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Author Topic: The Return of the American Council of Witches  (Read 9248 times)

SunflowerP

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The Return of the American Council of Witches
« on: October 16, 2011, 10:47:31 am »
From The Wild Hunt:

Quote
In 1973 Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, owner and chairman of Llewellyn Worldwide, shortly after his initiation into the American Celtic tradition of Witchcraft by Lady Sheba, helped organize the American Council of Witches (aka the Council of American Witches). The group would convene and disband in 1974, partially due to internal divisions and debates, but before it did they published the Thirteen Principles of Belief (aka Principles of Wiccan Belief). Meant as a general set of principles that all groups participating at the time could agree with, that material was subsequently incorporated into the 1978 edition of the Army’s military chaplain’s handbook thanks to Dr. J. Gordon Melton (the material was revised in the 1980s and 1990s, with input from groups like COG and Lady Liberty League). Now this group is attempting to rise from the ashes as the US American Council of Witches.


It is, of course, not really a "return" of the original council, but a revival of the name (unless you count Oberon Zell's involvement in both as sufficient continuity) - but so far it looks every bit as ill-conceived.

I wasn't sure if I was going to post about it, but it was mentioned in passing in another thread, so I figured a post to say, "Trainwreck's over there, for those who want to find out what the fuss is about," was in order.

("The trouble with being pagan [or other subculture/identity group] is the company you sometimes find yourself keeping." - Sunflower's Law)

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Catherine

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 11:00:54 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;25667
From The Wild Hunt:


Train wreck is right! If they manage to get it off the ground at all, it looks like it will do more harm than good. I mean, I'm only going by what's been said in the comments at TWH, 'cause you know, they don't have an actual web site or anything. I'm not getting a face book account to check them out any further.

I don't think they care what pagans like me think anyway, so... whatever.

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 11:10:45 am »
Quote from: Catherine;25669

I don't think they care what pagans like me think anyway, so... whatever.


Considering the 'long' life of the first incarnation of the thing and considering that 'the pagan (TM) community' is now far more diverse than it was in the 70's, I don't think it will be much more than a trainwreck.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
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SatSekhem

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 11:33:30 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;25667
...("The trouble with being pagan [or other subculture/identity group] is the company you sometimes find yourself keeping." - Sunflower's Law)

Sunflower

 
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Melamphoros

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2011, 06:35:06 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;25684
Best law ever.

 
^What she said.

As for the topic at hand.....:pop:


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Asch

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2011, 07:00:52 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;25667
From
("The trouble with being pagan [or other subculture/identity group] is the company you sometimes find yourself keeping." - Sunflower's Law)

Sunflower

 
I'd love to grab popcorn and sit back to watch the farce except for this bit:

Quote
The new Council was organized primarily at a request from the U.S. Army to update the Army Chaplains Handbook, whose Wiccan/Pagan statement was written by the original council.


All we need is a bunch of self proclaimed witches bickering and claiming to stand for all of us for the military to point and laugh at as they fall on their faces. I smell political ammunition being stored up.

sailor

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2011, 07:05:05 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;25667

("The trouble with being pagan [or other subculture/identity group] is the company you sometimes find yourself keeping." - Sunflower's Law)

Sunflower

 
One is judged by the company one keeps. Lance's corollary to Sunflower's Law (although it probably pre-dates it by quite a bit.).

As for matter of the thread, Melamphoros is going to have to eat that popcorn alone. I'm leaving Norfolk for Alabama this week, then off to La-La Land.

SunflowerP

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2011, 08:04:41 pm »
Quote from: Asch;25803
I'd love to grab popcorn and sit back to watch the farce except for this bit:
...
All we need is a bunch of self proclaimed witches bickering and claiming to stand for all of us for the military to point and laugh at as they fall on their faces. I smell political ammunition being stored up.

 
It comes out in the comments at TWH that the "at the request of the army" part isn't true.  It's not clear just how that got garbled - but that's partly because the woman who seems to be the main driving force here is inconsistent and rather vague in her descriptions about what did happen.  (I'm piling on the benefit-of-the-doubt there - she seems pretty fishy to me, but I don't have anything solid to show that she's deceptive rather than a fluff with substandard communication skills.)

The part about the Wiccan/Pagan section of the old handbook having been written by the original council is also false - it seems to be a misinterpretation of the common belief that the 13 Principles were included in the handbook (which came out nearly two decades later than the principles).  But in fact that common belief is also erroneous - there are a number of commenters saying things along the lines of, "I didn't remember them being in there, so I looked, and couldn't find them" (so, multiple independent verifications of their absence); one or maybe two people speak of the claim that they're in there having appeared in a few Llewellyn-published books, but with no specifics so I'm considering that one "quite possible, but not yet verified".

The amount of handwaving and story-changing is quite impressive, for some values of "impressive" - Jason Pitzl-Waters is usually a pretty good journalist, not particularly prone to mangling facts through either carelessness or sensationalism, so while I don't absolve him altogether (even the best journalist can fuck up), I'm inclined to suspect the facts were mangled before they ever got to him... and probably not by Kenny Klein (I'm feeling rather sorry for Kenny - he's one of the more respect-worthy folks involved here, at least from everything I know of him, but this isn't the first time I've suspected he's much too ready to trust that others are acting in as much good faith as he is).



