This one didn't make it that far before imploding it seems.
You can see all the drama on this blog. There is also a good discussion about it on The Wild Hunt I particularly recommend reading through the comments, although take care not to be drinking anything while using a screen that won't tolerate having liquid sprayed over it. Repeatedly. I also feel a need to share this blog because it's awesome and sums up many of my own personal feelings.
History has shown that such a venture is doomed to failure. Any group that tries to speak for such a varied and disparate collection of individuals would make cat-herding look like child's play.
Not so long ago, there was an attempt to form a Council of Elders in New Zealand. I received a call from a then-friend and was told I "needed to get on board so I could look after the South Island". What was meant by "look after" was attempt to control. I didn't really understand the purpose of such a group and didn't trust the motives of those who were trying to create it so I never got involved. It never got past the discussion stage, it would seem because I wasn't alone in my reservations. I think this is no different from what has been happening in America - just theirs is on a far larger scale.
Pagan Unity has been presented as a reason for this Council, or a justification for why it's believed to be needed by some. I'm afraid it just sounds like a cliched catch-phrase to me.
When Pagans cannot even agree on what 'Pagan' means or what it means to be Pagan, how can any kind of Unity be achieved? Then let's throw in Witches - many of them aren't Pagan for a start - how are you going to gain Unity when we also can't agree whether Witchcraft is a religion or a skill set?
Personally, for all I'm both Pagan and a Witch, I reject unity in any form. I frequently tell people off for referring to me as their Pagan Sister because that is something that's earned with me, assuming that kind of familiarity based purely on a shared label is something I find to be presumptuous and rude.
"Unification through Diversification" is the oxymoronic catchphrase of United Pagan Radio. They claim "We CAN be unified as pagans and hold onto our unique diversity." How exactly is that supposed to work? Many bash anyone who disagrees with their own narrow view - be it harming none, karma, the Burning Times Myth, Christianity or whether self-initiation is valid - most of the time, agreeing to disagree isn't an option as both sides seem to think that the other has disrespected their path. When rampant sexism (misogyny and misandry) is treated as a virtue in some paths, racism in others and paedophilia in others still, how can we want to achieve any kind of unity with these people. I certainly have no wish to be associated with any of those groups, but I would be if this vague ideal were realised. I have to question the values of anyone who would want that kind of association.
It is also my personal belief that even without the 'fringe elements', unity would mean a kind of homogenisation of belief. A watering-down and dumbing-down that would render it meaningless.
Now don't get me wrong, I've run coffee meets and festivals, I am not against Pagans coming together, but there is a major difference. In coffee meets and festivals, there is a place for people to meet and discuss ideas, to learn about each other and perhaps organically form connections with like-minded people. There is no forced unity, there is no expectation of agreement or over-riding requirement to get along. There is a requirement for manners, but if you don't like someone's path, you don't interact with them.
For some people, this lack of unity is seen as a failing and one of the major flaws in the Pagan Community. I choose to see it as a strength and a beautiful thing.