Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception

I'm posting this for others like me who missed it in 2009.

In the 1950s the CIA hired magician, John Mulholland, to write a manual of sleight-of-hand and surreptitious signalling for agents to use in the field. Mulholland shared techniques of stealth and misdirection used by the professional conjuror that could be applied to espionage and was paid $3000 for his work.The manual was supposed to have been destroyed in 1973, but was recovered, declassified, and reprinted as The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception.

It is unlikely that either John Mulholland or Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, the CIA officer who authorized the creation of "Some Operational Applications of the Art of Deception" and "Recognition Signals," ever anticipated their manuals would become available to anyone without security clearances. Both men understood that their respective professions, as magician or CIA officer, required oaths of secrecy.

All images courtesy of The Boston Globe

Thanks to my FB friend Jennifer!

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