how to survive when your cover is blown.

March 7, 2010

Hollywood is filled with spies, confidence men (and women), liars, cheats, tricks, thieves, and beautiful people. When you enter Hollywood, you become a part of the social espionage. Everyone lies. You create a cover identity and begin to spin your own web of lies and try to avoid the paths of destruction that so many people leave in their wake. So what happens when your cover is blown? If you’re smart and have done your homework you should be able to stay one step ahead. The best way to stay in control? Blow your own cover.

MISSION FAILURE

Sometimes, even when planned to the last detail, a mission goes awry. You cannot predict the actions of others. The only thing you can do is be as prepared as possible for all possible outcomes. How does one accomplish this? Make sure you are aware of your contact’s, CI’s and mark’s weaknesses as well as strengths. You can utilize their weaknesses to your advantage to acquire whatever information you need. If you know their strengths you will be better equipped to protect yourself from any surprises they may try to throw your direction. Most importantly remember, always have an exit strategy.

MISSION SUCCESS

Once you have successfully accomplished your mission, get out and move on. Don’t risk further exposure by continuing relationships. As long as you exit cleanly, you may be able to utilize your cover identity on a future mission if need be. A successful mission is marked when you get the intelligence you require without getting burned. Don’t forget to remember your exit story, because if you forget it, chances are they won’t.

TRUST THE LIES, NOT THE “TRUTH”

So how does any of this pertain to “real life?” Every one of us is, at one point or another, caught in some web of social lies. We all have our true, real friends, party friends, work friends, and people we keep in our lives because it is mutually beneficial to have them around. You will catch people in lies, and eventually, someone will catch you in yours. What do you do about it and how do we salvage the truth? I love the phrase in the photo above, because it is very true to hollywood. Many times, you have to trust the lies, not the “truth” because the “truth” people give you is a lie. Have you ever told someone the truth and they accuse you of lying to their face….just because it either sounds so outrageous it couldn’t be real, because they are so used to people lying to them, or someone else has told them a lie that contradicts you? Some people just can’t believe you could be one of the rare and honest few (Let’s face it, as I’ve stated before, we all lie to someone at some point).

CATCHING A SPY IN A LIE

You have two choices when you catch someone in a lie; decide that it doesn’t matter in the long run and leave it be, or confront them with it. Never under any circumstances, involve a third party. This will just get you into trouble in the end (the only exception being if they are a party to the lie themselves, or you need them to complete your mission). If you confront them and they continue the charade, it is time to decide again, can you put this behind you, or is it time to move on?

WHEN YOUR COVER IS BLOWN

You have a few choices to make when your own cover is blown in “real life.” Confess, or escape. If you decide to continue with your charade, you will get caught, and the consequences will be worse for you in the long run. The more lies you tell, the easier it is to get them confused and the more people you will involve and hurt.  If you cannot, for whatever reason, swallow your pride and apologize to the people you’ve wronged, then be prepared to get out and don’t look back. This isn’t a Hollywood movie, it’s Hollywood “real life;” you don’t have a team of people with guns and bulletproof vests waiting to back you up, you only have yourself. As I said when I began this post, the best way to survive a web of lies is to blow your own cover. Find a time and a way to admit to the lies before you are caught so that it goes down on your terms.

“Trust me,” it is the only way for a spy to survive in this town.

*disclaimer: this post is not directed towards, nor is it about, anyone in particular.