“The Red Report”: Herbert A. Philbrick on Communist Subversion

Herbert A. Philbrick was a Massachusetts advertising man who joined a political group called the Cambridge Youth Council. Becoming suspicious of how the group was run, he contacted the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who informed him the group was a communist front organisation and encouraged him to deepen his involvement with the group and the communist power structure while reporting to the FBI as an informant. Between 1940 and 1949, he advanced to the Young Communist League and later became a secret member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), where he used his advertising skills to promote the party’s agenda and later worked on a secret communist group supporting the 1948 presidential campaign of former vice president Henry A. Wallace on the Progressive Party ticket, all while reporting regularly to the FBI.

In 1949, his undercover career ended when the FBI decided to call him as a witness in the prosecution of 144 members of of the CPUSA leadership in the Foley Square trials. Philbrick subsequently described his underground career in the 1952 book I Led 3 Lives: Citizen, Communist, Counterspy. From 1953 to 1956, a television series, I Led 3 Lives, (very) loosely based upon Philbrick’s career, ran for three seasons and 117 episodes.

In 1961 and 1962, Philbrick hosted a television series called The Red Report, with five minute episodes describing communist subversion within the United States and around the world. This is a collection of episodes from the series.


What he described worked here, even as it failed in the USSR. The KGB of those days pales in comparison to the widespread propaganda and neo-Marxist subversion of these rapidly descending dis-United States. The sites of this subversion include fedgov, NGO’s, MSM, and remarkably, big business - whose days are numbered by ongoing disappearance of consumers with disposable income.
Addendum: how could I forget the academy’s zealous deconstruction of all that is good.


Here’s the updated rulebook:

This Amezit sub-system allows the Russian military to carry out large-scale covert disinformation operations on social media and across the internet, through the creation of accounts that resemble real people online, or avatars. The avatars have names and stolen personal photos, which are then cultivated over months to curate a realistic digital footprint.

The leak contains screenshots of fake Twitter accounts and hashtags used by the Russian military from 2014 until earlier this year. They spread disinformation, including a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton and a denial that Russia’s bombing of Syria killed civilians. Following the invasion of Ukraine, one Vulkan-linked fake Twitter account posted: “Excellent leader #Putin”.

Former Vulkan graduates now live in Germany, Ireland and other EU countries. Some work for global tech corporations. Two are at Amazon Web Services and Siemens. Siemens declined to comment on individual employees but said it took such questions “very seriously”. Amazon said it implemented “strict controls” and that protecting customer data was its “top priority”.

Unconventional warfare is defined for the purpose of this report as the conduct of covert and clandestine operations, psychological operations, subversion, sabotage, special operations and intelligence and counterintelligence activities aimed at contributing to a state’s military objectives. Describing these activities is complicated by the fact that Russian unconventional warfare fits within a distinct methodological tradition that uses precise but different terminology from other traditions. For example, in the US ‘unconventional warfare’ has a heavy weighting towards the sponsoring of non-state actors to overthrow a state. As shall be seen, the Russian attempt to subvert the Ukrainian state and thereby collapse resistance clearly fits within this concept of operations, but the combination of tools employed has a different weighting to what would normally be considered unconventional warfare. A consistent challenge in this special report is that Russian terminology for activities often has a very limited parallel in other traditions. On the whole – given that this is aimed at a NATO professional audience – this report uses British terms of art. Where it is necessary to use a specific Russian concept, this is explained.