At the last minute, and in a crushing blow to efforts at campus diversity, the Harvard Extension School Cultural Studies Club relocated a Satanic “black mass” ritual originally scheduled for Monday night on campus at Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub in the basement of Memorial Hall (a building honoring the sacrifices made by Harvard men during the Civil War).
Members of The Satanic Temple nevertheless gathered just off campus shortly after 10 p.m. on the second floor of the Hong Kong Restaurant to stage what was apparently a black mass, reports The Harvard Crimson.
The Hong Kong Restaurant (and lounge, and nightclub) bills itself as “Harvard Square’s premium choice” for “authentic Chinese food” that boasts a “signature scorpion bowl.”
It’s not clear whether any Harvard students were present for the ritual.
The Cultural Studies Club had been heartily endorsing the on-campus demonic re-enactment despite an outcry from concerned students and the public. (RELATED: Harvard Students Petition Against Satanic Mass On Campus)
In moving the highly-publicized event, the club said “misinterpretations about the nature of the event were harming perceptions about Harvard and adversely impacting the student community,” according to the Ivy League school’s student rag.
The plan had initially been to move the black mass to The Middle East nightclub – home to three live-music performance rooms and two family-style restaurants with full-service bars – but its proprietors got the heebie-jeebies, and negotiations fell through.
Club members said they were frustrated at the overwhelming public outcry against the travesty of a Roman Catholic Mass designed to worship the supernatural personification of evil and temptation.
“It is gravely upsetting to us that some people feel vindicated on the basis that they have disingenuously mischaracterized our invited guests as being part of a hate group,” an unidentified club member wrote in a statement obtained by the Crimson.
The club described the criticism of the black mass as the “bullying techniques of dominant powers.”
A spokesman for The Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves, indicated that the New York City-based group of epicurean lovers of the Prince of Darkness still hopes to hold a black mass on the campus of the oldest and most fabled university in the United States at some future time.
Club members underscored their contention that no one in Harvard’s administration had pressured them into canceling the on-campus Satanic mass and they praised school officials for defending their rights to free speech and free assembly on the private campus wholly owned by The Harvard Corporation.
“Harvard always demonstrated that it understood its responsibility to defend protected student speech,” a club representative explained.
However, the dean of students of Harvard’s Extension School, Robert H. Neugeboren, expressed considerable relief at the outcome, telling the student paper he “is grateful the student group has recognized the strong concerns expressed by members of the Harvard community and beyond.”
The president of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, criticized Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust for not prohibiting the event.
“A university is not a theater, an arena, or a public park: such venues embody no normative significance. Hence, almost all expressions of speech can and should be tolerated,” Donohue wrote in statement obtained by The Daily Caller.
“[S]peech which is wholly designed to insult, or to intentionally misrepresent the truth, has no legitimate role to play on campus,” he added. “Which is why the Satanists could have been banned without doing violence to Harvard’s mission.”
In a symbolic protest against the Satanic mass, Faust indicated that she had planned to attend a Eucharistic Holy Hour at St. Paul’s Church in Harvard Square on Monday night. The purpose of the Holy Hour was to oppose the black mass with an outpouring of prayer.
Efforts by the Satanic Temple to affect mainstream politics have been in the news with some frequency lately. Last month, for example, the devilish outfit officially declared May 15th as “Protect Children Day” in an effort to eradicate corporal punishment and the use of isolation rooms in public schools across the country. (Satanists Launch Campaign To Stop Corporal Punishment In Schools)
Before that, the Satanic Temple made the news when the group announced plans to erect a 7-foot goat-headed Baphomet statue at the Oklahoma state capitol. (RELATED: Satanic Temple Plans Monument At Oklahoma State Capitol)