Back to TT


A Total Training System

  1   This is a work of imagination and any resemblance of the ideas herein contained to actual organisations, functions and processes is purely "coincidental.

Q1  Has there been an attempt to use the Total Training method to produce a Labour equivalent of a Winston Churchill?

Q2  Is the TT Scheme applied to each of the British hopefuls whose finger may at some time be on the nuclear button?

Q3  Are TT processes used to select, develop and place a number of leaders in various British institutions and organisations?



  2   Before attempting to answer these key questions it is worth reminding ourselves of the nature of the TT Scheme. The fundamental theoretical approach to training on which the design of the TT Scheme is based is to use the individual's whole environment - for example, domestic as well as professional - to impart knowledge, develop skills, establish attitudes, practice techniques and make the contacts required for whatever leadership position is intended.

  3   In practice, the Scheme entails identifying the various social groupings in which the selected trainee is involved, establishing one or more training affiliates in as many of the social groups as possible and then using the affiliates to accomplish the desired result. Preceding all this, of course, there is the setting up of the Training Committee, the identification of the requirements of the leadership position in question and, if a specific person is not already in mind, the search for a suitable trainee.

  4   A particularly important feature of the TT Scheme is communication. In their observer role, the training affiliates feed back information to the Committee about the trainee's likes, dislikes, opinions, habits, activities and any other matters of potential interest. Sometimes it is necessary to arrange a specific sortie, carried out by training operatives available to the Committee, to gather information about the trainee's attributes on a limited but vital topic. It is also sometimes necessary to obtain information continuously by electronic means. Another major communication role of both affiliates and operatives is to impart information to the trainee. This is required, among other purposes, to enhance knowledge, conduct tests and influence behaviour.

  5   The unusual requirements of the TT Scheme has led to the adoption of certain communication practices, which in some cases can be highly sophisticated. For example the extraction of information by affiliates and operatives normally takes place without the trainee's knowledge; in this way the information obtained is of the person concerned in the ‘natural’ state, which is more useful to the Committee than that obtained from a trainee ‘on guard’ or ‘playing to the gallery’. An exception is sometimes made to this practice when the Committee decides that, as part of the training, the trainee should be made aware that observation is taking place - for instance to develop constant awareness of the possibility, if not probability, that in the real-life leadership situation clandestine observation will be taking place.

  6   So far as the injection of information is concerned the standard practice, almost without exception, is to use indirect or veiled techniques of communication. Instead of conveying information to the trainee in plain language the necessary messages are sent in the form of hints, allusions, metaphors and a wide variety of other means. One of the most important reasons for using indirect methods of communication is that the Committee is under no obligation to provide the leadership position for which training is taking place - indeed it is not unknown for two or even more individuals to be developed for the same Office. Because of the nature of the communication the Committee can safely assume that a trainee cannot seek redress if the designated Office does not materialise.

Another important point is that changes in behaviour are more likely to be brought about by covert suggestion than by direct injunction or exhortation. This is particularly true of the strong-minded individuals who are the most likely to be selected for development as leaders.

A further reason for indirectness in communication is security - the Committee must be able to convey information to the trainee without unauthorised third parties understanding its import. Allied to this is the need to develop in the ‘target’ individual an ability to understand indirect messages and to impart information in like manner, both of these attributes being highly desirable in a person who is to occupy a major leadership position.



  7   It is in the nature of the TT Scheme that its origin is obscure. One claim is that the Scheme arose in the 1960's from a group of people who had attended the Churchill management courses run at Cambridge. The group's interest had been aroused by a brief but vehement discussion which had taken place in one of the bar-sessions of the course. In this, it had been generally deplored that there was no person of the calibre of Winston Churchill to lead the country in peace as he had done so effectively in war. It had been agreed that the country desperately needed such a leader. Then someone - history does not record who - asked the key and ultra-significant question, namely "Why cannot we use the latest in training techniques to develop such a leader?".

