Note: This is an older article, so some of the things mentioned below may not work anymore.
To “live free” means to be able to control your own life and to avoid violence, or the threat of violence, by others. What you do and how you do it will almost always determine whether or not freedom will be yours. But YOU must take the responsibility for creating your own freedom. No one, especially the “government” will do it for you.
To “disappear” means to make it impossible for other people to invade your personal world of freedom. Since most such invasion is by means of electronic data gathering and cross-referencing, you must be able to short-circuit these procedures effectively.
The most efficient method today is through the use of what we call “alternate identification”. If the new names and numbers you plug into the computer networks don’t match the old ones, you have not only “disappeared”, but have also been “reborn”. And being reborn means leaving your past records where they can no longer affect you and your lifestyle.
This “disappearing” of individuals is obviously discomforting to institutions and governments determined to control personal activities in the Land of the Free. To them it appears downright seditious, since in reality their power depends directly on the number of people they can control-through computerized records, of course.
To those who actually “disappear”, however, the act is one of tremendous personal liberation. Free men owe very little to those who restrict opportunities on the basis of past records. An extreme example, which nevertheless applies to all of us, is this: When a person convicted of a felony has served his full sentence, is he then “free”? Hardly. What he will experience is really a LIFE SENTENCE of second-rate opportunity.
And what happens to the convict, in practice, happens to everyone who manages to have negative personal information placed in his “records”. When it comes to the point of a person’s having to live with a condemning past and ever-narrowing opportunities, it becomes easily understandable why he should be willing and anxious to scuttle his labeled identity and take on another.
Becoming a new identity, however, involves many things and requires careful attention to detail, as we shall show. At the heart of this process, though, is the ATTITUDE a person must assume if he is to make it work. He must forget about “his” government; he must become his own government, answerable only to himself, with his own rules, laws, and systems of behavior. This is an existential “moment” few are disciplined enough to experience, but it can be done. The result will be a growing detachment from Big Brother and a corresponding increase of personal freedom.
The individual needn’t worry about what would happen “if everybody else did this” because they WON’T. The object is for individuals, acting as individuals, to declare their mental independence from whatever System is attempting to enslave them. As individuals they are the best judges of what degree of slavery they can accept, how far down the road they can go before becoming robots for Big Brother. Simply put, it’s the Sheep and the Wolves. The Sheep go to slaughter, the Wolves wherever they wish….
There are numerous intermediate tactics between total compliance and complete disappearance, such as refusing to give your Social Security number (or giving it incorrectly), avoiding taxes, obtaining several foreign citizenships and passports, setting up bank accounts in several other countries, and planning at least two routes of escape to other countries, but in the end you will discover there really is no freedom in the world-‘YOU MUST CREATE YOUR OWN. You must learn how to protect your own rights as you define them. No one else will do it for you, NO ONE.
The object of this publication is to suggest ways an individual can, in practice, escape his past and secure a new future, on his own terms. Individuals will vary greatly in how they carry out their disappearances, and it is our hope that the ideas we present here are useful towards those ends. We make no claims of completeness or of exhausting the subject, as that could be potentially dangerous were individuals to rely solely on this information.
We must stress that everyone should think over his situation as carefully as possible, and then pick and choose which among our methods are best suited to his needs. Above all, he must begin using his head, trusting his hunches and instincts, and thinking of himself as separate, different, and even superior to those stuck in the System. He will have to become a Wolf. He must stand alone to be free.
If you need to dump your car, sell it yourself to a private party for cash. Be very careful not to reveal anything to this person about your real plans or reasons for selling. He would be an ideal source of information of this nature for snoopers, thanks to the efficiency of auto registration systems throughout the country. The buyer will, of course, be an excellent place to dump your fake information…
Once you relocate, should you need another car, pay cash for it even if it represents lowering your “status”. Delay registering it as long as possible. By the time you do, hopefully you will have established a new identity completely unknown to the last owner of the car.
Changing completely the “profile” of the type of car you drive might help reinforce your new identity, too. If you last had a large, domestic, expensive car, try for a small, foreign, economy car. Avoid splashy colors and styling, however. Look dull. Red cars get more attention from highway patrols–a proven fact.
If you need to move large amounts of personal property and can’t handle the job yourself, hire some “no name” movers from a city or two away, and have them put your stuff in some kind of public storage where you control access. Days, weeks, or months later, have another mover transfer your goodies to your new address. Plan this latter move for a time when you feel there might be the least chance of surveillance of the storage premises. DO IT QUICK. Avoid any intervening visits to check up on your stored items. Remember, too, to give false and misleading information to the agents who rent the storage space to you.
Sever all ties with any unions, clubs, lodges, or other organizations to which you belong. Become a “lost” member. It’s best to leave these groups “cold”, that is, don’t go around cashing in your interests in special funds or private accounts to the point where it becomes obvious you’re intending to pull up stakes. Leave a few bucks on the books.
Never send in Change-of-Address forms to publishers of magazines or other periodicals, and certainly don’t leave such a form at the local Post Office. Your mail will be returned to senders stamped, “Moved, left no forwarding address”, or “Unable to forward”, or words to this effect.
Never become friendly with a landlord. Hold up your end of the rental agreement, and he will undoubtedly be pleased to leave you completely alone. Landlords are fertile sources of information for snoops, so consider every conversation with them the same as if you were talking with the FBI. In his case, however, you are perfectly free to lie, mislead, and deceive all day long with impunity, so DO IT. Remember, however, that if you burn him for the rent when you split, you will gain not only an unpaid creditor but also an enemy who will bend over twice to help skip tracers.
