Alright, alright, alright. Quit fucking nagging me already…..
Actually, an apology is probably in order. I promised the hard copy of the book, The Reluctant Partisan, Volume One: The Guerrilla, would be available way back at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, as many readers are aware, certain unforeseen family “issues” arose that precluded that by shoving a big old knife in the kidney of my give-a-fuck meter.
Nevertheless, despite too much time on the road trying to teach classes, and “too much” time focused on my family’s needs (actually, fuck you, there’s no such thing as too much time focused on my family), I have finally gotten shit dialed in.
Now available for order:
The Reluctant Partisan, Volume One: The Guerrilla
A Comprehensive Training and Evaluation Program for Community, Tribal, and Family Security Preparedness
by “John Mosby.”
Table of Contents
Cogito, Ergo Armatum Sum (I think, therefore I am armed). The introduction to the book and the reasons why I wrote it and consider the information important.
Tactics are Like Assholes…Everybody has One. This chapter is a discussion of doctrinal considerations for irregular warfare and how to develop doctrine and training doctrine for your own group.
Strong People are Harder to Kill….and More Useful in General. It’s not secret that I believe a sound, solid PT programming is the baseline foundation of life in general, and preparedness specifically. This chapter discusses in detail, my thoughts and beliefs on that, as well as offering a complete strength and conditioning program.
Throat-Punching and Skull-Stomping, or “Put the Pointy End in the Soft Spots”…The Sho Kosugi Shit. This is a discussion on the realities of what works and doesn’t work in the context of unarmed and close-quarters combatives, in the face of people who actually want to fuck you up, versus people who are more concerned with protecting themselves.
Shoot Him in the Face! Based on my Clandestine Carry Pistol course, this chapter discusses the theory and practical application of running the sidearm as a irregular warfighter.
Hips and Heads, Kids! A discussion of the realities of running a rifle in modern combative environments, whether an AR15, AK, or “battle rifle.” This is not Basic Rifle Marksmanship alone, nor is it a cool-guy “carbine at pistol range” subject, but spans both…and more.
Oh Shit! I’ve Been Shot! Ouch, That Hurts! Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Casualty Evacuation Care…including extended care in Austere Environments for Irregular Warfighters.
Who Has the Map? Oh Damn! We’re Lost! A primer on tactical land navigation skills and training.
Hide-and-Seek for Grown-Ups. Escape-and-Evasion considerations for bug-out and “get home” planning.
A Chihuahua Can Kick a Great Dane’s Ass…If He Remembers that He’s a Chihuahua. A discussion of the fundamental battle drills for irregular force small-unit warfighters, and how to train them effectively.
Get Off My Lawn! Defending the Homestead and Community.
Nocturnal Nature Walks. Fundamental skills and application of those skills for effective security patrolling operations.
Schoolyard Stuff. Copies of the Mountain Guerrilla programs-of-instruction outlines. These are the notes and plans I use to teach my classes.
How Many Suitcases Did You Bring? Packing for Partisans in both rural and urban environments.
Mine is WAY Cooler Than Yours! A primer on effective weapon selection and set-up.
Old School. Hard School. Best School. A revised and updated version of the classic SF/Recon Tricks of the Trade.
Too Many Chiefs, not Enough Indians. A discussion of building tribe and teams.
Bookworm Feces. Bibliography and Professional Reading Suggestions.
Highlighted improvements over the eBook version (that is no longer available, so quit fucking asking already!!!!):
More illustrations and graphic aids
Actual page numbers.
A complete Table of Contents (but I’m NOT doing an index, so fuck you)
Consolidated reference list/recommended further reading at the end of each chapter.
I will be ordering the first print run of 300 copies (roughly the number of eBook versions we sold) at the beginning of next week. I have to determine, with input from the printer, my exact cover design, font size, and layout, before I can determine the exact page count, but so far, in all the various layouts I’ve played with, (I got three different printer’s copies to assess) it is in excess of 500 packed pages of information. This is a good thing.
The less good thing is that, despite my best hopes, in order to make a reasonable profit off the labor put into this work, the retail price will be $60.00 each, with a $10 discount per copy for bulk orders of 5-20 copies (if you’re ordering more than 20 copies, contact me via email and I’ll figure out a quote for you, once I discuss it with the printers).
Shipping costs are $10.00 for orders of less than 5 books. More than five and I need to figure out the exact cost of shipping.
To order the hard copy of The Reluctant Partisan, mail an UNADDRESSED POSTAL Money Order for the correct amount to:
c/o 2184 Channing Way #201
Idaho Falls, ID 83404
If you want your book autographed with something special, include the request with the funds for payment.
Expect some short delay for shipping, because after the funds reach my mail drop, I have to physically drive to pick them up for processing…it is a mail drop, folks.
(seriously, no MoneyGram, no Western Union, and no personal checks will be accepted. They will be returned to you without your copy of the book. We don’t use bank accounts so cashing anything besides a POSTAL MONEY ORDER is damned near impossible. Additionally, do NOT be a dumbass and address the envelope to “John Mosby.” Since apparently some people are not aware of it, I am not a magically reincarnated Civil War cavalry officer. It is a psuedonym…so even if I HAD a bank account, cashing ANYTHING made out to John Mosby would be rather difficult…..)
In the previous installment of this article series, we briefly discussed some of the foundational concepts for effective psychological operations, and introduced the seven-step PSYOP process. In this article, we will begin to discuss the seven steps in more detail.
Before we begin however, it is important to understand that, inherent to successful PSYOP, is some level of organization. To the public perception, one guy producing PSYOP by himself is a Ted Kaczynski. Even at the local community level, it is too easy to alienate and discredit one dude all by his lonesome. On the other hand, even a small group of individuals, focusing their message and product—through a variety of vehicles and to a broad cross-section of different target audiences, becomes a force to be reckoned with, quite quickly. Even if one member of the cell or organization is rendered inoperable (killed, wounded, detained, etc), the ability of the others within that organization to continue producing effective PSYOP product not only is not necessarily impeded, but it simultaneously confirms to the public perception that their IS an organization behind the messages.
