Three Card Monte: Freikorp Version

So, McNallen has said some stuff again that people have taken issue with.

Initially, I debated saying anything about it because talking about McNallen’s verbal maelstroms is like talking about how wet the ocean is.  I know my opinions on the man, I know what his track record says about him, and I’ve put my thoughts up here on more than one occasion.  Bashing my head against their wall that is his fan base is just a waste of my time, the material that I and others have written about him hasn’t gone anywhere, and I just see address his actions as a waste of time more often than not.

Diet RacismHe’s not really going anywhere new, and he’s not doing anything worth talking about either.  He exists, occasionally saying something ridiculous that only people with bigoted baggage seem to buy or defend.  As such, I typically tune him in the same manner that I ignore “Diet Racist” family members at Thanksgiving dinner.

The situation at hand, however, is different.

I actually didn’t even hear anything about McNallen’s Freikorp nostalgia until after the he already made a stance about how he wouldn’t apologize for it.  Strange as this may sound, I don’t find the Freikorp statement all that shocking.  Considering the source, at least.  While history’s last record of the Freikorps is their connections with the Nazi party of World War II, their unabridged history is much more varied and complicated*.  So while no one could be blamed for thinking that “Freikorp” means “Nazis Who Were Worse Than Whatever The Average for Nazis Is”, invoking them doesn’t necessarily mean one is talking about the ones that willingly joined up with Adolf Hitler during the days before the Night of Long Knives.  It just usually does.

Which is exactly why I wasn’t surprised; one of McNallen’s most common rhetorical techniques is to say something controversial that directly connects to a racist ideology, a pro-bigotry organization, and/or general Nazi sympathizing…but do it via terms and ideas that have scholastic back doors from which to make an exit when things get dicey.  All of the racist street credit, without any of the main-steam accountability.

Link_to_the_daily_mail_that's_a_paddlin'

By the way, the Daily Mail isn’t exactly where you want to go for reliable news accounts.  It’s where you go if you want to blame minorities for stuff and see invasive pictures of famous people.

So yeah, this is all par for the course.  At this point, the formula is so predictable that one can track things with a checklist.  A link to an article that sensationalizes a very legitimate issue in such a way that it blames everything on the minority du jour?  Check.  Some reference to this military group or that philosophy which will almost immediately be associated with a racist opinion but has a way to make a superficial argument about how it actually isn’t a racist statement?  Check. Condensing attitudes in the response to anyone who disagrees?  Accusations of straw-men made with indignant  outrage, all while using plenty on his opponents and labeling any criticism as people obsessed with being politically correct?  Presenting his stance as one that couldn’t possibly be racist because of some time where he apparently supported some other group in a situation that doesn’t quite have a direct parallel to the situation he is talking about?  Check, check, and check.  It’s a linear process that I don’t even comment on anymore because I know that contrary statements are exactly what he is looking for…but that’s another story.

More on topic, everything was par for the course.  It wasn’t until we got to he reason for refusing to apologize that I needed to call foul.  The faux-outrage was what I came across first actually, and the problems within that handful of paragraphs pale in comparison to a faux-reference to the “I Can’t Believe They’re Not Stormtroopers”.  How he managed to write something MORE problematic than an endorsement for freelance Nazi militias,  I can’t begin to comprehend.  I’d be impressed if I wasn’t so disgusted.

SecondLet me make something clear; anyone who knows McNallen’s track record, behavior, and professed philosophies isn’t going to be expecting an apology unless they’re  stupidly optimistic, optimistically stubborn, or stubbornly stupid.  Anyone who does fall into one of those categories, however, would be demanding that apology because Stephen McNallen said something horrifyingly in favor of a famously pro-Nazi military organization.  It’s not because he said people in Germany should be able to defend themselves.  It’s not because he offended someone’s political sensibilities; it’s because he just romanticized a military organization whose last known incarnation signed up to work with the Nazi.

Seriously, let me spell this out plainly: suggesting that people taking issue with bringing up Nazi military groups must just hate people who are “too white” is a childish, pathetic, and cowardly attempt to shift blame.  It’s a straw-man, and nothing more.  No one currently taking umbrage with McNallen is seriously, genuinely suggesting that the sexual assault is something that can be circumstantially allowed because the victims were “too white” to be concerned about.

That’s before we come back around to ask what he even wanted the Freikorps to do, which is left disturbingly vague even after he defended his wistful desire to have them at hand.  Considering that, within the same breath, he labeled the Prime Minister of Germany a “traitor”, one could raise some very troubling and poignant questions.

Long Knives

Of course, that may just me being paranoid; I mean, he only referenced a collection of civilian military organizations who willingly signed up with Hitler and the Nazi party before the infamous “Night of Long Knives”.  And the reference was made before calling one of the most prominent political figures in Germany a traitor.  Sure would be silly for someone to read too much into that…**

Another troubling question I have is about why bring things up in this very problematic way.  If McNallen had stepped forward and made a statement how the German people’s agency and safety shouldn’t be comprised by  giving others political asylum?  I would have had no problem with that statement.  Hell, he could have even evoked expectation of hospitality and made it a perfectly Heathen-centric perspective.  Even if one disagreed with his conclusions, the statement would have been a far cry from provocative or problematic.  Demanding that police properly police a city where proper policing didn’t happen isn’t a controversial statement.  While I doubt the Daily Mail’s version of the story (because the Daily Mail has been caught exaggerating more than once), I think it’s obvious that something did happen and that the something was bad and that something should be done that prevents similar things from happening in the future.

The people who did the bad thing should be held accountable.  None of that is even slightly controversial.  He could have made an effort to unify people to address an issue that he saw.  The sort of thing that leaders are supposed to do.  No one seems to be questioning that.  People could get behind statements like that.If anyone actually, unironically is saying that the people in question are too white to worry about?

First

But uncontroversial, unifying statements don’t get you attention.  At least, not the attention McNallen seemed to want.  That would be why  he went for a dividing, Nazi-sympathizing, click-bait riddled, pocket-endorsement for street violence.

As I implied earlier, this isn’t about taking a stand against anything or anyone; it’s about making a reputation and getting attention. This controversy, in my opinion, was cultivated specifically so McNallen could make some sort of statement for white people.  He is castigating people for an argument that no one is making in order to dodge accountability for something horrible that he said; it’s about solidarity for White people.

Just please pay no attention to the romanticizing of Nazi militias that’s behind that curtain over there.  Only people who hate white people are going to look over there.

I guess what really blows my mind here is how stupid his statement is when you really think about it.  You see, I hang out with lots of the teaming masses that live within the horrifying depths of the social justice barracks.  Among these peers of mine I hear, on a consistent and unwavering basis, that sexual harassment is bad.  All of it.  In all cultures, in all circumstances, for all reasons, without exception.  It’s bad.  Done.  Print.  We’re finished here.  No rhetorical back doors.  No situational excuses.  It’s unacceptable for any reason.  No matter to whom, or whom they may be, or what the reasons are.  It’s bad.

 

McNallen asks for the return of “Stormtroopers Lite”…and then wants to have a fit when people call him out on that.  His comeback is to say that all these liberal people came out of the wood work to criticize him for…standing up for white people who don’t want to be raped?!  To quote one Benjamin “Yhatzee” Croshaw: “There is no middle finger big enough!

Middle FingerLet’s be uncomplicated and clear: Taharrush gamea is a bad thing.  I think using a big, scary sounding, foreign word to describe behavior that a lot of Americans call “Spring Break”*** is a bit dishonest mind you, but I’m certainly not going to quibble and suggest that playing rhetoric games makes it more acceptable somehow.  It’s wrong.  It’s bad.  Period.  Anyone suggesting otherwise is a fucking idiot.

On that note, anyone suggesting that McNallen taking the stance of “German people should be defended and able to defend themselves from danger” was the problem is also a fucking idiot.  The actual problem people just might have been that part where he could have easily said “Where are some militant Nazis when you need them?” and it wouldn’t have changed his sentence in the slightest.
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*Short version is that they (the Freikorp) were a cross between a mercenary company and a national guard.  That’s a pretty slap dash description of a collection of groups that have over 200 years of history in Europe, but it’ll suffice for our purposes.

**Yeah, I know; some of the Freikorps got targeted on the Night of Long Knives, and quite successfully at that (i.e. they were killed).  I don’t think those are the Freikorps he was talking about, however, and I have no reason to suspect so.  People who hang with the Odinic Rite and the Irminfolk and complain that people don’t care about white people have lost any benefit of even the most generous doubt when it comes to Nazi sympathizing.

***Just to be clear, that’s not me being permissive of sexually predatory behavior that has an anchor in a foreign culture, because that’s shit unacceptable on every parallel no matter where one happens to be.  What it actually is, however, is me me calling out my own culture for pretending that we’re somehow above that same shit when it happens on an annual basis and we collectively turn a blind eye.

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Heathens for Social Justice

HfSJAs some of you may or may not know, I used to be an administrator over at Heathens United Against Racism.  I am no longer there, because the powers that remain there have decided to stop practicing what they preach.

On the fan page, they’re terming it a “internal restructuring“.  This is an understatement akin to calling a raging inferno a “sudden reaction to molecular agitation”.

You all know me; I’m not prone to name calling, but I don’t shy away from demanding accountability either.  On that note, the people who are currently running HUAR are people who are refusing any sort of meaningful accountability or transparency when it comes to their actions.  Not to the bylaws they helped write and voted in.  Not to the communities that they claimed to care about.  Not to the religion that claim to practice.  Nothing.

What you, the reader, do with my opinion regarding HUAR is completely up to you.  For those curious?  It is my strong and firm suggestion that anyone who believes in social justice in any meaningful way, shape, or form shoukd have nothing to do with HUAR whatsoever.  They’re not interested in fighting the good fight; they just interested in talking about how racists are bad, without actually having to involve themselves in any meaningful way.

HUAR has gone from being a force trying to make positive, social change within the broader Heathen community as well as the world at large…to a social club for people who wish to voice toothless complaints about bigotry.

The truth is they aren’t what they say they are.  Not anymore, at least.  I was the only cisgendered, heterosexual, white male removed from my position.  Of the nine people kicked out, eight of them were either apart of the GLBTQ+ community, ethnically non-white, or both.  Make of that what you will…but I will tell you that I find it incredibly telling of HUAR’s current motivations and priorities.

If that sounds like something you want to deal with?  More power to you.  However, it’s important that everyone gets a fully informed perspective about the organizations they’re looking to align themselves with…and you’re not going to get an honest discussion about HUAR from the people who currently run it*.

The administrators kicked to the curb over this ordeal have started new projects, to pick up and continue to carry the torch that HUAR once held.  Loosing HUAR hasn’t destroyed us; it is out belief that the lack of us has destroyed HUAR.  In either case, look us up under “Heathens for Social Justice” and “The Yggdrasil Assembly“.

In either case, that’s it for HUAR.  Feel free to ask any (constructive) questions below that you may have regarding the matter; I’ll answer anything asked to the best of my ability.


*But don’t take my word for it!  If you want to know why HUAR does not deserve your trust, look to documentation that showcases the words of the current administration for yourself!

I have a face, and Vice.com has an article.

I’ll leave it to you to decide which one is the bigger mess.

Self deprecating humor aside, a Vlog has been something I’ve want to do for quite some time.  I didn’t have some of the right equipment and software however, and my real life has been busy as all get out….so it hadn’t been a high priority for quite some time.

Then Vice.com published an article so hideously poor in quality, that all denominations seem to be in agreement of how absolutely unprofessional the piece is.  The author, Rick Paulus*, has apparently made some really douchey tweets in response to the suggestion that maybe he should have a vague clue about a topic before writing an article about it**.

In short, the whole thing is just a wreck.

The problem is that some of this stuff has happened so fast and so quickly, it may be hard to decipher what’s going on.  So, here is a 15 minute overview that should cover the basics.  I don’t know how often I’ll use this, but it’s certainly possible that it’ll be easier to find time to record video and crop off the garbage then it is for me to sit down and write when my work schedule is what it is.


*He has a twitter…but I don’t want to give him the traffic.  You can Google him if you really want, but you’re not missing much.
**Mr. Paulus is apparently not a regular contributor to Vice.com and is a freelance writer.  Let me say that this makes it difficult to criticize him to a degree…because I’ve done freelance writing and it’s a freaking miserable job.  It sucks, and I’m usually VERY apt to take the author’s side in any sort of matter, because it’s a rough and thankless sort of gig.  So imagine how bad the quality has to be to say that I find it appalling both as a writer and as a Heathen….then realize it’s even worse than that.

White Pride, White Shame

TMIMITW - Click Bait

This one is going to be a serious one; buckle up. (I’ll try to be funnier next time)

There is a talking point that says being Anti-Racist is just a phrase to indicate that someone is, actually, Anti-White.  The conceit hidden within that statement is that White Pride must obviously be this super healthy thing to have.  It’s time we take this conceit head on, because there is a lot wrong with White Pride and how it functions in today’s society.  Usually, this is where someone opens up the connections with the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, and other White Supremacists groups.  They talk about the evil, violence, and terrorism these groups have committed (and continue to commit) against others, and how these are bad things.  They are of course, bad things, but that’s pretty well trodden ground; at this point, you’re either on board with how history has recorded these groups or you have some pet conspiracy theory in order to explain why these groups are just hateful sacks of malevolence.

Let us, however, take up the road less traveled in regards to this dialogue.  When it comes to the damage that White Pride has done to other cultures and races, opinions are already firmly entrenched.  How many have asked truly hard pressing questions about how good White Pride is for White People themselves?  I have seen very few good, hard, looks at this central conceit, divorced from the question of whom it hurts within other communities.  Some will address it, but usually as an afterthought or a post script to some greater issue.

Let’s take a moment to change that, shall we?  I think there are some very troubling thoughts with White Pride, with extremely negative implications for the people upholding the belief themselves, so it is high time we give this issue some air.  After all, Heathenry has no shortage of adherents who are proud of their “White Heritage”, and will loudly and angrily contest being any other way in regards to the topic.   This is where we have to dig a bit because, if you are proud of your “White Heritage”, I have to point out that you are wearing a form of shame on your sleeve.

There is no Whiteania, Whiteany, or Whiteland…and therein lies the problem.  So many people commit to apologia over “being proud of their ancestry”, yet they perch that precarious pride under a homogenous mass that cares nothing for the infinite diversity in infinite combinations of European ancestry that they so lauded mere moments before.

It doesn’t work; it is a flawed perspective from it’s very core.

European pride is a phrase that is…well, it is better….but it still suffers from that same homogenization of the infinitely separate.  It also makes no damn sense.  When France does something awesome, you can better be sure that Britain, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Sweden…probably don’t give much of a damn.  The favor, I suspect, is returned.  Europe, despite what some modern day pride-mongers would like to assert, is not “as One”.  It has never been one!  There have been hundreds of years of wars dotting every decade of European history, except those periods of time where they needed to stop killing each other so they could get back to making food and babies before they starved and depopulated themselves into oblivion.

For the sake of the Gods it’s not even one in a geographical sense!  The British Isles, as the name suggests, are islands.  You know, those things which are separate land masses by definition?  Sarcasm aside, it’s just another reason that this entire line of thinking is completely without substance or structure; anyone who wants to tell you that European pride is a thing is either trying to sell you something or has already been sold.

I am against White Pride, and I am thoroughly Anti-White…because I love my ancestors.  I have no hatred for my origins.  Quote the opposite, honestly.  I love my German heritage, and I love my Polish heritage, and I love my British Isles heritage…and whatever has been missed by record keepers?  I love that too.  I don’t love them because they are white, but because they are legitimately amazing irregardless of some superficial features.  I love my grandfather, the craftsmen and World War II veteran.   I love my grandmother who was a nurse, and her mother before her that taught loving kindness and acceptance even in the lowest lows of the depression.  I love my Great-Grandfather Sylvester, and my Great-Granduncle Ambrose…either/both of whom may have been spiritual workers themselves.  I love them, and all that came before them…even though I might not know the names or the deeds.

They aren’t worthy of that adoration because they’re white…and every time someone talks about being “proud of their White Ancestors”, they are putting a toxic and acidic graffiti on their heritage.  Suddenly the details that make our fore-bearers great are white washed (pun intended) into a hazy stew of bland uniformity.

