Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 04, 2019

British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative. The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns. The Institute of Statecraft suggested imposing anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly, also proposed a simultaneous expulsion of a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute. Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:
  • its purposes were not entirely charitable
  • one of its most significant activities, a project known as Integrity Initiative, did not provide public benefit in furtherance of the charity's purposes
  • private benefit to charity trustees was not incidental to the charity's activities that advance its charitable purpose

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

‘Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.’

OSCR‘s view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation’s activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity’s trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees’ decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation’s activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

  • the charity has ceased to undertake any activity related to the Integrity initiative, and this is now undertaken by a non-charitable entity having no legal connection to the charity
  • the charity has ceased to remunerate any of its charity trustees
  • the charity is taking external guidance on governance
  • some charity trustees are to stand down as soon as replacement charity trustees can be identified

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalists to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation:

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department’s ‘Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme’ - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would “respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space”. Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership, as released by 'anonymous', included the Institute of Statecraft, a Media Diversity Institute, Bellingcat, DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network. On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative.

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink


Thanks, B. It's a pity the people of the UK have no foreseeable recourse to stop shadow government operations like this that exist to disinform the people of the UK.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Nov 4 2019 18:27 utc | 1

Speaking of Bellingcat:

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

At Kit Klarenberg's Twitter, there's a long tweet thread further detailing what b has written above. I can't help be wonder how the Monty Python troop would have portrayed the Institute for Statecraft and its parent the Integrity Initiative. It appears that the governments of the English speaking nations became addicted to lying to their citizens @1900 and are unable to kick the habit and instead have actually deepened their addiction. Elsewhere on the planet, it seems that people are learning it's easier to talk straight and transparently with other people and to pool resources and combine efforts to form a community of nations and humanity to better one and all. Seems simple enough to determine which is functional and which isn't.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 18:49 utc | 3

thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale? i agree with @ 1 - noyk - it is unfortunate the uk people are used as guinea pigs on such a regular basis.. i suspect a similar exercise is in operation in canada and the west, although it seems the msm fulfills this role here...

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2019 18:50 utc | 4

Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium:

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5

It seems that often products or organizations, which contain superlatives or anodyne expressions in their names, are generally sketchy...

Posted by: erik | Nov 4 2019 18:54 utc | 6

The Federalist declares it's published a scoop:

"CIA, FBI Informant Was Washington Post Source For Russiagate Smears."

The article details a segment of Russiagate's overall unraveling and outs WaPost's David Ignatius as part of Operation Mockingbird. And I see no reason to dispute the item's conclusion:

"These close connections between the Washington Post’s Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities, and the false reporting that has taken place over the last three-plus years, raise grave concerns that the warfare of the soft coup aimed at President Trump includes using the media to push propaganda."

The longer the above conclusion's denied, the wider the polarization becomes between those guided by facts and those following media fantasies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2019 19:19 utc | 7

james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonetization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.

Posted by: ben | Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8

james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

they're the nuclear rival that don't manufacture many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

Posted by: semiconscious | Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9

The OSCR report includes the Institute for Statecraft’s own description of its purposes, but nothing about its actual operations, other than the ones now being deemed unsatisfactory under the charities law.

So now that the Institute has committed not to run the Integrity Initiative, and not to enrich its trustees, what are its legitimate “charitable” activities that OSCR is kindly allowing it to continue with?

Posted by: David G | Nov 4 2019 20:13 utc | 10

#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Posted by: chet380 | Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11

As an Irish citizen, I think the British deep state - the original deep state -have been very successful at demonising the enemies of ‘freedom’ and ‘civilisation’, the Irish yes, also the Indians, Africans, Germans, french, Spanish, Muslims and now the Russians. Our enemies are not each other rather the deep state. Let’s recognise who our real enemy is

Posted by: James | Nov 4 2019 20:31 utc | 12

@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.

Posted by: Joost | Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13

I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.

Posted by: TEP | Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14

@8 ben / @ 9 semiconscious / @ 11 chet380.. yes, there is that too, but is that it? money as ben says rings true for me mostly... that is mostly how i see this...the agencies seem to be a front for western oligarchs.. the kleptomaniacs want access to all russian resources and have yet to be successful in getting it.. they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine.. the 2014 coop was meant to solidify more of that and poke russia in the eye too..

@ 13 joost... i would watch out for your cat! alas, we all seem to agree it is about wanting to loot russia... we share a similar viewpoint.. it is really sick how so many are ignorant pawns, or worse in all of this.. no wonder i make next to no money working in the music industry... i am in the wrong game and don't share a lack of ethics on such display with all these losers..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2019 21:18 utc | 15

As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Posted by: Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16

Reading through the OCSR's document at the PDF link in B's post, I am surprised (should I be?) that during the entire decade-long period when the Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity, the OCSR did not see fit at any time to remind the organisation of its responsibilities to keep proper records of its activities and decision-making, to provide a proper formal and transparent structure for its activities that could be shown to demonstrate a public benefit, and to have proper formal structures generally for its day-to-day running and governance activities. The Scottish public have every right to hold the OCSR to much higher standards of being a regulatory organisation making sure that charities are run properly as charities and not simply accept those charities' word that they will improve their operations when they have spent 10 long years taking money (some of it taxpayers' money) and misusing it.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 4 2019 21:34 utc | 17

james @15:

they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine..

Ukraine is an economic disaster. Donbas and Crimea were the most valuable parts.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 4 2019 21:46 utc | 18

@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.

Posted by: Ort | Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19

james @4

You ask too many questions... isn't it clear?

We hate THEM 'cause THEY hate US.


Seriously, we've seen the movie and read the book. This is how "Red Scare" McCarthyism works.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 4 2019 22:31 utc | 20

@18 jr... disaster capitalism at its finest!!

@ that is true... can't ver ask too many questions! and, it has been a repeat of mccarthyism.. it's bizarre to see so many otherwise intelligent people swallow this crap.. i think of emptywheel and how i used to think she was smart.. she is so busy looking at the trees, she's incapable of seeing the forest..

Posted by: james | Nov 5 2019 0:10 utc | 21

@16 trisha... thanks... as i have mentioned here at moa numerous times, the book 'paris 1918' by margaret macmillan is an excellent book that gives an overview and discusses exactly what you are talking about.. i can't recommend the book enough..

Posted by: james | Nov 5 2019 0:21 utc | 22

I ploughed through the Kit Klarenberg piece on Sputnik that b linked to and would have wept at the Orwellian inversions of truth in the OIP's 'mission statment' if I'd had any tears left after enduring the recent decades of lies and projection of the Empire's propaganda machine. The Mighty Wurlitzer at corporate-speak indeed. In fact all I could do was laugh like Group Captain Mandrake in Dr Strangelove when confronted with the madness of General Ripper.

