Discrimination in Education

hey i got a great one for you. i ran into this girl at my mom's store in wooster. she practices wicca and is 17. she goes to wooster high school. the other day her school brings her and several other kids into the office and grills them for no less than an hour about whether they practice witchcraft or not. they threaten to prosecute (whatever that means) the entire group if they find out they are and none of them confess. (can we say Salem or what). the girl denies everything repeatedly until they give up but what a case of religious discrimination. if you know anyone who could help her out i'd pass along the info. she isn't thinking of doing anything but i don't know if i can just stand around while this goes on so close to my home. even if it is some little hick town they can't do that.


I sing in a few school choirs. When we recieved our "holiday" music it was all completely Christmas carols. Not even a song or two that could be labeled as neutral. I was a bit upset, not only because I am pagan, but I know that a school of 1500 people are not all christian. I approached our principal and asked if we could possibly change a few songs on the list in order to ensure a little bit of equality and was flatly refused. To top it off I as asked to remove my pentagram from my bookbag. Now, I don’t go to a private school and there is no rule in our dress code that bans any form of religous attire. Everyday I see people wearing Christian shirts with sayings such as "Christ is King" and "Follow thy light". And I don’t think slipping "Holly and Ivy" into the holday music program is going to hurt anything. Is it too much to ask??


Last Friday my teenage son & his schoolmates were treated to an assembly warning them about the occult & cults. Let me preface the report of this assembly by stating that my kids go to Catholic school (yes, I'm Pagan, but they're raised as Catholics with a bit of Pagan around the edges...it's not easy but we do the best we can, and at least they'll grow up as open-minded, informed Catholics, who know that there are other equally valid options to choose from). Therefore, the assembly wasn't shocking, but it's no excuse for outright ignorance & brainwashing tactics.

The so-called expert on "The Occult" spoke to the school about what groups (cults, in his words) to avoid. Among them were the Unification Church, Scientology and the New Agers (his words), especially Wiccans (yes, he used the term Wiccan). He explained that these groups used brainwashing techniques to trick young people into joining them and becoming involved w/ Satan and the occult. He said that Scientology wasn't a religion. He referred to New Agers as people who do things like placing crystals around their homes because they believe that if they put ten crystals around their home, they'll get $10,000 (don't I wish...). He warned repeatedly against the brainwashing tactics of these non-religions.

Then he went on to explain a couple of the "gateways to the occult" these groups use, specifically ouija boards & tarot cards (he rhymed tarot w/ carrot). He told these kids that these gateways were used to tell the future and communicate with the devil.


Clear Brook High School Paper--"The Connection", October, 1997, Features/Opinion page 5

"Symbolic jewelry creates questions by Bill Rylander

The new trend passing around the teenage crowd now seems to be all sorts of new and unique symbols to be worn as jewelry. Ranging from little astrological signs, like Cancer or Capricorn, to the Chinese horoscope letters, to crosses, and even the occasional reversed cross or upside down pentagram. This trend has recently become more and more of a concern to the administrative staff here at Clear Brook.

"We're not out looking for these symbols but everywhere you look, they're there," assistant principal Mr. Steve Kees said.

The symbols depicting the signs of the devil or any kind of satanic meaning or value have violent undertones that directly relate themselves to kidnapping, torture, and, at its worst, human sacrifice. Other symbold that are gang affiliated or depict illegal drugs, such as the marijuana leaf, carry obvious implications of illegal activities that the school administrators have fought and struggled to keep out of our school.

One story in particular that Mr. Kees recalled was an incident involving a student wearing a pentagram necklace. When asked to remove the pentagram, the student replied that it was a symbol of his religion; paganism. First of all, the pentagram, when right side up, is a symbol of the Wiccan religion. Secondly, Webster's Dictionary defines a pagan as a person with no religion, or heathen. Confronted with these facts, the student had no alternative but to remove the necklace.

"There is no problem with religious symbols as long as they are not gang related, " Kees said.

The reason the pentagram is not allowed in school is, according to Mr. Kees, for its apparent gang affiliation, not to discriminate against anyone or any form of religion to which it is connected.

The rules on what is allowed and what is not allowed are defined in the Student Handbook as nothing gang related, violent, drug or alcohol related, and after all that is cleared, the final judgement decision is left to the discretion of building administrators.

The principals and school/police officer liasons attend seminars on gangs and gang activities, so they don't rely on pure intuition alone. They have handouts with symbols listed and their meanings, plus a listing of possible activities of occult or satanic affiliations that may appear to threaten students' safety or life."

We have a law student who is helping us with this. He is trying to find information about a similar case last year where a rosary was banned for being "gang" jewelry.


I am right in the midst of trying to help two teenage girls who are having a huge dispute with their school on their right to practice Wicca. The school is not being very helpful or very caring. In fact they are trying to put everything off until the end of the school year so it will just go away. The girls want to contact the ACLU, but I can't find a phone number for them anywhere!


My parents sent me to a Catholic high school and several friends and I were almost kicked out because we are witches. I graduated last spring but they are still there, suffering and hiding their religion.


my friend was pretty much kicked out of school and the community for practicing Wicca.....(solitary practicioner) then,that frightened all of us.......


My first semester of English during my sophomore year was a mythology class. Actually, it was a project for that class that got me started on actively researching the Wiccan path. Needless to say, I knew more than my teacher did about classical mythology and even some tribal African myths. I would unconciously correct her pronounciation of names and places (she often pronounced Hecate's name as "Heck-ATE" *growl*). Of course, students like me, who are actually interested in learning and getting a decent education rather than just "cruising" always get the brunt of criticism from out peers. This one kid said to me one day, "Damn it, I hate you, you make us all look so stupid!" *sigh* One day I corrected my teacher on something (I think she confused Eos and Selene) and I suppose she couldn't take anymore. She said rather hotly, "Look, what makes you think you know more than me about this, hmm? I went to school for years and learned about this!" So, like an idiot I blurt out, "I know more about this than you do because it's my religion!" That's always been my failing in life--I don't know when to shut up. So, I unintentionally outed myself and for the rest of the term I had to deal with vulgar notes on my desk, tracts stuck in my books and so on.


School officials at Passaic Valley Regional High School in New Jersey refused to allow two high school students to publish their article on witchcraft in the school newspaper. Superintendent Louis R. Centolanza stated:
This is a learning experience for the kids. The experience is the publication but it has got to be guided. Someone has to say no. Otherwise, they could publish anything they want. You could have hearsay, libel, defamation, or students calling for the government's overthrow.

Source: The Record, 7/9/96, N05


Several years ago I spent a year fighting with the local high school (Dallastown, PA) to recognize Pagan holidays the same way they did for other religions. When we started, taking my son out of school to celebrate a Pagan holiday resulted in an unexcused absence. Thanks to several groups, the school finally backed down. That fight would have been a whole lot easier with groups like this. Keep up the good work.


i'm now school searching because my friend and i were kicked out of a catholic school because of our real beliefs.


My father is the only one, besides my husband and in laws, that accept me as a Wiccan. He taught me an important lesson as a child. My mother sent me to a "christian" school where I was harassed, beat up, made fun of and then expelled for fighting back.


When I was in Catholic school there was an atheist in our class and we used to harass her every day calling her a pagan. I spent years trying to convert her.


Basic Harassment

This is a letter that I hope all pagans, and Wiccans alike read. This is about a grevious miscarrage of justice that has happened to my mother who is a senior citizen (65 yrs). In Aug of 1997 her house which was fully insured through Farmers Insurance caught fire due to a electrical short. She lost everything. Including her Altar, Tools and Grimores. This fire was proven by the fire department to be caused by a electrical short due to old defective wiring. What makes this even more horiffic, is the fact that Farmers Insurance refuses to pay her for the loss, stating that since she is a pagan why should they. They have refused to pay for anything, regardless of the fact that she has receipts for her furniture, clothes etc. They have stalked her, threatened her, and have accosted her at her home. Through this type of abuse it has caused her health to go down hill, she now has high blood pressure, ulcers, bad nerves, she is ready for a nervious breakdown and heart disease. She has been forced to live in a 20' 1978 motor home with two other people and her two full grown dogs, this she had to buy due to the fact that it was the only place that she could get into and at least live like a human, she had purchased this in Aug.


Lara Beth has been through quite a few adventures since the citation.  Unfortunately, her name, address, and unlisted phone number were published in the News and Observer when the citation was issued.  Shortly afterwards, the 'hired man' at her apartment complex attacked her by throwing a toolbox at her and trying to choke her claiming that she is a witch and is evil. Isn't publicity wonderful!  The police department charged the hired man with assault, and took him for mental evaluation.  She decided that she needed to move and change her phone number.  



>I put in a request with qvc, to think about obtaining some Pagan items on
>their broadcast shows. When I got through the line, once I stated this
idea I
>was hung up on 4 times before a lady anwsered the line and told me this
show
>was christian based and that I should find another show to HARASS! I was
>RAGED! I was being treated like I didn't mean anything.


Internet Mailing List: New Hampshire Pagan Mailing List 1996-FEB-29

Christians intolerant of Wiccan clergy

The Titusville FL city council invited Rev. Jacque Zaleski from the Church of Iron Oak, to give the opening invocation. She represents a group a local Wiccans ("white witches"). Members of a local Christian church were offended by a non-Christian giving the invocation. Some were "rebuffed for their boisterousness" and turned their back to the podium when Ms. Zaleski spoke. In the lobby. a group of Christians "broke into a very loud boisterous version of The Lord's Prayer" to drown out the invocation. One of the demonstrators "rudely broke into an interview being conducted outside by Channel 6 News from Orlando to spout his own, unasked for, viewpoints".


WICCAN FOUND MURDERED IN VERMONT
Friday, December 05, 1997 at 10:19:15 (EST)

EAST WALLINGFORD, Vt. (AP) - Dwayne Bernier's family and friends gathered for a Wiccan memorial service, while police continued to search for clues in his death. Bernier, 45, was found dead Nov. 23 in his tattoo shop Police will say only that he was killed with a ``bladed instrument.''

Kirk White, minister of the Church of the Sacred Earth in Bethel, performed Wednesday's ceremony in the Wiccan faith practiced by Bernier. It is a blend of pagan and Native American traditions.

Bernier owned the Dragon's Leyr Tattoo Emporium and Gift Shoppe on Route 103, where his body was found on a snowy Sunday morning. Police have said little about the investigation into the death, saying they don't want to reveal information that might be known only to the killer or killers.


