Again, the Neo Pagan American experience feels the shock of tragic revelations regarding sexual abuse and depravity. The suffering and victimization of Moira Greyland comes forward to the national conversations once more. Years ago, we read part of this horror show in an article in The Wild Hunt. The fact that it is a chilling look into the ways that entire empires of Personality Cults can protect perpetrators of heinous criminality never ceases to astonish this writer.
The predatory nature of the narcissist, put into spiritual positions of authority, becomes writ large in our communities. The fact that our communities are fringe to the overculture only amplifies our inability and unwillingness to discuss the wolves in our midst as a body. In our race to escape the trappings of a society that seeks to oppress that which is different, we seem to lose our sense of accountability to our chosen “villages”. We throw the word leadership around ourselves like priestly mantles, yet often do none of the housekeeping inherent in the roles of stewardship.
As Ms. Greyland bleeds out for us across the pages of “The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon”, those of us in leadership would do well to look down at the tips of our shoes. We may find the blood of our own peoples have soiled our soles, as we stepped through their silenced pains and anguish in our rush to the next festival, the next gathering, the next…whatever we find interesting and aggrandizing at the moment.
Years of abuse by one human child. Contemplate this. Years of emotional and physical destruction and violence on a person, yet not one person in our communities saw this and made a call? We keep hearing these stories, stories of familial and proximity based crimes. And yet, no universal codes or guidelines have come forth? Surely, it is time to come together and make this happen.
I will not speak to the publisher of her book’s problematic associations because that is two shades away from sideways victim slashing. A lot of that is happening right now in the high school hallway environment of social media. Talking heads, yes we have them even in the Pagan worlds, are already undermining the survivor by slamming her choice of publisher. Yet the question is, what Pagan publishing house would have printed it?
We must do better, family. We must do better, even my enemies. We must do better, those who I do not know. I claim no false kinship in this cause, but claim common humanity.
Listen, act, and redeem.