By Way of Deception

While visiting my parents, I borrowed a book, one of those Reader’s Digest Today’s Best Nonfiction–you know, with four book-length selections in it. I began one and just finished reading it. It’s called By Way of Deception: Inside Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence Agency by Victory Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy, originally published by St. Martin’s. The book is a memoir of Ostrovsky’s days in the Mossad. He paints an illuminating, albeit unflattering portrait of this most secret of government organizations. The book will certainly be a valuable resource, not only about the Mossad specifically, but for pieces I might write that touch on crime, assasination, spying, government propoganda, manipulation of people (which the Mossad are experts at), and human nature generally. The memoir also reveals how the American public has been shielded from the true news behind the sanitized and often inaccurate news we are fed through the government and the news media. I gained some insights into the dynamic tension between Israel and the Arab world. I also learned the Mossad are not accountable, somewhat cultish, extremely brutal, and have access to almost unlimited resources. I must confess, when I read of the money they spend and pay people, I tried to think of a way I could be useful to them, but I failed to come up with anything other than suggesting a few rednecks I’d like for them to interrogate. Pitch it as knowing they are spies for Iran, perhaps?

There were many quotations I could have used, but I settled on this one, as a reminder of how my characters must be sufficiently motivated. It concerns Mossad recruitment: “The idea of recruitment is like rolling a rock down a hill. You take somebody and gradually get him to do something illegal or immoral. You push him down the hill. The whole purpose is to use people. But in order to use them, you have to mold them. If you have a guy who doesn’t drink, doesn’t want sex, doesn’t need money, has no political problems, and is happy with life, you can’t recruit him” (61).

As I reflected upon that last sentence, I tried to think of people I knew who were unrecruitable. I’m still trying to think of someone.