Creatures in the Budapest hills – Part 2

The Trump campaign’s pro-Russian friends who live in the hills, overlooking the Budapest Bridge
Part 2 of a 3 part investigative report by András B. Göllner

“There must be some way out of here” said the joker to the thief. “There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief. Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth.
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.”

“No reason to get excited”, the thief he kindly spoke. “There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke. But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate. So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”.

-Nobel laurate, Bob Dylan All Along the Watchtower

The Animal Farm Inventory

For the compilation of this inventory I am indebted to many courageous colleagues in Hungary, Russia, and to investigative reporters on both sides of the Atlantic. I cannot mention them all by name, because the list would be far too long. Some, to whom I am indebted, like the 73 year old Nikolai Andrushchenko, I can only pay my respects in passing, since he was recently beaten to death in St. Petersburg, for compiling his own inventory. I want, however, to single out two Hungarian journalists, Miklós Nagy Gergely, and Krisztián B. Simon, for their persistent digging. Their most recent report helped me greatly. (See: Miklós Nagy Gergely. „Hódolattal Viktornak – Mit keres ennyi külföldi szélsőjobboldali Budapesten?Magyar Narancs. March 30. 2017.)   

After acknowledging the growing infestation of Budapest by pro-Russian, and white supremacist creatures engaged in undermining the values of Western democracies, the first obvious question that comes to mind is – what brought them here? What is the cause of this eastward migration of America’s and Europe’s often racist, always anti-democratic extremists? In interviews, that are publicly available, the creatures openly admit that they chose Budapest over Moscow, because it’s closer to the European battlefield, and the Hungarian government provides as good a cover for them as they could enjoy in Moscow. Some go on to say, that in Budapest, the women are women, the men are men.

I would like to pause briefly here, to point to my own experience with what may happen to men or women in Hungary, who do not stay faithful to their gender’s traditional sexual appetites. While in Budapest, I marched in the 2008 Gay Pride parade along the city’s loveliest street – the Andrássy Boulevard. My exhibition of solidarity with the Hungarian LGBT community, nearly cost me my life. (I lived to tell about the incident here: “Van aki nem tud verset írni.” Népszava. July 10. 2008.) After I broke that story, and to my great surprise, the former democratic prime minister of Hungary, Ferenc Gyurcsány called me on my phone and invited me for a cup of tea to his office in Parliament. For those who would like additional evidence of my encounter with the creatures who swarmed around us that day, kindly call the former Minister of Equal Opportunities in Hungary, Katalin Lévai, whom I accompanied to the march, and who was next to me when the incident I wrote about happened. But let us return to the broader evidence.

All of the creatures in the Budapest hills, who are going to be named in this narrative, have publicly admitted that Budapest has become the coziest place within the transatlantic community, for spreading global hatred against Jews, Muslims, women, the LGBT community, immigrants of color, non-Christians, environmentalists, and against all who embrace the values that serve as the foundations for all democratic societies around the globe.   

Who are these creatures anyways, where do they come from, and what exactly are they doing in Budapest? Without exception, their hero is Vladimir Putin. They all admire the „illiberal” state that Putin has erected in Russia, and which Putin’s Hungarian disciple has recreated inside the walls of the EU. They would like to introduce this “winsome” model to their motherland. They all operate some kind of social media platform targeted not at the local, Hungarian population, but at audiences in America, Europe and the Middle East.  

The creatures in the hills overlooking the Budapest Bridge, specialize in the manufacture and distribution of fake news, and various forms of hate-literature, that can be subsequently put into play by the algorithms, bots and cyber techniques pioneered by the Trump campaign’s biggest corporate donors, Robert and Rebekah Mercer. The latter was not only a donor, but an active participant in the Trump campaign, investing heavily not only into Breitbart, but bringing Steve Bannon, KellyAnn Conway, and Sebastian Gorka into the west wing of the White House. (On the effectiveness of the Mercer’s cyber-sling-shot, please read Dr. Carole Cadvala. „Robert Mercer: The Big Data Billionaire Waging War on Mainstream Media”. The Guardian.  26 February, 2017 or follow the work of Philip Howard, a professor at the Oxford University Internet Institute who has researched, and not as a partisan politician, but as a value-free scientist, these bot attacks. Sue Halpern. „Facebook, Twitter, and Trump” in The New York Review of Books. November 11. 2016 and Peter Stone and Greg Gordon’s excellent investigative work out of McClatchy’s Washington Bureau are also must reads. )

