It’s the Same Old Story

The National Herald recently came out with a story entitled, “Patriarch Bartholomew Apologized for Mishandling Issues in America.”

This story first appeared in the Orthodox Times back in 2020 with the same picture and caption.  As you can imagine, it caused quite a stir.

Later, the OT caption was changed to read something along the lines:  “Ecumenical Patriarch admits that mistakes were made.”   Not that he made them, mind you, only that they were made.        

BOSTON (TNH) – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has apologized for mishandling the issues pertaining to the Archdiocese of America and the Greek-American Community. The issues have arisen from the decisions of Thursday, October 8, 2020, regarding the abrogation of the Charter of the Archdiocese, the dethronement of Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, and the imposition of a suspension upon Metropolitan Methodios of Boston.

In any case, “What’s old is new again!” as they say, and this story keeps resurfacing.  Proof in point, everything you’re going to read from this point forward until the punch line was written by us, September 29, 2022.  We just didn’t publish it back then.  So in a sense, it’s the same old story for us, too.  Nothing changes with respect to the GOA.  It just keeps going down hill. 


As you all know by now, some well-connected and thoughtful people within the Greek-American community believe that Archbishop Elpidophoros Lambrianides is on his way out.

As Nick Stamatakis has stated, he has made too many mistakes.  He used the word “avalanche” to describe the catalog of missteps that His Eminence has made since he first alighted on these shores three years ago.  We cannot disagree with Nick as to the parade of horribles that the archbishop has committed.  We won’t bore you with the details; let’s just say that the momentum –and frequency–of the scandals associated with him have accelerated over time.   

Far be it from me to disagree with someone more knowledgeable than myself, but being the pessimist that we are (when it comes to all things Phanariot), we continue to believe that he is still safely ensconced on his primatial throne here in the America.       

Mind you, we could be wrong.  But let’s be honest, Elpidophoros has crossed a “bridge too far” on more than one occasion.  

Sometimes we wonder if we’re living in a simulation game.  One in which the controllers try to one-up each other with stupidity.  A bizarro world of maleficence; where the winner is the one who breaks the most rules. 

But the guy’s still kicking.      

And why not?  We have a president who was installed by evil men and who has single-handedly destroyed the world’s economy (not just ours).  He even considers himself a “devout Catholic” and yet he has moved heaven and earth to make it easy for women to cross state lines if that’s what it takes to crush their babies’ skulls. 

Indeed, the entire leadership of the Western world has gone out of its way to ensure that peace does not break out in the Ukraine and that as many of those people are killed as possible. 

As for the Europeans, they had to go into the forests to chop wood so they could stay warm this winter.  But do their leaders give a whit?  Even when thousands of their people are burning like rats because of fires or simply dying of smoke inhalation, it’s no skin off their asses.  (According to The New York Times, 68,000 Europeans died this last winter due to an inability to heat their domiciles.)

Klaus Schwab and his ilk will suffer no –repeat, no–consequences.  Neither will Hillary, Fauci or Hunter.  In a criminally insane world, it pays to be evil.  You’re bulletproof if you are. 

In the meantime, the FBI is busting down the doors of the rest of us who had the temerity to attend a PTA meeting or a Latin Mass, you domestic terrorist, you.

See what we mean by a bizarro world?

It is within this matrix that Elpidophoros operates.  His rationales are inconsistent and illogical.  They defy common sense and are 180 degrees out of phase with the Gospel.  If you press him to admit one thing wrong with the GOA, he’ll tell you that it is the decline in the Greek language.  If he were the steward on the Titanic, his only concern would not be the iceberg but the fact someone from steerage had butted in front of the swells at the buffet line.  In this sense, he is no different than any of our secular leaders.  That’s why we don’t believe he’s going anywhere.

But we could be wrong. 

After all, it’s possible that he is being set up by underlings.  The chief culprit would be Fr Alex Karloutsos, the “vicar general” of the GOA.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to notice the discomfort on display between the two.     

We can easily envision a scenario in which Karsloutsos could give the Turkish-born Lambrianides the wrong advice about, oh, anything.  “Ignore the riots Your Eminence, the average GOA parishioner will think you’re the Second Coming of Iakovos if you march with the murderous, self-described Marxists known by BLM,” or “Your moral standing will rise if you go the annual March for Life and say ‘meh, women who get abortions are to be respected’.”  “You know, you really should attend the inauguration of the Turkish Cultural Center and while you’re there, maybe you should grovel before the Turkish ambassador.”  “Look, it’s easy!  Watch me kiss Gov Cuomo’s hand!  All the best people do it.”

We can just see Karloutsos saying, “Yeah, that’s the ticket.”

So, again, we could be wrong.  It’s possible that Karloutsos has been leading Elpidophoros around by the nose all these years, hoping that he’ll eventually screw up so royally that even Bartholomew won’t be able to save his hide.  It reminds me about the story arc involving Phil Silvers on the old Beverly Hillbillies TV series.  You know the one:  when the salt-of-the-earth but suddenly-wealthy naïfs from the Ozarks visit New York City and they meet a con-man played by Silvers.  He tells them he’s part of the “welcoming committee” and he’s so well-connected that Central Park was named after his uncle, the late “Sam Central.” 

Not being a native of America, I can see the archbishop falling for that.  After all, Elpidophoros’ only cultural referents are from the insulated bubble that is the Boston-New York-DC axis, a perilous set of circumstances which makes one susceptible to con-men like the vicar-general. 

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter, does it?  As long as the GOA is tethered to Turkey, Bartholomew will send us someone even more compromised that Elpidophoros.  (He doesn’t want another Demetrios, who, whatever else his faults, wasn’t susceptible to blackmail.)  Anyway, if I’m correct, then the archbishop might outlast the vicar-general.  And if I’m wrong, then his next misstep will be the final bridge too far and he will be sent packing. 

My sources in NYC say that he has alienated many of the power centers within the Greek-American community.  It’s also possible he’s alienated his handlers at the State Department.  If so, then be on the lookout for his handlers to make sure that he makes another egregious misstep.  Then again, it’s not like the State Department is staffed by brainiacs.  Who needs a Nobel Peace Prize?  Those bozos would win the Attila the Hun War Prize hands-down if we had one.

