By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A small group of Satanists from Oklahoma who made news a month ago after renting out the Oklahoma City Civic Center for a “public satanic exorcism” has had to regroup after one of their members abruptly dissolved their “church.”
Chaos, one of Satan’s best known calling cards, has definitely been left on the plans to hold a public mockery of the Catholic Rite of Exorcism at the Oklahoma City Civic Center on October 21 by a local group of Satanists.
The group responsible for the event, formerly known as the Church of the IV Majesties, has had to reform themselves into the Church of the IV Princes (in honor of Lucifer, Satan, Belial and Leviathan) after one of their members arbitrarily dissolved the group’s church status and cancelled the Civic Center rental.
The group’s leader, James Hale, 37, who refers to himself as the Lord High Master of the Infernal Council, met with six members of his Church at a restaurant in Oklahoma City on Sept. 10 for the purpose of reforming themselves into a new church.
Hale told NewsOK that one of the co-founders of the Church of the IV Majesties, who also served as the group’s webmaster, dissolved the group and posted a statement on their website saying the church was no more and would be offering refunds to the group’s planned event at the Civic Center. He also notified the Civic Center that the event was off.
Hale said the co-founder was expelled from the group because he was a registered sex offender.
He and the surviving members were able to re-establish the Oct. 21 event and must now come up with $600 – $700 to fulfill the lease agreement.
In a Aug. 31 interview with NewsOK, Hale said that he and several other Satanists had been a group for a while and had just legally formed a church. “When the boogeyman comes out of the basement, it’s not so bad,” he joked.
Members of the group believe that “man created god and that man can destroy god. Thus man is god,” he explained.
Even though he would not reveal how many people were a part of his church, he said its members believe Satan is a “friendly entity.” Aside from him, none of the other members would reveal their identity out of fear for their families and their jobs.
“I’ve been an open Satanist for over 30 years. This world ain’t killed me yet, and I don’t think it will anytime soon,” Hale said.
The ritual of satanic exorcism is described on other Satanist websites as being designed to “drive the ‘holy spirit’ from one who has recently converted to the ways of the Left Hand Path and Satanism.” However, Hale says the ritual his group plans to perform at the Civic Center is a “parody” of the Roman Catholic exorcism ritual.
“It’s just a blasphemy ritual poking fun at the Catholic ritual,” he said.
The United States has the largest concentration of satanic sects in the world. Among the best known are the Church of Satan, Temple of Set, Order of the Black Ram, Werewolf Order, Worldwide Church of Satanic Liberation, Church of War. Because these groups tend to splinter and divide into new organizations, there is a long list of defunct groups as well as some that seem to exist only on the internet, such as the Order Templi Satanis whose writings are distributed on the web.
Experts say adherents tend to be mostly teens and young adults who become interested in the occult by reading occult-based fiction. The majority tend to be white, middle to upper-middle class youth who are bright and do well in school.
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