TEOTWAWKI, and Triple Ought
by James Wesley, Rawles
News & Info
Triple Ought FAQ
About the Author
James Wesley, Rawles
Pulling Through Screenplay:
The "Best of" Reader's Letters
I've received hundreds of e-mails and letters about The Gray Nineties and Triple Ought. The following are quotes from some selected letters, and a few of my replies:
Mr. Rawles: I have a question. In your story the characters seemed to have a supply of antibiotics. Since they are very difficult to manufacture at home, and require a doctor's prescription to purchase (and none of the characters was a doctor) I was wondering how they had it stockpiled? I am curious, as they would be a very useful addition to a first aid kit, particularly if one is camping in the wilds or is in a 'survival' scenario. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I portrayed one of the main characters as a RN. I left how she got hold of a supply of antibiotics up to the reader's imagination. (In the "real world" I have access to a sympathetic doctor. 'nuff said.)
Long term storage of commercially produced antibiotics is indeed problematic. The only proper methods are either a.) constant rotation (which is outrageously expensive) or b.) through use of a super-cold medical freezer (which are outrageously expensive, even for a used one.) One approach that might work is buying veterinary antibiotics (which cost 1/10th of identical "human" preparations, and rotating them. (No prescriptions needed, and they are even sold by mail order, BTW). I didn't mention this option in the novel for fear of starting flame wars and and/or risking some eventual liability lawsuit.
One more recent development was only briefly mentioned in the novel: My wife is starting to develop a capability in herbal medicine. (Many of her local spinning and weaving friends are also herbalists.) Starting next summer, we will be growing echinacea (purple cone flower). It is a very effective antibiotic that has been used for centuries.. (It cured our dairy goats' mastitis quite readily.)
In case you are interested, here is a long quote from:
US ARMY SPECIAL FORCES MEDICAL HANDBOOK
CHAPTER 22 PRIMITIVE MEDICINE
a. This chapter covers a number of primitive treatments using materials that are found worldwide. It does not cover herbal medicines because specific herbs (plants) are difficult to identify and some are found only in specific areas of the world. This does not mean, however that they should not be used. To get information concerning types and uses of herbal medicines in a particular area, talk to the natives. But remember, it is preventive medicine (PM) that must be stressed. Proper hygiene, care in preparation of food and drink, waste disposal, insect and rodent control, and a good immunization program can greatly reduce the causes and number of diseases.
b. All of us---patients and doctors alike----depend upon wonder drugs, fine laboratories, and modern equipment. We have lost sight of the "country Doctor" type of medicine---determination, common sense, and a few primitive treatments that can be lifesaving. Many areas of the world still depend on the practices of the local witch doctor or healer. And many herbs (plants) and treatments that they use are as effective as the most modern medicine available. Herbal medicine has been practiced worldwide since before recorded history, and many modern medications come from refined herbs. for example pectin can be obtained from the rinds (white stringy part) of citrus fruits and from apple pomace (the pulp left after the juice has been pressed out). if either is mixed with ground chalk, the result will be a primitive form of Kaopectate.
c. Although many herbal medicines and exotic treatments are effective, use them with extreme caution and only when faced with limited or non-existent medical supplies. Some are dangerous and, instead of treating the disease or injury, may cause further damage or even death.
22-2 Primitive treatments.
a. Diarrhea is a common, debilitating ailment that can be caused by almost anything. Most cases can be avoided by following good preventative medicine (PM) practices. Treatment in many cases is fluids only for 24 hours. If that does not work and no anti-diarrheal medication is available, grind chalk, charcoal, or dried bones into a powder. Mix one handful of powder with treated water and administer every 2 hours until diarrhea has slowed or stopped. adding equal parts of apple pomace or citrus rinds to this mixture makes it more effective. Tannic acid, which is found in tea , can also help control diarrhea. Prepare a strong solution of tea, if available, and administer 1 cup every 2 hours until diarrhea has slowed or stopped. The inner bark of hardwood trees also contains tannic acid. Boil the inner bark for 2 hours or more to release the tannic acid. The resultant black brew has a vile taste and smell but will stop most cases of diarrhea.
b. Worms and intestinal parasites. Infestations can usually be avoided by maintaining strict preventive medicine measures. For example, never go barefooted. The following home remedies appear to work or at least control the degree of infestation, but they are not without danger. Most work on the principle of changing the environment of the gastrointestinal tract.
(1) Salt water. Four tablespoons of salt in 1 quart of water. This should be taken on a one time basis only.
(2) Tobacco. Eat 1 to 1 1/2 cigarettes. The nicotine in the cigarette kills or stuns the worms long enough for them to be passed. If the infestation is severe, the treatment can be repeated in 24 to 48 hours, BUT NO SOONER
(3) Kerosene. Drink 2 tablespoons. Don't drink more. The treatment can be repeated in 24 to 48 hours but no sooner.
(4) Hot peppers. Put peppers in soups, rice, meat dishes or eat them raw. This treatment is not effective unless peppers are made a steady part of the diet.
c. Sore throats are common and usually can be taken care of by gargling with salt water. If the tongue is coated, scrape it off with a tooth brush, a clean stick, or even a clean fingernail; then gargle with warm salt water.
d. Skin infections.
(1) Fungal infections. Keep the area clean and dry, and expose to sunlight as much as possible.
(2) Heat rash. Keep the area clean, dry, and cool. If powder is available, use it on affected area.
(3) The rule of thumb for all skin diseases is: "if it is wet, dry it, and if it is dry, wet it."
e. Burns. Soak dressings or clean rags that have been boiled for 10 minutes in tannic acid (tea or inner bark of hardwood trees), cool and apply over the burns. this relieves the pain somewhat, seems to help speed healing, and offers some protection against infection.
f. Leeches and Ticks. Apply a lit cigarette or a flaming match to the back of the leach or tick, and it will drop off. Covering it with moistened tobacco, grease or oil will also make it drop off. Do not try to pull it off; part of the head may remain attached to the skin and cause an infection.
g. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings. Inspect the wound carefully and remove stinger if present. Apply baking soda, cold compress, mud or coconut meat to the area. Spider, scorpion, and centipede bites can be treated the same way.
h. Chiggers. Nail polish applied over the red spots will cut off the chigger's air supply and kill it. any variation of this, e.g., tree sap, will work.
22-3 MAGGOT THERAPY FOR WOUND DEBRIDEMENT
a. Introducing maggots into a wound can be hazardous because the wound must be exposed to flies. Flies, because of their filthy habits, are likely to introduce bacteria into the wound, causing additional complications. Maggots will also invade live healthy tissue when the dead tissue is gone or not readily available. Maggot invasion of healthy tissue causes extreme pain and hemorrhage, possibly enough to be fatal.
b. Despite the hazards involved , maggot therapy should be considered a viable alternative when, in the absence of antibiotics, a wound becomes severely infected, does not heal, and ordinary debridement is impossible.
(1) All bandages should be removed so that the wound is exposed to circulating flies. Flies are attracted to foul or fetid odors coming from the infected wound; they will not deposit eggs on fresh clean wounds.
(2) In order to limit further contamination of the wound by disease organisms carried by the flies, those flies attracted to the wound should not be permitted to light directly on the wound surface. Instead, their activity should be restricted to the intact skin surface along the edge of the wound. Live maggots deposited here and/or maggots hatching from eggs deposited here will find their way into the wound with less additional contamination than if the flies were allowed free access to the wound.
(3) One exposure to the flies is usually all that is necessary to ensure more than enough maggots for thorough debridement of a wound. Therefor, after the flies have deposited eggs the wound should be covered with a bandage.
(4) The bandage should be removed daily to check for maggots. If no maggots are observed in the wound within 2 days after exposure to the flies, the bandage should be removed and the wound should be re-exposed. if the wound is found to be teeming with maggots when the bandage is removed as many as possible should be removed using forceps or some other sterilized instrument or by flushing with sterile water. Only 50 - 100 maggots should remain in the wound.
(5) Once the maggots have become established in the wound, it should be covered with a bandage again, but the maggot activity should be monitored closely each day. A frothy fluid produced by the maggots will make it difficult to see them. This fluid should be "sponged out" of the wound with an absorbent cloth so that all of the maggots in the wound can be seen. Care should be taken not to remove the maggots with the fluid.
(6) The period of time necessary for maggot debridement of a wound depends on a number of factors, including the depth and extent of the wound, the part of the body affected, the number of maggots present in the wound, and the fly species involved. In a survival situation an individual will be able to control only one of these factors-- the number, and sometimes not even that; therefore the exact time to remove the maggots cannot be given in specific numbers of hours or days. However it can be said with certainty that the maggots should be removed immediately once they have removed all the dead tissue and before they have become established in healthy tissue. When the maggots begin feeding on normal healthy tissue, the individual will experience an increased level of pain at the site of the wound as the maggots come in contact with "live" nerves. Bright red blood in the wound also indicates that the maggots have reached healthy tissue.
(7) The maggots should be removed by flushing the wound repeatedly with sterile water. When all the maggots have been removed, the wound should be bandaged. To ensure that the wound is free of maggots, check it every four hours or more often for several days. Any remaining maggots should be removed with sterilized forceps or by flushing with sterile water.
(8) Once all of the maggots have been removed, bandage the wound and treat it as any other wound. It should heal normally provided there are no further complications.
The treatments discussed in this chapter are by no means all of the primitive treatments or home remedies available for use. Most people have their own home remedy for various problems. Some work, some don't. The ones presented here have been used and do work, although some can be dangerous. The lack of modern medicine does not rule out medical treatment. Common sense, determination to succeed, and advice from the natives in the area on primitive treatments can provide a solution to a medical problem. Just keep one thing in mind: "First I shall do no harm."
One question, figuring the proliferation of the MAK-90 and the SKS, I was surprised that the group used a $2200 HK-91 instead of the $200 (around here, at least) MAK. Anyway, thanks for a great novel, and I cant wait for the sequel.
That was based on my own experience. I helped forma small retreat group in the early 1980s. In those days, the only AKs on the market were illegal selective fire Vietnam dufflebag "bring-backs." There were very few SKS rifles on the market in those days--mainly Vietnam war trophies. They were $300 to $500 as I recall, and most were badly pitted. In contrast, HK-91s and M1As were under $1,000, (new in box), and fairly plentiful. In those days, the only other viable alternative were .223s (Ruger or Colt), or perhaps an anemic M1 Carbine. A few folks had FN/FALs. In those days, HKs were $800, while FNs were $2,000! Now, with the Century L1A1s on the market, it is the other way around. How times change...
This list wouldn't be complete without a "flame". Here is one of the most vitriolic flames that I've seen posted to the net...
Subject: Re: Survivalist shareware novel on www
Basically, this is a "survivalist" wet dream of a novel. The good people all go to Idaho, to create a perfect society, and everyone else dies (i.e., goes away and doesn't bother them).
The group sets up their retreat in Idaho, despite living in Chicago, even though one of the things they were worried about was a nuclear war. Either they assumed 48 hours of warning, good enough to drop their lives (and jobs), but not good enough so that anyone else in Chicago would do anything, or they didn't mind a very long trip through the Minuteman missle (sic) fields and fallout zone. It's definitely trendy.
The scenario was the classic 1980's hyperinflation. If the Federal Reserve has proven anything in the last 17 years, it's that fighting inflation is their first priority, and nothing else is second. What is more likely is a slow-motion depression (affecting the bottome (sic) two-thirds of society), and the political problems resulting from that (like a national socialist party, and a 'populist' dictatorship, or at least massive civil disorder (every splinter group having it's own militia, and using it).
It indulges in a trend of novels, in that the protagonists have vast resources at their disposal, while the bad guys have less (a bunker, three years of food, and about 90-odd percent of the equipment they wanted qualitifes (sic) as vast resources). Frankly, you could drop any pre-existing social group of a dozen people in this situation, given them written instructions and the books they had, and most of them would have survived (which is good policy, having as much of a material edge as possible, but lousy fiction).
None of the evil commie/mutant/biker/queer/cannibal/looters have enough brains to blow their noses with. And this is even after a couple of years. By that point, most bandits left would be competant (sic), because all of the easy targets would have been hit (repeatedly).
The real laugh was when the 'Great Satan' himself (the UN NWO/ZOG) shows up. Two guys - but they have pistols! At least give your protagonists something that has a one out of a thousand chance of menacing them.
