Valgard Murray is the Minister of Record with the Federal Bureau
of Prisons and Director of the World Tree Outreach Ministry.
In a conversation with the beloved Else Christensen in 1986, Valgard
agreed to help her with some of her prison work. By the time of
her death in 2005, Else was respectfully known as the Folk Mother
by the Ásatrú inmates, because she answered each letter
she received from them until her health began to fail. Her tireless
efforts became the catalyst for demands to have Ásatrú
recognized behind the wire.
Some individuals may disapprove of prison advocacy. We consider
the matter to be a human rights issue. In the most fundamental sense,
the efforts of Valgard Murray and the World Tree Ministry are directed
towards ensuring that Ásatrú is recognized on a par
with all other religions within the walls of correctional facilities
as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
Members of Blood Eagle Kindred serve as Liaisons between the World
Tree Outreach Ministry and inmates. Locally, after more three years
of letter writing by the kindred, Ásatrú was formally
recognized at the Adult Correctional Institution in Cranston, Rhode
Island thanks to the direct involvement of Valgard Murray.
As a result of the work of the World Tree Ministry, the following
states have recognized Ásatrú behind the wire ~ Alaska,
Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska,
New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Ohio, Rhode Island,
South Dakota, and Washington.
In addition, the World Tree Ministry is currently working with
prison officials in the following states for either the recognition
of Ásatrú or more inmate rights, such as the use and
ownership of Runes ~ Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri,
New Hampshire, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
If you would like to learn more about the World Tree Ministry,
you may contact Valgard at email@example.com
or at Box 961, Payson, AZ 85547.