Below is a part transcript of an interview with Yuri Bezmenov conducted by writer Ed Griffen. The date of the interview is 1984. Mr. Bezmenov was born in 1939 in a suburb of Moscow. He was the son of a high ranking Soviet Army officer. He was educated in the elite schools inside the Soviet Union; and became an expert in Indian culture and Indian languages. He had an outstanding career with Novosti, which was, and still is I should say, the press arm or press agency of the Soviet Union; it turns out this is also a front, for the KGB.
He escaped to the West in 1970 after becoming totally disgusted with the Soviet system; and he did this at great risk to his life. He certainly is one of the worlds outstanding experts on the subject of Soviet propaganda; and disinformation and active measures. Below are some topical excerpts from the 1984 interview.
Ideological subversion is a process which is legitimate, old word, and open. You can see it with your own eyes. All American mass media has to do is to “unplug bananas” from their ears, open up their eyes, and they can see it. There is no mystery.
It has nothing to do with espionage. I know that espionage intelligence gathering looks more romantic. It sells more deodorants through the advertising. That’s probably why your Hollywood producers are so crazy about James Bond types of films. But in reality the main emphasis of the KGB is NOT in the area of intelligence at all.
According to my opinion, and the opinions of many defectors of my caliber, only about 15% of time, money, and manpower is spent on espionage as such. The other 85% is a slow process which we call either ideological subversion, active measures, or psychological warfare. What it basically means is: to change the perception of reality of every American that despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country. It’s a great brainwashing process which goes very slow and is divided into four basic stages.
The first stage being “demoralization”. It takes from 15 to 20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years required to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy exposed to the ideology of [their] enemy. In other words, Marxism-Leninism ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least 3 generation of American students without being challenged or counterbalanced by the basic values of Americanism; American patriotism.
Most of the activity of the department [KGB] was to compile huge amount / volume of information, on individuals who were instrumental in creating public opinion. Publisher, editors, journalists, uh actors, educationalists, professors of political science. Members of parliament, representatives of business circles.
Most of these people were divided roughly into two groups: those who would tow the Soviet foreign policy, they would be promoted to positions of power through media and public manipulation; [and] those who refuse the Soviet influence in their own country would be character assassinated OR executed physically, come Revolution.
Same way as in a small town of Hua in South Vietnam; several thousands of Vietnamese were executed in one night when the city was captured by [the] Viet Cong for only two days; and American CIA could never figure out – how could [the communists] possibly know each Individual, where he lives, where to get him; and [in order that they] would be arrested in one night basically in four hours before dawn, put on a van, driven out of the city limits and shot.
The answer is very simple. Long before communists occupy the city, there was extensive network of informers; local Vietnamese citizens who knew absolutely everything about people who are instrumental in public opinion – including Barbers and Taxi Drivers. Everyone who was sympathetic to United States was executed. Same thing was done under the guidance of the Soviet Embassy in Hanoi, and same thing I was doing in New Delhi.
[..] So basically America is Stuck, with demoralization; and unless, even if you start right now this minute; you start educating new generation of Americans – it will still take you 15 to 20 years to turn the tide of uh, ideological perception of reality; uh back to normalcy and patriotism.
The result? The result you can see — most of the people who graduated in the 60’s, dropouts or half-baked intellectuals, are now occupying the positions of power in the government, civil service, business, mass media, and educational systems. You are stuck with them. You can’t get rid of to them. They are contaminated. They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern [alluding to Pavlov]. You can not 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 can not change the basic perception and the logic of behavior. In other words [for] these people the process of demoralization is complete and irreversible. To rid society of these people you need another 15 or 20 years to educate a new generation of patriotically minded and common sense people who would be acting in favor and in the interests of United States society.
You can see the whole interview on video here.