Bezmenov and ideological subversion

Recently, I watched an extremely important video, an interview with a former Soviet diplomat and journalist, Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov. He was a Soviet journalist for Novosti Press Agency (APN) and a former PGU KGB informant who defected to Canada. The PGU KGB (The First Main Directorate) was in charge of handling foreign operations and intelligence for the Soviet Union. This included training and managing undercover agents, overseeing intelligence collection, and gathering information on politics, science, and technology from both abroad and within the country.

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Yuri Bezmenov in the interview.

After being assigned to a post in India, Bezmenov developed a fondness for the people and culture there. However, he grew disenchanted with the KGB's support for suppressing Soviet dissidents and intellectuals who disagreed with Moscow's policies. This led him to defect to the West. Bezmenov is primarily known for his lectures and books opposing Marxism and Atheism, published during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

In 2020, his 1984 interview on active measures with journalist G. Edward Griffin gained attention. It was featured in the teaser for the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on August 19, and in the main introduction on August 26. This has sparked a renewed interest in Bezmenov's work and lectures.

You can find the mentioned interview by following this link. Bezmenov's ideas and explanations resonate, especially in today's context, where there's a cancel culture, the influence of woke movements, and gender ideologies impacting media, education, and public discourse across significant parts of the Western world. Pay special attention to the part where he describes what ideological subversion is and explains its four stages.

My notes after watching the interview with time signatures:

  • 3:50 Soviet students were taught in the USSR that the USA is an aggressive power that wants to invade the country.
  • 5:20 Citizen’s life in the USSR is of no value. “He’s just like an insect”.
  • 7:35 Bezmenov fell in love with India, and by KGB he developed “split loyalty”.
  • 8:30 There are still concentration camps in the USSR.
  • 10:00 Average Soviet citizen doesn’t like the Soviet system.
  • 11:10 There is a great possibility that system will be destroyed from within—self-destructive mechanism is built in the system.
  • 12:30 The USA needs to stop supporting and feeding the USSR if it doesn’t want to “end up in the gulag system; working for free, catching flees on your body”.
  • 13:00 Bezmenov defected in India while working as Soviet diplomat.
  • 16:50 Made to Canada in 1970.
  • 18:00 KGB discovered that Bezmenov worked for Canadian TV.
  • 20:00 Psychology of KGB.
  • 24:00 The oligarchy (party elite), military and KGB hate each other. The party bureaucrats are the most adventurous, senile megalomaniacs.
  • 37:40 It’s a lie that most Soviets were proud of winning the WWII, because they lost 20 million people in a war that was started by Hitler and Stalin.
  • 47:00 We South African government (in the 1980’s) racist regime, yet in the USSR citizens couldn’t live anywhere they wanted, just like in South Africa. —> Media doesn’t have integrity nor honesty.
  • 51:00 Bezmenov’s task in India was to discover what kind of people from the US attended Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s school in India (meditation).
  • 52:00 A person who is too much involved in introspective meditation is exactly what KGB was interested to explore.
  • 53:15 Unknowingly, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi contributed to the demoralization of the American society. Hundreds of these gurus come to America to capitalize on American naivety. “It’s a fashion to meditate, it’s a fashion not to be involved.” KGB figured out that that kind of brainwashing was very efficient and instrumental in demoralization of the USA.
  • 56:30 KGB had lists of Indian key people, who were pro-Soviet, who would be executed in case of the communist revolution in India. Simply, “because they knew too much”.
  • 57:00 KGB instructed Bezmenov never to bother with the leftists. He should aim at recruiting filthy-rich moviemakers, intellectuals, academics. These are the most recruitable people—people who lack moral principles, and suffer from self-importance.
  • 58:00 “Useful idiots” only serve the purpose at the stage of destabilization of a nation. When the job is completed, they are not useful anymore—they know too much.
  • 1:07:30 Ideological subversion is the process which is legitimate that is seen. It has nothing to to with espionage. In reality, the main emphasis of the KGB is not intelligence (it’s only 15% of their resources and time that is spent on that), but ideological subversion.
    • The goal is to change the perception of the reality to such an extent that no one is able to come to sensible conclusion.
    • The process is divided into four basic stages:
      1. Demoralization of a nation. It takes 10–15 years to achieve. It requires that many years to education one generation of students in the country of your enemy, exposed to the ideology of Marxism and Leninism. The result is: most of drop-out students and half-baked intellectuals from the 1960’s are now in power in the government, mass media, education system. They are programmed to act to certain stimulae. “They would be in shock what the beautiful society of equality and social justice means in practice. Obviously, they would revolt. The Marxist-Leninist regime does not tolerate this people. They would be squashed like cockroaches.” This process of demoralization is basically completed already in the USA. A person who is demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him.
      2. Destabilization. It takes 2–5 years to destabilize a country. What matters is economy, foreign relations and defense systems.
      3. Crisis. It can only 6 weeks to bring a country on the verge of crisis, which can be seen in the Central America.
      4. Normalization. It is a cynical expression. When the Soviet tanks moved into Czechoslovakia in 1968, Brezhnev said: “Now the situation in the brotherly Czechoslovakia is normalized”. This would happen in the USA if the schmucks are allowed to bring the country to crisis.
  • 1:17:15 There must be a very strong national effort of educating people of what is going on, and that we are not living in time of peace. Second, people need to force the American government to stop aiding communism (trading with them). It is the question of survival of this system.

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