A Testament to VONU – “Find Your Own Way”

“…People differ. There is no one best way for everyone. Find the one that suits you best & do that & never mind if other people prefer to live differently…”


-VONU: The Search for Personal Freedom, Part 2 – Comments for Rogue from Jim Stumm (March 1987)

There are so many different ways one can evade the state’s coercion, its enforcers, and entrapments. There is no one specific way, although I believe Rayo came about as close to being as invulnerable to coercion as one could possibly be. However, some who are beginning their journey read about Rayo and his wilderness abode, totally hidden from bludge and taxing authorities. They might feel overwhelmed and think, this is too much; I could never make these changes, and just dismiss the strategy altogether. I think it is important to recall from Rayo’s writings, and from Shane Radliff’s recent book, VONU: A Strategy for Self-Liberation, there are varying degrees of VONU. It’s not like one day you decide you want to pursue the strategy, and then the next you have to make radical life changes; it can be all at once or gradually. After all, vonu is yours for the making.

However, proceed with caution and heed Rayo’s warning to the half-in half-out citizen serf. It is possible that one could remain in the statist servile society while still knowing what he/she knows, however, it is bound to—sooner or later—lead to neurosis, or even worse, falling back into a comfortable world of coercion, extortion, and slavery.

Some may have the luxury of greater mobility/freedom and can easily change lifestyles, however, some might not be able to just uproot themselves (e.g. go mobile or move locations) for various reasons (family, servile job, etc.). It is for that reason that the individualist can develop his/her own method for avoiding the state’s mounds of endless laws, regulations, and constant harvesting of revenue from the serf in order to perpetuate its survival.

A Vonuan could possibly fund his/her free life from the proceeds of his/her life as a tax slave, however, there is a moral question that comes up: although I am selling my labor out of necessity in order to survive, should my end goal eventually be to avoid / cease funding an ever-expanding authoritarian empire? There is likely something within the awake Vonuan that longs to rid him/herself permanently from the bulk of the servile society’s coercion, and that should be enough to continue increasing VONU and MTH (Mean-Time to Harrassment). By contrast, many “libertarians” (both, big and small “L”) can live quite comfortably in the servile society, despite however vehemently against it they claim to be.

“We may still have some contact with that society, but we won’t have to worry appreciably over what idiotic thing the people-molestors do next (anymore than somebody who takes a vacation at the Riviera now and then needs to be much concerned about the politics of France.) Our change in life-style will be, in a sense, an answer to the omnipotence-of-State line of Rothbard and Hess. We will answer not in words but by doing – the only real way.

-Letter From Rayo, February 1970 – VONU: The Search for Personal Freedom, Part 2

You could live in the servile society but to paraphrase Rayo, “Live like a tourist who takes a vacation to the Riviera.”  I think what he means by this is, don’t concern yourselves with the daily political news, culture, and happenings of a particular geographical tax boundary, just think of yourself as a visitor. You might admire certain things like the social bonds you have with individuals, a park you might frequent, or a city’s ambiance, but still maintain that you are there as a visitor and will return to the Second Realm (your “vonu home base“) soon. This mental exercise could also give one more clarity about the destructive and aggressive nature of one’s own rulers (e.g. funding mass murder, the public-private fascist partnerships, the surveillance apparatus, etc.) by allowing the Vonuan to step out of the role of a participant and be more like an observer.

MTH (“Mean Time to Harassment”)

The novice Vonuan can begin anywhere on the chart, or he/she may already be somewhat invulnerable to the “people molesters” by living in a rural area by default, or on the crypto-anarchy / privacy front. In other words, practicing good security culture. One might have already acquired these practices through a job or may have learned them somewhere in his/her life, but just didn’t know it was part of a larger method for self-liberation. Below are a few practical things that you can do right now to begin your journey towards self-liberation.

