Saturday, March 21, 2009

Another vague post

Let's say you have a plan. The goal of this plan is not relevant; maybe it's to colonize Mars, maybe it's to ensure the Detroit Lions win the Super Bowl. Part of this plan, though, involves poisoning a number of people. Not a large number of people, just a few. This is done covertly, and even if it is discovered that these people have been poisoned, the cause will be attributed to asbestos or unwashed spinach or something.

Would you make a list of these people? Would you leave this list in a place where anyone, at all, could find it? Would there be any possible reason to have a paper trail of this particular deed?


bill said...

Probably not. But are they random people or a targeted group? Doing the job yourself or hiring contractors?

Slightly related, I've always thought terrorism would be more effective if groups weren't publicity hogs begging for attention. Bombs randomly exploding with no explanation or demands would be a lot scarier than Group A claiming to hate Group B.

J. Bowman said...

Good questions.
Targeted group. It's possible you could do this yourself, but in all likelihood you're outsourcing the actual poisoning. Hmmm. Paper trail. Still, you could probably get it done without leaving a list of names, like a comic-book villain.

Anonymous said...

Why are you thinking about this? It doesn't involve any family members, does it? Or faculty advisors?
Number one, I would think you would not leave an email trail either.

bill said...

how about a large bag of money dropped in a bad neighborhood with a note explaining there'll be another one if this list is taken care of?

1. Avoiding bank regs pertaining to moving/withdrawing large amounts of cash isn't easy or fast.
2. Assuming you accomplished #1, it's kinda random and you've probably lost a bag of cash. And if it did work, the kind of people taking you up wouldn't be as subtle as you'd like.
3. You've still put down names on something physical that could potentially be traced back to you. Paper, pens, printers leave a signature. Hmmm, Grab a grocery bag and a pen from the grocery checkout.

Infiltrate PETA or one of the more violent environmentalist groups, and over a period of months, plant seeds that these people are worthy of targeting. Without actually committing or joining, encourage the more impatient to form an even more radical splinter group to go after your target. Just show up for meetings, never sign anything, and you're gone months before the event occurs.

For other examples of planning, I always recommend "Memoir from Antproof Case," by Mark Helprin