Mr. Stone’s article is inaccurate. It is not based on real facts and experiences. I am a Russian-American author with background in mass media, propaganda studies and liaisons between the Western business and Russian officials, KGB and organized crime. During the last five years I covered the cyberwar strategy used by the Russian government to influence the West. In the 1990s I interpreted at negotiations between high profile officials and executives, such as Janus Fund owner, the prime minister of the Russian Federation, the European Bank/IMF executive, Chevron management and more. I witnessed bribing, blackmailing and recruiting of the Western officials by the Russian security service (KGB/FSB)/mafia (it was the same thing.) I witnessed kidnapping of family members, disappearing people and dead animals on doorsteps. When I was sixteen, a KGB officer attempted to hire me as a hard currency prostitute/KGB spy to talk to clients in bugged hotel rooms (I declined; I have published a short story about it.) I was in St.Petersburg during the coup of 1991 when Putin, a KGB officer, made his first steps to power: stealing the supply of meat from Germany to Leningrad. Mr. Stone was not there when we had no food in the stores, just food coupons. I was.
I was forced to take the four-year course in spetz-propaganda at LGU (Leningrad State University) as a part of my English language and literature curriculum. This is the same school that Putin, Medvedev, and Sechin attended. The military department focused on political technologists’ strategies — the strategies used by Moscow at present. We were taught to write pamphlets targeting the enemy and the local population. I was there, forced to fabricate lies (that I recognize seeping into the US newspapers from RT today.) Mr. Stone was not there.
Mr. Stone also does not mention that Putin’s first move as the President in 2000 was establishing the government control over the TV. He arrested and exiled the oligarchs, shareholders of the main Russian TV channel. By January 2001 all eleven directors of the TV channel were appointed by Kremlin. In 2010, Putin’s government spent $1.4 billion for international propaganda only. RT (formerly Russia Today) is a 24/7 news channel broadcasting in English, Arabic and Spanish worldwide was setup by presidential decree with an annual budget over $300 million (as of 2016) and is a major cyber war weapon. RT employs mass media, Internet, PR, marketing and advertising techniques, Western mass media experts and channels, religious institutions, oppositional political parties and modern art. It combines modern technology with the Nazi, Communist and Cold War brainwashing methods.
To sum up, RT alters minds and emotional patterns using the brainwashing techniques based on physiological factors. It covers mainly natural catastrophes, disasters, crime, and conspiracy theories and creates the atmosphere of danger and crisis. The continual flow of fabrications instills fear, paranoia and confusion and causes stress. Then it offers solutions in the form of ultra-nationalistic ideas, militarism and the cult of personality. Trump’s campaign used these principles and succeeded. Perhaps, Mr. Stone became a victim or these techniques. It’s a shame.
(Mr. Stone also fails to mention that hundreds of journalists and opposition leaders were killed during Putin’s stay in power. I had a Russian activist and an opposition member staying with me for six month after escaping Moscow. He was jailed twice and physically assaulted for doing art protests. I interviewed artists in Moscow: their galleries were destroyed and they were threatened and assaulted. I interviewed Ildar Dadin’s wife: he is jailed for three years for peaceful solitary protest. I also received several threats and insults along with violent images sent by strangers with Russian names.)
Most Americans do not realize that RT stands for the Russian government sponsored agency. When articles and videos pop up in Google engine an average Internet user pays attention to the content and not to the source. Skillfully engineered information is then shared and gets quoted by other news sources and social media.
The Russian government will not stop at installing Trump as Putin’s puppet. Its short-term goal is to stop economic sanctions and have the US leave NATO but the ultimate goal is to weaken the US through the internal conflicts, schisms and, ultimately, dissolution Brexit-style. By inspiring separatist moods, the difference of opinions and supporting the conflict between the left and the right, it will promote chaos and break the opposition just as it did so in Russia. If not stopped, RT will continue its cyber war against unprepared American population. How do we prevent the anti-utopian scenario? By checking our sources, by thinking independently, by turning to history, psychology for answers.
Mr. Stone is intellectualizing something that he had not experienced. I lived it; I feel it with my skin and guts and I am shaking as I am writing this answer to an artist whose work I respected.
I am sad for Mr. Stone. I am sad for America.