As I’ve been researching Odinism, I’ve downloaded a number of e-books. Most of them are just overviews of the Germanic pantheon, or relatively brief descriptions of modern Asatru beliefs. One that I need to single out is Irv Slauson’s “The Religion of Odin” – not because it’s particularly good, but because it’s a toxic concoction of racist, sexist, homophobic trash.
It was first published in the late 1970s, and it can serve as a record of extremist far-right positions of a sizeable segment of modern neo-pagan movement of that time. It’s cautionary, because such views seem to be prevalent among contemporary Slavic rodnovery as well as among a number of Germanic neo-pagan groups (interestingly, not in the home country of Asatru – Iceland, but in North America and some parts of continental Europe).
The book is a compilation of articles and essays from a number of authors belonging to different Odinist groups and organizations, such as the Asatru Free Assembly, the Runic Society, the Odinist Movement (Canada) and others. Some chapters are mere descriptions of ancient Germanic beliefs, or brief histories of modern Odinism. While there are passages that are clearly meant to distance the modern faith from Nazism, explaining how after the WW2 Odinism became quite progressive, some of the later chapters sounded worse than anything found in Nazi literature.
The article titled “The Gene Pool & Sexual Survival” (pp 97-102), written by Kurt Saxon, is absolutely disgusting. It begins by explaining that sex serves only for procreation (and procreation for the continuation of family and national gene pool), using really awkward argumentation. It then digresses into a hate-filled tirade against homosexuality and gay rights. Just to give a few snippets:
In Russia, homosexuals are sent away, seldom to be heard of again. In China, homosexual seduction is punishable by death, as it should be here. (p 100)
Homosexual seduction usually occurs when a young person has passed puberty but as yet has had no real sexual experience with another. He is often lonely, confused and alienated. He is then befriended by a homosexual and seduced. Since it’s his only sexual experience and part of a friendly relationship, it can become his preference, and then he’s out of the gene pool. (p 100)
If I had a kid whose teacher was an admitted homosexual, I’d see that teacher on the road or under the ground. (p 102)
What any of that has to do with Odinism, historically, religiously or otherwise, I really have no idea, but it’s interesting to observe how this sort of insane ideas migrate from one religion to another, poisoning and destroying their core ethical principles and values. And when it comes to Odinism, those are clearly spelled out in this book as well: the first and foremost among them human freedom and individuality. (p 15) Obviously, there are some major contradictions here, as there often are in organized religion, because it’s antithetical to call for people to be exterminated for actually exercising their freedom and individuality. Not to mention the glaring hypocrisy.
In any case, I’m sad to say that the book isn’t exactly dated, given that there are groups espousing such ideas to this day. Within Germanic neo-paganism they may be marginal, fringe phenomena, but as I’ve mentioned earlier, they are fairly mainstream among rodnovery today, which needs to be addressed.
The book can be read or downloaded (in various formats) from this webpage.