Political decoys are sometimes used by world leaders to avoid dangerous situations.
They serve to protect the individual and confuse the enemy.
In some instances, political decoys are also used to maintain an image of good health.
Throughout history, world leaders have used political decoys and body doubles to ensure their own safety.
A decoy will often copy the mannerisms and sometimes the speech patterns of the person they are imitating. Occasionally, decoys will receive plastic surgery to make their likeness more convincing. Often, political figures will have multiple decoys to ensure their safety.
When the decoys are excellent, they create confusion and conspiracy.
Here are eight global figures who have utilized political decoys to evade pursuit and maintain an image of health.
An illusionist, actor, ballet dancer, juggler, and dictatorial body double, Felix Dadaev was a man of many talents.
When Dadaev fought in World War II, he was injured and thought to have died. His brush with death was so close that the military told his family he had died.
However, his near-death experience gave him a second chance at life — but not his own. Dadaev began a new life as Joseph Stalin's political decoy, Dadaev later claimed.
At the time, Dadaev was only 24 while Stalin was in his 60s. Despite their 40-year age difference, Dadaev said he had a successful — albeit stressful — career as Stalin's body double through makeup and intense study of Stalin's characteristics.
Dadaev said he mostly had to stand in place of Stalin and rarely had to speak or make any decisions. He would frequently be put in decoy cars when Stalin was traveling to throw off spies who were watching.
Dadaev was thought to be one of four known decoys for Stalin and, despite being his decoy for years, said he only met him once.
Bernard "Monty" Montgomery was one of World War II's most successful British commanders. He was known for his strategic intelligence, strong leadership, and uniquely confident personality. Also, he's less conventionally known for being the namesake of "Monty Python."
In 1944, the Allies were planning to invade German-occupied Normandy. However, to be successful in this risky move, they needed to deceive the Germans.
Enter Clifton James, a political decoy for British Commander and leader of the Normandy invasion, Bernard Montgomery.
James, an actor-turned-British soldier, was discovered for his striking resemblance to Montgomery. James was ready for primetime after undergoing a crash course in Montgomery's mannerisms.
Around the same time, the Germans were expecting an invasion in the North of France, reports arrived of Montgomery in Gibraltar and Algeria. The real Montgomery was still preparing for the invasion of Normandy in South England, and James' deception was more successful than anticipated.
After his performance as Montgomery, James starred in the movie, "I was Monty's double." Montgomery had another double after James, imitated by a man named Tex Banwell. But his career was shorter and less successful than James'.
Saddam Hussein's use of body doubles was so well known that, upon his death, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfield decided to have him publicly identified.
Hussein's political decoys were used to make it appear as though he was everywhere at once to better obfuscate his true location. The US government believed Hussein to have as few as three decoys and as many as ten.
Videos and appearances of Hussein were also viewed with the utmost scrutiny to decipher if it was him or a decoy. The CIA even used their psychological profile unit to determine whether or not they were seeing a fake.
Hussein's son also had a decoy named Latif Yahia, who served in the role for 4.5 years. After he served as a decoy, Yahia wrote books about his experiences titled "I Was Saddam's Son" and "The Devil's Double."
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II had less of a political decoy and more of a body double.
For 30 years, Ella Slack was a stand-in for Queen Elizabeth II at rehearsals for events and ceremonies. After the Queen noted that the sun was in her eyes after a ceremony, her team realized a need for a double.
The Queen was only 5' 2", so the blocking was never correct when larger people stood in for her. Slack worked for BBC around that same time and offered to stand in. And so, her long tenure as a body double for the Queen began.
Manuel Noriega, who was a key figure in the Panamanian military, had a long and complicated history with the United States.
The Central Intelligence Agency first recruited Noreiga in the 1950s for information and logistical help. In 1970, he was put on CIA payroll to join US efforts to halt the spread of communism in Central America.
But that relationship began to sour as Noriega was caught bribing National Security agents for intercepted communications traffic that he passed along to Fidel Castro.
Through increasingly violent acts and drug trafficking, the US cut professional ties with Noriega, and in 1983, he became the dictator of Panama.
In the years that followed, as the US tried to remove Noriega from power, he employed several body doubles to fool and evade the United States, according to Frederick Kempe in his book, "Divorcing the Dictator."
In Juan Reinaldo Sanchez's book, "The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Body Guard to El Lider Maximo," the former member of Castro's security team reveals many details about Fidel Castro.
One revelation is that Castro used a body double while he was recovering from his first bout with a cancerous ulcer in the 1980s.
Castro was also known to have employed decoys to avoid the 634 attempts on his life.
Sukarno, the first President of Indonesia, is involved with one of the strangest uses of a political decoy.
For most important political figures, decoys were used to escape prosecution or detection. For Sukarno, the US government used a decoy for their own purposes.
After hearing that Sukarno was having an affair with a Russian woman, the CIA decided to attempt to make a pornographic video of a Surkano look-alike and a Russian woman to hurt his public image.
When they couldn't find an authentic look-alike, the CIA made a mask for a performer to wear during their scene. The mask was never used, and the video was never completed, though still photos were taken.
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