Follow the Money (FTM,) a Dutch investigative website, has published an extensive profile of John Laughland, a leader in the Dutch national conservative party, the FvD. According to the FTM article summary, Laughland is judged to fit the model of a KGB “Enabler:” [Translated from Dutch using DeepL]
October 29, 2022 ‘Putin’s agent’, ‘important thinker of our time’, ‘party ideologue’. Several stamps have now been left on the British John Laughland: the new leader of Forum for Democracy International. But who is this conservative who has been arguing for years for less EU, less NATO and more nation state? And what ties does he have with Russia? We followed his tracks and ended up with the time-honoured strategies of the KGB.
Why this article?
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the financial flows to and from Russia have been viewed more critically. This also applies to outspoken pro-Russian and anti-democratic views that are often expressed online and on social media. Although source, purpose and funding are often unclear, there is evidence that the Russian state is spreading pro-Russian, anti-EU and anti-democratic positions through institutions affiliated with them, with the aim of sowing division in Western countries and increasing Russian influence.
This is what the article is about:
- The research shows that Laughland fits exactly into the method with which the KGB already recruited ‘enablers’: people who are not active agents, but who spread pro-Russian information through their views and publications.
- In the beginning of his career, the Briton wrote for The Guardian and other renowned media, nowadays he performs in Russian media and is a guest lecturer at the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) in Budapest. In 1997 he published The Tainted Source, one of his most influential books.
- Laughland is in an international conservative network that has direct ties to pro-Kremlin ideologues.
- Thierry Baudet praises Laughland as ‘one of the greatest thinkers’. Laughland has long been regarded as a party ideologue of Forum for Democracy and was appointed director of the international branch of this party in the summer of 2022: Forum for Democracy International.
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In September, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that Laughland spoke at the opening of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) in Budapest, where he is currently a guest lecturer. In a GIOR report on the National Conservatism Alliance, the MCC was identified as a Hungarian education facility associated with the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Russia’s closest partner in the EU. Earlier this month, we reported that Laughland authored an article for the US-based Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (RPIPP) in which he attempted to cast doubt on the idea that the Russians were likely behind the recent suspected sabotage of the Nordstream 2 gas pipelines and redirect blame onto the United States. The RPIPP has been described in US media as comprised of “Anti-Semites, 9/11 Truthers, and Dictator Lovers.”