• X-Files Letters to Fox television attempting to end their tradition of witch-defamation and offering to become a source for information on all pagan religions.
  • Pagan Activist Zine A new networking tool to bring us into the offline world!
  • Website Review Fire members working to eliminate the inaccurate, libelious hate sites online!
  • Bring Pagan Items to QVC
  • Pagan Pride
  • Does "Happy Holidays" Really Mean Merry Christmas?
  • The Web Magazine Proves Pagan-Savvy
  • Disney Anti-Boycott
  • Hate Crimes Survey We've begun to keep track of the hundres of hate crimes which occur each year against Pagans.
  • Wiccan Holidays A series of files providing information on the symbolism and activities of each Wiccan holiday, for use by schools, corporations, advertisers, and anyone else who wants to be Wiccan-inclusive.
  • Los Angeles Times Mail campaign around stories portraying wicca and paganism badly.
  • Cult allegations Widespread campaign calling for a response to repeated media allegations that Heaven's Gate and other cults were pagan, and that paganism is somehow dangerous. Got an apology from Gina Smith on Good Morning America!
  • Cyberpatrol was banning pagan sites, but constant email campaigning stopped them ,and now they've even considered adding a Pagan to their board!
  • Philly Inquirer publishes Beltain notice
  • Dr. Laura bashes Buddhists and Pagans. She also openly bashes gays now; this is not a pretty picture from someone who counsels America.
  • "Poltergeist: The Legacy" bashes witches, feminists, etc.

    As a first project, here we are enthusiastically creating aprimer to explain Wiccan holidays and provide ideas for school activities,office decoration, recipes, and more.









    (Steven Gibson haswonderful explanations of how the Celtic wheel of the year works, as wellas a calendar with lots of other European pagan hols.)

    Other resources for acknowledgement of these religions:


    Bring Pagan Items to QVC

           This morning like always I was stalling before heading to work and like always flipping through the tv. I happened to end up on QVC one of those home shopping channels and normally a very good one. This hour they were selling Jewelry of Faith so it caught my eye and I left it on. After one gold yinyang and tons of Christian and Jewish symbols I made my mind up to call and suggest that maybe they could look into something Pagan. An Ankh, Celtic knotwork something non-threating but still Pagan. 
            I spoke to a Linda who was willing to take my comments, that is willing until I said the word  “pentagram". I was informed that "QVC would never sell anything demonic or having to do with  witchcraft." So I said that our religion had nothing to do with demons. Things went down hill from there. I was told that Jesus was sent to this world to save my soul and that if I didn't believe in him I was going to Hell and that she would not forward my request because it was invalid.
             I asked for another number to call. I was told that for me there was no other number. I asked for her manager, and again was told no. I asked for her name again and she refused, "because I already gave it to you." I thought hard and remembered her saying Linda. I asked her for an id number thinking I would hang-up and call again hoping to get someone else and then be able to report her. Again she  refused. So I said "You mean to tell me that you won't let me speak to a supervisor, you won't give me your name again and you won't tell me another number I can call." I was told "That's right."
            I don't know if the call was being monitored or if it suddenly occurred to her that there must be a limited number of Linda's working and how bad it would look if I called back and told them she had refused to let me speak to her supervisor but she put me on hold and next thing I know she has  transferred me to her supervisor.
            Finally I'm getting somewhere. This woman actually listened and was upset that Linda would mock my religion. She even placed me on hold while she sent Linda away so we could talk freely. She entered my suggestion of showing something Pagan as a religion, (They often air Scarab bracelets but almost never mention the connection to Ra). I pointed out what could have happened if I was Jewish and she told me I was going to burn in Hell. I attempted to make her see that it was the same thing. She said that Linda
    was out of line and that she would "have a talk with her about it." I made sure to stress that strong faith is a great and wonderful thing, but that she had no right to stomp on mine simply because she didn't agree with it or was to ignorant to know better.
            The bottom line is this, my suggestion stands alone. I doubt too many Pagans call QVC to suggest that they take us seriously, I wonder if we can change that. The number is 1-800-345-1515 you don't need a customer number to make a suggestion and according to this supervisor if they get enough calls they look into fulfilling that need. I do suggest that before you make your comment to write down the name of the person who answers your call!
            I will keep this short and simple. We are doing wonderfully with QVC and I am so proud of how we have been able to pull together and get noticed. Pagans I didn't know on AOL knew about how QVC treated me and I was floored when they mentioned it!
            So far all we have gotten in back from QVC is a nice tidy form letter sent to anyone that e-mailed them that they are looking into it. It may not seem like much but a big company like they are wouldn't bother with even that if we were not getting noticed! We are half way there. My orginal reason for calling them was to make the suggestion that they should look into carrying Pagan things. The answer to that stays the same as it does for every suggestion, they will look into it if and only IF they receive enough folks asking for it.
            Someone made the sugestion that instead of calling the main 800 number to call the top, well I have an 800 number for the President of QVC's office! Wouldn't it be a nice Yule gift for him if he recieved phone calls asking him to look into this matter with Linda and also and mainly to look into our faith?? For those of you that can't use your real names suggest that he write me here as a contact point or use your craft names.
            If we get noticed and if they wish to look into telling America that scarabs are connected to Ra and that He is alive today and still being worshipped we should respond to that as well. Weather you order something from them or simply call or write to thank them we should be as vocal with our approval as with our anger.
            Here is the number: 1-800-296-2931
            Feel free to spread this letter around to any Pagan you know who might be willing to help. Please try to use your own name and address, it is vital thatthey know that the same person isn't calling in ten times but that ten different people all feel the same. If you simply can not use your real name after much thought and consideration you can use my name and inforamtion, but please try to use your own!  My e-mail is and my full real name is Rev. Sarah Payne. If you need a mailing address to give them use PAL's [the Pagan Awareness League] at P.O. Box 413 Codorus, PA 17311. 
            Never forget we are doing this together and what a wonderful thing it is to see us all unitied!
            Walk in Laughter,
            Sarah Payne

    Back to top

    >>>From Sat Jan 17 00:30:48 1998
    >I put in a request with qvc, to think about obtaining some Pagan items on
    >their broadcast shows. When I got through the line, once I stated this idea I
    >was hung up on 4 times before a lady anwsered the line and told me this show
    >was christian based and that I should find another show to HARASS! I was
    >RAGED! I was being treated like I didn't mean anything. I only have 2 comments
    >to say:
    >1) These are some christians we are working with!!!!!!!!!!
    >2) I went to the Better Business Beaure? BBB, and was told that I was not the
    >first person to complain about qvc!!!!! And I am from a small city!!!! They
    >have had several people comming in with simmaliar stories!!! I have meet
    >several Pagans from this! So not all bad things are as bad as they seem!
    >WOW ! A christian show brought 3 Pagans together from a small city!! Not bad,
    >not bad at all!
    >All Blessings,

    Back to top

    Does "Happy Holidays" Really Mean Merry Christmas?

    Well, DUH. And here at Geocities, it's no different.

    Their annual Spirit of the Holidays section is chock-full of fun stuff to see: pen pal clubs, caroling pages, holiday recipes, stories, gift ideas - and we've hardly craacked the surface. Unfortunately, almost every one of those pages is devoted to Christmas! Where's the diversity?

    Fortunately, Geocities is staffed with some wonderful people - and we're not just saying that because they're hosting our site. Check out the results of a few preliminary emails:

    Dear Folks,
            Check out the response I got from Geocities!  I suspect further
    recommendations for holiday music pages would be received with equal
    enthusiasm.  Please recommend our best so that we look good in public!
            Elizabeth Barrette
    Elizabeth wrote:
    > >       For music, I second Danica's recommendation of these Websites:
    > >
    > > > I have a pagan Solstice chant/carol page on Geocities, at
    > > >;
    > > > there's also a wonderful selection at
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > we'd be honored if you'd add them to the list of holiday music pages!
    Mark Loundy wrote:
    > Elizabeth,
    > I happen to be Jewish and I'm more than open to non-Christian holiday
    > music sites. They will be judged strictly on their content and not on
    > their religious orientation.
    > Thanks for submitting them to me!
    > Mark Loundy
    > Senior Editor, Community Manager                     Read the A-List
    > --------------------------------------------------------------------

    So hop on down to The North Pole and make some good, Pagan additions to our holiday cheer - remember, it's our holiday season too!

    Back to top

    The Web Magazine Proves Pagan-Savvy

    In the December 1997 issue of The Web, they have a very nice feature on various holiday celebrations. It does a great job of emphasizing the pagan origins of Christmas:

    "Let's see if we've got this straight: You start with a venerable Scandinavian fertility symbol ( provides a round-the-clock view of the giant tree in New York's Rockefeller Center). It's bedecked with flashing lights which, depending on whom you consult, are cousins of either the Jewish menorah or the ancient Yule log. You've got a semi-parasitic green plant held sacred by the Druids hanging in people's doorways, giving them license to kiss total strangers. You call it Christmas; we call it paganism's last stand."

    "Druids" links to the Solitary Druid's FAQ at; "Yule log" links to a nice page about the Solstice origins of Xmas at

    Then they get a bit weird and start writing that

    "Pretty much everyone who celebrates the Winter Solstice does so by consuming large quantities of roast meatwhether it's beef, ham, turkey, or goose. But nobody can seem to agree about dessert: For the English, the holidays mean puddings, puddings, puddings; for the French, it's a log-shaped sponge cake. And though the Scandinavians have raised holiday baking to an art, they also have to answer for the annual proliferation of fruitcakes at family gatherings."


    "It's the longest night of the year, and we're all getting those first twinges of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Which is why, every December for eons now, human beings have been doing whatever they can to bring the Sun back from its winter hiatus. The Babylonians had Sacaea, during which masters and slaves exchanged roles, a mock king was crowned, and everyone got smashed. The Romans had Saturnalia, during which they feasted, exchanged gifts, and got smashed. The Victorians of 19th-century England defined the conventional Christmas we know today, which explains why we don't get smashed until New Year's. It also explains why Professor Maulana Karenga, fed up with the Eurocentrismof it all, developed the holiday Kwanzaa."

    (Another link to, with Sacaea while winter hiatus links to another site about the pagan origins of xmas, at They outdid themselves on "Saturnalia," though, by linking to the Circle Sanctuary's page at Write them (at and thank them for a pagan-aware article -- and suggest that since paganism is actually nowhere near a last stand, they could find lots of material for a paragraph on modern Solstice celebrations in there!

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    Disney UPDATE 9/6/97

    Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 00:49:02 -0400
    From: Alana Hommel
    Subject: Disney's support of Paganism

    Dear Friends,

    I am writting this long post about two subjects very close to my heart: Paganism and The Walt Disney Company. As most of you know, the Religious Right has singled out the Disney Company for a highly visible although ineffective boycott. Because they have been unable to affect the "bottom line" of Disney, the Religous Right is now engaging in a smear campaign focusing on the introduction of "false Gods" to America's children. I have been following the boycott movement, and am growing more disturbed with each press release. While this campaign is still in its early stages, it is spreading at an alarming rate.

    All of the quotes used in this post are from URL: (A weekly webzine dedicated to all things Disney.)

    The boycott started with the Southern Baptist Convention' Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission feeling that Disney was promoting the "homosexual agenda". Last year, the Convention gave a list of demands to the Disney Co. that had to be met within one year or they would boycott. When Disney refused, a year later the Covention urged its fifteen million members to boycott the company until it capitulated to its demands. Among them was to stop health benefits to gay domestic partners, the cancellation of the show _Ellen_ and to deny admission to the Disney Parks those who appeared to support the homosexual lifestyle. As bad as that was, they have gone farther. Dr Dobson, a Christian family therapist, writer and host of the show "Focus on the Family" has joined in the boycott. While this adds very few new people to the boycott it has given the boycott organizers a media source to drive home its message.

    "Similarly, Dobson and Richard Land, a sociologist who is president of the Catholic League, the Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, contend that Disney has set out to advance the cause of homosexuality, free love, abortion and paganism. They vociferously reject the idea that Disney is out just to make money."

    The Paganism angle has not been used in the boycott before this. Dr. Dobson has singled out _Pocahontas_ and _The Little Mermaid_ as examples of Disney's effort to turn children away from Christ. To Dr. Dobson, the idea that Disney's real agenda is to make money is rejected. The sole reason Disney exists is to make gays and Pagans out of all children. I suppose that Disney makes all that money without trying.

    "But while Disney's Christian critics attribute the company's expansion into less wholesome fare to a cultural agenda, an entirely different group of opponents sees the company as being driven expressly by the economic imperatives that motivate Coca-Cola, McDonald's and other global retailers. after Disney now," Donohue says. "They have become the convenient dumping ground for everyone who feels alienated by our culture's direction -- and I welcome that. My goal is to blacken up their Snow White image.'"

    The RR is flooding various Disney-related newsgroups with stories of blind children being tormented by other children because of the influence of the cartoon _Mr. Magoo_. The campaign is well orchestrated. While women's groups have aired many valid concerns the RR is now using these complaints as evidence that the Disney Company is so aggressive in pursuing its cultural agenda that even traditional left wing groups believe they must be stopped.

    The Official Disney Boycott web site lists this as one of the best reasons to join the boycott:

    >Eisner and The Walt Disney Company are both donors to People For the
    >American Way (PAW), a group whose >stated goal is to "monitor and counter
    >the divisive agenda of the Religious Right." PAW Annual Report

    "Dobson said the ministry wants to 'call attention to the immoral material they (Disney) are now producing," pointing to some of its films, television shows, children's products and annual 'Gay Days' at Disney theme parks.

    The Disney statement says, 'In the atmosphere of free expression, we will always try to promote moral ideologies in our programming. And we will remain committed to certain values...that include tolerance and compassion and respect for everybody.'"

    These values are clearly not shared by many Fundamentalist Christians.

    Amid the fiery rhetoric aimed against Disney as the boycott against the company expands, there is a hard boundary that no one dares cross. Disney, Christian conservatives say, may have lost its moral compass, but the boycott leaders insist that the company's founder would not have permitted what critics call the 'anti-white male agenda of `Pocahontas,'' the "'Christian-bashing' of movies such as 'Priest' and the purportedly polytheist 'The Little Mermaid,' and the 'pro-homosexual agenda' of ABC-TV's 'Ellen.' Disney critics, gleefully using research by gay activists, say that ABC shows feature 13 of the 28 homosexual characters on network TV."

