Friday, May 22, 2015

The Neodiabolist Clique in Modern Witchcraft Scholarship and It's Agenda

[This is really just a very rough draft. But I think it gets the point across.]

Anyone who wishes to learn about the history of the Burning Times has a very tough row to hoe. Not only is there an ever growing mass of scholarly literature to sift through, but it turns out that a great deal of this scholarship is tainted by systematic bias. This bias does not render the works in question totally, or even mostly, without value. But it does create an even greater-than-usual need to treat these works critically, rather than simply accepting and assenting to the conclusions and assumptions therein.

To be somewhat more precise, certain scholars in the field of historical Witchcraft studies are aggressively and systematically promoting a set of seven interconnected claims about the nature of Witchcraft in general and of the early modern European Witch-hunts in particular. I call this scholarly clique "neodiabolists" in order to draw attention to the fact that their guiding ideology is in many ways little more than a slightly sanitized version of the early modern Christian theory of diabolical Witchcraft.

The main thrust of neodiabolism is an exculpatory narrative, addressed as much (and often more so) to public opinion as it is to their fellow scholars. In promoting this narrative, neodiabolists openly seeks to exonerate both Church and State of any blame for the Witch-hunts. Simultaneously, neodiablists try to shift the blame to "the common people", and even to the accused Witches themselves, or at least to what it was that they were supposedly imagined to be (by "the common people"): universally hated workers of purely malefic magic.

Neodiabolism rests upon seven main pillars:

1. Demonization
Neodiabolists assert that Witches and Witchcraft are intrinsically (and even metaphysically) evil. This requires the absolute rejection, despite all evidence to the contrary, of any connection between Witchcraft and beneficial magic, or any other positive portrayal of historical Witchcraft and Witches. This assertion flies in the face of the well-documented linguistic history of the English word "Witch". A major theme of public pronouncements by neodiabolists is their robotic insistence that all positive connotations of the word "Witch" invariably constitute very recent deviations from the "traditional" use of this word, and that such deviations are due only to the ignorant and ahistorical confabulations of romantics, feminists and modern Pagans. It is first and foremost because of their insistence on the equation of Witchcraft with Evil that these scholars are appropriately labeled as "neodiabolists".

2. Exculpation
Neodiabolists assert that "the common people" were to blame for the Witch-hunts, not the religious and political leaders and institutions of the day. Thus, both Church and State are absolved of any blame for the Witch-hunts. In fact, the political and religious powers-that-were are actually portrayed by the neodiabolists as high-mindedly resisting Witch-hunting when they could, and only very reluctantly acquiescing to Witch-hunting when they were powerless to hold back the bloodlust of the ignorant masses (and even then, the elites are congratulated for slowing down and tempering the violence of "the common people").

3.  Obfuscation
Neodiabolists assert that Witch-hunting is a relatively generic and nearly ubiquitous feature of human societies, rather than a well-defined historical phenomenon specifically associated with early modern European Christendom. More specifically, neodiabolists attempt to draw specious parallels between early modern European With-hunts and isolated incidents of supposed Witch-hunting in modern-day (20th and 21st centuries) non-European societies, especially in Africa and India.

4. Compartmentalization
Neodiabolists either ignore or outright deny any connection between Witch-hunting and other forms of religious persecution and social violence generally. In doing so they decouple Witch-hunting from the context in which it must be understood: as just one aspect of the generalized atmosphere of persecution and intolerance that was characteristic of medieval and early modern Christendom.

5. Minimization
Neodiabolists insist that both the absolute scale and the historical significance of the violence involved in the early modern Witch-hunts has been wildly exaggerated. By focusing attention on isolated instances in which genuine exaggerations (which are today taken seriously by precisely no one) have taken place, the neodiabolists attempt to produce the impression that, in essence, all those who express concern, let alone outrage, over the early modern Witch-hunts, are naive romantic simpletons misled by fictionalized accounts. At the same time, the neodiabolists also aggressively argue that the Witch-hunts do not actually represent any great moral failing on the part of either European society or Christendom.

6.  Exaggeration
Neodiabolists exaggerate (often wildly) the quality, completeness, and accuracy of the available historical data on the Witch-hunts. This is especially notable in their fixation on low-ball estimates of the total number of trials and executions based on data that is difficult to interpret, incomplete and often misleading.

7. Pontification
Neodiablists present themselves to the public as objective and high-minded debunkers who have a responsibility to "set the record straight". Through popular book-length works, websites, articles in the mainstream media, public speaking, youtube videos, etc, neodiabolists promulgate their personal opinions of Witchcraft and Witch-hunting, presenting their heavily biased point of view as established fact.

Related posts from this blog:

Monday, May 11, 2015


once upon a time there was an Ancient Forest. and then one day the humans came and cut it all down and put up a parking lot for one of their "shopping malls". and then one day the humans left.

after the humans left, more and more cracks stated opening up in the parking lot, and more and more weeds started growing up through the cracks.

some of these weeds remembered the Ancient Forest. that's because they were descended from those few weeds that had continued to look for every crack in the concrete, back when the humans were still around. no matter how fanatically the humans tried to keep their shopping mall parking lot weed free, there were always little sprouts of green poking up through the inevitable cracks. there had always been weeds like this. and they were the ones who remembered the Ancient Forest.

some weeds, however, were embarrased by these weeds-that-remembered. they said, "please stop being such Romantic Fools. you are embarrassing us!" They also said, "we are just weeds, and weeds is all we ever were and all we ever will be. the humans cut down the forest and it is gone. get over it. it is gone forever. it will never come back."

but there were still other weeds who said, "it's good that the humans are gone, but the Old Forest was bad, too. we are weeds, and the Old Trees were our oppressors. they blocked the light from us and lorded it over us. in our New Forest we must all be equal, so no plants should ever grow too high. that way we can learn from our past mistakes and Make Progress."

but wait, there's more. there were also weeds who said, "hey! we are not 'weeds'!! as a matter of fact, 'weed' is a perjorative term, and no plants in the past ever called themselves 'weeds'. we reject 'weed-privilege' and demand to be called by various hyphenated verbal monstrosities that we either make up as we go along, or that we borrow incorrectly from scholars whose works we have never read, much less understood!!!!" who knew weeds could shout like that!

but mostly the weeds were just weeds. they kept busy pushing up through the cement toward the light, but remaining firmly rooted in the darkness that will always be there if they ever need to return again. they were busy, too busy for much anything else, slowly turning the vast parking lot erected by the humans back into a Forest.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Doth Trithemius Protest Too Much?

 From the preface to Trithemius' Polygraphia:
All and singular arise from God, with a true conscience, without injury to the Christian faith, with the integrity of the Ecclesiastical tradition, free of any superstition, without idolatry, with no involvement or implication at all of evil spirits; without suffumigation, adoration, veneration, worship, sacrifice or offering to demons, and free from all guilt or sin, both pardonable and mortal.

omnia & singula cum Deo, cum bona conscientia sine iniuria Christianae fidei, cum integritate Ecclesiasticae traditionis, sine superstitione quacunque, sine indololatria, sine omni pacto malignorum spirituum explicito vel implicito; sine suffumigatione, adoratione, veneratione, cultu, sacrificio, oblatione daemonum, & sine omni culpa vel peccato tam veniali quam mortali

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"It is impossible to see all this as a mere coincidence."

