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Templo Dragón

Templo Disidente de la Tradición Nativista Correlliana, de la Religión Wicca; en el Mundo Entero

In Defense letter by Stephanie Leon Neal

In Defense
letter by Stephanie Leon Neal
Dear Friends,
Just so you know, Rev Don was permitted to brake the serenity of the church, Rev. Phoenix was also permitted to brake the serenity of the church, both publicly smearing my name, thus, I have every right to speak against smearing my name and correct many inacurrate points delivered.
I am going to do something I have never done in my life. Though I know it is over for me. I want members to know my experiences so that members can make sound decisions for themselves as they work within this tradition. I know the tradition will thrive in spite of the top leadership, because it has grown in spirit because of its members; you.
I have been encouraged to speak out, because everyone has the right to defend their name against what is being said. People are saying, “I know you Steff and the behavior they are stating has not been exhibited from you. You have only shown kindness to everyone.”
So here it goes my experiences with a few leaders of the tradition: I am a 72 years old woman that does not own a cell phone or whatsapp. I am retired on a fixed income. Like most of you, I have diligently worked for the tradition for almost 20 years. I have experienced harsh treatment many times in this tradition and have always kept silent.
The following dashes ------------ under each statement are my responses to the accusations unkindly delivered by Rev. Phoenix Coffin Williams, in public, breaking the serenity.
----Rev. Phoenix led a coup last week, saying he alone can correct what is going on with the Board of Directors and the Tradition’s membership unrest; then through much deception and a vote, took the Chancellorship for himself. Yet a few days ago Rt. Rev. Greene pulled it away from him because it was an illegal Board of Directors’ meeting, according to Illinois state law where the church is incorporated as a not-for-profit. We were all told by Rev. Phoenix not to tell anyone what happened that night. And an individual that is highly ethical and respected in the tradition stated to me that “in the beginning Rev. Don stated he had already talked to Phoenix about taking the Chancellorship position and he had agreed to do it.’ Rev. Phoenix said to me he would never take the Chancellorship, which I thought was an odd statement to make at the time to me. -----
And this was posted to the Witan and other places:
Rev. Phoenix stated-
“Greetings esteemed members of the Correllian Council of Elders and Witan Council! It is with a heavy heart that I reach out to you for your support and assistance at this time. As you know I was appointed as Rev. Don's Co-regent to the First Priesthood of the Correllian Nativist Tradition back in March of 2023. In that time, I have had the opportunity to observe the inner workings of the tradition, speak to people I have never spoken to before and continue to learn what it takes to serve The Correllian Ancestors in such a high capacity, as an adopted relative of this Grand Family.
While in this role for such a short period of time I have been witness to a few horrifying things that I cannot abide. As many of you are aware there have been growing tensions among First Priestess Stephanie, First Priest (Retired) Don Lewis, and Retired First officer at Large, Ed Hubbard. To be brief and specific the tensions resulted in Rev. Stephanie Neal in her capacity as chancellor:”
----Because I said no to Rev. Don, Rev. Phoenix and Ed only a few weeks passed before the disinformation was fed to the Correllian family about me and from that point on, untruths were stated on the public platforms, in one-on-one discussions and zoom meetings. The plans, apparently focused on taking back the tradition and placing it in their hands, to run as they always have. ----
1-Rev. Phoenix stated: - “Removing Ed Hubbard from the church without a deeming procedure:”
----I did not remove anyone from the church.----
2-Rev. Phoenix stated - “Adjusting the Bylaws of our church to remove Lady Krystel and Lord Don from their capacities…”
---- I did not adjust the bylaws to remove anyone from their capacities.----
3-Rev. Phoenix stated- “…and removed all mention of the Highcorrell name from our Churches mission statement.”
---- I did not remove the Highcorrell name from the churche’s mission statement. Highcorrell was not there in the first place.----
4-Rev. Phoenix stated- “Restructure the name/organization of our outer court membership without previous discussion of either myself (----I did have a discussion with Rev. Phoenix and he said, “Go for it.----) or other members on the council of Elders or the assembled/appointed board of directors.”
----I did not restructure the “outer court,” only the name was changed. This decision was made before I was appointed Chancellor with Rev. Don. I had received many complaints about referring to a group of people as outer court members, the title was so unwelcoming.”----
5-Rev. Phoenix stated- “Silence a board member from presenting legitimate legal concerns to the board.”
----This board member was bringing up a good point which I immediately added this legal point to the bylaws and I thanked him. ----
6-Rev. Phoenix stated- “Upon learning of Rev. Don's disappointment in her actions she made further movements to distance herself and the church from him.”
---- I did not distance the church from him. I was distancing myself from Rev. Don the first week. Rev. Don, just like Rev. Phoenix, were spreading untruths about me along with the family mob as Ed calls them. In a public format Rev. Don was saying I removed a person from the tradition, that never happened. Everything Rev. Don said about me is how he operates within the tradition. ----
7-Rev. Phoenix stated- “On July 18th, 2023 an emergency board meeting was called by me (Phoenix Coffin-Williams) to address the growing tensions that were spilling over into public domain.”
