Your browser does not support script

Pagan Perspectives

Weekly Question

Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

Views: [32,767]
Responses: [2,666]

The Rules
Note: The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

For Further
Visit The

WitchVox List
of 242
'Net Sites:

Chat Boards
Email Lists
IRC Channels

Past Questions
112. Elders: Who Are They and Do We Really Need Them? - [74]

111. So, You’re Dead. Now What? - [59]

110. What’s Your Favorite Element? - [119]

109. The Broom Closet Revisited: What’s Your Current Occupancy Rate? - [129]

108. Do You Speak Pagan Geek? - [38]

107. Would You Be A Good ‘Reality Show’ Contestant? - [49]

106. What Is Your Inner Animal? - [127]

105. Are Pagans TOO Individualistic? - [56]

104. Have You Changed Your Mind About the War in Iraq? - [258]

103. What Are You Reading? - [95]

102. Do Interfaith Conferences/ Discussions Work? - [29]

101. Have You Made Any Extra Security Preparations? - [85]

100. Why Are You A Pagan or Heathen? - [142]

99. What Moon Phase Are You In? - [70]

98. Would You Live In A Haunted House? - [166]

97. What Natural Objects Are On Your Altar? - [103]

96. If You Were Granted Three Wishes... - [179]

95. How Do You Feel About War? - [153]

94. Who Would Make Your Pagan/Heathen Who’s Who List? - [91]

93. Should Pagans Apply For Federal Funds? - [56]

92. What Do You See in 2003? - [47]

90. Which Christmas Ghost Would You Like To Be? - [82]

89. Bah-Humbug! Are You Offended by Christmas? - [173]

88. Are We Alone in The Universe? - [67]

87. The Pagan Web 2002... Your likes? Dislikes? - [50]

86. How’s Your Gratitude Attitude? - [64]

85. What’s Your Motivation? - [97]

84. Between the Veils: What Did You See? - [80]

83. Time to Talk Politics and Elections… - [109]

82. Your Samhain/Beltaine Musings - [50]

81. ExCUSE Me! Has Common Courtesy Become A Thing of the Past? - [97]

80. Polytheist, Monotheist, Dualist or Other? - [104]

79. Have You Switched Pagan Paths? - [110]

78. Would You Take Part in a Public Event or Protest AS a Pagan? - [268]

77. Pot-Kettle: Do We Have Our Own Fundamentalists? - [91]

76. America 911: One Year Later. What's Changed? Are we Safer? - [103]

75. So What Do YOU Think of the Pagan Web? - [43]

74. What is/was your 2002 New Year's resolution - [23]

73. Do You Believe in Faeries? - [44]

72. Is 'Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men' Possible? - [28]

71. How Do YOU View the Balance of Light and Dark? - [22]

70. What's News? - [22]

69. What Are Your Favorite Yule Traditions or Memories? - [17]

68. Are You Wild About Harry? - [80]

67. What Is Music? - [18]

66. What Did You Do this Samhain? - [8]

65. What ARE the most "Frequently Asked Questions' About Witches? - [31]

64. What Are YOUR book/video/dvd Recommendations? - [119]

63. Have You Done Any Protection Spells or Workings? - [38]

62. What Are Your Thoughts On The Current "War on Terrorism"? - [77]

61. Are You Willing To Give Up Some Civil Liberties To Be Safe? - [69]

60. What About Those Pagan Leaders Again? - [289]

59. 911 America: Talking Through The Terror... - [969]

