It is probably wise to state, in case anybody should think otherwise, that the 1734 Tradition and the Clan of Tubal Cain are not linked in any way organizationally. They are distinct and autonomous, although they are related in terms of their lore through the work of Robert Cochrane. The current text and the letter from Ronald Hutton have been put on the 1734 website as a courtesy to the Maid and Magister of the Clan of Tubal Cain, who do not have a website of their own, and in friendship at a time when they found themselves under attack.
The aggressors, one Carol Jones and "Magister Blackthorn" had made their attacks under the guise of being an authentic branch of the Clan, while attempting to undermine the real Maid and Magister, Shani Oates and Robin the Dart. The reality of these people's claims have already been clearly stated by me in a posting on the Crooked Paths forums, the following is a lightly edited version of that posting:
"I have attempted to make the following as factual, as impartial and as balanced as possible. I apologize if I seem less than impartial in my actual writing, I will not hide the fact that I have found myself on one side of an argument, although this was not entirely of my choosing. I can only say that this is an attempt at honest reporting. The same facts have been passed on to Peter Paddon by Mike Howard. As some people who read and contribute to these forums regularly will know, I have been a participant in the discussions regarding the recent podcast by Carol Stuart Jones and "Blackthorn" in which they claimed leadership of a branch of the Clan of Tubal-Cain and then went on to make claims against Shani Oates who had previously been known as the only Maid of the Clan in Britain. (Whether or not the Finnans can claim to be a separate CTC is disputed by Ms Oates, a matter that I can not comment on as I have not seen the evidence either way).
I decided, as one does, to see what I could find out about these people as I was rather surprised I'd never heard of either of them and, after asking a few friends received an unexpected public response from "Blackthorn" which seemed to me odd in its vehemence. By this time I had approached Shani Oates and asked her for her version of the situation. I had expected it to differ from the other versions, but a difference of degree rather than of kind. The difference was, however, almost total. Briefly, they were as follows:
1. Carol Jones
had never been Maid of the Clan of Tubal-Cain
What was obvious was that I was not looking at slightly different versions of the truth, with the actual truth getting squeezed in the middle, but somebody was quite definitely lying. Shani had offered to show me evidence of her claims if I were to visit Derbyshire, something that was not immediately possible, so I had no real evidence at that point. Consequently, I felt that at this stage I could not share this with most people, certainly not publicly. I did come to hear of some strange rumours, but at first I had no proper evidence one way or another. However I then received a letter from Mike Howard which I shall quote:
"Evan John Jones' wife has told me that she has never heard of this Carol Jones. She also tells me that the only members of the Gardnerian coven in Derbyshire who visited them in Brighton were Shani and her husband and that John eventually passed to them the 'knife and the cup'.
only legitimate Maid and Magister of the Clan of Tubal Cain as chosen and
appointed by Evan John Jones and Robert Cochrane's widow are Shani Oates
and her husband. This confirms a conversation I had with John when I visited
him during the research for the books on Cochrane. I had forwarded on Shani's
introductory letter to him after she read his articles in TC and he told
me that she was 'the chosen one' and the person he wanted to be the maid
of CTC after he died."
This is backed up by two texts published in The Cauldron. The first, in TC 107, is an interview with Evan John Jones in which he states that it was he that passed on the succession to Shani Oates and in which he gives unequivocal approval of her and the way that she had run and developed the Clan. I quote: "When I first met Shani instinct told me that she was the one who could run with Tubal Cain, something I'd not felt with others I'd considered. To date I have seen nothing to make me change my mind…"
The second is very interesting in that it could be said to be from the other side in this affair. In TC 109 (2003) there is a letter from one CJ who states that she was the Gardnerian High Priestess who initiated the current magister of the Clan of Tubal Cain into the Gardnerian Craft and that he had subsequently and reciprocally brought her into his family. While there are no names of living members of the Clan mentioned in the letter, the Magister in 2003 was Robin the Dart and he could only initiate 'CJ' if he had previously been initiated and installed as Magister by the Maid, which is to say, Shani Oates. Under the circumstances I do not think there can be any doubt who CJ is. To quote again: "As the Gardnerian high priestess who had the honour of bringing the present magister of the Clan of Tubal Cain into the Gardnerian Craft… (this quote to identify her clearly)…the present magister, a man of extraordinary humility and quiet depth, who welcomed me into his family in turn."
It should be apparent that CJ could only be brought into the Clan if the magister had already been made magister and that could only be done by the Maid who in turn would have to have been installed by Evan John Jones. Thus it is quite clear that the evidence presented by this letter directly contradicts Carol Jones' current claims.
I can only conclude that from this evidence the whole of the claims made by Carol Jones and Blackthorn is a tissue of lies and malicious to boot as it was not only an attempt to create a spurious legitimacy for themselves, but to defame Shani Oates in the process. I make no claims against either the Finnans or Peter Paddon in this affair as I have no evidence on their knowledge or motives and must therefore make the assumption of innocence as should anybody else who does not have the facts."
I would like to
point out that even if Jones and her henchmen were genuine; their tactics
of accusing Shani Oates of betraying secrets were utterly wrong and stupid.
Something that is supposed to be kept secret can not be defended by public
pronouncements. I'll make my point by two movie analogies.
The second example is from Monty Python's Life of Brian. In one scene a priest, played by John Cleese, is arranging the stoning of a man for the crime of blasphemy. He cries out "I only said Jehovah" and gets rocks chucked at him. In the ensuing conversation between him and the priest, the priest also says Jehovah and also gets stoned. The point of this example is that in attempting to paint Shani Oates as an oath breaker they gave examples of where they claimed secrets were given. In doing so, especially by quoting such passages, if indeed secrets had been given away, then they too would have betrayed the same secrets. In fact, for anybody who cares to read the original articles (see Shani Oates: The Three Rites on the Cauldron website: http://www.the-cauldron.org.uk/threerites.htm) it is apparent that in fact Shani is indicating where she can go no further without speaking of what is held to be sub rosa.
A brief text by
Magister Robin the Dart states:
My own experience has shown Jones and her gang to be aggressive, unscrupulous and dishonest, happy to employ any number of mind games, intimidation and falsehood. They are petty crooks seeking power and masquerading as Clan leaders to gain it. They should be treated with contempt and given a wide berth.
To Whom It May Concern
On 23 July
2008 Shani Oates visited me in Bristol, bringing with her five letters
From these documents, I can verify the following pieces of information:
Oates was introduced to Evan John Jones (known to his friends as John)
2.That by early
1998, John was expecting that the Clan of Tubal Cain, which he led,
3.That he decided
in the course of the spring and summer of 1998 that Shani was the
then left it to Shani to form a working group to carry on the Clan's tradition,