Non-profit

The Satanic Temple

Website:

thesatanictemple.com/

Location:

Salem, MA

Tax ID:

82-3404757

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Founder:

Douglas Messner

Alias: “Lucien Graves” [41]

Founded:

2013

Type:

Pro-abortion and Anti-Religious Activist Organization

The Satanic Temple (TST), not to be confused with the Church of Satan, [1] is a semi-religious [2] pro-abortion [3] organization that operates around the United States [4] and stages anti-Christian and pro-abortion protests. [5] [6] Despite its name, TST does “not worship Satan or believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural” [7] though it was granted tax-exempt status as a church by the Internal Revenue Service in 2019. [8] [9]

TST is suing Texas to eliminate the state’s new laws limiting abortion on religious grounds, claiming the law prevents STS adherents from performing their “abortion ritual” [10] and impedes ceremonies affirming “bodily autonomy that integrates the abortive process.” [11]

The organization was founded by atheist activist Lucien Greaves [12] and is based in Salem, Massachusetts. [13]

History and Leadership

The Satanic Temple (TST) was founded in 2013 by Malcom Jarry and Lucien Greaves, whose real name is Douglas Mesner. [14] In 2013, Greaves said TST was envisioned to be a “poison pill” for the Church/State debate” [15] and laid out a vision in which TST would have lobbyists on the ground in Washington, D.C. [16]

TST did not pursue tax-exempt status until 2017, when President Trump signed an executive order to expand religious freedom. [17] TST purports to have about 500,000 worldwide members [18] and was granted tax exempt status as a church by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2019. [19] [20] [21]

TST founder Lucien Greaves has said slavery in the United States was “traditionally, and rather credibly,” justified on scriptural grounds and said the Christian identity movement forms the ideological backdrop of “virtually all white supremacist and extreme anti-government movements” in the United States, repeating claims made by the left-of-center Anti-Defamation League. [22]

TST is headquartered at the Salem Art Gallery in Salem, Massachusetts. [23]

Activities

In 2021, The Satanic Temple (TST) announced it would sue to block a Texas law limiting abortion access on religious grounds, claiming the legislation prevents TST adherents from performing their “Satanic Abortion Ritual” [24] [25] [26] and impedes the “ceremonial of affirmation and bodily autonomy that integrates the abortive process.” [27]

TST argues it should have access to abortions in accordance with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allows Native Americans to have access to otherwise illegal drugs for their religious rituals [28] and has filed a letter with the Food and Drug Administration arguing its members should have “unfettered access” [29] to abortion pills due to their faith-based rights. [30]

TST has also held a pro-abortion rally at the Utah State Capitol to protest pro-life legislation, [31] filed an unsuccessful motion to dismiss Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett from ruling on a TST-related abortion case at the Supreme Court of the United States, [32] and reportedly petitioned SCOTUS to overturn Missouri abortion laws in 2020. [33]

Beliefs

The Satanic Temple claims it does “not worship Satan or believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural.” [34] TST also operates “After School Satan Clubs” at certain public elementary schools [35] as a “counterpoint” [36] to Good News Clubs, which are Christian clubs operated by the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). [37] [38]

Funding

In 2019, the Satanic Temple received a $12,597 grant from the Network for Good, [39] a nonprofit software organization that facilitates online donations to small and growing nonprofit organizations. [40]

References

  1. Homepage. Church of Satan Official Website. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.churchofsatan.com/ ^
  2. “The Satanic Temple.” Twitter. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://twitter.com/satanic_temple_. ^
  3. “The Satanic Temple v. Texas.” The Satanic Temple. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/texas-lawsuit. ^
  4. MacNeill, Arianna. “Why the Satanic Temple in Salem is working to increase abortion access in Texas.” Boston.com. September 8, 2021. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2021/09/08/satanic-temple-texas-abortion-law/. ^
  5. “The Satanic Temple.” Twitter. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://twitter.com/satanic_temple_. ^
  6. “About Us.” The Satanic Temple. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/about-us. ^
  7. “Frequently Asked Questions.” The Satanic Temple. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/faq. ^
  8. “The Satanic Temple.” GuideStar. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/82-3404757. ^
  9. Instagram Post. The Satanic Church. Accessed Via Web Archive September 30, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20190428000330/https://www.instagram.com/p/BwpikC5hJrY/ ^
  10. “The Satanic Temple v. Texas.” The Satanic Temple. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/texas-lawsuit. ^
  11. “The Satanic Temple v. Texas.” The Satanic Temple. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/texas-lawsuit. ^
  12. “In the Media.” The Satanic Temple. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/in-the-media. ^
  13.  “The Satanic Temple.” Salem Massachusetts Visitors Page. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.salem.org/listing/the-satanic-temple/. ^
  14. “In the Media.” The Satanic Temple. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/in-the-media. ^
  15. [1] Bugbee, Shane. “Unmasking Lucien Greaves, Leader of the Satanic Temple.” Vice. July 30, 2013. Accessed September 29, 2021. https://www.vice.com/en/article/4w7adn/unmasking-lucien-greaves-aka-doug-mesner-leader-of-the-satanic-temple ^
  16.  Bugbee, Shane. “Unmasking Lucien Greaves, Leader of the Satanic Temple.” Vice. July 30, 2013. Accessed September 29, 2021. https://www.vice.com/en/article/4w7adn/unmasking-lucien-greaves-aka-doug-mesner-leader-of-the-satanic-temple ^
  17. Dickson, EJ. “The IRS Officially Recognizes the Satanic Temple as a Church.” Rolling Stone. April 24, 2019. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/irs-satanic-temple-church-tax-exempt-826931/. ^
  18. MacNeill, Arianna. “Why the Satanic Temple in Salem is working to increase abortion access in Texas.” Boston.com. September 8, 2021. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2021/09/08/satanic-temple-texas-abortion-law/. ^
  19. Instagram Post. The Satanic Church. Accessed Via Web Archive September 30, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20190428000330/https://www.instagram.com/p/BwpikC5hJrY/. ^
  20. Dickson, EJ. “The IRS Officially Recognizes the Satanic Temple as a Church.” Rolling Stone. April 24, 2019. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.chicagotribune.com/ct-satan-club-20160731-story.html ^
  21. “The Satanic Temple.” GuideStar. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/82-3404757. ^
  22.  Greaves, Lucien. “I’m a founder of the Satanic Temple. Don’t blame Satan for white supremacy.” Washington Post. August 23, 2017. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/08/23/im-a-founder-of-the-satanic-temple-dont-blame-satan-for-white-supremacy/. ^
  23.  “The Satanic Temple.” Salem Massachusetts Visitors Page. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.salem.org/listing/the-satanic-temple/. ^
  24. Tweet. The Satanic Temple. Posted September 3, 2021. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://twitter.com/satanic_temple_/status/1433823739171549184. ^
  25. “The Satanic Temple v. Texas.” The Satanic Temple. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/texas-lawsuit. ^
  26. “The Satanic Temple.” Twitter. Posted August 5, 2020. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://twitter.com/satanic_temple_/status/1291078333707489281. ^
  27. “The Satanic Temple v. Texas.” The Satanic Temple. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/texas-lawsuit. ^
  28. Williams, Jordan. “Satanic Temple to challenge Texas abortion law citing religious freedoms.” The Hill. September 6, 2021. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/570971-satanic-temple-to-challenge-texas-abortion-law-citing-religious. ^
  29. “Major Announcement.” The Satanic Temple. Press Release. September 1, 2021. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/rrr-fundraiser#donate. ^
  30. Goodkind, Nicole. “Why Satanists may be the last hope to take down Texas’s abortion bill.” Fortune. September 3, 2021. Accessed September 29, 2021. https://fortune.com/2021/09/03/why-satanists-may-be-the-last-hope-to-take-down-texass-abortion-bill/. ^
  31. Cabrera, Alixel. “Satanic Temple protestors cite Religious Freedom Act to demand reproductive rights in Utah.” The Salt Lake Tribune. September 25, 2021. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.sltrib.com/news/2021/09/25/satanic-temple-protesters/. ^
  32. The Satanic Temple. Press Release. October 29, 2020. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-satanic-temple-files-motion-to-disqualify-amy-coney-barrett-from-ruling-on-tsts-abortion-case-at-the-supreme-court-301162452.html. ^
  33. O’Neill, Jesse. “The Satanic Temple joins backlash against Texas abortion law.” The New York Post. September 5, 2021. Accessed September 3, 2021. https://nypost.com/2021/09/05/satanic-temple-joins-backlash-against-texas-abortion-law/. ^
  34. “Frequently Asked Questions.” The Satanic Temple. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/faq. ^
  35. Anderson, Rick. “Yes, an after-school Satan Club could be coming to your kid’s grade school.” Los Angeles Times. October 9, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-satanic-after-school-20160928-snap-story.html. ^
  36. Stewart, Katherine. “An After School Satan Club could be coming to your kid’s elementary school.” Washington Post. July 30, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/an-after-school-satan-club-could-be-coming-to-your-kids-elementary-school/2016/07/30/63f485e6-5427-11e6-88eb-7dda4e2f2aec_story.html. ^
  37. Stewart, Katherine. “An After School Satan Club could be coming to your kid’s elementary school.” Chicago Tribune. July 31, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.chicagotribune.com/ct-satan-club-20160731-story.html. ^
  38. “Educatin’ with Satan.” The Satanic Temple. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/after-school-satan. ^
  39. “Network for Good, Inc.” Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. (Form 990). 2019. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/680480736/202011829349300511/IRS990ScheduleI. ^
  40. “Empowering Small Nonprofits to Advance their Missions.” Network for Good. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.networkforgood.com/why-network-for-good/. ^
  41. Bugbee, Shane. “Unmasking Lucien Greaves, Leader of the Satanic Temple.” Vice. July 30, 2013. Accessed September 29, 2021. https://www.vice.com/en/article/4w7adn/unmasking-lucien-greaves-aka-doug-mesner-leader-of-the-satanic-temple ^

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 2019

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    The Satanic Temple

    64 Bridge Street
    Salem, MA 01970-4131