Things I learned as an intelligence operative. In no particular order. Take from it what you will.
Truth is only what you can get enough people to believe. It should be called concensus instead. It doesn't matter what you know, how much evidence you have, or how many people you tell. Confirmation bias is so ingrained in people that they will always choose the comfortable lie over the hard truth no matter how much evidence to the contrary they’re presented with. It's just the way they're wired.
Loyalties are yours and yours alone. Don't ever rely on someone else having any sense of them just because you do. It's the most dangerous mistake you could ever make.
You're disposable. Right now there are at least five people in your life who believe that and have planned accordingly for the event that you're no longer in the picture. Odds are there are five more tying to make it happen on their schedule.
Right now, there are people like me all over the world working to shape what you believe because they've been led to believe they're doing it for the right reasons. Don’t just assume that what you hear is true. Do your own research...Better yet, throw away your TV.
Trust nothing and no one.
Read that again.
Make copies of everything and put them someplace secure that no one else knows about. Record every interaction you have with employers, law enforcement, or any other government official you come into contact with. Get a dash camera. You'll thank me later.
It's much easier to be labeled a dissident than you realize. In every developed country on Earth, there is a mechanism in place that can ruin you with nothing more than a few keystrokes. Your credit score, security clearance, job, and reputation can all be destroyed as quickly as you can turn off a light switch for something as simple as saying the wrong thing to the wrong person. Learn to keep your opinions to yourself.
Don't let what you do define you. Don't let other people do it for you either. A sense of self is all you have to keep you grounded.
Stretch and exercise daily...Even if only for 10 minutes.
Always carry a sidearm. Always keep it concealed well...A t-shirt hanging over your glock doesn't cut it. Pay no attention to signs (unless it's a government building) telling you otherwise. Those only work for law-abiding citizens. Being judged by twelve is always better than being carried by six.
Always carry a sharp pocket knife.
Always carry a cigarette lighter even if you don't smoke.
Polygraphs are bullshit. Thats why they're inadmissable in court and law enforcement rarely uses them. Total mindf*ck on the part of the examiner (interrogator). Keep calm, stick to yes or no answers, and never offer more than asked. When they say, "This answer is inconclusive. Is there anything you can add to clarify the answer?" Just say no.
Anybody who is ever asking you questions be it an employer, law enforcement, nosy neighbor, or anybody else are fishing for admissions. If they had anything solid on you, they wouldn't waste time talking to you.
Keep a road atlas in your vehicle and get a detailed street map of everywhere you go. GPS doesn't work everywhere. Learn every possible route to and from your destination.
Katy-bar your exterior doors. The extra few seconds it takes to breach is the difference between life and death.
Always have an exit plan...Always!
Pretending to be someone else will make you forget who you are.
Keep a "go-bag" at home, at work, in your vehicle, and anywhere else you can safely stash one. At minimum you should have a change of clothes, extra socks and underwear, a loaded firearm, pocket knife, small water filter (LifeStraw), and cash in each bag.
Stash a vehicle (preferably a heavy rear wheel drive) someplace secure away from where you sleep...NOT a friend or family members house!
Dress to blend in. Learn how to become "the gray man".
Learn to shoot and shoot good. Never stop practicing. It's a perishable skill. Having a firearm is useless if you're not proficient.
Be observant but don't be obvious about it. Knowing your surroundings is a learned skill. Practice it.
Disguises are only as good as the person wearing one.
Know the language, customs, and laws of the places you visit.
When in a restaraunt, sit with your back to a wall and a view of the door. When on a bus, sit in the back near an emergency exit. When on a train, always try to get a private compartment. If one isn't available, get a ticket near the dining car with a clear view of an exit. Don't get on commercial airplanes if you can avoid it.
Never get in the front of a car if there's someone in the back seat.
If your vehicle is ever boxed in, ALWAYS KEEP DRIVING. Never stop for anyone or anything. The rear end of a vehicle is the easiest to move without causing too much damage to your own. Learn the 180, reverse 180, and pit maneuver. Find a place to practice them where you won't be noticed. Just to be clear, I'm not talking about being pulled over by your local police here. In that case, pull over, turn off the vehicle, roll down your window, and keep your hands on the steering wheel in plain sight.
Sex is a weapon. Don't ever forget lest you land in a honey trap. You weren't that popular before you had a clearance and nothing else has changed.
Never approach a helicopter until the pilot signals you and NEVER approach from the front or the tail...Always from the side.
If you're stranded in the water, remain calm, relax, and you'll float enough to keep your head above water. The more you panic and try to swim for shore, the more likely you are to tire yourself out and drown.
Don't break the law. This one should be obvious.
Keep your circle small. It's much easier to identify the traitors that way.
Information is power and people want it. Be mindful of what you say.
Learn how to let go and never look back. This one is hard.
Sadness is natural...So are regret and shame. Experience them but don't let them consume you.
Feeling alone in a room full of people is NOT normal. It's a by-product of surviving. You need a person in your life you can talk to.
Alcohol doesn't make anything better and it won't make you forget what you want to either.
If you have kids, don't ever let them join the military.
Surviving and living are not the same thing.
Survival is nothing more than continuing to breathe. Life is the sum total of your experiences, thoughts, feelings, and a sense of fulfillment. Make sure you live!
That's all I've got.
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