Gun control/animal rights spy outed

There is an interesting story at Mother Jones (not known as a gun friendly site) regarding a lady who infiltrated the gun control movement right up to the upper levels working as an industrial spy for various organizations including, according to the story, the NRA.

This is the story of two Marys. Both are in their early 60s, heavyset, with curly reddish hair. But for years they have worked on opposite ends of the same issues. Mary McFate is an advocate of environmental causes and a prominent activist within the gun control movement. For more than a decade, she volunteered for various gun violence prevention organizations, serving on the boards of anti-gun outfits, helping state groups coordinate their activities, lobbying in Washington for gun control legislation, and regularly attending strategy and organizing meetings.

Mary Lou Sapone, by contrast, is a self-described “research consultant,” who for decades has covertly infiltrated citizens groups for private security firms hired by corporations that are targeted by activist campaigns. For some time, Sapone also worked for the National Rifle Association.

But these two Marys share a lot in common—a Mother Jones investigation has found that McFate and Sapone are, in fact, the same person. And this discovery has caused the leaders of gun violence prevention organizations to conclude that for years they have been penetrated—at the highest levels—by the NRA or other pro-gun parties.

Of course the aggrieved parties are outraged.

According to FSA Executive Director Sally Slovenski “Mary was initially brought onto the board of directors for her extensive policy and grassroots organizing expertise. She was a well-known and well-respected individual within the movement. Little did we know she was merely a scam artist willing to exploit the pain and suffering of victims and survivors of gun violence for financial gain.”

It’s not that the gun control or animal rights groups aren’t doing the same, wouldn’t do the same or wouldn’t like to do the same. Industrial espionage has been going on since someone invented the spear.

Plus it’s not as though the gun control crowd isn’t a devious lot. Witness the organization called the American Hunters and Shooters Association, which purports to be a pro-hunter/shooter organization and whose motto is “Restoring pride in America’s hunting and shooting heritage”. It appears that they feel they can accomplish that by dedicating an inordinate amount of their website to trashing the NRA. Their reaction to the Heller decision was:

On behalf of our many thousands of members, we applaud this decision, which is critically important for all of us who believe in gun rights. This balanced, thoughtful approach to the Second Amendment is shared by an overwhelming majority of the nation’s 80 million gun owners, including AHSA’s members. The Supreme Court has soundly rejected the extreme views of the N.R.A., which espouse unlimited access to any weapon.

Which is pretty much crap, but then it’s just an anti-gun group masquerading as a pro-gun organization.

But back to Mary and the outrage.

A spokesperson for Cease Fire New Jersey said that the McFate operation:

“would confirm for me the way that the gun lobby works, which is no rules, no question of fairness or honesty”.

What the hell! Do they think this is a fricking game? Marquess of Queensberry rules?

He notes that his organization has experienced low-level attempts at penetration in the past—a pro-gun advocate once posed as a would-be volunteer to get on his group’s mailing list—but nothing on this scale.

And he thinks they got rid of the only pretender on their e-mail list? Good luck!

I doubt if McFate/Sapone was doing this work out of principle. I think that she just knew where the money was. She even took a run at infiltrating the animal rights movement.

Sapone’s earliest known private intelligence operation occurred in the mid-1980s, when she served as an operative for Perceptions International, a Connecticut-based security firm. Working for Perceptions, which has since been shuttered, she infiltrated the animal rights community for US Surgical Corporation, a target of activists who objected to its testing on dogs. According to a 1989 article in New England Business, Sapone appeared on the animal rights scene in 1986 and quickly became “involved in at least a half dozen animal rights groups.” She “made a point of getting to know all of the key people in the movement,” and “traveled around the country to most protests, meetings and conferences.”

Whatever. Industrial espionage in the gun-control world. Cool.



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