comments by YSEE about last news
“Religious freedom in Greece at last” so were the titles of various media that, about at the end of 2005, spread the news of legal recognition of the association Ellinais, saying that this recognition was in fact the legal recognition and the liberalization of Hellenic Religion in Greece. But in 2004 another association, the YSEE, Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes, organized just in Greece the seventh WCER congress, publicly, with a closing rite at Athena’s temple at Cape Sounion, an archeological site, for which the YSEE obtained a regular permission by legal authorities.
About the matter we discussed on WCER’s forum and this was Vlassis Rassias’ (belonging to YSEE) answer at the beginning of 2006:
«This is too beautiful to be true and obviously it is NOT. The news, written by a journalist of the church, is WRONG and MISLEADING.
Some weeks before a preannounced call of YSEE to the Greek government, a certain number of people, including some that in a recent past acted in a hostile way against YSEE (one of them went as far as to take part to the spreading of the voice, made by church’s TV, supposing that YSEE and WCER were… satanists’ organizations, just before WCER’s congress in Athens in 2004!!!), created a typical cultural association “whose members reclaim to worship Zeus” (sic) and obviously got the necessary legalization before being public, as every cultural association in Greece have to do.
Freedom of worship is still warranted by Greek state in article 18 of law 2462/1997 and from that day no court can deny the approval to association that are or pretend to be religious associations.
Something that we, “new” to the “battle”, already knew makes its appearance on the scene. The freedom of PRACTICE is already ensured, this is NOT the problem (the problem is being accepted by Greek Authorities as a VALID representative entity of a certain number of Greek citizens).
For what concerns only the freedom of WORSHIP, the YSEE has more time celebrated INSIDE “archaeological” sites with a written permission by authorities (at Sounion – as members of WCER should remember – in Delfi, Amphiareo, etc) and last Sunday [n.d.T. 26th March 2006] celebrated ANOTHER OPEN AND PUBLIC festival on the site of Asclepius’ temple in Gortys, Arcadia, where about 130 of our members took part (see the photos of the ritual on YSEE webpage). The YSEE has already issued a press release about the case, after receiving many calls from Greek and foreign journalists interested in this.
In this press release we underline that we don’t have relations with the new approved association and that we don’t see anything useful in a mere recognition of a cultural association that reclaims the restoring of the worship of Hellenic Religion (the YSEE is already a legal person with, of course, wider aims in its statute, see at http://www.ysee.gr/index-eng.php?type=english&f=faq#1). We also explained one more time our opinion about an official recognition, as you can read in the FAQ of our site and announced once again an official appeal to the government next week.»
The same association Ellinais appeared again on the scene at the beginning of this year, with two rituals, performed one at the Temple of Olympian Zeus and one at the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, two archaeological sites in which the rites were “surprise” rites WITHOUT the permission needed. The YSEE, it’s worth repeating, already got these permissions, and in 2006 celebrated a rite with 200 people at the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, without succeeding in obtaining the attention of the media. So why should this group, Ellinais, gain so much attention while other pagan hellenic realities can’t get it? Isn’t it strange?
So last month I asked Vlassis Rassias about this situation and this is their press release for the occasion:
Statement 191 / February the 6th, 2007
One of the most serious ailments of the standing legal framework concerning religious issues in our country, is the practical elimination of every non “byzantine” religion (meaning all religions except for the Greek orthodox Christianity, Islam and Judaism) because of complete lack of an appropriate legal entity that can enable them to express themselves as what they actually are: religions.
In order to remedy this ailment, which does not only impair the Hellenic Ethnic Religion but also some all powerful Christian dogmas, such as Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, or major religions such as Buddhism or Hinduism, the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes (Y.S.E.E.) has requested - with its May 2006 Memorandum to the President and to the political authorities of Greece, under the title “GRANTING OF THE QUALITY OF LEGAL ENTITY TO THE HELLENIC ETHNIC RELIGION”- the establishment by law of “Religious Union” as a legal personality. This would at last enable the religions to express themselves as such, instead of being obligatorily “squeezed” within other legal personalities typically irrelevant to the religious sphere (i.e. non profit civil associations).
