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Bad News for Christians

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan,alt.religion.wicca,,alt.religion.christian,talk.religion.christian,alt.witchcraft,alt.satanism
From: (SOD of CoE)
Subject: Bad News for Christians (was Good News for Witches)
Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2000 08:43:42 GMT

50001104 IVom Hail Satan!

what lies below is my response to an article on Christian attempts to
proselytize for Wiccan conversion in the Witch Capital of the World:
Salem, Massechusetts. the periodical "Christianity Today" apparently
hasn't done its homework completely, though it has made some
improvements over the really horrible journalism practiced some 5 to
7 years ago concerning the "satanism" of Neopagan culture. more below.
>Christianity Today
>Articles posted: Friday, October 27, 2000
>Good News for Witches
#   Every Halloween, thousands of Wiccans descend on Salem,
#   Massachusetts -- and local churches reach out.
#   By Lauren F. Winner

excerpts following, with my reaction.

#       Salem, Massachusetts. The town is not the site of the witch
#        hysteria that erupted in 1692that distinction belongs to
#       neighboring Danvers, which was known as Salem Village until
#    1752but today's Salem capitalizes on the misconception. Halloween
#      is an especially lively time in Salem, and Wift and her coven
#                went there to meet up with other witches.

note that the article doesn't mention what "the witch hysteria" was
or what preceded it in Europe. later mentions are made of the Salem
Witch Trials and an attempt is made to apologize for martyrdom and
confession of heresy ("'only those good Christians' who refused to 
say they had participated in diabolical activities were executed').
#                              Witches' brew
#    As a onetime witch, Wift has some advice for students who, though
#    well-meaning, "don't know how to talk Wiccan." In fact, Wift has
#    seen disastrous attempts to witness to witches by Christians who
#                       do not know Wiccan basics.

apparently a Wiccan newbie or outsider, since there are not really
any plain and simple "Wiccan basics", as she would otherwise know.
#      While many in the medieval church associated witchcraft with
#      Satan-worship and sorcery, most contemporary witches follow a
#      nature-oriented, polytheistic belief system built around the
#                  worship of the Great Mother Goddess.

no mention of the Horned God on this page.
#      One Wiccan Web site (

uninformed, the OCRT is not specifically Wiccan. apparently this
is as far as the researcher got at that site, unfortunately.

#        ...It is also a city with a Christian
#    community, and we want to say to all of these groups, whether you
#    are dabbling in witchcraft or are a witch of many years, we love
#                        you, and we welcome you."

a very compassionate message by Wesley.
#     "Salem makes a huge profit on the martyrdom of good people," 
#     [historian Tad Baker]
#        observes with evident distress. "Remember that no one who
#    confessed to being a witch died. Only those good Christians" who
#      refused to say they had participated in diabolical activities
#                             were executed.

hardly more than an indictment against the largely Christian
prosecutors and lynch mobs that conducted these 'trials'. what
they want to call 'hysteria' continues even recently in Blood
Libel, False Memory Syndrome, and the Satanic Panic. know your
Christian history/hysteria. it isn't isolated to ancient Salem.

#      Though witchery is a major industry in Salem, not everyone is
#     happy about it, and evangelicals are not the only ones who wish
#    Salem's witchy ways would abate. "The current mayor campaigned on
#    toning down Haunted Happenings so that we don't become the witch
#     capital of the world," Baker says. "But if you spend Halloween
#              here, you see that's not easy to accomplish."

LOL! capitalism is more important than a 'good Christian image'!
#      Wift concurs. "It's a tough place to take a strong stand for
#       Christ, because some of the powers that be in the town are
#                             opposed to it."

perhaps they should take a strong stand for human rights and see
where that gets them. the OCRT and the ACLU are better Christians,
often aligned with those whom I respect more such as Quakers and
Unitarian Universalists (who have their own Neopagan contingent --

#       Christians, she suspects, are at best ambivalent about the
#    evangelistic outreach at Halloween. "They think it detracts from
#      the town's main attraction, that faith is fine as long as it
#                      doesn't interfere with that."

atheists or those who think that drawing attention to the history 
of persecution and delusion is valuable, even if at a profit.
#      Not all of Wift's encounters were so discouraging. One young
#    witch, apparently no older than 13, sat and chatted. "But why do
#    I have to pray to a male God?" the girl protested. "And why does
#     God care what name I use for him, whether I use Jesus or Mother
#                                 Earth?"

