I have read something very sad today. The Facebook-Group “Society For The Protection and Promotion of Polytheism” presented the “neopagan” Group “Neo-Hellenic Polytheism” (NHP) as being part of Greek Polytheism. We, the Hellenes, often explained that we reject “Neopaganism”, “neopagan” intolerance (“I want to be part of your tradition, whether you like it or not”) and that the so-called “Neo-Hellenic Polytheism” doesn’t belong to our tradition. Because Hellenes are an Ethnos, not “Pagans”, and Hellenismos (Hellenic Tradition) is an ethnic Religion, not “neopagan” or “Pagan” at all. “Paganism” was fabricated by the christians in order to humiliate the ancient cults and the ancient ethnicities. We would never use the mentioned term to define our selves (except for very rare exceptions), for it was imposed to our ancestors, which were slaughtered, persecuted and tortured as supposed “pagans” and “devil worshippers”.
Its outrageous that the mentioned group still holds on to its old propaganda and I hope that the “Society” will correct its post, for “NHP” is not hellenic, but “neopagan”. Hellenism is an ancient and Native Religion and part of the native Hellenic identity. “Neopaganism” is a modern movement, that emanated from christian occultism. The ancient Greeks didn’t practise “Neopaganism” and “Neopaganism” didn’t originate from Greece, so “neopaganism” can not be considered as being part of their religion. “Neopaganism” is the “child” of western monotheism and occultism, and has nothing to do with the Native Hellenic Religion and Worldview. “Neopaganism” didn’t even exist in ancient times and was never linked to Hellenism. “Neopaganism” is not ancient, and if its not ancient, it can not be Hellenic. And therefore it can not be part of their revitalized Religion or Hellenic Revival in general. Unless the mentioned Group can prove that their cult has ancient roots and was practiced by Hellenes. But I haven’t ever read such a thing in any scientific book written by Walter Burkert, Walter Friedrich Otto or Paul Veyne. I am an ethnic Hellene, I would know, if such a group is part of my religious tradition or not. And I am telling you, it is not. The issue is not a personal one nor is it about “believing” in the Greek Gods, but practicing Hellenismos in a historical and cultural accurate way, for Hellenismos is an orthopraxic tradition, and it is the orthopraxy (“right practice”) that defines Hellenismos. So the issue here – regarding this group – is that this group labels itself as “Hellenic polytheistic”. If someone doesn’t practice the religion in the right way, the Greek way, than he or she doesn’t practice Hellenic Polytheism, but something else. Therefore you can not use the term “hellenic polytheistic” to describe a cult, that the ancient Greeks never practiced and that never was part of their religion.
We don’t practice Hellenic Religion in “my” or in “your” way, but in the way of the ancient Greeks. Hellenism is a collectivistic culture. The community stands above the individual. Ancient Greek Religion wasn’t a matter of personal likes or individual choices – because it was an orthopraxic (Orthopraxy means “correct practice”) religion. The Hellenes were eager to practice “in the ways of our fathers”. Orthopraxy lies in the heart of hellenic piety. Today we would say: In the Way the Hellenes did. And that’s what Hellenismos is about: Honoring the Greek Gods in the Greek Way.
Therefore, We say “NO” to the exploiters of Hellenic Tradition and follow the example of the Lakotas by protecting our selves, our tradition and Identity from harm and distortion caused by disrespectful groups, which can’t take No for an answer (see: Declaration of War against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality). Native Religions and Traditions, stand up and protect your heritage!
1. “The term ‘Pagan’, which in the original Latin is derived from Paganus (peasant), is yet another insult used by the victorious Christians since the 4th Century, to belittle what remained of the Native Religions. They used this to label all those remaining loyal to their Ethnic Traditions, to imply that they were uneducated and uncouth villagers. The term was used for centuries in most European languages to refer to the Ethnikoi. In the 20th Century, it was reintroduced with the suffix neo (viz. Neopaganism), by various Christian-inspired devotees of Esotericism and the New Age. ‘Neopaganism’ doesn’t concern us. It may even be a manufactured ploy to detract from the current world rule of the so-called ‘Monotheists’.” (Supreme Council of the ethnic Hellenes, FAQ 24).
2. “The polish reporter Wojciech Jan Rudny interviews a constitutional member of the Supreme Council of the ethnic Hellenes (YSEE) on behalf of the polish «GNIAZDO» magazine”
Wojciech Jan Rudny: I’ve heard about many American Hellenists (people that they believe in the Greek Gods). What do you think about them?
YSEE: Some of these people that you mention are not true Hellenists but rather members of the so-called Wicca or other “neo-pagan” groups who are simply disguised as “Hellenists” for reasons that exist hidden within the depths of their own minds. Obviously we are not interested in having any relationship with these people. Our Tradition, Religion and Values should not be exploited in any manner, in much the same way that no other ethnic Tradition, Religion and Values should be exploited.
3. “Neopaganism” (“Neo-Hellenic Polytheism”, “Hellenic” Wicca etc.), Occultism and, the New-Age-Movement simply don’t concern the Hellenes, their Religion and Culture.”
Stilian Ariston: Hellenismos: The religion and worldview of the hellenes and hellenic polytheists.
The mistake has been corrected. The “Society” finally deleted the contentious Message. We thank the “Society” for protecting Hellenismos and saying no to “neopagan” intolerance.