Stasi’s most despicable torture: Mind games that drove its own citizens mad. .. lessons for today | The Wentworth Report

Stasi’s most despicable torture: Mind games that drove its own citizens mad. .. lessons for today. By Tony Rennell.

Arbitrary arrest, solitary confinement in special prisons that were censored from maps and officially did not exist, systematic brutality, sleep deprivation and torture — these were the everyday weapons of the nearly 100,000 policemen in the Ministry of State Security as they kept their sinister tabs on a third of the entire nation, logging their every move and building up bulging paper files of information on them. … The trouble was that all this sinister behaviour was denting East Germany’s international credentials. … So in the 1970s, the masterminds at Stasi School — formally known as the College of Legal Studies — decided on a new, more subtle tactic of repression, a way of stamping out rebellion without the overt use of force. Instead of pounding their suspects into submission, they would send them mad. And so began the policy of Zersetzung. The word meant disintegration or corrosion or decomposition. Today we would call it ‘gaslighting’ — playing with someone’s mind and self-worth until any resistance crumbles and he or she becomes either compliant or apathetic. Another phrase for it was ‘no-touch torture’. …

How they did it:

There were scores of ways to play mind games with suspects, in a bid to create panic, confusion and fear. Some were obvious. The phone would ring but when it was picked up there was no one there. Then it would ring again, and again. But Stasi agents were also known to break into suspects’ homes when they were out and change the time on the alarm clock in the bedroom so it went off unexpectedly — and frighteningly — in the middle of the night. Pictures on walls were moved, an electric razor in the bathroom left running, socks moved to a different drawer, furniture shifted to a different position, even the coffee mysteriously disappearing from the kitchen and the variety of tea in a cupboard replaced by a different one. It was the little things like this that freaked people out, leaving them, in the words of the Stasi handbook, ‘paralysed, disorganised and isolated’. A married target would be sent falsified photographs of himself in a compromising situation or postcards from another woman demanding child support payments; his wife would get a sex toy in the post; a vibrator — which was classified as decadent Western frivolity — would be planted in his home to embarrass and incriminate him. All these were tactics to undermine family relations and help destroy him. ‘Decomposition was designed to unglue a dissident’s psyche, to chip away at his sanity,’ according to U.S. academic Professor Dominic Tierney of the think-tank the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. ‘A regime opponent would find himself trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare. Everywhere he turned, an evil force seemed to be hounding him, even though he could not prove that he had been singled out. ‘Who would believe that the government was secretly stealing his tea towels? The effects were powerful. Some victims killed themselves, others suffered insomnia, panic attacks and nervous breakdowns. One target called what happened to him ‘an assault on the human soul’. Insidious step was piled on insidious step to systematically undermine individuals and prevent them from living a normal life. Their homes were bugged, telephones tapped, cars mysteriously sabotaged, bicycle tyres slashed. A promotion at work would be denied for no good reason. Medical notes were interfered with and they were diagnosed for treatment they did not need. On whispered Stasi instructions, staff in bars and shops would refuse to serve them, leaving them feeling isolated, unwanted, outsiders. … The aim, writes Max Hertzberg, veteran investigator in the Stasi archive, was to ‘switch off’ a person’s supposed dissident activities. The secret policemen didn’t care whether this happened through disillusionment, fear, burn-out or mental illness. ‘All outcomes were acceptable, and people’s mental health and social standing during or after an operation were of no interest to them.’ Sullying someone’s reputation was always an effective tactic, as a 14-year-old girl named Regina found out when she was targeted as a way of getting at her father, who ran his own business as a hairdresser and was therefore ‘an enemy of socialism’. The word was put around that she was a Flittchen — promiscuous — and strangers would stalk her, making lewd remarks and touching her up. She was followed and twice men tried to rape her. In the end she gave up the struggle and became a Stasi informant herself, grassing up her own parents. …

Infiltrating dissident groups:

Dissent and distrust would be stirred up among members with rumours of collaboration with the authorities, of informants in their midst, until they were so busy suspecting each other that they had no time to be active opponents of the state any more. An agent would infiltrate a group and then surreptitiously disrupt what they were doing by, for example, agreeing to tasks but not getting round to them, losing equipment and sabotaging the production of dissident material.

