The “Grey Man” concept

Maybe not everyone is familiar with the Grey Man concept, so we decided to clarify and delve into the subject. Too many are convinced that a mimentica, in environments other than the forest, maintains its function as camouflage, but the truth could be the exact opposite. In many cases, it is important to be inconspicuous and unnoticed. Here’s how to become a “grey man”.

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The risks of the scenario

Moving in an urban context during any type of scenario that triggers the total or partial collapse of the system, whether political, social or economic, can be highly dangerous, in some cases fatal. There are many people very difficult to control, inserted into society only thanks to the rules of civil coexistence and the law. But what would happen in our cities in the absence of control? Certainly, you do not need particular skills of imagination, sometimes it is enough to inquire in the local news to get an idea.

So let’s imagine we are witnessing one of these events, where the law is almost non-existent. Preppers use the acronym WORL ( “Without the Rule of Law”: without applicable law). We would be dealing with desperate people, prevailing people ready to attack any person who proves weak and defenceless. How to behave then?

The most prudent attitude

Clearly, the adage “unity is strength” in these scenarios is a wise rule, a necessity, rather than a choice. Nature teaches us: predators attack easy prey. Moving in a group large enough to be one is not easy prey for those with unpeaceful intentions can prove extremely important.

A valuable alternative is learning to mix in the crowd without attracting any kind of attention, being able to pass for a potential threat or avoiding being threatened. Being invisible to other people’s radar, in two words: being a grey man, an anonymous grey man, practically invisible.

Some people have a natural propensity to be remembered for particular physical or somatic traits: height, muscle mass, charm … or the exact opposite; the list could go on and on. There are many characteristics of an individual that can make him perceive, even at an unconscious level, a reaction: pleasure, suspicion, fear, awe, curiosity, attraction … our tools, movements, stocks.

 This is why it is important to know how to be “transparent”. There are people who move among us every day, whose presence does not arouse any kind of emotion, to the point that they are completely ignored as if they were invisible. This is what we should be able to emulate when we feel it is necessary.

In practice

So how do you go about it? We observe the people, the crowd, on the street and on public transport. How does it move? What attracts our attention?

Our brain has a very ancient system (at an evolutionary level) called RAS (Reticular Activating System) which selects what to observe and what to ignore.

The mechanism is very simple, the brain automatically remembers whatever stimulates it, if there are no stimuli, the brain does not retain information.

In the next part, we will analyze the RAS in detail

For now, let’s anticipate some simple tips:

  • camouflage in the city does not make you camouflage
  • adopt similar clothing to most people
  • do not carry packages or flashy objects, with strange or large shapes
  • opt for dark and inconspicuous colours (grey, black, brown …)

In the next part, we will look at other aspects more closely

Meet RAS
As we had anticipated, our brain constantly analyzes the information it receives. To manage the amount of work he uses a filter, called RAS (Reticular Activation System) which decides which information to filter by preventing it from reaching the conscious mind to preserve energy and use it for more important tasks.
Our brain uses “programs” that have worked for millennia and that have allowed man to survive since he was a pro-ape. In the first instance, it looks for potential threats, fast movements, moving dangers, bright colours, human shapes, reflections, dazzling lights, and anything that somehow stimulates our attention. But to focus on these things it must necessarily discard others: for example, the RAS ignores areas of continuous colours, shadows, natural colours, and slow movements.

Not just images

The RAS not only manages the visual spectrum but all the inputs we receive, even the auditory ones. Our brain, therefore, will filter familiar, habitual or non-threatening sounds, such as the sound of the refrigerator or the ticking of the clock, but will alert us if there are sounds that may represent a possible danger, such as a siren or noises. suspicious at night.

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The Baseline

If we collect in a single concept the set of all the things that the RAS discards, we define exactly the baseline. The RAS actually makes an “average” of everything that surrounds it and that seems “normal” to it so that it can focus only on what deviates from the baseline.

RAS incontra Gray Man

Once we know how the RAS works and how the receptors that manage the alert states are triggered, we can try to “hack” their functioning to become invisible and go under the radar. In other words, it is a different type of camouflage: unlike that based on patterns, and colours, typical of military clothing, we want to camouflage inside all the information that the RAS will discard, so as to be discarded.

The key word is ordinary, in every respect. Imagine that someone has to describe you: your purpose is not to give them elements that are easy to notice and remember. I will not stop repeating it, ordinary, common, is the key.

The “grey Man” Concept


Generally, natural colours are the best: black, green, brown, beige and grey (the “natural” colour of cities) because they easily adapt to both an urban context and a more natural context, such as woods, mountains etc. It is important to know how to move in both contexts because you can pass from one to the other without any difficulty if the situation requires it. Banned t-shirts with names, logos, images etc.

Camouflage clothing is also highly discouraged, especially in the city, and so are all the “tacti-cool” things we have such as backpacks, amphibians, MOLLE systems, or gadgets in evidence that can attract attention: away with sunglasses on the subway or by train and so on.


Nor should it be necessary to say that a grey man’s manner and attitudes should be at least discreet and not attract attention.
We avoid gesticulating, looking around conspicuously, and avoiding eye contact. No shouting or contagious laughter.

Let’s learn to blend with the surrounding environment by copying the behaviour of other people: let’s insert ourselves into the baseline that we see around us.
The speed at which other people move, the ways they gesticulate, the volume and speed at which they speak.

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