Wednesday, December 31, 2008

World Thought Police: Part Three

Continued from Part Two. (Part One here.)

It is obvious to me that even the most charming and talented P.R. agent of APN-KGB would fail to plant disinformation in the foreign media unless he were assisted by the foreign collaborators. Ideological subversion, it was explained to me by my KGB supervisors, is always a two-way street. The effectiveness of Soviet propaganda depends at least 50% on the generous aid of Novosti's foreign collaborators.

The phenomenon of collaboration with the Soviet ideological “active measures” affects a wide variety of personalities, regardless of their nationality, ethnic and cultural background, education, level of intelligence, political ideas and affiliations, or social and class origins. I have come to the realization that virtually no foreigner is entirely immune to this infectious disease.

It would be naive to expect that only the uneducated “proletarians” fall victim to Soviet propaganda and become “revolutionaries.” As a matter of fact, my KGB supervisors explicitly instructed me “not to waste my time” and APN's money on the “true believers in Communism.” My KGB contact in New Delhi, comrade Gadin, suggested to me, after seeing my overly friendly socialization with students and young Indian radicals: “Aim higher-- at the upper middle-class intellectuals and otherwise INFLUENTIAL personalities.” True believers, he said, make the worst enemies if and when they become disillusioned with Communism, or finally see through the deception. What KGB-APN needs is a person who would be ready to compromise moral principles (if he had any) for his personal short-term advantage. According to my observation and practice, such persons suffer from one or more of the following flaws in their characters: egoism, ethnocentrism (or bigotry), greed, mental laziness, cynicism, lack of confidence (or, conversely, overconfidence), fear (especially fear of failure or fear of appearing as “misfits” and underachievers in their own careers and ventures), and the inability to be compassionate toward the sufferings of others. Often among the KGB-APN collaborators I could see persons with various physiological deviations: homosexuals, impotents, or-- conversely-- persons obsessed with sex and other pleasures, persons unable to establish lasting and meaningful relationships with the opposite sex, persons unable to show or receive love, etc. On top of it all, the most “recruitable” people are “materialists, pragmatists,” obsessed with the immediate and complete “success” of THEIR ventures. Another great category of collaborators are those who are unable to laugh at themselves, who take themselves too seriously. Healthy skepticism and a good sense of humor provide one of the best remedies against Novosti infection.

I have met scores of conceited snobbish “intellectuals,” who suffered from self-importance and firmly believed that the public in their own country was too backward to understand their genius. Novosti provides a very receptive audience for such megalo-maniacs, especially when they write books about their “experiences” in the USSR in surrealistic (or rather Social-realistic) terms.

To sum it up, as one Russian Orthodox priest told me, “Communism is not a political, economical, military or geographical problem. It is a MORAL problem.” Novosti Press Agency and her KGB bosses will be successful in the manipulation of public opinion in the free world as long as there are AMORAL persons ready to cooperate with APN-KGB for their own immoral gains and purposes.

The smallest category of collaborations are those who idealistically BELIEVE that Communism (and its first “civilized” stage of Socialism) is indeed a “better system” and better solution for all the problems of mankind. After 67 years of historical evidence, after hundreds of MILLIONS perished under this system, in view of its gross inefficiency in any area of human activity (except the military, an aggressive one)-- such idealism borders on insanity. Therefore I would not take this category of collaborators seriously. Ignorance, to my mind, plays a major role in this type of “idealism.”

But the greatest attraction, according to my observations, is a real (or imagined) REWARD for services rendered by collaborators to the Soviet promoters of “active measures.”

Foreign Press Collaborators
It took the Novosti elite three years, after we were established in 1961, to discover that our propaganda was too boring, dogmatic and unbelievable to print in anything but foreign leftist tabloids. To infiltrate the big press of the West, Novosti had to raise its materials to the international level. In 1964, following the example of the talented chief editor of Izvestia, APN introduced high-quality decadent capitalist methods.

