Bizarrely, he may also be the most influential pagan politician in city history, with the press now carping on the odder beliefs and activities of his faith, Theodism, including a time when he was stripped, tied to a tree, and whipped as punishment for improper actions toward a female slave. The New York Post attempts to wrap its head around it all:
Halloran – arrested Tuesday as the suspected bag man in state Sen. Malcolm Smith’s alleged plot to buy his way onto the mayoral ticket — has been publicly flogged as part of his Theodish punishments.
Halloran converted in the 1980s from Catholicism to the pre-Christian Germanic religion, whose believers drink mead or whiskey from horns and dress like characters in a Renaissance fair. He learned about their tough disciplinary code when he committed an undisclosed act against a female “thrall” — or probationary servant. He was stripped to his waist, strapped to a tree and flogged with a belt 11 times.
The then-married defense lawyer made his way up the Theodish ladder through the years and in 1997 was asked by “sacred king” Garman Lord to ditch his rank and join the splinter group Winland Rice.
Halloran wanted a rare exemption from the year of servitude as a thrall that the religion required. A thrall is auctioned off to members for lucky pennies — those found face up on the ground — and then the slave goes through a boot camp studying Nordic poetry, chopping wood and serving beer.
Halloran then plotted to “hive,” or form another splinter group. To do so, he had to duel with fellow member Nick Ritter in a treacherous game that involved chucking a 7-foot-long sapling tree spear at each other while 30 paces apart. Halloran lost by a couple points.
FBI agents arrested Halloran in a predawn raid on Tuesday on a raft of corruption charges. He was caught on wiretaps allegedly bribing two city GOP bosses to get Smith, a Democrat, on the Republican mayoral ballot.