Beyond Collapse

Surviving and Rebuilding Civilization from Scratch

During Collapse

Urban Camouflage

So… for those wondering where I’d gone off to, a quick update. I’ve been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. I’m currently traveling on business. A rare event these days, but – it gave me an idea, which I’ve put to use, and it turned out extremely well, so…

Don’t Be Seen When You Cannot Hide -wait, what?

Picture this: You’re in a big city. Excrement has struck the fan, and it’s beginning to splatter. No, wait. Picture that you’re trying to walk to work in a big city after your car broke down, a city large enough to have a huge and ongoing problem with crime (muggings, pickpockets or even excessive panhandling.) Or, picture both, or pick one. Makes no diff, because this little system I’ve figured down will work either way.

When most folks think of wearing camouflage, they think of some guy wearing some green splotchy thing as he creeps about the woods. Add the word urban to that, and you think of some guy wearing some gray and black splotchy thing as he creeps around the city. Well, toss those thoughts out, because what we’re gonna do is teach you how to get about town without becoming a target, yet blend in perfectly. Perfect example? Let’s pick on San Francisco. Why? Because, well, I’m currently typing this in SanFran, and it has all the elements we need for our discussion, so…

How To Be An Environmentalist Without Eating Granola

That’s right – we’re gonna study our urban environment. It pays to know what you’re going to be walking around in, after all.

First up, what do we have here, people-wise? We have tourists, homeless folk by the metric ton, wealthy folks wearing incredibly expensive clothing, normal working schmoes wearing everything from dirty clothes (manual labor) to 3-piece suits (executives) to funky/off-beat crap (programmers and artists). If you’re a guy, the short skirts and revealing clothing on the ladies also rank way up there (especially in summer…) A wide variety of people about, no? Now – who do you notice first? The flashy dressers and executive types, right? Well, if you’re desperately trying to get out of a city mid-disaster, or just trying to walk through one at night without getting mugged, you probably don’t want to be one of them.  Take notes of that kind of stuff, because we’re not done studying things just yet.

Next up, what do the streets look like? Are there a lot of narrow streets, or is there enough room to walk near the curb without getting too close to a building corner or blind alley?  Where do the homeless folks curl up at night? Believe it or not, this is actually easy enough to tell if you know where to look (and, let’s face it, smell). Building facades with a lot of nooks and crannies that are perfect for blocking wind are also perfect hidey-holes and sleeping-perches. Same with small blind alleys and parking/loading-dock entrances. They also happen to be perfect places for some unkind soul to lurk in wait for an unsuspecting victim, so learn to recognize where those potential spots are before you stroll up to them. If you walk certain routes frequently, get to know those spots intimately so that you’ll know when to get your butt out towards the curb or –if necessary– across the street. Also, while you’re peeking around, do you notice that some streets are natural for places like trucks and delivery vehicles to drive down, where loading docks and service entrances normally face? Yeah – may want to avoid those initially, but if you’re dressed and behaved right, you can put them to good use if needed. Be sure to keep tabs on buildings which are unoccupied, dilapidated, or worse – squatters (and folks with ill intent) like to put such places to use if they think they can do so without getting caught. Vacant lots are also places to keep a good, hard watch for.

Now, go back and check these places and routes out at different times of day and night (the latter only if you’re certain that you can safely do so). Notice that after a certain hour, the only tourists out on the street are either drunk , sniffing around for prostitutes, or sniffing around for some illicit substance (and yes all three types are idiots, but notice them anyway). During midday, you’ll likely notice a lot of working stiffs out there on lunch break. In-between, and depending on where in town you are, you’ll notice a mixture of just about everyone. Be sure to take notes on all of these and elsewise. You’ll get to know when the 5am deliveries start rolling in to the stores. You’ll get to know when the janitors finally call it a night. You’ll get to know all of this and more. Again, start taking notes, eh?

One other thing to note – obviously if you’re visiting on business, or vacation, you won’t have (or want to waste) time to do all this homework beforehand. Good news is, you don’t have to do it while you’re there. If there is another big city nearby you can take a few exploratory trips to (or you live in one), you can at least get a feel as to what to look out for, and catch up quickly.

