Tweet of the Day, Post-Soviet Occultism Can Be Freaky-Interesting* edition.

Ken Hite retweeted this out…

…and the link is, indeed, ‘fascinatingly bizarre.’ Total conspiracy thinking, of course – but it’s post-Soviet Russian conspiracy thinking, which means that it’s mainlining on the more esoteric Russian Orthodoxy fringe beliefs.  I hope somebody has written, or is going to write, a good, accessible account of exactly what was going on with Christianity in the Soviet Union: the churches seem to have weathered the Commie years quite ably.

Anyhoo… if you wanted to mine this for material for an occult spy RPG campaign – and why wouldn’t you want to do that? It’s an awesome concept – I suggest that you check out Tim Power’s book Declare and the Russian film Night Watch. Not that Night Watch is particularly ‘occult spy,’ but it’s a good, solid ‘post-Soviet occult secret history’ flick, and nobody’s done a movie or TV version of Declare yet.  And dear GOD but I wish that somebody would.

Moe Lane

*I was going to add “…until they start talking about the Jews:” but that’s a common problem in conspiracy theories. And theorists. Besides, there was nothing about the Jews in this article anyway so the link is at least safe (I haven’t looked at the rest of the site).

In the (E)-Mail: Ken Hite’s Night’s Black Agents.

On super-special pre-pre-order edition, mostly because I get the general impression that they could use the pre-pre-orders.  Well, that and the fact that a roleplaying game that features both classic spy paranoia and vampires is going to appeal to me on general principles.

Not a review copy, alas: I don’t have that kind of mojo in the gaming world, more’s the pity.  What I’ve read of it so far is spiffy, though.  Pelgrane Press’s stuff usually is.

JSOC analyst arrested in FBI spy sting.

‘JSOC’ being short for the ‘Joint Special [Operations] Command,’ which is known to normal people as a group that coordinates communications and operations among various American Special Forces organizations*.  The alleged would-be spy Bryan Martin allegedly traded secret documents to an FBI operative in exchange for roughly $3,500; there’s no indication as of yet that he was working with anyone else, but between this and the Wikileaks Manning case it looks like the US intelligence community is on heightened alert for potential espionage problems.  Looks like it’s not the end of history, after all.

Moving along, the confusion of Hot Air over how cheap this transaction was is why I’m bringing it up.  You see, this kind of money is the rule, not the exception.  Hollywood aside, foreign governments do not pay out large amounts of cash to would-be spies.  They are, in fact, usually very cheap about it: for every Aldrich Ames there’s there’s a dozen Markus Hess’s.  However, the exception is generally found among American intelligence groups; the CIA in particular supposedly has a policy of paying very well for this kind of information.  It’s not like the Cold War, where we could get highly trained and educated foreign professionals to crawl across broken glass in exchange for a green card and a retail franchise in Terra Haute, Indiana – but if you’re a disaffected member of the repressive and shortsighted regime currently running your country, by all means: give Uncle Sam a call.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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