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Patti Wigington

Inmate Says Rights Violated Over Satanic Bible

By August 13, 2011

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Kevin Halfmann is in an Illinois prison for predatory criminal sexual assault, and will probably remain there for another twenty years or so. A former Catholic, while in prison he has embraced the philosophy of Anton LeVey's Church of Satan, and so requested a copy of The Satanic Bible. Originally, he was permitted to use the book, but when he transferred to a new facility in 2007, officials denied him the chance to bring it along. Halfmann filed a grievance, which has led to a trial over whether his Constitutional rights were violated.

Interestingly, during the trial it turned out that The Satanic Bible hasn't been allowed in Illinois prisons since at least 1990 "because of the potential to incite violence." But attorney Samantha Unsell, representing Halfmann, said, "put the text in the context of taking an eye for an eye in the Old Testament." In her closing argument, Unsell told the judge, "He isn't seeking candles and medallions, he just wants the book."

U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Wilkerson decided that "Due to the security risks involved ... Halfmann, like all other state prisoners, should be denied The Satanic Bible."

So, here's the question. There are people in America who believe that the Quran incites violent acts. There are people who believe that modern Pagan faiths are, at their core, based upon dangerous practices. If Kevin Halfmann is denied a copy of his chosen reading material, can inmates of other non-Christian religions be denied theirs as well?

And just a final note: any time I write about anything that has to do with Satanists, I inevitably get half a dozen angry emails from people who are mad that we're even discussing Those People. I have always been of the opinion that those non-mainstream faiths should try, when possible, to present a united front. If you're still not sure why we're talking about them, please be sure to read Stop Talking About Satanists, where it is discussed in further detail.    

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August 13, 2011 at 11:39 am
(1) FoolishWitch says:

I’m sorry, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If he can’t have his Bible, then the rest of the inmates can’t have theirs. the Crusades and Jihad ring any bells? just saying…

August 13, 2011 at 11:49 am
(2) Fury says:

I agree. Christianity has incited more violence than any other faith, on a much more massive scale.

How the hell is a book a security risk anyway? Smells like they’re blowing holy smoke up our ass.

August 13, 2011 at 11:55 am
(3) venomrose says:

Who the hell are the officials to say which Bible he can have? He should be able to read what he wants just because the officials don’t like what it says or agree with the books views so what. I agree with Foolishwitch on this one. Why let people of other races have their so called book to worship and not this one? Double standard Hell yes!!

August 14, 2011 at 11:43 am
(4) Sha says:

Erm, races?

August 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm
(5) OhSnapImaWitch says:

That’s how I feel about too FoolishWitch. That’s just forcing them to believe in something they aren’t. If they ban one they should ban them all. I believe prisoners shouldn’t have any rights. Unless they have proven they are trying to change for the better. For instance one get sentenced whether its for a long period or short. They are automatically required to get they’re GED if they don’t have the education. Along with that, be required to get the counseling they need and job training. Then if they do good in all that for a period of time let them have the privilege. The first one, the right to have any bible or book on any religion of their choosing. That’s just my take on it.

August 14, 2011 at 11:49 am
(6) Sha says:

Yes, by all means, take away all rights from the prisoners. I mean, it’s not as though anyone has ever been proven innocent after they’ve been incarcerated. And it’s not as though there’s anyone in there for non-violent crimes, or even crimes that some would argue shouldn’t be crimes at all (and what with the three-strikes law in California, it’s not as though there are people already serving life-sentences for stupidly minor crimes).

Seriously, the warm-and-fuzzy view some people have of prison is, I believe, vastly inaccurate.

August 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm
(7) Nathan says:

Yeah, there’s a LOT less violence in LaVey’s bible than in the Christian one. Maybe that’s why it’s banned? LOL!

August 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm
(8) Bernadene Whitten says:

I have to wonder if U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Wilkerson has even seen a Satanic Bible, let alone read one. If he had he would have found that Satanists follow a set of rules, in fact they are very pacifistic in their beliefs. Anton LeVey had expressed the view that there are better things to do with your time than fight others. Sadly the media has hurt Satanists, as well as Pagans, with their misguided facts and outright lies. We had to testify on behalf of a member of our Kindred and why he needed his runes in prison, sadly he was denied. Yet another Pagan was approved to have a Pentacle for his religious practice. It makes no sense.

August 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm
(9) Samantha A. says:

I may be only 15, but I know that what you wrote is the truth. How can people with none christian religions be denided ther “Bible” so to spek, and it not be aginst there rights? I mean we came here for freedom of religion, and now we’re being teached from a young age that pagans are crimminal, and violent! I get alot of crap for being open about me being pagan. Its unfair that this man would not be denied a christian bible, but is denied the satanic bible.
Compleatly ,”not cool”, as my freinds would say.

August 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm
(10) Sha says:

I’ve never read the Satanic Bible, but I have most certainly read the Christian Bible which is by no means lacking in violence.

That being said, the ruling hardly surprises me in a society where there are politicians use their Christian faith as a primary reason they should be elected, talking about how they’ll make sure their religious values will be upheld through law (and then people go ahead and vote for them, as though religious bias is something we should be looking for in the leaders of our country).

August 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm
(11) Herbert Stewart says:

Here is a link to free pdf:


a Google search will give some others.

August 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm
(12) Sha says:

Much thanks, I’ll check it out :]

August 16, 2011 at 9:44 am
(13) Jason Thompson says:

I think he should be allowed to have a Satanic Bible,why not.christian’s can have there bible and it can “incite violence” i’ll give a few examples

Ezekiel 9:6 “Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women . . . ”

Isaiah 13:16 “Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.”

Leviticus 20:9 “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death . . . ”

Exodus 32:27 “. . . Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.”

Deut 21:21 “And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die . . . ”

Psalms 137:9Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

shall i go on??

August 17, 2011 at 2:14 am
(14) Martin Anthony says:

Several years ago, a Satanist came to a Wicca Program I was facilitating in a Colorado Prison, and he and I got into an interesting discussion. I used it as a teaching moment for the other guys, comparing and contrasting the 2 faiths. While I know very little about LaVey Satanism, I learned quite a bit about prison Satanism that day.

One of the things I learned was how important “blood sacrifice” was in prison Satanism. This guy was cutting himself almost everyday to draw blood for his religious practice. He did admit he could also take blood from animals or other people, but since that could lead to write-ups and other criminal charges, he didn’t do it.

Many people in prisons are IV drug users. Deadly infectious diseases are rampant in prison populations. In Colorado, Satanism is an approved faith, but inmates have no approved spiritual items and may not meet for group worship. The Satanic Bible is also not permitted. The reason for this is to try and limit the sharing of contaminated “spiritual items” and limit the spread of infectious disease, and reduce the practice of “cutting”. Prison officials have a legal and moral obligation to protect the public, protect themselves, protect inmates from each other and from themselves. This is the reason for the ban.

August 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm
(15) Herbert Stewart says:

Re: This is the reason for the ban.

See Fury’s Reply to Foolishwitch…. especialy the smoke part.

August 19, 2011 at 7:33 pm
(16) Martin Anthony says:

When speaking of opinions, there is a difference between an opinion, which everyone has, and is as valuable as fertilizer; an informed opinion, which is based on experience, research and thought, and worth slightly more; an expert opinion, which is based on education, experience, unbiased research, hard data, and reasonable conclusions; and biased opinion, which supports a particular point of view, but is not backed up by the other characteristics that distinguish an expert opinion from other types. Because of the harm that biased opinions can cause, I consider it unethical and immoral to espouse biased opinions.

August 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm
(17) Martin Anthony says:

In the Old Testament, those parts where YHVH is exhorting his followers to commit violence were written down 2500-3500 years ago. The places were all located in the Middle East. The Histories in the Old Testament that recorded the Hebrew armies committing this violence were contemporary with that. In other words, long ago and far away.

Modern mainstream Christian dogma does not encourage violence of this type. In fact, much of mainstream Christian dogma is pacifist. Most mainstream Christian leaders realize that the Bible was written for another time and people, and see the contents as metaphorical and allegorical in our time. Modern mainstream Christian religious practice does not encourage violence, condone violence or involve itself with violence. Radical Christians who commit violent acts, even if for supposed religious reasons, are regularly condemned by mainstream Christians, and are prosecuted and punished for crimes by our society. Thus, the presence of bibles in prisons, and the presence of Christian inmates, does not, in itself, present a “direct and immediate threat” to the safety and security of the institution.

The Satanic Bible is a modern book published in the 1960′s. It remains the primary source of Satanic dogma. It encourages the spilling of blood during religious worship, both individually and communally. Modern Satanic practice involves the spilling of blood, both individually and communally, during religious worship. The presence of Satanic bibles, and the presence of Satanic inmates, does present a threat to safety and security within prisons that is direct and immediate. There is no “reasonable accommodation” that administrators can make to alleviate the threat. There is a “compelling governmental interest” in restricting Satanic Bibles and the practice of Satanism in prisons.

August 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm
(18) Herbert Stewart says:

Re: “Because of the harm that biased opinions can cause, I consider it unethical and immoral to espouse biased opinions.”

Then Why have you just done so?

February 1, 2012 at 10:33 am
(19) embarassed says:

Kevin Halfmann is no Satanist. I am ashamed to admit that I am related to this idiot. He grew up Roman Catholic just like the rest of us. It was his family that intervened and turned him in for the kiddie porn and molestation. He is nothing but a liar, a thrill seeker and attention whore.

February 1, 2012 at 10:36 am
(20) embarassed says:

by the way, guess who he is also related to? Billy Graham. God I bet his grandfather is rolling over in his grave over this.

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