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Friday, November 2, 2012

Beware the Wicked Witch?

October 30, 2012

Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley was an English witch. He reveled in his description as ‘the wickedest man in the world.’ He was a shameless self publicist, a fraud and a charlatan, but he was also an educated, intelligent and willful diabolist. He was indeed very wicked and was definitely involved in just about every kind of vile perversion, drug addiction and occult religious practices imaginable. He died in Hastings, on the South coast of England in 1947.

In 1982 I moved to Bexhill-on-Sea, a town one step along the coast from Hastings. I was newly ordained as an Anglican priest, and was heading to my first parish.  Living just around the corner from the ancient parish church was a coven of witches whose leader claimed to be the successor of Aleister Crowley. The ‘witches’ were well known in the town. They lived in a kind of hippie commune, and their leader–a lecherous man in his fifties–frequented all the bars and pubs. Rumors abounded about their drug use, sexual immorality, corruption of young people and dark occult practices.

As a young priest involved in the Christian youth work in the town I came across several young people who had been involved with the coven of witches. One afternoon I witnessed an old priest deal successfully with what seemed to be demonic infestation of a fifteen year old girl who had been spending time with the witches. The stories the young people told were of seriously sick and genuinely horrifying attitudes and actions. More than once we had to deal with spiritual influences that were dark, destructive and demonic.

Are witches real? Of course they are. Are they skinny old women with green skin, a pointy chin, a wart on their nose, cackling over a cauldron? Of course not. Do they attend an academy called ‘Hogwarts’; play a form of hockey on their broomsticks and battle mythical beasts? Is ‘Samantha’ a pretty middle class suburban wife with magical powers and a gaggle of kooky and spooky family members? Of course not. All of that is an attempt to make us believe that there are not really such things as witches. (...)

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