SEARCHLIGHT FICTION PULPED
In October 1996 Phoenix Press published my pamphlet, 'Searchlight for Beginners', offering a concise outline of the magazine's history and sketches of key personnel. It proves that Searchlight magazine is a disinformation outlet and listening-post for MI5. In January this year Searchlight responded with a two page attack on me and my research entitled 'Bile, Paranoia & Collaboration (p. 14-15). The article uses selective quotations to make suggestions about my mental state, and prints a photograph of me and the address of where I work. Searchlight is unable to answer the detailed evidence against them and are forced to rely on personal abuse and thinly veiled threats.
There are eight key points in 'Searchlight for Beginners' (hereafter SFB) that they cannot answer.
1. The underground paramilitary group Column 88 in the 1970's was Searchlight's first major 'scoop', and one they went to great lengths to publicise. Yet, much later, Searchlight alleged that C88 had been a state 'honey-trap' all along. In which case, Searchlight were working for the state bee-keepers.
2. While Searchlight operatives Dave Roberts and Daphne Liddle used Forewarned magazine to circulate 'hit-lists', they were simultaneously calling for the state to clamp down on the very violence they were helping escalate. My explanation is they were acting on behalf of the state.
3. Sonia Hochfelder (now the wife of current editor Gerry Gable), wandered in and out of a Maoist group, and later joined a variety of fascist organisations. Is it feasible that she used this guise to set up anti-fascists for assassination by the UVF? Read it and make up your own mind.
4. Ray Hill's role in foiling a non-existent fascist plot to bomb the Notting Hill Carnival of 1981 is re-examined. The collusion between Hill and Special Branch in this episode is discussed.
5. In the 1990's Hill and others such as Tim Hepple took part in infiltration/disinformation campaigns against green activists. Further evidence of Hill's role is outlined.
6. In the 1990's, Searchlight again circulated 'hit lists' just like the 1970's.
7. At first, the threat from neo-nazi group Combat 18 was promoted by Searchlight, who in 1993 publicly called for MI5 to 'investigate' them. Subsequently, Searchlight announced in 1995 that MI5 had supposedly created CI8 in the first place?
8. The reasons behind this propaganda operation regarding CI8 are explained, and Searchlight's Column 88 and Combat 18 operations are compared and contrasted.
There is much more in SFB besides these points, but nonetheless, they're a good start. There must be a good reason why none of my allegations are even referred to in the January 1997 Searchlight.. The explanation is straightforward: either they are not able to effectively answer them because they are true, or they dare not mention my claims because even discussion of them would be damaging—which in itself strongly implies they are true. After all, if I'm worth two pages, why not trash my supposedly 'absurd' work by reference to evidence?
Why Write Such An Article?
During 1996 Searchlight only referred briefly to my work. There was a garbled story in February which complained that I had put a statement on the Internet. This mention did not try to refute my arguments, nor reveal that Searchlight 'team' member Graeme Atkinson had earlier placed a venomous and lengthy personal attack on the Internet (dated 30/1/95, German Anti-fascist section 31/12/95), available from me for SAE plus first class stamp [2010 note: the original is no longer on-line. It is reproduced on litigious former Searchlight associate & far right sympathiser Alexander Baron's web-site. Link is here]). This diatribe entitled 'Re:Secret Service Accusation' (hereafter referred to as Atkinson/Internet) takes a rather different line in significant respects than the Searchlight piece. To avoid confusion I will comment on it elsewhere, although a few relevant quotations will be cited here. All was quiet until December, which saw a muted aside about SFB. Then in January I was given the full 'treatment'. Given the purpose of the article was not to answer my claims directly, why write it? One reason clearly was to take the opportunity to reprint my photograph. This was taken illegally at my work-place by two of their operatives, as part of an ongoing campaign of harrassment by the Searchlight 'team'. This harrassment also included impersonating bank employees and in one case Gable pretended to be making a TV documentary on a student at my college. In the course of this deception he flourished his NUJ card as proof of his sincerity. There was even, around this time, a mysterious 'break in' during which nothing was stolen but records rifled through. The printing this January of even more precise details about where I work, along with my photo, has an obvious purpose:to facilitate a physical attack.
Searchlight carefully avoid mentioning the subject of my second complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. This was that their first printing of my photo and slightly more imprecise workplace details was intended to set me up for attack. The PCC rejected this complaint, without even investigating it.
The tendency for Searchlight to be personal and abusive not only illustrates that they are unable to defend themselves convincingly against my arguments. This particular article also seems to be projecting their own deepest fears and anxieties onto me. Searchlight are worried my work is increasingly being listened to by Leftists, anti-fascists, members of the Jewish community and even journalists. The fact there is an ever-increasing audience for my work has led to this out-pouring of their "bile and paranoia". For I have uncovered hard evidence of their "collaboration" with the secret state and some fascists, and they don't like it. I am the first to admit my work is sometimes complex (isn't life?), but as the long list of positive reviews (see Appendix 2) shows, those who put in the effort find it worthwhile.
Searchlight coverage is likely to have been influenced by a matter touched upon in SFB: the 'British National Socialist Party'. This is a bogus organisation with Searchlight connections. I can now reveal that BNSP 'leader', hermaphrodite 'Lady Athena McHugh' has also been, with the full knowledge of the Stalinist 'New Communist Party', infiltrating the left-oriented campaign London Against the Job-Seekers Allowance, as well as gathering intelligence on ethnic minority groups. This led to a unanimous vote to suspend the NCP 'front' organisation, the National Union of Unemployed & Workers, from London Against the JSA on 6/1/97. The weight of evidence against the NUU&W was so overwhelming, they didn't dare vote against their own exclusion! Such activity as that carried out by 'Lady Athena' is fully consistent with the Searchlight/MI5 modus operandi outlined in the pamphlet.
Another possible reason for the article is to discredit me as a reliable information source in advance of the imminent General Election. As far left group Red Action have pointed out, selling information to the media is highly important to Searchlight, not least financially. Red Action go on to say "...for the Searchlight operation to work, the absence of serious rivals is absolutely vital. One, it allows them to corner the intelligence market, and, two, no-one is in a position of authority to invalidate their projections. This puts them in pole position, allowing them...by a rigidly regulated dispensation of information (both true and false) to attempt to control the agendas of other organisations as well. And everything, literally everything, the operational effectiveness of the broad anti-fascist movement, and even the personal safety of anti-fascist activists, is subordinate to the Searchlight agenda" (Red Action issue 71 Summer 1995 p.2). The point is not that I spend time hawking stories to the media, I don't, and my experience of the latter is in any case distinctly negative. The attempt by Searchlight to control the media's coverage of fascism is but one facet of the state's ongoing efforts at news management - a point presumably lost on most of Searchlight's readers. Searchlight's fear is that I might sow the seeds of doubt concerning their activities in this sphere. Searchlight do not like my challenge to their research monopoly, and with good reason...
State News Management
Reference to 'state news management' might strike you as irrelevant jargon, but consider two recent examples, the first involving the recent letter-bombs sent from Denmark and Sweden to selected UK targets, by persons in/close to C18. The story hit the national media on 18th January 1997, receiving almost blanket coverage. Yet the first device was intercepted at Gartcraig sorting office in Glasgow, addressed to Stephen Cartwright's Highlander magazine a full three days earlier on 15th January. Thus, hundreds of potential targets (such as those featured in Combat 18 magazines 1 & 3, and International Redwatch issue 1) weren't warned, as they would have been by media coverage, until well after the information would have been most useful. This puts in perspective the comment by Express journalist Alex Hendry as late as 20th January that "the worry last night was that those behind the campaign may have organised the posting of more letter bombs which will arrive in the next few days". If this was true on the 19th January when the Express went to press, it was even more true on the 15th 16th and 17th of January when a total news black-out was in force. The relevant Post Office circular [CPC/97/14] was faxed to all sorting offices in the UK on the 15th (not the next day as Searchlight state in February issue p.4). There has been little critical comment about the suppression of the story (save by Denis Campbell & Severin Carrell, on different grounds to me in Scotland on Sunday 26/1/97). Why was the story sat on for three days? 'Operational reasons' is the standard police justification for this type of thing, and it was in this case too. The common sense presumption is that the state must 'have their reasons'. Individual journalists don't care, because in return for dropping or delaying one story, the police , MI5 (or whoever) will give them another. All very cosy for them, but as my research (and reality) shows, this collusion isn't done at all with the interests of the mass of the people in mind.
Taking a closer look at the letter-bomb saga, isn't it strange that nazis were allowed to send devices unhindered in the period between the 15th January and the 18th? Campbell and Carrell's article states that English Special Branch HQ at Scotland Yard were aware of the likelihood of suspect devices even before the 15th, issuing an alert "days before the Glasgow incident". These two journalists use this merely as a stick with which to beat Strathclyde police (and not Special Branch England/MI5), but other conclusions can be drawn from the information they impart. On the surface, we have here a callous disregard by the state for the safety of possible targets, which wouldn't be surprising. Or, given nobody seems to have been harmed, it could illustrate a strong degree of foreknowledge as to exactly what was sent, to whom and who posted them. In this case, such knowledge strongly hints at state manipulation of CI8. Consideration of that hypothesis is 'off-limits' for Campbell and Carrell; it is one thing to attack Glasgow CID with information fed by the Met. in London, another thing entirely to question the 'good faith' of the state as a whole in this area. Not a wise career move for a journalist, and very understandably so. Searchlight themselves boast of intimate knowledge as to exactly who was sent what, stating "informants inside CI8 were emphatic that six packages had been dispatched" (p.4). They admit getting "information from our international network, police and intelligence sources in several countries and Searchlight's own moles and informants inside the international nazi camp" (p.2/February). Searchlight and the media in general are drip-fed stories by the police and state intelligence apparatus, a relationship they will not want to endanger by pushing or publicising information their state sources suggest would be best delayed, covered with a particular spin, or not covered at all. While profiles of 'spin doctors' acting on behalf of political parties such as Labour's Peter Mandelson & Alastair Campbell are staples of the 'quality' press, there is no such attention given to those like Searchlight who spin on behalf of a faction that never loses power.the state. When a journalist hears of a potential story involving the far right they will usually check its veracity with Searchlight at some stage. This is where Searchlight are highly influential, advising on which stories will 'run' and which to ignore. In this sense, mostly behind the scenes, media agendas are set, and stories given the particular slant which suits Searchlight's various paymasters. For Searchlight truth is an irrelevant concern, so it is hardly surprising that what they say to the press and TV publicly is often radically different from their own magazine's spin on the same subject. Thus, while for the consumption of Guardian readers Steven Silver (using the pseudonym Peter Brighton) affected to find it "incredible that the authorities here know who are behind this but are letting these people walk the streets" (22/1/97), February's Searchlight editorial, which had just gone to press, referred to a "two-pronged thrust" by the "security forces...against C18 during the past 18 months...the latest parcel bombs are clearly one of the final moves in this intelligence chess game...the security forces are serious about cleaning out the stable" (p.2). These two versions are mutually inconsistent, yet again illustrating the tricky balancing act Searchlight have in servicing their various agendas. Any comment from Searchlight about the role of the secret state in relation to fascists has to be treated as disinformation.
On 10th February 1997, following a brawl at Charlie Sergeant's home, an intruder was stabbed to death. As I understand it, someone other than Sergeant was charged with the stabbing, and an intruder charged with aggravated burglary and intent to cause Grievous Bodily Harm. On the 12th , two days later, Ken Hyder had a story in the London Evening Standard about MI5 'protection' for possible letter-bomb victims. Yet no mention of the stabbing, when it was surely relevant, and something which with Hyder's sources he would have known about, especially as it made a fleeting appearance on the Press Association wire. The story's timing, on the day the suspects were remanded in custody, is highly suggestive, and like all Hyder's pieces repays careful reading. Either the murder was a trigger for the story in the first place, or at the very least it deserved inclusion on public interest grounds. To the best of my knowledge, at time of writing, there has been no media coverage at all of these events. Perhaps due to the forthcoming trials on other matters of various parties in the incident, although there might be other reasons. Is it not strange this story hasn't hit the media, when lurid tales of C18 violence (many undoubtedly true) are ten a penny? It is newsworthy, it is in the (relatively) public domain, yet it has been successfully suppressed so far. Contrast this with the (eventual) mass coverage of the Danish letter-bombs above. That story was hyped due to the possibility that somebody might be harmed'.in the stabbing somebody definitely was.
As it happens, two journalists just mentioned, Denis Campbell and Ken Hyder, have a close relationship with Searchlight, but this should not be misunderstood. They are all operators in the twilight world where the state security apparatus, media and 'political underground' intersect Thus, it is inevitable there will be overlap, collaboration and occasionally competition between them. I have not gone for Searchlight because they in charge' of such matters, but because they are one particularly visible and nasty head of the Hydra, engaged in far more than media massage, and as such useful exemplars of the problems I'm concerned with generally. I come across similar stories to the two above about twice a month - many but not all featuring the far right. The above examples illustrate censorship, and beg questions unlikely to be asked in the mainstream media, never mind answered. Much of my research, including that into the Searchlight organisation, involves studying the long-term setting of agendas and parameters of 'acceptable' discourse. Combining a critical attitude towards the state with my own information sources and detailed knowledge of the far right (among other areas), I am a big problem for Searchlight's attempts at agenda-setting using stories involving fascists (and others accused of fascism). It is thus essential to rubbish my work and me as an individual. Searchlight are only one (influential) facet of media manipulation by the state, but I am particularly active on their turf, so they see it as their job to 'sort me out': or incite others to.
Lies About My Political Past...
Searchlight claim that "in the summer of 1992 O'Hara joined forces with Mark Taha...and Al Baron". I first came across Baron when he sent me (via Lobster magazine) a crude leaflet showing himself in a yarmulke outside a synagogue followed by a clearly spurious document purporting to show far right historian David Irving engaged in gay sex. Even if Irving has such an orientation (highly unlikely), I would hardly regard it as of political relevance. I could see that Baron, who advertises himself as a homophobe, was trying to use me as a vehicle for disinformation. My suspicions about Baron were confirmed when he told me he had met with Gerry Gable, and also sent me material which looked like it had been stolen from Irving's flat. As it became clear that I was not going to repeat any of the disinformation he was feeding me, or otherwise collaborate with him, Baron came to the conclusion it was fruitless to continue bombarding me with documents. I regard Baron as an anti-semitic homophobe, and stated this in 'At War With The Truth', written before Searchlight had alleged we were working together (1993/p.25). Searchlight's attempt to smear me as anti-semitic is done despite them knowing full well that in 1990 the Union of Jewish Students (with whom Searchlight have close links) referred to my research on the persistence of anti-semitism among fascists as "a lucid analysis". They go on to say "O'Hara clearly shows how the 'mask' over NF anti-semitism slips frequently...O'Hara's expose of the NF's fascism is a positive contribution to anti-fascism" ('Jews & Jew-Haters' 1990). Searchlight do not actually believe that I "joined forces" with Baron and Taha. Still with no credible evidence to support their claim of an association, the next sentence asserts that our mutual "egos...were too large to be constrained together in one small political pond". A political association said to have begun in 1992 is described as "short-lived". Writing in December 1995 however, Graeme Atkinson was peddling the lie that I was even then working with Baron, described as my "friend" (p.5) and the pathetic figure of Mark Taha as my "friend and ally" (p.4/both quotes from Atkinson/Internet). That these two versions contradict each other, and over such a serious matter as an alleged political association with an anti-semite and his close collaborator Taha, is evidence enough neither version is true—and that Searchlight are incompetent as well as habitual liars. Taha I have met once in order to interview hint on tape for my research. At time of writing, Baron is sojourning in Brixton prison, detained, I understand, for, among other things criticising Searchlight in a letter to the police! No doubt, while pacing up and down his cell, Baron has had ample opportunity to reconsider his two printed defences of Searchlight from my charge of being 'state-connected' ('Searchlight on Gerry Gable'/1994, and 'Mr O'Hara & The Radicals'/1996).
In the 1970's I played an active part in the anti-fascist movement, attending some key mobilisations such as the NF Remembrance Day march and Digbeth in 1978, Southall and Leicester in 1979. After the trouble at Leicester during the 1979 General Election I gave evidence in court for a comrade, Derek Hemphill, found guilty of public order offences. I was present at the NF march in Corby 1980, there as elsewhere among the ranks of militant anti-fascists. So much for Atkinson's mendacious claim that "O'Hara has no record or history whatsoever as an activist in the anti-fascist movement in Britain" (Internet p.3). I did see Ray Hill in his tacky white suit on a number of such occasions, the same Ray Hill under whose by-line numerous attacks on me have appeared in Searchlight. However, while I was among the anti-fascists, he was consorting with the far right, among whose company this racist was clearly at home. The lies about me not being a member of the SWP (4 years) or Big Flame (6 years) I have already refuted in my letter to Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) branches of 12/10/92, in which I named Leftists who can vouch for my presence in both groups:and gave details of numerous articles written for both Big Flame's paper and internal Discussion Bulletin spanning the period 1981-84. So involved was I in Big Flame that I even wrote the newspaper Editorial following the Falklands war (issue 107 July 1982), my conclusion being that the "whole affair has shown the need for a strong far left" (any readers who want copies of articles I wrote for Big Flame should send an SAE and a few stamps). I again challenge Searchlight to produce the name of this fictitious person who claims 1 only attended "part of a single meeting". After Big Flame dissolved (and I remained in it till the end, as can be confirmed by their last National Secretary Paul Smith), I joined the Socialist Federation, and in 1988-89 joined the Green Party—of which I remain a member. In 1990 I co-authored a pamphlet 'Paradise Referred Back' on the need to construct a far left-Green axis in politics, sentiments I still stand by. Of course Searchlight know all this. The purpose of falsely implying I am not a Leftist is to cast doubt upon my integrity and motives, and indeed present me as a 'non-person', with no recognisable past or political/moral core.
The article starts off by claiming I have conducted a "vitriolic hate campaign against Searchlight and the organised anti-fascist movement [since] the start of the 1990's". What are the facts? My first printed comments on Searchlight came when I intervened in (but did not initiate) a debate in Labour Briefing. This commenced in July 1991 with an article entitled 'Black activists challenge Searchlight', followed by two pieces defending Searchlight from 'team members' Ray Hill and Daphne Liddle. Only then did I intervene, informing readers of unsavoury episides from their recent past. A characteristic collection of smears was the response of Searchlight's Graeme Atkinson, effectively refuted in the closure of the Labour Briefing debate by respected Leftist former AFA National Committee member and veteran anti-fascist/anti-zionist activist Tony Greenstein. It was only after this debate, and my scooping them with a story in Tribune, that Searchlight lied about me for the first time in their own pages (July 1992). This story the PCC refused to investigate when I complained, something Searchlight have construed as support for their fiction. Since then, the lies have come thick and fast:21 mentions so far.
Condemned In My Own Words?
The last part of the article uses quotes from my work, the intent being to trawl through my writings for damaging or ridiculous statements, to use against me. Ideally I should be shown expressing racist or similar sentiments, at the very least peddling some morsel of 'fascist disinformation' or displaying some 'paranoia'. The very first quote; my statement that (Anti Fascist Action) "AFA have been infiltrated by a state asset" is presumably meant to expose me to ridicule, as if such an eventuality is preposterous. AFA themselves don't think so, for example the current issue of Fighting Talk states that "in recent weeks two people connected with AFA have been approached by Special Branch in different parts of the country. This is part of an ongoing police strategy..." (Issue 15 November 1996 p.6). Why would Searchlight want to downplay state interest in the Left? Read my research and you'll find out.
As for the Anti-Nazi League, would anybody in the know apart from the SWP seriously disagree with the validity of my characterisation? Hardly. Incidentally, those comments were made in the context of a defence of the ANL from the suggestion by British National Party Leader John Tyndall that they be prosecuted for incitement (see 'Turning Up The Heat:MI5 After the Cold War' p.42/48 on this).
CARF is a magazine I used to contribute to, and have every right to criticise when appropriate (see TUTH p.75-6/84 on the "affair" in question). On the Tyne & Wear Anti-Fascist Association see p.45-46 of the same book, and again make up your own mind.
