CultWatch Response Beltein 1988 Volume I, No. 4 CWR, Cuhulain Announce Guide CultWatch Res

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CultWatch Response Beltein 1988 Volume I, No. 4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CWR, Cuhulain Announce Guide CultWatch Response is proud to announce that CWR, in conjunction with the Wiccan Information Network, will be publishing Kerr Cuhulain's A Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca, a W.I.N. project (with input from many North American Pagans). The expected release date is mid-May, 1989, and the cost will be $10.00, ppd. Please let us know if you want us to reserve a copy for you as soon as possible, so that we can get an idea of how many to print in the first run. Canadians should contact the Wiccan Information Network at P.O. Box 2422, Main Post Office Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3W7 CANADA Information on W.I.N. can also be obtained from this address. ----------------------------------- In This Issue - Rowan Moonstone on "The Origins of Beltane"; - Kerr Cuhulain continues his series on "The Plight of the Pagan Policeman"; - Texas has proposed a law to deal with Ritual Child Abuse; - "A Your Type", a humorous Pagan response to some of the various charities who are refusing donations from Pagans; - Reviews of By Silence Betrayed by John Crewdson, "Die Mother Father Brother" (from the April Redbook Magazine), and "The Preliminary Report on Satanism in America" from the Committee for Scientific Examination of Religion; - "Tarot and Religious Freedom" from The Freedom Writer; - Finally! Letters to the Editor! ... and more! From the Editor: My Heretic Heart by Gerald L. Bliss Another question I hear often is: "If I become a Witch, what's in it for me?" I can just see those Fundamentalist visions of wild orgies swimming before the eyes of some preachers. Sorry, but that's just not the way it is. I suppose that the greatest thing the Craft has to offer is the fact that no single person has more authority over one's belief than oneself. As Catharine Madsen put it in her song, "Heretic Heart": "Though law and scripture, priest and prayer Have all instructed me, My skin, my bones, my heretic heart Are my authority!" I was taught the fundamentals of a flexible set of ethics, and was encouraged to develop them further. I have been given some things (rituals, spells, history, etc.), and developed others on my own. I was taught the "Wiccan Rede" (which states that I may do anything within the dictates of my conscience, SO LONG AS IT HARMS NOBODY), the Three- fold Law (which states that any energy I put out into the world returns to me three times over, thus making it an act of stupidity to do "negative magick"), and the basic Laws of the Craft. I am sworn to the Rede, and am affected by the Threefold Law whether I like it or not; the other Laws were taught to me as guidelines, and so I apply them as need dictates. Another issue is the equality of men and women (indeed, the equality of all creation); in nearly every branch of the Craft, the few imbalances are in favor of honoring the feminine aspects of what is "human", and so the High Priestess is given ascendancy over her circle. Oh, yes. That silly little thing about "selling your soul to the Devil"... my soul is a gift from Goddess, which would make it redundant should She wish to "buy" it. My relationship with my God/dess is not defined in any book; it is far too personal to be covered with someone else's words. I feel His/Her hand in every facet of my life. My God/dess gave me a brain and feelings, sent me teachers who gave me the training and experience to enable me to discern for myself what is right/wrong for me, and gave me the right to decide my own life and path. For me, there is no more one "Right, True, and Only Way" in religion any more than there is only one "Right, True and Only Way" to drive to work. Please to not feel that I am criticizing your beliefs; these are merely statements of some of the things I believe. May you find peace in your path, as I have in mine. ----------------------------------- Letters As a Wiccan minister, I have been actively engaged for a number of years in educating the general public on Witchcraft through talks with various social and law enforcement agencies. I cannot say that it has not been "interesting", but it certainly has been well worth it. What I have found talking to these various agencies is that, as a general rule, they prefer to schedule "experts" from within their own ranks rather than invite guest speakers that are both knowledgeable and active in the subject matter. A couple of years ago, a local police captain contacted me for assistance; it seemed that the North Carolina Police Academy had scheduled him to speak as an "expert" on the occult, and he had no knowledge in this area. I spent many hours teaching him various aspects of the occult as well as the differences between Witchcraft and Satanism (not to mention the Satanic dabblers). Since that time, I have met with many detectives from all over North Carolina for conference on the "occult" and matters of some crime activities of an "occult" nature. But this is only a handful of the people within these agencies. The general feelings I meet are that it is all "bull" or comments to the effect that I "should be institu- tionalized". This seems to run at about a 9-to-1 ratio, with the 1 representing the proportion of the staff who is genuinely interested in the topics I present. Within the social structure of these agencies I have met much opposition. It seems that most (if not all) of these people subscribe to misinformed publications such as File 18 and seem to believe the viewpoints presented there as if they were gospel; this is going on from the level of the staff psychologist on down, and they all think they know more about the "occult" than someone who has spent their whole life as an active participant. Most of the seminars held by local agencies on the "occult" are either given by a local officer (serving as an expert) or are presented totally from the Christian viewpoint with a minister as