Brulen and playing his Rickenbacker Bass

Counter Surveillance & Debugging

In a Victorian mansion atop the hills of Pacific Heights in San Francisco, California was, and still are the offices of the famous sleuth, the late Hal Lipset.

Known for his having been retained by the United States Senate Watergate Investigation Committee and his namesake being ill-mentioned by President Nixon on the 'Watergate Tapes,' Lipset was a world renowned private investigator who was the man credited for the invention of the 'bug' or listening device contained in a martini olive among several accolades.

One day in 1978, in comes Bruce Bierman (Brulen) to Lipset's offices/residence to assess the installation of Bierman's custom-made encrypted secure inter-communications system for inside the massive home.

Referred and recommended by a business associate who knew of Bierman's intricate knowledge of telecommunications and sound engineering, Bierman met Lipset to plan the project.

However, the meeting turned from strange to stranger.  After Lipset realized the extent of the skills Bierman had, he cornered Bierman in an underground safe, locked the door and had a very private conversation about working 'undercover.'

And that discussion led to Lipset approaching Bierman to be his new 'Number One...' his secret agent... a counter-surveillance debugging engineer -- someone who specializes in finding wiretaps, room taps, listening and tracking devices, known generically as 'bugs.'

Bruce was stunned that Lipset had already known just about everything there was to know about his life... who he knew, his friends, his escapades, and his business.

Lipset apparently did his homework.  He realized that Bruce had all the elements and abilities that a counter-surveillance spy would need to have... complete and thorough understanding of telecommunication system, digital telephone switching systems, sound engineering, a knowledge of telephone wiring networks, computer expertise, and an added skill... the ability to act.  Impersonating a cable repairman, or a lineman or a telephone installer was part of the job so as to gain access to premises without question.  Thus, Bruce became the 'cable guy' when required, or to think quick to get out of a heated or unfriendly environment.

During that meeting, Lipset explained to Bierman exactly what is entailed to be such a 'counter spy.'  Although Bierman understood that he had the skills, he was not entirely comfortable about getting involved until Lipset told him that he would never 'bug' anyone... but, only find bugs and assess security weaknesses for clients attempting to protect their right to privacy... and they paid a load of money for that!  And, Lipset stated he already decided that Bierman was going to do the job... it wasn't Bierman's choice!  Lipset wanted Bierman and that's the way it was.

Bierman subsequently, but reluctantly accepted the 'moonlighting' position, as this was a task that was not done during normal business hours.  At a pay scale of over $1,000 per hour, Bierman thought it was hard to refuse, especially when getting paid to help someone who was in some sort of trouble.  Realizing Lipset's persistence, Bierman proceeded accordingly.

After being trained by Lipset for the first six months or so, Bierman exclusively handled all of Lipset's debugging clientele, until 1996, when Bierman no longer felt comfortable because of several hair-raising, perilous and scary situations that occurred.

Hal and Bruce remained very close friends until the day Hal died, on December 8, 1997... coincidentally on the very same month and day his friend John Lennon was murdered.

During Brulen's tenure in this capacity, he traveled the world over, debugging for leaders of nations, high-level elected officials, political appointees, multi-national corporations, unions, drug dealers, adult products companies, a multitude of marital disputes, and celebrities ( Can you guess who? ;-) ).

Additionally, Bruce has appeared on the NBC Nightly News program with Roger Mudd and Tom Brokaw, was interviewed by Pulitzer Prize Award winning journalist James Polk, produced by Robert Windrem {G. Gordon Liddy also appeared on that same broadcast}; and has also been aired on other TV News and documentaries, as well as being written about in newspapers like the 'Wall Street Journal,' the 'San Francisco Chronicle,' and a distinguished magazine called Leaders Magazine,' a publication that is directed to world leaders of nations and corporations.

As a condition of being an operative, Bierman took a sworn oath to never divulge any clients or contents of any reports or activities so as to protect the identities and confidentiality rights of all parties, has testified as an expert witness under court-ordered immunity and audio-analyzed numerous hours of concealed recorded conversations found during the course of his investigations, under court and client directives.

After 18 years of debugging with Lipset, Brulen remains an expert in matters of counter surveillance, security, computers and electronics and privately consults from time to time.

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Brulen's Rickenbacker
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Brulen's Snare