Tragically, the opening paragraph of their statement sounded like something Caitlin Johnstone might pen, urging our side to be wary and vigilant of the propaganda of them.

“Democracy cannot thrive without honest, accurate and freely available information about the world around us…We need to know where our information is coming from, we need to know the motives (good, bad or neither) of those providing the information, and be in the habit of thinking critically about everything we read and hear. Every one of us has the right to be properly informed – that knowledge gives us strength. Every one of us shares responsibility for informed engagement and critical thinking, to challenge the powerful and uncover the truth…An engaged population, equipped with clarity and the truth, is the foundation for a world where we can all enjoy greater equality and greater peace.”

"critical thinking"
"challenge the powerful"
"uncover the truth"

They are taking the tools that we need to deal with their perfidy, and pretending that they need to use them to "challenge the powerful and uncover the truth". I found this Orwellian inversion of the truth so chilling that I could only laugh.

In all seriousness, I can only presume that they actually believe their own lies.

Posted by: Ash Naz | Nov 5 2019 0:55 utc | 23

So I can found a charity to educate the public that charities are scams. Here's my first lessons: The Rothschilds are the Red Cross. And my 2nd. The Rothschilds own control of Pacific Gas and Electric.

Posted by: joetv | Nov 5 2019 1:05 utc | 24

Very insightful thing is crystal clear...the amount of money spent on indoctrinating our own people is surely staggering...if counting all of these stink tanks, NGOs and other various swamp's basically a cradle to grave program of mind control.

One has to ask why...?

Why is it so important in our age to have people who are completely bamboozled about the real state of affairs in the world...and even in their own backyard...their workplace etc...?

When did mankind start doing this massive brainwashing of its own populations...?

Surely this wasn't the case in my grandparents' had the local newspaper and the radio, to which you devoted maybe a few minutes of time...since most people back then actually had a proper household to run [often rural] that kept them occupied.

So today we have brainwashing on an absolutely unimaginable scale.

But here is the it actually working as intended...?

I would hope folks are more resilient than to be led around the nose all their lives...but there is also the fact that people need to be taught how to reason for is a skill, but one that is beaten down, not nurtured...we wouldn't want to have independent thinkers now would we...?

Anyway...good to see old underwear salesman bellingcrap right in the thick of things.

Also have to wonder...since so much money is going into much of it is being targeted at places like this...?


Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 5 2019 2:54 utc | 25

The Wolfowitz Doctrine (1992) states that Russia should remain America's main enemy for the forseeable future because it inherited the USSR's nuclear arsenal. At least this is the official rationale.

But there may be another reason. Courtesy from Pepe Escobar's facebook page:

Francis Fukuyama interview: “Socialism ought to come back”

Posted by: vk | Nov 5 2019 3:10 utc | 26

Russians obviously eventually became extremely skeptical of Communist propaganda.

There's a saying in German that I believe goes back to the 19th century: Der luegt wie gedruckt (He lies like a newspaper).

Trump wouldn't have won in 2016 if a lot of people had not become skeptical of the media.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 5 2019 3:17 utc | 27

Good article by Scott Ritter, former US army officer and senior U.N. weapons of mass destruction inspector, about how Syrians especially, but all of us owe a huge thank you to Russia for saving us from the horrors that would’ve come in wider wars if not for Russia’s intervention.

Posted by: PJB | Nov 5 2019 3:30 utc | 28

@22 James ... thanks for the "Paris 1919" book reference, luckily it's available at my local library. For a detailed history of (sadly) another in a long list of America's criminal acts of aggressive war, I highly recommend Russian Sideshow: America's Undeclared War, 1918-1920 by Robert L. Willett.

Posted by: Trisha | Nov 5 2019 4:08 utc | 29

@4 james
Very simple : the system prefers to be judged on its "ennemies" rather than its accomplishments. wich are nil. and its disasters (health, education, pollution) are supposed to be blessings compared to all those terrible ennemies (terrorists, russians, climate, name it).

Posted by: alain | Nov 5 2019 6:04 utc | 30

all evil plannings of the last decades are generated from the Judeo-Zionist heart of the City of London.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Nov 5 2019 6:50 utc | 31

all the "people" pages, either on the printed press or the Internet sites, are "managed" by cut-outs of the sort of Integrity Initiative.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Nov 5 2019 6:56 utc | 32

they are attacking Russia because they know that only military force can collapse the fake Dollar & all the Jewish printed wealth which goes with it. "yes, the Dollar is our money, but, it is your problem" sort of imposed doctrine of the last half-century is coming to an end & no naval carriers could stop its fall.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Nov 5 2019 7:15 utc | 33

@13 Joost Your comment is spot on. The demonisation of Russia is all about the long term aim if destabilising, cracking it open and stealing it's resources. Russia is, in fact, the woreld's largets and most resource rich nation so its an irresistible target to the insane, greed-driven psychopath's who rule us.

First and foremost amongst those (and the most insane) is Hillary Clinton who it seems maybe preparing for another run at the presidency...a Hillary presidency risks a full out nuclear war.

You see, Hilary and the people who back her (and whom she faithfully serves) genuinely are psychopaths. They lack empathy, care, and humanity. They see only their own need and greed, only their own dysfunctional lust for power and wealth; they don’t give a damn what it takes to satisfy their perverse desires and who dies in the process. Psychopaths (blinded by their own perversity) are also bad judges of risk and, in the minds of Hillary and her cabal of psychopaths, they actually do believe that the US could fight a ‘limited’ nuclear war against Russia, win it and steal all those lovely Russian resources.

The tragic misjudgement here, and why disgusting Hillary and her ilk are so dangerous, is that there is no such thing as a ‘limited’ nuclear war. A nuclear war would be global. And fatal.

Posted by: Richard | Nov 5 2019 8:04 utc | 34

@james #4 "why so much hate is directed at Russia..."@james @4
Joost identifies Global Domination craving to own the world to be a disease (GDD) and Snake observes GD syndromes often can be found in persons possessing the authority and power to lead.

Joost @ 13 says Kill the competition, loot its resources, [generate] more power and accumulate more money. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives. by: Joost @ 13

Snake observes that capitalism is a system of economics that requires the state to protect the economic space from monopoly power of any kind. When the state no longer protects its economic space from monopoly powers ( privatization of government enterprises, copyright and patent protection laws, etc.) capitalism crosses into the red zone which I define as "Economic Zionism [EZ]" and @18 jr defines as ..disaster capitalism. EZ seeks to dominate the globe, to destroy everything that the EZ do not own or cannot control. (see James at 15 and jackrabbit at 18 for a modern example).

