Author Topic: BEING THE "GREY MAN"  (Read 7668 times)

Offline swanson

  • Standing In The Gap
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2460
  • Karma: 303
  • "Don't let others live in your head rent free."
BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« on: November 09, 2008, 07:57:26 AM »
While I attempt to lead an examined life, I know I break a lot of OPSEC and PERSEC rules to share what I have on this forum from time to time, but what the hell, if I keep my observations and experiences out of the public eye all together- they can’t be of benefit to anyone else of like mind.

I hope others, to some extent, feel the same way as I do…

Disclaimer- OFTEN, what I have already posted on this forum flies in the face of what’s shared below…

BEING THE “GREY MAN

This is not a new idea in the least, but does have merit for discussion, review, and adaptation for many of us…

How often does it really serve you to be the “person of interest” or “that guy”?

Take “Joe the Plumber” of recent fame for an example. He runs into Obama on the campaign trail and instantly his background is looked into for any useful minutia, weakness, or fault.

http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/10/31/joe.html?sid=101

It just does not pay to get noticed...

Hence, the concept of the “Grey Man”; The Grey Man strives to resemble being just “one of the crowd” no matter where he goes. The Grey Man studies the environment and looks to become just another common sight against the backdrop for anyone who might looking for his next target or victim.

The Grey Man does not care to elicit any unwanted or unneeded attention to his person when surrounded by others.

So how does the Grey man achieve this state of being?

You achieve Grey Man "status" by lowering your profile, engaging in the use of situational awareness, and by using plain old common sense. Strive to make as little a personal display as possible while you are out and about.

I submit the following 4 pointers to those following the path of the “Grey Man” and wanting to lower their public profile in their travels:

•   Ditch the high speed-low drag clothing like 5.11’s and Oakley eyewear for something a bit more typical of the standard populace. The last thing you need is to be mistaken for a cop or another “authority” figure while in public unless that is your intention.

•   When travelling internationally, don’t export “Americana”. Dress down, not dumb. Give up the flashy jewelry and “I love America” T-shirt for something a bit less noticeable.

•   Know where you belong and where you don’t. This is a great way to stay unnoticed. If there is a high crime or risk area for a person such as yourself, DON’T TRAVEL THERE.

•   Be self aware. Do you have any mannerisms or physical habits that will get you noticed? Does your personal bearing and conduct make you stick out? If so, make the necessary changes.

This small list of pointers is only a start for the Grey Man.

What else would you add to this list or add to expand on the concept of the Grey Man?


Kara

  • Guest
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2008, 08:55:19 AM »
The first thing that came to my mind to add is only to speak when necessary. I know lots of people who get noticed a lot because they don't ever shut up.

Offline swanson

  • Standing In The Gap
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2460
  • Karma: 303
  • "Don't let others live in your head rent free."
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2008, 09:00:51 AM »
Wintersparrow,

Good point!!!

I just put up another post concerning a similar point.

Thanks for the input.

Swanson
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 06:48:41 PM by Sister Wolf »

Offline Dirt Rider 3006

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 247
  • Karma: 22
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2008, 12:05:49 PM »
The first thing that came to my mind to add is only to speak when necessary. I know lots of people who get noticed a lot because they don't ever shut up.

Man.. I really have to work on that.... Not that I'm bragging, but just trying to talk some sense into some people...

Most converastions contain: 

Me stating, after some political or just general conversation about today's news: "Now this is what you should be doing, prepping food, weapons, first aid, and such."  (Said to them with more detail)

Then they will say sometihing along the lines of: "Is that what you are doing?"

Most of the time I don't need to say a word, the expression on my face tells it all. I'm a horrible liar. I guess that's a good thing. I have a conscience.

But I do try leave it at that and not go into much detail about what I have.

But the word is out that I something put aside for a very rainy day.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 12:52:09 PM by Sister Wolf »

Offline Tycoon

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 266
  • Karma: 21
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 05:27:44 PM »
Great post. Very difficult for some people but very true. Those same ideas almost kept me from registering or posting on this very site but
I thought about it and came to a similar conclusion as you "if I keep my observations and experiences out of the public eye all together- they can't be of benefit to anyone else of like mind."

Kara

  • Guest
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2008, 10:19:54 PM »
You have a point Tycoon. A person can't always be silent. I posted what I did because, not only do I know people who can't keep things to themselves, but I also have a hard time with it. I tend to be a bit of a Chatty Cathy when it comes to having some good information to share. The whole survival thing is something I talk about, but I don't really make a lot of news known about my own prep details. If TSHTF, I don't want a bunch of people I haven't planned for showing up at my door. I know it sounds mercenary, but one family can only prep for so many.

lol...I'm also one of those people who others feel free to tell their life stories, which is something I am trying to discourage. It's not a good thing when perfect strangers, standing next to you in line at the store,  feel compelled to tell you about their colon issues. Blech!  :P   ::)

Offline 19kilo

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 580
  • Karma: 18
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2008, 10:46:39 PM »
Very cool post.  I tried to give you a +1 karma but I must have given you one in the last hour :-[

On the Joe the Plumber example,  I would have to say something if ever given the opportunity. 

Some folks know I prepare and I encourage them to do the same.  But if things get tough, they know that I will only help them if they have something to offer me in return. 

Offline archer

  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 17112
  • Karma: 380
  • #ImissAmerica
    • Journey to Greener Pastures
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2008, 09:47:18 AM »
I do not talk about my preparations directly to neighbors and friends, but though my recent activities (making cheese, baking bread, looking into bees/chickens) my neighbors and now people at work are talking about if there is a disaster they are going to run to me. Ugh! Just what I don't need, useless people hanging about.

Offline swanson

  • Standing In The Gap
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2460
  • Karma: 303
  • "Don't let others live in your head rent free."
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2008, 10:11:54 AM »
Archer,

You might have an opportunity right under your nose with you neighbors and co-workers.

If you think it would be well received by any of them, and not expose yourself any further than you already have, harness those who know or show further interest in your activities as potential allies and build a stronger community around yourself by sharing your experience, viewpoints, and skills.

If nothing else, you can set the stage for them to better grasp at more common understanding of your lifestyle choices and leave them with less of an interest in what you do and give them less to talk about.

The exposure might be worth the risk in certain cases...

What do you think?

Regards,

swanson

Offline Tycoon

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 266
  • Karma: 21
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2008, 10:35:01 AM »
One thing I would always be cautious in talking about is your guns. The day will come where there will be a reward for turning in your neighbor for guns he is not supposed to have, and I don't mean rocket launchers and belt driven automatics. It will be for your .22 rifle or shotgun. Hate sounding like a paranoid tinfoil nut but I truly believe this will happen in one form or another, and the more folks that know what you have the greater the chances someone will be knocking at your door.

Offline archer

  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 17112
  • Karma: 380
  • #ImissAmerica
    • Journey to Greener Pastures
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2008, 10:40:48 AM »
I already am..... I am feeling out the more serious minded people and seeing where their abilities are... One person at work I've turned onto the podcasts and he's listening to the (huge) backlog of shows... There are a few others @ work that are potentials. As for neighbors, I am trying to open their eyes and see what skills they have... One neighbor works for the local Sherif Dept and the one next door has a generator already and some supplies I've seen in his garage..

I hardly talk about guns. I always conceal them when I take them out of the house. Hmm, but I did take a few people from work to the local range after giving them a basic intro on pistols earlier this year... Argh. Hope that does not bite me in the ass..

Offline swanson

  • Standing In The Gap
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2460
  • Karma: 303
  • "Don't let others live in your head rent free."
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2008, 10:42:18 AM »
Tycoon,

+1 Great advice. I couldn't agree more...

When, and IF sharing your lifestyle with someone - NEVER TALK GUNS in the open.

There's plenty of softer subjects than guns to chat about with those not in your normal circle.

swanson

Offline ColdHaven

  • Coldylocks
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3457
  • Karma: 175
  • How about a scary crow little fire?
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2008, 11:24:13 AM »
I saw this thread before I went to bed last night. Good topic. I was just too tired to respond.  :-[ +1 Swanson.

I agree that keeping your activities on the down low is important. Just like some others have already mentioned, though, there are instances where peeping out of our shell is necessary. I want to help others but I do not want to have it come back to haunt me either. Whenever the subject has came up I have mentioned that perhaps preparing for the economic collapse or just in general. No one yet has asked me if I am doing this myself.

I guess one of the few things I can thank my father for is that he taught me how to keep things to myself. From early on he had taught me to not tell others about what guns we have. He taught me how to be vague and not answer the question. When I go to target practice I usually have a slew of neighbors houses around me. I try to take them to my car in a fashion that makes them think it is something else. For example, one of my gun cases looks like a guitar case. I carry it from the barrel end instead of the handle. I am not sure if this is effective or not in making others thing it is something else. If my neighbors are nosy, though, I wouldn't know it. Most of the time I carry them to the car in a time of day that they are not outside.

I am in a part of NC which is mostly rural and so when I have asked others about farming or gardening they just assume that I have taken an interest in it. I am not sure if any of them have put it together or not. Most of the things I ask can be asked by anyone interested in gardening, farming, hunting, ect. They do alot of that around here, and so far no questions have been asked. For information that is more specific I turn to the podcast, this forum, and other net sources.

