Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The technique of compromising an adversary by means of a sexual trap in which the target is confronted with photographic evidence that would jeopardize his or her career. Before World War I this was institutionalized by the Sicherheitsdienst at the Salon Kitty, a state-sponsored bordello in Berlin where individuals were blackmailed after visiting prostitutes.
During the Cold War, the Soviets made extensive use of honeytraps to coerce cooperation, from either homosexuals such as John Vassall or vulnerable heterosexuals such as Sir Geoffrey Harrison, the British ambassador in Moscow. Whereas Vassall succumbed to the pressure and continued to supply classified information to the KGB until his arrest in 1961, the ambassador reported his relationship with a maid in 1968 and was withdrawn. In another example, the political career of a Conservative member of Parliament,  Commander Anthony Courtney, collapsed when photographs were circulated of him, before his marriage, cavorting with his attractive interpreter in a Moscow hotel room. Similarly, several attempts were made to entrap members of the U.S. Marines on guard duty at the American embassy in Moscow and one, Sergeant Clayton Lonetree, was imprisoned in for disclosing information to his KGB contacts.
The honeytrap was not a technique used exclusively by East Bloc intelligence agencies, and Oleg Lyalin was first persuaded to cooperate with a joint MI5–Secret Intelligence Service team when he was surprised during an illicit tryst held with his secretary.