Sexual Infiltration

The policing of radical social movements is routinely conducted through State infiltration relying on misrepresentation, manipulation and coercion. Throughout the past two decades, such infiltrations have shifted the discourse from that of policing to that of national security—a trend that accelerated in the post-9/11 era. During these periods, police forces have set their sights on the infiltration and disruption of revolutionary leftist, animal liberation, and environmental activists. Following a series of British news stories in 2011, it was revealed that a host of police spies had not only infiltrated non-violent social movements, but that these clandestine security forces were earning activists’ trust through sexual manipulation. In a host of cases police were shown to have dated, had sexual relations with, and fathered children with subjects under surveillance and members of their social networks. In some cases, police even married activists while living their dual identities as activists. In the private sphere of the home, within the confines of the bonds of marital trust, an individual must assume to be outside of the gaze of the State, but by exposing informants from within one’s own family, the State accomplishes a variety of goals from the collection of intelligence, the spreading of insecurity amongst the exposed subjects’ community, and the display of a totalizing disciplinary power targeting the social movement under observation. This inquiry adopts a Foucaultian analysis to examine the disruption of social movements through sexualized violence, and seeks to expose neoliberal, terrorism/securitization Statecraft for the violence it perpetuates. In addition to exploring the strategic logic of such counter-terrorism methods, this inquiry seeks to suggest new manners of methodological interrogation aimed at deciphering State behavior and the resultant response from decentralized, clandestine, revolutionary social movements.
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Michael Loadenthal