shocked pastor looking inside box
Pastor Locke says witches are sending him sex toys in the mail, along with other unwanted paraphernalia.

You may be familiar with Tennessee pastor Greg Locke from his various headline-making crusades over the years. From speaking out against rapper Lil Nas X and his ‘Satan Shoes’, to burning scores of Harry Potter books in a giant bonfire, Locke isn't exactly afraid of the spotlight.  

Well, the controversial pastor was in the news again recently when he threatened to expose six witches that he says have infiltrated his church (and even joined his wife's Bible study group!).

“You know who you are,” he warned the alleged witches. “And we [are] going to ask you to get out, or I’ll expose you in front of everybody.”

Apparently, the witches didn't take kindly to such aggression.

Less than a month after that sermon, Pastor Locke is now complaining that he’s been besieged by unholy threats from witches far and wide: from nasty messages on his church answering machine, to call-outs on social media, to receiving sex toys in the mail.

Wait, what was that last one? Let's back up a bit. 

Salem, Tennessee

This all started when Pastor Locke took to the pulpit last month and announced a startling revelation: witches had infiltrated the church.

“We got first and last names of six witches that are in our church,” the controversial pastor warned. “Three of you are in the room right now.” Locke continued:

“You were sent to this church to destroy us. You were sent to this church to lure us in. You were sent to this church to cast a spell…  Two of you in my wife’s ladies’ Bible study. And you know who you are, and we going to ask you to get out, or I’ll expose you in front of everybody. You better look in my eyeballs right now, we ain’t afraid of you, you stinking witch! You devil worshiping, Satanist witch! We cast you out in the name of Jesus Christ!”

The sermon went viral, drawing widespread mockery online for Pastor Locke’s fear of witches that seems straight out of 17th-century Massachusetts. Here's an abbreviated version we posted on our Twitter page:

Now, a month later, Pastor Locke says witches are harassing him at home, at work, and even at his favorite coffee shop. And they’re getting, how shall we put this… creative in their approach.

Bad Vibrations

“We’ve been getting, literally, sex toys in the mail every single day,” said Pastor Locke in a Facebook Live update on the harassment he says he’s been receiving ever since calling out the six witches he says were plaguing his congregation.

“Glitter bombs from witches,” he continued. “Crystals and hexes and vexes and curses… We get pentagrams, witchcraft, Satanism, postcards from the Church of Satan in the mail, every single day, all types of foul pornographic stuff. It’s just nonstop.”

It’s not just sex toys. He says his staff receives hundreds – sometimes even thousands – of phone calls per day, the voicemail filling up every couple of hours as critics leave expletive-laden messages.

And in a particularly overt attack, witches apparently contacted management at Locke’s favorite Dunkin’ Donuts coffee shop in an attempt to get him banned from getting his morning coffee.

How to Respond

If our Facebook page is anything to go by, it’s clear that there’s no love lost between many of our ministers and Pastor Locke. But when we asked our followers on Facebook how he should be responded to, responses were torn on whether he deserved the harassment or not.

"Honestly, the women he threatened to out as witches should be pleased and proud. What they're doing in their lives has threatened a tiny, fearful man, which means they must be doing something right," one commenter said.

"He's trying to start an actual witch hunt. this is beyond simply disagreeing with someone," another wrote. 

Not everyone agreed, however.

"Speech and religious expression are both protected rights. Attacking or otherwise attempting to silence someone else's based on perceived harm that it does or may yet do to others is a slippery slope that many including the current powers that be have already started down using the often ambiguous misnomer of "hate speech" for anything they disagree with regardless of actual fact or fiction. This needs to stop on all sides," someone else chimed in.

On the one hand, Locke appears to be encouraging retaliation against witches, which many say is not only offensive but potentially dangerous to Wiccans and Pagans. So who cares if someone sends him a glitter bomb?

On the other, critics point out that intolerance gets us nowhere, and harassment isn’t an effective strategy for winning an argument. 

