See the sources for this article and more research in the Additional Reading section.
In 1970, Yuri Bezmenov, a 31 year old KGB officer specializing in propaganda, defected to Canada. Bezmenov (also known as Tomas Schuman) was sickened by the oppressive nature and toll of communist totalitarianism, and wanted to devote his life to educating Western nations, America in particular, of what he and the KGB had been doing to us, to undermine and ultimately destroy our societies.
In 1984, Bezmenov published a small book, “Love Letter to America,” in which he explained, in great detail, how the communists running the USSR were working to destroy America — not using physical weapons, but through what he described as “cultural subversion.” (See PDF scan of physical book here; Text document here; Amazon page here).
Also in 1984, Bezmenov delivered a one-hour video presentation that summarizes his book:
See a 4 hour compilation of Bezmenov’s video interviews and lectures here.
In his book and his interview, Bezmenov provided at least ten major insights that are just as applicable today as they were then:
(1) The KGB, the former Soviet Union’s secret police, used only 15% of its resources on traditional espionage (or “James Bond stuff,” as he said) — and 85% focused on ideological and psychological warfare (cultural subversion), through the use of “active measures” to interfere in, and degrade, the affairs of enemy states.
(2) These “active measures” were designed to corrupt a targeted free, self-governing country (and its elections) to the point where the people acted in the interests of the USSR, though not aware that they were doing so. Those affected people were referred to by the Soviet dictators as “useful idiots,” and included prominent figures from Hollywood, authors and others. In summary, they advocated nice-sounding goals like “equality” (group poverty, as in the USSR) and “social justice” (which is never quite defined — but is always against capitalism, America and Western civilization, in general), while accepting, or not realizing, that they were being used to advance murderous communist propaganda.
(3) Around 1965, the KGB sought to undermine America’s elementary schools. By now, three generations of teachers and students had been indoctrinated with subversive socialist ideologies. This subversion went unchallenged by an increasing number of schools and teachers, which steadily sabotaged (and now vilifies) traditional American values.
(4) As these students progressed to universities, they were not only unaware of the lies they’d been told, they were primed and receptive to higher-level indoctrination of hatred for freedom, democracy, individual rights, limited constitutional government, free enterprise, etc. And once they graduated, they became the next generation of leaders, in all segments of society. This ongoing process destabilized our society, as these communist values clashed with those who still believed in the Constitution and its principles.
(5) The “destabilization” process was accelerated by also attacking religion, primarily Judaism and Christianity, and turning peoples’ attention to personal, short-term gratification, and human degradation of innumerable forms, largely through destroying the family, and the virtues of thrift, goal-setting, diligence, savings, and sobriety were gradually forgotten.
(6) Further destabilization came by replacing the teaching of important core science, with an overarching emphasis on humanities. America, which once was the undisputed world leader in science & technology, now is witness to the fact that a majority of students in our universities that focus on these disciplines are foreign, primarily from China, who then take what they’ve learned back to their home nations. And in the case of China, ruled by a communist dictatorship, we are literally training (if not subsidizing) the rise of our most lethal adversary, which is now approaching the technical sophistication of all of America’s weapons systems.
(7) Another key facet of KGB’s subversion efforts was creating a permanent “crisis” mode, with a full-scale attack on free markets and legitimate historical & constitutional organizations. Big-government promises of free goods would be used to encourage voters (who’d been primed for such offers, via our schools) to seek a strong leader or even “benevolent” national ruler to fulfill these unfulfillable promises. If Bezmenov were still alive, he would undoubtedly say that the U.S. has now entered into this “civil war” stage, as violent anarchists, communists, “cancel” militants and other opportunists (including Islamists) use force to provoke attacks against statues (history) and the police in close to twenty, American cities — most of which have been “governed” at all levels by far-left “useful idiots” for decades.
(8) After the resulting “civil war,” if the conservative forces who advocate the Constitutional rule of law were to lose, a new “normalization” process would take over, as people get used to far fewer rights, but the illusion of less economic dislocation, under the rule of a “benevolent“ (communist/socialist) dictator — who, judging from history, will not remain benevolent for very long.
(9) To save freedom, Bezmenov suggested very harsh responses to those who seek to violently overthrow our Constitution, even if some liberties were temporarily suspended from the people. The alternative is a full communist takeover, or an even worse invasion by a foreign enemy.
(10) Bezmenov also suggested a mass public movement to remind and re-educate the population as to the virtue of traditional American values, in order to help the citizens regain their confidence in their base values.
In 1984 Yuri Bezmenov bravely warned us of communist subversion, as we were (and still are) in a state of war with this failed ideology that has killed more than 100 million people in the 20th century alone.
While many of us are at work, America’s children and young adults are being targeted by the new wave of anti-American communist propaganda, funded by:
- Russia, in the form of slick social media videos; details here
- China’s Communist Party, in the form of “Confucius Institutes” set up on hundreds of U.S. college campuses; details here
Here is just one example of the Russian government-funded “SoapBox” (part of “InTheNow”) — in which the host, Rania Khalek whitewashes the violent domestic anarchists and communists who are tearing apart U.S. cities and attacking federal facilities — while vilifying, and justifying the violent attacks on the federal law enforcement officers who have been risking their lives to protect those facilities (and themselves):
To all those people shocked that US federal forces can be so brutal, cruel and dismissive of the law – WELCOME TO PLANET EARTH!
— In the NOW (@inthenow) July 28, 2020
How successful have the communists been at subverting American freedom — thanks to the “useful idiots” at all levels of our government, “educational” institutions, “news” industry and arts?
Consider — as documented in STW editor Jon Sutz’s independent report, “America At The Precipice”:
- “The Communist Manifesto” is the most-assigned economics textbook in U.S. colleges, assigned more than twice as frequently as any other economics book
- 70% of U.S. Millennials say that they would vote for a socialist for elective office
- 36% of U.S. Millennials “approve of communism” (up from from 28% in 2018)
- 83% of U.S. college graduates and 68% of elected officials cannot identify the functional differences between the free market and a command (totalitarian) economy
- 64% of Americans overall (across political parties) now agree with Marx’s core doctrine, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
We didn’t listen to Yuri Bezmenov in 1984.
Russian propaganda evades YouTube’s flagging system with BuzzFeed-style knockoffs; It looks and sounds like the kind of online news millennials love — with a heavy dose of talking points pushed by Russia, by Ben Collins, NBC News, April 19, 2018.
RT goes undercover as In The Now, EUvsDisinfo, May 22, 2017.
Russia’s Network of Millennial Media, by Bradley Hanlon and Thomas Morley, Alliance for Securing Democracy, February 15, 2019.
Russia’s RT attacks Facebook for suspending 4 viral news channels that broadcast Kremlin talking points to millennials, by Alexandra Ma, Business Insider, February 18, 2019.
Here are some examples from the Russian government-funded “InTheNow”:
Here, Khalek argues “the US is the aggressor and rogue state.”
The US is the aggressor and rogue state. Those talking about “Iranian provocations” at this point are propagandists. Iran’s restraint thus far is the reason there isn’t a regional war right now. https://t.co/tGc9FWlXf6
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) January 4, 2020
Here, Khalek argues that America only “hates” Venezuela and Cuba because they provide “free medical care for poor people” (aka the people whom they’ve made poor, through communism, oppressed with brutal police state tactics, and prevented from emigrating):
Free medical care for poor people, this is one of the reasons the US hates Venezuela (and Cuba)
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) April 4, 2019