Augustus Sol Invictus, a candidate from Florida running for the US Senate, has everyone beat.
This is Augustus Sol Invictus. He's a Libertarian obsessed with ancient Rome and he's running for Senate. No joke. pic.twitter.com/a3YIdxvEIu— Garbage Ape (@CastletonSnob) October 2, 2015
Two years ago, the 32-year-old lawyer, who changed his given name to his current Latin one meaning "majestic unconquered sun," walked from Florida to Southern California, where he spent a week in the Mojave Desert, praying and asking for forgiveness. There were times he thought he would die, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Upon returning home, he killed a goat and drank its blood, as a pagan ritual expression of thanks.
It's a story that, perhaps predictably, has come back to haunt him as a campaigns for a US Senate seat on the Libertarian ticket.
The goat story prompted the chairman of Florida's Libertarian Party, Adrian Wyllie, to resign from his post to call attention to Invictus' candidacy. He says, in addition to the goat ordeal, Invictus wants to lead a new Civil War, and seeks to recruit white supremacists to the party.
"I'm not making this up. It's crazy, I know," Wyllie, a Palm Harbor businessman who ran for governor in 2014 and received 3.8 percent of the vote, told Politico after he resigned as party chairman.
"I resigned to draw attention to this, as a protest," Wyllie posted on Facebook. "I did this as a pre-emptive strike. I don't want anyone to think this guy represents Libertarians. He doesn't. Under the law, we can't keep him from the ballot."
"In a private, face-to-face meeting with Mr. Invictus, I asked him directly, ‘Do you actually intend to kill millions of people and start a civil war?' His answer to me was, ‘It's my religion,'" Wyllie said.
Invictus says Wyllie is running a smear campaign, and denies being a white supremacist, pointing to his four Hispanic children as proof, though he admits that white supremacists support his campaign. He says he's not trying to start a civil war, but says the federal government is already at war with his citizens, and that's sure to escalate, the Sentinel reported.
"The only question is when are the citizens going to start fighting back?" he told the paper. "I don't think I'm the only person who sees a cataclysm coming, but I think I'm the only person saying it, and I think that scares people."
"I did sacrifice a goat," he said. "I know that's probably a quibble in the mind of most Americans."
"I sacrificed an animal to the god of the wilderness… Yes, I drank the goat's blood."
On Facebook, Wyllie "outed" Invictus as a practitioner of Thelema, "an occult pagan religion based on the teachings of Aleister Crowley. Mr Invictus was ejected from Ordo Templi Orientis for brutally and sadistically dismembering a goat in a ritualistic sacrifice," Wyllie's post read.
Invictus does not deny his affiliation with Thelema, but maintains his opponent is just out to discredit him.
"I was expelled from the order for political reasons," he told Politico. "Animal sacrifice was part of it. But that is a deliberate misrepresentation by Wyllie."