[New-imc] The destruction of imc-othello /the role of Iago
petros at cyprus-org.net
Sun Jul 16 17:19:21 PDT 2006
The destruction of imc-othello /the role of Iago
Iago was a central member of the imc-othello Collective which was based
in the city of Famagusta.
Iago's activities within the organization consisted essentially of a
careful and conscious cultivation of relationships of trust based on
lies and falsehoods. He acted very cleverly on the weakness and
vulnerabilities of other members, and subsequent events resulting from
poisoned trust and manipulations were the direct causes which brought
about the Collective's downfall.
Its destruction took place at a time that was crucial to the people
living in the much wider region of Famagusta. Ultimately, this
destruction of the Collective was intimately connected to vast power
struggles within the network, genocide and warfare of an immense scale
which led to a shifting of the domination of the entire Middle East and
Eastern Mediterranean region from one Imperial dynasty to another.
The techniques of psychological disorientation, cultivation of
dependencies, distortion of the truth and manipulation others to act on
the basis of falsehood and poisonous whispers have become Iago's trademark.
More information on Iago at this link, and a summary plus short analysis
of his methods in the edited text below.
THE VENETIAN CONSPIRACY
Shakespeare's "Othello, The Moor of Venice" is a more finished analysis
of the technique of manipulative methods employed by the Venetian secret
intelligence establishment. It was written and performed shortly after
1603, when the Venetians and Genoese had acquired vast powers in England
through the accession of their puppet James I to the throne.
Othello is a Moor, hired out to Venice as a mercenary, and at the apex
of his power, having just won a victory over the Turkish fleet attacking
Cyprus. He enjoys the full confidence of the Senate, and has just
married Desdemona, the daughter of a patrician. Othello, the "erring
barbarian," is however something of a dumb giant: his proficiency in the
arts of war is unmatched, but his emotional makeup tends decidedly
toward the naive and infantile. He has no real insight into affairs of
state, or into psychology. Above all, he is superstitious and has a
propensity for jealousy.
All of these weaknesses are systematically exploited by "honest Iago," a
member of Othello's staff who is determined to destroy him.
Iago is the figure of the Venetian intelligence officer, an expert in
what he calls "double knavery" - the art of manipulation.
He sets out to destroy Othello using an accurate psychological profile
of the Moor, and exploiting above all Othello's naive willingness to
trust his "honest Iago." Iago's modus operandi is to:
Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me,
For making him egregiously an ass
And practicing upon his peace and quit
Even to madness.
Iago uses his throwaway agent, the dupe Roderigo, for financing and
He sets up scenes where he cons one participant with one story, briefs
another participant with a different story, brings them together in a
controlled environment, and exploits the resulting fireworks for his
He sets up a fight between Roderigo and the drunken Cassio that leads to
the wounding of Montano by Cassio, who is ousted as chief lieutenant by
Othello. After this, he manipulates Desdemona's naive desire to help
Cassio regain his post into prima facie evidence that Desdemona is
[supposedly] an adulteress.
Iago is then able to goad Othello all the way to killing Desdemona and,
At the center of the play are epistemological questions of truth and proof.
In Act 3, Iago drives Othello wild with innuendoes about Desdemona's
alleged adultery, and makes him commit to the murder of Cassio, all
without the slightest shred of proof.
What Othello then regards as "definitive proof" of adultery, sufficient
to motivate the murder of Desdemona, is a handkerchief which Iago
obtains and plants on Cassio.
This handkerchief is an object of deep emotional and superstitious
importance for Othello, as it had been given by his father to his
mother. It had been his first love token for Desdemona. When he sees it
in the hands of Cassio, he is ready to kill.
Iago is well aware of Othello's epistemological weakness. When he first
obtains the handkerchief, he gloats:
I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin,
And let him find it. Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ; this may do something.
Shortly thereafter, Othello demands certainty that Desdemona is
betraying him. What would be definitive proof, Iago asks?
..Certainty, he says, is impossible to obtain, but he offers an
inductive- deductive substitute:
But yet, I say,
If imputation and strong circumstances,
Which lead directly to the door of truth,
Will give you satisfaction, you might have it.
In the final scene, we can agree with Iago's wife Emilia that Othello is
a gull and a dolt, a "murderous coxcomb ... as ignorant as dirt."
But the lesson is that not only Othello, but all those who love not
wisely but too well, who, "being wrought" and "perplexed in the
extreme," are potential victims of Venetian intelligence.
Excerpted and edited from the original, at:
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