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Soviet Tactics I Witnessed and Still in Use Today

by LTC Roy E. Peterson

Outside of the Chinese Communist Party, which itself uses forms of capitalism to advance its economy, people today tend to think of communism as an antiquated bogeyman. They point their fingers elsewhere: statism, totalitarianism, corporate fascism, and globalism. These may be true sources, but from my own first-hand experience as an Army Military Intelligence and Russian Foreign Area Officer stationed in the Soviet Union for many years, I can say without a doubt that the methods used and refined by communists are alive and well in many countries, including our own.

I have written many books about my experience, including American Attache in the Moscow Maelstrom, but I have decided to organize the specific communist tactics into metered and rhyming poetry. Why? As you will find out, central to the strategy used by communists and their ilk is a destruction of culture. Returning to traditional culture and good values precisely undermines their strategy, if not entirely dissolves it. Additionally, these are general principles I want to share, and much of what I have experienced is still partially classified.

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Masters of Deception

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I. Masters of Deception Definition

A GOOD SHOW

The Masters of Deception are but wolves in sheep disguise.
Preying on our intellect with various forms of lies.
The purpose is to mislead the world by changing fact to fiction,
Or changing fiction into facts supporting their decision.

Masters of Deception, I have studied well and know,
Are puppet-masters working hard to put on a good show.
They’re pulling all the strings they can so we hang in distress,
All tangled up in every way—a knotted nervous mess.

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II. Soviet Communist Party Deception through Disinformation

SOVIET DECEPTION

Stalin started off as Chief of Pravda—meaning Truth—
The only paper you could purchase in a streetside booth.
It was filled with propaganda and “disinformation,”
A term he coined while using it to stranglehold his nation.

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KGB BUREAU OF DISINFORMATION

The Bureau of Disinformation of the KGB
Was overseen by Stalin so all lived in conformity.
There are many methods that the Soviets used well.
Here are twenty-two of them I hope will ring a bell.

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III. World Leader Methods of Deception and Manipulation

1. APPEARANCE OF POPULARITY VIA DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM

Herr Hegel was a respected German philosopher,
Who of a dialectic history felt rather sure.
The thesis plus antithesis made synthesized creation.
Historically his triad would never have cessation.

This changed the view and thinking of some prominent logicians.
In history they thought there’d always be new contradictions.
Marx applied his dialectic to the economy,
And with class revolution claimed it ended history.

Marx began by pointing out there had been feudalism,
And seeds of change were planted then as now with capitalism.
He said that socialism would compose the final chapter
Of economic progress—nothing would, he claimed, come after.

Convince the youth old social norms should now be thrown away,
And show the youth a brighter view of roles that they could play.
Control the thoughts and actions, make graffiti look real cool,
And turn tradition into something for a boring fool.

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2. AURA OF AUTHENTICITY

An aura of authenticity requires just a few.
Just like some perfume by the ear, a little dab will do.
Convince bright bards or scholars they should lobby for a cause.
Pay them for public speaking or for pushing brand new laws.

The trick is find the highest and the greatest in the land.
Then teach them what is best for all, beneath their party’s brand.
Confusing legal terms are useful when there’re big announcements,
And better still are legislators with official pronouncements.

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3. BIG LIE HAMMERING

Herr Hitler was the mastermind of the big German lie.
With all their ills placed on the Jews, the Jewish had to die.
If you read his one book, Mein Kampf, you’ll find he coined the term:
“Big lie,” which can supplant the truth in minds that don’t hold firm.

Disinformation is the way to spread big lies abroad.
Their citizens won’t learn the truth, the world believes the fraud.
The present Russian president used strong disinformation—
A string of lies accompanied Ukrainian invasion.

While politicians in the West make lies of Russian failures;
They do not know big lies are neither weapons nor one’s saviors.
The Woke and Antifa tell lies like addicts with a habit,
Surrounding themselves with a hole dug by their own fed rabbit.

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4. CLOAK OF LEGALITY IN THE WEST

A tricky form to recognize is sneak into a bill
Something that seems innocuous, but’s interpreted at will.
Then actions can be taken by the blameless secret state;
Its cloak of full legality gives it protections great.

Disinformation then is used to hide facts and the truth.
The propagators now point out that they have legal proof.
Past precedent becomes the rule that lawyers recognize
Providing legal basis for their actions based on lies.

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5. DENIAL IN WHOLE OR IN PART

Deny the truth exists at all; deny in whole or part.
A cover story they create is their best place to start.
Each stage of its discovery will take them time to find.
It may take lots of digging and a warrant must be signed.

