Seekers Bill of Rights
by Charles Mars
Seekers of the Pagan Path are often extremely vulnerable. In their quest
for teaching and fellowship, they 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 they 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, the 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 remind seekers
that while they may 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 or disavow
the claims made by a group or teacher. In the case of elders who were
inspired to create a new tradition, the seeker has a 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 professional
and personal lives.
The Right to Financial Security: Seekers shall not
be required or coerced to take on financial burdens on behalf of a
teacher or group.
The Right to Compensation for Goods and Services:
Seekers have the right to be paid for goods produced from and/or skilled
labor from which they would normally receive income. Seekers shall
not be required or coerced to provide "freebies" or discounts on behalf
of a teacher or group.
The Right to Sexual Freedom: Seekers shall not be
required or coerced to have sexual relations with unwanted persons.
Nor shall seekers be restricted from sexual relations with consenting
The Right to Physical well-being: Seekers shall
not be required or coerced to submit to any form of physical injury.
The Right to Abide by the Law: Seekers shall not
be required or coerced to commit any illegal act.
The Right to Consistency: Seekers have the right
to expect consistent practices from a teacher or group. Seekers should
be informed in a timely manner of any policy changes.
The Right to Separation Without Impunity: Seekers
have the right to discontinue association with any teacher or group
without the fear of harassment or reprisal.
The Right to Be At Peace With One's Conscience:
Seekers shall not be required or coerced to commit any action contrary
to their own sense of ethics and morality.
The Seeker's Bill of Rights © Charles Mars 1998 Hern's Wood Coven,
published in The Accord copyright C.M.A.