Friday, June 23, 2017

An interview with Carolyn Emerick

Last month the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall, officially expunged all references to Heathen folklorist Carolyn Emerick from its website, and made her persona non grata, with the Wild Hunt website reporting the following official statement (which appears to have been itself removed from the Museum Facebook page):
A spokesperson stated, “The Museum […] does not accept extreme views which align the morally repugnant politics of the far right (anywhere in the world) with folkloric custom and practice. Nor can it recommend writing which originates in circles which debate Facism[sic] and conflates it with Pagan belief and magical practice.”
Naturally, I had to learn more. Odin's Eye had a nice recap of what happened (with screenshots from the apparent ring-leader), as well as an official statement from Ms. Emerick on the whole affair. But I still wanted to hear more about what seemed a politically-motivated railroading of a person who had written a ton of fascinating stuff about European folklore. It seemed like yet another SJW crusade to not only erase someone from society because of their political views, but to destroy them personally and professionally.

So I reached out to Ms. Emerick, and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions. I mostly stuck to the primary issue, but given my great interest in folklore, I had to take the opportunity to throw in a few curve balls at the end and ask some questions about that. I cannot thank Ms. Emerick enough for her willingness to take the time to answer my questions.

* * *

Q: Please describe a little of your background in folklore and paganism.

A: Well, the reality of where my interests find me now are a culmination of influences built over my entire life. When I was a child, my family always made our heritage a conscious part of our identity, so an interest in the culture of Europe was instilled in me very young. I come from a family of readers, so books on historical figures from British history were passed around from my grandmother, to mother, to myself. I always found the Medieval Era incredibly fascinating, and was always drawn to wondering about the origins of myths and legends. My college experience was untraditional due to life circumstances, so I had quite a few start and stops before finally earning my degree, but that allowed me to explore topics from medieval British literature to historiography.

The folklore bug bit me a little later. Because I had been studying "high literature" in college, folklore was something I just didn't "get." Like a lot of people, I assumed it was simplistic children's stories told by peasants. I did not learn until later on that these simple stories told to children are actually embedded with very deep meaning.

It was through exploring various world religions and different spiritual philosophies in early adulthood that my own spiritual worldview was evolving and becoming more refined. One day I happened to catch Joseph Campbell's famous series of interviews on TV. At that time, I hadn't been especially interested in mythology, but it was his insights he had gained from studying world myth that were jibing so well with my own thoughts. I don't remember specifically what he said, but I do remember actually reacting outloud to the TV (to the annoyance of my ex-boyfriend in the room!), with a lot of "yes! Yes, exactly! Oh my gosh, that's exactly what I've been saying!"

From then, it's really been a never ending passion that fuels and inspires my life. Because I already had a strong background in European history and culture, because I had studied historiography and had majored in literature, I had a strong foundation upon which to build a new passion for researching the folklore and customs of Europe. And, the kind of writing I've done is really no different than the analytic research papers required in any college humanities course, so I can finally say my "useless" degree has been useful!

Q: How would you describe the connection, if any, between cultural heritage and modern political issues such as mass immigration?

A: This is a topic that deserves serious, serious exploration and introspection. I strongly feel that the general public is being manipulated in order to support things that are not good for them, their societies, and future generations. Things are going on now that would have been considered absolutely insane at any other generation in history. And we're told "follow the approved narrative or we will publically flay you with vile name-calling about your character."

As someone who believes that ALL cultures in the world are special and worthy of preserving, it breaks my heart to read in the news that dialects are being lost forever, that London no longer has the Cockney culture it has been famous for since the Victorian Era, and so forth. In fact, I speak of these things with friends around the world, and in particular I recently met a young man from the Pashtun tribe in Afghanistan who has seen his own culture face attacks due to modern politics.

The uncomfortable truth is that homogenization destroys individuality. All of the unique diversity in the world won't be here to cherish if we do not make an effort to preserve our national identities. The Japanese understand this very well, as do the South Koreans. A recent Vice documentary on Jewish immigration to Israel interviewed an Israeli immigration official who said (paraphrase) "well, we must maintain a Jewish majority in Israel if we wish to remain a democracy." In other words, they make their immigration policy determined on how it impacts their demographics. As does Japan, Korea, most Arab states, etc. The Israeli immigration official did not mince his words, he made it very clear that he understood that demographic influx will affect the voting constituency. He very openly explained they don't want non-Jewish immigrants to be able to impact government and society, therefore, they maintain very strict quotas.

Why, then, is it "racist" for European-majority nations to take the same approach as virtually any other culture in the world? The fact is that it is not. But it is being presented as such by political factions working for multi-national bankers pushing a globalist agenda.

Q: Do you see a difference between having a love for one's own heritage, and hate for someone else's?