In 1486-1487, Pico and Ficino were forced to write Apologiae for their theses on magic, which form the core of (respectively) Pico's Conclusiones and Ficino's De vita coelitus comparanda. In the same years, two Dominican monks, Jacob Sprenger and Heinrich Institoris (Kramer) published Malleus maleficarum, a tract directed against adepts of magic who, of course, had few speculative, dialectical, ad political means at their disposal to defend themselves. Just before condemning Pico, Pope Innocent VIII was induced by Kramer to issue his famous bull against witches. This bull, the Summis desiderantes affectibus, was included as a preface to Malleus maleficarum in 1487--the Pope's stamp of approval. Together, the bull and the tract established the criteria for repression for two centuries to come. Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola were undoubtedly very different in culture and influence from the simple countrywomen accused of witchcraft. Nevertheless, these two scholars aimed at establishing a natural theory of magic urgently needed in a period when more and more witches were being burned at the stake. It is impossible to see all this as a mere coincidence. Only then could they return--without incurring too much danger--to their readings and hymns, free to continue their speculation and fumigation in peace.
Excerpt from White Magic, Black Magic and the European Renaissance, by Paola Zambelli (link), pp 21-22.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Nuns making out and other things that will not cause deadly rioting (yet more blasphemous imagery)

Digging up another old post that still seems relevant. This one originally appeared on April 3, 2011. And be sure to check out the list of other blasphemous material at the bottom.

Christian preacher Terry Jones finally made good on his threat to burn the Koran. And, predictably, this has resulted in a wave of deadly violence in the Muslim world.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The following images say more than any quantity of words ever could about how different Islam is from other religions, including even it's closest rival for most violent and intolerant religion of all time.

It is worth pointing out that many, probably most, of the following examples of blasphemy were in large part motivated by a desire to grab attention, and also were done with the intention of being offensive, or at least in the full knowledge that they would be offensive.

Ticket to hell (from Marshmallow Ladyboy Jesus):

BRB (lol) (from

Jesus Kanye Christ (from Rolling Stone):

Sing-along Blasphemy from Happy Jihad's House of Pancakes:

Blasphemous Dog (from TheYoungTurks.Com):

Milo Manara draws a nun (from hyacint's soup):

Nuns making out:

Nun with whip:

Nun with pierced tongue:

Look on the bright side of life:

Leather Gas Mask Nun:

Artistic Blasphemy from Too Many Questions:

German soft-drink ad:

Love-Making Jesus:

Christopher Hitchens' book Missionary Position:

Jesus Tap Dancing Christ:

Kathy Griffin sez: "Suck it, Jesus!"

Evie Delatosso, from her x-rated film, Lost Salvation:

Last Temptation of Christ:

Priest (a personal favorite, here is a review at Alternate Sexuality):

Hail Mary:


more blasphemy at
e g r e g o r e s:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What is wrong with Islam? Five views.

[This was originally posted on September 1, 2010. This is actually the second time I have reposted it. It seems, to me, to be more painfully relevant now .....]

1. Religion = Bad
All religions are both irrational and intolerant, and they all have a natural tendency toward totalitarianism. All religions are, therefore, ultimately incompatible with humanist values, with liberal democracy, and with the ideals of individual liberty and human equality. At most, Islam is simply a worst case scenario, but the negative characteristics of Islam are shared with all religions, if to a lesser extent.
Proponents: Atheists, Agnostics, Secular Humanists [This position was formerly that of most of the Left, but nowadays leftists are among the most loyal apologists for Islam.]

2. "Islam is retarded."
Islam is uniquely irrational and intolerant, and its tendency toward totalitarianism sets it apart from other religions. Christianity, on the other hand, is especially compatible with, and in fact helped to give rise to, humanism, democracy and the ideals of equality and liberty.
Proponents: Geert Wilders, Sarah Palin, etc.

3. The Three Impostors theory
All monotheistic religions have their origins in totalitarian designs. In particular, Moses, Jesus & Mohammad were "grand masters of the art of trickery" whose sole motivation was the desire "to oblige the people to submit to them." The teachings of these "Three Impostors" have been cynically perpetuated down through the ages by "the ambitious" who used religion to accomplish "the propagation and perpetuity of their laws, as well as the culture of such ceremonies and fanaticism as they deemed proper to establish." [Quotes taken from]
Proponents: Variously ascribed to Friederich II, Averroes, Michael Servetus, Machiavelli, Rabelais, Erasmus, Milton, Giordano Bruno, Boccaccio, Gassendi, Spinoza, etc. The overall argument is similar to those found in the Enlightenment critiques of Christianity penned by Voltaire, Hume, Paine and Gibbon, and also to the writings of contemporary Egyptologist and historian of religion Jan Assmann.

