THE GROVE OF THE UNICORN P.O. BOX 13384 ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30324 Lady Galadriel and Lord Ath

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THE GROVE OF THE UNICORN P.O. BOX 13384 ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30324 Lady Galadriel and Lord Athanor September, 1985 And what a tale we have to tell! Only the beginning of it, for we are sure there will be much, much more to come. We know there will be if we have anything to do with it, for we are furious and intend to pursue the matter as far as possible. A bit of background: In early Spring a friend of Lady Galadriel and Lord Athanor gave the group permission to use his land (a rural spot outside Atlanta) as our outdoor Temple. The group spent many hours clearing the site, building a stone altar, ringing the circle with stones, erecting cornerstones, planting herbs, etc. All were delightd with the spot and were willing to expend their time and energy in working to make the site as beautiful as possible. Sabbats and Esbats were celebrated there and we felt very fortunate to have such a spot. At no time did we have any indication that anyone resented our being there. There were never any "wild parties" or disturbances of any kind--this was our Temple, we certainly would not desecrate it! As the spot was completely surrounded by dense woods, we felt there was also a natural sound barrier. Everyone would be gone shortly after midnight, or sooner, for most of the group are working folks who must be at work the next day. In late July, one of the group went out to the site and discovered that vandals had struck. Cornerstones had been overturned, a number of items had been stolen (statuary, cauldron, candles, etc.). Everyone was heartsick, to say the least. But, we got busy, rebuilt the Altar, replaced the cornerstones, cleaned up the mess, put things back in order and felt we had learned a lesson--don't leave removable items unattended--especially in a place that is infested with red-neck teenagers! Now to the gist of the tale: On Wednesday, September 18, two of our members went out to the site to do a bit of "housekeeping." To their horror they found that someone else had been there and much damage had been done to the circle. A cross had been erected in the center of the firepit, the place was in shambles, and the words "Jesus Saves" and "In God we trust" were scratched in the earth in front of the altar. They rushed back to inform Lady Galadriel of what had happened. Oddly enough, at that time the gentlemen who owns the land was visiting with Lady Galadriel. He, too, was outraged. He left, stating that as soon as he reached home he would file a complaint with the police. Shortly after he left, the phone rang...it was a Lieutenant from the county police, informing Lady Galadriel that the police had been notified that the neighbors at the site had formed a coalition "to stop the witches" and had called a press conference to complain about the witches and the fact that the police would not do anything to stop them! A bit more conversation which boiled down to "stay away from out there or someone may get hurt." An emergency meeting of the Grove was called for that evening to discuss the situation. All were outraged, but common sense prevailed and all agreed that the best thing to do is to refrain from going out there again. We're sure everyone can understand our sense of violation and frustration in such a situation. In the middle of the meeting the phone rang. It was a reporter from the local paper who had been at the meeting of the neighbors and wanted to hear our side of it. Lady Galadriel spoke with her at length and two somewhat sympathetic articles appeared in Thursday's papers. THEN--the next evening (Thursday, September 19) we were even more outraged by local TV coverage of the matter. On one station, we were treated to full views of the site with police, reporters and "curious spectators" (as quoted by the media) crawling all over the circle. Some of the comments made were less than flattering, to say the least, and many were out and out falsehoods. Then we turned to another station and were even more shocked--they showed basically the same scenes, but with shots of people desecrating the circle site! One man was shown in the act of dismantling the Altar, stone by stone, "to find out what is in there..." while everyone stood by, watching, and allowed him to do so! Another was picking up stones from the circle ring "as a keepsake." We were outraged not only by the actions of these people, but by the fact that others stood by and watched as they desecrated our place of worship. We can't help but wonder what would have happened if such a thing had occurred at the "litle white church in the wildwood!" Shock waves would have raced across the city and the uproar would have been felt nationwide. Now it was our turn to act/react. And act we did. Lady Galadriel immediately contacted the TV stations to register her protest. One station sent an interviewer out the same evening and small segment of her response was presented on the eleven o'clock news that night. The other TV station responded the next day (Friday), did an interview, and presented another small segment that evening. Several radio stations touched on the matter briefly. One, however, may