Snake asks: if a weaknesses identified to capitalism is failure of the government to protect its economic space from monopoly power, and if it is known that leaders of nation states often express GDD, then the failure of constitutions to protect economic space from those with GDD might be explained by considering who it is that create or construct these nation state constitutions?
Are the constructors victims of GDD? If one considers journalism to be a tool of the propagandist ..propaganda to be a mind control bullet, and media to be the tank-like weapon that fires the mind control bullets, then ..

Trish at 16 left out that the first Zionist Congress organized in 1897.. in Switzerland, That the economy of Germany was thriving at the expense of the power and wealth of the the British and French oligarchs. Recall that the Czar in Russia, until the February revolution was related to the British Royalty and to Wilhelm in Germany..the October Revolution established economic zionism over the Russian food stocks and oil reserves.. and James thanks for the book Paris-1919 and Trisha @29 Russian Sideshow America's Undeclared War. 1918-1920

Ash Naz @ 23 says "They are taking the tools that we need to deal with their perfidy, and pretending that they need to use them to "challenge the powerful and uncover the truth". I found this Orwellian inversion of the truth so chilling that I could only laugh.. Snake says inversion is item 5 and 7 in the debunk propaganda list
1. EN Establish the narrative 2. WR they wrong, we right
3. PF Cherry pick the facts 4. IS Ignore stuff
5. BV blame the victim * 6. MU make stuff up
7. AC attack any challenge 8. RL (Repeat the lie)^infinity.
* experienced propaganda swindlers invoke defenses, centuries old, when responding to discovered cover ups. inconvenient presentation of truth, or discovered to be wrongful narratives. These defenses involve craftiness, treachery, deception, obfuscation or legerdemain and are encoded into a language known mostly to the experienced propaganda swindler :
Ignorance, everybody who confronts them in their lies is called “ignorant.”

Posted by: snake | Nov 5 2019 8:15 utc | 35

When did mankind start doing this massive brainwashing of its own populations?
Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 5 2019 2:54 utc | 25

From the time The Church began building awe-inspiring Cathedrals and Kings ruled with an iron fist.
"Good" people went to church on Sunday and The Church indoctrinated them with God-bothering fairy tales and told them to obey The King.
The fact & science-based Enlightenment was intended to be an antidote to ignorance & superstition...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 5 2019 9:14 utc | 36

I am surprised that propaganda is considered appropriate activity of government. So does that mean that government will buy off nearly all legitament reporting I wonder.

Leaves all MSM reporting in question, and most alternative reporting as well. So it appears the state believes it cannot exist without controlling what it's people know. Seems a shakey state of affairs.

How do we know what we think we know.

Posted by: jared | Nov 5 2019 10:53 utc | 37

Who are target audience of this propaganda?

Fortunately most of the public don't read or watch the news.

Except they are targeting daytime TV- targeting the Jerry Springer demographic. Zombie Nation.

Posted by: jared | Nov 5 2019 10:59 utc | 38

Offices right down the hall from Ministry of Silly Walks.

Seriously, people.
Reminds me of old German guy I used to work with long ago (he as machinist and myself as budding engineer) he would sometimes wonder in amazement and frustration - how did we ever beat them in The War.

Posted by: jared | Nov 5 2019 11:24 utc | 39

Another aspect of contemporary UK is that it is failing in its social contract:

Millennials 'short-changed' by welfare state amid warnings of 'huge intergenerational injustices'

Millennials are being "short-changed" on education, health and benefits, leaving them with less than half the 'welfare dividend' of baby boomers, according to new research.

Lord Willetts, a former Conservative universities minister, said "huge intergenerational injustices were opening up across Britain" in new analysis for the Resolution Foundation ahead of next month's general election.

Baby boomers born in the middle of the 1950s are set for a welfare dividend of £291,000 over the course of their lives, the think tank found, paying on average £945,000 worth of tax, and receiving £1,231,000 worth of public service.

But young millennials, born around 1996, fared far worse, receiving a dividend of £132,000 - £962,000 of tax paid for £1,095,000 worth of public service benefits.

As Gramsci theorized, a society divided by class depends on the establishment of a hegemony to survive. Hegemony is always made of brute force (coercion) and consensus (material benefits to the exploited). Put it in simpler words, the proverbial carrot and big stick are needed for any dominant class to rule.

When a hegemony loses on the consensus side, it needs to compensate it with a rise in coercion. Hence another reason for the UK government to double down on propaganda warfare to compensate for the failings of the social-democrat consensus.

Posted by: vk | Nov 5 2019 11:25 utc | 40

Bellingcat only serves one interest, a propaganda/info laundering shop for NATO, the military industrial complex and some very rich people. The blatant lies about MH17, chemical weapons in Syria, OPCW, Russia, the list goes on and on.

By the time the people in the Netherlands find out how they have been manipulated with the MH17 narrative and the role of Bellingcat in this operation, hopefully they will torch the office of Bellingcat in The Hague and club the survivors to death like the Uktainian Nazi friends of Bellingcat did in Odessa.

The Ukrainian army shot down MH17. It was no accident. The Dutch were also involved with the 2014 coup in the Ukraine. Putting the blame on Russia is a political decision, its not based on facts. Dutch politicians are very dirty people. Burn in hell.

Posted by: Symen Danziger | Nov 5 2019 11:34 utc | 41

"When did mankind start doing this massive brainwashing of its own populations?" --flankerbandit @25

As Hoarsewhisperer noted above, prior to the advent of mass media the ruling classes used religion to brainwash the masses. So many centuries of cultural capital have been invested in using supernatural delusions to control populations that religion still plays a part, even though corporate mass media is far more effective and versatile. Whole narratives about how the world works can be changed almost overnight with corporate mass media, and the narratives that control people can be fine tuned and individualized to specific demographics, and very soon even to each individual, which wasn't really very easy with religion.

The ruling elites have always maintained their power through narrative control and disinformation, though the mechanisms used have changed along with technology.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 5 2019 11:48 utc | 42

@ PJB...

Thanks for the Scott Ritter article on Syria, and Russia's underappreciated role in working to end that tragedy...

It provides such a concise historical and contextual overview that it could be a chapter in a history text...

As for the current situation that we've all been speculating about...

