TOWR Guides: The Case for Throwaway Email Addresses

As of April of this year, there were 336,724,945 breached accounts in the Have I Been Pwned? database (yes, I suggest you go to that database and check your email addresses).  That number has since jumped to 1,307,907,501.  This means almost 1.5 BILLION people/credit card numbers/addresses/email addresses/etc. are available, and not many of them are throwaway email addresses; most of them are people’s actual, log-in-every-day, synced-to-your-phone addresses. Before you raise your nose in the air just slightly and sniff that there’s no way you’re on that list because you are careful, let me ask you the following:

  1. Do you remember every single site you have ever entered your email address, name, or any other details about yourself, since the first time you ever logged into the internet?
  2. If by some act of God you could answer “yes” to the above, do you know (and have you kept track of) every business acquisition, re-branding effort, or data sale from every site you’ve ever given your data to, for as long as you’ve been on the internet?

I rest my case. (By the way, here’s a link to answer the question “How is my data in a breach on a site I never gave info to?”) That’s not even counting all the ways that major email providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo already spy on you and use your information.

So what are you supposed to do about all your personal data floating around everywhere? The bad news is, you can’t take that info off the internet completely. The good news, however, is that you can keep them from getting more, and you can change some of the info you have. Enter the throwaway email. When combined with a fake name and even birthdate, you can do a great deal to mitigate the threat there. Before we get into the advanced stuff, however, let’s take a look at one easy way to sign up for things without giving away the proverbial farm.

Mailinator

I happen to think this option is the best for certain situations. The way it works is this: You have a site you need to give an email to in order to sign up; we’ll call that site databuyers.com. You give databuyers.com literally any email address you want, as long as it ends in mailinator.com. It does not matter what mailinator address you give them, because when databuyers.com sends an email to that address, it will create the address at mailinator. This means that if you want to have databuyers.com go to circusmidgetfestival@mailinator.com you can, without setting up an account at mailinator.

How is this possible? It’s because Mailinator has no privacy. Every single email address is public domain and wide open, and anyone can read any email sent to any address. So, if you tell databuyers.com to send the verification email to circusmidgetfestival@mailinator.com, you can immediately go to Mailinator and type that address in (no password needed, since it’s public) and hit Check Any Inbox, and boom, there’s the email. Any email sent to mailinator also gets deleted after a few hours, so don’t think you can go back 2 weeks from now and see that email you got, because it’ll be gone. You can, however, still use the email again, simply by putting the address into whatever site you need it for, because mailinator will recreate it as soon as the email is received. Nifty, right? The more intelligent and creative among you can probably think of some other ways to use this as well.

Pros:

  • You don’t have to give any personal information. In fact, I’d advise against using your real name in Mailinator or when signing up for new accounts at all (even when you’re purchasing something, but circumventing the whole “need all personal info” thing when buying online is a whole other article and involves a bit more work).
  • No passwords or account setup are needed; you simply make up an address that you plan to use, and give that out.
  • Free. We like free.
  • Anonymous at the mailinator site (caveats exist; see the Con list for details)
  • Very easy to use.

Cons:

  • Anyone can read anything sent to any email address in Mailinator. You can test this by going to the Mailinator site and checking johnsmith@mailinator.com. You’ll see all kinds of emails, from spam to account resets. This means you would NOT use this for sending uncoded sensitive messages within your group, for instance (the mailinator website, in fact, points out that if you do, you’re a “stupid head”).
  • If you do need to reset your password (you use KeePassX, so this isn’t a problem, right?), you’d have to send your password reset to the public mailbox, which could be a problem. See above point.
  • Some sites may not allow you to use these email addresses since they’re known as anonymous. They don’t like when you send them fake data; they want your real data. If you find yourself in this position, you may want to ask yourself if you really need to sign up there.

Overall, Mailinator is a solid way to stop giving your personal information to every site you log into. You may even want to change some of your existing accounts to a mailinator address as well.

GuerrillaMail

GuerrillaMail is another option for those who need a throwaway email. Also free, this works somewhat like Mailinator in that it’s a publicly available email inbox. Where guerrillamail differs, however, is in the scrambling of the email address, which means your email can be something like 43r1vk+bze63cax9k05c@sharklasers.com. If someone knows the ID you used on the email inbox, they can access whatever is in there, so it’s best to not use your.name1@sharklasers.com or something like that.

