Prominent Pagan Arrested for Child Pornography

This is not a good week for the pagan community.

Kenny Klein, well known pagan musician and an amateur photographer, has been arrested in New Orleans on 25 counts of child pornography, involving images found on his computer of children under the age of 13 engaging in explicit sexual activity, according to this news story from the Times-Picayune.

Klein has recorded a number of albums, both on his own and with other musicians, including his ex-wife Tziporah, with whom he used to tour the country playing pagan-themed original folk songs and traditional music at festivals and other venues. Klein had moved to New Orleans several years ago and more recent songs reflected that cultural change. In recent months Klein had also begun writing articles for the Huffington Post, covering events such as Mardi Gras.

Klein’s author bio for HuffPo mentions several of his books:  ” Kenny is the author of several books including Through The Faerie Glass, Fairy Tale Rituals, and the upcoming Fairy Tale Magic, all on Llewellyn Worldwide.” Klein also wrote The Flowering Rod: Men and Their Role in Paganism.

I spoke with my friend and fellow Patheos blogger Lilith Dorsey this morning about this news and she said, “I had several heated discussions with him about appropriating various elements of my religion, New Orleans Voodoo, while he was not an initiated member of the tradition. Perhaps this is just the tip of the iceberg of his bad behavior.”

Klein was also a member of the well-known Blue Star coven tradition for many years.

I will update this story later today as I learn more.

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  • http://nigheananbrighde.wordpress.com/ Erin

    Don’t know how the right wing could make much about this, with the massive child molestation cases against the Catholic Church. As horrible as this is, it surely pales in comparison.

    • Anthony

      Execpt that if this was a Catholic Priest, we would be reading about this on CNN, not Patheos. Funny how the liberal media sweeps stuff under the rug if it doesn’t fit their agenda.

      • http://nigheananbrighde.wordpress.com/ Erin

        Patheos has a Catholic channel too, and a Christian channel. I bet they have discussed pedophilic priests a time or two…

    • Federalist

      For one thing the Right Wing does not consider Catholics to be much better than Pagans, and certainly DO NOT consider them to be Christian. They would happily lump both Paganism and Catholicism into the same heathen cauldron.

      • http://nigheananbrighde.wordpress.com/ Erin

        True in many cases, but not right now, while the right wing is heavily defending catholics who feel their rights have been infringed on by the affordable care act and the how legalized gay marriage affects some of their business dealings. They’re all in the same bible-loving boat presently.

    • http://www.josephbloch.com/ Joseph

      The Catholics (right or left is irrelevant) like to highlight such things because they can then turn around and say, “See? It’s not a Catholic priest problem. There are pedophiles everywhere.”

  • lilithdorsey

    I was asked for a comment, and I gave one. People have personally come to me and asked about Kenny’s teaching and devotion in the Voodoo religion and that I feel I have a right to comment on.

    • Fire Lyte

      And if this had been an article about Klein’s views on Voodoo, your comment would have made sense. As such, it does not, and it appears that you’re using this as a platform to talk about a pet issue.

      This is not a place for your pet issue.

      • lilithdorsey

        You can take that up with Peg, as I said she asked me for a comment. If I wanted a platform I would have used my own blog here on Patheos.

  • Dana Corby

    EnergyFiend already answered that: “I had close friends who were younger and not so lucky. They did go to
    the police and he still got away with it. No one believed them.” This is the unfortunately most common reaction to accusations of being molested.

    • WYNEMA GONZAGOWSKI

      Vlla, she answered it after I had asked the question again here… I responded to both of her answers… I read her answer so why you are quoting it to me I am unsure… Both of my posts were written within 10 minutes of each other had she already responded to the first question I would not have posed it a second time… AND before you go assuming I am questioning whether or not she was molested you should know that I was NOT as a molested girl at the age of 9 years old I never say it did not happen!!!!! So I would like to suggest that perhaps you not assume things :(

  • Pammit

    Turning a negative into a positive!

  • http://nigheananbrighde.wordpress.com/ Erin

    In response to myself, I noted below the stories shared by one who had been groomed by him, who knew others who had been outright abused, and were unable to have him convicted. I hope more of that will come out- if there are trials on record, it should- to demonstrate that he was a predator seeking easy prey, very much like Catholic priests who behave similarly, and thus not any kind of reflection of what pagan traditions accept or allow.

