Black Masses Continue to Titillate Conservative Catholics

In May, conservative Catholics mobilized in response to an announcement of a Satanic black mass to be held at Harvard University. For some, the event was a smoking gun proving not only that Satanists hold black masses all over the country, but that elite institutions like Harvard actively attack Christianity under the guise of multi-cultural education. The black mass was cancelled and 1500 Catholics marched on Harvard Square. Conservatives have constructed a narrative of the event as a righteous defeat of the forces of evil. This narrative has inspired others to mobilize against self-declared Satanists

35-year-old Adam Daniels of Oklahoma City has been a leader for a string of short-lived Satanic groups including The Church of the IV Majesties and most recently Dakhma of Angra Mainyu.  Since 2010, Daniels has been involved in organizing “black masses” or “Satanic exorcisms” at the Oklahoma City Civic Center three times. The most recent event had an audience of zero.

Daniels does not appear to be a diabolic genius. The website for his current group presents a confusing mix of Zoroastrian, Gnostic, and Hindu ideas riddled with typos, spelling errors, and references to “Karl Jung.” Past attempts to organize events have been stymied by a falling out with his fellow Satanists. Daniels is also a registered sex offender, having had an inappropriate relationship with a female prisoner while working as a guard at an Oklahoma prison.

When asked if there had been a pushback to Daniels’ previous three events, Civic Center general manager Jim Brown answered, “We’ve had none.” However, Daniels’ latest announcement to hold a black mass at the Civic Center on September 21 has generated unprecedented attention. Mayor Mick Cornett has already received 450 emails and phone calls opposing the event. Archbishop Paul Coakley has also condemned the event and called on Catholics to protest if it moves forward. Daniels, naturally, has expressed delight that his antics are finally provoking Church officials.

This newfound energy has nothing to do with Daniels and everything to do with the events of last May. An online petition features footage of the Harvard protest and calls on Catholics to continue the fight against Satanism in Oklahoma City. An anonymous “exorcist” interviewed by aletiea.org explained:

The answer is to do what folks did in Boston. Catholics must organize Eucharistic processions and holy hours, they must fast and pray fervently for the cancellation of this event. We must petition our Lord, His Mother, and all the angels and saints in this fierce battle against the powers of hell.

The opportunity to mobilize against self-described Satanists creates a kind of collective effervescence and its energy has already begun to transfer to other conservative causes. After decrying the black mass, Aletiea’s exorcist went on to condemn atheism, abortion, and gay marriage.

For conservative culture warriors, public displays of Satanism form a convenient centerpiece for a declension narrative in which America’s core values are under assault. At the same time, defeating these groups fosters a narrative in which Catholics have triumphed over a truly demonic foe. Daniels claims he wants to show his defiance to Christian hegemony, but so far he has only demonstrated how well conservative Christianity responds to a Satanic foil.

Joseph Laycock is an assistant professor of religious studies at Texas State University. His forthcoming books include The Seer of Bayside: Veronica Lueken and the Struggle for Catholic Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Dangerous Games: What the Moral Panic Over Role-Playing Games Says About Religion, Play, and Imagined Worlds (University of California Press, 2015).

  • Jim Reed

    Much better. This provides a real issue to discuss. I think this guy has demonstrated you can make a religious point without even having any point to make. Saying nothing is good enough as long as the serious religion guys see you as blasphemy incarnate, and they will do all the speaking necessary to get your point across.

  • Craptacular

    I wonder if it bothers the conservative culture warriors that everyone is naked under their clothes.

  • cranefly

    It must be comforting to know that the “powers of hell” are just that one guy in a robe, checking out a room at the library.

  • urcalledtoholiness

    “Titilate”? In this case the word gives its intended dismissive effect.

    In truth, the appropriate verb might be “horrify” knowing that the humanity of Jesus is suffering once again out of sheer ill will. And with that verb another verb “pity,” knowing that the doers of this tortuous act are distancing themselves from the only One who can save them.

  • apotropoxy

    The satan began as an angel utilized by the Abrahamic god to guide/obstruct human activity. “Satan” came to be personified by an extremist Jewish element as the radiant of all the world’s evil a little before the Common Era. The Christians carried this new concept with them as they morphed from sect to cult. Today, Satan is a demigod within the Christian pantheon and functions as, what Jung would call, a projection of their Shadow.

    The Christians require therapy and reality will continue to administer it.

