Special Report
May 27, 1999
By S.R. Shearer

James Harff and Ruder-Finn Global Communicators

[Much of the material that has gone into this report was researched by Gary Clem in Washington D.C.]


In our last article, "More Lies and Deceptions Concerning Kosovo" [Vol. 8, No. 6 (May 24, 1999)] we promised to get back to you with regard to a certain James Harff. We said:

"... Branco (a UN Portuguese army officer detailed to the United Nations as an observer in 1991-'93) refers to the participation of an American public relations firm which was evidently following the Muslims around and advising them on how to "manufacture" incidents which would elicit the support of the West insofar as their cause was concerned. Branco refers specifically to a certain James Harff; we will get back to you at a later date with regard to Harff."

We continued -

"... suffice it to say for now that the kind of PR firms that Harff represents don't come cheaply. The work they engage in is not something the Muslims of Bosnia - acting alone - could afford. Other money was behind the work of Harff and his colleagues in Bosnia, and it isn't difficult to make a pretty educated guess as to whose money - "Big Oil's." After all, PR firms are a "marker," so to speak, of the elite, not the masses, and most certainly not poor Muslims. And it's important to bear in mind what PR work is all about - it's purpose is to skewer the truth in favor of one's client. Isn't this what Harff all but admitted he was doing when he told Branco that "... he was not being paid to watch over public morals (i.e., to tell the truth); that his work was not based on checking information ..." And be clear here: Harff is just the tip of the iceberg of what "Big Oil" is up to in the Balkans."


The American public is being "hustled," and it's not "Minnesota Fats" that's doing the hustling, but elites who are selling us all down the river to preserve intact their various globalist economic agendas. These are elites who view the American public as nothing more than cattle that need to be "supervised;" they're people who divide the world into "us" (i.e., the elites) and "them" (the rest of us; the "masses" - people who need to be "managed" and "kept under control;" people who need to be told what to do and when to do it). This is what the totalitarian state is all about. The late Professor C. Wright Mills of Columbia writes:

"From almost any angle of vision that we might assume, when we look upon the (American) public, we realize that we have moved a considerable distance along the road to a mass society. At the end of the road there is totalitarianism, as in Nazi Germany ..." [1]

Mills writes that in this kind of situation, a circumstance arises insofar as the media is concerned where society is effectively divided into two camps -

" ... the manipulators (i.e., the elite) with their mass media on the one hand, and the people receiving their propaganda on the other (i.e., the masses)." [2]

Mills continues,

"Under such conditions, it is not surprising that there should arise a conception of public opinion as a mere reaction - we cannot say 'response' - to the content of the mass media. In this view, the public is merely the collectivity of individuals (i.e., the cattle which need to be "managed") - each (member of the mass) rather passively exposed to the mass media and rather helplessly opened up to the suggestions and manipulations that flow from these media." [3]


It is precisely here that people like James Harff come into the picture. It is the job of people like Harff and the PR firms they represent to "manage" public opinion in the interests of the elite. Harff is president of Ruder-Finn Global Communicators, a big PR firm with offices in Manhattan and Washington D.C. Jeannie Toschi Visconti writes in Il Manifesto (in an article entitled "Balkan Lies") on the role of PR firms in the globalist world of today:

"In recent years a new method of waging war has evolved. It is cynical, amoral, and dangerous, because it is capable of mobilizing and influencing millions of people. It is called media war. The masters of this new type of warfare are experts in communications and visual images; they work out of sterile offices thousands of kilometers away from the battlefield. Their weapons are computers, fax machines, an updated card index with addresses, good contacts in the biggest TV networks and newspapers and among politicians of the party in power. The operators using this new methodology are called public relations agencies.

"Their operational technique is based on the exploitation of any news of media significance, regardless of whether it is unverified, which is fed to news agencies by fax machine. When the tension caused by the rivers of paper and obsessive television pictures begins to dissipate, a new story is served up to arouse public indignation once more. The consequences are truly catastrophic because the true drama, the cruelty of the three sides fighting in Bosnia and their internal conflicts, as shown by the recent clashes between the Muslims in Bihac (1991-'92), is supplanted by a make-believe drama. And all this has very serious consequences: international public opinion and UN member countries have already suffered from the negative effects. The TV media and the press have responded with enthusiasm to the stimuli provided by these communications experts, often casting aside professional scruples in favor of sensationalism.

"The first example is the war in the Gulf. Kuwait (at the instigation of "Big Oil") hired a large agency from Washington, which skillfully created the image of its client as victim and revealed the perfidy of Iraq's satraps. The United Nations imposed sanctions and a high-tech war, all with international approval."


Elaborating on this particulat instance, Marjaleena Repo[4] names the PR firm responsible for the ruse played on the American people in this particular case. It took place in front of a U.S. Senate Committee in which the PR firm, Hill and Knowlton, manufactured an instance of "baby-killing" by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait in order to elicit American support for Bush's planned ground offensive against Iraq during the Gulf War. She writes:

"The world was shocked to find out that a PR firm, Hill and Knowlton, had manufactured the 'incubator babies' incident in Kuwait which precipitated the Gulf War: Iraqi soldiers ripping Kuwaiti babies out of incubators in a genocidal fashion. Phony eywitnesses to this atrocity tearfully testified in front of U.S. politicians and the media, adding to public support for the subsequent bombing of Iraq and contributing hugely to the demonization of the Iraqis, leaders and citizens alike. Even Amnesty International was taken in by the falsehood, which was later exposed as such, but only after the military damage was done.


But Repo says that what Harff was up to in Bosnia makes the work of Hill and Knowlton pale before it. She continues:

"Yet the shock of being duped (by Hill and Knowlton) soon wore off and gullibility returned (to the American public). In no time another American PR firm, Ruder Finn, working for the Croatian and Bosnian separatists, publicly bragged that it had been able to turn world opinion against the Serbs."

Visconti continues with regard to Harff:

"James Harff, director of Ruder & Finn Global Public Affairs, in an interview with French journalist Jacques Merlino which was published in his book, Les Verites Yougoslaves ne sont pas toutes bonnes en dire (Albin Michel, Paris, 1994), talked about his new clients and his (i.e., Harff's) strategy for success. According to Harff: 'Between August 2nd and 5th, 1992, the New York Newsday came out with a lead story on (Serbian death) camps. We jumped at the opportunity and immediately distributed it to three major Jewish organizations - the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Jewish Congress ... The engagement of Jewish organizations on the side of the Bosnians was a superb poker play. Immediately thereafter, we were able to associate the Serbs and the Nazis in the public's mind ... It is not our job to verify information ... Our job is to accelerate the circulation of news items which are favourable to us ... We are not paid to moralize ...'"

Regarding his coup concerning the American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, Harff[5] bragged to Merlino, who was at the time Deputy Director of the network TV2 in Paris, France (April of 1993):

"This (i.e., getting the three Jewish groups on board insofar as the elite message concerning the Bosnian conflict was concerned) was a 'sensitive matter', as "the Croatian and Bosnian (Muslim) past was marked by real and cruel anti-Semitism. Tens of thousands of Jews perished in Croatian camps [during the Second World War and the Albanian Muslims had actually formed elite SS divisions in the service of Nazi Germany - all this while the Serbs had heroically fought alongside the Allies and protected the Jews] ... Our challenge was to reverse this attitude (i.e., this history) and we succeeded masterfully.

"At the beginning of July 1992, New York Newsday came out with the article on Serb camps. We jumped at the opportunity immediately. We outwitted three big Jewish organizations.... That was a tremendous coup. When the Jewish organizations entered the game on the side of the [Muslim] Bosnians we could promptly equate the Serbs with the Nazis in the public mind. Nobody understood what was happening in Yugoslavia ... By a single move, we were able to present a simple story of good guys and bad guys which would hereafter play itself. We won by targeting the Jewish audience. Almost immediately there was a clear change of language in the press, with the use of words with high emotional content such as ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, etc, which evoke images of Nazi Germany and the gas chambers of Auschwitz."


The actual interview[6] is as follows:

HARFF: For eighteen months we have been working for the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as for the opposition in Kosovo. Throughout this period, we had many successes, giving us a formidable international image. We intend to take advantage of this and develop commercial agreements with these countries. Speed is vital, because items favorable to us must be settled in public opinion. The first statement counts. The retractions have no effect.

MERLINO: What are your methods of operation?

