John compered the early shows. As a prominent Wiccan, Pagan Federation member and High Priest John opened up dialogue on esoteric matters and countered much suspicion of Witches. In one early episode the festival including John were attacked in the newspapers by a Fundamentalist Christian who stupidly lied and stated that animals were being sacrificed on stage. John wrote to the papers and corrected the falsehood leading to a huge swathe of Brighton – Witches, Pagans, the Gay community and even one Vicar denouncing the Evangelist prophaganda and supporting the Occulture Festival as a result.
John took on the title the ‘Guardian of the Book of Shadows’ after inheriting the largest Witchcraft collection in the world. The collection was bequeathed to him by prominent English Witch Doreen Valiente. This title ‘Guardian’ was intended to show that John was merely another custodian of the Gardnerian tradition through the ages and not an owner or self-styled leader. John’s as compere was always jolly, jovial and ready to poke fun at himself to get a laugh – pink tutu included!
His recent work promoting Doreen Vailente’s legacy has seen his own event grow ‘Day For Doreen’.
Image (c) Occulture