Never Again the Burning Times? The Rank Hypocrisy of Starhawk and the Neo-Pagan Community

Never Again the Burning Times is both the title of an overly credulous academic study of American Neo-Paganism and a rallying cry for the Neo-Pagan community to fight against the “oppression” of our religion. In many circles it is an incessant and largely reactionary mantra to anything that seems too “conservative” or is perceived as an attack by “them” (Christians, Republicans etc) on the Pagan community.

It is also meaningless. A trite slogan the downwardly mobile middle class Whites who populate the Neo-Pagan community toss out whenever social services removes one of the children from a drug addicted Wiccan “Priestess” or someone feels like shouting something different at a anti-abortion protester. As I’ve written previously, the best description of the modern Wiccan comes from the book Urban Voodoo by S. Jason Black and the recently passed away Christopher Hyatt:

For example, we have had many experiences with the Wicca community in southern California. These groups were invariably dominated by extremely obese, loud women – Israel Regardie used to call them “tent women” – whose goal at any gathering seemed to be to push people around. This was usually accompanied by the sort of verbal moralizing (”that’s black magic” or “he’s incurring bad karma”) that many of us can remember from Sunday school. These people claim to be nature mystics, but the clinical obesity, poor hygiene, chain smoking and chronic bickering tell a very different story. Jason was once shown a particularly pompous and moralizing article in a “Neo-Pagan” magazine and in annoyance, he asked (about the author), “Does she weigh four hundred pounds?” His friend replied in some indignation that he knew her and she was quite thin. Looking at him in the eye Jason asked, “What’s wrong with her?” After a moment’s silence: “Well, she’s kind of cross-eyed and has a neurological disorder.”

It is not our intention to be cruel here, merely to point out some unpleasant truths about the “New Age” or any other movement.

In other words, Wicca as remade by Starhawk and her ilk is nothing more than a book club for losers. It is the bastard offspring of doctrinaire academic feminism and half baked radical environmentalism that serves as a platform for con artists like Starhawk, Silver Ravenwolf and Fiona Horne to sell books to gullible teenagers. And Never Again the Burning Times?

The Burning Time is here. Saudi Arabia is about to execute a woman for witchcraft. The case is causing something of a stir but it isn’t the first time. It is part of the penal code of that backward country. They arrest and kill people, mostly women, who they think are witches. They do it not because Saudi Arabia is unusual, but because Islam prescribes death for witches.

Where is Starhawk’s condemnation of this modern day Salem? What if this poor woman who clearly isn’t a witch was, for the sake of argument, practicing some form of sorcery? Shouldn’t Starhawk, or Fiona Horne or the thousands of other Wiccans and Neo-Pagans rise to their fellow practitioner’s defense?

One would think, but they remain silent. Like “feminists” in the face of Islamic abuse of women, the mainstream neo-Pagan community prefers silent acquiescence to Islamic Imperialism to standing up for what’s right. Islam is doing everything many of these self styled witches claim the American right, evangelical Christians and conservatives are doing. Islam is attacking the very foundation of western civilization, including our freedom of religion and the Neo-Pagan community does nothing.

And Starhawk supports the very organizations that are doing it. Or I should say the political group Starhawk’s affiliated with, Code Pink, supports it. Code Pink ally Cindy Sheehan is right now in Egypt protesting in support of The Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is, along with our “allies” the Saudis, the main exporter of the violent Wahhabist school of Islam that preaches among other things burning witches and generally making war on pagans.

So it would seem that Starhawk at least, who lends her name to Code Pink to give them some additional undeserved credibility, has an opportunity to show herself a real free thinker and criticize the Saudis and Cindy Sheehan’s work in helping a group whose main goal is to destroy her and her way of life.

But will she? Of course not. Starhawk doesn’t care if one day Islam destroys Wicca, because she herself doesn’t even really believe in it. She’s a charlatan, a grifter and a fraud who will gladly don a burqa as long as the money she earns from her professional radicalism keeps rolling in.

There are a very rare few in the occult community willing to break ranks with the left leaning sub-cultures that intersect with it to criticize Islam, and not one of them is a Wiccan. It is evidence of the rank hypocrisy of the debased, watered down “religion” that picks the bones of The Old Religion to sate its followers’ desire for semi-exotic role play. The chief hypocrite of this tribe of Ren Festers is Starhawk, who continues to support a group sympathetic to the goals of people who will murder her followers if given the chance.

Wake up Wiccans. Time to decide if you’re going to be a pagan, and thus an enemy of Islam, or just another chump with a childish book collection.

