Pagan Community Notes: Reported “Wiccan” accused of human trafficking, COMISS Network, and more!

FREESTONE COUNTY, Texas – Last week, charges of human trafficking were filed against a woman that centered around a minor in her care in Mexia, Texas. The initial bond being set at $25,000, and one day later was increased to $250,000. There are reports that Amber Michelle Parker, allegedly had ties to a Witchcraft or Wicca groups. A Facebook account under the name Zhoe Singer displays a picture of Parker as well a number of memes and photos that contain “Witch” and “pentacle.”

A report from news station KWTX contained a statement that Parker’s husband had given to deputies investigating the case, “Mr. Parked explained that at some point during the year his wife had created an anonymous Facebook page to where she could secretly communicate with strange men associated with the Wicca organization,” the document reads. “During the year his wife had left to go to Louisiana to meet with her healer and again to Waco to meet with someone in her group.”

Column: the appropriation of African Traditional Religion by human traffickers

Tony Kail is an ethnographer and writer. He holds a degree in cultural anthropology and has researched magico-religious cultures for more than twenty-five years. His work has taken him from Voodoo ceremonies in New Orleans to Haitian Botanicas in Harlem and Spiritual Churches in East Africa. He has lectured at more than one hundred universities, hospitals and public safety agencies. Kail has been featured on CNN Online, the History Channel and numerous radio, television and print outlets.

Quick Notes: Fortunetelling Laws, Ali Sibat, and Vodun Activism

Let’s start off your weekend with a few quick notes. Another Fortunetelling Law Overturned: The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled that fortunetelling and other psychic services are protected speech and cannot be outlawed by local ordinances. The ruling stems from a long legal battle by Montgomery County resident Nick Nefedro, who has been mentioned at this blog before, and his win may be the most devastating blow yet to laws targeting fortunetelling. “Fortunetelling may be pure entertainment, it may give individuals some insight into the future or it may be hokum,” the Maryland Court of Appeals wrote in a 24-page opinion. “People who purchase fortunetelling services may or may not believe in its value.