Pagan Sites Infested With Sexual Predators
(Please see disclosure and updates at the bottom of this post.)
Around my neck on a white gold chain I wear a sterling pentacle. The star is fashioned over the Tree of Life, which rests upon a sliver of moon. Around the circular medallion is the song of the Goddess: I am the beauty of the green Earth and the white Moon among the stars. In certain circles I have found myself discretely covering the small medallion until recently when I realized I have every right to my beliefs as those who wear a Crucifix or a Star of David.
I felt this to be my path all through my childhood as I was being raised a Roman Catholic, and though I was afraid of how I would be treated should anyone find out my feelings, I was never ashamed of them. I was never ashamed of being whatever it was one would call me. I knew I was not Catholic. I knew I was not Christian. I knew I was not any religion we were taught in school, and taught to hate.
It wasn’t until a year ago I discovered the term that best described who I have always been to be “Pagan”. Though “Pagan” is an umbrella term that embraces all paths not Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, I am no definitive thing. Not a Wiccan or a Druid or a Buddhist, though I hold Zen Buddhism very dear.
I am simply a Pagan in that I follow where my spirit, my soul, my inner essence tells me I should be to reach Heaven, Enlightenment, a new and greater next life.. Whatever there may be waiting for us on the other side. I sometimes fear expressing those beliefs in mixed company because of misconceptions of others. I have never, however, been ashamed of being Pagan, nor did I ever allow anyone to make me feel as if I should. My caution has never been borne of embarrassment …. until recently.
For a few weeks now, I have been aiding in the efforts of Pagans Against Child Abuse (PACA) to keep children and young teens safe at various social networking sites. More recent efforts centered around one Pagan-oriented site called PaganSpace.net.
Although this particular website has monopolized quite a large sum of volunteer time, it is not the only site on the internet to be rittled with suspected predators and seemingly predatory behavior. I’ve witnesses such behavior by Wiccans and other Pagans on MySpace, deviantART, Yahoo!, and Live Journal.
What made PaganSpace.net such an issue with PACA and those helping PACA was the lack of help from Administration and the seemingly tolerant attitude of Wiccans and other Pagans in regards to child sexual abuse. The air of animosity toward anyone speaking ill of pedophiles and posting information about pedophile grooming practices (including criticism of sites like the FBI’s Sex Offender registry) was frightening, to say the least, and instantly put those of us working in the field of child protection on high alert. It always raises eyebrows and the threat level when a high number of site members attack anyone speaking ill of child sexual abusers.
I, myself, was chastized by several Wiccans and a Satanist for calling Lindsay Ashford “Lindsay ASSford”, criticizing me for not respecting him – the most outspoken child rapist on the planet, author of how-to books in ways of grooming and assaulting victims without leaving evidence, the go-to guy for any bleeding heart with an urge to “understand” pedophiles and agree what they do “isn’t really that bad.”
So, although PaganSpace.net isn’t the only site where red flags are raised in concerns of child safety, it is the most recent personal experience I have had with Wiccans and their tolerance of child sexual abuse/abusers. Therefore, I will use what I know from first hand experience for this post, but remember that this behavior is exhibited everywhere.
PaganSpace.net is home to every spiritual and even non-spiritual path. There are groups offering help to new comers, homeschoolers, crafters (the Wicca craft as well as arts-and-crafts), artists, jewelry makers, writers, various nationalities, politics, and even based upon gender and sexual orientation.
The child abuse awareness group, PACA, was also there since late Spring of this year. Their main purpose was to raise awareness about child abuse – sexual and non-sexual – and to attempt to discredit the stereotype of Pagans being child abusers. Most of their posts came from The Ultimate Evil, Warriors for Innocence, Absolute Zero United, Red-Alerts, local Law Enforcement agencies, the FBI and the FBI’s National Center For Missing And Exploited Children (the online guide as well as through personal phone calls and communications with FBI agents).
