Pagan Community Notes: Week of January 10, 2022

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Burgos von Buchonia (Karl Burghard Bangert,) via YouTube

MANNHEIM, Germany – Burgos von Buchonia (Karl Burghard Bangert, 71), who various media outlets are calling the “Nazi Druid,” is on trial in Mannheim district court in Germany. The trial started on Friday and Bangert wore a shirt sporting a Celtic image and a necklace of “pagan charms.” Bangert is charged with sedition over a series of social media posts in which he denied the Holocaust, called for the murder of Jews, and incited hatred against refugees.

Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany and many parts of Western Europe.

Vice reports that Bangert has given tours and performed “New Age ceremonies” in the Rhone region while also espousing “vehemently racist views – including the “virulent anti-Semitic, conspiracy-driven worldview that Jews have been waging a secret war against the German people for centuries.”

Bangert is one of four defendants alleged to be Reichsbürger (“citizens of the Reich”)  who believe the government is illegitimate and have allegedly been hoarding explosives, weapons, and ammunition during the period of 2015-2017.

Prosecutors allege that Bangert and the others had been creating an armed compound that could survive the destruction of the state. Prosecutors likened them to preppers, who believe the collapse of society is imminent.

DeuthscheWelt reported in 2017 that Bangert had been detained in his home in Baden-Württemberg.  They said his Facebook posts described “filthy leftist people without a functioning brain.” DW described a series of anti-Semitic posts and conspiratorial statements about the EU flag and the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

DW added, “The Bavarian public broadcaster ‘Bayerischer Rundfunk’ produced a TV news feature about him in 2008, in which he claimed he was born on a ‘terribly cold winter night’ 2,500 years ago, and that since his mother died in childbirth, it was left to his uncle Merlin – ‘that’s right, the great wizard Merlin’ – to bring him up. ”

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WASHINGTON – The Pentagon issued a new definition of extremism in its ranks and released a new policy statement on the matter. The new policy and definition provides military commanders with specific guidelines to determine whether service members are actively involved in extremist activities. The policy is at once specific and vague.

In 2020, the US Army published a comprehensive revision of Army Command Policy (AR 600-20) which was the first to address the use of social media to support extremist activities and provided guidance to leaders on how to address misconduct.

The new guidance was prompted by the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and follows a Congressional mandate for the Department of Defense to review its existing policies. Last year in February, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, directed the Department of Defense to engage experts and recommend actions.

The new extremist activities definition describes 14 categories of activities such as fundraising in support of extremists groups and aiding them. The definition also includes, “Advocating or engaging in unlawful force or violence to achieve goals that are political, religious, discriminatory, or ideological in nature,” and, “Advocating widespread unlawful discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, or sexual orientation.”

Another component of the definition is, ” Knowingly displaying paraphernalia, words, or symbols in support of extremist activities or in support of groups or organizations that support extremist activities, such as flags, clothing, tattoos, and bumper stickers, whether on or off a military installation.”

The new policy also includes dissemination of extremist materials, “including posting, liking, sharing, re-tweeting, or otherwise distributing content – when such action is taken with the intent to promote or otherwise endorse extremist activities.”

“Military personnel are responsible for the content they publish on all personal and public Internet domains, including social media sites, blogs, websites, and applications,” the policy states.

Military leaders will receive guidance on what social media activity might suggest extremist involvement.

“The revised instruction regroups issues into three sections: prohibited extremist activities, command authority and responsibilities and criminal gangs” John Kirby, the Pentagon’s top spokesman, told reporters Monday. “It also prohibits active participation in extremist activities and clearly defines what we mean by the term extremist activities.”

“The new definition preserves a service member’s right of expression to the extent possible, while also balancing the need for good order and discipline to affect military combat and unit readiness,” said Kirby.

“Nothing about this has anything to do with who a service member votes for or doesn’t vote for, or their personal political views,” said Kirby. But he added that advocating domestic terrorism or  “the overthrow of the government, or you’re actively undermining the oath you took to the Constitution to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, then all that fits” the policy’s criteria of extremism.

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TWH – In order to be more responsive to community needs and announcements, The Wild Hunt will be changing some of the aspects of the Pagan Community Notes feature as of Imbolc, 2022.

Pagan Community Notes is published on Mondays of every week and includes a round-up of important news and announcements specifically from and for the Pagan, Witchcraft, Heathen, and polytheists community.

We invite news from the community about our community including press releases, announcements, activities, ordinations, elevations, crossings,  and changes. We also invite news about events especially if they are being conducted as outreach by your group, coven, grove, or organization.

We will continue to cover important news to our community in this feature as well as the occasional smaller stories that are of interest to our community and others adjacent to us.

If you have a press release, we invite you to send it to us at pcn@wildhunt.org.


Announcements:

Circle Sanctuary announces that after 2 years of holding Pagan Spirit Gathering online, it is excited to announce in-person PSG will be returning for 2022!

