Sex, Lies, and Spies
Christian Ethics | Feature | Intelligence & Espionage | Summer 2017
This article about whether or not a spy can use sex or seduction in the line of duty and still be a good Christian first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Providence‘s print edition. To read the original in a PDF format, click here. To receive future issues as soon as they are published, subscribe for only $28 a year. You can also give gift subscriptions!
Spying is a method of learning information about the enemy (and others) that enables us to obtain political ends that could not otherwise be obtained. No spy service could exist without the use of deception, and most spy services also use sex as a way to achieve their ends.
Numerous popular Hollywood films are filled with spies who employ these crafts for the good of their country. Notable examples began early with Marlene Dietrich lying and seducing for the good of WWI France in Dishonored (1931), quickly followed by Greta Garbo doing the same for the good of Germany in Mata Hari (1932). Perhaps most memorable to cinema lovers, agent Ingrid Bergman took advantage of a lonely German fascist for the good of the Free World in Alfred Hitchcock’s famous Notorious (1946). Then there appeared the whole James Bond phenomenon, whose offspring are still going strong today. If the fictional spy drama has left any sort of impression upon readers and viewers, it is that the world of spies is one of constant deception and manipulative (if not always unenjoyable) sex.
Can this possibly be just? If so, then we are saying that, when an agent lies to or has sex with someone in the line of duty, the people deceived have justice done to them. In other words, just agents do not necessarily treat their targets unfairly. Their objects of deception may deserve to be deceived.
Spying methods, like all acts of force, can be hard to accept for people of peaceable honor and virtue. But the Christian tradition has always included a notion of a just use of force. Why? Because in a world of fallen human beings who love themselves more than they love justice or God (something agreed upon by theologians as diverse as Augustine, Chrysostom, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin), those who are given the mandate of providing for the defense of the common good must often use force if they are to succeed. In other words, coercion, or at least the threat of coercion, is necessary for the common good.
Formative figures within the Christian tradition such as Augustine and Aquinas helped to shape what has come to be known as the just war tradition, while Protestant Reformers such as Luther and Calvin confirmed that tradition within their writings. One of the common features of the Christian literature in the tradition is the effort to prove that there is nothing necessarily incompatible between being a good Christian and being a good soldier. The very title of Luther’s famous essay on the topic suggests the common feature: Whether Soldiers, Too, Can Be Saved. Luther’s affirmative answer fits squarely within the tradition first articulated by the likes of Augustine and Chrysostom: Yes, soldiers can be saved if they go to—and fight—wars under just conditions. If the governing authorities did not employ a military, then there would be no peace or order for anyone. Thus, it is appropriate for Christians to participate in this office for the common good. Those Christians who do ought to do so out of love of their neighbors.
Governing authorities that cannot protect their citizens from threats internal and external fail to achieve the most basic requirement for good government. Augustine may have exaggerated when he famously remarked that human history since Cain killed Abel is a history of bloodshed, for there is far more to history than fighting and killing. Nevertheless, recorded history reveals that wherever we find the formation of political states, we find soldiers and spies. Spies were employed by the earliest political states on record. Soldiering and spying are necessary parts of any governing body’s ability to protect its citizens. Aristotle put it with typical clarity and precision: no army means no state, at least not for long (Politics 7.1330a-1331a). The same can be said for the spying services, which is why every political body has always employed spies of some kind. Spying is an act of force like soldiering. Even the most seemingly noncoercive jobs a spy might do—observe and report—are done for the benefit of those who can use that information to guide policies of force.
As should be familiar to regular readers of this journal, upholders of a just use of force, particularly those who refer to the just war tradition to provide moral guidance in such areas, are generally agreed that an act of force for the common good may or may not be justifiable depending upon who does it, the reasons they do it, and how they do it. Only those who have the job of making decisions about the use of force and carrying out those decisions may be permitted to use force. Only when we have good reasons to use force—self-defense, defense of others whom we are pledged to defend, or humanitarian intervention—may we do so.
We must also use tactics that intend to bring about more benefit than harm, and we must never intentionally target the innocent—those who do not deserve to have force used against them. Just wars and just war-fighting are all about giving enemies their due. In other words, when we say that a war is just, we mean that those we attack deserve to be attacked. We also mean that our enemies are getting justice when we attack them in the way that we do. That is to say, our combat tactics ought to be just. We are pointing out here an important moral distinction between claiming a war is morally permissible to fight and what is morally permissible in fighting that war. Some conflicts are more notable for moral controversy in one criterion than the other. To use two contrasting examples probably familiar to the reader, there is little moral argument about the Allied decision to wage war against the Axis powers in WWII. Most of the moral controversy of that great conflict was generated by the indiscriminate use of air power culminating in the use of atomic weaponry upon Japan. We still argue over whether or not it was morally acceptable to use so indiscriminate a tactic. On the other hand, the American (with allies) invasion of Iraq was fought with scrupulous concern for just tactics, but there remains a veritable hornet’s nest of controversy about whether or not the war ought to have been waged. Spying is a tactic of war, and, as such, is liable to moral analysis in the same two categories. Once the case for employing a spy in the first place has been made, the question of how to spy comes into focus, and thus one of the major moral problems for spies is trying to make a case that lying and sex are just (combat) tactics.
There is a good case to be made within the tradition that lying for the common good is morally permissible. But that case is not without protest among the formative theologians who helped us build the just war tradition. This is not surprising given that Christian Scripture, on the one hand, tells us that truth is one of the attributes of God and extols honesty as a prime virtue but, on the other, includes stories in which the just tell lies in a just cause. And how often the stories of spies appear when it comes to honorable lies! In fact, many of the discussions about the morality of lying in the Christian tradition find their locus in those portions of Scripture that concern spies and those that aid them. Of particular note is the Israelite spies aided by the lies of Rahab (Joshua 2) and the spies who aid David in his fight against the unjust rule of his son Absalom (2 Samuel 15-17). In the latter story, David even has his own “mole” in Absalom’s court who intentionally misleads Absalom with false advice about how to hang on to power. In both cases the writer makes no bones about the good of the lies told, and Rahab is even held up as a Christian hero of faith by the writer of the New Testament letter to the Hebrews (11:31).
None of this made much of an impression on Augustine, who in his book Against Lying very famously (and very influentially in the Christian West) argued that truth-telling—being honest—is a moral absolute because it reflects God’s nature. Paul Griffiths has made a convincing case that, for Augustine, if human beings are anything at all, they are the image of God. So insofar as human beings reflect the image of God, they fulfill their basic nature. Augustine concentrated on the truth-telling characteristic of the communication between the three persons of the Trinity, in which there is never a will to deceive. The argument works like this: Truth-telling is essential to the Trinity, so it is essential to the nature of God. Because truth-telling is essential to the nature of God, then it must be essential to the image of God, so it must be essential to the image of God in human beings. This being the case, every time we speak with honesty we reflect the image of God within us, and every time we lie, regardless of the good consequences, we deface that image.
Most Western theologians followed this sort of thinking, most famously and influentially Thomas Aquinas, who made lying contrary to the natural law (Summa Theologica II-II Q.110). We find the absolute prohibition carried over into the Reformed Protestant tradition by Calvin, who for instance condemns Rahab’s lies in a good cause in his commentary on Joshua. We even find the absolute prohibition in secular Enlightenment moral philosophy, particularly in Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason, in which he argues that all lies lead to a loss of rational integrity and undermine our basic humanity.
However, alongside this absolute moral prohibition in the tradition, there always existed a more permissive tradition, typified early on by the Eastern Fathers such as Clement of Alexandria (Stromata VII.9), John Chrysostom (On the Priesthood I.8 and de Poenitentia VII.5), and the Western Father John Cassian (Conferences 17). Chrysostom even comments concerning Rahab’s lies to save the Israelite spies: “O Beautiful falsehood! O beautiful deception! Not of one who forsakes divine commands, but of one who is a guardian of piety” (On the Priesthood I.8). For Chrysostom, lies and deception are not merely permissible but possibly positively praiseworthy in certain circumstances. On this view, lies and deception do not necessarily forsake divine commands but can actually express piety.
Cassian would agree with Chrysostom and comment upon the woman who hid David’s spies and lied to Absalom’s agents that her deception was a product of love and that all those who deceive in like situations follow the Apostolic command to love others by placing their good above themselves. We find this connection between piety and virtuous lying upheld by Martin Luther, who helpfully points out in his Lectures on Genesis that those portions of Scripture that explicitly condemn lying always have a particular kind of lying in mind, namely lies to harm the innocent or to pervert justice. We see this exemplified in the Decalogue, which states that “[y]ou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16, ESV), and in the prophet Isaiah, who warns us that on the day of judgment, God will cut off those “who by a word make a man out to be an offender, and lay snare for him who reproves in the gate, and with an empty plea turn aside him who is in the right” (29:21, ESV). Even in the Reformed Protestant tradition, we can see a move away from Calvin on this point in the famous Puritan Divine John Owen, who in his exposition on Hebrews comments that the sort of lies told by Rahab to protect the Israelite spies are “lawful, just, and good.”
