"Islam is not a religion," Answer to Lloyd de Jongh - Part 3

"You shouldn’t be in the totalitarianism business if you can't exploit a ready-made reservoir of credulity and servility that’s as big as that." —Christopher Hitchens.

"Islam is not a religion," Answer to Lloyd de Jongh - Part 3
Church and State: Come on, kiss and make up. Francisco Franco, Vladimir Putin, Robert Winnicki.

Part 1, Part 2

Knowledge of Shari’a helps in understanding why Islam is the vast iniquity that it is. Yet, knowledge of Shari’a alone does not suffice to show that Islam is a totalitarian system. One needs to understand what a totalitarian system is in order to see that Islam is a totalitarian system. The superficial traits of a system, however grotesque they might be, are no indication of whether such a system is totalitarian. As with his failure to define religion independently of any particular religion, De Jongh does not tell us what constitutes a totalitarian system. Instead, he simply asserts that Islam is a totalitarian system because one of the meanings of the word deen is subordination, which De Jongh tells his viewers, is totalitarianism.

Any system, even a totalitarian one, is a self-replicating set of interactions between discrete dynamic elements. Should those interactions break down, the system breaks down. To understand what makes the system a system, it is necessary to understand why its elements are dynamic, and what makes their interactions result in the system self-replicating. To illustrate this, we can draw on one piece of evidence De Jongh puts forward. De Jongh expands on the first two of his four meanings of the word deen as follows:

1. The first meaning is subjugation or dominance, administrative or legislative authority, to put pressure to be obedient or using power to enslave or make one obedient. In Arabic, dintuhum fa danu means “I subjugated them, so they obeyed me” also dintuhu means “I ruled or governed upon him.” Thus, the word dayyan is used to indicate a person who dominates and rules over a state, nation or tribe.

2. The second meaning is obedience and bondage, subordination and domination by someone and bearing humiliation under subjugation and power of others. The obedient tribe is called gawmun davyinun. Here al-deen does not mean religion, it means obedience. (Emphasis original).

These are not two meanings. They are the same meaning: a relation of domination/subjugation described first from the domination side of the relation, and then from the subjugation side. It is the relation that De Jongh loses sight of. The artificial severing of the relation into two distinct meanings leads De Jongh to assert that, “If you rule over a state, that is political, that is based on government. So understand this is entirely a completely different concept to what we view as religion.” (My emphasis). This logic, of course, immediately draws into question whether Catholicism, especially from its founding to the Reformation, was a religion. De Jongh does not address this, which is curious, since Warsaw, where De Jongh is based, is also the crucible for a fascist and Catholic reunification of church and state.[1] Nonetheless, he continues:

Here al-deen does not mean religion. It means obedience. Shut up and obey! Hear and obey. We hear that term from Muslims, ‘We hear and we obey.’ This is a Qur’anic Commandment [24:51, AP] to them. So understand, it does not mean religion; it means to do what you are told, meekly, submissively, subserviently, and just do it. Again, that is a completely different concept to what we mean by religion. (My emphasis)

De Jongh either assumes that all his viewers have the same concept of religion as he has, namely, that religion means Christianity. De Jongh does not directly tell us what makes Christianity a religion, but there are several hints scattered around the text that amount to a "personal relationship with God," combined with "letting Jesus into your heart," from which they inculcate the Golden Rule. He and others like him pride themselves on the supposed voluntary nature of this "personal relationship." If we are now to understand that an Islamic text, the Qur’an, containing "a Commandment" is not a religious text, then nor is the Old Testament, in which God expects nothing less than, “do what you are told, meekly, submissively, subserviently, and just do it.”

Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;

you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my Commandments. (Excerpt from Exodus:20).

These are the opening lines of the famous Ten Commandments as laid out in The Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible, which is also part of the Christian Bible along with the Four Gospels, The New Testament. The implications of De Jongh’s definition of deen as meaning obedience in contradistinction to religion, i.e., Christianity, are that either the Ten Commandments are optional, or Christianity is not a religion. He cannot have it both ways. But that does not stop him from trying to square the circle with a brief foray into Hebrew etymology:

Hebrew/Jewish origins: Din/Deen means "law" in Hebrew. Islam is the deen ul-haqq, meaning 'truth' or 'right'. This is the same word as the Jewish hoqq, 'statutes'. (Emphasis original)

If din/deen, of Hebrew/Jewish origins, makes Islam “a deen, not a religion,” then what makes Judaism a religion, especially as many observant Jews refer to their religion as "the Law"?[2] How does Judaism escape De Jongh's "not a religion" slight? De Jongh anticipates this objection and attempts to pre-empt it, only to end up ensnared in his own tortured syntax, leaving the viewer even less clear as to whether Islam and Judaism are or are not religions, for here, in order to not tar Judaism with the same brush and thereby dilute the iniquity of Islam, he has to elevate Islam from not a religion to a kind of religion:

Now notice: within Judaism, for instance, they are also a religion of law, as Islam is a religion of law. You have the ceremonial law, the moral law and the civil law. Notice: Islam makes no distinction between those three. Christianity only has moral law. It is not a religion of law. It does not bring civil law. Islam brings civil law, moral, law and ceremonial law, and it makes no distinction. "The religious acts which bring the creature into contact with his creator." So in other words, following these rules, rule-based. This is exactly like the Pharisees in the Bible, exactly like them. Following these rules, you will get Salvation. It is rules-based worship.

The astute viewer can be forgiven for now wanting to know whether Islam is still a totalitarian system, or a kind of totalitarian system, and what the other kinds there might be, as well as why "rules-based worship" does not qualify as religion. By these criteria, Judaism, too, is not a religion, but rather than commit to the implications of his own argument, De Jongh smothers his viewers in repetitive extraneous details that provide a smokescreen under which he can escape from explicitly declaring Judaism not a religion.

Every now and then, De Jongh draws attention to some iniquitous Islamic doctrine, trait or practice to assert that by its absence in Christianity, the latter is a religion and the former not. Our error, according to De Jongh, is, “We call Islam a religion, because Christianity is a religion.” (My emphasis)

This is a claim of stunning arrogance, made in 2022. Do Hindus, Buddhists, Jews or atheists call Islam a religion because Christianity is a religion? Are we to understand that Muslims call Islam a religion because Christianity is a religion? For De Jongh, as for all Christian ideologues, religion = Christianity = religion. Yet this arrogance is absent from the equivalent claim in 2020:

Islam regards itself as a deen. We, who speak English, we regard Islam as a religion, because we see a similarity to Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, so we assume it's religion. However, Islam doesn't call itself religion. They use that as a convenience because we do. (My emphasis)

I should have said, the same arrogance is absent in 2020, because a different arrogance is present there. Muslims use the word religion "because we do," says De Jongh, because it was a convenient way to mislead us, the "if you say so," idea. In this case, one might legitimately wonder what Islam's similarity to Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity is that convinces "us" that Islam is a religion, and are Hindus and Buddhists similarly mislead, or do they call Islam something other than a religion. Are terms such as "faith" and "belief," both used in Islam, associated with deen, i.e., totalitarian system, political system, etc., or with religion? Does it not strike anyone as odd that an advocate of totalitarianism should be called a "believer"?

More crucially, lay Muslims who speak neither Arabic, nor English, refer to Islam as a religion in their language.  Maybe it's because it is, at least to lay Muslims, who have a completely different perception and experience of Islam than the "scholars." Of course, lay Muslims also use the Arabic word deen, but by that they mean religion, using it interchangeably with the word for religion in their own language.

Lloyd de Jongh seems not to have the habit of putting his thoughts to the test. He seems oblivious to just how closely his stridency, especially in 2022, parallels that of Islamic "scholars." One needs but ask whether Muslims think Christianity is a religion and on what grounds they find it wanting, to see the resemblance. His certainty frequently gets him into trouble that he seems unaware of. We can return to his list of twelve categories on which religion stands at position ten, for a closer look.

De Jongh says of one of his twelve categories of Islam as deen, “Dominance: this is not about loving thy neighbour; it’s about dominating and subjugating, controlling, using force.” Since Catholicism is inextricably associated with "dominating and subjugating, controlling, using force," either the records are completely mistaken as to its nature and history, or Catholicism is not a religion either. Both for this reason and for the fact that it most certainly is not about "loving thy neighbour," Catholicism cannot be Christianity.

