I thought I knew a lot about lying. After all, I’ve written two popular books about high-level lying and deception and been interviewed on the subject hundreds of times on radio and TV.
I thought I knew pretty much all of the tricks – the ways Americans have been influenced, misled, duped, seduced, indoctrinated and intimidated into abandoning all that is good and wholesome in favor of angry, irrational and destructive ideologies and behaviors.
But that was before I met Ion Mihai Pacepa.
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The author of a mind-boggling new book called “Disinformation,” Pacepa is the highest-ranking intelligence officer ever to defect to the West from the Soviet bloc.
In other words, he was a top commie spy chief – the director of foreign intelligence for Romania and top adviser to the infamous dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. As such, he not only was an eyewitness to some of the most audacious and high-flying secret lying campaigns of our lifetime, he was in some cases a major participant!
Fortunately, God saw fit to disrupt Pacepa’s brilliant career by instilling within him a strong conscience, so that eventually – despite the power and prestige, the seductive delusions of communism and the luxurious lifestyle he enjoyed as a spymaster, replete with mountain villas, hunting lodges and chauffeurs – his conscience won out. So he mustered up the courage to turn his back on the evil empire and take a very precarious leap of faith from the pinnacle of power.
He landed in the U.S., where he spent years revealing to America’s intelligence services precisely how their enemy counterparts conducted their most secret and nefarious activities. Now 84, Pacepa lives here as a “proud American,” but due to long-term security threats and assassination plots against him, he lives under cover of an assumed identity.
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That's because, when Pacepa broke with communism, defected to the West and single-handedly demolished an entire enemy espionage service (the one he himself managed), Ceausescu went nuts. He experienced a nervous breakdown, put a $2 million bounty on Pacepa’s head and dispatched multiple assassination squads – including the notorious terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, a.k.a. “Carlos the Jackal” – to the U.S. to find his former top adviser and kill him.
It didn’t work. All such attempts against Pacepa's life – and there were several – proved unsuccessful, though at one point the general’s CIA-created cover was blown and he had to adopt a whole new identity and relocate again.
Ultimately, the curse Ceausescu placed upon Pacepa came back home to roost big-time, as the dictator and his equally vile wife, Elena, were executed by a Romanian firing squad immediately following a trial in which the accusations against them came almost word-for-word out of Pacepa’s first book, “Red Horizons: The True Story of Nicolae & Elena Ceausescu’s Crimes, Lifestyle, and Corruption.”
“Red Horizons” became an international bestseller published in 27 countries, and President Ronald Reagan reportedly came to refer to it as “my bible for dealing with dictators.” (See photo below.)
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OK, that’s enough Cold War history. Understanding the past can be important, but with Americans witnessing the ongoing meltdown of their beloved country, many are more concerned with understanding the present – and how to alter what is shaping up to be an ominous future.
So let’s talk about the present.
First, forgive the unpleasant reminder, but in an era when the gravest threats to America emanate from two malevolent, expansionist ideologies – Marxism and Shariah Islam – we have twice elected a president in thrall to both. And the cowardly and craven news media made it happen. Moreover, government is broken, our culture is in the toilet, family breakdown is rampant, drug dependency (illegal and legal) are the new normal and God is increasingly being shut out of our society. You get the picture.
As we try to comprehend how America could possibly have sunk so low so quickly (remember, just 25 years ago Reagan was president and it was “morning in America”), along comes Ion Mihai Pacepa to once again expose the secret super-lies of sociopathic leaders and to shine his unique light into the oncoming darkness.
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For this reason he has written “Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism,” coauthored with historian and law professor Ronald Rychlak and published by WND Books. I was honored to be involved as the book’s editor, and also as a scriptwriter and on-screen contributor to the companion feature-length film documentary, “Disinformation: The Secret Strategy to Destroy the West.”
That’s all fine, you say. But really, what does a former communist spymaster have to say that is relevant to me today?
Let’s see: Little things like why so much of the Western world has disastrously turned against its own founding faith, Christianity. Or why “radical Islam” and jihadist terrorism, after a long period of apparent quiescence, suddenly burst onto the scene in modern times to attack not only Israel but America. (Hint: PLO leader Yasser Arafat and his successor Mahmoud Abbas, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini and even al-Qaida top dog Ayman al-Zawahiri were all trained by the KGB.) Little things like why the U.S. lost the Vietnam War when our heroic soldiers won every single battle – and how current Secretary of State John Kerry greatly facilitated this loss by championing KGB disinformation. Little things like why Marxism is increasingly manifesting in the U.S., even at the highest levels of government, creating a virtual coup d’etat intended to “fundamentally transform” free America into a centrally planned socialist state.
