Bookmark to Stumbleupon. Give it a thumb StumbleUpon


If you are new to this series, please read the introduction.


Conceal Your Intentions

Keep people off balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they can not prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

Many people are open books. They say what they feel, blurt out their opinions at every opportunity, and constantly reveal their plans and intentions. They do this for several reasons. First, it is easy and natural to always want to talk about one's feelings and plans for the future. It takes effort to control your tongue and monitor what you reveal. Second, many believe that by being honest and open they are winning people's hearts and showing their good nature. They are greatly deluded. Honesty is actually a blunt instrument, which bloodies more than it cuts. Your honesty is likely to offend people; it is much more prudent to tailor your words, telling people what they want to hear rather than the coarse and ugly truth of what you feel or think. By being unabashedly open you make yourself so predictable and familiar that it is almost impossible to respect or fear you, and power will not accrue to a person who can not inspire such emotions.

Do not be held a cheat, even though it is impossible to live today without being one. Let you greatest cunning lie in covering up what looks like cunning - Baltasar Gracian, 1601-1658

If you yearn for power, quickly lay honesty aside,and train yourself in the art of concealing your intentions. Master the art and you will always have the upper hand. Basic to an ability to conceal one's intentions is a simple truth about human nature: Our first instinct is to always trust appearances. We can not go around doubting the apparent reality of what we see and hear - constantly imagining that appearances concealed something else would exhaust and terrify us. This fact makes it relatively easy to conceal one's intentions. Simply dangle an object you seem to desire, a goal you seem to aim for, in front of people's eyes and they will take the appearance for reality.

One way to hide your intentions is to talk endlessly about your desires and goals - just not your real ones. You will kill three birds with one stone: You appear friendly, open and trusting; you conceal your intentions; and you send your rivals on time consuming wild-goose chases.

SNEAK ACROSS THE OCEAN IN BROAD DAYLIGHT - This means to create a front that eventually becomes imbued with an atmosphere or impression of familiarity, within which the strategies may maneuver unseen, while all eyes are trained to see obvious familiarities. form, THE JAPANESE ART OF WAR, 1991

Another powerful tool for throwing people off the scent is false sincerity. People easily mistake sincerity for honesty. Seeming to believe what you say gives your words great weight. This is how Iago deceived and destroyed Othello: Given the depth of his emotions, the apparent concerns about Desdemona's supposed infidelity, how could Othello mistrust him?

If you believe that deceivers are colorful folk who mislead with elaborate lies and tall tales, you are greatly mistaken. The best deceivers utilize a bland and inconspicuous front, which calls no attention to themselves. They know that extravagant words and gestures immediately raise suspicion. Instead, they envelop their targets in the familiar, the banal, the harmless.

A sheep never marauds; a sheep never deceives, a sheep is magnificently dumb and docile. With a sheepskin o, his back, a fox can pass right into the chicken coop.

Once you have lulled people's attention with the familiar, they will not notice the deception being perpetrated behind their backs. The greater and more uniform the smoke in your smokescreen, the better it conceals your intentions.

The simplest form of smokescreen is facial expression. Behind a bland, unreadable exterior, all sorts of mayhem can be planned, without detection. This is a weapon that the most powerful men in history have learned to perfect. It is said that no one could read Franklin D. Roosevelt's face. Baron James Rothschild made a lifelong practice of disguising his real thoughts behind bland smiles and nondescript looks.

Have you ever heard of a skillful general, who intends to surprise a citadel, announcing his plan to his enemy? Conceal your purpose and hide your progress; do not disclose the extent of your designs, intil they can not be opposed, until the combat is over. Win the victory before you declare war. In a word, imitate those warlike people, whose designs are not known except by the ravaged country, through which they have passed. - Nimon de l'Enclos, 1623-1706 Remember: It takes patience and humility to dull your brilliant colors, to put on the mask of the inconspicuous. Do not despair at the necessity of wearing such a bland mask - it is often your unreadability that draws people to you and makes you appear to be a person of power.

Any questions??

If you found this essay useful, please give it a thumb, on