Invisibility: Increasing OPSEC – Part 2, by St. Funogas

(Continued from Part 1.)

Using LLCs

An anonymous LLC is the most important tool available to ensure no one can connect your name to your physical address and provides other benefits as well. Using an online agent LLC’s are quick and easy to obtain with some starting as low as $99. Don’t be intimidated by “LLC,” it’s something lots of us non-business little guys have and they’re useful in many ways once you understand how they work.

Why an LLC? There are many reasons as discussed below but the biggest reason is that all county courthouses in the US maintain publicly accessible land-ownership records. In the hallway of my county courthouse is a large map showing who owns every tract of land in the county. With an LLC, the LLC name is shown on the map and in the deed books, not the owner’s name. The deed books at the county recorder’s are searchable and I used them to research the ownership of my current property back to the early 1800s.

Not just any LLC will work. The only way to be absolutely certain your property is not connected with your name in any way is to title it using a New Mexico LLC. Wyoming and a few other states offer “anonymous” LLCs but they’re not fully anonymous. While the LLC owner is anonymous to the public, the state and the Feds still know the name and address of the LLC owner. New Mexico LLCs are superior to all others because no name or address of the owner is attached to the LLC in any way. Not even the state knows who the owner is, just the agent’s name. This link can explain some of the differences between the four states which have anonymous LLCs.

There are various websites which will do everything to set up your New Mexico LLC. All you do is fill out a few papers and you’re good to go, they’ll do the rest. New Mexico LLC Formation Service is one example and an internet search will turn up dozens of other agencies. [This is just an example and I have no connection with this company in any way and have not used their services. Do your research to find a company you’re comfortable with.]

Another benefit of an anonymous New Mexico LLC is that it greatly simplifies transferring your property to an heir or family member. If for whatever reason you need to transfer the LLC (such as money-grubbing liability lawsuits, etc.) to someone all you have to do is hand them the papers and now they’re the owner. You can also legally avoid certain taxes, transfer fees, etc. by gifting or selling the LLC instead of selling the land or vehicle outright. The property has not changed hands, it still belongs to the LLC, only the owner of the LLC has changed so no taxes or transfer fees are due.

As an extra security measure I wrote up a document transferring the LLC to one of my sons, had three copies notarized, and tucked them away in three different safe places. If for some reasons (which I won’t mention aside from the “money-grubbing lawyers” one) I need to actually prove the property isn’t mine, I have the notarized document to show the transfer date. My son is unaware the LLC has been transferred to him. That protects both of us from the possibility he is involved in a divorce, especially where a 50/50 division of assets is required. He, (or his wife) has no knowledge or proof that he owns the LLC unless he has that notarized paper in his hand. Should I die, my children will find the document and I’m fully confident he’ll share the sales proceeds with the rest of my children as outlined in my will.

When setting up an LLC, you choose your own name such as Sunshine Acres LLC or Redoubt Recluse LLC, etc. I prefer to use an anagram of my name for the LLC name. The concept of “possession is nine-tenths of the law” as well as the LLC name on the county maps and deeds, make me prefer to skip the cutesy names and use a different technique for an anonymous LLC. As an extra protection to the nine-tenths rule, if for any unforeseen reason I had to prove this is indeed my LLC, unscrambling the LLC name to show it’s an anagram of my name should be a convincing piece of evidence. The same anagram technique can be used to create a “cutesy” name but being the gray man, I prefer mine to look like it could be an actual name when it appears on the county deeds and property-owner map so it doesn’t stick out.

There are many anagram generators available online such as Inge’s Anagram Generator. Be sure to click on “anagrams” and not “words.”

By typing your name in the box you can generate many possibilities. Some names are easier than others to create good anagrams from so it’s important to try different variations of your name. If Fred Flintstone doesn’t result in any desirable results (i.e. Driftnet Felons LLC, not a good choice!), try Fred A. Flintstone, Fred Agate Flintstone, etc. Some of the acronyms are downright hilarious so these generators are fun to play with. I made a list of 13 different anagrams, then ruminated for a while over which would be best. I finally decided on the one that looked most like an actual real name. When I did an Internet search on the last name, I got zero hits making it truly unique. Perfect!

Here are some examples using my SurvivalBlog pseudonym:

St. Funogas: Tofu Snags, Fatso’s Gun, Gustafson, and Afton Guss. Afton Guss sounds like a real name and Gustafson LLC could work, but let’s get some more options by spelling out Saint Funogas: Austin Fangos, Gustaf Nasion, Fungi Sonatas, Snafu Agonist, and Afton Sanguis. It boils down to Afton Guss, Gustaf Nasion, and Afton Sanguis, all of which appear to be real names (some actually are) to use for an anagram LLC name.

Here are a few more examples showing that many names can produce very realistic-sounding anagram names for an LLC:

Charlie Daniels: Ainslee Aldrich, Alaine Schilder LLC.
Donald Trump: Arl DuPont, MD; Pru Dalton, MD; Mr. Tod Dunlap
Democratic Party: Cramped Atrocity, Dictatory Camper
Once A Marine (are you still out there buddy?): American One, Ania McEnroe LLC
Avalanche Lily: Hally Valencia LLC.

JWR Adds:  One of my all-time favorite name anagrams is for Alec Guinness: Genuine Class.

Identification Cards

Passport Card

Passport cards are the same size as a driver’s license and show no physical address. They can serve at least two functions to help with anonymity. In most states we’re not legally required to show our driver’s license to anyone other than a police officer pulling us over, so I never use my license as an ID. Most states offer two types of driver’s licenses: regular or one that meets the Real ID requirements. The Real ID requires disclosure of additional personal information to obtain. Beginning May 7, 2025 (recently extended from 2023), a Real ID will be required for all air travel and certain other purposes and a passport card meets that requirement. Expired passports and cards used to still be legal as an ID. Now as soon as they expire you become a non-person so keep it updated. There will be times when a private business may choose not to do business with you unless you show an ID with a physical address. That’s where a driver’s license with a non-updated address comes in handy.

Before my last passport card renewal, I prepared for the photograph by growing my hair long enough to comb down over my eyebrows. On picture day I also combed my beard out as far as it could go sideways to hide as much as possible before getting my picture taken. I don’t know if it did any good, and I looked even goofier than normal, but I always take these kinds of precautions to try to minimize facial-recognition technology as much as possible.

Non-Photo ID

I was recently asked for ID by a local government agency and a non-photo voting card with my old address was enough to fit the bill. If you don’t already possess a voting card, one is easily obtainable at the county courthouse. I carry mine in my wallet always to use in cases where it can be used as ID. When reapplying for a new one, my county just asks is everything is current. If you live in the same county at a different address but you don’t update it, no one is likely to get too worked up about it.

Small Town USA

A deceased friend mentioned to me if you live in a very small town or rural area where the ladies who give you the voting ballot know every person in the voting district, it’s best to use early voting at the courthouse or absentee voting. The last time he voted in person was for some referendums in 2020. Covid masks were required and the ballot ladies said they didn’t recognize him and asked where he lived. He just smiled real big, “Must be the mask,” and walked to the voting booth but didn’t take the risk next time.

For those who live in small towns where a lot of people know each other, it pays to renew driver’s licenses at the larger office in the next county over where nobody will question your physical address.

When it comes to paying property taxes on my homestead the annual tax notice to my LLC goes to a son-in-law’s address in another state who pays the tax, then e-mails me a copy of the tax notice. I then send reimbursement money. The county tax collector never sees the property owner.

(To be continued tomorrow, in Part 3.)