June 1994 Archives

June 21, 1994

Pagan Prattle Summer 1994: Contents

[Cover of Summer 1994 issue]Word from the Squirrel's Nest
Your Editor blames the net for a lack of publication.

News

Down but not out Protesting at Twyford
Ian Foot recounts his experiences. If you are reading this, Ian, please may I have your permission to republish your article here.

Let Sleeping Myths Lie
The net helps spread the infamous Proctor and Gamble rumour.

BARNEY - "The Purple Messiah"
Loony Fundie Nonsense from Paw Creek Ministries You may buy a copy of the pamphlet (B354) from the site for a mere $1 (US).

Freedom in our skins?
Geri Corvus on the persecution of Genesis P. Orridge.

Humour
Rabbi Walter Rothschild examines the Congregants' Charter.

Book Reviews
Geri Corvus looks at a couple of Satanic abuse myth titles, and Feòrag NicBhrìde reviews some fantasy and manages not to be too sarcastic.

Obituaries
Marija Gimbutas and Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson.

Magazines
Something to look at once you've finished reading the Prattle.

Word from the Squirrel's Nest

It's been quite a while since I last published the Pagan Prattle. There have been a number of abortive isues over the last couple of years, but I have to admit that trying to live on a student grant at my age has put a strain on my resources.

If you remember the Prattle as it was, you will notice a few changes. Gone is the tabloid look, replaced with the sophisticated experiment you see here. The news is more in-depth, too. I have a major new source for stories these days—the Internet. This is the fabled 'information superhighway' the press have been raving about of late and it's where I've been for the last two years. The effect of this can be seen in the percentage of foreign news.

News: Satanic abuse a myth—official.

United Kingdom: A three-year enquiry funded by the Department of Health has concluded that Satanic ritual abuse does not exist.

The report by Jean La Fontaine, Emeritus Professor of social anthropology at the London School of Economics and a renowned expert on cults and child abuse, was commissioned in 1991 after a number of well publicised cases where allegations had been made of child abuse and sacrifice by groups of witches. These included cases in Rochdale and the Orkney Isles, where nine children were snatched in dawn raids.

Professor La Fontaine had access to all relevant files held by those police forces and social services departments which had investigated allegations of Satanic ritual abuse. She found no evidence to substantiate any of 84 cases in the period 1988-91 where children were alleged to have been abused during black magic rites.

News: Wiccan candidate ousted over religion

Canada: A candidate for the British Columbia provincial legislature has had his nomination taken from him because his party, the ruling New Democratic Party (roughly equivalent to Labour) found out he is Wiccan.

Samuel Wagar, organiser of Pagans for Peace and a pastor in the North American-wide Covenant of the Goddess Church, secured the nomination to run for Matsqui in a by-election but was forced to resign by the party leader in the province of British Columbia when the party discovered that Wagar is Pagan and worships a horned god, dancing around a fire in the nude

News: Mayor invites Klan to burn witches

United States: A crusade against Wiccans has been launched in an American town with the approval of the local mayor, Mark Froehlich. He announced there was no place for witchcraft and satanism in his town at a council meeting, and that he would do everything he could to eradicate such things. He encouraged councillors to do what they thought was right to get rid of witchcraft. At a later meeting a suggestion to bring in the Ku Klux Klan to clear out the Wiccans and heathen was cheered. The mayor suggested waiting a fortnight so the media wouldn't catch them at it.

News: Cheshire authority launch biomass scheme

England: A local council in Cheshire has announced plans which could lead to the recycling of 98% of rubbish by 1995. The current government target is for a mere 25% of waste to be recycled by the turn of the century.

With a private-sector partner, Labour-controlled Halton Borough Council will also create up to 100 jobs with their Halton Biomass scheme.

News: Church sued over forced baptism

United States: The parents of five Colorado Springs children are suing a local church which baptised the children without the parents' knowledge or consent.

News: Apple attacked by right wingers

Apple Computer recently suffered a well organized phone-fax-mail attack by the Religious Right, demanding that Apple Computer drop its policy of non-discrimination against lesbian and gay employees.

This round of hate-mongering was spearheaded by the same groups responsible for anti-gay legislative initiatives including those in Colorado and Oregon, according to Apple Computer employees.

News: School First?

