(Last Updated On: December 19, 2022)

Sun Tzu And The Selectively Ignorant [PDF]

A SCARS Essay on the Psychology of Scams & Victimization

In helping victims of scams, it is necessary to point out the mistakes of the past – not to blame – but to help educate about the need for change. This essay speaks about willful blindness and how it can impact people leading them into dangers.

Every Battle Is Won Before It Is Fought!

This Also Means The Battle Is Lost From The Perspective Of The Opposite Side!

Every scam victim was affected by this simple truth.

The following is going to sound like we are blaming victims. This is far from reality. It is, however, an exploration of a very hard truth to accept, that many willfully choose to remain ignorant about the dangers online. Our goal in presenting this is to open eyes and shock some that need it into the recognition that not only could they have done more, but that they still need to do more.

We do not blame victims of scams, because in fact, anyone can be scammed, and that the only defense is both knowledge and behavioral change. This document focuses on the deliberate absence of both learning and changes to behaviors that can keep a victim safe. In our experience we see that almost a full third of victims remain trapped in some form of denial, some for years, some forever.

Treat this article as a wake-up call. A call to action, and rather than feel like it is blaming, feel that it is opening your eyes to what you need to do to be safe in the future!

Sot the reader is warned, do not let yourself be offended if this applied to you. Instead, use it as fuel for your transformation to a stronger and safer self!

NOTE: it is very important to remember that a scam victim is not to blame for the scam. But it can be said that better preparation and knowledge would have reduced the impact. This is a large portion of the statement being made here!



We found this (well parts of it) and thought we would share it since it speaks to both people before being scammed and after – how anyone can be selectively ignorant and the potential cost associated with it – SCARS Team

We are all born ignorant. We learn as we grow. There comes an age when we can choose to remain ignorant or we can choose not to remain ignorant. We can choose to understand that knowledge controls our behavior. Importantly we can choose to understand that we can choose to learn to be better people. Alternatively, we can hide behind ignorance so we can avoid knowing the consequences of our actions and non-actions and so continue to do what we please regardless of those consequences.

The consequences of our actions affect both ourselves and others. In the first chapter, Sun Tzu said:

1.1 The art of war is of vital importance.

1.2 It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin.

Hence it is a subject of inquiry that can on no account be neglected.

While he may have written about external wars, his words are just as wise and probably more important to the internal personal wars that we all wage. We all face the choice to change or to remain the same regardless of the consequences.


Everyone Is Ignorant – About Something!

We cannot expect a Kalahari bushman to know how to trade stocks nor can we expect a NY stock trader to know how to survive in the Kalahari desert. Both can learn over time and if the need arises to perform what is unknown and seemingly unnatural to them. This is circumstantial ignorance.

Selective ignorance is when one has the capability to learn and the opportunity to learn and yet no action or effort is made to learn and so change behavior. There are those, for example, who wear it as a badge of honor that they still do not know how to use the Internet with safety. What these individuals choose to ignore is that they are surrounded by the internet. Computers are in everyday household machines, like the dishwasher, fridge, clothes washer, and microwave oven. The majority of us, if not embrace knowledge and change, then we choose not to resist. There are unfortunately those who reject such notions with a passion and dedication that becomes the equal of a force of nature.

The same can be said about online safety and socially engineered cybercrime!

Selective Ignorance Must Always Be Treated As The Enemy And Never Trusted

They who hold to this behavior are a danger to themselves and all around them. They can rationalize any behavior that favors them no matter what proof is laid out before them. They will cry and apologize all day long and beg for forgiveness however they will not change their behavior. Those who choose this path will always find someone or something else to blame. They will never admit it is what they choose not to know – that has the greatest impact on them and those around them. This is not just denial, but a wilful act of self-harm and disregard for others.

The selective ignorant are not concerned with the ideas set out in the following words.

SUN TZU said:

1. 4. “These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.”

[SCARS: these are the constraints that all of us live by or selectively ignore in our life.]

They are only interested in what is good for them now. They are not interested in the long term as they already know that their defense of “it’s not my fault” has worked, does work, and will always work regardless of what evidence to the contrary they have witnessed.