This morning like always I was stalling before heading to work and like always flipping thru the tv. I happened to end up on QVC one of those home shopping channels and normally a very good one. This hour they were selling Jewlery of Faith so it caught my eye and I left it on. After one gold yinyang and tons of xian and Jewish symbols I made my mind up to call and suggest that maybe they could look into somethig Pagan. An Ankh, celtic knotwork something non-threating but still Pagan.

I spoke to a Linda who was willing to take my comments, that is willing until I said the word "pentagram". I was informed that "QVC would never sell anything demonic or having to do with witchcraft." So I said that our religion had nothing to do with demons. Things went down hill from there. I was told that Jesus was sent to this world to save my soul and that if I didn't believe in him I was going to Hell and that she would not forward my request because it was invaild.

I asked for another number to call. I was told that for me there was no other number. I asked for her manager, and again was told no. I asked for her name again and she refused, "because I already gave it to you." I thought hard and remembered her saying Linda. I asked her for an id number thinking I would hangup and call again hoping to get someone eles and then be able to report her. Again she refused. So I said "You mean to tell me that you won't let me speak to a supervisor, you won't give me your name again and you won't tell me another number I can call." I was told "That's right."

I don't know if the call was being monitored or if it suddenly occured to her that there must be a limited number of Linda's working and how bad it would look if I called back and told them she had refused to let me speak to her supervisor but she put me on hold and next thing I know she has transfered me to her supervisor.

Finally I'm getting somewhere. This woman actually listened and was upset that Linda would mock my religion. She even placed me on hold while she sent Linda away so we could talk freely. She entered my suggestion of showing somethig Pagan as a relgion, (They often air Scarb bracelets but almost never mention the connection to Ra). I pointed out what could have happened if I was Jewish and she told me I was going to burn in Hell. I attempted to make her see that it was the same thing. She said that Linda was out of line and that she would "have a talk with her about it." I made sure to stress that strong faith is a great and wonderful thing, but that she had no right to stomp on mine simply because she didn't agree with it or was to ignorant to know better.


I'm a 22 yr old wiccan in the NW. Everyday I face people saying I'm a witch & i'm evil...Christains discriminate me because they believe I worship Satan. In wiccan, there is no devil.


I received a call today from a gentleman by the name of Chris Cook. He operates a Wiccan store called Pentacle Point in Reading, PA. The store opened last August 1st. He has been subletting space from a tobacco supply store which has two locations.

The tobacco supply store was siezed and shut down a few days ago from selling pipes and rolling papers. The police did occupy and detail customers of the Wiccan shoppe until the owner of the tobacco store informed them that they were a sublet.

Last night, a customer after leaving the store, was pulled over by police. (8:30 pm on Charlotte & Oak Street). No probably cause was given. He was asked who in the store he was visiting. He answered his brother-in-law (Chris). He was asked "were you looking for drugs?" After responding "no," he was let go.

Also, one of the clerks from the second location of the Tobacco shop was in the police station yesterday for his boss and is reported to have overheard a County Detective say that Pentacle Pointe was "targetted to be closed." Chris has no idea why.

He told me it has been suggested that the minute the police show up, that he call the State Police to come immediately. I also recommended that he keep a notebook with him at all times and keeps notes of what, when, where, how and whom. I also suggested that he carry a camera to take photos if needed.


I live under the threat of imprisonment because of the ban on "pot".

In my religion, Tameran witchcraft, marijuana, hashish, or bhang is smoked each day at sunrise while chanting to Bast (or Aset). This is an important and ancient ritual that goes back at least 6,000 years. The marijuana smoke is viewed as the breath of Bast Herself and is viewed as imparting truth and clarity for the coming day.

Beyond the ancient and honorable religious practice (from a culture that produced the world's greatest paintings, sculpture, architecture, and literature, as well as inventing writing, science, mathematics, ethics, and philosophy), the medical uses of cannabis are well-established.

Prior to the U.S. federal government outlawing marijuana (the Congressional testimony claimed that marijuana was the cause of both jazz music and the growing civil rights movement among southern Blacks), marijuana was the second most prescribed medication in the United States (hashish was number one). More than 100 hemp derivatives were in common pharmaceutical use.

California's medical marijuana initiative was narrowly written to address only the medical needs of hundreds of thousands of California's sickest citizens: those stricken with AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, and other life-threatening diseases, completely ignoring the many other legitimate uses for hemp.


As many of you may know, the state of New Hampshire in the U.S.A. has been described as "The Bible Belt of the North". At the state prison for men, in Concord NH, there are hundreds of Christian religious groups, and only two recognized Pagan groups. The Coven of the Phoenix is an eclectic Wiccan group, which uses incense, candles, feasting, scrying mirrors, a lot of written material, and hand-painted banners as some of the materials in their practice. The shamanic Native American group uses drumming, smudging, pipe-smoking, and feasting as part of their practice. (There's more to the practice of course, but you'll see why I mention this part in a moment.) There is some overlap in the membership between these groups and they are on reasonably friendly terms. These two groups are about to lose the room where they meet, and this is more serious than it looks. It may effectively shut them both down.


I was contacted today by phone by Ron Rainey who lives in Lawton, OK. He is a guidance counselor at a job training center and is a federal employee. He has been a practicing Wiccan for over 15 years.

He just found out that his faith has been discussed in Department Head Staff Meetings. All Wiccan students have been removed from his case load for the vague reasons of "don't want witchcraft in the center." He has two witnesses who have written notes from this meeting. He has also been questioned about personal articles in his office such as gargoyle figures and dragons. He was told they were offensive and represented the devil.

He reports that earlier a female student was ostrasized for wearing a pentacle and told to remove it. Ron at that point gave a copy of the Army Handbook excerpt to the Director.


I quit my job as an ABAA Legal Assistant because after a year of work, I was overheard, in another room, talking to someone about paganism and the whole attitude of the firm changed. The one partner (Jewish) refused to acknowledge my existance, the other (Lutherian & my boss) could barely bring himself to communicate with me. It was OK for them to sit & discuss any and every aspect of their religion, day-in-and-day-out. Now when I apply for other jobs, I never even get an interview. I found out through the grapevine that I was blackballed.


NBC news (this morning) had a brief blurb that the State of Tennessee is calling into question all marriages performed by ministers with credentials from The Universal Life Church. Someone filed a complaint that these credentials were issued by mail, with no " background checks", so a judge is in the process of deciding whether all these people have to be remarried to have legal status for the State.


I think I've been very lucky in that most of my friends have been understanding of my Wiccan beliefs. The only dark spot was a man I was involved with went bezerk when I told him, and I unfortunately had to break the relationship off because of his reaction. I don't hide what I am, but I have several good friends who do, or even have stopped practicing because of the prejudices against us.


I am a solitaire Wiccan, still studying the craft. Though I am crossing over to Crone, I still find much bigotry toward my personal beliefs. I've been called everything from a whore of satan to satans' daughter. So sad. Each belief has something to offer the other and to hate others dishonors The Great Spirit and the Creator of us ALL.


Amanda, my friend, has meant for years to work her way into the FBI, where she thinks the presence of a female Pagan might have a significant impact. Specifically, she wants to work in criminal profiling, where her background can help cut through some of the confusion regarding a religious compulsion to criminal behavior. (Which does exist in some groups, even Christian groups under some circumstances, but is rarely a part of Wicca, for example!!!) To this end, she has acquired degrees both in criminal justice and psychology, with plans to go on to earn her master's in criminology. Between the two stints in college, her plan was to get the 2 years work experience in law enforcement, and she was accepted a few months ago as a law enforcement officer for Germantown PD. (Germantown is a suburb of Memphis.) She was excited--she had her badge, and she was on the street, picturing herself as finally able to act personally to right wrongs and save the innocents. This woman can be very idealistic, and really is in this whole thing for all the right reasons.

On August 30, after a month on the force, she went off to the 8-week police academy in Donelson, TN (near Nashville). Although she was homesick and worried about the PT and bad food, things went along well and more or less as expected, except that she began to be upset by the frequent mention of the Christian god in her classes. (This reached such extremes as an instructor reading several lengthy Bible passages, stating that this was the source of the strength that would see an officer through life-or-death situations.) She addressed the issue correctly and clearly, and discussed her concerns with her instructor, who agreed that his point of offering suggested inspiration was made by citing the verses in question, and that reading them was not necessary. He supported her position and changed his plans for future courses--Amanda was riding high on the victory!

There followed the election of class officers, which of course involved a description of the officers' duties. Among the responsibilities of the Vice President of the class is the public reading of "The Policeman's Prayer." Amanda again objected to this compulsory prayer, obviously Christian, and again made arrangements to discuss her concerns. Meanwhile, she befriended another frustrated Wiccan at the Academy, and learned of a third, who is afraid to be involved in any way.

Before the meeting for discussion could take place, however, plans were discussed for graduation, scheduled for October 23. Amanda was shocked to hear that the graduation ceremony--for law enforcement officers!--is to take the form of a Christian service held in a Christian church! She went to the meeting, and the officer with whom she spoke complimented her on having stated her arguments articulately and calmly, and agreed that the academy would have to consider the issue. He agreed that, as planned, the Academy had basically told her that, in order to graduate from the police academy, she would have to participate in a Christian service and pay lip service to the Christian god. (How much more clearly can you establish a religion, without legislation???) He then asked if she would sue the Academy, if the graduation occurred as planned. At first she insisted she would not--that was never her intent, and she is *very* devoted to the goals of the Academy, generally. Then, reconsidering, she said, "You know, I don't really think I can promise that." The other officer said he would speak to the director about the matter.

Amanda checked with her Wiccan friend, who had been waiting outside--her friend had been unable to hear any of the conversation, and Amanda filled her in.

The next morning, Amanda's suitemate (person in the next dorm room, who shares a bathroom with her) asked if it was true that Amanda was planning to sue the Academy if graduation was held in a church. Amanda assured her that her primary goal was *not* a lawsuit, but that she wanted to be sure that the Academy that taught officers the law and how to enforce it was not itself violating basic tenets of the Constitution. The suitemate left, and Amanda followed shortly after, where she found a group of about a dozen people discussing her in the hallway. She approached them, and asked her suitemate why she had asked that question, and what she had heard; she also thanked her for asking her directly, rather than simply gossiping, as was apparently also happening. The group then turned en masse to attack her verbally, and was as hateful and abusive as could be imagined. I'll not type all the comments here, but she was accused of trying to destroy the Academy's traditions, of conducting Satan's work, of generally being an evil, malicious bitch. Amanda left in tears, and called me to tell me what had happened.