People don’t fear outlaw bikers as individuals—well, okay, SOME people don’t fear outlaw bikers as individuals. Sane people, even experienced fighters, fear—or at least maintain a healthy respect for—the strength of the pack represented by outlaw bikers. That is the strength that says, “You don’t fight any of us—you fight ALL of us!” In short, PSYOP product produced by some hillbilly in his basement bunker will not be successful unless it is perceived—correctly or not—as product that is produced and backed by an effective GROUP of individuals. Step one of producing effective PSYOP, even before you start the seven-step process? HAVE A FUCKING TRIBE!
Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield
I am sure Sam Culper, at GuerrillAmerica, has written on IPB. I’m unable—at the time of writing this—to go look, but you should check and see. Either way, this is another interpretation of that. Without understanding the context within which you are trying to communicate, you’re not going to be able to communicate your messages to the target audience. It doesn’t do me much good to stand in the front yard and yell at my ninety year old, deaf neighbor who lives three miles away. It doesn’t matter if I’m saying something he wants to hear or not. If I send him an email though (ironically enough), he will respond to the message quickly. Likewise, posting “PSYOP Product” in my comments, or on WRSA, or anywhere else on the Liberty-themed blogosphere is NOT going to have an effect on the average citizen who has never even heard of WRSA. YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE BATTLE SPACE!
Step One: Define the Battlefield
In order to begin defining the battlefield, as it applies to your PSYOP efforts, you have to focus your intelligence collection requests or efforts, on characteristics of the battlefield that will influence the PSYOP-specific aspects of both friendly and hostile forces. This is an advancement on the basic, tactical-level METT-TC. Enemy troops information needs to answer questions that will allow the PSYOPs production elements to target specific elements within the enemy with targeted PSYOP. The same MAY apply to friendly forces, in order to maintain morale. OBVIOUSLY, the civil considerations need to include non-combatant personnel within the battlespace that will provide the PSYOP production team with target audience information.
At the same time, you have to establish limits of the area of interest. I want x,y,z information, but I’m not interested in t,u,v. This allows the intelligence collection—or analysis—teams to only provide the PSYOP element with useful information, rather than flooding them with a whole bunch of shit that is completely irrelevant to their needs, inundating them with data they have to filter through before they can even begin real production. This means identifying gaps in the current intelligence information collections. “Hey dude, I know this, and this, and that, but what I really need to find out about the local Elks Lodge is xxxxx? Can you get me that information from your sources?”
Step Two: Describe the Battlefield’s Effects
This is where the analysis of the PSYOP-specific METT-TC information is actually analyzed. Using the information provided by intelligence collection, you can begin analyzing target audiences (which methods and messages will get our points across most effectively?), as well as terrain factors (besides human terrain factors, physical terrain will play a factor here as well. In thickly wooded, steep mountain terrain, with widely separated populations, loudspeakers may be of limited application, versus in a built-up area. In a place where the literacy rate is non-existent, leaflet efforts might be limited to simple pictographs, etc).
Step Three: Evaluate the Threat
This is your propaganda and information operations analysis. Who in the operational area is producing what propaganda? How well does it seem to be working? What will you need to do to counter it?
Step Four: Courses of Action
While generally speaking, step four of IPB is “Threat COA,” this is where you can actually start producing your PSYOP product, because you’ve taken the time and made the effort to actually learn what you needed to learn to target an effective message at a valid, viable target audience.
Evaluate The Threat
For better or for worse, and love them or hate them, the media, including news broadcasts, literary, and internet, play an important part in our society. The increasing availability throughout the work day, of media and information networks like Facebook and other social media, through smart phones and the prevalence of computers and internet in the workpace, has a profound impact on the propagandization of the civilian populace. PSYOP producers must understand the role of the media and its perception, AS IT AFFECTS A SPECIFIC TARGET AUDIENCE. This is one of the biggest issues I have with the “I don’t use Social Media” attitude. Social media, as a conduit to what is going on in the world of news, politics, television, and music, can provide important—and exploitable—themes, symbols, and myths of our culture and society.
Some time ago, I posted a photo on my Facebook page, with a quote accredited to Michelle Bachman, about English being good enough for Jesus (because her Bible is in English), so it should be good enough for anyone. I noted that this was the kind of stupidity that kept me from supporting Neo-Con Republicans. Unfortunately, I did not pursue due diligence, and verify that Bachman actually said that…and she didn’t (at least not on the date attributed. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that she did say something that ignorant, thruthfully….), as was pointed out to me, rather acidly (just kidding….it was a reader who pointed it out to me….). The point is, the image of the Neo-Con as a Bible-Thumping reactionary who speaks without thinking, and sometimes with no idea of what the fuck they are talking about, is believable, because their opposition has made a conscious effort to trumpet it, every time it happens. It is, in many—not even only in evil-liberal-democrat-voting-cannibalistic San Franciscan circles—commonly accepted that anyone aligned with the mainstream Republican party, is a Neo-Con, and is an idiot, for that very reason. It is an exploitable theme, because—to some degree, let’s admit it—it’s true.
In order for it to be exploitable though, it has to be “important” in that it has to be a commonly-shared belief within the specific target audience (I am about 90% sure I first saw the meme in question on a Libertarian FB page….).
METT-TC Media Assessment Questions of Relevance
- What are the key radio and television stations and networks within the community? Obviously, in a world of inexpensive satellite and cable, many will be common to any community (I’ve seen HBO and CNN on lodge televisions in remote Bush Alaska….)?
- Who owns the station and controls the programming? What kind of programming do they offer? There are lots of programs on television—and even some big-money Hollywood movies—that are not the same pro-government pap that we are all accustomed to considering from the major producers. From zombie-themed shows that have opened the “cool guy” door to young adults and teenagers owning guns and prepping, to movies like the latest Captain America: The Winter Soldier, that has “Cap” voicing some of the same concerns about the security vs. liberty questions that all of us voice. Who is allowing stuff like that to be produced and aired? Can we get our messages into THEIR hands?
- Is it possible to buy advertising time or programming?
- Who—indirectly controls the viewpoints reflected in their programming? Are they pro-government or anti-government? (Let’s face it, FoxNews is decidedly not anti-government. They’re not even anti-big government. They’re just anti-Democrat…as long as it keeps their ratings up.) For most national television providers, this is a no-brainer. Same for public television. What about local radio and locally-owned stations however?
- What are the effective broadcast ranges? What major terrain features affect transmission? For example, out here in the mountains, some radio stations might have extremely high power transmissions, but can only be heard ten miles from their broadcast, because of intervening terrain. It wouldn’t do me much good to pay for advertising on a station that my target audience lives thirty miles from, would it?
- What format and type of pre-recorded messages can the stations broadcast? What WILL they broadcast? Can we produce those types and formats of messages?
- What is the listening or viewing audience of that station? While it’s not a huge issue where I live, since even the hard rock stations’ listeners will at least be familiar with country music icons, somewhere like Chicago, having Clay Walker’s voice read a message supporting your efforts played on the hip-hop stations would be pretty fucking pointless, wouldn’t it?
- If talk radio or a call-in television program, what subjects for discussion are popular and common? What topics are taboo or avoided? For all of his rural Nevada ranching charm (and I genuinely like the guy), someone should have pointed out to Clive Bundy that, as soon as he brought race into the conversation, even obliquely as he did, people were going to take it out of context, AND distort the message.
- Is the station credible in the eyes of the population? Does perceived credibility differ by economic background, social group, religion, or other social factors? Yes, Democrats watch FoxNews, and listen to AM talk radio hosts like Glenn Beck and Rush….but those guys don’t have CREDIBILITY as news sources for the average cannibalistic San Franciscan who listens only to scream obscenities at the radio during the broadcast…paying for a PSYOP message, aimed at them, on that AM station, during those broadcasts is not going to have credibility with the target audience.
- What are the peak viewing or listening hours for the target audiences? “Don’t target working class stiffs from 9-to-5 local,” might seem to make sense initially…unless the target audience is construction workers who may very well have a radio blasting on the job site throughout the day (every house framing crew I’ve ever worked on over the last twenty-five years has—invariably—had the local rock station blaring throughout the day).
- What is the major printed media within the operational area? Do you know the local mainstream and “underground” or—more accurately in many cases (for people in the Pacific Northwest, think the Willamette Weekly in Portland, for example) “alternative” papers? How influential is printed media within different target audiences?
- Who controls the print media? Can ads be purchased? Can editorials be submitted? In what languages is the print media produced (think about it, there are boatloads of Vietnamese refugee families who are opposed to any level of collectivism beyond the family/community level, since they already fled that shit once—yes, that rather tasteless pun was completely intentional…and it made you laugh, didn’t it? Can you access the local Viet language alternative papers and magazines?)?
- What is the local standard for outdoor media? Are billboards, posters, handbills, or flyers used? How sophisticated are the outdoor media? In some places, nothing but billboards will be the norm. In larger urban areas however—and especially on college campuses—flyers, handbills, and even banners, are commonplace. Can we purchase/rent billboard space, or are we limited to smaller production methods? Which will be more effective? Do we have the artists and graphic designers to produce products that will get attention, or will it just be one more piece of clutter?
- Are there mailing lists that can be accessed that target specific target audiences (the answer is a resounding YES!!!!)? Can we produce a mass flyer, in such a way that the recipients will actually look at it, instead of just tossing it in the round file with all the other “junk mail?”
- Which leads to our next question—is printed media credible in the eyes of the population? Does perceived credibility differ by social factors? Yes. How many of us even bother looking at the mass-mail circulars that show up in our mailboxes, let alone take the time to read them? On the other hand, for some people, a hand-addressed envelope, with an actual typed letter inside, might be read, if just so the recipient can figure out who the fuck sent them real mail for a change!
- How literate are people within the target audience in the operational area? This doesn’t JUST mean the actual ABILITY to read, but also the willingness to read. I can’t count the number of working class people I’ve met, throughout the South and West, who will tell you—with a straight face—that they just don’t read. Period. “I ain’t read a book since I graduated high school! I don’t even read my mail!”
- What media do people within the target audience trust most for obtaining information. How accessible is that media to our efforts and abilities? FoxNews is the “most watched cable network on television” and apparently a LOT of people really do consider it “fair and balanced” (morons) and thus, credible. John Mosby’s MountainGuerrilla is NOT going to be able to produce a commercial for FoxNews, let alone afford the cost of advertising, even if FoxNews would be willing to air said commercial.
- What are the key symbols within the country? Do they differ by target audience group? What are the visual and written taboos that might negatively affect the target audience response when they look at print or other visual PSYOP products? Posting a photo of beheaded or gunshot victims of totalitarianism—while laudable and important, if just for educational purposes—on the pillars on a children’s playground is NOT going to fly well with most parents. Hell, I let my kid see some pretty graphic stuff, and I would be pissed. On the other hand, distributing old Schoolhouse Rock DVDs (available for purchase anywhere they sell DVDs. We bought them for the TMO the other day), or Liberty’s Kids DVDs, through a PTA/PTO organization “gift bag” type of effort, might be a great way to start educating youth…especially if the parents sit down to watch it too, out of nostalgia (we certainly did!).
- What internet or websites are popular and commonly accessed within the local area? Craigslist is broken down into relatively local sections, and everywhere we’ve lived over the last decade has had area-specific websites, including forums and bulletin boards. What are their policies and stands on the type of information you want to transmit to your target audiences? Are members of your target audience going to be active on those forums? Are the forumites a specific target audience themselves?