For what we may call the Permissive Tradition in Christian theology, not all lies harm the innocent, and not all lies pervert justice. Indeed, some lies save the innocent and preserve justice. The recognized Father of International Law, Hugo Grotius, argued that lies told in public defense are good. Jeremy Taylor, a champion of strict moralism in the 17th century, and therefore not one to take any moral weakness lightly, argued that it was a moral weakness not to lie in order to save an innocent person’s life. Taylor was not convinced by the Augustinian argument that we ought always tell the truth because truth-telling is part of the nature of God. God always speaks the truth because he has no reason to fear anyone and he has the power to bring about all his just and loving purposes. Human beings do not have that kind of power; that is, they do not have the power always to use truthfulness for just and loving purposes. Wicked human beings can sometimes overpower good human beings when good human beings tell the truth. So, the wicked can use truth to harm the innocent and pervert justice. The morally good will always do what is advantageous to charity and justice. Sometimes lies rather than the truth fulfill this purpose. The just war tradition recognizes that some people are treated fairly when lethal force is used against them. So too do we hold that some people are treated fairly when deceived.
For the Permissive Tradition, speech is morally neutral in itself and so must be guided by wisdom. True, the purpose of speech is communication, but wisdom, justice, and love must govern our communication. We must always consider whether or not the person with whom we are speaking deserves the truth. True, human beings are in the image of God, but they are not God. We cannot always guarantee that truthful speech and acts will serve the purposes of wisdom, justice, and love, for the person we are communicating with may be an enemy of justice and love and more powerful than us.
This is the conclusion formulated by the famous German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who served in the German Counter Intelligence Corps during World War II. Bonhoeffer had to tell many lies while acting as a courier for those involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler. He even wrote an unfinished essay on truth-telling that fits firmly in the Permissive Tradition upheld by Luther. To illustrate his argument, Bonhoeffer uses the example of a schoolmaster who asks a student an inappropriate question in class, one that would, if answered truthfully, reveal something which ought not to be revealed about the student’s family. In this circumstance, the schoolmaster is abusing his authority, doing an injustice to the student, and exhibiting hatred of God and neighbor. The student serves justice best in this circumstance by lying. Bonhoeffer was motivated by a love of God and neighbor. He was also motivated by love for a justice perverted by the governing authorities of his own country. In his position, telling the truth could only serve to help the Nazi regime; telling the truth could only show hatred toward God, neighbor, and justice.
We can make a clear and convincing case that the Christian tradition may support the idea that lies told for the public good are justifiable. When spies tell such lies in the line of duty, their deceptions fall into that category and, so, are justifiable. Can the same be said for sex in the line of duty? Can manipulative sex for the public good be justifiable?
Sex is clearly used as a tool by some spies. Espionage service case officers can seduce potential targets for development that would be useful in penetrating enemy governments (say Iran or North Korea). Even if those services were to prohibit the use of sex in such circumstances, there is bound to be a certain amount of sexual tension when the case officer and target are of different sexes. Besides, the case officers cannot help but be aware of this and be tempted to use it to their advantage.
The CIA and FBI do not use sexual entrapment for moral and practical reasons. They find it morally distasteful, and they are concerned about the potential loss of their agent’s objectivity. But that is not the norm in the world of spies. Manipulative sex was a tactic employed by all sides in World War II and was routinely practiced during the Cold War by the Soviet Union, China, and East Germany. CIA agent Aldrich Ames and FBI special agent James Smith were both successfully targeted by Chinese MSS double-agent Katrina Leung. Markus Wolf of East Germany’s security service described his successful Romeo Operations in his autobiography. He regularly seduced single middle-aged women who had access to valuable information.
