TRUTH & RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR STONEHENGE
TRC 4 RECORD
MINUTES OF MEETING SATURDAY OCTOBER 17TH 1998
The Meeting was held at Britford Memorial Hall and began about 2:30PM
George Firsoff welcomed people to the fourth meeting of the Commission and announced that Supt. Andy Hollingshead, the Police Commander of the Stonehenge area was expected at 3PM. Thomas Daffern, chair of PADRAS and the Stonehenge Peace Process, was in Cumbria to try and mediate between Tibetan buddhists in the Dorje Sugden affair, and sent his apologies. Dorje Sugden had been put to death by a former Dalai Lama of Tibet and had haunted the Potala Palace. As recompense his image had been venerated, but now the current incarnation of the Dalai Lama and other Tibetans were forbidding the use of the images, this dispute involved the politics of Tibet and China, and Thomas was trying to sort it out. Clews Everard, Manager of Stonehenge, said she would like to come, but was juggling offspring with two different sports venues near Bath and Salisbury, and was not expected. Kreb Dragonrider was in Swindon and unable to reach us as he was on his bicycle. Tony Kempster of the Christian Pacifist Fellowship also sent his apologies. Arthur Pendragon wasn't sure if he would make it, but had written George a letter which he wanted read to the meeting if he didn't arrive. We are having trouble getting volunteers to transcribe tapes of the first and third meetings.
Gillian Bradbury interjected that it would be nice to have somebody who could spell.
George said that somebody who could do shorthand would be the right person. He was making enquiries about commercial rates and would report to Richard Banbury, treasurer and fundraiser of PADRAS. That concluded his Secretary's report, he proposed Nora Morris should chair this session.
Nora Morris receiving the consent of the meeting then proposed we held hands to focus our spiritual intentions and as there were only four of us we stood up and moved to another part of the Hall. On resuming she asked if there were any letters for the Commission to consider.
Tim Abbott said Rollo Maughfling had written a letter to the Prime Minister, this might be discussed when Andy Hollingshead was present.
George then read the letter from Arthur Pendragon. This pointed out that Rollo Maughfling negotiated with English Heritage with the full authority of the Council of British Druid Orders, had attended dawn Equinoxes and Solstices rain or shine, and he, Arthur, and Tim Sebastion and others waited for Rollo to lead the ritual by common consent, while other Johnny come lately were tucked up in their comfortable beds. He had exhausted domestic remedies in cases arising from 1995 and was awaiting a trial date for the European Court [probably the European Court of Human Rights]. He was not surprised Phillip Shallcrass accepted mediation from the Pagan Federation officer. He was giving a talk at the same Conference where COBDO had been refused a stall. Arthur was a member of the Press and had an NUJ press card. He was fighting the exclusion zone and not content with scraps from English Heritage's table, he pleaded for an end to backbiting so HMG could be presented with a united front.
Tim wondered if all the bodies on the Council of British Druid Orders accepted Rollo as their spokesman and were aware of what he was doing.
George had spoken to some of the representatives of Orders, Arthur went too far in saying they were "content" with Rollo, there were concerns, one attempt to replace the Stonehenge Officer had been voted down, the matter might possibly be reviewed at the next Council meeting, but Rollo still held the post.
Nora said she was not clear about the status of the various druid orders.
George said Tim Sebastion was head of the Secular Order of Druids, Rollo was head of the Glastonbury Order of Druids, that was the GODs and the SODs, Phillip Shallcrass was head of the British Druid Order, which had withdrawn from the Council, because of rivalry between Rollo and Phillip, it now happened that Rollo and the West Country druids held their Gorsedd at Avebury on Saturday at the festival time, Phillip's group on the Sunday.
Nora said there were sufficient numbers at Avebury to support two gatherings.
George agreed that was a natural progression. The Ancient Order of Druids had also left the Council, some of them were interested in Stonehenge, but they were principally a sort of insurance company. They used to be the group at Stonehenge, but at some historical stage the group headed by David Loxley, now called The Druid Order, took over. They were the people in white robes in the days of the Stonehenge festival.
Tim said there was the Insular Order of Druids which seemed to consist of one person, Dylan Ap Thuin.
