John Scott, was an American citizen who worked in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. The OSS was the predecessor organization to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). John Scott also, at the same time, worked for Soviet intelligence.
John Scott was the son of radical writer Scott Nearing. Scott migrated to the Soviet Union in 1932 and worked for many years in Magnitogorsk. While in the Soviet Union Scott married Mariya Ivanovna Kikareva. The two came to the United States in 1942.
Scott wrote Behind the Urals: An American Worker in Russia's City of Steel about his experiences in Magnitogorsk, presenting the Stalinist enterprise of building a huge steel producing plant and city as an awe-inspiring triumph of collectivism
Scott also wrote about the painful human price of industrial accidents, overwork, and the inefficiency of the hyperindustrialization program, the wretched condition of peasants driven from the land in the collectivization program and forced into becoming industrial laborers, and the harshness of the ideological purges.
These experiences, however, did not disillusion him with Soviet communism. Scott indicated he shared a belief with the Soviet people that “it was worthwhile to shed blood, sweat, and tears’’ to lay “the foundations for a new society farther along the road of human progress than anything in the West; a society which would guarantee its people not only personal freedom but absolute economic security.”
John Scott's cover name as identified in the Venona project by NSA/FBI analysts is "Ivanov".
John Scott is referenced in the following Venona project decrypts:
- 726–729 KGB New York to Moscow, 22 May 1942
- 1681 KGB New York to Moscow, 13 October 1943
- 207 KGB Moscow to New York, 8 March 1945
- John Scott, Behind the Urals: An American Worker in Russia's City of Steel, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (1941), pg. 248.
- Whittaker Chambers, Witness New York: Regnery (1997), pg. 498.
- Sam Tanenhaus, Whittaker Chambers, New York: Random House (1997), pg. 182.
- John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, New Haven: Yale University Press, (1999), pgs. 194, 195, 237.