When more chaos helps for surival

chaos survivalI work in medical field and few days ago we got called to transport some guy who broke his back. Nothing special but this guy broke his back while trying to attack woman to maybe rob or rape her.

He attacked her on staircase in house where she lives.

Instead of resisting his attack from behind, woman was just so shocked she fell backwards on the guy and he fell down staircase and broke his back.

That is what some might call happy end. Woman had just few bruises and got away.

This reminded me of something that happened to my cousin during war.

In this region here, western type of culture was always more popular than eastern. Especially for everyday things that young people do. So young folks here always like things that most of the people in west like. Things like music, way of living and all of that.

Few years before war that all became even more popular, I guess thanks to the all political changes and all of that.

Few months before war, my cousin ordered from some small company military ID tags for him. It looked just like originally US ID tags, with those rubber covers.

It was some kind of fashion thing for him. He did not engrave his name on it, he engraved name of metal group he liked, and on other plate he engraved an eagle.

He was all in the music, guitars, concerts, long hair and all that.

Important thing to mention is that army and armies here did not have ID tags, and even if they had, it looked completely different. It was actually one small metal plate, inside that plate were name, unit numbers etc. on one small piece of paper (kind of thin plastic paper, waterproof)

In first month, when everything still was confusing and when all kinds of people were on the street, some tried to run or hide somewhere, others tried to take whatever they can in this chaos. He found himself trying to run from his apartment to a safe place and house. All kinds of different armed groups were on the street, some on barricades, some other running through the city, doing “raids”.

They stopped him and bunch of other guys on one “check point”, and immediately started to beat them and search them for valuable things.

One guy pointed pistol towards him and started to search him by ripping his pockets on shirt. He said later in first moments of that he was scared to death, and went completely numb and paralyzed, and that probably saved his life.

Guy who searched him saw his ID tags. He started to yell at him. The conversation as he can remember went something like this:

Gang member 1: “WTF is this you idiot? Are you belonging to some group?” (slapping him)


Gang member 1: “I will blow your head off if you do not answer me.”


Gang member 2: “What do you have there, White gold? Silver? Just take it from him.”

Gang member 1: “No, it is something else, and he is playing deaf.”

Gang member 2: “Let me see, shit, maybe he is French, I think it is on french.”

On that moment my cousin realized that he needs to keep his mouth closed, not only because of fear.

Gang member 2: “K.R.E.A.T.O.R. ( spelling from the ID tags) IS YOUR NAME KREATOR ?” (yelling in local language)

In background my cousin heard few shots, he did not turn his head to check who was shot or why.

Gang member 2: “Anybody here speak French?” (asking other group members)

Cousin said luckily guys looked like they barely could speak their native language, most of the time they just yell, and grunt, moan, like bunch of apes.

Gang member 1: (yelling) UN? NEWSPAPERS?BBC?SPAIN?REPORTER?

Gang member 2: “OK just leave the idiot, we do not want any troubles.”

Gang member 1: GO GO, YOU CAN GO”” (waving with his hands on my cousin)

Gang member 3: “Maybe he could write story about us, our group”

Gang member 2: “Shut up you idiot!”

My cousin just slowly moved away from them, and after 100 meters started to run. He said one of the guys said to him few times “nice nice” in English, probably trying to say to him that he can go, but probably that words were only English words that he knew.

I asked him why he did not start to speak English, because I knew that he know some basic English. He said : “In that moment I forget how to speak my native language, not to mention English.”

Not to mention that he had in back of his pocket some documents that clearly stated he is local, guys just did not make it to his pocket.

The survival lesson from these stories is that when you are outnumbered or clearly in weaker position often it helps by introducing more chaos and confusion.

The woman did not plan to fall backwards on guy but just was shocked and then because of falling the cards were mixed new. She could have got hurt or attacker but luckily attacker got hurt more.

Same with my cousin. He did not plan for this but by having this ID he made straight forward situation for the gang members more confusing. It is hard to unkill someone so he was let go because they did not know how to react in this situation.

Both, my cousin and the woman, did not do what they did on purpose. They got lucky. But if you ever find yourself in hopeless situation keep in mind that if something nobody expects happens or you make it happen, cards are mixed new and your chance for survival might have increased.

