Freddom Outlaw's Handbook: Foreword

Which one is the Criminal?

She who illegally hid Jews in her attic?
He who legally came to arrest Jews?

He who grows herbs for a sick friend?
He who legally thrusts grower and friend into prison?

The old man who protects a neighbor with a gun?
The police officer who seizes the gun and handcuffs the man?

He who lies on a government form to protect privacy?
She who earns her living maintaining the privacy-consuming database?

She who covertly destroys firearm registration records?
He who "legally" uses the database to confiscate weapons?

He who shoots men who invade his home at midnight?
They who break down doors, screaming obscenities in the name of the law?

He who evades the draft?
He who sends others' children to die for money or power?

She who helped slaves escape to Canada?
He who sought to re-enslave them?

The colonists who rose against a tyrant?
They who fought to preserve the rule without recourse?

When freedom is illegal,
criminals make laws
Outlaws make freedom.

Greetings, Fellow Conspirators,

Once people think you're bad, you might as well be bad.  It's more fun than being good.--   Kinsey Millhone, Private Detective

Welcome to the Grand Outlaw Cabal.

You've never heard of the Grand Outlaw Cabal?  That's because I just invented it.  But you're invited to join.

Hey, if everybody else in the world gets to have a conspiracy (as some of my more paranoid pals believe), then why not us?  Why not a conspiracy of freedom loving individualists?  A conspiracy of people who are normally too independent to collude.  A cabal of cussed individualists.  A league of non-intrigue and a guild of the guileless for the perfidious purpose of plotting no plot at all.  A seditious scheme, a cliquish cartel practicing the subversive craft of simply being our own free selves in a world that doesn't much like Our Kind of People.

Let's make it complete with secret oaths and handshakes and Orders with rites of Non-Initiation.  Or not, as it pleases us.

Oh yes, and if we can restore freedom to the world at the same time-- even to some tiny little corner of the world-- that'll be a bonus.

Conspiracy of Freedom

Freedom is being Flushed down the drain.  Big Brother, his Little Brother corporations, special interest groups, the gimme-gimme-gimme crowd, and the TV Babies all have their hands on the handle.

If you haven't noticed that, then nothing I could say would make any difference.  If you have noticed, then I don't need to say more-- except let's clog up the drain, overflow the system, put government and its friends up to their knees in you-know-what-- and stop them from creating their twisted dystopia where everyone is tracked, mind-controlled, and treated as a carefully stamped and numbered asset of the Omnipotent State.

Let's do it just by being our unruly, ungovernable selves.  Together.

Once again... one act of disobedience... seems like nothing.  It swirls away into the sewer, unnoticed.  And the second and the third.  The small grains of resistance simply wash away on the irresistible currents of tyranny.  But gradually, Grain upon grain, clot upon clot... we jam the hole through which our freedom has been draining.  We jam the tyranny works.

And that's where the conspiracy comes in.

Is it time yet?

A few years ago, I got semi-hemi-demi-quasi-pseudo famous for making a remark:  "America is at that awkward stage:  It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

Ever since then, I've been hearing on question and one statement.

The question:  "Is it time yet, Claire?"

The statement:  "If it's too late to work within the system, then it is time to shoot the bastards."

Tempting as it is to say yes, let's hold our impatient, freedom-lovin' little horses here.  Morally, it may well have been time to shoot the bastards the first moment a legislature passed a freedom-stealing law and the courts or a local tar and feather brigade didn't immediately round up the offenders and gently show them the error of their ways.  Ditto the first time some cop arrested a criminal whose "crime" had no victim and the courts put their rubber stamp of approval on that outrage.  No tar, no feathers, no firings, no restitution?  Then freedom was already on its way out.

But as a practical matter, no way.  It is not time to shoot the bastards.  When it comes to taking freedom back by force, our neighbors aren't with us yet-- and we need at least some of them on our side.  The media is against us and until they've finished the job of destroying their own credibility, they can destroy us with their smearing, sneering words.  And the state-- which has us considerably outgunned, though not outsmarted-- can be more than a little tetchy about having its bastards plugged by a bunch of freelance rowdies.  Until more momentum is on our side, until more friends will stand and fight with us, until we can either overcome the media or get at least a little of their support, shooting the freedom-stealing bastards is-- in most circumstances-- merely shooting ourselves in the foot.

So a lot of us run around in that gray zone between being the good, useless little voters we were taught to be and the heroic Minutemen we feel we ought to be.