Let us concentrate on one such famous agent, code-named Cynthia. British Secret Service recruited Cynthia in 1941 to attach herself to Charles Brousse, the Press Attaché at the Vichy embassy. The embassy was suspected of having information concerning Vichy naval ciphers and of being a clearinghouse for German spies. In order to attach herself to Brousse, Cynthia maneuvered her way into becoming his mistress. She did well in deceiving her lover, but when she was found out, she did even better. Cynthia managed to persuade Brousse to turn traitor to Vichy (and thus loyal to Free France and the Allies) by helping her in her work. Brousse did so by giving her access to information on all incoming and outgoing embassy telegrams and daily reports on all appointments and interviews within the embassy. She was also allowed to break into the embassy safe and photograph important documents. The two were later married and, contrary to current FBI and CIA worries, provided a useful source of information to the Allies throughout the war.
One of the reasons why Cynthia was so successful with Brousse was that she had practiced her tradecraft quite a bit before being offered the Brousse assignment. In an interview conducted with Cynthia toward the end of her life, she was quoted as saying that she “had nothing to be ashamed of.” She admitted that it was particularly difficult to sleep with an unattractive man in the line of duty, but that, in such cases, she adopted the habit of closing her eyes and held on to the hope “that this, like so much else that I wanted to do, would be for England.” She reasoned, “Wars are not won by respectable methods… I was not a loose woman. I hope and believe that I was a patriot.”
Perhaps she was a good patriot, but the question here is whether or not she could have been a good Christian while engaging in such activities. Recall that we’ve already agreed one can be both a good soldier and a good Christian. To put it bluntly, this means that stabbing, shooting, and bombing other human beings are conformable to being good Christians. So, too, deceiving and lying are probably conformable to being a good Christian. But is having sex in the line of duty likewise conformable? If we can kill our enemies for the common good, can we not have sex with them?
When we look at the Christian tradition on sex, we find widespread agreement that the primary purpose of sex is to consummate a covenant of marriage and, only within this covenant relationship, to procreate and to experience the pleasure of sexual intercourse. There was, and still is, a minority voice within the tradition that opts for a more ascetic view of the good life, one that denies a place for sex or, at least, looks at those who do marry and have sex as a kind of second-class spiritual part of the body of Christ. Nevertheless, the great majority of Christian theologians who have shaped the tradition, East and West, have taught that sex within a marriage is a good from God. Marital intercourse is, in a sense, a Trinitarian act in that the couple give themselves completely to each other in the sexual act. Loving sex within a marriage expresses not only a romantic desire (eros) but is informed by a God-like love (agape) that totally gives to the other for the other’s sake. So, sex within marriage is yet another way to brighten the defaced image of God within us.
Unfortunately, like all genuine human goods given to us by God in creation, sex too suffers from the Fall. We are now tempted to use sex for selfish and manipulative reasons. We can use sex to control and harm others. When spies have sex in the line of duty, they are clearly not expressing agapeic love for their partners. Even if in love with their targets, they cannot give themselves entirely to the other for they are hiding their motives for having sex. Cynthia did not tell her future husband about her status as an agent when she first seduced him. Whatever may have developed between them in the future, Cynthia at first manipulated her future spouse with sex. The sex such people have is always manipulative.
However, we could say that spies like Cynthia have the motive of love of country—love of neighbors, just as the just soldiers who kill and the just spies who deceive. The problem for such an argument is it assumes that non-spousal sex is not an inherently evil act. In other words, Cynthia’s defense depends on us looking at sex in the way the Permissive Tradition looks at speech and other forms of communication: morally neutral acts that demand context before we determine them good or evil. But no one who had a hand in shaping the Christian tradition as we know it even attempts to argue such a view, and the reason is obvious. Unlike soldiering and lying, there are no Biblical sources from which to build a case for just non-spousal or manipulative sex.
While the Christian tradition agrees that homicide comes in different kinds—some morally appropriate—fornication comes in but one.
Of course, other contemporary Christian theologians, such as Joseph Fletcher, have argued for exceptions to all moral rules, not only to ordinary moral norms but also to clear commands from God found in Scripture. Fletcher argues for a situational ethic of love, in the sense that love may lead someone to contravene ordinary moral norms or those revealed in Scripture. Paul Ramsey criticized this sort of ethic and used the example of Mrs. Bergmeier, an inmate held in a post—WWII Soviet concentration camp, who managed to get herself impregnated by a guard so she could be released and return again to a family life with her husband and children, who rightly needed her. Fletcher’s reasoning allows us to say that Mrs. Bergmeir made an agapeic quantification that more overall good came about through her manipulative act of sex. A similar quantification could be made for Cynthia and other agents who use manipulative sex in the line of duty.