The quoted comments on journalists I stand by, though for the full details, including the existence of "honourable exceptions" again see TUTH p. 19-20. The allegation that I accused all 36 journalists listed at the back of the book of "working for" the security services is, of course, false. Information concerning the relationship between each agency mentioned and each journalist cited is in the text of the book: not one journalist appears on that list whose output is not analysed. It may well be that Andrew Bell is one of World In Ac tion's "finest journalists"—given his past editorship of Searchlight and the programme's output that is hardly an impressive accolade.
My comment on the Board of Deputies is unexceptional, if necessarily wounding :essentially I am criticising them for inadequate intelligence on fascists, something I would hardly draw attention to if I were a 'fascist errand-boy' is it? I am not alone in my concerns about the Board, through their 'Community Security Trust' (CST), interfering in the political process in an unacceptable manner. The Observer recently carried a piece praising them for their "sophisticated intelligence system" and "investigative service". Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Condon (the same man responsible for racist accusations about crimes of violence and black youth) endorsed the trust, speaking of how "developed" and "disciplined" they were (2/2/97). A response from the activist Jewish Socialist Group painted a rather different picture, complaining of "surveillance and harassment of members of the Jewish community itself, especially those on the Left...As victims of their harassment, we have seen neither sophistication nor intelligence displayed by the officers of the CST" (Observer 9/2/97). Which is my other criticism of the Board:instead of investigating fascists properly, the CST concentrates on smearing anti-fascists, Jewish and non-Jewish, as part of a complex bargain with the state. This subject I will return to elsewhere, suffice to say disquiet among the Jewish community about the Board/CST and Searchlight has led Jewish comrades to provide me with valuable information.
What I am quoted as saying about Searchlight personnel possibly being involved in cemetery desecrations I stand by:and careful readers will note in no way did I "blame Jews for anti-semitism". I do not see Searchlight as primarily Jewish, since they have so many (allegedly reformed) non-Jewish fascists like Ray Hill, Tim Hepple and Steve Tilzey on the staff. Searchlight quoting New Statesman for 15/10/93 is a bit rich even for them. Because the piece went on to conclude that "the ferocity of Searchlight's attack seems out of all proportion to the nature of O'Hara's articles. Is it really such a crime to question Searchlight's assumptions about the nature of the far right?". Hardly a denunciation of me is it, but then the selective use of quotation has always been a hallmark of the 'Stalinist School of Falsification'. As for Brady/Harrington, what Searchlight fear above all else is the accuracy of my research concerning them and others—I don't lie about people.
The Logic Of The Smear
If my work is "very poorly researched and edited, and often barely intelligible", then why devote two whole pages to it? After all, as far back as 22/10/93 (when November's smear had just gone to press and a few weeks after his operatives had photographed me at work) Searchlight editor Gable stated "I think that most New Statesman readers are as bored by Mr O'Hara as we are" (p.28). The answer, logically, is that my research is not only not as bad as Searchlight claim, but so good that it has got them very worried indeed, hence the need to 'innoculate' readers against it. If my work is "slanderous", why not sue? I have not (so far) sued them: but will vigorously defend myself against all-comers.
It is highly illogical too, to call someone "paranoid" in the same article that contains, for no obvious public interest purpose, my photograph and work details, but not my mailing address. Furthermore, evading the content of what I have to say by resort to the simple expedient of declaring me "mad" or "paranoid" is the oldest trick in the book of smears. All their published quotations of mine show is an occasional sharp turn of phrase—hardly a psychiatric disorder. The 'psychiatrisation' of politics in this way is a deliberate attempt to further corrupt the public sphere by replacing consideration of the content of my research by insults. The intent is, like interning dissidents in the old Soviet Union by Searchlight's Stalinist mentors, to translate my (unexplained) political ideas into symptoms of psychiatric disorder, so as to prevent you taking them seriously.
The fact that in a seven page assault a year earlier (Atkinson/Internet) the terms paranoid and conspiracy theorist were not mentioned once shows that Searchlight do not for one minute believe it themselves:it is just a tactical ploy to debase my work. Different lies for different audiences. The gist of Atkinson's rant is that anyone criticising Searchlight must be working for the secret state themselves. Try this passage for example:"behind O'Hara's friend Baron stand far-right Tory MPs as well as a very right-wing former MP whom Searchlight exposed ten years ago as being in league with the 'secret state'....Also known is that O'Hara has worked closely with three men— Barrington (sic!), Brady and Sargent—who are as well as being nazis have either worked with or are working for British Intelligence...the intelligence services, not willing to attack us publicly use mouthpieces like O'Hara, Taha and Baron to do their dirty work...O'Hara is...a tool of the most reactionary forces within the secret services in Britain" (Atkinson/Internet p.5-6). It is indeed a serious allegation, to suggest I might be a 'tool' of the secret state ('reactionary forces' possibly being code for MI6). Not something to be claimed lightly, or without evidence. Yet Searchlight themselves attach so little credence to the charge that it is not mentioned in the January piece. Instead I am described as "either a paranoid conspiracy theorist or a fascist errand boy". Hardly charming, or true, but different claims than being a 'tool' of the secret state, which if true unquestionably deserves a mention. What sort of people make such grave allegations and then drop them without explanation? My answer is Stalinist trash in league with the state: a generously charitable description of the 'team' in the circumstances.
Is it really good enough to censor and condemn me because some things I write may be of interest to fascists? Shouldn't mine or anybody's research stand or fall on its intrinsic merits? If you stop yourself reading or thinking about something because told by 'authority' (in this case the shrill Stalinoid voice of Searchlight) not to do so, then is not one of the most important bulwarks against fascism, independent critical thought, undermined? Such considerations are irrelevant to Searchlight, who learned their slander techniques in what Trotsky rightly named the 'Stalinist School of Falsification'. That CI8 sold SFB is something as little under my control as the fact that item 6 on the literature list reproduced, very obviously blanked out, is Searchlight. Thus, while C18 selling my pamphlet is 'proof of supposed collaboration, selling Searchlight isn't proof of their 'collaborating' with C18. The regimes which spawned this evil Stalinist method of character assassination have been largely swept into the dustbin of history—so why should people continue to be duped by such techniques, and Searchlight's attempts to stifle debate and alternative views? If there is one fundamental theme which informs my research, it is that the fascists who over the next few years have a likelihood of success are not going to be traditional 'Nazis', but those sophisticated far rightists who have gone beyond nazism and have redefined, and Me redefining, the nature of fascism. Simply opposing such people by the old slogans, and assuming that fascists are all Nazis underneath, really, is a grave error (viz the 'Anti-Nazi League'). It is precisely examination of the new forms into which (particularly British) fascism has mutated in recent years that is my distinct contribution. Searchlight probably hate me for that above all else, because when it comes to such analysis, they just aren't interested (or capable), and intuitively recognise that the emergence of new paradigms arising from my work threatens their lucrative operation. Ultimately though, I can do no more than suggest you read my research as well as contrasting opinions on it to those Searchlight quote; then make up your own mind.
