On January 24, I received a terse email from someone who claims to be the administrator of the General Post Office of the Government of The United States of America. It read, in full:
You just committed attempted murder my friend and you did not follow international protocol. Your name and evidence will be placed into the Great Jury as evidence against you is filed. You will receive full due process.
A follow-up email asking to clarify the statement (Who am I speaking with? How did I commit attempted murder? What do you mean, "due process?”) remains unanswered.
Worried that I had sparked an international incident, I googled “General Post Office of the Government of The United States of America.” This is what came up:
Either the official website of the U.S. government consists of a WordPress template composed of dummy text, or this person isn’t who they claim to be.
The email was probably sent by John Fulks, a representative of Temple of the Reign of Heavens (TROH). This sovereign citizen group has recently made a death threat against Satanic Temple leader Lucien Greaves and put a bounty on the head of GoDaddy CEO Amanpal Bhutani.
I guess they weren’t pleased with my reporting on the threats.
This is all part of a larger campaign to combat the “satanic conspiracy to indoctrinate the civilian inhabitant populace.” Just yesterday, the group “indicted” thirty celebrities, including Trent Reznor, Justin Bieber, and Céline Dion [PDF]. The charges include psychological warfare, social engineering, totalitarianism, and “Violating the 1st Law of Noah- Do not worship idols.”
I do feel honored to be included in such an august group of individuals, although this conspiracy theory isn’t particularly new.
While Satan has always been a preoccupation of western art and culture, it wasn’t until the 20th century that popular artists began to identify with the personification of evil itself. Robert Johnson may be the first to claim he sold his soul to the devil for fame and fortune, but it didn’t quite work out as planned — Johnson died in obscurity in 1938, 27 years old, possibly from congenital syphilis.
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During the occult revival of the 1960s and 1970s, celebrities began to dabble in, and become identified with, Satanism and the occult. In short order, the Beatles stuck Aleister Crowley on an album cover, Mick Jagger declared his “Sympathy for the Devil,” and Jimmy Page became known in London and New York for driving up the prices for occult ephemera.
In the 1970s, as the weird, Late Great Planet Earth-reading, apocalyptic strain of Christianity took hold in the United States, Satan-worshipping rock stars became one of evangelists’ most useful recruiting tools.
It looks like Temple of the Reign of Heavens has finally jumped on this bandwagon, fifty years after the fact.
This morning, TROH published a document that sort of explains (but not really) how I committed attempted murder.
It begins by discussing the terms left-wing and right-wing. As you’re no doubt aware, the phrase originated in 18th century France, when conservatives sat to the President’s right in the National Assembly and liberals sat to his left.
TROH — obsessed with laws, language, and redefining words, as all sovereign citizens are — disputes this basic fact:
In reality ... the left and the right are guided and manipulated by the same source. With that being said, to be a member of either wing by nature makes you a member of the entity the wings are attached to and those wings are not attached to an eagle.
Do you know what entity is controlling both wings? Spiritually speaking the Left and the Right wings are both wings of Lucifer. Both are a deception of reality and warring with the other guided by the puppet master.
See where they’re going with this? By using the term “right-wing” to describe this group of radical right-wingers, I have equated the sovereign citizens with “the Reprobate [that] the Satanic Temple worships.” Somehow, this qualifies as “attempted murder on each and everyone [sic] of the members” of the group.
“The evidence against Mr. Flatley is undeniable,” the notice says, “and we look forward to his trial after the indictment comes out.”
I do too, guys.
You have my email address.