As we all know, the Friendly Atheist blog has long promoted The Satanic Temple. Yet Jex Blackmore, who had been a national spokesperson for the satanic social justice group for some time, recently wrote an article where she publicly accuses the organization of being racist and sexist and claims that she and other women in the group have been sexually harassed:
As one of the few visible and prominent female voices in TST, I endured countless threats, harassment, and violations.
Over the years, members and chapter heads have requested and proposed the implementation of a gender, sexual, and racial diversity policy to ensure equity within TST leadership and alignment to the mission. The demand was not simply ignored but completely dismissed. The demand was not hollow; there was a clear and pressing need for this policy. While I was part of the organization, I witnessed male members of the organization exploit their position and influence to behave inappropriately and disrespectfully towards women. I myself experienced harassment and abuse from members who have now left the organization. I was not supported by leadership during these times, but was asked to let it all “blow over.”
Blackmore even implies financial issues:
Members of the public donate money to support TST’s campaigns in regards to women’s rights and religious liberty lawsuits and events. However, despite many requests from Temple chapters, the organization refuses to share how these donated funds are spent. Currently, there is no way of knowing if the money donated actually supports their legal actions. In fact, as far as I know, members do not know how they fund the products in their store, the gallery in Salem, or the many lawsuits they’ve taken on. Countless lawsuits have been announced or “planned,” many have not been followed through, and often times, the legal actions are strategically sloppy. Dozens of dedicated, supportive chapters across the country regularly commit their time and resources to raising money for the Temple. Yet members have no voice in how the money is spent, they do not decide how it’s allocated, and they do not know where it goes. Unlike other charitable groups, there is no public organizing board or regular financial disclosures and there’s zero oversight.
What’s more, several years ago, Blackmore drew attention to some old podcasts with Lucien Greaves (Doug Mesner), leader of the satanists. According to someone who listened to it, Greaves mocked the 911 victims and Oklahoma City Bombing:
I’ve listened to some of the first link in that thread. Its a marathon show that is literally 24 hours long, so I haven’t had time to listen to the whole thing. That said, what I have heard is disturbing and terrible. They start out mocking 9/11 victims, exactly as the original post describes. Later, Greaves/Mesner says the only mistake Timothy McVeigh made when committing the Oklahoma City bombing was killing the kids in daycare center and that the media played that aspect up to villianize McVeigh. The he kind of half walks that back when Shane says that the only mistake McVeigh made was making sure the children’s parents weren’t in the building to die with them, and that since those children were cop’s children, who gives a fuck. Shane says fucked up racist, homophobic, anti-semetic, violent shit constantly and Greave/Mesner giggles beside him, except when he chimes in to use racial/homophobic slurs himself.
You would think that activist Hemant Mehta would be savvy enough to distance himself from this hateful group, but then again, Mehta has a history of promoting people like Lawrence Krauss and David Silverman. Perhaps he is used to the egg on his face.
But here’s the thing – I can’t seem to find any place where activist Mehta has commented on Jex Blackmore’s public accusations and claims (at least according to Google). Given how Mehta is so plugged in to the activist scene, and given his consistent promotion of TST over the years, he surely knows about it. So why the silence?
When she writes, “I endured countless threats, harassment, and violations,” doesn’t Mehta believe her?