The power of law part 2

The power of
Law (part-2)
A great many people are open books. They get out whatever they feel, proclaim
their perspectives at each open door, and constandy uncover their arrangements
what’s more, expectations. They do tiiis because of multiple factors. To begin with, it is simple and
regular to continuously need to discuss one’s sentiments and plans for the
future. It requires work to control your tongue and screen what you
uncover. Second, many trust mat by being straightforward and open they
are prevailing upon individuals and showing their great nature.They are
extraordinarily bamboozled. Trustworthiness is really an obtuse tool, which
bloodies more than it cuts. Your genuineness is probably going to outrage individuals; it
is considerably more judicious to tailor your words, let individuals know what they
need to hear as opposed to the coarse and appalling trum of what you feel or
diink. More significant, by being brazenly open you make yourself
so unsurprising and natural diat it is exceptionally difficult to regard or
dread you, and power won’t build to an individual who can’t move
such feelings.
Assuming you long for power, immediately lay genuineness to the side, and train
yourself in the craft of covering your expectations. Excel and
you will continuously have the advantage. Fundamental to a capacity to cover
one’s expectations is a basic truth about human instinct: Our first
impulse is to constantly trust appearances. We can’t go around
questioning the truth of what we see and hearconstantly envisioning
that appearances disguised sometiiing else would deplete and
startle us. This reality makes it somewhat simple to disguise one’s
aims. Just hang an item you appear to want, an objective you
appear to go for the gold, of individuals’ eyes and they will take the appearance for the real world.
When their eyes center around the fake, they will
neglect to see what you are truly up to. In temptation, set up
conflicting^ signals, like craving and detachment, and you not
just lose them, you kindle meir want to have
A strategy that is much of the time powerful in setting up a distraction is to
seem to help a thought or cause that is really in opposition to your
own feelings. (Bismarck involved this to extraordinary impact in his discourse in
1850.) Most individuals will accept you have encountered a difference in
heart, since it is so strange to play so daintily with something as
profound as one’s perspectives and values. A similar applies for any
decoyed object of want: Seem to need something in which you are
as a matter of fact not in any way shape or form intrigued and your foes will be lost the
fragrance, making a wide range of mistakes in their computations.
During the War of the Spanish Succession in 1711, the Duke of
Marlborough, top of the English armed force, needed to obliterate a key
French post, since it safeguarded a crucial lane into France. However
That’s what he knew whether he obliterated it, the French would acknowledge what he
wantedto advance down that street. All things being equal, then, he simply caught
the stronghold, and posted it with a portion of his soldiers, causing it to show up
as though he needed it for some reason for his own. The French went after
the post and the duke let them recover it. When they had it back,
however, they obliterated it, calculating that the duke had needed it for
some significant explanation. Now that the post was gone, the street was
unprotected, and Marlborough could undoubtedly walk into France.
Utilize this strategy in the accompanying way: Hide your goals not
by quitting for the day (the gamble of seeming clandestine, and making
individuals dubious) yet by discussing your cravings and
goals!just not your genuine ones. You will kill three birds with one stone:
You seem well disposed, open, and trusting; you disguise your aims;
furthermore, you send your opponents on tedious totally pointless pursuits. Another powerful tool in
throwing people off the scent is false
sincerity. People easily mistake sincerity for honesty. Remembertheir
first instinct is to trust appearances, and since they value honesty
and want to believe in the honesty of those around tiiem, they will
rarely doubt you or see through your act. 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 sincerity of his concerns about Desde-mona’s supposed
infidelity, how could Othello distrust him This is also how the great
con artist Yellow Kid Weil pulled the wool over suckers’ eyes:
Seeming to believe so deeply in the decoyed object he was dangling
in front of them (a phony stock, a touted racehorse), he made its
reality hard to doubt. It is important, of course, not to go too far in this
area. Sincerity is a tricky tool: Appear overpassionate and you raise
suspicions. Be measured and believable or your ruse will seem the
put-on mat it is.
To make your false sincerity an effective weapon in concealing
your intentions, espouse a belief in honesty and forthrightness as
important social values. Do tiiis as publicly as possible. Emphasize
your position on tiiis subject by occasionally divulging some heartfelt
thoughtthough only one that is actually meaningless or irrelevant, of
course. Napoleon’s minister Talleyrand was a master at taking
people into his confidence by revealing some apparent secret. This
feigned confidencea decoywould then elicit a real confidence on die
other person’s part.
