Gambits for Deception

GCHQ Psychological Harassment / PSYOPs slide:
“Gambits for Deception”



Control Attention: Conspicuity and Expectations

The Big Move Covers the Little Move

The Target Looks where you look

Attention drops at the perceived end

Repetition reduces vigilance


Mask / Mimic:
Eliminate – Blend
Imitate – Recreate

Repackage / Invent:
Modify old cues
Create new cues

Dazzle / Decoy:
Blur old cues
Create alternate cues

Make the cue dynamic

Stimulate multiple sensors


Exploit prior beliefs

Present story fragments

Repetition creates expectancies

Haversack Ruse (The Piece of Bad Luck) [1]

Swap the Real for the False, & vice versa


Create Cognitive Stress

Create Physiological Stress

Create Affective Stress (+/-)

Cialdini+2 [2]

Exploit Shared Affect


Simulate the action

Simulate the outcome

Time-shift perceived behaviour

Divorce behaviour from outcome

Channel behaviour

1. See CIA’s bookshelf regarding the Haversack Ruse:

While serving in the Sinai during World War I, British Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen was on a scouting mission when he was spotted by Turks. A chase ensued and a wounded Meinertzhagen escaped after dropping his haversack containing documents describing British army plans for advancing on Jerusalem. The Turks recovered the spoil and, accepting their good luck, prepared to defend the point the maps said the British would attack. This realignment of forces weakened the front where the main attack actually occurred and succeeded. The Haversack Ruse, as it became famously known, was conceived and executed by Meinertzhagen. We know this because Meinertzhagen’s diaries tells us so., “The Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf”, CIA:

2. See Robert Cialdini’s works including Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion on his six principles for influencing and persuading people. “+2” says that the spook world has added a couple.

Dr. Robert B. Cialdini, President of INFLUENCE AT WORK (IAW), Arizona State University Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and New York Times Bestselling Business Author…


NBC, “Snowden Docs: British Spies Used Sex and ‘Dirty Tricks’,” Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Mark Schone and Glenn Greenwald, 7 February 2014:

First Look/The Intercept, “How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations,” Glenn Greenwald, 24 February 2014:

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