    • Brian Murphy

      And also very much like secular teachers throughout public schools in America who have been arrested for various sexual transgressions against children on a rather frequent basis

      • Natalie Reed

        Brian Murphy from the Village Square?

      • http://nigheananbrighde.wordpress.com/ Erin

        Yes, and leaders in prominent scouting organizations as well.

  • https://www.facebook.com/ThePaganNaturalist Nicole Youngman

    I live in New Orleans and have known Kenny a couple of years. I’ve been to his place a few times, and considered him and his girlfriend friends. I had NO IDEA of his past history and I seriously doubt any other locals who have gotten to be friends with him in the last few years did either. It seems to me that we need to talk about ways of spreading warnings about people like this a lot more effectively. In any case, right now I am beyond furious and very, very grateful my son was never alone with him.

  • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

    None of that changes what I said.

    • http://nigheananbrighde.wordpress.com/ Erin

      What you said implied he was behaving this way. The current crime doesn’t necessarily indicate that he was, but apparently he had done so in the past, as previous commenters here have noted. Scary and sad.

  • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

    The problem is you’re taking what I said and hearing it how you want to hear it.

    • http://infamous.net/ Tom Swiss

      The problem is you made a very serious unsubstantiated allegation. Please present facts from credible sources to back up your claim that “pedophiles have been flocking to our religions for decades”.

      • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

        What do you want? News reports?

        • http://infamous.net/ Tom Swiss

          If someone is going to make a claim that “pedophiles have been flocking
          to Group X for decades”, some criminological or sociological study of
          Group X would be evidence.

          A news report or two would be anecdotes, not evidence. A handful of anecdotes would be consistent with the null hypothesis — that Group X has some pedophiles, in the same proportion as the general population.

          Or you could acknowledge that you have no real evidence for such a claim, that it’s your gut feeling or whatever.

          • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

            Ahhh you’re just a trouble maker, I see. Well you can do that all you want but it still doesn’t change the fact that about once a year we have someone from the Pagan community in the news about child abuse, sexual abuse, or pornography.

            Either way we need to start an open dialog with one another about what we are going to do about this and future problems as a community.

          • WYNEMA GONZAGOWSKI

            Now you have changed it from ‘every other year’ to ‘once a year’….. Again I say, Pagan and Wicca observers are human and therefore subject to the human condition which of course means that yes, you will hear of abuses just as in any other walk of life,… Actually if you only hear of it once a year that is impressive when you take what is happening outside our community into consideration…

            But yes, some type of proof or study that correlates with your supposition would be nice… Can I please see the evidence you are using to make these suppositions and accusations?

          • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

            ~sigh~ You are more concerned about statistics and semantics than what to actually do about what happens when one of our leaders gets arrested for pedophilia? If this were an academic discussion than I would be more than happy to cite my work and statements. But this is a straightforward common sense discussion about things that are actually happening, not something we think might be happening but something that has been going on enough in the past that we are all aware of it.

            So no, I am not going to cite diddy crap, you have the magick of Google and I’m not trying to prove an argument so I don’t really care about credibility.

            What I care about is what we are going to do as a community about not only this instance but future ones.

            I would thank you to be part of the solution and not try to divide us with petty things.

          • WYNEMA GONZAGOWSKI

            No, I am not… What I am concerned with is someone making a blanket statement and when asked for facts by different people cannot supply them… I keep my children close or with someone I trust when I take them to various events… That is a solution, parental responsibility for their children. YOU made an accusation about pedophiles “flocking’ to Wicca and Paganism… IF you are going to make comments like that, whether this is a “straightforward common sense discussion’ or not you need to be able to back a comment of that depth and importance with fact!

            Facts of an accusation are NEVER petty things, if you cannot back what you say with facts then just be honest and say that it is your opinion because without facts that is all it is… Your comment was inflammatory and nonsensical in the manner it was used and when people ask for facts you denigrate them just as you did with me. THAT is a fact and can be proven by your own words you have written…

            Yes, we need to discuss and decide what to do when something like this happens but sadly there is NO WAY to predict if and when it will happen… Where something like this is concerned there is no difference between us and ‘normal’ society, we are just as susceptible as they are…

          • Terence Clark

            You’re both being a pain in the butt here. Yes, it’s a ridiculous semantic debate. So I agree with Chris in that respect. But Chris, it’s a ridiculous semantic debate because you worded your initial argument exceptionally poorly, and your follow-up reaction hasn’t been much better. And so regardless of your good intent you are exactly as much of the problem here.

          • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

            Point taken.

          • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

            Either way, we still need to be talking about what we should be doing as a community now and in the future.

    • Federalist

      I got the same meaning from your post as did Fire Lyte so maybe it’s not how Fire Lyte read it, perhaps it’s how you phrased it.

    • Terence Clark

      Given the number of people who have heard exactly the same thing, I’d suggest it’s your wording and not their reading competency that’s in question here. I don’t mean this as an insult or an attack. It’s just generally good practice to note when the general perception of your comment has been broadly negative that the comment itself is the problem. I can see how you might not think the suggestion you’re making is that pedophilia is rampant in Paganism and needs a crack-down, but you can add me to the list of people who has a hard time reading it any other way. It’s a concern that needs addressing, I’ll agree, but your approach has some serious tone issues.

  • Guest

    What bothers me is this very person bashed me in a Facebook group for a certain pagan festival when I stated I was shocked to learn that nudity was allowed anywhere on the grounds (with children present) except at the front gate. Highly makes me wonder about the rest of those who thought it insane for me to be offended that this goes on. Also have to wonder if the organization that runs that festival is going to wise up and realize what they have been allowing. Nudity is one thing, subjecting it to children is a completely different story.

    • http://infamous.net/ Tom Swiss

      Ah, Kerri? Children come into this world nude. Nudity is our natural state. If you have a fear of nudity or take offense at it, you’re not practicing a nature religion.

      Naturalist resorts have nude adults and nude children and nude grandparents and aunts and uncles together all the time. It’s not an issue and has nothing to do with the abuse of children. Kindly do not conflate being skyclad (which I will continue doing at Pagan events like Starwood and the Free Spirit Festival, as well as burns like Playa Del Fuego, all of which are all-ages events) with sexuality.

      • Kerri Bachler-Connor

        Ummm read the law.

        If I take my children or grandchildren somewhere I don’t expect them to have people they don’t know walking around naked. The fact that the guy who was making the biggest stink about it being fine was just arrested on a couple dozen charges doesn’t bar well for your argument. And frankly you have no FRICKING right to tell me I am not practicing a nature religion because I don’t walk around in front of children naked.

        • Remco Reis

          He still has a point; nudism does not cause people to abuse children.
          When you know that there is a chance of nudity because the festival allows it and you do not want to subject your children to that, leave them at home.

          • Kerri Bachler-Connor

            which is why I have no intention of going. I am in no way saying that nudity causes people to abuse children. Where the hell did I say that??? I said that the person saying it was fine the most was just arrested on child pornography charges!!! glad my kids and grandkids have never been to a festival where he was. That’s the POINT. WE DON’T KNOW these things about people until they get caught….kind of late then isn’t it?? How many are out there who haven’t been caught? Not going to take a risk with those I love to find out.

          • Remco Reis

            you implied it when saying “I stated I was shocked to learn that nudity was allowed anywhere on the
            grounds (with children present) except at the front gate. Highly makes
            me wonder about the rest of those who thought it insane for me to be
            offended that this goes on.”
            99,999999999999999999999% of the people attending that festival have no affiliation with abusing children whatsoever, so the festival itself or their rules have no influence on that.
            Furthermore, I believe that children should be kept away from all religious activities, including Pagan ones.

          • Kerri Bachler-Connor

            No I did not imply that, seeing as to how the end of the paragraph I also stated that nudity is one thing, subjecting children to it is another. That may be what you inferred. Not my fault.

          • http://www.josephbloch.com/ Joseph

            It may not *cause* them to abuse children. However, such situations might attract people who are already predisposed to do so.

          • http://infamous.net/ Tom Swiss

            “such situations might attract people who are already predisposed to do so.” Evidence? Catholic priests don’t conduct ritual skyclad, yet…

          • http://www.josephbloch.com/ Joseph

            No, but they *do* put themselves into situations where they are alone with children, in positions of trust and authority. I’m (fortunately) no authority on child molesters, but it seems to me that if you get off on seeing (or worse) naked kids, promoting and attending events where you’re likely to encounter them seems like a natural strategy.

        • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

          The law is fine with it in private and on private property.

          • Kerri Bachler-Connor

            You must not live where I do.

          • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

            I would be surprised to hear that nudity would be illegal on private property anywhere in the US.

          • Kerri Bachler-Connor

            public nudity is ilegal all over

          • WYNEMA GONZAGOWSKI

            WRONG! On your own property nudity is NEVER illegal as long as the general public cannot see you.

          • emberkmiller

            Not in Portland, Oregon. In Portland, Oregon you can be nude in public as long it is not of a sexual nature. I present to you our yearly Naked Bike Ride through the city. :) http://pdxwnbr.org/

          • WYNEMA GONZAGOWSKI

            As long as the nudity is not visible to the general public IE Fenced or far enough onto private property as to not be visible by those not in attendance it is perfectly legal… My questions to you are, did they tell you that you had to strip down? or to bring children you did not want to expose to nudity? Why do you feel you have the right to mandate how others raise their children??? This man was, it seems, not a good man that does not reflect on the Pagan community, it reflects on him. There are good and bad people in all walks of life… He is accused of being a pedophile, fine, he just happens to be a Pagan… They do NOT relate to one another…

          • Anetka

            He said PRIVATE property. You replied “You must not live where I do” and then “Public nudity is illegal all over”. Lady, you dont read, do you? You just want to spit your intolerance and hatred. Private nudity is alowed all over. Public is not. These pagan festivals are often on private properties – therefore private rules. Nudity may be allowed. I have nothing against nudity and I attend those festivals with my children who are also used to nudity. Nude or dressed, you always have to keep an eye on your kids. There always could be pedophiles anywhere and they even do not have to have any prior conviction. Even people who are not pagan at all could attend , just so they could get a peek at the nudity. Never know. Therefore watch your kids. BTW. having child porn (downloaded) on your computer might be a crime (it is a crime), but it does not mean that person was actualy dangerous to children. He might just want to satisfy his urges with pictures and never actualy harm any child. As long as he didnt pay for the pictures or in any way supported the people who acquired them. Castration might help to get rid of those urges. Many pedophiles are aware it is bad, but it is hard to control. Imagine that you as “normal” straight person was never be allowed to have sex with a man nor even see a pornographic material. Would not that drive you crazy?? That is how deviants feel when they cant do what they naturaly want to nor they are allowed to “jack off” to pornographic material. It does not say anything who they are as people. Many pedophiles never act on their urges, never attack any child.

        • http://infamous.net/ Tom Swiss

          Clothing optional campgrounds are completely legal. Unless perhaps you live in some Taliban-controled area?

          If you don’t expect kids to see naked strangers at an event, perhaps you need to read the event and venue descriptions more carefully?

          I don’t care whether you walk in front of children in your natural state. I care that you are criticizing others for doing so at a Pagan event where such is legal. By doing so, ipso facto, you lose any right to claim to practice a nature religion.

          • Biolochic

            Tom, Her criticizing you does not make her loose her rights to claim to practice a nature religion.

          • Kerri Bachler-Connor

            The event I’m referring to I have thought of going to for years, never did I get any information stating that public nudity was allowed. It wasn’t until I joined the facebook group that I found out about it at all. and personally I really to don’t care what right you think I have to claim anything

        • Biolochic

          ” And frankly you have no FRICKING right to tell me I am not practicing a nature religion because I don’t walk around in front of children naked.” – there was no criticism against being clothed, I don’t see why him saying that how he likes to practice negates your own. He didn’t say anything against you – At least not until you criticized him, making him think he had to push back.

          And for the record: NUDITY DOES NOT EQUAL SEXUALITY – the notion that it does comes from suppressive religions/societies. Remembering hearing about how it was so scandalous to bare ankles? Taboo made ankles sexy. Fast forward to today, bare ankles mean nothing because they are not taboo. So, in a society where nudity is acceptable and considered normal, it ceases to be sexy.

        • https://twitter.com/ashareem Ash McSidhe

          Kerri, your reading of the law apparently differs greatly from others.
          May I suggest an in-depth look at http://www.nudistlaw.com/ ?

          If you don’t wish your children exposed to nudity, that is certainly your right and privilege, but unless there is exposure with the intent to titillate or sexually arouse/gratify, being nude around children isn’t illegal in most jurisdictions in the US.

