Ballan Autumn Festival or Medieval Drama?

PAN Media Release

A ban on tarot readers, crystals, and books about the tarot at the Ballan Autumn Festival has been branded ‘medieval’ by the Pagan Awareness Network.

“We want to know if flaming torches and pitchforks will form part of the festivities,” Pagan Awareness Network President David Garland said today. “Not a day after the Human Rights Commission released a report highlighting the serious discrimination faced by pagans and followers of alternative beliefs in Australia, we are given an example of how it happens.”

The festival committee has reportedly banned “products or services relating to the occult, black magic or devil worship.”

“It’s clear that this ban has been put in place by individuals who have a fundamentalist agenda,” Mr Garland said. “What is less clear is whether they have the right to enforce a rule that appears to discriminate on the basis of religious belief. Especially when public funding is involved. We welcome the interest of the Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria in investigating this matter.”

David Garland
President – Pagan Awareness Network Incorporated

Media Officer – Pagan Awareness Network Incorporated

The Pagan Awareness Network Incorporated Australia (PAN Inc) is a not-for-profit educational association with members Australia-wide. It has no formal ties with any religious body, but works in a proactive fashion, both within the Pagan community and as a point of contact for the public, including government and media organisations.