Unless a person has been dwelling in a nuclear war bunker deep underground and is just learning how to use the internet, there is common knowledge that predators seeking young ones to sexually assault and exploit roam everywhere on the World Wide Web. They spend weeks, even months finding and grooming their targets.
This we know and this PACA posted about frequently, complete with news articles and broadcasts about victims of online predators, stories that could have been avoided had simple precautions been adhered to by the minor as well as the parents and even the online community in which the minor belonged.
Anyone would believe such a group would be a welcome addition, but they would be mistaken as I was mistaken until I came to learn the ugly truth about that net community and Wiccans in general.
In my time there, I witnessed many of the adult male members – ages ranging from around 32 to around 65 – leaving sexually explicit comments on the pages of girls from 13-17 years of age. These comments included graphics of nude women, scantily clad women, women in sexual situations, and statements that included “horny”, “hump”, “sexy”, “seductive”, “tease me”.
In addition to the sexually graphic comments were written comments that requested personal contact information, asked exact locations of the girls’ residences, claims that these men would cast “love spells” on the girls, offers to teach the girls about “sacred sexuality,” offers to meet the girls for “private lessons” in sacred sexuality and Wiccan rituals.
Astonishingly enough, though the Administration was made aware of such comments and the site community viewed such behavior on a daily basis, concerned members were met with resistance when they tried to interfere with such insidious conduct. Even today, Pagans who belong to PaganSpace.net fear being members of PACA due to the ridicule they receive by the PaganSpace.net community. I posted one such discussion already in my post Child Abuse Merely An Issue of Christian Morals To Many Wiccans .
To further discredit PACA, making it apparant PACA was, indeed, onto something the community preferred to remain its dirty little secret, another post appeared. Then, of course, as the blind sheeple often do, there was page after page of comments left by those who never saw proof of such ludicrous claims, yet were quick to hop on the bandwagon for which the purpose they didn’t even know.
Typically, and not surprisingly, it is filled with outright lies expressed after which their accusations cannot be disputed. Once PaganSpace.net Admin deleted PACA and its members, their profiles and any comments or posts they made were conveniently deleted with them. Profiles, comments, and posts that bore no resemblance to the allegations posted by this person with the delicate sensibilities she feels are so threatened. What an innocent person would feel threatened about from an anti-child abuse group, we should seriously consider.
Rob Taylor, being one of the child abuse awareness volunteers who was attacked, has more on his post , which includes a few snippets of proof he was the one being harassed by one of those “freedom of speech” loving Wiccans.
Interestingly enough, the person who posted this discussion attempts to claim PaganSpace.net Admin worked “diligently” to stop and shut down PACA to put an end to its monitoring of suspicious men. Ironically, her claims to this as well as how Admin stopped PACA from gathering information about the Registered Sex Offender for Law Enforcement only serve to insinuate the community was involved in a large cover up and worked feverishly to protect the suspected sexual predators it was warned may exist on its site. Wonderful how those who fight so hard to stop defenders of children always end up making matters worse for themselves.
You see, every time a member of PACA, or even a non-member but a member of the site, posted an anti-child sexual abuse discussion, site members would swarm the discussion with hostile remarks that included claiming the person was trying to be the “morality police“, comparing sex with children as tribalism and defending even indicted child sex offenders, throwing around terms like “witch hunt” and “never again the burning times!“
Yet, when the topic came to priests’ assaults of young boys, the Wiccan community approached it with no tolerance and a “string ’em up!” attitude. Burn the Catholics but spare the Wiccans for doing the same thing.
The men on PaganSpace.net (some of whom were discovered to be lying about being Wiccan) seemed to view the site as a one stop shop for any teen girl of his choosing. And why shouldn’t they feel this way? After all, they had been posing quite a hazard for some time with their suspected predatory behavior but were left to do as they wished while anyone who reported them was chastised and then banned.
