Part 1 of 2: Mary Doe Deserves Compassion, Not Ridicule
Demonization of Reproductive Rights Activists in Missouri
It saddens us today to read Mr. Greaves’ portrayal of Mary Doe’s Saga as a savage one. Immediately following the end of this case, he chose to portray both Mary and those in Missouri that thought we were on Mary’s side as hysterical. She’s a real person that needed the Satanic Temple to be in her corner, not just use her as a pawn in a lawsuit they wanted with or without her. Now they no longer need her as a place holder for their lawsuit, they write about her like she was part of the problem.
No single mother has an easy life. The last thing they need is for those representing them to be judgmental and condemning. Mary shouldn’t be in a position to get in a she-said/he-said debate on what really happened with the very organization she turned to for help. She’s used the same email address for years. They should have no trouble verifying she is the one trying to talk to them about how they portray her.
Lucien spends much of the letter saying all she had to do was just not withdraw. He fails to realize this is her story. This should have been her fight. Greaves didn’t just isolate her from himself after her deposition, he asked the lawyer to make her agree to isolate herself from other TST members, and he admits as much in his own account of what happened. This was an emotional time, and he knew this case could take years. She needed a community, not just a lawsuit.
What the Satanic Temple failed to do for Mary can be found more directly here, when Dame Sister Nikki wrote about her time in the Satanic Temple.
“I relayed the situation to co-founders Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry, requesting temporary financial assistance from the temple to help get her safely situated and on her feet in a new city. I would guide and advocate for her with the rest until she had access to the resources and services she needed. That’s how a religious community should respond, right? In a phone call with Jarry, he pledged to provide a nominal amount towards monthly housing assistance for period of 6 months once we worked out the details. Details: Mary could not apply for an apartment without 3 weeks or more worth of paystubs and a decent credit rating. Section 8 exists yet remains closed. I suggested the temple sign a corporate-type 6-month lease, preferably in a location where she would have access to resources, public transit, reliable child-care options, and where she could afford to remain on the property once the 6-month grace period expired for continued stability.
Even though her situation continued to deteriorate, and our chapter members did all they could to assist her personally, our request for housing assistance was never fulfilled by the temple. The reasoning behind this lapse was never relayed to me. Mary sought emergency services, which are often religious based, and she relayed to me her child was forced to engage in religious education in order for them to maintain their shelter status.”
Lilituan Satanism is a religion to us. We are a community. When we joined the Satanic Temple, the first tenet meant something. “One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.” There is no reason to lash out at Mary Doe now this case is over. There is no reason to paint people that tried to help in this case as hysterical once the Temple lost the case. We wish Mary Doe the best as she has had a long emotional journey up to this point. She has given some of her side of the story here. If she wishes to tell more, we hope people will listen to her as much as they might listen to Lucien Greaves.
For details beyond Mary that Lucien Greaves didn’t quite get right, we will follow this up with a second blog post. For right now we just wanted to make it clear that Mary deserves our compassion, and she did not deserve to be portrayed in the way Lucien Greaves portrayed her.