It’s one of the few things that can truly push a human being to change. It is a void into which something rushes, and each person who hurts has to make the choice of what they allow in, of what they allow to change them.
All too often, though, what we allow in is a lie.
When Jacob Mckelvy found himself as a 9-year-old in a field, anguishing over his younger sister’s snakebite death, his own void opened up. This set him on a years-long path of pain which would result in his founding Greater Church of Lucifer, which now has branches in Latin America, Canada, and Europe.
But in 2016, after years of running a worldwide Satanist religion, Mckelvy finally found peace in Christ and gave it all up, accepting Christ and getting baptized.
And it was all because of love. We had the opportunity to speak with Mckelvy about his experiences in the Greater Church of Lucifer, details about his role, and the overwhelming power that drew him back to the light.
Let’s see what he has to say.
What led you to found the Greater Church of Lucifer?
It was a very long progression of feeling hopelessness and pain and rejection. I have a degree in psychology, so I’ve been psychoanalyzing this for a couple of years now, actually—why did I go this route? This is what I’ve come up with.
I’ve notice a trend in every major occultist, and I started doing the cross-referencing of Anton LaVey and Alistair Crowley and a lot of the people that I met, and we all have one thing in common: the feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness of the world around us.
You were raised a Mormon—what was it that drove you away from God?
There are a lot of things that are hooked up to this of why I would feel this way. Anna, my [deceased] sister was my best friend. I have another sister who is autistic, blind, and severely autistic—she has very low social skills. So my parents focused her. I understand that now, but as a child that’s really hard to get—it’s all about attention for a child. My parents focused on her, so I felt neglected there.
I went out into a field, and I kind of had a concept of what Jesus Christ was, what God was, based on the Mormon faith. So I had a concept of that—I heard, “Well, she’s with Jesus now, or “She’s with God now, our heavenly father.” The way I thought then was “If He allowed this to happen, then what good is He?”
Then He becomes my enemy.
Anna was the only person I had in my life that I felt loved by. My mom would tell me stories about how when Anna was born, she’d find me in the crib with my arm around her. From infancy to when she was three years old, we did everything together—we even made stupid mix tapes together. I’ve still got those.
That was a huge impact on my life, and that was the downward spiral.
My power was taken away from me, everything was taken away from me at that very instant—it was a complete world, upside-down. I understood what death was for the first time. I understood my own mortality. It was a huge thing for a nine-year-old boy to grow up so quickly. So God, at that point, became my enemy.
In middle school, I was a heavy kid, and I was bullied a great deal and tried to commit suicide a few times over that, so there’s still that powerlessness and hopelessness still continuing.
The human response to death is normal, but the rest of it, just continued out through life, everything being ripped away from you, being made fun of to the point of wanting to kill yourself.
I started really seeing Satan as something I could identify with because he was an outcast. And so I started identifying as the outcast at that point, which actually mirrors Alistair Crowley. He was picked on because he was overweight, too.
I’ve interviewed several occult leaders, and this seems like a story I’ve heard over and over.
Right—it’s something that we all know way too well.
Was your involvement in the Luciferian movement in any way a response to organized religion?
I saw a herd-like mentality that I could not associate with. I tried my best to be a good little Mormon boy to please my father. I did my best. But with that comes a psychological form of abuse—feeling guilty about everything all the time, especially becoming a teenage boy with hormones raging, feeling guilty and disgusting about my body and sexuality. I was told that it was sinful and that I should be ashamed of myself.
That really took a huge toll on me because I felt like I was dirty, that I was unworthy. That I wasn’t worthy of God’s love, so why care?
Once you founded the Greater Church of Lucifer, what was your role like?
I created it in my garage—it started off very small and started to snowball after that. I didn’t realize just how big of an impact it would have. I didn’t define myself as anything at that point—I didn’t have a title or anything. It wasn’t until we started filing for non-profit status and I brought on three other leaders to help me that we actually had titles. Our title was that of an Archon—“a world leader.”
Is the Greater Church of Lucifer an atheist organization or is it more a spiritually based organization?
It’s more of a spiritually-based organization. We accepted both atheistic and theistic sides, and both points of view. We were pretty much the end-all of occultic organizations—we didn’t pick a side.
One of my famous quotes, when I was in there is, “The only correct path is your path,” so we would cater to it all. We were a one-shoe-fits –all kind of organizations. We had theists and atheists and all kinds of denominations walk through our doors just out of curiosity, and we would talk to them and we would have our hooks and, you know, unconscious triggers that we would apply to them because we were talking to the pain and not to the person.
What was your overall mission? What did you want?
My mission was different than the other peoples’ missions. Some of the others wanted books sales or notoriety or power. My exact mandate and goal was to wipe dogmatic religion off the face of the Earth, I thought, as a cancer. Everything starts from dogmatic religion. All wars are started in some fashion based on dogmatic religion. All terrorism is started by dogmatic religion. Which is, sadly enough, kind of accurate.
So that was my ultimate goal, and how I was going to achieve this was through integration. So I created the Greater Church of Lucifer to be an alternative religion for people coming out of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
So there were certain elements that we would incorporate publicly that would allow a very soft transition. We had Christian elements like the family—the family unit was very important. I taught about that a great deal—the closeness of the family. But there were twists on that. I used the truth and twisted it. And sadly, it worked wonders. I probably converted over 200 Christians into Luciferianism. They came from that hurt place, you know?
What techniques did you use to convert people? What should people of faith look out for in terms of this kind of manipulation?
I would see someone who was, say, on the fence on Christianity, and I would give them the history of Christianity. And I could say I could prove this historically. This is the secular history based on what they would call scientific fact. There’s no fact in history, but it was good enough to make them think and question themselves. I would plant seeds over a course of time and make them really question themselves.
So, I guess the hook was me getting them to question themselves about if they’re doing the right thing or not. It’s very mental—it’s a psychological game.
You have to understand that these people are lukewarm, anyway. It’s not that hard to get somebody who is lukewarm—I called them fence-sitters—who don’t know where to go. They’ve been damaged by the church somehow, a pastor is a fraud or is spewing false doctrine—that’s the number one cause of all this. I don’t have to do the heavy lifting. I just picked up the pieces.
The church was doing all the damage for me. The church was doing all the devil’s work—the false churches. All I had to do was pick up the pieces and give them a sense of belonging, a sense of power, and a way to heal for themselves, and that’s all it took.
I gave them an ego.
Let’s do some role playing. If you’re hurt by Christianity—you had a bad experience at a church. Your parents were zealots and made you go to church, and you didn’t feel right about it or it just became a chore. It wasn’t something that you loved. And it was just something ground into you at birth. This is a very, very common story. All you felt was guilt and all this stuff—I mean, that’s enough to break anybody from the faith. It all really starts from conditioning from the parent.
You’re going to church faithfully, and then you find out something, or all you hear about is money, money money—if you hear about that all the time, it’s going to add up to “Well, all the Church cares about is money”. And then you become lukewarm.
I’m telling you the process of making a Satanist. This is the exact process. It’s not the same for everybody—everybody has their own conditions. Everybody has their own circumstances. But this is a generalized consensus on how to make a Satanist.
In some form or fashion, they felt powerless, weak. That usually comes from parents, even if the parents are faithful to God.
If they push their child into church without allowing them to make the decision and feel the Holy Ghost themselves, they’re setting their child up for failure. The Holy Spirit can’t be taught. It has to be witnessed.
How can people keep themselves safe from this process?
The best way to prevent it is to be humble. Ego is the number one tool of the adversary. I will not work with anyone that I sense ego on, because then they can be manipulated. Even by a human standard—because that’s how I’d manipulate people, through their ego.
If I’m able to do that, the adversary sure can, too. And it’s about planting seeds—that’s how it works. That’s how demonic influence works.
The Devil isn’t in the control game because that breaks the law of free will. God does not even do that. Satan is in the manipulation game, and the planting-seeds game, giving you a direction one way or another.
But you always have a conscious decision to make. You have a decision whether or not to go to the strip club. You have a decision to commit adultery or not. You have a decision to look at pornography or not.
Satan didn’t make you do it—you chose to do it. There are a lot of people who want to blame things outside of themselves. The only way repentance can truly happen is if we take ownership of ourselves and repent, which is to change the mind.
So would you say that Satan works more through psychological manipulation than through the supernatural?
Well, that’s the way we work, right? We don’t work in the realm of the supernatural. Why would he go into the supernatural? There’s only one instance that I know of, Biblically, and that’s Job. And that was allowed.
So it’s a lot more sinister than the movies, if you really think about it. It’s very subtle. Satan’s main goal is to twist doctrine within churches to bring out people like I was.
What was the turning point for you? What made God more appealing than Lucifer?
It was a progression, again. After I became leader and I became world-renowned in that genre, everybody knew who I was, and everybody wanted a piece of me somehow. I was being used, abused, neglected—I felt completely unloved.
When you come from a past, and the reason people get into this thing is that they want to feel like they belong to something. It’s the natural instinct of humanity. They want to feel loved.
And for a while, the notoriety and so forth—that’s a false love. People look up to you, asking questions, you get this boost of ego, you start feeling good about yourself—that’s a Band-Aid for the problem.
I felt used and completely empty. There was a turning point at the end of May 2016 where I just had enough. I couldn’t do anymore. I was literally in tears. I almost lost my new wife because I became obsessive with the Greater Church of Lucifer. I was working 15 hours a day. If it wasn’t dealing with leadership all over the world, it was writing documentation—leadership manuals, orders of initiation rites, and so on to get out to these leaders. It was a task. And I was basically doing it by myself.
I got to the breaking point of not being able to do it anymore. I felt completely unloved again. I was dead inside.
I started having dreams in the summer of 2016, about me standing upon a mound and there were these ghoulish figures. I still don’t know what it means today, but it just planted a seed and started preparing my heart. It recurred two or three times a week, sometimes more.
At the end of July, the dream progressed into these figures becoming these beings of light, and there was me on the mount holding my hands up over them. They were praising Christ.
But I was still in that state of hating God.
I was driving by Spring First Church, getting some groceries—just a normal day. I felt this burning sensation. Have you ever had vertigo? It wasn’t physical. I was driving, so it kind of scared me a little bit.
I looked up and saw Spring First Church. And then I had almost an anxiety attack—I felt like if I don’t go into this place right now, I feel like I’m going to die.
So I just kind of went into it and said “Alright, let’s see what happens”. I felt a prompt to ask for the pastor. Well, the pastor wasn’t there. So he was out of town at a funeral, but he called me, I told me who I was, and we had a two-hour conversation.
And he said “Well, were praying for you. What we find funny is that we pray that whoever passes this church feels the love of God.”
So that’s their prayer. Every week they pray that.
So I go back in on August 11th, and we end up talking for four hours. I was just overwhelmed. I didn’t know up from down. I didn’t know anything, except that for the first time in many, many years, I felt genuine love.
It’s that love that converted me. On August 11th, I gave my life over to Christ because of love. That’s all it took.
Was it hard to let go of your old life?
I was a giant in that world at one point. We had 41 branches worldwide within a 2-year timespan. That’s one heck of an accomplishment on a human scale.
I founded a worldwide religion, but this simple act of love took me straight to my knees.
How is your life as a Christian so far? Would you say that it’s better?
Oh, I think it goes well beyond “feels better,” brother. I feel a genuine peace. I have been empty my entire life, man. I’ve been void and empty and bitter at everything, and these simple acts of kindness and love—these people really do care.
It shows me that I was completely wrong. I used to pot all religions into one—they’re evil slave drivers who only want to make money and control humanity. Jesus is not a religion. I don’t believe in that form of religion.
But the scales on my eyes have been removed in such a way that I can see the fullness of God’s plan rather than just the perverseness that has been presented to me.
That all happened through little seeds of emails through all the death threats and hate mail I got—it really started there. I would get these little emails from Christians saying “Please don’t take the protesters as how we really are. We love you. We don’t like what you’re doing, but we love you.” That really started breaking down the walls.
It’s kind of like what the adversary does to the people on the fence—God works that same way. He gets you to ask a question.
“What if I’m wrong?”
1 John 4:8 reads, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Sometimes, it’s simply not enough to read scripture—we learn best from seeing it in action.
In this case, we see why love is so vital: it breathes life into us. It makes us whole. It is the bridge not only to God, but to peace and happiness—it is good for us. When we act out in hate and anger, even for the right reasons, we not only deviate from God's purpose, but we hurt people.
Remember what happens when we love instead of hate, when we build rather than burn. Especially potent in our divided era, allow this example of love’s power to guide your actions the next time you're tempted to shun, insult, or injure. The world will be better for it.