Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Con Man Strategy: Encourage Divisiveness as a Means to Creating a Conspiracy--Don't Get Ensnared

--Signs to Look For, to Avoid Victimhood

If you, as a con man, wish to organize a group of people--so that you can set them up for a fleecing, steal their money, rob them blind--there is a tried and true way to go about it.


Establish a "rallying point" from which you will create a Conspiracy Theory. It's easy.
First you must spotlight clear-cut societal divisions,, then take the popular side of the issue. (In this politial season this strategy works well, too.) Once selected you mount your soap box, froth at the mouth, and sermonize your flock into a frenzy, in support of your chosen side.

Here are some examples of the cleavages that can easily be exploited for your profit:

> We are the good guys, white hat wearers, with God on our side. They are the bad guys, black hate wearers, with the Devil on their side.

> Our high standard of morality glistens, for we are Simon Pure of heart and soul; we are God's Chosen People. Their standard of morality is blurred, it sucks; they're a bunch of finks, con men.

> We are trustworthy, live by the Golden Rule, are God-fearing in all our thoughts and actions, and will keep you safe. They are untrustworthy, unscrupulous, live by Sodom and Gomorra Standards, are Devil worshipers, and will kill you and your family.

> We love American baseball, apple pie, and babies. They love couches, TV football games, beer and liquor, cigarettes, drugs, whores, and kill babies.

If you are recruited into such a group, are fed a con man line designed to part you with your money, and stop to think but forget to start again, you will have a big, big problem. Sure, you can hang actor, Richard Gere, in effigy for kissing a lama, but what good would that do for getting your money back once fleeced?

You do have choices: If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried. You could adapt paranoia: just because you are paranoid doesn't mean "they" are not out to get you. You could become a hermit; these folks have no peer pressure.

Or, do a fade--back to the beginning, before you got ensnared by the con man's scheme--back to your first encounter with him. Remember, if you had said to yourself, at the time, this wise proverb--he who dies with the most toys is nonetheless still dead--it would have been relatively easy for you to merely walk away, your savings unscathed. Protected. Safe.


Terry said...

This is about the wildest treatment you have given anything yet Jack...but come to think of it this sure sounds like a politician. In all these political debates and other nutiness going on right now you can hardly tell the difference between a politician and a con man.

Tommy Korioth said...

Here's a good example from my blog, Basket of Puppies:


Anonymous said...

Terry you’re quite the character! Labeling the politician a con man is just too generalized. Soon we’ll be labeling everybody in the public as a conman. Good way to start an emotional rally.

Still getting a feel for you work Jack.

P.S. – Forensic.

Warmer said...

I don't care. I think the similarities between con artists and politicians are stunning.

Mancuso said...

I hate to do this but feel I must pile on and weigh in with the majority here. As far as I am concerned the politicians - be they Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, or Wacos - are very close to con artists.

Swubird said...

Con Man:

Very good information. Without sticking my neck out too far, I'd can think of some good examples from religion and politics. But better not get into those issues. After all, that's why we're taught not to talk about religion or politics.

Let's just say that I don't trust a person who claims to know what's best for my soul, my welfare, or my pocketbook.

Have a nice day.

RainforestRobin said...

I laughed and at the same time thought boy this is so true of human nature in general. Creating the division of "us and them". It's a whole HUGE subject and something I want to think more about. I really like the snappiness of what you've written here. I'd also be curious as to why we all tend to do this "us and them" thing. I'm pretty sure I've read about other species doing it as well (within their own species). Interesting stuff here. Thanks Jack.

Tamera said...

Pfft. I think I prefer the hermit thing. Much easier, and much safer.

Amy said...

Its not fair to label all politicians as con people. That is like accusing them of being dishonest. My congressman is a true public servant who is devoted to public service and has dedicated his life to it. He thinks only of helping all his constituents, and he never told a lie. I think most political people are this way.

Gene Kranik said...

I do not share Amy's blind faith. Sorry, Amy.

Terry said...

I haven't seen you around here, Amy. Certainly you couldn't have been reading Jack's blog long and make a comment like that.

Jack Payne said...

Gosh people, just one sentence, and I seemed to have set off a lively argument as to the moral fiber of politicians. Talk about unintended consequences. Well, anyhow, have at it, if you will. Perhaps some extra good points will emerge.

Swubird, that's classic, not trusting anyone who knows best, for your soul, welfare, or pocketbook. Gotta remember that one.

The "us and them" syndrome does play a dominant role in many cultures, does it not, Robin? I have the same wonderment about this as do you.

Do you actually believe the hermit existence would be preferable, Tamera? Hard to believe of you. You seem so much like the "People Person."

Amy, got to give you credit. You are brave. You are running into hostile waters here.

nardeeisms said...

Mr. Payne, you are "something else"! Enjoyed this one - Nards!

exinco said...

i am about to scary with this tactic.
may be it really works

The Muse said...

Funny you should post this. Yesterday a con man came to my door. He wanted to seal my driveway. He was a real fast talker. He said, "I put this driveway in about 8 years back and it's looking like it needs a resurface. I usually charge $750 but I'll do it for $500 if you pay today!"

Yeah right. I declined. Then I went to the files to see who did the driveway and it was not his company. What a con man!

Last month someone posted a sign at the entrance to our neighborhood: "Beware of Asphalt Salesmen!" Now I know why.

Great post Jack!

Tamera said...

@Jack. A people person with boundaries. I'm no martyr! Years of working with people taught me that.

@Robin. That "us"/"them" really irritates me, and I don't understand why people buy into it. It's amazing.

Kevin Goodman said...

I had to read jacks post twice and still can’t find the politicians. Very intriguing and it kind of reminds me of the very simple cult building techniques proposed by Pratkanis and Aronson in their book ‘Age of Propaganda’.

Mel.Forrester said...

Hang Richard Gere in effigy because he kissed a lama?

I like, he who dies with the most toys is nonetheless still dead, too.

Dee said...

Jack you call it the popular side but you notice it's usually the righteous side. You said it "good guys" "high standard" "trustworthy" and of course "apple pie".

I am with Swubird on the men of the cloth and politicians here. Parallels are close.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."

As you know the con man fills their heads Jack then empties their pockets.

Jack Payne said...

I calls um as I sees um, Nards.

So, you were actually hit up by a con man, and this recently, huh, Muse? Glad to get these stories.

Tamera, for some reason, stress between the fringes--the diametric opposites in society--
seems to prevail. The politicians keep exploiting this. Rich vs poor. One ethnic group against another. Pro war / pro surrender factions. Etc., etc., etc. The con artists merely pick up on this tug-of-war syndrome and make hay with it, in their own way.

I guess the one sentence reference to "political season" was taken for interpretation into politicians, Kevin.

Jack Payne said...

I often use metaphores, similies, axioms, and proverbs, Mel. To put more illustrative impact into points I am trying to get across.

Dee, what can I say, other than your words could easily have been taken from a brilliant closing argument in a trial proceeding? You are "in tune."

Kevin Goodman said...

I’ve known some very good politicians. I’ve had dinner with Senator Evan Bayh while he was governor on two occasions he was close to several members of my family. I would consider state rep Vern Tincher a friend. I have also been close friends with several democrat party officials at the county and state level. Many of my relatives have held office on the local or state level. I think politicians are for the most part ordinary people with public jobs. Some are bad, some are normal, and some sincerely want to improve things. I for one tend to believe most people are descent and good natured.

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Howdy reading this page was many highly , reviews like this show value who reads this page!!!

Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting site. The content is very informative and I am so glad that I dropped by. Thanks!

Virginia Beach Roofing