End Times

National Geographic Channel Hosts Doomsday Preppers Blog Carnival

Last weekend, I wrote a post entitled, “What Effect Have (Post-) Apocalyptic-Themed TV Shows And Films Had On The Prepping Movement?” I did this as part of a “blog carnival” the National Geographic Channel is hosting on its website this week (I also participated in an earlier one back in March 2012). Kristin Montalbano posted the following Tuesday on the Doomsday Preppers Blog on the Nat Geo Channel site:

Judging from recent apocalyptic films This is the End and World War Z to “what if” disaster shows like NBC’s Revolution or Nat Geo Channel’s upcoming American Blackout, to reality fare like Doomsday Preppers, it’s safe to say that the “end of the world as we know it” is on everyone’s mind. But what effect has TV shows and films like these had on the prepping movement? We thought we’d poll some of the best and brightest in the preparedness community to find out what they thought.

“Some of the best and brightest in the preparedness community.” I’m incredibly flattered, and pretty sure I shouldn’t be counted among this group of prepper bloggers if only because I’m not much of a prepper, but someone who just covers prepping as part of my blog’s focus on financial and personal safety issues.

Anyway, the blog carnival featured posts from a number of preparedness bloggers over two days- October 22 and 23. On Tuesday, it was Gaye Levy of Backdoor Survival, “Erich” of TacticalIntelligence.net, Bernie Carr of The Apartment Prepper’s Blog, and “The Road Warrior” and “Jarhead Survivor” of SHTFBlog.com. On Wednesday, it was “Angela” of Food Storage and Survival, yours truly with Survival And Prosperity, “Silent Prepper” of Prepper Central, and Tara Dodrill of Common Sense Prepping.

I’ve only just begun reading the responses from carnival participants, but they’re very interesting from what I’ve perused so far.

Now, I’ve actually been lucky enough to meet some of these bloggers in person, and let me just tell you- they really seem to know their stuff. But don’t just take my word for it. Drop by the Doomsday Preppers Blog over at the National Geographic Channel website and check out their latest blog carnival:

Doomsday as Entertainment – Preparedness Bloggers Weigh In: Part 1
Doomsday as Entertainment – Preparedness Bloggers Weigh In: Part 2

A special thanks goes out to Nat Geo Channel’s Kristin Montalbano for organizing yet another terrific carnival. I think I can speak for all of the participating bloggers when I say thank you for giving us the opportunity to take part in this event.

Stop back tomorrow for more on the National Geographic Channel and a televised event that’s taking place this Sunday.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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What Effect Have (Post-) Apocalyptic-Themed TV Shows And Films Had On The Prepping Movement?

“i friggin LOVE “doomsday preppers”!”

-Milla Jovovich, American model and actress of Resident Evil-fame, Facebook post, November 24, 2012

Back in February 2012, the Daily Mail (UK) reported that “as many as three million Americans now fall into the category dubbed ‘preppers’- people who are making detailed plans for the end of the world as we know it.”

(Editor’s note: Most mainstream media outlets drop that “as we know it” bit out, which is a shame as there’s an important distinction to be made between preparing for the “end of the world as we know it” as opposed to the actual “end of the world” where such activity may be thought of as futile. Kudos to the the British publication for keeping this scenario “intact.”)

That the ranks of individuals taking up preparedness have grown significantly in the last couple of years while (post-) apocalyptic-themed television shows and big screen productions simultaneously exploded in popularity is probably not coincidence. As a matter of fact, it’s something the National Geographic Channel, as part of an upcoming “Blog Carnival,” is currently exploring. The American cable and satellite television channel wants to know what effect these TV shows and films have had on the prepping movement.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a strong correlation between the two. As more shows and movies of the (post-) apocalyptic genre were aired/released for public viewing, I can’t help but suspect increasing numbers of Americans bought into the idea of prepping.

I have a feeling the seed for prepping was already planted before watching such shows and films in many cases. Scientific and technological advancements in the Information Age have increased Americans’ knowledge of potential man-made and natural disasters beyond events fresh in the mind of many such as 9/11, 2005′s Hurricane Katrina, the Panic of ’08, 2012′s Hurricane Sandy, and April’s Boston Marathon Bombings. Viewing such productions on a TV in the family room or at a local movie theater might have made such threats feel closer to home, thereby prompting action.

So the TV shows and films may have served as some sort of prepping recruitment vehicle. Yet at the same time, the preppers portrayed in such media have more often than not been of the extreme sort. These individuals probably aren’t a good representative of your typical prepper, if only because there are many different kinds of preppers out there.

Not surprisingly, I’ve noticed a number of production companies and cable/satellite television channels have come under fire because of the way preppers are portrayed. I can understand why this is, as some believe such depictions only serve to fuel ridicule and potential persecution of preppers by a number of parties including the mainstream media and the government. However, keep in mind that cable/satellite television channels and production companies are part of the entertainment industry, where these extreme prepper types can be quite entertaining to watch (cha-ching!). Those behind the ridiculing and potential persecution of American citizens for merely fulfilling the federal government’s recommendations as it concerns household emergency preparedness should keep this in mind as well.

At the end of the day, it must be pointed out that preppers actually perform a major public service in the event of a community/regional/national emergency. That’s right. Think about it. Preppers strive to be able to take care of themselves, family, friends, and even neighbors in many cases in the event of a real crisis. That’s one less person or group of people public safety agencies need to attend to in a significant emergency, where resources are typically stretched thin already. Because preppers can assume this “sheepdog” role, police, fire, and other groups can focus their limited amount of resources on others (more often than not, those who didn’t prepare).

One might even argue here it should be the civic duty of Americans to prep if they can.

Imagine if every American household had a couple of weeks of emergency food, water, and other supplies socked away in case of emergency. The next time a man-made or natural disaster reared its ugly head, think how much smoother the emergency response might be, especially when compared to those recent events I listed earlier.

Returning to the National Geographic Channel’s question as to what effect (post-) apocalyptic-themed TV shows and films have had on prepping, despite often portraying more extreme prepper types (it’s just show business!), it’s my belief such productions have increased the ranks of preppers in the United States, thereby assisting public safety agencies across the United States in the event of a real disaster as preppers should be able to take care of themselves and a number of other individuals in many cases, freeing up limited resources to be applied elsewhere in the emergency response.

Thank you for doing this preppers!

And production companies and cable/satellite TV channels like the National Geographic Channel- go ahead and give yourselves a nice pat on the back as well.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Brady, Tara. “Fill the pool with fish and stockpile the guns: Up to THREE MILLION ‘Preppers’ in the U.S. are prepared for for the end of the world.” Daily Mail. 11 Feb. 2012. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2099714/Meet-preppers-Up-3-MILLION-people-preparing-end-world-know-it.html). 20 Oct. 2013.

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On TV: Doomsday Castle ‘Water From a Stone’ Review

Earlier this week, I found some time to watch the third episode of the new National Geographic Channel TV series, Doomsday Castle. “Water From a Stone” first aired on Tuesday, August 27.

In the prior episode, “A Stone From the Sling,” the family focused on accessing a sustainable food supply and on defending the road leading up to the castle via a medieval siege weapon. This time around? Brent Sr. said:

Today I’ve prepared an exercise for my kids so they can experience a real life situation. They’re going to be attacked by an unknown enemy. Their mission is to defend themselves and to defend this castle.

Basically, they worked on patrolling and defending from within the castle, learning how to use the protection it provides to their advantage.

The episode started off with the family- minus their father- patrolling the castle grounds with paintball equipment. Ghillie suit-clad Brent Sr., along with another individual, ambushed the “patrol” and cut the kids down one-by-one. Dad confided:

My kids failed miserably. I’m not going to be around forever. I need to know that they’ll be able to protect themselves.

Enter Mike Moore, a retired Army Ranger First Sergeant. Brent Sr. said:

All of our prepping will have been wasted if marauders can come and take over this castle. I have brought in Sergeant Mike to teach battle and weapons tactics so my kids can better defend the castle.

Michael and Linsdey were shown training with “Sergeant Mike,” while Brent Sr., Brent II, Ashley, and Dawn-Marie looked for a source of fresh water on the property, the other focus of this episode. Brent Sr. shared:

We definitely have plenty of water here. Only one problem. We have to figure out how to get it up 600 feet to the castle. And we’ve got to make sure it’s pure.

Lindsey’s and Michael’s training didn’t go so smooth. The middle daughter self-admittedly floundered while providing cover fire for Michael as the two attacked Sergeant Mike in the castle. Michael confided:

I can’t defend this castle all by myself. But at the same time, it’s not like I can really depend on my brother or my sisters in an end of days attack situation. Survival. This is life and death, and they need to realize that.

Brent Sr. brought in Scott Hunt, a fellow prepper and water expert, to help tackle the water problem. Hunt, who featured in the Doomsday Preppers pilot (reviewed here) and assesses preparations of other “doomsday preppers” on the popular show via his company, Practical Preppers, helped the family construct a solar power gravity collection system for the family. This system “consists of an earthen dam at the head of a mountain spring that collects water and feeds a series of filters that clean out dirt and bacteria. The water is driven through the system by a pump that is powered by solar panels situated on the castle perimeter.”

As Scott and a number of family members pieced together the new water system, tempers flared as Dawn-Marie and Ashley insisted on fabricating a zipline to haul down the gravel and clay for the project rather than carrying the material down the hill. While the concept may have been good, implementing it took too long. Brent Sr. revealed:

I was so frustrated with these kids. Not only are we losing daylight, but I’ve reached my absolute limit.

