During a Zoom meeting attended by approximately 46 far-right activists Monday night, a bounty was issued for Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves. The group stipulated that Greaves is wanted dead or alive, “or burnt, or whatever.” After some deliberation, the group decided on a figure of $100,000. For aiding and abetting The Satanic Temple, GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani also received a bounty of “$50,000 or $100,000,” according to someone present at the meeting.
This comes a month after the so-called sovereign citizens discussed firebombing the Satanic Temple headquarters in Salem, Massachusetts.
Greaves says that he reported the earlier threat to the FBI in December, but has yet to receive a reply.
The organization that issued the threats calls itself the American National Assembly of the Government of the United States of America. Here's a YouTube video the sovereign citizen group made to explain its beliefs (not that it explains much of anything):
The National Assembly falls into the larger category of "sovereign citizens," a radical movement that denies the legitimacy of the U.S. government. The National Assembly believes that it has reconstituted the United States on Biblical principles, through its own idiosyncratic (read: incorrect) interpretation of the law and the Bible.
The "government" the National Assembly claims to represent is little more than a network of WordPress websites. These sites were active until earlier this month, when web host GoDaddy removed them, responding to an abuse complaint from The Satanic Temple.
Some of these websites included:
At the center of all this is an organization called Temple of the Reign of the Heavens.
The founder of the Temple is Keith Edward Livingway, 55, of Orlando, Florida. He is the self-declared Chief of the Fraternal Order of the Reign of Heavens Society.
The group originated in 2012. “It was right after the calendar had ended,” Livingway says in an episode of his podcast, “and it was when the Illuminati thought the world was going to end, and [Reign of the Heavens] was rediscovered, and it was literally a country that was established by Yahshua.” (Yahshua is a made-up name for Jesus that is popular among some Christians.)
Livingway goes on to explain that Heaven, contrary to what most religions preach, is a nation on Earth — a fact allegedly hidden by the Catholic Church in the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.
A list on the defunct Reign of the Heavens website includes the names of 158 members. One of these, John Harold Fulks, is listed as the Governor for the Government of The United States of America. He briefly became internet-semi-famous in 2018, when the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch reported that Fulks issued an arrest warrant for a rival sovereign citizen guru named Anna Maria Riezinger.
Riezinger was charged with making false claims against Livingway’s false government and “violations of numerous Articles within the [United Nation’s] Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Here’s the arrest warrant, as provided by extremism expert J.J. MacNab. It stipulates the use of “deadly force” to send three of his enemies “back to Vatican City.”
The National Assembly first declared The Satanic Temple enemies of the state on December 4, 2021. On that date, “all Satanic Temple members and representatives thereof” were given 90 days to flee the country.
“WHEREAS, the National assembly [sic?] for the Government of The United States of America has classified all Satanic Temple members and representatives as enemies of the country by way of advocating for the New World Order Agenda subject to deportation in accordance with the Forced Deportation Act of 2021,” the deportation order began.
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It was unclear what the National Assembly would do when the 90 days were up.
Greaves attempted to respond to the charges, but his calls were ignored and his offer to discuss the matter via Zoom was rebuffed. He eventually sent the following “official” Satanic Temple communication:
When that didn’t work, Greaves and some of his fellow Satanists decided to go to one of the Assembly’s weekly public Zoom meetings.
“I decided I would call the meeting to order,” Greaves says, “and they got all pissed off about that. And then I was like, ‘Well, I suppose you're wondering why I gathered you all here today,’ and they were infuriated.”
Finally, one of the sovereigns figured out how to boot Greaves off the call. After he was gone, the meeting proceeded. According to Satanic Temple members who remained on the call, the following threats were made:
- “They need to face a firing squad, their 90 days are almost up [in reference to their deportation deadline], we need to get a national order to seize their property, then that calls for [Molotov] cocktails.”
- “We will national[ize] properties, lien them, and then demolish them”
- “We will make things a living Hell until they leave (the country). Anyone who aids them, we burn their shit down.”
- “We cut their power and gas, we give no warning, we all have to participate in demolition. But this is a SPIRITUAL fight.”
The FBI told a representative of The Satanic Temple that they are looking into the matter.
The next day, the National Assembly issued a notice on one of their websites labeling Greaves “a domestic and International terrorist!” for crashing the Zoom meeting:
That Douglas Mesner A.k.a. Douglas Misicko and doing business as “Lucien Greaves” is hereby classified as a domestic and International terrorist along with his group known as The Satanic Temple, a terrorist organization that is advocating for the sacrifice of babies in their so-called “religious ceremonies”. Furthermore Douglas Mesner is WANTED DEAD or ALIVE on grounds of an act of international terrorism with multiple witnesses; against The United States of America, a Sovereign country under the Law of Nations. Members of the LGBTQ community were cooperating and were a part of the terrorist attack.
In order to hide said terrorist act, one member of the group decided that she would record the assembly and then claimed that the assembly members made some threats against the terrorist organization members after the fact.
On Monday 276th day in the year of Yahweh 6023 at 7:20 UCT-6 or around Douglas Mesner attempted a coup d’état by striving to hijack the National assembly for the Government of The United States of America in the capacity as General Post Masters of the original General Post Office of 1775. All members were throwing threats with the intent to place fear into the American Nationals so they would back away from their official duties and hand the Government over to the terrorist organization.
At the National Assembly meeting of December 29, the sovereigns discussed killing Greaves, “salting [the body] down, and setting it on fire.”
At this point, GoDaddy took down the National Assembly’s various websites, prompting the sovereigns to declare the web hosting company allies of Satan and enemies of the state.
The “sovereign citizen traffic stop” is a genre of YouTube video that shows so-called sovereigns trying to use their flawed legal knowledge to weasel out of moving violations. These confrontations tend to follow a similar script:
COP: Do you know why I pulled you over?
SOVEREIGN: I’m not driving a car. This is my conveyance and you have no right under maritime law to hinder my right to travel through this jurisdiction.
From here a long, annoying debate ensues that almost makes you feel bad for the cop.
These videos usually end with the arrest of the driver, although sometimes the confused cop will let them off with a warning.
On one level, this is all pretty hilarious; except that sometimes sovereign citizens do kill. A 2018 Southern Poverty Law Center publication lists 42 law enforcement officers killed by sovereign citizens since 2005.
In addition to sometimes turning violent, sovereign citizens are adept at “paper terrorism,” filing bogus lawsuits and liens on the properties of their opponents. This form of harassment can take many years (and large sums of money) to put behind you.
These are threats that The Satanic Temple faces now that it’s on the sovereign citizen’s radar.
“They say they’re going to make our lives a living hell. I wouldn’t be surprised if they put a lien on the TST headquarters," Greaves says. He's considering legal action. "Let’s see these motherfuckers come to court and try to explain themselves.”