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7 Principles of Scam Artists…#1 is Distraction

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My fellow-blogger quotes “Psyblog” and relates it to what’s going on in the courts.  Note:  the #1 principle is DISTRACTION.  (think “pickpocket”).

It’s time to look behind the language of the court educators to THEIR money trail and possible motivations in pitting men against women, idolizing marriage, demonizing one side or another.  The intelligent consumer (note: if you pay taxes, you ARE a “consumer” of this activity in your local state, not to mention what federal funds go right back to the state for similar activities) will want some account of what he or she “bought.”  Was it safety?  Was it a societal fix of a societal problem?  Was it justice?  (If so, when did justice go up for sale???)  What WAS it that those taxes bought? 

Did he or she “buy” a bit of conscience, leaving handlings troublesome issues up to experts?  The “it’s not my business” has cost lots of lives in the field of domestic violence. 

  I was going to blog on this, however, it is certainly distracting when another man shoots another woman in the head, because he was fired, because he was depressed, because he was angry, or because (who knows WHY or cares, the thing is, while the experts are analyzing, the folks in the homes are still bleeding.  As far as I can tell, it hasn’t stopped the experts one whit in recommending the same “come to us to be fixed” (or “helped”) line that didn’t save another life, yesterday, in a city with one of the highest homicide rates in the nation, Oakland, California (see prior blog).

I got this from “Justice4mothers.wordpress.com” and her intro is at the link, and below:

This article fits well with the principles of the current scam of trying to get parental alienation syndrome into the upcoming DSM-V. Especially applicable to those trying to push for it’s inclusion is Item #6: Need and Greed.  All of the items can be seen in the effort though.  Everyone knows that parental alienation syndrome and parental alienation has been debunked by the American Judge’s Association, the National District Attorney’s Association, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, with the latter warning family court judges not to accept claims of PAS or PA.  The American Medical Association does not recognize it, and the American Psychological Association realizes that this is a claim that comes out during custody battles, and there is no evidence that this syndrome exists in the literature.

Unlike this analysis, I now  know (as I didn’t until AFTER our local family court judge did the custody-switch thing on ME), that the NCFCJ (underlined above) is holding conferences with the AFCC (see my blog) and so forth.  Again, the answer is in the grants system, not in the he’/she terminology.

As I look at it now (every day, I am considering these things as well as daily necessities), I recall that our own separation was indeed stabilized, but somehow, SOMEWHERE, someone steered my ex to a source where he began to realize that he could simply file in family law, and keep the thing going on, and on, and on.  While this didn’t have a net profit to him, it did have the emotional profit of making life hell for me, and the girls, in retaliation for leaving.

But a LOT of people don’t realize that it’s NOT about him, and psychological analyses, it’s really, REALLY, about the money trail — as a cause.  And that is what we should really focus on, and not get “scammed” into being distracted from!

“7 Psychological Principles of Scams”

Good hustlers are excellent intuitive psychologists. Just like magicians they understand enough about how the mind works to exploit its vulnerabilities. Our fascination with hustlers is insatiable and, despite being criminals, they are frequently portrayed by Hollywood in a flattering light, in films like The Sting, Catch Me If You Can and the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy. Of course the reality is nowhere near as romantic, especially if you’ve fallen for one of the cons. Frank Stajano, a security expert at Cambridge University, has been working with Paul Wilson, a scam artist and author of BBC TV’s The Real Hustle to identify the 7 major psychological principles used in short cons to part people from their cash (Stajano & Wilson, 2009; PDF, 308K). 1. Distraction Attention is like spotlight, which means when it’s pointing in one direction it pretty much ignores everything else. Except people don’t realise how little information coming in from the outside world we actually process. Naturally you don’t notice what you don’t notice, plus the mind is designed to fill in the gaps for us. But Hustlers do know and almost every con uses some kind of distraction.

1.  Distraction

2. Social compliance

The classic study showing how compliant we are, especially when told to do things by an authority figure, was carried out by Stanley Milgram.

3. Herd principle

People are sheep: they can’t help following each other.

The classic study on conformity was conducted by Solomon Asch in the 1950s showing that people will deny evidence from their own eyes to fit in with others. In the Three-card Monte con, the crowd of shills around the game creates the herd for the mark to follow.

Online there are all kinds of tricks people can use to make others think there is a herd when actually there is only one person. The practice of ‘astroturfing’ means creating multiple online identities to fake grass-roots support for a politician. In peer-to-peer networks the multiple identities created by people trying to influence them are known as Sybils.

Whether online or offline, though, groups exert an enormous influence over us.

4. Dishonesty

Fear is the mind-killer.

Hustlers know that people are fearful and play on this fact.

5. Deception

People are easily tricked, even when they think they are being careful. Hustlers take advantage of the fact that most people go along with their expectations of what will happen in any given situation. If the hustler’s behaviour fits the situation then people will accept what they say.

One classic is ‘van dragging’ where hustlers target a warehouse from which they want to steal the goods being delivered. They hang a sign saying the door is broken and those delivering should call a number. The hustlers, hiding nearby, answer and steal all the goods from the delivery driver, all the while complaining that they’ve called the locksmith and he hasn’t turned up yet. The delivery driver often helps the hustlers load their van.

{{THINK about it — are fewer people getting killed, 15+ years after VAWA?  Are fathers more responsible, 15+ years after NFI? ??}}

6. Need and greed

Once hustlers know what people want, even if it doesn’t exist, they are in a position to manipulate them. They will play on people’s desperation; unfortunately the more desperate people are, the easier they are to con.

{{WHO can be more desperate than a family attempting to exit violence in the home?  And who would be more desperate to cover it up than those who didn’t intervene before it got to the prosecution level?}}

7. Time pressure

A classic study of how people make decisions under time pressure demonstrates what hustlers already know: when there’s no time to think people rely on short cuts and emotional responses to a situation.

{{This reminds me of a post I saw on the “reptilian” brain, and how attorneys can speak to that level of thinking in front of a jury…}}

Written by Let's Get Honest

January 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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