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Finnish Pro-Washington troll, Docent Torsti Sirén.
You may recall our run-in with Finnish media outlets earlier this year, when Finnish presstitutes targeted Sott.net with specious accusations in an apparent effort to intimidate us.

When Finnish SOTT (fi.sott.net) editors recently wrote an article about Finnish military historian and honorary doctorate Sampo Ahto's condemning views about US imperialism, and shared it on their Facebook page, the post was subject to the kind of trolling usually only reserved for those who stray too close to the truth.

The reason we're bringing this to your attention is that Finnish mainstream newspaper Lappeenrannan uutiset subsequently published a hit-piece on October 31st titled: "a man from Lappeenranta had an incident with a Russian troll factory".

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Some dude at the Finnish newspaper reading Sott.net's FB page. He better be careful!
In this article by reporter Janne Koivisto, the "Russian troll factory" is our Finnish SOTT site. But extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. So let's take a closer look at this "news" story according to the Finnish newspaper:
Jorma Tyrmi from Lappeenranta was startled last week while using Facebook, when an unusual advertisement came up on the screen. Russia's president Vladimir Putin smiled on the advertisement, which led to an article on a website named Sott.net.

- An interesting thing was, that the ad was paid for. Russia is ready to pay a US business, so it can feed its nonsense to Finnish people, Tyrmi says astonished.
Maybe the Finnish media needs to retake Social Media Activism 101 at the US State Department, because what they describe as an "advertisement" is actually a Facebook link to an article on Finnish Sott.net. The article in question is a write-up about the website Dearputin.com.

So to summarize: some dude called Jorma Tyrmi from Lappeenranta in Finland saw an "advertisement" on the Sott.net Finnish Facebook page, drew the conclusion that it must have been paid for by the Russian government because it contained an image of Putin, became hysterical and called Finnish journalists, who then wrote a story about it. This, dear readers, is the "source" for the dubious claims in the headline of the Finnish newspaper. That's quality journalism right there!

As related by the newspaper, after seeing the article on FB, the hysterical Mr. Tyrmi decided to write a comment on the post:
Jorma Tyrmi decided to comment on the advertisement. He wrote that he suspected that the article writer's sense of reality is disturbed.

The website answered, that differing understandings of reality often depend on the location.

'What is common understanding of Putin e.g. around a hot dog stand in Lappeenranta, isn't necessarily the same as the majority of the population in BRICS-countries', was the reply.
In response to this acerbic comment, we politely suggested that Tyrmi not try to diagnose other people and instead gain a little more perspective. Anti-Russian fever is at such a height in Finland, however, that the Finnish newspaper, Lappeenrannan uutiset, decided this was clear evidence of high-level Russian government infiltration of Finnish social media. If there was ever an example of straining at gnats and swallowing camels, this is it.

As concerns the "Russian paid advertisement" itself, those familiar with Facebook know that anyone can "boost" a post, theoretically expanding its reach on Facebook. SOTT.net is a non-profit organization, and our volunteers are unpaid, but we decided to dig deep and invest a whopping 7 euros in boosting this post.

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Total budget: 7 euros.
Despite this large financial investment, our desperate attempt to attract the attention of the department of finance at the Kremlin appears to have failed, as we are still waiting on the Ruble equivalent to appear in our bank account. But we promise that, if Putin ever pops into our office and hands us a brown envelope containing 7 euros (or about 500 rubles - we're not picky), we'll immediately let the Finnish newspaper know so they can splash it across their front page, to the horror of millions of Finns, no doubt.

But the story doesn't end there.

Apparently the Finnish sensitivity to all things Putin extends to rather 'high places'. Just when we thought this storm in a teacup had ended, out crawled none other than Torsti Sirén, a well-known lecturer at the Finnish National Defence University.

Sirén is an interesting dude, but not really in a good way. Other than being the go-to man for evidence of treacherous Russian despoiling of Finland's snow-pure social values, Siren's claim to fame is as the author of a book on... well, trolling, NATO-style. The blurb for his book, Winning Wars Before They Emerge: From Kinetic Warfare to Strategic Communications as a Proactive and Mind-Centric Paradigm of the Art of War, states:
To avoid preparing to wage battles against our opponents in future wars, we should proactively and continuously influence the narrative identity structures of our potential opponents by using Strategic Communications (StratCom).
If that doesn't give you an idea of what this guy is all about (and just how clearly delusional he is) maybe this profile photo from his FB page will help:

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Torsti goes full-NATO on top of a building. Check out the caption he used on the right.
So Torsti is all about "victorious Western values", which he apparently promotes by standing on top of buildings with his hands in the air (possibly calling down NATO airstrikes on unsuspecting non-Western civilian populations).

