Seekers Bill of Rights

Seekers Bill of Rights

by Charles Mars

Seekers of the Pagan Path are often extremely vulnerable. In their quest for teaching and fellowship, they risk encountering those who use our faith to prey on others. Since Paganism is still struggling for public acceptance, there is little sympathy from authorities. Neither can the elders of our community effectively address this issue. The most they can do is denounce these predators, and they are usually accused of starting a “Witch War” when they do. The answer to this dilemma is to empower those most vulnerable, the Seekers. To this end, the Seeker’s Bill of Rights has been drafted. This tool will help to alert seekers of a problem if a group or teacher violates any of the ten rights described. It will also remind seekers that while they may not have “degrees”, they are still human beings with rights and dignity.

  1. The Right to Verify Credentials: Seekers shall not be obstructed from contacting persons who can substantiate or disavow the claims made by a group or teacher. In the case of elders who were inspired to create a new tradition, the seeker has a right to know the circumstances surrounding the inception of that tradition.
  2. The Right to Anonymity: Seekers have the right to keep their involvement in the occult a secret to preserve their professional and personal lives.
  3. The Right to Financial Security: Seekers shall not be required or coerced to take on financial burdens on behalf of a teacher or group.
  4. The Right to Compensation for Goods and Services: Seekers have the right to be paid for goods produced from and/or skilled labor from which they would normally receive income. Seekers shall not be required or coerced to provide “freebies” or discounts on behalf of a teacher or group.
  5. The Right to Sexual Freedom: Seekers shall not be required or coerced to have sexual relations with unwanted persons. Nor shall seekers be restricted from sexual relations with consenting adults.
  6. The Right to Physical well-being: Seekers shall not be required or coerced to submit to any form of physical injury.
  7. The Right to Abide by the Law: Seekers shall not be required or coerced to commit any illegal act.
  8. The Right to Consistency: Seekers have the right to expect consistent practices from a teacher or group. Seekers should be informed in a timely manner of any policy changes.
  9. The Right to Separation Without Impunity: Seekers have the right to discontinue association with any teacher or group without the fear of harassment or reprisal.
  10. The Right to Be At Peace With One’s Conscience: Seekers shall not be required or coerced to commit any action contrary to their own sense of ethics and morality.

The Seeker’s Bill of Rights © Charles Mars 1998 Hern’s Wood Coven, published in The Accord copyright C.M.A.

3 Responses “Seekers Bill of Rights” →

  1. forseti son of Baldar

    November 28, 2010

    This “Seekers Bill of Rights” had a great intent to it. As well-meaning as it was at the time of its drafting however, it is not feasible as long as there remains an uncooperative, disjointed, disorganized pattern within the pagan community as a whole. There is no way to enforce this so-called Bill of Rights. To call it a “Bill of Rights” is to suggest that there is or was an effort by someone to create an organized, cooperating, unified body of pagans, much like the first States of the Union. If this Bill of Rights were to ever come to fruition, then there will have to be an establishment of a Congress or Synod of pagan groups and communities who stand mutually linked together, and agree upon a course of action on how to enforce this Seekers Bill of rights. Without a mutual effort by all pagan groups State wide to organize and mutually cooperate together, (much like their Christian counter-parts such as the Southern Baptist Convention, or the Methodist Missouri Synod or even the Presbyterian Convention) then there is no realistic way, or chance of seeing this Bill ever taking effect.
    Unfortunately the problem is that a few pagan leaders and elders want the power to control Seekers, not share power with the Seekers. It is a power over, not a power with. This Bill would give power and rights to Seekers.

    Mr. Mars stated in 1998, “Since Paganism is still struggling for public acceptance; there is little sympathy from authorities.” The question that arises even after 12 years since Mars wrote this article: Has anything really changed within “Texas” pagan communities that would generate respect and acceptance from the general public or local authorizes that would allow for this kind of Bill to be recognized? The answer sadly is, no.

    Many pagan groups, off-shoots, sub-sections and splinter cells, (not just within Texas but nationwide) remain at odds with one another even to this day; and some of them are bitter rivals of one another. Is it any wonder that Paganism/Witchcraft/Wicca/Druids/etc, etc. are all viewed by the general public as a counter-productive spiritual affliction on society? Authoritative entities would rather ignore these groups because they carry no respectable weight in society.
    We can take hope in the efforts that are being done by many larger groups like Circle Sanctuary and a number of others, who are taking the lead in pagan society and setting a good example of what mutual cooperation will actually lead to. Perhaps, if some groups would throw down their magic wands, and stop trashing one another and see that we are all in this great struggle together, we may, in our life-times, see paganism gain a foothold of societal acceptance and respectability.

    Reply
  2. wow, awesome blog post.Really thank you! Cool.

    Reply
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  1. Shhhh! There are pagans in Texas! Episode #2 Notes | Shhh! There are pagans in Texas!!

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