Highlights from CIA’s Sabotage Manual
A Selection from CIA’s now de-classified “Simple Sabotage Field Manual”. Look for the section on “General Interference with Organisations and Conferences”. Anyone who has worked in large bureaucratic organisations or participated in large projects has seen most of the techniques below in action!
Get exclusive insights from the CIA Simple Sabotage Field Manual on generic tactics that can derail your operations or project here.
1. Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
2. Make long speeches, talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your points by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.
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.
9. Demand written orders.
10. Miss-understand orders. Ask endless questions or engage in long correspondence about such orders. Quibble over them when you can.
11. Do everything possible to delay the delivery of orders. Even though parts of the order may be ready beforehand, don’t deliver it until its completely ready.
12. In making work assignments, always sing out the unimportant jobs first. See that important jobs are assigned to inefficient workers with poor skills equipment.
13. Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products send back for refinishing those which have the least flaws. Approve other defective parts whose flaws are not visible to the naked eye.
14. When training new workers, give incomplete or misleading instructions.
15. To lower moral and with it production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work.
16. Hold meetings when there is critical work to be done.
17. Multiply paperwork in plausible ways. Start duplicating files.
18. Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, making payments, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.
19. Apply all regulations to the last letter.
20. Misfile essential documents.
21. In making copies, make one too few, so that an extra copying job will have to be done.
22. Spread disturbing rumours that sound like inside information.
23. Work slowly. Think out ways to increase the number of movements necessary on your job.
24. Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can. When you go to the lavatory, spend longer time there than necessary. Forget document so that you have to go back after them.
25. Even if you understand the language, pretend not to understand instructions in a foreign language.
26. Pretend the instructions are hard to understand, and ask to have them repeated more than once. Or pretend that you are particularly anxious to do your work, and pester the managers with unnecessary questions.
27. Do your work poorly and blame it on others, bad equipment etc. Complain that these things prevent you from doing your job right.
28. Never pass on your skills or experience to a new or a less skillful workers.
29. Snarl up administration in every possible way. Fill out forms illegibly, so that they will have to be done over; make mistakes or omit requested information in forms.
30. Give lengthy and incomprehensible explanations when questioned.
31. Act stupid (in case you are not. If you are stupid, just act normal).
32. Be as irritable and quarrelsome as possible without getting yourself into trouble.
33. Misunderstand all sorts of regulations.