FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience.

“To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."



Sunday, August 21, 2016

Socialism: The Biggest Generator of Poverty

Socialism: The Biggest Generator of Poverty

Allen Mendenhall

If you’re looking for a short introduction to socialism that rewards rereading, Thomas DiLorenzo’s The Problem With Socialism is it.

Perhaps your son or daughter has returned from college talking about collective control of the means of production and sporting Bernie Sanders t-shirts. Perhaps you’re a political novice looking for informed guidance. Perhaps you’re frustrated with America’s economic decline and deplorable unemployment rates. Perhaps you listened with bewilderment as some pundit this election season distinguished democratic socialism from pure socialism in an attempt to justify the former.

Whoever you are, and whatever your occasion for curiosity, you’re likely to find insight and answers from DiLorenzo.

A professor of economics at Loyola University Maryland, DiLorenzo opens his book with troubling statistics: 43% of millennials, or at least those between ages 18 and 29, view socialism more favorably than capitalism, and 69% of voters under 30 would vote for a socialist presidential candidate. Socialism — depending on how it’s defined in relation to communism — may have killed over 100 million people and impoverished countless others over the course of the 20th century.

So why have the youth (full disclaimer: by certain measures, at 33, I’m considered a millennial myself) welcomed this ideology that’s responsible for mass killings, organized theft, war crimes, forced labor, concentration camps, executions, show trials, ethnic cleansing, disease, totalitarianism, censorship, starvation, hyperinflation, poverty, and terror?

Why have death, destruction, and abject destitution become so hip and cool? Because of effective propaganda and utopian promises of “free” everything.

The problem is, as anyone who’s ever studied economics knows, there’s no such thing as free stuff. Somebody pays at some point.

“What socialists like Senator Sanders should say if they want to be truthful and straightforward,” DiLorenzo thus avers, “is not that government can offer citizens anything for free, but that they want healthcare (and much else) to become a government-run monopoly financed entirely with taxes. Taxes hide, but do not eliminate, the cost of individual government programs.”

And these programs are far more expensive to society than they would be on the free market.

The predicable rejoinder to such a claim — repeated ad nauseam by television personalities — is that socialism works, nay thrives, in, say, Sweden. DiLorenzo corrects the record:

“Socialism nearly wrecked Sweden, and free market reforms are finally bringing its economy back from the brink of disaster.”

Strong language, but DiLorenzo maps the history and supplies the data to back it up.

“The real source of Sweden’s relatively high standard of living,” he explains, has “everything to do with Sweden avoiding both world wars and jumping into the industrial revolution when its economy was one of the freest, least regulated, and least taxed in Europe.”

Other common binary assumptions are reversed in these pages: socialism causes pollution whereas capitalism protects the environment; socialism leads to war whereas capitalism is peaceful; socialism consolidates power among an elite few whereas capitalism decentralizes and disperses power, which ultimately resides with individual consumers making small economic adjustments based on their particular needs.

Even socialized medicine proves more inequitable than market-based alternatives. Proponents of Canadian-style healthcare ignore the fact that,

“Canadian health care is actually far more expensive, and the quality far less than it would be if doctors and hospitals had to compete for patients on the basis of quality and price.”

Coloring his analysis with references to the Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and Murray Rothbard, DiLorenzo undertakes a variety of other issues implicated by socialism: egalitarianism, fascism, income taxation, wage and price controls, monopolies, public schooling, and more.

Had I been his publisher, I would have insisted that he also include disturbing, graphic, and gruesome images of real, dead human bodies stacked on real, dead human bodies, of ransacked churches, and of confiscated property — alarmingly tangible consequences and horrifying illustrations of pure, realized socialism.

Senator Sanders and most of his followers mean well, of course, and genuinely and in good faith advocate policies they believe to be in the best interests of the United States. Yet the history of the cause they champion is fundamentally at odds with their desired goals.

DiLorenzo has the courage to call socialism what it is: “the biggest generator of poverty the world has ever known.” For young students especially, his concise primer could make the difference between feeling the Bern, and getting burned.

The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep

The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep

The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep:
Russia's Road to Terror and Dictatorship under Yeltsin and Putin
(Yale University Press, 2016)
August 19, 2016

To the memory of the victims of the Nord-Ost theater siege, the Beslan school massacre, and the Russian apartment bombings

On December 23, 2013, I received word that the Russian Foreign Ministry had finally approved my visa and issued a number for my visa approval letter. I had been living in a rented apartment in Kiev while a revolution unfolded on the streets, writing a diary for Radio Liberty and other publications about the extraordinary events that were freeing a people and propelling the world to a new crisis.

Despite the fascination of events in Ukraine, I was anxious to bring the Russian bureaucratic process to an end. I had been waiting three weeks for the approval and wanted to return to Moscow where, after years of traveling back and forth from the United States, I hoped to settle for at least a few years. With the news of approval, all I had to do was go to the Russian consulate and present the number, along with a completed application and photograph.

On Christmas Eve, I went to the consulate and was buzzed in by staff members. The consul greeted me cordially and asked me to wait while he retrieved the approval letter. After an hour and a half, he returned and said that he had found my number in the consular log but that there was no letter. At my request, he searched for the letter twice more without success. Finally I asked him: “Has there ever been a case in your experience where the Foreign Ministry issued an approval number without an accompanying letter?” “No,” he replied, “never.”

Back in my apartment, I called the Foreign Ministry in Moscow and explained the situation to Lev Lvovich, a diplomat in the press department. He seemed surprised and said he would consult with his superior. A half hour later, he told me to call the embassy the following day and ask for Alexei Gruby, a first secretary. Something had gone wrong, he said, but Gruby would make sure I received my visa.

That night, my documentary film, Age of Delirium, about the fall of the Soviet Union, was shown in the Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), the epicenter of Kiev’s antiregime revolt. About a hundred people stood for an hour and forty minutes in subzero cold in an improvised outdoor cinema watching the story of the fate of ordinary people in the Soviet collapse. The next morning, I was interviewed by Kiev’s Espreso TV, an internet television network that covers the Maidan. After the interview I called the embassy and was connected to Gruby.

Ukraine celebrates the Orthodox Christmas, so all offices, including the Russian embassy, were open on December 25. Gruby, who was expecting my call, said he had a statement to read to me: “The competent organs have determined that your presence on the territory of the Russian Federation is undesirable.” My application to enter Russia had been refused. The phrase “competent organs” is used in Russia to refer to the Federal Security Service (FSB). The formula “your presence is undesirable” is used in espionage cases. I had never before heard it applied to a journalist.

The Russian authorities were not objecting to anything I had written. My previous stay in Moscow had been only three months, during which time I had been able to do little more than open a bank account, familiarize myself with the operations of the Radio Liberty Russian Service, where I was to serve as an adviser, and organize an apartment. The only significant article I had written concerned Yeltsin’s destruction of the Russian parliament twenty years before, in 1993. Still, my expulsion was not a complete surprise. As Viktor Davidoff put it in the Moscow Times, it was not surprising that I was expelled; “it was amazing that it took so long.”

When I first began working in Russia, in 1976, as a correspondent for the London Financial Times, I quickly concluded that Russia was an alternate universe that could be understood only through the details of individual Russians’ lives. These efforts led to an attempt to expel me in 1979 for “hooliganism.” I survived that attempt because both the British and the American governments threatened to expel Soviet correspondents in retaliation, and I remained in the Soviet Union until 1982, when I left to write my first book, Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union. It was this book that became the film shown on Christmas Eve in the Maidan.

During the 1980s, I was refused visas to the Soviet Union and was able to enter the country on reporting trips just twice, after the U.S. State Department threatened retaliation against Soviet correspondents if I was barred. In 1990, with perestroika under way, I continued to be blacklisted. I was apparently the last journalist still banned. But Reader’s Digest, for which I was writing pieces about Russia, threatened to cancel plans for a Russian-language edition of the magazine. The Soviet authorities were encouraging Western institutions to set up in Moscow and, faced with the Digest ultimatum, decided to give in.

For the next two decades, I traveled freely to Russia, writing two books and hundreds of articles. In 1999, after four apartment buildings in Russia were blown up, killing hundreds of residents in their sleep and providing the pretext for starting the second Chechen war, which brought Vladimir Putin to power, I contended that the bombings were carried out by the FSB, not by Chechen rebels. I also argued that the decision in 2004 by Russian forces to open fire with flamethrowers on the gymnasium of the school in Beslan that had been seized by terrorists, killing 338 hostages, constituted a crime against humanity.

Despite these stories, I regularly received visas, and persons connected to the Russian authorities pointed to me as an example of the regime’s tolerance of free expression. In fact, this tolerance was based on the authorities’ confidence in their ability to manipulate Western opinion. The picture of contemporary Russia sent back by Western journalists and academics was far from favorable, but it hardly conveyed how morally damaged Russia really was.

An example of the Russian success in manipulating Western observers was the Valdai Discussion Club, organized as a means of influencing the world’s leading experts on Russia, both journalists and academics. One of the great attractions of the meetings was the opportunity to question Putin and other Russian officials in a supposedly informal setting. Russian officials were unfailingly generous with their time and hospitality, but they tightly controlled the proceedings, providing detailed answers to prepared questions and ignoring or giving short shrift to those that were even mildly critical. The participants, anxious not to offend their hosts for fear of not being invited back, engaged in self-censorship, as the Russian authorities knew they would. After the sessions, the participants in the “club” returned to the West, where they often cited their firsthand contact with Russian leaders and parroted what they were told.

The success of Valdai was reflected in headlines like the one on the BBC web site on September 20, 2013, the forum’s tenth anniversary: “Putin shines at Valdai summit as he castigates the West.” The story described Putin’s criticism of the West, in his opening speech, for losing touch with its Christian roots. Richard Sakwa, a British academic, was quoted as saying he would not participate in Valdai if it were simply “brainwashing.” Instead, he said, the Valdai participants “felt the evolution, the self-confidence of this country, its consolidation,” inadvertently demonstrating the effectiveness of that brainwashing.

Russia’s ability to manipulate foreign opinion, however, is limited by external circumstances. In December 2013, as I was waiting for my Russian visa to be renewed, the crisis in Ukraine was changing the calculus. The mask of liberalism had effectively misled the world about the true nature of the regime, but if the regime began to be directly threatened, as it was by events in Ukraine, it would have to take steps that would make the illusion harder, or impossible, to sustain.

I owed my continued presence in Moscow to the regime’s desire to protect the masquerade. Russian officials liked to point out that no American journalist had been expelled since the end of the Cold War. With the Ukraine crisis, however, the authorities apparently decided that the show was over. My presence in Moscow was a luxury they could no longer afford.

Understanding Russia is actually very easy, but one must teach oneself to do something that is very hard—to believe the unbelievable. Westerners become confused because they approach Russia with a Western frame of reference, not realizing that Russia is a universe based on a completely different set of values. If a Westerner takes it for granted that the individual has inherent worth and is not just raw material for the deluded schemes of corrupt political leaders, he may not realize that in Russia this outlook is not widely shared. To grasp the reality of Russia, it is necessary to accept that Russian leaders really are capable of blowing up hundreds of their own people to preserve their hold on power. They really are capable of ordering an attack with flamethrowers on a gymnasium full of defenseless parents and children. Once one accepts that the impossible is really possible, the degradation of the Yeltsin years and Vladimir Putin’s rise to power make perfect sense.

The 1999 Apartment Bombings

In the summer of 1999, with the Boris Yeltsin era coming to an end, those at the pinnacle of power in Russia feared for their freedom and even their lives. There were signs of an economic recovery, but most citizens were still living in poverty and waiting months to be paid. The Yeltsin entourage was increasingly isolated and widely hated for its role in pillaging the country. According to Russians and Westerners with access to the Kremlin leadership, the leading members of the Yeltsin “family”—Tatyana Dyachenko, the president’s daughter; Boris Berezovsky, her close adviser and the country’s richest man; and Valentin Yumashev, a member of the Security Council and Dyachenko’s future husband—lived in fear of a cruel reckoning. Many were convinced they would never surrender power.

In the twelve days from September 4 to the 16th, however, everything changed. Four apartment buildings were blown up in Moscow, Buinaksk, and Volgodonsk, and the controversies that wracked the country over corruption and privatization were suddenly forgotten. Eight years of post-Soviet Russian history was telescoped into the shocking images of bodies being carried out of the rubble of bombed buildings.

Newly appointed prime minister Vladimir Putin expressed perfectly the country’s desire for revenge. On September 24, he said, “We will pursue the terrorists everywhere. If they are in an airport, then in an airport, and, forgive me, if we catch them in the toilet, then we’ll rub them out (mochit) in the toilet. … The question is closed once and for all.”

Russian officials said there was a “Chechen trail” in the bombings. The wording was unusual: not proof but a “trail.” The Chechens insisted that they had nothing to do with the bombings, and no proof of their involvement was ever adduced. But Russian forces were already fighting Chechen rebels in Dagestan, and the country was looking desperately for someone to blame. Russians had been opposed to further involvement in Chechnya, but in the wake of the apartment bombings, sentiment shifted. They were now ready for a new Chechen war.

The mystery of who bombed the apartment houses in 1999 has never been solved. To the extent that there is evidence as to the perpetrators, it points not to Chechen terrorists but to the Kremlin leadership and the FSB.

When I was told on Christmas Day 2013 that the “competent organs” had determined that my presence in the territory of the Russian Federation was “undesirable,” I was certain that my role in the investigation of the 1999 apartment bombings was the most important reason. Many journalists asked me, “Why did they decide to expel you rather than someone else?” The Russian authorities had tolerated my presence for ten years since the publication of my book Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State, in which I accused the FSB of responsibility for the explosions. They did this, I believe, because my expulsion would have drawn attention to an episode the rest of the world seemed to have forgotten.

But by the time I worked in Moscow in late 2013, Putin’s hold on power was weakening. Mass protests had taken place in Moscow and a popular revolution had broken out in Ukraine. The question of the apartment bombings had never quite gone away in Russia, and now the whispers were becoming louder. In the new conditions, raising the topic freely was not going to be allowed.

Yeltsin’s Russia in the spring of 1999 was a nation traumatized by impoverishment and criminalization, and it was far from certain that the presidential elections set for June 2000 would take place. The popular approval ratings of both Yeltsin and his newly appointed prime minister and heir apparent, Vladimir Putin, were at 2 percent. It was nearly inconceivable that anyone connected with Yeltsin could win a free election. But there was a widespread fear that Yeltsin would find a pretext for declaring a state of emergency so that the elections would not take place.

On June 6 of that year, Jan Blomgren, the Moscow correspondent for the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, reported that a faction in the Kremlin was seriously weighing “terror bombings that could be blamed on the Chechens.” In the July 22 issue of Moskovskaya Pravda, the military journalist Alexander Zhilin quoted “trustworthy sources in the Kremlin” saying that persons close to Dyachenko were planning to use terror attacks in Moscow to discredit Yuri Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow, who had emerged as one of Yeltsin’s most serious political opponents. The plan was referred to as Storm in Moscow and was to include attacks on the headquarters of the FSB, the Interior Ministry (MVD), and the Federation Council, kidnappings by Chechen rebels, and a war between criminal gangs. All this was intended to create the impression that Luzhkov had lost control over the city.

Also in June, Russia began a steady military buildup on the Chechen border. Significant numbers of artillery and aircraft were transferred to the region, followed in early July by the arrival of multiple-rocket launchers capable of destroying entire areas. The slow increase of forces continued until the equivalent of a Russian division, about seven thousand men, was on the border.

At the same time, there were also puzzling developments in neighboring Dagestan. An invasion from Chechnya by Islamic rebels was widely expected. But in late spring, the Russian authorities surprised local law enforcement by withdrawing internal troops stationed on the border, clearing a route for would-be invaders.

On August 7, the invasion took place. An Islamic force of twelve hundred armed men, commanded by the Chechen leader Shamil Basaev and an Arab extremist named Khattab, entered Dagestan from Chechnya without meeting any resistance. A high-ranking MVD official later said that if the internal troops had not been withdrawn, the invasion would not have been possible. The invaders occupied territory in the Botlikh region and were fought mostly by local self-defense units. On August 23, the invaders withdrew, again without encountering resistance. A Russian commander told a correspondent for Time magazine that during the retreat, he had Basaev in his sights but was ordered to hold his fire. “We just watched Basaev’s long column of trucks and jeeps withdraw from Dagestan back to Chechnya under cover provided by our own helicopters,” he said. “We could have wiped him out then and there, but the bosses in Moscow wanted him alive.”

