Edit for clarification: This post has NOTHING to do with the recent issues surrounding the prominent pagan author and musician that was arrested in New Orleans on Child Pornography charges. In fact, this post was written long before that news was released.
Protecting the Innocent is a concept that has been around since the dawn of time and was for many people who didn't walk the path of the Wise hammered home during the Charmed Series. You know the one with Pru, Piper, Phoebe and Paige who were always doing everything they could to protect the innocent. No one is to ever attack or allow an attack on those who are innocent of any wrongdoing. Unfortunately, I am seeing an ever increasing propensity within the Pagan community where the innocent are under attack from those very people who have been charged with protecting them.
Who are the innocents and how do we determine their innocence? In my world, you are innocent until proven guilty. Let's think about that for a moment... proven guilty ... not by my assumption nor by my need to be right in everything I do. Unless there is overwhelming valid, documented evidence of wrongdoing, and not something created in the minds of others, you are innocent. And as an innocent, you are entitled to protection. Period.
What is causing this outbreak of aggressiveness?? If you are even a tiny bit active in the online Pagan community, you can see examples of those who have made a personal decision to set themselves up above the rest of us, which gives the misguided notion they are in a position to judge and then condemn. Most times by simply creating a scenario that allows for them to be *right*. Safe and secure in their ivory towers, they use their far-reaching voice to try and save everyone from attack. The saddest part of this is that the attack is one that was manufactured in order to lend credibility to the need to be in control, to judge those deemed unworthy, and to rally their comrades in arms around a false threat.
Before you get your panties in a bunch, I am not talking about those who have the real-time experience and wisdom that comes with age. I'm also not talking about those who have the reputation for actually and honestly helping throughout the community. I am talking about the ones that came on the scene and outta the blue are the experts at everything. I'm talking about those who use their voice to instigate trouble, turn people against one another, and further their personal agenda by demeaning and persecuting the very people they are supposed to protect.
When you stop and think about it, those who are perpetuating this type of behavior must be very lonely and truly miserable in their own lives. What a sad and unfortunate waste of an existence. If they were happy and living the life so many of us work diligently towards each day, they would have no time for games. No time for creating those scenarios that seemingly become threats to the entire community. And if they were living the positive life they shout about from the rooftops, they would have no reason to intimidate and mock those who are not living by or up to the unreachable standards set forth for their very survival.
Once someone in a position of power uses their voice to spread hate, anger, strife, and falsehoods against others it is often times impossible to not get caught up in the tidal wave of consequences that will eventually come about. Unfortunately, many of those who are followers are also innocents who should be protected but have entrenched themselves so deeply into the deception, they end up being collateral damage when the fall out begins. And does the miscreant who invented the catastrophe in the first place care they are bringing other people down with them? Not at all.
Those of us on the outside have our hands tied by the Gods, we can't interfere with free will of others, we can't even warn of the avalanche of destruction when we have been shown that it has begun. All we can do is stand here with our hearts and arms wide open to comfort those who were taken in by the very ones who created the fictional account in the first place. We can give assurance the path they chose was not the one intended for them to travel, and that the Gods are ever eager to help them regain their self-confidence and individuality. To hold them up and love them in their time of sorrow and confusion.