However, there is a new twist to the story about Elpidophoros in terms of whom he answers to.  This particular boss trumps Bartholomew and possibly even the State Department, as it reports to the President of the United States.

Elpidophoros recently announced to the world he is connected to Intelligence Community which is a coalition of 18 agencies and organizations, including the CIA, NSA, NGA, FBI, etc., as well as all branches of the US armed forces. 

If you’re connected to Intelligence, they own you.  

And Elpi is not just connected, he is connected enough to draw a crowd.

So it doesn’t matter what direction Bartholomew wants to take with the charter.  Bartholomew is yesterday’s news.  There’s a new boss in town, and his CODE NAME is Sunflower.  (We’re guessing.)

Bartholomew should have known this is what happens to people who open the door to the State Department.  They get dirt on you and then they solicit the support of other people who have MORE dirt on you and before you know it, you’re a has-been and your name is mud.

Unless Elpi goes into the witness protection program or something, everything the GOA does going forward will be with them involved.  There is no escaping it.

I suspect Elpi is going to occupy the position of Archbishop of America as long as it suits him (them), which will probably be until Bartholomew retires, passes away, or maybe is put in jail.  Then it’s on to better things for Elpi as he moves into Bartholomew’s role where the intelligence agencies will take even more of an interest in our Church here in America.

It actually occurred to us that the Intelligence Agency resurrected this old story so Bartholomew could admit all his “mistakes” and take on a few of Elpi’s, as well.  This would give Elpi a clean slate as he takes over Bartholomew’s throne.  

If this isn’t a call to start separating Elpi from the GOA now, I don’ know what is.   Once he reaches “All Holiness” status, there will be nothing people can do short of ditching the GOA altogether. 




  1. Ditch the GOA ASAP
    America is under attack! 🇺🇸

    The charges for the declaration of independence from the United States are these:
    1 A failure to discharge the fiduciary responsibility of congress to the people
    2 A failure to secure the rights of the people against government intrusion
    3 A failure to secure the nation from invasion and facilitation of the same
    4 A failure to secure a republican form of government
    5 A failure to faithfully and fairly execute the laws passed by representatives of the people
    6 A failure to secure the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of the people
    7 A failure to hold accountable those within their presence who violate their oaths
    8 Giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the nation, both foreign and domestic
    9 Pursuing the persecution of citizens based on race and religious affiliation

  2. George P. says

    The figurative nail in his coffin will be struck at 6:00pm on June 10 at 325 Park Avenue.

  3. Kind of hard to say America is under attack when Trump is showing classified documents to people without a security clearance! LOCK HIM UP! He deserves to be in jail for his crimes!

    • I suppose you’re being sarcastic. Those documents were declassified on Jan 19, 2021.

      • It’s quite easy to say that America is under attack from the Deep State when the very question put before us is, “Who has the superior authority regarding classification and declassification, the elected executive from whom the authority flows or an unelected bureaucracy?” The courts have already spoken on this and they will speak again. The sitting president has full authority in this regard. The Democrats are pathological liars who simply believe that repeating a lie long enough will bring it into reality. That is wishcraft. They have used it regarding Ukraine and they’re using it on this. But saner heads will eventually prevail.

      • Mark E. Fisus says

        Trump is on tape admitting they are all still secret.

        • I sure didn’t see that. Can you please send a link?

          • “You want a tape?
            Here’s one we prepared earlier…”

            • Huh? – I want a link.

              • Nate Trost says

                Page 16 of the indictment.


                Strictly speaking the comments were in reference to a single document, but the defense isn’t going to be able to show Trump followed the procedures to declassify any of them. Because he didn’t. Also, the nuke docs covered by the AEA can’t be declassified by POTUS.

                • As Commander in Chief, Trump would be able to just say they’re declassified. There’s no process or procedure one has to follow.

                  However, that might be a problem for Biden during the times he was not Commander in Chief.

                  What the defense has to show may surprise you.

                  • This is a good summary.

                  • Nate Trost says

                    You are asserting Trump had the freedom to ignore Executive Order 13526, which he did not revoke or replace while in office. When he was President, Trump had the power to declassify documents and even change the rules for declassification. He didn’t do the latter, and he didn’t follow the existing rules for the documents in question to accomplish the former.

                    Even if they actually were declassified, there’s the “small” issue of National Defense Information and the Espionage Act, where the classification status of the documents isn’t actually relevant. What matters is what the documents were about and that they belonged to the government.

                  • Here is Dershowitz’s take:


                    I hadn’t read the transcript of the recording until now. But it may not matter. They have to prove he actually showed classified material to the person to whom he spoke instead of just affirming he possessed it. But that is probably the only charge that has any bite, if any.

                    Regardless, he couldn’t pay for better publicity than these indictments. It’s only making him stronger. You’d think they’d stop digging, but they’re obviously terrified that he can actually drain the swamp. They would not be throwing all caution to the wind and creating terrible precedents that could backfire unless they were in a state of irrational panic.

                    That is the best evidence that Trump actually could and would clean the Augean stables.

              • It’s a joke, a reference to Blue Peter

                ‘ … the longest-running children’s TV show in the world …
                famous for its “makes” …demonstrations of how to construct
                a useful object or prepare food [or, perhaps, evidence?].
                These have given rise to the oft-used phrase:
                “Here’s one I made earlier”. ‘

                I forgot. Not everybody knows of Blue Peter.

                Blue Peter: Here’s one [they] made earlier

                [Video – 48:06]

        • Even if he did, and I haven’t heard it, “secret” does not equal “classified”. It just means that they are not public knowledge. The president can declassify something by simply letting it out. He has plenary power over classified status.

          And the courts will reaffirm it because to do otherwise would open up a whole Pandora’s box of unintended consequences.

    • Lock them up. Lock him up. People do not want to read and research. To understand more about what is taking place read the following and have mercy on Donald Trump. Orders come from the secretive parasitic elite class. Here is the distribution method of the NWO rules in case you want to share it with others. This is the hell realm Donald Trump walked into which soon will destroy our liberty.

      Remember this: The parasitic elites suck on a nation till they have no more need for it. Currently, they are destroying the USA.

      🎬😱. Per this Global Public-Private Partnership (G3P) chart created by UK researcher and journalist Iain Davis, the global empire’s structure is designed so that the chain of command flows from the BIS to the world’s central banks and from them to…
      …the policymakers at the think tanks.

      These include various Rockefeller funds and foundations, plus the Rockefeller-founded Club of Rome, the Rockefeller-founded Trilateral Commission, and the Rockefeller-founded Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

      Some of these think tanks actually have non-Rockefeller roots, among them the CFR’s UK equivalent, the Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA), and the hardcore eugenicist Chatham House, founded by British diplomat Lionel Curtis in the aftermath of World War One.

      The think tanks work in partnership with the BIS and the central banks to set international public-private policy objectives. Once these big-picture objectives are formulated, they are sent to…
      …the policy distributors, such as the Rockefeller-founded United Nations, the UN’s WHO and IPCC, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, ostensible philanthropists (the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation comes to mind), global corporations, and NGOs.

      As their name implies, the distributors are tasked with disseminating the policies far and wide, to all corners of the world.

      They make sure the policies also get into the hands of officials on the next ladder rung down, who are called…
      …the policy enforcers. Their ranks include the various military branches, the judiciary, police and security forces, and any other enforcement arms built into all layers of government (national, provincial, state, local).

      These governmental law enforcement bodies work in conjunction with selected “scientific” authorities, such as…
      …the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

      All of these agencies and authorities must justify the policies they are required to enforce. They often write rules and regulations and ordinances and codes for the policies and then pass them down to the organizations on the lowest rung of the ladder. Iain Davis calls them…
      …the “policy propagandists”—or, in polite terms, the perception managers.

      These media and public relations outfits, consisting of the mainstream media (“Establishment” newspapers, magazines, and television and radio stations), social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter), and fact checkers (Full Fact, PolitiFact, Snopes, AP Fact Check, Poynter, etc.), work alongside hybrid warriors (77th Brigade and HutEighteen, for example) and anti-hate campaigners. The latter include the US-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the UK-based Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).

      The propagandists’ job is to persuade the public—us billions of ordinary folks who stand beneath the ladder-like pyramid—to unthinkingly accept the lies we are being fed and to automatically acquiesce to the repressive policies.

    • Trump was POTUS.
      As POTUS, he could declassify what he liked.
      Therefore Trump committed no crime.

      Biden was Vice-POTUS.
      As Vice-POTUS, he could declassify nothing.
      Therefore Biden committed crimes.
      The evidence was found in his garage.

  4. Ben Ladreqa says

    The myth of “republic not democracy” is exploded when you realize Plato’s word for Republic was Politeia meaning state, in other words, Republicans are statist. The KKK was revived by Cold War rat lines who never forgave Jesse Owen and set up racist unelected coercise “civic” associations

  5. Who said, “Let’s make America great again?”
    Answer: Donald Trump 👏🇺🇸

    He never said “Let’s make the United States of America great again.” The corporate USA model is in its death rattles. Let us remember America. The world will be captured by an AI grid of surveillance and tyranny. It’s happening right now. We that still love America have some serious choices to make.

  6. I suspect Elpi is going to occupy the position of Archbishop of America as long as it suits him (them), which will probably be until Bartholomew retires, passes away, or maybe is put in jail. Then it’s on to better things for Elpi as he moves into Bartholomew’s role where the intelligence agencies will take even more of an interest in our Church here in America.

    It actually occurred to us that the Intelligence Agency resurrected this old story so Bartholomew could admit all his “mistakes” and take on a few of Elpi’s, as well. This would give Elpi a clean slate as he takes over Bartholomew’s throne.

    If this isn’t a call to start separating Elpi from the GOA now, I don’ know what is. Once he reaches “All Holiness” status, there will be nothing people can do short of ditching the GOA altogether.

    This is the crux of it, and I largely agree with you Gail. For those that say “he’ll be gone any day now” or “surely this is the last straw” are off base. If that were the case he would have been gone long ago. He’s still here because those who control him want him to be here. Where they get it wrong is that they assume Bart and Elpi are the top bishops of all Orthodoxy, both worldwide and in America.

    The problem with that logic is that it’s not at all accurate. Clearly the secular people that control both Bart and Elpi aren’t Orthodox and have no concept of how Orthodoxy functions.

    If he ever reaches the “All Holiness” status it’s because his handlers in the State Department have put him there.
    I have a feeling that the other patriarchs have been gracious to Bart, unnecessarily IMHO, but, I don’t think they would show the same graciousness to Elpi should he ever become Patriarch.
    Not just that but given the precarious state of the Patriarchate in Turkey, I can’t imagine with the eastward shift of Turkey and Erdogan being elected are going to allow for Elpi to become patriarch. He would pose a serious problem for the Turkish government since he literally gives speeches to the US intelligence community.

    All-in-all all this should have been avoided, and could have been avoided, if the collective bishops in the U.S as well as the other Patriarchs would stand up against Bart and Elpi. Their silence has done no favors to anyone and it’s by and large left up to us laity to actually do something.

    Are the bishops and patriarchs ever going to stand up and say enough?

    That’s the million dollar question.

  7. Dr Mercola: How the Censorship Industry Works,
    and How We Can Stop It

    Story at-a-glance

    The internet was likely not intended to remain free forever. The intention for it to be used as a totalitarian tool was baked in from the start
    Google started as a DARPA grant and was part of the CIA’s and NSA’s digital data program, the purpose of which was to conduct “birds of a feather” mapping online so that certain groups could be neutralized
    All of the early internet freedom technologies of the ‘90s were funded by the Pentagon and the State Department. They were developed by the intelligence community as an insurgency tool — a means to help dissident groups in foreign countries to develop a pro-U.S. stance and evade state-controlled media. Now, these same technologies have been turned against the American public, and are used to control public discourse
    In the past, censorship was a laborious task that could only be done after the fact. Artificial intelligence has radically altered the censorship industry. AI programs can now censor information en masse, based on the language used, and prevent it from being seen at all
    One of the most effective strategies that would have immediate effect would be to strip the censorship industry of its government funding. The House controls the purse strings of the federal government, so the House Appropriations Committee has the power to end the funding of government-sponsored censorship

    ‘ In this video,
    I interview Mike Benz, executive director for the Foundation for Freedom Online. Benz started off as a corporate lawyer representing tech and media companies before joining the Trump administration, where he worked as a speech writer for Dr. Ben Carson, the former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and President Trump.

    He also advised on economic development policy. He then joined the State Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Communications and Information Technology. There, he ran the cyber desks at state, meaning all things having to do with the internet and foreign policy.

    “This is toward the end of 2020, which was a really fascinating time to witness the merger, in many respects, of big government and big tech companies themselves,” he says. “I had grown up, I think, like many Americans, with a belief that the First Amendment protected you against government censorship.

    The terms of engagement that we had enjoyed from 1991, when the worldwide web rolled out, until 2016, the election in the U.S. and Brexit in the U.K., which is, really, the first political event where the election was determined, in many respects, by momentum on the internet.

    There was that 25-year golden period where the idea of being censored by a private sector company, let alone the government, was considered something, to me, very deeply anathema to the American experience.

    What I witnessed at the State Department — because I was at the desk, basically, that Google and Facebook would call when they wanted favors abroad, when they wanted American protection or American policies to preserve their dominance in Europe, or in Asia or in Latin America.

    And the U.S. government was doing favors for these tech companies while the tech companies were censoring the people who voted for the government. It was a complete betrayal of whatever social contract typically underlies the public-private partnership.”

    The Internet Was Founded by the National Security State

    Ostensibly, the rapid expansion of censorship started post-2016, but you can make a strong argument that the internet was never intended to remain free forever. Rather, the intention for it to be used as a totalitarian tool was likely baked in from the start when the national security state founded it in 1968.

    The worldwide web, which is the user interface, was launched in 1991, and my suspicion is that the public internet was seeded and allowed to grow in order to capture and make the most of the population dependent upon it, knowing that it would be the most effective social engineering tool ever conceived. Benz comments:

    “I totally agree … A lot of people, in trying to understand what’s happening with the net censorship, say ‘We had this free internet, and then suddenly there was this age of censorship and the national security state got involved at the censorship side.’

    But when you retrace the history, internet freedom itself was actually a national security state imperative. The internet itself is a product of a counterinsurgency necessity by the Pentagon to manage information during the 1960s, particularly to aggregate social science data. And then, it was privatized.

    Opening it up to all comers in the private sector, it was handed off from DARPA [the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] to the National Science Foundation, and then went through a series of universities on the infrastructure side.

    And then, right out of the gate in 1991, you had the Cold War coming to an end, and then simultaneously, you had this profusion of Pentagon-funded internet freedom technologies. You had things like VPNs, encrypted chat, TOR.

    All of the early internet freedom technologies of the ‘90s were funded by the Pentagon, the State Department, and developed by the intelligence community, primarily, as a way of using internet freedom as a means to help dissident groups in foreign countries be able to develop a pro-U.S. beachhead, because it was a way to evade state-controlled media.

    This was, basically, an insurgency tool for the U.S. government, in the same way that Voice of America and Radio Free Liberty, and Radio Free Europe were tools of the CIA in the Cold War, to beam in, basically, pro-U.S. content to populations in foreign countries in order to sway them towards U.S. interests. It was a way of managing the world empire.

    The internet served the same purpose, and it couldn’t be done if it was called a Pentagon operation, a State Department or CIA operation. But all of the tech companies themselves are products of that. Google started as a DARPA grant that was obtained at Stanford by Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

    In 1995, they were part of the CIA and NSA’s [National Security Agency’s] massive digital data program. They had their monthly meetings with their CIA and NSA advisers for that program, where the express stated purpose was for the CIA and NSA to be able to map so-called ‘Birds of a feather’ online … so that they could be neutralized.”

    How It All Began

    As noted by Benz, the idea of having the intelligence community map political “Birds of a Feather” communities in order to either mobilize or neutralize them was (and still is) justified in the name of counterterrorism. Nowadays, as we’ve seen during the pandemic, it’s used to control public discourse, suppress truth, and promote propaganda angles.

    The technology used to control public discourse is an artificial intelligence (AI) technique called natural language processing (NLP). It’s a way of aggregating everyone who believes a certain thing online into community databases based on the words they use, the hashtags, the slogans and images.

    “Emerging narratives, all manner of metadata affiliations, all that can be aggregated to create a topographical network map of what you believe in and who you’re associated with, so that it can all be turned down in a fast, precise and comprehensive manner by content moderation teams, because they’re all birds of the same feather,” Benz explains.

    “The fact that this grew out of the U.S. National Security state, which is running the show, essentially, today, to me says that there’s a continuation between the internet freedom and internet censorship. They simply switched from one side of the chess board to the other.”

    For clarity, when Benz talks about the “National Security State,” what he’s referring to are the institutions that uphold the rules-based international order. Domestically, that includes the Pentagon, State Department, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), certain aspects of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the 17 intelligence agencies.

    Of those, the Pentagon, State Department and the intelligence community (IC) are the three central ones that have managed the American world empire since the 1940s. None of them are supposed to be able to operate domestically, but in a sense their power has expanded so much that they essentially control domestic affairs.

    As explained by Benz, the Pentagon, State Department and IC are not supposed to be able to operate domestically. “But in a sense, they really control domestic affairs, because their power has expanded so much that they’ve developed an extraordinary laundering apparatus to be able to fund international institutions that then boomerang back home and effectively control much of domestic political affairs, including discourse on the internet.”

    As for the CIA, it was created in 1947 under the National Security Act. It was created as a cloak-and-dagger mechanism, to do things the State Department wanted done but couldn’t get caught doing due to the diplomatic repercussions — things like election rigging, assassinations, media control, bribery and other subversion tactics.

    The Birth of Hybrid Warfare

    Benz continues his explanation of how and why internet censorship emerged when it did:

    “So, there’s the U.S. National Security State, and then there’s the transatlantic one involving NATO. The story of Western government involvement in internet censorship really started after the 2014 Crimea annexation, which was the biggest foreign policy humiliation of the Obama era.

