Lanzifer Eligos Longinus Brings Chivalry to Area Protests, Gatherings and Vigils
After U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, Wimberley resident Lanzifer Eligos Longinus drove his truck to New Braunfels, horse in tow, to pay his respects.
He saddled up and rode over to the Comal County Courthouse for the Sept. 19 silent vigil in Main Plaza, dismounted and stood silently beside his horse.
“It was my attempt at a riderless horse procession except standing at attendance,” he said.
Longinus also made an appearance at a rowdy Trump Train caravan in Wimberley on Sunday, silently reproaching occupants who honked horns and cheered for political philosophies he doesn’t agree with. He first met the group on Sept. 20 when he happened to be out riding.
The masked rider also attended last year’s Pride Parade in Wimberley and more recently carried a Black Lives Matter flag at a George Floyd protest at the San Marcos courthouse.
“Sometimes it’s like I’m doing a counter-protest, but it’s still a peaceful demonstration,” he said. “I’m just one guy on a horse with a flag as they’re passing by. It’s more of a visual presentation. While they are honking horns and yelling at people passing through, I can just quietly sit on the back of my horse with a flag of their opposition. I don’t have to be loud or obnoxious to effectively get the point across that they simply aren’t the only game in town and that not all of us agree with their message let alone their delivery or their tactics.
Although he has different flags for different occasions, Longinus said he doesn’t always ride with a flag.
Lanzifer means means lance-bearer, which harks back to the days of knights in shining armor, a time Longinus yearns for. He spent years working at Renaissance festivals and even learned how to joust before moving to the San Marcos area in 2015.
Nowadays, he said he tries to apply chivalry in a more modern way that’s better suited to the times.
“I can only imagine what it represents to conservatives,” he said of his presence at caravans and protests. “But to me, I’m really into the notion of chivalry. More than just jousting, more than just horsemanship and all that. To me it’s kind of like an ancient ethical code except I’m trying to apply it in a way that’s better suited to modern times.
“The funny thing is, the word conservative used to mean to maintain the status quo,” Longinus said. That’s not what they’re about any more. They’re not trying to maintain the status quo so much as to turn it back to ‘Leave It to Beaver.’ The Repubican Party and conservatives have been hijacked by this ultra right-wing extreme ideology that I can’t get on board with any more. I guess I’m sort of a liberal and I’m sort of progressive. I want to see society evolve to where there is equality and there is justice and there is freedom for everybody.”
A Canyon Lake resident who supports the Trump Train recently threatened Longinus on Facebook saying, “there’s the difference in Biden and Trump supporters. You ride a horse with a lance. We carry guns and shoot people coming at us with a horse.”
Replied Longinus: “Come to Wimberley this Sunday at 5 p.m. and shoot me then. Show the world what a coward you are. I’ll be there on my horse.”
The Biden flag, he said, lets people know that not everyone in town shares the Trump Train’s viewpoint.
“I’m basically just exercising my rights as a citizen to express my disagreement with their views,” he said. “There are alternative viewpoints to be expressed. Freedom can’t exist without diversity.”
Of course Lanzifer Eligos Longinus isn’t his real name.
Many members of The Satanic Temple don’t use their real names publicly — for reasons that might be obvioius to anyone who’s ever resided in east Texas, where Longinus lived for several years.
“Some of us have been threatened, doxxed, harrassed and stalked by people who hate us, and for no good reason, Longinus said.
His middle named, Eligos, comes from the of the patron demon of chivalry. His last name, Longinus, is the name of the Roman soldier who pierced the dying Christ with a lance.
“We’re not very popular with the right-wing folks and really ultra-religious folks,” he said. “Some of us actually have received death threats. I’m one of them.”
The Satanic Temple is a nontheistic religious group which uses Satanic imagery to promote egalitarianism, social justice and the separation of church and state. It champions empathy, reason and advocacy on its website, thesatanictemple.com.
According to Longinus, The Satanic Temple opposes hate groups, doesn’t believe in corporal punishment in schools, and fights for equal representation when religious installations are placed on public property.
Longinus said he was raised Catholic and joined the boy scouts, learning about the outdoors, camping and horsemanship. In high school, “I grew more interested in the historical thing and more skeptical of supernatural mumbo-jumbo and that trend continued on into my adult life.”
He attended his first Renaissance festival at age 16. In college, he studied classical guitar and Renaissance lute before leaving to experience the sport of jousting.
That involved a lot of training, work, and traveling over the span of several years, he said.
“And there kind of went the rest of my life.”
Longinus first “squired at Renaissance festivals,” handing weapons and catching horses for jousters — “kind of like medieval rodeo clowns” — before learning how to joust himself.
“It was a lot of fun when I was jousting, but the rest of the lifestyle, backstage, the rest of the week, the rest of the year, wasn’t so glamorous.”
After working his way through three suits of armor, he decided to move to San Marcos area when the Renaissance festival where he worked in East Texas closed.
“San Marcos is like the hub of civilization to me,” he said. “I kind of have to live out in the country if I’m going to do things with horses.”
Longius also owns a trained jousting horse named Orion, who used to belong to the owner of the Four Winds Renaissance Festival, which shut down in 2017. He has two cats.
He said he still occasionally competes in joust tournaments and performs in demonstrations.