While the U.S. continues to maintain a military presence in Syria, occupying a border crossing point at Tanf and a series of military positions along the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in order to secure nearby Syrian oil fields, the ability of the U.S. to logistically sustain this force is doubtful, making its eventual withdrawal from Syria inevitable.

Ritter knows of what he speaks...he is a former military guy...Marine Corps pilot...

Moreover, by compelling an American withdrawal from northeastern Syria, Russia broke the back of the U.S.-supported Kurdish autonomous entity known as Rojava...

This is exactly where we are...the US is trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again if we go by the fool Esper and his talk about partnering with the SDF...

Glad to see Ritter's confirmation of what seems pretty obvious to most observers here...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 5 2019 11:59 utc | 43

Hoarsewhisperer and William Gruff...

I guess I missed THE BIG ONE...LOL...thanks for reminding me... someone who survived being born into an Evangelical Christian family, I am all too aware of the absurdity of religious brainwashing...

I guess we've been susceptible to mind control for a long it's the plutocrats' dogma that shapes our consciousness, rather than some religious 'authority'...but the result is still the same...people believing in bullshit, to their own detriment...

I'm still hopeful that it will reach a tipping point of absurdity where the bullshit just proves too much to believe, as in the Soviet Union, where the state's clumsy narratives were the source of never ending humor...

But then we may not be as discerning...and our masters might be far more clever and determined...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 5 2019 12:09 utc | 44

Religion can be use for control of the population like paper can be used for propaganda.
However, religion is also a source of motivation like paper can be a source of learning.

When a religious leader advocates pedophilia or murder, one should be skeptical - depending on what one is inclined to pursue as a cause.

Posted by: jared | Nov 5 2019 13:12 utc | 45

James @21

Yeah, what happened to Marcy? One of the last I thought would fall for the Russia crap--but, alas...

Posted by: Joanne | Nov 5 2019 13:25 utc | 46

>When did mankind start doing this massive brainwashing of its own populations...?
>Surely this wasn't the case in my grandparents' time...
>Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 5 2019 2:54 utc | 25

It started with the priests and witchdoctors who conned their flocks into donating gifts for the Volcano Gods. Naturally, those gifts would have to be carefully inspected and blessed. Just to make sure the gods would not be offended, of course.

Priests have to eat and they are too busy communing with the gods to go hunting, gathering, and farming, so it's only reasonable that they should use some of the loot, err, donations, to sustain themselves, right?

Soon the priests needed helpers to collect and guard the donations and the hierarchy was born. Apparently the early Christians were really good at perfecting this system, considering the Roman Catholic Church has been around for a very long time and shows no sign of disappearing any time soon.

It doesn't matter much which -ism people are organized under. These systems always end up with a few at the top stomping on other psychopaths trying to replace them. I hope that someday people might try organizing themselves without a hierarchy, but I'm not optimistic.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 5 2019 14:20 utc | 47

flankerbandit @44

The brainwash technology advances and becomes at one and the same time more powerful and yet more fine grained in its control. When you consider that this is the #1 tool of the power elites to maintain control (armed gangs being a distant second and even then only as a fallback position) then you can guess that they invest no small amount of the resources they control (from factories to universities to TV networks) to perfect the tech. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that brainwashing technology has at least kept pace with the advances in such things as electronic and aerospace technologies over the last century. To imagine that common people can directly confront this technology and defeat it is probably being overly optimistic.

This is not to say that all is lost and freedom from the mind control is a futile pursuit. The remarkable power of this technology happens to be its own Achilles heel. Two issues combine to make the grip this tech exerts over the entire population more fragile than it may seem. The first is that since it is easy when using this tech to get people to believe practically anything at all, then the temptation exists to program progressively more ludicrous beliefs into the population, shifting people further and further from objective reality.

The problem with this first issue with the power of modern mind control is that the few people who one way or another "slip through the cracks" and fall out of the manufactured narrative of the day (perhaps they spent a year meditating on top of a mountain in the Andes with no TV or cell phone?) will find the media narratives to which they subsequently become exposed as far to bizarre to accept. While the normal media consumer has come to internalize the narrative du jour through a succession of small steps, that narrative is inaccessible to those coming straight from reality itself. Such individuals will either require significant medication or will remain permanently dislocated from society's megatrends. The frog dumped into the boiling cauldron will immediately jump out, in other words, and right now that cauldron is boiling over.

The second issue with the power of this brainwash tech is that it also works on the brainwashers. Some of the most seriously brainwashed are those employed in the brainwashing process itself! They end up believing the very false narratives that they themselves are manufacturing, though perhaps on a day or two delay. The brainwashers deliberately adjust the narratives they deliver to favor the power elites, but they attempt to do this in small increments from what they perceive reality to be. Since the brainwashers accept their previously adjusted narratives to be the new reality, that then becomes the baseline for their next adjustment to their narratives, and since the adjustments are always in the same direction this divergence from objective reality compounds itself.

I don't think there is a "tipping point of absurdity where the bullshit just proves too much to believe" because the bullshit is already off the scale. Rather what exists is a situation where the official narratives are so far from objective reality that those people who do break their programming find it too difficult to return to the flock.

Of course, as a service to those who have fallen out of the corporate media narratives, the empire provides narrative spinners right here in this forum (and, of course, everywhere else on the Internet) who offer narratives part way between observed reality and the official narratives to serve as cognitive stepping stones back into delusion. Think of them as progressively hotter bowls of water for the frog to jump into to acclimate and prepare for jumping back into the boiling cauldron. It is my hope that few here take advantage of that service.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 5 2019 14:30 utc | 48

"@22 James ... thanks for the "Paris 1919" book reference, luckily it's available at my local library. Trisha@29"
Actually it is not a very good book, the Canadian author is relentlessly Establishment minded. She is also the grand-daughter (or niece) of the single man most responsible for both the invasions (involving 21 foreign armies) of Russia and the continuing failures of the post ottoman settlements in the Middle East-David Lloyd George. That Civil War, resulting from western capitalist intervention cost the lives of millions, most particularly in the famine of 1921, in which intervention was a major factor and the years thereafter in which a economically boycotted, sanctioned, embattled, constantly subverted Soviet Union fought desperately to rebuild its industry and agriculture.

