Niccolo Machiavelli

Meet Niccolo Machiavelli, born in 1469. He was an Italian writer, philosopher, theorist and humanist during the Renaissance. He is considered one of the leading founders of modern political science. While Sun Tzu’s was more military based, Machiavelli was political. His piece, The Prince, outlined many beliefs ranging from politics to ethics. His philosophy was a take prisoner type of thought and so comes the term “Machiavellian.”

Famous posthumous portrait of Niccolò Machiave...

Famous posthumous portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His quote, “Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions,” rings true today. So many hundreds of years later and this line is still on the money. What Machiavelli is telling you is that there is a sucker born every minute and it’s not surprising that the one with the three hundred friends just might be it. The Internet is filled with cowboy entrepreneurs wanting your information to profit from your information. Think about it, they feed your need for instant gratification.

The tactic that you, the deceiver, need to adopt is that of Machiavelli!

Pretext: Lying to obtain information.

Once upon a time Frank M. Ahearn was kick ass skip tracer that had no boundaries when it came to obtaining information.  Listen here: “One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.” This applies perfectly to my pretext days when I was making tons of dough obtaining phone records, bank records and any other records I could extract and sell.

Frank’s Philosophy of Pretext

-If you could afford it I could get it-

-Every no leads to a yes-

Extracting information from large companies through the use of the pretext was how the business was done. The gold was your information, just as your information online is the gold that fills website for Google click through ads, even if the information about you is incorrect.

Meet Roy: a very successful businessman who has his finger in a lot of pies. Despite all of his success and the cool things people write about him online there is a blemish that still haunts him. Roy became concerned that the dark piece of information known about him might be discovered by the wrong party, namely his wife.

When we first spoke Roy was under the impression that we could press a few buttons and relieve the Internet of his negative information. That is a big wrong and it cannot be done.

Imagine the Internet having gossip continuously chatting about you. Well that would be the Internet aggregator.

Aggregator – from our friends at Wiki

In computing, a feed aggregator, also known as a feed reader, news reader, RSS reader or simply aggregator, is client software or a Web application which aggregates syndicated web content such as news headlines, blogs, podcasts, and vlogs in a single location for easy viewing.

An aggregator is your biggest problem. They are the ones that spread your information like a bad germ. It’s a question of what sites pick up and post the information on line, and attempting to locate is like chasing dragon. Therefore deception is the only weapon against the aggregator and users.

People contact me constantly with the hopes of disappearing their information, and believe me, I wish could. Well, I could but it would be extremely expensive since I would need to locate the actual root of where the information stems from and create a pretext to remove the information.

I know, you are thinking what type of pretext? Hmm, if it’s a newspaper I would find the department that is responsible for uploading and maintaining the information on their website. Then I would pretext as the in-house legal department claiming there is a mistake with that piece of information and we need it removed until such dispute is settled. Now this may be illegal. I do not suggest you posing as a lawyer or any licensed professional.

Note

Just because Frank would do does not mean you should do it!

One of the concerns about trying to pretext to get a client’s information off a website is having the information kick back at us. What I mean is what if the person you pretext calls the bluff and does not take the information down? Then they decide to write in their blog about the “strange” call they received. That could make matters worse.

What I did was set up a several websites that used his name, however, changed the first name from Roy to Ray, keeping the last name the same, accompanied by .com or .net. I then developed the website using content from the negative information.

The Goal – Convince the website with the negative information to change the first name from Roy to Ray.

That negative information read something along the lines of:

Roy Duesterdick

22 Foknee Lane

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

-Along with a disconnected phone number as his contact-

I picked up a cell phone with a Beverly Hills area code and set up a voicemail using the name RAY Duesterdick and began e-mailing several of the websites explaining that they had conflicting information on their web site.

“My name is actually Ray Duesterdick, not Roy. Could you perhaps correct the mistake?”

Most of the websites changed the information, however, if someone decided to search my client’s name there would be conflicting information as to the negative information. Is it Roy or Ray? Like the old saying says if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with b*llshit.

“THIS IS VON CLAUSEWITZ SHIT. TOTAL F*cking WAR…”

In the movie Law Abiding Citizen, Gerard Butler plays Clyde Alexander Shelton, a man imprisoned for seeking revenge against those who wronged his family. In the film, he wreaked havoc on the legal system, like we all wish to do at one point or another. To a degree, that character was the embodiment of Sun Tzu, Machiavelli and Karl Von Clausewitz in the digital age. The philosophies of these three iconic leaders were used in various aspects of war and business, and even today the ideologies ring true.

Sun Tzu, believed to be born around 544 BC, was an ancient Chinese philosopher, strategist and military general under the Kingdom of Wu. It is said that his victories in war inspired him to write the piece he is considered most famous for: The Art of War. Giving a philosophy of combat, The Art of War offers itself as a military treatise, devoting thirteen chapters to various aspects of warfare. It is definitive on military strategies and tactics and is still read for its offensive and defensive insights today. Much of the text is still pertinent, proving all too true that the game never changes… simply the players.

Cover of "The Art of War"

Cover of The Art of War

Sun Tzu is quoted saying, “The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”

The enemy in our world happens to be those who utilize our information without discretion. These are the vultures that prey on those who might have made some indiscreet mistake that just so happened to be captured by a video, photo or a piece of public information. There are hundreds of websites that have compromising photos of individuals passed out, partially nude, flipping the bird, drunk as a skunk, flashing or even mooning. Most of those people are quite fortunate that they will most likely never see their digital indiscretion. In doing a simple search on YouTube for ‘embarrassing videos’, it was revealed that getting a few million hits was no big thing.

The above Sun Tzu quote is telling us that we need to take control of our information and begin kicking some ass. Kicking ass does not mean paying some $9.99 service that makes bullshit promises. You need to become your own warrior and philosopher of war. If all of those websites want to publish things about you to make money through clicking then you should publish back. It’s total war and How to Deceive is your weapon of mass destruction.

One serious online problem comes from you and what you put out into the digital world. Sorry people but it is true. It’s what YOU place out there that can get you into trouble. Dump the third party social networking sites! Keep in mind your photos and information can be manipulated. Why do it?

Third party: someone other than the principals who are involved in a transaction.

Why would two adults—both of whom have perfectly functional cell phones that can easily make calls, texts and sometimes e-mail—need a third party involved in their communications? Here we are in a society that is weary of Big Brother but allowing third party websites and networking sites to be the broker of our connection.

And don’t worry; we will leave the dehumanization that accompanies the third party to the shrinks. It is absurd that people have 815 friends on Facebook, 620 followers on Twitter and 432 whatever you call it on MySpace.