Confessions of a Stratcom Hitman (Paul Erasmus):
“In 1981, the bloodthirsty madness was was an exercise costing about R1 million a day. Even ‘psych ops’ – the propaganda effort at the time – could not offset the exigencies of that. The reality is that the three decades ago, the regime spent a million bucks a day on promoting death and torture to prop up an Afrikaner elite, although at the time we didn’t see it like that at all.”
Paul Erasmus’s account, & the content of this book, provide one of the most incriminating & revealing revelations on the dangers & abuse of intelligence agencies & “security measures”, along with the kind of shadowy subhuman putridity that control & exploit them for their own perverse & ulterior special interests.
It will be hard to rival.
Erasmus was himself a member of the heinously infamous, apartheid South African Security Branch & STRATCOM, a lawless “security agency” that murdered, maimed, terrorised & ran relentless & ethically abhorrent “black bag operations” along with hysterically immoral disinformation & propaganda campaigns.
So his perspective & insight is extraordinary.
“We were inspired by the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), which ran from the mid-1950s to 1971 when the US government cracked down on it. Its psychological warfare consisted of all our favourite SB techniques: smears; surveillance infiltration, planting fake materials; demonising and using the media to serve our interests; and creating mayhem inside enemy organisations so that they collapsed.”
But the depravity, extremism & replete criminality went even further, & was carefully nurtured by the organisation’s authorities & culture.
“The deviousness and toxicity of the place were intense, it was a form of mind control. It was power.”
Heavily indoctrinated & pressured to conform to force group think, even after rigorous vetting conditions, expectations & dogma was drummed into them repeatedly at hysterical lectures, gatherings & personal chats with senior officials –
“’Duty to one’s country is one’s anchor in life’. Patriotism and love of our mother country is our strength.’ He instructed us with tear-filled conviction, that’ the implementation of apartheid was our only salvation”. The essence of the struggle was ‘moral preparedness’ he said, and the will to wage war against ‘satanic and demonic communism’.”
& so Paul began working for “one of the most dreaded information gathering machines in the world”
“SB suspects were normally brought in and held under particular security legislation, such as the Internal Security Act, the Riotous Assemblies Act, the Terrorism Act, the Suppression of Communism Act, and other weapons in the apartheid statutory armoury. These were aside from the common-law crimes such as treason, sedition and murder.”
Psych-ops, intimidation & terrorising, harassment & “putting pressure” on suspects or targets – “could and would happen beyond the confines of the law – an aspect of our job that was not only tolerated but encouraged”. This would entail activities such as – “ordering unwanted supplies to suspects, killing their pets, tossing bricks through their windows and vandalising their cars – all relatively straightforward compared to what was yet to develop,”.
“How this was achieved, even if it included our own acts of terror against them, was merely a second consideration.”
The “neo-Nazi” – “Little Hitler” – a psychotic Colonel that was Erasmus’s superior – required him to go further with one female journalist, June Goodwin, of the Christian Science Monitor; “The fucking bitch. You don’t kill her. You maim her. Break her fucking legs! She must suffer. You understand?”
“Tossing stones through windows, emptying bags of paint over cars, breaking and entering to destabilise activists, calling them at all hours – this was the stuff to which I had been privy to until then. Smashing a woman’s body on the instructions of a drunk and narcissistic policeman – not matter what his rank, was something new for me, at least at that point.”
torture & even murder in detention was a staple –
“This sounds professional, within the bounds of the secret service – at the very least, straight forward – but this would be far from the truth. If there was a location that could serve as a backdrop for a horror movie, the tenth floor was it. In my sixties now, I am still triggered by the memory of it, and I wasn’t even a victim, taken there against my will to be tortured.”
Erasmus goes on to detail the group torturing of a captured “17 or 18 years old” SWAPO youth –
“By tea time, the beatings hadn’t yielded any success, so we resorted to the use of “Radio Moscow”, a generator from an old-style telephone that produced an electric current by two wires placed strategically on the body. This form of interrogation was used widely in South Africa by SAP detectives and the SB to extract confessions of gather information. “Radio Moscow” back in Johannisberg, I would allow the electrodes to just touch the skin, while a colleague spun the handle to produce the current. This usually produced the desired effect but without the telltale marks.”
“The SB had staff devoted entirely to damaging journalists at all possible levels.”
“The Beyers Naude situation came to a head on 19 October 1977 – a day popularly known as Black Wednesday among opponents of the state – when the Christian Institute was banned, along with 17 other organisations, along with The World newspaper, under ruthless security legislation.”
Nothing seemed off limits at all. Equally as disturbing was the scale of fascism, racism, ethno-supremacy, far-right colonialist ardour, neo-Nazi sentiment, hyper bigotry (at odds with the fact that so many of the command where secretive homosexuals) that was the life-blood & driving proponent of the outfit, particularly among the higher echelons.
“I once drew a file on the Broaderbond, the secret Afrikaner brotherhood that had dominated the upper strata of South African life since 1948. It was a significant factor in securing the positions of the fascist elite, who clung on even after 1994. There is still a brotherhood, but it is no longer a secret.”
“The AWB [Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, an Afrikaner nationalist, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist political party] was a prime example of police involvement in far-right activity. It’s leader, Eugene Terre’Blanche, was an former policeman, as was the bulk of the organisations elite.”
“ – there was no sphere more important to it than the SAP, yet they allowed it to spread for eight years. It’s entrenchment in the force was almost so profound that it would be almost impossible to uproot it.”
In a portent demonstration of things to come, Israel is deeply enmeshed & invested in this perverse abomination.
“ – Israel being a great friend of the apartheid state. Israeli interests in South Africa were considered sacrosanct.”
It is a seemingly bizarre paradox, as rampant anti-Jewish racism & potent & classic “antisemitism” are also deeply ingrained & flourishing in the festering ideology & culture enshrouding the organisation & its various appendages.
Does this not sound familiar?
From Stephen Miller, to Rupert Murdoch, to Roy Cohn, this horrific & contradictory dual-venom & unnatural alliance of opposing enmities united in some kind of “mutual fuck-up” or shared anathema.
There is, strangely, no Israel or Zionism entry in the book’s otherwise excellent appendix.
Why is that?
It crops up within a few times, with crucial but often terse analysis from the author.
Even stranger, the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organisation), are actually given a one-page admission in the appendix.
Israel was heavily, heavily supportive of apartheid South Africa until the bitter end, even preparing to provide assistance & materials to the regime to acquire nuclear weapons development.
It does not get enough attention & research, & it does not even get an attribution in the appendix either.
“At times we wondered what the point was in watching activists’ houses. Phone tapping and mail interception offered a far more accurate picture of their activities, and of course we all enjoyed the searches. That was addictive – and it gave us some sense of power.”
“It made far more sense for the government to propagandise that the crowds we were facing were just savage, stupid black people who wanted to help the USSR steal our land – white people’s land – our gold and our oranges and turn our churches into badminton courts.”
who else should be closely entwined in this rancid, repellent, unimaginable criminal menace? The United Kingdom & Conservative Party’s notorious social-terrorism-cell – The Monday Club.
Featuring on four separate pages, this excrescent faecal offence can be seen gushing with approval & closely aligned & supportive to the worst of the racist apartheid colonialism. Lobbying Margaret Thatcher’s already tacitly supportive government for further interventionist ardour.
Entirely secretive, publicly denied & para-legal operations & even units were also active. This would include Operations Omega, Wigwam, Machiavelli, Jackal & many others.
On discovery or detection, they were instructed that “It’s activities, and even the use of its name, were to cease with immediate effect. His argument was, ‘no name, no blame’. Give it a name, he said, and our enemies would be able to investigate it.”
The now typical criminal rampaging, augmented by new security legislation, could continue –
“There were two types of Stratcom: ‘soft’, which refereed to non-physical, propaganda-type activities, and ‘hard’, which could involve murder, assassination, sabotage, breaking and entering, theft, planting of evidence, blackmail and subversion [the Rupert Murdoch playbook] – all in the name of the national interest, of course.”
Once again, Israel is on side to provide inspiration with its highly controversial Operation Democles.
“ – the frustration, the fury, the demoralisation, and, in turn, led to even more brutality. Essentially, it meant that we were failing – at our jobs, and in our lives. It fed the sadism. It gave us impetus to maim or torture. Of course, we knew we were pawns, cogs, cannon fodder, but the only way we felt we could out-muscle our own futility was to do worse and ever more terrible things – and try to get noticed.”
“So it was with some of my other colleagues. Some of them killed people. Others shot themselves. Others taught civilians to shoot other civilians.”
“Like me and many others in the SB, he [ex-Stratcom suicide victim] had reached saturation point, unable to contain in himself the numerous crimes and cruelties that we perpetrated on behalf of apartheid.”
This massively damaging & uniquely dangerous far-right, fascist, ultra-libertarian, authoritarian & dictatorial, nihilist & devotedly plutocratic cancer thrives in the margins, with the likes of Italy’s P2 Lodge conspiracy, Golden Dawn in Greece, David & Charles Koch & their Cato Institute, & of course, the Murdoch menace (remember Southern Investigations?). Through a sprawl of terrorist operatives & global criminal divisions disguised as “think tanks”, this obscenity continues to operate, infect, destroy & destabilise.
The decay from this unthwarted pox has become so acute, that the world is now at a critical point.
The inner-machinations & resulting extremities of such malignant forces are adeptly covered in this shocking book.
As the blurb on the books back admonishes –
“At a time of fake news, of populism and misinformation, of privateers in the state security system [Palantir/Peter Thiel] and of state capture by the governing party, this book could not be more urgent or apt. It is a disturbing and furious attempt to explain Erasmus’s own depravity and that of his colleagues, bosses and governments operating under the Stratcom project. Erasmus frames thing the tyranny of the racist, banal and idealogical state during apartheid.”
It is also worth mentioning the abuse, hijacking & exploitation of sordid & secretive government divisions by business/corporate interests or actors under the pretext of “security”.
The shameful & surreptitious Spy Cops, “Raped by the State”, Special Demonstrations Squad (SDS) & National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) criminal scandal that is still running through the courts in Britain is one of the best examples of this monstrously nefarious malpractice & misuse (read Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police). Whole divisions of the state are effectively loaned out, suborned, or directly created for the use of private companies & pluto/corporate interests under extremely opaque, confidential & specialist conditions & specialised legal framework.
It is truly one of the ultimate abuses of power & a profound & ongoing threat.
In terms of the British Project, of Brexit, of the current mega mutation of the Cancervative Party, of the likes of the European Research Group, & of prominent tumours of exponentially despicable disposition such as Priti “Lady Haw-Haw” Patel, Suella Braverman, Jacob Crease-Flogged & Liz Truss; this book has an alarming yet familiar aura.
Modern, post-Brexit “failed state” Britain is firmly in the grip of the same sick, deranged & criminally insane forces & intensive misrule.
The parameters & physiology differ, but it is the exact same diabolic ideology.
This book is absolutely critical right now. Across the world & from a dozen directions, here is how the calamity thrives, & then to, how it can die.
Read it now.
Paul Erasmus, Jacana Media, 2021, 255 pages