Dirty Tricks, Part II: Sex & Subterfuge

A Seven Year Chronicle

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Read Dirty Tricks, Part I: Surveillance

Part II: Subterfuge

By this time in 2014, I was a candidate for the Michigan State House with a platform centered on environmental initiatives, gay rights, women’s rights, labor rights and legalized cannabis. My fling of about three months started to flame out as my responsibilities with the campaign picked up. She went back to her ex-boyfriend and tried to keep me on the side. I wasn’t a fan. Additionally, I began to pick up on obstruction and subversion with regard to my campaign, which would signal a new phase to the monitoring. To test the theory, I decided to show Richard my ex-fling’s anonymous Instagram profile in which she posed nude while concealing her face to see if her baseline behavior shifted. True to form, although we stopped talking, she twice invited me over for a late night rendezvous on the eve of an early morning political event. I went for it the first time. The second time around, the call came after I retired early and after Richard had taken notice of the same. Via video chat, I could tell that her face lacked the enthusiasm typically associated with such an invitation, and while I don’t have a perfect track record, I take care to satisfy my partners, herself included. After the call, Richard again returned to my floor to peer into my room with his menacing look to see if I would take the bait. I declined with the knowledge that the government was now manipulating people close to me to work against me. Later, over a face-to-face lunch date, I had the opportunity to ask her directly if Richard had contacted her. She denied it, but her body language and facial response said otherwise.

While we’re on the topic of sex, we’ll jump to 2018 in the Caribbean. I had just attended a conference on economic development. “Jade” was my type and she knew it: clever and intelligent, a gorgeous librarian. I opened up to her, shared my predicament, the many layers of irony, and that I really just wanted to have a normal life and a lover who I could trust. She had a man, and as a recovering pickup artist, I honored that. Nevertheless, the information about my desire for love came back to me like a boomerang on another island through another friend.

“Jackie” poured it on thick and was less than subtle in her approach. She knew that I desired love and openly played the card. I didn’t know if she had malicious intent or if she was just curious. What I did know was that her proclaimed attraction to me was exaggerated and potentially completely contrived. We had previously only been project partners through Zoom. Meeting for the first time on the island, on her dime, no less, was a great time. I decided to look past her previous test of my willingness to accept black market money for my crypto project and go with the flow. The following week, my Instagram feed showed an ad for a knockout Asian prostitute who exclaimed her love for fellating small men. Sorry I wasn’t black enough for you, Jackie! I’m just your average white dude!

In any case, love takes time. It’s not something to rush.

Learning Point #7: Sex is a Weapon

Just like in Bond movies or as is said in the Marine Corps, “One mind, any weapon,” sex and love really are used as a weapon. Asset managers or agents, run people as assets, just like in the movies. The asset is the person who is manipulated, coerced or volunteers for a mission, perhaps as the result of an entrapment as well. While it may sound exciting, if you fall for a manipulator, you’re in big trouble. She’ll whipsaw you like a rag doll. Alternatively, if you know that it’s a lure and that the attraction is insincere, it just makes for bad sex.

Learning Point #8: Collateral Damage

In the words of The Notorious B.I.G.’s 10 Crack Commandments, “Number 3: Never trust nobody.” Closely related to LP #1: Trust is a Weapon, those around you may be coerced and manipulated into entrapping you too. There is no limit to the extent that they will go either: lovers, friends, even family; when they think they smell blood, they’ll tighten the noose by shrinking your circle of trust, lying in wait for your next move.

Campaign Handlers

The State House campaign was more of an experiment than anything else. The dominant Democratic party ran a local son for the open seat. My polling data showed that the local Jewish population controlled the district. Being new to the district and of Irish Italian descent, not Jewish, there was little chance of winning the primary. However, after my performance in the Marine Corps and the ensuing investigation, many of my Corps contacts kept their distance leaving me with few references from my time in service. I applied for a few local logistics jobs to no avail and was more interested in attending business school to develop Earth Loans. If I was to get in without strong military references, I estimated that I’d need a powerful story to tell. So with that in mind, knowing that I was likely to lose, I ran the campaign on a shoestring budget with the objective of testing a liberty-based message in a Democratic primary. Unlike my 2002 campaign in which Team Joe recruited 300 volunteers, with the 2014 campaign, I had three dedicated volunteers, two of which were plants, who succeeded in turning me on the one volunteer who was truly with me. It was not one of my better moments.

“Mike” attempted to play the role of a 23-year old college senior from Michigan State. The delay in email response from my alma mater clued me to expect yet another obstruction. He was a decent guy, in general, and good with computers too. I attempted to set up a local server to replace my Dropbox account. He succeeded in locking me out of the server. When I later inquired into recovering the data, I was given a price upwards of $2,000. In any case, Mike did the little things to make sure that my campaign went nowhere: he messed with my tech and changed the canvass plan, wasting time and money on non-primary voting homes, and introduced me to stand-in “volunteers” from Oak Park, a key area for my campaign, who disposed of my literature rather than delivering it. At the time, I took note of details, surmised the subterfuge, and also knew there was little I could do about it. Four years later, in 2018, Mike and the volunteer called simultaneously for the first time since the campaign. Circumstantial, perhaps, but the devil is in the details, and in this case, Mike’s performance was straight out of Richard’s book of psychological subterfuge. He was smart enough to fail on purpose and I could tell.

Perhaps the most disappointing event related to the campaign involved a volunteer, “Jane,” who posed as a lesbian Marine Corps sergeant with a book about her story. She made herself useful, as is generally the case with handlers, in an attempt to earn your trust only to set you up for a fall. In Jane’s case, she hired a team to deliver literature and told me that they were volunteering. I decided to visit the team on their lunch break. It was there that I learned that she lied about their volunteer status. She then demanded that I keep her off of the campaign finance report, which would have set me up for a campaign finance violation. I cut her off from the campaign, but failed to follow through with a public announcement of her firing. That opened the door for an election day libel campaign on Facebook in which she friended people within the district on my friend list and posted a video in which she coached me to say something on video that contradicted my earlier statements. She got me.

My campaign produced plenty of interest and endorsements even if we finished fourth out of five candidates. The aim of testing the liberty message within the Democratic party was a resounding success. There are strong contingencies within the party with libertarian tendencies, including the legalization movement, women’s rights, gay rights, and labor rights. I believe that most Americans are what I would call progressive libertarians. A third party candidate running on a liberty platform with the right messaging could win a large portion of both parties under the right circumstances. Just as important, my campaign replaced my military service as the most recent experience on my resume, which improved my chances of acceptance into business school.

Learning Point #9: Handlers are Handy…at Subterfuge

Years before the 2014 campaign, I audited a master’s level campaign management course at George Washington University. In addition to learning the basics, I also learned that the CIA actively employs campaign managers to manipulate campaigns around the world. If they could do so around the world, then they or another agency could do so at home as well. Subterfuge starts with trust and usually ends in an illegal act committed out of ignorance. In the eyes of the law, ignorance is not an excuse, especially when the law is the agent of your prosecution.

Learning Point #10: Hanging Chads

The human brain has a limited capacity for making decisions in a given day. If the mind is cluttered with complication, drama, incomplete tasks and problem solving, then you are not focused on progress. Those that purport to help are the ones causing the problems and keeping us mired in the mud. Do not trust anyone that creates problems, however accidental it may seem, and especially not someone who routinely suggests delaying a decision for another day. That’s a clear sign that they’re after your mindshare.

Learning Point #11: Management by Walking Around

In the Marine Corps, we learn to manage by walking around, getting to know those working for you, but not reporting directly to you. This is useful in ascertaining what is really happening on the ground. To that end, trusted advisors will make mistakes. Some will make mistakes on purpose. Never rely on a single point of information; it will become your single point of failure.

Learning Point #12: Your Communications are Hacked

In Hijacking America: Part I, I detailed how our communications, including media, phone and email, have all been hijacked. Later, in 2018, I finally produced definitive proof that our communications are intercepted: I suspected that “they” blocked an email. After requesting that a friend forward her CC’d copy, I found my name on the To: line, confirming my beliefs. Bottom line: If the government is out to get you, they’ll intercept your communications — email, text, whatever — and seize opportunities to further encircle you in frustration and distrust. Open source communications and computing is the only safe computing and communications platform. Likewise, we must transition to open source government, open source money and open source currency management. The alternative to open source inevitably leads to tyranny.

Read Dirty Tricks, Part III: Distract & Delay

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