GreenSquirrel June 3, 2010 7:15 AM

Ohes Noes, you’ve downloaded terrorist training material. Its the gulag for you sonny Jim.

BF Skinner June 3, 2010 7:28 AM

Feeding the hog. Weapons developed during wartime have many civilian uses.

Explains my why my IPAD is taking so long but why is the OSS attacking Apple? What could Wild Bill have against Steve Jobs?

“(b) Managers and Supervisors
(1) Demand written orders.
(2) “Misunderstand” orders. Ask endless questions or engage in long correspondence …. Quibble over them ….
(3) Do everything possible to delay the delivery of orders.
(4) Don’t order new working materials …
(5) Order high-quality materials which are hard to get…
(6) In making work assignments…See that the important jobs are assigned to inefficient workers of poor machines.
(7) Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products; …
(8) Make mistakes in routing so that parts and materials will be sent to the wrong place in the plant.
(9) When training new workers, give incomplete or misleading instructions.
(10) To lower morale and … production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work.
(11) Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
(12) Multiply paper work in plausible ways. Start duplicate files.
(13) Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, pay checks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.
(14) Apply all regulations to the last letter.”


pZ June 3, 2010 7:30 AM

disclaimer: intended for informational, counter-terrorism training, anti evil empire, and anti rogue state purposes only

yesman June 3, 2010 8:03 AM

page three, 1,a, last sentence in that first paragraph, should be noted by our forces in iraq and afganistan
subject personal motives,
dont sell liberty or freedom as reasons for people to be insurgents, as these ideas are incomprehensible.

I also found the part on working within organizations to be very accurate in describing our society as it works now.

usaidit June 3, 2010 8:04 AM

Still in use by politicians
(11-2) Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate “patriotic” comments.
(11-3) When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large as possible — never less than five.
(11-4) Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

(12-a) Give lengthy and incomprehensible explanations when questioned

GreenSquirrel June 3, 2010 8:36 AM

I love the fact (as pointed out by others) that this is pretty much a guide book for most organisations and certainly the Civil Service now.

Who’d’ve thought that all our employees were actually OSS operatives fighting the Second World War.

Roll on VE Day.

Joel June 3, 2010 9:29 AM

“Purposeful stupidity is contrary to human nature.”


According to the Office Workers section at the end, my company is infested with saboteurs.

Alex Rootham June 3, 2010 10:02 AM

My favourite: “Forget to provide paper in toilets; put tightly rolled paper, hair, and other obstructions in the W. C”

derf June 3, 2010 10:33 AM

The General Interference section is the employee handbook for every federal, state, and local government agency.

BF Skinner June 3, 2010 11:27 AM

@Joel “ORLY?”
Don’t forget the historical context such things as the “rational investor” and “employer / employee loyalty” “national company” constructs had not yet fallen to modern economic analysis of incentives and global marketplaces.

I wonder what Drucker would think of this.

Emma Bull June 3, 2010 11:34 AM

I’m with Green Squirrel–now the Feds will find this on my hard drive! (For which I thank you. Bruce Shneier, providing research material for fiction writers since…well, a while ago. Love you, dude.)

Emma Bull June 3, 2010 11:38 AM

…yes, really, I love you even though I type too freakin fast and misspell your name. My admiration is sincere, though I am dorkful. g

Nemo June 3, 2010 11:49 AM

@Emma Bull:

Jokes about political incompetence aside, one can’t help but think that James Cobham would not have approved of most of this volume, had it appeared a hundred years earlier and somehow fallen into his hands, or those of a compatriot. Potentially… self-destructive tactics, I suppose you might say, when used outside the context for which they were intended.

Or maybe I just misremember my favorite epistolary novel and the politics thereof. 🙂

BF Skinner June 3, 2010 11:54 AM

Heeeeeyyyyy. I just scrapped off the ecover of my copy and the book’s cover really says…

“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pointy Haired Bossedness” By Catbert Pharm.d and Dogbert CSEP.

