Who in their right mind would work for an organisation like SPECTRE?
A fair question, since it is apparently making a comeback, or should it be a "brand revival"?
I can understand what motivates like likes of Blofeld - power, power and more power. But what do the guys and gals underneath him get out of it? Consider;
1. SPECTRE has some questionable employment practices. There's no policy of warning, written warning and dismissal, let alone a redundancy procedure for those employees who are surplus to requirements. "Redundancy" in SPECTRE means the electric chair, the shark or piranha pool, or being jabbed in the leg with a poisoned knife. The only time an employee who has screwed up might get off lightly - that is, still be left alive - is when the boss is doing his "blame one henchman but kill the other" routine, which veterans of the organisation ought to be wary of but somehow never are.
2 Pay and conditions. Or "why make trillions when we can make.....billions?" How much do these hench-persons and other assorted disposables earn? When do they get the time to enjoy their money? Do they have any spare time when they can bitch about the boss over a beer? Hardly. Blofeld runs a regime of fear and suspicion - hardly the way businesses are supposed to be run, although I've known a few that did. Any bitching about Mr. B is likely to get back to him and I refer to point one above as to what happens next.
(And don't even think about getting a pay rise. Oh, you can ask - as did Angelo in TB after he had bumped off the man he's impersonating, Major Derval. And SPECTRE may say yes. Just don't expect to receive any moolah - again I refer to point one above.)
3 Training provided for employees. It's demanding, put to it mildly. At least if a would be armed serviceman doesn't make the grade that person can leave the service. What was it Morzeny (Walter Gotell) said to Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) in FRWL? "Oh yes. We use live targets!" When you attend a staff training event, you do at least expect to end the event alive and in one piece instead of, er, point one above. And just look at the boat chase at the end of FRWL. I recall one review of that scene which compared SPECTRE's boat squad with a bunch of amateurish naval cadets - "You're firing too close, aim to straddle" and so on.
4 "My door is always open" is one of those lines you hear from management. And one of the amusing touches in DAF, I thought, was that sign on the wall in the oil rig control room - "If in doubt, ask! ". Well, I ask you - if you were in doubt, would you ask ESB? Employees are expected to obey orders without question, otherwise, well, it's "point one above" time again.
5 A proven record of failure in project management and delivery. Whether its sabotaging US missiles in the Caribbean, stealing cypher machines from the Russians, hijacking RAF bombers and their nuclear bombs, trying to provoke a Third World War, biological warfare or space laser driven nuclear blackmail - it all goes wrong for SPECTRE, somehow (Can't think why! ) With that kind of reputational damage done, why would an aspiring megalomaniac just starting out on a life of big time crime want to sign on with the man with the white cat? Why would investors want to go on throwing good money after bad in projects which, given past experience, will go up in smoke - literally?
6 Secrecy and discretion. SPECTRE is supposed to be a powerful secret organisation, yet it has a corporate logo which its top level management can't help flaunting. Take the casino scene in TB. Short of suddenly announcing "yes, I'm the deputy head of SPECTRE" it's hard to see how Emilio Largo could have made his position more obvious. And then in YOLT the hired help give the game away again - Bond flies over the volcanos in Little Nellie, finds nothing - until four black helicopters suddenly appear and start shooting. If Blofeld had kept his air force grounded Bond might have been none the wiser - but no, he couldn't help proving "our power", as the bad Dr No once put it.
If we were looking at SPECTRE as a real life multinational organisation, frankly it would have gone out of business a long time ago. Good job it isn't. Why is why I say - tongue in cheek I hope! - you don't have to be mad to work for SPECTRE, but it helps.