Benevolence Versus Stupidity
The reason I chose a photo of lions stalking oblivious herbivores for my editor’s note is because it’s a metaphor for the herds of uninformed suburbanites I converse with on a regular basis who are potentially setting themselves up for undue hardship in a time of crisis. Case in point: I recently had a discussion with someone about what I do and why I believe in the notion of prepping and survival. This individual was convinced that I peddle paranoia for a living and that RECOIL OFFGRID’s readership is nothing more than some fringe movement of isolationists who store canned food in their underground bunkers and live in fear of enemy paratroopers or hordes of the undead. Of course, she’s formed all these conclusions without ever having read RECOIL OFFGRID, so her evaluation carries about as much validity as a food critic who pans a restaurant they’ve never eaten at. Speaking of animal metaphors, I think there’s something here about leading a horse to water ...
When broached on the topic of firearms, she was also convinced that no one needs them, proceeding to tell me that if someone broke into her home and was intent on murdering her that she was such a pacifist that she’d willingly accept her fate rather than defend herself. Upon hearing that, a feeling of disbelief washed over me that I hadn’t felt since the first time I watched Trainspotting. I wondered if someone broke into one of her kids’ rooms with the same intention, would she just poke her head in and say, “Sorry, but this is the card that life dealt you.” I certainly hope not — if this mentality becomes wholly normalized in our society, we’re in a lot of trouble.
It got me thinking, though. With all the natural and manmade disasters we see each year, why do so many folks think nothing bad will ever happen to them and choose to wrap themselves in this Mayberry type of fantasy world? I approached one of our resident contributors, Hakim Isler, who has a background in psychological operations, to discuss the concept of denial. What causes it, how to recognize it, and how you can help others change the belief that they’re impervious to tragedy? I think you’ll enjoy reading it. As Ayn Rand said, “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.”
This same sentiment about people who operate under the “it won’t happen to me” assumption was also echoed by the gentleman in this month’s Survival Spotlight, Cody Lundin. It’s time-honored training like his that allows people to see how much you can do with so little when the situation demands it.
We also take a closer look at a form of terrorism that’s still being used with devastating and grotesque consequences — chemical warfare. It’s lethal, can be both transported and dispersed discreetly, and only takes a small amount to wreak havoc. You may remember the 1995 incident in a Japanese subway where cultists used sarin gas to kill unsuspecting commuters during rush hour. With everything going on in Syria right now, ask yourself what you’d do if something similar happened in your city. And since gas masks have sort of become the unofficial symbol of survival, we had SWAT team instructor Bill Blowers evaluate some of the latest makes and models on the market, so you can see what’ll make sense for your disaster loadout.
Does it make me paranoid to pay attention to what goes on in the world and prepare for it? Some may think so, but those same people are probably also locking their doors at night or telling their kids to look both ways before they cross the street. Since those are also aspects of survival and preparation, I guess they’re as “paranoid” as I am. Unfortunately, we’re surrounded by those who can’t or won’t see the writing on the wall, don’t value their life, and rationalize such behavior under the guise of being benevolent. You can be a pacifist without setting yourself up for victimization. As survivalists, I think we can all agree that we won’t be volunteering to spend the last few days, hours, or minutes of our lives in pain, fear, and degradation.