Agent 488

In the late 1980s, Trish and I met famed author Charles Berlitz at a writer’s event, and we later interviewed him AT his home in Fort Lauderdale for a magazine article. In my research about Berlitz before the interview, I discovered that he had been an agent in British intelligence during World War II. Considering that Berlitz, whose family found the Berlitz School of Language, spoke a couple of dozen ‘tongues’ himself, he was an ideal person for undercover work. He could move through different countries and cultures and seemingly blend in while gaining information. However, Berlitz was tight-lipped and would reveal nothing about his activities within British intelligence.  He simply said it remained classified…even after more than four decades.

The same is the case for Agent 488 – psychotherapist Carl Jung, who was recruited by Alan Dulles, a former diplomat, who was associated with the U.S. agency that would become the CIA.

In early November 1942, just as Britain and the United States were launching their invasion of North Africa, Dulles traveled to Switzerland for the  Office of Strategic Services. After it evolved into the CIA, Dulles would be the first and longest serving civilian director. Earlier in the war, the Nazis had attempted to recruit Jung as an agent, but he’d declined. However, he had made contact with German plotting to overthrow Hitler, and he would use the information for the benefit of the allies.

Jung saw Hitler as a mystic, a “medicine man,” channeling the unconscious as well as conscious desires of the German people, and saw similarities with some of his patients who heard voices telling them what to do, according to an article, “The Shrink as Secret Agent,” by Christopher Dickey in the Daily Beast. Jung thought of Hitler as a man who listened to a whispered voice from a mysterious source, and ignored his associates and advisors.

Dulles gave Jung the code name Agent 488 and sent a telegram to David Bruce at the operational headquarters of the OSS in London suggesting he pay close attention to Jung was producing. Among other things, Jung predicted Hitler would commit suicide as the end came near.

Shortly after the war, Allen Dulles told one of Agent 488’s longtime disciples, “Nobody will probably ever know how much Professor Jung contributed to the Allied Cause during the war, by seeing people who were connected somehow with the other side.” But Dulles said there was no way to reveal them: Jung’s services were “highly classified,” they “would have to remain undocumented.”

Dickey’s article made an interesting statement about the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, a comment that sounds strikingly similar to our current political situation in the U.S.

“But as happens when any populist demagogue takes power, many people embraced him at first, many others were willing to makes excuses for him, and still others convinced themselves that they could live with him at least. Indeed, over the previous decade the vast majority of Germans were persuaded that Hitler understood them, and they understood him—such was the chemistry between the man and his constituents—even if much of the rest of the world found him appalling.

To that end, Jung told an American reporter in 1938: “He (Hitler) is the loudspeaker which magnifies the inaudible whispers of the German soul.”

 

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5 Responses to Agent 488

  1. Ray Getzinger says:

    I read an article about Berlioz that said he learned to speak eight languages as he was learning to talk. His parents, grandparents and other relatives each spoke to him in their own language.

    • Rob and Trish says:

      I wish my grandparents had spoken to me in their native languages! Then I’d know german and russian!

  2. C.J. says:

    Speaking of Hitler and Germany, out oldest son came into the world in 1966. His first words were in a foreign language. We thought it was just ‘baby-babble’. But one day when we were visited by one of hubby’s dental lab techs who had married a German girl over there while he was in the service, she (Herta) heard Chris, age one and a half, and was shocked. “HE’S SPEAKING GERMAN!” SHE DECLARED IN AWE. “Who is German in the family? Well, no one. As he grew, he no longer spoke German, but was fascinated by Hitler and read everything he could get his hands on about that horrific dictator. My assumption is that Chris lived and served in that war. He HATES Hitler even now, but is quite an authority on the man.

  3. Trish says:

    This is fascinating information about Jung! There’s also something about it in Deirdre Bair’s bio on him.