Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CoG's Official Statement on the Name-Change Hearing in Brockton Mass

For Immediate Release

Covenant of the Goddess, a 37-year old national organization representing Witches and Wiccans, reacts to the results of the Massachusetts name-change hearing.

November 20, 2012, Massachusetts — Today, Brockton District Court Judge Catherine Sabaitis heard convicted child murderer and pedophile Charles Jaynes’ petition to change his name due to, what he described to be, a requirement for converting to Wicca.   In court, he claimed that “his old human name was religiously offensive.”

As we stated in August 2012, “The Covenant of the Goddess, a public not-for-profit 501c3 organization representing Witches and Wiccans for 37 years, in no way views the actions of Charles Jaynes, as being even remotely related to the religion that we recognize as Wicca.  Nor do we, as a religion, have any tenet that mandates a legal change of name for any reason.”

“Though it is a common Wiccan practice to take a second name in accordance with spiritual beliefs, it would be considered very unusual to do so legally; as these names are very personal to the individual and unlikely to be shared outside of a select few.”

The Covenant of the Goddess Board and members will be watching closely for the Judge’s ruling which is expected to come in the next thirty days.   

For more information on Wicca as a religion, we recommend the following sources, Covenant of the Goddess, Circle Sanctuary, The Wild Hunt, and The Witches' Voice.

For more information on The Covenant of the Goddess, please go to our website at

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