Sorry to Disappoint, but There is No Conspiracy

Well, at least it's not  about jet trails...

Well, at least it’s not
about jet trails…

The events surrounding the victims in Kansas City* have yielded a lot of interesting perspectives and revelations within the Heathen community.  Some of us have banded together to display the true depth and content of the Heathen spirit, and have attempt to show those effected our compassion and support.  Some out there have chosen to play the victims in all of this and cast the various effort to work against racism as some sort of betrayal.  It speaks of the nature of such people that, less then a week after the crime was committed, they were out there trying to portray themselves as the victim in all of this.  Gods only know how that works, considering that they weren’t the ones with an aspiring mass murder firing off rounds in their backyards, but we can only play the cards we’re dealt I guess.

I’d link to examples of such paranoia, but I don’t want to give that sort of nonsense any traffic.  The short version is that some of us are reaching out to various organizations (such as the Southern Poverty Law Center) and are trying to explain the differences between racist and non-racist Heathenry, and some people view this as some sort of treacherous effort to attack Folkism, Conservative Heathen Values, and a host of other imagined targets.  The reasons for these presumptions are left unspoken, which is a pretty good sign that it’s entirely made up.  Still, to quote Terry Pratchett, a lie can get around the world before the truth can get its boots on.

So let’s just cut to the chase here: no one is going on a witch hunt, turning in names, or anything like that.  Claims to the contrary are either fabrications or baseless rumors exclusively.  Even if we were, it’s not like you guys are trying to hide.  On that note…

Protip: If you are a white supremacist, racist, bigot worried about being turned in for something related to your hideous racism…maybe you shouldn’t post pro-racist nonsense on the most populated social networking websites in the  world! 

White Nationalism Snapshot

I guess all the people who post this nonsense are worried about the SPLC…while, at the same time, pretending that they don’t have the internet…

Seriously, all the people making up stories about the Universalist Thought Gestapo(c) are the same people with Facebook profiles that outright state everything they are worried about being turned in for.  Even if we were handing names over to some third party, the information we can get is the exact same information that everyone in the first world can find with a fucking Google search.  Some of these people and groups have their own freaking Wikipedia pages and publishing companies!  They have Twitter accounts where they write hateful messages of 144 character or less,  Tumblrs where they post racists memes, but somehow there is a fear that a third party is going to going to expose them in a way that they haven’t already done themselves**.

Imagine a drug dealer who has a Twitter profile named @ISellCocaineOn23rdandWashington.   He posts his prices on tumblr, and puts up photographed records of his favorite drug sales on Facebook.  His likes are filled with the names of famous drug dealers and street drugs, all of his favorite books are  about making drugs, and all of his favorite movies are documentaries about how to evade law enforcement agencies.  Now imagine this hypothetical drug dealer is paranoid about a DEA drug bust, even as he turns all of the incriminating information at his disposal into a matter of internet record on a daily basis.  The most amusing thing about this metaphor is where it doesn’t work; what @ISellCocaineOn23rdandWashington is doing is obviously and clearly illegal, whereas racism is protected by free speech.  The people I’m talking about are worried that they will be turned in for crimes that don’t even exist, yet they make the information that would condemn them of these non-existent crimes publicly available.

There is a reason that a lot of us have been laughing our asses off lately; the concerns of these people aren’t based in reality.  Even if the efforts to “turn them in” actually existed, there would be no where to turn them in to.  Seriously, calm the hell down; no one is coming for you.  Though, let me tell you, it gives me the giggles that there are whole lot of racists, bigots, and fascists scared that someone is going to come after them.  That’s like wolves worried about a sheep in wolves’ clothing.  It’s the kind of obscene hilarity that usually never escaped entities like The Far Side.  I mean, I know the truth is stranger than fiction, but I never expected it to be stranger than satire and parody!

You don't need to make the hats today, ladies and gentlemen; save the foil for your baked potatoes.

You don’t need to make the hats today, ladies and gentlemen; save the foil for your baked potatoes.

In either case, the idea of such a conspiracy to secretly hunt down suspected racists is pretty ridiculous.  Anyone who is actually worried about it either hasn’t truly thought it through*** or knows that it’s bullshit but has an investment in crafting a racist rallying point.  It couldn’t happen, even if we wanted it to do it, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either mentally sick, doesn’t understand what is going on, or is trying to sell you something.

*The English language is pretty much designed to focus on the attacker (active role) more than the one attacked (passive role)  Still I think that, when we refer to this incident, we should be focused on the circumstances of those in grief and mourning rather than the consequences justly incurred by the perpetrator.
**While I usually like to provide proof for my sentiments, you’ll have to Google these monsters yourself; I don’t want to give them the traffic and I certainly don’t want a link extending between my blog and their madness.  All I know is, with five minutes of searching, I found David Duke’s twitter.  His was the first name I entered, and the name was chosen more or less at random.  I entered bigoted terms into Tumblr and found dozens of profiles.  No one is suppressing the free speech of racists; if someone is attempting to do that, they’re doing a miserable job of it.
***If you have heard rumors about the anti-racists working to craft some sort of Folkish aimed witch hunt and are worried about things, you can stand down and relax.  I don’t know of anyone attempting such a thing, and neither do I want to.  If someone IS out there attempting to build a conspiracy like that…than they’re just as crazy and misguided as the bigots trying to create a boogyman out of their own nightmares and fever dreams.


