Friday, December 14, 2007

Scam Artists Resorting to Conspiracy Theories to Arouse, Inspire, Sell

--Arrogantly regarding their victims, "smart as fish bait"--a common acronym--scam artists corral them in bunches.

Magalia, California--After getting a group of people together, the best way scam artists have found to get them in line, blend them into a unified force to back them, is through deft composition of a conspiracy theory. Seven of the steps employed are enumerated here, from the viewpoint of the scam artist. Paraphrasing from Legal Thriller author, Jack Payne's, writings over the past forty five years, these are some of those tactics:

You must first get your sucker-audience to focus strongly on some mythical enemy you are forced to fight--on their behalf, of course. It's best to make this enemy a sinister combination of evil, conspiring minds, determined to keep you, a crusader, from piercing their ranks with the truth about their oppressive behavior. Everybody loves a mystery, and, luckily the fighting spirit is an emotion that is easily tapable.

Now, light your fire. Get the smell of burning flesh--as you've had to walk the hot coal pit in your battle with these nefarious forces--firmly embedded in your sucker-audience's nostrils.

Talk with bravado about your heroic battles with these repressive forces. Instill in the minds of your sucker-audience that you will never surrender to these coercive entities, and that you will "burn in hell," taking all of your records with you, before you will yield to their dominating dictates.

Operate from areas soft on scams. Some states are more lenient than others, with Attorneys General who will quickly issue a "Cease and Desist" order, but are so flooded with bad guys to stop and limited budgets to operate under that they are quickly distracted and move on to something else.. Example: New Jersey is believed to be a particularly good playground for home repair scams.

Show no evidence of distress over those who defect, rather, sympathize with them for their inability to understand simple logic. In any group of people there will always be some malcontents. Most will merely slink off into the shadows, shamed into silence by the realization of their gullibility. With the few who will, instead, choose to denounce you in retaliation, you will label them agents of the "Big Conspiracy" dedicated to destroying your noble crusade.

Employ your scam artist's mastery of the art of distraction to the few remaining who would blacken your good name. Unleash a wave of endless, boring, meaningless detail upon them that will frustrate them, tire them to the point of either wanting to throw their arms in the air and run, screaming, away from you, or at the other extreme, lull them to sleep in order to avoid further conflict.

Silence, for all and forever, any remaining doubts about your "integrity" by threatening law suits to uphold your good name and the worthiness of your valiant attempts to forge a better life for your larger group of followers. Most will cower to these threats and climb down off your back.

Over a long career of writing (55 business books), legal thriller author, Jack Payne, can only sigh. "I've seen it all," he simply observes. He then adds this epilogue "Many people feel threatened by anyone with an ounce of ambition or intelligence This is why a conspiracy--an imaginary , cleverly woven amalgam of greed and brains making up this army you must fight--is such a good rallying point for scam artists. And, sadly, so many of these scam artists are so skilled that you would have to stuff wax in your ears and lash yourself to the mast in order to resist their polished efforts to get you to join their counter-insurgency.

"New! Improved! Pain-free! No work! No money down, no interest, ever! Be aware. At some point in your life, this dog and pony show is coming down the road. Right at you.

"Are you prepared?"


Anonymous said...

Excellent article Jack.
"Now, light your fire. Get the smell of burning flesh--as you've had to walk the hot coal pit in your battle with these nefarious forces--firmly embedded in your sucker-audience's nostrils." Wow! Fantastic Jack. What was it you commented on my last post? "Maybe someday I will get a handle on the mantle, "Master of the Language," that area upon which you have a firm grip." If I have a firm grip then you must have a strangle hold. From what I've read, you are light years ahead on me. You have been too kind with your comments. I do however appreciate the support. Thank you Jack. Peace.

Warren M said...

I left a comment but it didn't show up. Briefly, it was that a conspiracy theory was ideal for a con man to hide behind because it both confused the issues and served as an excuse for failures. I guess this is a point you brought out, but I thought it needed emphasis.

Louis T said...

I guess I'm out of it because my mother got taken by con men on the phone for nearly $40,000 over three years. Conspiracy theories did not enter into this. I'm probably just bitter in general.

Anonymous said...

Operate in areas that are soft on con men is good advice for them. I live in an area where they couldn't care less and these people get away with murder.

Jamie said...

I know that I am an easy target as I have a kind, niave heart. That is something I am working on and your posts inform me in may ways. Thank you for taking the time to share!

Suburbian Queen

Jack Payne said...

JD: Someday I'm going to get lucky and you will read my novel, Six Hours Past Thursday. Then you will REALLY know what a con man is all about. And, hopefully, you will approve of my description of the scoundrel in my (yes, it's been touted this way) psychological thriller.

Warren: Don't know why you didn't get through the first time. You picked up, perfectly, on my point of this article.

Louis: Buck up. My elderly mother got taken for $180.000 by telemarketers and phone con men over a 5year period in the 1990s. Her bed was piled so high with brochures and colorful mailing pieces that she slept in a chair the last year of her life. (She died at age 91.)

Jamie: Kind heart, yes. Naive heart, no way. You've just gotta get yourself informed out of this latter stage of quiescent acceptance. Keep stoping by. No coffee or donuts, but, I'll keep working on you.

Kevin Goodman said...

Jack, your a great writer. I was really captivated. Being in marketing I study alot of pyche studies in persuassion. I can see this particular example following cult dynamics. I believe the philosopher Robert Green and Socialogist Anthony Pratkanis both give the 'straw dummy' as a cult making essential.

Chelle B. said...

Jack, I hope you aren't a con man because I am definitely going to read your book. You sold me on it.

But I will be keeping an eye on you, Mister! ;)

Jack Payne said...

Kevin, your "cult" analagy is right on the money.

Chelle, I love to hear threats like this, you'll read my book. When you do, gimme some feedback, please. Moderation be damned. I promise--for better or worse--I will publish it.

Mr. Grudge said...

Hi Jack,
You simplify reduce the blathering and baloney of the scammers down to its basic level..and that is the gutter. This is a public service your perform here. Thank you. Have a very, Merry Christmas! -Mike.

Jack Payne said...

I got some good email feedback on this piece, too. Actually, this is nowhere near as good as my 24 Amazing Scam Artists' Conflict Resolution Steps article. This is the one that was selected the Google Blog of the Day in September. If you want to read a real deep probe of the con man psyche, scoll down, oh, 6-9 articles back for it.

Jack Payne said...

Wrong. It's about the 14th article back. Anyway, it's the one dated September 3, 2007.

Dolcett said...

Interesting how a con man's mind works. I am going to read your September 3 entry.

Good Ol' Dave said...

You hit the nail right on the head. I subscribe to a number of political discussion forums, and every so often someone will come barging into them screaming how our evil gov't in its never ending schemes to murder us all had staged the 9/11 attack, and directs us to some website for "the truth". It turns out "the truth" usually involves us buying books, videos, posters, T-shirts, etc etc etc. If anyone would otherwise tell us that we could learn some "secret truth" by giving him our money the con artist warning alarm we all have in our heads would be ringing loud and clear, but slap a "secret gov't conspiracy" label on it and you can get otherwise intelligent people to buy dog poo.