(Note from Daven: I was a member of the Texas Pagan Community when this document began circulating around that community. I know (from rumors mostly) some of what went on to prompt this document, but not enough to make any sweeping statements as to what happened. I have had one person step up and claim credit for being the author of this document, and I humbly thank him for writing this.)
The Seeker’s Bill of Rights
High Priest Charles Mars
Seekers of the Pagan path are in an extremely vulnerable position. In their quest for teaching and fellowship, thy 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 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, a 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 serve to remind Seekers that while they do not have “degrees”, they are still human beings with rights and dignity.
- THE RIGHT TO VERIFY CREDENTIALS: Seekers shall not be obstructed from contacting persons who can substantiate claims made by groups or teachers. In the case of Elders who were inspired to create a new tradition, the Seeker has the right to know the circumstances surrounding the inception of that tradition.
- THE RIGHT TO ANONYMITY: Seekers have the right to keep their involvement in the occult a secret to preserve their personal and professional lives.
- THE RIGHT TO FINANCIAL STABILITY: Seekers shall not be required or coerced into taking on any excessive financial burden on behalf of a teacher or group.
- THE RIGHT TO COMPENSATION FOR PROFESSIONAL GOODS AND SERVICES: Seekers have the right to be paid for goods produced and/or skilled labor from which they would normally receive an income. Seekers shall not be required or coerced into providing “freebies” or discounts on behalf of a teacher or group.
- THE RIGHT TO SEXUAL FREEDOM: Seekers shall not be required or coerced into sexual relations with unwanted persons. Nor, shall Seekers be restricted from sexual relations with consenting adults.
- THE RIGHT TO PHYSICAL WELL-BEING: Seekers shall not be required or coerced into submitting to any form of physical injury.
- THE RIGHT TO ABIDE BY THE LAW: Seekers shall not be required or coerced into committing any illegal act.
- THE RIGHT TO CONSISTENCY: Seekers have the right to expect consistency in policies by a teacher or group. Seekers should be formally informed in a timely manner of any policy changes.
- THE RIGHT TO SEPARATION WITH IMPUNITY: Seekers have the right to discontinue association with any teacher or group without fear of harassment or reprisal.
- THE RIGHT TO BE AT PEACE WITH ONE’S CONSCIENCE: Seekers shall not be required or coerced into committing any action contrary to their code of ethics and morality.
I have compiled THE SEEKERS BILL OF RIGHTS from experiences I suffered at the hands of an abusive teacher. Hopefully, this tool will help other Seekers avoid the hazards and pitfalls I encountered.
Originally posted 2015-06-13 12:04:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter