Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The history of the "Englisc" nationalist movement, part 1: Tony Linsell lays the groundwork

A typical Englisc nationalist.

A few times on this blog I've mentioned organisations or people who belong to a certain movement: a specific branch of English nationalism, one marked by heavy racial prejudice and many eccentric political and historical views.

These people often identify themselves using the archaic spelling "Englisc". Because of this, I will be identifying their movement as Englisc nationalism.

I thought it was time that I wrote a series of posts analyising Englisc nationalism and tracing its history across the past fourteen years. To start with, here is a quick introduction to the movement and what it stands for...


Englisc nationalism is centred on the Anglo-Saxon ethnicity. Members of the movement resent the label "British" as it lumps them in with the Scottish and Welsh.

More specifically, the movement is centred around the pre-Norman period of English history, which Englisc nationalists regard as a golden age. The movement aims to revive the Old English language and the worship of Woden (Englisc nationalists are often strongly anti-Christian). Often, members of the movement will argue that a lot of the political woes of modern England can be traced back to the Norman conquest. They favour the white dragon flag to the cross of St. George on the grounds that the latter is a post-Norman, Christian introduction with little symbolic connection to English history - although they still often use it in a "better than nothing" sense. (For similar reasons, they tend to prefer St. Edmund's Day over St. George's Day).

I remember coming across one Englisc nationalist on YouTube who argued that Old English should be the country's official language and that the currant monarch should be replaced with the closest living descendent of Harold II. I do not know exactly how common these positions are within the movement, but they are emblematic of its overall obsession with the pre-Norman era.


The above views can be seen as all part of a desire to find a "pure" England, one free of foreign taint. As should be expected, this also manifests itself in racism.

The Englisc nationalist movement is rife with racism, although exactly which races are targets of hatred will vary from person to person. White supremacy is a common position amongst Englisc nationalists; many believe specifically in Germanic supremacy and are contemptuous of whites who fall outside this category (particularly the Scottish, Welsh and Irish).

An obvious question which some may ask of Englisc nationalists is how they can hold such dislike of immigrants and descendants of immigrants when their movement celebrates the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain. This question is easy to answer when we consider that many people in the movement consider Anglo-Saxons to be superior to the Celts. Here is Mark Taylor, a prominent activisit within the Steadfast Trust, describing the pre-Saxon inhabitants of Britain as "abject" and therefore deserving of conquest:

People in the movement often refer to non-whites (and sometimes non-Anglo-Saxons in general) as "orcs". For an explanation of this, here is a quotation from S.A. Swaffington's book Anglo-Saxon Monsters:

"When the Normans conquered England in 1066, the English referred to their conquerers as 'Orcs', a non-politically correct term for someone who isn't seen as human."

Are they Nazis?

Englisc nationalism should not be treated as a subgroup of neo-Nazism: after all, their golden age is pre-Norman England, not the Third Reich. People in the movement are not necessarily Nazis, and will often point this out when called out on their bigotry (as though yelling "we're not Nazis!" somehow absolves them of the charge of racism). However, some Englisc nationalists are indeed Nazi sympathisers - I will be providing examples during the course of this series.

The red herring

Englisc nationalists have a fig-leaf which they use to cover the racism of their movement. Ostensibly, their aim is to make sure that the Anglo-Saxon ethnicity is officially recognised (for example on census forms, the ethnicity categories of which currently do not contain check boxes for "English").

This is not, in itself, a racist position. However, it is abundantly clear that the Englisc nationalist movement is riddled with bigotry - this series of posts will provide more than enough examples.

When confronted with their racism, Englisc nationalists will often try and twist the discussion into an argument about "recongising Englisc ethnicity". A good example is this discussion from a message board called Subvert Central, in which several people express disapproval of the racist views of the Anglo-Saxon Foundation forum - this post being typical:

"I know a lot of people who are interested in and actively promote english folk music, anglo-saxon literature, cricket, real ale etc but have got no time for anyone banging on about racial purity and similar drivel. They're into stuff bcause it's good and interesting, not because it's part of some great national identity that's being eroded by marxism, liberalism, mixed race marriage, europe, colour TV, Rhianna, queers, polski skleps etc"

One of the ASF members joins the conversation with this post:

"No, our idea of English heritage is seeing us recognised as a unique people with an ethnic identity that is our own - an idea that a moron like you no doubt has no problem with when it comes to other cultures. Still, never mind, we're used to bigots like you who see English identity as a civic one -i.e. that anyone born in England is English. No doubt your acceptable idea of English heritage is to see us forever shit upon. Now go away little girl because you don't have the mental capacity to understand the subject in hand. Besides, I have no desire to converse with anti-English bigots, therefore I won't. Bye bye Anglophobe."

Of course, the objections made by the members of Subvert Central were not based on definitions of English ethnicity (although the discussion was subsequently steered in that direction); they were condemning the ASF for its bigoted attitudes towards non-whites, homosexuals and many other groups

This is a clear-cut case of Englisc nationalists using their call to "recognise English ethnicity" as a fig-leaf for their racism. They will often argue that anyone who criticises their movement is an anti-English racist - an obvious variation on the tired "anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white" tactic.

With that introduction out of the way, here is a chronological rundown of some of the key organisations in Englisc nationalism. This post will look at the early days of the movement, when not all of the attributes discussed above necessarily played a part.

Athelney (established 2000)

An English Nationalism, the most influential of Athelney's books and the Old Testament of the Englisc nationalist movement.

