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  • Writer's pictureJohn Pacheco

Return to Satan's Den


On Wednesday 21 August 2019, I visited the Koven Bar in downtown Ottawa, where a “Black Mass” had taken place a few days earlier and that is well documented by John Pacheco at his blog, I didn’t attend the prayerful gathering on the night of the mockery but since I was in the area in the middle of the day, I decided to check the place out.

My intention in going to the bar was to sprinkle some Holy Water at the entrance. The first thing that caught my attention was a sign that says, “LIFE’S A GRAVE. DIG IT!” As I was taking a picture of the wording, I heard a male voice from behind me saying, “hello.” My thought was: this guy likely doesn’t appreciate anyone taking a picture of this sign. Not to be deterred because after all it was the middle of the day and there were many people around, I turned to see a gentleman who introduced himself as Mehdi and owner of the Koven.

I knew the best thing for me would be to tell him my name and what brought me to this place. We exchanged pleasantries and

after a

few minutes Mehdi invited to see the inside of the Koven.

I thought – “Oh no, this may not be safe!” Then I remembered I was wearing a blessed Crucifix and Miraculous Medal around my neck and I had another St. Benedict Crucifix in my bag that received a special St. Benedict Blessing by my Parish Priest only about five hours before. Comforted by the Sacred protection I had with me both visible and invisible to Mehdi, I decided to accept the offer to see the inside of the bar.

In spite of seeing the interior draped in flat black and red paint and feeling the intense heat and humidity that surrounded me, I sensed an eerie silent ice-like nothingness to the place. Mehdi was behind me so I implored my Blessed Mother, Mary and St. Benedict to ask God to keep me safe in this situation. I was ve

ry aware that I had placed myself at risk. After taking a few steps, I stopped, turned around and was relieved to see that Mehdi was sitting on a bar stool and had given me ample space to exit if I so wished. At this point, I closed my eyes, reached for and clutched the Crucifix and medal that was around my neck. I could tell that Mehdi paid attention to what I was doing and sensed that he knew I was praying.

Our conversation lasted about 15 minutes. The one thing I wanted to know and thought Mehdi would have an answer to is whether on Saturday evening there had been a consecrated Host present and if It would have been desecrated. He knew what I was talking about and told me that he was certain that there was no “wafer” at the mass. I reminded him that I wasn’t talking about a wafer but a consecrated Host. More than once, I told him that a consecrated Host is unleavened bread that is changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus by Transubstantiation during the Consecration at a Holy Mass through the power invested in a Catholic Priest. I suppose tired of my saying this, Mehdi started to finish my sentences by saying, “the Body of Jesus and in the chalice is the wine that becomes the Blood of Jesus.” Confident that Mehdi understood what I meant by ‘a Host’; I repeated my question as to whether there was a consecrated Host at the event. With palpable frustration he said, “no there was no Host here.”

Mehdi told me the reason he permitted the black mass to take place at his bar is that the organizers told him other locales had refused their request. He then went on to tell me he is a Muslim and, in some detail, he described the persecution he lived with in his home country of Iran. He told me about some friends who when they converted out of Islam to the Christian faith were arrested and never again heard from. He said the thing he appreciates about living in Canada is that we are entitled to express our opinion and to practice whatever religion we choose. I didn’t mention the persecution we Christians actually endure when, for example, the Ontario Government enacted Bubble Zone Legislation around abortion facilities or how Father Tony Van Hee is presently awaiting trial for expression of his opinion.

Mehdi felt that the group of atheists were entitled to express themselves and hence he permitted the black mass to take place at the Koven. He reminded me that in reference to my question about the consecrated Host that these people don’t believe in God or in Satan so they had no reason to destroy what they do not believe to exist. Mehdi knew that I was not present on Saturday evening so I told him that I had been praying in Adoration for the reparation of sins committed against God, for everyone who was present and especially for the Priests.

What Mehdi brought up to me was the fact that there was one ‘street preacher’ who was condemning the Catholics who were praying rosaries. He specifically mentioned that this man was the only person using a microphone and the only one who caused trouble. Mehdi wanted me to know that I could be proud of the Catholic Priests and their people because they were praying quietly and they were respectful to everyone, even those coming to the Koven for the black mass. He said, “I learned something about you Catholics that night.”

By now, I was feeling it was time for me to leave the Koven. I was fairly confident that Mehdi was truthful about my major concern and so there was no reason to continue this conversation. As I was approaching the door, Mehdi asked me, “Do you believe good can come from evil?” to which I replied, “Of course.” He then asked me, “When was the last time outside of a big church service have you seen 200 Catholics gather to pray?” He went on to say, “then the evil of what happened right here last Saturday brought good prayers to the Ottawa Market and to my bar.” I clearly understood that Mehdi was making a valid point. I closed our conversation by asking Mehdi if he knew there was plenty of Holy Water and Blessed Salt sprinkled around the Koven on that Saturday evening. I was happy to hear him say, “Yes I know that and I welcomed that.” I thanked Mehdi for our conversation, and parted with the words. “May God bless you and your family.”

Once outside in the fresh air, (it was dreadfully hot inside the Koven) I needed closure to my experience and so rushed over to Notre Dame Cathedral. On my knees at the Holy Communion Rail I thanked my Holy Mother, Mary, St. Benedict and our Lord God for giving me the opportunity to meet Mehdi. I implored Our Lady to give him the opportunity to learn about how Catholics adore God and are how we are able to receive His Body and Blood in the Sacrament of Holy Communion through the Holy Priesthood and the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church on earth.

Jennifer Snell


In this incredible account of her conversation with the bar owner where the “Black Mass” took place, there are several interesting points:

  1. Never judge rashly – While it is generally not a good thing to judge situations before getting all the facts, it was even more important not to do so in this situation. Did you catch the part of Medhi’s convert Christian friends not being seen again because of the Islamic persecution in Iran? While we cannot agree with Medhi’s tolerance for Satanism (even if its masked as merely rationalism) as a reaction to religious persecution, it does show that people’s intentions are not always what they seem.

  2. Religious freedom is not an absolute right – Although it is paradoxical for we Catholics to say this, the reality is that we do not believe that religious freedom is an absolute right. It is an absolute right for the Catholic religion. For other religious faiths, the “right” is only a relative one, based on how they conform to the truth and to the extent the uphold the common good. So, for Satanism, there is no moral or civil right to practice it, strictly speaking. We may tolerate it, given the cultural circumstances we exist in, but it is not a “right” per se.

  3. Powerful Witness of Catholics – Did you catch Medhi’s comments about Catholics and how he was impressed by our conduct? I think that is pretty significant, and it shows us that we Catholics need to be more bold and passionate in public in defending our Faith, while still staying calm and dignified.

  4. Prayer Cards Going Out – Please keep Medhi and Nicholas Marc (the Satanic Presider) in your prayers. I will be sending out Mass cards to them in the near future, as a sign of our concern for their eternal salvation.

  5. The Rosary is the Answer – The recently concluded Rosary Bowl at Lansdowne Park shows us the way forward in confronting the new age the Church finds itself. It’s a real privilege to profess to be Catholic these days. Gird up your loins for we are entering a glorious age to live the Catholic Faith!

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