Having an ability to recognize selective ignorance and to have prepared defenses for it can save you from great harm, both emotional and physical. Not to mention frustration.

SUN TZU said:

2.6. “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare . For these people, there is no war, just one battle after another and they always win each battle, at least they never lose a battle.”

In our context, the warfare is conflict and dangers online, the war is with cybercrime, and the battle is the scam. When we add a comment or substitute a term to make it apply to scams [we will enclose our comment in “brackets”]

There is a great distinction here and it is important to understand this. Not losing a battle [scam] is winning. The selectively ignorant behave in a manner as if no war [cybercrime] exists or could possibly exist.

SUN TZU said:

3.12. “There are three ways in which a ruler [a person] can bring misfortune upon his army [on friends & family]:”

(1) “By commanding the army to advance or to retreat, being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey. This is called hobbling the army.”

[SCARS: Hobbling means to defeat your own efforts by not being aware of the limitations imposed on yourself and on others around you, by both the environment (the Internet) and by your ignorance.]

(2) “By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers a kingdom, being ignorant of the conditions obtain in an army. This causes restlessness in the soldier’s minds.”

[SCARS: By acting in the greater online environment as if in your own safe space – causes misperceptions of reality and its dangers.]

(3) “By employing the officers of his army without discrimination, through ignorance of the military principle of adaptation to circumstances. This shakes the confidence of the soldiers.”

[SCARS: By expecting things to be one way, when in fact the dangers are all around it creates a mindset that makes it that much more difficult to recognize them when they show themselves.]

Those who choose selective ignorance do not learn when they should advance or retreat. They have hobbled themselves in the most critical manner. Their minds and emotions can transform from calm to restless in a blink of an eye because they have no self-confidence in a successful outcome – meaning, that ignorance creates weakness, that even if it is not fully appreciated can hinder behavior. Each battle [scam] for them is effectively like the first battle [scam] – meaning that selective ignorance prevents learning from each experience – we see this in victims who are scammed over and over.

SUN TZU said:

3.17. “Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory [safety]:”

(1) “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. Those who choose ignorance do not, they only know to fight [be victimized].”

[SCARS: this means that you kave to know what is safe from what is not.]

(2) “He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces [scammers]. Those who choose ignorance do not, numbers are irrelevant.”

[SCARS: not all dangers are the same. Knowledge makes a large difference in the effectiveness of them. But ignorance makes someone vulnerable to all dangers, small and large.]

(3) “He will win whose army [themselves and their circle of supporters] is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. They know little of confidence yet much of stubbornness.”

[SCARS: if you, and by extension, your family and friends are equally prepared for the dangers ahead, each person can help reinforce the others when moments of weakness or carelessness arrise. On the other hand, so many remain silent about these issues – stubbernly refusing to learn or share what they have experienced.]

(4)  “He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. Those who choose ignorance do not, they react immediately and with all their convictions.”

[SCARS: anyone who is prepared with knowledge, even if they put a foot into a scam, will always have the advantage over a scammer. Scammers do not know what you know – they will follow their script – but it you are forewarned, then you can recognize their tactic and nulify it.]

(5) “He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign. As they listen only to themselves and answer to no-one else there is no sovereign to interfere with them.”

[SCARS: this means it is important to listen to professional advice and learn from what they present. Listening only to your own limited knowledge is the path that not only leads to danger but has you falling victim.]

The ignorant only know to fight, they handle superior and inferior forces the same, with aggression. Without a doubt, they will be the most stubborn individuals you will ever encounter and the only sovereign they know is themselves. This relates to those who have been scammed, and instead of learning to avoid it in the future and how to recover from their past experience, instead they express rage, anger, and hate.

SUN TZU said:

3.18. “Hence the saying: If you know the enemy [scammers] and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles [scams]. If you know yourself but not the enemy [scammer], for every victory [scam avoided] gained you will also suffer a defeat [become a victim of a scam]. If you know neither the enemy [scammer] nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle [scam].”

Those who choose (selective) ignorance choose to read this passage and deduce as they have never lost a battle [been victimized], this is proof that they always know themselves and the enemy [scammers]. Have we not all experienced enemies [scammers] such as this?

