Episode 259 – Meet Adam Curtis, Establishment Contrarian

by | Feb 23, 2013 | Episodes, Podcasts | 10 comments

The Power of Nightmares. The Century of the Self. Pandora’s Box. All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace. If you’re familiar with the alternative media, you’ve doubtless come across references to the documentary work of Adam Curtis. But besides the well-known examples of brilliance within Curtis’ work is a deeply doctrinaire strain that seeks to normalize mainstream history and convince us that the driving ideologies of the political elite are exactly what they say they are. Join us today on The Corbett Report as we deconstruct Curtis’ documentaries and look for the deeper meaning behind the globalist ideology.

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The Power of Nightmares
Time Reference: 03:48


The Century of the Self
Time Reference: 10:05


Pandora’s Box
Time Reference: 14:24


The Living Dead
Time Reference: 18:41


The Loving Trap
Time Reference: 25:17


James Corbett on The Mind Renewed
Time Reference: 39:29


  1. A Review Of Bitter Lake by Adam Curtis

    Good Intentions

    Adam Curtis is a good film maker. He knows how to edit and use music to great affect but it is the message in his films that are extremely troubling.

    The message taken from Bitter Lake (2015) is very simple.

    The West had nothing but good intentions with their disastrous invasion of Afghanistan. The sole reason was to spread democracy. Politicians have simply lost their way and in doing so, lost the confidence of their people. What is needed is a new story to believe in.

    Really? Is that it?

    One interview with a British Captain towards the end of the film says more about the illegal invasion of Afghanistan then the two and a quarter hours that precede it. He says, quite matter-of-factly, “Opium, that is largely what the conflict is about.”


    “Opium is a source of literally billions of dollars to extremist and criminal groups… Cutting down the opium supply is central to establishing a secure and stable democracy, as well as winning the global war on terrorism,” (Statement of Assistant Secretary of State Robert Charles. Congressional Hearing, 1 April 2004)

    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime acknowledged, the Taliban prohibition of opium cultivation caused “the beginning of a heroin shortage in Europe by the end of 2001″.

    Immediately following the October 2001 invasion, opium markets were restored. Opium prices increased and by early 2002, the opium price (in dollars/kg) was almost 10 times higher than in 2000.

    According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s 2014 Afghan Opium Survey, 2014 was a bumper year for the Afghan opium cultivation as it has once again hit a record high.

    So how is Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade facilitated?

    Soviet Invasion

    Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted CIA intervention in Afghanistan preceded the 1979 Soviet invasion.

    Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs (“From the Shadows”), that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

    Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

    Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

    B: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

    Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

    B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralisation and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

    Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists? B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

    Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998 September 11th 2001

    Surely after the far superior The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004), a few questions should have arisen concerning the culpability of the horrific events of September 11th 2001?

    Rex Tomb of the FBI’s public affairs unit states, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.” Milli Gazette, 6/11/2006

    In the final statement of the film, Adam Curtis limply states “What is needed is a new story and one we can believe in!”

    A new story? Is that all?

    How about these words – “What is needed is truth and people we can believe in!”

    Adam Curtis is apologist for the mainstream orthodox view. He asks few questions about the deeper reasoning behind these seemingly perpetual wars. He simply makes statements that exonerate criminals for their obvious crimes.


    • there is no truth. there is only narrative that human beings like to tie together, narrative that can *never* be the absolute truth, because reality is far more complicated than our human narrative desires or can accommodate.

      • You are stating that truth is subjective and so unachievable. I feel there is a standard definition of truth in our present society, not defined by a dictionary, which is… an accordance with fact, uncontaminated by lies, spin or misinformation.

        I do not wish to speak for James Corbett but I doubt The Corbett Report would exist without a desire to find the truth.

        Truth should not be relegated as fiction simply because there is a wish to redefine it as narrative.

      • no no, you are not understanding. it is not redefining it! the truth and the human narrative are two completely different things . you can search for ‘truth’ as much as you like but you will never find it, it simply DOES NOT Exist. you will only find fragments of information you tie into a narrative. you will never understand the complex human interactions that go up to make the unattainable ‘absolute truth’, you actually cant. anyway back to the cellos 🙂

  2. There is Truth in many things depending on what you wish to research, believe or understand.

    You are using the word ‘absolute’ as a qualifier yet ‘absolute truth’ can exist. For example, since the invention of the camera some ‘absolute truths’ have been captured or filmed.

    Adam Curtis often uses raw footage that may hold certain truths yet he spins that footage into the narrative he wishes to create.

    Without wanting to get into a debate about truth, by you own argument “truth.. simply DOES NOT Exist” cannot be true.

    • so you dont want to get into a debate about it, but you are debating it yes ? even the truth that this cup of tea i am holding is a cup of tea is shaky at best.

      what i meant was in relation to complex geo-political and philosophical discussions but yes, truth doesnt actually exist, along with everything else! or does it?

      but you dont want to get into a debate so i will debate you. ‘truth doesnt exist’ == ‘true’ 🙂

      i think the crux of what im saying is in your first sentence ‘what you wish to believe or understand’ is *narrative not truth* thats exactly what i was getting at. eg the logical fallacy ‘911 truth’ which everyone seems to love to go on about here, is a perfect example of how you will never understand the absolute truth. if i need to spell that out to you, lets forget it 🙂 ok i will – imagine the complex relationships, individual and group decisions and myriad of other parameters based around a particular event, do you think as a human you can comprehend all that information ? you couldnt fit it in your head, thats why narratives are required, and human beings tend towards creating a nice clean narrative that fits in with what they want.

  3. My error was not putting the word “long” before the word “debate”.

    I feel your argument is “absolutist” so there is no room for debate yet I am sympathetic to your opinion and I often struggle on a daily basis with finding even a semblance of truth.

    Thank you for your interesting replies and taking the time to read the Bitter Lake review.

    • actually one of me best mates just recommended that film to me, but curtis broadcasts on the corrupt bbc, and i have no time for people that do that, im not willing to even engage. did you write that review? if the film is really trying to push the good intentions of the west and only mentioning heroin at the end briefly then the film maker is obviously living in cloud cuckoo land. good review!

      its quite amusing actually, i was arguing your side against my friend a year or so back, but he convinced me the other way, so now im arguing his side, and youre arguing my previous side, you actually said a few things that i said 😀 im not closed minded, i just like a good debate / argument. all the best to you sir/madam!


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