Basically, GuerrillaMail has the same pros and cons as Mailinator, but also has address scrambling to help obfuscate your actual email (which may be something like randomname@, but show up as 43r2cd+8cdzul7vlvf4@sharklasers.com).

The Advanced Stuff

If you’re familiar with the dark web, you may want to consider something on the Tor network as well, for sites you need to use there. (Keep in mind that Tor has its own issues, however; best practices for Tor include using a virtual machine–Qubes if you can run it–a VPN, and not using it at home or work.) Same goes for other darknets like i2p or freenet. If this paragraph made no sense to you, that’s okay for the moment; you might want to start learning though.

What NOT to Do

A lot of us have a Gmail account (or Yahoo/Hotmail/MSN etc). In many cases it’s either our name or some identifying characteristic that lets people know it’s us (mine is from back when I was an aircraft mechanic but I have had Gmail accounts that were my name too, from when I didn’t know better). It’s easy and convenient to just use that for the spam and logins but that’s a bad idea. First of all, as we have taught in our Basic Privacy and Anonymity course, the more convenient something is, the less secure it is. Secondly, if you’re using one of those emails to log into everything, then everyone who has access to your email data also has access to everything in it. Gmail, by default, is a “gigantic profiling machine,” and as far back as 2013, Google was quite clear that anyone who emails a Gmail user has “no legitimate expectation of privacy in information” because they “voluntarily” turned over information to “third parties.”

This means that if you decide to get Protonmail (a good choice) for your sensitive emails but then decide to use your Gmail for all the rest of your everyday logins, you’ve just defeated the purpose of the exercise. In fact, if you own a Gmail account, go look at your Google Dashboard and see how much information there is about you.

The Third Option

Staying on top of your privacy is a never ending endeavor. If you’re an activist or involved in liberty work, however, you don’t have another choice. As a society we are conditioned to think in terms of binary options: one, or zero. Republican/Democrat is a classic example. In reality, however, often there’s a third option that we don’t think of. When it comes to being tracked everywhere we go or having all of our purchases cataloged, it seems sometimes like there’s no way out. Either we are getting tracked (in which case, our beliefs and activities draw suspicion and extra attention), or we go all out and drop off the radar, which also draw suspicion and gets us more attention. It’s easy to feel like we’re being funneled into a no-win situation. But we aren’t, if we think smart. There are ways to turn the system back on itself.

Imagine doing any of the following:

  • Having your Gmail signed up for updates from the DNC, Hillary, Obama, and every anti-gun group there is (if you paid attention to the article on infiltration, you may already be doing this). Obviously this won’t work if your Facebook looks like a meme shrine, and most people suffer from one very exploitable weakness that will ruin this, which I’ll talk about in a future article.
  • Downloading an app that you know tracks your every location when it’s open (such as Pokemon Go or Waze), and establishing a pattern of places and times where you are known to be. Then, send your phone with someone else, in your vehicle, to a place/time in the pattern who will have the app open, tracking “you”—while you go elsewhere to meet with a contact, pick up an anonymous purchase, or check your message drops.
  • Sending yourself a lot of encrypted material at Gmail. As in, so much encrypted stuff that they have to spend resources digging into it. I prefer encrypted cat pics, myself.  While they’re digging through those, I can send other things elsewhere, through different means. Do not send anything related to your activism through your regular email. Ever. For any reason. I see a lot of emails coming to TOWR, asking for training on various topics or wanting to ask us a question related to the movement somehow. It seems like with very few exceptions, all of them are coming from email addresses hosted at Gmail, MSN, or other open provider. In fact, we’ve gotten a few that were from their actual ISP domain (Comcast, Frontier, etc.) Do not do this.

The list goes on. Be creative.

The bottom line is, you’re being tracked. We know that; it’s old news. Our job is to find ways to either dodge that surveillance, or use it in ways that let us work the system to our own advantage. Throwaway email addresses are just one of the tools we have.

Holding the Standard in the Three Percent

[Editor’s Note: Jeff Roberts, VP of the Oregon III%, co-wrote the below article. — KP]

One look at the headlines in any given week will lead the average liberty loving, constitution carrying patriot to believe that really tumultuous times are just around the corner. The fact is, they’re already here.  Our own government has been selling our nation’s sovereignty and our constitutional rights down the road at a reckless pace for years now,and as the effects of those acts pile up, patriots are becoming restless.