As mentioned above the fear and jealousy of Russia can be traced back centuries, and most notably to the fears, of the guilt ridden British imperialists, that Russia might offer a more palatable alternative to central asians looking for relief from British plundering expeditions and land pirates. What is significant is that russophobia persists whether the Russian government is Bolshevik, a Tsarist autocracy or parliamentary liberal. Although propagandists insist that their motives are ideological ('We want to bring freedom to the long suffering people...!') they are obviously rooted in a lust for Russia's enormous resources. Nothing demonstrates this better than the history of the 1990s during which, rather than attempting to bring either democracy or prosperity to Russia, the West looted it, installed thieves in power and watched with studied-psychopathic- indifference, as millions died as a direct result of the removal of the soviet social security system, pensions, healthcare, housing and guaranteed incomes.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 5 2019 14:51 utc | 49

@ Posted by: bevin | Nov 5 2019 14:51 utc | 49

But the Americans were allies with Tsarist Russia from the Crimea War until its fall in 1917. It even sent soldiers to fight there against the Franco-British forces.

From the Western European point of view, Russia represented a threat (although not an existential one) from the purely geopolitical point of view: as a land power against a maritime power for the British (it was a British who invented the concept of Heartland after all) and as a direct land rival for the French (who considered Germany/HRE as a mere buffer State against tsarist Russia).

After 1917, Russia became a double threat to the Franco-British (both as a geopolitical threat and an ideological threat) and an existential threat to the Americans. This gave birth to the Atlanticist alliance, which would take shape in the post-war, giving birth to NATO.

Posted by: vk | Nov 5 2019 14:58 utc | 50

"...the empire provides narrative spinners right here in this forum (and, of course, everywhere else on the Internet) who offer narratives part way between observed reality and the official narratives to serve as cognitive stepping stones back into delusion."
A good example of which is the 'Epstein isn't dead; like our old friend Elvis, he is simply resting, in Tel Aviv or the witness protection programme or..."

Posted by: bevin | Nov 5 2019 15:00 utc | 51

"From the Western European point of view, Russia represented a threat (although not an existential one) from the purely geopolitical point of view: as a land power against a maritime power for the British (it was a British who invented the concept of Heartland after all) and as a direct land rival for the French (who considered Germany/HRE as a mere buffer State against tsarist Russia)..." vk
You might add that France allied itself, and by extension the UK, with Russia, breaking up the dreikaiserbund, as part of its response to Germany after 1871. Russia became, economically, almost a colony of the Paris bourse.
You are right about the geopolitics and Mackinder but the point about Russia's 'threat'-of which Lord Salisbury famously observed that those boosting it were using maps of a very small scale- was not that it was genuine but that, like the Cold War threat of the Red Army, keeping the fear alive served the interests of industrialists, militarists and others in the Raj's precursor of the MIC.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 5 2019 15:12 utc | 52

The fact that the British government (as well as the USA) has been conducting a targeted anti-Russian propaganda campaign for many years does not surprise me. This is in the spirit of countries such as Britain and the United States. In the full sense of the word, an information war is being waged against Russia. The creation of pseudo-"news", the spread of outright lies, slander, demonization, undisguised chauvinism and so on.

The centuries-old historical (primarily in relation to Britain) hostility/hatred towards Russia (and the Slavs in general) also has an immense effect on what is happening, therefore, similar policies and methods of Britain (and the USA) are understandable and in some ways even “logical”.

What surprises me is something completely different - why Russia essentially does not respond to the outright information war being waged against her. Britain/USA uses clear methods and means of propaganda (grandpa Goebbels’s legacy is very relevant and actively used). To counter this successfully, Russia must pursue a counter-propaganda policy. This implies special methods and means of information policy. Obviously, this should be done by one of the units of the Russian Ministry of Defense. The Russian Foreign Ministry, of course, makes statements (the traditional "indignation" of Maria Zakharova at the briefings), but they are sluggish, largely useless and clearly insufficient.

Rigid propaganda must be neutralized by no less rigid counter-propaganda. Unfortunately, Russia is not doing this. The result of such passivity is events like the expulsion of Russian diplomats, based on the outright lies of the British authorities. Until Russia begins to respond at a decent level, it will suffer damage (information, reputation, etc.).

Posted by: alaff | Nov 5 2019 15:16 utc | 53

Why Russia as nemesis for the US? The above mentioned reasons are true--vast untapped resources, cradle of socialism, etc. But I think it should not be overlooked what a "perfect" enemy the Soviets had been. Ideologically different, but otherwise very recognizable and generally understood. The US establishment and military could rail and storm and shriek about the evil commie threat, and it was a pretty easy sell to a US population not overly interested in foreign affairs following WWII. It was easy to point out the nukes and rolling armor to receive the desired consent to spend lavishly on "defense." But all the while, the US State Dept. and military and spooks all knew that there was no actual threat of open hostilities--MAD indeed prevented war. But more than that, the Soviets played by the rules. There could be all sorts of intrigues and war games and the like, but generally quite the gentlemanly affair.

But with the '90s and '00s, the Soviet threat was no more, and Russia was so busy struggling with the blessings of western democracy no one could be convinced that Russia was a serious threat--in fact, there were even occasional utterances of the words "Peace Dividend" which sent chills down the spines of those for whom the previous arrangement had worked so well, at no real risk, for decades. But Cheney and friends (being oil-oriented) saw it as a perfect opportunity to declare Islam the new enemy. I now suspect they actually believed that it was a new perfect enemy--no nukes, so actual threat to the US was out, but poorly armed and organized, so they would be enough of a target rich environment to justify massive military spending, plus the prize was the US would gain control over vast amounts of oil (whether for its own use or to deny to others). So for 15 years or so the uneducated, uncivilized, perhaps slightly sub-human, and distinctly non-JudeoChristian little brown guys were the bad guys. The problem was they refused to be defeated.

Russians could have told the US that you can live and fight from cites bombed to ruble for years. They'd done it themselves in WWII, something the Western militaries never really experienced. The West thought they'd brought the mighty Germans to their knees in short order, mostly by their massive air attacks, never admitting that it was the years it took the Soviets to absorb and ultimately slaughter the best and brightest bulk of the Nazi armies that really did it. And not enough who had experienced the disaster of Vietnam were still serving to stop the neocon drumbeat for a new boogieman.

But no matter how many of the little brown guys (and their families) the US killed, they refused to be defeated. There was no cold war-esque DMZ for opposing patrols to scowl at each other without a shot. No Ivy League games and spy swaps. No, US troops were still getting blown up, or certainly at risk of getting blown up, on a daily basis. Hell, the LBGs would even BLOW THEMSELVES UP if they thought they could take a Yank or two with him--WTF? And prisoner exchanges? They'd saw your fucking head off! Hell, this was no fun! And the oil majors weren't even all that hip on taking over oil fields where their employees were likely to get their heads lopped off. And so, in wistful nostalgia, I think there has been a very solid push to return to a sworn enemy that knows how to behave, against whom one can rant and shake fists without anyone getting hurt, with such a sophisticated military that one can justify some seriously expensive equipment that doesn't really have to work....

