My Former Employer Was Investigated By MI5 For Links To Alestair Crowley & Occultism

WeirdExeter

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Let me be clear, I am just one of thousands who have worked at Dartington Hall since its restoration almost a century ago. However they certainly kept this quiet:

"Even though the Elmhirsts won their case, the rumours and state interest continued. According to Phil Baker in ‘The Devil is a Gentleman’, his biography of Dennis Wheatley, ‘The Haunting of Toby Jugg’ was written by Wheatley using his inside knowledge of an MI5 investigation titled ‘The Case Against Dartington Hall’. Though it seems the files are closed until 2042, it’s claimed that the report contains allegations of a South Kensington house belonging to the Elmhirsts being used as a ‘Black Magic’ temple. Aleister Crowley was allegedly the high priest of this sect which would then transfer new recruits to a secret chapel back in Dartington Hall to be further corrupted."

https://wearesouthdevon.com/nazis-sex-satanism-dartington-hall/

I would love to know more about the existence or otherwise of that MI5 file...!

Also, the youngest son of the Dartington Trust founding family was a KGB spy:

"Michael Whitney Straight, the youngest child of Willard Straight, an investment banker, and Dorothy Payne Whitney Straight, an heiress, was born in New York City on 1st September, 1916. His father died of septic pneumonia in 1919. Later his mother married Leonard Knight Elmhirst, a British educationist who founded Dartington Hall school in Devon."

"In 1983, Michael Straight detailed his communist activities in a memoir entitled After Long Silence. He admitted that while working for the Department of the Interior he passed on reports to a Soviet handler he called "Michael Green". He later insisted he had not provided anything that "contained any restricted material". However, according to TD: "But six years later the KGB released his file which showed that, using the codename 'Nigel', he had sent telegrams, ambassadors' reports and political position papers from the State Department."

https://spartacus-educational.com/NDmichael_straight.htm

Kept that quiet, too :oops:
 

WeirdExeter

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I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ha ha...! Such a beautiful and tranquil place to visit during the day, but rather spooky at night and several well-documented hauntings:

https://www.dartington.org

But in the 80s there was a female student found dead in unexplained circumstances by the River Dart that borders the estate. This led to intense media interest in the school and the naked goings-on in particular (the rumour being that the naturist headmaster would sunbathe naked with the students) and this scandal and other difficulties led to the closure of the school.
 

bugmum

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I've driven past Dartington many times but never visited. The Teenager went to a leather-working course there a couple of years ago, and there was a Microbiology workshop held there which I managed to avoid. However, its proximity to Totnes renders anything possible.
 

PeteS

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As a slight aside, friend's daughter was "investigated" by MI5, and she was then asked to apply for a job with them. She was turned down. Mmm - you have to wonder a touch what they get up to. Better off not knowing methinks.
 

maximus otter

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As a slight aside, friend's daughter was "investigated" by MI5, and she was then asked to apply for a job with them. She was turned down. Mmm - you have to wonder a touch what they get up to. Better off not knowing methinks.

As an even slighter aside, l once had a very brief conversation with a recently-joined uniformed bobby in my old force. He’d left MI5 to become a PC in our small police force because MI5 was “the most boring job he’d ever had”.

:dunno:

maximus otter
 

Mythopoeika

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As an even slighter aside, l once had a very brief conversation with a recently-joined uniformed bobby in my old force. He’d left MI5 to become a PC in our small police force because MI5 was “the most boring job he’d ever had”.

:dunno:

maximus otter
So... driving fast cars, shooting guns, drinking and gambling, bedding women in far-flung locations... was dull?
Or is that MI6?
 

escargot

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A university friend of mine has a best mate from childhood who applied to MI5 or summat. No, really. :nods:

I know about this because my friend was investigated as a contact in case she was a terrorist or whatever.
As we'd all gone out to cinemas and boozing etc together I wondered if they would have a look at me too but they didn't.

Or did they? o_O
:chuckle:
 

Mythopoeika

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A university friend of mine has a best mate from childhood who applied to MI5 or summat. No, really. :nods:

I know about this because my friend was investigated as a contact in case she was a terrorist or whatever.
As we'd all gone out to cinemas and boozing etc together I wondered if they would have a look at me too but they didn't.

Or did they? o_O
:chuckle:
They probably did. Found out you were a snail, and that was that.
 

ChasFink

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I knew a guy who had an extensive background in television and related media. He applied to the CIA for a job, knowing they maintained media libraries. They must have had a high regard for him based on his resume, because he was visited at work, unannounced, by two gentlemen who took him into an empty room and subjected him to a rapid fire interview. They said the job would entail lots of travel to other countries where he would make friends, and then he would tell some other people what the friends talked about. He was scared stiff the whole time.
 

