This week, the NY political scene was rocked when the FBI arrested State Senator Malcolm Smith and City Councilman Dan Halloran for their part in allegedly taking bribes to put Smith on the Republican mayoral ticket. In the wake of that, two other NYC Republicans, two Rockland County Democrats, Bronx Democratic Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and four others have also been arrested. But who cares about all that when we can wade through more details about the strange personal beliefs of Halloran, who is a devout believer in Theodism, a pre-Christian faith rooted in Celtic and Germanic tribal religions!

And that's what the Post gets down to today with an exclusive report on some of the more unsavory details about his religious beliefs. The most "juicy" detail is that Halloran was once publicly flogged after he committed an undisclosed act against a female “thrall” (a follower). He was stripped to his waist, strapped to a tree and flogged with a belt 11 times. Meh, it's not like he helped make Steve Guttenberg a star, or was shackled to a "stone of triumph."

Fellow member Nick Ritter confirmed the story, but wouldn't elaborate on what Halloran had done to earn the flogging: “He was given a choice, “ Ritter said. “He was going to leave Theodism or stay and pay the piper.” But even more interesting is the parallels between Halloran's allegedly corrupt career as a politician and his willingness to cut corners to get ahead in his religion.

In 1997, Halloran was asked by “sacred king” Garman Lord to ditch his rank and join the splinter group Winland Rice. But to do so, he'd have to spend a year as a thrall—which meant he would be a "slave" forced to go through a boot camp studying Nordic poetry, chopping wood and serving beer. Halloran didn't want to do that: “The deal they were making with Dan was he would be able to skip that,” said Ritter, a steel-plant supervisor who tried to veto Halloran’s request. “It was a controversial move that they regret now.” Soon after, Halloran formed his own splinter group from Winland Rice, called New Normandy, and recruited his own thralls.

For more about Halloran's religious beliefs, check out the Village Voice's piece about it from 2009, the year he won his city council seat. One other fun parallel to chew on: Halloran has been referred to as the "bag man" for Smith in his attempts to get on the mayoral ticket. Which means that Halloran is, approximately, the equivalent of Ashy Larry from The Wire!