There have been reports that venomous bites can be treated by purchasing a stungun. We’ve all seen movies where the hero burns a wound or tries to suck out poison from a wound and then moves on to get the bad guy. Unfortuneatley, these things do not always work when tested in reality. To answer this question, we have sourced a paragraph from the national institue of health, which reads:
“During the past 2 decades, articles suggesting that stun guns be utilized to treat venomous bites and stings have appeared in both the lay and medical press. Although never widely considered to be standard therapy for venomous bites and stings, stun guns are still considered to be a treatment option by some medical practitioners and outdoor enthusiasts. A Medline search was performed using these terms: venomous bites, venomous stings, snake bites, spider bites, electrical, stun gun, high voltage electricity, low amperage electricity, direct current, and shock therapy. Articles selected included laboratory-based isolated venom studies, animal studies, and case reports involving humans in which a stun gun or some other source of high voltage, low amperage direct current electric shocks were used to treat actual or simulated venomous bites or stings. We concluded that the use of stun guns or other sources of high voltage, low amperage direct current electric shocks to treat venomous bites and stings is not supported by the literature.”
It seems like from time to time we read about Tasers causing heart failure in certain people. However, people often confuse tasers with stun guns and although there are plenty of studies regarding the use of tasers (which is a brand of EMD weapons), stun guns fit into a much broader category.
So the question remains. Do Electro Shock Weapons Stimulate the Heart?
The ability of an electrical discharge to stimulate the heart depends on the duration of the pulse, the voltage and the current density that reaches the heart. Stun guns deliver very short electrical pulses with minimal amount of current at high voltages. We discuss external stimulation of the heart by high voltage discharges and review studies that have evaluated the potential of stun guns to stimulate cardiac muscle. Despite theoretical analyses and animal studies which suggest that stun guns cannot and do not affect the heart, 3 independent investigators have shown cardiac stimulation by stun guns. Additional research studies involving people are needed to resolve the conflicting theoretical and experimental findings and to aid in the design of stun guns that are unable to stimulate the heart.
Stun guns are used to physically incapacitate a person by discharging controlled electrical energy into the body, thereby preventing effective muscular activity. Although the intention is to provide a safe means of subduing an uncooperative person, some studies have suggested that stun guns can stimulate cardiac muscle in addition to skeletal muscle, thus potentially promoting lethal cardiac arrhythmias. In this article, we review the scientific data about the direct effects of stun gun discharges on the heart during shock delivery. We discuss these issues in terms of electrostimulation and correlate them with theoretical and experimental data in the literature. We discuss the principles of cardiac stimulation from internal and external stimulation and examine the evidence for and against cardiac stimulation by stun gun discharges.
Stun gun discharges
An older method of stun guns application, called “drive-stun,” functioned like a cattle prod, which required direct contact between the electrodes of the source and the target. Stun guns are manufactured by different manufacturers (e.g., Aegis Industries, Stinger Systems, Taser International) and they operate under the general principle of high-voltage discharge with short pulse durations. However, their operation and shock characteristics vary by manufacturer. For example, a recent model (X26, TASER International) feature 2 barbs attached to long copper wires that are rapidly propelled by compressed nitrogen and adhere to the target’s skin or clothes. This stun gun generates an initial 3 microsecond electric pulse, which produces an electrical arc that creates a low-impedance pathway for electricity to reach the body with or without skin contact.1 The initial pulse is followed by longer pulses (100 microseconds) that deliver electrical energy to the target’s body, which stimulates his or her nerves and skeletal muscles and results in incapacitation. This pattern is repeated at a frequency of 19 pulses per second. Incapacitation lasts for the duration of the discharge, which is typically 5 seconds but can be 15 seconds or longer if pressure on the trigger is maintained. The TASER X26 battery has the capacity to deliver up to 195 discharges of 5 seconds each,1 which corresponds to a duration of over 15 minutes. Other devices that have been studied include the M26 (TASER International) and the MK63 Trident (Aegis Industries), which is a stun baton. Each of these devices uses high frequency electrical pulses to incapacitate the target.
Method of stunning
Stunning can be attributed to 1 of 2 methods, which depend on the mode of application. In the “drive stun” method, the overwhelming factor is the creation of pain and hence compliance. The second method, in which electrodes are fired toward the target as projectiles, neuromuscular stimulation occurs over a larger area. In addition to pain, the device incapacitates the target by stimulating his or her motor nerves and muscles as well as sensory neurons. The duration and frequency of the pulses have been optimized to incapacitate the target, and different devices have varying effects depending on the frequency of stimulation and the shape of the electrical pulse.
Electrical stimulation of the heart
Since the early 1900s, various equations have been proposed to describe the relation between the current and pulse duration required for electrostimulation of the heart. These formulas showed an inverse relation between the duration and the current of the stimulating pulse, which means that if the pulse duration is short, a higher current is required for stimulation.4
For an electrical pulse to stimulate the heart, it must depolarize the cardiac membrane below a certain level and the induced depolarization must be propagated throughout the heart. The duration and strength of the pulse must be sufficient to allow cell membranes to react and reach an excitation threshold above which activation is triggered. This activation produces a wave front resulting in mechanical contraction of the heart muscle. Shorter pulse durations require larger amounts of current or charge to stimulate the heart. Thus, one must consider whether a stun gun discharge, which is external to the heart, can deliver enough current to stimulate the heart. Below we discuss the external stimulation of the heart under other known circumstances and relate it to a typical electrical pulse generated by a stun gun.
Effect of external electrical discharges on the heart
The ability of external electrical discharges to alter the internal electrical activity of the heart (e.g., to induce ventricular fibrillation) has long been recognized. Depending on the method of delivery and the amount, timing and location of the electrical discharge, an external discharge can produce a beat when one is absent, induce fatal cardiac arrhythmias or restore a normal heart beat to a heart in arrhythmia.6 The use of external electrical discharges to influence the heart has resulted in the development of external pacemakers (e.g., Zoll stimulator) and defibrillator devices to treat ventricular fibrillation. However, these discharges are delivered under controlled conditions at rates that are physiologic or that are delivered during the safe part of the cardiac cycle. High voltage discharges commonly occur in various forms, from electrostatic discharge (most common) to electrocution or lightning strike (least common). Internal cardiac defibrillators also use high voltage pulses for terminating ventricular fibrillation. The relative values for voltage, current and energy for some common sources of high-voltage shocks, along with the most common type of stun gun in use, are shown below.
Evidence that stun guns cannot stimulate the heart
Despite the fact that stun guns are widely used and that their practical safety is under scrutiny, the majority of these analyses are theoretical in nature. These theoretical analyses suggest that stun guns cannot deliver the amount of energy required to stimulate the heart or cause ventricular fibrillation. Most theoretical studies base their arguments on the following principles: only a small portion (4%–10%) of the current that reaches the chest will affect the heart and the time constant of the cardiac cell membrane is much longer than the pulse duration generated by stun guns. According to the law of electrostimulation and given the electrical characteristics of stun gun pulses and cardiac cells, cardiac electrostimulation should not occur during a stun gun shock. These analyses support the claim that electrical pulses generated by stun guns are designed to specifically target skeletal muscle, which has a much smaller time constant (i.e., refractoriness) compared with cardiac cells.
