Archives For Presidential election

For Democrats worried that all those positive polls are wrong, Kenyan witch doctor John Radima is here to reassure you.

John Radima points towards the pro-Obama casting.

“A witch doctor in Kogelo, western Kenya, where Obama’s father grew up, on Saturday also predicted victory for the Democrat. John Radima, who lives not far from the home of Obama’s grandmother in Kogelo, threw stones, bones and shells on the ground and “read” them. The message was that Obama will be the winner in the November 4 election.”

The spirits may have spoken, but don’t let that stop you from making your own voice heard this Tuesday. Also, when watching the results roll in tomorrow, take the advice of Democratic and Republican pundits, and ignore the exit polls (and don’t forget to participate in The Witches’ Voice Presidential Poll).

I just wanted to take a minute to point everyone to the Witches’ Voice presidential election poll. It is embedded on their front page, and only takes a second to make your selection. The larger the sample the more accurate the results, so spread the word, and be sure to participate. I’ll be weighing in with some analysis of the results on Wednesday. You can look at the results (and some commentary) from four years ago, here.

You can also catch up on The Wild Hunt’s reporting from this election season. Oh, and don’t forget to vote on Tuesday! I’ve already voted here in Wisconsin, so I’ll be relaxing and watching the results come in.

I had never heard of Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann until her recent brush with infamy, when she advocated that Barack Obama, and other liberals, be investigated for “anti-American” views by the press.

Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann

“What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think the American people would love to see an expose like that.” When asked about Sen. Barack Obama’s views she said, “Absolutely, I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views.”

However, channeling Joseph McCarthy is hardly unique among the far-right, what has caught my eye about this witch-hunting poster child is the fact that she is funneling tainted contribution money into an anti-Pagan charity.

“Earlier this month we reported Bachmann’s connection to Frank Vennes Jr., convict-turned-good who was also a heavy Bachmann contributor. She wrote a letter on his behalf requesting a pardon, but pulled it after his homes were raided in connection with the Petters’ fraud investigation. Her campaign reported that she donated at least one of Vennes’ contributions to charity, but wouldn’t specify which one. Bachmann donated a $9,200 contribution on Oct. 3 to Minnesota Teen Challenge, according to Minnesota Independent.”

A quick look a the Minnesota Teen Challenge web site would lead you to believe they are a run-of-the-mill faith-based anti-drug and alcohol organization. But appearances can be deceiving. Local anti-Bachmann bloggers have dug through the organization’s newsletters and found some pretty familiar rhetoric.

“We would have people put curses over candy and place jewelry with demonic symbols in Trick or Treat bags. When the kids take it willingly, it opens the door for demonic attack. Kids would be sick for weeks after Halloween. Drug dealers were out in full force. We would all try to recruit at least one person to come back to the Satanic meeting. Usually, we would just try to impress them with different displays of demonic power, like levitation and casting spells.”

If that weren’t all, the scandal-tainted money was donated to a charity that used to be run and funded by the very person who tainted it in the first place!

“Frank Vennes is a former board member of Teen Challenge. He’s also involved in the nonprofit Fidelis Foundation, which has served as a fiscal agent for — and donated millions of dollars to — many evangelical ministries and other religious organizations, including Minnesota Teen Challenge.”

Now supporting a charity that peddles in lies and distortions of Pagan religions is most likely the least of her worries at this point, but it certainly gives some insight into what causes Bachmann is willing to support. Being socially conservative is one thing, but unthinkingly supporting a group that teaches mentally vulnerable children with addictions that we are evil is another matter entirely. Here’s hoping that Paganistan can elect someone a bit more friendly to our faiths come November.

Remember back in 2002 when John “Let the Eagle Soar” Ashcroft, then Attorney General, ordered the half-naked statue of the Spirit of Justice to be covered by a drape?

“The [Department of Justice] spent $8,000 on blue drapes that hide the two giant, aluminum art deco statues, said spokesman Shane Hix. For aesthetic reasons, he said, the drapes were occasionally hung in front of the statues before formal events. The department used to rent the drapes, but has now purchased them and left them hanging. The drapes provide a nice background for television cameras, Hix said … ABC News reported that Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered the statues covered because he didn’t like being photographed in front of them.”

Well, it isn’t just Republican politicians who want to avoid being photographed around the bared breasts of a goddess. It seems Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden’s campaign team was a little bashful around a proudly (half) nude statue of Diana the huntress.

Joe, meet Diana. Photo by Javier Manzano.

“Normally, Diana the Huntress – the statue of her, that is – poses au naturel in front of the Union Depot building in downtown Pueblo. But on Wednesday, that changed. At least for a few hours. “I don’t think they wanted bare breasts showing,” said Mike Randall, the person in charge of putting a makeshift shift on Diana, goddess of the hunt and the moon. “They said cover her up, so I put her in a toga,” said Randall, who used a large swath of black cloth to cover Diana’s unmentionables and a bunch of black string to keep his creation from blowing away. The enormous flag was added after the toga alone was deemed inadequate to keep Diana out of the picture.”

Diana covered. Photo by Javier Manzano.

A word of advice to politicians, don’t sweat the statues! It just makes you seem prudish and overly concerned with avoiding a potentially embarrassing photo (plus, I would love to get some great shots of politicians standing in front of pagan deities to use for my blog). Also, I can’t imagine it would be good luck to throw a toga and flag on Diana’s statue (she just doesn’t seem the acquiescing type). I’m just sayin’.

PS – Here is a shot of the de-toga-ed statue of Diana.

(Pagan) News of Note

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  October 13, 2008 — 1 Comment

My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.

A botanica, Centro Botanico La Santisma in San Diego, burned down on Saturday after a lit candle sparked a larger fire.

“A lit candle in a voodoo supply shop sparked a fire, destroying the San Diego store and damaging an adjacent taco shop. San Diego police Sgt. Ray Battrick says the blaze’s intense smoke caused officials to evacuate several homes in the Grant Hill neighborhood when the fire broke out early Sunday morning. Firefighters said the Centro Botanico La Santisma store was a total loss, with nearly $350,000 in damages. The store sold herbs, amulets and other items related to Santeria, voodoo and other religions.”

Luckily, no one was injured in the blaze. A chilling reminder to all Pagan and occult stores to be careful with candles, and to have a healthy fire-insurance policy.

Jay Clarke looks at the large variety of Samhain/Halloween events happening in Salem during the month of October. Including the Salem Witches Halloween Ball (not to be confused with the Cabot Witches Ball).

“On Nov. 1, the Day of the Dead, another massive party – the Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball – also takes place at the Hawthorne and on the adjacent grassy Common ($150 per person). The Common, fittingly, is where some scenes of the popular Hocus Pocus movie about long-dead witches were filmed … Yes, Salem has real witches – more than 3,000 of them, who practice Wicca. They detest both the stereotype of wickedness as presented in the Wizard of Oz and the nose-twitching antics of Samantha in television’s Bewitched.”

I think “detest” is a somewhat strong term. I happen to love the “Wizard of Oz”, and find “Bewitched” (and the play/film that inspired it “Bell, Book, and Candle”) to be quite charming at times (especially Jack Lemmon as Nicky). Also, $150 dollars? Yikes! That’s a little too rich for my blood.

According to Arnold Conrad, the former pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Davenport, non-Christians around the world are praying for Obama to win the presidential election.

“There are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah—that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens,”

Conrad made these remarks at a recent McCain rally in Iowa (before McCain ever arrived). This is certainly a shock to the Pagans and non-Christians who are planning to vote for the Republican, Libertarian, Constitution, or Green party come November. One can only wonder what will happen to Conrad’s faith should God let his “reputation” be harmed by an Obama win.

Are comic-book superheroes thinly-disguised gods for our modern age? Performance artist Justin Lamb seems to think so.

“I wanted to do a show exploring why superheroes and comic book culture have gotten so popular lately. I started researching it and started finding a lot of weird little similarities between superheroes and religion, which has a nice little nerd following of it’s own if you haven’t noticed. I wondered if subconsciously, do the things that attract people to these religions also attract people to these heroes.”

Perhaps Lamb has been reading “Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes”? Or he could just be a big Grant Morrison or Alan Moore fan.