Jack Saalweachter June 3, 2010 12:06 PM

(6) Transportation: Railways (a) Passengers
(1.) Make train travel as inconvenient as possible for enemy personnel. Make mistakes in issuing train tickets, leaving portions of the journey uncovered by the ticket book; issue two tickets for the same seat in the train…
(2) In trains bound for enemy destinations, attendants should make life as uncomfortable
as possible for passengers…
(3) See that the luggage of enemy personnel is mislaid or unloaded at the wrong stations. Switch address labels on enemy baggage.
(4) Engineers should see that trains run slow or make unscheduled stops for plausible reasons.

DayOwl June 3, 2010 12:16 PM

Annoyerism. If you can’t beat ’em, annoy ’em.

A manual of time-tested methods written by civil servants for civil servants.

Nick June 3, 2010 12:25 PM

Wait, is this a handbook for sabotage, or a management training manual?

Got plenty of ‘managers’ who don’t know which way is up, but they have plenty of time to tell you how to climb a ladder.

DayOwl June 3, 2010 12:34 PM

Okay, how many of us are wondering if we became “the enemy” when we weren’t looking?

Union Steward June 3, 2010 12:41 PM

As a shop steward for my union, I object to comments like the one by “Johns.”

I work hard, and I’m good at what I do. I’m not here punching a clock and wasting anyone’s time.

Louis June 3, 2010 1:12 PM

Sorry Union Steward, you have failed.

Your comment is too brief, much too much to the point.

I understood every single word you used and your resentment is way way too clear.

Please read up on the book once again and come back.

Another Union Steward June 3, 2010 1:30 PM

Louis: As another sapient individual gainfully employed as an appointed steward on behalf of my brethren and sistren in trade, I take umbrage at the intellectual dishonesty and unpatriotic defeatism espoused by such anonymous personas as he or she who calls him- or her-self “Johns”.

I am studious and diligent in the pursuit of my assigned duties, and have taken pains to acquire more than a passing degree of ability in such areas as fall under my purview. Contrary to the unfounded and ficticious mental imagery perpetrated by nay-sayers, I am not an idle wastrel of poor moral fibre, but one who remains unwaveringly convinced of the basic and unshakeable importance of an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, a tenet I make a sincere effort to practice daily and by doing so set an example for my brethren and sistren who toil productively at my side.


HJohn June 3, 2010 1:42 PM

@(7) Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products;

In my experience, this is one of the most common ways even well-intentioned people waste money, time, crush morale, etc., while feeling very good about their value and how much they “help.” (They see the A+ they help get on something insignificant, they are oblivious to the C’s, D’s, and F’s in significant areas that don’t improve because they had absolute focus on getting that useless A+)

A Telco Security Dweeb June 3, 2010 2:38 PM

Bruce :

I am afraid you have referenced the wrong URL here (or have linked to the wrong .pdf).

The document referenced at the URL given in your original article, is clearly the “Amended Rules of Procedure For Members Of The Congress Of The United States.”

Statements such as “…give long-winded speeches…” or “…cry loudly and in public about slights real or imagined…”, show this to obviously be the case. (I looked hard for the word “filibuster”, but perhaps it is subsumed in the procedures for other topics as described immediately above. The same would be the case for “how to drill an oil well”… the general idea here was well described under “…bits and drills will snap under pressure…”)

Please find us a manual on REAL sabotage, as opposed to “how to run the U.S. government and U.S. industry, not necessarily in that order”.

Thank you,

Ravan Asteris June 3, 2010 2:45 PM

Some of the office and manufacturing instructions look like common corporate culture as imposed by management today. Who knew that our management was all trained to resist the Axis occupations of WWII?

whosaiddat June 3, 2010 3:29 PM

The very last sentence is:

Do not cooperate in salvage schemes.

Just a strange way to end a sabotage manual. I mean are they basically saying don’t recycle?

Nemo June 3, 2010 4:17 PM

Whosaiddat: I think it makes quite a bit of sense if you think about it in context – the “context” being both the rest of the manual, and the circumstances it was meant to be employed under.

