The “prepper/survivalist/patriot/III%” community has absolutely zero social or political import, because the public face of the community is a bunch of fat, lazy, self-important redneck fucks who are failures in modern society. Despite the guns and macho-blustering bravado, the community poses absolutely zero real threat to the mainstream status quo, and the mainstream status quo recognizes that. All “they” have to do is point at the idiots—the “crazy gun nuts” and the “whacky survivalists,” and the sheep giggle and join in the finger-pointing and mockery. That’s not going to change, until you begin to be able to convince people that you are not just a string hanging on the fringe.
Until that changes, nothing changes.
Until that changes, the entire “liberty” aspect of the prepper community is utterly pointless.
If the patriot community is going to reassert traditional western liberal morals, and constitutional values, it’s not going to be done through a social uprising or the voting booth. The majority of voters are content with their lives exactly the way they are. They’ve got their NASCAR and Pabst Blue Ribbon, their cheap wine and late night soap operas. They’ve got their Labor Day weekend camping trips and summer trips to Disney World.
It’s not even going to happen from armed revolution. Comfortable people don’t rock the boat, because they don’t need to to become comfortable. They’re already there. Sitting on your couch, eating your USDA-approved food pyramid-based diet—specifically designed to make you soft, lethargic, and weak—and watching mind-numbing (literally), socialist value reinforcing programming on television is comfortable.
It doesn’t matter how loud we yell. There will be no “great awakening” of the masses; there will no resurgence of rugged American patriotism, because for most people, being a slave is a painless comfort. It’s EASY.
The “revolution” will only be achieved through the development of relatively small, extremely tight-knit tribes and bands of people, capable of existing within or without the socio-economic mainstream, who spread their message, face-to-face, to individuals and groups with whom the mainstream has lost credibility of intimidation. This autonomy—the collective independence—is the only thing that poses enough of a “threat” to the mainstream status quo, to be effective.
Ultimately however, for that autonomy to be effective, it has to be….real.
You can blame liberals all you want, but doing so is intellectual cowardice. “Statists gonna state.” It’s the nature of the beast. We have LET them achieve their aims. It is only through tribal efforts at the local level that we can reclaim our values. There is no possible agreement between the values of traditional western liberty and the Statist. In rebelling against this, we have to be willing to recognize—and accept at the visceral level rather than the intellectual level—that it is a total war against us.
You have to build your local community and ensure its resilience. Can it survive—with or without the government’s help? What if the government is opposed to the existence of your community? Can you defend yourself, your family, and your friends?
“Give me liberty or give me death” and “don’t tread on me” must return to being legitimate, genuine, core values, rather than feel-good, macho posturing platitudes that they have become in recent years. As your tribe/band/group/community moves towards greater autonomy and independence of the mainstream, you have to recognize that the very real threat it now poses—versus a bunch of corporate accountants playing dress-up as commandos on the weekends—IS a threat to the status quo, and will be dealt with as such. “Don’t tread on me” has to become, “Don’t tread on me, or I’ll chop your fucking head off and stick it on a pole!” “Give me liberty or give me death” HAS to become, “We WILL live our lives, and respect our values and morals. If you don’t like it, the only way to stop us is to kill us…and we WILL resist.”
The sad truth is, all of the negative shit we see in the news, from the Islamic State beheading infidels as it retakes ground that American and Allied kids spilled blood to protect, to the president offering Amnesty to every swinging dick that can make it across our southern border, to the constant inanities of the GOP and the Dems; it’s all part of what you’re SUPPOSED to see.
Keeping the masses riled up and angry is the president’s job, so the GOP has someone to point at and raise funds and blame. If you think “your guy” had a chance in the next election, it will keep you silent and obedient, in the hope that “he” will change things.
Quit worrying about what is going on nationally. Worry about YOUR community and YOUR family and YOUR friends.
I need to apologize, for having been absent so much the last several months. Between dealing with the printers for the book, packaging and shipping, training, teaching classes, and spending time with the wife and kid, I’ve been busier than the proverbial one-legged man in the ass-kicking contest.
There is a remedy.
Sam Culper (Guerrillamerica) has asked me to join the staff of Forward Observer Magazine, and I’ve taken him up on that offer. Beginning next month, I will be writing a minimum of one article per week for the FO blog, and will have at least one article in each quarterly issue of the print magazine. While this will—obviously—change some things concerning control of content, I am willing to make those changes for several reasons.
1) I am tired of writing a dozen articles in a week, and then not writing anything for six months. FO will require me to write one article per week and one per quarterly print edition of the magazine. This will force me to make sure I continue putting content out that I believe is of value to the community, on a regular basis, instead of so randomly.
2) While it will require me to reduce the incidence of fuck-bombs in my writing, I believe what Sam is doing—putting a respectable, more mainstream face on the community—is critically important. Something I have made quite clear from the very beginning of writing the blog is my belief, despite being pretty much a “fuck it, let’s chop some heads off” sort of knuckle dragger, this community needs a more respectable face for the public. We need to “win friends and influence people.” Right now? It’s a giant fucking circle jerk as everyone eye fawns pseudo propaganda that we all agree with anyway, but has no bearing on anyone not already part of the community, mentally.
FO has not been all that it could be, but Sam recognizes that and is working to improve it. In a recent exchange he stated: “Well, here’s the deal. FO is about to get 100% more professional. We have a brand new site coming out. We’re picking up steam on the design and article quality front…but right now? Our site sucks.”
I’m honored that he thinks my efforts will help that.
3) In addition to training and doctrinal information, I will continue, at least once per month, to write an editorial on current events, as they pertain to readiness and preparedness, under the “Skull-Stomping Sacred Cows” motif. I’ve avoided getting too involved with current events on the blog—beyond what is necessary—because it didn’t fit the theme of the blog. Moving to FO will allow me to piss in more Wheaties….and I guarantee, some of my opinions on current events will be controversial.
4) Finally….I am horrendously opposed to the cult of personality surrounding too many small arms instructors and tactical trainers. It reeks of gay. Unfortunately, somehow, as others have noticed, it seems to occur, even when we actively try and discourage it. It makes me uncomfortable, and damned sure creeps out my wife who cannot understand what’s so wonderful about the guy who leaves the toilet seat up.
I am just a dude. I happened to have once had a really cool job, surrounded by really cool people who happened to teach me a lot of really cool shit that happens to be important. I am not a hero. I don’t even personally consider myself an expert. Any motherfucker who tells you his way is the only way, is full of shit. Period. Full-stop, end of story. Are there best practices? Sure, but that doesn’t mean they work for everyone. I can only pass on what has worked for ME, under the conditions that I used them. Trying to impose them on every situation? Bullshit. I am not a hero, I’m not a badass. I’m not some sort of fucking celebrity. ‘m just a dude.
Nevertheless, since people have been demanding it for at least two years now, and a reader of the blog decided to commission the inestimable Jack Donovan to create a logo, we will be offering t-shirts and hoodies with the mountain guerrilla logo (seriously, go ahead and buy one. I’ve got another kid on the way, and TMO and HH6 deserve an awesome Christmas, since last year’s pretty much sucked scrotum. But if you show up at my class wearing it, I’m likely to call you nineteen kinds of homo….). My agreement with Sam is that 20% of the profits from sales of MG logo stuff will be donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, providing scholarship financial aid to the children of Special Operations servicemembers killed in the line of duty (training or combat).
Additionally, once the current stock of The Reluctant Partisan (yes, we still have copies available. After the fuck up with the first printer, I increased the initial print run) sells out, future printings, as well as Volume Two (currently being written. This one WILL be out by Christmas), will be sold through Forward Observer, rather than the total clusterfuck the current method has turned out to be.
I look forward to seeing all of you at Forward Observer, beginning next month. The content currently available at this site and the old site: www.mountainguerrilla.blogspot.com will remain available.
Books ARE shipping.
I am sitting in the midst of a pile of books and shipping envelopes, but was teaching a class this weekend past, and was in the mountains the weekend before as well, so I had a total of one day last week for shipping. If it’s not already there, or on its way to you, it will be out this week.
Both myself and HH6 wish to extend our thanks to everyone for their patience.
For book #2, or further books, we WILL be using a less pain-in-the-ass means of dealing with book and product sales (like the soon-to-be-forthcoming t-shirts).
Addendum to the IOWA COMBAT RIFLE AAR:
The CR course in Iowa having made it painfully clear I needed to up my PT, I did just that. More running, sprinting, and some endurance runs, burpees (man, my knees hate me!), weight lifting, and incorporating the PT into basic marksmanship drills.
Fast forward to August 2d, I wake up with chest pain. Two hours later, I coded (that means “died”–JM) in the Cath Lab. Now, I’m walking around like nothing happened, a week later. Cardiologist says I would not have made it had I not been in as good of shape as I was for–what he called–an “old guy.”
Thanks to JM for the verbal incentives over the past few years to get off my ass. I owe you! For the rest of you “old guys” out there….STFU and get off the couch while you can!
(Not gonna lie, I cried like a bitch when I read this. I’m glad another patriot survived a–well, near death experience doesn’t really fit, does it….? I’m honored that he thinks my advice was part of his survival. Seriously people, I don’t harangue on PT just because we all need to be barrel chested bad asses. It WILL save your life, one way or another. –JM)
Editorial Post Script:
We had some difficulties with the printer. Books are shipping. If you are tired of waiting and want a refund, email me at email@example.com and I will get in the mail post-haste.
We’ve had a metric shit ton of interest in this class, but only a couple of deposits received for it. In case some of those people who expressed interest are just running late, we’re extending the date for deposits to the 14th of August. As it stands, if we don’t get more people enrolled in the class by then, it’s going to have to get canceled.
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 14 AUG 14. Remaining balance is due no later than 31 AUG 14. Please contact HH6 at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to register for this class.
The book orders we have received so far should be shipping this week. Apparently I’ve got some more orders to pick up from the mail drop, then we will be shipping everything we’ve received orders for so far.
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.