I am shocked at how many support Trump. Trump stands for racism, sexism, misogyny, xenophobia, divide and conquer, anti-environment, elimination of separation of church and state (anti-abortion, removal of Roe v Wade is a religious issue), white supremacy, MAGA (means go back to when black’s, minorities’ and women’s rights were not protected), elimination of the middle class, attacks on social security and health care for all, and tax breaks for the rich at the expense of the poor. A vote for Trump, Trumpism, and the GOP is a vote for these evils which must now be eliminated and replaced with equal rights for all. These people who vote for Trump make excuses. But when you vote for Trump, you are actually voting for a platform which is a statement of your own, anti-American values. We are better than what we have become under Trumpism. You Trumpets have turned America into a dictatorship, no better than Russia and China. Get that. When you get that be ashamed and correct course before we turn into Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Trump and Trumpism utilize Active Measures and Stochastic Terrorism to control, manipulate and mind control America. It will take a while to deprogram ourselves. We have been duped.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Active measures (Russian: активные мероприятия, romanized: aktivnye meropriyatiya) is political warfare conducted by the Soviet or Russian government since the 1920s. It includes offensive programs such as disinformation, propaganda, deception, sabotage, destabilization, espionage. The programs were based on foreign policy priorities of the Soviet Union.
Active measures were conducted by the Soviet and Russian security services (Cheka, OGPU, NKVD, KGB, FSB) to influence the course of world events, in addition to collecting intelligence and producing revised assessments of it. Active measures range “from media manipulations to special actions involving various degrees of violence”. Beginning in the 1920s,they were used both abroad and domestically.
Active measures includes the establishment and support of international front organizations (e.g., the World Peace Council); foreign communist, socialist and opposition parties; wars of national liberation in the Third World. It also included supporting underground, revolutionary, insurgency, criminal, and terrorist groups. Further the programs counterfeited official documents, assassinations, and political repression, such as penetration into churches, and persecution of political dissidents. The intelligence agencies of Eastern Bloc states also contributed to the program, providing operatives and intelligence for assassinations and other types of covert operations.
Retired KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin, former Head of Foreign Counter Intelligence for the KGB (1973-1979), described active measures as “the heart and soul of Soviet intelligence“:”Not intelligence collection, but subversion: active measures to weaken the West, to drive wedges in the Western community alliances of all sorts, particularly NATO, to sow discord among allies, to weaken the United States in the eyes of the people of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and thus to prepare ground in case the war really occurs.”
According to the Mitrokhin Archives, active measures was taught in the Andropov Institute of the KGB situated at Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) headquarters in Yasenevo District of Moscow. The head of the “active measures department” was Yuri Modin, former controller of the Cambridge Five spy ring.
As early as 1923, Joseph Stalin ordered the creation of a Special Disinformation Office. It is theorized that Joseph Stalin himself coined the term “disinformation” in 1923 by giving it a French sounding name in order to deceive other nations into believing it was a practice invented in France. The noun “disinformation” does not originate from Russia, it is a translation of the French word désinformation. But French etymologists reject the origin of the word to the Soviet Union between the World War I and the World War II.
Active measures’ mission was first limited to black propaganda and disinformation (“spreading false and misleading information, often of the slanderous sort”). The Soviet Union did not start propaganda abroad before the appointment of Vladimir Semichastny as head of the KGB in 1961. From that year on a new department called Directorate D was created by the First Chief Directorate of the KGB. The letter “D” stood for “Disinformation”. The unique purpose of this directorate was to invent and to spread sophisticated forms of disinformation with a focus on Western Europe.
The first person to be named head of the Directorate D was Colonel Ivan Agayants. He was an easygoing, smiling, and witty intellectual born in Armenia. He was a polyglot and fluent in French. Prior to this Agayants had been sent twice in intelligence missions in Paris, first from 1937 to 1940 then from 1947 to 1949, where he recruited numerous French sources. In 1949 he was appointed head of the Western European Department of the Ministry for State Security (MGB) upon his return in Soviet Union.
Agayants was also an expert in deception and forgery, and so he had a global and exhaustive perception of the greater potential power and effectiveness of this compound of knowledge that limited to operations in intelligence and support to them. So much so that the latter set of eclectic methods, techniques, and means that each could not always qualify as disinformation formally speaking, actually was a global capacity serving a unique and particular objective entirely opposite to what espionage is about; so, without a name that could clearly denote what it was exactly.
Additionally, all those very varied measures consisted in imagining, creating, and then exporting “finished abstracts products and services” to the Western World, and to an entirely different type of agents, since the role of the latter was to spread information instead of collecting it. To highlight the latter difference, intelligence essentially is a set of passive measures all aiming to watching and listening things and notions to be imported and analyzed; whereas the job of Agayants and of his Directorate was to fabricating things and notions to be exported and spread as largely as possible. All the latter therefore were active provisions or measures, whose particular natures implied an extreme secrecy that only an intelligence agency could handle.
