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  • Writer's pictureSara Ault

Alexander Rud Mills | July 9th

Alexander Rud Mills was born on July 15th, 1885, in Forth, Tasmania, Australia. In 1910, at the age of 25, Mills moved to the state of Victoria in order to attend law school in Melbourne. During his law studies, Mills worked as a school teacher during the 1914-1915 school year. He graduated law school in 1916, passing the bar in 1917.

At the outbreak of the Great War, Mills attempted to join the Australian Imperial Force, while he was living in Sea Lake. Mills was denied enlistment due to medical reasons.

In 1930, Mills was put forward as a candidate for political office. He was selected to run for the seat at Hawthorn on the Nationalist party platform. He did not win the election. Following this political defeat, Mills went into a sort of self-imposed exile and left Australia to see the world.

Visiting South Africa, he declared it to be ‘too mixed race.’ He went on to visit Italy and Germany. He enjoyed the political climate of pre-war Germany and found himself interested in the politics of the NSDAP. Visiting the USSR, Mills, already not fond of communism came to actively dislike the ideology and resolved to work against it. He is quoted as saying "Russia will cure any Communist if he goes to work there."

It was his travels in Britain that would have the largest impact on the rest of his life. While in England Mills attended meetings of both the Imperial Fascist League and Union of British Fascists. Aligning himself with the Imperial Fascist League, he distributed their newsletters in Australia after his return.

It was during his time abroad that Mills wrote his first book And Fear Shall Be in the Way. This book was published under the pen name Tasman Forth.

Mills returned to Australia in January of 1934. It was this same year that he formed the First Anglecyn Church of Odin. He published several books for use of church members. These books include, Hael Odin! published in 1934, First Guide Book to the Anglecyn Body in 1936, Ritual Book of the Moots of the Anglecyn Body in 1937, and The Odinist Religion; Overcoming Judeo Christianity in 1939.

This early organization was inspired by the works of Meister Guido von List and the works of the Nordic Revival of the turn of the century. He believed, and taught, that Odinism was the true belief of the British peoples. (It should be noted that the British peoples were defined by Mills as any White person living anywhere in the British Empire, including former colonies such as America) Mills’ church believed that Odin was the sky father deity and that the rest of the Aesir operated much the same as saints. The First Anglecyn Church of Odin was based heavily on the Church of England, but with an active effort to remove the Judaic influences on the ritual and rites.

In 1935, Mills formed the British-Australian Racial Body in correspondence with the British Union of Fascists. In 1941, he became heavily active with the Australia First Movement, which advocated an isolationist stance and protested Australian involvement in the Second Great War.

This combination of religious and political action led to the arrest and detention of Mills on May 7th, 1942. He was held without trial or bail until December 17th of the same year. He was never charged with a crime. During his detention he used his knowledge of Australian law and history as a barrister to provide legal advice and service to other political dissidents.

After the war, Mills published a book under the pen name Justinian, entitled Law for the Ordinary Man. This book was written and published with the intent that other people on the political fringe would be able to know their rights and wouldn’t suffer the same imprisonment that Mills had.

In 1957, Mills wrote and published his final and most well-known book on Odinism, Call of our Ancient Nordic Religion; Reflections on the Theological Content of the Sagas.

In 1962, Alexander Rud Mills married longtime friend Evelyn Price. The pair had known each other for several decades.

Alexander Rud Mills passed through the veil and to the Halls of The Ancestors on April 8th, 1964. He was buried in the Church of England cemetery at Ferntree Gully Cemetery in Victoria. Despite being buried in a Christian Cemetery he was given an Odinist rite and funeral.

Mills’ legacy is one of continued Victory. His works inspired Folkmother Else Christensen to form The Odinist Fellowship in 1969. In the 1970s, a group of university students inspired by and introduced to Odinism through his works petitioned the government in Melbourn to guarantee their freedom to practice their faith without fear of the persecution Mills had suffered. They were granted that. In 1990, the Odinic Rite of Australia was given government recognition as a legitimate faith.

We remember Alexander Rud Mills for bringing Ásatrú into the modern era. His Anglecyn Church of Odin may not share the same view of the Gods, but it was the first step towards a truly Forward-Facing Ásatrú.

Folkbuilder Alison Clausen


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