Why Naturalism? Because This. by Mark Green [an Atheopagan Life]

Yet another example of a Pagan in a leadership position using that position for sexual misconduct, citing woo-woo “spiritual” reasons involving disembodied entities and “magical bonds” as “explanations” for his abuse.

How far would such hokum fly in a naturalistic Pagan community?


At all.

Willingness to take someone’s word about supposed supernatural processes and invisible beings is a formula for being abused. Healthy skepticism would have tossed this creep out on his ear long ago, but the conventions of many Pagan communities which take at face value highly improbable assertions about the nature of reality create safe contexts within which abusers can operate.

Say what you like about naturalistic Paganism, one thing is clear: a naturalist thinker isn’t going to be lured or cajoled or strongarmed into being abused with “magical” explanations.

This happens too much in the Pagan community. A healthy dose of skepticism is the cure for the problem.

And here’s a rule of thumb: any time a “leader” or “teacher” of any kind suggests that to “advance” you need to do something sexual: RUN.

Originally posted at Atheopaganism, here.

An Atheopagan Life is a column about living an atheist, nature-honoring life.

Mark Green is a writer, thinker, poet, musician and costuming geek who works in the public interest sector, primarily in environmental policy and ecological conservation. He lives in Sonoma County on California’s North Coast with his wife Nemea and Miri, the Cat of Foulness. For more information on Atheopaganism, visit Atheopaganism.wordpress.com, or the Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/godlessheathens.21.

See An Atheopagan Life posts.

See all of Mark Green’s posts.

Editors note: This is yet another example of why everyone should be free to openly question someone’s interpretation of their spiritual experience.  Rev. Keith Vorderbruggen may or may not have had the spiritual experience he describes, but in any case, the people involved are free to consider different interpretations of it, while protecting themselves.  If the interpretation of experiences cannot be questioned, then what could have been a reason to question his instruction?

One Comment on “Why Naturalism? Because This. by Mark Green [an Atheopagan Life]

  1. Totally disagree. The spiritual framework was just a tool, but other tools will always be used based on what’s available to the abuser. Within the very article there were multiple accounts of women who were simply trying to avoid escalation by saying no, and the real issue was the board minimizing the experiences of the abused “they only complained after they had spoken with their partners, and still interacted with them after” without realizing that this is common for victims. The real issue is the continuation of the victim-blaming/abuser apologist dynamic that still plagues society.
    If we believe that this will just go away if we’re “enlightened” and more secular that will open the doors for this to go unignored in THIS community, in the naturalistic pagan community. People always like to believe it’s “others” who are monsters, but monsters always masquerade in normalcy and often paint themselves are more understanding and enlightened. Never fall into the trap of thinking it can’t happen in this community. This is an issue of deeply ingrained sexism and it can happen anywhere.

%d bloggers like this: