Monday, February 8, 2016

New Corporate Address

The Troth has a new corporate mailing address!

The Troth
325 Chestnut Street
Suite 800
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Please keep this in mind when reading older publications.
Thank you!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The High Cost of Rhetoric


Stephen McNallen gives us the following question:
“Germany - that is the German people, not sellout traitors like Merkel - deserve our full support...Where are the Freikorps when we need them?”
I propose to answer this with a quick side step from rhetoric and dogma, and a little trip through fact. Now I was a soldier, which by definition means I am part of the clean up crew. What do we clean up? Failed states stuck cashing cheques written by men with bold words and colourful rhetoric that are paid in blood, suffering, horror, and most of all, waste.

The Freikorps that McNallen rhapsodizes about gave us much colourful history in the interwar years in Europe, Hitler’s failed Kapp Putch, and their street thugs and bully boys were the foot soldiers for the political machine that made the National Socialist Worker’s Party the answer to the Communist problem. All those right thinking folks had found a solution to the Communists, and when the Freikorps were done with Germany, a new power rose in Europe, and the Swastika which had been a sign of life and light would forever be a symbol of darkness and blood.

Freikorps then, and ethnic militia's in service to many causes today, do what governments cannot get caught publicly doing.  Attrocities.  Murder, arson, rape; all are tools of the ethnic militia to drive out, or wipe out those rival ethnicities they have targeted.  In Germany it began with the Night of Broken Glass, targeting homes and businesses of the German Jews, but we all know it didn't end there.

Ancient history. My grandfather and his generation put those monsters in the grave where they belonged and we swore never again. We meant it for about twenty years before we forgot the cost of rhetoric again and an old horror was free to live again.
Fast forward to Yugoslavia, the union of all the Slavs, a nation forged out of all those peoples littered across the Balkans by generations of invaders who used minority satraps to keep the locals in line. After a dozen invasions over as many centuries, it was a hodge podge of ethnic groups, similar to our own land in many ways in the level of its diversity, but different in that they remained largely self segregated into ethnic villages or towns. Yugoslavia was dying, Bosnia, Serbia and the other states to be were tearing themselves from the hide of the dying Yugoslavia.
What to do about those inconvenient ethnic enclaves inside what you are giving such stirring speeches about being the Serbian Heartland? What to do about the Muslim? The Albanian? Well you can’t use your troops to wipe them out or you will have to answer to the UN. Ah, but the Freikorps, the ethnic militia………they will defend the race.

Chosen method? Armed men slaughtering the unarmed, especially women and children, and leaving them dumped in mass graves. Ethnic cleansing; wiping out those odd coloured dots on the map of a racially pure territory.
The Serbs, Bosnians, Croats could all look at UN inspectors and say their troops did not do it, but their governments armed, supplied, and directed the activities of these groups to do the ethnic cleansing, the mass murder, the genocide done village by village that would have fit so perfectly into any sweep by Gestapo units in the bad old days of WWII.  Indeed, save for the fact the pictures this war are colour, the images of the starving victims as Belsen 1992 could easily have been taken in 1945.

We see similar groups in the Taliban, Isis, Hezbollah, and we see the tactics that such groups naturally employ. These are not soldiers operating under the rule of law, these are ethnic militia’s pursuing an agenda based on only one group (their own) having any human rights, and any an all actions taken in the service of that group are justified. The same tactics are being used right now by Russia as their ethnic Russian militias are waging a proxy war in the Ukraine.
There is no room for community, for reason, for acceptance. There is no room for diversity, for any form of personal freedom where that freedom fails to conform to both the perceived ethnic standard, and the obedience to the whim of the militia leadership who are operating without any constraint of law.
For an examination of what this looks like as a state, I suggest Syria, Somalia, Lebanon.
Take a good long look at what the end state of turning to the Freikorp and ethnic militias are, and then ask yourself if that is what you want for your community, for your nation, and for your family.
The rule of law is what separates us from the failed state. Our economy, our science, our culture, our great works and infrastructure, all these things owe their existence to one thing; the stability that comes from the rule of law. Our law is not perfect, and its enforcement is likewise imperfect. We struggle in every generation to move the balance the right way towards both justice and order, where freedom and security are balanced. Sometimes we get it more right than others.
It is imperfect, there will be people you do not like doing things you do not approve of. Freedom included freedom to wish it was legal to do things we have decided are wrong. As long as you keep wishing and refrain from doing, that is fine. The will of the people determines our laws, and limits the scope of our actions. Considering what some groups want to do, this is a necessary limitation. Again, we balance freedom to do what we choose, against freedom from having others do what they will to us. Some generations get the balance better than others.
Ethnic militias are not a good idea. They are not a new idea. They have a rich history of atrocity, of the corruption of the political system by mob violence. Such tactics go back in history to the classics, to the Demagogues of Athens, the street thugs of Marius and Sulla, the Hippodrome thugs of Byzantium, the Freikorps of what would become Nazi Germany, and the blood soaked fields of Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia.
When you hear the call for Ethnic Militia, when you hear the Freikorp being called for, take a long look at where that road leads, and decide for yourself if you still want to take that first step.
http://www.britannica.com/topic/Freikorps

John T Mainer
Troth Redesman

Monday, February 1, 2016

This is Who We Are

Affirmed by the High Rede of The Troth on February 1, 2016.

Let there be no mistake.

Hail!

-----------------


"We are deeply proud of our indigenous Northern European religious, cultural, and historical heritages. We welcome all people, whatever their religious, cultural, or ancestral background, gender or sexual orientation, who have developed or wish to develop a relationship with our Gods and Goddesses, and would like to know more about Asatru and other forms of Heathenry."

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

World Denial: Death of Delusion and PTSD

In the discussion on the Troth email list this past while I have been listening to my fellow veterans, as well as victims of rape and traumatic assault talking about the twin elements of PTSD, what happened to cause the PTSD, and what can be done to build coping mechanisms for it.  Our society is built on lies.  The communal delusions of the west in the twenty first century are in my estimation these:



We are a civilized folk.  Horse pucky.  You are not being robbed, raped, embezzled, by the Soviet Red Army.  We are most likely to be preyed upon by those in our community who have the ability to use violence to satisfy momentary urges and no real motivation not to use it.

War is about fighting for truth, justice, and the American/Canadian/British/Australian way.  Dog droppings.  We kill people over there,  in the hopes that we can keep the flames of war from crossing our own frontiers .   We fight foreign wars for reasons of internal politics, protection of our economic hegemony,  to preserve an imperfect balance of power that is assumed to be better than the maelstrom of escalation and violence that would follow its breaking down, and to remind people that attacking us is a good way of getting dead.

We heard much reference to the saga’s being so graphically violent, celebrating the horror of the battle and its aftermath.  Indeed, the romanticism of our ancestors differs from the romanticism of the Chivalric, Renaissance and later ages romanticism of battle in the fact that it is not concerned with making the battle seem clean,  or for noble purpose.   Battle was described as ugly, the humour was rough and sometimes cruel, and the purposes of the struggle were often politics, economics, avarice, ego.  This did not detract from the glory that comes from facing your challenges, whether in knowing success or failure in their strategic aims, what was celebrated was the courage in facing the challenge, and the strength, cunning, and spirit brought to bear.

To a survivor of rape or abuse, the delusion of safety that was the communal understanding of the society that they were raised in has been shattered.  Their mind is now conflicted between gnostic and epistemological knowledge.  They know from their entire cultural upbringing that we are more evolved than the rabid murdering, raping, lawless thieving ancients that gave us so much rich history of semi random carnage.  This is their epistemological knowledge, the shared learned beleifs of our society.  They know from bitter personal experience that we, as a species, are capable of the basest acts of cruelty, at any time, for the most transient and venal of reasons.  Where once the face of every stranger was a fellow citizen, now it must ever be a potential enemy.

From its first line the Hamaval teaches us to be wary always.  Enemies can be anywhere.  Bad things are always possible, and people who have reason to harm you, or who desire what is yours, are indeed out there.  This is not reason to cease living, or going out, or building relationships, but it must ALWAYS be near the top of our ancestors thoughts, when looking at the world.

A person who has had he delusion of safety, of the innate goodness of humanity, stripped away from them will have a hard time talking with those who are still comfortable in their innocence.  Like a seal swimming happily in a pod of orca; unaware that some of their playmates regard them as no more than a twinkie that they may or may not feel like consuming at the moment, but are definitely considering.

Society holds the delusion, a modern invention based on trappings of law enforcement, and the public face of justice.  The fact is one in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lives, 80% of their abusers were known and trusted by them.  When those you trust can turn out to be the ones you should have feared, how hard is it to trust again?

My father’s generation was raised on the myths of the Second World War, the battle of good versus evil, the coming home to parades.  My grandfather got back from the war too late to get the truth of it into his sons, so they went to war in Africa believing a myth that was turning most of the returning veterans of WWII into borderline alcoholics, and giving us the kind of marriages that made Valium nicknamed “mother’s little helper”.  My father and uncles got to watch African tribal warfare, see baby’s heads dashed on building walls by laughing men of other tribes, while European Mercenaries paid by funds from Canadian Churches did the brunt of the fighting against the UN forces.   Coming back from that, they did not receive their parades, but shouts of “baby killer”.   The veil was off their eyes, but no one who had not “been there and done that” could they talk to about it.

When I was in the service,  Canada preached the myth of the Peacekeeper.  We had some of the best killers on the planet, but we told the public that we were glorified crossing guards.  When the politician believed their lies, a lot of ours got left in some bad places with no support.  A generation of soldiers who grew up listening to the Jewish Holocaust stories and the UN declaration that such would never happen again got to be on the ground when the UN forced its troop commanders to stop using the word Genocide, and use Ethnic cleansing.  Never Again was happening in front of our troops, and rather than honouring the UN Charter that all the Superpowers and leading nations of the earth swore to, and stopping genocide from happening again, we switched what we were calling it, to allow us to not go to war, as long as all (insert name of ethnicity) everywhere weren’t being killed, its not genocide.  Wiping out all of them in one region or one country is not genocide.   Under current UN rules, Hitler would walk.  Soldiers that trained their whole lives to stop this from happening, were being handcuffed by their political leaders from stopping it, and gagged by their officers from talking about it.  PTSD rates among over used troops who can’t talk to anyone about what they have been through were brutal.

Those who followed me into service got away from Peacekeeping and back into war fighting in Afghanistan (and Iraq for US/UK).  While the need to watch passively was taken away, the level of violence and pressure was far higher than we needed.  The myth of the good clean war was being sold hard at home, and ladies and gentlemen, that myth has killed as many of my fellow soldiers as IED.  It isn’t.  It can’t be.  It will never be.  Selling that myth makes those who support the troops being impossible to talk to because they have no idea what happened, and those who don’t support the troops being impossible to talk to because they have no idea why its necessary or how often the “terrible tragedies” are the cost of bringing about almost unnoticeable Improvements, or stopping rapid escalation of bad.

Again, the problem that the returning soldiers have is that the myths of our society are commonly accepted and hold the force of holy writ.  Those who administer and populate the mental health systems do not share the reality of those people who have been down in the mud and the blood, the stress and the fear.  The people defining normal have an understanding of reality that is, honestly, flawed.

Our ancestors did have mental illness, and did have clear cases of PTSD.  They had a society that understood a version of reality that was close enough to their warriors, to the women and children who had been on the receiving end of brigandage or the sack.  Their poetry was as often created by professional warriors as poets, celebrating the reality they shared.  The customs of the bragaful, the use of mead and wine to break down the barriers, of establishing a sacred space in which men could speak freely and without shame of their struggles, their losses.  Egil Skallgrimson showed the depth of how a warrior, a mercenary and noted berserkyr could openly mourn his lost son without fear of losing his perceived status or manhood.  The reality of our ancestors accepted that terrible things happened to the ones we love, and it is bloody hard to cope.  Coping mechanisms are often best described as going just insane enough to not come apart completely.  Egil is a wonderful case in point.  His dealing with the death of his brother, and then later his son shows how acting out was accepted, as long as once you were done dealing with your losses you got your act together and took care of your duty.  There was no need to pretend everything was fine.  It was alright to come apart at the seams, to not be OK with what happened.  There was no shame in bleeding from wounds without or within.  There was healing to be done in sharing the pain, and loss.  Life goes on.  Hard, unforgiving, cruel, tiresome, seductive, amusing, inspiring, exciting, glorious life-goes on.


