On Making Mistakes, And Owning Them

Today, or rather since I am writing this at 1:37AM, yesterday, something was brought to my attention. I would name names, but the individuals involved are so narcissistic that they constantly google themselves, the organizations they are attached to, their pet projects, etc scouring through the results for every little micro and macro aggression against themselves they can find in order to drum up more sympathy from the unknowing and unwitting orbiters they have. So, we’ll just call them Larry and Gina.

Last year, some of you may remember I did some livestreams and vlogs. Quite a lot of them in fact. They were concerning the latest attempt to resurrect the American Council of Witches in 2016 – and this was the single most bizarre attempt to date.

Larry and Gina were part of that group attempting to resurrect it. And I will openly state here that in my videos I mocked the everloving shit out of them. I made fun of them. I was downright foul. It was not one of my best moments.

So, why do I bring this up? Because despite my past attempts to amicably remove myself from their continued drama, my videos are still paraded around as one of their chief weapons against me – despite my not having had anything to do with them for quite a number of months.

What they fail to note, however, if they had watched the complete series of videos is that the final video is done as a sincere apology for my actions, statements, and does show genuine remorse for my behaviors as the situation continued to escalate. Does an apology make everything better? Of course not. Just saying “Sorry” doesn’t undo what damage is done. So what then is there to be done? Do I remove the “offensive” videos, and deprive them of their chief weapon? Most people would do so. I, however, will not. And I cannot control why or how someone shares my videos or playlists.

See, my final video in that series wasn’t just an apology, it was a statement on owning your mistakes and taking responsibility. I stated in the video itself that I will not remove the others – as they are a reminder, to myself, of my heinous behavior. I have done a few since then on other subjects. I did one on a group that posed legitimate danger to women and children, and had scammed people out of hundreds of dollars by the time I had heard about it. Does having the videos where I behaved like a buffoon discredit the other videos I have done? Possibly. But that is, again, my own mistake to take responsibility for. If I delete them, or set them to private, to me that is a disservice to the message I intended. That is trying to hide my mistake. Cover it up. And to me that’s just not an option.

I have not filmed a video in quite a long time. I simply have not had the time to do so between taking care of my family, my health, and just general day to day life stuff. But it has also been partially out of a sense of dread and fear. Stemming back to those videos that I readily admitted at the end of them all, and have continued to state to this day, are a mistake. I even briefly considered creating a new account altogether and doing only narrated videos or pure audio. The reason I had not taken the coward’s way is because I shouldn’t run away from it.

I guess, what I’m trying to say is that when you make a mistake,own up to it because you cannot learn from your mistakes if you don’t acknowledge them first.

In the end, my videos will still be used by Larry and Gina for their personal gain. Maybe one in every 50 will get to the final video and learn the lesson I had to learn the hard way about why you shouldn’t be an asshole right out of the gate. And I’ll still go on living my life and moving past the drama that they seem intent on trying to drag me back through. And in the process they’ll end up giving me free publicity.

Once again, this is me having made mistakes, and once again owning them.

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Last ACoW post (hopefully)

So the kerfuffe of ACoW has settled to a fizzle. And in the aftermath there are records and video commentaries and blurbs here and there. In the end, it was all down to delusions of grandeur by a 19-20 year old young man, and a 30-40 year old man who enabled them, and in doing so ended up falling even further into his own. Now ANYONE who talks common sense on the ACoW FB page are deleted and summarily blocked without a word or retaliation.

Gabby Song, the alter-ego of someone, continues to do her thing in near obscurity. Lazaro Rodriguez continues to deny pretty much any fact that is tossed his way. And the young man?… Well, who knows. Last I saw, he’s ready to graduate HS and get into tech school.

But there’s a lesson to be learned by all who got involved here. Truth will out. Own your words, even if they make you look like an asshole. And if you’re new to something it’s okay. But you don’t need to go busting in and declaring yourself practically as a god. And most importantly, Religion and Spirituality isn’t some accessory you can take on and off. It’s not a role playing game. And even the most attractive of people can be twisted and disgusting inside.

ACOW (MOOOO!) Again. Again. And Again.

So recently I’ve done a series of videos. Where yes, I am openly an asshole. I’m not nice. And I swear. A LOT. I openly am mocking the “current” attempt at recreating the American Council of Witches (not to be confused with the original, for whom I have the utmost respect and gratitude for paving the way for many pagans and followers of alternative beliefs in our society today) and anyone who appear to be involved in it.

Amongst the ranting and ravings that are possibly on par with the ravings of Rev. Ronald French when he’s discussing Christian Day (seriously, you could turn those videos into a drinking game at this point), are rambling musings of how we can possibly achieve pagan unity in the greater community. And musings on why it’s impossible – at this time – to achieve it.

