Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov (1939– January 5, 1993), known by the alias Tomas David Schuman, was a Soviet journalist for RIA Novosti and a former PGU KGB informant who defected to Canada. He decided to defect to the West after a while of being stationed in India, and is best remembered for his anticommunist lectures and books from the 1980s.
In his testimonies, however, he does not bring up any evidence. Like many other KGB members who defected to the West, he has made several outlandish claims that would get him speaking fees from far-right wing groups, e.g. nuclear winter was "Soviet disinformation" or that Western peace movements were controlled by the USSR. It isn't coincidental that G. Edward Griffin, the guy interviewing Bezmenov, was a leading figure in the John Birch Society — besides also promoting several pseudoscientific theories like that HIV doesn't exist. The US government didn't take Bezmenov's claims all that seriously (and this was during Reagan's presidency), but plenty of ultra-rightists did.
Bezmenov's claims are inconsistent with how revolutionary conditions develop and become successful, as in fact, communists have gained influence through regular, public struggles for workers' rights, equality, and the opposition of things like imperialism and colonialism. The sort of "cultural subversion" that he talks about is much more similar to how bourgeois intelligence agencies operate if anything.
Bezmenov's words are blatantly pandering to his Bircherite audience, right down to how "useful idiots" like Jane Fonda will be squashed like bugs after a communist revolution and warning his viewers about "the real danger of a socialist, communist, welfare state, Big Brother government", i.e. the silly claim that the "welfare state" and socialism are synonymous or that at least one progresses into the other.
The memoir of Markus Wolf, the East German "spymaster", gives a blatant contrast in how socialist countries actually operate their intelligence services compared to Bezmenov's narrative.
- ↑ "Windsor Public Library Obituaries". Retrieved 2016-07-13.
- ↑ Soviet Subversion of the Free-World Press: A Conversation with Yuri Bezmenov. 1984 interview of Yuri Bezmenov by G. Edward Griffin in Westlake Village, CA. Transcript: http://uselessdissident.blogspot.com/2008/11/interview-with-yuri-bezmenov.html