Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. According to a Gallup poll, confidence in organized religion has reached an all-time low in the United States. Only 44% of those polled had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in “the church or organized religion” today. Quote: “Two major findings apparent in Gallup’s confidence in the church and organized religion trend are, first, the long-term decline in Americans’ confidence in this societal institution since 1973, and second, the suppressed confidence among Catholics relative to Protestants starting in 1981, and becoming more pronounced by 2002.”

Update: Yoga Scandals and Sex Cults

Since I first took note of the “Wiccan coven” sex scandal that has engulfed John Friend, head of the popular Anusara hatha yoga school in America, the story has left the confines of the American Yoga community and been picked up by larger media outlets. William J. Broad, author of “The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards”, informs readers of the New York Times that no one should be surprised that this has happened. “Yoga teachers and how-to books seldom mention that the discipline began as a sex cult — an omission that leaves many practitioners open to libidinal surprise. Hatha yoga — the parent of the styles now practiced around the globe — began as a branch of Tantra. In medieval India, Tantra devotees sought to fuse the male and female aspects of the cosmos into a blissful state of consciousness […] if students and teachers knew more about what Hatha can do, and what it was designed to do — they would find themselves less prone to surprise and unyogalike distress.” Broad’s somewhat controversial notion that the many recipients of Friend’s affections should have seen this coming, because yoga is a sex cult at its roots, isn’t sitting well with Indian-American commentator Sandip Roy, who blasts Broad’s correlation with yoga’s founding and the bad behavior of some teachers.

Phoenix Goddess Temple Raided by Police

The Phoenix Goddess Temple in Arizona, a neo-tantric religious organization that defines itself as “a sacred place to know the secret inner wisdom of the Cosmic Mother,” was raided by police on Wednesday. Eleven women and five men were taken in for questioning, and made to do a “perp walk” for the cameras, but police would not say, exactly, what the raid was looking for. “CBS 5 News has also learned this was part of a long term investigation that spanned from the Valley to Sedona. Police served three additional search warrants in the Sedona area and detained several more people for questioning at those locations. […] [Sgt.

Thorn Coyle Examines the Feet of Clay

Yesterday the noted Pagan author, activist, and teacher T. Thorn Coyle, in a three part series on her blog, tackles the issue of teachers and leaders with “feet of clay”. Specifically, she discusses the controversy-loving Frosts (that would be Gavin and Yvonne Frost of The Church and School of Wicca), their ongoing defence of largely indefensible sexual politics, and processing a recent panel she ran where she allowed them to participate. “I am struggling with the Frosts. Struggling because it would be too easy to do as others have which is to demonize them or relegate them to the “sweet old couple.” They are something far more varied than either of these.