On Kenny Klein

You know, I understand the call for some degree of compassion, but at the same time, it’s not the community’s responsibility to fix people who are broken in that way –and the notion that they even can be fixed is something that doesn’t seem at all promising. There are some things more important than inclusivity –including people regardless of sexuality, ethnic background, gender, ability, and so on, are perfectly commendable, but sometimes a line has to be drawn in the sand. If some-one comes up in a background check as a sex offender, ask “why?” Yeah, in some states, sex offender registration is broken and you end up with people who are on there for public urination or (as is the case with one of my high school classmates) cos an 18-year-old high school senior knocked up his fifteen-year-old sophmore girlfriend –but it’s easy to see on at least some of those lists who’s a rapist, who’s a child molestor, and so on, and especially who’s a repeat offender. And yeah, sometimes the evidence and testimonials are sketchy or coming from sketchy people –but even then, I still wouldn’t have let my hypothetical child go to the Neverland Ranch without me, cos why take that risk?

Mental illnesses don’t absolve people of the responsibility to address them and seek help for them. If Klein is mentally ill, he should have recognised that and taken care of it –and if his illness is just bad enough that he can’t realise he’s ill and needing help, then why is that not a sign to some people that it’s not worth the risk? If you wouldn’t let your kids go to the house of someone who you knew to have bubonic plague that isn’t being treated, why should the pagan community be any more compassionate to a shitty folk singer who wrote some books, just because his hypothetical illness is mental and he doesn’t even realise he needs help?

If we want to play the mental illness card, why not treat it like we treat physical illnesses? Healing energies are great and all, but when that’s not all that’s needed, then what? You take a cough drop, or you take your medicines, or you remove yourself from others until you’re well. Paedophiles can’t be fixed with a cough drop, and chemical castration is not only not always an option, it doesn’t really work on everyone (one of my best friends has a “horrors of Craig’s List” story about that –she thought she was meeting a nice, normal trans woman for coffee, but when she got there, she met someone who admitted [hey at least they admitted it] to being a registered serial rapist who was put on chem-cast, started growing depo-breasts, and decided it was a huge turn-on –thankfully she high-tailed it out of there). If physically ill people sometimes need to quarantine themselves off for the safety of others, then yeah, sometimes mentally ill people need to be separated off for the safety of others. Why think of it as “evil ostracism” when we can instead think of it as “quarantine”?

I also contend that not only are those who still keep crying out “Let’s stop calling Klein a pagan — think of how this must make us look to the EEEEBIL XTIANS!!!!” are not only enablers of abuse, but are worthy of ostracism on the grounds of caring more about appearance than about basic right and wrong. After all, for the last thirty-some years, people in the pagan community have cared about the public perception of paganism more than the potential victims accusing potential abusers of abuse –and look where it got us.

Yeah, I’m not saying that every accusation is always true –in one of the small towns near where I went to high school, a pair of 11yo girls got six months of probation after falsely accusing a junior high principal who was also a math teacher of inappropriate touch, and only after he committed suicide (don’t ask why they only got that, or why it went that far –I’ve since lost a lot of the details), and one of the people on my step-mother’s caseload as a social worker was mentally handicapped woman who was also a schozophrenic who accused a worker at her group home of rape, even though the security cameras absolved him of any guilt– but when it gets to a point where several people are now accusing Klein independently, and timelines can be verified that he was at least in those cities at those times, and spans several years, then that’s enough smoke to think “housefire” rather than “cigarette”.

That said, I think it should be clear that there is a difference between the kinds of accusations that run around the pagan community about certain prominent people. I have not seen anyone actually claim “Raven Kaldera did this to me…” or “I saw Christian Day do more than that video of the binding ritual against Charlie Sheen” and even the ONLY person who made such a claim against Galina Krasskova is known to a small number of people to have both a financial incentive to do so, and a dubious grip on reality. That’s not what’s going on with Klein –his ex-wife has made several statements, in public and private, though apparently restricted by a gag order that, until more recent years, violation of could have removed custody of her son and placed him back with Klein (during which was presumably the time she asked friends not to say anything). His own son has come forth to speak of abuse his family endured. Other potential victims, independent of each other and with apparently nothing to gain, have come forward with similar stories of Klein behaving inappropriately, at best, and pulling most known ploys of child molesters (some so basic, like persistent unwanted touch and giving alcohol to the underaged, that it’s been on “very special episodes” of sitcoms since at least Diff’rent Strokes), short of going into graphic detail of molestation and rape. These people are all saying “Klein did this to me” not, “I heard from someone I don’t remember that Klein did X to someone I’ve never heard of.” You’d think that much would be obvious to people, but still people, mainly (to my witness) Peg Aloi and Christian Day, are making tacky comparisons to the SRA hoaxes, vaguely accusing people of false accusation or even outright lying, and “backing kt up” with the dubious claim of “well-known facts of false testimonies” in the face of statistical evidence that less than 1.6% of sexual abuse allegations being false, and peer-reviewed estimates that between 40% and 60% of sexual abuse goes unreported, likely due to social stigmas and the idea, often proved fact, that people, especially loved ones and trusted authorities, won’t believe the accusors.

And some people have the nerve to say that rape culture doesn’t exist.

On one hand, I get what Aloi’s said about being careful about what we say and repeat from others, but she’s saying this in the face of several people saying things that point to immensely inappropriate behaviour on Klein’s part, at the very least. I can also be somewhat sympathetic to those who are concerned about how this might look to outsiders, but at the same time, wouldn’t it look worse if we knowingly swept child abusers and rapists under the rug for the sake of appearances?

I have also seen a clear difference network the way that the “general Neopagams” are handling this, and the way the polytheist community is handling this. With few exceptions, the Neopagams are stressing forgiveness of the abuser, “Klein wasn’t a REAL pagan if he really did this”, “but what if he DIDN’T! “, “how is this going to make us look to Christians?”, worthless Change.org petitions so pagans can pledge they will never, ever, ever rape children and or have sex with minors below the age of consent (apparently unaware of the fact that Change.org is supposed to be for issues of potential Presidential concern) and so on. Very little regard for the victims. The defacto polytheist leaders have all come forward stating outright “I’m concerned for the victims and potential victims, the accusations and evidence against Klein is damning and his abuses have been a blight on the pagan community, and I am taking a stand”. Anyone worth their salts would find that rather telling.


I just noticed someone in the comments on Sannion’s blog note a striking similarity between the way certain people are reacting to this and the way certain other people in the Neopagan community react to the topics of privilege (from Wiccanate to White, from cisgender to male –and don’t tell me, in the face of people who STILL are willing to dismiss Tzipora Katz as Kenny Klein’s “psycho ex making baseless accusations”, in the face of enforced rape culture for the sake of appearances, and other examples that this Klein scandal is spotlighting, that women are at a privilege over men in the pagan community, as many seem to contend): “are you sure? Maybe you misunderstood ?” “Think about what you’re saying and how it makes people look.” “Why can’t you see it this way? Why do you have to stir up trouble?” “Stop causing drama, this is just how things are and it doesn’t mean anything.”

I’m not saying that everyone with privilege over another is an abuser, but that the dynamics of unchecked privilege are practically the same as the dynamics of those who enable abusers –though the statistics of abusers who are in a privileged position over their abusers is certainly telling of these dynamic similarities, as well.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

24 thoughts on “On Kenny Klein

  1. All I can say is THANK YOU for seeing this as a crime. This person is NOT the victim & deserves less than the blink of an eye for the torment & life sentence he has brought upon others. Some people live their lives through selfless acts of kindness… Others through selfish acts of cruelty. From a victim’s point of view (though not from this person) I applaud you for speaking out to help shed light on what is right…

  2. You misunderstood my point, Ruadhán and perhaps this is based on your biased opinion of me dating back to 2011 and Charlie Sheen (which, by the way was a healing ritual and not a curse, if you watch the video). I am only questioning the idea that I saw on Patheos (http://bit.ly/1ej1sry in case you have not seen it) and in comments on the Wild Hunt that argued that we should automatically believe accusers regardless of whether or not they go to the police. The 1.6% of false accusations you’re speaking of are of those that are reported. Naturally, people making false accusations are less likely to report them to an institution more likely to nitpick their claims but that does not mean that these false accusations in the court of public opinion do not or cannot destroy people. No, none of the people I know, nor myself, were ever directly accused of anything specific, but I was disallowed at at least one festival because the presenter had heard a rumor. What a terrible thing for someone to go through. The daycare scandals of the 80’s may be an aberration, but, like the [properly named] Salem Witch Trials of 1692, they are a reminder that no crime is so great that not even innocence is a defense. In much of your blog, I agree with you, but is there I diverge. Ad hominem attacks regarding Mr. Sheen notwithstanding, I think there must be a level of scrutiny with which accusations must be evaluated. Our justice is system is by no means the most trustworthy organization out there, but I’ll trust it over the Court of Public Pagan Opinion any day. Just look at you. You made incredible assumptions about what my ritual was about (it was not a hex, no matter how the media reported it and the video of the ritual YouTube should bear that out). If I can’t trust an accurate description of my work to you, why on earth would I trust a description of my private life to you, or worse, my freedom to you. The justice system sucks, but mob rule, no matter how prettied up you try to make it, is far, far worse.

