Originally published by Mercola.
Story at a glance:
The June 21 Grayzone article, “British Security State Collaborator Paul Mason’s War on ‘Rogue Academics’ Exposed,” shines a great big light on what the “anti-disinformation” industry is really all about.
Spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with protecting a gullible public from information that might cause them to make bad or unhealthy choices.
Propaganda is as old as humanity itself, but the modern version of it can be traced back to 1948, when the CIA’s Office of Special Projects launched Operation Mockingbird, a clandestine CIA media infiltration campaign that involved bribing hundreds of journalists to publish fake stories at the CIA’s request.
The CIA reportedly spent $1 billion a year (about one-third of its entire budget) on this enterprise. CIA-recruited journalists worked in most major news organizations, including CBS News, Time, Life, Newsweek and The New York Times, just to name a few.
As reported by the Free Press:
“In 1976, Senator Frank Church’s investigation into the CIA exposed their corruption of the media … The tactic was straightforward. False news reports or propaganda would be provided by CIA writers to knowing and unknowing reporters who would simply repeat the falsehoods over and over again.”
During the Cold War, CIA propaganda disparaged communist ideologies. Today, it promotes radical ideas that bring us closer to The Great Reset — which is based on a technocratic economic system — instead.
Media is more controlled than ever
While Operation Mockingbird is said to have been officially dismantled, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest it’s still in operation.
If anything, the system has only gotten more efficient and effective, as the number of major media outlets has shrunk over these past decades, and a vast majority of journalists and news anchors simply parrot what’s reported by the three global news agencies.
What’s more, the CIA isn’t the only intelligence agency using the media for its own propaganda purposes. The intelligence agencies in other countries do it too.
For example, leaked documents reveal Reuters and BBC News received multimillion-dollar contracts to advance a covert propaganda program by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office aimed at weakening Russia’s influence over its neighbors.
You can learn more about this in “Reuters and BBC Caught Taking Money for Propaganda Campaign.”
One of the biggest changes we’re seeing right now is that most of the world’s intelligence agencies are controlling media in the same direction — toward The Great Reset and the technocratic control of the global population. That’s why we’re seeing the same narratives playing all over the world.
In 1977 Carl Bernstein wrote a 75-page article for Rolling Stone that exposed the CIA’s involvement with the media in even greater detail. Those were the days when Rolling Stone actually did decent investigative journalism. Today they are one of the largest spreaders of government disinformation.
It’s the opposite of what they claim it is
It’s no small irony that most of the organizations claiming to promote truth and counter disinformation are in fact doing the exact opposite.
It didn’t quite go as planned though. It was announced and then canceled just as quickly in the face of political and public backlash. The Orwellian connotations were just so blatant, few were able to dismiss them.
Perhaps they overestimated the level of brainwashing achieved over the past two years. They probably thought they could get away with what amounts to ripping up the U.S. Constitution in front of everyone’s face, but the time was not yet ripe for that kind of frontal assault.
If anything, it worked against them because many have suspected government uses media and Big Tech to censor and control narratives, and the past two years have provided undeniable evidence of that reality. So, the attempt to formalize this unlawful influence completely failed — for now.
Covert assault on academics
Getting back to The Grayzone story, Paul Mason, “one of Britain’s most prominent alleged left-wing journalists,” and other “covert helpers,” were found to have targeted scholars and academics who spoke out against the establishment narrative on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
As explained by Jimmy Dore in the featured video, Mason is basically pretending to be a left-leaning journalist but is working with the intelligence community to destroy political opponents.
Emails obtained by The Grayzone and reviewed by Dore show Mason is in favor of “relentless de-platforming,” getting people kicked off PayPal, demonetized by YouTube and so on.
“Amidst his campaign to neutralize the U.K. antiwar left, Paul Mason declared in an email to several academics willing to inform on and undermine their own colleagues: ‘the far left rogue academics is who I’m after … The important task is to quarantine their ‘soft’ influencers and expose/stigmatize the hard ideologists.’
“Mason’s fishing expedition was conducted in apparent coordination with Andy Pryce, a senior British intelligence official involved in a series of malign information warfare and censorship initiatives.
