a fading concept, but really, between pals…ok, fuck between pals, between artists, when one asks you to not use their work, you abide… he didn’t. that was a real issue for me… to disrespect me, to use my work when I ask for you not to, well, that really pisses me off… and to top it off, my good friend cheyenne had passed away a month after visiting doug… doug told me in an email he was sending a condolence card, along with some items I had left at his place when my wife and I visited. he never sent my shit and most important he never sent the condolence card for cheyenne… that, that fucking card, for some reason really broke my heart and is something that comes to mind each time I have thought of my love and hate for doug.
– Anything else I’m missing? Is this whole thing just a big prank or do you think Doug’s taking it seriously? He seemed pretty serious when I saw him last night, and pretty unhappy about being in the spotlight as the spokesperson and main heat-taker for the group.
I guess the question for me is, what is he taking seriously?? I appreciate the attacks on church and state and the moronic religious institutions that wield way too much power and influence in this society… so when he takes that serious, more power to him.
his want and seeming need to gain followers, to manipulate simple minds and the human need to belong, to promote the concept of religion being hard wired for the human, when doug and his satanic temple is taking that serious, fuck them.
if they are taking a filmmaking project serious, great, no matter who it lampoons, including wanna be satanists… as long as I’m not being duped I could give a fuck and will be the first to buy a ticket and/or pay for a download of the film.
what seems to be missing from all of the media reports on the satanic temple it their background, for instance, when the black mass at harvard was happening, promoted in the headlines as produced “by a student group affiliated with the Harvard Extension School” the media accepted this from the harvard press release and even the satanic temples press releases, though, the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club is run by Cevin Soling the same guy funding and running the satanic temple… why that has never been investigated and brought into the open and why harvard hasn’t been called out for not disclosing that fact is insidious in my opinion.
I’m biased, I do have a love for doug, I love his progress, what he’s become, his aggressive want… I’d like to think he’s just a puppet who feels lucky to be taken under wing by a rich kid who pays dougs way so that he might explore his creative needs and push his inner politics… I really do want to believe that… but, his actions indicate a desperate need of power, doug is very smart, dangerously smart if you’re on the wrong side, so what he seems and his actual actions just don’t add up.
don’t like to be the spokesperson, don’t. seems easy and simple… unless that’s not what the puppet master wants, unless that’s not what you secretly want.
– Feel free to add anything else, I really appreciate your time. As I said, call me or email me, whatever is easier for you. I know you interviewed Dr. LaVey shortly before his death, I’d be curious to hear about your impressions of him at that age too.
you said/typed “Dr.LaVey” only a Church of Satan member would do such a thing… a member or a deep sympathizer. heehehehe – so are you?
regardless… Dr.LaVey was everything one might imagine him to be if that person believed in magic… he was amazing and seemed so full of life he was ageless and sharp as a tack, I was tricked into thinking he’d live forever… I really enjoyed those days and my brief friendship with Dr.LaVey and his wife Blanche, such high thinkers… philosophical, deep conversations were what one could expect when dealing with Dr.LaVey and those surrounding him… after his death the C.O.S. seemed to turn into a group of business minded entrepreneurs who sold t-shirt, hell, I was the first to sell C.O.S. t-shirts and coffee mugs, but what disappeared was the deep philosophical conversations, the individual nature of the members, and, it slowly turned into something I wasn’t into anymore… recently, I’ve had to agree with some of peter gillmore’s observations on the satanic temple and oh how I hate to agree with peter.
—- VILLAGE VOICE INACCURACIES AND POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS —
– here are the logos the story quotes me as hating, which I did and still do… when I was educating doug on the marketing for the project – I made it real clear how important art and images are and how horribly lame and contradictory their COW logo was… in the village voice piece it was great to see doug sort of admit I was correct – “We just keep underestimating the value of images, I guess” yea, you guess alright.
– the couples who performed a kissed at the pink mass over westboro baptists fred phelps mothers grave were paid actors, one of the fellas is a friend of dougs, the rest were actors, they were all flown in from new york to act the ritual… my original idea was to shoot porn on the grave, when doug told me the pink mass had been lamed down to a kiss, I insisted there be nudity and that nudity was needed to create a viral buzz, so doug tea bagged the statue and that tea bagging did in fact help in creating a viral buzz.
– it was doug, not cevin who continued to ask me to front the satanic temple/play the part of lucien.
– doug/lucien is much older than 30 years old… I think like 38, maybe older.
– a former pal of mine witnessed doug graduate from harvard.
– doug/lucien asserts that the church of satan is right wing and the satanic temple is left wing… this shows an attempt to manipulate the ignorant for the purpose of amassing a group of fanatics and satanic zealots – the satanic philosophy lavey laid down revolves around the individual and their individual choices… and/or doug was a member of the church of satan and is left wing… I have met many a church of satan member that is left wing as well as right wing… church of satan members have always been a wild mix or as lavey says “satanists are something you can’t nail to the wall.”
– the grandstanding about death threats and needing to wear a bullet proof vest is bizarre and will do nothing more than attract lunatics… think about it, how many artist or politically active, politically incorrect, public speakers go public about death threats and show off their bullet proof vests? how is that even logical? show off bullet proof vest and what, show your enemy that they should shoot you in the head?? the only logic here is, attention… thoughtless attention.
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