I’m adopting “spy camp” as a nickname, somewhat preemptively, as when kids of many ethnic profiles show up in the same place, and start swapping stories around the campfire, outsiders might infer some sort of nefarious collusion is going on. Friendships will inevitably form, and in adulthood, will these alumni betray their countries out of loyalty to one another? Something along those lines. Critics of our program will want to use “spy camp” as a way to stir up public ire, but then I’ll have already beat them to the punch, with my positively spun futurism.
Lets remember the movie Spy Kids, and also The Incredibles. I believe we had one or more sequels to both of them. IMDb confirms my belief. One hallmark of a spy school is gaining familiarity with gizmos and gadgets. James Bond films always have the scene wherein the protagonist gets outfitted with the latest toys. Black Panther had this scene too. Now think of product placement advertising. The Falcon 9, landing as a booster rocket on a drone ship, is great PR for SpaceX. But then anything in use, shown in context, tends to be instructive and may inspire daydreaming in others, of adopting similar lifestyle habits. Recruitment happens. The armed services know this well.
Here would be a good moment to address a core issue: the spy trade has always come in two schools. School A casts the spy as outwardly weaponless. She or he may have rapier wit, slyness, a sense of humor, but the work does not require packing a pistol. The Prisoner would be archetypal in this case. School B is a lot more into outward weaponry, ala Ian Flemming and John le Carré. When people think “spy camp” they’ll be thinking of “weapons training”. I’d be on the side of School A on this one, as a Friend.
What we’re teaching are people skills. Martial arts are far from verboten, but then most martial arts in the Bruce Lee sense are not about firearms. Nor am I saying training in firearms is verboten, however that curriculum segment could be placed under the heading of Physics. See my memo to PhysLRNR.
By “Friend” I mean “Quaker”, a branch of English based Christianity that spread around the world while forking and branching the whole time. I’ve got more autobiography on tap here on Medium. I just wanted to make that connection.
Those who’ve been reading my GST and Global U pages already have a sense of the campus network. Some facilities are based near arterials, in the sense of trucking routes, in support of Truckers for Peace and such programs. Other facilities practice with XRL or “extreme remote livingry” — or maybe simply “remote livingry” where “remote” fades to “rural” in some morphologies. We have our Farms.
Another meme I’d like to address is that of “secrecy” given the stereotypical view that any espionage (spy work) is by definition dastardly and therefore needs to stay under wraps, with lots of “nod nod wink wink” ala Monty Python.
What I have to say to that connects to our experience as Oregonians, with the Rajneesh Puram experiment. Lots of books and documentaries have focused on that chapter so I won’t go over it all again here. Safe to say, any surrounding community is going to want good town-gown relations, if I might use that term. Locals will be a part of the campus economy and vice versa. Tourism, visitors, cooperative events, will give the campus an open and friendly feel. Some may be very remote however, meaning there’s possibly a wide radius around the campus wherein other campers are very few and far between.
My own upbringing was in semi-rural and urban settings similar to what I’ve described. We lived in large tents in Ramallah the summer Boris Spassky faced off against Bobby Fischer for the title of World Chess Champion. We lived in tents a lot that summer, and in other summers, going around Germany, Romania, Bulgaria and what was then Yugoslavia.
Later, I would get to Lithuania for a Europython. I went to middle school in Rome, and to high school in the Philippines. I was surrounded by diplomat families the whole time, from many nations. My parents’ retirement was to Maseru, in southern Africa.
The Junior English School experience was semi-rural in that it was somewhere along the Appian Way, in a villa. The Overseas School of Rome was also somewhat on the outskirts, where the city turned to pastures and farms.
My dad was a city and regional planner and would draw our attention to these different types of zone. I remember when he visited OSR for career day, and presented to Fred Craden’s sociology class, open to eighth graders. He unrolled a big map (possibly of Tripoli as Libya was where he was working back then). “What do you suppose this big green patches are?” he queried the class. Hint: not parks, not golf courses. Every city tends to have them.
As I write this I’m quite a bit older. I moved back to the city of my early childhood, Portland, Oregon. I raised a family. In fact, at the moment I’m sitting in my living room with The Americans on pause. I notice Oliver North had hand in this one, I presume the same Oliver North who got mixed up with the CIA, per A Spy for All Seasons by Duane R. Clarridge and Digby Diehl. That makes sense, as this spy narrative is set in the Reagan Era, which was all about detente with Russia and the removal of the Berlin Wall. I’d been to Berlin, but didn’t meet E. J. Applewhite (another CIA guy) until much later.
As soon as I finish writing this, I’m heading over to Glenn Stockton’s to watch a movie. He too was a spy, a code cracker to be precise, a veteran of the NSA.
So as you can see, I do have a lot of “spy schoolish” background, and I can bring that to bear in my writings. I’m trying to tease out from that whole Spy Kids memeplex, a lot of positive memes we might use going forward. There’s a lot that’s healthy about wanting to make the Global U (Spaceship Earth) less violent, more prosperous.