What do you think? How should we engage with those with whom we disagree?

59 comments

  1. Matthew Mastrogiovanni's Avatar Matthew Mastrogiovanni

    There's no room in this world for the hate that Locke projects.

    1. Keith Allen Steele Eash's Avatar Keith Allen Steele Eash

      He doesn't prohect hate. He's a Christian fundamentalist that takes witchcraft seriously. This is the trouble with people like you who thinks every time a Christian takes their faith seriously uou drnpuncevthem as terrorists, hatemongers, racists, etc. You're the real "a^&&:&^&&;;holes'.

      1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

        The problem with fundamentalists, Kieth is that they terrorize and hate what they refuse to understand. An it’s too bad too many fundamentalists are racists. They believe what they believe. An it’s hateful in the end. 🤷🏻‍♂️

      2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        Keith, did you know that some christians aren't against committing certain sins, and by the same token some of us Wiccans dontmind getting a little more karmic debt, if we feel it's for a worthy cause. I'm not seeking to end this incarnation free of karmic debt, so if you ever want to come down to Galveston, and preach that evil biblical shit to me, I'll be looking forward, with eager anticipation, to giving you your just reward.

        1. Keith Allen Steele Eash's Avatar Keith Allen Steele Eash

          Well, then truthfully they aren't Christian dingbat.

        2. John Komorowski's Avatar John Komorowski

          Add me to your be your back up and to keep your six clear.

        3. Calvin F Pacheco's Avatar Calvin F Pacheco

          You’re an idiot

      3. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        Comment removed by user.

      4. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        People who take their faith that seriously should be focused on their own behaviors, not deciding others are behaving wrong. That's what hate is, downing others for not living by your rules. If he really thought witchcraft was so wrong he would just not be practicing it. To out others that might be, whether they are or not, is far beyond what Christ taught. Live your faith. Don't dictate it to others. And you certainly don't point out and threaten those who don't.

        1. Deacon Michael's Avatar Deacon Michael

          I 2nd that. I agree 100% with your comment. Right to the point of how folks should live and focus on their own beliefs! Without any form of dictation whatsoever!

          1. David Cox's Avatar David Cox

            what would Jesus do?

    2. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

      We are in agreement.

      On a side note Matthew: My maternal grandmother's family name is Mastroianni, which is a form of Mastrogiovanni. Have traced the family back to a Maestro Giovanni di Agnone, who was court goldsmith to the Count of Sasso in the mid 16th century.

  1. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

    I say he needs to keep his opinion to himself and stop threatening the witches and stop trying to be a witch hunter because eventually what's going to happen is they're going to turn on you and hunt you

  1. Lawrence Albert Taylor II's Avatar Lawrence Albert Taylor II

    Pastor Locke deserves what's coming to him. He threatened them first if you don't get out I'll expose your name and addresses to the congregation. First off a church is supposed to welcome all those that want to come to worship and fellowship. I personally knew a few wiccans and pagans they have their own rituals plus shy away from attacking others. They believe what ever spell they cast will come back at them 10 fold. Since the pastor opened Pandora's box he shall reap what he Sows

  1. The Rev. William C, Millhouse's Avatar The Rev. William C, Millhouse

    He brought it upon himself and deserves all the retribution heaped on him. He is only another Bible Pounding phony.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    This Christian pastor is evil and is just spreading hatred. This hate spreading pastor should read the book he claims to be preaching from. Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

    Why is it so many Christians are into spreading hate and not love?

    1. Donald Richard Starns's Avatar Donald Richard Starns

      He just wants attention, pooor baby, and he got it.

      1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

        Why would a pastor what attention playing with sex toys?

  1. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

    I'm a pagan witch and anybody wants to come after me like a witch hunter and then your wrong in so many ways and pastors like that that threatened witches should go to prison or be taken to jail

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    Before engaging in a conversation with anyone (about politics, and or religion) ask them the source of what they consider to be the news.

    If they cite Fox, and/or the St.James Bible — say “thanks” then pass on.

