My analyses frequently come down to the examination of how Russian Orthodox nationalism is a major factor in Russian information warfare ideology. Alexander Verkhovsky is a Russian author on Russian Orthodox nationalist ideas who has been influential on my research and perspectives. I think he gets close to the cultural core of Russian information warfare in his research – although his focus is on political extremism, not information warfare or disinformation. His work does frequently however include the analysis of conspiracy theories.
Using online translation tools, I made an unauthorized English translation of his book: “Political Orthodoxy” which I hope will be useful for non-Russian speaking disinformation researchers (like myself) looking into figures like Metropolitan Ioann (Snychev), Ivan the Terrible, Alexander Dugin, etc.
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 . 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.”
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.
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.
The massive Ever Given container ship currently blocking Egypt’s Suez Canal since March 23, 2021 has become a major disruptor to world trade. Attributed to a sandstorm, high winds, or even claims of a power blackout, the logistical nightmare has not been claimed to be an intentional act.
The ship’s movements in the time before it entered the canal and became wedged can be described as “odd”. It seems presumptuous to me to call it “innocent, but terrible luck”.
It does not give me good feelings that Russia (specifically Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear agency) is taking advantage of the blocked canal to build awareness of the Northern Sea Route which is now navigable due to global warming and Russia’s fleet of ice breakers.
It has been just over a month since the first winter experimental transit of the Northern Sea Route by a container ship accompanied by a nuclear ice breaker.
In order to be sure this was all an accident, I really need to know more about the captain of the Ever Given. Were they as reckless as the GPS path of the ship suggests? I tend to think this would be a role given to a mature captain not given over to juvenile demonstrations.
Or perhaps, was the ship under control by hackers and the GPS cock(a)doodle was their “signature”?
Or was someone on the inside even paid off in something like Bitcoin to do it?
As of now, I am left with just one main suspect for possessing the theoretical crime signature.
Edit 4/12/2021: I’ve watched a fewvideos of ship captains talking about the GPS track image which has made me less confident that the image created was purposeful. The path was created over a relatively long time period of several hours, which doesn’t seem to be a likely scenario if it was purposeful.
Instead, the pattern may be caused by the boat drifting and returning to the designated point where it would have picked up the local captains for the Suez transit.
However, I’ve also just learned that Russian Navy vessels conducting training were in the area. According to Wikipedia, these were “Steregushchiy-class corvette Stoikiy and Altay-class oiler Kola“. I think this is interesting as far as being a consistent linkage to Russian military in this theory.
It might also be worth asking if the explosion in QAnon conspiracies about the ship blocking the canal being due to hacking are also an inorganic byproduct of influence operations.
With that said, there needs to be a lot more evidence to call this a hacking, though I still think it is plausible and likely attributable to a Russian, or Russian-Chinese strategy if so. Both countries have focused on weakening the ‘West’ and exploiting the melting Arctic for trade purposes.
While working on a criminology and forensic science-oriented investigation into the seven tragic marriages of Tsar Ivan IV of Russia (aka Ivan Vasilyevich, Ivan Grozny, Ivan the Terrible, etc.), I specifically began to note that there was a strong dimension of “information warfare” in the Russian narratives surrounding Russia’s first tsar. Enough so, that it deserved its own paper.
“The name Satan is derived from the Hebrew שָׂטָן Satan which means “adversary, opponent…accuser, opposing party…[or] the one who hinders a purpose” The Greek Σατανᾶς Satanas carries the same meaning and is used “in a very special sense of the enemy of God and all of those who belong to God.” Other names for Satan include the shining one, or Lucifer (Isa 14:12), the evil one (1 John 5:19), the tempter (1 Thess 3:5), the devil (Matt 4:1), the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10), the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2), the serpent (Rev 12:9), and the great red dragon (Rev 12:3). Further, Satan is a murderer and liar (John 8:44), is compared to a lion that prowls about, looking for someone to devour (1 Pet 5:8), and one who disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14).”
I’m quite sure that James Randi would approve of Putin’s “honest liar” statement about his goals for AI and world domination.
I think Vladimir would be a great name for the Antichrist, LOL. Protip: Keep it in mind Satan, when choosing a baby names. (I also recommend Donald in case of twins, there are many antichrists afterall.)
“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.”
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”
From the start of this pandemic, it has been likened to a war – especially to our generation’s equivalent experience of a world war.
Although this war seems to primarily affect civilians, as of today (January 3, 2021), the US has experienced more than 350,000 deaths due to COVID-19; this is more than the approximately 53,000 U.S. combat deaths in World War I, and it seems likely that within months casualties will eclipse US WWII combat death totals of 416,600.
It seems reasonable to state at this point in history, that the current pandemic is taking on some features which give it some feature similarity to prior world wars and pandemics from the perspective of the public experience.
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.