Part 1 was here. Part 2 covers Yuri Bezmenov’s recruitment, his job description and what the KGB thought of various Americans. Bear with Part 2, if you would. The real deal is in Part 3:
His recruitment and early years
In my case it was administrative and military intelligence service. My first assignment was to India with the Soviet Economical Aid group … it took me a number of years to realize that what we were bringing to India was a new type of colonialism.
Patrice Lumumba University [was] a huge school in Moscow [for foreign students of note]. These people were dispatched back to their countries to be leaders of the so-called national liberation movements.
Another area of activity when I was working for the Novosti was to accompany groups of so called progressive intellectuals – writers, journalists, publishers, teachers, professors of colleges. Most of them are pretending that they are actually VIPs, guests treated according to their merits and their intellectual abilities.
For us, they were just a bunch of political prostitutes to be taken advantage [of] for various propaganda operations … anticipating another ideological brainwashing.
Pay special attention to number of bottles on the table – this was one of the ways to kill the awareness … of foreign journalists. One of my functions was to keep foreign guests permanently intoxicated – the moment they land, I have to take them to VIP lounge and toast to friendship and understanding in the nations of the world.
At a certain point I had to withdraw alcohol from them so that some of them, the most recruitable, would feel little bit shaky, guilty, trying to remember what they were talking last night – that’s the time to approach them with all kinds of nonsense such as joint communique or statement of Soviet propaganda. That’s the time they’re the most flexible and of course what they did not understand was that myself drinking with them – I was not drinking at all.
In 1967, the KGB attached me to Look magazine. From the first page to the last it was a package of lies, Soviet opinions presented as American opinions and of course these were not opinions – they were cliches which the Soviet propaganda wants Americans to think that they think … and of course [the Americans] intellectualized that lie. They found all kinds of justification for telling lies to the American public.
[He mentions that these foreigners were given dossiers of backgrounding before they even left and were preselected for the trip on the basis of their reaction to the material.]
Typical kindergarten [publsihed in a Canadian government publication]
What these idiots did not understand is it’s not a kindergarten at all – it is a prison for children of political prisoners and the job of people such as myself was to help them not to notice. Yes, some of them did ask questions and we were happy to give them stupid answers to their stupid questions: “No, there are no prisons any more,” and so on.
What was the motivation of these people? Why would they stubbornly bring lies to their people, to their own mass media? I have various answers to this – there is not a single explanation – it’s a complex of explanations.
1. It is fear, pure biological fear – they understand that they are on the territory of an enemy state;
2. Most were afraid to lose their jobs obviously – if you tell truth about my country, you will not last long as correspondent of NYT or Los Angeles Times.
There’s another reason – these people earn a lot of money when they come back to the U.S.A. They claim that they are experts on my country; they write books which sell million copies; they claim to be Sovietologists – yet they stubbornly refuse the word of truth. If Solzhenitsyn is kicked out of USSR, they try all their best to discredit him. A useful idiot like Hendrik Smit or Robert Kaiser – they are big heroes; they come back and say: “We were talking to dissidents in Russia.”
They know nothing or next to nothing; I would say they are people who lack common sense and intellectual integrity.
The American left-liberal notables
Another greatest example of monumental idiocy – Edward Kennedy – what he did not understand was that he was being taken for a ride. He thinks he’s very clever but in the minds of Russians, he is narrow minded ego-centric idiot.
Not a single Jane Fonda [Hanoi Jane] is brave enough, courageous enough to come to media and say [what is really happening].
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
[Beatles and other media people] – your Mia Farrow visited his school and returned absolutely zonked out of her mind on hashish and crazy ideas of meditation.
To meditate – in other words to isolate oneself from the current and political issues of your own country, to get into your own bubble, to forget about trouble – obviously KGB was very fascinated with such a beautiful school, such a brainwashing centre for such stupid Americans. I was dispatched to find out … what kind of people from United States attend this school.
We found [they were] public opinion makers of the United States who came back with the greatest stories of Indian philosophy. Indians themselves look upon them as idiots. KGB looked on them as extremely naïve, misguided people. Obviously someone, a hostess, say the wife of a congressman or a prominent Hollywood personality, after being trained at that school, is much more instrumental in the hands of manipulators of public opinion and KGB than a normal person who understands, who looks through this.
You see, a person who is too much interested in introspective meditation – what the Maharishi is teaching is that most of the problems, most of the burning issues of the day can be solved simply by meditating. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t get involved.
This is what KGB wants America to do – to distract their attention from real issues into non-issues, a cosmic world of harmony. It is better to have this than a bunch of Americans who are self-conscious, healthy, physically fit and alert to the reality.
[Today’s parallel is the drug and sex obsessed clubber or obese couch potato.]
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is not on the payroll of the KGB but he contributes unwittingly to the demoralization of American society and he is not the only one.
Much of my job and others was to compile huge amount 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.
Those who went along with the propaganda were promoted and given positions. [He’s referring to those he dealt with in India here.] Those who refused were character assassinated and in some cases – assassinated.
The elimination of former allies
[He mentions, for example, the Viet Cong who came in and occupied [a South Vietnamese town] for two days and in the night, found and took all American sympathisers and had them shot. How did they know where to look? Network of informers.]
I saw [dossier in New Delhi] of pro Soviet leftists, people I was personally acquainted with who, come the revolution, they would have to go.
Because they know too much. You see, simple leftists who believe in the beauty of the [coming] system, when they get disillusioned, they become the worst enemies. My KGB instructors made a specific point – never bother with leftists, forget about these kind of political prostitutes. Aim higher.
These were my instructions – try to get into large circulation established conservative media – reach filthy rich moviemakers, 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 who lack moral principles, who are either too greedy or suffer from self-importance – they feel that they matter a lot – these are the people KGB wanted very much to recruit.
The others [leftist academics et al] serve purpose only at the stage of destabilization. For example, all your professors and intellectuals – they are important only in the stage of subversion, only to destabilize a nation. When the job is completed, they are not needed any more – they know too much.
Some of them 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. They may become the most bitter enemies of Marxist-Leninists when they come to power and that’s what happened – you remember Nicaragua?
It happened in Granada. Same happened in Afghanistan. Same happened in Bangladesh. Executed by their own Marxist-Leninist comrades – same pattern everywhere. We are a bunch of murderers in the country which is being hospitable to us.
On his attempt to get the truth and then to defect
No one wanted to know, I would use all kinds of tricks. I would leak letters or lost documents to get people to understand what we were doing and still the message was not published, even in the conservative mass media of India.
The immediate impulse to defect was Bangladesh, which was described by American correspondent as Islamic grassroots revolution, which is absolute baloney – there was nothing to do with Islam and there was no grassroots revolution.
Actually, there are no grassroots revolutions, period. Any revolution is a byproduct of a highly organized group of conscientious and professional organizers but there’s nothing to do with grassroots.
In Part 3, this process is translated into modern-speak, with modern villains.