A pair of quotes

From Hellenismos Today by Timothy Jay Alexander (context: introduction to Hellenismos):

“Hellenic Reconstructionism allows for a great deal of diversity in beliefs and practice because of the very nature of ancient Greece.” (pg. 19).

and in the following paragraph (also pg. 19):
“Each city-state [polis] had a unique religious calendar. They had their own versions of the myths. The practices of each city-state could almost be described as separate denominations or even religions.”

See for yourself, this page available on Google Books preview (also, screen-cap taken for when he re-sets his Lulu preview permissions).


From this, we can conclude what I and others have been saying all along; indeed, it supports my theory that Hinduism is the way that polytheistic religions evolve naturally (after all, Shinto shows many parallels, albeit with a uniquely Japanese take on it), and that Hellenismos will be best served through the establishment of diverse sects and philosophies, Thiassoi to specific deities (including less popular minor deities, such as Kirke [for you modern-day Pharmakoussai]).

If this was a “one size fits all” religion, then why, when looking into the actual history, do we discover that different poleis did things differently? And if all these thirty-odd Hellenic tribes allegedly respected each-other as equally Hellenic (as one kid recently dared to alleged to me, a philoboeotian, in an e-mail), then what was the deal with Athenians regarding Boeotian Hellenes as “barbaros” (non-Hellenic speakers — after all, such chauvinisms usually come from Athenians, both past Athenians and modern Attic-focused polytheists)? There is a wealth of Hellenic diversity that should not be ignored or cast away because of the agendas of an extreme minority.

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19 thoughts on “A pair of quotes

  1. You seem to miss the parts that makes a clear distinction between Hellenismos and Neopagansim. It is so like you to quote out of context. Seriously, anyone who actually read my books knows it does not support what you are trying to assert. Can't you support your argument without distorting the opinions of others like myself and YSEE?

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    • The fact of the matter is, you lack internal logical consistency with your words:

      First you state that there are many practises and beliefs that fall under an umbrella of Hellenismos, you even suggest that ancient poleis may be considered to have different religions from each-other — but then you turn around and slander other recons as "not true Hellenes" for practising something that is historically valid, just simply not Tim-approved.

      You're a hypocrite and a charlatan. You don't even describe in that chapter what practises do and do not constitute "real Hellenismos" (no, you put that off for several chapters), nor have you ever really done that in the years when I still read your forum (and my hopes are not high that this has changed in the year since I've stopped). You talk a lot about how "Hellenismos is orthopraxic, based on proper action, not an orthodoxy, which is proper belief", but may the gods forbid that anybody have any ideological disagreement with you about anything and not walk away without you declaring them "impious" and "not a true Hellene". This is not how internally consistent logic looks, spanky — you're obviously just making it all up as you go along, because in your own little world, you think you're the king of everything who gets the last say. Have fun with that little fantasy of yours.

      I'm sick of your petty, hypocritical bullshit.

      As I hold up my lantern, I see not an honest man before me — what I see is the most devout hypocrite I ever have, a man who has done every gods-damned thing he has rather baselessly accused others of.

      Oh, and please, keep directing traffic to the forum I run — I really dig it. I have a feeling you'll be a better advertiser for me than you ever were for Sannion, so keep up the good work. I'll keep collecting refugees who've already bored themselves silly with your hypocricy, circular reasoning, anti-logic, wordplay, and charlatanism — you know, the people you choose to ignore when you try to denounce the community that wants nothing to do with you as "the same bunch of people for ten years". Keep that in mind, Timmy, this is a COMMUNITY that you're trying to denounce, a community that, despite your claims to the contrary, has had steady growth without you, and in spite of your sophomoric SEO exploitations. A community that includes Robert Clarke, a "hardline recon" who'd be inclined to agree with you if you weren't such a troll that he had to ban you from Hellenic_Recons after repeatedly warning you to knock it off, a community that includes the absolutely Hellenic Recon owners of eCauldron, and the governing members of Hellenion, who have made it known that you've been pre-emptively banned from their organisation because of the strife you bring with you everywhere. A community of people who has regularly considered *me* a bit "too hardline", but gods below, they sure would prefer a hundred of me to even one of you in their presence.

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    • Oh, Tim, next time you send over one of your flunkies to write abusive commentary at me, remind them 1) go to a different library so I won't recognise their IP, 2) don't use the admin e-mail for popular on-line dictionary reservoirs with parent sites based in Hong Kong, because I *will* alert the actual admins, and 3) tell him to stop trying to pull one over on me with Mano's legal forename — seriously now, like Mano even *could* post from a Belgian computer.

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  2. What is this about Mano's legal forename and a Belgian computer??????

    Forgive my interruption but something like this makes me very nervous. I do not mean to intrude on this disagreement, only to find out what exactly Mano's name has been used for and to deal with that person myself because I know that Mano has had nothing whatsoever to do with the Hellenestai Wiki…

    Erroso
    Lesley

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    • I had to delete a comment made by Tim's little friend in Flanders (I recognised the IP number; I know you're not very net-savvy, but in simplest terms, that's a unique number assigned to a computer by the Internet service provider). The comment included a fake e-mail address and he signed it as "Rathamanthys [no last name]" — he definitely did this in an attempt to impersonate your husband and make me think you and he were joining up in Tim A;exander's little shit-fit.