SUN TZU said:

4.1.  “The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat [of being victimized], and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy [scamemrs]. Those who choose ignorance are the masters of this principle. They know they can not be defeated because to them, they are never defeated until they admit defeat and they will never, can never admit to.”

[SCARS: If you have learned the lessons of scams you are most likely never to be scammed again. But the ignorant will be scammed over and over because their own denial will not let them fully accept or admit it.]

4.4. “Hence the saying: One may KNOW how to conquer [be safe] without being able to DO it. One may know what should work however those who choose ignorance are your usual enemy. You may know what should work without knowing how to penetrate their shield of not-knowingness. Those who choose ignorance do not know how to conquer [be safe], although the definition of conquer is critical here, however they do know a lot about fighting [scams & online safety]. This is why they are so dangerous [to themselves and others].

5.14. “Therefore the good fighter will be terrible in his onset, and prompt in his decision. The selectively ignorant are very prompt in their decisions, as well as illogical, rash, and immoveable once the decision is made. Their onset is as terrible as anything as you ever want to encounter. Each onset is full of passion and righteous rage.”

[SCARS: for victims that lack knowledge but have the self assurance of knowledge, they will make decisions believing in the rightness of those decisions – but before, during, and after their scams. Especially afterwards. And express rage when anyone or anything counters their views.]

5.16. Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all; amid confusion and chaos, your array may be without head or tail, yet it will be proof against defeat. For those who choose selective ignorance, they see the order in disorder as no other can and there is always some victory in every defeat. Turmoil, for them, is ever-present and normal. This is why you can not defeat them as their experience here is far superior to yours as they have lived in it all their lives. So attack by stratagem.

[SCARS: for those prepared with knowledge and behavior, an active defense plays less of a role because they know how to avoid or bypass danger when it apears spontaneously. Ignorance does not allow a victim to recognize new dangers as they appear.]

 3. 1. “In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact [recognize the scammers and avoid the scam and report it to others]; to shatter and destroy it is not so good [avoiding is not enough without spreading the word]. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment, or a company entire than to destroy them [do not confront scammers and give them knowledge that you know]. So confront them with compassion, understanding, and patience [report them without anger or hate]. Those who choose selective ignorance can not be defeated, they never admit defeat. Allow them to perceive their seeming victories and move on unless you absolutely have no other choice. Let sleeping dogs lie. Do not wake the sleeping dragon.

[SCARS: many who live in ignorance will never admit their lack of knowledge, and yet believe themselves to be absolute experts.]

“Do no go looking for this kind of individuals, rest assured they will find you. Be vigilant and be prepared.”

[SCARS: be careful who you listen to because the “instant experts” are everywhere. All they will do is hold you back from proprer care at critical times, impacting your long term recovery.]

8.11. “The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”

[SCARS: scams are inevitable. They are always all around us. Scammers will attack and try to scam us all. But prepared with knowledge gives you that “unassailable position.]


Have you read SUN TZU & The Art of War? If not, you should, since we are all at war online all of the time. [Scroll down, the full book is below]

This War Will Not End, And You Are All Casualties Of The Conflict

We are at war on two fronts: we are at war with the willful cybercriminals, and also at the same time, against the technology companies that enable them (like arms dealers in real warfare).

This ancient text is more universal today than ever, and the enemies of freedom and safety understand it in their bones. Unfortunately, their victims do not.

The whole point of this article is that every victim, and in fact almost everyone everywhere, enjoys their selective ignorance. But scam victims especially have paid for their ignorance – paid a serious price, both in money and anguish.

But you can think of the money and time paid as the tuition – just like a college degree. But, did you get your money’s worth? Or is selective ignorance still controlling and limiting your actions and knowledge?

Every scam victim reading this has paid the price of ignorance, but some will continue to remain deliberately selectively ignorant.

This is the true tragedy of scams. Unfortunately, not every victim will actually read this.

If you read this, please comment so we know that you are choosing the path of knowledge!

Sun Tzu and The Art of War

The Art of War

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Sun Tzu and The Art of War PDF

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SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
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