CommonSpace reports from today’s [23 June] SpyCops conference, where a victim pushing for Scotland inquiry says ‘sinister, state sponsored method acting’ was one piece of a disturbing puzzle designed to crush dissent
“IF YOU can imagine a really good method actor, someone like Christian Bale, who can change the way he looks, or Robert DeNiro, and they become someone else and they live it, I think it’s a little bit like that. A really sinister, state sponsored version of method acting.”
Andrea (pseudonym) was what she describes as an “accidental activist” when she was introduced to Carlo Neri by a friend at an anti-war protest in London in 2002. She was not a “serious activist” but she was well-placed enough within different groups of campaigners that she held a position of trust.
This, she believes is why Neri (whose real name has not been revealed) targeted her to strike up a relationship in the course of his duties as an undercover police officer. Quickly, things between the pair became serious. As Andrea recalls, they were “in love”, they moved in together within months, and Neri proposed.
Well-liked within the activist and trade union community, nobody suspected that Carlo Neri and his elaborate back-story were entirely fictional. Andrea explains how Neri presented a believable story of why she was never able to meet his family, and played on her sympathies for the trauma he claimed to have experienced.
“He arrived with a story of difficulties in the family, and he had talked about a difficult relationship with his father. He said his mother was dead and his father was still alive but there had been domestic abuse in the family life,” she says.
Only ten years later, after the relationship had ended, did the truth hit Andrea when she was presented with documentation which proved Neri was a police officer – not, as he had claimed, a locksmith – and that he was married with children. Neri is believed to have been a part of the Special Demonstration Squad, due to his focus on socialist and anti-fascist groups.
(added by me – Scotland’s Ex Chief of Police, Phil Gormley was SDS!!)
“Later, when things started to change and fragment, he dropped the bombshell that, when his father died, he just found out that his sister had been sexually abused,” Andrea recalls.
“It was so believable, but that story, it was like there was a preparation for it – it had been building up. And this was the bombshell: sexual abuse. I mean it’s huge, it’s a traumatic thing.”
This revelation served as the precursor for the end of the relationship, as Neri began to grow distant and emotionally volatile, claiming to have suicidal thoughts. Ultimately, he moved on to live with high profile trade union activists, something Andrea now believes to have been part of the plan.
And yet, at the time, the transition seemed entirely natural. “Bearing in mind I spent my life working in mental health, I believed all of it. He became tearful, he lost a lot of weight, he physically changed, his eyes changed, he looked different.”
This is why Andrea now considers Neri to be a skilled method actor, a talent she says was strategically honed by the police. Now actively involved in the Police Spies Out of Lives campaign, and the inquiry into undercover policing in England and Wales, Andrea has learned that her experience eerily mirrors that of other victims.
“When you look at all the stories, they all had the same tactics – they all showed signs of breaking down, they all started to change, some more dramatically physically than others,” she explains.
READ IN FULL https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/12929/woman-duped-relationship-undercover-cop-tells-how-he-used-tales-childhood-abuse-and