CIA MEMO : “How to Infiltrate an Organisation and Make it Dysfunctional”

The purpose of this paper is to characterize simple sabotage, to outline its possible effects, and to present suggestions for inciting and executing it.

Simple Sabotage Field Manual — OSS (January 17 1944)

This 1944 CIA memo, on how to infiltrate an organisation and make it dysfunctional, is amazing. Worth framing in the coffee room of every company.

Lionel Page — Professor and Author of forthcoming ‘Optimally Irrational’

August 13 2020 — If you wish to infiltrate an organisation and make it dysfunctional, this 1944 OSS MEMO — precursor of the CIA — will be really handy. The advises are clearly connected to what we call today fake news and group-thinking. Any similarities with your last meeting at work? Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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If you wish to set the town on fire, the manual offers a simple advise:

“Fires can be started wherever there is an accumulation of inflammable material. Warehouses are obviously the most promising targets but incendiary sabotage need not be confined to them alone.”

However, if you wish to infiltrate an organisation and make it dysfunctional, the following recommendations are a sure way to succeed.

General Interference with Organizations and Production –Organizations and Conferences

(1) Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.

(2) Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate “patriotic” comments.

(3) When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large as possible – never less than five.

(4) Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

(5) Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.

(6) Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision,

(7) Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.

(8) Be worried about the propriety of any decision – raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

Any similarity with real events or characters is purely coincidental.


Simple Sabotage Field Manual — OSS (January 17 1944)


CIA MEMO : “How to infiltrate an organisation and make it dysfunctional.”

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