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The premise behind Hitchcock's 1935 movie classic, "The 39 Steps," was not about a staircase, but rather a series of clandestine tasks to ultimately overthrow the government. It was an intriguing movie but as it turns out, it actually takes considerably fewer steps to subvert a government, four to be exact, at least according to Yuri Bezmenov, a former KGB agent. Throughout the 1960s, Bezmenov served the KGB primarily in India where he spread Soviet propaganda and disinformation to the Western world. He eventually defected to the West in 1970 and settled in Canada where he lectured and wrote about the KGB's techniques for subverting the West.
In 1985 he was featured in a television interview which is still available on YouTube. During the interview, Bezmenov explains the KGB's activities are less about espionage in the classic James Bond sense (only 15 percent), and more concerned with "Ideological Subversion" (85 percent) which is used to secretly undermine the American government through psychological warfare. Key to this program is to change the perception of reality using subliminal brainwashing techniques over an extended period of time. As I've written in the past, people act on their perceptions of reality, regardless if it is correct or fallacious. They are not so much concerned with facts as they are in perspectives and self interests. By controlling the perceptions of people, they become more prone to make erroneous conclusions thereby simplifying the manipulation of the masses. The objective of the KGB program, therefore, is to program people into dismissing true facts as fallacious even in spite of the obvious.
As Bezmenov explains in the interview, there are four steps to transform the thinking and behavior of the population:
1. Demoralization - this is a process which can take about 15-30 years to perform (a generation). During this stage, the moral fibre and integrity of the country is put into question, thereby creating doubt in the minds of the people. To do so, manipulation of the media and academia is required to influence young people. As the younger generation embraces new values, such as Marxism and Leninism, the older generation slowly loses control simply through attrition. Again, true facts no longer matter during this stage, but rather creating perceptions are of paramount importance.
2. Destabilization - the purpose of this step is to change the status quo, particularly the country's economy, foreign relations, and defense systems. The intent is to create a massive government permeating society and becoming intrusive in the lives of its citizens. This can take from two to five years to perform, again with the active support of academia pushing youth in this direction. Here, entitlements and benefits are promised to the populace to encourage their support. Basically, they are bribing the people to accept their programs.
Bezmenov claims after this stage is completed, the naive college professors are no longer needed and since they will undoubtedly protest government policies when they discover the truth, they will be disposed of quickly. He cites examples of this occurring in Nicaragua, Grenada, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
3. Crisis - this is a major step lasting up to six weeks and involves a revolutionary change of power. This is where a cataclysmic event upsets and divides the country thereby creating panic among the citizens. Recent examples include the 2011 upheavals in the Middle East, most notably Egypt and Libya. To Americans, symptoms would include circumventing the Constitution and altering the checks and balances of government, and possibly martial law.
4. Normalization - the final stage is where the populace finally acquiesces and begins to assimilate communism. This can take up to two decades to complete.
Bezmenov claimed the first step, Demoralization, was completed well before his 1985 interview. In fact, the Russians were surprised how easily it had been performed. One clear indicator of the moral decay of the country is the decline of organized religion which, historically, has been a beacon for morality, but now it is in retreat. He also thought step two was nearing completion in 1985 but I believe he underestimated the rise and popularity of Ronald Reagan as president, which led to the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union in 1991, and the shift to the War on Terror following 9/11. Nonetheless, many would argue America is now realizing Bezmenov's scenario in 2012, particularly as the November elections loom ahead. This means the third step is in the offing which has a lot of people frightened for America's future.
Yuri Bezmenov died in 1993 never realizing his prophecy, and hopefully it will never come to fruition, that we will remain a free and democratic Republic bound to the U.S. Constitution. However, as Bezmenov reminds us, communism requires simple patience and perseverance to alter the perceptions of the people. The only way to thwart it is to practice due diligence and not let it go unchallenged.
"America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."
- Joseph Stalin
"The press is our chief ideological weapon."
- Nikita Khrushchev
Keep the Faith!
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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.