I’ve read today with regret that 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 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” does not 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 (and adopted by the occident) in order to humiliate the ancient cults and ethnicities. We would never use the mentioned term to define ourselves (except for very rare exceptions), for it was imposed on our ancestors, which were slaughtered, persecuted and tortured as supposed “pagans” and “devil worshippers”. This word itself transports all the categories of thinking and alienating power of current cultural imperialism. “Neopaganism” is one of the most significant forms of current cultural imperialism.
It’s outrageous to see that this group still holds onto its old propaganda. I very much hope that the “Society” will correct its post, for “NHP” is not hellenic, but “neopagan”. Hellenism is an ancient religion and part of the indigenous Hellenic identity. “Neopaganism” is a modern movement that emanated from christian occultism. The Greeks didn’t practise “Neopaganism” and “Neopaganism” didn’t originate from Greece, so “neopaganism” can not be considered as being part of their religion. It was never linked to Hellenism. “Neopaganism” is the “child” of western monotheism, it has nothing to do with indigenous religions and worldviews. On the contrary, “neopaganism” represents the homogenizing trait of global monotheism. “Neopaganism” is not ancient, and if its not ancient, it can not be Hellenic. And therefore it can not be part of the revitalized hellenic culture in general, unless the mentioned Group can prove the opposite. But I haven’t ever read such a thing in any scientific book written by Walter Burkert, Walter Friedrich Otto or Paul Veyne. As an ethnic Hellene I would know if such a group existed in my tradition. The issue is not a personal one. Nor is it about “believing” in the 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 they label themselves as “Hellenic polytheistic”, while they are not. But this kind of dishonest self-labeling is characteristic of “Neopaganism”. If someone doesn’t practice the religion in the right way, the Greek way, it should be apparent the he or she does not practice Hellenic Polytheism, but something else.
We don’t practice Hellenic Religion in “my” or in “your” way, but in the way of the Greeks. Hellenism is a collectivistic culture. The Polis stands above the citizen, the community stands above the individual. Greek Religion wasn’t a matter of personal likes and dislikes. It was an orthopraxic religion (orthopraxy means “correct practice”). The Hellenes were eager to practice “in the ways of our ancestors”. Today we would say: in the way the Hellenes practiced. And that’s what Hellenismos is about: Honoring the Greek Gods in the Greek Way. Orthopraxy lies in the heart of hellenic piety.
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 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.