All of us have run into “that guy” in our group; the one who’s always just a little too eager to start the Second American Revolution, and “take our country back” and “get back to the Constitution,” etc. Don’t we all wish it were that easy?  Then there’s the guy who loudly announces to anyone–online OR off–who will listen that “it’s too late, y’all can vote with your ballot box and soap box, I’m voting with my ammo box.” And we can’t forget the guy who seems to live on Facebook, posting inflammatory memes and making vaguely worded statements that could easily be taken as veiled threats if you didn’t know the guy…and maybe even if you do know the guy.

Are these people crazy? Federal provocateurs? Too lazy to take effective action prior to “shots fired?”  Hormone imbalance? Or just fed up Americans? It’s hard to know, and maybe even impossible. These are difficult questions…and they’re the wrong questions to even ask. The right questions, however, are possibly even more difficult–and more necessary.

Our goal in this article isn’t to create division for the sake of drama or dissent, or even to cause sincere patriots to become outcasts.  We do, however, want to stress the importance of maximizing effectiveness while mitigating liability and failure. We must succeed in this endeavor; therefore, we must act and speak and train–at all times–in a way that not only furthers the cause of liberty, but brings credit to its name.  As previous TOWR articles point out, a decentralized partisan/guerrilla movement needs public support. That’s a precious commodity that we are doing far too much to damage lately, and we should be working to gain it.

As it becomes more and more commonplace for patriots to find themselves present during tense confrontations in close proximity between American constitutionalists, out of control government, and other less savory entities such as the BLM (both groups), so-called refugees, Daesh operatives, inner city gangs and just about every other disruptive group a sick imagination can concoct, we must be vigilant for ways that we can help garner that public support. Perhaps even more importantly, we should be vigilant about the ways that we are hurting that effort.

These days the role of an American patriot isn’t limited to a group of guys training in the woods twice a month and reading the New American Magazine.  Patriots are increasingly taking active stands against tyranny and civil unrest in very public ways, ranging from rallies to providing security against looters in Ferguson and Baltimore, or standing guard in places like the Bundy Ranch, Sugar Pine Mine, and Operation Big Sky, where miners and ranchers were being threatened with seizure of property without due process. In other arenas, patriots are standing up and becoming involved with local, county, state, and even national government–a long overdue but extremely critical step.

Heinlein wrote that “specialization is for insects;” indeed, patriots of today must be able to perform far more tasks than simply firing a weapon. Everything from medical skills to communications, history, philosophy, law, religion, prepping, security, computer literacy, intelligence and a host of other skills and tasks are necessary for today’s patriot to have a working knowledge of. We never know when those skills will be needed; some patriots fulfilled one job at Sugar Pine, another in Montana, and hold still another position within their groups at home. We can be called upon at any time for a variety of potential situations, and some patriots who remain”gray” may be performing other functions in the underground resistance. As Mike Vanderboegh, the founder of this Three Percent movement, wrote, “that is what a citizen does — he fights on every battlefield to best of his ability and resources.”

With this ever evolving role that we as patriots are finding ourselves in, can we afford the loose cannons, impulsive individuals, hot tempered patriots or borderline sociopaths within our ranks? Can we afford to allow these folks to be part of our networks, our supply chains, our inner circles, our training groups?

And what about those who are publicly advocating or supporting violence, such as the calling for (however sly and oblique) the deaths of various elected officials and/or law enforcement on social media? Should they have a place in our networks and our groups?

The federal government’s new obsession is the charge of “conspiracy,” and one of their biggest evidence collection avenues is social media. That means when you’re scrolling through your feed and see your fellow group member Big Mouth Larry putting up yet another meme or rant advocating the slaughter of cops or the assassination of elected officials, you shouldn’t just roll your eyes and scroll on by, or click like, or even just ignore it. You should ask yourself, “Do I really identify with what’s being proposed here? Is this what I want to publicly advocate?”

When Big Mouth Larry comes to your meetings and rants about how “everyone wants to be a patriot until it’s time to do patriot stuff,” note what Larry considers “patriot stuff” and ask yourself if those actions are things you support. If Larry thinks blowing things up is possibly a good use of his time, you need to have a very long talk with yourself.

“Is this how I want to represent the Three Percent and the American Patriot?”

