POSIWID — The purpose of a system is what it does.


My method for coping with an abundance of anxiety during this do-or-die presidential election in the midst of a global pandemic was taking a deep dive into the public reporting on two of the influencers who shared a lifelong dream of actualizing the special moment in history we are now living through: Roy Marcus Cohn, the master; and the apprentice, Donald John Trump.

The resulting multiple-chapter video project presents a pattern in the aggregate, suggesting that if the purpose of a system is what it does, then Roy Cohn and Donald Trump engaged in hostile influence operations aimed at weakening / dividing the United States. 

The honorable journalists whose work made this project possible are noted in the introduction. Additional credits are noted at the beginning of later chapters.

In my opinion, it’s the dogged fact finders who rake the muck that we have to thank for democracy. A free press serves as the baseline of public accountability required for people to be free.

Thank you journalists, for defending the Constitution of the United States. Thank you for illuminating darkness.

Words have meaning. Words have power. This project is dedicated to journalists everywhere.

— Arthur Mullen, December 2020


  • Episode 1 draws inspiration from the 2020 documentary, “Bully, Coward, Victim,” by Ivy Meeropol, granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who Ian Pickus interviewed recently on NPR.
  • Episode 2, “The Apprentice,” is about how Roy Cohn groomed Donald Trump to become his replacement as the Russians’ high profile NYC asset for subversive influence.
  • Episode 3 revisits Trump’s 1987 — the Moscow trip, his Presidential ambition, and 3 competing Atlantic City casinos — through the lens of, “Ideological Subversion,” as defined by defected KGB contact Yuri Bezmenov.
  • Episode 4, “Dreamicide,” features NYT reporting (sources are listed in intro, but that’s not super clear because, sorry again, it’s badly self-produced) detailing the economic consequences resulting from Mr. Trump’s repeated casino bankruptcies in the 1990s.
  • Episode 5, “Perestroika,” combines Russian money laundering and Mr. Trump’s image restructuring by way of Mark Burnett’s post-scrapped-Mir-project reality TV show.
  • In Episode 6, Trump’s rising television fame dovetails with an apparent implicit threat from Russian President Putin, in the form of a Russian mob hit on Sixth Avenuue.
  • Episode 7 draws back the curtain on Russia’s early investment in the American social media company Facebook, and the melodrama of Trump’s astroturf campaign against Jon Bon Jovi, all of which helped set the stage for Russia’s active measures and disinformation operations in the 2016 election.


Another way to watch “POSIWID.”

The following playlist features POSIWID in shorter individuated videos:

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