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The CIA Invents Deep Fake Porn

Deep fake pornography has entered into mainstream consciousness. The incident on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, where deep fake pornography depicting Taylor Swift went viral. However, deep fake pornography has been around for a while dating back to the late 1950s and 60s. Believe it or not, the CIA was the first to engage in such behaviour.

Koesno Sosrodihardjo or Sukarno

In 1945, a man known by the name Sukarno became Indonesia’s first president after leading an independence movement against Dutch colonial rule.

Indonesia would not align with the United States or the Soviet Union, sponsoring the Non-Aligned Movement. The Pacific island nation was populous, strategically vital and home to the largest communist party outside of the Soviet Union despite its non-aligned status.

Sukarno was not a communist himself. He was not afraid to meet with communists like Fidel Castro and make trips to China and the USSR, with the final straw being adding communists to his cabinet, which further strained his relationship with Western leaders, ultimately resulting in the U.S. government engineered his ouster.

If not described as a politician, Sukarno would be called a womanizer. By the end of his life, he had been married 14 times with numerous mistresses on the side. 

USSR Attempt

The Soviets did, at one point, attempt to blackmail Sukarno by filming him having sex with flight attendants. “Sukarno visited Moscow in the 1960s, the KGB sought to take advantage of his renowned sexual appetite, sending a batch of glamorous young women posing as air hostesses to his hotel,” Tim Lister wrote in a CNN piece on sex and espionage. However, the Soviets failed to realize that Sankuro was quite open about his sexual exploits. “When the Russians later confronted him with a film of the lurid encounter, Sukarno was apparently delighted,” Lister wrote.

The United States did not get that message while not hiring women to seduce Sankuro. The CIA would attempt to create a fake porn tape to bring Sankuro down. 

The CIA and the United States Attempt

William Blum wrote in Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II. “A substantial effort was made to come up with a pornographic film or at least some still photographs that could pass for Sukarno and his Russian girlfriend engaged in ‘his favorite activity,” Blum wrote. “When scrutiny of available porno films (supplied by the Chief of Police of Los Angeles) failed to turn up a couple who could pass for Sukarno (dark and bald) and a beautiful blonde Russian woman, the CIA undertook to produce its own films.”

Agents failed to find lookalikes in available films, they also failed to find an actor who could stand in for Sukarno. The CIA decided to make “a full-face mask of the Indonesian leader,” Blum wrote. The mask would then be sent to Los Angeles “where the police were to pay some porno-film actor to wear it during his big scene.”

However, there is no evidence that the video was ever distributed or ever made its way into a threat against Sukarno.

The CIA would ultimately get what it wanted with some help from the British, eventually organizing a coup de’tat that led to Sukarno’s government being replaced by the pro-West dictator Suharto in 1967. Suharto’s “New Order” then embarked on a campaign of mass murder targeting alleged and card-carrying communists.

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