The Church of the IV Majesties imploded two years ago in a very public way. The self-described Satanic church had been planning a staged exorcism at the Oklahoma City Civic Center. Then, a month before the event, the church's co-founders had a falling out. One of the founders, James Hale, outed the group's Dark Overlord as Adam Daniels, a registered sex offender.
"The former Dark Overlord made up his name and when I did a search on his real name, I found out he's a sex offender," Hale told an OKC news station at the time. "We Satanists don't deal with sex offenders."
At the time, Daniels said little. He dissolved the church, Hale continued with the event as planned under the auspices of the Four King Princes, and the two men went their separate ways.
A year later, as Daniels prepped for another public exorcism, he finally explained his sex offender status (to the same TV station). He had been a sergeant at the Mable Basset Correctional Center in McLoud, Oklahoma, he said, when he developed a relationship -- consensual, he said -- with a female prisoner.
"There was kissing and touching one night, she turned it over to (internal affairs)," he told the station. "I cooperated with IA."
But that's not why the church fell apart, Daniels said. He actually ended things after he discovered that his wife, Kelsey Daniels, was being sexually abused by Hale. (Hale could not be reached.)
Kelsey Daniels describes what happened in a kind of oral history of the Church of the IV Majesties. It started out innocently enough. Kelsey Daniels took care of the church's website, and Hale would come over while Daniels was at work, ostensibly to help. He would sit there for two or three hours at a time, just talking. She later concluded that this was little more than pretense.
"He and Adam realized I had the drive of an alpha female but was seen as the beta," she explained. "Since I wasn't going to let any stranger come in and kick me out of my own house I agreed to let him 'experiment' on making a new class of personality. He had us convinced he knew psychology and he could help me maintain my status as a leader of my own church."
The experiment she described, which was kept secret from her husband, involved forcing her to become a submissive and convincing her to have sex with him by threatening to call child welfare officials to have her three kids taken away. Then there was that time he made her visit that adult fetish group in Tulsa.
"We walk in and there is this small group of people -- freaks -- and in the middle of this half circle is an older biker looking guy with spaghetti, and a blindfolded gelatinous thing that was topless," she said, "and I couldn't tell for the life of me if it was male or female, thinking it was worms because this was a 'demonstration' of mind over matter and the sheer control someone can have over you."
The account continues in great detail. Long story short: the Daniels found themselves without a church.
Not anymore, though. A few months ago, they incorporated the Church of Ahriman in Oklahoma City. Ahriman is a Zoroastrian demon whom the Daniels believe is, essentially, God. The church explains on its website:
Father Ahriman was challenged to create something, and Father Ahriman destroyed an eagle to create a peacock and said, 'I can create good things, but I choose not to!' This is a perfect example of free will and choice. Father Ahriman is the chaotic force that changes through destruction.
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For simplicity's sake, the Daniels' 50 or so congregants refer to it as a Satanic church.
With the church firmly rooted in Oklahoma City, Adam Daniels is now looking to expand and establish an outpost in Dallas. There is already something of a congregation here; they meet occasionally in each others' homes or, sometimes, in places like White Rock Lake Park. There's even a full-time clergy person, Daniels says, though the individual is not willing to be identified publicly because of the stigma attached to worshiping Satan.
Dallas has been more hostile than Oklahoma to Daniels' brand of satanism, he says. He thinks it might be because followers do stuff like stand in front of First Baptist downtown and skewer a Robert Jeffress stick-pin doll.
Still, Daniels is focused on finding a Dallas clergy person who is willing to go public and enlarge the church's footprint. Who knows? Maybe the next Living Plaza can be a public exorcism.