A. Why Are Preppers Hated So Much?
11 Dec 2012, SHTFplan.com, by Michael Snyder of End of the American Dream
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/why-are-preppers-hated-so-much_12112012
Have you noticed that it has become trendy to bash preppers? For a long time the prepper movement was ignored, but now it has become so large that it is getting very difficult for the mainstream media to pretend that it is not there. In fact, it has been estimated that there are now approximately 3 million preppers in the United States alone. So now the mainstream media has decided that mocking the movement is the best strategy, and lots of “critics” and “skeptics” out there have picked up on this trend. Instead of addressing the very real issues that have caused millions of Americans to prepare for the worst, those criticizing the prepper movement attempt to put the focus on individual personalities. They try to find the strangest nutjobs they possibly can and then hold them up as “typical preppers”. The goal is to portray preppers as tinfoil hat wearing freaks that need to be locked up in the loony bin for their own personal safety and for the good of society. The criticism of preppers has really ramped up in recent months, and it will likely get even worse in 2013. The establishment does not like any movement that is outside of their control, and the prepper movement is definitely not under their control.
Often, hit pieces on the prepper movement are disguised as articles or shows that are supposed to be “balanced” looks at the movement. This is especially true of shows such as “Doomsday Preppers“. That show is the highest rated show that the National Geographic channel has ever had, and it can be a lot of fun to watch. But if you notice carefully, they almost always try to feature people that they consider to be “freaks” or that are “on the fringe of society”. Many other “reality shows” follow the exact same recipe. The goal is to draw high ratings by running a “freak show” that people can’t help but watch.
Even if you go on such a show and try to do your best to explain your prepping in a rational and coherent manner, they will still edit the footage so that it makes you look like a freak. It really is a no-win proposition. These shows are trying to make it clear that preppers should be mocked. The underlying implication is that these people are crazy and that what they are doing is stupid.
And at the end of each segment, the producers of the show are careful to include reasons why the prepper that was just featured is being irrational and why the things they are preparing for are extremely unlikely to happen. Just in case you missed the message they have been trying to communicate the entire time, they come right out and tell you the conclusion that you are supposed to come to.
And of course we see the same attitudes reflected in reviews of the show. For example, the following is from a recent Los Angeles Times review of the new season of Doomsday Preppers…
Still, it’s hard not to feel for young Jason from tiny Plato, Mo. (pop. 109), who is awaiting worldwide financial collapse with his homemade, nail-studded “mace-ball bat,” and that his is a life on the verge of going completely wrong. “I’m not afraid to have to kill,” Jason says, in his camouflage pants and dog tag, and there seems to be no question in his mind that it will come to that. (“Jason has always been a worrywart,” says his mother.)
Or for Big Al, from Nashville, who is getting ready for old-school nuclear war by digging down into the earth and surrounding himself with steel. (“I prefer not to use the term ‘bunker’ — to me, it’s an underground house.”) He spends months at a time by himself down there, training for the inevitable — which he expects to weather alone — cooking different combinations of canned goods and, you know, spending too much time alone. One leg pumps constantly as he talks.
The preppers don’t want my pity, of course — quite the opposite, I’m sure. The joke will be on me, they would say, when I am expiring from fallout or smallpox, being carried away in a tornado or torn apart by the hungry ravaging hordes. (I am not even prepared for the Big Earthquake that might more probably get me.)
Would this Los Angeles Times reporter mock other groups of Americans in a similar manner?
But the establishment has made it clear that it is open season on preppers, so this particular writer mocks them with no fear.
Not that any prepper that is thinking clearly would go on a show such as “Doomsday Preppers” anyway. Sure, it is nice to be on television, but if you are a serious prepper then one of the last things you want to do is to go on television and advertise your preparations to millions of people.
Others have picked up on the contempt that the establishment has for preppers and have started to issue their own critiques of the movement. For example, an “emergency manager” named Valerie Lucus-McEwen recently published a blog post entitled “Doomsday Preppers are Socially Selfish” that got a lot of attention…
You might wonder why someone like me, who has been in the business of encouraging disaster preparedness for a very long time, is so critical of people who are doing just that. It’s because they are being socially selfish – preparing themselves and the hell with everyone else. Instead of spending time and energy making changes that would benefit the larger community, in their very narrow focus of loyalty they are more concerned about themselves.