Experimental studies that support the claim that stun guns do not stimulate the heart base their arguments on conservative device settings and experimental designs that often do not reflect a clinically relevant or “worst case” scenario. The studies by Lakkireddy and colleagues and McDaniel and colleagues, both involving swine, used a modified stun gun for which the output power could be controlled, allowing the authors to specify a safety margin for the device and to demonstrate that it could not induce ventricular fibrillation. McDaniel and colleagues used arterial blood pressure tracing, which showed no perturbations during discharge from the stun gun simulator However, intracardiac electrograms from the study by Lakkireddy and colleagues showed that the pulses did influence heart rate during shock delivery if the barbs were located such that they formed a vector crossing the heart. In contrast, the MK63 stun baton in the “drive stun” mode applied to the anterior thigh16 or thorax of Yucatan miniature pigs did not induce acute arrhythmias. The authors of both studies attributed their findings of a lack of cardiac stimulation to possible differences in electrode spacing, proprietary waveform or power generated by the device.
Other studies have been performed using healthy volunteers (police officers). Each volunteer received a single 5 second stun gun pulse to his or her back. This does not reflect the common scenario, in which multiple, prolonged shocks are delivered with the possibility of the barbs landing near the thorax. These studies recorded electrocardiogram findings before and after, but not during, the stun gun discharge. This, however, does not rule out the possibility of disturbances in the rhythm during the discharge owing to the artifacts in recorded electrocardiograms during the discharge. These limitations prevented the researchers from observing transient changes in heart rhythm during discharges. The immediate recordings after the discharges18 showed shortening and lengthening of QT complexes without assigning any significance to these changes.
Stun gun discharges have been recorded in the field and there have been no claims of deaths medically attributed to these discharges. These recordings were made immediately after, but not during, the discharge. Although this does not affect the claim of no related deaths, these studies cannot verify whether the heart was stimulated during discharge. In cases of recorded deaths, the mode of death had never been established, though a state of “excited delirium” has been reported. However, excited delirium has not been listed as a cause of sudden cardiac death in the arrhythmia literature.
Evidence that stun guns can stimulate the heart
Deaths have occurred shortly after stun gun discharges. However, association alone does not prove causality. The possible mechanisms of short-term or immediate-term cardiac effects relate to the stimulation of the heart or induction of ventricular fibrillation. Stimulation of the heart is a separate issue compared with induction of arrhythmia, as stimulation may happen only during discharge and may not be evident even immediately following the discharge. In contrast, induction of arrhythmia may relate to stimulation of the heart because, depending on pre-existing defects (e.g., a previous heart attack, drug intoxication), each person’s heart may have a different susceptibility to life-threatening arrhythmia during stimulation. Podgorski and colleagues found that the direct application of an older version of a stun gun to a pig heart, which was exposed but covered by a towel, produced stimulation of the heart.
Because the theory of electrical stimulation suggests that stun gun discharges should not stimulate the heart, we tested the hypothesis using a closed-chest in vivo animal model. A unique feature of our study was that real stun guns were used and operated by qualified law enforcement personnel, which simulated real-world conditions. Two different models (TASER X26 and M26) that deliver different pulse waveforms were used on an anesthetized pig. Recording the electrical activity of the heart is challenging, because the acquisition system is usually completely saturated by the electromagnetic interference generated by the stun gun discharge. However, we found that the pig’s arterial blood pressure was occasionally abruptly lost during stimulation. To further verify that this blood pressure modulation was not a recording artifact, we opened the artery to air and found that the pumping of blood stopped during the discharge of the stun gun. This made us suspicious that either an arrhythmia was being induced or the heart was being stimulated so rapidly that it was not capable of producing pulsatile pressure. To test this, we shielded our mapping system and recorded the electrical activity during discharge.
We studied a total of 150 discharges in 6 pigs. Of these, 74 of these discharges resulted in stimulation of the myocardium, as documented electrical capture (a provoked response in the myocardium) (mean ventricular rate during stimulation and capture, 324 [standard error 66] beats/min) (Figure 1). Of the 94 discharges across the heart, 74 stimulated the myocardium. We took care to ensure that the gun barbs did not pierce deep into the tissue. We also placed the barbs such that they were oriented across the heart, simulating the worst case scenario of creating a current vector that directly passes through the heart. If these barbs were placed away from the chest and across the abdomen, none of the 56 discharges across the abdomen stimulated the heart (Figure 2), suggesting that the location of the barbs had a crucial influence on stimulating the heart. We also observed that the waveform (pulse shape) produced by the device affected stimulation, because when we used a different model of the stun gun (TASER M26), we observed a lower incidence of cardiac stimulation.
Cardiac stimulation and hypotension from a stun gun discharge. Note the corruption of the surface electrocardiographic leads in panel B and the electrical activity of the intracardiac electrograms. After stun gun discharge, a spontaneous and immediate return of regular sinus rhythm and blood pressure occurs (panel C). Panel D and E show magnified intracardiac electrograms of similar duration. It is evident in panel E that the rate is much faster and the rhythm is wider than in panel D. The morphology of the tachycardia in panel E is wider than the morphology in panel D. There is a constant stun gun stimulus artifact to electrogram duration as illustrated in panel E, with every fourth stun gun discharge resulting in stimulation of the heart. Note the loss of blood pressure during the stimulation and the recovery of blood pressure once the discharge is completed. Reproduced with permission from Elsevier (Nanthakumar et al24). Note: CS = coronary sinus, RV = right ventricular, BP = blood pressure.
A typical episode of a stun gun shock across the abdomen (nonthoracic vector) that does not result in stimulation of the myocardium. The surface electrocardiogram lead 1, intracardiac electrograms from the coronary sinus, the right ventricle apex and blood pressure in the descending aorta are shown. Panel A illustrates the regular rhythm before the discharge, which is very similar to the rhythm and rate in panel C. The intracardiac electrograms, as illustrated in panels D and E, do not show any significant change in rate morphology and are not phase-locked (no temporal relation between stimuli and the electrogram) with the stun gun discharge. Note also the lack of perturbation of blood pressure during the discharge. Reproduced with permission from Elsevier (Nanthakumar et al24). Note: CS = coronary sinus, RV = right ventricular, BP = blood pressure.
In addition, we simulated an excited state infusing pigs with epinephrine, which renders the myocardium more excitable and prone to arrhythmias. Of 16 discharges, there were 13 episodes of myocardial stimulation, of which 1 induced ventricular fibrillation and 1 caused ventricular tachycardia. In contrast, another study, which simulated an excited stated by infusing cocaine into pigs, did not report induction of ventricular fibrillation during discharge. The main conclusions of this study was that stun gun use in the presence of cocaine does not increase the chance of arrhythmia. However, this study used a waveform simulator, not an actual stun gun, and although ventricular fibrillation was not induced, there was stimulation of the heart.
