Controversial ‘black mass’ slated for Harvard is called off

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from The Boston Globe,

A reenactment of satanic rituals known as a “black mass” that had been scheduled for Monday evening on the Harvard campus was abruptly canceled amid a chorus of condemnation from Catholic groups and university officials and students.

Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the New York-based Satanic Temple, said in a phone interview that the event was canceled because organizers no longer had a venue.

“Everyone involved, outside of the Satanic Temple, got really scared,” Greaves said. “And I don’t necessarily blame them, because I understand that they were getting a lot of vitriolic hate mail, and I don’t think they expected it.”

Earlier Monday, the group that had planned to host the mass, the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club, had decided to move it off-campus.

“The Harvard Extension School is grateful the student group has recognized strong concerns expressed by members of the Harvard community and beyond,” said Robert Neugeboren, dean of students and alumni affairs at the extension school, after the event was moved.

But in a statement later on Monday evening, the cultural studies club said it was no longer sponsoring the mass after plans to hold it at the Middle East club in Central Square in Cambridge fell through.

The cultural studies club did not respond to an inquiry asking why it had decided to move the mass.

“The Satanic Temple has informed us that they will stage their own Black Mass ceremony at an undisclosed private location to ‘reaffirm their respect for the Satanic faith and to demonstrate that the most powerful response to offensive speech is to shame those who marginalize others by letting their own words and actions speak for themselves,’ ” the studies club said.

But Greaves, spokesman for the temple, said there were no plans to hold a mass, since a venue was no longer available. He did not rule out coming to Cambridge in the future.

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