Hello, Russia, my old friend.

Posted by: J Swift | Nov 5 2019 15:19 utc | 54

@ james 4

Many nibbling around the edges here, but not coming out and just saying it.

The "West" figureheaded by the US and UK is failing in ways predictable and commensurate with the complete unfettering of wealth cum power:

Income and wealth inequality are at levels exceeding the "Gilded Age";
The commodification of everything, even much that was once considered "the commons" continues to pauperize and strangle the new generations;
"Democratic Governance" in the US, UK, and other "bastions" of democracy are widely recognized as blatantly un-democratic and owned by the wealthy.

Those that believe that manufacturing consent and controlling the narrative are merely tools to enact policy fail to appreciate the depth of the fear of the wealthy, powerful, and the elite. As long as the powerless masses remain powerless due to confusion, misdirection, and factionalism, the obvious and necessary rebellion will elude us. The PTBs work frantically 24/7/365 to pre-emptively choke off any idea, movement, or belief that may lead to pitchforks, piano wire and light poles.

Why Russia? why, because it has always worked in the past, and it takes the focus far away from the real culprits of our malaise. Right here in River City (be it the Thames or the Potomac.)

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 5 2019 15:19 utc | 55

Russia is not a threat to the empire, except when threaten.
However the western oligarcy cannot allow that their is an alternative - in that sense Russia is perceived as a threat to the oligarcy.
Problem now is that China has also become a threat to the owners.
The natural inclination of collaboration by Russia, China, Iran, India and then Europe(!) - is reason to wet one's pants.
We must all feel threatened when our owners are threatened.

Posted by: jared | Nov 5 2019 15:20 utc | 56

William G...thanks for that nice dissertation...

It is of course true [but not obvious to many] that the brainwashers are in fact the most heavily brainwashed of them sems to be a matter of leaving behind your common sense if you want to enter that door of opportunity where you can advance far above your natural station in life by being a loyal servant among the ranks of the professional claque...

One has to wonder about the real heavyweights...the big shot-callers among the establishment elite...surely they are fully aware that they are creating bullshit with a specific aim, just as a pharmacologist devises a specific compound at a particular target...

I imagine that when King Bezos, Bill Gates [and the various behind-the-curtains heavyweights that we don't even know about] get together at Davos or Bilderberg that, for laughs, they pull out from their vest pockets ridiculous clippings from plebian scribes waxing fancifully about the glories of 'constitutional democracy'...'rule of law'...'human rights' and other such farcical pabulum...

I can just see them exploding into fits of roaring laughter as they pound those thick Davos armrests while howling...'how the fuck can people this stupid still be in the gene pool'...

And then there is this...

...the empire provides narrative spinners right here in this forum (and, of course, everywhere else on the Internet) who offer narratives part way between observed reality and the official narratives to serve as cognitive stepping stones back into delusion.

Right on the money...I see it here all the time but try to mostly keep quiet about it as it's best that they think they are succeeding...

Mostly the MO is to put up some standard boilerplate about the 'evils' of the 'empire' in order to build up some cred, while in the same comment popping in a totally dissonant sentence or two that goes against the grain of everything that our host puts up, as well as the fundamental position of the genuine participants here...

It's remarkable how easy it is to spot...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 5 2019 15:26 utc | 57

OCTOBER 31, 2019 / 6:14 PM / 5 DAYS AGO
U.S. warns Russian trolls stoking conflict in Chile
David Brunnstrom, Dave Sherwood

WASHINGTON/SANTIAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department warned on Thursday that it had seen indications of Russian “influence” on recent unrest in Chile, where two weeks of protests and riots have rocked the administration of President Sebastian Pinera.

A senior State Department official said there were “clear indications” people were taking advantage of the unrest in Chile - prompted by inequality and rising living costs - and “skewing it through the use and abuse of social media, trolling.”

“We have seen indications of Russian activity supporting this negative course of the debate,” the official said.

Chilean officials did not immediately comment on the remarks. Russia has previously said it does not interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.


Judging of the response to that revelation as recorded by Google News (none), valiant efforts of unofficial officials courageously speaking under conditions of anonymity are worthless without echo chambers distributed in various countries as Integrity (haha!) Initiative was implementing.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 5 2019 16:10 utc | 58

Russia currently does have a very effective counter to Western propaganda, namely, RT and Radio Sputnik. The fact that they are relatively truthful, certainly as compared to Western media, is what makes them so effective, certainly more than full-blown propaganda would be.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 5 2019 16:15 utc | 59

@49 bevin "She is also the grand-daughter ..." every author, without exception, is biased in one form or another. It is also impossible, in non-fiction prose, to avoid distorting the narrative, leaving important details out etc. I take everything I read with a grain of salt, including criticisms of authors.

Posted by: Trisha | Nov 5 2019 16:18 utc | 60

They already control the media so completely that one almost wonders why they bo ther

Posted by: Paul | Nov 5 2019 16:41 utc | 61

thanks for the various comments / answers on my question everyone!

@ 29 trish.. thanks.. the book looks good for shining a light on that.. and glad you saw @49 bevin post with an alternative viewpoint on the book.. i found the book most informative, but i am not a full time student of history..

@ 46 joanne... yes - it's a mystery and bizarre as i see it..

Posted by: james | Nov 5 2019 16:47 utc | 62

Why do they hate Russia? The list of answers it long and many of the barflies here have started to answer. But we might also take that moment when Wall Street loading of Russia was brought to a close by Putin. And when he sent some oligarchs to jail. Jailing bankers and billionaires would be a very bad president to be allowed to stand.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Nov 5 2019 17:01 utc | 63

it seems to me western gov'ts can say whatever they want to say in a similar manner to this - "contains evidence from security and intelligence services concerning claims..." essentially it appears the security and intelligence services are running these scams 24-7... who are they working for? "Russia has been accused of spreading disinformation to exploit divisions over ....( you fill in the dots), and to undermine western democracies." why would we need russia, we western democracies have been undermined by big money corporations for so long? well, the uk seems especially prone to this type of bullshite... it would be better if the brits stuck to comedy - monty python and etc. etc. as opposed to branching out into this type of rot... this is a direct example of what i am talking about... UK government denies ‘sitting on’ report into Russian meddling in Brexit vote utter bullshite... written whole clothe...

