No idea of what is reality, but a good manipulator exploit what people tell him about their assumption, their ideas, their dream. He also can get inspiration from papers to build a soup of credible claims, credible technology, credible theories. He can exploits reality, imagination, goodwill and dreams. He can exploit theorists, experimenters, hobbyists, businessmen, confirming their beliefs, and assembling all in a coherent soup.
Another example: good disinformation is based on mostly real fact, mixed with few fake claims.
This is something to remind.