The Luxembourg Talks…

Is privacy real or are we chasing a grand illusion? Do any of us truly know or understand what privacy means to us as humans? Most of us understand the idea of privacy in an intrusion sense, like foot prints, location services and hacking. Yet, many fall short when discussing the idea of human privacy. Think about it, we protect our computers, mobile phones, data, and assets. Privacy protection appears separate, when maybe we should think of our technology and our self as one.

The key topic of this month’s Luxembourg discussion was how will the pursuit of personal privacy today effect personal privacy in the future? The truth that came out was no one had been thinking of personal privacy in the future. Most admitted when they thought of privacy they thought mostly about business privacy, protecting data and assets. Another question that surfaced is should asset protection go beyond the corporation and into a client’s personal life. Meaning if you are keeping their assets private should you not also consider ways of protecting their personal privacy.

I think privacy needs be re-invented and we must recognize that we are no different than the tools we use. If we download a virus protection for our computer should we not think about how to protect our human actions from intrusion?  Certain intrusions will exist in our life no matter what, however, it is how we operate around these intrusions that are key. Begin thinking about privacy from a as collective and a from long-term perspective. Think beyond the setting up of a corporation, think about you as an asset.

Frank M. Ahearn
http://www.FrankAhearn.info
Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

Lady Luxembourg

Luxembourg café, sipping coffee with time to kill… I strike up conversation with a woman from LA. She has been living in Europe for fifteen years. In brief, we share our history and begin to talk about what it means to leave a world behind. She revealed that she ran from something, though not a predator but a broken life. A random trip dropped her on the streets of Luxembourg and she fell in love and knew it would become her home.

Upon arrival, she felt much like an outsider and unsure how to integrate. At first she blamed the people and the multi-culture of the city. However, as time moved she discovered that she carried her old world into her new. In her words, she planted a damaged seed in good soil. She realized that working and setting up a new household was only one part of moving on from the past.

The how to tools of privacy are important but by no means are they the only ingredients for living successfully off the radar. I have said it a thousand times, you cannot be Jack the bus driver in London and the then be Jack the bus driver in Monaco. Therefore, think beyond the fears of connections, the discreet communications, the Five Flag Theory and offshore banking. Think about who you want to become and work that as hard as you work your expectations of privacy.

Frank M. Ahearn
www.Disappear.Info
Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

A Short Thought

Some search for new lives at distant palm trees shores. While others yearn to go unnoticed in foreign cities. The dreams are basically the same, to live free and own a life better than the one possessed. This is not foolishness tinkering or ideas filled with grandeur. This is the beginning to the art of life, a start of personal freedom.

Do be aware that that sitting in Plaza Santa Ana or Campo de’ Fiori does not make one free. A postal code or arrondissement is only a façade of freedom. Freedom is about how you live, how you work and who you are in relation to your world. This is accomplished by your actions not the results of the Rue or Calle you call home.

No matter the stage in life, be it filled with hard cash or near broke and desperate. Your journey should begin with you and shedding the rubble from your world. Meaning, change the things about you before you change your city. If not, you will still be the same person in a different city. Perhaps, that is what you want.

Frank M. Ahearn
www.Disappear.Info
Author of: The Art of Disappearing, According to Sun Tzu’s, Art of War: Book One: Laying Plans

The Enslaved Bohemian

Most of the people I encounter are at an in between place in life. Typically, they stand on a foundation of disappointment. Many have worked hard and created a life they once believed in, while other have been unable to achieve the life they desire. What they all have in common is a feeling of being shackled to their existence.

In the past, when these “new-life” people contacted me, I was suspect of their motives. To a degree, I ignored this group thinking a truth was being withheld. Wrongly, I blew them off and I suggested they take an extended vacation. Not very kind on my part. I only looked at disappearing from the extreme.

However… A predator is a predator, some hurt people and some harass. It is possible for a life to be a predator. Think about it, a predator can enslave a person, just as a job, unhappiness, or the feeling of having no hope. These are experiences many of us have felt one time or another. Life should be a dream, not a nightmare, life should be beautiful and not an escape!

Sometimes a personal inventory is needed, an honest self-reflection. Is it me or is it the work? Is it me or my mate? How am I responsible for the life I am living? What do I need to do to change life? Can life be changed? If such a change means disappearing, is there happiness across the rainbow? Just because you walk away from your old life there are no guarantees that your new life will be all that. Trust me I know!

My plan when I moved to Europe was to write the next, A Moveable Feast. Instead, I spent the past two years hanging in cafes, talking and writing about disappearing. Not such a bad thing but not exactly the plan when I hopped on a plane from JFK.  In a weird sort of way, I feel like an enslaved bohemian.

What I have come to realize is back in New York, I placed blame on everything but myself and I believed bolting to Europe would solve all. What I have come to discover is I have been enslaved by the security of the disappear world.

Maybe honesty must rule before disappearing is considered or acted upon.

