Often overlooked in spy culture are Alfred Hitchcock’s espionage classics. In the Hitchcock film Vertigo (1958), we highlighted the use of mind control, doubling and voyeurism on the part of a shadowy Bohemian Grove-esque elite intent on manipulating the middle class Scottie (Jimmy Stewart) based on a profiling of his psychological weaknesses. In North by Northwest (1959) similar themes emerge, yet the master of suspense seemed willing to reveal much more than merely psychoanalytical and Freudian elements, notably shooting the first film to mention the CIA. Continue reading Hollywood Spies: North by Northwest
Retired KGB Major General Boris Ratnikov has a story to tell – about the Soviet and Russian intelligence services’ use of psychic espionage in the Great Game. While Ratnikov’s story may sound fantastic, the details on Cold War-era remote viewing programs in both the United States and Soviet Union are very real. With that in mind, perhaps the general’s claims aren’t so far-fetched after all. In this 2006 interview with state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta (RG), Ratnikov (BR) reveals some aspects of his mysterious work that no less than mirror the popular film Inception.
Major General Boris Ratnikov, 62 years old. Worked in the UKGB [Upravlenie – Directorate] for Moscow and Moscow Oblast. From 1991 he was the first deputy chief of the Russian Federation Main Protection Directorate (GUO). From 1994 to 1997 he was the main consultant to the Russian Federation Presidential Security Service (SBP) and Advisor to the chief of the Federal Protection Service (FSO). Today he is Advisor to the Chairman of the Moscow Oblast Duma. Continue reading The Kremlin’s Psychic Spies
On radio program Esoteric Hollywood, Jay Dyer and I discuss spy films and how they relate to real-world espionage in the ongoing Great Game. From depictions of KGB Directorate S in the current hit show The Americans to the shadowy backers of 1989’s silly propaganda bomb Red Scorpion, we delve into the lesser-known aspects of spy culture that reflect the realities of intelligence history.
Before the murder of John F. Kennedy on November 22nd, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald – or even possibly a double – visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico City. Retired KGB Lt. Gen. Nikolai Leonov, then on assignment in Mexico’s capital as an intelligence officer, met Oswald that day, and he has little doubt the young American was just a pawn in a much wider plot.
An intelligence officer’s workdays were full of work with active agent networks, with those who had been brought into partnership with Soviet intelligence by previous shifts of our colleagues, and with agents arriving from other countries, etc.
Appearing to conclude the Daniel Craig era of 007 reboots, SPECTRE not only premiered at the top of the world box office. As could be expected, the film also provides quite a few insights into the nature of real geopolitics and espionage in true Bondian style.
Let’s start with the theme of mass surveillance, a reflection of our own postmodern Panopticon reality. Even The Guardian has commented on the similarities of the SPECTRE plot with the supposed leaks of Edward Snowden regarding the NSA spying apparatus. Yet there are also serious grounds to question Snowden’s heroics; just as well, GCHQ was monitoring the population and spying long before there was any NSA in the US. Continue reading Secrets of SPECTRE
The dark arts of espionage share more in common with historically-rooted secret societies than the media would care to admit. Using decades of experience and observation, KGB First Chief Directorate Col. Stanislav Lekarev (1935-2010) takes us into the murky netherworld of globalist powerplayers, occult orders, and state intelligence services.
In the “Masonic-intelligence” complex, it’s difficult to say who’s more central – who’s the real “leader,” and who’s being “led.” This has taken shape in various ways. It’s well-known that through its men in the Masonic lodges, the CIA is able to channel the work of the international business community into directions needed by the United States. But Masons who work in the CIA are also capable of setting the tone they require.
The great Russian White emigre philosopher Ivan Aleksandrovich Ilyin (1883-1954) was not just an erudite thinker, but also a practitioner of espionage and underground political work. Before he was exiled in 1922, Ilyin was active in the anti-Bolshevik resistance. This article, written at some point during the 1930s or 1940s, addresses Soviet NKVD provocations and subversion in the Russian White emigration abroad.
The word “tradecraft” signifies a conspiracy. The art of tradecraft is in the ability to run “conspiracies” secretly and bring them to a successful completion. This art has its own inviolable rules: whoever doesn’t observe them dooms his undertaking, and possibly himself and all like-minded men far and near. Here amateurism is tantamount to failure and death.
A notable example of the breakaway civilization in film is the 1979 film adaptation of Ian Fleming’s Moonraker. Moonraker the film differs significantly from the Fleming’s novel, but the differences and parallels are important to highlight: the novel focuses on a kind of Operation Paperclip scenario, wherein Sir Hugo Drax is secretly building a V-2 rocket in tandem with the Nazis to destroy England and rebuild the Reich. For many, the film adaptation a few decades later represented an exceedingly outlandish interpolation on a pulp spy novel that failed to achieve much more than mimicking the box office success of science-fiction blockbusters it attempted to copy, cinematic innovations like 2001 and Star Wars.
We’ve analyzed 007 in the past, as well as Howard Hughes in light of Scorcese’s The Aviator, but could there be a connection between the two? What if Ian Fleming was encoding an explosive, real-world conspiracy involving Howard Hughes, JFK, Aristotle Onassis and a legendary kidnapping? Not only is there evidence to suggest this, but the film version of his 1954 novel Diamonds Are Forever subtly suggests much more. We know Fleming was a high-level Royal Navy psychological warfare specialist and involved in numerous covert operations, and as I’ve argued many times, Fleming’s novels and the film versions, in their own respective ways, elucidate these clandestine activities, touching on everything from black-market smuggling networks to actual espionage and assassinations.