the guest speaker. These so-called "experts" generally lack any knowledge of the subject matter, yet they are "teaching" important segments of society as to what we are and what we do! These agencies must come to realize that you only discover the truth about a group by talking to active participants. One does not contact a plumber to do electrical wiring, yet this type of thing is exactly what is taking place in the majority of these agencies. I even overheard a conversation between two social workers about Witchcraft and its practitioners, during which one of them stated that "there are not enough foster homes to hold all the kids that would be taken away from these Devil worshippers"! Until our law enforcement agencies discover that they are not getting the facts about Witchcraft, until they schedule the real experts, this kind of attitude will continue to exist. There are, of course, those who either do not know the facts or would rather not recognize them. The vast majority of law enforcement officials I have met with are still very much in the Dark Ages when it comes to understanding us. I intend to spend more time getting media coverage, hoping that my exposure will bring more of these people to listen, and hoping that someday some of these people will not sit still while Witches are being slandered in public. Yes, my activites may bring on a confrontation, but I believe that, before it is over, there will still be a few questions remaining in enough minds that will require answers. Blessings, Jim Sutton New Earth Church P.O. Box 5461 New Bern, NC 28561 -*-*-*-*-*- I want to share with you some activities and information from the Pagan Alliance of Central Texas (P.A.C.T.). Our first organiza- tional meeting was in mid-December 1988 with a good turnout. Our statement of purpose (below) was drafted during the January 1989 meeting, and since then we have worked on setting short- and long- term goals. In January, two other P.A.C.T. members and I attended a conference, entitled "Destructive Cults and Mind Control", sponsored by a local psychiatric hospital and Austin Independent School District. During the lunch break, two of us confronted Investigator Dan LeMay about grouping Pagans, Wiccans, Satanists, and "other cult law- breakers" together in a couple of his statements. He admitted that he didn't know much about Wicca, but would be open to learning after we identified ourselves and our purpose. A few days later, in an hour-long phone conversation with Mr. LeMay, I presented an overall view of Paganism, Witchcraft, rituals, and magick, stressing the religious focus of these things. I told him that the national and local motivation for Witches uniting and networking is to support and protect our religious freedom. He was interested in in how many Witches there were, whether we performed blood rituals, animal sacrifices, nude ceremonies, and if we wanted to become a mainstream American religion. I answered these and many other questions to the best of my ability and ended by recommending a suitable reading list for his further use. I also sent him our educational packet, including our statement of purpose, a general her/history of Witchcraft, occult symbols and definitions, and excerpts from CultWatch Response, Circle Network Pagan Strength Web, Witches' Anti- Defamation League, and the Witches' League for Public Awareness publications. Mr. LeMay shared with me police attitudes toward Pagans and Witches based on dubious information distributed at in-service cult crime seminars. Enclosed is one very disturbing paper he shared with me, developed by a Deputy Dave Gaerin of the San Diego Sheriff's Office about a group called the Witches Inter- national Coven Council Association (conveniently W.I.C.C.A.). You can see from this paper that it gives an incriminating account of Witchcraft that is being accepted as truth by less well-informed police officials. I wrote a letter to Dep. Gaerin, objecting to the distri- bution of this material and asking for documentation. No one I have asked has ever heard of this group, so I am passing the ball to you... Per subsequent phone conver- sations with Mr. LeMay, he informed me that he found our educational packet very interesting and helpful, and (he has been) sharing it with other police (officers) in the Organized Crime Unit. His "cult crime" presentations have changed also, now differentiating between Wicca and Satanism. Mr. LeMay now describes Wicca as a legitimate religion being practiced by a growing number of responsible citizens. We are making progress here in the "heart of Texas" and hope that by all working together we can prevent things like this "W.I.C.C.A. Papers" an other misinformation about Witches from being circulated, perpetuating harmful stereotypes! Blessed Be, Lady Magdalena - Grove of Phoenix Rising B.J. Barrett - P.A.C.T. [Editor's Note: The so-called "W.I.C.C.A. Papers" are a forgery being a re-write of an equally- fictitious document first published in the early 1900s in Russia as a document called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", claiming an international Jewish Satanic (sic) conspiracy.] -*-*-*-*-*- Pagan Alliance of Central Texas Statement of Purpose P.A.C.T. is an alliance of Wiccans and Pagans from different cultural traditions. As practitioners of pagan and Neo- Pagan religions, including Wicca (also known as Witchcraft), we employ a positive, life-affirming faith that is dedicated to healing, both of ourselves and others, and of the Earth. We recognize the divinity of Nature in our Home, the Earth. We exist to defend, protect and support the Wiccan Craft and Pagan compatriots in Central Texas by putting a stop to the defamation and persecution of the Craft, Paganism and its individual practitioners. We do this by actively opposing slander or libel against our churches, clergy and congregations, and act as a media and government watch group. A primary goal of P.A.C.T. is to protect the religious freedom of its members. We also exist to educate the general public about the nature of the Craft and Paganism, and to make clear the distinction between our beliefs and common