Bertram Dahl, who calls himself a high priest, wants to open a Seekers Temple and a small spiritual shop in the garage behind his home in Beebe, Ark.
Dahl claims that Mayor Mike Robertson supported his effort in the beginning (video below).
"When they knew we were going to open a church, it wasn't an issue," Dahl told ArkansasMatters.com. "We explained to him [the mayor] the house had a building that we could open the church in, and he had no problem."
However, when the mayor and the city discovered Dahl and his temple members were pagan, everything changed.
"We were basically given a cease and desist [order] you know, shut down," added Dahl. "We hadn't even unpacked. We aren't even open, how are we getting this."
"It's zoned as residential," stated City Attorney Barrett Rogers. "It's not zoned commercial, which is what's required for a place of worship or a retail business."
"I haven't seen any of that paperwork. My understanding is [Dahl] has not asked to be given the paperwork," added Rogers. "Had he asked for the paperwork it would have been provided."
Dahl countered that he did ask for the paperwork, but was told by the mayor's office that it wouldn't be approved and was denied the paperwork.
Mayor Robertson seemed to admit this when he told ArkansasMatters.com, "There was no permit [Dahl] could apply for."
Several homes operate businesses on the same road where where Dahl lives, so he contacted a local city council member who told ArkansasMatters.com, "That man's God isn't my God."
Dahl told the Arkansas Times that Mayor Robertson would not let him speak at Beebe City Council meetings.
Dahl also wrote in his blog that the "Lighthouse Pentecostal Church from across the street" has allegedly been harassing him, his wife and their child:
The Lighthouse Pentecostal Church then built a life-size (although short) working lighthouse on their front lawn and began beaming a spotlight across our house every FIVE seconds (that is the time it takes to spin around and hit us again. This was not only annoying to my wife, and causing me nightmares, as I suffer from PTSD, but also began disturbing the sleep of our children (four year old Isis and one year old Bertram IV). Isis would come into our room and tell us that someone is shining a light in her window.
The Lighthouse Pentecostal Church continues to make my home and temple look like a prison camp with the spotlight coming over our heads every five seconds, but the police tell us they don’t have a disturbing the peace law in the town of Beebe, Ark. and we cannot stop them from shining the spotlight.