How to Disappear

What Next in Disappearing?

It has been seven years since the writing of How to Disappear and the pendulum of privacy has swung far past our favor. As they say, the Rubicon has been crossed and there is no return. Such has been revealed from information set forth by WikiLeaks and Snowden.

We went from the simplicity of cleaning computer cookies to discovering the that Television sets can play household spy. This is not a rise of the machine but the fall and failure of human rights. I would like to believe, if not hope that future will be stamped with a guarantee that we the people will maintain what is and should be ours but such a notion is pure silliness if not the border of my ignorance.

I think what is missing in the strategy of disappearing is the identification of one’s personal freedom. One must look beyond the word disappear and realize that this is only an action and freedom is the endgame. Being free is what most of us strive for, be it financial, travel, living abroad or safety from a predator.

In my first book, I promoted the tools of Misinformation, Disinformation, and Reformation. In retrospect, they now seem rudimentary at best. I say this because technology and social media have become extremely aggressive and invasive. The modus operandi for each is identifying our locations and extracting our connections. It is a hunt to take and use what should be rightfully ours. They have changed the strategies of the hunt and so we must change how we disappear.

So what next in disappearing?

Frank M. Ahearn
www.FrankAhearn.com
The Little Black Book of Skip Tracing

Disappearing With Don Quixote

Sometimes, freedom is a moment of being breathless and timeless. Sometimes, freedom is being a part of something and equally apart from something. Freedom is not always at the end of the road or a permanence obtained. Freedom can be a continuous motion in one’s life and gained in bits and pieces. Feeling free can be fleeting but if you are able to stand in its mist you have conquered and you are disappeared!

Last week I was hired to be in a TV commercial and on location I had a ton of time to kill. Most of it was spent under a windmill while the crew shot the Don Quixote scenes. I had this odd moment questioning, what am I doing here in La Mancha, Spain playing a role. The money, the acting, the being part of something larger than myself. Perhaps all, perhaps, none!

There I am covered in paint and looking like Nick Nolte on a crushed powder bender. I am frenetic, angry and I am an playing the artist flailing buckets of paint onto a plexiglass. I am screaming at the top of my lungs as if I am spitting out Pollock’s agony. I am anonymous in the situation, no one knows I am the guy who writes, talks and disappears people. This is the breathless I search for and the timeless I hunt. It is me playing someone else, touching freedom — in mind and physical.

The car ride out of Campo de Criptana was languid, peaceful and occupied by a feeling of letting go. I smiled under the heavy Spanish sun thinking that today, I disappeared with Don Quixote.

Frank M. Ahearn
www.Disappear.info
The Little Black Book of Skip Tracing

How To Be Free

Recently I met with a client in Munich and instead of talking about how to disappear, the conversation was about how to be free. We discussed the differences between liberty, independence, and autonomy –three slices of freedom. This client was different from most, she had a solid idea of what her freedom will be and she recognizes that freedom is the end game. Think of disappearing more as the bus ride out of town and freedom your city. Each strategy we discussed was measured with the idea of, will this make her free?

When I meet clients, and ask what it is they want, all say is they want to disappear. When asked to explain, they use examples like, perpetual traveler, permanent tourist, digital nomad, living off the grid, under the radar, five-flags, and expatriate. All catchy terms with exotic images but these are labels of freedom not necessarily real acts of freedom. Although, if any a digital nomad is probably the closest idea to being free. What I find that lacks in potential clients is, few talk about being free.

Labels can pigeon hole and one core philosophies will impede. There are slew of books about disappearing, being anonymous, hiding from the internet but most are tricks of the trade and not ways of life. Think about what will be your way of life, will being an expatriate in Luxembourg or Nice make you free? Is the five-flag theory real freedom or not? Will your business sustain being a digital nomad. Will the bohemian way of life make you happy? To a degree many of us want to create our own movable feast but that was another person’s life long ago. Think more about how to be free than how to disappear!

Frank M. Ahearn
www.FrankAhearn.com
Author of The Little Black Book of Skip Tracing

The Limited State of Disappearing

As time goes on I am beginning the think that there is no such thing as disappearing. You can go on the run, in hiding, stay under the radar or off the grid but can you truly disappear? If you are somewhere and someone is hunting you, you are not disappeared but in the hunt! For most who have disappeared, it is a limited state of being. If you cannot lay your head on your pillow with absolute surety that you are safe, you are on the run.

I speak with many people who run disappear plans by me and most of them are failure from the get go. Most create a plan based upon a reaction to a current or coming situation. All strategy is about the big picture and should ever be exclusive to the immediate. If you think immediate you will get the immediate pay-off. However, the immediate may not be what is needed to be successful in the future.