    Atlanta’s School of Foreign Policy was deeply inflamed by this event and blamed the fact that there were these breakaway Russia-supporting entities in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea on a failure to penetrate their media, and this idea that hearts and minds were being swung towards the Russian side because of pro-Russian content online.

    NATO then declared this doctrine of so-called hybrid warfare — this idea that Russia had won Crimea not by a military annexation, but by winning, illicitly in a sense, the hearts and minds of Crimeans through the use of their propaganda. And the doctrine of hybrid warfare, born in 2014, was this idea that war was no longer a kinetic thing.

    There hadn’t been a kinetic war in Europe since World War II. Instead, it had moved sub-kinetic into the hearts and minds of the people. In fact, NATO announced a doctrine after 2014 called ‘From tanks to tweets,’ where it shifted its focus, explicitly, from kinetic warfare to social media opinions online.

    Brexit, which happened in June 2016 … was blamed on Russian influence as well. And so all of these institutions that argued for control over the internet in Eastern Europe said, ‘Well, it needs to come now. Now it’s an all-of-Europe thing.’

    When Trump was then elected five months later, explicitly contemplating the breakup of NATO, all hell broke loose. This idea that we need to censor the internet went from being something that was touchy and novel, in the view of Pentagon brass and State Department folks, to something that was totally essential to saving the entire rules-based international order that came out of World War II.

    At the time, the reasoning was, Brexit, in the U.K., was going to give rise to Frexit, in France, with Marine Le Pen and her movement there. Matteo Salvini was going to cause Italexit In Italy, there’d be Grexit in Greece, Spexit in Spain, and the entire European Union would come undone, just because these right-wing populist parties would naturally vote their way into political power.

    They would vote for working-class, cheap energy policies that would make them more closely aligned with Russia naturally, because of the cheaper oil prices, or cheaper gas prices. Then, suddenly, you’ve got no EU, you’ve got no NATO, and then, you’ve got no Western military alliance.

    So, from that moment, after Trump’s election, immediately, there was this diplomatic roadshow by U.S. State Department officials, who all thought they were getting promotions in November 2016. They thought they were going to get promoted from the State Department to the National Security Council. Turns out, they all got fired, because someone with a 5% chance of winning ended up winning that day.

    So, they took their international connections, their international networks around the Atlanta Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, the entire think tank, quasi-intelligence, quasi-military, government-funded NGO soup, and they did this international roadshow, starting in January 2017, to convince European countries to start censoring their internet …

    Out of that came NetzDG [Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, the Network Enforcement Act] in Germany, which introduced a necessity of artificial intelligence-powered social media censorship.

    All of that was, essentially, spearheaded by this network of State Department and Pentagon folks who then used their own internal folks in the government to procure government grants and contracts to these same entities. Eventually, they all rotated into those tech companies to set the policies as well.”

    Threat From Within

    So, to summarize, the infrastructure for worldwide internet censorship was largely established by IC veterans who were forced out by the Trump administration, and that infrastructure was then used to catalyze the international censorship response during COVID in late 2019, early 2020. Benz continues:

    “Right. And those veterans were not alone. The full story is not just the shadow security state and exile. The fact is this. The Trump administration never had control of its own defense department, State Department or intelligence community.

    It was the intelligence community that, essentially, drove his first impeachment, that drove a two-and-a-half year special prosecutor investigation that rolled up 12 to 20 of Trump’s closest associates. You had a chief of staff there who was hiding the military figures from the government. The careers at state threatened the political appointees from the inside. I experienced that myself.

    This permanent aspect of Washington, with unfireable careers in high places, combined with a turf war in the GOP [Republican Party] between the populist right and the neo-conservative right, with the neo-conservative right having many well-placed Republicans in the Defense Department, State Department, in IC, to thwart the previous president’s agenda there, allowed this political network and exile, on the censorship side, to work with their allies within the government to create these censorship beach heads.

    So, for example, that’s how they created the Department of Homeland Security’s … first permanent government censorship bureau in the form of this entity called CISA [the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, founded in November 2018], which is supposed to just be a cybersecurity entity.

    It was done because of media and intelligence community laundering of a never-substantiated claim that Russia had potentially hacked the 2016 election, hacked the election machines or voting software, or might be able to do so in the future, and so we need a robust armed-to-the-teeth DHS unit to protect our cybersecurity from the Russians.

    It’s the mission creep of the century. After the Mueller probe ended in June 2019, this unit, CISA, within DHS [Department of Homeland Security] — which had set up all of this, and which is only supposed to do cybersecurity — said ‘Well, if you squint and look at it, discourse online is a cybersecurity threat because if it undermines public faith or confidence in our elections, and it’s done using a cyber nexus, i.e., social media post, then that’s a form of cybersecurity threat, because democracy is essential to our security.’

    And so you went from this cybersecurity mission to a cyber censorship bureau, because if you tweeted something about mail-in ballots in the 2020 election, that was deemed to be a cyber attack on critical infrastructure, i.e., elections.

    When they got away with that in 2020, DHS then said, ‘Well, if you squint and look at it, public health is also critical infrastructure.’ So, now, DHS gets to direct social media companies to censor opinions about COVID-19.

    Then they worked their way into saying the same thing about financial systems, financial services, about the Ukraine war, about immigration. It got to the point where, by late 2022, the head of CISA declared that cognitive infrastructure is critical infrastructure.”

    Cracks only appeared after Republicans got a majority in the House of Representatives in November 2022 and Elon Musk acquired Twitter. Public support for government also dwindled as Musk’s release of the Twitter Files revealed the extent of government’s involvement in the censoring of Americans.

    So far, though, public awareness hasn’t changed anything. The very entities that once stood for internet freedom, like the National Science Foundation, are still actively funding and furthering government censorship activities.

    AI Gives Censors God-Like Powers

    Benz first became “gripped by the stakes of what was happening on the internet” in August 2016, after reading a series of papers discussing the use of NLP to monitor, surveil and regulate the distribution of information on social media based on the words used.

