practises were not part of modern witchcraft, an authority
on paganism testified yesterday in the Melbourne Magistrates
Mr Robin Angus Fletcher, 40, of South Caulfield, allegedly
drugged, hit, hypnotised, prostituted and sexually abused
two 15-year-old girls, telling them they were "destined
to become high priestesses of the dark covenant".
But Mr Alan Moyse, 46, a Canberra management consultant
and practising witchcraft high priest, said consent
and not harming others were central to witchcraft's
"Eight words the witches' law fulful: An (if) it harm
none, do what you will," he said, citing a witchcraft
Under cross-examination, he acknowledged some documented
"craft" included nudity, bondage and scourging, but
stressed these were variously non-sexual, loose and
The "great rite" could include a sex act - performed
either in "token or in truth" - but with a magical rather
than sexual intention, he said.
Mr Moyse, also public officer of the Pagan Alliance
Inc., said the alliance did not allow people under 18
to join without parental permission. In his coven, minors
would not be allowed to take part in a sexual rite.
In 25 years as a serious student and practioner of
paganism, Mr Moyse had never heard of the "dark covenant".
Mr Alistair John Maxwell, a music student and one time
pupil of Mr Fletcher, said Mr Fletcher had first mentioned
the dark covenant in 1996.
Mr Fletcher had told him it was based on the principle
that one could attain spiritual enlightenment just as
much by evil deeds as good ones.
"He believed one should act out all one's sexual desires,
no matter what they were ina ritual way...He talked
of setting up rituals in which one could act out even
one's most bizarre desires," Mr Maxwell said.
"He considered himself to be a spiritual master in
Mr Fletcher is contesting a committal hearing into
40 charges, including sexual penetration of a child
aged between 10 and 16, procuring a minor for prostitution,
and conspiracy and incitement to rape. He has not yet
been asked to plead.