This month we have set aside the 9th of July to honor Alexander Rud Mills. A pioneer of the modern reawakening of our ancestral ways. Alexander was born on July 15th, 1885 in Forth, Tasmania. Rud, as he preferred to be called, was the only boy out of 7 children. As a young man, he moved to Victoria Australia in order to attend law school and subsequently become a barrister, or lawyer. In the 1920’s Rud “found” Odinism and began to try to convert others to his new ideas. By the 1930s Rud had created “The Anglecyn Church of Odin” and by some accounts had upwards of 120 attendees to his regular Thursday night celebrations.

The onset of World War II had Rud advocating a non-aggression policy for Australia. His ideas were frowned upon by the government of Australia and Mills found himself incarcerated in a prison camp for roughly 7 months along with some of the other Odinists of the time. Mills was incarcerated without proof of any wrongdoing or participating in any nefarious goings-on.

Upon his release Mills sought to revive the Odinist movement in Australia, but many understood that a part of why he was interred was because of his “exotic” religious beliefs. A great many Christian pacifists and neutrality seekers were never bothered by the Australian government. His church of Odin did continue on, but in a much more secretive role and never quite attained the same stature it had once held.

Mills passed away on the 8th of April, 1964. He left behind him a legacy that would reverberate across time and space. Sometime after his passing Else Christensen would be inspired by his writings to found the Odinist Fellowship in Canada. Rud Mills’ writings are not always an easy read, comparing his thoughts to our understandings now is a tricky venture. We would do well to remember that what he was creating then and there was completely new, he couldn’t run down to a book store and grab the latest Odinism 101 book, there was no internet, there was only research and personal understanding. What Mills manifested there in Australia was the true beginning of our glorious revival, he gave to us a foundation to build upon.  All these years later look at what we have built, he would be amazed at how far we have come.

Hail Rud Mills!

Blaine Qualls
Gothar Coordinator,
Asatru Folk Assembly

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