misconceptions. We function as a network among Pagan groups. While doing this, P.A.C.T. is open and in the public eye as an organization, but guarantees the right of privacy and anonymity to those members who desire it. We live by the Wiccan "Golden Rule": As long as you harm none, do as you will. ------------------------------------ [Preface: The confusion between Satanism and Witchcraft in the public mind came to a head a few months back when an animal rights group returned a donation from a Craft group and forbade them from any further fund-raising activities on their behalf. Rather than get angry, I thought a little humor on the subject would do the job best.] A "Your Type" by Lint Dagger I peered through the dirty window, trying to gauge what awaited me inside. The summons mentioned something about a "refund" and gave an address on the lower end of 17th street, Falwellville. I'd been eating canned soup for dinner the past few months, and could not afford to pass up any offer which would help me make it from one pay check to the next. My intent gaze could not penetrate the foggy haze which covered the plane glass; my trepidation grew. I glanced again at my watch, and discovered I was over a minute late. Clutching my courage with one hand, and tightening my resolve with the other, I opened the door and went in. The waiting room was small. Perhaps fifteen feet square, with four dirty chairs placed contumeliously around an equally filthy card table. The closed door against the far wall had no knob that I could discover with my cursory glance. The thick window, imbedded in the plaster next to the door like a cyst on an old man's butt, appeared bullet proof; a young, harried, tight-lipped woman stared fearfully through it's wavy entrails, no doubt making me look as innocuous, as shapeless as she. "Name!" the shape demanded through the three-inch diameter wire mesh placed squarely in the center of the vacuous surface. The sound might have reminded one of a stifled fart. I leaned forward to the wire port hole to speak my name; Ms. Shapeless jerked back sharply, as if I had attempted to bite her. "Dagger, Lint M.," I screamed into the orifice, artic- ulating precisely. She took another step back, paused to digest this new information, stepped forward. With a long stretching reach, loathing to get any closer to me despite the barrier between us, she pressed a button under the window. A loud buzzing issued from the door. "Go in!" the shapeless shape demanded. I pressed against the door, opening it slowly, wondering if whatever Ms. Shapeless was afraid of might get me, too. The door opened into a short, empty, expressionless, blank hall, with yet another door at the very end. How Ms. Shapeless got into her cage was a mystery, as there seemed to be no door leading her way. Cautiously I walked down the hall and opened the door. This room was slightly larger than the waiting room. Furniture included one desk, two chairs, a computer. At the computer sat a man wearing nylon pants (the legs came up almost to his knees), nylon socks (which were limp around his ankles), and a nylon shirt (open at the neck, buttoned tightly around his paunch waist). His shoes were missing. He jumped to his feet, as if caught at some misdemeanor. Striding up to him with my hand out, I smiled warmly at him. He stared at my hand as if it were a snake, snatching his behind his back out of reach. Putting the desk between us, he motioned to the far chair. Shrugging to myself, I sat down. Mr. Nylon sat as well. I waited. I couldn't catch his eyes. Mr. Nylon pushed a few papers around his desk, twitched his right cheek spasmodically a few time, and shoved a paper over the desk's surface at me like a threat. "Sign at the bottom," he intoned, in a stressed voice. I tried to catch his eyes again, and failed. Having nothing to lose, I assumed, I picked up the paper and examined it. United Farmers Of Ohio - $35.00 Childless Parents Of Utah - $25.00 Animal Liberation Organization - $175.00 Save The Parrots League - $16.00 ... the list began. "What?" I muttered more to myself than to the "gentleman" across the desk. "Just sign it," he groaned, his tone sounding like, "Are you gonna give us trouble too?!" His tonicity, intending to demean, humiliate, and shame, ground into my nerves, causing rebellion to swell up in my veins. I started to scan the list from the top again, reading as slowly as possible, determined to look for any reason at all not to sign. Black Hockey Players Dental Alliance - $83.00 Republican Party - $0.23 Richard Nixon Acquittal Confederacy - $10.00 Horseless Carriage Restoration Coalition - $15.00 ...the list continued. "What?" I muttered again. "It's your refund!" Mr. Nylon snarled. "Every damn penny! And 8 percent interest. Just sign there at the bottom." Making as if to lean across the desk to point to where I should sign, he jerked to a stop half out of his chair. The action was curiously like a person who dropped a quarter in the outhouse and decided he didn't want to retrieve it that badly. The thought that he could have gotten close enough to touch me seemed to make him shiver ever so slightly. Clown Union March For Independence - $65.80 Tammy Bakker Plastic Surgery Fund - $0.02 Second House Neptune Endowment - $32.00 Dolly Parton Back Brace Support Group - $45.00 ...the list yet continued. At the bottom of the paper was a sub-total, what I had to assume was 8 percent of it (being somewhat poor in the art of mathematics), and a grand total. "My refund?" I asked. "Refund? This is a list of every charity I've ever given time or money to in the past 25 years. Why a refund?" The paunchy pile of nylon snorted angrily. "You know why!" His piggie, watery eyes flitted across my forehead, and scurried away again, not quite making eye contact. His hands made wringing motions. I took a deep breath. "No. Why?" I demanded. I considered the possibility of leaving, but curiosity sometimes pays for the cat food. Mr. Nylon grimaced, winced his eyes insolently. "Because your a Your Type!" he snapped. This time he did manage to look at my eyes, defiantly, hostilely, just a second, before