“The journalist’s key academic enabler, self-styled counter-disinformation researcher Emma Briant, not only helped further his campaign to target antiwar figures, but furnished bogus claims about one individual which appears to have inspired a BBC smear piece …
“Many of those she snitched on considered her a colleague and even a comrade.”
The Grayzone details how Briant introduced Mason to two individuals who would be able to furnish a meme-tracing tool to determine their source. Mason specifically wanted to find out “who in Britain denies the Bucha massacre” (thinks it’s a false flag) and/or believes Russia’s justifications for the invasion of Ukraine.
Ironically, the people Mason was most eager to trap weren’t falling into it, as they weren’t publicly discussing their views.
Briant then offered to provide Mason with the names of the main organizers of an academic mailing list called “Organized Persuasive Communication,” run by Piers Robinson, described by Grayzone as “a dissident academic who has been relentlessly targeted in UK mainstream media.”
“Robinson was shocked to learn that a participant on his listserv was ratting out fellow members to a security state collaborator …
“‘I’m dismayed that a former colleague whom I have supported over the years appears to have abused an academic listserv,’ Robinson told The Grayzone.
“‘Rather than engaging in open debate and critique, which would have been the scholarly and ethical thing to do, Briant has instead sought to support what seems to be underhand and nefarious attempts to damage reputations and silence critics.’”
In the featured Jimmy Dore Show video below, Dore interviews Max Blumenthal, a Grayzone contributor, about this and related stories they’ve written about Mason and his covert relationship with the British government.
Blumenthal details how The Grayzone was censored by YouTube, for the first time ever, after they started exposing Mason, and it seems clear YouTube was responding to demands by Mason himself.
This suggests he is indeed working for or with British intelligence. We’ve seen the same kind of censoring at the request of the U.S. government.
A case of the pot calling the kettle black
One of the people singled out by Briant as a Russian collaborator was Greg Simons, “a communications researcher at Sweden’s Uppsala University specializing in Russian mass media,” whose only crime was filling out and circulating a survey relating to conflicts and war on the behalf of a Russian academic who was working on a research paper.
Not even the Russian academic could be rightly accused of being a threat to democracy, as he’d “played a key role in Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s liberalization agenda, freeing political prisoners, ending regulations on foreign travel, and enshrining fundamental rights in the country’s new constitution,” The Grayzone writes.
Commenting on Briant’s betrayal, Simons told The Grayzone:
“This puts a big spotlight on the professional integrity and knowledge of Briant, who spreads propaganda and misinformation on people, something claims on her Twitter profile to fight. It also demonstrates a clear lack of personal integrity and deficiency in knowledge on topics that she claims to be an expert in.”
The spook behind it all
Behind Mason’s and Briant’s pet project to “neutralize the U.K.’s grassroots antiwar left” is Andy Pryce, founding director of the Counter Disinformation and Media Development program at the British Foreign Office.
In 2018, Pryce was also “exposed as a key player in the scandalous MI6/military intelligence project known as the Integrity Initiative.”
The Grayzone writes:
“A January 2020 European Commission event listing identifies Pryce as the head of public diplomacy at UKREP, London’s diplomatic mission to the EU.
“However, the same month Pryce appeared at the EU event, UKREP was replaced with a new office, the UK Mission to Europe, and Pryce has not been publicly mentioned in any official capacity since. So where did he go?
“In his communications with Mason, Pryce mentions his personal involvement in activities placing him at the forefront of London’s public relations strategy on the Ukraine crisis, which is delivered by the recently formed Government Information Cell (GIC) and Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU).
“Staffed by spies and charged with disseminating intelligence through the media and other forums for the purpose of information warfare, both the units have operated in highly clandestine fashion. Largely unknown to the public, they have played a pivotal part in NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine.”
‘Conspiracy theorist’ is a propaganda smear
Over the past two years, the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” have become household terms for anything and everyone who doesn’t agree with whatever crazy story the media claim to be fact.