Frustration followed the family home that day, leading Brent II to draw up a “family constitution,” rules of conduct family members would agree to abide by, and which Dawn-Marie initially didn’t sign.

The next day, Sergeant Mike trained Brent II and Dawn-Marie on weapons, while Brent Sr. took Michael and Lindsey along with him to work with Scott on the new water system. After adjusting a solar panel, water started flowing way up at the castle. Brent Sr. explained:

When the End Time comes, our solar pump system will produce hundreds of gallons of clean water every day.

Nicely done Scott.


“Doomsday Water”
YouTube Video

The episode ended with a simulated night assault on the castle using paintball guns again. Being informed of the attack beforehand, the family was assigned the task of defending the castle. Twin Michael didn’t like Brent II being appointed team leader beforehand for that night’s exercise, and after the family failed to hold the castle, the two got into a shoving match, with Brent Sr. having to step in and keep them apart.

Some thoughts about “Water From a Stone”:

I thought the use of paintball guns for weapons training was a good idea, considering the castle sits on all that land and a lot of that instruction can take place outdoors. Still, I wonder how easy it is to get yellow paint off castle stone. Brent Sr. said in the episode:

Paintball might seem like a game, but it’s really an effective way to learn tactical techniques, teamwork, and strategy.

I like the fact that outside experts were brought in to help with the family’s weapons training and water system. While there’s a lot to be said for taking care of such things in-house, as a viewer, I was interested in seeing how the “pros” tackled such challenges. Take Scott Hunt’s solar power gravity collection system for the water on the castle property. Would the family have come up with the same solution without outside help?

While “Water From a Stone” provided viewers some food for thought, the “reality” TV aspect was ratcheted up quite a bit in this episode- to my disappointment.

I’m curious- do any readers who watch the show actually like the drama?

Anyway, as Brent Sr. acknowledged at the end of “Water From a Stone,” the family continues to make progress on the castle, which is good.

For more information about Doomsday Castle, visit the National Geographic Channel website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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On TV: Doomsday Castle ‘A Stone From the Sling’ Review

I was impressed by the premiere episode of the National Geographic Channel’s new TV series Doomsday Castle.

As such, I was very curious to see if episode 2, “A Stone From the Sling,” would be just as solid, or if there would be a noticeable drop-off in quality.

Airing last week, the episode focused on the problem of the castle inhabitants having a sustainable food supply once TSHTF. From the National Geographic Channel website:

With only MREs to eat, Brent Sr. challenges the kids to start looking for other food alternatives. Heading to a local chicken farm, Lindsey and Ashley attempt to catch their own chickens, a great renewable resource providing eggs almost daily. But tempers flare as they start working on building a chicken coop to house the newest members of the family. Meanwhile, Brent Sr. and Dawn Marie build a catapult to be able to defend the castle from intruders.

My thoughts about “A Stone From the Sling”:

The show began with Brent Sr. busting out a bunch of MREs (meals, ready-to-eat) for the kids. It’s revealed dad has only enough of them to last one year.

Brent Sr. said:

I guess my children don’t realize- I’m not going to feed them anything but MREs until they can come up with a food supply that they can provide.

They realized it soon enough. Michael and Brent II went hunting- but not before Michael instructed Brent II on how to use a crossbow. Ashley and Lindsey went to acquire egg-laying chickens and fabricate a coop. Dawn-Marie joined Brent Sr. is constructing a trebuchet to defend against attackers using the road leading to the castle.

Trebuchet?

A kind of catapult that uses a counterweight to harness its energy, according to the show.

While Michael instructed Brent II on using a crossbow, I found what the twin said about the device most interesting. Michael explained:

Most hunters use guns. But when you’re prepping, it’s dangerous to depend on anything that’s mass-produced, like bullets. A crossbow would be a great weapon to hunt with, because one bolt can be reused for years. It’s highly accurate, and extremely quiet. Which means we can hunt around these woods without giving the position away of the castle.

I can see preppers/survivalists finding significant utility (food procurement/self-defense) in the crossbow.

After some practice, the two sons decided they’d hunt for wild boar. Brent II convinced Michael that, based on the Vietnam War-related movies he’s seen, they should try building a camouflaged pit with sharpened stakes in it and food on top of it to bait and hopefully catch their intended prey.

Ashley and Lindsey got some chickens, but while constructing the chicken coop, tensions flared over Ashley’s idea for collecting the future eggs. Lindsey eventually stormed off.

Welcome to “reality” TV.

Brent Sr. and Dawn-Marie figured out that it took only 17 seconds for a speeding vehicle to get from the lower gate to the castle drawbridge. Before beginning work on the catapult-like trebuchet, the two identified an intruder “kill zone” and proceeded to test a blockade to pen-in potential aggressors using toppled trees detonated by explosives. Dad said:

That was the perfect test. When I detonated the device, the tree came crashing down, and stopped Dawn-Marie dead in her tracks.

“Dead in her tracks.” That’s for sure, from what viewers were shown.

Alas, at the end of the day, there was no boar meat or eggs to be had by the family- just more MREs.

(Editor’s note: I don’t know about you, but I like MREs. Although, I have heard horror stories from one ex-Marine/now a civilian police officer of how they can make you constipated if you eat enough of them and only them.)

Later on in the episode, it was revealed that Ashley’s egg collection system, while not perfect, actually worked.

The two feuding sisters were shown coating eggs with mineral oil. According to the show, this preserved the eggs for up to a year.

Not only was Ashley “vindicated” in the second episode, but so was Brent II. A wild boar actually fell into the pit (although it looks as if it climbed out, eventually succumbing to a deadly combination of a crossbow bolt/handgun bullets).

The oldest son remarked:

That size of that boar really showed everybody. You know what? Maybe I’m not the biggest pansy, pussy they think I am.

Remember what I blogged back on August 15? I wrote:

The jury’s still out on Brent II and Ashley though. Brent The Younger’s got this sinister Jeff Goldblum thing going on (should be cast as his younger brother in an upcoming film), and then there’s Ashley, who came away looking somewhat like a prima donna in the first episode. Still, both of them could be revelations down the stretch.

Based on what I saw in episode 2, there’s hope for those two.

The last part of the show really focused on the construction of the trebuchet. While it looked to be completed and fully-functional, a number of test fires proved otherwise. It was only until Dawn-Marie suggested a tweak- twig, actually- that the simulated destructive payloads started flying with altitude and distance. Brent Sr. remarked:

The catapult is like any other weapon. It has to be calibrated. We’ll have settings marked on the arm so we know exactly how far to pull it back. We’ll know exactly how to hit the kill zone over and over and over.

At the end of “A Stone From the Sling,” the present “laird” of the castle shared some more observations with viewers. Brent Sr. pointed out:

We’ve got our first start on food. The next thing is making sure we have an unlimited supply and no dependency on anyone but ourselves.

And each day, castle is going to get stronger and stronger.

And it’s going to be impenetrable by the time we’re all done.

As a family, we’re two vital steps closer to being ready for the end times. We have food coming in, and we have a way to keep the invaders out. But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. We don’t have a reliable water supply. We don’t have any combat training. We don’t even have a roof over our head. I hope these kids are enjoying tonight. Because tomorrow, it’s right back to work.

A good episode with plenty of interesting information that was shared. The drama (headbutting between Ashley and Lindsey, Dawn-Marie’s close call with a falling tree, Brent II’s fixation with proving himself to Sr. and the rest of the clan) was escalated up a notch, but it wasn’t a turn-off (literally and figuratively) for me. I’ll keep watching and reviewing new episodes as they’re aired- at least for now.

For more information about Doomsday Castle, visit the National Geographic Channel website here.


“Doomsday Trebuchet”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Signs Of The Time, Part 66

I don’t care what Uncle Sam says- costs seem to keep rising almost everywhere I look.

For those just beginning to prep, the price of gear and supplies these days are probably pretty daunting.

To conserve funds, many preppers/survivalists might want to take a “needs versus wants” approach to acquiring these things.

Thankfully, there are plenty of businesses around in 2013 to cater to them for necessities.

And with over 3 million preppers/survivalists in the United States, there’s billions of dollars to be made.

John C. Ogg wrote on the website of New York City-based financial news and opinion organization 24/7 Wall St. earlier this week:

Whether they prepare for long or short-term emergencies, at the very least survivalists plan to have the basic necessities: food, clothing and shelter. Many prepare for much more than the basics with self-defense and security measures, power systems, water filtration, communications and bunkers. Given their numbers and their willingness to spend money, catering to doomsday preppers has become a multibillion dollar business. Regardless of which item is being considered, each $1,000 of expenses for just 1 million people comes to $1 billion.

Ogg went on to identify “the industries making the most money on doomsday preppers.”

Prepping. Not only does it benefit you and your loved ones- but American businesses as well.

You can read the rest of the insightful piece on the 24/7 Wall St. website here.

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Resource Of The Week: Prepper Website

Back on August 2, I named The Gun Feed as this blog’s “Resource Of The Week.”

I explained The Gun Feed as being:

Simply a Drudge Report-style news aggregation website with links to firearm-related-news… with a smidgen of humorous commentary thrown in.

This week’s ROTW is also a Drudge Report-style website- but with links to prepping-related articles, blogs, and websites.

Enter the Prepper Website, “The Internet’s Premier Source for Preparedness, Survival & Alternative News,” by Todd Sepulveda. From his “About” page:

Mission – to provide links to quality articles and websites that focus on preparing for emergencies, survival, homesteading, simple life and alternative news.

Like I said, the site has got a Drudge Report-feel to it. And while there is a healthy supply of links to notable prepping-related articles, Sepulveda’s managed to compile a ton of them under the following subject areas:

• “Frugal/Save/DIY”
• “Alternative News”
• “Firearms”
• “Forums”
• “Homesteading”
• “Online Magazines”
• “Podcasts”
• “Preparedness”
• “Preppers Resources”
• “PW Product Review”
• “Survival Fiction”
• “Youtube Channels”
• “Misc.”

The Prepper Website even offers a “Daily Newsletter.”

Very nice. I can’t wait ‘til I have more time to check out a number of interesting-sounding links.

Visit the Prepper Website at www.prepperwebsite.com.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s Note: Link to added to “Resources” page)

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On TV: Doomsday Castle

Tuesday night, the premiere episode of the new National Geographic Channel television series Doomsday Castle aired. Despite thinking I wouldn’t be able to watch “Before The Flood” until a later date, I did manage to view it.

This is actually the second time I’ve talked about Doomsday Castle on the blog. From July 26:

I first got wind of Doomsday Castle back in the spring. From the Nat Geo Channel website:

Castles were the ultimate homes for the original preppers – kings and noblemen, who were under constant threat from neighboring enemies. But for American prepper Brent, a castle is the perfect defense for the doomsday scenario he fears will set the world back to the Dark Ages – an electromagnetic burst that causes massive power grid failure. Brent, with the help of his children, is on a quest to finish his towering castle that is isolated deep in the Carolina mountains. But the apocalypse he fears might shy in comparison to the clash of characters of his five children as they try to live and work together to prepare for the worst. If doomsday comes, will this family survive to rule the mountains, or will it self-destruct before the castle is ever completed?

Prepper Brent. Several children. A castle in the Carolina mountains. Any of this sound familiar to fans/followers of the Doomsday Preppers TV series? Brent, his family, and his castle starred in season 2 of the popular show in the episode entitled “No Such Thing As a Fair Fight.” From the Nat Geo Doomsday Preppers web page:

Businessman by day, prepper by night. Brent lives in fear of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that will make the world go dark, leaving his family of 12 with nothing. To prep for life after the EMP, Brent has constructed a medieval-style castle that will serve as the ultimate bug-out fortress.

On August 13 at 10 PM Eastern Time, “Before The Flood” debuts. According to the show’s webpage:

Brent Sr., a retired infantry officer, recruits his children to help him finish building his doomsday castle, a completely self-sufficient fortress of refuge for the end of days. His children are shocked at the conditions of the bunker, and Brent II even calls it a “hoarder’s paradise.” The first tasks are building a drawbridge for the front door and cleaning out the bunker, where the family will live during construction.


“Doomsday Castle: Welcome to the Castle”
National Geographic Channel Video

You might be wondering what I thought of the premier episode of Doomsday Castle.

Well, back in the early 1980s, I came across a book by award-winning author and illustrator David Macaulay entitled Castle, which was a “step-by-step planning and construction of both castle and town.” I remember there being a television special based on the book as well. Not really being into the medieval before those encounters, I became somewhat fascinated by the topic thereafter.

So I shouldn’t have been too surprised when I actually came away from watching “Before The Flood” rather upbeat about the production going forward.

I’m not really sure why I should be. It contained a bit of that so-called “reality” show drama that others seem to like but I can do without (although to be fair, it’s more family dysfunctionality-based, which I’m guessing is reality for a lot of people- including myself). And preppers/survivalists hoping to learn a bunch of new stuff from the show were probably disappointed from that debut episode (the rat trap was rather something though).

But that castle.

Man oh man. I can’t begin to tell you how interested I am in seeing how Brent and his family build out that monstrous structure over time. I have a feeling if there’s any learning to be done, it will be related primarily to the construction of that castle. As much as I’m interested in that material, it would be nice if a lot more preparedness material was covered down the road however.

As for Brent and his family- Brent II, Ashley, Lindsey, Dawn-Marie, and Michael-I like them. Brent Sr. has a handsome family, and most of them seem like they can bring a good deal to the table in this project.

The jury’s still out on Brent II and Ashley though. Brent The Younger’s got this sinister Jeff Goldblum thing going on (should be cast as his younger brother in an upcoming film), and then there’s Ashley, who came away looking somewhat like a prima donna in the first episode. Still, both of them could be revelations down the stretch.

