Meet Amaryllis Fox — Former CIA Agent Writing Book Exposing Secrets Of Living Life Undercover

Is she breaking the law?

Who Is Amarylis Fox? New Details On Former CIA Agent Writing Book Exposing Secrets Of Life Undercover Instagram 

When you think of the CIA, chances are you don't think about 21-year-old girls getting their masters degrees. But apparently, that's exactly where your mind SHOULD be going! Who is Amaryllis Fox? She's the woman who, at the age of just 21, was tapped by the CIA to work undercover as a spy in the Middle East and elsewhere. Now, she's releasing a memoir about her time with the agency and it's already raising some red flags. Here's what you need to know. 


1. Meet Amaryllis Fox 

"Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA" is the title of the memoir that Amaryllis Fox has written about her time with the CIA, the book is due to be published in October but the segments that have already made their way to the public have caused waves within the agency itself. In fact, some former CIA officers are taking issues with the veracity of some of the stories depicted in the book. Fox is also taking heat because she sent off this book to a publisher before she got clearance from the fine folks at the agency through their Publication Review Board which has to check to make sure printed material doesn't reveal state secrets. 


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2. The CIA & Amaryllis 

The CIA recruited Fox when she was studying at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. While she was studying there she invented an algorithm which “predicted, with uncanny certainty, the likelihood of a terrorist cell arising in any village around the world." Though she was just 21, when the CIA got wind of the project, they knew they had to have her. Fox went to the CIA's infamous training facility, the Farm, for six months where she learned "how to use a Glock, how to get out of flexicuffs while locked in the trunk of a car, how to withstand torture and the best ways to commit suicide in case of captivity." When her training was done, she was sent abroad to the Middle East where she was worked as a spy whose cover was that of an art dealer. 

3. The Scandal Right Now 

Although Fox's book hasn't been officially cleared by the Publication Review Board, she did, in fact, submit it for their approval. While they haven't given it their approval, the book was still sent to her publisher anyway. According to the Publication Review Board: "Publishing is more than having a printing house bind copies of a book. It means communicating by any means (including orally or electronically), information regardless of form to any person or entity other than the CIA’s PRB or a US Government official authorized by the CIA to receive such information for prepublication review. This encompasses materials including but not limited to: book reviews, Op-ed pieces, scholarly papers, scripts, screenplays, blogs, speeches, and other materials."


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4. Raising Red Flags

Several former CIA officers who have read the book or selections from it are skeptical about some of the encounters that Fox shares. In one segment she tells a tale of meeting with extremists from the Taliban and al Qaeda while in Pakistan. She describes these men as being armed but mentions they had no intelligence or security team with them at the time of the meetings. Former officers from the CIA say that an officer would never be put in this kind of situation on their own. "If someone proposed an operation like that to me, I would send them back for remedial training,” said one

5. How They Trained Her 

Though the book has yet to be released, sections have already been made available. Vogue recently published an excerpt that described how Fox was trained both to fire weapons and treat the wounds that they caused: "Toward the end of the course, we begin to mix in weapons qualifications. Glock and M4. Training in urban combat scenarios, peppered with dummies — some legitimate targets, most dressed as local men, women, and children. Hit a civilian and we’re out. Even the actual targets have to be given first aid as soon as we complete our objective or the compound is secured. It’s not clear if the point of that policy is compassion or to keep the adversary alive for interrogation, but there’s something confusingly tender about it, the nursing of wounds we ourselves have just inflicted."


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6. Other Books By CIA Operatives 

This isn't the first time a CIA agent has tried to write a book and had to grapple with the PRB either. Nada Bakos, a CIA operative who wrote The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House actually SUED the CIA because in her eyes they made the process slow and overly difficult. Even still, she says that she would not have ever submitted the book without their approval. "It's irresponsible," she said. "It’s not up to her to decide what is classified and what isn’t.” The CIA hasn't issued any statement on the subject which isn't surprising because they are the CIA and not issuing statements is kind of their whole deal. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.