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).
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.)
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.
The story is posed in a geopolitical and Christian-apocalyptic context. It closes with a comment on the supposed relation of Jesus Christ to the Merovingian dynasty of France. The idea of a Merovingian dynasty is primarily associated with ideas of Pierre Plantard, and the so-called Priory of Sion, which influenced author Dan Brown’s novels most notably, ‘The Da Vinci Code’.
Most charitably, the matter of the Priory of Sion has the appearance of being a French attempt at creating a Holy Grail mythology for France similar to that for example of King Arthur in Britain; on the other hand, this hoax also seems to have many hallmarks of fascistic propaganda linked to historical Russian influence.
The interesting thing about the cultural background of the milieu of prophecy related to COVID-19 in the Veteran’s Today article is not only its ‘Duginesque’ apocalypticism, but the idea that Plantard’s purposeful efforts to create the Priory of Sion hoax were largely based on his work with espionage-linked occultists and Surrealists. His efforts seem intended to prove that he himself was heir to the Merovingian bloodline – predicted by none other than Nostradamus – and therefore himself a descendant of Jesus by the logic of the false prophecy.
Not to praise myself, but there are many examples of Nostradamus conspiracy now being discussed in the context of disinformation and information warfare around COVID-19 (1, 2, 3). I see this as a replication of my prior efforts to some extent. (Once again, the Nostradamus piece of this conspiracy is only a facet of the total disinformation.)
I’ve been sitting on most of the below analysis for a while, but I think it is complete enough to post in light of the use of such ideas in COVID-19 disinformation.
I recently critiqued Jim Carrey in the context of his mercury-based vaccine conspiracism which seems connected to 1980’s Soviet propaganda; as well as his positioning relative to the legacy of Hollywood’s Popular Front and right-left conspiracism as I see it as a factor in modern Russian information warfare. Today, I am going to delve specifically into Carrey’s career as an artist since 2011 which I only briefly discussed in the prior essay. I believe the analysis strongly supports my prior observations – but also highlights an interesting recurring theme of Carrey’s presumable mental health related to messianic tendencies (I suggest you do not call him ‘JC’ if you meet him in order to minimize this).
It seems that internet audiences were only recently introduced to Carrey’s art in the context of the short documentary – I Needed Color (which since its release in August 2017 has got over 6 million views at the below Vimeo link). It’s noF for Fake, but it’s worth watching to get a sense for the artistic ‘Passion of the Carrey’.
There is a new documentary called “Active Measures” coming out about Trump and Russia on August 31; I took notice of it since it is being distributed by the same company that distributed Anthony Bourdain’s documentary, “Wasted: The Story of Food Waste” (Super LTD films). It will be interesting to see if it is any good, since this is apparently the first documentary made by the studio ‘Shooting Films‘ (SF). Certainly I am very interested in active measures myself.
Today, I’m continuing my ‘fact shaming‘ series (see part 1here), and I’m going to talk about Michael Moore. Moore’s newest documentary: Fahrenheit 11/9 is coming out on September 21 and I think this is a great time to point out why Moore’s prior films (especially Fahrenheit 9/11) serve ‘communistic’ and/or Russian propaganda interests. One can expect this latest entry from the Russian propaganda ‘fat boy’ will be no different.
In an effort to expand my understanding of the film-making of Dario Argento, last evening I watched an Argento-produced-and-written film called The Church (or La Chiesa). It was directed by Michele Soavi, who has been a long-time assistant to Argento, and who is noted for taking inspiration from Sergei Eisenstein and Orson Welles – in addition to his mentor Argento.
On the so-far final episode of his CNN show Parts Unknown, the late Anthony Bourdain traveled to Bhutan with Darren Aronofsky. Introducing their trip, Bourdain said: “I’m here because of this guy, my friend, the film director Darren Aronofsky; fresh off the unjustifiably horrified reaction to what I think is his masterpiece: mother!”
As Aronofsky later recounted, there in Bhutan he and Bourdain had performed a “Bhutanese death ritual” in what Aronofsky described as an “ironic” reflection about his time spent with the late TV personality. In the end however, this story maybe should not seem so ironic at all, based on its ample connections to Communism and Russian occultism.