You know I am so often asked about events in my past, and the questions invariably relate to events in my life that have been reported by the media. I suppose that makes sense really as generally people would be unlikely to know about much else. But in reality only a very, very few people know anything about my private life, and even then, it is only the result of what I want to tell them. I am talking about deep things here not everyday material ones.
No it is a fact that most of the things I am asked relate to events that have surrounded myself, or about things people have said about myself.
One of these events (think a better word would be ‘episodes’ really) dates back to 1978 when at the age of (guess!) I tried to become an MP and stand at the general election for the “Wicca Workers Party” (WWP). I was prevented from doing so, however, because of my prison convictions.
Now, Wicca, as many people might know, is an ancient religion or Knowledge system that predates Christianity by many thousands of years; and which taught the importance of understanding the Laws of Nature and Ourselves in relation to those Laws governing the universe.
Unfortunately, this religion was much misunderstood by the early Church who later were to equate it with witchcraft and persecute its followers (hence the bloody witch persecutions of history).
I was initiated into Wicca when I was but 18, and underwent further Initiations not many years later.
Then, in 1974, I found myself at the centre of a ‘witchcraft trial’ (as it was referred to in the media) for offences relating to the occult – offences which, in fact, I had not committed. Nevertheless, I was sentenced to prison for these alleged ‘offences’, even though in reality they were basically the result of vandalism and had nothing to do with ‘witchcraft’ or the occult.
Whilst in prison, I continued to protest my innocence but, in so doing, I refused to give up or abandon those principles which I’d been faithful to during and after my long period of learning and subsequent Initiations.
This, in turn, brought me into great conflict with the British government (who had refused to register me as a member of the Wiccan religion) and led to my taking the UK government to the European Commission of Human rights over many aspects of my case. I won.
Because of my treatment in prison (not from the other prisoners but by the prison authorities) which was upheld by the Home Office and the UK government itself, I determined upon my release to publicly ‘fight back’ against all these injustices and – although not remotely interested in politics – I did so by forming the Wicca Workers Party and ‘forcing’ certain policies upon the UK government.
It was my way of showing that I would fight against all forms of religious persecution. And I did so with a vengeance.
One of the main policies in the manifesto was to make Wicca the official state religion. To this end I called for more power to the Monarchy and a ban on communism, which everyone knows is opposed to any belief in God or religious worship.
I had explained at my Trial that Wicca had nothing to do with black magic or Satanism and that I saw nothing wrong with natural sex, but this soon came to be distorted by the media and there followed accusations of holding ‘black magic orgies’!
My reaction to this was fairly immediate. In the manifesto, I called for a ban on the persecution of prostitutes and to legalise state brothels (with a prohibition on pornography). .
Also in the manifesto was a call to cook by solar power; an end to the ritual slaughter of livestock.
I also made a pledge to bring England out of the Common Market as I saw this as a potential catalyst for spreading communism in Europe.
All this, of course, did not go down too well with those commonly accepted values in society, and gave the Press a ‘hey day’ to counter my potential political policies.
I didn’t really care. I only intended to make my point. And in retrospect I think I succeeded!
It may have been an almost unprecedented ‘rebellion’, but then I had spent two long years in prison for offences of which I had not been guilty.
My only ‘offence’ – if any – was to fight against bigoted persecution. This was the main theme of my defence in Court.
It still remains so today.