The Pagan Revival and White Separatism
Reviewed by Dave
I recently picked up a used copy of Gods of the Blood by Gardell. Written circa 2003 the book combines a study and analysis of Racist stands of Paganism in the United States. Over the course of 5 years the author Mattias Gardell, a comparative religion scholar from Sweden, participated in and observed pagan ceremonies and interviewed a who’s who of well-known and lesser renown racist pagans and heathens. In this book the author explores the wider relations of modern Asatru/Heathenry with White Separatist movements; set against a backdrop of globalization, whiteness, and racism in modern America. Gardell takes a holistic approach in his study of the relations between Asatru (as well as Neo-Paganism in general) and Neo-fascism which is created through the use of one on one interviews, participation in rituals and analyzing racist heathen literature. Some of the sects or branches (more like dead boughs of Yggdrasil) he studies are Wotanism, Odinism, Odalism, Dark-side Asatru and other elements ranging from Wicca to Satanism.
Gardell does an amazing job at exploring the belief system of these “heathens”. He does a masterful job of explaining how these diverse sects understand their own ideology. He explains these ideologies as a mix of conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism, warrior ideology, patriarchy, populism, racial purity, klandom, skinhead culture, and national socialism just to name a few. Granted the book is a bit dated and most of the organizations mentioned have either shrunk in membership or disappeared completely due to a lack of organization. In some cases the founder has moved on to other venues of White Hate recruiting. The political leanings of White Separatists, while obvious to some, are positioned in what’s called the “decentralized Right”. As opposed to the typical National Socialism as expressed by the Nazi German dictatorship, this newer form of fascism idealizes the tribe or family as the central political group, exposing ideas of a romanticized past in the form of meritocracies, hereditary social relations, and most of all, separatism.