Amanda asked the administration for help--after all, she'd just been accosted in the hallway by her classmates--and they decided to approach the issue by organizing a forum to discuss all the concerns that afternoon. They did so, but failed to conduct it in any nonpartisan manner. Instead, they basically put Amanda and her friend on the hot seat, and allowed the entire rest of the class to consolidate their hatred by firing insults at the two women. An instructor frequently intervened to comment on Amanda and her friend's statements, but never corrected even the most obvious mistakes of her classmates. (Such as, "Well, you'd be violating *my* Constitutional rights if we didn't have it in the church!" This is simply not true--a secular graduation would violate nobody's rights.) Other comments were obviously generated by nothing by hatred, and also not called down: "I hope you're not the officer on the scene of a burning church, with a baby dying inside--you'd not go in to save it, would you?" (Amanda's friend fielded that one: "What are you going to do if a Christian is assaulting a nonChristian? Protecting the innocent has nothing to do with the religion of the people involved!) Again Amanda was brought to tears, and again she called me.

At this point, we felt that she may have to resort to the courts to settle the matter--a choice we'd not wanted to consider, as it could destroy her chances of getting into the FBI, and she's worked for many years to achieve that. The FBI is very picky and very thorough on their background checks, and she'd be unlikely to pass if she even seriously started to sue her police academy for religious discrimination.

That forum took place Thursday, and since then we've been busy. Another very close friend is a lawyer (unfortunately she works for the state, too, and can't take the case due to conflict of interest), and will trade consulting if necessary to secure a civil rights attorney. She also knows a good choice for representation, one Amanda Fisher in Nashville, whom she is contacting today for an opinion. Susan (our lawyer friend) feels that, oddly, Ama may have a better sexual harassment case than a religious discrimination case, in which she can argue that the establishment used religion as a mechanism by which to establish a hostile environment. (The large majority of the class, and virtually all the administration, are male.) Amanda and I both object to this approach, as they're not really guilty of sexual harassment, but Susan has pointed out that including religion in the argument provides a precedent for someone else to win a clearer case, and insists that Amanda could not win the religious discrimination case in Tennessee, right or not. (She dramatized the possible closing arguments for the state: "These men put their lives on the line for us, and she won't even let us pray for them? We're supposed to cater to a self-proclaimed, lesbian WITCH, against the entire tradition of our law enforcement academy? What's she going to do, put a *spell* over you [the jury] to make you vote her way?" And, Susan's right--an undoubtedly Christian jury would probably vote against her, just to prove to themselves that they'd not been ensorcelled.)

So . . . I've done a lot of legal research, and found good precedents--for example, a case in conservative Alabama, where a public high school's graduation prayers were deemed unconstitutional in May of this year, even though said prayers were "non-sectarian, non-proseltyzing, and student-led." Susan is working on getting the civil rights lawyer's opinion, and interpreting the material I've found. Amanda is spending time hiding with her dog, healing and trying to gain strength--she's been home for the weekend, but goes back to Donelson in a couple hours. Her department here in Germantown is also aware of the situation, and she's concerned for her position after graduation, too. If possible, Amanda wants to keep her career plans intact, but we don't know if she can do that at this point or not.

Amanda could certainly use whatever energy anyone has to spare, especially in the form of strength, protection, victory in legal battles, etc. She has recently felt a call towards Athena (hence some of my sudden interest in Greek Paganism!), but has not yet dedicated herself to that Goddess. That connection, though, will help (but of course may also have helped to place her as the focal point of this mess!) Amanda herself has chin-length blonde hair, a fair complexion, hazel eyes, stands about 5'7", with a ready smile and very controlled movements. When not at work, she likes to wear the retro-70's "lesbian-chic," but it's equally valid and perhaps easier for someone wishing to help to picture her in her blue police uniform--more or less the same polyester atrocity to be found throughout the country. She's thin but not emaciated, loves to dance, and *very* idealistic. I hope that's enough of a description to help anyone who does want to help to form a clear picture--ever notice it's not easy to "describe your best friend in 100 words or less???" Please, take the time to send what you can. I've kept a clear line to her, and tried to stay grounded so as not to deplete myself, but four days of constant power-line status are beginning to take a toll, at least in sleep deprivation!


My parental rights were terminated basically due to my religious beliefs. The CPS has come up with every excuse under the sun to deny this, but that is the facts and I have documentation to prove it. I have had two lawyers, appealed the decision, all with no relief. I need help, cannot afford another lawyer, as the appeal has left me broke, really have no trust in lawyers anymore. However, if a lawyer would take the case and win, I would give him the money he won. All I want is my children home.


A friend of mine says she wasn't allowed to watch the Mr. Hooper died episode of Sesame Street because her mom thought it might contain too many pagan beliefs. ?!


The Toledo, Ohio newschannel reported two runaway teenage girls who call themselves witches were arrested and put into detention. Candles and signs of satanic worship were found in the structure they had been living in.The two were also wearing Gothic clothing. The news reported the girls will be charged with Witchcraft. Counselors Ātrained Āin dealing with witches and satanic worship are being brough in to deprogram them. Can't wait to see the news at eleven on this one!


A very dear and close friend of mine is being emotionally and mentally tortured, threatened, and harassed because she is a Witch. Three males on a newsgroup started out by harassing her via e-mail. Now it has spread to her receiving phone calls and threats. One of the young men has said he will burn her. She has been told (by one of the "people") in no uncertain terms that she MUST leave the newsgroup for three weeks and she must take down her website. She is leaving the newsgroup but she refuses to take down her website.

Within this past year, my friend (Nancy) lost a dear baby who was born three months prematurely. I don't think very many people know how much this broke her heart. She adores children and wants several of them. She is in the process of trying to adopt a wonderful baby boy right now -- little Gene has lived with her and her husband for many months and she is absolutely crazy about him.

She has been accused of sacrificing her baby, Ben, as an occult ritual. Two of the young men have made a fictional character named Raven Blackbane, whose name they post under. Under this pseudonym, they have made several excessively cruel remarks concerning my friend's son and his death. Someone anonymously reported her to the local adoption authorities and told them she had ritually murdered her baby, and that she was molesting the little one she is adopting. They have now asked Nancy for a copy of her son's death certificate and will be coming out to speak with her and her husband regarding this matter.

She is terrified of losing her child, she is fearful for the safety of her home and family. She lives in Chicago and I in Texas, so I can't even be there with her. Something needs to be done about this but I don't even know what. Well, on a magickal level I know what needs to be done, but on a material-world level I don't know. These people have crossed the line from being jerks into being criminals. Nancy needs help and she needs help NOW.

If you want to see her website and read about her baby, please go to the following URL: http://www.cyberconnect.com/liedel/page2index.htm It may help give you some insight. Oh, and before I sign this off, here's just a small sample of what these poor excuses for humans have been writing to her:

Raven BlackBane  wrote in article
<60rnpr$iv7$1@bbs-1.anneli.com>...
> Raven BlackBane (blackbane@bbs-1.anneli.com) wrote:
> : mastercarm@hotmail.com wrote:
> : : Did your little friend RBB scare you?
> : :
> : : HA!  You sinner, you think the master is even remotely concerned
with
> : : you  You disgusting little worm!
> : :
> : : Your in the same catregory as Mikey boy smith...
> : : Pagan slobs beyond redemption!
> : :
> : : CAR (MLO) gives you know thought, Judgement day is at hand
> : : You were warned by the master...
> : : doom is at hand
> : : Thus Speaketh Mastercarm
> : :
> : : -------------------==== Posted via Deja News
====-----------------------
> : :       http://www.dejanews.com/     Search, Read, Post to Usenet
> :
> : snicker
> : --
>
>
>  *AND THE MESSAGE LIVES*  Rob and Tim have yet to get their scripts put
> together so I have to manually respond.  No sooner did I respond did a
> cancel message come along.  But because I responded with "snicker"
above,
> the message lives.
>   The Problem with Elfry is I touched on a sensative topic Poor Old Ben
> who's head went *SPAT* all over the arpartment bathroom floor when Elfry
> gave out a good *FART*.
>   Now Elfry want's nothing to do with me, she went to hubby Eugene with
> teared up eyes and cryed so hard.... BooooHooooBoooHooo.
>                                              .--.
----------------
>                                             // / \  __  /    ---------
>                                            ///////\(  `-,   -------
>                                           //// /// '~ (    -----
>                                          // /  // :    ) -----    Raven
>                                         /  /  /  /)   / ----
BlackBane
>                                              /   //..\\
>                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~UU~~~~UU~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>                                                 '//||\\`

Morgan Stardancer, PAL rep


I worked at a university dorm over the summer in a housing cleaning position a couple of years ago. I was one of few student workers and almost all of the union employees were very Christian. Someone deemed it necessary to inform them of my religion which I never told anyone there. Every day after they - the union workers - found out whenever the supervisor wasn 't around became "preach at the pagan" all day long. All day while cleaning they 'd gang up for interrogation style "talks". They quoted from the bible repeatedly. When I told them that I don 't believe in the bible - they interpreted the bible it very literally - they responded "How can you not believe in the bible? Every major religion in the world believes in the bible." They continually spoke up for their religion hounding me to denounce my "cult" stating "How can you say you believe in such a thing if you can't defend it??" !!!

They also deemed my marriage with my significant other as invalid because we were handfasted in a non-Christian ceremony. One remarked "Whatever you do don 't sleep with him because you 're not married." All of them continually harrassed me about "living in sin" with a man.... The only reason I stayed at the job was because it was only a summer job and it paid much better than any other opportunities available.


Here is the scoop

my X-wife whom moved away 2 yrs ago has recently cald Dept of Children and Familys (DCF) about how I am raising and disiplining the boys.

what I am interested in is finding out what a Parents rights are when it comes to these state agencys.

The police need a warrant to come in your hose!

The DCF seems al they need to do is be at your door when you get home from work!


On Saturday, I was called by some Pagans in Lisbon, Ohio who are apparantly undergoing allot of police harassment.. They are in a largely Amish/Mennonite community (similar to that in which the recent sage in peace-pipe case arose). From what I gathered, it sounded like one of them was wearing a vampire game T-shirt in town; was questioned about it and related rumors; and the explination given by at least one of them that they were Wiccans and Pagans, and not Vampires, did not help.