  • BeeSmart

    The question might be why would Harvard give a stage to this failed Satanist and sex offender? So what if these other groups want to use this as an event to mobilize and energize their followers while making a point about what they see as evil. Political parties do this all the time with their “War on Women”, exploited poor people and soft on terror memes directed at others.

    Religions are organized and run by humans no matter how inspired or expressive of some metaphysical search for meaning, outside the observable world, they believe is guided by a “higher power.” They react as do all other organizations but their purpose is not some election victory or policy aim. The principals used to control large groups of individuals for a united purpose are universal. All groups run by people need straw men from time to time.

    Just people being people.

  • BeeSmart

    If concepts and ideas have been around for thousands of years and are somewhat universal throughout the world and whatever you define as today’s reality might not change that much, therapy or not.

    Maybe, just maybe religion is an internal expression of a metaphysical truth that is individual in most people. They organize to explore and “regularize” these things they “know” to be true.

    Whether true and provable under current science is not the point. It just expresses these universal human traits for which people have been willing, for thousands of years, to live for and die defending? To dismiss religion is like denying love, hate, empathy and other human feelings exist or worthy much scientific inquire.

    Feelings may not be based on some “truth” but like religion they sure cause actions to be undertaken and entire civilizations to move in one direction or another. Dismissing religion as some quaint expression of uneducated rustics is a dangerous undertaking as actions in the Middle East might indicate.

  • Jim Reed

    Christianity is the dominate religion in America, and one advantage of being the dominate majority is you are not fighting for your place, so you can put your energy toward consolidating your position. Behind all the little issues, we seem to have a Christianity that wants recognition from governments, others, non-Christians, that Christianity is a morally superior system. Unfortunately, they often seem to be the opposite of that, so the divide grows because of people being people.

    This is more and more a war between science and religion. It is a process of religion learning to just back down and never question science. The more religion fights, the more society suffers. There is no way for science to back down on any of the issues because they must follow reality. They have no choice in the matter. Religion will definitely lose this war in the long run, unless they can find some way to bring end times and kill us all.

  • Jim Reed

    About all we can do is discuss it here so that we can all see more clearly exactly what the mistakes being made by religion are. Even if we can’t change anything, we can have an understanding of what religion is doing to us.

  • BeeSmart

    Maybe that is what Islam is all about. This war in America as you put it is but a skirmish. Based on the aggressiveness and violence emanating from the Middle East and other places my guess is America’s journey to a secular society might not be of much interest to the larger world.

    By the way science has been wrong over and over as it has matured and refined its mission. Believing in science as a universal guide post might give some comfort but over and over they have been subject to the same feet of clay as other human institutions religion included.

    Truth is a subject debated endlessly and as Einstein posited in the physical world two things or more can be true at the same time. Science has not cornered the market on this ephemeral concept most of us call truth.

  • Jim Reed

    Science is always zeroing in on the truth. Scientists check on other scientists, and tear apart other ideas if possible. That is how science keeps advancing. Religion looks to the wisdom of the ancients, and resists change to their old ideas. When science and religion conflict, religion is always wrong.

    When our religion can’t compete in the modern world, they tend to look to other parts of the world to reclaim some superiority. There isn’t really any value to that. Our religion has plenty to deal with here, and if they try to ignore here and fix other religious problems around the world, they just make things worse.

  • cranefly

    What is your point, besides nihilism?

  • Jim Reed

    I think his point is everything is Obama’s fault.

  • apotropoxy

    You: “Maybe, just maybe religion is an internal expression of a metaphysical truth that is individual in most people.”
    _________________

    Maybe. But I think it more likely that man’s impulse to imagine gods and then propitiate them resulted from a very understandable reaction to the psychological reaction that took place when it dawned on us that we would one day die. The term “metaphysical truth” is a little too freighted with ambiguity and, I suspect, confirmation bias for me to deal with.
    ————————-
    You: “Dismissing religion as some quaint expression of uneducated rustics is a dangerous undertaking as actions in the Middle East might indicate.”

    I’m dismissing religion because I believe it to be an expression of ritualized denial no matter who practices it.

  • Lamont Cranston

    I’m rubbing the Host on my anus right now.

  • BeeSmart

    Huh??

  • Jim Reed

    Say something good about Obama.

  • BeeSmart

    Is an excellent politician and tireless campaigner for things he believes in. Good family man and dad. Strong drive, ambition and charismatic personality helped him go from a middle class American, with few “connections,” to the Pres. of the U.S. while still a young man.

    Did not know this was a political forum. But then again guess all roads lead to Rome.

  • Jim Reed

    Sorry. That was a dumb thing for me to ask.