Grown men, some of them well over 50, had large numbers of underage users on their friends lists. These same men posted sexually explicit graphics on their young friends’ pages, artwork that included nude images, sexual situations, sexually explicit verbage. Each comment that was turned in to PaganSpace.net admin was ignored, simply swept under the rug, or said to be a “non-issue”.
Before an imposed rule fashioned today by Admin to ban all under 18 users, PaganSpace.net was full of young teen girls with accounts their parents knew nothing about, seeking council from complete strangers about their new-found attraction to Wicca.
Their profiles suggested their parents didn’t understand them and would be so angry to learn their darling daughter was covorting with the likes of Pagans and Heathens, Wiccans and Druids. Just when they felt no one understood, no one could help, in rushed their much older, oft-times grey haired knight with offers of compassion, a shoulder to cry on, guidance into the ways of young Witches, and offers to bring them into his own Coven fold …. after, of course, she performed the ritual of Sacred Sexuality, as deemed necessary by the Frosts.
One man, who was not only reported multiple times and by multiple members of PaganSpace.net but was also on the friends lists of Admins, instructed young teen girls to call him “Uncle” and “Father”, mentioned meeting them in person, urged them to become friends and to form a coven under him.
Most of the females he addressed were 15 -17. The men he posted to are much older, like Lleied who is 43 and Terry who is 62. (From what I could gather, these men did not respond and Lleied was even seen to agree with the imposed rule of making PaganSpace an adult only site.)
After viewing these comments, what sort of conclusion would the average citizen make with only common sense as their tool?
I am not accusing this man of anything other than suspicious and highly inappropriate behavior at the very least, but this conduct is quite disturbing to me and everyone else I know in the child abuse and exploitation prevention industry. Believe as your own heart tells you.
During the week of Thanksgiving, a Registered Sex Offender was discovered on the site (referred to earlier in this post regarding the discussion poster). His page has since been shut down but what is really shocking is that a PaganSpace.net Admin was on his friends list.
RSO’s are supposed to be forbidden from the site. Made worse is that he was making himself available to underage girls when his probation clearly states he is forbidden from such activity. I and several others collected evidence about him, then turned that evidence over to Florida law enforcement, who then turned it over to his probation officer. In the meantime, I alerted other PaganSpace members as well as Admin.
The community was in an uproar, so Admin accused PACA of never filing a report, claiming PACA of doing the wrong thing by reporting to Law Enforcement instead of to them. This raised many eyebrows as PACA had publicly and privately alerted Admin, and the legal chain of command is to alert Law Enforcement first and foremost when witnessing registered sex offenders breaking their probation, as any one in Law Enforcement will contend.
After this incident with the RSO, the site owner posted a new rule stating anyone under the age of 16 must make their pages private (she later revised it to 18), and that no adult was to request private meetings with them.
Within two days, almost every man who had complaints lodged against him for approaching these girls suddenly privatized his page. As soon as someone would report to Admin, the man’s page would become private. The pages became private when it was mentioned this illegal activity would be passed on to law enforcement, though no one else but Admin knew of the complaints.
There were also quite a few adult-oriented groups, to which many of the afore mentioned men belonged, that were found to admit young underage members. Some of these groups were “Sacred Sexuality,” “Pagan Singles,” and “Just Lesbians A Place To Be You” (I’m still scratching my head at why no one questioned the presence of the male members in a lesbian group, those very men leaving flirtatious and sexually explicit comments on underage and other women’s pages).
Because of the concerned efforts of site members, groups like these have been made to crop their members lists and drop those underage. However, the very adult groups were still visible to the young teens and any child viewing the publicly viewable site with their parent or teen sibling.