    Arguing with Fox exclusivists, or those who know about no other religion than the one into which they were brainwashed — is an exercise in futility.

    As you leave, recommend this book to all religions fanatics. “The Savvy Converts Guide to Choosing a Religion” which all “smart people” should read, before naming the religion the religion that gives them “the biggest bang for their bucks.”

  1. Paul Andrew Barker's Avatar Paul Andrew Barker

    The book burning its said when you start burning books then you can start burning people as I understand under the American constition freedom of religion was enshrined their also under the Bill of rights of 1689 this guy is a not dangerous he is committing the worse crime any pastor can commit denying findermental human rights under the United nations charter if wiccans choose to run around naked in Salem is he wanting to follow the bigot cotton mather another minister of Jesus christ supposedly he does not know the wiccan rude harm none but wiccans have a right to defend their faith and the hysterical things he says are happening is pure puritan hysteria from the 17th century wiccans don't do childish acts like that it is pure stuff out of Hansel and gretal or Disney the guy is a pewit a sensation seeker and he is treading his way to the path of Adolf hitler Mein fuhrer EIN VOLK EIN REICH EIN FHURER SO COME ON MEIN KAMARADEN DAS HORST WESSEL LIED SEIG HEIL HEIL LOCKE DAS FHURER

    1. Reverend Kurt's Avatar Reverend Kurt

      your German is interesting. spelling errors and grammar are way off the chart.

    2. Reverend Kurt's Avatar Reverend Kurt

      Comment removed by user.

  1. Larry Mager's Avatar Larry Mager

    I don't normally get involved in things like this, but for once I will. To paraphrase another saying; let him make a fool of himself and when the time comes, let Yahweh determine his fate!!!!!! "Glitter Bombs" and sex toys are only making the rest of us look bad and He feels justified in his actions (Locke, that is). The worst thing that we can do is ignore him. We can and perhaps should let the various newspapers and media that it would be in their best interests NOT to run his diatribes. And if they do, we will stop patronizing their sponsors and tell the sponsors WHY we are doing so. If the sponsors lose enough money, they will put pressure on their media to drop this guy like a hot potatoe. Just some ideas to consider.

    Peace be upon You all.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Larry, your god Yahweh told me that he has already decided Locke's fate, and wants ministers to help him punish Locke by forming a Lynch mob of ministers who will go after Locke, and crucify him, with Bishop Dusendingleberry leading the way!

  1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

    Sending a glitter bomb through the mail is not a crime, it's a legitimate business. There are many corporations that specialize in custom-made glitter bomb delivery. It is a form of free speech.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Um you do know that the ones who leave emails or recorded phone calls can be traced right back to the person making them. And the Post office can do the same thing with a simple check of the zip code and the time stamp from the post office it was sent out from. Then all they have to do is check the receipts to see when it matched and then look at the CCTV cameras each post office has and its all over for the people sending this stuff through the mail as its a felony.

    Not too bright are they?

    1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

      Please, they were sex toys, not weapons or even threats. There was nothing illegal about sending toys through the mail. To me it looked like them telling him to grow up and get laid. Frankly I caught a clip of his sermon and I couldn't agree with them any more. A bit crude in delivery, sure, but not illegal by any means.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        fine, then give us your parents address so we can send them sex toys and lets see how fast your opinion changes on this issue. You cant complain about this and then turn around and get upset if it happens to one of your family. And nope sorry, harassment phone calls are illegal and if sending sex toys isnt illegal when they are not asked for, the please explain why in New England in 2018 there was someone doing the exact same thing and the police got involved and the persons who were doing this are now spending the last part of their 5 year prison sentence getting ready for release and then looking at another 3 tears probation. This was clearly reported in the NY Times and the Boston Globe. So I guess it IS illegal doing this

    2. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      @ Daniel Gray Are you on crack? Sending a gift or present to someone though the mail is NOT a felony or even a crime in this country. Who knows maybe the pastor is having a good time playing with his new toys.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Seemingly YOU are the one on crack. But go ahead and prove it to yourself. Start sending packages like this to an anonymous person and watch how fast you will have the US Postal inspectors on your rear as well as the local police and the prosecuting attorney. Seems you also cant use a search encing as what I posted about this was clearly reported on and reported in the Boston Globe and the NY Times as well as listed in the NY State Attorneys Office AND the Mass State Attorneys office.