    Contrary to what the enemies of tolerance would have us believe, this is unlikely to be true. Walt was not a practicing Christian, and never told his children what religion to chose. In 1940, a Disney employee was convicted on a homosexual charge. Walt himself refused to fire him, a very uncommon thing in the 1940's.

    Why am I writing this? Because this is a fight we can not afford to lose. No, Disney isn't going broke. However, if the stockholders are subject to abuse, in the way a doctor working at a clinic may be, then the pressure on Michael Eisner to make their lives easier will be tremendous. Please show your support for Disney. I know many of you have difficulties with parts of what the Disney Co. does. Fair enough. But if they go down for introducing Paganism in to mainstream culture or portraying gays as just plain people, what happens? No TV network will try it again. If one of the largest entertainment companies can be forced to change their benefits package, will smaller companies even consider the idea?

    Our support does matter. The idea that "oh, my five dollars can't matter" to a huge conglomerate is not true. I strongly urge you to fight the vicious campaign of intolerance. The Religous Right can no longer hold the ballot box, and with this boycott they have shown their economic power is limited. Although I understand how they made this mistake. They assumed that they had a hold on "family entertainment" market. Rather than go after AT&T, they felt more of there members were Disney customers so they would have a better chance of success. It is not clear yet if SB are just not participating or they don't have enough buying power to make a difference. Despite their limited power they organize well and easily hide their minority status. I believe we must stand up and be counted.

    The fight will become more vocal this winter. _ Pocahontas_ will be airing of ABC this winter and _The Little Mermaid_ will be in theaters this December. Expect to be hearing from Dr. Dobson and company over this effort to recruit America's children to the "anti-white male" agenda and introduction into polytheist beliefs. I hope you will join me in support of The Walt Disney Company.

    Thank-you for taking the time to read this. I am not an employee or stockholder of Disney, and the above views are not those of The Disney Corporation.

    Alana Hommel

    Mark Thursday, July 31st on your calendar for a day and night of counter-boycotting and Disney fun! Members of Fire, a pagan religious rights group, are asking everyone to rent, wear, and buy merchandise and movies from Disney and its affiliates, listed at You can also call USA Weekend at 1-800-446-8406 to participate in their poll and vote NO on boycotting Disney. Although we oppose Disney's sweatshop practices, we feel that it's important to reward their support of human rights in the United States. The Disney corporation has consistently supported human rights by extending domestic partnership benefits to spouses of its gay employees, keeping its park open to all even when the unofficial "Gay Days" were publicized, and producing honest portrayals of gays and lesbians. We need to show them that there are a huge number of gay rights supporters and a wide range of religions who want to applaud them. The American Family Association and the homophobic wing of the Southern Baptists are not the only ones with political clout; our dollars all speak equally loudly! July 31st marks the anniversary of the day on which Mickey Mouse spoke his first words ("Oh boy!") in the Karnival Kid. Pass this letter on to everyone you know and remember on the 31st that it's our turn to speak out to the world.

    July 23, 1997


    Southern Baptists are engaged in their boycott of Disney because they feel that homosexuality is immoral and sinful. But other religious groups disagree. One is even going so far as to declare a "Disney Day," asking everyone who supports Disney's actions to show it on July 31st by wearing Disney merchandise, writing letters of encouragement to the company, and renting movies produced by Disney and Disney affiliates such as Miramax and Touchstone.

    The main call for a "Disney Day" comes from Fire, an online organization protecting the rights of non-mainstream religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism. Fire argues that the main anti-homosexual arguments today stem from Christian rhetoric, and that "religions which embrace a full range of diversity and sexuality need to speak out." A spokesperson for the group explained, "Although we oppose Disney's sweatshop practices, we feel that it's important to reward their support of human rights in the United States."

    July 31st is the anniversary of Disney's completion of the Karnival Kid, the animated feature where Mickey speaks for the first time, exclaiming "Oh, boy!" It was chosen to commemorate the fact that sixty-nine years after Disney cartoons first spoke, people are talking about Disney more than ever.

    - 30 -

    Disney and its subsidiaries own:
    Film, Music Media:
    *Walt Disney Pictures
    *Touchstone Pictures
    *Hollywood Pictures
    *Caravan Pictures
    *Miramax Films
    *Walt Disney Home Video
    *Buena Vista Television
    *Touchstone Television
    *Walt Disney Television
    *The Disney Channel
    *Walt Disney Theatrical Productions
    *Hollywood Records
    *Wonderland Music
    *Walt Disney Music Co.
    *Film distribution rights for independent production companies Cinergi Pictures Entertainment, Interscope Communications and Merchant-Ivory Productions.

    Capital Cities/ABC - Owned:
    *ABC Television Network
    *ABC News
    *ABC Sports
    *ABC Radio Network
    *Lifetime (jointly owned with Hearst)
    *A&E Network (jointly with Hearst and NBC)
    *WABC-AM, New York, NY
    *KABC-AM, Los Angeles, CA
    *KMPC-AM, Los Angeles, CA
    *WLS-AM, Chicago, IL
    *KGO-AM, San Francisco, CA
    *WJR-AM, Detroit, MI
    *WBAP-AM, Fort Worth, TX
    *WMAL-AM, Washington, DC
    *WKHX-AM, Atlanta, GA
    *KQRS-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
    *WPLJ-FM, New York, NY
    *KLOS-FM, Los Angeles, CA
    *WLS-FM, Chicago, IL
    *WHYT-FM, Detroit, MI
    *KSCS-FM, Fort Worth, TX
    *WRQX-FM, Washington, DC
    *WABC-TV, New York, NY
    *KABC-TV, Los Angeles, CA
    *WLS-TV, Chicago, IL
    *WPVI-TV, Philadelphia, PA
    *KGO-TV, San Francisco, CA
    *KTRK-TV, Houston, TX
    *WTVD-TV, Raleigh-Durham, NC
    *KFSN-TV, Fresno, CA

    Theme Parks and Resorts:
    *Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL (consists of 3 theme parks,12 resort hotels, RV/camping park, 5 golf courses, 3 water parks)
    *Disneyland, Anaheim, CA (theme park and 1100 room hotel)
    *Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo, Japan
    *Euro-Disney, Paris, France

    Vacation Planning and Services:
    *Disney Vacation Club-Orlando,FL
    *Disney Vacation Club-Vero Beach, FL
    *Disney Vacation Club-Hilton Head Island, SC
    *Disney Coronado Springs Resort
    *Disney Cruise Lines
    *Walt Disney Travel

    Management and design services:
    *Walt Disney Imagineering (incl. Disney Development Company properties)
    *Celebration Florida, a planned community

    Publishing (Disney - Owned):
    *Mouse Works Publishing
    *Disney Press
    *Hyperion Press
    *Hyperion Press for Kids
    *Disney Hachette Editions
    *Disney Adventures magazine
    *Discover magazine
    *Family Fun magazine
    *Family PC magazine
    *Disney magazine

    Publishing (Capital Cities/ABC):
    *Children's Business
    *Daily News Record
    *Footwear News
    *Home Furnishings Daily
    *Home Fashions
    *Sports Style
    *Supermarket News
    *Women's Wear Daily
    *American Metal Market
    *Automotive Body Repair News
    *Automotive Industries
    *Automotive Marketing
    *Commercial Carrier Journal
    *Electronic Industry Telephone Directory
    *Energy User News
    *Food Engineering

    *Food Engineering International
    *Food Formulating
    *Food Master
    *Hardware Age
    *HazMat Shipping

    *Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation
    *Industrial Paint & Powder
    *Industrial Safety & Hygiene
    *Jewelers Circular-Keystone
    *Manufacturing Systems
    *Metal Center News
    *Motor Age
    *Multichannel News
    *New Steel
    *Owner Operator
    *Product Design and Development
    *Tacks n Togs Merchandising
    *Software Solutions
    *Video Business
    *Video Software Magazine
    *Warehousing Management
    *Wireless Week
    *Review of Ophthalmology
    *Review of Optometry

    *Clinical Psychiatry News
    *Family Practice News
    *Internal Medicine News
    *Ob.Gyn. News
    *Pediatric News
    *Skin & Allergy News

    Newspapers, Magazines:
    *The Advertiser --Branford, CT
    *Abington-Rockland Mariner --Rockland, MA

    *Albany Democrat-Herald -- Albany, OR
    *Armada Times --Armada, MI
    *Belleville News-Democrat -- Belleville, IL
    *Braintree Forum --Braintree, MA
    *Branford Review --Branford, CT
    *Brown City Banner --Brown City, MI
    *Canton News --Canton, CT
    *Clinton Recorder --Clinton, CT
    *Cohassett Mariner --Cohassett, MA

    *Cottage Grove Sentinel --Cottage Grove, OR
    *Daily Tidings --Ashland, OR
    *Gresham Outlook --Gresham, OR
    *The Oakland Press --Pontiac, MI
    *Hamden Chronicle --Hamden, CT
    *Hanover Mariner --Hanover, MA
    *Highland News-Leader -- Highland, IL
    *Hingham Mariner --Hingham, MA
    *Holbrook Sun --Holbrook, MA
    *Kingston Independent Voice --Kingston, MA
    *Lebanon Express --Lebanon, OR
    *Little Nickel Want Ads -- Lynnwood, WA
    *Marshfield Mariner --Marshfield, MA
    *Milford Citizen --Milford, CT
    *Narragansett Times --Wakefield, RI
    *Newport News-Times --Newport, OR
    *Niantic News --Niantic, CT
    *Nickel Ads --Portland, OR
    *Nickel Nik --Spokane, WA
    *Norwell Mariner --Norwell, MA
    *O'Fallon Progress --O'Fallon, IL