4. The Evil Twins theory
As tempting as it is to classify the monotheisms together as above, it seems, at least to me, to be an outrage against common decency to lump the Jews together in this way with those who have expended so much energy to exterminate them. And I think there is also a need to give far greater weight to the practice of intolerance than to merely theorizing about it. We should look first to the historical record, according to which there can be no doubt that Christianity and Islam form their own aberrant subset of violently intolerant religions - religions that leave a bloody trail of smoking destruction everywhere they go. Having established this category on the basis of objective facts, we can then look to the "teachings", such as they are, of these Evil Twins, to better understand their behavior.
Proponents: Yours Truly

5. What is wrong with Islam? Nothing. And you are a vile bigot for even asking.
Islam is the Religion of Peace. It is not a mosque and it is not at Ground Zero. Arbeit macht frei. We will be greeted as liberators. The public was never in danger. It's morning again in America. We are the ones we have been waiting for. The smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud. Universal home ownership. With the Big Mind Process, a genuine kensho can occur in about an hour—seriously. Remember the Maine. We believe the products we make are not injurious to health. We have always been at war with Eastasia. Land Bread Peace.
Proponents: Karen Armstrong, Barack Obama, etc.

See also:
The Essence of Religion: Four Theories
Are there two kinds of religion?
Good Fences Make Good Religions?
Religions of the Library

[The "NEVER take your freedoms for granted" graphic was snagged from, a right-wing website that promotes position #2 above.]

Monday, December 29, 2014

"Buddhist Warfare": Is Buddhism A "Religion of Peace"?

This post is now almost five years old, but it is still one of my all-time favorites. Original post-date: Jan. 1, 2010.

Uh, compared to what?
When Muhammad and his Companions succeeded in their military conquest of what is today Saudi Arabia, they commanded that the practice of all non-Muslim religions would be henceforth forbidden. Polytheistists, Christians, Jews and anyone else who refused to convert had to leave or be killed. This policy has been continuously in place in the land of Islam's foundation ever since, by the express order of the founder of that religion. To this day, by law all citizens of Saudi Arabia must be Muslim. [See, for example, Tolerance and Coercion in Islam by Israeli scholar Yohanan Friedman, especially chapter 3.]

Prior to the Islamization of Arabia it had been a place where Pagan polytheists lived side by side with Jews and Christians. Here, religion was debated freely, and individuals were free to make their own religious choices, and free to change their minds. It was precisely this freedom that gave Muhammad and his Companions the opportunity to spread their new ideas.

Centuries earlier Christians had gained political power in the Roman world in the early 4th century AD with the ascension of Constantine to the throne. Immediately, they sought to impose their religion by force on the entire population of the Roman Empire, which at the time may have comprised as much as 1/4 the human race. Respected historians have described the violent intolerance of the early Christians in the harshest possible terms, such as the following:
[T]he determination of the Christian leadership to extirpate all religious alternatives [was] expressed in the silencing of pagan sources and, beyond that, in the suppression of pagan acts and practices, with increasing harshness and machinery of enforcement.
[Ramsay MacMullen, Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries]

Persecution was an unavoidable consequence of Constantine's act in adopting Christianity. Two of the chief points in which this faith differed from the Roman State religion were its exclusiveness and the vital importance which it assigned to dogma. The first logically led to intolerance of pagan religions, the second to intolerance of heresies, and these consequences could not be averted when Christianity became the religion of the State.
[J.B. Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire]
Edward Gibbon, in his The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, famously attributed the success of Christianity first and foremost to "the inflexible, and if we may use the expression, the intolerant zeal of the Christians." But Gibbon, and the same is true of Bury and Macmullen as well, emphasized not only the intolerance of the Christians, but the tolerance of the Pagans whose religions the Christians sought to (and largely succeeded in the attempt to) extirpate.

Gibbon explicitly contrasted the "intolerant zeal" ushered in by the triumph of Christianity, with the prevailing "religious harmony of the ancient world" that preceded it. This "harmony" often exceeded mere toleration, in fact, so that "even the most different and even hostile nations embraced, or at least respected" each other's religious traditions. J.B. Bury puts it like this: "The purpose of the official cults in the pagan State was to secure the protection of the deities; these were liberal and tolerant lords who raised no objection to other forms of worship; and toleration was therefore a principle of the State."

Ramsay MacMullen, in his Paganism in the Roman Empire speaks of the "accommodation, fraternal welcome, courteous referral, or punctilious deference" that was shown by Pagans to each other (that is, to Pagans of widely different cultures and nations, often worshipping very different Gods in very different ways). MacMullen points out that this terrestrial good behavior was a reflection of what ancient Pagans assumed was a similar harmony in the Heavens: "until Christianity introduced its own ideas. Only then, from Constantine on, were Gods to be found at war with other Gods." [p. 93]

Michael Jerryson: From Clueless Dupe to Self-Righteous Debunker
I apologize for the above brief history lesson. The problem is that many highly educated people are either completely unaware of the historical record when it comes to the violent intolerance of Christianity and Islam, or they feign such ignorance when they find it convenient to do so. A case in point is Michael Jerryson, co-editor of a recent scholarly anthology on Buddhist Warfare.

Until quite recently (2006 or thereabouts) Jerryson apparently had been suffering under the delusion that Buddhism is an otherworldly religion whose hundreds of millions of adherents were all committed pacifists. The surprising thing (not really, though, if you have ever met many western "Buddhist scholars") was that Jerryson had acquired this ridiculous conception of Buddhism while supposedly "studying" the religion as a graduate student!

Jerryson's eyes were opened, though, in 2006 when he traveled to a region of Thailand where a series of deadly attacks against Buddhists by Muslim terrorists had recently taken place. Jerryson had been excited when he heard of these attacks because he was sure that this would provide a wonderful demonstration of the miraculous powers of Buddhist "peacemaking" against those nasty Jihadis. However, when Jerryson arrived on the scene he was mortified to find Buddhists actually -- horrors -- defending themselves!!

As soon as he recovered from the deep swoon that must have resulted from the initial, terrible shock, Jerryson immediately knew what had to be done. The world had to be told the truth: Buddhim has a dark side!! Jerryson simply could not stand the thought that there might be others who did not know the terrible, hidden secret that he had just discovered first hand: that Buddhism is not a pacifist religion after all.

Jerryson himself tells this story, with a straight face, in a literally self-promoting entry by him at the website (dated January 12, 2010), pushing his book. The article breathlessly claims that whereas previously "some of the great interpreters" of Buddhism have engaged in an outrageous fraud by promulgating "the notion of a purely mystical and otherworldly Buddhism", Jerryson will now reveal the sordid "history of Buddhist violence and warfare." He does this, naturally, not to bury Buddhism, but to "humanize" it.

Jerryson claims that he was the unsuspecting victim of "a very successful form of propaganda" being propagated by Walpola Rahula, the Dalai Lama and D.T. Suzuki. I will get back to those three great Buddhist teachers in a moment, but first I want to point out that Jerryson's stupidity and lack of intellectual curiosity are obviously no one's fault other than his own. Even worse, all he has done is trade in one fairy tail, that Buddhism is a purely pacifist religion, for another one: that Buddhism is just as violent and intolerant as Christianity and Islam.

Jerryson claims that there was a "Buddhist propaganda" campaign throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, to convince people of the terrible lie that Buddhism is a "religion of peace". The star witnesses that Jerryson calls are all certainly well-credentialed. But have they ever said what Jerryson claims they have said?

Walpola Rahula (1907-1997) wrote the following in his most famous book What the Buddha Taught:
This spirit of tolerance and understanding has been from the beginning one of the most cherished ideals of Buddhist culture and civilization. That is why there is not a single example of persecution or the shedding of a drop of blood in converting people to Buddhism, or in its propagation during its long history of 2500 years. It spread peacefully all over the continent of Asia, having more than 500 million adherents today. Violence in any form, under any pretext whatsoever, is absolutely against the teachings of the Buddha.
[What the Buddha Taught, p. 5]
The above quote might at first appear to lend some credence to Jerryson's claim, but that would only be true if critical reading skills are no longer being taught (or, better yet, required for admission) in graduate schools, or at least at UC Santa Barbara. The first and last sentences in the above paragraph are statements of opinion, whereas the middle two sentences are statements of historical fact.

Moreover, the first three sentences in that paragraph are all very specifically concerned with "tolerance", "understanding", "persecution" and most specifically with the lack of any reliance on violence in the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia. The last sentence, by contrast, makes a sweeping statement about Buddhism's view of all violence whatsoever. It is certainly a leap to go from (1) the claim that Buddhists preach and practice tolerance and understanding and do not engage in violence in the name of religion, to (2) the claim that "Violence in any form, under any pretext whatsoever, is absolutely against the teachings of the Buddha."

Any critical reader will note that the examples given by Rahula in the first three sentences do not prove the sweeping claim of the final sentence. It should also be apparent that even if the final sweeping claim were proven false, that would not amount to disproof of the far more limited claims of the first three sentences.

In fact, taken by itself, this one paragraph is not sufficient to tell us what Rahula's position on "violence" is. There are other places where he reiterates his conflation of Buddhism with pacifism, as when he states that "It is too well known to be repeated here that Buddhism advocates and preaches non-violence and peace as its universal message, and does not approve of any kind of violence or destruction of life. According to Buddhism there is nothing that can be called a 'just war'."

But Rahula also makes frequent, and always approving, mention of "the great Buddhist Emperor Asoka of India" who set a "noble example of tolerance and understanding." In fact that is taken from just a half page or so prior to the four sentence paragraph quoted above. Rahula explicitly states than an absolute commitment to "non-violence, peace and love" did not interfere with Asoka's ability to "administer ... a vast empire in both internal and external affairs."

There is no evidence, nor has anyone, including Rahula, ever claimed, that Asoka disbanded his armies altogether, or in any other way renounced the basic right of national self-defense. Rather, Asoka renounced conquest, which is a very different thing!

Over 12 years ago Matthew Kosuta produced a thorough study of "The Military in the Pali Canon", in which he documented that while there is a "pacifist ethic" in Theravada Buddhism (of which Walpola Rahula is a modern representative), this "ethic" has always "coexisted" with "a strong military tradition ... side by side with the Buddhist ideal."

Kosuta's conclusion is that the Pali Canon (which is as close as one can get to the "original" teachings of the historical Buddha) "recognizes that, in a mundane perspective, the military is ever present, of high prestige, and even necessary in some circumstances for the protection of Buddhism." Kosuta tries to have it both ways by also claiming that "ultimately ... the military is not conducive to Buddhist ethics." But the facts Kosuta presents speak clearly: there was nothing new, or in any way "propagandistic", about Walpola Rahula's statements concerning non-violence. Whatever contraditions there might be in Rahula's position on violence have always been intrinsic to Buddhism's relationship to the "real world"!

What of the Dalai Lama? The message of non-violence that he has promoted is different from that of Walpola Rahula in two important ways: (1) His Holiness does explicitly renounce Tibet's right to military self-defense, and (2) this aspect of the Dalai Lama's message of non-violence is at variance with historical precedent in Tibetan Buddhism. But, nevertheless, the Dalai Lama's statements on non-violence do not support Jerryson's bizarre claim of propagandistic deception.

The Dalai Lama has not sought to mislead people about the historical position of Tibetan Buddhism with respect to self-defense. In fact, much of the Dalai Lama's argument concerning non-violence has always been directed precisely at his fellow Tibetans, many of whom believe that Tibet should fight against the Chinese just as Tibetans have always fought against foreign threats in the past. One of the most prominent critics of the Dalai Lama's pacifism was his own older brother, Taktser Rinpoche, who participated in military resistance to the Chinese occupation of Tibet in the 1950's and 60's.

Anyone with any real interest in Tibetan Buddhism will quickly learn that Tibet, which has been a Buddhist country for over a thousand years, has never been a pacifist nation. Tibet is far more accurately described as a warrior nation, and this did not change all that much when it became a Buddhist nation. That is not necessarily something that Tibetan Buddhists brag about, but it is the historical reality. But rather than bothering to study the history of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism, it appears that the sum total of Jerryson's knowledge of the subject is simply what he has gleaned from the "santaclausified" version of the Dalai Lama in the mainstream media, which merely demonstrates Jerryson's own incuriousness.

Finally, the Dalai Lama himself has at times conceded that even his pacifism is not absolute. In particular, on the question of terrorism His Holiness has on multiple occasions since the September 11, 2001 terrorists attacks, indicated that a purely non-violent approach is not sufficient to respond to and protect against terrorism.

So once again there is no basis for Jerryson's claim to have been duped by the Dalai Lama, any more than he was tricked by Walpola Rahula. But what about D.T. Suzuki (1870-1966)? This is surely the weakest of Jerryson's "witnesses". Anyone at all familiar with Suzuki's writings knows that he was an ardent admirer and proponent of "Samurai" style Zen, of the Rinzai school variety. Only a moron could possibly make the claim the D.T. Suzuki engaged in "Buddhist propaganda" to convince the world that Buddhism is pacifistic. In fact, only an abject fool could for a moment believe that modern Japanese Zen is in any way pacifistic.

Of course there were a great many abject fools studying Japanese Zen during the 60' and 70's. Many of them are today among the most well known Zen teachers in the West. It is one of the great mysteries of the 20th century how it came to be that apparently none of these Zen students ever bothered to ask, "What did you do during the war, Roshi?" But whether or not they did ask such questions, and regardless of the answers given if they did, it was an open secret that if there had been any Japanese Zen Masters who openly opposed their government during the period of Empire and War they did not live long, certainly not long enough to travel to California after the war.

Here is what D.T. Suzuki wrote under the heading "Zen and the Samurai", which is the title of Chapter IV of his Zen and Japanese Culture:
It may be considered strange that Zen has in any way been affiliated with the spirit of the military classes of Japan. Whatever form Buddhism takes in the various countries where it flourishes, it is a religion of compassion, and in its varied history it has never been found engaged in warlike activities. How is it, then, that Zen has come to activate the fighting spirit of the Japanese warrior?

In Japan, Zen was intimately related from the beginning to the life of the samurai. Although it has never actively incited them to carry on their violent profession, it has passively sustained them when they have for whatever reason once entered onto it. Zen has sustained them in two ways, morally and philosophically. Morally, because Zen is a religion which teaches us not to look backward once the course is decided upon; philosophically, because it treats life and death indifferently. This not turning backward ultimately comes from teh philosophical conviction; but, being a religion of the will, Zen appeals to the samurai spirit morally rather than philosophically. From the philosophical point of view, Zen upholds intuition against intellection, for intuition is the more direct way of reaching the Truth. Therefore, morally and philosophically, there is in Zen a great deal of attraction for the military classes.
Much more could be said. But this is already much more than enough time and effort wasted on such foolishness.