Emergency Managers can’t afford that kind of attitude. It is diametrically opposed to everything we do. Our job is to prepare individuals and communities and jurisdictions and regions and – ultimately – the globe for disasters, knowing we won’t always succeed.
She followed up that venomous attack with another blog post in which she declared the following…
Selfish is defined as concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself, seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage or well being without regard for others. By that definition, Doomsday Preppers are socially selfish – Disaster Preppers are not.
Subsequently, she has issued a very brief apology, but what she wrote is very typical of the type of thinking that is out there these days. Anyone that does not “trust the government” and attempts to become “self-sufficient” is actually very “selfish” and is not “being a good citizen”.
And sadly, it appears that being a “prepper” is now enough to get special attention from the authorities. For example, a 46-year-old prepper in rural Maryland named Terry Porter recently had his home raided by 150 armed law enforcement officers. The details of this incident were described in a recent article by Paul Joseph Watson…
According to a charging document filed in Washington County District Court, Porter “openly admitted to being a prepper” (as if this was an illegal act in and of itself) and said that he was “very irritated” about the recent presidential election. Porter had also invested in an underground bomb shelter and had installed surveillance cameras on his property.
Once the investigation into Porter began, police discovered that he had a 1992 felony drug conviction and was therefore barred from owning firearms. On Thursday last week, no less than 150 armed and militarized police and FBI agents in the guise of tactical assault teams descended on Porter’s house as if they were confronting a terrorist cell. The raid also included helicopters, SWAT crews, armored vehicles and even excavation equipment.
Porter was absent at the time of the raid but turned himself in the next morning at Hagerstown Barrack.
After the raid, the claim that Porter was stockpiling “10-15 machine gun-style firearms” was demolished when police uncovered “four shotguns, a .30-30-caliber rifle and two .22-caliber rifles,” hardly a deadly mass arsenal.
Would 150 officers have shown up at his home if he had not been identified as a “prepper”?
Of course not.
But “preppers” have been labeled as “dangerous” and “crazy” and that is the way that law enforcement authorities now treat them.
So why are preppers hated so much?
It is because they are a direct challenge to the status quo. Just by prepping, preppers are proclaiming that they do not have faith in the system. But most people have complete and total faith in the system, and many of them do not like to have that faith questioned. As I have written about in other articles, polling has found that most Americans expect that the government will take care of them if disaster strikes. Most people have been trained to “trust the experts” and to “trust the government” all of their lives, and that conditioning can be very difficult to overcome.
This blind faith in the system is a big reason why so many Americans have not made any preparations at all. In fact, one recent poll discovered that most Americans do not even have three days worth of food in their homes…
A recent survey found that 55 percent of Americans have less than three days supply of food in their homes. Many people have no emergency supplies, or even a first aid kit.
That absolutely astounds me.
Another poll discovered that 64 percent of all Americans are “unprepared for a major natural disaster”.
So what is going to happen to them if something even worse than a major natural disaster hits?
For example, what if the electrical grid went down and we had no more power for an extended period of time?
Well, one survey found that 21 percent of all Americans believe that they would survive for less than a week, and an additional 28 percent of all Americans believe that they would survive for less than two weeks. Close to 75 percent of all Americans said that they would be dead before the two month mark.
So I guess we sure had better hope and pray that nothing goes seriously wrong, eh?
The truth is that it isn’t the preppers that are crazy.
Rather, it is the people that believe that everything will always be fine and that the government will always take care of them that are crazy.
Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and now is the time to get prepared.
You may get mocked a bit for prepping now, but later on you sure will be glad that you prepared for the worst.
B. What Does It Mean to “Prepare for the Economic Collapse”?
24 Dec 2012, SHTFplan.com, by Daisy Luther of “The Organic Prepper”
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/what-does-it-mean-to-prepare-for-the-economic-collapse_12242012
Last week I wrote an article in response to the media’s vilification of preppers in the aftermath of the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. The article was quoted in an article on Yahoo.com, to my great astonishment, and that is when I saw how little most people understand about prepping. You can see in most of the 4492 comments the article received that many folks just don’t “get it”.
