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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Are you paying attention?

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C1325529963/E20100914142340

How important is it?

I've been reading Psychic Mafia lately. I don't think it will rate a full review, although it's a handy reference for dealing with some of the scammers that I run into occasionally.

One thing that offends me is when the author talks about the card files that the fake mediums kept on the "marks," and just how much that information was shared among the people who were out to scam the victims.

Now I am a big believer in networking, and this strikes me as abusing those ideas.

Yes, I keep files on the people I deal with. Not because I want to scam them, but because fellow-feeling doesn't come naturally to me. I have to work at it. So I do, hard.

Here are a few ideas.

Names, aliases, emails, phone numbers, web pages, addresses, these are the obvious bits to gather. Although obviously you don't sit them down and ask the questions point blank. You make a note as the information comes up.

Dates are important too, especially birthdays and anniversaries. Remember that not all anniversaries are wedding anniversaries.

Family, friends, and associates are a bit trickier. I use a "one off" rule. And unless the circumstances are unusual, I concentrate on the living. Spouse or Significant Other obviously, and children. Siblings if it comes up. Parents if they are still alive. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, second cousin by marriage, not so much. If I can, I usually put the "one off" birthday next to the name. If I get more than a name and a birthday, then it's time to give the "one off" their own separate entry.

But where things really get fun are the profiles. I started with the Mackay 66 which business writer Harvey Mackay publicly introduced in Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition. I won't go into too many details here, but I can get a little obsessive if I don't watch myself.

Now, what the blazes does this have to do with Paganism?

It's a set of tools I've developed over the years to help me compensate. I won't deny that in unethical hands, those same tools could be used to make me look like I have the Powers of the Universe on speed-dial. The difference is, I'm telling you about the tools. I'll even give you sources for the ones that aren't original with me. It's just a matter of preparation, organization, and planning. It requires no special spiritual insight, no unique connection to the Divine.

Yes, those same tools can be used in bloody manipulative ways. Regrettably, I've done that too. I'm trying to do better now.

It's "hidden knowledge" only in the sense that it's not usually taught systematically. Most people pick up some or most of it without thinking about it. It's like muscle memory. Most people don't have to consciously think about the movements involved in walking, some do. Chances are, you can read body language "instinctively," I have to think about what it means.

Sometimes it means I'm really good at spotting the scammer before things get too far along. And if they do it in front of me, that makes them Fair Game.

Lately I've noticed more and more that the Grand Semi-Universal Truths that can make a good Pagan work even better to make you a great human. This is one of them. Tools, techniques, and specifics aside, it comes down to three very simple ideas.

Pay attention to other people.

Find out what's important to them.

Make it important to you.

The rest is just polish. Use those ideas, and people will respond to you.

Posted: Tue - September 14, 2010 at 02:23 PM

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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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