Why is it that people in the Pagan Community feel such an overwhelming need to “pad their résumés”, so to speak? This seems to be especially true of certain authors, notably those connected with a rather large, well-known publishing firm noted for its “fluff-bunny” approach to Wicca.
I was surfing various sites the other day, and decided to look at sites of people that I personally know. One of them, one of the afore-referenced authors, claims to have been running a coven at a time that I personally know they were not even an initiate. How do I know this? At the time in question, they had recently been a student in our coven, and had just begun studies with another coven in the same area. Another author, previously published by the same firm, claimed to have been a member of our coven — and they had never been affiliated with us at all.
Another Pagan author, early in their career, made what could be construed as claims to British nobility, although that claim has been been dropped.
“Pat” Patterson, one of the founders of the Georgian Tradition (of which I am a member), claimed to have been initiated into a Celtic Coven in the Boston area prior to World War II. Now, admittedly, this is possible, but frankly, unlikely.
Gerald B. Gardner claimed a PhD for which no documentation has ever been located; although there is a strong possibility that it may have been an honorary degree conferred for his book The Keris and Other Malay Weapons. I won’t go into the argument of whether or not he was ever initiated into a coven in the New Forest, as others, more capable than I, have discussed that both pro and con.
For the record, I don’t have any academic degrees other than a high school diploma. I’ve dropped out of college several times, but have (or at least had) academic standing of my Junior year; my major was Religious Studies, with minor in Business and Public Administration the first two times I attended, and later changed my minor to Child Development. I was first initiated in 1973 into the Georgian Tradition, but have generally worked since 1975 in the tradition known as NECTW. In addition, I am a 1st degree initiate in the Gardnerian Tradition, and a White Cord in NROOGD. I was one of 50-70 folk who got together in a house in Oakland in 1975 to help found Covenant of the Goddess, and have twice served on its national board of directors. My primary claim to fame is that I’ve been happily married for the past 25 years to one beautiful woman and we have three beautiful daughters, in all of whom I have much pride.
And you know, anything more than that is just frosting on the cake. Which I can’t eat anyway because of my diabetes!
2001-10, edited 2007-04-17 (updated marriage length)