That is how and why, at some point of an evolution toward eclecticism, the missions of the directorate of Agayants could hardly be qualified otherwise than “actives or special provisions or measures,” vaguely and for wants of any precise and clear word as “espionage” can be. Note in passing that the same applies to another compound of similarly actives and eclectic missions, rather relevant to measures of paramilitary and criminal natures, named “special operations,” with the same vagueness, in Western intelligence agencies, due to the identical difficulty in being specific.
From its inception, and under the leadership of Agayants, the Directorate D had proved an instant and huge success in misleading the target countries of the Soviet Union, and in sowing discord and disorder among their populations, thus distancing them usefully from their political establishments and leaders. These results awarded enormous additional funds to this sub-body of the First Chief Directorate, which thenceforth recruited steadily and massively. Sometimes between the 1960s and the 1970s, the Directorate D is said to have recruited the amazing number of up to 10,000 full-time employees.
Circa 1967, the name Directorate D was changed for Service A, the letter standing this time for “Active Measures”. The change accompanied three events of importance. First, the health of Colonel Agayants was ailing seriously and incapacitated him. Second, the man chosen to take over the position was Yuri Modin. Modin eventually made a reputation for himself in all Western intelligence agencies, by being known as case officer of the “Cambridge Five” from 1948 to 1951, and then as “controller” (supervisor) of their new case officers until 1963. In passing, it should be said that the job of the Cambridge Five was essentially relevant to offensive counterespionage at some point; that is to say, deception, of which Modin became a specialist ultimately, almost the same way Agayants did when he was entrusted intelligence missions in France. Most likely, Agayants played a role of considerable importance in the gradual rise of Soviet influence in France from the end the WWII to 1960, by doing the same job as Modin did in Britain from 1948 to 1963.
The change from directorate to service was not of pure form, because the active measures, by then, had evolved toward a doctrine, with its own rules and highly organized proceedings that together not only was changing the way the whole KGB was working, but even the strategy of the Soviet governmental apparatus. Therefore, the thinking body Agayants had created had gained an importance that justified greater trust in its staff of managers, thinkers, and experts, and greater secrecy around its existence and works. Indeed, active measures yielded even greater results that the espionage activities of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB itself, since it was in capacity to take over foreign countries silently, instead of just spying on them.
Agayants died on May 12, 1968, from tuberculosis he had contracted in the 1930s, one year after he was named Deputy Head of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB, a promotion that was more a reward for his accomplishments than effective, and perhaps even of pure form given the influence he had gradually gained over the entire KGB, as its eminence grise. Today, Agayants is regarded in the SVR RF as master in camouflage (“maskirovka”) and deception, founding father of the active measures, famous figure in the history of Soviet intelligence and even of Russia as it is nowadays. Indeed, at their inception, active measures based conceptually on military camouflage, from which the practice extended to more abstract applications and forms fitting the missions of the Soviet intelligence service.
Active measures are presented as a largely encompassing doctrine in intelligence, originally and directly inspired by the purpose of camouflage in the military and in wartime, well-named mackирoвка (maskirovka) in Russian. For maskirovka means, “disguise,” “disguising (oneself),” “masking,” and “concealment,” which sounds less military, already. Note the interesting root “mask,” here taken from the other Russian word mackа (maska), which means, “mask” literally, and “guise”.
Active measures gradually extended to politics and foreign affairs as a surer and more sophisticated means to conceal real aims today we use to call, “hidden agenda”. This was shrouded in an all-Soviet perception and definition of intelligence, which fundamentally differs from these of the Western World. Service A remained the name of the KGB department responsible for active measures until the dissolution of this foreign intelligence service, in 1991.
Not only the active measures resumed in the Russian Federation, but since the late 1960s, it had evolved to a far-reaching doctrine whose application encompasses intelligence operations, foreign affairs, industry and business, and domestic politics, in order to enforce a coherence in a global action of conquests abroad. For a while, the U.S. intelligence community had an Active Measures Working Group, created in 1981 under the presidency of Ronald Reagan to strike back against Soviet active measures, precisely. This particular body was dismantled circa 1992, on the grounds that the Soviet Union had disappeared and several other arguments, although its final report, published in June of that latter year, warned of the existence of several ongoing Russian hostile actions against the United States, indeed relevant to active measures.
In a book he published in 2019, Dominique Poirier, former employee of the French intelligence service, DGSE, and specialist in influence and disinformation in this agency, explains that the Soviet active measures actually gathered an informal series of practices and tactics in intelligence and foreign affairs that the Nazis had been the first to use, much earlier in the 1930. The idea of the Nazis had been to integrate industry, business, and domestic politics in actions in intelligence, as a logical consequence of a perception of the state as an “organic entity,” that is to say, an inseparable whole. The concept of “living organic state” was first imagined in the early 1900s by Friedrich Ratzel, for he actually graduated in zoology and became a self-taught geographer while traveling and working as journalist to make a living. Ratzel had given the noun “raum,” or “vital space” to his perception of the state. In 1905, Swedish political scientist and politician Rudolf Kjellén perfected it and renamed it “staatsbiologie,” or “biology of the state,” at the same time he coined the word “geopolitik”.
The theories of Ratzel and Kjellén influenced German economist and theoretician of Socialism Werner Sombart, who became one of the most influential sociologists in Nazi Germany between 1931 and 1938. The concept of the Nation-State as biological entity, multicellular, along with the other concept of “autarchy” that Sombart also borrowed to Ratzel and Kjellén and shared with Hitler, all along pervades his discourse. Sombart, as a socialist ideologue and exponent of economic planning, was unable to see the industry otherwise than as a feature of capitalism serving individualistic profit. He introduced in the Nazi economy this biological perception, whose theory he explained in an essay he first published in 1934. In this same book, Sombart also defended the virtues of propaganda.
From the concept of Kjellén, Adolf Hitler extended deception to diplomacy, foreign affair, industry and business since they were integral to the notion of “living organic state” either. Thus, Hitler informally established a gathering of guidelines that the Soviets took up decades later and named “active measures,” exemplified below.
All along the 1930s, Hitler had fighter planes and bombers designed and built, a secret enterprise camouflaged under the appearances of sport race planes and airliners building, to constitute a powerful air force in violation of the Versailles Treaty of June 1919. The trainings of pilots for those fighter planes also were camouflaged under pretenses of aerial acrobatics and sail gliding clubs through Hitler’s youth movement. Whereas in German factories, tens of thousands of workers mass-produced armaments, also in secrecy and, again, camouflaged under varied pretenses, All this while German diplomats were negotiating concessions on the Versailles Treaty, on claims of good intentions, self-defense, and of regaining sovereignty, also to rebuild a war navy with a focus on submarines. At the same time, German industrialists in business trips abroad all consistently lied about what was secretly underway in their country. Germans investors tried to produce films in Hollywood, touting the virtues of the new and peaceful German society under Nazism while the Olympic Games were unfolding in Berlin.
When he started the war, Hitler contrived to launch all his attacks on the eve of weekends, knowing that the decision-makers of the countries he invaded were all gone from offices on Saturdays and Sundays. Blitzkrieg was the word meaning swiftly waging war, catching the adversary by surprise … before Monday! The scheme Hitler found to justify his invasion of Poland, with the attack of the radio station of Gleiwitz (Gleiwitz incident) by few German commandos, disguised in Polish soldiers, who from this place broadcast false anti-German propaganda, epitomizes what Soviet tricks were not until the 1960s.
“To succeed in all this, the whole German Nation first had to partake in it, or to be also deceived.
Circa 1980, the French foreign intelligence service, DGSE, imported and adopted the active measures as a doctrine regulating deception in diplomacy and foreign affairs, organized by the Intelligence and Security Service, whereas another service with a specialty in influence and “counterinterference” (counterinfluence) plans it in domestic politics.
The theory of active measures
As taught to experts in information warfare, modern active measures in the 21st century subsume a variety of disciplines that are, first, epistemology, and then semiology, complex systems as a subset of systems theory, fuzzy logic, and a variety of forms of nonverbal communication recently associated in the Western World under the name meta-communication. During these teachings, the theory of active measures is exemplified in an abstract fashion with the other disciplines of chaos theory, fractal, and cellular automaton.
Simultaneously, as active measures purport to change courses of actions in people or to elicit actions from them, either consciously or unconsciously, future experts in this field learn fundamentals in an evolution of behaviorism called “behavioral biology”. It may come as a surprise to the Westerner that the reading and understanding of The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) by Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan is mandatory, in addition to a gathering of varied facts and notions relevant to psychology, Freudian psychoanalysis, advertising, public relations, and marketing.
Active measures are generally designed to influence or to manipulate large collective bodies of individuals such as crowds and masses; that is to say, greater than a hundred of people. However, active measures occasionally aim groups of people, from two or three to a hundred. In all cases, an important distinction must be made between influencing and manipulating collective bodies of individuals. Manipulating is tampering with unconscious parts of the brain, whereas influencing is addressing the conscious parts of the brain. Nonetheless, persuasion often is part of a manipulation at some point; that is to say, subsumed in a contrivance that is a manipulation. Therefore, manipulating largely relies on this “confidential” and Eastern evolution of behaviorism that is behavioral biology.