A: It's a sad thing that this question even needs to be asked, to be honest with you. But, this is the socio-political climate in which we find ourselves. If I want to be overtly frank with you, I would say that I don't think there is any problem with hating aspects of cultures that bring with them "traditions" of animal abuse, women abuse, mass rape, and other forms of violence. I will tell you very openly that I do hate "cultural practices" such as skinning dogs alive, or burying a woman up to her neck in sand and hurling rocks at her head. I hate that. I'm not sorry.

And, it is because I LOVE my cultural heritage and the values that we have collectively worked very hard at refining over hundreds of years in the West that I very strongly assert that we should not put the safety of our loved ones in jeopardy by inviting in cultures who want to bring values that we oppose into our shires.

That said, do I hate PEOPLE? An individual must always be judged upon their own merits. And, this is in the code of ethics by which I live my life. I make no judgement about an individual based on anything other than their actions and their character. However, when we're making decisions at the societal level that affect the masses, we MUST take cultural trends into account in the decision and policy making process. It's simply asinine not to.

Loving your culture has nothing to do with supremacy. By that logic, the Japanese and Israelis are the most ardent "white supremacists" out there. But, if you love something, if you cherish it, you MUST protect it.

Q: Would you describe yourself as "folkish" in the modern Asatru sense of the term? How would you define "folkish"?

A: This was an evolution in my personal views over the past few years. Now, yes, I do consider myself Folkish, but really, as stated above, only in the same way that the South Koreans are regarding how they view their cultural identity.

To understand Folkism, one has to understand that ALL cultures in the world have their own indigenous animistic forms of spirituality. It was not until the spread of Abrahamic monotheism which can be compared to Star Trek's "Borg" in how it operates ("you will be assimilated") that ethnicity, culture, and spirituality were ever viewed as separate things.

Science is demonstrating more than ever the importances that DNA plays in our psyches, inherited memory has been proven to be real, and an article went around recently about how thinking positively about our own ancestral heritage has a profound effect on our mental health.

Therefore, I believe that ALL people in the world have a right to connect to their OWN ancestral heritage, and SHOULD for their own psychological well being. While some people try to misidentify Folkism as racism or white supremacy, in my view it is simply the natural human nature that we all possess to connect to our roots and our own heritage.

It is BECAUSE of my Folkish view that I have become very close friends with my Hindu buddy in India. We text each other daily. He is basically a Folkish Hindu! He believes my culture should be preserved as much as I believe his culture should be! As much as certain factions want to smear someone with views they disagree with as "racist," the truth is, that people of many ethno-cultural backgrounds worldwide think Europeans are just plain crazy for allowing what they are allowing in their countries. And, my Folkish view allows me to understand "folk" of other backgrounds who also want to preserve and protect their cultural heritage.

Q: Please describe what happened leading up to the Witchcraft Museum's statement.

A: Oh, this was the most ridiculous and bizarre outburst of unprofessionalism that I have ever witnessed in my life! What happened was that a woman who is in the folklore community, whom I have known through Facebook for several years and had always had positive interactions with, suddenly decided she couldn't handle my commentary on the migrant crisis. Gillian Smith took it upon herself to launch a public smear campaign against me and apparently recruited the Witchcraft Museum in her little mob.  I was truly blind sided. Suddenly, out of nowhere, people who had respected the quality of my work were seething with negativity over personal political views.

Now, I was aware that this woman holds political views that I personally find abhorrent. But, I would NEVER ever in a million years launch a public smear campaign about her or anyone else! There have been writers in myth/folklore circle who have made political statements that make my skin crawl, and PRIVATELY I will discuss it with friends. Never publically. I would never attempt to undermine someone's career in that way. That is operating without integrity and I will never do that to another human being.

The Witchcraft Museum could have very easily quietly unfollowed me and stopped sharing my articles if they find my personal politics so distasteful. I have never been affiliated with them in any way whatsoever. There was absolutely no legitimate reason for them to make such a public attack against an individual.

Furthermore, outlets like The Wild Hunt have published the museum's statement, but refused to publish my response. Is this journalistic integrity? Do we live in a world where organizations can slander individuals but individuals are not given the opportunity to respond? This is the kind of political terrorism that certain factions use in order to scare regular people into agreeing, or at least shutting their mouths. In grade school what they have done to me would have been called bullying.

Q: What has been the reaction to the Witchcraft Museum's statement on your end? Positive? Negative? A mix?

A: It's been fantastic! My numbers went up on all platforms! I have received loads of messages saying "I can't say it openly, but I support you, you are not alone. Please keep speaking for us, we need you!"  I mean, these messages are coming in from around the world, from the US, UK, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Scandinavia, the list goes on and on.

My writing has never been politically charged. My personal views were aired on my personal profile, but my professional profile was on topic. This vicious and hostile attack on my character has forced me to double down. Because I am not alone in my desire to see European nations given the same right to self-identity and cultural protection that any other world culture is given. So, I will not stop speaking. Their name calling, if anything, has only made it more evident that we need more voices and they need to speak LOUDER.

