OK, so over the past few weeks, there has been an uproar about some people who are claiming to be streghe from Italy coming to the US and teaching "the mysteries of the Great Rite". Folks have been asking me to comment on them and their validity/authenticity.
Without meeting them, I can not comment on either their validity or authenticity. Witchcraft (by any name) in Italy is incredibly diverse so it's possible that they are both valid and authentic. It's also possibly that they're trying to make a quick buck on the gullible pagans (sheeple) in the US who fall for the "but they're from XYZ and claim BlahBlahBlah so they must be TRUE". Without meeting them in person, I can not offer an opinion on anything other than their press releases.
So far, it appears that whatever it is that they do, it has nothing to do with the type of Italian Craft that I was passed by Leo Martello and Lori Bruno. Why do I state this? Because on one of their recent blogs, they draw a connection between Leo and their own Tradition.
The blog in question is here: http://thegreatrite.blogspot.com/2011/01/leo-martello-and-del-lago-stregheria.html.
My response is reproduced here:
"Rev. Vincent Russo, arsenic.com said...
So, just to be clear: these folks may or may not be authentic or valid. It's not my call to make and I have not met them personally so I am not yet in a position to comment. However, Leo Martello is not part of their tradition and his name shouldn't be linked to their tradition.
I do know that the material that they claim to be presenting to the public in their workshops is not material that Leo would have made available to in a public setting.
I am sure that I will be posting more on this topic as time goes on especially since a number of us will be traveling to Pantheacon to meet them for ourselves.