Three different studies involving pigs, 1 of which was performed by us, have shown that a stun gun discharge can stimulate the heart. In particular, 1 studyreported the deaths of 2 animals caused by ventricular fibrillation immediately after the stun gun discharge. This study also reported severe metabolic and respiratory acidosis caused by discharge. This suggests that sufficient current density was produced by the stun gun to stimulate the heart, which according to theory should not occur. A potential explanation of why, despite the theory, stimulation was observed is that there were metallic objects (e.g., catheter or pacemaker leads) inside the heart, which probably carried currents induced by the electromagnetic interference generated during the shock. One could argue that these currents could instead be the primary source of heart stimulation. Because capture could only be observed using intracardiac electrograms, this remains speculative. The fact that in our study we did not observe capture when the stun gun shocks were administered away from the chest suggests that the dart locations play a more important role in stimulation than the presence of metallic objects in the heart. In addition, in our study, we removed all electrical catheters from the heart and still observed the cessation of arterial pumping during discharge. We also confirmed that even without catheters in the heart, stun gun discharges on the chest can stimulate the heart and, at the least, can result in a loss of blood pressure during discharge.
Indeed, a human’s chest is different from that of a pig, and there may be differences in electrophysiology between human and pig hearts. One should be prudent in extrapolating data from animals to humans because of this fact. The corollary, though, is that most of the basic mechanistic concepts in cardiac fibrillation and defibrillation are derived from animal studies, not humans. In addition, the safety margins for energy of stun gun discharge established by manufacturers were derived from animal models.
Researchers from San Francisco recently published the case of a patient with a pacemaker who received a stun gun shock. They observed that discharges from the stun gun provoked a response in the myocardium (Figure 3). It is unknown if this would have occurred without the presence of pacemaker wires, although without these wires, verifying the presence of cardiac capture would not have been possible. In addition, John Webster’s research group reported in a conference abstract that stun gun discharges can stimulate the heart. Although published theoretical analyses about stun gun safety have scientific merit, we should be aware that theories are only as good as the assumptions and conditions defined based on available data or knowledge.
Magnified summed intracardiac electrograms from a patient’s internal pacemaker log during stun gun discharge. Cardiac capture is shown by the high-rate ventricular sensing (cycle length 203–289 milliseconds); the cyclic, low-frequency modulation of high-frequency noise (stun gun pulses) during ventricular sensing; a single, long ventricular interval (648 milliseconds) after the energy stops; and postdischarge resumption of atrial and ventricular sensing at a rate similar to predischarge cardiac rate. The high-frequency pulses (15 pps, 66 milliseconds) are labelled on the tracing. The intracardiac electrograms from the last sensed ventricular event during stun gun application are superimposed on each prior ventricular sensed event, showing that the disruption of the high-frequency stun gun signal is consistent with modulation of the signal by a repeating R wave with morphology different than the intrinsic R wave (right side of the image). Reproduced with permission from Blackwell
Explaining the discrepancies between theory and observation
Why have 3 independent groups of investigators reported in peer-reviewed journals that cardiac stimulation can occur when the theory says it cannot happen? Theoretical safety calculations may not hold true if the theory used to calculate the membrane time constant using external pacing parameters (i.e., with large pads that do not break the skin barrier, without rapid stimulation at high voltage) does not apply to stun gun stimulation across the chest wall. Although the membrane constant is usually considered an intrinsic property of cardiac muscle, various studies have measured time constants during human trans-chest pacing from 0.5 milliseconds to 1.1 milliseconds. However, another study with direct pacing on dog myocardium reported an average value of 2.4 milliseconds, suggesting that the time constant is actually a characteristic of not only the cell membrane but also the stimulator, and the size and the position of the electrode used. This suggests a large variability over the population; thus, an identical pulse with a specific duration and strength could have different stimulation effects on different people.
Over the last century, various studies have been performed on the strength–duration relation of electric impulses and their effect on cardiac stimulation. From some of these studies, it is evident that the assumptions made about membrane time constants and contact electrode sizes strongly influence the outcome. Typically, electrodes in contact within the myocardium may stimulate with 50 milliamperes when the current is injected over a period of 50 microseconds. However, shorter pulse durations would require a larger amount of current to stimulate the heart. There is a possibility of inducing a lethal cardiac arrhythmias when factors (e.g., strength, duration and frequency of the electric pulses; membrane time constant; contact impedance; and timing of electrical discharge) favour triggering the heart during a vulnerable period of the cardiac cycle.
Although there have been deaths reported following stun gun discharges, this appears to be rare. In addition, some animal studies suggest that stun gun shocks may have cardiovascular effects. Whether the reported deaths were related to the external shocks is unknown. It is also unknown whether cardiac stimulation occurs only during discharge. The observational studies involving human volunteers thus far could be considered phase I studies because they relate mainly to tolerability and do not prove the safety of the devices. It is very important that tolerability should not be misconstrued as safety. The largest knowledge gap is the lack of appropriate studies involving humans to establish the safety margins for stun gun shock energies when the vector of discharge is across the heart.
The effects of potential modifying factors such as sex, body mass, cardiac and noncardiac diseases, alcohol, medications and psychotropic drugs also need to be evaluated. It is evident that psychotropic drugs such as cocaine heighten the sympathetic state in animal studies. The effect of these drugs and their influence on human autonomic physiology during stun gun discharges is an important aspect that needs urgent evaluation.
Despite many studies suggesting that stun guns do not affect the heart, the evidence and studies presented in this review suggest that, in some circumstances, stun guns may stimulate the heart while discharges are being applied. However, there is no conclusive evidence to show whether stun gun stimulation (under certain electrophysiological conditions) can result in cardiac arrhythmias late after stun gun discharge. In our view, it is inappropriate to conclude that stun gun discharges cannot lead to adverse cardiac consequences in all real world settings.
We believe that the findings that stun gun discharges are able, under specific circumstances, to stimulate the heart should be taken into account in future studies involving people. Whether stun guns can stimulate the heart can only be established if one can record electrical activity in the heart during a discharge, especially when the vector of discharge is directed across the heart. Additional research studies involving people will help to resolve the conflicting theoretical and experimental findings, and they could lead to the design of devices with electrical pulses that cannot stimulate the heart.
A never-Ending Necessity – The Ten Commandments of Counterintelligence
The need for counterintelligence (CI) has not gone away, nor is it likely to. The end of the Cold War has not even meant an end to the CI threat from the former Soviet Union. The foreign intelligence service of the new democratic Russia, the Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki Rossii (SVRR), has remained active against us. It was the SVRR that took over the handling of Aldrich Ames from its predecessor, the KGB, in 1991. It was the SVRR that ran CIA officer Harold James Nicholson against us from 1994 to 1996. It was the SVRR that was handling FBI special agent Earl Pitts when he was arrested for espionage in 1996. It was the SVRR that planted one of their listening devices in a conference room of the State Department in Washington in the summer of 1999. And it was the SVRR that was handling FBI special agent Robert Hanssen when he was arrested on charges of espionage in February 2001.
The Russians are not alone. There have been serious, well-publicized concerns about Chinese espionage in the United States. The Department of Energy significantly increased security at its national laboratories last year in response to allegations that China had stolen US nuclear weapons secrets.
Paul Redmond, the former Associate Deputy Director of Operations for Counterintelligence at the CIA, told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in early 2000 that a total of at least 41 countries are trying to spy on the United States. Besides mentioning Russia, China, and Cuba, he also cited several “friends,” including France, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan. He warned of a pervasive CI threat to the United States.
The United States, as the world’s only remaining superpower, will be the constant target of jealousies, resentments, rivalries, and challenges to its economic well-being, security, and leadership in the world. This inevitably means that the United States will be the target of large-scale foreign espionage.
A Choice Assignment
When I joined the CIA, one of my first interim assignments was with the old CI Staff. I found it fascinating. I was assigned to write a history of the Rote Kapelle, the Soviet espionage network in Nazi-occupied Western Europe during World War II.
With its expanded computer power, NSA was breaking out the actual messages sent between the NKVD center in Moscow and the clandestine radios of the various cells in Western Europe. Incredibly, these messages came to me.
There I was, a brand new junior officer, literally the first person in the CIA to see the day-to-day traffic from these life-and-death operations. I was deeply affected by the fear, heroism, and drama in these messages. Above all, I felt privileged to have been given such an opportunity.
Building on an earlier study of the Rote Kapelle by the CI Staff, I completed a draft several months later that incorporated the new material. To my great surprise, this study was well received by my immediate superiors, and I was told that I was to be rewarded with a personal interview and congratulations from James Jesus Angleton, the legendary head of the CI Staff from 1954 to 1974.
Angleton’s office was on the second floor of the Original Headquarters Building. I was first ushered into an outer office, where Angleton’s aides briefed me on how to conduct myself. Then I went alone into the inner sanctum.
The room was dark, the curtains were drawn, and there was just one small lamp on Angleton’s desk. I later heard that Angleton had eye trouble and that the light hurt his eyes, but I was convinced the real reason for the semidarkness was to add to his mystique. It certainly worked on me!
I nervously briefed Angleton on my study, and he listened without interrupting, just nodding from time to time. When I finished, he methodically attacked every one of my conclusions. Didn’t I know the traffic was a deception? Hadn’t it occurred to me that Leopold Trepper, the leader of the Rote Kapelle, was a German double? He went on and on, getting further and further out.
Even I, as a brand new officer, could tell that this great mind, this CI genius, had lost it. I thought he was around the bend. It was one of the most bizarre experiences of my career.
When the meeting was over, I was glad to get out of there, and I vowed to myself that I would never go anywhere near CI again. I did not keep that vow. In my overseas assignments with the Agency, I found myself drawn toward Soviet CI operations. Nothing seemed to quicken my pulse more, and I was delighted when I was called back to Headquarters in 1989 to join the new Counterintelligence Center (CIC) as Ted Price’s deputy. When Ted moved upstairs in early 1991 to become the Associate Deputy Director for Operations, I was named chief of the Center.
Today, many years after that initial disagreeable encounter with CI, I find it hard to believe that it is actually my picture on the wall of the CIC conference room at CIA Headquarters, where the photos of all former CIA counterintelligence chiefs are displayed. There I am, number seven in a row that begins with Angleton.
So, after a career that ended up being far more CI-oriented than I could ever have imagined, I would like to offer some personal observations in the form of “The Ten Commandments of Counterintelligence.” I have chosen the form of commandments because I believe the basic rules of CI are immutable and should be scrupulously followed. In my view, it makes little difference whether the adversary is the Russians, the Cubans, the East Germans, the Chinese, or someone else. It likewise makes little difference whether we are talking about good CI practices in 1985 or in 2005. Unfortunately, as I watch US CI today, I am increasingly concerned that the principles I consider fundamental to effective CI are not being followed as carefully and consistently as they should be.
These commandments were not handed down to me from a mountaintop, and I make no claim that they are inspired or even definitive. They are simply the culmination, for what they are worth, of my experience. They are intended primarily for my fellow practitioners in CI today, but also for any younger officers in the Intelligence Community (IC) who might someday want to join us.
The First Commandment: Be Offensive
CI that is passive and defensive will fail. We cannot hunker down in a defensive mode and wait for things to happen. I believe we are spending far too much money on fences, safes, alarms, and other purely defensive measures to protect our secrets. That is not how we have been hurt in recent years. Spies have hurt us. Our CI mindset should be relentlessly offensive. We need to go after our CI adversaries.
Aggressive double agent (DA) operations are essential to any CI program, but not the predictable, hackneyed kind we have so often pursued. We need to push our bright and imaginative people to produce clever new scenarios for controlled operations, and we need more of them. The opposition services should be kept constantly off guard so that they never suspect that we have actually controlled the operations they believe they initiated from the beginning. When the requirements, modus operandi, and personality objectives of the DA operation have been achieved, we should in a greater number of cases pitch the opposition case officer. If only one out of 10 or 20 of these recruitments takes, it is worth it. And CI professionals, of course, should not rely exclusively on their own efforts. They should constantly prod their HUMINT colleagues to identify, target, and recruit officers from the opposition intelligence services. The key to CI success is penetration. For every American spy, there are several members of the opposition service who know who he or she is. No matter what it takes, we have to have penetrations.
We should operate aggressively against the nontraditional as well as the traditional adversaries. How many examples do we need of operations against Americans by so-called friendly countries to convince us that the old intelligence adage is correct: there are friendly nations, but no friendly intelligence services. If we suspect for whatever reason that the operatives of a foreign intelligence service, friend or foe, are operating against us, we should test them. We should dress up an enticing morsel, made to order for that specific target, and send it by them. If they take it, we have learned something we needed to know, and we have an operation. If they reject it, as true friends should, we have learned something, too. In either event, because we are testing a “friend,” plausible deniability has to be strictly preserved. Every foreign service is a potential nontraditional adversary; no service should get a lifetime pass from US offensive CI operations.
The Second Commandment: Honor Your Professionals
It has been true for years—to varying degrees throughout the IC—that CI professionals have not been favored, to the extent they deserved, with promotions, assignments, awards, praise, esteem, or other recognition. The truth is that CI officers are not popular. They are not always welcome when they walk in. They usually bring bad news. They are easy marks to criticize when things go wrong. Their successes are their failures. If they catch a spy, they are roasted for having taken so long. If they are not catching anyone, why not? What have they done with all that money they spent on CI? It is no-win.
For much of my career, many of our best people avoided becoming CI specialists. CI was not prestigious. It had a bad reputation. It was not fast track. It did not lead to promotions or good assignments. Angleton left a distasteful legacy that for years discredited the CI profession. Ted Price did more than anyone else in the Agency to reverse that trend and to rehabilitate CI as a respected professional discipline.
Nevertheless, that battle is still not completely won. We have to do more to get our CI people promoted, recognized, and respected so that our best young officers will be attracted to follow us into what we know is a noble profession and where the need is so great.
The Third Commandment: Own the Street
This is so fundamental to CI, but it is probably the least followed of the commandments. Any CI program worthy of the name has to be able to engage the opposition on the street, the field of play for espionage. And when we do go to the street, we have to be the best service there. If we are beaten on the street, it is worse than not having been there at all.
For years, we virtually conceded the streets of the world’s capitals, including the major espionage centers, to the KGB, the GRU, and the East European services because we either did not know how to do it or we were not willing to pay the price for a thoroughly professional, reliable, full-time, local surveillance capability.