Furthermore, the continuing lack of the legal personality of “Religious Union” (whose status should be obtained - we consider this obvious - only if certain requirements are satisfied: 1) a minimum time of the religion’s existence , 2) a minimum number of members, and 3) a minimum amount of public activity) practically equates offensively the legally “homeless” religions with any kind of small numbered groups, proxy-groups, or even «cover organizations» of rival religions that can appear from nowhere, lacking even the minimum recognition from their uniform religions worldwide, and gives them space to claim religious status not in the legitimate and non negotiable framework of self definition, but mainly through raging against serious and large numbered pre-existing religious bodies – of whom they pretend the “disagreeing” coreligionists.
We consider necessary to stress once again the above, with the occasion of an obviously orchestrated attempt, which we watch taking place over the last weeks, to ridicule the Hellenic Ethnic Religion, by irresponsible or corrupted mass media in collaboration with the Orthodox Church's “deep state” and various unaccountable or hilarious persons or small numbered groups that under disgusting electronic headlines (i.e. “Civil War amongst the Dodecatheists”) use the TV screens in order to perform the “followers” of our ancestral religion and world view, acting out in fact their yearning for limitless self promotion or presenting misleadingly an approval for the constitution of a plain cultural association (!) as the very “recognition” of the “Ancient” Religion.
Over the last few weeks, the sacredness of the glorious Ethnic Religion of the Hellenes, which is also the religion of us, the contemporary Ethnikoi Hellenes, is being crushed under dirty feet in jungle – alike trash TV programmes, that consist of few hilarious self-acclaimed “followers”, alongside with hysterical, ignorant priests of the dominant religion, pious “specimens of public opinion”, delirious theologians and para-clericals, as well as intolerant or unacceptably prejudiced “journalists” (as if, on every – rarely given – occasion when a perception other than the established is presented, it is compulsory that it has to confront a panicked armada of “outraged” slaves of the cultural establishment).
Yet, we won't stand this new provocation.
The Supreme Council of the Ethnikoi Hellenes, defending the eternal religious reverences of the Hellenic ethnos,
1. informs, at least the democratic and literate part of the Greek people, that unfortunately, by complicity of each and every government since the modern state of Greece was founded, no legal recognition of religion is provided except for the three aforementioned “byzantine” religions, and, thus, any claim, by any group, that they have already been “recognized”, is a mere imposture,
2. reinstates, even more intensely, its most reasonable request that the Greek legislator has to institute the “Religious Union” legal person, as soon as possible and, last,
3. warns, at least the democratic and literate part of the Greek people, that a coordinated and multiform attempt to ridicule the reverences of our Greek ancestors and of several thousands contemporaries of the same perception has been launched from long ago by a vulgar and medieval establishment, which is spasmodically reacting to the idea that the times of its impunity are definitely gone.
SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE ETHNIKOI HELLENES (Y.S.E.E.)
This email exchange with Vlassis Rassias has been very useful to understand the whole matter and fight against DISINFORMATION that is being spread expecially on the web and to which also Wikipedia Italia (with which our organization, the Federazione Pagana, has already got problems, see on its webpages) is taking part when it writes:
[…]More recent facts are concerning the association Ellinais, that is promoting initiatives to fight against discrimination and to succeed in legalizing the dodecatheic worship. In 2006 Athenian communities of Ellinais won a legal battle to use ancient sacred sites, that nowadays are archaeological heritage, and central offices of association as cult places to perform rituals. After obtaining the permission by a court the group Ellinais continued its practice, in spite of the hostility showed also by other authorities. On 22nd January 2007 they held a ritual at the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens […]
and so definitely showing that Wikipedia is not an accountable channel, at least about religious matter.
So I wish the creation of a European Pagan network to favour exchanges of information among various organization, fast exchanges to make a shield against the organized delirium of some media.
30 mar. 07