In a final note, the New Statesman publishes an interesting examination of secularism, and recent attempts to push forward a watered-down “positive secularism” by France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Pope Benedict XVI.

“To speak of positive secularism is to imply that there are two kinds of secularism, one good, the other bad. The supposedly good one, put forward by the Pope and his acolyte Nicolas Sar kozy, is a secularism that would allow politics to mingle with religions. One which would, for instance, turn a blind eye to sects and their actions, one which would accept that people be treated differently according to their faiths, one which would blur the frontiers between the public and private spheres. Sarkozy certainly knows a great deal about the blurring of the two distinct worlds whose separation has been France’s trademark for at least two centuries.”

Only one kind of secularism guarantees the rights of minority religions, and it isn’t the “positive secularism” envisioned by the Pope. Creating a “secularism with exceptions” sets us on a dangerous road where some are more equal than others.

That is all I have for now, have a great day!

Just when I thought this story couldn’t go even further down the Christian extremist rabbit-hole, up pops another revelation about a Sarah Palin coreligionist.

“On June 13, 2008 Mary Glazier told attendees at the “Opening the Gate of Heaven on Earth” conference, who represented many of the New Apostolic Reformation’s top leaders, that she had been present at the inception of Sarah Palin’s political career and that Palin was in her personal prayer group : ‘There was a twenty-four year old woman that God began to speak to about entering into politics. She became a part of our prayer group out in Wasilla. Years later, became the mayor of Wasilla. And last year was elected Governor of the state of Alaska. Yes! Hallelujah! At her inauguration she dedicated the state to Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!'”

Who is Mary Glazier? She is the founder of Windwalkers International, and is a key figure in the Third Wave/New Apostolic Reformation movement. Part of C. Peter Wagner’s inner circle. Wagner, as I have pointed out before, is the man who is waging a war on the “Queen of Heaven”, whom he equates with pre-Christian goddesses, Islam, and Mary within the Catholic Church.

“Peter Wagner appears to be afflicted with a rather bizarre form of paranoia. He sees the world controlled by a demonic force he calls “the Queen of Heaven.” He sees this demon in everything from ancient Moon goddess religions to Islam (e.g., the crescent moon), to environmentalism (Gaia), feminism, witchcraft, and even in mainstreem Christianity (e.g., Catholic respect of Mary as the Mother of Jesus). That’s the purpose of the book, to help you, too, see that all these disparate religions are really united, and that the Virgin Mary is the demon behind it all.”

Glazier’s claims directly tie Palin into the world of anti-Pagan spiritual warfare. While some conservatives have defended the anti-witchcraft blessing of Palin by Thomas Muthee saying it was acceptable because of his cultural context, Glazier, who has her own witchcraft story, has no such excuse.

“In 1995, Mary mobilized a prayer network for Alaska’s prisons and began experiencing spiritual warfare as never before. She had received word that a witch had applied for a job as chaplain of the state’s prison system… Mary recalls, “As we continued to pray against the spirit of witchcraft, her incense altar caught on fire, her car engine blew up, she went blind in her left eye, and she was diagnosed with cancer” … “Ultimately, the witch fled to another state for medical treatment. Soon after, revival visited every prison in Alaska. At the women’s correctional facility in Anchorage alone, 55 of 60 inmates found Christ. “Ask largely,” Mary says. “Intercessory prayer is making a major difference in North America.”

I’ll give you a moment for this to sink in. Glazier and her prayer warriors claim to have made God blind and give cancer to a Wiccan chaplain. Is this anything but the most malefic of magic? Any Pagan who proudly claimed to have given a Christian cancer, or put out one of the eyes of a Christian, would be rightly shunned and rebuked. Within this community of extremist Christians Glazier and her fellow prayer warriors are lauded as heroes, holy warriors striking a blow against Satan and the “Queen of Heaven”. While these warriors are quick to post disclaimers saying their efforts are “merely” spiritual, who knows what an unbalanced mind would do with this sort of rhetoric.

