The Cost of Outing Pagans in the Bible Belt

scales_20of_20justiceY’all, I wanted to write about my new Czech peppers.  Or my impending granddaughter.  Or anything, other than this.  But: I am done.

Since I began this blog years ago, I have dealt with my own personal antagonist.  (Although, we all have these.  This one is special.)  While I have been very careful up until now not to disseminate any information on the WWW, we are now asking for help.  I’m sure many of you remember when I took down my blog in a last-ditch effort to create peace for many months.  (Although I never explained, and I am so sorry.  It just wasn’t polite or proper to drag that hot mess out here in public.)  I am no longer willing to be bullied.  After suffering a heart situation that landed me in the emergency room a few days ago, I am finally, finally standing up to this harassment.  (The ER doc actually said to me:  no more stress.  Hokay.  I’ll get right on that.  Sigh.)  I had hoped that if I went away, wrote nothing, left the community and tended my garden this would all eventually just end.

But.  Obsession has no logic.  And so, I’m coming out.

My real (government) name is Kat Privett-Duren.  I had always hoped to have a coming out day of sorts, something that I felt ready to do and had prepared for in a sacral manner.  Regretfully, I no longer have that option.  It has been stolen from me and I can never get this moment back.

So, damn.  Hi, y’all.  I’m Dr. Katharyn Privett-Duren.  But I’m also Seba.  And I wish this moment was more beautiful.

We have been harassed and bullied, blackmailed and threatened for years, but we are done.  According to my antagonist, my very presence on the web (and apparent horrendous slander that neither I nor you have ever actually seen)  has caused undue harm to her and her husband, their sex life and his ability to continue his household duties.*  “They” are (again) threatening to sue us for $50,000.  I cannot imagine in what context I have ever had that kind of power, nor can I imagine why anyone would desire it. It is unfathomable to me, as we have not had any contact with them for years.  What I do see (and can legally prove) is that: we have been dogged at every moment.  They appear to want me silenced, ruined, and run out of town.  (An actual quote from one of our attorneys of his assessment of the situation after meeting with them for hours.  He wrote this of his own accord after we chose another lawyer to continue our battle, because “I’ve never seen this level of viciousness in my life.”)  This is not a Witch War, as I am not at war.  This is an extreme effort to survive in my Bible Belt community, raise my son, worship in my own way and publish my thoughts.  We have contacted Lady Liberty League, several attorneys and are awaiting the go-ahead for a news-release to the media if they persist.  This is, in effect, the product of obsession, jealousy, gossip and (of course) a modern day Witch Hunt.  Far worse than Witch War, my friends.

And I am asking for support.

Forgive this commercial interruption, but we have set up a legal fund to make the pain stop.  Please share far and wide.  We will no longer suffer in silence.  Help us to stand up to this inconceivable bullying?  This time, they have included my sisters and my tribal (pregnant) daughter in their onslaught.  It’s time to stop them.

Kat/Seba

To Help click here.

*This* was about you.  Nothing else, just this.  Leave our family alone.  Go away.  Find something that makes you happy enough to let me go.   This will only end badly if you continue.  Go. In. Peace.

*We possess the legal paperwork of their vexatious threats and are only citing from that legally disseminated document.

*And no.  I still will not “out” them.  Don’t even ask.  I will hold to my nobility, even if it kills me.   My children have been harmed, but I would never want that for theirs.  Aho.

I'm learning.

I’m learning.

 

About Southern Fried Witch

Deep-fried magic tastes better with ranch dressing.
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54 Responses to The Cost of Outing Pagans in the Bible Belt

  1. K.S. says:

    My heart aches for you, Seba. And while there is a terrible beauty in this post, this moment, I will do what I can to help things come to right. Because I know that is the greater beauty we are all meant for.

  2. Debra says:

    If I can help out in any way, I surely will. I will check your link. My heart aches that you must endure this kind of harassment and viciousness. Blessings.

  3. Erin says:

    I am so sorry you are suffering through this hypocritical condemnation of your very soul. I will help in whatever way I can.

