The Art of the Show Trial

Author: Mike Sonnevedlt


The Age of The Show-trial


“But one stream has never dried up in the USSR, and still flows. A stream of criminals untouched by the “beneficent wave summoned to life...” etc. A stream which flowed uninterruptedly through all those decades—whether “Leninist norms were infringed” or strictly observed—and flowed in Khrushchev's day more furiously than ever.

I mean the believers. Those who resisted the new wave of cruel persecution, the wholesale closing of churches. Monks who were slung out of their monasteries. Stubborn sectarians, especially those who refused to perform military service: there's nothing we can do about it, we're really very sorry, but you're directly aiding imperialism; we let you off lightly nowadays—it's five years first time around.

These are in no sense politicals, they are “religionists,” but still they have to be re-educated. Believers must be dismissed from their jobs merely for their faith; Komsomols must be sent along to break the windows of believers; believers must be officially compelled to attend antireligious lectures, church doors must be cut down with blowtorches, domes pulled down with hawsers attached to tractors, gatherings of old women broken up with fire hoses. (Is this what you mean by dialogue, French comrades?)

As the monks of the Pochayev Monastery were told in the Soviet of Workers' Deputies: “If we always observe Soviet laws, we shall have to wait a long time for Communism.”

Only in extreme cases, when educational methods do not help, is recourse to the law necessary.

Here we can dazzle the world with the diamond-pure nobility of our laws today. We no longer try people in closed courts, as under Stalin, we no longer try them in absentia, we try them semi-publicly (that is to say, in the presence of a semi-public).

I hold in my hand a record of the trial of some Baptists at Nikitovka in the Donbas, in January, 1964...” -The Gulag Archipelago


Before we even discuss the matter of show trials described in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago, we would be benefited with a little reminder of the attitude and atmosphere that surrounded the Soviet regime and the communist social climate.

Most do not think about the religious persecution that took place in the Soviet Union, and we tend not to grasp the anti-religious sentiments that communism carries with it everywhere it goes. The show-trial is really the final step in the whole process, but it is predicated on the belief that the society doing the condemning is so right, so righteous in their assessment of the individual, that no matter of seeking justice is needed. They already have their judgment in mind before the accused comes to court. It is only a trivial matter of optics.

We've watched a similar “fervor” grow and rise up against those who do not ascribe to progressivism. Identity politics and leftism. The Christians, conservatives and those who stand against the progressive (communist) movement are seen as bumps in the road to be squashed. 

Solzhenitsyn described the social attitude toward the believers, (though the same attitude was present with “politicals” or those who were accused of standing against the communist regime) and discusses at great length the social upheaval that continued in the Soviet Union for 70 years.

But it's important to note the show trials described in the book, and then determine if in fact we may be witnessing our own beginning of show trials and political persecution.


“This is how it's done. On the pretense that their identity must be check, the Baptists who arrived to attend the trial were held in jail for three days (until the trial was over, and to give them a fright). Someone (a free citizen!) who threw flowers to the defendants got ten days. So did a Baptist who kept a record of the trial, and his notes were taken away (but another record survived). A bunch of hand-picked Komsomols were let in before the general public by a side door, so that they could occupy the front rows. While the trial was in progress there were shouts from the spectators: “Pour kerosene over the lot and set fire to them!” The court did nothing to curb this righteous indignation. Typical of its procedures: it admitted the evidence of hostile neighbors and also that of terrorized minors; little girls of nine and eleven were brought before the court (who the hell cares what affect it has on them as long as we get our verdict). Their exercise books with texts from the Scriptures were introduced as exhibits.

One of the defendants, Bazbei, father of nine children, was a miner who had never received any support from the Union committee at his pit because he was a Baptist. But they managed to confuse his daughter Nina, a schoolgirl in the eight grade, and to suborn her with fifty rubles from the union committee and a promise to place her in an institute later on, so that during the investigation she made fantastic statements against her father: he had tried to poison her with a sour fruit drink; when the believers were hiding in the woods for their prayer meetings (because they were persecuted in the settlement) they had had a radio transmitter— “a tall tree with wire wound all around it.” Afterward these lying statements began to prey on Nina's mind, she became mentally ill and was put in the violent ward of an asylum. Nonetheless, she was produced in court in the expectation that she would stick to her evidence. But she repudiated every word of it! “The interrogator dictated what I had to say himself.” It made no difference. The shameless judge ignored her latest statements and regarded only her earlier evidence as valid. (Whenever depositions favorable to the prosecution come unstuck, this is the typical and regular dodge used by the courts: they ignore what is brought out in court and base themselves on faked evidence obtained in the preliminary investigation: “Now, what do you mean by that? It says here in your deposition...You testified during the investigation...What right have you to retract now? That's an offense, too, you know!”

The judge is not at all interested in the substance of the case, in the truth. The Baptists are persecuted because they do not accept preachers sent by an atheist plenipotentiary of the state, but prefer their own. (Under Baptist rules, any brother can preach the Gospel.) There is a directive from the Oblast Party Committee: put them on trial and forcibly take their children from them. And this will be carried out, although with its left hand the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet has just (July 2, 1962) signed the world convention on “the fight against discrimination in the sphere of education.” One of its points is that “parents must be allowed to provide for the religious and moral education of their children in accordance with their own convictions.” But that is precisely what we cannot allow! Anyone who speaks in court on the substance of the case, anyone who tries to clarify the issue, is invariably interrupted, diverted from his train of thought, deliberately confused by the judge, who conducts the debate on this level: “How can you talk about the end of the world when we are committed to the building of Communism?”

“The court trying the Baptist M. I. Brodovsky (at Nikolayev, October 6, 1966)  was not too squeamish to use crudely faked documents; when the defendant protested –“This is dishonest of you!” —they barked back at him: “The law will crush you, smash you, destroy you!”


The Baptist's punishment? From 1961 to June 1964, 197 Baptists were condemned, 15 of them women. Prisoners' dependents, left without means of support: 442, 341 were under school age. The majority got 5 years of exile, but some got 5 in a strict regime camp, with 3-5 years of exile addition. 

The individual stories are saddening and sickening. And the theme is frightening. When the levers of power determine to stem and stamp out a group opposed to their mission, the crushing oppression comes in full force. The people writhe and scream under the weight of the tyranny, yet they seem to have no sense of how to battle or push back.

The question is: are we in the age of the show-trial? Are we now on trial not just for our crimes, but because we do not align with the deeper agenda and motivations of the power structure? Added to that, does the power structure feel it must fulfill its obligations to such an ideology?


Ahmed Arbery Case

While it was the Trump case that got me thinking about the idea of show trials (and discussion about a few other cases that I'll cover quickly), this case sunk in that the truly communist, identity politics ideology is at play all over our nation today. 

Ahmed Arbery was shot and killed on Feb 23, 2020. A leaked cellphone video shows two white men approaching Arbery, a 25 year old black man as he runs down the road. One of the men, can be seen struggling over a shotgun with Arbery before Arbery is shot and dies. It's alleged that robberies had been happening in the area, and the men saw Arbery on a construction site as though he were scoping out tools. They attempted to make a citizen's arrest, but Arbery fled. Arbery then turned and attempted to remove the shotgun from one of the men, a struggle ensued, and Arbery wounded up shot.

People allege Arbery was merely out for a jog, though he was wearing work-boots at the time of the scuffle. One of the men was Coast Guard trained and appeared to have expert knowledge on law enforcement and the use of force.

For their crime, which was concluded to be a hate crime, two of the men received life sentences. The man who filmed received 30+ years. The label of “hate crime” and the exposure of the crime placed upon those men a penalty that is just under execution.

Despite the questionable circumstances of the event, the men have been painted as racist. Our president himself determined that this verdict counteracted the Kyle Rittenhouse case by condemning the three men.

Don't forget, Rittenhouse was a case that concerned a young man, who had expert gun control, who shot 3 attackers in self-defense during a riot. The prosecutor allegedly lied, twisted facts and broke the law in order to get a guilty verdict, and thankfully the judge had none of it. Rittenhouse was found not guilty, but that verdict seemed to have set up the three men in the Arbery case for a guaranteed conviction.

Rittenhouse was absolutely slandered as a white supremacist, that he went there to shoot black people (even though the three people he shot were all white, two of which were convicted sexual abusers) He was accused of being a Proud Boy, and accused of bringing a gun across state lines. He was accused of hunting people and starting all of the issues.

It was all lies, drummed up because the only verdict the establishment wished to have was “guilty.”


Peter Navarro

Former Trump Advisor Peter Navarro was arrested at Reagan National Airport, handcuffed, denied food and water, and denied a request to phone his lawyer. He faced two misdemeanor contempt of Congress charges. Mind you, Eric Holder did the exact same thing when he was Obama's AG, with no punishment whatsoever. Our Congress has determined that ignoring a Congressional subpoena is a dangerous, and horrible affair—if you're part of the wrong political persuasion.

Why was Navarro so evil? He was refusing to answer House Democrats questions surrounding the 2020 election and the Jan 6th riot. 

Eric Holder? He had documents relating to the “Fast and Furious” scandal, and was tied to an estimated death of 150 Mexican civilians.

Judge Amit Mehta said, “It is a minimum why the government treated Mr. Navarro's arrest in the way it did. It is a federal crime, but it is not a violent crime.” He also said, “It is a surprise to me that self-surrender was not offered.”

