Pagans in the Media
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The Witches' Voice's Official Statement on the Movie|
Several members of the Witches' Voice went to see the Sony movie over the weekend of May 4th and 5th. We were all in agreement on one thing - we had "mixed feelings" about the film . There were several quite amusing parts in the first half and more than a few disturbing acts in the second. It was quite tempting to want to post a review rather than an actual statement of position, as several people have posted that they "liked" the movie and saw it as mere entertainment. Upon reflection, it was decided to measure the impact of the movie using the mission statement of the Voice as a guide.
Although the makers of "The Craft" and Sony Pictures have been quite vocal concerning their employment of Pat Devin (whom we certainly do not hold responsible for the end results of this film, nor do we question her credentials or intentions) as a Witch "consultant", the Voice considers this no more than a form of "tokenism" to lend credibility to an otherwise inaccurate portrayal of Witches. It would certainly not be clear to the general viewing public which parts of the film show actual practices of the Religion and which are Hollywood fabrications. Hiding behind the shroud of "showing actual rituals of Witchcraft", the media in fact is exploiting the term "Witch" for the sole purpose of increasing profits and has refused to use the opportunity to correct an injustice against the religious community of Witchcraft.
There was a real "turning point" in the middle of the movie. When Sarah goes to the shop owner for help and the audience sees, at last, what lies behind the curtain, THIS is the chance to show the real practices of the Craft - how Witches cope with issues in their lives under the Laws of Witchcraft and the laws of the United States. THIS is the place in which to demonstrate the effects of the "Three-fold Law " and the value of the "Rede". And THIS is the opportunity not taken. The door to knowledge again was slammed shut. The choice was made to exploit the negative stereotype under which we continue to be burdened. The remaining half of the story deals with revenge and destruction. To be content that "at least SOME of what the film portrayed is accurate" is to be satisfied with "at least SOME of what Witches are shown to do is not blatantly evil". Anything that is not a whole truth is a partial lie.
By linking the terms "Witches" and "Witchcraft" with murder, mayhem and destructive acts, there is a great potential danger. That danger could create encouragement for a resurgence of public mistrust and suspicion of the contemporary religious belief system known as Witchcraft or Wicca. This unfortunate linkage of Witchcraft and evil may impact the lives of thousands of Witches across the nation. We are not a "fringe" group to be made light of or ignored. Witches hold positions of responsibility in government and business. All Witches conduct themselves in a way that upholds the laws and ethical codes of the land. We are educated and intelligent people. We are NOT the "weirdos".
"In order to bring the ways of Light and Love and Life to the peoples of the Earth, our secrets are slowly becoming secrets no more; and it is good that this is so- for the age of shadow and secrecy is passing. Yet the sharing of our ways needs always to be guided by wisdom and by love. Let our rites and our mysteries be kept sacred. Let no one defile our worship or our heritage. For the defilement of our ways is loss of honor, both for self and for the Craft".
Walk in Light and Love,
(Chairperson - Witches' Voice)
May 6th, 1996
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