Disciples of the New Dawn . . . Satire, or Sincere?

On January 7th, 2015 two pictures were added to Facebook that went viral in the Steampunk Community, mostly through many ladies and chaps laughing at them, but click upon the original posting of the image and hundreds of comments spew forth disgust and animosity toward the group that posted them, while some, seemingly from provocative groups, egg on the outraged with right wing biblical rhetoric. The Disciples of the New Dawn have declared an online moralistic crusade on . . . well, just about everyone!

New Dawn Ruined Daughter

Posted with this electronic flyer, the Disciples of the New Dawn state:

Another heartbreaking story from an affiliated church in California. We really should pay close attention to the trends our children are buying into. Invariably if they are not Christ-centered there is something insidious and satanic lurking beneath the surface. We understand there is overlap with the furrying (sic) community which use mascot costumes to lure children and openly admit to being attracted to animals. Note that obesity is a common denominator among these strange subcultures as they all focus on disdain for Christian morals and openly embrace hedonism. Do not let your child become a failure like this. Keep them focused on Jesus or you may find them becoming a degenerate like this. (January 7th, 2015)

Of course this flyer has left many Steampunks jokingly pondering how they managed to miss out on the “anonymous sex and bondage” at conventions. No doubt there are a lot of things that happen in the privacy of hotel rooms between consenting adults (remember “Consent is Sexy”), but apparently members of the Disciples of the New Dawn have better connections than most members of the Steampunk Community.

It is fair to say that we are “weirdos” and pretty much every Steampunk is comfortable with that label as it is the mundane and bland that we oppose. It is worth noting that the word weird stems from the Old English wyrd ‘destiny,’ of Germanic origin. The adjective (late Middle English) originally meant ‘having the power to control destiny,’ and is akin to the word weld . . . a perfect word for Steampunks as we so often pride ourselves for being the captains of our own destiny and makers often love to weld!

Father Patrick Oliver Embry

Father Patrick Oliver Embry

The Disciples of the New Dawn claim to have been founded in 1956 by their leader Father Patrick Oliver Embry who joined Facebook on September 17th, 2014. Their mission statement on their Facebook page reads:

In order to escape the wretched communist dictatorship that now runs our country, we have taken our friends and family off the grid. Deep underground we are safe from the coming storm that will soon be upon this once great nation. When the dust settles and the radiation dissipate, we will emerge, there will be A New Dawn and our progeny shall rebuild this nation as a Federal Republic of Christ as God and the founding fathers intended. Amen.

With a few tweaks here and there this sounds rather like a few Airship’s backstories, but the group that joined Facebook on November 6th, 2014 would most strongly disagree . . . and extremely strong disagreement seems to be the primary purpose of the group. The Disciples of the New Dawn skillfully get under the skin of just about everyone, and there is even an online petition to try ban them from Facebook.

Finding out “facts” about the group is not an easy Google search; the most “comprehensive” result thus far comes from TheExaminer.com writer Heather Marseillan, who on November 16th, 2014 lambasted the group in her article “Disciples of the New Dawn, threaten to burn Pagans” for its hateful rhetoric toward pagans. Marseillan observes “To be honest, when you first read some of their memes it is hard to believe that what they are saying is real to them and that this isn’t some sort of joke page. The sad fact of the matter is that they are very real and their followers actually believe what is being said on their site.” Marseillan, however, does not provide the proof that this is actually a real group and many suspect that the whole thing is a clever satire to poke and prompt conversation about religious extremism in the United States of America.

New Dawn Logo

Are they for real?

Second to Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift’s most famous piece of writing is “A Modest Proposal” (1729). For those who did not have to read this essay in school, “A Modest Proposal” is regarded as the epitome of satire, “Swift suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies. This satirical hyperbole mocks heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as Irish policy in general.” (wikipedia) It is very possible that the Disciples of the New Dawn is the project of politically left leaning individuals mimicking extreme right wing moralistic dogma to stir the anger of liberals and moderates, and if so it is working . . . to an extent. Par with course, the comments and replies are full of vitriol against the group and fall on simplistic name calling and threats of violence. Will emotional responses prompt rational reasoning on how to oppose this “hate group”? Continuing with the notion that this is a satire, then it is important that the “man behind the curtain” needs to make a reveal at some point in order to complete the process. Will they slam on the brakes so that all the commenters fly straight through the windscreen of critical thinking? If not, people will just continue to believe that this is real group and that extreme right wing religious fundamentalist do actually hate with this much fervor.