I wrote about Athelney in more detail here. It was a small publishing outfit that released its first titles in 2000 and was dedicated to books on English nationalism. Its still-active sister company, Anglo-Saxon Books (which was founded in 1989),  is focused on more respectable books about early English history. Interestingly, the official website of Anglo-Saxon Books was located at - possibly the first time the movement adopted this spelling.

From what I have read of them, Athelney's texts ranged in tone from embattled and belligerent anti-immigration screeds to rather quieter endorsements of social conservatism; the overtly racist ethos of "Englisc" nationalism was, if present, heavily played down. However, Athelney does appear to have laid the groundwork for the movement in a significant way. In particular, it published Tony Linsell's book An English Nationalism, which is often cited as an inspiration by people in the movement.

Tony Linsell

As I said in my post about the publisher, I do not know who founded Athelney. However, Tony Linsell was certainly a prominent figure. He was the only person to have more than one book published by the group - and the only one of its authors to also have a book released by Athelney's sister publisher, Anglo-Saxon Books.

Furthermore, this post from the Anglo-Saxon Foundation implies that Linsell is the bigwig at Anglo-Saxon Books:

Tony Linsell is a man who will pop up again and again in this history, as we will see.

Linsell's magnum opus is a book entitled An English Nationalism. The first few chapters are available online, if we do enough digging; in these sections, Linsell outlines his version of Northern European history.

Judging by these online excerpts, he first chapter of An English Nationalism is entitled "The Origins of the English". Instead of being a work of anthropology, this is actually an outline of the Germanic creation myth, showing how gods such as Woden and Thunor were descended from the Allfather. This is a fairly typical excerpt:

"Sun rises in the East, turning frost giants into stone, then hurries across the sky chased by a snarling wolf that catches her at the edge of the western sky and swallows her whole. Then Night rides out and covers the Earth until Sun, the companion of Day, escapes and once again casts her bright light over the earth. By Sun we measure a year."

Linsell then proceeds with what looks more like solid history:

"The people of Allfather lived in the Middle Enclosure by the waters of the Black Sea. Their language and mythology had a common root but with the passing of time they became many tribes... Two main language groups formed. From one came the Germans, Greeks, Latins (Romans), Celts, Tocharians, Hittites and Albanians. From the other came the Balts, Indics, Iranians, Armenians and Slavs. They came to call the Gods by different names and worship them in different ways but they all gave praise to Sun and Moon, and the Sky Father, and the Earth Mother."

However, this is still pretty shaky. By identifying the Proto-Indo-Europeans as "people of the Allfather", immediately after outlining the Germanic creation myth in which the Allfather figures prominently, Linsell implies that Germanic mythology is the wellspring of all other Indo-European mythologies, rather than a belief system which developed alongside those of the other branches.

The next paragraph is even more dubious:

"One of the tribes, the Aesir, migrated to the north-west and followed great rivers and passed through vast forests and marshes. They wandered for many generations and faced testing challenges and dangers together, and in doing so they became a more tightly knit community with a strengthened sense of common purpose. In the North they came to the land of the Vanir, a people who worshipped gods of the sea and of the earth. The Aesir found land for themselves and built houses, grew crops and raised cattle. After a long war between the two tribes a truce was agreed. The people prospered, had many children and became many tribes. Scania, the name of the land in which they lived, became the womb of nations."

Here, the book is spouting outright pseudohistory. The Aesir and Vanir are two tribes of gods in Germanic mythology, and yet Linsell is treating them as ethnic groups that actually existed at some point in human history. As he does not provide citations, I do not know for sure where he got this idea.

The only other writer I know of who has depicted the Aesir and Vanir in this way is Robert E. Howard, author of the Conan the Barbarian stories. Howard's tales are set in a fanciful prehistoric world based partly around various mythological systems; he borrowed the terms Aesir and Vanir for two tribes of proto-Scandinavian people. The difference, of course, is that Howard was writing pulp fiction fantasies to entertain his readership, while Linsell claims to be giving the true story of Germanic history.

With this in mind, some of Linsell's arguments elsewhere in the book strike a distinctly ironic note. Take this, for example:

"Such propaganda has had much success in recent years amongst young romantics who like to see the Celts as nice peace loving people who lived in harmony with nature. Celts are also often incorrectly credited with being the founders of Druidism and having constructed the ancient earthworks and stone circles of Britain. The need to believe this nonsense springs in part from a search for roots. Celtic mania has been rolling along unopposed for such a long time that criticism of it is much resented."

While Linsell is quite right to criticise pseudohistory spread in the cause of Celtic nationalism, he is apparently oblivious to the fact that he himself is spreading pseudohistory in the cause of English nationalism. His bizarre ramblings about Aesir and Vanir have about as much to do with actual history as Braveheart.

After discussing his rather eccentric version of North European history, Linsell discusses politics, and spends a good deal of his time making blanket comments about "liberals". He is fond of straw man arguments, this being fairly typical:

"The hatred that some settlers have for the English is combined with the communal self-hatred and guilt of English liberals to produce a steady flow of anti-English propaganda. The English are mostly ignored but they have to be mentioned from time to time for the purpose of maintaining the tarnished image. Among the many insults there is always the allegation of innate English racism. We are all racists and there is no point denying it. The English are not and cannot be victims; they can only be oppressors. Ethnic good - English bad. These attacks are curious because they produce the following logic. 
a) The English are inherently racist and responsible for the ills afflicting ethnic minorities.
b) The members of ethnic minorities living in England are
c) The members of ethnic minorities are racist and responsible
for the ills afflicting ethnic minorities."

