Wednesday 25 July 2012

False Rumours of Pagan Sacrifice in Epping Forest

Pagans in London have come under attack by a leaflet campaign accusing them of plans to kidnap a member of the public for a human sacrifice in Epping Forest during next week's harvest festival of Lammas. The leaflets also accused pagans of lighting unauthorised fires and public nudity.

A journalist who had seen one of the leaflets contacted respected Wiccan high priest and Pagan Federation member Mani Navasothy, who assured the reporter that pagans "don’t do animal sacrifices and definitely not people".

You can read the story the journalist wrote about the situation here:

I would like to add that not only would modern pagans never commit animal or human sacrifice, pagans are also very responsible about caring for the environment and would not light barbecues, campfires or bonfires in places where fires are banned. And anyone sneaking into Epping Forest in the hope of spotting naked witches cavorting in the woods is likely to be very disappointed.

For journalists wanting to investigate this situation further, I would recommend reading these guidelines on how not to spread misinformation about the occult:

Here are some ideas of things pagans might do to celebrate Lammas:


OathBoundSecrets said...

It's nice to think that no pagan would ever do such a thing, but I don't think we can assume that all pagans are law respecting, or that no pagan would ever kill an animal. Who is to say that there aren't any bad pagans out there? Maybe it would be better to speak specifically about Wicca and not all of neopaganism in general.

Badwitch said...

Oathbound, I take your point that in any group of people there could be a rotter. Perhaps I should have said none of the pagans I know in the London area would sacrifice an animal or, indeed, a human. Although I was initiated as a Wiccan nearly 20 years ago, these days I'm pretty eclectic and count many druids, hedgewitches, heathens, shamans and other neopagans among my friends - they all respect life, the environment and the laws of this country.

Anonymous said...

I've been told the story from within the family. Around the 80's there was a group of lads in epping forest at night, wandering around to find chicken feathers and blood on the ground leading up to a group of people stood round a fire chanting. Before that it was my grandad who was up there in the 50's walking the dogs and came across the exact same thing but had animals with them.Not recent I know, but thought I'd share.