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Political Trashing

Richard Nixon | 23.02.2007 14:52 | Free Spaces | Repression | Social Struggles

Destroy your political enemy. A how to guide



The Candidate's Vulnerability
How Political Trashing Works:
Some Scenarios
Elections, Morality, and the Law
Conventional Dirty Tricks
Don't Get Caught
How to Organize The Effort
Financing The Effort

Gathering Essential Information
Discredit the Candidate
Unwelcome Visitors
The Business Reply Envelope
Sexual Problems and Tactics
Physical Trashing
Grass-Roots Trashing
The Last Word


The 1986 elections were for the voters in many states the worst in recent memory. The voter turnout was only about 37% of eligibles, which is low even for an off year. The slate of candidates was dismal and some of the issues put to direct vote almost passed because of intensive propaganda by the special-interest groups. Many of the candidates won by a very small proportion of the eligible voters, and in cases where there were three candidates, not even by a simple majority of those who did vote.
Some of the newly-elected governors, for example, have a "mandate" on the basis of forty percent of the votes cast, or even less. One reason for the large number of stay-aways is that many voters felt that they' d be wasting their time, because their votes were meaningless.
It's very galling to have to make a forced choice between candidates that have been handpicked by shadowy organizations working in "smoke-filled rooms." Typically, candidates are selected by a conclave of party hacks in a back room, without participation by the majority of the people who pay the taxes. This is what discourages voters.
Often criticism does no good. The pat answer to any criticism is: "If you don't like it, run for office yourself." This isn't useful advice, but a cynically intended dismissal, because the obvious fact is that to be elected today, it's necessary to have:
( 1) the support of the party machinery, or (2) a huge amount of money to finance a campaign, or (3) both.

The party appointee can make it, in return for a pledge of undying loyalty to the party "insiders." Collecting money for a campaign is facilitated by the party organization, which has a well-oiled machine for generating income.
The relatively unknown person without party connections or great personal wealth is virtually disenfranchised, and effectively disqualified from running for office. This description applies to almost all American citizens, living in the "land of the free," where they are perfectly free to vote for a rigged slate
and to pay their taxes. They're also free to try to collect enough signatures on a nominating petition, if they can mobilize the campaign workers, and place their names on the ballot to run against powerful and well-financed opponents.
What can the average citizen do? He's relatively powerless. He can write his congressman, and wait for months for a reply which is usually totally unsatisfactory. Representatives and senators have form letters which they send out when they deign to reply, and which usually read something like this:

"Thank you for your expressive and interesting letter. I appreciate the time you took to share your views with me. I will keep your points in mind during this legislative season."

The average citizen can also write a letter to the editor, for whatever good that does. Most likely, it will never be printed and never receive a reply or even acknowledgement. Legislators need votes to be reelected. Newspaper editors aren't hired by the readers, and are far less careful about offending them.

Trying to change the "system," or modify it even slightly, is often futile. Revolution is out of the question because the government is too stable.
Assassination is not a good way to get rid of a disagreeable politician. This is the preferred method in the Middle East and in Latin America. Using bullets instead of ballots is not in keeping with American tradition, and is usually counterproductive. The victim becomes sanctified, glorified, sensationalized, and an aura results which does a lot of harm in the long run.
After John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert were assassinated, public sympathy for the surviving brother, Edward "Teddy" Kennedy, was so great that it allowed his political career to survive the incident at Chappaquiddick. Such an event would have sunk an ordinary politician, but Kennedy had acquired enough sympathy among the people of Massachusetts that his tenure has never been successfully challenged.


With the politicians and the system for choosing them so unsatisfactory today, what can voters and taxpayers do? What can the occasional legitimate candidate do? There are ways of winning elections based on unconventional methods. The system is based on fraud and deceit, and there are techniques for countering this and sabotaging the campaigns of the "bad guys." Some of these have been in use for years, even decades.
During the Watergate Era a few of the Republicans carried out some clumsy manoeuvres against their Democratic opponents. These were basically harassment tactics, and included a serious felony. This came back in their faces because they got caught during the break-in at the Watergate, a deed whose consequences eventually caused Nixon's resignation.


There's a need for a direct action manual for the little guys well as for the big and influential citizen.
This can best be served by creating and adapting a repertoire of harassment techniques aimed at politicians. In 1979, the original Techniques of Harassment book inspired a host of imitators.
Possibly this one, striking out in a new direction, will have the same effect.

Years have passed, and the evolution of technique has made it possible to carry out an offensive against a political opponent without the risks that went with the primitive methods used in the Watergate affair.
With forethought, planning, and discretion, it's now possible to wreck a political campaign without becoming liable for any felonies. With correct planning, it's possible to do this with minimal effort and resources. It's also possible to do it without getting caught. With the use of great discretion and clever planning, it's possible even to avoid suspicion.
A candidate can use so me truly low-down methods to win the election. More importantly, the same methods are available to the private citizen, bringing a balance back into our political system. However, this book is not about wiretapping, burglary, and political goon squads. These methods are clumsy, illegal, and unsophisticated, and have no place in an elegant trashing campaign.
This book will outline the themes and techniques of political trashing. This book is for both the candidate and the voter. The candidate will learn what angry voters may have in store for him if he doesn't fly right, and the many abused, misused voters will learn ways to even up the balance that seems to be always tipped against them.


Vulnerability is direct1y proportional to the target's level of activity and inversely proportional to this level of defensive measures.

This is "Victor's Law of Vulnerability," which I first brought out in 1981. It was true then, and it's still true today. It's particularly true of political candidates. Let' s see why.
You can't really hurt a hermit, or harass anyone who doesn't do much of anything. You can't cause job-related problems to someone who's unemployed. You can't cause landlord problems to someone who lives in a field or ditch. Anyone with no phone, credit cards, automobiles, etc., is pretty immune to most harassment.
The picture changes when someone starts to move out into the big world. The more he does, the more he leaves himself open. As students of harassment know, just getting a telephone opens the door to a whole world of evil waiting to crash in.
The target can have some defensive measures, such as an unlisted number. He can also maintain a low profile, keeping his movements secret to reduce his exposure. Politicians often do this in their daily lives.
All of this goes out the window during an election campaign. The politician must expose himself, must let the people see him. He goes out to shake hands and kiss babies. He makes public speeches, attends rallies, knocks on doors, goes on television, and has a campaign organization working for him. He must put up signs, pay for newspaper ads, hire people to carry posters for him, pay for food and drink, hold fund-raising dinners, write letters, meet with big money contributors, and many other activities that are vulnerable to disruption.
The candidate can't, of necessity, keep a low profile during the campaign. Campaign headquarters can't have a secret address or unlisted number. Because the main effort is to win over potential voters, the office must be open, and welcome visitors. This is also an opportunity for a saboteur to penetrate as a "volunteer," to do the most damage.
Political candidates are sitting ducks. They're open to attack by individuals or well-organized groups.
They can't do much to defend themselves without retreating into a shell that keeps them from the public eye and which can cost them the election.
This is the "window of vulnerability."



Creative individuals have been using harassment techniques to wreck political campaigns for longer than we can record. Some recent documented examples occurred in the Watergate affair.
Previously, a fun-loving gentleman named Dick Tuck had carried out a few practical jokes against candidates. One of his distinguished victims was a man named Richard M. Nixon, who didn't think it funny at all. 1 There are more powerful techniques available to the person with an active mind. We'll layout and analyse these, and study how to apply them. First, let's look at a few hypothetical examples of how some trashing projects might work.


Senator Sleazy's fund-raising dinner was scheduled for six PM in the main dining room at the Park Royal Hotel. When the guests were half-way through their $1OO-per-plate meals, a large, bulky figure in a jumpsuit, helmet, and boots appeared in the main dining room doorway. He had a citation book in one hand, and a bullhorn in the other. He raised the bullhorn:

"May I have your attention, please. The cars outside will be towed away if not moved. Tow trucks are already out there. Any car not moved within five minutes will be towed. Thank you."

He turned around and was gone as quickly as he'd arrived.

Some of the guests threw down their forks and ran outside, where they saw several tow trucks, rotating lights flashing in the night, waiting by the curb. Two of the operators were already unlimbering their chains. One guest ran back inside to tell others at his table. There was immediate panic as all of the men rushed outside, followed by most of the ladies. Car after car zoomed away from the curb while inside the hotel John Pressman, Sleazy's campaign manager, was on the telephone trying frantically to find out what had gone wrong. Meanwhile, Sleazy was doing a slow burn.

This fiasco was easy to arrange. The trasher had no special inside information because the fundraising dinner had been announced in the newspapers a month before. A half-hour before making an appearance dressed in his uniform, the trasher telephoned several towing services, identifying himself as the owner of a car stalled outside the hotel. Before stepping into the telephone booth, he'd copied the makes and plate numbers of several cars.
His "uniform" was equally easy to arrange. It was a dark blue jumpsuit, available in any uniform shop, and a motorcycle helmet. Boots were black leather Wellingtons, again, commonly available. He wore no police insignia or patches, because impersonating a police officer is illegal. He counted on shock and surprise, and it worked. Nobody questioned him.


Senator Sleazy, to show his concern for people with special problems, had his campaign manager arrange a trip to a special school for retarded children. This would be excellent press, and the campaign manager secured commitments from several 1V stations and newspapers to have reporters on hand.

The day before the trip, the telephone rang at the school's administrative office. A man, identifying himself as being on Senator Sleazy's staff, asked to speak with the school's director:

"Hello, I'm working the advance liaison for the Senator, and I want to coordinate a few things to make sure it all goes smoothly tomorrow. First, how old are these retards?"

'Well, I wish you wouldn't call them 'retards.' They're 'special students' to use. They range in age from about seven up to eighteen." "I don't care what we call the morons, it's all the same to me. Are any of them violent?" "No, I should say not! They're simply children without the usual amount of intelligence quotient." 'Well, what I'm worried about is how some of them might look on TV. This is an important media event and we can't have some gooney kid picking his nose when the camera's on him, especially if he eats the boogers. " "I don't think that'll happen. Staff will be watching the children carefully, in any event." "I also wouldn't like it if so me dopey kid started having the shakes, or making funny faces. I t wouldn't look good on TV if one of them opened his pants and started playing with himself. Can you have your doctor give them all an injection before the Senator arrives? You know, a strong tranquilliser or something. " "I don't think that will be necessary. You see m to have some strange ideas about what goes on here." 'I'm just looking out for the Senator, that's al1. If any of these kids are hyperactive, can you have their shoelaces tied to their chairs or something to keep them from jumping up and moving around?" By the time this telephone conversation ended, the school's director had been offended beyond words.
He angrily told the caller that if he felt the way he did, the event could be cancelled. The caller replied that it was all right with him because he felt that "playing footsie with a bunch of 'mentals' wasn't the Senator's style, anyway." The Senator got a chilly reception when he arrived the next day.

This is a good example of what one telephone call can accomplish. Making a success of it requires some inside knowledge, such as the candidate's schedule and the contact person at the school.


Senator Sleazy's "advance man" 2 arrives in Smalltown to prepare the way for the Senator's appearance next week. He visits the Mayor to arrange for the rental of the town plaza for a rally. He invites the dignitaries to attend. A visit to the police chief sets up protection for the event. The advance man places an order with the town's printer for a thousand signs to be printed and delivered on next Saturday morning, before the Senator' s car arrives.
He also visits the town's delicatessen to order two thousand sandwiches, salads, and other accessories for the rally. At the local supermarket, he orders 250 cases of beer for the event. The beer is to be packed in coolers ready for pickup in back of the supermarket on Saturday morning. The local high school band is to have a role in the festivities, too, as laid out with the principal during one of the advance man's tours about the town. The local hotel receives a reservation for twenty people, the number in the Senator's party.
The advance man also visits the town's only "classified' restaurant to reserve a room for a gala dinner for the Senator' s party. This is for Saturday evening and is to include many of the town's dignitaries and comes to a total of fifty people. He hands out business cards and instructs the merchants to send the bills to campaign headquarters.

Back in the city where the Senator's headquarters are, the "advance man" makes other preparations.
He has fliers printed and distributes them in low income neighbourhoods and on skid row:


Saturday, October 10 Picnic and Rally Spend a day in the outdoors!
Be at the corner of 10th and Jefferson at 8 AM Free bus ride to Smalltown City Plaza Free beer and refreshments. Bring your friends!

The advance man also charters buses by telephone to transport the many people he expects to show up.
He also rounds up a few transients, pays them each fifty dollars cash, and appoints them "marshalls" of the rally and picnic. He gives them photocopied instructions and the schedule for the trip out. Some of the "marshalls" will take their own vehicles to Smalltown, and the advance man gives them "gas money" to cover the cost. When one of them asks about the schedule for the return trip, the "advance man" replies, 'I'm still working that out with the bus company. I'll let you know as soon as I find out."

On Saturday the following events take place:

The crowd gathers at 8 AM at the comer of 10th Street and Jefferson and the first buses pull out for Smalltown. At the same time, the few transients who are scheduled to drive their own vehicles start down to Smalltown, sober or not. The Highway Patrol stops some of them, unconvinced by their explanations that they're officials in one of the Senator's rallies.
Those who make it proceed to the back of the supermarket, where they pick up the beer prepared for them. They transport the coolers to the city plaza, a large field in the centre of town, and get set for the arrival of the main party. Another vehicle arrives at the print shop to pick up the signs. The high school band sets up next to the reviewing stand and starts to play.
The buses arrive at 9 and deposit about a thousand people, who immediately dig into the sandwiches and beer. The buses turn around to head back to the city because their orders did not include waiting for the return journey.
The marshalls distribute the signs, and some of the people start to parade around the field, hamming it up for the TV cameras which are now on the scene. The TV reporters have a lot to tape, with some of the visitors staggering around with a sign in one hand and a beer can in the other.
The town police are becoming apprehensive, although no disorder is yet evident. However, the "advance man" had not provided for portable Johns, and the visitors who have to get rid of some beer are letting it go right in the bushes lining the field. The mayor is starting to worry because it's now 11 AM and the Senator was due an hour ago. A phone call placed by the Assistant City Manager to the Senator's campaign headquarters reaches a secretary who's only in for a couple of hours on this sleepy Saturday morning. She explains that she knows nothing about a rally in Smalltown, and that today the Senator is campaigning in Wickville, a hundred miles upstate. She adds that she doesn't expect anyone else to be in that day, which means that she won't be able to give any further explanation for the peculiar events.
The Mayor telephones the Mayor of Wickville, who is an acquaintance, and discovers that the Senator is indeed there for a speech, having arranged this several weeks ago. He puts John Pressman, the campaign manager, on the line. It becomes clear that no rally was ever planned for Smalltown, and that the "advance man" is totally unknown to campaign headquarters.
By the late afternoon, the situation's becoming ominous. It's evident that the entire event was a hoax. The food has run out, and so has the beer. The few transients with money have bought more beer.
The police chief interviews the only marshall sober enough to speak coherently, and finds that nobody knows anything about the return arrangements. A telephone call to the bus line's office produces the information that no buses are scheduled to transport the visitors back.
Night is now falling, and the town's two fast food outlets have closed. There's one hotel in town, which can accommodate only about forty people at most.
The problem is very serious and the three 1V networks are carrying coverage of the developing situation for broadcast all over the state. The Senator says in an interview that he knows nothing about it. This statement, although perfectly truthful, makes him look foolish.