Sunflower
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Asch

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2011, 08:17:24 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;25822
It comes out in the comments at TWH that the "at the request of the army" part isn't true.  It's not clear just how that got garbled - but that's partly because the woman who seems to be the main driving force here is inconsistent and rather vague in her descriptions about what did happen.  (I'm piling on the benefit-of-the-doubt there - she seems pretty fishy to me, but I don't have anything solid to show that she's deceptive rather than a fluff with substandard communication skills.)

The part about the Wiccan/Pagan section of the old handbook having been written by the original council is also false - it seems to be a misinterpretation of the common belief that the 13 Principles were included in the handbook (which came out nearly two decades later than the principles).  But in fact that common belief is also erroneous - there are a number of commenters saying things along the lines of, "I didn't remember them being in there, so I looked, and couldn't find them" (so, multiple independent verifications of their absence); one or maybe two people speak of the claim that they're in there having appeared in a few Llewellyn-published books, but with no specifics so I'm considering that one "quite possible, but not yet verified".

The amount of handwaving and story-changing is quite impressive, for some values of "impressive" - Jason Pitzl-Waters is usually a pretty good journalist, not particularly prone to mangling facts through either carelessness or sensationalism, so while I don't absolve him altogether (even the best journalist can fuck up), I'm inclined to suspect the facts were mangled before they ever got to him... and probably not by Kenny Klein (I'm feeling rather sorry for Kenny - he's one of the more respect-worthy folks involved here, at least from everything I know of him, but this isn't the first time I've suspected he's much too ready to trust that others are acting in as much good faith as he is).



Sunflower

 
Well thank gods for that. I did think it was weird that the armed forces would bother to request anything for any religion, unless it's something like Islam where they've a vested interest security-wise in learning and training appropriately.

I'm curious to see what if anything eventually comes of this all. I think there's probably a place and a need for something *like* this but clearly this approach is fundamentally flawed (I won't even go into the idiocy of labeling something a council of witches then claiming to speak for all Pagans) particularly since it is apparently being built on the bones and legacy of a previous spectacular failure.

SunflowerP

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2011, 08:29:21 pm »
Quote from: Tana;25671
Considering the 'long' life of the first incarnation of the thing and considering that 'the pagan (TM) community' is now far more diverse than it was in the 70's, I don't think it will be much more than a trainwreck.

 
Doing the math:
Original council's perception of diversity < actual diversity circa 1974
Actual diversity c1974 < actual diversity c2011 (significantly)
Original council's perception of diversity ≈ new council's perception of diversity
New council's perception of diversity + actual diversity c 2011 > hot mess + trainwreck + FAILboat

Ergo, :pop: + tissues + snark = only possible response

Sunflower
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SunflowerP

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2011, 08:39:36 pm »
Quote from: Asch;25824
I'm curious to see what if anything eventually comes of this all. I think there's probably a place and a need for something *like* this but clearly this approach is fundamentally flawed (I won't even go into the idiocy of labeling something a council of witches then claiming to speak for all Pagans) particularly since it is apparently being built on the bones and legacy of a previous spectacular failure.

 
One of the things that gets me is that there are pagan organizations that already exist that would be better suited to the task than this ad hoc collection of BNPs (who are largely BNPs based on things they did decades ago) and generiPagans.  CoG in particular comes to mind; it was started in response to the collapse of/problems with the original council - and is still going strong.

Makes me wonder if what this is really about is what's-her-face (the fluff with the communication issues; don't feel like looking it up) wanting to become a BNP herself.  Especially since there are some folks in the comments who are already involved in chaplaincy/liaison work going, "wait, whaddaya mean you've been talking to all these gov't agencies?  not the one I work with, you haven't, or I'd'a heard about it."  (Which also makes me wonder if she even knew there were already pagans doing that sort of thing.)

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
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RandallS

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2011, 10:41:39 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;25667
It is, of course, not really a "return" of the original council, but a revival of the name (unless you count Oberon Zell's involvement in both as sufficient continuity) - but so far it looks every bit as ill-conceived.

Sigh. I really think this is a bad idea. It was a bad idea in 1974 (although I suspect Carl's heart was in the right place) and it is even worse of an idea today.
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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2011, 10:56:25 pm »
Quote from: Asch;25803
I'd love to grab popcorn and sit back to watch the farce except for this bit:



All we need is a bunch of self proclaimed witches bickering and claiming to stand for all of us for the military to point and laugh at as they fall on their faces. I smell political ammunition being stored up.

 
Reminds me of the PUC. Stupid fuckers.
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Livia Indica

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2011, 11:47:47 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;25667
From The Wild Hunt:

Sunflower

 
I don't know, I'm kinda curious to see what they come up with, it could be interesting. I'm actually surprised at the negativity dripping from this thread.  

And exactly why is the original considered such a failure? I don't have any strong feelings for it either way but I'm curious as to the source of the vitriol.

Dark Midnight

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2011, 01:24:21 am »
Quote from: Livia Indica;25894
I don't know, I'm kinda curious to see what they come up with, it could be interesting. I'm actually surprised at the negativity dripping from this thread.  

And exactly why is the original considered such a failure? I don't have any strong feelings for it either way but I'm curious as to the source of the vitriol.

 
Why are you suprised, if you don't mind my asking? If people on TC don't agree with something, we do tend to say so, usually very clearly and loudly!

IMO, the negativity and vitriol comes from experience. The last time was a complete disaster, not just a train wreck. Personally, I can't see it being any better the second time around. I don't believe for a moment that they will have learned anything from their mistakes.
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