I wear a lot of different hats online. I founded the Pagans of Santa Cruz group on Facebook. My wife and I once lived in Santa Cruz and we had it in our heads that we would like to return there. Santa Cruz has a very active (even pro-active) Pagan community. In the last year or so Oberon Zell, one of the icons of the Pagan movement, moved there. I commented about this. I mentioned that Oberon’s presence in Santa Cruz was a plus for the community and very appropriate, given that Oberon’s “Church” (Church of All Worlds, aka, CAW) was based upon the science fiction novel, Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein. Heinlein had lived a great deal of his life in Bonny Doon, just north of Santa Cruz. His papers etc., now reside at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) and his remains were scattered in the Monterey Bay, which Santa Cruz rests on.
In another comment, someone incorrectly stated that Oberon had “coined” the term “neo-pagan.” I corrected that saying “Neo-pagan” had been in usage since about 1868 or so, and Oberon had perhaps popularized it. I wondered today if there were any comments on either of those ideas. I was shocked however when I looked at the site and not only were my comments gone, but the entire thread that preceded them was gone as well. What happened? I know that criticizing Oberon seems to be a taboo among Pagans. But I wasn’t criticizing him, I merely corrected an error about him, and also pointed out the appropriateness of his presence in Santa Cruz. Has Paganism reverted to a kind of Roman Catholicism, where criticism (or “seems to be criticism”) of a Pagan elder is grounds for censorship? How about excommunication? Why not just burn people at the stake and be done with it? You know, as the founder of that group, I have to power to delete it. Just sayin’. Now, my comments were off-topic. And one could reasonably accuse me of “trolling.” I get that. It’s also possible that the original author might have decided to pull the thread. But still …. I am the founder.