Some of our classic Problem Children are back in town and they are making the rounds again.
The baggage they bring with them includes a long history of drug abuse, malicious lying, claiming authority and powers they did not earn and do not have, physical abuse towads them by one of their chosen partners which occured in front of children & association with known drug dealers. What is most troubling is the shooting death of one of their members by the police, something which also occured in front of other familes not involved. This has capped a host of troubles and few people (except the clueless or the radically codependent) want to be anywhere near them now. No one wants the cops busting in on their rituals and who can blame them? I'm told that one of their last covens broke up in order simply to be rid of them. Since they've been back, I've gotten phone calls from annoyed or anxious people who are making it very clear that they will not attend any circle, function, event or party where these people are present.
Currently, these folks claim to "have gotten their act together" but they have said that before and no one who knows them believes it. One of them is going back on the message boards and announcing that they are a qualified and experienced leader, which is laughable to those people in his former group who did all the real work. This would be just the usual Pagan B.S., except for one important thing: What do we tell any newcomers?
If these two were simply Posers, we could let it alone and simply not refer them when newcomers ask for teachers or groups, but their behavior is criminal and their choice of "friends" would now put others at risk. Several people in the Pagan recovery community have reached out to them with offers of help, which have been rejected. Old friends who took them aside and told them the truth are now vilified by them behind their backs. Clearly, not much has changed for these folks.
I've talked to several of the old timers about this and the attitudes range from
* We all had to suffer through and weed out the crazies, let the newbees beware
* I don't care as long as they spend their money here.
* I don't want to get involved.
and my favorite:
* The community is too judgmental! If others want to shun them, then I will invite them to our Yule.
(That last one just floored me.) This person (who I quite like, by the way) suggested that we were shunning these folks in the same way that the Catholic church shuns gays. I think our gay friends would take offense at being compared to coke heads and drug dealers. This person and I will simply have to agree to disagree.
Today is the day for our Holiday Craft Faire. If I see two of the newbees in question, I will have to decide what to say to them. If these Problem Children come, the Hosts and I have agreed that they will be asked to leave. I doubt they will come, though. Too many of the people working this thing know them too well, so they won't be able to swan around looking mystical, which tends to put a real crimp in their style.
Ah, well. It's a pretty day and it will be great see old friends and raise money for a good cause. Tonight we'll finish and post the December newsletter.