Yuri Bezmenov

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Yuri Bezmenov
BornYuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov
Mytishchi, Moscow Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Died1993 (aged 53–54)[1]
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Other namesTomas Schuman
OccupationJournalist, informant, author
Years active1963–1986
Known forSoviet defector

Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov (Russian: Ю́рий Алекса́ндрович Безме́нов; 1939 – 1993),[1] known by the alias Tomas David Schuman, was a Soviet journalist for RIA Novosti and a former PGU KGB informant who defected to Canada.

After being assigned to a station in India, Bezmenov eventually grew to love the people and the culture of India, but at the same time, he began to resent the KGB-sanctioned oppression of intellectuals who dissented from Moscow's policies. He decided to defect to the West. Bezmenov is best remembered for his anticommunist lectures and books from the 1980s.

Early life[edit]

Bezmenov was born in 1939 in Mytishchi, near Moscow, to a high ranking Soviet Army officer. At the age of seventeen, he entered the Institute of Oriental Languages, a part of the Moscow State University which was under the direct control of the KGB and the Communist Central Committee. In addition to languages, he studied history, literature, and music, and became an expert on Indian culture. During his second year, Bezmenov sought to look like a person from India; his teachers encouraged this because graduates of the school were employed as diplomats, foreign journalists, or spies.[2]

As a Soviet student, he was also required to take compulsory military training in which he was taught how to play "strategic war games" using the maps of foreign countries, as well as how to interrogate prisoners of war.[2]

Soviet life[edit]

After graduating in 1963, Bezmenov spent two years in India working as a translator and public relations officer with the Soviet economical aid group Soviet Refineries Constructions, which built refinery complexes.

In 1965, Bezmenov was recalled to Moscow and began to work for RIA Novosti as an apprentice for their classified department of "Political Publications" (GRPP). He soon discovered that about three quarters of Novosti's staffers were actually KGB officers, with the remainder being "co-optees" or KGB freelance writers and informers like himself.[3] However, Bezmenov did no real freelance writing; rather, he edited and planted propaganda materials in foreign media and accompanied delegations of Novosti's guests from foreign countries on tours of the Soviet Union or to international conferences held in the Soviet Union.

After several months, Bezmenov was forced to be an informer[citation needed] while still maintaining his position as a Novosti journalist. He then used his journalistic duties to help gather information and to spread disinformation to foreign countries for the purposes of Soviet propaganda and subversion.

"As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter anymore. A person who was demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him, even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents and pictures. ...he will refuse to believe it.... That's the tragedy of the situation of demoralization."

Yuri Bezmenov [1980s]

Rapid promotion followed, and Bezmenov was once again assigned to Bila in 1969, this time as a Soviet press-officer and a public relations agent for the KGB. He continued Novosti's propaganda effects in New Delhi, working out of the Soviet embassy. Bezmenov was directed to slowly but surely establish the Soviet sphere of influence in India. In the same year, a secret directive of the Central Committee opened a new secret department in all embassies of the Soviet Union around the world, titled the "Research and Counter-Propaganda Group." Bezmenov became a deputy chief of that department, which gathered intelligence from sources like Indian informers and agents, regarding almost every influential or politically significant citizen of India.

Those who favored the Soviets' expansionist policy into India were promoted to higher positions of power, affluence, and prestige through various KGB/Novosti operations.[further explanation needed] Those who refused to cooperate with Soviet plans were the target of character assassination in the media and press.

Bezmenov stated that he was also instructed not to waste time with idealistic leftists, as these would become disillusioned, bitter, and adversarial when they realized the true nature of Soviet Communism. To his surprise, he discovered that many such were listed for execution once the Soviets achieved control. Instead, Bezmenov was encouraged to recruit the persons in large circulation, established conservative media, rich filmmakers, intellectuals in academic circles, and cynical, ego-centric people who lacked moral principles.

