In the game of life, the infinite game of life, the infinite game of success and power, leave nothing to chance. What is the point of winging it, of just hoping you may be able to charm this or that client? It is like shooting ducks blindfolded. Arm yourself with a little knowledge and your aim will improve.
In the realm of success and power, your goal is to acquire a certain degree of control over future events and circumstances. Part of the problem you face, then, is that most people will not confide and tell you anything about their thoughts, emotions and plans. Controlling what people say and are telling you, they often keep the most critical parts of their character, their weaknesses, flaws, ulterior motives and/or obsessions, hidden from you. The result: You cannot predict their moves and are constantly in the dark. To remediate this situation, you have to find a way to probe them, to find out their secrets and hidden intentions, without letting them know what you are up to.
This may not be as difficult as you may think. A friendly front will let you secretly gather information on friends and enemies alike. Another way is to spy on your friends and enemies. The method is simple, powerful, but risky: You will certainly gather intelligence, but you have very little control over the people, the spies doing the work for you. Perhaps will they ineptly reveal your spying, or even secretly turn against you. It is far better to spy yourself, to pose as a friend while secretly gathering information.
During social gatherings and innocuous encounters, pay attention. This is when most people have their guards down. By suppressing your own personality, you can make them reveal things. The brilliance of this strategy is that they will mistake your interest in them for friendship. You are not only gathering intelligence, you are making allies.
Nevertheless, use this type of maneuver with caution and care. If people begin to suspect you are worming secrets out of them under the cover of conversation, they will strictly avoid you. Emphasise friendly chatter, not valuable information. Your search for valuable information cannot be too obvious, or your probing questions will reveal more about yourself and your intentions than about the intelligence you hope to find.
One effective way to do your spying is to pretend to bare your heart to the person you are spying on. By doing so, you make that person more likely to reveal his or her own secrets. Give people a false confession and they will give you a real one. Another effective strategy would be to vehemently contradict people you are in conversation with as a way of irritating them, stirring them up so that they lose some of the control over their words. In their emotional reaction they will reveal all kinds of truths about themselves, truths you can later use against them.
Another method of indirect spying is to test people, to lay little traps that make them reveal things about themselves. By tempting people into certain acts, you learn about their loyalty, their honesty, and so on. This kind of knowledge about people is often the most valuable of all: Armed with it, you can predict their actions in the future.
“In the land of the two-eyed, the third eye of the spy gives you the omniscience of the gods. You see further than others, and you see deeper into them.”
Intelligence is critical to success and power, but just as you spy on other people, you must be prepared for them to spy on you. One of the most potent weapons and defensive move in the battle for intelligence is giving out false information. By planting the information of your choice, you control the game.
Michel Ouellette JMD
J. Michael Dennis, ll.l., ll.m.