25. The end and aim of spying in all its five varieties is knowledge of the enemy; and this knowledge can only be derived, in the first instance, from the converted spy. Hence it is essential that the converted spy be treated with the utmost liberality.


Sun Tzu

The primary goal of using spies is to gain knowledge about the enemy, and the most valuable source of this knowledge is the “converted spy,” or an enemy spy who has been recruited to work for one’s own side. Sun Tzu advises that converted spies be treated with the “utmost liberality,” which means that they should be generously rewarded and treated with kindness in order to encourage their loyalty and willingness to provide valuable information.

The purpose of having sources is to have knowledge of the competition; this knowledge first comes from a converted source.  Hence, the converted source should be rewarded generously.

The ultimate goal of gathering intelligence about competitors is to gain a deep understanding of them. This understanding is initially obtained through the use of converted spies, who have switched loyalty and are now working on behalf of the business. Therefore, it is crucial that these converted spies be treated with the utmost generosity and support, in order to maximize their value and the insights they provide. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of the competition, a business can make more informed decisions, identify opportunities, and develop strategies to gain an advantage over its rivals.