In 2019, the organization he founded years earlier dissociated Issac Bonewits from the order. Ár nDraíocht Féin ( ADF ) announced it had taken this step posthumously after accusations Mr. Bonewits had sexually abused a child. Many argued Mr. Bonewits was never found guilty in a court of law. Of course not. The accuser did not come forward until Isaac Bonewits had died.
Certainly false accusations can ruin a person’s life. But at the time, Isaac Bonewits had no life. He could not loose a job or relationship. He could not be falsely imprisoned. He died 9 years earlier. What the ADF did was to state very clearly tolerance has a limit.
“The Mother Grove publicly denounces Bonewits’ alleged actions toward children. We cannot and will not abide such actions. Children are our most precious asset, as they represent our future, and we have a sacred duty to protect them from harm, including teaching them about their own soveriegnty. For that reason, we also reaffirm our commitment to creating a culture of consent within ADF. The Mother Grove will work with our Human Services Specialist to create a consistent consent training program. ” – ADF Mother Grove
I do not believe I have ever felt so proud. It was my greatest spell, my greatest ritual, and it ended with my greatest punch line. . You see there was a time not so long ago when this would not have happened When pagan authors, leadership and and influences tolerated even the worse behavior in the name of tolerance itself, Some things should not be tolerated. Some things must be protested loudly. I feel I contributed to the shifting consiousness with a piece of performance art called ‘A Sacrifice to Caring’. While I do not believe this public ritual performed in 2007 directly caused the ADF to act in 2019, I do think I got the ball rolling.
It was shortly after becoming a father, that I noticed the pagan movement could be far safer for children. I started running my mouth on this topic the way a new parent runs around the home child proofing the place. It seems my attempt to cause change in accordance with will was successful. Yes, there are still a few unprotected outlets. But I think I got some folk to start looking for them.
Back then and evidently less today, the pagan movement tended to be tolerant to the point of enabling. One year at a convention in Michigan, I listened to a man tell a group he had beaten his wife because he had been possessed by Hades. I did think he was possessed, but by a demon whose name is alcohol. I was scolded for belittling his belief system. The minds of these playgans were so open that their brains had fallen out.
At the same public event, a fellow author and friend crawled around on the floor during a drum circle. Some thought she was working with animal spirits. Others thought she was entertaining the children of the family friendly event. When she started to projectile vomit, I recognized the familiar smell of that demon again. I have been surrounded by folk with that affliction my whole life. With a loving but drunk father, I spent much of my teen years in Al-Anon Family Groups and similar organizations. Did I want my child to be exposed to this illness? I decided I could no longer enable with tolerance.
Because I thought she was a close friend, I attempted intervention. I solicited the help of others in our circle of friends and was thrilled when so many agreed to participate. The intervention turned into am ambush. Not of my friend, but of me. Instead of recognizing my sincere concern for a friend, my friends admonished my concerns. What right do I have to criticize how she lives her life. Again, minds so open I heard their brains as they hit the floor. My friend did not seem offended. That night, again drunk, the friend grabbed my wife’s breasts without consent. Did I not notice these things before becoming a father?
At the time, I had a huge platform at the annual Real Witches Ball and online at the first incarnation of PaganNation.com. Surely I could make a difference. I scheduled workshops for the Real Witches Ball and provided online resources. Little changed. The playgans still outnumbered those good folk interested in improving our world. I asked myself again, this time as the father of two. Do I want my children exposed to this?
It was not the violence, substance abuse, or worse things I observed. It was the tolerance of these things. If I was going to cause change in conformity to will, I would have to expand my platform. For that, I would need the assistance of fellow authors and public personalities. Today we call them influences. But how would I do that? By not asking them of course. I do admit, I can be wildly manipulative.
I called it the sacrifice of caring. I scheduled it for The Real Witches Ball. I announced I would be sacrificing the authors Gavin and Yvonne Frost in effigy. Then I sat back and watched the bobble heads bobble. News that I would be sacrificing the Frosts in effigy raced across the internet. How dare A.J. Drew do such a thing. Before that last Real Witches Ball began, every author scheduled to speak withdrew. Ticket sales dropped to next to nothing. It seemed the whole of the pagan community was outraged. Wiccans seemed particularly upset with me with their sacred 8 words.
“An ye harm none, do as ye will’
What they did not realize was they were doing my will. In essence, the more they condemned me the more advertising they provided. Not for the Real Witches Ball. For the idea that tolerance has its limits and folk like the Frosts were wildly over that limit. This was likely enough to get the ball rolling, but there was a punch line that would bring it home.
At the ritual of caring, my wife and I read passages from the Frost’s Good Witches Bible. We read the quotes instructing parents to use rape to initiate their prepubescent children . To get the daughters vagina ready, they advised the use of home made dildos. They provided instruction to create these instruments of torture along with charts for the torture. To prepare the sons penis ready for his initiation by rape, the book advises how it should be cut. All this and more horrors in the name of Wicca did we read.
I then explained the Frosts shit the book out and we were sending it back to whence it came. We flipped the effigies over, I ripped the book in half, and my wife and I shoved those books into the anal cavities my friend had built into the effigies. Finally, we announced rape counselors are in the room. If you meed to talk to them or other victims, please stay and consider the effigies to represent your abusers and rapists. Victims of sexual abuse and rape tore those effigies apart. It was glorious.
“Drew’s “International Real Witches Ball” has had every guest speaker drop out. This includes Lisa McSherry, Raven Grimassi, Stephanie Taylor, Donald Michel Kraig, and Ann Moura Most cite Drew’s effigy ritual as the prime reason for backing out.”
Of course they did. That was part of the plan. As I understand it, they wrote a collective statement.
“Had we known that the RWB would focus (as indicated by the importance placed on it on the RWB website) on a political protest in the form of a negative ritual wherein living people are sacrificed in effigy, we would not have accepted the invitation. In our judgment the ritual is a type of black magic and vigilantism. The design of the ritual as described to us could have a negative impact on the community and may be psychologically deleterious to some participants. As a result, we have decided to not participate in this year’s event.”
Yes, it was a form of “political protest”. But not of Gavin or Yvonne Frost. Not about the volume of sexual abuse in our community. The protest was against these authors and other influences who enable monsters like Gavin and Yvonne Frost. The protest was against the playgans who do not understand that as modern day pagans we are duty bound to improve the world in which our children live. Political protest is an important tool in that sacred rite.
This brings me to my greatest punch line. At the time, Issac Bonewitch defended the Frosts. Birds of a feather?
“I have known the Frosts for decades and they are good people.” – Isaac Bonewits
Blessed be and live free.