In multiple interviews and several small books Yuri Bezmenov attempted to expose the KGB’s tactic of ‘Subversion’.  He described Subversion as a long-term, systematic plan to undermine and destroy the West from within.  He explains that Subversion was based off Sun Tzu’s, “Art of War”.  Sun Tzu said, “All warfare is based primarily on deception of an enemy. Fighting on a battlefield is the most primitive way of making war. There is no art higher than to destroy your enemy without a fight – by subverting anything of value in enemy’s country.”    It is the same idea of turning a stronger force against itself.  In Japanese martial arts, rather than trying to block a stronger opponent’s attack, one re-directs the opponent’s energy, momentum and inertia in a new direction that is more favorable.  In essence, this is the overall objective of Subversion.

Yuri continues by comparing all of Sun Tzu’s points on subversion to a document allegedly captured by the allies after WWII entitled “Rules of Revolution”.  He admits that he cannot verify the authenticity of the document, but he does state that the principles it contains were precisely what he was taught by his KGB superiors while working for Novosti.  Sun Tzu’s Subversion suggestions were,

  1. Cover with ridicule all of the valid traditions in your opponent’s country.
  2. Implicate their leaders in criminal affairs and turn them over to the scorn of their populace at the right time;
  3. Disrupt the work of their government by every means;
  4. Do not shun the aid of the lowest and most despicable individuals of your enemy’s country.
  5. Spread disunity and dispute among the citizens.
  6. Turn the young against the old.
  7. Be generous with promises and rewards to collaborators and accomplices.”

Whereas the points illustrated in “Rules of Revolution” are,

  1. Corrupt the young, get them interested in sex, take them away from religion. Make them superficial and enfeebled.
  2. Divide the people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial issues of no importance.
  3. Destroy people’s faith in their national leaders by holding the latter up for contempt, ridicule and disgrace.
  4. Always preach democracy, but seize power as fast and as ruthlessly as possible.
  5. By encouraging government extravagances, destroy its credit, produce years of inflation with rising prices and general discontent.
  6. Incite unnecessary strikes in vital industries, encourage civil disorders and foster a lenient and soft attitude on the part of the government towards such disorders.
  7. Cause breakdown of the old moral virtues: honesty, sobriety, self-restraint, faith in the pledged word.

The similarities between the Sun Tzu’s and the Communists’ tactics are almost identical.  And the more one studies them, the more they realize the catastrophic extent these tactics could have on a civilization if consistently implemented over a long period of time.

Cicero summarized the art of Subversion well before the KGB started using it.  He said, “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious.  But it cannot survive treason (Subversion) from within.  An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.  But the traitor moves amongs those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.  FOr the traitor appears not a traitor, he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.  He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resits.  A murderer is less to fear.”

The perfect analogy for subversion is that of the Wolf in Sheep’s clothing.  Though a wolf, the predator appears harmoless and walks among the sheep as one of their own.  He can strike at will because he is unknown and undiscovered.  However, the greatest threat to the wolf and the greatest hope for the sheep and the shepherd, that thtat the wolf’s true identity and objectives are revealed.  Unless this happens, the wolf is free to do as he pleases.

During the 20th century many Americans were aware of subversive attempts against the United States and its way of life.  In many cases Congress was at the forefront of such activities.  In the 1950’s the Reece Committee investigated a case involving Subversion.  They were investigating the many reputable and well known Foundations and their overt attempts to subvert the U.S.  During the hearings, the Committee had the following to say about this subtle tactic.

 “What does the term “subversion” mean?  In contemporary usage and practice, it does not refer to outright revolution, but to a promotion of tendencies which lead, in their inevitable consequences, to the destruction of principles through perversion or alienation.  Subversion, in modern society, is not a sudden, cataclysmic explosion, but a gradual undermining, a persistent chipping away at [the basis] upon which beliefs rest”

The process of Subversion is long-term and consists of four distinct, yet overlapping, steps.  Yuri stated that the entire process, from start to finish, would take at least 25-30 years to accomplish.  The four stages, with their accompanying time frames, are:

  1. Demoralization, 20 years
  2. Destabilization, five years
  3. Crisis, six months
  4. Normalization

Because of the detailed and extensive nature of each stage, they will be address independently, in their own section.