----The board members who were not a part of preplanning what would ultimately be done that night, were given no advance notice, other than there was to be a board meeting now. Rev. Don in a public format called out my name. Many questions came to me, asking what is Rev. Don doing? Why is he acting so hateful? Many unkind untrue words have caused people to become upset. For the last 5 months many have sought answers. Rev. Phoenix, Rev. Don and Ed were leading a smear campaign against me. -----
8-Rev. Phoenix stated- “At this time Every member of the board of directors was present except for 1. Many members of the board of directors expressed their concerns regarding the tensions between Lady Steph and Lord Don as well as the messages they were receiving from members of the church.”
----I do not remember that any board member said what the messages were saying to them. It was obvious this coup was planned by the family mob. The questions they were receiving is a direct result of Rev. Don calling me out on his public forum. ----
9-Rev. Phoenix stated- “Each person was allowed to speak and at the end of everyone's speaking and Testimony I called for a vote on Chancellorship. I had decided that Since the Previous Chancellor and the Current Chancellor are fighting, ---(and neither of those two were fighting with me).” Since I had already mediated an agreement between Steff and Ed, AND Since I had already stuck my neck out and apologized on behalf of the total First Priesthood a mere days after my appointment to the office for something I didn't do, would be a good fit for the role TEMPORARILY.”
----I was not fighting with Rev. Don I was keeping quiet; at the time I only told Rev. Phoenix of Rev. Don’s history with me and Rev. Phoenix stated that he believed me. Rev. Phoenix stated he alone could fix this and help with the healing process; then illegally led a coup against me. I found out later that he and others who planned this coup had primed other members with lies. They have no problem speaking untruths and doing anything to keep their power over the tradition, anything.-----
10-Rev. Phoenix stated- “I asked the Board of Directors to vote for me as chancellor so that I could ABOLISH the Chancellorship and return the 1st priestess and priest to true equality and diarchy as was always intended.”
----- The Chancellorship always existed. Phoenix and I had 2 prior conversations about releasing the title, and I was agreeable. -----
11-Rev. Phoenix stated- “The assembled board Voted. Phoenix received 10 votes for chancellorship, Lady Steff received 3 votes to remain chancellor with she herself refusing to vote and with one member not being present but who did support the decision after finding out what happened.”
----This meeting was a kangaroo court. These people delivered untruths to most of the Tradition and they were believed. I did not refuse to vote. I told him I did not have a cell phone. Rev. Phoenix or anyone on the board never said they had a problem with me. But I have seen them circle others and attack a person for no reason. If things are not done the way they think it should be done, there is no mercy for the individual. As an aside, Rev. Phoenix gave me a list of people he wanted on the board and I said, “If you like them, I like them.” So, this has been a five-month plan. I know Rev. Phoenix knew from the beginning because Don asked Rev. Phoenix to be chancellor and he said yes to Rev. Don in the very beginning.----
12-Rev. Phoenix stated- “Following the vote, I posted a message to our Board of directors confirming that It is still my intention to abolish the chancellorship. I proposed a day of the week for our next meeting so that we could initiate the healing process.”
----- My thoughts were, how could the same person that led a coup based on false premises, and who was closely working with Rev. Don, Ed and the others stoking the flames trying to discredit me for 5 months be the one that will lead healing? -----
13-Rev. Phoenix stated- “It would be the following Sunday, 6 days away and many members of the board were able to comment on their availability for that day. The meeting did end up getting scheduled and many of the board members were able to attend (although not all). At the agreed upon time, a zoom room was opened and board members entered and pleasantries exchanged. At that time Lily Greene began shouting into the zoom room (at nobody in particular) utilizing intimidation tactics toward those in the assembly and requested that we not meet at all. She also suggested that the meetings we were having were illegal and that the vote that took place should be Null and Void.”
----Correct, it was out of frustration because Rev. Greene saw what was happening and wanted to pull the plug until an attorney stepped into the picture to straighten things out, among other reasons.----
15-Rev. Phoenix stated- “Since this time Stephanie has continued on as if the will of the board of directors was not made known.”
----Once again, another untruth, I did nothing except talk to a few close friends telling them about the coup and I stood down from taking any further actions in my role. -----
16-Rev. Phoenix stated- “She has continued to try to manipulate church bylaws in a way that gives her ultimate power in the church.”
----I never added at any time “powers” to the chancellorship, instead I was giving more authority to others. I did not change a thing within the bylaws after the coup.----
17-Rev. Phoenix stated- “At this rate of behavior under the title of "Chancellor" Lady Stephanie is behaving in a Hitlerian/Stalin-esque way…”
----I do hope some members see this statement is beyond the pale but at least it reveals what I have had to deal with for the last 5 months. This is the real Rev. Phoenix showing himself. I did not act like either of these mass murders of the past.----
18-Rev. Phoenix stated- “…Statement that has resulted in the beginnings of purges from the church of people she does not like…”
---- Once again an untruth, no one was removed at anytime.----
19-Rev. Phoenix stated- “…and changing the law to favor her dictatorship.”