Meanwhile, two other Trump White House aides similarly ignored subpoenas, and were not charged.

Ps- it's also been suggested that Navarro was placed in leg irons by the FBI when he was arrested. And of course, it is most likely the first time a senior advisor to the president has been criminally charged for refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena.

Weeks after Navarro, the Biden DOJ brought in former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clary outside of his home in boxer shorts as they executed a search warrant as part of an “ongoing fraud investigation.”

Or how about the pre-dawn raid on Roger Stone's home for lying to Congress? And, oh by the way, CNN somehow just happened to be there before it went down.

But no arrests were made during the Obama administration.


Jan 6

The event that started a lot of the craziness was January 6th. Plenty of people still sit in jail, awaiting trial, others have had the book thrown at them, and there has not seemed to be much discretion on what activities the person was participating in.

Others have had their houses raided by the FBI merely because they were present. The whole event gave the Democrats the green light to create a whole new level of Trump Monster: insurrectionists.



His house was raided by the FBI in order to secure “15 boxes” of classified material. The lies have been swirling around the whole situation, as AG Merrick Garland has attempted to distance himself from the event, and the White House likewise claimed they only knew about it from the media.

Trump has been attacked time after time for various “charges.”

Russiagate –accused of being a Putin puppet. Lasted several years. found to be a complete fabrication

Ukrainegate—Made a phone call to the Ukraine asking to look into a situation, that just so happened to involve Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and a threat Joe Biden bragged about on camera, getting the Ukraine to do what he wanted while dangling 1 Billion dollars over their head.

This lead to Impeachment number 1

Nazigate—He was accused of saying nazi's are good people. But the full video PROVES he said in fact the opposite. 

Jan 6th—He told his supporters to march down and protest peacefully, but that was ignored and swept under the rug, in order to hold a second impeachment and accuse him of insurrection.


These are just a few.


You might think that a few situations don't determine that we are in the era of show-trials. And I don't believe we have hit the true full force of show-trials yet. But, the rumblings are beginning. When political opponents are charged, hauled off in chains, their houses are raided, and the government attempts to use full force against them to crush them, then it's safe to say that America is about to be witness to the public show-trial.

Looking at civilian trials like Arbery, Rittenhouse, Floyd, and others, you see the influence of the society on the ruling. Politicians and activists come out in haste, having condemned the one on trial before it has begun. They claim that justice is destruction, and that the only way to see peace is to see the defendant destroyed.

We watched rioting happen for an entire summer, tearing the nation apart because of the George Floyd incident. We watched Trump officials chased after and handled with brute force for misdemeanors. We've witnessed a former president's house get raided by the FBI for some documents that the FBI, signing judge, and DOJ don't seem to want to clarify as to what's behind it all.

You watched pro-life centers and churches get ransacked, burned and trashed because Roe v. Wade was overturned. People stripped naked in churches in the middle of service to disrupt them because they might believe in something. A Supreme Court Justice was almost assassinated (with others on the would-be assassin's list), and the left saw fit only to lament it didn't quite happen.


The art of the show-trial is to whip the people in a frenzy, create and solidify an enemy to the “people” and to carry out the rage of the establishment as well as the society on those matter whether they're innocent or not. The beauty of the show-trial is that the facts don't matter. The narrative does.

It becomes a show, an act and entertainment. Did you know that the Democrats hired a TV executive to produce the Jan 6 hearings? It was staged as a true crime show, drumming up all the needed points of a show-trial. Did you know that the Republican picks for the committee were all rejected, they were not allowed to cross-examine, and they were not allowed to call their own witnesses?

When a nation's justice system has lost its credibility, and becomes an extension of a political party/movement, you see the court room become a place to air out all of the accusations against the accused, as fact. Any evidence to the contrary is ignored or buried, and the public feels as though they have the right and duty to condemn the person on trial before the verdict is reached. The court system itself passively allows the carnival, and when a nation hits the final show-trial position: they become the ring-leaders.

The enforcement side becomes the goons and jackboots, making sure that the ideology of the establishment is carried out with convincing force. After all, Joe Q. Public will believe, “Well, if they're using that much force, then they must have a reason...right?”

Watch carefully, and you'll recognize the path that the establishment is on. They are setting up every pillar to make anybody who disagrees with the state to be a terrorist. You with your Betsy Ross flag, or Gasden flag are now considered an extremist. Our own DOJ investigated parents who showed up to school board meetings. And now the IRS has hired 87,000 new employees.

Your government is gearing up for the main event, and the show-trial is the way to launder the whole farce. A court ruling will have the credibility of an assumed justice system, but in fact will be the exact means with which they find the ability to destroy their own populace.


Sources and additional reading:

Self-Evident Ministries