In 2005, "Gypsy Sorcerers" were frequently reported in Moscow. Their victims reported that, after certain hand passes were made, they were compelled to yield a large portion of their wealth to the practitioner.

Most of us tend to assume ownership of the thoughts that appear in our minds. The greater the complexity and pace of our internal dialogue, the more opportunities we provide to the manipulator to insert contrary or confounding impulses. The empty mind is equally susceptible. Virtue is found in a focused vision: a philosophically simple but perceptually rich imagining that organizes our thoughts and actions. The continuity of time that connects our present to that future is also a powerful guidance system. Contrary intentions are immediately recognized from a sense that the energy imbued in the chosen future is dissipating. Until we have developed that degree of maturity, however, an awareness of manipulative practices can aid us in organizing our spiritual defense. The brief survey that follows is intended to that end.

When I was in my teens, I was shocked by stories of important officials brought low after "talking in their sleep" to their lovers. In fact their lovers were simply picking their brains, and following their day from a distance. To those engaged in productive work, it may not occur that a person without marketable skills might choose the trade of transferring information about our activities to our competitors. A strategy of promiscuity is one defensive response to this form of leverage. Monogamy with a trusted partner is a more sensible approach.

There are terminal engagements in spiritual conflict. We construct our wellness by bridging our lives from the past to the future. When we are overwhelmed by difficulties, we can loose the thread of our wellness. We may spend much of our time wishing that we could eliminate our adversaries. The existence of those ideas creates a channel through which those possibilities can be manifested on us. They are a chink through which disorderly entities in lower dimensionality can be focused to create disease and injury. Upon entering this dynamic, the resolution of a conflict is simply a question of strength of will. The person more capable of generating ill will survives.

I have two alternative techniques. The first I call "eat your own dog-food." When I feel ill will focused on me, I find my wellness, clear my mind, and gather up the energy in a hemisphere that I push back on my antagonist. As the source of the disorderly impulse, they are rich fodder for disorderly entities. I typically win this kind of contest because the energy wants to flow back up to its source. When the hemisphere closes over them, my antagonist is usually unable to deflect its impact.

The second approach, "battling to a stand-still", involves pulling the energy of their ill will into my solar plexus, cleaning it with my heart, and channeling it for beneficial consequence. Their ill-will becomes a gift. This practice is more difficult, and binds us more deeply together. It is a strategy to be avoided unless the relationship is so intimate that only exhaustion will suffice to bring an adversary to abandon the struggle.