“No, I didn’t do it!” they can say with great inflection
Until the judgment once revealed derails the whole deception.
Just plead that it was ignorance and some may give a pass,
Or hound investigators’ lives and privately harass.

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6. DISPARAGING TRUTH

“It can’t be true.” Assassinate the character of one,
And castigate into submission till their lies have won.
Disparage and disgrace those speaking truth out loud.
Hold nothing back when telling lies in front of a big crowd.

Say someone is incompetent; let experts then opine:
Truth tellers are just mental cases, or else drunk on wine.
They did this when they called for Don Trump’s resignation,
And claimed he was incompetent while President of our nation.

Find something controversial, reinterpret, generate
Disinformation spreading rumors that will stir up hate.
Police are perfect targets when they spread disinformation.
Just take a picture out of context, show it to the nation.

Besmirching is like kissing. There’s a shadow of a doubt.
Did something really happen and what was it all about?
A woman may be paid ten grand to say she was molested.
With thirty years or more gone by she cannot now be tested.

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7. DRESS IT UP

A pig is still a swine no matter how you dress one up.
One can’t use yellow paint and say one has a golden cup.
They’ll keep on trying always, they’re the Masters of Deception
Hoping what they say or do has positive reception.

They use the nation’s press to make their words seem all the rage.
Then popularize the pig’s new look across a glossy page.
They stage a press event as if it were a Broadway show,
Concealing problems, planting questions everywhere they go.

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8. DIVIDE AND CONQUER

Disinformation amps up anger, causes disappointment.
Attacks on others from within put flies into their ointment.
The saboteurs are at it, they are hiding in the ranks
Of party lovers, businessmen, and government think tanks.

Drive wedges in the opposition and everything they do.
Encourage conflict, set them up, and try to start a coup.
Claim another person said something they never said.
Then spread the lie around the room and get into each head.

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9. FACT CHECKERS

The website Snopes says it checks facts to fix a false perception;
But I have studied what they say, and they employ deception.
They start with grains of truth that serve their noble-sounding mission;
But I have found their biggest fault is one of truth omission.

To find the truth behind what’s on the Internet or news,
I search for who the sources are and how they slant their views.
Then I do research to discover what’s their primary source.
I know I’m getting closer to the truth that way, of course.

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10. ELIMINATE TRUTH

Eliminate the truth someway and I can think of three.
Disparage it, or kill it, bury it so none can see.
All three of these may be required, so run right down the list.
The hope is change will happen that they can’t at all resist.

Disparage is a way to cast more doubt on what is right.
One says, “Conditions now have changed—and almost overnight.”
One claims, “The resolution was not quite so logical.”
Or “Doing what was right, just was not all that practical.”

Find a way to kill the truth with kindness or a bluff.
Say, “Doesn’t matter anyway; I think that that’s enough.”
Find a way to poison it and then it might just die.
Kill the telltale trails of truth. At least give it a try.

Bury can take many forms, like emails on a server.
Claim at first that they were lost and state it with some fervor.
If that won’t work, then say one doesn’t know where they are now.
Plausibility’s a tool that’s useful anyhow.

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11. GAINING ADHERENTS

Disinformation can be used just like a sacred cow,
Assuring you all your adherents loved it anyhow.
Develop close relationships with those once disaffected.
With lies these easy converts willingly will be infected.

Then use them to collect reports on other’s bad behavior;
Then blackmail some, or bribe, or call them whistleblower saviors.
It’s said that Lyndon Johnson was a master of blackmail:
He knew the sins of congressman and what would make them fail.

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12. GAINING ATTENTION BY EXAGGERATION

One has to gain attention making people look your way.
The popular and showy things are how you have a say.
Parades against the government one subject at a time
Can test your enemy’s endurance and, also, state of mind.

Disturbances and protests represent the people’s views.
“Huge numbers are expected” is reported in the news.
“A million-person march” is claimed in Washington, DC,
Exaggerating to impress the likes of you and me.

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13. PHOTOSHOPPING

We think that photoshopping was discovered recently,
It’s been around a hundred years to change photography.
Before Adobe’s day, air-brushing was an old technique
Used long ago in Playboy mags to fix a bad physique.

The KGB could skillfully retouch a photograph,
Or crop it down so that you only could see just a half.
To say that now it’s easier is quite an understatement.
The truth is daily photoshopped with no sign of abatement.

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14. PRETENSION OF CIVILITY

Don’t underrate civility and dispositions sunny.
It’s always been much easier to catch a fly with honey.
Those who are thought well-spoken and may seem sophisticated,
The calm smooth-talking people are the ones most emulated.

