To All Msg #204, 24-Oct-89 1213am Subject The Following (from New Federalist) The best art
From: Brad Hicks
To: All Msg #204, 24-Oct-89 12:13am
Subject: The Following (from New Federalist)
The best article so far, really. Which isn't saying much.
HEY, REPORTER FOR NEW FEDERALIST: Currently, we write things and you read
them via MagickNet, then write your response and send it to New Federalist,
who eventually publishes it, and mails it to one of your supporters who
photocopies your response and sends it to me, and either I or Vicki posts it
here and replies again...starting the circle all over again. Can't we do
better than that? C'mon, either post or drop me a note with a phone
number...direct dialog never killed anyone. You're already getting somewhat
better at getting your facts straight.
The rest of my comments follow the article.
From: New Federalist Msg #205, 24-Oct-89 12:17am
Subject: "Witches Wailing Over New Federalist Coverage"
The witches of MagickNet are wailing over the recent New Federalist expose of
the Wiccan underground railroad, and the role of MagickNet as a Satanic
MagickNet is a computer bulletin board network which specializes in
witchcraft and the occult. The coordinator of MagickNet, Brad Hicks of St.
Louis, Mo., has described the network as an "electronic coven." Tap into
MagickNet and you will find a wide array of rituals, spells, notices of
upcoming events, conversations on various subjects, and even
counterintelligence on what Hicks calls the "New Witchhunters." It's a
regular witches' brew of gossip and information.
The most interesting--and revealing--aspect of the discussion of the
"underground railroad" case is that the witches are concerned almost entirely
with their public reputation. The welfare of Guinevere Burke, the little girl
who was spirited away by her Wiccan father, seems of little or no concern to
When Wiccan High Priestess Vicki Copeland of Colorado Springs, Colo., who
goes by the name "Rowan Moonstone," discovered the New Federalist article, she
immediately posted the entire article on MagickNet (thanks, Vicki!), to alert
the other MagickNetters to watch what they say. Her message touched off a
barrage of responses, attacking New Federalist and the LaRouche movement.
MagickNet is not just for witches: there are also Druids, Odinists,
devotees of Mithra, members of the O.T.O., and other assorted lunatics. While
they all, with one or two exceptions, deny being Satanists, they do so on
unusual grounds. Anthony Iannotti, the Secretary General of the Ordo Templi
Orientis, asserts that it is unfair to call former O.T.O. supreme commander
Aleister Crowley a Satanist, because Satan was only one of the gods Crowley
worshipped. The more common claim is that only Christians can be Satanists,
since Satan is a fallen Christian angel. Ergo, pre-Christian religions cannot
be Satanic. They seem unable to grasp the fact that all the pre-Christians
died out nearly two thousand years ago, and that today's Wicca and
neo-paganism are children of the British Occult Bureau.
Crowley, the man who called himself the "Great Beast 666," bragged in his
book "Magick in Theory in [sic] Practice" of having committed some 2,400 human
sacrifices between 1912 and 1928. His writings are full of invocations to
Satan. Still, according to the O.T.O., it is unfair to call Crowley a
Such is the Orwellian newspeak practiced by modern Satanists: The
Christians are the real Satanists, and the witches are the good guys. No
wonder they don't like the New Federalist.
From: Brad Hicks
To: New Federalist Msg #206, 24-Oct-89 01:23am
Subject: Re: "Witches Wailing Over New Federalist Coverage"
Because the accuracy on this one is better than the previous ones, instead of
giving up hope I'm going to go through it one little bite at a time. (The
rest of you: if you're bored, hit Ctrl-K or Ctrl-C and skip the next two
messages, as well.)
NF> The witches of MagickNet are wailing over the recent
NF> New Federalist expose of the Wiccan underground
NF> railroad, and the role of MagickNet as a Satanic
NF> communications channel.
Considering that Burke was arrested long before anyone on MagickNet knew even
who he was, I do think the "underground railroad" smear is misleading. Of
course, I admit that some of us do admit that we would've helped if we could
have. If you saw my message (2 previous) on the recent revelations of the
Burke case, maybe even you'll agree that we might have been justified if we
NF> MagickNet is a computer bulletin board network
NF> which specializes in witchcraft and the occult. The
NF> coordinator of MagickNet, Brad Hicks of St. Louis,
NF> Mo., has described the network as an "electronic
NF> coven." Tap into MagickNet and you will find a wide
NF> array of rituals, spells, notices of upcoming events,
NF> conversations on various subjects, and even
NF> counterintelligence on what Hicks calls the "New
NF> Witchhunters." It's a regular witches' brew of gossip
NF> and information.
Remarkably accurate journalism! Actually, we haven't run "notices of upcoming
events" in a long, long while--and probably should, thanks for the reminder.
Typographic complaints: (1) Why is "Satanist" capitalized and "witch" and
"neo-pagan" not? (2) Suggestion: I always write that word "Witch-Hunters,"
with or without the capitalization. That extra hyphen does wonders for
readability; a double-H is a pain to readers.
NF> The most interesting--and revealing--aspect of the
NF> discussion of the "underground railroad" case is that
NF> the witches are concerned almost entirely with their
NF> public reputation. The welfare of Guinevere Burke,
NF> the little girl who was spirited away by her Wiccan
NF> father, seems of little or no concern to these people.
Inaccurate and ENTIRELY unfair. Yes, there was some concern expressed over
MAGICKNET's "public image"--more accurately, our good name which you have
dragged through the mud for a crime we couldn't possibly have committed.
The entire rest of that discussion has centered on returning a happy, healthy
child to her natural father. If that isn't "her welfare," then I don't know
NF> When Wiccan High Priestess Vicki Copeland of
NF> Colorado Springs, Colo., who goes by the name "Rowan
NF> Moonstone," discovered the New Federalist article, she
NF> immediately posted the entire article on MagickNet
NF> (thanks, Vicki!), to alert the other MagickNetters to
NF> watch what they say. Her message touched off a
NF> barrage of responses, attacking New Federalist and the
NF> LaRouche movement.
"Thanks, Vicki" indeed! Think about this: we print your stories unaltered and
in their entirety. You print ours filtered through your prejudices, filled
with inaccuracies, and out of context. Which one of us is showing a higher
committment to decency and fairness? Which one of us is expressing greater
faith in the power of Reason? As the Rocky Horror folk say, "Think about it,
"Attacking ... the LaRouche movement." First of all, by now you know that I
too felt that some people were way, way out of line and I called them down for
it. I hope you feel more comfortable now--no sarcasm, really! But you must
admit that some vitriol is not unexpected when you print such direct attacks
on our very right to live and exist, no?
NF> MagickNet is not just for witches: there are also
NF> Druids, Odinists, devotees of Mithra, members of the
NF> O.T.O., and other assorted lunatics. ...
We have Mithraists? Did I miss somebody? We have Odinists? Blackwolf, are
you an Odinist? Is there anybody else?
If we do, then I'm exceedingly glad--we're even more eclectic than I thought.
But you missed not a few, too. "Assorted lunatics" could, I suppose,
adequately cover we Discordians. But you left out (at the VERY least) a few
ceremonial magicians, at least one New Ager, several Buddhists of one form or
another, and at least one mystical Christian--not to mention at least one,
maybe two, Staunch Atheists. (And that doesn't even get into the discussion
of the Baskin Robbins 23 Flavors of Witches here, but I don't blame you for
not going into that in a newspaper article.)
NF> ... While they all,
NF> with one or two exceptions, deny being Satanists, they
NF> do so on unusual grounds. ...
Excuse my flippancy, but are there "usual grounds"? I suppose you just meant
"weird" or "strange."
NF> ... Anthony Iannotti, the
NF> Secretary General of the Ordo Templi Orientis, asserts
NF> that it is unfair to call former O.T.O. supreme
NF> commander Aleister Crowley a Satanist, because Satan
NF> was only one of the gods Crowley worshipped. The more
NF> common claim is that only Christians can be Satanists,
NF> since Satan is a fallen Christian angel. Ergo,
NF> pre-Christian religions cannot be Satanic. ...