This adds to the questions I would love to ask Sarah Palin (not that she’s taking questions). Not just if she approves of the spiritual warfare techniques of the Third Wavers, but if she personally prayed for harm to come to one of our own (she was still deeply enmeshed in the movement back in 1995 after all). Sadly, while Obama and McCain were grilled on their religious stances, we’re supposed to take it on faith that she will respect the rights of non-Christian faiths should she be elected?

Since I first posted about Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin’s troubling co-religionists, the mainstream press and several major blogs have homed in on the blessing Palin received from the African Bishop Thomas Muthee.

“Palin describes the visit of Pastor Thomas Muthee to the Wasilla Assembly of God in 2005. “As I was mayor and Pastor Muthee was here and he was praying over me, and you know how he speaks and he’s so bold. And he was praying ‘Lord make a way, Lord make a way,'” Palin remarked. “And I’m thinking, this guy’s really bold, he doesn’t even know what I’m going to do, he doesn’t know what my plans are,” she continued. “And he’s praying not ‘oh Lord if it be your will may she become governor,’ no, he just prayed for it. He said, ‘Lord make a way and let her do this next step. And that’s exactly what happened.'” “So, again, very very powerful, coming from this church,” she added.”

Muthee is feted by fellow Christians in America and in Africa for driving out the “spirit of witchcraft” that resided in the village of Kiambu, Kenya. Now it seems this wasn’t purely spiritual warfare on the part of Muthee, but involved stirring up mobs and driving a local fortune-teller out of town.

“According to the Christian Science Monitor, six months of fervent prayer and research identified the source of the witchcraft as a local woman called Mama Jane, who ran a “divination” centre called the Emmanuel Clinic … after Pastor Muthee declared Mama Jane a witch, the townspeople became suspicious and began to turn on her, demanding that she be stoned. Public outrage eventually led the police to raid her home, where they fired gunshots, killing a pet python which they believed to be a demon. After Mama Jane was questioned by police – and released – she decided it was time to leave town, the account says.”

As I pointed out previously, this isn’t some isolated third-world preacher, Muthee has toured America, received mainstream press coverage, and gave 10 consecutive sermons at Wasilla Assembly of God (Palin’s former church). He is a strong proponent of the spiritual warfare tactics endorsed by “Third Wave” Christian churches. Knowing that she was willingly blessed by an anti-witch fanatic, someone who has helped stir up the kind of mobs responsible for the horrific deaths of innocent men and women in Kenya, makes me reiterate my previous closing statement on this matter.

“What Pagans need to know, especially those who are considering voting Republican, is if Palin condemns or rejects the spiritual warfare teachings of the Third Wave movement. A movement that essentially espouses malicious Christian magic. Pagans have seen first hand that the religious opinions of Presidents have been used in the past by government agencies to deny us our legal rights. What would happen if our vice president thought we should be supernaturally eradicated?”

Does Palin still credit Muthee (via the power of “Jesus”) with “making a way” to power for her? Does she know and approve of Muthee’s spiritual war against “witches”? I think it would be important to know these things before election day.

Here I was thinking to myself that the chances of a modern Pagan angle to the Republican VP pick of Alaska’s Sarah Palin would be truly minimal. Sure, you had her support of aerial wolf hunting (a cruel method that violates the ethic of “fair chase”), and her drill-happy attitudes towards ANWR, but nothing explicitly anti-Pagan had emerged. But a number of bloggers, most notably Bruce Wilson at Talk2Action, have been digging into Palin’s religious background and found some disturbingly anti-Pagan connections.

“Sarah Palin’s churches are actively involved in a resurgent movement that was declared heretical by the Assemblies of God in 1949. This is the same ‘Spiritual Warfare’ movement that was featured in the award winning movie, “Jesus Camp,” which showed young children being trained to do battle for the Lord. At least three of four of Palin’s churches are involved with major organizations and leaders of this movement, which is referred to as The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit or the New Apostolic Reformation. The movement is training a young “Joel’s Army” to take dominion over the United States and the world.”

These “Third Wave” Christians believe in supernatural powers, demon possession, curses, and ongoing spiritual warfare. Most of them are loosely grouped around C. Peter Wagner, founder of the World Prayer Center, and coiner of the term “Third Wave”. Wagner believes that one of the greatest opponents to Third Wave Christian dominance is The Goddess.