    “DARPA provided tens of millions of dollars of funding for this language processing, this language chunking capacity of AI in order, ostensibly, to stop ISIS recruiting on Facebook and Twitter,” Benz says.

    “As part of the predicate for putting military boots on the ground in Syria, there was a lot of talk about ISIS coming to the U.S., and they were recruiting on Facebook and Twitter. And so the Pentagon, DARPA and the IC developed this language spyware capacity to map the dialectic of how ISIS sympathizers talk online, the words they use, the images they share, the prefixes, the suffixes, all the different community connections.

    And then, I saw that this was being done for purposes of domestic political control instead of foreign counterterrorism, and the power that it has. It is what totally changed the internet forever. Before 2016, there was not the technological capacity to do mass social media censorship. That was the age of what censorship insiders like to call the whack-a-mole era. Censorship was reactive.

    It was done by forum, by moderators, essentially. Everything had to be flagged manually before it could be taken down, which meant millions of people had already seen it, or it had already gone viral, it had already done its damage, so to speak, and you were just cutting off the backend with an act of censorship.

    You could never have a permanent control apparatus in that setting, because there would always be a first mover advantage to whoever posted it. What AI censorship technology breakthroughs enabled after 2016 was a kind of nuclear weapon, if you will, on the censorship side, to be able to end the war immediately.

    You don’t need a standing army of 100,000 people to censor COVID. You need one good developer, working with one manic social scientist who spends her entire life mapping what Dr. Mercola says online, and what he’s talking about this week, what his followers are saying, what they’re saying about this drug, or what they’re saying about this vaccine, or what they’re saying about this institution.

    All of that can be cataloged into a lexicon of how you talk. And then, all of that talk can just be turned down to zero. At the same time, they can super amplify the language that they themselves are doing. So it gives a God-like control to a tiny, tiny, tiny minority of people who can then use that to control the discourse of the entire population.

    What’s also so terrifying about the National Security State’s involvement in this is, when they discovered the power of this by mid-2018, they began to roll it out to every other country in the world for purposes of political control there — to the Ghana desk, to the Ecuador desk, to Southeast Asia, all over Europe.”

    Can We Get Out of the Grip of Censorship?

    At the time of this writing, we’re in a lull. The COVID pandemic has been declared over and aside from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, there are no major political crises going on that warrant heavy censorship. The networks and technologies for radical suppression are already in place, however, and can be turned up at a moment’s notice.

    We’ve also recently seen just how easy it is for alternative media to be infiltrated and upended, so the fact that there are alternative platforms doesn’t guarantee that future censorship efforts will fail.

    “There are so many threat vectors,” Benz says. “There are a lot of questions about what’s going on, for example, at Project Veritas, with how quickly it ousted James O’Keefe after releasing the most viral video ever, on Pfizer. It was about one week later — after their biggest accomplishment, perhaps, ever — that it was totally overthrown.

    A similar thing has happened with Fox News with [the firing of] Tucker Carlson, the most popular cable TV host in the country — the guy who gets three times more concurrent viewership than CNN, in the opposing spot. Institutions can absolutely be penetrated and co-opted when enough pressure is applied.”

    Transatlantic Flank Attack 2.0 Underway

    As mentioned earlier, the U.S. censorship really began with NATO. Benz refers to this as the transatlantic flank attack. Basically, when U.S. intelligence want to impact the internet domestically, they first work with their European partners to enact regulatory changes in Europe first. This then ends up spilling into the U.S. market, and the IC appears to have had nothing to do with it.

    The first transatlantic flank attack took place in early 2017 with the NetzDG. We’re now under transatlantic attack again, through the Digital Markets Act. This law, Benz says, will make it very difficult for Rumble and other free speech platforms to maintain that posture during the next pandemic. Once these platforms are forced to comply with the Digital Markets Act on the European side, the changes will be felt everywhere.

    Cause for Cautious Optimism

    While Benz remains hopeful that solutions to global censorship will present themselves, he still recognizes that the forces at play are enormous and the risks are high.

    “It’s one of these things where the more you see what we’re up against, the more sobering it becomes. I think you need to maintain hope in order to maintain energy, to maintain momentum. With momentum, weird things can happen, even if you’re not supposed to win. Strange things break, or take a life of their own, or resurface.

    All the little weaknesses of the system get tested, simply by a momentum here and there. For example, Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter is probably the reason that the GOP got over the hump in doing all of these congressional investigations into the government’s role in censorship.

    They felt like they had an ally at Twitter, that they had billionaire backing. There was a waterfall, cascade impact. So, I am hopeful. DHS is on the run right now. They purged their website of all their domestic censorship operations that they listed and were loud and proud about for two whole years after the catastrophe of the disinformation governance board in April 2022.

    They already had a Ministry of Truth at DHS. They just gave one hypothetical board the wrong name. They didn’t call it the CISA. They made the mistake of calling it by the right name, and that’s what ended the entire political support for the underlying apparatus.

    So, the importance of an Orwellian name is essential for maintaining the political support. But I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m hopeful, and I’m honored to be a part of this rebel fleet of folks trying to take on the empire behind the censorship situation.

    But having seen, in so many iterations the toolkit they use, it is a medieval torture toolkit that can do strange things. Pressure can do strange things, even to great people. And so I’m cautiously optimistic.”

    Essential Internet Backbone Is Not Politically Neutral

    In my view, internet decentralization is one key innovation that could break the grip of censorship. That said, other aspects, such as cybersecurity, must also be reinvented.

    CloudFlare, for example, a content delivery and cloud cybersecurity service, basically controls the internet because they protect online businesses and platforms from hackers using Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks. Without it, you cannot survive online if you’re a big business. Even with a decentralized internet, CloudFlare might still be able to exert control by leaving sites open to DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks.

    Disturbingly, CloudFlare got political for the first time after 2016, when it decided to remove protection from a site called Kiwi Farms, which expressed anti-transgender views. As a result, the site had to move over to a Russian server to get back online.

    Basically, U.S. citizens had to look for internet freedom in Russia because their architecture could not be supported in the U.S. — all because a government-integrated backbone of the internet made a political decision, likely at the behest of the IC.