Dressing For Success – The Success Of Going Unnoticed

Now – remember all that talk about clothing earlier? Well, let’s revisit that.

 

When you go to packing for a trip (or want to flesh out your get-home bag for those commutes downtown), that would be a very good time to look into what you intend to wear while you’re there. I have a few ideas you may want need to consider…

  1. Muted colors are your best friends. Avoid stuff that burns the retinas, and stick with grays, blacks, faded colors, or the like.
  2. Get comfy – unless there is something dressy that you absolutely have to wear (like at some kind of ceremony or sales presentation), stick to well-worn and comfy clothing. If you have to wear a suit okay, but stick with clothing that you would wear if you were mowing the yard, or working on your car. Keep it clean and serviceable, but make sure it’s not new or crisp. The nearest thrift store is a goldmine of clothes like this – I strongly suggest availing yourself of one.
  3. Logos and controversial sayings are bad, so don’t wear any. This goes for your jackets, shoes and outerwear too. Aside from the whole gang-sign thing (which can be an issue), a logo often betrays a lot more about you than you would like, and a logo unfamiliar to the area will advertise that you’re not from around here. If you otherwise think you must, stick with neutral and non-specific stuff, preferably faded.
  4. Speaking of shoes, always include a pair of worn, comfy but dirty shoes or boots. Something that you can (literally) walk for miles in. Be sure that you can walk for miles in them, because you just may have to, you know? By the way – this means that unless you’re going to be on a beach, open-toed shoes, sandals, or flip-flops are also out.
  5. Ladies? I know you like to look sexy (and Lord knows I like the sight of sexy women!) but… skip the revealing and “cute” crap if you can. Stick with “sensible” wherever possible. Let’s talk about why for a moment: The idea in a potentially dangerous situation is to be ignored, not to wear clothing that screams “rape me!” to the wrong people. It doesn’t matter how big and strong your spouse/boyfriend/whatever is; it only takes seconds to slit his throat from behind, leaving you rather defenseless. Suffice it to say that revealing clothing in a bad place (and/or bad time) puts you and your man-friend in potential mortal danger, so, well… don’t.

Next up, let’s talk about your grooming habits.

  1.  leave the hair spray at home, or keep it to a minimum. Your hair will thank you, and fly-away hairs leave you slightly unkempt, increasing your odds of being ignored, or being thought of as not a worthy target.
  2. Gents- thinking about shaving? Maybe every other day, or perhaps get a beard going. Again, the unkempt thing.
  3. Certainly keep your teeth brushed and suchlike, but avoid strong-smelling mouthwashes, as they tend to impede your sense of smell of up to an hour or two after brushing.
  4. Don’t do cologne and perfumes. It makes no sense to look like an ordinary impoverished schmuck if you smell like you just stepped out of a ritzy perfume shop from half a block away.
  5. Same with bright or stand-outish makeup, ladies. Keep it muted and light. Let your natural beauty shine through instead, so you can avoid standing out or  looking like a wealthy target.
  6. Yes, shower regularly while you’re traveling… duh. It’s the best way to keep clean and avoid a lot of germs. However, avoid strong-smelling armpit deodorants and such. Same reason as #4, eh?

How To (Properly) Walk The Streets

This part is harder than it looks, but if you’ve been following the advice in the book, you’ll find it much easier to do. Here’s a few good, hard rules of etiquette when you’re walking the city streets. There’s a lot of them, so take your time…

