crusanRecently, Kenny Klein — author, teacher and musician — was arrested for possession and distribution of child pornography. There has been public outcry, leading to the blogsphere exploding with writers attempting to process the event. Many authors are examining how we treat victims of abuse and arm one’s self with discernment. But I think the real root of the problem lies in our collective indecision about whether or not we are autonomous individuals sharing the same space or if we are a cohesive unit that looks out for its own.

Part of the appeal of pagan spirituality is that there is no dogma or central governance. All the responsibility is placed on the individual. While “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” places an inherent focus on personal freedom and autonomy, we still have hierarchal structures by way of coven leaders, a priest class, festival organizers and celebrities. Most people who come into leadership have either been initiated into it, have volunteered within a non-profit organization or have written a book and have a solid marketing campaign. This means the majority of our leaders have no advanced training or education (comparable to institutions like seminaries), come into leadership within a very short period of time and have something to sell.

When leadership becomes based on public favor and profitability, what we are left with are charismatic individuals who cultivate a following based on a carefully crafted image. This leaves the door wide open for predation, manipulation and deflection. Often when someone feels wronged, it is made clear that no leader within our ranks has been empowered to conduct investigations or enforce codes of conduct.

Bottom line: We give up some of our safety to be free of central authority, yet we continue to look up to those that have achieved a certain level of power, prestige or infamy. We all want freedom, but we have maintained the expectation that someone will step in when a situation gets ugly. This leads to a collective letdown when that person doesn’t exist and we are all left to our own devices.

In light of Kenny Klein’s fall from grace, many are questioning how they could have followed his work in the first place. I would like to point out that the law “An it harm none, do as ye will” was popularized by Aleister Crowley, a man whose unsavory reputation never interfered with the propagation of his teachings. It seems then that Crowley’s spell has come full circle with the “Hole” of the Law finally being revealed. That “hole” lies in the inherent selfishness of individualistic points of view that lead to schism rather than cooperation. It also makes it crystal clear that freedom and autonomy for the individual comes at the cost of empowered authority for the group.

In my mind, Klein’s scandal presents us with a choice. We can either continue on as we have with our selfish and conflicting expectations around individuality and leadership, or we can decide what the true role of authority is and create new social rules to protect the vulnerable among us. To do that, we have to put our differences aside and come up with some requirements we can all agree on.

We need to examine who gets to lead us and what makes them qualified to do so.

Crowley attempted to hand us all a simple rule to live by, but he was not able to live up to his own standards. Klein also attempted to teach us the right road, but his actions now speak louder than his words. It is pure ego to think that one can do everything on one’s own. This includes seeing clearly and acting with integrity at all times. We need other people around us to keep us honest and check our behavior. We gather in groups because as much as we want freedom, we also want governance.

If each person is only out for him or herself, then we will always be tripping down the rabbit whole of the law, bewildered at the level of conflict that lies in wait.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Briana you stated: “We need other people around us to keep us honest and check our behavior.”

    This would suggest those who are leaders are offte not qualified to be a leader s, if those who follow them have to keep them honest and make sure their integrity is aligned with expectations for then!

    If this is so, then they are not really leader material. Have you ever noticed that those whom “think” they have they answers, generally don’t, but then most leaders do not really have to have valid answers, they just need to convince the contingent of potential followers they do.

    Human’s are inherantly easily effected and influenced by the potential of power, control, manipulation . The populus is easily duped simply because they are being told exactly what they desire to hear.

    Take taxes for instance. People want to hear that their taxes are going down. But at what cost?
    Polititians desire to be popular and this often means lying to the populus, because most people do not like honesty.
    Those who know how to lead and are often great leaders, do not want to deal with the crap associated with their integrity being questioned by those who would like to manipulate them, but cannot, so they use the populus and the media to cast a shadow around those individuals.

    Governance is generally seen as necessary, because whom are governed are not capable to governing their own Self. Yet, when those who come out of the governed populus, decided they have the answers and would also like to govern, they tend to be just like the populus, created within the populus, their escape from the populus is to be a leader of the populus!

    Have you ever noticed that those whom write a book are, just by writing the book, presenting that they know what they are talking about. Immediately they are viewed by many as an expert or very crediable, even if nothing they wrote is truly accurate or confirmable or affirmable!!