In my opinion, if Doomsday Castle keeps the “reality” show drama to a minimum and amps up the educational content, I think National Geographic Channel could have another hit TV series on its hands.

Otherwise, retaining viewers could be feudal.

I know. Corny as hell.

It’s 12:23 Thursday morning. Time to go to sleep.

For more information about Doomsday Castle, you can visit the National Geographic Channel’s web page for the new series here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Now Playing: The Prophecy Of The Popes

“Wow, Pope Benedict is resigning,” I said to my girlfriend Monday morning as she was in the kitchen gathering some things together before she left for work.

“Uh-oh, that means people will start freaking out over the Prophecy of the Popes.” I had mentioned the prophecy a few years back, but didn’t expect her to remember it.

Yet, she stopped what she was doing and uttered:

Yeah, that’s really creepy.

Move over, Mayan “apocalypse,” because Malachy is in the house.

From the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (I usually don’t use Wikipedia as source, but I thought the following write-up was pretty decent):

The Prophecy of the Popes, attributed to Saint Malachy, is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. They purport to describe each of the Roman Catholic popes (along with a few anti-popes), beginning with Pope Celestine II (elected in 1143) and concluding with current pope Benedict XVI’s successor, a pope described in the prophecy as “Peter the Roman”, whose pontificate will end in the destruction of the city of Rome.

The prophecy was first published in 1595 by Arnold de Wyon, a Benedictine historian, as part of his book Lignum Vitæ. Wyon attributed the list to Saint Malachy, the 12th century bishop of Armagh in Ireland. According to the traditional account, in 1139, Malachy was summoned to Rome by Pope Innocent II. While in Rome, Malachy purportedly experienced a vision of future popes, which he recorded as a sequence of cryptic phrases. This manuscript was then deposited in the Roman Archive, and thereafter forgotten about until its rediscovery in 1590.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Here is the short phrase (translated from Latin) attributed to Pope Benedict’s replacement, “Peter the Roman:”

In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit [i.e., as bishop]. Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations: and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible judge will judge his people.

“And the terrible judge will judge his people.”

Creepy indeed.

Speculation is mounting regarding potential successors to Pope Benedict XVI. But Ghanian Cardinal Peter Turkson has been mentioned as a favorite.

Peter Turkson. Peter the Roman? Gulp.

In all seriousness, a number of Doomsday preppers- not mainstream ones- will most likely replace December 21, 2012, with St. Malachy’s medieval prophecy as motivation for their preparedness activity, if they hadn’t factored it in already.

Suum cuique pulchrum est (roughly translated from Latin as, “to each, their own”).

As for me, I’ve mentioned it before- the last time being to some young journalists working on a post-Mayan “apocalypse” piece- but will share it with readers again.

Whenever I hear these kinds of predictions, I think of the Bible (New Testament) and the First Book of Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 2:

For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

You can read more about St. Malachy and the Prophecy of the Popes on Wikipedia here.

Just don’t blame me if you can’t get to sleep tonight after taking it all in.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 End Times, Europe, Preparedness, Religion No Comments

Chicago-Area Preppers And Their Guns

Some time ago, I received a message from Aurora Aguilar, a project editor with Chicago public radio station WBEZ 91.5 FM. Her request was one that I’ve received with increasing frequency over the last year or so. She was hoping to interview a prepper. Not just any modern survivalist- but one who is “stockpiling guns.” I gave Aurora names and contact info of more well-known and visible preppers who might be willing to talk to her, while at the same time cautioning her about the shying away from publicity that’s common among survivalists. I explained:

If you don’t know already, many preppers tend to be secretive about their activities. Not because they’re doing something illegal, but rather because of something called operational security (OPSEC).

Last night, I came across Ms. Aguilar’s piece on preppers and firearms. Published on the WBEZ website Wednesday, “Preppers: Guns are the most important tool in preparing for the end of civilization,” is the second story a in a series entitled “Our Guns,” which are “conversations with gun owners.”

Another hack-job?

Hardly. Aguilar pretty much hit this assignment right out of the park.

Now, the headline “guns are the most important tool in preparing for the end of civilization” may be a bit of a stretch. Guns are certainly a tool but the “most important” one? Debatable. Also, while some modern survivalists prepare for the “end of civilization” plenty of others prep for emergencies, man-made and natural disasters, and the end of civilization- as we know it. Firearms could have a role to play in those scenarios as well.

But Aguilar comes back strong in the body of the article. Consider the following statements:

“A growing group of Americans who believe life, as we know it, will end”

“In a family of war veterans, hunters and farmers, guns are thought of as tools, meant to provide food and protection”

“The fear that their stockpiles of food or weapons could be stolen stops preppers from talking.”

“After all, the entire family needs to be prepared.”

