by Maria Grazia Cutuli
From "The Devil is Among Us", published by Epoca
September 28, 1993.
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"The climate wasn't an orgiastic one. I didn't hear teeth grinding like you can read in the books. There was a sacred atmosphere though. And no doubt it was sinister". It's May 1989. After a number of months spent seeking out contacts, assuring they would remain anonymous, finally Massimo Introvigne is allowed to attend a black mass, celebrated by one of the two Churches of Satan in Turin.
The Catholic scientist, since 1998 Director of CESNUR - Center of Studies on New Religions whose members are both laymen and clerics [its President is the Bishop of Foggia, Mons. Casale] including scholars from all over the world -- had previously attended the Satanic rites of Satanists in New York and in San Fernando Valley, near Los Angeles. But there, The Churches of Satan are public organizations and their addresses are even included in the yellow pages. Nothing to do with the discretion and mystery surrounding secretive cults like those in Turin.
EPOCA: Mr. Introvigne, how did you succeed in overcoming the mistrust of the people from Turin?
INTROVIGNE: I've frequented cult circles for years. I found my Satanist contacts among people practising sex magic. Although I'm a Catholic, I enjoy a good reputation. It was they who sought me out. At times, we met in neutral territories; then they allowed me to attend their rites.
EPOCA: Where did the rite take place?
INTROVIGNE: In a private apartment of the old part of town, probably used as a storehouse, with a room nearly ten meters long.
EPOCA: How was the furniture?
INTROVIGNE: Essential. With no black painted walls, like you can see in the US or in other deserted Satanic chapels discovered also in Turin. Just an altar, at the center, with a dark pall, similar to those used for funerals. There was a statuette showing the devil with a erect phallus, at least 30 centimetres long ... A lot of devil shaped red candles, a "hand of glory" and a presumably human skull.
EPOCA: Who attended the mass?
INTROVIGNE: There were about twenty people, all standing. On average, they were quite young, 30 years or more, I guess. There were a few women: not more than seven or eight. They all wore normal clothes, except the celebrant who was black dressed, with a mantle reaching his feet and a hood on his shoulders.
EPOCA: How was the rite held?
INTROVIGNE: It started by invoking Satan, in a shaky Latin, according to the classic liturgy which turns the Catholic liturgy upside down. The faithful replied to the texts by heart. There was a sequel of ritual acts such as: lighting candles, Satanic spells, manipulation of objects, which lasted about twenty minutes. Then a priestess came in.
EPOCA: What do you mean?
INTROVIGNE: In Satanic rites a woman, a virgin is much better, acting as an "altar" is essential. In the US I've seen wooden supports anatomically shaped so as to host the priestess in a laid down position. In Italy it's usually an uncomfortable table. That's why, I guess, the woman came in after the rite had already started.
EPOCA: How old did she appear to be?
INTROVIGNE: I don't think she was a chaste young woman. She was 40, more or less, good looking, but really embarrassed. May be, it was her first experience in this field. Again, in America I've seen naked women moving with extreme naturalness. Not in this case. She entered covered with a bathrobe. She took it off and stretched out on the altar.
EPOCA: What happened then?
INTROVIGNE: The "priest" carried out the rite with the deconsecration of the Host (they assured me it wasn't a stolen host). He put it on the woman's body and then he quickly, quite in a furtive manner, dipped it in her vagina. Then he raised the chalice. The elixir, a mixture of sperm and vaginal secretions which serves for giving immortality and creating the "body of glory", had been prepared in advance and was ready.
EPOCA: Did any copulation take place?
INTROVIGNE: Yes it did, soon after. But it was quite short. It lasted a couple of minutes more or less. And it was just between the priest and the woman-altar. It was like if the act was mimed, unlike the ceremonies where I've seen celebrant and "altar" find pleasure while executing the rite, a rite where the faithful as well took part.
EPOCA: What did the followers do meanwhile?
INTROVIGNE: They drank from the chalice. But they remained rigorously dressed.
EPOCA: Did they sing any hymn?
INTROVIGNE: No, they didn't. They mumbled some invocations to the devil, while there was an atmosphere of strong emotional tension. There were neither songs, nor musical instruments, unlike the US where you can often hear a pianola accompaniment.
EPOCA: In what manner did the ceremony end?
INTROVIGNE: The priest blessed the faithful using a liquid which I guess was water. Manuals talk about urine ... and it should be the woman-altar who produces it. But I don't definitely believe that the lady from Turin, who was already really embarrassed, could be willing to be of any help.