Target Audience Assessment (TAA)
The target audience assessment, as we’ve discussed, is the SINGLE MOST CRITICAL ASPECT of PSYOP planning and production. It is a detailed, systematic examination of selected target audiences in order to determine how to persuade one specific target audience to affect one specific behavioral change. It is NOT an overview sketch of the target audience and will not provide a general overview of all aspects and social factors pertaining to a target audience. It’s just about how to get ONE response out of ONE target audience.
Because of this, while there may be multiple specific objectives (SPO—specific PSYOPs objectives) supporting one general objective (PO—PSYOP objective), a new target audience assessment will need to be done for every single SPO. Suddenly, rather than a cool way to get a “general message” across, using your artistry and creativity, PSYOP becomes a fucking job, huh?
At it’s basic level, your TAA is intended to answer four basic, fundamental questions:
- What TA(s) will be most effective in accomplishing the desired behavioral or attitudinal responses? You can’t make a leopard change his spots. Targeting a bunch of fat bastards to get off the couch and do PT doesn’t work particularly well (ask me how I know), but aiming the message at the specific target audience of people that are serious about survival and will do whatever it takes, no matter how uncomfortable, may convince those people who are not lazy, but simply don’t know what to do, that they need to do sprints, weightlifting, and conditioning. (Which leads us to the uncomfortable dawning of realization that EVERYTHING you read, to one degree or another, is a PSYOP product…).
Likewise, trying to convince a bunch of flaming liberal hippie pacifist fuckers that they need to put the bong down and go kill some statist thugs is not going to work particularly well. Aiming that message at outlaw bikers and street gangs however—or better, a bunch of pissed off at the VA recently returned combat veterans who realize that their brothers are being left to die—combined with the message that they are not the only ones who will be drawing hostile fire that day…..
- What lines of persuasion will influence the target audience? Nobody likes to be threatened with physical, bodily harm. Some people are big enough pussies that it works, and they will be suitably coerced by the threat of “Fuck with me, and I’ll kick your ass.” As Americans, most of us—even those who are delusional about it—see ourselves as the legitimate heirs of hardy, courageous pioneer stock who thumbed their noses at a totalitarian regime and went off into the frontier to eke out a living from the land. We’re fucking independent and free, man!
The Fourth of July just happened. We went with friends to watch the local fireworks show, that happened to be synched with music from one of the local stations (see the relationship to the above portions of this article?). It was an awesome show, with some pretty cool pyro going off. The spoken messages throughout however, were “We’re grateful for our veterans who have died so we can be free.” I turned at one point to my friend (also a veteran) and went, “Fuck me. The last American serviceman to die for American freedom was in 1865. Who are they fooling?” The problem is, keying on that THEME of patriotism and freedom; that patriotism IS freedom, rather than the other way around, works on most Americans. “Rah! Rah! Shish-Boom-Bah!”
Hell, if I’m honest, I STILL get choked up and sing along when I hear the Star-Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful! The point though, is telling someone they’re un-American and un-patriotic, or threatening to kill their families, is not the message that will persuade most Americans, regardless of how vocally they support the United Nations and “one-world government.”
Instead, you have to look at the values of the target audience and figure out what they believe, and how that can be turned to get them to perform the behaviors you want/need them to pursue. I get chastised by readers/commentators often, for my use of vulgarity, and I never let it bother me. I certainly don’t change my language. Why is that? Because my specific target audience—the same people who will actually get off their ass and do PT—aren’t going to be bothered by my foul language (I can’t count the number of times in comments and emails, I’ve had to tell some moron “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!” because they’ve bothered to tell me they cannot read my blog anymore because they find my language offensive….)
- What media will effectively carry the chosen line of persuasion? Is the television the best method, or radio? Perhaps the internet media sources, or social networking sites? Is face-to-face contact the best way to deliver it? Which of the probably effective media is achievable for your assets?
- What event(s) will indicate success or failure of the PSYOP effort? Here’s a newsflash for you. I consider the 2012 presidential elections to have been a PSYOP success for our side. Now, wait before you start hanging me in effigy. It’s not because President Obama was relected. It’s because Mitt Romney wasn’t. In fact, there were two successes in the 2012 elections.
–Number one: With POTUS retaining the White House, all those middle-class, white, suburban, soccer mom Republicans who are scared of what the Commie in the Chair is going to do…they stay scared. Had he been replaced by Romney, most of those would have gone back to complacency land, sticking their heads in the sand, because “our guy” got in. Everyone “knows” Republican presidents reduce the deficit and reduce big government….right? (This is me falling off my chair and holding my sore abs as I laugh myself sick). They’re still pissed off and scared, which means some of them are still looking at alternative sources of news, and stockpiling preparedness items, even if they’re not training and using them yet.
–Number Two: The GOP had to lock Ron Paul’s supporters-delegates out of the convention! When in the HELL has that ever happened before? Mitt was the media favorite to win the nomination, right? Dr. Paul didn’t stand a chance of getting the nod. So, why bother locking them out? Because, the party bosses KNEW that Dr. Paul had one hell of a good shot at getting the nomination, and THAT would have fucked up their program.
How did it happen? Because the anti-big government, anti-status quo in Washington groups—people like us—managed to convince enough people that Dr. Paul was a viable solution to what is happening in DC, that he could have won the general election. All the Republicans would’ve voted for him, even if they disagreed with him on things like legalization of marijuana, and foreign interventions, simply because he had an “R” behind his name. All the libertarians who would NEVER, in ten million lifetimes vote for Mitt Romney, would have voted for Dr. Paul, DESPITE the “R” behind his name, as would the constitutionalists. Anti-abortion activists would have voted for Dr. Paul, because he’s openly pro-life. None of that is any real surprise….But…..
