Thursday, May 23, 2013

Picking a Bone with King Arthur Pendragon

This was going to be a post about the controversy happening over displaying human bones at the new Stonehenge Visitor Center but talking about King Arthur Uther Pendragon seems way more fun.

The new visitor center is to be completed by the end of the year and English Heritage wants to display the remains of the ancient inhabitants of the area. They believe that it will provide visitors with a direct connection to the 5,000 year old people who lived and worked by Stonehenge and assure that the display will follow the presentation, treatment and storage UK guidelines.

Sounds pretty cool, right? Well not to Pendragon who believes the bones are the remains of the "royal line" or "priest caste" who could have been the "founding fathers of this great nation." Pendragon says, "this is not only out of step with the feelings of many of the peoples and groups that I represent but is surely against the driving cultural principles of a Unesco World Heritage Site." Pendragon said visitors would be "appalled" and unless "models and replicas" were used he could "not rule out non-violent direct action against the proposals."

Who is this King Arthur Uther Pendragon dude? After looking this guy up how could I have lived my life not knowing about him? He is my new favorite everything. Pendragon is a Neo-Druid, a religion that promotes harmony, worship of nature, respect for all things and believes strongly in the veneration of ancestors, particularly those that belonged to prehistoric societies.

King Arthur Pendragon changed his name from John Timothy Rothwell in 1986 as he is the self-declared reincarnation of King Arthur. He is known for his ties to Stonehenge and his belief that because of the exclusion zone around Stonehenge, his freedom of thought, conscience, religion and freedom of expression are restricted. He has picketed Stonehenge multiple times and complains of English Heritage's mismanagement of the monument, including the recent lack of respect to the ancient British ancestors.

The picture of him on the motorcycle is going on the fridge.

Fun little tidbits:
  • Summoned to court over refusal to pay the Poll Tax, Pendragon was allowed to wear his robes and allowed to swear oath on his sword.
  • He has been arrested over 30 times (mostly for trespassing). Refusing to wear prison garments, he has been left without clothing entirely and put in solitary confinement.
  • Pendragon was coronated in 1998 and proclaimed 'Raised Druid King of Britain' by representatives from 5 Neo-Druid orders.

Watch the video below and wish you were as cool as he is.

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