My inbox was filled with a barrage of hate mail and a number of people felt compelled to leave angry (and rather ignorant) comments on my website. I got messages from people that called me “batsh*t crazy”, messages from gun control advocates, messages from people who directly blamed me and all other preppers for the massacre, and even one particularly hate-filled email from a person who said “I hope that your kids are killed at the next school shooting.”
All of this leads me to reconfirm my belief that people sincerely do not understand why we do what we do, and that ignorance leads to fear.
People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer. ~ Andrew Smith
If you go back through history, the “visionaries” or “wise ones” were always mocked at best and feared at worst. They were cast out of society to live alone at the edge of the village; children would sneak onto their property to show their bravery; they were burned at the stake as witches and heretics. Anything the larger percentage of people does not understand is treated as something evil and frightening.
Am I saying that preppers are all visionaries and sages? Not in a mystical “Joan of Arc” sense – but I am saying that preppers are willing to see the writing on the wall and search for a deeper understanding.
Many preppers are preparing for an economic collapse and the subsequent social collapse that will be close behind.
If you don’t think this is realistic, then you aren’t paying attention to the world around you.
People have this image of hunger – they see it as the skeletal dark-skinned children in some third world country, bellies protruding as malnutrition sets in.
But the face of hunger and poverty today is as close as your next door neighbor. Millions of North Americans can barely afford to put their next meal on the table. They are living in their cars, if they’re lucky, and without shelter if they are not so lucky.
For many people the economic collapse has arrived. Their “end of the world” event has already occurred in the form of a job loss, the foreclosure of the family home, or an illness that has caused such massive personal debt that there is truly no way out of it. Less than 60% of Americans who are of age to be in the work force have a full time job. When you tally that, it means that more than 100 million people are out of work. More than 100 million people in the United States have no jobs. For more than 100 million people, the economic collapse has arrived in full force.
Meanwhile, as people all over the globe (think Greece, Italy, Spain, Argentina, the UK) struggle with high rates of unemployment, the prices of everything have gone up. People are struggling to keep such simple necessities as running water and electricity. Grocery costs have skyrocketed – the World Bank released a statement that global food prices increased by 10% in ONE MONTH – July 2012.
And it’s only going to get worse – the Farm Bill was blocked by the US House of Representatives, and this means that the prices will skyrocket, as farms are no longer subsidized. This will cause the industry to revert to the Agricultural Act written in 1949, meaning that the government is obligated to purchase dairy products from farmers at a cost that is twice what they are receiving now – this means that the price of a gallon of milk may skyrocket in January to as much as $8 per gallon. This is not an endorsement of government subsidies – this is a simple cause and effect observation to explain the reason people will be shocked when they go to the dairy case come January.
The price of food is increasing rapidly and dramatically. Mac Slavo, of SHTFplan, wrote:
“We’ve seen what happens in countries where the populace is forced to spend 50% or more of their earned income on food. Despite how the media portrays it, the riots we’ve seen in the middle east, Greece and Spain have been largely fueled by cost increases in food and the inability of individuals to provide the basic essentials for their families.
Americans have been, for the most part, immune from these pressures thus far. But the social safety nets are very quickly becoming overburdened and prices at grocery stores are rising consistently and without pause.
With the consumer economy coming to a standstill, continued central bank monetary easing, job losses and wage reductions, and the urbanization of millions of people, it is only a matter of time before Americans are forced to spend 50% or more of their paychecks just to stay alive.”
When you read the above information, the case becomes clear for stocking a long-term food storage pantry. It makes personal economic sense to purchase commodities like grains for your family at today’s prices to be consumed when the price skyrockets even further.
It seems, from some of the comments I’ve seen and received from non-preppers, that stockpiling food is acceptable, if somewhat eccentric. But being able to defend that food is strictly out of the question.
• “I have no problem with anyone stockpiling water and food for their ability to prolong their agonizing but inevitable death should this generation experience the “end of the world”. Unless you have a new planet in your back pocket that is complete with a an oxygen supply, food and water, your efforts to live past the rest of us will be the least enjoyable time spent here on earth. I believe it is the preppers’ need for stockpiling ammunition that is the bizarre twist on these so-called survival skills that is the “killer”. Pardon my pun. You see, if your survival depends on killing others than the world in which you will exist will not be worthy of keeping.”
• “They are delusional anti-social people. If you try to reason with them, you are attacked in the forums. You try to point out to them the truth, they slander you. These “preppers” should ALL be arrested , their food stockpiles distributed to the homeless, their guns conficated [sic]. Start with the people on the survivalist blogs.”