  • Craptacular

    “Believing in science as a universal guide post might give some comfort but over and over they have been subject to the same feet of clay as other human institutions religion included.” – Bee Smart

    The difference is that science is self-correcting…does anyone still believe that there is “ether” in the space between planets? You can try to paint science in the same light as religion by pointing out its past mistakes, but that doesn’t change the fact that we sent men to our moon, as well as sending man-made objects throughout our entire solar system and beyond…despite religious hindrance at almost every step of the way.

    So, no, the scientific method is NOTHING like religion, but keep trying.

    “Science has not cornered the market on this ephemeral concept most of us call truth.” – Bee Smart

    That’s the point…science has allowed us to get past these changing “truths” that were nothing but speculation and hypothesis…what you take as its weakness, I consider its strength.

  • DKeane123

    The “powers of hell” seem equally weak in comparison to the direct powers of God. It is absolutely amazing (not really) how much each relies on followers to do their dirty work.

  • DKeane123

    This entire comment boils down to “I’m offended”. I would also love to know how you have determined the “humanity of Jesus is suffering”?

  • DKeane123

    Hey, Bee – 50% of the people you know today wouldn’t exist, all because of modern medical science (modern birthing methods and vaccines). Never mind the plastics your food is safely delivered in or the clean water that comes out your tap. I am astounded you can sit there at your computer and complain about the “feet of clay” of science.

  • urcalledtoholiness

    Jesus came to us as true man and true God. “He wept”. His humanity wasn’t a figment or symbolic. The Eucharist is “real flesh”, in substance and essence, real. The ‘accidents’ of flesh may not be present, but the essence is. Learn about the difference between the accidents of a thing and the essence of a thing. Put your shoulder into the study. For instance a car’s “accidents” may change..its paint rusts, its doors may not be present…but as long as it functions as a car, its essence is a car. It’s still a real car, even though it may appear differently.

    We must not be blinded like St Thomas to the mere “accidents”, the visual/surface level of things (when he denied Jesus’s resurrected presence based on a lack of “visuals”)…we must instead see with supernatural eyes. It’s called faith.

  • urcalledtoholiness

    Well, that was, then, the cleanest and most disease-free thing to touch that area of yours since you left prison.

  • DKeane123

    How do you know that your first couple of sentences are true? Even better, how would I be able to know they are true. Try answering the question instead of preaching at me.

  • urcalledtoholiness

    No one preached. Don’t be so touchy, always on the edge of being offended. I explained. I told you faith is involved.

    How do you know…really know…the wheels on the landing gear are secured before you fly? Faith of a different sort. And you bet your natural life on it. I am merely applying the same faith to my supernatural life. We’re not that different. Just different length of outlooks.

  • NT2LTE

    I would suggest to Pope Francis that he go back to Genesis and
    look at the sixth day “let US create LIFE in
    OUR image all life is created in God’s
    image WE were the US and OUR
    IMAGE is GOD’S , it’s clear as crystal in the
    Bible.. And God was pleased with everything he
    created.

    God did not create sin, Satan or hell, why
    would he if we are all in “his “image..

    The body couldn’t possibly go to hell it turns
    to dust ..the other part of US is the spirit of
    God that gives life to OUR body GOD goes back to
    God. There is no other place to go!!!.

    If the Pope doesn’t understand this there will
    be NO changes.. If the Pope tells the truth There will be NO churches, God does
    not need to go to church to pray to himself.. To be honest I think the Vatican
    knows the real truth but where would they be if they told it.

    Collecting unemployment :-) in
    a peaceful world, let’s keep God and throw religion out

  • Jim Reed

    Let Us create in Our image. That is the old israelite concept of belief in multiple gods. Their religion has evolved quite a bit since then.

    The pope has a primary responsibility to make the church grow, and propagate itself down to the next generation. All the successful religions have to be dedicated to this priority. Beliefs must be molded to his end, and only those who can make it happen are qualified to run a major church.

  • DKeane123

    False equivalence – the slight possibility of a landing gear failure does not equate to:
    “Jesus came to us as true man and true God. “He wept”. His humanity wasn’t a figment or symbolic. The Eucharist is “real flesh”, in substance and essence, real.”

    I can be reasonably certain that through engineering/testing and the occurrence of thousands of landings a day, that the landing gear will work as it is supposed to. What you are suggesting is that if we can’t be 100% certain – I should be open to anything. I’ll be my life on engineering, I won’t bet it on faith.

