Characteristics of the antichrist
"The 48 Laws of Power" provides a profile of the antichrist

There has been a lot of speculation about the identity of the antichrist. Candidates floating around are Obama, Marcon, Xi Jinping, Bill Gates, Justin Trudeau, one of the world's billionaires, a fake pope ruling from Rome, etc. No one knows for sure.

Fulton J. Sheen, a Catholic bishop, wrote in 1951:

The antichrist will not be so called; otherwise he would have no followers... he will come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves... He will tempt Christians with the same three temptations with which he tempted Christ... He will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counter church... It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. Sheen, Fulton J. (1951). Communism and the Conscience of the West. Country Life Press. p. 17.

"The 48 Laws of Power" provides a profile of the antichrist

While the book "Rules for Radicals" is a demonic manifesto for overthrowing of communities, the bestselling 1998 book "The 48 Laws of Power" by Robert Greene is a demonic manifesto for individual leaders. A leader who succeeds in implementing its recommendations will be a genius successful psychopath.

We think it is likely the antichrist and any other tyrant will employ these methods.

Law 1. On his ascent he will never outshine his superiors

He will always make those above him feel comfortably superior. He hides the extent of his own talents, as his masters may otherwise feel insecure. The better he makes his master appear, the greater the level of power he will attain.

Law 2. He will never put too much trust in friends, and will learn how to use enemies

He believes friends are more likely to betray through envy. He thinks honesty rarely strengthens bonds, believing friends frequently hide their true feelings about each other. He thinks it’s better to hire an enemy.

Law 3. Conceals his intentions

This way, opponents cannot defend themselves. He will lead them astray, and by the time they realize his plans, it will be too late. He uses humankind’s tendency to trust appearances to his advantage. By dangling a decoy set of intentions in front of his opponents, they will fail to see what he's really plotting. 

Law 4. He always says less than necessary

This minimizes risk of saying something foolish. As people are constantly trying to work out what others appear to be thinking, silence makes them feel uncomfortable. Others are likely to fill in the silences he leaves, revealing more information about their own intentions and weaknesses.

Law 5. He will guard his reputation with his life

He will make his reputation impenetrable, and predict attacks before they occur. He will destroy his enemies by exploiting holes in their reputations and letting the public destroy them. A solid reputation will double his strength and distract potential opponents from discovering what he’re really like.

Law 6. He will court attention at all costs

As everything is judged by appearance, he must stand out and make himself appear larger, more interesting, and more mysterious than the masses. One way to do this is to surround his name with sensation and scandal. Notoriety of any sort brings power. It’s preferable to be slandered than to be ignored. A solid counterbalance to this approach is to create an air of mystery around himself. People are drawn to those who seem enigmatic. An air of mystery increases his presence and creates anticipation – everyone will be glued to his next move.

Law 7. He will get others to do the work for him, but always take the credit

He will never do for himself what the efforts of others can do for him. He will use their wisdom and knowledge to further his own cause. In doing so, he will appear intimidatingly efficient and knowledgeable. Ultimately, those who worked for him will be forgotten, and he will be remembered. He will find those with the skills he lacks, and find a way to either take their work as his own, or hire them and put his name on their efforts.

Law 8. He will make other people come to him – using bait if necessary

His opponents will have to abandon their plans and strategies because he will lure them into his territory, and then attack. This prevents him from ever reacting to his opponents; instead, they have to react to him. This means playing the long-game, sitting back, and staying calm as others get stuck in the traps he’s carefully planned out for them. If his bait is sweet enough, his opponent will become blinded to reality by their emotions, allowing him to gain the upper hand.

Law 9. He will win through his actions, never through argument

Any triumph he gains through argument will be short lived. Resentment will fester in his opponents instead of a genuine change of opinion. Instead, let his actions speak for him. If people agree with him through his actions instead of his words, he is more likely to sway lasting opinions.

Law 10. Infection: he avoids the unhappy and the unlucky

He believes emotional states of people can be as infectious as diseases. Therefore, he only associates with happy and fortunate people. He thinks its a waste of time and a drain on his power to associate with the downtrodden.

Law 11. He will keep people dependent on him

To maintain independence, he must make others need and want him. The more people rely on him, the more freedom he will have. Yet, he will be wary to never teach those surrounding him enough information that they can start doing things for themselves. This method is the best way to get people to do what he wants without forcing them or inflicting pain on them. Once he has dependents, they are reliant on him, and he can subtly do with them as he wish.

Law 12. He will use selective honesty and generosity to disarm his victims

A single honest gesture can help cover the traces of dozens of dishonest acts. By being generous, he can disarm even the most suspicious people. Once they are disarmed, he can manipulate them at will. The key to successful deception is distraction. An act of generosity distracts those he wishes to deceive while turning them into docile children, delighted by the affectionate gesture. Learning to give before he takes is a skilled way of getting what he wants. Selective honesty also functions as a means to disarm his opponents. He’ll construct a facade of honesty built upon a series of acts to gain trust, but these acts can be quite inconsequential.

Law 13. When asking for help, he appeals to the self-interests of others, never to their mercy or gratitude

If he must ask for help, he will make sure his request includes a benefit for his ally that he can exaggerate beyond proportion. When his ally sees that there is something in it for them, they are more likely to respond with enthusiasm. Self-interest is the greatest motivator for people. Once he masters the art of working out what others want and using it to further his own plans, there will be no limits on what he can accomplish.

Law 14. He poses as a friend, works as a spy

Knowledge about his rival is essential. By posing as a friend, he can ask indirect questions and gradually get his opponents to reveal their weaknesses and their intentions. Once he know this information, he can better predict how they are going to move next. He might get others to spy for him but this might open himself up to vulnerabilities.

Law 15. Crushes his enemy totally

To crush his enemy partially means that they will eventually recover and seek revenge. Ultimately, he believes he can only gain peace and serenity if his enemies cease to exist. If he manages to remove all of his opponent’s options, then they will have no choice but to bend to his will. By giving them nothing to negotiate with and no room to maneuver, he will have crushed them. 

Law 16. Uses absence to increase respect and honor

He creates an air of scarcity around himself to increase his perceived value. If he currently exists within an established group, he will intermittently withdraw so that others talk about him and admire him more. In doing so, he forces their respect by inadvertently threatening his absence for good. Once he returns from his absence, it will appear as if he has been resurrected, and people will be relieved to see he again.

Law 17. Keeps others in suspended terror: Cultivates an air of unpredictability

Humans are creatures of habit who look for familiar patterns in the behaviors of others. By acting unpredictably, his opponents will tire themselves out by trying to predict and analyze his moves. This means occasionally striking without warning. When he acts predictably, he gives others power over him. If he acts surprisingly, they will feel that they don’t understand he and will be intimidated. Similarly, if he finds himself the underdog, using a strategy of unpredictable moves can confuse his enemies into making a tactical blunder.

Law 18. Does not build fortresses to protect himself – isolation is dangerous

If he decides to isolate himself from his enemies and the world at large, he cuts himself off from valuable information. This makes him vulnerable to attack. He mingles amongst people, as he is better protected in a crowd. Because humans are social creatures, power comes with social interaction. Therefore, to become powerful, he must place himself at the center of things. Activity revolves around him.

Law 19. He will know who he’s dealing with – won’t offend the wrong person

Chooses his opponents wisely. There are some people that once defeated, will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge. Consequently, it pays to not offend the wrong person. The skill of correctly measuring people is the most important with regard to getting and maintaining power. He will be sure to know everything about a person before he works with them. However, he won’t rely on his instincts to get an understanding of a person, and never trust appearances. He watches his target over a long period of time to get a truer picture of their nature.

Law 20. Won’t commit to anyone

He makes sure the only cause he commits to is himself. Maintains his independence at all costs. This allows him to play people off against each other. When he holds back from joining a cause, he create a sense of respect because he appears untouchable. He gains a reputation for independence. Further, does not commit to anyone. Stays out of petty fights and squabbles. Feigns interest, but lets others do the fighting while he watches and waits. He may stir up quarrels between two parties and then gain power by acting as the go-between.

Law 21. Plays a sucker to catch a sucker – appears dumber than he is to opponents

Make his opponents feel smarter than him. Once they believe themselves to be more intelligent, they will never suspect that he have any ulterior motives. 

Law 22. Uses the surrender tactic: transforms weakness into power

Surrenders before he is about to be defeated. This buys him more time to plot his revenge, and to torment his conqueror. By surrendering, he denies them the satisfaction of destroying him. In doing so, he makes the act of surrender a tool of power. His opponents may believe they have defeated him, even as he plots their downfall. This confuses his opponents and means they are unlikely to act aggressively against him.

Law 23. Concentrates his forces

He conserves his energies by focusing them all into a single source of power. When looking for such a source, identifies a single spring that will sustain him for a long time to come. He gains more power by finding a singular rich source than by flitting between many more shallow sources of power. In any organization, power will emanate from a small group of people who are holding all the strings. Consequently, power is like oil, he only needs to strike it once to assure himself a lifetime of wealth and power.

24. Plays the "perfect" courtier

The courtier wields power through discrete avenues. By flattering and yielding to their superiors and only enforcing their power through charm and grace, they gradually accumulate an ever-increasing amount of power. There are several steps he takes to become the "perfect" courtier, and they involve the following:

  • Practicing nonchalance
  • Being frugal with flattery
  • Adapting his style and language according to his audience
  • Avoiding being the bearer of bad news
  • Never criticizing his superiors– Being self-observant
  • Mastering his emotions
  • Being a source of pleasure

25. Recreates himself

Forges his own identity, one that commands attention. He masters his image rather than letting others dictate it for him. Remakes himself into a figure of power as if molding himself from clay. To do this, he must first be self-aware, and he must learn to master his emotions. Then, he must create a memorable character. From here, he can learn to play many roles to adapt to what any given situation requires of him. However, he remembers that overacting can be counterproductive.

26. Keeps his hands clean

He must maintain a spotless appearance. He is never associated with nasty deeds. To do this, he employs the use of scapegoats to disguise his involvement. His reputation depends more on what he conceals than what he reveals. He always has a convenient scapegoat on hand for when needing to conceal his more dubious activities. In addition to a scapegoat, he will also need a cat’s-paw. This is someone who does his dirty work for him while obscuring his involvement. This means letting someone else be the bearer of bad news while he chooses to associate himself exclusively with the good.

27. Creates a cult-like following by playing on people’s need to believe

People want to believe in something. By inventing himself as this cult-like entity, they will follow him and give him untold amounts of power. To become such a figure, he follows these steps:

  • Keeps his words vague and simple but full of promise
  • Emphasizes enthusiasm rather than the intellectual and the rational
  • Structures his group in accordance to the forms of organized religion
  • Disguises his sources of income
  • Creates an us-versus-them dynamic

28. Enters action with boldness

Everyone admires the bold. The timid are frowned upon. Consequently, he doesn't choose a course of action half-heartedly. His doubts would become apparent and tarnish his reputation. He acts boldly, and mistakes are compensated by acting even more audaciously. Few are born bold. It’s a habit that is cultivated, practiced. Likewise, timidity is also a learned trait. If he finds himself acting timidly, he roots this out and replaces it with acts of boldness instead.

29. He plans all the way to the end

This means thinking through every possibility that could prevent him from reaching his end goal. Thus, he accommodates for any surprises along the way and secure his future. Plans in detail before he acts, and doesn’t succumb to making any vague plans. His end goal is always crystal clear.

30. Makes his accomplishments seem effortless

Makes his success seem easy. He conceals all the toil and tricks he used to attain it, as it otherwise arouses too much curiosity in others. Never reveals how he reached his position of power to anyone, or they may use it against him. The more mysterious his actions appear, the greater his power appears to be. It will make it seem as if he has an exclusive gift that no one can replicate and that knows no limits.

31. Controls the options: gets others to play with the cards he deals

By giving his opponents a choice, they will feel that they’re controlling their destiny. What they won’t realize is that he’s using them as a puppet to choose between two scenarios, both of which serve him. When given a choice between two possibilities, people rarely consider all the other potential options that could be on the table. Instead, they blindly choose to believe they have autonomy in their decision-making; too much freedom creates anxiety. By setting up a narrow range of choices, he can guide his opponent to play right into his hands.

32. He will play into people’s fantasies

As the truth is often ugly, if he appeals to it, he risk being bombarded with the anger of disenchantment. Instead, by tapping into the fantasies of the masses, people will flock to him as he offers an alternative to the disillusionment of reality. By observing which aspects of everyday life are most abhorred, he can conjure up fantasies that promise the opposite of peoples’ current realities and thus wield a phenomenal power.

33. He will discover each man’s thumbscrew

He will find his opponent’s weakness. This is often an insecurity, an untamed emotion or desire, or sometimes a secret pleasure. To do so, he looks for the following:

  • Instances when they behave like a child, which indicates some unresolved trauma in childhood
  • Contrasts, as an overt trait often conceals it opposite (i.e., arrogance is often hiding insecurity)
  • The weak link, which is often someone behind the scenes controlling their behavior
  • Ways to fill the void of their insecurity or unhappiness to wield significant power– How to encourage their uncontrollable emotion, as they won’t be able to control themselves, and he can do the controlling for them

34. He is royal in his own fashion: acts like a king to be treated like one

He carries himself with self respect, confidence, and dignity to make it seem like he were destined for power. Believes he is destined for greatness, and this belief radiates outwards and others believe it, too.