Sad News For Nova Scotia Pagans.

Anyone out in the Nova Scotia way of Canada know someone who wants to open a Pagan Shop? If you do, hopefully you are reading this so you can pass the word to said person!

Before Change, Comes Chaos.

Little Mysteries, a pagan shop in down town Halifax is looking for a buyer. They don’t want to close their doors to the community they have served for 19 years. Welcoming everyone, regardless of spiritual path, into their doors and providing education and enrichment in the pagan ways.

I guess, according to their link here: their time frame has been significantly reduced.

So if you read that, and are able to help by stepping up, it would be wonderful. Pagans here in Nova Scotia have so very little resources available, and very few establishments like Little Mysteries to help with their paths.

Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Maritime provinces are deeply Christian conservative. We are the Bible Belt of Canada, so when any of these shops close, it is a huge blow to the pagans of this region.

Please help! If anyone has any ideas in how we can…

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This Will Not Stand.

Yesterday, Galina Krasskova released a blog entry of her own by the same name.  When attempting to name my own article, I realized nothing else seemed to fit the bill properly.  What is happening here, on many levels, cannot and will not stand.

Click the logo to be taken to the fundraiser.

Click the logo to be taken to the fundraiser.

The discussion that will be cause by the violence of a single bigot will be potent, and they will be necessary.  For now, however, it falls upon to see that we respect the victims of that crime as well as those they left behind.  Not because we are responsible, but because we can.  The victims of this senseless tragedy weren’t involved in CNN’s poor journalism that painted all of us with a single brush stroke; they were simply possessed of the misfortune to be near a violent sociopath at the wrong time.  If we are going to be force to be involved in this, than let that involvement yield honorable and frithful results.

Some of us have put together a fundraiser to assist those effected by this tragedy.  If you can give, give.  If you can afford to, spread the message so we can find more people that can.  Than, once the dust settles on this, it’ll be time to have some very important conversations.  Conversations that have waited for far too long, and cannot wait any longer.

A Huge Issue

Did I choose this for the representation of the loss of  innocence and the recognition of how there can be darkness anywhere?  Or did I select it as a metaphorical representation of the community's response, where so many have selected to view things in a way that makes them feel better?  The yes!

Did I choose this for the representation of the loss of innocence and the recognition of how there can be darkness anywhere? Or did I select it as a metaphorical representation of the community’s response, where so many have selected to view things in a way that makes them feel better? The answer…is yes!

When the discussions about child molestation, exploration, and rape came up within Paganism due to the actions of a published author, I had my thoughts.  I opted to hold them for a moment for a number of reasons.  Foremost amongst those reasons was that my thoughts consisted almost exclusively of screaming at my monitor while cleaving my keyboard with a battle axe.  After that, there was a self-imposed obligation to choose my words extremely carefully; due to some mild paranoia on the part of my parents, as well as simple luck, I managed to get through my childhood without being so manipulated or hurt.  This makes it very easy to stick my foot in my mouth, because there are things that I’m just never going to understand when it comes to this sort of subject.

Cooler heads and the lack of readily available battle axes prevailed.  I think I’ve got what I need to say in hand, so let us get down to business.

First, let’s stop talking about Kenny Klein.  Seriously.  We don’t have an issue with Kennys nor with Kleins; there is, to my knowledge, no statistically significant number of Kenneths nor Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. Kleins going about raping and molesting little kids.  I hate that it’s called the Kenny Klein issue, because he really isn’t the issue to my mind; that a predator can hunt, practically in plain sight, for over thirty years without getting caught prior to this is an issue.  That we are drawing attention to the individual who committed the crime, rather than the crimes he committed and towards making sure the victims are properly cared for is also an issue.  That there were warning signs and accounts that were missed due to his notoriety is a very considerable issue.

The man who committed these crimes is being dealt with.  Kenny Klein will go to court.  The evidence will be weighed.  He will most likely be convicted of something pretty damn heinous*, he will be sentenced, and he will probably not survive to serve his full prison term due to the court of public opinion that is a standard feature in any  high security prison’s general population.  The matter, one way or another, will be resolved.

I’ve heard and read some of what others have to say on the matter, some of whom have more recognizable names**.  The ones that I have agreed with have been pretty damn uncompromising.  Normally, I’m the first to say that there is no black and white. and that all things need to have context and be viewed in the appropriate perspective/  Here is the exception that proves the rule, however, because this is an extremely simple matter as far as I’m concerned.