This is an excellent example of how an imaginative artist can create a situation from scratch. There's no special ability or inside knowledge required here.
The only costs are a few payments to transients and travel expenses for the initial trip to the town.


One day near the end of the campaign, Senator Sleazy and his staff are hard at work in their headquarters. Several people enter, holding help wanted classified ads in their hands. They are applying for a job advertised in the paper, but nobody remembers placing the ad. Someone mentions that the water cooler doesn't work. Near midday, deliverymen start to arrive with pizzas and Chinese dinners. Others come bearing sandwiches and other take-out food. Again, nobody has ordered it, but the front office people dig into the petty cash and pay for it because it's lunchtime anyway.
More food arrives, and John Pressman, the campaign manager, realizes that something weird is happening. His telephone's been ringing off the hook all morning with wrong numbers. People keep asking for the "free green stamps" and he's been telling them that he knows nothing about them. His secretary, returning from the ladies' room, reports that the water pressure's off in the sinks and that the toilets don't flush.
Shortly after one PM, the lights go out. Very disturbed, Pressman picks up the telephone to call the electric company. There's no dial tone. He tries another line with the same results. He sends his assistant downstairs to examine the fuse box. The assistant returns with the news that the fuse box is locked. Pressman hands him the key, and after another trip downstairs, the assistant reports back that the lock seems to be jammed, because the key won't go in all the way. Pressman sends his assistant to the gas station across the street to find a public phone to call the telephone company.
Senator Sleazy, concerned that his entire effort is coming to a halt, decides that he'll leave to continue working at home. Arriving at the building's parking lot, he finds the gate closed and locked with a chain and padlock. Nobody has the key to fit the lock.
Returning upstairs, he tells John Pressman to dismiss the staff for the day, and rummages for a crowbar to break the gate open. He finds one, and most of the staff are able to leave. Pressman, however, finds that he can't lock up because his key won't fit in the lock.

This disaster was caused by a person with an evil mind, a creative imagination, the time to make a few phone calls, and the initiative to visit campaign headquarters to insert some toothpicks in the locks.
It's a good example of how one person can paralyse an entire campaign.


One morning at campaign headquarters Senator Sleazy got a frantic call from his wife. 'Why did you invite all of those people over? Why didn't you tell me? Now they're going to start showing up and 1 haven't got anything to serve them." "Hold on, dear. What people? What are you talking about?" "I just heard you on the radio. You invited all those people to an open house right here, today!" "No, no, no. 1 haven't invited anybody, and 1 haven't been on the radio." "I heard you! It was you! You said that you were having an open house for all veterans at your home today. You told them to come as they are, and to bring their friends and families." A call to the radio station by John Pressman, Sleazy's campaign manager, confirmed that there indeed had been a radio talk show that morning, and that someone who identified himself as Senator Sleazy had announced the "open house." The show' s moderator had thought the voice and the announcement authentic.
Upon being told that the whole thing was a hoax, the station manager ordered his announcer to make periodic statements to that effect on the air, and to warn listeners that tthe Senator was not holding a open house. However, the many people already on their way didn't hear him, and very soon the streets around the Senator's home were jammed with cars.
Fist fights started in front of his door as people shoved each other to be first in line. A few impatient ones went to the back door when the front door didn't open immediately after they rang the bell.
Irritated, they kicked the back door in, and the melee was on.
This shows how one person, imitating a notable's voice, was able to cause a near-riot with one spurious announcement. We'll examine more of the specific techniques of political trashing in the following chapters and study how to best apply them.


1. Watergate, Lewis Chester, Cal McCrystal, Stephen Aris, and William Shawcross, (New York, Ballantine Books, 1973), pp. 104-107.
2. For an explanation of the term" advance man" and a further description of his duties, see the chapter on Disruption.


American elections, while not as totally corrupt as those in certain other countries, have not been especially clean over the years. Candidates have carried out all sorts of "dirty tricks" and illegal acts to win. The term "ballot-box stuffing" is descriptive enough, and has played a part in many elections.
Candidates routinely lie to the voters. Campaign promises are jokes. The campaign manager formulates the lies his candidate will tell in this manner:
The first step is to conduct a survey, which is a sort of public opinion poll of the voters in the area The survey asks the voters their opinions on a number of issues that play a part in the campaign.
Once the campaign manager has a good idea of what the majority of the voters think, he formulates the speeches his candidate will deliver. The purpose is to tell the voters what they want to hear. The one who does this best has an edge in the election.
In each metropolitan area, there are small, highly specialized companies which conduct these surveys for political aspirants. Sometimes, the people who head these companies do double duty, taking temporary employment as campaign manager for one of the candidates during each election.

Campaign contributions are another area in which there's been a huge amount of manoeuvring to take advantage of loopholes in the laws.

Legislators, and many members of their constituencies, think that the solution to any problem is to pass a law. This isn't surprising, because passing laws is how legislators earn their livings. Enforcing the laws legislators pass is someone else's problem, and not as easy as formulating the law in the first place. However, this is not the legislator's concern.

We see the ineffectiveness of laws especially clearly when we look at the ones designed to keep election campaigns honest. If we pass a law prohibiting the exercise of undue influence by making contributions by corporations illegal, this hardly cramps their style.
The corporation no longer makes contributions in its own name. Instead, its executives contribute. One reason many high corporate executives earn such tremendous salaries is so that they can funnel money into campaign coffers. It's still legal for individuals to make contributions, regardless of occupation, and they take advantage of this to the fullest.
Some states have laws requiring the listing and disclosure of campaign contributions over a certain amount. Again, this law is easy to circumvent. The purpose of the law is to show what people are paying money into which candidates' campaigns. Two simple ways to get around this law are to divide the contributions into amounts small enough not to require declaration, and having third parties make the large contributions. A corporate president may be well known in the community, but his attorney or brother-in-law may not.
Similar tactics work when there's a law designed to curb political action committees. If the law states that a PAC is allowed to contribute only $10,000 to any candidate's campaign, that's all it contributes directly. The PAC's members contribute the rest as individuals, and get around the technicality of the law.

Another loophole concerns the time these laws are in effect. Usually, these laws limit the amount contributed during any given year. The way around this is to make contributions even in off years. This is a particularly devious way to circumvent the law, because of the "ripple effect." Here's how it works:
Candidates rarely campaign unassisted. An aspiring congressman will often have help from a Senator of the same party stumping the campaign trail with him. It's the same for most elected officials.
Contributions to the campaign fund of an official who's not running during a particular year attract practically no attention, yet can aid a candidate who is when the official hits the campaign trail to try to gain him votes.
Campaign contributions are often thinly disguised legal bribes. In theory, they're to help pay the costs of running a political campaign, but in practice a certain amount inevitably goes to the direct support and benefit of the candidate. The funds are also used to pay travel expenses, which can result in a lavish lifestyle. When a Senator travels, he does not stay in the Sleazebag Eight Motel, but one of the more opulent ones in the community. He'll eat in the better restaurants, not a greasy spoon or fast food stand. He often brings his family along on his junket at party expense. This is one of the hidden reasons people run for office. With enough monetary support, they can live the high life for several weeks or months, even if they eventually lose the election.


A campaign contribution is either an investment, or a purchase, or both. It's obvious that people don't give away their money for fun. They also don't do it because they like a candidate's face, or the style of his clothes. When corporations contribute money, it's because they expect something very definite in return.

A candidate who approaches a corporation and tries to solicit a contribution on the basis of his honesty and dedication to good government may get some smiles and handshakes, but little else. The candidate who seeks contributions must make definite commitments. He or his campaign manager meets with the executives and promises support for the interests of the corporation. These campaign promises made behind closed doors well out of sight of the public are the ones which count. These are the ones the candidate keeps.
The candidate knows that voters can be distressingly fickle but that his main contributors can remain loyal to him in return for his favours. Specifically, the large contributors depend on his votes during critical votes in the legislature or on his introducing a bill to their advantage. If the candidate is chief executive his veto can make the difference to a contributor, and he delivers what his masters want.
In many state legislatures the state senators and representatives are executives of major firms in the state. Their companies endorse their candidacies, allow them time off for legislative duties and even support their campaigns. Of course, such a legislator is already "bought and paid for" well before he takes the oath of office.


We're not going to spend much time on these, because they're so well-known and shop-worn, although they seem to keep working as each new generation comes of age to vote. We have a rich history of unethical election tactics that stays with us, as the terms "mudslinging" and "vote stealing" are part of the American scene.
False campaign promises, of course, are "as American as apple pie." Few say they believe them, but in fact enough do to get the candidates elected.
There are other forms of lies, though.
Lies about the opponent are common. It's very hard to win a libel suit against these, as the courts seem to accept that there will be normal exaggerations, amounting to character assassination, in the heat of a campaign, and nobody takes them seriously, anyway. In many cases, the lies are stated in vague terms, innuendoes rather than accusations, and are hard to pin down. They work welt however, by influencing voters.
A variation on this theme is the "whispering campaign," which is basically grey or black propaganda Campaign workers spread lies about the opponent, always by word of mouth and never in a way attributable to the candidate.
Another tactic is actually stealing or faking votes.
Roaming graveyards to gather the names of dead voters has become a cliché in this country, although it's not often a tactic nowadays. The way to steal an election varies with the situation and the power of the person who arranges it. In so me instances, it's just "ballot-box stuffing," putting in marked ballots to tip the balance for the chosen. In other instances, it's manipulation of electronic voting machines. The 1960 presidential election was stolen, using a variety of means. 1 Another tactic, legal but basically dishonest, is the fake third candidate. If it seems that the election will be close, a well-financed contender can pay for a campaign for a person who is almost unknown, and who takes a position on issues very much like the opponent. The purpose is to split the vote, as the third candidate can bleed votes from the opponent and spoil his chances of winning.
The "front organization," or "front," is very common for concealing the origins of a campaign. A candidate who is in bed with the insurance companies, for example, does not get direct support from them. They use the shop-worn dodge of having their executives contribute money to the candidate's campaign. To give him greater support, they form a "front" organization with a name that does not reveal its origins, such as "Citizens for Oliver Sleazy" or "Concerned Voters For Better Government." Typically, a front operates out of a mail drop and uses an answering service. Its publications, however, are all over town.

It's possible to uncover a front, and surprisingly it takes very little digging. By the time an investigative reporter accomplishes this and gets the word out, most voters will have made up their minds anyway.


1. It Didn't Start With Watergate, Victor Lasky, (New York, Dial Press, 1977), pp. 47-54


One of the most important lessons of Watergate is that getting caught brings disaster. The consequences can be serious to catastrophic, and can start with public embarrassment and lead through having your candidate discredited, civil prosecutions, criminal prosecutions, and even doing hard time" in prison.
Avoiding the blame for the events which you put in train requires more than "stonewalling" and "plausible denial," the favourite phrases of those who run our government. "Stonewalling" did not accomplish very much during the Watergate investigation, and "plausible denial" simply wasn't plausible.
There are several stages to avoiding the blame.


The first, upon which all others depend, is not to fall under suspicion. Suspicion need not lead to a prosecution, but it can lose an election.

One way to divert suspicion is to set up a fake third candidate to take the blame. With the proliferation of "front" organizations, it's easy to file for candidacy. A third party almost unknown in the community, can run for office with the express purpose of taking the flak. Of course, he and his organization will have nothing to do with the real work, thus avoiding prosecution.


Another essential component is to observe security in all areas. We'll deal with this more thoroughly in another chapter, but for now let's lay out the theme that good security is a precaution to avoid discovery. It's no guarantee against bad luck, a fact which you must understand from the start.
Security is still valuable, though. If bad luck strikes, observing security can limit the damage. The main purpose of security precautions is that no illicit or unethical activity be traced back to you or to the candidate you support.


Good judgment and a sense of proportion are essential in planning, to avoid stirring up too much of a problem. As long as the tactics against your target remain in the nature of practical jokes and good-natured fun, nobody'll get too excited about them. However, if so me members of your organization go overboard and start committing serious felonies, there will be problems.

We can recall the proposals outlined by G. Gordon Liddy to then Attorney General Mitchell, John Dean, and Jeb Magruder, assistant director of CREEP, on January 27, 1972.1 Liddy had planned to use mugging squads, kidnappers, and other agents to further the cause of re-electing Richard Nixon.
Liddy's plans included abducting "radical leaders" and incarcerating them in camps south of the border until after the election. There would also be prostitutes to lure Democratic Party leaders into compromising positions where hidden cameras would film the proceedings for later blackmail. He also planned on extensive electronic surveillance to intercept communications. His plan would have cost about one million dollars, but was so far-out and objectionable that his audience was appalled.
Mitchell understated the point when he told Liddy that his plan was "not quite what they had in mind."

It's easy to understand why any action plan which inc1udes kidnapping, mugging, and other forms of Violence will stir up a horne1's nest. Such extreme measures go beyond practical jokes, and are impossible to "laugh off."


Selecting the proper people to plan and carry out the program is important. It's vital to avoid overly enthusiastic people such as Liddy. Liddy would have surely gotten the nation's highest decorations in wartime but because his extreme actions were inappropriate for the situation his reward was a prison term


Discretion truly is the better part of valour. It' s difficult, but important, to resist the temptation to brag about successes. Boasting can lead to the plan's becoming unravelled. It's also important to use restraint to resist the temptation to hit the target with everything including the kitchen sink and apply only enough actions to get the job done. Leave a little for next time.


1. Watergate. Lewis Chester. Cal McCrystal, Stephen Aris and William Shawcross. (New York. Ballantine Books. 1973) p. 135.


The most important aspect of any trashing effort is that it must be separate from the campaign organization. This is true whether it's only one person or several and the reason centres around security. As we'll see, any political campaign is bound to be loosely organized, and this can bring disaster to anyone who plans on harassing and trashing his opponent. Political campaigns make extensive use of volunteers, which immediately compromises security. Candidates regularly infiltrate spies into the "enemy's" office.
The people involved in the trashing must also be completely separate, even unknown, to the campaign. There's a possibility that they might be recognized in so me of their actions, and there must be nothing to connect them with the candidate or his staff.


This brings out the need for an independent organization, completely apart from the regular party machinery. The premises must be away from the campaign's headquarters. A small office to the side isn't satisfactory because it's too dose, and there's bound to be some traffic between the campaign leaders and the clandestine organization.
The apparently secret activity will also arouse curiosity.


Finding the right people is a vital first step. For protection against letting in a "trojan horse," it's important to employ only long-term friends or acquaintances. Recent arrivals may easily be "plants."

The people must be trustworthy, but loyalty to the candidate or to the group leader is only the first step.
They must be quiet, conservative types, without any trace of flamboyancy, because they'll need to exercise good judgment.
The people employed in this effort must also have two other qualities:
They must be able to follow orders faithfully.
In following orders, they must do so with an open mind and independent judgment. They must be able to think for themselves because situations don't always develop as expected. A change of plan or improvisation is sometimes necessary.


This is a basic security tactic. Knowledge of the plan for any clandestine effort must be closely- held, and restricted to those who need to know. The more people who are "in" on the secret, the greater chance for a "leak."

No security effort can be 100% reliable. There's always a chance of letting in a spy. Also, loyalties can shift. Some people are careless. Despite having been cautioned, they speak too freely, and sometimes they allow their words to reach the wrong ears. This is why keeping the knowledge to the fewest people minimizes the risks.

It's equally important to avoid going overboard in pursuit of the "need to know" policy. The members of the special group should have the "big picture" and be informed of each other's efforts. Restricting knowledge excessively can result in lack of coordination and working at cross-purposes. If one worker has the telephone service at the opponent's headquarters cut off while another places classified ads to stimulate calls, they'll cancel each other out.


Many of the expenditures for trashing and harassment will have to remain untraceable and this dictates the use of cash. There will be a large "petty cash" fund available, and because of the nature of the work, receipts will be unobtainable.
Even if it were possible to get receipts for everything, it would be unwise because they would be incriminating evidence in some instances. It may, for example, be necessary to buy a rubber stamp in the name of an intended target. Paying by check would be foolish and saving the receipt unnecessary and unwise.
There will also be extensive use of credit cards and numbers in ordering material by telephone.
Members of the group must resist the temptation to make personal use of these resources. Buying anything for personal use lays a paper trail to the door of the person doing so and also constitutes fraud that will be easy to prove.


An inconspicuous office in a medium-sized office building is best. If there are some unrented offices the situation is even more favourable. Empty offices mean fewer neighbours who might be inquisitive. Low occupancy generally means an unfashionable address and low traffic.

If most of the other offices have no titles on their doors it's best to conform, as this will aid anonymity.
If there are titles painted on an innocuous and uninformative title such as "Universal Services" is appropriate because it discourages curiosity and keeps the low profile.
An unlisted number isn't necessary. The telephone can be in the name of the "firm." There will be few phone calls, because anyone looking through the telephone directly will have a hard time figuring out exactly what "Universal Services" does or sells.
Whoever answers the telephone can discourage callers by saying that the company has gone out of business and that he's the janitor cleaning up after the departure.
The best policy is to provide a lot of change for the workers, so that they may make their sensitive calls from public phone booths. Many of the calls, such as those simulating "public opinion polls," need no special security precautions because nobody will be calling the same number twice and the chances of a trace are miniscule.

In extreme situations, the trashers may even work out of their homes. Because of the type of effort, there's no need for extensive files or business machines. Working out of one's home is the lowest profile method available.


The trashers are truly the "silent service" because they must operate quietly during the campaign, and maintain security after it's all over. Win or lose, there's no blame and no glory. Discretion is vital, and definitely the better part of valour.


Harassment of a political candidate need not be costly. We've seen that techniques of harassment often cost little or nothing to execute. However, when we deal with the political scene, we must recognize reality: large sums of money may be available to help the effort, and making best use of these is essential.

Let's first take a quick look at the process of political campaign financing, and spot the vulnerable points. This will provide two insights:
What mistakes to avoid.

How to exploit the opponent's mistakes in this area.


American practice is for "interested parties" to buy into the candidate's campaign. Because bribes are illegal, the transfer of money must have a cover, such as that of aiding the candidate in his bid for election.

The Federal Election Campaign Bill, which took effect in April, 1972, requires a political party to publish the source of any contribution over ten dollars. It also requires reporting the source of any donation over one hundred dollars to the General Accounting Office. Another provision, also apart of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act which it replaced, is that corporations may not contribute to political candidates.

This law has many loopholes, so many that it doesn't cramp the style of the big contributors to any significant degree. All that's necessary to circumvent the law is for the corporations to make contributions through individuals, such as directors and other executives. 1 Their relatives can also pass money to the candidates. This is one reason why salaries of some corporation executives often run to six or seven figures. Realistically, nobody needs hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars for living expenses. The excess goes for generous campaign donations.


Occasionally, there's a need to "launder" the money further than by simply passing it through an executive or his family. Some executives don't want it known that they're contributing to a campaign, and take further steps to obscure the money's provenance. For example, Robert Allen, at the time president of Gulf Resources and Chemical Corporation, sent money to Mexico for ultimate return in the form of cashier's checks from the corporation's Mexican attorneY.2 The reason such laundering is necessary is that once the money's in the system, it's hard to remove its traces. Money does no good unless it's spent.
Expenditures provide very visible traces which can be tracked down not only by government agencies, but by private parties such as investigative reporters. Private "watchdog" groups such as "Common Cause" can also trace campaign dollars. 3


U's plain that this must be separate from the regular organization from the start. There must be no crossing of money from the legitimate party or campaign office to the secret one because this can provide an entry for investigators. Early planning can help in this regard. Start making preparations a couple of years in advance, if possible.

If you're a candidate or campaign manager, you can insulate the secret effort from discovery. In canvassing for donations, you'll find some contributors prefer to deal in cash only, to keep themselves totally anonymous. This preference is perfect for your needs. After assuring them that their money will be well spent, keep it separate and untraceable. This means, above all, not to deposit it in a bank account. This would be counter-productive because it would immediately put a paperwork "tail" on tail-free money. Another obvious point is that you should keep no written records. These have ways of coming to the surface at inconvenient moments.

A safe-deposit box or private vault can provide maximum security. The best protection, however, is secrecy. Nobody need know that you have large amounts of money in your custody, even though you'll be disbursing it to various people at times. The mechanics of how you got it and where you keep it must remain on a "need-to-know" basis.


It's still possible to pay cash for many expenses. If it's necessary to hire people, cash payments will often be preferable. Individuals sometimes prefer payment in cash to avoid having to declare the income. This is especially true in hiring some of the more clandestine or transient elements. If for example, you hire a group of disreputable-looking derelicts to carry campaign signs advertising your opponent, you can hardly pay them off by check. If your spy in the enemy camp expects payment for services, cash is the way to go.

Money orders will cover many of the other contingencies. The advantage of money orders is that they're as secure as cash. Some businesses might question a check, or hold up shipment until the check clears. Because a money order entails money "up front," it finds quick acceptance in the business world.

It may also be worthwhile to set up a dummy checking account. This is a legitimate checking account but in the name of a "shell company," a fictitious entity operating out of a mail drop and an answering service.


We may have to assure that the money supply won't be unlimited. There may be a need to stretch the dollars. There are several ways to do this, which we'll explore when dealing with specific techniques of harassment. The most useful one, as we'll see, is having the target pay for his own harassment! By clever footwork, it's possible to charge items to his budget. This offers the additional advantage of making the payment truly untraceable to you and your candidate.

Good money management will greatly aid your campaign. For these purposes, it goes beyond clever budgeting. It requires managing closely held accounts, often operating out of your head.


In some instances, you may find it expedient to contribute to a potential opponent's campaign.
This will be during the primaries. If you feel that the other party has one outstanding candidate who might give you a difficult contest, you need to do what you can to ensure that he doesn't survive the primary election. This is where setting up a fake "Political Action Committee" helps. You'll channel a large contribution to the front-runner's opponent, to help him win over the really dangerous candidate.


Money can help your effort immeasurably, if you have access to large sums. Although money isn't the be-all and end-all, it permits a new dimension in campaigning, and makes it easier overall.


1. Watergate, Lewis Chester, Cal McCrystal, Stephen Aris, and William Shawcross, (New York, Balla.i1tine Books, 1973) p. 93.
2. Ibid., p. 99.
3. Ibid., p. 94.


There are several broad ways in which it's possible to wreck an opponent's political campaign. They fall roughly into the following categories:


Any and all of these are powerful tactics. Some specific methods, though, don't fall neatly into one category. For example, if you have fake signs printed to bring ridicule on your target, this is discrediting.
If you then hire transients to take down the opponent's signs and replace them with the new ones, do we call this discrediting, destroying, or both?

There are tactics suitable for a group, and tactics workable by a lone individual. There are also tactics that work equally for both groups and lone trashers.

We'll examine all facets of wrecking a political campaign in this volume. It's serious, but it's also fun!

Surprisingly, much of this information is available through open sources. The rest requires stronger efforts to obtain.


"Shopping list" is the colloquial term for the information you'll be seeking. A short form is listed below:

The Candidate
Home address
Business and campaign HQ addresses
Telephone numbers
His Staff Names, addresses, employment, and telephone numbers of all managers
A listing of all or most of the candidate's personnel and their functions
Any special equipment installed
Campaign plans
Campaign schedules. Public appearances and travel plans
Information about suppliers of goods and services
Mailing lists
Other documents
Discards containing valuable information


The first and most easily available sources of information to help build up a target list are the media. Clip and scan all newspaper accounts of rallies, speeches, etc. Often, there will be candidate "profiles" which provide additional information. A TV news program, although superficial, can also contain valuable information. What you can gain from the TV news is tapes of the target candidate and the people around him. In some instances, you may need to identify some of these people.
Collect all of the campaign literature you can. This usually has valuable information. Consult other open sources, such as the telephone directory and city register. Attend meetings and rallies. This provides the opportunity to see, live, the people with whom the candidate "runs." It also lets you copy license plate numbers. In so me states, car registrations are open information and available to any member of the public, at no cost or for a nominal fee. This allows discovering addresses of those who are not listed elsewhere.
The library can provide information. If the candidate or some of his staff are businessmen, a number of business directories may list them. The local Chamber of Commerce can also provide information. There's usually a directory of members, and these may list business or home addresses, or both. While you're at it, don't neglect the Yellow Pages.
Another way to find out a candidate's home address or telephone number is to go to his place of business and look for an emergency sticker on the window. This is for use by the police or fire department and lists a number to call in case of a fire or burglary. If there's no such sticker, go inside. If the business is a retail outlet, you will have easy access.
Look for a telephone on the wall behind the counter.
The owner's home number may be on a list next to the phone, or even scrawled on the wall.
Getting the address of campaign headquarters is easy. Copy it off any piece of campaign literature.
This will also provide a quick and handy diagnostic test for detecting "fronts." They often use mail drops and have answering services instead of live telephones.
It's important to obtain as much personal data as possible about everyone who works in campaign headquarters. While the candidate and his manager are the big and obvious targets, it helps to know about the little people, too. They're often in a position to do you some good, if you can work the right approach.
Making personal inquiries can work wonders.
Political campaigns always seem to be short of manpower, and volunteers are often welcome. If you have the time, go for it. Don't worry about not being admitted to the inner circles. Keep your eyes and ears open and you'll find out more in one day than you would have on the outside. If you can't perform the reconnaissance yourself, you'll have to recruit a spy.


In choosing the spy, the spymaster occasionally makes an error. Some think that a useful method of recruitment is blackmail. During the LBJ era, the GOP tried to recruit a teletype operator, Louis Flax, who moonlighted at Democratic Headquarters. Flax had a jail term in his past, a petty matter of a bad check. A "Mr. Lewis" of the Republican Party met with him and told him that his task would be to obtain documents from the Democratic offices. Flax played along, but reported the incident to his superiors at the Democratic Party. Wayne Phillips, a Democratic official who himself was versed in the ways of deviousness, instructed him in what documents to hand over for cash. This exploded in Lewis's face when the Democrats released the story to the media. 1

This shows that a blackmailed spy can be a time bomb waiting to go off. Blackmail is coercion, and the spy may be resentful enough to take any risks to revenge himself upon the blackmailer. Another miscalculation involves the tolerance or the reaction of the intended victim's superiors. The hidden offence may already be known, which de-fuses it as a blackmail too1. A very likely prospect is that the superior is not likely to take reprisals against the person who reports a blackmail attempt over a past transgression. It's more likely that he'll admire the courage that this confession requires, and take steps to protect the victim while feeding the blackmailer false information. This means that a blackmailed agent can be feeding you poison pills without your knowledge.
It's also a mistake to think that the spy must be one of the executives or managers. Often, low-level employees can obtain valuable data. One of the agents that CREEP used against Muskie during the 1972 primaries was a driver. 2

The spy also can be a paid agent. Some people believe that it's unwise to trust a mercenary in espionage because if he performs for pay, he can switch sides for more pay. This is a simple-minded view, and certainly doesn't apply to this situation. Often, it's easy to find someone with the conviction to undertake an unconventional effort against a candidate he despises. Many ordinary American citizens actively dislike one candidate or another.
Most don't have the resources to act effectively against them.

Once you identify one of these people, you can approach him with an offer to pay him for his work on your behalf. A request to "volunteer" to work on the target's campaign staff will carry more weight if reinforced by money. If you need a full-time worker, it'll cost more. You'll have to be generous enough to induce him or her to quit his job. That this will necessarily be short-term employment will affect the situation. You'll also have to think up a cover story to explain your spy's ability to work fulltime without compensation. One cover story that will stand up to quick and superficial investigation is the inheritance.

Training your spy is next. It'11 help a lot to choose the right sort of personality. The wrong type can blow everything sky-high. Anyone who sees it as a lark and doesn't take a serious enough attitude will be a liability. Anyone too flamboyant can also overstep himself. Remember G. Gordon Liddy! The proper attitude is a cautious one, devoted to keeping alert to everything it's possible to observe and record, but taking no risks.

Often, infiltrating the spy is simple. There are no elaborate security checks for low-level help. There's also the simple fact of power and pay. An employer can't demand as much from volunteers as he can from paid employees. He can't abuse them, either, because they don't have to stand for it. They can walk out without losing anything.

The spy should be very conservative, and not stick his or her neck out. Being found out can be catastrophic.

Many types of information can be useful.

