Given the articles below are themselves introductory, an introduction might seem superfluous! Nonetheless, a couple of points are worth making.
First, although the events described below, and in 'At War With the Truth' took place in the early 1990s, many of those around--institutionally and individually, are still 'players' today.
Second, if the events outlined below did not happen as we surmised at the time, why has there never been any attempt even to respond to the pamphlet alluded to below?
Third, if the events outlined did occur as we suggested, then those involved, such as the Searchlight organisation, should be isolated and condemned by all anti-fascists.
In any event, absorb yourself in the maelstrom below (and check out the List of Organisations/Players) and then read the pamphlet (visit other publications in shop above). Finally, act on what you have read...
AT WAR WITH THE TRUTH THE TRUE STORY OF SEARCHLIGHT AGENT TIM HEPPLE
This booklet is about a man of many faces and many possible allegiances. For the mainstream media and readers of the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight Tim Hepple was simply a member of the fascist British National Party who 'saw the light' and approached Searchlight asking if he could act as a mole for them. As such he seemed to follow in the footsteps of other Searchlight moles, the most famous being Ray Hill who in 1984 in a blaze of publicity and a World in Action documentary 'came out' exposing his former friends in the far right. This was followed in 1988 by book detailing his fascist career 'The Other Face of Terror' co-written with World In Action and Time Out journalist Andrew Bell.
In April 1993 in a dramatic World In Action programme Tim Hepple appeared on camera as a source helping expose the violent Nazi group Combat 18 (C-18). However, at the end of April a pamphlet 'A Lie Too Far', exposed Hepple as an agent provocateur in the Anarchist movement. This pamphlet focused on a list of names and details of C-18 thugs which Hepple encouraged Green Anarchist magazine to publish. The list contained many factual errors and was composed with the intention of getting Anarchists arrested and encouraging C18/BNP members to mount counter-attacks. However the lists had another purpose. They had been designed to put Green Anarchist under attack on 2 fronts -arrested by the state, attacked by C-l8/BNP thugs and also by anti-fascists. This would come about because after Green Anarchist had published them Searchlight would 'expose' the lists as being supplied by Nazis and thus draw negative conclusions about the group which published them - i.e. would call them Nazis. The resulting smears would open the target up to attack from the Left/anti-fascists. It was this third front of desired assault - by their own comrades and others on the Left - that points most clearly in the direction of the list-passing as being part of MI5's current battle plan.
Luckily O'Hara was able to prevent Green Anarchist from publishing the lists, but unfortunately, unknown to him, Tim Scargill of the Class War Organisation was also passed a copy of this list (by presumed Searchlight assets still under investigation) and published it himself. As O'Hara had predicted Scargill was immediately attacked by Searchlight as being a fascist. O'Hara responded by working with Green Anarchist and Tim Scargill to produce a pamphlet, A Lie Too Far (ALTF), to try to repair some of the damage and to prevent such events happening again. In ALTF Searchlight magazine, its editor Gerry Gable, Ray Hill and Tim Hepple were accused of implementing a plot to physically and politically subvert the Anarchist movement. Searchlight was plotting against the British left. Why? Some would answer that Searchlight is an arm of the the secret state. This pamphlet certainly does. However this is nothing new, even before the Hepple saga prominent journalists had already made such accusations. Many years ago Duncan Campbell in the New Statesman unearthed a document which incontrovertibly showed that Gerry Gable had spread disinformation on behalf of MI5. This 'Gable Memorandum' was recently published in Lobster magazine (issue 24).
ALTF contained extracts from letters which Hepple wrote to Green Anarchist's editor, and this publication uses letters not disclosed in ALTF to prove beyond doubt that Hepple was an agent provocateur. It is up to you to decide is whether you should continue buying Searchlight. If you do -remember Searchlight is a thoroughly discredited organisation serving the secret states' agenda.
Dedicated to the memory of EP Thompson, and with thanks to patient people, esp K.
An Introduction To Further Exposes of Searchlights Duplicity, As Revealed In Their Latest Publication, At War With Society.
Last April, I contributed to the Mina Production booklet, 'A Lie Too Far Hepple, Searchlight & The Left' (or ALTF for short), and now, six months later, I find myself introducing Mina's second booklet on this same subject.