The joke is that the author set things up for a second novel - if 96% of the population east of the Mississippi was dead (sic), that would set off a world-wide land rush to resttle (sic) the area. After ten-twenty years (sic), you would have a different society there, which would have absolutely no ties to the area west of the Mississippi - good potential for conflict.
And a more typical nice one....
Just writing to see how the novel on the net was doing for you...
I just wanted to let you know that your novel is what prompted me to start a new, close group of friends in a "disaster preparedness group" here in XXXXX County which is much closer and stronger than anything I have been a part of before.
The novel also has been very instrumental in changing some of the directions of my preparing for any "crunches" that may occur. I understand that it is just fiction, but nevertheless it pointed out some things that I had not thought about, and I've thought and prepared for "survival" for a few years.
It also was a motivating factor for my purchasing an HK-91. Until now, my "biggest" gun was a Mini-14. I had been looking for something that could "reach out" to three hundred or more yards and knock the socks off of what I was shooting at and I knew that Mini was good for only about 100 of those yards. I went with the HK because it will work with some of the stuff I have for my HK-94 (like the ARMS mount, laser), its reputation, and a little bit because another member of my new group has an SAR-8 or whatever and parts will swap.
Additional nitro-packed food and spare parts for my primary weapons are on my June purchase list. Six months ago neither would have been on my list.
I guess the main purpose of this letter is to thank you for posting the book on the net and letting you know it was a real motivator (in addition to the tornado that struck the area and witnessing the chaos and looting that ensued).
And another, with a doubtful tone...
...Question: Did you ever total up how much money was spent by the characters in the book? Not counting the cost of the house and land, they must have spent in the tens of thousands, which few people could afford.
Your scenario is an ideal arrangement that few could afford or accomplish.
Once again, thanks.
And a few more typical letters...
First rate fiction! I enjoyed it a great deal. What would you say, "I couldn't log out!", :-)
Your description of the people and the exact equipment they used added a great deal of realism to the work, it helped a lot! You have obviously done your homework.
I found the work to be quite scary because of the plausibility of the whole situation. It really gets one thinking!
Dear Mr. James Rawles,
I wanted to drop a note telling you how much I enjoyed reading your novel The Gray Nineties on-line. I can't begin to enumerate the things I learned from your book. I felt humbled at the end of each chapter, knowing how many things I had overlooked in my personal "survival scenarios." If the economic collapse that you described were to have occurred before I read your book, I would have been doomed. The book has definitely provided me with much useful information that will greatly increase my chance of success. The Group had one of the best thought-out survival plans that I have ever heard or read about--even with the few items that the group had forgotten (hindsight is 20-20.)
Enclosed is the shareware payment for your novel. I did not feel right about sending only $5, so I am sending $10 instead--that is how much I enjoyed your book...
Dear Mr. Rawles,
I just finished reading your shareware novel, "The Gray Nineties" and I enjoyed it very much. I am enclosing $5.00. I know that you requested FRNs, however, I imagine that you will accept 5 real gold dollars. You will find enclosed a 1/10 oz. Gold Eagle...
I really enjoyed your "shareware" novel on the Internet. I discovered it Sunday night from a posting somebody did in rec.guns and I couldn't put it down, so to speak. I finished about half of it by the time for work today and couldn't stop thinking about it all day.
You obviously are a survivalist. I'd just kill to be in a group only 10% as cohesive and dedicated as the fictional one in this novel. Unfortunately, here in central Illinois, people for the most part don't want to think that civil unrest and disorder is possible. (Even my woman looks at me really strangely when I open "another" case of MREs from the UPS man.)
I guess though we all have to make do with what we have. At least I have a few friends that don't totally have their head in the sand on this kind of thing....
Dear Mr. Rawles,
I truly enjoyed your book. Enclosed it the $5.00 you requested. The only suggestion that I would make would be to set up your web page so you could download the entire book with one click instead of multiple ones. Other than that, I found it fascinating. I stayed up until 0130 to finish it...
...It was interesting to read about you. I would guess that you are a practicing survivalist. There aren't too many of us that are practicing. Everyone that I meet that claims to be a survivalist is more interested in expanding their gun collection and in being a Rambo wannnabe than in actually preparing. Sure, they may have 10,000 rounds of ammo but they have minimal food, no medicine, no commo, no tools, and no skills outside their guns. Then they stare at me incredulously when they discover the size of my garden, the goats and rabbits, and the distance I drive to work every day. I would much rather talk about welding and butchering hogs than the ballistic capabilities of the latest 40 caliber Glock. And its not that I don't like guns, I do. I like them a lot, buy there is a lot more to surviving a stormy future than hot lead. As you have probably figured out, I haven't found or established a group around here, and am frustrated by it. I will be leaving North Carolina and the Army this summer, and I plan to move to a better place, survival wise...
I am enclosing $5.00 for the payment for your book entitled The Gray Nineties. Thank you for the knowledge that I gained from the book. I have just started (in the last 6 months) to get in the "survivor's mindset," and am very happy that I have. About a month ago we had a hurricane come through South Alabama. The area around here was without power for about a week, and the "authorities" cold not even get back here to us, since they had so much else to do. By the time they did, they found my house, my in-laws house, and a friends house all running off a make-shift power system (supplied by my generator), and that we had cleared all the roads around us of trees. The power guys knocked on the door where we were watching TV and eating some supper, and said, thinking they were our saviors, "We don't mean to disturb you folks, but we are here to restore your power." I just laughed!!
Once again thanks,
From the Usenet newsgroup misc.survivalism:
I've been following the goings on here at misc.survivalism for some time now and I have not seen a direct discussion of the merits of total isolation vs community involvement in the event of a crisis.
Despite my reticence there are those among my circle of acquaintances and friends who know that I'm one of those guys who prepares for the worst. I have, as I'm sure some of you have as well, had someone say "I'm heading over to your place if the big one hits". I usually laugh politely and change the subject, but I have no doubt that at least one of them would do just that. If everything goes as I plan I won't be there when they come knocking, but since when does anything go as planned?
I am by no means advocating throwing open the doors and letting every starving refugee into my home to feast upon my hard-won stores but what I am wondering is this: what are the "rules" governing isolation vs involvement? Where do you draw the line between common decency and total survival? Does it make better sense to get involved early on to rally your community in the event of a disaster to better your overall chances or is this all just a bunch of sentimental BS that will only serve to get me in killed when people's true natures are revealed after the veneer of civilization is stripped away?
Every survivalist should PLAN on a half dozen extra ill-prepared friends or relations showing up on their doorsteps when the Schumer hits the fan. It is just human nature for them to head "down the road to the piggy who built his house of brick..." That means stocking up on EXTRA bulk grains, beans, rice, and honey for them, not just your own family. Even after price increases due to the crop failure last year, bulk hard red winter wheat is still under $17 a hundred weight. With a price that low, you have no excuse for not having several hundred pounds on hand. Deciding which folks to shelter semi-permanently, and which to just re-supply and send on their way is one of the great imponderables. I recommend at least stocking up extra supplies so that you will have the OPTION of taking someone in. If all you have is the bare minimum to supply your own family or retreat group, you won't be in any position to dispense charity.
Those same relations that arrive without any food will probably need bedding and toiletries. Stock up. And as long as those folks are there, they should be expected to work. That means extra gardening tools and lots of heavy leather work gloves in various sizes. They can also at the very minimum be extra "eyes and ears" for security. Buy a couple of extra rifles with all the normal accoutrements for them, too. (Full sets of web gear, extra magazines, plenty of ammo, and cleaning kits for each gun.)
In a localized natural disaster, I recommend maximum community involvement from the outset and dispensing as much charity as possible. In that sort of scenario, there is almost full assurance that order will be restored within a few weeks and that you will have the opportunity to replenish your supplies. In a more severe and widespread scenario, I recommend keeping a very low profile in the first few months, until the riots die down and the inevitable roving bands get thinned out. Dispense charity as much as possible, but with the understanding that you'll have NO way of knowing how long the disruption will last, and that it may be YEARS before a functioning regional economy will develop to the point where you can barter to restock your bulk food supplies. But again, as supplies permit, give generously. This was the philosophy that I tried to impart in my Internet shareware novel.
The bottom line is that only those with deep larders will have the time available to restore the local government infrastructure. Nearly everyone else will be too busy worrying about where they are going to find their next meal. As a well prepared survivalist, you should consider it your duty to step forward and restore constitutional law and order when the time is right. If you don't, the local thugs will fill the power vacuum with their own brand of "justice."
