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The Controversy Surrounding the Troth...

The Troth is experiencing a headache in the form of dr_heathenscum,who is quite blatantly criticizing the Troth and its members (such as lwood)on a number of issues, and is doing so via a journal s/he created thetroth. And this has stirred up a great controversry... with people taking sides... I suppose I'm somewhere in the middle. I agree with several of the complaints being made, but think that the DOC is a bit too extreme and too prejudiced on a few issues.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I am heathen. 100% heathen, contributing to the community as I can through a variety of means. The Troth is supposedly an international religious association that any and all heathens can be a member of should they choose... but is the Troth... really heathen?

In a nutshell, no. Some of the high ranking members are far from being heathen and they lack what I call core heathen values, alot of these revolving around morality. Whereas I have no bias towards sexual orientation, I do however take exception to the free-loving polyamory that carries over from the pagans and wiccans... Yes, there is historical evidence that supports heathen men had multiple wives in some communities (Anglo-Saxon stuff comes to mind)... and yes we may have examples of promiscuity among the Gods... but to say "the gods did it so of course we too should be allowed" is 1) attirbuting the cultural millieu of a Christian and hellenistic approach to religion and 2) sheer hubris by we mortals.

If you look at many of the so called troth members... they're more Wiccatru, then they are heathen. They take a hodge podge of things inherent in the heathenry and mix it in with other cosmological models and practices that remove a great deal of the symbolism and efficacy of our heathen indigineous practices. Now this is NOT to say that all Troth members are so... there are several Troth members that I know of who are beyond a shadow of a doubt heathen. I think the problem herein lies in the wide disparity being accepted into membership. It doesn't accurately reflect what it is to be heathen.

One of the biggest outcries on the current controversry... is that the Doc is attacking anonymously. And you know what? The Troth has no room for argument. By Heathen custom... charges against a fellow in the community should be brought up publicly at a gathering... the person charged publicly... the accuser blatantly obvious. But this is not so. Complaints are handled "hush-hush" and the "accusers" are granted anonymity. So I see a rough sort of divine irony, even justice to the Troth being at the receiving end this time around. Hell at the last rede meeting of the Troth they refused by vote to make their disciplinary process public. If the point of participating in sumbel is to weave our wyrd into our cosmology, into our community... then whispering in the shadows defeats the purpose of community by essentially removing wyrd and community in such "disciplinary" and "anonymous" transactions. If the coremost heathen value is Troth... truthful word, truthful action, and being true to your oaths... then how can a "private" accusation be trothful?

Now... I do think the Doc makes a valid point... pornographic materials really should not be stored on the same server as a religious site, especially since some of the content is objectionable. Though I do think that the Doc beats this horse a bit too hard... he comes off as discriminatory against "gays" and although we have evidence about the term ergi in our history... we also have evidence that assinuations of ergi were placed upon the Gods as well. Are they about to say that certain Gods need to be banned from admittance? I think not. Although I certainly understand his ire over porn containing non-consentual, underage, and even beastiality being stored there.

I also don't quite agree with the Doc's complaints on seidr/spae... this is a valid heathen magicoreligious practice and it does have its place in Heathenry... how vital of a role this should be... well I think that is open to a great deal of debate. I'm of the opinion such things are excellent tools in learning first hand about the Gods... but wary of it being used in group gatherings, except when done by someone who is also a properly trained priest. Although I find the insinuation of alot of the oracular text being similar to Seth's... something that is interesting to say the least.

I just don't see, nor can I view the Troth as a heathen organization, and I haven't done so for several years. They seem to have a fundamental lack of the understanding of heathen thews.


I have to say that there was always something holding me back from joining the troth *because* of the lack of standards and overall bad wyrd. The fighting over bullshit has been a CONSTANT since the 80's. They refuse to require members to be heathen and are rather a "pan-germanic spiritual and cultural association". I think that statement pretty well speaks for itself. While I wish them well enough, its hard to see many members as my co-religionists in any respect. When FS-USA disbanded, I was looking at ROT for easy on paper re-ordination, but with the overly PC to the point of tolerating extremists on both ends additude, I just cound not see their thew or goals in line with my own. And I have to say how G. and my kinswoman Eileen were treated at Trothmoot has alienated me for life.