Do you believe the world will end during your lifetime?
Findings from a recent poll show you wouldn’t be alone. From a press release on the Ipsos website last Tuesday:
One in seven (14%) global citizens agree ‘the world will come to an end during my lifetime,’ according to a new poll by global research company Ipsos on behalf of Reuters News. One in ten (10%) believe ‘the Mayan calendar, which some say ‘ends’ in 2012, marks the end of the world’ and another one in ten (8%) admit they ‘have been experiencing anxiety or fear because the world is going to end in 2012.’ The poll was conducted among 16,262 adults in 21 countries.
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
The belief that the world will end soon appears to be more accepted among American adults. The Ipsos poll showed that 22 percent of adult respondents in the United States agreed with the statement “the world will come to an end during my lifetime.”
Personally, I would have found the survey even more interesting if Ipsos had asked not just about “the end of the world” but “the end of the world as we know it,” or TEOTWAWKI.
Yes, there is a difference.
You can read the entire press release on the Ipsos website here.
On September 6, 2011, I was contacted by a New York City-based production company to talk with them about their casting process for a new series based on a recently-shown National Geographic Channel pilot entitled Doomsday Preppers. I blogged about the show a month earlier here. In case you’re interested, the series that evolved from that pilot premieres tomorrow night, Tuesday, February 7, at 9 PM Eastern Time/Pacific Time on the National Geographic Channel. From the Doomsday Preppers webpage:
About the Show
Doomsday Preppers explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality.
National Geographic Channel Video
Now, I wasn’t able to help the production company out as much as I wanted to, but I intend to watch the first episode of this new series and share my thoughts about it on Survival And Prosperity in the coming days
One more thing. On the Doomsday Preppers TV series section on the National Geographic Channel website you’ll find a bunch of interesting features related to the production. Chief among them is something called “Doomsday Dashboard.” From the site:
Which Disaster Scenario is Trending?
Will it be a megaquake, economic collapse, global pandemic, a 2012 cataclysm, nuclear war, solar-flare-induced power failures, or an extreme oil crisis that leads to the unraveling of society? Using Twitter, we are mining the chatter to see what is at the forefront of the public’s collective consciousness. Find out what the masses are saying, and see which catastrophe is on top of the Doomsday Dashboard.
When I viewed the “Doomsday Dashboard” Monday morning, the leading catastrophe on the “public’s collective consciousness”- Web Bot Project anyone?- is Megaquake (68% Twitter chatter), followed by Pandemic (11%), Economic Collapse (8%), Nuclear War/Radiation (7%), 2012 Cataclysm (5%), Extreme Oil Crisis (3%), and Electro-Magnetic Pulse (1%).
Is it me, or do those numbers tally up to be 103%? Oh well. You can visit the Doomsday Preppers area on the National Geographic Channel website here. Stay tuned for my follow-up discussion in a separate post.
Back on August 9, Dennis McClung of Doomsday Preppers-fame informed Survival And Prosperity readers that he’d be appearing in a TLC one-hour special called Livin’ for the Apocalypse on August 28. From the TLC website:
They have stock piles of canned goods, gas masks, bomb shelters and even a tilapia pond. They are the families featured on TLC’s newest one-hour special LIVIN’ FOR THE APOCALYPSE, premiering on Sunday, August 28 at 10 PM ET/PT.
Amid the world’s latest natural disasters, cultural doomsday predictions and economic collapses, there are those who are convinced that this is the end of civilization, as we know it. LIVIN’ FOR THE APOCALYPSE takes a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of families who have spent years preparing for the day that they believe will mark the end of mankind. From rabbit-raising to meat-canning, no measure is too over-the-top when it comes to preparing for one’s post-apocalyptical survival. The fascinating special will document these extreme actions and personal survival guides as these unique families prepare for the future…or not.
While I caught the special on TV, I haven’t been able to review it- until now. Livin’ for the Apocalypse focused on four different parties. First up was Scott and Peggy Layton of Manti, Utah. The Laytons have been married for 33 years and have 7 children. Peggy shared with viewers why her family was preparing. She explained:
I know there’s going to be an apocalypse in the near future, and I have an urgency to get completely set up with emergency preparedness supplies, so that we can live through this and take care of our children.
The show highlighted a number of the Laytons’ preps, including their accumulation of food supplies, their garden, and their root cellar. During the part about food storage, Peggy pointed out:
I have a philosophy. If it’s unorganized, and it’s messy, and you can’t find it- then it’s hoarding. If it’s organized, and it’s put away, and you can find it when you need it- then it’s being prepared.
The show also revealed that the Laytons have “bug-out” property (an emergency location) in the nearby mountains.
Now, Peggy Layton is no stranger to the prepper/survivalist movements. As she explained:
My greatest passion and my love is for being prepared. It has propelled me into a business. I started out with one book on the subject of food storage, and it has grown into several books.
Perhaps the most well-known of these is her Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook.
Peggy runs her food storage company (PeggyLayton.com, “Food storage Preparation essentials”) out of a building she purchased a few years ago that contains, of all things, a bomb shelter. In the show the Layton family was in the process of “updating” the space with running water. Peggy concluded:
I feel a great urgency to be prepared, and to have my family prepared. It’s a possibility we can have an earthquake, we can have just economic collapse.
Next up was “Survival Doc” and “Lisa,” a married couple from St. Louis, Missouri. When it comes to preparing, “Survival Doc” is big on precious metals. He explained:
One of the biggest threats that I’ve always been afraid of is the collapse of the dollar, because that’s what’s happening. The dollar is buying you less than it did before. But the same amount of silver that would buy you a gallon of gas say a few decades ago will still buy a gallon of gas. I could see this whole scenario coming down the line in the late eighties, and that was when I actually decided to start buying silver. The government- they can just print money, and print money, and print money- but they’re eventually going to print so much money where the dollar is going to be worthless. And that is the whole reason for buying precious metals.