Linsell does not bother to provide any specific examples of liberals who have made this argument.

On the topic of racial segregation, he has this to say:

"Many people find any form of separatism extremely offensive but it is difficult to understand the moral argument for believing that wanting to keep races separate is bad but wanting to mix them up is good."

These excerpts from An English Nationalism contain three obvious keynotes: attacking liberals as a principal source of the world's ills, defending racial segregation, and spouting a curious semi-mythical account of English history. In time, these would also become keynotes of the Englisc nationalist movement as a whole.

Steadfast Journal (established around 2001)

Steadfast was a journal dedicated to English nationalism. I have not been able to find exactly when it began; according to this post its sixth issue came out in December 2002, and as it had a rough quarterly schedule it seems reasonable to suggest that it began in 2000 or 2001. Its website can be viewed on

Tony Linsell... again.

The aforementioned Tony Linsell was one of Steadfast's founders, as evidenced by his bio in the Athelney book Views from the English Community:

He was also in charge of the journal's editorials, which would logically imply that he was the editor.

Linsell was not the only linking factor between Steadfast and Athelney. Other people to write for Steadfast and/or its website include John Lovejoy (author of Athelney's book The Deculturalisation of the English People), Robert Henderson (one of the contributors to Athelney's Views from the English Community) P. Scrivener (author of Athelney's English Witness to their Darkest Hour) and T.P. Bragg (author of Athelney's The English Dragon). In other words, everybody who ever wrote a book for Athelney, with the possible exception of the poet Raymond Tong, also wrote for Steadfast at some point or another.

Other Steadfast contributors include Patrick Harrington, a man with a history of involvement in both the BNP and the National Front.

Steadfast published similar kind of material to Athelney - but on at least one occasion, it took a step much further.

This website has an archive of an interview that was published on an incarnation of the Steadfast website which is now defunct, and unavailable on The interview is between Tony Linsell and an unnamed spokesman for a group called English National Resistance.

Here are some excerpts from the question-and-answer session:

Linsell: The organisation to which you belong is called ENR – for English National Resistance – but you seem to see your primary identity as White. Is being English important to you? 
ENR: We are part of the White race but we have our own unique heritage and culture, so yes being English is important but we also need to make it abundantly clear that to be accepted as English you can never ever be anything other than White. The media would have us believe that Frank Bruno, Emile Heskey, Lewis Hamilton or Jordan’s son are all English but this mentally ill modern concept of being English needs to be challenged and destroyed. 

Linsell: If you are successful, and the ruling elite feels the need to mention the ENR, its members and activities are bound to be condemned. How do you feel about that prospect? 
ENR: That isn’t a problem and is fully expected by us as time goes on and we get bigger. I feel it really won’t be worth their while to run hit pieces or smear campaigns on us because nothing they can do will hurt us, the publicity and attention is just going to garner more interest among young people. 

Linsell: Are you optimistic about the future for England? 
ENR: That depends what you mean, for the current form that ‘England’ takes I have absolutely no hope for and do not want to save it. We live in a debased multicultural hell where ‘England’ equates to stocking up on crates of Carling just in time to watch eleven non-Whites kick a football around in your name while your daughter gets diversified in the local clubs by enrichers.
This society needs to hurry up and collapse, and out of this chaos a new English nation will one day appear from the rubble – lead by those who were once hated and scorned by the old system and its minions. Only the strongest and most ruthless will be able to survive the collapse, and we hope that this new nation will be able to maintain its integrity long after it is reborn so this scenario we are living in will never happen again.

Linsell: I hope you will take it as a compliment if I say some of your words are much like those of Malcolm X, who I regard as a brave and able man. He urged Black Americans to lead a clean upright lifestyle with an emphasis on personal growth and responsibility. In crude terms he wanted each of them to stop grumbling, to get off their arse and do something positive. That included leading a disciplined and productive life and setting a good example to others, especially children. He wanted Black people to have pride in who they were as individuals and as a community. He advocated stable, long-term family structures where children were taught their history and culture and encouraged to bloom into confident positive people. Does the ENR have similar aims for White people in general and English people in particular? What sort of changes in attitude amongst the young do you want to bring about?
ENR: I’d say that’s a fair analogy, we would like to influence young people in order to show them that there is an alternative way of life that is much better and more rewarding than the degenerate activity most people are into. Changes we would like to see are rejection of multi-ethnic values and acceptance of integration. 

For more information on the English National Resistance, see RationalWiki and its promotional videos here and here. Suffice to say that the group seems to have spent most of its time campaigning against interracial marriage and, to a lesser extent, homosexuality.

This is the kind of organisation that Linsell chose to promote through his journal.

Over time, the journal became one part of a larger operation. Steadfast evolved into a pressure group which, amongst other things, tried to establish community centres for people of Anglo-Saxon descent. Here is a letter that was printed on the Steadfast website in 2006:

'Dear Editor,

I'm firmly of the mind that we English, despite being the largest ethnic group in these islands, desperately need communal centres of our own if we are to survive the "establishment's" desire to define us out of existence. By this I mean communal centres in their fullest sense, not simply places where English folk can meet up, but where our history, culture and traditions can be preserved and passed on to current and future generations.

There will undoubtedly be opposition to these proposals, a fact brought home to me in a recent conversation with Marge Barton, newly appointed High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear. Mrs Barton was mortified at the mere suggestion of such centres, which she believes would alienate the ethnic minorities (now there's a surprise). Given that many of these other ethnic groups already have their own centres shows the absurdity of such arguments, but I've no doubt there are countless other "Marge Barton's" up and down the country who would agree with her.

