Radical Christian Cultists Clash with American Indian Movement at Ohio's Serpent Mound Burial Site

A ragtag brigade of Christian cultists overseen by a former youth football coach traveled to Southern Ohio's Serpent Mount Native American burial site Sunday, hoping their prayer might prevent unspecified dark energy from being unleashed upon the world.

A typical Ohio Sunday, in other words.

The cult or prayer group, known as the "Salt & Light Brigade," was met by the American Indian Movement of Ohio, whose members had seen an event description on Facebook and were keen to protect the sanctity of a historic site they regard as sacred.

The standoff is captured in the video above — titled "PAGANS TRY TO PREVENT PRAYER" and available on both YouTube and coachdavelive dot com — which captures well the tenor of the afternoon tête-à-tête.

"This land," prayer group leader Dave Daubenmire tells AIM's Philip Yenyo at one point, "we take it in the name of Jesus." Authorities were summoned, per the Columbus Dispatch, but no arrests were made.

[Coach Dave] Daubenmire has made headlines, the Dispatch reported, on numerous prior occasions: "from a 'homophobic rant' against Chicago's mayor to another rant saying Black Christians who voted for Obama were not acting Christian. He has denounced the "sissification" of boys and rails against the "deep state" and the "plandemic" on his Facebook page."

In an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Daubenmire said that burial mounds across the Midwest, like the historic site in Ohio, were "dark places," and that his group traveled to pray there on the Winter Solstice because it was considered a "high holiday" for those "in the occult."

Philip Yenyo, the Cleveland-based director of Ohio's American Indian Movement, said that when anyone prays or worships at the sacred Native site — occult or otherwise — they are disrespecting Native American history and ritual. 

"It would be like me going into a church and doing my ceremonies in that church," Yenyo told the Enquirer, "disregarding and disrespecting their beliefs."

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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