“Your first instinct, naturally, is to check if you know anyone. I didn’t, as far as I could see: no one in the small Middlesex village where I grew up (though four in Pinner, where I was born), and only three in the district of west London where I now live. Colleagues have pored in amazement over the records for their home towns.”
Jon Henley’s editorial for The Guardian also touches on the fact that Pagans were/are a part of the whites-only extremist party. He first notices that BNP leaders (much like mainstream political leaders) were worried that Pagan membership would make them look bad (“Member describes himself as witch: potential embarrassment if active”), and that an alleged “Pagan prison chaplain” was among their number. This has, in turn, sparked an immediate press release from the Pagan Federation stating that none of their chaplains are BNP members.
“We are not aware of any British National Party members serving in the Pagan Federation Prison Ministry. All Pagan chaplains are subject to counter-terrorist clearance (CTC) by the Home Office. This includes in-depth checks about associations and memberships or affiliations with activist groups. The British National Party is one group that no Prison Service worker is allowed to be a member of … Should it subsequently come to light that any potential or current Pagan prison chaplain has made a false statement about such memberships, I would take immediate action in removing that individual from the Pagan Federation Prison Ministry … The claim being made on a widely circulating list that an individual named on that list is a Pagan prison chaplain is false.”
For more Pagan reactions to the BNP leak check out the Pagan Network message boards. I find it interesting how prison chaplaincy for Pagans is so centralized within the Pagan Federation. It certainly allowed for a quick response to allegations of BNP Pagan chaplains. I can only imagine the havoc that would ensue among the Pagan community in America should a similar list surface here.