Happy Monday, Patriots!
Before we get back to Mr. Dulles, I’d like to make a few comments about Thanksgiving. It’s easy for those of us with our eyes open to give in to negativity and live on the cynical and pessimistic side. Take a few minutes today to find something to be thankful for, and remember Who to be thankful to. Are you short on ideas? Here are a few suggestions:
- Be thankful that you *are* awake. You have been given the discernment to know that something is wrong with the world and that you should prepare for the coming storm.
- Be thankful that you live in the most prosperous nation in the world (addressing my fellow Americans). Even in decline, opportunity abounds and a wise person can make preperations for the future.
- Be thankful for the good patriot leaders out there, leading by example and not being braggadocious.
- We don’t get too preachy here on the blog, but be thankful to the God that gave you life, and died to make things right between you so that life could be eternal.
OK, enough of that. Everyone else will be doing Thanksgiving posts and I don’t want to pile on too much more :). Let us return to Dulles’ Rules of Spycraft. The full article we quote can be found, as always, here.
33. Always be polite to people, but not exaggeratedly so. With the following class of persons who come to know you – hotel and restaurant staffs, taxi drivers, train personnel, etc., be pleasant. Someday they may prove useful to you. Be generous in your tips to them, but again, not exaggeratedly so. Give just a little more than the other fellow does – unless the cover under which you are working does not permit this. Give only normal tips, however, to waiters and taxi drivers, etc., when you are on the job. Don’t give them any stimulus, even of gratification to make you stick in their minds. Be as brief and casual as possible.
This strikes me as being basic social engineering. Holmes had his homeless network, and spies surely do similar. The wise person, based on Dulles’ comments, adjusts their tipping and politeness levels based on their mission; whether ingratiation is preferred, or forgettability.
34. Easiness and confidence do not come readily to all of us. They must be assiduously cultivated. Not only because they help us personally, but they also help to produce similar reactions in those we are handling.
35. Never deal out the intense, the dramatic stuff, to a person before you have quietly obtained his confidence in your levelheadedness.
36. If you’re angling for a man, lead him around to where you want him; put the obvious idea in his head, and make the suggestion of possibilities come to him. Express, if necessary – but with great tact – a wistful disbelief in the possibilities at which you are aiming. “How fine it would be if only someone could… but of course, etc. etc.” And always leave a line of retreat open to yourself.
I believe it’s important for us to not only absorb these lessons in case we need to use them ourselves, but also so that we’re aware if they’re being used on us. That guy who seems so at ease in his own skin, who has proven himself to you in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, seems to agree with you on everything, and seems to be fishing for you to suggest the next course of action? He may be exactly what he seems, or he might be playing you. Proceed with caution, feelers up, and don’t be afraid to cut ties if your spidey-sense is tingling.
37. Never take a person for granted. Very seldom judge a person to be above suspicion. Remember that we live by deceiving others. Others live by deceiving us. unless others take persons for granted or believe in them, we would never get our results. The others have people as clever as we; if they can be taken in, so can we. Therefore, be suspicious.
38. Above all, don’t deceive yourself. Don’t decide that the other person is fit or is all right, because you yourself would like it to be that way. You are dealing in people’s lives.
It’s really quite tempting, especially for an unaware/untrained person looking for somewhere to belong, to grab hold of a person seemingly like them and follow them anywhere. Loyalty should be earned over time, not instantly given.
A good friend of mine who is more experienced than I gave their trust to someone too easily. My friend took this person to be above suspicion, blew off several signs of deception, and therefore maintained a working relationship longer than they should have. When the deception had reached the point that it could no longer be ignored, the consequences of separating themselves from the toxic situation had escalated as well and could no longer be completed wholly in private.
Recognize that most of us are playing in the shallow end of the pool, here. If an organization with massive funding targets you, you may not recognize it until it’s too late. Being aware of your weaknesses is the first step in mitigating them.
39. When you have made a contact, till you are absolutely sure of your man – and perhaps even then – be a small but eager intermediary. Have a “They” in the background for whom you act and to whom you are responsible. If “They” are hardch, if “They” decide to break it off, it is never any fault of yours, and indeed you can pretend to have a personal frievance about it. “They” are always great gluttons for results and very stingy with cash until “They” get them. when results come along, “They” always send messages of congratulation and encouragement.
40. Try to find agents who do not work for money alone, but for conviction. Remember, however, that not by conviction alone, does the man live. If they need financial help, give it to them. And avoid the “woolly” type of idealist, the fellow who lives in the clouds.
There’s not a whole lot of commentary to add other than to continue the theme of putting yourself on the receiving end of these instructions. If someone were trying to recruit you in this fashion, how would it look? Do you fit this mold?
I think we’ll cut this segment off there. The next several rules also talk about how to run agents, and will make a good post on their own.
As always, please post your thoughts in the comments section. Until next time,
Educate. Empower. Resist.