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[Wiccan Web] Britain's "last witch": Campaign to pardon Helen Duncan

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UK Pagan

Campaigners looking to clear the name of Britain’s last convicted witch may apply for a judicial review.

Spiritualist Helen Duncan was convicted in 1944 under the Witchcraft Act for fear she would reveal military secrets during World War II.

 

Miss Duncan, from Callander near Stirling, was arrested in Portsmouth alongside three members of her audience . . . → Read More: Britain’s ‘last witch’: Campaign to pardon Helen Duncan

 

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Somewhat controversial... What do you think?

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Guest Nelly

She should never have been convicted in the first place IMO.

I know in war time they have to be careful about what gets into the public domain but convicting her was ridiculous.

As for this... "They feared what she was telling people might lead to a crisis in the security services or to soldiers defecting." what a load of rot.

All she was doing was offering comfort to those who were bereaved, and what she was doing could hardly be classed as witchcraft.

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Guest Uthain the Mad

Actually Helen Duncan was not convicted for practising witchcraft, but for being a fraudulent medium. I wonder if this would be such a cause celebre is she was convicted under the Theft Act for obtaining property by deception?

 

As for this... "They feared what she was telling people might lead to a crisis in the security services or to soldiers defecting." what a load of rot.

All she was doing was offering comfort to those who were bereaved, and what she was doing could hardly be classed as witchcraft.

 

Agree on Nelly's first and last points I've quoted. With regard to the second point about providing comfort, for personal reasons this is my real problem for if she was fraudulent she should have been keel hauled imho, and the Admiralty should have found out who her source was (he/she was the real secuirty risk).

 

If she was genuine then imho she was no better than a spiv, after all our nation was engaged in a war against a system of government that was manifestly evil so why not use her abilities to help the nation there is a track record of governments turning to spiritualists and mediums in war time even in modern times?

 

Sorry if I've offended anyone, but when it comes to the familes of the fallen I get very protective of them and very suspicious of not just the Helen Duncans of the world but anyone who goes sniffing round them; it just smacks of exploitation of a person's grief for financial gain.

 

Best wishes

Uthain

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Guest Nelly

If she was genuine then imho she was no better than a spiv, after all our nation was engaged in a war against a system of government that was manifestly evil so why not use her abilities to help the nation there is a track record of governments turning to spiritualists and mediums in war time even in modern times?

 

 

 

I agree!

If she was so spot on with what she was saying then they should have used her to help them. I wonder if she would have agreed if she had been approached?

Im no expert on this lady but Im an ex-spiritualist & related to someone who has mediumistic abilities so I can see some of it from that angle. There are some very good mediums out there who are genuinely trying to help & give comfort ( many dont charge for their work when they go to Spiritualist churches ). There are also some unscrupulous fakes unfortunately who are out for what they can get.

Either way, whichever category this lady falls into, I dont think that what she was charged with was right.

Edited by Nelly

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davkin

Duncan was previously convicted of fake mediumship in Edinburgh in 1934.

 

This unpleasant creature charged the equivalent of three days wages to those driven by distraction with worry over their loved ones in the armed forces, at the time in question over a period of six days she raked in £160, a large amount when you consider that at that time you could buy a house for £450.

 

She and her fellow conspirators Francis Brown, Ernest Homer and Elizabeth Jones was not tried as a witches or even as a spiritualists but as a fraudsters this is made quite clear by the trial judge.

 

Despite the claims by her defenders, she was not singled out for prosecution, there were other cases. she is not even the last person to be convicted under the Witchcraft Act as is frequently claimed, that honour appears to go to Mrs Jane Rebecca Yorke of Forest Gate London who was convicted on 17 charges under the Act at The Old Bailey on 27 September 1944 six months after Duncan.

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