I have been openly advocating and teaching survival preparedness for over four decades. I have been on national television, radio and publications. All of my employers, neighbors and associates know that I am a survivalist. I have never experienced a single incident of intrusion, offense, or conflict resulting from my views and activities. In fact, I have found many, many supporters and friends.
Ben Franklin said, “Three men may keep a secret if two of them are dead”. It is a fact that many crimes are committed by someone the victim knows. As they say, “sometimes paranoia is just good thinking”. There is no doubt that reasonable caution and information security is an essential element in emergency preparedness and self-reliance. In fact it is an unwritten rule among preparedness advocates that one never asks or tell about the exact supplies, arms, equipment or plans one has. Who else really needs to know? The dispersal of information that can only help potentially hostile forces is foolish. On the other hand, the sharing of ideas, opinions and skills with those of good and friendly intentions builds strength and security. Blindly withholding everything is not sane or responsible. The “bunker and hunker” mentality is characterized by fear driven isolation of speak no survival, show no survival, and hear no survival. These folks totally avoid communicating, educating or advocating for what they secretly believe and practice. They may want to meet others and share knowledge but are unwilling to open up enough to do so. Often they’re silence and attitude actually attracts negative attention and suspicion among neighbors and friends. Often what others imagine about these individuals and groups is far more sinister that any reality. They might be surprised to find many sympathetic or even enthusiastic allies among their acquaintances, but they never find out. So they hunker in the bunker (real or hypothetical) waiting for “the big one” whatever that may be. They do not network. They do not share. They do not teach. They do not advocate. They think that they can somehow hang on to meaningful survival and freedoms alone. They are wrong.
The idea and the hope is that if enough people are prepared, more self-reliant and more dedicated to personal and family security and independence most of “the big ones” can be made into smaller less traumatic ones. The advocates and enablers of dependency, vulnerability, and conformity are the masters of regulation, legislation, sales and organization. They sell their damaging notions and spread their ideas while the values of preparedness and self-reliance are left virtually defenseless. I must pronounce that if you are already afraid to speak for your ideas and teach your skills you have already surrendered the future. Surely if you have chosen to go literally and figuratively underground you have voluntarily buried yourself and what you stand for. There may be a place and a time for hunkering in a bunker, but meaningful life and real freedoms tend to die in such places if kept there too long.
James C. Jones is the president of Live Free USA, a not-for-profit organization devoted to advocating and supporting emergency preparedness and family self-reliance. Live Free USA publishes the American Survivor newsletter, conducts seminars and supports chapters. They can be contacted at www.AmericanSurvivor.Org, LFINOW@AOL.COM or at Live Free USA, Box 3295, Munster, IN 46321