Very often, actives measures actually aim to mislead the masses above all, including in the country in which they are designed, but not the intelligence community of a target country and its political leaders. Three reasons justify the latter particularity. The first is that intelligence agencies, political leaders, and certain senior public servants are more difficult to deceive than the public that is always left ignorant of many facts and realities, essentially relevant to real-world politics or realpolitik. The second is that the political apparatus always has a stake in hiding the latter realities, which include the active measures of which it is the target, as the latter largely rely on this ignorance, precisely.
As a result, informing the public on an ongoing hostile action of active measures, of which indeed it is the first victim, may entail problems more difficult to solve than if saying nothing; analogous, metaphorically, to the dilemma of having to extinguish with water a fire caused by a high-voltage wire. The third reason is that it often pays more to alter the judgment of large masses of people than that of the political apparatus that governs them, since the goal generally and ultimately is to turn the former against the latter, or / and against the scale of values and beliefs maintaining the stability of their country.
In a large number of instances, actives measures in the 21st century proceed by an array of methods subsumed in a general action called сенсибилизация (“siencibilizatz’iya”), which noun with no real equivalent in English could be spelled “sensibilization,” meaning “awareness raising”. According to Dominique Poirier, the Service A of the KGB coined the word circa March 1968. An action of awareness raising in active measures may aim to influence the opinion of the public in one’s own country or that of a foreign country or both, and its goal is to make masses of people receptive to a concern that may be either true and founded, or false and ill-founded in reality, or neither entirely true and founded nor entirely false and ill-founded but “somewhere between these two absolutes”. The latter hypothesis, which often is expected in active measures, is explained and ruled by the disciplines of fuzzy logic and chaos theory, and generally aims to breed doubt, confusion, or inhibition, and then angst, discontent, or fear in the minds of people.
A modern action of active measures focusing on awareness raising often includes a manipulation that consists in altering the meaning of words, instead of creating new ones because this proves more efficient on the long term. At the simplest, altering the meaning of a word consist in gradually giving to it a positive or a negative connotation, knowing that the word in question was about neutral and did not communicate any strong feeling initially. As examples, typical and well known in politics and society nowadays, “right is bad, nasty, and hazardous,” “left is good, loving, and caring,” “blond, clear, bright, and shiny are of bad taste,” “brown, dark, tern, and dim are of good taste”.
In the view of the Russians, words, and the exact meanings they convey, matter more than in Western countries, where the importance of this notion still is taken lightly or even dismissed, whence the success of the Russians in inhibiting the Western society with the concept of “political correctness,” essentially based on new meanings given to words and on the power that can be derived from those alterations. To put the latter explanation otherwise, how to cripple a nation by altering the meanings of its own language and by closely associating violence to as many of its words as possible, in order to ʻpoisonʼ them. The process is invisible because it does not consist in creating new words carrying in themselves influence, but in altering instead the meaning of words that exist already, by converting nouns into adjectives or the reverse, as (most frequent) example … Thus, it is possible indeed to sow discord that seems to erupt and to grow naturally within a nation while the unenlightened observer will perceive the process as a society that self-destructs or ʻsuicides,ʼ again ʼentirely by its ownʻ.
A striking particularity of the doctrine of active measures is that those who are involved in it, unwillingly and unwittingly, or willingly and wittingly alike, must take the lies they spread as truths and believe them themselves, until they thus become a reality accepted as such by everyone and that the intent to deceive be finally forgotten. This implies the no less surprising facts that follow.
As a matter of fact, the conscious practitioner of active measures sums them up with the epigrammatic formula, ʻI advance masked,ʼ or Я заранее в масках, in Russian, and J’avance masqué in French [as the foreign intelligence agency of France relies on the same principles, today]. Therefrom, everything the enlightened practitioner of active measures contrives, undertakes, and does, has to be ʻcamouflagedʼ. Then, on the long term, being a practitioner of active measures must transform into a second nature. As examples, you go to buy a pack of cigarettes, then say you go to the bakery to anyone is asking to you where you are heading. You are disappointed or angry about something, therefore, show you are pleased with it.
You are very glad to hear this, therefore, show you are not so. You are working in an office in a known place where you commonly welcome co-workers and guests, yet all very important and highly sensitive matters are debated in a room underground, formerly a cellar you transformed into a comfy place fitted out with some chairs and a table—called ʻchambre conspirativeʼ (conspiracy room). You are the CEO of the company, yet your accountant is the real boss and your watchdog. Then by extension, sometimes, you live in a large and comfortable house or mansion, yet it is not yours in reality. Your car is old or looks as a wreck, yet it has good tires, a powerful engine under the hood, and everything is mechanic is well serviced. And so on, and on.