Shuffling cards new is often better than sure death.

22 responses to “When more chaos helps for surival”

  1. Roaddog says:

    Great story and analysis , I think it’s called a pattern interrupter and is useful especially in crazy situations or many others, really, great info and tactic, even if it only gives you a few seconds when what else can you do, luv this stuff!

  2. Island Girl says:

    Amazing stories…thank you for this!

  3. CraterShock says:

    Awesome story Selco! This is so true and we often forget what a blessing a little chaos brings when we are faced with sudden bad events. If memory serves me – I think the Chinese war philosopher Sun Zu recommends that we suddenly introduce complete and unexpected chaos when we are faced with certain death.

  4. Dude says:

    This is a very important point – to do something that the gangmembers are not trained to deal with.

    Example, check out the recent video of pastor steven anderson refusing to follow orders at 2 different illegal border patrol checkpoints.

    The cops dont know what to do – do they just wave him through.

  5. grower says:

    Great story. Really some food for thought, and gives a different perspective on a chaotic situation. Thanks.

  6. Chris C says:

    Excellent post, Selco.

    This also can be of use in everyday life. Imagine if a mugger was getting ready to move in on you on a dark street, but then notices something about you that makes him believe you’re a cop. Maybe your jacket. Or boots. Something he can’t quite reason. But his gut tells him to find another victim. All because you bought a police jacket on sale. 🙂

    But, things like these can be both good and bad, depending on who sees you. There might be more than a few people who would shoot you in the face if they thought you were a cop.

    • sharon says:

      Congratulations for surviving. I enjoy reading your accounts of life in Russia, in that kind of chaos, especially since we are close to that now, here in the US. Your stories make things more real and more understandable. Your stories help keep the “normalcy bias” from happening. We cannot assume that things will remain the same forever. I have shared your stories with many others. God Bless

    • Just another somebody says:

      That’s exactly it. when I moved to NYC in the 80’s a guy who grew up there told me a few secrets for getting by at the time. One of the tricks I laughed at and couldn’t ever see myself doing till I got stuck late at work one night and while walking down the street saw a group of men looking to cause trouble walking in the other direction across the street. As they noticed me walking alone on the other side of the street, there was some conversation I didn’t hear and then as a group they cut across the street and started to head towards me.

      I remembered what my friend had said and reached up to my shirt collar and started to ‘talk’ into it. Suddenly the gang approaching me cut back across the street and continued on their way with no interaction. That was when I appreciated my friends insight that the NYPD decoy squad kept a speaker/radio in their collars and would call for backup if they thought they were going to get ‘hit.’ I introduced that chaos into a potential mugging situation and the muggers decided not to try it.

      If you can’t control a situation, introduce risk or something that will make the other side think they don’t control the situation either.

  7. Condor says:

    Practice Social Engineering. I guess you call it lying or pretending or blending into the crowd. Practice engineering a social group. This may save your life. Being caught off guard will numb you and fear will show in your body language to the dogs. Practice being someone else with the general public. Practice not showing fear to the dogs. Practice not carrying documents/jewelry that will expose you, your beliefs or your tribal members. Practice not to be stopped at a check points. Practice, the day will come when you must ‘Social Engineer’ your way out of death…

  8. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    That sounds like a sound strategy, the playing disabled / foreigner card. It sounds like it saved him some further trouble. It sounds like in chaotic times, no one knows who is in charge.

  9. TNDadx4 says:

    This site has really good information on Social Engineering…http://www.social-engineer.org/

  10. I once escaped a rather severe “gang” beating by faking an epileptic seizure.

    It was a HUGE risk – throwing myself on the ground rendered me pretty much completely vulnerable – but in that situation I was cornered and saw no chance of escape.

    Eyes rolled back, a few twitches, fall with as little damage as possible then really turn on the act… Spittle flying, choking sounds…

    They all ran like their asses were on fire – I made sure they were gone then did some running of my own…

    Discretion is the better part of valor!

  11. sunflower says:

    Embrace Chaos. Good points. Thank you.

  12. Scott J. Zeiger says:

    Dude, I like your news letter but your grammar makes it hard to read.