Steadfast N.E. has already tried to organise a regular venue for local members, sadly with no luck. We had to fight tooth and nail with Sunderland Library just to get a poster displayed on their Community Notice Board, so we know what we're up against. Nevertheless, someone has to take the lead, so why not Steadfast?

Michael Brown

Steadfast is now defunct, but some of its activities are carried on by the very similarly-named Steadfast Trust.

Steadfast Trust (established 2004)

After Athelney and the Steadfast journal laid the groundwork for the Englisc nationalist movement, the Steadfast Trust - "the only charity for the ethnic English", as its website declares - seems to have been the first serious attempt to put these theories into practice. And yes, Tony Linsell was once again involved in getting it off the ground.

Tony Linsell. Gets around, doesn't he?

Company Check has some information on the people involved with the charity. Here is RationalWiki's summary of the data:

"The Steadfast Trust was set up in 2004. Its first directors appear to have been Tony Linsell, Stephen Pollington and Jane Phillips; Phillips appeared on the Channel 4 documentary 100% English, in which she was identified as the founder of the charity. Steven Whateley and Paul Marson became directors in 2005.

Linsell resigned in 2005, while the others all resigned on 6 September 2006. On the same day, a new team of directors took over: Julien Crighton and Shelly Marie Donohoe."

A 2009 posting on the Steadfast Trust website quotes from the Steadfast journal, claiming that "Steadfast is an independent pressure group and is not connected to the Steadfast Trust". Despite this, there is a clear overlap between the two. Along with the involvement of Tony Linsell there is the fact that one of the Steadfast Trust's main concerns is setting up "English community groups" - the same concern expressed in the Steadfast letter quoted above.

The Steadfast Trust affirms its "Englisc" credentials.

If we get past the organisation's rather dubious assumption that the ethnic majority needs a charity to support it just as much as minority ethnic groups do, then at first the Steadfast Trust may look rather innocuous. After all, a brief look through its site suggests that it spends most of its time donating books on English history to schools, and there is no harm in that.

However, there is more to the charity than meets the eye. In the next post in this series I will look at some of the groups that the Steadfast Trust has ties to. And yes, there are some seriously dodgy things going on there...

Move on to part 2 and part 3 of this series.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Wulf Ingessunu and Woden's Folk: How a 1980s TV series inspired a racist cult

Wulf Ingessunu, founder of Woden's Folk

Woden's Folk and Robin of Sherwood

The thing about Wodenism is that very little of the religion actually survives. So, people attempting to revive the pre-Christian religion of the Anglo-Saxons in the present day have had to be a little... imaginative.

In the case of Woden's Folk, that means borrowing its theology from the 1980s ITV series Robin of Sherwood, written by Catweazel creator Richard Carpenter.

Take a look at this excerpt from an old version of the Woden's Folk website, in which founder Wulf Ingessunu discusses the "Hooded Man prophecy" that is at the heart of his beliefs:

'The Prophecies of Gildas –

“In the days of the Lion, spawned of the Devil’s brood, the Hooded Man shall come to the forest. There he will meet Herne the Hunter, Lord of the Trees, to be his son and do his bidding. The Powers of Light and Darkness shall be strong within him. And the guilty shall tremble.”

From this Ancient Prophecy we can see that the “Powers of Light and Darkness” are strong within the figure of Robin Hood: his is a figure of the balance of opposites as we stated before. At the end we find the statement – “The guilty shall tremble”: this infers that the figure of The Hooded Man incarnates to bring Justice, and in doing so to reap vengeance upon the guilty. The Hooded Man becomes “Herne’s Son” after coming to the forest.

This Prophecy of Gildas was restated in a slightly different form to a Woden Initiate (Wulf Ingessunu – “Wulf – Son of Ing”) on 31 October 1993 in Horam, East Sussex, England. I am now going to show how the new version is the true version for the new Age of Aquarius, and that this revised prophecy heralded the end of the Age of Pisces (Christ-Age) and the beginning of the Age of Aquarius (August 1999).

The Hooded Man Prophecy –

“In the Days of the Lion, spawned of the Evil Brood, The Hooded Man shall come to the forest. There he will meet with Herne the Hunter – Lord of the Trees – to be his Son and do his bidding. The Power of Light and the Power of Darkness were strong within him. And the guilty shall tremble!”               The Hooded Man Prophecy 1993.'

The trouble is that this "ancient prophecy" is not ancient at all. It was created for Robin of Sherwood.

Wulf Ingessunu is obviously aware of this connection, as he mentions the series twice on the same page:

'In the “Robin of Sherwood” series of the 1980s we find the figure of Herne the Hunter as the Mystic Guide to the English Folk-Hero.'

'The name “Tell” is related to words meaning “Fool” as also is The Hooded Man related to The Fool of the Tarot (according to the Robin of Sherwood series).'

The fact that Woden's Folk was inspired by a television show has led it to being - to put it mildly - questioned in some quarters. RationalWiki has an article on the group which spends a good amount of time discussing its debt to Robin of Sherwood; Fundies say the Darnedest Things has taken aim at Woden's Folk several times (here, here and here); the Fortean Times forum had a discussion about it; and one Atheist Forums member hailed the organisation as "a religion weirder than scientology".

