|Kenny Klein, the diddlin’ fiddler of
The neopagan “community” is overly fond of complaining that Asatru has a “racism problem.” But as recent events in the news have made starkly clear, they’re the ones who have a problem, and that problem is a thousand times worse than the (largely unfounded) complaint they make about us.
If I may be permitted to employ a Biblical quote:
The ugly stain of pedophilia is the beam in the eye of the neopagan community, and for years they have not only studiously ignored it, but they have actively tried to cover it up and apologize and protect the perpetrators in their midst.
While at the same time they’ve tried to tell us in the Asatru community that we need to “do something” about what they so condescendingly told us was “the problem within Asatru.”
Well, the conviction of Kenny Klein yesterday on twenty counts of possessing child pornography might, just might, get them to start looking at that beam in their own eye.
Hel, even when they try to do something about this problem, they can’t help themselves from reflexively circling the wagons and protecting their own.
But it’s not just child pornography in Klein’s case, of course. There have been stories for years of his predation of young girls at pagan events and renfaires, and I understand that apparently it was common knowledge in those communities that “you don’t leave your daughter around Kenny.”
But lest you think this is one isolated case, I invite you to think again.
James Irvin of West Virginia was convicted in 2014 of abusing three children, claiming his magical powers could bring back their dead father if they complied. And what did the “pagan community” do? They claimed he wasn’t a “real Wiccan” (shades of “he’s not a True Christian”) and conveniently offered to help clarify any misconceptions about their community in the media.
Sounds like something CAIR would say after an Islamic terrorist attack, honestly.
And don’t forget Gavin and Yvonne Frost. Their seminal book, The Good Witch’s Bible, included in its first printing a ritual in which young initiates were “deflowered” “in the pleasant surroundings of the coven” during a ritual which was provided in the book.
The reference was removed from subsequent printings, but rumors have swirled around the Frosts for years about their putting those recommendations into practice.
And what did the Wild Hunt do when it all came to a head, and the Frosts were banned from the Florida Pagan Gathering? Nary a word of condemnation. Just carefully studied non-statements often framed as rhetorical questions. So at best the Wild Hunt is neutral on the subject of these two luminaries who endorse children being sexually initiated at rituals (although Jason was careful to repudiate the practice itself, much like the Catholic Church’s tut-tutting about child abuse itself being evil, while at the same time refusing to do anything about the abusers themselves).
And the examples go on, and on, and on, and on. Google “Wicca child abuse” and related phrases if you have a strong stomach. Hel, Pagan author Marion Zimmer Bradley’s own son accused her of abuse, and the whole thing was famously covered up for years in the fandom and neopagan circuit.
This isn’t to say that nobody in the neopagan and Wiccan community hasn’t spoken out. They have. I even linked to some of them above in this article. But the community as a whole seems willing to bury the issue, and want it to go away, in fear of bad publicity, or because they know the person and “he’s just being him” and excuse after excuse.
Well you know what? If you can’t bring your own community to categorically condemn child sexual abuse within its ranks, and insist that predators be exposed and shunned and turned over to police with a policy of zero tolerance, and stop making excuses and protecting child abusers who are popular for other things, or who are your friends, then you as a whole really need to shut the fuck up with the complaints about complaints you have about other faiths and other communities.
Fix your own house before you go around complaining about the state of someone else’s.