Yesterday, I heard of a threat by police to charge some Pagan mothers with neglect when they reported to police that an individual had improperly touched a child and photographed some others when the children were apparantly unsupervised at a festival. The person who allegedly did the touching and photographing was quickly expelled by site security, and the mothers reported to police about it after the fact.
On September 28, 1997 we, The Connecticut Wiccan & Pagan Network (CWPN - http://www.1anet.com/cwpn ) plan to hold a picnic and "Circle" at Putnam Park in Redding, CT. We have been holding gatherings there for 6 years on various dates during the year. These are unadvertised open to anyone who wants to join us and have always been fairly discreet. We had hoped to get a vending permit so that a few people could set their wares out on blankets for the day. I am just a junior in a Catholic high school, and am seeking aid for religious discrimination. They (the administration) have tried to force me, and others, to wear any pendants inside of our shirts (those that they see as "anti christian") and have threatened to exspell me for not taking a pentagram OFF, i wear it inside of my shirt, but will not remove it, they (the administration) have continued to harass me, and my friends about this.
Gee, I'm not sure whether to by annoyed or amused..... I've had my very first bit of Rligious Intolerance! Someone, while my van was being fixed in Greene, took their keys and gouged the hell out of my "[pentacle] Religious Freedom Means All Religions [pentacle]" bumper sticker, and thusly my rear door. Guess I'll just have to put on my "[pentacle] CLERGY" sticker next. :*)
A person who I met at a local bookstore and who is a friend of one of my own friends informed me that during her divorce the judge Judge Stucki Canton Ohio spoke to her about her practice of witchcraft. The woman was told that she could have custody of the children but only as long as she did not practice her religion around them or in any way teach or involve them with her religion.
Many time i have been attacked online and in rl for my support of Church of Satan. I have been denied employment becouse of it 2 ce now.
"Dobson and Richard Land, a sociologist who is president of the Catholic League, the Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, contend that Disney has set out to advance the cause of homosexuality, free love, abortion and paganism. They vociferously reject the idea that Disney is out just to make money." .... "Amid the fiery rhetoric aimed against Disney as the boycott against the company expands, there is a hard boundary that no one dares cross. Disney, Christian conservatives say, may have lost its moral compass, but the boycott leaders insist that the company's founder would not have permitted what critics call the 'anti-white male agenda of `Pocahontas,'' the "'Christian-bashing' of movies such as 'Priest' and the purportedly polytheist 'The Little Mermaid,' and the 'pro-homosexual agenda' of ABC-TV's 'Ellen.' Disney critics, gleefully using research by gay activists, say that ABC shows feature 13 of the 28 homosexual characters on network TV." "
When I told people I was going to Mills [an all-women's college in oakland], they told me that I should watch out because the chapel was pagan-friendly [they used harsher terms] and "babies have been known to disappear around there..." excuse me??
The Examiner (Beaumont, TX) July 25-31, 1996

Pastor Credits Religious Persecution For Arrest

By Brian Cox
The Rev. Michael Thompson said his arrest outside Highland Avenue Baptist Church this past week dates back to a misunderstanding in May. And he and other church leaders in Beaumont see his arrest as representative of religious intolerance and witch hunts hundreds of years ago in Salem, Mass. The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, commonly called CUUPS, is one group in the Spindletop church and Unitarian association, and has been since 1985. It is because of these pagans - which total seven in Spindletop's congregation of 107 members - that a campaign of harrassment has been wrought against the church, Thompson said. A flyer distributed by Spindletop Unitarian states that pagans believe in goddess worship, which takes place outdoors and sometimes at night. The pagans believe they can change into animal forms, and their worship ceremonies are scheduled with the phases of the moon and the changing of the seasons. This worship usually includes singing, drumming, and dancing.

"We pride ourselves on our tolerance and theological breadth," Thompson said. He said his congregation includes pagans and others who identify themselves as Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Protestants and others.

The initial encounter that sparked the animosity in May occurred when the pagan church members were doing some groundskeeping at their church, said pagan high priestess Tish Alexander, who was present at their encounter. After finishing their work, the pagans took a walk to examine the church property lines and a clearing the pagans refer to as the temple.

Some children were walking through the woods on their way home from a nearby baseball park and came across the pagans.

"There were two women, two men and one boy in our group," Alexander said. "When they saw us, they started throwing sticks, raised a baseball bat and told us we'd better leave. We told them we were fairies. It's a name we use to identify ourselves with nature."

Alexander contends the pagans then started talking to the children, sprinkling with she called magic dust on them and played with them for a couple hours, and then both groups left.

Rozell contends the encounter was not that innocent.

"As far as I'm concerned, they crossed the line when they told the children they could changed into animal forms," Rozell said.


"THE GREAT OREGON WITCH HUNT"
---------------------------
A high school girl commits suicide and a small town falls victim to fears and hysteria right out of the Middle Ages...

By Stephanie Fox

OAKRIDGE is a little town nestled in the green mountains of the Pacific Northwest. It's a typical small Oregon lumber town, the sort of place where people still talk about the day the town's brothel burned down back in 1928. In the spring of 1983, a politically ambitious police chief and a fundamentalist minister managed to stir up enough excitement to last the town through another 60 years.

During the winter of 1982 a young girl named Ginny Walker* killed herself in a fit of adolescent despair, leaving behind two shocked parents. But the Walkers' grief was disturbed only a week after her death, when they were approached be police chief John Schurz who said he had evidence that Ginny had been involved with witches. These witches, Schurz claimed, were responsible for the girl's suicide.

Before her death Ginny had told some friends how she had rescued the head of a childhood doll from a trash fire and how she found a coyote's skull in the forests surrounding Oakridge. In going through Ginny's possessions after her death, her parents found the scorched doll's head, the coyote's skull, an incense burner, and buttons of various rock groups. Her friends later recalled Ginny's mundane explanation of these items, but to the police chief they were proof of her involvement with witchcraft.

The police began an investigation of the girl's friends and found that Ginny's best friends mother , Susan Newell,* was calling herself a witch. Newell actually knew nothing about modern-day Withcraft or Pagan beliefs. She was not aware of the basic tenets of modern Witches--that the earth is sacred,that everything is connected to everything else,and that each person is responsible for his own actions.**

Newell had no notion of witchcraft's origins in the ancient nature-worshipping religions of pre-Christian Europe. All she knew she had learned on the late-late show and in cheap Gothic novels. But that was sufficient for the police. Newell was taken to the police station for interrogation, where for several hours police chief Schurz asked her questions.

Schurz: "In my line of work, I work with alot of people. Sometimes I can tell alot about people. You know what I think? I think that you're a high priestess.

Newell: "What?"

Schurz: "You're a witch,aren't you?" Newell: "I guess you could call it that."

When further questioned in the manner, Newell claimed that she was the high priestess of the Golden Dawn, the name of her coven, so Schurz related. That she was an actual member of the Golden Dawn is highly unlikely. This was a notorious group of early-20th-Century British occultists who included Aleister Crowley as well as the Irish poet William Butler Yeats. It disbanded in 1947. It may have been the only real occult group Newell had ever heard of and was probably the first name that came into her mind. Under the pressure of the interrogation Newell named six other witches residing in Oakridge. Several of these people had been friends of Ginny Walker.

Selected portions of the tapes of Newell's interrogation were played to the city council and local ministers. Durring these selected playings only two of the accused witches' names were mentioned. The newly accused were two young women, Betty Taylor* and Jennifer Lindsay.* Both attributed the public relase of their names to Schurz's personal dislike of them.

"I'm an uppity woman," said Taylor. "I live with my boyfriend and I don't wear a bra. I don't have church connections. I'm not one of them." She said that since the tapes were released publicly indicating that she was a witch, "grocery store people whisper and scurry away, pointing fingers." Lindsay left town to avoid the harassment to which she was subjected. Taylor continued to live in her Oakridge home, spied upon by neighbors.

-------------

MEANWHILE, Dave Stewart, a minister and part-time police officer, took the doll's head and other "evidence" of witchcraft to show his and other congregations. Witchcraft had caused Ginny's death, the people were told. No other reasons were advanced as causes of her suicide. Never mentioned were the rumors of the Walkers' marital problems, Mr. Walker's failing health, of Ginny's possible lack of adult guidance. Public meetings were schedualed, led by Schurz and a fundamentalist minister, the Rev. C. E. Thomas. The first meeting attracted only a handful of people but the second drew nearly 40, quite a crowd for the small town. And the press was there in force.

Although state law says that public meetings must be opened to all, announce- ments distributed in the churches contained this sentence:"Unwanted people will be excluded from the meeting." The meetings were advertised to "discuss witchcraft, sexual abuse, child abuse and pornography," but witchcraft was the only topic ever spoken of at the meetings.

Despite the "evidence," the Walkers doubted that witchcraft had any part to play in their daughter's suicide. "We'er not blaming anybody," they told the press. The Walkers' doubts notwithstanding, Thomas and Schurz were riding high on the wave of hysteria. They called a third meeting at the high school. Three hundred persons showed up. The press, too, arrived but television and tape recorders were banned from the auditorium in direct violation of state law. The meeting opened with a plea to bring Christianity and prayer back into the schools. Ministers told the crowds that the only protection they had against the evils of witchcraft was "to come to church." The ministers advised them that there would be counseling and classes taught by the ministers themselves. Another former Oakridge police officer, who claimed to have had ties with the occult but who recently had been "born again," testified. He, too, had a late-late-show view of witchcraft. Not everyone in the audience believed his stories about witchcraft. But most accepted what the ministers told them. One man asked Reverend Thomas for his credentials to discuss witchcraft. Thomas raised a Bible over his head. "This is my credentials!" he shouted. And the crowd cheered. "We used to be able to burn them or cut off their heads," said the reverend of witches. "We can't do that now, but we can sure stop them." Newspapers, television and radio all over the state were covering the story. Although Thomas wanted the public to be aware of the existence of witches, he was not happy with the media coverage. It had made the town the laughingstock of the state. Besides the public meetings, the city council, school board and police advisory board convened in secret.

IT WAS IN the secret meetings that officials may have made the decision to remove all books pertaining to the occult from the school library. Student president Shannon McPherson protested. "It's lousy," he said. "They're trying to keep us in the dark." The school superintendent, Ken Carver, denied that the books had been removed from the shelves. He claimed that he had merely "checked out" all 40 of the books "just like anybody can." He then passed them on to a censorship committee made up of parents and teachers.