Posted by: james | Nov 5 2019 17:03 utc | 64

@ 63 paul damascene... no better example is with bill browder... the whole magnitsky act fostered on us canucks and the usa and everywhere else, is a direct result of what you speak of... the kleptomaniacs resented being challenged! they found another way to penalize russia... one would be hard pressed to make this shit up in real life, but they do!

Posted by: james | Nov 5 2019 17:06 utc | 65

@64 This might answer some of your questions james. It's part of an Eton education.

Posted by: dh | Nov 5 2019 17:27 utc | 66

Authoritarian regimes need an outside enemy.

That's how you get people to sacrifice and accept the inequities that fuel MIC and overseas adventurism/global conquest.

It's the ultimate distraction/reality distortion field/head fake/psyop.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5 2019 17:27 utc | 67

I believe the answer to why is Russia considered such a threat lies within the pages of a book probably everyone read back in the post-Bush/early Obama days, 2007-2008: "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein. This excellent description of as its subtitle says "the rise of disaster capitalism focused our attention on the very early days of this current era. It told what was then only thought to be by most, before Obama was elected, one party's corruption, the Republicans.

I wondered what Naomi had to say about Russia in that book. She devotes two chapters to Russia, seen in its early Putin days. There are three references to Putin himself in the index, and notes in the Conclusion. Not hard to research. She absolutely does not register, and perhaps that is fortunate, that he is about to turn the tables on what was being devised for Russia by indeed the very forces she ably demonstrates are at work there. After accurately describing what the disaster capitalists have been attempting, all her references to Putin are sobering, negative, defamatory. We are about to begin Obama's term, during which he demonstrates he is on the same track that
Bush was - exactly the same disaster capitalism is at work.

Or not. In the case of Russia it had failed. We need another great work of investigation: "The Shock Doctrine Unravels: Russia" I can't write it; I hope somebody can. It will be a classic.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 5 2019 17:28 utc | 68

James @ 65–
You’re quite right to mention Canada. We have our own Lieutenant Colonel Vindman—but she is Already minister of foreign affairs. And I would say she would be a front runner to replace Trudeau. Potential for truly catastrophic outcomes.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Nov 5 2019 17:39 utc | 69

I left out a ", sorry. Should complete "The Rise of Disaster Capitalism". My bad.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 5 2019 17:41 utc | 70

@48 William Gruff Modern propaganda was largely invented in the USA. One of the weaknesses of the USSR was that they were so bad at propaganda the population didn't believe it. Yuri Maltsev (who still teaches at Carthage College in Wisconsin) made this point. When we was asked about differences between living in the USSR and USA this was one of his highlights. The everyday person took Pravda with a grain of salt. They knew it was all bullshit. One of the things that horrified him about the USA is that everybody believes the media. I do believe things are changing though. There are way more Americans who are skeptical today than the 80s and before. I do agree and believe this is due to the lies getting so outrageous many people just can't get over the cognitive dissonance. When discussing such topics I like to bring up Edward Bernays and the Nazi party of Germany. Americans see the Nazi party as an example of extreme propaganda and that they would never be so easy to fool. The funny thing is Joseph Goebbels had every thing ever published by Edward Bernays in this library. The Nazis had simply saw how successful US propaganda was and copied it. Edward Bernays recounted this in his autobiography. They were using my books as the basis for a destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me, but I knew any human activity can be used for social purposes or misused for antisocial ones. Every American should be forced to read Milton Mayer's classic book They Thought They Were Free. It would help open their minds a bit. RT and Sputnik were mentioned above here. I would say this is the Russians learning from history. In some ways it seems the Russians and Americans have changed places. The USA is like the USSR of my childhood and the Russians are kind of like the Americans after the Vietnam war and the 60s brought the empire down a peg.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Nov 5 2019 18:38 utc | 71

"There are way more Americans who are skeptical today than the 80s and before." --goldhoarder @71

It certainly seems that way to me as well, and the relevant research all indicates a decline in trust in the mass media too. I frequently post about the deep state/establishment flailing and failing and think this decline in faith in certain big business institutions is a very big part of that.

As for Soviet propaganda, I think they had the wrong idea about how it works. Leading into it with "The following message is an announcement from the Ministry of Propaganda. Please do your patriotic duty and believe it!" is probably not the best approach.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 5 2019 19:02 utc | 72

@ 66 dh.. thanks.. the dynamics in the great game seems to have led right into the decisions of 1919 in paris... i suppose the british empire resented any competition... now, it looks so different..

@ 69 paul... crystia freeland is a most unfortunate dynamic here in canada, but her presence epitomizes what we are talking about.. how did she get in the position she did? i keep on wondering about the role george soros has played in her place here at present... i had some friends who live in her riding in ontario that i were encouraging to vote her out.. needless to say ontario was strongly liberal and she retained her seat with a high percentage... people in canada seem largely ignorant of all of what we dicuss at moa and of freelands very unhelpful role for canada on the world stage.. her manipulations with venezuala are another example of the same.. and you are right - she is vying for top gig - pm... that is truly frightening... i agree with john helmers overview on her with the articles he wrote the past few years.. she is very bad news for canada.. thus, there are high odds she will get more traction thanks the same energies pushing this 'hate russia' memo, are using her for the same malevolent purposes..

Posted by: james | Nov 5 2019 19:12 utc | 73

WG @72-- well we have Hillary over here--

"“I think it’s a lot harder for Americans to know what they’re supposed to believe.” "

Posted by: arby | Nov 5 2019 19:17 utc | 74

there was a lot of skepticism in the 60's, then an end to the draft and an effective project to enhance corporate control of politicians and the media, coupled with the baby boomers getting jobs and "maturing" led to a temporary revival of the national civic religion. now harder times is bringing the skepticism back.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 5 2019 19:34 utc | 75

there was also a lot of skepticism in the 30's, witness the depression and the bonus army. it's a cyclical thing, not a linear progression.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 5 2019 19:36 utc | 76

It is not just disinformation but wholesale deceit about how the world works.

I was reading comments about why the West is inculcated to hate Russia and it made me think of The Iron Curtain which I then went and saw what is in Wikipedia about it. I didn't read all the words and links but what, IMO, is totally left out of the description is that the Tsar of Russia refused to participate in the Western PRIVATE banking/finance system after WWII.

Given my study of history with a financial bent, I see this factor as more relevant than many others touted but it is left out of most history now as well as not being discussed, even here at MoA, as the core element of the civilization war the West is in with China and others with a PUBLIC centered financial system.

