Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators

Ronan Farrow’s memoir, Catch and Kill, is described by the Los Angeles Times as “… equal parts memoir, spy story and portrait of perseverance…”. This book reveals how Harvey Weinstein — one powerful Hollywood power broker — intimidated his victims into silence and attempted to suppress the free speech of Farrow and other journalists set on exposing his crimes.

Weinstein, who sexually assaulted 87 women over a period of 30 years, managed to keep all of them from speaking out against him. And while sexual harassment is central to this story, Farrow and his fellow brave journalists end up being terrorized by covert methods of harassment and coordinated stalking in the same manner as Weinstein’s victims.

Catch and Kill chronicles Farrow’s harrowing experience of being followed, surveilled and spied on by secret agents in an effort to bully him into fear and prevent the long overdue exposure of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

According to Ronan Farrow, “Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys … signed a contract with Israeli private intelligence firm Black Cube, explicitly tasking secret agents with killing reporting on Harvey Weinstein. There was a full-on international espionage operation that was built up around this.”

Promotional literature from the Black Cube website advertises their services in the following manner: “cutting-edge analytical and research skills are at the heart of every solid intelligence project. Highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units, the Black Cube team uses creative and inventive thinking to connect the dots.”

While this statement may not immediately indicate that this corporation engages in highly criminal and illegal activity, one individual involved in Black Cube operations disclosed to Ronan Farrow, “it’s impossible to do what they do without breaking the law.” In 2016, two of its operatives were arrested in Romania for targeting a prosecutor. They have also been convicted in Europe for hacking devices.

But Farrow is most likely unaware that for many other reasons and even for reasons unknown, anyone could potentially become a target of these types of crimes, from a high-profile whistleblower to your average law-abiding citizen. 

Unlike one-on-one stalking, coordinated stalking is a set of protocols utilized simultaneously by networks of people — many unknown to the victim — in order to oppress that victim, potentially destroying their health and reputation, and completely decimating their life.

The tactics list for these criminal enterprises is long and perpetrators tend to be creative when imposing abuses. Tactics include slander campaigns, illegal surveillance, stalking by multiple persons (on foot and in vehicles), hacking, noise campaigns, home and vehicle break-ins, and use of EMF weapons, also known as Directed Energy Devices.

These illegal and highly disturbing covert operations that appear to be straight out of a psychological thriller are currently being deployed by a variety of entities. See more on our About Coordinated Stalking page. Harvey Weinstein hired private investigative firms Black Cube and Kroll to stalk and harass his victims. Other groups, like the Church of Scientology, recruit their members to terrorize those who they perceive to be enemies of the church. But the protocols are the same, and knowledge of them seems to have made it’s way to many other groups and organizations.

For the most part the mainstream media has been silent about these types of crimes and when victims find the courage to report them, law enforcement tends to dismiss their complaints. At present, victims have no recourse and are left to suffer in silence.

The work of journalists Ronan Farrow, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twomey — which has earned them a Pulitzer Prize — has been crucial in exposing these types of crimes and bringing Harvey Weinstein to justice, but what has been revealed is just the tip of the iceberg. According to a Department of Justice survey, 448,557 Americans have experienced coordinated stalking and 205,446 Americans have experienced electronic stalking.

What is urgently needed is heightened public awareness, investigation and prosecution spurred by right laws being put into place, and education for law enforcement to protect those affected by these heinous crimes. Although we may never entirely eliminate the evil that goes on in our world or stop wrong-doers, no victim should ever feel isolated and unheard.


About Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow is an investigative journalist who writes for The New Yorker and makes documentaries for HBO. He has been an anchor and reporter at MSNBC and NBC News, and his writing has appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. A series of stories he wrote in 2017 exposed the first allegations of sexual assault against the movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Prior to his work as a journalist, he served as a State Department official in Afghanistan and Pakistan and reported to the Secretary of State as a senior official focused on youth uprisings. He is a Yale Law School-educated attorney and studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the George Polk Award, and the National Magazine Award, among other commendations, and has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People (and also one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive, which doesn’t have anything to do with his career, but he still brings it up a lot)

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