Life insurance should be cancelled or allowed to lapse. If there is any cash value, take the money before you split. Insurance companies are great gatherers of personal information, so be sure not to tip off agents regarding your plans. Give them believable excuses like deciding to go with another carrier or your employer’s group plan, etc.
When you change houses or apartments, be careful not to leave behind items that might serve as indicators of your past, your interests, hobbies, or lifestyle. Books and clothing items you no longer need should be donated anonymously to the Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.
If you have grown children make it clear to them they will never know where you really are. Correspond through mail drops and make phone calls from pay booths if you must communicate. Cutting family ties can be painful, but sometimes the alternatives hurt more. Ideally, parents should train their children never to give personal information to third parties. Agents and investigators should be told to “get a warrant”.
Don’t worry about being tracked down by your photo. Tracing by photo isn’t done unless you’re a fairly notorious person, usually with a reward on your head. You’ve got to be “worth” the great effort and expense. It is possible to trace a person this way, but modern cops and dicks don’t do it unless there is no other way and the search is justified. The FBI admits that at any one time there are at least 75,000 fugitives in the U.S., so the Post Office photos can’t really be working all that well, eh?
It can be super-cool to room in someone else’s apartment or home. Check the daily newspapers for ads under heading like “Rooms to share”, “Rentals to share”, or “Apartments to share”. This way all records relating to occupancy will already be in someone else’s name. You will make arrangements with the current occupant only, not the landlord and the various utilities. This arrangement is well suited to someone wanting to put lots of “distance” between one identity and another, a great way to “get lost”, even if only a few blocks away. Once a new identity has been set up–a process that can take several weeks or months for someone wanting foolproof identity—he is much freer to appear, fully reborn, wherever he pleases.
Avoid getting involved in lawsuits or failing to respond to citations. If you have to split in a hurry, and can’t make an appearance, you’ve just bought yourself a possible bench warrant, which will be happily enforced the next time a traffic officer, pulls you over for a “broken tail light”. It is a well-known fact that arrests of most cons and fugitives are made in “circumstances unrelated to their crimes”. Stops for traffic violations are number-one such “circumstances”….
Pets can be a drag if you need to move in a hurry, so consider your situation carefully if you simply must have one. Also, most urban areas require the registering of certain kinds of animals, especially dogs. You can avoid registering them as long as possible, and give totally false information when a canvassing inspector catches up to you.
If you own or are buying a home, but want to disappear, arrange to have an attorney handle the sale and escrow. Attorneys can generally be counted on to follow their client’s instructions, and are usually quite careful about divulging information to third parties (snoops). Short of a court order, data relating to their clients is considered private and “privileged”. You will want to instruct your attorney in the manner of forwarding funds to you. He will have several ideas along this line, such as a trust account, conversion to cask, or deposit made out of state or the country.
There should be no problem in his handling the details of the sale once you grant him power of attorney for this purpose. Don’t be afraid to pay him well for his services, as he will remain a known “link” between your old and new lives. Should other methods of tracing fail, investigators will put pressure on him. Since most attorneys enjoy a good battle of wits, protect yourself by keeping him on your side. Wealthy people have always used smart attorneys to cover their moves, and so can you.
Similarly, if you have recently been the beneficiary of a will or have an interest in an estate, notify the executor that further transactions are to be directed through your attorney. Your address can thus be kept from public records. Since many probate matters can drag on for years, your present address will have to be known to the executor. It shouldn’t bother him that you wish a little privacy. If the estate in question were of great value to you, you would naturally want an attorney to look out for your interests, so this is the perfect excuse. Attorneys should be used.
If minor children are involved in your disappearing act, things can get complicated if they can’t or won’t cooperate with you. You will probably be changing identity, so you will have to get them to accept at least a new surname. Be serious about it and they should get
the message. They will have to cut off contact with old neighborhood friends, and will have to enroll in new schools under their new names. Since most schools require records and transcripts to be sent from the last school of attendance, and enrollment of kindergarteners and first graders to be accompanied by birth certificates, a little ingenuity and cleverness is in order.
First, birth certificates can easily be faked, as there are many sources of blank forms. Check the classified ads in any of the national tabloids (“Midnight”, “The National Enquirer”, etc.) under such headings as “Certificates” and “Miscellaneous”. The ID cards offered by these mail order firms are often accompanied by free birth certificates, too. For more information on birth certificates and alternate identity, order a copy of THE PAPER TRIP II, from Eden Press ($19.95).
In this latter book, you will also get ideas into how to create “records” of past activities, methods that will work in helping you cover your children’s tracks as well. The basic technique is to recreate the records you want, provide the address of a mail forwarding service as that of the source of those records, and handle all correspondence yourself. By using photo duplication of altered documents, a little rubber-stamping, or even some “quick-print” offset printing, you can easily and rather quickly come up with working solutions to some of the most baffling problems in starting a new identity. You can have a field day creating all kinds of “backgrounds”. The only limitation is your own imagination. These methods WORK, too!!
It would usually be a good idea not to give children an advance warning they are about to split the neighborhood, as they will be quick to tell their friends and schoolmates. Once on the move, keep them from communicating until you can arrange for them not to give away your location. Mail forwarding services can help here, too. Have them begin using their new last names right away.
If you belong to an Automobile Association, let your membership lapse. If you decide to rejoin, do it several months later under a new name, or join some other Auto Club under the new name.
If you use a particular barber or beauty shop, give no indication you are about to move or make any kind of radical change in your life. Talk about the weather, politics, or sports, but keep your private thoughts from becoming popular knowledge. Gossip thrives in these places. The same goes for bars, pool halls) liquor stores, and restaurants, which you have frequented in the past. Don’t tip them off.
If you’re planning to remain in the same general area, don’t use your old library card anymore. Chuck it and apply for another at another branch, under another name, of course.
When dealing with any real estate people to set up your new location, use only your new name. Many real estate firms also handle rentals, and are thus good sources for tracers if they have a general idea where you are, or are headed. This underlines the need to begin creating a new identity before you ever decide to “move”.
When you notify the utilities and telephone company to discontinue service, tell them not to send any refunds (if any are due) or closing bills until you notify them, as you are relocating and are not yet sure of the address. This way you will not be leaving any leads in this fer-tile field for investigators.
If you plan to remain in the general area serviced by the same utility company or companies, it would be advisable to have service begun either several weeks before you move (under the new name), or several weeks after you move. Snoops would find “connect” requests within five to ten days of your move worth investigating, dig?
If you ship personal property via UPS or common carrier, don’t give them the address where you intend to locate, not even the city. Simply tell them to ship to one of their pick-up points reasonably nearby your new location. Tell them you won’t have a definite address for several weeks, and that you will pick the stuff up “Will Call”. To put a good kink in pursuers’ trail, collect your items at this latter destination and ship again, via another carrier, to a location nearer your actual destination. Do the “Will Call” number again, though. A cardinal operating procedure is never to establish a link between the new and the old. Use blind addresses, aliases and other covers to screen the actual transactions. Time delays work in your favor also, the longer the better.
If you decide to hawk your possessions before disappearing, be extremely careful not to give away your real reasons for doing so (you could be going into missionary work in Uruguay), and definitely not the destination you have in mind. You could even pretend you are an employee of the person moving, and that the “boss” is moving his business to another state. A gambit used by many fly-by-night employers, such as carnival
operators, is to claim that they can never make decisions (write checks) without their “brother’s” approval and signature. Gee, they’d love to pay you, but their “brother” is tied up out of town until a week from next Tuesday…. Meanwhile, the operator splits.
If you decide to use a pawnshop for certain items, again, be discreet and careful not to divulge helpful information regarding your move. Pawnshops are natural haunts for snoops. Unless you’re used to dealing with them, it might be safest to sell your items openly. Pawnshop operators are very astute observers of people, and you could easily tip them off without intending to. They can sense desperation before you even come through the door.
Although procedures vary from state to state, it is generally possible one way or another to trace a person through his vehicle registration. If you plan to take your car with you, as a first measure simply don’t notify the Motor Vehicle people of your change of address. Sometime before you must pay registration fees again, either sell the car outright, or, arrange a dummy sale to yourself under your new name–a transaction that can often be done by mail.
There is a national clearinghouse for vehicle registrations, which mean a particular vehicle, if properly registered, can be traced through its various sequential owners. It would be a shame that one’s love for his car were greater than for his personal freedom, but many people will want to “take it with them”. A two-stage dummy sale would be much safer, especially if one of the transactions took place in another state. Registering the car in the name of a business could be another ploy to consider. The registration of other personal property, such as boats, trailers, and airplanes should be considered in the same light as that for automobiles.
Allusions to “going back East”, or “returning to college”, can be helpful smoke screens in evading inquisitive landlords. Never let them know where you’re really going.
J. Edgar Hoover stated many times that fully 90% of all arrests by the FBI are due directly to the “helpful cooperation” of neighbors and relatives. Need we say more?
Should you have school-age children and not want them to attend public schools, you can:
a. Find a suitable private school,
b. b. Tell neighbors the children are feeble-minded and that you are
tutoring them at home,
c. Tell the inquisitive you are a transient visitor from Mississippi, Virginia, or South Carolina, states which have repealed compulsory attendance laws,
d. d. Move every three months or so to prevent rumors from spreading
too far, and/or,
e. Keep the children under cover during school hours.
Don’t take the bus cross-country. Terminals are notorious hangouts for snoop informers who appraise bus travelers as “only niggers, spies, college beatniks, and other commie types”. (You’d never believe who said this, but then again, you may very well know…) _^^^^
Keep your home, job, personal activities and hobbies well separated, even self-contained. Don’t let heat in one area endanger any of the others. How? Read on…
Keep the address of where you actually live a well-guarded secret. This is VERY IMPORTANT.
Never carry your actual address on you or in your car.
Let only those who are trustworthy and have a genuine need know your actual address.
Set up a “legal” address somewhere else, such as a closet at a friend’s house, containing some misleading personal effects (books on subjects you have no interest in, and clothes a few sizes away from your own). He can thus point to something if ever questioned, but, of course, he hasn’t the slightest notion when you’ll be returning from India…
Use this “legal” address for all your ID that you plan on using regularly, such as drivers license or state ID. Provide it also for your employer’s records, should it be required.
If you need a telephone, not only have it unlisted, but have the records in a phony name. Let only the address be correct among the facts you are asked to provide. A small cash deposit is a small price to pay for anonymity.
Rent your apartment, house, etc., under yet another phony name, if you wish. Always pay utility bills and rent with money orders or cash. Cash doesn’t have your name on it, and you never have to provide your correct name on a money order. Keep a few receipts with your current alias written on them in case you still haven’t obtained good ID. Virtually any recognizable paper document “with your name on it” can be good enough for you to “identify” yourself if stopped for questioning. When you are between identities, this is the most convenient way of proving you are at least more “substantial” than an escaped convict…
Receive all your mail at a 24-hour Post Office box. Use your “legal” address to obtain the box, or any “friendly” address for that matter. Once you have the box, and continue to pay the rent for it, your can move every day of the week, and the Post Office won’t care.
Instead of a P.O. box you can employ a mail forwarding service. They will generally cooperate fully with you in your efforts to keep a good distance between you and anyone else, whatever your reasons. Most newspapers carry their ads in the classified section under “Personals”. With two or more services you can route your mail in and out of the country, or from one coast to the other and back again, each mailing under a different “code” name. Houdini never had it so easy.
For people (and bill collectors) you want to “lose”, provide a forwarding address out of the country. You can arrange to have letters mailed from foreign countries stating you have no intention of ever returning. If they are to creditors, tell them to write you off and save the collection expenses.
Another ruse for covering tracks is to write “deceased” on the face of incoming mail. Drop unopened into public mailboxes. All but professional snoops will get the hint.
By far the most useful method of learning about a person “cold” is through his driver’s license, a copy of which any investigator has no difficulty in obtaining. A postage stamp and the right request gets him the information in a few days. The best way to make sure snoopers draw a blank is to change your identity via one of the workable methods detailed in THE PAPER TRIP II, from Eden Press.
Thanks to computers and credit cards, virtually everyone has lost his privacy, but the right maneuvers in the personal identity field can liberate an individual rather quickly from such information tyranny. Indeed, resorting to methods of “disappearing” are really the only feasible ways of evading what amounts to electronic control of your life. When you exercise the option of unplugging yourself from the computerized data exchanges, you can in fact “start all over”, or at least regain and maximize your personal privacy. We think it’s well worth it.
It can be good discipline to do without a savings or checking account. If you must have one, set it up under a good alias for which you will need supportive ID. A drivers license or state ID card under a phony name can be obtained using any of the methods shown in THE PAPER TRIP II, and the Social Security “number” you give can be totally fake, even made up right on the spot. Just remember as you recite your “number” that it has nine digits, however. For IRS purposes, the SS# used for your checking account is of no value, and on your savings account serves
only as a crosscheck for the reporting of interest. This latter purpose, it has been revealed, is of little consequence in that the IRS virtually never bothers to verify interest reporting statements sent in by the banks. They have relied on the “basic honesty” of taxpayers…
A solid set of ID in another name is what can truly be called “freedom insurance”. With the growing threat of arrest and prosecution for leading a “free” life, it’s plainly comforting to have the option to cut and run, even if you choose not to.
Obtaining alternate ID should be done before you get into trouble. Take the time to do it right. In an emergency many other matters will compete for your time. In the future first-class ID may become more difficult to obtain, too.
The best ID to obtain is obviously that which is issued directly by government agencies themselves. Using forged, stolen or counterfeited ID is a bust in itself. Privately issued ID is more lightweight, but in lieu of government-issued ID, can serve the same purpose, namely, protection from harassment. It won’t get you a passport, though.
With “legal” ID you will find no trouble in doing many tasks, which would otherwise prove impossible or extremely difficult at best. Also with “legal” ID the risk of detection is reduced to a minimum. When and if you choose to disappear, you can appear instantly “identifiable”.
With government-issued ID you can effectively erase the curse of a jail or prison record. Tens of thousands of “free” Americans carry with them the permanent label of “felon” or “ex-con”. The real crime begins only after a person leaves the joint; legal and social ostracism continue all their lives. What better reason to disappear?
If you had the misfortune to receive a less-than-honorable discharge from the armed forces (thousands do so annually), the acquisition and use of an alternate identity will be your first step in beginning to live free. Even though you may have lost all or most of your G.I. “benefits”, you’ll at least be able to get a decent job–now. Watch out for fingerprinting, however. Big Brother has your prints, and will be only too happy to prove you’re one of those “Dirty, rotten, rat-fink, Commie deserters”. And you thought honest criminals had it bad…?
Using an alternate identity is another way of covering up a bad employment record, too, particularly if the law was involved in some adverse way, such as in cases of theft, embezzlement, etc. In some occupational circles the word gets around efficiently–and fast.
Many young men of draft age split to Canada during the Vietnam
fiasco to escape what they considered the illegal obligation of fighting an immoral war. Their return was often facilitated by the acquisition of alternate identity. And who knows when the next immoral war will be foisted onus? It can’t hurt to be prepared.
By obtaining the right documents individuals can rather easily take on foreign citizenships, too. Most countries have much more lax “safeguards” against the paper penetration of their document systems than the U.S. Although superficially the more centralized countries appear to
have better control of their subjects; it is precisely this bureaucratic patina of confidence and superiority that makes their record systems more vulnerable to subversion. If bribes and theft don’t work (they usually do), then the documents themselves are very susceptible to forgery and counterfeiting. By approaching the right “trade ministers”, many international businessmen have obtained numerous “legitimate” foreign citizenships, passports included. IT CAN BE DONE, U.S. “law” notwithstanding.
Many people have made regular practice collection agencies through the adroit use of identities. They are living proof that debts belong to yesterday. Financially they live quite free–today.
A quick way up the occupational ladder is to combine mail order school diplomas, certificates, and degrees with expert ID. Not only can a clean break with the past be achieved, but a sharp increase in income as well. The only limit here is your imagination and desire.
Some of the sharpest operators create ID as a physician or clergyman and rake in commercial discounts as well as hundreds of free offers and special deals once their names get on “preferred” mailing lists. Such ID can be of great benefit socially, too.
Alternate ID is the quickest way to starting all over in the credit world. The most atrocious credit record is gone forever when your old name disappears. This is an oversimplification, of course, but what else can be said when your aren’t “you” anymore?
Once some form of commercial or consumer credit is established, it becomes very easy to obtain all the various forms of credit cards, from bankcards to the Travel and Entertainment cards. Complete plans for starting all over in the credit game are outlined and detailed in CREDIT, from Eden Press.