snatching his gaze away again. "It's obvious!" Another deep breath. "A what type? I'm a what?" I wanted to get to the bottom of the issue quickly. I'm not one to call a harlot a "social worker" if "whore" would suffice. "A Your Type! You and Your Kind! The gall you've got, giving money to these fine, lawful, NORMAL people! How dare you?!" This time he stared directly into my eyes, hotly, with a gaze full of blistering hate and detestation, demanding with speechless violence an answer to why I choose to be a "Your Type," whatever that was. I was still ignorant to what we were talking about. "What do you mean about being `My Type'?" I wanted to leave now, but anger started to replace the rebellion in my blood. "You're a ..." he paused. "You're a =Witch=!" he ejaculated finally, defiantly, accusingly. "You ride a motorcycle! You live in a house full of subversive books! You've been seen talking to ..." he shuddered "... lesbians!" His pallid, flaccid, doughy face was turning red. "You sleep in your back yard instead of inside! Like an animal! You drive an MG, for God's sake! What the hell do you mean, 'What do you mean "My Type"'?!" "Auhh ..." I began, mind reeling. But he wasn't through. "You voted against Brother Robertson! You don't eat meat! You and Your Type don't conform! You're an Anarchist, a throwback to evolution! You don't belong here, we don't want you here, and we sure as hell don't want your money!" I was beginning to get the picture, slowly. "You're an Astrologer! A godless heathen! You protested the draft! You listen to Country and Western music! You talk to your vegetables before you eat them! God only knows what else you do to your vegetables! "You don't want my money? These charities don't want my money? Because I'm a Pagan? Because I'm a vegetarian? Because I like the stars? Because Falwellian Politics makes me throw up?" "Yess!" he hissed through clenched cuspids. "These fine, respectable, normal, =conforming= charities don't want to be connected to a Your Type in any way, shape, or form. They don't want any kind of support from a Your Type at all! How dare you offer them your money and time?! YOUR money! YOURS!?" "So they're sending me back my contributions..." This I couldn't conceive. "With interest..." "Yesssss!" he hissed again. "Because my girl friends are gay? Because I like British cars?" "Yesss, yesss!" "Because I apologize to apples for biting them, telling them to take a deep breath and close their eyes first..." He flinched and seethed at this, blowing hot air through his flaccid lips. "... and yell at people who deliberately stomp on snails?" "Yesss, yesss, all that! A freak! An insult against God and nature! You haven't been to church, a =real=, =normal= church =ever=! Not only that, you've started your OWN church! You worship a Supervisor at your work, for god's sake, as a goddess!" My eyes narrowed dangerously. That was going too far. "You leave Cezanne out of this! She's perfec- tion personified, and worthy of worship..." "See?! You admit to being a Your Type!" He threw his weight into his chair, leaned back, and glared at me. I stared at him speechlessly. "Sign the paper, take the money, and get out!" he demanded. I didn't even hesitate. "No." "What!" "I said, `No'." I got up to leave. "You have to! You will! It's yours! We won't take it! Give it to some damn perverted Your Type group!" I walked to the door. A poster was taped to the back, which I had missed when entering the room. "America: Love It Or F*ck You!" it said, with the Statue Of Liberty standing proudly in it. Her middle finger was raised in traditional "Giving Them The Bird" posture. They had gotten to her, too. "Use the money to buy yourself some shoes," I said, closing the door after stepping through. As I passed Ms. Shapeless she glared at me hatefully, but I hardly noticed. "Sad fools," I added, stepping out into the street. I felt dirtied, in need of a shower. ------------------------------------ BELTANE:Its History and Modern Celebration in Wicca in America by Rowan Moonstone The celebration of May 1st, or Beltane as it is known in Wicca circles, is one of the most important festivals of our religious year. As I did in the Samhain article, I will attempt here to answer some of the most often asked questions about this holiday. An extensive bibliography follows the article so that the interested reader can do further research. 1. Where does the festival of Beltane originate? Beltane, as practiced by modern day Witches and Pagans, has its origins among the Celtic peoples of Western Europe and the British Isles, particularly Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. 2. What does the word Beltane mean? Dr. Proinsias MacCana defines the word as follows: "... the Irish name for May Day is Beltane, of which the second element, `tene', is the word for fire, and the first, `bel', probably means `shining or brilliant'."(1) The festival was known by other names in other Celtic countries. Beltaine in Ireland, Bealtunn in Scotland, Shenn do Boaldyn on the Isle of Mann, and Galan Mae in Wales.(2) [Editor's Note: The concept of `correct spelling' is a relatively modern one, and there are many other spellings, including the one used in the banner of this issue of CWR.] 3. What was the significance of this holiday to the ancients? To the ancient Celts, it symbolized the coming of spring. It was the time of year when the crops began to sprout, the animals bore their young, and the people could begin to get out of the houses where they had been cooped up during the long dark cold winter months. Keep in mind that the people in those days had no electric lights or heat, and that the Celtic counties are at a much more northernly latitude than many of us are used to. At that latitude, spring comes much later, and winter lasts much longer than in most of the US. The coming of fair weather and longer daylight hours would be most welcome after a long cold and dark winter. 