Our society accepts the delusion that fair exists, that we have a right for bad things to not happen.  It teaches that there is always a better way than violence.  It teaches that if something bad happened to you there must be a reason (you got raped, where were you, what were you wearing?).  If somebody dies in a war zone it is a crime and somebody must be punished.  Our society teaches that when something terrible happens to you, and you realize the myths are false, that now something is wrong with you.  If you are not OK with having a stillborn baby because your doctor says you “can just have another one”, then clearly you are the one with a problem.  If you got raped at a transit stop and are now afraid to take a class that will force you to take transit home after dark, you need to “get over it”.  If you are a soldier who did what you needed to do when you were over there, and now can’t go to bed alone, unless you have a bottle or pills to keep the things behind your eyes at bay when the  night comes,  then you need to “suck it up buttercup”.  We eat our wounded to cover the lies of our society.

Our own faith is a world accepting one.  We are taught to accept the world for what it is.  Our code of ethics is not a perfect world system, but a functional roadmap for dealing with people the way they are.  Violence, greed, malice are all parts of humanity.  Those with the power to abuse will often be as free to do so as they think they can get away with (observe the “good people” in mob situations and see how many people have been straining at the leash to indulge some pretty dark appetites).  There is the good with the bad, but we are taught to as much how to protect against the latter as we are to build upon the former.   A person not coping well with stuff that was too much to handle was accepted by the ancients.  Madness was holy, in its own way.  Coping strategies based around sharing your trauma in a way that was not victims talking about what broke them, but strong men and women boasting, sharing, ranting, and raving about what they survived. 


Why do so many of our gods bear wounds openly?  The Battle Glad gave his eye, while the lord of honour gave his hand.  Our gods bear their wounds with pride, their loss not hidden in shame but boasted.   There is always a price to be paid for life.  A terrible price, for the greatest possible prize.  To pretend that life should be free of price, is to cheapen its worth.  Bad things happen, mistakes happen, bad people are out there, and even some good people are going to be set against you.  Accept this.  You will encounter things that are beyond your power to deal with, unless the gods have blessed you greater than any I have yet met.  Wyrd weaves as it will, and it is enough that you muddle through and seek to do your duty regardless of the price paid.  Remember that, take pride in that.  Grow strong in the broken places and boast of your scars, both the outer ones and the dark secret ones that society tries hard to make you ashamed of.  Pain overcome is honour won.  Claim your victory, and pox on the shame society would use to protect its pathetic tissue of make-believe “normal”.

John T Mainer


Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Story of Mistletoe

Inside the greatest stories are a hundred little stories that get forgotten. 
In the story of the first winter, the death of Baldur the bright, there is a story too of little Mistletoe. 
At Yuletide now we hang mistletoe, and whenever a boy and girl pass beneath it they must kiss, 
but so many have forgotten why. The tale of mistletoe is one of love and pride, foolishness and forgiveness.

First and best of the sons of Frigga and Odin was Baldur the bright. The shining one, his laughter and courage were beacons to the Aesir, and his gentleness the offer of peace when the battle din had faded. Where the world carved by Jottun and Odin from Ymir's bones was cruel and cold, would Baldur add a touch of gentleness and wonder. Where spear sharp mountain was cut by icy stream, would Baldur carve a hidden flowered glen, and softly whispering pool. Where Muspelheim's fire clawed at the ice and rock of earth 
would Baldur twist and twine them to forge a bubbling spring of warmth to bring the promise of life to the most forsaken fell. 