"What do we do? What do we do!" we cry in frustration and watch the bastards gradually take our freedom away from us.

And that, too, is where the conspiracy comes in.

A conspiracy is patient

My paranoid pals who believe the world is run by the Council on Foreign Relations or the Tri-Lateral Commission, the Bilderbergers, the Vatican, the Illuminati, Bill Gates, the Queen of England, or a colossal collusion of all of the above fundamentally believe in one thing:  that a large, secretive group of people, patiently working toward one vast goal can, after decades of covert machinations, change the course of the world.

Okay, then.  Let us be such a quiet, multi-generational, powerful, unstoppable force.

And thus...  The Grand Outlaw Cabal.

Working alone, you and I can gain back only so much freedom.  Even that much freedom is worth our best effort.  By individually embracing Outlawhood, rather than keeping ourselves in that "good little citizen" box, we can take back bits of our freedom with style, panache, verve, and a Cheshire cat grin of satisfaction.

But when we become a Movement, a Cabal, a Conspiracy... we can (slowly!) move the world.

Meantime, as we make life freer for ourselves and moe miserable for the surveillance-spend-and-control mob, we'll be slowly, patiently jamming the works so that our children and grand children have hop of enjoying clean, refreshing liberty again.  We'll wait and work, either behind the scenes of on the political fringes, as big government makes more enemies and destroys more lives-- and as the victims of all that blind, consuming force gradually come creeping to our side.  Slowly, pebble upon pebble, grain upon grain, we'll gather the mass we need to stop the erosion of freedom.

You know what else?  At the same time, we can have a ton of conspiratorial fun.  And we can annoy the hell out of the bastards.  Which is in many ways more satisfying than shooting them.  And can even be legal.  Sometimes.

So here's the plan...

There is no plan.  And that's what makes The Grand Outlaw Cabal so diabolically devious.

Our strength is in not being centralized, organized, comprehensible,, consistent, identifiable, intelligible, orderly, systematic, amalgamated, associate, combined, corporate, federated, in alliance, incorporated, leagued, syndicated, syndicalist, or unionized (says she, consulting her thesaurus).

Being disorganized and disorderly and thereby giving every individual a myriad of choices is what freedom does best.  So let's do it.  Let's do it even better now that we have a Cabal to be disorderly within.

This book is filled with quite disorganized and disorderly collection of activities (or non-activities) freedom loving Outlaws can do (or not do).

Because ever Outlaw is different, there are absolutely going to be things in this book that you won't want to do.  There may be things here that you think are downright dumb.  Fabulous!  the next guy who picks up the book will decide those are the most brilliant things in the book, an he'll do those while you go about your own Merry Outlaw way, each of you using something from this book, and each of you inventing your own parts of the Outlaw conspiracy as you go along.  and the conspiracy thus gets more vast, more hard to track down, more hard to crush-- the very definition of a vast and powerful conspiracy!!

Every outlaw is an individual.  each will ride his own trail or walk her own path.  What the heck, some Outlaws will rollerblade or snowboard their path.  And some may launch themselves into pathless space.

But as I've worked on freedom stuff over the years, I've notice that Outlaw deeds fall into three general types.  So I've created three DisOrders within the Outlaw Cabal-- mapped out three highly individualized Paths or Ways:  those of the Ghost, the Agitator, and the Mole.

As you join the Cabal and progress on your own Outlawry, you'll probably find most of your activities falling into one of those DisOrders.  With or without conscious planning, you'll have chosen one of the three Outlaw Ways within the Grand Outlaw Cabal.  You'll be on your way to becoming an Initiate of the world's most illusory conspiracy.

If you're already well along your own personal Freedom Way, you can have some fun by tracking where you own activities fig among the three DisOrders.

I'll describe those DisOrders here.  Then throughout the book, you'll find these three symbols, denoting which DisOrder a particular activity is most characteristic of:
The Agitator
The Mole
The Ghost

Some activities may fall within two or more of the DisOrders, and they'll be so marked.  Keep in mind that even if an activity is marked for a Ghost, an Agitator might still be able to do it.  Or if it's marked for a Mole, a Ghost might do it in some cases.  You be the judge.  The symbol only says that an activity is most characteristic of one DisOrder or another -- not exclusive to that DisOrder.

As Always, you decide who you are and which Way you follow.

The Disruptive Order of the Agitator

The Agitator confronts, demonstrates, challenges, risks arrest, and otherwise puts himself (I'm using "he" because, frankly, most freedom Outlaws are men.  But that's not to dis the vast freedom sisterhood, of which I am a member.  Doesn't matter what sex you are, as long as you love liberty.)  out there on behalf of liberty.

The Agitator does not go quietly into tyranny.  He carries a banner, hands out leaflets, sits down in the street, demands answers at public meetings, organizes protests, publishes articles, openly challenges and disobeys laws, and otherwise makes an unmistakable public case for liberty.  He's willing to be arrested or Manhandled by cops if need be.  He faces down statist opponents with strong, effective arguments.  He may engage strangers in freedom-oriented conversations while standing in line at a store.  He shows films or gives presentations at meetings.  He founds organizations, writes op-eds for the newspaper, and raises funds for causes.  If somebody gets in trouble for violating an unjust law, he's the one who sets up the legal aid fund an contracts the media.  He's the "face" of the freedom movement, the recruiter, the point man.

The Agitators most valuable trait:  A fearless and persistent quest for justice.  The Agitator never lets tyrants get away with anything without a public confrontation, be it in person or in the media.  If he eventually falls, he'll fall fighting and even in defeat may be an inspiration to others.

The greatest dangers to the Agitator:  Burnout is certainly a big problem for the Agitator.  And that can take many forms -- from getting fed up with unreliable volunteers to feeling ready to explode because all his hard, desperate work seems to accomplish nothing.  Probably an even bigger hazard, though, is forgetting to live free.  Sometimes when your "thing" is being in the thick of the fight, you can really lose sight of what you're fighting for.  Agitators can also fall victim to arrogance -- believing that their way is the only way, and that Ghosts and Moles are mere defeatists.  Surprisingly, getting arrested or ending up "on a list" in some cavern of law enforcement is probably not a major danger for an Agitator.  Oh, those things surely happen. but for an Agitator, they are at least a standard occupational hazard and at best an opportunity for even greater public attacks against injustice.

The DisOrder of the Ghost

The Ghost haunts the system, quietly defying, disobeying, planting doubt, monkeywrenching, and otherwise non-cooperating.

The Ghost rejects government numbering and tracking and quietly subverts or circumvents laws and regulations.  The Ghost "don" need no steenkin' badges," or licenses, paperwork, or permits to live his life as he sees fit.  If he has documentation at all, it may be in two or three different names.  He resists the income tax.  She often practices an underground profession, barters or trades in cash, gold, or silver.  He homeschools his children, who are unnumbered an may be unregistered with the state.  His location and activities are hard to trace.  He diliberately obscures the record of his life.  She practices as much self-sufficiency as possible.  He doesn't use credit cards and may not have a bank account.  He owns very little and much of what he does own is under some name other than his own.  A Ghost is a kind of guerrilla fighter, but who "contends without contending" and attacks tyranny at its roots without necessarily picking up a weapon.

The Ghosts's most valuable trait:  Independence from the system. To the greatest extent possible he neither supports nor relies on government for his survival.  He lives more closely to his ideal than either the Agitator or the Mole.  The Ghost is the conscience of Freedom, reminding others that freedom is to be lived, rather than merely fought for.

The greatest dangers to the Ghost:  Marginalization.  Alienation.  Poverty.  By refusing to cooperate with the numbering and tracking systems that ordinary citizens accept as a matter of routine, the Ghost becomes unable to do the simplest things -- apply for a job, get insurance, open a bank account -- without enormous stress and difficulty.  As with Agitators, some Ghosts can also become arrogant, insisting that everybody should quit paying taxes or give up their drivers licenses (or whatever their particular "thing" might be).  They may damn others for their percieved lack of conviction.  Finally, burning out and "dropping back in" is common among weary Ghosts.  If this applies to you, don't worry too much about it.  "To everything there is a season."  It's possible to be a Ghost for a while, drop back in, and re-emerge as an Agitator, Mole -- or future (and much refreshed) Ghost.

The Disloyal Order of the Mole

The Mole works within the conventional structures of society, either doing damage from within or giving support to those who fight for freedom on the outside.

The Mole is overtly respectable.  he holds a regular job, perhaps even a high-level one.  He pays his taxes, obeys the rules (mostly), and lives like a good citizen.  But underneath the facade, he is an implacable enemy of all tyranny and injustice.  He uses his secure income to help Agitators and Ghosts.  He puts into effect long-term, covert plans for monkeywrenching the tyranny works.  He funnels information to the resistance.  He uses his contacts to establish or aid underground railroads or free enterprises.  The Mole may be a sleeper agent, waiting for the right time to strike.  Or she may be actively burrowing into "the system" now, subverting it and aiding the underground.  In his own way, he is as invisible as the Ghost.  But whereas the Ghost strives to be truly not there in the eye of the state, the Mole strives to be hidden in plain sight -- Mr. Shining Good Citizen with the perfect credit record, the smile for every surveillance camera, and the upscale lifestyle, who just happens to be someone else within.

The Mole's most valuable trait:  The ability to dig undetectably into the system, to observe, convey or wisely use information neither the Agitator nor the Ghost is in a position to know.  To be able to use influence, power, or position neither the Agitator nor the Ghost can achieve.

The Mole's greatest dangers:  The risk of being caught and exposed can be catastrophic for the Mole, who bases so much of life on his respectable facade.  But at the present stage of Outlawry, both freedom and comfort, and the comfortable, employed, home-owning, bank-account holding freedom lover can too easily persuade himself while still being inactive.  He says to himself, "I'm a Mole" -- when in fact, he's merely inert.  The genuine Mole is an active planner and watcher.  Even if he's a sleeper, he conducts his life with attention to the opportunities to strike for freedom from within.  The tension of living with that double life can be a rush and a source of secret smiles for the Mole.  But it can also be schitzy and stressful, especially to those who feel loyalty to both their mainstream co-workers and their Outlaw Colleagues.

The Ways are flexible

In real life, of course, you may be one or two or a little of all three kinds of Outlaw.  One individual may refuse to file income taxes (a Ghost tactic) and publicly confront the head of the IRS (an Agitator tactic).  Another may act as a high-priced consultant to a state legislature while feeding confidential information to the freedom underground (a Mole Tactic).  Then secretly she may write pseudonymous articles on how to disable surveillance cameras (an Agitator tactic advocating a Ghost or Agitator Activity).

The Ghost-Agitator combo is common, as many Ghosts are so powerfully committed to freedom that they not only live by their principles, but shout their convictions from the rooftops and many Agitators feel so strongly about their causes that they practice what they preach in a Ghostly fashion.

The Mole-Agitator combo is a bad idea, unless the Mole's agitation is either completely covert and anonymous (e.g. those pseudonymous articles) or is totally mainstream an respectable (e.g. working within the Libertarian Party or writing for a notable think tank).

And the Mole-Ghost combo is rare, since these two have virtually opposite lifestyles.  However, it could happen that a Ghost inadvertently stumbles across some high-level and uses it subversively (thus acting Mole-ishly).  And the coup of all coups for an Outlaw conspirator would be to be a nice, outwardly respectable Mole who turned out to be living under a long-time false identity (thus being a SuperGhost).

Its also important to remember that even the most dedicated members of any of the three DisOrders seldom achieve any "purity" within their Way.  There are plenty of things, for instance, about which an Agitator simply shuts up.  You can't fix the entire world.  Likewise, very few people manage totally invisible Ghosthood; it's just too hard in this e-surveilled age, and too stressful for most even to try.  The Mole has the very hard job of deciding which opportunities for undermining the system he should pursue and which, in the name of discretion, he should allow to go by.

So the borders of the DisOrders are forever shifting... just as life itself is.  Your path will be like nobody else's.

Now you can go invent your own secret handshakes, decoder rings, and mumbo-jumbo rites.  Invite your friends to join in the subversive fun.  Please yourself!  And on with the conspiracy.

If you like what you see here, you can see more at:
The Claire Files: (owned by Debra Rickettes)
The Claire Files Forums:
And of course, Paladin Press:

The Fine print
This book is being published in the free country of america, where writers and publishers can get sued or thrown in jail if we write about some dangerous thing and some idiot goes out and does it.

I hope no readers of this book are idiots.  But regardless, Loompanics makes me say this:  Everything in this book is for education purposes only.  Some of the actions described in this book may be illegal.  Some may be legal but risky.  Some are perfectly legal and would be safe to do in a truly free country, but could get you in deep yogurt in a land where simply insulting a TSA airport "Security" screener is a federal crime.

Neither the publisher nor the author (me!) advocates doing any specific illegal action.  I do believe it's absolutely necessary to break the law -- probably lots and lots of laws -- to truly be free.  Obedience is a virtue mainly in slaves.  But whether you break any specific law or every unjust law is solely up to you.

The world is dangerous.  Some of the material in this book could be dangerous.  Don't be an idiot.  But don't be a slave, either.  Use your best judgment and don't ever do anything just because some writer --or some politician-- thinks it's a good idea.

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