Annoy A Liberal

You can’t possibly be annoying me enough with this nonsense to cover for the amount of damage you have to do to your own self esteem…

As I’ve been pondering this, I’ve been thinking of stories of my friends who talked about their European Grandfathers and Grandmothers….who tried not to speak their native languages, and tried not to teach the next generation as much about the land they were born in.  Why?  It, usually, is the same reason; cultural pressures to fit in with the dominant, American, culture.  White culture.  How many myths, practices, and traditions were sandblasted into dust by this “Whiteness”?   How many linguistic idiosyncrasies, ancestral triumphs, and familial holidays were lost forever because of “Whiteness”?  Because of this uniforming beast which demanded so much and gave nothing in return.

Too many.  I am not proud of that monster, and I will not celebrate my honored dead in it’s name.

Folkists are gonna read this and be pissed; good.  Think about what makes you angry.  Ask yourselves some damn hard questions, because I want you to explain to yourself how you can be proud of your ancestors for the color of their skin before you are proud of them as people.  There is little good that can be said for your self-esteem and self-worth when Whiteness is the preface to all other things, indicating that your identity is based on nothing you could have controlled, nothing you’ve ever done, and nothing that has any true meaning in any objective sense.

There are plenty of external racist connections of course; I have YET to see a group that loudly “celebrates” White Pride who also doesn’t engage in copious amounts of “criticism” in regards to People of Color.  You see, all that “I’m not a racist” talk is just bullshit the moment you have to shove that damnable “but” in as part of the preface.  It is never a disclaimer, but an alibi…one only accepted by others who deal in the same illogical refuse.  However…before we get into how nasty, vile, and hateful all of that stuff is, you need to realized that you are being vile and hateful against yourself first and foremost.  Your ancestry should matter to you regardless of the pigmentation of it’s members.

If anything I’ve said here bothers you…then you’ve only shown your own doubts.  No one who truly believes the philosophy is going to be shaken by my words here; they have found their truth and they are riding it as we speak.  If you are angry, however, it can only be because I’ve shaken your resolve some how.

Why do you think that is?

Cerebral Junk Drawer

Okay, so between the new job and a bad throat cold, I haven’t written anything.  So let’s fix that and chat about some stuff.


The new job is going quite well, and is more rewarding that I could have previously guessed.  The joke that I have been telling people is that, in retail and food service, I would wait on hundreds of people and have no idea what their problem is.  Now I work with a half-dozen people who have detailed logs about everything that is wrong with them, and this is a much easier way to go about my day.

That’s the joke I say.  The joke that I often keep to myself is that this is entirely true, and it speaks volumes about what is wrong about a large portion of the public. The joke is that there is no joke, merely a bizarre reality reflected via a fun house mirror.

Asking for “back-up” from Loki, Sigyn, and Eir was probably a wiser idea then I could have ever realized beforehand.  Meditation on them has given me the perspective to solve unusual problems with quick thinking, to show compassion and loyalty to those who have been discarded by society, and reminded me to keep an eye on the well being of the persons who I am helping.  I feel very blessed to have even found this career path in the first placed, and even more blessed that this is how I am able to make a living.


I recently discovered a neo-nazi, white supremacist soap maker.  This struck me as a bit of a bizarre incongruity, but then I recalled that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian painter…so maybe hypocritical surrealism is a Nazi prerequisite.

In either case, it gave me quite a chuckle.

Listen, I can’t make anyone change their philosophies…but when you make vanity products out of tropical fruit your ancestors never even saw, much less used, all the while complaining about “Cultural Marxism”?  You look like an absolute idiot, filling the air with a cloying insincerity and xenophobia. Either that, or you look a hate filled bigot who doesn’t understand how biomes work.

In either case, you’re a tool.


Every now and again, I see someone had something to say about something I’ve written.  It always reaches me third hand, and it’s always off in some corner of the internet that I never go to.  Most recently, someone suggested that my views on racism indicated that I probably had a “pineapple up my ass”.

In case that person is worried, I’ve checked my ass for tropical fruit on multiple occasions since I’ve seen that statement.  Happily, all examinations have come back worry free.  In all seriousness, you don’t have to like what I say.  However, when make little ad hominem quips, you are telling me two things.

1. That you need to talk about my opinions away from where I can meaningful respond to them, or even have a reasonable chance of seeing them because you either are unable to handle either conflict or criticism

2. You have nothing to say that meaningfully impact my statement…otherwise you would have said something useful instead of speculating upon the contents of my anus.

People saying this stuff aren’t worth responding to for the most part; I could seek out these trolls and give them the old semantic one-two punch of logic and critical thinking…or I could have a snack.  Or take a nap.  Or play with my daughters.  Or check for rectal-pineapples again.  Any of these things are more important then trying to explain to some keyboard warrior why they’re completely full of it.

However…if one of those detractors is reading?  I do have one thing to say…..thanks for the views, and come again.  You are one of 16,916 reasons (and counting!) that I write what I do, because without my readership I’d be just someone talking in some forgotten corner of a reddit forum with delusions of relevance.  Thank you for all of your support and encouragement.*


Heathens United Against Racism has taught me a few interesting things about what people.  One such lesson is that some people just want to have a little sticker on their shirt that says “not-racist!”. They don’t want to havve to do or say anything about racism in the process, which I find kind of weird.

Like us or hate us, we’re not being subtle about our purposes.  We are a largely Heathen group, and we try to act in a united fashion.  Accordingly, we are united against the various form of bigotry that exist within our religion and our culture, with racism being a particular point of concern.  It’s not like we named ourselves the Tallahassee Stamp Collecting and Juice Making Association; our name is pretty on point. 