Another Usenet posting:
Hello all this is first time posting to this newsgroup so,be please kind.I was wondering where you all thought the best place to have a retreat is and why.I was thinking up in Alsaka since it woudnt be to out of ordinary to have a lot of supplies and since theres lots of area there.Any and all opinions welcomed
My humble recommendations:
1.) Refer first to the "the lights of the United States at night" composite satellite imagery photos. A picture is worth a thousand words. This is a great starting point in researching potential retreat locales.
For the entire US (with state border overlay) see: http://www.darksky.org/ida/graphics/usa_borders.jpg
For a directory of night photos of individual States see: http://www.darksky.org/ida/states.html
For the upper midwest, see:
For Europe, see:
For the eastern US see:
These composite photos make it abundantly clear that the population density is MUCH higher east of the Mississippi. So... I'd strongly advise concentrating your search west of the Mississippi. Fewer people = fewer riots/looting/social unrest. Look for the areas where the lights aren't much bigger than pinheads, and where there are no big blobs of light (metro areas) anywhere nearby.
2.) Once you've correlated poulation density, look at climate and annual precipitation. Avoid high elevations where growing seasons are short and where you have to cut a lot of firewood. Avoid low precipitation areas that are dependent on electrically pumped irrigation water. Once the power grid goes down, those areas will be SOL.
3.) This leaves only a few "dryland farming" regions in the western States. The ones that I prefer are:
The southern Willamette Valley--although it is getting overpopulated.
The Rogue River Valley. (Mel Tappan's top choice)
The Grande Ronde Valley
The Palouse Hills region (SE of Spokane)
The Dayton/Dixie area and lowlands surrounding the Blue Mountains (SE Washington)
The Palouse Hills (Potlach to Genesee)
The Camas Prarie
The Weippe Prarie
The Clearwater River Valley
4.) Lastly, look at taxes and government regulations.
I have a couple of questions for you. In the latest issue of American Survival Guide they had a short article on a kevlar flak vest made in Canada. They stated that it was like the American PASGT armor. This jacket retails for $199. Would this be worth getting and would it perform the duties of a bulletproof vest?...
Most of the military vests are on the thin side, being primarily designed to stop shrapnel, NOT bullets. Most of the military issue vests would barely rate Class IIA.( Which is lower than Class II, if you aren't familiar with the rating system.) I do NOT recommend them. About their only advantage is that some have a collar, which provides better neck protection than typical law enforcement (concealment) vests. IMHO, you are better off buying a law enforcement trade-in vest, Class II or higher. Used Class IIs start at around $200, as I recall.
I bought a pair of slightly used Class II vests, with one of them slightly larger than the other, plus a steel trauma plate. It cost less than buying a new Class III vest, and they are more versatile than a single heavy-weight vest. I wear either of them alone for concealment, or I can wear *both* plus the plate in between when the Schumer really hits the fan.
You might contact T. Allen Hoover, of Hoover Police Supply in Boise, Idaho. Info: 1(208) 376-9595. Orders only: 1(800) NU-VESTS. (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) Mr. Hoover specializes in selling very low mileage used vests at very competitive prices. Many of his vests are purchased from police academy wash-outs. These have typically been worn less than 100 hours each.
Feel free to mention my name when you contact him.
I finally got around to reading 000, and still think the "cause" needs some work, but the additions were pretty good. However, I had a "practical" question: where would be the best/cheapest source for iron oxide and powdered aluminum?
First, the Al part of the equation:
You can contact one manufacturer directly:
Crescent Bronze Powder Co.
3400 North Avondale
Chicago, Illinois 60618
Specify: Creslite #242 Aluminum Bronzing Powder, Coarse Brille
In 1994 it sold for $8.25/lb.
It is best to order on do-it-yourself (computer generated) letterhead from the "XYZ Bronzing Works" , or somesuch. (Aluminum powder is commonly used for bronzing.)
Now for the Fe side of the equation:
Black iron oxide powder can be special ordered through any paint shop. Just make sure that you order "natural" rather than synthetic. Tell them that you want to tint some concrete for that artistic look...
Two of the main brands are Harcross and Pfizer. It comes in 50 pound sacks.
One good source:
2450 8th Avenue South
Seattle, Washington 98134
ph. (206) 682-4425
It sold for $1.40 a pound in 1994.
Warning: Use extreme caution when doing chemistry experiments, especially with orgothermic reactions!
And another from Usenet:
Following this group for a few weeks is the best way to answer that question; you will figure it out before too long. Also, check out misc.survivalism; while less intense, that group will help you deal with the issue of what to do about what you learn here.
To get up to speed more quickly, download and read the on-line novel 'Triple Ought' by John Wesley, Rawles which can be found at:
I take it that Mr. Rawles is possible Christian Identity type since you have rendered his name in the fashion that many of them, as well as common law court types do.
First, a minor correction: My Christian appellation is James Wesley. (Not "John Wesley")
I am most emphatically not a "Christian Identity type." If you read my survivalist/militia novel, you will find that it is distinctly anti-racist and pro-religious tolerance.
In reading it, you will see that one of the main characters in the novel is Jewish, while another is an agnostic. There are also black, oriental, and Hispanic characters included. Most of these characters are fictionalized portrayals of my friends--who indeed come from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. None of the minority characters are portrayed in any way showing their race in any deleterious light. If you want to look for negative stereotypes, then perhaps you will find it in my portrayal of the western European "peace keepers" who show up in the last third of the novel.
To clarify why I have chosen to present my Christian appellation with the controversial comma: It is a long standing precept of law that one's name is one's property. (This explains why you can sue for libel or slander, even under the common law. Damaging a man's name damages his property.) It is noteworthy that not all of a "name" is your own. Your Christian or "given" appellation (in my case James Wesley) is your sole property. Your family name (in my case Rawles) is the common property of all those who share the lineage. I insert the comma only to distinguish the former from the latter. Please don't assume that every time you see someone insert a comma that they are "Christian Identity types" or "common law court types"!
I am not a member of a common law court. I have indeed done extensive research on the Common Law and in particular its relationship to the current day colorable "statutory" jurisdiction. I strongly support the development of jural societies and similar *study groups* for Citizens to learn more about the Constitution, the Common Law, the Biblical underpinnings of our legal system, and the law in general. I also support the fully informed jury (FIJA) movement and the concept of jury nullification, when appropriate. However, I do NOT support the development of any rogue courts that meet in private. Our Constitutional republican form of government dictates publicly elected officials holding open public court meetings, NOT star chambers handing down in absentia multi-million dollar liens and death sentences. While I do see some very serious problems with our current federal government, I hold out great hope for the political process and our legally constituted court system.
I am in no way ashamed of my religious affiliation. I am a member of the Covenant Reformed Church of Grass Valley, (See: http://www.nccn.net/~crcgv/ ) which is part of the Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS). (See: www.geocities.com/heartland/1136/rcus.html ) It is a traditional Reformed church.
The RCUS doctrine confirms the biblical concepts of God's absolute sovereignty, predestination, and election. However, the RCUS view (as well as my view) of election is that God's covenant people were chosen from all races--not just white so-called "aryans" that Pete Peters and the wayward Christian Identity crowd talk about. The RCUS is NOT a racist, racialist, white supremacist or separatist church! We have active missionary programs throughout the world, most notably in Africa, Central Europe, Mexico, Pakistan, and South Korea. (See the web site at: http://www.nccn.net/~wbminc/ )
We believe the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of the living God. As such it is our final standard for all our teaching. By mutual consent we have also adopted as subordinate standards three great creeds of the Reformation: The Heidelberg Catechism, The Belgic Confession of Faith, and The Canons of Dort. (All three of these creeds are available in HTML at the RCUS home page.) While not the inspired word of God, we believe these creeds to be the most accurate expressions of Biblical Christianity ever produced. Each of the RCUS ministers is required to subscribe to their teachings without reservation.
If you are interested in finding out what it means to be a Reformed Christian, see: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/1136/why.html
Sorry for the lengthy detail on the RCUS, but it bothered me (via the old guilt-through-association) to be publicly whitewashed as member of some shamefully doctrinally astray racist cult. I felt that it was essential to correct the false assumption that was presented on the net. Such derogatory assumptions could potentially grow into something libelous. It is best to nip them in the bud.
