"Jan R. Reber, Perceptions CEO, says his company is a consulting firm that "among other things does research on coercive trends and movements that affect business." One of the company's subsidiaries is Perceptions Press, also in Stratford, which publishes "Animal Rights Reporter," a newsletter that monitors and reports on the animal rights movement's activities." (Driscoll, 1989)
In 1988 animal rights activist Fran Trutt, was "charged with attempting to plant a bomb she says was meant to scare an offical of the U.S. Surgical Corporation which uses animals for medical tests and sales demonstrations. Her accomplices, not charged with any crime, turned out to be private security agents hired by U.S. Surgical. Trutt's attorney, John Williams, says there is "absolutely no question that Trutt was enticed" into considering the bombing by agents from Perceptions International. Furthermore, several months prior to the attempted bombing, according to Williams "the entire situation was reviewed at a meeting that included representatives of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Connecticut States Attorney's office, the security director of U.S. Surgical and at least one representative of Perceptions International...and the topic of the meeting was Fran Trutt."" 
"The president of Perceptions International in Connecticut states, "We look at the animal-rights movement in general." This includes certain "philosophical and tactical trends" of interest to clients (Boston Globe, 9 July 1989). One such client was U.S. Surgical Corporation, a group that was criticized for using anesthetized dogs to demonstrate its surgical staples. But the intelligence firm also gets specific. One of its employees infiltrated an animal-rights group and befriended a woman who was later arrested for planting a bomb in the parking lot of U.S. Surgical." 
In the mid-1980s Joel Carlinsky "began hanging around Earth First! meetings, acting in concert with Mary Lou Sapone of Perceptions International, a private Wackenhut-styled security firm. Functioning as an agent provocateur--some Earth Firsters thought he worked for the FBI--he tried to enlist them in a plot to "take out every nuclear reactor on the East Coast." Dave Foremen and other EF! activists were arrested in a similar framed-up scheme." 
Also see Marcus Mead
"In a lucrative and clandestine business, a handful of private firms are scrutinizing the thoughts and actions of the nation's social activists. Environmentalists, animal-rights workers and skeptics of biotechnology are all targets of this trade, which ranges from reading newsletters to full-fledged undercover operations, complete with paid spies.
"Only 10 to 15 firms, most of them small, do that kind of work exclusively, according to an estimate by Ronald Duchin, senior vice president of Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin, a Washington firm. Duchin, who has a military and public relations background, said some big public relations companies also watch certain groups in the course of doing business. ...
"For a fee, perhaps in the neighborhood of $3,500 a month, Duchin's firm will analyze groups or movements that might pose a threat to their clients. Duchin and others in the business say they build their reputation on their ability to advise companies of current trends in certain movements." (Alters, 1989)
- Jan Reber and Paul Shaw, "Executive Protection Manual", Schiller Park, IL: MTI Telegrams Inc., 1980.
Related SourceWatch pages
- Diane Alters, "Shhhhh . . . some firms are busy spying on the nation's social activists environmentalists, animal-rights workers and skeptics of biotechnology are targets of a lucrative trade", The Boston Globe, July 9, 1989.
- Lisa McGurrin Driscoll, "A Corporate Spy Story", New England Business, May 1, 1989.
- Chip Berlet, "Attacks On Greenpeace and Other Ecology Groups", Publiceye.org, August 22, 1991.
- Gary T. Marx, "Recent Developments In Undercover Policing", In T. Blomberg and S. Cohen, Punishment and Social Control: Essays in Honor of Sheldon Messigner, 1995.
- Jim Martin and Kenn Thomas, "TOXIC DISINFORMATION: Joel Carlinsky, CSICOP & Orgonomy", www.orgonelab.org, 1997.
- "Insurer settles in FoA vs. U.S. Surgical", Animal People, March 1997.