  8   The group of participants, meeting after the course had ended, had quickly decided that what Britain particularly needed was a. great leader of the centre in party politics - either a left-wing Conservative or a right-wing Labour politician - and that by using the training approach instead of just leaving things to chance they should be able to produce someone even greater than Churchill! Accordingly they contacted a number of eminent people, including some who had worked under Churchill during the second World War, and in due course a Committee was set up to proceed with the project.

The first tasks of the Committee were to specify the attributes required in a national leader and decide the best means of developing those attributes. The people with wartime experience under Churchill made a particularly valuable contribution on both counts and especially, in the latter case, in their advocacy of the indirect communication techniques which had been such a prominent feature of wartime intelligence operations, as for example through the weaving of coded messages to resistance units into radio broadcasts. Early on, too, there was the acceptance of psychological methods of influencing behaviour and of the programmed learning model as key elements in the training package. Soon after, the Committee adopted the ideas of B.F. Skinner on behavioural technology which aim to bring about desirable behaviour by total control of the social environment of individuals.

10   While it is probable that TT schemes have existed in rudimentary form for a century or more, it is only since the 1960's that the scheme has become overwhelmingly powerful and effective. This is due to the use of a number of advanced ideas, techniques and facilities as a combined system. The highly sophisticated techniques of indirect communication, the successful application of the psychological and the Skinnerian behavioural technologies, together with the extraordinary speed and efficiency of present-day telecommunications, electronic surveillance and computerised personal information are brought together in a comprehensive system which is quite irresistible in its effect on the trainee.

11   Manifestly, the TT Scheme requires considerable resources in personnel and equipment over a period of decades. The most appropriate setting for such an operation is in a unit funded by Government and granted considerable autonomy as well as formal high-level authority and the security of coverage by the Official Secrets Act. The formal authority is particularly important for the proper operation of the TT Scheme for it provides access to all manner of statutory services including Security and Intelligence units, the Armed Services and Government Ministries. Moreover the ‘leverage’ of formal authority facilitates collaboration with non-Governmental organisations such as industrial companies, political parties and voluntary organisations.



12   How is a TT Scheme set in motion? The following is a description of the start-up of a ‘pure’ form of the Scheme, aimed at producing a U.K. leader at the highest level. Variants of the Scheme together with some of the contingency operations which have been developed will be described 1ater.

13   The first step is the formation of a Steering Committee to carry out the preliminary work and to supervise the operations required for the first phase. The Steering Committee works with a view to handing over responsibility to a permanent Committee for the specific leadership position in hand and the individual selected for training to fill it. The Steering Committee comprises a number of people with detailed knowledge of the requirements of the leadership post and includes, if possible, one or more who have held that post. After specifying the attributes required in a person holding the post a search is made for a suitable trainee. Members are asked to keep a lookout and inform the Secretariat of the Steering Committee of any likely candidate - though ‘candidate’ is not the most appropriate word for it implies that the individual concerned actually seeks the post whereas an essential feature of the Scheme, at least in the early stages, is that he or she should not be aware that interest is being shown or that training is in progress. The Steering Committee then decides which of the persons brought to their attention should be investigated further.

 14  Each of those chosen for further investigation are then confidentially assessed for their state of health, personality characteristics, professional standing and social skills. There is also a vetting of political inclinations and an assessment of professional, social and family contact potential. It should be remembered that the training process is long-term and that many of the distinctive attributes required for major leadership positions will only be present in embryonic form or indeed may require development ab initio. The ways in which the initial investigations are carried out on behalf of the Steering Committee differ very little from many of the operations carried out later under the auspices of the permanent Committee and will not therefore be described at this stage.