The Chechen government condemned the invasion. Aslan Maskhadov, the Chechen president, tried to reach Yeltsin on a hotline installed after the first Chechen war, but no one answered. Within a few days, the line went dead.

After the rebels had withdrawn, Russia bombed the Botlikh region for several days and then began a punitive operation against Karamakhi-Chabanmakhi, an enclave that a year earlier, with official permission, had proclaimed Islamic law. Russian forces surrounded villages and bombed them, killing up to one thousand civilians. There was no obvious connection between the Botlikh events and Karamakhi-Chabanmakhi, which is in a different part of Dagestan.

In response to the bombing of Karamakhi-Chabanmakhi, on September 4, Basaev’s forces reinvaded Dagestan, leading to fighting that continued for almost three weeks. The apartment bombings occurred while this fighting was going on. The timing of the bombings coincided with the fighting in Dagestan, creating the impression that the bombings were revenge for the attacks by the Russian military on Islamic insurgents in Dagestan.

The invasion of Dagestan was treated by the Russian government as a sign that the Chechens wanted to take over the entire North Caucasus. In August, however, the investigative weekly Versiya published a report indicating that Basaev’s invasion of Dagestan had been organized with Russian complicity. According to the weekly, Alexander Voloshin, the head of the presidential administration, had met with Basaev on July 4 in the town of Beaulieu, between Nice and Monaco, at a villa belonging to the international arms merchant Adnan Khashoggi. This information was said to come from a source in French intelligence. On September 13 and 14 the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets published parts of the transcript of a friendly conversation between a man with a voice similar to that of Boris Berezovsky—Yeltsin’s daughter’s close adviser—and Movladi Udugov, the unofficial spokesman for the radical Chechen opposition, which included Basaev and Khattab. In the conversation, they appeared to discuss the transfer of money to the radicals.

These publications may have inspired Vitaly Tretyakov, the editor of Berezovsky’s most important publication, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, to offer a version of events that slightly defended Berezovsky while agreeing that the incursion into Dagestan was organized by the authorities. “It is perfectly obvious,” Tretyakov wrote, “that the Chechens were lured into Dagestan … in order to provide a legitimate excuse for … beginning the offensive phase of struggle against the terrorists grouped in Chechnya. Clearly it was an operation by the Russian special services … that was, moreover, politically authorized from the very top.” As for Berezovsky, whose voice was apparently captured on tape offering to pay the radicals, Tretyakov speculated that he may have been used “without his knowledge by the Russian special services.” It was more than likely, Tretyakov wrote, “that he acted in coordination with them,” a possibility he considered “far more realistic than the theory that Berezovsky ‘set everything up.’”

During this fateful summer when Moscow was awash with rumors, I was friendly with a Russian political operative who was well connected to the higher levels of Russian power. When I met him, he told me about the growing fear in the Kremlin about the possibility of the Yeltsin government’s losing power and the rumors that Moscow would be the scene of a huge provocation. He said that the issue was the security of Yeltsin and his family in the case of a handover of power. If there was no agreement on terms, “they will blow up half of Moscow.”

I sensed the uneasiness but did not know how to assess my friend’s prediction. I had no illusions about Yeltsin and his cronies, but it was hard to imagine that a man who came to power through a peaceful anticommunist revolution with massive public support would murder his own people to hold on to power. Developing events were to change my mind.

At 9:40 PM on September 4, a truck bomb exploded in Buinaksk, Dagestan’s second-largest city. It destroyed a five-story apartment building that housed soldiers from the 136th Motor Rifle Brigade. The explosion occurred while many residents were at home, watching a televised soccer match between France and Ukraine, and dozens of persons were buried under the rubble. The eventual death toll was sixty-four, with nearly one hundred people injured.

It later transpired that the toll could have been much worse. Hours after the first explosion in Buinaksk, a second bomb was discovered in a ZIL-130 truck near the military hospital. Sappers stopped a watch mechanism twelve minutes before the bomb was set to explode. There was almost six thousand pounds of explosives in the truck, enough to have leveled the central part of the city.

The events in Buinaksk, although major, did not stun the nation because the victims were Dagestani, not Russian, and Dagestan was a war zone. On September 9, however, the terrorists struck again, this time in Moscow. Shortly after midnight, a bomb exploded in the basement of a building at 19 Guryanova Street, in a working-class area in the southeast part of the city. The central section of the building was obliterated, leaving the left and right stairwells standing on each side of a gaping hole. Fires raged for hours under the rubble. “It’s like hell underneath,” one rescuer said. “Even if they survived the blast, they would have been burned alive.” In the end, 100 people were killed and 690 injured. Russian officials blamed the bombing on Chechen terrorists seeking revenge for their “defeat” in Dagestan. The Moscow FSB announced that items removed from the scene showed traces of TNT and hexogen, a powerful military explosive.

Four days later, on September 13, an explosion at 6 Kashirskoye Highway in Moscow flattened a nine-story brick apartment building, turning it into a pile of rubble. To add to the horror, the explosion took place at 5 AM, when almost all of the residents were asleep. Muscovites awoke to graphic television footage showing emergency workers feverishly going through the debris. The death toll was eventually established at 124, with 7 injured.

The Russian capital was now gripped by unspeakable terror. Every one of the city’s thirty thousand residential buildings was ordered to be checked for explosives; residents organized round-the-clock patrols. There were thousands of calls to the police reporting suspicious activity.

On the morning of the explosion on Kashirskoye Highway, Gennady Seleznev, the speaker of the State Duma, announced at a meeting of the Duma Council that on the previous night, an apartment house had been blown up in the city of Volgodonsk. The significance of this announcement would not become clear until later.

On September 16, the terror spread. With funerals of the Moscow victims still going on, a truck bomb exploded in Volgodonsk. The blast ripped off the fa├žade of a nine-story apartment building. The dead bodies of eighteen people, including two children, were pulled from the rubble. Eighty-nine were hospitalized. This explosion, like the one on Kashirskoye Highway, took place at 5 AM. The psychological shock was so great that afterward hundreds of people were unwilling to sleep in their homes and insisted on spending the night outdoors. The bomb left a crater 11.5 feet deep and forty to fifty feet wide. Parts of the vehicle that carried the bomb were dispersed over a radius of nearly a mile.


The Soviet-Jihad Connection

The Soviet-Jihad Connection

Ryan Mauro | Clarion Project

Pavel Stroilov is a Russian historian who smuggled a top-secret archive of about 50,000 Soviet documents to the West. Stroilov tells the story of the Soviet support for the Islamist movements, and analyzes Russia’s actions today.

Pavel Stroilov is a Russian historian who, in 2004, copied a top-secret Soviet archive of about 50,000 documents from the Gorbachev Foundation, where he was a researcher. He smuggled the documents to the West and was granted political asylum in London. He was a friend of FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko, who was murdered in London with the Russian government widely suspected of being responsible. Stroilov translated and edited his writings after his death, titled Allegations: Selected Works by Alexander Litvinenko.

His books include EUSSR: The Soviet Roots of European Integration, co-authored with Vladimir Bukovsky and Behind the Desert Storm: A Secret Archive Stolen From the Kremlin That Shends a New Light on the Arab Revolutions in the Middle East.

The following is Pavel Stroilov’s interview with’s Ryan Mauro:

Mauro: One of the revelations in your new book is that Soviet records show that the Communists actively sponsored the growth of radical Islam. How much work did the Soviets put into this effort and what did they hope to achieve?

Stroilov: Oddly enough, the story actually did not begin with the ideology of radical Islam but with the method, terrorism. The Soviets created modern international terrorism and the archival documents leave no doubts about that. Vladimir Bukovsky’s archival collection shows that the Soviets were financing, arming, and training terrorists from “liberation fronts” all over the world since the 1960s.

According to the highest-ranking and very credible defector from the Soviet Bloc, General Ion Mihai Pacepa, it was the then-head of the KGB’s intelligence arm, General Alexander Sakharovsky, who insisted that “In today’s world, when nuclear arms have made military force obsolete, terrorism should become our main weapon.”

In the narrow circle of high-ranking Soviet Bloc spymasters, Sakharovsky boasted that airplane-hijacking was his own invention. His personal office decoration at KGB headquarters was a large world map, covered with countless red flags, each pinned by Sakharovsky to mark a successful hijacking. Another notorious species of terrorist attacks—mass shootings in airports and other public places—was also invented by the KGB in the wake of the successful campaign to hijack 82 airplanes in 1969 alone.

Originally, this was a worldwide campaign, with the Middle East-brand of terrorism being just one of many, along with other “liberation fronts” on every continent, even in Europe (e.g., the Irish terrorists or the Red Brigades). But then, resulting from practical experience rather than design, Palestinian terrorists became the most successful. The term “Palestinian” is a rather misleading adjective here, because Palestinians are not a nation, but rather a voluntary organization. “Palestinian” is what they call themselves, without any particular historic or geographic connection with Palestine, except that they hope to conquer it. It is more accurate to call it Arab anti-Western (and hence, anti-Israeli) terrorism.

Religion was brought into it at a rather late stage. From the scarce documents and witnesses that are available, it seems to be in the 1970s. It was then that the new head of the KGB, Yuri Andropov, came up with the idea of using Islam to broaden the base of anti-Western “liberation fronts.” Again, apparently this was not limited to Islam alone. Around the same period, the world saw similar ugly hybrids of religion with socialism mushrooming everywhere—for example, the Catholic “Liberation Theology” in Latin America. And again, the Muslim world has proven to be the most fertile soil for these evil seeds, so much so that the Islamic terrorism has long outlived its Marxist creators.

Mauro: Was there a relationship between the Soviet Union and the Muslim Brotherhood?

Stroilov: I have no evidence of any direct relationship and would be surprised if there was. Rather, it was the KGB’s sister service in Egypt who infiltrated the Muslim Brotherhood very densely and deliberately nurtured them as the only organized opposition in Egypt. It was their game, so it would be pointless for the Soviet KGB to interfere. While they were friends with the Egyptian regime, it was practical common sense to leave such a massive operation to the local comrades. When they became enemies, the KGB knew well that the Muslim Brotherhood was so densely infiltrated by their Egyptian counterparts that nobody could be trusted there.

Socialist Egypt was an ally of the Soviet Union for longer than is generally thought. As the archival documents show, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat maintained a secret relationship with Moscow for a number of years in the earlier period of his rule before switching sides. For that, he was killed and his successor, Hosni Mubarak, then restored the secret relations with Moscow.

It is very likely that the KGB was involved in the assassination of Sadat and it should be inferred that they had a close relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood’s splinter group that did it. We still do not know how direct the relationship was—it may have been through the Syrians and/or Palestinians. According to the archive taken by KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin, it was immediately after Sadat made peace with Israel that the Syrian secret service and the National Front for the Liberation of Palestine began preparing his assassination with Moscow’s knowledge and, at least, tacit approval.

Mauro: Tell us about the relationship between the Soviets and Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian regime.

Stroilov: It was quite long and complicated. I tell the full story in the book. To begin with, the fundamentalist regime in Iran emerged because of a very weird accident of history.

The 1979 Iranian Revolution had been prepared very thoroughly by the Soviets ever since the end of World War II, but it was meant to be a communist revolution. The Islamists were mere fellow-travelers at first, but at the decisive moment, the most important KGB spymaster in Tehran, Vladimir Kuzichkin, turned out to be a double-agent for the British MI6. He gave them full information on the entire Soviet subversive network in Iran. The British passed it on to the Shah, and then the records were captured by the Islamists, so they easily rounded up all the Soviet agents and Iranian communists, the entire, very impressive subversive network.

This was the moment when the Islamists really became the “third force” in the Middle East Cold War. The Soviets and their “Red Arab” satellites faced a difficult choice between an alliance with the ayatollahs against the West or a war against them. Syrian dictator Hafez Assad wanted an alliance, and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein wanted war, which he eventually started without Moscow’s approval. By that time, Moscow practically accepted Assad’s line.

In 1987, one of Gorbachev’s advisors wrote in a confidential memo: “Of course, Assad is playing his own game with us, although he believes he is right. The reason we need him now is not even the Middle East…but Iran after Khomeini (the Syrians have strongly penetrated the various strata of the Iranian society).” In the same period, the Soviets began actively seeking secret contacts with Iran through Assad and Yasser Arafat.

In response, Khomeini suddenly sent a written epistle to Gorbachev in 1989, suggesting it was time to abandon Marxism and turn the Soviet Union into an Islamic Republic. The whole Politburo laughed their heads off. Gorbachev, of course, replied that he was as loyal a communist as any, but they could still cooperate on many fronts and so they did.

Within months, as the transcripts of their negotiations show, the Soviets and Iranians were already discussing cooperation on such issues as ousting the Americans from the Indian Ocean, building a strategic railway to link the Soviet Union to the Persian Gulf through Iran, technology, and yes, nuclear energy. Ayatollah Rafsanjani even wanted to send his son to space on a Soviet shuttle “as a symbol of Soviet-Iranian friendship.” Gorbachev is also recorded as proposing to his Politburo that the Soviets organize secret arms shipments to Iran through Czechoslovakia or Hungary.

As Khomeini died that same year and was succeeded by more cynical people, the attempts to convert the Russians to Islam ceased and a pragmatic but very close anti-Western alliance between Moscow and Tehran was established very rapidly. In spite of some occasional maneuvers and pretenses, that alliance certainly continues to this day.

Mauro: Islamist terrorists like Al-Qaeda target Russia today. What’s your opinion of those who argue that the U.S. and Russia today face a common enemy now and should be allies?

Stroilov: The whole thing is Moscow’s propaganda. Even though Moscow is desperate to link the Chechens with Al-Qaeda, the connection is entirely false. From the outset, the Chechen independence movement was not religious but nationalist and even democratic. It was simply that, as the Soviet Union collapsed, the Chechens wanted independence like everybody else.

Since they are a Muslim nation, the Islamists tried to get onboard and Moscow always supported that, using its own agents in Islamist organizations. On the one hand, that would discredit the Chechens, and on the other, it would help infiltrate them. These efforts have had some success and the Chechen leadership is now bitterly split between democrats and “Islamists,” but it is really an open secret that even the “Islamist” Chechen leaders do not really believe in the ideology. They are simply flirting with rich sponsors in the Middle East or are manipulated by Russian FSB agents.

Indeed, as FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko revealed, and this was probably the revelation that cost him his life, the present head of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is an FSB agent himself. As the former leader of the terrorist organization Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Zawahiri was on international lists of most wanted terrorists for many years. In 1997, he suddenly resurfaced in Russia, where he undertook a special training course at a secret FSB base in Dagestan. After that, he was sent to Afghanistan and joined Al-Qaeda as Bin Laden’s number two.

When the story emerged, Moscow claimed that they arrested Zawahiri in the North Caucasus as an illegal immigrant, but failed to identify him, so they had to deport him. Yet, it is difficult to believe that they failed to identify one of the world’s most wanted terrorists. In fact, nearly all foreign jihadist preachers who emerged in North Caucasus in that period came from Moscow on Russian visas and spoke fluent Russian, so the Chechens easily realized who these people were.

Mauro: Russia is supporting Bashar Assad today in Syria and this is usually attributed to the fact that Assad permits the Russians to have a major naval base there. If the Syrian rebels were to promise Russia that it could keep its base, would the Russians switch sides?

Stroilov: No. The naval base is not just there to guarantee Russia’s commitment to supporting Bashar Assad’s regime. It is there to deter the West from intervening if they do not want to risk a conflict with Russia and at that, the mission has been successful.

Syria was Moscow’s closest ally in the Middle East since the 1970s, ever since Sadat’s “defection” to the West. In my book, I cite the transcripts of negotiations where Gorbachev tells Hafez Assad that he wants him to be the leader of the whole Arab world. In that, Gorbachev was by no means unique among the Soviet leaders.

The reason why Moscow supports the Syrian regime is the same reason why they support Iran and other dictators and terrorists. They simply need to stir up trouble. This used to be ideological in the old time, but now they need trouble for trouble’s sake. The main reason is, simply, that it drives oil prices up. Also, they like to be involved in any international crisis so they can bargain for concessions from the West, so they will be supporting Assad until they are offered a really big prize for betraying him. I don’t mean money but Western concessions on issues like Georgia or the anti-missile defense in Eastern Europe. This is the real game, where the naval base is rather incidental.

What will happen if and when the Syrian rebels win depends upon which kind of rebels come out on top. Generally, rebels rightly regard Russia as a friend and patron of their enemy that keeps using their country as a pawn in its international games at the expense of the people. The whole rebellion began with Russia and Iranian flags burning on the streets of Damascus.

If and when Syria becomes democratic, its alliance with Putin will end the same day. But a likelier and much more sinister scenario, given the suicidal policy of the West, is that the Islamists will win, like they did in Tunisia and Egypt. In that case, it is quite possible that they will reach a pragmatic understanding with Putin and will go on stirring up trouble and driving up oil prices for him. In that case, they will want to keep the Russian base in Syria and probably will, so we will just be back to square one.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

If People Only Knew

If People Only Knew

This awakening dynamic is one of the main drivers of my impetus for communicating and attempting to motivate and encourage others. If people knew what their energetic contribution is accomplishing they’d jack up their participation to such massive degrees it would accelerate the change we seek in ways that would make everything simply fly out of the grip of control grid in a manner that would defy imagination!

That is no exaggeration. It’s a simple, provable reality at our fingertips. I try to get this fact of spiritual truth across but this blinding mind slippage the matrix causes is just horrendous and blocks this realization from really hitting home.

But crack the blockage we will!

As I said in Yank the Morphic Rug:



What Fights This Realization?

Lots of stuff. Egoic bullshit like self and image concerns, doubt born of ingrained ignorance and cynicism, mental constructs that have defied such a possibility from birth, and very powerful energetic influences that seek to blind and cripple the human race from this simple realization.

That’s an incomplete summary but it gives the idea. Their carefully constructed deck’s stacked against us in this struggle for true freedom. But that’s of no concern where things really matter. Once we get it, the tables turn – profoundly!

True knowledge is empowering. Especially deep, fundamental and energetic knowledge. Knowledge is knowing, not hypothesizing, believing or hoping. It’s from that foundation we must learn to operate and avoid the shallow and disturbed vibrational levels that seek to distract and disempower us.

Vibrational Warfare

I’ve written often about the power of the morphic field we each influence. We all affect it continually, awake or asleep in all of their meanings. Disengaging with the synthetic cover up reality disempowers it. End of story. However, engaging in creative co-creation empowers the opposite true alternative reality.

Extremely profound. Two powerfully dynamic and effective actions in one fell swoop!

As each one takes this simple step, the “whirled” influences we live in change drastically. It’s compounded faster than fractional banking.

What frustrates me is how people can’t see the effects of such conscious activism. It’s more powerful than information, way greater than any kind of political activism, and more profound than attacking (and empowering) an apparent enemy on their terms.

It’s all about energy, and where it goes. Simple as that. What we engage in determines our vibrational state.

When we wake up and see the simplicity of our own directed energy “weapon” if you will, and how profoundly effective what we engage and don’t engage in is, it’s a whole new playing field.

And it then becomes our field, not theirs. That’s the key.

Disengage and Engage

The answers are simple for each of us but not always easy. They require discipline, resolve, determination and a good hunk of guts. Because the fallout is massive. Our lives change drastically on this plane and our direction often becomes unknown.

So what?

What else is there to live for? Short term pleasure and comfort at the cost to all of humanity and the health and well being of our planet and those we profess to love?

Where is our vision? Where is our intelligence?

There are so many avenues opening for participation that are simply partially conscious and side step the real issues. Dig deep and make a difference in the most profound way possible.

You’ll know it when you strike pay dirt. Then do it. It’s not complicated at all.

Love always, Zen

All The World’s A Cult

All The World’s A Cult

It’s funny how people get all self righteous about not being religious or belonging to some group and condemn anyone who they think is or has been. Naturally most people attempt to be careful about what they align themselves with, but do we really see what all of society is made up of and what we’ve each unwittingly participated in to varying degrees?

Religions don’t have a corner on the market. Perhaps all of us have been cult-ivated in some way.

Cult-ure is called just that for a reason. It’s pretty blatant nomenclature. Merriam-Webster defines culture as the following:




That just about includes every societal behavior or activity. So-called cults, the word derived from the Latin colere meaning to cultivate, are mere start-ups of new and old ideas of group conformity for some objective. In the 60’s these were everywhere as groups and individuals attempted to harvest the spiritual awakening and longings of an entire generation looking for alternatives to the mad military industrial complex-bound world around them. Some were labeled cults by the orthodox minded, but these included a wide range of groups, organizations, alternative learning centers, spiritual fellowships, institutes, break away churches or other so-called “new religious movements” as they preferred to be called.

And the followers were enthusiastic, the word enthusiastic derived from “spirit, or god within us”. Just about any alternative was deemed good, or at least an effort to break free from the system, so there was a lot of experimentation going on. Some of those groups still exist today. Many have been absorbed by the New Age amoeba and yet others grew into powerful organizations. Mind control experimentation was rife at this time as well as the deliberate introduction of mind altering drugs and manipulated music in an effort to scramble society, diffuse dissent, and make it malleable for further indoctrination.

Little did we know. But now we do.

Cults and More Cults

When you finally become awakened and grow detached from this massive matrix ensnaring the world you begin to realize it’s all cults.They’ve simply externalized the idea so we don’t recognize the cults we’re already in. Cult of the personality for example, where sycophantic adoration towards an individual takes place. There are the obvious cases as in showbiz and the media and charismatic religious or social leaders, but this is much more prevalent than people would like to realize. It could be anyone in our lives we’re overly enamored with to the point we relinquish our rational thought. And even worse, our autonomy and individualism, to the charismatic or domineering authority of another, resulting in great devotion to whatever the object and their eventual unquestioned control and spiritual and even physical abuse.

These are all forms of disempowerment or containment, the symptoms to look out for. I’ve written about religion and belief systems quite a bit in this regard, but few realize how social and spiritual pressures are brought to bear via many seemingly innocuous relationships, especially with groups and even loose associations.

Think about school and all the pressures we felt to conform and survive in that packaging facility. That’s a cult, a carefully structured one with a very clear purpose – entrainment and uniformity. How about clubs, fraternities and sororities, or the whole sports scene, never mind the military. The even more obvious examples are business organizations and “work” relationships. Then there are the guys at the bar, or the ladies’ coffee cliques. Speaking of cliques, remember those from your school days? They still exist not only in school environments but in adult social circles.

Then you get to the source – the oc-cult cultivators. They are the ones that set the imprint. They are all avid adherents to cult control of the very worst and most insidious sort. They may seem to act autonomously or as having authority, but they aren’t and they don’t. They’re under heavier control than any of us could imagine. It’s a blood agreement and they’ve sold their souls to move up the pyramid of control, both in this world and other realms. This is a big subject covered extensively in many books as well as other articles by myself and other researchers.

Cultivating Culture – The Open Hidden Hand

The media, corporations and government have a field day playing on this weakness for group think and the need for acceptance, to the extent they’ve created a society that’s complete mush, with the intent that big corp and the nanny state can be the lead dogs in everyone’s life. When you think about how many people are glued to the boob-toob today it’s easy to understand why the masses behave as they do, dress as they do, and eat and drug themselves as they do.

It’s learned. And there is a lot of direct as well as implied pressure to fit in, or else you’ll be mocked, marginalized and excluded, to the extent that any seemingly “anti-social” behavior is now considered suspicious and to be reported, the fear of terrorism coursing through their programmed neurons like molten nano metal.

Most of us are aware of these traps and devices, but the vast majority have no idea. They’re swayed like sickened seaweed in an artificially rippled pond of liquified sewage.

Detachment – The Only Way to Live Fully Free

This may sound like some vague concept but it really isn’t. If you’re not invested in their sticky entrapping webbery you can live outside of it. Sure, we all have to interact with this engineered madness but we don’t have to give it our energy and obeisance. But it will take some sacrifices and dealing with our own shadow work seeing how we’ve succumbed to this in our past.

Each of us have to deal with our own entanglements. Besides religious and belief systems, there are financial interactions with the beast, social obligations we think we have to submit to or endure, or employment entrapments we’d rather have nothing to do with.

Do what you can, but get free, in mind, body and spirit, even if you’re still in it. Some costs will not be comfortable. Old stuck in the mud friends who only bring you down and sap your energy, living or working circumstances that make you curse your situation and absently long for freedom, or how you portray yourself on a daily basis.

This is perhaps the most important. Are we being who we truly are? Do we respond honestly, or has the cult-ure of our micro environment, usually hinged on the macro, force us to compromise our convictions and water down what we know to be true, honest and loving? Do you like yourself when you’re forced into artificial social situations and to compromise for the sake of momentary convenience? We all face these situations.

These are questions we all ask ourselves, consciously and definitely subconsciously.

They need answers. And appropriate action, or inaction, needs to be taken.

The hour is late. It always is when it comes to snapping out of the matrix of deceit. Otherwise it will kill you – spiritually and physically.

Something to think about. Time to bust out of the cult of everything. It’s not the real world, it’s fabricated, and often with our permission and subservient compliance.

Stop empowering it. Break out and change the world by being your authentic self. Wisely and lovingly, and with centered conviction. This is the stand we each need to make.

The rest will follow.

We Live in Dangerous Times

We Live in Dangerous Times

And it’s getting worse by the day

We are sitting atop a volcano that could erupt at any moment. Indeed, the only question is not whether it will explode, but when – and where. For this impending seismic event has multiple pathways to the surface, spread across no less than three continents.
Europe – The long peace that has prevailed in Europe is coming to an end. Ukraine is a battlefield between East and West, where a proxy war between a US-backed regime and an insurgent movement that seeks separation from Kiev is tearing the country apart – and threatens to involve both the Western powers and the Kremlin.
The fighting has escalated, with increased casualties on both sides – and civilian deaths are rising at an alarming rate. The Ukrainian military has sent in some of itselite units, and as this bit of propaganda from the Voice of America makes all too clear, the Ukrainian commanders at the front are champing at the bit for a more aggressive approach by their political leaders.
The Ukrainian public relations machine is very active in the West, with outlets likeNewsweek running their propaganda verbatim and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her surrogates accusing her Republican opponent of being a “useful idiot” of the Kremlin for opposing US military aid to Kiev.
The political atmosphere in Ukraine itself is provoking the regime to bypass the Minsk peace process and seek a military solution. The coup leaders in Kiev – who came to power by overthrowing the democratically-elected President – are losing support rapidly, with a tanking economy and widespread corruption and criminality: the Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, Oleksandr Turchynov, recently announced that a declaration of martial law is in the works. This is just what the Kiev regime needs to silence its critics and crush rising internal opposition.
North Africa – The return of US bombers to Libya shows every sign of being but the first phase of an extended campaign. With the complete destabilization of the country resulting from Hillary’s War, the US has been planning phase two of its Libyan adventure for quite some time – and now with the “request” by the UN-backed “unity” government (one of three rival Libyan governments), it has a quasi-legal cover to do so.
French and Italian troops are already on the ground, and it’s only a matter of time before American soldiers join them in a “multi-national” force to keep the nonexistent “peace.” This is a mission that has no logical endpoint. As in Iraq, we’ll keep returning to the scene of the crime, trying to undo what cannot be undone.
Middle East – Speaking of Iraq, US troops are once more on the move into that war-torn country, with very little notice being given in the US media. Thirteen years after the disastrous decision to topple Saddam Hussein, the body count is rising again.
These four flashpoints are just waiting to ignite – and it doesn’t look like any of the candidates likely to occupy the Oval Office next year will do anything but increase the probability that we’ll be locked in yet another unwinnable unjustifiable military conflict sometime next year – if not sooner.
A couple of years ago, Young Americans for Liberty launched a public campaign which they dubbed “A Generation of War,” pointing out that young people today have never known what peacetime is like. And as yet more war clouds gather on the horizon, the prospects for peace fade to near invisibility.
I don’t believe the American people want that: whenever they’ve had the chance to choose between war and peace they’ve chosen the latter –as they did when Obama announced he was going to bomb Syria and the congressional phone lines lit up with protest.
But the people need to be educated, and kept up to date on what the War Party is planning. They have to be exposed to something other than the pro-war line of the “mainstream” media. And that’s our mission at
But we can’t do it without your support. We don’t get funding from eccentric billionaires or big foundations. We depend on you, our readers and supporters, for the resources we need to continue our mission.
We are living in some pretty dangerous times – and the danger increases by the day.
 FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience. needs your help to keep up the fight against the War Party. And the danger of war has never been greater: the War Party is on the march, and they have the money to get their message across. Don’t let the voices for peace get drowned out:make your tax deductible donation today.

Duped by the Beast of War

Duped by the Beast of War

As if living in a never-ending “war-time,” the war drums are once again fast approaching on the horizon. The country I live in, the United States of America, already involved in multiple wars – some overt, others covert – is threatening to attack another sovereign nation, this time Syria. The whole thing is totally insane; our government’s reliance on military solutions is pathological,[1] a form of mental illness.[2] It certainly seems as if our country doesn’t know how to imagine solutions outside the paradigm of war. The fact that we, as a species, are investing our creative genius to conjure up an endless war which is unceasingly draining us of our most precious resources is complete and utter madness. We are truly in the midst of a global collective psychosis of epic proportions, what the Native Americans call “wetiko psychosis.”
War is really an epidemic of madness. Throughout human history, war is the most violent and destructive activity in which we human beings have been engaged. It is an irrational phenomenon that can’t be stopped or controlled with rational arguments, for its source is the shared unconscious of humanity. Author Barbara Ehrenreich, in her book Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War, writes, “However and wherever war begins, it persists, it spreads, it propagates itself through time and across space with the terrifying tenacity of a beast attached to the neck of living prey. This is not an idly chosen figure of speech. War spreads and perpetuates itself through a dynamic that often seems independent of human will. It has, and we like to say of things we do not fully understand, ‘a life of its own.’”[3] In war our species has created an out-of-our-control Frankenstein monster that has developed a seemingly autonomous and independent “life of its own.” When I first read Ehrenreich’s words, I immediately thought of “wetiko” (which, simply put, refers to the spirit of evil), which I had written extensively about in my book Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil. Originating in the psyche,[4] wetiko – a psychospiritual disease of the soul – similarly develops an apparently autonomous and independent life and will of its own. The more I studied Ehrenreich’s work, the more I realized that the beast of war is a virulent incarnation of the wetiko bug writ large on the world stage.
An out-of-control robotic golem, the war machine develops a seeming autonomy that (just like the wetiko virus) generates its own self-sustaining momentum; war is simultaneously its own cause and effect. Seen as a cultural trait, war has evolved in the way that it has simply because it is advantageous to and profits from itself. In a self-perpetuating vicious and violent cycle of infinite regress that is a self-fulfilling feedback loop, the only defense against war is war itself. Thus war metastasizes and spreads, steamrolling all peaceful solutions under its relentless, circular and self-justifying logic. Once the cycle of violence starts and the dogs of war are unleashed, there is simply no stopping nor predicting it. A force of nature unlocked, once the Pandora’s box of war is opened, there is no coaxing the genie back into the bottle. Social scientists, in mathematical studies looking at the outbreaks of wars and national decisions to participate in wars, have shown strong indications of epidemicity, which is to say that war spreads in patterns identical to those of disease outbreaks. War is a living flesh and blood example of how human societies can fall prey to systems of behavior that are entirely of their own creation that can sweep up and devour all who are involved. This is reminiscent of the legendary resurrected tiger which devours the magician who restored it to life out of its skeletal bones. In war we have fallen prey to the power of our own misguided magic.
The first principle of psychological method is that any phenomenon to be understood must be sympathetically imagined. No syndrome can be truly dislodged from its cursed condition until we first move imagination into its heart. Due to its traumatizing nature, many of us don’t even know how to think about war. Interestingly, Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense during much of the Vietnam War, reflecting upon its horrors, writes, “we can now understand these catastrophes for what they were: essentially the products of a failure of imagination.” The same phrase – “failure of imagination” – was used during the Bush Administration as an excuse for why they weren’t prepared for the 9/11 attacks. If war escapes the reach of our imagination, it will dictate, enforce and establish dominion over all of us. First and foremost an act of imagination, war enlists our own imagination to become an agent of negation and destruction. In modern times, the majority of people apparently find the most decisive and captivating manifestations of power to be in that which destroys, rather than that which creates; this is an expression of collective subconscious and un-integrated trauma. The imagination of a people as a whole must be conscripted and reshaped in order to prepare a reluctant citizenry for war. War, and the weapons of collective death that are its accessories, are the products of the greatest creative power operating within the human spirit – the human imagination; and human imagination, it must be added, is capable of getting rid of them. Since our species has invented war, we can also invent and manifest peace. If we can’t imagine this, then what are we thinking? An impaired imagination, unable to even imagine peace, is simultaneously a cause and effect of the proliferation of war. While on one level the war we are involved in uses such things as bombs, the real war is a war on consciousness (see my article “The War on Consciousness”), which is nothing other than a war on the imagination itself. A debilitated imagination fundamentally weakens humanity, making it easier prey to be manipulated by a predatory elite.
Being that the phenomenon of war seems autonomous, I find myself imagining: what if we viewed war as if it is a living entity that did have a life and will of its own? In war, it is as if some transhuman/antihuman monstrosity has insinuated itself into the human scene across multiple generations. This war-mongering entity is an impersonal, diabolical energy that by all evidence seems to have possessed our species to do its bidding, making all of us its “reps.” Our rush to war is a march of folly, as we unconsciously goose-step on the wheel of endless samsaric suffering that we ourselves are creating. As if in the throes of an addiction, we are seemingly entrapped in the beast of war’s iron grip, blindly compelled to become war’s instruments of proliferation. The creature of war feeds into and off of the regressed, animal-like part of ourselves, as if it returns us to the state of consciousness of a pea-brained dinosaur.[5] Psychic epidemics like war can only take place when there is a collective lowering of the state of consciousness, an abaissement du niveau mental.[6] Steeped in the fog of war, we become like zombies, sleepwalkers in a dream, lemmings headed for the sea.
In our interminable and monomaniacal persistence in error, suffering from an endless inability to learn from our mistakes, it certainly seems as if a demonic entity is pulling the strings of our psyche to influence us to act out in ways that are hell-bent on our self-destruction. To quote eminent theologian and 9/11 truth activist David Ray Griffin, “It does seem that we are possessed by some demonic power that is leading us, trancelike, into self-destruction.”[7] Our battle seems less against “flesh and blood” than against some demonic “powers and principalities,”  “against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12) to which human civilization is in bondage.
I imagine this malevolent, higher (and lower) dimensional entity feverishly working behind the scenes, manipulatively operating through our unconscious blind spots, sponsoring our shadow projections, inspiring our technological advances to create ever-more-efficient and impersonal killing machines while it fans the flames of our fear, greed and blood lust so as to incite our war fever. And as we wage war on each other, this bellicose entity engorges itself on the smorgasbord of our self-created suffering and destruction, or so I imagine.
This dark entity, what Jung refers to as “the dark God,” has placed previously unimaginable implements of mass destruction into our hands, set to go off at the push of a button, for us to ultimately destroy the biosphere itself, the life support system of the planet. As if performing a sacred “black” mass, the building up of an ever-increasing cache of high-tech weaponry is the preparatory ritual calling forth their inevitable use in a catastrophe that we, as self-entranced, deluded master magicians, are collaboratively conjuring up. To quote Jung, “Let man but accumulate sufficient engines of destruction and the devil within him will soon be unable to resist putting them to their fated use. It is well known that fire-arms go off of themselves if only enough of them are together.”[8] And yet, it is not too late to shed light on this “devil within” and change our course away from the impending disaster that we ourselves are invoking.
Only something truly alive has the capacity to destroy itself. It is clear we are in the process of destroying ourselves as a species (see Fukashima and the subsequent rush to build more nuclear reactors for another example). As if performing a species-wide eco-suicide ritual en masse, we are taking part, whether we know it or not, in a cosmic anti-sacred ceremony that will leave no one around to experience the end result. Our scientific, technological wizardry has surpassed our wildest dreams. The question is: will our emotional, spiritual and moral qualities continue to lag far behind, and thus doom us to a morbid future of our own making?
One helpful way of framing our situation is as follows: we are destroying ourselves as the way to learn how to not destroy ourselves, which we clearly haven’t yet learned, or we wouldn’t be destroying ourselves. Implicit in this logic is that there is a lesson encoded in the acting out of our insanity that we couldn’t learn any other way. If we don’t recognize what is being revealed to us, as if having a recurring dream – a nightmare – we will simply continue along the path of self-destruction, eventually reaching the point of no return and then finally crossing that Rubicon. On the other hand, if we recognize what is being revealed to us through the acting out of our insanity, we can snap out of our self-induced hypnotic spell and choose to stop killing ourselves – what a radical idea! We can then invest our creativity and resources in building the world we want to live in, or so I imagine. It is important to realize – this is within the realm of the possible, and as such, demands the engagement of our imagination to get on board.
Seen as cells in a greater organism, it is as if our species is suffering from an auto-immune disease of the psyche, having become infected with a cancer of the mind that has turned us against each other so that we are literally attacking and destroying ourselves. Ehrenreich continues, “If war is analogous to a disease, then, it is analogous to a contagious disease…So, to continue the epidemiological metaphor, if war is regarded as an infectious ‘disease,’ it is caused by a particularly hardy sort of microbe?one capable of encysting itself for generations, if necessary, within the human soul.”[9] Interestingly, wetiko is a disease of the soul – “a particularly hardy sort of microbe” – that is contagious, travelling through the vector of our shared unconsciousness. Ehrenreich is approaching the phenomenon of war imaginatively – envisioning it as an infectious, contagious disease, an invisible microbe that replicates itself through multiple generations. Her approach is contagious in its own right, as her imaginative musings can activate, inspire and mobilize our own divinely-inspired creative imagination to re-envision our situation in novel and creatively empowering ways. To elaborate her imaginings, it’s as if an incorporeal, immaterial micro-parasite – a virus of the mind called wetiko – has gotten inside of our brain in such a way that it compels us to act out its nefarious agenda in the outer world. Just like a dream where the inner is the outer, what’s playing out in the world is synchronistically reflecting something taking place within us. Something is being shown to us in the process that is most important for us to know and understand.
War is a prosperity-reducing depopulation ritual, a parasite on human life and culture, draining us of as many things as can be imagined – including life itself. Like a parasite, war kills a significant proportion of the host population, and then, in the resulting gaps between wars, immunity from the parasite seems to be conferred; unfortunately, the gaps between wars have disappeared. We now find ourselves in an endless war, a life and death struggle with a seemingly malevolent entity – wetiko being one of its many names – which we ourselves have conjured up. Ultimately speaking, we are fighting with a dark part of ourselves that we have apparently lost our ability to be in conscious relationship with.
Viewed as an autonomous entity, war is a self-replicating pattern of behavior, possessed of a dynamism not unlike that found in both living things as well as within the human mind itself. “Self-replicating patterns of behavior” is the way Jung describes the archetypes of the collective unconscious. Informational fields of influence, the archetypes of the collective unconscious are the very agencies that pattern human perception and give shape and form to both  individual  and collective human behavior. War is a living archetypal force that exists within the psyche of humanity; collective psychoses like war are always animated by a constellated archetype, oftentimes informed by deeper religious energies. A cosmically driven force, once the archetype of war is activated in the collective psyche, like all archetypes, it potentially drafts us into its gravitational field-of-force. If we remain unconscious of the archetypal elements that drive us, however, we won’t be able to escape from the downward and destructive pull into its sinkhole, at which point we would be fully in the grip of the archetype, compelled like an automaton to act out its script. All archetypes are bipolar, which is to say they have a potentially negative or positive aspect. If we become conscious of the archetypal dimension that is playing out, however, we can mediate, humanize and channel its enormous energy in a constructive, rather than a destructive way.
This self-perpetuating archetypal dynamic is analogous to a self-replicating computer virus or malware that infects a computer and programs it to self-destruct. Like the archetype of war, these computer viruses have no underlying material substance at all, but rather, are “programs” designed to reproduce themselves. Our leaders are themselves just unwitting instruments – patsies – merely playing roles through which this infernal programming can incarnate itself. Looking out for what they conceive of as their own interests, many of them have little or no awareness of the darker,daemonic power that has gripped them and is compelling them to incarnate itself into our world through their agency. America and its military, for example, are being used as an instrument of war to reshape the geopolitical landscape so as to serve the interests of a tiny yet powerful shadowy global cabal which has taken control over significant parts of the U. S. government. Being in the pocket of the cabal, our leaders are its mouthpieces. As if inter-nested iterations of a fractal, the cabal is itself just an intermediary, a pawn doing the bidding of the formless underlying archetype. Once we consciously recognize the deeper archetypal pattern that is in-forming world events, instead of being compelled to unconsciously recreate ever-amplified versions of the archetype in its destructive form, our expansion of consciousness empowers us to channel the archetype in its more life-affirming form. Imagine that!
Just like a transpersonal force can literally take over and possess a person and make them its instrument of incarnation – and revelation – this same process can happen on a collective scale as well; a group of people, nations or an entire species can become seized by a more powerful archetypal energy that compels them to unconsciously, and hence destructively, act it out in the world. In collective events such as wars, we are seeing through a looking glass into the world-soul of humanity as it is being played out on the global stage. Just like a process going on within the unconscious of an individual will compel them to act it out in their life, in the activity of war, a process that is going on within the collective psyche of humanity – which is to say within each one of us in its own unique way – is getting dreamed up en masse into materialization in the world.
War is an inflammation, an outbreak in the world’s body politic reflecting a deeper systemic disease in the underlying psyche of humanity. Jung simply states, “It is the psyche of man that makes wars.”[10] Hidden within the psyche is an incredible power which, as history shows, can transform entire civilizations in unforeseen ways. The future will be decided by changes that take place in the psyche of humanity, which is truly the world’s pivot.
Interestingly, the Book of Revelations talks about a “war in heaven.” The Bible itself can be seen to be a self-revelation of the psyche itself. From this point of view, the events portrayed in the Bible are utterances of the soul, pointing to transcendental realities. The “war in heaven” is symbolically representing a living dynamism that is taking place within the collective unconscious of humanity. If, indeed, “the kingdom of heaven is within us,” so, too, is the “war in heaven.” When we are not able to contain the “warring” within our own self, this conflict of opposites spills out into the outside world, where it gets acted out in the world theater by way of projection. When Jung was asked if the third world war could be avoided, he answered that it depended on how many individuals could reconcile the opposites within themselves.
The specter of war breaking out in the greater body politic haunts the collective unconscious of all of humanity. In modern times, the psychopathic global war on terror[11] is everywhere and affects everyone; it is universally traumatizing and is damaging to the soul of humanity. War isn’t a phenomena that only happens halfway around the globe (in Iraq or Afghanistan, for example), but war is something which takes place within our very soul. Like a demon, the plague of war can invade humanity’s inner world and inspire us to transgress our human limits, carrying us to inconceivable excesses of brutality. Even if our current war is taking place thousands of miles away, just by its mere happening, the act of war creates a “dissociative field” of trauma which affects all of us and forces everyone to (mal)adapt. Dissociation can readily entrench itself in an entire population, disconnecting us from each other, as well as deadening our hearts as it fragments the inner landscapes of our minds. War dehumanizes everyone, as it requires us not only to dehumanize our enemy, but to anesthetize and dehumanize ourselves as well. An intrinsic part of the dissociative field is a force that opposes and actively resists our seeing the deeper implications of what we are doing to ourselves. The collectively shared dissociation, numbing, denial and self-deception become self-perpetuating, as the dissociative field must, of necessity, be continually maintained lest we wake up to the genocidal enterprise we are all participating in. To the extent we are feeding this dissociative field through our own dissociation from and within ourselves, we have all become both victims and victimizers of war, complicit in its proliferation. Appearances to the contrary, there are ultimately no winners in war.
The atrocities that our government is involved in – and we, by proxy, are complicit in – are so horrible that they have to be internally denied. This creates a cognitive dissonance within our minds such that our ability to creatively and responsibly respond is disabled. Many of us simply resist the truth of what’s happening in our world; our looking away reinforces our “need to not know,” which then further feeds our dissociation in a diabolical feedback loop of our own making. Complicit in our own self-hypnosis, our moral eyes become blinded in the process. Interestingly, the self-created entity of wetiko is a form of blindness that not only believes itself to be sighted, but arrogantly imagines itself to be more sighted than anyone else. We are a species who has fallen asleep but imagines we are awake.
An entire culture can prefer blindness; America, based on overwhelming evidence, seems to be a nation which has gone blind. Poet Theodore Roethke famously wrote, “In a dark time, the eye begins to see.” Hopefully, as is evidenced by people’s overwhelming outcry against attacking Syria, more and  more of us are seeing through our politicians and mainstream media’s feeble-to-the-point-of-absurd lies and war propaganda purporting that we should attack Syria based on humanitarian pretexts. It would be a true case of “American exceptionalism” and demanding true courage to snap out of our dissociation and deal with the shock of multiple realizations: the lie we’ve been living, the evil we’ve been complicit in, and the reality we’ve been avoiding.
Jung writes, “We are threatened with universal genocide, if we cannot work out the way of salvation by a symbolic death.”[12] Snapping out of our dissociation and seeing through our illusions is to be “dis-illusioned,” which is a truly shattering experience, and is a symbolic death of the self that was wed to illusion. This is to realize how we have been colluding in our own demise, which snaps us out of the spell of being a helpless victim and connects us with our true power and responsibility. In addition, instead of creating universal genocide which involves the death of our bodies, a symbolic death involves the death of the imagination that we are just a body. In other words, the “symbolic death” which Jung is referring to involves seeing through the primordial illusion – our sense of ego – of being an isolated entity separate from other isolated entities. This involves recognizing – as if going through a rebirth – that we are interdependent parts of a greater organism that we all share in called life. When we realize this it becomes inconceivable – impossible to imagine – that we would wage war on each other.
The fact that throughout our lifetime there has not been a moment free of one group waging war on another makes war seem normalized, as if it is just the way things are, part of being human. This thought-form is a lie, inspired and fed by the very same energy that animates war itself. If we buy into our feelings of helplessness and believe that we can’t do anything about war, we are then its unwitting accomplices. In actuality we are magicians, powerful beyond measure, having unconsciously misused our own power to bewitch ourselves, having fallen under a curse of our own making. Our task is to break out of our self-induced spell. Holding this possibility in mind, Jung wonders whether “humanity…may yet evolve a different ideal. In time even conquest will cease to be the dream.”[13] What will happen, I find myself imagining, as more and more of us, not just ordinary citizens – but actual soldiers in our illegal wars of aggression, as well as the military commanders, generals, senators, presidents and prime ministers, heads of corporations – wake up to how we have been hoodwinked, bamboozled – duped – by the creative genius of our own minds into seeing war as a legitimate means of operating in the world? Ah, what then?
A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a wounded healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. He is the author of Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil (North Atlantic Books, 2013) and The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis. An artist, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over thirty years. Please visit Paul’s website You can contact Paul at; he looks forward to your reflections. Though he reads every email, he regrets that he is not able to personally respond to all of them. © Copyright 2013.

