Teenagers who read books will succeed in life

"Should I be alarmed that my teenage son doesn’t pick up a book on his own these days?

The short answer is, yes.

Based on research over the last 20 years teenagers that don’t read books are less likely to attend college, reduced language skills, experience depression more frequently then non-readers and have lower paying jobs. That is a lot to be alarmed about. Research also notes that reading fiction has significant benefits to the brain including increasing attention span, developing empathy, improving overall social cognition and enhancing reasoning ability. Reading books benefit our teenagers in so many ways. ...

The importance of modeling reading to young children and teenagers cannot be understated. Our brain contains mirror neurons and what is referred to as the mirror neuron system. Essentially, neuroscience research is showing that mirror neurons fire in our brain when we observe someone doing an action or when we do the action ourselves. Even just imaging the action can cause the mirror neurons to fire. As children watch us perform actions their mirror neurons replicate what we are doing. If we attach that action to a pleasurable activity such as reading to your child than the dopamine reward system is activated. Dopamine is released in the brain reinforcing the pleasure of that action for our children. Thus, when a parent picks up a book and snuggles up to their child before bedtime this association is reinforced between the mirror neurons and the dopamine reward system.

Research is showing that there is a significant correlation between reading aloud to children and educational advantages. In 1985, a landmark report in the U.S. called “Becoming a Nation of Readers” stated that reading aloud to children is “the single most important activity for building knowledge required for eventual success in reading”. Reading aloud also promotes vocabulary development, listening skills, attention span and other emergent literacy skills. However, if a parent cannot read efficiently how many will even attempt a bedtime story? More importantly, if reading is not modeled to children as a pleasurable activity how many of these children will discover this fact themselves as teenagers?"

More: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/new-education/2012/01/30/parenting-advice-how-make-teenagers-read-book

### END OF POST ###

The healing power of books

The "International Conference on Book Therapy seeks to highlight the therapeutic effect of books. Eminent speakers will discuss the global importance of literature as a tool for therapy, present details of successful projects and introduce techniques to calm traumatised minds."

"Book therapy is the art of healing through stories. Books can help readers de-stress, inculcate positive attitudes and inspire hope for the future. Children may suffer from fears, complexes and adjustment problems as a result of natural calamities, man-made disasters and psycho-social traumas both at schools and at home. When parents and teachers are unable to provide the attention that traumatised children require, suitable books can help them cope with their problems,”

More: http://m.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/article2844421.ece/

### END OF POST ###


Publishing what readers want to read

If you ever wondered why literary works are hard to come by these days, you can only blame yourself. Here's a story from a 'distant' (but only geographicaly) part of the world:

"Reading seems less than fashionable ... especially when it comes to fine literature. People searching for a good book, often complain that there isn’t much choice in a market dominated by romance, cheap humor or life in the fast lane. Works with substantial artistic and intellectual value seem to have very little commercial value."

Thus literary works of some higher merit than purely commercial are disappearing because readers don't care to read them.

On the other hand:

We publish what readers want to read, says a publisher of commercially successful books:

"Saying that young people don’t like “good reads” is an excuse ... “Publishers and writers refuse to admit to their inability to produce good work that people will actually read and pay for. 

“If all I did was follow the market," says the publisher, "I’d have nothing to differentiate me from other publishers. Logically, there’s no way to find out whether or not a book will sell until it is actually published,” she said. 

Trends ... are created when publishers research what the public wants and embrace readers as a source of inspiration."

"Social media is a primary way to communicate with readers," says the publisher. "It enables the company to publish books readers want."

More: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/lifeandtimes/read-a-good-book-lately-too-many-indonesians-answer-no/494107

### END OF POST ###


The role of writers and literature

"There are two theories about art and literature. The first, ‘art for art's sake' and the second, ‘art for social purpose'.

According to the first theory, art and literature are meant only to create beautiful or entertaining works, to please and entertain people and the artists themselves, and not to propagate social ideas. 

The other theory is that art and literature should serve the people, and help them in their struggle for a better life, by arousing emotions against oppression and injustice.

However, there is hardly any good art and literature today before us. ... There seems to be a vacuum in artistic and literary terms. Everything seems to have become commercialised. Writers write not to highlight the plight of the masses but to earn money.

If someone writes about the people's real problems it will spread like wildfire. But are our writers doing this? If they are not, why do they complain that nobody wants to read them? Art and literature must serve the people. Writers and artists must have genuine sympathy for the people and depict their sufferings. Like Dickens and Shaw in England, Rousseau and Voltaire in France, Thomas Paine and Walt Whitman in America, Chernyshevsky and Gorky in Russia and Sarat Chandra and Nazrul Islam in Bengal, they must inspire people to struggle for a better life, what can be really called human existence, and to create a better world, free of injustice. Only then will people respect them."

More: http://m.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article2837586.ece/

### END OF POST ###


Why do writers write?

"I think that anyone who writes anything, imagines that someone will read it, even if he writes only for self. I ask myself this question: can you write, and not act out a role? A man wants to be a stranger to himself. Not in the role he plays, but in the subconscious decision that in whatever role he assigns to himself, lies his reality. At times I feel that a man comes through, out of what he wrote, like a snake from its skin. That's it: you can not express yourself in writing, you can only lose your skin. But who is interested in this dead skin?! Does it matter whether the reader will ever be able to read anything from it, beyond what is himself? Writing is done not to communicate with readers, or with yourself, but to communicate with that, which can not be expressed otherwise."
Max Frisch, in I am not Stiller (my quick, and imperfect translation from German). Get the English book here.

US intelligence community to brush up on literature

Well, not exatly. They're going to leave it up to computers, and the interest spans literature and spoken word, all in an effort to catch the meaning behind that, which is often elusive: metaphors.

"Researchers with the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity want to build a repository of metaphors. You read that right.  Not just American/English metaphors mind you but those of Iranian Farsi, Mexican Spanish and Russian speakers.

In the end the program should produce a methodology, tools and techniques together with a prototype system that will identify metaphors that provide insight into cultural beliefs. It should also help build structured framework that organizes the metaphors associated with the various dimensions of an analytic problem and build a metaphor repository where all metaphors and related information are captured for future reference and access[...]

Stories exert a powerful influence on human thoughts and behavior. They consolidate memory, shape emotions, cue heuristics and biases in judgment, influence in-group/out-group distinctions, and may affect the fundamental contents of personal identity. It comes as no surprise that these influences make stories highly relevant to vexing security challenges such as radicalization, violent social mobilization, insurgency and terrorism, and conflict prevention and resolution. Therefore, understanding the role stories play in a security context is a matter of great import and some urgency".

From: http://m.networkworld.com/community/blog/apple-my-eye-us-fancies-huge-metaphor-reposit

### END OF POST ###

How to help children fall in love with books

"Get a library card and plan regular visits. 

Turn off the television and have family reading time.

Buy books as gifts for birthdays and other special occasions.

Participate in your school’s book lending, book fair and book buying programs.

Encourage your child to participate in reading clubs at school and at the public library. 

Attend special events where authors of your child’s favourite books are reading or signing books."

More tips: http://www.cramahe-now.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2378:board-offers-reading-tips-for-families&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=61

### END OF POST ###


America reads

"Poverty in no way stops anyone from being literate. You can see that in the immigrants who work they way up the ladder by reading books. Remember that author Ray Bradbury was too poor to go to college. So he sat most of the day in the public library and read as many books as time permitted.

And other authors in the literary world did the same. It doesn't take a lot of money to create a world of literacy in your environment. Literacy is an enriching experience as far as life and experience because it opens doors and inspires imagination."

Here are some of the most/least literate cities in America:

"The nation's capital has scored top literacy honors for the second year in a row, ranking No. 1 as the "most literate" city in America. But when it comes to literacy, not many people in Congress read all those laws from first to last page, because many prefer action novels based on factual possibilities, it has been said.

New York city is not the most literate in spite of the publishing industry centered in NYC for decades. For example, if you want to meet writers and see ads for writers from agents and publishers, there are associations and societies in New York City with so many literary contacts regarding publishers, that New York has become a hub for publishers and writers to connect.

San Francisco has numerous book clubs made up of both authors and readers. And San Francisco is listed pretty high on the list of literacy as number 6, compared to Sacramento, a two-hour Amtrak train ride east, as Sacramento was listed low on the scale of literacy at 45. Who reads more Sacramentans or San Francisco residents? Observe the difference in numbers. Is it being near the ocean that helps people relax over books, newspapers, or magazines?"

More: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11385961-usa-cities-ranked-as-the-most-and-least-literate

### END OF POST ###


Read fiction to succeed in business

"A lifelong habit of reading great novels exposes the mind to many more human dramas than are available in real life.

It enables a deeper understanding of the human animal and its subtle psychological nuances.

That understanding will help you deal with people much better - and in business these days, it’s the people that matter.

“It’s when we read fiction that we have the time and opportunity to think deeply about the feelings of others, really imagining the shape and flavour of alternate worlds of experience.”

Truly great novelists have a very sharp eye when it comes to watching the way people live, relate and interact. They are able to weave this understanding into their characters and plot and dramatic structure, to create a product that leaves the brain stimulated in a way few other experiences can deliver.

“Business is about life, and so is fiction. The great businessperson must understand people, their driving emotions, their ambitions and their fears, and what causes their rise or fall. A great novelist delivers precisely that understanding."

More: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Reading+fiction+good+for+improving++business+acumen+/-/539444/1312066/-/1io5ga/-/

### END OF POST ###

Fiction breaks the shackles of reality

"What Houdini did on the physical plane, readers of fiction - often without realising it - do on the level of consciousness: escape from the chain-bound 'reality' of their own lives, their own ego, into a larger, freer sphere of a pan-consciousness...

Creative fiction is not lies, it is a breaking of the shackles of 'reality' by escaping from one's own consciousness into the consciousness of others. When we read Mark Twain we become, for a while, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, when we read Conan Doyle we become Watson and Holmes. 

Of course, this is escapist entertainment. But this exchange of consciousness - the voluntary surrendering of one's own consciousness for the consciousness of others - is also an exercise in empathy, the ability to see things from another's point of view, which is the source of compassion, the realisation that behind the veil of differentiation, all consciousness is interconnected, interchangeable."

More: http://m.timesofindia.com/home/opinion/speaking-tree/The-story-behind-storybooks/articleshow/11587652.cms

### END OF POST ###


Reading fiction brings you to reality

"When it comes to figuring out crucial lessons of human behavior, timeless works of fiction are unparalleled primers. As Keith Oatley, a professor in the department of human development and applied psychology at the University of Toronto, recently told the Guardian: “Reading fiction improves understanding of others, and this has a very basic importance in society, not just in the general way [of] making the world a better place by improving [empathy] … but in specific areas such as politics, business, and education.”

When E.M. Forster asked a hypothetical reader in his book Aspects of the Novel why he read fiction, the character said, “It seems a funny sort of question to ask—a novel’s a novel—well, I don’t know—I suppose it tells a story, so to speak.” The story is essential, of course, to keep us engaged. But those of us who are drawn to novels aren’t there purely for entertainment (particularly not in this era when we can watch all the movies, television shows, and viral videos we want). No, most of us go between the pages to get inside different minds and learn more about how people tick. It’s no coincidence that the world’s best novelists are some of our most outstanding psychologists."

Reading fiction will help your love life: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/01/20/virgil-jane-austen-and-other-authors-can-teach-us-about-love.html


How to turn kids into readers

When I was a kid growing up overseas there were only two channels on TV, and neither went live until sometime in the afternoon, so my parents could not place me in front of the nanny that is the TV, in hope that it would raise me. Instead they gave me books and colored pencils to draw on the pages. I can't claim that this turned me into a writer, but perhaps it did help make me a reader. How do you turn your kids into readers these days? A parenting column offers this advise:

"In her column, D’Arcy asked Meyers how parents should go about instilling a love of books and reading in their children.

Meyers had a lot to say, listing multiple tips for pre- to early readers and even a few for older readers.

One inspired idea is for parents to turn down the sound of the television when a child is watching a program and asking the child to tell the story of what he or she thinks is going on.

Another idea I liked is for a child to have his own bookshelf in his room. A sense of “ownership” is big with kids.

As you might guess, regular trips to the library or bookstore– I choose library for financial and mental-sanity reasons– are key. As is letting kids pick what they want to read.

Another inspired idea is browsing author’s websites.

Meyers also reminds parents not to forget poetry.

For big kids, Meyers urges parents to make reading a family activity."

More: http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/01172012how-to-raise-a-reader/

### END OF POST ###


No Society without Literature

"Literature is all-encompassing: it ranges from societal utilitarianism of the didactic through to the celebration of individualism embodied in post-modern work. Literature, as part of a larger cultural body, is both instructive and entertaining, and has the power to facilitate personal understanding and encourage social cohesion. The society depicted in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is disillusioned with literature: the populace has forgotten its potential to educate and entertain, and has become sceptical of the intellectual elitism it is seen to represent. People are now captivated by the possibilities of non-discriminatory media such as television and popular music. The focus of education and recreation has shifted away from the intellectual and towards the instant gratification of physical stimulation. Initially this is seen as a solution to short-term societal problems, and as a means of promoting the happiness of the greatest number of people. However, in the long term, the removal of literature from society distances people from each other, stunts communication, and eventually effects mass isolation, dehumanisation and the collapse of all societal structure. Although this may seem unrealistically dystopian, there are elements in our society that have been developing since before Bradbury started writing – television, film and radio – that may have the potential to instigate the social collapse Bradbury foretells. Indeed, Adorno and Horkheimer, writing in the forties, argued that this potential had already been realised in the mass-production of film, and feared that television would further degrade society until the individual ceased to be defined without the general ‘society’ of which it was an element. The parallels between this view and Bradbury’s are significant. Most importantly, these commentators share the notion that truly artistic, intellectual culture is essential to society. Figures like Matthew Arnold, Victorian poet and spokesperson for education reform, have been prominent in shaping this understanding of culture. Arnold’s notions of cultural education as promoting the best aspects of society and discouraging the worst illuminate the groundwork behind Bradbury’s own fears about the loss of culture in society."

More: http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/606/literature-as-a-social-tool-education-and-cohesion-or-class-domination

Pick up a book and ditch your TV!

### END OF POST ###

Concentration Camps

On this day in 1945 the Nazis began to evacuate the Auschwitz concentration camp, ten days later liberated by the advancing Soviet troops. Let's remember the horrors instituted by blind militarization, homophobia, and nationalism, not least because of my grandfather who was imprisoned for 5 years in Auschwitz and Mauthausen.

According to Jesuit sources (Malachi Martin, The Keys of His Blood) the Nazis "established some 8,500 concentration camps on occupied Polish soil, and organized them into a brutal industry divided into 13 administrative districts. Of the some 18 million Europeans who were imprisoned in concentration camps, some 11 million were killed - of those 3.5 million were Poles, and 7.5 million other nationals". Why such a high number of Poles? It was a part of the plan that was hatched on January 25, 1940, in "a secret circular" drafted by Hermann Göring. According to Hans Frank (the Governor-general of the General Government of occupied Poland) the circular was a handbook for "making certain that not one Polish man, woman, or child, was left alive to soil the territories now and forever part of the Third Reich".

Concentration camps were set up for political enemies, prisoners of war, foreigners, criminals, etc. My grandfather spent over five years in Auschwitz and Mauthausen (survived a death march) simply because he was born Polish.

What were concentration camps?

"After 1945 the term concentration camp was almost completely associated with the German dictatorship; the dictionary definition of 'concentration camp' in English describes them as German and locates them firmly in the brief twelve years of the Third Reich. This focus on the concentration camp as a German phenomenon entirely distorts the historical reality, not only because it ignores the long history of concentration camps in other geographical locations.

[...] the concentration camp is essentially a product of the First World War and its immediate aftermath. This was the period in which what might be described as a 'camp culture' developed, encouraged by the growth of a large camp structure for prisoners-of-war and refugees, but more specifically the camps set up for enemy aliens. These camps concentrated the targeted group, created the physical pattern of future camps, and bred a crude popular culture of exclusion." Source

What was Auschwitz?

"Auschwitz? That was a real Tower of Babel. But, what does it mean to be Polish? What does it mean to be a Slav? The French wore the same numbers on their forearms, and were beaten all the same, and the Gypsies were beaten even more. We [concentration camp survivors] know something that you cannot, because you could've been killed by bombs or soldiers, whereas we were beaten and beaten by wardens and could not be killed, because as long as you have respect for yourself you cannot be killed, only murdered. And if you survive, and continue to have respect for yourself, you will respect others, whether Poles, or French, or some other. We learned in Auschwitz that there is only one difference - a human, and an inhuman." Maria Kuncewiczowa, in The Phantoms (my translation).

What was it like to be imprisoned inside a concentration camp? Look up Smoke over Birkenau, a first-hand witness account by Seweryna Szmaglewska.


As Spartacus Before Us

Gone are the days of writers such as Romain Rolland, the lonely voices of reason, who stood against wars, lies, and slavery of thought. This is the age of novelists (who shall remain nameless here) who cheer degenerate policies of our "leaders", of aggression in all forms, and of mass blinding of populations by doublespeak. It was why this chance encounter with the now obscure, but once revered writer was such a refreshing read: The Yellow Cross, by Andrzej Strug is as enjoyable a suspense, as it is thought-provoking in its strong antiwar message. The novel can be summarized in this short snippet:

"As Spartacus did in the ancient time, when he organized the slaves to rise against Rome, so shall we, the soldiers, rise up today against our generals."

I'm not sure whether the novel is available in the English language - it should be, as it is well worth a read.


The Practical Benefits of Reading Fiction

"Over the past decade, academic researchers such as Oatley and Raymond Mar from York University have gathered data indicating that fiction-reading activates neuronal pathways in the brain that measurably help the reader better understand real human emotion — improving his or her overall social skillfulness. For instance, in fMRI studies of people reading fiction, neuroscientists detect activity in the pre-frontal cortex — a part of the brain involved with setting goals — when the participants read about characters setting a new goal. It turns out that when Henry James, more than a century ago, defended the value of fiction by saying that "a novel is a direct impression of life," he was more right than he knew.

In one of Oatley and Mar's studies in 2006, 94 subjects were asked to guess the emotional state of a person from a photograph of their eyes. "The more fiction people [had] read," they discovered, "the better they were at perceiving emotion in the eyes, and...correctly interpreting social cues." In 2009, wondering, as Oatley put it, if "devouring novels might be a result, not a cause, of having a strong theory of mind," they expanded the scope of their research, testing 252 adults on the "Big Five "personality traits — extraversion, emotional stability, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness — and correlated those results with how much time the subjects generally spent reading fiction. Once again, they discovered "a significant relation between the amount of fiction people read and their empathic and theory-of-mind abilities" allowing them to conclude that it was reading fiction that improved the subjects' social skills, not that those with already high interpersonal skills tended to read more."

More: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/01/the_business_case_for_reading.html#.Tw4i6VK-zFE.email

### END OF POST ###

Publishing Politics

Writers the world over can relate to this. Readers may not be aware that writers write what publishers publish, not the other way around. To be published writers must make compromises. Below is an ilustrative example.

"His own publishers asked him to leave out portions of the book considered too caustic ... it would be seen as unpatriotic. So now it's no longer in the book."

An interview with the writer:

Q: So censorship is dangling over a writer's head, stifling him? 

A: Sadly yes. There are things I want to write, but this [censorship] is at the back of my mind.

Q: Are publishers and writers stopping themselves from breaking new ground in that sense?

A: You bet. There are brilliant new writers out there, and I feel terrible because they know their story will not make it, if they write like that.

Q: Because of fear?

A: Sure. At the end of the day, I am a storyteller. And what is a storyteller without his audience?"

There is nothing quite so liberating as a publisher going bancrupt, as in the case of yours truly, allowing one to write what one wants, not what they want.

Snippets from: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/political-intolerance-limits-authors-nagarkar/221172-40-103.html

### END OF POST ###


Why Write Novels?

"The roots of this question, in its contemporary incarnation, can be traced back to the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, who at the dawn of the ’80s promulgated the notion of “cultural capital”: the idea that aesthetic choices are an artifact of socioeconomic position. Bourdieu documented a correlation between taste and class position: The scarcer or more difficult to access an aesthetic experience is — the novel very much included — the greater its ability to set us apart from those further down the social ladder. This kind of value is, in his analysis, the only real value that “refined” tastes have."

"Even as you read this, engineers in Silicon Valley are hard at work on new ways to delight you — gathering the entire field of aesthetic experience onto a single screen you’ll be able to roll up like a paperback and stick in your back pocket. It’s safe to say that delight won’t be in short supply, and as long as there’s juice in the battery, we won’t have to feel alone. But will we be alone? Literature, to a degree unique among the arts, has the ability both to frame the question and to affect the answer. This isn’t to say that, measured in terms of cultural capital or sheer entertainment, the delights to which most contemporary “literary fiction” aims to treat us aren’t an awful lot. It’s just that, if the art is to endure, they won’t be quite enough."

