“People are really easy to manipulate when you give it some thought. You just need to appeal to their fears and their desires. Create something for them to fear and let them believe they can avoid that fear and attain something they desire if they follow the rules.”
The speaker’s silver hair shone like a helmet in the early morning sun. She had always been an early riser, preferring to start her day before the rest of the world had hit the snooze button.
“Playing to fear is so easy, so easy it’s literally child’s play. Children learn how to torment each other so early, playing the the simple fears of boogie men and the loss of parental love. Adults aren’t so different. They also fear monsters and losing love. Their monsters are somewhat more complex which is what makes things more interesting.”
She took a sip of her coffee, and looked at the person interviewing her as though she were examining a specimen of no special interest.
“You for example. You are eager to please, you believe that your zeal and dedication will bring you your heart’s desires. You fear being irrelevant and inconsequential.”
Her smile reminded one of a reptile a cold baring of the teeth. The interviewer, a young androgynous person, squirmed under her scrutiny, and did not deny the assertion.
“You see, I’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s a skill I had as a child and I didn’t lose it progressing to adulthood. I also did not feel shame for knowing how to manipulate people. Why should I?” She gazed around the room they were sitting in, the smooth lines and cool aesthetic were very pleasing to her. It was one of her favorite rooms on the planet.
“People have always been celebrated for their skills and accomplishments – athletes, inventors, entertainers and healers. Business people to some extent, back in the days of industrial expansion. Those days you could be ruthless and accumulate massive wealth and you were a leader of society. Not in the early part of the 21st Century and beyond, though. No, no, if you had wealth, you were a monster. You were the boogie man, the cause of all suffering.” Her voice cut through the room like a whip crack. “I was born with the same talents those giants of industry had and I was vilified when I sought to use them.”
“I created an empire with my talents, with my knowledge and my willingness to use both for my own gain. Was I celebrated with parades and endorsements and fame on the web? No, no, of course not, because no one knew who I was. No one could know who I and my partners were and we made sure no one could link any one of us to the cunning plan we laid.”
She made a wry face at her audience, “I am one of the most powerful people in the world and right now, very few know who I am. When you post your story, that will all change. I’m an old woman now, I will live out the rest of my life in luxury and comfort. And the world will know my name. Finally.”
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