Poverty, Desperation & Influence – When the Group(s) are the Criminals. Not so much the Individuals.

Poverty, Desperation & Influence – When the Group(s) are the Criminals. Not so much the Individuals.

Most of what I know about crime is an extension of group dynamics. Whether it’s

  • family, spouses, DV, incest (addictions)
  • cults who bully members or ex members,
  • gangs who run drugs, weapons, prostitutes…
  • terrorist cells & orgs who fearmonger civilians
  • oppressive nations & empires who keep the poor poor
  • large corporations who enslave the workers using capitalistic aims


And often the way to bring them down (or at least control them) is by following the money. You find out how they are linked, who the hierarchy are, and can even stop the flow of supportive cash when they are uncooperative with authority and not open to education or treatment.

Most people presume that cash and carry works to stop govt or police tracking money as it travels, or using bitcoin or crypto-currency will stop that oversight. But if you look at your paper money, you’ll see the tracking number. It can be followed from printer to bank to store and even to purchase date and time at the register. Even bitcoin and crypto-currency have businesses who have lists of members, if not their individual activity logs. So with that tracker number, the police can follow it’s path of use.

And this is the point where the paranoid people get all anti-govt and anti-bank. But they don’t particularly care if you as an individual are buying a few lottery tickets or a bottle of wine when you have a friend over for supper. That isn’t criminal activity. And even if you stole a loaf of bread (which is criminal, but not organized crime), they don’t care about that either. Not at the level of crime where group activity is monitored. Unless you steal for Fagin, but they’d be watching him not you. (Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens reference)

They don’t really care who you vote for either. They’d prefer it was them… but they’d also prefer to convince you, in a free nation. Or gerrymander the voting districts to line up with populations and seats in the house and senate.

The larger purpose is to watch the group, not the individuals.


Groups try to convince (saying: don’t worry we’re family, we protect each other, it’s easy money, no one cares about this thing, no they can’t find you or us, yeah we’ll help you if you’re caught) people to work with them in their criminal activity. And the people they go after are impressionable, lonely, poor/desperate, easily controlled and easily influenced. They recruit you when times are tough. They move into neighbourhoods and take it over. Going after the young esp and training them into the group’s needs and way of life.

Their engagements are coercive, manipulative, deceptive and harmful in bigger ways than just the criminal activity they ask of you. They break the heart of the community and normal attachments like faith, job, family and school. They undermine trust in people and community leaders. Which their vulnerable targets are more likely to be receptive to. Which makes it harder to break the ties of the criminal group and it’s members. And they cause shame in the members and the community.

They protect the hierarchy against contact with the rabble, corruption by community leaders, and police detection. And leave the local members to be arrested and deal with the fall out of their criminal enterprise. So the only way to catch them is by following the money trails.


Which is why some govts have laws about racketeering (profiting from crime). egs Canada, USA, UK….

Which is why the police were able to catch Al Capone. Which is why DAs in NYC are going after Trump on things like tax evasion. Even if they can’t get him on inciting insurgence or sedition.

Even if it depersonalizes the crime and makes the harm a financial transaction instead of broken lives, it catches the group leaders instead of just the members.

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