15   The results of the preliminary assessments of the individuals suggested are considered by the Steering Committee, which generally endeavours to pick one person who will be the subject of development by a TT Scheme. A permanent Committee is then formed to initiate and supervise the operations of Scheme for the chosen trainee. The Committee usually consists of very senior members of the particular groupings to which the trainee belongs - for example the educational and social organisations and institutions - together with corresponding members of groupings in which it is considered the trainee should in future be involved, other ‘interest’ representatives and one or two members from the Steering Committee able and willing to make a contribution over a considerable period of time. The Steering Committee is then disbanded or goes into limbo, the latter usually being the case when the Steering Committee has chosen one or two other ‘candidates’ as reserves. It should also be mentioned that, exceptionally, two or even more trainees may be selected for full TT treatment for the same post, in which case since the composition of a Committee reflects the particular life-pattern of the trainee for which it is responsible, separate Committees are set up and the principle is adopted that each must operate completely independently.



16   With the establishment of a Committee, access to various resources is granted. For example, for the highest level leadership positions a computer-based data bank and one or more experts in indirect communications are permanently attached to the Committee. Also a full-time supervisory Trainer is appointed, together with deputies so that there is always an Officer conversant with the whole Scheme on duty.

17   The first task of the Committee is to elaborate on much of the work of the Steering Committee. Thus a much more detailed ‘map’ of the social groupings to which the trainee belongs is drawn up, the attributes of the trainee are more finely described and the aspects in which modification or development is required are carefully specified.

18   Next, there is the recruitment or placement of training affiliates in all of the major social groupings (e.g. work colleagues, fellow professionals and political party associates) and in as many of the ‘extra curricular’ spheres of contact (e.g.. neighbourhood, club and family) as possible. The essential feature of a training affiliate is that while carrying out a normal role in the social grouping concerned, he or she will also carry out one or more of the functions required by the Committee, namely passive observer feeding back information, disinterested communicator of information, persuader/influencer and link person to be consciously used by the trainee.

It is very rare indeed for training affiliates to be engaged by the Committee or its Officers direct; usually contact is made via an official service, such as a branch of Intelligence or a private sector organisation, such a consultancy, or other kind of body, such as a political party. Each of these types of agency may use other organisations to make the approach and these then become part of the chain of communication. Often, one training affiliate may be involved in two or more of the social groupings to which the trainee belongs and thus has increased opportunity of observation and communication in different contexts. Conversely, the Committee may consider it advisable to engage two or more training affiliates in certain key areas, each being unaware of the training role of the other. In these ways a submerged two-way continuous communication network is built up between the Committee and the trainee.

19   In addition to the continuous activities carried out by the network of affiliates, the Committee mounts special operations for specific well-defined purposes. These are also carried out through the various types of agencies and, at the end of the chain, those who come in direct contact with the trainee are designated as training operatives - though in many cases they themselves may be quite unaware that they are carrying out a training function.

20   There is a third type of link to the trainee which is designated as "intermediary". An intermediary is generally used on a one-off basis to convey a message to the trainee. Many intermediaries may also be unaware of any involvement in a training scheme and are thus unwitting members of the network. Others, however, are given a limited idea of the nature of the scheme - the rule is to impart the minimum information required to secure their cooperation on the basis of goodwill towards the trainee.

21   A further category of person involved in the training programme is designated as "career contact". These are potential high fliers in the various fields with which the trainee will have contact as he progresses upwards towards the intended leadership position. Friendships or even just acquaintanceships formed in the early stages of development with bright people in other fields can greatly broaden horizons and lay foundations for good relationships on their arrival, at about the same time, at or near the top of their respective professions or occupations. Almost without exception, career contacts are not informed about their involvement in the Total Training Scheme.

22   The entire configuration of The Committee, its Officers, the Agencies used by The Committee and the Training Affiliates, Training Operatives, Intermediaries and Career Contacts may be termed a TT Group by analogy with the well-known T Group.



23   The several reasons for the use of indirect means of communication have already been noted. Such practices are of course age-old and in widespread use. In the TT Scheme, the ready access to the media, the speed of modern telecommunications and the capacity of electronic data storage provides enormous scope for ingenuity and creativity in this form of communication.

24   It is not appropriate in this paper to expound at length on the numerous techniques of indirect communication available to the Committee; these will be the subject of a separate treatise. However, for those unfamiliar with the all-important finer points of conveying information obliquely, it is desirable to give a few illustrative examples.

25   Two examples from history demonstrate a number of the features of indirect communication. The first is in the Old Testament story of Jonathan signalling to David by means of words addressed to a boy whose job it was to pick up some arrows which Jonathan had shot. In part, the message to David was in accordance with a prearranged code (1 Samuel 20 v37 cf vv 21,22) but there was an impromptu addition which conveyed the enmity of Saul towards David {v38). Moreover the lad was unaware of his role as an intermediary {v39). It is interesting to note that the code agreed between Jonathan and David was of the verbal indirect type; if however the actual physical location of the arrows had been used as the basis of the message rather than words about their supposed location, the code would have been of a non-verbal indirect form. This form can also be used to great effect, though in the particular case of Jonathan inaccurate shooting of the arrows could have proved disastrous for David and it would have been difficult to communicate the further message about the intensity of Saul's feelings. One general conclusion which can be drawn from this single example is that the choice of method of indirect communication must be made with very great care.

The other historical example is more recent; this is the use by Sir Charles Napier in the 1840's of the single word "Peccavvi" to signal that he had captured Sindh. The coding of the message into one word (Latin - I have sinned) was spontaneous, opportunistic and humorous. Moreover it made use of - indeed its effectiveness was dependent upon - the commonality of culture and education between sender and receiver. Thus the example due to Napier embodies several of the major features of indirect. communication.

26   In the TT Scheme a commonality appropriate for the understanding of indirect messages can be built up between the trainee on the one hand and the affiliates, operatives and intermediaries on the other. Thus, the source of a message may be identified by including within it reference to, say, an event, a time, a phrase, a specialism and so on which the trainee (and preferably only the trainee) associates with the originator. If two or more origin-specific references are made there is a reinforcement of identification - the field of possible sources is narrowed down.

Another example is when, similar to the wartime broadcasts to resistance units, messages are woven into media items such as newspaper articles, headlines, television programmes and captions, which all may receive but only one should understand. The method here is to allude to several unique features in the life of the trainee, in most cases not directly but in the form of synonyms, antonyms, associative words, significant dates, the number of his or her house or office or telephone extension and the like. A further effective method is to arrange the simultaneous arrival by different routes of messages containing the same word or phrase or making allusive reference to the same specific event; only the trainee will appreciate that a message is being sent and will set about determining its content.

The identification of the source and the signalling that a message specific to the trainee is being sent, are as important as the message itself when it is neccessary to communicate indirectly without pre-arranged codes.

27   As a very simple exercise in deciphering an indirect communication, to which a very well known person in Britain does the following statement refer?

A General Practitioner was injured on the gradient leading into Dunstable and was taken post-haste to the District General Hospital - Chiltern Radio report.

Those skilled at solving crossword puzzles should find the exercise quite easy.

28   Other indirect communication practices include plays on words and the holding of conversations meant to be overheard as well as more sophisticated devices such as role-playing, simulation, allegory, analogy and symbolism. It should also be noted that the delivery of the indirect message is often arranged in two stages - the procurement of the message and the linking of the trainee to the outlet at which the message is available. It is also worth reiterating that it is only in the later stages of the training programme that there is conscious indirect communication between the trainee and those involved in the TT Scheme. In the early stages the trainee should not be aware that communication is taking place and indeed subliminal influencing can take place because of the lack of awareness. Indirect or veiled communication is a very creative and effective field and can be considered as an art form in its own right.



29   As already mentioned, another distinctive feature of the TT Scheme and vital for its operation is the use of behavioural techniques. These can be considered as derived from two distinct kinds of behavioural technology, namely individual and environmental.

30   Individual behavioural technology is, in essence, a collection of psychological principles underlying methods of communicating with the trainee in order to influence his or her behaviour. Like the feature of indirect communication with which it is closely allied, individual behavioural technology gives rise to practices of very great variety and complexity. Again as with indirect communication, a comprehensive and detailed account of the individual behavioural technology content of the Scheme will be given in a separate publication but it is appropriate to present here a few illustrations to give those unfamiliar with this field an idea of the kinds of processes employed.

31   One of the most fundamental and effective behavioural techniques is the combination of ‘carrots’ and ‘sticks’ or, to give them their correct titles, PEPS (Positive - Encouraging -Psychological Stimuli) and NIPS (Negative - Intimidatory -Psychological Stimuli). PEPS and NIPS may be based respectively on the general preferences and aversions of most if not all people - such as, to give a humdrum example of each, the appreciation of courtesy and the dislike of being kept waiting on arrival for an appointment. In the case of the TT Scheme, PEPS and NIPS can be made unusually effective by designing them around the specific likes and dislikes of the trainee, which have been determined in considerable detail by the affiliates and operatives. Thus it is quite easy to deliver a powerful PEP by way of reward when the trainee has behaved in a manner consistent with the training objectives and similarly a strong NIP when it looks as though the trainee is ‘going off the rails’.

32   While the delivery of a single PEP or NIP specific to the trainee can be very effective an even more powerful method has been developed, using a systems approach. Thus, several forms of PEP-NIP Systems are available to help accomplish the purposes of the leadership training programmes.

One of these Systems comprises a sequence of NIPS which predispose the trainee to be responsive to a PEP indicating the course of action desired by the Committee. There is another system which, though following the same general pattern, has a different purpose - the series of NIPS are to induce stress so that an evaluation can take place of its effects on the trainee's behaviour, the ability to cope with stress or maintain role under pressure being a most important attribute for all major leadership positions. The subsequent PEP or PEPS are to return the trainee to the status quo position preceding the stress analysis.

33   One of the most significant uses of PEP-NIP Systems is to create a diversion, i.e. to divert the trainee from one job to another, one physical location to another, one field of interest to another and so on, as required by the training programme. The principle behind this method is very simple, namely organising a number of PEPS associated with the desired destination while at the same time arranging for some NIPS to be delivered in the situation from which the trainee should depart. The trainee must not of course realise what is taking place; it is most important that the change is made naturally so far as he or she is concerned. It is also customary that the affiliates, operatives and intermediaries used in this kind of practice are not informed that their contribution, whether by PEP or NIP, is part of a larger system nor that the overall aim of the system is one of diversion.

34   The TT Scheme uses many other techniques based on the concepts deriving from individual behavioural technology, of which only a few more will be mentioned here. One is "saturating the environment with the message to be received". If, for example, it is desired to develop in the trainee an interest in a field unfamiliar to him or her, ‘messages’ encouraging that development will be conveyed through as many of the trainee's social groupings as are feasible. Another technique, used particularly at critical points in the training programme, is to establish two-way communication between the trainer and the trainee by ensuring that there is an affiliate or operative present to act as observer when a major event or incident involving the trainee is staged by another route. A further method, well known in the advertising field, is influencing by association. In this, the development desired by the Committee but not necessarily by the trainee is associated with a person, type of person, article, interest, activity, etc, etc, towards which the trainee is favourably disposed.

35   The other kind of behavioural technology owes much to the work of B.F. Skinner, who considers individual behavioural technology to be unscientific because it is related to states of mind, feelings, character traits and the like. Similarly, he considers concepts such as freedom and dignity to be unscientific since they are related to the individual's responsibility for his or her own conduct and to the giving of credit for achievement. B.F. Skinner goes on to state that scientific analysis shows that responsibility and achievement are not due to the individual but to the social environment and it is the social environment which can be determined scientifically. In effect, this means that the idea of autonomous individuals can be abolished. Thus B.F. Skinner regards control through the social environment as both scientific and acceptable.

It is on the ideas of B.F. Skinner that environmental behavioural technology is based. By discarding ideas of freedom and dignity, better social environments can be designed on a much sounder basis than can better individuals. A better environment is one which, through creating the right conditions, reinforces behaviours for the good of others - for example by promoting security, order, health, wealth and wisdom. The good of the social environment then becomes the important factor, not the good of the individual.

The whole system, B.F. Skinner reminds us, is ethically neutral and it is only if notions of freedom and dignity are brought into the picture that problems can occur. A prominent feature of the design of a good-reinforcing social environment is that it brings all people under the control of the consequences of their own behaviour. This applies to the controllers themselves - they are governed by the same social environment and in this way cannot misuse their controlling function.

36   The distinction between the individual and environmental behavioural technologies and the claims made for each are reminiscent of the arguments between those who champion genetic and environmental factors respectively in determining intelligence and other traits. In the view of the Committee the two kinds of behavioural technology are not completely separate - for example the "saturating the environment with the message" approach could be considered to be included in either category of technology. In fact both kinds and the continuum in between are employed in the TT Scheme. It should be noted, however, that whereas The Committee endeavours to limit itself to reinforcing elements in the social environment of the trainee, regrettably some parasitic and undesirable organisations which have emerged in connection with the TT Scheme - in particular The Group and The Squad, which will be described later - have used adverse elements on an equal footing with reinforcing features in the social environment of the ‘target’ individual.

Finally, in this section on the behavioural technologies employed, it is interesting to note the crude behavioural ideas which were around at the time that the TT Scheme came into being and to reflect on the remarkable developments which have since taken place.



37   How are the Total Training concepts and techniques applied in actual operations? What follows is a selection of examples based on the TT programme for one particular trainee for major Office, with suitable modifications to maintain anonymity.

38   The trainee concerned was "spotted" by a member of the Steering Committee for the Office in question when he was a Lecturer in Chemistry at a College of the University of London. The member put the Lecturer's name forward as a potential trainee and the Steering Committee considered him worthy of further investigation, along with other nominees. Thus were the wheels set in motion.

Through the appropriate agencies, a colleague in another Department at the College was asked to get to know the ‘candidate’ in order to determine his political leanings while at the same time neighbourhood enquiries were carried out to establish his domestic circumstances and involvements in the community. The Lecturer concerned had, as part of his duties, formed a number of contacts with industrial companies and was active in the prestigious Association of Technologists (AoT). Discreet enquiries among the companies and the Association revealed that he was universally held in high regard. When information on this and many more matters had been collected and considered, the Steering Committee selected this particular nominee for TT Scheme development and a Committee tailored to the trainee was set up.

39   Early on in its deliberations Committee decided that the best route to development would be through a combination of Industry and AoT. Thus the first substantive operations commissioned were the bringing about of a move of the trainee from his College to an industrial company and to facilitate his progress in his Association.

The move to Industry was set in train by putting in a word at top level in two or three of the companies with which the trainee was involved, not mentioning the TT Scheme nor naming the trainee, but saying how the powers that be would look with favour upon companies recruiting mid-career technological academics who were outgoing and held in high regard. It was not long before the trainee was approached by two of the companies and entered into serious discussions with them about employment at upper middle management level.

Meanwhile the trainee was ‘sold’ to some of the most senior members of AoT as a person who should perhaps be encouraged to climb through the structure of the Association to top level. Accordingly, AoT sent an emissary to meet the trainee on some minor pretext and gauge his potential for rapid elevation. The emissary reported favourably and not long afterwards the trainee received an invitation to join one of the Association's main Committees as a co-opted member.

What with the interest being shown by Industry as well as his Association, the trainee no doubt felt that things were really looking up for him. Thus, by the time he received a formal offer of a promising post from one of the companies he was well disposed to make the move. There was very nearly a major setback at this stage, arising from a promotion opportunity in his College. However, this was averted by arranging with the College Department concerned to hold up the advertising of the appointment in question; it was of course clearly understood that if the trainee decided not to move to Industry the promotion opportunity within the College would be available as before. Further encouragements to make the desired move were provided in the routine way by arranging for the delivery of two or three ‘severance’ messages; these, in essence, point out the disadvantages of the current situation of the trainee. Again, care is taken by using external operatives or intermediaries rather than internal affiliates so that if a trainee decides not to move relationships within the current organisation will not have been affected. Moreover, messages coming from persons who appear to be complete strangers will be regarded with greater credibility by the trainee.

In point of fact the initial TT operations achieved the desired objectives; the trainee moved to a suitable post in Industry while at the same time emerging as a potential high flier in his Association.

40   Methods of progressing trainees in their employing organisations are legion. A quiet word from the top to a trainee's immediate superior - with an approach carefully worked out so that the trainee is not regarded as a threat - is one time-honoured way. Others include arranging the move of a superior who stands in path of the trainee's upward climb, including the trainee on Boards and on Committees at Group level, preferential treatment of his ideas, reports etc., getting him invited to speak at meetings of local Chambers of Commerce and issuing Press releases so that these events are reported, obtaining for the trainee membership of various Industry committees and facilitating his successful discharge of the ostensible duties of the post to which he has been appointed., to name but a few.

41   In parallel with work-place enhancement and indeed in a mutually supporting relationship with it, is the development which can be arranged through the trainee's professional Association. Membership of its major committees not only confers status but enables the trainee to meet senior members of the Industry, associated academics, senior civil servants etc. on an equal footing. Arranging for the trainee to represent the Association on other bodies, obtaining preferential treatment of his ideas and activities, ensuring that at Association Dinners the trainee is seated next to people who will be useful to him as his career develops - all these and many more practices may be utilised in the good cause of fully realising the true potential of the trainee, for which purpose there need be only one well-placed training affiliate within the Association.

42   Development of the trainee through the recreational and social side of his life is also extremely valuable. The golf club, operatic society, social gatherings of one kind or another and many other groupings outside work all have their uses in the TT Scheme. The achievement of status through progression to various offices in clubs and societies is not all that important; it is the opportunities these bodies provide for arranged introductions to people in other walks of life or professions which is their great advantage. The trainee can learn a great deal about other spheres of life than his own, which will stand him in good stead in the future leadership position, by unsuspecting, uninhibited and unstructured interactions in these settings. Indeed some of the most successful ‘takes’ to dissimilar people have been obtained in this way because of the relaxed atmosphere and freedom from rivalry which obtains.

43   The domestic environment of the trainee is also an effective milieu through which to obtain development, for example not only of the trainee through the spouse but also directly of the spouse. Taking the latter case, the methods used are identical to those adopted for the trainee, such as the arranged invitation for the partner to join a local or national committee of some sort or other and the chance" meeting with an affiliate whose job is to awaken interest in some field or activity which will later be of value when the trainee has assumed the designated leadership position.

44   Thus far only the early stages of training have been considered and the methods used are quite unremarkable - they are the sort that a very large and particularly a multinational company might use as a matter of course for its high fliers, though of course without the backing of the Statutory services. As however a Total Training Scheme for a key leadership Office in national or international life progresses the similarity ends; new issues arise, unique to the designated position and requiring much more sophisticated techniques and a wide range of powerful resources.

45   If the trainee is not already a member of the political party deemed appropriate for the designated Office - as distinct from having an interest in politics and possessing the suitable political outlook - recruitment must be arranged. This can be carried out through a local Party official, who no doubt will already be aware of the political leanings of the trainee through the normal election canvass returns. It will be arranged that the Party will have a recruitment drive in the area, ward or road in which the trainee resides and, if successful, the trainee will become a member of the Party and neither he nor the recruiting official will know that what has taken place is part of a major programme directed at one person. If this attempt fails others are made, it being made increasingly clear to the trainee that political involvement is essential for further progression in his career.

