Reports of foreign agents from Russia entering these schools as professors and students, it is difficult to determine the reliability of this practice.
Is it more hellish to be a hostile spy or to be the victim of a spies’ wiles and moral bankruptcy?
This is a question that probably only God can answer.
The above-linked article is from 2019. It’s not new and comes from lawyers who represent whistleblowers but I had to dig a bit to find something that addresses an appallingly underreported problem. Instead of academics studying hostile espionage, I believe it is important to consider the possibility that some academics themselves actually are hostile operators answering to a foreign power.
Instead of being the last frontier for free-thinking, academia might be better characterized as the last “front” where spies can literally get away with murder and not have to answer for their crimes against students, democracy, and humanity in general.
Why other academics in the know would turn a blind eye to this is pretty obvious. With Russia for instance, espionage is closely linked to organized crime. In fact, people often say that while every country has a mafia, Russia is the only country that is the mafia.
So don’t fool yourself. That apparently polished professor with an impressive knowledge of original languages in their field of study could also be a bloodthirsty psychopath who will do almost anything in the occupied country to bolster their cover. And what are they “covering” for? Well, charming things like human trafficking, child prostitution rings, black market organ sales, illegal arms sales, illicit drugs, and, of course, money laundering… which returns us to my original question.
Is it worse to be a victim of these reprobates or to be the reprobates themselves?
Again, I’m not sure. But I do feel that ignoring the problem will not make it go away.