Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.

That’s it for now! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.

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  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    I heartily commend the diZerega column. Having for some time been bothered by the kind of Paganism that appeared in Europe between the world wars, I’m glad to see knowledgeable distinctions between the circumstances in which that Paganism versus ours arose.

  • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

    What “kind of Paganism” are you referring to? It is clear from Gus’ column that he doesn’t know anything about that period of history.

    All of the fascist movements that arose during the inter-war period were explicitly and enthusiastically Christian. These were mass movements in which tens of millions of people participated, and the vast majority of these people, including those in the highest leadership positions, were Christians. Among those millions there were some Pagans. There were also Jews. There were several Jews among the founders of the Dutch National Socialist Party, and there were Zionist fascists in Italy and elsewhere. Mistakes were made.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    The kind of Pagan that becomes Nazi.

    Your statement that Gus knows nothing of that period in history cannot be taken at face value because it implies that you know everything about it, a dubious proposition.

    Contrary to my usual approach on this blog, I urge other readers interested in this topic to peruse diZerega’s column despite Apuleius’s scorn.

  • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

    Most of what diZerega says in that column is vague to the point of being meaningless. And when he gets specific he gets it wrong.

    For example, he says that Jung was a “Nazi collaborator”. That’s not just wrong, it should be grounds for having his PhD in political science revoked.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    I don’t find diZ’s writing vague, but compressed. He’s trying to cover a lot of territory. I used to do, and later edit, compressed writing for a living; it’s called abstracting.

    Jung was a Nazi supporter. Calling him a collaborator may be too strong but it’s not absolutely wrong.

    DiZ’s discussion of the right-wing, nationalist frame of inter-War European Paganism, versus the left-wing, spiritual frame of post-War American Paganism, turns on some lights. That’s why European critics of Estonian nature religion are suspicious of incipient fascistic tendencies. If my memory serves, it was a Scandinavian sociologist whose inaccurate survey of American Paganism influenced the Southern Poverty Law Center getting off on the wrong track about us more than ten years ago. DiZerega’s writing may be imperfect but has explanatory value.

  • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

    If diZerega understands what “collaborator” means, then he is guilty of intentional deception. If he doesn’t even know what the word means, then he is guilty of misrepresenting himself as someone knowledgable about politics and history.

    I do not think diZerega is “compressing” his vast knowledge of interwar fascism. I think he has already told us (more than) everything he knows.

    Mattias Gardell (the Scandinavian scholar you mentioned) didn’t get the SPLC off on the wrong foot. It was much more the other way around. Gardell came to the US specifically to do research on the Christian Identity movement, but once he arrived here he was assured that Christian Identity was “old news” and that the smart money was on “Nazi Pagans” as the next big thing. Gardell isn’t specific about who convinced him of this, but when it came time to pimp the resulting book, “Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism”, the SPLC was all over it.

    The book itself is a pretty good source of information. I think Gardell is mostly right about the people and groups that he unambiguously identifies as racists, anti-semites, etc. But the overall narrative is highly misleading and just plain sensationalistic. However, Gardell is not nearly as bad as either Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke or Jeffrey Kaplan, who are both guilty of out-and-out anti-Pagan propaganda.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    Apuleius, we have run out of “reply” bars on this thread, meaning our little exchange has absorbed resources intended for a real discussion. If I have a reply to your latest I will start a new thread.

  • Merofled Ing

    Most supporters of fascism were Christians indeed, especially in Spain and in Italy, where the cooperation with the Church was not only strong but very explicit. In Germany, some of the rhetoric in the Nazi movement was superficially directed against the ‘old elites’. And it is important to note (as you pointed out in reply to Gus DiZerega) that many fascists were attracted to a romanticized idea of early medieval Christianity when supposedly everybody and everything had its firm god-given place in the universe with everybody being happy about it, not aspiring to anything else. This fantasy appeals both to the political and the volkish mindset of these people, being anti-liberal to the bone. (And thich means we should be careful about the Heidegger quotes Gus DiZerenga offers in one of his replies.)
    Having said that, I still believe it is important to investigate ties to fascism by Pagans (or would-be Pagans) in the thirties. They were few, but they concern me more than any Churches or religions I don’t identify with. I want to know where the lure and the pull was in Paganism then, simply to make sure none of that uncritically finds its way into present day practice or theory. (And of course, around here, finally to reclaim Norse symbols from the idiots and criminals still holding them here.) (As for Jung, I need some time to check that out, but I believe Gus DiZerenga does misread him.)

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    ” I want to know where the lure and the pull was in Paganism then”

    It doesn’t take much of a twist. Pagans hold the land as sacred; it’s a step to taking “this land” as sacred. Pagans believe people are a part of sacred nature; it’s a step to elevating “the people of this land” in particular. DiZerega’s frame is as good as any I’ve seen for explaining why Paganism went diffeent ways on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

  • S.Moore

    “he’s totally into numerology now” *Snerk*

    He seemed pretty good with numbers before….

  • Baruch Dreamstalker


    Our conversation has sharpened my memory of Gardell’s article in the SPLC publication. He was enourmously wrong, as I recall, on two counts. NOT the presence of racism in some branches of Paganism; that was already known to be a true bill.

    One was the extention of this to American Paganism in general, displaying an abysmal knowledge of its complexity.

    The other was a claim that Paganism in America had emerged in reaction against the liberal demands of Christianity. That was absurd, of course; if anything it’s the conservative demands of Christianity that impelled some to embrace Paganism. But you can see the assumptions based on European Paganism (as diZerega describes) biasing his interpretation of what he saw.

    He did lead SPLC astray because, aside from knowing about the existence of Nazi Pagans — part of their anti-hate-group beat — they didn’t know jack shit about American Paganism generally and simply absorbed the mistakes of their pet scholar.

  • http://egregores.wordpress.com Apuleius Platonicus

    Gardell has never written for the SPLC newsletter. He was interviewed in 2001 before he had finished “Gods of the Blood”. That interview (without a byline other than “Intelligence Report”, the name of the SPLC newsletter) ran under the title “The New Romantics”. Here’s a link: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2001/spring/the-new-romantics

    Then in 2003 Gardell’s name popped up again in a piece written by Mark Pitcavage titled “Reviving Paganism”:

    But the SPLC was already beating the “Nazi Pagan” drum before they had ever heard of Gardell. See their 1998 article “The New Barbarians”, which draws on Jeffrey Kaplan’s 1997 “Radical Religion in America”:

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    Thanks for the “New Barbarians” link. It doesn’t say anything stupid about Pagans in general, and even acknowledges early on that it’s only talking about 15% of Asatruer. It deals in what’s happening at the time it was written, not in sloppy, made-up origin myths. Its subject precedes Gardell but he introduced his objectionable content to the SPLC meme-stream.