United States: In December in Moscow, Idaho, 15 Earth First! members were found guilty of several trespassing-type misdemeanors related to their protests of logging activities in the Nex Perce National Forest. Federal judge Edward Lodge suspended the prison sentences of the activists provided that they either get a job or go back to college. Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Dec93 via News of the Weird 28/1/94

News: Food for Thought

The Environmental Assessment Center in Okayama, Japan, announced in October that it had manufactured an experimental sausage out of recycled Tokyo sewage by adding soybean protein and steak flavoring to "sewage solids." A company spokesman said, S]ewage isn't really such a dangerous and dirty thing. However, he did not foresee commercially marketing the sausage: Sewage does have a slight image problem. I don't think people will be content eating something they know has been excreted by humans. [Boston Globe-Reuters, 7/10/93] via NoW 5/11/93

News: Cops tear-gas May Day celebration

Beltaine ritual broken up after police attack student party.

The Prattle has obtained an eye-witness report of police brutality at a Beltaine party last year in Provedence, Rhode Island, USA.

News: Floral motorway madness

Conservation groups and wildflower seed sellers are furious at EC plans to force non-native seeds to be planted on road verges.

Proposed "free trade" regulations mean that landscaping schemes would have to use Euro-seed, ignoring the need to protect local flora from invasion.

Conservationists are hoping for a change of heart from the Eurocrats before this new form of motorway madness comes into effect.

Source: Greenbits

News: shorts

United States: In September, according to prosecutors, Dan Koenigsberg schemed to harass Mel Henderson, the only black member of the Teaneck, N. J., city council, during a meeting being shown live on local TV. Koenigsberg hired a messenger to dress in a gorilla costume and to bring Henderson a bunch of bananas, a toy monkey, and two balloons with drawings of monkeys on them. Koenigsberg later apologized in a letter to a local newspaper: My intention was not to bring race into the political debate. [Newark Star-Ledger, December 1993, via News of the Weird, 18th February 1994]

Let Sleeping Myths Lie

The old urban legend concerning Proctor and Gamble's Satanic leanings is still going strong. This article was posted to Christian groups on Usenet this April—the spelling and grammar is unaltered.

Freedom in our skins?

This article was written by Geri Corvus. Ignore any other bylines!

For over 20 years, Genesis P. Orridge has been living out his highly original form of art. Starting out with public exhibits of used tampons, condoms and nappies and continuing with a range of 'performance art' including experimental music, films and mixed-media shows, he has never gone for the safe option of commerciality. He has explored magic, shamanism and psychedelics. His life is his work and his work lies (he considers) in extending all possible boundaries.

On 15th February 1992, his Brighton home was raided by the Obscene Publications Squad, who seized 2 tons of videos, photographs and films.

It was Orridge's entire 20-year collection, much of it valuable archive material such as unpublished work by William Burroughs. Most conveniently for the Squad, Orridge was in Nepal at the time meeting Tibetan mystics and helping out at a refugees' soup kitchen along with partner Alaura and their two young daughters.

The next day, the Observer newspaper ran a front-page story stating that a genuine satanic abuse video had been unearthed and would be screened by Channel 4 that week as undeniable evidence of bloody Satanic sacrifice. Sex and blood rituals are taking place beneath a picture of Aleister Crowley. The trappings of black magic are obvious.

Humour: The Congregants' Charter

by Rabbi Walter Rothschild (ignore any other bylines!)

[This was originally published in the Sinai Chronicle, the magazine of a Leeds synagogue and is reproduced with the permission of the editor. No attempt has been made to alter the original religious context—I leave it to you to contemplate the effects on the Neo-pagan community and exactly how the Gods would react to the provisions in section 5!]

Book Reviews: Ritual Abuse

These reviews were written by Geri Corvus. Ignore any other byline you see!

In Pursuit of Satan by Robert D Hicks
(Prometheus Books 1991 £15.50—available from Prometheus Books, 10 Crescent View, Loughton, Essex. IG10 4PZ, or online at the Prometheus Books website.)

Suffer the Little Children by Dr D.H.S. Reid
1992 (available for £15 inc p&p from MIREC, Step Rock House, St Andrews, Fife. KY16 9AT)

Amazingly there are some Pagans out there who still believe there is some truth in the Satanic Abuse Myth. They should read these two books from cover to cover—together they illustrate the growth of a social panic, its tragic consequences and how easily prejudiced preconceptions can be accepted as fact by people expected to know better.

Book Reviews: Fantasy and Science Fiction

Obituary: Marija Gimbutas

Dr. Marija Gimbutas, who died on Feb. 2, 1994 was born and grew up in Lithuania. Originally intending to become a doctor, she switched to archæology. She had already observed that many of the peasant customs in her native land were thinly-disguised paganism, and this set the tone for much of her career.

Obituary: Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson

This piece was written by Òlafur Gunnlaugsson. Ignore the byline above!

Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson Allsherjargothi, the Icelandic farmer, poet, "kvaedamadur" (poetry "singer") and head of the Icelandic Àsatruarsofnudurinn passed away on the 25th of December 1993 at the age of 69.

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