Before you answer that, let us quote the Three Percenter Catechism:

These four principles — moral strength, physical readiness, no first use of force and no targeting of innocents — are the hallmarks of the Three Percent ideal. Anyone who cannot accept them as a self-imposed discipline in the fight to restore the Founders’ Republic should find something else to do and cease calling themselves a ‘Three Percenter.’

Take a look at how prosecutors rely on social media as evidence, and keep in mind how the spiderweb of networks and contacts and ‘friends’ (the Facebook kind) connects you to people. Do you agree with what people are saying in your networks on social media? Are you willing to face investigation, arrest, or even charges of conspiracy for being “associated with” someone who uses social media to spout things you may not even agree with?

Look at how many people have taken deals in recent months, selling out their so-called “allies” to the federal government in order to get reduced sentences. Are they all informants or agents? No, but the result is the same, isn’t it? Before you chime in with, “But I know my group is solid,” consider this: Are you willing to go to prison, to spend the rest of your life in general population with murderers, rapists, and other violent criminals, to back up that statement? Not to downplay the toll that incarceration takes on the soul of a free man, and how tempting the “deal” may be. If it’s at the expense of your allies and the resolve of other patriots, however, then that becomes a losing strategy.

Are you that certain that your allies will not sell you out, truthfully or otherwise? Are you that sure that their big mouth is just talk? Are you that certain that they’re not going to pin their own actions on you? Are you that positive that Big Mouth Larry is just blowing off steam, or that the other person in the group who’s now hanging out with Larry and encouraging his fantasies is not on another side?

Can you afford to have a guy on your front line that may start a fire fight with police or leftist protesters over a verbal confrontation?

Are you willing to have your cause and organization be represented to media and the rest of the world through the words, appearance, actions, and attire of that one guy? If you decide to keep him in your group, you better hope that you are, because experienced left leaning, sensationalism driven media reporters will instinctively hone in on “that guy” and plaster his face, extreme views, and socially repugnant behavior all over the public airwaves, further causing loss of credibility to our movement towards constitutional liberty.

Then there’s the most obvious of all. Has it ever crossed your mind that the guy who’s always proposing extreme, unlawful, ill-conceived plans that seem highly unlikely for success might not be on your side? Ever consider that the one who’s always offering to help with or set up acts or events that are generally coupled with a high probability of of serious blowback to the movement with little tangible value as a tactical objective, might be setting your group up for arrest or worse? Not every zealous group member is playing for the other side, but his battle for our republic, however, requires cooler heads, and a lot more critical analysis of our objectives to effectively win. We don’t need rash, anger-driven actions, performed by people with little discipline or regard for consequences at this critical time in our nation’s history. We need to be moving forward in a bold, resolute, clearly defined and well-planned moral fashion.

We aren’t here to answer these questions for you. They need to be answered at a group and individual level. If you’re a leader of some kind, you owe it to your group to keep them effective, and out of unnecessary risk. Having the types of people in your group that are described above is unnecessary risk. If you’re a member or individual, the decision is still there for you to make. What will you allow yourself to be associated with? Make the call, and make the necessary changes.

If you’re the guy we’re writing about, consider the following. Make sure that your plan of action is going to help ensure victory and liberty, not just start a fight that will alienate us all from the critical component of public support. We all may differ on the best way to go about securing our liberty, but we should all be able to agree that the best course of action is one that is moral, honorable, and holds to the precepts we believe. From Mike’s Valediction:

If any of our traditional liberties are to be saved it will be on a local basis of community, county and church, secured by your own efforts, your own organization, with your own friends and neighbors according to the principles enunciated by the Founders. I envisioned the Three Percent movement with that local focus in mind, as a philosophy, a discipline, of the armed citizenry.

Be disciplined, be focused.
Long live Freedom!
Jeff Roberts

Vice President, Oregon Three Percent

Kit Perez
Order of the White Rose

Jeff Roberts is an evangelical Christian, husband and father of 6, patriot, liberty activist who witnessed Ruby Ridge first hand, was active in the Ron Paul campaign, and current vice president of Oregon III%.

