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How to be a Fake Spy: Robert Eringer

There is a general rule about spies in the intelligence world – if you say you are one, you aren’t. Like with most professions, expert spies don’t need to advertise. With this in mind, it’s astounding how many people online try to cash in on their ‘spy’ careers.

There is a general rule about spies in the intelligence world – if you say you are one, you aren’t. Like with most professions, expert spies don’t need to advertise. With this in mind, it’s astounding how many people online try to cash in on their ‘spy’ careers.

They do this for money, attention or both, but they never actually reveal what spies actually do. That’s because the life of an actual spy isn’t filled with explosions and glamorous women. It’s filled with hours of waiting, tight-lipped silence and careful strategy.

That’s why it’s so difficult to imagine some of these frauds could ever have been real spies. Take Robert Eringer, who has been in the press recently after being sued for libel for false claims about his role as Monaco’s ‘spy master’. A self-professed ‘bar fly’ with a drinking problem and no real intelligence training, Robert Eringer runs a childish blog about his ‘exploits’ along with various half-baked conspiracy theories.

Rather than simply deride Robert Eringer’s site, it’s worth looking at his actual claims. The first actually comes from the top of the page on which he promotes his many self-published spy novels. He has included a testimonial supposedly written by the head of a European intelligence agency: “We use Eringer’s novels as a blueprint for planning intelligence operations.”

Even a quick glance at the plots of his novels suggest that this is probably a lie. Robert Eringer himself claims to be the ‘Head of an Intelligence Agency’, though there is no evidence that he is anything more than a blogger.

He makes various claims about his relationship with former CIA Director Clair George and paints him as some kind of mentor. We can’t say for sure what their relationship was, but it is known that George once hired Robert Eringer to pose as a literary agent in order to con author Jan Pottker to prevent her from releasing a damning book on the Ringling Brothers Circus. It seems he wasn’t even required to use any ‘spy’ skills as all he had to do was offer Pottker a $25,000 advance put up by Ringling Brothers and filtered through George.

Robert Eringer also claims to have been instrumental in bringing murderer Ira Einhorn back to the US after he fled his bail. While he does appear to have had some involvement, his claims are grossly exaggerated as Einhorn’s whereabouts were already known when Robert Eringer played his literary agent con on him.
These two examples show that Robert Eringer did have an involvement in the intelligence world, but not as a spy. Rather, he is no more than a strange and unpredictable conman who was hired in a private limited capacity on a couple of occasions. His status is little more than that of an informant, and certainly not that of a ‘spy master’ as he’d like the world to believe.

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