And when the shoe is on the other foot?

I saw this post on Galina Krasskova’s blog that she linked to from her blog. Note, she did not write this and is, in fact quite appalled by it which is why she shared it to begin with. 

It reads like a declaration of war. Nothing quite so put together as the WWI German declaration of war on Russia, nor of France or England’s on Germany. This is what a fatwa from a radical Islamic cleric looks like dressed up in leftist clothing. This is what a Joel’s Army or a New Apostolic Reformation missive looks like dressed up in leftist clothing.

Saying “I’m not advocating starting fights, but I am telling you to be prepared to finish them.” is bullshit. If you are advocating going to someone’s space and disrupting their rituals, their communities, and/or their lives, you are advocating for starting a fight. If you are laying down a call on people, saying “But if you like to talk the talk of the warrior path, you better start walking the walk as well.” you’re asking for a fight. You do not call on warriors for a reason other than conflict. Keep in mind, though, that if you are calling on warriors you are giving your opponents equal reason to. Adding “Are you gonna stand by and let these assholes commit atrocities and spew hate in the name of your gods?” is a religious call to war. Advocating that folks “don’t play nice” when they do this is a call to guerrilla warfare in the name of the Gods.

1. Speak up. Is there a guy in your local coven, order, lodge, temple, etc. that is openly bigoted? Call him out on it. Put him on the spot. Humiliate him in front of his superiors. Collect receipts, send screenshots and videos of his bullshit to his superiors…send it to those superiors’ superiors. If they do nothing call the whole organization out. Blast it all over the internet. The occult world is small, the backlash will be swift.

When I first read this, the first point actually seemed fairly benign until I really considered it. Let’s say that the bigot you want to target isn’t a guy, not that the gender should matter here. Let’s make this person a woman. Now, you’re advocating for humiliating her in front of her superiors. Collecting receipts, sending screenshots and videos to her superiors. Gosh. This sounds positively threatening. That is because it is. This is advocating for stalking, harassment, theft, and bullying.

2. Trap them. Catch them doing or saying something illegal and record it. Anonymously notify the correct authorities. If he’s racist he’s probably also a raging misogynist, here is a pretty high percent chance he beats women. Bust him for that.

The second point is advocating for people to do the job of the police as well as illegally record another person in violation of their rights.

3. Sabotage. Sabotage everything. Their protests, their social events, their rituals…their relationships. Sabotage them physically, sabotage them magically. Block them at protests. Blast distractingly loud noises in the vicinity of their rituals. Curse them liberally.

If the first two points were advocating for stalking, harassment, and bullying, this is certainly asking for war. It says it right there in black and white: “Sabotage them physically, sabotage them magically.” To sabotage is to “Deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage”.

Religious warfare is being openly called for. It is being called for physically and it is being called for magically. Calling for the physical and magical sabotage of people is an act of war.

4. Vote with your dollar. When people pulled their financial support from the Atlanta LHP conference via vowing not to go and through speakers dropping out, they were eventually forced to drop Augustus Invictus. That’s the power of peer pressure…and money. Pressure conferences. Pressure publishers. Let them know that they are condoning hate groups. Tell publishers and conferences that you want to see more diversity. Openly support and promote occultists and witches of color.

Boycotting is an old tactic that does not directly threaten the rights or well-being of a person, and can effectively make change. However, rather than simply going right to pressure, I would inform. A festival may have no notion the person they signed up is a widely-known racist, or that the band whose page seemed so cool and edgy and will attract a good crowd are actually a band well-known for its racism. If they refuse to act on the information I would then take the next step and inform others that, yes, you informed the festival or people in question and they are doing nothing with it. That said, negativity is relatively easy. Being positive and openly supporting and promoting folks is not.

If you are voting with your dollar and want more diversity, putting your dollars towards that and encouraging others to do the same would be the way I go for it. Hell, look at how successful GoFundMe and similar campaigns work. Do they shit on other folks, venues, etc. for donation? No, they put forward what they are about, encourage folks to spread the word, and do whatever it is they promised when the call was put out. If you are going to call for diversity follow through on it.

5. Learn a martial art/self-defence. Neo-Nazis are violent, if you are able-bodied consider learning how to defend yourself and your friends. Offer to work security for #BlackLivesMatter and other activist events. Use your power of privilege for good.

Alone, this would be solid advice. In this context? Whether or not Neo-Nazis are violent is not the issue here. The people advocating for these actions are advocating for physical and spiritual sabotage, for war.

6. Get a weapon. Are you mentally stable enough to own a weapon? Do you live in an open-carry state? If so get a weapon. I don’t care if it’s a knife, a bat, a gun, or fucking nunchucks…as long as it’s legal in your state, carry it. Know how to use it. Your enemy does. Neo-Nazis love their guns. I hate guns, but I like not getting shot or raped. If you stand up for what is right it is likely that you will get death threats.

If you stalk, threaten, harass, and steal from people you are more likely to get attacked. If you physically or magically attack people you are likely to get attacked in kind. If you are advocating for people to learn martial arts and/or learn to wield a weapon, you are advocating for people to learn and be prepared to do violence. If you are telling warriors to step up, you are telling people to go to war. Your opposition would be within rights to do the same.

7. Educate the young ones. Kids raised in conservative, fundamentalist households don’t know any better. A teen raised in Asatru is like a teen raised in Christianity, they know no other way…show them. Lead by example. An 18 to 21 year old can still change their worldview. Young minds are malleable and they are the future, change that future for the better if you can.

This point is assuming a lack of education and exposure to other ideas. Assuming that people in conservative, fundamentalist households do not know any better (any better than what?) and assuming a superior stance on the part of one’s self, cause, etc. insults these peoples’ intelligence and ability to reason. If you are starting from the standpoint that your opposition is lacking in intellect or is ignorant of other ways, you have already shut down conversation. They may well know of other ways and actively reject them. This assumption is no different than a conservative fundamentalist person assuming liberals are without morals. This point dismisses all of Asatru as racist.

The assumption that the teenage Asatruar needs to be shown another way, that they need to be led out of their religion and/or their religious community, is poisonous to Asatru and potentially any religious or philosophical movement the would-be leader believes is wrong. It is convert-seeking rather than providing another viewpoint.

It is true that young minds are malleable and that they are the future. There is no guarantee that these would-be leaders from the left can do any better than those on the right. Those who lead poorly can do irreparable harm, especially at a time when young people are already having to deal with a lot of change.

If leftist Pagan and polytheists are advocating or are engaging in harassment, stalking, assaulting, and otherwise attacking the families and/or friends of these teens, how could they possibly appeal to these teens at the same time?

8. Radical organization. Do you have other occulty, witchy, pagany friends who want to help change this mess we’re in? Start a group! Practice all seven of the previously mentioned suggestions that you can, and practice them together. Be secretive, don’t use Facebook to connect. Speak in code. Write notes and burn them. Discuss your plans at secret rendezvous. Form a wolf pack and root out the fascist insects.

I noted above how other points read like guerrilla warfare. So does this.

Let’s put the other shoe on, shall we? When the right posts things like this the general reaction I read from the left is some variation of “See? They’re so afraid of being discovered that they’re going to talk in code and burn notes, meet in secret!” or sarcastic, insulting language. The “form a wolf pack” language would likely be denigrated, as would the “root out the fascist insects” language. It would be called dehumanizing because that is exactly what it is and what it does: it dehumanizes your opponents. When your opposition is no longer human, but now are insects, it is no loss to crush them. When you cast yourselves as wolves and your opponents as vermin or prey, you are just fulfilling the work of being a wolf pack. One of the things that the right gets picked on for a lot is code-switching and code-language or dog whistle tactics. It seems that, so long as you are going after people you have identified as racists, bigots, and fascists, all bets are off.

Keep in mind that you’re supposed to somehow do point 7 while being secretive. Secret means “Not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others” and secretive means “(Of a person or an organization) inclined to conceal feelings and intentions or not to disclose information”. They are advocating educating kids by being examples while also being secretive. To seek to change their worldview in secret. “Young minds are malleable and they are the future, change that future for the better if you can.” followed by “Speak in code. Write notes and burn them. Discuss your plans at secret rendezvous.”

Those notes I made above about guerrilla warfare? Also applicable here. Read those points again:

“2. Trap them.”

“3. Sabotage.”

“5. Learn a martial art/self-defence.”

“6. Get a weapon.”

In point 8: “Form a wolf pack and root out the fascist insects.”

These are calls for war. Be secretive about who you harass, stalk, or assault.

The left has lost the right to bitch about people getting CPLs or taking other steps for protection for “imagined fears” for them. This list of actions being advocated is a reason for anyone who might or does come into the cross-hairs of the Pagan or polytheist left and/or anti-fascists to be prepared to defend themselves physically and magically.

9. Take back the Punk and Metal scene. White supremacists have taken over folk metal and bastardized punk. Make music. Wonderful, witchy, aggressive, anti-fascist music. Be like Doro Pesch and use your music and your heritage to speak out against those committing atrocities in the name of your ancestors. If you don’t make music, support and promote anti-fascist and anti-racist music. Also, use the “anything goes” of the moshpit to get a few punches and kicks into your local skinheads at local shows.

I have no problem with folks making music. Please make music. Speak up and for the things you believe in, and the changes you want to see. Speak out against atrocities, speak out against hate and genocide. Support the music you enjoy if you cannot make it.

A person being a bigot or a racist does not give you license to hit them. I should not have to write that. If you’re going to a local show these people are probably your neighbors. Violence will not show them the error of their ways. Engaging them in dialogue might. Besides, you are also giving license to these guys to beat the hell out of you too using just as underhanded tactics. It puts to lie the author’s assertion “”I’m not advocating starting fights, but I am telling you to be prepared to finish them.” The people you target no longer have a reason to hold back; you’re clearly threatening to hurt them and those in their communities.

10. Take care of yourself. Fighting the good fight is emotionally and physically exhausting, and can even put you in physical danger. Do what you need to to keep yourself healthy and safe.

If you do these things you are putting yourself and anyone who joins you in danger. If you do these things you are intentionally instigating conflict, and enacting religious war upon other people. If you really mean what you say, then you are not just a danger to the racists and the bigots. You are a danger to anyone you label an enemy.

Let me be thoroughly clear to anyone who supports these things: what you want and what you are prepared to do is advocate for and fight in a religious war. You are calling for you and yours to engage in religious warfare. You are putting an absolute line in the sand with blood and souls.

Be sure this is a war you want. Be sure this is a war you are willing to do what you must to win. Be sure this is a war you can win.

Advertisements
  1. ganglerisgrove
    August 29, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Reblogged this on Gangleri's Grove and commented:
    A brilliant break down of the left’s declaration of war against traditional polytheists.

  2. heatherhavens
    August 30, 2016 at 12:35 am

    I initially thought the post analyzed here was a parody, because the language was so over-the-top and the logic so fallacious and self-contradictory. Sadly, I seem to have given the author far too much credit.

    • September 2, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      I really wish it was.

  3. August 30, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Speaking as someone who is both “the left” and “traditional polytheist”: I’ve updated my earlier blog post to link to your excellent analysis, Sarenth.

    I also think it’s hilarious that self-proclaimed anti-fascists are the people promoting this horror show of a strategy manual. They do know left fascism is a thing, and not a good thing, right?

  4. Fny
    August 30, 2016 at 1:50 am

    *facepalms*

    Yeah. This is ridiculous. And worse, it’s scary. I’ll link back to this for certain, more should read it. Thank you for posting it!

    • September 2, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you for reading it, and for the link back here.

  5. Ryan
    August 30, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Anyone dumb enough to harass me or mine because they think we’re fascists is going to get a major ear full, and then I’m going to alert the authorities.

  6. Dagan
    August 31, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    There is, in fact, a form of etiquette in the mosh pit. If you fail to follow it, you will probably get thrown out on your ass. Idiot.

    Also, this is why I only put serious energy/spoons into my own local group of people. Because that’s who really matters, in the final analysis.

  7. September 2, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    This looks much too similar to the sorts of things the Alt-Right does to women and people of color, such as the harassment campaign directed at Anita Sarkeesian and Leslie Jones. Now even mainstream media outlets are talking about this.

