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Re: [WitchesWorkshop] how to stop em?

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  • WoodHenge
    Sounds like he is merely following in the steps of good old Gerald or have we all forgotten? Wes Thu Hael Leif ... From: Cat To:
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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      Sounds like he is merely following in the steps of good old Gerald

      or have we all forgotten?

      Wes Thu Hael

      Leif


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Cat" <undead_corps@...>
      To: <WitchesWorkshop@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 2:55 PM
      Subject: [WitchesWorkshop] how to stop em?


      > Its all good to talk about dirty old men seting up coverns and
      > inventing traditions and then geting up to goth knows what and and
      > geting up to goth who knows what with students but what can we do set
      > up some sort of pagan rego bord?
      > But how is that going to stop billy blog from seting up a invented
      > covern out woop woop and geting the young and or stupid and doing just
      > what that last perv did?
      > kit cat
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ___________________________________________________
      >
      > The WitchesWorkshop egroup holds the expectation
      > that a tolerant and respectful dialogue be strived
      > for in our communication with other pagans, witches
      > magicians, et al. Members are encouraged to
      > challenge anyone not adhering to these principles
      > and to notify the list-owners. ozpagan@...
      >
      > http://www.witchesworkshop.com
      >
      > ___________________________________________________
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > SPONSORED LINKS Phyllis curott Dark circles Gerald gardner
      > Dark circles under eyes Dark circles under the eyes Dark circle
      > under eyes
      >
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    • Wolf MacDonald
      ... Sounds like someone never knew enough to forget, and doesn t have a clue to me. If you are meaning to imply *any* sort of comparison between Ryan/Fletcher
      Message 2 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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        WoodHenge wrote:
        > Sounds like he is merely following in the steps of good old Gerald
        > or have we all forgotten?

        Sounds like someone never knew enough to forget, and doesn't have a clue
        to me.

        If you are meaning to imply *any* sort of comparison between
        Ryan/Fletcher and Gardner you have just taken crass to a whole new level.

        Seriously, I just don't know where someone could get off making such an
        obviously absurd statement. I know there are those with an axe (or sax)
        to grind and a dislike of Gardner, but c'mon, this is just so
        lame-brained it simply warrants no further response.

        Wolf.
      • WoodHenge
        Greetings Wolf Perhaps you should extend your research a little a little research on Gardner outside of the sanitised versions reveals some interesting
        Message 3 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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          Greetings Wolf

          Perhaps you should extend your research a little a little research on
          Gardner outside of the sanitised versions reveals some interesting
          perspectives

          It was after the war in 1946, that Gardner first met Cecil Williamson. They
          met at the famous Atlantis Bookshop in London, where Gardner was giving an
          informal talk. Gardner had been eager to meet Williamson in order to extend
          his network of occult contacts. While they would meet frequently
          thereafter, their relationship was strained and would later end on bad
          terms. Williamson describes Gardner as a "Vain, self-centered man, tight
          with his money, and more interested in outlets for his nudist and
          voyeuristic activities, than in learning anything about authentic
          witchcraft".

          In the mean time, Gardner had moved from the New Forrest, to Bricketts Wood,
          outside St Albans. There he had bought a cottage on the grounds of a nudist
          club, from where he ran his own lodge. Not having a car or able to drive,
          Gardner would prevail on Williamson to drive him down to Crowley's lodgings
          in Hastings for consultations. Williamson later claimed to have
          participated as an observer in some of Gardner's, new lodge activities. The
          alter he said, was made up of an old "Anderson" air raid table with a metal
          top, and was used to perform the Great Rite (A rite involving sexual
          intercourse.). The lodge he say's, had far more men than women with about
          80 to 20 percent splitting the difference, this because many of the women
          who joined his lodge, didn't favor the sexual rites. At one point Gardner
          had to resort to hiring a London prostitute to play-act the role of High
          Priestess, and engage in the sex act.

          Gardner was a keen naturist and his penchant for ritual nudity was
          incorporated into the new tradition. This caused conflict with other
          hereditary witches who claimed that they had always worked robed. Many also
          believed he was wrong to make so much public, what had always been to them
          considered secret.
          Gardner became difficult to work with, his egotism and publicity seeking
          tried the patience of his coven members, even that of Valiente, by now his
          High Priestess. Splits began to develop in his coven over his relentless
          pursuit of publicity. He also insisted on using what he claimed were
          "ancient" Craft laws that gave dominance to the God over the Goddess. The
          final revolt happened when he declared that the High Priestess should retire
          when he considered her to old. In 1957, Doreen Valiente and others members
          having had enough of the gospel according to Gardner, left and went their
          separate ways. Doreen Valente had to make way for a younger HP because
          Gardiner liked his meat young, the younger the better.

