-- In a small, darkened room, Adam Daniels, the self-proclaimed head of his own satanic church, spat and stomped on the symbolic body of Christ in a ritual devoted to Satan.
The smells of incense and smoky dry ice vapors wafted over his small band of followers, who watched him and others perform the so-called “black mass” and destroy bread that was meant to symbolize the Eucharistic, which Catholics say is supposed to symbolize the body of Christ.
Only about 40 or so people attended Daniels’ demonic service, which was held in the basement of an Oklahoma City civic center in September, but it was enough to draw nearly 2,000 Christians from all over the region, some of which drove in from out of state, for a massive protest against it.
Daniels is the co-founder of Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, a dark religion that worships demons, he claims to have created himself. He has written his own “bible” and calls himself “the daster,” which he said was “the equivalent to a high priest,” even “pope.”
“I’ve been working on this for 10 years,” he said. “It’s been created by my creation.”
Daniels has a real day job -- he works as a restaurant cook -- but he insists he has supernatural powers that are so strong he claims he can give someone a death sentence.
“For example, we had an opponent whose mother was dying of cancer and when the destruction ritual was done on him, it put his mother out,” Daniels said.
He’s also a man with a dark past -- Daniels is a registered sex offender, but he doesn’t believe that conviction interferes with performing his duties as “daster” to his flock.
Daniels has 14 “believers” who worship regularly at his “church,” which is a converted storage room in his house.
Before Dakhma of Angra Mainyu’s black mass last month, the small group of Satanists had remained in the shadows of obscurity. They had sold tickets to satanic ceremonies before, only to have almost no one show up. In fact, they garnered almost no public notice at all until they threatened to desecrate the Holy Sacrament of the Catholic Church, the communion wafer, during a satanic ceremony.
The archbishop of Oklahoma City was outraged.
“There’s a real danger involved,” said Archbishop Paul Coakley. “Danger, because of the powers that they are invoking are real. This isn’t entertainment. This isn’t a horror movie. This is real. These people are serious. They are invoking satanic powers. They are conducting a satanic ritual.”
Coakley flat out denounced Daniels’ claim that he’s expressing freedom of religion, and instead called the Black Mass a demonstration of hate speech.
“In the way I view it, what they’re doing is taking something very sacred to two billion Roman Catholics around the world, desecrating it, mocking it and ridiculing it,” Coakley said. “This is a group whose only purpose is to mock ridicule and to tear down something sacred to another religion.”
The archbishop even went as far as to say the satanic mass was an assault on the soul of humanity.
“I’ve seen the effects of satanic influences in people lives, destroying families,” Coakley said. “’The Exorcist’ [the movie] is based upon a true story. Satanic influences are real.”
The news of these devil-worshipers’ ceremony spread quickly online, and 100,000 people signed a petition to block it. Many were angry, not just because a Holy Sacrament would be desecrated in the name of Satan, but also because it was rumored to be stolen from a Catholic church.
“There was never a stolen host,” Daniels said. “[The Christians] are the ones that decided to claim that we had a stolen host.”
In reality, Daniels said, they just bought the communion wafers from a store.
“There’s a Christian store, it’s called Lifeway on the expressway where they sell all kinds of gear, including a wafer’s mask,” he said.
But for the first time, the group’s black mass ceremony sold out of all their 88 tickets, which cost $17.50 each.
For Daniels, all this pseudo-controversy is exactly what he is looking for and he’s just getting started. He said his next project is to build an alter to Satan made of debris left over from one of the deadliest domestic terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, one that hits a little too close to home for most Oklahomans.
“We want to use highly charged material, probably one of the most highly charged things in Oklahoma would be rubble from the Oklahoma City bombing,” Daniels said. “It would have one of the most highly negative charges that you could have energy wise.”
“Creation through destruction,” he added.