BootLeg Betty

BetteBack July 23, 1993: Real Life Witches Protest Over Portrayals In “Hocus Pocus”

Santa Ana Orange County Register
Toil and trouble over portrayal of witches
By DIANA E. LUNDIN
Los Angeles Daily News
July 23, 1993

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Incensed over their persistent negative portrayal, a group of seven self-proclaimed witches on Monday denounced “Hocus Pocus ” as another “silly witch movie” that feeds into stereotypes without offering any redeeming images.

“Witches do not murder people,” said Ruth Rhiannon, a Covenant of the Goddess minister and co-founder of Circle of Aradia in Los Angeles.

Rhiannon said she saw the movie over the weekend and demanded her money back.

The Walt Disney Pictures film stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as a trio of child-eating witches who were murdered at the Salem, Mass., witch trials and then resurrected in contemporary society.

Rhiannon said it was unfair and “injurious to children who are learning, according to this film, that witches want to kill them.”

Added Paul V. Beyerl, founder of the Rowan Tree Church and author of .several books about witches, “I don’t think we can even ask the industry to stop those types of portrayals, but we need a balance. If one of the witches in this movie had had at least a moral soul, it would have changed the attitude considerably.”

Members of the group held a press conference at the Los Angeles Press Club, estimâted there are 200,000-500,000 members of the Wiccan religion nationwide.

A Disney spokesman declined.

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