Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Con Man's and Politician's 10 Commandments

--Rules the Con Man--and / or Politician-- Must Follow in order to Bend a Group of Suckers to the Desired Will

If there are 12 clowns in a circus ring, you can jump into the middle and start reciting Shakespeare, and, to the audience, you'll only be the 13th clown. This is an advantage of basic psychology which both the con man and politician must jealously guard.

This is the conundrum the con man must engage whenever he is putting a group of people together to foist off a large scale scam. There will always be the odd-ball or 3 who simply do not fit in. And, if he permits them a forum, these few could conceivably destroy his con game. By all means he must keep his flock restricted to clowns.

Now, drop yourself into the role of the con man. Where do you go from here?

You must identify these malcontents quickly so you can properly steer your wrath--paint them as the enemy, so you can profit from their rebellion. Exposing them can put you in good stead with your flock. You must put these select victims in a position where they are waiting for a wake up call, make them feel like: If they died, they would want to come back as a plant, so somebody would talk to them.

Your overall training program will isolate and ferret out these people. This is where the Con Man's 10 Commandments come in. These are as follows:

1) Thou Must not Permiteth Self-Esteem. Start out by trampling all semblances of self-esteem. Like a cult, this must be replaced by total dependence upon you.
Make your intelligence burn like a fever, at a high level of incandescence in the eyes of your flock,. Tell them you're easy to get along with, once they learn to worship you.

2) Teacheth Separation and Conflict. Always remember the tried and true rule, "Divide and Conquer." Promote elitism, duality, divisiveness, competition, segregation--by gender, race, religion, etc.--and yes / no thinking. (I'm right, therefore, everyone else is wrong. There it is. Clear and simple.) Get your flock so confused about the normal concepts of right and wrong that they can only ask: Is it time for your medication or mine? A little ambiguity never hurt anyone. Politicians are as gifted as con men at this.

3) Programeth your Flock. Promote "sheep-think." They must not think for themselves. They must rely on you, solely, to tell them what to think.. This works well with people who believe all of life's answers are on TV.

4) Promoteth Controversy. Controversy sells. It's conflict and divisiveness that induce high emotion--the desired state you need to reprogram your group. Make your victims demand that which you wish to impose on them. With Evangelistic fervor, fire them up--a major tune up, like putting Richard Simmons on steroids to attain a higher energy level.

5) Promoteth Scarcity for your Enemies, Abundance for your Friends. The ideal route must be "total benefit" as your goal--affluence and abundance for you and your followers. And, total triumph over your enemies--as you deprive them of everything, including their integrity and dignity--so they can be discarded on the scrapheap of humiliation and defeat. If you can manage it, impoverish them to the point they will consider dinner at Chuck E. Cheese a gourmet meal.

6) Only Your Philosophy Prevaileth. Your philosophy is the only correct one.
Even if it makes no more sense than saying sis boom bah is the sound a sheep makes when it explodes, it is essential to hammer home your philosophy. Make your sucker group thoroughly understand that they are never to argue with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room, You, as the organ grinder, must maintain this severity of iron grip on your flock.

Now that your few opposing odd-balls are "set up," you must devote great effort to embarrassing , humiliating and destroying them. Follow John's Axiom: When your opponent is down, kick him. These Last 4 Commandments have to do with this important task.

7) Attacketh Dissenters with Gusto. Discredit them. Pick one heretic to attack particularly viciously, then publicize the destruction as an "example" to your loyal flock. This, to discourage others from disloyalty, as well as to gain admiration for your decisiveness and leadership.

8) Telleth a Lie, Loud Enough, Long Enough, Often Enough And people will believe it. (Thus speaketh Adolph Hitler.) This credo is necessary to smoking out your malcontents, Christians do not refer to the cross as "The Big T." But, you must make your flock want to crucify these dissenting louts with such fervor.

9) Employeth the "Scapegoat Principle." If getting caught is a looming reality and must be handled before it fully blossoms, simply sacrifice a low-level dunce, or a higher up victim who is a potential trouble maker. He who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone he can blame.

10) Appealeth to Emotion. Every time emotion and reason clash, always forget reason and appeal to emotion. Even if this appeal defies common sense and logic, your sucker-group--as long as you have conditioned them properly--will go along. and, it will keep your malcontents off balance. If asked, be ready to tell any of your disciples why sheep don't shrink in the rain, and you will have gone a long way in con artistry--an applaudable achievement.

Once you have driven your sucker-group to the extreme of saying, I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize, you've reached your goal Now, like a politician, it's time to back-off, soft peddle, and start ringing up the cash register with their generous contributions and / or votes.

Remember "evil" is "live" spelled backwards.
Simply tell yourself, in 2 days tomorrow will be yesterday, and pack off to find a new group of suckers.


ian in hamburg said...

Great post, Mr. Payne.

Just one quibble though: I think you'll find that quote attributed to Hitler's propaganda chief Josef Goebbels: tell a big lie often enough and people will end up believing it.

Warren M said...

I see you're staying on the political track, Jack. Well I suppose that's logical seeing as how the political season is in full swing. You are right, there are some close parallels.

Steve Begalore said...

I don't have any doubts about the similarity of tactics between con artists and politicians. I can close my eyes while watching a political speech on television and hear this kind of brainwashing in action. Why is it that Democrats are better at this than Republicans?

Ione Hesber said...

I like the clown analogy. It fits perfectly.

Denise said...

"Promote "sheep-think." There's a reason the Bible refers to people as sheep.

Jack Payne said...

You're right, Ian. It was Hitler's Propaganda Minister, Dr. Paul Josef Goebbels who originally came up with the "Big Lie" terminology. It was, however, adapted and used regularly by Hitler. So, I just took the short-cut--straight through to the Power Player--and credited it to him.

Yes, Warren, I'm sticking with the relationship to politics on this one, too. Simply because it fits, and election time in the U.S. draws near.

Jack Payne said...

I guess the reason the Democrats are so good at this is because they are the more politically aggressive party, Steve. To me, it has always seemed that Republicans were more passive

Denise, I also think this is where the term, "Sheeple," sprung from.

Gene Kranik said...

I regard Commandment II as the Bible equivalent of Thou Shalt Not Kill. It is Divide and Conquer that is the spur to all con games.
It always seems to work, and in politics most of the spin seems to revolve around this.

McAlee said...

I like #10 the best.Probably the most commonly practiced of the bunch too.

The cup is half full of something I don't like said...

Nice list. Do you have any plans for evaluating our current clown duo (McCain/Obama) regarding your 10 points?

Bern said...

Number 7, pick out a fall guy, hits home with me. I've seen this happen so many times in politics.

Jack Payne said...

Everyone is entitled to their favorites, Gene and McAlee. I have my favorites too.

No, Half Full Cup, I have not tried to apply these 10 Commandments to the current Presidential election. They are, pretty much, standardized principles which apply to every election--from Dog Catcher on up. Though I must say, in this Presidential election, McCain is rambling and incoherent, and Obama is an eloquent purveyor of "Nothingness." To this extent he is the far better con artist of the two. Maybe his particular approach could even be considered an 11th Commandment.

Terry said...

Never argue with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room. That's my phrase of the month.

Jay R said...

I checked in yesterday and was going to ask how you thought these Commandments applied to the presidential race. I see, though that you have already explained your view.

Earl T. Clydson said...

I have got to give you credit Jack for your ability to make me think in all kinds of strange directions. These are directions like I don't even understand. Like I mean that evil and live are the same word, only spelled in different directions. But knowing how your mind works I'm sure there is a meaning to it. I guess I will just have to figure it out.

Georgia Enamus said...

You are right about the cult mentallity that seems to take over during every political season.

AngieSS said...

Great article as usual. Although, it most definitely relates to both parties -- not just Democrats.

I suppose, just like anything in life, whatever side you are on you just ignore the flaws. I myself am Democrat and the whole time I was reading the article, I must admit, that I was thinking -- sounds just like the Republicans! Why is it that Republicans always say that Democrats are better at this, when they are true masters of it?

See, I too can ignore all of my party's flaws! :)

Seriously, I think this is one of the major problems in this country. Both Republicans and Democrats are doing the EXACT same thing on the EXACT same level, yet no one wants to admit that!

okay...I'm going back to craziness -- it's funner

Dolcett said...

I like the way you start out this piece Jack. The clown analogy is good. If you throw one sensible person into the middle of a cult gathering that person would ordinarily quickly be gobbled up and considered part of the cult. So it does figure that one of the biggest challenges for the con man, or the politician, is to create a cult and be very careful to keep the common sense objectors from upsetting the apple cart.

Sally Vargas said...

I love number 7, Attacketh Dissenters with Gusto.

Shreiber said...

After reading this, I am quick to tie the psychology with what has led up to this economic disaster we are now in. All of us have been led like sheep to the slaghter. Looks now like a new depression is about to develop in the coming months and years.

Swubird said...

Con Man:

Yikes! All I can say about Con Man's Ten Commandments is that they sound like a cross between The Art of War and the Communist Manifesto.

Happy trails, I guess...

stanley said...

I'll remember these if I ever become a politician . . . or con-man!

Dee said...

Democrats more aggressive Jack? Don't think I can agree with you based on what I am observing from my perch. Perhaps though it is because this is the first time I have been watching your politics so keenly. The GOP seems real hot under the collar to me.

Keep up the with the politics analogy. Love it.

Jane Turley said...

Great post Jack; your style is very potent. It appears there are many similarities between con men and politicians but I'm thinking that many of them don't actually start out that way. I suppose that somewhere along the road, power or the prospect of power, corrupts.

I am extremely cynical about the majority of politicans too but there is a part of me that hopes that are still a few who put the welfare of the common man before personal or party needs. The trouble is how can you discern who is genuine when so often fire must be fought with fire? I guess sometimes you just have to trust your instincts.

Robin Easton said...

Although these made me laugh, they are alarmingly real. All laid out like this really makes me see the tactics of our government. I agree with you 100% in the absolute similarity between con artists and politicians. I never though of it like that until I read your work, but now it's SO obvious. Very shrewd!