Satanist Church Rents Out Oklahoma City Civic Center for Exorcism

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Though most of the civic center's bookings are for performing arts, McClintock said the building has been host to several religious gatherings since it opened in the 1930s, including weddings, conventions and Easter pageants.

Hale, who co-wrote the exorcism and has attended similar private ceremonies, said he's welcoming of anyone who wants to watch, as long as they aren't there to stir up trouble based on their own misconceptions.

"We get a lot of sacrifice garbage," he said of the public's perception. "Satanism is not, does not and has not involved sacrifice."

Hale, the son of an all-faith Christian minister, has been a practicing Satanist for more than 30 years.

Though there are varying threads in Satansim, including some who believe in spirits, all modern Satanists believe in one god -- themselves, he said.

"Satanism is pretty much your own god. I am my own god," Hale said. "We don't worship anyone but ourselves."

Lewis said modern Satanism were born in the 1960s when Anton LeVey took the ideals of the occult and melded them with works from his favorite authors, including Ayn Rand. What started as weekly rituals in his San Francisco home became the foundation for a new movement of Satanists.

But gone was the devil worship many associated with Satanism. In its place, a religion where god doesn't exist but rituals are used to empower the believer.

"They're atheists. They don't believe in an afterlife," Lewis said. "They don't believe in a heaven or a hell."

LeVey, he said, "had this notion that rituals kind of tapped some power in the human being that could help them, influence their lives for the better. He said there's something in the human being that needs ritual."

Lewis said it would be hard to guage the reaction of Oklahomans to the Church of the IV Majesties plans to become a more public presence. Though most Christians are peaceful, Lewis said he does know of professors who have been attacked for simply teaching evolution in the Bible Belt.

"Nobody has to fear these strange powers emanating from the rituals," he said.

Tickets for the Oct. 21 exorcism are being sold for $15 through the church's website and via group on Meetup.com.

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