By Abbey Cannan
Noosa Council has rejected Noosa Temple of Satan’s application to use a council-owned venue for its upcoming Black Mass.
Council informed the Satanists their Halloween booking for the civic centre known as The J was denied because the 2020 event “… triggered a high level of concern and complaint amongst the community”.
Council’s decision left Satan temple leader and spiritual head Brother Samael Demo-Gorgon in despair.
“Our Black Mass is a celebration of religious freedom. Unfortunately, it is clear that many Christians want to cancel our religious freedom and are happy to use intimidation tactics to do so,” he said.
“Despite this intolerance, last year’s Black Mass was a great success, providing a sense of community for Satanists across Australia. We were hoping to make it even bigger and better at The J, which is a venue that continues to host Hillsong every week.”
Brother Samael said he would be calling on the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and groups such as Freedom for Faith to publicly urge the Noosa council to overturn its decision.
Council has recommended that the applicant consider hiring one of council’s community halls to run a self-managed event.
Community Services Director Kerri Contini said several considerations are taken into account when deciding to accept a booking at The J.
“In determining whether or not to accept bookings at The J, council considers whether the benefits of hosting a booking outweigh the impacts on business activities including such matters as finances, operations and staff health and safety,” she said.
Ms Contini said last year’s Black Mass event required a considerable amount of staff time beyond what was considered reasonable for a small event.
“This additional workload had a significant negative impact on staff’s ability to undertake other business operations and the event also triggered a high level of concern and complaint amongst the community,“ she said.
“Staff were verbally abused and there was an unacceptable impact on staff safety and wellbeing.“