By Ernest Emerson, Emerson Knives
Have you ever heard of the Grey Man? It is one of the cornerstones of spook trade-craft and is a vital, invaluable tool, to anyone wanting to stay under the radar. It is easy to understand yet difficult to master and it can be the deciding factor between your safety and a very bad day.
What is the Grey man? Grey is a neutral color, it’s not black, it’s not white and it plays the role of filling in and becoming in essence, the background for all other colors. It is neither here nor there and goes completely unnoticed against all the bright colors and the sharp contrasts between light and dark. What does this mean in terms of you, the human element?
It means that often your best defense is to just simply become part of that grey background where you become completely unremarkable, unnoticed and unseen. It can start by being as simple as adjusting your choice of wardrobe colors. In fact grey really does work. It is not just an analogy. For example, if you are in a foreign country and don’t want to be “American,” don’t wear your “I Love New York” T-shirt. Look like a local, don’t talk loudly, laugh loudly, or do things that draw attention to yourself. Having a book, or better a local newspaper, (even if you can’t read it) is always good. Don’t pull out your map and look around trying to figure out where you are. Remember condition white? If you are in a foreign country some of your, must learn words should be, please, thank you, excuse me, good morning, good evening, hello and goodbye. Many times that is all you have to say, and nothing more, to pretend you’re just not in a talkative mood.
And learn to improvise. One time I was in a situation where I didn’t speak any of the language. I was on the spot and didn’t want anyone to know where I was from so I just made some words up. I think they thought I was from Lithuania or somewhere, I admit, that is not exactly being Grey but it got me where I wanted to go. I’ve even tagged along at the back of tour groups I’ve had nothing to do with. And, I’ve used a really bad Irish accent from time to time. The point is that you have to think like you’re a human chameleon, mentally, physically and socially if you want to “fade into the mist.”
The point I’m making here is if you are not noticed you can’t be a target.
Now, let’s take a look at your possible actions, if you have discovered an active threat to either yourself or perhaps some other unwitting victim.
What was the title of this article? Preemptive Self Defense, that’s right. What does ‘Preempt’ mean? My simple definition is this; the act of stopping something before it happens.
That definition denotes that there must be some action or interaction on your part.