Pagan Community Notes: Storm Faerywolf, John Bennett, the Valknut and more

TWH – Author and teacher Storm Faerywolf was recently publicly accused of engaging in sexual misconduct and abuse by a Maryland-based member Faery tradition, but the allegation was soon proven false. The accusations spread through social media, prompting reactions from members of the tradition as well as others, both in support of and against the accuser, who is known as EckoPup Roberts. Faerywolf published a statement May 5 on his own blog that reads in part: “It has recently come to my attention that there is a man in the Maryland area, going by the name ‘Awen’ who is misrepresenting themselves as one of my initiates. Not only have I never heard of this person they are adding injury to insult by propositioning students for training in Faery tradition and then informing them that in order to be dedicated or initiated then they must engage in unprotected intercourse. This is an affront to the tradition that I hold dear, not to mention basic decency.”

Pagan Community Notes: ADF; Kenny Klein; Witchcraft Museum, and more!

NEW ORLEANS —  Pagan musician Kenny Klein was sentenced to 20 years in prison after his request for a new trial was rejected. As previously reported, Klein, who was first arrested in 2014, was convicted in April on 20 counts of child pornography charges. According to local reports, the judge called the case difficult, saying “Any type of incidents involving juveniles, particularly as it relates to child pornography, are not good.” After his conviction, Klein’s attorney requested a new trial on the grounds that the court had made numerous errors in several of the pretrial rulings. Criminal District Judge Byron C. Williams rejected that request after receiving an flurry of letters from both his supporters and his opponents. Williams told local reporters that he did not find any credibility in the arguments requesting the new trial.

Pagan Community Notes: Scott Holbrook, Dr. Lucie Marie-Mai Du Fresne, and more.

GASTON, N.C. — A transcript of Daniel Scott Holbrook’s plea deal in court last month doesn’t jibe with his version of events. Holbrook pleaded no contest to charges of disseminating obscenities after, by his account, an attempt to download a movie from a file-sharing site yielded hundreds of illegal images. However, the prosecutor asserted during the proceedings that Holbrook had admitted to the officers who arrived at his home to not only downloading the images in question, but using them for personal gratification. Wiccan Priest and Rev. Tony Brown, who is otherwise unaffiliated with Mr. Holbrook and his grove, was at the original hearing, and shared his account with The Wild Hunt at that time. He omitted the information because he wasn’t sure he heard it correctly, saying only, “Some of the details in [Holbrook’s and others’] accounts differ from what I heard in court.”

Transgender inclusion debates re-ignite in Pagan community

TWH – Over the past year, issues related to transgender rights have crested in mainstream social discourse. The most recent national debate has centered around the passage of North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act (also known as House Bill 2 or HB2) that, among other things, “blocks local governments from allowing transgender persons to use bathrooms that do not match the biological sex.” The collective Pagan, Heathen and polytheist communities, as diverse microcosms of the greater whole, are not free from similar debates, discussions and, at times, serious conflicts on the subject of transgender inclusion. While never fully disappearing from the culture’s meta-dialog, there are times when a particular event or action rekindles the conversation with renewed fervor, pushing it to the forefront of communication. And that is exactly what has happened over the past month, reaching a fever pitch last week.