But what if the group is actually real? As mentioned earlier there is actually not very much evidence of worth to confirm either way, but I have sent a Facebook message to Father Patrick Oliver Embry requesting an interview and hopefully I shall be able to follow up with more details in a future article. It is possible that the message will get lost in the “other” box, it is possible that the “satirist” will keep up the act, it is possible that I shall be ignored.

New Dawn SPThe second Disciples of the New Dawn Steampunk flyer that has been doing the rounds is the appropriation of German Steampunk Alexander Schlesier‘s outfit, photographed by Thomas Saur. The “sexual deviants” meme was also published on January 7th, 2015, and is accompanied with this statement:

These so called “steam punks” are sexual deviants who enjoy dressing in machinery, symbolizing their hate for the body God created for them. In addition they perform sexual acts called “steam yiffing” where they dress ambiguously and have sex with whatever is in front of them. Man, woman, or animal. Don’t let your children be recruited by these sickos!

Again, some Steampunks are feeling left out of these deviant parties that the Disciples of the New Dawn seem to know all about, while many more are left with the idea of getting “yiff” on their outfit sounding utterly repulsive. Do the Disciples of the New Dawn have any idea how much work, time, and money goes into looking so dapper?

Having been to many Steampunk conventions over the years, and running one since 2012, I must confess to being mystified with regards to existence of “steam yiffing.” I am aware of the rumored “yiffing” that occurs at Furry conventions, and while it may or may not actually happen, let’s be honest in noting that until the advent of “Bronies,” Furries have been the geek world scapegoat whom several marginalized fandoms have marginalized even further by assuring themselves, “well at least I’m not a furry.” So much of what people think of Furries comes from gossip and that infamous episode of CSI. While there may actually be some Furries who enjoy having sex while in a costume, given the fact that most fur suits require an investment of thousands of dollars, it seems that Furries have even more reason than Steampunks to avoid getting bodily fluids on their outfits.

Until provided with solid proof that the Disciples of the New Dawn is an actual real group, and that the rhetoric of their memes and flyers are genuine sincere pieces of a manifesto, intuition leads one to conclude that this is an elaborate work of satire designed to mock right wing religious extremists. The biggest indicator lies in the over the top nature of their memes which make the Steampunk series pale in comparison. The Disciples of the New Dawn are a bit too “on the nose” when it comes to pushing the buttons of your typical liberal which betrays a level of contrivance behind their messages. Either way, the Disciples of the New Dawn have given the Steampunk Community a whole new concept of “steam yiffing” and already talk and badinage is being thrown around about having “What is Steam Yiffing?” panels at conventions . . . we’ve certainly joked about it at the International Steampunk Symposium.

Please read our follow up article in which we look at The REAL Disciples of the New Dawn.

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11 Responses to “Disciples of the New Dawn . . . Satire, or Sincere?

  • One potential clue is the name of “Father Patrick Oliver Embry”; his initials spell “POE”.

    Poe’s Law states, “Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.”

    And perhaps it’s a coincidence, but the very first Facebook post of a group whose initials are “DND” was about… Dungeons and Dragons.

    (It’s also a little odd that a group which boasts of being “off the grid” has a Facebook page).

    My vote is for “satire”.

    • Fantastic observation sir!

    • My group and I have researched these people. If this is satire it is elaborately conducted. Some of these people have had fb profiles from the beginning of Facebook. I’ve personally seen recounts of a 17 yr old girls interaction with this Father Embry. From 5 yrs ago. When she was 12. They claim social media outreach is their way of recruiting. Also, they seem to target fresh out of war ex-military. If this page, or any of the others, is satirical it has been a running joke for years. And extremely well executed. I have been on the fence about this group for months and only recently began to look into these claims. I really, really, hope to find nothing. And yet, I am pulling up records and profiles that say otherwise. But I do like your observations! Well spotted, sir!

  • I have a friend who grew up in the Shelbyville, KY. area and he claims they do exist. I’m still sceptical though. And it isn’t just Steampunk that DotND bash. They’ve dedicated weeks to bashing Furries and Juggalos. The furry hate didn’t gain much momentum as most furries aren’t worried about hate speech spread by some FB page. Though their posts about the gas attack at MFF did boil my blood a little…

    • that’s the thing about trolls, don’t feed them. If you say something inflammatory online, and it upsets people, of course you’re going to continue milking that lolcow until something funnier comes along.

  • They continue to spread hate though I also lean that this is satire in the poorest taste. It lacks intelligent humor and only serves to hurt. Not cool bro. I hope they aren’t real. Westboro Baptists are enough crazy in the world. We don’t need more nuts like this- small in number though they may be.

  • These people are hateful. The claim to speak the word of god but if you go on their Facebook, they are constantly attacking and calling others names.

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