344: Jonna Mendez | The Moscow Rules


welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger as always with my producer. Jason Filipo on the Jordan Harbinger show. We decode the stories. Secrets and skills of the world's most brilliant and interesting people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. We want you to become a better thinker. If you're new to the show we've got episodes with spies and CEO's athletes and authors thinkers and performers as well as toolboxes for skills like negotiation public speaking body language persuasion. And more. So if you're smart and you like to learn and improve you'll be right at home here with us today. On the show Jonah Mendez. She's a former chief of disguise at the office of Technical Service. I honestly had no idea that we still used disguise. I guess it make sense and but apparently it's even more popular than ever so we wanted to have her on the show for those of us that have seen James Bond she was basically Q. But for the CIA. But Jonah wasn't just in the lab. She was also in the field working with operatives and she was stationed in Moscow during the height of the Cold War in the seventies and eighties. She's one of the pioneers or innovators of espionage disguise including concepts. Like this guy is on the run which is more or less what it sounds like changing while walking using special clothes and devices in just a few seconds. Not just like taking off a jacket for turning into somebody completely different within seconds walking through a building for example the concept of identity transfer turning one person into another or cloning people so to speak all of this is and was done to avoid confuse or shake surveillance because in the game of espionage if the asset has surveillance the operation has gone bad. And you'll hear that during the show today. They also used disguise to make surveillance lose the agent for a bit so they could do their thing and then come back on surveillance radar deliberately. These disguises were so good that later in her career pbs film crew filming her and recreating. An exercise actually didn't even recognize her so they weren't filming even though they were looking for her the entire time and she told them that she was going to be in disguise. So that's how good these are. These are not just like the fake news. Fake Mustache and glasses. You're thinking of right now so come join us some very high tech and some very low tech innovation in the field of espionage and disguise as well as plenty of war stories from the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. If you WANNA know how I managed to book all these great people well I gotTA network. That's crazy huge teaching you to do the same thing because it's very important for your business if you don't have a business it's important for your career or just your regular personal social life. Come join me. It's a free course. Jordan harbinger dot com slash course. And I'm teaching you how to do that by the way. Talk about it and espionage skill said this is something I've been teaching to intelligence agencies all over the world so I'm giving you these billion version it's free and there's no upscale Jordan harbinger dot com slash course by the way most of the guests on the show. Actually subscribe to the course and the newsletter. So come join us. You'll be great company now. Here's John Did you spent much of your career in the Soviet Union and I would love to know what that's like because for example. You're under surveillance all the time. That's kind of given in the Soviet Union. Just being there as a foreigner you're automatically under suspicion as by or they just consider you the same as the spy. There's no foreign business over there. I assume right there is foreign business. the thing that drew the attention was the American embassy in particular. We weren't the only ones that had surveillance but we had. I think we were in a special category I think we got their top teams in their undivided attention on occasion. They were very often not sure who might be the intelligence officers and so they would start out anybody that was assigned there. We'll get just really strenuous surveillance. Twenty four hours a day and then they'd sort of lighten up on some people who started looking like more ordinary. They might give special attention to this group of people who they thought looks suspicious so our job was always to be in that first group to look ordinary. That was the beginning of a relationship. That would color your assignment in Moscow. If they really felt that you were part of the evil empire they were just unrelenting. It was a smothering kind of surveillance. And that's why we we invented Moscow rules. We didn't have like Paris rules or Tokyo rules. Or is it the only city in the world where the opposition was just so leaning on a so hard that we trained? We deployed everything we did. There was unique because of that embrace that we were in a of surveillance the embrace. It almost sounds like a nice little. Kgb Hug that you had gone there it could kill you literally. Kill your foreign agent for sure you know. And that's what they were after. I mean they were following us just every minute or they were watching us or they were listening to a center. Apartments are they were sitting next to us in the American embassy in in the shape of a foreign national. Who's working with us to help in really helped? Do the paperwork help. Make the shipments come make everything work. They were everywhere around us but they weren't really after us. They were after the Russians that were working with us. They were after the people in their country that were committing treason. Were betraying their country. Working Press and if they could get to those people they would execute them and they did that so much pressure and I definitely want to discuss that later in the show because there are some very specific examples of people that just sound like they either had a tolerance for stress. That was well beyond just not even in the solar system is the level of trust that the rest of have or they were wired completely differently and I wonder what you think about that. But this is nineteen seventy-six Moscow. And what through eighty five? What time period are we talking about here runs up to about eighty nine and I think in the book I think the first case we talk about was really our first case there? That was in sixty three. That was at the beginning when we were unable to basically manage an espionage case in in Moscow that one only lasted eighteen months and they found him and they arrested him and they execute him was only been coffee. That's so terrifying looking back. Eighty nine not that long ago it is but it isn't and I was born in one thousand nine hundred. I'm not even forty right now so to have a country that's like this in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine so to tell. -Tarian is crazy. I've been to North Korea a few times and I would imagine it's kind of similar. North Korea seems I can't imagine anything more controlled than North Korea. But maybe it's possible. I'm not sure North Korea's almost in a category of its own. I haven't been to North Korea so I can't really comment but I've read a number of books about it about how it operates about how they control their citizenry and I mean. We've all seen little peek set. What happens if step out of line including if you're an American student over there who pulls a poster off wall you know incomes home basically brain dead so they yeah they know how to keep the lid on and how to keep their people marching in line. What's interesting about this? I think a lot of people will be like. Oh America's not free either. I always get those emails after I do shows like this but I think what people don't understand is the reason that they were able to keep such a tight grouping of you at a tight embrace on you is because they don't have any back then they had no semblance of freedom. They could lockdown anything. They wanted people had no right so they could just absolutely flood the city with state resources and monitor everything and everyone and that type of thing is just not possible in a free society. Would you agree with that people who speak that way? Probably haven't travelled very widely. You almost need to go take a look at the other possibilities places that you could have been but you weren't places that you could be living today but you're not. You're living in the United States to really appreciate the freedoms that we have. You know I I never WanNa talk about politics. When I'm talking about this book but it ebbs and it flows there are people who would like to tighten up security. There are people who are much more relaxed about security but even when security is tight back here doesn't even begin to approach. What some of these foreign countries but their citizens through I watch documentaries all the time and I saw recently in Belarus and there's a group of students that do these plays that are kind of like. Hey we should have more freedom and look. They're locking down or internet and they get busted beat up by cops and thrown in jail and they go missing. It's really crazy to have a country like that in Eastern Europe in two thousand twenty. You know there was a rock band in In Russia will be. They called Pussy Riot. Yes she was on the show. Actually really yeah sorry. I didn't hear that I'd like to hear one of them. Talk about it but it was a great opportunity for the government to make a statement to remind their citizens that this is not allowed. This is what will happen faith through her in prison for years and they had her making uniforms and they were beating up and salting are she's toughest nails. You'd have to be to be in that position. She's just one of the toughest people that I know. She's a true. Her international notoriety is an artist is for a good reason. What's strange is you know you think. Oh who's GONNA commit treason against their own country? They must hate Russia. They must hate the United States. She actually loves Russia in hates Vladimir Putin so she's very specific about that. I said why do you still live in Russia? And she said I would die without it I would suffocate without it. I'm Russian Vladimir Putin and his cronies we have to get rid of so she is just not afraid of anyone obviously a lot of Russians have that same visceral attachment to their country. They love their motherland. It's hard to separate them from it. We've exfiltrated some people we've had defectors come out from Russia. They come to this country they see all these choices. They have in a drugstore. You have to choose from like forty kinds of toothpaste. They have trouble coping with that and a lot of them. Get very very morose and depressed and discovered that they would like to go back. That's what Russia now of course capitalist more or less I mean yes. There's a lot of cronies stuff going on there. And that's a whole that's a whole different show. We talked about some of that with bill browder before foot having that kind of environment in communism like Old School. Stalinism or Leninism. I guess it would be called. Well I don't know I'm not up on that. It's either North Korea's certainly Stalinist having that kind of society with no choice and no free commerce to miss that is kind of like an alien notion to those of us who grew up in the United States or the Western world at all. That's right you know the mark that Stalin left on that society carries on today. If you sit down with a Russian couple and you say that your family history in your country. What part of Russia were they from? How did that go? You almost always hear the stories about the purges you'll hear stories about arrests and murders where their widows were orphans. There were just these tragedies on a scale that we can't imagine stolen was just he was just so brutal isn't even a big enough word for what he did and he left a mark that continues today. There are people in Russia who can't proceed further in their careers because say their grandfather worked with the Bolsheviks or the white Russians there's a mark there's mark in their personnel files somewhere that says they can't be trusted they can't be promoted beyond a certain level and that's one of the things that drives that citizenry into our arms. They hate that part of Russia. They that piece of Russia and that is a catalyst for them to work with us. I have a friend who I grew up with and went to college with him and lived with his father. Has I think too. And he worked for Dupont and had a pretty darn good career guy with two chemistry. Phd's I said. Why did you leave Russia? And they said well. I wasn't allowed to have a job because I'm Jewish and they said we have to. Phd's what a waste of human capital and needs to know why they're doing how they're doing compared to countries that don't deal with that kind of thing exactly. Yeah so going back to the Moscow rules. I think it was at a CIA official that quoted in the book. That said it would be easier to run agent on Mars that Dick Helms one of one of our legendary chief CIA. That was his comment. And it was right on the mark. There's something like fifty thousand KGB agents in Moscow to counter the CIA and other foreign intelligence agencies just thinking about that. I read that I wrote that down and going over my notes this morning. I thought I think the town I grew up in which was not that small had forty thousand people in it now. It was next to other towns so it seemed larger for that reason but fifty thousand people. There's you'd need multiple high schools. That's the size of the University of Michigan campus including all staff and faculty all the students from all the different university campuses in the area. That's still more people you know that number came from Oleg Kalugin and only was KGB officer. He didn't defect quality lives in the United States now. He transplanted himself he became he became disenchanted with KGB and he went into politics in Russia he was in the parliament for awhile and then he decided he'd start a new life over here they had already taught him as a spy in the KGB. Perfect English I mean only came and just fit right in these board member of the international spy museum. Now he's a Russian representative there He was the one that gave me the number. I hadn't seen that number until I interviewed him. I interviewed Jack. Barsky also on this show. Who Have you heard of him at all? Yes yeah that kind of story to know that that's happening is absolutely crazy. Because when I look at the people who let's say defect which is the wrong word but the people that go and they move over to Russia. It's like Steven Seagal where we're just kind of like all right. See you later. Nobody's going to miss you. You know. It's not some high level parliamentarian who decides to go start living in Washington DC or Manhattan. Because they're sick of it. It's somebody who's kind of generally not stupor beloved type of person and has maybe a rough or strange passed in actually prefers authoritarians over normal societies. And that's I think speaks a lot. I'M NOT ANTI RUSSIA BY ANY MEANS. I think the police fascinating and I think the people are brilliant. Two Cultures Amazing foods amazing. I pretty much like everything about that. Other than some of these major sort of little tags on the reputation of the way that they treat people. It's hard to say that as an American given our track record but it it is different and I wonder what you think about that. Because it's definitely there were kind of not really in the same league when it comes to health society functions. In my opinion you know in the thirties and the forties. There were a lot of Americans who were interested in that experiment going on in Russia. They kind of bought into that idea of this capitalist state where you worked as hard as you needed to and and you will get everything that you needed to carry on. It was interesting. A lot of people went that way for ideological reasons. You meant communist right. Yeah I'm sorry. Yeah and then that tapered off entirely and the ideological flow shifted and the people that they would come to us were looking for our society our freedoms our openness our our ability to live a life unencumbered by all of the restrictions that you find Moscow now the embassy in the Soviet Union. They discovered later head microphones in all the rooms to price. The price ceilings but even in the foundation during construction. I always wondered about this. I thought how come if we're building a embassy that's obviously going to be used for intelligence and diplomacy in a country that might be hostile to the United States. How on Earth can we build that? Where there's no spy gear placed into the actual fabric of the building? And that obviously happened. You know what I'm talking to a public audience like it was yesterday and we get to this point if it comes up first thing I say. How many is there anybody? Here who's worked for State Department? Usually there is not because then I talk about State Department in not best terms the seat we were given originally an old building. It was an apartment building and the United States embassy was in that building for many many years. It was a fire hazard. It was the electricity. Didn't work everything was wrong with it and it was sprinkled with bugs of course then we decided that we needed a new embassy and the Russians decided that they needed a new embassy in DC. It's always reciprocal. Whatever we do at one an embassy we can do to the other. They move forward together so they started building their embassy in. Dc WE started building our new embassy in Russia but State Department brokered the whole deal and stay department for all the wonderful things that they do. Security is not nearly as high on their list is it is at CIA show for starters they gave the Russians the highest piece of ground in Washington. Dc and that's where they built their new embassy which is allowed them to intercept all kinds of microwave. Signals I mean from that kind of point of view. It's an ideal location. They gave us the lowest point in Moscow. It's almost down in a little bit of swamp so we started out on the wrong foot. State Department decided that there was no reason that the pieces of our building couldn't be pre assembled by Russian citizens the pre cast concrete. Rebar the big pieces that go into making. A high-rise building was all put together in Moscow whereas the Soviets in Washington DC insisted on bringing all their workers and no American touched anything not a brick when they built the Soviet embassy so we ended up with a building that was guess what riddled with bugs. And I can't speak to their embassy but I assume that wasn't nearly the same situation when they were building our new embassy. They were putting the bugs into the pre cast concrete. They were pouring the concrete around the bug so that you could not debugged this building. The only thing you can do is tear it down which we basically ended up doing. We had to undo that building and then bring it. American construction workers start again and build it backup been hoped it was more secure. I'm sure it was more secure. But that was such a fiasco such a long drawn out episode and it was kind of embarrassing. That was even allowed to happen to be. Yeah that seems like Amateur Hour. If I'm thinking about this when I'm know fifteen and watching a spy movie you'd think somebody who's in charge of building. The Soviet Embassy from the perspective of the United States might have done a brainstorm session with his teenage kids or something like that just to make sure that he had all the bases covered cheese. There was a point where that building as it was nearing completion and it was becoming clear that we were going to have to tear it down. Where one of the Soviet officials brought to the United States embassy personnel a blueprint to show where all the bugs were knowing that we couldn't remove him knowing that we had to remove the building. And we're going to do that. Gave us the group blueprints just to. I don't know shove it in your face. I think so. I think so fear in here and they're here. That's just unbelievable. This stories you have in the book. The Moscow rules microphones being sewn into people's clothing and then put back in their closet before they notice so you leave for the KGB comes in opens up your closet takes one of your suits out. So's bugs into it puts it back in the closet and get home that night and you hopefully don't notice obviously people did notice which is how we know. This is even happening. I assume you know. There's a European tradition all over Europe but used to be where you leave your shoes if you were like a apartment building or a hotel. Leave your shoes outside the door and somebody the shoe Elf would come at night and shine your shoes. That was just always tradition and our people started noticing. That were microphones in their shoes too. So certainly didn't put their shoes outside anymore. I mean every opportunity to do a bug. They took unbelievable. Yeah wow well you were brought on because of your talent for art which by the way kind of funny now it is because you never hear that anymore from any company ever I feel like but maybe that's not the case. Maybe still does that. I feel like a lot of people who study art I mean isn't it the cliche that they can't get jobs later in here. You are working in in Moscow for the Central Intelligence Agency you know. They hired my husband. Tony Mendez. He responded to an AD IN DENVER IN THE DENVER. Post and the AD said wanted an artist to work overseas for the US Navy and Tony Wasn't artist. He was working artist. He had his own galleries but he was also working with Mark Marietta. He was drawing wiring harnesses for the Titan to missile program. It's not art. But it's a way for an artist to make some money watt. He's doing his art in the evening and Tony was intrigued. Because he couldn't imagine why they would want artists in the navy so he responded and of course it wasn't the navy was the CIA and what they wanted was an artist with the kind of exquisite hand eye coordination Tony ad but not to make art but to make copies to make copies of all kinds of documents. This is where. I'm always careful with how I word this but think travel documents. Tony could make perfect replica of a travel document or stamp or anything. The only thing that he couldn't make because it's not allowed could make money. If you make the other person's money it's an active war. Turns out so see. I did not do that but we were just about everything else. And that was his beginning. That was his entry into NCAA. As an artist I came in as someone interested in art with some photo skills. Not really highly developed photo skills but certainly adequate for entry level off. We went from there. It sounds kind of a low-key job right A. Making fake or copies of documents. I guess I'll I'll use your careful. Wording here I can leave between the lines and but the test that you said would you crossed an international border using the document you just created because that's that's the tests this can make kids orphans wives widows which that is a lot of pressure. Yeah it really was and the artists who are doing this work. Were always very proud of the work that they did and they wanna make it as good as they can make. It became an issue because they wanted everything kind of perfect in these travel documents. That might have stamps inside of them. They're never perfect. The document is perfect. Stamps are not perfect. The story that we always used to tell there was We were copying travel document and the document we were copying had rusted staples in it so are artists who made the duplicate shined staples up. Got That rust out of there and I mean he had this really just pristine document and gave it to his supervisor. To say this is as good as it can get. What do you think the supervisor said you know? The rust is part of the authenticity of the document without the rust at the border of that country. That person's going to be pulled into secondary for questioning something as simple as that so I mean it was really painstaking. And you'd issue those documents and you just tighten up. You'd be watching. Yeah you just be watching the cable traffic. You'd be watching the news to make sure that you didn't see that. Somebody had been detained for that kind of a reason. It was tough work. I can imagine even for a lot of people will go out. They wouldn't notice some of the small details but it doesn't matter rep because if you're looking at travel documents all day and every single one of them has rusty staples because the staples last about a month or six months and you get one with shiny new staple or the staples go in rusty because they've been sitting in a warehouse for five years in a communist country. It looks really suspicious when that comes through and you may notice that or I think and we study a lot of brain science and cognitive science here on the show a lot of people wouldn't necessarily notice the staples they would just go. There's something weird about this passport and I don't know what it is but it's my job to follow my gut when it comes to this sort of thing. So why don't you step in this room here? It doesn't even matter if they notice the staples if they just get. It doesn't fit the pattern completely. One hundred percent it can trips. Somebody's subconscious alarm bells. Well you know when we were talking about documents. There's an offensive and a defensive side to that because we were in the business of making false documents we became the experts in detecting counterfeits and forgeries back. Then this was Twenty five thirty years ago back then. Terrorists were traveling the world on their version of counterfeit travel documents and they were full of mistakes that we saw we'd see generations. You could almost tell. Oh they've got a new guy making them now because he's changed things now he's doing this and he's making that mistake so we published in my offices. We publish something a little book. And we gave it out to all of our friendly allies for their immigration people and it was like if you're looking at a fake pick country a fake Italian passport when the terrorists are making fake Italian passports that consistently make this mistake so the immigration officer. When he had an Italian passport he would go to the Italian page. And if that mistake was in the documentary looking the last time I looked. They had arrested over two hundred terrorists based on that book. Oh that's so interesting. Yeah Yeah I mean you have to use the knowledge. Come and go and it's like I think I studied this as a kid. There's all these little things in the dollar bill right there on the leaf in the background. Yeah yeah that's fascinating that's fascinating I would imagine. The mistakes are not necessarily visual things. Though right it could be like the string. That's in the paper on the cover is lately Tan and this is not could be anything. It could be anything. If you're replicating something it's hard for you to find all of the security features in that document that you're copying you can find maybe ninety five percent of them but that five percents that you don't find that's what we put in our book and then what would happen is the terrorists would find out that. Oh we were stopping those passports and so they start. They do a new run and they'd make another mistake. And so we update our book so we were always chasing behind them trying to call out all the errors they're kind of like cue from James Bond but it's the CIA. And you create these Ukraine gadgets as well as items or was that just kind of different departments. We absolutely we work you. We provided the same services to the CIA we were modeled after military models and after that British model the CIA was sort of brought along by our allies in the UK. And so a lot of things. We did things they had tried. You know that worked so in my office this is my larger office called the officer Technical Service. And that's what this book Moscow. Rules is about really. Is the broader office not just disguise not just documents but the people that did bugs the people that built them the people that turned into third story? Guys that would go in and install those bugs. It's about the people that did all the research are in D. on batteries for their entire careers the trying to make those batteries smaller and smaller stronger and stronger so that we can pack more batteries into a bug so last longer because once you put a bug in place say it's woodblock underneath the conference table in somebody's seventh floor conference room. You will never get back in to change the batteries. The batteries die. You're done that's it. Your operation is over so the length of time those batteries would last which is hugely important. Worked in Clandestine photography. That was an area that I worked in extensively using very very unique cameras. Very unique they were film cameras back then working with low light level video which is kind of where that technology came from. We needed it before the American consumer needed it. We needed to be able to do video in low light level. We could also do thirty five millimeter photography in the dark without any light whatsoever. We invented things that nobody else really needed. But we needed. We were chemists. We Physicist Electrical Mechanical Engineers and a lot of very very narrow technical specialties that formed about half of our office and the other half were operations officers like me like my husband. Tony like a lot of other people out there and we went and deployed the equipment half of his built it the other half of this deployed or train people in how it worked. You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger show. We'll be right back. This episode is sponsored in part by Motley fool. A lot of people have been asking me. Where can they learn investing the stock market? I am no expert in and I don't give financial advice ever I do. Listen to the Motley fool podcast. They've got this stock advisor so each month. 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To Jordan Harbinger DOT COM slash subscribe subscribing to. The show is absolutely free. It just means that you get all of the latest episodes downloaded automatically to your podcast player. So you don't miss a single thing and now back to the show. It's funny to think about tiny cameras. Being kind of the height of technology in the age of satellites. Right we we have a man walked on the moon. We have satellites orbiting the Earth for communication and espionage. But it's like hey. Can you make a camera that can take pictures in the dark? You don't think about that because you think of that almost as technology but it's it really isn't. It's very handy if you can do that. If you can be non alerting while you're collecting the intelligence. So have you back up for a minute and you look at what our main mission was. It was to collect intelligence. For our policymakers in Washington on the plans and intentions of our enemies. That's distilling down just about as clear as you can get it. We wanted to know. What are they going do next so today somewhere at at Langley they put together a program for all CIA around the world and one of the one of the priority items in our next year program will be. What is Kim Jong Hoon? What's he doing? What's he going to do? Another piece of it will be what Putin doing. What's going to do and it gets specific. What about their nuclear program? Where is it? Where's it going and country by country? It's it's a program call and then. Cia spreads it out and says who has access to this information. Who in the world knows the answers to these questions? Okay let's go recruit them. Let's go get them on our side. Let's go find them and meet them and see if we can't get some of them to work for us. That's kind of how how that whole thing plays out our job at Otas in this queue office was to provide our case officers with whatever they needed to further their recruitment effort or if they had an operation that was going live to help keep it clandestine and a really big part of it from me was also to protect those foreigners that are working for us. Keep them alive. They will