Probably villainizing just because they'd rather fear what they don't understand.
Though historically, shortly after COS was established it had a ton of crazy offshoots of white supremacist covens as well as a lot of other anti-other stuff like LGBT+. I'm not so sure any of these offshoots were officially affiliated with COS, but some claimed they were or just proudly blared their COS derived Satanic attire and ritual, ect (they were basically COS with a political core). And to the Satanic Panic, what were outsiders to believe was the real COS when you've got these political "Satanists" flaunting around?
These people around you probably remember these whacked up covens from TV years ago, or read about them online or something. COS members also, to this day, like to voice very conservative, or far-right opinions and satire on the present day's affairs as entertainment. I have no qualms with people expressing opinions, but I do when it's downright nigh bullying and they push that line quite a bit (even when I don't disagree with them). And if your leftist surrounding people are getting wind of such present-day Satanic Entertainment (an easy search and click of the button)... I can totally see why they'd throw you in the "Evil Republican/Alt-Right Klan" lot.