Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dealing with Douchebags

I've gotten spoiled.

Living in New York City where people don't pay attention to your jewelry--working with University professionals who are sensitive to insensitivity, hanging out with the fringe of the fringe weirdos who don't judge 'cuz they sure as hell don't want to be judged--I forget that Wiccans and Pagans are still getting screwed with in various places.

Even in my ultra-liberal hometown of Portland, Oregon.

My best friend K, who runs a sister-group to ours, got this nastygram in her MySpace inbox the other day:

Well Miss K,

I hacked my wife's account to send you this message because I didn't
want to endanger your employment by sending it to what appears to be
your work E-mail.

So anyhow...

Pagans poisoned my parents. A pagan threatened to kidnap my child. And
it was a pagan that tried to break-up my marriage. In each instance
the aggression was initiated without warning or provocation. Given my
history with paganism, I have tried hard to treat you fairly.

As witches often times harbor persecution complexes and make effort to
conceal their "religion" from the community, I have tried to remember
not to discuss this topic in public. And, in respect for your
household, I have attempted to avoid confrontation when a guest of
your home.

However, Imbolc is merely days away and, unless I've missed my mark,
there will soon be an effort to solidify your new coven by offering my
wife an opportunity to initiate. Regardless of her response to this
proposition I'm setting down some ground rules:

1. I will not tolerate deception or secrecy. I am to be made aware, in
advance, of all dates, times, locations and purpose of all rituals,
and of all the persons involved, actively or passively. This includes
all spell castings, conjurings or communication with non-human
entities, or any other efforts to work magic. L will make sure I'm
updated with the coven's business but you, nor the coven in general,
shall not withhold this kind of information from her. There will be no
"impromptu" ceremonies or "last minute" additions to the participants.

2. You will not include our son in any ceremonies, rites, prayers,
sacraments, rituals, spell castings or magical workings of any kind.
This includes any and all "skyclad" activities. Nor will you
administer to him any form of home remedy, traditional cure, or
medicine. In addition, as it has come to my attention that your home
is haunted, our son will not be brought to your residence until such
time as the haunting is discontinued or your household relocates to a
non-haunted location. My grandmother's home was haunted and because of
this I have adopted a zero threat policy concerning such issues and my

3. Meetings involving my family, regardless of time, place or purpose,
will not include narcotics, hallucinogenics, or other "medicines" of
any kind. I don't care how beneficial or natural they are.

4. The coven will not publicly protest or support any political or
community actions or policies. Nor will there be any cooperation or
fellowship with any criminal or terrorist organizations/individuals,
including, but not limited to, the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), the
Animal Liberation Front (ALF), or Earth First!

These are not open to debate or negotiation.

In conclusion, and without intending to breed ill will or conflict,
only so that you are perfectly clear about the situation, I am obliged
to give you fair warning:

Any harm the coven, or persons or entities associated with the coven,
inflicts upon my household will be visited back upon you tenfold.

That's not a threat.

That's a promise.

I'll be sending a copy of this to my wife so that she knows what I've
been up to.


Surprise, surprise! I was ready to whip out a poppet and go to town.

K handled it beautifully and I believe I could learn from her response:

Well Mr. F,

I am so sorry to hear about the obviously traumatic past that you have
had with Pagans, however, I think that you are unfairly lumping pagans
into a group of psychotic/ crazy people. Someone who tries to poison
someone is Psychotic. Someone who threatens to kidnap a child is a
Freakin whack job. Someone who tries to break up a marriage is
obviously someone who has NO respect for the sanctity of marriage. I
am sorry that they had one thing in common; however, none of those
personality traits have any correlation to Paganism. They are merely
Bad people. Bad people come from ALL religious faiths!

I have been out of the broom closet for some time. I am not ashamed of
my religious affiliation. I am a good person, a good partner and a
good friend. I do not fear others opinion of me. So please don't ever
feel like you can't discuss this with me in public. Obviously you have
questions for me and that's perfectly okay.

I will admit that in certain pagan groups they have an initiation.
Courtney and her friends in NYC and me and mine in the NW do have a
name we use for our groups. We call it Novices of the Old Ways. I came
up with it. (Back Pat) But the philosophy is clear, those who wish to
participate are welcome and those who don't are not judged. There is
no real initiation. If you are involved for one week or ten years is
totally voluntary and up to the person and judgment is not passed
either way.

As far as your ground rules Mr F. Hahummmm:

You will be made aware of what your wife tells you about and that is
between your wife and you. I will NOT meddle in your marriage or
communicate with you in regards to our practice unless you wish to
actively participate or have specific questions. It is up to your wife
to involve you in this not me or anyone else. Out of your and my
friendship I would gladly share things with you or not intentionally
deceive you. I will not however give you a list of notes of our
activities as this would qualify as nun ya damn business! If you have
a problem with that you may take that up with your wife. As someone
who is not actively participating you MAY NOT tell me or dictate to me
what or who may or not be involved in any rituals or activities. You
in no way are in charge of my spirituality and practice and will have
NO say. To expect such is grossly over stepping bounds.

You and your wife decide what your son participates in. Not me or
anyone else. The fact the you think that the gatherings we have
involve being skyclad I have to admit makes me seriously question YOUR
sanity as that is gross and lets be honest who the hell wants to see
me naked. So I will let that concern go. So I am assuming by natural
medicine you mean if your son falls down he can have no Aloe for his boo
boo, Neosporin only. That's fine I have both. A natural remedy would
be like putting a cold compress on a child's head and putting lavender
oil on the cloth so the scent could calm and soothe them. So whatever
weird remedies you were thinking I'm honestly not sure I want to know.

I hope very seriously that you did not mean what you said about having
your son in my home. I'm not sure what you mean by my house is haunted.
There is and forever will be spiritual activity in my house. There is
in fact spiritual activity in most houses. Perhaps at your
grandmothers there was some type of poltergeist which is more like a
mean demonic presence which is very different and yes would in fact be
scary. The fact that I practice allows me to keep crap like that out
of my house and I am able to filter the good in and keep the bad OUT!
G and I love you and your family and look forward when we have
our own family having the two families being close. SO obviously your son
whom I adore not being allowed in my home would be a huge problem.

As far as the drugs I will keep it short and just say. Are you freakin
kidding me? Drugs. OY! Of course I don't do drugs. Sheesh!

Guess what everyone I know voted for Obama yup sure did and we all
said we loved him. We are individuals and may support whatever
organization we damn well please and neither you or I have the right
to dictate to anyone who they may or may not support I will say I'm
not familiar with either of the organizations you mentioned nor do I
support PETA as I love steak. However if I ever changed my mind I may
do so, as I am my own person and have that right!

These are not open to debate or negotiation.

As far as your warning, don't be a turd or I swear I will kick
you square in the balls! The bottom line is I'm not crazy, your
wife isn't crazy, after this letter your sanity has been called into
question a little bit. I will however try to still treat you fairly.

I'll be sending a copy of this to my wife so that she knows what I've
been up to.

You know you love me,

I really admire the way K handled this because she didn't back down, didn't cower, but stayed very much in the line of "An Harm Ye None, Do What Thou Wilt", which we all know has a million and a half interpretations, but I've taken it to mean following your own path with respect to others.

Plus, she was funny. So many others would have gone the curse the fucker out route, which is not so very cool.

Okay. Going back to the day job, now.

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