Let’s begin with the Americans who moved their headquarters to the hills overlooking the Budapest Bridge at the start of the Trump campaign. One of them is the alt-right white-supremacist blogger, Matt Forney. (See Forney’s first impressions of Budapest in his blog post entitled: “Brief thoughts on Living in Budapest, Hungary“.) The Washington Post has identified him as one of the attendees of that infamous neo-Nazi brunch in Washington, at which the participants hailed president-elect Trump with the Nazi salute. Forney works from Budapest to make America great again, by helping to create „a white ethno state that would outlaw minorities — and force women into domestic roles.” (See Danielle Paquette in The Washington Post. November 25, 2016.)

Matt Forney in Hungary. Photo: Matt Forney’s Facebook page.

Richard Spencer, the neo-Nazi organizer of the Washington Brunch, also is a frequent visitor to Budapest, though he has not fared as well as Forney, because he drew too much publicity in the Western media to his hide-out in Budapest.

Richard B. Spencer at a pub in Budapest called the Clock House Café, in 2014, prior to his arrest by Hungarian police. Spencer was about to hold a gathering of Neo-Nazis before the police raid.

Not so Paul Ramsey.

Paul Ramsey, who is in with Trump campaign mega supporter, Rebekah Mercer, also moved to Budapest at the start of the Trump campaign, and has been sending his messages out of the hills overlooking the Budapest Bridge, on various social media surfaces that got botted from there into millions of American households, thanks to his connections to influentials on the Trump campaign. Ramsey is an „I’m all right Jack” kind of guy, say his followers. The Hungarian neo-Nazi portal, Metapedia, which calls itself, á la KellyAnn Conway, „the alternative encyclopedia” categorizes him as „the smiling nationalist”. Nothing put a bigger smile on the face of Ramsey’s backers, than his tweet from Budapest, in which he suggested that Norwegian mass murderer Anders B. Breivik, who also spent long periods in Budapest before massacring 77 innocent people in Oslo, would make a great minister of immigration. (See Miklós Nagy Gergely. op.cit.) Ramsay also shares J.D. Gordon’s enthusiasm for Viktor Orbán, and dismisses Orbán’s opponents as “just a bunch of Jews.” When not enjoying the sights and sounds of Hungary’s capital, Ramsey is often a featured speaker at events organized by the neo-Nazi National Policy Institute, which has its US headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. (For an excellent review of the players within the alt-right movement and their ties to the Mercers, and Steve Bannon please read Ben Schrekinger’s excellent piece in Politico. “The Alt-Right Comes to Washington”. January-February, 2017.)

Another of the pro-Russian, anti-Hillary bloggers with close ties to the American alt-right movement is Daniel Freiberg. He moved into the hills overlooking the Budapest Bridge from Sweden. (For an earlier report on him see MNG’s report. „Metapolitikai játszma.” Magyar Narancs, 2017. February 2.) In his interview with Miklós Nagy Gergely, Freiberg claims that hundreds of alt-right, pro-Russian extremists have moved to Budapest because Orbán has offered a safe haven for them. Freiberg moved to Budapest to operate, a site that has a massive following in the US. The site is edited by none other than the earlier mentioned American neo-Nazi, Richard Spencer.

Three British extremist politicians and media hounds also relocated their operations to Budapest, to get away from the surveillance of their homeland security. The most influential one did so right at the start of the Trump campaign. He is British multi-millionaire Jim Dowson, whose Patriotic News Agency spread vast quantities of anti-Clinton, pro-Trump, pro-Putin propaganda out of Budapest during the US presidential campaign. (See: The Guardian, March 20, 2017) Here is Dowson’s clout, and his ties to the Trump, campaign, and in his own words, as reported by the respected British daily. „Dowson’s social media group pumped out pro-Trump “news” during the latter stages of the US presidential campaign, including several conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton. The ex-Orange Order member, claims his networks have a global reach of 50 million online viewers.The Guardian quotes Dowson as follows: “This is a global network that I believe helped elect Donald Trump.”  

But just who is this expat who set up his shop in the hills overlooking the Budapest Bridge, to help elect Trump to the Presidency in America? The multimillionaire is a die-hard Putin admirer, a frequent commentator on Russia’s official propaganda network Russia Today. He speaks the language of Hungarian Putin admirers close to the Hungarian PM, like László Földi, a former high ranking communist secret service agent with active ties to Russia’s FSB to this day. (I have some personal knowledge of his Russian connections. Földi tried to recruit me for some pan-European work in the mid-1990s when I lived in Budapest.) Dowson speaks the same language, as another high profile Russian trained communist secret agent in Orbán’s vicinity – György Nógrádi. (See „The Truth caught up with national security expert, György NógrádiHungarian Spectrum. October 28, 2015), Dowson has a parliamentary pass, and enjoys the company of Orbán’s extremist supporters, like András Bencsik, Imre Kerényi, Zsolt Bayer, István Lovas, who all worked with Sebastian Gorka in Hungary, and who continue to cultivate their connections with Gorka, albeit less openly now, than during the time Gorka lived in Budapest between 1992 and 2008. (As we have shown in our earlier works, Gorka is not like the other creatures in the Budapest hills. He bucked the tide. He didn’t move from the West to Budapest. He moved from Budapest into the west wing of the White House by marriage, and as a consequence of his wife’s moneyed connections to Rebekah Mercer and to the Breitbart news organization. The global supply chain cuts both ways. We shall return to Gorka in our epilogue.)   

Jim Dowson has attracted the attention of the British intelligence services, and not only because of his work on behalf of the Trump campaign but mainly because of his ties to global terrorists. In a published interview, the millionaire provides us an honest peek at the shortest route to his stomach, if not to his heart. „I’d rather die fighting alongside radical Islamists than in a MacDonald restaurant.” This is no small feat, given, that Dowson houses the anti-Muslim Knights Templar International in his offices in Budapest, alongside his news network, and other fake-news media platforms, such as, the Arabic Press Agency, Visegrad News, Jesus is Lord, and This is Hungary. Dowson, has publicly admitted to backing one of the most violent local Hungarian neo-Nazi militias, the „Betyársereg”. Dowson uses the same line to legitimize his friendship for the local neo-Nazis, as Trump does, when he tries to legitimize his friendship with the Russian autocrat. „The boys may have skinheads” says Dowson “but they are nice to me so why should I not be nice to them?”  

Jim Dowson (right) in Hungary, holding a flag that reads: Hungarian Self-Defence Movement (Magyar Önvédelmi Mozgalom).

The other Brit who moved to Budapest to enjoy the protection of Orbán’s Russian infiltrated secret services is former British National Party leader, Nick Griffin. The latter has publicly confessed that nothing would make him happier than to shoot at „Pakies” from atop a minaret. Griffin is a convicted holocaust denier, like David Irwing, another frequent flyer to Budapest. (Irving’s anti-Semitic classic was typed-up by non-other, than Trump aide, Sebastian Gorka’s mother.)

Apart from Dowson and Nigel Griffin, or the Dutch anti-immigrant radical Geert Wilders, who has his digs in a rural part of Hungary and commutes from the countryside for his meetings with Orbán, the deputy head of the Britain First Party, Jayda Fransen also developed a taste for “Gulyás Fascism” and moved to Hungary during the American Presidential campaign. She set up a bank-account and a business in the hills overlooking the Budapest Bridge. (Fransen is the high profile British extremist who has been found guilty of religiously-aggravated harassment in Britain. She was convicted for abusing a Muslim mother in front of her four young children, for daring to wear her hijab in public.) Fransen didn’t last long in Budapest. She was forced to close up shop, because she began to draw too much heat, and not enough followers.  

Let’s leave the Anglos and turn to the Francophone  extremists, who flocked to the Budapest hills at the start of Donald Trump’s campaign and just at the time, the Donald’s political romance with French radical right wing politician Marie Le Pen began to blossom. (Le Pen is in the running for the French Presidency. She is trying to destroy the democratic fabric of France, in whose defense tens of thousands of American GIs gave their lives for during WWII. She is warmly endorsed by the American President, and receives some of her funding from Vladimir Putin.)  

