Asatru Fight Misconceptions: Just a few quick notes for you today, starting with a look at depictions of Asatru in the media. The Southern Poverty Law Center, in a spotlight on the racist criminal organization European Kindred, mentions the religious split between Asatru and Christian Identity within its ranks. One of the law enforcement officers in the audience asked [EK founder David] Kennedy about a rumored split between EK members along religious lines. Kennedy replied that as far as he knew, the rumors were false. “Most of the guys in EK are into Asatrú [a neo-pagan faith that is not fundamentally racist, but is practiced by some racists], but then we also have guys who are into Christian Identity [an anti-Semitic theology based on a bizarre reading of the Bible], so it varies,” Kennedy said.
My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens. The city of Euless has had its request for a rehearing in federal appeals court over the matter of animal sacrifice rejected. “A federal appeals court has rejected Euless’ request for a rehearing on a decision that paves the way for a Santeria priest to resume sacrificing animals in his home during religious ceremonies. Jose Merced sued Euless, saying his First Amendment religious freedoms were violated when the city banned him from slaughtering goats in 2006. The city contended that such sacrifices jeopardized public health and violated slaughterhouse and animal-cruelty ordinances.”
The Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), an esoteric fraternal order which is perhaps best known for its associations with former leader and primary ritualist/liturgist Aleister Crowley, has recently achieved two major legal victories. The more important of the two regards trademark control over the terms “OTO” and “O.T.O.” in the UK.”I am happy to report that OTO has prevailed against Starfire Publishing Ltd.’s opposition to our trademarks for “OTO” and “O.T.O.” in the United Kingdom. In her decision of June 8, Anna Carbone, the Appointed Person hearing OTO’s appeal, found in favor of OTO, overturning a previous decision in favor of Starfire.
Psychic Wars in Livingston: It looks like a legal battle over a religiously-motivated Livingston Parish ordinance banning fortune telling will be headed to court. Despite being warned by their lawyer that they would most likely lose a lawsuit, the Parish Council decided to not address the issue at their most recent meeting, much to the dismay of some Parish residents.”Taxpayers might question the council’s insistence on spending public money to fight a lawsuit on an issue that has no purpose other than to pacify a particular religious group. The council’s attorney, Blayne Honeycutt, has advised that it probably would lose the Wiccan suit if it persists in defending the ordinance. When no member of the council would offer a motion to repeal the soothsaying ordinance, Honeycutt advised the council it needs to hire special counsel to handle such a case. Parish government, which has a history of being strapped for funds, could be putting that money to proper uses on roads, drainage, water and sewage rather than waging war for or against particular religious groups.
Thelemites Fight Pedophillia Charges: An Australian couple who posted unsubstantiated accusations of pedophilia and ritual abuse within the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) chapter in Melbourne, Australia have been sentenced to nine months in prison. The prison stay was ordered after Vivienne Legg and Dyson Devine defied a court order to take down the material, and declined to appear at hearings. “Vivienne Legg and Dyson Devine posted on their website claims that an occult group, the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), was really a pedophile ring in Victoria, and that its activities included hosting parties at which naked children served as waiters and members had sex with and murdered children … [Judge Marilyn Harbison] said the material was gross, insulting and bizarre in asserting that the OTO tortured and killed children and animals and consumed their organs in blood rituals. It also said OTO members were criminally corrupt, spoke of a culture of corruption at the highest levels of government, and identified politicians as taking part.