“Preppers go through a lot of ammo because many practice shooting at least once a week. They also see ammo as an investment. They believe people will need ammo if there’s a catastrophe.”

“The idea is to always be prepared…”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Aguilar gets its. She demonstrates that she has a good handle on what the Prepper Movement is about.

Too bad the same can’t be said about many of her colleagues.

A terrific, refreshing article, which can be found on the WBEZ website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Doomsday Prepper Peter Larson’s Underground Shelter

Fans of the National Geographic Channel hit TV show Doomsday Preppers- remember Peter Larson? Larson appeared in the series pilot back in the summer of 2011. I blogged back then:

The Larson family- Peter Larson lives with his wife, children, and grandchildren in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. Fearing a nuclear strike (it looks as if Peter is describing an electromagnetic pulse attack in the show), the Larsons have constructed a Rocky Mountain retreat for twelve. For those of you who don’t know what an EMP attack is, it’s when a nuclear device is detonated in the atmosphere, where it’s theorized the resulting electromagnetic pulse generated by the blast will “fry” microchips at the heart of electronic devices, rendering them useless.

Well, Mr. Larson is back in the spotlight again these days. From the CNN website last night:

Inside a Doomsday Prepper bunker

Gary Tuchman talks to a peaceful man in Utah who is proud to call himself a survivalist. He built an elaborate $65,000 bunker stocked with supplies, money and weapons. Watch this up close look at his hideout.


“Man builds $65,000 doomsday bunker”
CNN Video
ANY CHARACTER HERE

Nice setup. And nicely done by Gary Tuchman and CNN, considering the number of hack-job pieces out there these days on underground shelters and their owners.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Mayan ‘Apocalypse’ Update

All is well.

Calling it a night… and a b’ak’tun.


Edwin Hawkins Singers, “Oh Happy Day” (1967)
YouTube Video

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Mayan ‘Apocalypse’ To Begin This Morning

Late in the afternoon yesterday Shepard Smith was on FOX News saying that the “official” start time of the Mayan ‘Apocalypse’ is 11:11 AM Eastern Time Friday, December 21, 2012.

That’s a little more than an hour away for me here in Chicago.

Despite assurances from various governments, astronomers, geologists, scientists, and countless other experts, the fact is, lots of people around the globe are concerned about this event. Especially here in the United States. Back on December 4 I blogged about the results of a May Reuters/Ipsos “end times” poll and said:

One of the findings was that 12 percent of Americans surveyed agreed with the statement “the Mayan calendar, which some says ‘ends’ in 2012, marks the end of the world.”

“12 percent.” As percentage of the U.S. population in 2011, that’s approximately 37.4 million Americans who might agree with that statement about the world ending in a couple of weeks.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Possibly 37.4 million Americans out there that believe the world is ending today.

Time will tell if they’re correct.

Like, by the end of today.

Stay tuned…

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Heading Into Or Already In The Bunker?

Considering we are already at the eve of December 21, 2012, and I’ve heard believers in something cataclysmic taking place Friday and who also own underground shelters are on the verge of heading into them (if they’re not already in the bunkers), does anyone from this group care to share anything with the rest of us who’ve chosen to dismiss the date and remain topside? Mature replies only.

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Preppers Under Attack, Part 2

“All this prepping, it gives people an identity, a group to belong to. But it definitely is emerging as the ‘new kid on the block’ as far as cults go.”

- Dr. Peter Behrens, Penn State-Lehigh Valley professor

Last Friday night, I blogged that it seems to me “preppers” are coming under increasing attack these days.

Funny how things can change so dramatically in just a few days, as “seems” is now a significant understatement in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings.

But before I talk more about that horrific incident and its possibly-implied “relationship” to prepping, I want to discuss a recent piece I came across on the Nazareth, Pennsylvania Patch website. On December 13, Elizabeth Rich wrote about preppers/survivalists and said:

According to Dr. Peter Behrens, preppers are buying into a cult.

Dr. Behrens, a Penn State-Lehigh Valley professor who specializes in the history of psychology, abnormal psychology and personality psychology, says that the most recent form of Doomsday preparations have all the earmarks of an active, recruiting cult.

“From a psychological perspective [Doomsday prepping] is bizarre. Members spend so much time and energy readying for the end of the world. Prepping is just people trying to control what is beyond their control.”

Dr. Behrens believes that clusters of preppers and the movement as a whole has all the markings of a cult.

“I think this is just a modern iteration of the phenomenon of people believing that the end is coming in their lifetime. That idea is so selfish, so self-centered, so narcissistic. It’s mind control.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Unlike Valerie Lucus-McEwen and her concerns about the preppers featured on the National Geographic Channel TV show, according to Rich, Dr. Behrens attacks the prepping movement as a whole. It having all the markings of a cult.

