Student or Learner
“Very few people know this, but the group has a guru they call ‘Leader.’ They view him as having special powers, which he supposedly uses to cure serious illnesses, to predict the future, to bring about paranormal phenomena, and such.
People have been repeating the same kinds of fraud throughout the world since the beginning of time, using the same old tricks, and still these despicable fakes continue to thrive.
(H. Murakami; 1Q84)
What does the 'fakes' denote here?
Are these 'fakes' those people who use old tricks or are these 'fakes' tricks themselves?
Here, "fakes" refers to the people that perpetrate fraud (and have done so since the beginning of time).