G. EDWARD GRIFFIN INTERVIEWS YURI BEZMENOV, SOVIET DEFECTOR (1984)
Griffin: “Mr. Bezmenov, I’d like to begin by having you tell us a little bit about your childhood memories.”
Bezmenov: “Well, the most vivid memory of my childhood was the end of the Second World War when suddenly the United States turned from a partner, which helped us defeat Nazism, into a deadly enemy. It was shocking because the newspapers were presenting an image of aggressive American imperialism. We were taught that the United States was a belligerent power planning to invade our beautiful, free, socialist country; that the CIA was dropping Colorado beetles on our potato fields. Every schoolchild had a picture of the Colorado beetle on the back of their notebook, and we were instructed to go into collective fields to search for those little Colorado beetles. Of course, we could not find any; neither could we find many potatoes, and that was blamed on decadent, imperialist American power, as well. The anti-American paranoia and hysteria in the Soviet propaganda was of such a degree that many people believed that the United States was about to invade our motherland and some secretly hoped that it would come true.”
G: “That’s interesting!”
G: “We are getting back to life inside the Soviet Union, or inside communist countries in general… In the United States, at the university level, we read and hear that the Soviet system is different from ours, but not that different; that there is a convergence developing between the various world systems and that it does not make a difference what system you live under because you have corruption and dishonesty and tyranny. From your personal experience, what is the difference between life under communism and life in the United States?”
B: “Well, life is obviously much different for the simple reason that the Soviet Union is a state-capitalist system where an individual has absolutely no rights, no value; he is just an insect; he is disposable.”
G: “Mr. Bezmenov, we read a lot about the concentration camps and the slave labor camps under the Stalin regime. Now, the general impression in America is that those things are part of the past. Are they still going on today? What is their status?”
B: “Yes. There is no qualitative change in the Soviet concentration camp system. There are changes in numbers of prisoners. Soviet statistics are unreliable. We do not know how many political prisoners are in the Soviet camps. We can presume that at any given time, there are between 25 & 30 million Soviet citizens in forced labor camps — the entire population of a country like Canada.”
B: “I would say those intellectuals who try to convince the American public that the concentration camp system is a thing of the past are either consciously misleading the public or are intellectually dishonest.”
G: “Well, we’ve spoken about the intellectuals in this country and also the intellectuals in the Soviet Union. What about the public at large? Do the people, the working people, the workers in the Soviet Union, do they support the system, and do they tolerate it, what is their attitude?”
B: “Well, the average Soviet citizen — if there is such an animal — does not like the system because it hurts, it kills. He may not understand the reasons; he may not have enough information or educational background to understand, but I doubt there are many who consciously support the Soviet system. Even those who have reasons to enjoy socialism, people like myself, who were members of the journalistic elite, also hate the system, not because they lack material affluence, but because they are unfree to think; they are in constant fear.”
G: “What do you think are the chances of the people actually overcoming their system or replacing it?”
B: As long as the Soviet junta is supported by the so-called Western (read: American) imperialists — multinational companies, establishments, governments, and intellectuals (academia in the United States is famous for supporting the Soviet system) — and as long as the Soviet junta receive credits, money, technology, grain deals, and political recognition from traitors of democracy and freedom, there is no hope. There is not much hope for changes in my country, and the system will not collapse by itself, because it is nourished by American imperialism. This is the Great Paradox: the capitalist world supports and actively nourishes its own destroyer!”
G: “Hmm. I think you are trying to tell us something in this country.”
B: “Oh, yes. I’m trying to tell you that it has to be stopped, unless you want to end up in a Gulag system and ‘enjoy’ all the ‘advantages’ of socialist equality: working for free, catching flees on your body, sleeping on planks of plywood — in Alaska this time. That’s where Americans will be headed, unless they wake up and force their government to stop aiding and abetting Soviet Fascism.”
B: “I was a member of the Department of Research and Counter-Propaganda. It had nothing to do with either research or counter-propaganda. Most of the activity of that department was to compile a vast volume of information on individuals who were instrumental in creating public opinion: publishers, editors, journalists, actors, educators, professors of political science, members of parliament, and representatives of business circles. Most of these people were divided into two groups: those sympathetic to Soviet foreign policy, who would be promoted to positions of power through media and public opinion manipulation and those likely to refuse the Soviet influence. The latter would be character-assassinated or executed. Much as in the town of Huê in South Vietnam. Several thousand Vietnamese were executed in one night when the city was captured by the Vietcong. The CIA could never figure out how the communists could know the identity of every individual: where he lives, where to get him. Thousands were arrested in one night, in roughly a span of four hours, put on a van, taken out of the city, and shot. How?
