A Former KGB Officer Explains The Four Stages of Ideological Subversion:
1 - Demoralization
2 - Destabilization
3 - Crisis
4 - Normalization
(first aired in 1985)
G. EDWARD GRIFFIN: Our conversation is with Mr. Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov.
Mr. Bezmenov was born in 1939 in a suburb of Moscow. He was the son of a high-ranking Soviet army officer.
He was educated in the elite schools inside the Soviet Union and became an expert in Indian culture and Indian languages.
He had an outstanding career with Novosti [Press Agency (APN)], which was the -- and still is, I should say -- the press arm or the press agency of the Soviet Union. It turns out that this is also a front for the KGB.
He escaped to the West in 1970 after becoming totally disgusted with the Soviet system; and he did this at great risk to his life. He certainly is one of the world's outstanding experts on the subject of Soviet propaganda and disinformation and active measures.
(Turning to Besmenov):
When the Soviets use the phrase "ideological subversion" what do they mean by it?
YURI ALEXANDROVICH BEZMENOV: Ideological subversion is the process which is legitimate, overt and open -- you can see it with your own eyes. All you have to do -- all American mass media has to do is to unplug their bananas from their ears, open up their eyes, and they can see. There is no mystery. There's nothing to do with espionage.
I know espionage, intelligence gathering, looks more romantic. It sells more deodorants through the advertising, probably. That's why your Hollywood producers are so crazy about James Bond type of thrillers.
But in reality, the main emphasis of the KGB is not in the area of intelligence at all. According to my opinion, and opinion of many defectors of my caliber, only about 15% of time, money and manpower is spent on espionage as such. The other 85% is a slow process which we call either "ideological subversion" or "active measures", активные меры in the language of the KGB, or "psychological warfare".
What it basically means is to change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite the abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interests of defending themselves, their families, their community and their country.
It's a great brainwashing process which goes very slow, and is divided into four basic stages, the first one being demoralization. It takes from fifteen to twenty years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years which requires to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy, exposed to the ideology of the enemy.
In other words, Marxism-Leninism ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students without being challenged or counterbalanced by the basic values of Americanism; American patriotism.
* * * * * * *
Most of the activity of that department was to compile huge amount, volume of information on individuals who were instrumental in creating public opinion: publishers, editors, journalists, actors, educationalists, professors of political science, members of parliament, representatives of business circles.
Most of these people were divided roughly in two groups. Those who would toe the Soviet foreign policy, they would be promoted to the positions of power through media and public opinion manipulation. Those who refused the Soviet influence in their own country, they would be character-assassinated or executed physically come Revolution
Same way is in a small town of Hewa in South Vietnam, several thousand Vietnamese were executed in one night, but the city was captured by Vietkong for only two days. And American CIA could never figure out how possibly communists could know each individual, where he lives, where to get him, and would be arrested in one night, basically in some four hours before dawn, put on a van, taken out of the city limits and shot.
The answer is very simple. Long before communists occupy the city, there was extensive network of informers, local Vietnamese citizens, who knew absolutely everything about people who were instrumental in public opinion. Including barbers and taxi drivers. Everyone who was sympathetic to the United States was executed.
Same thing was done under the guidance of the Soviet Embassy in Hanoi, and same thing I was doing in New Delhi. To my horror, I discovered that in the files where people were doomed to execution, there were names of pro-Soviet journalists with whom I was personally friendly.
G. EDWARD GRIFFIN: Pro-Soviets?
YURI ALEXANDROVICH BEZMENOV: Yes!
They were idealistically minded Leftists who made several visits to U.S.S.R. and yet, the KGB decided that come Revolution, for drastic changes in political structure of India, they will have to go.
G. EDWARD GRIFFIN: Why is that?
YURI ALEXANDROVICH BEZMENOV: Because they know too much. Simply, because, you see, the useful idiots, the Leftists who are idealistically believing in the beauty of Soviet socialist or communist or whatever system, when they get disillusioned, they become the worst enemies.
That's why my KGB instructors specifically made a point: never bother with Leftists. Forget about these political prostitutes. Aim higher. This was my instruction. Try to get into large-circulation established conservative media; reach filthy-rich movie-makers, intellectuals, so-called academic circles.
Cynical, ego-centric people who can look into your eyes with angelic expression and tell you a lie. These are the most recruitable people, people who lack moral principles, who are either too greedy, or who suffer from self-importance, they feel that they matter a lot.
These are the people who KGB wanted very much to recruit.
G. EDWARD GRIFFIN: But, to eliminate the others? To execute the others? Don't they serve some purpose? Wouldn't they be the ones to rely --
YURI ALEXANDROVICH BEZMENOV: -- No. They serve purpose only at the stage of destabilization of a nation. For example, your Leftists in the United States, all these professors, and all these beautiful civil rights defenders, they are instrumental in the process of the subversion. Only to destabilize the nation. When their job is completed, they are not needed any more. They know too much.
Some of them, when they get disillusioned; when they see that Marxists-Leninists come to power, obviously, they get offended. They think that they will come to power. That will never happen, of course. They will be lined up against the wall and shot.
But, they may turn into the most bitter enemies of Marxist-Leninists when they come to power.
And that's what happened in Nicaragua. You remember most of these former Marxist-Leninists were either put to prison or one of them split and now he's working against Sandinistas.
It happened in Grenada when Maurice Bishop was -- he was already a Marxist -- he was executed by a new Marxist who was more Marxist than this Marxist.
Same happened in Afghanistan when first there was Taraki, he was killed by Amin, then Amin was killed by Babrak Karmal with the help of KGB.
Same happened in Bangladesh when Mujibur Rahman, very pro-Soviet Leftist was assassinated by his own Marxist-Leninst military comrades.
It's the same pattern everywhere. The moment they serve their purpose, all the useful idiots are used. Either be executed entirely, all the idealistically minded Marxists, or exiled, or put in prisons like in Cuba. Many former Marxists are in prison.
So, basically, America is stuck with demoralization. And unless -- even if you start right now, here, this minute, you start educating new generation of Americans -- it will still take you 15 to 20 years to turn the tide of ideological perception of reality back to normalcy and patriotism.
* * * * * * *
YURI ALEXANDROVICH BEZMENOV: The result? The result you can see.
Most of the people who graduated in the 60s, drop-outs or half-baked intellectuals, are now occupying the positions of power: the government, civil service, business, mass media, educational system.
You are stuck with them.
You cannot get rid of them. They are contaminated. They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern.
You cannot change their mind even if you expose them to authentic information, even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still cannot change the basic perception and the logical behavior.
In other words, these people -- the process of demoralization is complete and irreversible. To get rid society of these people you need another 20 or 15 years to educate a new generation of patriotically minded and common-sense people who would be acting in favor and in the interests of United States society.
G. EDWARD GRIFFIN: And yet, these people who have been programmed, and as you say "in place" who are favorable and open to the Soviet concept, these are the very people who would be marked for extermination in this country?
YURI ALEXANDROVICH BEZMENOV: Most of them, yes. Simply because the psychological shock, when they will see in future what the beautiful society of equality and social justice means in practice, obviously, they will revolt. They will be very unhappy, frustrated people. And the Marxist-Leninist regime does not tolerate these people. Obviously, they will join the leagues of dissenters. Dissidents.
* * * * * * *
Unlike in present United States, there will be no place for dissent in future Marxist-Leninist America. Here, you can get popular, like Daniel Ellsberg, and filthy rich like Jane Fonda for being dissident, for criticizing your Pentagon. In future, these people will be simply Pfzzt! Squashed like cockroaches. Nobody is going to pay them nothing for their beautiful, noble ideas of equality.
This they don't understand. And it will be greatest shock for them, of course.
* * * * * * *
The demoralization process in the United States is basically completed already. For the last 25 years -- actually, it's over-fulfilled. Because demoralization now reaches such areas where previously, not even Comrade Andropov and all his experts would even dream of such a tremendous success.
Most if it is done by Americans to Americans. Thanks to lack of moral standards. As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter any more. A person who is demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him.
Even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents, with pictures, even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him concentration camps, he will refuse to believe it until he is going to receive a kick in his fat bottom. When a military boot crushes his balls -- THEN he will understand. But not before that. That's the tragedy of the situation of demoralization.
2. The next stage is destabilization.
This time, subverter does not care about your ideas, and the patterns of your consumption. Whether you eat junk food and get fat and flabby doesn't matter any more. This time -- and it takes only from 2 to 5 years to destabilize a nation -- it's -- what matters is essentials: economy, foreign relations, defence systems. And you can see it quite clearly that in some areas, in such sensitive areas as defence and economy, the influence of Marxist-Leninist ideas in the United States is absolutely fantastic.
