Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ninja Vs Grey Man

The "Grey Man" has been a subject of mild amusement to me. I find it to be complete fantasy tacti-cool thinking. I can see many proponents of the "Grey Man" being up in arms over that statement. The truth us I find many aspects of the idea to be solid tactical thinking but to have to create a psuedo-SOP for sound tactical thinking shows its an idea created by "civilians" with little to no tactical thinking, training or understanding.

All you wannabe Johnny "Chuck" Rambo-Van Norris types can sit down to; because the tacti-cool grey men (sometmes spelled gray men) have a lot more common sense then you do. Their strategy relies on the tactic of camouflage and the best case for the "grey man" comes from SurvivalThinkTank.com who abandons the concept almost halfway through.

Do Not Be This Guy: Adding rail and Assault Rifle Stocks to non-tactical weapons.

In all seriousness (there will be more funny images I promise you) I have always hated the "gray man" thoery as a survival strategy. I've resently been shown a blog for a "grey man directive" and while I had issues with the grey man theory; which I will try to explain in this article, I have seriously less issue with the Grey Man Directive. Viewable at this Link:

The Grey Man Directive states the definition of the Gray Man as Grey man - an individual who possesses the skills, ability and intent to blend into any situation or surrounding without standing out, concealing his or her true skills, ability, and intent from others. I have no problem with this because the Gray Man appears like this: Prepared without threat of Mad Max World

And Like this: During Mad Max World major SHTF events...
This isn't a strategy its camouflage and good camouflage at that, more terrain specific earth tone clothing should be worn based on one's specific location. In a more wooded or wilderness location going full on BDUs might work better or obvious reasons. Terrain alway dictates tactics and camouflage is a tactic. The Image directly above is far better then this guy;
As the caption says the Tacti-cool guys are all about looking good but being able to do their thing when the time comes it becomes a subject of much amusing debate on the internet. Now that I'm done with pictures I'm going to get to the subject at hand. A full review of Invisible Resistance to Tyranny can be found here: http://tensmiths.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/mixed-thoughts-on-invisible-resistance-to-tyranny/ and Ten Smiths Blog is very close to my personal feelings on the matter. This is where my distaste for the Grey Man comes into play. The basic theme of invisible resistance to tryanny is "Dwell on the past and hope some magical/mythological heroes save the day. While you sit home doing what you are told; going along to get along but resisting in your head." So those people who are rich and successful in their heads have escaped poverty right? I'm reminded of Fredrich Nietzsche's statement "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." The sentiment of faith without works (as the bible says is dead) holds true here as well.

However, Survival Think Tank's Grey Man Directive is vastly different from Invisible Resistance to Tyranny's Grey Man Theory. Both use the terms Greyman/Grayman/Grey Man/Gray Man and both use a strategy of camouflage (which has its various similarities). Survival Think Tank's Grey Man Directive even comes with a handy graph, I've bastardized it to show the massive differences in the two Grey Man concepts;
The Bastardization below is my own doing and has nothing to do with SurvivalThinkTank.com

My adjusted graph makes it a bit easier to understand as the situation becomes worse the Grey Man Directive places a higher need for defense over stealth. With each phase having a standard discription of events relating to increasing the appearance of one's ability to defend themselves. This i functionally a sound guide and I agree with much/most of what Survival Tink Tank has done with the concept. Even feeling they have abandoned much of the concept addressed by Invisible Resistance to Tyranny.
  • Phase 0 is the most stealthy phase of the Grey Man Directive. It is also the safest operating environment. In this phase, your goal is to effect interaction with your environment and evade the detection of all agents as to what you really are--someone who will protect yourself and your loved ones with deadly force if threatened with congruent levels of force by a hostile agent (looter, rioter, thug, murderer, etc., etc).
  • Phase 1: In this phase, the hostility threat level has increased to the point that your safety is in question. As you can see in at the top of this knowledge base article, your stealth will be compromised to allow for more kit, and firepower. Certain areas of the United States are in Phase 1 at the time of this writing; particularly areas with high incidents of flash mobs, Occupy Wall Street Protests gone bad (Oakland, CA) and racially motivated hate crimes.
  • Phase 2: Well, the crap has hit the fan and the situation has retrograded into chaos. Welcome to Mad Max (not quite, but almost). This phase discusses the Grey Man Directive as it pertains to Phase 2, or all out flash mobs, rioting and looting on a massive scale in the major cities. During this phase, local, state and federal governments have lost much of their control of the cities, leaving you in charge of your own destiny, but wasn't that always the case?
  • Phase 3: We are now in the final phase of the four phase Grey Man Directive. We now find ourselves in the midst of calamity during a full blown social and economic collapse. Hyperinflation has run its course and the populous as a whole has devolved to animalistic behavior. Bands of rioters, looters and bandits control the cities and roam the countryside. There is all out rioting and looting on a national/continental scale. It's quite literally a war zone in the United States during this level of the Grey Man Directive. I might even note: That the Aftermath of Katrina could be Seen as a Localized Phase 3 (Phase 2.5?).
This is an excellent article on going armed, concealed carry and yes even what to accessorize with. Yet, it has a massive flaw; a one size fits all solution that is extremely dangerious to accept. Their is no single perfect strategy for dealing with a chaotic and traumatic situation. You make a decision and have the live with the consequences... or die because of them. Appearing as a "Grey Man" can invite criminals to target you, remember those thugs, robbers and so on mentioned in "Phase 0" have a specific means of seeking out their victims.

A Psychology Today Article titled Marked for Mayhem, explains how criminals target their victims... signs that being gray might just put you in danger in Phase 0 or later Phases. The Link Below for the full article:
Lists 5 specific areas that might make you seem like an easy target.
  1. posture,
  2. body language,
  3. pace of walking,
  4. length of stride,
  5. and awareness of environment
Self-Defense Expert Marc MacYoung has a great site full of Self-Defense information: www.nononsenseslfdefense.com and has a whole section dedicated to the 5 Stages of Violent Crime: http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/five_stages.html listed as;
  1. Intent: Thr criminal has psychologically decided to attack.
  2. Interview: This is were the criminal closes with scopes out and fients innocence to get close and check out the awarenss of the intended victim.
  3. Positioning: Set the stage at achieving a position to attack and over whelm you suddenly. Trapping people in choke points like doorways, elevators or between cars, walls or other assailets is all a brief explaination of Positioning. Sometimes getting in your fce over a proceived slight is a means of testing your awareness an experience to knowing how to respond to certain tactics.
  4. Attack: This is the point were the criminal attacks; usingviolence or threa of violence to get what they want.
  5. Reaction: This is response to your reaction ad how the criminal views what he/she just did and your reaction to his action plays a part in this.
Quite simply a criminal may use a variety of tactics that exploit a "Grey Man's" Strategy. These include Ambush (surprise attacks); a baseball bat to the back of the head will still drop you, your being unnoticed will make it all the easier for a criminal to "seperate you from the herd," Distraction; anyone trained in ninjutsu knows about this, throwing powder in the eyes, fients and disguises all address this information & a variety of other tactics are used to spot a weakness and exploit it.

I'm not against the Grey Man Directive and find it so much more realistic then the Grey Man Theory of Invisible Resistance to Tyranny. I am against single stage solutions, one size fits all thinking and mistaking tactics for strategy. I addressed this in a YouTube video. Camouflage might be needed and should be exercised in most cases; however do not mistake it for a Strategy for Survival. A tactic is a method and action used to deal with an immidiate situation/threat, a strategy is a planned meeting of a series of goals that coenside with a single end goal.

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  1. Great Post. You can't practice or attain grey status. You either are or you aren't. Where I grew up you maintained a low profile with just enough presence to deride any and all inclination of f'ing with you. Thanks.

  2. Yeah in my experience keeping a low profile can get you targeted by criminals in some case. Course that was mostly in big cities LA, New York, Cleveland OH & Souel Korea.