    I consider myself to be a liberal, but I think that it is a huge mistake for people on the left to stoop to the level of people on the extreme right like those from Breitbart, Stormfront, etc. And this post looks like something someone from the Alt-Right would post, but with the names switched around. So shame on you! If nothing else, you are trying to beat them at their own game. You don’t protest lack of gun control by openly carrying guns yourself. You don’t protest online harassment by harassing people online. You don’t fight for religious freedom by sabotaging other people’s religious events. On a purely tactical level, that’s just not going to work, even if you don’t care about the hypocrisy or ethics of it.

    Maybe what these people need to do is get off the internet and go GET A JOB doing something useful. When there was that shooting of police officers in Dallas, I loved how the Dallas police chief told people to apply to become police officers themselves if they want the police to change. I heard applications to the Dallas police department skyrocketed after that. And Dallas was already a city that has done a lot to reform its policing.

    Trump is losing. Racists and fascists are a loud but shrinking segment of American society. But that’s no thanks to folks like whoever wrote this silly declaration of war on polytheists. That’s due to people actually doing useful work to slowly but surely create a more just society. And the irony is this post criticizes liberals with “No more passive smug liberalism and snark.” Apparently no liberal has ever run for office, or started a non-profit organization, or lobbied Congress, or helped disadvantaged people in their communities, or done anything that would be considered “Action.”

    But being overly dramatic online is so much easier, isn’t it? It’s so much more fun to imagine yourself to be a warrior fighting an apocalyptic battle against evil, banging away at your keyboard like that. Doing things that actually make the world a better place is so much less glamorous and boring.

    Anyway, I wish Galina Krasskova would quit acting like guys like this represent “the left” by saying things like “the left’s war on traditional polytheism.” That’s unfair to those of us who are left-leaning politically but also traditional polytheists. I’ve been hearing from pretty much when I first became Heathen that you have to be a Republican or Libertarian if you are a Heathen, and I am sick of it. Polytheism should have room for all sorts of political ideologies. This is just as bad as when people act like Christians must be conservatives. I know some very liberal Christians who hate that.

    These guys represent “the left” like Milo Yiannopoulos represents “the right.” Don’t take the most extreme troublemakers on the internet and assume that represents an entire wing of the American political landscape. Most of “the left”, like most of the country in general, doesn’t even know modern polytheism exists, and is much too busy with other problems to even care.

    • September 2, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      The left does not get a pass any more than the right for their extremists. If, as a Northern Tradition Pagan and Heathen I am having to consistently speak up and out against racism then the left and right have to speak up and out against their extremists. They do not get a pass for this. I do not get to use “No True Scotsman” in regards to the racists in my midst and so, neither the left nor right get to disown their extremists.

      Before this kind of crap became the norm that I saw coming out of the left I very-much considered myself part of the left. Increasingly, because of incredibly strident stances taken by folks on the left, including these, I am finding myself fitting into the left far less day by day.

      “Doing things that actually make the world a better place is so much less glamorous and boring.”

      You won’t hear me argue there. Actually doing the work of community building is really, really hard work. Connecting with people and forming community bonds also requires a great deal of dedication.

  8. Shannon Warner
    September 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    And it’s very easy for it all to go sideways at the drop of a hat. I’ve been part of groups that lasted for a decade or more, and then suddenly imploded.

  9. Doug Freyburger
    September 4, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    So you think that anyone who opposes bigots is a leftist. What a load of nonsense. Racists are to be ejected on detection and it needs to be ensured they never in their lives have a good job. Racism is a choice and making it comes with the opposition from the entirety of mainstream western secular society not just some tiny fraction of the population who is Asatru-in-practice-not-politics, who is other heathen, who is other pagan.

    I’ve seen how inviting one skinhead to membership destroyed a long established Asatru kindred. Every skinhead admitted led to the exit of a quality heathen. Every skinhead brought another until their cancer drove out all the actual Asatru members leaving none but the bigots, haters and those who use religion as a front for their politics.

    If that sort of hate starts coming from the left I’ll oppose them equally and for the exact same reasons. So far I haven’t seen that happen in Asatru. They year isn’t over yet of course but so far so good. Still, if I see it I already know the plan of action.

    I’m with Woody Allen on how to deal with neos.

    Is the post cited over the top? Certainly. Because it’s personal. Don’t get personal with bigots for the exact same reason you don’t get personal in any other matter of principle. Principles aren’t personal.

    Don’t let bigots into your kindred. They are cancer. Don’t let bigots into your company at work for the same reason. They make a choice. Be sure that choice comes with consequences.

    Bigotry is NOT compatible with Asatru principles. “With half a loaf and a half a horn I found a friend.” It doesn’t say where that friend was from.

    • September 5, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      “So you think that anyone who opposes bigots is a leftist. What a load of nonsense.”

      You’re right, that is a load of nonsense. The writers of the piece I linked to self-identified as being left and/or antifascist aligned (the latter of which tends to be leftist or left-aligned itself). There’s plenty of room, politically, for folks on any part of the political spectrum to be against racism, bigotry, etc. These particular folks putting out this particular article that I was responding to are left and left-aligned. Therefore, my responses were made in that regard.

      “Racists are to be ejected on detection and it needs to be ensured they never in their lives have a good job.”

      This is fairly near-sighted. If a person grows up with racism in their household, and knows no other way of being, then ostracizing them only makes them cling to their in-groups that much tighter and spread their ways to those they run across. After all, the persecution narrative, backed up by actual persecution, is enticing to would-be recruits. Although far harder, I would advise that education and outreach are far better ways of moving racism out of the ranks, with ejection and ostracization being the last action when the person refuses to maintain good behavior and Gebo within a group.

      If someone came into a public ritual of mine they would usually get one, maybe two warnings on proper ritual protocol before they would be told to leave. This, of course depends on severity, the offense, and other factors. The only reason they might get one warning is because before ritual begins I am very clear on what the protocols are, especially if there are newcomers, and I have laid the values of what the group is about and its general conduct is already. That is, if someone has not read or paid attention to the protocols of the group and our ritual conduct prior to joining us, they will be made aware of their error, and if they continue, they will leave.