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/magazine/why-write-novels-at-all.html?_r=1

### END OF POST ###


Cooking and Espionage

My second favorite thriller novel, right after WikiJustice, is this gem from Johannes Mario Simmel: The Monte Cristo Cover-Up (also known as: It Can't Always be Caviar).

Fascinated by Thomas Lieven's maneuvering between no less than three espionage agencies, all vying for his head and / or his services, I was fascinated by the way he managed to outwit them all.

Being an avid cook myself, I decided to try Lieven's tricks on my friends and enemies. I shall recreate all of Thomas Lieven's recipes, and post the results here. This weekend I shall start with the first one:

Lady Curzon Soup
Paprika Chicken
Clara Salad
Apple Hedgehog with Wine Custard
Toast and Cheese

*** END OF POST ***
Jack SpyWriter King


Fiction, a guidebook to your love life

"If one of your new year's resolutions is improving your romantic life, and you're hoping to find some inspiration at your local bookshop, might I recommend skipping the self-help shelves and heading straight to fiction and literature?

Why? The insights of the literary greats ring true, generation after generation. Look closely at just about any work of fiction that has proven itself over time, and you'll find plenty of insight into the problems that have plagued daters throughout history, and still bedevil them today."

More: http://m.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/09/love-life-advice-novels?cat=lifeandstyle&type=article

Amir, the legendary Soviet spy

"One of the legendary Soviet agents of World War II who infiltrated a British spy school and assisted in the Tehran conference has died aged 87 ...

Gevork Vartanyan, working under the codename Amir, famously in 1942 managed to attend an entire course at a British training course for spies in Tehran who Britain then wanted to send all over the Soviet Union.

According to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) - the successor to the Soviet KGB - his work helped expose the British network which existed despite London's wartime alliance with Moscow."

More: http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/World/Legendary-Soviet-WWII-spy-dies-at-87-Official/Article1-795558.aspx

### END OF POST ###


Cold War leftovers strike again


Germany is rocked by a Nazi scandal. How is it possible that a Nazi organization could exist in current-day Germany? The answer dates back to:

"Worst of all was the espionage apparatus directed against the Soviet bloc. Nazi spy General Reinhard Gehlen, first used by US intelligence after 1945 to build up its secret network, was then switched to the new West German government. A study by historian Martin A. Lee described how "Gehlen proceeded to enlist thousands of Gestapo, Wehrmacht, and SS veterans. Even the vilest of the vile - the senior bureaucrats who ran the central administrative apparatus of the Holocaust - were welcome in the 'Gehlen Org,' as it was called, including Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann's chief deputy. SS major Emil Augsburg and Gestapo captain Klaus Barbie, otherwise known as the "Butcher of Lyon," were among those who did double duty for Gehlen and U.S. intelligence ... "It seems that in the Gehlen headquarters one SS man paved the way for the next and Himmler's elite were having happy reunion ceremonies".

"Nearly all these men have died. But their disciples remained, and so did their inclinations. The Gehlen gang and their friends in top army and government offices used the Cold War to justify their return to strong positions."

More: http://www.politicalaffairs.net/the-mystery-of-invisible-terrorists/

### END OF POST ###


History of MI6 written with blood and sex

"An MI6 agent became a serial killer as he used pretty young women to lure Russians to their deaths with the promise of sex [...]

A Cossack colonel called Mohammed Bek Hadji Lashet, and his gang used the women to attract communists to a lakeside villa where they were tortured and then killed, according to a new history of the intelligence service.

After moving to Stockholm he offered himself as an agent to the Americans but they were so worried by what he offered to do for them that they thought he was an “agent provocateur” and turned him down.

Lashet and 15 of his compatriots appear to have lured four Bolsheviks to their deaths, two of them Soviet embassy officials in Stockholm, which had become a hotbed of Western spies.

They used women who included a blonde and a dark-haired “exotic” woman from central Asia, to attract their targets."

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/8010063/Communists-lured-to-their-deaths-by-MI6-with-promise-of-sex.html

### END OF POST ###