      As I've said to other people, this kid ("Apollodoros" is what he usually goes by on-line, but his e-mails to me have the name "Johnathan Mertens" attached to them) probably thinks he's smarter than me, but he's not. I knew it wasn't Mano if only because the language was too immature. 🙂

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    • Also:

      I can give you the IP, timestamp, and the service provider information I have, if you and Mano would like to contact this kid's service provider and report him for malicious conduct. I was thinking of doing it myself, but it would be far easier for you two than it would be for me, I imagine. My room-mate used to work for an ISP, and he can probably tell me a the most general information that you'll need to lodge a formal complaint, and I can pass this on to you.

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      • Just had to throw my two bits into this here. I haven't worked for an ISP myself, but six years in tech support will learn ya a thing or two…

        First of all, I'm going to say that if I were in this position that I really doubt that this kid is going to do anything more worrisome or eh, dangerous, than he's already done. Though.I *would* be going to the ISP and making the complaint myself.

        I wouldn't expect them to do anything on the case of some punk-ass kid in the Low Countries attaching someone else's first name to an email address and making an obnoxious troll-post. As uncommon and random as the name might be, he could have picked it up from anywhere.

        Like I said though, I'd still be making a report if it were me, if nothing else because even if they just wave it off, if they have any decent policies and procedures in place (most ISP's do), they're going to log it. This means it will be documented in case anything further happens in the future, it can be used to establish history.

        Just make sure that you ask for a reference number if they don't provide it to you automatically. Having a reference number means that short of them completely purging their case history at some point in the future, they should always be able to go back and look it up if needed in the future.

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  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to know that it wasn't Mano. I cannot bear shit-stirrers. I hated them in the playground at school and it is such a pity that some people have never outgrown their playground mentality. At least you know that our lack of net-savvy limits the crappy things we are capable of…lol. And I can assure you that Mano does not even know about the latest drama (he has been working double shifts).
    We have been getting snarky anonymous comments on our live journal accounts (which is the only place where Mano uses the name Rathamanthys strangely enough) in protest of our password protecting the access to read what is going on with the study group so I am now wondering whether it is related.

    Mano says he will lodge a complaint if you forward us the information and tell us what we need to do. We appreciate your net and street savvy.
    When will people realise that Mano and I have only one criteria for whom we choose to mix with on the internet and who we choose to ignore and that is friendliness/goodwill. It makes no difference how correct one's practice or conception of the religion is when one acts in an unethical or malicious manner.
    You should consider blocking public access to the Hellenistai forum. One needs big walls and gates to keep the unsavoury elements outside. And by unsavoury I refer specifically to ill-mannered and ill-bred people who may or may not have all the right answers.
    Personally I don't care how much someone knows, what they believe or how correctly they do things if they are ill-mannered or trouble-makers. Neither Mano nor I are on the internet as any type of religious missionaries or as representatives of the Hellenic religion so we have no need to mix with anyone we deem unsavoury for the 'sake of the religion'.

    Thank you for always treating us with such goodwill (no matter what scraps we have caused or involved you in). You have watched my back in the past and you did it here again with my husband. That kind of honour towards people who are actually strangers to you exemplifies in practice what I believe Homer spoke of in terms of ancient standards of hospitality. That counts for a lot in my book :). I am honoured to know you.

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    • Hey, if I caught some-one impersonating even *Tim*, I'd call it out and make an effort to get the message to him — I may have very little personal respect for him, but he's perfectly capable of making his own image good or bad, as far as I'm concerned.

      I've considered blocking public access to the Hellenistai Forum before, and those thoughts keep coming back to me. I think the route I may go is locking public access to all but the top few sub-fora. I think it benefits the community to have something open and readable on a public level, if only because it may come up in a search-engine so that people can find like-minds.

      You and Mano and I may not have always seen eye-to-eye, but you've always been good natured and civil, even in disagreements. You've been in as much goodwill toward myself, so I appreciate that you've never doubted mine. 🙂 As far as religious differences go, if somebody is simply doing what they believe in their hearts is the best way to honour the gods, I can't argue that and I find it incredibly petty to argue about terminology.

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  4. To Lesley Madytinou,

    I noticed on this blog post that apparently I posted a comment under the name Rhadamanthys that Ruadhan didn't like. That is true, I sent it as a comment to him calling Timothy a hypocrit. We also have a disagreement (to say the least).

    However, I was not trying to impersonate anyone. If your husband uses that name on the internet then please accept my apologies and I also offer my apologies to your husband, whom I apparently inadvertently impersonated. This was really not my intension, the name Rhadamanthys just popped up in my head at that time in a rather simplistic and childish attempt to hide my identity, a mistake perhaps but well what's done is done. I again offer you and your husband my apologies.