“Several of their top prophets and generals of intercession spent weeks in intensive prayer to “confront the Queen of Heaven.” This queen is considered by them to be one of the most powerful demons over the earth and is the Great Harlot of Mystery Babylon in Revelation … Wagner and his group also claim that the Queen of Heaven is Diana, the pagan god of the biblical book Ephesians and the god of Mary veneration in the Roman Catholic Church.”

Wagner is so serious about the “Queen of Heaven” (you know the one the ladies made cakes for) that he has written two books on the subject: “Confronting The Queen of Heaven” and “The Queen’s Domain”. Third Wave Christians participating in spiritual warfare against the Queen of Heaven believe their efforts (directly or indirectly) have caused earthquakes, hurricanes, large fires, and killed Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.

As for Palin herself, she spoke approvingly of being personally prayed over by Thomas Muthee just before winning governorship of Alaska. Muthee is a popular figure among Third Wavers for driving out the “spirit of witchcraft” that resided in Kiambu, Kenya.

“He and his wife committed to six months of prayer with various types of fasting before ever entering Kiambu. Their goal in prayer and fasting was to ask God to reveal the name of the demonic principality ruling over Kiambu and keeping the city under such oppression. God revealed through a vision that a spirit of witchcraft was the ruling principality there and that a number of other demonic spirits were functioning under the headship of witchcraft. An effective strategy for conquest would be to topple the spirit of witchcraft first and thus bring the coalition of evil spirits into disarray and drive them from the city.”

Muthee’s vision of spiritual warfare fits right in with the Third Wave’s, and he has spoken at churches across America, including 10 consecutive sermons at Wasilla Assembly of God (Palin’s main church until very recently). The idea of that sort of anti-witch hysteria being imported and cross-pollinating with extremist American Christianity is troubling.

While Palin has striven to present herself as a “post-denominational” Jesus follower, it should be noted that most Third Wave Christians also present themselves in this manner. Also, lest you think this article is some sort of liberal Pagan anti-Christian take-down, it should be noted that this Christian movement has been deemed heretical by several (conservative) Christian groups, including Fundamentalist Baptists.

What Pagans need to know, especially those who are considering voting Republican, is if Palin condemns or rejects the spiritual warfare teachings of the Third Wave movement. A movement that essentially espouses malicious Christian magic. Pagans have seen first hand that the religious opinions of Presidents have been used in the past by government agencies to deny us our legal rights. What would happen if our vice president thought we should be supernaturally eradicated?

Word has reached us here that three members of the Pagan Cluster were arrested at the RNC protests yesterday, and one, Jason (aka Scarecrow), was repeatedly tasered and mobbed by police despite not resisting arrest.

Pagan Cluster member being tasered.

“Jason (Scarecrow) has been extensively tasered & is being denied medical attention. Jason & Ryanna were both snatched from the pagan cluster at the beginning of the Poor People’s March. PLEASE immediately try to connect with Jason — for tasers, we need to ground out that electricity and move it away — electricity is a form of energy, and we CAN ground this down into the core & move it out of him. Please, you witches know what to do; now let’s connect with Jason and help him move this energy. Riyanna needs your loving magic too, and we’re working on getting them both out NOW. Starhawk is in the streets with the Pagan Cluster, and we are safely back at the space.”

The entire incident has been caught on video and is posted on the KARE 11 web site (warning: this video may not be appropriate for my more sensitive readers). In it, you can count him being tasered at least four times, and that is only what we can see on the video. No doubt the Pagan Cluster is already working to get him out, but I’m sure that prayers and spells of healing and protection would be appreciated.

ADDENDUM: Jason Johnson (aka Scarecrow) is out of prison and has posted his side of the story:

“I was arrested in a peaceful and permitted assembly on Tuesday at the rnc. I was shocked, beaten and terribly hurt before being held for 40 hours in prison with only minutes outside of my cell. with the nature of the atrocity against me, I am writing to request help with building a case against the state.”

