The students are given a short break, after which they will return to the box office-cum-classroom for a round of written and verbal questions. Their answers will provide the basis for Scotti’s individual evaluations—“mechanical/psychological profiles,” he calls them. These are sent to the corporations at which the students are employed. “Some of these guys never get the hang of this stuff,” Scotti confides when the students are out of earshot. “And the corporation wants to know that.” In confidence, Scotti reports that the week has produced “four C students.” But he’s quick to add, “I don’t mean C as a bad grade.” Of the more than 180 students Scotti has trained in this country, only five have failed outright. “Real turkeys,” he says. He shares a few sample test questions. Q: What is the driver’s triangle? A: The man, the machine, the environment. Q: Forty miles per hour equals how many feet per second? Etc. Despite the seeming simplicity of the questions, Scotti stresses that today’s bodyguard/chauffeurs are a new and smarter breed. “We’ve got to get away from the Richard Diamond stereotype, you know, the guy who eats nails, pounds heads, carries a machete and a Thompson submachine gun. Nowadays, a bodyguard is a guy who doesn’t have to use a gun; he uses his head instead.”

Before we leave, Scotti mentions that he played a role in getting the Phoenix purged from a list of allegedly subversive publications. He admits his memory is sketchy, but seems to recall a list that included TUG: The Urban Guerrilla and the Weather Underground’s Asowatomie and appeared in a publication called Assets Protections. “I just sent them a copy of your paper and told them to see for yourselves that it wasn’t subversive,” he recalls.

I pause for a second before offering a guarded “Thanks.” In the end, what else could I say?

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  •   ENERGETIC ENGINEERING  |  July 01, 2008
    This article originally appeared in the June 27, 1978 issue of the Boston Phoenix.
    This article originally ran in the May 2, 1978 issue of the Boston Phoenix .

 See all articles by: MICHAEL MATZA