13 thoughts on “Never Again the Burning Times? The Rank Hypocrisy of Starhawk and the Neo-Pagan Community

  1. Sorry Khepri I accidentally deleted your comment. Stop by again. It’s good to hear from fellow Pagans who keep true to the Libertarian/Republican (in the philosphical sense, not the GOP) values of the Old Ways. Your group sounds great I’m going to join it later.

  2. Do you honestly think your readers are so retarded? If you are going to make such large sweeping generalizations about a religious denomination do your homework first. Classifying wiccans based on two idiots experiences with fat women shows exactly how closed minded you are.

    And don’t worry – I am not a wiccan. I am just ashamed that I actually sat through and read this crap thinking there might actually be a valid point in the end. Instead, all I find is a man angry that he didn’t get promoted to high priest. This will be the only time I read this blog.

  3. Hey, Rob – I bet you’re all torn up inside because Christine won’t be coming back to “read” your blog. I place “read” in quotes because clearly she didn’t read your post or she would have seen that your point had to do with Islam being fundamentally inconsistent with paganism, and that the pagan community is conspicuously absent when it comes to decrying atrocities and abuses committed by Islamic extremists. Silly troll.

  4. Actually, several prominent modern Pagans have spoken up on this issue. The Witches Voice web site published a front-page story on the plight of Fawza Falih, and attorney and Wiccan author Phyllis Curott has organized an interfaith petition calling for clemency. The petition has been signed by prominent Pagans like Selena Fox, Ellen Evert Hopman, Angela Buchanan (a Witch who is a member of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions) and several more. You can find the petition here:

    I conducted an interview with Ms. Curott, and here is what she had to say about Fawza Falih’s predicament:

    “But for a few hundred years of history or a bit of geography or a few more years of fundamentalist political influence in this country, what is happening to Fawza could be happening to any one of us. The fact that she is illiterate, that she is a simple woman in a remote part of the world who is facing this terror all alone makes her the most important person in the world. She is the measure of our humanity, our compassion, our decency, our commitment to our spirituality. We’re all connected. Her suffering is ours, her pain is ours. I felt and I had to do something. There are endless differences in our community, but I believe that we are all united in a divine power that is present in the world. If we live in a sacred world, we must behave in a sacred manner.”

    I would have shared this with you earlier, but I just discovered this page today while doing some Technorati searches. Hopefully it restores your faith that some sections of modern Paganism are indeed taking this issue seriously.

  5. But Jason notice that the point the above person makes is moronic.”a few more years of fundamentalist influence” would not create another witch burning in America and if Curott or you were being honest you could admit that even Christians here by and large support religious freedom. Making the case that a woman in a country that keeps Black slaves and regularly executes accuse witches is in the same boat as we would be if McCain wins is a disgusting display of political hackery, leftist paranoia and the moral equivlancy that lays between.

    The petition is a nice start, but where are the protests? Where’s the neo-Pagan lawyers offering to help? Why is sitting at a computer considered activism?

    The Saudi driven slave trade in Africa was partially stopped in Southern Africa by White South Africans who literally hunted the slavers and pochers who raided African villages when they couldn’t poach endangered species. Are we not willing to do what the dreaded White African did?

    Islam, especially the Saudi backed Whabbist tradition, preaches death to Withches. That’s you and me. Fantasies about fighting the Christian right are nice and safe, but it is Islam that is poised to stoke the fires now and no one off petition can stop that.

    Consider joining Act for America, a group founded by a Lebanese woman who watched as Lebanon was transformed from the New York of the middle east into a hell whole by radical Islamist. Brigitte Gabriel spent years in a buncker with her family as a little girl whie Muslim death squads murdered the Christian, Druze and Atheist citizens. She lobbies now for putting pressure on Islam to reform and come into the 21st century.

    Thanks for the comment and while the steps above are hopeful, we need to do more if our grandchildren are to enjoy the same religious freedoms as we do.

  6. Ok, you are an idiot! Firstly, you do not have to be a 400 pound woman or someone with a neurological disorder in order to be what you would probably deem “stupid enough” to be a Wiccan. Secondly, Wiccans are not natural enemies of Islam! Have you NEVER noticed that Wicca preaches religious tolerance? Yes, there are people being condemned for witchcraft and dying because of it, but that is NOT the fault of the Islam religion, just the way certain people interpret it. Thirdly, I have heard nothing BUT people speaking out against this in the Wiccan community! You are just someone who is angry and bitter at what is probably an injustice done to you personally, and now are persecuting the ENTIRE wiccan community for it yourself!!! Either get some real information or shut the hell up!