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15. PROMISES

Promises are cheap to make. They make them every day.
Then blame another party for their failure to obey.
Or better yet, say promised words were taken out of context.
“I did not mean the things I said,” they’ll say while acting quite vexed.

“Just trust in me” you promise me, “on me you can rely.”
It’s simple saying, “I forgot”—another way to lie.
Excuses are to promises what lies are to one’s face—
Avoidance of a subject and a way to garner praise.

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16. SCARE TACTICS

Use brash scare tactics with disinformation as the goal.
You magnify the fears of those who hide in their own hole.
Spread bloody threats and rumors of some great impending doom,
And you will gain control of most of those who fill the room.

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17. SILENCE OF THE CRITICS

The “Silence of the Lambs,” that is the goal they’re working for.
If the majority is silent, lies will have the floor.
Shout down the crowd by playing on some vaguely worded guilt
For things they have not even done, but what ancestors built.

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18. SYMPATHY

Sympathy that’s garnered for the poor and the downtrodden
Plays to the feelings of those on the top and on the bottom.
The ignorant feel pain that’s fed with deftness and with skill.
The cause is taken up by bleeding hearts bent to their will.

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19. THOUGHT POLICE

Political correctness generates the thought police
Enforcing bending over backwards, everyone to please.
Spies are lurking, like on Facebook, watching what you say.
Write a taboo word and disappear on the same day.

Minority causes flourish from this pseudo-caring role.
Forgetting good intentions for society as a whole,
And rather adding more divisions, new identities,
By changing language we have used for many centuries.

They try to popularize the bad and make the good seem wrong,
Expanding base support to help them when they are not strong.
A marriage has a man and woman—that’s a world tradition.
But marriage is a word they took and changed its definition.

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20. TWISTING TRUTH

I think the game of Twister suits the Masters of Deception.
Contorting words this way and that, engaging in corruption.
For foes just find a negative to add to news headlines,
One drawback is the journalistic industry declines.

First sprinkle nuggets of the truth to make news seem legit.
Then break foes down, tear them apart, and find ways to nitpick.
Misconstrue the phrases, changing what was said and done,
Change the meaning, hide the truth, and make of it some fun.

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21. WORD HIJACKING

The Communists have hijacked words for their vocabulary.
If you think “Well, how nice that sounds,” I warn you to be wary.
Democracy was thus misused by Lenin as a cover.
His “Democratic Centralism” was no people lover.

Some years ago, a synonym for happiness was gay.
The word was hijacked and turned into what it is today.
Antifa says that they’re on an anti-Fascist pursuit.
Who would have guessed they’re Fascists and they’re Communists to boot?

The leftists sing their messages in words that have a groove.
Who doesn’t love a rainbow and how could we disapprove?
Lenin’s minor party was first labeled “Mensheviks,”
He spun it to “majority.” Translation: “Bolsheviks.”

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22. VIOLENCE

Much like scaring people, vicious violence can be used,
Disrupting, forcing changes that destabilize, confuse.
So, where there never was a problem, people now feel cursed.
Their insecurity empowers those who are the worst.

It forces change in thinking. “Why are we now insecure?
Perhaps a change in what we do will be the magic cure.”
Violence fosters fears that we believe we can’t contain,
And leads to governments straight from the dirty devil’s drain.

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IV. American Masters of Deception

Social media is used to propagate their vision—
A new tool used to hasten their societal subversion.
They once employed newspapers, radio, and television,
But now they have Facebook, TikTok live streaming each transmission.

You could be made a jackass like the fool Pinocchio;
The liars backed by mainstream media would have it so.
To deal with Masters of Deception one can’t compromise;
By research make yourself aware of all their tricks and lies.

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LTC Roy E. Peterson, US Army Military Intelligence and Russian Foreign Area Officer (Retired) has published more than 5,000 poems in 78 of his 101 books. He has been an Army Attaché in Moscow, Commander of INF Portal Monitoring in Votkinsk, first US Foreign Commercial Officer in Vladivostok, Russia and Regional Manager in the Russian Far East for IBM. He holds a BA, Hardin-Simmons University (Political Science); MA, University of Arizona (Political Science); MA, University of Southern California (Int. Relations) and MBA University of Phoenix. He taught at the University of Arizona, Western New Mexico University, University of Maryland, Travel University and the University of Phoenix.


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38 Responses

  1. Roy Eugene Peterson

    I am indebted to Evan for his questions and suggestions for improvement.

