For some time we have suspected that Sojourners has been under surveillance. Unusual problems with our phones, the inexplicable disappearance of certain materials from our office, and the presence of questionable cars, often at odd hours, have all contributed to our suspicions.
Then one morning last fall, the most concrete incident of apparent surveillance occurred. A number of people have told us that our best protection against this type of activity, and any of its potential consequences, is to get the word out to as many of our friends as quickly as we can. We therefore want to tell you the full story.
On the morning of Saturday, October 27, 1984, Ed Richardson, a staff member, was up before dawn to leave town for the weekend. On his way out of the city, he stopped by the Sojourners office to pick up a few things. He arrived just before 6 a.m. and parked behind another car in front of our building.
It was just becoming light as he walked down the driveway toward the back entrance of the building. As he rounded the corner to head toward the doorway, he was startled to see four men looking in the building. Two were staring in through the entrance door, and two were peering in the sliding doors about 20 feet away. They didn't see Ed. The tall and husky men were white, well-dressed in suits and ties, and appeared to be in their late 20s or early 30s. One was carrying a camera.
Ed calmly asked, "Can I help you?" They all turned around and were obviously quite surprised, acting as though they were caught at something. One of the men, who had red hair, blushed with embarrassment.