Take Him At His Word
Not only has Rhyd mocked homeless veterans and compared police officers to terrorists; he has also tried to smear Hindus engaged in resisting Muslim forced conversion and joked about advocating the genocide of the Yezidi.
But what else would you expect from a self-confessed Marxist?
Religion is the opium of the people: this saying of Marx is the cornerstone of the entire ideology of Marxism about religion. All modern religions and churches, all and of every kind of religious organizations are always considered by Marxism as the organs of bourgeois reaction, used for the protection of the exploitation and the stupefaction of the working class. (V. I. Lenin, “About the attitude of the working party toward the religion“)
[If] Marxist thinking and the notion of a historical dialectic were finally proven correct, then American Indian people and all [I]ndigenous peoples would be doomed. Our cultures and value systems, our spirituality, and even our social structures, would give way to an emergent socialist structure that would impose a notion of the good on all people regardless of ethnicity and culture. (George Tinker, as quoted by David Bedford in “Marxism and the Aboriginal Question: The Tragedy of Progress“)
Marxism isn’t just a failed economic policy – it’s responsible for more deaths and the destruction of more ancestral traditions during the 20th century than all the monotheisms put together, and that’s saying something since they weren’t exactly resting on their laurels!
What, you forget so quickly?
My immediate ancestors died fighting against the Nazis and Soviets so I have a personal investment in remembering the atrocities committed in the name of Marx.
You know, like what happened to the Lithuanians:
The Lithuanian pagan movement was stopped by Soviet occupation in 1940. The Soviet Union forcefully annexed Lithuania in 1940 and renamed it the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. Due to the nationalist nature of Romuva, the faith was suppressed during the Soviet occupation and many practitioners were executed or deported to forced labor camps in Siberia. After Joseph Stalin’s death the cultural life became more free. A clandestine Romuva group is known to have existed within a labor camp in Inta, Russia. After the members were released and returned to Lithuania around 1960, some of these practitioners, along with Jonas Trinkūnas, formed the Vilnius Ethnological Ramuva and began organizing public celebrations of traditional Lithuanian religious holidays, starting with Rasos festival in 1967. In 1971 the Soviets expelled the members from the university they attended and exiled the leaders. By 1988, when the power of the Soviet Union was waning and Lithuanian independence was on the horizon, Romuva groups began reorganizing in the Baltic nations and practising their religion in the open.
Or the Setos:
“The biggest threat during my lifetime was the beginning of the Soviet occupation in the 1940s,” Kala Maria says. “We were really afraid and we had to hide all the silver and all of our national costumes. We didn’t dare to sing because people were arrested and deported. We just did not know what would happen next. It was forbidden even to speak the Seto language.”
Or the Mari:
The collectivization of agriculture, which began in the late 1920s, heavily affected the Mari and other Finno-Ugric peoples who were predominantly peasant. During this campaign, private land was expropriated and the owners were made to join collective farms under the threat of deportation to labor camps.31 In the mid-1930s, Mari cultural life suffered a serious blow when a great number of Mari writers, teachers, scholars, scientists and artists were killed or imprisoned. While it has not been possible to document the full effects of these purges, it has been estimated that as many as 2,000 Mari intellectuals may have been murdered.
Or the Buryat:
Under Soviet ideology, shamans were regarded as particularly dangerous, savage purveyors of cultic and primitive religious practice. To that end, shamans were often cast out of mainstream Soviet society, denounced formally by the government, and denied basic rights such as suffrage. In addition to the shaman’s status as a religious professional, the Soviet government also attempted to extirpate shamans during the Stalinist purges because of their ability to act as powerful sources of resistance, working to undermine Soviet governmental structures in order to preserve indigenous culture. In the eyes of the Soviets, shamans were powerful symbols of anti-revolutionary subversion that needed to be forcefully suppressed in order for communist ideology to take hold in Siberia. As such, any shamanic practice during the Soviet era was forced underground. In this same vein, Soviet leaders in Moscow developed an aggressive campaign of “Russification” during the mid-twentieth century that sought to modernize the indigenous peoples of Siberia. In the Buryat ASSR, for example, public schools were forced to stop teaching the Buryat language and Mongolian script; traditional forms of art were proscribed; and any discussion of traditional Buryat heroes, such as the Mongol King Geser, was banned outright. At the heart of these nationalization efforts was an attempt to downplay the ethnic and cultural similarities between Siberian indigenous communities and Eastern Asia. Although the most violent era of the Soviet period came to a close with Stalin’s death in 1953, shamanism remained heavily persecuted during the Khrushchev and Brezhnev eras.