58. What Are Your Plans For Fall? - [21]

57. If You Were Stranded Alone On A Deserted Island... - [56]

56. What Would You Like to See at The Voice? - [65]

55. What Lies Beyond? - [28]

54. What is the connection between Spirit, Nature and Humankind? - [18]

53. What is 'Will' or 'Willpower'? - [19]

52. Have you ever been to a Pagan Festival? - [26]

51. What Did You Think of 'The Mists of Avalon"? - [44]

50. What's Your Magickal Focus? - [33]

49. Ending Religious Discrimination-What's It Gonna Take? - [41]

48. How Fares The First Amendment? - [20]

47. Are you a Talker or a Listener? - [14]

46. Predator and Prey - What Beasts Live Within You? - [44]

45. Who Do You Trust? - [22]

44. Do You Spend Money with Pagan Merchants? - [24]

43. What's On Your Balloon? - [52]

42. Is There An Energy Crisis? - [30]

41. What Makes You So Special? - [33]

40. What is Your Guilty Little Secret? - [101]

39. Who Are Your Gods? - [55]

38. What Are The Greatest Challenges That Pagans Face Today? - [35]

37. What's On Your Altar? - [45]

36. Should the United States Apologize to China - [32]

35. Pagan Web Surfing Likes/Dislike - [60]

34. What Are Your Views on Abortion, Euthanasia and Suicide? - [95]

33. What Is The Appropriate Response to Bigotry and Religious Hatred? - [108]

32. Why Are Kids Killing Kids? - [60]

31. Whassa Matter With Kids Today? - [71]

30. What Do You Support and Why Do You Support It? - [21]

29. How About Some New Holidays? - [39]

28. Where Did You Get Your Magickal Name? - [93]

27. Where Are The Pagan Social Programs? Do We Care? - [22]

26. What Do You Think About Bush's 'Faith-Based' Initiative Plan? - [87]

25. What Are The Boundaries? - [26]

24. What is Pagan History and What is Pagan Belief? - [44]

23. Who or What is a "Pagan Leader"? - [61]

22. What More Do You Want To Know About Paganism? - [45]

21. What is/was your New Year's resolution? - [19]

19. What do YOU of our newest entry into the Presidential Political Pool? - [61]

20. What have YOU done to trace your family history? - [11]

18. Your Gift, Craft and Holiday Celebration Ideas! - [43]

17. Does Older Equal Better? - [199]

16. What is the best gift that you ever received? - [28]

15. What are YOU Thankful For? - [87]

14. The Unresolved US Election - [263]

13. Divination - [29]

12. Pagan Choice for the y2k US Election - [129]

11. Hollywood Hype - [74]

10. Money and the Craft - [82]

9. Pagan Jokes and Humorous Stories - [37]

8. Misconceptions About Witches, Wiccans and Pagans - [63]

7. The Ethics of Magick and Spellwork - [43]

6. What are YOU planning for Mabon-Autumn Equinox? - [14]

5. Pagan books/web sites-dynamic or drivel? - [46]

4. The Broomcloset-In or Out?... What's YOUR View? - [181]

3. Church and State, Religion in School... What is YOUR View? - [122]

2. How Do You Define Witch/WitchCraft? - [42]

1. Who are you going to vote for and why? - [233]

 Author: Pagan Community    Posted: Sep. 7, 2002   This Page Viewed: 318,603  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 2,666

Lurk/Post Ratio: 12 to 1

Question of the Week: 113 - 6/8/2003

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

Let’s be honest. There are some people who inhabit our Pagan/Heathen communities who are clearly ‘problem children’. They may lie about their experience, lineage, credentials or intentions. They have been banned, banished or fired and yet they resurface and unabashedly continue on their merry ways. Worse even, we may have sexual predators, charlatans, thieves or con artists working their scams amongst us.

It seems that we are reluctant to confront them (or even to prosecute those who exhibit actual criminal behaviors) lest ‘it make us all look bad’. Well, they DO make us all look bad and we won’t look any prettier if they are eventually exposed (or indicted) by those outside of our own communities. But what can WE really do?

What does a Traditional coven or group do about former members who resurface still claiming to be a ‘priest or priestess of such-and-such degree’ after they have been banished by that group? What if these folks never earned or were stripped of those same degrees that they claim to hold?

What should we do about those known to use the lure of ‘teaching witchcraft’ in order to take advantage of others or coerce them into sexual relationships? What about Pagan merchants who take our money and then never produce the product?