These are the types of discussions found there merely browsing as a non-member/non-site user, as well as once commented on by underage users before the forced ban:
“lose of mojo” (One can only assume the intended word here was “Loss”)
“Mens Energy/Tantra/Kegel Exercises“
“group ritual sex“
“Your Personal Practice“
“elixir” (Yes, it means exactly what you may think)
“Practising Sacred Sexuality“
“D/s and bondage“
“Sex for a magical purpose“
Child abuse awareness volunteers were booted and harassed but these men and groups were allowed to remain unencumbered – which just so happens to also be a clear violation of the Ning network’s TOS. As owner of any website has every right to allow or disallow anyone and any group membership, they must also realize they will be held personally accountable should any underage user come to any harm through the contact that has been brought to their attention and ignored.
Thanks to the group PACA and other concerned site members, stricter measures have been taken, awareness has been risen, predators have either closed their accounts or at the very least know they are being watched. Groups like Pagan Singles, which allowed 13-17 year olds to join and be friended/approached frequently by much older men, even has this to say now for it’s joining rule:
“Due to content of a Mature nature, this group is for those 18+ years of age. Also due to recent security concerns this group will be invite only for…”
As of Friday, the site owner announced no one under the age of 18 would be allowed on the site. She also acknowledged that her own rule of “no pornographic imagery” was being broken and promised to start enforcing it better. Though she was met with support for her decision, albeit a forced one, some were none too happy and certain male members left.
Why would grown men get angry and leave a site after the announcement of an “18 and over only rule”? Though the answer is crystal clear to you and I, don’t hold your breath waiting for the Wiccans to ask that oh-so-obvious question.
One has to wonder why any website or website members would be so opposed to hosting a group of volunteers seeking only to keep children safe and monitoring potentially dangerous situations. Why the site would prefer to ban said group in order to “keep the peace.”
Wouldn’t it be wiser to question the hostility of particular members toward such a group?
Wouldn’t it be more prudent to monitor those who speak out against groups like PACA yet speak up for a person’s right to free speech and privacy when case in point is lewd comments toward underage girls?
After learning what I have learned in just one year of trying to better inform myself about my Pagan path and its inclusion of Wicca, it boggles my mind why anyone would question those who despise and mock Wicca. As vile as PaganSpace was during my experience there, I have seen the same behavior on other Pagan/Wiccan sites and on Wiccan discussions across the net. It seems to be anywhere a majority of Wiccans gather.
And so as I write this, I am forced to contemplate the lovely pendant about my neck and just what it means to me now. I have always been drawn to the moon, have a great respect for Scandinavian religion and the Tree of Knowledge – intertwined as all paths: that from the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life from the Celts and Druids – and have always felt my personal spirituality should trump what others say I should like or not like, believe or not believe.
However, as I look now upon this 1″ silver disk-shaped medallion, a birthday gift to myself that cost $46, I realize that by wearing what has become known as the symbol of Wicca, I am paying a far greater price: that of my convictions and the code by which I live. The code that drives me to publish this scathing review of a website and a fellowship that cares more about their first amendment rights and profit margin than young girls targeted for introductions into “sacred sex”.
In removing the sign of Wicca, a path I once defended to those I accused of ignorant creedism, I remove the symbolic gloves of soft approach and raise my ink-filled sword.
No longer will I be tolerant of a path that has chosen to throw children to sexual deviants. No longer will I be fooled into ever again believing a Wiccan is deserving of the benefit of the doubt, for it has been proven to me in this past year that this Wicca of today is little more than a hippie sex cult, bent on criticizing others beliefs while droning out that every unsavory remark to them is a “witch hunt,” bent on martyrdom and self-pity, protecting their dirty little secret of child abuse by screaming about religious freedoms and tolerance.
Though I realize it is unfair to appear to include all Wiccans in my seemingly blanket statements, it is only how I have been made to feel through my dealings with majority Wiccan sites. I apologize to those who follow Wicca and care equally as much as I about child safety. However, if you want to bring honor to Wicca’s name, perhaps you should emerge from the safety of the shadows and stand up for the injustices you see when those opposed to child sexual abuse are being viciously insulted by your kind.
