In Episode 137 of Hunter x Hunter during the Chairman Election arc, Ging rigs the election rule choosing process with his own 5 rules. He states his fifth and last rule is a decoy, with the purpose of making his earlier rule points easier to concede to. He cites this is a popular con man trick.

Is this a real con man trick, and if so, what is the equivalent name in our world?

  • Something similar is done in cognitive psychology, which might be related. You make a client sit down, give him 6 points that are TRUE, for example the chair you are sitting is is soft. once you get to the 7th point you can pretty much tell a lie, and still be believe. In this case it seems to be tell 4 points that can be agreed to. and finally a outrageous point, they will agree to the rest if you drop the last.
    – Dimitri mx
    Jul 9, 2014 at 19:36
  • How about drawing attention to something else which is also common used for magicians? When you're fixed at one thing you forget or rather overlook all the others. To them having Freecs being the chairman was the trigger, which made them overlook any other facts such as previous rules to with rage negate the position to Freecs.
    – Prix
    Jul 9, 2014 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


This particular trick is hard to name, because it is so specific to circumstance. It is a form of psychological manipulation which can be categorized as misdirection,[1] diversion,[2] or a confidence trick.[3] However, it falls most directly under the title of "Kansas City Shuffle".[4][5]{note 1}

The trick essentially goes as follows:

  1. The victim expects to be conned.
  2. The victim figures out how to avoid a different con, thinking they've avoided the con altogether.
  3. The victim then ends up being taken by the original, hidden con.

In Ging's case, it's something like this:

  1. The Zodiacs are expecting that Ging wants to further his goal to become chairman (since he elected himself).
  2. Because Ging introduced the rule #5 decoy, Pariston and the others talk him out of it, and think they've foiled his plan.
  3. They don't realize that the con plan was actually rules #1 through #4, and they accept his terms. (Not like they really had a choice—but they are now okay with it.)

However, since the term Kansas City Shuffle is not a common one, I'd file this most closely as a simple diversion. He is introducing something to draw attention away from something else which, at its core, is just plain and simple psychological diversion.


[1] Wikipedia: Misdirection
[2] Wikipedia: Distraction
[3] Wikipedia: Confidence trick
[4] Wikipedia: Kansas City Shuffle
[5] TV Tropes: Kansas City Shuffle

{note 1} The Wikipedia article focuses somewhat on song by that name from 2006. The "scheme" section covers well enough what the basic idea is, but honestly, the TV Tropes article is more clear.


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