We’ve already discussed in previous articles how the traditional hierarchy (or pyramid leadership) is a poor choice for the type of situation we find ourselves in as patriots. This type of leadership works for those who want/need to “belong” to something, lack the ability to act without someone giving them direction, or choose to be involved with more public activities. Standard militia units also benefit from the pyramid structure for obvious reasons. Behind the public face of the groups rallying and engaging in obvious activism, however, is where the rest of the movement operates. These are faceless, nameless patriots who train in private, operate in small groups, and choose to limit their “footprint” to their tight circle. Their cell-based structure and security levels mean that they can remain ‘under the radar’ until they are needed. What are they doing that the more public groups are not? A great deal, it turns out, and today we’ll deal with some of the basic security considerations for groups.
One thing that needs to be noted: There is a difference between “grey” groups who are actively training, preparing, and operating, and those who spend their time on Facebook talking a big game as though they will suddenly jump up and join the fight if bullets start flying. If the most you do is post memes and maybe show up to a rally now and then to wave a sign, this article is not for you. If you’re part of an effective group, you’re probably already doing these things. This article is for those who either 1) want to tighten their security procedures in an existing group or 2) are serious about setting up a group and want to do it right.
1. Choose your friends wisely.
The importance of this cannot be overstated, it’s common sense, and yet people get burned here all the time. The patriot movement is full of informants, egomaniacs, agents provocateur, and federal agents who want nothing more than to see any one of us in jail and the liberty movement derailed. Don’t think that if someone shows up to your meetings a few times that he’s probably good to go. Don’t let someone else “vouch” them in, either. Check them out yourself, every time. The last thing you need is to be associated with someone who ends up being a white supremacist, child molester, federal informant, criminal, etc. (Side note: A $30 background check won’t tell you what you need to know. Find someone who is an expert at OSINT collection and have them teach you.)
2. The length of a friendship or acquaintance is NOT an indicator of trustworthiness.
Informants and agents are playing the long game; they will befriend you, flatter you, and even help you in an effort to gain your trust. Remember: it took over two years for the feds to arrest Randy Weaver. If you think they aren’t willing to put that time and effort into other groups, you’re wrong. Don’t assume that because you met someone at a rally or patriot event and you’ve known them a few months that they’re trustworthy. Again, check people out. Get some training in facial microexpressions or deception detection. Let them talk as much as they want to you, and listen.
Side note: What do you do if you realize that someone in your inner circle is not who they say they are? Depends. In some cases it’s best to remove their access, even if that means changing all known meeting places/times, comms methods, codes, everything. In other cases, it’s better to keep them around, and use them as a false info conduit. If you know they are passing whatever you tell them on to someone else, use it to your advantage.
3. Everyone has at least one exploitable weakness; know what yours is.
We all have something that can be leveraged. Debt, love of family, embarrassing secrets, private habits. Know where you’re weak, and think through what you’ll do if that weakness is used against you. This is a time for brutal self-honesty. If it’s something you can stop or fix, do that. Better yet, don’t allow yourself to get involved in situations that can come back to bite you.
4. Don’t allow people in your groups who are drug users or have a problem with alcohol.
While some may balk at this (especially those who use marijuana), the bottom line is that while you are drunk or high you are a liability. This liability can manifest itself in terms of information leakage, tactical failure, or a host of other problems.
5. Trust your gut.
If something seems like a red flag to you, pay attention. You cannot protect yourself retroactively. If something or someone doesn’t seem right, then walk away.
6. Don’t be so paranoid that you paralyze yourself.
Just like a lack of security or arrogance can be deadly (“I’m not hiding, they can come TRY to get me!” is a stupid attitude), being afraid to train or network for fear of being put under scrutiny is just as dangerous. Yes, you will face added attention. You may get audited or harassed, or more. See #1 and #3. Plan accordingly.
There are plenty of pitfalls and dangers in this fight for liberty. Don’t be someone who contributes to them, or who endangers the lives of the people you work with. Be safe, be smart, and stay frosty. In future articles we’ll deal with specific procedures for setting meetings, communicating via phone/internet, and other communication issues.
Long live Freedom!