    *Pembroke Mariner --Pembroke, MA

    *The Pendulum --East Greenwich, CT
    *Cape Cod Pennysaver --Cape Cod, MA
    *Pictorial Gazette --Old Lyme, CT
    *Prairie Farmer --Lombard, IL
    *Randolph Mariner --Randolph, MA
    *Regional Standard --Colchester, CT
    *Sandy Post --Sandy, OR
    *Scituate Mariner --Scituate, MA

    *Shore Line Times --Guilford, CT
    *Springfield News -- Springfield, OR
    *Standard Times --North Kingstown, RI
    *Fort Worth Star-Telegram --Fort Worth, TX
    *St. Louis Countian --Clayton, MO
    *St. Louis Daily Record -St. Louis, MO
    *The Times Leader --Wilkes-Barre, PA
    *Weymouth News --Weymouth, MA
    *Arlington Citizen Journal -- Arlington, TX
    *Kansas City Star --Kansas City, MO
    *Sparta News-Plaindealer --Sparta, IL
    *Los Angeles Magazine
    *Institutional Investor

    Publishing Companies:
    *Diversified Publishing Group
    *Fairchild Publications

    *Financial Services Publishing Group
    *Agricultural Publishing Group
    *Chilton Enterprises
    *Farm Progress Publications
    *Imprint, Inc.
    *NILS Publishing Company
    *Chilton Book Company
    *Chilton Datalog
    *Miller Publishing Company
    *Hitchcock Publishing Company
    *Wilson Publishing Company

    *The Disney Store

    Educational products:
    *Childcraft Education Corporation
    *Disney Educational Productions

    Professional Sports:
    *The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Professional Hockey Team
    *The California Angels Professional Baseball Team

    *Reedy Creek Energy Services
    *Vista Insurance Services
    *WCO Port Properties

    Capital Cities/ABC-owned:
    *Chilton Research Services
    *Chilton Management Information Systems
    *Chilton Direct Marketing & List

    Management Company:
    *Professional Exposition Management Company
    *Legal Communications Corp.

    The companies on this list were compiled from documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Disney and Capital Cities/ABC and from the 1995 edition of the Directory of Corporate Affiliations.

    Back to top

    Letters to the editor of local and national papers can be a wonderful tool to educate the public about paganism. This is especially calledfor when papers run articles that are derogatory toward pagans, or eventry to be positive but are still full of misconceptions. Most newspapers choose which letters to run by counting the number of letters overall on a particular subject; the more pro-pagan letters they receive, the more they'll print. If they consistently get lettersfrom the pagan community, they'll start paying attention to pagan concerns,perhaps in the articles they run as well as the letters printed. Below are some recently printed articles that need our attention. Please read these and then go to each newspaper's web site, or click on the email address, to reply to the articles with a quick letter. Most papers, particularly large or national ones, don't care where youare from, especially if you write to them from the Internet. In cases where there are length limits or limits on whose letters they will print, this will be noted by each email address. Helpful Resources:Wiccan FAQSatanism FAQPagan FAQAsatru FAQShamanism FAQExtensive list of newspaper email addresses

    Specific Resources:L. A. Times websiteList of L.A. Times staff addressesL. A. Times newspaper department addressesLETTERS TO THE EDITOR Must include your full name, street address, and daytime phone number.

    Civic Art Becomes a Monumental HeadacheBy Jesse Katz(c) 1997, Los Angeles Times letters@latimes.comFebruary 6th, 1997ARLINGTON, Texas -- A decade ago, artist Norm Hines was the toast of this Dallas-Fort Worth suburb. His newly christened cluster of granite megaliths -- likened by some to a Texas version of Stonehenge -- was touted as one of the largest environmental sculptures in the Western Hemisphere. Civic leaders applauded it as a cultural prize. The mayor even exalted Hines, a professor at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., to the status of honorary citizen. Today, the entire creation is headed for cold storage, the victim of an odd clash between one man's aesthetic vision and one town's stew of economics, politics and religious fervor. Developers say the 5-acre site,known as Caelum Moor, is in the way of a new shopping and restaurant complex. Ministers say the massive slabs of stone, some of which tower 35feet high, have become a magnet for *witches, devil worshipers and otherpagan practitioners*. Arlington officials, unsure of how to resolve the mess, are planning to dismantle the whole thing and, at least temporarily, stick it in a warehouse. ...[A business which had purchased the land in 1996 offered to donate thes culpture to a city park.] That's when Dena Smith, co-pastor of Redeeming Love Covenant Church, came into the picture, telling a stunned city council that she had observed "people in occultic groups performing rituals" at Caelum Moor. A few weeks later, she was joined by ministers from 19 other Arlington churches, who spoke of white-robed Druids and animal sacrifices. Their concerns were amplified when reporters found a few *self-described pagans and wiccans* [sic], who acknowledged they had, in fact, used Caelum Moor to celebrate solstices and other Earth-based religious ceremonies. Mayor Richard Greene dismissed the brouhaha as a media-driven invention.In November, he pulled the plug on a public meeting about Caelum Moor after CNN indicated it would cover the event. Since then, much of the furor has quieted. A special subcommittee is expected to meet later this month to begin discussing potential sites forthe sculpture. Greene said one option was to scatter the megaliths along Johnson Creek corridor, a rivulet that officials hope to develop into a civic attraction.... Green [said] such a solution might placate the ministers. "Their belief seems to be that the arrangement itself -- having the stones alltogether in one location -- is what attracts the pagan attention." ...---

