Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby AhabsOtherLeg » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:20 pm

Hugh Manatee Wins wrote:You get some nutrition from UK psyops mogul, Philip M. Taylor. Definitely read all you can.
But it is sanitized.
A useful Psyops 101 not to be taken as definitive.

BUT. Note that his book are all on military psyops.

I should've added all these same caveats to my recommendation of Frank Kitson's books. It is tame stuff by modern standards. He doesn't tell the truth about what he actually did, merely gives a prototype instruction manual for many of the more developed military psyop strategies that have followed. What his work and his theories actually resulted in on the ground was not strictly psyops either - more along the lines of Dan Mittrione's later methodologies, which used widescale horrific torture and mutilation as a "warning" to the rest of the population.

Some of the results of Kitson's early "African adventures" have recently been released to the public, and can be found out about in a mild form here:

Captured Mau Mau insurgents behind bars at a detention camp operated by UK colonial authorities. Photograph: George Rodger/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Kenyans sue UK for alleged colonial human rights abuses

Mau Mau insurgents who survived labour camps bring case using files withheld for decades by Foreign Office

Highly embarrassing colonial-era files detailing the British army's repressive tactics against Mau Mau insurgents in Kenya during the 1950s will be revealed in a landmark compensation case.

The discovery of thousands of documents withheld for decades from the Kenyan government will raise awkward questions about the Foreign Office's attempt to deny liability for the allegedly systematic mistreatment of thousands of Kikuyu victims prior to independence.

The case, brought by four survivors of the notorious detention camps operated by the colonial authorities could also set a precedent by forcing the release of files relating to other colonies once controlled by the UK.

During the so-called "Emergency", detainees were subjected to arbitrary killings, castrations, sexual abuse, forced labour, starvation and violence from camp guards, lawyers for the detainees will argue in the high court on Thursday.

Among those detained and abused was Barack Obama's grandfather. ... hts-abuses

Circa 160,000 interred and killed, apparently, and this not very long after the shock of the camps in Europe having been revealed to the world, with everyone swearing such things could never happen again... it happened not all that long after the Nuremberg Trials had concluded in fact.

Kitson doesn't go into all this. But he built a large part of the architecture that allowed it to happen, and that covered it over afterwards.
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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:31 am

The Federation of American Scientists tries to carry links to US Military psyops materials.
Must read to make sense of how the doctrines are deployed domestically-

GTA 33-01-001
November, 2005

Analyze the Higher HQ Order
Perform Initial Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB)
Determine Specified, Implied, and Essential Tasks
Review Available Assets Determine Constraints
Identify Critical Facts and Assumptions
Perform Risk Assessment
Determine Initial CCIR and Essential Elements of Friendly Information (EEFI) Determine the Initial Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Update the Operational Timeline
Write the Restated Mission
Deliver a Mission Analysis Briefing
Approve the Restated Mission
Develop the Initial Commander’s Intent
Issue the Commander’s Planning Guidance
Issue a WARNO
Review Facts and Assumptions

GTA 33-01-001
The PSYOP process is a systematic and continuous method. The PSYOP process includes the elements of planning, analyzing, synchronizing, developing, designing, producing, distributing, disseminating, managing, and evaluating PSYOP products and actions presented to selected target audiences (TAs). The Psychological Operations task force (POTF) or Psychological Operations support element (PSE) HQ and each detachment or team within the Psychological Operations development center (PDC) or tactical Psychological Operations development detachment (TPDD) has specific tasks and responsibilities to complete throughout this process. They complement each other and are mutually coordinated and supportive.
The missions of the POTF, PSE, PDC, and TPDD during PSYOP development are mutually supportive and require continuous coordination. For example, the G-1 or S-1 produces attachment orders that ensure appropriate manning of the POTF. The POTF or PSE G-2 or S-2 submits intelligence requests (information requirement [IRs] and PIR), monitors intelligence reports, gathers PSYOP-relevant information, and searches all available means to collect impact indicators. The G-2 or S-2 supports the target audience analysis process (TAAP) and assists in the evaluation process. The POTF or PSE G-3 or S-3 coordinates and tracks aspects of production, distribution, and dissemination of products and actions. The G-3 or S-3 coordinates and synchronizes the assets needed to ensure a cohesive PSYOP effort. The G-4 or S-4 obtains the assets needed to produce products. The SSD supports the PSYOP development process by providing expert analysis, and advises the commander and the PDC on TAs and the AO. The PDC and TPDD plan, develop, design, and obtain approval of programs.
The PSYOP process encompasses the seven phases shown on page 13. Certain components of the seven phases are accomplished concurrently. The PSYOP process must be applied in its entirety to all products.
CIA runs mainstream media since WWII:
news rooms, movies/TV, publishing
Disney is CIA for kidz!
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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:32 am

"The PSYOP process must be applied in its entirety to all products."

