Book Excerpt: Barry Gilder Recalls a Seance in Songs and Secrets
The Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (Mistra) has published an extract from chapter five of Barry Gilder’s Songs and Secrets: South Africa from Liberation to Governance.
Gilder is Director of Operations at Mistra, a collection of academics, policy-makers and other experts who aim to advance South Africa’s development by addressing the complex issues that the country faces within a global context.
In the following extract, Gilder recalls attending a séance and compares the mystery and intrigue of this experience to the public perception of the intelligence services:
[It is early 1995. The author has recently been called upon by the ANC to take part in the creation of the new democratic intelligence services. He has been appointed to head the chief directorate Foreign Offices of the South African Secret Service. He is for the first time moving out of the world of liberation intelligence into state intelligence.]
In the common mind the world of intelligence is a planet of mystery and secrecy. The aliens who tramp its surface are believed to know things about our own world that no one else can know nor hope to know, who have insights into the complex dynamics beneath the surface of global and national events, who have access to undreamt-of technology that enables them to plumb the darkest secrets of the human species and to invade each home and the deepest thoughts of each human brain.
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