Ulius Louis Amoss

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Ulius Louis Amoss
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branch United States Army
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Years of service1942-1961
Commands heldU.S. 9th Air Force
Office of Strategic Services
Battles/warsWorld War II
Cold War operations

Col. Ulius Louis Amoss (1895–1961) was a US intelligence officer who wrote the original essay on Leaderless Resistance in the 1950s after he retired and was upset with what he wrote was bad operational practices of the Central Intelligence Agency.

According to Amoss, resistance cells with members who made contact with U.S. intelligence agents or émigré ethnic anticommunist organizations were being penetrated by Soviet and Soviet Bloc intelligence agencies, broken up, the members tortured, and sometimes executed. Therefore, Amoss urged U.S. intelligence policy be shifted from an old-fashioned hierarchical model such as that used in World War II with resistance organizations, and refocused on encouraging “Leaderless Resistance to destabilize and subvert Soviet occupation of Eastern European countries such as Poland, the example he cites in detail in his essay. Amoss warned that traditional hierarchical underground cells organized by the CIA in Eastern Europe were being penetrated and liquidated by Soviet and Eastern Bloc counterintelligence operations.[1]

Amoss: “we do not need ‘leaders’; we need leading ideas. These ideas would produce leaders. The masses would produce them and the ideas would be their inspiration. Therefore, we must create these ideas and convey them to the restless peoples concerned with them.” In 1961 leaflets were airdropped over Cuba by anti-Castro Cuban exiles and their allies with close ties to the Central Intelligence Agency. The leaflets used the concept of Leaderless Resistance and called for the creation of “Phantom Cells” (Celulas Fantasmas).

There was no apparent connection between Amoss and the leaflets, according to Michael Paulding, who is writing a book on an early OSS figure and has studied Amoss and his work. Amoss died in November 1961, a few months after the failed CIA-orchestrated Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Amoss's Leaderless Resistance essay is republished posthumously in 1962 in the INFORM newsletter, having been rewritten from the 1953 original by a freelancer, according to Paulding.[2]


  1. ^ Michael, George (2012). Lone Wolf Terror and the Rise of Leaderless Resistance. Vanderbilt University Press. p. 44. ISBN 0826518559.
  2. ^ Chip Berlet, Ulius Louis Amoss, Civil Liberties Hall of Fame, Defending Dissent Foundation, 2015