When the first war raged between Aesir and Vanir sweet Frigga feared for her son, for ever was he first in battle, and all too swift to offer mercy where death strokes were safer. In time the Aesir and Vanir swore to peace, and the Vanir too grew to love Baldur. For a time the nine worlds were near peace, the Aesir and Vanir united, the raiding with the Jottun more friendly sport than earnest war. 

At this time did Frigga vow to make her Baldur safe from harm from all. 

To the dwarvish deeps she went, and begged favour of the dwarves:
"Let not stone or steel, nor metal forged dare harm sweet Baldur's hide!" 
The dwarves looked deep into the secret earth, at the ropes and rivers of gold, the sparkling diamonds promising the wonders of the night sky, and the thousand secret riches that Baldur had woven into the iron deeps when the world was new forged and so they swore. To the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, the whales and fishes of the deep did she go and beg safety for bright Baldur, and as each would look to the beauty Baldur had woven into their world, they would promise his protection. 

From Yggdrasil and all lesser trees did Frigga then beg favour, and one by one they all swore Baldur's weal for the beauty he had given them. At last came Frigga to the youngest of plants, the newborn Mistletoe. She begged protection for her son, and Mistletoe said no.


Mistletoe lives on the oak, and never sees the sun. Far from the ground, it sees not beyond the mighty oak´s dark leaves. The oak itself did lend its voice to beg and plead with Mistletoe, but Mistletoe had never seen the gifts of Baldur's making. All Frigga's tears and oak´s stern words did not move Mistletoe to mercy, in ignorance and pride it swore no oath to the lady mother.

Alone of giant, man and god was Loki is his jealousy. Baldur's love meant nothing to him, and he ever sought to mock him. For all his jests did him no good, as Baldur never angered, but laughed instead with right good will when Loki's wit did best him. With envy and rage did Loki plot to do fair Baldur evil, at last he thought to ask of Frigg the protection she had won him. In the high feast hall with a gentle smile did Loki come to Frigga.

"How you must fear with such a bold son, that evil must befall him. 
Of all the gods your Baldur's courage in the vanguard ever finds him"

At Loki's words did Frigga smile, never suspecting evil. She shared with her kinsmen her sons defence, the secrets of his protection.

"The stones of earth, all metals forged, all beasts of water, wind and land have all sworn him protection", did Frigga smile.

Loki pressed for answers, "What of tree and leaf and nut? What of dandelion or rose?"

Frigga laughed at his silly words, and revealed the last of her secret:

"Trees and grasses, bush and vine have all sworn his protection. Only lowly mistletoe of all that lives still dares withhold protection."

Loki laughed and slid away, his mission now completed. Sweet Frigga did not suspect yet that Loki plotted treason. Down to midgard with a silver knife did Loki make his harvest. A slender wand of mistletoe 
that in the fire with spells he hardened. His arrow forged of mistletoe, and murder in his heart, 
Loki crossed the rainbow bridge and came to Odin's court.

"A game!" cried Loki shouting loud, "A sport to test our mettle!" 
Loki's challenge drew every eye and he worked his trick so vile.
"Let Baldur stand before the host, let every warrior try him." 
Loath were the gods to raise hand against him, but Baldur did beseech them.

"What harm in this? Lets have a game, let all my friends and brothers try their mightiest of strokes and let me judge the winner!"

Baldur's words stirred every heart with honest love for battle, and laughing 
did they all array to try their strokes against him. Odin's spear and Thor's dread hammer, 
swords of Frey and Heimdall, the bow of Uller all did fail amidst the warriors laughter. 
Blind Hod alone did not take part, until dread Loki urged him on and promised his assistance.

"Come now brother, what's the harm" smiled Loki in his treason. 
"I'll guide your hand upon the bow, let your warrior´s heart remember"

Hod then smiled and drew his bow, and Loki fit the arrow, 
dread mistletoe struck Baldur dead and the light of the world fell with him.

All remember what happened next, how sweet Sunna (the Sun) fled from a world without Baldur, 
how winter came to the world. All remember the punishment of Loki, a binding and torment 
that would last until the end of days. Each Yule we remember Baldur's arrival at Hel's own hall, 
how she bade him to sit beside her and join her in her hall until the end of days, when he
will return to lead the survivors. Who now remembers the fate of Mistletoe, the agent of Baldur's bane?