The prophecy is not the only element of Robin of Sherwood to be incorporated into the beliefs of Woden's Folk, as RationalWiki describes:

"Ingessunu has also provided an interpretation of the prophecy:

'This prophecy declares that the purpose of Woden's Folk is to create a balance between the Power of Light and the Power of Darkness, this being symbolised by the Seventh Sword of Wayland - Albion.'

Again, this is lifted from Robin of Sherwood. Although the swordsmith Wayland is a genuine legendary figure, the idea of him having made seven swords, with the seventh being named Albion, is an invention of the television series."

Just how can a piece of dialogue created for a 1980s TV series be an "ancient prophecy"? Well, the group's supporters have come up with three answers...

Argument #1: Although it was used in Robin of Sherwood, the text was originally composed by the sixth century writer Gildas.

This is a suggestion made by the Anglo-Saxon Foundation member "Hodekin", although to be fair he does express doubt as to whether or not it is accurate:

And he is right to do so, as it is not accurate at all. The scripts for Robin of Sherwood do indeed identify the text as one of the "prophecies of Gildas", and yes, Gildas was a real person. But while Gildas may have written the prophecy in the fictional world of Robin of Sherwood, he did not write it in the real world. Here's what RationalWiki has to say on the matter:

'There was a historical Gildas, who lived in the sixth century AD, but he is unlikely to have written the above lines as they mention Herne the Hunter. The earliest known written reference to this character is in Shakespeare's 1597 comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor, and he appears not to have been mentioned in any other surviving texts until 1792.

There is speculation that Shakespeare's Herne (described as the horned, chain-rattling ghost of a deceased gamekeeper) is based on an earlier legendary character, possibly the Celtic god Cernunnos, but the name "Herne the Hunter" is not known to have been used before Shakespeare's play. Moreover it has been suggested that Shakespeare himself may have invented at least some aspects of the character - such as the horns, which provide comedy value when Falstaff comes to impersonate Herne in the play. Herne the Hunter may simply have been a sixteenth century Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Wulf Ingesunnu has said that the prophecy "appeared in the 'Robin of Sherwood' TV series of the 1980s" but seems reluctant to state where the prophecy appeared before its use in this series. The reason for this is simple: this "ancient" prophecy was, in fact, created for a television show in the eighties.'

Disagree? Well, show me an actual historical document that contains the "prophecies of Gildas", then we'll talk.

Argument #2: While the specific form of the text was written in the 1980s, its meaning is ancient.

This is Wulf Ingessunu's personal answer to the criticism, as quoted at RationalWiki:

'Woden's Folk relies heavily on 'The Hooded Man Prophecy' which is an altered version of the "Prophesies of Gildas' featured in the 1980s 'Robin of Sherwood' series. This is held to be an ancient prophecy since prophecy is TIMELESS and its use in a series devoted to 'The Hooded Man' is proof of its arising in the Folk-Consciousness of the English. It was revealed - in its altered state - to Wulf Ingessunu on October 31st 1993 together with certain symbols which revealed the nature of 'The Hooded Man'. It has to be understood that 'The Hooded Man' is an ARCHETYPE and is thus subject to the Eternal Return - i.e. this is an incarnation of a god-force upon the Earth. The power of such an ARCHETYPE shows itself in many ways prior to the full incarnation of the Myth.

When Woden's Folk uses the term 'ancient prophecy' for this it does so in the above sense, a sense not easily understood by those who do not share a mystical leaning, and those who ridicule everything that does not fit with their own narrow-minded world-view.'

The problem with this argument - aside from the obvious reliance on mystical mumbo-jumbo - is that Wulf himself is unsure of what the prophecy actually means. Here is part of his analysis from the old version of his website quoted from above:

'The “Days of the Lion” will usually be taken to refer to Richard the Lion-Heart, the King usually associated with the Robin Hood era. But prophecy is not something that is bound to one era – it is eternal. The “Days of the Lion” could refer to the Lion of Judah which is the symbol of Judaism. Or, at another level, it can refer to Leo the Lion – a Zodiacal Constellation.'

Another Woden's Folk member, meanwhile, claims that "the days of the lion" refers to Osama bin Laden, as the name Osama is Arabic for "lion".

So, the group has given us three self-contradictory interpretations of the phrase "days of the lion": Judaism, the constellation of Leo, and Osama bin Laden.

As they don't know what the prophecy actually means in this respect, how can they tell us that its meaning is "ancient"?

There is only one claim made by the prophecy that Wulf has been able to clarify with any degree of certainty: that sometime in the near future, Woden will be incarnated as a magical hooded man who will arrive to save England. This scenario, of course, is so patently absurd that it can be dismissed without a second thought.

Wulf would probably reply that I do not share his mystical leaning. To be entirely honest, I'd take that as a compliment.

Argument #3: Robin of Sherwood was divinely inspired.

Here is what the Anglo-Saxon Foundation member "Eassex cempa" has to say:

Short version: if priests can receive messages from God, then so can television scriptwriters.

Well, I can't prove this claim wrong. If we accept the idea of a divinely-inspired text, then it is theoretically possible that a script for a television series could be the word of a god. The obvious question is this: where do we stop?

If Robin of Sherwood contains a divinely-inspired prophecy, then surely it would be just as reasonable to build up a cult around Xena: Warrior Princess, or Doctor Who, or Only Fools and Horses. Ingessunu seems to think that the "hooded man prophecy" must be divine because he had a dream about it; I had a dream about Batman when I was 12, does that mean I should worship him?

"Wyrd goes where it must", says the Woden's Folk supporter quoted above. In this case, Wyrd seems to have gone out of its way to ensure that Woden's supposed representatives are treated as a massive joke.