Ultimately, the Objective of subversion is to move a society from an ‘open status’ to a ‘closed status’ society.  Yuri describes an open society as follows.  (Mind you, this was during the 1980s when he gave these explanations).  “An ‘open society’ is the one you are living now (sic). You can work in it, or choose not to work, have private property or have nothing at all, love it or leave it, criticize it without fear of being declared an ‘enemy of people.’ It is a society, based on free individual initiative and the free market system.” A dosed Society is naturally the opposite of an open society. He described it as, “…the opposite of what we had in the beginning. Borders are closed, censorship of the media is established, ‘irritants’ and ‘enemies’ of the state are executed, etc.” 

That being said, subversion attempts to accomplish this transition by destroying or de-valuing anything of worth or value in the targeted country, and attempts to replace it with the opposing Communist ideology.  In short, it is a cultural and ideological struggle (Schuman, 1984).

As Yuri wrote, “All the SUBVERTER – be it [the] KGB or any other purposeful group or organization hell-bent on the idea of a “New World Order” – has to do is to study the areas where your nation’s IDEAS could be eroded and substituted, and then slowly but consistently affect these areas by sending infiltrating agents of Influence to inject new ideas, disseminate propagandist literature, and encourage self-destructive tendencies”

The image to the right is a diagram that Yuri provided in his book, “Love Letter to America”.  It open to closedrepresents the process of moving a society from being “open” to “closed”.  It illustrates precisely what Yuri described regarding the “Subverter” and what must be accomplished.  It uses the idea of ‘egalitarianism’ to illustrate how an idea that opposes a traditional-national value can create discontent and contention.  That contention is followed by a drop in moral.  Those who are embracing the new idea are doing everything they can to advance it.  They are the early innovators who will protest and riot and do whatever it takes to be heard.  They’ll use the media, business, and any other means at their disposal to advance their cause and shed light on their agenda.  While they advance their agenda, individuals that have held onto to the society’s principals and values are discouraged and viewed as being an obstance and hinderment to prgression.  The oppositions wonders, “What is happening to our society?” and “What can be done?” or “Is there anything that can be done?”  Frustration is an inevitable result.  These two opposing camps eventually meet.  It could be in a debate, on the street, on campus, or in opposing protests.  This is where social unrest, as we are seeing today, is the next step.

Today these opposing camps are easily recognized – pro and anti gun, pro life and pro choice, pro LGBT or anti LGBT, Black Lives Matter vs Blue Lives Matter.  Eventually things get bad enough that a power sruggle ensues.  Ferguson and Balitmore both experienced States of Emergency, a direct result of a power struggle.  As a result a new ‘order’ was established.  The government had to swoop in, enact emergency powers, and force things to be normalized again.  This is the end result of the process illustrated – a new order is etablished with tyranical laws which results in a closed society!  Thankfully both Ferguson and Baltimore reverted to the previous status quo.

David McCord Wright, once a professor of economics in America, vividly described some characteristics of a closed society.  Though he referred to it as a ‘stationary state’, the implications are identical.  He said,

“First of all, such a stationary state—any stationary state—must have some means of keeping itself stationary. But I believe that in every generation of every culture there will be found at the least a few people who speculate about other possibilities of doing things—both technologically and socially—and who are not content to rest at mere speculation. Such men must be quietly eliminated or forced into line if the static culture is to remain undisturbed. They cannot be allowed “freely” to compete for leadership, on any dangerous scale, or to upset the industrial routine by new methods. But our mores do not, in theory anyhow, as yet approve of such authoritarian smothering of novelty. Thus we have a dilemma which I have summed up elsewhere as follows: “If we make men ‘free’ they become creative (questioning), and if they become creative they create trouble, and also, in many cases, growth.” Thus the emergence of un-stabilizing novelty is an almost inevitable concomitant of what in this country has been considered Freedom.”

We must not and cannot let our enemies subversive tactics sway us from our moorings.  If we do, the cost of losing the American way of life, and everything it stands for, will be in jeopardy.