Addresses and phone numbers of campaign centres can be useful for later disruption. Some of these may not be listed in the campaign literature or
available through "information." This isn't necessarily because of any clandestine work. I t may be that a supporter is lending the campaign office space in his facilities. The address and all of the phones are logically in his name.
In this regard, it's important to understand the concept of the "boiler room." This is a large room with many telephones, set up expressly for mass telephone calls. Callers, usually reading from a prepared script, conduct fund-raising campaigns or public opinion polls from these boiler rooms. There are professional organizations for both functions, but some candidates are so short of funds that they have their staff do it.
It's also worthwhile to obtain information about automatic dialling equipment and automatic telephone answering machines. Some candidates use these in their campaigns, and knowing the details provides a basis for disabling them.
Schedules of events are important. These provide the basis for disruption. Part of the undercover effort will be to cancel arrangements or postpone them.
Messing up an opponent's travel schedules and reservations can wreck a campaign. Cancelling meetings and announcing non-existent ones wrecks from within.
It's important to observe the people to find out who is whom and who does what. The clandestine effort can also act against key individuals. Causing sleepless nights by repeated telephone calls before a trip can really hurt.
Information about any and all activities can be helpful. For example, knowing that the candidate's staff is carrying out a telephone poll can be useful, as we'll see later.
Dissatisfied campaign workers are a prime topic. If someone's disillusioned with the candidate, he or she's a potential defector. Recruiting defectors, however, is not the spy's job. The spy is a talent scout only, and an attempt at recruitment might backfire and expose the spy. This is when the spy must employ discretion and good judgment, and report the incident to his "control." A recruiter unconnected with any campaign should make the attempt.
Campaign plans and long-range strategies are worth knowing, but often beyond the level of the spy.
Some nuggets can come his way, though, because of the peculiar mentality of those in power. They often convince themselves of their superiority over those whom they consider the "drones." They may speak freely and indiscreetly in their presence, discussing confidential matters as if they assume that the low-level employees are either deaf or stupid.
Whichever way the spy's career goes, it's vital not to lose sight of the main point: Even low-level information is useful. A simple envelope-stuffer in the enemy camp can pick up enough to make the effort worthwhile. Office gossip can often provide leads.
A small and seemingly ignominious role is the "trash detail." Discards can be important. Despite the widespread use of paper shredders, many useful papers still get discarded whole every day.
One very important type of trash to recover is the credit card slip or carbon. These can disclose the card types, numbers, and expiration dates of cards owned by the candidate, his managers, and also cards assigned to the organization. This is so important that it's worthwhile to organize a separate detail to clean out the trashcans or the dumpster outside headquarters.
The espionage efforts must avoid several pitfalls.
Burglary, wiretapping, and outright stealing are illegal. They can lead to criminal prosecutions and compromise the entire effort. Play it safe. Don't be tempted to do anything illegal.
Another caution is that the spy must not do anything to compromise his or her status. This means that sabotage, even by making a telephone call while "on the job" is hazardous. The action phase belongs to somebody else. However, sometimes there's no choice. There may not be enough people involved in the effort, which means that someone must double up and take the risks.
The spy must also pass the information to those who can use it. This is often the most dangerous part of the task, because the spy's contacts may be incriminating if there's any counter-espionage surveillance. It won't do to drop off papers at the opposition's office.
At the outset we must understand that political parties have their own "security" details, because they're aware that their opponents may resort to espionage, wiretapping, and other "dirty tricks." These security people may be ex-policemen, or former members of various government security agencies, and their expertise will vary greatly. Some are class acts. Others are just goons. Whatever their backgrounds, they're likely to run surveillance on some party workers.
Surveillance may be on the basis of suspicion, or random spot-checking. Either way, it's bad news for the spy who's clumsy about transmitting information. The surveillance may be clumsy or refined. The spy may or may not become aware of it, depending on the craftsmanship of the person doing the surveillance. This is why the safest assumption is that surveillance is always present. The safest action is to pretend to be totally unaware of any surveillance, and to move around with what appears to be a clear conscience.
This means no moves to shake off "tails." This means no actions that appear furtive. This also means concealing the mode of transmission under the cover of normal, everyday life. Meetings late at night and in lonely places are spy novel stuff, and worth avoiding. They're unnecessary, and appear incriminating. The spy should pass his information to someone he knows, and with whom he normally comes into contact. A good choice is a fellow worker or relative. Even with the gravest suspicion, a security officer can't shadow all of the suspect's relatives and associates. One of these can in turn pass the information to the ultimate recipient.
The mechanics of passing material from the spy to the "cut-out" are very simple. The most important point is to do it in normal surroundings, such as a visit to the cut-out's home. After the initial discussion to arrange the purpose and times of the meetings, there should be no further verbal discussion. It's unnecessary, and silence is a precaution against a "bug."


This is so common that it's a standard tactic in election campaigns. There's almost always an effort to find out information that can be useful against an opponent. Often, this effort involves private investigators. At times, "insiders" pass derogatory information into the hands of the target candidate's enemies. This is because there are always a few people acting from spite, jealousy, or who have other scores to settle with a candidate. Disaffected relatives and associates may come forward. People make enemies during a lifetime, and there will be those seeking revenge. Political candidates tend to make many more enemies along the way, and these sometimes co me back to haunt them.

If one of the candidates is an incumbent, he can use the power of the government. President Johnson used the FBI to try to dig up dirt on his challenger, Barry Goldwater, in 1964.3 One of the best-known "underground" stories of the Hoover era was the files he kept on government officials. These were his power base, which allowed him to remain in office long after normal retirement age, and which high politicians occasionally tapped for their own purposes.
Exploiting such information sources can be easy or difficult, depending on the situation. One problem, if your choice is direct disclosure, will be to amass enough evidence to protect against a libel suit. Indirect exploitation is better. This is in the realm of anonymous tips to the media and law enforcement agents. One tactic that's seen good use in previous campaigns is sending an anonymous letter to the local Internal Revenue Service office regarding tax evasion by the target or one of his cohorts. This doesn't require ironclad evidence, but enough documentation to convince IRS investigators that it's worthwhile to dig more deeply.
Your spy may come across documents that lead to this sort of tactic.

Creating a scandal is not as easy as it seems.
People are more tolerant these days. An excellent example is that of Ronald Reagan, a staunch conservative, who is our first divorced president.
What was scandalous years ago no longer is, depending on the region of the country.


1. It Didn't Start With Watergate, Victor Lasky, (New York, Dial Press, 1977), pp. 187-8.
2. Watergate, Lewis Chester, Cal McCrystal, Stephen Aris, and William Shawcross, (New York, Ballantine Books, 1973) pp. 114-115 3. It Didn't Start With Watergate, p. 178

To discredit a candidate means to spoil his reputation and to destroy his credibility. This is surprisingly easy to do because reputation and credibility are intangibles, and very vulnerable to attack. Because they're intangibles, it's not possible to safeguard them, as it would be if they were material objects. Reputation and credibility can't be stored in a safe or vault.


There's a repertoire of propaganda techniques that we can classify as "white," "grey," and "black." "White" propaganda is that which states its source.
"Grey" propaganda doesn't give a source, and "black" propaganda claims to come from the other side.
One good example of "grey" propaganda was the appearance of vitriolic anti-Catholic pamphlets during the 1960 Wisconsin primary. These were never actually traced to their source, but they created a lot of sympathy for John F. Kennedy by making it appear that he was being unfairly vilified by his opponent. An example of "black" propaganda was the appearance of 500,000 postcards during the 1962 gubernatorial campaign in California. These were supposedly from "The Committee for the Preservation of the Democratic party in California" and were laid out as an opinion poll. A question listed asked the addressee if he knew that Governor Pat Brown was controlled by the "California Democratic Council," an alleged left-wing front It later tuned out that the Republicans had set up The Committee for the Preservation of the Democratic Party in California to use as a front themselves.2 Another instance of black propaganda that succeeded came during the 1972 Florida primaries.
A letter, supposedly written by the Muskie crowd, went to Florida voters. This letter accused Jackson and Humphrey of sexual perversions. They contained no proof and the letters themselves were hard to pin down for origin. Obviously, they didn't come from any legitimate Muskie supporters.

Their timing was excellent. They appeared only 3 days before the election, giving the Muskie workers no time to check them out. This gave them a devastating impact. Muskie lost.

Using black propaganda to hurt the target is remarkably easy. Having "Gays For McKay" bumper stickers printed and distributed is one way. Printing the same fake message on other signs allows wider displays.

What becomes possible depends on the number of people available for the work. An important limitation is "need to know." There's a risk of a leak if too many people are in on the secret. A way to overcome this is not to rely much on volunteer help, and to make up the numbers with hired hands. The quality of effort will surely be lower but with enough money the program can still be effective.

An excellent way to spread a black propaganda message is to call in to radio talk shows. The caller can pretend to be a supporter of the targeted candidate, and make extreme statements on the air.
To illustrate how damaging this can be let's pick a hypothetical candidate for the state legislature in a very conservative state. The caller says something like this:

"Hello, I'm Emma McMullen and I think that Senator Sleazy's the right man for the job. I'm a working mother with three children, and know how hard it is to support a family. The senator told me that he's in favour of abortion, and that he'll vote for any abortion bill that comes out during this session.
I think that's a great idea, because people like me have too many mouths to feed, anyway." What's significant about this is that it's hard to deny the allegation. A woman stated on the air that she heard Senator Sleazy say that he's for abortion.

That it's impossible to track her down afterwards isn't going to register with most voters.

Letters to newspaper editors appear in print every day. This makes the attempt worthwhile. For a better chance of publication, the letters should be short and well written. A spelling error or two won't disqualify it for publication, but a long, rambling ungrammatical and sloppy letter will only get as far as File 13.

One person can create a workable program of letters to the editor if he does it correctly, for maximum impact. It's possible to work this angle both ways for a doubled effect.

There should be two sets of letters. One should be attacking the candidate you support, and signed by real people with real addresses. The purpose is to display defamatory letters that are obviously untrue, and easy to check out as forgeries. One example might run like this one:

The candidate who calls himself Mr. Nice guy is actually a dirty pervert. He seduced my sister when they were in third grade together. Only the fact that my sister was too young kept her from having his child. Such a man should be hanged, not elected.

John Smith
123 First Street
Anytown, USA

Another might read:

Mr. Goodman, the candidate governor, is actually a member of the John Birch Society and the American Nazi Party. Do we need such a man in office? I hope not, and can 't understand why you keep supporting him in your editorials. Possibly you're a Nazi yourself.
Wishing you get cancer, I am, Sincerely,

John Smith
123 First Street
Anytown, USA

Last night, Mr. Sleazy, our distinguished gubernatorial candidate, stated that he was against higher taxation. Four months ago, at a small meeting with the school board before his campaign got underway, he told us that there was no way the state would be able to avoid levying higher taxes to pay for the new road construction program.
He can't have it both ways. Which is it going to be?

Yours truly,

(signature indistinguishable)

Another example might run like this one:
Your editorial last week implored us to elect Sleazy Governor because he'd reduce taxes. Why, then, has his record been to vote for higher taxes all along?
At one of his rallies, when I asked him who would fund the new abortion clinics, he said this would be at state expense. It will, presumably, also come from our taxes.
Who's kidding who?

Yours truly,

(signature indistinguishable)


Another technique is to set up a phoney "committee." This can go as far as you wish, or have the funds to support. The "committee" can be totally fictitious, as in the California case, or it can have a mail drop for an address and an answering service for the telephone. These are minimal efforts, but they can help generate effective propaganda.

A more tangible committee is the one composed of real people, paid to work for the cause. They can open an office and man telephones, carry signs, hand out literature, and generally act in a way that seems to support the target candidate. The problem this creates for the target candidate is that he can do without the support of these people.


In most areas there are several out-groups whom nobody wants or tolerates. It may be gays, bikers, transients, minority people, etc. There are several ways of manipulating members of these groups to spoil the target candidate's image. Setting up an office and formal organization is more elaborate than essential. A quicker way is to pay members of these groups to carry signs, or to attend rallies by the candidate.

Many political rallies have "security personnel" whose job it is to keep out "undesirables." Because most rallies take place on private property, they have the legal right to do so, and in practice the security people man the entrances and deny entry to anyone who doesn't "look right." This need not cramp your style. If there's no hope of getting access, it's possible to hold a demonstration outside the gates.

Collecting a peaceful crowd to carry signs and to demonstrate in favour of the candidate is both legal and easy. They'll attract the attention of the news media and so me may even appear in interviews. This is the point to watch. It wouldn't do for an interviewee to say that he was attending because he was paid to do so. Keeping a few organizers stationed with the crowd to intercept media reporters and to offer themselves for interviews allows much greater propaganda effects. The organizer can lace his words with a few choice comments:

'We support Senator Sleazy because he's for Gay Rights. The Senator also helped my sister to get an abortion at the clinic he supports downtown. When we had our rally, the Senator said that he'd introduce a free abortion bill this session."

A variant on this theme is to gather a number of your friends and fellow workers who feel as you do politically and dress up as vagrants. Not shaving for several days and wearing old and shapeless clothes will produce the effect. This will suffice because the point is to give a visual effect for the media, especially the 1V cameras. To bring the point across especially well, one of the group can stagger over to a TV reporter, clutching a bottle of cheap wine, and make a slurred and half-coherent speech in favour of the candidate you're trashing.

Another technique that borders on black propaganda is to buy the candidate memberships in fringe groups. The fringe group need not be composed of minorities or social outcasts. In some communities, membership in the National Rifle Association is enough to ruin a reputation. In others, the American Civil Liberties Union holds a similar position.
The steps to this technique must involve making others aware of the membership. Without publicity it does no good. Here's one possible way to go about it:
Before the campaign starts, set up a checking account for "The Committee to Re-elect Senator Sleazy." This is a fictitious group totally unconnected with any other activity.
Send in a membership application to one or more out-groups or organizations. Have the membership card mailed to the address of the "Committee." This will be valuable documentation when the blow falls.
Send a check to the organization as a "donation." The check should be large enough to get their attention and to ensure their cooperation with the next stage of the program. If the organization sends a letter of thanks there's an excellent chance of gaining their wholehearted assistance.
"Mr. Nichols" from "Senator Sleazy's Campaign Headquarters" phones the director of the organization to ask if they received the check or to acknowledge the thank-you letter. He mentions that the Senator is engaged in a campaign for re-election, and requests that the organization type up a press release announcing the receipt of the donation and send a copy to the local media.
At about the same time, someone phones the local media anonymously to say that he's a volunteer for Senator Sleazy's campaign and has found the Senator's membership card or certificate in the nefarious organization. He's so shocked at learning this that he'll send a photocopy so that the public may be informed of where the Senator's true sympathies He. An envelope containing a photocopy goes out to each of the newspapers and TV stations called.

The timing of this propaganda must be correct. Ideally, the story should "break" a few days before election day, as the Muskie letter did. This is dose enough so that it won't be overshadowed by other news, yet too close for the target or his staff to make any effective move to counteract it or to discover the origin of the fraud.

Another way is the offensive fund-raising letter. There are so me candidates and groups which use strong-arm tactics to raise money for their campaigns. These provoke resentment, which is why any candidate who tries to raise money has to be very tactful. This leaves an opening for a mailing campaign based on an offensive letter. This is how one such letter might read:

Dear Mr. Blank;

As you know, our favourite candidate, Mr. Sammy Sleazebag, is running for office again this year. Because Sammy supports your special interest, he deserves your support. Sammy has voted (for) (against) every such proposal during his last term. This is why we feet that you, considering your finances and the benefit you gain from having Sammy in office and working for you, should contribute at least (fifty) dollars. Sammy remembers his friends and supporters, and he also remembers those who were not there when he needed them.

It's always beneficial to have a friend in the (legislature) (governor's office), and as a loyal Sleazebag supporter you'll find it worthwhile to contribute (fifty) dollars or more to Sammy's campaign. We will be keeping records of who contributes, and how much each gives, and we'll be keeping this in mind after Sammy's elected.
We must hear from you within five days.
Don't delay!

Johnny Fester, Campaign Manager

This letter can serve as a "matrix" for those who use a word processor to personalize their letters. It's worth doing for a campaign such as this because a personal approach is more effective, and allows you to be more hard-hitting and offensive. Let's look at how a letter to a doctor, following this format, might turn out:

Dear Dr. Blank;
As you know, our favourite candidate, Mr. Sammy Sleazebag, is running for office again this year. Because Sammy supports your special interest abortions, he deserves your support. Sammy has voted for every proposal for publicly funded abortions during his last term.
This is why we feet that you, considering your finances and the benefit you gain from having Sammy in office and working for you, should contribute at least one thousand dollars. Sammy remembers his friends and supporters, and he also remembers those who were not there when he needed them.
It's always beneficial to have a friend in the legislature, and as a loyal Sleazebag supporter you'll find it worthwhile to contribute one thousand dollars or more to Sammy's campaign. We will be keeping records of who contributes, and how much each gives, and we'll be keeping this in mind after Sammy's elected. We must hear from you within five days.
Don't delay!