    • Terence Clark

      Pagan festivals (aside from Pagan Pride Days and open circles) have been allowing nudity since they’ve existed, kids and all. Further, Wicca-oriented Paganism and various other nature-oriented forms of Paganism have been conducting ceremonies and events nude pretty much since the outset. In fact, Gardner’s coven met at a naturalist (it’s not exactly the same, but essentially nudist) resort. Nudity is written right into the Charge of the Goddess (if you are a Wiccan or Wicca-oriented Pagan) It’s very commonplace and no one’s going to “wise up” and change what they’ve been doing for often decades.

      I take my kids to one of these festivals every year and while I exercise appropriate caution, it’s never been a problem. In fact, I consider it to be a good way to help them understand that the human form is natural, beautiful, and sacred. You need not agree with me, but understand your opinion is in the minority in Paganism. Over a thousand people come for a full week and there are adults and children nude on the premises. They’ve been doing this successfully, without incident for over 30 years. Interestingly enough, the front gate is the only place where it isn’t allowed because it’s visible from the road .

      It may not be something you want for your children, and that’s okay. You don’t have to attend if it is a problem for your family. These events generally notify attendees of this fact in their registration materials and usually have you sign a waiver stating that you are aware of it going on on the grounds. Additionally, most have pretty tight rules as to the where, when and who of nudity at the event and attendees are usually exceptionally firm about self-regulation because, as you might imagine, it only takes one incident to ruin it for everyone.

      Now I can’t speak to the festival you attended. If that isn’t how they operated it certainly should be. It may be accepted in much of the Pagan community, but in American society, and the American legal system, it isn’t. We have to be very careful and vigilant about it. But I respectfully disagree that it shouldn’t be allowed. And I think you’ll find that is close to a consensus opinion among most of the Pagan community.

      As to this individual’s behavior toward you, I wasn’t there for it, but if it was as you say it was it certainly wasn’t appropriate. His behavior doesn’t automatically make him a pedophile, the contents of his computer and his mind do. There are several responses to you here that I think are inappropriate and uncalled-for. But I highly doubt any of them are pedophiles or child molesters.

  • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

    Alright here is the simple truth of the matter: We have a Pagan leader who was arrested for downloading child pornography and confessed to it. All we seem to be doing is debating whether or not his religion should be mentioned in the media.

    How about it’s too late, it’s out there, no ones religion makes them sexually abuse children (to the best of my knowledge), and how about we just start talking about what we can do as a community because like it or not he is a member of our community.

  • http://quakerpagan.org Cat C-B

    He and his wife were the primary initiators of the very popular Blue Star tradition of Wicca–a tradition, I hasten to say, which is practiced by hundreds of rock-solid, ethical men and women; in no way is this news a reflection on them or on the tradition itself.

    It is, however, a shock on something of the same level it would be if we learned that Gerald Gardner or Isaac Bonewitz had committed these offenses–a lot of good people trace their lineage or got their training from Kenny Klein. Some of them are probably survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and have even more reason to feel shocked and betrayed.

    So Klein isn’t just any old Pagan–he’s a Pagan who had a lot of trust from a lot of people. Who are likely reeling about now.

    • Nate Varnadoe

      I still argue that he ought no longer be called Pagan. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck fine, it’s a duck. The moment is starts breathing fire, you rule out duck as a possibility. But I can see where people who have believed in the teachings of the Grand High Duck for years would be shocked if they found out it was a dragon.

      • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

        The problem is we are not the Catholics, you can’t kick someone out of Paganism. You can personally shun him if you want but you can never take away his statues in the religion.

        • Nate Varnadoe

          No one has to kick anyone out of anything. What I’m trying to explain is that, by virtue of this crime, he is no longer living by the morals of Paganism. So he ain’t one. I don’t pay much attention to the Wiccans, but I seem to recall something about “and it harm none.” Last I checked, sexual predation is pretty harmful. He was a pretender who fooled a lot of people. My heart sincerely goes out to his victims, but his crimes don’t reflect on the community any more than any other sicko.

          • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

            It would be great if the world worked that way but it doesn’t. Most people who know nothing about any form of Paganism is going to hear what he did and associate that with the rest of us.

          • roguishknight

            No True Scottsman fallacy: pagans don’t stop being pagan as soon as they stop following the Rede (if they follow it in the first place and accept your interpretation of it, which is not universally accepted.) Otherwise there would be no pagans.
            It is on us to acknowledge our problems and address them, not try to distance ourselves from them (as comforting as that might be.)

      • WYNEMA GONZAGOWSKI

        To exclude him as part of the community he has lived in and been involved in for a very long time is ignorance… We are human, we have all kinds of people and sadly that includes some bad ones… To deny he is Pagan and try to hide from it is not the way to do things… To acknowledge that we are just as vulnerable to the evils of humanity is what should be done… It was not Paganism that caused him to collect child pornography it was his own choice to do so… It had NOTHING to do with his religion!!! To not allow him at festivals, to not allow him to work with children, to not allow him into your group, these I agree with but to deny he was a practitioner, that is wrong in so many ways!!!

  • http://quakerpagan.org Cat C-B

    Sadly, it’s not always possible to give police the kind of evidence they need in order to act–never mind the fact that it’s especially hard to act on one’s own behalf, as a child or even years later.

    This is one of the reasons I have always disliked it when Pagans have made jibes about Catholic priests. The truth is, while the Catholic church is certainly culpable for covering up clergy sexual abuse, there is nothing about the Pagan community that has ever meant we are invulnerable to the exploitation of our kids. I wish we’d put a little more energy into structuring our kids’ programs to build in safety for them, and less into gloating about how awful other religions are.

    Perhaps this will turn out to be the time the Pagan community began to understand that we need to think carefully about this issue, and not rely on luck (or denial) to protect our kids.

  • http://quakerpagan.org Cat C-B

    He was not an obvious creep to everyone. That’s important: if we allow ourselves to believe that all perpetrators are clearly creeps, we’ll refuse to see the perpetrators who don’t fit that stereotype.

    There may have been warning signs to some, but not everyone saw them. And that may not be about blindness, either–it’s best not to make that assumption, and not only risk blaming victims, but also risk failing to see future perpetrators, if they don’t seem “obvious.”

    I write this as a former psychotherapist, who worked as a counselor in the field of sexual abuse for about 20 years. I vividly remember the first perpetrator it turned out I knew: he’d been a local minister who had been active on the same board I had, that founded a battered women’s center. That disabused me of the notion that, as a trained professional, I, at least, could “always spot” a perpetrator.

    It’s important to pay attention to signs of trouble; it’s more important to structure kids’ programs in a way that is likely to keep them safe (like always having two or more adults in charge of kids, and free access and open visibility to parents at all times).

    But it’s also important to remember we won’t always know, and we won’t always keep kids safe. We’ll do better if we do our best with a little humility.

    • Nate Varnadoe

      You know, you’ve got a point there. I made a mistake, and used my own anecdotal evidence to support my argument. Logical fallacy, on my part. Maybe he was better behaved around others. Maybe others are simply more trusting. Possibilities I failed to consider.

      • Basia Nova

        Or perhaps consider that predators are good manipulators.

        • Nate Varnadoe

          Oh, I freely agree to that statement. And he was a durn good’un.

    • http://infamous.net/ Tom Swiss

      Exactly. Predators (not to make any statement about Klein’s guilt here, talking in general) succeed because they can camouflage themselves well.

      I didn’t know Klien well, but I worked with him at the Free Spirit Gathering several times when he was performing and I was stage manager or a roadie, and several times I performed in the Bardic Circle at Starwood when he was hosting. He wasn’t creepy to me…but I’m not the gender or age he’s (allegedly) been creepy towards.

  • http://infamous.net/ Tom Swiss

    Did Kenny Klein have any convictions that a background check would have turned up? I think it’s better to put procedures in place that ensure those working with kids are never alone with them, than to rely on bad guys having been caught before…

    • http://www.josephbloch.com/ Joseph

      Whoops! My error. Removed the link.

      • http://infamous.net/ Tom Swiss

        Did the FBI spell his name wrong? “Klein” is not the same as “Kline”…

      • WYNEMA GONZAGOWSKI

        “On Nov. 17, 2010, KENNETH KLINE JR., 51, of Mission, Texas, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment. The U.S. Marshals Service discovered that Kline had been convicted in 2007 of indecent behavior with a juvenile by committing a lewd and lascivious act upon a juvenile
        under the age of 17 and was living in Mission. Law enforcement records showed that Kline had never registered with Texas authorities and that he had left the state of Louisiana without permission.”

