Setting the Record Straight: Pagans and the Press

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  February 22, 2013 — 8 Comments

Today I’ll be away with the Faeries in Seattle (along with T. Thorn Coyle, Raven Grimassi, Stephanie Taylor- Grimassi, Lupa, and several other Pagan-friendly folk) but I didn’t want to leave you empty handed in my absence! So, since I’m at a convention, it seems appropriate that I share a panel from the convention I just participated in last weekend. So here’s a panel discussion from PantheaCon 2013 entitled “Setting the Record Straight: Pagans and the Press,” moderated by journalist Beth Winegarner, and featuring Eric Colon (a Mayombero and Santero), Mike Aldax (crime reporter for the San Francisco Examiner), Nagasiva Yronwode (a Satanist), and myself.

Setting the Record Straight panel at PantheaCon 2013.

Setting the Record Straight panel at PantheaCon 2013. Photo: Greg Harder

“Most reporters aren’t experts in Paganism, Satanism, or African Diaspora faiths. When these topics come up, especially in connection with violent crime, news articles often suggest that these religions are violent. In this panel, experts from a variety of faiths will discuss how their beliefs have been misrepresented or sensationalized, a local crime reporter will share how he does his job, and we’ll come up with strategies for Pagans and the press to work together.”

I think it’s a thought-provoking a useful panel, especially considering recent events in the mainstream media. I don’t have a transcript of the talk yet, but I’m looking into seeing how quickly I can have one made. In the meantime, feel free to download it and listen at your convenience.

That’s all I have for now, I hope to bring you more material from PantheaCon 2013 soon, and some images and interviews from this weekend’s FaerieCon West. Have a great day!

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Ray

    Who is the festively dressed chap in the middle?

    • That’s Nagasiva. Also, this post is a bit reductive in calling him a Satanist. He is a big name in Satanism, but he’s technically a Kali-worshipper and into Voodoo. Nonetheless I am not surprised at all that he’s in a panel like this. He’s very well spoken and well mannered. Love that guy.

      • David Salisbury

        I think he self-identified as a Satanist during the panel though.

        • Stacey Lawless

          He did.

  • Mike

    This was a stunningly good panel discussion to listen to. Thank you for posting this.

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    Looking forward to listening to this…
    But, as a side note, while you’re up in our fair state, after your duties at FaerieCon West are completed, if you’d like to take a side-trip up to our fair isles, let me know! It would be good to hang out with you more, in a space that is different than adjacent tables in Sprigs at the Double Tree!

  • catherine yronwode

    Siva is a Satanist, but not “into Voodoo.” Don’t know where you got that idea. Perhaps you have confused hoodoo (African American folk-magic of the US South, practiced primarily by Christians) with Voodoo (an initiatic African religion with a pantheon called the lwa, also practiced in Haiti). He and i are co-owners of a hoodoo shop in Forestville, California, called the Lucky Mojo Curio Co. The two words — Voodoo and hoodoo — do rhyme, but that is literally all they have in common. Hoodoo is actually a Scottish word, not African. Cheers!

  • Does anybody know how to play this on an iphone? I got the SoundCloud app, but it wanted to stream it instead of downloading it. I’d really like to listen to this while commuting.