One of the French extremists who acknowledges supporting Le Pen and Trump, is François Almássy (or Ferenc Almássy, as he prefers to be called.) He relocated his operations from Paris to the Budapest hills, where he still runs a portal called the Visegrád Post. In an interview with the journalists from the Magyar Narancs, Almássy claimed to be in regular contact with all the alt-right, pro-Trump social media operators who work out of Budapest, who helped to tip the scales against Clinton, and are trying to repeat their win against other liberal politicians in the transatlantic community. According to Almássy, the creatures in the Budapest hills are not all of the same feather, but they certainly flock together and share the following attributes: „We’re all advocates of the illiberal state that Viktor Orbán and Vladimir Putin are operating. We reject feminism, immigration and social liberalism. Living in Budapest is preferable to living in Moscow. We’re closer to the action, equidistant from East and West and enjoy the protection of the Hungarian authorities.” ( MNG, March 30, 2017. op.cit)

Ferenc Almássy posing in the Buda Castle, overlooking Budapest, with the Hungarian Parliament in the background. 

Another well-known French alt-right radical, Willem Nassau also relocated to Budapest during the Trump campaign. One of his stories, that the alt-right fake-news manufacturers just adore, is that which bears uncannily close resemblance to the bogus pizza gate story that attracted the attention of millions of anti-Clinton Americans during the US presidential race. Nassau fabricated his own story about the „Liberal Jew”, American financier and well-known Clinton supporter, George Soros, who the Hungarian PM accuses of a deliberate effort to destroy Christianity and Western civilization. Nassau did a video-report streamed it worldwide as a true story. His report accuses Soros of financing a pedophile ring that works out of a Burger King in the Hungarian capital. Nassau’s fake-news nicely folded into the Hungarian government’s strategy of closing down the Soros funded Central European University, scarcely a month after Orbán’s “American friend” got into the White House. (The CEU is Hungary’s highest ranked University. I will deal with this episode in my Epilogue.)

We’d be remiss not to mention one of the major cyber platforms of Donald Trump’s newfound love – the anti-immigrant neo-fascist Marine Le Pen – that is operated by the shadowy Suavelos group. Surprise, surprise? This platform also relocated to Budapest at the start of the American Presidential race. Here is some of the rhetoric of the pro-Le Pen Suavelos group, out of Budapest, that I stumbled across in my stroll through the Budapest hills: „Lespingal, Merkado and Conversano, nickel-plated feet are looking for apartments, secretaries, volunteers and money. And suicide bombers…Help someone but help someone white… Let’s get to the heart of the matter: white essentialists are looking for money and volunteers. To enrich half-fugitive masters in Hungary, where they will not be pursued by those whom they insult or threaten” For verifiable evidence of this item, please click here.

Perhaps it is best to close the animal farm inventory with a German bird. (Stephen F. Cohen who never fails to raise his eyebrows when Vladimir Putin’s hand is caught in the kooky-jar, may appreciate the McCarthyite (sic) irony in my tone.) The pro-Putin anti-Clinton extremist I’d like to close with is Mario Rönsché, who also packed up his belongings in Germany, and set up shop in Budapest, to sling-shoot white supremacist, anti-Clinton messages into the bedrooms of America. Rönsché is one of the most prominent members of the German alt-right extremist movement. Like the Norwegian mass murderer, he also moved to Budapest to evade interference by German authorities back home. Rönsché has a Facebook following of close to two million people. According to our Hungarian sources he, like Dowson, has been frequently sighted in the Hungarian parliament, and enjoys the support and friendship of a number of Hungarian law-makers, and political activists on the Budapest Bridge.

At this point we need to take a pause, because our documentary narrative has arrived at what screenwriting guru Syd Field, would call a plot-point. (For those in need of what Syd Field meant by this, kindly turn to: Syd Field. Screenplay. A step by step guide, from concept to finished script. A Dell Trade Paperback. New York. 1994. pp. 114-132.)

Epilogue follows tomorrow

András Göllner

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