Even after the addition of a glossary, readers complained that ALTF was hard to understand. We'll not deny that it was written in haste but we'll add that life - particularly when it comes to anti-fascist/anti-state counter-intelligence - is not simple and usually doesn't even have definite answers and conclusions. Discussing a broad range of options allows the reader to assess the worth of all of them.
However, for those that get confused by too many options or for new readers fresh to all this, we've begun At War With The Truth with the Wild Man O' The North's summary of events, Confused? You Won't Be! (and you'd better believe it...!). Prior reading of ALTF isn't essential to understand what this booklet is all about, but it will definitely help, especially given ALTF includes important documentation.
The main reason for a follow-up to ALTF is the publication of Gerry Gable/Tim Hepple's 'At War With Society: The Exclusive Story Of A Searchlight Mole Inside Britain's Far Right' (A WWS) which is, in part, an attempt by Searchlight to repair some of the damage done to their unprincipled smear campaign by ALTF. As demonstrated in Larry O'Hara's extended review of A WWS included in this booklet, Gable has actually done himself more damage than he has managed to repair. For the first time here are divulged further facts concerning malfeasance by Hepple and Searchlight.
Subsequently, after the dust has settled, we will do a 'Review Of Reviews', which will go some way towards summarising discussion around ALTF and proposing alternatives to Searchlight for the future. No doubt debate will continue long after six months hence - until then, here's At War With The Truth for you, and see that you act on it! Editor, Green Anarchist 29/10/93
CONFUSED? YOU WON'T BE! An extended summary of A Lie Too Far: Hepple, Searchlight & the Left (Mina Productions, April 1993) for the confused
The information revealed in A Lie Too Far is a story of infiltration (spying), disinformation (lying), anddoubledealing. We'll introduce the characters as we go along
Tim Hepple started his association with Green Anarchist (GA) early in 1991. Before this he had been involved with the Quakers, the anti-poll tax movement and the anti-Gulf War campaigns in Lancaster. He attended the Green Party conference in Bridlington and the Wolverhampton conference later that year. He never hid his fascist 'past' and was an enthusiastic, if somewhat 'imaginative', activist but we should have taken more seriously his boasts to ourselves and others that he had worked for M15 and been mixed up in an army assassination squad in Northern Ireland.
During the course of his involvement with GA, Hepple introduced a friend of his, Ray Hill, who very conveniently lived just round the corner from Tim Hepple and ran the village shop in Caton. Tim Hepple boasted he had worked for MI5. Ray Hill was the same Ray Hill who had once been a fascist mole and who has a regular column written under his name in Searchlight, the anti-fascist magazine. At this stage we were naive enough to believe in the positive credentials of Searchlight.
Ray Hill wrote an article in the Autumn 1991 issue of Green Anarchist titled Creating A Community [GA28, pp. 14-15] which advocated that people donate £1,000 each to get together and buy a Scottish island and set up a self-sufficient rural community. At the time it looked fair enough. Looking back we see how Hepple and Hill reinforced each other's credibility on initially making contact with Green Anarchist.
Understandable so far, isn't it? OK. Tim Hepple made contact with GA in Oxford during August 1991 claiming he wanted to set up a north west anarchist network. He asked to see GA's address list. The point about this is that GA is not an open organisation and quite a lot of nasty people would like to know the names of people who are crazy enough to subscribe to such a publication.
Some time after this, he used a stunt at the Wolverhampton Green Party conference where a group of GA activists and others invaded the platform and unfurled a banner saying "Planet not Parliament" as a springboard. Tim Hepple also became involved with the setting up of the new Left-Green publication Green Revolution, and was trying to get hold of the address list belonging to Green Revolution which was being used to send out publicity material and begging letters to disaffected Green Party members to launch this magazine. In October 1991, Tim Hepple stole an address list from a table in the corridor outside the Independent Anti-Poll Tax conference in Manchester Town Hall.
Just a short time afterwards, he decided to change direction and infiltrate the BNP in London on behalf of Searchlight. In January 1992, BNP and White Power stickers started appearing on lampposts in Lancaster and the publicity from this no doubt helped him gain entry into the BNP shop in Welling. Shortly after the 1992 General Election, Tim Hepple disappeared from London and eventually resurfaced in Lancaster in August, claiming to have broken with Searchlight. He continued to hang around in the GA orbit.
