While character assassination can usually lead to fates worse than death, it’s various levels and purposes. Some are as simple as name-calling which only aims to humiliate the targets, while some are as serious as portraying the targets as members in the hall of shame, which aims to totally annihilate everything in their lives. As the goal of dark managers are to maximize their self interest at all costs, they’ll only use character assassination, their secret super weapon, when the targets are getting in their way and they need to kill the targets’ credibility and reputation first to prevent them being martyrs instead. However, in the hands of the best dark managers, its extreme form, which is hard to even spot, can become one of the most sadistic tortures ever.
Character assassination, when executed by the best dark managers, usually goes on this way:
- The best dark managers will collect everything about their targets that can help them form a set of lies and half-truths backed up with fabricated and real but misleading evidences. This starter should utilize the public’s cognitive biases and emotional triggers.
- The best dark managers will investigate on the weakest moments of the weakest spots of those targets, and formulate the best spinning campaign to optimally exploit them. The best timing to start must be the one causing the biggest shocking surprise to the targets, so they’ll be confused and disoriented long enough for those dark managers to gain a significant upper hand and maintain the initiative in the upcoming brutal PR war.
- The 1st milestone of the character assassination operations is to kill the credibility and reputation of the targets. The best way to achieve this is to launch the starter to cause the public feel deeply betrayed by the targets by accumulating fraudulent credibility and reputation. The starter needs to cause the public to have severe cognitive dissonances.
- When the public’s ability of thinking clearly is removed by cognitive dissonance, those dark managers can offer the main dish — Release another set of lies pretending to be the best defences of the targets possible, only to be defused by those dark managers later. If the public believes that those defused lies are the best defences possible, then their defuses will misguide them to the false conclusion that the targets are indefensible. Now the 1st milestone — killing the credibility and reputation of the targets, should be accomplished, as the public believes that they know the true colors of the targets.
- The 2nd milestone of the character assassination operations is to ensure that those targets won’t even have a remote chance to gain any credibility nor reputation again. The best way is to manipulate the public to do all the dirty jobs for those dark managers. As the public already feel betrayed by the targets, the former would be inclined to unfairly revenge on the latter, so those dark managers just need to covertly incite their unwarranted indignation to let the undeserved vengeance commence automatically.
- To ensure complete victories, the targets need to eternally lose all hopes for coming back. The best way is to force them to lose more and more invaluable things in their lives without being able to do anything. As they should’ve felt betrayed by the public the moment it starts to revenge them, they should begin to lose faith and the ability to trust anyone or anything, especially when their best friends becomes their worst enemies.
- At this point, most of the targets will tend to treat committing suicide as their best choice as they’re experiencing fate worse than death. This will prevent complete victory, as shown later, so those dark managers need to ensure that the public will torture them mentally and physically to remove their ability to commit suicide. Now the 2nd milestone should be accomplished as the public would face cognitive dissonances and suffer from sunk cost fallacy if they realize that they’ve been blaming the victim.
- The final milestone of the character assassination operations is to ensure that no one will ever be able to uncover the truth. The best way is to plant undeniable and solid evidences to those targets to prove that their credibility and reputation are indeed fake. As their anger should’ve accumulated to dangerous levels for suffering from such unjust experiences, they’d have strong incentives to revenge the public too. So the dark managers just need to offer the dessert — secretly pretend to be their new friends to vent their anger towards the public, and the vengeance should start on its own. It’s because in the targets’ perspectives, suddenly they’ve found someone who appears to understand their anguishes, meaning that they’re the seemingly new hopes. Given that they’ve been in abysmal agony for far too long, it’d only be natural for them to accept whatever those false hopes offer, especially a golden chance to revenge the public.
- As the targets begin to revenge the public, the public will retaliate, causing the targets to strike back even more recklessly. Thus the vicious cycle forms and the situation will only escalate until those targets are completely obliterated. During the vicious cycle, those vengeance from the targets will become undeniable and solid evidences that they’ve indeed betrayed the public in the 1st place. At the very least, if those dark managers can control the history this way, the final milestone should be accomplished by erasing all conspiracy theories and evidences suggesting the possibilities of the character assassination operations. Now the character assassination operations can be safely declared as total successes and those dark managers are at last completely victorious. On the other hand, the targets will be wrongly portrayed in the hall of shame forever.
It should be clear by now that the whole scheme’s so calculated and devious that only the most cunning and deceptive mastermind can have a remote chance to pull that off as it needs just so much intel and preparation. For such dark managers, executing the entire plan’s almost always the most costly and risky choice available to them. Thus they’ll treat it as their secret super weapon that’s reserved for the most difficult and threatening targets only. It’d be utterly pointless to resort to character assassination when brainwashing would already do the job well.
Nevertheless, unless the targets can figure out the character assassination attempt before it even begins, it’d be almost impossible for them to counter once they’re struck under surprise. As it’d be pointless to target those not having significant credibility and reputation, they should constantly evaluate how valuable they’re as targets of character assassinations, and who’d have the incentives to do so. If these targets perceive themselves as high risk targets, they should consistently gather intel from all the possible attackers to monitor their upcoming moves. Then they need to either get out of the way of those potential attackers, organize solid defences and fight back plans quickly, or launch their own character assassination operations before those potential attackers do. They need to weight against these choices very carefully.