ANADARKO, Okla. – Two months ago Pagan practitioner Angel Hawks moved with her two children from Texas to the small town of Anadarko, Oklahoma. She was looking for an opportunity to start over after a break-up with her long-term girlfriend and a storm left her home heavily damaged. However, within weeks of moving into her new apartment in Anadarko, Hawks began experiencing repeated vandalism and the hostility of neighbors and teachers. She said that people are targeting her due to her religion.“We don’t deny our faith nor blast it either,” said Ms. Hawks, adding that she lives a normal life. She works at a local store and her children, ages 12 and 14, attend the local public middle school.
Although she doesn’t “blast her faith,” Hawks does perform some practices that are very common in Pagan religions. She meditates.
Hawks said that she and her children meditate under a tree most every day: “My upstairs neighbors yelled from the window ‘devil worshippers’ and said they are calling [Child Welfare].”
Those same neighbors now believe Hawks’ son put a curse on their son and caused him to become ill.
Both of Hawks’ children attend Anadarko Middle School, and she claims that, on Mar. 31, her children were offered Bibles during school hours by agriculture teacher Mr. Edmund. It was reportedly part of a community religious observance called Revival Week. When her children refused the Bibles, Hawks said that she was called into the school.
“It was horrible I was called to school because my son and daughter refused them. My daughter being very proud said she does not need words made up of man. She trusts in what she feels. She didn’t deny god, just the hate [and] the spew,” explained Hawks.When contacted, Cindy Hackney, Superintendent of Anadarko Public Schools said, “I have been unable to confirm that Bibles were distributed at Anadarko Middle School by any school employee nor have I received any complaints from any parents or employees about any such activity. I am unsure of the reference to Revival Week activities as there were no school activities related to any form of revival.”
Hawks said the vandalism started soon after that incident. On Apr. 5, she noticed the porch light was broken, leaving her walkway leading to her apartment door in the dark. On the following morning, she saw that someone had spray painted “witch” with a cross on the wall facing her front door. Then, on Saturday, Apr. 9, her apartment was egged.
She called police to report the vandalism, but didn’t feel that they had taken her seriously. “They don’t care,” she said. “Oh no not at all. [It was] more like I bothered them. Told me: ‘Darn kids.’ ” Ms. Hawks added that she doesn’t believe the police took down a formal report.
Hawks also described other ways in which the townspeople are letting her family know that they aren’t welcome due to their religion. Her son is unable to join boys scouts, and the family was told that they could no longer volunteer at the local food bank.
“I was helping out until someone told the Pastor I was a witch,” said Hawks. It was at that point that the pastor of Grace Church said her help was no longer needed.
The family plans to leave Anadarko as soon as they can save the money to move. Hawks said that most of her extended family is gone; it’s just her and her children. Although she’s on an extremely tight budget, she hopes to save enough money to move within a few months. Until then, they are stuck in a community in which they are feeling increasingly concerned for their safety.
Hawks added, “If I had money and means I would be gone today. I would almost rather be homeless living in a tent then all this hate.” The family is asking for blessings from the Pagan community.
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Update and Additional Information 4/12 4:00 pm ET: The Wild Hunt has attempted to contact both the Police and the Agriculture Teacher. Neither has responded to our calls. Additionally, Ms. Hawks has stated that she only wants community blessings and is not accepting money.