Paralyzing their opponents worked:

All these soul-destroying activities of the Stasi were frankly hideous and there is every indication that they worked. Many opponents of the regime simply caved in and shut down their activities, worn down and worn out by the relentless pressure on them. ‘The Stasi didn’t try to arrest every dissident,’ writes German historian Hubertus Knabe. ‘It preferred to paralyse them and it could do so because it had access to so much personal information and to so many institutions.’ …

Lessons for today:

Billions of people round the world willingly give away their personal details, and intelligence and police agencies, as well as employers, media and criminals, routinely draw on them. Where the Stasi had to wheedle out the minutiae of people’s lives and then store the information in millions of physical brown files, today it’s all there tucked away in unseen digital files. … In China … the WeChat messaging service — used by a billion people across the globe — is routinely scanned. Did you say something critical on WeChat, attend church or visit a foreign embassy? Good luck getting a good job, or a visa to travel. Another Stasi dream come true. …

Bullies today use Stasi tactics:

In this modern world of ours, individuals can easily employ Stasi-like digital tools against anyone. And now you don’t have to break into someone’s home and change the alarm clock or send an unwanted sex toy in the post to unravel and unnerve them any more. Social media makes gaslighting instant, easy and remote. [Former FBI agent Ralph Hope] cites the growing frequency of ‘doxing’, the publishing on the internet of real or false private information about someone, as a way of intimidating, discrediting or silencing them. ‘It’s done by small groups, individuals or foreign government actors pretending to be someone else. ‘The goal is to destroy the person, in true Stasi fashion.’

So much easier just to mind your own business. Which is what they want.

Sunshine Coast Airport arrivals confused and angry at police ‘invasion of privacy’ – ABC News

  • Police say on the first day of the lockdown, 14 people from Victoria flew to the Sunshine Coast
  • Passengers say officers went through their phones to check location data and in some instances demanded to see bank transactions
  • The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties says some of the questioning is “unnecessary” and “an invasion of privacy”

With China’s Digital Yuan, Think Surveillance, by Milton Ezrati | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

China is instituting a digital yuan because it wants to spy on the people who use it. From Milton Ezrati at The Epoch Times via

Ever since China launched its digital yuan in 2019, western commentary has reacted to the initiative with waves of nonsense. Many of these articles suggest that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has stolen a march on the West. Many claim that China’s digital effort will secure the yuan global status and enable it to supplant the dollar as the world’s premier currency for international reserves and transactions.

Why Is the Government Hiding January 6 Video Footage?, by Julie Kelly | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

Maybe the video footage doesn’t comport with the official story line. From Julie Kelly at

The American public still doesn’t know exactly what happened on January 6—and it’s clear the government will use any means necessary to keep it that way.

Joe Biden calls it the worst attack since the Civil War. Attorney General Merrick Garland compares it to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The FBI is breaking down the doors of Iraq War veterans and small business owners who have no criminal records, and some are hauled off to rot in solitary confinement in a fetid D.C. jail, for their involvement in the alleged travesty.

The event, of course, is the roughly four-hour-long disturbance at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. As mostly nonviolent Americans dared to protest Congress’ certification of a clearly fraudulent presidential election in a place that once was considered “The People’s House,” lawmakers scurried for cover as reporters and photographers captured part of the ruckus on video and still shots to wield as political ammunition against Donald Trump and his supporters.

But have we seen a full and fair depiction of exactly what happened that day? The answer, as evidenced by an ongoing coverup by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Justice Department, clearly is no.Almost all the January 6 video seen by the public isn’t from official government sources but by social media users and journalists on the scene. For example, the widely viewed footage of protestors occupying the Senate chamber was recorded by a New Yorker journalist.

But thousands of hours of real-time footage is in the hands of the Capitol Police—and that agency, along with government lawyers and federal judges, is using every legal trick possible to keep the trove hidden from the public even as clips are presented in court as evidence against hundreds of January 6 defendants.