George confirmed members of The Cotswold Order of Druids had attended Stonehenge Peace Process special access at Stonehenge.
Nora said they'd also been to gatherings at Woodhenge. They were nice people.
George reminded the meeting they'd met Kreb, who was the head of the South Downs Dragon Order of Druids.
Nora doubted that Rollo really represented 15,000 paid up members of orders.
George said The Druid Clan of Dana, who were a branch of the Fellowship of Isis, were members of the Council, and the leadership of the Fellowship might pass into their hands, but the Fellowship was an international pagan organisation with a wide membership, Rollo was adding them into the Council. George thought it was unlikely that Rollo spoke for all of them.
Nora said The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids were strong and had something like a thousand members.
George said they were not part of the Council, although Liz Murray, who was a member of OBOD, attended and chaired meetings of the Council. They had withdrawn as had the British Druid Order. Phillip Shallcrass had said he was fed up travelling at his own expense to meetings which consisted of wrangling. Rollo had wanted the Council to back his title as Archdruid of Britain. The Council had in the end said it was neutral in the question of titles druids gave themselves or each other, the fact was some druids accepted some of the titles of other druids, and some druids didn't.
Andy Hollingshead Superintendant of Wiltshire Constabulary, and Divisional Commander of the Stonehenge area, arrived and people introduced themselves for his benefit.
George repeated the apologies of Clews Everard and Thomas Daffern.
Tim compared notes with Andy about what copies of letters he had received, and started reading out a letter Rollo had written to the Prime Minister. This asked for urgent attention, Rollo claimed to be head of the fastest growing religion in the world, of fronting 17 druid orders with well over 15,000 members, to be archdruid of Glastonbury, Stonehenge, Britain, and of Avondale and Wicklow in Ireland as a relative of Charles Stewart Parnell. He did a TV interview at Westminster first broadcast on 15th July.
Arthur Pendragon arrived with two ladies in attendance, and confirmed he had read this letter, and was also aware of a letter written in the previous year.
Tim proceeded to read Rollo's letter. The TV company also interviewed Mr Loxley, said by Rollo to be head of a tiny order, presiding at the ceremony in 1988 when riots broke out.
There was some discussion about whether Loxley had presided and what was the relation between druids and others inside the stones and the crowds outside in 1988.
Tim proceeded to read. Rollo claimed Loxley was a self-confessed anarchist. Loxley allegedly gave support to the orange order members to continue their marches.
Arthur had been present and confirmed Loxley saying this.
George said he himself was in favour of processions. He pointed out that the Orange Order did support the Peace Process.
Arthur claimed Loxley had been inciting disaffected members of the orange orders.
Tim continued to read. Rollo claimed if Loxley had control at Stonehenge on 22nd June 1999 this would cause a backlash from the dispossessed in this country.
This led to a further discussion.
Arthur supported this position. Rightly or wrongly, there were many people who would not accept this. Loxley's order was very exclusive.
Tim pointed out there were also people unhappy with Rollo's conduct this summer.
Arthur accepted this but also said Rollo represented some orders which were not present on that occasion, and he confirmed Rollo negotiated in behalf of the full Council.
Tim asked if all the orders were aware of the contents of this letter.
Arthur was heard to say, Yes, Rollo negotiated for and on behalf of the Council.
Tim continued to read. Rollo claimed there would also be backlash from disaffected Irish people in this country. Rollo said that "We" [presumably a reference to the Council] were strong enough to host an event open to the public without an exclusion zone. If Mr Loxley was put into the main frame at Stonehenge it would be a total disaster and he asked the Prime Minister to prevent it happening.
George said he was at the meeting with English Heritage and there was no intention to appoint any individual or group to be in charge. Rather applicants would be selected on some proportional basis and Clews Everard was asking people how this could fairly be done. It would be wonderful if all the druid orders worked together to create a ceremony in which everyone including pagans and members of the public could participate and have a wonderful time. He was distressed to come away from the meeting seeing the different arms of druidry were not going to co-operate with each other.
Arthur pointed out that 17 orders in the Council were co-operating and had a policy which Rollo represented.
[The record at this stage is incomplete
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