Here we go here we go here we go
There is something metaphorically in the air at the moment, I keep stumbling across people who are defending clearly racist ideals, as not racist. I can not tell if they are embarrassed, deluded, or something else. But the most common one I come across is “Folkishness is not racist, its only a few people who spoil it for the rest of us).
So I am going to have to revisit the Folkish spiritual movement to see why this is utter shite, then look at some of their arguments.
The Völkisch (Folkish in English) movement (Völkische Bewegung in German) was a German ethnonationalist movement that began in the late 19th century, and lasted till about the end of the Nazi regime (to be fair it continued unabated in some places in a much-diminished way). Central to the movement was the idea of blood and soil (Blut und Boden). Blood and soil were in turn based around the idea of Volkskörper (the peoples body aka the body politic). The soil is where the nationalism enters the ethnonationalist ideology, and the blood is the ethno moiety of the word. In that the German people (that was expanded to the idea of Aryans being the supreme example of humanity).
When you talk about blood, you talk about heritability. You can’t get away from that nonsense in the early Folkish movement. I’m not going to go into the original movement beyond this, but will point out, that when you meet a Folkish Pagan, there is without a doubt, they ascribe to what was to come next.
Unsurprisingly things that the Nazi regime saw as good, were not seen to be so in the first few decades after the fall of the thousand-year Reich. But ideas don’t die that easily. Its why we have people believing the earth is flat, and that the universe is only a few 1000 years old.
In the 1960s there was an upswing in Neo-Nazism, and the invention of what some call Nazi Satanism. They adopted the old ideas of the Völkisch movement. This intersected with the Pagan movement, which for the most part was embracing the way of the Hippie, but also had some darker impulses, that lead us to where my s tory is going.
In the 1970s a lot of male pagans were beginning to feel very much disenfranchised by the pagan movement. The intersection with the Hippy sub culture, coupled with the Feminist political leanings of many members, and a general intolerance for certain behaviours, meant that if you were a racist, sexist, male, you really had no where to be a pagan. While I personally see that as an object lesson the the people who wanted to act that way, I also see how that would foster resentment.
From this feeling of resentment a couple of movements were born.
One would be what is called Wotanism (sometimes Odinism, thought this overlaps with some non-racist ideology and causes confusion). Wotanism is a rebirth of Ariosophy, something that the Nazi’s also practiced. But the modern incarnation took it further. Rather than incorporating occultism into the existing Christianity, they have substituted Odin/Wotan for Jehovah (“God”). They don’t want a Jewish Deity in their faith. There is a massive intersection with the Christian Identity movement here, which is essentially white power Christianity. These are the “good people” some politicians speak of.
Now we dip into the Folkish Heathen (and other Pagan, because make no mistake its not just Heathens who have this mental disorder) world. Also in the 1970sw (somewhat later in the decade) the early Heathen movement, had a branch that decided that their path should be limited to the white Europeans, preferably Germanic, and male. This was best examplifed by Stephen McNallen (who I’ve mentioned in previous blogs) and the organization which would become today’s Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA).
Lets move on to the idea that these groups hold central. The main one of interest here is the ideal of race. They hold that there are several different Races, and that these races have different physical characteristics, they also hold that spiritual paths of these races should be exclusive to these races. McNallen has given it a pseudo scientific name of MetaGenetics. He stated explicitly that your religious needs are coded in your genetic heritage. Which would thus imply that there were genes for religion, and mutations caused the new religions. Its an interesting, but ludicrous idea. Culture is not coded by DNA. The idea of physically distance races, while scientifically facetious, is ingrained in many. The idea is also known as Racialism. Racialism while not obliquely racist, intersects enough with racism, to be considered a gateway to it. Racism is the idea that of the supposed races, one is superior.
Thee long preamble ends. Now we return to the post that set this all off. I was a member of a Facebook Group called “Pagan Warriors of the Old Ways”. When I joined I was curious? Most of these groups end up as either fluff fests, or Folkish nests. Initially it was a mixture of both. I remained mostly quiet, as I was busy doing other things when on Social Media. But over the Weekend, it became apparent that this was now a group which embraced the Folkish ideal, with both fists. I’m not saying all members did, but many, including admins did. A friend of mine made a public post on his own wall about this, and well it went down hill from there. I include a screen shot of the post for reference (Figure 1). I got banned from the group, for not backing off the points I’ve made here, and will make going forward. If any of the members of this group wish to comment, I remind them, my blog is my blog, I reserve the right to not let them be abusive, oh and I also have comments filtered.
Figure 1: Post from Pagan Warriors of the old Ways.
I’m going to dissect the points of the post, and some comments made by people in the thread. I don’t have screenshots of everything, as I was banned.
