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August 20, 2012

Back In The Broom Closet
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 01:44 AM * 76 comments

First, the video story at CNN: Get Real! eBay bans supernatural sales

Intended to stop the sale of snake oil, I suppose.

But, unintended consequences, y’know. This affects pagans. Take Foinah Jameson, a practicing Pagan who lives in Portland, Oregon, who makes and sells Rune sets. When she saw the story on the news, she called the Ebay customer service rep for some clarification.

She posts:

I wanted to make everyone aware of a new policy at Ebay that goes into effect on August 30, 2012.

All “supernatural” items will be banned from the site. You may ask yourself, Why does this concern me, the writer?

Suppose you have written a spell book, a kitchen witch cook book, or something else along those lines, have self published and have put this item up for sale on Ebay. After August 30th, your item would be considered prohibited.

When I learned of this policy (this morning while watching the news), I immediately called Ebay customer service. I questioned the new policy and this is what I was told:

The rep very specifically said the ban was for potions, hexes, charms or any item that promotes occultism, witchcraft, metaphysics, wizardry, black magic or anything supernatural. (Verbatim.)

This smacks of discrimination.

I asked specifically about crucifixes or holy water, Saint medallions or holy candles, and he said that those items would still be available under the religious section.

I understand that Ebay is a private company and has the right to mandate the content of their site. My only redress was to register my opposition to this sweeping ban of all things not conforming to main stream religion and ask that they review and change this policy. I will also no longer do business with Ebay.

I understand Ebay has instituted this policy to protect consumers from less-than-ethical peddlers of snake oil and skullduggery, but the policy basically pushes the rest of us pagan retailers and consumers back into the broom closet.

She expanded this a bit later:

The way the new policy is written, all supernatural items will be banned. In my initial post I left out one descriptor: “anything for conjuring” should have been listed as well. In all fairness the Ebay rep was taken aback by this ban and agreed that it was discriminatory. In fact, the ban information had not yet even been disseminated to the customer service department, and the rep had to put me on hold twice while he dug for information.

The rep (I feel like an idiot for not writing down his name) said he’d bring this up at the policy meeting this week.

How far the ban will actually be applied is yet-to-be-determined.

As it stands I will not be able to sell any of my wares on Ebay, not at all, because they cater to the supernatural.

Presumably Harry Potter wands will still be available, and Halloween items won’t be touched.

In correspondence, Foinah tells me:

I’ve been doing some more digging and Ebay appears to be talking out both sides of their mouth. One side says only readings will be banned…and also services like curses. But then the customer service rep says ALL items that are supernatural are prohibited. He read me the internal memo.

Ebay has also stated that items such as tarot cards, crystals, etc. will still be available, in most cases.

So what does that mean?

I cannot for the life of me remember the rep’s name, but I made the call this morning at 10:30 am. [Sunday, 19AUG12] The man was very apologetic about the policy, stated that he agreed that it was rather discriminatory that only pagan and metaphysical items were being targeted, and promised to look into it further.

I appreciate you blogging about it. Hopefully Ebay will make clear the policy before the August 30th deadline. I can understand a services ban, but the way the policy was explained it rather appears to be a ban on all occult materials.

(All quotes are by permission—JDM)

Comments on Back In The Broom Closet:
#1 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 02:19 AM:

I wonder how they intend to handle antiquarian books, or scholarly books like Idries Shah's The Secret Lore of Magic (a collection of grimoires), or (for that matter) material relating to Scientology, the I Ching, Aleister Crowley and the like? Histories of shamanism?

Would it be okay to sell these things "for amusement only"? Or "for the prevention of disease only"?

And will the policy be enforced in an arbitrary and capricious manner? I'd be surprised if it weren't.

Looks like a case where the cure is worse than the disease....

#2 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 02:24 AM:

I bet they don't include homeopathic remedies in their supernatural snake oil ban, but it qualifies both as relying on non-material mechanisms for any effect, and as being unverifiable -- you can't tell from a homeopathic remedy whether it really is 10C dilution with proper succussions or whether it is just water.

And how about extreme audiophile gear, some of which James Randi included in his $1 million reward for demonstrating any supernatural phenomena.

