Why We Are Here

Billy M. Jensen
CEO Captive Audience PT&RT

2017 proved to be one of the most violent years in history for crimes
committed against journalist, aid workers, and missionaries throughout the
world. During the past decade, my travels on behalf of the US Government
have carried me throughout the Middle East, and to other parts of the
globe. Many of my duties were focused on helping recover journalists, aid
workers, and even missionaries who had gotten themselves captured by
terrorists or criminals. My observation has been that the very people I was
focused on helping, had each done something negligent that led to their
capture or detainment. The purpose of this article is not to malign my
friends in the Press, NGO’s, or Missionaries because I believe in each of
their causes. Rather, the purpose of this article is to address the issues that
take away their freedoms and often cost them their lives, their fortunes, and
their health. Likewise, they cost the US Government millions of US Dollars
a day trying to bring our kind hearted friends home safely. Perhaps it would
be more important to give these people the knowledge, skills, and
resources required to avoid potential problems and mitigate them long
before they ever happen.
I have witnessed several realities first hand which should be addressed:
• The Journalists, Aid Workers, and Missionary organizations I have
worked with, and Ex Pat communities in general, are filled with
cognitive dissonance. Many in those groups believe that violence and
kidnappings only happen to everyone else. The general belief is that
if they treat everyone well and behave, they will not be targeted.
Many key indicators are often missed which lead to our friends being
victimized, extorted, raped, kidnapped, or even killed. Training in
basic security measures all the way down to the lowest level saves
lives, and enables groups to stop an event from happening before
criminals or terrorists can plan it.
• The training available to the individuals in these groups is often
taught from a survival- only perspective and not from a left of incident
perspective. Instructors at these companies are skilled at teaching
Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape but have not been on the
ground employing the left of incident training they offer. Insurance
companies most often offer cookie cutter, antiquated travel safety
briefings while other training companies offer watered-down, military
specific experience tailored for pilots and soldiers. Only on rare
occasion do groups get training in cross cultural communication,
regional customs, dealing with governmental corruption, and travel
awareness, which will prevent workers from being targeted. Training
often costs as much as $4,000 USD for one person to take a two-day
seminar. The result is that only a few people ever truly get the training
they need to work safely overseas.
• Non-Governmental Organizations, The Global Media, and Church
leadership often pay only lip service to their crisis management
programs. The same cognitive dissonance of the Ex Pat community
is often shared by this group. In turn these organizations limit their
contact with the US Government when a crisis does occur.
Organizations rarely train their crisis responders to operate in the real
world, and often restrict themselves to working with consultants with
antiquated knowledge and skills. The result is that groups are
underprepared to leverage every possible option available to bring
their workers home.
• In almost all cases, the response market is filled with crisis
negotiators who come from law enforcement backgrounds. Law
enforcement crisis negotiation is usually focused on barricade
situations, and is ill equipped for dealing with complex terrorism
kidnappings and/or political hostage taking. In 2015 an antiquated
policy: National Security Presidential Directive 12 was updated to
become Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 30 Americans Kidnapped
or Held Hostage Abroad. PPD 30 states that the American
Government will use all elements of National Power to bring our
citizens home. The problem with PPD 30 is that it also states the US
Government will not negotiate with criminals or terrorists. PPD 30
does, however, allow families to work through third parties to have a
dialogue with criminals and/or terrorists on behalf of the victim. Most
often companies and organizations conduct their own dialogue
without speaking to the Embassy or Consulate. This limits the group’s
chances of using everything at their disposal to bring their people
• Crisis response training rarely trains groups on information security,
leveraging information, or dealing with the host nation government.
Crisis response training in the civilian sector often limits information
on dealing with the police, or military, and other factors which may
impact the victim. Crisis response rarely discusses obtaining
information that might be valuable to hostage rescue forces, should a
kinetic rescue operation be chosen.
• Consultants sent to support a crisis often rely solely on their own wits.
The crisis response systems in place rarely mobilize a repatriation
team to take care of the psychological needs of the victim or identify
critical information which may be needed to help other victims. The
first seventy two hours are critical for someone who has been
victimized. When this element is overlooked, the survivor will often
suffer from Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, and
other mental and medical issues which may impact them for the rest
of their lives.
• Consultants often do not understand the benefits of working with the
government on repatriation issues. The result is that US Citizens and
Persons Designated Special Status by the US Government often
miss out on better health and psychological repatriation support than
can be duplicated on the open market. In many cases NGOs,
Journalists, and Missionaries as well as average citizens have an illfounded
fear of the US Government and prosecution for some
nebulous crime. Instead the survivor, their family, or the group, end
up with extreme medical and mental health bills.
• Crisis events in combat zones like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, or
the Philippines often cost the US Government several million US
Dollars a day. In many cases, efforts also cost the US Government
time and resources which are focused on preventing suicide bombers
from attacking innocent civilians and military bases, fighting terrorists,
and doing other critical functions. The reality is that while every life is
important, shifting focus away from these critical missions often
results in the deaths of innocent people and the potential loss of
months of hard work. Training groups and individuals in how to avoid
problems and have situational awareness is far more cost effective
than allowing an incident to happen.Captive Audience Prevention
Training and Recovery Team offers an alternative to the market
standard. Captive Audience PT & RT offers over two decades of
Special Operations and Intelligence Community Service with on the
ground experience applying the lessons they have learned, surviving,
and avoiding being targeted overseas. Captive Audience PT & RT
has also acquired years of experience working inter-agency and
cross cultural personnel recovery, counter terrorism, and counter
insurgency responses. Captive Audience PT & RT is able to train and
advise group crisis response teams, support a crisis event, and assist
with government deconfliction. Captive Audience PT & RT can deploy
an experienced repatriation team capable of supporting the
repatriation of a survivor for the first seventy-two hours, and hand the
survivor off to mental health professionals upon their return home. At
the end of the day Captive Audience PT & RT offers recent
experience and expertise coupled with on the ground experience. We
are capable of supporting groups before, during, or after a crisis with
more than just the industry standard. We see things through a
different lens, and focus on more than just getting the survivor home.
We are capable of providing the client with a strategic lens of
understanding and with a tactical lens solution. We are small, making
us more reasonable and cost effective. We are also current, relevant,
and ready to go to work.

Very respectfully,middle
Billy Jensen
CEO Captive Audience PT & RT


Recommended For You

About the Author: Captive Audience


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.