How was world-class spy Anna Chapman so successful at obtaining so much information on the ritzy Manhattan cocktail-party circuit for the Russian government, providing them with a competitive advantage should they someday engage in a schmoozing battle with the United States? It was a simple two-pronged strategy. Step one: Hypnotize men. Step two: Have sex with them. Step three: ?.
Chapman's ability to hypnotize her unsuspecting targets, which was likely honed through years of intense Bourne-like training in an underground Siberian bunker, was impossible to resist. Take former Marine Bill Staniford, who was running a real-estate company called PropertyShark when his memory was erased by Chapman without warning.
"She walks in with this other guy, and I'll tell you, as soon as she walks in, I don't remember anything else," he says. "She knocked me out. There was something about her — I think it might have been the red hair, or the way she walked, or her body. I was immediately like, My game's fucked. I can't focus on anything. It's like mwah mwah mwah. She kept on talking and I just kept on staring at her."
Chapman's hypnotism is so powerful that she retains control of Staniford even now, and the poor bastard isn't even aware of it.
"It's a weird feeling; I don't hold anything against her," he says. "I feel bad for her. And I'm not exactly sure why."
And Staniford wasn't alone. His colleague was similarly affected by Chapman's mind-control skills.
(PropertyShark's founder, Matthew Haines, had the same reaction. "Mother Russia chose her well," he says. "I found myself completely incapable of thinking.")
So what did Chapman do with her vulnerable and mentally incapacitated victims? Did she pry military secrets or other confidential information from them? No. She just had sex with them.
Soon after her arrest, a group of men who'd known her gathered at a bar in Manhattan to marvel, trade stories, and commiserate. One guy couldn't resist. "Okay," he asked after everyone had loosened up. "Who fucked her?" Several hands shot up.
But surely after gaining their trust through strategic physical intimacy, that's when Chapman got her secrets, right? Nope, not then either.
One of Chapman's closest associates was Russell Terlecki, a 40-year-old promoter, actor, and film producer who's a co-owner of a new upscale tequila brand called Alma de Agave. "What was she learning?" he says with a laugh. "Trust me, I was out with her two nights a week. She wasn't learning anything. Trust me! Drinking champagne, tequila, vodka, whatever it is. She wasn't learning a lot."
So all she did was hypnotize guys and have sex with them? Feel free to send over more spies anytime, Russia.