IFAS | Militia Manual | Section 2.4

2.4 Secrecy and security in the Free Militia


"And I pledge never to willfully betray the Militia's principles, members or tactics." From the Oath of Office for the Free Militia

2.4.1 Enemy capabilities and countermeasures

For now, the existence of the Free Militia is largely kept a secret because we are a relatively small organization. If and when the Free Militia should ever "go public," our principles and purposes would become open to public scrutiny. Unless people know we are guided and motivated by lofty constitutional principles we might be misunderstood as fanatics, vigilantes, or even criminals.

But our personnel and plans must always be kept private. We cannot allow a potential enemy to know the names and addresses of our entire membership nor can we let them know how we intend to defend ourselves. Therefore, our personnel and plans must be kept secret to all those outside the Free Militia.

Of course, we are faced with a wide array of modern technologies and age-old tactics that any potential enemy may use to spy on us. For convenience, we may classify these methods of spying under the headings of eavesdropping, surveillance, snooping and infiltration.

Eavesdropping

Surveillance

Snooping

Infiltration

These are just some ways the Free Militia could be compromised to a potential enemy. Attempting to counter every one of these threats all the time would be expensive, complicated and cumbersome. Yet there are five simple things we can do as individuals and as a group to thwart them:

If every member of the Free Militia rigidly follows these five principles of secrecy and security, then the Free Militia will be secret and secure.

2.4.2 Low profiles and closed mouths

The best thing you can do as an individual and we can do as a group is to maintain the lowest possible profile. If a potential enemy does not even know that we exist or that we are members of a militia they will not bother watching or listening in on us. All the technology in the world is useless unless it is put to use. And it is only used when suspicions about you are somehow aroused that technology will be used against you.

Keep a low profile by not drawing attention to yourself, your actions, or your militia equipment. They can't watch you if they don't know you exist!

Equipping yourself

Storing your equipment

Training with your cell

Don't expose yourself

Of course, it does you no good at all to hide if you announce your location with a loudspeaker. So also it does you no good to keep a low profile in the Militia if you tell people about it.

Keep your mouth shut and do not tell anyone outside the Free Militia about your membership, actions, equipment, or plans. Loose lips do sink ships!

Recruiting new members

Holding your own tongue

Keep your wife and kids out of it

By keeping a low profile and a closed mouth, you may be saving your own life, the lives of others, and the liberties of everyone!

2.4.3 Decentralization and transience

The next best thing we can do is be as decentralized as is practically possible. They can't watch all of us if we aren't all together.

The less any member knows about the whole Free Militia, the less he can divulge if he is watched, overheard, blackmailed, or arrested by the enemy.

Decentralization among the cells

Decentralization in the Free Militia

A fourth key principle of secrecy and security in the Free Militia is to be transient. Change things and do them differently. Present a "moving target." Even if you are compromised, it will be difficult to track you if you keep changing the circumstances.

Try to avoid patterns. Don't keep doing the same thing the same way at the same time and place. They can't keep watching you if they can't find you.

Within the cell

Within the Militia

When someone leaves the Militia

Once again, the life and liberties you save by taking these measures may be your own!

2.4.4 Classification of documents

All military organizations must secure their plans if they are to surprise and evade the enemy. The final principle of secrecy and security is to maintain a system of classifying records, documents, plans and maps. By restricting access to the most sensitive information, it is less likely that it will fall into the wrong hands. This section of the Field Manual will be the last thing you read pertaining to the Free Militia that does not have some kind of classification or restriction attached to it. They can't read about us if we do not give them reading material.

The U.S. Department of Defense has three levels of classification. These are confidential, secret, and top secret. Anyone having access to classified information must have the appropriate clearance which is granted only after a fairly thorough investigation of the individual. But the right clearance is not sufficient to gain access to the information. A person must also have a "need to know." Thus, someone with a top secret clearance is not necessarily allowed to read a merely confidential report unless the report directly pertains to his work or plans.

The Free Militia also operates on a need-to-know basis. However, we do not have the resources to do a detailed personal investigation. Nor are the three levels of government clearance suitable to our situation. So for the Free Militia, your clearance is based upon your rank.

In the Free Militia, you are only cleared to know or access information which is made available to your rank and only if you need to know it.

Printed and written materials (like this Field Manual and maps) will indicate on the cover which levels of rank are cleared for accessing it. You are never to open or read any document that is classified for ranks higher than yours. Even if you have the rank, you still must not read it unless a superior indicates that you have a need to know. Inadvertent and intentional violations should be reported to your superiors.

As said before, the particulars of a cell's own codes, caches, meeting places, and so on should be restricted to the cell. As far as the Free Militia as a whole is concerned, the following guidelines regulate the general classification of materials:

When classified material is in your hands it is your responsibility to secure it. Read it only in private. Lock it in a filing cabinet or hide it when you are not using it. When you are done with it, either destroy it or return it to your superior. Never just throw it away! As a standard procedure, you should have a closed box or other secure location not an open waste basket to discard all Free Militia materials before burning or shredding.

Remember that information is classified whether it is written or verbal. So treat discussions of sensitive material as you would a document. Do not discuss it over the phone. Do not discuss it in the presence of non-cleared people whether they are in the Militia or not.

Where do you stand?

I have attempted to present everything I can concerning the Free Militia's purpose and organization as well as what is expected of you should you decide to join us. Of course, much has been left out for security reasons. If you do join us by taking the oath of office in the presence of your cell, there is much more that will be at your disposal in terms of training, plans, assistance and encouragement. But this must be reserved for the committed minuteman who knows and promises to carry out his duties.

So this is the end of the "information highway" for mere inquirers. You are at a crossroads, and must either part company with us or jump in with both feet. You know what the Free Militia is all about. You know how you will need to equip yourself. You know how we are organized and what authority structure you will be coming into. You know the basics of how you will need to maintain secrecy. Now we need to know something about you. As I asked before, are you vigilant, active and brave? Do you have a strong heart? The Free Militia is not for the half-hearted, it is for the lion-hearted.

Of course you are free to walk away from us without obligation. We have no physical hold on you. We have no legal authority over you. But I wonder if you can so easily walk away from our cause. Ideas not only can energize and embolden us, they can enthrall and captivate us. The lofty principles of Liberty are not easily forgotten by subjects nor ignored by tyrants once they are first tasted. How much less can they be forgotten or ignored by people like you and me who have lived and breathed them all our lives? How much less can the light of Liberty be forgotten or ignored by people like you and me who are seeing with our own eyes the attempts to snuff it out forever? The Free Militia is not for the short-sighted, it is for the far-sighted.

Hopefully you see the dangers on the horizon. Indeed, the perils to our liberties are already upon us! But perhaps you are inclined to run away rather than face them. Patrick Henry would tell you, "For my own part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it." Do you know enough truth, if not the whole of it, to cause you anguish of spirit? Can you see the evils of the "best" that can happen, if not the worst? Are you willing to provide for it?

The Free Militia is committed to providing for the worst. We have the cause in our favor. We have the means at our disposal. Do we have you? Are you ready, willing and able to "march" with us to secure the Blessings of Liberty for yourself and your children? If you are, take the oath and join us now!

"I, ________________________, promise to defend and observe the Constitutional liberties embodied in the Bill of Rights for all American citizens by example, persuasion, and force of arms if necessary. To that end, I intend to arm myself, I voluntarily join the Free Militia, and I agree to obey its commanders to the extent that my conscience allows for the duration of my service in the Militia and I pledge never to willfully betray the Militia's principles, members or tactics."

We are the few, the free, the Militia!

2.4.5 Discussion questions

Do the technologies and capabilities available to our potential enemy frighten you? Does the fact that such technologies could be turned against you by a "big brother" government give you a sense of urgency to defend your liberties while you can?

Can you see the importance of maintaining the strictest possible secrecy and security in the Free Militia? Why are such measures important to your own personal well being, liberties and perhaps life?

What are the five general things the Free Militia does to keep our existence, membership and plans secret?

Which of these security measures will require the most drastic changes in thinking, behavior and life-style on your part? Why? Do you think that you are sufficiently motivated to change? If not, how can we help you to change "dangerous" behavior?

Would you say that you tend to be flamboyant or low-key? Talkative or quiet? Boastful or humble? Habitual or spontaneous in your routine? Open or private about personal affairs? If any of the bold adjectives are fitting, these are characteristics you will have to change or temper with respect to the Free Militia. Do you see the need to make these changes?

How comfortable are you with the idea of a decentralized organization? Does a degree of independence and initiative among individual cells in the Free Militia give you a sense of confidence or confusion? Why? A sense of liberty or insecurity? Why?

Do you have any questions about what is expected of you concerning classified information?

What two conditions must be met before you are permitted access to a classified document? How must you guard such information when it is in your possession? How should you dispose of it when you no longer need it?

How do you feel about following orders from a superior officer? Is it hard for you to follow directives that seem unnecessary? Unwise? Risky?

Are you prepared to take the oath for the Free Militia? If so, what are your reasons for desiring to join? Fame? Fortune? Power? Glory? Adventure? Fear? Survival? A sense of duty? Something else?

"I, _________________________, promise to defend and observe the Constitutional liberties embodied in the Bill of Rights for all American citizens by example, persuasion, and force of arms if necessary. To that end,I voluntarily join the Free Militia, and agree to obey its commanders to the extent that my conscience allows for the duration of my service in the Militia and pledge never to willfully betray the Militia's principles, members or tactics."

Sensitive subjects and words

The following is a partial list of the types of topics and words you should stay away from when talking openly in public or on the phone.

Main ideas of this section

If every member of the Free Militia rigidly follows these five principles of secrecy and security, then the Free Militia will be secret and secure.

Keep a low profile by not drawing attention to yourself, your actions, or your militia equipment. They can't watch you if they don't know you exist!

Keep your mouth shut and do not tell anyone outside the Free Militia about your membership, actions, equipment, or plans. Loose lips do sink ships!

The less any member knows about the whole Free Militia, the less he can divulge if he is watched, overheard, blackmailed, or arrested by the enemy.

Try to avoid patterns. Don't keep doing the same thing the same way at the same time and place. They can't keep watching you if they can't find you.

In the Free Militia, you are only cleared to know or access information which is made available to your rank and only if you need to know it.