Natalie: We heard rumors and picked up some details about the Russians using psychics to spy on America.   It was impossible, for obvious reasons, to get an actual agent inside their program; so when faced with the possibility that our enemy is doing something that we have no ability to judge, the best way to find what their capability is, or the limits of their capability, is to emulate them.

So the initial intention was to just spend three years doing that–selecting people, targeting our own people at the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, that sort of thing.

That didn’t work very long because we were able to successfully recruit six people and they turned out to be very, very good at doing what we thought the Russians were doing. They were good enough that people felt that it should be operational immediately.