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Article ID: 9878
Age Group: Adult
Posted: July 3rd. 2005
OnMission's Crusade for Kids
by Kerr Cuhulain
One of the things that I've noted about many of the people that I've written about in my Witch Hunts series is that they frequently bemoan the influence that Neo-Pagan religion has had on today's youth. They've noticed that Neo-Pagan religion is rapidly expanding and that the fastest growing part of this community is the youth sector. The reason that this upsets them so much is that this youth sector is the area on which they lavish much of their proselytizing efforts. Even though we aren't proselytizing, they see us as an influence which thwarts their efforts. Thus many of the web sites and publications that I've reviewed devote a lot of words to this subject.
A typical example is the September/October 2003 Issue of OnMission.com E-zine. This contains an article by Texas writer William G. Wells: Wicca: A Caution To Christian Parents... And A Challenge. The picture illustrating this at the opening paragraph shows the throat area of a young girl dressed in black, wearing a pentagram. "Christian parents have a three-fold duty where witchcraft is concerned, " Wells begins, "understand the nature of the threat, protect their families from its influence, and most important, reach out to Wiccan teens to prevent the loss of a whole generation... Christian parents today must be aware of this growing phenomenon, because while Wicca does attract adults, the vast majority of new Wiccans become involved as teenagers."
Wells goes on to state that "witchcraft is not harmless fun, but an explicitly anti-Christian worldview and a collection of fundamentally unbiblical practices." Note how he describes us as "anti-Christian." Of course Wiccans are pluralists, and do not oppose Christianity or any other religion. This is that old "if you aren't with us your against us" argument we've seen so often in the materials of the extremists that I write about. Their assumption is that because we are different from them we are opposed to them. Obviously Wells hasn't looked into his subject that deeply: We are simply upset that people like this insist on demonizing us to further their own ends.
At this point one finds a side bar with the title "Halloween Evangelism." In this Wells declares that "On mission families see Halloween as an opportunity to share the gospel. Playing dress-up and going door-to-door can be a fun way to meet neighbors, and even handing out candy provides an opportunity to drop a gospel tract into the trick-or-treater's bag." This is an idea that we first saw back in my article on Jack Chick and his hate filled tracts. Wells goes on to recommend tracts from The American Tract Society (www.atstracts.org), one of these being a "Halloween Rescue Kit complete with candy" and the North American Mission Board (www.namb.net/catalog).
Wells then goes on to describe what he thinks Wiccans believe. He correctly cites the Wiccan Rede, stating that it "claims to promote positive social values, such as peace and good will." Wells then compares the Rede to what he calls "the Satanic creed, " which is, in fact, Crowley's famous "Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law." As is usual in these cases, Wells neglects to inform the reader that the line following this reads "Love is the law, love under will." This would naturally undermine his argument, which is that the intent of this passage by Crowley is simply, to use Wells' words, "Do whatever you want, period!" He attempts to convince us that the reason that this differs from Galatians 6:7 ("A man reaps what he sows") is that "the consequences come from God's authority. The universe doesn't have to 'compensate' for good or bad things we do, but our relationship with God is affected."
Wells then lists several subjects related to Wicca and comments on each of them"
"Why are teenagers drawn to Wicca?" Wells asks, "The appeal of 'magick' is 'inside information' on how the world works behind the scenes, and getting power that others don't have. Some teen-agers feel powerless and alone and seek to gain some kind of advantage over their peers. For others Wicca is simply a fad, a fun secret shared with close friends. Regardless of the motivation, Wicca continues to be effective in drawing in new recruits." There's that inference that we are recruiting again. It would be more accurate to say that teens are exploring Neo-Pagan religions because they find the tolerance, acceptance and empowerment that they aren't finding in Churches like the one Wells belongs to.
- Sexual liberation: Wells claims that "No-rules sexuality is a hallmark of Wicca: anything that doesn't harm anyone and is consensual is okay." Of course he's admitting that there is a rule about not causing harm by stating this, so he is contradicting himself. Wells then quotes Witchvox columnist Wren Walker: "We have no rules which prohibit homosexuality, nudity or pre-marital sex. Sex as the generative force in nature is seen by most pagans as something utterly sacred." Wells attempts to defend his intolerant position by stating that "Sexuality is holy... Christians believe that God created sex as a part of the marriage relationship and the boundaries He placed around it are for our own good, not to prevent people from having a good time or expressing themselves, as detractors might say."
- Feminism: Wells correctly points out that "Feminists and disaffected women have been drawn to witchcraft throughout history, and Wicca is no exception." He also states that "Wiccans have been effective in capitalizing on what they believe is Christendom's poor track record on the treatment of women, " as if Wiccans intentionally created this as a recruiting tool. He'd very much like to believe that we are evangelists like him, but this won't do. It isn't any recruiting efforts on our part that have caused women to leave the Church: It is the "poor track record" he admits to. Wells goes on to claim that "Wiccans are offended by thinking of God as God the Father and have come up with a counterpart they call Goddess." If Wells was as informed about Wicca as he'd have you believe he'd know that the Father God is lovingly embraced by Wiccans. Wells attempts to shore up his argument by stating that Wiccans "even worship other female deities rooted in pagan mythology like Ishtar, Isis and Hecate. Some of the female deities worshiped by Wiccans are condemned by name in the Bible." Pagans were worshipping these deities long before your Bible was created, Wells. We aren't worshipping such deities just to spite you because they're listed there.