          Most of the source for the above is from the works of Doreen Valente

          Be well

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Wolf MacDonald" <wolf.macdonald@...>
          To: <WitchesWorkshop@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 6:55 PM
          Subject: Re: [WitchesWorkshop] how to stop em?


          > WoodHenge wrote:
          >> Sounds like he is merely following in the steps of good old Gerald
          >> or have we all forgotten?
          >
          > Sounds like someone never knew enough to forget, and doesn't have a clue
          > to me.
          >
          > If you are meaning to imply *any* sort of comparison between
          > Ryan/Fletcher and Gardner you have just taken crass to a whole new level.
          >
          > Seriously, I just don't know where someone could get off making such an
          > obviously absurd statement. I know there are those with an axe (or sax)
          > to grind and a dislike of Gardner, but c'mon, this is just so
          > lame-brained it simply warrants no further response.
          >
          > Wolf.
          >
          >
          > ___________________________________________________
          >
          > The WitchesWorkshop egroup holds the expectation
          > that a tolerant and respectful dialogue be strived
          > for in our communication with other pagans, witches
          > magicians, et al. Members are encouraged to
          > challenge anyone not adhering to these principles
          > and to notify the list-owners. ozpagan@...
          >
          > http://www.witchesworkshop.com
          >
          > ___________________________________________________
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > SPONSORED LINKS Phyllis curott Dark circles Gerald gardner
          > Dark circles under eyes Dark circles under the eyes Dark circle
          > under eyes
          >
          >
          > --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
          >
          > a.. Visit your group "WitchesWorkshop" on the web.
          >
          > b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > WitchesWorkshop-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > c.. Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
          >
          >
          > --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          >
          >
        • wayland
          I m kind of interested in how you equate sexual practices done in a coven based settings with consenting adults to be equivalent to using minors? Even allowing
          Message 4 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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            I'm kind of interested in how you equate sexual practices done in a coven
            based settings with consenting adults to be equivalent to using minors?

            Even allowing for the fact that you state "Gardner liked his meat young"
            there is nothing to suggest that he ever used minors in the rites.

            BB

            Wayland


            -------Original Message-------



            In the mean time, Gardner had moved from the New Forrest, to Bricketts Wood,

            outside St Albans. There he had bought a cottage on the grounds of a nudist

            club, from where he ran his own lodge. Not having a car or able to drive,
            Gardner would prevail on Williamson to drive him down to Crowley's lodgings
            in Hastings for consultations. Williamson later claimed to have
            participated as an observer in some of Gardner's, new lodge activities. The

            alter he said, was made up of an old "Anderson" air raid table with a metal
            top, and was used to perform the Great Rite (A rite involving sexual
            intercourse.). The lodge he say's, had far more men than women with about
            80 to 20 percent splitting the difference, this because many of the women
            who joined his lodge, didn't favor the sexual rites. At one point Gardner
            had to resort to hiring a London prostitute to play-act the role of High
            Priestess, and engage in the sex act.

            Gardner was a keen naturist and his penchant for ritual nudity was
            incorporated into the new tradition. This caused conflict with other
            hereditary witches who claimed that they had always worked robed. Many also

            believed he was wrong to make so much public, what had always been to them
            considered secret.
            Gardner became difficult to work with, his egotism and publicity seeking
            tried the patience of his coven members, even that of Valiente, by now his
            High Priestess. Splits began to develop in his coven over his relentless
            pursuit of publicity. He also insisted on using what he claimed were
            "ancient" Craft laws that gave dominance to the God over the Goddess. The
            final revolt happened when he declared that the High Priestess should retire

            when he considered her to old. In 1957, Doreen Valiente and others members
            having had enough of the gospel according to Gardner, left and went their
            separate ways. Doreen Valente had to make way for a younger HP because
            Gardiner liked his meat young, the younger the better.

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Wolf MacDonald
            Lief, ... Oh, believe me, I m acquainted with the vast majority of material and documentary evidence that is available. ... Hmmm. No, their relationship was
            Message 5 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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              Lief,

              WoodHenge wrote:
              > Perhaps you should extend your research a little a little research on
              > Gardner outside of the sanitised versions reveals some interesting
              > perspectives

              Oh, believe me, I'm acquainted with the vast majority of material and
              documentary evidence that is available.

              > It was after the war in 1946, that Gardner first met Cecil Williamson. They
              > met at the famous Atlantis Bookshop in London, where Gardner was giving an
              > informal talk. Gardner had been eager to meet Williamson in order to extend
              > his network of occult contacts. While they would meet frequently
              > thereafter, their relationship was strained and would later end on bad
              > terms. Williamson describes Gardner as a "Vain, self-centered man, tight
              > with his money, and more interested in outlets for his nudist and
              > voyeuristic activities, than in learning anything about authentic
              > witchcraft".

