Over at the supposedly fair and balanced (but actually leftist) Pagans and Politics political site I found this awful bit of ignorant propaganda by some Wiccan named Eric Robbins that is in essence a reworking of the Illuminati conspiracy theories aimed at suckers, but this time aimed at attacking Jesus freaks who may have cheated on their wives.
You know, like 70+ percent of Americans.
Of course his source for all of this conspiracy mongering aside from the 9/11 “truth” movement and too much time on the Internet is Rachel Maddow, known far and wide for her fair portrayal of Christians, Conservatives and anyone who hasn’t jerked off to Obama.
Religion and politics have been overlapping in the news lately, with occult practitioners exposed for their involvement in scandalÂ afterÂ scandal. Men near the top of Americaâ€™s political power structure have been found to be closely allied with, if not in fact members of, a secretive international religious organization. Their rationale, their goals, both specific and general, are closely guarded secrets, and it appears that they shift their holdings around so as to obscure the extent of their power.
The scandals that I reference above are closely tied to The Family, a secretive and powerful international organization apparently intent on steering politics worldwide. Where is the outrage from those mainstream religions that fear the occult? Primarily, and very much to their credit, the lone voice of disapproval from the mainstream religious community seems to be the Interfaith Alliance. Rev. Dr. Welton Gaddy of the alliance was highly criticalÂ of the secrecy surrounding The Family on last nightâ€™s Rachel Maddow Show, saying, â€œWhen you get in that position, and you put yourself in an insulated, isolated, secretive kind of conversationâ€¦we know whatâ€™s right for this country, and weâ€™re going to do whatever we have to do to see that this country does right.â€ Gaddy goes on to criticize The Familyâ€™s apparent scorn for the law, as evidenced by the C Street enclaveâ€™s handling of the marital infidelity and financial ethics scandals. For me, the news here is not that there are affairs and ethics violations among our political leaders, or even that those leaders are protected in this by being Christian, but rather that the scandals have pushed an enormous occult organization out into the daylight, and Pagans have no part in the story.
Yes, a well thought out and not paranoid position at all. But it is how he ties this bit of leftist agi-prop together that is the true source of the embarrassment:
I would contend that since secrecy is the key ingredient of the occult, in plain English weâ€™re talking about secrecy policies in organized religious groups.
By that definition unions, ACORN, and the sorority your sister belongs to are all occult organizations. As an aside, if The Family is so secret a) how do we know so much about them and b) why can I link to their website where their “secretive agenda” is literally spelled out for the public to view?
But more to the point, Robbins’ definition of the occult is an illiterate one, indeed typical of Wiccans and mainstream neo-Paganism in general who have embraced the same “socially conservative” anti-Occultism that drove the Satanic Panic of the 80s and 90s. There are no actual secret occult organizations (which should be clear since these conspiracy theorists can be intimately familiar with who is in the groups they criticize) and secrecy as one of the pillars of magical practice has little to do with the “they are everywhere” paranoia ofÂ Robbins and his ilk. Almost every supposed secret society these people rail against is open to the public and you could join right now if you wanted to. The O.T.O., the Freemasons, The Rosicrucians (which I have recently joined) and thousands of other “occult” groups are merely private clubs where people may or may not study various aspects of occultism.
Again, literacy is the problem. Because the word occult at its root means secret, the role players who pretend to be informed on these things believe that means the body of knowledge and beliefs considered part of the occult are secret. This is not true. In fact, for the erstwhile occultist looking to fill his or her personal grimoire, some of the best references from which “occult” knowledge can be gleaned are the academic works concerning the occult and not the imagined synagogues of Satan that populate the mythography of modern neo-paganism.
E.M. Butler’s Ritual Magic which is an academic survey of the history of Western magical practices contains many translations of first hand sources of this supposed secret knowledge as does A.E. Waite’s Book of Black Magic (sometimes published under the name The Book of Spells) which was a literary criticism of known medieval grimoires. More “occult” knowledge can be found in Richard Cavendish’s lurid The Black Arts than can ever be gained by the entire Llewellyn book catalog. Many of the best books written on occult knowledge are authored by people with no initiation into these “occult” groups.
Which of course means that since scholars and artist have been dispensing the “secret” knowledge of the occult for hundreds of years the idea that occult literally means secret is a fundamental misunderstanding of the world Robbins supposedly occupies.
Now, there are already defenders of Robbins whining that what Robbins was doing was a bit of literary Akido, turning the “Xtian” fear of the occult on its head, but they know this isn’t the case. Robbins has accepted these same Christians’ views of occult conspiracy and then added on the modern pretense of the division between Pagans and “occultists” designed to unite Pagans like himself with liberal Christians into a leftist-style religious identity whose commonality is fear of conservative Christians. Never mind that it was conservative Christians and their magazines like Cornerstone who ultimately debunked many of the Satanic Panic claims, while liberal Christians continue to allow this sort of conspiracy mongering to fester until this day. This stance is boilerplate unfortunately, but it has consequences.
Here’s a comment I received just recently on a post from a Wiccan who was offended that I dared connect Wicca … with Witchcraft:
on March 12th, 2010 at 1:08 pm
just thought iâ€™d throw out there that not all pagans practice black magic or witchcraft. black magic being an intent to cause harm upon someone or affect someones will. you make it sound like pagans are a bunch of harry potter freaks. its more along the lines of energy focus, for me at least. and spells and magic is not what being pagan is about so called â€œspellsâ€ are more like prayers and spiritual awareness. im not going home rto sit around a culdron and play with spices, more normal than u think, so why would a â€œgoodâ€ pagan care about a black magic pagan when in all honesty im terrified of black magic and prefer to not be accioated with it.
In other words, Wiccans are no different than Episcopalians. I have often put forward that Wiccans aren’t really Witches but until recently Wiccans fought me on it. Now they are in essence denying their involvement in Witchcraft, ritual magic, and occultism in general. Indeed, now they hurl these words around as if their insults. Understand these “free thinking”Â pagans are embracing the same views and movement that claims they are part of an evil conspiracy, which proves that it is true thatÂ your mind can be so open your brains will fall out. As embarrassed as I was by pagans when they were running around calling themselves “Dragon Moon Drowheart” the garish scene of them cavorting with Unitarian Universalists and decrying “the occult” has shamed me to the core.