There is disinformation and then there is total obfuscation about the private finance core of the Western social contract.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 5 2019 19:42 utc | 77

james, one of the attractions that the hideous Freeland has for Liberals, looking for a successor to Trudeau, is that she is from Alberta as well as being, in terms of policy, to the right of Harper.
It is not without significance that Freeland's policies are, everywhere outside Canada, increasingly discredited. How long can the regime that she supports in Haiti last? How long will the fraternal fascist Chilean government last? The Peruvian government has already fallen, twice I believe, since the Lima Group was founded. Her friends in Honduras-US agents and drug smugglers (sorry to repeat myself) are the subject of massive demonstrations. In Colombia though Freeland's soul mates are killing off leftwing militants every day, the recent local elections went against them. In Argentina the anti-Freeland party just swept to power. Sure she still has allies in Brazil but that in itself discredits her.
The truth is that the tide of history is running against Freeland and her fascism. Nobody in Canada seems to have noticed-the NDP appears to back her to the hilt- but it can't be long before the people who matter, the Mining Companies, get the message that their days of making money by siding with fascist governments are coming to an end. Those who operated in Venezuela appear to have caught on, and Venezuela looks as if it is going to withstand everything that the imperialists can throw at her.
Not that Chrystia notices: she is currently covering every Canadian with shame by supporting the coup against Evo Morales. The dam will burst.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 5 2019 19:51 utc | 78

re Soviet propaganda. It is important to differentiate between the 'agitprop' of the first generation of communists and the uninspired output of the Stalin-Brezhnev era.
The revolutionaries in the 1920s were at the forefront of influencing public opinion. And they were extraordinarily successful. Soviet propaganda, however, was aimed at the people that mattered to the communists: black sharecroppers in Alabama, factory workers and sweated labour in New York, the colonised, not the colonists, in the British Empire and the poor everywhere.
Anyone interested should check out the posters of the era- they were not just at the cutting edge of art but extremely effective. Americans might want to listen to "Dust Bowl Ballads" too before they decide that the communists were no good at propaganda.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 5 2019 20:01 utc | 79

@78 bevin... that seems like typical short sighted and flawed thinking from the liberal political class.. but i think you are right in that these policies are being seen for the scam they are increasingly on the world stage.. why does canada have to be so out of touch with reality having a politician like freeland? as i pointed out in the top comments on that thread - she is out of sync with ordinary canucks.. too bad the liberal strategists need to be hit over the head with a brick for it to sink in.. i look forward to the dam breaking..

Posted by: james | Nov 5 2019 21:01 utc | 80

James @80
"that seems like typical short sighted and flawed thinking from the liberal political class.. "

Not for the guys that own the liberal political class and it appears that they own the others as well. I heard no objections to her act during the campaign.

Posted by: arby | Nov 5 2019 23:04 utc | 81

@ arby... well, we are further behind then i thought... at what point does the canuck collective wake up to this bs?

Posted by: james | Nov 5 2019 23:16 utc | 82

@ flankerbandit 57

It's been going on on many "progressive" and alternate sites for some time. It is generally easy to spot. Psyops on the cheap. Don't know how many times such an actor has tried to "befriend" me, or disarm me by plying a meme that they think will resonate. Reminded of Paul Simon's song Lincoln Duncan -

"Sayin' here comes somethin'
And it sure feels good!
And like a dog I was befriended."

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 5 2019 23:34 utc | 83


Could you clarify the following for me?

"... the Tsar of Russia refused to participate in the Western PRIVATE banking/finance system after WWII..."

I'm assuming you might have meant after or rather after the outbreak of WWI. I tried to search for that, being rather interested in
your comment. I couldn't find a link using "Tsar of Russia" and "Western private banking system" - perhaps you have one? Apologies if you have brought this up previously, and you can wait for an open thread when b posts one if you prefer. I appreciate your focus on economic matters as I do believe the main thrust of Constitutional decay in the US is because of the intrusion of money into the political arena.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 6 2019 1:00 utc | 84

@ juliania with the questions to me about Russia and my comment about the Iron Curtain and WWII

I apologize for conveying my historical confusion.

I believe what is correct is that the Tsar I of Russia offended the Western private banking system of the time (Rothschild) by not joining but Stalin was in charge of Russia when the Western private banking system was rejected by Russia in 1944 at the Bretton Woods facility that established the IMF, The World Bank and, though it was suppose to be liquidated but never has been, the BIS (Bureau of International Settlements).

I can't remember what I read, way back when, that connected that event with the beginning of the Iron Curtain meme.

I hope that helps a bit and sorry for my historical confusion

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 6 2019 2:29 utc | 85

@ juliania again with a bit of clarification

The BIS was established in 1930 and was supposed to be liquidated as part of the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement but never has been

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 6 2019 2:38 utc | 86

The British government is running an even more contemptible dis-information exercise by failing to publish the report on Russian interference in British politics. My guess, this reports shows that there was none, but meanwhile that c**t Johnson can imply there was some and that Corbyn is nothing more than Putin's stooge.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Nov 6 2019 16:03 utc | 87

james at 4:

Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria

by Guy Mettan (2017)

does a ++ job of retracing the history, imho, - i am no historian.

The F original, better title: Russia-West, a Thousand Year War.

(Looks like the translation is poor, but so what.)

Guy is one of the last ‘good journalists’ who’ branched’ out.

.. is this due some need to find someone to demonize?

Absolutely. When the Central Top authority (State, King, etc.) looses strict control
of ‘secret’ / ‘intel’ / para / agencies, or is too subservient to them, or manipulated
by them, or even the coordination is poor, these will spontaneously and maybe even
unconsciously create ‘enemies’ 'threats' that must be countered, dastardly (invented)
plots, see Skripals, desperate info needs, and so on, because in a harmonious
Kumbaya world their status, power, thus renumeration, is lost.

Russia is both a traditional adversary, a thousand years, and is sprawling, vast, rich,
a world power, difficult to understand - a perfect enemy! It never ends!

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 6 2019 16:16 utc | 88

@ 88 noirette.. thanks noirette... the fact that we can ask the question, and i think this is a collective question that a lot of ordinary people would have - 'why does the west hate russia?' says a lot in itself.. i hope the west is able to come to it's senses, but it doesn't look promising as we approach the year 2020... instead, the hate russia meme continues to be fed by the same forces who have been pushing it the past 5 years at least - very strongly...

Posted by: james | Nov 6 2019 16:45 utc | 89

Bevin @49

What an inspiring but all-too-short story about the noble Soviet Union. Who knew that perfidious Capitalist intervention caused the Russian Civil War? If not the Chernobyl disaster?

You have a bright future in agitprop when the progressive victory finally comes to pass.

Posted by: Col. B. Bunny | Nov 11 2019 11:54 utc | 90

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