              Hmmm. No, their relationship was cordial for quite some years, and it
              was from Williamson that Gardner bought a large portion of the items for
              his Witchcraft Museum in Castletown. It wasn't until after this that
              they fell to outs, both as the business dealings soured and Gardner
              began to get a lot of public attention. On the face of it a large
              portion of Williamson's later attitude has a good look of sour grapes
              about it.

              But I never said that he didn't have his detractors Leif, far from it.

              > In the mean time, Gardner had moved from the New Forrest, to Bricketts Wood,
              > outside St Albans. There he had bought a cottage on the grounds of a nudist
              > club, from where he ran his own lodge.

              No. He bought the cottage from an historical-park and had it moved to
              his land on the nudist club, and he ever ran his own 'lodge', though he
              did run a coven there.

              > Gardner would prevail on Williamson to drive him down to Crowley's lodgings
              > in Hastings for consultations. Williamson later claimed to have
              > participated as an observer in some of Gardner's, new lodge activities.

              Gardner met Crowley exactly three times, and none of those in
              Williamson's presence. This has all been documented and covered Lief,
              with Crowley's own diaries as evidence. I think you need to be a little
              less credible in the sources you use... Williamson has made so many
              contradictory statements, and statements which simply contradict all
              other historical evidence that I'd be very careful about accepting his
              word, even if you don't personally like Gardner.

              > alter he said, was made up of an old "Anderson" air raid table with a metal
              > top, and was used to perform the Great Rite (A rite involving sexual
              > intercourse.). The lodge he say's, had far more men than women with about
              > 80 to 20 percent splitting the difference, this because many of the women
              > who joined his lodge, didn't favor the sexual rites. At one point Gardner
              > had to resort to hiring a London prostitute to play-act the role of High
              > Priestess, and engage in the sex act.

              Nope... it was Gardner who instituted the notion of a Great Rite in
              token too Lief. And I've seen the altar he used in that cottage. No
              metal top, not an air raid table at all, and frankly no room for a
              priestess to lie upon it anyway (though the fact that you can quote that
              with confidence is a dead give-away really).

              > Gardner was a keen naturist and his penchant for ritual nudity was
              > incorporated into the new tradition.

              Yes, he was.

              > This caused conflict with other hereditary witches who claimed that they
              > had always worked robed.

              This was one thing that caused conflict with others who claimed to be
              hereditary witches anyway. They might have been, but at least one of
              his key detractors was also Gardnerian before becoming 'hereditary'.

              > Many also believed he was wrong to make so much public, what had always
              > been to them considered secret.

              Which was the whole reason behind Doreen's split with Gardner. No
              argument there Lief.

              > In 1957, Doreen Valiente and others members having had enough of the
              > gospel according to Gardner, left and went their separate ways.
              > Doreen Valente had to make way for a younger HP because
              > Gardiner liked his meat young, the younger the better.

              It is *Gardner* Lief.

              > Most of the source for the above is from the works of Doreen Valente

              I don't recall her ever implying Gardner liked his meat young, odd given
              that the one possible relationship that could be considered in that
              light was with a woman only 10 years or so his junior (making her in her
              60s). Nor did she ever give credence to Williamson. I think you need
              to reread Valiente a bit more carefully. Add Hutton and Heselton.

              And even if all the above had been correct it still hardly makes a
              comparison between Gardner and Fletcher more tenable; frankly the claim
              is contemptible, and it illustrates nothing beyond the maker's own
              biases and agendas.

              Wolf.
            • branson_57
              I d intended my first post to be something nice and chatty -- who I am and why an American is on an Aussie list, but this caught my eye. First, Williamson
              Message 6 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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                I'd intended my first post to be something nice and chatty -- who I
                am and why an American is on an Aussie list, but this caught my eye.

                First, Williamson displayed an antagonism toward Gardner after Gerald
                died. Not too charming, but there it is. So what he has to say must
                always be confirmed by other testimony.

                >Not having a car or able to drive,

                Doubt he was unable, but that is neither here nor there..

                > Gardner would prevail on Williamson to drive him down to Crowley's
                >lodgings in Hastings for consultations.

                LOL! Gardner only saw Crowley four times -- all between May of 1947
                and Crowley's death in December of 1947. Apparently he didn't
                consult very much. The entries in Crowley's diaries do not support
                this scenario. I've seen them.

                > alter he said, was made up of an old "Anderson" air raid table with
                >a metal top,

                The altar in the Witch's Cottage in Bricketwood was a carpenter's
                tool chest. Wood, with wooden top. As a carpenter would make it.
                Have photos.

