Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wiccan Prison Chaplain facing criminal charges

A Wiccan prison chaplain has been charged with several criminal offences after an incident on August 10th of this year. Jamyi J. Witch is reported to have trafficked drugs, delivering contraband to an inmate, and sexually assaulting an inmate. The reports are serious and could cause setbacks to the gains made by the pagan community. I also do not believe them to be true, or at least not seen in the proper light. The article says that she was facing increasing opposition from her coworkers. They weren't the only ones she had faced opposition from.

In 2001-02, Witch was the focus of now governor Scott Walker (then a Wisconsin State Assembly member and chair of the Assembly Committee on Corrections and Courts)and Representative Michael Huebsch, in what is known as the Wisconsin Witch Hunt. Walker had objected to her hiring by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections saying:

"Witch's hiring raises both personal and political concerns. Not only does she practice a different religion than most of the inmates -- she practices a religion that actually offends people of many other faiths, including Christians, Muslims and Jews."

Also, spoken by Huebsch,"Taxpayers shouldn't be forced to accept this hocus-pocus."

Because of this unwanted publicity, Witch began receiving hundreds of emails and phone calls placing death threats. These two men who hold public office, who are supposed to be defenders of the public trust, used their positions in an attempt to fire a woman simply because of her religion.

This woman who spent years attaining her master's degree in theology, then a decade in public service as a prison chaplain after having been chosen as the most suitable for the position, faced overwhelming adversity from her coworkers and the political powers that be, is just going to throw it all away to run drugs and get her rocks off? And I'm supposed to believe that? I don't think so. Given the fact that there have been previous attempts from high officials to have her fired, I think it likely that this is another such attempt. All we can do now is lend our support and pray that the courts see the truth of the matter.


  1. Sounds very similar to the TSA case about a Wiccan who "cast spells" on her co-workers.

  2. Wow. In this day and age, despite having written previously on discrimination, it still astounds me that someone could be fired on the basis of religion.

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