With the books gone, the lack of information availible on witchcraft only helped spread to alarm through the school student population. Any excuse was enough for one student to accuse another and they enacted medieval tests to determine whether another student was a witch. One student was suspected because she wore a black sweater and skirt. She was approached by another student who pressed a paper cross against her arm. "You must not be a witch," the student accuser said. "because the cross didn't burn you."

Other students used the situation to get attention. They pretended that they were witches; they left death-threat notes on other students' lockers or claimed they'd hexed or been hexed by other students and teachers. The school superintendent made up a list of all students who had ever checked out any of the occult books and distributed it to the teachers. Those on the list were watched for possible involvement with witchcraft. Reverend Thomas advised parents to watch their children for signs of occult activity. He told parents and students to look to him and other local ministers to lead the fight against non-Christian religions such as witchcraft, Hinduism and Buddhism. "If you aren't a Christian, you can't fight it," he declared. "The devil will deceive you. This is a spiritual battle and the Devil is as real as God is. We have witches here in Oakridge from the very pits of hell."

But the reverend and police chief had long since lost control of the situation, and the monster they'd created began to turn on them. Thomas was receiving negative letters from other ministers around the country. "They tell me I'm off the wrong end. Well, that's what told Peter and John," he said. Betty Taylor, one of the original women accused of being a witch, hired a lawyer who started making slander-suit noises. Accusations could no longer be made without proof for fear of litigation. Although it was announced that there would be other meetings, none was ever held.

-------------

SEVERAL WEEKS after the final meeting, the Walkers appeared on a statewide television talk show. They told the audience that after learning about Paganism and Witchcraft from legitimate members of the Old Religion and other occult groups, they concluded that Newell wasn't a witch, although they still disliked her and thought she might have some responsibility for their daughter's suicide. They said they saw nothing wrong with Witchcraft and nature religions and felt everyone should be free to choose his own style of worship. "We don't believe in banning any religion," they said.

The reverend continued to rail against witchcraft, other non-Christian religions and liberal Cristianity, which he called "tommyrot." But he could no longer make direct accusations against individuals for fear of legal action.

The police chief was subsequently demoted.

Ironically, durring the entire episode no one ever explained how so-called witchcraft had led to Ginny Walker's suicide. Since the episode Oakridge has again become the quite little town it once was. But beneath the surface here, and in places like it, runs a fear of things and people who might be different. Persecution takes many forms and comes in many guises. Witch hunts--- real witch hunts--- are not dim memories from the Dark Ages. They are real, they still happen and they can happen again.

=============

* All names with asterisks are pseudonyms.

**See Bjom Thorsson's "The Rebirth of Witchcraft," April-May 1988 FATE magazine.

This article is from the February 1989 issue of: FATE magazine
3510 Western Avenue
Highland Park, Illinois
60035


My name is NightSong. I can be reached at Night2Song@aol.com . I am writing on the behalf of a friend who is being harassed by a group of fundamentalist Christians. She has asked for any help that we can provide. I have contacted others via networking, but am now sending out a plea to anyone who is willing to assist. She owns a store in Detroit Lakes, Minn. It is called Star Lightrider's Curious Goods. ph# 218 847-7872. Address Washington Square Mall, Detroit Lakes Minn. 56501.

Currently these people are coming into the store in groups harassing customers and her. The usual you are going "to burn in hell "crap, "our god is going to destroy you Satan worshippers." They have caused a loss of business already. People are afraid.

We have done what we can to dis-spell the rumors, but more help is needed. They are also saying they plan to run her out of town. She has already been forced to find a new location for the store. The mall security and local police have been of no assistance. The local paper did do an article on the store,(quite positive) but that has only increased the problem. A few have even spouted they believe in capital punishment for our kind. They are hiding behind their god when they pose these statements, so that there can be no claim of actual threats. On the lighter side, one did apologize for the trouble.


The Witches Anti-Discrimination Lobby (WADL) of New England is fighting discrimination and needs help from any military or former military Pagans. The Cathedral of the Pines was incorporated as a public trust in 1946 and is recognized as a national memorial to all American war dead. The open-air "Cathedral" publicizes itself as "...a place of spiritual nourishment for people of all faiths, and a national memorial to patriotic sacrifice." But now, they are to limit use of the site to only those who worship the "God of Abraham," in an effort to exclude Pagans and Witches.
Santeria is not Satanism, the occult is not evil, and witches do not murder people or even, generally, "cast hexes," nor is it appropriate to behave as if these things are true and harass pagans and "occultists" about them.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Marcos Quinones has an eye for the occult.

The pentagram, for instance, is a basic occult symbol in which he sees more than just a five-pointed star. "It's a person standing with outstretched arms," he said. "And basically, it could mean the four elements: air, earth, fire and water. The top one is probably the most important -- it means the spirit world."

Once a street cop, now a police instructor, Quinones prowls New York looking for pentagrams and other occult graffiti on building walls, or the remains of animal sacrifices in city parks. Instead of Macy's, Quinones browses witchcraft shops, keeping up with the state of the supernatural.

All in the line of duty, Quinones has collected instruments of the occult: tarot cards, candle figurines, vials filled with powders and potions. Some items came from people who have sworn off the worship of Satan. Others, including a scorched baby blanket, came from police. Quinones said the blanket was wrapped around a black cat and set afire. [the web page has a sound linked to this!]

Contrary to the beliefs of some, Quinones said, few people who cast curses would go so far as murder. But some do. During a mid-80s killing spree through California, the notorious "night stalker," Richard Ramirez, mutilated at least 13 people. In a chilling moment after his arrest, Ramirez flashed a pentagram on his palm.

"It doesn't matter whether Satan exists or not, or demons or monsters or whatever," said Quinones, explaining the psyche of the Satanist. "Because if I believe it, I'm going to act upon that belief. And you as an investigator, a parent or whatever, have to understand that."

Quinones' curiosity about the occult was sparked a decade ago, when he noticed an odd religious slant to police training brochures from a private company. He had seen relatives from Puerto Rico practice "santeria," a benign form of mysticism, but he learned that Satanism can draw people, especially teenagers, into a dangerous world.

Quinones' interest in the occult led him to get a doctorate in theology. He now speaks at churches and police seminars in and out of New York. During one of his training sessions, he wrote the word "occult" on an easel and told his students, "Basically, the word 'occult' means knowledge. ... Knowledge of what? Knowledge of the supernatural."

At New Jersey's Middlesex County Jail, guards were eager to hear Quinones explain occult symbols they now see in so many inmates' cells.

"We've been overwhelmed," said Jail Operations Commander Capt. John Tevoli. "It's important that the staff starts to understand what the mentality is, what the structure is, what the organization is."

Quinones has fielded calls from as far away as Japan, where a spate of subway gas attacks has been blamed

Cults and the occult are always evolving, Quinones said, and he wants to help people spot which signs are harmless and which are pure evil.


I've heard about at least three different cases in the past month where pagan kids in public schools were not allowed to wear pentacles or have pagan books while christian children were encouraged to pass out christian pamphlets... and where pagan kids are forced to leave the school if they practice openly... and one where the kid in question was beat up, kicked, spat on, punched, called a Satan worshipper, and the kids at school put inverted pentagrams in his locker and lit it on fire, writing "your father is here SATAN" in lighter fluid.
Onslow social worker blames firing on Witchcraft
By: Misti C. Lee
(Star News Correspondent)

JACKONSVILE - An Onslow County social worker who places foster children into temporary homes believes she was fired in part because she is a Practicing Witch.

Toni Leveille, who has been with Onslow Department of Social Services for 10 months, said her Wiccan faith did not interfere with her supervision of 17 children's cases or her relationship with foster parents and biological parents.

"My religion is a gentle religion," Ms Leveille said. "I don't proselytize and try to convert people, so it's not a problem."

Ms. Leveille was fired December 27th, along with her supervisor, Neta Blair, and another foster care worker, Sandra Riley.

Ms. Riley appealed her case to the Social Services board during a closed session on Wednesday. She had worked with the department for 13 years.

Ms. Riley said she is not a witch. Dr. Blair would not discuss her case, other than to say she plans to appeal her termination.

Ms. Leveille believes her witchcraft played a role in the firings.

"You mean all of a sudden three of us did something to be fired on the same day?" Ms. Leveille said. "Several people have suggested it might be the witchcraft. I know the reason wasn't what they said it was."

But Jim Coats, Social Services' interim director, said witchcraft had nothing to do with Ms. Leveille's dismissal and that he knew nothing of her religion.

"I have no firsthand knowledge of it nor even any second knowledge," he said.

He said it would be improper to talk more about the firings.

Agenda Turner, the department head who recommended the women be fired, could not be reached for comment.

No actions are taken by the Social Services board based on anyone's religion, Mr. Coats said.


March 16, 1997:


By JIM FITZGERALD
BEDFORD, N.Y. (AP) - A dispute over a faddish game has turned into a lawsuit accusing a school district in New York's tony suburbs of promoting ``satanism and occultism.''
Three Catholic families say their religious freedom has been infringed....
The dispute stems from a game called ``Magic: The Gathering'' that children started playing in 1995 in the district in Westchester County's well-to-do horse country.
The Dungeons & Dragons-like strategy game, played with collectible trading cards, involves the supernatural. Some of the cards are lurid depictions of demons and one shows a woman about to be sacrificed.
Some formed a club that was allowed to play the game on school grounds but not during class. Players and the school district defended it as a ``math game.''
The lawsuit says that by allowing the game on school grounds, the district ``officially promoted and endorsed'' an occult activity, and promoted ``satanism and occultism, pagan religions and New Age spirituality.''


The following pagan sites are just a few that were banned on the basis of "Satanic/Cult" content by CyberPatrol's advisory group, in blatant violation of their own anti-intolerance stance: Jaz's Pagan Page http://www.cris.com/~boofull/pagan/ What is Wicca? http://www.crc.ricoh.com/~rowanf/COG/iabout.html (Not sure of the titles - a list of those killed in the Burning Times) http://www.primenet.com/~ioseph/burnwitc.htm Another 'Wicca FAQ' type page http://www.cris.com/~goddess/wicca.html
On September 12, 1996. the Witches' Voice received it's first request for help from Lynne and Ed Dube, owners of the shop "Magick n' Mail" in Haverhill, Ma. Lynne told us that they had petitioned the City Council to use public property for a Samhain Circle. They planned to make the event open to any solitaries that wished to join in the celebration of the Celtic New year.

