It is a booming business that has flooded the American political system.
And you won’t believe just how deep it runs.
Governments intervening in other nations’ private affairs is as old as civilization itself.
While there are certainly some small nationalist societies that largely keep to themselves, it’s naïve to think that it’s not a widespread problem today.
Many United States citizens are furious about accusations that Russia meddled in our elections through cyber warfare and manipulation technology.
But President Trump absolutely nailed it when he said, “what, you think we’re so innocent?” on the issue. Let’s not pretend we didn’t start.
You might be surprised to learn that private spy firms selling manipulation doesn’t just exist; it’s a booming business.
The U.S. has meddled in other nations’ elections for years, including Russia.
Remember Vietnam and the revelation in the infamous Pentagon Papers? That conspiracy lasted four decades, through multiple presidents, before it was exposed that – amongst many other things – CIA operative Edward G. Lansdale had tried to bring down the North Vietnamese government.
Not only that, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party was backed with secret American funds in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Sound familiar?
But as bad as it was, its not about politics anymore and the want to spread Democracy worldwide, this is all about money.
A new article in The New Yorker that is co-authored by Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow – the latter reportedly famously started the Me Too Movement in Hollywood – claim that the inside effort to influence American elections is common.
The piece reveals, ”An adviser [at a prominent DC law firm] referred him to Psy-Group, an Israeli private intelligence company. Psy-Group’s slogan was “Shape Reality,” and its techniques included the use of elaborate false identities to manipulate its targets. Psy-Group was part of a new wave of private intelligence firms that recruited from the ranks of Israel’s secret services—self-described “private Mossads.”
Psy-Group began its “humble” beginnings in Europe influencing Europeans, like one in Amsterdam, that concocted a fictitious report that a Christian church leader wrote a damaging paper called “a more important book than the New Testament.”
Sounds like what happened on Facebook in 2016, doesn’t it? All of that fake news spread.
The Psy-Group’s “larger ambition” was to become a brand name, their literal motto is “Shape Reality,” for American politicians, which claims that they pitched members of Donald Trump’s campaign team but the piece never notes that any of his team accepted their services.
And it probably didn’t work because then they branched out to local elections where it’s noted that “no election was too small.” Maybe federal was too ambitious for them.
The authors wrote, “One company document reported that Psy-Group’s influence services cost, on average, just three hundred and fifty thousand dollars—as little as two hundred and seventy-five dollars an hour. The new strategy called for pitching more than fifty individuals and groups, including the Republican National Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and major super PACs.”
That’s right. If you thought they would just solicit the services of Republicans, think again.
This is all about money.
And the firm’s practices are insanely deceptive. They offered a brochure stating, “The firm published a provocative brochure featuring an image of a goldfish with a shark fin tied to its back, below the tagline “Reality is a matter of perception.” Another brochure showed a cat that cast a lion’s shadow and listed “honey traps” among the firm’s services. (In the espionage world, a honey trap often involves deploying a sexually attractive operative to induce a target to provide information.)”
For reference, that’s kind of like Russian Red Sparrow – a whole branch in the Russian Intelligence Services who were trained to be sexually provocative to obtain information.
It’s not just Psy-Group that does this either. There are many that provide these services all over the world.
Remember that the next time even a local election occurs because you’ll never know what kind of fake news is trying to manipulate you.