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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 witch shows.

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.

Page Updated 7th April, 2000
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