Plate Spinning Predators

Nineteenth century English poet, painter, and printmaker, William Blake once said, “It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” What Blake was telling us was that friends often do to us what we’d expect from an enemy.

Thieves with PhDs ‘work’ friend and family feud like divas on steroids.  To accomplish the goal of thievery, duplicity and lies, there is a need for fake friendship to be directed toward foes.

To be the one who makes off with the goods in the end, TWPhDs must be adept at speaking out of both sides of their mouth, while standing on both sides of the fence.  In other words, and not that that’s a bad thing, feigning camaraderie, while plotting destruction.

In order to become the beneficiary of a lifetime’s worth of some poor shlub’s earnings, it’s important to voluntarily place yourself in the middle of two complainants and do so while agreeing with them both.  Think of it as a patsy/rival straddle.

Elder Financial Abuse/inheritance heist operations are exquisitely timed endeavors.  Talking to the right people at the right time, saying just enough and not too much.  Weighing options, measuring time frames, and strategizing when to make the big move.

It’s a fancy two-step, and if a heister is to be successful, in the end, it’s only because they’re great at making everyone believe in a stealthy subterfuge.

One thing for sure, if ever the sound of 80 years worth of coinage is going to be heard clinking into a that piggy bank that’s been sitting empty on the shelf for 50 years, it’s also important to make sure to always agree more heartily with, and stick closer to, the person who is in possession of the most cash.

Cash-cow-cozying is a balancing act and is oftentimes somewhat of a gamble.  If one spends a lifetime listening to someone whine about their next of kin and then the whiner dies and leaves that heir everything, precious time and effort may have been invested without hope for a future reward.

To avoid disaster, what needs to happen is that the person with the dough needs to believe the person hoping to be the designee of ill-gotten gain is their bestest friend in the whole-wide-world.  But that same belief needs to be held by anyone who threatens to stand between the designee and the dough.  It’s called running inheritance interference.

The trick is to navigate the family unit with a welcoming grin, share conviviality with one and all, laugh about the complainer with the complainee, and wink at one, while the other whispers in your ear about the one you’re winking at.   And do it while stirring up dissension with a smile.

Handling disputing relatives, in hopes of hauling away a cache, is similar to how multidextrous entertainer Erich Brenn dazzled audiences spinning plates on the old Ed Sullivan variety show.

Erich was able to keep half dozen plates in the air while simultaneously flipping glasses and juggling.  Brenn managed to end each session on a happy, victorious, shard-free note.

Hopefully, your ending will be different but nonetheless happy and victorious. After keeping the sham spinning for years, if all goes well, you’ll separate from the crowd, wampum in hand, while the one who bestowed you with riches is laid to rest and her pension-less, albeit nice-guy son is left balancing an empty plate, so to speak.

Problem is, sometimes it isn’t all that seamless and idyllic, issues arise along the way, especially when extended family members mention that they’ve noticed you seem comfortable spinning plates around the edges of a tense family situation and somehow always emerge unscathed.

Observant people can make you lose your stride by asking probing questions like, “If she listens to ‘you know who’ complain about you and listens to you complain about ‘you know who,’ isn’t she’s betraying both you and ‘you know who’? And, if someone can betray one person…can’t they betray another?”

If you’ve done you’re job properly and the stratagem has worked, the one you’re in the process of betraying will usually quell skeptics questions.  It’s standard fare that overly trusting clod pates will usually respond to critics of thieves by saying “Nah, she’s fine, she’s our really good friend.”

Be tough, because after keeping plates spinning for years, in order to claim the ultimate prize, hearts will be broken.  But, not to worry, you’ll be fine, because feigning friendship in order to heist inheritances and deplete fading fuddy-duddies takes chutzpah, resolve, and a steely belief in the right for some people to prevail even if it’s at the expense of others.

Nonetheless, keeping the fruit of a mother’s womb at arm’s length requires very special talent.   Because what one can’t get a cantankerous relative to agree to at 60 years of age is always more palatable at 80, especially after 20 additional years of personal cultivation of animosity toward next of kin.  After the deed is done, reflection on sister sage’s words is certainly in order: “I’m not surprised in the least by what they did, they just proved what everybody knew all along,” which is that plate-spinning Thieves with PhDs are more than willing to forgo forgiveness and certainly could are less if they have family for friends.

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