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Wotanism is the name of a form of Nordic racial paganism, founded in the 1990s by David Lane (1938–2007) while serving a 190-year prison sentence for his actions in connection with the white nationalist paramilitary group The Order, of which he was a founding member.
Based on the essay entitled Wotan by Carl Jung, the term Wotanism in modern times heavily emphasizes Eurocentrism and National Socialism (NS). W.O.T.A.N. is also used as an acronym for Will Of The Aryan Nation, used by some Wotanists. Unlike Germanic neopagans, most Wotanists emphasize dualism and view the Gods as Jungian archetype. Wotanists consider the Havamal to be their holiest text.
Wotanist groups include WotansVolk kindreds and the defunct Temple of Wotan. Wotansvolk and the Temple of Wotan were both founded under the direct influence of David Lane, by his wife Katja Lane (Katuscha Maddox) and Ron McVan, a former high-ranking member of the Church of the Creator. The Temple of Wotan organization was inspired by the book Temple of Wotan.[according to whom?]
Late in his life, Lane authored a short story entitled KD Rebel, a fictional account of two members (Eric and Trebor) of a guerilla army (Kinsland Defenders) most of which whom practice Wotanism as a religion who have "taken over" portions of the Rocky Mountain region of the United States through their migration to that area and set up colonies and venture out into "System territory" to kidnap young white girls and women (In the case of the story, two strippers and a high-school girl about to engage in miscegenation.) from urban areas and force them into polygamy to further the Aryan race.
Wotansvolk and the Temple of Wotan were known for having prisoner outreach ministries. In 2001 there were prison kindreds linked with Wotansvolk in all federal states of the USA and the groups supported more than 5000 prisoners. Research by Mattias Gardell indicated "a pagan revival among the white prison population, including the conversion of whole prison gangs to the ancestral religion.". "Partly due to the reputation of David Lane and its association with the legendary Brüders Schweigen, Wotansvolk name-recognition is high among the Aryan prison population." The Temple of Wotan dissolved and reformed into the "National Prison Kindred Alliance", (NPKA) which has no relation with Wotanism. Wotansvolk and the NPKA are not the only groups active in prisoner outreach; however, in 2001 "Wotansvolk seem[ed] more successful in its outreach efforts than other Asatrú/Odinist programs." The feminist women's group "Sigrdrifa" focuses on White cultural identity and has chapters in the United States and Canada. Sigrdrifa runs a special "Odinism in Prison" project. The Odinic Rite and the Asatru Alliance also have extensive prisoner outreach programs, albeit not based on race or politics. In an interview about the role of race-based gangs and other extremists in America's prisons, the historian Mark Pitcavage came to the conclusion that, "[n]on-racist versions of Asatrú and Odinism are pretty much acceptable religions in the prisons." But materials from racist variants of these religions may be prohibited by corrections departments. Wotanism has been described as the "most violent strain" of Odinism in prisons, and its materials have been prohibited as a result.
Some adherents of Asatru and Odinism have rejected what they perceive as an attempt to appropriate their religion for political and racial ends. Lane stated that he had chosen the name "Wotanism" in conscious contrast to the existing "Odinism":
|“||So, I first chose the name Wotanism over Odinism. First because W.O.T.A.N. makes a perfect acronym for Will Of The Aryan Nation. Secondly because he was called Wotan on the European continent and only called Odin in Scandinavia. Therefore Wotan appeals to the genetic memory of more of our ancestors. And finally because a split had to be made with the game players, deceivers and universalists who had usurped the name Odin.||”|
- Wotanism (Odinism) - By David Lane
- see: Gambanreidi Statement; Wotanism by Professor Carl Gustav Jung Compiled by the late, Jost Turner 
- Gardell 2003, p. 270
- Temple of Wotan, online edition.
- Lane, David (2004). KD Rebel
- Gardell 2003, p. 217
- Interview with Mark Pitcavage - Behind the Walls
- Prisoners of Belief
- Gardell 2003, pp. 273–283
- Gardell, Mattias (2003). Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-3071-7.
- McVan, Ron; David & Katja Lane (1997). Creed of Iron - Wotansvolk Wisdom. 14 Word Press. ISBN 0-9678123-0-5.
- Serrano, Miguel; Ron McVan, Katja Lane (2000). Temple of Wotan - Holy Book of the Aryan Tribes. 14 Word Press. ISBN 0-9678123-3-X.