Having passed their preliminary training at the Marx-Engels School outside Gorky, potential sex spies were transferred to a special training center at the Lenin Technical High School at Verkhonoye*, a godforsaken spot near the Autonomous Tatar Soviet Republic.
Between lessons on politics, economics and how to kill people—the usual spy stuff—the recruits were told their mission and forced to lose their inhibitions.
|This titillating article...|
A defector in London named Sasha Demidov recalled that 'ravens' were ordered to start having sex with each other—even though homosexuality was officially illegal:
'If they were invited to an orgy in the West, they had to be able to participate with both sexes. If they thought a Western male could be blackmailed after having an affair with them, they had to be able to overcome any repugnance and sleep with him. At all stages it is emphasized that any task which is for the good of the Soviet Union must be undertaken.'
SWALLOWS AND RAVENS
The same ethos applied to the opposite sex.
With the aid of a former West German spook, Lewis managed to track down one of the few swallows who flew the nest and lived to tell the tale.
'Vera' seduced a KGB colonel to travel in East Germany and then escape West.
At the time Lewis met her, she was in her mid-thirties and living in Tunisia with her husband and two young girls.
Still fearing a KGB hit, she chose to meet Lewis in a small café in the walled brothel district of Sousse.
As she lit a cigarette—just like in the movies—the former sex spy recounted how the fifteen women and five men in her group were transported to Verkhonoye, split into groups, and systematically degraded into accepting their Party-designated fate.
After a pep talk from a female instructor promising them a life of luxury (countered by a uniformed man telling them their true motivation should be love of the Party), they were gradually made aware of what their country expected in return.
|...is from this 'men's magazine' |
from April 1965
* Note for potential researchers/documentary makers: Lewis--and other sources likely based on his book--consistently spell the location as Verkhonoye; unfortunately, a Google search for that name doesn't yield any hits, though that could be for any number of reasons.
According to Lewis' book, Verkhonoye itself was located 'about 100 miles from Kazan near the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Republic.' Kazan is actually the capital of modern Tatarstan, so I take that to mean that Verkhonoye itself was just outside the Tatar Republic.
The closest fit I can find on Google Maps is Verkhniye Tatyshly--though there are a lot of other potential candidates (like Verkhnyaya Salda).
The Lenin Technical High School, or 'Verkhonoye House of Love,' was reportedly part of a complex covering seven square miles, 'approached by a long, narrow road which runs through bleak countryside.' So for anyone on the ground, it shouldn't be hard to miss.