The Wilderness of Mirrors: Nationalism, Religion, and Secret Intelligence

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Throughout the entirety of WWII and the Cold War, U.S. intelligence agencies invested an immense amount of resources into the “religious approach” to information gathering and distribution. Beginning with the leadership of William Donovan, the OSS and CIA implemented these religion-focused initiatives with the assistance of Orientalist scholarship, such as the World Religions Paradigm. Imperial Japan, Colonial Vietnam, Soviet Russia, and the Puppet-state of Iran all felt the impacts of these operations, often resulting in widespread propaganda, resistance, and war. In this episode, Dr. Michael Graziano and Jacob Noblett discuss the misguided strategies used by these agencies and their partners with the goal of establishing the United States as a global champion of freedom over “Atheistic” Communism.

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