The following excerpts are from a talk on DISINFORMATION IN THE LIBERAL MEDIA, given March 26  at a CAUSA USA Regional Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The speaker, Mr. Tomas Schuman (Yuri Bezmenov), was formerly a correspondent for the Soviet Novosti Press Agency, specializing in producing disinformation for the foreign media. A defector, Mr. Schuman now works as a political analyst and public speaker on disinformation and other activities of the Soviet KGB.
My dear American capitalists, and oppressed masses, I would like to start my talk with three magic words, which usually give three years of imprisonment to any citizen of any socialist country if they pronounce these three magic words loudly and continuously: “I love America.” Apart from loving America, I also love CAUSA, if only for one reason, that they can collect so many interesting people in one room, including Hispanics and blacks.
I’m very happy to see many black Americans in this room, because my message concerns you, greatly. I believe that black is beautiful, but unlike some of your liberals, I practice what I preach. I live in a black area of Los Angeles, in the city which has the best black mayor in the United States, Tom Bradley. I am married to a girl who is rather black, maybe not as black as Andrew Young or Jesse Jackson, but nobody’s perfect. And I am trying to bring such beautiful concepts as equality, justice, and freedom into practical implementation. And believe me, I am not telling these things to you people just to please you. I am not running for political office. I don’t want anything from you people. I am not selling anything, I don’t want any money. I’m simply telling you what I feel.
The rest of my message may not be as pleasant. I’m going to tell you something that is extremely unpleasant to hear. My impression and my knowledge, based on my experience on the Soviet side, is that much of the American mass media is being manipulated by the Soviet KGB. That was my job for about 12 years. There is a strange, nagging negativism in the American mass media in relation to America. The monopolized media in the United States tends to blame everything on the United States--earthquakes arranged by the CIA, acid rains come from American capitalism, oppression, discrimination, racism, come from America. I’m not disputing that there are some bigots in the United States: bigots are everywhere, and through the history of mankind there were people who were pathologically unable to be friendly to blacks, yellows, or any race.
I’m talking about governmental, state racism. This is something that never existed in the United States in observable history. America is not racist. Socialism is. And I’m going to demonstrate to you how and which way. When this morning I was on radio talk show, some caller said, “Mr. Schuman, we don’t want to discuss differences between capitalism and socialism. We want to discuss the injustices which exist in both camps.” Obviously, he doesn’t know what real injustice means.
Before I go into specifics about the mass media, why the media is so masochistic about the United States, why they lie to you--and I’m going to prove how they lie to you--I’m going to show you several pictures which will give you a glimpse into my life and my activity as a Soviet product, as a Soviet disinformation agent, and believe me I was not a spy.
When you watch your Hollywood movies about James Bond espionage, please believe me, most of it is pure garbage. The Soviet KGB do not need any James Bonds today; YOU GIVE THEM THE SECRETS, or SELL THEM THE SECRETS. I was engaged in something much more unpleasant than espionage. I was engaged in ideological subversion, which is seldom explained to people by your media, because the media is part of that process.
Let me show you part of my life story and activity. This is the town in the suburbs of Moscow where I was born. You can see Comrade Lenin’s statue in the middle of the central square, on the right. This is a typical decoration in any Soviet city.
Comrade Lenin is described in your mass media as a great politician, and great revolutionary. He is the idol of many of your intellectuals and freedom fighters and civil rights movements. The United Nations recently celebrated the anniversary of Comrade Lenin’s birthday. And your government sent congratulational telegrams to my government.
Now please try to understand that in the eyes of people who walk by Comrade Lenin’s statue, he was a short, bald man with a speech impediment who died from syphilis, and who introduced the system of mass terror and concentration camps in my country long before these beautiful ideas came to the mind of Adolf Hitler. Nazis killed 6 million Jews. The system established by Lenin killed 66 million of my people. Do you see the difference? Or similarity? You don’t have time to count how many people were killed by the system which is glorified in your mass media.
