Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has rejected an attempt by a group of Queensland Satanists to book the council’s new prayer room.
Trevor Bell is from the Noosa Temple of Satan, a religious group who “revere Satan as a figure who symbolises rebellion against tyrannical or arbitrary authority.”
Bell said he made a booking after Mayor Tate declared the prayer room at council chambers was open to public bookings.
He explained the group was told in an initial inquiry that the prayer room was available to book.
However, after revealing the name of their group and prayer program, they were told their access – as well as all other groups and religions – was not granted.
Trevor Bell said, “We wanted to make the point that when religious privilege is granted, it applies to all religions.
“If there’s a prayer room available to Christians then it’s available to all faiths.
“Christians don’t like sharing power and privilege. They are so used to dominating our society they forget there are other religions entitled to the same privileges.
“When a religion like Satanism threatens to enjoy the same privileges, they would rather remove the privilege than share it.
“We knew that if we applied to use [the prayer room], the Council would probably shut it down. That is what has happened.”
It’s understood the council cited security concerns but denied it was a “personal decision” related to any individual or group.
Gold Coast Mayor’s office backtracks on prayer room
Lord Mayor Tate later claimed the Temple of Satan group did not have a booking.
“There is no booking. [The Satanists] are based on the Sunshine Coast and if they have successfully kept people in the dark up there, that’s where they should stay,” he told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“They have made their decision to go to hell. That’s their democratic right and enjoy your journey.
“We wouldn’t accept a booking from that kind of group because we have done a security assessment.
“Bookings are only available for councillors and staff for security reasons.”
Tom Tate had previously said the prayer room was open to public access.
Satanists vow to return ‘demonic spirits’ to Gold Coast
Last month, Mayor Tom Tate hired his ratepayer-funded, evangelical spiritual adviser Pastor Sue Baynes, causing controversy.
The religious ideology seeks to take control of seven spheres of society. These include church, government, family, business, education, entertainment, and the media.
Baynes also claimed that Mayor Tate had supported her plan to transform the Gold Coast “to look like the Kingdom of God”.
Meanwhile, Sue Baynes has also described the iconic Home of the Arts (HOTA) cultural precinct a “demonic stronghold”.
After a “spiritual battle,” Baynes claimed she had displaced “the powers of darkness” inhabiting HOTA.
But Satanist Trevor Bell was not impressed. He said if Baynes “picked on other religions in the same way as Satanism, it wouldn’t be accepted.”
“Mr Tate and Ms Baynes cannot comprehend that not everyone is Christian,” Bell said.
“And more importantly, that some ratepayers on the Gold Coast are Satanists.
“Mr Tate should imagine how Christians would feel if he appointed a Satanist who boasted of driving out Christian spirits.
“He should also imagine how atheists feel to have ratepayer money wasted on ‘spiritual advisers’.”
However, Bell has said the group are undeterred. This weekend, the Temple of Satan will hold a ceremony at the HOTA Green Bridge to return the “powers of darkness”.
“We will conduct a small ceremonial protest and welcome back the demonic spirits that Ms Baynes claims to have driven away,” he said.
Tom Tate dismisses criticism about spiritual adviser
Speaking to the Gold Coast Bulletin, Tom Tate brushed off the criticism about his spiritual adviser.
“It’s astonishing to me when you’re doing good in the essence of people praying for each other, quiet time and staff have internal problems and have someone to talk to,” he said.
“For people to say there’s something wrong here on a two-day a week mayoral appointment, I find it interesting that there is so much concern.
“Where is the controversy? There are 3800 employees, there are multiple council advisers yet this one attracts controversy.”
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