Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who was recently arrested on federal charges of conspiracy to rig the New York City mayoral election, belongs to a neo-pagan religion in which he has been publicly flogged and lost a spear-throwing duel, the New York Post reported on Saturday.
Halloran’s religion, Thoedism, created friction in 2009 election against Democratic candidate Kevin D. Kim. While The Army Chaplain Corps recognizes Theodism, most conservative Republicans aren’t pagans. Halloran is a prince in his religion, called the “First Atheling” of his very own Theodish tribe, “New Normandy.”
Halloran is reportedly the first pagan elected official in U.S. history. Steven Thrasher of the Village Voice examined his religious practices in a 2011 article titled “Grand Ole Pagan.” Worshippers appear to be something out of a Renaissance fair, drinking mead from horns, wearing costumes a la the Middle Ages.
Formerly a Catholic, the First Atheling of New Normandy converted to Theodism in the 1980s. In those early days, Halloran was punished for committing an undisclosed act with one of his lady “thralls,” a probationary servant. He was stripped to his waist, tied to a tree, and flogged 11 times with a belt, a source told The Post.
Nick Ritter, a Theodish member, did not comment on the details of that incident, but said that Halloran’s punishment fit the crime. Halloran was married at the time.
“He was given a choice, “ Ritter, 37, said. “He was going to leave Theodism or stay and pay the piper.”
In 1997, at the behest of “sacred king” Garman Lord, Halloran left to join the splinter group Winland Rice. He wanted a make deal that would allow him to skip the year-long servitude as a thrall that each member undergoes. Thralls are auctioned off to members for lucky pennies, those found face up on the ground.
“The deal they were making with Dan was he would be able to skip that,” said Ritter, a steel-plant supervisor who attempted to throw out Halloran’s request. “It was a controversial move that they regret now.”
Halloran wanted to form a splinter group, forcing Ritter into a duel in which the two threw 7-foot-long spears at each other while standing 30 paces apart.
Halloran lost, but still formed his own splinter group he called “New Normandy.”
Certain rules within the tribes are there to keep standards high. Halloran made many enemies for allegedly lowering that bar.
“More people started entering New Normandy without a filter there,” Ritter said.
Ritter claims Halloran attempted to “democratize” Theodism and was outlawed.
“He was building a voting block to take over the higher leadership,” Ritter said.
Federal agents arrested Halloran Tuesday in connection with a conspiracy to rig the upcoming New York City mayoral election by bribing other Republicans to support Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith on the Republican ballot.