Eesti Elu
Recruitment more reliable than ‘soft power’ for Russian influence goals in Estonia (III)
Arvamus 05 Jul 2013 EL (Estonian Life)Eesti Elu
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Blackmail as a recruitment aid has often been known to be effective. More specifically, owning evidence of past activities or behaviour that their target does not want to be made public is a typical recruitment aid. For example, homosexuality (becoming less of a social taboo and therefore not as potent in persuasion anymore) or extra-marital affairs have been widely used.

Coercion, often the threat of exposing a potential recruit for past sins such as previous co-operation with the recruiting agency itself, has proven to be an effective way to recruit foreign agents (defectors). Threats of physical harm, expecially to members of the target’s family are known also to work. Some 30 years ago, LL was told of a Canadian of Estonian heritage, who was approached by representatives of the KGB in Canada and threatened with severe harm to his family left behind in Estonia during the war if he did not become a willing associate to the Soviet agency. Canadian officials acknlowedged that these types of cases were extremely rare.

These are heavy-handed, non-sophisticated tools of the trade. There are, however, other approaches that provide the impetus to defect (in this context meant to denote secret co-operation with the enemy service).

The feeling that one is involved in activity that gives them a certain “power” over others is a known incentive to work for the other side. It’s also the need to feel “important”. Thus intelligence recruiters have their eyes out for people holding down menial jobs, but who may have access to desired information.

(Edasi loe 5. juuli paberlehest)
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