Well, it appears that this story will not die. It has cropped up on another board. It also appears that my pages here are confusing to follow chronologically and for that I am sorry. So, I’m going to post this page and link everything I have that’s relevant in order so that this story unfolds logically. Sorry about the confusion.
I’m going to lay this out chronologically and link the relevant pieces of information in as they happen, I hope this will make things less confusing to the reader. There are links in here to evidence as needed.
- Seax-Wica has been getting fewer and fewer adherents for a while now. No one is to blame for this, but The Tree is out of print and with the One Book and I’m A Witch set, it’s getting harder for our tradition to be seen in the flood of books on the market these days.
- Buckland had appointed one person to be the head of SW, a gentleman who has since left leaving a vacancy to be filled. This was due to many things, and one of Buckland’s letters details what happened better than I could. These acts are actually what started things, and they are available over at the Yahoogroup, seaxwica If you want to look in their archives, please do so. All you have to do is join and you can unsub quickly. There is no moderator in that group and there won’t be since the founder quit.
- Mark V. was in the right places at the right times and Buckland saw that he was doing the right things, saying the right things and appointed him as the Steward. I have a copy of the graphic that Buckland used to appoint him with, and it’s legit.
You have to understand that since there are very few leaders in SW, this position had absolutely no authority and little power. It was equivalent to appointing one person as the caretaker of the Quakers. It was a figurehead, someone the press and others outside of SW could come to and get things answered and occasionally a member of SW could ask this person (as a neutral third party) to settle something.
Mark also had two websites at the time, one for his own work and one for his coven. Both of these websites have disappeared for some reason.
- Mark started making many changes to the whole of SW, from the liturgy to the rituals to denouncing other religions to appointing “ambassadors” in each continent for Seax-Wica. These were his own doing. He started small by making an “official” list, an “official” website and so on. These are also gone from the Internet.
- He began attacking a Saxon Recon group called “Theodish Belief” because of their practice of animal sacrifice, and decried them in public and was doing things like going onto their boards and insulting them (when they offered him no harm) and demanding that all SW adherents come and attack them in every public forum they could. He was insulting and condescending to another faith path, simply because he personally objected to their practice of Animal Sacrafice, Nithing poles (a minor practice of very infrequent use which he still objected to), their custom of having thralls (apprentices in the tradition. He related them to slaves), and one of their leaders. He called them cowards and made multiple threats against the leaders of this tradition. He tried to get one person, Ermund, exposed as a monster who would sacrifice children and fired from his place of work since he worked with children and practiced “blot” (animal sacrifice) in his religious practices. Mark claims that Ermund made an off handed comment that he would like to blot these kids. It turns out in later conversation with Ermund that he never said that, not even in jest. Mark took that to mean that he wished to sacrifice these kids in a ritual. His charge of cowardice came from the fact that they settle disputes in armed combat, albeit with wooden swords and padding, ala the SCA. Mark decided that because it wasn’t with live steel (which would kill) that it was cowardice.
- Many many people tried to talk him down from these positions, pointing out that he had little real power, that all he could do is suggest and that he was making more enemies than he was making friends. He refused to back down from his radical positions. These discussions were handled on the Yahoogroup that Mark has since deleted, so there is no evidence of this. However, I have my correspondence available. I think it’s reasoned and fairly mild, and you can see how Mark gets more and more strident, and keeps retreating to “But Buckland SAID so! And he supports ME, not YOU!” in his letters.
- He started attacking members of Seax-Wica who were homosexual on his “official” board. He went so far as to ORDER a High Priest in England to eject a member and webmaster for the coven because he was openly gay. . Despite Buckland’s statements (and I have talked to him about that position, it’s personally held and not part of the tenets of SW) SW has traditionally been accepting of homosexual members and very welcoming. As a a result, of the Wiccans who call themselves Seax-Wica, about half are homosexual. Mark decided to make it a personal crusade to remove all Homosexuals from the face of the earth, to lead ALL Wiccans in a holy war against the evil Homosexuals and meat-eaters. Yes, he wished to become the pope of Wicca in effect.
During this time, myself, a high Priest from England, and several other members of Seax-Wica were writing Buckland begging him to wake up and look at what he was saying in the name of Seax-Wica. Mark kept posting about how he had Buckland’s full support in these decisions, and many of us were SERIOUSLY considering leaving SW as a result. Because of circumstances, and because Raymond likes his privacy, we were uncertain that our messages were getting through, and collectively we decided to start taking action.
- This is when (Finally) Buckland wrote back and said he was “shocked and appalled”. It took me and others by surprise, especially when he passed the buck and disassociated himself from the situation completely. It felt like a betrayal.
- Those of us who still cared, wrote and published the “Notice of Disassociation” and published it to as many sites as we could. We wanted to make it clear that Seax-Wica was NOT embodied in Mark.
- Mark decided to start sending hate and anger and insults at those of us who were still true to our oaths of tolerance and succor, calling us queer lovers, enemies and so on. Anyone who protested his actions as not being Wiccan was attacked. For instance, a friend of mine, bisexual wrote him and reasonably asked him to stop as he was hurting what all Wicca espoused and how Wicca was perceived by others. He responded by flaming her, attacking her, and became more hateful when she admitted to being bisexual. She is the author of the Petition by the way. He set up another web site (also thankfully gone) where he calls all of us who “hate” him out as evil and destroying Wicca.
- Finally, Raymond Buckland wrote me and many other forums saying that Mark was not representative of Seax-Wica, that he was removed from his post as Steward, and that the post was being dissolved completely, never again to be used. Even limited figurehead authority seemed to be too much for some.
- When Raymond was informed of the petition, he signed it himself (signature 235), mostly to try to end this incident. The petition is specifically to send to Mark V’s publishers to try to get him removed from their lists.
- I posted the entire incident from my perspective so that people could understand what happened, how it happened and why it happened.
- He continues to occasionally send me hate mail, going so far as to threaten legal action if I don’t comply with his wishes and remove portions of my site, or blasts me with hatred and anger, then wonders why I continue to keep these pages up when he “hasn’t done anything to [me]”.
The petition is by someone else with the purpose of removing him from his publisher’s lists of authors. There are many reviews of his book “The Wiccan Rede” on Amazon.com which are independent reviews and tell what he has been writing in his books under the guise of “the only book about Wicca you need…” They are consistently low, except for those few where he has cronies or supporters who actually agree with his agenda of anti-homosexuals go there to lambaste those who have the temerity to tell it like it is.
As far as I’m concerned, this incident and all the rest are finished and closed. I occasionally get emails from Mark railing against something or my post on the Journal, but I could care less. He is not in power anymore, Buckland finally saw what was happening, and Seax-Wica is coming through this stronger than ever. There’s even a republication of “The Tree” coming out end of 2004.