  4. I wish that I could offer you an understanding of their behavior, but I am truly perplexed. And I cannot imagine how they got an attorney to represent them in these matters. I do have some experience with borderline personality disorder, and I could see that being part of it, but the obsession and the duration of their interest seems beyond anything I am really familiar with. I am always with you and yours in spirit, and I pray that your tormentors find peace and a path to right. Much love to you!

    • Anonymous says:

      There are 2 ways to find a lawyer to take the case.
      1) Find a lawyer as hateful as you are.
      2) Find a lawyer who wants 33% of $50,000, plus expenses.

      • Wow. Thank you for your kindness. I assume that you are the plaintiff? Forgive me, I appreciate forthrightness. I have published my name here. Shall you?

      • Phoenix says:

        No Seba…this person won’t leave their name…then the shenanigans will be evident and obvious. No claim to what they are pulling, they take no responsibility for their own actions or the damage their actions cause. There is such a thing as karma, there is such a thing as right, and wrong. There IS such a thing as a scale being held by Maat if your heart is too heavy Sobek awaits. Simple! Honor is honor if one has it they don’t hide behind anonymous and spew hatred and vitriol they CLAIM their words. You have me and mine from now til the end of time. Blood and bone my love, I stand by my words.

      • And I stand by mine. And you. That’s real honor. XO

      • Erin says:

        I think you may have misunderstood the Anonymous poster above, or I did. I took it as them responding to the post above theirs that had said something to the effect of, “I don’t know how they (the people harassing you) got a lawyer”. I think the “hateful” was aimed not at you, but at your antagonist. I could be wrong, but that’s how I read it.

      • Oh, I hope so, Erin. Maybe they will speak up soon and clear up the misunderstanding. :)

      • Erin says:

        Me, too, Seba. The comment IS a reply (I wasn’t sure when I wrote my last comment) to the post above it, so I hope I’m giving them credit they deserve. I wonder, though, why they would post anonymously…

      • I’m with you, Erin. I’m hoping. And waiting. :)

  5. Kelly says:

    We stand beside you and yours you are not alone. We love you

  6. Sable Aradia says:

    Congratulations on leaving the broom closet, Seba, no matter how unwillingly you were forced from it. I hope you will find it as liberating as I have. Personally, as I live in a conservative area that was once in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most churches on one street, even though I am Canadian, I can relate! I find that when someone goes around saying, “Oh, she’s a Witch!” and then someone asks you and and you say, “Well, that’s true. Yes, I am” without batting an eye, explaining, apologizing, or looking guilty about it, it takes the wind out of their sails right quick! You must be doing something awesome to be threatened with a lawsuit; it’s happened to me twice in my life (and I live in Canada; we aren’t as quick to sue.) Wait for them to serve you the papers before you panic. And here’s some practical help; I made this video to show a banishing that doesn’t hurt anyone but drives nasty people out of your life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s5rpnUuMaE&index=5&list=PLBB8D4150AAA26092. If you want to skip the intro that starts about 2 minutes in. :) Good luck!

  7. I’m so sorry that this has happened to you! Good for you for sticking to your integrity and not bashing outwards. I’m a single mom and I live in the Bible Belt as well. I haven’t really had any problems (thankfully) with being out of the Broom Closet. I hope that everything gets sorted out for you quickly and that nothing else negative happens. Karma will catch up with those that cause problems for others. <3

  8. Eben Brooks says:

    I got here via a link on FB. I will happily contribute to your legal fund, and I will promote it to my friends (around 500), the fans of my pages (about 250 more), on my LiveJournal (about 100 more), and on G+ (no idea how many more).

    Although I am now an atheist, I was a Pagan priest for many years, and I know what it’s like for people to not understand. I’ve abjured my own grandmother over it, though after what she did, I shed no tears over doing so. My grandfather, at least, came to understand before he died.

  9. Hi Seba. I also live in the bible belt and I have stopped following christianity since i was about 19 (ill be 24 this year). I am wanting to learn more about paganism and what it means to be a pagan. Considering ive spent my upbringing under the belief that paganism is a terrible life style and that ill go to hell for it, my knowledge of what real paganism is about is pretty much non existant. But on the whole this is bullshit and you should not have to deal with assholes like these people who are harassing you. can’t really help financially due to trying to save up money for towards a place for me and my girlfriend and her daughters but you have my support in thoughts at the very least. the very fact that you have the courage to do what you do inspires me to learn more now.

