Holiday Etiquette – Moscow Rules


Thanksgiving2016SPY - Moscow Rules Image




With the holidays fast approaching, we can all use a refresher crash course in guest etiquette in preparation for your timely visit to family and friends! Much like the “Rules of Engagement” for spies, the CIA’s Moscow Rules serve as prominent guidelines to keep in mind when you sit and break bread on Thanksgiving Day.

The original Moscow Rules list contained 40 different rules, and may never have existed in written form. In his book, The Master of Disguise, Tony Mendez (ARGO) wrote, “Although no one had written them down, they were the precepts we all understood… By the time they got to Moscow, everyone knew these rules. They were dead simple and full of common sense…”

Here are the complete Moscow Rules given as:

  1. Assume nothing.
  2. Never go against your gut.
  3. Everyone is potentially under opposition control.
  4. Don’t look back; you are never completely alone.
  5. Go with the flow, blend in.
  6. Vary your pattern and stay within your cover.
  7. Lull them into a sense of complacency.
  8. Don’t harass the opposition.
  9. Pick the time and place for action.
  10. Keep your options open.

Follow these rules for your next holiday outing and we guarantee you will be invited back next Thanksgiving—and who knows…maybe even for Christmas and New Years.

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