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Satanic lawyer threatens to have Wu arrested in ongoing City-Council invocation battle; alleges corrupt conspiracy between city and judge

A lawyer for the Satanic Temple of Salem says he's going to seek a bench warrant for Michelle Wu's arrest if she doesn't show up in Salem on Sept. 12 for a deposition in the group's lawsuit over how the City Council opens its meetings with an invocation by a religious leader, and never mind that a federal judge has already told the group it can't make Wu sit for hours answering questions about the invocations.

Satanic lawyer Matt Kezhaya made his threat and allegations in e-mail to a city attorney yesterday after she told him that, no, Wu is not going to Salem next week, and reminding him that US District Court Angel Kelley ruled in April against the group's legal effort to make Wu sit for a deposition.

Kezhaya first questioned why city funds were being used to protect Wu when she was being sued "in her personal capacity, not as 'Mayor'," then added:

Speaking as a reasonable third-party observer, it feels an awful lot like public funds are being abused to insure to Wu's private benefit. Something smells fishy. Please tell me, lawyer-to-lawyer, if there is any form of official corruption going on between the City of Boston and USDJ Kelley, D. Mass.

Please also be honest, because when my curiosity is piqued I tend to start demanding evidence.

When Nicole O'Connor, Boston's senior assistant corporation counsel, didn't respond after 45 minutes, he wrote her again that her time was up and now he's really going to get investigating.

O'Connor included copies of Kezhaya's e-mails as exhibits attached to a motion today to quash, again, the group's effort to make Wu sit for questioning and to sanction the Satanic Temple for his conduct by either by dismissing the case altogether or, at a minimum, forcing the group to reimburse the city for the time she and other lawyers had to spend dealing with the messages:

The City can only infer that these bizarre and unfounded accusations, coupled with the Satanic Temple’s insistence on moving forward with Mayor Wu’s deposition despite a protective order that explicitly prohibits them from doing so, are designed to harass, annoy, and cause undue burden to the City and Mayor Wu.

To that end, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(d)(3), the City respectfully moves this Court to quash the deposition of Mayor Wu that is scheduled for September 12, 2022. Additionally, because it has become clear that the Satanic Temple is using this litigation as a mechanism to harass, annoy, and cause undue burden to the City and its employees—rather than to seek the discovery it actually needs regarding its only remaining claim in this case—the City requests that this action be dismissed as a sanction for the Satanic Temple’s refusal to abide by a court order. Alternatively, the City seeks attorney’s fees and costs for having to file the instant motion.

In her order to permanently quash any Wu deposition, Kelley slapped Kezhaya for "impermissible antics and abusive tactics" and asked the city to figure out the value of its attorneys' time in dealing with the request so that she could order the group to pay reimbursement.

The group, frustrated in its attempt to give an invocation before the council because no councilors want to issue it an invitation, sued on First Amendment grounds in January, 2021, to either block invocations by religious leaders or make them let any group, including theirs, give an invocation. Councilors currently take turns inviting religious leaders to start their weekly meetings.

In October, the group tried making Wu travel to Witch City on Election Day last November for a deposition, in part to mess with her, but Kelley ordered them not to, at first temporarily, then permanently.

Last July, US District Court Judge Allison Burroughs dismissed parts of the Satanic Temple's suit, but ruled that the group had made a "plausible" enough case that the way the council picks who gives invocations violates the Establishment clause of the First Amendment, to continue to a trial. The clause prohibits government favoritism towards particular religions.

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Comments

Go to Hell.

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that she will be exposed as the great granddaughter of Beelzebub in a deposition.

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with the Descendants of Salem Witches vote.

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Could a lawyerly type explain this? In normal, un-whacky cases, why would a person being deposed for a City of Boston-related issue be expected to travel to another town for the interview? Is it standard for depositions to take place in the location of the complainant rather than the municipality where the issue lies?

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They usually take place at the office of the lawyer taking the deposition, unless that office is more than 100 miles from where the complaint was filed.

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Either indulge everyone’s delusions or don’t indulge any. Religion is holding us back as a society, the sooner people drop the charade the better, there’s no place for God(s) in government.

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Religion is holding us back as a society

Citation needed.

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The resurgence of polio and the assault on bodily autonomy is a good place to start, but if you want to get into the pedophilic history of most major religions I have all weekend.

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Open mind needed.

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Citations needed? How many wars in history were because of religion? How many dies because of religion? How many children were abused because of religion? How many billions have been squandered because of religion?!

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And how many wars over nationalism without any regard to religion?

Religion itself isn’t the problem. People being closed minded and hateful of others is the problem.

The rhetoric of ultra religious and ultra anti-religious is nearly indistinguishable. It’s the language of people who believe they are morally superior to others.

So long as you don’t force your dogma onto other, believe whatever you want.

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So long as you don’t force your dogma onto other, believe whatever you want.

which popular religion has actually done this? evangelism is a core tenet of so many of them, for obvious reasons. we can accept that individuals are ultimately responsible for their actions while also denouncing the movements that enable bad behavior.

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I support this group's basic case. I just wish they weren't being such jerks in the way they are pursuing it.

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Go to Hell!

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These days there's no reason to make anyone travel for a deposition unless they have a reason for wanting to be there in person. I was recently in a deposition where holding it in person would have made at least one person drive an hour, so it was done on Zoom.

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Kezhaya has already acknowledged he is out to make Wu see the error of her ways, or something, and never mind that she's the only one he's ever targeted like this, even though she was just one of thirteen city councilors.

And the judge in the case has already taken notice of that and told him to knock it off:

Independent of a potential deponent's profession or media exposure, it is in exceptionally bad faith to intentionally notice a deposition for a date and time when a party knows the deponent will be unavailable or greatly inconvenienced. In his explanatory letter to the Court, Plaintiff's counsel states that he, as an attorney, has "a sworn duty to do anything short of breaking the law to see to it that my client's goals are recognized." Yet this is not the case. Rules such as the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct (and other states' equivalents), various ethics rules and guidelines, and the Rules of Civil Procedure govern attorney and litigant conduct in all sorts of ways that reach beyond conduct that is simply illegal - and they do so precisely to prevent the type of abuse of process Plaintiff's counsel has employed here.

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These days there's no reason to insist someone be at a particular inconvenient location except for harassment.

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The story goes that “A lawyer for the Satanic Temple of Salem says he's going to seek a bench warrant…”

Shouldn't the Satanic Temple folks just turn Michelle Wu into a toad?

These modern day satanists just can't hold a candle to their forebears. They're just no fun anymore.

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Quick Google search find this guy all over the USA. Seems his base is in Arkansas.

Also one might assume from all of the recent cases that the primary belief by this "church" is that of litigation of anyone they deem to be an opponent, and specifically a rather strong leaning towards separation of church and state. It would also appear that they will engage legally even if they are not the principals offended. In fact the number of Google entries might make one think that they were less religious and more professional litigants.

Maybe they also have a claim to inventing E-mail? Who knows, just speculation there. Maybe they are also sovereign citizens of an African nation under some strange and ancient agreement of immunity, even though clearly born and raised here with a sociel security number.

So many interesting people out there of late.

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