The Science of Subversion

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There is a hidden army working to subvert the United States and it is commanded from Moscow. Almost no one suspects the army's existence, its aims or objectives. The primary mission of this army is not espionage, but influence operations; not spying but manipulating. The operational methods of this army have been scientifically worked out, and are continually updated. Consider a representative training manual, published by Vladimir Kastorniy on the Internet under the heading: "Classic technique for agent recruitment under current conditions." It was written to instruct Russian intelligence operatives on the art of turning targeted individuals into agents. Kastorniy's Web site deals with psychological operations and methods of Russia's special services and military. The text covers such topics as the identification of candidates for recruitment, how to develop these candidates, and how to hook them.

Before any recruitment begins,  you have to find the right person. This is called "choosing a suitable object." As time advances certain people attract the attention of the Russian services, either because they are a celebrities, politicians, strategists, journalists, or scientists. A banker or tycoon, a CEO or corporate president, may become a valuable asset. Initially the Russian services learn about the subject through his friends and acquaintances. Next, there is the possibility of contacting him directly, of watching his actions, of reading his published letters, articles, and reports. The Russian intelligence officers consider the candidate's political sympathies, opinions, enthusiasms, disappointments and vices. Is he in debt? Is he a womanizer? Does he drink, use drugs? Is he eaten away by envy? Does he have an exaggerated opinion of his own abilities?

Once the candidate's situation is understood, and his psychological profile drawn, an approach can be made using time-tested methods. If you are recruiting a snobbish intellectual with perverse aspirations, for example, tantalize him with the prospect of secret power over others, or the prospect of operating outside the law with impunity. Offer the subject secret knowledge or insights. Encourage him to steal secret information which will enhance his own cosmic importance.

Tried and true methods of recruitment include:  blackmail and bribery, threats to the person, threats to someone he loves; provoking emotions of revenge, resentment, vanity, enthusiasm, jealousy or compassion. An intelligence officer may also influence a targeted person by playing on his convictions; and last, he may be turned into a zombie through psychological programming. This latter method involves the use of mind control drugs, combined with something the Russians refer to as "multi-level hypnosis." Certain narcotics produce a receptive state which is not remembered after the drug wears off. The subject remembers nothing, though his unconscious mind has been programmed without his knowledge. Certain anesthetics, used during a colonoscopy, are known to produce a mild form of amnesia. The patient will not remember the procedure, and is perfectly pliable throughout. When given specially designed mind control drugs, the subject is highly vulnerable to hypnosis and directed programming; what may be called "zombification."

Once an individual has been recruited, there are special techniques for keeping him on track. There are recommendations on the frequency of handler contact with the target, the use of the carrot and the stick. Of great importance is the iron fist in the velvet glove approach. The intelligence professional must be in total control of the recruited agent. He must be the target's friend, who pretends to care about the well-being of the target. This is the velvet glove aspect. At the same time, a threat of destruction is ready and visible as a last resort.

An intelligence officer threatens pleasantly, with apologies and deep concern. "We don't want to see you hurt." If the recruit is amenable, you reward him handsomely with money. You offer him career assistance in exchange for continued cooperation. Through other agents you may secure the recruit a promotion, a professional award, even a Nobel Prize.  Swindling and deceiving the recruit is permitted. As the Russian text says, you may "hang spaghetti on his ears." Tell the recruit anything that promises to flatter his vanity or excite his enthusiasm. For example, you may tell him that Vladimir Putin reads his reports and finds them useful.

In the case of a "zombie," you maintain his recruitment by periodic reinforcement of the subject's psychological programming. Zombies need to be refreshed at predetermined intervals. Refreshing disables the subject's free will. He then remains obedient to his master. If the zombie is not refreshed, he may revert to pre-recruitment patterns of thought and behavior. Therefore, a regular schedule of meetings must be observed. If the subject is a politician, it is best to recruit and refresh him on Russian territory. This may even be accomplished inside the Russian Embassy in Washington.

When dealing with recruited agents, the most dangerous problem is the double agent. How do you know if a recruit has become a double agent? Through various tests, like specially conceived provocations, or careful monitoring, you should be able to test his loyalty. You may even hook the recruit up to a lie detector, telling him that it was not your idea but that of an angry boss who will be embarrassed when the recruit's honesty is finally verified. According to the text, the loyalty of an agent greatly depends on his moral foundations. In other words, his basic reliability as a "special friend."

Last, but not least, is the question of eliminating a dangerous witnesses. In the case of a recruited congressman, for example, you might have to create an international incident by shooting down his plane.  Perhaps you will give him a drug that will induce a heart attack, or he will die in a car crash.  "If the agent is a dangerous witness," says the text, "and there is no guarantee that he will be silent, you must use radical means to protect your organization, including the physical liquidation of the agent. This is better accomplished by other hands, or under 'accidental' circumstances." In the case of a zombie, you may use a special technique to 'erase' his memory.

There is a hidden army in our midst. Its operations are continuous, its objectives unchanged. You may deny the existence of this army, but you will be influenced by its work when you watch the evening news, or listen to political commentary on the radio.

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About JR Nyquist