TST HOUSTON’S BLACK MASS & THE HOST WITH THE MOST
It’s the year of Oh Lord 2019, and TST Houston may or may not have accosted a Catholic cracker.
I’ll be honest, I’m not very particular about the particulars on this one. Really I’m just happy they had fun one way or the other.
But allegations of “host desecration” are a historical sticking point for some, and which way that cookie crumbled may matter to those who have never been guilty of the sin of minding their own business, so let’s crack this one open.
This much is clear: On Saturday, the Satanic Temple’s Houston chapter held a Black Mass at Brash Brewing Company’s tasting room in Independence Heights.
TST Houston says that the ritual marked the “closing ceremony of our animal supply drive, where we celebrate the beast within,” and that the Black Mass was a first for the chapter.
Evidently the event sold out, so congratulations to Houston. A number of pushy Catholic types showed up to protest the venue, but odds are they had whatever equivalent of a good time their faith permits too. So win-win, of a sort?
Tradition Family Property, the Catholic reactivism group with the ur-fascist name and way too much time on their hands, called TST Houston’s Black Mass a “direct attack against god.” Which is like saying a safari is a direct attack against Aslan.
TFP got about 15,000 names and/or bots on their petition against the ritual this time. Which I guess is a pretty good number, but it’s 6,000 fewer than the one for the Ottawa Black Mass, which was already 11,000 short of the one from Philadelphia the previous year.
When even the petition bots start forsaking you, you’ve got to wonder, where’s your Messiah now?
Apparently some of the freaked out fundies worried he might be inside–metaphysically if not literally. “Often, a consecrated host is stolen and used to desecrate, mock and insult the Catholic Mass,” TFP wrote of the Houston heresy ahead of time.
TST Houston Chapter Head Jon Winningham stoked the fires of paranoia, declaring afterwards that “the consecrated host was defiled, destroyed, and then swept in the trash.”
BTW, shout out to our buddy Jon, sorry we missed the wedding, but congratulations to you both.
…anyway where were we? Oh right, the Jesus bread. Obviously I don’t know whether TST Houston had a “real” host or not, but I’d guess they’re probably just pushing buttons.
Few Satanists want to sit through a dreary church service just to smuggle a damp wafer out under their tongue like the world’s weirdest drug mule. Those things really taste like crap–which makes sense, because you wouldn’t want to waste a quality cracker on Jeez-Its™.
Nevertheless, cassock-rending over such “desecrations” dates back centuries. French novelist JK Huysmans’ seamy 19th century Satanic potboiler Las Bas alleged that the entire body of the Black Mass is to “consecrate the host and put it to an infamous use,” even down to penetrating the bread sexually.
Not sure how you’d quite pull that off with a standard-size wafer. But after all they are French, and impossible sex acts are kind of their mutant power.
In British occultist AE White’s Devil Worship in France, he breathlessly describes “wholesale robberies of consecrated hosts.”
White even alleges 100 stolen fiatbreads were “carried off by an old woman from the cathedral of Notre Dame” in 1894. This despite the fact that she must not have made much of a speedy getaway.
This host hysteria continues to this day. In 2015, the Oklahoma City-based Church of Ahriman (a devil-worship sect run by a sex offender) whipped up a lot of free publicity claiming they’d secured a blessed wafer from ISIS, who got it off an executed priest.
The church head later confessed he’d stirred up the rumor himself. Any halfway skeptical person could have figured that out from square none, but halfway is at least twice as far as fundy freaks bother to go.
Truth be known, Satanic Bay Area’s usual Black Mass script DOES call for the “desecration of the host,” right after the invocation.
But we’ve never done it with “the real” thing. No one wants to bother with an Ocean’s 11-style con to get one, and more importantly, such a distinction has no particular value to us.
I don’t believe the power of prayer can turn crackers into Jesus, so the only difference between “consecrated” and “unconsecrated” matter is I can get the latter out of a box without a priest’s hands all over it first. (Because I’m not sure which is worse: not knowing where those hands have been before, or knowing exactly where.)
More important is why we bother with such a gesture in the first place. From the ritual script:
“In the year 1247 in the German city of Beelitz, city records remember that an unidentified Jewish man was put to death by burning. The charge: profaning and destroying the consecrated host, the earliest recorded instance of so-called ‘host desecration.’
“The superstitious reverence for the supposedly magical power of the wafer led historical governments to push dire and cruel of punishments on those convicted of these desecrations.To express our independence from archaic gospels and their inhumane punishments, we invite everyone participating to approach and treat the ‘host’ in whatever fashion you deem appropriate.”
Historically, probably nobody ever really did “desecrate” the host in those days. And we know from other history that the real origin of the Black Mass is not Satanism but instead early Christian persecution of rival sects and later campaigns against “heretics.”
Today, if Catholics are offended by what TST Houston or any other Modern Satanists do, that’s their business. Personally, I’m offended by their history, both ancient and very, very recent.
And their offense doesn’t get any kind of right of way over ours. Outrage may be your bread and butter, but don’t think nobody notices when it’s only half-baked.