Remember: The best deceivers do everything they can to cloak
their roguish qualities. They cultivate an air of honesty in one area to
disguise their dishonesty in omers. Honesty is merely another decoy
in their arsenal of weapons.
Deception is always the best strategy, but the best deceptions
require a screen
of smoke to distract people’s attention from your real purpose.
The bland
exteriorlike the unreadable poker faceis often the perfect smoke
hiding your intentions behind the comfortable and familiar. If you
lead the
sucker down a familiar path, he won’t catch on when you lead
him into a
OBSERVANCE OF THE LAW I In 1910, a Mr. Sam Geezil of Chicago sold his warehouse
business for close to $ 1 million. He settled down to semiretirement
and the managing of his many properties, but deep inside he itched
for the old days of deal-making. One day a young man named
Joseph Weil visited his office, wanting to buy an apartment he had
up for sale. Geezil explained the terms: The price was $8,000, but he
only required a down payment of $2,000. Weil said he would sleep
on it, but he came back the following day and offered to pay the full
$8,000 in cash, if Geezil could wait a couple of days, until a deal
Weil was working on came through. Even in semiretirement, a clever
businessman like Geezil was curious as to how Weil would be able
to come up wim so much cash (roughly $150,000 today) so quickly.
Weil seemed reluctant to say, and quickly changed the subject, but
Geezil was persistent. Finally, after assurances of confidentiality,
Weil told Geezil the following story.
Weil’s uncle was the secretary to a coterie of multimillionaire
financiers. These wealthy gentlemen had purchased a hunting lodge
in Michigan ten years ago, at a cheap price. They had not used die
lodge for a few years, so they had decided to sell it and had asked
Weil’s uncle to get whatever he could for it. For reasonsgood
reasonsof his own, the uncle had been nursing a grudge against the
millionaires for years; this was his chance to get back at them. He
would sell die property for $35,000 to a setup man (whom it was
Weil’s job to find). The financiers were too wealdiy to worry about
this low price. The set-up man would men turn around and sell the
property again for its real price, around $155,000. The uncle, Weil,
and die tiiird man would split the profits from this second sale. It was
all legal and for a good causethe uncle’s just retribution.
Geezil had heard enough: He wanted to be the set-up buyer. Weil
was reluctant to involve him, but Geezil would not back down: The
idea of a large profit, plus a little adventure, had him champing at the
bit. Weil explained mat Geezil would have to put up the $35,000 in
cash to bring die deal off. Geezil, a millionaire, said he could get die
money with a snap of his fingers. Weil finally relented and agreed to
arrange a meeting between the uncle, Geezil, and die financiers, in
the town of Galesburg, Illinois.
On die train ride to Galesburg, Geezil met the unclean impressive JKIIl’. KINC OF ISUAFI.. I-‘KICNS
Then Jehu assembled all the people, and said to them, “Ahab
served Ba ‘al a little; but Jehu will serve him much more. Now
therefore call to me all the prophets of Ba’al, all his worshippers and
all his priests; let none be missing, for I have a great sacrifice to offer
to Ba ‘al; whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu did it with
cunning in order to destroy the worshippers of Ba ‘al. And Jehu
ordered, “Sanctify a solemn assembly for Ba ‘al. ” So they
proclaimed it. And Jehu sent throughout all Israel; and all the
worshippers of Ba’al came, so that there was not a man left who did
not come. And they entered the house of Ba’al, and the house of
Ba’al was filled from one end to the other. . . . Then Jehu went into
the house of Ba’al… and he said to the worshippers of Ba’al,
“Search, and see that there is no servant of the LORD here
among you, but only
the worshippers of
Ba’al.” Then he went in
to offer sacrifices and
burnt offerings.
Now Jehu had
stationed eighty men
outside, and said, “The
man who allows any of
those whom I give into
your hands to escape
shall forfeit his life.” So
as soon as he had made
an end of offering the
burnt offering, Jehu
said to the guard and to
the officers, “Go in and
slay them; let not a man
So when they put them
to the sword, the guard
and the officers cast
them out and went into
the inner room of the
house of Ba’al and they
brought out the pillar
that was in the house of
Ba’al and burned it.
And they demolished
the pillar of Ba ‘al and
demolished the house
of Ba’al, and made it a
latrine to this day.
Thus Jehu wiped out
Ba’al from Israel.
old testament, 2 kings 10:18-28
man, with whom he avidly discussed business. Weil also brought
along a companion, a somewhat paunchy man named George
Gross. Weil explained to Geezil that he himself was a boxing trainer,
that Gross was one of the promising prizefighters he trained, and
that he had asked Gross to come along to make sure the fighter
stayed in shape. For a promising fighter, Gross was unimpressive
lookinghe had gray hair and a beer bellybut Geezil was so excited
about the deal that he didn’t really think about the man’s flabby
Once in Galesburg, Weil and his uncle went to fetch the
financiers while Geezil waited in a hotel room with Gross, who
promptly put on his boxing trunks. As Geezil half watched, Gross
began to shadowbox. Distracted as he was, Geezil ignored how
badly die boxer wheezed after a few minutes of exercise, although
his style seemed real enough. An hour later, Weil and his uncle
reappeared with the financiers, an impressive, intimidating group of
men, all wearing fancy suits. The meeting went well and the
financiers agreed to sell the lodge to Geezil, who had already had
the $35,000 wired to a local bank.
This minor business now setded, the financiers sat back in their
chairs and began to banter about high finance, throwing out the
name ‘J. P. Morgan” as if they knew the man. Finally one of them
noticed die boxer in the corner of the room. Weil explained what he was doing diere. The financier
countered that he too had a boxer in
his entourage, whom he named. Weil laughed brazenly and
exclaimed that his man could easily knock out their man.
Conversation escalated into argument. In the heat of passion, Weil
challenged the men to a bet. The financiers eagerly agreed and left
to get their man ready for a fight the next day.
As soon as Uiey had left, the uncle yelled at Weil, right in front of
Geezil: They did not have enough money to bet with, and once the
financiers discovered this, the uncle would be fired. Weil apologized
for getting him in this mess, but he had a plan: He knew the odier
boxer well, and with a littie bribe, they could fix the fight. But where
would the money come from for the bet the uncle replied. Without it
they were as good as dead. Finally Geezil had heard enough.
Unwilling to jeopardize his deal with any ill will, he offered his own
$35,000 cash for part of the bet. Even if he lost that, he would wire
for more money and still make a profit on the sale of the lodge. The
uncle and nephew thanked him. With their own $15,000 and Geezil’s
$35,000 they would manage to have enough for the bet. That
evening, as Geezil watched the two boxers rehearse die fix in the
hotel room, his mind reeled at the killing he was going to make from
both the boxing match and the sale of the lodge.
The fight took place in a gym the next day. Weil handled the
cash, which was placed for security in a locked box. Everything was
proceeding as planned in the hotel room. The financiers were
looking glum at how badly their fighter was doing, and Geezil was
dreaming about the easy money he was about to make. Then,
suddenly, a wild swing by the financier’s fighter hit Gross hard in the
face, knocking him down. When he hit the canvas, blood spurted
from his mouth. He coughed, then lay still.
One of die financiers, a former doctor, checked his pulse; he was
dead. The millionaires panicked: Everyone had to get out before the
police arrived they could all be charged with murder.
Terrified, Geezil hightailed it out of the gym and back to Chicago,
leaving behind his $35,000 which he was only too glad to forget, for
it seemed a small price to pay to avoid being implicated in a crime.
He never wanted to see Weil or any of the others again. After Geezil scurried out, Gross stood up, under
his own steam.
The blood that had spurted from his mouth came from a ball filled
with chicken blood and hot water diat he had hidden in his cheek.
The whole affair had been masterminded by Weil, better known as
“the Yellow Kid,” one of die most creative con artists in history. Weil
split the $35,000 with the financiers and the boxers (all fellow con
artists)a nice little profit for a few days’ work.
The Yellow Kid had staked out Geezil as the perfect sucker long
before he set up the con. He knew the boxing-match scam would be
the perfect ruse to separate Geezil from his money quickly and
definitively. But he also knew diat if he had begun by trying to
interest Geezil in the boxing match, he would have failed miserably.
He had to conceal his intentions and switch attention, create a
smoke screenin this case die sale of the lodge.
On die train ride and in the hotel room Geezil’s mind had been
completely occupied with the pending deal, the easy money, the
chance to hobnob with wealthy men. He had failed to notice that
Gross was out of shape and middle-aged at best. Such is die
distracting power of a smoke screen. Engrossed in the business
deal, Geezil’s attention was easily diverted to the boxing match, but
only at a point when it was already too late for him to notice the
details that would have given Gross away. The match, after all, now
depended on a bribe radier than on die boxer’s physical condition.
