edited: Thursday, July 28, 2005
By William J. Klausman
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2005
Become a Fan
Nobody knows how many corporate spies are out there.
Excerpted from Undercover Inc. an article appearing in the
November 1990 issue of Alaska Airlines Magazine
"Spooks, they're called, and nobody knows how many corporate spies are out there. But sources agree that in the last two decades, business espionage has grown tremendously . . . especially with the global competition for dwindling markets. Even so, many corporate executives are unaware of its existence.
"In fact, most of those who have been compromised never realize they've been hit. If they suspect vital information has been stolen, they may bring in their own “spook” to assess the damage and find a cure.
"Along with their special skills, these "outsiders" provide their corporate clients with a cushion of deniability. Often wishing to disavow any knowledge of their presence, corporate clients may choose to walk away in case something happens. And, it usually does.
"Defensive, counterintelligence operatives are not listed in the yellow pages but can be found through the corporate grapevine."
First and foremost, Bill Klausman is an imposter. . . . A mime. Webster’s defines it as one who practices an ancient dramatic entertainment form which, in its purest sense, presents a scene from life in a ridiculous manner. That's pretty close, according to Klausman.
Admittedly, Klausman’s impersonations are fairly far fetched. But then, it’s the absurdity of it all which contributes to his success. Within limits of course, the more ludicrous, the more believable.
Depending on the assignment, he chooses a character based on two different approaches. The first and most successful is the tactical approach where he assumes an identity to penetrate a target’s business and move undetected within its corporate walls. The other would be the bulldozer approach where he goes in, gets the data and gets out. Sure, it’s the quickest. But unfortunately, it’s a good way to get caught.
While you can guess the latter requires nothing short of shoulder pads, a good helmet and the knowledge of the product’s location, the tactical approach requires a tremendous amount of anticipation and adaptation.
Unlike Peter Sellers’ bungling Chief Inspector, who somehow comes out smelling like a rose, mistakes are not tolerated in Klausman’s corporate spy business. One caper at a time, he scales the castle walls of reticence without so much as, you guessed it, falling into the moat.
Although some attacks are neutralized on the front line, more often they’re not.
The first in a series, "The Amacon Cover" tells a unique story about a caper exactly as it happened.
* * * *
In the original article, a pseudonym was used for the protection of his client, targets and himself