...and that means you, bub.....heh....
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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby semper occultus » Fri May 04, 2012 1:23 pm

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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby AhabsOtherLeg » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:45 pm

RAND Corporation is simply terrifying, in everything it does. They had some weird project a while back to develop a system that could reliably calculate infinity or something, in order to literally make order out of chaos. Stopped following what they were up to at that point, out of abject terror. No doubt they have a non-Euclidean geometry department.
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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby semper occultus » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:34 pm

Interdoc: Full Story With Pics

By Giles Scott-Smith

On the evening of Monday 3 December the book launch for Interdoc: Een geheim netwerk in de koude oorlog was held at Cafe Juliana’s on the Plaats in the centre of The Hague. The event was packed with a mixture of Cold War types and curious students, and various categories in between. Sybrand van Hulst (chief BVD-AIVD 1997-2007) gave the keynote speech, linking the causes and motivation that led to Interdoc’s formation with the current interests of the AIVD today. The English version of the book, published by Palgrave, will appear on 7 December.


But what was Interdoc?

In my introductory speech I mentioned two principal issue which make Interdoc still interesting today. Firstly, the realisation that purely negative propaganda is ultimately a self-defeating way to attack your opponent (there are some lessons here for current-day US politics, but I’ll leave those aside for now). The mix of intelligence types and intellectuals that went into Interdoc’s eventual formation in 1963 were aware that Western anti-communism, to be successful, had to address the motivations and drive of the communist adversary, otherwise they would not succeed – or, even worse, in some ways the communists could make special claims to terms such as ‘equality’ and ‘justice’, if not still in Europe then definitely in decolonising Africa and Asia. Interdoc was all about trying to develop a positive anti-communism, and that required some self-examination – who are we, what do we stand for, and what message do we want to give?

Secondly, the internationalisation of the Cold War. Interdoc was based on the belief that without better coordination (of message, distribution, planning) the Western anti-communist effort would remain weak and contradictory, if not self-defeating. Its not easy for intelligence types to cooperate, but they really tried, and there are continuing lessons to be learned from that effort: what should the relationship between security services and society be in practice? Who decides who are acceptable partners and who not? And the big one – Do the ends justify the means?

In short, for anyone interested in how the intelligence services, transnational anticommunist networks, the Dutch royal house, and Shell came together to try and win the Cold War, you might like this……….


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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:40 pm

fruhmenschen » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:04 am wrote:Highly recommend THE BLANK SPOTS excellent read about missing geography in maps

Yes! A highlight of my reading binge, that. I have actually picked up 5 copies this year (used is cheap!) and given them to older folks and family, along with Jarecki's "The American Way of War" -- I think those two books are so well-considered, interesting and deliberately paced, they stand as powerful gateway drugs to thinking about the real world. (Also, Jarecki is a local so people always appreciate that angle here.)

Everything Trevor Paglen has done is pretty fascinating. Especially that book of badges from covert ops.


Which you can get on eBay in 2013:


Paglen Interviews:

Via: ... paglen.php

Isn't all this government secrecy a bit disheartening sometimes? It seems to have no boundaries nor end, it even appears to keep on growing. Do you ever feel like it's time to close the chapter and dedicate your time to a subject that is easier to circumvent? What keeps you going?

Nothing is particularly easy to understand. People have tried for thousands of years to understand flowers.

In my case the question is about secrecy and i'm interested in the aesthetics of it as much as i'm interested in politics. How does the State look like now? And looking at secrecy is part of who we are now.


Both Limit Telephotography and The Other Night Sky have received wide coverage in the press. Did this attention to 'the black world' have some consequence in the access you had to information?

It's easier now! People get in touch with me because they've heard of who i am and because of that too, it's easier to stay out of trouble.

We have this idea that secrecy is this perfectly oiled machine but the secrecy system is not all that organized. Also we imagine that there is one single brain orchestrating secrecy behind the whole State but this is not the case. Lots of things are contradicting each other. The secrecy system is internally inconsistent but also incoherent.