    BTW – you have shifted the burden of proof. I asked you how you know something to be true, and all you did was suggest: “How do you know anything is true?”. You obviously do not have any evidence to support your statements.

  • urcalledtoholiness

    Perfect equivalence..you rely more on ‘secular faith’ than you admit. A hundred times a day.

  • DKeane123

    Engineering is “secular faith”? Yes I have confidence in things like bridges, computers, air bags, and vaccines – well deserved, I might add.

  • urcalledtoholiness

    How do you know the engineer signed off? You don’t. But you act in a manner based on your faith. Be honest and admit it. It won’t hurt your pride too much. Will be good for you in many ways.

  • GeniusPhx

    thank you for that. supreme court justice scalia and maybe others on scotus, buy that whole package lock stock. those are the people we trust to be fair on religious issues???

  • GeniusPhx

    how do christians believe this looks to non christians, non believers, believers in separation of church state and those who believe in total religious freedom? is this a belief system rational people will be anxious to join? these people are basically going to do a public exorcism before the event even happens. yea, give me some of dat christian stuff.

  • David Lloyd-Jones

    “If concepts and ideas have been around for thousands of years …”

    BeeSmart,

    For as long as the notion of “sin” — and hence the necessity of bunga-bunga-bunga propitiations of the gods all angry about it — has been around, the countervailing idea that it’s all a crock has been there as well.

    Seems to me the ability to examine, and to contradict nonsense may be inbred.

    Scepticism, curiosity, and the ability to weigh evidence — abilities of all the higher animals — might just be what evolution has worked up to protect us from extinction in a sea of stupidity.

    Thank God they’ve been around all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

    -dlj.

  • webgiant

    I imagine the big worry (conscious or subconscious) in the Christian circles is related to that: if God is all-powerful and created everything for his will, then Satan is a follower of God and is being used to do God’s dirty work. Or in other words, the “powers of hell” are just a subset of the “powers of God”.

  • webgiant

    I believe (heh) that DKeane123′s point is that with engineering, there is something physical on which to base one’s acceptance of engineering, essentially a house built on rock. With religion, there is only the word of the priest/religion, a house built on sand that changes and has changed over the years. The irony is that the weaker of the two positions consistently tries to refer to itself as the actual “house built on rock”, as if mere words are enough to make a foundation that exists.

    The existence of a historical Jesus devoid of any of the stories of the Gospels is itself suspect, let alone a Jesus who was actually like that one mentioned in the Gospels. Faith may be /considered/ “a house built on rock”, but it is nothing of the sort, and certainly not by comparison to accepting that an engineer understands the equally physical properties of metal, copper, and rubber, or accepting that our country has a robust regulation and inspection system of aircraft.

    Ironically, the only thing which can destroy faith in engineering is usually a fanatically religious right-winger bent on deregulating the airplane industry (or any other industry): religion bent on making acceptance of engineering little better than the smoke and mirrors faith of religion. If you can’t join them, beat them, says religion.

  • Smknws

    Let Us create in Our image. That is the old israelite concept of belief in multiple gods. Their religion has evolved quite a bit since then.

    Yes long before Christianity the Israelite’s knew what God meant , today 7 million images of God and increasing every minute .. OUR bodies are the vessel he uses to create little gods..we have evolved to become so inteligent that one day we will recognize that we are the creator who created us and we in the image of god create the future .. more “little Gods” “Genesis” go forth , multiply “replenish” the earth , evolution is good , “Popes” are still stuck in a rut ,the Vatican has not evolved , never will as long as they can hold their power over us , we are still living with blinders on . Its like Plato’s cave we only see the shadows and have no idea whats outside the cave . Time to break the chains .

  • DKeane123

    And we get into the whole problem – if Satan is aware of the Bible, the he (it) knows it does not end well for him. Does Satan have free will?

  • Jim Reed

    7 million images of God and increasing every minute

    Are you saying our species is images of God, and other species are not?

  • Smknws

    No , all life that god created before man are in his image .. animals ..tree’s ect do not know religion .. don’t start wars .

  • Smknws

    Man not God created Satan and hell to scare us into believing everything they tell us .. as a five year old ( long, long time ago ) I was told if you don’t believe what we tell you ,you will go to hell and burn .. of course i believed..
    I saw a picture of the devil with horns and a fork to hold me over the flames .. oh yea i believed out of fear .. can you believe they still teach ..Adam and Eve in Catholic schools even tho 3 popes have openly accepted evolution as gods plan .. they have an option, but most teachers choose the old serpent story .. well you know what would happen if the taught evolution !!