The answer is very simple. Long before communists occupied the city, an extensive network of communist informers, local Vietnamese citizens, knew absolutely everything about people who were instrumental in public opinion, including barbers and taxi drivers. Everyone who was sympathetic to the United States was executed. The same thing was done under the guidance of the Soviet embassy in Hanoi, and again in New Delhi. To my horror, I discovered names of pro-Soviet journalists with whom I was personally friendly!”
B: “Yes! They were idealistically-minded leftists who made several visits to the USSR, and yet the KGB decided they would have to go.”
B: “Because they knew too much. The useful idiots — the leftists who were ideologically aligned with the Soviet program — become the worst enemies. That is why my KGB instructors made a point, ‘Never bother with leftists! Forget about these political prostitutes! Aim higher.’ This was my instruction: ‘Try to get into large-circulation, established, conservative media! Reach filthy rich filmmakers, intellectuals — cynical, egocentric people who can look into your eyes with an angelic expression and tell you a lie!’ These are the most pliant people — people who lack morals, who are either too greedy or suffer from self-importance. These are the people who the KGB wanted to recruit.”
G: “But to eliminate the others, to execute the others… Wouldn’t they be the ones to rely on?”
B: “No. They serve a purpose only during a nation’s destabilization phase. For example, your leftists in the United States — the professors, civil rights defenders, etc. — they are instrumental in the process of subversion in the service of destabilization. When their job is completed, they are not needed anymore; they know too much. Some of them, when they get disillusioned — when they see that Marxist-Leninists come to power — get offended, as they thought that they would be elevated, but that will never happen. They will be lined up against the wall and shot. If they are not dealt with, they may turn into bitter enemies of Marxist-Leninists when they come to power. That is what happened in Nicaragua, you remember: former Marxist-Leninists either were put in prison, or were flipped to work against Sandinistas. It happened in Grenada when Marxist Maurice Bishop was executed by a new Marxist who was more Marxist than he was. The same happened in Afghanistan when Taraki was killed by Amin, and then Amin was killed by Babrak Kamal with the help of the KGB. The same happened in Bangladesh when Mujibur Rahman, a pro-Soviet leftist, was assassinated by his own comrades. It is the same pattern everywhere: the moment they’ve served their purpose, the useful idiots are executed, exiled or imprisoned.”
G: “You spoke several times about ideological subversion. Some Americans do not understand that phrase. When the Soviets use the phrase “ideological subversion”, what do they mean?”
B: “Ideological subversion is the process which is legitimate, overt, and open; you can see it with your own eyes. All you have to do — all American mass media has to do — is unplug the bananas from their ears, open their eyes, and they can see it! There is no mystery. It has nothing to do with espionage. I know that espionage and intelligence gathering appears romantic (that is why Hollywood producers are crazy about James-Bond-type of thrillers), but the main emphasis of the KGB is not in the area of intelligence at all! Only about 15% of time, money, and labor is spent on espionage. The other 85% is a slow process which we call “ideological subversion”, “active measures” (AKTIVNIYE MEROPRIYATIYA, in the language of the KGB), or “psychological warfare”. What it means is to change the perception of reality, of every American, to such an extent that, despite their abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interests of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country, against communism. It is a slow process divided into four stages.
The first stage is demoralization.
It takes 15 to 20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that long? This is the minimum number of years required to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy (United States), exposed to the ideology of their enemy (Sino-Russian Axis). In other words: Marxist-Leninist ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students, without being challenged or counter-balanced by the basic values of Americanism and American patriotism. The result? Most of the people who graduated in the sixties, dropouts or half-baked intellectuals, are now occupying the positions of power in government, civil service, business, mass media, and education. You are stuck with them. You cannot get rid of them. They are contaminated, they are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern. You cannot change their mind, even if you expose them to authentic information, even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still cannot change the basic perception and logical behavior. In other words, in these people, the process of demoralization is complete and irreversible. To get rid of the society of these people, you need another 15 to 20 years to educate a new generation of patriotically-minded and common-sense people who would act in the favor and interests of the United States.”
G: “And yet, these people have been programmed and, as you say, are placed in positions of power and are aligned with Soviet ideology. But these are the people who would be marked for extermination in this country?”
B: “Most of them, yes. When they see, in the future, what the “beautiful society of equality and social justice” means in actual practice, they will revolt. They will be unhappy, frustrated people, and the Marxist-Leninist regime does not tolerate these people. Obviously, they will join the ranks of dissenters and dissidents. Unlike in the present United States, there will be no place for dissent in a future Marxist-Leninist America. In the present, you can get popular like Daniel Ellsberg and filthy rich like Jane Fonda for being a “dissident”. In the future, these people will be squashed like cockroaches! This they do not understand and it will be the greatest shock for them. The demoralization process in the United States is completed. In fact, demoralization has proven more successful than could have been imagined by Comrade Andropov in his wildest dreams. Most of it is done by Americans to Americans, thanks to lack of morals. As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter anymore. A person, who is demoralized, is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him. Even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents, with pictures, even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him concentration camps, he will refuse to believe it. When the jackboot crashes into his balls, then he will understand, but not before that. That is the tragedy of the situation of demoralization. America is stuck with demoralization. Even if you start right now, here, this moment, to educate a new generation of Americans, it will still take you 15 to 20 years to turn the tide of ideological perception of reality back to normalcy and patriotism.
