“Ideology of Victory” and the Death of Daria Dugina

Daria Dugina (Darya Dugina), daughter of Alexander Dugin, was reported to have died on August 20, 2022 in a car bombing in the Moscow suburbs. Russian political authorities, federal police, and propagandists have consistently portrayed it as an act of Ukrainian terrorism and pointed to Ukrainian suspects.

Conversely, Ukraine has officially denied these allegations. Rather than taking the event at face value as it has been portrayed in Russian media, many Western reports have questioned whether it was an act of “false flag” terrorism.

In this scenario, the killing of Dugina would be intended to bolster public support for the war in Ukraine by reinforcing the idea of Ukraine as a fascist, terrorist state. It would be analogous to a widespread theory that the FSB had carried out a series of apartment bombings in September 1999 in order to bolster public support for a second war in Chechnya.

When Alexander Dugin first released a public statement about the assassination, he did so through Konstantin Malofeev on Malofeev’s Telegram channel [1]. Malofeev, like Dugin has not only been sanctioned for his actions related to Ukraine, but is a member of the ultra-conservative Izborsky Club; a philosophical group which was co-founded by Alexander Prokhanov and Vitali Averyanov, and includes many prominent Russians, some close to Putin [2].

This long-read report demonstrates that regardless of whom may be responsible for the crime, the death of Daria Dugina has been consciously manipulated by figures like Alexander Dugin, Alexander Prokhanov, and Konstantin Malofeev in order to frame the murder as a kind of symbol of martyrdom which supports the neo-imperialist “Ideology of Victory” that was formally articulated by the Izborskists in October 2021, prior to the Ukraine invasion.

The death of Daria Dugina provokes enduring symbols of Russian ideology

This observation in and of itself does not mean the Izborskists have complicity in the murder. But it does seek to prove objectively that the death has been used consciously from the start as an ideological and political instrument of Russian imperial power. Continue reading ““Ideology of Victory” and the Death of Daria Dugina”

Images of Torture and Execution in Illustrated Chronicle of Ivan IV

President Putin recently created a controversy when he “defended” the Oprichnik chief Malyuta Skuratov from the traditionally accepted view that he had strangled Metropolitan Philip for refusing to bless Ivan Grozny’s military campaign on Novgorod. This action has been seen as related to the “information warfare” arguments about Ivan IV which have been crafted by the ideologists of the Izborsky Club; and it may relate to recent national security strategies which seem intended to protect Russia’s “historical memory”.

The ideologists responsible for these narratives have in recent years frequently sought to portray the common negative appraisals of Ivan IV and his guardsmen’s terrors as the product of Western “information wars” which were furthered by Western superiority in printing. The Gutenberg Bible for example was printed in Germany nearly 100 years before Ivan IV ordered the development of the first Russian print yard.

Translated Ivan the Terrible exhibit from ‘Russia, My History’, Moscow

In the above image from the “Russia, My History” exhibitions we can see two German images which are related to this information warfare idea. Continue reading “Images of Torture and Execution in Illustrated Chronicle of Ivan IV”

The Life and Crimes of Arthur Rochford Manby (by Dr. Richard Spence)

Professor of History, Dr. Richard Spence who has previously contributed a very interesting (and highly relevant) blog on Jack Parsons was kind enough to again donate some previously unpublished content for your enjoyment.

The legend of Arthur Rochford Manby  remains an enduring mystery of the American Southwest. A tale spilling over with tantalizing connections to black magic and the occult,  murder, secret societies, foreign intelligence, artwork, and con-artistry — this fascinating report is a  great fit for n01r. 

Who was this mysterious man?

 

Sagebrush Noir: The Life and Crimes of Arthur Rochford Manby
c. 2015
Dr. Richard B. Spence

On July 3rd, 1929 lawmen and townspeople crowded into a small room of a sprawling adobe mansion in Taos, New Mexico. Blue-bottle flies buzzed all around and the stench of death hung heavy in the air. The assembled gazed at a simple army cot where a half-dressed corpse lay wrapped in a blanket. And it was just a body: the severed, badly mutilated head rested in a nearby room. It was the general opinion then, and since, that the corpse and head belonged to the mansion’s owner, Arthur R. Manby. But others were not so sure. Most importantly, how had Manby died?

