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Satanists host public event at Civic Center as Christian groups pray outside the building

The Satanist group the Church of the IV Crown Princes held a public event at the Civic Center Music Hall Thursday as a crowd made up of Christians from various part of the city gathered outside the building to pray.
BY CARLA HINTON Modified: October 22, 2010 at 11:41 am •  Published: October 22, 2010

"Depart forth in fear from this soul who seeks enlightenment from Hell's power," Hale said.

As one member of the group chanted "Come out Yahweh! Come out Jesus Christ! ... Come out, oh foul holy spook!," other members said "Satan compels you!"

At the end of the ritual, a gong on the table was sounded, and the woman lying on the table sat up, smiled and shouted "Hail Satan!"

An audience member asked during a brief question-and-answer session if the woman was a convert to Satanism.

Hale said that she was not and that the ritual was simply blasphemy.

Richard Ford, 26, of Oklahoma City, described himself as a Satanist. He said he came to the Church of the IV Crown Princes' event to show support for the group.

"I wanted to see what was going on because there's so much cliche here," Ford said. "In Oklahoma, there's a church and a liquor store on every corner. You don't ever hear about other religions."

Another audience member who wouldn't give his full name said he is an atheist. He said he came to the event out of curiosity.

"I find this interesting," he said. "It's a lark."

Controversy arose in September when the public learned that the Satanist group had leased the Civic Center for the event.

At least two church groups obtained permits to hold prayer activities outside the building as the Satanist group gathered.

Velma Brandt, 58, of Edmond, said she was a local member of the national laypeople's group America Needs Fatima. She and other members of the group, from places like Topeka, Kan., and Fort Worth, Texas, prayed the rosary at the time of the Satanists' presentation.

"This is a Christian nation founded on Christian principles," Brandt said.

"I think this (Satanist gathering) is sad."

The Rev. Steve Kern, senior pastor of Olivet Baptist Church, said he was happy with the number of people who came out to pray during the Satanists' gathering. He said about 20 people were part of his group.

Francis Slobodnik, a member of America Needs Fatima from Topeka, Kan., said he traveled to Oklahoma City to lift the city up in prayer.

"I'm a Roman Catholic, and my religious faith is most important to me. Lucifer is the exact opposite of God. God is good. Lucifer is evil," Slobodnik said. "We were horrified about this, and we thought we needed to do something, to take a stand for God and for His right."