The Tylwyth Teg Files
Y Tylwyth Teg's Plagiarism of Faery and Wiccan AuthorsAn Open Letter To The Pagan Community
Revised August 8, 2001
It has come to my attention and the attention of others in my tradition of Faery/Feri that an organization calling itself "Y Tylwyth Teg", based in Georgia, is representing itself as a "Welsh Faerie Tradition" and plagiarizing authors who write in the Anderson Faery lineage and others, changing names and minor details to fabricate both a false history and a book of shadows claiming to be of "genuine Welsh origin". In fact, large helpings of the material on their web site authored by Robert Martin is almost word for word either from Francesca De Grandis' book _Be A Goddess!_, from Anna Korn's essay explaining the Faery Tradition on the Covenant of the Goddess web site, or from Mike Nichol's web site where he discusses the directions and elements in one well-known seminal essay. They also plagiarize materials that originated with Gabriel Carrillo of the Bloodrose line of Faery that have been published on the Web without his permission.
To the right are some examples of plagiarism on the Y Tylwyth Teg website.
Basically, YTT has copied and reworked Anna's article and Gabriel's and Francesca's and others' works and are now representing these folks' original work as YTT's very own alleged 700 year old "Welsh Faerie Tradition" and under their own "copyright".
Someone close to COG has said that COG had threatened legal action in the past if YTT did not remove the offending materials authored by Anna Korn from their web site, but apparently once the attention was off of YTT again, they put the material back. All along there was a bare attempt at paraphrasing the material and changing the order of some of the ideas to try to mask it's stolen origin.
I understand that Francesca has been notified about this copyright violation, and it should be well-known that the claimed sources of YTT's history and teachings is not to be trusted. Based on what we have seen on their site, we can only conclude that they are stealing the work of others to lend themselves a false legitimacy that they do not deserve. Let their legitimacy be based on hard work and honesty, not on theft and lies.
I strongly invite and urge everyone in the Pagan community to examine this website and the source materials I have mentioned and draw their own conclusions. Faery Gold's observation is that this web page author in question, Robert Martin, under the aegis of YTT and "Lord Rhuddlwm Gawr" is clearly, documentably, and irrefutably, without any hint of rumor or hearsay, presenting artificially Faery-scented snake oil. It COULD be perfectly good snake oil, actual snake oil has many uses, but that doesn't change the question of truth in labelling and advertising. People want the real Faery/Celtic snake oil, not a cheap smelling imitation knock off...
That these people are trying to prey so transparently on the hunger of seekers for anything "Celtic" or "Faery" to the point of stealing others' work and creating a bogus history of themselves and a bogus "Faerie Book of Shadows" (the REAL Faery Tradition has no "Book of Shadows", it's an oral tradition) is utterly reprehensible, and I hope the entire pagan community rises up from the audience and boos these folks off the stage until such time as they have come clean on what they have done. As if Kismet Stepanovich's experience was not warning enough that folks in the pagan community will not stand for this sort of dishonesty and misrepresentation, and that what comes around goes around.
Faery Gold in honor calls upon the leaders of Y Tylwyth Teg to respect the copyrights of others and in so doing to:
1. Remove all plagiarized materials from their website, or to obtain appropriate permission from the authors to reproduce or adapt their published or unpublished works. Make prominent a statement that such material is "used with permission of the author" and identify the original author. Identify the writer making an adaptation if such is the case.
2. To footnote and cite the sources of the material on their site, much of which appears to have come from various books or websites, and provide a bibliography.
3. To represent themselves and their history in an honest, upright, straightforward, and ethical manner. Example 1 will make clear what is meant by this. The truth about their origins may be more humble than they currently attest, but it is not glamourous ancient origins that make for a thriving spiritual community, but hard work and dedication to the Mother and Her children. There is no dishonor in a tradition created honestly and creatively by its founders. Gerald Gardner did it. Reclaiming did it. NROOGD did it. Malaclypse the Younger did it.
4. Apologize publically for the pain and hurt and harm their policy of indiscriminate "borrowing" has brought to those of the Faery Tradition and other teachers and authors whose sacred traditions and lifeworks they have seemingly co-opted. Apologizing will not undo the karma of these past acts, but they are the beginning of healing. I imagine such an admission might be very difficult. Faery Gold maintains it is the right thing to do.
In correspondence with various Georgia natives, and longtime practitioners and elders of the Craft in the US, it appears that YTT leadership has a tarnished reputation going back 30 years in terms of intellectual honesty. We call upon the leaders of YTT to come forward with honor, to respect the efforts and traditions of others, and to conduct themselves with integrity. In time, that reputation may change for the better, and the Craft as a whole be greatly enhanced as a result.
If anyone is called by the Fey to seek the Faery magic, I call upon them to seek out an initiate and train in the Tradition. It is a gift of our Gods entrusted to our care. Better yet, look within yourself for that spark of Faery that resides in all things and in all paths of integrity and truth. May all that has been stolen from us turn to lead and worthless glass. May what is freely asked and freely given bring prosperity to all.
May the Goddess guard your footsteps on the path.
Updated: 8 Aug 2001. Minor factual corrections made to Nichols page, other minor improvements in response to reader feedback. Added Example 5.