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Saturday July 14th 2018Tim Candler9

 

      In some places it's called Tradecraft, and you go to school to learn it. There's homework, books to read, tests, field trips and everything. The art of the Honey Trap is more than likely on the syllabus, and you might even learn that this art is not all about what's politely called a romantic liaison. Rather, honey is better thought of as Temptation, and we people are prone to all sorts of temptation. The secret is little by little, slowly, slowly, insight by insight until all of a sudden there's a hook in the flesh and the subject is pulled into what should be if properly done an invisible net. Call it seduction, if you like. In the end the art of the Honey Trap works on that part of each of us which has to do with cognition, the processes by which we understand ourselves in relationship to the world, a judgment that usually requires a half truth or two to combat dissonance so as to make any one of us feel better about ourselves, believing down right lies can make us feel wonderful. And here, you may have an Asset in your net and your opposite number in Tradecraft will be on the hunt for what has often been called a Traitor, which sadly in a US court of law is an offence that requires a mens rea, the act is not culpable unless intent can be proved.

 

Past

    Once in the net some will flop about, fall prey to doubt. Some might realize the net and try to escape. But early on in the process of developing an Asset you'll learn to recognize signs of anything like integrity in your subject, and in discussions with others of your kind you'll come to a decision about whether the effort and resources spent is worth it. So if you're looking for art here, you'll find it in those first impression of your subject. Does he lie easily? Does he think he's cleverer than others? Does he have an unreasonably high opinion of himself? Is he more creepy than he is slimy, or is he just a maggot head? It's kind of like a really well researched personality test for a total bounder and utter rotter. Old hands of course have the quick and ready eye, they can spot them at the other end of the bar. And if your subject has potential, you make room in the filing cabinet, you open a file, you gather your clan to find out as much as you can. Little by little, slowly, slowly you recruit your volunteer so that one day you might get a pat on the head for having mastered your cynical craft. It's a job, some do it for war, some do it for world peace, most do it because it's more fun than betting on Cockroach Races.

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