Book Review: “Marx and Satan” by Richard Wurmbrand (1986)

“Christians oppose communism not from the viewpoint of capitalism, but of the kingdom of God, which is their true social ideal.” (61)

“Communism is collective demon-possession.” (97)

I have never read Karl Marx. I feel like I should state this from the outset of my brief review of Richard Wurmbrand’s Marx and Satan, for inexperience with “the accused” plays a sizable role in how I view the book. I must further state that although I have never read Marx himself, I have lived inside Communism for several years of my adult life, and I have seen it played out in day-to-day living.

My own first-hand view of this philosophy has not been what many other visitors have claimed—that I’m being followed by black sedans and that my house is bugged and that everyone I know lives in perpetual fear of The Man. Not at all. In fact, what I saw during my years overseas was an active city of rampant entrepreneurship and overall happiness, if not satisfaction, midst their circumstances. The people didn’t care about the government, they didn’t know their own nation’s oppressive laws, and they feared only upsetting the general social order in a cultural rather than a political sense. Even the Christians lived their religious lives in a pretty lax, careless way. Very few of my Communist associates hinted at a deeper knowledge of the true goings on of their country, and they did this only to let me know that they knew what most foreigners thought of their country, which they considered misguided. I am not advocating a softening of the Christian’s perspective on Communism, of course, but rather the opposite: I am stating from my own perspective that Communism is increasingly and intentionally becoming a softened beast, a beast that is globally still in the process of taking its one step backward so it can eventually take its two steps forward. Just look at the wiggle room that overtly Communist nations have obtained from Obama’s administration in the last 7 years: Cuba is a chum, China gets a place in Obamatrade, and Russia (you can’t tell me Putin’s not a true child of the Revolutions!) is nearly our equal again in brute strength. Communism is as strong and ugly as it once was, but all under the cloak of “capitalistic socialism” or whatever oxymoronic phrase they choose to hide under this decade.

All that said, I found Marx and Satan to be a pretty strong written diatribe against the Satanic power-source of Wurmbrand’s attackers. I imagine that—for obvious reasons—Richard Wurmbrand is viewed by most outside Christian circles as a man with a heavy chip on his shoulder against Communism. Can he write clearheadedly? Can his observations about the demonic influences upon the groups who once held him captive be at all objective? To such potential accusations, Wurmbrand responds preemptively:

  • Christian thinkers, like other scholars, often succumb to the temptation to prove preconceived ideas. They do not necessarily present only the truth as far as they have ascertained it. Sometimes they are prone to stretch the truth or exaggerate their argumentation in order to prove their point. I do not claim to have provided indisputable proof that Marx was a member of a sect of devil-worshipers, but I believe that there are sufficient leads to imply this strongly. There are certainly enough leads to suggest Satanic influence upon his life and teachings, while conceding that there are gaps in a chain of evidence that would lead to a definite conclusion in this matter. I have provided the initial impulse. I pray that others will also continue this important inquiry into the relationship between Marxism and Satanism. (102)

Much of the evidence Wurmbrand brings against Karl Marx’s possible Satanism come from the man’s own writings, both his early poetry and his later prose. Take for example this passage from one of Marx’s early poems:

  • To thee my verses, unbridled and daring,
    Shall mount, O Satan, king of the banquet.
    Away with thy sprinkling, O priest, and thy droning.
    For never shall Satan, O priest, stand behind thee. T
    hy breath, O Satan, my verses inspires,
    When from my bosom the gods I defy.
    Of kings pontifical, of kings inhuman:
    Throe is the lightning that sets minds to shaking.
    O soul that wanderest far from the straight way,
    Satan is merciful. See Heloisa!
    Like the whirlwind spreading its wings,
    He passes, O people, Satan the great!
    Hail, of reason the great Vindicator!
    Sacred to thee shall rise incense and vows!
    Thou hast the god of the priest disenthroned. (38)

Though admittedly, many an author has placed words into the mouths of his characters than he himself would never utter or believe, it is hard to imagine than anyone who could write such words did not already allow himself to dabble among Satan and his minions.

Wurmbrand’s accusations go far beyond mere words, however, for it was Marx’s underlying beliefs and ultimate goals that evidenced his true colors. Many would claim, for example, that Marxism began as an atheistic belief system, but Marx himself often admitted this was not the case: he did not deny that there was a Creator God, but he did deny that this God should have any rule over his own life. He was not an atheist, but rather an self-appointed enemy of the God who is there. From Marx and Satan:

  • Marx and his comrades, while anti-God, were not atheists, as present-day Marxists claim to be. That is, while they openly denounced and reviled God, they hated a God in whom they believed. They challenged not His existence, but His supremacy. (23)
  • There is no support for the view that Marx entertained lofty social ideals about helping mankind, saw religion as a hindrance in fulfilling this ideal, and for this reason embraced an antireligious attitude. On the contrary, Marx hated any notion of God or gods. He determined to be the man who would kick out God—all this before he had embraced socialism, which was only the bait to entice proletarians and intellectuals to embrace this devilish ideal. (19)
  • Marx is the only one who formulates as his aim a “permanent revolution,” terrorism and bloodshed for revolution’s sake. There is no purpose to be attained; violence to the point of paroxysm is its only objective. This is what distinguishes Satanism from ordinary human sinfulness. (51)

Wurmbrand continues to say that this hatred of God has been passed down from Marx to his followers in a covert way so that his followers are unwittingly Satanic as he, though merely by association and with a sharing of common beliefs:

  • Presumably only a few top leaders of communism have been and are consciously Satanists, but there is also an unconscious Satanism. A man can be a Satanist without being aware that such a religion exists. But if he hates the notion of God and the name of Christ, if he lives as though he were only matter, if he denies religious and moral principles, he is in fact a Satanist. Those who delve into the occult are in the same class. (107)

Overall, I found this book highly disturbing, not simply because of what Wurmbrand accuses, but because of the many facts and stories that he relates. Chapter 5, for example, covers many atrocities committed by Communist soldiers in the past, and each of these events sounds truly demonic. I had not been prepared to read such darkness, and found these things super troubling. I’ll state explicitly that this book is not for the faint-hearted. It is vulgar and grotesque, even though it simply recounts the lives of real, honored, even deified men from our own world’s recent history.

When recounting many of the attacks that have been made against Christians by Communism in the past, Wrumbrand notes that “Communist persecution of religion might have a human explanation, but the fury of such perverse persecution can only be Satanic.” (67) He then concludes his book with an appeal to the reader to open his eyes to the political realities around him and to see the love and salvation of Jesus:

  • This is my wish for you, the reader. You have walked with me through the terrible pages of this book. Now I urge you to consider carefully your loyalties before it is too late. Abandon Satan and his evil cohorts. History proves he is never true to his own. Therefore, choose life and love and hope and heaven. Marxists and proletarians of the world, unite around Jesus Christ! (112)

©2015 E.T.

This entry was posted in Biography, Book Review, Character Studies, Communism, History, Non-Fiction, Spiritual Warfare, World History. Bookmark the permalink.

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