    “If there is another pandemic, for example, and there’s a push for certain medical interventions or countermeasures that certain sites don’t go along with, the CloudFlare, absolutely, could be a weapon in that respect,” Benz says.

    “One of the things I found so troubling is that CISA, this DHS censorship agency, after the 2020 election set up a private sector liaison subcommittee for mis- and disinformation policies in the private sector. It was a seven-person subcommittee, with all of the top censorship experts at the University of Washington and Stanford.

    Vijaya Gadde, the former head of censorship at Twitter, was a part of this board. I thought it was very troubling that the CEO of CloudFlare was also one of the seven people on the DHS censorship board.”

    Major Challenges to a Decentralized Internet

    Benz continues:

    “To proceed to the various challenges to a decentralized internet, when you move up the stack of censorship … they can move up to cloud servers, to payment processors, and even to things like CloudFlare and your infrastructure protection.

    In the early era of censorship, there was a rebuttal by censorship advocates that if you don’t like what private sector companies are doing, start your own social media companies. Build your own Google, build your own YouTube, build your own Facebook, build your own Twitter.

    And then, what started to happen as censorship got completely insane, when it went from being troubling to disturbing, to saturating … you started to see these alternative social media platforms like Gab and Parler … that tried to escape the content moderation policies with Big Tech. But what started to happen is, those social media companies, like Parler, were completely destroyed.

    Parler was de-platformed from, basically, the entire internet, when the president had just moved there, after being kicked off Twitter. That was a very instructive moment, and one that censorship insiders have reflected on, I should say, many, times as a moment of, ‘Should we have done that? We did it, but it costs us a lot of political capital.’

    Parler was kicked off of Amazon Web Services. They were kicked off of all of the banks. They were banned from email providers. They could not hook to the internet, essentially, to even maintain the ability to post anything there. So, it went from build your own social media company to build your own bank.

    Now you need to build your own bank and get a banking license for the payment processors. You need to build your own email distribution. You need to build your own cloud servers.

    You need to build your own software service providers. And, eventually, are you going to need to lay your own subsea cables across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans? The social media companies didn’t invent the internet. They are superimposed on Pentagon infrastructure.”

    The House Needs to Defund the Censorship Industry

    Without doubt, there will be another crisis, whether it be another pandemic or war or something else, that will send the censorship machine into full gear yet again. Right now we’re in a lull, so this is the time to think ahead and get prepared. The question is, what can we do? How do we prepare and fight back?

    According to Benz, one of the most effective strategies that would have immediate effect, and could be done right now, would be to strip the censorship industry of its government funding. He explains:

    “Right now, there’s a Republican controlled House. The advantage of the House is that it controls appropriations, the purse strings of the federal government. If the House Appropriations Committee took seriously the government subsidization of censorship networks in the private sector, you could defund the speech police, even though, on the AI side, it only takes one good coder to be able to take out an entire political philosophy.

    The fact is, they can only do that job because of an army of social science folks across 45 different U.S. colleges and universities who get paid. There are tens of thousands of them who are paid through the National Science Foundation, through DARPA grants and State Department grants, to map communities online as a matter of social science, and then provide that to the computer scientist to censor it.

    My foundation, the Foundation for Freedom Online, has detailed $100 million, just in the past 18 months, that have gone from the federal government institutions directly into social media censorship insiders. Censorship is not an act anymore, it’s an industry, and you can cripple their capacity building.

    When you pump it full of money, you go from having a couple of people do it, to tens of thousands of people doing it. The censorship capacity is built on an infrastructure of an industry that relies on government to pay for it, and it relies on government to spearhead their penetration into the institutions.

    Right now, there are about eight different congressional committees trying to solve this problem from different aspects. I’ve personally briefed eight different congressional committees … But only a few of those committees are taking it seriously enough to pursue the issue deeply, and where that will shake out remains uncertain.

    CISA worked with dozens of social media companies and private sector cutouts to launder censorship from the government into the private sector, but the institution I worked with more than anyone was the University of Stanford, the Stanford Internet Observatory in particular.

    Jim Jordan’s Weaponization Subcommittee just subpoenaed Stanford for what I call the perfectly preserved First Amendment crime scene. Stanford meticulously kept logs of all of its censorship activities with government officials for the COVID-19 pandemic, and for two election cycles.

    They detailed 66 narratives that they censored online, having to do with everything about vaccines, efficacy of masks, opposition to lockdown mandates. And then, they had a fourth category for conspiracy theories, basically anything that someone said about the World Economic Forum, or Bill Gates.

    They’re now refusing to comply with that subpoena. But the stakes keep getting escalated, because who’s going to enforce that subpoena? Steve Bannon, regardless of your opinion of him, just got indicted for not complying with a subpoena, but is this Justice Department going to pursue criminal penalties against Stanford, for withholding congressional subpoena for their government?

    This is for their government, because they were the formal partners. They had a formal partnership with the DHS. That stuff should be FOIA-able, first of all. You shouldn’t even need a subpoena for it. The only reason you can’t FOIA it is because they laundered it through Stanford. Standord holds the records rather than DHS.

    I tried to FOIA that from DHS, and DHS says, ‘We don’t have it, even though they were our communications.’ So this is the way the CIA structures in an operation, through a web of cutouts and offshore banks, so you can never really get transparency. They’re now doing that for the censorship industry at home …

    Whether they will continue to raise the stakes is now a terrifying open issue. And the fact that it’s the inside guys who are running the censorship situation means there may be other tactics that need to be pursued here, which is why I talked about, simply, going to the appropriations committee and zeroing it out, so you don’t even need to enforce subpoenas, necessarily.”

    Building a Whole-of-Society Solution

    As explained by Benz, the censorship industry was built as a so-called whole-of-society effort. According to the DHS, misinformation online is a whole-of-society problem that requires a whole-of-society solution. By that, they meant that four types of institutions had to fuse together as a seamless whole. Those four categories and key functions are:

    Government institutions, which provide funding and coordination
    Private sector institutions that do the censorship and dedicate funds to censorship through corporate-social responsibility programs
    Civil society institutions (universities, NGOs, academia, foundations, nonprofits and activists) that do the research, the spying and collecting of data that are then given to the private sector to censor
    News media/fact checking institutions, which put pressure on institutions, platforms and businesses to comply with the censorship demands

    What the Foundation for Freedom Online is doing is educating people about this structure, and the ways in which legislatures and the government can be restructured, how civil society institutions can be established, and how news media can be created to support and promote freedom rather than censorship.