CAUTION! This is a hot topic and so this is where I start placing notes of caution and related disclaimers all over the darn place: Please do not name names or point fingers at any specific person, persons or group here. {If a person committed a crime (sexual assault, theft, fraud, etc.) against you, please report him/her to the proper legal authorities. And yes, we know that this is a very difficult thing to do.} This is not the official Pagan Hit List. We are not the Pagan Police.

What we are looking for here (Help us, O Wise Elders/Leaders/Guides from all Traditions, Paths and Religions!) are examples of successful techniques or procedures from those who have experienced the ‘Pagan Problem Children’ or ideas about how the Pagan/Heathen communities can better cope with -- and reduce the havoc resulting from -- the actions of the ‘problem children’ amongst us -- and do so without resorting to ‘witch-hunts’ ourselves.
POST YOUR Response to This Question

 Reponses:   There are 2,666 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Prodigal People Jun 9th. at 3:21:15 pm UTC

Ares Hearthfire (ny, ny) Age: 21 - Email - Web

I have met several people along the way that i have been kind of suspicious about. I wold definately talk up if someone is involved in or has attempted some felony act of some kind.

However as people that come and go from covens i have no problem with that. A coven should be a place to practice a faith if a person goes from one to is their business.

Ares, who may not fully understand the question =P

Stop, Look, Listen, Warn Jun 9th. at 10:47:21 am UTC

Ted Legrey Glines (New Boston, Texas USA) Age: 62 - Email - Web

Yes, these bad children predators are out there. Yes, there are hacker tools out there which will allow us to track them right to their front door. But, we cannot get into the mode of being "witch hunters" of such individuals. Law enforcement cannot be much help because of the privacy laws. But there are some simple things we can do to protect our friends and our group members. When you see such a predator in your midst, do not ban them even though you will feel like doing so. No, keep that predator right in front of you. Look at what the predator says and posts. Listen closely to the responses of your friends and members, and make a record of all verbal transactions. Your record may be vital to law enforcement if one of those friends or members becomes a victim. Finally, and most important, you will warn your friends and members about this predator, and thus make the best move that you can to neutralize the intents of the predator. Be vigilant; it is your very best gift to your friends and members.

The Chatsite Jun 9th. at 10:01:34 am UTC

Sloopz (Scotland) Age: 17 - Email

I sit on a cleanchatsite for all faiths, I run a room so all people can talk.

On the chatsite advertising faiths etc is strictly forbidden but we do get alot of "pagans" coming on causing trouble when I confront them about there ways and arguments most seem to get the idea im going to hurt them, so I ask what path etc and the majority of the people are obvoiusly non believers trying to put the faith down in one case some have actually typed there versin of the Wiccan Rede saying it is the proper Rede yet a few lines of there does say do harm and basically kill people.

I found the best way to deal with people is to simply ignore them and get others to pay no attention to what they are saying its the easiest and safest way

The Fault Dear Brutus.... Jun 9th. at 1:35:24 am UTC

Cath (Los Angeles, CA) Age: 39 - Email

I am afraid for the very best of our intentions, the lady or gentleman called "the Sweeper" is basically correct--human nature for good or ill, is what it has always been--good, bad, and indifferent in turns, regardless of religious affilitation.

As I understand the rede, we are all individually responsible, and answerable for our own actions. We acknowledge that through spellwork we are forbidden from attempting to force our will upon others, and understand that there will be consequences if we DO attempt such a thing. We cannot effect the nature of a being be it good, bad or otherwise--one is accountable both to the gods and rules to which we mutually agree under law.

In our faith we haven't the convenience of a devil on whom to blame our faults. We tend (as I understand the matter) to believe that evil generally takes place in the area between an individual's ears.

To conceal an illegal act is in itself an ethical violation. Our personal responsibility is to report those actions of which we have actual knowledge, and only those actions. Malicious persecution would be in opposition to the rede as much as omission I would think. All other judgements are subjective and probably should be viewed as such.

Face it, we will never be accepted by certain "mainstream" sectors of society--but who really cares? My father used to say that no matter how good one is, someone will find fault. The best one can do is maintain integrity and belief in oneself and in one's faith.

Good Grief Jun 9th. at 12:07:54 am UTC

The Sweeper (OK) Age: 49 - Email

"Problem Children" are out there everywhere, in every organization, club, group, klan, party, religion or any other assembly of people.
The idea that we can weed them out or do something about them is to imply we have abilities greater the all of the rest of the world in dealing with crime.
Con men thrive every where, that they are firmly imbedded in the Pagan Community just shows that it is a perfectly “normal” group of people.

The Sweeper

If you folks come up with the “Answer” you might let the Attorney General know.

No Place For Huge Egos Jun 8th. at 7:13:24 pm UTC

Toni Silvano (New Jersey) Age: 47 - Email - Web

Often times people who claim to have been "a direct descendant of the original Salem Witch who was initiated under the Scorpio Full Moon with Isis by her side, etc..." is speaking from Ego rather than knowledge. The good thing is it is often easy to see.

By asking a few questions, you should be able to tell whether the person has the knowledge and/or experience he or she is claiming to have. Pagan groups, organizations, and Covens are no place for huge egos!

As for the sexual abusers, well if it happens between two consenting adults, who am I to judge. If an adult seduces a kid, that is a different story altogether and I say, castrate the bastard.

All of us started somewhere. All of us have lineage, of sorts. The key here is -- who is knowlegeable? I don't care if you are a direct descendant of Gardner, or the farmer's daughter - if you know what you are doing, have studied hard, and are true to your path, you are welcome wo be where I am!

Trolls Under The Bridge Jun 8th. at 6:45:53 pm UTC

LaGaeLa (Nashville) Age: 43 - Email

If I were new to a village & a troll lived under the bridge, I would definitely appreciate the courtesey of being given a heads up.

Unfortunately most psychological/sexual predators often prey upon those who are new to their spiritual path. They often extoll how they are a "Holy Shaman" with great mystical knowledge to impart.....

The 2nd most common mistake...... we hear of "guilty by association" but we often assume that those who keep the company of those whom we deem to have integrity will also have "integrity by association". Not true.

Don't know the answer.....unfortunately if we assume innocence until proven guilty...... it may be too late.


Pagan Problem Children Must Be Dealt With Jun 8th. at 2:01:51 pm UTC

Sage (Newark, Oh) Age: 28 - Email - Web

As a woman who has lived with a Pagan Problem Child for two years, it is my firm opinion that something must be done with the Problem People right away and not let things escalate. The man I lived with I have loved and still love dearly. He claimed to be a Wiccan when I met him but when we moved in together, he became extremely physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically abusive. I stayed with this man with the firm belief that being a man of the Goddess, somehow the behavior he was displaying was my fault and that I drove him to do the things he did.

You have to learn to set boundaries from the beginning with people. Whether it be your friends, coven mates, lovers, or whoever. Pagan or non-Pagan. When these people overstep the boundary, disassociate yourself with them right away. Don't try to change them, don't try to work with them. Don't misunderstand me, I know people make mistakes. Boundaries are uncrossable lines such as physical abuse, abusive language, sacrificing animals during ritual, etc.

Truly honest mistakes that are made can be dealt with and forgiven. However, when a person does the same thing over and over again that they know is wrong, a boundary has been crossed. Don't wait until 2 years down the line when you are in counseling, in court, and in a messy hand-parting situation to try to deal with problem Pagans. It's not worth it.

If any woman, or man for that matter, is in an abusive relationship, please feel free to email me for emotional support. I would be happy to give you Pagan friendly resources for your situation.

Goddess Bless,

Caution Jun 8th. at 1:20:31 pm UTC

Lupa (Pittsburgh, PA) Age: 24 - Email - Web

I believe that a balance must be struck when dealing with "problem children." On the one hand, when someone is a known danger to others, physically or psychologically, s/he should be dealt with. There is NO excuse for abuse of others of any sort.

Regarding lying about one's lineage, well....caveat emptor if you're seeking a coven. Those who don't do their research deserve everything they get. Those who lie eventually get found out when they don't have the experience to back up their words.