    Be well

  10. Miss Rose says:

    You are doing the right thing. Just continue to take the high ground and keep their names out of this blog. This is a country free of religious prosecution and I believe a counter suit of slander wouldn’t be unheard of. But I only worked in a law office so know… well nothing about it. I am sorry this is happening to you. You have a right to live and believe as you feel fit for your family and I believe that the law will help you with this. Stand strong because clearly your path is to help clear the way for others to live their lives how they want and not by the words of a book that not everyone reads. I wish you the best.

  11. Ayn E. DuBois says:

    I am a Messianic Jew, aka Jewish Christian. Reading what has happened to you brought tears to my eyes and grief to my heart. Whilst you cannot experientially know this, whoever is doing this to you is not doing it with the Lord’s blessing and while it is no comfort now, one day that person will stand before the judgement seat and answer for their own behaviors. If you do not object I would love to pray for you and this situation, I will be praying according to my beliefs that Yeshua would intervene in this situation and that you would only experience peace, healing and love coming towards you. I have known Pagans and witches and we have spoken about this very thing, so I know that me praying for you may be construed as insulting or offensive to you, which is why I am asking.

    I experienced something similar years ago from a “Christian” sister, she hounded me from home to work to synagogue and back again and was incredibly rabid in her attacks on me. She was like my own personal poltergeist so I know from experience how stressful, exhausting and bewildering an attack like this can be.

    Shalom to you and yours

  12. meg says:

    I don’t comment here much, but I read everything you write with loyalty. Your writing is inspiring and I feel like I knew you, even before I knew your legal name. Your strength of character has convinced me that you are an honest person who is being persecuted unjustly. I promise to donate what I can next week when I am paid. My thoughts are with you and yours, and my wishes are sent to you for a speedy recovery and an end to harassment!

  13. Lunapo says:

    Reblogged this on Biblebelt Witch and commented:
    An unfortunate post from a Sister in the Belt. Please support her in any way you can!

  14. Jen says:

    I just found your blog and I am mortified on your behalf- in the traditional sense. I will help too.

  15. Kim Mitchell says:

    Brightest blessings of peace and calm to you and your family. As to those who would do you ill, I will pray that the Universe blesses them with all that they deserve, that their just rewards are heaped upon them with the abundance that they have earned.

  16. Katharyn ( if you will permit me this informality), as someone who is gay I understand fully what you and yours are facing. Many years past I lost a good friend because some very vicious boys at the school decided that there was more between us than there was. And on top of that I was attacked and beaten because I minded my own business. I hope that your patients will rally behind you and defend you when the small minded people are outed by the courts as they will be eventually will be. You’re in my prayers I am wishing you well.

  17. I also live in the Bible Belt- and my family is even more entrenched in their “Christian” behaviors than most. I have been out of the closet by my legal and known name for many years. I know that this is difficult- and it is unfair and unwarranted that anyone should attack and persecute another for their beliefs. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  18. Moonflower/margie says:

    I am so very, very sorry about all this!!!! And I fully understand. I have actually been accused of putting a curse on someone so that their marriage ended in a divorce…and I have never even met these people! Fortunately, I can laugh, because it is so riduculous that even my enemies are laughing about it. I wish you had the same situation. I have very little money, my husband has just gone back to work since November, but will send what I can. Sorry it could not be all . But will be sending you my thoughts through the days until this is over. And big hugs and feathery kisses!

  19. Lusi says:

    Reblogged this on Lighthouses of the Soul and commented:
    Any support for this excellent lady will be welcome and useful.

  20. chemtriaan says:

    Hi, I found out about this via friend on FB. While I’m not entirely sure what has transpired I gather you have been on the receiving end of bitterness by uninformed/ self-righteous person(s)?
    From my own experience as a Spiritualist (given the task by spirits of Turtle Island, to my surprize), I have seen how closely some people can cling to their ideals, even when presented with evidence to the contrary. It is also difficult to explain to people about things when they have not experienced them for themselves.
    Take comfort thought, that there are those both seen and unseen that are with you when you are feeling down.