    Reply
  2. Phil S. Rogers

    One thousand percent right on target. We have a large number of Americans who do not actually understand how socialism and communism really work. The media, etc. works hard to give a false perception. We have quite a few that do understand, but in the middle are millions of people who know how bad off things are, but are afraid to admit it to themselves or others, just hoping everything will somehow come out alright. Expecting corrupt politicians to change things is a losing game.

    Reply
  3. Roy Eugene Peterson

    I appreciate your contributive comments and am glad we are in agreement.

    Reply
  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    This is a genuine handbook of socialist/left-liberal tactics, and what amazes me is that they are now more than a century old. Since the nineteenth century, revolutionists and their fellow travelers have been practicing and refining these methods of control and influence, and yet for the most part the general public is still not aware of how they are being manipulated.

    This of course is due in some respect to education, which is now almost wholly in the hands of the left, and the left’s sympathizers. Students are trained to follow fashionable public orthodoxies.

    And that’s why the following is a crucial truth: Any institution, organization, polity, or assemblage of persons, if it is not EXPLICITLY AND VOCIFEROUSLY right-wing, will in the course of time drift to being leftist or liberal. It never fails.

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Your poignant comments are both accurate and scary. As a former university educator, I abhor what has become of the majority of academia. Formerly great university faculties have prostrated themselves at the idols of liberalism losing track of historical teachings and tenets of truth.

      Reply
    • Joshua C. Frank

      Even then, I don’t see it happening. Look how far even the most conservative religious organizations have drifted left.

      I’ve come to believe, more and more, that modernity can’t exist without everything going left. I believe that Kaczynski, though not right about mass murder, was right about this point he made in his manifesto:

      “The conservatives are fools: they whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.”

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        The problem is that, regardless of our attitude towards it, technology has a way of making itself indispensable. Once somebody invents the machine-gun, you had better make damned sure that your army gets a good supply of them. The same for the steam engine, electricity, and refrigeration — the absence of them makes you extremely vulnerable when potential enemies have them.

        Kaczynski was correct about mainstream conservatives. It’s not just that their capitalistic backgrounds make them cheerleaders for technology. The real problem is that they have an innate tendency to function as nothing more than emergency brakes on the left-liberal juggernaut– in other words, the liberals take three giant steps forward, the conservatives squawk and compel them to take one small step backwards. Then the left takes another two giant steps forward, and then the conservatives squawk again… well, you get the picture. It’s a steady process of decline, ad nauseam, ad infinitum. That’s not a sane political stance. That’s nothing but “managed decline.”

      • Roy Eugene Peterson

        Ted Kaczinski had a lot to say about technology increasingly controlling our lives and the loss of traditional values that somehow must be resisted. His choice of methods for resistance, which was bombs sent to dubious choices, was unfortunate. I found his writings lucid, logical, and disturbing concerning economic and political processes as controlled by future technologies that in a sense he predicted almost forty years ago. I have often considered countermeasures to be taken:
        1.) Conservatives with money need to purchase the primary means of communications such as television and radio corporations,
        2.) Christians need to begin advertising Christian values more on national means of communication.
        3.) Books such as the Federalist Papers should be mandated for high school and college freshmen to study.
        4.) The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem should be used in every classroom to start the day.
        5.) We must realize we are at war and under attack.
        6.) History books must be perused to counter insidious liberal ideas.
        7.) History and government must be a requirement for all college and university students to graduate as it was when I attended.
        8.) We must get out the conservative vote by any means possible including personally handing out tracts and encouraging people to vote.
        9.) We must stop illegal immigration.
        This is just a partial list. I have many more listed in a couple of my books.

  5. Stephen M. Dickey

    Roy,
    All very true. My favorite is #21. I’ve noticed that leftist causes are only advanced by convincing people that a minority opinion is the opinion of some majority. Then the spiral of silence does the rest.
    I also appreciated your connection of airbrushing to photoshopping—I had never connected the two!

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Excellent comments, Stephen. Convincing us that the minority opinion really is the majority one, or at least soon it will become one is one of their supreme tactics while the silence of the lambs such as charges of hate speech or other tactics, allow it to happen. That is why silence is not golden!

      Reply
  6. Warren Bonham

    You have outlined the playbook in a comprehensive and easily digestible manner. Armed with this information, it should be easy for us to see the attacks coming and be ready to defend ourselves but somehow it never seems to work that way. Thank you for your historic and ongoing service!

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Unfortunately, we are failing to arm ourselves and our next generations with such knowledge! With our evolving technology, we still cannot reach them with the rudiments of history and logical thinking. Thank you for the wonderful comments.

