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Exposing the 5th Column

The 5th Column uses what the KGB termed active measures (influence operations) as part of political warfare

Exposing the 5th Column

Exposing the 5th Column

By: Pastor Matt Shea

“Any group of people who undermine a larger group or nation from within, usually in favor of an enemy group or another nation.” These are people who infiltrate positions of trust and influence.

Characteristics of 5th Column Agents:

  1. Create confusion of terms & language;
  2. Sew fear, rumor, & distrust of traditionally solid institutions & ideas (i.e. Church, Patriotism, Nationalism);
  3. Undermine typically wise & grounded counsel;
  4. Plant disinformation (false statements) to muddy the water of debate resulting in public indecision;
  5. Attack those who most effectively oppose them and the false narrative, the objective being political paralysis;
  6. Foment division in otherwise strong groups and organizations;
  7. Demoralize constantly those who would stand against them by emphasizing defeats and the impossibility of victory; and
  8. Claim to have “special knowledge” of the “real” intent and motivations of leaders (the leaders they are afraid will expose them & their plans) in order to isolate and destroy them with the goal of instilling a state of panic in the public mind.

The 5th Column uses what the KGB termed active measures (influence operations) as part of political warfare. These influence operations are aimed at winning the battle of narratives and ideas in the public mind.

Here is an example of #8 from @JMichaelWaller in the context of publicly ‘diagnosing’ someone “with no medical professionals, followed by ritual denunciation, social ostracism, and professional or personal destruction.

The routine goes like this: Someone expresses facts or fact-based opinions that extremists seek to silence. A small group of extremists then targets the offending person or persons. Agents of influence for the extremists, and their front groups and fellow travelers, magnify the allegations to create an echo-chamber effect. Like a medieval witch trial, real evidence is unnecessary for the prosecution and unwelcome from the defense.

The ritual denunciation spreads like a virus. Soon, public figures and news organizations mainstream the allegations as known fact. Follow-on reporters isolate the target further, Saul Alinsky-style, peeling off friends and allies by pressuring them to recant opinions, sever connections, and even renounce friendships. The diagnosed target, not having accepted his cure, is then stripped of credibility, his allies, and even the means to make a living.”