Ron Paul ALSO would have cut a HUGE chunk out of President Obama’s voter support. All the anti-war hippies who supported BHO in 2008, by 2012, they knew he was just as bloodthirsty as President Bush. Dr. Paul has been anti-interventionist since before his first day in politics, and has a consistent record of voting his conscience. All the pro-legalization potheads? They know now that, while BHO might tell his AG not to prosecute, he’s not interested in making waves with the criminalization syndicates by actively pursuing legalization either, whereas Dr. Paul has always stated—and voted—for the sanctity of the human body and private property. The same thing applies to gay and lesbian voters. BHO has NOT led his promised charge to institute gay marriage, for better or for worse. Dr. Paul on the other hand, says, “the government has no business being involved in marriage.”
The fact is, people from numerous target audiences—including people who would never step foot inside a Republican convention—KNEW that Dr. Paul would have made the best President. The GOP KNEW Dr. Paul would win the general. EVERYONE—except the morons who only got their election coverage from the major media networks and are incapable of critical thinking—knew Mitt Romney was not going to beat Barack Obama’s re-election. Now? More libertarian-leaning, legitimately freedom-loving (if sometimes confused by definitions of that) Republicans are being seriously contemplated as presidential candidates in 2016.
Obviously, the PSYOP campaign of the freedom lobby was not as successful as we might have liked, or Dr. Paul would be sitting in the Oval Office right now. It was however, a success in some degrees, because it opened a lot of people’s eyes to choices between the basic “Left versus Right” selection.
You have to determine, through your TAA, what YOU will consider a success or failure—and to what degrees—of your PSYOP production efforts.
(The next installment in this article series will look at the Target Audience Assessment process in greater detail, as well as the Target Audience Assessment Worksheet—TAAW.)
I don’t typically link to a lot of other bloggers, regardless of their scope. For one, I’m never certain who would be willingly tied to my writing by this, and second, unless a blogger is dedicated to sharing links, instead of actually constructing and writing content, I tend to think it’s a crutch for laziness and sloth. Since my purpose here is to offer lessons on building tribal defense and legitimate self-reliance at the tribal and community level, based on my experience and training, simply posting links to other writers’ efforts is pointless, unless those writers share the same or similar professional backgrounds. Occasionally however, I come across a piece that resonates with something I’ve said before in writing, only far more eloquently than I expressed it. This is one of those times.
Some readers I know, are familiar with Jack Donovan’s work. Some of those like it, some hate it. Some of you who are unfamiliar with him will hate it, because of some of his views on things. Others will think I’ve suddenly become Mr. White Nationalist, which is not the case (although he shares some sympathies, Mr. Donovan, is not–according to his own writing–a WN). I still think the idea is retarded, but as I’ve said, what is good for my tribe may not be good for your tribe, and I’m okay with that, until you start trying to force me to adopt your views.
Anyway, as I was going through, reading some of his older material, I came across an article that resonated, because it’s something I’ve written about in the past….getting past the “I’m a law-abiding gun owner!” mindset trap, to adopting the Heinlein Doctrine, even it ends “poorly” for you.
Like many aspects of practical post-grid down security and preparedness, PSYOP is a subject of tactical and strategic importance that all too often are given ample lip service, despite a complete lack of relevant frame-of-reference. While a lack of frame-of-reference when it comes to gunhandling, PT, and small-unit tactics will have a significantly negative impact on your individual and family/tribal survival, this same lack in regards to PSYOP—especially when you ignore your ignorance and attempt to produce PSYOP product—will also have a significantly negative impact on my family’s survival, since a poorly developed, ham-handed attempt at developing PSYOP product will generally result in the exact opposite effect you were aiming for. That means you will actually be driving off potential allies and strengthening the resolve of the enemy.
Definitions, Scope, and Purpose
“Persuade. Change. Influence.”
PSYOP can be defined as a series of PLANNED operations intended to convey selected information and indicators to specific audiences, in order to influence their emotions, motives, beliefs, and ultimately their BEHAVIORS. Targeted audiences, in our context, may include government employees, opposing political organizations, groups with opposing or related interests and goals, and individuals within any given demographic.
Ultimately though, the most important purpose of PSYOP is to induce or reinforce BEHAVIOR favorable to your overall strategic and tactical objectives. Anything else that results from your PSYOP attempt is misguided and wasted effort at best, and flat fucking suicidal at worst.
Generally speaking, successful PSYOP efforts can encourage or increase popular discontent with opposition leadership, while increasing support for your own cause by combining persuasion with a credible threat. It’s the practical execution of “talk softly, but carry a big stick.” The drawback to this, for the typical patriot prepper on the internet or in the gun shop, is that, in order to be successful, all of your PSYOP product must be credible. All products must be consistent and not contradict each other, obviously, but more importantly, any information disseminated has to be believable!
If you’ve not got the training and experience to back up your thinly veiled threat that backs up your PSYOP product, or you’re 200 pounds overweight and cannot walk a city block without worrying about heart failure, there’s no credibility. If you’re pontificating about the President of the United States being the direct and immediate descendant of reptilian aliens, your message lacks credibility to anyone over the age of 6, unless your target audience is composed solely of National Enquirer reading residents of the trailer park.
Types of PSYOP Product
Professionally speaking, there are three types of PSYOP product: white, grey, and black. White PSYOP is truthful and not strongly biased information, wherein the source of the material is acknowledged openly. Broadcast teams of PSYOP soldiers, with their truck or rucksack-borne loudspeaker systems, and leaflet operations that encourage enemy fighters to defect or surrender, are obvious examples of white-side PSYOP.
Grey PSYOP is largely truthful information, while any “untrue” information is of such a nature that it cannot be disproved. More importantly, the actual source of the PSYOP information is masked through attribution to other sources, such as non-aligned groups, independent media sources, etc.
Black PSYOP, of course, is inherently deceitful information, the source of which is disguised by attributing it to the enemy (generally speaking). This is the ultimate expression of disinformation.
