“Out of the Broom Closet” — American Wicca in the late 1980s

Valdosta State University in Georgia has digitized and posted two videos by Wiccan journalists Malcolm Brenner and Lezlie Kinyon. (That is Brenner’s voice-over narration.)

This one, Out of the Broom Closet, was released in 1991 from video shot in the preceding years.

This documentary begins with a protest of Z. Budapest speaking about witchcraft at the St. Theresa Public Library in San Jose, California on July 12, 1986. What follows are formal and informal interviews of Pagan leaders explaining what Wicca is, how the general public has a misconception of what witchcraft is, and why it is important for practitioners to come “Out of the Broom Closet” to educate the public.

It and much more are cataloged in VSU’s  New Age Movements, Occultism and Spiritualism Research Library (NAMOSRL), created by librarian Guy Frost.

1 thought on ““Out of the Broom Closet” — American Wicca in the late 1980s

  1. My ex-wife and I argued about every cut! It took us a year to finish this video, so long that the folks at Portland Cable Access began to wonder if we would get it done. Then, the night it premiered, the guy at the console saw the tape fade to black at the beginning of the Burning Times segment, 20 minutes in, and assumed it was over! That version ran 2 hours. l re-cut the tape with assistance from a Hollywood producer, Duke Goldstone, who was famous for “The Little Rascals,” down to a half-hour, and that’s the version you see here. I wish the quality was better, we had to some tape of Z. Budapest from a California producer that was shot in VHS.

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