                > "ancient" Craft laws that gave dominance to the God over the
                >Goddess.

                I have those. This is untrue. They reminded the High Priestess that
                her power came from the God. Other liturgy definitely does not give
                dominance to the God.

                >The final revolt happened when he declared that the High Priestess
                >should retire when he considered her to old.

                Nah. Not so. These Old Laws gave him very little power, really. He
                would have retained more power under the rules that Valiente proposed
                first. These old laws did say that the High Priestess should retire
                in dignity when "a council of elders" requested so. Not Gardner. A
                council. He held, himself, very little power.

                > Doreen Valente had to make way for a younger HP because
                > Gardiner liked his meat young, the younger the better.

                Doreen's age really had nothing to do with the matter there. She had
                not been asked to make way. She and others had left over the
                publicity aspects primarily.

                Liked his meat young... LOL! Everything looks young when you are 70!
                But more directly to the point, I cannot recall one of his
                priestesses who were under 30 (nor many involved in the craft 50
                years ago). Young, I suppose, but not quite the image invoked by the
                phrase, "liked his meat young," is it? That conjures up a quite
                different picture, doesn't it? Hmmm. And there is no record that
                indicates he had sexual relations with any of his priestesses --
                unless one credits the claim that his wife was a high priestess.

                BB Branson
              • WoodHenge
                Greetings Wolf, Actually very little about Gardners real history has ever been objectively covered as you call it. All of what we have is either self
                Message 7 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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                  Greetings Wolf,

                  Actually very little about Gardners "real" history has ever been objectively
                  "covered" as you call it. All of what we have is either "self promotion" or
                  contemporary accounts by people like Williamson, or Doreen Valiente.

                  There are plenty of suggestions that Gardner was not above the art of "porky
                  pie" - His so called PhD's being a case in point. He claimed 2 and both
                  universities denied ever issuing them. Gardners accounts of himself are
                  decidely suspect. Historical accounts and anecdotes by others are NEVER
                  objective, regardless of truth.

                  A case in point is the fact that whilst Gardner claims to have purchased
                  items from Williamson - Williamson claims in HIS writings that these items
                  were loaned only.

                  It has been maintained by a number of sources that Gardner was what many
                  would these days describe as a "Dirty Old Man" with a penchant for Nudism
                  (not a bad thing), Voyeurism (Whatever rocks your boat if it is consensual),
                  Flagellation (I will quite happily whip your arse), and much younger women
                  (I am not as good as I once was but I am better once than I ever was).

                  The point is not that Gardner had a penchant for suc things which are a
                  matter of public record but that the brought those things into his new found
                  "spirituality" and that someone looking on today - or 15 years ago for that
                  matter may consider those aspects worthy of emuulation and use that as
                  justification for their actions in their own little "witch cult" and
                  consider what they are doing to be perfectly legitimate based on their
                  perception of sanction by Gardner's actions and lifestyle.

                  The same situation occurs in the USA in regards to the Mormons and polygamy.
                  There are groups who use the actions of the early followers of Joe Smith to
                  justify Polygamy. Now don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with
                  Polygamy or Polyamory that is CONSENSUAL, the same as I don't have a problem
                  with Gardners activities IF They are consensual amongst adults. Whatever
                  rocks your boat! However once such actions begin to get incorporated and
                  justified as part of a spirituality we get into dangerous waters and open
                  flood gates for people such as Fletcher to justify their actions. It is
                  quite conceivable that Fletcher actually believes in the inate rightness of
                  what he was doing. His undoing was his taste for "young" meat. Years past,
                  laws did not exist to deal with these issues and in ancient times
                  marriagable age and age of consent was determined by puberty. Thus 12 - 13
                  was often considered to be an appropriate marriagable/sexual age when life
                  expectency was less than 30.

                  I guess it is all a matter of who you believe when it comes to Gerald
                  Gardner, his accounts of himself, or accounts of his contempories and
                  confidantes like Williamson and Valiente, who I fully agree at times had an
                  axe to grind. One area they are all in agreement however is in his
                  proclivities. It is not a great stretch of the imagination to suggest that
                  Fletcher may perceive himself as emulating Gardner. Facts cease to matter
                  when perceptions come into play.

                  Be well

                  Leif
                • Wolf MacDonald
                  Lief, ... Triumph of the Moon , Professor Ronal Hutton. Wiccan Roots , Philip Heselton Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration , Philip Heselton The
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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                    Lief,

                    On 02/06/06, WoodHenge <godhi@...> wrote:
                    > Actually very little about Gardners "real" history has ever been objectively
                    > "covered" as you call it. All of what we have is either "self promotion" or
                    > contemporary accounts by people like Williamson, or Doreen Valiente.

