As Pete Lusk will tell you, “on the edge” political activism often invites anonymous threats. I’ve had a few over the years, but by far the best happened in 1986.
I’d been campaigning for a while against the Soviet use of prison labour to produce goods for export. NZ law forbade the import of prison produced products and I was trying to get the law enforced.
I was was doing some casual/on call work at the time for a friend who owned a factory. He phoned me at about 8pm one night asking if I could come in the next morning. There was no-one else in my house, so only my friend and I knew I would be coming in.
At about 11am, I was called to the office to take a phone message. I answered and was greeted by someone with a Russian accent who said “Good morning Mr Loudon, this is Major Gorkowski(I’m guessing the spelling) of the KGB here“.
I thought it was friend having me on and said “Fuck off T….” The voice didn’t miss a beat. “We understand you have been making some rather anti-Soviet statements lately. You would be advised to stop this unless something rather unfortunate should happen to you. We are watching you as we have been watching you for sometime. Dosvidanya Mr Loudon” Click.
I was a bit blown away by this. The Russian accent was very polished and cultured. I asked my friend if he knew anything about this and he denied all knowledge. I believed him.
Therefore, it was likely that whoever called me had either been tapping my phone or had me under surveillance.
My theories, in order of least likely, to most likely are;
A It was Major Gorkowski of the KGB.
B It was the Security Intelligence Service, trying to scare me off from bumbling around in their territory.
C It was local Communists, most lkely from the Socialist Unity Party, trying to shut me down for their Soviet masters.
Just for interest sake, if any ex KGB, SIS or SUP people out there could enlighten me, I’d much appreciate it.
Anyway, I kept right on at it and I’m stil here to tell the tale.