  21. Have you tried to contact the Southern Poverty Law Center? http://www.splcenter.org/ They are awesome at helping out victims of bigotry, either religious, racial or sexual. Give them a call, they might be able to help with funding as well.

    • I think that is the site we contacted–but I will double check. We (my husband and I) have also contacted the ACLU due to loss of employment opportunities–that one will be dealt with in full next week. Thanks, I will go back and look again. It may have been AL Legal Aid, instead. :)

  22. My heart is bruised for everything you and your family have gone through. My family has donated $25, not much, but still something to help during this time of struggle and duress.

    *hugs*

    • Oh, thank you! And it is huge. One person donated $5. Another donated tarot readings. The impulse for loving each other is always huge. Bless you!

      • You are most welcome. Your writing and just everything about you glows with a sacred joy that has illuminated my own path as we have walked near each other. As I have learned more about you and your clan, I have felt a deep kinship that bares its teeth in order to protect you all.

        I am glad we could assist in aiding you in your time of need. I know you work hard in helping so many, it is my pleasure to help you in return.

  23. Reblogged this on Peering off the Edge of Normal and commented:
    Sharing this to aid a wonderful witchy lady and her family during a time of great stress and pain.

  24. I am so sorry to hear of your struggle. The hate inherent in some people seems to know no end. Blessings and peace upon you and yours.

  25. Reblogged this on Our Pantheons Way and commented:
    Yes, unfortunately, it still happens today.

  26. Isn’t it sad what fear over loves does to people? My Spiritualist beliefs are something I have been fortunate enough not to get bad feedback about in my area. How sad is someone’s life when all they can do is obsess about someone else to the point of needed to shame them for personal beliefs of the heart and soul.
    May great blessings be upon you.
    Your posts are beautiful and inspiring.

  27. brookededmon says:

    I’m in North Carolina in an extremely rural area. Churches everywhere, more than schools. I recently came out and my very devout family is struggling, I lost a few “friends”. I’ll donate what I can to help. While I haven’t experienced this level of hatred, I have been shunned by many in my community. It’s why I started blogging, to try to find folks to connect with that are like me.
    my heart goes out to you, I will remember you in my nightly ritual. Bright blessings to you and your family.

    • Merry Meet, and thank you. :) Seba

      • brookededmon says:

        It’s not much, but I donated. I will share this on my blog as well. If I weren’t in the bible belt I would be shocked. Sadly, I am not. In my online spiritual studies(there are no other pagans here in my town, there is one book store and they won’t sale anything that isn’t Christian) I have learned that folks from other parts of the country, or the world, don’t have a real grasp on the level of hatred and ignorance there is here. My fellow classmates, mentors will make suggestions of ways to help my family. My mother has been through a lot this past year that doctors can’t figure out. She also refuses any and all energy healing work. She finally came to me and asked me to “do something.” If she doesn’t believe in the healing power of energy healing then what’s the point? My Free Mason, Deacon, pillar of the community, father tells me every opportunity he has that “I’m going to be sorry when I’m standing in front of the lord on judgement day.” I just laugh at him. It hurts though. They believe reiki is evil, divination of any kind, meditation, yoga(they have even made their own type of yoga called “Praise Moves” because you are inviting demons when you go to a yoga class) anything that isn’t in the bible is of hell. The NCGOP tried passing Christianity as a statewide religion in the past year. I’m on every prayer chain from here to Alabama since my coming out in January via my mother finding my blog. I planned it that way, they were/are mortified. I was asked to drop my maiden name from all social media so as not to ruin our family name. This isn’t an easy path for a southerner and you have all the support I can muster. I recently had a major life event that I am so proud of and they are ashamed that I am a part of it and am so open and public. My beautiful husband is my rock. It has become us against the world. I find comfort in knowing that there is a major awakening taking place and ask nightly in my devotions for courage and strength. I was going to move away from here but my purpose is here helping/healing this community that has ostracized me. I have and am still working through the shadows I carry from the intense programming that was forced upon me growing up, even into adulthood. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. I truly hope you are granted peace and justice.

