We are able to do what we do because of a particularly fundamental trait that we look for in the people that we target; trust. We look for those who place particular reliance on trust and then we abuse that trust. Most people operate on a basis of trust. If they did not, the world would grind to a halt. Trust lubricates so many transactions between people whether those transactions are social, financial or emotional. When somebody tells you, “I like your shirt it suits you.” You trust them to be telling you the truth. If you did not do so, you would stop and cross examine them as to why they like it in order to evaluate whether you believe their comment to be a true one or not. You trust the company from which you make a purchase to deliver when they say they will and that the product will be fit for purpose. You trust your colleagues to do their jobs effectively so you can also fulfil your obligations. You trust the police to maintain law and order, if you did not, there would be anarchy and rife vigilantism. It is axiomatic that there has to be trust otherwise everything would be slowed down or stopped as people evaluated, analysed, questioned and verified. Trust is evident everywhere and there is no greater trust than that which is expected in an intimate relationship. People trust their partner to have their best interests at heart, to trust them not to do something to hurt them, to trust them to be faithful and loving. We know that in order for you to love in the way that you do, that deep and unconditional love, there must be trust. You approach your relationships with this trust held out in front of you, a symbol of good intent. You presume that everyone else that you will engage with will also adopt a similarly trusting stance. You expect them to reciprocate this trust. You trust that they will trust. You are not a cynic. You do not operate in the realm of suspicion and mistrust. To do so would be admitting defeat and would tarnish the ideal of love that you are committed to. You accept much at face-value. That is not to label you as naïve, that would be unduly harsh, for as I have mentioned, many people operate on the basis of trust and so they must. You apply this trust to your dealings with those that you fall in love, led to believe by us that this trust will be reciprocated, that it will not breached, betrayed or damaged. You are a truth seeker. You apply honesty in all your dealings and the taint of lies and dishonesty offends you considerably. The stench of our deceit, the rank odour of our mendacity is great but the perfumed veil we cast over such dark and dangerous deceptions is such that the malodorous warning never nears you. You are conned into believing that we tell you the truth when we first encounter you. We behave with such conviction, the air of confidence we exude, seemingly unquestionable and unimpeachable. We look you in the eye, those unseen mirrors reflecting back at you your earnest trust so that you what you require. You look upon supposed honesty, apparent openness and this maintains your sense of trust. By trusting you believe that you will get the truth. That our love will be true, that our intentions are truthful, that our fidelity is real and we govern our interactions with you under the mantle of truth. You trust that all of this will happen because we make you think you can trust us. We will reference those who have let us down, those who have betrayed us and in so doing we hold up our own reliance upon trust in order to receive your trust. See how we have trusted others and they let us down? We have always trusted beforehand and so you can be assured that we want to gain your trust and you shall have ours. It is all carefully orchestrated to channel one of the fundamental tenets by which you abide. When we gain that trust and we do so easily, you enable us to take this valuable commodity and apply our own veneer to it, reinforcing it and demonstrating to you just how much we value it. As a fellow disciple in trust this enables us to conduct ourselves in a way which ensures we are above suspicion. When we meet with a member of the opposite sex and explain she or he is just a friend and it is a friendly drink you have no reason to think otherwise. You trust us. When we tell you that we are working late. You trust us. When we borrow money from you. You trust us. When we tell you that we are using the contraceptive pill. You trust us. When we tell you that we love you and have never loved anybody like this before – you trust us. Trust equals the truth. We then abuse your trust by carrying out our treacherous acts. We court other partners and shatter your trust. As you sit at home watching television thinking we are working hard for our future we are philandering and sliding our tendrils around a fresh prospect. When you are making that dinner for us both, looking forward to an evening together, I am showering in a hotel as I seek to wash away the scent of the person I have just coupled with. When you check your bank balance and consider what you will do with the return on the investment that I talked about so you lent me the money, your hard-earned money is being used to impress someone else so that they fall into my clutches. We take this very thing that is of such central importance to you and we abuse it. We disrespect and we trade is just like a commodity. When you eventually realise your trust has been shattered and this has happened repeatedly. When you finally wake up and join the dots. When you see the flagrant breaches of your trust, when the evidence is irrefutable and painful, we may well have gone. Not only have we abused your trust but we have left without explanation or reason, leaving you to deal with the aftermath alone as we move on to the next target and begin gaining their trust. Like any confidence trickster it is necessary for us to gain trust before we are able to abuse it. Not only do we hurt you repeatedly through these actions we do so to such an extent, with so many people and with so many people aware of it, other than you until the last moment. This wide-ranging and wholesale desecration of trust, this tarnishing and defacing of the truth leaves you broken and unable to face the totality of the truth. You cannot comprehend that you have been conned so extensively and so often. You cannot bear the sensation that arises from having been made to look so foolish. You held your trust up as something to be proud of and now you are left to rue your reliance on this as you hear the repeated comments of “Told you so”, “Didn’t you notice?” and “You are too trusting.” You equate trust with the truth. Our abuse of your trust causes you to not want to accept the truth of what we have done.