The CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) is one of the most powerful counter-intelligence organizations in the world. Its function is to collect, study and analyze various sensitive information internationally in order to maintain U.S. national security.
Each person who is recruited there passes cia job portal a battery of tests and several extremely demanding physical and mental trainings.
I wanted to know more about this organization and how it trains its future spies. My intention was to find out how the cia job portal CIA develops the physical and mental performance of its agents so that we can take advantage of some of their techniques in our everyday lives.
So I contacted an ex-CIA agent to ask her several questions. After a few exchanges, the latter agreed to answer them.
Lindsay Moran was a secret CIA agent between 1998 and 2003. She worked for the agency at one of the most sensitive moments in American history, including the September 11 attacks.
She explains in her book Blowing My Cover the recruitment process within the CIA job portal and the different trainings she had to go through to join the agency.
The latter taught him in particular:
- How to jump out of a car that is driving at full speed
- How to jump out of a plane with cargo clinging to it
- How to survive an interrogation
- How to deal with torture
- How to take another identity
In this interview Lindsay tells us her story and gives us some keys to train mentally and develop our performance.
1) Could you introduce yourself?
I grew up outside of Washington D.C. I've always been fascinated by everything related to espionage.
After studying at Harvard, I spent some time abroad where I was a teacher. Then I sent my cia job fit tool to the CIA. They almost answered me immediately. It was the beginning of a long and difficult process to become an operations officer or what is more commonly referred to as a CIA agent or secret agent.
CIA operations officers consider the term "agent" or "spy" to be pejorative. We only use these terms to describe the foreign sources we recruit, i.e. those who reveal their information to us in exchange for money.
2) Why did you write the book Blowing My Cover?
I quickly realized that the work of operations officer but also the organization itself was not what I expected. I felt that I was not really serving my country as I would have hoped and as I intended. In fact, I was serving the purpose of a particularly failing organization.
I wondered if it was all really worth it. Not only for me and my career but also in relation to the organization itself, its bureaucracy and the abysmal cost of the agency.
After a few years, I made the decision to leave the CIA job fit tool.
I didn't really intend to write a book, I just wanted to reveal the true face of the CIA. Show what it's like to be an agent beyond the standard perception of "James Bond" and especially when you're a woman.
Of course I never had the approval of the CIA to publish this book.
3) How did you get into the CIA? What does the process look like?
It's a long process – far more selective than most of the best universities in the world. For a year I had several interviews, a battery of tests, a verification of my psychological profile, a complete investigation of my past without forgetting the obligatory passage to the lie detector.
4) What is"The Farm"?
The Farm is a formerly top secret installation but is now known to the general public.
It was in these premises that we did our paramilitary training (even if this training had little impact on our real work at the CIA): field navigation, armed training, defensive driving, air training...
Some trainings were particularly useful including tradecraft training. These are the trainings that show you concretely how to be a spy, that is to say how to take another identity, how to spy... and other workouts I can't talk about.
5) Are there mental preparation exercises at the CIA?
Of course, we had a simulation camp to prepare for possible captures and show us how not to reveal our coverage.
We also had a lot of training to detect and assess the motivations of others and their vulnerabilities.
We also watched videos of ourselves lying so that we could then correct our verbal and physical tics.
6) What is the most important thing you have learned as a spy?
Being a good spy is not about being the smartest of all. It is rather a combination of several qualities: intellect, conduct, resourcefulness, intuition, impitoyability but also, and quite surprisingly, empathy. You need to be able to connect with people who have different cultures and different mindsets.
7) What was the most difficult decision you faced and how did you overcome it?
To be honest, the hardest decision was for me to leave the agency since it was my dream. I overcame this difficult moment and made a deep analysis of the pros and cons of my profession and wondered if the organization was doing more good than harm.
8) Do you know any techniques for dealing with stress and difficult situations?
I am a naturally calm person in times of crisis... but one technique helped me manage my stress when I was undercover, was laying, or pretending to be someone else. It was about reminding myself that I wasn't doing anything wrong. I was liing, cheating, stealing for a good cause which was to serve my country.
One of our mentors at the agency liked to call us "moral criminals."
9) How did you manage to remember all the lies you invented?
I used mnemotechnical memorization techniques and tried to make my lies as close to reality as possible.
10) What are the things you learned as a spy that are still useful to you today?
Defensive driving, critical analysis and being able to detect when someone ismenting.