Lessons for Vetting: UK Undercover Manual

Grugq has a link to very interesting material: a manual for undercover police work used in the UK. While you may flip through it, see the organizational stuff and wonder why it’s important, you may be surprised to learn that there are some pretty decent nuggets in there. How a group does something is perhaps even more important than what they’re doing, and understanding how they’re set up and how they facilitate their activities is a critical part of resisting them or dealing with them at all. While you may think it’s for the UK and therefore not applicable to us, you’d do well to read it anyway and note that some things are universal, especially when it comes to vetting.

A few examples:

Page 34: Backstopping and legend building – In case you didn’t know, there are personnel who “develop, maintain and support covert identities and structures capable of withstanding scrutiny.” That means they’ve already thought about your piddly vetting measures, and they already planned ahead. When you’re dealing with an intelligence service or agency who is willing and able to put work and expense into making sure that their fake identities hold up even if you’re looking into them, then it can be taken as gospel that your simple “internet footprint” check and $29 background peek is not going to expose them. They’ve already covered those bases.  And even if you think you’ve got a hookup for deeper checks, like an FFL who’s figured out how to run NICS checks under the table or a federal level contact who’s willing to do some searching on your behalf, they’ve probably thought about that too. In fact, they’ll have documents that back up their story, and your buddy at the Alphabet Agency may not be as helpful as you think–that’s even if he’s really trying to help at all.

Does this mean the moles and UCs can’t be exposed, or that you cannot protect yourself? No. You can, and you should, and there are ways to do it (that involve a lot more than simply checking someone’s Facebook page or paying someone to go look at public records for you).

Page 54: Conduct – This whole section talks about all of the things they can and cannot do. While you might be chuckling to yourself and thinking, “Well, that means the person I’m smoking pot with/sleeping with/acquiring materials with must be fine because they can’t do that stuff if they’re undercover,” please note the following phrase that finds its way into every single section of conduct:

“If the UCO engages in unauthorized ______ for whatever reason, this activity will be restricted to the minimum conduct necessary to mitigate the threat…” That means that the whole list of “can nots” just became a “can, as long as you can justify it.” Well, if it’s “necessary” to spend 18 months hanging out with someone before they trust you enough to let you talk them into a bomb plot, they’re okay with that. If it’s “necessary” for them to go to your activities, engage in some civil disobedience and lawbreaking, and act just as anti-tyranny as you, they’re okay with that too. And for the record, honey traps, or seduction operations, have been extremely effective for thousands of years. Do you really think they’re going to stop using them because they’re worried about the UC’s feelings, or worried that it’s not “fair?” By the way…when you see the phrase “mitigate the threat,” keep in mind that you’re the target. You’re the threat. This means they have rules, but ALL of those rules are breakable if it means they can “mitigate the threat”….that’s you.

Page 56: Agent Provocateur – Here’s something we’re all becoming very familiar with. They define an AP as someone who “entices another to commit an express breach of the law which they would
not otherwise have committed and then proceeds to inform against them in respect of such an offence.” Pay attention to that: they specifically say “which they would NOT have otherwise committed.” Think about that. Their entire purpose is to get you to do things you would not normally do, and wouldn’t do at all if they weren’t enticing you. People like to call this being “framed.” It’s not. They like to claim that being set up in this way absolves you of responsibility and makes you a victim. That’s not the case.  At the end of the day, you CAN keep yourself from being set up in this way.

(Are they willing to flat out make things up to get you? Sure. But they don’t often have to, because so many people allow themselves to be manipulated into actually doing it.)

We carry firearms and talk about how our security is OUR problem, how self-defense means no one will protect you except you. The same people, oddly enough, will engage in shoddy vetting practices, or think that whoever calls them brother and shows up to the FTX is trustworthy. They’ll turn off their location settings on Facebook “for security reasons” and then post 30 photos of themselves in the parking lot of their FTX, where anyone with a laptop and a few skills can piece together everything from license plates to home addresses to blood type, gear condition and type, who’s in what unit and what position they hold, and based on body language, sometimes even the group dynamics. It takes little time to choose someone to target, and sadly it sometimes doesn’t take long to gain their trust. Keep in mind that those who would target you have all the time in the world. They can afford to be patient, to slowly prove themselves trustworthy and slowly earn your loyalty while moving you closer and closer to the fire.

We don’t get to go through life oblivious to the threat, and we don’t get to assume that we know all the threats. Yes, the person you train next to may already be trained by someone else. The fellow ‘patriot’ offering you a good deal on a firearm or other materials may not be doing so out of the goodness of his heart. The female you’ve been talking to and trying to impress may be dutifully recording all your FTX stories. Just because you trust someone does not make them trustworthy.