Frank M.Ahearn
www.Disappear.info

Author of: The Little Black Book Of Skip Tracing: Creating Pretext, Mastering Social Engineering And Finding Anyone Anywhere

Co-Existing With Intrusion

My philosophy of privacy has drastically changed and the exiting of the how to disappear business has finally become a reality. The idea of spending the next ten years creating deception for the purpose of disappearing people or solving digital problems no longer works for me. Even further, talking about disappearing has become a struggle because I no longer believe in the work. This is not to negate the validity of the disappearing tools I created but to say that I believe there is a different approach to privacy.

We must prepare for what is to come because technology is growing smarter. The extracting of our information, movements and connections is what technology is perfecting. Call it the rise of the machines or standard operating procedure. With that said, perhaps extreme disappearing, deception and digital disaccord will not be the correct tools to use for combat. Or even, maybe combating is not the solution either.

The idea of co-existing with intrusion and footprints have become primary in my thoughts. Not in the surrender but in the rise of accepting. Like that of a Digital Nomad who gives up a little bit of privacy to exist in their own idea of freedom. If anything, disappearing is about freedom and freedom should be a dream, not an escape. I recognize that this idea is not a possibility for all but then again, disappearing is not for all.

I will continue to offer consultation for the next few months.

Frank M. Ahearn
www.Disappear.Info

Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

The Vacancy of Disappearing

What if you had to disappear now? Just pick up and leave this instant, just bolt. Where is your passport and where is your cash? Not your debit cards or credit cards but the Euros and Benjamin’s? How would you leave, bus, plane, train, car, hitchhike or walk? Would you have time destroy and dump your computer or mobile? Do you have enough run time? Is there a safe house to crash at or will you risk a motel or a night on a park bench?

Are you truly capable of walking out the door and not looking back? Turning on the cold and leaving what was in the dust. Will you be able to vanish from those you know, those you loved or those you still love? Will a note be left on the table, a final call placed, or do you leave silently like a dark night? This is the threshold.

You are out the door and in the wind. What will you feel as you are in motion? Will it be fear of capture, guilt from your actions, exhilaration because freedom awaits, or perhaps regret? The emotions will wildly be spinning and your heart pumping fiercely. Will you be cool, calm and able to handle the emotions? Will it matter that some will think you are dead?

What now? How do you live? Is it safe? Will it be all you desired? Will you apply the discipline needed? When night comes and you are alone, will you be able to cope?  Will you survive the loneliness, the vacancy of disappearing?

Frank M. Ahearn
www.Disappear.Info
Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

The Peanut Butter Cafe in Monaco

Last week I was out in a bar and met some new people and the usual introductions were traded. When it came to me, I hesitated and said I was a writer and stopped speaking. This created a huge lull in the conversation and my partner looked at me and joking asked if I wanted to contribute more. Honestly, I did not want to and so I avoided the whole Frank spiel. I think this was my ah-ha moment, where I realized that I am spent and it is time to move on from this business. In the past, I have stated that disappearing would be a limited run in my life. The difficult part is what next for Frank M. Ahearn? Do I cut it off completely, do I still write about disappearing, do I finish the current book I have been writing? Time will tell.

I know you are not here to read my rant but learn about privacy and disappearing. Well, this applies if you plan to disappear. The first step in disappearing is recognizing you need to disappear. This does not only apply to facing a predator but it could apply to your life or your profession. This is the how to disappear threshold moment, the knowing there must be an exodus of sorts. This is an internal and philosophical question of self which needs to be answered before you plan anything. Part of the questioning includes, can you put your world behind you and fall off that grid. For me, what do I do if I am not Professor Disappear or even scarier can I be something else? Leaving part of life behind does not guarantee one rises like a Phoenix.

Figuring out what next has always been a challenge for me. I have always sought choice and freedom, combined with some serious dreaming. If I had my druthers, I would be in a writers room in LA working on a TV show with Julie Plec or running an exotic Peanut Butter & Jelly café in Monaco. Or maybe, I will write a TV show about a retired privacy expert who runs a peanut butter café in Monaco or LA. If one is going to end a part of their life, they might as well dream in the beginning and then face the realities. Unfortunately, disappearing comes down to one fact, can you earn a living. Everything else is inconsequential because if you cannot pay the rent in LA or Monaco, you will not be able to build a life in such places.

The purpose is this writing is not so much about the first time you think about disappearing but the potential of a second disappearance occurring. What happens if two years into the disappearance you are unhappy with your life and you begin to question. Not so much the idea of returning to your old life but where next?

I disappeared from my life in the US and moved to Europe to write and work my privacy business. I have been fortunate and live the expat dream of sitting in terraza’s, cruising around Venice, Paris, Rome and other cool places. Basically I have been living like a bohemian. Here it is, two years later and something wild happened, I fell in love and this has changed everything.

The point is, if you are planning to disappear or are disappeared keep in mind that it all can change at any moment. This change can be because of money, love or disaster. So, in your planning or daily disappeared life think about the flexibility of change and the pursuit of not just your dreams but the ability to have choice because true freedom is having choice.

Frank M. Ahearn
www.FrankAhearn.com
Author of: The Little Black Book Of Skip Tracing: Creating Pretext, Mastering Social Engineering And Finding Anyone Anywhere