The Concept of Gray Man

10 Jul

The Gray man concept is popular with many preppers and survivalists. Being a “Gray man” means you blend in. Put another way, the nail that sticks out gets hammered down. You don’t want to be that nail. Most preppers associate “gray man” with wearing earth tones and not carrying obvious fancy tactical gear.

The concept goes deeper. It’s about keeping a low profile. It’s about keeping your cards hidden. It’s about living as simple and drama free life as possible. It’s about avoiding confrontations. It’s about keeping your head down and your neck safe. Much of the time, it’s about putting your family first and minding your own business. It’s about listening more than talking.

Unlike many sheepdogs, gray men are usually pessimists: They know they can’t change the world and have, to some extent, withdrawn. They’ve seen fellow nails get hammered, and they want to snuggle into the pine. They don’t want to get involved.

That’s not a particularly noble or heroic stance. But that’s OK. Gray men are beyond being manipulated by the power of social stigma.

One fellow who went anti-gray-man is George Zimmerman. Here was a guy who doesn’t like crime. He decided to get involved. We don’t really know what happened, but one thing led to another. Now he’s on trial for murder, and even if acquitted, his life will forever be harmed.

If you wind up on the front page of every major newspaper, you’re not being a gray man.

Being an idealist is bad too. Idealists want to do what they see as right and don’t consider the personal consequences. They think they can change the world. In reality, they often just get themselves in a mess. The world rolls on with its agenda.

An example is the current situation of NSA leaker Edward Snowden. He thought it was wrong the American government was lying to the American people about monitoring their telephone calls and e-mails. The official position has always been that the NSA only eavesdrops on people outside of America. If somebody outside America talks to somebody inside America, that could be fair game. But, monitoring all domestic to domestic calls was verboten.

Secret courts operating under secret rules making secret decisions have secretly decided otherwise. They’ve decided the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution doesn’t apply to secretly tracking Americans.

Idealism is great, but now Snowden’s in a pickle. His passport revoked, he’s basically living out the movie script The Terminal, effectively trapped in a Russian airport.

If you want to get secret information from somebody, an old-school acronym that is used is MICE. It stands for Money, Ideology, Compromise, and Ego. Some people will sell out for money. Others support a particular ideology or are idealists. A bruised ego can get somebody to spill the beans. Once any of these comes into play, the person is compromised. They can be blackmailed into providing more information. They’ll need to deal their way out.

A gray man would have looked at the personal risks. Snowden had all this going for him:

-A cushy, high-paying easy job in paradise (in a bad economy!)
-A sexy, pole-dancing girlfriend
-Full medical and dental insurance

On the negative, maybe the entire American population will be enslaved in the next thirty years as the result of his work. Can’t have everything. The reality is that the vast majority of Americans just don’t care. They want to spend their time watching reality TV.

Russia doesn’t want Snowden. He’s an idealist. Given enough time, he’ll be organizing Occupy the Kremlin protests. He’ll be pushing for greater press freedom. Russian officials just don’t want that sort of crap.

There were German idealists devoted to the concept of Communism who fought the Nazis covertly inside of Germany. When Russia moved into Germany, these people thought they’d be well treated. They were devoted. The first thing the communists did: Rounded up these people and threw them in prison. Why? Because if these people had the courage to stand up and fight the Nazis, they’d certainly stand up and fight the communist party.

A gray man knows ideology is just a front for whatever forces rule a country.

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