One thing I definitely have to work on is keeping my political views to myself. I think I have been doing a better job of that lately. Although our country isn't like this, just remember, there are places in the world where it is a criminal offense to make fun of those in power. A Thai intellectual (or thats what they are calling him in the news) may face jail time for criticising the monarchy.I try to keep my views to myself unless I think it is beneficial to someone else that I speak my peace. I think that is a good rule of thumb for anything that we do survival oriented.

When I heard about Joe the Plumber and read about how they were digging into his background (which is an overt invasion of privacy since he is not someone running for office) I thought to myself how I would hate if something like that happened to me just because I happened to nail someone with a good question. I do not think I would wind up in such a situation because of how I am, but I felt sorry for him. His whole life dragged though the media mud because he basically asked Obama a good question. It is a lesson I think many of  us could benefit from.

There is a time and a place for everything under Heaven. The key is knowing when those times are.

Offline archer

  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 17112
  • Karma: 380
  • #ImissAmerica
    • Journey to Greener Pastures
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2008, 11:41:50 AM »
Amen ColdHaven. +1

Offline swanson

  • Standing In The Gap
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2460
  • Karma: 303
  • "Don't let others live in your head rent free."
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2008, 11:46:21 AM »
Coldhaven,

+1 on your comments and observations.

Glad have your steady voice of input on hand...

swanson

huckie

  • Guest
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2008, 06:50:51 AM »
Another important consideration is that anyone who knows about your preps has the potential to mention it to other people, even in casual conversation ("I know this guy at work who has blah, blah blah"). A lot of people try to pump themselves up by appearing to know someone special or different and can't help blabbing about it. I know for a fact I've made the mistake of discussing preps or guns with at least one of these types, and wouldn't be the least surprised to find lots of people I've never even met know more about me than I'd like.

Just more food for thought.

Kara

  • Guest
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2008, 06:30:04 PM »
Good point Huckie...

Something that crossed my mind as I was reading this post is that family members may not be the best people to tell about your preps either, in some cases.  It's one thing to prep enough to include someone, but they don't necessarily need to know about it until the time is at hand.

I know that sounds a little mercenary, and not that I consider my family untrustworthy at all, but a person can only prep for so many. If they don't know your plans they can't invite someone else (neighbor, etc) to come along.  I have some friends with family members I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, and they couldn't be trusted with this kind of info. If they were my family, I wouldn't tell them.

Wintersparrow
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 12:30:21 PM by Sister Wolf »

jeremya

  • Guest
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2008, 12:26:58 PM »
I really need to keep my mouth shut about guns... it's my one weakness as I enjoy shooting as a hobby and I like evangelize that guns aren't evil.

-- Jeremy

Phoenix

  • Guest
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2008, 04:55:22 PM »
What else would you add to this list or add to expand on the concept of the Grey Man?


When I try to be a "grey man" I blend in with the shadows and always try and be aware of what is going on around you.
I have made four trip to South America, my longest stay was six months.
And when you have been in a country like Peru for that long you become very alert and it,s hard for a gringo to blend in there as you may know.
They say that they can tell your an American just by the way you walk, even at night.
And you grow eye on the back of your head after a while. (some times that doesn't even help)
And when you feel those little hairs on the back of your neck stand up....listen to them and do what you need to do to get the hell out of there.

Earth Monk

  • Guest
Re: BEING THE "GREY MAN"
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2008, 05:02:24 AM »
Excellent point Phoenix,

What else would I add to this list to expand on the concept of the Grey Man?

Ensure you have a developed plan for contingency. This is as simple as knowing several routes to the same destination, various options to obtain the commodity you need, and having a formulated standard operating procedure (SOP) for everything you do.

This does not mean one needs to spend hours upon hours writing out Op plans just to go to the feedstore or fishing hole. This does mean one should simply consider the current threat condition, social and environmental climate, and then proceed accordingly with that conscience process completed. In other words, live in the present!

What I mean by live in the present is be aware of your surroundings at all times. Practice observation techniques to develop a better situational awareness. Scan your surroundings and move in a precise, premeditated manner. There are times to daydream and ponder deep thoughts...while being active in public is no longer one of those times.

Please don't confuse public as meaning anywhere away from your domicile, I intend public to mean a populated area. your time in the woods or at the river should have a different style of situational awareness (a deeper field of observation) than say, some time spent at Blackbirds procurring some ammo or tackle (a more intense closer in observation).

When sharing these techniques with someone less oriented with military tactics or experience I suggest an approach shy of the military jargon. Describe things in a language they understand; don't paint the picture as paranoid with language, paint it as awareness of environment, or identifying advantageous opportunities through position or posture.

Just my thoughts off of the cuff,
-Ras