March 31, 2014

WTF, Pagan Community?

Apparently, some guy I never heard of, Kenny Klein, has confessed — let me repeat that, confessed — to several dozen counts of possession of child pornography. And because he’s some sort of Big Name Pagan, people are worried about how “poor Kenny” is being treated, insisting that he’s only been accused not convicted, that not everyone who owns child porn is a child molestor, worrying far more about how this reflects on the pagan community than about the victims, trying to discredit the victims, victim blaming, and generally being exactly the same kind of horrible that the Catholic Church has been about child molesting priests. And Evangelicals about some youth pastors. And conservative Jews about certain Rabbis.

What the fuck, pagan community? No, seriously, what the fuck?

I hear you, making jokes about Catholic priests and altar boys. All the fucking time. And now you are defending somebody who owns — who admits to owning — lots and lots of child porn, and who has also now been accused by a number of young and underaged members of our community of harassing them? I. Just. Fuck you people.

Child molestation is evil. Child pornography is evil. Rape is evil. Sexual harassment is evil. Do not gives passes to people who do these things. Believe people who come forward and say that these things have happened to them. Do not tolerate people who do these things. Do not place public relations above human beings. If you do, then you are doing evil.

I’m not, generally, a big fan of the word “evil”. Certainly I do not believe in evil as a noun. But evil as an adjective applied to human actions that deeply harm others? Yes, I’ll go with that. Murder. Rape. Child abuse and molestation. Things like that, yeah, I’ll call those evil.

You’re worried about how Kenny Klein is making the pagan community look? How about worrying about how you are making the pagan community look. Because how you’re making us look is like collaborators with and enablers of people who are doing evil. People who are going around deeply harming the most vulnerable members of our community.

You are the ones making us look bad. You are the ones harming the community as a whole.

The only moral thing to do is to immediately condemn this man. Pagan Square got that, and removed his blog from their site. Immanion Press has pulled one of his books from their lineup. Llewellyn Press has issued a statement condemning him, and may be pulling his books, too. Members of his own tradition are speaking out. Many many individual pagans and polytheists are loudly and firmly denouncing him. But there are enough people defending him to hurt us all. Hell, one person defending him hurts us all. Because he has hurt people, badly.