The Art of Love and War
Who would have imagined that a 5th century BC book by a Chinese military strategist would be relevant in modern time – in sports, business and even our personal lives. The Art of War by Sun Tzu is devoted to the subject of warfare and discusses strategies for waging and ultimately winning a war. The final chapter focuses on, arguably the most important part, intelligence and espionage.
The book could be a favorite of Bill Belichick, New England Patriots head coach. Belichick’s winning reputation is riddled with accusations of espionage and unfair intelligence gathering. In 2009, he was fine for intercepting on-field defensive communication by covertly videotaping his opponent, and in 2015, he was accused of using electronic eavesdropping in an opponent’s locker room where plays were being discussed. Both of these scenarios have roots in the final chapter of Sun Tzu’s teachings.
Belichick’s ability to utilize espionage and spy craft for winning games is not lost on other in the world of sports and it happens more than you think.
- According to ESPN, New Orleans Saint’s general manager, Mickey Loomis, allegedly had electronic devices installed in the Superdome that allowed him to listen to real-time play-calls from the opposing coaches for 3 NFL seasons.
- On August 6th, 2016, the Oakland A’s coach, Mike Henriques, was suspended after one of his own players discovered a hidden camera in the weight room.
In the last case, it may be argued that the coach was merely keeping an eye on player’s rehabilitation. However, misuse of these methods is an invasion of privacy and the information gathered could be a tremendous leveraging tool worth millions and adversely affect an outcome or person.
It’s all fair in love and war.
Is it possible that relationships can become as heated and competitive as pro-level sports? Absolutely! In fact, probably more so in cases of an emotionally charged divorce or when a child’s welfare is involved.
And if “all is fair in love and war”, would it be possible for some of the strategies from the final chapter of the Art of War to be used? Again, absolutely.
Not everyone plays fair and when the stakes are high, don’t count on it. We are living in a world with easy access to surveillance and some choose to use these strategies to get ahead. A good defense can be your best offense.
You can defend your privacy. Hawk Private Investigations can scan your home and mobile devices to ensure that you are not susceptible to these types of espionage techniques and help you take steps to prevent them.
Contact a HPI Team member to find out more about how you can protect yourself.