#3 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 02:26 AM:

Any item that "promotes metaphysics"? Bad news for anyone trying to unload a classic edition of the collected Aristotle.

#4 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 02:28 AM:

Oh yes -- and what about Magic: the Gathering cards? There's a very thriving business in them on eBay, and some would certainly say that they promote occultism and the supernatural.

#5 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 02:40 AM:

Imagine the fun that could be had distressing chaos that might ensue if there were a simple way to report an item as violating the antisupernatural policy, giving reasons, of course.

#6 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 02:46 AM:

The Wired article also mentions that ebay is removing diet and recipe advice, but I haven't seen any details anywhere about those. Has anyone seen more on the subject?

#7 ::: Gar Lipow ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 03:29 AM:

I wonder if crosses will be banned? Stars of David and Mezuzahs? How about those little altars or altar like things a lot of Catholics in my neighborhood have? (Sorry don't know much about Catholicism). What about Prayer wheels? Rosaries? Copper bracelets for arthritis?

#8 ::: Gar Lipow ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 03:31 AM:

Oops, somehow missed that you asked about religious items and they are not banned. So specifically aimed at disapproved of religions.

#9 ::: dichroic ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 04:05 AM:

That's going to be an extremely hard policy to write. I'd be fine with them retaining the right to refuse to sell e.g. curses and other items deemed to be black magic, but it's going to be hellaciously hard to do that without crossing the line of religious discrimination.

And what about other religious items that cause harm, such as Christian books advocating the subjection of women, or Christian Scientist works advocating the denial of medical treatment to minors?

#10 ::: Alan ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 06:43 AM:

Anything traceable to the superstitions of Iron Age nomads from the middle east is acceptable.

#11 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 07:20 AM:

Reading between the lines, holy water ought to fall under the kind of items they're intending to ban.

#12 ::: LMM ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 07:27 AM:

Am I having deja vu, or did they try this (or something similar) a few years back?

#13 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 07:52 AM:

C Wingate @11:
Reading between the lines, holy water ought to fall under the kind of items they're intending to ban.

It really should. But if I stop off in Lourdes next week when I'm in the area, and buy myself one of those little vials of Very Holy Water Indeed, I bet you eBay will let me resell it. And if I were to put my rosaries in a shop with Foinah's runestones, I know which one would be likely to be hit by this ban.

And, in case anyone's wondering, this is not a distinction I'm in the least bit charmed by. As it were.

#14 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 08:46 AM:

Huh, that's interesting. My understanding of the policy was that it was only to be applied to non-physical items (so, for instance, I couldn't sell my soul on eBay), whereas actual objects would have been fine. If someone wants to pay fifty dollars for (to use an above example) water, and water's what's shipped, then that's fairly straightforward, but legally it's hard to prove whether or not a blessing was performed or a prayer given. I'm interested in the followup to this set of e-mails.

#15 ::: Megpie71 ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 08:49 AM:

Avram @ 3 - pretty bad news for all of philosophy, really.

I wonder whether collections of myth and legend from various non-Semitic European cultures (eg Greece, Rome, the Celtic regions, the Norse lands etc) would count as "promoting the supernatural", considering how they've been incorporated into various brands of pagan worship? Might be worth finding out.

Also, does this mean I'd be unable to sell my second-hand collection of "Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter" books? (After all, if there's anything that more firmly promotes the supernatural than the "urban fantasy" sub-genre, I've yet to run across it - ghosties, ghoulies, and long leggedy beasties galore there!)

#16 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 09:17 AM:

I'd like to see eBay's rules be consistent, and see how long they can take the outrage from mainstream religious groups offended that their sensible beliefs are suddenly being equated with those of people they'd call superstitious nuts.

It would also be interesting to see the War on Drugs applied equally according to how addictive and harmful drugs are. Businessmen would sneak down alleys to score a fifth or a carton (of questionable purity), and be afraid to use phones for fear of surveillance.

Broad-brush scenarios aside, it would be best to see freedom and sense prevail, and perhaps end this mania for banning whatever legislators (and the relevant decision makers in private concerns with the reach and clout of eBay) don't use openly.

#17 ::: Glaurung Quena ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 09:25 AM:

The official announcement from Ebay (click on "what categories will be discontinued" to see the list) seems to indicate that they are only banning sales of certain non-tangible items (eg, psychic readings, spell casting services, advice for sale, etc). The announcement also explains that they are doing this mainly because buyer-seller disputes over these particular kinds of auctions are so hard to adjudicate.

There's no indication whatsoever in the official announcement that they are planning on banning pagan-themed auctions where the buyer receives something tangible. I suspect that most of the sellers currently selling in the "Everything Else: Metaphysical: Psychic, Paranormal > Spells, Potions" category (which is currently dominated by "I'll cast this spell for you which will do X") will switch to selling "spell kits" (a bell, a scroll, and a candle, say) or some such instead.

BTW, spending 15 minutes looking through some of the spells currently on sale in that category is well worth it for the amusement factor: aside from promises to enhance sexual attributes (no, there is NOWHERE on the internet free of penis spam), you can get anything from a "POWERFUL MAGIC SPELL OF WEREWOLF/VAMPIRE TRANSFORMATION" (only 10 quid) to a "Custom Djinn Conjuration" (sixty bucks) to an "Illuminati Lord-Level Transference COMMAND Your Future" (for three thousand dollars).

#18 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 10:42 AM:

A demon for sale on ebay-- but you get a piece of paper for invoking it. Is that the sale of an intangible?

#19 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 11:05 AM:

I'm with Em @ 14, my understanding was that it was intangible items, including tarot readings, curses, and prayers (and the ebay rep interviewed specifically said "All prayers" on NPR) because the customer service issues of 'delivery' on those services are nightmarish. The pagan news coverage I've seen has been taking the same tone, or was as of yesterday.
Also, looking at the first link on that post, the discontinued categories are the intangible types, not the physical materials.

#20 ::: Sisuile has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 11:07 AM:

we're going to be using a lot of Words of Power on this thread I think...or I screwed up a URL.

#21 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 11:08 AM:

I can see banning non-physical items like curses, blessings, prayers, etc. But "any item that promotes occultism, witchcraft, metaphysics, wizardry, black magic or anything supernatural"? That's specifically discriminatory.

I'm not sure they do have the right to do that, even though they're a private company. IANAL but I've heard there's a thing called a "public accommodation" rule.

I already hate eBay because they won't let you use any payment system but PayPal (which has serious integrity problems), so I can't, as with Chik-Fil-A, "boycott them even more," but as with CFA I wish I could.

The phrasing 'any item that promotes...anything supernatural' really ought to include bibles, but I bet it doesn't.

This is eBay sucking up to the religious right.

#22 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 11:26 AM:

Does anyone have good contact info for Ebay? I've tried going through Customer Support, but I keep running into FAQs which are less than helpful.

I've already used their "Tell Us About It" form to tell them why I won't be doing business with them after August 30th, but I'd really like to email someone directly (or even phone them).

#23 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 12:04 PM:

LMM @12, this seems naggingly familiar to me too, but with the current story all over the Internet I can't track anything down to convince myself whether I'm remembering correctly or not.

#24 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 01:31 PM:

LMM @12, lorax @23 I don't think it was eBay the last go-round of Dumping On The Pagans. Wasn't it PayPal? It's so evocative, I wonder if it is the same people trying it on again.

#25 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 01:40 PM:

LMM @12, lorax @23, pericat @24. I think it was said of PayPal and other online payment processors but turned out to be boilerplate in Visa and MasterCard contracts. See around comment 50 in the Regretsy and the Insane PayPal Clusterf*ck thread from last December.

(it sounded familiar to me, too, and I was almost sure I'd read it here, so went hunting)

#26 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 02:16 PM:

abi @ 13... if I stop off in Lourdes next week when I'm in the area, and buy myself one of those little vials of Very Holy Water

As 'Lourde' is the French word for 'heavy', if you combine that with 'water', does it mean you'll be getting a Holy Hand Grenade?

#27 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 02:36 PM:

Damn it -- and here I was just going to start my business selling indulgences.

Etsy, here I come.

