Patrick McGoohan’s “The Prisoner” was imprisoned in a quirky Welsh folly of a village, but “The Village” as a concept was quite real. As far back as the period between World Wars 1 and 2 there were several isolated locations in Great Britain where people were kept incommunicado or under the extreme impression that they had been irreversibly transported to Wonderland, Oz, a Lost World, a secret lost civilisation or somehow into a world of rooftops sealed off from the city below.
The drugs they were given helped immensely.
Flash forward to Gary Powers, held incommunicado after his strange shootdown that ended Eisenhower’s Crusade for Peace.
On Powers’ return to America he was spirited away to a special DIA / NSA / CIA facility called Naylor Place.
Almost all record of it has been expunged, not just from the internet but even from print – but tiny fragments survive.
At the same time as Naylor Place was set up, secret schools were also implemented. They were created during the latter half of World War 2 but only became officially active in 1947. As of 1950s America they were recruiting children – “very special children”.
These children were taken from their parents, hypnotised, and replaced in the interim by doppelgangers. These doppelgangers looked remarkably similar to the young ones whose places they took. All great fun for most of the children who underwent this process. Especially since the psychological profiling used to choose the Special Ones included detailed investigation of their ability to be hypnotised, their degree of being prone to fantasising – usually an immediate strike out for intel work but for this project – essential, and finally, their “patriotism” – the childish but fanatical adherence to a more or less fantastical and idealised concept of their country.
It was as though Bucky wasn’t just Captain America’s sidekick but in fact was the trainee for the job of Captain America.
Notable alumni of the Special Ones program include Lee and Harvey Oswald, Whitley Streiber and whoever his doppelganger was, and a surprisingly large number of Hollyweird types. Winona Ryder disappeared for years during her childhood. But then, so did JFK, Jack Nicholson and Ted Bundy for that matter.
Twinning and duplication is so damned useful in intelligence work because it monstrously enhances the normal practice of creating false identities or “legends” – if someone an enemy service is trying to verify or identify is literally in two or more places at the same time not only is the due diligence stymied but a shell game is added to the proceedings to make the task functionally impossible over short time frames. This is why sometimes everyone fitting a certain description is murdered (um I mean suffers accidents or suicide) over a short time frame. As when Charles Fort said “someone was collecting Ambroses”).
Lee Harvey Oswald achieved the impossible by being arrested twice, at the same time, in two adjacent locations at the same Texas Theater – the same theater interestingly where Officer Tippit worked part time as an usher.
To the above you can of course read between the lines in the very first issues of the original X-Men comicbook from 1964.