    Within the structure that has been created by human’s to govern, it is quite obvious all current and all previous governing structures are only as good as the integrity of those who are governing!

    Yet, integrity does not equate directly to intellectual insight and the ability to understand any and all situations that arise!

    Very few people are, as you stated it: ” only out for him or herself”! There are degrees to which a person loses sight of their Self, and can only see the power and the money associated with the being a leader. Then they are really not out for their Self, they are out for the money and power! When that takes place they have lost sight of their Self!

    Just like those whom govern, they tend to view their Self as not part of the governed populus. Crowley may have share a vision for what he saw as a simple rule(s) to live by, but where in his writing did he suggest to anyone that he would hold His Self to the standards he was suggesting for others?

    Don’t do as I do, do as I say you should do!
    Yikes……this Earth has had plenty of standard bearers, but keeping those standards personally? Well, that is an assumption made by the populus, but never suggested was so for the standard bearer(s) who has created the standard.

    Your statement: “or we can decide what the true role of authority is and create new social rules to protect the vulnerable among us. ”

    Who is the “We”? Who and how are you going to decide what the true role of authority is?

    You also stated: “In my mind, Klein’s scandal presents us with a choice. ”
    Who is this Klein person, I have never heard of him before!!
    Scandal….what scandal?
    Obviously you have a much higher standard of integrity than is and has been the standard if you look at history!!
    Have you walked in another’s moccasins, and understood completely what unseen energy forces prey on and play out through other human’s, whether they want them too or even understand they exist?

    This situation you discussed and the associated energy of it Briana is far more complicated than you have so simply presented here in this article.

    Your Statement: “But I think the real root of the problem lies in our collective indecision about whether or not we are autonomous individuals sharing the same space or if we are a cohesive unit that looks out for its own.”

    The real root of the problem goes much deeper than the two possiblities you presented here. You are simply identifying the symptoms of, not the root of the problem.

    Cancer is a symptom of a deeper root issue or imbalance not capable of being identified, through the visible result or diagnosible problem (cancer).

    So it is with this subject! Pagan or non pagen! Standard or no standard! You can chase this rabbit right down the hole. but if you are not aware of what is taking place in the whole, then this rabbit will show up again, and again, and again, and again!

    Admirable idea Briana, but not realistic given the vast array of root causes of this issue as well as hundreds and maybe even thousands of others issues understood and not understood to exist.

    Did you realize Mr. Klein is possessed by the presence of 3 individually separate conscious entities that have infiltrated his energy and body and have become very good at controlling and creating a direction for him, that ultimately has created some real issues for him now?

    “Autonomous individuals ?” Not in this present moment, of this I am absolutely positive!!!

    Have a great day Briana!!!

    I AM

  2. First of all, thank you for taking the time to read my column and post a remark. There are a few things I would like to say for clarification.
    First of all I only get 700 words with which to introduce a topic and make a point. Every month I am challenged to say as much as possible in as few words as I can. This means that I have to gloss over what would be additional points of interest in the over all topic simply due to space constraints. However I would say that I was fairly successful in presenting my ideas in the sense that 3/4 of what Ricki wrote to me was an expounding of points I had already made. In general my intention is to start a dialogue. I don’t claim to have any answers, so when ever I speak of ‘we’ I am referring to the collective pagan community.
    Secondly I am not a reporter. The opening line of my column stated the scandal, which was Klein getting caught with child pornography. If anyone wants to learn more, a simple google search will provide additional information. A lot of pagan writers have already spoken their piece, so the last thing I want to do is present a regurgitation of what’s already been written. I write in my own voice, people either resonate or they don’t.
    Thirdly, the question at hand is what makes a leader qualified to be a leader? Is it someone merely interested in doing the work required? While I am directly asking the pagan community, its a question that can be applied to all aspects of our lives. From the community minister to the non-profit organizer, to the boss at work, to the next president. We could go on and on looking at all the different angles, taking all perspectives into consideration and lose sight of the forest for the trees, or we can simplify and step back and tackle one question, one issue at a time. So while it may seem like I have oversimplified the issues, I say let’s not make it more complicated than it really is.
    Finally, whether or not Mr. Klein is possessed by other entities, or any other commentary on ‘psychic facts’ is a level of speculation I do not care to engage in. So let’s please stay on topic or drop it.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.