🌊 New Leak Just Dropped

New Epstein just dropped, unsolved murders hit new high, and SatanCon

Today marks 24 years since SpongeBob SquarePants debuted on Nickelodeon. Unsurprisingly, the show's creator, Stephen Hillenburg, studied marine biology in college and worked at a marine institute after college. What is surprising, however, is that one of his takeaways was “squirrel in a dome.”

In today's edition:

  • New Epstein just dropped

  • Unsolved murders hit new high

  • SatanCon

 🔑 Key Stories

More Epstein Associates?

Thousands of documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal show that the current CIA director, bankers, professors, and politicians regularly met with Jeffrey Epstein after he became a convicted sex offender

  • In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting an underage prostitute. He received 18 months in jail and was placed on the sex offenders list

  • New documents reveal that the current CIA director visited his home; he held numerous meetings with the now top lawyer at Goldman Sachs; and had relationships with professor Noam Chomsky and Israel’s former prime minister – all after he became a sex offender

Visa Application Fraud?

The Biden administration said dozens of tech companies colluded to rig the high-skilled worker visa process

  • The US runs an annual lottery that offers 85,000 H-1B visas to skilled non-American workers

  • In 2020, the US simplified the process and made it cheaper for companies to sponsor applicants. The number of applications has since tripled

  • The US said that a majority of applicants this year were sponsored by multiple companies, which is unusual. The government said it appears that dozens of companies had cooperated to rig the process, secure workers’ spots, then contract out their labor

Dig Deeper

  • Of this year’s record 780,884 applications, 408,891 were registered with multiple companies. The government alleged that some of those companies – which it didn’t name – were set up specifically for the purpose of submitting applications

Feinstein Resignation Calls

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., CA) is facing calls to resign amid a months-long absence from the Senate

  • Feinstein, 89, is the oldest US senator. She has held her seat since 1992. She is a member of the Senate body that approves federal judge nominations. Democrats hold an 11-10 majority on that committee

  • In February, Feinstein announced she would not run for reelection in 2024; weeks later, she was hospitalized with shingles. She hasn’t returned to her duties yet, and Democrats can’t confirm judges while she’s gone

  • Amid that, some Democrats are calling for her to resign; others say the same standard isn’t applied to men

Dig Deeper

RIP: Bushra Sulieman

An American doctor was killed in Sudan after he stayed to help his patients

  • Civil war broke out between rival military groups in Sudan, a North African country, 2 weeks ago

  • Bushra Sulieman was born in Iowa to Sudanese parents. He moved to Sudan in 2014 when his father there became sick, then became a prominent doctor in the capital

  • The war forced most hospitals to close but Sulieman continued to work. The US offered to evacuate him, but he chose to stay. On Tuesday, he was stabbed and killed in an apparent robbery

Dig Deeper

  • Sulieman is the second American killed in the fighting. The other victim’s details are unclear

  • An estimated 16,000 Americans remain in Sudan. Bus convoys – guided by military drones for security – have been escorting Americans 500 miles from the capital to a port. The first convoy reached the port on Saturday, setting up the first of numerous evacuations

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Like, zoinks, Scoob! Unsolved murders in the US climbed to a record high. The percentage of murders that go unsolved rose above 50% in 2020

  • CiaoGPT: ChatGPT has been restored in Italy after its parent OpenAI “addressed or clarified” the privacy issues that led to its ban

  • Nike’s next chapter: Kevin Durant became the third NBA star to get a lifetime contract with Nike, joining Michael Jordan and LeBron James

Wildcard

  • Middle school hero: A 7th-grader in Michigan steered a school bus to safety after the driver lost consciousness and fainted on the bus

  • “O, sinker of boats”: Norway unveiled a life-size bronze statue of “Freya the walrus,” whom authorities euthanized last year out of public safety concerns

  • Bring your son to work day? A Dallas Cowboys scout drafted his own son, Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn, in the 6th round of the NFL Draft

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll

Are you feeling good about the month of May?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today's Question:

What is your biggest driving pet peeve?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

In 1966, a 36-year-old San Francisco man named Anton LaVey declared “year one” of the “Age of Satan.” Today, he’s known as the “father of Satanism.”

Satanism encompasses Satan-related beliefs, which have existed for centuries. Satanism can be either “theistic,” which worships Satan as a religious figure, or “atheistic,” which embraces the concept of “Satan” as an anti-religious figure, rather than as a being itself.

LaVey claimed to have left school in 1946, at age 16, to join a circus. He then settled in San Francisco, where he became known for his eccentric behavior. He had a pet leopard, drove a coroner’s van, and conducted “paranormal research.”

LaVey developed a following, which would meet for Friday night lectures on the supernatural. In 1966, he declared the founding of the Church of Satan (CoS). 3 years later, he published a “Satanic Bible,” which became CoS’ core document.

The CoS did not literally worship or even believe in Satan, but called for embracing a lifestyle that rejected what other religions imposed: Abstinence, compassion, and guilt, for example. It called for people to live for pleasure today, and endorsed self-indulgence and anarchy.

The CoS grew in the following years.

Then a 1980 book – ”Michelle Remembers” – chronicled a series of therapy sessions in which the author claimed to have recovered memories of Satanists locking her in cages, rubbing her with blood, and forcing her to watch human sacrifices.

“Michelle Remembers” triggered other similar allegations, and parents were soon asking their kids if they had experienced satanic abuse. Related fears led parents, police, and prosecutors to accuse thousands of alleged Satanists in what became known as the Satanic Panic.

In 1994, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect surveyed 11,000 American psychiatric and police workers. It found 12,264 accusations of satanic sex abuse that had been investigated – but not one that had been substantiated. The panic then receded.

Divisions split the CoS after LaVey died in 1997 – but a new Satanist group emerged.

In 2001, President George W. Bush created a White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. That inspired a man named Malcolm Jarry to create a counter: “If a Satanic organization applied for funds it would sink the whole program,” he later said in an interview.

That idea was the genesis of a new satanist group – The Satanic Temple (TST) – which formed in 2012. Its leaders described themselves as “atheistic Satanists,” who didn’t believe in Satan as a figure, but celebrated outsider status and opposed Christianity.

TST now claims 700,000 registered members, and the IRS has recognized it as a real church. It claims to be the “primary religious Satanic organization in the world.”

TST has often tried to have Satanic monuments installed where Christian ones are. It’s dedicated itself to social causes: “We have publicly confronted hate groups [and] fought for the abolition of corporal punishment in public schools,” their website says.

Last weekend, TST held its annual conference – Satancon – in Boston.

Among the 17 scheduled events were “Deconstructing Your Religious Upbringing”; “Reclaiming the Trans Body”; “Sins of the Flesh: Satanism and Self-Pleasure”; and “BIPOC Body Modification in Satanic Culture.”

TST dedicated the event to Boston’s mayor, who recently blocked the group from holding a Satanic ritual at city hall.

If you have thoughts, let us know at [email protected]!

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Would you pay more for something if it were manufactured in your home country?

Yes: 83%

No: 17%

Yesterday's Question:

Just 20 Qs!

🧠 Final Thoughts

We hope you all had better weekend weather than we did here in New York, where it didn't stop raining for 72 hours. Some say "April showers bring May flowers"; we say, "April showers make us want to move to Florida."

Have a great Monday!

–Max and Max