As soon as recruitment has taken place local Party political events are arranged around the known interests of the trainee, as determined by affiliates and operatives. At first the trainee is involved in a modest way, then involvement is gradually increased by divers means which include arranged encounters with senior Party politicians and officers at meetings, conferences and social events both local and national. In due course the trainee is well enough known in the Party to be a good bet for adoption as a Parliamentary candidate in a safe seat. If all goes according to plan the trainee eventually enters Parliament with exceptional insights, skills, abilities and other important attributes developed through the TT Scheme and faces a very promising future. It should be mentioned that by the time this latest stage occurs the trainee has been made to realise that there have been a number of hidden agenda in his life which have been responsible for his rise towards high Office.

Clearly, with a trainee intended for one of the highest if not the highest Office in the land, a special relationship with the Armed Services is desirable. For this purpose a number of operations may be put in hand, ranging from the meeting of senior Services officers on committees and similar contexts to securing the trainee's involvement in Ministry of Defence contracts, awarded to his employing company and requiring contact with Armed Services establishments and officers. By classifying one or more of such contracts as Secret, positive vetting for security purposes as well as instruction on security precautions may be carried out as a matter of course. Later, the trainee is given a direct introduction to some branches of the Intelligence services and similar Government agencies, including little known units such as Department 19 of the Inland Revenue, all of which may be used for making covert. enquiries. Thus by the time the trainee arrives at his very high Office he already has some valuable contacts and familiarity with these branches of the machinery of State.

47   One of the most difficult attributes to determine and develop is fitness for decision-making involving nuclear weapons. Testing for stability under crisis conditions is an accepted part of TT Schemes for relatively junior though still important offices. Test methods at this level include prearranged conflict in meetings and contrived work overload. Testing for cool independent judgement in the ultimate life/death situation must be very stringent and includes, in addition to the application of normal methods to a greater degree of severity, the exertion of enormous financial stress and the applying of a variety of pressures of the kinds which might in the actual situation be administered through the trainee's close friends, family and neighbours. If the tests reveal weakness in one or more aspects the training programme is revised to enable the deficiencies to be overcome. On passing the decision-making tests a programme of instruction on the issues of nuclear arms is provided and maintained, mostly through affiliates.

48   A special mention must be made of international involvement in the British top-level TT Scheme. This occurs in two areas, the first of which relates to the nuclear responsibility testing and briefing. Clearly, the U.S.A. has a legitimate interest in this area and the Committee is happy to afford access to the relevant American authorities on this specific matter. The other area of involvement of foreign personnel is when temporary visitors to the U.K., such as industrialists and academics, are used as operatives or intermediaries. This arrangement has some advantages in that the trainee will be less likely to become aware of the existence of the TT Scheme before that awareness is due if messages (e.g. a severance message aimed at job diversion) appear to originate from outside the U.K. - in effect it is a decoupling by distance. Also, the trainee and the overseas communicator will be only briefly in proximity so that follow-up communication is most unlikely.

49   The TT operations described so far refer to a basic and straightforward top-level Scheme and give only an outline or overview of the way in which it is implemented. The operations cover a considerable period of time and the Scheme employs full-time several highly skilled staff as well as other major resources. All this is considered a worthwhile investment having regard to the great enhancement in performance resulting from positive training as distinct from leaving the development of leaders to chance. There are however some problems with the Scheme and some important limitations. These are taken into account when carrying out the TT operations.

50  Before proceeding to describe TT problems and limitations as well as some elaborations of the basic Scheme it is appropriate at this point to answer the three questions posed at the beginning of this text. The answers are as follows:

Q1  Yes - but the political aspects went sadly wrong.

Q2  No - but a limited version is applied in some cases.

Q3  Yes - in selected cases.


Note An Appendix setting out extracts from literature on behavioural technology has been omitted.  See examples in the Behavioural Technology section.



Back to TT