      If they stay and do well the rest of the ritual, they have learned and have done better because I, as host, extended them the opportunity, as guest, to do better and to learn. They will likely do better and have better cohesion with the group and with others from then on because I took the time to work with them. I have treated them well as a guest, and done well by the other guests to give them an opportunity to learn, either by example of what not to do, or through leadership in how to deal with a disruption or offense in ritual space. If they must be ejected, even in this I have done a service to the guest in question, as I have enforced the boundaries of my group, ritual space, and the boundaries of host and guest that exist between us. I have shown, through leadership, what decisive action looks like and what behavior is intolerable not merely through speech or written word, but through action.

      Therefore, I do not use ostracization as my go-to when dealing with racists. That is a powerful tool, and overusing it makes another in-group where those who were ostracized gather, and the infection of the ideas, bigotry, etc. you were hoping to excise from the community has another place to gather unhindered. If the long-term goal is to remove racism from among the ranks of Heathens a policy of ostracization only enables folks to gather in like-minded groups rather than by educated from the inside of a supportive and strong community that works with them rather than condemns them. The former is far easier and more tempting from an optics point of view. The latter is far harder and yet, can produce a great deal more opportunities for folks to do good in the long term.

      “Racism is a choice and making it comes with the opposition from the entirety of mainstream western secular society not just some tiny fraction of the population who is Asatru-in-practice-not-politics, who is other heathen, who is other pagan.”

      Racism is not necessarily a choice. Racism can be and often is taught to kids at a young age. It can be passed on. It is taught in subtle ways and overt. Racism, like redlining, can be government policy that continues to this day. Racism can be the build-up of prejudice in subtle ways, like the judgment of a person based on their skin color and choice of music. It can be subtle warnings that plant seeds of distrust, things like “Don’t trust those people” at a young age. There are plenty of folks who have the seeds of racism in them that, if they’re worked with, can choose to discard those seeds. Not everyone can or should have to guide someone through that, but I think that ostracization as the first choice of action is a poor one.

      Let’s look at when and why folks get involved in white supremacy movements. Although this page is located in Australia, I found this is a pretty good break-down of why folks get involved:
      A sense of alienation
      An experience of being wronged
      An experience of searching for an identity and life meaning
      Low esteem and feelings of self worth
      A need for protection, affiliation, revenge and retaliation

      I would also add in economic factors, as Pacific Standard magazine does, citing two Oxford Journal studies on the subject in the article linked.

      If these are the main reasons for why people look to and engage in white supremacy then merely throwing up our hands and throwing out those who might be racists and bigots when we encounter bigoted and/or racist language or action does not actually solve the problem. Rather, it makes it more likely these folks will seek out or encounter white supremacists and join them. We do need to keep firm boundaries for the safety of our communities and so it is understood that bigotry and racism are not acceptable. For those who are spreading hate, who are choosing to engage in hate and not do the work needed, yes, I think that ostracization is a reasonable action. We also need to keep firm boundaries on when things like ostracization and outlawry, or similar practices are used, lest they lose their efficacy.

      “I’ve seen how inviting one skinhead to membership destroyed a long established Asatru kindred. Every skinhead admitted led to the exit of a quality heathen. Every skinhead brought another until their cancer drove out all the actual Asatru members leaving none but the bigots, haters and those who use religion as a front for their politics.”

      Given your experiences with racist skinheads I can see why you feel as strongly as you do. However, saying ‘actual Asatru members’ gives an easy rise to a “No True Scotsmen” fallacy, one which is put to lie each time I look at the Heathen communities, since racists and bigots in our religions are clearly our problem.

      “Is the post cited over the top? Certainly. Because it’s personal. Don’t get personal with bigots for the exact same reason you don’t get personal in any other matter of principle. Principles aren’t personal.”

      The post is not just ‘over the top’. It is actively advocating for the same tactics that they accuse right-wing groups of taking. It is advocating for stalking, harassing, assault, and guerrilla warfare. It is advocating that this is a religious mission. Whether this post is personal or not, it advocates for clearly criminal means to accomplish the ends it seeks. It is actively advocating for children to be targeted for education. All of this done in secret. Why does the left and anti-fascist folks get a pass for advocating and engaging in this behavior?

      “Don’t let bigots into your kindred. They are cancer. Don’t let bigots into your company at work for the same reason. They make a choice. Be sure that choice comes with consequences.
      Bigotry is NOT compatible with Asatru principles. “With half a loaf and a half a horn I found a friend.” It doesn’t say where that friend was from.”

      Keep in mind I am not advocating we just simply fling open the doors of our kindreds and say “Welcome all racists!”. Expecting people to toe the line of behavior when they join a group is the right of the group. Expecting people to display respect where it expected it part of being part of a group. A very basic part. If a person will not follow the rules of a group it is on that group to expel them. However, I think that calling for ostracization of all bigots and racists in our midst leaves us no avenues for education, working with folks within their limitations, and allows for a lack of empathy, and may be actively working against our own interests.

      Now, if you have named an enemy, then surely Line 127 is applicable:
      “127. I rede thee, Loddfafnir! | and hear thou my rede,–
      Profit thou hast if thou hearest,
      Great thy gain if thou learnest:
      If evil thou knowest, | as evil proclaim it,
      And make no friendship with foes.”

      I question, though, making enemies too quick, and to be careful of who we call enemy, lest we do harm to who could be a guest, as from Line 135:
      “135. I rede thee, Loddfafnir! | and hear thou my rede,–
      Profit thou hast if thou hearest,
      Great thy gain if thou learnest:
      Curse not thy guest, | nor show him thy gate,
      Deal well with a man in want.”

      Earlier I noted from Pacific Standard that “a sense of alienation, an experience of being wronged, an experience of searching for an identity and life meaning, low esteem and feelings of self worth, and a need for protection, affiliation, revenge and retaliation” were among the reasons for why folks sought out and stayed within white supremacist groups. I think that, in many cases, these are ‘a man in want’ rather than an enemy outright. Rather than merely going right to declaring an enemy, I think it would do us a great deal of good to consider who we cast out and declare enemies, and who may be ‘a man in want’.

  10. Doug Freyburger
    September 5, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    “The writers of the piece I linked to self-identified as being left and/or antifascist aligned (the latter of which tends to be leftist or left-aligned itself).”

    Ever since I became Asatru in the 1980s we’ve had the problems of political extremists on both sides using Asatru as a front for their political agendas. GK currently is the best known on the left. She doesn’t get a pass for being an extremist lunatic on the left any more than racists get a pass.