Taos' unsolved mystery | Tradiciones / Leyendas | taosnews.com
Last known picture of Arthur Rochford Manby (1860-1929)

Continue reading “The Life and Crimes of Arthur Rochford Manby (by Dr. Richard Spence)”

The ROC’s Pro-Vaccination Conspiracy Theories

In American conservative media, there has been a recent push encouraging vaccine adoption. Notable examples of figures making public statements advocating for vaccines over the past week include Mitch McConnell, Steve Scalise, and Sean Hannity. Such gestures have been welcomed by semi-puzzled liberals, who have come to associate conservative politics during much of the pandemic with skepticism of vaccines and an embrace of conspiracy theories [1].

In the past month, a similar push for the acceptance of vaccines has been furthered in Russia. This seems to have been kicked off on June 30 with Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show where he said he had received the Sputnik V vaccine. This added additional detail to quieter earlier disclosures that the Russian president had received a second shot in March. While promoting the safety of domestic Russian vaccines, Putin continued to stoke fears in Western vaccines, saying: “thank God we haven’t had tragic situations after vaccinations like after the use of AstraZeneca or Pfizer.”  [2]

Putin’s patriotic vaccine statements seemed to form a cue for senior clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) to come out publicly in favor of vaccination with domestic vaccines, using many of the tropes of conservative conspiracy theory. This vaccine promotion is interesting because these figures have themselves often been associated with national ideology, conspiracy theories, and disinformation – and even rumors of involvement with the FSB.  Their approach may offer some constructive lessons in how conspiratorial language can be repurposed to promote vaccine adoption. But it also raises more questions about the state of disinformation in Russia and its effects abroad.

Holy men Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Vladimir Putin, and Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov)

Continue reading “The ROC’s Pro-Vaccination Conspiracy Theories”

Russian Origins of the Vaccine Microchip Conspiracy Theory

I recently read an article which suggested that the conspiracy theory that vaccines contain microchips emerged following a March 18, 2020 Reddit AMA with Bill Gates [1]. In response to the AMA, biohackers began to write positively about the potential for chip-based medical devices to combat epidemics and deliver vaccines.

Within several days of the Reddit AMA, a Baptist pastor from Jacksonville Florida named Adam Fannin – known best for his anti-Semitic conflicts with comedian Sarah Silverman in 2019 – found one of these biohacking blog posts online. Fannin then developed it into his own interpretation of apocalyptic prophecy largely based on his “deep distrust of Gates”. Fannin made a 9-minute YouTube sermon which went viral and accumulated nearly 2 million views before it was taken down.  “The pastor titled the post, “Bill Gates – Microchip Vaccine Implants to fight Coronavirus,” adding one pivotal word to the biohackers’ title: vaccine.”[1]

Looking more deeply into the origin of the vaccines and microchips story, I think it is important to observe how it may emerge from and complement Russian Orthodox nationalist geopolitics and information warfare. Continue reading “Russian Origins of the Vaccine Microchip Conspiracy Theory”

Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” helped a Russian information strategy

Last evening, I attended a virtual lecture on disinformation in which the claim was made that the Russians were responsible for the narrative that the US government created the 1990’s crack epidemic in Los Angeles.

In discussion of the topic however, the presenter did not provide the source for the claim, but related it to the well-known case of Operation Infektion or Denver, in which the KGB had created disinformation that the US had begun the AIDS epidemic as a biological warfare program targeting Black people.

While I had previously researched a hunch that the claim of CIA involvement in the crack cocaine epidemic was Russian disinformation, I was unable to find a Russian source; forcing me to leave it in the ‘unverified’ column. The best I could find was that such claims officially started with American journalist and author Gary Webb, best remembered for his “Dark Alliance” article series (1996) and book (1998).

Duped on Dope: Gary Webb (1955-2004)

Riding partly on the lingering antiwar buzz of the Iran-Contra scandal, Webb claimed that CIA involvement in the drug trade stemmed from its cooperation with Nicaraguan Contra fighters seeking to overturn the (Soviet-instilled and KGB-linked Sandinista) government of Nicaragua. (Official retrospective investigations revealed some of these resistance fighters backed by the CIA were involved in drug smuggling activities; but not at the scale which has been alleged by Webb.)

Despite my suspicions about Webb, since I hadn’t ‘cracked the crack story’ as Russian disinformation, I’ve looked into Webb on this blog only so much in the case of his close collaboration with the independent journalist Kristina Borjesson who has been responsible for building a conspiratorial case that the 1996 TWA Flight 800 disaster over Long Island Sound was the result of a missile shootdown – possibly by the US Navy – and was covered up by the FBI.

My conclusions from that research into the 1996 TWA conspiracy theories were that they were more plausibly linked to an Iranian disinformation campaign in retaliation for the 1988 US Navy shootdown of Iran Air Flight 655 in Iranian territorial waters – than that of a Russian one.

However, there was also some evidence that (much like the Nicaragua Sandinistas,) the terrorist groups implicated in previous Iranian retaliatory actions for the 1988 accident (such as the PFLP-GC) had strong linkages to the legacy of the KGB. Continue reading “Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” helped a Russian information strategy”

Does “BTK” mean “Billy the Kid”?

Is there a cultural connection to Wichita KS which caused Dennis Rader to call himself “BTK”?

Henry McCarty, AKA William H. Bonny, AKA “Billy the Kid” was born in 1859 in New York City. In 1870, his family moved to Kansas, where his mother, Catherine McCarty signed the charter incorporating Wichita.

Catherine McCarty seems to have contracted tuberculosis over the next several years, and the family relocated to New Mexico territory. At age 14 or 15, Billy the Kid was orphaned after Catherine died of tuberculosis and his stepfather abandoned the family.

By age 21 in 1881, he’d be dead, but not before securing one of the most legendary reputations in the outlaw history of the American West. It seems that McCarty intentionally cultivated his own outlaw legend, claiming 21 murders: “one for every year of his life”; but experts seem to think the total was really 9.

Compare with Dennis Rader, AKA the “Bind Torture Kill”, or “BTK Killer”, who grew up in Wichita Kansas. Continue reading “Does “BTK” mean “Billy the Kid”?”

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Acknowledging the KGB’s Enemy #1

While promoting his new book “The Sword and the Shield : The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB” on the Charlie Rose show on September 28, 1999, the eminent Cold War historian Christopher Andrew said of the KGB that:

“they really hated J. Edgar Hoover, but the man they hated above all others was Martin Luther King. And the reason they hated him above all others is that their plan for the United States – they were really looking forward to it – was that the ‘long, and hot summers’ of the mid and late 1960’s would lead to race war in the United States. And the reason they hated Martin Luther King like they hated no other American, was that they feared he might put an end to the long, hot summers. So, when he dies in 1968, it’s a terrible thing to say – but it was a great day for the people at KGB Headquarters.”

Friends. Jimmy Hoffa, James Del Rio, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Professor Andrew’s televised comments on Dr. King came just 12 days after the end of the so-called campaign of terror known as the “Russian apartment bombings” which was a decisive moment that catapulted former KGB agent and then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to the Presidency of Russia.

Not even Professor Andrew could have realized at that time how KGB active measures would live on and remain much the same under Putin as they had in the time of the Cold War.

In the wake of 2020’s racial tensions which seem to have been exacerbated by Russia’s online information warfare activities on both the political far left and far right; it is time for us to awake to Dr. King’s “Dream” and the power it has to unite rather than divide us as a society in the face of Russian disinformation and active measures. Continue reading “Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Acknowledging the KGB’s Enemy #1”

Ivan the Terrible Husband

Russian Orthodox nationalist ideologists close to the Izborsky Club such as Andrei Fursov, Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov), and Vladimir Medinsky (among several others) have been responsible for creating a neo-Stalinist perspective on Ivan the Terrible which recognizes him as the victim of Western information warfare.

Although I think they are wrong, I will gladly indulge their perceptions of this Western tradition by presenting the argument here that Tsar Ivan likely intentionally poisoned his first three wives in order to achieve contemporary political objectives.

Ivan the Terrible and Dracula: The DNA of Cobra’s poisonous Emperor

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Don’t Buy the ‘Chinese Meat’ of Chekist Disinformation

The position of my blog has generally been oriented towards viewing Russia as a rogue and China as a peer – such that they respectively merit foreign relations approaches weighted towards war and diplomacy. Despite this, the informational evidence shows that the idea of an inevitable “Thucydides Trap” between China and the US has been exacerbated by Russian disinformation and active measures. Now it seems many very fine people on both sides are eating a similar tainted “Chinese meat” of disinformation sourced from Russian intelligence which will lead to Chinese-US hostility if carried to a logical conclusion.

A long time to go and a fallacy from far away (Approved for Chinese and US audiences)

Continue reading “Don’t Buy the ‘Chinese Meat’ of Chekist Disinformation”