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RussiaSeptember 18 2022, 15:18 pm

Dutch Political Party Extremist Figure with Ties To Russia Speaks at Opening of Hungarian Educational Facility

A Dutch far-right extrem­ist polit­i­cal par­ty is report­ing that a con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist with close ties to Rus­sia spoke at the aca­d­e­m­ic year open­ing of a Hun­gar­i­an edu­ca­tion facil­i­ty asso­ci­at­ed with the gov­ern­ment of Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Orbán. Accord­ing to the Forum for Democ­ra­cy Inter­na­tion­al  Twit­ter feed:

On 16 sep­tem­ber FVD Inter­na­tion­al direc­tor John Laugh­land spoke at the open­ing cer­e­mo­ny to mark the start of the new aca­d­e­m­ic year at the Math­ias Corv­i­nus Col­lege in Budapest.

Dutch media recent­ly described Laugh­land and his ties to Rus­sia as follows:

Sep­tem­ber 14, 2022 [FVD par­ty head] Baudet appoint­ed The Brit John Laugh­land as direc­tor of FVD Inter­na­tion­al. That is the inter­na­tion­al branch of the par­ty, estab­lished to forge ties with like-mind­ed par­ties and orga­ni­za­tions abroad. The 59-year-old Laugh­land is orig­i­nal­ly a Euroscep­tic con­ser­v­a­tive who obtained his PhD in phi­los­o­phy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford. Until 2008, he was the Euro­pean direc­tor of the Euroscep­tic think tank Euro­pean Foun­da­tion. In addi­tion to being a crit­ic of the EU, he pre­sent­ed him­self as a fierce oppo­nent of NATO, which would have vio­lat­ed inter­na­tion­al law with the inter­ven­tion in Koso­vo in 1999. Between 2008 and 2018, Laugh­land was research direc­tor at a Rus­sia-fund­ed think tank in Paris. Dur­ing that peri­od he spoke along­side the Russ­ian for­eign min­is­ter at the Unit­ed Nations, was a reg­u­lar guest in Moscow and is still a reg­u­lar com­men­ta­tor on state broad­cast­er RT. Laugh­land called coro­na a fic­tion and claimed that the Euro­pean Union is an inven­tion of the CIA Laugh­land is known for his extreme posi­tions. Recent­ly he called Ukraine, Bosnia, Koso­vo and coro­na “a fic­tion” and pre­vi­ous­ly claimed that the Euro­pean Union is an inven­tion of the CIA to sub­ju­gate Europe. EU insti­tu­tions would also make the Nazis’ ideas salon­fähig. At a recent FVD Chi­na sym­po­sium in Nieuwegein, Baudet said that he and Laugh­land have “the same ideas about every­thing”. The Forum leader wrote part of his dis­ser­ta­tion The Attack on the Nation-State, which came out in 2012, “with him and with him,” Baudet said ear­li­er. Laugh­land had been paid with Russ­ian mon­ey for years. The two have known each oth­er for fif­teen years.

Read the rest here.

A GIOR report on the new Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive alliance explained the role of the Math­ias Corv­i­nus Col­legium in the Orbán gov­ern­men­t’s strug­gle to con­trol Hun­gar­i­an high­er edu­ca­tion and to cre­ate a plat­form for rightwing figures:

The MATHIAS CORVINUS COLLEGIUM, a Hun­gar­i­an edu­ca­tion­al facil­i­ty, is a key part of the ORBÁN government’s strug­gle to con­trol Hun­gar­i­an high­er edu­ca­tion and is the cen­ter of Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive activ­i­ty in the coun­try. This facil­i­ty, fund­ed by a mas­sive gift of stock from the ORBÁN gov­ern­ment, has spon­sored events and teach­ing posi­tions for promi­nent US right-wing fig­ures. Rus­sia has already begun to employ Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive themes in its influ­ence oper­a­tions which will like­ly find a more recep­tive West­ern audi­ence than in the past. Hun­gary is par­tic­u­lar­ly fer­tile ground for Russ­ian exploita­tion of Nation­al Con­ser­vatism giv­en the exist­ing close rela­tion­ship between Russ­ian and Hun­gar­i­an elites and an exten­sive pre-exist­ing Russ­ian influ­ence network.

Read the full report here.

The FVD itself has demon­strat­ed increas­ing sym­pa­thy for Russ­ian posi­tions. For exam­ple, the FVD recent­ly called the mur­der of the daugh­ter of Russ­ian ultra­na­tion­al­ist and Putin loy­al­ist Alexan­der Dug­in “also an attack on FvD mem­bers” and “every­one in Europe who refus­es to go along with the nar­ra­tive of the estab­lished media.”

Also speak­ing at the MCC open­ing was US philoso­pher Peter Boghoss­ian, described in the GIOR report as:

…best known as a “rad­i­cal athe­ist” and for his 2018 role in the so-called “Griev­ance Stud­ies” or “Sokal Squared” hoax. As part of the hoax, BOGHOSSIAN and two col­leagues sub­mit­ted fake papers to var­i­ous spe­cial­ized aca­d­e­m­ic jour­nals to dis­cred­it gen­der and crit­i­cal race studies.

In April 2021, Boghoss­ian appeared on the far-right Epoch TV YouTube show, where he defend­ed Viktor
Orbán’s deci­sion to defund uni­ver­si­ty gen­der stud­ies. In Feb­ru­ary 2022, the MCC report­ed that Boghoss­ian was a guest instruc­tor at the MCC. The MCC is head­ed by Balázs Orbán, Vik­tor Orbán’s polit­i­cal direc­tor (no rela­tion), and Boghoss­ian has lav­ished praise on Balázs Orbán’s new book, The Hun­gar­i­an Way of Strategy.

The MCC recent­ly announced its plans to open a branch in Brussels.

GIOR report­ed in March 2002 on the rela­tion­ship between a British philoso­pher. FVD leader Thier­ry Baudet, and the nation­al con­ser­v­a­tive alliance.

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