                    "Triumph of the Moon", Professor Ronal Hutton.
                    "Wiccan Roots", Philip Heselton
                    "Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration", Philip Heselton
                    "The Rebirth of Witchcraft", Doreen Valiente (this last I add coz I
                    suspect you haven't read it anywhere near closely enough).

                    > There are plenty of suggestions that Gardner was not above the art of "porky
                    > pie" - His so called PhD's being a case in point.

                    Certainly this has been stated. Nor have I denied this, but it seems
                    to me that you are far more interested in debating semantics and
                    tangents than dealing with the central, and frankly undeniable point;
                    that such a comparison as you made is abundantly unreasonable,
                    inappropriate and to some at least offensive.

                    > A case in point is the fact that whilst Gardner claims to have purchased
                    > items from Williamson - Williamson claims in HIS writings that these items
                    > were loaned only.

                    True, though documents supporting a bill of sale and receipts rarely lie.

                    > It has been maintained by a number of sources that Gardner was what many
                    > would these days describe as a "Dirty Old Man" with a penchant for Nudism
                    > (not a bad thing), Voyeurism (Whatever rocks your boat if it is consensual),
                    > Flagellation (I will quite happily whip your arse), and much younger women
                    > (I am not as good as I once was but I am better once than I ever was).

                    All these allegations have been made, yes, though the degree of
                    substantiation for many of them seems decidedly slim. Still, it is
                    also abundantly apparent that this is of little concern to some folks.

                    My point, and I have yet to see anything to refute it, is that even
                    these allegations do not warrant comparison with behaviour such as
                    drug trafficing, soliciting for child prostitution, sexual penetration
                    of minors, attemots to pervert the course of justice, kidnapping,
                    torture, and frankly the list goes on.

                    I've frankly nothing further to add.

                    Wolf.
                  • branson_57
                    Hailsa Lief ... Actually, you are mistaken here. There is quite a bit of current research being done, and quite a few others have been contacted. ... None
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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                      Hailsa Lief

                      > Actually very little about Gardners "real" history has ever been
                      > objectively "covered" as you call it. All of what we have is
                      > either "self promotion" or contemporary accounts by people like
                      > Williamson, or Doreen Valiente.

                      Actually, you are mistaken here. There is quite a bit of current
                      research being done, and quite a few others have been contacted.

                      > There are plenty of suggestions that Gardner was not above the art
                      >of "porky pie"

                      None with merit.

                      > His so called PhD's being a case in point. He claimed 2 and both
                      > universities denied ever issuing them.

                      Wish I could cite accurately, but in fact, his one PhD has been
                      verified -- around '98 or 99.

                      > Gardners accounts of himself are decidely suspect.

                      An opinion. One I do not share.

                      > Williamson claims in HIS writings that these items
                      > were loaned only.

                      Might check on this.

                      > It has been maintained by a number of sources that Gardner was what

                      A lot of character assassination, but I don't see much substance.
                      Greenfield comes to mind immediately.

                      No idea where the voyeurism comes from, but there is no substance
                      whatsoever to allegations about "much younger women."

                      > The point is not that Gardner had a penchant for suc things which
                      > are a matter of public record

                      Nudism, yes. Use of the scourge, yes, though I hesitate to call it
                      flagellation -- nothing here to compare his use to that of
                      phlebotomy. Much younger women? Somebody's lurid imagination.


                      > but that the brought those things into his new found
                      > "spirituality" and that someone looking on today - or 15 years ago
                      > for that matter may consider those aspects worthy of emuulation and
                      > use that as justification for their actions in their own
                      > little "witch cult" and consider what they are doing to be
                      > perfectly legitimate based on their perception of sanction by
                      > Gardner's actions and lifestyle.

                      Off the mark, Lief, and losing quite a bit of civility in the
                      process. I don't believe this is a forum for disparaging othes or
                      their spiritual path.

                      > Whatever rocks your boat!

                      Not fond of your tone here. I don't believe I would use such a tone
                      in discussing your spiritual path...

                      > However once such actions begin to get incorporated and
                      > justified as part of a spirituality we get into dangerous waters
                      > and open flood gates for people such as Fletcher to justify their
                      > actions.

                      Lief, every religion is capable of arousing the mentally ill. For
                      all it's problems with sexuality, Christianity has produced hundreds
                      of "paths" that involve sexual preditors. Ever read Elmer Gantry? I
                      remember vividly the actions of David Koresh, and Jim Jones with
                      their penchant for martyrdom.

                      > It is quite conceivable that Fletcher actually believes in the
                      > inate rightness of what he was doing.

                      Madmen generally do believe what they are doing is correct in some
                      odd way. That they do is immaterial.

                      > in ancient times marriagable age and age of consent was determined
                      > by puberty. Thus 12 - 13 was often considered to be an appropriate
                      > marriagable/sexual age when life expectency was less than 30.

                      Um, still is. The state of Tennessee holds 13 as the age of
                      consent. So do the traditional values of the Hills peoples of Asia.
                      But that is for taking a wife -- not quite the same thing, is it?

                      > I guess it is all a matter of who you believe when it comes to
                      > Gerald Gardner, his accounts of himself, or accounts of his
                      > contempories

                      Valiente, his contemporary, never made the sort of accusations here.
                      not in print, nor in personal interviews with people I know
                      personally. She objected to his publicity activities. Her record is
                      pretty plain. She publically defended Gardner as recently as 1985.

                      > One area they are all in agreement however is in his
                      > proclivities.

                      They are all... You have named two, and the second of these two is
                      not in agreement.

                      > Facts cease to matter when perceptions come into play.

                      Facts always matter. It is dangerous in the extreme to consider
                      otherwise. Perceptions gave us the Inquisition. I prefer facts.

                      Branson
                    • WoodHenge
                      Greetings Branson ... Facts rarely matter! This is what is relied upon heavily by Bush and Howard and any Politician. What matters are perceptions. History is
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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                        Greetings Branson

                        > Facts always matter. It is dangerous in the extreme to consider
                        > otherwise. Perceptions gave us the Inquisition. I prefer facts.

                        Facts rarely matter! This is what is relied upon heavily by Bush and Howard
                        and any Politician. What matters are perceptions. History is rarely a matter
                        of facts but rather a matter of perceptions.

                        This is exactly my point. It can get to the area where facts do not matter
                        at all. IF someone perceives themselves as emulating someone it does not
                        matter in terms of fact whether that emulation is real and factual but
                        rather they are emulating their perception of that person.

                        It is patently obvious you and several others are a Gardnerphiles and good
                        on you. This colours your perceptions, just as much as my perceptions and
                        interpretations of Gardner colours mine. I am not suggesting his personal
                        proclivities devalue his work, but rather that a sick mind can mix them up.

                        There are no adequate objective records of Gardner's life and there are
                        certainly no indications that Garner had the PhD's he claimed. Singapore
                        University did not even exist in the year he claimed to have a PhD from it.

                        Several months ago there was an intense discussion on this list about how
                        fraudulent claims to academic distinction, cast substantial doubts on ones
                        credibility and other claims and claimed achievements.

                        Be well

                        Leif
                      • Macavity
                        All this discourse aside (very interesting though I must say) I think the fact that Gardner made up his own tradition and Fletcher by some accounts did too,
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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                          All this discourse aside (very interesting though I must say) I think
                          the fact that Gardner made up his own tradition and Fletcher by some
                          accounts did too, then that is the similarity I looked at.

                          Regardless on that note though, Flether is the current issue. I see no
                          need on anyone's part to draw parrallels

