It is worth reading Cialdini’s book “Influence” which details the methods of persuasion and entrapment used by high pressure salesmen and con artists.
In an over-populated world, only the most privileged and wealthy classes get a chance to fulfill their potential. Everyone else is in a competition for the scarce resource of good jobs without which the opportunity or resources to develop to your highest potential is absent. There is a surplus of intelligent and talented people whose abilities are under-utilised, who feel unrecognised, not useful and generally frustrated.
Enter the gang stalker Recruiter. You are instantly flattered and intrigued. This oh so smooth operator (con artists are immensely charming and authentic) of a social class which never deigns to acknowledge your existence in normal circumstances, is now speaking to you. He brings bad, nay, alarming news. That very ordinary person, your new tenant/customer/employee/patient is not what s/he seems. Not only are they a criminal – but no ordinary criminal. They are the worst/most dangerous/most despicable criminal that there is. They are a terrorist/drug dealer/paedophile! The authorities haven’t been able to convict them but you can help. ( Don’t fall about laughing that people fall for this. No-one expects “authority’ to be a con artist. And con-artists are the ultimate experts in manipulation. Think you’re immune? Ever buy something you didn’t need from a salesperson with an uncanny sense of timing?)
This is routine salesman/con artist approach. The immense credibility of the solicitor implying social class and wealth. The flattery of treating a social “inferior” as an equal, a confidante, someone who is needed.
The Recruiter having created the imaginary emergency, generating the strong emotions of disgust and fear, with the unspoken inference that you are now implicated by your involvement with the “criminal”, having created the problem, now suggests the solution. You are needed by “national security”. The flattery is subtle. Your talents until now ignored by society have now been recognised by people closely associated with the ruling group. The put-downs which have been your life-long experience – missing out on that good job, being priced out of the house you wanted, having a job much lower than your potential, avenues for promotion blocked, patronage, condescension and being ignored by the higher-ups who you know are no better than you – that ocean of resentment is swept aside. You have arrived.
You poor fish. You thought the ruling group held you in contempt. You were right the first time. Have you resources that you built up painstakingly over a lifetime? Savings, a business, a house, a pension. Resources you hoped would buffer your old age and make life easier for your children? You will be separated from them by methods you didn’t know existed. They will steal your money from you and then use your own money as a bribe to obtain your compliance. But you still have your family. If you have children you will do anything they ask to protect them and that ensures your silence. (These are the people who mentioned “paedophilia, by the way). Protect your relatives? You can’t. In order to make sure you are obedient, they will make you destroy what you love – cut down your beautiful cherry blossom, sell your collection. Betray the one you love most. Welcome to “Sophie’s Choice”.
And the person they told you was a criminal – wasn’t. But perhaps you felt threatened by their intelligence, education, talent, culture, good manners, qualities that “people like them” are not supposed to have. You were happy to believe that someone of lower class to yourself was really a criminal.
It is overdue to stop respecting your ” superiors”. They aren’t. The world we live in is largely of their making. The meanness, greed, callousness,selfishness and megalomania of ruling class/wealthy people are cliches. As far as they are concerned anyone not of their class is fair game for total exploitation if they can get away with it.
con artists methods.