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More Government Spying and Lying, by Andrew P. Napolitano | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

Spying and lying, it’s what governments do.

They do it to me, they do it to you.

From Andrew P. Napolitano at

Twice last week, the federal government’s unconstitutional spying on ordinary Americans was exposed. One of these revelations was made by a federal judge in Washington, D.C., who wrote that the FBI is still using warrantless spying in criminal cases, notwithstanding the Constitution and federal laws. The other revelation was a surprise even to those of us who monitor these things — the United States Postal Service acknowledged that it has been spying on Americans.

Here is the backstory.

The modern American security state — the parts of the federal government that spy on Americans and do not change on account of elections — received an enormous shot in the arm in 1978 when Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. That naively misguided and profoundly unconstitutional law was sold to Congress as a way to control the security state’s spying in the aftermath of Watergate. Watergate had revealed that President Richard M. Nixon used the FBI and the CIA to spy on real and imagined domestic political adversaries.

FISA set up a secret court that authorized domestic spying by issuing warrants not based on probable cause of crime, as the Constitution requires, but on probable cause of communicating with foreign agents. Never mind that communications about noncriminal matters are protected speech; the FISA court issued tens of thousands of these warrants.

As the security state’s appetite for spying grew more voracious, its agents and lawyers persuaded the FISA court to lower the bar for issuing a surveillance warrant from communicating with a foreign agent to communicating with a foreign person, and to expand the scope of those warrants to include Americans who have communicated with other Americans who have communicated with foreign people. Under this procedure, if I call my cousins in Florence and then you call me, all of your calls could be surveilled.

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Free Speech? Not Any More | disturbeddeputy

Big Brother Creepy Joe is listening to you.

Biden administration considers chat app surveillance

Biden administration considers chat app surveillance

Dems Want FCC to Block Conservative Co.’s Radio Station Deal after Firing of Clinton Fundraiser

Biden administration wants to use third-party ‘extremism’ researchers to spy on Americans – media — RT USA News

The Department of Homeland security lacks the authority to spy on right-wing dissidents, but the Biden administration has reportedly found a workaround: using third-party researchers to snoop on so-called “domestic terrorists.”

In the aftermath of the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill in January, the Biden administration, with the support of sympathetic media outlets and pundits, focused the intelligence-gathering powers of the state inwards.

Biden added members to a domestic extremism team on the National Security Council, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declared homegrown “extremists” a “national priority area,” the FBI called for expanded domestic surveillance, and a top Justice Department official last week asked Congress for new powers to prosecute so-called “extremists.” In all cases, the same targets are identified: right-wing dissidents – including militia groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys – who took part in the Capitol riot.

No Respect for the FBI. Gone. Sleazy Joe.Don’t Care About Him Either. Pelosi and Schumer are just plain sick. – Trump:The American Years

The name is a joke.Roll them all into one agency and they could rival the intelligence agencies of any 3rd world country you could name. Our State Dept can no longer be trusted by our allies. They have to know how sleazy all these people are. It’s the truth,even rats don’t like dealing with other rats…

NYPD Puts Down Robot Dog After Backlash

 The New York Police Department (NYPD) will part ways with its controversial robotic dog after mounting uproar from the public and lawmakers.  John Miller, the NYPD deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, told NYTimes that it ended a leasing contract with Boston Dynamics early for the four-legged robotic…

Bizarre Belarus “coup plot” has all the hallmarks of a classic Kremlin drama | Ukraine Today .org

… But as is often the case in the former Soviet Union, upon closer examination, there appears to be at least some method behind all the madness.

Lukashenka’s claim that the plot was approved “by the top political leadership” in the United States came just days after Russia’s Federal Security Service had arrested two Belarusians, including one with US citizenship, and accused them of plotting to carry out a coup during the May 9 Victory Day parade in Minsk.

Yuras Zyankovich, a Belarusian-born lawyer who also holds US citizenship, and Alyaksandr Fyaduta, who served as Lukashenka’s spokesman in the 1990s, were extradited to Belarus…