Religious Preference Request


First off, yes The Open Halls Project is still up and running, yes we are still involved with helping military Heathens. Our move into civilian life has been hectic to say the least, and a lot of personal time has been spent on school, work, and just trying to figure out how to do all this stuff again!

A long time ago now, we sent in a request to the Army to get Asatru and Heathen added to the Religious Preference List. We are at an impasse for some reason with the Chaplain that was processing that request. I’ve emailed him now several times, with no response.

Kinda at a loss for what to do at this point, part of me thinks we should all email him to see what response we get, but I don’t want to burn bridges yet, something else might be stopping him from responding.

Anyway, Just wanted to update folks.

Josh Heath-OHP

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Clergy and Kindred Lists

MEMO: We are going to add two lists to this website. One for clergy and one for kindreds. While some of you registered your kindreds or as clergy when you first registered at the Open Halls Project, because of the ever-changing nature of Heathen communities, in order to keep our information up-to-date and easily accessible for service members, we would like you to re-register as kindreds or clergy.

Simply mail us at with the name of your kindred, the location of the kindred (town/city +state + country) and contact details (please note, these details will be displayed publicly on this site).

You will need to fulfil the following two criteria:

a. You are part of a REAL community.
b. You are considered clergy by that community.

If you qualify and you wish to be included on the clergy list, mail us at with your name, location, details of the community you serve and contact details.

If you register for either, please ensure that our emails are not getting caught in your spam filter so that we might communicate without issues.
Please note that qualifications from a major Heathen org are not a sole qualifier. While clergy programs have their place, because of the nature of the issues that military Heathens may face, experience in a clergy role is preferable.
People registered as clergy, who are later the subject of scandal or in any way found to abuse their role within their community will be removed.

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Yule Care Package Drive

The Open Halls Project would like to ask our Military members if they would be interested in a Yule care package drive? We will be sending out emails to those folks registered as military in our database as well to check with folks. Please let us know if you would like a care package and we will then ask our civilian supporters to assist in putting some together!

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When we first set up this project, we created the registration page with the option of opting in our ‘pool’ of care package providers. When a service member requested/took up the offer of a care package, we would randomly select about three of the names on our opt-in list and put the two parties in contact with each other so they could exchange addresses and say what they’d like in their care packages (as different posts have different things available and there might have been something the service member needed but couldn’t get hold of so). However the last few times we’ve contacted people for care packages, we’ve hardly been getting any answers back. We understand that maybe our mails are going to spam boxes, so please check that we aren’t in your spam boxes. However we also understand that times have changed and that the economy is tough on everyone, so while hearts and minds might be in the right place, wallets might not be able to stretch. So we’re going to do a ‘reset’ on the care package option. Everyone who has registered and opted to be in the care package ‘pool’ will no longer be. If you would like to remain in the pool of care package providers, please email us at and we’ll add you back!

Please feel free to spread this message as this change will take place over the next couple of days.

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Open Halls Project founders in the US!!

Hello Everyone!

Cat and I have finally settled into life in New York. We are still happy to help Military Heathens too! We are currently still waiting on a response for the US Army religious preference request. Which pretty much pisses us off, but we will be pushing the chaplains corp on that issue and have been pushing them regularly on it.

Also, we are considering a Yule care package drive for our Military members. We need to know if you would be interested in any way for this though!!??

Email us if you are.


Josh-OHP. Ready to Roll!!!

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Request Is In

Hi Everyone,

Just as an FYI to all of our supporters that might read our blog here. We have sent the US Army Religious Preference request to the Chaplains Corp. Our Point of Contact is out of the office for a little bit, but once he gets back I’ll check back with him to see if he got the request. If not, I’ll just send it all to him again.

So, this means we can’t accept anymore folks to add the Memorandum for record. Not for the Army at least. However, Navy folks, get ready… We will be preparing a request very soon once the Army approves this one!!

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Accepting Help and Ethics – Our Official Statement

The Open Halls Project was born from a discussion between my husband and myself, in our kitchen on a cold, January day, in 2010. He a soldier and I his spouse, as open Heathens, had been subjected to yet another round of ostracism for our beliefs from Christians in our community and we’d reached the ‘What if?’ section of our conversation.

‘What if there were more Heathens here?’

‘What if there were some way for military Heathens to find local Heathens in their new communities when they PCS (change duty stations)?’

‘What if there was a way to maybe get some recognition and support for Heathens in the military?’

Then we looked at how we could try to make things happen. For the next few weeks, we worked our behinds off setting up the project. Our simple ethos became ‘Just get **** done and make sure to keep sight of the bigger picture.’

To date, we’ve either set up or facilitated:

  • An extensive database of contacts made up of both military Heathens and the civilians that support them.
  • Contacts between military Heathens and civilians.
  • A list of clergy members prepared to work with military Heathens and the unique needs and circumstances that military Heathens might find themselves in.
  • A penfriend scheme.
  • A care package scheme.

A Heathen business by the name of White Hart Forge has also been wonderful in their setting up of their Mjollnir Project and working with us to get hand-forged hammers out to Heathen military members down range for free.

In future, we’d like to see:

  • The inclusion of the terms ‘Heathen’ and/or ‘Asatru on the US Army list of religious preferences.
  • The birth of the first Heathen DFG (Distinctive Faith Group) within the army.
  • It is our hope that if we can create enough of a precedent for US military Heathens, that the family of the next military Heathen to fall, doesn’t have as much of a battle as Roberta Stewart did with the VA to get the proper symbol placed on her fallen servicemember’s gravemarker.

We have been absolutely blown away by the kindness and generosity that members of the Heathen community have shown in helping us to try and realize these goals and the lengths that some are prepared to go to to support those in our communities that, regardless of what we may or may not personally believe about the wars we’re involved in, sacrifice so much.

However, with this ethos of ‘just getting **** done and keeping sight of the bigger picture’, there come ethical quandaries. Just how much do we compromise in order to get these things done, without ruining our reputations in our community? How do we still stand for our values?

We now find ourselves in this situation with the involvement/publicity that KC Hulsman has given us through her blog at Patheos and the resulting publicity gained over at and the Wild Hunt. As Heathens, we are our deeds and there’s no question that KC Hulsman’s deeds in this case have been good and helpful. We are thankful for the help she has given us. However, as Heathens, who we associate with and how compatible their values are with ours, is also important, especially in the eyes of our communities. As Heathens, this judgment from our own community is pretty much the only judgment that counts. Trust can be eroded, names can be sullied and at the end of the day, we at the Open Halls Project may be left in a situation where we wouldn’t be able to work effectively because of that eroded trust and bad wordfame. It is both a part of our personal ethics and the thew of the community with which we associate the closest, that K C Hulsman, through her link to Galina Krasskova (a person she seems to consider to be her sister), is not someone with whom we would wish to be associated. This is a position we made clear in the past during the presentation we did on Ravencast.

We do not wish to get into the usual arguments about Ms Krasskova’s activities here. Our discomfort with being linked with her (even in seemingly tenuous ways such as via Ms Hulsman), comes from reading materials produced by Ms Krasskova herself. To put it simply, we have, what are for us, serious ethical issues with some of the things that she advocates. Others may disagree with this and see nothing wrong. However at the end of the day, we can only speak and act in accordance with our own hearts and minds on this matter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and we hope for your continued support in the future.

In Frith,

The Open Halls Project

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Basic Combat Training

I received an email the other day that mentioned a soldier going all the way through Basic Training without any sort of religious support material!

This upsets me quite a deal.

First: All soldiers before they leave MEPS(Military Entrance Processing Stations) are offered a free Gideon bible. I, the staunch and rather adversarial Heathen I am, laughed in the guys face and firmly said no. I was the only one to turn down his offer. Why? I already had my religious reading material. Read on.

Second: There is almost no information on what you are allowed, or disallowed to bring for religious reading material anywhere on the internet. I’ve been to every Basic Training Post’s website and only found one reference in a PDF slide show (page 4) for family members and what they are allowed, and not allowed to mail to their soldiers.

Ok, so here is what I know, from experience to be fact. You are allowed to bring, one religious text, book, or pamphlet with you to Basic Combat Training. I researched this like crazy before I went, I wanted to know exactly what I was and wasn’t allowed to have with me. I brought my copy of the Bellows translation of the Poetic Edda. I read the Havamal more times in Basic then I’ve ever read in my life. I totally think this helped me get through some of the tough days. Now, I did get questioned about what it was when I first entered basic. Your drill sergeant that does your initial shake down asked me what it was. I firmly stated it was my allowed religious text. He asked me what my religion was, and I calmly stated, “ASATRU DRILL SERGEANT” “Spell it” “A-S-A-T-R-U DRILL SERGEANT” and that was the last question I had from any authority figure in Basic about it.

Once you leave BCT you have a lot more leeway in what your allowed to have in your Wall locker, and then barracks room/ military housing. So, don’t worry too much about only having one book with you at the beginning, just make sure its something relatively small, no bigger than a medium sized soft cover book, and that its something that will keep you going. It must be ‘religious’ or ‘philosophical’ in nature, and you might get questioned about it. All you have to do is be confident. You have the RIGHT to have at least one book of a religious nature with you in BCT. USE THAT RIGHT!!!

If, and I don’t see this happening, but if you have a Drill that gives you a hard time about your religious reading, or a battle buddy that gives you a hard time about it. Make a complaint, especially if its a Drill Sergeant! They know better than to do something like this, it’ll probably cost them their hat if they bully you over your religious choices. I know that some folks don’t like the idea of narcing on anyone. Trust me, I get that, but your rights are your rights, Basic takes a shit ton of them away from you, they have no right to take this one away. Ask to speak to your Senior Drill, First Sergeant, Company Commander, and or Chaplain, all in that order until you get to someone that supports you.

Now, if you are complaining that they wont let you have mead in basic….. I can’t help you. Your going to have to miss out on any blots during Basic. During AIT that might be a different story, you’ll have to see what your company regulations are on drinking, and religious functions. If you are already registered with the OHP before you get to Basic, let us know the moment you get to AIT and we can try and find a Kindred or group in your area. Then, if needed we can be used as contact information to try and get you a chance to attend an open gathering or blot. We offer no guarantees in those situations, but we will try our best to help you out!

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Call for US Army soldiers!

Hello all!

The Open Halls Project is dedicated to helping our service members. In this vein we are working to get Asatru and Heathen added to the religious preference list in the US Army’s database. To do this, we need one thing from you, the soldiers, former soldiers, and military spouses. We need you to send use your name, rank, Status(active, reserves, national guard, veteran, or spouse) to our email.

Why? Because we are working with two different 501c recognized organizations to get these two preferences added to the system. To support it, We have developed a consolidated memorandum in US Army memo format(fun….) and we are adding all the individuals that would be positively affected by that change to the memo.

Please help us, to help you.

Open Halls Project

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Open Halls Project

Welcome to the new website everyone! Many thanks to the webgoblin that made this happen Jeff Wells!!!!!! A new website will hopefully allow us to begin to move in a new direction. Part of our long term plan, is to allow folks to get in contact with others, without us always needing to be the middle people. This website, and hopefully other projects like it will allow us to automate some of the process.

The Open Halls Project is here for you though, whenever you need us, wherever you are. If your serving in the military, married to someone who is military, or just want to help military Heathens, well, then we are here to help you.

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