Perhaps disappearing should be a state of mind and one should consider themselves perpetually on the run. It is like the idea of freedom, true freedom can only ring in one’s mind because society creates limitations. When there are limitations freedom is hindered. When there is a predator, disappearing will always be a limited state.

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

I posted the Art of Disappearing for free on my blog.

At one point I thought a disappearing strategy book based on the Art of War by Sun Tzu was a good idea. I no longer think so and so I have removed from Amazon and posted here. Perhaps there is some value to offer, perhaps not. Frank M. Ahearn

The Art of Disappearing:  According to Sun Tzu’s, Art of War – Laying Plans

Those who preplan their disappearance will have a greater chance at succeeding than those who do not. The essential message here is to walk away with the understanding that, the act of pre-disappearing is equally as important as the art of disappearing. Therefore, view the contents of this book from the perspective of pre-disappearing.

The Art of Disappearing will be explained through, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, using Section I: Laying Plans. (Translated from the Chinese by Lionel Giles, M.A.) I chose The Art of War because it can be engineered for the advantage of the prey.

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher who lived in the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, a widely influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and Eastern philosophy. (wiki)

When you walk out the door and become a disappeared person you must accept that there is nothing constant but change. As a disappeared person you need to become instantly changeable and be able to adapt to new situations immediately. No matter the peril.

As a disappeared person you must utilize the tool of what if in all, thoughts, decisions and actions. You analyze your thoughts, what if this, what if that. You make a decision and you consider what if it is the wrong decision. You take action and you consider what if it was the wrong action. The what if becomes a code you live by. Your freedom depends on identifying all the what ifs that exist. To ignore but one what if, is to ignore potential failure.

The terms tactic and strategy are often confused: tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution. (wiki)

Never move forward on an action if you have not resolved the what if. Avoid having the attitude that you will cross that bridge when you get there or worry about something when it arrives. This is the mentality of an escaped prisoner, who never plans past the wall. Disappearing is never about chance, it is about a safe road to personal freedom.

Always anticipate the possibility of the unwanted knock. There is always a one percent chance you made a mistake, overlooked something or random chance has occurred. Such is the reason to have a backup plan for a new disappear city.

Disappearing is not solely about disappearing. Disappearing is about knowing your predator, knowing the information known about you and knowing the footprints you left behind. Disappearing is creating disinformation, utilizing deception and knowing how to avoid connections.

Everything is connected! All things digital are a disease which aims to connect. The problem is the digital is pushing itself into the offline world of physical space. In time the digital you and the offline you will be forced to be one identity. In my opinion this is the grave danger to personal identity. As a disappeared person you have to combat the digital so it does not connect to your offline physical space.

This book is about teaching you how to be a disappear strategist, not a follower of a how to book.

When you are out in the cold or on the run in Brussels, you cannot flip through the pages of a book for guidance. All the solutions of the future will come from you. In order for you to make the correct decisions you must learn to think like a strategist.

Sun Tzu: The Art of War is of vital importance to the State.

The Art of War is of vital importance to you! It will teach you about predators and their potential abilities. By being able to anticipate tactics you will be able to avoid confrontations and be successful in your disappearance.

Everything in your past and present are a potential footprint. Every footprint is a potential connection to your future. A disappeared person must learn how to incorporate what if, into each thought, decision and action. A strategist questions all and leaves nothing unanswered.

In The Art of Disappearing, what if, is imperative.

Sun Tzu: It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

There is only one of two outcomes when you disappear, freedom or no freedom. Disappearing is not a limited action from point A to point B but a lifestyle which involves strategies, tactics, a code and discipline.

Never think disappearing is exclusively about disappearing. Being disappeared is merely a result of actions you take. Those actions are all deception based actions. Therefore, to be and to remain a disappeared person you must learn to be a master of deception.

Being a disappeared person means understanding cause and effect: Cause and effect is a relationship between events or things, where one is the result of the other or others. This is a combination of action and reaction. (yourdictionary.com) Being a disappeared person means that you will not always be able to know the result of a decision or action.  Therefore, you must prepare yourself for numerous possible outcomes. 

In The Art of Disappearing, you must become a master of deception!

Sun Tzu: The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

The Art of Disappearing is an abstract battle and never perceived to be governed by one force or countable actions. You cannot govern the actions of a spinning top. However, knowing that the top is spinning and knowing that it is might be spinning in your direction, offers you the opportunity to combat the situation.

In the Art of Disappearing the unexpected is expected!

Sun Tzu: The Moral Law – Sun Tzu states that people should be in accord with their ruler.

There is no moral law in the world of being disappeared. You are simply fair game to your predator! If you are confronted with a moral choice, the decision that follows must be based on your road to freedom.

In The Art of Disappearing, freedom is always the objective!

Sun Tzu: Heaven –  Signifies, night and day, cold and heat

You exist in a world where your thoughts decisions and actions will determine your fate. To disappear properly it is important to learn how to make decisions based upon information you know as well as information you do not know. The decisions you make must be black and white, however, your actions will be a shade of gray. Meaning, as you move forward, be aware that the black and white may need to change.

In The Art of Disappearing, you exist in a dichotomy!

Sun Tzu: Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

You are at war with numerous foes, such being humans, information, technology, connections, personal mistakes, the past and random chance. You are at war with everything around you, the corner you turn, the border you cross, the public space you walk and the stranger sitting across the room. In the disappearing world time, space, past, present and current are one.

“So what does time and space mean? It means time and space is inseparable and yet separable. Just as everything in life is present, and yet not present.” Dr. Vijai S. Shankar

Just because you cannot see it, does not mean it does not exist. You must always believe your predator is in your space, regardless of that space being measured by miles.

In The Art of Disappearing, everything is one!

Sun Tzu: The Commander – Virtue of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.

These are admirable words in a two-thousand-year-old book, which suggests a man should have a code. I do believe it is important to create a disappear code, however, avoid the chivalry. A disappear code is the foundation that creates the rules of self. The rules of self are a weapon to live by and never compromise.

In The Art of Disappearing, one must live by the rules of self!

Sun Tzu: Method and Discipline – Marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

To underestimate your predator is to surrender all advantage. As you have evolved into a strategic disappearing machine, expecting the same advancement from your predator is necessary. Consider your predator a mirror image of your own actions. As you appear invisible so shall your predator. As you employ tactics so shall your predator. As you move, your predator follows. Always view your predator as the shadow not far behind.

In The Art of Disappearing, view your predator as omnipotent!

Sun Tzu: These five heads should be familiar to every general: He Who Knows – Will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.

Disappearing is to be broken down into three stages.  Pre-disappearing, Disappearing Day and Post Disappearing.

Pre-Disappearing is the know before you go! You must know and combat the vulnerable information you are leaving behind. You must know if the disappear plans you created can be compromised by a potential digital footprint. You must identify the what ifs!

Disappear Day (D-Day) the day of exposure. How will get from point A to point B without creating connections? When you walk out the door, assume you are under surveillance?

Post Disappearance, living as a disappeared person and avoiding the connections that can trace you. Always be aware of people, places and things that can connect to your here and now.

In The Art of Disappearing, you must know before you go!

Sun Tzu: The Art of War: Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:–

You will be hunted in numerous ways. It will begin by searching the information you left behind and then the hunt goes in any and every possible direction. This is why I state you make your decisions in black and white but you maneuver in a shade of gray. For the disappear world has too many variables to know all.

In The Art of Disappearing one must consider all possibilities!

Sun Tzu: Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law?

Moral law is an idea created by those who control. This is not to say you should break the law or harm another. Be it stalkers or law enforcement, all predators must be viewed as one in the same. The both have the same objective, which is to hinder your freedom.

In The Art of Disappearing all predators are one!

Sun Tzu: Which of the two generals has most ability?

Anticipate that the predator has access to all the resources needed to hunt you. Anticipate your predator will go to the ends of the earth to capture you. View your predator as extreme, capable, with deep pockets and serious cunning.

In the Art of Disappearing never under estimate your predator!

Sun Tzu: With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?

Being disappeared is simply an illusion. It is just as easy to find a person who is hiding five or five-thousand miles away. Such persons are only separated by space, time, walls and information. Realize that all things are one and yesterday, today and tomorrow are all equal parts of your disappearance. Meaning, that the footprints from yesterday, the connections today and the unknown tomorrow, makes no difference if you are five or five-thousand miles away.

In The Art of Disappearing, all is an illusion!

Sun Tzu: On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?

Having a code can separate you from pass or fail. A code is the inner voice that dictates without emotions. A code is a council that will never lie to you, it will force you to make the decisions you may not want to make. All thoughts, decisions and action must fall under the code of what if.

In The Art of Disappearing, you must heed to your code!

Sun Tzu: Which army is stronger?

Again! If your predator was not more capable than you when you disappeared, assume they are now. As you have educated yourself on the ways of disappearing and deception. Assume that your predator is now educated on the ways of hunting.

In The Art of Disappearing, be stronger by feigning the weaker role!

Sun Tzu: On which side are officers and men more highly trained?

The hunter needs only one skill, hunting. You need many skills as a disappeared person. However, learning one hundred skills to its exact is impossible. Although, creating a code to live by and utilizing the what if in your thoughts, decisions and actions will be the closest you will come to mastering one hundred skills.

In The Art of Disappearing, mastering your code is mastering one hundred tactics!