All of the open mockery, and pure amusement on my side of things, I have extended an olive branch to the most vocal supporters of the current version/attempt of ACOW. I have also been very open as to the nature of my videos. They are rude, they are crude, they are offensive, they are mudslinging, and I will not lie about them. I will stand by them. How can I not? It’s my face in the videos. I could have easily just turned it into straight up audio only, as I had last year. But this is something I feel strongly enough about, I WILL put my face to it. Regardless, I am willing to set aside my personal opinions on the matter, and my personal biases, and have a live on air video chat with the most vocal supporter, Gabby “Canary Feather” Song.

My intents with this offer are legitimately sincere. I only wish to now the truth, and get to the bottom of this rabbit hole. Whether my offer is taken up or not, I won’t be offended given the barbs, venom, and pure unadulterated hostility that has been traded back and forth on both sides of the situation. None of us have clean hands here. And to pretend otherwise would in fact be hypocritical. But, if Ms. Song is willing to set aside the childish personal attacks and vendetta long enough to just have a civil chat, “face to face” so to speak via video chat, then maybe we can salvage this kerfuffle and move past it, chalk it all up to a learning experience of what not to do, and hope that in the future such a situation doesn’t pop up again.

For anyone interests with about 6-7 hours to kill, here’s the playlist.

The Internet Never Forgets: The Video!

Apologies for the very low quality and bit of screwy opening there. Had to use Hangouts On Air since Youtube took away direct webcam recording (except for livestreaming). My current program of choice is on the fritz, so this was the next best thing.

Links:

“Official” ACOW page

Google Doc: Archived Info

Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame

The Internet NEVER Forgets – Nor Does She Forgive

Last year the end of February and the beginning of March, there was a movement all atwitter in the Pagan-sphere. The experience left all involved with a bitter taste in their mouths. I attempted to document as much as I could here on my own blog when it became apparent that those who questioned the validity, or even the need for, a council of witches were quickly silenced.

I speak, of course, about the infamous American Council of Witches 2015. And there is only one reason on this green Earth that I would ever take the time to blog about ACOW again… It has returned. Sort of.

Currently it is unknown who is behind the current incarnation, but there is speculation on who it may be, and who all may be involved. Since I do not have SOLID evidence on the who at this time, I will refrain from pointing fingers until solid evidence of their involvement is found. I can be reasonably assured that it is not the main conspirators as the last time around. The current band of secretive authoritarians have made open threats against those who speak out. Starting with a vague addition to the original 13 Principles of Belief (which not all of us follow to begin with):

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Archived on April 2, 2016 @ 12:27AM EST: http://archive.is/SuU12

After people began pointing out the legality of such a statement, it was changed. Below are comments, with the names and identities of the commenters redacted, as well as the change to rule/law #17.

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Archived April 2, 2016 @ 1:52PM EST – http://archive.is/0IxmX

I and others are currently archiving this situation, more thoroughly and organized this time, to ensure that once again, people’s voices who are silenced still get to have their say, and the evidence to back up their claims. Once i have a more thorough record, and more solid evidence, I will make a master post and my archives available for the public. Hell, this has made me wish to dust off the old youtube again.

American Council of Witches 2015 – MASTERPOST

This is my independent personal archive of the American Council of Witches 2015 internet scandal. It has gotten rather long, and therefore I have placed it behind a read-more cut.

As of March 8th, 2015 – 1:30PM, this post WILL NO LONGER BE UPDATED. It will also be un-stickied from the blog.

If you don’t wish to view the entire post, here’s a brief breakdown:

Some shady stuff went down. Name calling ensued from both the council and non-council. Some good natured people were taken advantage of. Even people who got on the council were taken advantage of. The majority of them, I honestly feel were doing what they felt was a right, and in theory the whole idea of a council is a good one. Unfortunately, Wicca alone is a nice broad spectrum. And that’s just one type of Paganism, which is even more diverse. It is my sincerest hope that the people involved learn from this situation the things NOT to do, and how not to handle the public. I honestly believe the entire thing can be salvaged, and a good start is deadheading the garden. Be honest and up front with their intentions, even if the simple answer is “We don’t know.” It’s a lot better than how the entire ACoW situation was handled.

I will be very honest here and say that when I first heard about ACoW 2015, I was legitimately interested in what was going on. How it would affect the pagan community in America, how we would be viewed, and yes my interest had been piqued in how to get involved. However, when I first saw their Facebook page (which at the time was the ONLY avenue of information on them I could find) already there were problems. Already shenanigans had been going on. So I watched. When I heard about a Facebook group being started, I was interested. Until I got a good look at what little I could see. I understand that many people prefer to stay in the broom closet, and that’s their prerogative. HOWEVER – I legitimately feel that if you are going to start a public group, then it needs to be public. People need to be allowed to express their differing opinions without fear of getting banned for doing so. THIS is the environment I found when I came across ACoW 2015. THAT is what turned me off of the entire situation.

In the end, the website was taken down. The man behind the scenes resigned. The Facebook page is going to come down. And the Facebook group changed it’s name. And has gone underground for now.

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