Tradecraft for Patriots: The Moscow Rules Part 1

Our Tradecraft for Patriots series has gone through some theoretical and even how-to information on “operating,” as it were, as part of the patriot movement. Today we’ll talk about the Moscow Rules, which were a list of rules for CIA officers and operatives in Moscow during the Cold War. They are steeped in legend, and there is still a debate over whether they were ever written down at all. They stand today as a fantastic list of things you should be paying attention to in your daily life. If you’ve broken away from the standard pyramid leadership structure and are part of a leaderless partisan resistance group, these rules are even more important. While there are historically 10-13 Moscow Rules, ITS Tactical has the expanded list of forty. Today we’ll deal with about half of them.

  • Assume nothing.

If you’ve served in the military, you already can answer the question “What happens when you assume?” Don’t make assumptions. Make logical, fact-based, analytical decisions and predictions, but don’t make assumptions. The stakes are far too high if you’re wrong.

  • Technology will always let you down.

We spend a lot of time talking about electronic communications here at TOWR, but this is a universal truth—and not just about computers or phones or tablets. Technology, period, will eventually let you down. It’ll break, it’ll be obsolete or incompatible or otherwise unusable. Have a system set up where you can communicate without using a single electronic means if necessary. There are ways to do so. Have a backup for your technology so that when it does fail for whatever reason, your group isn’t suddenly in the dark and unable to function.

  • Murphy is right.

Murphy’s Law is alive and well. Plan for it. Expect it.

  • Never go against your gut.
  • Always listen to your gut; it is your operational antennae.

One thing that you’ll see repeated several times in the Moscow Rules is trust your gut. The importance of this cannot be overstated. If it feels wrong, it IS wrong. For instance, we’ve all gotten that uneasy feeling upon meeting someone. Many times we tend to rationalize that feeling away, or are uncomfortable making that snap judgment call, especially if someone says, “Well, you just need to get to know them.” Red flags pop up for a reason. We feel uncomfortable for a reason. How many times have we trusted someone—against those red flags—only to find out later that our gut was right all along? I’ve been as guilty as the next person in the past, and if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll realize that you’ve done it too.

This principle can be applied to everything from people to situations. Every other day it seems, there’s a CRISIS SITUATION where people want you to strap on your gear and turn into Patriot Power Ranger because It’s Time To Start The Ruckus. Remember—it’s never time to START the ruckus. That’s not what we believe, it’s not what we do. Before passing on information or videos of yet another pissed off guy wearing a skull bandana, vet the information. Check out the people calling for action. Who are they? What do they want? What is their track record for integrity? WHY do they want you to act? What action do they want you to take? And what do they or their group gain if you do act?

Again, if it feels wrong, it is wrong. We’ll be doing an article later on some of the ways you can spot agents and informers, by the way. For now, trust your gut. Every time. That brings us to the next rule.

  • Everyone is potentially under opposition control.
  • Don’t look back; you are never completely alone. Use your gut.

The cold hard truth is that there are government agents in the patriot movement, and some people in the patriot movement get turned by the government into informants. Remember—the argument that “I’m not doing anything illegal” doesn’t matter. According to the government, if you believe in limited government involvement, denounce the surveillance state, and are willing to stand up for individual liberties, you’re a domestic terrorist. They’re willing to entrap you, use your private life against you, and spy on you as long or as intrusively as they have to in order to stop you from screwing up their control agenda. They have no scruples, no morals, no limits. Don’t underestimate their capability, and don’t for a second assume (see Rule 1) that all the people you work with are solid just because they say they are.

This flows into what I was just talking about with using your gut. Think about it. If you wanted to identify patriots willing to offensively target the government as opposed to those who would DEFEND ourselves against the government, what faster way than to manufacture a situation to draw them out? If you wanted to have an excuse to ramp up the disarming of the citizens, what better way than to manufacture a situation that brings all the ‘crazies’ to the yard?  If there’s a crisis going on, vet everyone involved. Ask questions. Ask for proof. If someone says they have video, ask to see it. If they claim to have screenshots, ask to see them. If they aren’t willing to provide it, or if your gut says something’s not right, pay attention.

  • Go with the flow; use the terrain.
  • Take the natural break of traffic.
  • Maintain a natural pace.
  • Establish a distinctive and dynamic profile and pattern.
  • Stay consistent over time.
  • Vary your pattern and stay within your profile.

These all deal with movement. Don’t drive like a bat out of hell, swerving in and out of lanes to “lose any tails.” Don’t draw attention to yourself. These may look at first glance like they’re contradictory but they aren’t. Notice words like “dynamic” and “consistent.” It doesn’t mean do the same thing every time. It means be consistently dynamic. Be consistently changing, but stay within the profile you’ve created for yourself.

  • Be non threatening: keep them relaxed; mesmerize!
  • Lull them into a sense of complacency.
  • Know the opposition and their terrain intimately.
  • Build in opportunity but use it sparingly.

These are pretty self-explanatory. Know the enemy. Understand how they work. That’s Sun Tzu 101 anyway, and as for the rest, they mean exactly what they say. Don’t run around acting like a crazy person looking for a fight. If your mindset is right, you’re NOT looking to start the fight.

  • Don’t harass the opposition.

This should be pretty near the top. A lot of patriots think that standing up for liberty must include harassment of the opposition. There is a difference, however, between standing and harassing. For a visual of this in action, think about the I Will Not Comply Rally that took place almost exactly a year ago today in WA State. A few thousand people stood: respectfully, resolutely. The attendees cleaned up after themselves, showed respect to the WA State Patrol officers who were there at the Capitol building, and conducted themselves like free men with character. Now contrast that with the Occupy movement. They destroyed every area they took up residence in, desecrated everything they touched, and engaged in violent crime, disrespect of people and property, and general mayhem.The #BlackLivesMatter movement is another example.

One of the cornerstones of being a III% or patriot is character. How do you conduct yourself, not just in your personal life but your online persona as well?

  • Pick the time and place for action.

Don’t allow yourself to get cornered. Don’t let the enemy choose where and how you act—that will trap you into REacting, instead of ACTING. Make a plan, make sure the people involved (and only the people involved) understand the plan, and then execute that plan. This goes for everything from communication plans to bug-out plans to anything else.

In the next segment we’ll take a look at the last half of the expanded list. For now, the takeaways are simple. If you remember nothing else, remember this: Trust your gut. Make plans, and expect them to go wrong. Make backup plans. Conduct yourself with character and integrity.

Educate and empower yourself and others. Resist.

Author: Kit Perez

Kit Perez is a liberty activist, longtime writer, and intelligence analyst specializing in deception detection and HUMINT. She is prior Air Force, holds a degree with honors in Counterintelligence and has a Master's in Intelligence. She writes at

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