The book is titled Wicca: Satan's Little White Lie and is written by William Schnoebelen, a "former Alexandrian High Priest." It is worthy of note that this book is making the rounds of fundamentalist Christian Groups so you should be aware of some of it's contents.
The book sports a cover depicting a robed HPS in Goddess possition with a stylized demonic figure (Satan I would presume) behind her with his hands on her shoulders. It is trade paperback sized with 224 pages.
I won't go into all of areas mentioned in the book but here are the 'highlights' some with commentary from me afterwards, some not.
Wicca and Neo-paganism were thus an intriguing blend of a dislike of technology and a romanticization of ancient cultures combined with a passionate interest in fantasy and science fiction. page 19Please note this quote as it is used to dismiss Wicca as anything but a figment of imangination.
Witches have no firm sense of ethics - page 26
page 48, Section the Power of PrayerThe ramifications of the above are obvious, the power of prayer inflicted the basic elements of a curse on the man, but as is often the case it was referred to as something he praises God for....Yet throughout the book if a Wiccan were to 'influence' someone in this manner, it would be the work of Satan....
'I'd sent in a check to the Church of Satan. When it came back from then bank, a note was written on it in a delicate feminine hand: "I'll be praying for you in Jesus' name."
Within DAYS, things began to happen, I lost my job, my wife got sick, I got sick,.... my Satanic mentor... got in a serious truck accident and ended up in a hospital with grievous abdominal injuries'
page 52-54 are direct attacks on the legitimacy of our rules and laws, specifically, and paraphrased for shortness - "Who gave the Wiccans the right to make rules" One might wonder upon reflection who gave the Christians that same right 2000 years ago.
Page 54 Then we have the "Three-fold Law of Return."Now I'm not that familiar with Alexandrian believes and such but my training on that matter is more along the lines of 'Whatever you do shall be returned to you three fold'! There is quite a bit of difference in concept there. He went on the allude to examples of people wronging him and him using magick to inflick the three fold law upon them with devastating results.
It is one of the most widely taught and held ethical beliefs in modern Wicca. It is the belief that whatever you "receive" *you* are allowed to return it three-fold.
In this section it was attacking the position that because Satan is not typically in the diety structure for Wiccans that Wiccans do not worship Satan. In general he uses standard b-thumper tactics of saying that we are Ostriches. In other words, that we don't have the right to make that deliniation and that Christians 'know the truth'. He goes on to allude to comparisons between the Horned God and Satan and on the basis of that makes the following Statement "It seems to me if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck... a very Satanic duck."
Page 62 - 64
Attacks on Wicca under the guise of:
1 - Some people define Wicca as a Science... My question... WHO?
2 - Ritual and therefor Wicca doesn't always work.
3 - Anything that doesn't work all the time isn't a science quote 'You'd throw out your TV if it only worked 50% or even 75% of the time'
4 - God interferes with Wiccan workings...
In general I would agree that Wicca is not a Science, however on point 3. well I've known many Christians over the years (the strong of faith, fundamentalist types) who have prayed for good and worth causes... with absolutely no result. I would say the ratios are at least 50 - 75% if you get right down to it. When it doesn't work for them it "must not be the will of the Lord", if it doesn't work for us it's "God is interfering with your magick, can't you see that...."
In refering to the Matmoros Murders...
"Ms Cabot calls it slanderous to identify the killers in Mexico with witches. But can she and her colleagues re-define a word which has been so long in the common parlance? Can they hide behind a shield of religious freedom which is so precious to us in America and tinker there with plain English."The above section responds to Witchs defence of the word 'Witch' in connecting various occult crimes together. A'la Geraldo and others. It seems to me that this 'could' be taken as a direct slam to the religious freedom and freedom of speech that he in the same paragraphs defends. One thing to note is that, unlike Latin, English is a living a changing language. If as he contends, Wicca, witch, and the like are in fact derived from words meaning 'bent', 'twisted', then we can and should change the perception of the word! Remember twenty years ago Gay meant Happy.
Page 82 - 83 "Concerning the Burning Times"
Considering the nature of this echo, I just couldn't pass this one up. William acknowledges that the Burning Times occured and then dismisses it by discrediting the involved parties as not being Christians.
'The reason this issue relates to the problem of labels is the fact that, horrible as this historical holocaust is, it cannot fairly be laid at the door of the Christian Faith. This strikes right at the heart of the genuine definition of a Christian'Refering to the previous message, If it walks like a Christian, and it talks like a..... To be fair to William, I do believe that the Christians of today tend to be far different than the Christians of the Burning times, and perhaps it isn't fair to lay the Burning Times on the doorstep of Modern Christianity, but then again, Modern Christianity in my opinion would be more than happy to start them right back up...
Going on to page 85
By and large, the vast marjority of the executions for witchcraft were done by the Roman Catholic Church, which is not really an orthodox Christian institution, since it denies most of the cardinal doctrines of the New Testiment.Stop the presses! The Catholic Church, which of all Christian denominations has the largest following, isn't Christian! Since in later passages he alludes to us being Satanists because of the lineage of our dieties, one must assume (if you want to use his same type of logic) that ALL modern Christian denominations are by default not Christian as well since they *ALL* decent from the Catholic Church.
He goes on to say "The Roman Catholic Church is FAR CLOSER to Paganism than it is to Christianity."
That's a very interesting quote and mirrors some discussions in the other PODS echos. But the bottom line is that for over 1000 years the Roman Catholic Church was THE ONLY Christian institution, period. If we don't have the right, as mentioned earlier to define our own laws it would appear that the new fundamentalists would deny thier 'fathers' right to say they are Christian. Remember folks much of the Modern Christian Fundamentalist movement is ALSO not even a 100 years old!
Page 88 - Back to the burning timesIf it walks like.... 'Nuf said!
'By these standards, therefore, the men who spread hatred and tortured and murdered witches, WERE NOT CHRISTIAN"...."It must be admitted that some of the early reformers like Luther and Calvin condoned the execution of heretics and unbelievers like witches'
Page 89 - 90 Concerning "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"He goes on to say that the old testiment covenents are now invalid and that the new testiments are the correct ones... pardon me but I remember growing up to "The Lord is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever" and the two together form in interesting oxymoron.
"But doesn't the Bible teach that 'thou shalt not suffer a witch to live?' That sounds pretty much like a mandate from your God to kill witches!" Indeed, the bible does teach that, but in the old testiment...."
Page 96My rememberances of history was that Witchcraft and heresy WERE CRIMES at those times. The Christian Church (through the RC) had decided that those were crimes and established the punishment. Christians of that time would no more think twice about burning a witch as they would have about killing murderer. It should be noted that despite William's denial of the Roman Catholic Church being Christian they WERE the predominant Christian force on the planet at without them the Cult of Christ would NEVER HAVE BECOME LEGITIMIZED!
"In other words, the "Burning Times" occured in SPITE of Christianity, not because of Christianity! No tru Christian advocates the imprisonment or execution of witches; unless they have committed crimes"
Page 96 - 97 Christianity and FreedomNot according to observation.
'Wherever Christianity and the Bible prevail, there is tolerance and a liberty in the area of Religion'
page 111 - We're all drug adicts!
In a radio talk show he said: "I told him that virtually every witch I had known (and I knew hundreds) used drugs like they were going out of style..."
Nice to know, guess I'll have to flush the tylenol now.
Concering the Goddess
'A hidden trap in this many names-one goddess metaphor is that many, if not most of the goddesses out there are not the sort of girl you'd wish to bring home to mother...'This goes on for quite a while with discussion of the historical nature of various typical Goddesses. One might note as a side point that the Judeo-Christian Yaweh as he is depicted in the Old Testement is not exactly the Nicest of fellows either.
page 122Right and the word "Church" comes from the word for circle therefore all Christians are Pagans..... gimme a break!
"Secondly, although some Pagan groups call themselves "groves", the term refers to an "Asherah pole" or an idol to Ashtoresth or Asherah, the goddess! Thus, we are hearing a report of worship of one of the oldest forms of the goddess...."
page 123 - We practice infant sacrifice....
This had to be the most outrageous section in the book and probably the most offensive.
Although "white" witches and other goddess worshippers today will loudly deny that they practice infant sacrifice; all they have done is institutionalize and legalize the practice. You will find that Wiccans are at the forefront of the movement to perserve the right of a woman to kill her baby through abortion.I will leave the above quote for general discussion. I can't quite see straight at the moment.
page 167 - On the use of Blood
refering to the tools - "Of these, two deserve our attention, the Black Handled knife or "athame" and the White handled knife or "Boleen". The question might be asked "why have two knives which are identical except for handle color?"....."is that part of the reason for the distiction between knives is that the Athame must NEVER be touched with blood, but the white handled knife is what is to be sued to draw blood for ritual purposes"
While this is true as far as it goes, it strongly suggests that the Boleen is used ONLY to draw blood. I know that I personnaly have NEVER used blood in any ritual, though I can see the possible use of personally donated, small quantities (single drop) in certain instances.
Page 171You should note that he has previously limited Wicca to a Religion of the latter part of this century and that this practice is therefore part of the current religion and not part of it's possible historic practice. The second paragraph I just flat DO NOT believe....
Wicca honors this myth (refering to Divine King) in its cycle of sabbats in which the god dies, and is reborn. A High Priest is only allowed to reigh in traditional covens for seven years. Then he must retire and be replaced by a younger, virile Priest. This was to forestall him becoming impotent. If however the land of the covendom (his "kingdom") becomes infertile, then the HIgh Priest was SLAIN in an act of ritual sex with his High Priestess. He would have his throat slit with the boleen at the exact moment of his climax the his High Priestess as Goddess, and his blood was believed to fertilize the soil.
He goes to his death willingly, so this is not so much ritual murder as it is ritual suicide. I was FULLY prepared (and indeed felt honored) for this if things grew bad under the years of my High Priesthood....
"Wiccans are either performing blood rituals, or they are betraying the very historicity which they claim to cherish so highly"Again, a judgement which if applied to Christianity itself would put Christianity in a bad light. What's fair for the goose....
Page 184 - "The central "mystery" of the Roman church is the Mass, a daily sacrifice of Jesus anew on the alter, followed by the ritual drinking of his blook and eating his flesh. Devout Catholics believe that by doing thses rites, they can appease God. Thus, they are tragically steered around the real sacrifice of the cross by Satan"Hmmmm, the Eucherist is a CENTRAL point throughout all variants of Christianity that I've ever seen. If he were to look it up Christians were commanded to perform this in rememberence of Jesus. Yet here it is used as example of a "blood ritual" in use by the Catholic Church.....
Page 185 - Wicca leads to being a Mass Murderer... "We may never know how many of these crazed killers whose work we so often see on the nightly news got their apprenticeship in Wicca, but I ask you, is it worth the risk"Typical Fundamentalist BS. No evidence presented that ANY were Wiccan, no mention on how many might have been Christian. Just vague accusations that some or all were Wiccan and that Wicca leads to Murder!
Page 194 - 195
Synopsis: The pentagram was used in the worship of Set, Crowley was a Satanist and promoted it's use, All wiccans are 'decendand' from Crowley, therefore any time a Wiccan uses a Pentagram they are invoking Set in one form or another.
Page 195 - 196 Concerning the Great Rite
After describing the rite...
It is in this utterly intimate contact that the "power" of the High priesthood is passed, and has been passed down through the generations. Crowley designed this ritual to continue the highly depraved Set (or Aiwass) magical current from the Initiator to the candidate. At the risk of stretching a metaphor, he created a SPIRITUAL VENEREAL DISEASE, which could be easily passed through the act of sex, and which would insure that his "religion" would survive long after his death.He then goes on to compare this to AIDS!
Page 199 - Witchcraft responsible for all kinds of stuff...That's right folks we just got blames for child porno, homosexuality and general perversion!
This does much to explain the increasingly perverse and even dangerous practice of most homosexuals, and of most people who practice higher levels of Witchcraft
This also explains the sudden meteoric rise of interest in the child as a sexual object, and the TERRIBLE seductiveness of child pornography.
Page 201 -The old "Why don't you stop beatting your spouse" trick. And if the Christian God is one of love, why world wars, starvation, the Burning Times.......
If Wicca is so innocent and so good, why do so many that really get into it in a deep way end up involved in perversion, crime and madness?
Page 209 - "Religionists, of whatever stripe, who make a career out of frightening people and making them work their way to God, are preaching a lie from the pit of hell"About the only thing in the whole book that makes sense... now does this apply to fundamentalist TV evangelists?
You may have (you'd be blind not to) notices that my responses to the certain quotes from Schnoebelen book are high critical and deeply sarcastic.
Just a note about myself
I was raised Lutheren and at age 10 my family converted to Fundamentalism, they were expelled from the Lutheren Church with a warning actually posted in the church bulletin to beware them for they had strayed.
The family went the whole gambit, speaking in tongues, prophesy, exorcism, the whole thing. I particpated it this for over 15 years believing it to be the correct path. Finally I began to examine my own personal believes and the believes spouted by these same fundamentalist and found them largely lacking. I chose to follow the Wiccan path and am extremely happy in that choice.
I don't have the 16 years Mr. Schnoebelen claims he had in the craft, I only have 3. I'm not above the 6th degree, In fact I didn't even know it went that high. I'm currently a self initiated 1st degree ecletic who with my wife and a friend have just formed our owm coven. I look forward to thier initiations so that I may proceed to my second degree.
I do however have many more years in the fundamentalist movement that he does and I can say without a bit of reservation that these folks are by and large OUT TO GET YOU! It is concealed, hidden even denied but I've seen it in action from the inside.
Comments to these posts are most welcome. Quotes were taken from Wicca: Satan's Little White Lie by William Schnoebelen, copyright 1990, distributed by Chick Publications.
This post is hereby copyrighted to WestWind Services, 1991 and hereby released into the public domain.