Sunday, August 21, 2011


So I was wandering about the 'net today in between feeding/medicating kittens (I've brought all seven of them in the house as fosterlings, to eventually go to the no-kill shelter in of all places Salem, Massachusetts, to be adopted, where they will hopefully make very fine familiars to some lucky Witches. Ratty and Danny Lion and Aleister Meowley, of course, are staying here) when I found my way to this article by the Skeptical Historian:

Satanic Panic: an Incident from the Witchcraft Panics of the 1980s

Scroll down to the third picture. See that pasty dark-haired chick in the pale green gown? That's me.

Ah, what memories. That was my first taste of just how fucked-up and abusive police can be. I've never forgotten it. I'd say, in fact, that that incident was instrumental in making me the devout anti-authoritarian I am today.

Funny thing is, that though I'm pretty sure that I am the person referred to here,
Most recently, the wife of a local resident reported "a girl with a witch costume on" walking along the road. This was in reality one of Eagan's friends, who happened to be tall, thin, and wore a long dark cloak.
I didn't even identify as a Witch, or as a Pagan, at the time. Back then I would have said I was agnostic, or areligious, or even an atheist. (Also, last I knew five foot three wasn't exactly 'tall'. Ah, journalists).

I of course was outraged at the time, though at nineteen years old I could not articulate even a tenth of what was so fucked up about it all. Now reading that article I see so much more of it. For example, I hadn't at the time cottoned on to the fact that only us girls got frisked; but now that they mention it why yes, come to think of it, that is true. Lovely.

Now I know that compared to some of the fruits of the Satanic Panic of the 80s what happened to myself and my friends is hardly a blip on the radar. No one did jail time; no one was even 'officially' arrested, though if you don't feel you are free to leave while the police question you is there a difference?

It is still, however, outrageous. And looking up some of the key players, the police officer who led the whole 'raid', and the 'reporter' who pretty much just made shit up, it does appear that they both still have jobs. Assuming that the policeman of the same name who works in a town not too far from the original incident is the same man; the 'reporter' now works in PR, where, fair enough, I suppose the job requirement in large part is the ability to lie. I am not surprised, I suppose, but I do like the idea of justice. No one ever got an apology, after all, even when they finally got it through their heads that none of what they were accusing us of, or 'reporting' on, was in the least bit true.

I suppose there is a lot more I could say about all this, and maybe someday I will go into it in more depth, but right now I will say that what happened at Wompatuck State Park is one of the big reasons I am so out about my religion now. Because I've seen what deliberate ignorance can do.

Also, it still pisses me off.