The Art of War

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


Pre-emptive Privacy

My morning journey took me on an internet search of privacy terms. I typed the word privacy into a search engine and the majority of results displayed online privacy policies for corporations. Next I popped in the words privacy service, which displayed WHOIS services and a few software security companies. Then I searched personal privacy which showed government information and companies offering data protection. Finally, personal privacy service, and a collection of data type of privacy services appeared.

Not one result actually assisted with personal privacy of human action. This being the actions one takes when working on highly confidential projects, creating offshore privacy, financial privacy, family privacy and issues relating strictly to the human. You should be private while creating privacy. I believe privacy should be a pre-emptive human action one takes before actually creating digital privacy.

What one should think about are the items and entities that exist in the digital world. In the sense of how you go about protecting them and how your human actions maneuver in conjunction. A simple example is offshore banking, if you are accessing accounts from a known IP address, that is not privacy. Or how you access information about a Swiss GmbH which shields your connection to a business. Always question the human action and ask yourself if your actions equal the privacy you are taking to protect the digital.

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

An Apprentice in The Art of Disappearing

You are now an apprentice in the art of disappearing and it is twenty-four hours since you walked out the door. You will go from edge to edge, the paranoia will kick in and you will question every move. The route you took, the streets you turned, the bus you jumped on, the electronics you touched, the faces in the crowd and that gorilla in the mist, that camouflaged beast I call the unknown.

Where is the predator? Did they find the find bus route, the phone call you placed three months back or an unknown credit card transaction? The first twenty—four is not about celebrating but reviewing your exit, over and over again. the most dangerous part of your day is exiting your room. Is there someone waiting in the hotel lobby, a car parked down the street or the door waiting to be kicked in and you apprehended by your predator.

Being disappeared is not a vacation and the first twenty-four should not be a sigh of relief but a practice in strategy. This is the moment where you create your discipline, where you put down the how to books and become the Sun Tzu of your world. There is no absolute way of knowing if you have been compromised. Assume you have been and be prepared to get out of Dodge.

Frank M. Ahearn

Author of: The Art of Disappearing, According to Sun Tzu’s, Art of War: Book One: Laying Plans

Information, Technology, The Internet & A Deep Pocket Predator

Part of me is always stretching to come up with a unique perspective of privacy and disappearing. You know, that buzz that catches fire. Yet, other days when unsure of what to write, I get comfortable and reach backwards to grab a story of interest, one of privacy invasion, examples of pretexting Verizon, Chase Bank or Scotland Yard. If this were some old gin joint, I would probably sound like the old drunkard on the corner stool. Perhaps and even worse, I am that old social engineer pining for some old school action.


Today’s dish of words derives from when I was working on my website and tuning it up with a new service that searches the vulnerabilities of offline information. The type of information that can be pulled from T-Mobile, Cablevision, Bank of America, ConEd and the rest of the big guys.

As I am tweaking away I am knocking my head around being honest, is this a valid service or some mumbo jumbo to twist a buck. However, some thoughts came to mind, the first being the future of the internet, technology and information. Naturally, I think about how that information can be used against us, by big business, big brother and a deep pocket predator.

The internet is loaded with our data and connections. This type of information is like a virus, it keeps growing and the goal is to eventually link all of our information. The offline world is super loaded with out information and connections. Our identity consists of three components, name, social security number and date of birth. In most circumstances these items must be used to provide, shelter, banking, employment and other much needed services. Keep in mind this is strictly offline information that is tucked away in the databases of big business. A name, social security number and date of birth are the triple crown of privacy invasion.

The second thought was about the deep pocket predator and this derives from the Gawker/Peter Thiel situation. Peter Thiel, financed Hulk Hogan’s case against Gawker and basically annihilated Gawker and Ex-Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio. A.J. is now in the hole for a hefty some of millions and millions of dollars. The reality is most of us will never come up against an aggressor like Thiel. Then again I am confident A.J. never thought such.

If you mix information, technology, internet and a deep pocket predator you have a Gawker/Thiel scenario. This is a very similar to stalking where an aggressor has an objective and uses whatever means are at their disposal. The difference, there were no acts of violence as in typical stalking situations. However, destruction occurred. I have been involved with a number of David and Goliath cases and unlike the story, in the real world Goliath usually wins. Forward thinking suggests that you question how, information, technology, the internet and Goliath can step on your world.

