Cont'd from Part 1 ...
Part 2 — A family torn apart, parents put to fugitive flight by Social Services and police persecution because of their faith:
Wise folks that desperate people turn to for counseling or aid may get pleas and cases such as this. It is helpful to learn from a pro how best to help them. Some cases are quick to remedy, while others may take weeks, months, and even years to fully resolve.
Many may be tempted to not involve themselves in an issue with legal implications. The fact is, the majority of people in need are suffering because they are being suppressed by arbitrary laws. These differ state-by-state - be they bigoted workplace policies, anonymous department of social services accusations by mean-spirited neighbors or debatable criminal charges.
My stance is that metaphysical or Wiccan clergy have the same charge of confidentiality as "mainstream" clergy. There are deft, seasoned ways to accomplish this. A "don't ask, don't tell" understanding should exist between the client and clergyperson when necessary. Not knowing a person's exact location protects both parties. Helping the victim maintain a healthy state of wellness, awareness, motivation, intention and emotional stability is appropriate until the crisis is over and throughout their natural grieving process.
"I'm plagued most nights now with nightmares of apocalypse featuring mushroom clouds radiation-poisoning everyone exposed, resultant blackened sky spawning hundreds of destructive tornadoes, and tidal waves that travel farther inland than any scientist could have feared... The peril advances close but does not reach me. The torture ends with me being one of few left alive to rebuild. Perhaps my dreams are precognitive, and we will be in the right place at the right time to survive it if it occurs."
In this Witch father's case, I cannot rule out the possibility that his persecution has heightened his psychic abilities to the degree that he feels the planet's pain in equal measure with his own. As a counselor, I know that it is just as possible that his night terrors reflect his wake-a-day world of fugitive fear, which, given its crushing nature, seems more likely. His honesty is touching and real, and deserves a kind, understanding response.
"Our son misses his life and now us, badly. He is in occasional contact with us in violation of state court orders, but there are just some things that no authority can undermine, and family ties are among those."
This is perilous and poignant, as DSS and the police are notorious for searching through folks' trash for phone records and have access to nationwide databases that track people's movements to an uncanny degree. Counselors may well advise their clients to devise ultra-creative strategies to communicate prior to fleeing, and to have back-up plans. For the human heart can rarely wait until it's safe to make contact.
"We have traveled everywhere it seems, but are repeatedly drawn back to a remote area where it's easy to disappear. We have met some good people on our journey, but have found few we could stay with for any real period of time."
Only a courageous few seem willing to go out on a limb to help someone in peril if there's the slightest hint of legal issues. Some socially-acceptable excuses to use: "Where there's smoke, there's fire." "There are two sides to every story", "I've got my own problems." etc. As clergy, however, we have made our choice to help others the gods send us, and after due investigation in the matter that satisfies us as to their cause, we are duty-bound to aid them to our best ability.
"Our hopes of becoming safe expatriates have not worked out ... We're on plan B now, working a careful timetable before locating to another place ... This all takes work, dedication, and help. We have to hope, and with a possible new location to move to, and a timetable to do so, we have something to look forward to."
This is promising, as they have learned to articulate what it takes to survive in their position and actively seek hope in goals others might find pitiful. Such is upbeat persistence at its best and the most a clergyperson could wish for their clients at this stage of their saga.
"As for the charges against us, well, the prosecution witnesses seem to be falling apart and showing their true colors. Word is that the police are getting annoyed at the amount of complaints from neighbors about our accusers, which validates what we've been saying all along. The problem is, that once a prosecutor files charges, the state does not seem to care when evidence mounts about the innocence of the accused. One of our accusers is now on the run herself. DSS took her daughter on grounds of neglect."
This is shockingly all too typical in faith persecution cases. The mean, bigoted nature of the accusers becomes their undoing and the state's case disintegrates if the accused can wait things out long enough.
More on this couple's travails next month ...Next part
Lady Passion is co-author of The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells for Modern Problems and High Priestess of Coven Oldenwilde in Asheville, NC. She may be reached via: www.oldenwilde.org