Thus, to satisfy some solidnyi (big press) clientele, Novosti started to invite cooperation from professional foreign journalists stationed in Moscow. Some of them cooperated willingly, trying to convince themselves that they might obtain access, through the Novosti, to “reliable sources close to the Politbureau,” and we carefully maintained that illusion. Others reluctantly realized that they were being taken for a ride, but decided “better the APN, than nothing.” Some did it for the extra income from Novosti, and still others because they truly believed in Communism. Until this very day, none of the foreign collaborators have [had] enough courage to reveal the true nature of their deals with the APN.

The most common recruiting method is to approach a foreign journalist with a “backgrounder,” a crudely written collection of propaganda clich├ęs, fictional statistics, and sometimes real names and dates. For a substantial payment, a foreigner can either rewrite this in his own style and pass it on as his own report, or edit it heavily and recommend it to the editor of his paper for what it is, an “exclusive” article by a Novosti commentator.

In our Asian section we utilized the services of Darshan Singh, a skinny, cross-eyed, intelligent Punjabi, who prior to coming to Moscow had been collaborating for years with the Delhi bureau of Novosti. He was invited to Moscow through Novosti and the Central Committee's Agitprop and, with many other fellow-travelers, was helped to a job as translator with the Foreign Languages Publishing House. There he did routine work, translating the masterpieces of Lenin and Brezhnev, novels by Sholokhov and Gorki, etc., into Punjabi. That was his cover job, which provided his regular income. The real creativity of Darshan Singh was used for a different kind of writing, for APN. Together with our boss, comrade Makhotin, Darshan concocted weekly a gossip column entitled “Letter from Moscow,” based on regular Agitprop material, sometimes simply borrowed from Pravda editorials. Using his old connections with several respectable large-circulation newspapers in India, such as Amrita Bazar Patrika (Calcutta) or a number of Punjabi papers, Darshan Singh established a lively traffic in propaganda, using Novosti teleprinter facilities, photographic services, and even our typists and stenographers. He was paid by the Indian paper as a regular correspondent in Indian rupees, and by Novosti in Soviet rubles.

After about a year of cultivating the foreign news desks of a couple of Indian newspapers, Novosti made them dependent on us as their source of “exclusive information.” Most Indian papers cannot afford to keep their own correspondent in Moscow, but for prestige would not mind having a regular “Moscow letter,” with the latest gossip from “diplomatic circles” planted by APN-KGB often arriving before that same news was reported on other international wire services. They would also appreciate human interest stories including such unorthodox features as photos of a Moscow farm market, pictures from a “typical Soviet wedding party,” and even interviews with some fake Soviet “dissidents,” provided by Novosti for such occasions as slandering Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

I doubt that Darshan Singh really believed in what he was writing. He was too smart for that. Neither was he a dedicated Communist. He was too cynical to love the system, the victory of which would render people like him unnecessary, or worse. My guess is that he was simply greedy and amoral and very conceited at that. It took him one hour to create a masterpiece of propaganda, while others would spend days and weeks concocting vapid articles. Darshan looked upon us, the Novosti rank and file, as primitives, unworthy of his attention. Even our New Delhi bureau deputy-chief Oleg Benyukh did not deserve Darshan's respect, especially after Benyukh decided to become a writer and gave birth to a monstrous creation of his entitled something like “Adventures of a Ukranian in India,” a rhapsody to non-existent “proletarian international solidarity.” The book was, however, published in India, thanks mainly to Darshan's rewriting the whole boring thing into passable Punjabi.

Each of Darshan's “Moscow Letters” cost Novosti about as much as the monthly salary of a junior editor like myself. How much Darshan was paid by the Indian newspapers, I can only guess.

Unlike Darshan, who spent a lot of time on the Novosti premises, and was not ashamed to receive payment, there were some “clean” collaborators, who wanted by all means to look honest and independent while dealing with the APN. They would attend some of our propaganda functions, orchestrated by Agitprop through Novosti, but they would avoid taking our “backgrounders.”