- Nature worship: As long time readers of my Witch Hunts series have come to see, environmental causes are anathema to these people. Wells tells his readers that "Wiccans revere nature" and that "It is common to find witches that are animal rights activists, vegetarians or environmentalists." Wells tells us that Wiccans "have created an affinity link with ancient druidism and other nature-centric pagan movements. They are concerned with the changing seasons and the cycles of the moon. They are looking for harmony with nature rather than dominion over it. " Exactly. Wells takes strong exception to a "Wiccan [who] claimed arrogantly: 'If you take the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone." The Wiccan he is referring to is Carol McGrath. Wells defends his faith by stating: "Our Bible IS the wind and the rain." Well if it is anything like this Wells character, its a bunch of wind, anyway.
- Satanism and the New Age movement: Wells does a tap dance here. The caption suggests a link between Satanism and the New Age, but Wells starts by admitting that Wiccans "by definition, do not believe in God or Satan, since they reject most traditional Christian teachings." He then states that "Wiccans would not deny being occultic (having secret, mystical teachings and practices), but they reject the worship of evil, animal sacrifices and anything else associated with harming others." The term "occultic" is a fundamentalist buzz word that we do not use, Mr. Wells. I most certainly do deny having secret teachings. This Witch Hunts column should be proof enough of that. Wells then incorrectly credits Aleister Crowley as being "the father of modern Satanism" and goes on to claim that Crowley "remains one of the most important influences on 'neopagan magick'—the spelling preferred by Wiccans to set themselves apart." It won't do, Mr. Wells. Crowley wasn't a Satanist and neither are we.
Wells then lists "Signs of Wiccan involvement." Of course Wells intends to suggest that Wiccans are some dangerous cult, but the concerns that Wells lists clearly indicate that his own beliefs have the hallmarks of a such a destructive cult. Some signs we've already seen: The emphasis on recruiting people to his cause, the amount of external influence he hopes to achieve, and the inflexibility of his doctrine. Wells "Signs" include:
- Withdrawal from church: Some teens may want to skip church in favor of an 'alternative meeting, '" Wells warns, "possibly in a home or even another church. Some Wiccan groups are affiliated with Unitarian Universalists." Of course those Unitarian Universalists believe that all religions are valid spiritual paths, which is why Wiccans are affiliated to them. This is indicative of another cult characteristic: The intensity of efforts directed at preventing dropouts.
- Internet networking with Wiccans. The Internet revolution means that people who would never be able to meet are able to create relationships. Wiccans have mastered this, so monitor your teenagers' participation in suspicious chat rooms, instant message buddies, email newsletters and websites." Wells specifically cites Witchvox as an example, as well as http://witches.meetup.com/ . This is an example of another destructive cult characteristic: Attempts to control member's access to outside opinions. Note how Wells is again hinting with his remarks about mastery that Wiccans deliberately recruit like he does, which is nonsense.
- Reading habits. Books for teen-agers on witchcraft are very popular—not just fiction, but 'how-to' guides like the Book of Shadows, A Witch's Bible, and even the Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft." This is another example of Well's efforts to prevent people from seeing opinions other than his own. As is the next listing, which is:
- New interest in alternative issues. Radical environmentalism, radical feminism and the Goth subculture may be jumping off points into Wicca."
Wells concludes by stating that "Wicca has become the ideal haven for 'Goths, ' loners, drug users and those struggling with homosexuality or depression." He calls upon "Christian parents" to "understand the nature of the threat, protect their families from its influence, and most important, reach out to Wiccan teens to prevent the loss of a whole generation."
There is absolutely no excuse for making unsubstantiated claims like these any longer, Mr. Wells. I'm neither a loner nor a drug user, and neither are any of my many Pagan associates. Homosexuality isn't a sin against nature. Goths may look different to you but they are, for the most part, passive and law abiding people. You aren't really trying to "save" a generation, you're clearly trying to create another generation of people as intolerant and ignorant as you are. The only person recruiting here is you.
 Quoting herbalist Carol McGrath, www.religioustolerance.org/witchcra.htm
| ABOUT... |
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Bio: Kerr Cuhulain the author of this article, is known to the mundane world as Detective Constable Charles Ennis. Ennis, a former child abuse investigator, is the author of several articles on child abuse investigation that appeared in Law & Order Magazine. Better known to the Pagan community by his Wiccan name, Kerr Cuhulain, Ennis was the first Wiccan police officer to go public about his beliefs 28 years ago. Kerr is now the Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon. Kerr went on to write four books: The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca (Horned Owl Publishing), Wiccan Warrior and Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior. (Llewellyn Publications), as well as a book based on this series: Witch Hunts: Out of the Broom Closet (Spiral Publishing).
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