An inmate is reportedly suing the Massachusetts Department of Corrections for denying him materials he claims are necessary for him to properly express his Wiccan faith.
Daniel LaPlante, who is currently serving a life sentence for the 1987 murder of a Townsend, Mass., mother and her two children, has requested 121 items that he claims will aid him in performing Wiccan rituals.
Among the most interesting of these items include carrot cake, a ritual oil called "Dragon's Blood," various colors of pens, hazelnuts, and Mugwort ritual tea.
LaPlante, who is representing himself as a lawyer, has also requested twelve different types of cakes, one for each month of the year, reportedly saying in court documents that the cake variety is meant to "excite the senses" to avoid a somber worship environment.
According to MyFoxBoston, LaPlante has requested carrot cake with frosting for January, and chocolate cake with frosting for February, although he has allowed the interpretation of the meaning "cake" to remain loose, welcoming doughnuts for July and apple spice cookies for November.
Additionally, LaPlante has requested more than 30 different kinds of ritual oil, ten varieties of fruits and nuts, and 23 types of herbs, among other things.
Von Thompson, a practicing pagan from the Boston, Mass. area, told Boston Magazine that LaPlante does not actually need any of the requested items to live the life of a worshipping Wiccan.
"We get so much misinformation spread about our religion, about our practices, that even a hint of anything out of the ordinary associated with Wicca gets blown out of proportion. It's difficult to be Wiccan or pagan. Not only is our religion misunderstood, those misunderstandings also attract to us more than our fair share of crazy people," Thompson told Boston Magazine.
As Boston Magazine points out, the Wiccan religion is a nature-centered neo-pagan religion that uses "mysticism, and natural magic or ritual" as a form of worship.
Although Wiccan and Pagan religions are consider to be a minority in American culture, past incidences lead many to believe that Wiccans are far more prominent than one might first think.
For example, in February, Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson made an apology after apparently offending Wiccans when discussing the University of Missouri's decision to add eight Wiccan holidays to the school's religious guide, alongside more mainstream holidays like Hanukah and Christmas.
As The Christian Post previously reported, Fox News received 40,000 complaints after Carlson described every Wiccan he's ever known as "either a compulsive Dungeons and Dragons player or is a middle-aged, twice divorced older woman living in a rural area who works as a midwife."
Carlson ultimately apologized, saying it was never his intention to offend the Wiccans of America.
According to Boston Magazine, the Department of Corrections has said in a court document that LaPlante has not "exhausted all administrative remedies" to receive his 121 requests.
LaPlante, who resides at the MCI-Norfolk jail, disagrees with this statement.