    “If a person grows up with racism in their household, and knows no other way of being, then ostracizing them only makes them cling to their in-groups that much tighter and spread their ways to those they run across. After all, the persecution narrative, backed up by actual persecution, is enticing to would-be recruits. Although far harder, I would advise that education and outreach are far better ways of moving racism out of the ranks, with ejection and ostracization being the last action when the person refuses to maintain good behavior and Gebo within a group.”

    You are were I was in 1993. I tried your approach 1993 through 1999. Enough. I wish that you would learn from my experience but if you need to go down that road to learn it for yourself, that’s what you need to do.

    No one in western society fails to know racism is wrong, even if they are raised with it. Racism is *always* a choice even when raised with it. I saw a lot of the choice to get over it during my hitch in the military. Eventually the “Beat Army” signs on the wall at the squadron prevailed and we were all just blue.

    I’m okay if someone tries to not be a racist and occasionally screws up. I’m not okay if someone falsely burns away the spiritual underpinning of my religion to use it as a shield to protect their racism.

    I’ve gotten guff from both the right and left being near the center on the religion I show in my heathenry. I’m a part of western secular culture. I practice separation of church and state. I practice the freedom of religion that allows many to have higher religious fervor. Combined you would need to look me up to find my open political affiliation because it isn’t the driver for why I am here. Feel free to look me up and see if you decide I’m on the right or left in my politics.

    “Racism is not necessarily a choice.”

    I remember being in that state. It took 6 years of watching a kindred be killed by allowing racists in to give it up.

    One factor of Asatru is duty to the morally upright. Racism is wrong. We are all children of Ask and Embla and all descended from the sons of Rig. If raised wrong, it is the duty of each heathen to step up their game and correct their actions. Racism is a choice to not live up to their duty.

    “Racism can be and often is taught to kids at a young age.”

    Nearly all of us were raised Christian. Unless you attended group Blot and Sumble in diapers be clear that you are Asatru by choice. We chose Asatru and by the gods and goddesses we can chose to not be racist.

    “Let’s look at when and why folks get involved in white supremacy movements.”

    Irrelevant. They can go to Christian Identity churches and do that.

    “However, saying ‘actual Asatru members’ gives an easy rise to a “No True Scotsmen” fallacy, one which is put to lie each time I look at the Heathen communities, since racists and bigots in our religions are clearly our problem.”

    Both the right and left extremists are real and our problem. They depict themselves as heathen. We should not cop out calling them not our problem. There is a definitional issue that cuts both directions, however.

    In Christianity it is defined that if you say you are Christian, you are. Because the majority of the population is Christian they will think that anyone who says they are Asatru, they are. We need to deal with our extremists on either end of the spectrum as if the majority of the population will identify them as Asatru because they say so. Our extremists are real and they are our real problem. This is why wishy-washy mission statements are pointless. We need to openly eject and challenge our extremists.

    But Asatru isn’t like Christianity. We are our actions not our beliefs. Asatru actually is something and no one can be Asatru just by saying so. Asatru comes from words that mean loyal to the Aesir, Vanir and allied wights. You can’t be hostile to our deities by following the rules of an alien system and be Asatru. People who use Asatru as a religious freedom shield to cover their repugnant political agendas on either extreme really aren’t Asatru. We do need to understand this at the same time that outsiders don’t. It’s an educational challenge. We need to define ourselves by what our ways and principles are not by what we oppose. This is why clear mission statements are crucial.

    Notice the contradiction when it comes the internal and the external.

    “It is actively advocating for the same tactics that they accuse right-wing groups of taking. It is advocating for stalking, harassing, assault, and guerrilla warfare. It is advocating that this is a religious mission. Whether this post is personal or not, it advocates for clearly criminal means to accomplish the ends it seeks. It is actively advocating for children to be targeted for education. All of this done in secret. Why does the left and anti-fascist folks get a pass for advocating and engaging in this behavior?”

    No pass. Extremists are our opponents without double standard.

    Never assume that someone is an extremist simply because they agree on one topic with one set of extremists. Back in the era of analog clocks we used to say “Even a broken clock is right twice a day” remembering the 12 hour dial of civilian analog clocks. In the military a broken clock is only right once per day.

    As an extremist GK goes much too far. To an extreme. Obviously given that she’s an extremist.

    “Now, if you have named an enemy, then surely Line 127 is applicable:
    “127. I rede thee, Loddfafnir! | and hear thou my rede,–
    Profit thou hast if thou hearest,
    Great thy gain if thou learnest:
    If evil thou knowest, | as evil proclaim it,
    And make no friendship with foes.””

    Also noticing that we are our deeds not our beliefs. I utterly reject any witch hunt claiming to find racist attitudes. Not the Asatru way. I mean racist actions.

    “I question, though, making enemies too quick, and to be careful of who we call enemy, lest we do harm to who could be a guest, as from Line 135:
    “135. I rede thee, Loddfafnir! | and hear thou my rede,–
    Profit thou hast if thou hearest,
    Great thy gain if thou learnest:
    Curse not thy guest, | nor show him thy gate,
    Deal well with a man in want.””

    Check. As I started this post you are now in the state I was in 1993. It took me 6 years to learn the futility of showing up and demonstrated to them how it is to act by our ancient principles. You still think racists are in want and they need to be educated.

    There is weal and woe in the world. Some people chose woe knowing it is wrong. Some people chose to be marginalized for their actions, knowing they will be ostracized for those actions.

    Asatru isn’t even about choosing weal over woe. One can be a bad heathen. Choosing the side that exterminated our kind in concentration camps is a completely different choice. In the 1930s we could say the majority didn’t know that Jews were taken to the camps because they had run out of heathens to send to the camps. No such excuse exists now. The choice to be a neo is the choice to be on the wrong side. To side with those who exterminated our kind in Germany and Austria in the 1930s and 1940s, who corrupted our holy symbols. To side with those who were far worse than just woe.

    “Earlier I noted from Pacific Standard that “a sense of alienation, an experience of being wronged, an experience of searching for an identity and life meaning, low esteem and feelings of self worth, and a need for protection, affiliation, revenge and retaliation” were among the reasons for why folks sought out and stayed within white supremacist groups. I think that, in many cases, these are ‘a man in want’ rather than an enemy outright. Rather than merely going right to declaring an enemy, I think it would do us a great deal of good to consider who we cast out and declare enemies, and who may be ‘a man in want’.”

    Hope springs eternal. Been there, done that. Lived the example for them.

    Conservative – Reads history to figure out what works and what fails, even if it goes against the emotional feelings.

    Liberal – Ignores history and goes with what feels good independent of what has worked or failed in the past.

    “If you’re not a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative when you’re old, you have no brain.”

    You’re young and still hopeful. I’m old and I’ve already done that and learned. Good for you at this stage of your life.

    My approach is simple, slow and effective. Eject on every level those who act racist. Push them to poorer neighborhoods and poorer lives. There their children will grow up in poor neighborhoods that are very mixed by necessity. As opposed to the children growing up right now in my more affluent neighborhood where everyone had the choice to move to our very mixed neighborhood.

    One way or the other, we have their next generation. It’s *over* on a big enough time scale. Not today. Not in a decade. Over in somewhere between a generation and a lifetime.

    I will be off line for a month or two. I won’t reply for a long time if you respond to this. I’m not ignoring you. I’m convalescing. Catch you on the other side of that.

    Hail Asgard!

    • September 5, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      “Ever since I became Asatru in the 1980s we’ve had the problems of political extremists on both sides using Asatru as a front for their political agendas. GK currently is the best known on the left. She doesn’t get a pass for being an extremist lunatic on the left any more than racists get a pass.”

      *laughs* Wait a minute, when did this become about Galina Krasskova? She didn’t write this post, she’s not BodaciousBanshee (the original writer of the post). Rather, she pointed this out as an example of left extremism. I’m exceptionally confused, especially as she is actually on a good deal of leftist Pagan/polytheist shit-lists.

      “You are were I was in 1993. I tried your approach 1993 through 1999. Enough. I wish that you would learn from my experience but if you need to go down that road to learn it for yourself, that’s what you need to do.”

      Fair enough. I don’t know your experience, though, and just saying “It just does not work” does not tell me anything. It shuts down conversation. You’re not sharing your experiences with what went wrong, or why you could not reach folks, or what their reactions were. Having read your comment you mentioned you are convalescing, so if it takes time to respond that’s fine. I hope you take care and recover well.

      Saying “No one in Western society fails to know racism is wrong” is a truism. Not everyone knows it. There are plenty of folks for whom life itself is an education out of racism. You even note that the signs on your wall at the squadron prevailed. It prevailed because you didn’t beat them, or hound them. You presented a united front with the mores and right action to take. That’s kind of my point in the not ostracizing people bit, and how education does work. Will it take care of the most extreme extremists? Hell no, but it will take care of a good majority of folks to present a united front within a group on this. As you note, it clearly worked in the military. I think this could work well in kindreds and the like, too.

      “I’m okay if someone tries to not be a racist and occasionally screws up. I’m not okay if someone falsely burns away the spiritual underpinning of my religion to use it as a shield to protect their racism.”

      I’m there with you. No argument there.

      “I’ve gotten guff from both the right and left being near the center on the religion I show in my heathenry. I’m a part of western secular culture. I practice separation of church and state. I practice the freedom of religion that allows many to have higher religious fervor. Combined you would need to look me up to find my open political affiliation because it isn’t the driver for why I am here. Feel free to look me up and see if you decide I’m on the right or left in my politics.”

      I’m in a state where I’m not entirely sure what the hell I am politically because of all this bitterness and extremity. I appreciate your invitation to get to know more.

      “I remember being in that state. It took 6 years of watching a kindred be killed by allowing racists in to give it up.”

      Our kindred has a very open, straightforward policy of non-discrimination for race, sexuality, gender, and so on. We’re tribal, in that to be part you need to be a polytheist, need to worship and respect the Gods, Ancestors, and vaettir, and that the bond we make here are real. We’re there for each other. We’re also selective about who becomes part of the kindred for many of the reasons you state here.

      “We are all children of Ask and Embla and all descended from the sons of Rig.”
      Agreed.

      “Irrelevant. They can go to Christian Identity churches and do that.”
      You’re not very clear on why you’re saying that the reasons for why folks stick with white supremacy is irrelevant. If the goal, as I put forward, is to help people stay away from white supremacy groups, then knowing why people go to them is actually pretty salient.

      “Both the right and left extremists are real and our problem. They depict themselves as heathen…People who use Asatru as a religious freedom shield to cover their repugnant political agendas on either extreme really aren’t Asatru.”

      From what I am reading you have a pretty big bias here towards the center and against the left and right. I am also curious what you mean by ‘an alien system’, since I have seen similar verbiage used in a lot of places and I want to be sure I understand you right.

      If Asatru is based on our action and not beliefs, then a person being left, right, or center politically ought not to matter so long as their actions are in alignment with being Asatru. If, as you indicate here, being left or right is against being Asatruar, then your own statement “We are our actions not our beliefs”. To say some variation of “We are our deeds” and then say “People who use Asatru as a religious freedom shield to cover their repugnant political agendas on either extreme really aren’t Asatru” makes no sense to me; if they are acting in accord with Asatru, then they would be Asatru by that simple measure.

      A statement along the lines of “We are our deeds” as a maxim is a statement of belief, one that states that we are measured and to be understood by what we do rather than only by what we believe. Were it otherwise then a person who is loyal to the Aesir, Vanir and allied wights could simply call themselves Asatru even if they were racist. Yet, you maintain that racism is against Asatru, and therefore, the beliefs a person associates with racism makes them unable to truthfully call themselves Asatruar. So at some point beliefs do matter and we cannot just be our deeds alone, we do in fact need to be sure that our beliefs and our deeds match up.

      As a point, I am not Asatruar. I am Heathen, but I identify as a Heathen in general and also as a Northern Tradition Pagan.

      “We do need to understand this at the same time that outsiders don’t. It’s an educational challenge. We need to define ourselves by what our ways and principles are not by what we oppose. This is why clear mission statements are crucial.”

      Agreed.

      “Never assume that someone is an extremist simply because they agree on one topic with one set of extremists. Back in the era of analog clocks we used to say “Even a broken clock is right twice a day” remembering the 12 hour dial of civilian analog clocks. In the military a broken clock is only right once per day.”

      I have more reason to suspect that those who agree that these tactics are acceptable are extremists than not.

      “As an extremist GK goes much too far. To an extreme. Obviously given that she’s an extremist.”

      Again, I want to know why Galina Krasskova is getting name-dropped as an extremist here when the only thing she did in her original post here was point out how completely extreme and wrong these tactics are. Quoting her:
      “apparently some people think i agree with this horse shit (the article linked below). I do not. I find these tactics repugnant. I posted to alert people as to the depths to which some will sink in order to silence free speech and to prevent our traditions from rooting and growing.”

      “Also noticing that we are our deeds not our beliefs. I utterly reject any witch hunt claiming to find racist attitudes. Not the Asatru way. I mean racist actions.”
      This is what I have been trying to get at. What do you mean when you write “racist actions”? At what point, in your measure, does it cross the line?

      “As I started this post you are now in the state I was in 1993. It took me 6 years to learn the futility of showing up and demonstrated to them how it is to act by our ancient principles. You still think racists are in want and they need to be educated.”

      I do not think that all racists are in want and need to be educated. I recognize that some are, and that some are not, and said as much in my response to you in a number of ways in my comment above. As I said, “Keep in mind I am not advocating we just simply fling open the doors of our kindreds and say “Welcome all racists!”. Expecting people to toe the line of behavior when they join a group is the right of the group.”

      I acknowledge clearly that “There is weal and woe in the world. Some people chose woe knowing it is wrong. Some people chose to be marginalized for their actions, knowing they will be ostracized for those actions.”

      “Hope springs eternal. Been there, done that. Lived the example for them.
      Conservative – Reads history to figure out what works and what fails, even if it goes against the emotional feelings.
      Liberal – Ignores history and goes with what feels good independent of what has worked or failed in the past.”

      *laughs* You sure are reading a lot into what I wrote there, and making some good amount of assumptions of your own to boot.

      All I have done is cautioned judgment made too soon on who is an enemy, since a lot of people are currently being vilified as racists with little to no substance to the claim. In other words, a lot of people are being accused and judged with a thoughtcrime they may never have committed, but to this crowd this means nothing. If you are suspected of being a racist, or if you identify a certain way, these tactics are being advocated for use against you. I utterly disagree with this. If indeed “We are our deeds” then it would seem to me that these folks jumping the gun and advocating for the silencing of others, for harassment, stalking, assault, and harm in other means to those they accuse of racism are in the wrong. Rather than being hopeful, I am asking for us to be careful on who we accuse of racism and fascism, especially because the ramifications for that accusation is that folks will take it upon themselves to do deep harm to others and their families for little more than supposition.

      “I will be off line for a month or two. I won’t reply for a long time if you respond to this. I’m not ignoring you. I’m convalescing. Catch you on the other side of that.
      Hail Asgard!”

      I hope you are well and take your time in recovery. Thanks for engaging with me here. Ves ðu heil!

      • Doug Freyburger
        September 6, 2016 at 12:40 pm

        “Wait a minute, when did this become about Galina Krasskova? She didn’t write this post,”

        I don’t track who are the extremists on the left I just know they are out there. I didn’t know she was quoting someone else in her post. GK is strange, that I knew. I had no idea of her politics. Separation of church and state stuff.

        “I don’t know your experience, though, and just saying “It just does not work” does not tell me anything. It shuts down conversation.”

        I watched the cancer kill a kindred. I urged the founder to not allow them in. As they replaced the quality members one by one I lived the example for them in the meetings, gradually seeing it more as an anthropology lesson than a kindred meeting. I attempted reason but you can’t reason with the insane. I set an example but people must chose to follow an example.

        “You even note that the signs on your wall at the squadron prevailed. It prevailed because you didn’t beat them, or hound them.”

        I’ve also watched former military folks revert the second they left the military. The military mandates against racism and everyone there signed up. I can’t simply demand that of civilians and have that demand work the same way. And I’ve done what I could to turn a few to the light.

        “I’m in a state where I’m not entirely sure what the hell I am politically because of all this bitterness and extremity. I appreciate your invitation to get to know more.”

        No modern meaning of race existed in ancient days. Norse, goth, saxon, welsh, irish, moor and so on were all races back then. And the ancients fought or traded with all.

        “Our kindred has a very open, straightforward policy of non-discrimination for race, sexuality, gender, and so on.”

        Say that up front and don’t admit any skin head. My advice. Eject on detection.

        “We’re tribal,”

        You mean you are attempting to reconstruct tribal approaches. The word means something in standard usage and no one is actually tribal in modern America. Tribes are kin bound, have physical isolation and such. Modern tribes are a fine goal. Glance at the summaries of the recent book titled “Tribe” about failings of modern western secular culture.

        “in that to be part you need to be a polytheist, need to worship and respect the Gods, Ancestors, and vaettir,”

        You are aware that mandating belief is an innovation by Jesus, right? No such mandate ever existed before him. Look up cultural Jew, ethnic Hindu, small boat Buddhist and so on. When our ancients encountered someone who did not believe they didn’t even mention that. What they mentioned is anyone who declined to participate in village ceremonies. It’s okay to be an atheist who views our stories as morality plays with fictional characters. We have such folks and they are fine. As a hard polytheist who has met a small number of deities I don’t get them, but I welcome them.

        “You’re not very clear on why you’re saying that the reasons for why folks stick with white supremacy is irrelevant.”

        Once the education attempt has been made and failed it’s time for action. No white supremacist fails to know that the price they pay to be in that goes stops when they leave. You don’t think that’s true, hope springing eternal from lack of working the topic I suggest.

        “From what I am reading you have a pretty big bias here towards the center and against the left and right.”

        The ideas of right and left did not exist at all in ancient times. They are modern politics. My bias is not against people who have modern politics. My bias is against extremists of any ilk who use the modern guarantee of religious freedom to shield their modern politics behind a front of reconstructed religion.

        I’m biased against specific stances in modern Asatru as well that aren’t political. The AFA style leadership (from the top) versus the Troth style leadership (by the elected). The Troth style individual membership (hybrid federal) versus the Alliance style membership by kindreds only (republic). Folks who are knee jerk anti-pagan without knowing the modern history of the 1970s. Folks who reject members of the lists of the Aesir. Folks who make binary the sides of the Odin-Surt conflict without the fluid allegiance changes and moral ambiguity. Several of those issues have fundies far out enough for me to consider them extremists without them being political.