When called to appear before the Council, they had to spend 45 minutes explaining their beliefs and why they wanted use of the park. They won the use of the property by a vote of 5-3, with the Council President in support of them. However, two of the opposing members expressed concern about the "use after hours" of the property and one, Councilman Pike, has declared that he is researching other ordinances to see if this decision in favor of the Dubes'' is really binding. There was some confusion on whose permission was really needed to grant permission for use, but the Dubes' have obtained the O.K. from the Police and the Health and Human Resources Departments also. The resulting Ôcontroversy landed them a spot on Channel 7 News. One Councilman was shown on the show waving garlic and said he was "prepared for the Witches." This callous response from a public official demands an apology and is certainly not the image that one would think a town like Haverhill would want to promote.Ā


Merry Meet !

My name is Kattala Ravenlocks and I own Earth Elements. We are (amoung other things) an online pagan web store. Let me tell you about an experence I have just had the opportunity to go through.

At the begining of March this year, I was looking at my sites' access stats. I thought I noticed a difference between what a graph was showing and what a table was recording for the amount of "hits" we had. So I went to my server's web site looking for a "help" section. Instead what I found was a "Client List". "Oh yeah?" I thought, "Let me go see how they have us listed."

They didn't...we were not listed at all.

This irritated me...and since I could not find out about the graph and table problem there anyway, I went ahead and e-mailed them..

The following is the e-mail I sent them and their actual reply to me:

Dear server:

Two things:

Upon looking at my access stats, I noticed a difference between the graph and the number on the table. The highest point on the graph shows over 18,000 hits and seems to show it as the March listing. However, on the table, March is only a little over 3000. Is the 18,000 on the graph a total of all the hits the page has ever had or what? If that is so, then again the table does not match...We had over 13,000 hits in Dec. 96. With the other months added in it is over 18,000. Unless it totals by year.,I do not know which is correct. I would like some clarification on this point.

The other thing is... Why are we not listed in your webserver client index? We have been with you since November 96' and I would think that is plenty of time to add us.

Thank you for your help. I await your response.

The reply I received back from the server:

The graph is showing a trend for your pages. Based on the current rate for this month, you should see around 16,000 hits for this month.

As for listings on the clients page, this is a frequently visited index. I would recommend getting your name out to some of the areas of the web that are related to your interest group. Secondly, a listing on this page is not a part of your service and we reserve the right to list or not list every client. I'm sure that you understand that your product and message can be viewed rather harshly in this part of the world. I reserve the right not to jeopardize our business through association. I hope you understand.

Imagine my surprise after not being able to get online for over a week- and- a- half (my hard drive took a nose dive) and getting that piece of mail! At this point I was fuming.

.......

I (Kattala) called my server today (March 20th) to ask for a copy of the orginal contract. I told them I needed it for my taxes. (okay a lie, but I did not think they would give it to me if I told them I was going to sue them!)

So he tells me to "Go to the contract page on the web and take a look at it there because it has not changed."

I told him "Well that's fine if it has not changed but I want a copy of the *original contract* I signed in November of '96"

He said "Usually all you need for taxes is an invoice."

I said "Well, I don't know, my accountant wants it. Besides, either I did not make a copy before mailing it or I lost it and I should have a copy on file."

He said "Okay, I will send it out in the next bill if that is alright?" I said "Yes, that would be great".

*Then* he said. ..."About your question the other day? " I said "umm-hmm.......?" He states," Well *I'VE CHANGED MY MIND*" (my little brains is going...???).

He goes on.. "If you go and look you will find that you are now listed."

I said "Wonderful! that is good to hear, because when I got your reply to my questions, I was a little concerned." "You stated that the index was a list of frequently visited sites, and I thought, "Well, we are getting over 12,000 hits a month. Just *how many* is everyone else getting???"

So I went and took a looksie."" Some of the sites listed in the index have counters on their pages."" One specifically had me curious. as they had only gotten 525 hits since oct 96...?"

He then tells me -"There were two sites left off the list, yours and someone elses." The reason for the omission he said is "The controversy surounding the sites."

I then say, "Well yes, but we are not an illegal or indecent site. I go on to say, "Our founding fathers ( and Mothers!) came here because of controversy."" I believe it was John Hancock that said ' I may not believe in a word you say, but I would defend to the death your right to say it".

He then says, "I never have run from controversy before, and when I got to thinking about it, I went ahead and put everyone on the list. It is a complete list now. If others have problems with it , Oh well".

I said "Wonderful! Great!" Now, I had *not* contacted them at all since I got their reply. (For one, my computer was down for awhile and two I was getting information together for the lawsuit.)

They did not know this,of course. And since he told me that we were *already* on the list when I called him, I do believe he either 1. took my silence as a "auh-ohh", thought about what he had just done and added us. or 2. really had a change of heart after thinking about the way he had just discriminated against us.

All I can say (for now) is that this was a very satisfactory ending.

The process I was about to undertake would not have been pleasent or profitable. Our business would have suffered greatly if all I had time for was the lawsuit, ( and believe me, that would have been *top priority* other than family) finding a new server and funding a site like we have all over again. It probably would have made us go bankrupt and it would have been very draining.

I can not thank The Witches' Voice enough for responding to me so quickly and giving me a direction to go in.

I had not only contacted you(TWV) about this, but other sites as well and I have yet to hear back from them at all.

If it had come to a lawsuit, their help and guidance would have meant the world to me.

It's a shame that I could have been in a very bad situation, and only one of the sites contacted responded.

We can not fight for our rights if all we give it is *lip service*.We *will* get stomped on if we let it happen. Letting it happen is when we don't inform, when we do not stand up for our rights, others rights and when we do not act.

Non-action is what is going to keep people of all walks of life fighting for their very basic *constitutional* rights.

Wouldn't it be nice if our religous beliefs, practices, products, etc.. *never* came into focus by other people when making decisions?

That will never happen if when we read or hear about it, see it or find out somehow about discrimination happening and we do not help in *some* way.

What happened to me this time is *MINOR* compared to what has happened, is happening to others. But it could have wrecked havoc with my life, my finances, and my family. ( Can not have the in-laws finding out about this, they might decide my son is in danger and try to take him. Can you imagine what I would have had to do to keep this away from them? )

To have this resolved, to say the least, is wonderful. We won this one. Thank you again, Wren (and others? I dont know who all was in on the advice) for helping me and my family. May the Lord and Lady shine their light and heap blessings upon all of you.ā


I am currently incarcerated at the Potosi Correctional Center which has only recently recognized my religious beliefs (Wicca), Even though the administration has recognized Wicca, there is still some discrimination. Plus, there are other obstacles that I, by myself, am having a bit of a rough time overcoming. Please let me take a moment to explain.

The prison administration will not allow myself (or other Wiccan/Pagans) to order books or other items with "Witch" or "Witchcraft" in the title. the reading and study materials are quite limited in the prison library; and the chapel has no such materials on hand. Due to their censorship, I and others are unable to obtain published books that I and others feel would be very practical and beneficial to our studies and practices.

Also, since my religious beliefs have been approved, the administration says that I need to find an individual to come in and help supervise the Wiccan gathering. In plain English, they want me to find a Wiccan that they will approve of, who is willing to volunteer to come in and help supervise.

This is just another attempt to hinder both Wiccan and Pagan beliefs and practices at this institution.


I worked for Radio Shack for over three years. I am not overtly Pagan. On the other hand, I have never hidden my religion either. I wear a rather unobtrusive Pentacle ring on my right hand, and other than that, the only way people learn of my religion is when other Pagan folk come by to see me. Two of the managers I worked under had a problem with my belief system.

......

November 15 1993: My wife made a birthday cake for me, which had some symbols of my religion on it. She thought it would be a nice gesture if I brought the leftover cake to work and shared it with my co-workers there. Everyone at Radio Shack enjoyed the cake, except for Gary, who refused to eat a piece because there was a pentacle on it (the symbol of my pagan faith). He said he believed it was "satanic".

March 20, 1994: Gary refused to let me have the day off, even though he had approved it a week before, because of inventory. I told him it was a religious holiday, and that I was needed for services. He told me that "...your religion is not officially recognized by anyone." I informed him at that time that even the United States military recognized Paganism as a legitimate faith, and that chaplains were assigned to take care of the needs of Pagan members of the armed forces. He still would not allow me the day off, but did allow me to leave early, when I threatened legal action. This also occurred on May 1, 1994, and July 31st 1994.

During Gary B.'s time as manager (October 1993 to December 1994) he made repeated use of the term "warlock" in reference to me. He did this in front of customers and co-workers. The term "warlock", I pointed out to him, is a derogatory term, as much so as "nigger" would be to an African-American, or "kike" to a Jew.

To Gary's credit, our relationship was otherwise amenable.

But when Reuben V. took over as manager I was confronted for the first time with real religious bigotry. It began with a conversation in December of 1994, a few days after Reuben took over. In the back room of the store, he told me of his great faith in Jesus Christ, and how he believed that love was answer to almost all problems. I told him that I had great respect for people with faith, and that I too, am a man of faith, and that I felt that the Gods had a great influence on m e. He asked me what I meant by "Gods" and I told him that I am a Pagan, and that I believe in many gods. He said, "You mean you worship the Devil?" I informed him that the Devil is a part of Christianity, and not a part of Paganism. The next day, as an aside, Reuben asked me, "How's Satan treating you today?" And thus began a daily barrage of comments about my religion. Most of the remarks were innocuous, some quite hateful. I started documenting the worst of them, including these incidents:

February 4, 1995: My circle was meeting on this day for their celebration of Candlemas. I had cleared getting off early with Reuben the week before, but Reuben decided that I should stay until closing. I reminded him that he had agreed to let me leave early that night but he persisted. Finally I told him that I was going to a religious celebration, and could not arrive late. He said, "Arseneau, I don't want you bringing any demons into the store." I told him that since demons were not a part of my religion he had nothing to fear. Ultimately, he let me go, saying: "God's going to punish you if you don't stop that stuff, Arseneau."

February 27, 1995: This morning Reuben told me that he had prayed for my soul in church the day before , "....we've got to get you out of that paganism," he said.

March 9, 1995: Reuben told me that I was going to go to hell, that God, "did not like what I was doing."