Yet, on an at least weekly basis, someone posts something along the lines of “Well, I’m not a racist…but what are we spending all this time talking about racism?”.

I get that the word “against” has many different facets, but you’d think “talk about and present a stance against” would fit in most people’s day to day understanding of the word.

I know that I probably have some naysayers chuckling at this, but you can’t tell me you wouldn’t find it bizarre in any other context.  Imagine someone walked into a Kentucky Fried Chicken and acted confused that they couldn’t buy orders of string cheese, rice pilaf, and/or sushi.  Oh, they have no PROBLEM with fried chicken of course…but they don’t understand why everyone seems so fixated on it.

It’s hilarious when it’s not absolutely maddening.


On a somewhat related note, I do understand there is a difference between what I have termed Metafolkism and White Supremacy.  If you’ll forgive the subtle pun however, both groups make me equally leary because most of their rhetorical water ends up being drawn from the same well.

When you try to say you are not a hate group, but so much of your material was written by hate groups?  You can’t really get confused when people respond with a lack of good faith.


On the to do list it to write an article about Sumble and having non-Heathens present at the event.

I’ve heard some people make the compairison between Sumble and Communion,  and explain that’s why they think one cannot attend a sumble in a meaningul manner unless one is Heathen themselves, but I think that is missing the point pretty hard.

There is no need for absolution in Heathenry, and our sacredness is not defined by any stance that even feigns recognition of concepts akin to original sin.  Communion is incompareable with Sumble because the rituals embrace radically different conceits.

It’s a more complicated topic then I can go into at the moment, and I need to do some research on Communion, but I’m looking forward to writing it.


The holidays are largely over, I have a decent phone with good internet service, I have a bluetooth keyboard, and life is calming down. Hopefully, this will make it easier for me to write on a regular basis again. Time will tell.


*Sometimes, all you have is your smile and your middle finger

Soft-Racism, Meta-Folkism, and Heathenry

M

Grab a seat folks; this one is NOT a quick read.

Jon Stewart once quipped that “…we have made enormous progress in teaching everyone that racism is bad.  Where we seemed to have dropped the ball is in teaching people what racism is…”.  While Stewart was making light of the news of the day (and a bunch of KKK members who were trying to say they weren’t racist with a strait face), it’s my opinion that he touched on something important; many in society seem to be unable to see what racism actually is, even as they’ll state that they want nothing to do with it.

Which doesn’t work because you can’t denounce that which you cannot identify.  For all of our collective distaste for Klansmen, Neo-Nazis, and vocal bigotry, we seem to have missed the fact that racism is more than such idiocy.    Oh, that idiocy is part of the problem…but they’re only the smallest part.  Vocal, abrasive, and violent, but still relatively few in number.  Today, I’m going to be talking about some of the subtler influences, and why some people object to them as loudly as they do.

If we are going to meaningfully talk about how this problem manifests with the Heathen religion, however, we first need to identify what it is, where it comes from, and how those beliefs are codified.  For the most part, I see the majority of soft-racist ideology being born from a fusion of Folkish philosophy and the theories purposed by Metagenetics as written by Stephen McNallen.*

I am going to state this now so there is no confusion or misunderstanding; I am in no way saying or implying that  everyone who identifies themselves as a “Folkish Heathen” is a racist.  Certainly there are some who fit that description, but words like “Folkish”, “Universalist”, “Tribalist”, and “Lokean” have no firm definition.  When it comes to “Folkish” there is a huge degree of variance; in one conversation it’s used to talk about White supremacy organizations…the next it’ll be used to talk about ancestor worship, regardless of culture.  Now, I will say that the vast majority of people who utilize racist practices also describe themselves as Folkish, which definitely contributes to the confusion here.  So we need to split those who are Folkish and reject a racist interpretation from those who are advocating one if we wish to talk about the issue with clarity.

Where I believe the racist side of Heathenry starts, and perhaps even ends, is with the aforementioned Metagenetics.  The stances that the document contains often form up the back bone of many racialist and segregated stances.  So, for all intents and purposes we have a combination of a fixation upon ancestry, such that it trumps many other spiritual considerations, and the philosophical/theological mandates put forth in Metagenetics.  For simplicity’s sake, I have taken to calling this ideology “Meta-Folkism”.  When I use this term, I am only describing those who both embrace the descriptor of “Folkish” and combine it with the segregated stances which Metagenetics advocates.

So now that we have explained what we are and are not talking about, lets address the potential and obvious elephants in the rooms.  In the process, we’ll uncover a lot of the problems at hand.

How is Meta-Folkism/Metagenetics inherently racist?  Metagenetics says that ethnic religions should only be practiced by people of that ethnicity…so isn’t that just religious equality and cultural awareness?  Wouldn’t the opposite be cultural appropriation, which is bad?

Metagenetics  states “that there are spiritual and metaphysical implications to heredity, and that we [Asatruar] are thus a religion not for all of humanity, but rather one that calls only its own.” and that “[Asatruar] are intimately tied up with the fate of our whole people, for Asatru is an expression of the soul of our race.”  This is the engine of the philosophy, and the entire document is written with the aim of proving these central conceits.  Metagenetics wants very desperately to present itself as a scientific document, and even calls itself out as a type of science.  The problem is that what is expressed within that text doesn’t actually do anything of the sort.

