So, it seems Rhyd has recently decided to change his personal blog to a more private setting. One, apparently, locked behind a proverbial and literal “paywall.” You have to donate to his patreon in order to get a password to read his stuff. Which, is fair. His blog, his rules, I am not going to gainsay him about how he runs his stuff.
It’s not my job. lol.
Still, it is my pleasure to go over a few bits of his announcement because, well. Irony. Or something like that.
So Rhyd starts off talking about the changes he’s gone through, how he started off as just a queer punk bard (still pretty sure queer is supposed to be an insult, but hey, not my community. Maybe it’s like the N-word?), but now he’s still those things while running Gods & Radicals. Which he claims is an ever more popular site about certain issues. Which brings us to the first quote:
I’ve also an another audience; people who don’t know that sort of writing from me, but know me as a theorist, a Pagan anarchist, a strong and fierce critic of Capital and the State, someone not afraid of controversy and willing to call out fascist, anti-Muslim, and racialist ideology in Paganism.
So calling out Fascist, Anti-Muslim, and Racialist ideology in Paganism.
We’ll, let’s see. Except for the initial “Confronting the New Right” stuff…I’m not sure what he or anyone else at G&R has really done to confront Racialist Ideologies. I mean, they’ve called people racists, to be sure, but as far as it goes they haven’t really taken anyone’s ideologies and confronted them or broken down why they’re false.
Which is one of the reasons I run my blog posts the way I do. I take the presented Idea, and then examine and/or refute it. But while I’ve done a number of articles of theirs…There are ideas they call racist, but…they don’t always “prove” the racism.
A good example is the article I’m going to be doing next, which is about the situation in Mexico. In the “Death of Liberal Democracies” and in that post, both Rhyd and Sean Donahue, both celebrate the Oaxaca’s people for their resistance to attempts by the Mexican government to assimilate them into the larger Mexican population/culture in order to preserve their own unique culture and history. Yet, when the UK voted to leave the EU, both Rhyd and Sean have denounced this action as racist and xenophobic.
Same action, same motivation…but two entirely different responses by Rhyd and friends. So somehow, the noble act of resisting colonization is to be celebrated…unless its a racist action to be demonized.
The same goes for Fascism. They’ve called a lot of people fascists, they’ve listed a lot of ideas as “potentially” fascist, and they’ve sworn to confront fascism. Judging by some of the posts this means going out and calling a bunch of people fascists because…they resist globalist colonization and seek to preserve their native cultures. So…colonialism is bad. Unless it’s done to “these people.” Then it’s good. But don’t do it to “Those people” because it’s bad to colonize them.
Now, Rhyd says he’s also done stuff to call out “Anti-Muslim” ideologies in Paganism. Which…no he hasn’t. At least, not since Gods & Radicals came to my attention by calling everyone who apparently wants to resist colonialism and preserve their native heritages Fascists. But, well, let’s be honest about why Rhyd doesn’t talk about anti-Muslim stuff.
Because that opens the door to talking about Islam and why so many people (myself included) are Anti-Islam/Anti-Muslim. And, oh boy, does he rapidly lose any ground there and run away fast. I know, because he used to read my blog and we used to have some fun conversations. Right up until I talked about yet another mass rape or something, he said “don’t be an Islamophobe” and I said: “I have the evidence.”
It says something about his commitment to not giving anti-Muslim sentiment a platform that he refused to let anyone talk about the Pulse terrorist attack except as a window to whine about the ongoing “victimization” of transgender people at the hands of…feminist women. So, way to be a homophobe and a misogynist I guess. At least he stood up for his “principles.”
Still, I have to wonder, what is it with so many Pagans being so utterly willing to defend a religion that a) is misogynistic to its core, b) so homophobic that most Islamic nations kill their gays, c) has managed to be so violent that Buddhist monks have gone out to fight and kill within recent years, and d) makes Christianity look positively tolerant towards Paganism and Witchcraft…and yet they’re all happy to go and bash Christians for being all these things. What, suddenly an Abrahamic religion that is blatantly anti-Pagan is worthy of our respect when all they want to do is kill or convert us? Because tolerating that the first time round worked out so well, didn’t it?
Along with all the people reading me because they want to hear what I have to say are now people who hate my influence, hate the wild success of Gods&Radicals, and hate that we’re taking Paganism and Polytheism away from their right-wing goals.
Look, I can’t speak for anyone else…but I don’t hate Rhyd.
Oh sure, there are times when I want to kick his ass six ways from Sunday, and then back to Sunday, but that’s because he’s preaching an ideology responsible for more mass murder, human suffering, totalitarianism, and human rights violations than the God Damned Nazis. Oh, and seems to believe that he and his friends are the “one true voice of Paganism” and “the only way to save the planet.” But I don’t hate him. I pity him.