Woden's Folk and racism

This is what Woden's Folk have to say on the topic of race relations:

'We oppose the multi-racial society where various different “communities” vie for a slice of the cake in a decaying and dying nation. This evil system has produced a hell-on-earth in which crime, violence, perversion and subversion are rife. This type of society has never worked – and never will! Multi-racialism or “multi-culturalism” is the basis of a one-world state – a World Dictatorship! '

Pretty clean-cut: the organisation wants all non-white people out of the country.

But if that's not enough for you, there's more…

An older version of the Woden's Folk website included a poetry section. Here's a poem praising David Lane as the "son of Woden":

David Lane, for those unfamiliar with him, was one of the most notorious white nationalists in the history of the movement. In 1987 he was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his role in the murder of a Jewish radio host named Alan Berg.

During his life, David Lane often worked with two collaborators: his wife Katja Lane and the writer-illustrator Ron McVan. With this in mind, it is interesting to note that one version of the Woden's Folk website included a dedication to "Katja,Ron for the friendship they have shown".

At this point, it's hard to deny that the group is racist. Out of academic interest, we can push things a little further by asking if Woden's Folk is specifically a neo-Nazi organisation. Well...

Here's what the links page of the Woden's Folk website looks like:

Yup - that's SS insignia, folks. It's worth mentioning that an earlier version of the Woden's Folk website also had a swastika proudly placed on its home page:

Now, the group's supporters will probably be rushing to inform me that the swastika predates Nazism. I'm aware of this, and I don't see anything inherently wrong with a non-Nazi group trying to reclaim the symbol for its earlier meanings (although, if they do, I think it'd be basic sense for them to issue a statement clarifying that they are not pro-Nazi). But since Woden's Folk is using both swastikas and the totenkopf insignia of the SS, then really, there are so many ways to interpret their intentions.

Returning to the links page, we see six sites listed. The last three are run by Wulf Ingessunu while the first three are run by a Woden's Folk member known variously as "Wotans Krieger", "Wulf Veldasson" and "Aryan Lord".

Wotans Krieger, a Hitler worshipper in the most literal sense…

Wotans Krieger is an unabashed neo-Nazi who believes Hitler to have been an incarnation of the god Wotan/Woden/Odin. FSTDT has a selection of some of his more remarkable quotes;  here are just a few of my favourites...

"Dr Jung was effectively the first one to recognise that Wotan had awoken and resided not only in Hitler but the German people as a whole. This reawakening started not with Hitler. The groundwork had begun in the 19th century and the most obvious example of Wotan moving in the German Collective Unconscious was reflected in the music of Wilhelm Richard Wagner and in particular in his Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle of music dramas. Savitri Devi and Miguel Serrano took this conclusion one step further and referred to Hitler as being an avatar."
"By educating our own children we avoid instilling into their minds the multicultural, multiracial, `equality` nonsense that is preached at them in schools and we also avoid the vile homosexual filth that they are exposed to as part of their `education`. [...]
 We can give them a real sense of who they are, the uniqueness of their Aryan identity and instil in them love for their own race and an abhorrence for miscegenation, drug taking, homosexuality and general degeneracy." 
"To me there is something unnatural, something ungermanic, something alien about male flip-flop and sandal wearers." 
"However the `solution` is coming and it will be a final solution, not one instigated by us but by Mutter Erde Herself. The nuclear holocausts that will be unleashed by the zionists will cause a chain reaction throughout nature and will wipe out most of humanity. This we know has happened before many times in the unrecorded history of the earth. As someone far wiser than me once noted Ragnarok spelled in reverse is Korangar-the spear[Gar-Proto-Germanic] of the Koran. In otherwords Ragnarok will be initiated as the result of Islamic fundamentalism."

Another Woden's Folk member, known as "Steed", operated a blog called Eye of Woden which has now closed. Parts of it can be read on, including this utterly bizarre passage:

"As I mentioned at the beginning of this article 'the Nazis' (as their detractors called them) have become synonymous with the concept of Vril. The relationship between 'the Vril Society' and National Socialism is written of widely, from varying perspectives. Some claim that the Vril Society was behind Hitler's rise to power, whilst others accuse the Vril Society of collaboration with the Illuminati and other secret societies which are now recognised as being harmful to the sovereignty and health of man and nation. I know too little of the Vril Society to comment reliably, but its true nature is nevertheless irrelevant to my next point.

Adolf Hitler, whether you deem him a great man or a genocidal maniac, was clearly in possession of copious Vril. This blog does not exist to promote a belief in Hitler's greatness, but I do nevertheless understand the truth surrounding the man and his war."

Make of that what you will. See FSTDT for more of Steed's writings, across both his own blog and the Anglo-Saxon Foundation.

Moving on, Woden's Folk and its sister organisation English Resistance (also run by Wulf Ingessunu) have posted a few videos online. This one is set to the song "White Rider" by the neo-Nazi skinhead band Skrewdriver ("Some fools will oppose you, true men will stay loyal/But the victory shall be ours for the blood and the soil/You feel love for your people, disdain for the fools/The enemy's led by the Zionist tools").

Another video features the song "White Dragon" by former Skrewdriver guitarist Martin Cross ("Overwhelm the invader that has infected our shore/Strike with a vengeance and lay down the law"). Cross was also a member of the neo-Nazi organisation Combat 18, and in 1998 he was sentenced to life in prison for his part in the member of fellow C18 member Chris Castle. He was previously convicted for helping to publish magazines detailing how to make bombs.

