OPSEC >>>>> Not Just Another Prepper Abbreviation

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Illini Warrior, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+++

    thought the forum could use a diversion from the Southern Invasion and talk of the mailed devices >>> article from a prepper that thought he knew the game well and had his "questions" down pat ....

    My Longer Lesson, by D.D. - SurvivalBlog.com

    My Longer Lesson, by D.D.


    OCTOBER 25, 2018

    This is the sequel to my submission published 9/11/15. I am temped to follow in the steps of Larry Niven’s unfinished short story in which he said, “There are some things man was not meant to know.”, and simply write “I should’ve learned.” However, that won’t help you. So, let me expound.

    Those You Think Most Likely To Become Prep Allies Probably Won’t
    My piece of three years ago basically concluded, with some level of frustration, that the people you think are most likely to become your prep allies probably won’t. So save yourself the disappointment and stop trying to farm your way to a resilient team. (Kit Perez explains this with greater eloquence in her piece over at American Partisan1.) Here is my sad, unlearned version.

    New Neighbors Met in New Town
    About 18 months ago my wife and I moved to a new town and began to meet new neighbors. Some were met through the local Oath Keepers chapter, some at church, and some while walking our dog. Our neighborhood is fairly remote, somewhat off-grid and adjacent to a national forest. As chit-chat usually goes, the “Where did you come from?” and “What are your politics?” questions quickly down-selected those we were willing to have over for dinner.

    We’re not ones to talk about the Kardashians over a meal (or over anything else), so the topics hovered around politics, economics, and eventually settled on the lack of resiliency in our current way of life. I brought up books like One Second After and A Failure of Civility to illustrate both our dependence on electricity and the thin veneer of politeness in society. Here’s where the story goes bad.

    The 90% Likely Reply
    As I then usually suggest when given the opportunity, “You should really put up some water and food to ride through a disruption. It will give you peace of mind.” Within one or two sigmas, the reply is 90% likely to be “Oh, we don’t know what to do.”

    Right here is where I always make the mistake of offering to help with suggestions. If I were working off a telemarketing flowchart at a desk in Mumbai, there would be a fat arrow at this point to a box containing the words “Hang up now!” But, like I said before, I never seem to learn my lesson.

    The following back and forth then consists of me offering practical suggestions with their replies best categorized as inane things like “I need to clean the garage first”, ”Company is coming”, ”The dogs need a bath”, et cetera. Now, that’s fine. When faced with this, I have learned to shake the dust off my boots and move on down the road.

    In This One Case, My Blood Went Cold
    However, in this one case, my non-believing neighbors started pretending as though they were somehow prepared and chose to blab to other neighbors about their non-existent supplies. Furthermore, they did all of this while implicating me as the Architect of Neighborhood Preparedness. They supposedly made me out like Joseph, being willing to open Pharaoh’s warehouses of grain should things go pear shaped. I discovered this one evening while chatting with a new neighbor who had just moved in and told me, “So I hear you have a lot of water and food put up. That’s interesting.” Yes, at that moment, my blood went cold.

    Complete Destruction of Our OPSEC
    My wife and I are now faced with a complete destruction of our OPSEC and the inevitable choices on the horizon, some of which involve pointing the business end of a firearm at people to protect our own provisions when they come around. Our current thinking is that we will just move to a new, undisclosed location to escape our own well intended but foolish failure of keeping our lips zipped.

    What Should You Learn?
    What should you learn from our mistake? First, be obtuse when discussing your own preparedness position. You may even want to toss out a straw man like “Have you heard of those people who store up water and food? What a bunch of maroons!”, just to see what the response is. Second, let friendships slowly develop before you reveal your secrets. Measure that time in jars of mustard not sticks of butter. Third, and most important, keep reminding yourself that you cannot help anyone that doesn’t outright ask you for advice.

    Skin In the Game
    The people around you have to realize they have skin in the game or they will be lining up to take some of your skin. Don’t screw up like we did. It is better to not even be openly part of the game.
  2. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Good points, there.

    It's always a thin line one has to walk between OPSEC and alliance.

    Even if manage to become part of a legitimate MAG, you should have reserves and resources they know nothing about.

    Just in case.
    Gator 45/70, STANGF150, Zimmy and 3 others like this.
  3. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I make it clear I have no intention of feeding the neighborhood, simply because I cannot, the hole is a bottomless pit, and those that do not prep for them selves are victims of their own choosing .,
    You have the opportunity to do something for your self . do it , or do with out.
  4. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Bring good weapons and skills if you lack one you will meet the rabbits

    Gator 45/70, Zimmy, duane and 3 others like this.
  5. BenP

    BenP Monkey++ Site Supporter+

    This was a problem when we lived in a neighborhood as well. Everyone in the neighborhood said if something goes wrong we are going to Ben's house. We moved out to the country where there are fewer neighbors and most of them can take care of themselves.
    Gator 45/70, ssonb, Zimmy and 5 others like this.
  6. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I have actually learned that, quite often, you cannot help some people who do ask for your advice. I cannot count the number of times someone took hours to speak with me about a given topic I was well voiced in, only to end up doing something completely different.

    When things went south, nine times out of ten, they would return for further advice to fix their new and often worsened situation. I would merely tell them, "You chose not to take my advice when we previously spoke. I see no reason in wasting more of my valuable time, regarding your concern."
  7. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    For what ever it may be, most American's have been educated to be good members of the herd. Our educational system, governmental assistance, mass media, most social activities, etc, all prepare you to fit into the proper niche, that may be BLM, the local neighborhood, or the modern version of the KKK, but you have a place defined in your social, cultural, or racial place and it all depends on the herd taking care of you. Thus the individual prepper had better have excellent OPSEC for the members of the herd will be there for their expected share, and if it means you all starve to death in 30 days as a herd, that will be the proper thing to do in their minds. In the short run, if it isn't cached, it won't continue to exist, I have yet to figure out the long run.
    PS, it might not be wise to continue to weigh 230 lb while eating your stored supplies as you neighbors are dying of starvation. They will be very observant as the situation gets desperate and act as a group to take your resources.
    Gator 45/70, oldman11 and sec_monkey like this.
  8. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I'm damn careful about what I tell my neighbors and what I let them see. Your story sounds like what I experienced when I moved into my current house. I was chit chatting with an older friendly neighbor that I had already figured out was the communications hub of my new neighborhood. One of conversation tactics I use to feel out what people are thinking about was to bring up the potential for a "Cascadia Event" (in the news frequently here) and he said "No problem. X and Y over there (pointing at their house) are Mormons and have plenty of food and supplies".

    I don't share my thoughts, plans, or resource information with anyone I'm not married to or know and like well enough to give up a kidney for. The person I've known the least amount of time that fits in that category I've known for 20 years.
  9. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    The bad news is the writer of that article made a colossal screw up. The good news is he at least admits it. The other bad news is that the genie is out of the bottle and there isn't much he can do to fix the screw up.

    As for me, I don't talk about my plans and physical assets to anyone, at least not in any great detail. Even my family does not fully know the extent of my prepping. The closet clue the neighbors have is they know me as a very independent person: Handy with tools, does all his own home repairs/upgrades, highly skilled in electronics, almost never calls a contractor, owns a truck, packs a gun. They can and will draw their own conclusions about who might be a prepper/survivalist but do not know anything for a fact.

    My OPSEC extends to on line. Go ahead and pick through every post I've ever made. You won't find anything about my age, marital status, kids, who I live with or where I work. I've never disclosed my hometown or even the state I live in. I rarely post photos, and when I do, I make sure there is nothing in them that could give anything away. I will admit that I grew up in Illinois and still have family there. Tevin may or may not be my real name.

    Keep everything under your hat because once it's out, it's out forever.
  10. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I learned a similar lesson several years ago. Talking with the husband of some distant cousin of my wife’s at some family event. He is a gun enthusiast with a bit too much money but a strong Christian guy, does bible studies every week, etc. I was bored and this guy who lives a state and 150 miles away was a more interesting person to chat with. He mentions SHTF things a bit and we start talking hypothetically on that and how folks should be a bit prepared. He asks how much food do I have and fortunately being cautious I simply say we could manage a week or two ok if things were bad and probably should consider doing better. He likes to brag a bit about his guns and bourbons so when I then asked what he had I was expecting a response of maybe 6 months or more. His response was on the order of, my wife has some stuff in the pantry but if things were really bad long term, my family comes first so if needed I’d use my guns and go take it from others. Shit. He could someday move to our area. I at least now know if I were to see him slinking around post SHTF, assume his intentions are not good.
    Gator 45/70, Zimmy, SB21 and 2 others like this.
  11. Grandpa Patch

    Grandpa Patch Monkey+

    Zimmy likes this.
  12. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Tell them yeah you will be the provider during a disaster, all it takes is a $4,000 down payment and $100 per month maintenance costs.
    And tell them you give away the 1 gallon bean and chilli cans to your members before they go out of date as not to waste anything.
    Then if someone actually pays it, well I don't really see that as a problem.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  13. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    During one of the storms a few years go the neighbors asked to borrow a generator from a survival board member .
    By the time he got it back (having been easy chain borrowed) it was trashed. . with no renumeration . this is what you can expect from people that do not own their own equipment.
    I saw a lot of this kind of thing as a mechanic, people with nothing invested simply do not care .
    If you hand out any thing ,do it with out expecting any thing .
    I have cheap tools primarily for making specialized tools I can't buy , but among these I will loan out with no expectation of seeing again.
    I do not loan my primary tools ,because these i make my living with , if you have it when I need it you are endangering my work.
    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine, and if you insist, you become a customer, not a friend.
  14. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    It's like letting someone barrow your pickup truck.
    oldman11 and Gator 45/70 like this.
  15. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I don't unless I'm driving.
    oldman11 likes this.
  16. Wildbilly

    Wildbilly Monkey++

    Awhile back there was a thread about the "differences between hippie, preppers, and survivalists" and I said it was the number of guns that each owned. Hippies have no guns, Preppers have some guns, and Survivalists have too many guns. These guys are warlord wannabes. They will be dangerous and need to be shot on sight like mad dogs. That being said, I will admit that my own plans include a bit of looting...if it's a fast crash (EMP) I'll be the first one through the door of a nearby grocery store. If a slow crash I'll use my credit cards, checks and cash to finish up my preps. My thoughts are, "it's gonna get looted and it might as well be me that does it".
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Actually, though it may be a stereotype, I lived as a Hippy, in a commune for about seven years, and we had firearms... My 30-30 94 Saddle-ring Carbine was just one of many possessed by our folks... as well as did some of our connected Brother Communes that we partnered with over the years... I remember the Faye Road bunch went on group hunts, in the cascades, and olympics ever fall, and the MorningTown folks also had a few... The Gravel Pit folks did there own ReLoading, and did Custom ReLoading for others... I collaborated with there Ammo Guru, on some Loadings for my 30-30, and gave them a new prospective on Powder Burn rates that I gained while in college from a Master Chemist at Dupont, whom I learned from...
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  18. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+++

    interesting that someone took right now to revive the topic of sharing supplies - keeping OPSEC - defending your mindset as a prepper ...
    just about every prepper website has someone bitching & griping about the pandemic lack of supplies and the jacked up $$$$$ - also the "opportunists" that strategically thinking bought and now selling high & exorbitant $$$ ....
    and those very same sites had their regular contingent that ballyhoooed the "prep everything SHTFs" preppers and only saw need to be a 72 Hour FEMA prepper ...
    be assurred - even if they aren't saying it directly - if you're deeply pandemic prepped and HAVE been for years & constantly >>> in their eyes you are just like the profiteers - you need to be out there sharing your pandemic supplies ....
    Yard Dart and Gator 45/70 like this.
  19. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    ...or the hogs.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  20. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I was thinking ,
    Use your garage as a platform so to speak.
    Set up a very small area you designate as the prep area, "In an accidental sort of way" and show this off as your stash. All genuine supplies for course but in a very small area, and let the neighbor see that. From this perspective one is left to assume that is all you've got, and it ain't much.(technically a weeks worth)
    In your home, build a secret room with hidden panels only you and your wife know. You can be as sophisticated or simple as you can afford. Good place to hide other valuables too , some even do a safe room out of it.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
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