Are you keeping up with this? Let's change the scene a little. Just put Tim Hepple to the back of your mind and think about Combat 18. Combat 18 stands for 'Combat Group Adolf Hitler' - 'A' for Adolf being the first letter of the alphabet, 'H' the eighth. CI8 is a fascist paramilitary organisation at least in aspiration. It publishes lists of anti-fascists; names, addresses and telephone numbers of Left-wing activists in Redwatch. Target, a similar magazine produced by Pro-Fascist Action publishes the same sort of information. Some of this information was then used to target individuals, and Combat 18 also carried out attacks on the Morning Star and Freedom Press.
Once knowledge of the existence of these lists spread through into the Left, Tim Hepple appeared with the obvious answer - a Left-produced list of fascists. After all, who would be better placed to do this than the mole who had worked in the BNP bookshop just a few months before? So Tim Hepple passed a list of fascists to Green Anarchist, together with some interesting information about just who was responsible for Redwatch and Target.
Unknown to Tim Hepple, the editors of Green Anarchist had been contacted by Larry O'Hara, the independent anti-fascist researcher, at the Anarchist Bookfair in October 1992. He had seen Hill's article in GA and decided to find out what a Searchlight asset was doing writing for us. Larry O'Hara soon put us wise to Tim Hepple's infiltration of GA, and the role of Searchlight as a mechanism for the State to keep tabs on the Left. Suddenly, a lot of Tim Hepple's behaviour fell into place. Our suspicions about his intelligence background, his list kleptomania, his role in winding things up, and all those sudden changes of political direction - all of this was explained.
Instead of going right ahead and publishing the lists, Tim Hepple had so very conveniently given us under our own name, as he urged us to do, we passed them on to other people, including Larry O'Hara, for verification. We quickly found out that the information about Combat 18 was wrong, deliberate disinformation. Like all disinformation, it wasn't all bullshit. Some of the names were correct and even a few of the addresses. Thus, it was potentially plausible, especially on the surface Hepple was being used by Searchlight to feed disinformation into the anarchist movement.
As well as trying to palm the list off on GA, Hepple claimed that while he was infiltrating the BNP shop in Welling he heard from fascist sources that Tim Scargill, who was then in the process of splitting from the Class War Federation, was a 'turncoat' supplying C18 with information on Left-wing activists for use in C18 hit-lists. A month or so after Hepple tried to put this story about in anarchist circles via GA, Scargill published a list of fascist names identical to the one Hepple had given to us, together with the disinformation about Combat 18, in a Class War Organisation internal bulletin called Network News. Hepple had boasted that he "dropped Scargill right in it". We were to find out why, and something of the slimy way in which Searchlight operates, when the April 1993 and subsequent issues of Searchlight attacked Scargill for circulating the very list ('Targetters Targetted') which Hepple, a Searchlight pawn, had planted in the anarchist movement.
The story doesn't end there. The 'Targetters Targetted' list started out by saying "The BNP have published the membership lists of Class War and Red Action in a magazine called Target". Hepple tried to palm the list off on GA in November 1992 and stuff about CW and Red Action only appeared in the second issue of Target, published in February 1993. How come Hepple knew what was in Target 2 a good three months before its publication? Ask yourselves, then, was it just 'a lucky guess' by Hepple - or collusion between Searchlight and the far Right? Then ask yourselves how come Searchlight has never made any public mention of Target 2 or that Tim Scargill was at the head of its hit list? If Scargill is a 'fellow traveller' with C18, how come they've attacked his Redhill home with such frequency and ferocity that he's had to move out? Then remember Hepple's boast that he'd "dropped Scargill right in it". Think about it.
OK, we've nearly finished the story. On Monday, 19th April 1993, Tim Hepple appeared on World In Action talking about his role as a spy on the fascists. He also admitted taking part in an attack on SWP members. With the publication of At War With Society and its serialisation in New Statesman & Society, some more of his activities as a spy in the far Right have been revealed, though it's obvious that whatever claims are made there will have been edited by Searchlight. The hand of its editor, Gerry Gable, is embarrassingly obvious in what is presented as Hepple's own words as well as Gable's 'explanatory notes'. We should know how Tim Hepple writes and we do know that At War With Society was cobbled together from rough notes he'd bunged Searchlight to ghost-write into 'coherent' form for publication.