These are but the tip of the iceberg; a few vignettes in a daily assault on my person. Reuben obviously can't tolerate anyone who doesn't share his belief system. I am fairly thick skinned, having survived a childhood and early adult hood where I had few friends. I learned at an early age to just be who I am, since no one was going to like me anyway. So I can take quite a bit of abuse. But I decided at this point that I could do so no longer, and so I resigned after about three months of this, stating in writing the reason as "Reuben's continuous disparaging remarks concerning my religion." To his credit, he apologized in writing in a memo which dismissed me on the spot, though I had given three weeks notice, and was counting on paychecks there from.

I filed a complaint with the California Dept. of Fair Employment; their investigation went on for over a year. They reported to me that Radio Shack is denying everything (surprise!). That I had failed to make use of their own grievance procedure: A long distance phone number in Ft. Worth TX, manned by a voice mail system 8 hours per day (CST). This number is available for employees to use on their own time (no personal calls allowed from work).

This information is available in an obscure portion of the employee manual, which you are allowed to read when you are first hired. They have you sign a paper saying you have seen it, and then you never see it again. Since it had been three years since I had seen it last, there is little wonder that I had not remembered the grievance hotline. By contrast, they have an 800 number for reporting instances of employee theft. It's manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a living person. They want you to use it as soon as you observe anything going on (you can even call from the store while on company time!).

A huge poster informing you of this graces the wall of every back room in every Radio Shack store. I guess this explains their priorities pretty well. Radio Shack informed the DFE people that there will be no "settlement of this complaint;" that they are totally innocent because I did not pursue it through "the proper channels." Over the years, I saw other people ignored, or at worse, fired for going through "proper channels". This did not give me a great deal of confidence in the company.

The harassment did not stop with my resignation/termination. When I tried to get parts for a Radio Shack phone I had purchased while an employee I went to see my fellow employee, now manager at the Santa Cruz store, Clyde D. He ordered the parts, which I gladly paid for, but when the warehouse sent back the wrong parts, he would do no more for me. I tried to get the parts through other channels, even writing the San Jose Mercury's "Action Line", but to no avail. Since it was my experience as an employee to know who to call to get what I needed to help a customer, I can only conclude that Clyde did this out of spite because he knew I had complained against the company.

I have withdrawn my complaint with he DFE, since their time has run out. I will now pursue this as a civil matter. This is a case of wrongful firing. Further, it is my contention that Radio Shack is negligent in their training of new managers. Gary and Reuben were both fresh out or manager training when I first worked for them . Neither of them had ever been taught that you don't question or criticize anothers religion, especially when you are in a position of authority over them.


SEABROOK--Fewer than a dozen silent protesters stood in front of the Seabrook Public Library last night, letting signs containing biblical messages speak for them.

The peaceful protest did not hamper the lecture on numerology and dream analysis being held inside, library officials said. The lecture by Dusty Bunker of Hampton attracted a gathering of more than 60 people, a huge crowd for a library event, according to Library Director Buffy Heath.

The original lecture on numerology and dream analysis, and another on tarot cards, was cancelled last summer due to public protest of the events.

Protesters last night said library personnel were helpful and respectful of their right to protest, inviting them to stand inside or outside of the building.

Among the dozen or so adults and children in front of the library were Pastor William Whitney of Hampton, and his wife Sonya, originally of Seabrook.

"I think the Bible tells us that the God of this age, the devil, blinds the minds of those who do not believe in Christ,"Rev. Whitney said, referring to a sign carried by one of the protesters.Sonya Whitney said a few of the people who walked into the library made negative comments.

"The important thing is this is peaceable," said James Hyland of the Hampton Falls Baptist Church who listened to the lecture."It's clear they have a good spokesperson for the New Age movement," he said of Bunker.

Hyland called numerology an "alternative spirituality." But were the lectures satanic, as suggested by Rev. Elizabeth Walton of Seabrook who headed the original protest?

"There is only one truth," Hyland said.

Teresa Amato of Seabrook who attended the lecture and signed up for the original lecture last summer, said she enjoyed the lecture and all went smoothly.

Library trustee Eric Small said there were no problems with the event.

Missing from the protest was Rev. Walton of the Rand Memorial Church, who headed a successful petition drive last summer to cancel the library's lectures on tarot cards and numerology. Walton said before last night's protest that she had already scheduled other plans for the evening.

Walton said she will be meeting with library trustees on Monday, June 9 at 5:30 pm to discuss having someone speak at the library giving an alternative view to the lectures.Heath said last night that the lecture on tarot cards has yet to be rescheduled.


i have absolutely no proof other than knowledge of rumors being passed around at the workplace about my religion. I am very openly pagan. My job as a college instrutor made me feel that I could serve as an example and proof of the fact that pagans are not the forked-tail red-skinned monsters we are made to be by most christian religions. I kept my religious beliefs to myself for the first 5 years of my employment at the college. After coming out of the broom loset for only a year I was asked to resign. The reason given was that I was not performing all the duties of my job. I had gotten a bit behind beause we had just bought a house and were moving. The job normally required 50 - 70 hours/week and beause of the move I had let some things wait. I was not given any choice and was told if I didn't resign I would be fired. I truly believe it was beause of my religious beliefs tho they were smart enough not to give that as the reason.
> Susan Bergeron admitted herself to the hospital because of depression
> and suicidal thoughts last thursday 5/8/97. She had previously
>  been at another hospital (Miami Valley Hospital) for the same thing
>  and due to insurance reasons they had to release her. She went through
>  a crisis center which is what she is required to do for her insurance,
and
> they referred her to Franciscan Medical Center here in Dayton, which
> might I add happens to be a Catholic hospital. Apone her interview
> with the doctor, she WAS asked if she practiced Witchcraft (I assume
> this was asked because she was wearing a pentagram) She said yes
> she did and had practiced for 14 yrs. At that time the doctor told her
she
>  was delussional. He took her off the medication that she had been
> purscribed from the first hospital. He wanted to put her on serveral
>  different mind altering meds including Lythium. When Susan asked
> the doctor why  her medication was being changed he told her
> "Becasue i'm the doctor , thats why" with NO further explination.
> He also told her to "Quit all this mymbo jumbo, refering to the
witchcraft
> issue."
> She then proceeded to refuse to take these meds and shortly after
> was moved to a lockdown unit. She has been refused up until
>  yesterday to have a new doctor brought in,( which is still in the
> process of being done), was told that she had to give 72 hrs
> notice if she was sighning herself out on a volunterry admission
> but was not given the paperwork till Monday 3 three days after
>  the fact, and then the doctor could still make the decission to keep
> her and comit her. She has requested to be moved back to the
> orginal hospital she was at, refused a paitent care advocate to help
> her, and moved to a tiny little room with nothing but a bed and camera
> watching her every move out of general population for Gods onlly know
>  what reason.
> Guys this woman is NOT insane or even mentally ill, she is scared, and
> depressed. She need our help DESPERATLY. I have tried to contact a
lawyer and
> they all want BIG bucks to take  the case, we have filed a complaint
with the
> hospital, Oh and another thing on her lunch tray they put a notecard
that
> says "The Lord is Faithful" and has this on the inside of it::
>
> The
> Please listen, LORD,
> and answer my prayer!
> I am poor and helpless.
> Protect me and save me
> because you are my God.
> I am your faithful servant,
> and I trust you.
> Be kind to me!
> I pray to you all day.        Psalm 86
> 1-7,  11-12
> Make my heart glad!
> I serve you,
> and my prayer is sincere.
> You willingly forgive,
> and  your love is always there
>  for those who pray to you.
>  Please listen, LORD!
> Answer my prayer for help.
>  When I am in trouble, I pray,
>  knowing you will listen.
>  Teach me to follow you, and I
> and I will obey your truth.
>  Always keep me faithful.
>  With all my heart I thank you;
>  I praise you, LORD God.

A former reporter for The Daily Times has sued the Farmington newspaper, contending he was fired because he belongs to a non-Christian nature worship group known as Wicca. Malcolm Brenner, who worked for The Daily Times from August 1992 until his termination in June 1994, filed the lawsuit [June 1997] in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.
> PANAMA CITY BEACH - A 42-year-old painting contractor remained
> jailed Wednesday after being accused of using witchcraft to lure a
> 14-year-old Louisiana girl to run away and have sex with him. >
Despite the fact that we've been discreet, our car has been keyed, a coke can was thrown at us at an intersection(of course that could also have been from the fact that a friend of mine--who also happens to be black--was in the car. They hate you for that here, too.)and our garbage is continuously dumped in our driveway and lawn. And, no, we haven't reported any of it(except the coke can incident)to the cops. You can just imagine Sheriff Clemm and his partner, Deputy D.J. Jazzy Jethro rolling up on us, Stetson hats, bibles, and skol at the ready! That's how it is down here. And I shudder to guess it always shall be.
I attended a funeral this past weekend which was being presented by a Christian minister who was trying to stay as ecumenical as possible. He chose readings from both sections of the bible, as well as from the Tao. When he spotted Alia and me in our rather noticeable jewelry, he asked if we had anything to add. We declined (not having prepared anything), but were grateful to have been asked. A few of the more Christian folks in attendance insisted on doing extensive bible readings (the deceased was Christian but had far-ranging interests and was extremely tolerant of other beliefs) which the minister permitted. He ended by having the assembled stand in a circle, holding hands and silently remembering and saying "goodbye." Afterwards, apparently some of the christian folks approached the minister to complain about his use of the Tao and his use of "this New Age circle nonsense" in the ceremony.
One of our Pagan members tried to get a free banner through one of LinkExchange's banner-making volunteers and wasn't allowed because the volunteer told her that LinkExchange didn't allow pagan sites and she could get in trouble. LinkExchange was contacted and said they had no idea what the volunteer was talking about.
I am an out of my closets, both broom and sexual orientation, as well as very outspoken. Hard to shut a Bard up on a quiet day. :) I am 39..untill October...physicaly disabled ex-nurse's aid. Mainly arthritis and asthma..bleah. Single, live with a gay roomie who is also single. We rent a small shotgun house in Louisville Ky on a street full of rednecks who think we are satanists becuase we do rituals in our backyard sanctuary. (sigh)

Since living here (4 years now) we've had the house egged, dildoed, doghnutted and spray-painted. We've had threats to burn it donw, but the landlord, who alos lives on the street, has no problem with us even though he knows it goes on. He said he'd take them to court. He's a typical 60+ senior of the Protestant persuasion..and a TRUE Christian.

