Ever since Aleister Crowley gained the reputation for being the “wickedest man in the world,” there have been imitators, poseurs, and wannabes. Herbert Arthur Sloane, Anton LaVey, Ozzie Osbourne, Marilyn Manson–with a greater or lesser degree of seriousness, these and others have tried to make Satanism a thing. The latest pretender to the throne appears to be a guy from Oklahoma named Adam Daniels, who rented out the Oklahoma City Civic Center in an effort to get the world to pay attention to him:

Sunday’s upcoming Satanic black mass in the Oklahoma City Civic Center may be attracting national media attention, but it is not a publicity stunt, says Adam Daniels, the self-avowed devil worshipper who organized it.

“This is not a game. It’s very serious to us,” Daniels said in a phone conversation this week.

The “us” is him and his worms, if I don’t miss my guess.

“This will be held as a real black mass, altered to follow state laws,” he said.

In other words, it’s not a real black mass. Crowley would not be impressed.

He said when his Oklahoma City-based Satanic group — the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu Syndicate — conducts the black mass in private, it involves sex, urine and nudity.

The Civic Center ceremony Sunday will tone down those elements to comply with state law, he said, but in every other way, it will be a genuine Satanic ritual.

The purpose of the mass is to deprogram people from the influences of Catholicism and Christianity, he said.

How exactly that is supposed to happen when none of them will be present or paying any attention to him is left unexplained.

The 2½- to 3-hour mass will follow a ritual from the late Antoine LeVay, founder of the Church of Satan and author of “The Satanic Bible.”

It will begin with music by the band God in a Machine, followed by a lecture from Daniels on the purpose of the black mass, a ritual denouncing Jesus Christ and swearing allegiance to the devil, blasphemy against Christ, and stomping on and spitting on a wafer, representing the host, the element from the Christian communion, he said.

It will conclude with a reverse exorcism, casting the Holy Spirit out of the person, Daniels said.

Yes, I’m sure the Holy Spirit will obey whatever mumbo-jumbo Daniels throws at Him. Here’s a bit of irony for Daniels to ponder: if it is actually the Holy Spirit who resides in the person in question, He is omnipotent, making Daniels’ incantations meaningless. If another spiritual entity resides within the person, it’s demonic, in which case Daniels will be doing an actual exorcism, the opposite of his intention. Boogieboogieboogie!

Daniels said the group meets every Sunday in an Oklahoma City-area home, going through a cycle of rituals and activities that include teachings, working on journals and workbooks, and meals together.

Oh, it’s an Episcopal church. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

He said he and members of his group believe in and worship the literal devil, which they know by its Zoroastrian name, Angra Mainyu.

Asked if he considers Satan good, or if he believes he is worshiping an evil being, Daniels said Satan is a title that means adversarial king.

“My devil is an equal anti-cosmic spirit that is the antithesis to what most call God,” he said.

“If you call chaos, freedom and self-service evil, then I’m one wicked individual. … I’m no more evil than a lion who eats a gazelle.”

Whatever. As long as they don’t break any laws prohibiting the harming of people, animals, or property, they can play-act all they want. I suspect, however, that Daniels is probably not the kind of guy you’d want as a co-worker.

He said he was not upset about the outcry across the state and nation against what he is doing.

“We’re glad that we have this opportunity to expose these people’s self-righteous behavior,” he said.

He’s trying to “deprogram” Catholics and other Christians, but he going to “expose” other people’s “self-righteousness.” Clearly irony is not a Satanist strong point.

Many thousands of people have signed petitions opposing the black mass. One online petition had more than 100,000 signers by noon Friday.

Despite the protests, officials in Oklahoma City have stood firm in their decision to allow the black mass to be held, maintaining that under the Constitution, Satanists have the same right as any other group to rent city facilities.

Oklahoma City’s officials are correct, and Christians really do need to get used to this idea. Even faiths that we find repugnant have the right to believe and practice as they wish within the proper, First Amendment-respecting applicable laws. If Daniels and his buddies want to fork over to play Halloweenies in public, fine. God is not mocked, and He’s not threatened by such foolishness, either.

I do not by any means discount or downplay the reality of the demonic, nor do I doubt that there are deluded or evil people who are devoted to it. What I doubt is that stunts like this do anything more significant than make clear how ridiculous people like Daniels are.