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"Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart Dead At 66: Pioneering Pagan, Polyamory Leader 'Crosses The Veil'"

on Thursday, 15 May 2014. Hits 554

Huffington Post

by  Antonia Blumberg

Pagan leader Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart reportedly died on May 13 surrounded by friends and family, according to updates on her Facebook page and other social media sites.

A priestess of the pagan Church of All Worlds, Morning Glory is considered by many to be a backbone of the pagan and Wiccan communities in the U.S.

Born Diana Moore in Long Beach, California on May 27, 1948, Morning Glory found her way to witchcraft and paganism as a late teen and initiated herself in a three-week vigil in Big Sur. It wasn't until 1974, after meeting her husband and life parter Oberon Zell, that she received formal priestess training and became a leader in Zell's Church of All Worlds (incorporated as a church in 1968.)

In Feburary Morning Glory and Oberon published a book on their lives with co-author John C. Sulak entitled The Wizard and the Witch: Seven Decades of Counterculture, Magick & Paganism.

In addition to speaking and writing on religion, witchcraft and mythology, Morning Glory is often attributed with popularizing the term "polyamory" in a 1990 article entitled, "A Bouquet of Lovers: Strategies for Responsible Open Relationships." She and Oberon had an open marriage throughout the years and in her article, Zell stated:

I feel that this whole polyamorous lifestyle is the avante garde of the 21st Century. Expanded families will become a pattern with wider acceptance as the monogamous nuclear family system breaks apart under the impact of serial divorces. In many ways, polyamorous extended relationships mimic the old multi-generational families before the Industrial Revolution, but they are better because the ties are voluntary and are, by necessity, rooted in honesty, fairness, friendship and mutual interests. Eros is, after all, the primary force that binds the universe together; so we must be creative in the ways we use that force to evolve new and appropriate ways to solve our problems and to make each other and ourselves happy.

The magic words are still, after all: Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. ...

"Polyamorous Home in Bushwick Looks For Tenants Wanting Judgment-Free Life"

on Thursday, 15 May 2014. Hits 411

DNAinfo New York

By Kaitlyn Mitchell

This gives new meaning to "open house."

Decked out with a hot tub and wet bar gazebo, a residential building in Bushwick is looking for polyamorous tenants hoping to live in a judgment-free space.

"Sometimes it’s hard for poly people to find housing where’s there’s no judgments," said Leon Feingold, the realtor showing the property.

"Where people aren’t always asking them to keep the noise down, or 'who are these people that are visiting you?' and 'why don’t you have a normal boyfriend like everyone else?'”

Polyamory is the practice of having meaningful romantic connections with multiple partners, with the knowledge of all partners involved.

Living with non-polyamorous people can get sticky for "polys," one open house attendee said.

“I found it to be very hard to find people who are willing to take you in when you’re polyamorous,” said Kate, who declined to give her last name.

As a 28-year-old graduate student at Columbia University working towards her masters degree in social work, Kate currently lives with her parents outside of the city. She has three partners — one is married, one is engaged and the other she has been seeing for eight months.

“I just want a place where I can take my partners to and it would be like a sanctuary,” said Kate. “It’s not exactly what I was originally looking for, but I feel safe here.”

Alysha Jones, another potential tenant, is a personal assistant and a self-identified “burner” — an attendee of the annual Burning Man event in the Nevada desert.

“I’m friends with a lot of people in the community and I really enjoy the overlap [between burners and the polyamorous],” Jones said. “There is at least one person on each floor that I know that’s moving in.”

The Bushwick building, located one block from the Myrtle Avenue M stop and known by the group as “Hacienda Villa,” is owned by a member of the polyamory community who will occupy an apartment with his girlfriend on the first floor.

The three-story building has 15 bedrooms. Each floor is an individual apartment, where a member from the community living on that floor vets potential roommates who apply to live there. Rent ranges from $750 to $1,500 per month, depending on room size and whether it has a personal bathroom.

Renovations on the building started in January. Some apartments on the upper floors have already been rented, with the first floor expected to be ready for occupancy by July.

“We’re not advertising. We’re not looking for other people. This is just friends, and friends of friends,” said Feingold. He has done five showings in the past month, and half of the rooms have been rented out, mostly by people who already knew Feingold.

Feingold is the co-founder and co-president of polyamorist group Open Love New York, and has appeared as a polyamory expert in the media. ...

"How Did Fla. Therapist Accused of S&M with Patient Obtain Medical License in Va.?"

on Wednesday, 14 May 2014. Hits 830

ABC News

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WRIC) - Earlier this month, ABC 8News first brought you the story of Adam Glatt, a Midlothian mental health counselor who was stripped of his license in Virginia after allegations of sexual misconduct with a patient.

Before he moved to Virginia, the 53-year-old therapist was accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual activities—including bondage, domination and whipping—with a former patient in Florida, where he voluntarily relinquished his license on April 28.

Despite these allegations dating back to 2012, Glatt had been practicing in Virginia for the past two years before his license was finally suspended by the Virginia Department of Health Professions on May 1, 2014.

The big question is how did Glatt ever get a license here in the Commonwealth after what allegedly happened in Florida?

____________________________________________

Feeling lost and alone after the death of her son, the woman who we are calling "Mary Jane" to protect her identity, says she began seeking counseling from Adam Glatt in Florida. But soon those counseling sessions turned sexual.

"I was feeling depressed and overwhelmed," she says. "I trusted him."  

According to a complaint filed by Mary Jane, Glatt began discussing his "role in bondage domination and sado masochism, a BDSM lifestyle. Mary Jane claims she and the counselor began a sexual relationship, attended BDSM events and on one occasion, Mary Jane alleges Glatt "flogged" or whipped her.

Eventually realizing this counselor patient relationship was wrong, she filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Health back in 2012 and Glatt took off to Chesterfield.

It wasn't until April 25, 2014 that Florida did anything about it. The Florida Board of Mental Health Counseling accepted his decision to voluntarily give up his license in lieu of disciplinary action.

Working on a joint investigation with our sister station WFLA in Tampa, we saw what happens when Florida board members are pressed for answers as to why they sat on the complaint for so long?

Mary Bridgman, Florida Board of Mental Health Counseling: "I don't have any further comment on the matter. We've handled it today and we've done our very best to protect the public's matter in the case."

Reporter: "But how is it Virginia is being protected by you when you had this case open since 2012 and he has been practicing in Virginia since 2012?" 

Bridgman: "It's concluded now and I have no further comment."

And while that complaint had already been filed when Glatt got a license to counsel in Virginia, it wasn't until 12 days ago that the Virginia Board of Health Professions suspended Glatt's license.

"That happens almost all the time," says Dr. David Stein, a member of the International Board of Ethics in Psychology and Psychiatry.

He says there is a verification process when counselors from another state seek a license in Virginia, but often no one is doing a thorough background check and checking for complaints in other states.

"It's called linkage blindness and we don't share information," Stein says. "Laws have to change and it has to be a more centralized database." ...

"Ex-bondage model forced to drop out of university after professor pressured her for kinky photos: suit "

on Thursday, 08 May 2014. Hits 520

Former Portland State University student Whitney Orlando has filed a $1 million lawsuit against her former professor Marcia Klotz, who Orlando claims forced her to drop out over pressure for sexual photos and information on sensitive topics.

The Daily News

BY Nina Golgowski

A former bondage model claims her academic career was derailed by a university professor's twisted fixation on her past.

Former Portland State University student Whitney Orlando has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the university and former professor Marcia Klotz, who Orlando claims forced her to drop out over pressure for sexual photos and information on sensitive topics.

The former student is seeking damages from the loss of her education and stress that left her hospitalized, the suit obtained by OregonLive.com reads.

Orlando, who allegedly met Klotz during a seminar in 2009, claims the former PSU professor developed an unhealthy obsession with her past modeling and the sexual abuse she sustained as a child.

The two allegedly first exchanged emails harmlessly, discussing material associated with Klotz' seminar and Orlando revealing her former work as a bondage pornography model.

Because of Klotz's interest in the subject, Orlando admits that she sent her several "non-explicit photographs of her head and face taken during (her) most recent modeling shoot."

Klotz allegedly complimented her on the photos and expressed interest in attending any future modeling sessions she may have.

Between October 2009 and December 2012 they exchanged more than 200 electronic messages discussing everything from course material, sexual topics and their increasing relationship.

"Klotz's interest and participation in plaintiff's sexual life during this time blurred professional and personal boundaries between herself and plaintiff," the lawsuit claims.

Eventually the photos Orlando sent to Klotz showed her nude or in sexually explicit poses. But Klotz allegedly wanted more.

That's around when Orlando revealed that she had been sexually abused by a school instructor at age 13.

Rather than put an end to their relationship — which already went beyond the school's limits — Klotz allegedly wanted more.

"Klotz admitted to finding plaintiff's earlier sexual abuse erotic, and expressed an interest in replicating aspects of that abuse with plaintiff in a (bondage and discipline, sadism and masochism) context."

Klotz also allegedly revealed her "submissive" husband's own sexual abuse by his father and how they reenact it.

January 2010 is when things allegedly began to snap.

According to her lawsuit, Klotz recommended Orlando for the university's McNair Scholars Program while encouraging her to select a topic for her paper related to sexual abuse of children that would incorporate her own abuse.

Orlando obliged. She dug into the trial court's case file against her former middle school teacher, and reviewed details of the trial she had never seen before.

The stress of the experience left her physically ill and hospitalized her for an irregular heartbeat.

She wrote Orlando informing her of her plans to change the subject of her paper, which Klotz allegedly rejected.

"Instead, Klotz recommended that plaintiff complete research on resources available to women in the Portland area who are leaving sex work or on her original topic," according to her suit.

Orlando instead chose an entirely different topic and once her paper was finished, Klotz accused it of not meeting the program's requirements and also of being plagiarized. ...

"Midlothian Therapist Accused of Engaging in S&M with Patient"

on Thursday, 08 May 2014. Hits 554

WRIC- ABC News

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WRIC) -

A Chesterfield County mental health counselor has been ordered to give up his medical license after allegations of sexual misconduct with a patient.

Sexual bondage, domination and whipping are just some of the allegations against Midlothian mental health counselor Adam Glatt. Up until Friday, 53-year-old Glatt had been providing relationship and family counseling to couples and individuals in Midlothian. But before coming to Virginia, he was a therapist in Florida, where a former patient sys he engaged in inappropriate sexual activities with her.

Glatt’s license to practice mental health counseling here in Virginia has been mandatorily suspended by the Virginia Department of Health Professions. The move comes after the Commonwealth learned just last week that Glatt voluntarily relinquished his license in lieu of disciplinary action stemming from a Florida Department of Health complaint filed against Glatt back in 2012.

Working with sister station WFLA in Tampa, Fla., ABC 8News was able to obtain a copy of that complaint. According to the document, Glatt began counseling a woman who had just lost her son. During counseling sessions, she claims he “began discussing his role in bondage, domination and sadomasochism.”

The complaint goes on to say that Glatt began a sexual relationship with the patient, and the two began attending bondage and domination events as part of a “BDSM lifestyle.” During at least one of those events, the former patient claims Glatt flogged or lashed her.

ABC 8News Anchor/Investigative Reporter Kerri O’Brien tried to reach Glatt for comment, but his Midlothian office at Market Square appeared to be closed on Friday, and there was no answer at his home.

O’Brien spoke with Glatt’s attorney, Richard Samet. He says Glatt denies ever conducting himself inappropriately during therapy. Samet added that Glatt gave up his license in Florida because he’s no longer practicing there, and it wasn’t worth his time trying to fight the complaint there.

Glatt plans to appeal Virginia’s decision to suspend his license.

"Student Sues Over Professor's Obsession With Her Bondage-Porn Past"

on Wednesday, 07 May 2014. Hits 354

Gawker

by Adam Weinstein

 

A former Portland State University undergraduate has filed a $1 million lawsuit against her faculty mentor for sexual harassment over the professor's alleged obsession with the student's experiences as a BDSM model and sexual-abuse survivor.

The suit, which alleges some bizarre sexual situations in great detail, highlights a tension "between a faculty member's legitimate academic engagement with sexually tinged topics" and "sexual matters inappropriate to discuss with a student," according to the Portland Oregonian.

Whitney "Theda" Orlando was pursuing a degree in psych and French at PSU when she struck up a collegial relationship with Assistant Professor Marcia Klotz, taking Klotz's courses on Feminist Literature and Erotics of Power. They had similar research interests, and Orlando began to work with Klotz more closely.

In 2009 Orlando confided to Klotz that she used to model in bondage photographs, sometimes in the nude. Over the next three years, Orlando alleges in her lawsuit, Klotz used her position of power to pressure Orlando into providing pornographic images from her past work. A "state of sexual and romantic tension" arose between the two, according to the court papers.

Early on in their correspondence, Orlando also told Klotz that she'd been molested by a middle-school teacher and still felt some effects from the experience. Rather than take that as a cue to back off, the professor allegedly pressed Orlando for more intimate details and encouraged her to do research related to sexual abuse.

Things seemed to escalate. The lawsuit alleges that Orlando felt pressured into watching a documentary on porn with Klotz and Klotz's husband at their home, leading to an "increasingly romantic and sexualized" relationship that made Orlando ill at ease: ...

" Politics Blog Political news, election updates, for San Francisco CA and national politics Whips! Chains! Politics! Campos planning ‘kinky’ fundraiser for state Assembly race"

on Tuesday, 06 May 2014. Hits 345

SF Blog


As if politics isn’t sexy enough these days, San Francisco Supervisor David Campos will hold a  ”kinky” fundraiser Monday night at a place that bills itself “the largest fetish porn company in the world” to raise money for his race to represent San Francisco in the state Assembly.

While many candidates raise campaign cash at upscale eateries or casual coffeehouses, Campos is planning a reception at Kink.com’s “edgy” pornography studio The Armory Club in San Francisco, a massive Moorish-style brick building that celebrates all things BDSM — an erotic subculture involving dominance, submission, role-playing, and lots of restraining devices.

For $300, Campos’ fundraiser promises a studio tour, and a “special brand of entertainment” in the VIP room — along with a bag of goodies. Here’s the link to his invite.

Campos is facing fellow Supervisor David Chiu in a race that has just began to heat up. As recently as February, Chiu held a double-digit lead in polls, but Campos has begun to close the margin.

Kink.com owner Peter Acworth, a bondage enthusiast who purchased the landmark Armory building on Mission Street in 2007, is no stranger to politics as of late.

Acworth is seeking the city’s permission to convert the Armory into office space, a kind of backup plan he said was needed if state and local health oversight regulations push him out of state.

The invite comes as California Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton (Los Angeles County) is attempting for the second consecutive year to pass a bill that would require condoms in adult films, as well as documentation of protective measures taken during all sexual acts. Cal/OSHA regulations suggest that performers use condoms, as well as dental dams and eye protection to protect against the spread of blood and fluid-borne diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis and herpes. ...

"Dudas trial expected to have lasting impact on sexual assault cases"

on Sunday, 04 May 2014. Hits 472

Post-Crescent Media

by Andy Thompson

Leaders of agencies who assist domestic abuse and sexual assault victims in the Fox Valley say the guilty verdicts in the emotionally charged trial of attorney David Dudas will have a long-lasting impact.

“It lets people who are being abused know that there is a criminal justice system in place that will support them,” said Caroline Lasecki, executive director of the Sexual Assault Crisis Center in the Fox Cities.

She is convinced that the verdicts will resonate for years and will prompt more victims of abuse to trust the criminal justice system.

Lasecki praised police, prosecutors and the jury after Dudas was convicted Wednesday of 30 of 31 criminal charges. He was accused of beating and sexually assaulting his wife from March 2012 to July 2013 in a series of increasingly violent episodes, culminating in an incident July 21 that led to his arrest and her hospitalization.

Dudas, 49, of Dale, was found guilty of first-degree sexual assault, second-degree reckless injury, substantial battery, 14 counts of second-degree sexual assault and 11 counts of strangulation and suffocation. He also was convicted of misdemeanor counts of battery and intimidation of a witness acting on behalf of a victim. He was found not guilty of one count of strangulation.

“It’s a huge statement for him to be found guilty of 30 of 31 counts,” Lasecki said. “I think that this not only helps one family, it’s going to help an entire community for years to come.”

Lasecki is convinced that the high-profile nature of the case — which was covered extensively by Post-Crescent Media and postcrescent.com — will convince some victims who have suffered abuse in silence and isolation to come forward.

“This should open up people’s eyes,” she said.

“We hope that this case will serve to empower victims to come forward,” said Beth Schnorr, executive director at Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs. “Abusers can seem like nice, normal guys — even respected community members. This case reminds us that anyone can be an abuser, and holding them accountable gives hope to the survivors.”

Schnorr said victims often don’t report abuse because they don’t think they will be believed, or they fear retaliation.

“On so many levels, this case helps to break down so many of those things,” she said. “It shows victims that the system is on their side, and we will work together and work diligently to make sure (offenders) are held accountable.”

If Dudas had been acquitted on all charges, it would have been a major blow to victims of abuse and agencies that work with abuse victims, said Julie Fevola, executive director of Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services.

“If the verdicts would have gone the other way, it would have been a real negative,” Fevola said. “I think it’s a very, very positive message that the victim’s message was heard. It speaks to victims that it pays off to come forward.”

Getting beyond marital status

The Dudas trial lasted eight days and featured graphic testimony and videos of sexual relations. It also raised the thorny issue of consent in sexual relations between a husband and wife.

Schnorr — and others who deal with sexual assault and abuse victims on a regular basis — say it’s a crime to forcibly have sex with a woman, regardless of their marital status.

“Society has long held onto the notion that a woman’s sexuality is a commodity that can be owned by her husband and the belief that what happens between husband and wife in the bedroom is a private matter,” Schnorr said. ...

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