II. LIVING FREE
Avoid attending church. If you must, however, use an alias when attending, and make contributions in cash, never by check. If inquisitive neighbors ask you what church you attend, either name one of a different faith than theirs, or deny interest completely. Give the minister totally false information about yourself, as these good folks are great gossips when approached by snoops.
Never tell neighbors where or for whom you work. Give them false information on this subject. If you are paid by check, DON’T deposit the paycheck in any account with your name on it. The best idea is to go to the bank on which it is drawn and cash it there. If you make a regular practice of this, avoid becoming familiar with any tellers or other bank personnel. Vary the times and days for visiting the bank. Visit different branches of the bank, too.
Another check cashing tip: avoid getting it cashed at your favorite bar or tavern. FBI agents probably spend at least a third of their working hours hanging around such places, as they seem to attract the kinds of people they are looking for. Anytime there is a bank robbery, the first places the FBI checks out are all the bars within the immediate vicinity of the robbery. Don’t laugh. It’s true because it works.
Be wary of answering “personal” ads in newspapers, as well as job offers too neatly tailored to the type of work you did before disappearing. If the ad calls for replying to a box number at the newspaper, disregard totally: it’s very likely a trap. Reply only to ads that can guarantee not having to give yourself away, such as offers for appointments at known companies. If phone numbers are provided in the ad, call only from a pay phone. There’s always the possibility you might be calling directly to a bill collector or private investigator that will give you enough patter to smoke you out.
For some really unique ways to find employment, Eden Press distributes HOW TO STEAL A JOB, literally every dishonest way there is to gain honest employment. With the techniques in this book, YOU can call all the shots. Well worth reading even for those who already have a job, too. Someone could be gunning for you. This book will open your eyes.
On the job, avoid giving background information to fellow workers. If you’re planning to stay on the job only a short while, however, make an effort to plant false and misleading information in the minds of the other workers, such as your favorite pastimes, places you’d like to travel to or live someday, and your plans for the future. Insulate your private self by keeping your personal interests and ideas to yourself alone. Share the spurious with the curious.
Don’t subscribe to any local newspapers delivered by carriers. Buy what you need at a news rack. These cute kids have sometimes been “helpful” sources of information about people’s habits at home.
Don’t be obvious in your living habits. Turn lights off at a decent hour, keep stereo music from annoying neighbors, don’t place empty pony kegs on the front porch, and don’t have pets that stray or annoy. Don’t do major engine overhauls in the driveway, either.
Be very careful about who comes to see you at your residence. Avoid anything unusual which might spark the interest of neighbors. If what you do or the people with whom you must deal are “interesting”, it might be best to arrange get-togethers elsewhere. Keep your nest clean–good “criminal” advice.
Avoid using banks except for actually cashing checks given you by other people. Try to conduct your affairs with cash and money orders. When using the latter, never write your name on the face or the line marked “Payer”. Use fake names, account numbers, or business names.
For most purposes money orders can be considered “untraceable”, since the issuing institutions (American Express, banks, US Post Office) file the paid orders by number only, not by other criteria which might tend to give you away. People and businesses to whom you might remit money orders virtually never record this number, either. They are usually happy to be paid by money order and will consider it the same as cash. Individuals wanting to hide income and/or otherwise disguise their financial dealings find money orders most useful in shortchanging the bandits at IRS, too.
Undertakers are another source like ministers, in that they are good talkers. If you have to deal with one, be on your guard with what you tell him. If you are called on to provide information for a death certificate, give him only the data he actually needs. It should be easy to appear too grief-stricken to want to chat…
Whenever you need the services of a physician, dentist, hospital, etc., make it standard practice to use an alias and an address other than where you live. Pay in cash. Recite’-don’t display’-your “drivers license” number and Social Security Number, making sure they are totally fake. Other data requested, such as employer, birthdate, etc., should be misleading. Ignore the “warning” at the top of some hospital forms that federal law requires honest information. We’ve never heard of anyone getting busted for such a “crime” that also paid his bill. Fraud is fraud, but identity is your business. Medical records are very definitely NOT confidential. How else would life and health insurance companies be able to decide so imperiously who “deserves” their coverage, and at what rates…? For most people, medical insurance itself is a fraud.
Don’t have milk or other items delivered to you on a regular schedule. The fewer people seen calling at your residence, the safer. Neighbors will often notice home deliveries, which can prove to be fertile leads for future snoops.
Avoid membership in political groups or other civic organizations. As a rule these groups are filled with super sneaky, nosey individuals more willing than not to stab someone in the back if it suits their selfish purposes. Total snakes.
Arrange to have your mail sent to a 24-hour Post Office box, or to a mail drop or mail forwarding service. This way the only mail to be left at your residence will be the “Occupant” variety. Make it a rule NEVER to sign for certified or registered mail. Tell the carrier that you are not the person named on the receipt, or that so-and-so moved months ago. Where? Austria. . . . , Or was it Australia?
Avoid having arguments or run-ins with neighbors. An old, unresolved grudge might be just the spark that sends an investigator to your new location. “Getting even” is a passion few people can resist.
If a snoop is trying to trace you by telephone he may invite you to call him person-to-person collect. DON’T DO IT. Ignore the request, no matter what the excuse is. You might be tempted with some pie-in-the-sky lie, but what he’s really after is your location. If you don’t give yourself away in the conversation, he will simply call the operator back for time and charges, and while she’s at it, the location of the telephone originating the call. She will be only too happy to help.
If you have to live in a motel, hotel or nosey apartment complex, always make it a point to be ordinary and outwardly polite to any employees on the premises. Give them no reason to remember you other than as a normal person. Freaky behavior is easily noticed and remembered by telephone operators, janitors, maids, superintendents, house detectives, and bellboys. Tips make them TALK, too.