        Tearfully,
        Brooke <3

      • Thank you so much, Brooke. I also have a husband who is my rock and adores me. I know exactly what you mean–I am torn between the place I love and peace. Thank you for supporting me and my family at this rough time. BB and much love to you! Seba

  28. brookededmon says:

    Reblogged this on The Lunar Apothecary and commented:
    Please read and support. This is supposed to be the land of the free, that includes religion. No one should be treated this way for their beliefs no matter what they are. Freedom of Religion includes Paganism. It is the most beautiful faith I have ever known and the most misunderstood. Live and let live.

    • Riezen says:

      I am from North Carolina as well, Piedmont area. It is “maybe” a little better here as it is a larger city but I will forever be in the closet with my co-workers. If they had any idea, I would find myself looking for another job. Illegal you say? That would not even matter to them. I have been firmly on my Path for over 3 years and I still do not have anyone I can talk to face to face. People do not realize how it REALLY is here.

      • brookededmon says:

        I’m in the foothills, my hometown doesn’t have a stop light but they have 50 churches! Anyone who isn’t southern baptist is condemned, even other sects of Christianity. It is really crazy how they justify their blatant hatred. “If you ain’t Baptist, you ain’t Christian.” The past few months I’ve found peace with my situation, I hope Seba has had some resolution with hers. It is really sad because North Carolina is a beautiful state, Asheville was just ranked the #1 most beautiful city to live in the United States. 4 of our beaches are in the top 35 “super clean beaches” in the US. One county has 250 waterfalls. Rich in history, from the OBX to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was so impressed there was a Pagan Faire in Belmont last fall. It was so exciting to meet like minded folks in real life! It was a peaceful gathering, a lot more folks there than you would think! They even sponsored a blood drive. The local churches did a silent protest by walking through the faire holding up bibles. They were righteously ignored. We have a group on FB, NC Pagans Outdoors, join us, you may find some folks from your area! Pretty sure it is a private/closed group so no one would see that you were in it. There are more of us than anybody realizes. ;)

      • Riezen says:

        Thanks for the response, your words are spot on accurate – the southern baptist here do not like others, presbyterian, methodist, it is just crazy. I love the Mountains, we go camping in Asheville or near by as often as possible, it does seem to be more of an eclectic blend in that area, more progressive. Thanks for the FB invite, I will check it out. I am a die-hard wild forager/herbalism so I do not spend too much time on the computer but look around occasionally. I call myself a Primitive Witch as I do not really follow any strict code laid down by anyone else, just feel my way through it. I am sure there are others out there like me……………..I hope you are right!

  29. Pingback: Fundraiser for Southern Fried Witch | Peering off the Edge of Normal

  30. Leo Nardo says:

    America has been and is being bullied by religion and its puppets. It has to stop.

  31. I am a Christian living in “the Belt”. I hope, truly do, that you realize that the person or persons out to get you doesn’t really represent all of us. We are not all a bunch of hateful boneheads. Some of us even love our friends that happen to be Pagan. Bullies and Christians should never be confused for one another no matter the label the Bully decides to wear. *sigh*

    • I certainly do know that, and thank you for proving that love is love! So many of my friends are devout Christians and still supportive and loving. You are an emblem of walking the path, my friend!

  32. Willow says:

    Oh the joys of living in the south. I live in Georgia and even though I live in the city, I don’t talk about my beliefs, even when pestered. Very few people know I am pagan, and even fewer have heard me talk about it. It shouldn’t have to be this way, but at the same time, I feel a deep sense of spirituality when I practice alone.

  33. Pingback: Thousands of women in India accused of witchcraft. Torture and Executions follow | Before Change, Comes Chaos.

  34. vmh10 says:

    I come from Texas (no longer live there), so I know the feeling. I’ll pray to my deities and have a candle lit for you. It’s all I can provide right now. Much love to a fellow Witch from the Belt.

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