And due to the massive outpouring of support that I received, the Witchcraft Museum has inspired me to launch a magazine dedicated to a positive representation of European cultural heritage, which will be debuting later this summer.

Q: Describe your feelings about the modern attack on freedom of speech by people on the Left.

A: Honestly, I never knew how hypocritical and vile people could actually be until I began seeing outright hate spewed at ethnic-Europeans in the mainstream in recent years. Any "white person" who celebrates their heritage, or wishes to see their national identity preserved, is labeled a "supremacist." Meanwhile, groups like Black Lives Matter were, and still are, spewing literal and actual supremacy, endorsing the murder of white babies publically for example. In South Africa today white families literally ARE being targeted and slaughtered in their own homes by "black activists," so this is rhetoric that should be taken very seriously! But, hate speech against white people doesn't count as "hate speech" in the mainstream consciousness.

Here we have a situation where certain demographics are flooding the West, and those demographics are committing drastically higher rates of violent crime than the native population, but simply pointing that out elicits a reaction of horror from the Left... while the violent crimes do not elicit a reaction at all. Certain groups are raping and murdering and getting away with it, but I'm the bigot for having the nerve to say so?! Where is the logic?! Where is the outrage against the people ACTUALLY COMMITTING VIOLENT CRIME?!

What happened to me is exactly why the horrific Rotherham child sex trafficking ring was able to operate with impunity for years! The FACT is that is was almost exclusively Muslim men of non-European ethnic background MASS RAPING LITTLE ENGLISH GIRLS BY THE THOUSANDS. And the police knew. But they were more terrified of the vile social shaming tactics of the Left than they were of the Muslims raping their town's little girls. Well, I sure hope they feel more ashamed for their cowardice than they ever would have been for being called the big scary "R" word.

Listen up, Lefties, you can call me a racist all damn day long, it doesn't make it true. And, calling me a racist will NOT stop be from calling a spade a spade and speaking out to protect my people.

[Editor - Here's where I threw my "curve balls" :-)]

Q: Do you see the "fairy folk" in various places (Iceland's huldufólk, England's brownies, the Iroquois' Jogah, etc.) as being the same sorts of beings, seen through different cultural lenses? Or are they distinct classes of beings related only in the broadest sense?

A: Wasn't this an abrupt change of topic! I'm going to need a moment to recalibrate, haha.

Well, I guess this question is dependent on a literal belief in fairies. I'm agnostic on it, though I do lean toward belief. If these spirits are real, then I think that both views would apply. If there are fairies, spirits, or even just interdimensional beings slipping into our dimension, then there likely would be various species. But, human interaction with them would also be filtered through the cultural lens in which the interaction was occurring.

Q: How do you see the interplay of Viking settlers in England, Scotland, and Ireland with the Celtic and Anglo-Saxons influencing the folk-customs and folklore of those places?

A: Well, I very strongly assert that the British Isles (and even Ireland, but especially Scotland) have much stronger Teutonic influence than they are willing to admit. I very much believe that post-WWII Teutophobia as well as animosity between the Scots-Irish toward the English both caused the Celtic influence to be inflated while the Germanic influence has been downplayed. The Anglo-Saxons settled half of Scotland (and chunks of Ireland) and the Scots language is Germanic (not Scottish Gaelic, that one is Celtic and people confuse them, and "Ulster Scots" is also spoken in Ireland). Furthermore virtually all of the outlying Scottish Islands were conquered and settled by the Norse! An Old Norse dialect called Norn was spoken in the Shetland and Orkney islands until until the 15th century, and at that time Scots language became the main language, which is descended from Old English.

So the folklore of Orkney and Shetland IS Norse. But, the Teutonic influence pops up in Lowland Scottish folklore everywhere. I recently discovered the Scottish version of "The Frog Prince" where the frog was called a "paddock," which I was unfamiliar with. Turns out, it's just an old Germanic for "frog." Well when I posted this on social media, I had Dutch, Swedish, and Scottish people all piping in with their words that are etymologically related to "paddock."

I have presented some very heavily researched articles on the topic of Germanic heritage in Scotland, "Scotland's Other Heritage: The Forgotten Legacy of Germanic Scotland," and "The Queen of Elphame: Hidden Goddess of the Scottish Witch Trials."  The second one is available on my website as a companion to "Thomas the Rhymer: Shamanic Tradition in Lowland Scottish Lore."

It is my opinion that Britain really ought to be considered a very close first cousin of Scandinavia for many reasons. And, this is evidenced in the folklore. I also discovered a vestigial evidence of the Germanic mythical Norns in an English folktale. The Three Heads of the Well: And the Norns in Teutonic Mythology can be downloaded for free on my website.

Thank you for taking the time to ask me these thought provoking questions. Please stay up to date on my writing by following me on Facebook!

2 comments:

  1. Excellent interview Joe. Thank you Carolyn Emerick for your amazing historical work and dedication to our Folklore!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the tie-in to an academic I have not learned about until now! Shall be reading her work!

    ReplyDelete