A Guide to Bunburying

By: Sarah Heffner

What is Bunburying?

A Bunburyist is someone who meddles in the art of bunburying. Bunburying is when a fake identity is created for the purpose of a double life. The name originates from the play, The Importance of Being Earnest. A character in the play created a fake person, so he could use them as an excuse to get out of any certain obligation or for pleasure. From then on anyone who has created a fake identity for similar reasons is called Bunburyist.

Presently, Bunyburying is when an alias or a fake identity is created for the purpose of pleasure. It can also be created so one can live a double life, but it can't be used for profit in wealth such as an identity thief.

Steps to Becoming a Bunburyist

Preparation: Personal Information

To become a Bunburyist, you will need all of the personal identification that you have as your actual self, but now you'll need a second set for your alias. The new personal information and materials should consist of:
  • history of alias (how you're associated with them)
  • create a style for your alias or a specific outer appearance
  • a drivers license
  • a P.O. box (post office)
  • Social Security account

It is recommended that you get:

  • a new phone, and computer
  • a new phone number, and email account
  • a different car
  • daily planner

The first set of bullet points are vital because without them it will be nearly impossible to become a new person in present day society. The post office box is needed so that the mail isn't read by the people in your other life arousing suspicion. The second set isn't necessary, but it will help you to be a better Bunburyist. They can also help keep your two lives separate.

Daily Life: Managing Bunburying

These steps should help avoid chaos while Bunburying:

  1. To properly Bunbury, it is important to give an advance for when you need to leave, and approximately how long you will be gone. This makes the reason to leave more realistic and less of on a whim, which is bound to draw more suspicion.
  2. You need to pay attention to dates, and make sure you aren't creating a hectic schedule that can lead to exposure.
  3. Once your schedule is all set, it is wise to keep it in daily planners, so you can keep track of events without becoming disoriented.
  4. Make sure you're on time when concerning scheduled events, but not so perfectly that it draws attention. Consistency is what matters.
  5. Never allow any communication or contact to come between people from both lives. Keep both lives completely separate.

If you follow these rules, Bunburying should be a piece of cake.

Backup: What to do if problems come up

There needs to be at least one person in on your Bunburying, but they shouldn't know any of the people in your lives on a personal level. They will become your emergency contact number.They are there as a resource if anything gets out of control, and you need someone to represent you. This can help to avoid confrontations that may lead to exposure. Having a person in on the bunburying can also give you a place to collect yourself if anything becomes stressful, or if you just need to reorganize yourself.

Probable Issues One Faces with Bunburying

There shouldn't be too many problems with bunburying, but aside from that one person you shouldn't tell people about your other identity. Less issues will arise if you keep it a secret. There are a few exceptions, but if you're careful they probably won't happen.

Other issues might be:

  • personal items from the identities getting intertwined
  • schedules getting mixed up
  • keeping your story straight
  • injuries and who to contact
  • getting in trouble with the law
  • running into people from one life, while as your alias

Possible Solutions

  • Create an alias with a very distinct style different from your actual style to avoid getting the personal items interspersed.
  • Minimize personal belongings to the basics such as driver's license, phone, or other necessary identification information.
  • Purchase a daily planner to help with keeping yourself organized, and from mixing up your schedule.
  • Keep all of your personal information in a Post Office box, so you can switch your belongings without mixing them.
  • Keep the details basic and never outrageous. This will help keep your story straight. If it sounds perfectly ordinary then people will have less suspicions, and might just believe you right away.
  • Have a designated person as an emergency contact in case of injuries.
  • Try to avoid trouble with the law, but if it happens use the same precaution as if you were injured. If it is a minor felony such as speeding make sure the I.D. matches up with the license plate.
  • Have an excuse in mind in case you run into someone from your other life, but make it seem natural and unrehearsed.