In the general imagination, when the application of PSYOP efforts is considered, the first images that come to mind are leaflet drops. To combat veterans of recent vintage, this will be closely followed by the image of a three-man PSYOP broadcast team with either HMMWV or rucksack-born loudspeakers. While both of these are legitimate examples of how PSYOP product can be delivered, the totality is that PSYOP dissemination can be much more widespread.
At the tactical level, besides the employment of loudspeaker teams, face-to-face encounters with the local population and the dispersal of leaflets, fliers, and posters, are common tools. More deliberate efforts at the tactical level, as well as at the strategic level may include radio and television broadcasts, as well as the well-known and previously mentioned leaflet operations.
At the strategic level, PSYOP efforts may focus on the publication of printed materials like magazines and newspapers, or the placement of information within media sources that reach a wider audience. This can be particularly effective, since as everyone knows, “they can’t put stuff on television if it’s not true.”
One method of PSYOP dissemination that we’ve seen a recent surge in the application of is the obvious: the internet. Through the construction and maintenance of websites and social media pages, to efforts to guide search engines to guide potential readers to your sites, the internet genuinely should be your go-to first choice for the dissemination of effective PSYOP information, even locally.
It’s popular—as one example—within the patriot prepper movement, to denigrate Facebook and other social media sites because of the inherent PERSEC violations built into them. On the other hand, as any 12 year old can tell you, pretty much anything anyone wants to know about you can be found on the internet, and being on Facebook is so common now that NOT having a Facebook page is actually more of a target identifier than having one is.
More importantly, Facebook, has well over 2 million users, approximately half of which log onto their Facebook account each day. Between your own social network and the connection of social networks of each of those individuals, you might be surprised at how quickly and effectively that a legitimate, well-crafted PSYOP product can be dispersed. There are, of course, infinite other internet resources for the effective dissemination of PSYOP effort, but the point is, ignoring the internet is done only at your own loss.
Patriot Prepper PSYOP
Ultimately, Patriot Prepper PSYOP should be encompass a range of efforts, with a variety of target audiences. First, there is the ongoing effort to reach like-minded people already within the prepper movement and convince them to alter their behavior by actually getting training, then getting outside and practicing what they learn and using their gear in a realistic, effective manner.
Second, we have to reach out to like-minded people, amongst libertarians, gun owners, non-political preppers, and groups that SHOULD share our goals, whether they realize it or not, and whether they currently share our values and goals or not.
Finally, we have to reach and influence the behavior and mindsets of people intrinsically opposed to our goals and values. In this last case, obviously, we are not concerned with convincing them to side with us, but rather, to either leave us the fuck alone because we’re not a threat to them, or to be so afraid of fucking with us, that the mere thought of our presence makes them piss themselves.
The 7-Step PSYOP Process
Within the established, professional PSYOP community, there is a 7-Step PSYOP Process used to develop PSYOP materials, in order to garner the greatest benefit for the efforts expended. While not all of these will apply directly to our efforts, understanding and incorporating the process into your PSYOP effort will allow you to create more effective PSYOP campaign that serves specific goals and messages to target audiences.
- Planning. The first step of the process involves the formulation of PSYOP objectives, specific to the mission and/or target audience(s).
- Target Audience Analysis. Potential target audiences are refined and analyzed, in order to determine the most effective methods to influence the behaviors of the target audience. The military utilizes a Target Audience Analysis Worksheet (TAAW) for this. We will attempt to develop a TAAW that fits the needs and abilities of the patriot prepper effort.
This analysis is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT TASK IN DEVELOPING WELL-CRAFTED PSYOP PRODUCT!!!! You absolutely, positively, MUST possess sufficient knowledge and understanding of a target audience in order to develop effective methods to influence their behavior.
Contrary to popular delusion within the patriot and prepper communities, “Grab them by the balls, and their hearts and minds will follow!” is NOT a valid PSYOP effort. As I pointed out to someone in a class once who voiced this opinion, grabbing them by the balls generally leaves them a hand free to punch you in the throat. While it MAY work with some people and groups, using force as your end-all, be-all approach to PSYOP is a pretty solid way to ensure someone stabs you in the back down the road.
- Series Development. Once you have developed what you hope is an accurate analysis of your target audience(s), THEN you can begin to develop a PSYOP product series. All of the interrelated products designed to elicit a specific behavioral change from a specific target audience is referred to as a series. They must all work together and…..synergistically.
- Product Development. Once your series is developed and planned, then and only then, are you prepared to start actually developing and designing the PSYOP products that will disseminate the messages you hope to use to change the target audience(s) behavior.
- Approval. Step Five for the military PSYOP force is gaining approval from higher of the proposed product. For our purposes, not generally having a strategic level chain-of-command, and focused (hopefully) more on the local level than anything, out approval process may simply be a matter of having someone within your network, but divorced from the PSYOP development effort take an objective look at the material developed and ensure that a) it actually will have a positive effect on the target audience, and b) it is adequately targeted to the intended audience. Sending a message of Christian love and hope to the local imam—for an exaggerated example—is probably not only NOT going to reach the target audience, it won’t do much to elicit the desired change in behavior either.
- Production, Distribution, and Dissemination. This involves producing enough copies of the product to distribute to the end-user who will disseminate the product to the target audience, as well as the dissemination by these individuals to the target audience. This step, like all the others, is part of the initial PSYOP planning phase.
- Evaluation. The final phase of the PSYOP process is evaluating the effect that your products are having on the target audience. This step begins with the development of the initial assessment criteria during Phase One, as you determined what would constitute a success with the effort.
The follow on installments of this article series will focus on the 7-Step PSYOP Process, as it applies to the patriot prepper, and how we may be able to apply this to various target audiences. We will discuss both white and grey PSYOP efforts, while touching only briefly on black PSYOP efforts.
Combat Rifle Course
12-14 SEP (Fri-Sun)
Cost for this class is $600 due to range use fees that need to be covered. Deposit of $300 is due no later than 1 AUG 14. Remaining balance is due no later than 31 AUG 14. Please contact HH6 at email@example.com for details and to register for this class.