provide as much intelligence as they can. And then if we need to exfiltrated if something goes wrong if there's trouble we always had agreed up front when we recruited them that we will come in. We will get you. We will come get you and your family and we will get you out. That was the deal. A lot of people might not realize that a lot of slash most intelligence or at least the human intelligence was gathered by people who lived in the country that were Russians. For example. I think a lot of folks have a spy movie kind of idea of what the CIA does. And they're thinking your age and your trained and you're running around flown in from Virginia. And now you're in Moscow running around taking photos of documents. But it's the people that those people recruit that work in the place where the documents are stored maybe for example that are taking the photos and then handing them off and I think a lot of folks don't realize that so that's to clarify for the audience. That's what I think is important here because those people are taking a huge risk if if someone is flown in from Virginia has diplomatic immunity into diplomatic cover. They get arrested. They get booted out of the country persona non grata usually right so they can't come back but if somebody who's Russian or Soviet citizen GETS CAUGHT. They shot by a firing squad. I think if they're lucky they do yeah they do they get executed and their families. Go THROUGH HELL. I mean their families are then marked. You know for the rest of their lives. Can't get good jobs. Can't get much of anything. Because they were part of the family of the trader serious business the engineers that in the seventies sound kind of like tech startup engineers of today so eccentric a little. Maybe sometimes awkward. Brilliant very focused kind of nerdy. Yeah Yeah I was GONNA say go ahead. They were lovely. I mean they were I'm not sure how we hired some of them because back then and maybe this is true today. We because we were government agency could never offer say the engineers the same salary that they would get from some big corporate office. We could not compete with salaries and I used to go on some of the recruiting efforts. So what we have to do is find. Just the right people and we'd say look. We can't actually tell you what you'll be doing. But she'll be working in your field. You'll be on the cutting edge of your field. You will be inventing new technology. You'll be helping US solve some of these requirements. It's worth doing. Why not do something that matters? Why not do something that makes the and so some of them would come to us? I tend to think that some of the most interesting ones came to us because our technical officers went onto win awards and invent technology that didn't even exist yet. I mean they were. They were into bubble memory long before the private industry was. We were looking into areas that the small batteries for instance eventually spilled out into the commercial market. There in hearing aids are watches in our phones. All that stuff. Today we were pushing technology to solve our problems and I think Some of the people that were helping us do that. We're just amazing. I mentioned one in the book is named George and he. He was our battery expert. And I used to laugh because I would say you know. Short of being a urologist. I can't think of a more boring profession than to be a battery expert but I mean he made huge difference in the commercial technology made a difference the CIA and then went on years later to some fame and glory. He capped his career when he was part of the team that saved the Hubble telescope and that telescope was having a power source problem and George was part of the team. That figured out how to fix it so we just kind of stand over on the side whenever we hear one of our guys done yet one more wonderful thing and we applaud. We had amazing talent. I know one of the things you worked on primarily was disguise. I thought that was kind of funny because when I think disguise I think early nineteen hundreds or like black and white silent film Charlie Chaplin Moustache. I don't really think nineteen seventy-three which is according to the book kind of when disguise really started to be taken seriously you got help from Hollywood. Why is it important? Then why did it start to really take off then? You know a lot of what we did in disguise. That was above and beyond wigs and mustaches was for Moscow because it was such a tough place to work in some parts of the world. You don't need that much in the way of disguise in some parts of the world. You might wear a wig a mustache. When you're meeting maybe you're having a drink with your agent's your foreign agent or maybe you're out in the park and you're just walking talking but but you don't WanNa be seen with that agent but the thing you're worried about more than security in that country is that maybe your next door neighbor from pick a place. Where from New York City from Manhattan? Maybe the next door neighbor in the apartment down the hall from you is also in Paris. And he's GonNa walk by and see you and come over and WanNa talk and you can't talk. You can't be billed at night even though your real name is bill because the person you're you're with he thinks your name is gene and that happens so often. It sounds odd but it did. That was a reason to wear a disguise so we would give those were called traditional disguised and everybody had a traditional disguised just in case they needed it. When terrorism started happening we started getting walk INS at our embassies around the world. Terrorists coming in wanted to see what the inside of the MC looks like. So they'd show up. Show up at the Marine Guard post one and they say. I want to talk to an intelligence official and if they really wanted to they'd say I have some information that they would want so the marine guard would have to call us. Somebody would have to go down and talk to them. There was a protocol for who would go. There was a protocol for how to manage it but on a lot of occasions all the terrorist wanted to do was see what the guy looked like and then they were going to set up outside. I'M GONNA wait for him to come out and his car could follow him home. See where he lived. Did he ever? Why did he dog? Did you have a kid and maybe start planning something? That was going to be really uncomfortable for that family. So those traditional disguises started becoming a little bit like body armor and our guys started using disguise in much more frequently than they had before they didn't even care if the terrorists knew that they were in disguise. They just didn't want the terrorists to be able to identify them. That was a push in the area of disguise. It started at about that time about the seventies that makes sense. I can imagine somebody being like. I don't have time to put this disguise on just where the hockey mask from the Friday the thirteenth guy. At least he won't go. Here's a kangaroo mask. Go down there with your Richard Nixon on or whatever it makes sense that you would want to not let somebody who you don't know who's acting shady. Just find out what you look like and follow you home in Iran or whatever. Oh absolutely yeah. There are a lot of incidents. And it encouraged our men to use their disguise in that made their operations safer. It made everybody safer so that was kind of a a moment. When disguise started becoming more of your operational planning in Moscow it became sometimes frequently. The only way you can do. Your job was to use some form of disguise. Some operations some deception some allusion. Some and that's when we went out to Hollywood and we talked to the magicians. Actually we talked to the magic builders the people behind the magicians create these moments on stage that we all look at and with our mouths hanging open like just a minute. There was an elephant there a minute ago and then he walked in that box and now they've opened the box in the elephants gone. Where where's the elephant and you look at these kinds of illusions and you say your logical mind says the elephant has to still be there but your is your is your say no no he's gone. There's no elephant on that stage. Three is no elephant. We wanted to learn how to hide announcement among other things. We had things we wanted. I might not be that big but we wanted to know. How do you pull that off and off? We went and that was offer Moscow. There's no other city in the world that we needed. I heard that you disguise. An African American and Asian man is two white guys which that is super impressive. I mean I I can almost see you could do it. The other way around you know like doing that direction. Seems even more complicated somehow. Well it was a for car meeting and it was in a dicey situation so the the idea of having the African American and the American diplomat in the same car at the same time was going to draw some undue attention so that particular operation. We didn't use a fine fine finally crafted mask. We use the equivalent of a stunt double mask. I mean that's what it was and it was a stunt double mask for Rex Harrison. The movie star. We used his face. I can't tell you how many times we can make his stunt double mask and we would paint it. You paint it to be dark. You could paint it to be Caucasian. You could put a wig on it. You could turn it into a woman although she was not a very pretty woman. But that wasn't the issue you could do a lot. You couldn't get too close to it but in a car car meeting or my husband had the story when they first started using them the agent and the case officers were in the car the agent head on the stunt double mass. They're both Caucasian now. My husband had made diplomatic. Id cards for them because he could do that. And they came to a roadblock and this is like Oh my God. They didn't plan on that. They came to a roadblock stopped. The car they held up their diplomatic. Id CARDS. The guards looked in the window. Looking at the cards waved them through. And this was just euphoria back at headquarters. Oh my God it worked so well somewhere. There's this old Russian guy who's talking about the time he met Rex. Harrison Moscow probably. Yeah I saw that. Movie Star guided. You guys aren't going to believe who drove through the checkpoint what that doesn't make any sense. Yeah yeah he's got a twin brother. Yeah yeah the idea of identity transfer. It takes a big part of the book and I love this idea. Can you tell us a little bit about what this is? It's not just hair samples facial imprint. But it's like creating a Ma. I'm trying to explain this. Like a cure creating a model of somebody else that exists so that you can kind of clone them and put them in different places so that maybe if you're cloning me I have plausible deniability because I'm on