Since Klein was convicted on child pornography charges Apr. 6, his supporters have been advocating on his behalf. Klein’s sentencing, initially scheduled for Apr. 20, was pushed back to May as his attorney filed several motions, including one for a new trial. Covering all the bases, attorney Bradley Phillips also filed papers asking for a post-conviction acquittal and, if that doesn’t work, submitted a sentencing memorandum which included “nearly 20 letters from Klein supporters around the country pleading for the judge’s leniency,” according to reports. Included in some of those letters are allegations that Klein has been denied medication since his conviction.
The basis of the request for a new trial is that, as Klein and his attorney have claimed, the court rulings were tilted against the Blue Star high priest and folk singer. As they explain in that claim, prosecutors were allowed to introduce testimony from two adults about being victimized by Klein as children, but a defense request to introduce evidence about alleged crimes committed by investigating police officers was denied. Testimony that was intended to tie his ex-wife to the videos found on his hard drive was also barred from the original trial.
To allow time to respond to the motions, the sentencing was rescheduled to May 12. We will continue to follow this story and report what we learn.
* * *Donald Weiser, former head of the publishing house that bore his father Samuel’s name, has died. The 89-year-old passed away in his home in Florida Apr. 12.
The Samuel Weiser Bookstore was opened in 1926, two years before the younger Weiser was born. The store itself gave birth to the eponymous publishing company in the 1950s, initially with reprints of esoteric works that father and son believed should not remain rare. While the New York City book store was shuttered in 1990, the publishing label reached a peak of more than a thousand titles, earning the company international respect “as the major esoteric publishing house in the English language.” The Weiser publishing enterprise was acquired by Red Wheel in 2000.
Weiser retired to Florida in 2005, which for him meant more publishing. He and his wife, Yvonne Paglia-Weiser, started Ibis Press and produced some 150 esoteric works through that new venture. What is remembered, lives.
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Cherry Hill Seminary is ten years old, and the organization is on track to meet present fund raising goals. There are a number of unique items being raffled to donors this year. According to board member Jeffrey Albaugh, “Cherry Hill Seminary is the leading provider of education and practical training in leadership, ministry, and personal growth in Pagan and nature-based spiritualities. Nowhere else can one find Cherry Hill Seminary’s unique blend of reasoned inquiry, educational resources and nurturing relationships in a learning community.”
As of this writing, the seminary’s donors have contributed $10,618 against a goal of $12,000. The drive is slated to run through Beltane.
Update 4/27: The 10th Anniversary is in celebration of the seminary earning its 501c3 status, which they were officially granted in 2007.
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The Department of Defense recently updated their Faith and Belief Codes for Reporting Personal Data of services members with just under 100 new belief codes. These include Heathenry, Druidism, and Seax Wicca. We will have more on this story in the week.
In other news:
- The results of a worldwide Heathenry survey have been released at Huginn’s Heathen Hof. Building on past efforts by Dr. Karl E.H. Seigfried and Jennifer Snook, this project collected 512 responses over three months. The results show nearly three-quarters of respondents live in the United States, mostly under 35 years old, more than 60% white, and more than half identifying as cismale. Only about two-thirds of the respondents said they are heterosexual. Graphs and detailed analysis are available on the results page.
The Interfaith Chaplains’ Association at University of Alberta elected Wiccan chaplain Sam Wagar to be its chair for the coming year. Wagar will continue to help coordinate the multi-faith prayer and meditation spaces at University of Alberta, and said that his position will “increase the profile of the Wiccan chaplaincy and will likely increase [his] ability to influence policies affecting religious minorities on campus.,” adding, “I’m pleased that my principally Christian colleagues have placed confidence in me.”
- The Spirit Animal Telesummit begins today and through May 5. The free event, which brings together a number of voices on shamanic and related experiences, includes both Lupa and Lynn Andrews as speakers.
- The Firefly House, based in Washington D.C., will be holding an informational meeting to gauge interest in a new Spiral Scouts troop. “This event is a great opportunity to learn more about Spiral Scouts, meet the Circle Leaders, and for your child to participate in an arts and crafts project,” said the organizers. The meeting will be held May 6 at the Arlington VA Public Library. Spiral Scouts is a children program originally founded by the Aquarian Tabernacle Church.
- Beltane is coming!