“Exercise Collectivist-Spooks from Your Head”

As an individualist, one of the first things you could do is mental thought experiments. In a meditative state, on a good long hike, or before sleep, you can analyze your own thoughts. What are some of the things you used to or are currently trying to rationalize; collectivist thought (being part of a larger whole)? The idea that we must try to free everyone before we can free ourselves? The noise of the servile society news cycle that both consciously and subconsciously has an effect on our thoughts? Dwelling on and not being able to shake off statist arguments? (“But what about muh roads?)

There is one question you could ask yourself if you haven’t already: how come it is completely okay for your rulers to do something blatantly wrong, but when a citizen-serf does that same thing it is considered sacrilege? You could also continue this exercise by trying to expel any deep-seated devout nationalism and/or undying love for your captors (e.g. police worship, military worship, admiring national monuments, flags, songs, anthems, etc.).

After repeating this exercise, you might begin to rid your mind of all of these things. If you’re able to, the path to freedom will become much easier. I’m not saying it’s easy; you have been conditioned for thousands of hours over a period of 12-13 years of your childhood life. But, self-liberators will do what is necessary to achieve freedom.

Don’t Wait

In my experience, it’s also very important to take action as soon as possible and to not wait or prolong things. This is not to say that a certain amount of preparation is a bad thing (don’t just go sell your house on a whim and move to Alaska without putting in a certain amount of training, knowledge, research, etc.).

It’s worth pointing out that the longer you delay on something, the less likely it is to happen. People get busy: family, kids, loved ones, business, life in general. So, if someone wanted to make a shift to say, a more minimalist lifestyle, one should begin as soon as it comes to mind, even if that means doing a small amount towards achieving VONU every day; in this case, the first step would be deeply thinking about what belongings of yours actually bring value to your life.

My point is that you can easily fall into the mentality of, Well, if I can’t live as a van nomad, I’m just not going to do VONU at all. That might not even be your end goal, but at the end of every day or every week, maybe ask yourself, am I more or less vulnerable to the coercion/extortion of the state/ private actors than I was yesterday or last week?  You could sell your flashy, high-priced vehicle in favor of something that doesn’t draw attention to the bludgies as much, or participate in an encrypted IRC chat online. Both examples don’t really seem like a major change towards the long term goal of self-liberation, but they most certainly are.

The Dual First Realm / Second Realm Life – Live like a Tourist in the Servile Society

It seems to me that one of the most practical ways to participate in a semi-free life is to segregate one’s existence into two distinct spaces; in the First Realm (the statist-servile society), an individual would take care of their import-export (work, supplies, friendships) and potentially recruit other future Vonuans.

In the Second Realm, an individual would be as free as possible, utilizing the funding he/she receives from the First Realm in order to perpetuate and/or grow the Second Realm. I believe that this lifestyle is different from controlled schizophrenia, because, in this case, you are not willingly deciding that “ignorance is bliss” and surrendering to the servile society. Rather, you are merely gathering what you need from it as a matter of necessity, with the end goal of increasing time spent in the Second Realm.

From the popular movie series, The Matrix. Cypher knows the truth but doesn’t care. “Ignorance is bliss.”

Some good starting points for learning more about the Second Realm are:

  1. Crypto-Anarchy: good security culture. Use of encryption, anonymous phones, Ghostpads, disabling GPS devices, only utilizing secure communication methods such as IRC, Signal, etc. utilizing a VPN (Virtual Private Network), use of TOR, or preferably double-hop at the router level like Crypto-Hippie.
  2. Participation in and/or creation of TAZ’s, PAZ’s: Temporary Autonomous Zones and Permanent Autonomous Zones are areas where one can really let loose and shake off the noise and filth of the bullshit, statist-servile society. In other words, they are liberated areas of time, land, and imagination. So, the more time one spends in a PAZ/TAZ, the more they can be truly free. Some exist already, but others will decide to start there own. What makes this different from traditional collectivism is that the Vonuan simply utilizes this human interaction as way to increase their freedom. This can take the form of free market trade or for more of the social element, such as raves or parties. Whereas, a collectivist “movement” sacrifices principles for the good of the whole and, eventually, the end result is a watered-down, convoluted, message and an ineffective group of people. In the end, these individuals probably would have been better off in the servile society. To read more about PAZ/TAZ’s, take a look at The Second Realm: Book on Strategy by Smuggler and XYZ.
  3. Use of Pseudonyms: In this context, pseudonyms are used to distinguish an individual’s First and Second Realm identities. The former are sometimes called “slave names” or “given names,” the latter “free names.” To be sure, your “free name” would never appear on government documents. There are positives and negatives to using multiple pseudonyms. At one point, Tom Marshall and his freemate used multiple pseudonyms (Rayo, El Ray, and many more for Tom, and Roberta, Haelan Hygeia, Dr. Naomi Gatherer for his freemate). They were thought to have had more than four people at their homestead, but it was later found that they were just using multiple pseudonyms. As a practical application for the use of pseudonyms, you could use your slave name to continue to try and live a “normal life” in the First Realm, pay some taxes, earn an income, and have a Netflix queue/ social media accounts. If you want to get creative, you can also use your name to populate misinformation about yourself, such as: I like dogs when I really like cats, I voted for X master during the last bullshit roadshow, but really fucking hate politicians and cancelled my voter registration a year ago, etc. Then, the Second Realm pseudonym could be used to set up secure chats, encrypted PGP e-mail, a Fascistbook account designed solely to perpetuate truthful information and recruit newcomers, and to conduct business in a veil of anonymity but while still keeping somewhat of a reputation in the Second Realm (which is a key component to a market-based system). The main, unavoidable downside is that someone could connect the two names (your Second Realm “action” would be attributed to your First Realm identity). This could lead to doxxing, or, the revealing of said personal information. However, in this case, you would simply need to abandon that “nym” for another one. The best way to prevent this is by never voluntarily making that connection; in other words, not revealing your “given name” name to people you can’t trust (a scorned lover, an ignorant first realm friend, etc.). Ideally, these should remain separate at all costs in order to facilitate your eventual exit from the First Realm.  
  4. Increasing online and offline privacy: Another easy and practical way to increase VONU is to begin reducing your personal online footprint. If you start looking at things like the Edward Snowden leaks, the NSA’s Prism program, and the Five-Eyes Agreement the US has with other countries (which created a worldwide surveillance dragnet), then you can see the importance of not giving up personal information willingly. The typical citizen-serf voluntarily gives up most of his/her personal information, location data, personal preferences, etc. just by setting up a social media account. Not to mention the time spent endlessly scrolling through largely useless news feeds, the endless notifications, and the obsessive desire some egotistical individuals have to document their entire lives. One of the main ways to decrease state surveillance is to just not give it up so easily; at the very least, make them work for it. Consider removal of personal social media accounts, or at least use them in a manner other than intended (e.g. spreading truthful information and self-liberation materials, encouraging others to break away from self-policing apps, etc.), or use a “poison the well” strategy (e.g. join a bunch of nonsense groups, use false info for your profile, never use a cell phone number, use a fake phone number, post false location data, etc.). Another suggestion would be to “Google” yourself, see what comes up, then start scraping as much of said personal data from there as possible. You’ll never truly be able to delete everything, but you’ll be harder to find and more difficult to extort. There are many other examples of decreasing your online footprint, but that will suffice for now. Regarding decreasing your physical footprint, some suggestions would be to switch up your daily commute (take a different route to and from work), get a PO Box or use www.yourbestaddress.com to get an alternate address, try camping out at different campsites on weekends, stay at hotels in different areas, try to go without carrying your personal tracking device everywhere with you (such as, use a paper road atlas for directions, a compass in the woods, etc.).

“The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards. I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”

-Edward Snowden in The Guardian

These are only a few ideas that would help someone begin segregating/cutting off their life from the First Realm, and eventually heading towards a freer life. In either case, if the end goal of maximum VONU or a dual life (split between the First/Second Realms) is achieved, one will have increased overall liberty in their lifetime, and increased their invulnerability to the coercion of the state, which is much more than can be said for bullshit Libertarians and run-of-the-mill political crusaders out there.

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