• “With all due respct [sic], many people are missing the point. Our Constitution garentees [sic] us the right to bear arms, but not to stockpile an arsenal. You folks who stockpile food and supplies are wise. It is the guns and huge quantities of bullets that are the problem.“
• “Guns dont [sic] kill people. People who have no friends and have basements jammed full of ammo and canned goods kill people.”
• “You know…this is just a bunch of gun nuts going out and buying all the guns they can get before the laws become stricter. Just a bunch of weak people living in fear of nothing. I choose not to live in fear and if the apocalypse comes…oh well. Sure, I’ll stock up on food when a blizzard is in the forecast…but do I have an arsenol [sic] in my basement…no. Honestly, people like peppers need to stop thinking all hell is going to break loose, and just live in REALITY.“
So, this leads us to the next misconception about preppers – why do many prepared individuals feel that there might be social collapse to go along with the economic collapse? Why do they feel that in the wake of a disaster that they and their families could be threatened?
There are very good, well-documented reasons for this. Recent history tells us that frightened, hungry people become desperate and often violent.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, CNN reported that the city was under siege.
“Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown said his agency was attempting to work “under conditions of urban warfare.” Police snipers were stationed on the roof of their precinct, trying to protect it from armed miscreants roaming seemingly at will. Officers warned a CNN crew to stay off the streets because of escalating danger, and cautioned others about attempted shootings and rapes by groups of young men.”
A similar experience occurred after Hurricane Katrina struck the East Coast in October. The unmitigated violence and looting had residents terrified, especially after dark. Via Twitter, people actively planned “looting parties” as the storm bore down on the area, according to a report by Infowars.
One resident described the scene to the Huffington Post. “People are turning on each other — they’re attacking each other. Even when there’s no disaster, this building is disastrous. But after the hurricane, it just got crazy.”
Unfortunately, it isn’t just in the wake of a disaster that the need for personal security is rising. As the economy plummets, violent crime is in the upswing. In 2011, the overall rate of violent crime increased by 18%. (The numbers aren’t in yet for 2012. As funding to police departments is reduced, the criminals have a larger window of opportunity. The police are throwing up their hands in defeat – they feel that they cannot protect people. In Detroit, the police department warned people to enter the city at their own risk as budget cuts result in fewer police and shorter hours of operation.
As the economic collapse increases and more and more people are going hungry, the need for proper security and self defense will also increase in a direct ratio, particularly for those who live in highly populated areas. Desperation breeds crime.
People must educate themselves on the relationship between economic need and violent crime. Only then can they make a reasonable (and morally acceptable) plan to protect themselves and their families.
The economic collapse is not some far-fetched, end-of-the-world fantasy. It is the reality that is occurring all around us, incrementally. The collapse that has been occurring since 2008 has been one of 1000 small cuts as income goes down and expenses go up.
Ask the people in Greece whether they regret not having stocked up on food supplies when those supplies were abundantly available. Ask the people in Argentina whether they feel the need to be armed against roving gangs and home invaders – violent crime increased by 35% in one year. One study went so far as to call property crime a tool of redistribution: ”Overall, these results suggest that property crime has been used as a redistributive tool for the poorest to compensate for their impoverishment during the last decade and in particular during the ultimate crisis in Argentina.”
This stuff is not fantasy – I have provided links to support every fact I have mentioned in this article. Hunger, cold, crime and fear are the daily realities in many countries that once enjoyed a similar standard of living to that of the average North American. That debt-based standard of living is unsustainable, though, and you must be able to connect these trends with what is happening in your own country in order to see the need for preparation.
For those who say it is selfish for me to plan to take care of my responsibilities, I respond that it is selfish of you to expect me to take care of your responsibilities. You have the same opportunities that I do to prepare. I am far from wealthy (our income is actually below the “poverty line”) but I make room in my budget by eschewing foolish expenditures like twice-yearly vacations, new cars and the latest I-gadgets.
I don’t live in fear – I live in security, knowing that through my personal responsibility, my trust in my own instincts and my faith, I have done everything possible to protect my family from poverty, hunger and crime. If you aren’t currently prepared, I hope that the facts and statistics I’ve provided cause you to consider doing the same thing.