  • Unless a cop is giving you an order, never ever answer a voice spoken in your direction, even if you know it’s you being spoken to. From panhandlers to criminals and con-men, all they need is for you to grant them a moment’s attention, then they have you. Ignoring the voice lets you keep walking. Be sure to keep an eye in the speaker’s general direction just in case, but 99 times out of 100 during the day you’ll be able to keep walking without incident. Night carries a different ruleset, but only insofar as you need to start thinking about weapons and escape if you hear that call and it’s not coming from a panhandler. Note that in a pure SHTF situation, if a cop is giving you an order, you may want to start thinking immediately about escape as well, but use your judgement.
  • If you bump into someone gently, just keep walking, muttering an “excuse me” as you pass.
  • If you bump into someone hard or anyone bumps into you at all, immediately (but discreetly!) put a hand over your wallet, grip your purse tight against you, and insure that any luggage (e.g. backpack) you’re carrying is still secure (as you’re still walking!). Inspect of any suddenly opened zippers on that backpack.
  • Keep your wallet in your front pants pocket if possible, otherwise in a jacket or folded over your pants front. You’ll know immediately if someone is reaching for your chest or your crotch long before you’ll notice someone reaching for your back pocket.
  • Ladies – you probably already know about safely carrying a purse, but as a reminder? In the city, it’s not a purse, it’s a football, and you’re the linebacker. Short straps are better than long, and thick better than thin.
  • Backpacks? Wear both straps, like it was built for. use a twist-tie (same color as the backpack material) to keep the zippers tightly closed while walking through dangerous areas – that way you’ll know if someone is trying to get into it from behind while you walk. Wearing the backpack on fully also prevents someone from snatching the thing off your shoulder. As a bonus, it’s more comfortable over long distances. If you insist on wearing it over one shoulder (because everyone else is), keep a very tight grasp on the strap, and use you’re non-dominant hand/shoulder to hold it – this frees your dominant hand to fight back (grab, punch, etc) if someone tries to grab it.
  • Always keep a look out ahead of you, on the sides, and occasionally behind you. Increase those looks back if the situation turns to crap.
  • Walk confidently, always. A confident walk means you’re not a timid target.
  • Never, ever, ever look lost. Go over your route beforehand – in the age of maps-on-a-phone, you have no excuse anymore, and paper maps are still very plentiful.
  • If you do think you’re lost? Duck into a nearby store if one is open, and only then get out your phone or map, checking it while inside. This camouflages the idea that you’re lost, and helps you get your bearings in a relatively safe place. If nothing is open, find a safe indoor place to check (bodega, hotel, gas station, whatever) – be sure to buy something if it’s a small shop, so you don’t arose the suspicion and/or ire of the clerk.
  • Don’t buy anything with a bill larger than a $20, and never keep cash in your wallet (keep the cash in a front pocket or something.)
  • Standing around (let alone sitting) is a really bad idea. If you have to rest, do it in a shop, store, or restaurant.

…there’s lots more, but this should be a good start.

So Far So Good

So far, I’ve stuck to these rules, and they’ve worked out very well – I’m scruffy-looking enough to be mistaken for a local homeless guy (thus ignored) by tourists and petty thieves, but not enough so as to fool the local constabulary (The cops can see the fact that I bathe daily and am well-nourished, don’t look down-and-out attitude-wise, and don’t hang around in any one spot). With my worn clothes, old shoes, and old, dirty (but solid) dark and nondescript backpack, there’s no hint as to what I’m actually carrying – let alone what I do for a living (nearly half of the people I interact with have the letter “C” in their titles). I can actually wander around a lot of places that a tourist shouldn’t go, and have so far been mistaken for a local by most of the locals working in the shops (well, until I open my mouth and let the Ozarker drawl fly forth, but that’s a different story. :) )

Your humble author, out where he shouldn't be.

Your humble author, out where he shouldn’t be.

Note in that photo above, your author is sporting the latest in OPSEC fashion. We begin with the used gray hoodie-wear (the hood comes up in cold or rainy weather, or when I really don’t want to be noticed). We continue with a faded old black t-shirt and faded, ratty-cuffed jeans (note that you do not see the layered shirts underneath for warmth, or the – well, I’ll stop there). Completing the ensemble is a pair of dirty old shoes that are still in perfect working order, and are rubber-soled for long-distance walking comfort on concrete (and more importantly for walking silently if need be). The beard and 5 o’clock shadow complete the air of ‘ignore-me-I’m just part of the furniture here’, and the tousled wind-styled hair shouts both sex appeal and (more importantly) non-wealth.  Photo was graciously taken by a kindly hotel concierge who was at first rather amazed at what he thought to be some panhandler wanting his picture taken with a pricey smartphone. After I unlocked the phone, he relaxed a bit and obliged me. Kinda cool how that works out, no?

 

 

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Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 Before Collapse, During Collapse, Fun and Games, Immediately After Comments Off

Religion, Post-Collapse

Religion, Post-Collapse

This past weekend, as I sat in church, my mind began to wander a bit. Normally, this is considered a bad thing, even sinful. On the other hand, there are times during the service when I think it to be a good thing, so long as it revolves or involves one’s relationship with the Divine.

Well, during all of this, I was thinking ahead to the Religious Education classes that I volunteer for, and something came up: What happens post-collapse? When happens if there is no priest, no bishop to ordain new priests, no pope, etc. Thinking even further, other religions have similar obstacles. I know that I went out of my way to list religious tomes in the book, but sometimes, there are things required which will simply not be available to the ordinary religious person.

The following are initial thoughts, and will likely require a ton of work and research (maybe it’s own 2nd Edition chapter?) But bear with me, and if there is something I missed (and I probably did) – please let me know! I’ve broken it down by popularity in North America:

Christian, Protestant:

This is perhaps the easiest of all to prepare for, since in most generic versions, almost anyone who is baptized can be a preacher (you just have to be persuasive and knowledgeable enough, I suspect). The more formal Protestant organizations would likely still require some sort of formal certification and/or ordination, especially if we’re talking about Anglican/Episcopal variants, and those would have to be tended to as needed.

Overall though, I think that as long as there is a Bible handy, and some sort of training available, it would be doable. For the loosest affiliations, I suspect that a solid understanding of the Bible and the ability to counsel, convince, and a strong sense of duty and service would be sufficient.

Preparation would simply require that an extra Bible is handy in your supplies, with perhaps some hymnals if you want to keep singing them post-collapse.

The only real long-term dangers would involve misinterpretations and personal agendas that would, over time, distort the original Word of God and the messages of Christ.This would require a watchful community, and an eye towards keeping as many bits of literature, dogma, and tradition as possible.

Christian, Catholic:

(Disclosure – I’m one of these).

Catholicism would be, in my opinion, the hardest to keep going on a formal scale. There are things which are required (gilded chalice and plate, a missal, unleavened bread and sulfide-free wine, beeswax candles, incense when possible, etc). There is room for improvisation, and some of the items can be scrounged from existing stock (candles, chalice/plate, etc).

However, the big problem lies in the fact that the host/wine can only be consecrated by an ordained priest. A priest is required to have training, and is required to be ordained. He is also required to be celibate and to dedicate himself to the community’s needs. A deacon (married man who can assist in most of the Mass) can fill in most of these roles, but the consecration and other functions (e.g. confessions) must be performed by an ordained priest. The good news is, any bishop can ordain a priest. Archbishops, Cardinals and even the Pope himself are all considered to be bishops in this regard, so no worries there (trivia bit: The Pope is considered as the Bishop of Rome). The bad news is, most bishops live in big cities – the one location which would come apart in a hurry in any type of complete societal collapse.

Preparation-wise, you will want to talk with your local bishop. If you can catch him when he’s personally doing confessions, that would be an awesome (and perfectly discreet!) time to bring the subject up with him. The idea is to convince him to bug-out, and have a family in your parish put him up. Failing that (the most likely outcome here), your community (if predominately Catholic) would have to go get him and bring him to you, or at least find out where he may have bugged-out to. If you have fellow Catholic preppers that you know in your area, now would be a great time to bring the subject up with them. Get as many as you can to add extra preps (food, medical supplies, etc) to provide for the priest as things go south. Note that if you believe collapse to come by way of fascism or any anti-religious sentiment, you may also need to find means by which to hide the good father from authorities (this is nothing new, incidentally – King Henry VIII made this a necessity for all British Catholics, and for quite awhile…)

Post-collapse? Provide for the priest you do have, and do your best to locate the nearest bishop. This way you can send any seminary candidates to him as needed as your priest gets old, dies, etc.  I think that once stability of sorts is returned to the area, things may revert to what once occurred out here in the Western US and other formerly pioneer areas – a priest will travel from community to community, performing Mass at homes, barns, or anywhere convenient. Your job will be to convince one to make their way to your community. This may mean attending Mass perhaps once a month at best, or once every 2-3 months if you’re almost as lucky. The rest of the time, someone can be ordained (again, by a bishop) as a local Deacon, holding communion services with leftover and/or pre-consecrated wine and hosts that have been suitably stored or sent for the purpose.

Long-term, the dangers lie in running out of bishops. Any three or more bishops can, in a pinch, ordain another bishop, but the trick will be in finding enough bishops in order to pull it off. Bishops ordinarily require that the ordination be done with the blessing of the Pope (to insure unity), but dispensation can be universally granted before or during collapse, and can likely be assumed after that. Historical precedent would be missionaries and times of persecution where a direct blessing/permission could not be gained in a timely manner (again, see also early Anglican England). Globally? It will be a very, very long time before a local diocese can reconnect with its neighboring ones, let alone connecting with the Vatican -this will lead to a lot of confusion (and not a little strife) before things are re-established. The good news is that most things which are Catholic have been around for nearly two millennia, so don’t expect any radical changes. However, there is a danger of local bishops (or even priests) using collapse as a signal or cue to start changing things subtly, mostly to suit his particular ideologies and any desired changes from the norm (obligatory snark: especially if the gent’s formal title ends in “S.J.”), so you would have to be on guard against that. A periodic diocesan council would prevent much of that from happening, as long as there are a sufficient number of priests and other clergy about to keep things honest.

Christian, Mormon:

In spite of living in and among the LDS communities of Utah for well over a decade, I still know very little here, so bear with me:

I presume that aside from the requisite Bible and Book of Mormon, there really isn’t too much in the way of equipment at the local (ward, stake) levels. I do know the temples on the other hand require the adherents to a special bit of undergarment before entering, that there are a few requirements to enter one (as well as a “Temple Recommend”), and that there are likely special temple ceremonies (marriage, baptisms of the dead, etc) and such that need to be passed along.

From research, I do notice that, as far as I can tell, any ordained LDS priest can ordain another (through the laying on of hands), but am unclear as to how exactly it is that one elevates to the titles of High Priest, Bishop, Seventy, Apostle, and Prophet… At the very least, there would be some form of local continuity if you have a going community of fellow LDS survivors.

Having a strong tradition of preparedness, I suspect that your local ward would have some sort of contingency/continuity plan in place that would come in very handy during collapse, but it would only work if you had a large enough community of LDS adherents. Outside of Utah, Idaho, and maybe Oregon? It may be tough going, especially if your local ward is so large that it would require a day or more of travel by foot just to reach the building.

Long-term, there is a strong chance of splinter groups forming and of dogmatic drift. Existing examples of this includes the FLDS church, which splintered over the question of polygamy (FLDS is for it, rest of LDS church is formally against it).

Jewish:

(this one is all from guesswork, so please send corrections as needed):

Post-diaspora Judaism has dispensed with the need for burnt offerings, Levite priests, and suchlike. Nowadays, all that would really be required are the proper books, tools and space (and preps!) sufficient to maintain kosher food laws, and a place to meet on a weekly basis.

As the Jews have traditionally been forced by society and history to be more mobile and improvisational than most, I suspect that most of the preparatory portions have already been ingrained by now. I would only suggest a deeper study of things, and a close relationship with your local rabbi, and maybe know of the closest place where one could find a means of making copies of the scriptures properly (if I remember right, there is a procedure for that which insures perfect copies are made, and that, for instance, any pen and perhaps ink which writes His title is kept separate from the ones used to write all the other words, etc).

Ordination of new rabbis is something I am completely unsure about, but I think that two or more other rabbis can do it (For the Jewish among us, please send corrections and clarifications – I’d actually like to know).

Muslim (Sunni and Shi’a):

This is actually easier than any other out there – a copy of the Koran, and perhaps the Tawrat and Injin as well (strongly suggested here, by the way). It also wouldn’t hurt to have a few philosophical treatises and books handy from prominent and historical Muslims. There is no formal hierarchy, as an imam is usually whoever had the religious respect and education to sufficiently run the local mosque.

All that said, the post-collapse Muslim will have one problem in North America that most other religious folks do not: the potential for persecution on an unprecedented scale. While said persecution is in direct violation of Christian morals, and there aren’t enough Jews or atheists around to do it on any real scale, nonetheless there will likely be a lot of problems in this arena. Of course, this does depend on the nature and type of collapse, but in a world where no one really has enough, the first to get picked on will be those who are different-but-minority, and Islam is about as different as it gets in this part of the world. 9/11 and global terrorism activities certainly don’t make this any easier. The best means of survival against this is to find and integrate with a community that is friendly to the religion, or form a large and strong enough community to effectively defend yourselves against incursions.

If you can survive and form a community that includes enough fellow Muslims, and can do so peacefully enough, the rest is easy to carry along. Your biggest long-term goals will be teaching Arabic/Farsi, and in not changing what’s in the books as they get copied over time. You and the Jewish folk will have one thing in common: the need to for food laws to be adhered to. Although circumstance may prevent you from always eating according to Halal needs, there is some leeway, and you can organize your preps and foraging/growing activities to them over the long haul.

Everybody Else:

This all depends on how you believe, how formalized the religion is (or lack thereof), and what would be required to maintain it over the long haul. I suspect more than a few atheists would hope that somehow people drop religion during their post-collapse travails (umm, not gonna happen). Buddhists and other very small religious bodies will get on well enough, though this depends on tradition and style of ordination. Not sure about the whole Wicca/Pagan thing, since (just in my opinion) most of the adherents aren’t really all that serious about it over time – at least not enough to dedicate an entire lifetime to it. There’s also the long-term danger of a return to medieval attitudes towards anything which can be construed as witchcraft, which most sane people can file under the ‘do not want‘ list for their children, grandchildren, etc. Finally, there is a lack of recognizable tradition (as in, a timeframe of 100 years or more) and any sort of means to keep it all unified enough to be recognizable over long periods of time.

On the other side of the coin? Odds are good that if the population is too small and the requirements too formal with no contingencies, the religion will likely die out in North America. The specific/discreet religions I listed above have populations large enough that they stand a good chance of long-term survival. The rest I wouldn’t place any long-term bets on.

Final Thoughts:

No matter how you pray (or don’t), one thing I see as a common thread is the need to prepare for not only short-term continuity, but the long-term as well. Priests and Bishops will grow old and die, even if every last one of them survive collapse (and since the Catholic ones are celibate, no kids to carry things on, either). Copies of sacred writings will, unless strictly controlled and observed, start gaining typos and errors which will magnify over time, causing meanings to become unclear and/or changed (example? Lets say some incompetent soul drops the word “not” from “Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife” – leads to all kinds of confusions, not to mention a mandatory coveting, no?)  Even if you’re an atheist, the philosophical books and papers which you’ve scrupulously kept as  evidence of reason over religion may get all mis-copied, so…

The biggest take-away though is this: tradition is a huge part of what makes us human. It makes us appreciate our forefathers. It also helps give us a sense of continuity over time. This will come in very handy when building a new world, especially as you’re enduring the remains of the old one as it slowly snuffs itself out of existence.

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Staying On The Down-Low…

Staying On The Down-Low

Today’s news is an interesting bag of stuff, but the one thing that stood out? The fear and hatred directed at so-called “assault weapons”. Setting aside the gross mis-definition of what an assault rifle is (this is the real definition… notice the full-auto part?) There was a bill introduced today by Big Sister to clamp down on semi-auto scary-looking rifles, handguns, and (get this) fingerprint the owners.

 

danger-car

 

 

All this news brings up something that should be very important to you: The importance of laying low. Most prepping folks call it OPSEC, but as you know (from the book) we split this into OPerational SECurity, and COMmunication security. I’d like to spend some time splitting these out a bit, and show you the importance of laying low.

Communication Security

Let’s start here. As Internet users (if you’re reading this, you are one), the first thing to keep in mind is to keep your mouth shut as to what you feel, what you are doing, and etc. This means not going onto an Internet forum and screaming “Molon Labe!!” at the top of your virtual lungs.

Why? This is a two-part answer…

One, you are not these guys, and passion aside, making ‘big talk’ online instead makes you look like this guy. Don’t be that guy.

