Intolerance v tolerance
As you will appreciate, I have used the Internet on occasions during this research. Ruth appears on several websites, most of which are complimentary and appreciative of her work both as a drama coach and within Y Plant Bran. However, I was shocked to discover several websites that included the following phrase: "One of the most famous post-Gardner claimants to 'hereditary' status was actress Ruth Wynn-Owen, who fooled many people for a very long time before being exposed." This statement first appeared in a long discourse by Julia Phillips at the Wiccan Conference in Canberra, 1991. (Wicca is an occult group that has no connection with Y Plant Bran); the other sites merely quote her words. Ms. Phillips made the pronouncement as if it was a statement of fact but there never was a moment of 'exposure'. Members of Y Pant Bran sought justification for her words from Ms. Phillips but she could give none, concluding meekly in a letter, "... all it can ever comes down to is a personal opinion of something which happened a fair while ago."
Y plant Bran is fundamentally a very tolerant tradition – Ruth herself wrote of those who held other beliefs, "why should I want to change them as long as they don’t insist theirs is the only way?" - so no further action has been taken. It is unfortunate that such a scurrilous and vitriolic 'opinion' continues to stigmatise someone who was never able to defend herself; Ruth at the time was terminally ill and died the following year.
Ruth was concerned about some of the more extreme groups. She warned those beginning to take an interest in the subject, "If in witchcraft you are ever asked to do anything that you consider nasty or wrong, then you can be sure that you have got in with a group that is not the real thing." Followers of Y Plant Bran have also been wary of people who falsely claim an association with them, realising that such claimants can sometimes taint what is really a very pure and wholesome doctrine, as the following Ethical Considerations of Y Plant Bran illustrate. These were sent to me by a colleague of Ruth's. I do not know if they are Ruth's words but they were definitely her beliefs.