valuable questions. this demonstrates the active minds of Neopagans.
#    How the girl spent the rest of Halloweenreturning home curious to
#      read the Bible or delving back into her compendium of goddess
#      tales from around the worldis unknown, but Wift was sure that
#     somewhere the girl understood the difference between crying out
#               to Mother Earth and reaching out to Jesus.

there's an ABSOLUTE DIFFERENCE, and this is why the callous religion
of Christianity must be put aside as the faith of children and
those whose ignorance will only serve to destroy what little remains
of the wild. see later references to more progressive Christians who
are at least taking the step of 'caring for the Creation'. 

end of story. the original post continues:

>Sidebar: Shelly Wift's Tips for Witnessing to Witches

#              Shelly Wift's Tips for Witnessing to Witches

excerpts below with my reaction.
#     Try to take seriously your friend's belief system, just as you
#     would for a Muslim or a Jew. Become acquainted with the various
#     Wiccan traditions that may be popular in your local community.

acknowledgement of multiple Wiccan traditions. this is progress
from most Christian understanding of not more than 5 years ago.

#    ...ask your friend what her most important
#     holidays are, or why she calls her group of worshipers a coven.
#     Emphasize some similarities between Christianity and Wicca. As
#     Wicca is a nature-loving religion, mention a book by Christian
#      environmentalists, such as Cherish the Gift: A Congregational
#       Guide to Earth Stewardship by Cindy Ubben Causey and Donald
#    Conroy, or Stan L. Lequire's The Best Preaching on Earth: Sermons
#                         on Caring for Creation.

thank you for mentioning these texts. does mentioning books place

nature-love on par with God-love? is God-worship the same as
God-love? nature-love and nature-worship? is what Wiccans do
even rightly called nature-worship? I say no, and suggest to all
of my fellow Wiccans that we should take a careful look at the 
endpoint of our spirituality.
#    Use inclusive language. Many people, women especially, were drawn
#    to Wicca because they were put off or hurt by the church's use of
#     male pronouns for God. When telling your neighborhood witch how
#          much God loves her, say God or Jesus rather than he.

note that this Christian doesn't attempt to explain that the terms
in "The Bible" are mixed with regard to the pronouns for the deity;
that 'They' (elohim) is translated as 'He', 'Lord', or 'God'; that
she is avoiding using the word 'Mother' with regard to the divine;
or even the importance of Mary to many Christians.

#    Do not imply that accepting Christ means accepting your culture.

VERY GOOD. this is also one of the first steps to getting deprogrammed
out of Christian cults. individualism of choice, faith, and the
spiritual path is emboldening no matter what religion one chooses.

#    If your friend burns incense and has 19 earrings, so be it. Maybe
#    churches would look less dour if more people sported 19 earrings.

VERY GOOD. looking less unkindly upon appearances and being more
open to considering alternative behaviours and thoughts is a step
toward *manifesting* the love which is properly described by those
with true Christian charity as God. now if only Christians could
find a way to extend that charity to all living beings such as the
Wiccans and Buddhists *say* they want to do.
#     Above all, follow the advice of Wesley United Methodist Church
#    pastor Ken Steigler: Love them and let them know they're welcome.


end of excerpts, original article continues:

>Sidebar: A Wicca Primer

#                             A Wicca Primer

excerpts below, with my reactions.
#                        What do Wiccans believe?
#      Contemporary Wiccans worship the Great Mother Goddess and her
#    partner the Horned God (Pan), but these and a host of other pagan
#     deities are said to represent various aspects of an impersonal
#       creative force called "The One" or "The All"reflecting the
#       current influence of Eastern monism popularized in New Age
#       thought. Wiccans regard all aspects of natureplants, rocks,
#                        planetsas having spirit.

no mention of immanence. an apparently correct identification of
unity with regard to "having spirit" and prevalent monism.
#                    Who is the Great Mother Goddess?
#    She is the female aspect of The All and has many names, including
#     Diana, Isis, and Demeter. She is usually seen in threefold form
#          as maiden (Kore), Mother (Diana), and crone (Hecate),
#                representing the fundamental life stages.

increasingly other aspects of this masculo-centric perspective on
the (often Great) Goddess are being integrated into Wiccan ideas
and rituals: Warrior Queen, for example; Medicine Woman; etc. 
the Christian seems to be about 5 years behind the times, as above.
#                     Do Wiccan witches cast spells?
#       Spells are one of many ritual activities Wiccans engage in,
#      although unlike Satanist witchcraft, Wicca forbids harmful or
#    manipulative spells. 

note the interpretation of the Wiccan Rede as a restriction, not
unlike the fundie Wiccans who proscribe acts of 'harm', usually
without seriously considering what the term means.

# Wiccan witches practice two kinds of magic.
#    Low magic is invoked to improve everyday life, such as a job or a
#     relationship, while high magic aims to transform the individual
#    personally. Witches convene to worship deities and invoke magic,
#    but pronouncing curses is forbidden: Wiccans believe that curses
#            rebound threefold back onto the one working them.

no explanation about the three-fold rebound. note the identification
of the High/Low magical categories of ceremonialism from which
traditional Wicca seems to have arisen. the author's usage of terms
is awkward ("invoke magic"?) and identification of any kind of
authority which "forbids" is unfortunately imbecile.
#                   How does a local Wicca group work?
#      Autonomous groups of four to 26 people (the ideal is 13) 

where does the notion of a 26-member limit to a coven arise?
2 x 13 apparently, perhaps with hiving.

#    form
#    covens that meet semi-monthly at the new and full moons, as well
#    as at eight major solar festivals. Wiccans can attain up to three
#       "degrees" of involvement in the covenfull membership after
#       initiation, accomplished witchhood after reaching a certain
#       knowledge level, and priesthood, which usually requires the
#       "Great Rite" of ritual sexual intercourse. The Great Rite,
#      however, is usually performed symbolically by the thrust of a
#                  ritual knife into a chalice of wine.

better inside information by Christians into Wiccan conventions.
note the focus on ritual sexual intercourse. why, if it "is usually
performed symbolically" it is still referred to this way, seems
somewhat sensationalist and titillating. bad form, Christians. even
many Wiccans don't want to see physical sex in their rituals. what

about the children?! next they'd be asking for sex education! will
the horrors never end?

#                          How did Wicca begin?
#    Gerald B. Gardner (18841964), a British civil servant and amateur
#    archaeologist, is credited with founding contemporary witchcraft.
#    Having learned magic in Southern Asia, he became involved in the
#      occult upon his return to England in 1939. He met influential
#        witches at a Theosophical group, but evidence suggests he
#    combined Asian magic with Western texts to invent a new religion
#    with worship of the Mother Goddess at its vortex. His ritual, and
#      an offshoot version fashioned by breakaway initiate Alexander
#           Sanders, spread across North America in the 1960s.

no mention of the role of Priestess. whence comes this information
about Gardner's "Asian magic education"? ambiguous. no mention of
traditions of Wicca ("Gardnerian", "Alexandrian", etc.). no mention
of sado-masochism or of Gardner's dyslexia, his fondness of Crowley,
membership in OTO, etc.
#                   Who are major figures behind Wicca?
#      Sybil Leek came to the United States from England in 1966 and
#        established independent covens in Ohio and Massachusetts.

is Leek related to Wicca? not by my understanding.

#    Self-described pagans eager to avoid the "witch" designation but
#      equally devoted to the Great Mother Goddess were Fred Adams,
#    Donna Cole, and Ed Fitch, soon dubbed "neopagans." They designed
#      new rituals, and by 1980 a hodgepodge of Wiccan and neopagan
#    groups had emerged. The largest Witchcraft-Pagan organization is
#    the Church of Circle Wicca, based in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, and
#               founded in 1975 by Selena Fox and Jim Alan.

interesting, it is now called "The Church of Circle Wicca"? I thought
it was just "Circle" and its publication "Circle Network News".
#                                Sources:
#       J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America
#                     (Garland Publishing Inc., 1986)

single source accounts for the ignorance. even Melton probably has
information the seem to be missing here. 1986 puts this 14 years
back, though this is a printed source. 

the interested Christian would do well to examine the OCRT's
ENTIRE SITE. anyone with an interest in religion and especially
comparative religion would benefit from exposure to it. 

it would not surprise me if OCRT was online 5 years ago. perhaps
their information does not bring the Christians up to date.

>======================================= [SRP] MODERATOR'S COMMENT: 
> Be aware that the magazine wants to set cookies, which may open 
> one up to receive unwanted spam.  I suggest turning cookies OFF 
> before visiting here. -Baird

I didn't bother, but I appreciate internetworking about religion.
thanks for letting us know, Baird.

you may respond to those who write and publish these articles by
sending meail to: 

with the Subject line "letter to the editor".

to which this response is cc'd, along with the original poster.

blessed beast!

Satanic Outreach Director,
Church of Euthanasia (
FREE HOODOO CATALOGUE! send street address to: ; ; ; 
emailed replies may be posted; cc replies if response desired

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