And Geezil was so distracted at die end by die illusion of me boxer’s
death mat he completely forgot about his money.
Learn from the Yellow Kid: The familiar, inconspicuous front is the
perfect smoke screen. Approach your mark with an idea diat seems
ordinary enougha business deal, financial intrigue. The sucker’s
mind is distracted, his suspicions allayed. That is when you gentiy
guide him onto the second path, die slippery slope down which he
slides helplessly into your trap.
This means to create a front that eventually becomes imbued
with an atmosphere or impression of familiarity, within which the
strategist may maneuver unseen while all eyes are trained to see
Thomas Cleary, 1991
In the mid- 1920s, the powerful warlords of Etiiiopia were coming
to the realization diat a young man of die nobility named Haile
Selassie, also known as Ras Tafari, was outcompeting them all and
nearing the point where he could proclaim himself their leader,
unifying the country for the first time in decades. Most of his rivals
could not understand how tiiis wispy, quiet, mild-mannered man had
been able to take control. Yet in
1927, Selassie was able to summon the warlords, one at a time,
to come to Addis Ababa to declare their loyalty and recognize him as
Some hurried, some hesitated, but only one, Dejazmach Balcha
of Sidamo, dared defy Selassie totally. A blustery man, Balcha was a
great warrior, and he considered the new leader weak and unworthy.
He pointedly stayed away from die capital. Finally Selassie, in his
gende but stern way, commanded Balcha to come. The warlord
decided to obey, but in doing so he would turn the tables on diis
pretender to die Ediiopian dirone: He would come to Addis Ababa at
his own speed, and widi an army of 10,000 men, a force large
enough to defend himself, perhaps even start a civil war. Stationing
tiiis formidable force in a valley three miles from the capital, he
waited, as a king would. Selassie would have to come to him.
Selassie did indeed send emissaries, asking Balcha to attend an
afternoon banquet in his honor. But Balcha, no fool, knew historyhe
knew that previous kings and lords of Ethiopia had used banquets as
a trap. Once he was there and full of drink, Selassie would have him
arrested or murdered. To signal his understanding of die situation, he
agreed to come to the banquet, but only if he could bring his
personal bodyguard600 of his best soldiers, all armed and ready to
defend him and diemselves. To Balcha’s surprise, Selassie
answered with the utmost politeness diat he would be honored to
play host to such warriors.
On the way to the banquet, Balcha warned his soldiers not to get
drunk and to be on their guard. When they arrived at the palace, Selassie was his charming best. He
deferred to Balcha, treated him
as if he desperately needed his approval and cooperation. But
Balcha refused to be charmed, and he warned Selassie that if he did
not return to his camp by nightfall, his army had orders to attack die
capital. Selassie reacted as if hurt by his mistrust. Over the meal,
when it came time for the traditional singing of songs in honor of
Ethiopia’s leaders, he made a point of allowing only songs honoring
the warlord of Sidamo. It seemed to Balcha that Selassie was
scared, intimidated by this great warrior who could not be outwitted.
Sensing the change, Balcha believed that he would be the one to
call die shots in the days to come.
At the end of the afternoon, Balcha and his soldiers began their
march back to camp amidst cheers and gun salutes. Looking back to
the capital over his shoulder, he planned his strategyhow his own
soldiers would march through the capital in triumph widiin weeks,
and Selassie would be put in his place, his place being either prison
or death. When Balcha came in sight of his camp, however, he saw
that something was terribly wrong. Where before there had been
colorful tents stretching as far as die eye could see, now there was
nodiing, only smoke from doused fires. What devil’s magic was this
A witness told Balcha what had happened. During the banquet, a
large army, commanded by an ally of Selassie’s, had stolen up on
Balcha’s encampment by a side route he had not seen. This army
had not come to fight, however: Knowing that Balcha would have
heard a noisy batde and
hurried back with his 600-man bodyguard, Selassie had,armed
his own troops with baskets of gold and cash. They had surrounded
Balcha’s army and proceeded to purchase every last one of their
weapons. Those who refused were easily intimidated. Within a few
hours, Balcha’s entire force had been disarmed and scattered in all
Realizing his danger, Balcha decided to march south with his 600
soldiers to regroup, but the same army that had disarmed his
soldiers blocked his way. The other way out was to march on the
capital, but Selassie had set a large army to defend it. Like a chess
player, he had predicted Balcha’s moves, and had checkmated him.
For the first time in his life, Balcha surrendered. To repent his sins of
pride and ambition, he agreed to enter a monastery.
Throughout Selassie’s long reign, no one could quite figure him
out. Ethiopians like their leaders fierce, but Selassie, who wore the
front of a gende, peace-loving man, lasted longer than any of them.
Never angry or impatient, he lured his victims with sweet smiles,
lulling them with charm and obsequiousness before he attacked. In
the case of Balcha, Selassie played on the man’s wariness, his
suspicion that the banquet was a trap which in fact it was, but not the
one he expected. Selassie’s way of allaying Balcha’s fearsletting him
bring his bodyguard to the banquet, giving him top billing there,
making him feel in controlcreated a thick smoke screen, concealing
the real action three miles away.
Remember: The paranoid and wary are often the easiest to
deceive. Win their trust in one area and you have a smoke screen
that blinds their view in anodier, letting you creep up and level them
with a devastating blow. A helpful or apparently honest gesture, or
one that implies the other person’s superioritythese are perfect
diversionary devices.
Properly set up, the smoke screen is a weapon of great power. It
enabled the gentle Selassie to totally destroy his enemy, without
firing a single bullet.
Do not underestimate the power of Tafari. He creeps like a
mouse but he has jaws like a lion.
Balclia of Sidamo’s last words before entering the monastery
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 that calls no
attention to themselves. They know that extravagant words and
gestures immediately raise suspicion. Instead, they envelop their
mark in the familiar, the banal, the harmless. In Yellow Kid Weil’s
dealings with Sam Geezil, the familiar was a business deal. In the
Ethiopian case, it was Selassie’s misleading obsequiousness exacdy
what Balcha would have expected from a weaker warlord. Once you have lulled your suckers’ attention
with the familiar,
they will not notice the deception being perpetrated behind their
backs. This derives from a simple truth: people can only focus on
one thing at a time. It is really too difficult for them to imagine that the
bland and harmless person they are dealing with is simultaneously
setting up something else. The grayer and more uniform the smoke
in your smoke screen, the better it conceals your intentions. In the
decoy and red herring devices discussed in Part I, you actively
distract people; in the smoke screen, you lull your victims, drawing
them into your web. Because it is so hypnotic, this is often the best
way of concealing your intentions.
The simplest form of smoke screen 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 was 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. Stendhal wrote of Talleyrand, “Never was a
face less of a barometer.” Henry Kissinger would bore his opponents
around the negotiating table to tears with his monotonous voice, his
blank look, his endless recitations of details; then, as their eyes
glazed over, he would suddenly hit them with a list of bold terms.
Caught off-guard, they would be easily intimidated. As one poker
manual explains it, “While playing his hand, the good player is
seldom an actor. Instead he practices a bland behavior that
minimizes readable patterns, frustrates and confuses opponents,
permits greater concentration.”
An adaptable concept, the smoke screen can be practiced on a
number of levels, all playing on the psychological principles of
distraction and misdirection. One of the most effective smoke
screens is the noble gesture. People want to believe apparently
noble gestures are genuine, for the belief is pleasant. They rarely
notice how deceptive these gestures can be.
The art dealer Joseph Duveen was once confronted with a
terrible problem. The millionaires who had paid so dearly for
Duveen’s paintings were running out of wall space, and with
inheritance taxes getting ever higher, it seemed unlikely that they would keep buying. The solution was
the National Gallery of Art in
Washington, D.C., which Duveen helped create in 1937 by getting
Andrew Mellon to donate his collection to it. The National Gallery
was the perfect front for Duveen. In one gesture, his clients avoided
taxes, cleared wall space for new purchases, and reduced the
number of paintings on the market, maintaining the upward pressure
on their prices. All this while the donors created the appearance of
being public benefactors.
Another effective smoke screen is the pattern, the establishment
of a series of actions that seduce die victim into believing you will
continue in die same way. The pattern plays on the psychology of
anticipation: Our behavior conforms to patterns, or so we like to
In 1878 the American robber baron Jay Gould created a
company diat began to threaten die monopoly of die telegraph
company Western Union. The directors of Western Union decided to
buy Gould’s company up
they had to spend a hefty sum, but they figured they had
managed to rid themselves of an irritating competitor. A few months
later, though, Gould was it at again, complaining he had been treated
unfairly. He started up a second company to compete with Western
Union and its new acquisition. The same thing happened again:
Western Union bought him out to shut him up. Soon the pattern
began for the third time, but now Gould went for uie jugular: He
suddenly staged a bloody takeover struggle and managed to gain
complete control of Western Union. He had established a pattern
that had tricked the company’s directors into thinking his goal was to
be bought out at a handsome rate. Once they paid him off, they
relaxed and failed to notice that he was actually playing for higher
stakes. The pattern is powerful in that it deceives the other person
into expecting the opposite of what you are really doing.
Another psychological weakness on which to construct a smoke
screen is the tendency to mistake appearances for realitythe feeling
that if someone seems to belong to your group, their belonging must
be real. This habit makes the seamless blend a very effective front.
The trick is simple: You simply blend in with those around you. The
better you blend, the less suspicious you become. During the Cold War of the 1950s and ’60s, as is now
notorious, a slew of British civil
servants passed secrets to the Soviets. They went undetected for
years because they were apparently decent chaps, had gone to all
the right schools, and fit the old-boy network perfectly. Blending in is
the perfect smoke screen for spying. The better you do it, the better
you can conceal your intentions.
Remember: It takes patience and humility to dull your brilliant
colors, to put on the mask of the inconspicuous. Do not despair at
having to wear such a bland maskit is often your unreadability that
draws people to you and makes you appear a person of power.
Image: A Sheep’s Skin. A sheep never marauds, a sheep never
deceives, a sheep is magnificently dumb and docile. With a
sheepskin on his back, a fox can pass right into the chicken coop.
Authority: 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 until they cannot be opposed, until the combat is over. Win
the victory before you declare the war. In a word, imitate those
warlike people whose designs are not known except by the ravaged
country through which they have passed. (Ninon de Lenclos, 16231706)
No smoke screen, red herring, false sincerity, or any other
diversionary device will succeed in concealing your intentions if you
already have an established reputation for deception. And as you get
older and achieve success, it often becomes increasingly difficult to
disguise your cunning. Everyone knows you practice deception;
persist in playing naive and you run the risk of seeming die rankest
hypocrite, which will severely limit your room to maneuver. In such
cases it is better to own up, to appear the honest rogue, or, better,
the repentant rogue. Not only will you be admired for your frankness,
but, most wonderful and strange of all, you will be able to continue
your stratagems.
As P. T. Barnum, the nineteentii-century king of humbuggery,
grew older, he learned to embrace his reputation as a grand
deceiver. At one point he organized a buffalo hunt in New Jersey,
complete witii Indians and a few imported buffalo. He publicized die
hunt as genuine, but it came off as so completely fake that die
crowd, instead of getting angry and asking for their money back, was
gready amused. They knew Barnum pulled tricks all the time; diat
was the secret of his success, and they loved him for it. Learning a
lesson from this affair, Barnum stopped concealing all of his devices,
even revealing his deceptions in a tell-all autobiography. As
Kierkegaard wrote, “The world wants to be deceived.”
Finally, although it is wiser to divert attention from your purposes
by presenting a bland, familiar exterior, diere are times when die
colorful, conspicuous gesture is die right diversionary tactic. The
great charlatan mountebanks of seventeendi- and eighteenthcentury Europe used humor and entertainment to deceive their
audiences. Dazzled by a great show, the public would not notice the
charlatans’ real intentions. Thus the star charlatan himself would
appear in town in a night-black coach drawn by black horses.
Clowns, tightrope walkers, and star entertainers would accompany
him, pulling people in to his demonstrations of elixirs and quack
potions. The charlatan made entertainment seem like die business of
die day; the business of die day was actually die sale of the elixirs
and quack potions.
Spectacle and entertainment, clearly, are excellent devices to
conceal your intentions, but diey cannot be used indefinitely. The
public grows tired and suspicious, and eventually catches on to die
trick. And indeed die charlatans had to move quickly from town to
town, before word spread tiiat die potions were useless and die
entertainment a trick. Powerful people with bland exteriors, on the
odier handdie Talleyrands, die Rotii-schilds, die Selassiescan
practice tiieir deceptions in die same place tiiroughout their lifetimes.
Their act never wears thin, and rarely causes suspicion. The colorful
smoke screen should be used cautiously, then, and only when die
occasion is right.
Thanks to read this book

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