Sunday Reads: First Stage…Demoralization

 

Morning, like Boston Boomer, I too am at my wits end. I guess y’all realized that when I thought that Friday was actually Wednesday, and I posted my second Wednesday Reads this week. Everything has me out of sorts. I only have a few links to share with you today. The first one is a biggy, check this out:

 

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America | Big Think

 

Whether you believe Putin really has some kind of compromising material to make Trump do his bidding or if Trump is simply being nice to people who partially helped get him elected, or if you somehow still think, despite ample evidence to the contrary, that all this is much ado about nothing, the fact is President Putin is a very experienced former KGB officer. He has both the know-how and the intelligence to carry out very far-sighted and ingenious operations. We don’t know his endgame and neither do we know how much of his KGB training he still employs, but in light of current events, there may be a way for us to get a deeper understanding by studying the words of Yuri AlexandrovichBezmenov, a former KGB agent who defected to Canada in 1970.

Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov

 

In 1984, Bezmenov gave an interview to G. Edward Griffin from which much can be learned today. His most chilling point was that there’s a long-term plan put in play by Russia to defeat America through psychological warfare and “demoralization”. It’s a long game that takes decades to achieve but it may already be bearing fruit.

Bezmenov made the point that the work of the KGB mainly does not involve espionage, despite what our popular culture may tell us. Most of the work, 85% of it, was “a slow process which we call either ideological subversion, active measures, or psychological warfare.”

Putin in KGB Uniform 1980ish

What does that mean? Bezmenov explained that the most striking thing about ideological subversion is that it happens in the open as a legitimate process. “You can see it with your own eyes,” he said. The American media would be able to see it, if it just focused on it.

Here’s how he further defined ideological subversion:

“What it basically means is: to change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.”

Bezmenov described this process as “a great brainwashing” which has four basic stages. The first stage is called “demoralization” which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve. According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educateone generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country. In other words, the time it takes to change what the people are thinking.

According to Bezmenov…it seems this process may have been already completed. He referred to the “60’s hippie” generation. The baby boomers:

“They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern [alluding to Pavlov]. You can not 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 can not change the basic perception and the logic of behavior.”

Demoralization is a process that is “irreversible”. Bezmenov actually thought (back in 1984) that the process of demoralizing America was already completed. It would take another generation and another couple of decades to get the people to think differently and return to their patriotic American values, claimed the agent. 

Sort of sound familiar to y’all? He may have been talking about the Baby Boomers, but perhaps he was a little off about the time frame of demoralization? And the targets?

In what is perhaps a most striking passage in the interview, here’s how Bezmenov described the state of a “demoralized” person:

“As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter anymore,” said Bezmenov. “A person who was 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 [a] concentration camp, he will refuse to believe it, until he [receives] a kick in his fan-bottom. When a military boot crashes his balls then he will understand. But not before that. That’s the [tragedy] of the situation of demoralization.”

It’s hard not to see in that the state of many modern Americans. We have become a society of polarized tribes, with some people flat out rejecting facts in favor of narratives and opinions.

Once demoralization is completed, the second stage of ideological brainwashing is “destabilization”. During this two-to-five-year period, asserted Bezmenov, what matters is the targeting of essential structural elements of a nation: economy, foreign relations, and defense systems. Basically, the subverter (Russia) would look to destabilize every one of those areas in the United States, considerably weakening it.

The third stage would be “crisis”. It would take only up to six weeks to send a country into crisis, explained Bezmenov. The crisis would bring “a violent change of power, structure, and economy” and will be followed by the last stage, “normalization.” That’s when your country is basically taken over, living under a new ideology and reality.

This will happen to America unless it gets rid of people who will bring it to a crisis, warned Bezmenov. What’s more “if people will fail to grasp the impending danger of that development, nothing ever can help [the] United States,” adding, “You may kiss goodbye to your freedom.”

Fucking hell, right?

In another, somewhat terrifying excerpt, here’s what Bezmenov had to say about what is really happening in the United States. It may think it is living in peace, but it has been actively at war with Russia. And for some time:

“Most of the American politicians, media, and educational system trains another generation of people who think they are living at the peacetime,” said the former KGB agent. ”False. United States is in a state of war: undeclared, total war against the basic principles and foundations of this system.”

Whether you think that is true may depend on your politics, but the reality of Russian active measures, as has been outlined in the recent indictments by the special counselor Robert Mueller, give Bezmenov’s words new urgency.

Go to the link to see the interview in full.

This got me to thinking about the people who feel there is nothing wrong with Russia intrusion. The tRump supporters that don’t give a shit of tRump shot someone dead on 5th Ave.