4. How did the ancient Celts celebrate this festival? The most ancient way of observing this day is with fire. Beltane, along with Samhain (Nov. 1), Imbolc (Feb. 1), and Lughnassadh (Aug. 1), was one of the four great "fire festivals" which marked the turning points of the Celtic year. The most ancient records tell us that the people would extinguish all the hearth fires in the country and then relight them from the "need fires" lit by the druids (who used friction as a means of ignition). In many areas, the cattle were driven between two great bonfires to protect them from disease during the coming year. It is my personal belief, although I have no documen- tation to back up the assumption, that certain herbs would have been burnt in the fires, thus producing smoke which would help destroy parasites which might make cattle and other livestock ill. 5. In what other ways was this festival celebrated? One of the most beautiful customs associated with this festival was "bringing in the May." The young people of the villages and towns would go out into the fields and forests at Midnight on April 30th and gather flowers with which to bedeck themselves, their families, and their homes. They would process back into the villages, stopping at each home to leave flowers, and to receive the best of food and drink that the home had to offer. This custom is somewhat similar to "trick or treat" at Samhain and was very significant to the ancients. John Williamson, in his study, The Oak King, the Holly King, and the Unicorn, writes, "These revelers were messengers of the renewal of vegetation, and they assumed the right to punish the niggardly, because avarice (as opposed to generosity) was dangerous to the community's hope for the abundance of nature. At an important time like the coming of summer, food, the substance of life must be ritually circulated generously within the community in order that the cosmic circuit of life's substance may be kept in motion (trees, flocks, harvests, etc.)."(3) These revelers would bless the fields and flocks of those who were generous and wish ill harvests on those who withheld their bounty. 6. What about maypoles? The maypole was an adjunct to the festival of bringing in the May. In olden days, the revelers who went into the woods would cut a tree and bring it into town, decking it with flowers and greenery and dance around it, clockwise (also called deosil, meaning "sun-wise", the direction of the sun's apparent travel across the face of the Earth) to bring fertility and good luck. The ribbons which we associate with the maypole today were a later addition. 7. Why was fertility important? The people who originated this custom lived in close connection with the land. If the flocks and fields were fertile, they were able to eat; if there was famine or drought, they went hungry. It is hard for us today to relate to this concept, but to the ancients, it was literally a life and death matter. The Celts were a very close tribal people, and fertility of their women literally meant continuity of the tribe. 8. How is the maypole connected with fertility? Many scholars see the maypole as a phallic symbol. In this aspect, it is a very powerful symbol of the fertility of nature and spring. 9. How did these ancient customs come down to us ? When Christianity came to the British Isles, many of the ancient holy sites were taken over by the new religion and converted to Christian sites. Many of the old Gods and Goddesses became Christian saints, and many of the customs were appropriated. Charles Squire says," An ingenious theory was invented after the introduction of Christianity, with the purpose of allowing such ancient rites to continue with a changed meaning. The passing of persons and cattle through flame or smoke was explained as a practice which interposed a magic protection between them and the powers of evil." (4) This is precisely what the original festival was intended to do; only the definition of "evil" had changed. These old customs continued to be practiced in many areas for centuries. "In Scotland in 1282, John, the priest in Iverkething, led the young girls of his parish in a phallic dance of decidedly obscene character during Easter week. For this, penance was laid upon him, but his punishment was not severe, and he was allowed to retain his benefice."(5) 10. Were sacrifices practiced during this festival? Scholars are divided in their opinions of this. There is no surviving account of sacrifices in the legends and mythology which have come down to us. As these were originally set down on paper by Christian monks, one would think that if such a thing had been regularly practiced, the good brothers would most certainly have recorded it, if for no other reason than to make the pagans look more depraved. There are, however, some surviving folk customs which point to a person representing the gloom and ill fortune of winter being ostracised and forced to jump through the fires. Some scholars see this as a survival of ancient human sacrifical practices. The notion that animals were sacrificed during this time doesn't make sense from a practical standpoint. The animals which had been retained a breeding stock through the winter would either be lean and hungry from winter feed, or would be mothers nursing young, which could not be spared. 11. How do modern day pagans observe this day? Modern day pagan observances of Beltane include the maypole dances, bringing in the May, and jumping the cauldron for fertility. Many couples wishing to conceive children will jump the cauldron together at this time. Fertility of imagination and other varieties of fertility are invoked along with sexual fertility. In Wiccan and other Pagan circles, this is a joyous day, full of laughter and good times. 