A cult, huh? Would that make Doomsday Preppers evaluators Practical Preppers their Grand Poobahs then? And could National Geographic Channel now claim non-profit status on their taxes for spreading “the word” via the Doomsday Preppers TV show? Of course a uniform will be needed. Try this one on for size.

(Editor’s warning: video could be offensive to some)

Since I completed the first draft of this post, I’ve come across two more web articles that don’t paint the modern survivalist movement in a positive light.

In fact, some might argue they’re attempting to connect prepping with the Sandy Hook school shootings.

From The Telegraph (UK) website yesterday:

Connecticut school shooting: Adam Lanza’s mother was preparing for disaster

The mother of the gunman who killed 20 children and seven adults in America’s worst school massacre, was a gun-proud “survivalist” preparing for economic collapse, it has emerged.

Nancy Lanza, whose gun collection was raided by her son Adam for Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook school, was part of the “prepper” movement, which urges readiness for social chaos by hoarding supplies and training with weapons.

“She prepared for the worst,” her sister-in-law Marsha Lanza told reporters. “Last time we visited her in person, we talked about prepping – are you ready for what could happen down the line, when the economy collapses?”

And then there’s this from The Independent (UK) site this morning:

Mother of Sandy Hook school gunman Adam Lanza was a ‘prepper’ survivalist preparing for economic and social collapse, say reports

Friends and family have portrayed Mrs Lanza as a paranoid ‘survivalist’ who believed the world was on the brink of violent collapse.

Yep. Undoubtedly, preppers are under attack these days.

Sources:

Rich, Elizabeth. “Are Doomsday Preppers a Cult? A Lehigh Valley Professor Says Yes.” NazarethPatch. 13 Dec. 2012. (http://nazareth.patch.com/articles/are-doomsday-preppers-a-cult-this-professor-says-yes-7da6a028). 17 Dec. 2012.

Foster, Peter and Swaine, John. “Connecticut school shooting: Adam Lanza’s mother was preparing for disaster.” The Telegraph. 16 Dec. 2012. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9749217/Connecticut-school-shooting-Adam-Lanzas-mother-was-preparing-for-disaster.html). 17 Dec. 2012.

Williams, Rob. “Mother of Sandy Hook school gunman Adam Lanza was a ‘prepper’ survivalist preparing for economic and social collapse, say reports.” The Independent. 17 Dec. 2012. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/mother-of-sandy-hook-school-gunman-adam-lanza-was-a-prepper-survivalist-preparing-for-economic-and-social-collapse-say-reports-8422298.html). 17 Dec. 2012.

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On TV: Armageddon Arsenals

It was only a matter of time before a show like this popped up on TV. From a message I received yesterday from Kelly McLear, a producer over at Orion Entertainment:

Armageddon Arsenals to Premiere Dec. 13 on Discovery’s Destination America

Orion Entertainment production goes inside the fascinating world of weapons preppers

Denver, Colorado–Officials from Orion Entertainment have announced that ‘Armageddon Arsenals’ will debut Dec. 13 at 10pm Eastern on Discovery’s Destination America network. The series explores the weapons and security aspects of the massive new prepping movement, focusing on individuals and families across the country who are preparing for a variety of worst case scenarios–many of them more plausible now than ever.

“Once thought of as a fringe movement,” says Orion Entertainment President Chris Dorsey, “millions of Americans now call themselves doomsday preppers and are taking extraordinary measures to plan and prepare for catastrophic events. While some viewers might find weapons caching extreme, by the end of the episode many will be asking what they should be doing to prepare. There is a lot of uncertainty and fear in the country and preppers are a manifestation of the larger national movement toward self-reliance.”

The one-hour pilot features weapons preppers in Texas, Utah, and Colorado who have amassed significant arsenals but who have also created elaborate security strategies to stay safe should the unthinkable happen. As one of the featured preppers warns, “If things get really bad it won’t matter how much food and water you have stored if you can’t protect it.”


‘“Armageddon Arsenals’- Trailer”
YouTube Video

“If things get really bad it won’t matter how much food and water you have stored if you can’t protect it.”

Likewise, you can’t eat or drink bullets when TSHTF.

I’m guessing many preppers would say weapons are important, but so too is food, water, shelter, and other vital “preps.” As to the types and number of weapons? Individual circumstances play an important role in determining what’s “right.”

I have the Destination America channel on my satellite TV- and I happen to like it. I plan on watching Armageddon Arsenals, and it will be interesting to see what kind of “arsenals” the preppers featured on this show have (and if the term “battery” is used even once).

Here’s hoping preppers/modern survivalists aren’t portrayed as a bunch of nutters- for their sake.

Holding my breath.

Armageddon Arsenals. Discovery’s Destination America network. Thursday, December 13, at 10 PM Eastern Time.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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