Johnny Fester, Campaign Chairman

Another way is to use phoney callers who act in an offensive and insulting manner to anyone who does not support your opponent. Here's a good example of how to make the insulting phone call:
"Mr. Nichols," purporting to be from the candidate's office, is actually a telephone saboteur whose real function is to insult anyone to whom he speaks. He surveys people supposedly to find out how they intend to vote. Any who aren't for the candidate or who are doubtful he insults. He also insults those who favour the candidate by asking for campaign contributions, and insulting them if they refuse. He doesn't let anybody off the hook. Any agreeable people are asked to give more, until they refuse. Some of the requests "Mr. Nichols" can make are:
Asking for money.
Asking for the person to work in the campaign.
Asking that his victim solicit money door-to-door for the candidate.
Asking that the other person canvass door-to-door, soliciting votes.
Asking that members of the family work in the campaign.
Asking that he or she drive the disabled to the voting places on election day. Any who agree are assigned to skid row to drive derelicts who are registered to vote.

It's helpful if the caller impersonates a real person on the candidate's staff. This is where accurate and plentiful information aids the effort.
Yet another way to discredit the opponent is to make threatening phone calls on his behalf. "Mr. Nichols" works this deception in the following manner:
"Hello, I'm Mr. Nichols from Oliver Sleazy's campaign. I was wondering how much you would like to contribute. As a restaurant owner, you'll be interested in knowing that Sleazy is solid ly on the side of businessmen such as you....
"Oh, you said you weren't interested, Mr. Millstone? Well, you'll be very interested after Mr. Sleazy's elected and the health inspectors start coming around to your restaurant. We remember our friends, and our enemies, too."

There's a simpler way for the person who doesn't have much time, yet wishes the maximum effect for his investment. This is to make straight solicitation phone calls, but after midnight. This will alienate supporters, and is more effective if working from a list of supporters. This is where a spy in the enemy camp can be very helpful.

A variation on this theme is the person who scans the newspapers, magazines, and TV news, and makes insulting phone calls to any media employee who says anything unfavourable about the candidate or his objectives. This can also include unreasonable demands followed by insults, as described above.
There are actually several ways to carry this theme out. The first is possible only if the caller has a voice and accent very much like those of a real person on the candidate's staff. Impersonating that person while making insulting and offensive telephone calls will then be credible, and it will be very difficult for the candidate or his staff to deny the allegations convincingly.
The second way is to claim to be on the candidate's staff, but to decline specific identification.

"Mr. Harkins, your editorial was a shame, a damn shame, and only a degenerate like you could have written it." 'Who is this?" "I work for Senator Sleazy, and we think that you're the sort of left-wing commie pervert who should be run out of this country on a rail." 'Yes, but who are you?" "Don't you worry about who I am. You'll find out when 1 come down there and punch you out, you pinko (expletive)." 'You say you work for Senator Sleazy?" 'Yes, I do, and he was telling me just yesterday that if the immigration bill he's sponsoring had been passed a hundred years ago, this country wouldn't have let in human garbage like your parents." Another way is to claim to be a private citizen with extreme views, and an overtly insulting manner. This works on the principle of "guilt by association," and makes it seem as if the candidate has some extremist supporters.
"How can you write trash like that? Don't you care about your country at all?" 'Who is this? What do you mean?" "I don't like the tone of your editorial, and the way you treat the candidate I'm going to vote for. You ought to take a more responsible attitude." 'Well. I'm sorry you disagree, but that's what comes with the territory when you write editorials. I don't expect everybody to agree with me." 'What's more, you're a liar. You wrote that my candidate took contributions from the electric company. That's a damn lie, and you ought to check your facts before you write your trashy editorials." 'I'm afraid that you're talking about another editorial. 1 didn't write that about your candidate." "Don't tell me it's another editorial. You wrote it, I read it, and if you deny it, you're a (expletive) liar." This should be enough to rupture relations and cause the editor to hang up. Leaving him with a bad impression of anyone who supports Senator Sleazy is the purpose, and nasty telephone calls help greatly.
A final form to consider is claiming to be a member of an extremist group, and threatening the editor.
"Hello, Mr. Harkins? I'm with the American Patriots, and we don't like what you've been writing about Senator Sleazy." 'Well. I'm sorry that you disagree with me, but 1 call them as I see them." "You commie slob! Let me lay it on the line for you!
You print any more of that (expletive) and we're going to take care of you once and for all!" "Are you threatening me?"

'We're gonna do better than that. We know where you live, and we can get to you and your family any day of the week you dirty (expletive)." 'Who is this?" "You'll find out when you're looking at me from the wrong end of a gun, you (expletive)!" This last tactic ties in well with the existence of small and almost unknown fringe groups in our society. It makes such a threat credible. The most significant aspect of this tactic is that it's not necessary to try to impersonate a well-known person or even a real one.


One devastating attack on the target is with a forged newspaper article purporting to show that he has an unsavoury past. To work this successfully, it's important to know a little bit about the target's past. Specifically, you must know if he has always lived in the present locale, and if not, from where he came. A fake or real newspaper article about a child molester or other sex criminal, taken from his hometown newspaper, can discredit him if you paste a screened print of his face on it. Run thousands of copies off on a copier and distribute them widely on election eve, so as not to give him time for investigation and exposing of the forgery.
The documentary attack doesn't have to look legitimate to succeed. A lot depends on the area.
Some people are simply easier to fool than others. An example of a tactic that made a good last-minute effort is the rash of leaflets that appeared in 1960 in the South, during the Kennedy-Nixon campaign.
Some of these showed Nixon in friendly poses with blacks. They claimed that Nixon was a member of the
National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. Timing can be very important. If your accusations can be upheld by evidence, timing doesn't matter very much. The target can deny the charges all he wishes, but like a fish on a hook, struggling will get it in more deeply. If your accusations are total fabrications, however, timing's critical. You need to time the distribution early enough for many people to see it, but not early enough to allow the target time to answer convincingly.
Another important point is that the propaganda must be totally black and untraceable to you or your candidate. Although proving the accusations false will not affect the election, there's still the prospect of a civil suit for libel. This is why origin of the forgeries must be deniable enough to stand up in court.


Discrediting your target is very important, and likewise very easy. Any political candidate is vulnerable. It doesn't matter if his personal life is sinful or saintly. Once you "get on his case" with effective techniques, you can lose him the campaign.


1. It Didn't Start With Watergate, Victor Lasky, (New York, Dial Press, 1977), p. 27.
2. Watergate, Lewis Chester, Cal McCrystal, Stephen Aris, and William Shawcross, (New York, Ballantine Books, 1973) p. 108.
3. It Didn't Start With Watergate, p. 37.


Disrupting an opponents campaign means interfering with coordination and creating confusion among his supporters and campaign workers. There need be no physical destruction to create profound and long-lasting effects.

As we've noted, accurate information can allow greater precision in targeting the disruptive efforts.
It's important to understand that a small amount of information can open up many areas of attack, and the time spent in acquiring information will be well rewarded.

Striking at the organization can create disruption. There are so many openings for this it's impossible to list them all. However, a few of the better ones are listed below. Note that some of these require accurate information for best results.


Using the telephone to create disruption is one of the safest and most effective techniques. The possibilities are almost endless. The first we'll consider is jamming up the target's telephones through fake classified ads.

As we've seen many times, an ad in the local newspaper or shopper listing an irresistible bargain will bring many people to the store advertising. If only a phone number's listed, the ad will cause many calls to the number given. If this is the number of a candidate's "boiler room" it will disrupt outgoing calls. If it's a regular office number, it will tie up help in answering the telephone and also block other incoming calls. A legitimate caller with campaign business will find it hard to get through if the line is constantly ringing "busy."

You'll place the classified ads, of course, by telephone. Most newspapers accept telephone orders for classified ads and bill the "client" by mail. There's one caution to observe, however. Some areas have the new ESS (electronic switching systems) which enable the use of equipment that displays the number of the call on a screen. If this equipment's in use it can verify immediately the authenticity of the call. In such a case it's vital to make the call from campaign headquarters. Gaining access as a "volunteer" is one way to do this.
With foreknowledge of the campaign schedule it's possible to use the telephone to "cancel" meetings and rallies. With intimate knowledge of the campaign headquarters and personnel a variation on the theme is to telephone key people to set up fake meetings. Another advantage of knowing the schedules and goings-on is that this "inside" knowledge allows you to telephone members to change the dates, times or places of the meetings.
Other types of inside knowledge allow severe disruption of logistics. Here are so me examples:
Every campaign places some advertisements in newspapers. Knowing which newspapers are involved what the ads say and when they're scheduled to run provides a background for inflicting disaster on the campaign. Knowing the name of the newspaper's ad salesman assigned to the account provides the entry needed to work the plan. Telephoning him to say that you're calling for the campaign's public relations manager allows you to change the schedule. You may, for example, order that an ad run in three places in the paper instead of one. This will consume the ad budget three times as quickly and leave little for coverage when election day approaches.
It's also possible to change the wording of the ads.
Inserting some libellous material can cause waves.
It's also possible to have fake ads delivered by a messenger service along with a forged purchase order for its insertion. Making ads up from scratch offers opportunities for severe damage to the campaign. An ad which claims a position opposite that of the candidate can do great harm to his campaign if run the day before election, too late to deny.
Someone inside campaign headquarters can obtain samples of the campaign's official paperwork, such as purchase orders. This makes the deceptions and disruptions much easier to carry out. A fake order to the printer, for example, can generate harmful posters, and they'll be charged to the target's account. A phone call cancelling an order can stop the printing of literature or signs vital to the campaign.
This tactic can have a cruel twist if you decide to order some handbills that contradict the candidate's position on an important issue, or are otherwise damaging. You can send a sample by messenger, including a forged purchase order, and tell the printer that you'll have the material picked up when ready. Another messenger service can pick the material up while you watch from across the street.
This is a precaution in case of discovery. Once the material's in your hands, you can have it distributed to convenience stores and other outlets.
Ordering other supplies can run up expenses and create confusion. A phone call or purchase order to a paint store can result in delivery of many cases of paint. This is where inside knowledge helps, because you can arrange delivery for a time when the person who supposedly ordered the material is out of town or otherwise unavailable.
A purchase order to a caterer will seem legitimate, in anticipation of the "victory party." If one already exists, telephone the caterer and order him to double or triple the quantities. Moreover, you can have several caterers on the scene, each unaware of the others until they meet at campaign headquarters on election night.

Working the same deception on liquor stores will result in fake deliveries, too. This is a more versatile tactic because it's possible to telephone a liquor store any night of the week and order liquor for an "informal get-together" at campaign headquarters, the candidate's home, or at his suite, if he's on the road. A radio playing in the background will give the impression of a party in full swing.

As election day draws near, there will be more campaign workers burning the midnight oil.
Ordering deliveries of take-out food will seem normal and logical. It's best to do this all on one night, because once it happens, the news is likely to make the newspapers and TV news, and this deception will be harder to carry out next time. An additional reason is the horrific congestion and confusion when fifty deliverymen show up at the same time, each with a truckload of pizzas, Chinese food, deli sandwiches, or liquor. Most likely, the people working late won't get anything accomplished that nigh t.
The delivery scheme won't work twice in a row. The next night, you have the telephones and electricity cut off. A phone call to the telephone and power companies will do this. It will take several hours to have the service restored, and during this time the office will be totally inactive.
Another way to cause disruption is to place a change of address order with the post office. You need not appear in person for this. Sending a pre-printed card is enough. You order the office mail delivered to the address of the candidate's home, or that of his campaign manager.
Make maximum use of the telephone directly for your purposes. Fingering through the Yellow Pages will show you many other prospects for disruption that you can inflict on your target and his supporters.
Another way of causing congestion and confusion is to place a fake newspaper ad that will attract large numbers of people to campaign headquarters. Fake "help wanted" ads, offering highly paid jobs, will bring people to the office. Make sure the ad mentions someone who will be away from the office that week.
This prevents the people in the office from checking it out immediately. If enough people respond to the ad, there's a good possibility of a disturbance.
Yet another way to cause a disturbance is to place ads and to post signs advertising an "open house" at the candidate's home, campaign headquarters, or his hotel suite if he's on the trail. This can be devastating if you do it correctly.
First, it's more elegant to have the signs and handbills printed at the candidate's expense. Using his printer will add insult to injury. There is, however, a risk of a leak by doing this. You might find it more discreet and safe to use the candidate's purchase orders to engage another printer to do the job.
Because your purpose is to attract as many people as possible, you'll need to have different signs and handbills printed. For the "straight" people, the flier might read like this:

This is a nice, conservative flier designed to attract the middle-of-the-road people. You wouldn't want anyone thinking that Mr. Sleazy's a snob, so you have other fliers printed, designed to appeal to other strata of society:


By now, the idea must be crystal clear. Let's not forget the other groups in our society, though.
Candidate Sleazy must be fair to them, too.


Distributing some of these fliers on skid row will bring so me interesting characters to the "party." You can attract yet more people by leaving some fliers at biker bars. They might be worded this way:

Another way to do it is to print "tickets." These can be attached to each flier or simply handed out. Each ticket reads something like this:




You can also distribute such fliers and "tickets" in advance of any meetings and rallies your target has planned. Leaving them under windshield wipers in shopping centre parking lots is one way to get the word out. A short stack on the counter of each convenience store will reach more people. Leaving some in every bar in town is a must.

A mob of uninvited guests will generate very bad P.R. for Mr. Sleazy, especially if the affairs turn into riots. Crowds of people expecting free food and drinks will be in an ugly mood when they find out that there's nothing there for them.


Every political campaign has one or more "advance men," agents who arrive a week or two before the candidate to set up schedules, reserve facilities, and meet with local party officials to coordinate the forthcoming events. This offers the chance for an impostor to do irreparable harm.
The fake advance man can arrive before the real one, or go to towns that the candidate had not planned to visit. He goes through the motions of setting up the schedule, making reservations, and attending to all of the small details that advance men plan. In so doing, the damage the impostor can do is enormous.
He can order signs printed locally, and billed to campaign headquarters.
He can announce rallies, and induce many people to plan to attend.
He can meet with the mayor, chamber of commerce, and town officials to make plans for a parade.
He can order catering for the "rally."

He can also, if the town is on the candidate's list, employ transients and other disreputable-looking people to carry signs advertising the candidate at the rally. The fake advance man will have to pay these people cash, and ensure their showing up by promising them another payment on the spot. This is guaranteed to cause serious problems because the frustrated workers will expect payment, and will rock the boat severely when it's not forthcoming.

Another tactic the fake advance man can use is to hire transients to put up campaign signs indiscriminately. Real campaign workers are careful to ask permission before stapling, nailing, or otherwise putting up any signs on private property.
Handing a pack of transients a stack of signs, a stapler each, and a payment in cash will start the ball rolling. Instructions can be very simple: staple a sign on every house, every fence, and every pole on each block. You can also turn a few loose in shopping centre parking lots with bumper stickers. Providing a few coolers of beer will help keep the transients lubricated for the difficult job ahead. Promising them free beer at the biggest bar in town after the day's work will cap the event.


Back at home, the fake campaign worker can cause equal or greater disruption. The stunt with transients will work equally well, but with an added twist. Having the transients "replace" old signs with new ones will cause havoc. We must give the transients credit for brains. They'll know that tearing down campaign signs is not exactly proper.
The way to rationalize the damage is to have other signs with an altered message printed. Instruct the transients to take down the old signs and replace them with the new ones. The message on the new signs can be very offensive, to cause the target greater headaches.


There are many ways to disrupt an opponent's campaign. Because a political campaign requires going out to the people, it opens him up to disruption and dislocation. Every step he takes makes him more vulnerable, and if you study his situation carefully and do your homework, you can exploit these very well.


A way to create an unhealthy atmosphere around the candidate's home and campaign headquarters is to hire unwholesome-looking people to deliver envelopes and packages to those locations. This will cost money, but it's well spent.

Working this tactic requires knowing only addresses. The more, the better. This is worth doing to the campaign manager, the press secretary, and other major figures in the target's campaign.

Advance preparation requires having a large number of envelopes filled with blank paper and with the target's address on them. A quantity of five-dollar bills is necessary, too. Setting up the tactic involves going to a skid-row bar, a gay bar, a shelter for the homeless and transient, and seeking out the dirtiest, scuzziest, and foulest-smelling people who are sober enough to understand you. They must also be able to walk and talk.

You start by asking each if he wants to earn five dollars. If he says "yes," you hand him five dollars and the envelope. Tell him that inside the envelope are some very important papers that must reach the individual named on the envelope within the next couple of hours. Add that you've phoned ahead to let him know that they're coming by messenger.
Instruct him to deliver the envelope during the next two hours, telling him that he'll be given another five dollars upon arrival.

Be sure that your "messenger" has transportation. In so me cities, public transportation is always available. In others, people depend upon private cars to get around. If it's too far to walk, and your "messenger" has no car, give him cab fare.

To work most effectively, this must be a mass attack. You can spend all day recruiting messengers.
If you have several targets besides the candidate and his headquarters, you can recruit several messengers each place you go.

Upon arrival, these people will at first cause annoyance, then confusion. At a busy campaign headquarters office, the sight of a procession of these people trooping through the office will attract attention. The individuals sent to private homes will also attract attention because the chances are that your targets live in "good" neighbourhoods.
No method of dismissal or of handling the influx will solve the problem you'll have created for your targets. Although whoever's in charge of campaign headquarters may decide to station someone outside the door to intercept the messengers after the first few arrive, this won't cause them to vanish completely.
There's a good chance of a severe disturbance when the "messengers" demand the five dollars promised them upon delivery. While this may not pose an impossible problem at headquarters, where there are many people and a petty cash fund to cover cash expenditures, at individual's homes it'll be a different story. A number of bums who won't go away stationed on the doorstep can be trying for any occupant.
A final advantage of this tactic is that it doesn't get old. You can repeat it several times on subsequent days with equally good effect.


Business Reply Mail is a way of providing a convenience to correspondents. It's a pre-printed, pre-addressed envelope with the notation "Postage Will Be Paid By Addressee." Businesses often provide these for their customers. So do charitable organizations. Political organizations often use these when the mass mailings they make include requests for replies or for contributions.

The Business Reply Envelope offers a splendid opportunity to trash a campaign if properly used. To do this with maximum effect, it's important to understand exactly how the system works.

The Postal Service issues permits to businesses and other parties who wish to use Business Reply Envelopes, also known as BREs. The costs to the user include the permit fee, the cost of printing the envelopes, and the postage. Postal regulations state that the cost for every piece of business reply mail shall be the first-class postage plus a fee per piece.

The party wishing a Business Reply Mail permit pays a fifty-dollar annual fee, as a start. He has the choice of two ways of paying for his envelopes. This will set the fee per piece. If he chooses cash, (Postal Regulation 917.332), he pays first class postage plus 23ct per piece. By paying a $160 bookkeeping fee in addition to the $50 permit fee, large-volume users may choose an account (Postal Regulation 917.333) which sets the fee at 7ct per piece on top of first-class postage.
This system offers some splendid opportunities to inflict extra charges on a political campaign. The simplest way is for all people who dislike the candidate to return his BREs empty. His office will still have to pay first-class postage and surcharge.
This is where a spy in the enemy camp can discover if the candidate's paying in cash or on account, which will let you know how much he's paying for each piece.

The reason that he's obligated to pay is simply that the post office can't take it upon itself to verify the validity of the mail. Postal workers can't open each BRE to inspect it. It's simply not the post office's responsibility to assure that everyone who receives a BRE uses it as the sender wishes. The permit holder takes the risks.

There are other ways to strike at a candidate through his BREs:
A fake campaign worker can slip a handful of BREs into a pocket each day, and drop them into the mail on the way home. This will cause the candidate additional expenses without causing you any.
On a larger scale, there may be the opportunity to secure large amounts of BREs for this purpose. The campaign manager may decide, in the middle of a campaign, to discontinue the use of BREs, especially if he's been getting a lot of empty ones back. Any surplus may wind up in the trash, which means that you can pick them up and mail them. This will cause havoc, again at the candidate's expense.
At the end of a campaign, there may be many boxes of them left over. If they wind up in the trash, they're ripe for pick-up and mailing. The organization will still be liable for the fees.


Some people mistakenly believe that it's possible to sabotage the BRE by affixing it to a box full of dirt or rocks, and that the permit-holder will be liable for the postage. This isn't true. The reason is that there's a distinction made between Business Reply Envelopes and Business Reply Labels (Postal Regulation 917.522), and one can't be used in place of the other. If someone tapes a BRE to a box full of rocks, the post office will treat it as waste, (Postal Regulation 917.243.b) and will discard it. This means that you'll have gone to a lot of work for nothing. There is, however, a proper way to do it.

Filling the envelope with dirt is the way to sabotage the operation. As long as the material, with its added weight, is inside the envelope, postal workers have to treat it as legitimate mail. It's easy to stuff an ounce or two of soil into an envelope and seal it.

Another way to sabotage BREs is to modify the bar code. This is a line of small bars located below the address. These are in a code designed to be machine read, and which permits automatic routing of the mail. Lengthening a short line, or adding a line or two, will change the way that the automatic sorter reads the address. This means that the envelope will be mistakenly directed. Depending on who catches the error and when, it may be necessary to handle this envelope manually. The party receiving the envelope by mistake will be charged for it, which makes it likely that he will complain to the post office.


If it's too much trouble to obtain enough of the candidate's BREs, why not print your own? This requires laying out some money, but it offers some very real and exciting possibilities. As a start, a small investment can cost your victim a much greater amount in postal fees. An average figure is about fifty dollars per thousand, for printing cheap envelopes.
One thousand envelopes add up to $220 in first-class postage. Add in $230 in surcharge, and it costs the candidate $450 for every thousand envelopes.
Even if he has an account, which reduces his surcharge to 7"1: per piece, this adds up to $290 per thousand envelopes. This is based on one ounce of postage. Envelopes filled with dirt will cost more. It's very cost-effective when spending fifty dollars of your money will cost the target at least five times as much.

You can order as many envelopes as you like and you can have them printed the way you wish. This means that you have some interesting options:
1. You can have them printed on large clasp envelopes, which will hold a lot of dirt.
2. You can alter the bar code on the envelope you give the printer for "artwork." This saves altering every one by hand, and will cause ripples at the post office.
3. If you have a spy on the candidate's staff, you may be able to find out who the candidate's printer is. Equally important is finding out if the method of payment is cash or charge. You then phone the printer and tell him that you have a "rush" job for him, which you'll send down immediately via a member of the staff. Your associate delivers the envelope used as "artwork," and asks the printer when he can pick up the job. When he does, he tells the printer to charge it to the account. This then obliges the candidate to foot the bills. Using the business reply envelope to sabotage an opponent's campaign is very effective. The method is versatile because it allows a small-scale effort by one person, and also a wholesale action by the person or party with money to pay for the effort.


As in conventional harassment, ifs possible to exploit sex to trash a candidate. There are more opportunities today because of several new developments. There are many telephone sex services operating. There's also a new law against child pornography. Other conditions offer interesting new ways of using sex against a candidate, directly or indirectly.
There are many tactics available to cause a candidate problems when he's on the campaign trail.
Some of the more serious ones involve sex, and more specifically, sexual misbehaviour.
Let's start with the candidate's reservations. If you know in advance where they'll be, it's possible to obtain the key if you know his room number. This requires not only a spy on his staff, but someone who can make the reservations and request a specific suite or room. This makes it possible to rent his room several days in advance, and "lose" the key.
Having the key duplicated is also possible, but you should be aware that there are restricted keyways used by hotels to prevent guests from making casual copies of the keys.
U's obvious that there are obstacles, and the path to success isn't as easy as we'd like it to be. There are, however, different options that allow success even with minimal information and resources.
Lacking specific advance information doesn't knock you out of the game, though. You can still play if you have a co-conspirator who's a locksmith or otherwise has access to restricted keyways. The object is to obtain a master key. All hotels have master keys, closely held and for use only by restricted staff members. Making a master key is a job for a locksmith.
Making use of the keys is when the fun begins.
One or more of your associates makes the round of cabarets, cocktail lounges, and nightclubs. The task is to "pick up" women, making "dates" with them to meet you later at your hotel. Giving each a key to what you say is your room steers them in the right direction. Passing out many keys will result in some being used.

Impersonating a pimp is a way to attract males. At a convention centre, striking up conversations at the bar breaks the ice, and handing out keys to conventioners who are "fun-loving" will bring a proportion of them to the room. It's important not to be specific about what will happen in the room once they enter. We'll see why in a moment.
It helps to solicit prostitutes for this. They're more likely to show up. It's also more costly to hire whores.
There is, however, a built-in danger. The danger is soliciting an undercover police officer. This requires a simple precaution. Never, but never, discuss exactly what will happen when they arrive at the hotel room.
The tactic to use is to hand each a fifty-dollar bill, and tell her that there's more to come. The rest of the discussion, if any, will follow when they arrive.
A police officer can make an arrest only when the "John" solicits him or her for prostitution. The law in most states requires that the client mention a specific price for a specific act. This is why the one picking up the prostitute must always be vague, always holding out the promise of "later, baby, later." Picking up males is also worthwhile, if you can find a volunteer among your staff. Be aware that there are male prostitutes, and that some seeming to be male prostitutes are undercover police officers.
The same precautions apply.
These tactics can be very time-consuming and costly, and as we've noted, carry a risk. Before deciding on the program to follow, consider the following techniques, which are far less costly and impose no risk at all.


There are many other ways to discredit your target.
Many don't involve much of an outlay of money.

There are others that you can charge. If you have the bankcard number of someone in your target's party or organization, it's cost-free. Let's start with some subscriptions.
A list of sexually kinky publications is in Appendix I. Some of these have toll-free numbers to take subscriptions, and accept credit cards. The only problem with subscriptions is the publishers mail them in discreet brown envelopes. Much of the effect is lost if only the target sees it. A variant is to put his children's names on subscriptions. This will agitate him and his family.
You don't have to layout money on actual subscriptions. Often, faking subscriptions is more effective. A visit to your local adult bookstore will let you pick up an assortment of strictly "perverted" magazines. Typing labels lets you drop them off in your target's headquarters, office, etc. Slipping them into other publications allows you to smuggle them in unseen, and anyone who picks up the other publication will be very interested in what drops out, especially when it has a label with your target's name on it.
You may not wish to visit your target's office or campaign headquarters if you're well known.
Another method is to mail the objectionable material to him, but make sure that each envelope is tom enough so that anyone who picks it up can peer inside and see enough of the magazine to know what sort of publication it is. You can be very cruel about this by addressing it to your target, but at an address down the street. This will let his neighbours get a peek at his "reading tastes." Of course, you may not be the sort of person who can bring himself to visit an adult bookstore, for fear of being recognized by your friends and neighbours who are perusing the books. If you're shy, you can do it by mail or by phone.


Every large city, and many small ones, have "outcall" and similar services. These are usually listed in the "swinger's" and other pornography publications. They don't always advertise as "outcalls." In some locales, they're listed as "escort services," "models," and "masseurs." The advantage of using these services is that no face-to-face contact is necessary to set the meetings up. Setting up with an "outcall" can also be very inexpensive if you've done your homework and obtained a charge card number by rummaging through the trash, as explained elsewhere.
Some of these services ask for a Mastercard or Visa Card number up front. This is where it helps to have all umber belonging to someone on the candidate's staff, obtained by your spy inside his headquarters.
This tactic is useful on the campaign trail or for harassing the target in his home or at campaign headquarters.
Exploiting these possibilities doesn't require much finesse. As a start, you can pose as a disloyal member of the candidate's staff and telephone the media in that city with a "tip" that the candidate is hiring prostitutes for a big party in his office or suite. You may not be the first to call, as members of the hotel staff sometimes have contacts with the press and collect "bird-dog" fees for tipping them off to stories.
If you can arrange for enough people to call at the candidate's suite, there's always a possibility of a disturbance. If this leads to a call to the police, it becomes public knowledge immediately because the media monitor the police radio. A possibility is to call the police yourself, posing as a member of the candidate's staff, and report a "disturbance."

Another way is to say that you have the room next to the candidate's. Yet another way is to impersonate the hotel's security officer. You don't need to know his name because the police dispatcher surely doesn't. Tell the dispatcher that there's a boisterous party in the candidate's suite, that you tried to get them to keep it quiet, and that they threatened you. As the party's over, it still isn't over, as far as you're concerned. You can still cause waves after the candidate returns from his trip. All you need to know for this one is the name of the hotel where he stayed and whether or not his wife accompanied him. If she didn't, you phone her at home:
"Hello, Mrs. Sleazy, I'm the desk clerk at the Mayfair hotel, where you and your husband stayed last weekend. The maid who cleaned your room brought me your compact. You must have forgotten it when you packed. Will you be coming back soon, or shall I send it along to you?" Another way to cause him a problem is to get a woman's vanity case and fill it with an assortment of sex toys. Put it in a box, wrap it up, and mail it to the wife. Inside the box is a letter, on hotel stationery:

Dear Mrs. Sleazy,
You left this luggage behind after you and your husband stayed with us last week We're taking the liberty of forwarding it to YOU. We hope to see you and your husband as our guests again.
Yours truly,

The Management

There are a couple of points to bring out to enhance the success of these techniques:
It's easier and more credible to try to frame the target for a heterosexual liaison when dealing with his wife. Most wives will believe that their husbands might have an affair with another woman. Most would find it incredible that he'd be involved with a man, unless there are special circumstances.
The target's co-workers and campaign supporters are another matter. Americans are by now used to the idea that every politician has a skeleton in his closet, whether it be homosexuality or child molesting, and are ready to accept almost anything.


Another worthwhile effort is the sexual "telephone talker," often working at a distance from the location. These fantasy services cater to heterosexuals, homosexuals, and specialty kinks.
This is what makes them so interesting and useful.
They advertise in sexually-oriented publications, and their services often cross state lines. A list of telephone fantasy services is in Appendix I.

Setting up one of these calls depends on what the particular service offers. The advantage of all of them is that it's never necessary to appear in person. Some accept mail orders. This imposes a delay. but it's totally safe. A money order will pay for the call, which can be tailored to order and directed to any telephone you wish. This is very useful if you know the target's home number or unlisted number.

Other services accept charge cards. To set up a call with one of these services, all you need is a Visa or Mastercard number, and the expiration date. Don't use your own. Use a number gleaned from your target's office. Some of these sexually-oriented telephone services even provide an 800-number for the initial call. You give the person who answers the card number and expiration date. They check it out, and call back when they find that it's genuine. They'll call back at whichever number you specify. You're the boss. Note that there are many types of sexual fantasy services on the market. Some are straight heterosexual. Others cater to homosexuals. Still others tend to the needs of the S&M crowd.

An important point to remember is that these telephone fantasy services deal in fantasies, which means that you can lead them to act out almost any scenario you wish when they call back. Also, the person who takes the order is not necessarily the telephone talker who calls back with the fantasy. This means that the fantasy caller will not know your voice. Because so me of them accept mail orders, with cash or a money order enclosed, it's possible to avoid any direct contact. The instructions can be something like these:

"Now I'm going to be playing the part of a private secretary to Mr. Sleazy. I want you to tell me that you want to speak to him, and then I'll ask you what it's about. You tell me, and please use your imagination.
You know I'm heavy into S&M. You tell me exactly what you're going to do with Mr. Sleazy when you get hold of him."

This will lead to so me very interesting telephone conversations between members of the candidate's staff and the telephone fantasy artists you hire. If you deal by mail, you can sign anyone's name, even a female's. It becomes even more interesting when you use your imagination and direct so me of the callers to ask for the hotel's desks, such as "room service." Here's how you might do it for room service:
"Call back at this number and ask for 'room service.' Tell me when I answer that you're calling for Mr. Sleazy and that you'd like someone to co me up to the suite. Tell me exactly what you want me to do when I get up there. You know that I'm into S&M, and you can suggest water sports and a few other kinky things, too. I love to talk kinky. I get off on that, so the more things you mention, the better." There are some problems with so me of these services, and it's good to have a working knowledge of them to make maximum use. The ones with a 976 prefix are set up under a special service provided by the telephone company. They charge the toll for the call and a surcharge of $2.00 or more. There's a time limit of three minutes, which limits the legitimate user. Many, additionally, are tape recordings. Those seeking sexual fantasies often feel ripped off by services using the 976-numbers. This doesn't matter to you.
The way to get the best use from these is to have your target or a member of his staff call them. You can telephone his office when he's not there and "leave word," including this telephone number. Any name will do, as long as it compels him or a member of his staff to dial the number. Saying that the Governor's in town for the day and would like to speak with him will often do it, especially if they're of the same party. It's not necessary to try to mimic the Governor's voice. Claiming to be a member of his staff will do.
A very important point about these numbers is that many of the people whom you fool into "returning" the call won't realize that they've gotten a commercial service, and that a surcharge is going on their bill. Unless they have specific knowledge of the 976-numbers and their purpose, they'll just assume that they dialled a wrong number and got connected with a pervert. They may even try dialling the number again if they think they misdialled.
Possibly the accounting department will check it out when they get the bill the next month, but for a few weeks you can cause added charges on the candidate's lines.
Making the best of telephone sex can also involve getting hold of the candidate's telephone bills to show that the 976-number calls were placed from his phone. Obtaining photocopies of the telephone bills is simpler with a spy in place. Sending the photocopies anonymously to the newspapers, along with a copy of the telephone fantasy ad, can work wonders.
Another creative, inexpensive, and risk-free use of the telephone is to have a female call the candidate's home or office, and leave a message:
"Hello, I'm Christie. Oliver and I met while he was in River City. Please tell Oliver Sleazy that I've been to the doctor and I definitely have herpes. He'll want to know, and see his own doctor." If you're phoning his office, and want to be very cruel have a male deliver the following message:
"Hello, I'm Michael. Please tell Oliver Sleazy that I've been to the doctor and I definitely have herpes.
He'll want to know, and see his own doctor. Thank God it's not AIDS:'


Surprisingly, there are some outlets for used jockey shorts and the like. Presumably, these are appropriately stained. It's not worth spending much time with these, because it's quicker and cheaper to make your own.

It costs a few dollars to have a printer make up some mailing labels for a fictitious sexual outlet in a nearby locale. Making up an envelope with a pair of your used shorts (make sure they're stained) and addressing it to the candidate will rock the boat. An important feature is to use a torn envelope, so that anyone handling it can peek inside.
An additional touch is including a nude photo or two. Obtaining these is remarkably easy. And involves no waiting and no risks. It requires a Polaroid camera and a homosexually-oriented magazine with full-page photos. Simply rephotograph some of the models making sure to get dose enough to fuzz out the halftone screen and send them with the shorts. If any part of the magazine shows which would indicate a copy it's easy to cut the photo print with scissors. The technical quality of these prints will be awful, but as long as male genitals are recognizable they'll pass. Their amateurishness will end credibility.


Most cities have sex shops which sell accessories such as vibrators, life-size sex dolls etc. It' s also possible to buy these by mail. Most sexually-oriented publications carry many ads for sex toys of all types.
The prospects for harassment using these devices are endless. Let's outline a few methods:
With a charge card number it's possible to order many of these and make the target pay. An additional cruel twist is to have these sent to someone else with a gift card. Some mail-order services offer this.
Another way is to buy these yourself paying cash to make the transaction untraceable. You can then mail them to your target, but not as carefully as the mail-order services do. Out of consideration for their customers, they use discreet packaging and labelling.
You, on the other hand, can have labels printed to show the return address of a sex toy company as well as the target's name and address. Additionally, you can have the package "damaged" so that the contents are visible to anyone curious enough to peek.
Yet another way to use them is to "plant" them on your target. You can do this in a similar manner as with the porno mags. The effect can be more embarrassing to your target, though. Let's sketch a few possibilities:
- Your target comes home to find sex toys scattered over his front yard, apparently spilled from his overturned garbage can. If he doesn't notice, the neighbours will make him aware.
- His wife finds a package of condoms under the seat or in the glove compartment of the car. They're of the unusual ribbed variety and he can't explain how they got there.
- The cleaning lady or a member of his staff finds a dildo in his office. If the office has a private bathroom, a few more sex toys in there will cause grave suspicions regarding how he spends his time when he tells his staff that he's not to be disturbed.


An additional and more serious aspect is involved when ordering foreign materials. Some of the foreign-made magazines, picture sets, videos, etc., include underage models. This is "kiddie porn" and is a felony under United States law. Post Office and Customs officials know which foreign sources
produce kiddie porn, and they also spot-check incoming parcels. The addressee is liable to prosecution. This presents a golden opportunity to frame a candidate or a member of his staff.
Framing a staff member's more likely to be successful. There have been so many attempts to smear candidates that they've almost got immunity to prosecution. Logically, any lawman would scrutinize evidence against a candidate very carefully during an election campaign. Staff members, on the other hand, often don't get such consideration. There have been instances of White House staffers, for example, being caught in the act Ronald Reagan had to dismiss one of his aides when he was Governor of California. Whatever his level of tolerance for sexual variants, he could not afford to keep a political liability in his employ.
Payment for this material can be with an international money order. Because the supplier is in a foreign country, US officials can't subpoena his records and there's no danger of handwriting comparisons, etc. It's enough to sign your target's name to the money order and mail it.

There's a mood of hysteria in this country regarding "kiddie porn." A federal law making production or importation of child pornography illegal was passed a couple of years ago. This is the lever to pull to ruin the target' s day.
Because the results of foreign procurement are uncertain, you may wish to stack the odds by making your own "kiddie porn." There's a way of avoiding the dangers associated with trying to photograph naked children. Many of us have nude photographs of ourselves taken by our parents years ago. Although they're usually not "frontal nudity" and are "cute," not sexual, they're useful for our purposes. If included with a sexual publication, such a photograph will appear to be part of the order, and can result in a prosecution.

Arranging this happy event is cheaper and simpler than many other tactics. The first step is to copy the childhood pies by re-photographing them using a camera equipped with a close-up attachment. Using black and white film will make it easy to process at home, thereby avoiding complications with photofinishers. If the originals are in colour, using a Polaroid with a close-up attachment will provide a credible print in full colour. With proper handling, it won't look like a copy job.

The next step is to procure some foreign porno mags in the conventional manner. The quick way to do this is to bite the bullet and visit an adult bookstore. Many carry foreign-made material. If this fails, it's possible to order them by mail. Be careful to order them only from an American source, or you may end up the recipient of child porn yourself.

Obtaining the services of a mail drop in a foreign country is vital to the plan. There is available a directory of mail drops and remailing services which includes foreign ones. 2

Making up the packages to be remailed is the next step. These should be addressed to the target, and include a foreign porno mag, preferably with a country of origin the same as the mail drop. The "poison pill" is a photograph of a naked child. If this package is intercepted by Customs Inspectors, it will sound an alarm. A jury, seeing the child photograph in this context, will almost surely convict. Wrap up your package and ship it off to the foreign mail drop with instructions for re-mailing and enough money, cash or coupons, to cover the costs.


It's also possible to frame your target without any material leaving the country. There have been instances of parents' being reported to the police when they sent a roll of film for processing. This happened when an employee saw pictures of naked children on the roll. In such instances, it is possible to wriggle out of being prosecuted by claiming that the photos are simply innocent childhood photographs. What happens, however, if investigation reveals that the pictures on the roll are not of the target's children?

Again, this calls for re-photographing your kiddie shots. It requires extra care not to show the borders of the prints in the negatives or slides, because there will be no chance to crop them out once the film leaves your hands. Photographing the genitals of an adult or two will help make the film more incriminating. For maximum effect, there should be a frame or two of a sexual act, even if only masturbation. Sending the film in is the next step.

Practically every drugstore offering photo finishing has a night drop or a self-service counter where the customer can put his name and address on the envelope, insert the film, and drop it into the slot.
This offers the opportunity to plant the "time bomb" unseen. The problem of handwriting is easy to overcome by having a pocket stamp made up with the target's name and address. If a clerk happens to notice the naked photographs and notifies the police, the rumble will start.

It's very likely that the police will become involved because it's illegal to mail child porno The only way for a commercial laboratory to keep its good name is to notify the police immediately. The investigation will be damning because the target will have to try to explain away the sexual content of the film, as well as the children's identities.


1. Walter Jenkins, one of President Johnson's White House aides, was caught in a Washington D.C. men's room trying to proposition an undercover officer.
2. Directory of Mail Drops in the United States, Canada, and Foreign Countries, Michael Hoy, (Port Townsend, WA., Loompanics Unlimited, 1987)


Trashing is vandalism, and can carry severe penalties. The object, of course, is to cause the maximum disruption without incurring risks. For the clever trasher, there are ways to do this with minimal destruction. The act resembles a practical joke more than sabotage, and doesn't risk bringing down the full force of the law.


If campaign headquarters has light-coloured carpeting, dropping small chunks of black or purple wax crayon onto it will cause it to get ground in as people walk on it. The way to do this without getting caught is to have a pocketful of small chunks and a hole in your pocket. Pieces will slip down as you walk.


There are several ways to do this. One is to use a few drops of deer scent on his carpet and furniture.
Another is to drop off some chicken parts in odd corners of campaign headquarters. In a few days they'll decompose and the odour will be awful.


This will clog up office machinery, locks, and anything else if it's used as lubricant. Empty out a few commercial oilcans and refill with linseed oil. Leave a few of these cans around to let the staff do the trashing themselves.


Toothpicks are cheap, commonly available, light, easy to carry and use, and very, very useful when you wish to cause a candidate endless trouble. Let's look at the ways you can use them:
A toothpick, inserted about one-quarter of an inch into a Yale-type lock and broken off, will prevent the use of that lock. This is quicker than jamming the lock with Super Glue, and just as difficult to un-jam. It usually requires a locksmith to c1ear the lock.

As a start, it helps to have the addresses of the candidate's campaign office, place of business, and home. A list of campaign workers' addresses helps widen the field of action.

Inserting toothpicks into the locks of the campaign office will do for a start. It's necessary to start on this early, because as the campaign progresses the staff will be working longer hours and it, will become harder to find a time when the office is c10sed and locked up.

Visiting his place of business on a weekend will provide the opportunity to lock it up, too. This helps mainly if the candidate is self-employed, such as a lawyer. If he's general manager of a large plant, it's much harder to do and has less direct effect upon him.

When the candidate and his family are away from home on the campaign trail, a quick visit will allow you to insert toothpicks into his locks. If it's possible to spend a few minutes at his doors and windows unseen, you can use Super Glue to reinforce the effect. Running Super Glue down the side of each window will make it more difficult for him to gain access through a window when he finds his door won't open. Super Glue down the crack on each side of the doors will complicate the locksmith's job, and of course a drop of Super Glue on each toothpick end will make the lock more difficult to salvage.

At campaign headquarters, a toothpick in the door locks of the cars in the parking lot will cause consternation when the political supporters need to open them. The exact tactic to use depends on the situation, and the effect you need. Let's look at Plan A:

Jam up every lock you can. This requires you to be on the scene for many minutes, making your way down one row of cars after another. It increases the chances of someone coming out unexpectedly and seeing you, but if you can manage it, this plan will have the most severe immediate effect.

Plan B:
This is for use when the saboteur is your spy on the campaign staff, and must not risk being caught or even suspected. The plan is to insert a toothpick into the locks on unlocked cars only. A campaign worker, coming out to an unlocked car, will not use his key to get in, and will remain unaware that his car's been sabotaged there. He'll discover this later, perhaps much later, when he parks in a location where it's prudent to lock his car. The reason is simple. Most cars lock by depressing the door button, and i1's not necessary to use the key. This is I how most people in fact lock their cars. He'll discover the damage in a shopping centre or theatre parking lot, possibly late at night when i1's especially difficult to get a locksmith or a ride home. He'll conclude that the damage was done there, and never suspect that it happened at campaign headquarters. It's essential to protect the spy on the staff.

This can work as well if the candidate is planning a motorcade, but only if the security precautions are minimal. To make this work, it's necessary to get at the cars when they're not in use and also unguarded.
If the candidate is running for governor or higher office, he probably has bodyguards who guard the cars when not in use. They may also store them in a locked garage for extra security.

Inserting toothpicks in the door locks can make the cars unusable before the start of the motorcade, or after a break during the schedule, depending on whether or not the doors are locked when the candidate steps out. It's also not absolutely necessary to disable the candidate's car to cause disruption. The less well-guarded cars carrying members of his staff may be more vulnerable. Having to leave key people behind can cause serious inconvenience if it's not possible to rent or borrow cars when theirs become unavailable.


A quick and effective way is to disable a car mechanically during a trip, when it causes the maximum inconvenience. One way to do this is to release the radiator cap. This will not spill coolant on the ground when the car's parked with the motor off.
Cutting the coolant hoses would do this, and the plan would fail because the candidate could probably not take his car without checking it over. He'd probably borrow or rent another.

Another way to cause a car to break down during a trip is to loosen the valve cover, allowing oil to leak when under pressure. Again, this is better than loosening his drain plug, because it leaves no telling tale stain on the ground under the car. The loss of oil won't begin until the engine's started.

