The rule-breaking tendencies of Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran are not limited to his professional life. Halloran, who was arrested on Tuesday for his role in a bizarre bribery plot to get Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith on the GOP’s mayoral ticket, has also caused trouble while practicing Theodism, the Germanic neo-heathenist religion the former Catholic joined in the eighties. (The Village Voice has a much more in-depth explanation of his beliefs here.) The New York Post spoke to one of Halloran’s coreligionists, a 37-year-old steel-plant supervisor named Nick Ritter, who confirmed that Halloran was once “stripped to his waist, strapped to a tree and flogged with a belt 11 times” for committing “an undisclosed act against a female ‘thrall’ — or probationary servant.”
The report also says that, in 1997, “sacred king” Garman Lord asked Halloran to join a Theodish splinter group called Winland Rice. Entry usually requires a year as a thrall, which includes “a boot camp studying Nordic poetry, chopping wood and serving beer.” However, Ritter said, “The deal they were making with Dan was he would be able to skip that. It was a controversial move that they regret now.” Later, Halloran decided to form his own offshoot, which meant he had to “duel” with Ritter “in a treacherous game that involved chucking a 7-foot-long sapling tree spear at each other while 30 paces apart.” Even though he lost, Halloran got to keep his “lord” rank and start his new group, New Normandy, which Ritter says has a “lowered bar” for membership.
Interestingly, Halloran also angered his fellow Theodists by “trying to democratize” the religion by “building a voting block to take over the higher leadership,” which got him “outlawed.” (He still practices with his New Normandy sect.) While it’s possible that he simply wanted to make things a bit more egalitarian, we’re more inclined to believe that Halloran — who was caught on tape telling an informant that “money is what greases the wheels” of government and that “you can’t get anything without the fucking money” — was just looking for another sideline.