HARFF: The essential tools in our work are a card file, a computer and a fax. The card file contains a few hundred names of journalists, politicians, academics, and representatives of humanitarian organizations. The computer goes through the card files according to correlated subjects, coming up with a very effective targets.
The computer is tied into a fax. In this way we can disseminate information in a few minutes to those we think will react (positively). Our job is to assure that the arguments for our side will be the first to be expressed.

MERLINO: How often do you intervene?

HARFF: Quantity is not important. You have to intervene at the right time with the right person...

MERLINO: What achievement were you most proud of?

HARFF: To have managed to move the Jewish opinion to our side. This was extremely delicate, as the dossier involved a major danger. President Tudjman was too imprudent in his book, "Wastelands: Historical Truth." A reading of his text could find him guilty of anti-Semitism. In Bosnia, the situation was no better: President Izetbegovic, in his book, "The Islamic Declaration," strongly supported the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic state [in Bosnia]. Moreover, the Croatian and Bosnian past was marked by a real and cruel anti-Semitism. Tens of thousands of Jews perished in Croatian camps. So there was every reason for intellectuals and Jewish organizations to be hostile towards the Croats and Bosnians. Our challenge was to reverse this attitude. And we succeeded masterfully.

At beginning of August 1992, the New York Newsday came out with the affair of (Serb) concentration camps. We jumped at the opportunity immediately. We outwitted three big Jewish organizations. B'Nai Brith Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Committee, and the American Jewish Congress. We suggested to them to publish an advertisement in the New York Times and to organize demonstrations outside the U.N.

This was a tremendous coup. When the Jewish organizations entered the game on the side of the (Muslim) Bosnians, we could promptly equate the Serbs with the Nazis in the public mind.

The dossier was a complex one. Nobody understood what was going on in (former) Yugoslavia. The great majority of Americans were probably asking themselves in which African country Bosnia was situated. But, by a single move, we were able to present a simple story of good guys and bad guys which would hereafter play itself.

We won by targeting Jewish audience, the right target. Almost immediately there was a clear change of language in the press, with the use of words with high emotional content, such as ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, etc. which evoked inmates of Nazi Germany and the gas chambers of Auschwitz. The emotional change was so powerful that nobody could go against it...

MERLINO: But when you did all this, between 2 and 5 of August 1992. you had no proof that what you said was true. You only had the two articles in Newsday.

HARFF: Our work is not to verify information. We are not equipped for that. Our work is to accelerate the circulation of information favorable to us, to aim them at carefully chosen targets. We did not claim that there were death camps in Bosnia, we just made it known that Newsday claimed it.

MERLINO: Are you aware that you took on a grave responsibility?

HARFF: We are professionals. We had a job to do and we did it. We are not paid to moralize. And when the time comes to start a debate on all of this, we have a clear conscience. For, if you wish to prove that Serbs are in fact poor victims, go ahead, but you will be quite alone.


Repo continues with regard to Ruder & Finn Global Public Affairs:

"The PR firm was piling hoax upon hoax. The famous story of Serb concentration camps was built on a photo of a gaunt man surrounded by others, staring at the viewer from behind barbed wire; surely an image to chill one to the bones. It took years before a German journalist Thomas Deichman, in an article titled 'The picture that fooled the world', described how the famous photo was staged by its takers, British journalists, who were photographing the inhabitants from inside barbed wire which was protecting agricultural products and machinery from theft in a refugee and transit camp; the men stood outside of it; and at no time was there a barbed-wire fence surrounding the camp. But by that time the image had done its deed, terminally slamming the Serbs as genocidal mass murderers.

"There are countless other stories, all deliberately maligning the Serbs to further the ends of military intervention. These stories and photos of 'genocide' and 'ethnic cleansing' (a la Hitler) in a civil war, in which Serbs are guilty as sin and others are their innocent victims, are repeated ad nauseam by western reporters without the slightest evidence, and have provided the ground for the public's (hopefully only temporary) acceptance of the illegal and brutal war against the sovereign nation of Yugoslavia. They continue after NATO's bombing began, unabated, with new absurdities such as the suggestion that the Serbs are really bombing themselves! Perhaps in the war crimes court there will soon be a place for journalists and PR firms who with their inflammatory reporting and fraudulent actions cause wars to begin." [7]


Visconti continues by recounting what happens to those journalists courageous enough to stand up against the elite media line:

"Journalists wanting to get to the bottom of news reports are few and far between. One such journalist is Bernard Volker of the French TV channel TF1. After the massacre of 5 February 1994, at the Sarajevo marketplace Markale, which preceded a UN ultimatum to the Serbs and threats of intervention by the West, this TV reporter (i.e., Volker) was made privy to "confidential" UN information. Two days before the expiration of the ultimatum, on February 11th, Volker stated on television that he had learned from reliable sources that the cause of the massacre was a mortar fired from Muslim lines (see our previous report to which this is a follow-up). He specified that the news had been the subject of a report sent to Lord Owen and the presidency of the CSCE, and circulated to the foreign ministers of the European Union. A day later, the United Nations and the French government, both in confusion, published denials (of Volker's assertions) ... and a day after the official ... (denials), Volker was forced to make a retraction, after the intervention of the Conseil Superieur de l'Audiovisuel ... (Volker) insisted on the quality of the source of his information and the veracity of the news item. In any case, this same information (i.e., that the massacre in the marketplace in Sarajevo resulted from the Muslims and not the Serbs) was broadcast by Misha Glenny (author of the most important book to date about the war in former Yugoslavia, " The Fall of Yugoslavia", Penguin, 1993), on the BBC World Service. According to him (i.e., Misha), the shell was fired from territory within the Muslim lines.

"Jacques Merlino, deputy editor-in-chief of France's Antenne 2 network, after writing about Timisoara and the Gulf War, pointed to the same oversimplifications and exaggerations in the conflict in former Yugoslavia. With great objectivity he brought to light the deliveries of arms to the Croats and Muslims from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the Vatican, and publicly stated some truths about the rapes and the bread queue massacre in Vasa Miskin street in Sarajevo (ascribed "confidentially" to the Muslims themselves, a claim also made by the British newspaper, The Independent). The new director, Jean Pierre El Kabasch, without any explanation removed him (i.e., Merlino) from his position as special correspondent. At the same time, unidentified humanitarian organizations (i.e., NGOs receiving money from elite sources) demonstrated in front of Antenne 2, shouting: "Merlino, the people are after your hide!"

"The Zurich weekly, Die Weltwoche, received the same treatment, the same attacks and threats, after publishing on January 20th an abridged version of the article by Peter Brock which appeared in the American periodical Foreign Policy in December 1993. The author, among other things, pointed out the superficiality of journalists (like) ... two Pulitzer Prize winners, Roy Gutman and John Burns, for irresponsible reporting and sensationalism, specifically about "death camps" and "systematic rape" in Bosnia. In June, those same pictures and articles were carried by Time Magazine (20 June 1994) in that week of great uncertainty. Roy Gutman, as indeed many others, was known for writing his articles about Bosnia from Zagreb.

"Martin Lettmayer, a reporter for Stem TV, covered the war in former Yugoslavia for various international networks and was moved by the imprecisions and gaps in media stories to begin his own investigations. On 10 March 1994, Die Weltwoche published a testimony under the caption, "We simply believed, without questioning," which revealed, among other things, how some of the author's prominent colleagues, such as the celebrated Alexandra Stiglmayer, used information on such gruesome themes as the "war rapes," gathered from sources which could not be verified or were non-existent. Once again there was a loud outcry from the Swiss press. In conclusion, here is a case all its own. Vladimir Cerkov arrived in Belgrade in August 1993 to make a documentary about the situation in Yugoslavia, and he showed in a dispassionate and objective manner the historical and human reasons which motivated all three sides. The film was aired by the TV station of the canton of Ticino and set off a heated debate on the objectivity of its contents; nevertheless, the Swiss television network broadcast it at the scheduled time.

"A debate was organized with Sergio Romano, who had advised Cerkov to approach RAI with his film. RAI 3 tuned it down. Giovanni Minoli accepted it for RAI 2, but nothing ever came of it. Afterwards, the documentary was sent to Arte TV Nova, a TV network with head offices in Bonn and Paris. Here, too, the film was rejected after it had been viewed by a committee which included among its members Bernard-Henri Levy, author of some of the most brutal propaganda documentaries about the war in Bosnia. It would be natural to ask ourselves: Is there still any genuine freedom of the press left? Who will protect the public from media manipulation?"


As we said in the report to which this article is a follow-up, all this brings us back to the question that we asked ourselves at the beginning of our investigation into the media circus of today's journalism, a question which transcends - at least to a certain degree - the plight of the Serbian people in what now appears their all but hopeless struggle against elite Western power (a struggle which is bound to repeat itself in other areas of the world and in other cultures in the years to come); and that is:

"... have we become in fact nothing more than a cog in a machine the elites have built for us? Is our reality of family, work, political ideology, and even religion become only that which the elites feed us?"

If so, we are truly in danger of our souls. Why? - because the kind of realties that the elites would deign to spoon-feed us are certainly not realities that would have anything to do with the Kingdom of God; but just the opposite - snares meant to entrap us in the kingdom of their world. If the elites have gained such mastery over the realities that govern our daily lives, then we really have become nothing more than a cog in their machine - a machine which may ultimately take us all to hell (or at least dishonor) with it.

One of the most relevant and appropriate thoughts that Mills made in The Power Elite which impacts what's going on in the world today (and, ipso facto, our place in it) concerns the "... movement of widely scattered little powers to concentrated powers ..." - from small to big; from dispersed to consolidated, not only in the secular world but in the religious world as well. This is what's happening when Ford buys up Jaguar, when Chrysler merges with Mercedez, when Time/Warner megers with CNN. This is what the European Community (EC) in Europe is all about. This is what the World Trade Organization (WTO) is all about. This is what NAFTA is all about. This is what globalism is all about. But this is also what Joe Aldrich's "one city one church" movement is all about too (Joe Aldrich is President of Multnomah School of the Bible - a fundamentalist, Baptist school in Portland, Oregon). This is what the "mega-church" movement is all about. This is what the Promise Keepers are all about. This is what Rick Joyner, Francis Frangipane, and the "Apostles and Prophets" are all about.

As things are going now, soon everything well be subsumed in the "whole" the elites are creating; a world which will determine for us the reality of our daily lives, our political ideology, even our religion - and one which can lie to us without having to fear that we will ever be able to discover that they are doing so. And we are closer to that condition of things than most people would like to admit, especially as we consider the "reality" the elites have been able to construct insofar as what's going on in the Balkans. What's happened there is instructive of what's going on everywhere! - in our domestic politics, in the business world, even - as we have already indicated - in our churches.


We are now at the "End of the Age." The world is heading inexorably towards a single conclusion - the creation, as it were, of one giant entity ("REALITY") in which all of mankind, all of his organizations, all of his corporations, all the nations of the earth, all the cultures of this world, etc. will be incorporated into one vast tightly-controlled Orwellian system in which all of us will be subsumed and contained. This is what a fair reading of current events tells us, and it's also what the Bible says:

"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

"And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

"And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

"And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

"And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Rev. 13:11-17)

Now in this connection, it's important to understand that the "image of the Beast" is not some giant statue, as some Christians naively believe: it's us! We are that image. As we are inexorably drawn into and subsumed into the world structure the elites are constructing for us, we come ever more to mirror the character of the elites; we become the mirror image of those elites. And if their character is that of a wild, ravenous beast, so will ours be also. This is what the Bible calls, "the image of the Beast." And one of the "markers" of this image is lies and deceit. Again, the Bible says:

"You are of {your} father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and {he} does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own {nature;} for he is a liar, and the father of lies." (John 8:44)

Again, how close are we? - well, you answer that question. As for us in Antipas, the lies and deceit that have marked our involvement in the Balkans makes the answer to that question pretty obvious. God help us all to wake up to what's happening to us before it's too late.

God bless you all!

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries


  1. Power Elite, pg. 304.
  2. Power Elite, pg. 305.
  3. Power Elite, pg. 305.
  4. Marjaleena Repo is a free lance writer with a special interest in justice issues. She is also the national organizer of Citizens Concerned About Free Trade, an organization concerned about the survival of the Canadian nation. She lives and works in Saskatoon and Toronto (Canada).
  5. In April 1993 on French television, James Harff, the director of Ruder Finn, described his proudest public relations effort as having "managed to put Jewish opinion on our [Croatian and Bosnian] side."
  6. an extract of an interview conducted by Mr. Jacques Merlino (Deputy Director of the network TV2, Paris, France) with James Harff (Director of Ruder Finns’s Global Public affairs section), which took place in October 1993.
  7. From Les Verites Ne Sont Pas Toutes Bonnes A Dire (The Truth from Yugoslavia is not being Reported Honestly), by Jaqcues Merlino, published by Albin Michel Paris, 1993.]

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