Opposition intelligence officers have to be watched, known meeting areas have to be observed, and, when an operation goes down—often on short notice—undetectable surveillance has to cover it, identify the participants, and obtain evidence.
This capability is expensive—selection, training, vehicles, photo gear, video, radios, other real spy equipment, safe apartments, observation posts, and on and on—but, if we do not have it, we will be a second-rate CI service and will not break the major cases.
The Fourth Commandment: Know Your History
I am very discouraged when I talk to young CI officers today to find how little they know about the history of American CI. CI is a difficult and dangerous discipline. Many good, well-meaning CI people have gone wrong and made horrendous mistakes. Their failures in most cases are well documented, but the lessons are lost if our officers do not read the CI literature.
I find it inconceivable that any CI practitioner today could ply his or her trade without an in-depth knowledge of the Angleton era. Have our officers read Mangold? Have they read Legend and Wilderness of Mirrors? Do they know the Loginov case, HONETOL, MHCHAOS, Nosenko, Pollard, and Shadrin? Are they familiar with Aspillaga and the Cuban DA debacle? Have they examined our mistakes in the Ames and Howard cases? Are they staying current with recent releases like The Mitrokhin Archive and The Haunted Wood?
I believe it is an indispensable part of the formation of any American CI officer—and certainly a professional obligation—to study the CI failures of the past, to reflect on them, and to make sure they are not repeated.
The many CI courses being offered now are a positive step, but there will never be a substitute for a personal commitment on the part of our CI professionals to read their history, usually on their own time at home.
The Fifth Commandment: Do Not Ignore Analysis
Analysis has too often been the stepchild of CI. Throughout the CI community, we have fairly consistently understaffed it. We have sometimes tried to make it up as we go along. We have tried to do it on the cheap.
Generally speaking, operators make bad analysts. We are different kinds of people. Operators are actors, doers, movers and shakers; we are quick, maybe a little impulsive, maybe a little “cowboy.” Our best times are away from our desks. We love the street. Research and analysis is really not our thing—and when we have tried to do it, we have not been good at it.
True analysts are different. They love it. They are more cerebral, patient, and sedentary. They find things we could not. They write better.
A lot of CI programs in the past have tried to make operators double as their own analysts. As a result, in the United States, CI analysis historically has been the weakest part of the business. Professional CI analysts have been undervalued and underappreciated.
A good CI program will recruit and train true analysts in sizable numbers. I do not think it would be excessive as a rule of thumb in a top notch CI service to be evenly divided between operators and analysts. Very few of our US CI agencies come anywhere close to that ratio.
Wonderful things happen when good analysts in sufficient numbers pore over our DA reports, presence lists, SIGINT, audio and teltap transcripts, maps, travel data, and surveillance reports. They find the clues, make the connections, and focus our efforts in the areas that will be most productive.
Many parts of the US CI community have gotten the message and have incorporated trained analysts into their operations, but others have not. Across the board, we still have serious shortfalls in good, solid CI analysis.
The Sixth Commandment: Do Not Be Parochial
More harm probably has been done to US CI over the years by interagency sniping and obstruction than by our enemies. I remember when the CIA and the FBI did not even talk to each other—and both had disdain for the military services. It is no wonder that CI was in shambles and that some incredibly damaging spies went uncovered for so long.
Occasionally in my career, I encountered instances of sarcasm or outright bad mouthing of other US Government agencies by my officers. That kind of attitude and cynicism infected our junior officers and got in the way of cooperation. These comments often were intended to flaunt our supposed “superiority” by demeaning the capabilities of the other organizations. I dealt with these situations by telling the officers to “knock it off,” and I would encourage other CI supervisors around the community to do the same.
CI is so difficult, even in the best of circumstances, that the only way to do it is together. We should not let personalities, or jealousies, or turf battles get in the way of our common mission. Our colleagues in our sister services are as dedicated, professional, hardworking, and patriotic as we are, and they deserve our respect and cooperation. The best people I have known in my career have been CI people, regardless of their organizational affiliation. So let us be collegial.
The Seventh Commandment: Train Your People
CI is a distinct discipline and an acquired skill. It is not automatically infused in us when we get our wings as case officers. It is not just a matter of applying logic and common sense to operations, but is instead a highly specialized way of seeing things and analyzing them. CI has to be learned.
I do not know how many times in my career I have heard, “No, we do not really need a separate CI section. We are all CI officers; we’ll do our own CI.” That is a recipe for compromise and failure.
There are no substitutes for professional CI officers, and only extensive, regular, and specialized CI training can produce them. Such training is expensive, so whenever possible we should do it on a Community basis to avoid duplication and to ensure quality.
CI is a conglomerate of several disciplines and skills. A typical operation, for example, might include analysts, surveillance specialists, case officers, technical experts, and DA specialists. Each area requires its own specialized training curriculum. It takes a long time to develop CI specialists, and that means a sustained investment in CI training. We are getting better, but we are not there yet.
The Eighth Commandment: Do Not Be Shoved Aside
There are people in the intelligence business and other groups in the US Government who do not particularly like CI officers. CI officers have a mixed reputation. We see problems everywhere. We can be overzealous. We get in the way of operations. We cause headaches. We are the original “black hatters.”
Case officers want their operations to be bona fide. Senior operations managers do not want to believe that their operations are controlled or penetrated by the opposition. There is a natural human tendency on the part of both case officers and senior operations managers to resist outside CI scrutiny. They believe that they are practicing good CI themselves and do not welcome being second-guessed or told how to run their operations by so-called CI specialists who are not directly involved in the operations. I have seen far more examples of this in my CI career than I care to remember.
By the same token, defense and intelligence contractors and bureaucrats running sensitive US Government programs have too often tended to minimize CI threats and to resist professional CI intervention. CI officers, in their view, stir up problems and overreact to them. Their “successes” in preventing CI problems are invisible and impossible to measure, but their whistle blowing when problems are uncovered generate tremendous heat. It is not surprising that they are often viewed as a net nuisance.
When necessary, a CI service has to impose itself on the organizations and groups it is assigned to protect. A CI professional who is locked out or invited in only when it is convenient to the host cannot do his job.
My advice to my CI colleagues has always been this: “If you are blocked by some senior, obtuse, anti-CI officer, go around him or through him by going to higher management. And document all instances of denied access, lack of cooperation, or other obstruction to carrying out your CI mission. If not, when something goes wrong, as it likely will in that kind of situation, you in CI will take the blame.”
The Ninth Commandment: Do Not Stay Too Long
CI is a hazardous profession. There should be warning signs on the walls: “A steady diet of CI can be dangerous to your health.”
I do not believe anyone should make an entire, uninterrupted career of CI. We all who work in CI have seen it: the old CI hand who has gotten a bit spooky. It is hard to immerse oneself daily in the arcane and twisted world of CI without falling prey eventually to creeping paranoia, distortion, warping, and overzealousness in one’s thinking. It is precisely these traits that led to some of the worst CI disasters in our history. Angleton and his coterie sadly succumbed, with devastating results. Others in the CIA and elsewhere have as well. The danger is always there.
My wife, who was working at the CIA when I met her, was well acquainted with this reputation of CI and the stories about its practitioners. When I was serving overseas and received the cable offering me the position as Ted Price’s deputy in the new Counterintelligence Center, I discussed it with her that evening at home. Her response, I thought, was right on the mark: “Okay, but do not stay too long.”
Sensible and productive CI needs lots of ventilation and fresh thinking. There should be constant flowthrough. Non-CI officers should be brought in regularly on rotational tours. I also believe it is imperative that a good CI service build in rotational assignments outside CI for its CI specialists. They should go spend two or three years with the operators or with the other groups they are charged to protect. They will come back refreshed, smarter, and less likely to fall into the nether world of professional CI: the school of doublethink, the us-against-them mindset, the nothing-is-what-it-seems syndrome, or the wilderness of mirrors.
The Tenth Commandment: Never Give Up
The tenth and last commandment is the most important. What if the Ames mole hunters had quit after eight years instead of going into the ninth? What if, in my own experience, we had discontinued a certain surveillance operation after five months instead of continuing into the sixth? CI history is full of such examples.
The FBI is making cases against Americans today that involved espionage committed in the 1960s and 1970s. The Army’s Foreign Counterintelligence Activity is doing the same. The name of the game in CI is persistence. CI officers who are not patient need not apply. There is no statute of limitations for espionage, and we should not create one by our own inaction. Traitors should know that they will never be safe and will never have a peaceful night’s sleep. I applauded my CI colleagues in the FBI when I read not long ago of their arrest in Florida of a former US Army Reserve colonel for alleged espionage against the United States many years earlier. They obviously never gave up.
If we keep a CI investigation alive and stay on it, the next defector, the next penetration, the next tip, the next surveillance, or the next clue will break it for us.
If there were ever to be a mascot for US counterintelligence, it should be the pit bull.
These are my ten commandments of CI. Other CI professionals will have their own priorities and exhortations and will disagree with mine. That is as it should be, because as a country and as an Intelligence Community we need a vigorous debate on the future direction of US CI. Not everyone will agree with the specifics, or even the priorities. What we should agree on, however, is that strong CI has to be a national priority. Recent news reports from Los Alamos, Washington, and elsewhere have again underscored the continuing need for CI vigilance.
Original Article by James M. Olson
James M. Olson served in the Directorate of Operations and is now on the faculty of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
When we think of “Real Spy Gear“ we think of advanced espionage equipment used by the CIA and other agencies, but just because a spy gadget is “out of date” does not mean it isn’t real. In fact some of the older surveillance equipment and spy gadgets from WWII and the cold war, are also some of the coolest.
The first intelligence agency in the USA was the OSS, or Office of Strategic Services. OSS activities created an ongoing demand for spying devices and surveillance equipment that could be used to trick, attack, or demoralize the enemy. Finding few agencies or corporations willing to undertake this sort of low-volume, highly specialized work, Franklin D Roosevelt recruited General Donovan (The Father of American Intelligence) to fabricate the tools that OSS needed for its clandestine missions (Similar to the British MI6). By the end of the war, OSS engineers and technicians had formed a collection of labs, workshops, and experts that occasionally gave OSS a technological edge over its Axis foes.
The “Beano” grenade exploded on impact while the uniform button concealed a hidden compass
The Special Operations and Secret Intelligence Branches frequently called on the technical prowess assembled in the Research & Development Branch (R&D) and related offices. R&D proved adept at inventing weapons and James Bond type spy gadgets and in adapting Allied equipment to new missions. General Donovan hired Boston chemist and executive Stanley P. Lovell to be his “Professor Moriarty” in charge of R&D. The Division’s products ranged from silenced pistols to limpet mines to “Aunt Jemima,” an allegedly explosive powder packaged in Chinese flour bags. Tiny cameras and inconspicuous letter-drops were devised to assist OSS agents in enemy territory. A companion unit, located in the Communications Branch but also confusingly titled the Research and Development Division, developed wiretap devices, electronic beacons for agents in the field, and excellent portable radios (particularly the “Joan-Eleanor” system, which allowed an agent to converse securely with an aircraft circling high overhead).
The “Liberator Pistol” was very easy to conceal, while the Caltrops were designed to puncture tires.
R&D’s components also fabricated the myriad papers that an agent needed to create a plausible identity behind enemy lines. The latest German and Japanese-issued ration cards, work passes, identification cards, and even occupation currency all had to be secretly acquired, perfectly imitated, and securely passed to operatives preparing for missions that could end in sudden death if any part of their cover stories went awry. An agent’s appearance had to be just as carefully prepared. In the words of the OSS official history:
…each agent had to be equipped with clothing sewn exactly as it would have been sewn if it were made in the local area for which he was destined; his eyeglasses, dental work, toothbrush, razor, brief case, travelling bag, shoes, and every item of wearing apparel had to be microscopically accurate.
The growing number of OSS coastal infiltration and sabotage projects eventually gave rise to an independent branch, the Maritime Unit, to develop specialized boats, equipment, and explosives. The Unit fashioned underwater breathing gear, waterproof watches and compasses, an inflatable motorized surfboard, and a two-man kayak that proved so promising that 275 were ordered by the British.
A deck of playing cards conceal a map which would be revealed when the top layer was soaked off.
Some OSS schemes had a Rube Goldberg feel about them that seems almost comical today. Project CAMPBELL, for instance, was a remote-controlled speedboat, disguised as a local fishing craft and guided by aircraft, that would detonate against an anchored Japanese ship. The prototype sank a derelict freighter in trials, but the US Navy had no way of getting close enough to a Japanese harbor to launch CAMPBELL, and declined to develop the weapon. R&D built plenty of devices of its own that looked good on paper but either failed in tests or proved too impractical for combat use. But America was locked in a war for its very survival, and R&D chief Stanley Lovell felt that no idea could be overlooked: “It was my policy to consider any method whatever that might aid the war, however unorthodox or untried.” Failures were accepted as a cost of doing business.
Acetone Time Delay Fuses for limpet mines to be used against ships. A 16mm Kodak camera in the shape of a matchbox.
For More information on weapons and spy gear see theoriginal publication in the library section of the Central Intelligence Agency’s website.
Just about everyone seems to carry a cell phone these days. For many, their cell phones have become their link to the world, with modern design offering a boatload of features from picture-taking, to playing music, or even Internet access. But what about personal safety and security?
Sure, having a cell phone handy to call 911 in an emergency situation or to contact help in the event of a car breakdown on the highway is a great benefit, but how about REAL personal safety and security? Let’s say, for example, you’re walking to your car late one evening and the ominous sound of footsteps can be heard from behind. You wonder if you’re being followed by someone with the intention of doing you harm, but you also don’t want to seem paranoid by pulling out a self defense weapon.
What can you do?
Pulling out your cell phone to call 911 isn’t really an option at this point and if it turns out your instinct are right and you get attacked, it may be too late. You need help and you need it in your own hands! We’re talking about a cell phone that doesn’t make calls or take pictures but, instead, has the capability to stun a would-be assailant into submission, leaving them on the ground long enough for you to get away and find help and safety. Its called The Pretender Cell Phone Stun Gun, and it doesn’t mess around.
