D.C.-area activist Rocky Twyman had one message for the thousands of people he encountered July 29 in front of the Verizon Center:

Beyonce Knowles is a demon and if you attend her concert, you are consorting with evil.

The mission started earlier that day when Twyman gathered at the White House with several other citizens who believe that Beyonce is demonic to urge First Lady Michelle Obama to distance herself from the singer. Top-selling performer Beyonce came to the District to perform shows on July 29 and July 30 at the District’s Verizon Center. The singer and her husband, rapper/mogul Jay-Z, whose real name is Sean Carter, have a daughter, Blue Ivy. They are known to be friends of the Obamas.

Carrying signs with slogans such as “Jay-Z and Beyonce Are Possessed by Demons,” the group urged Michelle Obama to refrain from attending the concert with her daughters, Sasha and Malia, to protect them from exposure to demonic principles and unholy messages.

“We think that the attendance of Mrs. Obama at such an event is unbecoming of a first lady and represents a terrible role model for our youth who are struggling with unemployment at this time,” said Twyman. He said he believes that Jay-Z and Beyonce’s music is “corrupting young people,” especially the ones in the Black community.

Twyman, 64, of Rockville, a retired public relations consultant who describes himself as a devout Christian, came to public attention several years ago when he founded the Pray at the Pump Movement, a group that held prayer vigils at local gas stations praying that prices would drop.

He is a regular fixture in front of the White House and on Capitol Hill, where he has held dozens of vigils to protest everything from the fight between President Obama and Congress to Black unemployment.

Twyman said he decided to hold the protests at the White House and Verizon Center because of the urgency of his message.

“We believe that this couple is virtually destroying our youth,” Twyman said. “If you go on the Internet, you’ll see stories about how they’re both part of the Illuminati and you can see Jay-Z’s use of the Satanic triangle symbol when he performs.

Jay-Z even declared himself to be God by referring to himself as Jehovah, and we don’t think that this is the image that our young people need to be glorifying.”

At the Verizon Center, Twyman and his small group patrolled the sidewalk carrying signs. “Jay-Z and Beyonce Are Possessed By Demons! Enter At Your Own Risk!” one read. “Mrs. Obama, On Behalf Of The Youth Of America, Don’t Attend The Satanic Beyonce Concert Tonight!”

“They just basically had signs walking around saying Beyonce and Jay-Z were ruled by demons,” said accountant April Batty, 30, of Baltimore, who encountered Twyman as she stood in line waiting to get into the July 29 show. “He also had a sign about the first lady destroying, I guess the title of first lady, by supporting Beyonce and Jay-Z. He had a third sign but I didn’t see what it said.”

Some of people who encountered him were not receptive to his message, Batty said.

“They would scream or start yelling ‘Beyonce!’ or showing pictures of her in front of him,” she said.

While many of the young concert goers poked fun and laughed, Twyman said he believes that his group’s message was received by parents. Many of the mothers and fathers who came with their children told him they were concerned about the scantily dressed young women both in the audience and on the stage during the performance.

“These people have given nothing back to the Black community,” Twyman said. “And I don’t think that God is happy with what the youth of America is becoming.”

Twyman said he will take his message to the national stage.

“I’m going to look up the Beyonce tour schedule and see where she will be and when,” said Twyman, “Then I’ll get in touch with our people in different states and try to do what we’ve done here, all over the country.”

Twyman admitted that his group of protesters is often small. On July 29, they numbered six. The next day, only two.

But that doesn’t matter, he said.

“It goes back to the verse in the Bible that says ‘When two or three are gathered together in my name I will be with them and I will bless them.’ We saw God bless us during Pray at the Pump Movement, when whenever we prayed, the prices came down.”

He believes a similar phenomenon will follow the Beyonce protests.

“People were really stunned to see us down there, saying these are demons who are possessing our children,” Twyman said of the two-day campaign. “You can tell that from the fact that they took so many pictures of us. Cell phones went off like wildfire. We believe they will go back and look at those pictures and the wording we had on our signs, particularly one that said ‘Enter at your risk’ because they were entering a demon zone. We think they will be convicted that there is something wrong here, that there is some type of demonic forces that are a part of the Jay-Z-Beyonce syndrome.”


Zachary Lester

AFRO Staff Writer