[1] A distinction needs to be made: I am not talking about wars in which one country rightfully defends itself from outright aggression from another (an example would be the Allies fighting Nazi Germany in World War II). The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and (possibly) Syria do not fit this category.
[2] From the ruling elite’s point of view, they are just trying to accomplish hegemonic geopolitical objectives and are willing to sacrifice as many innocent people as necessary in order to accomplish their morally depraved goal. Their moral deficiency in having no compunction in doing so is where the mental illness lies.
[3] Ehrenreich, Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War, p. 132.
[4] Like Jung, I am using the word psyche in an all-inclusive sense, meaning the totality of all psychic processes, both conscious and unconscious. Not reducible to biochemical processes in the brain, it is a mysterious “substanceless substance” that exists between spirit and matter.
[5] In addition to the regressed, pathological state that I am pointing at, war can also bring out in its participants incredibly heroic, spiritual qualities.
[6] French psychologist Pierre Janet’s term, literally translating as “reduction of mental level.” It involves a weakening of the restraints and inhibitions of the ego.
[7] Griffin, Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11, p. 123.
[8] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, par. 163.
[9] Ehrenreich, Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War, p. 133.
[10] Jung, C. G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, p. 74.
[11] The phrase “Global War on Terror” is a contradiction in terms – War is terror, so can how can terror ever be fought and eliminated by war? The very words “war on terror” induces a cognitive dissonance in the collective psyche. The fact is that such a war is not intended to ever end, thus serving the insatiable greed of the evil interests who continuously profit from war.
[12] Jung, The Symbolic Life, CW 18, par. 1661.
[13] Jung, Psychology and Religion: West and East, par. 787.