12. What about Walpurgisnacht? Is this the same thing as Beltane? Walpurgisnacht comes from an Eastern European background, and has little in common with the Celtic practices. I have not studied the folklore from that region and do not consider myself qualified to write about it. As the vast majority of Wiccan traditions today stem from Celtic roots, I have confined myself to research in those areas. FOOTNOTES (1) MacCana, Proinsias, Celtic Mythology, The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, London, 1970, p.32. (2) Squire, Charles, Celtic Myth and Legend, Poetry and Romance, Newcastle Publishing Co., Van Nuys, CA, 1975, p.408. (3) Williamson, John, The Oak King, the Holly King, and the Unicorn, Harper & Row, NY, 1986, p.126. (4) Squire, p.411. (5) Hole, Christina, Witchcraft In England, Rowman & Littlefield, Totowa, NJ, 1977, p.36. BIBLIOGRAPHY Bord, Janet & Colin, Earth Rites, Fertility Practices in Pre- Industrial Britain, Granada, London, 1982. Danaher, Kevin, The Year in Ireland, The Mercier Press, Cork, 1972. Hole, Christina, Witchcraft in England, Rowman & Littlefield, Totowa NJ, 1977. MacCana, Proinsias, Celtic Mythology, The Hamlyn Publishing Group, Ltd., London, 1970. MacCulloch, J.A. Religion of the Ancient Celts, Folcroft Library Editions, London, 1977. Powell, T.G.E. The Celts, Thames & Hudson, New York, 1980. Sharkey, John, Celtic Mysteries, the Ancient Religion, Thames & Hudson, New York, 1979. Squire, Charles, Celtic Myth, Legend, Poetry, and Romance, Newcastle Publishing Co., Van Nuys, CA, 1975. Williamson, John, The Oak King, The Holly King, and the Unicorn, Harper & Row, New York, 1986. Wood-Martin, W.G., Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland, Kennikat Press, Port Washington, NY, 1902. ------------------------------------ Tarot and Religious Freedom reprinted by permission from The Freedom Writer As the result of a December 1988 jury trial in West Hartford, CT, a precedent was set in defense of New Age beliefs. A woman, arrested in her home for tarot card reading, was acquitted after she challenged a Connecticut law which prohibits fortune-telling for money. She maintained that the law violated her New Age beliefs. The woman, Mary Joan Williams, a full-time accountant and part-time tarot card reader, was arrested last year when a couple, both undercover West Hartford police officers, came to her home for a $35 reading. During the secretly-taped reading, the fortune-teller predicted, "You will receive money for work done in the past." The tape was used as evidence against her in court. On the day the "not guilty" verdict was announced, West Hartford police officers learned that they would be receiving a retroactive pay raise. ------------------------------------ Note: We skipped the Spring Equinox issue because we had all the irons in the fire that brought you this issue. All subscriptions effective with Issue #3 will still run through Issue #10. Have you subscribed to CWR yet? CultWatch Response, Inc., is fully funded by your subscriptions; all other funds come from my pocket or Vicki's (and we both are holding down jobs as clerical workers). Your subscription will help us keep going. THE PLIGHT OF THE PAGAN POLICEMAN PART 3 Samhain was fast approaching. Anticipating the usual stories which appear in the newspapers and on the air around this time of year, I had made some preparation. To each newsroom in my area I sent out an excellent article by Rowan Moonstone on the origins of Halloween and a covering WLPA letter. I then sat back to see what would happen. Nothing...with one exception. One of the two major television stations in the area, CKVU, contacted me just days before Samhain. They wanted a Witch to interview on the noon news October 31st. They wanted someone who could appear publicly without any disguising. A tall order. Unfortunately it proved impossible to find anyone that both filled these requirements and was available on such short notice. So they asked me. This was a very difficult decision for me to make. I finally agreed with some misgivings, on the condition that they distort the image of my face and my voice. They agreed to do this, pre-taping the interview to avoid mistakes. So on Samhain, I found myself walking into CKVU wearing my Witches' League for Public Awareness T-shirt and wondering if I knew what I was doing. It turned out that my concerns were unfounded. I had a brief talk with the production assistant and the newsreader who was to interview me. We got along just fine. We then trooped into the studio where the staff were very helpful and friendly. They took great care to get the taping done right. They did my voice twice as, in the words of one of the technicians, "It sounded like Darth Vader the first time through". The interview was short but it went well. The CKVU staff seemed pleased with the result. It was scheduled to follow a taped interview of a Wiccan high priestess from Wichita, Kansas. Immediately following this taping session I just had time to drive down to my police station. I hurried to the lounge where I sat amongst 2 dozen unsuspecting detectives as they watched the CKVU noon news. When the Kansas clip came on, one detective loudly remarked to the detective munching next to him that he wanted to see "real news". Then the anchor man came on and introduced police officer Kerr Cuhulain. The same detectives sat bolt upright and elbowed the guy next to him nearly off of his chair. "This guy's a cop!!!" Everyone sat open mouthed watching the interview. No one had any idea that Kerr (not my real name) was sitting amongst them. You could have heard the proverbial pin drop. Once it was over there was a moment's silence. Then they all started talking at once. "Can you beat that!" "Far out!" "Who would have believed it?!" A few moments later, a relieved Kerr Cuhulain slipped quietly away. I hope that one day soon the disguises will no longer be necessary. It would be wonderful to be treated just like anyone else in my department even though my beliefs were public knowledge. This incident has given me some hope, but there is a ways for us to go yet before this happens. Some Pagan officers out there have much further to go than I since they live in less tolerant communities. And there are some Fundy officers out there who aren't going to make it easy for any of us. But we're going to make it...some day soon. Kerr Cuhulain ------------------------------------ Texas Wants "Ritual Child Abuse" Law The State Senate of the State of Texas has proposed a law adding additional penalties to current offenses for "Ritual Child Abuse"; we are publishing the text in full for your information. SB 803 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to the punishment for certain offenses committed against a child during a ritual or ceremony. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Subchapter D, Chapter 12, Penal Code, is amended by adding Section 12.47 to read as follows: Sec. 12.47. PENALTY IF CRIME COMMITTED AGAINST CHILD DURING RITUAL OR CEREMONY. (a) The punishment prescribed for an offense listed in Subsection (b) of this section is increased to the punishment prescribed for the next highest category of offense if it is shown on the trial of that offense that: (1) the victim of the offense was younger than 17 years of age at the time of the offense; (2) the offense was committed as part of a ritual or ceremony; (3) the participants in the ritual or ceremony shared a common belief; (4) the victimization of the child was considered by the parti- cipants to be in obedience to or in furtherance of the commonly shared belief. (b) This section applies to an offense under the following sections of the Penal Code: (1) Section 21.11 (Indecency with a Child); (2) Section 22.01 (Assault); (3) Section 22.011 (Sexual Assault); (4) Section 22.02 (Aggravated Assault); (5) Section 22.021 (Aggravated Sexual Assault); (6) Section 22.04 (Injury to a Child or to an Elderly Indivi- dual); (7) Section 22.041 (Abandoning or Endangering Child); (8) Section 25.02 (Incest); (9) Section 25.06 (Solici- tation of a Child); (10) Section 25.11 (Sale or Purchase of a Child); (11) Section 43.24 (Sale, Distribution, or Display of Harmful Material to a Minor); (12) Section 43.25 (Sexual Performance by a Child). (c) This section does not apply to any offense for which the punishment otherwise proscribed is the punishment for a first-degree felony or a capital felony. SECTION 2. (a) The change in law made by this Act applies to only to an offense committed after the effective date of this Act. For purposes of this section, an offense is committed before the effective data of this ACT if any element of the offense occurs before the effective date. (b) An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the offense was committed and the former law is continued in effect for this purpose. SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 1989. SECTION 4: The importance of this legislation and the crowded conditions of the calendars in both houses create an emergency and imperative public necessity that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three separate days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended. REVIEWS by Rowan Moonstone BY SILENCE BETRAYED; Sexual Abuse of Children in America by John Crewdson, Harper & Row, New York, 1988 This hard-hitting book begins with a narrative of the massive child abuse case which came to light in Jordan, Minnesota in Sept. 1983. Pulitzer prize-winning reporter John Crewdson uses this example as a springboard to investigate the phenomenon of sexual child abuse in America. What makes this book valuable to CWR readers is the treatment Crewdson gives to the subject of ritualistic child abuse. He treats extensively with McMartin and other cases in which ritualistic abuse has been alleged, and some cases in which convictions have been obtained. Crewdson also notes that in the Jordan case, the story progressed from child sexual abuse to stories of rituals and murder. Later the children admitted to lying about the murder. According to Crewdson, "A second boy...admitted that he had gotten the idea of ritualistic torture from a television program he had seen. He had lied about the murder because he wanted to please the investigators, whom he had come to think of as his friends and who seemed always to want something more from him." I would recommend this book highly to anyone interested in the problems of child abuse and especially anyone who is interested in the problems of ritualistic child abuse. Crewdson has done excellent research into just what IS...and what is NOT a valid problem in America today. -*-*-*- "Satanism in America" (an interim report) by the Committee for Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER), Shawn Carlson & Gerald Larue, Oct. 31, 1988. CWR has obtained a copy of this report from one of our correspon- dents and I have found its content to be excellent. CSER has taken a hard critical look at the problem of Satanism in our modern culture and come up with some sound and well- founded conclusions, which, inciden- tally, match the conclusions that I have drawn from my own private research. Among the topics looked at by this report are: Heavy Metal Music, Murder, Child Abductions, Ritual Child Abuse, the McMartin Daycare Case, Cattle Mutilations, Breeders, and Threats Received by Therapists. The report includes an excellent appendix by Rev. D. Hudson Frew on a Brief History of Satanism, and also makes some excellent suggestions for combatting the problem of Satanism in America. The final report is due out in April of 1989, and I look forward to its publication. Copies of this report should be available from Shawn Carlson, University of California, Los Angeles. -*-*-*- "Die Mother Father Brother; The true story of a boy who vowed to do the devil's dirty work" by Ester Davidowitz, Redbook, April, 1989, pp.132-134 & 168-171. When I first saw this article I thought, "Oh no, not another sensa- tionalist Teen Satanism article!" I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I read the text. Ms. Davidowitz goes into great detail on the background of the Thomas Sullivan case from Jefferson Township in Jan. of 1988. She informs the reader of the already existing problems within the family structure before Tommy ever turned to Satanism. In addition to the Sullivan case, she briefly outlines several other instances of antisocial behavior among teens which carry "occult" overtones. Following this section, the article deals with the agencies and individuals which work with these troubled teens. Steering clear of sensationalist groups which seem to be concentrating on "bashing" any group which isn't Judeo-Christian in nature, it focuses instead on those people who have a calm and reasonable approach to the