4. Cold War Typewriter Warrior

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During the Cold War there were marginal beneficiaries to the struggle in the form of those financially supported to “fight the good fight” be it the proliferation of magazines, Study Institutes or radio stations, and spy thrillers based on communist plots. Vanity publishing is not a new phenomenon and throughout the latter half of the Twentieth Century there regular appeared cold war typewriter warriors, you could say the “politically correct” and an arms-length away propagandists for the Western cause.

Amongst the Brian Crozier, Forum World Features, Institute for the Study of Conflict, Robert Moss and Le Cercle grouping was a minor figure of J. Bernard Hutton. His was a varied career: journalist (as so many spies seem to be); foreign news editor in Moscow; press and cultural attaché Czechoslovak Embassy, London; free-lance journalist, lecturer, broadcaster, diplomatic and special correspondent, and psychic researcher.

Born July 1911 in Bohemia, J. Bernard Hutton (the pseudonym adopted by Joseph Heisler) author of books on spies and communist Soviet Russia, his bibliography claims Heisler as a graduate of Berlin University, a Czech journalist on a communist newspaper on Prague and of the Russian daily newspaper Vechernyaya Moskva. There are claims of attending the Lenin School in 1934 before Heisler fled to London 1939, anglicised his name, and served as a press attaché in Jan Masaryk’s Czech government in exile.

J (for Joseph) Bernard Hutton career as an ex-communist was that of an author of lurid tales that focussed on alleged Soviet subversive activities. He was such a prolific author of the early 1960s that J.Bernard Hutton was an incorporated company established May 1963 [Company number 00759961] earning from UK sales and beside various American editions, his work was distributed in translated editions (mainly French, German and Spanish). His early publishers were Neville Spearman Publishers, established in 1955 by Neville Armstrong, described in his obituary as “one of the last of the gentlemen publishers who produced books mirroring their own whims and tastes in a form of cottage industry”. He had been in the Intelligence Corps in India.

  1. Bernard Hutton (pseudonym for Joseph Heisler) made his name with FROGMAN EXTRAORDINARY and DANGER FROM MOSCOW, warning of the “Soviet Threat” (London: Spearman, Neville 1960.)

Lionel known as “Buster” Crabb was a British Royal Navy frogman and MI6 diver who vanished during a reconnaissance mission around a Soviet cruiser berthed at Portsmouth Dockyard in 1956. Peter Wright in his book Spycatcher (1987), argued that Crabb was sent to investigate the Ordzhonikidze’s propeller — a new design that Naval Intelligence wanted to examine. Various theories have emerged over the years as to Crabb’s ultimate fate.

Hutton, in FROGMAN EXTRAORDINARY and a follow-up book ‘Commander Crabb is Alive’ (1968) proposed that he was captured and was taken to Russia where he became Captain Lev Lvovich Korablov in the Soviet Navy.

Hutton’s work raised eyebrows, even the CIA in-house reviewer said beware; in a review of Hutton’s books and “Without taking into account “Hutton’s” own murky Communist past–Heisler belonged to the Czech Party”, he thought :

      “……Hutton’s” efforts may be merely a pecuniary speculation by an exile fabrication mill, or they may be something more sophisticated, a product of Moscow’s cold warriors; a case can be made for either view. It is necessary in any event to call attention to the fraud and its perils.”

  …..   The story, like most such fabrications, contains no provable facts not made public in the news coverage during and since the Crabb affair. Whether or not the dossier was fed to “Hutton” by Soviet agents, with or without his knowledge, the Soviets clearly stand to gain from its publication. Soviet intelligence is shown as omniscient. It is alleged to have known the details of the Crabb operation before it was carried out. At one point there is a serious reference to the “brilliant brains of the Soviet security officers.” It is also depicted as humane: after immobilizing, capturing, and conveying Crabb to the USSR, it “rehabilitated” the frogman instead of shooting him……

Danger from Moscow is based on the device of “secret instructions,” a standard fabrication come-on throughout the existence of the Cominform which still appears in intelligence frauds. It is the classic mixture of fabrication and previously published fact…..
…. the piece consists entirely of retold news stories superimposed on “secret Cominform instructions” by which overt developments in the U.K., the United States, West Germany, and the rest of the world are attributed to “hidden Communist activists.” In a final chapter, “On the Home Front,” Hutton develops the provocatory thesis that Russia is constantly on the verge of a popular revolt against the Communist regime. …. The book  contains no real or reliable knowledge of the workings of the Communist conspiracy in the U.K., the United States, or West Germany which would be beyond the resources of the periodical room of a good library.2

CAVEAT LECTOR : Review of FROGMAN EXTRAORDINARY and DANGER FROM MOSCOW. By J. Bernard Hutton (pseudonym for Joseph Heisler).  (London: Spearman, Neville; and Toronto: Burns & MacEachern. 1960.)
6479828-M 15683769515 9780025578708-us 9780870001697-us

Indeed, Hutton continue to churn out material attacking supposed Soviet duplicity or other aspects on Soviet history including a biography entitled “Stalin , the miraculous Georgian.”

1961   School for Spies: The ABC of How Russia’s Secret Service Operates. London : Neville Spearman

1961 Stalin, the miraculous Georgian. Prefaced by Robert Bruce Lockhart.

Neville  Spearman

1962 Jack Fishman & J. Bernard Hutton .The private life of Josif Stalin. W.H.Allen

1963 The Traitor Trade The documented story of illegal trade in strategic materials with  the Communist bloc. Neville Spearman (W. Averell Harriman, Epilogue) [ 223 pages 17 photographic illustrations] The front cover of the dust-jacket: “The first ever inside story of the greatest smuggling traffic the world has ever known. The story – with fully documented cases – of the men who endanger the free world’s security by selling strategic goods to Communist countries, and of the fifteen nation war against them.”

1969     Struggle in the Dark: how Russian and other Iron Curtain spies operate. Harrap

1970   The Fake Defector. Howard Baker Ltd [A return to Crabb]

1970   Hess: The Man and His Mission. 1970 262 pages David Bruce & Watson Publisher

 1972 The Subverters: Former Czech Communist Official Reveals the Communist Plot to Subvert the West-and Spells Out, for the First Time, the Actual Techniques Being Used Right Now. New York: Arlington House Publishers

     1972     Women in espionage (1972) Macmillian (1st US edition)
 According to another writer specialising in the Cold War arts,
 “Hutton not only invented most of the case histories to which he
 referred in School for Spies, but he adopted the same approach with
 Women Spies, published ten years later, which was a catalog 
of female spies”
Nigel West, (AKA Rupert Alison, former Tory MP] in 
The A – Z to Sexpionage. Scarecrow Press 2009 p.324

J. Bernard Hutton, later became a ‘paranormal investigator and lecturer’. But Robert Moss, once a journalist and right-wing activist who specialized in anti-communist writing, turned to be a ‘shamanic counsellor’, and ‘dream teacher’ (so perhaps no change there!)

On the Other Side of Reality [Howard Baker 1970] and The Healing Power:
The Extraordinary Spiritual Healing of Mrs Leah Doctors and ‘Dr Chang’, Her Spirit Guide written with Michael Fredric Kirkman (Frewin 1975).

The description from the blurb reads:

The amazing true story of a Spirit Doctor. This strange account of a spirit doctor tells how J. Bernard Hutton, a journalist threatened with blindness, met the Medium George Chapman. A former Aylesbury fireman, Chapman claimed to be controlled by the spirit of a long dead surgeon, William Lang, a claim that Hutton viewed with scepticism and contempt. Yet when he visited the medium, a miracle happened. Cured of his ailment, Hutton investigated further. What he learned makes an astonishing and spellbinding story.

Almost believable as his tale of FROGMAN EXTRAORDINARY.

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