The Clean Run (Pedestrian Method): Deterring, Detecting, and Dodging a stalker while walking about.
Using methods learned from casework and from colleagues while working cases involving surveillance (counter-surveillance), counter-terrorism, HUMINT - Human Intelligence (Recruiting and Running Assets) I bring readers useful and potentially life-saving techniques to avoid and even combat the efforts of their stalkers.
A key part of my work with stalking victims is helping them take back for themselves the power they often unwittingly give to their stalkers. What do I mean by this? A powerful tool used by stalkers, terrorists,and even hackers to terrorize and control their victims is the mystique of mastery they create for themselves. Ironically, the most common way this is achieved is not with the abundance of what they know but rather with the abundance of what their victims don't know. Think of when you were child and saw your first magic trick and the awe and amazement you felt. Then remember when someone let you in on the trick and the almost sense of disillusionment or even disappointment you felt and sense of "blah" you felt whenever you saw the same trick performed again, regardless of the finesse and skill applied. Also think of the sense of encouragement and empowerment YOU felt when you successfully performed the trick for others and saw the awe and amazement in their eyes. These are the very dynamics that the professional magician build their performance and reputation upon...and stalkers too.
Yes, above all else, the success of of both a magic show AND a stalking campaign is dependent on the MYSTIQUE created in the mind of their audience...or victims. Actual skill does help but most low level magicians and most stalkers know that with enough mystique, a few parlor tricks, they can go a long way to keep others in awe...or in fear.
For me, it is not enough for me to identify or take down a given stalker, but rather it's more important to help the client see past the mystique and let their once sense of fear and powerlessness turn into awareness and empowerment. The most effective response to a stalking campaign is not about dis-empowering the stalker but rather empowering their victims. By imparting upon the client true skill and expertise they begin to become less "dazzled" by and better able to identify the parlor tricks of their stalker and ultimately, better equipped to not only protect themselves when being stalked but when necessary, also able to go on the offensive and put their stalker on the defensive.
The Spy vs Spy articles that will be offered from time to time will seek to impart some of the same benefits my clients receive from my guidance on to the readers. This article will discuss the counter-surveillance concept of "Clean Runs" and how they apply to pedestrian situations. Specifically we will deal with the Deterring aspect of Deterring, Detecting and Dodging. The other two areas will be covered in subsequent articles.
The Clean Run Defined
A clean run is a commonly used term in covert intelligence, law enforcement and security circles that refers to identifying and escaping efforts by someone physically following you whether by vehicle, foot, or remotely (i.e. CCTV, drones, etc). Clean Runs can also refer to efforts taken to make oneself less likely to be followed in the first place.
Deterring: The First and Most Important Effort!
Any competent spy, cop, bodyguard, etc will tell you that for all the specialized skills, gadgets, or weapons accumulated in the course of their career, the truest demonstration of their expertise is how little they need to resort to them.
The best covert agent is the one who blends so much that one barely even notices them among the crowd let alone feels to need to track and monitor. The best cop is one that patrols and interacts with others in a way that few feel encouraged to commit a crime while on said cop's beat. The best bodyguard is the one who gets the client from point A to B via travel methods and studied routes that all but guarantee an uneventful day and shift. Below are some of key things that help the above mentioned each day and can help you also have the best possible chance of staying out of sight of a would be stalker an avoid need for the more advanced clean run techniques needed discussed in later articles.
Know alternate activities when possible and learn multiple routes of travel between given destinations and alternate between them often. By avoiding the routine, you make it hard for one to follow you undetected and ideally, next to impossible to catch a tail in the first place. The more well trained surveillance agent or surveillance team (or gang stalking team) understand that a more hardened target will be most vigilant when leaving and arriving between destinations
A key tool to address this is to perform reconnaissance to determine your day to day routines and travel routes. Then once armed with such critical intelligence , they can plant themselves and/or other team members on more busy parts of your routes in order to begin tailing you undetected as well as determine the best "hand off" points when working with multiple agents.
By avoiding a predictable routine of activity and travel, you firstly frustrate reconnaissance efforts as well as increase the likelihood of detecting such operations taking place. Secondly, you also begin to decrease the ability of a stalker to latch on to you undetected and also undermine the effectiveness of gang stalking team's hand off preparations and protocols.
Develop environmental baselines for a given route and watch for possible telling variations.
Get to know the typical cars, people and activity around your home and places of and along regular travel. Doing so will help you develop the critical ability to catch key variations.
Examples would be unusual vehicles or people around , sudden and dramatic events or interactions intended to distract you to set up for attack or to place new tracker or tracking on you.
Developing such an ability is can seem daunting, if not impossible. However, with some discipline and patience you can train your mind to help you develop this important type of intelligence gathering skill. Its a matter of learning to observe.
By learning to observe, I mean, instead of staring at your phone when waiting about or zoning during travel and activity, turn such moments into opportunities work out you mental muscles. Practice looking around you, count people, exits, or even random objects around you more, even steps you may be taking from one point to another, even who things or people interact with each other. This is something taught spies and government agents in the US and across the globe. It can be difficult and strenuous at first but just like any other form of exercise and activity, if done regularly and diligently they eventually become effortless and even sub-conscious. Doing so, trains one's mind to begin to learn how to take in and store large amounts of data and eventually do things such as catch that one seemingly insignificant detail that causes you to quickly hone in on that one person that "doesn't seem right" or that one event or interaction that seems less random and more manufactured to draw people's attention for whatever reason. The list goes on and on.
Avoid the need to rush between destinations. I am sure we all can recall many moments where following an intense situation we find ourselves playing the tape back in our heads and after even a little thought or analysis find start beating ourselves up with things like "why didn't I just do that?" or "why didn't I just comeback with that clever response?" There is a biological reason for why this happens and why agents are trained to turn this biological dynamic from a liability to an advantage within themselves and against and external target. Below is a simplified explanation of important neurological principles and dynamics as they relate to development as a spy or investigator. The brain has two main ways of detecting and handling problems. The frontal area (Temporal) contains that part of us that allows us to critically look at things and make decisions that are logical and well reasoned. Further back is that part of our brain (Amygdala) that triggers the flight or flight mode. At a time of clear crisis our brain makes quick decisions and directs actions based on trained heuristics (quick problem solving processing and response using as little data possible to facilitate a speedy response) and muscle memory. That part of the brain uses the least amount of data needed to quickly determine the best route of coming out on the other side of a crisis situation unharmed.
What is important to know here is that BOTH are essential to our development AND survival. It is also important to know that the two can never operate at the same time. Only one can be in control at a given time. The temporal lobe is what most humans operate in while the amygdala is kicks in when intense, dangerous or highly emotional situations are in play. The temporal draws from our experiences, assumptions and knowledge, education and training to help us process a situation and determine the best response based on a myriad of goals we are looking to achieve. Where as the amygdala draws upon our most impacting experiences , core assumptions, knowledge regularly utilized, intellectual muscle memory, if you will and our actual muscle memory to help up QUICKLY process a situation and determine the best response achieve ONLY ONE GOAL, to SURVIVE. By training the temporal with good and sound data it can get us through pretty much any situation or ordeal. By learning to see when you are falling to the amygdala (like when emotional, scared or in a hurry) and training yourself to pull back when possible you begin make yourself less likely to be unwittingly forced to the fight or flight mode and this less likely to act irrational and be easily blinded by distractions and the figurative AND literal traps being laid out for you. By training the amygdala with key skills that become "intellectual muscle memory" (especially like described in the previous section) and the body's actual muscle memory with key physical skills, as agents and especially soldiers are rigorously trained to do, something amazing happens to the amygdala. The most clear...and most fun way to describe it is that you turn what was once a weakness (panic mode), into a very powerful and even dangerous asset (superhero mode). Though of course dramatically exaggerated yet not too far from the reality of this dynamic , a good example of this dynamic is prominently featured in the character Jason Bourne in Robert Ludlum's Bourne Identity Series. Not only are the movies incredibly entertaining, they do help one see what one is truly capable of doing with enough diligent and rigorous training in the above described areas.
Avoid inadvertently publishing your routine over time (especially online).
While we can't live in a social cocoon or as total hermits, it is important that we recognize that we are living in an era where we are becoming more and more trained to share even the most minute details of our activities and even our thoughts, especially online. Back in the days of the cold war and well before we called that stuff, Intelligence. It is the bread and butter of any spying operation and depending on how current and reliable that intelligence is, the difference between mission success and failure and ultimately the difference between national security and national disaster. It is why agents killed and if need be, die to obtain and deliver seemingly benign data like the favorite meal or even book of a foreign leader, or even their driver.
However, thanks to the end of the cold war, that type of spy is not as common and such duties relegated to desk analysts function. However we can mostly thank social media leaders and giants like Facebook. Now people of all statuses, locations and walks of life freely give that data away in the form of a wall post or that "harmless" survey asking what "What Disney Character are you?". Now agents...and stalkers have a readily accessible and self updating database of intelligence to help them determine the best ways to get inside a target's head, or even their house. Interesting bit of trivia, one of Facebook's early funders came form a company called In-Q-tel. in the late 90's the CIA was given government authorization to form a capital investment firm (what today is known as In-Q-Tel) as a completely separate entity (legally speaking) that is focused on investing in developing technologies that possibly can in some way help serve national security interests. Many services and apps we take for grated as mere personal expressions tools like social media were actually funded by In-Q-Tel. This includes companies like Google and Facebook. Look it up yourself, not exactly top secret nor did it need to be. When you see how readily available the confirming data is and for how long, you should begin to just how impacted we are by the overwhelming amount of data and stimulus around us and further drive my point that sharpening our focus and critical thinking can save one from being any more the soft targets they already are.
Avoid digitally tagging yourself. Yes the "check-in" options of your social media accounts is cool but it is also a way of keeping would be perpetrator updated in real time about where you are and what you are doing and sometime, with whom your are with or if all alone. Furthermore, if going to share vacation details and photos, it is best to post such things AFTER you have returned when all but the most trusted of your circle even knew you were out of town. Also, turn off not just the general location software on your devices but also learn to look at all your apps you install and make sure you haven't inadvertently allowed it the ability to turn it back on whenever they choose. This is especially true for any photo apps and social media apps you use. Despite the numerous articles and podcasts over the years that discuss this, many people are still unwittingly telling people exactly where there are located...even when they aren't actively using a given app. One of the worst and most blatant is Snapchat. Go check out your phone, or better yet, your kid's phone (Snapchat is a top choice for middle school-aged kids).
They have a map function that shows pretty much exact coordinates an avatar's owner located in real time. Snapchat is only one of a myriad other apps that offer this "convenience".
By following the above tips regularly and diligently you will come a long way in already making yourself not only less of a victim but an even better stalker than your actual one and weakening them as you become even more skilled beyond the few "parlor tricks" they used to convince you they are some ubiquitous, spy/hacker whom you are utterly powerless against. Furthermore you will become even more prepared to use their own tricks and more against them to put THEM on the defensive and make eventually make THEM feel as exposed and powerless as they are currently seeking to keep you feeling.