    Kind regards,

    Apollodoros/Apollodōros Hēkataios.

    P.S.: Here u-you can read all about my disagreement with Ruadhan,w here I also posted all the mails I sent to him and he to me: http://hellenismos.us/f/YaBB.pl?num=1284712373/0

    P.S.: The only mail not in there is one I deleted, that he sent me after my last mail. From another email-adres, while I already made quite clear I wished for no further contact, even blocking his e-mailadresses that I knew of. That's a little thing called stalking, and 'malicious conduct' is it not?

    P.S.S.: O, and Ruadhan, if you read this I also sent this to her on the Hellenismos.us Forum, so she will receive it regardless of whether you allow it to be posted or not.

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    • Kiddo, while I understand that Lesley accepts your apology, I find your actions an motivations highly suspect. You may think you've out-witted me, but I've dealt with little snipes like yourself before. She's free to make her own decisions, but so am I to make mine — there's no way you don't know Mano's LiveJournal, and you've probably seen him and Lesley on FaceBook, as well.

      And no, using multiple e-mails is not stalking — sending an e-mail from a different address after a notice of kill-file isn't stalking. Stalking is a serious crime that you obviously don't really understand, but you think you're going to try and sound smart, so you're throwing it around. My flat-mate was working on the legal end for his ISP (and the only reason he still isn't is downsizing) — he's grilled me in the ins and outs of all this.

      I've shared your e-mail with my friends, but you've shared mine publicly — that is illegal, and something I can take to Tim's server host to remove if it's not taken down in twenty-four hours. Do it, or I will. I'm counting.

      (Also, "PS" means "Post Script" — additional "PS" statements are done as "PPS", "Post Post Script", not "Post Script Script".)

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  5. I hope you do not mind me posting this here, but I did not how else to reply to Apollodoros' apology on the Hellenismos US forum 🙂

    Apollodoros', your apology is appreciated and accepted with no hard feelings. I will explain to my husband that it was an accident when he gets home and please do not worry about it any more. We all make mistakes 🙂 and I am only to happy to find out that it was unintentional. Thank you for your apology.
    I also sincerely hope that, in time, all of us will remember that we are dealing with real people on the internet, with real feelings and real spiritual/religious intentions. At a time in this world when so many people are turning to secularism or feeling spiritually isolated because of the harsh judgements they encounter in various religions, we should perhaps pause for a second to think whether our words will benefit another person's spiritual good or whether we are becoming exactly like the fundamentalists and zealots we despise for their irrational violence in the name of a religion. Words can, after all, hurt as much any other weapon. Personally, I just pray to the Gods for all this bickering to stop even if we have to erect big internet 'walls' between us to make it stop.

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    • I'm perfectly fine with this, and I understand that you accept his apology, but personally, I'm still suspect, even though as far as I can go with my feelings is just making them known. Like I said, I've dealt with kids of this sort on the Internet before, so I know certain behaviours in a pattern — maybe he'll prove me wrong, but he has a history not only with me, but with Sannion and I wouldn't be surprised if he's attacked others like this, as well; but if you want to let it go, well, that's your decision and I can honour that.

      Quote At a time in this world when so many people are turning to secularism or feeling spiritually isolated because of the harsh judgements they encounter in various religions, we should perhaps pause for a second to think whether our words will benefit another person's spiritual good or whether we are becoming exactly like the fundamentalists and zealots we despise for their irrational violence in the name of a religion. /quote

      I completely agree. Truth be told, I used to be pretty "hard nosed" about all this, and scoffed at the idea that there was anything but One True Hellenic Religion — if you're on the HellenicPagan e-mail list, you can probably find it in the 2005/2006 archives. What changed my mind wasn't people yelling at me and making me feel inferior for thinking differently, but Kyrene Ariadne very calmly, and with good will and good humour, explained that there are many different historical and modern interpretations, and more than half of these are historical because of the more than 30 tribes of Hellas who each had their own pantheons and traditions; and even the basic format for most rituals wasn't used in some. Maybe she was quicker to come to that approach because her own practises aren't completely bound to history (though she explained to me how most were), but what was "pious" for Athens may not have been in Sparta, nor Thessaly, nor other regions.

      I think it's better to approach new people with kindness than accusations. This isn't like most of the current "majority" religions in the world; Hellenismos has a wealth of philosophies, cults, and practises to choose from, all of which is historically valid — that doesn't lend itself very well to zealousness.

      I know I'm guilty of more bickering than I'm currently comfortable with, but at the same time, I feel like this time around, I was forced into a position where I had to defend myself against baseless accusations. I shouldn't have to do that, it would be nice if I had to do that as seldom as possible, at the very least.

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    • The best any of us can do when we realise what we've been doing is to learn, grow, and move on. Some efforts take more time than others, but I think it's all worth it, if it's to good ends. 🙂

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    • Can’t say I’m surprised.

      And last I’d heard, he was single, self-identified as gay, twenty, and (most importantly) had no kids. It’s always the people who have no kids who think they can freely dispense parenting advice, isn’t it?

      Like

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