I don’t like feeding stereotypes, and one big stereotype of Wiccans I remember when I was a teen was that they were child abusers and law breakers. I remember rolling my eyes about the irony that the only men who abused me and that I knew to beak the law were Catholic.
I don’t like to throw a blanket statement over an entire culture for a few bad apples, but I think in the case of Wicca, it is more like a handful of good apples in an orchard of fermentation.
***DISCLAIMER: In no way, shape, or form does this posting accuse anyone of sexual abuse or promoting sexual abuse. This article was written based upon my personal experience in what I witnessed first hand and have proof to that effect. Only the facts that are in evidence in the form of screen shots, posted and not posted, have been addressed. All gathered material to support any claim made here is readily available for Law Enforcement should any question to credibility arise.
The Wiccans – and their “Warlock” counterparts – show themselves for what they really are yet again. Those of us who posted about our experiences on PaganSpace.net have come under fire on the post presented by the owner of the site announcing no more minors.
Again, why would grown men care about the removal of minor teenage girls?
Of course, his claims of discovering our personal information, supposed criminal records, e-mailing us, and so forth are ludricious, though we’ve all enjoyed a bit of a laugh this morning over it. Those with the most to fear are they who scream the loudest.
His threats of cyber and physical assaults are criminal, screen captured, and will be dealt with via criminal charges, be assured of that.
His threats of the “Warlock” kind .. well, it’s the mentality that guides those like him to believe they function well in the real world when in actuallity, even those in the Pagan community find him ridiculous and criminal.
I’m sure there’ll be more of this hogwash but I will not turn my site for child abuse awareness and child safety advocacy into a Wiccan free-for-all. They’ve taken up enough of my precious time. Those on that site and they who think like them will never change and will be the downfall of this new age Wicca that we could all do quite without.
Over the weekend, the owner and primary moderator of PaganSpace.net made a new rule to prohibit anyone under 18 from becoming a member of the site. This is the same discussion in which the previously mentioned threats were seemingly made toward PACA and its members. I didn’t have time over the weekend to post this update, so I apologize for not crediting the site sooner.
There is a bit of a “grain of salt” feeling to this new rule, however. As you can clearly see by her “tone” and chosen attitude in regards to the very real threats on her site, as evidenced by the screenshots in this blog and passed on to law enforcement, it is quite clear she only made such a change due to pressures of the Ning Network and the bad publicity her site and Alexandrian Archives, at which she is Senior Vice President, were receiving.
There is no acknowledgement here that there was any wrong doing by the older men on the site, no gratitude toward any one who alerted her and her administrators to the presence of predatory behavior and a registered sex offender, and no admission that she had allowed this behavior to continue unchecked for a good many months (perhaps more but I was only witness to the last 7 months).
There is no sense that she will ever admit that there are possible predators on her site and she has punished the teens while preserving the accounts of the ones who caused the trouble – I can still see their pages though the innocent teens have been forced to leave.
So no “Good Samaritan” award for Starrfire Price, who seems to have only chosen this route because she was backed into a corner and wanted to avoid more headaches and the pain of keeping a responsible eye on her site.
**** CLOSING ****
I’m about to take a short break for the holidays. When I return I will NOT be blogging about Wicca and its pervert issues unless something current and important to the rest of society occurs.
As for PaganSpace, I am done. I have posted warnings about the site as necessary – not just for anyone browsing the site but as mostly an example of the type of tolerances the Wicca and Pagan communities often times have, as well as an example of the dangers of any website where kids and adults are allowed to mingle unsupervised. I believe I have provided sufficient awareness in those regards and will now cease to discuss that site any further.
Information as to suspected child endangerment has been passed on to the proper authorities. If they investigate and see no wrong doing, it’s their call. If they do find something and stop something terrible from happening, great for them! On my end, I am done. That site and those people have taken up too much of my personal time and too much of my site. As important as awareness to such a grand scale was, it is concluded and I will post no more about this particular site. ~SMP