      Reply
  7. Brian A. Yapko

    Roy, this is a brilliant set of poems! They are not only thought-provoking but as timely as could be. In fact, this information about how misinformation is propogated is deeply important to those of us who can see that something is wrong but cannot quite put our fingers on it. Agitprop… propaganda… this is the manual for gaslighting entire populations, including our own. It’s horrifying to see in print. It’s even more horrifying to know that people use these tactics all the time. They cynically but accurately know that the sheeple will accept whatever they throw at them, especially the Big Lie. Outstanding work. This is one to keep handy and refer to frequently.

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      That is a great endorsement, Brian, and I knew you would understand and appreciate the full implications of the message. When I was an Army Attaché, I surprised the KGB followers by ducking into a Cathedral in a city in the Ukraine. The door was unlocked and as I walked in, two KGB watchers suddenly fled out another door. They had been watching me and my partner (we always traveled in pairs) from a window. What I saw was an astounding Agitprop display with anti-Christianity banners floating everywhere and desks setup with anti-religious propaganda. This was an agitprop center.

      I called upon my recollection of Russian Foreign Area Officer studies in Garmisch, Germany for much of the material including having been taught by a former “Red” professor at Moscow State University, Kunta, who had a book published by Alfred A. Knopf press under the pseudonym Abdurakhman Avtorkhanov (Chief of Writers,) from Chechnya, managed to catch a railroad boxcar to the border of Germany in the mid-1920’s and became a defector after having been warned the KGB was coming to take him the next day. He was a Russian Institute legend as a Russian history teacher.

      Reply
  8. Mike Bryant

    Roy, I really appreciate this comprehensive look at the always advancing forms of “statecraft.” I also appreciate that you (I believe) make it clear that every government on earth uses these, and other, techniques to rule over their oblivious people. I can see this was a labor of love.

    I did notice that you called out Putin’s lies prior to, and during, the invasion of Ukraine, but I’m sure you know that lies are rife on both sides… as always was and ever more shall be.

    If Russia is the bad guy now, then we were the bad guys when we embargoed Cuba. No one wants missiles on their border.

    The sad fact is that world governments direct their efforts toward the further division of people. And, of course, every group must have the latest military equipment. The “forever war” imperative has made billions for the “connected.”

    I can envision all the leaders of every nation sitting in a room together and laughing about all the ways they have played us over the years…

    Maybe that’s another poem!

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Mike, I thought you might bring up the Russian-Ukraine situation. I met Putin in St. Petersburg in 1992, when I was Vice President of an international trading company. I was by myself and Putin was the head of the Committee of External Relations (A senior KGB position) responsible for promoting international trade and investments. He was assigned to the Mayor’s Office in St. Petersburg at the time. We met in an ammunition factory that had been designated by the KGB for purchasing western consumer goods. I found him bright and engaging while at the same time a tough negotiator who insisted on proving each item was made in an American or European factory. I had no ill will from the meeting and thought when he became President of Russia after Yeltsin that Russia would be in good hands.

      I rarely share the following. In 1995, where I was the first U.S. Foreign Commercial Officer and then the IBM sales manager in Vladivostok at twice the pay, I married a Russian lady who by ethnicity was Ukrainian (Jewish) and Chinese and who hated the former communist regime. It should be understood that a great contingent of Jews had been sent to concentration camps in the Russian Far East and then not allowed to return to the European portion of the USSR. After eight years and her becoming a U.S. citizen, we became divorced. Her mother still lives in Russia.

      My point in all this personal desiderata is that I approach Russian-Ukrainian relations from a neutral perspective. I have no axe to grind.

      I am going to post below some further sources about the Russian-Ukrainian War that may be taken any way you choose.

      Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Further Resources
      —“Russian Misinformation Seeks to Confound, Not Convince: Rather than take a side, these campaigns create decision paralysis that leads to inaction” By David Robert Grimes on March 28, 2022. Source Link: Russian Misinformation Seeks to Confound, Not Convince – Scientific American.
      —“As war envelops Ukraine, Russian sources have strived to create a miasma of disinformation about the invasion. Among ample efforts to distort reality, the Russian Ministry of Defense asserted recently that U.S.-backed labs in Ukraine have been developing bioweapons. Outlandish as this falsehood may be, Fox’s Tucker Carlson gave it credence by arguing that the U.S. government’s response was a “cover-up.”
      —“Despite constituting only a small part of our media diet, disinformation campaigns, in our digital world, can be devastatingly effective. We are intrinsically biased towards information that is emotionally visceral. We afford more weight to content that frightens or outrages us, with the ability to induce anger serving as the single greatest predictor of whether content goes viral. This propels the most visceral, divisive narratives to the forefront of discourse, creating a sound and fury of passionately debated claims and counter claims. In that atmosphere, it becomes increasingly difficult to ascertain what to believe, and easy to abandon the task of discerning the truth.”
      —“In the 1960s, the KGB covertly sponsored American fringe groups, amplifying conspiratorial narratives about everything from the assassination of president John F. Kennedy to water fluoridation.”
      —“The goal,” as KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin elucidated in 1998, was “not intelligence collection, but subversion: active measures to weaken the West, to drive wedges in the Western community alliances of all sorts, particularly NATO, to sow discord among allies, to weaken the United States in the eyes of the people of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America….”. Operation INFEKSION, a mid-1980s clandestine effort to spread the myth that AIDS was a CIA-designed bioweapon, was but one infamous exemplar. While utterly fictious, it resonated with communities ravaged by HIV and neglected by the callous indifference of the Reagan administration. Despite Russian intelligence taking responsibility for this lie in 1992, the legacy of AIDS denialism persists to this day worldwide. “ —“During the Cold War, the doctrine of “active measures” was the beating heart of Soviet intelligence. This philosophy of political and information warfare had wide remit, including front groups, media manipulation, counterfeiting, infiltrating peace groups and even the occasional assassination. And in our media-saturated era, Russia has been, by far, disinformation’s most enthusiastic user. Take the 2016 presidential election and the contentious Brexit resolution ; Russia appears to have influenced both via lies and distortions.
      Russian propaganda has tried to paint Ukraine (or NATO / America) as aggressors with staged disinformation. This has been rendered less effective by the Biden administration’s creative approach of releasing intelligence prior to the operation. Across social media, Russian front organizations still try to induce doubt, efforts that will only intensify as the war wages on. Truth, the old adage insists, is the first casualty of war.
      —“Disarming Disinformation: Our Shared Responsibility.” U.S.
      Department of State. Last update November 22, 2022. Source Link:
      Disarming Disinformation – United States Department of State
      Excerpts:
      A. Weaponization of Information:
      “Disinformation is one of the Kremlin’s most important and far-reaching weapons. Russia has operationalized the concept of perpetual adversarial competition in the information environment by encouraging the development of a disinformation and propaganda ecosystem. This ecosystem creates and spreads false narratives to strategically advance the Kremlin’s policy goals. There is no subject off-limits to this firehose of falsehoods. Everything from human rights and environmental policy to assassinations and civilian-killing bombing campaigns are fair targets in Russia’s malign playbook.”
      B. Russian Propaganda and Disinformation on the Ukraine” “Over the year of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin deployed a disinformation roulette of false narratives to deceive the world about the Kremlin’s neo-imperial intentions and attempt to justify an unjustifiable war. The Kremlin routinely changed its false claims to distract from its battlefield failures and political isolation. From NATO “encirclement” and “genocide against Donbas” to “denazification,” to “desatanization,” and “defending Russia’s sovereignty,” these false rhetorical contortions serve one goal — to mask Russia’s apparent effort to erase the sovereign, independent state of Ukraine from the map and subjugate its people.”
      C. “False Information on U.S./Ukraine joint chemical biological weapons studies: The Kremlin’s spreading of unfounded and debunked allegations that the United States and Ukraine are conducting chemical and biological weapons activities in Ukraine is part of a well-established Russian disinformation tactic. The Kremlin has a long track record of accusing others of the very violations they commit.”

      Reply
      • Mike Bryant

        Roy, I have no axe to grind either. I was simply taking you at your word that we, too, employ these techniques. I also have plenty of sources that highlight our own double dealings. I thought we agreed that it was something that many governments employ.

      • Mike Bryant

        Yes, I know that Scientific American and the State Department have a narrative. A few points:
        1) Ukraine has been sold as a democracy. It is a lie.
        2) Just as the Cuban Missile Crisis was handled peaceably, Russia’s concerns could have been easily addressed, but were not. Why?
        3) I know that Putin is no saint, please don’t tell me that we are.
        4) The Ukraine war is about money and money laundering at everyone’s expense, like most wars… the connected are getting rich while the people are getting poorer, maimed or killed.
        5) This is the opinion of a well-read retired plumber… take it for what it’s worth.

      • Roy Eugene Peterson

        Mike, we are in agreement about corrupt governments including our own that uses disinformation. When I put on my military hat, I think strategically. Ukraine is a dagger pointed at the heart of NATO countries, It can control the Black Sea and it overarches Turkey, another NATO member. That is my concern. I once read at the Russian Institute an 1848 Russian geography text that stated the natural boundary of the Russian Empire was the Nile River. They still have irredentist thoughts in my mind. Even if they do not, strategically Ukraine is important. We politically agree. I hope you can see my point.

      • Mike Bryant

        Roy, we will never agree. I believe that Russia is a roadblock to the one world ambitions of the WEF, Soros, and the entire Progressive madness that has captured the imaginations of the EU, Australia, the USA and many other nations that have forgotten their values and their cultures. I believe we are all better off without the forever wars that seem to have become our government’s godless policy. Honestly, mutual assured destruction was better, because when the nukes were all built out no one would use them. The world has now become a kind of big chess game. When the lives and treasure have been spent, the fat cats just set up the pieces again.
        Of course, if you have an IRA heavily slanted to defense stocks, it might look like a good strategy… until the madness arrives at each of our houses.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Roy, you don’t say a word about that sick, warmongering bitch Victoria Nuland, her husband Robert Kagan, and how they and a lot of other neocon retreads deliberately stoked the fires that led to this unnecessary Ukrainian war.

    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      I should add, if anyone is interested, they can read about my Russian Far East experiences in “Russian Bears American Affairs” available at Amazon/books.

      Reply
  9. Margaret Coats

    A masterwork! I have not yet had the opportunity to read it thoroughly, but will persevere. I notice the clever tidbits of personal experience that give it flair and credibility. Thanks, Colonel Peterson, for putting it tidily in one place. From my sampling so far, I very much like the part on “Word Hijacking.” And from my recent forays into higher education on behalf of former students, I can assure you that I observe enclaves where such warnings and correctives are known and practiced. You know the importance of these, however small, to an intelligence officer!

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Thank you so much, Margaret, for the encouraging comments. I recognize there is a lot to digest. This poem took some time to write. I relied on my Russian studies education and personal observations including those I posted in the comments to Mike Bryant. I felt a growing need to share all the methods I could think of used by the master deceivers. We are assaulted daily with such tricks and propaganda including one today on the news on Fox:

      Former ESPN host says her Biden interview was entirely ‘scripted’ by network execs: ‘Every single question’
      ‘I was on script and was told not to deviate,’ former ‘SportsCenter’ host Sage Steele told Fox News Digital
      By Joseph A. Wulfsohn Fox News
      Published April 3, 2024 5:00am EDT

      https://www.foxnews.com/media/former-espn-host-says-biden-interview-scripted-network-execs

      Reply
  10. Michael Vanyukov

    Dear Roy,

    Your experience with the Soviets served you very well, and it’s great that you can share its fruits here, to warn of the dangers that are not commonly appreciated. You covered it There was one more (well, probably not one, but you know them better than I do) method of deception, perhaps worth mentioning as it’s been used routinely by the US progressives, invented by the KGB. You are likely familiar with it too: it was among those “black propaganda” tricks that were taught to future elite Soviet journalists: “rotten herring.” It was used to compromise the enemies of the regime, whether domestic or foreign. When somebody is falsely accused of some nefarious deed, as dirty as it can be, every mention of it in relation to the victim, including attempts to prove innocence, will only further rub the rotten smell in, creating a permanent association. That is a variation on the “big lie” approach. The “Russian spy” deza (the Russian abbreviation for “martial disinformation”) about Trump, concocted by the Democrats with Russian assistance, is an example.

    Reply
    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      Thank you, Michael, for your perceptive and kind comments. You are so right about the “rotten herring” method. You may find that is close to my verses in Section 6. Certainly that is what the left is attempting to do and has been effective in part concerning President Trump. I really appreciate your sharing of your thoughts and undoubtedly expertise in the field of disinformation.

      Reply
      • Michael Vanyukov

        Thank you! Sec. 6 is sure close, and the anti-Trump campaign will definitely use more of the Soviet/Russian arsenal of all kinds of deza, calumnies, and insinuations as we get closer to November. Expect more atrocious stuff. Ends justify means, immoral as usual in Democrat Realpolitik. As Harry Reid said about his 2012 lies, “Romney didn’t win did he?”

  11. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Roy, I thoroughly appreciate the wisdom, thought and effort that you have put into “Masters of Deception” – what an eye-opener for those who haven’t been red-pilled yet. Poetry with a clear, concise and educative message is never easy to produce. It takes skill to explain things simply… and you have managed that beautifully. It’s only the faux experts that razzle-dazzle us with legalese and academese – those speaking the truth have no need to bloviate and obfuscate.

    Your words have put me in mind of the quote below. It is from Theodore Dalrymple. I believe it’s where we’re at now… and it’s a scary place to be:

    The purpose of “progressive” propaganda is not to persuade or convince, not to inform – but to humiliate; and so the less it corresponds to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is eroded. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

    Apparently, the word “lie” is now offensive to some. I learned that in the comments section on this site: “I would rather not refer to “lies” because that has become a buzz word for anything the hearer opposes.” If the word “lie” is to be avoided, how on earth can we rail against evil effectively. Words matter. Shutting the word “lie” down would render all those calling the Big Lie out useless. Your words matter, Roy, and so do Theodore Dalrymple’s.

    Thank you for your wisdom and thank you for your poetry.

    Reply
    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Susan, I also have noticed that the words “lie” and “liar” have taken on a taboo aura, and many persons avoid using them. If the words have become offensive, I think we should start using them more and more when they fit the bill. Certainly everything said by Mainstream Media is now corrupted by deliberate distortion and lying.

      Reply
      • Mike Bryant

        Joe, it makes sense that “lie” or “liar” are taboo when you consider the one person most closely associated with “Truth.” If there are no “lies” there is no “Truth.” If “lie” is only a buzzword then so is “Truth.”

    • Roy Eugene Peterson

      I really love your creative term, “red-pilled!” Thank you for sharing the quote from Theodore Dalrymple, as well. A lie by any other name is still a fabrication or prevarication. Hate speech these days includes saying anything against the deceivers and what they are saying. You are correct about spending a lot of thought and time on this poem, something I probably should do on my other poems. The more we can expose what the left is doing, the better off we may be.

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Roy, the term “red-pilled’ was not coined by Susan. It has been used by those of us on the right for many years now as a description of those persons who have finally seen and understood the utter corruption and lies that surround them.

        Usually, what occurs is that a normal moderate conservative (or even a fair-minded liberal) has a shocking experience of pure hatred, injustice, or bigotry directed against him, and for which he has absolutely no recourse to get redress. He suddenly realizes, that as white person, a Christian, a patriot, and a law-abiding citizen, he is OFFICIALLY CONSIDERED AS SECOND-CLASS, without any of the rights of those in the governmentally certified “victim” groups. He is never the same after that.

        This is what it means to be “red-pilled.”

        Every hard rightist recalls the moment when he was red-pilled. Just like every woman recalls the time she lost her virginity.

      • Lannie David Brockstein

        Susan, Roy, and Joseph, each of you might want to research the origin of “red-pilled” and “blue-pilled”, as they are both from The Matrix movie franchise that was written and directed by Mr. Budweiner, I mean the Wachowskis.

        The red pill is Big Pharma’s “Premarin” drug product that is prescribed for “transgender hormone therapy”, whereas the blue pill is Big Pharma’s “Prozac” drug product that is prescribed to “closeted trans women”, which is to say to males diagnosed with depression by demented Big Pharma doctors who secretly want to brainwash them into falsely believing they are women: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_pill_and_blue_pill#Red_pill_as_transgender_allegory

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Thank you, Lannie. I’m sorry I overlooked this thread. I should have said that “red-pilled” was from The Matrix… an excellent film that is sure to mean so much more to anyone who watches it in this day and age.

    • Paul A. Freeman

      In the British parliament, if an MP calls another MP a liar, they are asked by the Speaker to leave the Chamber. Hence, the ‘honourable’ members of parliament have worked ways around the word, the age-old favourite being ‘the honourable member is being economic with the truth’.

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        This is highly amusing. At least the ‘honorable members’ acknowledge the truth still exists. Although, I fear it’s on the endangered words list in Westminster, rapidly heading towards extinction.

  12. Paul A. Freeman

    Having lived in Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s Marxist-Leninist ‘utopia’ of Zimbabwe for several years, your poems hit home, Roy. I’m sure it’ll take a while to read and digest them all.

    I once served the Minister of Industry in Zimbabwe, Chris Ushewokunze, an up-and-coming politician with a reputation for honesty and integrity, a beer halfway around a golf course. Talk had started about how he could one day succeed Comrade Bob. This was a death sentence, and the next week he died in a mysterious car accident, just like numerous other promising (and not so promising) politicians over the years.

    Of course the Marxist-Leninist label was largely for show, to garner support for the civil war, and was a convenient label to propagate beyond independence to make the people believe the government had their best interests at heart.

    Reply

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