Paganism Archive

You'll find articles about this subject in each of the items listed, even if the term does not necessarily occur within the headlines or descriptive text.

Don Rimer, controversial ‘expert’ on occult crimes, passes away

Last Saturday retired police officer Donald H. Rimer passed away.

He was, by all accounts, a successful law enforcement professional with a career at the Virginia Beach, VA. Police Department spanning 34 years.

But during the mid-eighties Don Rimer also managed to establish himself as an internationally known authority on ‘Ritual Crime and the Occult’ — which he referred to as ‘the new youth subculture.’

This was at the height of the so-called ‘Satanic Panic’ period when the media was full of hysterical reports (read: urban legends) about ‘Satanists,’ ‘Pagans,’ ‘Witches’ and others who used secret underground networks to traffic in stolen children.

There were sensational reports about the sexual torture of children and the ritual sacrifice of babies. Stories appeared in newspapers and on Usenet of people who, all or not with the help of therapists, had ‘recovered’ memories about their early childhoods in which they had been subjected to ‘satanic ritual abuse.’

Those who believed they themselves might have been victims of such crimes were warned against contacting the authorities, as many law enforcement officers, judges and other authority figures were said to be undercover Satanists.

The story of this period of hysteria can be read in the book, “Satanic Panic,” by Jeffrey S. Victor.

Unfortunately, Rimer — who presented seminars on the occult to police departments, justice agencies, schools and churches throughout the US and Canada — very much contributed to this Satanic Panic.

While some observers considered him fair and sincere, most people familiar with the subjects Rimer addressed claimed he misrepresented minority faiths. They included Pagans, Witches, vampires, and even Goths and people who are into role-playing games.

Many pagans and witches viewed him as an uninformed fear-monger.

To their credit, many in the Pagan and vampire groups — communities much affected by Rimer’s work — have called for respect for those he leaves behind.

Court allows ‘warlock’ to break curfew on full moon nights to perform Wicca ritual

A male witch who was put under an overnight curfew for carrying a knife he claimed was for religious purposes will be allowed to break the curfew on nights when there is a full moon, a court in England has ruled.

Cerwyn Jones, who says he is a warlock who worships the goddess of the moon, was sentenced to four months of staying indoors between the hours of 7pm and 7am, the Daily Mail writes.

But magistrates agreed to suspend the order on four nights after hearing he needed to go out during a full moon to practise his Wicca faith, the paper says.

The Daily Mail explains:

Wicca – or white witchcraft – is a neo-pagan religion which saw a resurgence in popularity in the 20th century.

Its followers believe the whole cosmos is alive and as such the waxing, waning and full moon are extremely important.

During the full moon, ‘magic’ ceremonies are performed and the gods and goddesses of Wicca are honoured. These ceremonies may be officiated by a chosen warlock and most groups meet at least once a month, timing celebrations to coincide with the full moon.

The BBC reports that

Jones was jailed over firearms and threats to kill charges in 2003.

Julie Jones, prosecuting, said Jones was imprisoned for six years in 2003 for the charges and was released in September 2005.

The Daily Mail says Cerwyn Jones explained that he had turned to Wicca after coming out of prison:

At full moon he walks with a staff he has carved from holly wood, dressed in pilgrim’s clothing, into the mountains around Llangollen.

He said he conjured up spirits by casting a circle using his staff or an ‘athamac’, the ritual bladed instrument which he was arrested carrying. […]

Jones said he also interprets dreams and claims he predicted the outcome of his court case.