Villain #1 goes by many names, but one of his lesser known aliases is Sly Sufero.
His M.O. is to get inner access to his victims by pretending to be a good guy.
Sly gets his victims to trust him by promising to keep them safe, and convincing them of what terrible things will happen if they don’t listen to him.
Once he gets inner access, his hidden agenda is to use this cover persona of a protector in order to inflict pain and suffering on his victims of things that haven't even happened, and to take away from them anything and everything he can get his hands on.
Sly Sufero was the true villain in the story of Sleeping Beauty. Not only did he get away with it, he escaped undetected after the fact. That is, until we unmasked him. Pay close attention to how truly deceptive his methods are and how surprisingly dramatic the impact he has on his victims.
At Aurora's first birthday party, the fairy Maleficent curses the princess that on her 16th birthday she will prick her finger on a spindle and die.
At this point, Sly Sufero has already worked his way up to become Chief Advisor to the King and Queen. He describes how much losing their precious young daughter would pain them. It doesn’t take much for the fear to be instilled in them. Here, unbeknownst to anyone in the story - the reader included - Sly has just assumed complete control over the royal couple. As Sly advises, avoiding the loss of their daughter would be worth doing “whatever it takes.”
He advises the couples have every spindle in the kingdom destroyed immediately. What the original story neglects to consider is the harm this act brings to the people of the land. Families unable to sew torn clothing, tailories unable to make ends meet, entire local economies collapsing. But isn’t it all worth it if the king and queen can avoid the pain of losing their daughter? They do it without a second thought.
Next, Sly explains that as long as their daughter is with them, they still risk the chance of losing her, so he comes up with a plan that will prevent that from happening.
This is where Sufero’s backwards influence starts to do the most damage. In the Disney version, Sly never shows up on screen, but he’s the one that convinces everyone that the only way to keep the baby safe is to take her away. How is that the best option? The logic of his argument was full of holes from the beginning, but he didn’t need logic to convince them to follow his advice, so long as they trusted that if they didn’t listen to him, terrible things would happen. You can’t fault the poor King and Queen for wanting to protect their baby. See what Sly is doing here? Give up your daughter so you don’t lose her?
So they “watch with heavy hearts as their most precious possession, their only child, disappears into the night.”
The King and Queen continue thinking about their beloved daughter and often consider bringing her back, but whenever they bring it up, Sly reminds them how much it would hurt to lose her. He helps them feel the pain again and again, “think of the grief, the cruel tragedy! Oh the poor girl,” he says. And under the influence of this persuasive pain, they always relent.
And for sixteen years, they keep her away. All in order to prevent losing her. Sly takes away their daughter for 16 years, gives the King and Queen years of real suffering over the possibility of a potential loss, all while convincing them that as long as they don't have her, they can't lose her. He is pretending to help them, and they believe he is actually helping them, when the entire time he is causing them the very pains he was promising to prevent.
And here’s the kicker: the King and Queen are convinced the entire time that Sly really IS helping them, so they would never consider dismissing him from his influential position next to them in the throne room. Maleficent may have stirred things up with her curse, but the one who inflicted the most damage to the King and Queen was actually Sly Sufero.
Fortunately for the King and Queen, Sly also fell asleep under the good fairy's spell and wasn't there to prevent the Prince from slaying Maleficent and waking Sleeping Beauty with a kiss.
If Sly had been awake, he would have warned the Prince not to kiss Sleeping Beauty, because she might reject him, and then he would feel the pain of rejection and of losing the love of his life. Sly would have advised playing it safe and not approaching her until Sly advised him that the time was right and it was completely safe.
The only reason Sleeping Beauty had a happy ending was because the real villain was inadvertently incapacitated by the good fairies. But he escaped. And until he is unmasked, wherever he is, Sly Sufero continues robbing and inflicting pain from the inside.
Sly installs the fear of loss in his victims and makes sure that they play life safe so that they don’t have anything that they could lose. But all this serves to do is ensure that victims to his insidious influence lose all their potential happiness and instead live life with fear.
Learn to recognize Sly's influence and prevent him from robbing you of the extraordinary life you can live without him.
Losing things is an unavoidable part of life. But the suffering is optional. The number one reason people list for not going for their dreams is “fear of failure.” Equally common is avoiding getting something wonderful because then if they can’t keep it, they would regret the loss. Can you see Sly’s hand in this?
Don't let Sly fool you into giving up something you want or treasure just because of the risk that you might lose it!!
This is the first in a series of articles on villains that rob us of the incredible life we could be enjoying. The reason these villains are getting away with it is because they have weaseled their way into our lives by pretending to be there for our benefit.
They're hiding in plain sight, and we are protecting them and feeding them, and keeping them next to us! We do this because they have somehow convinced us, not only that they are helpful, but that without them we would be hopelessly lost, dead, or worse. Meanwhile, they are actively sabotaging us behind our backs and pointing the finger of blame somewhere else.