This is another great politician, the statue of Comrade Stalin, and [me] at the age of 6 or 7. When I realized that the mass media lied to both my people and your people when they describe Uncle Joe as a peacemaker. President Roosevelt called him a nice, charming Uncle Joe. The New York Times described him as a great humanist at the time when he was killing millions of my people.
At the age of 6, as you can see, I realized perfectly well that the United States is not my enemy. You have to be an exceptionally dumb child at the age of 6 to believe that such delicious food as Spam meat was supplied to us by the enemy. When Soviet propaganda tried to convince me that United States [was] just about to invade us, believe me, kids in my school and thousands of other schools were counting the days and minutes: When is Gen. Patton to invade our country?! We wanted to be invaded. We wanted to own blue jeans, jazz records with Glenn Miller music, more chocolate bars, more condensed milk, more Spam meat. We did not want Uncle Joe. Yet your presidents, multinationals, and religious groups imposed Uncle Joe on us to continue the slavery in my country. With your silent consent.
This is my father on the right, Inspector of Land Forces of the Soviet Army General Staff. He inspected Soviet troops stationed in such countries as China, Mongolia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and East Germany, where one of your officers was killed last morning. My father died in 1973, but believe me, his comrades are doing the same job right now, inspecting Soviet troops in such countries as Nicaragua, El Salvador, Yemen, Mozambique, Syria, and Iraq. You want more? There are more. Zimbabwe, Angola, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan. You want more? Well, keep on sitting on your fat bottoms. There will be more countries like that.
Your media, your beautiful intellectuals, your think tanks, which I call stink tanks, all these countries they describe as Third World countries, nonaligned countries, and neutral countries. Some idiots come forward with such names as liberated, anti-colonial countries. Sensible people in my country--the Russians as you call us--we have different names for these countries. We call them betrayed countries, betrayed by your government, by your multinationals, by the dim wits of your establishment, intellectuals, some of your freedom and whatever fighters. And there will be more countries like that until you understand the difference between freedom and slavery.
This is the college from which I graduated: Institute of Oriental Languages, a small, elitist school for children of high-ranking officials of the USSR. I studied the languages of India, Pakistan, Hindi and Urdu. I also studied history, economy, political science, communications, mass media--anything that would enable me to be an effective Soviet bureaucrat in India.
I also studied the music of India, as you can see. I even tried to look like an Indian when I was a second year student, and I was encouraged to do so because we were preparing to be foreign correspondents, diplomats or spies.
[Picture not from book.] As every other Soviet student, I had to volunteer to harvest grain in Soviet collective farms. Strictly according to Marxist-Leninist slogans, those who do not work shall not eat. You can see me eating; therefore, I was working.
This is the area where Soviet students spend their vacation; it is marked by the yellow color; it is called Kazakhstan. The picture is taken from an American news magazine, US News & World Report. I demonstrate it to you as an example of the monumental ignorance of your mass media. They call this area Russia’s breadbasket. I hope you people realize that Russia’s breadbasket is not Kazakhstan; it is Kansas, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio.
This is my first assignment as a translator with a Soviet economic aid group building oil refineries. At the time I realized that what we were doing in India has nothing to do with friendship, cooperation. detente, peace. What we were doing was building a carbon-copy of the Soviet socialist system in India, peacefully, without tanks. I hated socialism back home, yet I did my job in India. Why? Simple.
My country sent me to India. My country, good or bad, I love my country, and I still do even though I despise the system. I tried to be friendly to Indians. I was trying to be friendly to little Indians like this boy [not shown]. I was trying to be friendly to not-so-little Indians like this girl.
If you remember, Karl Marx said, ‘Proletarians of all the countries, unite.’ To be a good Marxist, I wanted to unite with a nice proletarian girl. I was always crazy about Oriental girls for a very simple reason: apart from being a “racist” I spent my childhood in the Oriental part of USSR, in Kazakhstan. My father was fighting on the front lines; my mother was working in the factories. My adopted mother was an Oriental girl with dark skin and slanted eyes. That was the first lady [who] showed me some respect, love and tenderness, changed my diapers and wiped my nose. As every normal child, I remember her face for the rest of my life. I did not want to marry a fat, white Russian girl. I wanted to marry a slender, dark Indian girl.
I wish I could explain it to your freedom fighters in the United States, who blame America for being racist. It is my country, under Soviet socialism, which is the most racist system in the world. By law in USSR, I was not allowed to marry a foreign girl, and--Marx forbid!--to make love to her, because the Communist Party has control on my genes and chromosomes. I was not allowed to marry into an ‘inferior race,’ and this is something that I have desperately tried to explain to your civil rights activists who blame America.
They show you these pictures, taken from Time magazine: a black South African showing his passport. “Worldwide outcry against racism.” Yes, it is a shame to deny certain parts of a population--the majority of blacks in South Africa--their political rights. I am not debating that. Yes, it is a shame to have a passport, an internal document, which is unheard of in the United States, with a picture, description of nationality or racial origin, and a police rubber stamp, which prescribes for this man where he is supposed to live. His place of residence, right?
Now, why don’t you look at this passport--it is my passport, a Soviet passport. There is my picture. There is a police rubber stamp which prescribes where I have to reside, and there is my indication of racial origin on the right bottom line; it says ‘Ruski,’ Russian. I was lucky to be Russian. But if I were born a Jew in a God-forsaken village, I had no right to move from one city to another. Now there are demonstrations in front of the South African Embassy because 30 blacks were killed in South Africa. Have you ever heard about anyone of your liberal establishment demonstrating in front of the Soviet embassy, [which] killed 15 million Ukrainians, 2 million Crimean Tartars, and thousands of other ethnic minorities in my country? Where are your Jesse Jacksons? Why don’t they demonstrate in front of the Soviet embassy? Please explain it to me; maybe I’m a dumb Russian. Maybe I don’t understand what racism is. THIS IS RACISM!
Coming back to my wife’s story--the Communist Party didn’t want me to marry an Indian girl, so I had to marry this nice Russian girl in the middle. I couldn’t stand her, but that was the desire of my superiors. A Soviet bureaucrat of my caliber is not allowed to marry anyone he wants. My wife has to go through security clearance. Without love, husband and wife in the Soviet bureaucracy become virtually informers on each other to prevent defection. And if you behave like a good boy, if you marry who they want you to marry, this is what happens.
A status symbol of a Soviet young bureaucrat, government job, private car, nice-looking wife who speaks English--she hates you very much and reports everything you say to KGB--and a transistor radio, manufactured in Japan to listen to Voice of America.
[Picture not from book.]If you behave like a good boy, they promote you. You can see me on the right as a press officer of the USSR Embassy translating a speech by a Soviet boss on the occasion of the commissioning of this oil refinery in India. When the job was done, I was transferred back to Moscow to work for the Novosti Press Agency.
This is headquarters of Novosti. Novosti means ‘news’ in Russian. Novosti has nothing to do with news. Novosti is the KGB-controlled front for political indoctrination, ideological subversion, espionage and terrorism.
Part of my job was to manipulate and befriend students of Patrice Lumumba Friendship University. This is a group of such students visiting the Kremlin with me. They don’t look like students, and they were not. Nor were they spies.
They were future agents of disinformation, subversion and terrorism. They were imported to the USSR from Asia, Africa and Latin America, trained at Lumumba Friendship University, then for two years in KGB school, then dispatched back to their countries. And after a short period of time, they become leaders of national liberation movements.
And when they destabilize their own country, they start indiscriminately shooting and killing their own people. And when they do that, beautiful journalists of the United States describe these bandits as “anti-government guerrillas,” “leftist rebels,” right? Some even come forward with such fancy names as “freedom fighters,” or “fighters for majority rule.” Now, when Salvadorans want to fight back against these KGB-trained bandits and assassins and rapists, when Salvadorans shoot back, what does The New York Times call them? “Death squads,” “right-wing death squads.” Now, these are left-wing death squads. You ever heard this name in your media? Why not? Explain to me why not.
Continued in Part Two.