The attacks on Tim Scargill, Larry O'Hara and, after the publication of A Lie Too Far, on Green Anarchist itself in the pages of Searchlight only serve to confirm our view of what has happened. If the facts and interpretations in A Lie Too Far are incorrect - and they include the reproduction of a letter to GA's editor by Hepple in his own handwriting that "Tim Scargill, Larry O'Hara and co.... are the victims of a vicious smear campaign" - detailed exposition would illustrate this. In fact the opposite seems to be the case, with Gable himself conceding in At War With Society that Hepple was responsible for the lists being printed by Scargill! Personal attacks on A Lie Too Far's authors and publishers are beside the point. Is it true or isn't it?
If somebody like Tim Hepple can infiltrate the far Right, pretending to be a fascist and walking off with their address list, is it so far-fetched to believe that the same person could do the same thing to the Left? If this is true, then what does that make his employer?
SEARCHLIGHT IS A 'LISTENING POST' ON THE LEFT AND A CHANNEL FOR DISINFORMATION--YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. THIS IS A GENUINE SECURITY ALERT!! WILD MAN O' THE NORTH, 8/10/93
List of Organisations/Players/Terms
AFA Anti-Fascist Action. Umbrella organisation founded 1985, key policy is physical opposition to fascists. Patchily (eg London) controlled by Red Action/DAM [see below], especially now (Trotskyist) Workers Power have left.ALF Animal Liberation Front. Illegal group taking autonomous direct action against animal abusers (labs/butchers etc.).
ALFSG ALF Support Group aimed at helping those accused of undertaking ALF actions, including prisoners. A legal organisation set up in 1982.
Arkangel Magazine founded by veteran ALF activist Ronnie Lee & Vivienne Smith devoted to publicising animal abuse, ALF actions/prisoners and aiding debate.
ARNI Animal Rights National Index. Set up in 1984 by the Met at Scotland Yard to combat the ALF. Widely suspected of using CointelPro tactics [see below].
Autonomy Local short-lived anarchist group in Lancaster infiltrated by Tim Hepple and intended to be used as a 'front' by him/his masters.
Andrew Bell Former Time Out journalist, co-author of Ray Hill's autobiography. Long time Searchlight associate. Producer of World In Action (WIA) documentary on CI8, transmitted 19/4/93.
Black Flag Much respected Anarchist paper committed to exposes of the secret state/fascism etc. Newly relaunched in magazine format after several years absence.
British Movement (BM) Founded in 1968 by Colin Jordan. Explicitly neo-Nazi group, underwent decline while still continuing to exist on a clandestine level, c. 160+ members.
BNP British National Party. Founded 1982 by John Tyndall, ex-NF leader. At the moment the most visible fascist group in the UK recently winning council seat. c. 1,150 members.
Class War Group of Class struggle Anarchists, founded 1983. In recent times it divided into...
Class War Federation CWF) who have retained the paper 'Class War'.
Class War Organisation (CWO) of which Tim Scargill is a member.
CoIntelPro Counter-intelligence Program. American FBI's counter-insurgency operation against radical dissident movements, including the Black Panther Party who suffered many deaths as a result. Experimental use of centrally coordinated disinformation, phone-taps, character assassination, burglary, agent provocateur actions and, of course, murder. Ended 1971. Successful results led to new progams which continue today.
Combat 18 Neo-Nazi underground group, founded early 1992. Committed to taking 'action' against perceived Leftist/Jewish enemies. The '18' stands for the initials A[dolf] (1) H[itler] (8)..
COTC Church Of The Creator. US White supremacists, founded by Ben Klassen, leadership now in dispute. Hepple involved in UK branch with Alan Milnes, the former writing/editing the newsletter 'White Resistance'.
DAM Direct Action Movement. Anarcho-syndicalist group who have themselves been smeared by Gable in the past (Hackney 1988), who now seem closer to Searchlight, but in any case barely exist.
Disinformation The putting of information into circulation that is either totally bogus, or deliberately slanted so as to convey a different impression from that which the disinformer knows to be true.
ELF Earth Liberation Front. New direct action group formed in the aftermath of the Twyford Down protest.
Freedom The longest running Anarchist paper in the UK. Have print works/bookshop which was subject to repeated attacks by, it is assumed C-18, commencing 27/3/93.
Gerry Gable Editor of Searchlight, sometime TV journalist/ Stalinist/Special Branch/MI5 asset. Disinformation creation/distribution expert.
Green Anarchist (GA) Magazine founded 1984, subject to heavy infiltration by Searchlight assets.
Green Revolution Radical Left-Green magazine founded 1991.
Tim Hepple One-time BNP member, thug, MI5/SB asset, infiltrator into both Left/Green orbit and BNP/COTC almost simultaneously. This booklet proves he was an agent provocateur in these organisations.
Ray Hill Another Searchlight asset/thug. One-time BM/BNP member, and Hepple's local controller in the North.
HSA Hunt Saboteurs Association. Founded 1962, committed to doing just that and seen by the state as the recruiting ground for the ALF.
League of Saint George (LSG) International Nazi coordinating group, founded 1974. They currently publish League Sentinel, a forum for dissemination of information within far-right circles.
Lobster Highly respected investigative magazine produced by Robin Ramsay. Specialises in para-politics - the covert activities of our ruling class and the Right. Send £4-00 (2 issue sub.) to 214 Westbourne Ave, Hull, HU5 3JB.
Meibion Glyndwr (Sons of Glyndwr) Illegal Welsh Nationalist group. Known for direct action tactics particularly burning down English holiday homes. Subject to heavy state (MI5) and Searchlight attention in recent times.
MI5 Military Intelligence. Responsible for countering foreign spies in UK, domestic subversion, the ALF, the IRA. First Woman in charge at present - Stella Rimington. Seriously expansionist, now that the end of the 'Cold War' has meant they have to invent new reasons for their continued existence. Strongly suspected of involvement in various mainland murders eg Hilda Murrell, Willie McCrae etc.
Brian Nelson One time Ulster Defence Association (UDA) intelligence officer, who was all the time working for British Army Intelligence.
Network News Internal bulletin of Scargill's CWO [see above] in issue one of which they printed 'Targetters Targetted' [see below].
Larry O'Hara Independent Leftist researcher, who helped GA foil entrapment by Hepple/Searchlight in late 1992. Ludmer Memorial Prize nominee??
Red Action Small group of militant Irish Republicans/anti-fascists, expelled from the SWP in 1982. Until recently politically close to Gable. A key member Gary O'Shea, was acquitted (along with Gable) in July 1992 with a fine following 1991 attack on LSG [above] meeting. Subject of major operation by MI5 in which Gable is believed to play a part.
Red Brigades Originally a Leninoid class struggle grouping, the 'first generation' leadership of this Italian group was selectively removed by the secret state, leaving a 'second-generation' leadership who appear to have worked for the secret state in a manner not dissimilar to that of Nelson above.
Redwatch Bulletin of Combat 18, first one issued March 1992, in which details including addresses/phone numbers of Jews/Leftists printed.
Tim Scargill (formerly Tim Wright) Ex-NF/BM, prominent in CWO, and the second intended victim of Searchlight's 'Targetted Targetted' scam.
Searchlight Apparently an anti-fascist magazine, in reality much, much more. The overt political home of Gable, Hill, Hepple, Bell etc.
Special Branch Originally set up in 1880's to counter Irish Republicans, and more latterly the 'operational arm'/local intelligence gathers for MI5/6. In April 1992 they lost primacy to MI5 in matters concerning IRA/INLA, & now in battle-to-death struggle with MI5. Reported to be very knowledgeable about/not worried by, CI8...
Target Quarterly bulletin of 'Pro-Fascist Action', started Nov. 1992. Issue 2 Feb. 1993 featured Red Action & Class War especially. Issue 3 August 1993 still not mentioned by Searchlight.
Targetters Targetted The name given by Searchlight to their original (Nov. 1992) disinformational list of BNP/C18/COTC members, which Hepple tried to get GA to print, & Scargill did. To cover up their tracks, Searchlight (probably) published at least two more lists of the same name, to distract attention from source of the original list.
Wombat 92 Another anonymous unattributable leaflet, appearing March 1993, implicitiy linking Scargill/O'Hara, and full of gross 'errors', thus fitting Searchlight's agenda.