A vital point is that the driver must be unaware that anything's wrong with the car, and this makes it important to disable his gauge or warning light.
Otherwise, he'd become aware of the oil or water pressure dropping, and would pull over before the engine seized.
Both the oil pressure and coolant temperature lights work from "senders" on the engine, and pulling the wire out will stop the signal from activating the light. Normally, the "idiot lights" go on when the driver first turns the key, and go off when the engine catches. The driver will probably conclude, when he sees that the light doesn't light when he inserts the key, that the bulb's out, and will make a mental note to replace it at the first opportunity.
For this to work, it's essential to have access to the car for a few minutes. Knowledge of the car is also essential, and a practice session with a car of the same make and model will permit practice at disabling the car with little wasted time or motion.
Properly done, this should take less than a minute for most cars.


If the candidate has automatic telephone answering or dialling equipment, it probably runs on power from the lines. If the fuse box is accessible, the equipment can be disabled. If the fuse box is accessible, removing the fuses will do it. Otherwise, it may be necessary- to pull the main power switch.
This tactic often causes more than just a temporary interruption because some of these computerized devices have information stored in memories, and are vulnerable to even a momentary- power break.


Cyanoacrylate is fabulous glue, and offers many opportunities to jam the works. A squirt into a lock will seal the lock permanently. Cyanoacrylate is a thin liquid that runs freely and sets permanently within a minute or two when exposed to the air. Its thin consistency makes it perfect for trashing a car.
Let's look at a few ways to do it.



Running a few drops of it down the window channels will seal the window shut. A few drops on the door gasket will make it very, very difficult to open that door. Inside the car, squirting a few drops onto the window crank hub and working the crank a few turns will get the glue where it'll do the most good. A few drops into the cracks in the steering wheel housing will make it hard to steer the car. The seat belt buckles are also vulnerable to this treatment as the ignition lock.

Look at the dash. Is there a radio? Glue the knobs.
Does the cigarette lighter work? It won't after you're through with it.

Want to be very, very cruel? If you can get into the trunk, work on his spare tire and jack. Make sure that he can't use them again, but leave the rest of the car alone. This will give him no clue at the outset, but if he gets a flat fifty miles from nowhere, he'll weep.


This is for projects that Crazy Glue can't handle.
Epoxy will weld shut toilet doors at campaign headquarters. If the staff doesn't use the main door for several minutes, five-minute epoxy will seal it for good. Epoxy will also keep gates closed permanently.

For those who aren't certain when to use which adhesive, here's a rule of thumb: Crazy Glue has great sticking power, but only with very smooth, non-porous surfaces such as glass and metal. If there's a gap, Crazy Glue doesn't have the structural strength or the "body" to fill it because it's a runny liquid. Epoxy can fill gaps, such as door cracks, and can jam certain mechanical components when poured inside. Epoxy will, for example, jam the delicate mechanism of a teleprinter. For some especially rugged "jobs," there's epoxy gel available.
An epoxy-based auto body repair kit will handle super-heavy-duty work. A film of oil will prevent either adhesive from sticking well. For best results, the surfaces must be reasonably clean.


White Plaster of Paris has a special use. A pound of it dropped into a toilet bowl will plug it up. Although Plaster of Paris sets very quickly, the best time to use it is before leaving for the night. The next best time is just before breaking for lunch. If a weekend is coming up, pre-mixed concrete will serve very well.
It's also cheaper. Five dollars will buy a hundred pound bag. If it's possible to smuggle this in undetected by dividing it into smaller containers, you can do a really good job on the plumbing. Drop in a pound of concrete and flush the toilet to distribute it into the drainpipe. Add more and flush again.
Finish up with a couple of pounds poured into the bowl and left to set.

There is no quick fix possible on a toilet plugged tightly with concrete or Plaster of Paris. Campaign workers will either have to hold it or find another bathroom.


A package of drugs planted in a desk drawer at campaign headquarters can lead to a very embarrassing incident if reported to the police.
Many jurisdictions have "drug hot lines" where people can report illegal drug information and collect a reward for it. This is often an 800-number. A phone call to them, giving the name of someone on the campaign, and asking for a reward, will bring a "bust." The identity of the informer might leak, too, but only with police who are very indiscreet.


A padlock can work wonders if you need to make a fenced-in area inaccessible. Campaign headquarters may have such a parking lot. It may already have a chain and padlock, for security when unoccupied.
Make a note of the padlock brand and model. Get a similar one, and secure it on the chain. The key won't work, and there'll be some time wasted trying to find out why.


This is devastating. However, there's a right way and a wrong way to use it. The wrong way is to throw a tear gas grenade into your target's headquarters. That act will look like vandalism by your favourite's supporters.
The right way is to obtain the dog repellent spray that contains oleoresin capsicum. This is irritating in large or small doses. In small doses, it's still irritating to the respirator passages but is odourless.
A spray of this into the air conditioner intake will diffuse throughout the building in too weak a concentration to be noticed. Within a few minutes, the continued effect of breathing this irritant will start people coughing. They'll have to evacuate the building eventually, but without knowing what did it.


One extremely effective way to trash a computer is to pass a small magnet over a section of each disco This requires only a magnet small enough to fit between two fingers and a few minutes' access to the discs without being seen. One quick pass will erase enough of the recording to turn the entire contents into hash.


Hiring transients to tear down political signs works well in the primary, when it's possible to frame a riyal candidate of the opposing party. Simple tearing down of signs will work in this case. It's not necessary to pretend that they'll be putting up new ones, although this can add a cruel twist to the process if the new signs are libellous or outrageous.


Controversial and insulting bumper stickers can do wonders if placed on the rear bumpers of the cars operated by the candidate and his staff. Some possibilities:

These are bound to offend one group or another, and lose many votes. Choosing the best one depends on the area and its ethnic make-up.


There's no better way to disrupt a fund-raising dinner than by contaminating the food and making everyone aware of it. The problem is to do this without hurting anyone.
If you can arrange it so that one or two of your collaborators will attend, you're set. At a time after the dinner gets underway, you or someone whose voice is unknown places a phone call to the management of the hall or restaurant, announcing that there's broken glass in the food.
At about the same time, the collaborators inside the hall act. Each has a small piece of broken glass wrapped up in a handkerchief. As the guests sit down to eat, the collaborator spits out so me food into the palm of his hand, where he's already got a piece of glass hidden. He digs around in the chewed food and comes up with the glass, which he shows to his neighbours. This will start a mild panic, with people putting down their forks and even leaving the dinner.
The collaborators go up to the candidate's table and make him and his campaign manager aware of the "contamination." This will put an end to the evening.
This tactic is useful at any function where there will be food served. The method outlined ensures that nobody gets hurt, and that there will be maximum disruption.


Creative trashing requires brains, tact, and discretion. Without the crudity of severe physical damage, which we often see in other countries, we can create severe disruption in the target's campaign, and create the illusion of severe physical threats. Best of all, we avoid the risks involved in committing felonies.


Sometimes you depend on luck. It's sometimes possible to take advantage of an opportunity without getting your hands dirty at all. Let's examine a few such opportunities and what it takes to exploit them.

The primary election's a week away. The two contenders from the other party are neck and neck.
One night, there's a fire at one candidate's headquarters. The investigation does not immediately show it to be an accident. The circumstances show it might be arson.
You act by telephoning a local newspaper with this message:
"This is what happens to candidates like that. Next time, his house'll burn down. Tell Smith that and see if he still wants to run." You next telephone a TV or radio station:
"Jones' office burned up last night. If he stays in the race, he'll be next.' This is the sort of action that can create confusion and dissent with very little effort. Without being connected with the felony, you can exploit it to your advantage. Look at another opportunity.
The employees of a newspaper opposed to your target go on strike. A telephone call to the publisher informs him that his labour troubles might abate if he were more discreet in his editorials. You also tell him that if he continues his opposition, worse things will happen to him.
The media are almost invulnerable in this country.
Rattling their cage can bring severe reprisals. Let's explore another possibility.
A 1V reporter who has come out against your target suffers a traffic accident. You telephone his wife (or widow, as the case may be), and say:
"Your husband said the wrong things on the air.
Now, he's not going to be so noisy. Candidate Sleazy doesn't like people who make statements like your husband made."

You telephone some of his colleagues and say: "You know what happened to Smith. It was no accident. That's a sample of what can happen to anyone who says nasty things about Senator Sleazy," Let's look at yet another hypothetical incident, and note the possibilities.
The son of a 1V station owner is kidnapped and later found murdered. This station's policy had been against your targeted candidate. You telephone the TV stations, newspapers, and newsmagazines:
"Don't believe what you hear about Johnson's son.
It wasn't kidnapping like they said it was. That's what can happen to anyone who tries to slam Senator Sleazy. We're keeping an eye on you, too, and an eye on your family". Opportunism means readiness to take advantage of sensational events. This is true exploitation of the media, and it's irresistible because the media thrive on sensationalism. They'll publish the most fantastic story, even though they doubt that it's valid. Even publishing a disclaimer won't stop some people from believing it. Make the most of your opportunities.


As a citizen and voter, you're probably dismayed by the low quality of candidates running for office. Our free election system, supposedly guaranteed by our Constitution, has often been perverted to a choice between two candidates chosen in smoke-filled rooms by their respective political machines. The behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing influences the election more than any individual vote, and often more than the entire electorate. If you're fed up, you're not alone. You may feel desperate, though, and reflect, "What can one person do?" There are some things you can do. Although you're only one person, and have only one vote, you count for more than one when you make an active effort. Trashing gives the individual great leverage, and sometimes enough to swing an election.

The important point is not to underrate yourself.
What can one person do in the voting booth? Exactly the same as any other person. You have only one vote, and the ballot box makes every man, genius or moron, equal. However, outside the voting booth, you can exert much more power by using your brain.
Don't give up hope, and use your limited resources to great effect.
What can you do? A lot depends on how much time and effort you can put into this. Few people are so busy that they can't spare a moment. The amount of energy you put into this will, of course, depend on whether or not you think ifs worthwhile, and how much effect you feel one person's effort can have.
One person can do a lot, as you've seen. Adapting these methods to an individual action can make a lot of waves, entirely out of proportion to the time and effort you put in.


One way is to stop and look whenever you get campaign literature in the mail. Don't dismiss it as 'Junk mail" and throw it in the trash. You're throwing away what might be a powerful weapon against a candidate you dislike. Return a11 business reply envelopes. If you're in a hurry, just seal them up and drop them in the mail. Each one, as we've seen, costs the recipient first-class postage plus a surcharge.
If you've got the time, fill each envelope with dirt before sealing. This will add to the weight and stick him for even more postage.
What about those annoying 'junk'' campaign calls? These usually come when you're sitting down to supper, or watching TV in the evening. The candidate's hirelings steal your time in their eagerness to find out how you think.
This offers the opportunity to do some damage. In many campaigns, there are rumours, "whispering campaigns," started by some political supporters. In some instances, they may be based on fact. One example is a rumour that a candidate has had mental problems, and has been seeing a psychiatrist. This sort of rumour can become rather elaborate. The candidate may be alleged to have been hospitalised, received electro-shock treatment, etc. All of these rumours give you the chance to cause concern in the enemy camp by demonstrating that you believe them. This is why you must take a calculating attitude towards Mr. Sleazebag's opinion surveys.
Take advantage of every opportunity you get.
When someone calls you for a "survey," don't show anger and slam down the phone. Instead, drop in the poison pill. Here are some ways to do it:
'I'm not sure I would vote for a person like that, not after what I heard about his involvement with child prostitution." If the person making the survey asks you outright what you've heard, to specify the charges, just answer, "You know, that stuff about Mr. Blank and kiddy porno. It's all over town."

Some other lines to use are:
"Oh, I think I'll vote for Mrs. Blank. I know that she's a lesbian, but as I'm gay myself, I can't hold it against her." 'I'm voting for Mr. Blank for sure. We gays have to stick together." Note the subtle touch in these last two answers.
You're more likely to be believed if you take a sympathetic attitude than if you seem angry or show condemnation.
It helps to indicate that you're not the only one who believes the derogatory information:
"The guys at work have been saying that Mr. Sleazy had a nervous breakdown a few years back. I'm not going to take a chance on a candidate like that." With a little luck, and several different people giving similar replies, Mr. Sleazy's campaign manager might start believing that there actually is a whispering campaign against his candidate. This brings us to the problem of generating several different replies.
Unless you live in a cave fifty miles from nowhere, you have a circle of friends, associates, and fellow employees. Some of these doubtlessly feel as you do about an election campaign. A limited effort to bring a few together can help your purpose. One simple way, without attempting to organize anyone, is simply to tell your friends about how you handled a campaign survey call. This is often good for a laugh at coffee time, and may influence others to do the same. If they do, you'll hear about it.


You may wish to take more active steps against a candidate, but what can one person do? Fortunately, there's a whole range of techniques open to you.
Most involve absolutely no risk, and not even the danger of embarrassment.

One important and simple step is to scan the campaign ads. These can provide the open, and easily-available information you need. If an ad seeks support for a candidate you dislike, write or phone, asking for more information. This will cause them to waste time and resources on you. The mailing' that you get, and discard, is one that can't go to influence someone else. More importantly, it can be a source of business reply envelopes or cards to send back to campaign headquarters, after properly filling them with dirt, of course.

What can one person do? A lot, depending upon luck and alertness to opportunity. If you have the time to spend a few evenings a week at campaign headquarters doing "volunteer" work, you may get some golden opportunities. Don't stick your neck out, but keep your eyes and ears open. Don't expect to be given access to any "sensitive" material, but remember that there's much routine, everyday information that can lead to devastation if properly exploited.

An example would be that of making reservations at hotels for a campaign trip. If you're assigned this task, do it, and take notes of the hotels and dates.
Save this information for later use. You can call the hotels back from a telephone booth and cancel every reservation you made. To avoid suspicion, you might only" change the dates.

You might be assigned to work in the "boiler room," making phone calls on behalf of the candidate. You can do your job legitimately, but keep notes of those whom you call. Mark the ones who declare themselves to be strong supporters. These will receive attention from you later on. Several nights later, after drinking several cups of coffee to keep yourself awake, you telephone these people after midnight to ask if the candidate can still count on their support. Act in an offensive manner. This will sabotage the works at a cost to you of several hours of lost sleep.
In some instances, ads seek campaign workers. If there's an appeal for people to work in their neighbourhoods, going door-to-door or organizing meetings, send for any material they offer. Some campaigns provide kits for auxiliary campaign workers. Such a kit may include a packet of business reply envelopes. It may also give some unpublished addresses and telephone numbers. These are important, because they are vulnerable points.
Volunteer to distribute literature. If your task is to put a flier under every door in a neighbourhood, accept the stack of fliers with good grace and throw them into the trash once out of sight. If there are business reply envelopes, separate them and drop them into a mailbox. Of course, you'll find it more discreet not to give your correct name and address when you sign up.
Visiting campaign headquarters can be helpful, especially if they welcome visitors. Some don't, and are absolutely paranoid about potential spies and saboteurs. If they welcome you at all, take the time to visit, and keep your eyes and ears open for information. You might even be able to slip a few BREs into your pocket.
What can one person do? Study the catalogue of harassment and trashing techniques in this book.
There's a wide variety laid out. Some will fit any situation. Some will be just right for you.


With the material in this book, you should be able to plan and carry out a program to disrupt a politician's campaign. If you're alone, so be it. Good luck, and make the most of your opportunities. One person can do a lot.

If you have an organization to back you up, it's almost a certain victory. If you have a large budget, you should be able to hang your opponent out to dry.


Richard Nixon
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