Here is a more recent letter sent to my wife, and her reply:
My husband bought four AR-15 magazines from your mail-order
company (Clearwater Trading Company) and I was upset at him
at first. The magazines do look excellent and after looking at some
not-so nice used ones at a gun show, I agree he made a good purchase.
But I still feel he has enough weapons. Now he wants to start stockpiling
ammunition (.22, .223 and .308) for our use and for barter. Also food
and medical supplies. Is there no end to it?
I know how you feel! To be well prepared, there is basically no end to purchasing. I came to the conclusion that it was Jim's responsibility to prepare for our family. I go along with it mainly to humor him. Jim's preparedness/self-sufficiency thing is at times excessive, but still I go along with it. It has given me the excuse to learn how to spin and weave, and how to make soap, for instance. When I want to buy another sheep, some Angora rabbits, a Jersey cow, Jim rarely argues because he sees the value in knowing how to raise our own food and make our own clothes. When I need an accessory for my spinning wheel, he always agrees. (He's not the only one that needs "accessories"! ;-) We are so fortunate that our hobbies dovetail so well.
By and large, I think of preparedness as his hobby. He isn't into sports or golf, or other common pursuits. His hobby is stocking up for the bad times. Even if there is never a major crisis, bulk purchasing make sense. By buying in bulk, you can buy at much better prices than buying small quantities. As long as you keep in mind the storage life of various items, and how much room they will take up, there is no downside. We have actually saved a lot of money over the years, because we've sheltered ourselves from the effects of inflation in many instances.
Just one "for instance": We waited for a big sale, and bought over 100 light bulbs three years ago. It will take us several years to use them all up. AND, when we need a light bulb, we know that we always have one of the correct wattage on hand. So this saves on making extra trips to the store. Light bulbs are now much more expensive than they were three years ago.
I'd recommend reading a book called "The Alpha Strategy", written by a man named Pugsley. It has been out of print since the 1970s, but since it was a best seller for a while, most libraries should have it, or at least be able to get it on inter-library loan. Stockpiling makes *some* sense in times of low inflation (because of economies of scale) , but if inflation ever ratchets up into double digits again (like in the 1970s) it would then make a LOT of sense.
As for magazines, how many you need depends on the situation that you anticipate. Just keep in mind that they are the most fragile part of a gun, and they can get bent, worn out, or lost. So a dozen for an AR-15 is NOT out of line. In recent years, the U.S. government has banned manufacture of any NEW magazines over 10 round capacity for the civilian market. By artificially limiting supply like this, the value of most magazines is expected to go up steadily in coming years. As Jim says, "Think of it as in investment!"
A few years back, Jim bought about 15 extra magazines (5, 10, and 20 round) for my Valmet Hunter .308 semi-auto deer rifle. (Jim's idea of a thoughtful gift is a nice rifle!) I thought that he was nuts for paying between $25 and $50 each magazine. And I certainly didn't think I needed more than a dozen! But with the ban, their price has gone up to $175 to $200 EACH! I sold just three spares and had $450 to buy a table loom and a wool drum carder ! :-)
One area that Jim has gone totally overboard on is ammunition! We have something like 120,000 rounds, all stocked away in military ammo cans. We can NEVER shoot up that much ammunition. However, since it is properly stored, it will last many decades. So it is a lifetime supply for us *and* our kids. And like most other things, with gradual inflation, it isn't ever going DOWN in price.
As for the dozens of other items your husband will want to buy (such as radio gear, medical gear, camping equipment, et cetera):
A. Be glad that he isn't blowing the money on booze, cigarettes, or a power boat. When I see all the money people pay for sins and toys, I thank the Lord that Jim is buying us *useful* things.
B. If things ever do get REALLY bad, you can thank God for his providence.
C. Your husband will sleep better knowing that you are well prepared. My husband is a lot easier to live with when he feels well prepared and supplied. Stock market crash? Dollar devaluated? He doesn't care! Our money is all in *tangibles*.
God Bless you and your family.
P.S.: This has been Jim's passion since he was a teenager. He has had almost 20 years to collect all the tools and supplies he has. There is no way we could afford to purchase all this stuff in just a few years!