With Samhain quickly approaching, I’ve been thinking about creating some new sections for the PaganCentric web site. As many of you know, PaganCentric represents something of a failed experiment. Along with several others, I helped to establish a support group of Pagans in the Asheville area of North Carolina back in 2003. This didn’t work out so well, undermined by individual power-plays and ego-trips; everyone wanted to be the grand master and no one wanted to do the work. So we all went our separate ways. But I’ve stubbornly clung to the idea that initiated the forming of PaganCentric, and I’ve kept in touch with some of the principle players from the old days. I’ve decided to start trying to revive PaganCentric somewhat. In small ways, anyway.
Most of this has been spurred on by the fact that Samhain is coming up, along with the secular celebrations of Halloween, and the traditional misinformation and paranoid Christian propaganda is being trotted out. I’m so sick of it. Every year I find myself explaining to associates and acquaintances that I’m not a Satanist, that babies are not being sacrificed in dark rituals in Wiccans’ basements, and that they’re generally a bunch of uneducated assholes. I’ve thought about how best to combat this. Usually I just send people links to information, but I doubt they actually read them. So … what to do?
I’ve decided to put up a required reading section here on PaganCentric, and post specific information, instead of just providing links. If it’s all right here in one handy resource, maybe some of my friends and associates will actually read this stuff. No, I’m not naive enough to believe they will, but it’ll make me feel better. And it’ll give me ammunition to use against them in our arguments. After all, I posted the information, and they weren’t curious enough to go read it.
I’m going to start off by posting a 1992 FBI study on the ridiculous idea of the ritual abuse of children; that tired old urban legend that has a disturbing number of Americans all-too-willing to believe that there is some insidious Satanic underground that ritually abuses and executes somewhere around 50,000 kids annually, in spite of the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever to support any of it. This crap gets trotted out every Halloween, along with every other stereotype and anti-Pagan hysteria you can imagine.
I’ll start by posting a link to the information on the Religious Tolerance web site; 1992 FBI Study of Childhood Ritual Abuse.
I’ll follow-up in the next couple of days by posting this information directly to the PaganCentric web site, under the “required reading” category, and will eventually post all sorts of information that I think people should be aware of. I’d appreciate it if you have any thoughts on the subject or any suggestions about information that I should be posting here, as well.