  7. Oh, Erin. Maybe you could try reading the post before commenting.

    A) I was for many years a Wiccan, I outgrew it (now I’m just a Pagan) and it was the late Dr. Hyatt that made the observation you’re angry about. I guess you missed the block quote.

    I have experienced myself that it is often true that those who continue to dwell in Wicca, what is essentially the bush leagues of occultism, do have some other issues in their lives. Like over reacting to blog posts or projecting onto others.

    B) Wiccans may not be the natural enemies of Islam (and that wasn’t what I said) but Islam is the enemy of all New Age religions and especially pagans and occultists in general. Islam proscribes death to polytheists, and most Islamic countries are hard line fundamentalists.

    And it is of course Islam’s fault as to how its adherents act. The Koran leaves no room for interpretation; in fact it is considered a heresy to not believe the literal truth of the Koran. Islam is a pre-reformation religion, so it acts much as Medieval Christianity did in regards to Pagans.

    C) Where is this mighty uproar in the Wiccan community that shakes the very foundations of the house of Saud? On the free websites nobody visits or at the local ren fest? The point is that Wiccans should be actually making their support known to people other than Wiccans and putting up an online petition no one will ever see isn’t activism. How about a good old-fashioned protest? Maybe a boycott?

    D) My above post was admittedly smug, and heavy on the disdainful posturing but hardly full of anger. I certainly don’t feel some sense of injustice except for the poor women who are murdered routinely in Muslim countries.

    Don’t you think it’s you who sounds angry and bitter? And if Wicca’s so enlightening why is that? Why the thin skin Erin? Is it because you’re beginning to realize modern Wicca is a scam by Llewellyn to sell you books? Is it because you realize that Gerald Gardner cobbled together Wicca by plagiarizing Aradia by C.G. Leland and adding some OTO rituals and Theosophy into the mix to spice it up?

    All the while the Gods make themselves known to us, but you’re too invested in what is basically a neo-Marxist subculture that has not given you the kind of inner peace you assume I’m lacking to heed them.

    Here’s some real information for you my dear. The Gods are real (something Starhawk denies) and you claim to owe them fealty but won’t stand up against those things that they find abhorrent. What if this woman really was a “Witch?” and she is to be killed by the “once born” in a re-enactment of The Burning Times you pretend to be unwilling to allow to happen again? What would the Gods say to your tepid responses to her death?

    But it is typical that a person such as yourself would hatefully attack me rather than the Muslims, whose ranks you’ll know doubt join once you tire of Wicca.

    And by the way, I’m not sure you know what persecuting means, but I guess it doesn’t matter to you as long as you get to play the victim. Meanwhile dozens of women a year are put to death for being accused of being you.

  8. Wow, Rob, there for a while reading that last comment of yours to Erin, I forgot for a minute whether I was reading it or writing it. LOL. Great blog you have here, I’ll add you to my blogroll shortly.

  9. Thanks Patrick, I love your site. And thanks for making a brave stand against Starhawk and her I.S.M. affiliation. It’s hard to speak out sometimes when you’re surrounded by people who think disagreement is heresy.

    If I haven’t I’ll be blogrolling you as well.

  10. This is just awesome and I agree with Patrick. I was all ready to tear someone apart …. and then I read your thoughts in your comment 😉 .

    I, too, had proclaimed myself Pagan. I was directed to WitchVox and hung out there for a couple of months. The people I corresponded with were just nutty, to be honest. I quickly felt the need to point out, “I’m Pagan – NOT Wiccan” every time the subject was brought up. I, then, was invited to join a site called PaganSpace, where I was intruduced and thrown – quite suddenly and unwillingly – into “Witch wars” left and right. The mantra, I soon discovered, among these Wiccans and Neos is: “Harm none … unless they don’t agree with your every word!”

    I have a Pagan pendant around my neck and am not ashamed if someone calls me Pagan, but I’d rather not cast myself into any bordered title as I believe our souls have the right to freely travel the path right for them. I guess I’m more of a cross between agnostic and Zen Buddhist than anything, but I enjoy aspects of many paths huddled beneath the umbrella of Paganism.

    As for Wicca, well, they can criticize Christianity and other faiths all they want. Sadly, however, I see no difference in how they behave. The cultist mentality, the demands to do as they say or you’ll suffer, the belief in things that are quite silly to reasonable people while condemning others for their own beliefs, and so forth. Their behavior and fanatical ways serve only to strengthen the animosity against them – and other Pagans – and keep newcomers away. (Don’t even get me started on the imbecilic term “fluffy bunny”!!!)

  11. Who could argue with a well thought out point like that? I mean unless I said it was likely most people “wanked” to the gutterslut duckface photos you put on your facebook and have been circulated on forums ever since.

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