    • You know, I’m getting bored with your tendencies to make the Klein scandal about you –you may not realise you’re doing it, but that’s exactly what your comment here amounts to: “Hey everyone! Look at Christian Day! He’s one of those legendary ‘BNPs’ and what he says is IMPORTANT!”

      First off, cite your sources or get the fuck out, as the kids say on the Webbertubes. Sure, it may logically follow that someone who’s just making shit up would be less likely to report it to the police, lest it actually be investigated and scrutinised, but at the same time, it’s a well-established fact that sexual assault and rape are immensely under reported (between 40% and 60%, depending on your sources). Sexual assault goes unreported for many reasons, including: Emotional manipulation from the assailant on the assaulted, fear of not being believed (maybe the vic reported before and was disbelieved, maybe someone they know had previously been disbelieved by the authorities, etc…), fear of being put through the ringers in court (which is notorious for holding victims of sexual assault to much higher scrutiny than those accused of it), fear of one’s personal life being used against oneself (perhaps the vic is an active part of the local BDSM community, or blogs about being on a pagan ordeal path, and so on…, all fodder for people who want to make the vic look like a “bitter ex” or that they “asked for it” or are “mentally ill”), or just a basic lack of evidence (which is a primary reason that so many sexual assaults that even do get reported go unprosecuted). This is where the facts are clearly at odds with the logic you employ –the facts do not at all strengthen your insinuance that false accusations are the unreported ones. True, the facts also don’t hold that all unreported incidents are still true, but it illuminates the reality that they are not all false, either.

      Secondly, an event’s organisers don’t have to book any one person, and free speech reigns. People can protest the addition or subtraction of any one or several guests, and free speech will reign. People can argue with the organisers’ reasons for including or excluding any one guest, and guess what? Free speech still reigns. Taking someone off the event schedule for a private festival/convention is just as much an act of free speech as putting them on said event schedule –it’s a statement of “we do/n’t want this person to represent, even if by only a tiny percentage, what this event is about,” and organisers can change their mind about that at any time, for any reason. Sometimes you won’t like it.

      Furthermore, any point you might still have about taking the rumour mill with a side of scrutiny is rendered moot by the fact that Klein confessed, and short of learning of some kind of conspiracy to put kiddie porn on his computer and police beating a false confession out of him, I think people need to remember that he was arrested with a ring of over forty child pornographers and confessed. There were pictures on his computer of children as young as three in sexual acts. If you still don’t think that’s proof that he actually harmed anyone, look up the stats on the correlation of child pornography possession and pædophilia, and it gets pretty damning for Klein.

      And in case you missed the multiple times I’ve said it, there’s a big difference between second- or third-hand rumours and someone coming forward to say something happened *to them* –those who only heard things second- or third-hand here are pretty easy to spot, about as easy to spot as those saying Klein did something to them and the event organisers told them to stop rocking the boat. I’m sorry that some event organiser in the past couldn’t use that kind of basic discernment with regards to rumours about yourself, but guess what? This isn’t about you, and it’s really obnoxious to try and make this into another “Let’s Talk About What a BNP Christian Day Thinks He Is” moment. This is not comparable to the SRA hoaxes. This is not comparable to the witch trials. This is, simply, about ONE man who, after a sting operation of several months, was found amongst a child porn ring of over forty men; that ONE man happens to be a pagan, and a pretty prominent one, at that. Cops don’t go on these stings by pulling names out of phone books, honey, and the operations take as long as they do because it *is* such a sensitive and emotional issue for people; if you’re going to trust the justice system, then trust that they FINALLY found something worth arresting Klein over.

  3. Moreover, I have never once defended Kenny Klein. On the contrary. And, much as I detest Peg Aloi and hate to defend her, I have to defend her as well because she is FRIENDS with Tzipora far as I know so her allegiance should be obvious, so you’re just looking for straw men everywhere, aren’t you? I don’t see myself as a big name anything, certainly not a Pagan since it’s a word I detest almost as much as I do Peg (and you, at this point), but what I am defending is the innocent against these attempts to use this Klein situation as a roadmap to accept any accusations against anyone without proof and that is what I have seen promoted.

    You are a truly angry and bitter human being and clearly have a lot of axes to grind. Thankfully, people like that never really amount to much more than the mosquito level of annoyance that a blog I’m sure nearly nobody reads provides you. I’m done here. I made my points and, crazy as you are, you’re well-written enough to not be too stupid to understand them. Unfortunately, your intellect is drowned out by your suffering. It’s very sad, my dear. Very sad indeed.

      • Hell, it’s at least nowhere near as sad as how much time he’s apparently wasting to comment at someone he wants to believe he finds so unimportant and inconsequential. See, my mother didn’t lie: If you spend as much time arguing with another person as he has, especially when that other person seems as unwilling to budge and seems as uninterested in the argument as I am, then one of the following is going on –either he’s realising I’m speaking truth but is too much of an ass to admit he was wrong, or he has a crush on me, or both.

        This isn’t the first time I’ve seen him try to argue someone into the ground while he tried to paint the other person as being allegedly “unimportant”, “bitter” and “sad / very unhappy” –it’s really projection at its finest. He just can’t stand it when people don’t think he’s at least half as smart as he thinks he is, and the amount of time that I certainly would consider wasted on unimportant and inconsequential people, he’s gone and spent it in a pathetic effort to try and insult me in-between his doubly pathetic efforts to make Klein’s blight somehow “really” about himself. I’m actually the most important person in Day’s world, right now, and that’s the truth —if I was as inconsequential as he wants me to believe I am, then he’d be either at least as flip as I’ve been to him, or he’d ignore me. But he can’t, his ego won’t let him, because I had the audacity to allege that it’s not always about him an his fee-fees. He’s clearly very upset by this reality, but refuses to accept it.

          • Also quite true. Which probably means I’m potentially more adept to certain magics than he is (and I’m neither a magician nor entertaining pretenses at being one), as I actually find it quite easy to ignore someone, once I finally decide to (usually after I get bored with poking them). There’s a long list of people who truly bothered me, but then I stopped caring because why? No matter how much they tried to put me down, I realised that the hurt they could inflict was nothing compared to what I wanted or needed to do, so I tuned them out. Maybe if they come back later and I have nothing bettef to do, make a flip remark and go on my way, but they don’t matter after that.

      • By the way, I forgot how long that little ego trip of his was. For the love of all that is holy, I might just have to see if Galina will spank you for posting that here…. Then again, i didn’t have to watch, so, hrmm….

    • For reasons I will not go into here, I have to go back over many of the old posts. Just for the record: I am not friends with Peg Aloi.

  4. And you say narcissist like it’s a bad thing. There is a difference between justice and a Witch hunt,a and that you can’t distinguish this is sad. I have no idea how Klein’s story will end and if it’s with guilt, then he deserves whatever punishment is necessary, but that it could be used to justify the unchecked persecution of innocents is a scary thing. Neither my festival experience nor the rumors that people very much like you put out there about me hardly diminished my career. I don’t need to be the narcissist that I am to know that I’m one of the most financially successful Witches in the world in spite of these attacks. Heck, and maybe even, in some ways, because of–since everyone wants to come meet the big bad everyone was talking about. But that I was resilient enough to survive those types of attacks doesn’t mean everyone else is. I hardly see myself as a victim but one only has to look at the SRA you so vehemently try to sweep under the rug along with even the infamous Witch Trials themselves, to know why it is as important as ever to require scrutiny in these matters. Lives can be destroyed and you are clearly of the mindset that it’s ok to railroad the innocent in order to catch the guilty. That is not a sacrifice I think we should make.

    And as for elastics and adhesives, while you look like you could use a little nip and tuck, I didn’t lead with the ad hominem attacks, toots. You did. I just have more fun with fun with them. 🙂

    • Of course I can tell justice from a witch hunt, but clearly you cannot –this absolutely is not a witch hunt, and your insistence on hyperbole and histrionics won’t make it so. Nor will it ever make it about what a poor, persecuted warlock you think you are.

  5. Don’t know Christian day, but he won this stupid argument. Maybe you are both narcissists. Kenny Klein will see his day in court and hopefully the truth will prevail. That’s what is important right?

    • > Don’t know Christian day, but he won this stupid
      > argument.

      If you really think that, you’re as stupid as he is.

      > Maybe you are both narcissists.

      No, not in the sense you mean.

      > Kenny Klein will see his day in court and hopefully
      > the truth will prevail.

      Hopefully? Sure, but court, like most other aspects of life, doesn’t care as much about the truth as it cares about which side can present a more palatable argument. A conviction or lack thereof does not mean that the truth has prevailed –I’m not so stupid as to believe that.

  6. Was kenny convicted? Taliesin hill should have gone down too and if i csn work with the law,he will.dont let this man alone with your children. And young ladies beware in this individuals allegedly perverse company.BB)0(

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