The first year we were here one of the kids (about age 10) shot at my roomie's face with a pellet gun. Fortunately he stood up at the last second and the got him in the arse instead. Took over a year to completley heal.

Just before he shot him he hollered "You don't love Jesus!"

The kid's father about half-killed him but only becuse the cops were called. i think he probably thought it was a great idea. My roomie elected not to have the kid arrested....we figure the LO3 would take care of any repercussions.


"We don't celebrate [Halloween] at all. It's a satanic holiday," said the woman who answered the telephone at Victory Bible Baptist Church in Mystic. "It's not my place to discuss it, and it's not a good time to talk to the pastor. Thank you," she said before hanging up without waiting for any response.

Pastor Ron Bryant of the Groton Church of God has taken a teaching approach. He is not pleased with the response he gets from his congregation. He believes the education system, the law, and the parents in his church, who grew up trick or treating, aggravate the problem.

"I emphatically stand against Halloween. And I emphatically stand against schools promoting it. The law allows schools to have parties where kids dress up as witches and goblins. They allow jack-o-lanterns. EveryHalloween costume is a representation of the satanic holiday. Yet a child can't go to school wearing a religious T-shirt. We can't even post the 10 Commandments on a wall in school for the students to read of their own free will," he said.

Bryant said he teaches that Halloween is a satanic holiday, and he has tried to steer his congregation in another and a more positive direction.


Pagan-Bashing Hate Sites Online

CNET says that "The proliferation of hate groups on the Internet has grown so quickly that the organization HateWatch even has an index of such groups broken out by category. Sadly, the index is unable to catalog all the hate groups on the Web. New ones pop up every day, with new victims, new ways of demeaning and insulting familiar racial and religious targets, and new appeals to other lonely, disenfranchised, or simply sick people to join in the abuse."

Pagan-bashing web sites we've found so far include:

  • http://www.cc.org/publications/ca/1197/hollywood.html
  • http://www.ankerberg.com
  • http://www.nua.ie/blather/archives/issue1no25.html
  • http://www.ynca.com/halloween.htm
  • http://www.cuttingedge.org/ce1059.html
  • http://www.webzonecom.com/ccn/cults/hallow2.txt
  • http://www.prairienet.org/otherside/earthday.html
  • http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/4132/sacrifices.htm
  • http://www.gelservices.com/contents.html
  • http://www2.netdoor.com/~dmnbustr/
  • http://www.interlog.com/~1stclass/prayer.htm#About
  • http://www.balaams-ass.com/journal/warnings/witchcrf.htm
  • "http://www.execpc.com/~dlbrown/logos/halloween.html<
  • http://forerunner.com/champion/X0038.html
  • http://demonbuster.com/
  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/cults/a-z-cults/
  • xfhttp://www.interlog.com/~1stclass/prayer.htm
  • http://www.slocs.k12.ca.us/ths/students/jereme/hallow.htm
  • http://members.aol.com/NCSCIA/index.html
  • http://www.ynca.com/halloween.htm
  • http://members.aol.com/BlueBirdBk/periltimes.htm
  • http://www.cuttingedge.org/ce1059.html
  • http://www.zdnet.com/yil/content/depts/strange/ps9709/ps970912.html (Not bad for its description of our sites, but for placing them alongside other "pretty strange sites" such as Virtual Cow-Tipping or A Gallery of Regrettable Food or The Site That Turns You Into A Burrito

  • http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/3168/
  • http://chick.com/seasonal/hallown.asp
  • http://the700club.org/cbn/teach/hal2.html
  • http://www.wwy.org/wwy1696.html
  • http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/witch1.htm
  • http://www.fastlane.net/~sandman/halloween/
  • http://www.prop1.org/park/persons/zeus/zeus.htm
  • http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/4132/LTD-NEW.htm
  • http://www.mancow.com/ (Apparently because they have said that "the practicing druids (at schiller woods) would attack intuders with arrows," rather than because of the site itself.)


    The following pagan sites are just a few that were banned on the basis of "Satanic/Cult" content by CyberPatrol's advisory group, in blatant violation of their own anti-intolerance stance: Jaz's Pagan Page http://www.cris.com/~boofull/pagan/ What is Wicca? http://www.crc.ricoh.com/~rowanf/COG/iabout.html (Not sure of the titles - a list of those killed in the Burning Times) http://www.primenet.com/~ioseph/burnwitc.htm Another 'Wicca FAQ' type page http://www.cris.com/~goddess/wicca.html



    One of our Pagan members tried to get a free banner through one of LinkExchange's banner-making volunteers and wasn't allowed because the volunteer told her that LinkExchange didn't allow pagan sites and she could get in trouble. LinkExchange was contacted and said they had no idea what the volunteer was talking about.
    Merry Meet !

    My name is Kattala Ravenlocks and I own Earth Elements. We are (amoung other things) an online pagan web store. Let me tell you about an experence I have just had the opportunity to go through.

    At the begining of March this year, I was looking at my sites' access stats. I thought I noticed a difference between what a graph was showing and what a table was recording for the amount of "hits" we had. So I went to my server's web site looking for a "help" section. Instead what I found was a "Client List". "Oh yeah?" I thought, "Let me go see how they have us listed."

    They didn't...we were not listed at all.

    This irritated me...and since I could not find out about the graph and table problem there anyway, I went ahead and e-mailed them..

    The following is the e-mail I sent them and their actual reply to me:

    Dear server:

    Two things:

    Upon looking at my access stats, I noticed a difference between the graph and the number on the table. The highest point on the graph shows over 18,000 hits and seems to show it as the March listing. However, on the table, March is only a little over 3000. Is the 18,000 on the graph a total of all the hits the page has ever had or what? If that is so, then again the table does not match...We had over 13,000 hits in Dec. 96. With the other months added in it is over 18,000. Unless it totals by year.,I do not know which is correct. I would like some clarification on this point.

    The other thing is... Why are we not listed in your webserver client index? We have been with you since November 96' and I would think that is plenty of time to add us.

    Thank you for your help. I await your response.

    The reply I received back from the server:

    The graph is showing a trend for your pages. Based on the current rate for this month, you should see around 16,000 hits for this month.

    As for listings on the clients page, this is a frequently visited index. I would recommend getting your name out to some of the areas of the web that are related to your interest group. Secondly, a listing on this page is not a part of your service and we reserve the right to list or not list every client. I'm sure that you understand that your product and message can be viewed rather harshly in this part of the world. I reserve the right not to jeopardize our business through association. I hope you understand.

    Imagine my surprise after not being able to get online for over a week- and- a- half (my hard drive took a nose dive) and getting that piece of mail! At this point I was fuming.

    .......

    I (Kattala) called my server today (March 20th) to ask for a copy of the orginal contract. I told them I needed it for my taxes. (okay a lie, but I did not think they would give it to me if I told them I was going to sue them!)

    So he tells me to "Go to the contract page on the web and take a look at it there because it has not changed."

    I told him "Well that's fine if it has not changed but I want a copy of the *original contract* I signed in November of '96"

    He said "Usually all you need for taxes is an invoice."

    I said "Well, I don't know, my accountant wants it. Besides, either I did not make a copy before mailing it or I lost it and I should have a copy on file."

    He said "Okay, I will send it out in the next bill if that is alright?" I said "Yes, that would be great".

    *Then* he said. ..."About your question the other day? " I said "umm-hmm.......?" He states," Well *I'VE CHANGED MY MIND*" (my little brains is going...???).

    He goes on.. "If you go and look you will find that you are now listed."

    I said "Wonderful! that is good to hear, because when I got your reply to my questions, I was a little concerned." "You stated that the index was a list of frequently visited sites, and I thought, "Well, we are getting over 12,000 hits a month. Just *how many* is everyone else getting???"

    So I went and took a looksie."" Some of the sites listed in the index have counters on their pages."" One specifically had me curious. as they had only gotten 525 hits since oct 96...?"

    He then tells me -"There were two sites left off the list, yours and someone elses." The reason for the omission he said is "The controversy surounding the sites."

    I then say, "Well yes, but we are not an illegal or indecent site. I go on to say, "Our founding fathers ( and Mothers!) came here because of controversy."" I believe it was John Hancock that said ' I may not believe in a word you say, but I would defend to the death your right to say it".

    He then says, "I never have run from controversy before, and when I got to thinking about it, I went ahead and put everyone on the list. It is a complete list now. If others have problems with it , Oh well".

    I said "Wonderful! Great!" Now, I had *not* contacted them at all since I got their reply. (For one, my computer was down for awhile and two I was getting information together for the lawsuit.)

    They did not know this,of course. And since he told me that we were *already* on the list when I called him, I do believe he either 1. took my silence as a "auh-ohh", thought about what he had just done and added us. or 2. really had a change of heart after thinking about the way he had just discriminated against us.

    All I can say (for now) is that this was a very satisfactory ending.

    The process I was about to undertake would not have been pleasent or profitable. Our business would have suffered greatly if all I had time for was the lawsuit, ( and believe me, that would have been *top priority* other than family) finding a new server and funding a site like we have all over again. It probably would have made us go bankrupt and it would have been very draining.

    I can not thank The Witches' Voice enough for responding to me so quickly and giving me a direction to go in.

    I had not only contacted you(TWV) about this, but other sites as well and I have yet to hear back from them at all.

    If it had come to a lawsuit, their help and guidance would have meant the world to me.

    It's a shame that I could have been in a very bad situation, and only one of the sites contacted responded.

    We can not fight for our rights if all we give it is *lip service*.We *will* get stomped on if we let it happen. Letting it happen is when we don't inform, when we do not stand up for our rights, others rights and when we do not act.

    Non-action is what is going to keep people of all walks of life fighting for their very basic *constitutional* rights.

    Wouldn't it be nice if our religous beliefs, practices, products, etc.. *never* came into focus by other people when making decisions?

    That will never happen if when we read or hear about it, see it or find out somehow about discrimination happening and we do not help in *some* way.

    What happened to me this time is *MINOR* compared to what has happened, is happening to others. But it could have wrecked havoc with my life, my finances, and my family. ( Can not have the in-laws finding out about this, they might decide my son is in danger and try to take him. Can you imagine what I would have had to do to keep this away from them? )

    To have this resolved, to say the least, is wonderful. We won this one. Thank you again, Wren (and others? I dont know who all was in on the advice) for helping me and my family. May the Lord and Lady shine their light and heap blessings upon all of you.‚



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