The Real MI6
MI6, or Military Intelligence 6 or the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS),
enjoys a reputation as the world's most secret agency. England's strict
Official Secrets Act (Mentioned in License to Kill) allows this agency to
avoid the unwanted publicity given to other intelligence organisations in
the West (Mainly, the lavish CIA, who have a website, and their numerous
public-knowledge operations, including their many insurrections to
undermine Socialist and Communist governments - the famous Bay of Pigs).
Exact estimates vary, but most believe MI6 to have roughly 3,000
intelligence officers in the field. Researchers believe MI6 to have a
budget of US$30 million. The agency has its headquarters in Leconfield
House, London. (I don't know if theis is in Regent's Park or not - Andrew).
The Brits have valued spies throughout their history. Daniel Defoe, author
of Robinson Crusoe, served in the early incarnation of the Secret Service
against British subversives. In 1909, they divided into internal (MI5) and
external bureaus. In 1911, the foreign department became MI6.
Like many old British institutions, MI6 maintains an atmosphere of
gentlemanly tradition. Officals usually come from the same British Public
Schools (Note: this is the equivalent of Private schools in the USA and
Australia) and place great emphasis on their "old-boy networks" (Whether
this is a reference to the tradition of thinking of oneself as an Old Boy
of a Greater Public School, or the term of endearment "old boy" I cannot
discern - AJ). The head of SIS customarily identifies himself as "C", after
Captain Mansfield Cumming, the agency's founder. (Therefore, Fleming's "M",
after Sir Miles Messervy, is incorrect) Countless other traditions give
this agency its color.
The SIS officially limits its operations to gathering information. When
WWII broke out, MI6 detached a department known as "Section D" to perform
more violent operations. Section D became the Special Operations Executive,
an agency devoted to sabotage and uncoventional warfare. It was also
disbanded after WWII.
A possible reference for this above work may have been "British Intellgence
and Covert Action", by Patrick Fitzgerald and Johnathon Bloch, 1982. It
contained details of British Service activities since WWII. Margaret
Thatcher was then prompted to pass legislation to prevent further such
material ever being published.
Taken from Steve Jackson Games' GURPS (TM): Espionage, by Thomas M Kane,
1992, by SJG. Some additional information including everything in () by Andrew Jansen.