    To learn more, be sure to check out You can also follow his very active Twitter account Benz on Twitter. ‘

    Much food for thought.

  8. Joe Rogan: After what happened to your uncle …
    what happens to you?

    RFK Jnr: I’m not stupid. …
    I take precautions.

    [Video – 05:28]

  9. Scottish self-identification…

    Kirsty Blackman, SNP MP, Westminster Hall debate
    on the Equality Act, 12 June 2023.

    [Video – 00:42]

    Joanna Cherry’s reaction (she’s wearing specs
    and sitting behind Kirsty) is priceless…

  10. The Titan Tragedy [Titanic Folly]

    [Video – 20:44]

    No fifty-year old white guys…
    No voice-com ‘interruptions’…
    No testing to depth…
    No backup systems…
    No chance!!!

    • A very strange story. Was there a UK billionaire onboard? It wouldn’t be the first time tragedy hit those same waters due to money.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Repeat after me: “diversity is our strength”.

  11. Matthew E Panchisin says

    What a sad blog you run George and company.

    • At yet you read. And you comment! Not just once. Many times!!

      • George Michalopulos says

        Matthew, if I may address your concern. Gail & I would love to engage in happy talk but the works right now isn’t a happy place at present is it?

        Would you rather we bury our heads in the sand? Our hearts break because a lot of this unhappiness is because our government has done much to bring the world this sad state if affairs.

        Would that we could do more. But on Judgment Day, we’re all going to face our Creator and I for one don’t want to face Him knowing that we did nothing.

        We love our country but we can’t pretend that everything is hunky-dory.

        • Michael Bauman says

          The problem, George, with your approach is that it is ideologically based and all ideology is flawed. My priest, Fr. Paul O’Callaghan, gave a fantastic sermon on the short comings of ideology. It will be posted on the St George Wichita web site soon. It is frankly the best sermon on contemporary issues I have ever heard.
          It made makes me think deeply: basic problem, as the word suggests, is that all ideologies are ideas, human ideas At best they say nothing about the worship of The Incarnate Person of Jesus Christ and the consequences of that in the world.
          It is tough row to hoe as the simple path is to give into an ideology one likes for various reasons but judgement of human action on ideological grounds is dicey at best.
          The solution for me, is repentance. If I want to “make the world better” I must repent If I do, our Lord’s promise in Mt 4:17 is that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
          And as T.S Eliot had Thomas Beckett reply in murder in the Cathedral concerning his pending martyrdom: “To do the right deed for the wrong reason is surely the greatest treason.”
          Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner. That seems to be the Christian response. What actions flow from that……?

          • I’m glad you stated it this way.

          • Michael [channeling Eliot]: “To do the right deed
            for the wrong reason is surely the greatest treason.”

            What then is doing the wrong deed
            for the right reason?

            • Michael Bauman says

              Brendan, in the play, Beckett is being tempted to become a martyr to glorify himself rather than God. I would say doing the wrong deed in attempts to glorify God would be what you posit. Something like a suicide bomber? Catholics and Protestants in N. Ireland killing each other in God’s name? The Ecumenical Patriarch attempting to salvage the Patriarchy in Istanbul by succumbing to the pressures of the world by being worldly…
              Or something as simple as, for instance, telling a friend not to worry about venerating The Theotokos just to get them to come to Divine Liturgy with you.

              There are lots of such possibilities–on both sides of the coin. Following Jesus is the narrow way.

          • Michael,

            I’m at a loss as to what ideology you think George is touting. If any, it is sort of an American patriotism emerging from the Enlightenment. Now, I have long since walked away from that ideology myself but somehow I don’t think that that is what you’re referencing.

            I don’t see Orthodoxy or traditionalism as ideologies at all. A fundamentalist is simply someone who genuinely believes in his faith. MAGA, one could make the argument, is an ideology in the sense of 1776 patriotism. But that is not all that it is. Whatever its character, it also adopts a number of features of the old traditional perennial philosophy of kings: public largesse, traditional values, tariffs and fair trade, etc.

            Now, I agree it still owes too much to the Enlightenment. But it’s not a bad start. The alternative is to rally people around medieval monarchism in order to slay the dragon of Liberalism.

            God works in mysterious ways. No doubt He is with Mother Russia. And Trumpism is a step in the right direction.

            • I think Misha is making a fair criticism.

              When Jesus talked about “rendering unto Caesar,” he was talking about ideology. When he said “the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath,” he was talking ideology. “Ideology” means a system of ideas and ideals. Christianity, itself, is a system of ideas and ideals.

              You say the solution to everything FOR YOU is repentance and I liked the way you have phrased that because this your ideology. For others, it might mean a number of other things, as well as repentance.

              You ask, “Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner” seems to be the Christian response. What actions flow from that……?.

              Well, it depends. The wrong actions would be to interfere with the expression of the gifts God has given to others, i.e. wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord so we can be “wise as serpents and gentle was doves,” to which the blog was created.

              • There is a pre-Constantinian, pacifist, apolitical contingent within Christianity. However, it is not really a strand of Orthodoxy but owes more to heterodoxy. One thinks of the Baptists who coined the “separation of church and state”.

                “Render unto Caesar . . .” has a slightly more mundane origin. The question was a trap designed to corner Christ into opposition to paying Roman taxes. He slyly evaded the trap by pointing out that Caesar’s image was on the currency and thus it belonged to him. This was never construed as being a separation of church and state until much, much later.

                Orthodoxy works with power and sometimes is the power itself. The fact that Christianity started off as a movement under Roman occupation does not mean that believers wrote off the entire Old Testament witness regarding political matters. When the Church came out of the catacombs and eventually assumed power, it did so without reservations as to its legitimacy as the standard of morality in the empire.

                • Yes, all true. Very perceptive. (Especially liked: “Orthodoxy works with power and sometimes is the power itself.”)