Ramsey found this sort of logic wanting, and for good reason. If one is going to be a Christian, then one is, at the least, committed to certain covenant obligations with God and with other people. There are certain clear obligations that may never be overridden for some supposed greater good. Love may be the fulfilling of God’s law, but it is fulfilling insofar as Christians do good and avoid evil. There must be some content to guide right action, some principles that are non-negotiable, or we end up with a kind of consequential moral reasoning that says it is permissible to boil a baby in oil for a good cause. Traditional Christians East and West, Catholic and Protestant, can agree that love is a virtue but that it does not, cannot, create its own standards of behavior. Scripture gives us norms of human behavior that admit no exceptions. There is, for example, never a time when murder is the right thing to do. We may argue over what counts as murder, but the principle holds firm in all places, in all times, and for all peoples. Scripture gives us plenty of moral room for a just use of force, which is why the Christian tradition has largely agreed on the possibility of a just war. Scripture does not give us so ready a space for lying, which is why there is a larger division in the tradition on lying than on the possibility of a just use of force. Nevertheless, Scripture does offer some material to build upon a permissive tradition that would support the kinds of deceit used by spies. Scripture gives us no room at all for merely manipulative sex. As Ramsey reminds us, when it comes to some actions, “it cannot be shown that Christians or just men should never say Never.”
None of this is to say that no one within the tradition has made the attempt to distinguish the level of evil done in non-spousal sex. Aquinas, for example, distinguishes between several degrees of sexual sin as he had done with the various degrees of lying (Summa Contra Gentiles III.2). Surely we can agree that sleeping with the enemy in order to further your country’s cause against something so evil as a Nazi regime is not as blameworthy as sleeping with your spouse’s friends because you like the way they look. Nevertheless, unlike the case of lying, the Christian tradition is one in holding that non-spousal sexual relations are morally evil acts. The prohibition on fornication, like the prohibition on murder, is absolute across the tradition. No intention can justify such acts. In Cynthia’s case, of course, we may claim that it was an evil done for the sake of a very great good, namely the defeat of Nazi Germany. Nevertheless, the Christian tradition has always held with the Apostle Paul that we may never do evil that good may come. In short, there is no case to be made that Cynthia—or anyone like her—can be a good Christian. Unlike the tactics of lies and deceit, the tactics of manipulative sex are always incompatible with God’s will.
Of course, nothing prevents spies from using their positive physical attributes to further their cause. While we do not have an indisputably Biblical example of this sort of thing, there are two intriguing and suggestive near-examples. First, in the Old Testament book of Esther, we have the story of a young Jewish woman who is forced into concubinage to a Persian king, soon becomes his queen, and is then persuaded by her uncle to allow her favor in the king’s eyes to work for the Jewish people by influencing the king to adopt a more protective policy toward the Jews. The heroine of the story is forced into a sexual relationship against her will, but she allows the king’s desire for her to be used for good purposes. Esther is portrayed as an entirely virtuous woman. She proves to be a faithful queen, even to the point of protecting the life of the king by passing along information about an assassination plot, thus foregoing any desire for personal revenge she may have harbored. At the very least, we may draw the moral lesson that it is permissible to use your good looks for a just cause. At the most, we may say that those forced into sexual relationships may use the desire of their captors as a means to achieve good.
But Esther is not a case of manipulative non-spousal sex. She does not seek out a sexual relationship in order to target someone for a good cause. She does not seek to take advantage of anyone; indeed, she is the one who is taken advantage of by the king. Esther does not seek to deceive the king, her husband. She even proves to be a loyal wife to the very man who had forced her into a way of life she probably did not desire, which suggests an extraordinarily agapeic act.
The other notable example occurs in the book of Judith (a second-century B.C. document originally written in Hebrew and considered canonical in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches but merely edifying in Protestant Churches and in the Jewish tradition). In it we find the story of Judith, a pious Jewish widow who uses her guile and beauty to assassinate Holofernes, general of Nebuchadnezzar and would-be sacker of Jerusalem. Judith poses as someone who believes that Israel will fall to Holofernes, gains his confidence by using her womanly charms, and chops off his head at the first opportunity. On her return to Jerusalem, she declares, “As the Lord lives, who has protected me in the way I went, it was my face that tricked him to his destruction, and yet he committed no act of sin with me, to defile or shame me” (13:16, RSV).