  13. Michael says:

    I pratice martial arts since i was a child, and when i grow, in my 16, i start to read some books about martial arts, like “The book of the 5 rings” and “Sun Tzu-The art of war” and in both books they said the same thing…when you are in a chao situation, and you have some self-control, you can find a way to creat more chaos and confusion, put the “enemies” in a situation that they will forget what they must do to with you for a short time and you can be confortable to find a way to get out…in a single situation like Selco’s cousin or if you and your group have been catched by enemy group…but you only can take self-control if you train…be prepared…i think that psichologic preparation if most important than phisical sometimes…but if you can prepare both…you can be a great survivalist…sorry about my english…i’m from Brasil and my english is no so good.

  14. vlod says:

    That one change broke their OODA decision cycle & gave him the advantage of life!

  15. hillhag says:

    I saw two movies that impressed me along these lines. One was call “Lucan” about a feral boy raised by wolves. When brought into civilization, he taught his teacher not to respond with fear. He said,” if the hunter (predator) sees your fear, he will kill you”. I practice that even with wasps and bees. I think fear has a scent. The other movie was “Apocalypse Now”, when a guy was hunting a missing rogue commanding officer and found him in caves with tribesmen and heads on poles, the officer said,”make a friend of horror or it can destroy you.” I thought that was good advice for terrifying experiences.

    • Redstone says:

      When I am terified I get angry and serious. This has a physical and pycological effect on my demeanor and actions. I will always choose excape over confrontation (like its done in nature) when ever possible. If that is not an option, then I react aggersive and prepare to do no-holdback battle. I still offer the enemy a last chance to excape the pending bloodbath. This is said to be a bad situation reaction. However, I have lost count of how many times it has saved my life.
      If you do choose this form of reaction, be really ready to die, otherwise it will not work to your advantage. And yes, I do cry afterwards (in private) to release pent-up stress ( a trick my sisters taught me for survival and to stay healthy).

  16. stevenr.f. says:

    Acting completely mental–ie. mentally ill–can also help in a confrontation situation. This is something my trainer has used. Reacting opposite to what is “scripted” can help too. It has it’s risks. My wife and I were out for a walk at midnight of New Year’s. I guy coming past us charged my wife, cursing at her. I pushed him away from her and he pulled an enormous knife from his coat. It was literally like the Crocodile Dundee blade from the old movie. Rather than panicking or begging I flipped. I was angry and indignant, as I considered the street I was on my own neighborhood and I don’t take kindly to this stuff on my street. “A knife?! You’re gonna pull a knife on me?! I’m gonna hunt you down and kill you in your sleep!!” I found myself yelling at the top of my lungs. Not my best moment, as a death threat probably wasn’t legal. However, my lack of fear and 110% aggression worked and he turned tail and ran. He thought he’d run into someone more mental than him. I attribute my response as much to the “Canadian fightin’ liquor” I’d had earlier as any toughness or training on my part. Thank God it worked out fine.

  17. Alan says:

    Sounds like the gang member’s were just as scared and nervous as your cousin was, which turned out well for him. Most of those types of scumbags just go after “easy” targets, and when placed in a situation that isn’t so in-and-out, they have brain farts and move on to easier prey.

  18. mariowen says:

    Thanks for the information and all the great comments. It really gives me something to think about. I try to imagine different scenarios and how I would deal with them. It helps to put me into a proper mindset if something bad happens. I, too, have a tendency to get angry and “pushy” when I get scared, so I might as well try to capitalize on that. You know, it might not work, but if you are in a bad situation, you are probably dead anyway, so why not try something “outside the box” and hope it works. I would also start doing a lot of praying for help from above. That would be a better help than anything I could think of in a crisis situation.

  19. Daniel says:

    “In an environment of friction, uncertainty, and fluidity, war gravitates naturally toward disorder. Like the other attributes of the environment of war, disorder is an integral characteristic of war; we can never eliminate it. In the heat of battle, plans will go awry, instructions and information will be unclear and misinterpreted, communications will fail, and mistakes and unforeseen events will be commonplace. It is precisely this natural disorder which creates the conditions ripe for exploitation by an opportunistic will.” — Warfighting: The U.S. Marine Corps Book of Strategy, pp. 10-11

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *