Helpful Hints from the OSS

Keep punching!

This is a riot: Simple Sabotage Field Manual is a World War II guide for people behind enemy lines on how to make things more difficult for the Nazis. The OSS as you know was the pre-cursor to the CIA, so this is kinda like a dirty tricks field guide from the 1940s. And I’m sure it worked like a charm, and much of it still would.

“Widespread acts of simple sabotage will harass and demoralize enemy administrators…” but page 28 is where the fun really began for me:

  • Insist on everything being done through channel…
  • Make speeches… illustrate your points with long anecdotes
  • Refer all matters to committees and make the committees as large as possible
  • Bring up irrelevant issues as often as possible
  • Haggle over precise wording
  • Relitigate previous decisions

That might as well been minutes from every meeting at IBM I ever attended, and the bullet points go on for something like 4 more pages.

Now, I’m not saying that this will ever become useful, but I think printing it out for posterity sake is a pretty great idea. Be prepared!

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7 Responses to Helpful Hints from the OSS

  1. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    My favorite was ‘when the enemy asks for directions, give him wrong directions’.

    Next up, using a small piece of napkin to secretly put pepper in the salt shaker.


  2. another kiwi says:

    Ahh, now university faculty meetings make some sense.


  3. Well, you can clearly see the Ivy League/Oxbridge influence in western intelligence agencies. That describes *every* departmental or faculty meeting I’ve ever attended.


  4. RevZafod says:

    I’ve been retired for 27 years, but that’ll still give me meeting nightmares.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. paul fredine says:

    ‘refer all matters to committees and make the committees as large (substitute ‘numerous’) as possible.’
    ‘bring up irrelevant issues as often as possible.’
    ‘relitigate all previous decisions.’
    sounds like congress is following the playbook.


  6. A hundred little acts of vandalism . . . little people could bring the entire United States to a staggering halt. I d/l’d that manual and saved it. One thousand people, acting as individuals, could really fuck this place up!


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