----Nope, I did not change the bylaws in regards to the chancellor’s authority, quite the opposite. This untruth is easy to check out, go to the old bylaws and the current bylaws and see for yourself.----
20-Rev. Phoenix stated- “At this time I am asking the Witan Council, and the Council of Elders to uphold the decision to make me TEMPORARY Chancellor.”
----A decision and vote based on untruths spread by the family mob, just before the meeting. I did not know what I was walking into that night.----
21-Rev. Phoenix stated- “As such I will return our bylaws to the form they were in on January 1st 2023 - Before Rev Don's heart issue, before my appointment into First Priest Regent, before the naming of Stephanie as Chancellor. “
----nothing to say here.----
22-Rev. Phoenix stated- “I ask this in hopes of returning Lady Krystel and Lord Don to their rightful places as Co-regents, returning our Ancestors to their rightful place as our access to spiritual authority.”
----And once again, this did not happen; I never removed the following: “Lady Krystel and Lord Don to their rightful places as Co-regents, returning our Ancestors to their rightful place as our access to spiritual authority.” ----
23-Rev. Phoenix stated- “I thank you so much for your attention to this matter and look forward to more positive and affirming work together in the future.”
Ed, who operates as the head of the tradition, Rev. Don, Rev Phoenix and their “group” has now returned to power. Which means it will continue to be run by fear and untruths. When I had said I am creating a new tradition, I was saying, together, all the members are creating a new way, a new day, a new culture, whereby many folks do not have to fear what they say. Or afraid of saying no to certain people or not be bullied, or dismissed, yes, a new day. All this started the first day I was appointed chancellor, in broad strokes here:
A-After being appointed as chancellor on 2/14/2023, Ed said I am to do what Rev. Don says and what Ed says, that everything I do will be what they tell me to do.
My answer: I said no, I will not be their puppet. Next Ed informed Rev. Don what I said; both were incredibly upset and were not pleased. For the next few days, I said I had no problem working with them but I was not going to be their puppet. Soon after Rev. Don would not respond to me and Ed blocked me and both started their smear campaign enlisting Rev. Phoenix and the others.
B-While in Florida, responding to Rev. Don’s hospitalization. The First day, Ed told me “how the tradition works” and who are those “that really count.” Telling me about the mob, and who is in this mob. That it is he that is over everything. And this is when he started talking about his plans about destroying the church so he can build it in his image. At this point I was the one shocked. Note: Two other people heard him talking about he will destroy the church/tradition. I knew I had to do something quickly; I knew I had to protect the church from this happening. I wrote two pages in preparation for the Elders’ meeting that was called to talk about what was happening. I read over the phone to Rev. Phoenix what I was going to tell the Elders at the Elders’ meeting what was going on. He told me that I was not going to read what I wrote and the next day the Elders’ meeting was called off. At that point I knew something was not right, why would they call the meeting off? Why would Rev. Phoenix say do not read this to the Elders? I guess I ignored the red flags.
C-I also informed Rev. Don and Ed I will not turn over my money to them anymore, knowing they would push back hard against me with his mob and he did and they did. And I knew people would never believe Rev. Don would do such a thing, but he did and I am not the only one that money was delivered to them in different unscrupulous ways throughout the years. If this tradition falls, it is not because of me. A possible fall is in the hands of Ed, Rev. Don and Rev. Phoenix, though I still have hope for Rev. Phoenix, though the untruths he has told in his post is stunning.
D-I said no to Rev. Don, I was not going to be pressured to pass over money to him anymore. That those days are over. Once again Rev. Don was not happy, saying, “This is a stab in my back.”
E-Let me clarify; Rev. Don and Ed, has demanded money from me, for the last 15 years. They were incredibly cruel behind closed doors, not the other way around. Both said, if I stop giving them money my name would be mud. I did not remain in the tradition because of them, I remained because this tradition has amazing members. Any time I saw Rev. Don in person I had to give him hundreds of dollars. And sent at least $300. every month through PayPal. This is why I would try to see him in person as little as possible. The last amount of money to Ed was $800. And the last amount that Rev. Don asked for was $6,000. When he visited a few months ago to collect his things. And I said no in a colorful way to him. You see people are never allowed to question or say no to Rev. Don.
I am responding to Rev. Phoenix’s untruths so that all Correllian members can hear the truth from me about Ed, Rev. Don, Rev. Phoenix, and their “family.” I am allowed to defend myself and I am allowed to suggest to members, to be careful and allow Goddess and Caroline to guide you as you remain within this tradition. The Tradition was developed and grew because of not one man, but because of the dedication and hard work all of you have done throughout the years. The Tradition is not Rev. Don as he always says, regarding himself is, “I am the church.” the tradition is all of you. I have carefully only given information that relates to what is happening to me, my experience and did not share the many members that have been pushed around and live in fear of what “they” are going to do or say. Everyone should have the right to know how this tradition runs. On the most part it is well run in-spite-of the top leadership. Proving, indeed you are doing a remarkable job and keep up the good work.
With love and respect for all Correllians, across the world, continue to make sound informed decisions about those you see controlling others. Lift up others, not to receive anything in return, but just for the sake of being kind to one another.
Stephanie Leon Neal ~





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