Who contacts you exactly? People from the military?

Yes, but i'd rather not go into details about who they are.

But now that your books and photos have put the spotlight on what should not be revealed, have you ever heard of bases that had to be closed or covert activities that had to be re-scheduled because of the attention you brought to them?

Yes! A lot of the infrastructure of the rendition program had to be modified because of the way journalists, human right activists and researchers have turned it into a political issue and made it public. But now we have the drone assassination programs which are a kind of version 3.0. of the rendition program.

What should the Black World matter to us beyond the anecdote and the fascination for the hidden? Why should we fear? We are not terrorists after all...

Well, I can only talk from an American perspective. The Black World is a State that is inside the State and it works differently. It's monarchic in the sense that it's not a democracy. It is run by generals and ultimately by the President. There's very little overview of it by other parts of the government and obviously by the people. It has a tendency to change everything around it to its own image.

For example, if you want to build a secret plane then you need first a secret factory to build it. Thousands of workers and managers will be working in that plane factory, they have to swear secrecy and you have to ensure that they will indeed keep the secret. That means that social engineering will also have to be organized. All this will require a lot of money which you obviously can't get from the congress. So you have to find ways to fund your project without ever telling anyone how you're going to use that money. Once you have the planes, you need a secret airbase. But how do you create a place on the surface of the Earth that will remain secret? So you build that place and claim that it doesn't exist. Everything you do is outside of the court system so you also need to set up new laws which are actually not even laws since they haven't been voted by the congress. So you start to create your own laws and legislation. Over time, the rest of the State starts to look more and more like the secret part of the State. It's that structural organization that people should be concerned about, because illegal things are bound to happen where there is no oversight. That's what happened with the rendition flights and torture program and recently with the drone assassination program.

Via: ... or-paglen/

SC: The notion of seeing remains consistent in your work. As you mentioned before, this idea can be explored through the use of photography or by referencing specific moments of art history, when considering how other artists have seen the world and then represented that view in their work. Beyond these methods, much of your work is also investigating technology that is designed to see us, but not be seen. I find it interesting that the main way you shed light on these objects is to track and photograph them yourself, further reinforcing the idea of seeing. It seems that you are actively engaged in watching that which watches us. How do you feel about this cyclical processes?

TP: I think that there is a little bit of any irony in the act of “watching the people who are watching you” here for sure, and it’s certainly something that I’ve developed into a sub-theme quite explicitly in some works. But overall, I don’t think that particular dynamic is something I’m categorically interested in. That reading seems to emphasize the “surveillance” aspect of the work too much, and I’m actually not particularly interested in surveillance, per se. But it does point towards something that I am interested in, something I call “entangled photography” or “relational photography” – what I mean by this is thinking about photography beyond photographs. What happens if we start thinking about the practice of photography as embodying the critical moment in the work? In other words, what if the “fact” of photographing something is the essential critical point of a work? I started thinking about this a while ago when I was photographing secret military bases and CIA prisons – for me, a crucial part of those projects is not always what the images look like so much as the politics of producing them.

Via: ... n-conveyor

CL: You often hike to remote places to capture military spy satellites in the night sky; I imagine it’s quite contemplative. How does the dichotomy between the romanticism of the night sky and the fact that you are looking for secret military satellites toy with your cosmic perspective? And does this type of seeing inform other areas of your practice?

TP: I spend a huge amount of time in very isolated places and there is a certain way of seeing that is very different than how you might see things in a place like New York City. You become attuned to things in the sky that you can’t see in the city. For example, I might notice that Jupiter is rising a littler earlier today than it was yesterday.

There is a certain sensitivity that you develop when working in those kinds of places, and it is not actually that different from the way of seeing that informs some of my other work. For example, right now I am sifting through thousands of documents related to the CIA, searching through this huge amount of material. Identifying what is actually interesting is not that dissimilar from recognizing a spy satellite among millions of other particles of light in the night sky. In both cases, the material being sought after is visible in plain sight—it just involves a particular kind of paying attention.
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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby cptmarginal » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:49 am

My favorite from that book, though there are so many bizarre & frankly sinister patches in there to choose from:


I thought that Blank Spots on the Map was particularly perceptive in devoting space to the importance of secret Army units such as "Yellow Fruit" in their roles as de facto intelligence players. The CIA is a major scapegoat, among other things.

A search for "yellow fruit" duncan turns up all sorts of news articles from the eighties that may be worth looking at: ... all&src=pm ... money.html ... ack-budget ... _army-unit

This PDF of a contemporary document (from a dot mil URL) seems pretty interesting too:

The Dilemma of Covert Action
The new way of thinking is precisely delineated by what it is not.
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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby semper occultus » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:04 am

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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby semper occultus » Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:53 pm

Information Warfare : What is it and how to win it ... Report.pdf
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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby semper occultus » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:55 pm

...flagging these up as they have managed to accumulate a mighty 1 & 1 Amazon reviews...


"The Propaganda Society" analyzes the rapid expansion of propaganda and promotional activities in the leading post-industrial states under the regime of neoliberalism. With the outsourcing of manufacturing, these states have converted to service, selling, and speculative economies, with a concurrent rapid growth of advertising, marketing, public relations, sales management, branding, and other promotional enterprises. Aided by digital technologies and the removal - deregulation - of political, legal, administrative, and moral barriers to state and corporate expansion on a global scale, a group of dominant political and commercial actors have brought about a common discourse and convergent set of practices rooted in sophisticated and unprecedented levels of propaganda and promotion. Written by leading scholars in the field, each of the eighteen chapters in this book discuss the ways in which elite uses of propaganda have radically transformed media and information systems, political and public culture, the conduct of war and foreign relations, and the overall behavior of the state.

1. Introduction: The Propaganda Society 1
Gerald Sussman

2. Advertising and the Genius of Commercial Propaganda 27
Robert W. McChesney, Inger L. Stole, John Bellamy Foster,
& Hannah Holleman

3. Branded Entertainment and the New Media Economy 45
Doris Baltruschat

4. “Very High Art”: The Cultural Enhancement of 61
Product Promotion in “Making-of” Videos about
Advertising Campaigns
Matthew P. McAllister

5. Net Worth: Popular Social Networks as 77
Colossal Marketing Machines
Tim Dwyer

6. The Regime of Propaganda in a Neoliberal State: 93
Berlusconi and the Italian Media
Massimo Ragnedda & Glenn W. Muschert


7. Corporate Discourse on Climate Change 113
Sharon Beder

8. Cause Marketing as Commercial Propaganda: 130
Neoliberal Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?
Inger L. Stole

9. Celebrity Philanthropy: In the Service of
Corporate Propaganda 145
Michael Barker

10. Pornography as Propaganda 159
Robert Jensen


11. War Correspondents, the Military, and Propaganda: 179
Some Critical Reflections
Douglas Kellner

12. Legitimizing Versus Delegitimizing Elections: 193
Honduras and Iran
Edward Herman & David Peterson

13. The New Rhetoric of the Global War on Terrorism 213
Lee Artz

14. International Public Relations: Neoliberal Fixer 229
and Diplomat Without Portfolio
Sue Curry Jansen

15. Promotion, Propaganda, and High Finance 251
Aeron Davis

16. Covering Workers: News Media, Labor, and the 267
2008 Economic Crisis
James F. Tracy

17. Telling It Like It Is: The Focus Group as an 283
Ideological Weapon
Dominic Wring

18. Direct from the Source: Canada’s Integrated System 297
of State Propaganda
Patricia Mazepa


Branding Democracy: U.S. Regime Change in Post-Soviet Eastern Europe is a study of the uses of systemic propaganda in U.S. foreign policy. Moving beyond traditional understandings of propaganda, Branding Democracy analyzes the expanding and ubiquitous uses of domestic public persuasion under a neoliberal regime and an informational mode of development and its migration to the arena of foreign policy. A highly mobile and flexible corporate-dominated new informational economy is the foundation of intensified Western marketing and promotional culture across spatial and temporal divides, enabling transnational interests to integrate territories previously beyond their reach. U.S. «democracy promotion» and interventions in the Eastern European «color revolutions» in the early twenty-first century serve as studies of neoliberal state interests in action. Branding Democracy will be of interest to students of U.S. and European politics, political economy, foreign policy, political communication, American studies, and culture studies.

Promotional Culture 3
The Neoliberal Ordering of Society 5
Understanding Propaganda 9
The Political and Economic Foundations of Propaganda 12
The Professionalization of Politics 16
Propaganda in Domestic Policy 19
Propaganda in the Service of Foreign Policy 22
Marketing the State 25

The Containment of Socialism 34
Political Warfare 38
Post-War Interventionism 40
The Creation of NED 43
Democracy Incorporated 45
W’s Dubious Democracy Credentials 49
The Propaganda of Democracy Promotion 54
Constructing “Transition” 59

From Transition to Transnationalism 67
The Administration of Propaganda 71
The Machinery of Foreign Policy Propaganda 74
The Regime Change Bureaucracy: 77
National Endowment for Democracy 81
International Republican Institute 84
National Democratic Institute 88
Freedom House 94
The Public Diplomacy Forces 97
Philanthropic Interventions 102
The Mainstream Media and Democracy Promotion 104
Other Democracy Assistance Groups 107
European Democracy Promotion 109
The German Democracy Foundations 110
Britain’s Westminster Foundation for Democracy 115
Other European Democracy Promotion Foundations 116

The Polish Corridor 126
U.S.-Central European Linkages 131
Russia: Americans to the Rescue 135
The Template “Revolutions” 139
Bulldozing Milošević from Power 140
Georgia: Taking the “Color Revolution” on the Road 147
The “Orange Revolution” 155
NGOs and Social Movements as Regime Change Agents 163
Template Politics Beyond Europe 171

Revolution as a Marketing Device 181
The Meaning of Democracy 185
A Democracy Index 189
References 195
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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby Grizzly » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:10 pm

If Barthes can forgive me, “What the public wants is the image of passion Justice, not passion Justice itself.”
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Re: Towards a Psychological Operations Reading List

Postby Joao » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:05 pm

Ran across the name Barton Whaley today and was somewhat surprised his work hasn't been discussed on this board (mentioned only once, by HMW of course, in a bibliographical footnote).

Standard disclaimers apply: Looks very interesting but I've just begun to review; He's a MIC pig and no endorsement is made.

Barton Whaley, a specialist in deception analysis, earned a Ph.D. in political science from M.I.T. in 1969. His dissertation, later published as Codeword Barbarossa, was the first application of the analysis of competing hypotheses (ACH) method to unmask the secret deception operation underlying a major surprise attack. He has been called one of the world’s preeminent military-political deception theorists since 1969. Dr. Whaley was also a student of magic as deception and has published an award-winning reference book and biographies on that subject. Dr. Whaley was a visiting professor in the Defense Analysis Department at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, teaching deception, the detection of deception, and intelligence analysis. His book, Stratagem: Deception and Surprise in War, is arguably the most cited work on the subject of military deception. He passed away in 2013.

ImageStratagem: Deception and Surprise in War
Barton Whaley
Originally published 1967; reprinted 2007
ISBN: 9781596931985

Out-of-print and out of the hands of military professionals for years, Artech House answers the demand and brings you the 2007 reprint of the sought-after, classic work, Stratagem: Deception and Surprise in War. This timeless and widely cited volume offers you a model and template of how to study and analyze deception operations. You get an historical analysis of deception and surprise, over 100 real-world case studies, and a set of methods that underlie and pervade the entire book. This unique resource takes a broad and deep look at surprise operations, presenting intriguing questions and hypotheses about the possible causes of surprise, including deception. Thoroughly referenced and supported with clear data tables, the case studies concentrate on the goals, planning, expectations, security, leaks, warnings, intelligence assessments, and final results.

ImageThe Art and Science of Military Deception
Hy Rothstein (Editor), Barton Whaley (Editor)
Published 2013
ISBN: 9781608075515

It is said that deception among people in a civilized society is something to be loathed even though it seems to be part of human nature, but deception in war is a virtue. Properly designed and executed, stratagems reduce the horrific costs of war. This book is a comprehensive collection of classic articles on deception, hand-picked and expertly introduced by well-known experts on military deception. The purpose of this book is to set in motion a renaissance for using deception as an instrument of statecraft. The various sections are designed to cumulatively provide sufficient breadth and depth on the subject to satisfy both the novice as well as the expert. Packed with expert commentary, interesting background information, and original readings, this book provides the reader with sufficient knowledge to pursue General Eisenhower's vision for the proper role of deception in support of the national interest.

They're expensive ($100+) books but I heard a rumor that electronic versions are available at Library Genesis, which can be found with a g**gle search.

Edit: I tried to upload PDFs of the Tables of Contents, both directly to this post and to scribd. The files were disallowed by both sites. Interested parties will have to fend for themselves.
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