Assaulting a child is already a special kind of evil, and I don’t use that word lightly.  The Loki debate has shown me, very clearly, how easily the word evil can be used as shorthand for “I don’t like this, and ad hominems are easier than actually thinking or reading books”.  There is no other word for it, however; assaulting a child in any form is just putrid.  That’s before we even add the word “sexual” to the equation, which is where I loose my ability to properly express myself and I have to start fighting the urge to just start headbutting the wall while screaming obscenities.

What boggles my mind the most, and what I feel needs the most attention drawn to it, is how there seems to have been a pattern here…one we’ve seen elsewhere.  Klein was able to escape detection because so many people dismissed the concerns and accounts of those who he approached.  The parallels between child abuse here and child abuse within organized religious communities are pretty direct, and I’ve met more than one Pagan, Polytheist, and Spiritualist who left the religion of their birth exactly due to the same thing happening to themselves or a loved one.  Think about that, and realize that the exact same thing occurred within our own ranks.  Worse than that; many times in other faiths, the perpetrator commands enough local power to silence his or her victims via fear of damnation and social persecution.  Some of the victims, both potential and actual, spoke up long before Klein was brought to justice.  Dozens of people didn’t stop him…because he played a violin in Pagan music circles and had written Pagan books.

ECDIReally think about that; those involved and in a position to stop this monster did worse than the religions we criticize for covering it up.  We had given our young a stronger, louder voice that would not be punished based on moral boundaries…only to ignore it when it mattered the most.  If that seems like a rude statement….good.  There needs to be a lot of rude statements right now.  There needs to be a lot of hard questions asked of some negligent people.  There is a demand that we account for ourselves here, and that we do it without tip toeing around people’s feelings.  Children have feelings you see, and when we abandon concerns about those feelings in order so we don’t have to ask ourselves hard questions?  The buck stops there.

Or, to put it another way, I have two children.  They are “Munchkin”, age 7 years, and Peanut, age 6 months.  Anyone who suggests that their safety and innocence take a backseat to someone’s feelings can stick their athame where the sun doesn’t shine and rotate upon it.  Full stop.  End of Press Release.  Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag.

Happily, there are some helpful dialogues being held about the matter.  One of the most useful things being asked and talked is “how do we do better?”.  For my own part, this is probably something I’m going to weigh in on more over at Witches and Pagan than I am here; this blog largely starts and ends with my take on the Heathen perspective, and the issue at hand isn’t something strictly Heathen.  Two Way Bifrost is where I talk about interfaith community harmony and, I’m just spit balling here, I think finding ways to protect our children from sexual assault is a pretty harmonious fucking action.

This post is in a much harsher tone that I am fond of using.  This isn’t just because I’m a father.  This isn’t just because I’ve known dozens of people who have been sexually assaulted as minors, and I’ve been able to see the permanent damage on their soul that has resulted from it.  It isn’t just because there is a realization that all of my philosophizing and rumination on ethics is useless if I can’t stand firmly against one of the most obviously evil and heinous things that I exists in this world.  It’s more than that.  More than the sum of it’s parts.  More than Heathenry or Paganism.  There are some things for which etiquette and soft words are not made for, and this is one of them.  If me saying fuck two (er, three now…damnit) times and saying that child rape is bad, no questions asked, bothers you?  It’s you who needs to adjust your perceptions and tone, because mine isn’t changing.

Not on this.

*I am of the understanding he already confessed to some or all of it.

**Hey, Other Pagans and Heathens?  Look, I know some of you have some big bad issue with Cauldron Farms, House Sankova, Krasskova, Sannion, and probably a bunch of other people too.  Whatever; I certainly don’t agree with everything they say either, but difference assist us in creating a better dialogue.  I won’t pretend to understand why you disagree to the point where you feel murder and rape threats are acceptable…but that’s your value system to figure out***.  It’s at this time I’d like to point out that  when a crime happens involving things like rape or molestation, they’re amongst the first demanding advocacy, victim awareness, and proper community response.  Perhaps those of you yelling and screaming about them really should get a priority check or, at the very least, focus on actual issues other than “someone said a thing I don’t like” or “someone challenged my ethics in a way I don’t appreciate.”  Just food for thought.

***Oh yeah, and if you actually make a murder or rape threat in earnest?  Or should you support and advocate them when they are made?  You belong right there in prison next to that child rapist; it takes great mental sickness to wish those sort of crimes be committed against people over nothing more than a difference of opinion, and an even greater psychological pathology to hope to be able to participate in the same.

Regarding Loki, Part 8: April Fool’s Day

Hail Loki,
Lord of Hearthfire
Joy of the Føroyar
Mirth Seeker, Truth Tracker, Hammer Dowser

For what we do not know,
There will be answers.
For what we have not heard,
There will be echos.
For what we have not have seen,
There will be explorers.

When holy days are lost,
New ones are found.
When myths are forgotten,
New ones take their place.
When wisdom is misplaced
New wisdom shall recover it.

The fire does not go out,
So long as there are those who tend it.

Hail Asa-Loki!