Sun Tzu: In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

Enforcing your code and staying in the moment is a never-ending way of being. The worst of days must bring out the greatest of personal actions. The best of days cannot create complacency. No matter the mood or weather of the day, you are disappeared and must always stay within in that moment.

In The Art of Disappearing, the mood never dictates!

Sun Tzu: By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.

This is a sentence in a two-thousand-year-old book. You cannot forecast the future you can only anticipate possible outcomes. The disappear strategy is to have a move ready in order to avoid capture.

In The Art of Disappearing, words are only words!

Sun Tzu: The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat:–let such a one be dismissed!

There are two types of criminals, those that get caught and those that do not. What is the difference between the two? One could say luck, which is probably correct. However, preplanning the crime is key. However, more important is planning the getaway.

In The Art of Disappearing is a planned art!

Sun Tzu: While heeding the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules.

Reading books written by Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, von Clausewitz, Frank M. Ahearn and JJ Luna is all well and good but it is limited. However, an education in disappearing and deception can come by reading about the experiences of those who disappeared and failed.

In The Art of Disappearing books are just books!

Sun Tzu: According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s plans.

Utilize information like pawns, rooks, knights and bishops on a chess board. Understand that no one move will outwit your enemy or win the game. It is a combination of malleable actions that will lead to victory.

In The Art of Disappearing you are the King of your world!

Sun Tzu: All warfare is based on deception.

Your weapon for survival in the disappear world is deception. You will not remain free if you do not master the skills of deception.

In The Art of Disappearing deception is a way of life!

Sun Tzu…. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

In pre-disappear you will exist in a perception and deception stage. How are the people around you perceiving you? Do they see a change in you? You may believe they are unaware, however, you cannot always be so confident. In addition, what if something occurs the day you plan to disappear and it must be postponed.

In The Art of Disappearing, perception is important!

Sun Tzu: Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

Even two-thousand-years ago Sun Tzu knew that deception and disinformation was vital to wining a war. However, in your war you will not try to crush your predator. The success of your disappearance is measured by freedom, not necessarily by the downfall of your enemy.

I often state that disinformation is the most important tactic when it comes to disappearing. The reason for this is, if you do not create disinformation your predator will search the known information about you. The known information can be the road map to your present location. By creating disinformation, you make it more difficult to locate you.

Disinformation does not always need to be believable but it must be find-able by the predator. It does not matter if you are creating information about being in Fiji or Belize. Once the hunter locates the information it will play on their mind. They will question if the information was purposely created to look fake but perhaps it is real. Either way, they will search.

In The Art of Disappearing, disinformation is a necessity!

Sun Tzu: If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.

Act as if your hunter is mammoth, live as if they have you pinned down and know that evasion is the only road to freedom. This is the mindset of being a disappeared person.

A simple act of deception can be the road to freedom. Your ex is hunting you in Paris, you purposely drop your wallet in a hotel. In the wallet there is a contact number for your ex. The hotel contacts you ex. Your ex goes to the hotel where you have dropped the wallet. This becomes your opportunity to escape.

In The Art of Disappearing, simple deception leads to freedom.

Sun Tzu: If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

The disinformation you create will irritate your predator. However, caution yourself and do not become arrogant and believe in your own ego.

Sun Tzu: If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

In the disappear world your armed forces are your money and your identification. Being separated from either can be catastrophic. When the predators cannot locate the prey, they resort to, follow the money. There are two aspects of money, where you park your money and how you access your money. When you are in the hunt you need to be extremely cautious when it comes to accessing funds.

Having a solid identification is crucial to disappear survival. Your identification must always be kept on your person, not in the pocket of a carry bag.

In The Art of Disappearing one must always protect their armed forces!

Sun Tzu: Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

Think of your war as being that of Guerilla warfare. Guerilla warfare is for the smaller weaker armies who fights on their own terrain. However, the difference is, you do not fight on your own terrain, your fight is to protect the location of your terrain.

The first step to protecting your terrain is to become a Virtual Entity who has no connections to anything physical. This means the information from the past and present can never lead to something tangible. When the tangible becomes available to your prey, you become in the gravest of dangers.

In The Art of Disappearing one must avoid connections!

Sun Tzu: These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.

Divulging your detailed disappear plans to another will only put you at jeopardy. The hunt for will involve your family and friends. The person you shared your disappear plans with may unknowingly share a piece of information that leads to you.

In The Art of Disappearing only one can keep a secret!

Sun Tzu: Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple where the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

Planning the perfect disappearance is impossible. What is possible is to properly pre-plan your disappearance. As you make your plans always think of the past, present and future separately, and as one. This will keep the perspective that time, space, information and miles do not separate you from your predator.

In The Art of Disappearing, all is one!

By Frank M. Ahearn

www.FrankAhearn.com

 

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