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Apocalypse Advertising: A PSYOP Primer for Patriot Preppers

June 27, 2014

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.

 

  1. Planning. The first step of the process involves the formulation of PSYOP objectives, specific to the mission and/or target audience(s).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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22 Comments
  1. Wes permalink

    Glad to see your back. I like this topic, hope to read/learn more on it. It seems useful on a lot of levels.

    • either it’s a double entendre, or Wes meant you’re

      • Wes permalink

        Really dude. If you want to do this type of thing head on over to YouTube.

      • Wes permalink

        Do I need to point out that you didn’t start your sentence with a capital letter or end it with any sort of punctuation mark? Or is an incomplete sentence so far superior to my incorrect use of the word “your” instead of the abbreviated “you are” that it makes your mistake irrelevant? Is there really a need for this bullshit here? I mean fucking seriously? JM I don’t mean to do this type of shit here, but for fucks sake….

  2. Swamp Fox permalink

    JM,

    Welcome back

    A most important subject.

    This is what separates SF from other SOF, it allows SF to be a Force Multiplier and manipulate their environment that they work in.

  3. Frank Pinelander permalink

    “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.”

    This.

    To those that were involved during the 90s, it was the fear of the “militia movement” that keep things from turning to shit. All that people remember from that (due to Establishment PYSOPS) was photos of Bubbas running around with weapons. What is NOT discussed, or even known today, was the involvement of those that knew what they were doing, kept their mouths shut, and ORGANIZED.

    This organization caused massive witchhunts throughout the military, which in the end, was counter productive (here’s another thing to consider – intended consequences versus unintended) on a couple of levels. One, it freed individuals from UCMJ, and it totally pissed those individuals off and cemented their resolve.

    Organizing requires that people get over the fear of being watched. To not fall for the PYSOPS of martial law (do the math, it’s impossible) or DHS rounding up individuals because they posted something on facebook. (Invariably, the poster deserved it. Know the rules, and your limitations. Subtleties, as pointed out in this article.)

    • Kurtz permalink

      That whole concept of convincing the goons to ‘leave us the fuck alone’ is worth pursuing with great effort, because if we can convince them to at least leave people alone, then that allows people some breathing space in how they conduct their operations.

      The concept to a degree reminds of a Far Side comic (I’d imagine some of y’all have to be Gary Larson fans). Now I might sound like some type of jackass attempting to connect PSYOP procedures to a Sunday funny, but I think the point will stand (also my apologies if this all comes out as an incongruous, convoluted mess).

      The comic was simply called “Nature’s way of saying ‘Do Not Touch'”. It had four examples of how nature says ‘do not touch’. One was a rattling rattle-snake, another was a hissing cat, and another a blown up puffer fish. The last was a man in a trench coat wearing an inflatable horse float around his waist, holding an anti-material rifle (or some big-frickin gun) and wearing a shoe as a hat.

      Now, conventional wisdom nowadays states that walking around with a .50 BMG rifle with a boot on your head does not just say ‘Do Not Touch’, it also says ‘Call in every county SWAT team we have, shoot this fucker, shoot up every house within 5 miles and make sure that no newborn child leaves the area without flashbang burns.” Obviously you don’t want that to happen.

      Now that shit is pretty friggin absurd, so let me give you a real life example of natures way of saying ‘Do Not Touch’ that I saw a few months ago. I happened to be at the airport late one night awaiting the arrival of a flight crew. While waiting I noticed a shortish gentleman standing outside baggage with a neat looking military style day pack with some velcro patches on it. I wanted to ask about the make of the bag, but as I approached I suddenly noticed other details this man had. He was incredibly well built, had a large bushy beard and a prosthetic leg. The patches on his bag read ‘Mountain Division’ and ‘Fuck POGS’. His posture declared one thing very firmly: Leave me the fuck alone and I’ll do the same for you.

      Needless to say I immediately turned around and forgot all notion of speaking to this gentleman. He clearly wanted to be left to his own. That is to say, he possessed about him natures way of saying ‘Do Not Touch’.

      People who are concerned about the future of this country will need to find a way to show that they indeed should be left the fuck alone. They need to exude an aura of ‘peaceful but not to be fucked with.’ I can tell you with utmost certainty that I’d sleep better at night knowing that I have convinced the local goons to leave me alone because they know I’m either not a threat to them, or so much of a threat that it’s not worth their effort to even antagonize me.

      I’d imagine this comes easily to many veterans, especially SOF members (it certainly came easy to that gentleman I beheld that night). Hopefully groups of Americans/Patriots/Survivalists can use this framework to PSYOP their way to being left alone.

      I suppose the trick here is to not overdo it. Talk softly, but carry a big stick really sums it up quite nicely. Have legitimacy to back up your claims. Show you mean business. Show that you have a level head, but do not suffer fools lightly.

      With a little luck and a whole lot of effort, patriots et al. may very well convince a percentage of the goons to back down, no harm done, no violence undertaken.

      My apologies, once again, if that came out as naught but an incoherent ramble…

      • Frank Pinelander permalink

        A little long winded to explain the concept, but there you have it.

        But, being left alone on an individual basis doesn’t do much. I personally believe They will leave the dangerous Lone Wolves alone, for the reasons you articulate.

        To change the future, comes back around to my premise – ORGANIZE.

        Even if it only staves things off for another 20 years, I’m good with that. By then, perhaps We can raise a generation that will do the same.

      • I’d say that “leave me the fuck alone” may not necessarily apply to everyone. If you had gone up to him and said “thank you for your service” and started a polite conversation, you may have found that you’ve got stuff in common and may have started a new friendship. Or he could’ve just looked at you and said “fuck off and die”. Either way, I doubt he would’ve done a bill-drill on you right then an there.

  4. the fukkn A-team permalink

    This is as much about economic class warfare as it is about political ideology. I tried organizing the locals around my AO. I have the skills, ambition, and the mean$ to do so. In the end, it backfired on me due to “class envy”. I am now in the process of re-locating due to unforseen circumstances in relation to my efforts. I have done nothing wrong or “unlawful” but to hear the bubbas around here, I’m usama bin laden. Be careful and trust noone. Americans, for the most part, are poor, brainwashed, IDIOTS.

    • Frank Pinelander permalink

      Wrong Target Audience for you, don’t let that stop you, or change your mind/attitude/desires.

  5. robroysimmons permalink

    Thanks for this work. One advantage our way, if there is an “our” is that the establishment’s propaganda sucks, its 1985 USSR nobody believes it anymore bad.

  6. It must be fun, because everybody’s doing it to everybody: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

  7. RobRoySimmons permalink

    Somewhat related Denninger posted about Facebook manipulating the news feeds of people to calculate how to change their behavior.

  8. robroysimmons permalink

    As it has been put the establishment is waging a propaganda war, and the dissidents are trying to conduct an educational campaign, that is kind of like trying to fight a tsunami with a single bucket.

    First step is to blunt the propaganda, stop it in its tracks, debunk the “authorities” that spew it.

  9. Frank Pinelander permalink

    That last response reminded me of a conversation I’ve had with a mentor on this and related subjects. One who, when everyone else was complaining, actually went out and “did something”.

    The 90s are a rather fascinating study in what was going on, in counter-revolutionary activities.

    Here, is an appropriate excerpt from the discussion about events.

    “The last major strategy meeting I was invited to was in, I think, ’02. Financed by Regnery. All the “players” were there. Everybody had ten minutes to lay out their “strategy.” Usual crap. My turn (reduced to its substance): “Get the military, you have the nation.”

    Reaction? Blank stares.

    Then the whole thing degenerated into a business meeting, with break away “study circles,” and all the usual nobody-is-in-charge shit, and the usual facile “recommendations,” and all the usual close of meeting speeches.

    Which resulted in the usual “right” and “conservative” “strategy;” “Educate the public.”  The perennial loser.”

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Three From Mosby | Western Rifle Shooters Association
  2. Apocalypse Advertising: A PSYOP Primer for Patriot Preppers | MountainGuerrilla | Ad Parare
  3. Mosby: Apocalypse Advertising: Prepper/Patriot PSYOP Primer, Part Two | Western Rifle Shooters Association
  4. Prepper/Patriot PSYOP Primer | LibertasIntel

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