subject. For instance, Sandi Gallant is quoted as referring to the cases of murder and other violent acts saying," If the kid did not grow into Satanism, he would have found drugs, alcohol, or some other kind of external excuse for his bad behavior." The final section of the article offers perhaps the best advice I have ever seen in a magazine dealing with this topic. The writer urges parents to keep in close touch with their children and be involved with their lives. As Ms. Davidowitz says, "The child who does feel loved and recognized in this special way is much more likely to turn to his parents when he is confused or hurting than to seek solace in the Devil." ---------------------------------- [Editor's Note: The following Frame should be found extremely useful in determining the potential hazard of any religious group, not just those that are non-Christian. Score each category from 1 (Low) through 10 (High). The author makes no assumptions as to how high a group can be and still be "safe"; however, one should be extremely concerned when a score exceeds 100.] Cult Danger Evaluation Frame c. 1979 by P.E.I. Bonewits 1. INTERNAL CONTROL, amount of internal political power exercised by leader(s) over members. 2. WISDOM CLAIMED by leader(s); amount of infallibility declared about decisions. 3. WISDOM CREDITED to leader(s) by members; amount of trust in decisions made by leader(s). 4. DOGMA, rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility. 5. RECRUITING, emphasis put on attracting new members, amount of proseletyzing. 6. FRONT GROUPS, number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of the main group. 7. WEALTH, amount of money and/or property desired or obtained; emphasis on members' donations. 8. POLITICAL POWER, amount of external political influence desired or obtained. 9. SEXUAL MANIPULATION of members by leader(s); amount of control over sex lives of members. 10. CENSORSHIP, amount of control over members' access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s). 11. DROPOUT CONTROL, intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts. 12. ENDORSEMENT OF VIOLENCE when used by or for the group or its leader(s). 13. PARANOIA, amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; perceived power of opponents. 14. GRIMNESS, amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or leader(s). 15. SURRENDER OF WILL, emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions. (from Real Magic, by P.E.I. Bonewits, 2nd Edition, Samuel Weiser, New York 1979. This article is copyrighted material; you may not republish it separately without permission of the author.) Available Information on Paganism The Pagan Alliance of Central Texas has a pamphlet available on Witches and Pagans in Texas. For information, write to: Pagan Alliance of Central Texas P.O. Box 90182 Austin, TX 78709 For a pamphlet outlining the beliefs of NeoPagan Druidism, write to: Ar nDraiocht Fein: A Druid Fellowship P.O. Box 1022 Nyack, NY 10960 Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. ---------------------------------- List of "Experts" Developed by CWR CultWatch Response is developing a list of people whom we feel are experts on the subject of Witch- craft in America. This list will be extended in subsequent issues. It currently includes: Hal Mansfield United Campus Ministry 629 S. Howes Ft. Collins, CO 80521 (General topics, emphasis on dangerous cults); Vicki Copeland CultWatch Response P.O. Box 1842 Colorado Springs, CO 80901 (History and Practices of the Craft in America, the media's view of the Craft, other related topics); Kerr Cuhulain P.O. Box 2422 Main Post Office Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3W7 CANADA (Law Enforcement, general topics). Editorial Policies Each issue of CultWatch Response is published by CultWatch Response, Inc., a non-profit Corporation under the laws of the State of Colorado, under a Public Domain Copyright. This entitles any person or group of persons to reproduce, in any form whatsoever, any material contained therein, so long as articles are not condensed, abbreviated, nor excerp- ted in any fashion and credit is given the original author. In some instances, our articles may be republished material that is already copyrighted. When this is the case, such articles will be clearly labeled and may not be republished without permission of the author, unless such repub- lication includes the entirety of that issue of CultWatch Response. We encourage groups and indivi- duals to republish each issue for the purpose of distribution to police, media, and community organizations, but request that you coordinate with us before doing so to prevent over-saturation of a local area. We welcome articles, reviews, etc. We reserve the right to correct obvious mistakes in spelling, syntax, and grammar, and to edit where necessary to fit available space; any edited material will be returned for the author's approval prior to publication. We do ask that you not UNFAIRLY promote any race, cultural group, either sex, or any magickal group or tradition above another. Articles with careful research and a positive emphasis will be considered ahead of all others. We would prefer that you use your real name, but this preference will not be a major factor in our decision to publish your article. The preceding policies have been agreed to by the current staff of CultWatch Response. We gratefully acknowledge the groundwork set by High Plains Arts and Sciences in the fields of Public Domain Copyright and editorial policies. Subscription Information Subscriptions to CultWatch Response are $20 per year (8 issues). Discounts and special arrangements are available to those people who are interested in aiding in the distribution of CultWatch Response. CultWatch Response, Inc. is neither funded nor endorsed by any religious or political organization. If you would like to see this effort continued, please make a contribution; all donations are tax-deductible and very welcome. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Please enter my subscription to CultWatch Response. 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