be named in our law suits...announcers on the station made many derogatory remarks about our religion in general and about our group. One can understand that uncomplimentary statements may be made by participants on a "call-in-talk-show," but you would expect announcers to be more professional than to air their own personal opinion. Unfortunately, no one was able to tape the programs at the time, but we are requesting tape transcripts from the station under F.C.C. Regulation 73:234. (Thanks to Pat of the Georgians for passing out information on that subject many years ago--even our attorney was not familiar with the regulation and was delighted to learn about it). (F.C.C. Regulation 73:34 -- Attack Against a Person or Group.) Lady Galadriel has had several radio interviews and one interviewer plans on putting together a taped program which will go across the nation via satellite. No date for this as yet. The program is "Southwind", so if you hear of it in your area, tune us in! Also, a live TV interview is scheduled for Wednesday, October 2, on the local NBC station noonday news. Monday, September 23, we "got in OUR licks," so to speak, through a local radio talk show: WSB AM--750--"Sound-off," 9 p.m. week nights. It is a four-hour program which covers two-thirds of the States--a 75,000 watt station. Reference was made to the news about the witches, then WE started calling in. Not all of us were able to get through--the phone lines were jammed--but many of us did manage to "speak our piece." The program began with the talk show host being a bit snide and tongue-in-cheek, ended with him being defensive of us and our rights. AND an invitation to Lady Galadriel to appear on his program as a guest interviewee. Needless to say, she accepted, although a date has not been set. (We'll try to let as many know as possible when a definite date has been established.) Lady Galadriel is a very good speaker, mentally quick on her feet, armed with a vast amount of knowledge, and able to express herself clearly and concisely, even under adverse conditions. We look forward to the program--it should be a good one. (Note: Lady Galadriel is not typing this, folks...so we can say these things.) There were calls from Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas, and many other states. Of course, there were those of opposing views who called in to voice their opinion, and the usual garbage one expects to hear when the subject of witchcraft is brought up. But it was very rewarding to note how many people expressed a positive, tolerant attitude. We look forward to the upcoming program--it should be just as interesting and informative. And perhaps educational for some of the listening audience-- at least those who open their ears just a little and HEAR what is being said. Since this report was begun, there has been another development. The plot begins to thicken (or should we spell that "sicken?") One of the group members who had let his religion be known, and had been overheard on the radio talk how, was dismissed from his job. The supervisor who gave him the news almost told him the true reason he was being dismissed, but caught himself just in time, then made the lame excuse that the fellow "just wasn't a team player." Which is ludicrous, as the man had received several commendations from management for the great job he was doing. What will we do? We don't know at this point--no one else was present when the supervisor was speaking with him, so he has no witnesses to what the man said. Without proof, there is little one can do. It makes us even more determined to follow through. We, personally, feel that it is past time that the Wiccan community stood up for their beliefs. We are all sick and tired of the derogatory remarks, being run out of places, and being generally classed as "low-life" because of our beliefs. And if we have to "get out our soap-boxes and go stand on a corner of the public square," we will do so. The group members are in complete agreement, and so far most of them have said they are willing to go public, if necessary. All of us have something to lose by exposure, but we all feel that we have much more to gain! We intend to take every opportunity to present our viewpoint and to stand up, publicly, for what we believe in. We realize that many people don't believe they can take the chance of going public, realizing the possible repercussions. None of us look forward to what could happen...but until someone stands up to the bigots of the world, they will continue to push us, and all other people with a different belief system than their own around. And, frankly, we are tired of being pushed! Non-Craft people in the area have suggested that it would be best for us to "go back underground," back into the basements and living rooms (with the blinds pulled down, of course), then there would be no more furor. WHY SHOULD WE? So, there is our tale. We'll try to keep everyone updated as to what happens next. We would appreciate any positive energy which anyone out there would care to send. We've got a feeling we are going to need all the help we can get! Blessed be! Lady Galadriel, High Priestess Lord Athanor, High Priest Lady Rhea, Elder and everyone from the Grove of the Unicorn.

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