Asatru Folk Assembly
The AFA is recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit religious organization, or church and is headquartered in Grass Valley, California. McNallen believes in an "integral link between ancestry and religion, between biology and spirituality," and according to Jeffrey Kaplan the organization was founded in part to counteract rumored "universalist" tendencies he discerned in Ring of Troth.
The Asatru Free Assembly has its roots in the Viking Brotherhood which was founded by McNallen in 1972. McNallen was one of the earliest advocates of reconstructing Germanic Paganism in modern times. The Viking Brotherhood later evolved into the Asatru Free Assembly.
A group called the Asatru Free Assembly founded by McNallen and Stine in 1974 was disbanded in 1986, splitting into two successor organizations, the "folkish" Ásatrú Alliance, and the "universalist" The Troth. In 1986 the Asatru Free Assembly ceased operations, due to burnout and disputes within the membership. McNallen says that despite reports to the contrary, it was not due to racial politics, but that he worked as a peace officer in Stephens County Texas sheriff's office jail and Sheila kept books for an oil company, and both were logging around sixty hours and forty hours per week, respectively, on Asatru-related matters. Both knew that they could not continue putting out this effort without financial compensation, which would allow them to cut back on these mundane jobs. When they approached the membership, the general reaction was negative. Some accused them of trying to "establish a priesthood" or of being "money hungry." Surprised and bruised by this rejection, they tried cutting back on membership services to make the job more manageable. This, in turn, caused more complaints among members. Realising this was a losing battle, both at the end of their financial and emotional resources, the AFA was disbanded, with the ashes turned over to Valgard Murray, leader of the Arizona Kindred, who used them as the foundation for the Asatru Alliance.
McNallen took a sabbatical for several years, resuming publication of The Runestone in 1994 and forming the Asatru Folk Assembly in 1995. McNallen intending it to be the successor organization to the Asatru Free Assembly. The defunct Asatru Free Assembly is sometimes distinguished from the newer Asatru Folk Assembly by the usage of "old AFA" and "new AFA", respectively. From 1997-2002, the AFA was a member organization of the International Asatru-Odinic Alliance.
In 1999, the assembly almost acquired land in northern California, aiming to base a communal project with room for agriculture and religious worship. However, the organization never held legal title to the land. Upon promises that the subject piece of land would be donated, some members of the AFA built a simple Hof on the land, after which the actual owner of the land chose not to donate it.
In the late 1990s, the assembly got involved with the protracted fight over the remains of the Kennewick Man: they claimed that these were the remains of a European ancestor and were allowed to approach, but not touch, the coffin holding him. Later testing found that the Kennewick Man was genetically similar to Native Americans and Ainu people.
In September of 2016, the AFA was the target of a boycott. A coalition of Heathen/Ásatrú organizations, from over 15 different nations, drafted a document called Declaration 127 which stated that none of the ~170 organizations listed would promote, associate, or do business with the AFA. The declaration is named for a stanza of the Eddic poem "Hávamál", and was drafted in response to several statements made by the AFA and McNallen which were deemed by the signatories to be racist. The document was drafted in an effort to distance themselves from the AFA, which they felt was on the verge of being labeled a hate group. The document was drafted by Huginn's Heathen Hof. In early 2017, the Asatru Folk Assembly updated its Declaration of Purpose. The primary change in the document was "Northern European Folk" being changed to "Ethnic European Folk" with an indication in text of that meaning white people. In May 2017, Facebook deleted the AFA's primary social media outlet citing hate speech as the reason.
In August 2015 the AFA acquired a former Grange Hall in Brownsville, California, built in 1938, to be used as a hof and community center under the name Newgrange Hall Asatru Hof. It was previously the Youth Center of the Mountaintop Christian Academy of CA, and at another time the Marge Moore Youth Center.
- The Asatru Folk Assembly's Symbol
- The Meaning of the Asatru Folk Assembly symbol.
- Gardell 152, 261.
- Gardell 261
- Kaplan, Jeffrey (1997). Radical religion in America: millenarian movements from the far right to the children of Noah. Syracuse UP. pp. 31–32. ISBN 978-0-8156-0396-2. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
- Strmiska, Michael (2005). Modern paganism in world cultures: comparative perspectives. ABC-CLIO. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-85109-608-4. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
- Stephen A. McNallen, "Three Decades of the Ásatrú Revival in America", in Joshua Buckley & Michael Moynihan (eds.), TYR: Myth - Culture - Tradition, Volume 2 (Atlanta: Ultra, 2003-2004), p. 208-9.
- Bay-Hansen, C. D. (2002). Futurefish 2001: Futurefish in Century 21: The North Pacific Fisheries Tackle Asian Markets, the Can-Am Salmon Treaty, and Micronesian Seas, 1997-2001. Trafford. p. 214. ISBN 978-1-55369-293-5. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
- http://www.runestone.org/about/purpose.html Declaration of Purpose
- http://realestate.nevadacounty4sale.com/idx/details/listing/a276/20151469/8408-La-Porte-Road-Brownsville-California[permanent dead link]
- Gardell, Mattias (2003). Gods of the blood: the pagan revival and white separatism. Duke UP. ISBN 978-0-8223-3071-4. Retrieved 30 January 2012.