At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union created a specialist training school for women agents called ?sparrows? who were trained to seduce their targets with sexspionage.
Image Credits: Empire-Red Sparrow Movie
In 1964, The French Ambassador to Moscow Maurice Dejean was left spellbound as an alluring girl nearly half his age invited him to her bedroom. He had only met her a couple of hours back at a friend?s luncheon meeting and she seemed to be ?head-over-heels? in love with him. Within hours, he was in her apartment making love.
The girl was Larissa Kronberg. And far from getting infatuated by a middle-aged man, she was an actress cum KGB agent who was tasked with having sex with him so he could later be blackmailed into giving up French secrets. And it worked well for nearly six years as the ambassador continued to give the confidential information the KGB wanted.
In KGB terminology, Larissa Kronberg was a real-life ?sparrow?. And she was trained in a school called State School 4, a classified specialist training school for women agents who were taught to seduce their targets with sexspionage. Said to be located near the city of Kazan, southeast of Moscow, the school?s cadets were mostly female Russian army soldiers who entered the intelligence corps, but there were also male cadets.
The story of State School 4
The theme of this secretive school was first adapted into a movie named Red Sparrow, a 2018 American spy thriller film directed by Francis Lawrence and written by Justin Haythe.
The story was based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Jason Matthews. The movie tells the story of a Russian intelligence officer, who is sent to make contact with a CIA officer in the hope of discovering the identity of a mole.
And author Jason Matthews on whose book, the movie is adapted and who himself had worked as a CIA agent for 33 years says that such a school actually existed during the Cold War. As Jason says.
?These women were trotted out in very controlled circumstances in Moscow. They were trained in being alluring and assigned to foreigner-only hotels to spring a blackmail trap on a target.?
Although the majority of the recruits were female Russian Army soldiers who entered the intelligence corps, college students were also sometimes selected due to their youth and based on their ideology, aspirations, intellect, beauty, and knowledge of foreign cultures. They will be investigated thoroughly up to the last two generations before they are selected to be the eyes and ears of the Kremlin.
Once recruited, the cadets are made to adopt a grueling daily schedule which included strenuous physical training, firearm training, martial arts, and hand-to-hand fighting competitions, according to reports from former agents.
And then along with the physical training, came the sex training. These girls are made to watch hardcore pornography which included exotic positions from the Kama Sutra and sex tips picked up by Soviet officials ?residing? in other countries.
These agents are also made to expose or get raped before a class and also film the compromising actions of other cadets in an attempt to improve their blackmailing skills. They also learn how to pop a champagne cork and serve caviar according to the ?culture? of the target subject.
The girls were deprived of their personal freedom and turned into agents of the state, with the ultimate aim being ?to do whatever it takes to ensure the entrapment of the target?.
As Jason says.
?A typical day was watching naughty films, studying languages, learning how to dress up and instruction on how to elicit information from the target. Once trained, they were given sexy lingerie and dispatched to the five-star hotels around Moscow to await their targets.?
And their targets were mostly, influential, powerful, lonely men sitting all alone in the bar after a tiring day at work. At such a time, a beautiful Russian girl who is madly ?infatuated? by them and willing to listen to their ?troubles? was just what they needed. And it would not be long before the ?lucky? meeting in the bar ends up in the bedroom, promptly bugged with cameras and audio equipment set up by KGB agents recording the whole episode.
And after the fun, comes the cruel sting of the blackmail that forces the target into submission and thus becoming a traitor.
Is the school still existing?
Jason believes the school is no longer in existence now as he says.
?While sparrows definitely existed during the cold war era, there?s less information available about the use of sparrows today. I don?t know if there still is an operating sparrow school, but I imagine honey traps are still used.?
Having said that, even if such a school existed and all that is told by Jason had truly happened, it would have been one of the most disgusting violations of fundamental rights of women ever imposed by any state. The fact that the recruits were made to undergo a cold, depersonalized type of sexual training makes it even more revolting to think about it.
Yes, we may argue here, ?the end justifies the means?.But in reality, women were objectified and sexually maneuvered into solely pleasuring and exciting men. And this is certainly not something to be proud of, despite the ?highest? patriotic importance attached to the end objective.
About the author-:
Mythili is a programmer by passion and a connoisseur of fine arts like painting, calligraphy, and pottery. She writes in the twilight between relationships, creativity, and human behavior.