De Jongh dismisses the religious one-twelfth of Islam, yet provides clear evidence that shows just how critical the religious one-twelfth of Islam is. The most crucial piece of evidence he presents not only proves that Islam is a religion, but also explains why it is a religion. From Reliance of the Traveller, De Jongh quotes:

Three spiritual stations a servant [of Allah, a Muslim] may have in his worship: (1) to worship in a way that fulfills its obligations, by observing all its conditions and integrals; …All three of these are the perfection of faith (ihsan), but the perfection required for the validity of worship is only the first, while perfection in the latter senses is the mark of the elect, and not possible for many. (My emphasis)

It is a strange non-religion that demands of its adherents that they worship, and moreover, stipulates the conditions under which their worship is valid, i.e., whomever they worship imposes “obligations of worship,” rules and regulations, and acceptance criteria. De Jongh himself clarifies that the first station, the station of "worship that fulfils its obligations," i.e., mindless rituals, is “Islam for the masses,” who must strive for “the perfection of faith,” the perfection of religion. Certainly, this is correct, but De Jongh eats the peel and throws away the banana, because this very passage is the heart of Islam as a totalitarian system.

Allah Most High prohibited the people to go out altogether in military expeditions and jihad, and ordered a segment of them to engage solely in becoming knowledgeable in the religion of Allah. (Reliance of the Traveller, Book B2.2)

"The elect” control “the masses” through religion: The lot of you, go kill the infidels wherever you find them, go slay and be slain, and seventy-two virgins await you in Heaven. This is your bargain with Allah, who has chosen for you Islam as your religion. Those of you who slay, but fail to be slain, never mind, you will get your share of all the loot you bring back to us. While you're busy with that, Allah commanded us to hang back here and occupy ourselves studying the Sacred Law so that when you come back, we can continue telling you what to do. Takbir!

To the "scholars," law, i.e., subjugation and obedience, and religion are one. To lay Muslims, the ones whose station it is to go out altogether in military expeditions and jihad, “the deen” is the religion and only the religion. The law they leave to the "people of knowledge." To drive home the point, Reliance of the Traveller adds, "It is obligatory for the ordinary person to follow the scholar who is a mujtahid, [someone trained in Sacred Law]." For lay Muslims, there is nothing else to the deen, and for Islamic totalitarianism to work, this is exactly how it has to be.[3] All that lay Muslims are meant to do is to hear and obey, as Qur’an 24:51 commands. None of this says anything about the other eleven twelfths of Islam, and it most certainly doesn’t deny it.

Having just proved the religion in Islam, De Jongh dismisses it as non-existent, and along with it, as quoted at the opening, he dismisses the Qur’an (and the hadith), as irrelevant. By approvingly quoting the above passage from Reliance of the Traveller, De Jongh proves the Qur’an and the hadith are precisely the mechanism through which the religion, and so control, is maintained. When De Jongh thinks he is showing just how unsuitable the Qur’an and the hadith are for throwing light on Islam, on account of all the contradictory Qur'an verses and Hadiths, as well as all the mutual abrogations, he is, in fact, showing just how very suitable these scriptures are for totalitarian control. The confusion that results from reading these texts, that De Jongh advances as grounds for dismissing them, is exactly the point. It is intended to negate what might survive of the lay Muslim's critical faculties, cause him to abdicate his own apprehension and judgement and drive him to doing the only safe thing: asking a "scholar" what he should think. This is totalitarianism 101.

A contemporary case helps to illustrate the fundamental role of confusion in totalitarian control. The KGB, now FSB, operates in exactly the same way as laid out for the Islamic "scholars" in Reliance of the Traveller. The brainwashed Soviet population, the current Russian and other post-Soviet generations that came of age before the 1990s, believe the truth to be whatever the KGB, through the tightly-controlled media, tells them it is. The truths they are fed are deliberately contradictory. The effect of constantly hearing contradictory truths is that such a population withdraws from engagement with facts outside of their immediate material concerns, concerns that are deliberately kept considerable so as to leave no room for wandering thoughts. Under such conditions, simply believing whatever you are are told comes as a relief. The end result is a complete abdication of autonomous judgement and a shutdown of all critical faculties. Best to leave such matters to the Party, who will tell me, from day to day or week to week, what is real.

Putin's propaganda doesn't try to persuade you of an alternate reality that you should believe in. It tries to manipulate your sense of reality. It basically tries to saturate the informational environment with incompatible pictures of reality. The aim isn't to persuade you of anything. [It] isn't to initiate you into a kind of political mobilisation, into a kind of vision. The aim is to depoliticise you, to make you feel, well this is too complex for me to engage in, and make you feel that maybe there isn't such a thing as an unqualifiedly statable truth about anything. …Putin’s propaganda tries to tell you, look, this is a very complex world. There are claims and counter claims, and then it tries to pump information at you from all directions. The idea is that you simply give up on politics. That's the key aspiration and it's been working very tragically, effectively.[4]

This is exactly how lay Muslims rely on their "scholars," to tell them what reality is. Where the Russians' preoccupation is with basic material survival, those of Muslims is with avoiding falling foul of a morass of contradictory laws of which they are deliberately kept ignorant. They are imbued with pride in their ignorance as the only feasible, nay, virtuous, condition. Lay Muslims themselves display the strongest disapproval towards lay Muslims who think about Islam and so presume onto the preserve of the “people of knowledge.” Without understanding how the KGB/FSB wield power over the Russian mind, or the CCP wields power over the Chinese mind, a full understanding of totalitarianism as a system remains illusive. Instructively, now that Stalin’s cult of personality, the religion of the earthly God, is gone, Orthodox Christianity is again stepping into the role that religion has been playing in Islam without interruption, the supernatural God restored to his throne by none other than ex-KGB officer and Putin crony, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow himself, who endorsed Putin's rule as "a miracle of God."[5]

Lay Muslims, i.e., "the masses," are not supposes to know what Shari’a is, for they would soon see how Islam manipulates them. This is why the texts of Shari’a are forbidden to them. They are supposed to simply hear and obey the “scholars,” who will tell them whatever they need to tell them in the moment. Should lay Muslims retain any critical faculties after their years in madrassa, they might, despite prohibition, actually try to understand the Islamic texts for themselves. The confusion they will run into would likely convince them that they are, indeed, not people of knowledge, and that that they must not think about such things. Instead, they must consult the “scholars,” the “people of knowledge,” as the Shari’a makes obligatory. Allah knows best.

“Subordination [is] totalitarianism,” says De Jongh. Subordination is not totalitarianism, but a simple aspect of basic hierarchical imposition. When there is still a need to enforce subordination, then totalitarianism is not established, assuming totalitarianism is the end goal. Under totalitarianism, the subordinates self-subordinate. There is no need for those in power to coerce the subordinates, because all minds have become extensions of a single, communal mind geared towards the attainment of a telos.

Nazism, with its all-pervasive subordination, had not yet completed its first steps into totalitarianism. Its totalitarianism was inchoate, and had not managed to reach self-replication before it was militarily defeated. Without a generation that has lived their entire lives as subjugated beings, and in turn raised their own offspring as selfless instruments in the service of a telos, their singular purpose hardwired into their young brains, the totalitarian system cannot settle into self-replication. Spectacular as its barbaric accomplishment during its short lifetime were, subjugating the Jews for extermination and the Slavs for slavery, Nazism simply did not exist long enough to mature into a fully-fledged totalitarian system. Christopher Hitchens made the following salient observation:

In Russia in 1917, for hundreds of years, millions of people have been told the head of the state is a supernatural power. The Tsar is not just the head of the government, not just a king, but he stands between Heaven and earth, and this has been inculcated in generations of Russians for hundreds of years. If you're Joseph Stalin, himself a seminarian from Georgia, you shouldn’t be in the totalitarianism business if you can't exploit a ready-made reservoir of credulity and servility that’s as big as that. It’s just waiting for you to capitalise on, so what do you do? Well, have an Inquisition, for one thing. Have miracles for another. …You will have heresy hunts. You will tell everyone they must be grateful only to the leader for what they get, and they must thank him and praise him all the time, and that they must be aware all the time of the existence of the counter-revolutionary Devil who waits to—you see where I'm going with this.[6]

Putin only had a small gap of one generation to close, with the bridgehead of the last Stalinist generation still very much in place. At time of writing, the generation of militarised and brainwashed schoolchildren of Putin's Special Educational Operation of 2015-6 [7] were ready to be put into the field, and the Russian regime could roll out its Special Military Operation to subjugate the Ukrainian nation, a free people, in pursuit of the Russian nation's telos of Russkiy Mir. Most of the Russian civilians who willingly mobilised into the invasion army are from generations raised under totalitarianism and salvaged from the disastrous experiment with freedom:

“I’m not looking into the causes of the war. If I was mobilised, it means that my Motherland needs me. I am a simple soldier. The question why and what for is not my responsibility.” Russian lawyer Max Olenichev says social conditioning like this dates back to Soviet times and is part of the problem: “The majority of Russian people are not ready to go to war, but there’s a willingness to rely on the government’s decisions, because there is a belief that authority knows better. The people don’t think critically. First, they don’t understand when the government is using them as canon fodder.”[8]

In equating subordination to totalitarianism, De Jongh demonstrates his misunderstanding of totalitarianism. Subordination is certainly a necessary condition for totalitarianism, but it is far from sufficient. Totalitarianism means the subsumption of all purpose into a single purpose, and hence the subsumption of all will into a single will. De Jongh is correct that Islam is a totalitarian system, but he fails to understand what makes it so. This shows most clearly in De Jongh's misunderstanding of right and wrong in Islam. According to De Jongh,

The Law Giver ...has indicated [what] is good by permitting it, asking it to be done. So what is said to be good comes from the Qur'an ...The bad is what the Law Giver has indicated is bad by asking it not to be done. ...This is not just explicit, it's also implicit. The good is not what reason considers good, nor the bad word reason considers bad. ...Good and bad, according to the Shari'a, is the Sacred Law, not reason. ...They reject reason.

De Jongh's error here is to assume that Shari'a rejects reason, whereas it is very directly guided by reason. To see this, a more fundamental question needs to be asked: why does the Shari'a consider good what it considers good and bad what it considers bad? What are its criteria for good and bad? This question drives us back to what makes Islam a totalitarian system, the subsumption of all purpose into a single purpose. The single purpose into which the purpose of all Muslim existence is subsumed is the purpose of advancing Islam to its telos of world domination.

Anything that advances the cause of Islam is good. Anything that harms the cause of Islam is bad. Any action or thought can be rationally assessed in term of this totalitarian criterion. All else is judged on a case by case basis, meaning that something can be good in one place and bad in another, good at one time and bad at another. There is no great mystery here. Reason lies right at the heart of Shari'a, and, for that matter, religion, which, for all its irrational content, is a highly rational system, provided its telos is understood. It is designed to take advantage of certain cognitive and emotional propensities in a portion of every population, such as the need to believe in a "higher power," and to submit to it, or an aversion to taking responsibility for one's life. This is why it is possible to be both religious and highly rational at the same time.

Doubt is the undoing of Islam, and the antidote to doubt is simple and obvious: remain a Muslim of strong faith. This means to never doubt, remain primitive and simplistic in thought, and, above all, remain ignorant. The inculcation in the Muslim of an aversion to questioning is, of course, the “scholars’” insurance against the exposure of their cruel racket, and the underwriting of religion as the insurance policy of totalitarianism. The Qur’an warns:

O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. But if ye ask about things when the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, Allah will forgive those: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith (5:101-102, Yusuf Ali translation).

Centuries ago, Imam Muhammad Idris ibn al-Shafi‘i, one of the four codifiers of Shari’a, had this to say about keeping Muslims in line:

It is fitter for them [the common people] to confine themselves to contentment with the above-mentioned absolute certainly [to believe in everything brought by the Messenger of Allah …and to credit it with absolute conviction free of any doubt].

The Qur’an and the hadith not only contradict and abrogate one another, they also reinforce one another. Qur’an 24:51, “We hear and we obey,” is reinforced with a hadith, Sahih Jami’ at-Tirmidhi 2679:

Narrated Abu Hurairah: that the Messenger of Allah said: “Leave me with what I left you. When I narrated a Hadith to you, then take it from me. The people before you were only destroyed by their excessive questioning and disagreeing with their Prophets.

When Yasir Qadhi, one of the smoothest Shari’a operators, urges Muslims not to concern themselves with differences in edicts and advice from different sheikhs, but to instead choose one sheikh, imitate him and obey everything he says, he reveals the totalitarian character of Islam in two ways: firstly, the individual Muslim is irrelevant; what counts is the ummah (tribe), which is of one mind and the infallible reference for the Muslim as to what his thoughts should be; and secondly, it matters less that different Muslims do different things; what absolutely matters is that they hear and obey.

The regulation of the system lies with the "scholars" in that, comprehensive as the rules are, the scholars are able to interpret the application of the rules according to whether the action advances or hinders the cause of Islam under the particular circumstances. From the perspective of those who hear and obey, the application of the rules becomes completely arbitrary and unpredictable. This is a key feature of totalitarianism. Where this legal arbitrariness rigidifies into strictly-applied codes, in other words, arbitrariness is replaced with predictability, the capacity of the system to self-replicate quickly snarls up and the society comes under strain, threatening disintegration, such as in the Islamic Republic of Iran, under ISIS and under the Taliban.

Interestingly, many commentators judge that Vladimir Putin's mobilising Russia for war will be so unpopular that it will prompt the Russian population to finally rise in revolt, the thinking being that the "Special Military Operation" will be shown to be a fiction. This is an oversimplification. Mobilisation introduces predictability into a system that self-replicates by arbitrariness and unpredictability. Everybody now knows that, no matter what they do, they will lose their son, brother or husband. It still does not mean that people will rebel. It is just as likely that they will be resigned and hand over their male family members. But with mobilisation, the doings of the government have ceased to be a matter they leave to the government. They suddenly have a direct personal stake in what the government does, just as all over the Muslim Middle East, including Iran, since the Arab Spring (another widely misunderstood phenomenon), lay Muslims now have a personal interest in what the "scholars" and the government say and do. This undermines totalitarianism. The generation that came of age in Russia in the 1990s and 2000s, the only generation that could have saved Russia, rebelled by fleeing the country. In my opinion, we are looking at a return to the glory days of Stalinism. Iran's mullahs are not so lucky; the autonomous generation is not leaving.

Lloyd de Jongh’s response to Islam's totalitarian self-replication is, “‘Hear and obey.’ We hear that term from Muslims, ‘We hear and we obey.’ This is a Qur’anic Commandment to them. So understand, it does not mean religion.” This final sentence reveals De Jongh’s priority: to expunge the foul Islam from the pure concept of religion and thereby preserve its purity for unsullied Christianity. It is an obsession that blinds him to the truly groundbreaking work that he is, in fact, doing. Talk about seizing defeat from the jaws of victory.

[Part 4, Sunday 30 October]


  1. Exactly as Islam's march towards world domination, interrupted by its political enfeeblement, has withdrawn into religion, restless to break out and darken the world again, so does Catholicism, that is never far beneath the surface. In Poland, it senses that its revival is at hand. "A New Crusade: Poland's embrace of Catholicism and Anti LGBT Ideology," ABC News In-depth, YouTube 28 Apr 2020 https://youtu.be/mNg02F6FY_0
  2. For an introductory overview of the conception of Judaism as "The Law", see https://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/uncategorized/2013/12/what-is-this-thing-called-law/
  3. In later historical periods, alternative mechanisms of control become available, but during late antiquity, there was only religion as a form of mass control, hence the similarity between Islam and Catholicism, another totalitarian system with a global mission, especially prior to the Reformation the autonomous individual imposed on it.
  4. Vlad Vexler, "Vlad Vexler: Putin's Thinking and the Russian People Today," Jake Broe Podcast (E006), Jake Broe, YouTube, 4 Oct 2022 https://youtu.be/2697pPORYuw. See also "The Riddle of Why Russians Don't Protest," Vlad Vexler, YouTube, 25 Oct 2022 https://youtu.be/K4O3D7CfThA. Former KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov makes essentially the same point.
  5. Joseph Stalin destroyed most of the Orthodox Church, and coopted the rest. Vladimir Putin is destroying only a small part of the Orthodox Church, and is coopting the rest. See "Russia: The Orthodox Connection," People & Power, Al Jazeera English, YouTube, 19 Oct 2017 https://youtu.be/KQR36Z7Pwn4
  6. Christopher Hitchens, "Hitchens On Stalin," MakeCakeNotWar, Youtube 22 Dec 2007 https://youtu.be/TRhczvtmbWE To get a real sense of what Hitchens "reservoir of credulity and servility," see "Back in business: Christianity's second coming in Russia," 60 Minutes Australia, YouTube, 22 Mar 2022 https://youtu.be/kIVLh_rn_WA.
  7. "Guide: To 18+ years old Russian Occupant in 2022, from 15+ years old casual kid in 2016," Radio Svoboda, Veed.io
  8. “Ukraine war: Russian troops face lack of supplies,” DW News, YouTube, 14 October 2022. https://youtu.be/yqK32rD9Ois