“As the local government has refused to interfere with this abhorrent blasphemous worship that is being publicly sanctioned in our community, we trust that our government – local, state and federal – will reaffirm its commitment to protect the religious liberty of Christians and other believers as well,” Archbishop Coakley said. “Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, let us pray together for healing and peace in our country and our world.”
Aug. 15 marks the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, when the Catholic Church marks the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.
The same day, a group called the Church of Ahriman has scheduled a ticketed event at the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall, which is run by the city government.
The event involves the attempted corruption of a plaster statue of the Virgin Mary using sulfur, menstrual blood, and the ashes of desecrated and burned pages of the Koran. It involves the consumption of a pig’s heart and the “entrapment” of the Virgin Mary in a ritual triangle, in an attempted parody of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The statue will be smashed.
“You’re basically going to have three rituals going on at the same time,” Dastur Adam Daniels, a leader in the group, told the Oklahoma Gazette. “We’re trying to show people how chaotic we are in nature and how chaotic our religion is. It’s all based on chaos.”
Daniels said the abuse of the Virgin Mary statue aims to illustrate black magic and his religion's teachings. He aims to distinguish these teachings from atheistic Satanism, and claims the practices draw from the occult, Zoroastrianism, Tantra, and Hinduism.
Before the ritual, the group will hold a black mass. The black mass, often connected to witchcraft and demonic worship, is a sacrilegious ceremony that invokes Satan and mocks the Mass. It often involves the desecration of the Eucharist, generally by stealing a consecrated host from a Catholic Church and using it in a profane sexual ritual.
Daniels said that the event is legal.
“We’re not doing anything against the law,” Daniels said. “Against canon law, sure. But the United States’ law? No. We’re not doing anything wrong.”
The group previously attempted a black mass using a consecrated Host stolen from a Catholic liturgy. The move caused massive protests, with Archbishop Coakley playing a leading role in criticizing the event. Daniels returned the consecrated Host after a lawsuit sought the return of stolen property. The ritual went forward without the Host in September 2014.
At the same time, thousands of Catholics and others held prayers, Eucharistic processions, and demonstrations outside the city hall as the group held a sparsely attended black mass.
Daniels had attempted to hold a mock exorcism at the civic center’s music hall in 2010 as part of a different Satanist group he had co-founded and led as a “Dark Overlord.” However, the group expelled Daniels after learning he was a sex offender.
(Story cotinues below)
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Oklahoma City’s News 9, citing court records, in 2010 reported that Daniels was a registered sex offender and was convicted of sexual battery on a person over age 16.
The Aug. 15 event is advertised on the Oklahoma City music hall’s website as a presentation of the group Dakhma of Angra Mainyu. The website says the black mass will be performed “as done in 2014.” The ritual involving the Virgin Mary statue “will educate the public on the practice of Ahrimanism.”
Daniels claimed the Catholic Church was attempting to infringe on his religious liberty by blocking his rituals.
“They’re the one who started this fight; I’m just bringing it to them,” he told the Oklahoma Gazette.
The Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma is among the participants of the prayer walk.
“This year has been a difficult year on many levels for Oklahomans and Americans, but now is the time for the Body of Christ to come together in unity across denominational lines in a Call to Prayer,” Timothy Tardibono, the institute’s director, said Aug. 10. “As Oklahoma’s communities search for answers in these troubling times, Christ’s unified followers in Oklahoma City can provide the peace and hope our neighbors are desperately seeking just as Christ envisioned.”