Another ignorant comment from the media… or was it?

On the 4th of April this year the website Newshub released a story titled

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Credit: The Herald Sun

Paedophile ‘witch’ released from jail, moves in next to school

This article describes the granting of convicted pedophile Robin Angus Fletcher to live within close proximity to a school. I was made aware of the article through the Austrailan Pagan Awareness Network  (PAN) Facebook site. The article describes Robin as using ‘witch’ techniques such as hypnotism to lure girls and commit his crimes. The PAN president, David Garland, contacted Newshub and requested a modification of the article stating that hypnotism is NOT part of the accepted practices of a witch (read the PAN response here).  I applaud David in contacting Newshub and writing a clear and objective letter stating that hypnotism is not an recognized accepted practice by witches in their magical work, particularly if it is not consented by both parties.

Wanting to research the article further I found the original news story The Age posted an article on Mr. Fletcher in 2006 where he claims to be a Wiccan and associated his Wiccan practice to justify his behavior. In that article Marion Dalton from PAN was mentioned distancing Wiccans and their values from Mr. Fletcher and his actions. An article in March of this year via News.com detailed Mr. Fletcher’s release into the community. In February of this year the Herald Sun described Mr. Fletcher as a ‘sex witch’.

So I ask the community: does this reporting by the media hurt Pagans by portraying them as using sex (and hypnotism) in their magic? Or does it simply show a very disturbed man using a religious belief to justify morally- inhumane actions?

I would like to hear your thoughts,

Blessed Be.

Do we need Pagan festivals and events?

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Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Français : Logo de Facebook Tiếng Việt: Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This comes from a posting made by the Pagan Awareness Network on their facebook page last night asking for responses from Pagans about what would make them organize their money and time to attend events. From what I gather the back-story stems from a failed attempt at organizing a Sydney-based event recently which ran at a loss and was not well attended. It started me thinking of what would compel me to take time out of my busy schedule of work, family, and personal interests to attend such an event.

What can a Pagan event give us that we cannot already access ourselves within our own home? Here are some ideas which come to mind:

– Speakers of particular interests and specialities (meditation, Pagan history, spell casting or other ritual formation)

– Group circles, festivals, or gatherings (i.e. full moon, sabbats, rituals)

– Vendors with Pagan-specific products to see/touch/buy

To my mind all are quite valid, however why do we not come out to support our religion and meet with like-minded individuals? From my experience (mainly online) Pagans are very social people- so what is the issue?

Wondering what others may think? It is an interesting point to ponder.

Until next time,

Garrettlonewolfe