35. Masters the art of timing

He never seems to be in a rush – patience is a virtue. Learns to bide his time, and only strike when the timing is right. As time is a perception, by mastering his emotions, he can make time seem to move more slowly and lengthen his perception of the future. This allows him to become more patient and to see the bigger picture.

36. Disdains things he cannot have: ignoring them is the best revenge

The less interest he takes in things that irritate hum, the more superior he seems. By acknowledging his enemy, he gives their existence credibility and, therefore, power. Occasionally, he strategically leaves things alone. By turning his back on what he wants, he will drive his opponents crazy.

37. He creates compelling spectacles

By generating grand, spectacular gestures, he will heighten his presence and his power. People are too dazzled by appearances to uncover what he’re really up to. As opposed to using words, visual gestures contain an emotive power and immediacy that leave no room for doubt. Where words divide, images unite. He uses this to his advantage.

38. Thinks as he likes, but behaves like others

He practices blending in and hiding his true feelings to nurture the common touch. By doing so, he is left alone to express his true beliefs in a targeted manner. Once a base of power is established, he then begins to disseminate his beliefs gradually, and they are more likely to be adopted.

39. Stirs up waters to catch fish

He can stay calm while infuriating his opponents, and gains an advantage. By finding their weaknesses, he can disturb them and play with them at will. The more angry they become, the more ridiculous they will appear. This will reduce their power.

40. Despises the free lunch

He never trust anything that comes for free. Anything of worth is worth paying for. Most things that come for free come with a burdensome psychological price task. By paying, he avoid falling into the trap of having to be grateful, guilty, or deceitful. Further, being lavish with his money is a sign of power. Generosity softens up his opponents into being deceived.

41. Avoids stepping into a great man’s shoes

What came first always seems more original than what follows and gets lost in the shadows of those that came before him. He will establish his own name and identity by not following the same course of his predecessors. 

42. Strikes the shepherd, to make the sheep will scatter

All resistance from opponents can usually be traced back to one individual. By rooting out this individual and preventing them from operating, he will stop their influence. He hits them early, or their influence will multiply. In every group, power is concentrated around one or two people. Consequently, understanding who controls the group is critical to his success. This is made more challenging, as "troublemakers" prefer to disguise their actions. He isolates their power, to make them become redundant.

43. Works on the hearts and minds of others

If people feel coerced into acting in a specific way, they will resent him. Instead, he must seduce others so that they act how he wants without he having to ask them. By understanding their psychology and their weaknesses, he can play with their emotions and conquer their hearts and minds so that they are loyal to him. By softening them up, he can slowly bend people towards his will without them realizing.

44. Disarms and infuriates with the mirror effect

By mirroring his opponents and doing exactly as they do, he humiliates them and causes them to overreact. By making them believe he shares their values, they find it challenging to work out his strategy, as they are blinded by his mirror. He is also able to teach his opponents a lesson by giving them a taste of their own medicine. 

45. Preaches the need for change, but never reform too much at once

If he has recently entered a position of power or is an outsider trying to make a claim for it, he respects the way people have been living up until this point. Too much change will engender a revolt. To introduce change, he makes it seem like a gradual and gentle improvement on the past.

46. Never appears too perfect

While appearing superior to others is dangerous, to appear faultless and without weakness is even more perilous. By displaying harmless vices, he prevents envy from developing, and he makes himself appear more approachable. By letting envy fester, it can manifest in a host of problematic ways that will ultimately try to rob him of his power. So he stops it in its tracks by making himself seem powerful but not faultless.

47. Won’t go past the mark he aimed for: in victory, he learns when to stop

He won’t let success go to his head. The moment he achieves victory is often when he’s at his most vulnerable. He won’t get ahead of himself with overconfidence and push beyond his initial target because this could create more enemies than he is capable of defeating. He has meticulous strategic planning.

48. He assumes formlessness

He knows that if he is tangible, he is vulnerable. To be malleable, adaptable, and on the move makes him ungraspable. He accepts that everything, everywhere changes. By being as fluid as water, he protects himself from the ever-shifting nature of reality. By refusing to adapt and to change, he would fail to evolve and his power would be usurped. The powerful are constantly adapting, and their power comes from the speed at which they can change.