Australian Media on Paganism
Pagans Rap Hickey
"Sunday Times" April 2, 2000 by Nick Taylor
The Catholic Archbishop of Perth has come under fire from pagans
over his concerns about witch TV shows tempting children to
dabble in the occult.
They are angry that the Most Reverend Barry Hickey told 'The
Sunday Times' that he had heard of coven meetings and stories
of child abuse and sexual practices.
The Archbishop said last week that he was concerned that popular
TV shows such as Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sabrina
the Teenage Witch could encourage children to play with the
occult and the netherworld.
He said it was almost fashionable to dabble in witchcraft and
warned that the devil and evil were very real forces.
"They are not figments of the human imagination. Dark forces
fo exist," Archbishop Hickey told 'the Sunday Times.'
Laren, media liason officer for the the Australian Pagan Alliance,
said this week that accusations that witches took part in child
abuse were unfounded.
Members of her alliance were not involved in such practices,
she said, and added that modern witchcraft and other forms of
paganism had nothing to do with satanism.
"Depending on who you talk to, satanism is an inversion or
perversion of Christian beliefs and practices or a completely
non-religious philosophy," she said. "Either way, those who
today call themselves witches don't follow any satanic beliefs."
Ambrosia Jones, president of the Church of All Worlds Australia,
who said her church was unconnected with the Free Pagan Church,
said children were deemed sacred.
"Abuse of any kind is seen as an insult to the goddess who
gave us life and the highest form of heresy and sin," she said.
Kelly Bradshaw, high priestess of the the Circle of the Mystic
Moon in Bunbury, said she would be asking police whether they
were following up on the the Archbishop's claims that he had
heard of abuse.
Morgana Lagden, who described herself as a political feminist
pagan, runs Dragon Fire in Fremantle, which teaches 'magical
and spiritual Western mysteries'. She said the failure of the
Christian Church had led more people to be drawn to the teen
Lord Lough, high priest of the independant Temple of the Mists
in Armadale [WA for interstate readers - Falcon], said most
Wiccan groups would not initiate people under 18 years old.