Next, we have this post about Woden's Folk at a neo-Nazi blog. Wulf Ingessunu himself posts in the comments section:

If you don't feel like reading the whole thing (and yes, he certainly waffles on when he feels like it), here are some highlights from this rather bizarre screed:

I am not particularly familiar with Miguel Serrano, whose works on "Esoteric Hitlerism" are discussed favourably by Ingessunu. So, I went to the neo-Nazi wiki Metapedia for a short explanation of his views:

"Miguel Serrano (born September 10, 1917; died February 28, 2009) is a retired Chilean diplomat, explorer, and an author of poetry, books on spiritual questing and Esoteric Hitlerism. Serrano's extraordinarily forceful and anti-modernist neo-Gnostic philosophy elucidates the otherworldly origin of the Hyperborean-descended Aryans, image-bearers of the godhead, and a global conspiracy against them by an evil inferior godlet, the Demiurge Yahweh-Jehovah, worshipped by the Jews, lord of planet Earth, spawner of the primitive hominid stocks and all base materiality. 
He foremostly synthesizes the Hindu-Vedic and Nordic-Germanic religious traditions -- both of which he regards as of ancient Aryan-Hyperborean provenance -- in addition to particularly esoteric and racialist interpretations of Buddhism, Christianity (or "Kristianism"), Luciferianism (=not Satanism), and Gnosticism. Serrano is especially indebted to the Jungian theory of collective racial archetypes and follows Savitri Devi in recognizing Adolf Hitler as an avatar (divine incarnation) who battled against the demonic materialistic hosts of the Kali Yuga."

The fact that Wulf Ingessunu can treat the writings of this nutcase in such a respectable manner speaks volumes about the leanings of his group.

At this point, if Woden's Folk are not a neo-Nazi group, then they are doing a simply remarkable impersonation of one. But it goes on...

Look around YouTube and you will find excerpts from a speech given by Wulf Ingessunu at a New Right meeting (New Right is an organisation that appears to consist primarily of neo-Nazis and Islamists finding common ground in their hatred of Jews). Here's one of Wulf's more intriguing recorded comments:

"I would suggest that people start preparing themselves and their children for the catastrophic times that are coming to this planet, caused by the people that these people have been saying we should fight. I am well aware who's behind it, well aware who's behind all these things the same as everybody else is. But this infection will create problems that they can't control: they may centralise the whole of this thing in Jerusalem, and there it will be destroyed."

So, Ingessunu believes in a sinister global conspiracy centred in Jerusalem. It is pretty clear that he is invoking the age-old idea of the worldwide Jewish conspiracy.

It gets better:

"And that is why Lord of the Rings was put out at the beginning of the new millennium, because here in England a power is going to arise within the next few years that will challenge the might of this New World Order. In prophecy, in Norse prophecy, we have a prophecy where a mighty one would come, matchless in strength." 
[Audience member sniggers] 
"Okay, anybody can laugh at it. But I - if you let me finish, if you let me finish, right - because a power will arise here in this country. It doesn't seem as if it would now, because the people are asleep, but they can be awakened. This has happened before, this power has awoken before in Europe in the last century. 
The same power backed by the runes - the Northern European runes - will arise here in England. As I said, a mighty one was born, matchless in strength, nursed in blood to suckle the ground. If you look in Norse mythology we find that this is Heimdall, who brings the laws of caste and laws of race to his people."

What is Wulf talking about when he claims that the "power" he predicts - represented by a "mighty one" who enforces the "laws of race" - had previously arisen in Europe in the twentieth century? He appears to have a specific event or personage from European history in mind, but what or whom?

I do not know for sure. But at this point it is worth going back to the neo-Nazi blogger Wotans Krieger. Here is a post he made at the white nationalist forum Vanguard News Network forum under the name "Aryan Lord":

So, he equates Hitler with Heimdall, as well as Wotan. He claims that his views are not necessarily shared by the rest of Woden's Folk, but yet they dovetail perfectly with Wulf Ingessunu's comments above if we interpret the "mighty one" as Adolf Hitler and the power that "has awoken before in Europe in the last century" as Nazism.

I'm not the only one to have made this observation, as evidenced by this YouTube comment on one of Wulf's speeches. The poster criticises Wulf's speech-giving methods, but approves of his overall views:

If the twentieth-century "Mighty One" hailed by Wulf isn't Hitler, then who is it?

Wulf Ingessunu's book, produced in collaboration with Troy Southgate.

Woden's Folk and privacy

According to these posts from the Anglo-Saxon Foundation and Vanguard News Network, Woden's Folk don't like people talking about their beliefs in public:



It's not hard to see the reason for this. The beliefs of Woden's Folk do not stand up to any kind of close inspection - the more they are discussed, the more absurd they appear.

As a result, Wulf Ingessunu has resorted to trying to keep the exact philosophy of his group private. He just cannot bear people poking fun at him.

I spoke to some practising heathens in researching for this post, and they were not at all impressed by Wulf Ingessunu and his "ancient prophecy of the hooded man". And why would they be? As I have demonstrated, the alleged prophecy is no more than a statement so vague as to be meaningless, written for a television series and later adopted by a bigot who sees himself as a holy man and visionary.

With the absurdity of Ingessunu's views exposed for all to see, it is safe to say that anyone who still supports Woden's Folk is a gullible oaf, desperate to find some kind of mystical justification for their common-or-garden bigotry.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Fringe politics 101: the enlightened, the masses, the lost and the cabal

If you have an interest in fringe politics, then you will doubtless have come across Jack Chick, the American fundamentalist Christian cartoonist.

