off the grid

The Feeling of Freedom

Over a cup of coffee, a friend of mine tells me there is no real freedom. He quoted philosophers and presented ideas from schools of philosophies and such. Most of it drifted past me and got lost in the stratosphere. The funny part is my friend lives the freest lifestyle out of anyone I know. He is retired, lives in a city he loves, travels extensively, and works at will. What’s not free about that?

I believe that freedom must first happen within and evolve as a personal philosophy, not something you read in a book. Although, when you own your idea there is nothing wrong with creating a code, like that of The Art of War or Machiavelli’s The Prince. Treatises like these are used in daily life and business, so why shouldn’t your freedom be used in the same manner?

It is important not mistake freedom as something bought with money, found off the grid or anonymous in Monaco, these are only external ideas of freedom. What I discovered is becoming free is first finding it within and truly feeling it. If you can touch that feeling you can get what you need to be free.

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

Become a Privacy Expert

Today I have been thinking about the idea of hiding in plain sight. Actually trying to define what hiding in plain sight truly is, in the disappear world., shows hiding in plain sight as: be unnoticeable, by staying visible in a setting that masks presence. I guess it means to be a wall flower, an easy feat to accomplish at a party but to do so with a predator on your tail not so easy.

Then, I searched hiding in plain sight and clicked on wikiHow. The first suggestion was to not look inconspicuous and hide your distinctive looks. Number two on the list is to dress yourself down. Followed by a not so brilliant, apply camouflage when appropriate. A close runner up to stupidity, is to leave the accessories at home. Then an absurdity follows, groom yourself without style. Well, the bunk goes on and on, however, this was not the only junk available to the want to disappear community.

Maybe the question here is not so much can you hide in plain sight but can you trust what you read about how to disappear. Take my own strategies: Misinformation, deviating the known information, Disinformation, creating bogus trails and Reformation, getting from point A to point B and not letting the worlds connects. These are useful tactics, but I am skilled at them because they are part of my daily life. In addition, I know how to tailor what to which client. Perhaps the solution is to accurately identify which privacy information is useful and how to apply that information like an expert. Working with clients and assisting them in becoming their own privacy expert has been my recent focus.

Before I close I do want to give my thoughts about hiding in plain sight. Truthfully, if you are living in a place where people exist that is hiding in plain sight. If you are living off the grid and in the woods, that is not hiding in plain sight. I think the reference of hiding in plain sight means living in the vicinity of the people, place or thing you have left. Is this wise, who knows. That depends on who you disappeared from and why. This can only be answered by you and this should only be decided after you have become your very own privacy expert.

Frank M. Ahearn

Author of: The Digital Hit Man His Weapons for Combating the Digital World