Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Joshua Armstrong

Training Body and Mind

Each member of the Seekers must train physically at least four times a week. The Seeker workout includes weight lifting, running (road and obstacle course), small-circle jujitsu, boxing and weapons training. Most fugitives are young, determined, and able. A man running for his freedom will run faster and longer than the average man. The Seekers stay in shape in order to stay on the trail longer and overtake a fugitive in a foot race. Since fugitives also tend to be armed and dangerous, the Seekers' weapons training includes marksmanship and "sleight of hand," the ability to draw a handgun from every conceivable position and angle.

Book cover: The Stellar Man
Book cover: The Stellar Man

Each Seeker signs a performance contract when admitted to the group, which stipulates a specific amount of work, training, and reading that he or she must do in order to stay with the organization. If any member fails to complete his obligations, he's asked to leave. Each member owns stock in the company and can vote on major issues.

Intellectual and spiritual training is as important as physical training, and so the Seekers are required to read at least one book a month and be prepared to discuss it at meetings. To be considered for a position with the Seekers, candidates must complete a required reading list. The Kybalion} by the Three Initiates Staff, At the Feet of the Master by Alcyone, and The Secret Science, The Science of Love, and The Stellar Man by John Baines deal with ancient Egyptian philosophy. The Tactical Edge by Charles Remsberg is a practical handbook for survival out on the street. The Art of War by Sun Tzu presents various ways to achieve an objective under battle conditions. The Code of the Samurai by Yuzan Daidoji emphasizes the importance of self-discipline when one is part of a team. Candidates must then take a 13-page, 77-question written test assembled by Armstrong. The questions are meant to evoke the candidate's feelings for people as well as their knowledge of street tactics.

Book cover: Code of the Samurai
Book cover: Code of the Samurai

If a candidate passes the test and shows that he's physically up to the task, he can then start apprenticing with the Seekers, going along on captures in order to see how it's done. Gradually the candidate will be allowed to get more involved, gaining valuable hands-on experience. Whenever there's an opening for a new Seeker, and a candidate is selected to fill the slot, an initiation ceremony becomes the final test. The ceremony customarily takes place on a Saturday night in Newark, New Jersey, New York City, or Philadelphia, whichever place is most unfamiliar to the initiate. Invariably the roughest of neighborhoods is selected. After being blindfolded, the initiate is taken to the top floor of a high-rise public housing project and left to his own devises. After counting to 100, the initiate may remove the blindfold. To complete the test, he must walk all the way to the ground floor by himself. Other Seekers remain in the building out of sight, following his progress. Armstrong feels that any person who shows no fear or feelings of superiority will be able to survive this trial by fire unharmed. So far every one of Armstrong's selections have made it to the lobby without incident.

High-rise housing projects in a rough neighborhood, perfect for Seeker initiation (CORBIS)
High-rise housing projects in a rough
neighborhood, perfect for Seeker
initiation (CORBIS)


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