My apologies for not posting anything recently, at all. We are dealing with a family issue that requires our undivided attention for a short while. I should be posting some articles and news within the next couple of days.
I had a student in a class recently (IIRC, it was the Iowa Combat Rifle course, but I could be mistaken), ask the very serious question, “How do we prepare mentally for the act of killing another person?” While, after giving him the tongue-in-cheek answer of “go chop people’s heads off with a pen knife?” I gave the legitimate answer that it’s a matter of overcoming cultural conditioning, it’s a question that’s been nagging at my conscience ever since.
For the most part, neither I, nor any of my friends who have been downrange, has ever voiced a concern over a reticence to drop the hammer and kill the enemy. Unfortunately, because of the prevalence of feel-good, New Age humanist bullshit in the soft sciences like psychology, there is a lot of nonsense in the world about “mankind’s natural, inherent reluctance towards intra-species killing.” All the archaeological evidence to the contrary, too many people have conflated a CULTURAL conditioning that illegitimizes interpersonal lethal violence, with a “natural” human reluctance.
Regardless of the status of the oft-voiced reluctance—inherent at the genetic level, or culturally conditioned—the fact is, it is a very real concern for a lot of people (FYI, before anyone starts citing BG SLA “Slam” Marshall, do more background research into the repudiations of his “research.”). At the risk of getting slightly side-tracked, as we all know I am wont to do, I will point out that I am an inveterate journalist. At any given time, I’ll have anywhere from six to a dozen different journals floating around. These serve as PT records, a means to record ideas I want to develop into articles for the blog, and things I’ve come across in my reading, as well as simply random thoughts that pop into my head. Once or twice a year, I’ll sit down and compile all the notes and records into a single volume, then dispose of the old, partially full journals that now are serving no purpose other than taking up valuable space on my bookshelves. This is important, because I spent much of last night and yesterday on that very task.
As I collated journal notes from a round dozen different journals, I came across an entry on the subject of this article. I am not sure when I recorded it (this particular journal actually has notes from over four years ago, so it’s been stashed away in hiding for quite some time!), or what the original source was, but…..
According to the journal entry (which I obviously agreed with, or I wouldn’t have written it down in the first place), there are six basic facets to developing a predisposition towards effective violence.
One of the first “training” lessons I ever learned was from my grandfather. While I’d like to believe he picked it up during his OSS training in WW2, I honestly never bothered asking him, so I genuinely just don’t know. I’ve since heard the same advice from dozens of different sources, have practiced it myself for well over twenty years, and have repeatedly found…it works. Not just well; it works like a Creole hooker during Mardi Gras…
That lesson was on the importance of visualization. Play the “what if” game. Not just in the context of this conversation, I play the “what if” game constantly. “What if” that car in front of me suddenly loses control and starts sliding all over the road? “What if” that dude walking into the steak house pulls out a Glock and starts shooting people? “What if” I look out my front window and see a group of jocked up dudes in black nomex in my yard? “What if” I’m driving down our road and come to a tree across the road, then gunfire starts pinging into the truck? “What if” I take a gunshot wound to the lower abdomen below my plate carrier?
The key to effective visualization of course, is REALISTIC mental images. Basing your visualization on John Woo action movie behaviors is not going to do you much good. Fortunately, if you’re reading this, there is an amazing resource just a couple mouse clicks and typing away, in the form of YouTube. Despite the noise:signal ration on YT, the fact is, there are lots of camera recordings of everything from helmet cam footage of gunfights in Iraq and Afghanistan to criminal assaults and convenience store robberies. By studying the appropriate videos, and dissecting the behaviors and movements of the key players, you can begin to form a relatively accurate mental image of what a given scenario might look like, when you experience it.
This allows you to begin formulating realistic, effective responses to those scenarios. There is ample scientific experimental, research, and anecdotal evidence out there, aptly proving that if you can create a realistic image in your head—visualization—of yourself performing certain actions in response to certain key stimuli, to your brain, it’s as if you had actually performed them. You get the benefits of the experience, without the attendant risks and costs of the experience.
Ultimately, for the inexperienced, the surest way to inculcate the ability to be extremely violent, without actually going out and beating the shit out of people…or chopping off stranger’s heads with a pen knife, is through visualization. Visualize the reticle of your optic superimposed on a bad guy’s face or chest, and “feel” your finger squeeze all the way through the trigger break. Visualize the recoil cycle of the gun, and visualize seeing the rounds impact his shirt or jacket. Visualize his face being distorted from the impact, and the violence of high-velocity blood and brain matter spray out the back of the skull.
Visualize the slight resistance and sudden give of the tip of your kabar puncturing his clothing and flesh. Visualize the warm, stickiness of blood flowing over your hand. Visualize punching a dude in the face so hard that you can “feel” his cheek bones fracture under your fist.
The catch of course, is that you have to actually visualize the entire physical performance, in all of its details, and ACCURATELY. You also have to actually be physically capable of performing the action. I don’t care how realistic your visualization is, if you’re a quadriplegic, you’re not going to be able to perform a Master-level run at the local 3-Gun match. Having the physical ability to perform the tasks, of course, requires,
You have to engage in effective training. This means learning proven, effective TTPs, and then practice them in an effective manner. Shooting Appleseed alone won’t cut it. You need to be able to shoot, but you also need to know what it feels like to run a dynamic, fast-moving break contact drill, from the way your movement patterns change when you’re kitted up, to the way it feels to twist and slam into the ground as you bound backwards while your Ranger buddy provides protective suppressive fire. Performing as the maneuver element during a Hasty Attack requires actually having trained in the task, so you know what it feels like to make that long, sprinting bound around. You need to know what it feels like to perform 3-5 second rushes and crawls through the terrain you will be visualizing that you will be performing on.
