Sunday, May 17, 2009

Urban Survival Techniques - Protect Yourself - Learn to Observe (#1)

(continued from About Urban Survival Techniques)

Editor's Note: This urban survival technique is about learning to observe those around you. Being aware of your surroundings and of those around you will help you better protect yourself and stay out of trouble. Discover, for example, what GT has to say about how panhandlers (and perhaps worse) decide to approach you or not.

Here's what GT has to say about learning to observe people:

Don Stott at the end of his essays writes: "Protect Yourself." It is good advice. I would like to advise you on how to protect yourself in ways you probably haven't considered. A lot of people have lots of credentials but my only credential for writing this is that I grew up and survived where few men live to be forty. I am no longer in the 'hood but I use the urban survival lessons I have learned even today and am learning more each day. I'd like to teach you some simple ways to observe what's going on around you that will help you protect yourself in the city when TSHTF.

I am assuming you have protected yourself already with precious metals, guns and secrecy. I don't think it will be enough.

Go on any city street. You will see hordes of people begging for money. If you are a good actor and have absolutely no shame, you can earn $500 a day begging. Most earn $50 to $100, which is still more money I made honorably working.

These people are pests. Instead of being angry, I sat down and observed them. By doing so, I learned how in many ways I was open to attack. The question occurred to me: "How do they know I have money?" I am never asked when I am broke. Nor when I'm in an angry mood and might tell them to "Get a job!" So how do they know?"

I figured it might be an important question because when the day comes that the currency collapses, as it has done in all of history, someone will guess you have gold or silver. Someone you would rather that they did not know this about you. You thought you'd protected yourself. The way they will know will be the same way beggars know the right time to ask for spare change.

The best way I can explain they know you have money is a certain look of confidence. CPAs, musicians, skilled craft workers like plumbers and brick layers, natural leaders and others who have acquired a skill that took years, even decades, to become proficient at, have a similar confidence.

When you have money in your pocket and are out shopping, you have the confidence to go out and buy what you need. Lunch, gifts for your children, and have spare change left over. It is this spare change, the beggars hope you will fling in disgust to them, so that you're left alone. It may seem to be very little. Hustling people, that spare change adds up, sometimes up to $500.00 a day.

When the price of gold finally breaks free, I guarantee there will be a big old smile on your face as it goes to the moon. If you don't want people guessing you may have saved in gold, you will have to wipe that smile off your face, fast! Most people aren't actors so will be unprepared in that sense. What I am trying to do is show you a couple of things that will help you blend in.

If you can, take a day off to go observe. What you're trying to learn is tell those who have money from those who don't. The first place you want to go is your local state unemployment office. If interested, look for a job, but look even more at the people who come in. Look for the people that seem to be sad, or angry or uncertain or depressed. Chances are those are the people whose unemployment is about to run out or has run out and they have no other prospects, but they keep trying. The ones who are happy or relaxed have either just started their unemployment and see it as a welcomed vacation, have further employment prospects, have the support of their families, or are not so desperate.

If you see how the unemployed walk, act and sound in their different but similar manners, you have unconsciously learned a defensive measure. The next place I want you to go is a large mall, hopefully a busy one. Look for the same faces with the despair, pain, hopelessness and other traits you saw in the unemployment office. One good thing to look for in the mall that you won't see in the unemployment office is someone facing serious money troubles but trying to put on a good "Don't worry" show for their children, spouses, and friends. If you learn to spot this, you can tell how phony they look. A good actor never looks phony. They learn techniques that overcomes the feeling of feeling phony, of lying. You're lying when you tell somebody everything is all right when it is not.

The third step is to see if you can spot people with money problems wherever you go. If you can do that, you are ready to apply the lesson you have observed. Think of a time when you had money troubles in the past. Pretend you are having them now. Then remember the look you have seen on those unemployed people. When you feel you are practiced, go into the city and see how many people ask you for spare change or decide to ask another. If they ask others but seem to leave you alone, you have learned something -- how to hide your gold when everybody else has no money.

Some may feel what I am asking you to do is deceitful. Maybe it is but it isn't wrong. It isn't wrong because you are using this to protect yourself instead of to defraud others. I bet many of you would answer "No" with no hesitation to the following question:

"Is it wrong to lie to a thief or someone trying to hurt or defraud you?"

Of course not! What you are doing is merely thinking ahead. You all know there will come a time you may have to hide your gold and silver. I ask what is wrong with trying to hide or prevent people from reading your face, when you may have prepared while they have not? You need these urban survival techniques to protect yourself.

Thank you.
The "Golden Trumpet"

(continue to Urban Survival Techniques - Avoiding Trouble)


  1. Look, I worked with the homeless and got to observe first hand. The myth of the 500 a day panhandler is just that, a myth. No one I saw ever earned more than enough for their shot of dope and endured being spat at, called names and having people in cars throw cans, full cups, etc. Most homeless I knew preferred to collect cans, or risk breaking in cars rather than put up with the abuse which came from panhandling.

  2. I've seen the ones who are making $400-$500 a day. When done, they walk a couple of blocks, change their shirt, perhaps put on or change caps, then climb into their 1-3 year old SUV, Acura, Chrysler 300 or similar vehicle.

  3. I remember a story I read before there was a WTC about a NY Beggars School. A girl graduate was the best in this class because unlike the others she saw the skyscraper as her niche.

    The great threat to a beggar was the cop who would take them out of the market-put them in jail. Worse than being ripped off, at least when ripped off you could go back to the business to recoup your loss.

    This girl smelly, unkempt and stereotypically socially disadvantaged would select a skyscraper, a tall one and go to the top most accessible floor. She woulfd work each office quickly and panhandle the (female)secretary and any available officeman, better if they looked spiffy in a suit and tie. naturally the office would not accost her as she smelled but would give her the loose change availble even the petty cash to get rid of her. When out of sight they would call the city cops or building security.

    There is a natural delay for a cop to respond to any event. Time is used up for them to get some particulars about the situation while in the meantime.

    The Beggar has moved on down on foot to the next floor. She was always several floors ahead of Security and would be out of the Building before they got their act together.

    A little change here and there, office to office. skyscraper to skyscraper. 400-500 per day was chickenfeed.

  4. The homeless doesn't get $500/day that's why they are homeless. The people who get $500/day panhandling are good at acting homeless. They have nice cars and houses.

  5. No need to hunt around for losers, simply go to Walmart.

    And for the lazy voyeurs...

  6. in my country here in the philippines, begging is prevalent. most who beg are controled by syndicates who prey on the week specially the poor and needy. eventually preying on the fortunate or not that much fortunate in life.

    every person has the right to defend himself. you can choose to help. its your right. for me safety first , especially for the ones you love.

  7. I have a question for all you “survivalists” who advocate stockpiling gold, silver, platinum, diamonds, etc. … When everything has collapsed … and you are hungry … you approach a neighbor who has a garden and try to buy some vegetables … you offer them gold … What The Hell Are They Going To Do With Gold?

    The only people who will be interested in accepting precious metals will be those who are already rich, living off the fat of the land, who have an excess which they can sell to peons like you - at exorbitant prices … an ounce of gold for a cabbage, maybe.

    Learn which commodities will be in demand during a crisis and stockpile those. Then you can barter directly with a producer or possessor, and maybe, not be taken advantage of. “Here, I’ll trade you 12 shotgun shells for that big cabbage.” Much more efficient. Otherwise, you may end up going to middlemen (think banker) who will convert your gold (for a steep fee) into something for which someone else might actually want to barter.

    Avoid the middleman who takes a cut. Stockpile canned food, ammo, tools, etc, which will not spoil and which will be needed during the crisis.

  8. Hello D:
    No one really advocates stockpiling only gold and silver. Other metals like lead are also good. All the things you mentioned to do are right on.