Statement on the Arrest of Garrett "Odinschild" Kelsey

On July 23, 2019, Garrett Kelsey was arrested in Cedar Falls, Iowa, for making racist, violent threats via email and telephone a Jewish organization based in Manhattan. Among other things, the man demanded that the organization apologize to the “Asatru community” for posting a video about Nordic neo-Nazis. He identified himself as “Garrett Odinschild”, a reference to the Norse god Odin. Ásatrú is one of several related modern pagan traditions and sects that focus on revitalizing the pre-Christian religions of the Germanic-speaking peoples.

The Troth is an international organization that supports and furthers the revival of Germanic pagan traditions, including Asatru. Unfortunately, there is a long history of individuals and groups using our gods and holy signs for the promotion of racist and white supremacist doctrines, a problem that continues to this day. However, in the historical sources for the religion of the Viking-era Norse, Anglo-Saxons, and other related peoples, there is simply nothing that even hints at a pagan religious mandate for hatred towards Jews or any other racial or ethnic group. Nor do we condone racist actions or racial hatred among our members today. We condemn the threats allegedly made by the accused as unworthy deeds, for which there is no justification in our religion. We wil also continue our work promoting inclusive Heathenry with our many programs including Heathens Against Hate and InReach Services. 

The Troth stands against all racist misuses of our religious tradition and stands willing to cooperate with all persons of good will, whatever their faith, in opposing it. 

For further information, please contact publicrelations@thetroth.org

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