It tries to use  the work three psychologists (Carl Jung, Timothy Leary, and Daniel Freedman), a Danish scientist studying reincarnation (Dr. Ian Stevenson), a Botanist/Parapsychologist (Dr. Joseph Banks Rhine), and a brain specialist (Dr. Jule-Nielson) in order to give the reader proof of it’s validity.  Putting to the side that some of the experts the author references are extremely questionable or represent the fringe of their accepted fields**, we also have a theory concerning genetics that doesn’t contain any reference to the findings of an actual geneticist.  The lack of such a reference or resource is crippling to the legitimacy of a theory which expresses opinions on how genetics and religion interact.; tangentially connected concepts and ideas from disparate fields can not fill in that sort of gap.  This weakness is compounded when you realize that the number of references that remain are few small in number.  You can’t make am compelling case for something like this with five pages, six sources, and a reference to a single myth from one tribe of Aboriginal Americans.

As such, Metagenetics being labeled as a scientific theory is inaccurate.  To be plain about it, it’s nothing more or less than a form of Unverified Personal Gnosis or UPG.  It represents nothing but the writer’s personal theories on the way that genetics and spirituality interact.  It is supported by sources that the writer agrees with, but is not contrasted against any research or studies that threatens its platform.  The document was not subjected to peer review, and doesn’t use research from the realm of study within which it is based to help prove it’s suppositions.  It’s just a spiritual informed philosophy, and nothing but.

Once we take it from science to philosophy, we can dig deeper into Metagenetics (and the Meta-Folkism it inspires) and start really looking at it’s fundamental problems.  It posits that meaningful religious practice is not only improved by genetic similarity, but that it is outright required.  If we look in the World English Dictionary, we see that one of the definitions of racism is “the belief that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others “.  Intrinsic superiority can be situational, and such superiority is a core element within Meta-Folkish thought; those with certain genetic profiles have a right to Asatru, and those without them do not.

When some of us call Meta-Folkism and Metagenetics racist, the literal definition of racism is on our side.  The moment you declare that you have the right to something and another person does not, and you claim that form of superiority based on your racial background, you’ve fallen into racism by definition.  I know that many Meta-Folkists say that it goes both ways; that those of predominantly European backgrounds have no business practicing spiritual traditions that are not the domain of their ancestors.  This would seem to level the playing field at first glance, but it fails on a very basic level.

It doesn’t matter if you bestow the same inequality to another ethnicity; separate but equal failed to be a good thing when it was applied to schools, bus seats, and restrooms in the segregated South.   In the history of the world, I doubt that anyone can come up with an example of when a contentious and problematic social model was improved by bringing a religious mandate into the picture.  Many try to defend this platform by bringing up the blood and heritage standards of the various Aboriginal American tribes…..forgetting that those standards were not established by the tribes themselves.  Contrary to popular understanding, they were imposed upon them by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  These standards are, to the best of my knowledge, not something that was requested by the Aboriginal Americans themselves.

Well, isn’t a racialist stance harmless as long as it is utilized without hatred?  Is it truly a problem as long as everyone has something for themselves?  I’m not going out and burning crosses or lynching people; those are the actions of “real” hate!

On the surface, racialist stances like Meta-Folkism can seem relatively benign; no one is advocating violence against anyone else. People say that, while the definition of racism is met, the spirit of hatred and spite is not.  Proclaiming a superior position within a given religion indicates no hate or antipathy when a similarly equal position is granted to another, and no one is trying to subjugate anyone to another person’s will.  Advocates of Meta-Folkism will say that this is the reason that claims of racism are completely blown out of proportion.

This can seem quite sensible, until you realize something very basic: these apologists are not the ones being denied anything.  It is very easy to rationalize  and pretend that a policy of soft-racism is somehow morally superior to one crafted from more bitter and aggressive emotions.  That blamelessness has a hard time standing tall, however, when you realize that you are passing judgement on people who are “different” and no one else.  You’re establishing equality almost as an afterthought; declaring something you didn’t want in the first place as something reserved for someone else.  Parallels to reservations for Aboriginal Americans should not go missed; it’s the same sort of thinking, simply keyed on a spiritual scale.

Equality means equal; it requires no counter balance to be achieved.  Human beings are not math equations, and putting an equal modifier on both sides doesn’t necessarily mean things become fair.  Religion, ethnicity, and ancestry are not zero sum games, and it’s somewhat insulting to see them displayed as such.

To bring the point home, I’ve seen people get irritated when European people suggest that American traditions are incorrect.  When people from Norway, Sweden, or Germany criticize American Heathens and their methods of practice, many take offense.  Well, with very little manipulation, we could use the standards of Metagenetics and Meta-Folkism to declare that they are not only right but they have the authority to supersede American Heathen ideals.  After all, their connection to the native folkway and culture of their spiritual ancestors is closer and more defined, thus making their interpretations more meaningful by the standards that Metagenetics sets forth.

Imagine that the superiority of their European perspective was codified into the Meta-Folkist perspective in the same way that heritage is right now,  That the options of American Heathens mattered less because they were not natively European.  Our spirituality judged by a matter of where we were born.  Now realize that this is what Meta-Folkism does to other people; it passes judgement on their spirituality of others based on the circumstances of a person’s birth.  If our Heathen cousins over in Europe demanded that American Heathens follow their example based on a philosophy similar to Metagenetics, I seriously doubt the reaction would be very different from the reaction of American Heathens who have been hurt by the Meta-Folkish narrative.

The American Meta-Folkish position would be no different in scale or scope than a European version of the same.  Again, we have a version of separate but equal and again it leaves us with a bad taste in our mouths.

If Metagenetics is UPG, and everyone has the right to their own UPG, isn’t it hypocritical to call Metagenetics bad?  It feels like Metagenetics/Meta-Folkism is getting judged here more than other philosophies; there are people who won’t bat at an eye at Godspouses***, but will rip Meta-Folkists a new one at the drop of a hat!  Why does this philosophy receive so much bile when all we are doing is worshiping in the way that feels right to us?

