Sunday, May 24, 2009

Keeping a low profile

Some people refer to it as “gray man”, urban camouflage.
I’ve written before about dressing in a way that doesn’t attract attention. Mostly black, gray, and dark blue or brown colors. No insignias, no cammo and no bright colors or political message stamps or tshirt. You want to be as forgettable as possible.
Once you realize how rumors and failing to keep your mouth shut can get you kidnapped, “ loose lips sink ships” achieves a new level of importance. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I can tell you that the stage you are in right now in USA is something we were once familiar with.
Right now in the various survival forums , “I lost my job” seems to be a frequent post.
It’s happening folks, people are getting fired, and most don’t have any preps to fall back.
Again, these are things I do and you may want to implement in the near future:

1)Don’t dress like a million bucks… or a thousand.
This is just common sense, but at least in my opinion it doesn’t hurt to look even a bet worse than people around you, not a bum but still on the poor side, rather than the well off.
Worn jeans, tennis and shirt or tshirt are generally what I wear, unless I really need to look better because of business. I don’t need to brag about anything. I prefer to look ordinary/lower middle class.

2) So.. how’s business/work?

My standard reply: “Barely making it man. You know, like everyone else. Times are tough for us all.
Had to spend 200 bucks the other day on a car repair and that hurt quite a bit. It seems I can barely keep my head above water”
Talk, poor/lower middle class too.
A fool that brags about how much money he made selling a house or boat or whatever will only risk getting kidnapped. You tell a good guy, a friend, but destiny wants your friend to make an innocent comment to someone that is not that nice and bam!, you get targeted.
“Things aren’t that bad for some of us, as a matter of fact my friend Johnny, you know the guy you saw me with the other day, he just told me yesterday that he managed to get rid of that boat he had rotting at the marina, just burning a hole in his pocket. I bet he made a few buck out of it too.”

3) Even in the bank, as things get worse criminals will have informant inside banks.
Even if you have a bank you trust and visit more often, where you try to build a relationship with the manager, try using other methods of moving money around too, so that lower level employees don’t notice you as a guy that moves around large sums of money. The cashers are generally the ones that mark you.

4) A low profile is even relevant to stay away from the government goons.

Ricardo Montoya, one of the governments goons in Argentina, would track down people that where making purchases of expensive electronics or cars.
Bought a big screen Sony TV? That placed you in Montoya’s list and he would investigate you further, making sure he was taking every cent he could out of you, the fat tax payer.
Whenever possible keep all purchases anonymous, use cash. Of course, destroy the box, don’t leave the HD TV box next to the trash so that the neighborhood junky keep it in mind next time he needs cash for a fix.

5) In terms of guns and gun confiscations, whenever possible buy guns at gunshows and private purchases that leave no paper trail behind.

Also, be very careful of who you tell about your “hobby” and how you describe it.
IN the eyes of the politically correct wimp:
Target shooting sounds like the Olimpics.
Firearms training sounds revolutionary.
You don’t want your sissy neighbor calling SWAT on you. Risk getting shot by paramilitary police that is more concentrated these days on no knock raids than serving an protect.
It’s important to educate people about survival and self reliance, but learn to know when you are throwing pearls to the pigs or even worse, putting your family and yourself at risk.
All this may not sound that relevant right now for your current situation. It may sound exaggerated or paranoid.
One thing we’ve learned here is that reality changes.
And I’m not talking 100s of years, it’s not volcanoes, mountains and planetary tectonic plates moving.
Back when NY city was a hell hole full of crime, Buenos Aires was a rather good place to live in comparison, and Argentina in general was rather safe.
It was 1990 when NY was a mess, and Bs As was really a rather safe “Latin Paris” where violent crime like murder existed but was not at all common as it is today. In a couple decades these extreme changes took place.



DaShui said...

Que Pasa FerFal!,

#1 is really funny. One thing not to worry about is americans dressing too nicely. These days Americans are slobs (including me). My friend is a tailor, and i notice it is poor people who are the one that spend the most on name brands, and dress clothes. If you look at photos of the Great Depression people dressed better then, than the average American does now.

Anonymous said...

We have seen 'scouts' cruising
through our mountain town,wearing hair nets, tats and dressing like west coast gang bangers.That would bring these visitors unwanted attention,and are viewed with the utmost suspicion.
Setting oneself up by wearing that uniform,would not be smart, off beat rural areas.
Your article is right on,and after years with the'locals', the conversation doesn't now stop, when I walk into the room,(in part because of my children who were born and raised here).
Tough getting use to, but worth the move..
Great blog,
BTW got some tango friends who travel to your fair country every year or so..

Headlines in Spring. Pitchforks before Winter ,, all we can do is watch.

vdavisson said...

Good advice FerFAL. Sad, but important to follow.

Bones said...

It's virtually impossible to purchase a handgun in the US without leaving a paper trail due to federal background check requirement. They aren't supposed to keep a database once you get checked but who really trusts them?

Keeping a low profile is always a good idea. Nobody needs to know your business or personal information.

KeithC said...

Your description made me chuckle - I grew up in the South Bronx in NY in the 70s and 80s, finally said "screw this" and moved in the early 90s. I think that's why I 1. get what you're saying in almost all your posts and 2. have offered to do any legwork I can to help you if you want to come "up north". ;)

Stay safe, brother.

PuraGarra said...

Feliz 25 De Mayo! Feliz dia de la Independencia!

Anonymous said...

O-kay FerFal, I have kept myself under the radar for many years in every aspect of life...however, I own a coin shop. Yes I deal in large amounts of cash. Coins and jewelry around me everyday.

I am a profecient and well known martial artist and open carry a side arm everyday. To and from the shop, to and from the bank, you see me, you see my gun.

As a prepper and everyother aspect of life we are covert. Tell me, how can a precious metals dealer be covert?

God bless,