#28 ::: David Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 02:58 PM:

If they end up banning spell books that KILLS the secondary market for O'Reilly books

#29 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 03:15 PM:

Dave Weingart points to an actual problem with his joke comment @28: is software tangible? That is, if they ban the sale of intangibles, will they ban the sales of downloadable information (including PDFs, executable files, audio/video files, and the like)? I don't know how their software sales currently work (never having bought downloadable materials there).

#30 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 04:10 PM:

pericat, #24: Remember that eBay owns PayPal (which is also why they won't let you use any other online payment service). I'm not surprised at all that this is coming up again.

#32 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 04:23 PM:

I wonder if this has something to do with the recent uptick I've noted in spam advertising fellows who will cast spells for you.

#33 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 06:30 PM:

Em @14: for instance, I couldn't sell my soul on eBay

But if you could—could you sell your soul more than once?

#34 ::: Foinah Jameson ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 07:04 PM:

Here's an update.
Ha! I sent an email to ebay this morning, which was a feat unto itself because they hide the address, hoping to get a written response with the new policy details.
Their automated response requested that I use the phone and call customer service.
So I did. Again.
The rep (a new one named Reginald) said he needed to look into the situation and would have his supervisor call me in two hours.
6.5 hours later I still haven't heard a peep.
However, other folks have called ebay and received the same information and "rhetoric" that I did with my initial phone call.

I get the sinking feeling that the ban is exactly what I initially reported, despite vague references and responses from ebay.

#35 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 07:09 PM:

At least they're limiting it to intangibles. If they didn't, the edge cases would be maddening. For example, it's impossible to draw a clear line between occultism and some of the more colorful varieties of ethnic Catholicism.

New Age tat is even harder to call, since the same mineral may be sold as magick, interior decoration, spiritual healing, psychological therapy, or fashion jewelry, and they're forever repurposing spiritual practices from other cultures.

Something I observed when I lived near a shop that sold religious supplies for African immigrants is that to most first-worlders, they looked like occult supplies. I'm not sure how you'd begin to make that distinction. Not all cultures think that religion and occultism/magick are a natural dichotomy.

#36 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 07:13 PM:

And if someone is selling that beautiful blue-and-white soup tureen, unless they say what they think it's for eBay will never know.

Damn I'm angry. It's not good to be this angry.

#37 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 07:22 PM:

Foinah, if they're not limiting it to intangibles, I estimate two weeks max before eBay makes a blunder that outrages some major religious and/or spiritual and/or ethnic group.

#38 ::: Torrilin ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 07:41 PM:

Probably faster if anyone is selling good and super traditional Mexican saints' candles on Ebay.

I mean, there's a reason Protestants complain about the smells and bells...

#39 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 08:18 PM:

"Two weeks max" because this ban goes into effect in two weeks, Miss Teresa?

Heck, there isn't even a hard/bright line between religion, occultism/magick, and medicine.

#40 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 08:21 PM:

"Their automated response requested that I use the phone and call customer service."

Because they don't want to put anything in writing?

Things that are said on the phone get into "she must have misunderstood" and "the rep wasn't authorized to make that statement" fully-deniable territory.

#41 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 08:21 PM:

Tracking down EBay's actual announcement, what they claim they are doing is eliminating a set of categories for services like prayers and advice. I don't see anything about banning any objects (there are a couple of categories like recipes whose items can be sold in different existing categories, if I understand them correctly).

Of course, all bets are off if EBay's enforcers are too illiterate to be able to tell the difference between a tarot deck and a tarot reading.

#42 ::: heckblazer ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 08:23 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @ 35

Heck, having a firm division between science, magic and religion is relatively recent in our culture. When Isaac Newton wasn't pondering physics he was experimenting with alchemy, and he thought both activities flowed naturally from his Christianity.

#43 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 09:11 PM:

C. Wingate @ 41, that is indeed what the announcement on the website says. However, from Foinah's post, the eBay customer service rep to whom Foinah spoke thinks that the new policy bans "any item that promotes occultism, witchcraft, metaphysics, wizardry, black magic or anything supernatural" and "anything for conjuring." If I'm reading correctly, the rep quoted those descriptions from an internal memo.

Assuming that Foinah correctly transcribed what the rep told her (and I see absolutely no reason to assume otherwise), then (a) someone at eBay sent out an internal memo as the rep quoted it, or (b) someone at eBay sent out an internal memo with the policy as listed on the website, and the rep fails at reading comprehension.