The Pretender Stun Gun is A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
The element of surprise is a potent advantage in any confrontational encounter. Since cell phones are so commonplace, a would-be attacker should not be surprised to see a potential victim carrying one. The surprise comes at the realization that what was thought to be a harmless communications device turns out to be a weapon capable of delivering more than a million volts of stunning electrical force. The Pretender has enough power to knock a 300lb Man to his knees at just a touch
Some self-defense training teaches women to carry their car keys in hand, protruding through the fingers of her fist, to be used in defense of an attacker. Its an even better defense if the keys are attached to a kubaton, but this type of defense takes training and an organized though process while under attack.
Think of how much more effective it is to carry a powerful defensive force in the palm of your hand that requires only a touch to the attacker, and doesn’t leave the same physical damage as a set of keys or kubaton.
The Pretender, which looks innocuous, like an ordinary cellular phone, is truly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What appears passive and harmless carries a fierce bite capable of stopping anyone.
Features and Benefits of the Pretender Cell Phone Stun Gun
The Pretender Cell Phone Stun Gun is an ideal non-lethal defensive weapon for any adult to own. Whether carried in a purse, in a pocket or on your belt in the included holster, it can be readied for use in an instant, with the super bright 12 LED doubling as a blinding instrument and nighttime guide.
Battery operated and rechargeable models are both available, with two levels of safety built in to prevent accidental discharge.
With a lifetime warranty, it’s built to last and give the owner assurance that when it’s needed it will perform flawlessly, doing its job at the simple press of a button. The Pretender Cell Phone Stun Gun is a one-time purchase of a modest amount that will provide a lifetime of both protection and freedom from worry.
There’s an old saying that goes, “It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” This is so applicable to the Pretender Line of cell phone stun guns, but the reality is, even if you never get into a situation where you have to press that stun button to subdue a would-be assailant, just the peace of mind and empowerment of holding your own protection and safety in hand is well worth the small price it costs to carry one.
We live in a dangerous world, where violent crimes continue to increase in frequency. Take the small step of protecting yourself. The time to provide yourself with this level of security is right now.
There are lots of stun guns available on the market and you have lots of choices, but nothing beats the Pretender because it appears to be an ordinary, everyday device but it packs a wallop of force that is anything but ordinary.
Take a close look at your options and then do the right thing. Most importantly, do it now!
Take a look at the recent FBI statistics on crime. The escalated rate of crimes particularly involving women as victims should reinforce your need to take a proactive stance in self defense techniques.
That is why you should not leave home without the lipstick pepper spray stashed in your hand bag. With the lipstick pepper spray in your bag, you will feel more in control in unexpected situations and be able to project an aura of confidence that may by itself prevent a possible attack.
The lipstick pepper spray is handy to have around not only to protect you from a human attack but from canine or any other animal attack.
The pepper spray holds 20 half second bursts that can be sprayed up to a 10 feet distance. The container looks no different than the average lipstick tube but only you will know that it is sheathing a potent self protection spray system.
The Lipstick pepper spray is an exclusive woman oriented self defense device optimizing your need for a subtle and convenient means of self protection. The moment you come in to contact with a person who makes you uncomfortable or feel threatened, simply reach in your pocket or handbag and take out the lipstick. Then remove the cap and keep it ready for instant use. The element of surprise will provide you with ample getaway time.
The spray does not cause any permanent damage or health risk. A burst from the spray to the face will result in temporary blindness, coughing, nausea, choking and in effect will bring the attacker on to his knees.
The lipstick tube can be bought in five tasteful colors including silver, blue, pink, black or red.
It is an ideal choice as gift for a girl friend, sister, mother, daughter, wife or any other women you want to help protect.
Natural disasters are not a pleasant experience for anyone, unfortuneately however, they cannot be prevented from happening. Luckily, there are certain preventive measures you can put in place to ensure that the effects from such disasters are not so destructive to your family or your home.
With the different kinds of natural disasters you need to take different safety measures. One of the more common calamities people experience are floods which typically affect areas that are flat with a poor land terrain. To prepare for a flood, you need to check the main fuse box, heating system, and/or air conditioners. You need to raise all these items so that they will not get wet. If your worried about a small flood in your basement, a foot off the floor will usually do it. If you are worried about a massive flood, that’s different. See article: How to deal with an Emergency: Flood
Your home should also stand up to strong winds. If you windows and door are secure against crime, they are probably more secure against nature as well. See article: How to secure doors and windows. You would be surprised how well protecting against crime can also protect you against nature as well. Even a glass break alarm can give you a heads up of a tornado or hurricane that decides to show up in the middle of the night while everyone’s asleep.
Of course, during any emergency a safe room can be a life saver for the family. A safe room could have everything from spare food, first aid, emergency tools, bathroom facilites, floating devices, and more. Of course, it always helps to have some emergency cash around just in case, but you don’t want your safe room to be a burglary target either.
For Home Security and Safety Products Visit Stun Gun Mike’s Real Spy Gear Store
The sight of regular self defense devices let others know that you mean business. This means they act as both a deterrent and an effective defense mechanism. The downside is that they also show a would be attacker what you are going to reach for should they try and take advantage of you, and the last thing you want is to be disarmed and have your stun gun or pepper spray working against you.
Because covert stun guns and protection sprays look like everyday items, they give you the advantage of surprise when confronted with an aggressor When something like this happens to you, every single advantage could be the difference between a close call and a traumatically life altering event.
Covert self defense also allows you to hold the item ready for action. This is important because an adrenaline surge could potentially make you shaky, causing you to fumble your device if you are improperly trained. By holding a covert defense item in your hand, you not only prepare yourself ahead of action, you are also less likely to freak people out (walking around with a wielded stun gun could send innocent passersby the wrong message and incite panic)
Lastly, you still get a deterrent factor from covert self defense devices. Even though a perpetrator can’t see that you are holding a very powerful self defense device, you still know that you are. This means that your “would be” attacker will see the aura of your confidence, and this alone may be enough to deter a crime.
So What types of covert defense are there?
Cell Phone Stun Guns
These types of stun guns are not only the most popular, they are often some of the most powerful as well.
The two big names here are the Pretender and the Immobilizer.
The Pretender is a Stun Master stun gun and is manufactured by Safety Technology.
The Immobilizer is a Streetwise Security model that is made by Cutting Edge Products.
Both offer huge take down power after just seconds of contact.
Both have an LED Light
Both have a Safety Switch
Both come in CR2 battery and rechargeable versions
Both have a lifetime warranty and included holster.
Its very common to see someone with a cell phone in their hand, which is why a lot of people choose to carry this type of covert stun gun.
Cosmetics Disguised Stun Guns
These covert self defense devices are something out of a James Bond Film.
Similar in design and application, both the lip stick stun gun by Safety Technology and Perfume Stun Gun from Streetwise Security can send someone to the ground twitching like they just got bit by a black widow spider.
Made with the protection of women in mind, these covert self defense devices are also small enough to be completely concealed in the palm of a woman’s hand and can implemented with ease in a close up confrontation.
Lipstick and Perfume Pepper Spray
Similar to the lipstick and perfume stun guns except instead of a shock of electricity, these shoot out a burst of capsicum pepper. Although pepper spray can be slightly more difficult to use, (see our article on how to effectively use pepper spray) it can be just as effective in subduing an attacker when used properly.
Mace Hot Walkers
These covert gadgets have a storage compartment for things like keys and valuables inside two 1lb jogging weights. More importantly however is that it carries a replaceable Pepper Spray Bannister This means that if you were to get attacked while out jogging, you’ll be prepared and your attacker wont be.
If you don’t want to carry the extra weight around, you can also choose Mace’s regular jogger model
This pen really is mightier than the sword!
Disguised as a piece of normal looking stationer, the pepper pen packages a powerful delivery system of pepper spray that contains 5 one second bursts that spray a stream of up to 6 feet!
The pepper spray pen also easily attaches to a pocket for easy draw action.
The Attack DVR
This gadget produces an almost blinding light with a simultaneous 90+ decibel alarm. The sight and sound of this covert self defense device will not only help frighten off an attacker, but will also draw attention and help bring others to your aid.
The best part is that the attack DVR also records the entire event, capturing both audio and video that can be used in later for both apprehending the criminal and providing proof to aid in their conviction.
The Pepper Mace Baton
Its a two in one threat. First, it functions as a Kuboton (a much more effective hand weapon than just carrying your car keys between your fingers). Kubotons are used on the bony surfaces, soft tissue, or nerve points of an attacker. There is really no wrong way to use the Kuboton. Your striking power is enhanced with every blow causing increased pain to your attacker. You can even hold the Kuboton with key attached to the key ring and swing them in your opponents face.
Of course, as effective as a kuboton is, this model does one better. The Mace Kubotons carry 3 refillable one second bursts of pepper spray that can immobilize an aggressive person from 5 feet away.
Although pepper spray has some restrictions, a kuboton can be carried with you anywhere. So even if you don’t get the kind with the covert pepper spray, they are worth looking into.
The element of surprise is one of the biggest advantages in combat. Covert self defense devices provide you with this devastating advantage over an attacker. Not only that, but the confidence of your empowerment is often enough to prevent you from being victimized in the first place.
Visit StunGunMikes.com and check out our section on Covert Self Defense. You’ll be glad you did.
According to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, you can not know the true effectiveness of installing a security camera because once people are aware they are being watched, they stop commiting crimes.
Okay, Heisenberg wasn’t talking about theft and crime, he was referring to the obsurdity of quantum mechanics where observing an event changes the outcome of the event. However, this applies to crime too, where a potential thief who knows they are being watched, is obviously less likely to commit a crime for fear of being caught. Although a well prepared theif may simply don a mask before commiting a crime, the majority of crime can be prevented before it occurs.
This means that fake security cameras can potentially have the same effect in preventing crimes from occurring, even if they lack the follow up uses of evidence gathering and criminal prosecution.
What are some of the benefits of fake security cameras?
Obviously the number one benefit of installing a fake security camera is to deter crime
Improved customer service and employees effeciency is an added bonus of dummy cameras
Employees who work security will often increase patrols and remain more vigilant if they believe there are surveillance cameras watching them.
They give employees a sense of security which in itself can ward off potential criminal behavior.
What is Downside of installing Fake Security Cameras?
They may provide a false sense of security as well. This is why most security experts and CSOs choose to implement a mix of both functioning and non function cameras. This allows you to have surveillance in the most important places, but also allows you to give the impression of surveillance in areas that may have installation contraints.
So what makes a good Fake Security Camera?
Good fake security cameras can be intentified by one single trait. They are real cameras.
That is to say, the casings are the exact same casings that house real surveillance cameras, the only difference being that the fake security cameras are missing the inside electronics, lenses and other componentry.
The general rule of thumb is that the more features the dummy camera maintains, the more realistic and effective it will be. This means you can get a quality dummy camera that offers things like:
Infrared blinking lights
Pan Tilt Zoom
and pretty much any other feature found in a real camera.
In fact, some people buy real cameras and use them as fake cameras by simply not hooking them up.
Lets take a look at some of the available options for dummy security cameras
First you will probably want to let people know they are being monitored. Try out a set of stickers or a lighted cctv sign like this one.
Next decide on the style of camera you think works best.
Fake Dome Cameras
A fake dome camera will run anywhere from $14 – $50 depending on the features.
The Dome Dummy Camera with LED light
The Dome Dummy Camera with LED light can be mounted to the wall or ceiling and is powered by a couple of aa batteries. It measures about 5 x 5 inches and about a foot across, and has an LED light that adds a realistic effect.
The Dummy IP Camera with Light
The Dummy IP Camera with Light is a bit smaller measuring closer to 4” x 4”. This housing was originally designed for an IP camera that allows viewers to log in remotely.
The Dome Dummy Camera with Motion Activated Light
This fake camera has a built in motion detector that activated a red led light when someone gets within 3 feet. The best benefit of this camera is that the LED Light helps drawn attention to the camera, and adds to its realistic creditbility.
The 8 Inch Dome Dummy Camera in Outdoor Housing with LED Light
This fake dome camera works great outside. Even some really sophisticated crooks will see this as a high tech surveillance system. It has a red led blinking light, and gives off the impression that your business is guarded by 360 degrees of security surveillance.
Fake Bullet Cameras
Bullet cameras are very common and immediately let people know that they are under surveillance. Some business prefer dome cameras to bullet style because a dome camera is protected from someone redirecting it towards a wall. However Dome cameras aren’t quite as obvious to people and don’t function quite as well as bullet cameras when acting soley as a deterrant.
The Silver Bullet 5 Inch Dummy Camera with Square Shield
The led light on this camera was actually added as an afterthought so that people could see the camera at night.
A great fake security camera for use in parking lots, this bullet camera has an authentic video cable, and weather proof aluminum housing.
Solar Powered IR Dummy Camera in Circular Outdoor Housing
This dummy camera is powered by the sun if you install it outdoors, but it also takes 2 aa batteries if you want to install it inside. Measuring 10”x 6” x 7” this fake security camera features an authenic video cable,a nd a fullly adjustible plastic mounting bracket.
Dummy Camera with Zoom Lens and Motion Detector
This security camera housing features a fake wireless antenna and zoom lens, but also has a fully functioning motion detector. If someone walks by within 10 feet, the camera will begin to pan back and forth, adding to the realism of the unit.
It also comes with a cctv window sticker.
Heavy Duty Dummy Camera in Outdoor Housing with Light
This was an actual unit for housing a security camera and its large size makes it very noticeable day or night. It also has a flahing LED light that makes sure it will get noticed. Very easy to install, this camera housing unit is 9” x 5” x 4”
The 15 Inch Heavy Duty Dummy Camera in Outdoor Housing with Light
If you thought the 9inch was a beast, this 15 inch is sure to entice you.
This heavy duty dummy camera in outdoor housing with light is the first of its kind to have the camera lens built into the glass front. This camera is next to impossible not to notice due to its size and led light.
With an authentic weather proof heavy duty metal housing, video cable, and fully adjustable and easy to install metal mounting bracket, this fake camera is the top of the line and works great for any outdoor location or event where you want to deter crime.
Fake Security Cameras always work better when mixed in with real security cameras, but are often used alone as well, especially during traveling events or where the installation of active surveillance is contrained due to location.
You can see our entire line up of Fake Security Cameras in our Real Spy Gear and Hidden Camera Web Store