"First Gangs -- Now Cults!" reads a flyer circulating at El Cajon locales near the Crystal Ballroom. Neighbors of the for-rent hall at 414 North Magnolia Avenue complain that the venue has attracted gangs and violence. Now, residents are concerned about "Witches' Night Out," scheduled for October 28. "We've already had a gunfight," reads the flyer (a reference to the March 26 hip-hop party at which gunfire broke out near the hall), "and now they want to invite Satan Himself!"
The flyer, devoid of attribution, instructs concerned citizens to "write Planning Director Jim Griffin and tell him your [sic] tired of every crystal meth freak in east county showing up at the Crystal Ballroom.... Tell him we don't want cultists or Satanists either." Contact info is given for the Chaldean American Association, which rents out the venue, and for ballroom director Laith Yousif Jajou. ("Help BAN THE WITCHES by demanding they cancel this unholy abomination.")
The Calafia Local Council of the Covenant of the Goddess is behind Witches' Night Out, touted on its website as "a religious organization that represents many San Diego county witches.... Calafia currently consists of six member covens and two solitary practitioners."
Responding to the call for the cancellation of the event, organizers stated via e-mail that "Witches do not worship Satan...they worship the God and Goddess and work with the 'natural' energies of our planet.... So far as we're aware, the Night Out will proceed as planned."
Police records show that the Crystal Ballroom generated 13 noise complaints last year; a dozen more were logged during the first four months of 2006. There were four reports of battery in the venue's parking lot last year and another in January '06. During an April 28 CD-release party, a dozen police responded to a noise complaint and the show was shut down while Iraqi-American rapper Timz -- real name Thomas Hanna -- performed an anti-Bush song called "There's a War Going On." A 17-year-old was cited for possessing liquor.