        So have a good time in trying to prove all four of these groups wrong as any attempt you try will make you look more pathetic then you do now.

  1. Reverend Kurt's Avatar Reverend Kurt

    Going on his past antics as well as this witch hunt, I would urge his wife and ministry to make sure he gets one of two of the following drugs : SEROQUEL,LATUDA, ABILIFY, RISPERIDONE, CLOSAPINE, ZYPERQ, RISPERDOLE,. He shows all the classic text book symptoms of a very serious neurological disease, these meds will make sure he is no danger to himself or the community.

    1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

      Considering the number of illnesses that can overlap I'd suggest a thorough exam first but certainly that man needs treated ASAP. He's clearly lost his mind for some reason or another.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Only in America this happens What a waste of sex toys and money.Sounds like racism to me we will publish names and addresses.Surley that's illegal it would be here in the UK And I personally don't believe in witches.How does he know a witch.? We all have our beliefs so why does the monastery publish good news instead of bad all the time.Apologies to our brothers and sisters.Lets have good news for once Not who does what to whom.Not every one is bad.Lets see what good our fellow ministers do for a change

    1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

      Not racism. Look up the definition. It might, maybe, fall into religious discrimination... on a stretch. However what he's doing is much worse. He's promoting hate and violence towards people who he doesn't believe fit into his church, his community or humanity at all. Now he might have a say in telling certain people to leave his church as the pastor, but he has no right to be pointing out or discriminating against other people for their beliefs and practices. He got what he asked for by throwing the first punch.

  1. Keith Allen Steele Eash's Avatar Keith Allen Steele Eash

    The stupidity of most of these comments defending demonology and witchcraft is disgusting. This is whyvthr world is a mess. People don't know the Bible and what God denounces. Or the book burning that took place in One of Paul's letters where they burnt their religious demonic books and images. As Christians we are called to spiritual warfare. There is only one salvation and that is through Jesus Christ

    1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

      Nope. That’s religion, and religion is a madness that’s been plaguing people who have no interest in the politics surrounding “Christ.” Destroying what you refuse to understand doesn’t make you holy. It just makes you out to be a willfully ignorant bully. Goddess bless your heart. ☮️♥️☮️♥️

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        I’m curious as to which goddess you are referencing here Robert?

        🦁❤️

        1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

          🦁❤️,

          There are so many Goddesses to choose from. I’m torn between The Furies or Inanna. There’s always Artemis or Hera. These proud Christian’s could use a lesson in humility that only the Goddesses could teach. So many cultures to draw from. An when I say blessing I mean kick in the pants, which can be humbling in their own right. To learn from such an experience is a blessing.

          1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

            Thank you for replying Robert. Do you have any demonstrable evidence any of those you list are actually real?

            🦁❤️

            1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

              Well, when A tornado rips through representative Joe Harding’s house in Florida, ya know the guy who authored the don’t say gay bill, I’d say there’s something to the demonstrable abilities of Mother Earth and her wrath. Or it’s just a crazy coincidence. (Maybe it’s DARPA 😜) I can’t no, I’m just a believer. On the one hand, I have secular views. On the other my sense of spirituality is Goddess driven. I think divinity, gods, goddesses, can be explained as living metaphors and living extensions of the human imagination. If you don’t believe them, cool. If you do. Also cool. Just don’t use them as a cudgel or excuse to be a dick. Something even I’m guilty of when I’m angry. Im human, and far from perfect, 🦁❤️

              1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

                Wonderful explanation. Thank you Robert.

