I am unsure where Mr. Anderson got his information, but I can assure you that it is very inaccurate. As a Pagan with strong leanings toward Wicca, I would like to let our fair city know that the things Mr. Anderson cites are not practiced in any way by most Wiccans/Pagans, nor have I ever heard of any using the practices he claims. The mere fact that he says that "Wicca (white majick)" - his spelling, not mine - shows that he knows nothing about this religion.
Wicca is a religion that believes that the Divine is manifested around us, in nature and in ourselves. And since this is so, Wiccans believe that we must respect and take care of our planet, and each other. We do believe in God; we just believe He is married to the Goddess. Furthermore, I must admit to being rather confused at how a "counterfeit" spirit can "ultimately seek to reside within and control." If it is counterfeit, or unreal, how can it have a goal?
If one were to seek out and meet us, they would find that most of us believe in taking care of our bodies - which means no "drugs" or hallucinogens. Things that cloud the mind tend to affect the body in negative ways.
One would also find out that how they chose to dress is up to them. No one is expect or asked to dress (or cross-dress) in any way. This is part of respecting the individual.
As to the rest of Mr. Anderson's allegations (which are too numerous to reprint), they are absurd and have little or no basis in mainstream Wicca or Paganism, just as flogging has little or nothing to do with mainstream Christianity - and it is practiced by some sects of Christians.
To sum up, we are not anti- or un-American. Our beliefs and love of our country are just as strong as Mr. Anderson's - perhaps stronger, because we do have the freedom to practice a religion that has been continually persecuted in the past. Wiccans know all too well what happens to us when that freedom is taken away.
So, yes, we will fight for that in our armed services. As a former member of the armed services, I cannot help but feel that being asked or drafted to protect a right that is not given to me is real "slap in the face."
Susan M. McDonald,