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FLASH MOB DYNAMICS

Guillermo D. Jalil, M.S.

"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." --unknown

"When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other."  --unknown

A mob of people, the flow of traffic, the flow of electrons and the flow of water possess similar characteristics.  Let's take the example of a rip tide.  The swimmer should not swim against the current.  Rather, it's best to swim at a 45 degree angle in the effort to move away from the riptide.  Even at a 90 degree angle, it's better than fighting the riptide.  Just the same, you would make a right hand turn to get off a busy street during rush hour.  Electricity flows in one direction.  Likewise, the solution to finding yourself within a flash mob is rather simple and direct:

Move with the current of the mob and then find the first available exit away from the group.  Move away at any angle as long as your exit doesn't move against the group.

Stay away from the center of the mob.  Gently move to the perimeter and then exit.

If you can't move laterally, move in a corkscrew fashion as others move around you.

Large crowds and mobs move through wide routes of least resistance.  Your exit may be a narrow path that you can spot from the perimeter of the group.

If you're in the middle of the group, first move toward the outside of the group.  Always move through the group at an angle.  Be polite.  As you move with the group on the fringe, then make the first available turn away from the group.

Guns and flash mobs possess similar characteristics.  Both of them are labor saving devices for the projection of violence.  A gun is simply a labor saving mechanism for violence projection just as a washing machine or dishwasher are labor saving devices for household chores.  The purpose may vary but the principle remains the same--economy of purpose.  This is why felons, who have difficulty controlling the need for immediate gratification, must stay away from guns.  They are prone to use a gun when stealing, raping, and stealing others because it reduces the amount of labor required to project violence.  It's risky when a person, without control over the need for immediate gratification, gets ahold of a gun.  As a result, the brain is real risk.  The gun is simply the tool behind the brain.

A flash mob is a labor saving dynamic in the projection of arbitrary or targeted violence.  Many of these darlings, who participate in flash mobs, wouldn't individually attack a large, physically imposing man or police car in broad daylight.  Together, they feel invulnerable and irrationally confident, and that policeman could be targeted if he possessed something of value; such as a gun, a watch, or a flashlight.  As they say, many hands make light work.  Flash mobs are not rational.  They act as a rabid animal.  In such an harsh environment, police officers may be overwhelmed and become victims.

People, who aren't necessarily prone to spontaneous violence, may participate out of need for immediate gratification and the group dynamic.  That gratification is immediate because of the limited time the mob exists.  They know it's "now or never," or individuals within the mob take the position of "all or nothing."  The quickly expiring nature of the flash mob is what is responsible for its inherent danger.  Any one, or small group, of mobsters may hyper-focus on a police car, a jewelry store, an attractive woman, or you.  The focus of the flash mob, once targeted, isn't satiated until the victim's resources are depleted or the victim is often rendered unconscious.

Consider following these guidelines in dealing with a flash mob scenario:

  • Flash mobs are first indicated by many people looking at their phones and group density increases dramatically.  You will sense that something is different or wrong.  You'll see that others are looking around for something to happen.  Get out now.

    • Flash mobs are not fun.  Anything can happen.  Theft, rape, beatings, and other violence is possible.

    • A flash mob has the same behavioral characteristic as a rabid animal.  It moves in a meandering manner until something catches its eye, and then hyper-focuses on a target.

    • Flash mobs don't care about the consequences of their actions.  Their numbers project a sense of invulnerability.  Anything is possible to them.

    • If a flash mob targets a person and kills them, and you are somehow in the vicinity, you may be implicated.  Don't wait and see what happens next.  You must leave immediately; without drawing attention to yourself.

      • If the opportunity presents itself, help a victim of the flash mob once the mob turns its attention to something else or someone else.

    • Don't expect the authorities to know what's happening.  The authorities usually arrive by the time it's too late, and the mob is dispersing.  At that time, their job is to disperse the group and assess the damage, and call for any needed medical support.

  • Look around and determine the potential target of the flash mob.