Lb8535

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When I was in college a fellow student who was graduating applied to the Dept of State (she said) and warned several of us that we would be contacted for an interview about her. I don't think I ever was, but the problem for those who knew her was that she might have been fine material for the Dept of State but was on the whole one of the nastiest people we knew, and was this something we should mention.
 

PeteS

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As an even slighter aside, l once had a very brief conversation with a recently-joined uniformed bobby in my old force. He’d left MI5 to become a PC in our small police force because MI5 was “the most boring job he’d ever had”.

:dunno:

maximus otter
Yep I can believe that. Tedious desk job and all that. Equally friends son left the Police force after 18 months in one of the most crime ridden towns because it was "boring". And that after a pretty intense, difficult, and long drawn out selection process.
 

Mythopoeika

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When I was in college a fellow student who was graduating applied to the Dept of State (she said) and warned several of us that we would be contacted for an interview about her. I don't think I ever was, but the problem for those who knew her was that she might have been fine material for the Dept of State but was on the whole one of the nastiest people we knew, and was this something we should mention.
'Being nasty' may have been one of the traits they were looking for (i.e. for a leadership position).
Seems very odd that she told you all about it.
 

Lb8535

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'Being nasty' may have been one of the traits they were looking for (i.e. for a leadership position).
Seems very odd that she told you all about it.
It works that way here for the FBI and CIA also at least at entry-level. You are told to advise your references that they will be contacted by a gov agency for a reference. I do think no one told the gov agency about her activity in seizing the dean's office during that demonstration.
 

bugmum

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Back in my teens when I was seeing a member of Her Majesty's forces, I mentioned that I was interested in a trip to Russia, the details of which had appeared on my 6th form common room wall, and was told, "No, don't, because it'll be bad for me." Does that mean they were vetting me because of him?

Having worked as a sub-contractor for Dstl more recently (and needing to be security-checked to do so), I expect there's a little file with my name on it somewhere...
 

Endlessly Amazed

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Back in my teens when I was seeing a member of Her Majesty's forces, I mentioned that I was interested in a trip to Russia, the details of which had appeared on my 6th form common room wall, and was told, "No, don't, because it'll be bad for me." Does that mean they were vetting me because of him?

Having worked as a sub-contractor for Dstl more recently (and needing to be security-checked to do so), I expect there's a little file with my name on it somewhere...
yes. and, yes again.
 

IbisNibs

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'Being nasty' may have been one of the traits they were looking for (i.e. for a leadership position).
Seems very odd that she told you all about it.
Nastiness is not a good quality for someone in a leadership position. You have to have the confidence of those you lead. The nasty managers I've known were laughed at behind their backs by the people they supervised, and the "underlings" bailed as soon as they could. The most successful managers and leaders I've encountered have been highly intelligent, hard working and generous.
 

IbisNibs

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OTOH, maybe nastiness, and the ability to hide it, increase one's chances of survival in field work! :evillaugh:
 

PeteS

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Nastiness is not a good quality for someone in a leadership position. You have to have the confidence of those you lead. The nasty managers I've known were laughed at behind their backs by the people they supervised, and the "underlings" bailed as soon as they could. The most successful managers and leaders I've encountered have been highly intelligent, hard working and generous.
Only a tiny proportion of leaders I have encountered over decades had those attributes, of if they had, they were hopeless at people skills. The best leaders were good at their job and had great people skills.
 

Mythopoeika

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Nastiness is not a good quality for someone in a leadership position. You have to have the confidence of those you lead. The nasty managers I've known were laughed at behind their backs by the people they supervised, and the "underlings" bailed as soon as they could. The most successful managers and leaders I've encountered have been highly intelligent, hard working and generous.
I know that too, but it seems odd that nasty people seem to be the ones who mostly end up in power.
 

ChasFink

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Back in my teens when I was seeing a member of Her Majesty's forces, I mentioned that I was interested in a trip to Russia, the details of which had appeared on my 6th form common room wall, and was told, "No, don't, because it'll be bad for me." Does that mean they were vetting me because of him?

Having worked as a sub-contractor for Dstl more recently (and needing to be security-checked to do so), I expect there's a little file with my name on it somewhere...
Without going into too much detail, in case they're still listening:

I knew someone who had some degree of security clearance because of his freelance contract work with the government. A relative of his - a priest! - was planning to visit from a (then) Soviet Bloc country. The relative required a formal invitation from someone in the U.S., but the man with the security clearance said it couldn't be from him, because it would look bad.
 

Floyd1

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Let me be clear, I am just one of thousands who have worked at Dartington Hall since its restoration almost a century ago. However they certainly kept this quiet:

"Even though the Elmhirsts won their case, the rumours and state interest continued. According to Phil Baker in ‘The Devil is a Gentleman’, his biography of Dennis Wheatley, ‘The Haunting of Toby Jugg’ was written by Wheatley using his inside knowledge of an MI5 investigation titled ‘The Case Against Dartington Hall’. Though it seems the files are closed until 2042, it’s claimed that the report contains allegations of a South Kensington house belonging to the Elmhirsts being used as a ‘Black Magic’ temple. Aleister Crowley was allegedly the high priest of this sect which would then transfer new recruits to a secret chapel back in Dartington Hall to be further corrupted."

https://wearesouthdevon.com/nazis-sex-satanism-dartington-hall/

I would love to know more about the existence or otherwise of that MI5 file...!

Also, the youngest son of the Dartington Trust founding family was a KGB spy:

"Michael Whitney Straight, the youngest child of Willard Straight, an investment banker, and Dorothy Payne Whitney Straight, an heiress, was born in New York City on 1st September, 1916. His father died of septic pneumonia in 1919. Later his mother married Leonard Knight Elmhirst, a British educationist who founded Dartington Hall school in Devon."

"In 1983, Michael Straight detailed his communist activities in a memoir entitled After Long Silence. He admitted that while working for the Department of the Interior he passed on reports to a Soviet handler he called "Michael Green". He later insisted he had not provided anything that "contained any restricted material". However, according to TD: "But six years later the KGB released his file which showed that, using the codename 'Nigel', he had sent telegrams, ambassadors' reports and political position papers from the State Department."

https://spartacus-educational.com/NDmichael_straight.htm

Kept that quiet, too :oops:
Dorothy Payne Whitney Straight inherited $432 million (2020 equivalent) when she was 17. Not bad.
 

ramonmercado

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I got security clearance from the Irish, British and French security services to attend various events. i even had lunch with the Irish Director of Military Intelligence and with Sir John Chilicot on another occasion (when he was a coordinator for Spookish Affairs). The events/free meals were all related to Archives/Cultural stuff.

When I went to the USSR, British/NI civil servants who were on the same trip had to sign documents making them aware that the KGB might try to compromise them through honeytraps. I got no such warning and sadly the KGB didn't try to compromise me.
 

Spring Heeled Spud

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A friend of mine has worked for a couple of different govt. agencies (not MI5 but related). Once his team were staking out an apartment block as they were investigating one of the residents. My friend and a colleague were in the back of a van wearing headphones and recording updates from a third colleague who was wearing a microphone and posing as a homeless guy outside the building. The "homeless" guy would update them with "Female, late 60's, grey hair, blue trouser suit, waiting for a cab" etc. On this one occasion he fed back "White male, 50's or 60's, five ten tall, slim, black hair approaching". Anything else? "Tanned, wearing a blazer and chinos". Anything else? "Yes. It's Lionel Blair. Lionel Blair is entering the building". Apparently they lost it completely in the van and almost had to call the operation off because they were laughing so much
 

PeteS

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I got security clearance from the Irish, British and French security services to attend various events. i even had lunch with the Irish Director of Military Intelligence and with Sir John Chilicot on another occasion (when he was a coordinator for Spookish Affairs). The events/free meals were all related to Archives/Cultural stuff.

When I went to the USSR, British/NI civil servants who were on the same trip had to sign documents making them aware that the KGB might try to compromise them through honeytraps. I got no such warning and sadly the KGB didn't try to compromise me.
Honeytrap - yummy.:sneaky2:
 

Krepostnoi

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Without going into too much detail, in case they're still listening:

I knew someone who had some degree of security clearance because of his freelance contract work with the government. A relative of his - a priest! - was planning to visit from a (then) Soviet Bloc country. The relative required a formal invitation from someone in the U.S., but the man with the security clearance said it couldn't be from him, because it would look bad.
I've got an old school friend who's made a very successful career in the FCO (or whatever they call it these days). Put it this way, he's not yet 50, and he's already an ambassador. But he's had to be very careful about his contacts, and he made the decision not to continue a particular relationship with someone who was otherwise absolutely fantastic for him on every level because a couple of aspects of her biography would have combined to become career stoppers for him. I was a personal referee for him way back when, and I did have a very thorough phone conversation with someone about him.

Interestingly, he said he had a conversation with MI6, but they mutually agreed that they were not a good match. But then, he would say that, wouldn't he? I couldn't help noticing that for the longest time he had no presence at all on social media. Which these days effectively means you don't exist at all.

Personally, I'm perversely annoyed that I never had the proverbial tap on the shoulder. What's the point of studying Russian for decades if you don't get the chance to tell the spooks where to ram their job? I strongly suspect, however, that if I ever did register on their radar, my intended response would have been one of the first things to flash up.
 

ChasFink

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I guess I should(n't) also say I suspected my acquaintance - the one who couldn't invite his relative - of having a higher security level job than he let on. He told me that he owned an item that I knew was difficult to find outside the USSR: a gift from a Russian friend. I asked how he knew the guy, and he said "I can't talk about it."
 
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