Because of its clandestine character, the world of the undercover agent has remained murky. This article attempts to illuminate this shadowy feature of intelligence operations. It examines the activities of one double agent, the Czech-born Maximilian Wechsler, who successfully infiltrated two socialist organizations, in the early 1970s. Wechsler was engaged by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. However, he was ‘unreliable’: he came in from the cold and went public. The article uses his exposés to recreate his undercover role. It seeks to throw some light on the recruitment methods of ASIO, on the techniques of infiltration, on the relationship between ASIO and the Liberal Party during a period of political volatility in Australia, and on the contradictory position of the Labor Government towards the security services. \u
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