It’s safest not to take in roomers or boarders, even though they can help with expenses and provide companionship. The fact is, they can get “too close” to you by picking up all kinds of information tidbits which could come back to haunt you should certain kinds of third parties start pumping them. Even though you might feel you could trust them, it’s very easy for a friend to give you away. . Innocently.
In changing to a new identity within the same general area, make it your policy to patronize none of the commercial establishments you did before the name change. This would include service-oriented businesses, too, such as shoe repairs, TV repairs, photographers, cleaners, poodle parlors and massage parlors. If you or a member of your family had been assisted by such charity organizations as the March of Dimes or Community Chest, make sure that future aid is obtained from some other organization.
If you need to have prescriptions filled often, do two things: 1) Have them filled by different pharmacies; don’t patronize the same one repeatedly, and, 2) Never give the pharmacist your correct address and/or telephone number. If you are in need of continuing prescription, such as for certain heart conditions or diabetes, consider having it filled by mail from one of the large interstate mail-order pharmacies. These outfits usually offer greatly reduced prices as well, as they are willing to deal in generics, as opposed to strictly name-brand drugs. Check ‘ em out.
Try to avoid all contact with law enforcement people. They are like sponges whenever they deal with the public: they take in endless quantities of information whether you are the victim or the perpetrator. When approached by investigators and spies, they just love to spill out all they know, and sometimes get in on the act themselves. Avoid trouble and avoid cops.
Credit bureaus and department stores will have credit files on you if you’ve used them in the past. It would be safest to avoid using credit in the future, but if you need to get plugged back into the credit scene, it would be advisable first to read our own book, CREDIT, to see how credit can be set up from scratch under new identity. This useful book has the kind of inside information one needs to make the credit-granting system perform to his special situation.
If you follow our suggestions regarding delivery of your mail, you will naturally never accept any Registered or Certified mail at your address. Since the carrier will never know your identity by leaving only mail addressed “Occupant”, you can safely tell him that you are not whoever is named on the piece of mail he is trying to deliver. Don’t be rude or arouse suspicion, simply help him do his job by telling him there is no such person at your address. If he asks who you are, he’s out of line. He will return the letter marked “Unable to Deliver at this Address”, or “Unknown at this Address”, or something else to the same effect.
Sometimes snoops will address mail to a fictitious person “care of” your last known name and address in the hopes it will be forwarded (somehow), and that you will have the stupidity to return it to them with your new address (provided by you). Any suspicious or unfamiliar mail with your new address should simply be marked “Unknown”, “Return to Sender”, etc., and deposited in a public mail box for return.
If the letter doesn’t come back to the sender because you kept it or chucked it, he may well try again with something more enticing, or even pay a personal visit. Tracing by mail is the cheapest route for snoopers, so be on the lockout for any mail you’re not expecting or seems the slightest bit suspicious. This will be the opening salvo in any investigation to determine your whereabouts. Watch your mail!
Providing any information other than return instructions per above can invite disaster, too. Putting on a fake forwarding address, or even a “General Delivery” notice, will tell the sender, when the letter is returned, that someone at the address on the letter knows more than he does. The “Registered Letter”, physical surveillance, or a personal visit will be his next move. You can count on it.
Be especially watchful for any letters with an “Attorney’s” return address. They deserve no more respect than any other letter. If you’re not expecting correspondence from your own attorney, it’s very likely a fake name used by an investigator. This gambit is many times used on third parties (close relatives of yours) in the hopes they know where you really are and that they have the “courtesy” to forward the letter to you. This is a good reason for you NOT to tell relatives where you can be reached. If they don’t know, they can’t tell.
If you can trust a particular person to forward items to your P.O. box or mail forwarding service, at least instruct them to place the letter in another (cover) envelope so that no forwarding instructions are on the face of the original envelope. You can decide what to do with the mail when you get it. If you want it returned, do NOT drop it in a box in your area—the stamp of the main post office near you will likely be on the envelope, much to the glee of the sender. Either send it back to your friend in still another envelope for him to remail locally, or use a mail forwarding service in a distant city to remail per your instructions. Again, BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR MAIL. Knowing how to deal with your mail is vital in disappearing. Think first before acting!!
Avoid drawing attention to yourself. Don’t exhibit “socially unacceptable” behavior PUBLICLY. Cops are programmed to bust anyone who appears “suspicious” (different from them). Jails, psycho wards, and prisons aren’t exactly “free”….
Your appearance, possessions and actions should always justify your presence on a legitimate (conventional) basis. This is the best way to avoid suspicion.
If you are stopped and questioned, always be able to give a reasonable explanation of why you are there, where you are from, and where you are going. Smile and be “helpful”.
A sullen or hostile attitude triggers the cops for a bust–your bust. So go ahead and “Kill the Pigs”–with kindness. You’ll win by keeping your freedom, dig?
Even perfectly legal behavior can arouse suspicion. Avoid such things as solitary walks late at night, or wearing clothing inappropriate for the weather. Store detectives love to follow shoppers wearing oversized clothing, too. The police find it easy, even entertaining, to pin
stray raps on such “suspicious” characters. Days and weeks can go by before they decide they’ve made a “mistake”. Really!
Examine your daily habits and eliminate any that might possibly be regarded as “peculiar”, especially if performed publicly.
Live in a large city where you can have the protection of anonymity. Avoid small towns where the only sport is gossip–about you. Your business should be no one else’s.
Appear to be lower-middle class in your standard of living. Don’t attract the attention given the very poor or the obviously well off.
Rent a house or apartment that appears “respectable”, but no more plush than the average cop can afford.
If you like to live it up, do it somewhere other than around where you live and work. Try Las Vegas, New York, Jamaica, Tokyo, Fiji….