He is looking for additional footage of his arrest in order to build a legal case. If you have access to such footage, you can find his contact information at the link above. According to a separate update, he was tasered with four handheld & three protrusion guns, and suffered multiple lacerations to his head, face, and torso.

Heath Status of Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Patrick McCollum: We start off with the news that two prominent Pagans who have had recent health problems, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Patrick McCollum, are both doing much better. Zell-Ravenheart, who was diagnosed with colon cancer, has successfully made it through surgery, and doctors seem confident that the cancer hasn’t spread.

“His surgery was on Friday and it went well; they removed a large section of his descending colon and adjacent mesentery, his doctor is confident that he took out all the cancer and any pre cancerous lymph nodes. He said that he did not see any swollen or discolored nodes. The tissue was all sent to Pathology and we should have the results later this week since the Lab is shut down for the holiday. We will know that the surgeon successfully removed all the cancer when we receive that report. Until then folks the coin is, magickally speaking, still in the air.”

Meanwhile McCollum, who suffered from complications after back surgery, is now out of the hospital and beginning the slow recovery process.

“Patrick was released from hospital this evening, with brace and cane and orders not to leave the house for two days minimum. He will have a long recovery. He remains heavily medicated to relieve intense pain. In spite of these difficulties, Patrick’s recovery has been amazing, no doubt helped in great part by the workings and prayers of many Pagans.”

The friends and family of both McCollum and Zell-Ravenheart request continued prayers and healing work as they recover.

Starhawk and the RNC Police Raids: Since I first reported, more information on warrantless police raids and arrests has emerged in the Twin Cities (including the arrest of journalists). While the RNC has been muted due to Hurricane Gustav, around 20,000 people are protesting outside (and yes, occasionally damaging property). Starhawk continues to post updates on her web site about the protests.

“All day we’ve been getting news that the police have been raiding houses, breaking down doors, arresting people, with or without warrants or warnings. We hold the morning meeting in a public park, because our Convergence Space has been raided and closed the night before. Someone says, “We’re a community that includes children—we can’t clear them out of their own living spaces. Remember if the police raid your space it’s important to have someone negotiate with them to get the children out.” I am a tough person. I’ve been through a lot of these things and in spite of all my efforts to stay open I’ve grown something of my own protective scales. But those words pierce through them, and I find tears welling up in my eyes. It just hits me, that we’re standing here in the United States of America, in the liberal city of my birth, talking about how to protect children from armed police.”

For continuing updates about this issue, check out the Coldsnap Legal Collective web site, their Twitter feed, the Twin Cities IndyMedia site, and Pacifica Radio.

Ellinais Acropolis Protest: Since I first mentioned it a few days ago, Ellinais’s planned (illegal) ritual to Athena at the Acropolis has made international news. Being covered by CNN, ARTINFO, The New York Times, The Guardian, and several others.

“Dressed in crisp white apparel, the pagans gathered before the east wing of the temple’s imposing Corinthian columns and prayed to Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom and patron of Athens, asking her to protect the Parthenon from further destruction. “Oh, goddess,” roared high priestess Doretta Peppa, her hands extending over an offering of water and olive oil. “We are ready to defend your grounds. “[But] we ask of you to protect this site, this city and its civilization, and to rid it of all evils such as the deconstruction of the Acropolis.” The Greek Culture Ministry forbids ceremonies of any sort at archeological sites. But in January, the pagan revivalists used a second century temple of Zeus in Athens to stage the first known ceremony of its kind in 1,600 years.”

In perhaps a sign that the gods approved, Athena’s father Zeus provided a thunderstorm for the 13-minute ritual. The protest-prayer comes in the wake of plans for a massive new Acropolis Museum which the remaining Acropolis statues will be moved into. Ellinais priestess Doretta Peppa calls the new structure an “architectural monstrosity” that will erode Greek culture.

“The new museum,” Peppa said, “is a monumental eyesore, an architectural monstrosity within the most traditional and archeologically-rich part of Athens. It is an insult to our heritage, and if we start deconstructing our monuments for the sake of filling up a museum, then what will we be left with?”

Greek officials are hoping the new space will boost tourist income and pressure the British government to release the Elgin Marbles, which they claim were obtained illegally, back to Greece.