        “I am also curious what you mean by ‘an alien system’, since I have seen similar verbiage used in a lot of places and I want to be sure I understand you right.”

        The Nazis tossed the 1930s heathen Wandervogel folks in camps to die then proceeded to coop our sacred symbols. To follow that system is alien and not to be tolerated. Deliberate replacement of what heathen is – As we described before.

        Some racists don’t make that leap. This makes them bad people and thus heathens who are bad. Drive them to poverty and we get their children because the poor have no choice but to grow up in racially mixed society.

        Some racists do make that leap. That makes them those who would toss us all into camps the minute they get the chance. They actively oppose our principles, our people, our holy ways. All with a veneer of our symbols. If they ever march, be there physically to oppose them. Strategy whether than means video cameras or bricks.

        “If Asatru is based on our action and not beliefs, then a person being left, right, or center politically ought not to matter so long as their actions are in alignment with being Asatru.”

        Yes. When that happens. I know outright communists who are well behaved at regional moots., not bringing their modern politics to heathen events. I’ve been to events where the totalitarians were well behaved. I’ve also been to events where ethnic jokes were told around the camp fires – Notice my description of the difference between a bad person who is a heathen and a person who twists heathenry above. Both to be addressed in different ways. We have criminal and racist heathens. Every religion has some bad people.

        “To say some variation of “We are our deeds” and then say “People who use Asatru as a religious freedom shield to cover their repugnant political agendas on either extreme really aren’t Asatru” makes no sense to me; if they are acting in accord with Asatru, then they would be Asatru by that simple measure.”

        Then explain how a neo-Nazi act in accord with our ways, with no excuses of historical ignorance that the original Nazis corrupted our sacred symbols and independent of historical ignorance that the original Nazis exterminated our predecessors. Being explicit that some political extremists do not bring their ways to our gatherings because they follow separation of church and state.

        “A statement along the lines of “We are our deeds” as a maxim is a statement of belief, one that states that we are measured and to be understood by what we do rather than only by what we believe. Were it otherwise then a person who is loyal to the Aesir, Vanir and allied wights could simply call themselves Asatru even if they were racist.”

        Exactly. A person who acts loyal is Asatru even if they are racist. They are morally bankrupt Asatru in that case.

        “Yet, you maintain that racism is against Asatru, and therefore, the beliefs a person associates with racism makes them unable to truthfully call themselves Asatruar. So at some point beliefs do matter and we cannot just be our deeds alone, we do in fact need to be sure that our beliefs and our deeds match up.”

        Beliefs matter when they turn to action. Think racists but be careful to cover it with a veneer of modern behavior and your deeds are good. I know people of the generation before me who broke the cycle and produced non-racist kids.

        “As a point, I am not Asatruar. I am Heathen, but I identify as a Heathen in general and also as a Northern Tradition Pagan.”

        Semantics. You do not have to use a correct descriptive label if you do not want to. People chose to not use the word for all sorts of reasons not having to do with what the word means.

        “*laughs* You sure are reading a lot into what I wrote there, and making some good amount of assumptions of your own to boot.”

        Symmetry!

        “All I have done is cautioned judgment made too soon on who is an enemy, since a lot of people are currently being vilified as racists with little to no substance to the claim.”

        To many accusation equals guilt. Been there, seen that happen. Even non-extremists do it. Sigh/argh.

        “I hope you are well and take your time in recovery.”

        Medical procedure delayed from Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning so here I am with no energy to walk to the kitchen so here I sit typing. Tomorrow, the knife. If that schedule holds. Each day that knife gets more time critical. It will come a point I can’t stand up then it’s *then* schedule or not.

  11. Doug Freyburger
    September 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Back partially among the living, though now I have a part of a cow sown into my heart. Moo!

    Two issues tend to get conflated –

    In Asatru the Eddas teach that our entire species are kin and the sagas teach that our ancients raided and traded locally and remotely. They didn’t care about future ideas of race. It’s possible to be racist and Asatru. Being a member of a religion is no bar to being a bad person. We’ve got criminals as do all religions so of course we all have people with less extreme moral failings. Try teaching them and if that does not work eject them.

    Asatru is something specific. You can’t just say you are and have it be true. In particular the original Nazis wiped out the Wndervogel movement by killing the all in the camps. Then they stole our holy symbols and corrupted them. Modern neo-Nazis are racist but that isn’t there real issue. They are people who decided to join the enemy camp. Any claim they have to being Asatru is a lie. There are all sorts of issues from religions that do define you to be a member by saying so. There are all sorts of cop out issues with denying who these enemies are – They are NOT us. They are real. They are our problem. Try teaching them and if that does not work take bricks with you.

    • September 19, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Glad to hear you’re among the living!

      “Being a member of a religion is no bar to being a bad person.”
      *nods* Absolutely, which is why I’m very much against a “No True Scotsmen” defense/fallacy in regards to Asatru, Heathenry, the Northern Tradition, etc. We have to acknowledge that there are racist jackasses among us and not bury the problem, and I agree, try teaching and eject if it doesn’t work.

      As I am a tribalist Heathen and Northern Tradition Pagan, I absolutely agree here as well: “You can’t just say you are and have it be true.” This is where boundaries come into play, and this is both in terms of how we position ourselves through our words, whether written or verbal, and what we do, our actions. If we are our deeds, then our words need to be consistent with them.

      At the same time, I also recognize that optics is a big problem, as is the lack of gatekeepers as to who is or who is not Asatru. Now, what I am not saying is “Let’s elect an Asapope”, while also acknowledging that this also leaves a bit of a weakness in terms of gatekeeping, since anyone can claim to be Asatru, leaving it to Asatruar to walk that line of “This is Asatru, this is not” individually or by groups. Yet, if we recognize that there are Asatru that hold racist beliefs then that does make racism a problem to be dealt with within Asatru. It’s an issue without an easy resolution, and from my view at the end of the day the best thing to do is to be a living example, and if teaching does not work, as we agreed, eject the person or people from your group and explain to others why this behavior is unacceptable to you/the group.

  1. August 30, 2016 at 12:41 am
  2. August 30, 2016 at 12:57 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: