Friday, December 28, 2012

The Problems of a Gray Man

With the increasing government tyranny, one is compelled to at least consider the notion of "going gray." I'm not talking about hair color. I'm talking about the theoretical concept of getting off of the government's radar and laying low to avoid persecution, attack, or murder by the state.

There are some aspects to this which cause difficulty. I'll break them down here separately for you.


In today's internet age, it is increasingly difficult to disappear. I have internet forum posts that have been googled and catalogued from as long as 15 years ago. The internet never forgets. Neither do your credit card companies or your banks. In my technical career, I did business with many credit card companies and banks. They do not maintain just the minimum legal time for storage of records. They maintain every transaction ever because they consider it yet more data to be mined (and sold).

Even if you withdraw money and pay cash for something then there is still the record of your withdrawing cash. What happens when a tyrannical government approaches you and wants to see what you purchased with that cash? Or when they match up your withdrawal with shopkeeper records in your area? There are ways to spend cash without drawing attention, but they are becoming increasingly more difficult.

Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, etc. have also trained everyday Americans to not keep their business to themselves. When I was a user of Facebook I would see the most inane posts from time to time. For a generation used to sharing their viewpoint and activities, it is going to be increasingly difficult to shut up and go dark.


A key component of going gray is that you look and act like everyone else. If the government mandates a certain mode of life (no self-sufficiency, no religion, labor for the state, etc.) then of what value is going gray going to be if it means you must comply with their mandates? Am I really winning if I am forced to go make munitions for the ForeverWar in a state-owned factory? Can I say I am "gray" if I'm standing by silently watching my less gray counterparts being marched off to the gulag?

At what point does "going gray" simply become an excuse for our compromise with a tyrannical system?

I have a certain life which I wish to lead and I can either be violently prevented from doing so by the government, or quietly prevented from doing so by my own concession to "go gray". It might be reasonable to "go gray" for a time, such as the brief period before you flee the country, but I cannot see going gray for the indefinite future.


Above perhaps every other argument lies the fact that I am a Christian. My Lord did not call me to silent inactivity so that I might preserve my life. In fact, Christ warned me that I would likely lose my life in His service.

John 15:18-20 reminds us:

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[b] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

If going gray means that I must abandon a Christian walk, or give the appearance of doing so, then what is gained?

Even if you look at it from a religion-neutral viewpoint, does going gray actually in itself advance the cause of freedom? Or is going gray only a component of some greater plan such as active resistance to tyranny or a planned escape?


Can you name one historical figure, modern or past, who "went gray"? Look at the story of Natan Sharansky, a Jewish refusenik in Soviet Russia. His principle was a complete refusal to comply with the government until they allowed him to leave the country. If they told him to eat, he refused. If they told him to sleep, he stayed awake. On the day in which they finally released him to board a plane out of the country they told him to walk straight to the plane. He zigzagged.

When I tell other people Sharansky's story, the first thing they always ask is, "Why didn't the Soviets just kill him?" It's a reasonable question considering they'd already killed so many. I believe the reason Sharansky didn't meet a brutal end in some snow-covered courtyard in a Soviet prison is that the world knew Sharansky's name. The regime would have had to face scrutiny if Sharansky had simply disappeared. That's the government's problem: each time a bullet is put into the back of the head of a resistor, it may simplify their operations for the moment but it increases the net discontent of the populace, which will breed more resistors.

If Sharansky had simply went gray then he would either be working in a Soviet munitions factory somewhere, or would have met with that brutal end which all resistors may face. And the world would not know his name.


Our government is greasing the rails of tyranny as you read this. An impending economic collapse coupled wwith a bid for gun and property confiscations are about to intersect. Now is the time in which to consider your future actions. That time is growing short indeed.

As you can tell by this post, I've made my decision.

No comments: