As priest/esses and as counselors, we hear other people's
secrets. We keep
other people's secrets, except in very specific and
Here are some thought experiments to help you recognize
your personal limits.
Which secrets would you reveal or keep? How would you
handle each of the
following situations? Why? It might help to discuss these
friends and colleagues.
You've been counseling a married couple. You are
convinced that one of
them is behaving in ways detrimental to the marriage,
in the way his parents treated him. Finally, he leaves
her. She takes it
very hard and acts out spectacularly in public. After
this, the community
gossip mill brands her the guilty party.
Later, a member of your own coven seems to be
starting a relationship
A former member of your coven phones and, without even
asking if this is
a good time to talk, starts telling you about her new
behavior. Among other things, he has broken into a
Wiccan neighbor's house
and stolen some valuable ritual tools. Then she says
"and you can't talk
about what I just told you because you are a
Someone has published an article about Wiccan history,
giving several people's
legal names without their permission. You react
strongly and publicly to
this breach of confidentiality. He responds "but I had
True enough, but there are six other people named
whose permission he decidedly
did not have. You are being pilloried in some Pagan
magazines for being
mean to the guy, or for practicing censorship.
A community member whom you know has an active and
diverse sex life comes
to you for counseling. He is HIV positive.
You've often seen Lady Moonglow's two year old
daughter wandering around
the campsite at various festivals, looking dirty or
hungry. Once, you heard
the camp nurse saying that the child was running a
fever and appeared malnourished.
Certainly, the little girl was wandering near the lake
last Saturday, while
her mother partied. Now, the people from child
protective services have
asked to speak to you.
- You hold the mailing list for the local community
An active member has been murdered. There's no sign of
a break-in at his
house, so the police suspect that he opened the door
to a familiar face.
They ask to see your mailing list. When you decline,
they threaten to subpoena
go back to
The address of this page is
Contents of this page are copyright © 1996,
2001, 2012 by Judy Harrow.