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

The Luck of Disappearing

There is no sure way of disappearing, sometimes disappearing is a simple crap shoot and luck rules the game. Not a very comforting thought, if you plan on pulling the trigger and have read all the how to books. Even more unfortunate is you cannot depend on luck because it works both ways, in your favor and your predators. When you think about it luck is really on your predator’s side.

So… What is the point of telling you this and writing about the fortunate and misfortune of luck in the disappear world? Simple, to keep you aware and make you realize that no matter how perfect the plan there is always that chance things can crash and burn. It’s like the first plot point of a movie. The main character is living a good life and then he is framed for murder. Being disappeared is the same, you are living your life in Fiji and boom! The wrong person, newspaper article or nosy neighbor blows you out of the water. It isn’t Miller time but got to run time!

Then the next question is will you run or find a new patch of land to hide. This is one of those disappearing biblical questions or great debates that have no true solution. Actually it is one of those things that just is… Being on the run can keep you one step ahead and being stationary can keep you off the grid. Then again, being on the move creates a lot of digital footprints and being in one place can make you a sitting duck. Perhaps the solution is, in which scenario do you feel the luckiest.

Frank M. Ahearn

Author of The Art of Disappearing, According to Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War!

Disappearing is Not About Disappearing

Disappearing is not about disappearing. Anyone can jump on a bus and end up in an unknown place. That just means you are disappeared. Finding disappeared people is an easy feat, be it them five miles or five thousand miles away. Technology, information and humans have no boundaries. The danger is when the technology connects the information to your identity and the human connects the information to your physical space. This is when you are in the hunt. However, of the three, the human is your biggest threat. Think about it, it will be the human chasing you down the street not a laptop. Although, who knows what the future brings.

If disappearing is not about disappearing, what is it about. Partially, it comes down to connections and seeing your life in a three-dimensional form. The past, the present and the future. They all connect and it is your job to avoid connections and to search for potential connections. Then combat those connections. Disappearing is knowing how to bank and not be connected to your money. Disappearing is knowing how to connect with people in your present and keeping them out of your past. Disappearing is knowing how to get out of town and set up shop somewhere new if all goes bad. Disappearing is not about reading books on how to, disappearing is making yourself a disappear strategist.

Frank M. Ahearn
New Book: The Art of Disappearing, According to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

Control Your Privacy

Control your privacy by thinking about circles and imagine you are the Center Circle. Think of people, information and technology as separate outside circles. The way to control your privacy is to not let those circles ever be connected to each other. Especially, your center circle.

The center circle begins with your home and the plan is to set up your home and not allow the circles to connect to your Center Circle/home. This is dependent upon, how much money you have, some can buy a home outright and pay cash and utilize a corporation. If you need to get mortgage, this is problematic, unless it is a business mortgage and not connected to you or your identifiers. If you do are renting a home, this can be done via a corporation, subletting, paying cash or under another person’s name. Either was your name or your identifier must never be connected to your home.

There will be a Service Circle and this circle are the services you use in your home. Utilities, cable, internet, phone and any other item that needs your identifier or generates an invoice. If any of these service items have your name or identifier attached it will connect to your home. Therefore, such items must be in a corporation name or another person’s name.

Credit Circles and Debit Circles are all credit card and debit cards. Ideally these items should not be connected to your name or identifier. If they are it is important that they not be connected to your Center Circle. Equally important is the transactions not be connected to your Center Circle. Such a transaction could be shopping in the same supermarket every Tuesday near your home. Or, paying for a utility bill with a credit card. Information alone is not dangerous, when it connects then there is danger.

The Technology Circle, is the digital footprint you create. The footprints must never lead to your identity nor ever lead to your Center Circle. Begin to see your world as circles and keep them from connecting.

Frank M. Ahearn – http://www.Disappear.Info

NEW BOOK: The Art of Disappearing, According to Sun Tzu’s, Art of War: Book One: Laying Plans – Available at Amazon!