Being an active little NATO troll on FB, Torsti soon got wind that someone was saying something positive about Putin and Russia in Finnish, and weighed in to the debate, both on Sott.net's Finnish FB page and directly to the Finnish newspaper:
Lecturer Torsti Sirén from the National Defence University says, that Sott.net is Russian propaganda. It belongs in the same category as the Sputnik-site.

"You will never clearly find out with whom you're talking with, and the sites are published in many languages in many different countries," Sirén says.

"These sites claim to present suppressed news and unbiased journalism, but in reality it is clearly BS: Russian-led propaganda," he says.
Stop the presses! Torsti says publications in many different languages means they are Russian propaganda! But Torsti seems to be a little confused here, at least when it comes to social media platforms. Virtually all Western organizations and corporations publish content on their Facebook pages through official and anonymous Facebook administrators. The BBC, for example, does this, and in many different languages. The BBC is, therefore, possible Russian propaganda.

The Finnish newspaper article continues:
That Russia is spreading propaganda in Finnish, doesn't surprise Torsti Sirén. According to him even the Russian embassy can be said to wage a Finnish information war.

"If you compare this embassy's news with, for example the United States Helsinki embassy, the difference is that the Russian embassy paints a picture of Russian greatness and images of 'justified' global politics."
How deluded is Torsti! The US has never painted a picture of itself as a "great" nation or justified its "global politics". In Torsti-worldTM, only Russia does that!

Suffice to say that Torsti appears to be something of a zealot and rather intellectually-challenged when it comes to how the world really works. This profile makes him well-suited for the role of a modern day Finnish version of Joseph McCarthy. Like McCarthy 60 years ago, Torsti hysterically spots Russian propaganda and agents everywhere, but isn't so perspicacious when it comes to providing evidence for his claims. Then again, spreading propaganda is all about emotionally-charged, slanderous and defamatory statements with no evidence to back them up.

But giving Torsti the chance to publicly vent in the Finnish press about Sott.net and the evils of Russia was perhaps not the best idea, because it appears to have provoked him to go 'full-NATO troll'. The day before the article was published in the Finnish paper, Torsti and his minions were already aggressively trolling Finnish SOTT.net's Facebook page. Like a NATO precision troll-bomb, Torsti had honed in on one of our articles that had received a lot of hits and was touting all manner of weird conspiracy theories about our non-profit media site:
Siren
Siren
In the above comments Torsti states that there's a secret propaganda network between SOTT.net, RT, Sputnik and other Finnish alternative media and Facebook groups, etc. While he provides no evidence for his claims and even we at Sott.net are unaware of these links, we must assume that Torsti has it on good authority from the NATO high command that his claims are absolutely bullet-proof, unlike many of NATO's civilian victims, in Libya for example.

Readers will be shocked to learn that the Finnish newspaper journalist that wrote the 'hit piece' on Sott.net, Janne Koivisto, is 'friends' with Torsti Sirén on Facebook. Since Torsti knows so much about secret propaganda networks, maybe he could explain the strange coincidence that, while Sirén was trolling our Facebook site, Koivisto wrote his story in which he interviewed Sirén as an 'expert':
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Clip from Facebook information of journalist Janne Koivisto, friends with Torsti Sirén.
Spreading lies through trolling is the modus operandi of Torsti Sirén. He doesn't use facts, but instead tries, along with his minions, to character-assassinate others. In his book on the best practices of NATO trolls, Torsti writes:
To avoid preparing to wage battles against our opponents in future wars, we should proactively and continuously influence the narrative identity structures of our potential opponents by using Strategic Communications (StratCom). This book argues that nations and societies of tolerance and pluralism (the so-called wonderful societies) should utilize StratCom to seduce their enemies, opponents, and potential opponents not only to behave in more tolerant ways, but above all to internalize peace, tolerance, and pluralism as essential values and guiding mental institutions of their identity structures.
Torsti believes himself to be an expert on "Strategic Communications" (StratCom), but it seems he really doesn't understand where this concept came from and what it has been habitually used for, and by whom.

Journalist Robert Parry, famous for helping to expose the Iran-Contra scandal, writes:
In this age of pervasive media, the primary method of social control is through the creation of narratives delivered to the public through newspapers, TV, radio, computers, cell phones and any other gadget that can convey information. This reality has given rise to an obsession among the power elite to control as much of this messaging as possible.

So, regarding U.S. relations toward the world, we see the State Department, the White House, Pentagon, NATO and other agencies pushing various narratives to sell the American people and other populations on how they should view U.S. policies, rivals and allies. The current hot phrase for this practice is
"strategic communications" or Stratcom, which blends psychological operations, propaganda and P.R. into one mind-bending smoothie.

I have been following this process since the early 1980s when the Reagan administration sought to override "the Vietnam Syndrome," a public aversion to foreign military interventions that followed the Vietnam War. To get Americans to "kick" this syndrome, Reagan's team developed "themes" about overseas events that would push American "hot buttons."