MAY WE RECOMMEND…?
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Dress conventionally. Adopt what you perceive as the broad community standard. Don’t be black or white as long as gray has so many shades. Blend in.
Be clean and neat, never showy or gaudy.
Conformity for guys means neat beard (if any), no long hair or freaky clothes. Biker “colors” are out.
For the ladies, no sexy, convention-flaunting attire such as miniskirts and see-thru blouses without underwear. The man LOVES to drool over “liberated” lassies, and often does more…
Have conventional answers to common questions such as where you are from, where you work, where your family lives, etc. Be vague, however.
There’s less heat in telling plausible lies than in countering with self-righteous silence. The object is to avoid suspicion, so be a “reasonable” person. Lying is not illegal unless you are under oath or perpetrating a fraud.
When confronted by federal agents or other law enforcement officers, you have no obligation to talk to them. If you do, however, make sure you don’t lie. Making false statements to federal officers is a bust! A good way to turn the “meeting” in your favor, is to inform the officer that he should take up the matter with your attorney, whose name and address you are willing to provide. If you don’t have an attorney at present, tell him you are in the process of obtaining one, and that you will so notify him when you do. This will tell the agent-snoop that 1) you are a cool customer who knows how to take care of himself by knowing his rights, and 2) that for him to deal with your attorney will be tantamount to having to take you to court–something he’s obviously not (yet) ready to do. Your talking to the officer could very likely insure you an earlier court date. …If that’s what you want.
It’s perfectly moral to lie to someone who asks about things that are none of his business. HE is the one acting immorally. Don’t forget!
Don’t throw wild parties. Far too many busts come courtesy of tender-eared, blue-nosed, fink-ass neighbors.
Don’t make speed, DMT, THC, acid, or nitro in your kitchen. Windowsills aren’t the safest places to cultivate, either.
Hold your stereo down to “mood level” late at night. Not everyone mellows out with Led Zeppelin or the Stones.
Your neighbors are the most dangerous people you know. You can include relatives here, too. They will ALL snitch without compunction. “Calling the cops” is fair sport in towns of all sizes, so don’t antagonize. Be friendly; stay friendly—but on your terms.
Be superficially “nice” to your neighbors, but have as little as possible to do with them. Ideally, you don’t want them to know anything about you.
Even if you observe all these precautions criminals, both private and public, might still harass you. Whatever you do, don’t blow your cover and thus lead them to suspect you. Keep your temper, be humble and polite, and refrain from shouting matches and/or slugfests. Remember you are a minority of one. “They” still have the guns and bars.
If you’re not content, however, to let vengeance be the Lord’s, at least abided by this cardinal rule of guerrilla warfare: Don’t let the enemy determine your tactics. Retaliate at a time and place with weapons of your choosing.
Any activity that might attract unfavorable attention, such as writing, nude photography, erotic sculpture, etc., should be done under a “nom de plume”. Provide a separate address for any such names. P.O. boxes are fine.
Never express controversial opinions around home or at work. If you preach, do it in another town or state.
Avoid being fingerprinted. Don’t apply for civil service jobs. The FBI would like to have everyone fingerprinted so they could control individual lives, but so far they’ve been stopped.
Stay out of the armed forces. Here again fingerprinting labels you forever with the only method of positive identification.
Don’t apply for security clearances or seek employment in firms, which routinely fingerprint.
Don’t take part in mass demonstrations or dissident activities, which might lead to mass arrests. Fingerprinting would surely follow.
The thumbprint required on applications for driver’s licenses in many states (like California) does not go to the FBI. It is kept with the applications “on file”, and its main purpose seems to be that of psychological deterrence. The states make no efforts to classify the thumbprints, and the FBI is not interested in helping. Applicants who want to make sure their thumbprints are absolutely worthless will press extra hard and make a slight twisting movement with their thumb as it is being printed. The result is a perfect smudge–worthless.
NEVER order utility services in your real name. Utility companies are the first watering hole for skip tracers.
Keep your name out of public records, such as business licenses, permits, tax accounts. Operate under another name or use another person as a front. It’s very easy to file “fictitious firm name statements” using minimal ID.
Always subscribe to magazines and newspapers under alternate names. Pay by mail using money orders. Don’t have your name on the money order.
Likewise, always order merchandise by mail under an alias. Again, pay with money orders without your name on them.
Own real estate under either a cooperative relative’s name, or a fictitious one created especially for the purpose. Names of phony businesses work well here, as it is perfectly understandable and justified for a business to own real property. Since real estate transactions are almost always at “arms length”, it is quite simple to hide behind your agent or broker. In this area money talks more loudly than you do, so it’s not too difficult to arrange things to suit yourself.
If you have to vote use your “legal” address. Just make sure you don’t live there. So-called “voter ID cards” are a snap to obtain, as no proof if identity is required. The only “security” for the registration process is your sworn statement….
Protect the names, addresses and telephone numbers of your friends. Use a code of your own making to disguise the actual names and numbers, or try to memorize what you need to know. You’d be amazed at how much you can remember in this area if you make the effort.
Try to avoid carrying this coded address book with you. Cops always flash on such items, and so-called “rings” are usually busted this way. A smart thing to do would be to carry a dummy book of names and numbers selected at random from the phone book. Keep your working book stashed in a safe place.
This practice protects you, too, inasmuch as suspicion is cast on you should some of your friends be busted and their names appear in your book.
Don’t engage in illegal activity on other people’s property without their express consent. Save the dope and skin scenes for places where no one else can get rousted besides the actual participants.
Don’t ask questions which intrude on the privacy of others. Ask general questions, not specific. One might not want you to know where he works, but wouldn’t mind telling you his occupation.
