Every day in my article comments and social media I get people warning me that this or that journalist, activist or politician is “controlled opposition”, meaning someone who pretends to oppose the establishment while covertly serving it. These warnings usually come after I’ve shared or written about something a dissident figure has said or done, and are usually accompanied by an admonishment not to ever do so again lest I spread their malign influence. If you’ve been involved in any kind of anti-establishment activism for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered this yourself.

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