Tapping into the Central Intelligence Agency's experience in psy-ops targeted at foreign audiences, President Ronald Reagan and CIA Director William J. Casey assembled a skilled team inside the White House led by CIA propaganda specialist Walter Raymond Jr.

From his new perch on the National Security Council staff, Raymond oversaw inter-agency task forces to sell interventionist policies in Central America and other trouble spots. The game, as Raymond explained it in numerous memos to his underlings, was to glue black hats on adversaries and white hats on allies, whatever the truth really was.
This "black hats and white hats" strategy is illustrated quite clearly on Sirén's comment on the labour movement May Day march, where he says to MP Li Andersson, "I've always been afraid of the red flag, red color and red thoughts. Freedom has always been blue and white in color" and "It's up to you - the red color just makes me shudder in horror. Red is an evil color."

Maybe Torsti is color-blind?

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Torsti in red. Is he a covert Commie?
But let's take him at his word. Blue and white is Torsti's ideological color of choice, in which case, is he aware that the blue and white Finnish flag and colors were crafted from the NATO-flag, not from Finnish national colors? Is Torsti a mind-controlled NATO dupe, programmed to go off every time he sees red? Whatever the case, he's creating artificial division by polarizing a normal labor movement march into this black-and-white communistic caricature.

In his own book, Torsti Siren admits to being a pro-Washington troll.
He promotes a strategy of "proactively and continuously influencing the narrative identity structures of our potential opponents by using Strategic Communications (StratCom)", which simply means spreading BS propaganda against one's ideological enemies, in this case, NATO's enemies, i.e. Russia. So is Torsti really serving the Finnish people by trying to turn them against the people in the country with which they share a long border?

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Heil NATO! Torsti ponders how to strategically communicate Western values to the world at the Finnish war college
For quite some time, Torsti has dedicated himself to promoting anti-Russian hysteria in Finland through various media, including his Facebook account. He has claimed, for example, that Russia is an insane neighbor, a rogue-state and country that no one understands. At the same time, he's been working at the Finnish National Defence University and boasting about his opportunity to "preach" about "Strategic Communication and the Influence of the Media on Public Opinion" at the NATO College in Rome.

But despite his apparent schooling in NATO psychological warfare, Torsti has, at times, forgotten to be strategic. His firebrand version of internet activism has landed him in trouble many times. For example, Finnish foreign minister (at the time) Erkki Tuomioja shared his view a year ago on Sirén's trolling:
I'm going to count to three, before I say anything about Torsti Sirén. I don't feel bothered to comment anything about him, and I wonder, if his supervisors don't have any views how a officer in his position should behave.
Later Tuomioja further commented:
Finnish Defence Forces enjoy the trust of Finns widely, and its work is valued. I've personally followed our soldiers during different crisis management missions, and the trust they're enjoying even internationally is definitely earned. In my opinion it's important that we do not destabilize this trust, appreciation and the will to defend our country by actions showing also disloyalty to the government, through officers' public politicizing, which can't be seen as appropriate by those serving our country, Tuomioja wrote.

Tuomioja sees this kind of behavior that destabilizes trust as an unpatriotic act, no matter what kind of opinions are presented there about Finns and other nations.

It's a voluntary choice to become an officer, and if this feels too hard, you're not forced to continue in your profession. Just to make it clear: It's not about limiting anyone's freedom of speech, but what is appropriate to say for persons in different positions.
Tuomioja

Foreign minister at the time Erkki Tuomioja gave strong feedback to Sirén last year.
Today an atmosphere of intolerance is on the rise in Finland. As has been reported by Finnish media outlet Vastavalkea, ordinary Finns are reluctant to express their personal world-view because of the threat to their jobs and personal safety from right-wing authoritarian nuts who believe themselves to be the new Western crusaders. These NATO-trolls have created a toxic and Gestapo-like atmosphere in Finland for many Finns who simply don't agree with the NATO-trolls' version of how the world works.

How the world actually works is that fascist/pathological types are given a platform from which to spread their evangelical zeal for 'the established authorities', in this case the NATO-US grip on European countries. This is done through various techniques of manipulation, primarily through paralogical suggestion, in which agents of this subversive network spin narratives (lies) in order to confuse people. They don't do this consciously of course. It comes naturally to them because it's merely an outward manifestation of their two-dimensional, barren and pathological inner mental and emotional landscape.

The way in which normal people can recognize people like Torsti is by studying their written and spoken words. Such types are unable to use facts properly, and use commonly agreed-upon terms and concepts inappropriately... because they don't actually understand what the words mean. They only learn to use them because they observe the effects that specific applications of these words produce in others. And then they abuse those words in order to abuse and manipulate the normal population. 'Facts' have no objective basis in reality for them because a 'fact' is simply whatever they believe it to be in the moment. Or, perhaps, whatever their handlers tell them it is.
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Torsti on maneuvers, gunning for Russian infiltrators on Finnish social media.