  • urcalledtoholiness

    What’s your evidence that a historical Jesus is suspect, when the most well regarded history book of its time written by a secular historian noted Jesus’s life?

    There is a worm that has entered the brain of many people, immediately giving “suspicion” to anything older than themselves, and anything not personally experienced. It’s a form of pride.

    As a result, they tend to live for experiences and predictably themselves. It’s in short an “egocentric” view of the world, but often with a dismissive “pseudo intellectualism” mask. You’ve met people like this. Their nose is ever turned up. You can see them on the tv screen, and on the news. There is a tragic lack of humility and openness in them. And generally, they live a life of ups and downs, concomitant with their “life experiences”. There is no truth outside of their view of truth. And you see “gloom” and temper” and an overall lack of stable serenity in these people. Many are “always on the edge of being offended” even if interiorly.

    Solidly formed Christians, who have an active and generous interior life…fueled by frequently and generous prayer (constant conversation with God), healthy sacrifice for others (self-donation, abandoning love without any expectation of reciprocity), and the Sacraments (reception of the Eucharist, occasional and savagely sincere examination of conscience done with God, with Confession) – typically don’t experience the sharp and constant vacillations of elation and gloom seen by people who don’t realize that “truth is outside” of themselves, and that Truth itself is in fact so perfect it’s a Person. God is Love and Truth and the source of all lasting peace and beauty.

  • webgiant

    If you are referring to the Josephus Forgery (“He was the Messiah”), written by an unknown hand sometime in the 3rd Century, or the “James the brother of Jesus, both sons of the High Priest Damneus, whose name was not Joseph, and which Jesus was made High Priest after James was stoned” account, then you still don’t have a point.

    Josephus refers to twenty people named Jesus, but never about the Jesus of the Gospels. The only reason anyone even noticed his use of the name Jesus was after later Christian hands, eager to create evidence of a physical Jesus, added “He was the Messiah” (to the Testimonium Flavianum) and “who was called Christ” as a margin note (to the Antiquities of the Jews, Book 20) to the writings of a devout Jew who sincerely believed the Messiah hadn’t come yet.

    There are no contemporary accounts of a Jesus of the Gospels of that time period. Even Paul (the Bible books directly associated with Paul, not the ones written later and then falsely attributed to Paul) doesn’t know about a physical Jesus, having to reach into the Old Testament to find an example of a man rising from the dead. A Paul who knew about Jesus would simply have mentioned Lazarus.

    The rest of your text is irrelevant to the point.

  • urcalledtoholiness

    Wikipedia deep!

  • Jim Reed

    All the facts about Jesus not being historical are documented in the new book by Richard Carrier on the historicity of Jesus.

  • Jim Reed

    The new book by Richard Carrier should probably be regarded as the ultimate authority on this issue. He shows how the epistles of Paul were based on the old testament, and theological concepts, and visions, not on a historical Jesus even if he existed. He also shows the gospels were written for political and theological and ecclesiastical reasons, and made up their Jesus stories.

  • Tweety58

    Titillate and Conservative are I believe deliberate misnomers designed to p iss off we Catholics.Substitute MOBILIZE and orthodox and you have it half-a ssed correct.

  • webgiant

    Well sure, I could have bothered with a longer, more scholarly message on why there is no historical Jesus, but now I see I was right in not spending too much time with it. Anyone who attacks the messenger instead of disproving the message clearly has no interest in listening to facts about religious history (or lack thereof).

  • Tweety58

    God gave Angels and Men Free will-the most dangerous and wonderful GIFT of all.He allowed Satan and many idiots posting here to exercise that Free Will and reject Him.

    God did not create Evil nor Satan but being omniscient He knew they and you would fall.God created you without your consent and will not Save you against your Will or consent.

    Learn somer theology and practise exegesis not eisegeisis if you wish to be taken seriously,because you certainly are not.

  • Tweety58

    God gave Angels and Men Free will-the most dangerous and wonderful GIFT of all.He allowed Satan and many idiots posting here to exercise that Free Will and reject Him.

    God did not create Evil nor Satan but being omniscient He knew they and you would fall.God created you without your consent and will not Save you against your Will or consent.

    Learn some theology,history and practice exegesis not eisegesis if you wish to be taken seriously.

  • Jim Reed

    You are right about some people not wanting to listen, but others might, so it can still be productive. That is the benefit of the discussion board. There are different kinds of readers. Some shoot off their mouth and keep the discussion going, and even if they don’t want to hear the response, others can listen. It is kind of like an internet version of the different spiritual gifts.