                          Wolf MacDonald wrote:
                          > Lief,
                          >
                          > WoodHenge wrote:
                          > > Perhaps you should extend your research a little a little research on
                          > > Gardner outside of the sanitised versions reveals some interesting
                          > > perspectives
                          >
                          > Oh, believe me, I'm acquainted with the vast majority of material and
                          > documentary evidence that is available.
                          >
                          > > It was after the war in 1946, that Gardner first met Cecil
                          > Williamson. They
                          > > met at the famous Atlantis Bookshop in London, where Gardner was
                          > giving an
                          > > informal talk. Gardner had been eager to meet Williamson in order
                          > to extend
                          > > his network of occult contacts. While they would meet frequently
                          > > thereafter, their relationship was strained and would later end on bad
                          > > terms. Williamson describes Gardner as a "Vain, self-centered man,
                          > tight
                          > > with his money, and more interested in outlets for his nudist and
                          > > voyeuristic activities, than in learning anything about authentic
                          > > witchcraft".
                          >
                          > Hmmm. No, their relationship was cordial for quite some years, and it
                          > was from Williamson that Gardner bought a large portion of the items for
                          > his Witchcraft Museum in Castletown. It wasn't until after this that
                          > they fell to outs, both as the business dealings soured and Gardner
                          > began to get a lot of public attention. On the face of it a large
                          > portion of Williamson's later attitude has a good look of sour grapes
                          > about it.
                          >
                          > But I never said that he didn't have his detractors Leif, far from it.
                          >
                          > > In the mean time, Gardner had moved from the New Forrest, to
                          > Bricketts Wood,
                          > > outside St Albans. There he had bought a cottage on the grounds of
                          > a nudist
                          > > club, from where he ran his own lodge.
                          >
                          > No. He bought the cottage from an historical-park and had it moved to
                          > his land on the nudist club, and he ever ran his own 'lodge', though he
                          > did run a coven there.
                          >
                          > > Gardner would prevail on Williamson to drive him down to Crowley's
                          > lodgings
                          > > in Hastings for consultations. Williamson later claimed to have
                          > > participated as an observer in some of Gardner's, new lodge
                          > activities.
                          >
                          > Gardner met Crowley exactly three times, and none of those in
                          > Williamson's presence. This has all been documented and covered Lief,
                          > with Crowley's own diaries as evidence. I think you need to be a little
                          > less credible in the sources you use... Williamson has made so many
                          > contradictory statements, and statements which simply contradict all
                          > other historical evidence that I'd be very careful about accepting his
                          > word, even if you don't personally like Gardner.
                          >
                          > > alter he said, was made up of an old "Anderson" air raid table with
                          > a metal
                          > > top, and was used to perform the Great Rite (A rite involving sexual
                          > > intercourse.). The lodge he say's, had far more men than women with
                          > about
                          > > 80 to 20 percent splitting the difference, this because many of the
                          > women
                          > > who joined his lodge, didn't favor the sexual rites. At one point
                          > Gardner
                          > > had to resort to hiring a London prostitute to play-act the role of
                          > High
                          > > Priestess, and engage in the sex act.
                          >
                          > Nope... it was Gardner who instituted the notion of a Great Rite in
                          > token too Lief. And I've seen the altar he used in that cottage. No
                          > metal top, not an air raid table at all, and frankly no room for a
                          > priestess to lie upon it anyway (though the fact that you can quote that
                          > with confidence is a dead give-away really).
                          >
                          > > Gardner was a keen naturist and his penchant for ritual nudity was
                          > > incorporated into the new tradition.
                          >
                          > Yes, he was.
                          >
                          > > This caused conflict with other hereditary witches who claimed that
                          > they
                          > > had always worked robed.
                          >
                          > This was one thing that caused conflict with others who claimed to be
                          > hereditary witches anyway. They might have been, but at least one of
                          > his key detractors was also Gardnerian before becoming 'hereditary'.
                          >
                          > > Many also believed he was wrong to make so much public, what had always
                          > > been to them considered secret.
                          >
                          > Which was the whole reason behind Doreen's split with Gardner. No
                          > argument there Lief.
                          >
                          > > In 1957, Doreen Valiente and others members having had enough of the
                          > > gospel according to Gardner, left and went their separate ways.
                          > > Doreen Valente had to make way for a younger HP because
                          > > Gardiner liked his meat young, the younger the better.
                          >
                          > It is *Gardner* Lief.
                          >
                          > > Most of the source for the above is from the works of Doreen Valente
                          >
                          > I don't recall her ever implying Gardner liked his meat young, odd given
                          > that the one possible relationship that could be considered in that
                          > light was with a woman only 10 years or so his junior (making her in her
                          > 60s). Nor did she ever give credence to Williamson. I think you need
                          > to reread Valiente a bit more carefully. Add Hutton and Heselton.
                          >
                          > And even if all the above had been correct it still hardly makes a
                          > comparison between Gardner and Fletcher more tenable; frankly the claim
                          > is contemptible, and it illustrates nothing beyond the maker's own
                          > biases and agendas.
                          >
                          > Wolf.


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                        • Branson
                          Hello Lief, ... Clever, but not particulary true. It depends on point of view, doesn t it? Sure, perceptions drive people, but in court, for example, I am
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jun 1, 2006
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                            Hello Lief,

                            >Facts rarely matter!

                            Clever, but not particulary true. It depends on point of view, doesn't it? Sure, perceptions drive people, but in court, for example, I am more interested in the facts than the perceptions. Is the individual guilty, did he commit the crime or did he not? In the interests of justice, facts are important. So with the sciences as well. Mere perceptions do not produce predictable results.

                            >History is rarely a matter of facts but rather a matter of perceptions.

                            History is most often a record of facts driven by perceptions. Japan's thrust into all of Asia in the 30's was driven by the perceptions of the ruling class. Their perception of Japan as superior to all others, as being denied its rightful place was skewed, wasn't it? Facts would have been much better. History records the mistakes.

                            >It can get to the area where facts do not matter at all.

                            Sure. Facts do not bother a lynch mob one bit. Facts don't interest serial killers or missionaries.

                            And that fact bothers me. The errors of perception that have caused so much grief in the world throughout history is why I vastly prefer facts, and maintain that facts matter.

                            >It is patently obvious you and several others are a Gardnerphiles and good
                            >on you.

                            Nah, that is a perception. I'm not a Gardnerfile. Rather like the Old Man, admittedly, but he is just another man among many. I am, however, an initiated Wicca.