One such “innocent” collaborator was Dev Murarka. I met him on various occasions in the Dom Druzhby (Friendship House) in Kalininski Street, in the club of the Soviet Writers Union in Vorovski Street, and at numerous parties and gatherings on diplomatic or higher cultural levels. He did not like to be seen in deep conversation with APN employees. But I knew, and from very reliable sources, that Mr. Dev Murarka was in fact “our man.” Most of his dispatches from Moscow were presented as “freelance” material in the Western press. But there is simply no such thing in the USSR as a foreign freelancer: a foreign correspondent can obtain a residence visa and accreditation from the foreign affairs press department only if he represents a known newspaper. The exclusion from this rule is made only for Communists, representing non-existent (or barely existing) leftist tabloids. Thus Mr. Murarka's “freelance” status was a fake.

Those stubborn journalists who consistently reject Novosti's passes and try to dig out their own stories normally do not last long in Moscow. Thus my friend Nihal Singh, Moscow correspondent for The Statesman (New Delhi), was recalled after my efforts to cultivate him for Novosti and the KGB failed. Naturally, I did not try hard, and did my dirty job very unwillingly, feeling respect for Mr. Singh's integrity and common-sense conservativism. I tried to give him all kinds of signals and hints to indicate that my interest in him was strictly separate from the job entrusted to me by Novosti and my KGB contact. I am still unsure whether he realized what I was trying to convey. He and his Dutch wife were very nice to me and to Anna, my wife. We genuinely enjoyed their company and tried to make our picnics as natural as possible.

On arrival in Delhi in February 1969, I renewed our friendship, both for my own pleasure and following the recommendations of my new KGB contact, comrade Gadin. We met several times at my place in 25 Barakhamba Road, and in the Delhi press club, on one occasion where he made a rather critical speech about the decision of Indira Gandhi to nationalize India's banks.

Whether because he read my messages correctly, or simply because he .was a noble man, Nihal Singh published a very complimentary article about me in The Statesman after my defection. He had become the chief political correspondent and news editor by that time.

The official Prospectus of the Novosti Press Agency says:
APN enters into contacts and concludes agreements and contracts with both state-owned and privately-owned newspapers, magazines, news agencies, publishing houses, broadcasting and television companies, as well as individuals, to supply them with Agency materials for an appropriate fee.
The above statement is an “overstatement,” if not a “bloody lie.”

All through my career with the Novosti I have never heard of anyone in their right mind giving as much as a penny for Novosti's “material.” Some sick-minded or uniquely stupid individuals and companies, yes indeed, sometimes do pay an “appropriate fee” to Novosti.

Thus, in 1975, editors and publishers of the world-famous Encyclopaedia Britannica bought from APN some 15 or 16 articles about the “Soviet Socialist Republics,” wherein the flora and fauna of the Soviet colonies is described in glorious socialist-realistic detail, but not a word is said about the methods of appropriating (or rather, annexing) the national statehoods of formerly independent East European, Baltic and Asian nations. Both the origin and the current functioning of the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” are described there in mythical terms, in typical Novosti style. But again, there is not a single mention of what happened to about 40% of the native (ethnically non-Russian) populations of the “Soviet Republics”: frozen and starved to death in Siberia, whence they were deported in cattle-vans, old men, women and children; able men machine-gunned by the KGB; or (the happiest ending!) forcibly assimilated by the fraternal invaders.

Also, not a word about the ethnic composition of the power organs of the “republics”-- the local Central Committees of the Communist Party-- predominantly Russian or Ukrainian even in (and especially in) such ethnically distant areas as Central Asia, Caucasus and the Baltics…

Instead the Britannica is full of praises to the Soviet “public and political organizations,” such as the Young Pioneers, the Young Communist League, DOSAAF (a paramilitary youth organization in the tradition of Hitler-Jugend), etc., and again, not a single word of EDITORIAL explanation about the nature of such unprecedented “political pluralism” in a country with a one-party system of power!

I can only guess about the true motivation of the Britannica publishers, borrowing such crude and very un-British propaganda from the Novosti, and PAYING for it with hard (though decadent) British pounds sterling. To my mind it is either a rare case of pure idiocy, or a side effect of an infectious disease of the 1970's called “detente”-- wishful thinking about making the Soviet junta more peaceful by describing it as such.

There is no need to pay an “appropriate fee” to Novosti, because in most cases Novosti is too happy to pay (rubles, dollars or pounds), to anyone who agrees to publish its crap.

In fact, according to my observations and experience, confirmed by dozens of defectors from the KGB and APN, Novosti has a well-developed list of services and payments for all sorts of foreign collaborators, which I quote below.

In its official Prospectus, Novosti states that “APN's publications are disseminated in foreign countries in strict accordance with the laws and regulations of these countries.” That may or may not be true. But let us look at the various methods of dissemination of APN propaganda from the viewpoint of LEGALITY as well as MORALITY (and I mean universal human morality, not the Communist one, where the end justifies the means).

I purposefully neglect considerations of “willingness” and “unwillingness” (due to ignorance, deceit, stupidity etc.) while observing the dissemination of APN's propaganda through the foreign collaborators in THEIR OWN countries. Why? Because it is indeed too hard to prove the degree of that “willingness” on the part of a collaborator. But it is very easy to review the “active measures” promoted and facilitated by collaborators, from the standpoint of Western MORALITY on one hand, and from the standpoint of Soviet law on the other. This comparison is extremely important to realize,:what the Soviet system itself considers ILLEGAL and CRIMINAL and what it does in foreign countries, using the legitimate freedoms of “open society” to achieve Soviet goals.

Thus, the “legitimate” or overt active measures conducted by the KGB-Novosti tandem abroad-- through the foreign collaborators--include the following:

--Publication of a piece of pro-Soviet propaganda material in the Soviet media, authored by a foreign collaborator, with further re-circulation (by quotation, reference or reprinting) in the country of the collaborator;

--A public statement in the interests of the Soviet State, made by a foreign collaborator on Soviet radio, TV, or at an international forum organized by the Novosti within the USSR; replaying of that statement in a foreign country;

--Same as above two, but originated in a foreign country and by the foreign collaborator, with further publication (and/or broadcasting or disseminating in any other way) in the foreign media;

--A speech made by a foreign collaborator at one of the CPSU-sponsored “international congresses” within the USSR, with further publication in the Novosti periodicals;

--Same as above, but in a foreign country, at a “leftist” or “liberal” forum, where the policies of the USA and its allies are being attacked;

--Publication of a book, literary work, piece of art, or scientific research, emphasizing the “virtues of a planned economy” and lambasting the “oppressive” capitalist system;

--Establishing a pro-Soviet newspaper, magazine, radical tabloid, or “liberal” periodical sharply attacking the “roots” of the “establishment” and the moral standards of Western society;

--Introduction and conducting of an academic course (or series of lectures, seminars, study groups, etc.) with an emphasis on Marxist-Leninist ideology, at any Western university;

--Establishing a pro-Socialist political or public organization in the country of a collaborator;

--Distribution of APN's periodicals, booklets, releases and other materials in the collaborator's country;

--Direct cooperation with APN's bureau (in the staff) abroad.

As you can see, there is nothing very dramatic in these active, but rather legitimate (from the standpoint of Western law) measures. Now, let us see what Novosti pays the foreign collaborators for these services, and what would be a Soviet citizen’s “reward,” if he would dare to do the same in reverse by cooperating with a foreign state or private organization-- from the standpoint of Soviet law.

Service No. 1
Publication of pro-Soviet (pro-Communist, pro-Socialist, but anti-American and anti- Western) material, an article, story or a news item, in the Soviet, or Soviet-controlled media, by a foreign collaborator of Novosti, concocted on the basis of an APN 'backgrounder,' supplied by Novosti agents, is worth an average of 25 rubles per typewritten page. (Depending on the rate of inflation, it may be more.) A collaborator may spend his rubles in the USSR, or receive his “royalty” in a currency of his own country according to the Soviet-established rate of exchange.

Now, look how the Soviet law defines this action, if committed by a Soviet (or Soviet-controlled country's) citizen: an author (a journalist, writer, or simply a restless person) who would dare to publish a pro-Western news item or an article (or anything even distantly critical of the Soviet empire) in the Western media, will get an average of 5 years of imprisonment (or concentration camp) for this so-called “anti-Soviet agitation” as defined by Article 70 of the Soviet Criminal Code. See the difference? For 10 pages of pro-Communist crap a Western collaborator gets 200 rubles, but a Soviet citizen - 5 years of hard labor. (Daniel and Synyavsky, the two Russians who ventured to publish their essays abroad, and a Yugoslavian Mijailo Mijailov, who did the same, spent more than 5 years-- but that is a pure “technicality.” Sinyavsky and Mijailov are now living in the West, so they may share their experiences with the Western collaborators of Novosti, if they were willing to listen, which they normally aren't.)

Service No. 2
For a verbal statement of a pro-Soviet nature made by a foreign collaborator of APN within the USSR, or in a “brotherly” territory (Cuba, Nicaragua, Angola, Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc), as arranged by APN on a radio or TV station, the foreigner receives from 200 to 1000 rubles, depending on the content of his statement and the reputation (notoriety) of the collaborator.

A Soviet citizen simply cannot make a pro-Western statement on foreign radio, even if he (or she) is allowed to visit a foreign country. This is specified in the Secret Briefing at the Visa Department of the Central Committee, which every Soviet citizen traveling abroad, without exception, must read and sign before his visa is approved. But if a Soviet citizen would dare to smuggle a tape-recorded message out of the USSR, he would be treated according to the same Article 70 of the Criminal Code: five years of hard labor in Siberia or some equally pleasant location.

Service No. 3

For the same as the above two, but directed by the Novosti towards the foreign media (planted in foreign newspapers, for example), a foreign collaborator, as a rule, is paid in both Soviet rubles at Moscow APN headquarters and in foreign moneys by a foreign branch of Novosti in his country. Sometimes the collaborator is also paid by the “useful idiots” of a foreign newspaper, publishing house, or TV network. In those rare cases when the story is “unacceptable” to the foreign media, a local bureau of Novosti may “push it through” by simple bribery, intoxicating an editor at an embassy party, or coercing a publisher in some other way (by promising a free trip to the USSR to meet with Bolshoi ballerinas and famous milkmaids in Murmansk). The amount of the bribe would depend on the importance and news value of the material. To my knowledge, Novosti included several cooperative Indian publishers in the group of “Jawaharlal Nehru Prize Winners,” which simply means a half-million Rupee bribe in a legitimate and rather respectable form.

Naturally, a Soviet citizen, should he dream of collaborating with, say, UPI or France Presse, will not survive for too long as a “freelancer”: instead of a Pulitzer Prize he may get 10 years at a concentration camp in the GULAG for “collaboration with foreign intelligence services” (and UPI is a “stooge of the CIA,” according to Pravda, isn't it?).

Service No. 4
A speech made by a foreign collaborator of Novosti at one of the “international forums” orchestrated by the Agitprop within the Soviet Empire. For the publishing rights of that pronouncement (the text of which is often prepared by the APN staffers long before a foreign guest lands at Moscow Airport), Novosti pays to the collaborator a one-time fee of about 2,000 rubles, plus all his travel expenses. Naturally, the collaborator has to earn the honor by being a good parrot and obedient pet. Mother Russia seldom extends hospitality to “unuseful idiots,” who stubbornly refuse to read their speeches from the prepared texts.

As you may have already guessed, no Soviet citizen has a LEGAL RIGHT to make any unauthorized speech at any international forum, least of all one which is “anti-Soviet” or pro-Western. Violation of this law is considered “high treason” by Article 64 of the Soviet Criminal Code, which, by the way, provides the ultimate punishment: DEATH.

The only possible way for a Soviet citizen to address an international forum is to be ASSIGNED to make such a speech by the Agitprop. Of course, there is another, more troublesome way: to become a dissident writer, to be arrested and sent to the GULAG for 11 years, released, harassed by the KGB for another 10 years, and finally kicked out of the country to the West. Then only-- yes, one may have a right to talk to an international forum, and in the process be ridiculed and offended by the Western liberal media as a “cold war paranoid” and “right wing extremist.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn tried this method.

Service No. 5
For making pro-Communist speeches and pro-Soviet statements OUTSIDE of the Soviet Empire, the collaborators of APN are paid accordingly in the currencies of their own countries, at the rate of exchange established by the Soviet bank (one progressive Soviet ruble for one decadent American dollar, or even less). Often APN-KGB funnels additional moneys to the organizers of pro-Communist gatherings, and also covers the expenses for media coverage of the event. So, the foreign collaborators again have two chances to be remunerated: from Novosti directly, and from local “useful idiots.”

Naturally, pro-Western public statements or speeches are unthinkable within the Soviet Empire even if and when such a science-fictional event might be financed by the CIA or the John Birch Society.

In any case, a Western collaborator of APN-KGB would be paid some $2,000, whilst a citizen of the Communist Bloc may have a choice of firing squad or psychiatric asylum with forceful “treatment” by mind-destructive chemicals.

Service No. 6
Publication of a book, literary work, piece of art, or scientific research, by a foreign collaborator, with APN's aid and ideological “encouragement,” glorifying the Communist (or Socialist) way of life, “collectivist” philosophy, planned economy and/or “bright future for all mankind”-- a one-world system based on “progress and just redistribution of wealth,” and defaming “decadent capitalism” in the process, is usually rewarded by Novosti with a lump sum in five figures in rubles, plus, very often, a similar royalty in “hard currency.” All the expenses for publication, editing, technical production and distribution are normally taken over by the Novosti. The author may also be invited to visit the USSR for a “free trip” and a title of “progressive,” together with some “honorable diploma” from Patrice Lumumba Friendship University, which the collaborator may proudly frame and exhibit to his (or her) academic brotherhood (or sisterhood).

A Soviet counterpart of a foreign collaborator, for even trying to do the same towards the free world, may earn various “royalties” for publishing his work abroad: from 5 years of labor camp (Daniel and Sinyavsky), to public defamation in the Soviet media (Pasternak, Bulgakov, Zoshchenko), to a forced exile from the Motherland (Solzhenitsyn), to a firing squad (Babel, Mandelshtam, Meyerhold and hundreds of other intellectuals during the period of unprecedented blossoming of Socialist Realism in arts and science). If the book published abroad has any scientific value (not even a “secret” or “defense” subject, but, say, something about the sex habits of polar bears), the author, for passing his work to foreign publishers, may be charged with “high treason,” according to Articles 64, 65 and 75 of the Criminal Code (treason, espionage, and divulging of State secrets). And every schoolchild in the USSR knows that every Soviet scientist, without exception, is the property of the State, together with all the contents of his brain. Therefore everything he writes, scribbles or utters IS a state secret.

Service No. 7
Establishing a tabloid, newspaper or magazine in a foreign country, in which, directly or otherwise, Soviet ideology and Soviet foreign policy are justified or supported, or in which Soviet-supported surrogates (Cuba, Angola, Nicaragua, the P.L.O., various 'National-Liberation Fronts') are described in positive, “progressive” terms. For this type of service collaborators of APN-KGH are rewarded through various “front organizations” formally not related to the Soviet embassy or Novosti Press Agency. In my own practice in India we gave birth to dozens of such illegitimate “children” of APN, from radical students' tabloids to “independent progressive” magazines, the circulation of which would not exceed 100 copies and the entire staff consisted of 1 person. The propaganda effect of these papers is negligible. And indeed it is not the main purpose of APN, but the creation of such periodicals gives APN-KGB a legal and overt channel to funnel money and support to the so-called “activ,” a group of radicals and agitators who are officially on the payroll of this or that newspaper as staff writers, columnists, etc., but who are in fact simply signing the materials (articles, commentaries, news items) prepared by the Novosti bureau in a foreign country. Most of the time these activists are engaged in organizational work on campuses and in slums of large “capitalists” cities. Their “salaries” from the newspaper allow them to survive financially without being employed productively anywhere at all.

The money is not paid to the papers directly. It is channeled through real or fake advertising agencies, which place commercial ads for such Soviet businesses as Aeroflot, Intourist, Tractorexport, or even for some non-existent products and services. What matters is that money transfer to the “activ” becomes legitimate.

The most active and survivable organs of such media conceived with the help from Novosti are taken good care of. The editors and the “staff” are regularly invited to the USSR (or one of the “Peoples” Republics of the Soviet Empire) for prolonged visits, or for medical treatment of their V.D. and hernias acquired in the endless “class struggle” in their own countries. Some of the activists spend their vacations in Soviet Crimea, or at Bulgarian Black Sea resorts. Some send their children to Soviet schools for a “free education” (paid by the Soviet taxpayers), or to Soviet summer camps like Artek in Crimea.

To realize what a mirror replica of such an activity would mean to a Soviet citizen within the USSR, try to establish a pro-Western (pro-“capitalist”) newspaper in the city of Sverdlovsk.

Service No. 8
Introduction of a “Marxist-Leninist” (or similarly “progressive”) course of lectures, seminars, study groups, etc. in any Western school or college by Novosti's collaborators is normally compensated by either one-time payment in the form of “prizes” dedicated to “peace, friendship and mutual understanding between the nations,” or by several (often regular) free trips to the USSR to attend various “international conferences” under the guise of “cultural and academic exchange.” Most of the expenses for such trips are paid by the APN-KGB. Some Western scholars, suffering from self-importance, are being “bought” by simply publishing their vapid books and “scientific works” (essays, research papers, etc.) in the USSR or other “fraternal” countries. Disproportionately large “royalties” paid by the Novosti to such collaborators soon become quite an addiction to a “professor,” especially if his “work” is poorly appreciated in his own country for being too “leftist” even for enfeebled Western brains.

For a comparison, try to imagine a Russian professor introducing a course of lectures on, say, profit-oriented management in… Leningrad University! Some Soviet academics have gotten themselves into deep trouble even for much less ideologically dangerous lectures on the subjects of genetics or cybernetics (“pseudo-science of the decadent West.”) Many Soviet academics perished in the GULAG simply for quoting from Western textbooks, or for being too slow to adjust to the ever-fluctuating “general line” of the Party Ideology. Some ended up in “sharashkas” (special prisons for scientists, where they continue to work for the glory of Soviet technology, as did Tupolev, Koroylyov, and many others. The “sharashkas” are excellently described by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his novel “First Circle.”)

Thus: half a million dollars for a Western collaborator of APN; life-time imprisonment for his Soviet colleague for trying to “build bridges between scientists of the world.”

Service No. 9
Establishing (founding) a pro-Communist public organization (such as the “Soviet-American Friendship Society” etc.), and popularization of the activities of such organizations through the local media, representing them as “true expressers of public opinion in a democratic society,” is rewarded by the Novosti through various “foundations” and front groups. Most of the funds and revenues are generated locally, in a target country, with the help of a professional fund-raiser, employed by the Novosti through intermediaries. Very often the activists of “peacenik” and “freeznik” movements do not realize that they are, in fact, on the payroll and under control of the APN-KGB. Some prefer to overlook or not to understand this sensitive issue... for the sake of financial comfort. An Indian friend of mine in New Delhi, an activist of the “Indo-Soviet Cultural Society” (ISCO), was paid as much as 600 Rupees a month, the average salary of a junior bureaucrat in Indian government plus some “expenses” and occasional trips to the USSR for fun, rest and further indoctrination. Surely he understood that the society he administered had nothing to do with either “culture” or “friendship” between the people of India and the USSR. But who could refuse an invitation to Sochi (a Black Sea resort) or resist the temptation to be mentioned in the world press as a “progressive and sober-thinking personality”?

The most active public figures, instrumental in the process of creation of pro-Soviet organizations and groups, are being systematically showered with all sorts of “international prizes”: Lenins, Nobels, Jawaharlal Nehrus, etc. A one-time “prize” from the Novosti maybe, sometimes, [is worth] as much as a million American dollars.

By comparison, a person in the USSR who would try to establish a pro-Western, pro-Democratic, or (what a horror!) pro-Jewish (pro-Israel) organization in Moscow, will get as much as 15 years in a concentration camp or even the death penalty, in strict accordance with the Soviet Criminal Code, Articles #70, 64, 65, 71, 75 (Propaganda, Treason, Espionage, Propaganda of War, and Divulging of State Secrets). Helsinki monitoring groups in the USSR (what could be more “peaceful” and “friendly”!!) were harassed by the KGB to their complete extinction. Rare daredevils of Soviet “peaceniks” who demanded the freeze of SOVIET nuclear weaponry were put in KGB psychiatric asylums and tortured by chemicals.

In other words: a million dollars for a Western peacenik and a slow painful death for a Soviet one. Do you sleep well, Western collaborators of Novosti? Does anything bother you, aside from the Pentagon’s warheads'?

Service No. 10
Dissemination (distribution) of APN periodicals and propaganda booklets in the free world through legitimate circulation agencies and retail book stores, on campuses and through school libraries is rewarded by a regular salary roughly equal to that of an agent for subscription in the target country. The collaborators-distributors are also rewarded by regular free trips the USSR (or fraternal countries), and sometimes by one-time prizes and valuable presents, from a “Matreshka” doll to a camera, watch, TV set, or even a Soviet-made car.

Promotion of subscriptions to Soviet propaganda publications is also rewarded by a generous “commission” of up to 60% of the retail price of the publication, such as “Soviet Life,” (officially published by the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C.), and other magazines, and books.

A similar “service” by a Soviet citizen to a publisher in any free country is unheard of, but punishable by the same above articles of the Criminal Code.

Service No. 11
Direct cooperation with Novosti Press Agency, either in one of the foreign bureaus or within the USSR, pays regular wages, roughly equal to the wages of the media workers in the target country. Bonuses may include a variety of awards, from a free automobile to a free space at the cemetery near the Kremlin Wall, next to many other collaborators-- from John Reed to Dean Reed (an American pop-singer, residing mainly in Moscow. He is not dead yet, though.)

Direct employment of a Soviet citizen by a foreign mission or a news agency is high treason, unless the employee is an officer of the UPDK) a branch of the KGB responsible for hiring domestic servants, secretaries, drivers, interpreters, etc., for foreign nationals residing in the USSR. UPDK means “Directorate of Affairs of Diplomatic Corpus”-- Upravlenie Delami Diplomaticheskogo Korpusa, in Russian).

Any other Soviet citizen who would dare to be hired by a foreigner in Moscow is treated as an enemy of [the] People, with every regular consequence.

This is a brief and far-from-complete list of “services” which the foreign collaborators of Novosti render to the self-proclaimed enemy of their own countries. These actions are OVERT: any sensible person can, if he wants, observe them and monitor the results in both short and long time spans. There is not a SINGLE law in any free country that would prevent collaborators from OPENLY and LEGITIMATELY cooperating with the APN-KGB. But there is a law in the USA, which forbids the American intelligence services to contact (or use in any other way) their own American media to even EXPLAIN (to say nothing about JUSTIFY) their operations against the KGB-controlled Novosti Press Agency, the ideological subverter that feels at home in any “belligerent capitalist country.” I was told it is a price Democracy must pay for its freedom. To my mind, it is a price the Free World pays for self-destruction.

Continued in Part Four.