Pagan Community Notes: Satanic Temple Settlement, PCon, and more

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SALEM, Mass.  — Two weeks ago, we reported that co-founder of The Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves had filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement, trademark violation, and injury to TST’s business reputation against Netflix and Warner Brothers connected to the use of a Baphomet statue in the show The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Greaves issued a statement Wednesday, November 21, 2018, on TST blog, For Infernal Use Only on that a settlement and been “amicably” settled.

“The Satanic Temple is pleased to announce that the lawsuit it recently filed against Warner Bros. and Netflix has been amicably settled.  The unique elements of the Satanic Temple’s Baphomet statue have been acknowledged in the credits of episodes which have already been filmed.  The remaining terms of the settlement are subject to a confidentiality agreement”.  Several media outlets have subsequently reported on the settlement.

Greaves and TST have been staunch supporters of separation of church and state laws, as well as religious freedom as TWH has previously reported. In TST’s blog, Greaves characterized their copyright claim as “one of the most overpublicized” by the media while past actions like the rally held in Arkansas last year over the installation of a 10 Commandments monument at the capitol but refusal to install a Baphomet statue has received much less attention.


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ONTARIO — Witchdoctor Utu, Author, founder of the Dragon Ritual Drummers, the Niagara Voodoo Shrine and member of the New Orleans Voodoo Spiritual Temple, issued a statement Thursday, November 23 on Facebook alleging that he had been de-platformed from PantheaCon. The reason for the de-platforming by PantheaCon remains unclear but is allegedly related to Utu’s veneration of certain black ancestors and the Underground Railroad.

In a follow-up post yesterday, Utu further alleges that he is now being accused of homophobia and that some in the “pantheacon community even discredited [his] teachers and mentors of colour over the years as tokens or illegitimate”. There have been reports that people who questioned or challenged the deplatforming in the unofficial PantheaCon group had their comments deleted or were subsequently banned from the Facebook group. Since Utu issued his first statement, the Unofficial Pantheacon group on Facebook has changed its settings from public to closed. TWH has reached out to Pantheacon organizers for comment, but as of publication has not yet heard back.



UPDATE:  November 27, 2018 2:22 EST.   The Wild Hunt  received a formal statement from the UNOFFICIAL PantheaCon Community Group:

The administrators of the UNOFFICIAL PantheaCon Community Group support an online space for people to connect on things related to Pantheacon. As we are not a part of the Pantheacon staff and have no power over Pantheacon decisions, our main objective is to provide this space for community chat.

Our removal of a person in group was centered around safer space and not the topic at hand. Due to automatic functions of Facebook, the thread regarding this topic was deleted when the posting person was banned from the group. We have continued to have dialogue with said person, and with other community members to support ongoing community space for conversation.

The administrators are a diverse group of people from all disciplines and differing communities so that we can work to support the varying needs of such a large group of community members. Our decision to close the group, again, was centered around and intended to create safer space for conversations inside of a community setting and allow marginalized voices to have space for conversation without increased fears.


In other news:

  • Beth Owl’s Daughter announced her annual Advent candle lighting event Solstice Sun Wreath Prayer Circle which began on Sunday, November 25, 2018 and continues through Yule. This year marks the 14th anniversary of the event.
  • As reported on BBC News, a Neolithic long barrow constructed in Wiltshire, UK in 2014 as a replica of similar burial mounds, the last one built prior to this dates back more than 5000 years, announced it has been registered and approved as a place for Druids to worship. The owner of the barrow, Tim Daw, insisted it was not “exclusive” to Pagan use. “It’s not like a parish church, there is a congregation in an elusive sense but it’s a bit more of a virtual community,”
  • A number of mainstream news stories citing the increasing popularity of Wicca, Witchcraft, and other occult religious practices continue to surface on a variety sites and seemed to be connected to a story on Quartzy citing a several sources, as well as 2008 census data. Even little known sites like the Preston Business Review have featured articles long past Samhain when such articles are far more common.
  • Next Sunday is the first in a trio of charity events organized by Witches Tea Flint, in Flint Michigan with proceeds from the first event, Tea and Tarot Bingo benefiting the ASPCA’s Adopt a Senior Dog Month event. TWH will have a full story on all three events this week.