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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cults of Personality And Manipulation: The Foundation For Fraud

A main tactic of manipulators seeking to control others and exert their will is to remove the moral authority of their targets to object or resist. This tactic is employed because the most effective tactic, the use of brute force, is too often considered a felony.

The control strategy is deployed by thoroughly researching a target to discover flaws, weaknesses or facts the revelation of which would be likely to cause serious emotional, financial, reputational or even physical harm. The threatened harm would have to be serious enough to induce the target to respond to the threat with acquiescence instead of defiance. Once the target's will to resist has been compromised, the target can be controlled for an indefinite period of time.

A certain charismatic leader is presently deploying this strategy on classic American conservatives -- today. (Tomorrow it may be a different target.) He has fashioned himself as the white middle class Toxic Avenger, in so doing, making himself a veritable pariah in many circles. More significantly, he is making his followers equally toxic. Yet he does not care, because he can and will destroy the reputations of anyone associated with or supporting him. Worst of all, he can benefit, offloading the consequences of misguided loyalty, ignorance or naïveté upon his lessers. Once those hapless supporters discover the plot, their reputations may be ruined for good. Only then will the final part of the plan unfold. These victims of their own ambition will then be left without reputations and in some cases without friends or livelihoods. In their reduced state, they will grow ever more dependent on the Boardwalk Emperor who in turn can continue to exploit them and profit from the ever-declining cost to him of the favors he feels like providing.

This is how the Maximum Leader can become like the drug dealer who profits more and more from the deepening addiction of his customers. Power is reinforced. So is dependence, as the victims fall into a reputational quicksand.

Surely these nefarious strategies are practiced by many, in business, politics and civic life, and even in some families. Criminals use this manipulation to deceive and then to embarrass those who might reveal a fraud. Darker hues of the human behavior know no boundaries except for those set, and then reinforced, by those who resist. Is this the fate which awaits those who embrace the charismatic leaders of cults of personality? You decide.

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