The letter below will sent out as a general distribution TST newsletter, but I am posting it here as well for maximum reach. Immediately preceding the lock-down measures being taken to slow the rate of coronavirus infection, I had been doing a great deal of traveling, working on various projects, and attending depositions for our ongoing legal efforts. Had the pandemic not have happened, tomorrow I would have been flying back to San Diego to meet with my Satanic Planet bandmates for rehearsals, and on the 21st & 22nd we would have played our first shows in Arizona, after which we would have continued on with a small West Coast tour. Having to forfeit the income of the tour hurts, as does the loss I will take from canceled speaking events. Public gatherings are how I earn my income. However, there is little question that our situation with the coronavirus will not magically improve in the immediate future, and we really must take the social distancing measures recommended by the CDC to help slow the rate of infection. I know that this state-of-affairs will take a financial toll on a lot of us. With that in mind, starting with this post and going forward till the pandemic is over, I will make all of my Patreon entries open to the public. If you can't pay to subscribe, don't worry about it. If you can pay to subscribe, I will appreciate your ongoing support as most other revenue streams are unavailable to me now. We have a while to stay indoors and wait out the worst of this and it is my hope that I can help provide you content to make your lock-down a bit more enjoyable.
Dear TST members and supporters,
The COVID-19 pandemic is certain to impact all of us individually as well as necessitating short-term operational adjustments within The Satanic Temple. There is a difference between “Don’t Panic” and “Carry On As Usual,” and unfortunately, for many, that distinction seems to have been unclear to a large number of people in the early days of this outbreak when we could have better mitigated the infection to help reduce the overburden soon to be placed on our hospitals and healthcare services. While it is important to not panic, we must also recognize that this pandemic is real, and we must adjust our behavior accordingly with respect to the health and safety of the world-at-large.
WHAT WE ARE DOING NOW
Effective immediately, there will be no in-person social gatherings of The Satanic Temple, either at our headquarters in Salem, or at our local chapters. We each have a duty to do our best to not be infected and, if infected, a duty to do our best to not infect others. As Satanists striving to do our best to “act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason” none of us, regardless of how young and healthy, can be comforted by COVID-19’s statistical tendency to be a fatality risk “only to the old and immuno-compromised.” Many of us may feel secure in our personal odds, but our own infections, followed by a failure to isolate, pose a fatality risk to others. We must work to practice social distancing now and keep ourselves as healthy as we can for as long as we can while healthcare desperately attempts to keep up.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM TST IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE
Soon -- and very soon, I suspect -- the choice to isolate will be made for us. Until there is a vaccine, mandated lockdowns are going to be necessary to manage the infection’s exponential spread. For many of us, this social isolation will not be easy. For that reason, we (The Satanic Temple) have begun working on ideas for keeping our community better networked online for the duration of this pandemic. Ideas are in the nascent phases, but we are considering a central online schedule of open video chats that can include basic topic themes, trivia, emotional support, general chats, and “bar nights” (video chatting with the intention of drinking). The open discussions can be whatever we want them to be, but they should all be respectful and supportive. Let us put politics and outrage aside for the time being and try to relate to one another each as individuals all going through a difficult global crisis. It is our insistence that this ethic prevails in the forthcoming all-members’ TST video chats, but it is our hope that we will carry this ethic into our daily social media usage, even as conspiracy theories, ignorance, and outright malice, propagate at a rate matching the alarming growth of coronavirus infection.
Please keep updated on our social media and on our website as we begin to cohere our ideas for better online membership video networking. In the meantime, we will be staying in and working on loads of new content for TST TV to keep you informed and entertained as the drudgery of lockdown drags on.
For those upset and saddened at this unexpected turn of events, I promise you, at the end of this there is a massive Satanic celebration to be had, and we will come through this stronger, and more deeply committed, as a community and global Satanic family.