    Some points you might make in writing to the L.A. Times:

    1. The author cites ministers' statements that "witches, devil-worshippers and other pagan practitioners" were using the site. However, the article mentions only Pagan/Wiccan ritual, not anything Satanic (except perhaps by the ministers' standards). It appears the phrase "devil-worshipers" wastossed in by the author; if it was the ministers who used the term, it should have been put in quotes. As for the term "witch" ... since the term"Wiccan" was used later in the article, one wonders if "Witch" or "Wiccan"was the preference of the Wiccans in question. If the latter, "witch"seems to be oversensationalization. (The term "Wiccan" is better used refer to practitioners of Wicca becauseit's unambiguous. "Witch" can refer to Wiccans ... or to folk-magick practitioners of whatever faith ... and then there are the popular usages... . All in all, unless the term is used in quotations or is thepreference of the group in question, I think "Wiccan" makes for better style. And if both terms are used in an article on Wicca, some explanation is needed to dissociate "Witch" from the popular misconceptions. All IMHO, of course.)1a. "*Other* pagan practitioners?" Thanks for lumping in Pagans with devilworship and all that *that* evokes for the public ...

    2. Wicca, as a religion, should be capitalized. (In this usage, it's probably appropriate to capitalize "Pagan" as well, but because of genericuses of the word to mean "non-Christian," that might be a taller order.) The term also should have been defined in the text.

    3. The author does not say whether the minsters' assertions about "animal sacrifices" refer to hard evidence of such found at the site, thepractices of a specific group that they claim has used the site, or just anti-Pagan scaremongering.

    4. None of the Pagans who acknowledged using the site were quoted, nor were the accounts of the reporters who tracked them down, nor was any Pagan group, as a response to the ministers' assertions. At the least, some effort should have been made; even if the efforts were unsuccessful, a "None of the Pagans could be reached for comment" or "Messages left for the [insert name of Pagan organization here] were not returned" or SOMEthing would have been welcome.

    Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 12:46:24 -0400
    From: Lowell & Nancy McFarland
    Subject: Beltain Notice at Philadelphia Inquirer
    "Earth-Based Beltaine, or May Day. Midway between spring equinox andsummer solstice. One of Earth-based spiritualities' four``cross-quarter'' days that celebrate cycles of life. Occasion forbonfires by local gatherings."
    The Philadelphia, PA., USA., Online Newspaper, made the above Beltainannouncement in its April 27- May 3, Interfaith Calendar in itsLifestyle Section.
    While Celts and Pagans have recently been very successful in answeringnegative and intolerant media comments, replying to positive (howevermeagre) notices is probably just as important.
    I will be writing/posting to the following persons at the PhiladelphiaInquirer to thank them for their Beltain notice and to add to theirBeltain commentary.
    Philladelphia Inquirer addresses
    Maxwell King, Editor
    Gene Foreman, Deputy Editor
    Lisa Beckman, Public Affairs Editor
    Philadelphia Inquirer
    400 North Broad Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19130 [USA]
    Telephone 215 854 2000
    Public Affairs 215 854 5500
    Loch Sloy!
    Lowell McFarland

    Coupla stories on the case of Rana Kern, whose religion became the focus of a custody dispute, both dated 18 February:>

    From the L.A. Times/Washington Post news service: Pagan mom wins custody of SonBy Al Baker(c) 1997, Newsday

    GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- Rana Kern insists she's not a witch, just a nature-loving pagan. Whichever, she's also a mother -- and she rejoiced Tuesday over winning custody of her 3-year-old son Brandon in an out ofcourt settlement. Her ex-husband, Walter, who Rana claims is a pagan druid, says he's not. He says he's just a doting father who agreed to the settlement in the interest of keeping his son out of a nasty court battle."My son is getting to a point now where he is a little boy, starting totalk and to wonder and to start to go to school and I love him," Walter Kern, 27, a cabinet maker from Levittown, said. "I agreed to her having custody because court would have taken another year and I didn't want todo that for my son's sake."But at a news conference here Tuesday at the office of her attorney, Dominic Barbara, Rana Kern, 35, released 12-year-old photos that she said showed her ex-husband practicing paganism -- supposedly invoking a god and helping to construct a maypole at a place called Raven Cove in the upstate New York town of Saranac. "We broke the case wide open with the proof," Barbara said of the photos, provided by an unidentified friend of the ex-couple. "At that moment, and quite smartly, the husband settled and agreed to give her sole custody.The trial would have been a bloodbath," he said. Asked about the photographs Walter Kern said only that he once belonged to an outdoor nature group. He declined to explain further. Barbara said that his client and he agreed to give her ex-husband visitation rights that Walter Kern said included weekend visits, unlimited telephone calls and dinner on one weeknight each week. "I will know everything that is going on in his life," Walter Kern said. Rana Kern, who married Walter in 1992 and divorced him last year, said she wants her son to know he has a father who loves him. During a custody hearing last year, Walter Kern testified that his wife told him a year after their marriage that she was a witch. Last May, he said, she erected an altar to witchcraft on his dresser.On one occasion, he testified, she returned home at 2 a.m. with blood on her hands and mentioned something about sacrificing animals. Tuesday, Rana Kern again called those allegations preposterous, and said that as a pagan she worships the Earth.

