Friday, April 22, 2016

Spying on the Side

The Patterson School was delighted to receive Mr. Gene Coyle this week.  Mr. Coyle joined the CIA in 1976 as a field operations officer and served overseas for over thirty years.  Since his retirement, Coyle returned to Indiana University, where he received his B.A. and M.A., as a visiting CIA Professor.  Life after the CIA has been very fruitful for Mr. Coyle — He has written numerous fictional books that are certain to entertain readers.  You can find his latest book here.  Mr. Coyle’s transition from spy to writer is not unique (see Ian Fleming, John le Carré, and Jason Mathews).  However, what is less known is the writer turned spy; The following list may be of help to those who ever wondered about their favorite author’s secret life. 
 
1)    Ernest Hemingway

I am a huge fan of Hemingway and am currently re-reading For Whom the Bell Tolls, a novel about the Spanish civil war.  Interestingly, I recently just found that Mr. Hemingway was only able to write about the Spanish civil because he first hand experience of it — as a KGB spy.  However, much to my relief, Mr. Hemingway also “had relationships with the intelligence section of the US embassy in Havana as well as with at least three US intelligence agencies: The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).”[1]

2)    C.S. Lewis

This one is relatively surprising: Christian writer turned spy?  Nevertheless, it has recently been revealed that Mr. Lewis faithfully served his country during WWII.  Many would think this would be his fabulous lectures on the BBC Network during the Nazi bombardment.  Instead, “the general public and the world of scholarship had no idea that C.S. Lewis began his wartime service by undertaking a mission for M16.”[2]    

3)    Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and regarded as one of the great children’s author of the 20th century, spied against the United States for the British.  “Apparently motivated by a combination of duty and lust, Dahl slept with countless high society women while gathering intelligence in the United States.”[3]






[1] Nicohlas Reynolds, “A Spy Who Made His Own Way,” CIA, https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol.-56-no.-2/pdfs/Reynolds-Hemingway%20A%20Dubious%20Spy.pdf.
[2] Harry Lee Poe, “C.S. Lewis Was a Secret Government Agent.” Christianitytoday, December 15, 2015, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/december-web-only/cs-lewis-secret-agent.html?start=4.
[3] Andrew Alderson, Roald Dahl was a real-life James Bond style spy, new book reveals, August 7, 2010, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/7931835/Roald-Dahl-was-a-real-life-James-Bond-style-spy-new-book-reveals.html.

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