48 Laws of Power
Machiavelli: The Prince
Rand: Atlas Shrugged
The Satanic Bible
The Usual Suspects
Empire Strikes Back
Vader for President
Cthulhu for President
Villainism on the Web
by J. Perry Fecteau
The Villain, the Bad Guy, the Man You Love to Hate... I've always been fascinated with the way that some people can invoke such strong emotions in other people.
The villain is usually a representation of ultimate evil to the people that dislike him. But in his own mind, his intentions are noble and pure. The villain always has an ulterior motive or a supreme plan. He views other people as pawns in his ultimate scheme of things. He is not afraid to make strange bedfellows on his way to acheiving his goals.
Most villians operate from positions of power. They rule by fear and intimidation. They do this to ensure loyalty from their pawns. Others use their charm and charisma to manipulate others into suiting their needs. Yet another group of villians choose to remain invisble and operate behind the scenes, using other powerful figures as pawns to do their dirty work.
The Rules to the Game
The Subtle Art of Villainism
- Keep Your Secrets Your Own
If you've got a secret that you don't want anyone to find out, keep it to yourself. People have a dying need to tell other people's secrets no matter how trustworthy they may be. This is not to say that people will always succumb to this temptation. However, the only way to guarantee your secret will never be told is to not tell it.
- Leak Your Own Secrets Sometimes
Although this may sound contradictory to rule number 1, the real purpose behind this rule is to test the (un)reliability of your acquaintences. Find out which of your acquaintences tell your secrets repeatedly and which ones are consistently silent by following the flow of information. The so-called blabbermouth can be a useful tool for manipulating someone from a distance.
- Never Tell Another Man's Secrets
When someone tells you a juicy secret, deny the urge to go and spread it around. The fewer secrets you tell, the more trust you build of your friends and foes alike. Keeping your acquaintance's little secrets leads to him trusting you with bigger and better secrets. These secrets can also be used as leverage when you need a favor from that person. These secrets can also be used as weapons. However, avoid threatening to use one's secrets against him, even if that is your intention. Some will kill to have their secrets kept unknown.
- Know Your Weaknesses... Keep Them Hidden
This rule applies to even people you consider allies. You can never know when that friendship will go sour. The first area that a newly formed enemy will try to attack is your weakness. If you do reveal your weaknesses, be prepared to defend yourself against attacks on them.
- Know Your Strengths... Keep Them Hidden as Well
Sometimes it is even wise to disguise your strengths as weaknesses. When you do this, you soon find who are your true allies and who are not. Typically an enemy in disguise will make his first attack on this so called "weakness". When he does, destroy him.
- Become Invisible
Watch, Listen, Learn. Become a silent observer for as long as you can all the while preparing to make your move. Watch how others do what it is you want to do. Watch them make mistakes. Learn from them. When you feel that there is no more that can be learned from observing, start preparing to make your move.
- Never Let Your True Intentions Known
In your time of silence, make sure that you never let on what you are planning. If possible, mislead people into thinking that you are pursuing some other goal while quietly putting your efforts into your true goal. When you are ready to make your move, do it quickly and effectively. At this point, it will be too late for anyone to stop you.
Plotting, Scheming, and Deception
- Always have a Plan
Having a plan is crucial in acheiving any goal. Make your plan and review it often. Each review will become a practice session so that when it comes time for execution, you will feel as if you had done it many times before.
- Always have a Plan B
Quite often there are unexpected contingencies during the execution of your plan. Be prepared to change the direction of your plan at a whim. Doing so is critical in determining your survival and the longevity of your mission.
- Always carry an Atom Bomb
If all else fails, the atom bomb can be a great equalizer in a battle. The atom bomb is the weapon you will need to use if none of your other plans work. The atom bomb is thus named because it inflicts severe damage on both sides. Your only advantage in using it is that you know when it will hit while your opponent will be unprepared (in most cases). The atom bomb should only be used when absolutely necessary.
- Never Lie, Deceive with the Truth
Every lie you tell becomes a new reality that you have to believe. Leave out key elements of your story to mislead your adversary. Tell truths that have nothing to do with the true story. Let your adversary draw his own conclusions from your words.
- Walk on Both Sides of the Fence for as Long as Possible
Inevitably, there will come a time when you have to choose a side. You have two alternatives. One is to go to the winning side and crush your opponent. The other is to go the losing side, take advantage of the situation to gain a power position on that side and go against the winning side. The latter is typically more dangerous but the rewards are great. The winning side may dispose of you once you become useless (i.e. after you've helped them win).
- Know Your Enemies
If you have chosen your enemy beforehand, it is a good idea not to let on too early. Walk, talk, laugh, eat, drink, and sleep with your enemy. This is a perfect way to keep your eye on him. Bob Marley once said, "If Satan come down and walk the earth today, me not fear him. Me shake him hand. That way me know what him up to." Trueer words have rarely been spoken.
- Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, is an example of a villain who operated from a position of power. Although he was a pawn to Emperor Palpatine (an invisible villain), Darth Vader was recognized as the physical manifestation of the Dark Side of the Force.
- Victor Von Doom, aka Doctor Doom, is another villain of power that rules Latveria with an iron fist.
- The CancerMan is an example of an invisible villian. He buys and sells favors to high level government officials and low level cronies all the while fulfilling his own hidden agenda and remaining relatively unseen.
- Alex Krycek is probably one of the seediest villains around. He executes many of the principles of villainism flawlessly. He makes alliances with anyone that will get him what he wants at the moment and he will turn his back on those allies as soon as they have outlived their usefulness. He usually carries around a bargaining chip in order to protect himself from harm as many of his enemies would love to destroy him. This man is to never be trusted.