Survival Retreat vs. Neighborhood Survival — Part Deux – Galt’s Gulch vs. Idiocracy, by E.B.

This is a response to a previous article written by the esteemed Dr. Richard of the Virginia Prepper’s Network. Dr. Richard and I agree completely on a great many issues but disagree on the issue of the Survival Retreat vs. Neighborhood Survival. Here are my thoughts on the issue:

Dr. