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  • Writer's pictureOn the Edge With Andrew Gold

Ep. 47: The Undercover Agents Who Slept with Activists: Cara McGoogan

Today, I’m talking to Telegraph journalist Cara McGoogan, the host and journalist behind acclaimed podcast Bed of Lies. [By the way, join me in an old 90's-style chat room Thursday 8pm GMT (it's free, and you don't have to sign up):]

The series follows the lives of several fairly innocuous and harmless Left-Wing activists in the 80s, 90s and 2000s who fell in love, married and, on occasion, had children with men they had met on the activist scene. They would then go together to marches and rallies against things like animal cruelty or climate change, and other typically socially Leftist causes. It later emerged that the men they had met were undercover police agents acting as spies. Imagine finding out that the love of your life, the father of your children and the person you trusted more than anyone else in the world – that’s all one person by the way, not three - had been living a lie. Cara Links: Twitter: Telegraph Page: Bed of Lies: Andrew Links:

Cara talks to me about her investigation and how it got started, what it was like for these women to have the rug pulled out from under them, having to start again alone. We look at a few individual stories, and chat about the police officers and their motivations in ruining the lives of these women. They spent years pretending to support Left-Wing causes, but had actually been secretly laughing at their partners’ views for years and reporting back to the police. We look at the nature of secret-keeping and what that can do to a person, and hear about how some agents came down with PTSD.

We talk about literature a bit and the kind of books, like Russian literature, where there are so many names and nicknames and it’s hard to keep track of the characters. That happens at times in the podcast too - but Cara is very good at reminding us who is who - and the stories are enough to give us an overall sense of what happened to many different women over a number of years. More Cara facts – she is currently writing a coming of age love story about a couple torn apart by depression and addiction, set in the hedonistic world of music. She also has a new podcast about secrets and corruption set to come out later in the year.

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