“Survival Doc” touched on the importance of operational security, or OPSEC. He told viewers:
I don’t want to use my real name, because when the stuff hits the fan, the people who know that I’m storing a lot of silver, they might decide to come over to my place to get my stuff.
Makes sense. A couple of years ago I was watching CNBC when one of the talking heads boasted he didn’t need to own gold because he’d just take it away from “goldbugs” using force if it ever came to that. Doubtful. I know of quite a few precious metals owners who also happen to be armed. Heavily, in some instances. Good luck with that, Mr. Talking Head.
“Survival Doc” discussed the importance of food to his preparations. He noted:
There are a lot of people out there warning about food shortages. A year from now, it might cost $100 to buy a loaf of bread.
Like the Laytons, “Doc” stressed the importance of growing one’s own food and storing it. In addition, he recommended people “produce” their own meat as well (he keeps rabbits). And like Peggy Layton, “Survival Doc” is known to a number of members of the prepper/survivalist community, as he not only hosts his own YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/thenewsurvivalist) but runs the disaster preparedness and self-reliance educational website TheNewSurvivalist.com.
Other useful information shared by the “Survival Doc” included:
• Alcohol makes a great bartering item
• Redundancy is essential. “One is none, two is one.”
• Firearms are important tools for self-protection. The “Doc” carries a handgun on him whenever possible.
• Have other means of self-defense. The “Survival Doc” just took up martial arts recently.
“Livin’ for the Apocalypse- Ready for War”
The third household looked at in Livin’ for the Apocalypse was Dennis and Danielle McClung from Mesa, Arizona. The McClungs have two small kids. Dennis shared their reasons for preparing:
My wife and I are, and have been, preparing for catastrophic events to happen in and around December 21, 2012. After that, I see the end of the world as we know it. There is all of these prophecies that can be interpreted to the end of the world age: the St. Malachy prophecies, the Hopi prophecies, the Mayan calendar, the Book of Changes, the Chinese book of I Ching. So you have all of these world cultures, all of these prophecies, pointing to a past world calamity and saying, “Hey, it going to happen again, it’s only a matter of time, because history has a tendency of repeating itself.”
Even though the young couple’s children are only 2 and 5-years-old, they’re already learning survival skills. When the McClungs purchased their home, it came with a swimming pool. As tempting as it might have been to use it for its intended use, the family transformed the pool into a self-sufficient aquaponic greenhouse that feeds them 365 days a year. Plants, chickens, and an abundance of tilapia fish in the deep end comprise the system. They also raise Nigerian goats for milk. Inside the home the McClungs have a “survival supply room” which contains plenty of freeze dried food, canning supplies, and other preparedness items.
Dennis and Danielle McClung are striving to be self-sufficient by 2012. Dennis explained:
The nice thing about having a deadline- 2012- is it puts pressure on us to continually work on our project until we reach where we want to be.
Once again, Dennis McClung is no stranger to preppers/survivalists due to his disaster supply business at 2012Supplies.com and his appearances on shows like Doomsday Preppers. Dennis concludes:
I don’t see ourselves as fear-mongerers. I don’t even consider us negative people. I think we’re actually very optimistic people- we’re an optimistic family. We’re just preparing for the worst case scenario- and hoping for the best. Maybe in preparing for the worst, it brings out the best in humanity. A rule of thumb for your typical survivalist is to keep low-key and tell no one of your preparing. The problem with that is, we feel we have something to offer the public. To show them what can be done by an average young family… We feel we need to inform the public how to be a little more prepared. And to us that’s a better situation because if more people are prepared, there will be less chaos in the end for us.
Finally, there’s Jackie and Gidget from the Southwest desert of the United States (again, practicing OPSEC by not revealing more than that information). Gidget explained why the two roommates were preparing for disaster:
We’re preparing because the world as we know, and especially our country, is coming to an end… In 2012, I really feel that life as we know it is going to come to an end. So we’re going to be prepared for whatever happens.
Consequently, Livin’ for the Apocalypse showed the two looking at and shooting firearms. The roommates also shared with viewers the extent to which they’ve already gone to build up their food supply. Canning is especially big with these two.
As Jackie underwent transgender surgery 10 years ago and requires various hormones/medication, these items need to be stockpiled. Taking these costs and the expenses of other preps the two still want to carry out into consideration, the roommates hold a garage sale and put up Gidget’s doll collection and some of her creations as a seamstress for sale to raise funds.
TLC’s Livin’ for the Apocalypse concluded with the following:
Gidget and Jackie, the Laytons, “Survival Doc” and “Lisa,” and the McClung family are all part of a growing number of Americans who feel the Apocalypse is near. But they all prepare in very different ways.
It’s true- all four parties prepared in very different ways. However, a number of their preps overlapped here-and-there, including:
• Having the ability to grow one’s own food
• Being able to store this food through canning and other means
• Building up a food supply
• Acquiring firearms as tools for self-defense
• Implementing operational security as it concerns one’s preparations
All the individuals in the show had at least one thing in common in that they all strived for some degree of self-sufficiency in the event of disaster.
Livin’ for the Apocalypse was very informative, very interesting, and kind of funny as well. Hard-core preppers/survivalists might dismiss it as being too rudimentary. To be fair, they probably weren’t the intended audience to begin with. I highly-recommend watching it the next time it appears on TLC.
Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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