Funder, Anna. Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall. London: Granta Books, 2004. Print.
I later found instructions to operatives on ways of crippling ‘oppositional’ people… It comes from the Directive 'Perceptions' ('Richtlinien, Stichpunkt Wahrnehmung'). It aims:
To develop apathy (in the subject)...to achieve a situation in which his conflicts, whether of a social, personal, career, health or political kind are irresolvable…to give rise to fears in him.....to develop/create disappointments.....to restrict his talents or capabilities.....to reduce his capacity to act and.....to harness dissentions and contradictions around him for that purpose....
On 18 January 1989—long before anyone could foresee the October demonstrations of that year—the state issued a further refined Directive called '
Zersetzungsmassnahmen'. The German word Zersetzung is harsh, and has no
direct English equivalent… Zersetzung, as a concept, involves the annihilation of the inner self. The Directive recommended
[the] targetted spreading of rumours about particular persons with the aid of anonymous and pseudo-anonymous letters…making compromising situations for them by creating confusion over the facts ... [and] the engendering of hysterical and depressive behaviours in the target person.
Youtube: Anna Funder on fear and conservatism in government