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The Thirty-Six Stratagems by Peter Taylor

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7. Create something from nothing

Make somebody believe there was something when there is in fact nothing – or simply put, lie.

One method of using this stratagem is to create an illusion of something’s existence, when in fact it does not exist. Another method is to create an illusion that something does not exist, while in fact it does.

The city of Yong Ciou was under siege by Ling Hu Chao, a general of An Lu Shan. The general in charge of defending the city was Jhang Syun. At that time Yong Ciou’s situation was precarious because Jhang Syun did not have enough men or sufficient weapons to defend the city against the siege. Jhang Syun thought of a plan and ordered his men to make 1,000 life-size straw dummies and dress them in black. Against ...

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