An Oklahoma satanist has turned over what he claims were consecrated Hosts to the Catholic Church, rather than face a lawsuit to prevent their desecration in a black mass.
Adam Daniels, a self-described priest of Angra Mainyu (“the Spirit of Destruction” to Zoroastrians of 6th Century B.C. Persia) will proceed with the so-called black mass scheduled for September 21 at the Oklahoma City Civic Center, “but I will use black bread,” he told LifeSiteNews.
He will also use his wife Kelsey as his “altar” for the parody of the Catholic Mass, but she will be fully clothed rather than nude as in the classic black masses of 17th Century France, to abide by what Daniels terms Oklahoma’s “indecency laws.”
For similar reasons, the traditional black mass urination on the mock communion bread will only be simulated.
When Daniels announced his plans for the event back in July, after signing a rental agreement with civic officials, Catholic Archbishop Paul Coakley begged the latter to cancel the contract. The city said no, claiming Daniels has his rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, which protects religious freedom.
So Coakley took Daniels to court.
“The specific Satanic ritual known as a 'black mass' is intended as a deliberate attack on the Catholic Mass as well as the foundational beliefs of all Christians with the stated purpose of mocking the Catholic faith,” said the archdiocese’s lawsuit.
As well, the statement of claim argued the consecrated Hosts were the property of the Catholic Church obtained by theft or false pretence. Daniels himself said he had got them through the mail from a Turkish priest.
Though Daniels threatened the archdiocese with a defamation suit, “because they called me a thief,” he told LifeSiteNews he agreed this week to turn over his Hosts, and the archdiocese agreed to drop the suit.
“It's a tremendous victory for decency and all religions, and I praise the archbishop's leadership and courage,” Coakley's lawyer Michael Caspino told VICE News. “It will be dropped because the only thing the lawsuit was asking for was the Eucharist.”
“As long as he doesn’t use consecrated Hosts he can do what he likes,” said Bill Donahue, head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. Donahue’s group had attacked Daniels’s plan from the outset, but withdrew when the archdiocese took up the matter. “I applaud Archishop Coakley for jumping on this right away and for sticking with it.”
Daniels’s website, dakhmaofangramainyu.com, provides a condensed history of the black mass, crediting its inception as a sort of “inversion” or parody of the Catholic Mass to apostate priests in the days of the Enlightenment.
But in an interview with LifeSieNews, Daniels credited Black Masses to a 17th Century French “abortion and magic charm charlatan” named Catherine Deshayes or Montvoisin, who persuaded defrocked priests to stage the mock masses substituting an “aborted fetus” for the consecrated host. Montvoison is a real figure of history who gained favor with royal courtiers in the late 1600s by retailing love potions and poisons.
On his website, and in a video sprinkled with profanities and obscenities, Daniels justifies his black mass as an expression of religious freedom, a shock tactic to liberate lapsed Christians from former beliefs, and actual worship of the Devil, or Ahriman or Angra Mainyu.
On one of his sites he lists what he calls “the tenants [sic] of the Ahrimanic Faith.”
It begins mildly enough with “Respect all life,” but then adds the caveat, “because it can be converted to an advantageous opportunity.” Further down it urges, “As in Hell, we should amass power, strength and pleasure,” but adds, “Never allow yourself to become drunk with any.”
Daniels says he came to Satanism after a killing a man in self-defence in 1998. “I did a lot of soul-searching,” he told LifeSiteNews. This involved studying Christianity, but rejecting it because it taught “I should have let him kill me.” Satanism, on the other hand, taught him that “the highest law was self-preservation.”
Daniels says the publicity will do him good. But this remains to be seen, since some of the media attention has focused on reports he is a sex offender. The Dallas Observer, for example, said he was kicked out another Satanist church, the Church of the IV Majesties, two years ago, when its co-founder, James Hale, discovered his record.
“We Satanists don’t deal with sex offenders,” Hale said at that time. But Daniels says his offence was only that he had a brief sexual dalliance with a female inmate when he was a prison guard.