Is that relevant enough for you?
To me, as someone who is already a student of the strategies and tactics of deception, “Disinformation” is like the final piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle that’s been missing one element. That piece, finally put in place, completes the picture that makes the chaos of the modern world truly understandable.
Although Pacepa and his co-author Rychlak brilliantly cover many of the really consequential disinformation campaigns that have misled and brainwashed so much of today’s world, there is one disinformation campaign – which affects Pacepa personally – that still needs to be exposed, and that is happening right now, today.
That’s right. Today, July 28, 2013, is the 35th anniversary of the day Pacepa arrived in the U.S., forever leaving behind the high-level world of communist espionage. He gathered up his courage and walked into the U.S. Embassy in West Germany and informed the officer on duty that he, a two-star general and top official in the vast Soviet intelligence machine, wanted to defect to America.
So far, so good. He was whisked out on a night flight.
But there was a problem. Even though President Carter had approved Pacepa’s defection and granted him asylum, the general soon discovered he had done his job way too well. You see, he had so convinced Carter that Ceausescu was a great guy – a moderate, “Westernized” communist leader, one interested in freedom and trade, a man the U.S. “could do business with,” unlike all those nasty “hardliners” back in Moscow – that now, when he informed Carter it was all a ruse, an act, a disinformation campaign, the president of the United States didn’t believe him! Carter’s big ego was way too invested in believing he was going to be the one to dismantle communism by embracing the “maverick” Ceausescu and thereby driving a stake into the heart of the Soviet bloc, causing it to crumble. As usual, Carter was terminally naïve.
In reality, Ceausescu was one of the most detestable leaders of the last century, and life in Romania was darker and more repressive than even Moscow, very similar to today's ultra-repressive personality cult in North Korea.
It wasn’t until Reagan came into the Oval Office that Pacepa was believed. In fact, after reading Pacepa’s “Red Horizons,” Reagan immediately – the next day – altered U.S. policy toward Ceausescu’s Romania, recognizing it as the adversary it truly was and cutting off “most favored nation” trading status. This is why some in Romania still hate Pacepa to this day.
It’s unusual – no, it’s extremely rare – to encounter a person like Pacepa who lived, worked and conspired, not just as an eyewitness, but as a major participant in high-level deception and mass manipulation, yet who somehow managed to leave it all due to a crisis of conscience. Most often, people so swept up in power and deception just stay that way until they die. Pacepa had a strong, inborn sense of decency that couldn’t be completely destroyed by the overwhelming Soviet communist lie-machine that consumed almost everyone and everything in its path.
Thus, to have a witness such as Pacepa – the highest-ranking intelligence officer ever to defect during the entire Cold War era – is a treasure. And for this reason, his book, as well as the movie, are likewise treasures.
Now, about that disinformation campaign we wish to neutralize today: The main reason Mihai Pacepa – or “Mike,” as his friends call him in the U.S. – still has to live under a CIA-created identity is that, to this day, there are powerful people in Romania who regard him as a traitor. In fact, since the release of this new book and film, there are active measures to attack and defame him and perhaps worse.
But now, the tables may providentially be turning, as a major talk show in that nation’s capital of Bucharest is broadcasting a special six-hour show today, which is airing the entire two-hour film “Disinformation: The Secret Strategy to Destroy the West” (with Romanian subtitles). It will also feature an interview with former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, who wrote the "Introduction" to “Disinformation.”
Here's a Romanian TV commercial teasing today's broadcast of the "Disinformation" documentary:
Decades ago, to free Romania from one of the communist world’s nastiest dictators, Radio Free Europe actually read Pacepa’s “Red Horizons” over the air so all Romanians could hear it. Today, with the “lie machine” still working overtime to defame Pacepa – who in reality is a national hero for having so devastatingly exposed his former boss, Ceausescu – maybe this nationwide broadcast of “Disinformation” will shake things up over there again.
Meanwhile, back in the good old USA, if you’re a reader, get the book – it’s sensational (read the Amazon reviews). If you’re more of a film watcher, do yourself a tremendous favor and get the movie. (It shot up to the No. 1-selling film documentary in the country on Amazon within two days of its release last month.) Watch it, show it to your friends and share it with others. It’s both an education and a revelation. I believe you’ll appreciate it every bit as much as I do.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Order Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa's brand new book, "Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategy for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion and Promoting Terrorism" or the companion film, “Disinformation: The Secret Strategy To Destroy The West.” Better yet, get both the book and DVD together – and save!