A Statement by Stephen McNallen
from The Runestone Summer 1999 #26
After much discussion and thought, I have submitted the following statement to the Board of Drectors of the Asatru Folk Assembly, which has given it their endorsement:
All members and supporters of the AFA, and indeed all Asatruar within or without our organization, are strongly encouraged to emulate our Mormon friends and set aside a year’s supply of food and other basic provisions.
“Strongly encouraged” means just that – this is not a requirement for association with the AFA, but neither is it a halfhearted recommendation which will be mentioned once and then forgotten. My intention is that a spirit of readiness becomes a permanent part of the “culture” of the Asatru Folk Assembly, and that such precautions become the norm rather than the exception.
This is not done with any particular disaster in mind – neither war nor computer failure nor financial collapse. We are not becoming “survivalists” any more than are the local Mormons when they carry out an identical program.
On the other hand, Asatruar have two parts of our religion which validate a program of preparedness. One is the calamitous time predicted in the Voluspa when the Gods and their allies, and the giants and their minions, will do battle with each other. Asatruar are not bystanders in this conflict, nor will we be spared through some equivalent of the Christian “rapture” which will bear away all believers. I strongly believe we will be here, on the scene, aiding the Gods in whatever way we can – and before anything else, that means surviving as individuals, as families, and as Folk. The exact form of Ragnarok is not known to us, nor is the time of it’s coming, but we would do well to prepare just as do the Einherjar in Odin’s hall.
Additionally, the very spirit of the Havamal – of Odin’s practical advice to the ordinary men and women of Midgard, rather than to his chosen heroes – is one of prudence and preparedness. A program for storing food and other supplies is entirely in keeping with these principles.
In short, the two most renowned poems of the Poetic Edda validate this project: The Vlouspa, with its heroic and cosmic vision, and the Havamal, with its very down-to-earth practicallity. With such documentation, it is clear we are working within the purview of our religion rather than merely responding to temporary crises on the world stage.
Finally, we would not want to be a burden on our neighbors, or on relief efforts, in times of mundane catastrophe. If we are prepared, attention can be given to those who need it more than we do.
With all these things in mind, I am asking each of you to begin setting aside food and essential items sufficient to last your family a year. For those in position to do so, thought should be given to food PRODUCTION in addition to storage. And remember that survival is not merely an individual affair but a group endeavor, so network with your fellow Asatruar where possible to assist each other.
In the weeks and months to come, we will show you ways to do this that are not a drain on your resources, or on your storage capabilities Guidelines will be provided, and advice and assistance given. In the meantime, I suggest that you not wait for further instructions, but exercise your initiative and begin now to prepare.