Episode 133 S4-9
Becoming the Gray Man
Battle for the South Ch 9
Dale and Lisa Goodwin
Master Sergeant Bennet arrives in New Austin, TX. The team attempts to gather information on Erika and Vince's whereabouts and Dexter uses his gray man skills to sneak into the free zone. Dale and Lisa Goodwin, hosts of The Survivalist Prepper Podcast, join us today to discuss what becoming the gray man means both now and in a SHTF situation.
The term "Gray Man" means that you are unremarkable and people don't take notice of you. You can blend in with the crowd and you won't be remembered as someone who stands out. In today's society homeless people often become the gray men. They are people in the background that are there but you don't remember seeing. Often grey men are the quiet types that don't create a big stir. They can move about without being noticed. It is completely against the grain of what most of us are taught. We are taught to stand out and make a good first impression. This is a big no, no, if you are trying to be the gray man.
In an SHTF situation, if you are prepared, you still need to look how everyone else does. If they are dirty you can't be too clean. If they are thinning you can wear baggy clothes to make it look as if you are thinning as well. If there is a food line, you need to be in it too, as long as it is safe. Your lack of appearance there may send up flags. Why aren't you in need of food like everyone else?
Dale reminds us to remember "prepper hate." Mentally people will begin to feel that it is not fair that you have food and no one else does, even though they had the same opportunity to prepare that you did. People will begin to justify why it's okay to take what you have. People watching their children or loved ones emaciate will come to the conclusion that it is better to die taking what you have then dying of starvation. People panic and start to form mobs. In a mob, people feel invincible and as the crowd grows brain power decreases. If you have put yourself on the radar as a potential target for the mod you may be in some serious trouble.
There are features about your appearance that will make you stand out. Some things you can't control like your height and weight and there are some things you can control like how loud your voice is. Pull your hood down and try not to make direct eye contact with people. Don't wear flashy or sexy clothes that make people notice you. In a group use your people wisely. If you want someone to be noticed, like in the food line, send in your big or small folks. If you don't want people to notice your group poking around send in your average build, gray men.
Learn to lie. Sunglasses are a great tool to use to cover your eyes and prevent folks from noticing you may be lying. Personally, I am a horrible liar. Start practicing by roll playing with your group or playing lying games like liar's dice. Learn the tells of a liar like fidgeting. When you need to send out your best liars.
Shut up and listen! Truly listen to what people are saying to understand them. Don't listen, thinking of what you are going to reply to them. Then you don't truly hear them at all. Try to shut your brain off and comprehend their words.
Situational awareness and operational security go hand in hand with being a gray man. You have to be aware of what is going on. Try not to develop patterns of activity.
There are certain activities that are going to give you away in a long term survival situation. The smell of food barbecuing is going to travel a long way. Loud animals or voices will travel a long way, especially female voices. In a world where light is scarce and lights at night will act as a beacon for survivors. Personal smell in the form of body odor (good or bad) or breath can be very memorable. Smell is an instinctual scent and the brain will associate it to an emotion very quickly. Emotion make events memorable. Try to neutralize your smell.
Act as a gray man when it comes to your prepping activities. Packages of gear or survival food showing up all the time send off red flags in people's brains. When they are in need they may remember your packages. Also garages that are full of survival goodies should never be left with the door open. You might as well put up a neon sign. Don't try to keep up with your neighbors with the flashiest car and toys on the street. You don't want people focusing on what you have. Don't display how many people are in your family with car stickers or what kind of awesome students they are at some fancy private school. Criminals take special note of these types of advertisements. Don't show all of your survival preparations to everyone that you invite to your home. Most people will be oblivious to your preps but if you boast about them it will make them very memorable.
If you are in a long term survival situation and need to travel through an area being the gray man is essential. It can keep you in the background and out of harms way. Every time you move you need to be constantly assessing your environment and possible threats but you don't want people to notice you doing that. As soon as people start thinking, Why are they doing that? you have become memorable. Plan your route ahead of time and run possible scenarios in your mind. This preparation allows you to relax and develop a game plan for what you would do in each scenario. Try to stay to the back or edge of the crowd so you can constantly take account of the full range of activity. Keep your head up and pay attention to what is going on and why people are where they are.
Practice now so you won't have to learn when you need to use it for survival. The great thing about learning to be the gray man is there is no money involved. It is a frame of mind that needs to be developed.
The Changing Earth Series
Dale and Lisa Goodwin
"In early 2013 Lisa and I decided to create SurvivalistPrepper.net and become a bigger part of the preparedness community, we are not the overboard tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists, we are just like you, everyday Americans that enjoy the freedoms that this country offers.
Lisa is more of the prepper and I am more of the survivalist or outdoor type and we write articles ranging from first aid, to food storage to primitive and wilderness skills…basically anything that involves preparedness and survival." - Dale Goodwin