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Thread: Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization's collapse

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    GuncoHolic Black Blade's Avatar
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    Default Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization's collapse

    Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization's collapse

    By Jim Forsyth

    (Reuters) - When Patty Tegeler looks out the window of her home overlooking the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia, she sees trouble on the horizon.

    "In an instant, anything can happen," she told Reuters. "And I firmly believe that you have to be prepared."

    Tegeler is among a growing subculture of Americans who refer to themselves informally as "preppers." Some are driven by a fear of imminent societal collapse, others are worried about terrorism, and many have a vague concern that an escalating series of natural disasters is leading to some type of environmental cataclysm.

    They are following in the footsteps of hippies in the 1960s who set up communes to separate themselves from what they saw as a materialistic society, and the survivalists in the 1990s who were hoping to escape the dictates of what they perceived as an increasingly secular and oppressive government.

    Preppers, though are, worried about no government.

    Tegeler, 57, has turned her home in rural Virginia into a "survival center," complete with a large generator, portable heaters, water tanks, and a two-year supply of freeze-dried food that her sister recently gave her as a birthday present. She says that in case of emergency, she could survive indefinitely in her home. And she thinks that emergency could come soon.

    "I think this economy is about to fall apart," she said.

    A wide range of vendors market products to preppers, mainly online. They sell everything from water tanks to guns to survival skills.

    Conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck seems to preach preppers' message when he tells listeners: "It's never too late to prepare for the end of the world as we know it."

    "Unfortunately, given the increasing complexity and fragility of our modern technological society, the chances of a societal collapse are increasing year after year," said author James Wesley Rawles, whose Survival Blog is considered the guiding light of the prepper movement.

    A former Army intelligence officer, Rawles has written fiction and non-fiction books on end-of-civilization topics, including "How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It," which is also known as the preppers' Bible.

    "We could see a cascade of higher interest rates, margin calls, stock market collapses, bank runs, currency revaluations, mass street protests, and riots," he told Reuters. "The worst-case end result would be a Third World War, mass inflation, currency collapses, and long term power grid failures."

    A sense of "suffering and being afraid" is usually at the root of this kind of thinking, according to Cathy Gutierrez, an expert on end-times beliefs at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Such feelings are not unnatural in a time of economic recession and concerns about a growing national debt, she said.

    "With our current dependence on things from the electric grid to the Internet, things that people have absolutely no control over, there is a feeling that a collapse scenario can easily emerge, with a belief that the end is coming, and it is all out of the individual's control," she told Reuters.

    She compared the major technological developments of the past decade to the Industrial Revolution of the 1830s and 1840s, which led to the growth of the Millerites, the 19th-Century equivalent of the preppers. Followers of charismatic preacher Joseph Miller, many sold everything and gathered in 1844 for what they believed would be the second coming of Jesus Christ.

    Many of today's preppers receive inspiration from the Internet, devouring information posted on websites like that run by attorney Michael T. Snider, who writes The Economic Collapse blog out of his home in northern Idaho.

    "Modern preppers are much different from the survivalists of the old days," he said. "You could be living next door to a prepper and never even know it. Many suburbanites are turning spare rooms into food pantries and are going for survival training on the weekends."

    Like other preppers, Snider is worried about the end of a functioning U.S. economy. He points out that tens of millions of Americans are on food stamps and that many U.S. children are living in poverty.

    "Most people have a gut feeling that something has gone terribly wrong, but that doesn't mean that they understand what is happening," he said. "A lot of Americans sense that a massive economic storm is coming and they want to be prepared for it."

    So, assuming there is no collapse of society -- which the preppers call "uncivilization" -- what is the future of the preppers?

    Gutierrez said that unlike the Millerites -- or followers of radio preacher Harold Camping, who predicted the world would end last year -- preppers are not setting a date for the coming destruction. The Mayan Calendar predicts doom this December.

    "The minute you set a date, you are courting disconfirmation," she said.

    Tegeler, who recalls being hit by tornadoes and floods in her southwestern Virginia home, said that none of her "survival center" products will go to waste.

    "I think it's silly not to be prepared," she said. "After all, anything can happen."

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...80K0LA20120121


    Black Blade: Interesting article but to me "prepping" means personal and economic freedom. Should there be any event that adversely affects my life then I want to be prepped to deal with it as efficiently as possible without distractions like the basics of life - food, shelter, income, security, etc.
    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America , you get a front row seat. - George Carlin


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    GuncoHolic twa2471's Avatar
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    The "sub culture" you're referring to is just ordinary people that just use common sense and prepare for leaner times IMO. No matter what the circumstances are.

    That's something my grand daddy taught me >50 years ago,,,,just like his did, before that

    so I guess then my family have been "prepper's" for >400-500 years and well before the word was stylish,,,,,and the whites were even here. It's just a new name for good old common sense practices that have been around for centurys.

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    BANNED FyredUp's Avatar
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    I agree twa2471,

    My parents, and grandparents, always had a full pantry and thought nothing of it other than having extra for lean times.

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    NoWorkCamp4Me railbuggy's Avatar
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    My late Grandparents were born around 1904. When I was a kid (born 1953) I asked why they had a second pantry in the basement. I was told how in the 1930s money was tight,and even if you had money good food was hard to find...etc etc
    SOON-We already lost the war. You are the resistance.

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    Gunco Addicted for life j427x's Avatar
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    i have been gearing up some what slowly for an imminent crash of the USA's economic and political system since the end of the cold war.

    when the USSR went down everybody was jumping around as if it was some great victory . like somehow the US beat the USSR.

    what really happened was the USSR collapsed under its own weight. trying to prop up all these little bitty commie third world shit hole country's with its currency was a very bad idea.

    today the USA is running around dumping billions after billions into every ME shit hole and this in on top of the WOT and the debt goes back to the cold war--even back to WW2 . the real debt has been papered over so many times no one really knows how big it is --possibly 400% inflation is looming--

    were so far in the hole nobody really knows or has any idea how the country is going to become "green" again.

    i figure the plan is to break the US and the US dollar to move the world to a global currency. and that currency will spread the wealth to third world african shit holes.

    the currency won't be worth a good @ss wipe!

    get ready for the "global euro" obammas face printed on the front and hillary on the back--LOL!

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