'Black mass' draws half the expected crowd, proceeds despite protests
About half the people who bought tickets for a satanic group’s “black mass” showed up for the event Sunday at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker.
Even so, the group’s leader Adam Daniels said he was pleased with the outcome — calling it a victory because “we got it done.”
As hundreds of people outside the venue chanted prayers and sang songs of Christian faith, Daniels and a group of about five people with his Dakhma of Angra Mainyu Syndicate, acknowledged Satan as their ruler in a parody of a Catholic Eucharistic Mass.
“I proclaim that Satan, Lucifer rules the Earth,” Daniels said during the black mass.
Daniels, wearing jeans and a black T-shirt, confronted the audience gathered in the CitySpace Theatre on Sunday night a few minutes before the black mass.
“If you’re here to disrupt things, get out. If you don’t like me and you don’t like my background, get out. We’re here to educate,” he said. “Yes, we’re anti-Catholic. Yes, we’re anti-Christian in general, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect each person as individuals so I expect that same respect.”
About 42 people sat in the audience, although 88 tickets were sold. A band played four songs before Daniels appeared again, this time dressed in a black robe typically worn by priests. He promised to be as authentic as possible to the original black mass events that he said were rumored to have started in the 1300s by Catholic priests and nuns involved in illicit encounters together. He said the Eucharist ritual that the Catholic Church uses today stems from pagan rituals.
Daniels was followed out on to the stage area by three other people garbed in black cloaks and a man dressed in a black shirt and jeans. The lights were dimmed slightly. A woman who Daniels earlier in the evening identified as his wife Kelsey Daniels, lay on her back on an altar table with her legs bent at the knees and splayed open.
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Daniels put a silver chalice of grape juice on the table between his wife’s legs. He then took a piece of black bread, which was to symbolize Christ, and held it up for the audience to see. Daniels and and the others participating in the ritual stomped on the bread several times.
“We do not have a consecrated host. I’m sure everybody is aware as to why,” he said, alluding to the fact that he agreed to return consecrated Eucharistic bread to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City so that the archdiocese would not proceed with a lawsuit about the use of the bread.
At one point during the ceremony, the theme song to the movie “The Exorcist” played in the background as Daniels and his group paid homage to Lucifer.
“We call upon the Morning Star, Beelzebub, Lord of Regeneration, Angel of Destruction, Leviathan, Beast of Revelation, Demon of Lust ... and all the nameless and formless ones,” Daniels said.
“Lead us to temptation. Deliver us from false piety ... and let reason rule the Earth.”
During another part of the ceremony, a participant waved a rubber penis before the audience saying “We bless thee with this, the symbol of the rod of life,” and a few people in the audience giggled.
The event was about an hour long, not including a band’s performance. After a brief intermission, Daniels said he planned to perform a satanic exorcism.
Daniels said the whole point of the black mass was to mock the Catholic Church so that people would not be afraid of it.
“That is the point of this — to destroy that fear of the Catholic Church,” he told the audience gathered.
Kevin McFerrin, of Tulsa, was one of the audience members.
“I’m just here for a cultural experiment to see what it’s like,” he said. “I’m not a Satanist.”
McFerrin said he thought the black mass was “interesting.”
One woman who said she traveled from Dallas to see the black mass was ousted from the event before it started when she began screaming at a broadcast TV crew member because he was videotaping the black mass audience as well as a band performing.
“Film the show, not the audience,” she screamed at him repeatedly, before Daniels had her escorted out of the theater.