Or the Khanty:
Already in 1926 “the crime–prevention committee in the Tobolsk region decided to consider shamanism as a crime, and hence used the militia to persecute shamans who insisted young people should participate in worship or in sacrificial rituals (Glavatskaia online:21). The aftermath of the Kazym Rebellion of 1933 further complicated the situation. After the happenings of the rebellion every manifestation of shamanic culture such as owning a shaman drum was declared illegal and subjected to persecution. Anyone who took part in the Bear Funeral Rites or other rituals of Khanty culture was subject to 10 years imprisonment. Bear hunting was also forbidden and anything connected with Khanty culture, such as sacred ground, pagan shrines or burial grounds were destroyed. These laws were only relaxed during the 1980s as part of the glasnost policies of Mikhail Gorbachev.
Or the Tuvans:
A census by the Tuvan People’s Republic in 1931, 13 years before it became part of the Soviet Union, reports that 82.2% of Tuvans were nomads with set migratory routes. The country had 725 shamans, just under half of them women (1). Tuva was incorporated into the Soviet Union on Stalin’s orders in 1944. The republic’s 32 Buddhist temples were destroyed and Buddhist lamas and animist shamans were persecuted and often killed. Despite stiff resistance by the nomadic population, farming was eventually collectivised, new animal breeds were introduced and crops were grown that required heavy quantities of fertilisers, which steadily degraded the land. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, there has been a resurgence of cultural life in Tuva. Nomadic lifestyles and migration patterns have returned. Interdependence with nature is deeply ingrained in the Tuvan psyche and fundamental to their way of thinking. There is a strong tradition of respect for natural places.
Or the Darhads:
During the Soviet era, all religion, including the shamanic tradition, was suppressed. Many shamans died in labor camps. “A shaman I knew named Gombo got caught during a ritual and was sent to jail for a year and a half,” Nergui said. By the time Nergui started practicing, the worst of the purge was over, but shamanism was still forbidden, and shamans had to perform in secret. “We hid our religion so that it wouldn’t fade away,” he said. “There were two places where we would do the ritual. The first one was at home, and we would have somebody sit by the door to see if anyone was coming. The second place was hidden in the mountains. Then around 1995, things changed, and we could practice freely.” Indeed, shamanism is now undergoing a great reawakening throughout its historic heartland in Central Asia, Siberia, and Mongolia—feeding a spiritual craving after 70 years of enforced atheism.
Or the Yakut:
Many of the more traditional aspects of Sakha culture were not valued by the Bolsheviks. As early as 1924, Moscow outlawed Shamanism, although the practice persisted in surreptitious form. Stalin’s regime went so far as to ban the summer solstice festival (Ysyakh), the Yakut’s major annual event. As horses play a major role in Yakut culture, they are also central to the celebration of the Ysyakh, which involves the consumption of fermented mare’s milk, tethering a horse to a pole and circle dancing around it, as well as horse (or reindeer) racing. The holiday was much beloved among the Yakut, and after Stalin’s death it began to revive. In the 1930s, the Soviet government mandated agricultural collectivization in Yakutia, disrupting the rural economy. Enforced grain production was particularly damaging. Guided by the irrationally optimistic ideas of Trofim Lysenko, the state insisted on arable agriculture even in such impossible environments as that of frigid Verkhoyansk. As plowing advanced in central Yakutia, hay harvests were compromised, increasing livestock mortality and in some locales generating a human subsistence crisis. Some scholars have argued that hunger and malnutrition resulting from the period resulted in a decline in the Yakut total population from 240,500 in 1926 to 236,700 in 1959. In the early 1950s, an official Soviet campaign targeted the “ideological faults” and “bourgeois nationalism” of prominent Yakut writers, although after Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin in 1956, such strictures were relaxed. The ruinous agricultural projects also came to an end with Stalin’s demise. In the area studied by Terry Jordan-Bychkov and Bella Bychkova Jordan, grain fields in the early 1950s had yielded a miserable 196 pounds per acre, one seventh the amount necessary to break even. They provide a revealing anecdote: “Viewing a dead grainfield, the villagers reputedly indulged in a sarcastic verbal tribute: ‘Comrade Stalin is a great agronomist.’”
Or the h’Mong:
Unsurprisingly, from the viewpoint of Marxist-Leninsts, the majority of peoples of Africa, Asia and America were not seen as comparably developed and were thus either repressed or coerced into larger and more efficient economic units – the nungs in Vietnam under Ho Chi Min, the Miskitu indigenous tribes of eastern Nicaragua under the Sandinistas and the h’Mong in Laos under the North Vietnamese-allied Pathet Lao, among them. […] Subsequently, the Pathet Lao based itself in the middle of h’Mong territory and brought in Vietnamese forces to the area, forces comprised of cadres who traditionally harbored disdain for tribal groups such as the h’Mong as evidenced by their referral to the h’Mong as “moi” – a Vietnamese epithet meaning subhuman or savage. […] It is estimated that by 1970, 250,000 of the approximately 300,000 h’Mong had been displaced from their homeland and scattered among refugee camps along the Lao-Thai border. As Churchill writes, “The culture and society for which they had fought so hard and suffered so much was shattered.” From these historical recurrences, it would be easy to conclude that there is an insurmountable incompatibility between Marxist and indigenous struggles rooted theoretically in Marxism’s problem of economic determinism and human chauvinism, and practically in the selective and Eurocentric employment of the notion of the right to self-determination.
Or the Cambodians:
In 1975 when the communist Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia, they tried to completely destroy Buddhism and very nearly succeeded. By the time of the Vietnamese invasion in 1979, nearly every monk and religious intellectual had been either murdered or driven into exile, and nearly every temple and Buddhist temple and library had been destroyed. The Khmer Rouge policies towards Buddhism- which included the forcible disrobing of monks, the destruction of monasteries, and, ultimately, the execution of uncooperative monks effectively destroyed Cambodia’s Buddhist institutions. Monks who did not flee and avoided execution lived among the laity, sometimes secretly performing Buddhist rituals for the sick or afflicted. Estimates vary regarding the number of monks in Cambodia prior to the ascension of the Khmer Rouge, ranging between 65,000 and 80,000. By the time of the Buddhist restoration in the early 1980s, the number of Cambodian monks worldwide was estimated to be less than 3,000.
Or adherents of Falun Gong:
The campaign of persecution has been generated by the Government of the People’s Republic of China , is carried out by government officials and police at all levels, and has permeated every segment of society and every level of government in the People’s Republic of China […] Vital organs including hearts, kidneys, livers and corneas were systematically harvested from Falun Gong practitioners at Sujiatan Hospital, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, beginning in 2001. The practitioners were given injections to induce heart failure, and therefore were killed in the course of the organ harvesting operations or immediately thereafter […] Almost every woman’s genitals and breasts or every man’s genitals have been sexually assaulted during the persecution in a most vulgar fashion. […] the persecution of Falun Gong amounts to genocide as defined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Or the Tibetans:
The Tibetan Government in Exile reports that 6,000 monasteries were destroyed by the Chinese armies in the first decade of their rule in Tibet. More than a million deaths have been attributed to Chinese oppression. Tibetans have been subject to mass reeducation programs, and resistance has meant abuse, rape, torture, and imprisonment. One nun gave this testimony of her beating by Chinese guards: “They told me to take off my clothes. They made me take off everything. They told me to lie with my face down, and started beating me with sticks. I died with shame as so many people were watching. Later the beating was so unbearable that I forgot about my shame.”
Or countless others.
Paganism in general—and apparently Devotional and Reconstructionist Polytheism in particular—have been long overdue for a reckoning.
I think the only responsible thing to do is take him at his word.