In Chick's fictional world, people come in four types. First we have the enlightened, the preachers who share Chick's religious views:

Then there are the masses, the people who are somehow almost entirely ignorant of even the most basic concepts of Christianity:

These people just need to be preached to, and they will soon become enlightened themselves. Chick takes this idea to absurd lengths - in one of his most infamous comics, Lisa, a doctor preaches to a paedophile (instead of turning him over to the police) and the man magically stops abusing his daughter. Chick is certainly convinced of his persuasive abilities!

Next, there are the lost. These people are too far gone to ever accept salvation, and so are doomed to hell. They often subscribe to false belief systems such as Catholicism or Islam. Here's what happens to a young lady (who converted to witchcraft after reading Harry Potter) and her aunt Gladys:

In Chick's world, some members of the lost have managed to obtain positions of power and are actively attempting to crush the enlightened. These people form the cabal.

As Chick is an American, he fits outside my blog's subject matter - as do most of his followers. So, why have I decided to analyse his worldview like this? Simple. The worldview described here underpins a vast spectrum of fringe thought.

Let us start with white nationalism. In 1993, the American neo-Nazi William Luther Pierce (author of The Turner Diaries) wrote a strikingly Chick-like comic book entitled The Saga of White Will.

In this high school story, the enlightened are represented by the titular White Will and his friends, all of whom are convinced white supremacists:

The cabal is also evident. It is formed by the school's teachers, who are promoting afrocentrism so that the white students will become "wiggers", and by a Jewish boy named Izzy Rabinowitz who conspires with the principal to help crush the whites' self-esteem:

The lost are represented by a few white anti-racists (presumably the "wiggers" referred to earlier on) and most of the black students (the one exception is a militant black antisemite who aligns himself with White Will against their common foe):

The masses, meanwhile, comprise pretty much the rest of the school. Witness how the students flock to an anti-racist rally carrying signs with slogans such as "everyone is equal"...

...And yet they are apparently unconvinced of these sentiments, as they laugh along when Will sabotages the rally to make a prominent black student sound like a racist stereotype:

Like Chick, Pierce portrays a world in which the masses will join the enlightened, so long as the enlightened are able to preach their views.

Take a look at any fringe position, and there is a good chance that you will find the same basic philosophy.

As another example, conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones see themselves and their followers as enlightened, the general public as the "sheeple" masses, and anyone who disagrees with them after hearing their theories as lost. And a conspiracy theory, by its very nature, requires a cabal of some sort. We could also point to the objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand who, like Chick and Pierce, constructed entire fictional narratives to promote her beliefs.

From here, it is easy to find this basic worldview amongst all manner of British cranks. We may not have Jack Chick, but we have Anjem Choudary. In place of William Luther Pierce, we have Nick Griffin. Instead of Alex Jones, we have David Icke.

Analyse their views in depth - along with the views of the BNP, the EDL and countless others - and I'm sure that many of them will fall back on the same structure. The enlightened trying to convert the masses before they become lost and end up in the grip of a cabal that hates the enlightened.

At this point, it all collapses into outright absurdity. So many different groups claiming to be the enlightened ones, and yet none of them can agree on the particulars. Does the cabal consist of Catholics, Jews, socialists, or aliens? Maybe they should figure this out between themselves before they go preaching to us.

There is another common thread that can be found amongst these seemingly disparate fringe philosophies. This time, it is not a theoretical group of people, but a hypothetical event: the great war that will end it all.

Jack Chick, of course, believes in a Christian apocalypse. He holds that the enlightened will be transported to heaven in the Rapture while the world plunges into a war, one that ultimately ends with the defeat of the cabal and the lost.

Amongst white nationalists groups we find the concept of the race war, racial holy war, or RaHoWa. According to these people, there will one day be a battle between the races in which the white masses finally become enlightened and join up to battle against the cabal and the lost. Naturally, the white nationalists come out on top. William Luther Pierce's The Turner Diaries outlines this scenario, and ends with the white heroes successfully killing all non-whites on the planet.

I believe that this desire for an apocalypse is less common amongst conspiracy theorists, but it still exists. Once again, it involves the masses joining the enlightened to overthrow the cabal.

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand portrays an apocalyptic scenario in which society crumbles under the inept leadership of the cabal, while the enlightened flee to the safety of Galt's Gulch - leaving the lost to perish.

And it scarcely needs mentioning just how important to communism the concept of revolution is: the enlightened overthrowing their capitalist cabal.

In future posts on this blog, I expect the formula of the enlightened, the masses, the lost, the cabal and the apocalypse to turn up again and again.

So, is there any truth in the formula? Well…

Do the enlightened exist? Well, it should go without saying that people who share the values of these particular writers (Chick's fundamentalists, Pearce's racists, Rand's objectivists) all exist. So in a manner of speaking, the answer is yes.

Do the lost exist? Again, in a manner of speaking, yes, since people who are dead-set against the views of these writers and their followers certainly exist.

And it goes without saying that some people in positions of power fit the above description - so, once again in a manner of speaking, the cabal exists.

But where the formulae really falls apart is with its characterisation of the masses. Simply put, the general public does not consist of a horde of blank slates, ready to absorb the beliefs of Chick, Icke and the rest after a little bit of preaching.

It may seem trite, but everyone is different. Our minds work differently. Our experiences are different. There is simply no one philosophy that suits every one of us. And this is why all of the above movements are doomed to fail.