Either way, my bet is that eBay's enforcers either can't or won't tell the difference between a tarot deck and a tarot reading, or a spell book and an offer to cast a spell.

eBay needs to immediately clarify, publicly and to its customer-service reps, what categories of items will still be allowed, and that the ban does not encompass all items relating to magic, witchcraft, the supernatural, etc.

I'm thinking of how some of the stricter Christian sects around here would interpret that kind of ban, and it's giving me the willies.

#44 ::: Tracy Lunquist ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 09:49 PM:

Tom @ 29: congress is hard at work making sure nobody owns software in the first place, so reselling it would be a moot point, right?

#45 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 10:40 PM:

Agreed that a ban on intangibles is reasonable while a ban on physical items that are not otherwise illegal is not. Full stop. If I can sell a Harry Potter-style wand, specified hawthorn with silver chasing, as a costume piece, but someone who wants to sell a similarly-specified wand for religious purposes can't, that's totally bonkers, as well as illegal and stupid.

And badly-written policies are a bad idea, just as badly-written laws are. Doesn't anyone think to run these things past a legal department first?

#46 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2012, 11:26 PM:

Of course, a ban on intangibles can't work, so it's not reasonable either. If I can't sell you an intangible service like blessing a jar of earwigs, I can still sell you a video tape of myself blessing your particular earwigs in the particular way you ask for. Call it "performance art" if necessary.

That sounds like good customer service anyway, because the tape is my customer's verification that I blessed the earwigs.

(Please don't tell me that somebody out there uses earwigs for religious purposes. Very few things creep me out, but... earwigs. Ewwww.)

#47 ::: Foinah Jameson ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 01:07 AM:

Thank you, everyone, for weighing in on this.
There's a backlash on some pagan sites where folks are saying this isn't a big deal.

It's the principal of the ban, with it's wonky wording, that disturbs me.

Whackadoodles and frauds give good pagans a bad name. Yes, yes they do.
And earwigs??? Bleh!!!!
Great visual, though.

#48 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 01:08 AM:

Tracy Lunquist @44 -- we're not there yet! and besides, it's still okay for the copyright owner to sell (e.g.) mp3s or pdfs. Not sensu strictu tangible.

#49 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 01:37 AM:

C. Wingate @41: Yes, they're eliminating categories. They're also banning specific things:

"The following items are also being added to the prohibited items list: advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic; prayers; blessing services; magic potions; healing sessions; work from home businesses & information; wholesale lists, and drop shop lists." (from higher on that particular web page)

That, to me, is not an unreasonable list in itself. For most Wiccans, I think, making a "magic potion" commercially would not be something reasonable to do, and there's a certain amount of consumer protection that goes into making sure that something people will ingest is actually safe (most potions are intended to be ingested, no? They'd be unguents if they were intended to be used on the skin, or am I wrong?). And "magic potions" are one of the few tangibles on that list.

The question is exactly how they're going to enforce it.

#50 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 02:50 AM:

Let us not to the sale of occult
Admit impediments. Spells are not spells
Which falter when they false descriptions find,
Or cede, which are forbidden to be bid:
O, no! It is an ever-shifting mark...

#51 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 03:07 AM:

OtterB @25: It was Square's terms of service which prohibited all occult materials, which was mentioned in the Regretsy thread, yup. And then other folks said it was a standard boilerplate thingie found in several places.

#52 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 03:48 AM:

KayTei @ 50: Love it!

#53 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 10:08 AM:

KayTei @ 50: That's great! Here's a word (from a non-believer):

The quality of magic is not strained,
It droppeth from the eBay lists like apples
On Newton's head beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that sells it not and him
Who does not buy: 'Tis mightiest in its
Moneylessness: it becomes the naked
Witch (or warlock) in his (or in her) grove
Better than any woven cashbelt could;
His wad of bills shows force of temporal power,
The attribute to cop and gun and club;
Wherein doth sit the fear of banks and kings;
But magic is above this silvered sway;
It is ensconced in hearts and minds of all;
It is an attribute to God or Goddess,
And earthly power doth show most like justice
When cash controls not mercy.