    New York State Supreme Court Justice Edward McCarty awarded temporary joint custody to the couple last June. He ruled that Rana and Walter Kern would alternate exclusive custody ofthe child in four-day, four-night intervals. But in the out-of-court settlement, reached Jan. 27, McCarty agreed to exclusive rights for Rana Kern, Barbara said. When asked for her reaction, Rana Kern replied: "It was a long time incoming. I just wish my child hadn't had to go through this for so long. It was eight months."

    ---And from the Associated Press [bracketed comments are mine]:

    Which witch wins custody? Mommy does

    GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) -- A man who tried to win custody of his son byexposing his ex-wife's witchcraft lost when pictures surfaced of himstanding in front of a fire and apparently setting up a maypole.Rana Kern said the photos showed a pagan fertility ritual and proved herex-husband lied about living a witchcraft-free life. She was granted custody of the couple's 3-year-old son, Brandon. Walter Kern, 27, had contended his wife's witchcraft and ritual animal sacrifices made her an unfit parent.But Mrs. Kern, 35, portrayed herself more in the mold of Oz's good witch Glinda. She denied sacrificing animals and said her pagan beliefs did notprevent her from being a good mother. After receiving the pictures from a mutual friend, Mrs. Kern won custody Jan. 27. The couple had shared custody before. She corrected reporters who said her ex-husband was a warlock. [Thank the Goddess for that small correction.] Technically, she said, he's a Druid. But Kern continued Tuesday to deny he was ever involved in witchcraft. He described himself as a "nonpracticing Catholic" who merely gave up the custody fight for his son's sake. "My son has been going through a lot of stuff," Kern said.

    ---In my opinion, the AP did a horrid job with keeping its terms straight.:-P But I'm still glad of the outcome, although I'm a bit uncomfortable with the way the religion issue was used in almost a "blackmail" sense bythe participants ... it still made religion an issue in the case.

    DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) --

    A witch and her husband have been given partial custody of her two boys, telling a Bucks County Court they will educate the children in many religions. [I wonder: was this a condition of the verdict, or just something the couple told the court?] Cynthia Sipe and Wayne Watson of Sellersville will have custody of Rick, 13, and LeRoy, 8, every other weekend and eight weeks during the summer.Bucks County Judge Susan Devlin Scott also gave the couple custody for select holidays -- including Halloween. [There should have been someexplanation of what Halloween means to Wiccans somewhere in the story. Otherwise, it sounds as though it's being played for its lurid connotations.] Ms. Sipe hasn't seen her sons since last October, about the time she married Watson. Ms. Sipe's ex-boyfriend, Ricky Lacko, the boys' father, was given full custody two years ago, partly because Ms. Sipe follows the Wiccan religion. [As if being Wiccan is de facto wrong. Some explanation of why the religion was a factor, no matter how brief, is in order.]"It's kind of a victory for us," Watson said. "Basically, what happened today should have happened a year ago, a year and a half ago." Ms. Sipe said the court order also bars Lacko from degrading her in front of the boys. Lacko and his attorney, Edith Rysdyk, were unavailable for comment.

    Wicca is a pagan religion similar to the ancient Druid faith. Its adherents, who call themselves witches [or Wiccans, I might add], believe in the sacredness of nature and practice witchcraft as part of their religious observances.[I've seen this explanation of Wicca in several AP stories, and I personally would define it differently. Something more along the lines of Wicca being a religion that draws from ancient religions and folk beliefs, rather than making the analogy just to Druids. Modern-day Druids might appreciate the distinction. And as for "practicing witchcraft" ... that phrasing makes no distinction between public conceptions and Pagan conceptions of Witchcraft.] Ms. Sipe was raised Roman Catholic but took on Watson's religion when they met. Watson was raised Methodist but has practiced Wicca for more than a decade.

    ---It is unfortunate that the story seems to focus on the "mom's a Witch" angle more than the religious discrimination issues hinted at. Had this been another religion at play, the discrimination issues might have been more prominent, or the story might not have made the news at all, much less been sent across the wire. And what relevance does knowing the couple's former religions have to do with the story?

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