The International Asatru-Odinic Alliance (1997-2002) was an association formed by the Asatru Alliance, the Asatru Folk Assembly, and the Odinic Rite in 1997. It was meant to be an alliance of those Asatru organizations which took a "folkish" viewpoint at a time of strong sectarian conflicts with those they labelled "universalists" (the "folkish" view is that there is a genetic component to religion).
Valgard Murray, Secretary of the Asatru Alliance was selected as the first IAOA Allsherjargothi ("every man's priest"). Murray had been a member of the Asatru Free Assembly and at its dissolution in 1989, was a founding member of the Asatru Alliance. In 1999, the IAOA responded critically to the FBI's Project Megiddo report.
At Althing 20 in Utah, in the summer of 2000, Murray's chosen successor, Hnikar Wood, was chosen as IAOA Allsherjargothi. The Asatru Folk Assembly was represented by Stephen McNallen, Murray represented the Asatru Alliance, and Wood was the personal representative of Heimgest, the Director of the Court of Gothar of the Odinic Rite. Hnikar had also been a member of the Asatru Free Assembly prior to its dissolution, and was the West Coast director of the Odinic Rite-Vinland, the Southern California director of the AFA, a member of Raven Kindred of the Asatru Alliance, and editor of the AA's magazine, Vor Tru.
At the Althing, Hnikar read a request from Ruarik Grimnisson of Australia's Assembly of the Elder Troth to join the IAOA, and the AET was voted into membership. Hnikar had met Ruarik in Fremantle, Australia in 1998 and had contributed to the IAOA magazine, Irminsul.
In March 2001, Hnikar abruptly resigned from the IAOA and his preferred successor, Sheila McNallen of the AFA, was selected as the IAOA's third Allsherjargothi.
On 20 June 2002, the IAOA was disbanded. The Odinic Rite issued the following announcement:
Greetings Comrades and Friends
As many of you will know, the IAOA ( international Asatru & Odinist Alliance) has never really come anywhere near achieving the potential we felt it had when formed. The reasons for this are many and varied and there is no purpose served in going into any detail. It is fair for us to say that since the abrupt resignation of Hnikar (Eric Wood) as Alsherjargothi the IAOA has in fact achieved nothing of any real value. Despite this, the Odinic Rite was still willing to attempt a revival of the IAOA and once again see it work for the good of our holy religion, however in a sudden move the Asatru Alliance and the Asatru Folk Assembly have decided that there is no future in the IAOA and have moved to dissolve it. Though we are very disappointed at this sudden and surprising development, in reality it makes no difference to the Odinic Rite as an organisation, for it will continue to promote and defend our holy religion as it has done in the past.
The IAOA was a good idea, but sadly an idea which never really worked.'
In Loyal service of Faith, Folk & Family The Court of Gothar Asbjeorn CG Heimgest CG Asrad CG
The Assembly of the Elder Troth's history notes:
Also in 2001, the AET after assured American sponsorship by Eric Wood (aka Hnikar) joined the folkish organisation - ‘The International Asatru and Odinic Alliance’ (IAOA), which has the largest membership of any Northern Tradition alliance in the world. Unfortunately, the IAOA succumbed primarily to internal factional disputes amongst its American members, as well as to malicious and personal political attack on individuals. The IAOA was dissolved by its founders – Steve McNallen and Valgard Murray in 2002.