When Baldur fell, sweet Sunna turned her face away and fled. Without the light of the sun, 
the world grew cold and dark, the trees lost their leaves, and for the first time Mistletoe 
saw beyond the embracing arms of oak. Everywhere the dying light showed emptiness and loss, 
but here and there would beauty shine and mistletoe did weep. 
"Who has made this?", would Mistletoe ask at each thing of majesty and wonder, 
"Baldur" was the answer every time until the heart of mistletoe was shattered.

Mother Frigga in her rage demanded the death of her sons dread slayer. 
Of Odin and of Yggdrasil, of Frey and gentle Nerthus she begged the price 
of mother's vengeance, until every god condemned it. Alone of all the gods did Freya hear the weeping. 
Alone of all the Vanir did she stoop to hear the reason. To mistletoe she swiftly flew 
within her falcon cloak, upon the oak tree did she land beside the weeping plant. 
Love´s golden goddess softly asked, why mistletoe did weep?



"For Baldur slain, for beauty lost, for love gone out the world!"

Freya asked of Mistletoe, what wergild would it pay? How could it give back the beauty lost, 
the love that Baldur offered? When Mother Frigga in her rage came down the Bifrost bridge,
Freya stood with mistletoe to greet the grieving mother.

"Blessed Frigga, will you accept the wergild of the weeping flower? 
Or will you slaughter and stain the memory of the loving son you've lost?"

Frigga stared hard eyed and cold to hear the wergilds terms, Mistletoe in humble grief did make this solemn vow:

"Where Yuletide brings the pain of loss will Mistletoe bring love, beneath my humble leaves 
let love be now kindled. What fairer grave goods for the sun bright lord than the promise 
of love new kindled? When two now meet beneath my leaves, let loves kiss light between them. 
Let the light of love remember him that the world weeps for this season."



Now down the ages we remember beneath the mistletoe, a kiss the promise of new love, within this coldest season.


© John T Mainer         

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Yuletide Sock Drives!

Socks are one of the most requested items at homeless shelters, but they are also one of the least-donated items.

Various Heathen groups will be collecting socks for folks in need!

Stock up stacks of socks and stockings and help to bring warmth to the feet of those in need this Yuletide!

NEW HAMPSHIRE

The Frithstead is collecting new, unworn wool or 50% mix socks between now and December 19, 2015. Contact frithstead@comcast.net for more information.

FLORIDA

All sizes of new, unworn socks, from baby to adult male. Practical socks, fun socks, fuzzy socks, holiday socks, argyle socks are all needed! Collections in Pasco and Pinellas Counties through December 21, 2015. Contact Kate Cullifer for collection sites and more info.

PENNSYLVANIA

All sizes, of new, unworn socks, from baby to adult male. Practical socks, fun socks, fuzzy socks, holiday socks, argyle socks are all needed!

Collections in Philadelphia, Bucks, and Berks Counties beginning at
Krampuslauf Philadelphia (December 12, 2015) and running through January 1, 2016. Contact Robert L. Schreiwer for collection sites and more info.

Collections in the Pittsburgh Metro Area through January 2, 2016. Contact Jo Spinks for collection sites and more info!



ILLINOIS

All sizes of new, unworn socks, from baby to adult male. Practical socks, fun socks, fuzzy socks, holiday socks, argyle socks are all needed! Collections in Sangamon County and the Springfield Metro Area December 14, 2015 through January 19, 2016. Contact Valerie Liesenfelt for collection sites and more info.


Thank you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Troth Statement Regarding Virginia White Supremacist Arrests

For background: https://www.rt.com/usa/321519-fbi-race-war-virginia/
Wild Hunt article: http://wildhunt.org/2015/11/heathens-respond-to-media-reports-on-foiled-plot-in-virginia.html

"The Troth cannot prevent idiots and creeps from saying they are Heathens, but we can say that idiots and creeps are idiots and creeps. These persons are idiots and creeps, and they are not welcome in our community." - Steven T. Abell, Steersman, The Troth.