PSG will take place June 19-26, 2022, at the Pulaski County / Fort Leonard Wood Shrine Camp in Waynesville, Missouri!  This is the same camp they intended to move to in 2020, before they made the decision to go virtual.

Circle says that the site is a beautiful, well-cared-for event ground that will suit the needs of our community well.  This site offers the following:

      • Flat ground and well-groomed gravel roads
      • Large, well-maintained shower house with flushable toilets
      • Numerous pavilions for workshops around the two main loops, most with electric
      • 14 electric/water RV sites for rent when you register (6 outside the gate / 8 inside the gate)
      • LOTS of shaded camping shaded Disability Camp with electricity available
      • Big stage
      • Beautiful area for various rites of passage

Circle writes “For the safety of our community, our home communities, and the communities we travel through as we travel to and from PSG, full COVID-19 vaccination is required for all eligible to receive the vaccination in order to register for and attend PSG 2022″.   For more information, please see their policy page.

Circle tells TWH ” We are excited to safely welcome back our beloved PSG community!”


The 18th Conference on Current Pagan Studies will take place this weekend, January 15 -16, 2022.  The conference is titled Visions of Imagination and Creativity.   The keynote speakers are Steven Posch and Jo Carson.

The conference organizers announce:

For Contemporary Pagans, Wiccans, Witches, and other folks living
an enchanted life, imagination, creativity, and magic play a role in
the way we perceive the world, the way we live our lives, and how
we weave together our seen and unseen communities. Please join us
as we consider and enter into discussion around the manner in which
vision, imagination, and creativity enrich and engage the lives of
Contemporary Pagans.

The Conference on Current Pagan Studies will be completely online
this January. Presentations will be recorded and made available to
conference attendees.

Registration costs are on a scale.  For information and additional information please visit:  Conference on Current Pagan Studies


In other news:

    • Vandals have “irreparably damaged” a panel of prehistoric stone artworks at Big Bend National Park in Texas according to the US National Park Service. The petroglyphs are between 4,000 and 8,500 years old.  The names  Norma, Adrian, Isaac, and Ariel and the date 12/26/21 are were scratched into the rock by the vandals. The stone cannot be restored.  “Damaging natural features and rock art destroys the very beauty and history that the American people want to protect in our parks,” Bob Krumenaker, superintendent of Big Bend National Park, said in a press release. The press release noted that there have been more than 50 instances of illegal vandalism recorded at the park since 2015.  The park rangers are actively investigating and ask that anyone with information come forward.

    • Canada announced last week that it had reached two agreements totaling C$40 billion (~US$31.5 billion) to compensate First Nations for their children who had been taken from their families and placed in the government’s child welfare system as well as to reform the system that removed the children. The agreement comes almost 15 years after  First Nations Child and Family Caring Society brought a human rights complaint against the government. The complaint was affirmed repeatedly by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. About half of the funds will be for hundreds of thousands of First Nation children who were removed from families and never received services.  The other half is for system reform.

    • New research suggests that dogs can distinguish between natural language and gibberish.  It is the first time a nonhuman brain has shown the ability to detect language. While many animals can distinguish auditory patterns, dogs may be able to take that one step further. Previous research had shown that dogs activate different neural pathways as they detect words suggesting they recognize the meaning of those words. But it was not clear if the dogs could do this in different languages. A new study in NeuroImage released last month found that in their sample of dogs, they were able to detect speech patterns and confidently distinguish them from scrambled speech. Older dogs did better than younger dogs in detecting natural language. The researchers read passages from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince in either Spanish or Hungarian through noise-canceling earphones. Two dogs, Kun-Kun and Odín, came from Mexico to Hungary with one of the researchers. The scans of the dogs’ brains revealed that they were processing differences between the languages. But when the researchers played random gibberish sounding like of each of the languages, the brains responded differently. The findings suggest that the dogs were not responding to tonal patterns. Future research will try to determine whether dogs have evolved specific brain regions capable of detecting human speech patterns because of their interactions with humans over millennia.


    Positively Noteworthy

    Baby G  weighed only three pounds at birth and his mother, Nmeka, 23,  did not offer maternal care. Fredrika, 47, the group’s elder female looked after Baby G.  Unfortunately, Baby G contracted pneumonia and had to be separated from the group for treatment. After two weeks of treatment, Baby G is now a healthy infant weighing 7 pounds. He was reintroduced to Fredrika who welcomed him back as did his father, Mokolo, 24. The other gorillas welcomed Baby G also, with daddy Mokolo keeping an eye on things.




  • Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

    Deck: Paulina Tarot by Paulina Cassidy, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

    Card: Two (2) of Pentacles

    This week is liable to call for flexibility and the ability to balance hard work with play. There is also an emphasis on concordant change and forward momentum.

    Conversely, disregard for the value of finding the balancing point can lead to reckless actions, failure, and loss of income.

    Decks generously provided by Asheville Pagan Supply.