Everyone is entitled to their own spiritual viewpoint.  This is where it gets sticky because Meta-Folkism, if followed, gives people a platform to deny people the spiritual paths of their choice.  When used extremely harshly or conservatively, it can become the patriot missile of UPGs, one which exists more as a means to deny another than to achieve a goal for one’s own self.  Again, we have to bring up the parallel of native Europeans being able to dictate the terms of our own religion to us; I wouldn’t feel comfortable with others trying to force an unwanted authority figure on my faith, and I feel not better about doing the same to others.

UPGs become problematic when they attempt to extend, even in theory, beyond the boundaries of one’s own religious practice.  Say what ever you like about Godspouses; none of them have come up to me and told me who should and shouldn’t be at a Heathen gathering.  There has been no attempt to force me into a spiritual marriage of any kind.  Their UPG is their own…and all of the ones I have encountered have given the same respect to mine that they wish for theirs.  The reason I, personally, don’t have an issue with Godspouses is pretty much the same reason I do have one with Meta-Folkism; the Godspouses make no rules for other Heathens, whereas many Meta-Folkists try to establish a standard by which someone may or may not be barred from Heathen spiritual practices.

vanessa-williams-2-pngThis judgmental, canonizing approach to the segregation of religion gets more troublesome when one realizes that Meta-Folkism doesn’t obey it’s own rules. Many of these Meta-Folkish judgements are not based on blood; in every case I’ve heard of or seen, they’ve been based on skin tone and/or apparent racial background.  People are rejected based on what ethnicity they appear to be, and not by the ethnic background they are.  If you are asking why this matters, consider the following example.

This woman is the famous actress, Vanessa Williams….who is 40% European.  Meanwhile, this man is a hardcore white supremacist who recently found out he has a non-zero amount of Sub-Saharan African heritage.  Craig Cobb, the man in question, doesn’t look like he has enough Africian heritage to suggest a non-Caucasian great-grandparent.Craig-Cobb-2783840  Yet science says he does…and it helps us to illustrate a very important point.

While I don’t think Vanessa Williams will be beating a path down to a Meta-Folkish kindred’s door anytime soon, her heritage ensures her a place at any Sumble that is held with those conceits in mind.  Craig Cobb shows us that a lack of apparent melanin doesn’t indicate a lack of non-Caucasian influence.  How many great-Grandparents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts would it take until his skin tone changed?  I don’t know…and neither does any one else.

And once you realize that, it makes it impossible to look at Metagenetics without suspicion; to meaningfully use it as a philosophy is impossible without a blood test.  Period.  Yet when someone is rejected as a “Legitimate Heathen” on the grounds of their heritage, there is no such test that explains that opinion.  Any rejection is being done based on appearance, which we’ve just shown can have absolutely nothing to do with anything.  If this is a spiritual mandate which calls to people so strongly, how can they denigrate that mandate by playing so fast and loose with the rules that would shape it?

Honestly, I don’t think there is a right answer to such a question.

The watch words of so many who believe in Meta-Folkism is that “I have the right to worship with whomever I choose.”  That’s completely true, but when there is a visible pattern of who is and is not acceptable to worship with there is no amount of philosophy, spirituality, or gnosis that’s going to magically make it something other than what it is.  It’s still bigotry.  It’s still racism.

It’s really that simple.


*A discussion on racism in Heathenry is somewhat difficult (bordering on impossible) without talking about the AFA.  I am not going to even imply that it’s entire membership is racist, or that it is a hate group in the pattern of the aforementioned Nazis and Klansmen.  Regardless, the AFA has written and promoted a lot of the material that makes up the bulk of the “soft-racist” narrative.  No document more so than Metagenetics, in my opinion.  That document was written by Stephen McNallen and it’s posted on the AFA website.  I do not make a habit of attacking people because I think it’s not constructive; those few times where I have has been because it’s been something I have been unable to ignore due to the actions in question.  So let me make this clear: this is not an attack on the AFA in general or Stephen McNallen in particular.   It is a dissent against the philosophies he has espoused, written, and defended, not a statement in condemnation of his humanity or his soul.  I’ve never met nor spoken with the man, so I can’t say what I feel about him as a person.  I know what I feel about some of his ideas, and that is what I’m addressing.  Period.  If anyone within the AFA leadership would like to sit down and have a chat, via phone, internet, or in person, I am more than willing to “talk across the isle” if you are.  You can message me here or on my Facebook.

**It would be far beyond the scope of this article to weigh each of the individual sources Metagenetics utilizes, and to judge the applicability of their use.  However, some of them are open to some very simple examination.  Dr. Ian Stevenson’s reincarnation research is still highly contested, and had accusations of confirmation bias and similar mistakes in scholarly rigor; the accusations persist into the present day.  Dr. Rhine’s PhD was not in any actual form of science which studied human anatomy or psychology, and his Botany degree could be considered completely separate from his theories and ideas…all of which fell outside the realm of peer reviewed science.  Timothy Leary’s influence on various elements of counter culture was vast, but the scope of his theories were more metaphysical and philosophical than scientific.  Perhaps in the future, should there be interest, we will look at them all in detail.  For the moment, this quick analysis of sources should give the reader a sense of how ill suited some of the material is for a scientific theory.