Adopt the attitude that personal information such as your school background, national origin, interests, politics, family income, etc., is NO ONE’S business but your own. And stick to it!! Snooping will thereby become so difficult that suspicion will be cast on the snooper rather than on you.
When faced with such an inquisitive person, have prepared a set of standard answers that you can deliver without discomfort or concern. But if the person is really obnoxious, give him some out-and-out lies, which, when “reported” in the right places, will make him look more like the ass he is.
Don’t request receipts unless the amount is large. Make them intelligible only to the parties involved. Remember that cash still has no names on it, which is why Big Brother can hardly wait for the day of the “cashless” society.
One CAUTION, however: Most banks have well established policies for recording serial numbers of large denomination bills whenever they are deposited or withdrawn in large amounts. ALL transactions of $10,000 or more are reported to the IRS. So play small and remain inconspicuous.
Payment of taxes of all kinds should be largely a matter of personal convictions. The public debate on “tax protest” is endless, so only a few generally observed practices would be mentioned here.
The basic rule, in which even the IRS concurs, is pay only what you are liable for. This means taking advantage of any and all loopholes to the fullest with the ultimate aim of paying no tax whatever. Don’t forget, however, that most federal prisons have rather distinguished populations of tax-evading accountants, attorneys, businessmen and politicians. If avoiding personal income tax, both state and federal, is your goal, by all means study well or seek competent advice. Texas and Nevada still have no state income taxes, in case you’re thinking of relocating to beat some taxes…
Sales and use taxes can often be avoided by buying consumer items through personal channels such as friends, bazaars, swap meets (some), classified want ads, bartering, and business exchanges. Out-of-state mail order purchases are exempt from local taxes, too.
Sharp practices, such as claiming 10 or 12 exemptions to reduce the weekly bite of withholding, or making a deal with your employer to be paid in cash (which a great many do willingly) are ways of lessening, even eliminating your tax, but can’t be recommended if you plan on remaining in the same job for over a year or so, or if you don’t wish to live with a solid alternate identity.
A “compromise” in the above dilemma is to maintain a minimal tax profile, but plan on earning the bulk of your income through non-recorded means, say, and odd jobs for cash. Lead a “straight” life for the tax vultures, but live “underground” with another trade and/or name.
In seeking employment you are usually asked for former job references. If you know that some of them will be negative DON’T LIST THEM! For the resulting “gaps” in your employment history, have already prepared the names and addresses of your former “employers”. They could be local or out-of-state, in which case they probably won’t be verified except by mail. Of course you will be prepared for this by listing a mail forwarding service’s address as that of your former “employer”. Merely pay the first month’s fee and notify the service of your code name–a company (“employer”). You will then be able to rewrite your own employment history. Oh Happy Day! Using attendance at school can also cover gaps or travel abroad as alternatives to negative job references.
For local job references, a good trick is to ask, or pay, a businessman’s secretary to give all the goody information right over the telephone. Provide the phone number on the application, naturally, but remember that the number may very well be verified first by a call
to Information. When it checks out, your application will appear quite honest, won’t it?
Personal references on either employment or credit applications
are a laugh. They are virtually never verified. Provide them, of course, but feel no compunction whatever in lifting random names and assumed relationships right from the phone book. A locally known doctor or minister is a safe bet, too.
For credit references bear in mind that outfits like big department stores and most credit unions will not give out information to ANYONE on one of their customer’s or member’s accounts. This means you can use any number of these references with impunity when applying for credit as the lender will not be able to verify one way or the other if your application is true–a fact he will definitely NOT tell you, however. A complete guide to establishing credit and obtaining credit cards is our own book, CREDIT! Very useful, indeed.
Consider using a typewriter for all your correspondence, as it is not only more impersonal, but also impossible to be “traced” to you. Whereas handwriting can give you away, typewriting cannot. Only the machine itself can be shown to be the one used for a particular piece of correspondence. Electric machines are even more impersonal than manual in that the striking pressure is uniform for all letters. Manual typewriting can show that you have a weak “a” or a strong “k” or “c”, for example. Be careful, too, of allowing the keys to clog to the point that the enclosed portions of letters begin to fill in. When the “e” and the “o” look alike, it’s time to get out the gum cleaner. Typewriters using the newer carbon ribbons do not have this problem.
As an added layer of protection for your correspondence, consider mailing a Xerox copy of the letter. There will be enough distortion in the copy to make tracing you mighty difficult. Should you begin using a typewriter regularly, you might plan to trade it in every six months or so for another model, different typeface, etc. They are rather cheap to rent, so this is a good possibility, too. Keep ’em guessing….
When going from the “old you” to the “new you”, it is usually a good idea to drop any old hobbies that could provide the basis for an informal “stakeout” of your possible activities. If it is known that you can never pass a museum or fishing pier without indulging yourself, you have an automatic lead to those who might want to go looking for you. Changing activities can be an excellent way of building your new identity. Not only will the old ways fade faster, but also your new acquaintances will provide the support and interest in creating the new identity more rapidly and completely.
Whenever you rent a new place to live, insist on the right to change the locks. Refuse to give the landlord the new key, too. Many times people have arrived home to find a snoopy landlord (lady, too) going through personal belongings, papers, etc. Items and possessions which might tend to give someone the wrong ideas about your identity, activities, interests, etc., should be stored in locked boxes of sturdy construction. Misleading items can be placed innocently in the open. Be observant of items being rearranged or moved, too. Until you’re secure in your new location, you might take the precaution of placing hairs on doorjambs, threads across the threshold, matches on the tops of doors. When choosing locks and keys, select those not readily available in the area.