As far as using witchcraft to get someone into bed---as long as the person isn't coercing minors--be careful, but you've no one to blame but yourself. If they're going after minors, all rules go out the window. Get the bastich any way you can.

I've yet to have a problem with pagan merchants. I myself am a pagan artist, and although I assure my clients that I will get their custom orders done, I do let them know that because I have a 40 hour a week job and other inconveniences it may take a little time to get the project completed. I never take money until I'm finished. Occasionally I get a buyer who backs out, but that's a rarity. On the other hand, I've been shafted a few times in my more naive years by pagan "buyers" who ended up being thieves....

On the other hand, we MUST, MUST, MUST get ALL sides of a story, especially when possible prosecution is at stake. It is too easy to accuse someone who has jilted you in love or other non-criminal ways of something illegal. In addition, you have the busybodies who have nothing better to do than nitpick someone to death for things that while technically are illegal, aren't worth ruining a person's life for ("Yes, officer, there's a marijuana STEM on that person's porch! Look! You'll find it!") And prison WILL ruin someone's life. Not only is it NOT rehabilitative, but it will ruin that person's chances at getting a good job, destroy their credit, and generally dissolve their reputation. Make sure before you go spreading rumors that you have all the facts and that the person is indeed a danger to someone else. (If they're a danger to themselves, let them be. It's no one's responsibility to take care of a person but him/her self.)

It's the same thing I keep saying on all sorts of issues--do your damned research!!!

Don't Be Afraid To Communicate! Jun 8th. at 12:20:48 pm UTC

Jess B (Lake Wylie, SC) Age: 24 - Email

In my opinion, alot of the problems in dealing with this issue come from a lack of communication. As the article says, "It seems that we are reluctant to confront them (or even to prosecute those who exhibit actual criminal behaviors) lest ‘it make us all look bad’." . It's time to start taking the upper hand in this issue and to not be afraid to stand up and point out what we see as discrepancies, dishonesty, and scams. I'm not advocating we become the equivalent of a witch trial or an inquisition, but we do need to start taking a stand for the truth. That also means being honest about ourselves.

To protect ourselves, our groups, and our faiths, the best step to take may be a no-tolerance policy of sorts, and to communicate. And it all starts in the community and on the individual level. With so many Pagan and Heathen groups being family oriented we can't afford to have people like this being around our children or being active in our groups. Worried that someone in your group may be exhibiting behaviours not quite up to snuff? Talk to them. Or, talk to your Elders/HP/HPs. Get them to speak with the individual. Encourage them to get help if necessary, and while they are doing so, limit their activities within the group. If it becomes a necessity to have the individual leave, then let them go. Concerned that someone may be hiding something about their past of a serious nature? Screen them carefully before letting them into your group. If they're already in your group, again, talk to your Elders/HP/HPs and let them know how you feel.
Were they stripped of a degree and banished from their coven? Well, if they were it must have been for something serious, and you should let other area covens and groups know. Don't give this person the chance to wreck another group. Are they using sex/drugs/mental & emotional abuse in "teaching" others as a way to gain control over them and achieve power? You guessed it, warn people about them, and notify the correct authourities. People like that are not only a danger to the Pagan/Heathen community but to the community in which you live in general. Is someone charging exhorbitant sums and claiming to be able to teach you everything you need to know about being a shaman in a weekend? Inform people in your community about what it really takes to be a shaman; hold a discussion that's open to the public. Maybe even find someone who is a bona fide shaman to come in and field questions. And don't be afraid to let your metaphysical bookstore/shopowners know your concerns! I've done it before and it works! They are there to not only provide goods but services, and they wouldn't want to have their name linked with a blatant fraud anymore than you would.

I know that this won't solve problems overnight, but as with most things, it begins with the individual. And the more individuals we have that aren't afraid to speak out and let folks know that something's not clicking the more control we can begin to have over keeping negative folks out. I've provided a link to an excellent site that details some warning signs of "problem children" (she calls them "trolls") and ways to deal with the situation. Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

 1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11  

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2020 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.