In a magazine article I read about an English spy in WW2. At one point he was in an apartment when the 'little voice in his head' told him "Leave Now!". He got up and walked out the door and on his way down the staircase he flattened against the wall as he was passed by two Gestapo and several Wehrmacht soldiers. They were on their way to arrest him but only knew what room he was in not what he looked like. He had spent several years in pre-war France and spoke perfect French and dressed like a French workingman.

The article went on to state that this was one of his several 'close call' escapes and that he went back to England several times to teach newly recruited agents and spies. I disctincly remember that when relating this story he told the class that if you ever got a feeling that you should leave or your 'inner voice' told you to leave you should do it right away, pointing out that if he stopped to take his hat or his satchel he would have been in the room when the Germans showed up.

I have looked on the 'net for this but am unable to find it. I specifically also look for articles regarding 'warnings' from your 'inner voice' (inner speech, inner monolog, verbal thinking) but have only been able to find general articles about mundane tasks or articles about how to deal with hostile inner speech or auditory hallucinations

  • 1
    The "narrator's voice" is a common feature in jokes about the fictional spy Stierlitz. Maybe the story grew in the telling.
    – SPavel
    Oct 9, 2023 at 1:57
  • Do you recall the magazine and/or how recently the article appeared?
    – vsfDawg
    Oct 9, 2023 at 13:41
  • Harriet Tubman also listened to voices in her head, and claimed to use them to avoid capture. Not arguing this is who the poster was thinking of, or that she was right. Just pointing out that these kinds of things do happen with historical figures.
    – T.E.D.
    Oct 10, 2023 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


he went back to England several times to teach newly recruited agents and spies.

This would be a SOE (Special Operations Executive) agent.

The BBC short series Churchill's Secret Agents: The New Recruits - Wikipedia reconstructs the training programme of that time.

This may very well be the source of your story, since during the 5 episodes many practical experiences are told that form the base of the training exercises.

  • "In a magazine article I read about". Not BBC show.
    – user103496
    Oct 11, 2023 at 4:04
  • 1
    @user103496 Wow, I would have never realized that! Nevertheless, from the discription it is clear that the artical is about a SOE agent (first link) and through the reconstruction from experiences of real agents (not fiction) in the 5 episodes (second link). With that the OP has far more information than before. So where is your problem? Oct 11, 2023 at 4:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.