SIGIR’s Wiccan Scandal

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I never thought I would have to type these words, but a government fraud scandal is gaining press for the (alleged) involvement of a modern Pagan. Wiccan Ginger Cruz, a deputy of Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), is being accused of sexual harassment, cooking the books, and threating co-workers with hexes.

“Cruz, a former spokeswoman for the governor of Guam, originally joined SIGIR as a contractor working for the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche. Current and former SIGIR employees have told investigators that Cruz threatened to put hexes on employees and made inappropriate sexual remarks in the presence of staff members. Cruz is a self-described wiccan, a member of a polytheistic religion of modern witchcraft. “We warned Ginger not to talk about witchcraft, that it would scare people,” a former SIGIR employee said.”

Ginger Cruz

From Harpers:

“Among the charges is that Cruz pressured an employee to come up with bogus numbers proving that SIGIR’s work had saved taxpayers some $10 billion, a figure that was used to justify the agency’s request of $30 million in the Fiscal Year 2007 budget. The true savings were said to be only in the tens of millions at best … Cruz reportedly told employees that she was a Wiccan who could cast spells on people, and said she preferred hiring young “hunks” to work in the office. She is also accused of propositioning junior employees in a crude fashion, once even proposing a threesome.”

The question now is how true are these allegations? According to Wonkette, Bowen’s office has been leaking rumors that the investigation is a retaliation for his office rooting out fraud and abuse in Iraq, while Cruz has denied the allegations made against her.

“Cruz denied making comments of a “sexual nature” and noted that she was cleared of wrongdoing by an internal SIGIR investigation.”

Obviously Cruz could be lying, and SIGIR’s investigation into her alleged wrongdoing could be an exercise in sweeping things under the rug, but it seems strange to me that “hexes” and her Wiccan religion were mentioned at all. Could it be that Cruz was simply too open with her religious preferences in an all-too-Christian military environment? Leaving aside the charges of cooking the books, doesn’t it seem a bit too convenient (almost stereotypical in a male-fantasy sort of way) that the the young female Witch would go around propositioning three-ways with men and claiming to put hexes on people (no doubt on men who would refuse her sexual wiles)?

It certainly has become a dominant theme of the story. Boing Boing mentions it, and Wonkette has posted a video of Cruz with over-dubbed “sexy” porno music playing in the background. Almost no-one is entertaining the possibility that Cruz is being smeared by those eager to see her removed from office. It does a wonderful job of deflecting attention from the real issues of this investigation (and the issue of fraud in Iraq’s reconstruction). Is this how you “burn a Witch” while “ducking” charges of malfeasance?