What is so telling about this story is that Judith definitely does not have manipulative sex for a greater good. Thus, even when the sky is about to fall in, even when Jerusalem is about to be sacked—with all the killing, raping, looting, and destroying that is to result—Judith does not even consider actually having sex with Holofernes as a moral option. In other words, better all the consequent destruction of Holofernes alive and well than Holofernes dead as a result of Judith using sex as a tactic to kill him. Nevertheless, Judith does use Holofernes’ sexual desire for her as a weapon against him, and the author praises this as a virtuous act. The moral lesson is clear: it is a praiseworthy act—a virtuous act—to be able to use your good looks to entice your unjust enemy into a position of weakness as long as you do not actually engage in sexual intercourse.
Esther used the desire of a foreign king for her in order to protect a Jewish population against unjust aggression. Judith enticed her enemy in order to assassinate him. Cynthia enticed her unjust enemy in order to get information helpful in a just war. All used the sexual desire of others for them in order to achieve victory over the unjust.
Would Cynthia have been praiseworthy had she merely used her good looks in order to get men to give her information? Such relationships would, of course, be built upon lies (unless we are talking about straightforward interrogation), but lies are praiseworthy in those cases. In such cases, the enticement is one in which we use the sexual desires of our targets, but we do not actually fulfill those desires to the extent of sexual intercourse. If lies can be seen as virtuous, and I think the moral tradition here points us in that direction, then it would appear that using one’s attractiveness to the opposite sex as a way to gain information is also virtuous. However, the virtuous must stop short of non-spousal intercourse even when the life of the nation is at stake.
This moral restriction limits the effectiveness of the spy, but this is only to be expected. The whole point of the just war tradition is to place limits on what can count as justice in war.
Darrell Cole is Professor of Ethics at Drew University. He writes regularly on the ethics of war and is the author of Just War and the Ethics of Espionage (New York: Routledge, 2015).
Photo Credit: Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Notorious (1946), a “spy noir” classic directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Bergman plays Alicia Huberman, the American daughter of a convicted Nazi spy who is recruited by U.S. government agent T.R. Devlin (Grant) to seduce and surveil a leading member (Claude Rains) of a sinister Nazis organization in post-WWII Brazil. In the course of working together, Huberman and Devlin fall in love, even as she succeeds in winning the affection of, and marrying, her target. Notorious depicts the emotional entanglement of three lives bound together in a web of duty, deceit, betrayal, and espionage.
 Francis Dvornik, The Origins of Intelligence Services. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1974, 5.
 Paul J. Griffiths, Lying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity. Grand Rapids, Mich: Brazos Press, 2004.
 John Calvin, Commentary on the Book of Joshua. Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1854, 47-8.
 Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason and Other Writings in Moral Philosophy. Translated and edited by Lewis White Beck. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949, 347-348.
 Translation by the author.
 The Lectures on Genesis can be found in Luther’s Works. Vols. 2 and 3. Edited by Jaroslav Pelikan. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1960-1.
 John Owen, An Exposition of Hebrews. Evansville, Ind.: Sovereign Grace Books, 1960, 81.
 Grotius’s discussion of the issues can be found in his ground-breaking The Laws of War and Peace. New York: Cosmo Classics, 2007, III.I.11-19.
 Jeremy Taylor, Rules of Conscience. In The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor. Vol. 13. London: Thomas Davison, Whitefriars, 182, 351-72.
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics. New York: Macmillan, 1965, 363-70.
 Markus Wolf, Man Without a Face: The Autobiography of Communism’s Great Spymaster. New York: Random House, 1997.
 In reality her name was Elizabeth Thorpe and her story is told, in brief, by H. Montgomery Hyde in Secret Intelligence Agent, London: Constable and Company Limited, 1982, 218-221 and, in full, by Mary S. Lovell, Cast No Shadow, New York: Pantheon Books, 1992.
 Quoted in Lovell 319.
 A excellent discussion of the relevant material can be found in Dennis P. Hollinger, The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2009.
 Joseph Fletcher, Situation Ethics: The New Morality. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1966.
 Paul Ramsey, “The Case of the Curious Exception,” in Norm and Context in Christian Ethics. Edited by Gene Outka and Paul Ramsey. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1968, 67-135.