camera at the at the Lakers game. But really I'm at a meeting with an agent or something like that. Is that kind of what's going on here. That went to our more advanced mask technology. Not stunt double masks but masks. That came out of Hollywood came out of their Hollywood. There was man named John Chambers. Who won all kinds of Oscars for makeup and he had done the mass planet of the Apes. We didn't want that. But we were very interested how he fitted those is because the eyes were just right on and they could express emotion in those masks and that was the direction we wanted to head. What we ended up with was something that was actually it was just. It was amazing. They were animated lifelike masks and we create any kind of character over your face. We would fit it to your face but we could also make your face for another person so we could make a twin for you for instance. If we had to view there'd be a donor and there'd be recipient so the case officer would be the donor recipient would be someone about the same bill maybe same same height same weight. Generally we'd put the case officers face on the recipient soon. I had two people that looked strikingly same. And this is what happens in the magic industry out in Hollywood and this. This is what explains a whole lot of tricks. It take place on stage that they're not twins but they're very very similar. They're always women they're always blonde. I don't know it's a thing if you have two people that look a lot alike and you're in Moscow then you can pre-position one of those people who wouldn't be getting huge surveillance because he's not a CIA officer could position him. Maybe in a shop in a cafe somewhere and you could have our case officer come along on foot and he could step into that cafe or whatever it is and come out with maybe menu. Maybe book matches maybe a poster about some music on it. Whatever it is so surveillance. Ccme goes in and he comes right out with something in his hand. That explains why he stepped in that doorway and he goes on down the street. But that's the double that comes out and they follow the double all night long and the real case officer is now without surveillance and can go do the things he needs to do which would be to put down a dead drop to pick something up to put up signal to mail something to make a phone call maybe to meet with someone those things that you cannot do if you have survived that makes sense so if you see me on video doing really bad karaoke it's not me. It's my body double. I'm on a spy mission. For the this is the Dork. They put it in my place right. Yeah Yeah exactly. He looks like he's had too much to drink. You gotTa Work. On your recruiting folks. I think for me if I were in a disguise. I be so paranoid that other people could see it. It would be like that time. I had tried marijuana in college. I'd be like no. I meant a disguise. Everyone knows they can see me. You know I would be weird. I would act weird. You're absolutely right. I mean that's how it is. I remember the first time I put on a disguise. Putting on the disguise isn't the hard part what the hard part is wearing it in public. I went into its backyards. Call seven eleven. I went into a seven eleven in my disguise just kind of browsing and I thought Oh God they're gonNa Think I'm GonNa Steal something. Yeah and you do get paranoid. And that's why when when we were disguising someone for the first time that come in initially and we figure out what we're GONNA DO. And then they go and we have the hair goods made in whatever we're putting together. Then they come back for like a final fitting put everything on Weed. Says if you're okay. Yeah it's uncomfortable. Yeah you think you're GONNA use this. Yeah we take great. Go down to the cafeteria have lunch and then come back. This visit C. I. A. Headquarters where everybody knows everybody in the cafeteria where your office probably has a table where your boss is going to be there where everybody's GonNa be there and they may go and discover that no one paid any attention to them. It's empowering once you get through that you go. Wow I'm hiding in plain sight and no one even knows I'm here. That is so cool and it was only after we went through that process with them that we thought they might use it when they when overseas without that initial exposure they would put it in some sort of a little DOPP kit and put it in the back of their safety for us. Yeah I can see that you have to Kinda be able to go to starbucks grab coffee. Do A walk outside go to the gym to a light workout. Sit around and read drive home and basically forget you have the Dang thing on almost. That's the point you WANNA get. You don't want it to get in the way of whatever you're doing you don't WanNa be distracted because you've got this outfit on You. WanNa be unencumbered. You WanNa be incognito fully aware of what you need to be doing yeah I would imagine you also have to learn how to like eat and drink with fake facial features that don't end up with you dribbling everything down your Chin and not notice you know there are there are limits what you can do. You can't do everything you can. Brief the president of the United States. But it's hard to drink through a straw. It has restrictions but it also has freedom. That's funny I never even thought about that right. You can do all these amazing super complicated things but man if you wanna drink diet coke through the Straw. You are out of luck man. You GotTa wait till you get home. Do we saw live with that. Yeah I think it's a fair trade. We do read about all these old school dead drops. You mentioned a dead drop like fake wooden log that holds messages are used milk carton with fake vomit on it on the ground. I wonder is all this stuff obsolete. Now because of technology and encryption like do we just send them encrypted emails. We're good now or is low tech even more necessary. Now maybe because of advanced electronic surveillance and here we here we go into this hall of Mirrors. I don't know the answer to your question because I'm not there anymore. I don't need to know my common sense would tell me that a lot of this is still used but in a different configuration than what I knew. Otherwise they're not GonNa let me talk about it or write it in my book and by the way just for your peace of mind. They're not gonNA come and get you because every everything that we're talking about is in that book and has been cleared by two years ago. We we never would talk about masks. We never did. We've been gone for a long time. We've never ever mentioned mass all of a sudden. It's okay so it may be that. The form that their masks or their identity transformations may be changing the way they do it. I simply don't know. Yeah that makes sense. I would imagine that. It's not even worth speculating. We're never going to find out so it doesn't matter and even if we did nobody could confirm whether or not we were right around someday. Someone will be arrested somewhere and there'll be something in a paper closely mogo. Oh that's what they're doing right. That makes sense. Yeah that's how we'll find out. How do you evaluate incoming assets or volunteers so the people who work for a foreign government or maybe they're like in the Soviet Union Russian scientists knocks on the window of a car? And you had the story of this guy who kept trying to get people's attention and over and over and over and whoever was getting whoever is being approached by him just kept thinking this guy's obviously kgb. It's so obvious. He's not going to my car window. He's showing up at my door. How do you evaluate these people? How do you know if they're crazy and delusional or if they're the real deal? How do you even begin to test? Someone for that guy that you're describing was it off. Talk fee was probably the most brilliant spy waiver had he was known as the billion dollar spy for value of the intelligence that he gave us back. Then it would be double triple that now. There was a real fear of what we call dangles of double agents being sent to us claiming they wanted to work for us. When in fact they didn't they just wanted to to learn about US SINC- who would meet with them and see what kind of questions we would ask them because that would tell us where the holes were in our intelligence I mean they could by running a a double agent against us they could learn a lot. Tokiwa it took him five. Tries to get through us and it was just almost crazy. Stansfield Turner was the head of CIA back then. He almost shutdown Moscow station. There had been some incidents and he didn't want any more incidents were a lot of reasons. There's James Angleton back at headquarters. He was our counter intelligence person and he was a little over the top on all of that. But what are chief station at? The time finally just decided that we had to meet this man and see what he had. What he had was just pure gold. It was the equivalent of their Pentagon's future plans from radar. This was the beginning of for ground based and airborne Radar Systems. Their new technology that they were going to start producing and they were going to have operational in ten years and we had that information ten years before they built it enough time for the Pentagon to build the countermeasures so by the time it came out we already could defeat. It is amazing. That is amazing. Absolutely amazing and this man was amazing. He was You know he loved his country. It goes back to this thing about Stalin and the purges in his both he and his wife had these terrible stories of what had happened to their parents to their families during the purchase. They could never ever forgive what happened. We offered to exfiltrated Tolkachev. He said No. You didn't want to leave the country. He wanted to help to west work against his country and he was arrested and he was executed. There's a man in the middle name. Try Gone the third case. There are three big cases that we talk about in that book try gone was one of the few who asked for an l. pill he was a really valuable agent he said. I'll work for you on one condition and that is that you give me the ability to take my own life if they arrest me. I don't want them to be able to do what they're gonNA do. And they're all these terrible rumors about what they were going to do. He knew that execution would certainly be part of it but the question was how will they do? It and the rumors were they. Were feeding people into these crematoriums feet first alive so nobody knew if that was true but he was hedging his bet and he said if if they arrest me. I want to be able to make the decision myself. So they arrested him of intially. Everybody eventually got arrested. They stripped him down to his briefs in this room and they took every piece of equipment had with him and they said we want you to write your confession and he said well comrades I will write my confession but I wanNA ride it with my mom blog pin over there on that table with my clothes and everything else so they brought him his mom lockton and we had put that El Paso. We gave him in the cap of the mobile pin with milled. It out so that it was just paper-thin that cap and he knew where it was and he bit down on it. He took the pen and he just put it in his mouth and bit down on it. It was cyanide the Russians in their report to their supervisor said he was dead before he hit the floor which is the way he wanted. It took the one that gave us the information on radar he was the other one wanted. L. Pill there's only two cases I ever knew of where they ask for it and they both had to fight to get it. We didn't WANNA be giving out. Suicide tells anybody but if that was the last straw we would do. Tokyo had one of those pills but it wasn't with him when he was arrested with home in his desk. He didn't never with him so he can use it. That's horrible I know it's straight out of James Bond like this is dark and I'm not trying to make light of somebody having to take their own life but if that's the first time this type of thing was used this is kind of like the. Oh Jeez suicide pill story right. I mean you see it in spy movies. It's a cliche now like you have this suicide device of the suicide pill on a necklace or something like that. Is that where this comes from? I think this probably comes out of some sort of a military you know before the CIA there was O. S. before says there were even some earlier forms of intelligence agencies turned into the CIA. But I think during a were probably it came out of that kind of climate. You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger show. We'll be right back after this. 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Covert well stealing documents and taking photos of them and delivering them. I can't fly me to the United States from Moscow. Trained me for two months and then plot me back at work. So how does it work? It's actually very simple. If you have a real operation you have someone who has access to the information and is willing to work with us. We have a case officer. There is going to run it out of some situation. That foreign agent should not have surveillance if he has surveillance. You don't have an operation. He has to be just a member of the the masses wherever he's working he's working in an aeronautical company if he's working in a chemistry fees working at the nuclear plant wherever he's working he has to be he will be just a normal guy who goes to work every day. No one will follow him. He's not suspicious if he suspicious. You don't really have an operation. So that's all set up when you do the recruiting when you find the person that you think can give you the information that willing to give it to you and they have access to it and they can do it in a way that is not alerting and they can use my little tiny cameras so that they won't be seen taking photographs. They won't be fingered that way. You set it up to protect that foreigner and let him get the information that we want and then the risk is the American going to meet with him because the American will have surveillance not the foreigner. The way the found out is if we lead them if we leave lead surveillance to them and that's where all these tricks about disguise identity transfer and pop-up dummies in cars. And all of that technology comes in to keep the KGB from following our case officer to meet with the agent and for ten years we would not meet with an agent in Moscow. It was too dangerous no matter what we did. We didn't think that we could guarantee that we wouldn't somehow tip them off to who the Russian was. That was working for us so we didn't meet them face to face. We did it all with drugs. We would take our tasking. Memorandum are letter. Whatever form took it might be on film? We would conceal it and you mentioned a couple of them we conceal it in a fake brick or a fake rock or a fake tree limb or crushed. Ken Or an old glove from a construction site covered with grease or like. You said my favorite The milk carton vomit on the outside or a dead rat those were concealment devices made so that we could put them down in a very particular place and the foreign agent newer. That place was and then we will do that. We would place it say by telephone pole. We had to get away from surveillance in order to even do that. We had absolutely no that. We did not have surveillance when we put that thing down by the telephone pole and then we had to go and put up a signal a particular signal. That might be a chalk market. Might be lipstick scratched on something. It could be Take many forms and the signal would mean. 'cause agent would walk by that site every day or drive by Santa Mailbox. The agreed upon place for the signal is on. The mailbox would drive by everyday dry by that mailbox on his way to work. In one day he'd see a white stripe on it He'd know they put something down for me. And I know it's GonNa be by that tree. Saw Go get it. And then after he picks it up then he has to put a signal up somewhere where we drive by. That means I got it. It's not line out there in the open anymore. I got it. This is what if you can't meet with him face to face. This is what it turns into and it's tedious in. Its very carefully done because if you make a mistake I mean it's a big mistake can add the the amount of pressure. These people are in your under pressure with these people are under absolutely insane amounts of pressure. I know you had the car. The pop up doll. I guess you would say in the car to make it look like somebody still in the car when they weren't it. Sounds like the singing mannequins at chucky cheese. You remember those now. Maybe we're a different generation. Maybe like you. Maybe you've seen so these mannequins that would be in a rock band and they could kind of talk and move around and obviously someone was controlling them and they had little cameras in them. This is like in the eighties. It sounds like this sort of automated people and they look kind of real. Especially if you're not right next to it and I know originally started using. What was it like sex dolls and inflating them using gas canisters concealed in briefcases. The pop-up Silhouette. That's what it was called right. Yeah and the book was Tony Story. He was He was somewhere in the Middle East finishing something and he's sitting outside having a beer with friend and they said we need you know for car surveillance. We need a new idea. And they came up with this idea of pub Demi and they called it a Jack in the box. Gibb and initially. It was the sexiest that I'd never heard of so somebody walked through. They said a cable back home to headquarters instead we need. We need about a dozen of these things and so two of our little young engineers with their high water pants in there all the pins in their pockets and you know kind of dirty little guys it down to. Al's magic shop down by the White House and they bought a dozen six dollars and they came back. They said don't ever send a surrogate. Yeah I have a good news of a punch card in the next one is free. Please don't make me go back there. That is the best. Well that's what they started with Gas Inflated. They thought they had something put them in briefcases. One of them was being tested behind the Iron Curtain. More saw it was by one of the wives just to see because the driver of the car would deploy. This was a pop-up dummy which started out in a briefcase on the floorboard the case would step out of the car to wife would hit a button or the driver would hit a button. This dummy would pop up wearing the WIG. Wearing the same clothes is the guy that had just left trailing surveillance would come around the corner still people in the car and they can follow that Carl night they never knew this was always one the goals they should not know 'cause then they ever figured out. They think they goofed up. That you escaped but it was their fault what we always wanted to happen anyway when she was that the gas came out of the canisters. It was so cold because of the compression that it froze the plastic sex doll and she exploded and the wife evidently just freaked so we went out to Hollywood to our Magic People. And we said is better way to do this in. Oh there was such a better way to do it. In the book the first deployment of the first operational deployment was in a birthday cake. The chief of station was driving. The passenger needed to get out of the car. Chief stations wife was in the back seat and the birthday cake was in the backseat. So when the person stepped out of the car the cake went on the passenger seat. Somebody hit the button. The dummy popped up. It was perfect. It worked really. Well I mean they they are behind you. They don't drive up next to you in period. They're being a little discreet. You know they're there and they know you know they're they're but they're not gonNA come up way that you through the window or anything but the head on that dummy turned so it could turn to the driver and then it could turn and look out. The passenger window was fairly realistic. That's how Ed Howard who is one of our huge traders at CIA. He gave away all our secrets and then he fled to Russia years ago. That's how he escaped. He went to his local hardware store and bought the supplies to make homemade Jack in the box. He used a plunger like us with toilet. He used a styrofoam head that we used as a wig block. He put his wig that we gave him on it. He put his Safari Jacket that he always wore on it any fool the FBI and Santa Fe and escaped to Moscow where he lived the rest of his life. I always wonder if people like that who went behind the Iron Curtain. Got There and after a few months where like Oh shit. This was not a good move. You hope that don't you? Yeah totally because you'd think like wow. You cost a lot of innocent people their lives and in exchange for what like not a whole lot. You don't see a whole lot of people fleeing to North Korea across the DMZ right for example. Yes that's absolutely true. So yeah who knows. I'm always so curious it's like I've I've made this call out on this show before if anybody knows any. Americans who defected to the Soviet Union in the eighties? I'm dying to talk to them because I'm so curious. You know what they think and now they can probably speak a little more freely. I'd love to hear balanced version of that. Besides the one I built in my head. Which is that. They regret it right. I don't follow snow. I know he pops up on screens. He's he talks. I'd really be interested to know how es feeling about his decision share. If I were him I think I would be pretty worried to say anything. Because if they decide he can't live there anymore. He's in even deeper trouble and he's already in the amount of pressure. These these assets are under. Though is beyond stressful. The guy was at Tokyo. Chevy put the cyanide pill under his tongue every time his boss said can you come to my because he thought he was going to get arrested and he burned like hundreds of thousands of dollars because he thought. Oh they're gonNA find this evidence in it just turned out to be a false alarm which is like setting millions of dollars on fire when you make two hundred dollars a month or something and the Soviet Union. Yes yeah yeah not. Everybody can handle that kind of pressure and these guys that were doing. They knew there were consequences that they were caught. They knew consequence was and you know the other thing is that they typically their families didn't know what they were doing. It couldn't trust them with not that the families would rat them out but that the families might slip up and somehow make a mistake and so most of the people that worked for us like this were on their own. They were doing this completely separate from the real lives. This was just a category of work that no one knew about but the CIA. And there's I don't have a copy of the book with me now because I gave it to someone this morning. There's a comment from China Hassle in the book she's the current head of CIA and she's talking about how the CIA is the keeper of Human Intelligence source that means people people and that no technology can replace these people and they need to be met and they need to be reassured and they need to look you into the eye and be told how important what they're doing it and that it's worth the risk that they're taking and she kind of pulls that out of the air and says it you can't do this job without without the human beings that are willing to take these risks. It's absolutely true. I'm confused though he isn't he? There was something where he was supposed to fill but his wife was too large that he was worried. She couldn't fit into the plane. Is that what I understood? That's what he said. I think that he just didn't want to leave. You don't want to stereotype. But mostly they did not wanNA leave. They'd rather take a chance then leave but he did say that his wife was too well. Yeah I never saw picture of her so I don't know but then there was one of the case just real quickly in the book where an author here back here in the states had written a book that head. I don't know if he meant to but he had identified one of our Russian sources who was no longer working for us no longer doing what he did but it was very clear to anyone who read the book and our Chief of station in Moscow decided that we had to alert this guy and offer to move. We were always ready to move them. We actually had document packages for all of these people. Ready passports everything. They'd need to get out of the country but our chief of station couldn't get rid of surveillance that he wasn't a man who was out on the street a lot so he he was maybe not as clever working the surveillance thing he wanted to go meet the Russian and say your life is in danger. This book has been published. We couldn't stop this book. It's going to be out. They're gonNA come and get you they're gonNA execute you so he was trying to get to the door to knock on the door. He couldn't get out of the embassy but my husband had been there about a year before had left behind. A contingency disguise is called the carol disguise because there was a woman in the embassy had nothing to do with us who liked to ice skate and she had this distinctive big blond hair. Kind of Dolly Parton hair and so the way we got to that agent to warn him was our chief of station dressed up like a woman. This is a real man. Who did this put on? The dress got carols ice skates. Put them in his lap. Put on Carroll's Wig Gut Carols has been to drive sing carols car. They drive through the gate to the embassy to go out. These people that were never followed. Because they weren't out they couldn't be spies sore achieve of station dressed up as a woman win. Ended up knocking on the guy's door and say you know there's nothing we can do except we can rescue you right now. You want to go. The Guy Said No. I'll take my chances. And he stayed and because he was a war hero and very celebrated war hero in Russia. They didn't kill him so he a good ending is one of the few has one of the few good endings so he was so decorated that if it came out he was the spy. It would've just been damaging to the country's morale like well if he's by maybe. This place is going to Helena handbasket. That kind of I think it's that kind of thing I think that's what it was. But he knew or he thought he knew he said. Thank you actually. He said some things that were really profane but they were just heat of the moment. No way in Hell GonNa leave the motherland. Wow I mean those guys have brass balls you all do honestly like it's really reading the book. You're like Oh gosh what's going to happen next. Please don't kill to He got killed. You know it's really upsetting in the risk level is so high even like you said before you don't even meet these agents for years and years and years because it's too dangerous to do. There was one situation in which I think the guy had done something with the wax of the ink and he had spilled a decoder Stefan it and it obscured the message. Would Have you destroy the coded message. What do you do? You have to explain in the next drop like hey sorry war hog seven. Hq spilled coffee over that thing. You just risked your life to give us. Can you just make another one and drop it off real quick? What can you even do? I think that was the Harry's moment in the book that was an operation that my husband was. He happened to be in station. When that happened. This message came in the message was the agent had prepared the message. Wrong hit used. It sounds ridiculous. He used the wrong kind of paper he used paper with it. Had A wax like butcherblock. What's your paper butcher? Might put some meat in it. So it's waterproof. That's not what you're supposed to do. He had written it in cursive instead of block. Letters cursive is harder to read. If you're doing secret writing hit just sent this message. And when they went to develop it Secret writing and it's not lemon juice in heat or is very sophisticated system but the developer had alcohol in it. So what you take the letter. And you basically floated in a tray of liquid that has alcohol in it that and only that will develop the message so the man that's developing it not my husband but another man he puts it in the tray. And you do it by inspection. You Watch it. And he's looking any. He sees the message he sees it. Come up it's just like developing photograph. So he can see the messages all in Russian. He can't read it but he can see it and he goes to pull it out of the liquid and the letters just float off the page and dissolve and it was a nightmare because this particular message was so important this manages come into country and it was the one chance and we meet him or not. Is he going to meet with US or not? There's a lot of agents you meet them outside of the country and they're like Oh sure yes. I'll work for you I would do. This is not a problem and when they get back to Russia and they around they go well. I don't know this look pretty dangerous. So we're we're never really sure if they're gonNA show up once. They return to their country but his message. They worked night and day to develop that message. They used photography. They pulled out all the old writing in his file compared it to little shreds that were left and put together a what they thought was a message but still in Russian. It was my husband working on this so he didn't know what it said. He didn't even said anything. If these were really letters and the chief of station came in leaned over and locked in it said I will meet you and it was. You know. Big Cheers all around. He was gonNA make that meeting. He was going to work with US and he turned out to be. That was the agent that bit down on. The lethal pill eventually killed himself but in between the letter and the lethal pill gave some amazing amazing intelligence. I can only imagine just the level of risk. You wouldn't do it for money you'd Think Anyway. I guess some people do but there's just seems like there has to be more to it and even when people betray their country like when we look at some of the leaks from the United States when they finally do get caught and go to prison. It's almost always like revenge. Ego Vanity rarely is it just purely financial motivated. There's always Ego In there somewhere one way or another. It's always part of it alre ashamed. When he betrayed the United States it was mostly money Bob Hansen when he retrieved United States was mostly Eagle and these Russians. When they they come out the come up to us for ideological reasons but then when you talk to them for a while. Stalin like I said stolen always comes up. There's a history always. I don't think there was anyone in Russia that wasn't touched by Stalin whose family wasn't touched by Stalin. And it's a mark that another it'll ever go away it's like it's like the. Holocaust people now are still alive. But there's GonNa be people who've never met. The people that went through that that are going to have that. Imprinted becomes part of the family legacy in history that gets passed all the way down like. Where did we come from? Oh we don't know because Stalin murdered everyone in our family and then moved us to the middle of nowhere and here we are. And that's where grandma and Grandpa were born like that kind of thing. I heard that you used to use handwriting analysis. Is that even real? It sounds like such pseudoscientific Baloney honestly because we use it as pseudoscientific Baloney here in the states. It's got a long history in Europe. It respected I years and years ago when I first went to Europe before I even knew what was that it existed. I was working for Chase Bank in Frankfurt and as part of my application I gave them a page of handwriting. It was part of the process. Our handwriting analysis was put together by a European woman who was very well respected in Europe. There's nothing casual about. Her approach was a series of measurements. It was very scientific approach. We used it extensively with our agents. We would have them write some their messages. We would send them for analysis. This was all in a computer to this. Wasn't really eyeballing it so much as you were using the computer but we would discover that people were sick we would discover the people relying I mean. That was our first indication. And then you go explore that and find out. Oh yeah they are sick. Oh