        This is spelled Kline, I doubt the FBI would spell that wrong… Ken/Kenny/Kenneth and Klein/Kline are not that uncommon… I found many when researching this…

      • PhaedraHPS

        Wrong name, wrong age, wrong place of residence. (Louisiana is mentioned, but the place of residence is given as Texas.) And I think people would have noticed if he wasn’t around for 8 months because he was in prison.

  • http://quakerpagan.org Cat C-B

    I agree. Blue Star initiates include some amazing, wonderful people.

  • WitchWay

    I have been active in the Pagan community for over twenty five years and I had never heard of the man, nor had I ever seen one of his books on a shelf in any of the book stores that I ever went into. Perhaps he was only a huge name in some communities but not in others? Where was he active prior to NOLA?

  • Federalist

    Well, considering how the Police often go about getting “Confessions” and what they consider to be a confession, I would keep an eye on the adage “Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”. And no I am not trying to defend him, nor his alleged activities, just pointing out this is a “News Story” and Police aren’t always what they appear to be either.

    • roguishknight

      Innocent in the court of law also doesn’t mean they are actually innocent, nor that everyone has to pretend nothing ever happened. Even if he is not convicted, for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean we are required to forgive or forget. I find nothing wrong with not wishing to have him as the public face of paganism on their site.

      • Federalist

        I agree, innocent in this situation is a presumption until he’s had his day in court, and even then may not be true. BUT on the other side of that coin, accusations and allegations don’t mean guilt just because they are made. Nor does being found guilty in court mean he really did it, many innocents are convicted on circumstantial evidence or worse, the speaking abilities of the respective Attorneys.
        I too find nothing wrong with not wishing to have him as the public face of paganism, on their, or any other, site. But I do think that people should wait for all the available and pertinent facts before they jump to conclusions, which are often wrong and unfounded.

    • PhaedraHPS

      Actually, in Louisiana they don’t use the English Common Law principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” they use the Napoleonic Code, which is “guilty until proven innocent.”

  • http://www.thepaganman.com Chris

    It effects our public appearance and so does how we handle the situation.

    • WYNEMA GONZAGOWSKI

      You are right, it does affect us.. However the best response I have heard is Pagans and those who practice Wicca are human and therefore subject to the human condition, including its evils just as any other walk of life…

  • Basia Nova

    And I’m confused as to why you are subverting the point of the article by focusing on Lilith’s commentary? The fact is: Kenny Klein was found with Child Pornography – incriminating evidence – on his computer! If it IS true (which it probably is) then why are we at odds, people? It’s Child Pornography, for Goddess sake! Look beyond the pettiness! This is a horrible situation all the way around…and people are confused and angry (rightly so), yet there should be no division here over this issue: Child Pornography! And, again, if it is true, then this news is sickening and the behavior is totally unacceptable. This is the issue. Period.

    • Fire Lyte

      I’m not subverting; I’m reacting to the disjointed inclusion of some perceived personal issue between Klein and a Patheos blogger being tied to the issue by the blog author while simultaneously promoting her “tip of the iceberg” argument. It is a straw man fallacy of logic to make his spiritual practice in any way corollate to this new streak of criminality. It doesn’t belong in the story, and seems to be there to substantiate some previously held beef between the author’s friend and Klein.

      It specifically derails the conversation and further adds a tie between spirituality and child porn that does not exist. It’s bad journalism. It’s bad ethics. It’s bad all around as it adds fuel to a fire of what mainstream culture thinks of us as a community.

  • sharknando

    I believe you, EnergyFiend.

    I knew Kenny for years on the festival circuit and he creeped me out. Most of my friends thought he was OK, but I never wanted to be alone with him. He was really pushy.

    I was barely into my twenties when Kenny started hitting on me. He was way too into watching (and photographing) our young people running around naked at festivals. I was one of those young people then. We didn’t do it to be sexy, we did it because some of those festivals were held in 100 degree heat, and “skyclad” was the norm. He talked about sex way too much, and was way too flirty and touchy feely with young women who were far too young for him. Any workshop that had anything to do with sexual issues, he’d be there.

    I never personally saw him hit on anyone underage, but I am not the least bit surprised by this. When he started posting those “erotic” photos of very young-looking women, I had a bad feeling and this just confirms it.

    I am so sorry for what you and all the others have been through. No religious community is immune to this. But any community that has people running around naked will attract voyeurs. And many voyeurs don’t stop at just looking. I have personally seen Pagan survivors shamed and predators protected by this community, “So it doesn’t look bad for the community.”

    Whether it’s Klein or the Frosts, or the many men who were less prominent whose victims were treated with disbelief, silencing and shaming, there are at least as many Pagans who have to answer for this as the Catholics with their pedophile priests.

    You should also talk to his exes. They know things too. Maybe now they will be listened to about what he did to them.

    • Basia Nova

      Thank you for sharing. I met him only several times at various festivals, went to his storytelling and musical workshops, yet I never resonated with him. My inner being never gravitated to him. I found him to hold low-vibrational energy and wondered what all the fuss was about with him. I guess I have really good inner guidance/intuition when it comes to this. It has served me well, this inner mechanism. So, I guess, even though I didn’t know a lot of his background (except that he was an accepted Elder in the community) I am not surprised that this has happened. Predators are also master manipulators (if intelligent and creative). I just checked out his website and I, too, was a little creeped out with the nude photographs of what looks like (some) girls under the age of 18.

  • Kerri Bachler-Connor

    Mark, yes where I live too anyone who works with children in any manner must have an extensive background check done. As a former substitute teacher, we had to even be fingerprinted before working. Seems these places could be opening themselves to lawsuits.

  • NPYB

    Never even heard of this guy and I’m a lifelong pagan.

    • https://twitter.com/ashareem Ash McSidhe

      Then you’ve been very isolated as a lifelong pagan. He’s been well-known across the US for close to 30 years.

    • Terence Clark

      I’m with you on that one. Neither I nor several other Pagans I know who have been practicing for some time are aware of who this is.

  • WYNEMA GONZAGOWSKI

    I SOooooooo DISAGREE with you!!! Pagans are human and therefore there will be bad mixed in with the good… If they were ‘flocking’ as you stated then it would be MUCH more often than ‘every other year’ that you would hear of abuse or molestation… Your comment is something I would have expected from someone who is not supportive of the Pagan and Wicca communities!!!!!

  • WYNEMA GONZAGOWSKI

    Which honestly has nothing to do with his crime… I admit that I was also very confused when reading your contribution to this article as to what your disagreement with him had/has to do with his crimes… That was a personal issue…

  • skunk

    Sadly, it relates to his religion at least in the sense that he used the community and his position to be a predator. I met and interacted with him in the early 90′s and even then he was taking advantage of his role to predate on ‘students’ that he was training within the blue star ‘tradition.’ At that point his victims were adults, and there wasn’t much we could do except try to teach people how to evaluate ethics in teachers and clergy, but I’m unsurprised that his predation generalized to children eventually.

    • http://nigheananbrighde.wordpress.com/ Erin

      That would have to do with predation then, as opposed to the crime noted here, that of owning child porn, which doesn’t seem to be related to the religion or community.

      Hopefully the eventual angle on this will be on the dangers of sexual predators, and how they infiltrate communities and organizations in order to prey on adults and children, because really, the nature of the community is not really important here, unless the community itself was overtly involved in some kind of cover-up, ala the Catholic Church.

  • JanetteNash

    Lynch mob? We have police, and a judge and jury system. Who the hell do you think you are to talk like this about anybody? I am not defending the man, and I find his actions repellent, but seriously – what good does that kind of statement do, other than ramping up the hysteria?

  • Northern_Light_27

    No true scotsman much?

  • JanetteNash

    KK is being charged with possessing, and sharing, child pornography, in a child porn ring. From the newspaper accounts, the pictures and videos provided to the ring were mostly males, mainly minors, in sexual situations, occasionally with children as young as 3. His website has a number of “erotic” “art” photography – a number of the “models” appear to be children.
    However, I have not yet seen proof that he would physically abuse minors. A lot of people are now saying that they refused to attend festivals that he was attending, because they didn’t trust him around their children.
    If that is true, I find it reprehensible that they didn’t approach the festival organizers, or the police, with proof of his paedophilia. By not so doing, they potentially endangered many children. If they are merely saying this to sound knowledgeable, that is slander.
    Again, based on the barebones facts available just now, he has only been charged with looking at pictures. Speculation only stirs hysteria. (This is not addressed to you Dana – just building onto your post).

  • JanetteNash

    He was at a festival in MN last summer. Lots of children were there. Why the hell was nobody told about this?

  • http://www.josephbloch.com/ Joseph

    “Klein admitted to detectives that the computer was his and that he had used the computer to share and download the explicit material, the report says.”


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