                            >This colours your perceptions, just as much as my perceptions and
                            >interpretations of Gardner colours mine. I am not suggesting his personal
                            >proclivities devalue his work, but rather that a sick mind can mix them up.

                            You haven't substantiated his "proclivities" and I know that some you have listed are simply unexamined malicious gossip. Your frequent referral to "young meat" is especially specious and offensive and rude on several counts.

                            A sick mind can forward anything. It needs no canon for inspiration. The mind "can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven." Perhaps you are more accurately speaking of regard though. I think most of us look at Greek sculpture as beautiful and artistic representations and interpretations of the nude human form. The prude or puritan regards them as pornography.

                            Northern Traditions are still dealing, even among Pagans, with perceived Naziism and racism. Thanks to the Third Reich and the distortion of Rune Lore published by Guido van List. Facts become more important there, don't they? I do say for the record, that such perceptions are unwarranted.

                            >There are no adequate objective records of Gardner's life

                            That is a perception parading as fact. Records of Gardner's life are as adequate and objective as those of many a public person.

                            I'm wondering why it is so important to you to continue to maintain your apparent animus against the old fellow.

                            >there are certainly no indications that Garner had the PhD's he claimed. Singapore
                            >University did not even exist in the year he claimed to have a PhD from it.

                            At this point, there is only my faulty memory of where his PhD was issued. It does exist. Not an indication, but a fact. No, it is not from Signabore University, which, no, did not exist at the time in question.

                            I find myself suspicious when people appear more enamored of dismissing others than of presenting their own ideas. Reminds me too much of those Christians who are not content in practicing their religion except through demeaning and demonizing the faith and practice of others.

                            Branson










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                          • Branson
                            An interesting first day on a list... But on to who am I? And why am I here? I m a Yank who is about to move to Australia. I have found (yeah, sounds trite)
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jun 2, 2006
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                              An interesting first day on a list... But on to who
                              am I? And why am I here?

                              I'm a Yank who is about to move to Australia. I have
                              found (yeah, sounds trite) the love of my life, and am
                              joining her here in Oz. It was she who suggested I
                              join this list so that I could get a view of pagans
                              downunder, and get my feet on the ground here.

                              Now to who. How to sum oneself up?

                              It should be apparent that I am an initiate of Wicca
                              by now. Tis so. LOL! In two of the smallest
                              traditions around.

                              My academic background is in anthropology and English
                              literature, and I hold degrees in both. Vocabulary
                              issues; prolly best to point to ethnology for what
                              passes for anthropology in the US. Prefer my people
                              living, though the fossil record is interesting.

                              Books last read... It's been a long time since I was
                              interested in recent titles that contain the words
                              pagan or wicca. You'll find me pouring over books
                              like Segy's works on African sculpture, or Gloria
                              Flaherty's work, Shamanism and the 18th Century.
                              Anything reputable on masks and masking attracts my
                              attention. I have a small library on this interest,
                              enlarged by my interest in "Primitive" art generally.
                              George Sturt's 1922 publication, The Wheelwright's
                              Shop is a real treasure. More of substance there on
                              traditions in British consideration than is to be
                              found in any 100 books on traditions of witchcraft.

                              Other books of interest are the novels of Charles de
                              Lint and Terri Windling. Insatiable here.

                              Have a number of classes in Old and Middle English
                              under my belt, both under grad and post grad. I find
                              language of great interest, and also the history of
                              meaning they contain.

                              That's a start, and I hope that the rest will work
                              itself out as I read the posts on this list.

                              I'm certainly interested in sorting things out and
                              meeting people in my new home!

                              Blessings all around,
                              Branson





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                            • christinec349
                              Hello Branson Well - how terrific to see you here and welcome to Australia. I lurk and post occasionally on Amber and Jet. Look forward to seeing your usually
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jun 4, 2006
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                                Hello Branson

                                Well - how terrific to see you here and welcome to Australia. I lurk
                                and post occasionally on Amber and Jet.

                                Look forward to seeing your usually excellent comments on this board
                                and hopefully to meeting you one day.

                                Best regards
                                Christine
                              • Branson
                                Hello Christine, Thank you for the warm welcome. As you may imagine, I m looking very much forward to being there! I ll be around soon, perhaps a couple of
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jun 5, 2006
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                                  Hello Christine,

                                  Thank you for the warm welcome. As you may imagine,
                                  I'm looking very much forward to being there!

                                  I'll be around soon, perhaps a couple of weeks. Back
                                  to the US to sort some things out here and then back
                                  for the rest of my life. There will be time to meet.

                                  Still familiarizing myself with the geography of Oz. I
                                  can now distinguish between Victoria and Queensland!

                                  BB Branson



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