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UMC Sponsored Women's Event Returns to Wiccan/Witchcraft Spirituality - Bishops Informed

Dear Bishop Looney,

The Brochure for the:

'98 Feminist Retreat at Storm Mountain' reads:

"Judith Duerk Returns to Black Hills for the
8th Annual Feminist Spirituality Retreat"


Join Judith for three special events for women........

"Sponsored by the Commission on the Status and Role of Women, Dakota Conference of the United Methodist Church, Lutheran Social Services, and Book & Company "

"......For all events please bring:

  • a blanket or pillow to sit on
  • a drum if you have one
    (Additional drums will be provided)


"We will be spending the weekend weaving a deep containing silence in which to share our deepest experiences as women, naming into the silence our hope, our pain, our fears...." "It is suggested that you read Judith's books "Circle of Stones": Woman's Journey to Herself" and "I Sit Listening to the Wind" before the retreat."

  • Given the fact that Ms. Duerk (Jungian psychoanalyst) was featured on the '96 Storm Mountain Program (which blatantly and openly promoted wiccan/ neo-pagan/ witchcraft liturgy and ritual.)

  • Given what we know about "drumming" (especially group drumming) and its purposes in wiccan ritual (i.e., to induce trance consciousness and facilitate exploration of "Otherworld" spiritual realms in order to contact "the gods" and "the goddesses", "orishas" and other spiritual beings).........

  • Is it too much to expect that our official UMC representatives (Bishops, Retreat managers, supervisors, agency heads, etc. might have the spiritual discernment and/or courage to speak up against this type of thing? Can you tell me, please, what the difference between this type of ritual and demonology might be? Does the UMC stand for "everything" and against nothing (EXCEPT Biblical Christianity?)

"Trances and curious states of mind in which the shaman operated might be induced by fasting and self-torture, chanting and dancing, and especially the violent beating of a drum...The drum was often called a 'horse' and it was on it that the shaman 'mounted' into the sky when he went traveling in the spirit world...."

"...As in many other societies around the world, the pulsating beat of the drums makes a bridge to the supernatural, helping to induce strange states of mind in which worshippers make direct contact with the spirit realm...." (Dictionary of the Occult and Paranormal)

"How might your life have been different if there had been a place for you...a place for women where you were received and affirmed...a place where after the fires were lighted, and the drumming and silence, there would be a hush of expectancy filling the entire a sense that all womanhood stood on a threshold." (Judith Duerk "Circle of Stones", 1989) [On the threshold of WHAT, I wonder........?) (I found the above quote of Ms. Duerk on a neo-pagan web-site entitled "Wild Wolf Women of the Web")

And this from "Starhawk" (Most prominent and influential Dianic high wiccan priestess in the western world):

"The drum brings together the energy of a group and is especially important for unifying a large group. Rhythm alters consciousness. A drumbeat can induce a trance or arouse us to a dancing frenzy. It helps a circle get loose and wild and provides the pulse of the ritual. The drum lets us hear the heartbeat of the earth." (p. 227-228, "The Spiral Dance") "Rhythm, whether experienced in motion, song, drumming or poetic meter, also produces a state of heightened induce a trance state in which become "mounted" or possessed by "orishas", the Gods and Goddesses..." (p. 162, "Spiral Dance")

( I could go on and on......)

Is there no one in position of authority within the United Methodist denomination who is willing and/or able to confront this spiritual perversion honestly and courageously? Where are the watchmen? Is there no one accountable? Is it an act of love to remain silent? Or is it an act of murder?

"But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life OF ONE of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood." (Ezekiel 33 :6)

What does the '98 COSROW Retreat (sponsored by the Dakota Conference of the United Methodist Church) have to do with Christianity? The mission statement at the UMC-operated Storm Mountain Retreat is "Offer Them Christ". Where is Christ at this COSROW event? And where are the defenders of our Lord and His Word?

Dear Lord, forgive us......

Sincerely, Tom Graffagnino

PS . I will be sending this letter all Bishops and many others within the Methodist denomination.

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