Say you work in a mildly critical factory, which the allies bomb, as tended to happen. The Germans have a vested interest in salvaging what tools and equipment they can from the wreckage and returning them to the war effort; the people at the pointy end of things also probably know bugger all about delicate technical matters, so…

“Sorry, Guv, this lathe might look fine to you, but the main upper roller bearings are clearly broken, and I shudder to think what the lower reverse worm gears looks like, you know how they go wonky if you so much as sneeze near them. Spares? Yeah, we had spares – see that crater over there? That’s where the cabinet we kept the spares in used to be. Such a tragedy, I tell you. Oh, and Vic says to tell you the motor on the Number Two Glorp-Puller is kaput; he thinks it must have shorted out when the bombs hit. Fix it? Do you know how to rewind a four-pole one-kilovolt armature? You better, mister, ‘cos I sure don’t.”

Matt from CT June 3, 2010 8:29 PM

Finally, the public has a copy of the BP Spill Response Procedures Manual to review!

O June 4, 2010 3:55 AM

I just read the “managers and supervisors” section only to realize that my workplace is being sabotaged by enemy agents!

I’m in desperate need of help. Does anyone know how to get in contact with Dogbert?

Piglet June 4, 2010 4:19 AM

Chapter 11 seems coming straight from Dilbert’s Pointy Haired Boss school of management!

BF Skinner June 4, 2010 6:18 AM

@whosaiddat “I mean are they basically saying don’t recycle?”

@O “to realize that my workplace is being sabotaged by enemy agents!”

One buddy, a “real” conservative (slightly to the right of Ghengis Khan), used to decry bitterly recycle programs. “I’m not giving people my trash so they can make money from it!” I’ve always been suspicious of giving power to people who say that if they were in the gummint they’d end it. Self-identified Sabotuers. Philosophically so inclined if not pre-meditated before the fact. Now we know.

@O you can call your Dogbert report to the local FBI office or the DNC at 1-877-336-7200.

QUIZ June 4, 2010 8:25 AM

Apparently the name was used in the vernacular outside of norway back in the day. I always thought that it was known in the uppermidwest because of the large number of norwegian americans who live here.

Nick P June 4, 2010 12:36 PM

Should I reciprocate by posting the TSA Sabotag… err, “Securing our Airports” Manual?

Aguirre June 4, 2010 8:00 PM

I recommend we set up a committee of five or more people to investigate how this valuable document became declassified, reporting back to Bruce no later than 2015.

Frances June 4, 2010 10:13 PM

The word “quisling” was well known during and after WW2 and anyone old enough to remember that time would never forget it. A quisling is a traitor.

Clive Robinson June 5, 2010 3:14 AM

@ Frances,

“A Quisling is a traitor.”

Err no not just a traitor, that was the least of his crimes.

Not only did he betray his own people and thus become a traitor. He went on and accepted title and position from the enemy.

Not content with just the status this brought, he then used it to turn on his own people and oppress them in ways that even the enemy had difficulty comprehending.

And he then went on to publicly revel in his crimes (the RAF sent a fledgling group of De Haviland Mosquitoe fighter bombers to bomb one of his public displays).

His behaviour was such that it marked him as a person far worse than just about all others of the time, and thus rightly reviled through time as an example of just how base a human can get.

moo June 5, 2010 7:59 AM

I like this bit:

“Abstract verbalizations about personal liberty, freedom of the press, and so on, will not be convincing in most parts of the world. In many areas they will not even be comprehensible.”

agoneranyway June 5, 2010 11:42 AM

(312-4-a) Download pdf’s like this to further choke the guvvermint’s endless lists of “subversives” and multiply the space required to warehouse all of their seized computers.

BrianSJ June 6, 2010 3:44 AM

It is interesting to see that good engineering and fear of crime have made some sorts of sabotage harder to do. The section on software-intensive systems needs to be added (“oh, was that your only back-up?”). Spreading disinformation has got much easier.

Cyberman June 7, 2010 2:02 PM

Have you ever seen somebody lick the chutney spoon in an Indian Restaurant and put it back ? This would never have happened under the Tories.

TSA OBSERVATIONS December 4, 2010 11:13 PM

As an update to this thread…The TSA has now moved forward to a new stage in following this manual as they don rubber gloves and add agonizing time to that required to search every American who does NOT look like a terrorist by now running their hands up and down their private parts in preparation for their passive X-ray body portrait. Who EVER would have thought they could come up with such a great way to increase the time for a search!

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