#54 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 10:13 AM:

John A Arkansawyer @53: Applause! {throwing flowers}

#55 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 05:25 PM:

KayTei and John: Brave! (That's BRAH-vay, plural of 'bravo' and 'brava', not the recent animated movie.)

#56 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 06:02 PM:

Xopher @ 56: It was a pretty fine movie, though.

#57 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 06:37 PM:

John: But its name is not, in itself, a compliment to your poetical talents.

#58 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 09:09 PM:

Package contained supernatural bobcat. Would not buy again.

#59 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 09:43 PM:

Tom, #49: Prayers, blessing services, and healing sessions would also apply in Christian formats. Are those being banned, or only the pagan ones?

eric, #58: *snerk* You're on a roll today!

#60 ::: Foinah Jameson ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 10:56 PM:

I never received the promised phone call from ebay so I just called again.

The rep I just spoke with said he can't find any information on this at all. Nothing. Not a hint.
He said it appears to be a proposal that will be discussed and then promised to email me (gasp! It will be in writing) when he gets the correct information.

Have enough people called to register their dismay?
Has this all been one big "oops, my bad!" moment?
Who knows. Perhaps I should consult a psychic -- quickly just in case the ban is real -- and go from there. Cackleā„¢

#61 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2012, 11:00 PM:

This is just to say

I have blessed
the plums
that are in
the coolroom

and which
you had been planning
to list
on eBay

Forgive me,
they are delicious
so super
and so natural

#62 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2012, 12:11 AM:

Torrilin at # 38: there's a reason Protestants complain about the smells and bells...

This extremely low-church Protestant doesn't complain about them. They're just outside my experience and comprehension.

#63 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2012, 01:02 AM:

Jim Macdonald @32: I wonder if this has something to do with the recent uptick I've noted in spam advertising fellows who will cast spells for you.

And I'm wondering if it's got anything to do with the guy emailed me last week (and presumably he emailed other folks; he used my listing) with a request for commissioned spell-work. Maybe he used to shop eBay.

#64 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2012, 01:43 AM:

Lee @59 -- well, that's one of those implementation details I'd worry about. I'd certainly hope so!

#65 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2012, 01:56 AM:

I assume etsy happened because ebay wasn't a good place to sell crafts. If ebay maintains its anti-occult ban, I wonder if someone else will develop an auction/sales site which specializes in the occult.

#66 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2012, 06:54 AM:

Etsy happened because "Regrebay" is a horrible name for a website.

#67 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2012, 09:47 AM:

Foinah @ 60: Oh, I really, really hope they heard enough complaints to back off, and figure out how to implement a non-discriminatory policy.

#68 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2012, 10:09 AM:

Lee @ 59

Tom, #49: Prayers, blessing services, and healing sessions would also apply in Christian formats. Are those being banned, or only the pagan ones?

In most Christian traditions, selling those things is considered seriously wrong. So banning their sale on eBay would probably be perfectly OK with most Christians.

#69 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2012, 01:11 PM:

TWO helpless laughter incidents at work! One with a mouthful of liquid.

That "demon for sale" link? priceless.

Also eric@58 . That was the one where I choked publicly.

#70 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2012, 06:47 PM:

SamChevre: Many Pagans think selling those things is deeply wrong, too. Not sure we're a majority, but if I come and bless & ward your house, I do it for free. You may feed me cookies and lemonade, but it's entirely voluntary, and if you try to take me out to an expensive restaurant to "thank" me, I must, by my oath, turn you down.

#71 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2012, 08:55 PM:

Sam, it's not necessarily that simple. I may never want to do it but at the same time resent someone telling me that I wasn't allowed to.

#72 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2012, 10:27 PM:

Presumably Johann Tetzel is going to have to shut down his EBay account.

#73 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2012, 01:51 AM:

C. Wingate, it's a good thing I was not drinking anything when I read your comment.

#74 ::: Tracy Lunquist ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2012, 07:51 PM:

I guess that means the Catholics will have to get their Indulgences elsewhere....

#75 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2012, 06:19 AM:

I'm sure this is all permitted under the Doctrine of PayPal Infallibility.

#76 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2013, 12:55 AM:

Foinah is the singer here: Battle Dawn

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