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The true, declassified account of CIA operative Tony Mendez's daring rescue of American hostages from Iran that inspired the critically-acclaimed film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, and co-starring John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston. On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of American hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal and a quake in global politics still reverberating today. But there is a little-known drama connected to the crisis: six Americans escaped. And a top-level CIA officer named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them before they were detected. Disguising himself as a Hollywood producer, and supported by a cast of expert forgers, deep cover CIA operatives, foreign agents, and Hollywood special effects artists, Mendez traveled to Tehran under the guise of scouting locations for a fake science fiction film called Argo. While pretending to find the perfect film backdrops, Mendez and a colleague succeeded in contacting the escapees, and smuggling them out of Iran. Antonio Mendez finally details the extraordinarily complex and dangerous operation he led more than three decades ago. A riveting story of secret identities and international intrigue, Argo is the gripping account of the history-making collusion between Hollywood and high-stakes espionage.
Argo by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio - the declassified CIA story behind the Oscar-winning film WINNER OF 'BEST PICTURE' AT THE ACADEMY AWARDS, THE BAFTAS AND THE GOLDEN GLOBES Tehran, November 1979. Militant students stormed the American embassy and held sixty Americans captive for a gruelling 444 days. But until now the CIA has never revealed the twist to the Iran Hostage Crisis: six Americans escaped. The escape plot was run by Antonio Mendez, head of the CIA's extraction team and a master of disguise. Mendez came up with an idea so daring and potentially foolish that it seemed destined for Hollywood. . . and indeed it was. He invented a fake sci-fi film called 'Argo' (from the actual name of the CIA mission, a reference to Jason and the Argonauts). After announcing the production to the movie industry, Mendez put together a team of real 1970s Hollywood actors, directors and producers - along with covert CIA officers. They would travel to revolutionary Iran under a foreign film visa, and while 'scouting locations' throughout the country they would track down the six Americans who were hiding out. After giving them false identities as part of the film crew, they would spirit them back across the border. One part 'Ocean's 11' and another part 'Black Hawk Down', Mendez's mind-bogglingly complicated and risky gamble paid off: each escapee was extracted without a shot being fired. Mendez is considered one of the greatest officers in CIA history. The story of this, his greatest mission, has never been told. Now an acclaimed film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, with Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman' Antonio Mendez was cited by Richard Clarke as one of the top two or three CIA agents in history. His He received the Intelligence Star for his rescue of six Americans from revolutionary Iran, and has received the CIA's Intelligence Medal of Merit and the Trailblazer Medallion. He continues to consult for the CIA. He and his wife, also a famed agent, were technical consultants on the television series 'The Agency' and founding board members of the International Spy Museum in Washington. Matt Baglio is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. His writing appears regularly in the Daily Mail and the Associated Press.
In The Rite, journalist Matt Baglio uses the astonishing story of one American priest's training as an exorcist to reveal that the phenomena of possession, demons, the Devil, and exorcism are not merely a remnant of the archaic past, but remain a fearsome power in many people's lives even today.Father Gary Thomas was working as a parish priest in California when he was asked by his bishop to travel to Rome for training in the rite of exorcism. Though initially surprised, and slightly reluctant, he accepted this call, and enrolled in a new exorcism course at a Vatican-affiliated university, which taught him, among other things, how to distinguish between a genuine possession and mental illness. Eventually he would go on to participate in more than eighty exorcisms as an apprentice to a veteran Italian exorcist. His experiences profoundly changed the way he viewed the spiritual world, and as he moved from rational skeptic to practicing exorcist he came to understand the battle between good and evil in a whole new light. Journalist Matt Baglio had full access to Father Gary over the course of his training, and much of what he learned defies explanation.The Rite provides fascinating vignettes from the lives of exorcists and people possessed by demons, including firsthand accounts of exorcists at work casting out demons, culminating in Father Gary's own confrontations with the Devil. Baglio also traces the history of exorcism, revealing its rites and rituals, explaining what the Catholic Church really teaches about demonic possession, and delving into such related topics as the hierarchy of angels and demons, satanic cults, black masses, curses, and the various theories used by modern scientists and anthropologists who seek to quantify such phenomena.Written with an investigative eye that will captivate both skeptics and believers alike, The Rite shows that the truth about demonic possession is not only stranger than fiction, but also far more chilling.
In 2005 a Vatican-run university opened its doors to priests from around the world, running a course for would-be exorcists. Looking for a story, Rome-based investigative journalist Matt Baglio attended the class, and there met Father Gary Thomas - a Californian priest who had been chosen to attend by his bishop. Father Gary was concerned that many of the 'possessed' were in reality suffering from psychological disorders best left to the care of doctors. How and why his view changed is the subject of this book. We follow Father Gary's year-long training with a senior exorcist as he is transformed from a doubter into a believer. Baglio gained unprecedented access to this world, including participating in exorcisms and culminating with Fr. Gary's own fearsome confrontation with the Devil. Woven into his story is the fascinating history of exorcism, its rites and rituals, and the ways and reasons that people become possessed. Matt Baglio speaks to psychologists and detectives, as well as Vatican clergy, to winkle out the truth about this most Gothic of subjects. THE RITE is proof that the truth about demonic possession is not only stranger than fiction, but far more chilling.
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