OK, this one looks like an honest misunderstanding, so let me clarify it for
you some. (You see, it looks to me like you've heard the argument, but missed
or got wrong a few key points.)
We do NOT generally say that "only Christians can be Satanists." What is
generally said is that Satanism is a Christian =heresy.= In the sense that
most people mean the word, to believe in and worship Satan you must
acknowledge that he exists--and since his existence is established primarily
through the Christian Scriptures, to be what most people (including most
Witches) consider a Satanist you must believe in the Christian Scriptures.
Tim Maroney (the original "Mr. Flame," who will probably be quite surprised to
read this) has done a reasonably good job of convincing at least most of the
MagickNetters (I hate that word, but what else is there?) that most Satanists
do not, in fact, "believe" in the literal existence of the Christian Satan,
any more than most Discordians "believe" in the literal existence of Eris
iscordia, or most Christians "believe" in a literal Old Man With A White
Beard. Satan is, to them, first and foremost a literary symbol with which
(They then collapse to squabbling among themselves, and backstabbing, and
printing denunciations of each other, because they do not agree on what the
symbol means. Which to my tastes, PROVES that they're a real religion. Grin.)
NF> ... They seem
NF> unable to grasp the fact that all the pre-Christians
NF> died out nearly two thousand years ago, and that
NF> today's Wicca and neo-paganism are children of the
NF> British Occult Bureau.
ALL died out? Prove THAT one! It seems highly unlikely to me that there were
NO survivors. And even if there weren't, there's the historical record and
physical evidence--and THAT is the foundation of most modern Neopaganism.
Now yes, much of Wicca shows influence from Gerald Gardner, the British witch
who seems to have introduced to the Craft such concepts as the ceremonial
athame, the scourge, and the "containment" function of the magical circle, and
re-popularized the long-neglected practice of ceremonial nudity. But Gardner
did NOT make it up out of whole cloth. At the very least, even if you think
he was lying about "Old Dorothy," you must admit that he based some of it on
Charles Godfrey Leland's ARADIA, and that's (a) Italian, not British, and (b)
while obviously altered over time, an at least partial survival of some
Etruscan form of Witchcraft going back to at least pre-Christian Rome.
Some Witches claim that the Craft is unaltered and unbroken since the caves at
Lascaux. (Mostly new, ignorant ones.) You claim that it's all a modern
British invention. The truth, as is not unusual, is almost certainly
somewhere between the two.
(Aside: British Occult Bureau? Capitalized? Is this supposed to be real,
literal group? Who called themselves that?)
NF> Crowley, the man who called himself the "Great
NF> Beast 666," bragged in his book "Magick in Theory in
NF> [sic] Practice" of having committed some 2,400 human
NF> sacrifices between 1912 and 1928. His writings are
NF> full of invocations to Satan. Still, according to the
NF> O.T.O., it is unfair to call Crowley a Satanist.
Somebody drags this dead fish in at least once every two months. Can you
possibly not have heard the real "crime" that this code phrase referred to?
Let me put it another way. Do you really think that one man got away with
killing a child EVERY TWO WEEKS FOR TWELVE YEARS? As Crowley said of Gilles
de Rais, don't you think someone would have noticed? Don't you imagine that
the mothers would have raised some kind of fuss? Wouldn't the bodies begin to
pile up? Of COURSE he wasn't being literal!
NF> Such is the Orwellian newspeak practiced by modern
NF> Satanists: The Christians are the real Satanists, and
NF> the witches are the good guys. No wonder they don't
NF> like the New Federalist.
As above: REAL Christians are on our side, like most of the holy and religious
people of history. We all want harmony, happiness, and an end to the harms
that we inflict on each other. ORDINARY Christians are not Satanists--in
fact, they're mostly people to whom Christianity has more to do with a sense
of cultural continuity than any kind of internalized belief. HERETICAL
Christians believe in both God and Satan, and worship Satan instead.
If the New Federalist got its facts straight, and didn't make accusations of
crimes when no crime existed, we'd probably love it (even if still not agree
with it). At least, I would--I collect that kind of stuff.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank