Demand Transparency and Accountability in our Communities

Did you guys read those posts on Gods&Radicals condemning the Florida Pagan Gathering for trying to cover up the fact that they invited pedophilia advocates the Frosts to present?

Yeah, I haven’t either – because they don’t exist, which actually says a whole lot.

Rhyd and his friends are willing to stoke fears and lead witch hunts against dangerous elements in our communities such as people who believe in tradition and hierarchy but when actual threats to our safety and well-being rear their vile heads these valiant social justice “warriors” remain silent.

Aside from telling you everything you need to know about the morality of their cause, I think it is worth probing a little deeper and asking why.

The answer is simple.

In covering this story The Wild Hunt wrote:

Sage, a former FPG staff member, told The Wild Hunt that he and several others resigned over this very issue. Until recently, Sage was the FPG workshop coordinator and he said, “I resigned largely because I was instructed that it was my job to keep secret certain workshops that the Board of Directors was aware would upset some portion of the community. This deceit came in direct conflict with my moral and ethical codes of conduct.” There are also reportedly some copyright issues involving the printing and publication of the two versions of the festival booklets, which have nothing directly to do with the workshop issue itself. Sage did add that he personally will not be attending the event.

If that sounds familiar it should because that’s the same approach that the organizers of Many Gods West favor. All decisions are made by a cabal without transparency or accountability. Once a decision has been made (such as banning someone for posting satirical critiques of Rhyd’s hysterical rhetoric) there is no process by which it may be appealed (even though numerous people tried to do so.) In fact until everything blew up we had no idea who the organizers of the conference even were beyond spokesperson Niki Whiting – and, as we subsequently discovered, there was good reason for that secrecy.

One of the organizers of the conference is Syren Nagakyrie. If that name isn’t familiar to you it should be. Not only is she a regular contributor to Gods&Radicals, she’s one of its co-founders and their current Treasurer. So while Rhyd has done his best to distance himself publicly from MGW (despite being part of a panel that will be presenting on anti-fascism) in case there’s any blowback from his “righteous” crusade it’s clear that the connections run deep. (Which explains why they were so quick to silence criticism.)

In fact far from being enemies at the gate and radical subversives the Gods&Radicals crowd are deeply enmeshed in mainstream neopaganism. When Rhyd made his backpedaling quasi-apology once we started calling him out it wasn’t at Gods&Radicals, where the original offending post had appeared, nor even at his personal blog as one might expect – but at Patheos Pagan, where he used to write and where several of his fellow G&R comrades such as John Halstead currently blog. He is also a frequent contributor to The Wild Hunt and for several years has been a fixture of the conference circuit attending and often presenting at events such as the Polytheist Leadership Conference, the Pagan Activist Conference and Pantheacon.

No wonder they don’t want to call out Florida Pagan Gathering and similar venues for inviting people like the Frosts – if you rock the boat too much it might end up costing you speaking gigs or cause Patreon donations to dry up.

Some of us are willing to speak out no matter who it offends or what the consequences are – about real issues and real threats to our communities. (I guess protecting our daughters* from rapists isn’t a political enough issue for them.)

Remember their silence the next time Rhyd and pals make their vile insinuations about Heathens, Druids, Reconstructionists, devotional Polytheists and basically anyone who isn’t part of their clique. More to the point, think long and hard about who they associate with and whether you want to associate with those people too – especially when they’re hosting a conference with such a high price tag attached.

broken-shield

*while abuse happens to children of all genders, the Frosts specifically advocated in their book the abuse of girls.

 

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Posted on April 20, 2016, in community, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. James "TwoSnakes" Stovall

    I’m proud that when the Frosts had been invited to Michigan PaganFest that Sarenth and I as long time presenters didn’t quit, but told them flat out we would be vocally protesting and standing watch over the Frosts the whole weekend. They ended up cancelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. songofscotland

    How utterly vile and hypocritical of Rhyd & Friends. But at this point, I’m almost not surprised. Disgusting.

    Like

  3. Well to tell the truth, that is not what they are about. A perusal of their portal will only bring up articles involving feminism and capitalism, the patriarchy, and chiding the Pagan community on being trans-phobic. In other words, if it doesn’t fit a political narrative that is anti-capitalist or anti-hierarchical, it doesn’t get written about.

    But I thought that some sort of article about the trans-bathroom bills, etc would be written by now. The anti-Trump articles have been written, and responses to the fascism claims have been written. I am still waiting on the trans-phobic in politics……….

    I would have thought that sexual predators and their victims would have been something of interest since they do discuss economic predators and their victims. Silly me.

    You certainly have a pretty damning picture of Rhyd complete with his efforts to gain money in a capitalist manner.

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  4. I am curious as to why the secrecy about who is running Many Gods West.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ganglerisgrove

      i don’t know, Virginia. Rhyd posted here: https://paganarch.com/2016/04/20/you-should-totally-know-her/ defending Syren but A) not answering any of the issues raised here (same thing he did in responding to the outcry over his initial ‘we’re all fascists’ post) and also B) attempting to gaslight by implying that I and others are “obsessed” with him. …I couldn’t care less about Rhyd. He’s a person. we’re expendable. What isn’t expendable is the integrity of our traditions–they should outlast us all growing stronger each generation– and I very much care about the toxic politics and destructive witch hunting that he’s bringing into our communities. I care about that very much.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It would seem that you got under his craw. I would think that he didn’t care about what you write, since well it is “toxic” and all of that. But the posting he did write seems to be passive-aggressive. As in hey there is this person obsessed about me, but shhh it’s a secret. But hey I’m that important to have someone (important) fuss over me. Games people play.

        I think it is a way to have it both ways, be the radical and not pay the price. My family were radicals and they paid for it big time. I don’t respect pseudo-radicals, who play the game but don’t walk the walk. I would like to hear how the talk translates into the walk. (One writer there did write about his talk and walk. I do respect him for that.)

        No, it didn’t answer any of the issues you brought up. I would think that people who want openness would welcome the chance for others to see what they are doing. I guess that is for the unwashed masses, I suppose.

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      • Vision_From_Afar

        Well, considering the closest analogy to your opening issue is that Baseball Monthly wouldn’t cover the Tiger Woods scandal… I mean seriously, pedophilia is in fact a crime, and everyone agrees it’s terribad, as evidenced by the brouhaha that resulted and reported by TWH. Not much need for political change there. Not much need for a blog collective focused on politics to comment. They have everyone from Gnostics to Atheopagans to Polytheists posting there. Are they ALL supporting pedophiles? Why are you expecting them to, unless to tar them with the same “they like rapists” brush that Jon Upsal’s so adept at wielding. Did MGW invite some pedophiles that no one’s reported on and you have the exclusive? It’s not that they “don’t want to call out,” but that (crazy thought) why should they need to? Also, silence is not consent. Are you tacitly supporting NC’s trans bathroom law because you haven’t posted about it, or do you have other issues to focus on and we’re well aware of your views?
        I certainly wouldn’t complain about a little more transparency on the part of organising these kind of things, but when every side of the kerfuffle Sannion (however inadvertently) stirred up has clammed up and deleted posts, we’re all just sitting here listening to he-said/she-said merry-go-round.
        As for posting his blanket response on Patheos, I think it was an attempt at hitting a wider audience, since one could feasibly argue that the issue had blown sufficiently beyond just G&R, and posting there would not immediately reach the same level of audience as PP, where he was just a guest post on the Pagan News blog. Was it off-target? Maybe. Was it part of a larger conspiracy? Very doubtful.

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      • Virginia carper

        The question is not that G+R should cover these issues. The context is when you call out nearly everyone as a potential fascist, then it follows that you would comment on the secretive nature of what was happening in Florida. If the tenets are transparency and accountability that are stressed in their articles, then it follows that something would be said about the Pagan gathering in Florida.

        It’s like discussing brain concussions in football without discussing them in hockey. If the focus is on preventing brain concussions in sports.

        Since the focus of that portal is speaking truth to power, I would suppose that an article about trans-phobia in capitalist society would be in order. I have no doubt one is being written.

        My point is that when you set up alarms for Polytheists and Pagans to be aware of and deal with, then yes, this would be included.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I believe that I will make that post now about boycotting MGW. Of course I was not planning on going anyway because of the cost/distance (I live in Connecticut). These people have a distinctive agenda which I cannot support in any honesty what-so-ever. They are vile and tell lies. On principle I do not attend any neo-pagan events, which as can be seen here are by far worse. I do not need to be around all that miasma. **gasp**gag**heave**

    Liked by 2 people

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