Title: Magical Community Skeptical of Alleged Former Wiccan Priest Turned Christian The Of

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Title: Magical Community Skeptical of Alleged Former Wiccan Priest Turned Christian From: AMER Intelligence The Official Journal of the Alliance for Magical and Earth Religions, Volume 1, Number 1. copyright 1991 by AMER and the respective authors. All rights reserved. (Permission to reprint has been granted by AMER.) The Alliance for Magical and Earth Religions advises members of the occult community to exercise caution if they are asked to participate in any "Christian-Pagan Forum" organized by a Mr. Eric Pryor. Pryor, a former Wiccan priest, and recent convert to fundamentalist Christianity, has been trying to involve occult leaders in California and other states in such events. Pryor came to national attention last October when he organized a public ritual opposing televangelist Larry Lea's attempt to "pray the perversion and witchcraft out" of San Francisco with marches to disrupt Pagan gatherings. Pryor sent publicity about his October 30 ritual to many groups in the occult community, including the Bay Area Pagan Assemblies, the Church of All Worlds, the Covenant of the Goddess, and the Temple of Set; about 150 persons attended the circle. Although TV coverage and Pryor's own publicity indicated his intent was to "surround Lea's negativism with a ring of positive energy", he performed a binding which ended in curses and destruction of a candle effigy of Lea. Despite this, much of the media coverage of the occult community was more positive than that of Lea's fundamentalist followers, especially when one of Lea's planned marches was cancelled because participants feared to leave their bus. A rattled follower reportedly yelled at Pagan protesters, "Your being here violates my freedom of speech!" On Halloween morning, Pryor appeared on San Francisco TV with Rev. Dick Bernal, pastor of Jubilee Christian Center. Shortly after, Bernal and Pryor began to discuss the idea of a Pagan-Christian forum to "foster peace and solidarity". At Bernal's invitation, Pryor attended a local Christian revival and spent a great deal of time with Bernal and Lea. Pryor contacted the Bay Area Pagan Assemblies about the forum, and volunteered to act as a liaison with the Christian community. In an interview with the BAPA newsletter, Pryor claimed to be a Welsh High Priest and to have been officially certified and ordained as a Gardnerian High Priest. Many of his claims have now been disproved. Shortly after this, Rev. Bernal invited Pryor to stay in his home, and Pryor dropped out of sight. On November 1st, AMER contacted Pryor with our congratulations on his ritual, especially complimenting him on what appeared to be his success in bringing many differing groups together in a common cause. Within a few days, Pryor called AMER for information about our organization. He claimed to be a member of the BAPA board, and the leader of about a thousand members of the New Earth Temple. He also said he would soon be on a tour speaking to audiences all over the United States, and asked if he could talk about AMER. Pryor was anxious to contact our California members, particularly any members who were Satanists. Although AMER sent further correspondence and the information Pryor had requested, he has failed to respond further. In mid-November, Pryor contacted the San Francisco press and announced his conversion to Christianity, renouncing all ties to the Pagan community. He allowed members of Jubilee Christian Center to come into the New Earth Temple, destroy his altar, and ritualistically burn many items. In spite of this desecration, Pryor continued to urge Bay Area Pagans to participate in his forum. It further developed that Pryor insisted upon being allowed to choose two of the Pagan members of the forum's panel as well as being able to veto any of the others that the pagan community suggests. He immediately ruled out Z-Budapest and Lori Cabot. In addition, he insisted that the Christians would screen all panel topics and questions. As of early March, BAPA had refused to take part in the forum under these restrictions. Finally, when Pryor imposed even more control, the panel's moderator, G. Gordon Melton, a Christian clergyman and a widely respected expert on religion in America, withdrew his support and the panel was cancelled at the last moment. Meanwhile, Pryor had been in frequent contact with an AMER member in the Bay Area who is active in the Satanic community. Eric presented himself as a Pagan community leader, though he indicated that he was working for Jubilee Christian Center as a "counselor". After learning of Pryor's conversion, our member informed AMER of phone calls in which Pryor had made suspicious and contradictory remarks about his status and activities. In early March, Pryor called his AMER contact and tried to raise interest in a proposed "Christian-Satanist" forum which he claimed to be organizing for Colorado televangelist Bob Larson, whom he has supposedly "set straight about Satanism". Our member feels that Pryor is now trying to further alienate the Satanic and Pagan communities, and to undo AMER's attempts at interfaith networking. Pryor now complains that Pagans are "unprofessional", "don't even know what they believe" and are "too involved in politics" to be serious about a dialog with Christians. AMER feels that members of any religion should think twice before becoming involved with a man who has desecrated his own temple and has misrepresented himself to BAPA, the press, AMER, and others. Although the occult world thrives on figurative iconoclasm, his literal smashing of sacred images should place Pryor beyond the pale. If you would like more information on Eric Pryor or his activities, please contact AMER at (314)-994-1026 or BAPA at (415)-487-GAIA. /end of article/


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