Christian web sites with inaccurate descriptions of Wicca
The Jesus-is-Lord Website
Many web sites written by Cowans (non-Wiccans) attempt to describe Wicca. Many of these do not portray Wicca accurately, clearly, or with balance. Some are pure hate sites dedicated to disseminating misinformation about Wicca. It is our opinion that one of the worst is the Jesus-is-Lord website at: http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/.
That website discuss a variety of topics from a Fundamentalist Christian theological position, including personal salvation, Bible translations and the theory of evolution. They also disseminate hatred and misinformation about a variety of religious and spiritual groups: Roman Catholicism, Wicca and other Neopagan traditions and the New Age. They are a rather high traffic web site, having received over 1 million "visits" from 1997-JAN-1 to 2000-AUG-23. (We have asked the webmaster whether these are "hits," "page loads," or "unique visitors". These data can differ by 10:1 or more. They did not reply.)
Their main information source on Wicca:
The Jesus-is-Lord author extensively quotes author Bill Schnoebelen. Some Wiccans, having conducted an internal examination of Schnoebelen's main book on Wicca, "Wicca: Satan's Little White Lie," 2 have concluded that he is apparently not the Wiccan High Priest that he claims to have been -- that he actually knows relatively little about Wicca. Reviewers on the Amazon.com web site rate his book with an average of two stars out of five. Some reviewers say that they would have assigned it zero stars, except that one is the minimum allowed. Some critical comments from reviewers are:
One reviewer pointed out that over a two year period, Bill Schnoebelen claims to have studied four different traditions within Wicca, and became a "high priest" in each of them:
To reach such a high position in even one tradition is a major task, typically taking many years of practice.
By 2008, postings on the AR-talk message board said that he also claims to have been a UFO abductee and a vampire. Quite a life!
Referring to other books by Bill Schnoebelen, an Amazon book reviewer wrote: "This from a man who supposedly, in one lifetime, has been A Catholic Priest, a high degree Mason, 3 A Wiccan High Priest, 3 Hard-core (baby sacrificing) Satanist, 5 a Mormon, 9,10 AND an evangelical Christian; 4 in less than 50 years." (The reviewer missed Schnoebelen alleged consecration as a bishop in the Gnostic Church). 9 This same reviewer posted a news report from Wireless Flash, Dubuque, IA which discussed Schnoebelen's new book: Space Invaders. 6 He allegedly claims that Satan is responsible for UFO abductions. The Devil has apparently been masterminding this plot for generations, in order to cross-breed humans with his fallen angels. Schnoebelen allegedly describes the gray aliens as "de-evolved versions" of elves, leprechauns and fairies that have become more reptilian-looking as a result of the homo sapiens - angelic breeding project.
Schnoebelen wrote an article in 2001-AUG concerning Dungeons and Dragons and other fantasy role playing games. 11,12 In the former essay, he states that he was a "witch high priest (Alexandrian tradition) during the period 1973-84." In the latter essay, he writes: "When D&D started,  you could perhaps find four or five books on Wicca in print." This shows his lack of knowledge of Wicca. G.B. Gardner, alone had four books on Wicca published before 1960: "Goddess Arrives" (1948); "High Magick's Aid" (written 1946; published 1949); "Witchcraft Today" (1954); "Meaning of Witchcraft" (1959).
Edward L. King analyzed the lifetime accomplishments of Bill Schnoebelen with tongue-in-cheek amazement. 7 King's essay on his Masonic information web site shows that Schnoebelen has claimed to have risen to high positions of power within many religious and spiritual groups.
Schnoebelen is either a hoax, or an individual who has become a senior member of the power structure of a bewildering array of religious and spiritual groups -- perhaps more than anyone else in history. We are inclined to suspect the former.
The Jesus-is-Lord essay: "Wicca Witchcraft" 1
Confusion over terminology:
The author begins by confusing some of the 17 mostly unrelated activities that have been called "Witchcraft." In particular, he seems to feel that the following four unrelated activities are all identical:
It is true that these four activities (and many more not mentioned) have all been called "Witchcraft." But the name is the only thing that they share. They really have little or nothing to do with each other.
The author sets the mood of the essay with a reference to "paganistic mumbo-jumbo gumbo. Into darkness we go to discover the evil force that mascarades [sic] behind the name Wicca..." This is not a particularly balanced introduction.
Reference to fantasy Witchcraft:
The author then states that the "good" witchcraft shown in such TV programs as Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Casper the friendly ghost does not exist. This is accurate; the programs are intended to be fantasies and comedies. Real live Witches don't make people disappear by wiggling their nose! Then the author states that according to the Bible, all Witches are evil. While it is true that the Bible condemns women engaged in evil sorcery, and murderers who kill with poisons, it is silent about other activities which have been called Witchcraft, such as fantasy TV programs and the core religion of Wicca.
Blasphemy, lies, heresy...
The author states that Wicca is composed of "fables, vain imagination, paganism, blasphemy, lies, tales, heresay, [sic]..." Here, he/she is stating the obvious: a person who follows one religion generally believes that his/her religion is true whereas all other religions are false -- simply forms of superstition. To a Wiccan, some Christian prayers are blasphemy against the Wiccan Goddess and God; to a Christian, some Wiccan rituals are blasphemy against the Christian Trinity. To a Wiccan, the belief that Jesus was the Son of God is a heresy; to a Christian, the belief that a God and Goddess exist is a heresy.
Wiccans become Satanists:
The author quotes Bill Schnoebelen as saying that serious followers of Wicca will end up as Satanists. We are unaware of any data in support of this assertion. However we feel that it is an unlikely transition for at least three reasons:
The author introduces a dualistic concept common in conservative Christianity: that there are only two supernatural forces in the universe: God and Satan. If one is not worshiping the Christian God, then one is worshiping Satan. Thus if a New Age practitioner is involved with Ascended Master, or a Wiccan invokes the Goddess, they are really dealing with Satan. "If you ain't [sic] serving Jesus, you serving the devil de facto." Later, the author writes: "Jesus or hell are the only two choices." His statements imply that all faith groups other than his own are forms of Satanism. That is not true, at least with the conventional definition of Satanism.
Age of Wicca, compared to Christianity:
Wiccans sometimes assert that Wicca is older than Christianity. This is a true statement, if one is referring only to the roots of Wicca. Christianity is generally regarded as starting at Pentecost, shortly after Jesus' execution, about 30 CE. Wicca is based, at least in part, on the symbols, deities, and seasonal days of celebration of the ancient Celtic people. They coalesced as a society circa 800 BCE. But the Jesus-is-Lord author rejects this reasoning. He believes that the worship of Jehovah dates back to Adam in the Garden of Eden, circa 4004 BCE. Everyone agrees that the ancient Israelites predate the ancient Celts. But worship of Jehovah is not being questioned here; it is whether Wicca is older than Christianity.
Origins of Wicca:
The Jesus-is-Lord author states that Wiccan leaders have lied to their members by stating that Wicca can be traced back, in an unbroken line, to ancient Celtic worship. In reality, Wiccan leaders and POMs (plain ordinary members) generally acknowledge that Gerald Gardner created Wicca in the late 1940's from a variety of sources. He claimed that one source was a coven into which he had been initiated. He explained that that group had lost much of its knowledge, rituals, beliefs and practices after centuries of persecution. So, he fleshed out their religion with material from other sources: Dr. Margaret Murray's writings on ancient European Pagan belief, Fraser's "The Golden Bough," some Masonic symbols, ceremonial magick, etc. All of this information is well known to Wiccans and is published in many sources on the Internet and in Wiccan books. It is not kept secret.
Is Wicca a cult?
The essay describes Wicca as a cult. The term "cult" (like "Witch" and "Witchcraft") has many different, often unrelated meanings. To some within the counter-cult movement, Wicca is a cult, because it deviates from historical Christian beliefs. However, so does Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Taoism, etc. Wicca has none of the properties of destructive cults.
Basics of Wicca:
The essay states that "Lower level initiates believe everything they hear and read and will argue you all day long that Wicca is the 'Old Religion'." Yet, in the next sentence, a passage from Schnoebelen's book is quoted: "It is now a matter of common knowledge that much of Gardner's story is fiction." There is an obvious contradiction between the two statements. The essay also quotes a description of Wiccan basics from Schnoebelen's book. Most is fairly accurate.
Is Wicca based on myth?
Many people feel that their own religion is based on the word of God, but that all other religions are based on myth. Many Christians view Wicca as a bunch of myths and legends. Some Wiccans and even liberal Christians view the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) as being largely based on ancient stories and myths of heroes who did not actually exist. In reality, almost all religions contain some religious myth, and Wicca is no exception.
Development of Wicca:
The essay describes some of the traditions within Wicca, such as the Alexandrian Wicca, and lists some of their common elements: worship of the Goddess and God, belief in reincarnation, a shamanic worldview, equal respect for males and females, etc. However, some inaccuracies crept in:
Some errors crept into this section as well. The essay asserts that:
The essay states, correctly, that initiates into Wicca are blindfolded, bound and naked. The author of the essay seems particularly concerned about the nudity. Actually, this a common practice in many aboriginal religions. The various steps of initiation symbolize death and rebirth.
More errors appear in this section. The essay asserts that:
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