Beyond visualization, you also just have to be able to perform the tasks necessary. From throwing a rapid-fire, machine-gun barrage of punches to beat the piss out of an attacker, to executing a blistering fast drawstroke from concealment, to SEEING the front sight superimposed on the bad guy’s face. If you don’t train and learn how to actually, accurately, effectively perform any given task, all the visualization training in the world won’t do you a fuck-all bit of good.
At the same time (and you KNEW I was going to slip this in somehow….), you have to be physically fit enough to execute the violence you need to execute. Knowing HOW to crash and clinch then stab a dude in the carotid artery is not the same thing as being fast enough and strong enough to actually pull it off. Visualizing humping a 40-50 pound rucksack for 6 days straight, on less than 2 hours of sleep per night is NOT the same thing as having the physical and mental discipline and conditioning to actually pull it off.
That doesn’t mean you have to be able to pull off any given physical feat today. You just have to be trying to improve. If you are doing more today than you were yesterday, and tomorrow, you do more than you did today, you’re doing the right thing. Right?
You need to know your legitimate, honest level of skill…and your limitations. If you’ve never managed to hit an e-type silhouette at 200 meters, there’s little point in trying to project violence at 300 meters, until you improve your marksmanship abilities. If you’re a short little fat bastard who has no interest in doing PT or getting into a Jitz class, there’s even less point in planning on choking some pipe-hitting powerlifter in SWAT kit.
Be objective about your abilities, and you can limit your attempts at violence to what you are capable of.
Teach yourself to relax under stress, and you’ll be able to focus on the fundamentals of executing a particular skill set or task. Use patterned breathing. I tend to be really, really good at remaining disturbingly calm under stressful situations, because of positive self-talk (see below) and a lack of negative reinforcement (in other words, remaining calm has never caused me any harm under stress). As I’ve pointed out to people in daily life, ad nauseum, “unless you’re getting shot at, there are few things in life worth getting panicky about, and if you are getting shot at, panicking will only result in your dying, so calm the fuck down!”
In those occasional moments where I do lose my cool and start getting stressed out (truthfully, they usually only happen when HH6 is driving me absolutely, batshit fucking crazy), I generally catch myself in a hurry and calm down quickly and easily because of controlled, patterned breathing. Some instructors suggest a 4-count. Inhale for a count of four. Hold for a count of four. Exhale for a count of four. Hold for a count of four. I use seven, because at some point in my youth, my grandfather told me seven was the “magic” number (or perhaps the “magical” number, since I recall him saying something about it having had spiritual significance prior to computers….fucking weird if you ask me). All I really know is, THAT SHIT WORKS!!!
Positive self-talk, during training and daily life, will go a long way towards making you more effective in violence and in life in general. It goes right along with the visualization mentioned above. “Hey, if that car starts sliding into my lane, I’ll be fine. I can steer into the ditch and control the car, because I’ve done a lot of off-road driving, at ridiculously high speeds.” “Hey, if that dude walks in with a Glock, I know how to handle the situation, because I can draw and fire an accurate first round head shot at twice the distance between here and the front door. I do it all the time in training.” “If the cannibalistic San Franciscans start rioting in the streets and my life, or the life of my family is in danger, I can deal with it. It’s easier to shoot them effectively in the middle of the street than it was to hit that half-sized silhouette at 300 meters last weekend on the range!” “Hey, I’ve had SUT training, and my wife and I have practiced buddy team bounds using fire-and-maneuver, so if I have to fight off a home invasion by MS-13 banditos, we’ll be alright!”
Arguably tied for the most critical with visualization in developing a predisposition towards effective violence is having a positive support system, starting with—most important—a deep, legitimate belief in the righteousness of your actions and your cause. If you believe that your actions may be too aggressive, or you hold some retarded, childhood belief that only fair fights are okay, then you’re not going to be effective, because you will unconsciously hold back. On the other hand, if you KNOW, in your soul, that what you are standing up for is right, and that the actions you are taking are justified, then you won’t have any reluctance to do what needs to be done.
At the same time, after the fact, you shouldn’t have to deal with your friends and family second-guessing your actions. Sure, an honest appraisal, in the form of an AAR critique can be useful…but ultimately, if your friends and family don’t share your values….I’d suggest dumping all the fuckers and finding better people to hang out with.
This belief can be seen in elite military units (so much for Grossman’s sociopath arguments….), with a strong sense of esprit de corps. The cultivated belief system that “we’re better than everyone else, and we’re fighting for the man next to us” IS a support system that facilitates the use of effective violence. We know, at least amongst our brethren, that as long as we use it in accordance with the rules, no one is going to judge us harshly for being violent. It’s not until we start dealing with outsiders who don’t understand the culture or mindset that we start having to deal with doubters, non-believers, and second-guessing.
Ultimately, all of these—like so many things—are intertwined and synergistic. None of them work particularly well without all the other pieces in place. So, get training so you can practice effective visualization, and engage in positive self-talk. Most of all, develop a legitimate belief that you are doing the right thing.
It is my firmly held belief that the idea that humans have an inherent, genetic resistance to intra-species violence that can only be overcome with operant conditioning is a bunch of statist, mind control bullshit. If the prophets of this nonsense can convince you that you need special conditioning to be effective at violence, that can only be achieved through military or law enforcement training, first-person shooter video games, or being abused as a child, then they can facilitate your being effectively controlled, without worrying about violent revolt from the proles.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian who follows the adage of “turn the other cheek.” Intra-species violence is—truthfully—one of the most natural acts of human kind. Christ may have said turn the other cheek, but I’d point out, his daddy only created you with two cheeks…..what do you do after you’ve been bitch-slapped on the other side? Same thing he did in the temple. You beat the shit out of the offenders, and drive them off with weapons.
For us heathen non-believers? The archaeological and historical record is amply clear that there is NO inherent genetic resistance to stabbing a motherfucker in the face, chopping his head off with sword or axe, or burning his house down around his ass.
If you can manage to practice the six aspects of developing a pre-disposition towards effective violence, then dropping the hammer, fist or firearm, will not be an issue when the need arises.