Two, bragging on your gun collection (real or imagined) and mouthing your intent to wipe out everything in uniform that tries to take your guns will garner the wrong kind of attention. Unless you’re posting your verbiage through some Chinese proxy and using TOR to get to that, your IP address is drop-easy to get (by means fair or foul), then geolocate that IP address to your neighborhood. Next thing you know, you wake up to armored-up federal agents at the foot of your bed, guns drawn, shouting at you to get down on the floor “RIGHT NOW!“.

As things start barreling southwards, expect communications security to become increasingly important to you and yours. The less you stand out, the better your chances of avoiding any negative contact with government between now and when they finally die off.

Mind you, this goes beyond guns. Excess food stores, other weapons, things like that? Bragging too much, online or (worse) locally, can get you the wrong kind of attention from not only governments, but local criminals, potential refugees – wait,what? Potential refugees? Of course! If you go about bragging about how awesome your neck of the woods happens to be, and are dumb enough to narrow it down further than a general region? Guess where all the casual readers in your region are going to plan their bug-out route? For instance, I live outside of the Portland OR metro area. I refuse to say exactly where. I even took a few distracting photos from way outside my neighborhood and put them up. If I said that I live in, say, Astoria or near The Dalles, then the masses in PDX who stumbled across my online or printed writings would start thinking “hey, if things get bad I’ll just go out that way! The prepper dude said he lives there, so it’s safe, right?” (hint: Those potential refugees in PDX are welcome to go in those directions. Are they safe? Hell if I know…)

Finally, this goes for family too. Unless you’re prepared to care for them too, don’t tell ‘em what you’re up to. A surefire way to discourage any of the nosier ones if the subject comes up? Earnestly ask to move in with them if things begin to collapse.

 

Operational Security

This is the other half of the coin. This not only means keeping your goods concealed, but presenting yourself as the model citizen to anyone who doesn’t already know you – especially to authorities.

As things start grinding to a halt civilization-wise, this means not making any noises, and especially not showing a public image of resistance or rebellion. Avoid protests and the like. Mind you, this does not mean simply knuckling-under or snitching on your neighbors or any such crap. It does however mean that you keep any activities on the down-low. Bury your weapons in a secure container under or near metal objects. Maybe keep one crappy old gun or two in the house (gives them something to take), but keep your real weapons hidden well until the time comes when you will need them to defend home and family, after the government stops holding back the mobs, and the masses start getting desperate.

Meanwhile, keep up appearances. Chat about whatever latest shows on TV happen to be. Argue online about non-political hobbies and games. Give benign support and votes for the politicos who are not too extremist, but you still actually want to support. Play it by ear, and make sure that only your most trusted friends know anything different.

Meanwhile, keep your mind and thoughts clear. A good study would be on how the KGB kept control, and compare notes against the current government. A more serious study (and gateway) can be found here. (and here, and here…)

Long story short? In the eyes of the government, you want to be just another anonymous Schmoe.

 

When To Stop The ‘Clark Kent’ Act

You will know when to stop being so secretive, though it will be hard to describe, because that all depends on how it all comes down. A fascist government will make it necessary to keep quiet until that government loses all control. A relatively benign government that has weakened sufficiently means you can get your neighbors together a lot sooner.

By all means though, do not get them together until two conditions are clear:

1) there is no longer a governmental force (police, military, etc) that can interfere or protect you

2) there is no longer a chance that any governmental informants among your neighbors will have any power or need to inform on anybody.

It’s Just Like Good Burlesque, Kids!

…in that you don’t show all the goods.

Even after civilization has pretty much gone down the crapper and your neighbors are banding together, never, ever, ever show off, brag, or even let everyone know just how much stuff you have stashed away. The last thing you need is envy, jealousy, or something for a desperate neighbor to focus on instead of doing for him/herself.  Always keep that in mind.

Conclusion

As tempting as it is to talk big, or brag on the goods, you should always bust your arse to do the opposite: Always strive to be a friendly nobody. Always appear to be harmless to any governmental entity. The less of a threat you appear to be, the less hassle they’ll give you. Even if you have to pretend, always appear to be following the laws, no matter how draconian, unconstitutional, or wrong they may be.

If you can do that, then you have less work to do once the government crashes under its own weight.

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012 Before Collapse, During Collapse Comments Off

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