Add this one to the bad signal file: while commenting on a BoingBoing story about the shutdown of Cryptome.org, Teresa Nielsen Hayden mentions this oddity:
Anyway, what this guy said was that Reader's Digest has deep old connections with the intelligence community, and that they use it to launch ideas and articles they want to have in circulation. I have to say that Cryptome.org isn't the sort of thing I expect to see written about in Reader's Digest.
I expect there's nothing to it.
Whether or not it's true, I find the juxtaposition captivating. Maybe it's just the mundanity of the outlet--which, admittedly, is the point. I used to read my great-grandfather's large-print copies of Reader's Digest as a kid. The idea that some of it was a form of propaganda or an under-the-radar public influence campaign is so deliciously paranoid that it almost circles back around to plausibility.