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The mullahs are such experts at psychological warfare and subversion tactics that I often wondered if at least some of them weren’t graduates of the Psychological Warfare School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. If they hadn’t attended the school, they had certainly read the books because they have implemented psychological programs and executed subversive tactics with great skill and they have produced textbook results. I have been thinking about Iran and our situation with them when I remembered reading an old copy of Time that had a picture of the Shah on the cover; so I found my copy (I have a large stash of material on Islam) and I read it with a great deal of interest. The cover story “The Shah’s Divided Land” verified my suspicions. Some Iranian dissidents who found themselves ineffective in recruiting followers due to their inability to communicate with people on a mass scale came up with a plan to exploit the advantages enjoyed by the Mullahs. They pretended to be religious and to have a desire to study the Qur’an under the Ayatullah in Qum. Evidently, this ruse got them in the door because, according to Time, they “went to Lebanon for training by George Habash’s radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Returning to Iran, they posed as clergymen, took code names, formed cells and provoked incidents of terrorism.”


Every society has its problems, some big and some small. A good psychological operator can take a group of people who thinks they are happy and making money and turn them into revolutionaries by making their little problems look intolerable and their big problems look absolutely unsolvable under the present government. With a lot of money and a good platform to deliver your message, a professional psychological subversion operation can convince anyone to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. The mullahs had all the money they could possibly need and what better platform could you ask for than being “a messenger from God”.

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I have read all the analyses from the pundits of Time, News Week, and the New Yorker and they all miss the point. Yes, the Shah had problems and yes, Iran had social problems; however, you can’t drop freedom onto the heads of people who have never had freedom without causing a certain amount of chaos. When you are dragging a group of people out of the sixteenth century into the twentieth century and trying to get them to think for themselves by weaning them from their psychological dependence on mullahs, you are going to have trouble. And, the biggest trouble the Shah had was with the mullahs who had a strangle hold on the minds of the Iranian people and did not want to loose their grip.

For all of you who only had ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN for world news only got the negative news from Iran because negative news is more sensational. The Shah was trying to modernize Iran to make it more like Turkey was at the time. After I escaped from Iran and listened to the world news at home in Ohio, I was appalled by the outright lies I was hearing about Iran and the Shah. Our media was taking the psychological propaganda produced by the Ayatollah and feeding it to us as if it were a truth straight from God. Our news media and Jimmy Carter destroyed the Shah and caused the United States to lose one of our most loyal and strong Middle East allies, making possible the Iran we have today.


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

John Simpson

During my twelve-year navy career I served as an electronics instructor and flight crew member tracking NASA manned apace shots. I took the first pictures of the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker Lenin as it traveled south along the coast of Norway; one of the photographs I took was on the front page of the New York Times. I was a member of the navy’s Operation Deep Freeze in New Zealand and the Antarctic. During President Johnson’s South East Asia tour, I was assigned to President Johnson’s White House staff in Wellington, New Zealand and served as a security team leader. In 1967 I switched to the army and trained young army officers to be avionics maintenance officers. I was recruited by the Green Berets and assigned to jump school. After my airborne training, I was assigned to the 46th Special Forces Company in Thailand where I traveled from Malaysia to Burma installing and upgrading communication sites. On one occasion, I provided support for Special Forces operations in Laos. I was also an instructor for small weapons, jungle survival, physical security and combat-in-cities. In 1970 I graduated from primary flight school and Cobra attack-helicopter training; then went directly to Vietnam and the 25th Infantry Division just outside of Saigon. After six months, I was reassigned to the 101st Airborne Division just south of the dividing line between North and South Vietnam. I received nine air medals, two bronze stars and one army commendation medal in Vietnam. My next assignment was in Munich, Germany where I flew the border between East and West Germany. While stationed in Germany I was recruited by the Criminal Investigation Division and later Military Intelligence to track military drug dealers; my investigation led me to a French Communist woman who was supporting an underground newspaper that was providing instructions on how to sabotage military aircraft, vehicles and generators. While serving with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Germany I also trained the unit's Aero Rifle Platoon in combat-in-cities and combat-in-forest techniques. During my long military career I was trained in and pursued independent studies in special warfare, psychological warfare, and physical security. My presentations on the military prove that I understand the difference between the problems inherent to war and problems caused by poor military planning, leadership, and management. I have lived and worked in a number of Muslim countries and have studied Islamic culture and religion for more than twenty years. My presentations on the Middle East and Islam provide insight into current world events and our relationships with the Middle Eastern countries of Iran and Iraq. After retirement, I worked for Bell Helicopter and was assigned to Isfahan, Iran as a Cobra test pilot. I enjoyed Iran until the terrorism started. They blew up my favorite Korean restaurant just moments after I had walked out. I escaped from Iran just prior to the overthrow of the government. Upon returning home to Ohio, I learned from the evening news that some of the Iranian military officers I had worked with had been executed (murdered) under orders from Ayatollah Khomeini. Since leaving Bell Helicopter, I have had three novels published and have worked as a technical writer, publications consultant, and engineer for Siemens, IBM, Motorola, and Dresser Industries. I have written more than 300 technical manuals on computers, computer controlled equipment, central-office telephone equipment, pagers, robots, hydraulics, pneumatics, diesel engines, jet engines, helicopters, and mining equipment. Today, I am employed as a research and development engineer for a South Florida Aerospace company; I also continue to do public speaking and radio appearances. I live in Florida with my wife JoAnn and my four-pound Chihuahua named Chiquita.


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