The Troth removes Diana Paxson from all positions in unanimous decision

PHILADELPHIA- The Troth, the prominent inclusive Heathen organization, has removed one of its most famous members, Diana Paxson, from all positions within the group, as well as revoked her membership status and credentials. The vote of the Board of Directors, which was announced late Friday, was unanimous.

The decision follows Paxson’s suspension earlier in the week following a clergy candidate raising the issue of Paxson’s alleged history of connections to people convicted of or alleged to have committed child sexual abuse, namely Walter Breen and his spouse, the author Marion Zimmer Bradley. Paxson has not been accused of engaging in such acts, but rather of making statements that diminished the seriousness of the harm caused by that abuse.

Paxson is a well-known author, priestess, and leader in the contemporary Pagan community. She is known for her work in the Heathen and Ásatrú traditions. Her contributions to the broader Pagan and Neo-Pagan movements are well-known. Paxson has written numerous books on contemporary Paganisms and has been actively involved in various organizations promoting Pagan spirituality and community. Her 2006 book Essential Asatru has long been one of the most common introductions to Ásatrú and Heathenry.

Paxson joined The Troth in 1991, becoming an Elder in 1993 and serving on the High Rede and as Steerswoman for three years. She had been serving The Troth as the editor of the organization’s journal, Idunna, and Coordinator of the Clergy Training program.

A clergy candidate in the program raised concerns about Paxson after personal communications with her, researching her history, and viewing Paxson’s recent interview on Netflix’s Last Chance U episode titled “Greyhaven” (released July 28, 2020). More details are available in The Wild Hunt’s coverage of Paxson’s initial suspension this past week.

In a statement, the Board of Directors noted that Paxson is not accused of committing or abetting any criminal activity. However, the board noted that “The Troth expects every member to uphold the Mission Statement, Position Statement, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation – through this effort, we collectively maintain the integrity of the community to uphold the rights and freedoms of our individual members.”

The board’s statement further said:

Due to the growing evidence provided to the Board, both publicly and in confidence, the Board of the Troth has recognized that Diana Paxson has presented a pervasive and longstanding pattern of behavior that unquestionably impedes the community’s ability to maintain a constructive environment and hinders the organization’s ability to function from this point forward.

When meeting with the Board on Friday, 10 May 2024, Diana was informed repeatedly that the Board had several questions they wished to ask after she was granted a chance to speak. She read a prepared statement to the Board, then left the virtual meeting without another word or granting anyone on the Board the opportunity to query her further.

The board claims they were unable to gather more information because of Paxson’s abrupt exit.

Paxson has yet to release a public statement on this matter. Paxson has previously publicly commented on the history of sexual abuse of children that occurred at Greyhaven, which were part of the concerns brought to The Troth’s attention. Paxson said previously, “I was shocked and appalled to read Moira Greyland’s posts about her mother on Facebook. Child abuse is one of the most terrible of crimes, because the perpetrators are those who should be the victims’ protectors.”

Diana Paxson


“The Troth does not accuse Diana of committing or abetting criminal activity,” the Troth’s statement continues, “nor do we have any evidence of such activity. The Board will continue to investigate systemic and cultural factors that may have contributed to this and similar situations, and will report these findings along with proposed actions.”

The Troth “stands with all victims of abuse of any kind,” the board further stated, “and when the light is shined on deeds that harm the innocent, we must stand firm and grant it no peace.”

The full statement from the Troth Board of Directors is available on their site.

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