Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

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Old Tactics in New Clothing?… 36 strategies, B.C./A.D.

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I found these, readily, under “psychological warfare.”  

They seem applicable in the Wars taking place across the country (and world) over the fates of women, men, and children when the women, and men, split up, recombine.  One of the most transparent is transforming the conversation about domestic violence or child abuse (which focuses on patterns of actions by an agent) to a conversation about the symptoms or results of such actions (focusing on situations).  Like debt, it appears that whoever’s lap it lands in, pays the bill.

Family court matters do not happen in a vacuum, but the terminology (cast, script, players) in SOME factors act as though it does.  For example, if a woman appears traumatized, then she is analyzed.  If a child appears traumatized, it is the mother’s fault, apparently, for alienating  (these are examples).  If a parent becomes HOMELESS, is the cause of the homelessness dealt with in court?  Obfuscation supreme.

I have not taken up the “parental alienation” discussion because I believe it is a ruse.  The word is of recent origin.  I thought it appropriate to review some concepts that have been around a LONG time.  . . .   




The 36 Strategies

Six Winning Strategies


1. Deceive the sky to cross the ocean.

Moving about in the darkness and shadows, occupying isolated places, or hiding behind screens will only attract suspicious attention.Six Confrontation Strategies

7. Create something from nothing.

You use the same feint twice. Having reacted to the first and often the second feint as well, the enemy will be hesitant to react to a third feint. Therefore the third feint is the actual attack catching your enemy with his guard down.Six Attack Strategies

13. Startle the snake by hitting the grass around it.

When preparing for battle, do not alert your enemy to your intentions or give away your strategy prematurely.Six Chaos Strategies

19. Remove the firewood under the cooking pot.

When faced with an enemy too powerful to engage directly you must first weaken him by undermining his foundation and attacking his source of power. 


Six Advance Strategies

25. Replace the beams with rotten timbers.

Disrupt the enemy’s formations, interfere with their methods of operations, change the rules in which they are used to following, go contrary to their standard training. 


Six Desperate Situations Strategies

31. The honey trap.

Send your enemy beautiful women to cause discord within his camp. This strategy can work on three levels. First, the ruler becomes so enamoured with the beauty that he neglects his duties and allows his vigilance to wane. 


History of the 36 Strategies



The origins of the Thirty Six Strategies are unknown.

No author or compiler has ever been mentioned, and no date as to when it may have been written has been ascertained.

The first historical mention of the Thirty-Six Strategies dates back to the Southern Chi dynasty (AD 489-537) where it is mentioned in the Nan Chi Shi (History of the Southern Chi Dynasty).

It briefly records, “Of the 36 stratagems of Master Tan, “running away is the best.” Master Tan may be the famous general Tan Daoji (d. AD 436) but there is no evidence to either prove or disprove his authorship.

While this is the first recorded mention of Thirty Six Strategies, some of the proverbs themselves are based on events that occurred up to seven hundred years earlier. For example, the strategy ‘Openly Repair the Walkway, Secretly March to Chencang’ is based on a tactic allegedly used by the founder of the Han dynasty, Gaozu, to escape from Szechwan in 223 BC.

The strategy `Besiege Wei to Rescue Zhao’ is named after an incident that took place even earlier in 352 BC and is attributed to the famous strategist Sun Bin.

All modern versions of the Thirty Six Strategies are derived from a tattered book discovered at a roadside vendor’s stall in Szechwan in 1941. It turned out to be a reprint of an earlier book dating back to the late Ming or early Ching dynasty entitled, The Secret Art of War, The Thirty-Six Strategies.

There was no mention of who the authors or compilers were or when it was originally published. A reprint was first published for the general public in Beijing in 1979.

Since then several Chinese and English language versions have been published in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Without any other information, current speculations about the origins of the Thirty-Six Strategies suggest that there was no single author.

More likely they were simply a collection of idiomatic expressions taken from popular Chinese folklore, history, and myths.

They may have first been recorded by general Tan and handed down verbally or in manuscript form for centuries.

It is believed that sometime in the early Ching dynasty some enterprising editor collected them together and published them in the form that comes down to us today.

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

April 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm

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