What Is Missing From The Smear: And Why
Aside from the lies and distortions, there are five significant things missing from the two-page attack, surely not omitted for space reasons therefore:
1) Any reference at all to my research exposing Searchlight operative Tim Hepple as an MI5 asset:yet my pamphlet on him 'At War With The Truth' was published November 1993. This is because every word in it is so true, and damaging, they have up to now felt it to be political suicide to even refer to it, never mind refute it. On this at least, their judgement is sound.
2) Any reference to my membership of the Green Party, and indeed my leading role in the Green Party's moves against David Icke for his anti-semitism in 1994 and subsequently (see Green Party Anti-Racist Network Newsletter October 1994 p.l/The Way Ahead September 1994 p.l and my article 'David Icke:Time For The Hard Truth' Greenline December 1995 p.15-17). To mention this would hardly fit in with the insinuations I am an anti-semite or fascist collaborator would it?
3) Any reference to Searchlight's depiction of what is incontrovertibly me (a Catholic) in the June/August/September 1994 issues as a courier setting up meetings between Combat 18 and Ulster Loyalists for the purposes of drug-dealing. In June 1994 Searchlight posed the question "If [Charlie] Sargent is such a keen loyalist, why is he using a Catholic, who has posed as an antifascist researcher, as a courier to Ulster for meetings with a key Third Positionist...Our view is that his beliefs take second place to the potential profits from drug-dealing" (p.5). In the August issue they wrote that "Searchlight has heard from Protestant friends that the loyalists are furious with Charlie Sargent for using a Catholic to send his messages to political contacts in Northern Ireland. Their annoyance is not surprising when so many lucrative deals are going wobbly these days" (p.7). This was followed in the September 1994 issue by reference to Sargent "using a Catholic teacher from London to convey messages to a man called Kerr in Ulster...This would not be the first instance of a Catholic being involved with the UDA" (p.3). These lies were printed before an IRA ceasefire had been declared, at the very time 'unfinished business' was being undertaken by the IRA in the form of executing drug-dealers under the banner 'Direct Action Against Drugs'. Thus, more than at any other time before or since, these insinuations were printed at precisely the right moment for them to have been potentially (and fatally for me) acted upon either by the IRA or trigger-happy Loyalist paramilitaries. I pointed out in my futile correspondence with the Press Complaints Commission that the figure referred to in these pieces was unquestionably me, something they refused to even comment on. Happily, that I was the person described was made crystal clear by Searchlight's Graeme Atkinson in December 1995, who lied that "O'Hara has done occasional favours for Combat 18...His contact with Combat 18 is via its street leader Charlie Sargent, a criminally convicted drugs racketeer and thug...So now we know what O'Hara is:a political errand boy and confidante of nazi thugs, nazi terrorists, nazi drugs racketeers" (Atkinson/Internet p.5/6).
Not only was this a despicable set of lies, to refer again to it would remind Searchlight readers that anybody (especially a Catholic who occasionally visits Ireland) having this said about them is in principle in very real danger of being 'taken out'. This was patently the purpose of such stories in the first place. For if the 'CI8-Loyalist' drug-dealing story was true, wouldn't it be highly relevant to remind readers of in the context of an article (January) devoted to my supposed "collaboration" with fascists? To not mention it now is a clear admission it was untrue:and thus to have printed such lies along with my photo and work details can only have been done for the same purpose as the current piece—to set me up for attack.
4) Any mention of the earlier allegation circulated on the Internet by Atkinson that I am a "tool of the most reactionary elements in the secret services" (Internet p.6). They know it to be a fiction, invented for a (German) Leftist audience who would have no means of checking it easily if at all. Nonetheless, as with the 'CI8-Loyalist' drug-dealing fantasy, intended to have harmful effects.
5) Any outline of the thesis and supporting evidence in my pamphlet 'Searchlight for Beginners'. The same as 'At War With The Truth' above, to not even outline my arguments in the course of a two-page attempt to dismiss them is a pretty clear indication I have hit the bulls-eye again, and my pamphlet is so accurate that it is very damaging indeed. Again, I concur with Searchlight's editorial judgement here.
Some Comments On My Critics
The second page of the attack has an unusual format. Here is Searchlight, habitually so shrill and indeed 'sollipsistic' in their approach, giving space to people they all (allegedly) disagree with. They are at pains to point out disagreement because the target audience is primarily journalists, to whom Searchlight are saying 'this person is an isolated crank, even the Left don't like him, it's not just us'. Clever, but not clever enough. They certainly don't distance themselves from the first 'witness', Stewart Home, already convincingly exposed by myself and others as a true 'fascists flunkey' for his long-standing political associations with, and covering up for, fascists such as Tony Wakeford, ex-NF/IONA and now in the band Sol Invictus. Just like his political allies at Searchlight, Home has not dared to effectively answer any of the evidence against him, instead resorting to smears lies and obscene homophobic pornographic tracts. Speaking of 'sanity', Home wrote that "forced to choose between Searchlight (democracy) and Green Anarchist (fascism) anyone with their sanity intact would opt for the former". Searchlight return his bootlicking slaverings by openly defending Home, ludicrously described as a "radical cultural theorist and writer...the victim of O'Hara's distortions and innuendos". This mutual support is fine to see, and something I will return to elsewhere.
Here & Now's abuse in Issue 17 was inspired by their defence of (lying for), Home (see my reply—hopefully—in the forthcoming Issue 18). It is for Black Flag to explain the snide review of my work by 'Anonymous of Bradford':an opinion disagreed with by other anarchists, and not necessarily representative of Black Flag's collective view. Big Issue journalist, Oxbridge/public school clone Ed Piatt, who had clearly never read a word of my research, was hostile right from the start, perhaps related to his also working for the Evening Standard, something he omitted to mention. He was intent on trapping me into saying something provocative or foolish. As the published article confirms, in the two hours I did not make one slip. He chose to ignore what I actually said and concocted slurs about my personal appearance. These were then reproduced in Searchlight. Fortunately, the inaccuracy of Piatt's description is illustrated by the photograph placed next to it in Searchlight—does the person on the left fit the description on the right? I have raised questions about the allegiances and honesty of journalists, and make no apologies for that.to paraphrase Primo Levi, if not me, who? If not now, when? Robin Ramsay's criticism of my work on this occasion (as opposed to others) I find strange: but as he has published my work subsequently, and expressed his willingness to do so again, I can certainly allow him the liberty of a dissenting opinion:a liberty Searchlight do not afford their critics.
In any case, Searchlight don't for one minute believe any of the paranoid/conspiracist rubbish they print about me. Atkinson didn't mention these terms once in his 1995 diatribe, even referring to my "well-organised efforts" (Atkinson/Internet p.5).
Once More To Leeds
In Searchlight over the years I have been slanderously associated with just about every far right group/individual. David Owens (Leeds BNP) is just the latest. What Owens really thinks of my research on Leeds you can read for yourself shortly, but needless to say I have never collaborated with him. 'Turning Up The Heat' went to print in August and was published October 1994, the first printed mention of possible malign intervention by the state concerning fascists in Leeds. My ongoing investigations into events in Leeds, initiated using my own (anti-fascist) sources clearly preceded fascist writings on the subject, 'White Lies' coming out March 1995. After reading my book, Leeds fascists were prepared, within the parameters of their own agenda, to divulge further information I did not have. As a serious researcher, this opportunity I could not pass up, and in early 1995 I met Owens (and others) in Leeds. Not to give them information, but to see what leads they were prepared to give me, concerning a state-sponsored attempt to escalate political violence. Meeting them was a (physical) risk—but a calculated and necessary one. I wanted to tape the meeting, something they would not accede to, although some local fascists seem to believe I taped the encounter anyway. That it was them who didn't want the meeting taped indicates which direction information flowed in:from them to me, and not vice versa. Interesting information was gleaned, but the use made of it was my affair, and anything discovered, was checked independently before use. Obviously, Leeds fascists want to destroy anti-fascist opposition, but that wasn't (and has never been) on my agenda. Any hopes they might have had of me using information to help their cause, as opposed to that of independent anti-fascism, were soon dashed by my review of Leeds BNP's 'White Lies' for Green Anarchist (Summer 1995). Owens was so displeased he described me as "a real liar", having written the piece "with the dual intention of wounding Gerry Gable and attempting to carry out a campaign of smears and innuendo against myself' (letter 28/7/95: See Appendix 1). That he and the BNP didn't like what I wrote indicates I certainly wasn't a conduit for disinformation.
With the above sequence of events in mind, consider this gem from Searchlight (September 1995 p.7), that "crazed self-styled independent researcher Larry O'Hara has also accused Owens of working for the state". This, the first mention of me in connection with Owens, can only have been based on my review of White Lies:for I have not written about him before or since, and that review aired for the first time publicly (without endorsing them necessarily) various allegations about Owens. Despite this, the next mention of me in relation to Owens (December 1996 p.14) describes him (falsely) as having "spent his time cossetted with the self-styled 'researcher' Larry O'Hara, writing material aimed at disrupting the anti-fascist movement". The White Lies review, is now (January 1997), dismissed as "rehashed...nazi smears in Green Anarchist ". After referring to my meeting Owens, Searchlight say "it was obviously in the BNP's interest to spread disinformation against Leeds AFA and Searchlight, and O'Hara and Green Anarchist were the willing disseminators of this propaganda". So, the same article is both evidence of me ("crazed") accusing the Leeds BNP Organiser of working for the state and simultaneously spreading disinformation on his behalf. Doesn't make sense does it? Nor is it meant to. The purpose is not to inform but to incite.
To Interview Or Not?
At root is the question—are Searchlight and TV crews/bourgeois journalists the only people allowed to interview fascists? Consider journalist Denis Campbell. This long-time Searchlight ally even travelled to Germany with the BNP on holiday (see Time Out 26/8/92). According to Fuse (University of North London Student magazine October 1992 p.6), Gable supported Time Out's decision to publish the resulting article. In his words "Denis got a lot of stick for that piece. And as I said I am totally against giving them a platform. But sometimes you've got to show them up for what they are....Denis interviewed one guy who spoke about armed struggle...These are dangerous bastards—Denis was right to show them up as that". But of course I am not allowed to show fascists up in their own words—yet why not? This double-standard is maintained by Searchlight to distinguish between their friends and those who aren't, having no consistency other than this. In Scotland on Sunday (24/4/94) Campbell went one better than his German trip by interviewing a member of CI8. The objection from Searchlight is not that I interview fascists when useful and prudent, but that I do not do such interviews under the control or in the orbit of either them or their friends in the state apparatus. The January issue attacking me has an advert on page 24 (ring any Andrew Bells?) stating that "author and broadcaster writing a book on Combat 18 would like to hear from members and former members about its formative period and more recent times". Is it not highly likely that this person will meet and interview such people? What Searchlight really object to, and fear so much they daren't give address details of how to obtain it, is the content of my research, not me conducting interviews.
Andrew Bell: Patrick Harrington's Errand Boy?
One of Searchlight's regular themes is to associate me in the public mind with former NF Directorate member and current Third Way activist Patrick Harrington, whom I have interviewed (along with others) for my research. I was also instrumental in persuading him to deposit the National Front archives at Warwick University Modern Records Centre where they are accessible to any researchers. I have viewed and photocopied material that Harrington has periodically sent to Warwick to supplement the collection, some of it specifically sought out at my request to fill gaps. Patrick Harrington's stated position is that he never refuses interviews to any journalist or student enquiring about political matters. Something that is, I would imagine, easily verifiable. Denis Campbell and Andrew Bell (both mentioned in the January Searchlight) are well aware of his attitude already, having met and interviewed Harrington on a number of occasions. The famous photograph showing Nick Griffin and Derek Holland in Tripoli on the January 1989 cover of Searchlight was actually given by Harrington to Andrew Bell in one interview. Bearing in mind tensions within the Official NF over attitudes towards Libya, Harrington had a political motive for leaking this photograph—and by printing it without attribution cannot Bell (a past editor of Searchlight) be said to have acted as Harrington's 'errand-boy', using Searchlight's logic? Obviously Andrew Bell isn't Harrington's 'errand boy'—but then, neither am I. Bell is not the only Searchlight editor to have spent a lot of time interviewing members of the far right. On 15/10/85 the Guardian published a story by David Rose about the NF printing press getting £4,000 in government grants. When giving evidence to the Press Complaints Council close Searchlight associate Rose stated that "the principal allegations in the article...were based on a series of interviews with a source from the highest level of the National Front..I held three meetings with the source in the summer of 1985. At two of them, both of which lasted an entire day, Mr Gerry Gable, a journalist with Searchlight magazine, was present" (p.2 part II.6/response to complaint W12723/D5049). I have my own views as to that 'source' (not Harrington), which I will reveal elsewhere. Returning to the point, while I am not allowed to interview fascists, Searchlight editors are. Curious is it not?
The two pieces of 'evidence' advanced by Searchlight to support linking me to Harrington are firstly an article in Tribune, and secondly attendance at a Third Way Conference in June 1992. On the first, how about my comment in Tribune's letter pages that "while Third Way is definitely not Nazi, this would not rule out it being an attempt to construct a highly sophisticated (and innovatory) form of non-anti-semitic fascism, akin in this sense to Benito Mussolini's...attempts by Third Way...to construct a non-Nazi far Right make them both interesting and potentially very worrying" [19/6/92]. On the second point, I attended a Third Way Conference two days later 21/6/92, but not as a sympathiser;something this letter indicates. My primary aim in attending was to interview US Rabbi Mayer Schiller for my PhD, to ascertain his opinions on the NF's trajectory, especially as regards anti-semitism:which I did. A secondary aim was to write (if I could place it) a news item on the Conference itself. This being my intention is shown by a letter received from the magazine CARF (Campaign Against Racism & Fascism) dated 1/6/92, three weeks before the event. CARF stated "we would have liked to have received something about the conference. The only trouble is that we come out next in July, and the date of the conference is after our copy deadline. By the time we come out next in September a report on the Conference would look odd". Needless to say, while that article wasn't written for CARF, others were. A French journalist covered an earlier Third Way Conference (issue 1 Feb/March 1991 p.5) which gave me the idea of suggesting an article. As I understand it, she was admitted to the relevant Conference, like myself and Denis Campbell in 1992, not as sympathisers, but because 'open meetings' (subject to ticket purchase) are Third Way's policy. This places my Conference presence in a rather different and more legitimate light than Searchlight have. The idea that going to a Conference implies support for the group holding it is ridiculous anyway—in the 1970's and 1980's often strenuous efforts were made by journalists to gain entry to NF AGM's:yet did this mean they were sympathisers? Of course not. Me contacting an anti-racist magazine weeks before going, to see if they wanted a piece indicates Third Way Conference attendance was part of my research. Otherwise, why advertise it in advance? Denis Campbell attended the same Conference, sitting right in front of me, and engaged in deep and lengthy discussions in the bar with Harrington. I never saw an article about the Conference by him, but Searchlight haven't referred to his attendance or questioned his 'motives'. Campbell has had extensive contact with the far right over the years, but his relationship with Searchlight exempts him from criticism by them. I trust you now get the idea—one rule for them/friends, another for everyone else.
And Another Thing...
Following, you will find numerous quotes illustrating that fascists are aware of my conflict with Searchlight, but know very well I am not 'one of theirs'. You will also find positive comments about my research from a wide variety of Leftist/anti-fascist sources. Both revelations might surprise anyone taking January's disinformation at face value. Hopefully you will have now formed your own views as to the truth of the matter. In which case, a question will have probably occurred to you...
GIVEN 'SEARCHLIGHT FOR BEGINNERS' CONTAINS STRONG ALLEGATIONS DISMISSED AS "MALICIOUS LIES AND DISINFORMATION" BY SEARCHLIGHT, WHY DON'T THEY PUT UP OR SHUT UP AND ACTUALLY SUE ME? IF SEARCHLIGHT CONTINUE TO DECLINE THIS INVITATION (FIRST ISSUED IN 'AT WAR WITH THE TRUTH' 1993) THEN YOU MY READERS/THE ANTI-FASCIST MOVEMENT IN BRITAIN AND ELSEWHERE MAY WELL CONCLUDE SEARCHLIGHT CANNOT REFUTE MY ALLEGATIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE FACTUALLY CORRECT.
LARRY O'HARA 18/2/97
copyright Larry O'Hara/Mina Enterprises 1997 Printed By The Whitby Press
APPENDIX ONE Far Right Views Of Me Not Mentioned By Searchlight
"Larry O'Hara...writes for CARF (the Campaign Against Racism & Fascism) as well as various other anti-Nationalist publications. All nationalists please take note O 'Hara is a red!! Just because he has some feud with Searchlight does not make him one of us ".
Charlie Sergeant in The Order issue 11 (Combat 18) March 1995
"I have recently come across your review of 'White Lies' for Green Anarchist....Obviously you have written the piece with the dual intention of wounding Gerry Gable and attempting to carry out a campaign of lies and innuendo against myself, so be it....You neglect to mention the physical assaults on the Blackpool BNP candidate, the Birmingham BNP Organiser, and now the attacks on Alf Waite and his wife. These go on all over the country, all inspired by YOUR friends in Red Action..the person you sa\ produced the booklet (me) is a state asset and has brought out a booklet that exposes another State asset (White) and put pressure on another State asset (Gable)....step aside John Le Carre...it's all good stufffor people like yourself who are able to use it to smear people with, step aside Gerry Gable, the real liar is ready to spring forth... ".
Letter from David Owens (Leeds BNP) to author 28/7/95 (all emphases in original)
"O'Hara is a fanatical anti-fascist, but his concern is that Gable is betraying their cause with his blatant lies and crude attempts to start a street war"
Wild Boar issue 3 (Leeds BNP) April 1996
"O'Hara has close contacts with the anarchists of Direct Action who help make up Red Action. Any info, shared with O'Hara is then shared with Red Action....the meeting lasted for nearly 5 hours. The mind boggles as to what information was passed over to O'Hara in such a length of time....The Active Service Unit does not know when these further meetings were held with O'Hara, or other more prominent members of Red Action, or what further info. Owens was willing to share on these occasions. Shortly after these meetings Red Action carried out an attack which could not have been successful without the help of an insider".
Supposed 'Leeds Central BNP Special Bulletin' sent to all BNP Branches October 1996
" By December of last year....Peter Rushden [Manchester BNP/widely suspected Searchlight /state asset] acting as an agent provocateur tried to get some of the younger Nationalists to attack Larry O'Hara and a bookshop in King's Cross, whose manager, like O'Hara, is Red scum but also an enemy of Searchlight boss, Gerry Gable ".
Editorial in The Order issue 3 (Combat 18) July 1993
"O'Hara refers to the 'deeply sickening homophobia' which permeates my writings. Guilty!...Not only is O'Hara totally opposed to my methods, he also stresses his commitment to 'fighting anti-Semitism & other forms of racism'. When will these stupid people ever learn ? ".
Alexander Baron 'Searchlight on Gerry Gable:Secret State Asset or Liability' 1994
"A conspiracy crank...O'Hara's vanity and cognitive dissonance are exceeded only by his paranoia... O'Hara's claim that Ray Hill is a violent fantasist is nonsense... Searchlight is not run by the secret state ".
Alexander Baron 'Mr O'Hara & The Radicals' October 1996
"On pages 89-95 he mentions me personally a few times and claims that I'm a state asset and promises to write about this in detail later. If he really believes this then I pity him, if not then I hope he rots in hell!".
Stuart McCullough in Final Conflict issue 7 (International Third Position) March 1995
"So he's a dodgy fucker, either he's a dodgy cunt or I'm a dodgy cunt then
Tony White Leeds BNP/Special Branch informant) taped September 1995
"Complete garbage Larry—just like your politics, but my word Stalin would have loved you on the staff of Pravda, or even better Goebbels on one of his lie sheets ".
Greenwave issue 2 (Third Way) October 1991
"O'Hara reviews the booklet ['White Lies'] and comes across as quite bitter. In fact he goes so far as to attempt to smear the author of the booklet as an MI5 asset".
Final Conflict issue 9 (International Third Position) January 1996
"You quote the opinion of Larry O'Hara as an arbiter on the subject of fascism but any opinion he holds is subjective—he could change it tomorrow...Larry O'Hara has backtracked from his original statement after pressure from his more orthodox comrades. What difference does that make except to our opinion of him?".
Patrick Harrington in Alternative Green issue 12 Spring 1995
APPENDIX TWO Positive Comments About My Research By Others
"I did experience a certain confusion over Searchlight's call for MI5 to take over monitoring of such groups as Combat 18, then only to read their position that C-18 was set up by MI5. So all the enclosures you sent have been quite useful. Whether you now have underway a COINTELPRO-type state operation is beyond my knowledge to render an opinion, but the scene certainly bears watching which makes your work highly valuable ". Letter from Philip Agee to the author 15/1/96
"A lucid analysis...O'Hara clearly shows how the 'mask' over NF anti-semitism slips frequently, or provides only thin disguise. ..O'Hara's expose of the NF's fascism is a positive contribution to anti-fascism ".
Jews & Jew-Haters' (Union of Jewish Students on Return articles) 1990
(A) Turning up the Heat:MI5 After the Cold War
"This little book is an essential work to all activists...putting (through well researched examples) into concrete what many of us have said for years, but were just scoffed at for being paranoiac ".
Earth Liberation Prisoners issue 2 March 1995
"a timely reminder of the old adage 'idle hands find mischief ...the book is well researched and balanced"
CARN 88 (Celtic League) Winter 1994-5
"If you are at all politically active, then this book makes essential reading. Inside you will find out exactly how and why MI5 operate ". Frontline issue 2 Winter 1995
"The book should be read as an introduction to the internecine and fractured nature of Britain's opposition groupings and to MI5 's control of them " An Phoblacht/Republican News 15/6/95
"In this very readable and well researched book...author Larry O'Hara details just how much the State, through the use of it's security forces, has its grubby fingers in our everyday lives...Great to see someone take the time to go into it in detail and to provide such irrefutable proof Mandatory reading for anyone considering an 'active outdoor life'". Bypass issue 4 February 1995
"A revealing book on the secret services...a timely reminder that MI5 continues to be active in seeking a new role hunting 'subversives' within the British state now the Cold War is over...a thorough examination of the targets ". Y Faner Goch 72 Medi 1995
"Excellent investigative research into the activities of the British secret state...As (recently) ordered by the MOD it must be worth something if they 're interested!".
AK (anarchist) Catalogue 1996
"Compelling reading...O'Hara's book may well rely on supposition, but it is supposition based on a reasonable amount of research. It's worth a read even if it does give you some sleepless nights as a result".
Tiocfadh ar La (Celtic fanzine) issue 11 February 1995
"O'Hara has fantastic sources of information and appears completely au fait with the entire milieux of the British far Right and Left...a rivetting read:I whoofed it down in one sitting ".
Lobster issue 28 December 1994 (Robin Ramsay)
"An interesting insight into the inner life of one of the leading western secret services in the post-Cold War era". Fortress Europe (Sweden) December 1994
"A surprisingly calm and well-referenced guide to a difficult and controversial area ". Green World (Green Party) Autumn 1995
"ALF and Green activists are covered in the last chapter, which, although short, is very well informed covering the recent arrest and charging of the ALF Press Officer, Robin Webb. For anyone interested in just how secret government services such as MI5 operate and how any of us may become a target to them, this book is well worth a read". ALF Support Group Newsletter Winter 1995
" The value of this book is that it raises the question studiously ignored by the left of state infiltration and manipulation. For O'Hara, quite correctly, the questions raised throughout are not on the basis of if or maybe but of who, where & when. Recommended with reservations". Red Action issue 70 Spring 1995
"0'Hara..is one of the few really investigative reporters active. If you really are involved in any sort of activism or you want to know what really goes on behind the scenes in Britain's secret state you should read this book ".Head issue 5 Spring 1995
"I read it so quickly and avidly, and agreed with so much it said, that I found it difficult to review ".
Greenline issue 123 April 1995
"Gives plenty of evidence of the increasing attention being paid to animal rights and Green groups. The fact that a known state asset, Gerry Gable the editor of Searchlight has repeatedly smeared him and tried to set him up for attack by publishing his home address, is evidence enough that O'Hara's diligent researches have caught the state with its trousers down ". Freedom (anarchist fortnightly) 23/9/95
(B) A Lie Too Far/At War With The Truth
"The book covers the whole story of Searchlight's campaign of disinformation and does a remarkable job of describing a conspiracy of incredible complexity in a relatively easy to understand manner".
Organise issue 33 (Anarchist Communist Federation) Jan. 1994 (ALTF)
"Although Searchlight's links to the secret state are—or should be—well known, this pamphlet gives a vivid picture of the depths the magazine will sink to in order to please its masters... This pamphlet should be widely read! ".Freedom 18/9/93 (ALTF)
"Detailed further evidence which could point to the even more chilling conclusion that Hepple may have been trying to turn the Green Anarchist team into a high-tech armed cell—in which he would have had a central role...shows the direction things were going in before O'Hara stepped in with well-timed warnings .
Open Eye issue 3 1995 (AWWT)
"There are many revelations in this pamphlet which totally discredit Searchlight as a source of information on the far right, and raise the question of just how far the magazines (undoubted) links to the state go. Searchlight is exposed as a listening post on the Left and a conduit for disinformation ".
Freedom 5/2/94 (AWWT)
"The importance of the Hepple case can hardly be exaggerated for those interested in the covert manipulation of the British left by the state. For the first time I can think of on the mainland UK, a state infiltration and disinformation operation has been sussed and spiked while it was happening. This one will run and run ". Lobster issue 26
(Robin Ramsay) December 1993 (AWWT)
"These booklets show that Searchlight has close links with MI5 and the security services...O'Hara's research indicates that Hepple is in fact an agent provocateur, a member of the security services, sent in to destabilise and spy on groups which the state doesn't like, both right and left... read O 'Hara's work and make up your own mind".Leave Nothing To Chance issue 1 (Middlesborough) 1994 (ALTF/AWWT)
(C) Searchlight for Beginners (so far!)
" Yet more superb work by the overweight researcher in a suit!...Searchlight's previous editor dropped dead whilst on the phone to a Special Branch officer. Can anybody think of a better way to go for its current editor? " London Calling (London Class War Bulletin) November/December 1996
"Aimed mainly at those who are unfamiliar with the magazine, or who read it and are unaware of—or unconvinced by—the serious and if true, disturbing allegations about this ostensibly anti-fascist periodical....Essential reading ". Freedom 30/11/96
"This would be a good read for as yet unconvinced naive anti-fascists, people new to politics, college antifascist SU officers, and other members of the 'Ostrich Left' still unaware of 'A Lie Too Far', 'Turning Up The Heat' and the rest of Larry O'Hara's earlier work ". Green Anarchist 45-46 Spring 1997