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Massachusetts Redux

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on January 27, 2010 | Comments (5)

Recently, the news was filled with reports about the Massachusetts special election to fill the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s seat. Although polls show that people in Massachusetts tend to be politically liberal and support the Democratic party, the election was won by a more conservative candidate and a Republican, Scott Brown.

Both the news media and the “blogosphere” have been inundated with know-it-all pundits giving all sorts of reasons for the vote. The Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley, was showing up in the polls just a month or two earlier with a 30 point lead over Mr. Brown. What caused this surprising shift in popularity to take place?

Well, I’m not one of those well-paid pundits (I wish!) who are giving all sorts of political concepts for the vote. Instead, I’d like to point out something that most of these “experts” are ignoring.


In 1983, claims were made about alleged activities at the McMartin Preschool in California. The police investigation ran for four years. Trials ran from 1987 to 1990. It was the longest and most expensive investigation and trial in the history of California. Although nobody was convicted and all charges dropped, it managed to ruin careers and lives (of the accused, the accusers and their families) and mark the beginning of what has been called “The Satanic Panic.”

Although people have been claiming abuse by Satanists for ages, after a book called Michelle Remembers was published in 1980, claims about Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) started to appear in droves, all with similarities to the claims in that book. Even though every responsible study—even from the FBI—states that such claims are untrue, for over a decade the Satanic Panic persisted. It persists today among some people, primarily those looking for a supernatural cause for things they can’t understand or control.

Back in 1984, in Malden, Massachusetts, a case of child abuse was reported to the police, allegedly taking place at the Fells Acres Day Care Center. The children at the center were interviewed by a nurse, not a specialist. Initially and repeatedly they stated that nothing had happened to them. But after more and more questioning, the young children were allegedly induced to say that a clown had molested them in a secret room at the day care center. This followed the pattern of what happened at the McMartin investigation: initial denials followed by bizarre unsubstantiated assertions after leading and intimidating questions. But with McMartin, the jury saw through the situation and found the defendants not guilty (although the defendants spent years in jail during the trial). In Massachusetts, Violet Amirault, her son, Gerald, and his sister, Cheryl Amirault LeFave were imprisoned for years.

So what does this have to do with the recent election?

Martha Coakley: D.A.

Ms. Coakley became the local District Attorney in 1999. According to Examiner.com, “by this time hardly anyone believed they [the convicted people] were guilty of the horrendous crimes they were alleged to have committed. In fact there was no evidence that anyone had abused any children in the Fells Acres Day Care [Center].

“But what did Martha Coakley do when the Parole Board voted unanimously (5-0) to pardon Gerald Amirault? She did everything in her power to see that he stayed in prison, including sending an assistant DA to oppose his release at the hearing. Coakley also went on talk shows to spout her views about his guilt.”

Coakley reached an agreement with Cheryl Amirault LeFave, allowing her release for time served as long as she agreed not to talk to the media about the case for ten years.

Although most of the pundits in the media are ignoring it, in Jason Pitzl-Waters excellent Pagan blog, The Wild Hunt, he points out that several people were bringing up Coakley’s actions over just this case. He quotes a columnist who points out that  Ms. Coakley had a 30 point lead in the polls. Then Ann Coulter wrote a column about this case and Ms. Coakley in December 1999 and later the “Wall Street Journal” did an editorial about it just before the election.

Both Ms. Coulter and the “Journal” may have had their own agendas in bringing this up as I doubt that either would have supported Ms. Coakley and would write whatever they could against her. Nevertheless, Ms. Coakley’s participation and support for this scandal, what Ms. Coulter called the “second most notorious witch[sic] trial in Massachusetts history,” could have been one of the contributing factors to Ms. Coakley’s defeat, perhaps even the most important factor.

A Question of Personal Ethics

This brings up a serious ethical question that faced voters. Ms. Coakley was generally considered to be more politically liberal than her opponent, Mr. Brown. If you are politically liberal, do you vote for Ms. Coakley even though she worked to keep a probably innocent man in prison and allowed a woman who was probably innocent to be released only under the most draconian of terms because the alleged crimes were supposedly Satanic? Or do you vote for her more politically conservative opponent? In other words, do you vote for her more conservative opponent based on something terrible she did or do you vote for her because you agree with things she may do? Or do you not vote or vote for a third party candidate who stands no chance of winning?

This is not a political blog, it is one with focus on magick today. As the paths of magick, Witchcraft, Paganism, and other spiritual traditions become more popular, they are intersecting more frequently with the secular world. Sometimes they can be harmonious. Sometimes they conflict. I believe that preparation is a key to successful magick, and being prepared for any contingency can make your life run more easily and help you avoid the pitfalls we all encounter from time to time.

You deserve a voice in your community, and that means when you become an adult you have the right and responsibility to vote. At one time, not too long ago, the amount of information getting to us through the media was limited. It was difficult to discover the truth. Today, there is so much information getting to us through numerous media forms that it is difficult to discern the truth from the opinions. As a magickal person, I believe you should be prepared for elections by discovering the truth about candidates, initiatives and measures. Be prepared, and when it’s time, be sure to vote.

What do you think?

Reader Comments

Written By Russell Erwin
on January 28th, 2010 @ 10:06 am

Labels and personalities are always flawed. Look at the issues and just pick whom ever is the closest match. They could kick your mom and still be the better candidate: the lesser of two evils. There are online quizes you can take which ask you where you stand on a series of issues and then give you statistical matches to candidates in the field. In the last Presidential race, I found that every single Democrat ranked above all Republicans in the race, strictly on the issues. Unfortunately that particular quiz didn’t include third party candidates. We all want some of what all Parties promise: more freedom, greater well being, etc. Look at the issues and look at the track record of these Parties more even than the individuals involved.

Written By Blackbird "BB"
on January 28th, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

Thanks Barb,

Honestly I had no idea about any of this, and I am something of a Political Junkie; big fan of MSNBC, and Fire Dog Lake. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I had been a Mass. Voter, and was aware of this information.

I was living in England between 85 and 89; where we were there a Child Sex abuse scandal broke, One woman Doctor, using a new Technique was finding something like 80 to 90% of her Patients had been abused.

Of course this was false, the fault lay with the Dr who was so convinced she was unearthing an iceberg that she never for a minute considered the possibility she simply had been wrong; that’s bad enough in a Doctor, I think it’s even worse in a Prosecutor, an officer of the court sworn to uphold the law and seek out the truth.

So it would pose something of a Dilemma, honestly I might search out her birth data if available, see if anything in her Stars speaks to that blind spot, and what that says about her; then I might be able to come to a more informed opinion.

I would not pull her cards though – one I’m not sure just what my question would be, but 2. and perhaps I am odd here. I think if your birth data is out in the Public Domain, then it is, and your stars are just what they are … Its a Public thing IMHO; while Each Tarot Pull is unique and I consider pulling cards for a person who does not know you are pulling there cards a invasion of privacy, and would only do so if there was an over riding reason.

Oh well wondering a little here, though provoking post, thanks again. BB.

Written By Barbara
on February 2nd, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

I live in MA and thoroughly remember the Fells Acres tragedy very well and the hand that Martha Coakley played in it. The whole thing was a travesty, to say the least, and that is why I (well, there are many reasons) I voted for Scott Brown, and I am thrilled he won. She thought she was a shoe-in, and she, at one point, even refused to debate him, until it was getting too late, and even the President’s emergency trip up here to Boston the Sunday before Election Day couldn’t help. After almost 40 years, it was probably time for a change anyway.

Written By Fern
on February 4th, 2010 @ 9:15 am

As a non-wiccan pagan,it is refreshing to read a blog where the author doesn’t hate on a conservative candidate. I’m glad Scott Brown won.

Written By LR Marini
on February 12th, 2010 @ 5:46 am

I’m glad this information regarding Martha Coakley has been made available, especially to individuals who are in doubt as to what the Republican party stands for. I wasn’t too suprised by the election results in Mass, and most Republicans in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are more liberal and tolerant of others in their outlooks and the way they vote. Not all Republicans are screaming televanglists, the party itself has a long history of supporting anti-slavery, (Abraham Lincoln), Roe vs Wade, and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the elimination of forced service in the military, (although you still have to register for the draft…but you don’t have to leave the country anymore), the president responsiblie for these items was Richard Nixon.

Somehow Republicans got caught up in the wrong crowd; there was a time when Southern Democrats, such as Governor George Wallace who did run for president back before most of the people reading and writing these blogs remember, where visibly racist, war-mongers, sexists, and lobbied for discrimination against all non Christian religions. These guys were a lot more scarier than their current Republican counterparts. Witches? Burn ’em on the front lawn with the rest of the communists and Catholics! I recall that these were the people who deemed it nessecary in the face of national security to shoot on site anti-war protestors, and many of them called out the National Guard or police force to do this for them.

Voting is unsafe at best. Many people feel that they must vote for the lesser of the evil candidate. In a magickal practice voting is extremely important because voting, and who you vote for is a component of conciousness. Don’t be afraid to vote for the candidate that you feel will do the best job for you, regardless of whether or not you think that candidate has enough votes to “win,” or not. I know a lot of people who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 and they have wondered if their “failure” to vote for Gore allowed Bush to become president then. That’s so absurd; (everybody knows it was Mercury Retrograde and a Void of Course Moon) It is dangerous to vote for what we may think is the sure winner, or the second best candidate. Your act of voting for anyone, president, dog-catcher, club president is a sacred act and should reflect the trust you wish to convey in your place in society. It’s not so much about who wins as it is about change. For the record, I am not a Republican; I have no political agenda to promote, but I am all in favor of information and I am glad that this information has been made available by the people here.

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