In deep hypnosis the subject,
military or civilian,
can be given a message to be
delivered to say Colonel X in Berlin.

I found myself somewhere
at the edge of the known earth
in an age when there is nowhere left to hide
for you it was always a game
you never think I remember
but the blunt force trauma
entered my mind all twisted,
as a matter of survival

The subject may then be sent to Berlin
on any perfectly routine assignment.
The message will be perfectly safe
and will be delivered to the proper person because…

Your missive arrives
in that cryptographic mind
geography’s incomprehensibility
impossible to decipher
a one-time pad on a sheet of nitrocellulose
it burns instantaneously, leaving small ash

a. the subject will have no memory whatsoever
in the waking state as to the nature
and contents of the message.

A truly random sequence of letters
trick of modular addition
only I got lost in the ciphertext
mistaking it for meaning
meta-language to transcend what came before

b. it can be arranged that the subject
will have no knowledge of ever
having been hypnotized.

A tortuous inculcation
using proximity and shame
more like a rearrangement
an anagram, a twisted joke

c. it can be arranged that no one
beside Colonel X in Berlin
can hypnotize the subject
and recover the message.

A spiritual starving
that hollows me out from the inside
even after all this time
with this great distance
it is a violence that wrenches free
dissociates, disembodies, a disease

He will never under any circumstances
by a slip of the tongue divulge the true nature
of his mission for the very simple reason
that he has no conscious knowledge of
what that mission may be. He is merely
going on a routine replacement…
This will be his story and the story which he believes.

A priori probability is equivocated to
a posteriori where the entropy of plaintext
equals the conditional entropy
of the plaintext given in the ciphertext C
you’ll begin to see where I derailed the equation

Secondly, if by any chance he is picked up
through a leakage of information from other sources
the message is safe. No amount of third degree
tactics can pry it loose, for he simply does not
have it in his conscious mind.

All that I have is this legacy of ashes
an unbreakable code
shielding you from your crimes
infinite computing no adversary
for the tangled traumas obscured in my mind

A specific counterintelligence technique
could be used against enemy agents…
I will take a number of men and will establish
in them through the use of hypnotism
the condition of split personality.

In a conventional symmetric encryption algorithm
complex patterns of substitutions and transpositions
these places dance to orient me to the key
I begin to see the risks

Consciously they will be ardent Communists,
fanatical adherents to the party line,
ready and eager to submit to any discipline
which the party may prescribe. Unconsciously
they will be loyal Americans just as grimly
determined to thwart the Communists
at every turn in the road.

Data remanence is such a continual problem
simplest overwrite technique
write the same data everywhere
(often just a pattern of zeros)
a way to be nothing/nullify feeling

This sounds unbelievable,
but I assure you it will work.

Poetry is a cipher but it isn’t known whether
there’s a cryptanalytic procedure
which can reverse these transmutations
mathematics may be my undoing

While I’m mourning what cannot be recovered
security continually assures me that this technique
is proven to provide the perfect secrecy

Your hypothetical counter spy…
will not disclose his true role for the very simple reason
that he cannot… if through some leakage,
he is suspected of being an informer
his true role is safely guarded,
locked inside the unconscious and impervious
to all assaults from the outside.

* Italicized text taken directly from a declassified CIA document dated June 22, 1954. The poem is a rewrite of my own Perfect Secrecy. Linked to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar prompt ‘What’s the Buzz’