World renowned graduate student and self-proclaimed "fervid article writer" Caroline Tully has published an interview of herself (by Sasha Chaitow) on her blog. In the coming hours and days this will certainly lead to a chorus of praise and acclaim for Tully from the usual suspects throughout the Pagan blogosphere. (See list at the bottom of this post for a link to the interview and other relevant links.)
While the interview dutifully perpetuates the mythology of Tully as both an important figure in modern Paganism and a leading light in the pseudo-academic niche of "Pagan studies", there is no mention of her most recent and notable contribution in both of those areas, namely her unhinged diatribe in the peer-reviewed academic journal The Pomegranate titled "Researching the Past is a Foreign Country: Cognitive Dissonance as a Response by Practitioner Pagans to Academic Research on the History of Pagan Religions".
In particular there is no mention in Sasha Chaitow's interview of Tully's ridiculous claim to have documented and psycho-analyzed a supposed "internet smear campaign" against Ronald Hutton "motivated" by criticisms of Hutton found in Ben Whitmore's 2010 book Trials of the Moon: Reopening the Case for Historical Witchcraft.
Tully's ludicrous claim of a "smear campaign" against her hero (she has never made any attempt to disguise her adoration for Hutton) should be challenged by anyone who claims to be a serious scholar of modern Paganism. What evidence does Tully provide to support her claim? In particular, what documents or other statements constitute the supposed "smear campaign". Is Ben Whitmore personally responsible for this "smear campaign", or does his culpability stop at having provided the "motivation" for it? And what precisely does Tully charge Carla O'Harris, the only other person (besides Whitmore) named in connection with the "smear campaign", with? Is O'Harris perhaps the ringleader?
But more importantly, Tully's own smear campaign against "Pagans who dislike Ronald Hutton" needs to be loudly condemned by the Pagan community. Many well known Pagans have promoted views of Pagan history that are at odds with what Hutton wrote in Triumph of the Moon. In fact, Hutton himself has admitted that in Triumph he completely "ignored the existence" of the most important historical connections between ancient and modern Paganism!
- "Interview with me ..." (from Tully's blog)
- Researching the past is a foreign country (Tully's Pomegranate article)
- In search of the "smear campaign" against Ronald Hutton
(In which I provide 33 different relevant internet sources on the debate over Whitmore's book and pose the rhetorical question: "Uh, where's the smear campaign?")
- Theoretical Archaeology is a Foreign Country
(In which I briefly demonstrate Tully's remarkable naïveté concerning her own chosen field of study.)
- Silly Ignorant Goddess Worshippers
(In which I challenge Tully's crude mischaracterizations of the modern Goddess movement.)
- Trials of the Moon, by Ben Whitmore
- The Recantations of Ronald Hutton
"Long before the end of the decade, it had become obvious to me that this model [the view of Pagan history promoted by Hutton in Triumph of the Moon] was inadequate .... it ignored the existence of certain types of ancient religion which far more closely resembled [modern] Paganism, had certainly influenced it, and had certain linear connections with it. They were in every sense marginal to my own preoccupations when I made the statements quoted above [that is, what Hutton had previously written in Triumph and other works]."