    • Is the flash mob of a particular race?  Are you able to blend in, evade and escape?

    • If you cannot blend in, is there a point of egress?

    • Consider taking the exit that will sound an alarm, if that means the mob won't see you exit.

    • What exits are there that your mind was trained to ignore?  The doors that sound an alarm.  People normally seek to exit from the same door they entered.

  • Flash mobs are unpredictable and chaotic, adrenaline filled and anonymous. 

  • Move with the flow of the mob until you find an exit.

  • Don't attempt to make sense out of the mob's intent or to reason with the mob.  The mob's intent is to simply be a mob.  It cannot with argued against.  You cannot counsel or convince a mob to do anything, or to stop doing something.  If you scream "STOP" they won't hear you and they won't care.

SPEED

  • Think rush hour.  If the mob is running, you run with the mob at an angle to the outside of the group.  Then turn off at the first opportunity.

  • If the mob is walking, then walk.  Maintain the speed of the group until you find an exit.

    • If the mob is walking and you're running, then you're attracting attention.  Don't attract attention.

    • If the mob is walking, do not run.

PLANNING

  • Agree on a meeting place before walking into crowded areas such as a concert, fairgrounds or other event.

SELF DEFENSE AGAINST THE MOB

  • If you are armed, don't show your gun.  Using it against a mob may label you as a mass murderer.  Killing people only inflames the situation.  You're better off giving up a watch than brandishing a weapon.  You may hit an unintended target.  You may make yourself into mob target number 1. 

  • Your gun becomes their prize if they wrestle it from you.  Your 13 round clip is no match for a flash mob of 50.  Remember, they may not feel fear or other normal emotions.  Keep the gun concealed and move away from the group.  In most flash mob situations, drawing your weapon is a mistake.

  • Don't set off warning shots.  Warning shots advertise that you have a gun.

  • Martial arts will not work against a mob.

  • The best defense is your brain.  Don't attract attention, move with the mob until you find an exit, and go.

  • What are you showing that can make you a target?  Are you carrying a flashy purse, phone, or gun?  Do they want what you are holding?

  • Think flight.  Don't think about fighting.  Go with the flow and exit.

YOUR CAR

  • Again, move the car in the same direction as the group.  If you must, put the car in reverse to move in the same direction as the group.

  • If stuck inside the car, don't curse.  Don't waive a gun.  Don't threaten the mob.  Don't rev the engine or honk the horn.  Don't get out of the car.

  • Don't go through the mob.  Drive along the mob or around it.

  • Don't look at individuals or the mob.  Look past them so they don't see you as identifying them, or targeting them in some way.  They will ignore you as a result.

  • If necessary, climb into the back seat and into your trunk.

APPEARANCE

  • It's possible that a camera is catching the flash mob in progress.  Your face may be on the video.  That video may be seen on television.

  • Don't make eye contact with the mob.  Look past them. 

  • Move with the mob and leave.

  • Stay low.  The more upright you are the more likely you are noticed.

  • If the group is chanting something, repeat the same mantra as you move through the crowd and until you exit.  If the groups is screaming, scream with them as you exit.

CROWD SQUEEZE

  • The danger of being squeezed and suffocated by a crowd is real.  The solution is to hold your hands straight up.  As the crowd presses into you, you're able to lift yourself up above those who are pressing against you.  Crowd squeeze can kill a person for inability to breath.

DEAD WEIGHT

  • If the mob picks you up, go limp.  Turn yourself into dead weight.  Relax as much as possible and pretend to have passed out.  Your body weight will make you feel very heavy and a burden to carry.  They'll pick your pockets and move on.

POLICE CONFRONTATION

  • The job of the police is to keep the peace and quell rioting.  Don't move forward toward the police.  This may be considered confrontational.  Again, move to the outside of the group.  Move laterally.  Take an exit from the group, and move away from the police.   The police cannot tell you are caught in this mob or part of the mob.

 

 

Contact Guillermo D Jalil, at USA@BlueDeltaInvestigations.com

 

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