Take the time to learn how to properly vet someone; don’t assume you know how, or that it’s even as simple as an internet check. Don’t press for “unity” and “national affiliation.” Don’t be afraid to question the people who you work with–even the ones you’ve worked with for a while. Don’t take on new people easily (or ever). It’s not a popularity contest, and you don’t get a bonus for having the biggest group.

Above all, be open to learning from anyone, whether you like them or not, whether you agree with them or not, even if they’re criminals. Just because you look at a drug dealer or environmental terrorist and think “well THOSE guys are criminals” doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them. Remember, there are those who look at you and think the same thing! Lastly, don’t ever be willing to bet your life or the lives of others on substandard vetting. So-called “unity” isn’t worth it.

Additional Reading:

7 Ways the Cops Will Bust You on the Dark Web

How to Make a Truly Anonymous Facebook Account, Part 1

Two Things You Need to Know About Division

Team Security and Vetting Course

NOTE: This class has been postponed. We will post more information later.. Thanks!

 

 

The Security and Vetting course is a two-day course that prepares students to obtain the skills needed to adequately validate and verify personnel in your teams and organizations. Over the course of two days, we cover the following topics:

• Introduction to Counterintelligence
• In Depth look at the threats of CI
• Operational Security
• Conversation and how to utilize it
• Elicitation skills (and Social Engineering)
• Assessing Credibility of Personnel
• Planning and Conducting a CI Interview

 

These topics are a broad overview, and we will dive much deeper into each topic. Multiple exercises are incorporated into the class to make sure students understand the topics and are able to competently perform them. This course will require critical thinking and coming out of your comfort zone.

The skills taught in this class can be utilized by any individual who values the integrity of their teams or organizations and wants to learn how to maintain that security. You will be given literature we will go over during the course and you will also receive access to exclusive content that you can access after the course to keep up with your skills. As these skills can be perishable if not practiced, we provide you all the tools required to maintain success.

The course is taught by Martin, a former Marine who served as a Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Specialist. He currently teaches this class as part of Forward Observer Magazine.

Dates: July 23-24

Location: Seattle, WA

The class is $225 per person for the whole weekend. An advance deposit of $100 is required to hold your place in the class.

Email us to hold your seat!

Two Things You Need to Know About “Division”

We’ve seen it a thousand times. The words used may vary but the sentiment is the same. You’ve probably seen these. Maybe you’ve said them. Maybe you’ve been the target of someone’s accusations. What are they accusing you of? Division.

“You’re dividing the movement!”

There are two things you need to understand about division. We’ll explain both of them, but first, you need to understand a concept that is fairly controversial: There is a movement, and there is a resistance—and they are not the same thing.

How can you tell the difference between the two? Well, one way is that the movement cares about division and ostracizes anyone they believe is causing it. The resistance, on the other hand, in many cases thrives on it.

Why the Movement Hates Division

The movement worries about division because they believe that if we all just come together, things will be better. Many of them want to unite under a national leader. They want the perceived security of a hierarchy, a chain of command. When it comes down to it, a lot of people who consider themselves rebels or revolutionaries are really just a different kind of follower. More than once, someone has complained to me in private that “If we just had someone to lead us.” Others have named their favorite ‘big name’ in the movement and said, “I’ll go wherever that guy says we should.” Still others exhibit a seemingly worshipful attitude toward one man or group. Many of these people find pride in their own affiliations and/or relationships; they are fulfilled through their associations. The bigger the group they’re in, the more well-known they are as leaders, the more publicity their group gets through various exploits, the more fulfilled they feel. That sense of belonging is important to many. It’s part of who we are as humans. Even those who say they don’t care what anyone thinks, they are Bad To The Bone and Not Going To Take It Anymore and Ready To Fight…well, let’s face it. They’re looking for others who share their view. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be sitting on Facebook carping about it, they’d be out doing whatever it is they are So Ready To Go Do Right Now. Humans are social.

Meanwhile, the movement is also no different than the rest of society in that it is a microcosm of humanity. Within the movement there are people we don’t agree with, people who are corrupt, people who are driven by ego, opportunists and power grabbers and perverts and white supremacists and every other kind of person there is, right along with the moral, ethical, solid freedom-lovers who desperately just want liberty. There are those who claim the III% moniker while engaging in behavior we all know is wrong. I’m not talking about a difference in candidate choice, either. It’s a sad truth, but it needs to be said. We must self-police our ranks; if we are not willing to purge those who are dangerous, who discredit the cause, who bring dishonor to liberty through their actions, then we risk being found guilty by association—and our cause suffers. For a perfect case in point, think back to the couple who were kicked out of the Bundy Ranch action and later went on a shooting spree. How fast did the media link them to the Bundy Ranch? How many times did you have to see someone say “Hey they got turned away! They weren’t with us!” Just think: Those two pieces of trash did get sent away. Imagine how you’d explain it if they had been allowed to stay and be part of the group for a while?

The Exploitation

So here we have a juxtaposition. People want to be accepted, they want to be part of the The Big Patriot Movement(tm), but we also know that there are those among us who bring dishonor to everything we are trying to accomplish. All of us have seen things go on in the movement that should not have.

The next logical question is how can that be exploited? How can someone—an infiltrator or agitator, for instance—use that to derail operations and render members ineffective? How can someone ensure that those who are dishonoring the ideals we are fighting so hard to uphold get to stay right where they are, and keep doing it? It’s so simple, and it’s the first thing you need to know about division: Accusations of division can be used by bad actors to manipulate members and render them useless while allowing misconduct or disruption to continue.

When someone who is emotionally fulfilled by being in a group is accused of “dividing the movement,” it causes guilt, which is, by the way, a very effective way of controlling many different kinds of people. Truly dedicated people can often be convinced that any issues are their own fault, that by bringing up problems in the group, they are actually causing problems themselves by “creating drama.” People can be manipulated rather easily in this way.

The Resistance Loves Division

The resistance, on the other hand, is made up of people who are already divided by choice. They are compartmentalized by design, separated and segregated into cells that operate independently. They do not need or want a leader, they do not care about drama or the dynamics of a large group because they avoid large groups like the plague. You won’t see them on Facebook complaining about division because they’re too busy acting outside of it. They are harder to infiltrate, harder to approach, harder to find. Their unity is only within their cell, and their loyalty is only to the cause and the people within their cell—five to seven people who they train with, work with, and operate with. They are not part of a greater hierarchy. They plan, train, and act outside of the “movement.”

Which brings us to the second thing you need to know about division: it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

What is more effective: 2500 people in a Facebook group, or 10 cells of 5 people each who cannot be tracked, cannot be found, and can’t even be confirmed to exist? It takes very little time to confirm pretty much anything there is to know about a group on Facebook. We already know that during the Malheur standoff, FBI agents and other federal agencies were camped out on social media, collecting every scrap of information, every name, every location, every photo, everything. How many arrests have occurred since Malheur? It’s much harder to arrest a group when you don’t know its members, don’t know where they live, or even if a group exists at all. And as we’ve written before, you can only die once for liberty. Better to stay out of jail, better to stay alive, and do more for longer—even if (ESPECIALLY IF) no one knows you’re doing it.

No, Not Everyone Preaching About Division is a Plant

Now, does this mean that every time you hear the word “division” it’s coming from a plant or manipulator? No, of course not. Often it comes from well-meaning people who need a leader in order to be effective. It comes from people who truly believe that we all need to unite under one banner in order to achieve anything, we all need to show up to Big Events and Multi-Unit Exercises. There are good things about that belief system, and the people who believe it are not somehow horrible or stupid. The thing is, that sense of altruism, that depth of emotion that we bring to the cause, is one of the very things that can be used against us. The fact that we love liberty so much means, far too often, that we desperately want to believe that everyone around us, in our groups and our circles, loves it too. And so we make excuses for bad behavior, we keep quiet about security problems, we set aside that gnawing feeling in our gut about someone, all for the sake of unity…and we wait for a leader to tell us what to do.

The movement doesn’t need leaders. It needs doers. It needs people who are willing to set themselves aside, learn the skills they don’t have, and teach the skills they do. It needs computer geeks who can help set up secure comms for others. It needs gunsmiths who can teach others how to maintain their weapons, and radio guys who help ensure we can talk to each other no matter what’s going on, and medical personnel who can teach us how to handle the carnage that is almost certainly to come at some point.

You don’t need unity to learn. You don’t need unity to get things done. And if you need a leader…be one.