The Church of All Worlds is a Neo-Pagan organization led by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and HQ’ed in Santa Cruz, CA. In it’s history the Church has had two “official Bards.” They both have several things in common: 1) They were both known to be womanizers, 2) Both were genius level music lyricists, 3) Both were known to use, and distribute freely, weed and LSD, 4) and it is possible that both were murdered.
The first was Gwydion Pendderwen. According to an account found on a tribute page, he was murdered:
“When I examined and photographed Gwydion’s car immediately following the accident, there was a distinct and undeniable indentation on the side with a pale white or beige paint transfer from the vehicle that sideswiped him. The CHP refused to investigate further. However exactly the same situation existed in the Karen Silkwood death. An unknown vehicle forcing the victim off the road. Gwydion almost never drank alcohol, although of course he did indulge in certain herbal products. The section of Hwy 20 where he went off the road is straight and narrow. On that night it was bright and dry.”
“The reactions of the California Highway Patrol were derisive and desultory, the FBI scarcely responded, and the IRS, thought nothing of dismissing the death of one of their former agents who had formulated the structure of Forever Forests and who openly decried the abusive “terrorist practises” of the IRS, at the time, against the poor and the underemployed.”
“I do remember Gwydion describing to me the training he had received in collections, encouraged to terrify taxpayers and non taxpayers alike, emboldened to threaten poor people with audits and fines and criminal prosecution if they failed to pay taxes far in excess of what corporations like Exxon were then paying. But those were different times, and things have changed. Nonetheless, Gwydion compared his “membership” in the IRS to a “membership” in the Hells Angels. Once a member always a member, until death.”
I have often wondered if Gwydion was assassinated by the government to which he meant no harm only growth. The government for which he once worked, walked away, believing that there was a better way and a better world. The slightly better world he dreamed of has arrived, but the struggle is not over. I don’t know the answer. Especially if they were advocates for a model of peace, dignity and tranquillity, good environmental temperance. And caution tempered with humour and song and a drag or two of good Mendocino weed.” (From http://psychevanhetfolk.homestead.com/Gwydion.html )
The second was Adam Walks Between Worlds, whom I knew. Adam was a “star” in CAW, and like Gwydion, he was handed the position by Oberon himself. His tenure as official bard was ended in a “kangaroo court;” an excommunication, if you will, led by Oberon himself. Basically, he was tried and convicted of rape by a small number of women, and defrocked. In accounts I have read of this, the whole thing reminds me of a modern Salem Witch trial.
A little later, Adam moved down to the Los Angeles area. One night, he answered his door, only to be greeted by both barrels of a sawed off shot gun, at close range to the chest. The murder was never solved, the perpetrator was never found, nor the weapon. Some in the magical community believe that a golem was constructed and programmed for the murder, which was made to, or programmed to, disappear after his mission.
I’m not the only person who suspects that Adam’s, and possibly Gwydion’s murders were “inside jobs”. Here is a comment to a blog article that mentions this: “Did you know the Church of All Worlds actually murdered someone? It’s true. Adam Walks Between Worlds, who was their “Official Bard” up until he was railroaded out of the church amid accusations of rape, was found dead in his LA home on February 22, 1997, of wounds from a double barreled shot gun fired into his chest at very close range. The murder was never solved. The leaders of CAW needed him silenced though.” (From http://billdunlap.wordpress.com/2008/09/28/religion-in-america/)
So, we have possibly two murders here. Both victims were “official Bards” of CAW, ordained by Oberon Zell. Who killed them? Why? One thing is for sure: there will probably never be an “Official Bard” in CAW again. Their life expectancy is questionable, at best.