When the whole Kenny Klein issue hit the news, I was appalled but not surprised. I had met the guy in New Orleans and been less than impressed, in fact i"d found him energetically filthy and obviously lacking in any moral sense. I thought thought "well, here at least is an issue that all Polytheists, Pagans, and Wiccans can staunchly stand behind: child abuse and molestation, sexual assault. coverups --  and anything that furthers those things is wrong." How naive I was and how incorrect. 

Since the affair de Kenny hit the Pagan blogosphere I have been sickened by the number of Pagans and Wiccans who have come out publicly excusing these behaviors and moreover attempting to silence his victims. Just check out the wildhunt.com coverage for a sickening sample. 

That's why today when I saw this piece by a respected Pagan elder here at Witches and Pagans http://witchesandpagans.com/Pagan-Culture-Blogs/ok-everybody-breathe.html it was just too much. 

I realize the author may have been speaking ironically and for effect however to this reader the effect was one of a community elder worrying more about people's feelings and sexual liberties at public gatherings than the issue at hand. I've seen this over and over again. People, there's no grey area here.

Any response save complete condemnation of this act is simply inappropriate. Klein confessed. His victims have been coming forward since and what does Paganism do? Exactly what they did the first time people complained: dog pile on the victim, make excuses, worry that maybe somewhere some Pagan will now be expected to have some sense of sexual morality. Someone might suddenly have to have standards.  oh the horrors. 

 

Even if this one author were being ironic, even if she were saying these things to make a point, it's just not appropriate. This should not be a moral stretch to say that sexual molestation and anything that furthers it is WRONG and personally, I do not wish to be part of a forum, dedicated to a community that seems to find that difficult. 

 

The real horror is in a community that struggles to comprehend something at its core very simple: sexual abuse in any form is wrong and yes it is a community issue. Anyone who seriously worries about the limits this may put on one's ability to stomp around naked and have sex indiscriminately and in public at gatherings, in my opinion, needs to seriously rethink their priorities. What makes this completely insane is that in the sex and the kink communities, they long ago came out with standards and guidelines for engaging in these activities safely and responsibly. Why is the Pagan and Wiccan community so resistant to doing the same? 

 

In light of all of this, I simply do not feel that I can continue writing for Witches and Pagans. I deeply respect Anne Niven and the work that she has done and continues to do and I want to make it clear that my decision here in no way in no way compromises that, in fact, I greatly support her decision as editor to remove Klein's column. That being said, however, in light of what I have seen across the Wiccan and Pagan communities recently with this issue, I want no part of a forum that to my communities has now become infested with the worst kind of spiritual pollution. 

 

There's a Heathen saying: "we are our deeds." I very firmly believe that. We have a responsibility to take action when something is wrong. I"m therefore resigning my column effective today.