***To be clear, I’m not passing judgement on Godspousery or on those who practice it; I’ve seen this parallel cited before in arguments, and I suspect many others have as well.  I bring it up not to malign anyone, but rather just to inform the discussion; many seem to see ancestry as something they can touch, where as the Gods aren’t…and that disconnect leaves some baffled at how people will accept one idea but refuse the other. 

Sorry to Disappoint, but There is No Conspiracy

Well, at least it's not  about jet trails...

Well, at least it’s not
about jet trails…

The events surrounding the victims in Kansas City* have yielded a lot of interesting perspectives and revelations within the Heathen community.  Some of us have banded together to display the true depth and content of the Heathen spirit, and have attempt to show those effected our compassion and support.  Some out there have chosen to play the victims in all of this and cast the various effort to work against racism as some sort of betrayal.  It speaks of the nature of such people that, less then a week after the crime was committed, they were out there trying to portray themselves as the victim in all of this.  Gods only know how that works, considering that they weren’t the ones with an aspiring mass murder firing off rounds in their backyards, but we can only play the cards we’re dealt I guess.

I’d link to examples of such paranoia, but I don’t want to give that sort of nonsense any traffic.  The short version is that some of us are reaching out to various organizations (such as the Southern Poverty Law Center) and are trying to explain the differences between racist and non-racist Heathenry, and some people view this as some sort of treacherous effort to attack Folkism, Conservative Heathen Values, and a host of other imagined targets.  The reasons for these presumptions are left unspoken, which is a pretty good sign that it’s entirely made up.  Still, to quote Terry Pratchett, a lie can get around the world before the truth can get its boots on.

So let’s just cut to the chase here: no one is going on a witch hunt, turning in names, or anything like that.  Claims to the contrary are either fabrications or baseless rumors exclusively.  Even if we were, it’s not like you guys are trying to hide.  On that note…


Protip: If you are a white supremacist, racist, bigot worried about being turned in for something related to your hideous racism…maybe you shouldn’t post pro-racist nonsense on the most populated social networking websites in the  world! 


White Nationalism Snapshot

I guess all the people who post this nonsense are worried about the SPLC…while, at the same time, pretending that they don’t have the internet…

Seriously, all the people making up stories about the Universalist Thought Gestapo(c) are the same people with Facebook profiles that outright state everything they are worried about being turned in for.  Even if we were handing names over to some third party, the information we can get is the exact same information that everyone in the first world can find with a fucking Google search.  Some of these people and groups have their own freaking Wikipedia pages and publishing companies!  They have Twitter accounts where they write hateful messages of 144 character or less,  Tumblrs where they post racists memes, but somehow there is a fear that a third party is going to going to expose them in a way that they haven’t already done themselves**.

Imagine a drug dealer who has a Twitter profile named @ISellCocaineOn23rdandWashington.   He posts his prices on tumblr, and puts up photographed records of his favorite drug sales on Facebook.  His likes are filled with the names of famous drug dealers and street drugs, all of his favorite books are  about making drugs, and all of his favorite movies are documentaries about how to evade law enforcement agencies.  Now imagine this hypothetical drug dealer is paranoid about a DEA drug bust, even as he turns all of the incriminating information at his disposal into a matter of internet record on a daily basis.  The most amusing thing about this metaphor is where it doesn’t work; what @ISellCocaineOn23rdandWashington is doing is obviously and clearly illegal, whereas racism is protected by free speech.  The people I’m talking about are worried that they will be turned in for crimes that don’t even exist, yet they make the information that would condemn them of these non-existent crimes publicly available.

There is a reason that a lot of us have been laughing our asses off lately; the concerns of these people aren’t based in reality.  Even if the efforts to “turn them in” actually existed, there would be no where to turn them in to.  Seriously, calm the hell down; no one is coming for you.  Though, let me tell you, it gives me the giggles that there are whole lot of racists, bigots, and fascists scared that someone is going to come after them.  That’s like wolves worried about a sheep in wolves’ clothing.  It’s the kind of obscene hilarity that usually never escaped entities like The Far Side.  I mean, I know the truth is stranger than fiction, but I never expected it to be stranger than satire and parody!

You don't need to make the hats today, ladies and gentlemen; save the foil for your baked potatoes.

You don’t need to make the hats today, ladies and gentlemen; save the foil for your baked potatoes.

In either case, the idea of such a conspiracy to secretly hunt down suspected racists is pretty ridiculous.  Anyone who is actually worried about it either hasn’t truly thought it through*** or knows that it’s bullshit but has an investment in crafting a racist rallying point.  It couldn’t happen, even if we wanted it to do it, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either mentally sick, doesn’t understand what is going on, or is trying to sell you something.


*The English language is pretty much designed to focus on the attacker (active role) more than the one attacked (passive role)  Still I think that, when we refer to this incident, we should be focused on the circumstances of those in grief and mourning rather than the consequences justly incurred by the perpetrator.
**While I usually like to provide proof for my sentiments, you’ll have to Google these monsters yourself; I don’t want to give them the traffic and I certainly don’t want a link extending between my blog and their madness.  All I know is, with five minutes of searching, I found David Duke’s twitter.  His was the first name I entered, and the name was chosen more or less at random.  I entered bigoted terms into Tumblr and found dozens of profiles.  No one is suppressing the free speech of racists; if someone is attempting to do that, they’re doing a miserable job of it.
***If you have heard rumors about the anti-racists working to craft some sort of Folkish aimed witch hunt and are worried about things, you can stand down and relax.  I don’t know of anyone attempting such a thing, and neither do I want to.  If someone IS out there attempting to build a conspiracy like that…than they’re just as crazy and misguided as the bigots trying to create a boogyman out of their own nightmares and fever dreams.