Few seem to realize that in using these terms, they’ve fallen for the oldest propaganda methods there is: When you can’t argue with the facts, just attack the person delivering them.
Belittling people and making them look silly, stupid, ignorant, gullible or incompetent are classic attack strategies by propagandists who don’t have a leg to stand on otherwise. It’s all about firing up people’s negative emotions, which makes them less likely to sit back and evaluate both sides.
So, calling someone a “conspiracy theorist” is a strategy aimed at silencing dissent in general and truth in particular, plain and simple.
Many believe that the term “conspiracy theory” was created by the CIA in 1967 to disqualify those who questioned the official version of John F. Kennedy’s assassination and doubted that his killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, had acted alone.
It makes perfect sense since Oliver Stone has shared credible evidence that the CIA was behind the JFK assassination.
When it comes to the COVID jab, for example, we know the U.S. government spent $1 billion on a media campaign to build public confidence in, and uptake of, the injections using mainstream news outlets.
In return for that paycheck, the media rabidly lashed out at anyone who questioned the unsupported claim that the shots were “safe and effective” as either a crazy conspiracy theorist, an ignorant science-denier, a dangerous misinformation agent with a personal profit motive, a domestic terrorist hell-bent on maximizing the death toll, or all four.
All the while, the media never actually countered the data showing the narrative was riddled with holes and contradictions at its face.
How to identify true journalism
An example of how these kinds of smears have been, and continue to be, used by media, consider the June 19 Guardian article by Mark Townsend.
“A network of more than two dozen conspiracy theorists, frequently backed by a coordinated Russian campaign, sent thousands of disinformation tweets to distort the reality of the Syrian conflict and deter intervention by the international community, new analysis reveals.”
As reported by The Hill (video below), Townsend identified Grayzone journalist Aaron Maté as “the most prolific spreader of disinformation” about the Syrian conflict “among the 28 conspiracy theorists identified.”
In a tweet, Maté responded to the article, stating Townsend had failed to contact him for comment, failed to provide any example of his alleged “disinformation” on the Syrian conflict, and failed to disclose the Institute for Strategic Dialogue think tank responsible for the “analysis” is funded by the U.S. and U.K. governments and allied nations.
According to The Hill, Townsend was on vacation and not available for comment, but Katie Halper, who co-hosts the “Useful Idiots” podcast with Maté came on to discuss Townsend’s attempted hack job.
“Perhaps this can be a teachable moment for Townsend,” she said.
Not only did Townsend violate three basic standards of journalism, but the article’s main premise is also based on a lie, Halper says. The Guardian actually corrected the initial headline, which read “Russia-Backed Network of Syria Conspiracy Theorists Identified.”
Since there’s no evidence of Russia backing any of these individuals, the headline was changed to the slightly less libelous “Network of Syria Conspiracy Theorists Identified.”
Townsend’s piece appears to be nothing more than a government-backed “Mockingbird”-style counterattack aimed at silencing Maté, who has been challenging the official narrative about the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, and even delivered remarks to the United Nations Security Council on the matter.
Considering he’s implicating both the U.S. and U.K., it seems rather obvious that Townsend’s article is an intentional propaganda piece aimed at chipping away Maté’s credibility. It can be helpful to always remember that we are, in fact, at war.
It’s an information war, and the ruling powers whose aim is to usher us into a new system of technocracy have many secrets.
They’ve rigged the game of life in a thousand different ways, and if people understood just how we’ve been robbed and enslaved, they’d become uncontrollable. Hence, the propaganda machine is in full swing, trying to control all aspects and shut down all truth-tellers, lest the populace gets wise to their games.
Truly, this now applies to just about every part of life. Politics, election integrity, the economy, the food system, energy, health and medicine, wars and conflicts — you name it — it’s all been rigged and it’s all falling apart.
The old guard is shooting for a controlled demolition of the old so they can transition to the new — which will be even more enslaving — but for that sleight of hand to work, pesky truth-tellers must be silenced and the populace kept intellectually sedated.
Don’t fall into that trap. One way to avoid it is to interpret smears for what they are — attempts to silence. And ask yourself what the propagandists don’t want you to know.
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