- True being Folkish is not inherently racist, it is however exclusionary, and I’ve not seen a Folkish organization which is not racist. I’ve not met out of hundreds of folkish pagans, a non-racist one. I thus infer that it’s a moot point. The point about Christianity is a non sequitur as well. The equivalent group to Folkish Heathens in Christianity is the Christian Identity movement. Who are bigots. If you are going to use a group as a counter example, you must pick an equivalent one. Christianity I too large a group to compare to a small sect inside heathenry
- Folkish is indeed not exclusive to Heathenry, though its by far the biggest example. This is a again a non sequitur. It does not remove the assertion that Folkish groups are racist.
- Here Krystal Bailey misses the point. The very centre of the Folkish movement is that only certain races can practice certain spiritual paths. Its not something you can change and be Folkish. Its not some loudmouth on the internet, its dating back to the 19th century, and founding fathers like McNallen of their path who said this.
- The argument of “do we have racists sure but so do other groups) is an apologist move. She also uses the term creed not knowing that it is a system of religious belief (aka a religion or faith).
Down thread (and sadly I can not screen cap these) arguments about certain living cultures being exclusionary and this its ok were used. Missing the fact that the living cultures have excluded outsiders to stay alive, and not be taken over, stolen, or misappropriated by colonialists. They always hold the American First Nations up. With out understanding why groups like the Lakota have made statements. The modern pagan movement is not a living culture that’s fighting against an invasive colonial one. It is a reborn, reconstructed, and reimagined set of many faiths, that may or may not survive. There are absolutely no unbroken heathen faiths. So, to compare yourself to say the Lakota, is to once again abuse a living culture for your own needs. Not cool.
Now lets take a wee refresher in my DNA posts. To be part of a Folkish heathen group you have to pass as European, though more recently that means taking a DNA test to climb the ladder so to speak. So how would I go if I was a racist piece of shit wanting to join an exclusive group? Well I certainly physically pass as European. But my DNA tests would also probably be cool too.
IF we consider my Ancestry.com (the most common test people do if their database is to be believed) I am 99% European (and that 1% Bantu as I’ve shown has been flagged as Greek by other tests , and once as Polynesian, we’ve talked about why this is a result to not take too seriously, until more people from the African continent have been tested). That DNA test would make me a bit of a Unicorn, I’m almost completely west European (Figure 2)
Figure 2: Ancestry DNA results.
However its not quite as simple as that. I also have a shinny new report to wave about to get in the face of these racists. One of my favourite third party companies (genomelink.io) have branched out from genetic markers of physical taits and health, to other things, including a Deep dive into ancient ancestry. I got it free, as I am a lifetime member and early adopter. Go me (Figure 3)
Figure 3: Genomix.io ancestry report.
A little explanation. There are three (and I will list a fourth) main components which make up what we call European today. Yes I’ve talked about this in one of my last blogs, but I will recap.
- Steppe Pastoralists (aka the Indo-Europeans most likely)
- The First Farmers (probably from Anatolia, and at times identified as the IE peoples)
- The Hunter Gatherers.
- Other Ancient Humans including Neanderthals and Denisovians (about 1-2% of our ancestry). Sadly none of my current tests have looked for this. I want to rectify this for my own curiosity.
So, If one looks at my ancestry I’m ~90% European (adding together the bits and pieces of the three groups), 1% west African (or some other poorly represented group) 1% East Asian and 6% South Asian. Those last two are interesting to me. I would hazard a guess the East Asian might be an echo of the Mongol invasions? South Asian is interesting. It includes the whole of the Indian Subcontinent. I could with out more information wave my hands a lot, but there is an ethnic group from that area that is prevalent in Europe. The Romani (pejoratively Gypsy) people. Who came from the area about 1500 years ago, and while remaining ethnically quite distinct (ish) they have intermarried extensively. So using this set of measurements, I’m not quite the Unicorn I was, and contain a couple of “undesirable” groups in my ancestry. To different races even (the Negroid and Mongaloid if one has to use that old, racist taxonomy). Would my Gods not listen to me since I’m close to 10% non European? Would the 6% Romani be OK as they originated as Indo-European? I don’t think so, as the Nazi’s killed many Rom, as inferior pests.
Its funny, that these people who proclaim they want ethnic purity, don’t understand, culture is not race. Or that what we call race, was not something thousands of years ago either. Quite simply thousands of years ago, the racial groups these people wave around. The three components of the European “race” would have been considered different races using their standards. Meaning the European is a mongrel.
What about the beloved Hunter Gatherer they aspire to be like?
Firstly they breed with at least two different species (the Neanderthals and Denisovans (though most of that DNA does not seem to have survived in Europeans.)
Secondly the noble savage they thin of. Had dark skin. Yep they had lots of melanin, as well as hair not quite like ours, but they did have blue eyes. This very fact of darker skin can cause them to have a total fit. They see it as a leftist academic attack on their ancestors. Ignoring the fact, when analysed the hunter gather remains showed that the gene(s) for melanin expression, were of the sort for high levels. Meaning dark brown skins. Facts don’t change to fit belief boys and girls.