Chris Allert’s frustration with proselytizing Christian calls led him to create the prank hotline.
A Satanic prayer hotline which began as a joke has gained traction with calls from people genuinely in need. The prankster, Chris Allert set up the hotline in frustration with Christian calls trying to evangelize him, and thus decided to set up a Satanic phone line as a joke. To his surprise, he was inundated with calls from the beginning. The prank was named Satanic Missionary Society and modeled on the multiple Christian phone-ins which can be accessed in every major American city. People began to leave voicemails to request prayers for situations in their lives.
The messages can often be confused with genuine calls to God and asking for his intervention, but many of them ended with “Hail Satan.” Allert would posted the calls with permission to public forums so others can ask the devil for more requests.
One caller, seemingly tired of loud music played through the night, asked for a hex to make the establishment go out of business. The caller also asked for the establishment’s employees to go deaf since they play high decibel music. Many other people phoned in to request placing curses on persons they do not like. A few call-ins were downright sinister. One of the more eerie calls was from a young mother who suspected herself to be pregnant and requested Satan to kill the baby as she was not ready to be a mother.
Many requests to the Dark Lord were innocuous and could easily be mistaken for pleas to God. One was a 16-year-old caller asking Satan for help getting his first job.
Story on TAL as I drove to the store about a satanic prayer hotline, Ira Glass musing about how weird it was to hear people casually, cheerfully saying "hail Satan!"
— Scott Madin (@ScottMadin) January 19, 2019
Allert soon realized he had a problem. He understood his prank went much beyond what he had expected and wanted to finish the service. The complication is that the line actually caters to who need serious advice and help. In his interview with This American Life, he was hesitant to shut down the prank helpline as many people have placed their faith on the number and he feels it wouldn’t be right to take Satan away from them.