All posts by Mark Hackard

BA in Russian Language (Georgetown University), MA in Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies (Stanford University). I study the intersection of political culture, religion and strategic issues, which I approach from a traditionalist-conservative position. Some of my major intellectual influences are Joseph de Maistre, Juan Donoso Cortes, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Rene Guenon and Fr. Seraphim Rose. I translate classic Russian political and religious texts.

Did Russia Hack the Election?

Did Russian intelligence sway the outcome of the 2016 United States presidential race? Ask the CIA and mainstream Western media organs, and they’ll have you believe that yes, it was none other than Moscow’s shadowy operatives who managed to infiltrate Donald Trump into the newly gold-bedecked Oval Office. Blame the Russians, our betters declare, rather than a year of skewed coverage and loaded polls. While the theory has become popular among opposition to the new administration, it is based on exactly zero evidence – which means we should designate it under the establishment’s own rubric as “fake news.”

To bolster the charge, the US Intelligence Community (of Iraq WMD fame) has released a public report intimating that Vladimir Putin “hacked the election.” Through cyberwarfare, agents of influence and information campaigns, we are told, the Kremlin pulled off the unthinkable and effectively ran a regime-change operation in America. Warmongering neoconservatives and virtue-signaling liberals alike commenced their reenactment of Red Dawn. Piling on, CNN and Buzzfeed unveiled a sloppy, error-ridden and highly dubious dossier detailing Trump’s alleged Russian ties and sexual blackmail material (kompromat). None of these claims have been backed by a shred of credible proof presented to the public, so why should they be taken as an article of faith? Continue reading Did Russia Hack the Election?

KGB Directorate S: Training an Illegal

How did the KGB train its deep-cover officers to pose, operate and live under the guise of foreign nationalities? Former KGB Chairman Vladimir Efimovich Semichastny (1924-2001) describes how the KGB First Chief Directorate’s elite Directorate S processed, prepared and deployed illegal officers for work abroad in the field – without the protection of the Soviet embassy or Moscow Center.


Our nation’s intelligence was distinguished by one particularity that could be discovered only extremely rarely in the practices of other secret services. This concerns the training and use of so-called “illegals” – Soviet citizens who settled in other countries under assumed names, thereby allowing us to create the consummate agent network. Such a network couldn’t be uncovered by the Western counterintelligence services that were orbiting mainly around our embassies; representations; trade missions; bureaus; and press agencies. Continue reading KGB Directorate S: Training an Illegal

Lights, Camera, Covert Action

KGB Colonel Stanislav Lekarev (1935-2010) was an especially apt observer of the interplay between intelligence, culture and deep politics. While we know about the CIA’s extensive ties with Hollywood, the KGB had its own assets in the USSR film industry. Here Lekarev, an officer of the KGB First Chief Directorate, goes undercover as a Soviet film executive in 1970’s London, where he crosses swords with British counterintelligence, MI5. 


SovExportFilm wasn’t a cover for everyone – you could crash and burn quickly here. A three-month probation period in State Cinema before my departure gave me little to work with. Moscow negotiations with Western commercial representatives didn’t allow me to delve into the nuances of SovExportFilm’s specifics. Viewing Western productions also didn’t help me any. And it was so obvious their quality was higher. Only on the job do you understand that you have to figure out the details of film production – be able to precisely determine the worthiness of reels from the point of view of mastery by scenarists, directors, cameramen, actors, as well as the quality of the film. It’s additionally useful to know the basics of the Stanislavsky System; this impresses those conversing with you. Along with all of that, you need accounting knowledge and the ability to write reports. If you don’t go the distance, the question of your replacement will be raised. So it happened – people wishing to replace you will always be found.

Continue reading Lights, Camera, Covert Action

Stopping Skorzeny

In late 1943 SS commando Otto Skorzeny, known as “the most dangerous man in Europe,” was tasked by Hitler with a daunting mission: kill Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill, the Big Three, in Tehran, Iran. The bold plan, code-named Unternehmen Weitsprung (Operation Long Jump), might even have succeeded but for the efforts of Allied intelligence services. Below is the story of Ivan Agayants, Soviet NKVD resident in Tehran, who played a key role in foiling Berlin’s assassination plot

In the old Soviet action film Tehran-43, the fearless and sexy intelligence officer sent from Moscow to Iran’s capital with a special mission dashingly neutralized Hitler’s terrorists, who were preparing the assassination of Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. In that film there are three truths. The first: At the end of 1943 in Tehran, the Big Three Conference took place. The second truth: the fascists were preparing an assassination attempt on the leaders of the USSR, USA, and Great Britain. And the third: Soviet intelligence liquidated the terrorists. Continue reading Stopping Skorzeny

The Bolsheviks’ Occult War

In his analysis of the modern world, French Traditionalist thinker René Guénon noted that the true masters of revolutions, materialism and secularism were not actually ends in themselves, but only the initial phases in the occult processing of society. The ultimate end of the cryptocratic elites, Guénon believed, was the destruction of sacred tradition and the enthronement of infernal forces in a new counter-religion. With the experience of the Bolshevik Revolution and early-period Soviet intelligence’s forays into the realms of the esoteric, we have a powerful example of Guénon’s thesis in action, as recounted by contemporary Russian journalist Georgy Filin.


Sami sorcerers and Buryat shamans, connoisseurs of cryptography and ancient poisons, hypnotists and psychics, telepaths and clairvoyants – who wasn’t brought in to work in the OGPU [Unified State Political Directorate] Special Department directed by one of Lenin’s closest colleagues, Gleb Bokii. The Special Department was consulted by luminary of Soviet psychiatry academic Vladimir Bekhterev, and one of its key officers was none other than the famed terrorist Yakov Blumkin, a favorite of Cheka head Felix Dzerzhinsky and the prototype of Maksim Isaev, Stierlitz. And Bokii himself possibly served as the prototype of another well-known personage – Bulgakov’s Woland. It was said that at the Chekist’s dacha events frequently took place akin to the ball described in Master and Margarita.

Continue reading The Bolsheviks’ Occult War

KGB Foreign Counterintelligence

Directorate K (Kontrrazvedka: Counterintelligence) of the KGB’s First Chief Directorate (FCD – Foreign Intelligence) was responsible for protecting the FCD from infiltration as well as penetrating hostile intelligence services. A decorated veteran of “Line KR,” KGB Colonel Viktor Ivanovich Cherkashin, shares his insights and experience in this interview.


1985 was christened Year of the Spy, when as a result of of the treachery of a number of officers, Soviet intelligence suffered significant losses among its agent networks, but simultaneously it was able to recruit high-level American intelligence officers overseas. Reserve Colonel from the KGB First Chief Directorate’s (FCD) Directorate K (Foreign Counterintelligence) Viktor Cherkashin tells us about this and a number of other major spy scandals.

Continue reading KGB Foreign Counterintelligence

Intelligence & Cults: Audio Interview

Tim Kelly of Our Interesting Times interviewed me on the subject of the CIA’s use of cults as well as other religions as cover for intelligence operations. We discuss CIA ties to Scientology and cover the latter’s origins in Satanist and British intelligence asset Aleister Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). Additionally we cover Freemasonry and its longstanding connection to both the occult, espionage and full-spectrum subversion.