Skip to comments.Camp for Nude Witches Fights Closing
Posted on 11/28/2001 5:56:58 AM PST by Cagey
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Reuters) - A Kansas retreat that caters to witches and pagan rituals is fighting for survival amid community talk that naked witches may be weaving magical spells in the moonlight.
The owners of the Gaea Retreat Center, a 168-acre camp west of Kansas City that is home to such annual events as the Gaea Goddess Gathering and a "Heartland Pagan Spiritual event" filed suit on Monday in Leavenworth County District Court after county commissioners effectively put the retreat out of business by denying it a renewal of its land use permit.
"They say they're afraid of us, what we do here, the sound of drums. ... They don't know how lucky they are to have us as their neighbors," caretaker Wanda Roths said. "We're very quiet, very peaceful. There has never been any trouble out here."
The Leavenworth County commissioners denied the renewal for the permit, issued six years ago, in late October after a community petition raised accusations that the retreat fostered public nudity, pedophilia, and illegal drug and alcohol use. Neighbors also expressed concern about devil worship.
The suit claims the commissioners' denial is illegal and unconstitutional, as well as violating laws protecting freedom of religious expression and practice.
Lawyers for the county declined to comment.
The retreat denies any illegal activity, and county officials say there is no evidence of any.
Roths said there are "clothing optional" locations on the retreat grounds, and witches, Wiccans and other pagans do sometimes hold nighttime meetings around bonfires. But the retreat at times also attracts more traditional religious followers, she said.
Gaea, which means "Mother Earth," offers sanctuary to a variety of alternative religions and lifestyles, according to Roths. "We accept anybody," she said.
Before its current incarnation, the sprawling site was a church camp.
Look at the AFC West. Who's in first place? Who's in last place?
Darth Raider strikes again.
Ah, drat. I thought this was gonna be about nude witch fights...
Did you miss the word "public"?
Yes, that's the only reason. Have you ever heard "An it harm none, do thy own will"? That is the fundamental commandment of paganism except for Satanismm it is "Do thy own will shall be the whole of the law". Don't the people of the community have the right to do their own will too? It is their will not to have witches in their community practicing their version of "do thy own will". That is quite a blank check to have and even in a free country there are limitations as to what religious freedom buys you.
Witches in Kansas--this is how I imagined/remembered it.
This article went and spoiled it for me.
Christians are used to being booted out of everything. Public schools don't allow much in the way of mention of anything Christian but you can teach all you want about any other religion. My scream was in the form of homeschooling my kids. The media will amplify the screams of the witches though and it will ignore mine. It's ok, the world belongs to the witches anyway.
I trust you have a source for this, or do you just make stuff up as you go along?
Their camp is in the woods, 10 miles from town. It is private property. You will not see any nudity unless you purposely go there.
How is that 'public'? You make it sound like they're standing on Main Street.