In her book, The Last Closet, author Moira Greyland tells us about the dark side of Avalon. First her mother’s book Mists of Avalon was embraced by the pagan community. Little did we know those mists concealed a monster. Per Moira Greyland, her mother Marion Zimmer Bradley ( author of Mists of Avalon), father Walter Breen, and family friend Isaac Bonewits each contributed to her horrific childhood sexual abuse.
These are not simply accusations. Walter Breen has been found guilty and sentenced to prison for numerous such offences. Issac Bonewits has been investigated by and posthumously removed from all but mention by Ar nDraiocht Fein: A Druid Fellowship (ADF), which he founded decades earlier.
Greyland tells us Issac Bonewits abused her while he was living in the family home in Staten Island, NY. At the time, Bonewits was writing his book Real Magic. I own that book. I own Mists of Avalon. Now I own The Last Closet. While I will not be burning the first two books, I do wish I had never supported there authors and commend those who point to this horrible illness within the pagan community.
Due to her mother’s fame, concern and outrage rapidly spread across the globe.
“SFF community reeling after Marion Zimmer Bradley’s daughter accuses her of abuse” – The Guardian
“Marion Zimmer Bradley’s daughter accuses her of abuse” – Entertainment Weekly
While the pagan community did take note of The Last Closet, the news has been treated as a one off. Yet another unrelated incident among many. We have faced this plague as did the Roman Catholic church when it was first confronted. What only a few brave souls are willing to discuss is that sexual abuse does not happen in a vacuum. Nor is it as hidden as one might think.
Walter Breen (1928 – 1993) was first arrested for child molestation in 1954. Other arrests and convictions followed. He was a member of and activist for the The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). In addition to this friendship, Isaac Bonewits was good friends and supporters of Gavin and Yvonne Frost. The Frosts, who claimed to have created Wicca, advised prepubescent children be raped into the craft.
It is true that sick people exist in all walks, few communities tolerate monsters such as these. While the pagan community is changing, for decades we did not just remain silent about our ‘funny unkles’. We optnly supported them due to this silence. I bought their books and they spoke at Pagan Pride Festivals.
I now find real pride in knowing more and more people in our community will no longer tolerate sexual predictors among our number.
Thank you Ar nDraiocht Fein: A Druid Fellowship