So take a look at some of the pictures/quotes/meme that are being shared on Pinterest, between these folks who I believe are the targets of the Russian demoralization campaign.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It is fucking ridiculous. And whatever proof is offered up, these people outright disregard it, nothing can change their minds.

The other day, I got my email from the Southern Poverty Law Center…

 

Weekend Read // Issue 89 Weekend Read: Mark Zuckerberg’s comments about Holocaust denial are disturbing

In an interview with a tech magazine published this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that while he personally finds Holocaust denial “deeply offensive … at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down.”

After a burst of criticism, Zuckerberg clarified his remarks, but only with respect to his personal feelings about those who engage with Holocaust denial. His company’s policy, on the other hand, remains. On Facebook, it’s officially permissible to proliferate content that denies the crimes of Nazi Germany.

Zuckerberg’s stance is highly revealing about his own understanding of the historical context of Holocaust denial and how current hate groups operate. He fails on both counts.

At its foundation, Holocaust denial is a strategy to rehabilitate Nazism. George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party, was “the first postwar American neo-Nazi to appreciate the strategic necessity of Holocaust denial,” according to a biographer, and helped popularize the lie that the Holocaust was a fraud concocted by Jews.

In 1978, recognizing the need for a subtler approach, Willis Carto founded the first major American Holocaust denial organization, the Institute for Historical Review. Still active, IHR projects a pseudo-academic sheen to promote denialism.

The SPLC currently identifies 10 active Holocaust denial hate groups, four of which have a minor presence on Facebook. These hate groups, however, remain on the fringe. What they never dreamed of is the resurgence in antisemitism online, enabled by social media companies like Facebook. Zuckerberg’s preferred approach, that the “best way to fight offensive bad speech is with good speech,” needs to be reconciled with that fact. As a private company, Facebook can have something to do with that “good speech.”

The intent of yesterday’s Rockwell and Carto is the same as today’s neo-Nazis at the Daily Stormer or on 4chan: to erode the public’s understanding of the Holocaust in order to make fascist and Nazi ideas appealing again. The danger grows as the years go by and fewer people alive today actually witnessed the events of the 1930s and 1940s. In a poll released earlier this year, 41 percent of all respondents and 66 percent of young Americans failed to identify Auschwitz as an extermination camp.

Zuckerberg’s refusal to address propaganda as hateful and obvious as Holocaust denial also bodes poorly for other vulnerable communities, such as American Muslims, a community regularly demonized by rhetoric espoused by even the president. As it stands, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant propagandists easily clear the low hurdles set by platforms like Facebook.

Whether Zuckerberg likes it or not, Facebook has an immense responsibility to fight hate on its platform. Last summer, the organizers of the deadly “Unite the Right” gathering in Charlottesville used Facebook to promote their event, the largest white supremacist rally in decades. A year later, the company is still refusing to meet its responsibility.

Thank you for reading.

The Editors

P.S. Here are a few other reads from around the web that are worth spending time with:

Holocaust study: Two-thirds of millennials don’t know what Auschwitz is by Julie Zauzmer for Washington Post

Facebook must adhere to German Holocaust denial laws, says Berlin by Reuters for The New York Times

Zuckerberg’s comments give Holocaust deniers an opening by Deborah Lipstadt for CNN

Holocaust denial and how to combat it on the world’s largest internet forum from Reddit

I wanted to share that email in its entirety.

 

This could be the next big case in Stand your ground laws:

Video shows deadly shooting over parking spot at Clearwater convenience store – abcactionnews.com WFTS-TV

Witnesses told deputies the two were arguing because Drejka was upset the woman parked there even though she wasn’t handicapped. The woman’s boyfriend, Markeis McGlockton, of Clearwater, was inside the store to buy his little boy a candy bar, according to the store owner.

McGlockton exited the store to defend his girlfriend and shoved Drejka to the ground.

Drejka responded by taking out a pistol and shooting McGlockton in the chest. McGlockton ran back into the store where his five-year-old son was standing at the front door, watching the entire incident happen right before his eyes. McGlockton fell to the ground inside of the store and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Investigators say multiple people witnessed the shooting and called 911.

Drejka is a legal concealed weapons permit holder and will not be charged because of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

The store owner tells ABC Action News that Drejka has a history of assaulting people in the very parking lot the shooting took place. A man who frequents the store told ABC Action News he had a run-in with the man who opened fire just one month ago. Rich Kelly says the man picked a fight with him over a parking spot, using racial slurs, and even threatening to kill him. Now, a month later, a similar case, ending with a father killed in front of his 5-year-old son.

Of course the national coverage of this same shooting neglects to mention the killers former history of assault.

Gunman in parking space shooting not charged because of ‘Stand Your Ground’ law – ABC News

“[It’s] sad to see [McGlockton] die in front of his son. … For a parking lot [space.] For a stupid reason. Just to argue, just to find someone to argue with,” said store owner Ali Selous, who told ABC News affiliate WFTS-TV that McGlockton was in the store buying candy for Markeis Jr.

 

Read that article and see what I am talking about. They purposely edit out the store owners statements.

Have you seen video of that duck boat in the water? The one that sank?

Feds retrieve video from sunken Missouri duck boat | The Kansas City Star

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board have retrieved a video recorder from the duck boat that sank in rough weather, taking 17 lives.

The NTSB, responsible for investigating civil transportation accidents, said that gauges determined that two duck boats on Table Rock Lake on Thursday evening faced winds up to 73 miles per hour, one mile short of hurricane force winds. Waves crested as high as 4 feet.

I can’t believe people would have gotten on that boat in that weather…

It looks like the company has had problems before, so much that workers sought to organize amid safety concerns:

Missouri duck boat attraction closed Baltimore branch in 2009 amid worker safety concerns, unionization push

The duck boat tour attraction on which 17 people died in Missouri previously operated in Baltimore until 2009, when it closed a month after workers sought to organize because of safety and scheduling concerns.

Divers in Branson, Mo., recovered 17 bodies from Table Rock Lake on Thursday evening and Friday after a Ride the Ducks boat sank during stormy weather. Wind gusts had reached 65 mph, according to the National Weather Service. Fourteen others survived, two of whom were hospitalized in critical condition.

In a statement posted to its website, Ride the Ducks Branson, which was acquired by Ripley Entertainment last year, said safety is its No. 1. priority. The company said it would be closed for business while it assists the families and supports the investigation.

[…]

Ride the Ducks operated tours of Baltimore and the city’s Inner Harbor from 2002 to 2009, allowing tourists to pass by historical sites on land before the vehicle would enter the harbor. At its height, the company gave up to 40 tours a day on eight vehicles in Baltimore.

The company ended its tours of Baltimore in September 2009, when a Ride the Ducks executive told the Baltimore Sun that investing more in the Baltimore branch was not worth the cost.

But a union representative said at the time the company had ended its Baltimore operation to retaliate against drivers and guides who had complained about the safety of workers, passengers and the amphibious vehicles. The company had 23 seasonal employees and six who worked year-round, the Sun reported.

There has not been another duck boat company in Baltimore since Ride the Ducks left, said Sara Warfield, vice president of communications for Visit Baltimore.

Phil Ornot, then a United Steelworkers organizer, alleged to the National Labor Relations Board that the company had intimidated, coerced and threatened staff. The union filed a petition to organize Ride the Ducks workers a month before the company announced it was closing the Baltimore attraction.

Read more at the link….

The last article I have for you, circles back to the first article….

How Pizzagate Pusher Mike Cernovich Keeps Getting People Fired | HuffPost

Mike Cernovich was celebrating on Friday, at least for a few hours. Disney had just fired James Gunn, the director of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, over crude jokes about pedophilia and rape Gunn made on Twitter between 2008 to 2011.

Cernovich had mobilized his network to have the tweets show up in all corners of the internet ― and in Disney’s executive suite ― and he was rewarded when “James Gunn” shot to the top of Twitter’s national trending topics.

“I couldn’t sleep. I was up until 3 a.m.,” an exuberant Cernovich told HuffPost on Friday. “That’s a lot of real sick stuff.”

Cernovich had claimed a scalp. This was what the far-right propagandist lived for, these kamikaze moments. They kept him going. They got him high. They allowed him to cling to a dank relevancy, even as it slips through his fingers.

“I’ve been a very good boy since Pizzagate,” he said, as he watched Disney dispatch Gunn.

By now, it should come as no surprise that Cernovich, who played a key role in manipulating public opinion during the 2016 election, was involved in the campaign against Gunn. The far-right propagandist has been locked in an endless war against the mainstream media, and at the end of 2017, had warned his “enemies” that he planned to use their tweets against them. He would dig up “fireable tweets.”

Remember Pizzagate?

The goal was to gull conservative voters during the presidential election. It worked: Almost half of Trump’s supporters bought into Pizzagate, according to a December 2016 YouGov poll. A mob started harassing and threatening the pizzeria and nearby businesses. Eventually, a rube with an assault rifle stormed into the restaurant and fired off a few rounds. (Cernovich has since deleted all his Pizzagate tweets.)

Even after Pizzagate, however, Cernovich continued to bewilder the press, which has consistently failed to appreciate that trolls like him will fight dirty, with any weapon available.

You need to read the entire piece.

To understand Cernovich’s war on the press — and his gripe with Bernard and Berger — requires a familiarity with the alt-lite, a group of nativist “Make America Great Again” propagandists and grifters who got their name because of their ideological proximity to the white nationalist “alt-right” movement.

Cernovich is a ringleader in the group, whose members include anti-Muslim Laura Loomer, British fascist and former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec and Lucian Wintrich, a smarmy white supremacist-friendly correspondent for The Gateway Pundit, a far-right propaganda outlet. These dirty tricksters, several of whom have received press credentials from the Trump White House, all work to subvert the real media.

The alt-lite’s fake news ecosystem sprouted from the far-right fever swamp created by Fox News and a tireless effort by movement conservatives to demonize the media. But the new breed of alt-lite ratfucker is feral, with an ability to directly sway gullible minds through social media. Twitter and other social media platforms have abetted the rise of frauds, racists and fascists who spread lies and can easily form cybermobs. This is a worrisome development for the truth business.

One of the best ways to hurt journalists in the social media era, Cernovich knows, is to tar them online; to destroy their reputations. Too many news outlets exist in financial distress. Overworked journalists can be sidelined by harassment campaigns. And many media companies are now run by business-school graduates allergic to controversy and given over to a reflexive political correctness. One flip statement by a reporter on social media can cause lasting professional damage. All of which plays to the strengths of the alt-lite.

This bit is an important part:

Twitter and other social media have abetted the rise of frauds, racists and fascists who spread lies and can easily form cybermobs. This is a worrisome development for the truth business.

So…please read that whole thing…

And try to have a good day, this is an open thread.

 

Advertisements

22 Comments on “Sunday Reads: First Stage…Demoralization”

  1. Jslat says:

    Good morning, JJ!

  2. Jslat says:

    Read this the other day. “This too shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it shall pass.” If the majority of Americans believe as we do, we must struggle to regain our democracy.

  3. dakinikat says:

    Hey JJ! I’d like to say suffering is the new normal but then every Buddhist would remind me it is the old normal too! I’m trying to get stuff–basically the bucks for my deductible –to get my roof fixed before any kind of tropical storm hits which still means no washing machine or clutch on the car fixed. So, I’m bussing, walking, and staying home a lot and finding out what it means to wash clothes in the bathtub!!! It’s hot as hell here but it least rain’s not faling on my bed! i’m thankful my fur babies are healthy and flea free and that Purdue still wants an old lady like me! I’ve had to make sure have a news blackout period or I start wishing you know who would just drop the fuck dead!

    Is your mom doing better?

    x0x0x0x0x0 love you!!

    kat

    • NW Luna says:

      Glad your furkids are healthy and it’s staying dry. Hope the storms hold off for you!

    • NW Luna says:

      Pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, fame and disrepute…. Pain is inevitable, suffering is not.

      Getting harder to practice equanimity now.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Honey, I hope you get that roof fixed. All this time I’ve been thinking of you down there with that hole above your bed and the tarp. Does the insurance have some kind of hardship thing where you can finance the deductible? How much was that anyway?

      My mom had her first series of chemo this week. She seems to be accepting the treatment. She and my dad went to have there wills done and it wiped them out, money wise. But at least they are set.

      • dakinikat says:

        My children appear amenable to helping me not die in the next hurricane since the car is not going any where. I’m hoping I can get it situated.

        Glad your mom has a bit more grounding. I can’t imagine …

  4. dakinikat says:

  5. dakinikat says:

    I really can’t believe this has been written ….

    • NW Luna says:

      …says the man who can buy whatever the hell he wants. What he doesn’t like is that public libraries are public. He probably hates the national parks, too.

  6. joanelle says:

    JJ, thanks for this post, it’s a strong document that I’ll share with a few others who are wondering why everything is so screwed up.

    We visited friends last evening, he is Jewish of Russian decent, his grandparent’s generation was completetly wiped out by the Nazis. Both he and his wife understand that this is not just a partisan happening in America. We are getting a royal screwing.

    Yesterday I mentioned that trump appears to be a modern day Manchurian candidate. Your post puts things in perspective in that regard. Great post, thanks again.

    Hope your mom is feeling better.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I honestly don’t know what it will take to make tRump go away. My dad said there is a lot of talk on his gun rights group…to suspend the coming elections. This is the kind of crap from the targeted demoralization faction that was discussed in the article up top.
      It is frightening to see the shit these Putin and tRump loving assholes say. Now since I looked it all up on my Pinterest, I keep getting suggestions for thing like jesus fanatics, guns, and tRump.

  7. dakinikat says:

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. Sweet Sue says:

    I read the “demoralization” piece and it was chilling. I thought what would cause the most chaos, right now? What would cause the most dissension, the most violence? What would cause a civil war?

    • What struck me hardest in that piece was remembering that Susan Sarendon and her ilk thought a Trump win would be just fine, because that would trigger “the revolution”. Is she a dupe, a dope, or simply diabolical?