yeah they are lying. We discovered that combining handwriting analysis and polygraph and there was a personality sort of tests that we will give psychological assessment test. We will give to our agents and if you had those three pieces of information you had a pretty good handle on who you're dealing with very useful with. This has been very enlightening and I'm very thankful for your time. There's one last little bit. Nobody can really settle this and I don't even know if we'll get an answer today but I was talking with a friend who is also really interested in espionage and things like that he'd said well you know I heard that since there were so many leaks back and forth between the CIA and the KGB. Everything just kind of evened out so maybe the whole thing was awash which. I think is kind of ridiculous. His argument was there's no point in even doing it because everything even now but obviously if one side is doing it the other side's not then that wouldn't end up like that. But what do you think from being on the inside? Are you able to sort of see any sort of scoreboard go? We definitely got one over on them in the end or is it actually kind of six of one half dozen other. I don't know that it's about getting one over on them. But it's about Did we receive any USABLE INTELLIGENCE? Any actionable intelligence. Did we learn anything that made a difference? There was a Cold War conference held at Texas. Am George Bush's university some years ago? Maybe it was twenty years ago and the question was who won the Cold War and we had all kinds of scholars and we had lots of different intelligence people and we had only Kaluga at the very end we only colluded on stage with the CIA officer named Paul Redmond. It was just two people like everybody else had made their made their cases. Now we're down to two people. Paul Redmond was chief accountant. Intelligence and only collusion was an ex. Kgb General so the question was who won at the end of the conference just kept boiling down boiling down and finally Kaluga NSAID. I would say that. For every penetration we had of American intelligence. You had five of ours so five to one and their silence because everybody. That room is thinking. Yeah but you killed them all all James gave them to you about a dozen and you wipe them all out. You killed them all so that score five to one didn't really make any sense if they were all executed so you know it just goes on and on. We had a great run back then. We had mazing intelligence coming in. Did make a difference. What Tolkachev gave us with three weapons programs made huge difference. What try gone gave us was the bottom line for the soviets an assault to talks. He told us where they were willing to go and wouldn't go any further so we went into negotiations with the Soviets about strategic arms limitations knowing their position before we've walked in the room things like that. Do make a difference. They do Jonah. Thank you so much this is fascinating and I really appreciate you doing the very sore throat I know what that's like from personal experience and I really just want to say thank you so much. This is a really good interview. I must say I'm just really impressed. With what a nice interview you do not Nice Nice. It's the wrong word very intelligent very informed. Very I really like doing this. Yeah this is fun. I've wished we could have done it in person but it was that or wait for three years when I whenever we're in the same neighborhood so I chose this. I think this was good. Great big thank you to John. M Dez the book title. Is the Moscow rules the secrets CIA tactics? That helped America win the Cold War. There's actually an exhibit on John at the international spy museum in Washington DC. I definitely plan on going to that spy museum by the way if anyone's been there let me know how that is. It sounds amazing. She told me off air that they actually brought babies on surveillance operations because babies are not suspicious. And it's funny because that sounds so obvious but again we're playing unconscious bias. If I'm looking for somebody who might be suspicious? The woman with a baby is not high on my list right. It's just really not. Oh you're out for a random walk in a random place. We have a baby. You're probably tired and you're trying to get the baby to sleep like that would never occur to me. Even if I were looking for it she also told me they had to disguise vehicles so they had a fake. Tony's pizza surveillance van which now of course we've seen that in every spy movies but back then. That was pretty novel. She actually took the sign from the van home when she retired. Which I can. I can assume it's either in the garage or maybe in an office somewhere. But that's Pretty Rad. Other uses of his guys. That didn't make it on the show. They used to dress up. Some agents like embassy wives and drove them past security or they would clone the intelligence agent. Have the agent drive out past security. And then just sit at a cafe somewhere while the actual operative was somewhere else doing some things so this is really cool stuff the whole cloning people and just kind of sitting there at your local cafe having a cup of coffee. Because you know that that person's being watched but the other person was actually up to something who was the real version of that person was out there doing their thing so really really cool. The security box with police outside the embassy especially in the Soviet Union was often to monitor coming and going not necessarily to keep the embassy itself safe and it's amazing how bad things got over in Moscow for the CIA. At one point. They had no foreign or Russian employees to drive cars. Build offices do anything? They fired all the Russian staff because they were nearly all KGB informants or agents and just really had to go back to the stone age reason ballpoint pens to write and legal pads because they couldn't use typewriters because the typewriters were bugged they were flying memos to Germany to be typed up and sent back to the states. Pens would freeze because it was so damn cold when they had the temporary office space because the other embassy got caught on fire that was a whole story with fakes firemen coming in that were KGB firemen. Just an unbelievable tale so they're working outside and like thirty below zero weather the Penza freezing just bonkers talk about a rough assignment. They've really invented cool stuff even vans that let other cars drive into them using a ramp so they could be concealed. It's straight out of spy hunter. If you ever played that game back in the in the eighties I love that game as a kid. We're also going to lead to a cool video from wired about Jonah and disguise will link that in the show notes as well also in the show notes. There are worksheets for each episode. So you can review what you learned today from Jonah. We've also got transcripts for each episode and those can be found in the show notes as well. I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using systems and tiny habits have taught this to intelligence agencies. So if you're interested in this kind of thing check out the six minute. Networking course which is free over at Jordan harbinger dot com slash. Course it really is sort of some spy stuff but you know applied to civilian life at least for the most of us dig the well before you get thirsty. Folks Jordan Harbinger Dot com slash course and by the way. Most of the guests on the show. Actually subscribe to the course and the newsletter. So come join us. You'll be in smart company in fact we're not reach out to John Taylor. You enjoyed this episode of the show show guests love hearing from you and you never know what might shake out of that. Speaking of building relationships you can always reach out and or follow me on social. I'm at Jordan Harbinger on both twitter and instagram. This show is created in association with podcast one. This episode was produced by Gen. Harbinger and Jay's Filipo engineered by Jason Anderson show notes and worksheets by Robert. Fogerty music by Evan Viola. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger our advice and opinions and those of our guests around and yes. I'm a lawyer but I'm not your lawyer. I'm sure as heck not a doctor therapists or spies far as you know so do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show and remember we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. So if you've found somebody who's into spice stuff. This is one for them. Hopefully you're finding something every episode so please share the show with those you love and even though in the meantime do your best to apply what you hear on the show so you can live what you listen and we'll see you next time. A lot of people ask me which podcast I listen to recommend in the art of manliness has been a good old staple whether you're a man or a woman it's really. It's really about that anymore. Right breads more. It's male focus but you probably have a ton of female listeners. We've got a good female following now. This episode the mystery science and life changing power of the hot hand kind of goes into whether or not let's kind of an NBA jam reference. Right whether or not you can be quote unquote on fire. Tell us a little bit about that episode. So I talked to Ben Cohen. He wrote this book. Called the hot hand he's a Wall Street Journal Sportswriter and he went into explore whether the hot hand exist and I think all of us have seen the hot hand. If you've watched steph curry played basketball. Seems like every shot he puts up goes in or you might have experienced it playing basketball. You know a pickup game every shot. You put up no matter. How difficult just seems to go in and he wanted exported is this thing. Real is actually a big big debate about whether the hot hand actually exist. Some big names in academics have debated this and what you're listening up so to find out if the hot hand actually exists. The answer's Yes. No or maybe check it out. It's got a lot of fun and we do have some. Nba Jam references in there. So Boom Shock. Laka that game was so addicting. I still dream about it. Do you still have that. I'm trying to look for it. I'm trying to scrounge it up. It's hard to get. I had an emulator running it for a while and then like the software broke for Mac and then you know here. We are at square one if anyone knows how to set up old school. Nba Jam email. Don't do that. You're going to get seven thousand emails. It's probably somebody has this setup. I'm sure they do if somebody knows how to. Setup NBA. Jim Go ahead and email me Jordan at Jordan harbinger dot com or NBA Jam at Jordan Harbinger Dot Com. In case we get a deluge of that Brett. Thank you very much. Thanks for having me.

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