1980s Warning from Russian defector becomes more relevant by the day

Former KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov defected to Canada in 1970 at the age of 31. In 1984, he wrote a book titled, “Love Letter to America,” in which he warned us of the Soviet Union’s four part plan to destroy western societies from within. In an interview with journalist G. Edward Griffin at the time, Bezmenov explained how, via a process he called “ideological subversion,” the Soviets were able “to change the perception of reality” of so many Americans without firing a single shot. 

The plan worked “to such an extent that despite the abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country,” he claimed.

Ideological subversion, he said, “has nothing to do with espionage.” Rather, it was a “great brainwashing” and there were four basic stages. The first, Bezmenov said, is “demoralization,” which takes from 15 to 20 years. “This is the minimum number of years required to re-educate    one generation of students in the country of your enemy. … In other words, Marxism, Leninism ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students without being challenged.”

For example, he said that students who graduated in the 1960s had been “contaminated” by the Marxist/Leninist ideology, and twenty years later, were “occupying positions of power in the government, business, the mass media, educational system. You are stuck with them.” This is not as far-fetched as it sounds. 

Bezmenov explained, “They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern. You cannot change their mind even if you expose them to authentic information. Even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still cannot change the basic perception and the logic of behavior.” Worse, he argued that this process was “irreversible.” 

He said, “As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter anymore. A person who was demoralized is unable to assess true information. … Even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents, with pictures; even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him [a] concentration camp, he will refuse to believe it, until he [receives] a kick in his fat bottom. When a military boot crushes his balls, then he will understand.” 

Bezmenov’s theory of demoralization may have seemed hyperbolic back then, but forty years later, it sounds prescient. It’s an accurate description of today’s fractious political landscape.

The second stage of ideological brainwashing is “destabilization,” which he says takes between two to five years. This involves targeting the enemy’s economy, foreign relations, and defense systems. Bezmenov said he was amazed (in 1984!) at how fast Russia had been able to accomplish this stage in the U.S.

In the third stage, which takes up to six weeks, a “crisis” occurs which brings about “a violent change of power, structure, and economy.” Of the last stage, “normalization,” Bezmenov said, “That’s when your country is basically taken over, living under a new ideology and reality.”

Bezmenov said this could happen to America “if people will fail to grasp the impending danger,” in which case, “You may kiss goodbye to your freedom.”

“Most of the American politicians, media, and educational system trains another generation of people who think they are living at the peacetime. False. United States is in a state of war: undeclared, total war against the basic principles and foundations of this system,” he said.

And, “most of it is Americans doing it to Americans, thanks to lack of moral standards. Your leftists in United States, all these professors, and all these beautiful civil rights defenders, they are instrumental in the process of the subversion, only to destabilize the nation.” 

I suppose Bezmenov is saying that the Soviets lay the foundation, and those they call the “useful idiots” – the President Joe Bidens, the Nancy Pelosis, the Rachel Maddows, and the Joe Scarboroughs of the world – take over from there.

I would imagine that few Americans took his warning seriously in the 1980s, likely because the process was only in its early stages at that time. In the interim, however, much has changed, particularly over the past five to seven years. The Democratic party has become radicalized in ways few could have foreseen. Today, Bezmenov’s words resonate. The evidence is all around us.

Bezmenov died in Canada in 1993. His warning may have come too early, but our current state of affairs show he was right.


A previous version of this article appeared in The Washington Examiner.

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