Playing with people fantasy - How ?

The city-state ofVenice was prosperous for so long that its citizens feIt their
small republic had destiny on its side. In the Middle Ages and High Renaissance, its virtual monopoly on trade to the east made it the wealthiest
city in Europe. Under a beneficent republican government, Venetians enjoyed liberties that few other Italians had ever known. Yet in the sixteenth
century their fortunes suddenly changed. The opening of the New World
transferred power to the Atlantic side of Europe-to the Spanish and Portuguese, and later the Dutch and English. Venice could not compete economically and its empire gradually dwindled. The final blow was the
devastating loss of a prized Mediterranean possession, the island of
Cyprus, captured from Venice by the Turks in 1570.
Now noble families went broke in Venice, and banks began to fold. A
kind of gloom and depression settled over the citizens. They had known a
glittering past-had either lived through it or heard stories about it frorn
their elders. The closeness of the glory years was humiliating. The Venetians half believed that the goddess Fortune was only playing a joke on
them, and that the old days would soon return. For the time being, though,
what could they do?
In 1589 rumors began to swirl around Venice of the arrival not far
away of a mysterious man called "11 Bragadino," a master of alchemy, 

man who had won incredible wealth through his ability, it was said, to multiply gold through the use of a secret substance. The rumor spread quickly
because a few years earlier, a Venetian nobleman passing through Poland
had heard a leamed man prophesy that Venice would recover her past
glory and power if she could find a man who understood the alchemic art
of manufacturing gold. And so, as word reached Venice of the gold this
Bragadino possessed-he clinked gold coins continuously in his hands,
and golden objects filled his palace-some began to dream: Through hirn,
their city would prosper again.
Members of Venice's most important noble families accordingly went
together to Brescia, where Bragadino lived. They toured his palace and
watched in awe as he demonstrated his gold-making abilities, taking a
pinch of seemingly worthless minerals and transforming it into several
ounces of gold dust. The Venetian senate prepared to debate the idea of extending an official invitation to Bragadino to stay in Venice at the city's expense, when word suddenly reached them that they were competing with
the Duke of Mantua for bis services. They heard of a magnificent party in
Bragadino's palace for the duke, featuring garments with golden buttons,
gold watches, gold plates, and on and on. Worried they might lose Bragadino to Mantua, the senate voted almost unanimously to invite hirn to
Venice, promising him the mountain of money he would need to continue
living in his luxurious style-but only if he came right away.

 Late that year the mysterious Bragadino arrived in Venice. With his
piercing dark eyes under thick brows, and the two enormous black mastiffs
that accompanied him everywhere, he was forbidding and impressive. He
took up residence in a sumptuous palace on the island of the Giudecca,
with the republic funding his banquets, his expensive clothes, and all his
other whims. A kind of alchemy fever spread through Venice. On street
corners, hawkers would sell coal, distilling apparatus, bellows, how-to
books on the subject. Everyone began to practice alchemy-everyone except Bragadino.
The alchemist seemed to be in no hurry to begin manufacturing the
gold that would save Venice from ruin. Strangely enough this only increased his popularity and following; people thronged from all over Europe, even Asia, to meet this remarkable man. Months went by, with gifts
pouring in to Bragadino from all sides. Still he gave no sign of the miracle
that the Venetians confidently expected hirn to produce. Eventually the citizens began to grow impatient, wondering if he would wait forever. At first
the senators warned them not to hurry hirn-he was a capricious devil,
who needed to be cajoled. Finally, though, the nobility began to wonder
too, and the senate came under pressure to show a return on the city's ballooning investment.
Bragadino had only scorn for the doubters, but he responded to them.
He had, he said, already deposited in the city's mint the mysterious substance with which he multiplied gold. He could use this substance up all at
once, and produce double the gold, but the more slowly the process took
place, the more it would yield. If left alone for seven years, sealed in a casket, the substance would multiply the gold in the mint thirty times over.
Most of the senators agreed to wait to reap the gold mine Bragadino
promised. Others, however, were angry: seven more years of this man living royally at the public trough! 

And many of the common citizens of
Venice echoed these sentiments. Finally the alchemist's enemies demanded
he produce a proof of his skills: a substantial amount of gold, and soon.
Lofty, apparently devoted to his art, Bragadino responded that Venice,
in its impatience, had betrayed hirn, and would therefore lose his services.
He left town, going first to nearby Padua, then, in 1590, to Munich, at the
invitation of the Duke of Bavaria, who, like the entire city of Venice, had
known great wealth but had fallen into bankruptcy through his own profligacy, and hoped to regain his fortune through the famous alchemist's services. And so Bragadino resumed the comfortable arrangement he had
known in Venice, and the same pattern repeated itself.
The young Cypriot Mamugna had lived in Venice for several years before
reincarnating hirnself as the alchemist Bragadino. He saw how gloom had
settled on the city, how everyone was hoping for a redemption from some
indefinite source. While other charlatans mastered everyday cons based on
sleight of hand, Mamugna mastered human nature. With Venice as his target from the start, he traveled abroad, made some money through his
alchemy scams, and then returned to Italy, setting up shop in Brescia.
There he created a reputation that he knew would spread to Venice. From
a distance, in fact, his aura of power would be all the more impressive.
At first Mamugna did not use vulgar demonstrations to convince peoformerly strangled his
wife and son. A courtier
thought fit to inform the
bereaved monarch, and
even affirmed that he
had seen the stag laugh.
The rage of a king, says
Solomon, is terrible,
and especially that of
a lion-king. "Pitiful
foresterf" he exclaimed,
"darest thou laugh
when all around are
dissolved in tears? We
will not soU our royal
claws with thy profane
blood! Do thou, brave
wolf, avenge our queen,
by immolating this
traitor to her august
manes. "
Hereupon the stag
replied: "Sire, the time
for weeping is passed;
grief is here superfluous. Your revered
spouse appeared to me
but now, reposing on a
bed of roses; J instantly
recognized her. 'Friend, '
said she to me, 'have
done with this funereal
pomp, cease these
useless tears. I have
tasted a thousand
delights in the Elysian
fields, conversing with
those who are saints like
myself Let the king's
despair remain for
some time unchecked. it
gratifies me. '

 " Scarcely
had he spoken, when
every one shouted: "A
miracle! a miracle f"
The stag, instead of
being punished, received a handsome gift.
Do but entertain a king
wilh dreams, flatter
him, and tell him a few
pleasant fantastic lies:
whatever his indignation against you may
be, he will swallow the
bait, and make you his
dearest friend.
1621-1 695
LAW 32 265
If you want to tell lies
that will be believed,
don't tell the truth
that won 't.
266 LAW 32
pIe of his alchemie skiH, His sumptuous palace, his opulent garments, the
dink of gold in his hands, all these provided a superior argument to anything rational. And these established the cyde that kept him going: His obvious wealth confirmed his reputation as an alchemist, so that patrons like
the Duke of Mantua gave him money, which allowed him to live in wealth,
which reinforced his reputation as an alchemist, and so on. Only once this
reputation was established, and dukes and senators were fighting over hirn,
did he resort to the trifling necessity of a demonstration. By then, however,
people were easy to deceive: They wanted to believe. The Venetian senators who watched him multiply gold wanted to believe so badly that they
failed to notice the glass pipe up his sleeve, 

from which he slipped gold
dust into his pinches of minerals. Brilliant and capricious, he was the alchemist of their fantasies-and once he had created an aura like this, no
one noticed his simple deceptions.
Such is the power of the fantasies that take root in us, especially in
times of scarcity and dedine. People rarely believe that their problems
arise from their own misdeeds and stupidity. Someone or something out
there is to blarne-the other, the world, the gods-and so salvation comes
from the outside as weH. Had Bragadino arrived in Venice armed with a
detailed analysis of the reasons behind the city's economic dedine, and of
the hard-nosed steps that it could take to turn things around, he would
have been scomed. The reality was too ugly and the solution too painfulmostly the kind of hard work that the citizens' ancestors had mustered to
create an empire. Fantasy, on the other hand-in this case the romance of
alchemy-was easy to understand and infinitely more palatable.
To gain power, you must be a source of pleasure for those around
you-and pleasure comes from playing to people's fantasies. Never
promise a gradual improvement through hard work; rather, promise the
mo on, the great and sudden transformation, the pot of gold.
No man need despair of gaining converts to the most extravagant
hypothesis who has art enough to represent it in favorable colors,
David Hume, 1 71 1-1 776
Fantasy can never operate alone. It requires the backdrop of the humdrum
and the mundane. It is the oppressiveness of reality that allows fantasy to
take root and bloom. In sixteenth-century Venice, the reality was one of dedine and loss of prestige.

 The corresponding fantasy described a sudden
recovery of past glories through the miracle of alchemy. While the reality
only got worse, the Venetians inhabited a happy dream world in which
their city restored its fabulous wealth and power ovemight, tuming dust
into gold.
The person who can spin a fantasy out of an oppressive reality has access to untold power. As you search for the fantasy that will take hold of the
masses, then, keep your eye on the banal truths that weigh heavily on us
all. Never be distracted by people's glamorous portraits of themselves and
their lives; search and dig far what really imprisons them. Once you find
that, you have the magical key that will put great power in your hands.
Although times and people change, let us examine a few of the oppressive realities that endure, and the opportunities for power they provide:
TM Reality: Change is slow and gradual.

 It requires hard work, a bit o[ luck, a [air
amount o[selfsacrifice, and a lot p[patience.
The Fantasy: A sudden transformation will bring a total change in one's fortunes,
bypassing work, luck, selfsacrifice, and time in one [antastic stroke.
This is of course the fantasy par excellence of the charlatans who
prowl among us to this day, and was the key to Bragadino's success.
Promise a great and total change-from poor to rich, sickness to health,
misery to ecstasy-and you will have followers.
How did the great sixteenth-century German quack Leonhard
Thumeisser become the court physician for the Elector of Brandenburg
without ever studying medicine? Instead of offering amputations, leeches,
and foul-tasting purgatives (the medicaments of the time), Thumeisser offered sweet-tasting elixirs and promised instant recovery. Fashionable
courtiers especially wanted his solution of "drinkable gold," which cost a
fortune. If so me inexplicable illness assailed you, 

Thumeisser would consult a horoscope and prescribe a talisman. Who could resist such a
fantasy-health and well-being without sacrifice and pain!
The Reality: The social realm has hard-set codes and boundaries. We understand
these limits and know that we have to move within the same [amiliar circles, day in
and day out.
The Fantasy: We can enter a totally new world with different codes and the promise
o[ adventure.
In the early 1700s, all London was abuzz with talk of a mysterious
stranger, a young man named George Psalmanazar. He had arrived from
what was to most Englishmen a fantastical land: the island of Formosa
(now Taiwan), off the coast of China. Oxford University engaged
Psalmanazar to teach the island's language; a few years later he translated
the Bible into Formosan, then wrote a book-an immediate best-seIler-on
Formosa's history and geography. English royalty wined and dined the
young man, and everywhere he went he entertained his hosts with wondrous stories of his homeland, and its bizarre customs.
After Psalmanazar died, however, his will revealed that he was in fact
merely a Frenchman with a rich imagination. Everything he had said about
Formosa-its alphabet, its language, its literature, its entire culture-he had
invented. He had built on the English public's ignorance of the place to
concoct an elaborate story that fulfilled their desire for the exotic and
LAW 32 267
268 LAW 32
strange. British culture's rigid control of people's dangerous dreams gave
hirn the perfect opportunity to exploit their fantasy.
The fantasy of the exotic, of course, can also skirt the sexual. It must
not come too elose, though, for the physical hinders the power of fantasy; it
can be seen, grasped, and then tired of-the fate of most courtesans. The
bodily charms of the mistress only whet the master's appetite for more and
different pleasures,

 a new beauty to adore. To bring power, fantasy must remain to some degree unrealized, literally unreal. The dancer Mata Hari,
for instance, who rose to public prominence in Paris before World War I,
had quite ordinary looks. Her power came from the fantasy she created of
being strange 'and exotic, unknowable and indedpherable, The taboo she
worked with was less sex itself than the breaking of sodal codes.
Another form of the fantasy of the exotic is simply the hope for relief
from boredom. Con artists love to play on the oppressiveness of the working world, its lack of adventure. Their cons might involve, say, the recovery of lost Spanish treasure, with the possible partidpation of an alluring
Mexican seiiorita and a connection to the president of a South American
country-anything offering release from the humdrum.
The Reality: Society is frag;mented and foll of conflict.
The Fantasy: People can come together in a mystical union ofsouls.
In the 1920s the con man Oscar Hartzell made a quick fortune out of
the age-old Sir Frands Drake swindle-basically promising any sucker who
happened to be surnamed "Drake" a substantial share of the long-lost
"Drake treasure," to which Hartzell had access. 

Thousands across the Midwest fell for the scam, which Hartzell eleverly turned into a crusade against
the government and everyone else who was trying to keep the Drake fortune out of the rightful hands of its heirs. There developed a mystical union
of the oppressed Drakes, with emotional rallies and meetings. Promise such
a union and you can gain much power, but it is a dangerous power that can
easily turn against you. This is a fantasy for demagogues to play on.
The Reality: Death. The dead cannot be brought back, the past cannot be changed.
The Fantasy: A sudden reversal ofthis intolerable fact.
This con has many variations, but requires great skill and subtlety.
The beauty and importance of the art of Vermeer have long been recognized, but his paintings are small in number, and are extremely rare. In
the 1930s, though, Vermeers began to appear on the art market. Experts
were called on to verify them, and pronounced them real. Pos session of
these new Vermeers would crown a collector's career. It was like the resurrection of Lazarus: In a strange way,

 Vermeer had been brought back to
life. The past had been changed.
Only later did it come out that the new Vermeers were the work of a
middle-aged Dutch forger named Han van Meegeren. And he had chosen
Vermeer for his scam because he understood fantasy: The paintings would
seem real precisely because the public, and the experts as weIl, so desperately wanted to believe they were.
Remember: The key to fantasy is distance. The distant has allure and
promise, seems simple and problem free. What you are offering, then,
should be ungraspable. Never let it become oppressively familiar; it is the
mirage in the distance, withdrawing as the sucker approaches. Never be
too direct in describing the fantasy-keep it vague. As a forger of fantasies,
let your victim come elose enough to see and be tempted, but keep hirn far
away enough that he stays dreaming and desiring.

Media center total solutions of content and raw wiki information source - The hulk library of knowledge world wide - sound library - Books library

bitcoin , reads , books , cord blood , attorneys , lawyers , domestic , local services , offshore companies , offshore lawyers , beyond the seas business , laws , enactions , jungle , ameriican eagle , america business , gas, gasoline , petrol , burn , films , new movies , stars , hollywood , stationary , offices , federal law , states divisions

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form