White supremacy sect buys property in Tennessee

A new, whites-only community is reportedly being planned for a 44-acre rural piece of property in southeastern Tennessee by a couple with past ties to neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.

Eric Meadows and his wife, Angela Johnson, both former members of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, now lead “Wotan Nation,” described as a community of white supremacists following a revitalized belief system spawned by early Germanic paganism called “heathenism.”

Johnson purchased the rural Tennessee property in March 2017 and site-clearing work there is now underway, the Chattanooga Times Free Press first reported in weekend editions.

“Wotans Nation is indeed on the rise!” the group’s closed Facebook page claims. “The formation and creation of an actual location and community in the works and close to becoming a reality.”

The Facebook group “has ballooned to just under 300 members” in recent months, the newspaper reported.

Meadows, who uses the alias Erik Thorvaldsson on social media, and Johnson both declined to speak with the Chattanooga newspaper. The group’s web site was taken off-line and put in “under construction” mode shortly after the article was published.

Wotans Nation “is an actual community within Eastern Tennessee made up of Folkish Heathens coming together and working as a theologically based community,” the group’s site said.

From its description and pagan-oriented symbols, the group appears to follow a religious dogma similar to those known as Asatru or Odinism, sometimes called Wotanism. With emphasis on Norse Gods, the racially based, warrior-style tribal religion targets people of European descent who describe themselves as folkish racialists or white separatists.

The group makes mention of “1488,” a reference to the 14-words spoken by the late David Lane, an Odinist, one-time Ku Klux Klan leader and imprisoned former member of the neo-Nazi group, The Order. He had ties to the Aryan Nations and was implicated in a series of racketeering crimes, including the 1984 assassination of radio talk show host Alan Berg, who was Jewish.

The Wotans Nation web site said there “is a need for our folk to have a place to practice our religion freely, without fear of social stigma and in a healthy and natural environment among other culturally and spiritually similar people.”

“It is in that spirit that the Wotans Nation project has been formed,” the site said, describing it as “an actual community within Eastern Tennessee made up of Folkish Heathens coming together and working as a theologically based community."

Wotans Nation offers memberships “to Folkish Heathens that meet the requirements and are willing to move into the Nation and become active participants in the community,” the site said.

The group said “members who pass background checks will be able to move” to the 44-acre compound where rental cabins will be constructed for visitors, the newspaper reported.

Meadows, who served in both the U.S. Army and Navy, has past affiliations with the League of the South. In 2014, when that group discussed forming a secret paramilitary group called the Indomitables, Meadows, who then lived in Rome, Georgia, was named director of training.

Not everyone in Meigs County is welcoming the white supremacists and their planned community, the Chattanooga newspaper said in its piece.

Jason Choate, who owns an auto repair shop near the Wotans Nation property, said he doesn't think the 12,000 mostly white residents of Meigs County will welcome the Wotans Nation.

“Knowing what I do about the people around here, I don't think they'll allow it to get up and running,” Choate told the newspaper.  “If they cross the line, they'll find themselves in a world of trouble.”