The next stage is destabilization.
This time, the subversive does not care about your ideas and the patterns of your consumption. Whether you eat junk food and get fat and flabby does not matter any more. This time, and it takes only from 2-to-5 years to destabilize a nation, what matters is essentials: economy, foreign relations, and defense systems. You can see it quite clearly that in some areas, in such sensitive areas as defense and economy, the influence of Marxist-Leninist ideas in the United States is fantastic. I could never believe it 14 years ago when I landed in this part of the world that the process would go that fast.
The next stage is crisis.
It may take only up to six weeks (!) to bring a country to the verge of crisis. You can see it in Central America now. After crisis, with a violent change of power structure and economy, you have the so-called period of “normalization” which may last indefinitely.
“Normalization” is a cynical expression borrowed from Soviet propaganda. When the Soviet tanks moved into Czechoslovakia in 1968, Comrade Brezhnev said, “Now the situation in Czechoslovakia is normalized”. This is what will happen in the United States –- if you allow your traitors to bring the country to crisis. To promise people all kinds of goodies and paradise on earth. To destabilize your economy. To eliminate the principle of free-market competition. To put big-brother-government in Washington, DC, with dictators like Walter Mondale who will promise many things, never mind whether the promises are fulfilled or not. He will go to Moscow to kiss the bottoms of a new generation of Soviet assassins. He will create the false impression that the situation is under control. The situation is not under control. The situation is disgustingly out of control!
American politicians, the media, and the public educational system train generation after generation to think they are living in peacetime. False! The United States is in a state of war! Undeclared, total war against the basic principles and foundation of the system! The initiator of this war is not Comrade Andropov, of course, but the World Communist System, or the World Communist Conspiracy, however ridiculous that may sound! Whether I scare some people or not, I do not give a hoot.
If you are not scared by now, nothing can scare you!
Unless the United States wakes up, it has but a few years to live on. The time bomb is ticking. With every passing second, the disaster is coming closer and closer. Unlike myself, you will have nowhere to which you may defect, unless you want to live in Antarctica with penguins. This is it; this is the last country of freedom and possibility.”
G: “So, what do we do? What is your recommendation to the American people?”
B: “Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is, of course, a strong national effort to educate people in the spirit of real patriotism.
Secondly, explain to them the real danger of the socialist-communist state and big-brother-government. If people fail to grasp the impending danger of that development, nothing can help the United States; you may kiss your freedom goodbye.
Thirdly, now (1984), part of the United States population is convinced that the danger is real. They have to force their government — and I’m not talking about sending letters, signing petitions — I’m talking about forcing the United States government to stop aiding communism, because there is no other problem more burning and urgent than to stop the Soviet military-industrial complex from destroying whatever is left of the free world. This is very easy to do: no credits, no technology, no money, no political or diplomatic recognition, and, of course, no such idiocies as grain deals to the USSR. The Soviet people will be eternally thankful to you if you stop aiding and abetting a bunch of murderers, who sit now in the Kremlin and whom President Reagan respectfully calls “government”. They do not govern anything, least of all the Soviet economy. So, three simple solutions. Nevertheless, they are the only solutions!
Understand what is going on around you! You are not living at a time of peace; you are in a state of war! You have precious little time to save yourselves. You do not have much time, especially if we are talking about the young generation. If we are talking about capitalists, or wealthy executives, they are selling the rope on which they will hang very soon. If they do not stop, if they cannot curb their insatiable desire for profit at any cost and keep on trading with the monster of Soviet Communism, they are going to hang, very soon; and they will pray to be killed, but unfortunately, they will be sent to Alaska.
I know it sounds unpleasant. I know Americans do not like to listen to things that are unpleasant, but I have defected not to tell you the stories about such idiocies as microfilm-James-Bond-type espionage. This is garbage. You do not need espionage anymore. I have come to talk about SURVIVAL! It is a question of survival of the American system. You may ask what it is for me: survival, obviously. Because we are in this boat together now! If we sink, we sink together.
THERE IS NO OTHER PLACE ON THIS PLANET TO DEFECT TO!”
I encourage you to disseminate this interview. Time is of the essence. Feel free to do what you please with the link.
I also encourage you to read, cover to cover, KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn’s book, The Perestroika Deception. Again, time is of the essence.