Yuri Bezmenov, a Soviet dissident and former KGB agent, was a former propagandist for the Soviet Union before he defected to the US in 1970. Bezmenov lectured and wrote about the art and science of demoralization as a means of cultural weakening and infiltration. One important job of the Soviet Union's KGB had little to do with the kind of activities most consider part and parcel of "spycraft."
The use of "useful idiots" to create multiple (often warring) factions within the US was an important part of Soviet attempts at destabilization of the West. Gramsci and the "long march through the institutions" were vital to the indoctrination of the Western world in Marxist ideals. The CIA was initially the Office of Strategic Services during WWII. The OSS themselves helped out in this arena by importing the Frankfurt School philosophers who in turn unleashed the first wave of Cultural Marxism in the US.
Bezmenov claimed in interview with Edward G. Griffin to have been stationed in India in 1963 to study yoga in order to learn how Eastern religion and mysticism might become a tool for the Soviets. At one point, and pictures back up anecdotes at this point, Bezmenov even met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the conman playing guru who the Beatles idolized until the incident of sexual impropriety described in veiled terms in the song "Sexy Sadie." The Beatles weren't the only Western idols to bow at the feet of the Maharishi.
Bezmenov attempted to enroll in the Mahesh's school but the cost was $500 (a tidy sum considering the exchange rate of the 1960's). Bezmenov found that members of powerful and important families were, however, enrolling in the school. "Indians themselves look upon them as idiots, useful idiots," Bezmenov shared, "to say nothing about KGB who looked upon them as extremely naive, misguided people."
<blockquote>Because, you see, a person who is too much involved in introspective meditation, you see, if you carefully look [at] what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is teaching to Americans, [it] is that most of the problems, most of the burning issues of today, can be solved simply by meditating. Don’t rock the boat, don’t get involved. Just sit down, look at your navel, and meditate. And the things, due to some strange logic, due to cosmic vibration, will settle down by themselves.This is exactly what the KGB and Marxist-Leninist propaganda want from Americans. To distract their opinion, attention, and mental energy from [the] real issues of [the] United States, into [non-issues], into a non-world, non-existent harmony. Obviously it’s more beneficial for the Soviet aggressors to have a bunch of duped Americans than Americans who are self-conscious, healthy, physically fit, and alert to the reality.Maharishi Mahesh Yogi obviously is not on the payroll of the KGB, but whether he knows it or not, he contributes greatly to [the] demoralization of American society. And he is not the only one. There are hundreds of those gurus who come to your country to capitalize on [the] naïveté and stupidity of Americans. It’s a fashion. It’s a fashion to meditate; it’s a fashion not to be involved.So obviously you can see that if [the] KGB were that curious, if they paid [for] my trip to Haridwar, if they assigned me to that strange job, obviously they were very much fascinated. They were convinced that that type of brainwashing is very efficient and instrumental in [the] demoralization of [the] United States.</blockquote>
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Speaking of deception and demoralization, Bezmenov gave multiple lectures that should be of great interest to anyone interested in Psychological Operations, subversion or Soviet/KGB history in general.