I pity him for the things he cannot see, for the lies he has bought and now seeks to feed to everyone else. I pity his victims, I pity those who are the victims of those inspired by his vile words. I mean, he argues for slavery and calls it freedom. He argues that the only way to protect people’s rights is violate a huge number of their rights. I pity him, because he apparently talks to a great many Gods…but he won’t listen to what they say.
And he hates those who also talk to Gods, but learn from them different things than what he believes.
Honestly, I don’t know anyone who hates Rhyd’s influence. And if they hate the man, it is only because the man has insulted them, insulted their faith, and seeks to take Paganism and Polytheism away from their “right wing goals”…for the sake of his Left Wing ones.
There’s a lot of overlap in the first two audiences, of course. Though I know have as many non-polytheists as polytheists reading about my relationship with the gods, that hasn’t affected my writing about the gods. And though there are now as many non-Pagans as there are Pagans reading Gods&Radicals, that’s only enriched my writing there. But what has changed in the last few months has been my willingness to be vulnerable about things, knowing that a handful of crypto-fascists have little better to do than twist what I say towards their own ends.
They won’t go away, of course. While their audience has shrunk incredibly, while I’ve met no one who actually takes them seriously anymore, they’ll be the last ever to admit it. And judging from their recent associations, they’re finding quite an eager audience with the very New Right I warned about.
More so, they’re unlikely to stop being awful to people who stand up to them. Creating a fake website with my name to smear me, harassing supporters and friends, crafting lies about the police or lawyers being called–much of this is actually minor compared to what they’d done to others before me, and probably minor compared to what they’ll try against people newer to magic and the gods.
Honestly, I don’t know who he’s talking about here. Yes, there’s a lot of people out there who have started calling him on his shitty behavior and even shittier ideology. A lot of those voices though…I don’t see them anymore. Not because Rhyd shut them down (though he might like to believe in such victories), but because such people have…retreated to the real world.
Look, I’ll be honest, there’s been times when I’ve thought about throwing my hands up and walking away from this. Not because I’m some “crypto-fascist” whose losing readers. Because readerships actually been pretty good lately compared to my blog’s history. And I was a niche blog in a type of blogging that was very niche to begin with. But because…while Rhyd seems to be scoring “victory after victory” in the online world (however that’s measured), in the real world…he and his crew haven’t amounted to shit.
And that’s where we’re all going. We found each other online, and there’s a few of us still out there waving our individualist flags against the oligarchy of Marxist Paganism. Tiny bands of rebels who refuse to be colonized just yet by G&R, Patheos, Wild Hunt, and everywhere else his network has extended and rooted itself in. While he’s busy taking the public face, all these “right wing fascists” have been…living their lives quietly, supporting each other, and growing their faiths and religions.
I said I’ll be making a change to this blog. It’s actually one I’d considered back in March, but put off until many friends today urged me to consider it.
The majority of essays, poems, and other works on Paganarch will be available primarily to supporters, starting with my next pilgrimage journal. Patreon supporters, donors, close friends, fellow writers at Gods&Radicals, and those who would like to read my words but cannot afford to will have access to everything I write after today.
All previous posts will continue to be available to everyone; everything I write here will require a password.
So now Rhyd is taking his private blog behind a patreon paywall. Which, don’t blame him. It’s hard to let your vulnerable side out there when so many people are eager to point out that what you believe is making you behave exactly like what you claim to be fighting.
And while I thought about making this post with a bunch of memes and throwing the “safe space” song in at this point…meh. I don’t feel like it. Why? Because while it would be easy to mock and laugh at “run away Rhyd” there’s…not much point. Even if I do miss not using that whole Bane: “I was wondering what would break first, your spirit or your body.” Meme. Because we know the answer now.
Maybe next time.
And sure, this is a great way for him to get more “heckle sheckles” by noting how all his vulnerable stuff is on his blog, please donate to his patreon so you can see what all this horrible, fascist, right wing violence does to him.
But at this point, it doesn’t really matter. Because the more Rhyd and his friends scream at and label people, the more the vilify them and try to “take back” things from these “right wing” “fascists” and “racists.” The only thing they do is…prove the “right wingers”, the “fascists,” and the “racists” right.
Much like a lot of Gay people who are secretly voting for Trump, so too, I believe, a lot of Pagans are silently falling away to seek in “secret” these groups long vilified. Because the instant you become the “Bad Guy” you start to realize that it doesn’t mean you’re a “bad guy.” And maybe, just maybe the other “Bad Guys,” aren’t so bad.
If, as it is proving time and again, the greatest recruiters for “anti-Muslim” ideologies are Muslims, than the greatest recruiter for “fascist” ideologies is…the anti-fascists.
So…thank you Rhyd. You’re doing more for us “fascists” than we could have ever managed on “our” own. I guess Gods & Radicals really is a wonderful, successful project. Bravo. At least you get to feel good about yourself.