During that period, increasingly seeing the Soviet system as insidious and ruthless, Bezmenov began careful planning to defect.[4][5]

Defection to the West[edit]

In February 1970, Bezmenov clothed himself in hippie attire, replete with a beard and wig, and joined a tour group; by this means, he escaped to Athens, Greece. After contacting the American embassy and undergoing extensive interviews with United States intelligence, Bezmenov was granted asylum in Canada by the Trudeau administration.[2]

After studying political science at the University of Toronto for two years, Bezmenov was hired by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1972, broadcasting to the Soviet Union as part of the CBC's International Service. In 1976, Bezmenov left the CBC and began free-lance journalism. He later became a consultant for Almanac Panorama of the World Information Network.[5] Bezmenov later claimed that the KGB successfully used the Soviet ambassador to Canada to persuade Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau to apply pressure to have him removed from that position.[2]

Pro-American lecturer, writer, advocate[edit]

In 1984, he gave an interview to G. Edward Griffin, who at that time was a member of the John Birch Society, an anticommunist group. In the interview, Bezmenov explained the methods used by the KGB for the gradual subversion of the political system of the United States.[6]

Under the pen-name Tomas D. Schuman, Bezmenov authored the book Love Letter to America[7]. The author's biography of the book likens Bezmenov to Winston Smith, from George Orwell's 1984.[4]

Tomas D. Schuman was associated with the World Information Network (WIN) of Westlake Village, California.[citation needed]

In 1983, at a lecture in Los Angeles, Bezmenov expressed the opinion that he "wouldn't be surprised" if the Soviet Union had shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007 in order to kill Larry McDonald, an anti-communist Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives.[8]

The main emphasis of the KGB is not in the area of intelligence at all. Only about 15% of time, money and manpower is spent on espionage and such. The other 85% is a slow process which we call either ideological subversion or active measures,…or psychological warfare.[9][10]

Bezmenov's death was reported in 1993.


  • Schuman, Tomas (1984). Love Letter to America. Los Angeles: NATA. ISBN 978-0-935090-13-0. OCLC 19468210.
  • ——— (1985). No "Novosti" is Good News. Los Angeles: Almanac. ISBN 978-0-935090-17-8. OCLC 45013143.
  • ——— (1985). Black is Beautiful, Communism is Not. Almanac-Press. ISBN 978-0-935090-18-5. OCLC 62325386.
  • ——— (1986). World Thought Police. Los Angeles: NATA. ISBN 978-0-935090-14-7. OCLC 23919332.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Windsor Public Library Obituaries". Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  2. ^ a b c d G. Edward Griffin Interview with Yuri Bezmenov: Part One, published November 24, 2008, at uselessdissident.blogspot.co.uk, accessed 15 November 2016
  3. ^ https://archive.org/stream/BezmenovNoNovostiIsGoodNews/NoNovostiIsGoodNews#page/n5 Bezmenov, "No NOVOSTI is good news", page 7
  4. ^ a b Schuman, Tomas (1984). Love Letter to America. Los Angeles: NATA. ISBN 978-0-935090-13-0. Retrieved 2010-11-30.[infringing link?]
  5. ^ a b Schuman, Tomas (1986). World Thought Police. Los Angeles: NATA. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-935090-14-7. Archived from the original on November 1, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  6. ^ Bezmenov, Yuri (1984). "Soviet Subversion of the Free-World Press: A Conversation with Yuri Bezmenov". American Media (Interview: Video). Interviewed by G. Edward Griffin. Westlake Village, Calif. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  7. ^ Yuri Bezmenov. Bezmenov: LOVE LETTER TO AMERICA.
  8. ^ Bezmenov, Yuri (1983). Tomas Schuman (Yuri Bezmenov) L.A. 1983 pt. IV 1/2 (YouTube). Retrieved 2010-11-30.
  9. ^ Bezmenov: Ideological Subversion
  10. ^ Bezmenov: Psychological Warfare Subversion & Control

Further reading[edit]

  • Schuman, Tomas (1984). "Soviet Ideological Subversion of America in Four Stages : Elizabeth Clare Prophet interviews Tomas Schuman, Novosti Press, Soviet defector". Summit University (Audio). Interviewed by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Malibu, California. OCLC 25714330.

External links[edit]