Its one of the best wind-ups of all to suggest to an ultra-left group that they might be a front for some security service or other. The Sparts used to go particularly wild at CIA references and there was a far bit of gossip about the old RCP as well.
But a few Maoists, current and former, are feeling a bit silly in the Netherlands where the Marxist Leninist Party (MLPN) has been outed as a front for the secret services:
Set up and run by spooks in 1969, his party, the MLPN, had its own newspaper, De Kommunist, written and edited by the secret service. As well as Mr. Boevé playing Chris Petersen, the secretary-general, it had a chairman (another fraud) and a Central Committee stacked with secret agents. To add authenticity, the party let Mr. Wartena and a handful of other true believers join its otherwise nonexistent ranks, telling them that they were part of a network of underground cells. . . .
“I totally wasted 12 years of my life,” says Paul Wartena, an ex-MLPN member who was so dedicated to the cause he used to donate 20% of his salary to the fake party. He says he “had some doubts now and then” about the MLPN but stayed loyal because “I was very naive and Mr. Boevé was such a good actor.” Now a researcher at a university in Utrecht, Mr. Wartena wants Dutch intelligence to pay him back for all his donations.
Mr. Boevé, now 74, scoffs at his acolyte: “He was an idiot.”
Meanwhile on a related theme, (I mean talking about sects of course), the Weekly Worker reports on the SWP’s recent ‘conference’:
Unlike the well established and familiar conferences and congresses of Britain’s trade unions and political parties, the Scottish Socialist Party included, the SWP routinely acts on these occasions as if it was illegal and operating deep underground. The date, venue and proceedings are supposed to be a closely guarded secret.
Delegates were told to meet their district organisers outside a certain specified rendezvous. Only then were they told the location of conference. They were also warned in advance not to wear political regalia or carry copies of Socialist Worker with them. Lapel badges had to be removed and delegates were told to keep toing and froing from conference to the barest minimum. As a further “security” measure, all conference documents were collected back in at the end.
…..delegates made their way to the Islington Green school with collars turned up, hats pulled down, wearing their best non-political disguises. It would be comical if it were not so sad.
Indeed. But what is even more comical is that, despite all the Len Deighton stuff, the SWP still couldn’t stop a Weekly Worker reporter from sneaking in and publishing everything that happened at their ‘underground’ conference.