I could never believe it, fourteen years ago, when I landed in this part of the world, that the process will go that fast.
3. The next stage, of course is crisis.
It may take only up to six weeks to bring a country to the verge of crisis. You can see it in Central America, now.
4. And, after crisis, with a violent change of power structure and economy, you have so-called a period of "normalization". It may last indefinitely.
Normalization is a cynical expression borrowed from Soviet propaganda. When the Soviet tanks moved into Czechoslovakia in 1968, Comrade Breznev said: "Now, the situation in brotherly Czechoslovakia is normalized."
This is what will happen in the United States if you allow all these schmucks to bring the country to crisis. To promise people all kinds of goodies, and a paradise on earth. Just to destabilize your economy. To eliminate the principle of free-market competition. And to put a Big Brother government in Washington, D.C. with benevolent dictators like Walter Mondale who will promise LOTS of things -- never mind whether the promises are fulfilled or not.
He will go to Moscow to kiss the bottoms of new generation of Soviet assassins. Never mind. He will create false illusions that the situation is under control. The situation is NOT under control.
The situation is disgustingly OUT of control.
Most of the American politicians, media and educational system trains another generation of people who think that they are living at the peace time. False. United States is in a state of war. Undeclared total war against the basic principles and the foundations of this system.
And the initiator of this war is not Comrade Andropov, of course. It's the system -- however ridiculous it may sound -- the world communist system or the world communist conspiracy. Whether I scare some people or not, I don't give a hoot. If you are not scared by now, nothing can scare you.
But you don't have to be paranoid about it. What actually happens now, that unlike myself, you have literally several years to live on unless United States wakes up -- the time bomb is ticking. With every second, the disaster is coming closer and closer, and unlike myself, you will have nowhere to defect to.
Unless you want to live in Antarctica with penguins.
This is it. This is the last country of freedom and possibility.
G. EDWARD GRIFFIN: Okay, so what do we do? What is your recommendation to the American people?
YURI ALEXANDROVICH BEZMENOV: Well, the immediate thing that comes to my mind is of course, there must be a very strong national effort to educate people in the spirit of real patriotism, number one. Number two, to explain them the real danger of socialist, communist, whatever, welfare state, Big Brother government.
If people will fail to grasp the impending danger of that development, nothing ever can help the United States. You may kiss goodbye to your freedom, including freedoms to homosexuals, to the prison inmates. All this freedom will vanish, evaporated in 5 seconds, including your precious lives.
The second thing -- the moment at least part of the United States' population is convinced that the danger is real, they have to force their government, and I'm not talking about sending letters, signing petitions, and all this beautiful noble activity.
I am talking about forcing United States government to STOP aiding communism.
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G. Edward Griffin is a writer and documentary film producer with many successful titles to his credit. Listed in Who's Who in America, he is well known because of his talent for researching difficult topics and presenting them in clear terms that all can understand. He has dealt with such diverse subjects as archaeology and ancient Earth history, the Federal Reserve System and international banking, terrorism, internal subversion, the history of taxation, U.S. foreign policy, the science and politics of cancer therapy, the Supreme Court, and the United Nations. His better-known works include The Creature from Jekyll Island, World without Cancer, The Discovery of Noah's Ark, Moles in High Places, The Open Gates of Troy, No Place to Hide, The Capitalist Conspiracy, More Deadly than War, The Grand Design, The Great Prison Break, and The Fearful Master.
Mr. Griffin is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he majored in speech and communications. In preparation for writing his book on the Federal Reserve System, he enrolled in the College for Financial Planning located in Denver, Colorado. His goal was not to become a professional financial planner but to better understand the real world of investments and money markets. He obtained his CFP designation (Certified Financial Planner) in 1989.
Mr. Griffin is a recipient of the coveted Telly Award for excellence in television production, a Contributing Editor of The New American magazine, the creator of the Reality Zone Audio Archives, and is President of American Media, a publishing and video production company in Southern California. He has served on the board of directors of The National Health Federation and The International Association of Cancer Victors and Friends and is Founder and President of The Cancer Cure Foundation. He is also the founder and president of Freedom Force International.
After being assigned to a station in India, Bezmenov eventually grew to love the people and culture of India, while, at the same time, he began to resent the KGB-sanctioned oppression of intellectuals who dissented from Moscow's policies. He decided to defect to the West. Bezmenov is best remembered for his pro-American, anti-communist lectures and books from the 1980s.