                🦁♥️

      2. John Komorowski's Avatar John Komorowski

        I can understand what you say here, but I would not ask any "goddess" to send blessings to such a 'person.'

        1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

          Sometimes in order for a blessing to be enacted, a person has to go through a cursed situation and learn from it. I’ve been through a few.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Your form of Christianity is what's disgusting, Eash! And you won't hear me asking any goddess or god to bless any part of you. I only pray for good people, who deserve it. I might pray for you in other ways, but that's a secret.

      1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

        @Carl Bernard Elfstrom In your mind what is a "good person"? I doubt anyone would consider you a good Christian. Good Christians do not make threats. Followers of Jesus Christ forgive and have compassion for people, they don't threaten them.

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          Douglas Robert Spindler, I am nothing like a Christian, and never claimed to be one! I belong to a Pagan Religion called Wicca, and have been an initiated member of that for more than forty two years. I'm not even familiar with such a thing as a good Christian. As far as I can tell Christianity totally sucks! In my mind, I don't think there are any good or bad people, but some of us do try.

    3. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

      Not really. Pointing out where a pastor is breaking commandments very willfully and knowingly isn't defending anything. He crossed lines and should be pointed out for it.

      1. Rev. BH's Avatar Rev. BH

        Amen, sister.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    If it was me Lionheart, it would be the goddess queen of Hell!

    1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

      Which one? There’s a bunch. Hecate? Lilith? Persephone? Oh oh, Is she one of the underworld goddesses of Turtle Island?

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I could avoid those loud and aggressive persons Ehrman, but would rather put them in their rightful places, by being much louder and aggressive with them.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    The dull and ignorant do have their dull and ignorant stories Ehrman, but they aren't anything I ever care to listen to. Ehrman, I'm starting to think you and your silly poem are dull and ignorant too.

  1. Alan Diamond's Avatar Alan Diamond

    He’s very clever. His plan was to get free sex toys.

  1. Michael Barton's Avatar Michael Barton

    It's his brand to call them witches, when really, they're just spies or infiltrators that probably want to do him harm; one way or the other. He has free speech to say what he wants. If he's raising money off of it, then he's just doing it for the money. But if he does have a problem, he needs to kick everyone out that he feels are doing him wrong. You can't do great things when your enemies have the power to bring you down so easily.

    1. Rev. BH's Avatar Rev. BH

      Witches? Spies? Infiltrators? Such paranoia! They are probably just strong willed women he doesn't like, who find him a nutcase.

  1. JWH's Avatar JWH

    Part of putting yourself in the spotlight is being able to handle any negativity that will result from your actions. Radical ideas meet radical opposition. Whether he is right or wrong, he needs to be able to handle the negative responses he is going to receive from making big statements.

  1. Rev. BH's Avatar Rev. BH

    I agree with most of what you said, JWH, but "Whether he is right -- " about actual witches sitting there? Like with cauldrons, black cats and broomsticks? How else could he have identified them? X-Ray Specs?

  1. Pastor Charlene, Ph.D's Avatar Pastor Charlene, Ph.D

    I have learned through experience that Pastors are mortals, plain ordinary men and women. May I give you 2 examples please? The 2 last male Pastors I was working with in Church:

    The first Pastor was arrested for picking up a street hooker and paying her for services. He was arrested. He had several affairs one which was his secretary. The others...just females from the Church. He also stole funds from the Church. This was proven. He now Ministers on line.

    The 2nd Pastor with whom I was friendly with in the Church borrowed something from us, which cost us several hundred dollars, NEVER returned this item to us even though I asked him several times.

    Point taken? I love Jesus. I believe in him and what he says. I try every day to be as kind and loving and understanding as he was. Shocking why such unacceptable behavior eminates constantly from the Church. Breaks my heart. I became a Minister to help, to guide, to listen, to pray and to show honesty and faith to those who need help. I can't imagine how these Pastors sleep comfortably at night. I pray for their souls and that Jesus would touch them and show them the way. Amen.

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