…here (“Covert Influence”):
Covert influence, influence that is not openly acknowledged or displayed, oftentimes occurs when those being influenced are actually unaware of their activities. Covert influence operations are time consuming—not hours, days, or weeks but months and often years. One of the many tactics behind covert influence stems in social conditioning. Persons actually unknowingly change their cognitive processing in believing the way their influencers desire.
Initiators in this covert espionage concept are rarely known. They are Mavens. To understand one of the processes which covert influence begins, think of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Tipping Point where he discusses Mavens, Connectors, and Salespersons.
Mavens are the brains with ideas to be executed. Mavens can be nation states. They can also be leaders of groups like terrorist organizations. Sometimes they are not leaders rather serve their masters as the brains behind the scenes. While Mavens are rarely known, they spread their ideas and memes to a few powerful persons known as Connectors.
Connectors, often construed as assets, have large networks of individuals who pitch these ideas and or memes onto the public. The Connectors are influential and tactically powerful. They have capabilities to persuade others. The others are their Salespersons.
Salespersons are normally everyday persons. They have access to local level individuals and capabilities to spread the social meme onto others with relative ease. In the intelligence world, Salespersons are often referred to as sources.
I have a 5GW summary page here.
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