Sunday, July 21, 2013

Avalon Chronicles #11 "Double Agents"

Previous Messages at

Allen's web site

     Going through the doorway of a Barnes&Noble store a few weeks ago, I saw the discounted books stack and because of my past background in military intelligence in Vietnam,  The Secret History of the CIA by Joseph J. Trento (2005 edition) caught my eye. I began reading it that night and finished it quickly. Besides the fascinating stories from interviews with very high up people in the CIA, it was a compelling book from the historical angle of many CIA operations about which I had captured in my lifetime only fleeting facts. One of the most intriguing aspects was that of the penetrations of our CIA by "double agents" planted by Russia. These agents were specifically planted to determine who were  our own recruited "double agents", to determine our targets, and to plant false information to sidetrack us. One of the most amazing narratives was that of Kim Philby, a British intelligence officer, who eventually defected to Russia. He had been acquainted with both Jesus Angleton, CIA Counterintelligence Chief, and Hebert Hoover, our FBI chief. We were trusting Americans.

     In October 1966 I met probably fifteen times to debrief a defector from Cambodia, In Chin Hai Lam. His story which I took down in meticulous notes and later produced in intelligence reports was very captivating: former Cambodian Army officer, fluent in seven languages, mother had been head housekeeper in Prince Sihanouk's palace, a friend of Prince Sihanouk's son, a graduate of Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, the Communist school for young revolutionaries world-wide. I went on to another assignment and did not learn any more of him until reading a front-page story in the New York Times in 1970 that an American was being tried for his murder which occured on Nov. 24, 1967, a short time after which I had read an article about his murder. His fellow Khmer Serie, non-Communist Cambodians, had thought him to be a "double agent" of the Soviets.

     This harkening back to my wartime experience with a possible "double agent" caused me to relate these secular world accounts to my spiritual world. I believe our churches, our lives, and our societies are infiltrated by "double agents." These are people who attend our places of worship, associate with us in business and social lives, and are close to us in our families. Actually, they present themselves as high-minded and ethical persons, even very "religious," but actually are "double agents" in a sense, because what they really are is deceptive, duplicitous, and devious. Many live hidden lives. They attempt to curry our favor to obtain business, they place themselves in church organizations to establish trustworthiness, and they present themselves as one of us in God's world. They lie, cheat, and steal and act out as residents of  Satan's world and infiltrate the world of the people who enjoy the freedom achieved by our belief in Jesus as our Savior. We must be on our guard for them. We can give them our trust and respect only when their "walk" is straight, not just their "talk." We shall judge them by the fruit of the Holy Spirit they exhibit as expressed in Galatians 5:22-26: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another." (KJV). President Ronald Reagan once said, "Trust, but verify." Oh, by the way, be merciful and pray for them to come in from "out of the cold."


Monday, July 15, 2013

Avalon Chronicles #10 "Thank you, sir"

     I have watched the movie "MacArthur" with Gregory Peck starring as General MacArthur. Whether accurate or not I, recollect when the aide came in to inform the general that the North Koreans had crossed the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950 and that there would be a new war in Korea. The general said something to the effect, "One final gift to this old soldier." Going to war is definitely not a gift, but I presume it meant one more time to serve the cause of freedom.

      Linda and I returned July 9 from the Richmond, Va airport after a twelve day vacation to Maryland and the historic landmarks of southeast Virginia. We usually are boarded first as a pre-board so I do not get trampled going down the plane's hallway. As we waited near the door the American Airlines person announced that military people in uniform would be invited to board first so I stepped aside to allow them to board. I had observed several of them awaiting this flight to our hometown of Dallas. I assumed they were recruits because they had no unit patches on either sleeve.

     As each boarded and passed beside me, I patted the right shoulder of each of perhaps fifteen of them and proclaimed quietly, "God bless you." I was wearing a blazer on which was affixed on the left lapel my small Purple Heart pin. One only of the troops wore a patch meaning he was more senior to all the others. Linda and I boarded just after all of them. When I passed the senior soldier, he inquired, "Is that a Purple Heart?" I only said, "Yes," and nothing more. Linda was behind me and hearing the question, told the soldier I was a Vietnam Purple Hearter. As I proceeded down the aisle (and no others had yet boarded), I could hear the soldiers passing the word to each other. "Vietnam Purple Hearter, Vietnam Purple Hearter." I must admit I felt a twinge of pride in that they cared who I was.

     The flight was over back in Dallas and, though we board first, we debark last because we are so slow. To my great amazement all the recruits (and they were that just having finished basic training at Fort Jackson, SC and on their way to Fort Sill, OK) were gathered in a group in the airport lobby to greet me. They all pushed forward to shake my hand and to a person said, "Thank you, sir." I was taken aback by their expression of gratitude to me. They all surrounded me. I was holding back my tears and said, "I am glad there are still people willing to serve. You are people with guts, courage, and ability and I thank you." I had to get away to claim my baggage before I lost it.

     I hope it is not my "final" gift, but it definitely was a magnificent gift to this "old soldier."