Art, Articles, gender, Health and Wellness, Musings, Pagan, Philosophy, Politics, sex, sex roles

Public Scandals, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Sexual Abuse, Art and Western religious traditions


I found the article below on researcher Jason Colavito’s web site and thought it may be valuable to those who may question the actions Marion Zimmer Bradley has not only been accused of, but also the actions she failed to take a definitive stance against publically in her deposition about her husbands conviction for the identical charges. 
 
I made the following comment on Jason’s site regarding this article: “Given the updated revelations about sexual abuse and child rape in the Marion Zimmer Bradley family this just illustrates part of the problem. From my perspective, several associated discourses are implicated, along with the apparent abuse of religious ideologies in the name of art and anti intellectualism that some could be tempted to pass off as a literary device, while failing to recognize the nuances of literal belief in the spiritual and the discipline of history itself. At the moment, to even describe it as such, I wonder if it provides ‘art’ with more dignity than it deserves both intellectually, historically, spiritually and religiously.” 
 
I edited this bit for clarity because it triggered me at the time I posted the original. I don’t know Moira or Mark Greyland and I certainly don’t want to accuse or badger them for any reason. However, I am sure that they and many others are aware of how their history may one day be interpreted due to the implications of the details of their lives and metaphysically, how it may look from an outsiders point of view. For yet another interpretation of public scandals involving high profile individuals working within pop culture and stereotyped industry, Corey Feldman and his peer Corey Haim also have a history of sexual abuse that Feldman indicated may deal with themes and issues within the Western religious tradition.
 
As a sexual abuse and rape survivor myself, who has also been close enough to the living subject of a published conspiracy theory that he was a regular guest in the home for at least ten years and who was a family friend for far longer, as the daughter of a father who was convicted on charges of trafficking that were on national news when I was 6 or 7 and as the niece of a professional journalist who was a foreign correspondent for one of these same national news agencies at the time of my father’s arrest, I recognize how valuable the position of the observer is and how important it is to record and detail facts when confront distressing emotional events that enter into the public realm. The deeper irony for me, is that this same uncle, was himself also a victim of one of my two molesters – his father and my grandfather.
 
For me, and possibly for any abuse survivor, there is often a right way and a wrong way to approach the past and to tell a story. Additionally, if memories surface that were not connected as related events and a connection is made the stage is set for trauma.
 
Meanwhile, for those on the outside looking in, I would ask not only for my own sake, but out of respect for any abuse survivor to remember the value of minding your own spiritual and religious business. From a metaphysical, spiritual or religious angle, any attempt to decenter a subject of historical fact that is defined by memory for an abuse survivor by any means is threatening. I do not doubt that there are those who may wish to send ‘healing’ energy to others and who may utilize and come from a number of spiritual and religious backgrounds. On behalf of all sexual abuse survivors: think twice before engaging in such activity. Prayer is one thing. Active forms of spiritual intervention that are unsought or not verbally asked for by those who are affected may be horribly inappropriate for any number of reasons.
 
That said, consider the circular logic on the topic of sex and religion in the Western tradition from author and researcher Jason Colavito reproduced below. A link to the original post is under the authors name at the bottom.  
 

Caution: This post contains sexually suggestive early twentieth century imagery.

Recently, I’ve discussed the way pagan beliefs were given a Satanic cast by Christians, who turned pagan worship ceremonies into Black Masses full of sodomy and blasphemy. In 1862, Jules Michelet tried to paint a more sympathetic (if inaccurate) portrait of medieval witches by describing their faith as a pagan-influenced feminist rebellion against Catholic patriarchy. His book, La Sorcière, is known in English as Satanism and Witchcraft, and of course the weird art used to illustrate the 1911 printing of the book is something to behold.

If you thought the images of women kissing Satan’s or a goat’s buttocks were bad, this little number puts them to shame. Behold the Black Mass as drawn by Martin van Maele, a French illustrator famed for his erotic art.
Black Mass

 

And a few more from the same volume:

Black Mass

 
Suckling a Demon

 
This certainly says something about the tangled relationship between sex and religion in the early twentieth century. It also shows how little respect Michelet’s sympathetic vision of a woman-centered religious tradition actually received. These illustrations are not exactly empowering women.” – Jason Colavito.com
 
More insights from Jason Colavito on this topic can be found here. Personally, I agree with him and don’t have to be a sexual abuse survivor to know the literary connection either.
 
 
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s