(Stolen from Whistling Arrows, the newsletter of the Dark Horde)

What if there were a conspiracy, and nobody knew about it? What if nobody could know about it because the conspirators removed all evidence of its existence? What if it was part of a sinister brotherhood that planned to conquer the world and had the people to do it? What if they were planning to do it tomorrow? What could be done to stop them; what could even be done to discover their very existence?

There are certain organizational principles that successful conspiracies tend to follow, and an understanding of these can help us to uncover that which would ordinarily be un-uncoverable.

FIRST: because all evidence of the conspiracy's existence has been removed, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. On the contrary, because one can find evidence of virtually anything, whether it actually exists or not, finding some evidence in and of itself proves nothing. Since we know that the conspirators have removed all evidence of their conspiracy, we must deduce the conspiracy's existence by looking for conspicuous absence of any evidence of its existence. Having searched for, but not found, evidence of a conspiracy, we must then logically conclude that there is, in fact, a conspiracy, and further, that the conspirators are extremelyclever and therefore very dangerous.

SECOND: Conspiracies tend to have five members. This makes it difficult if not impossible for an outsider to keep track of the conspiracyshould it somehow be discovered. This is how it works: Any conspiracy is composed of members who communicate with every other person in the conspiracy, and thus the conspiracy can be defined in terms of persons who communicate with each other to a common end.

Persons within a conspiracy can form a subconspiracy with necessarily fewer members. The number of possible combinations of subconspiracies within a conspiracy increases with the size of the major conspiracy. For example, a conspiracy of 2 has only one possible combination, and therefore no subconspiracies; a conspiracy of 3 can have 3 subconspiracies of 2, a conspiracy of 4 can have 6 subconspiracies of 2, three pairs of subconspiracies of 2 and 4 subconspiracies of 3 for a total of 14 possible combinations of (sub) conspiracies. For a conspiracy of 5, the number of possible combinations is so great that it is not feasable for an outsider to keep track of them all, thus affording a measure of security via complexity. In a conspiracy of more than 5, the conspirators themselves have trouble keeping track of all the possible combinations of conspiracies, thus they tend to limit their numbers to 5.

THIRD: In addition to secrecy and complexity, another method of security is Ignorance.

It is an axiom among the intelligence community that the most secure, and therefore the potentially most effective agent is one who does not know that he is an agent.

The same is true for conspirators. If caught, they cannot reveal what they do not know; yet the conspiracy is only dependent on what they do, not what they know. Therefore, in a conspiracy that is observing proper security measures, -none- of the conspirators would know that they are part of a conspiracy, in order to confuse the enemy and avoid suspicion. Therefore, whether or not a conspirator believes s/he is part of a conspiracy is not a valid indicator.

How do we identify the conspirators, having proved the existence of the conspiracy by observing a total absence of evidence of its existence?

Since the conspirators are members of a larger organization, which ulitmately runs the conspiracy, we must look for common factors among members of our own organization that would tend to indicate that some of our members are also members of some other organization that might be plotting to take over the world.

They are indicators of a group affiliation, and since we know that there is a conspiracy within our organization, we must assume that this group that some of our people are affiliated with is the organization that is behind the conspiracy.

Remember: conspiracies usually have five members, although it would be just like a conspiracy to have a different number, just to confuse us. But let us start by assuming that they number five. First we must observe deviant behaviors by groups within our group and make not of the individual identities. We must then observe how these individuals interact, and with whom, in order to establish patterns of conspiracies within the conspiracy. And we must keep dossiers on all of these individuals so that we can keep track of their activities and contacts.

We must be ever vigilant, lest we be drawn down and consumed by the conspiracies for world domination. As foulness we shall know them; their hand is at our throats. Their habitation is even one with our guarded threshold. We rule now where they ruled once; they shall soon rule where we rule now. After winter is summer, after summer, winter; they wait, patient and potent, for tomorrow belongs to them.

We Are The Dark Horde.
(From the Dark Horde Field Manual)

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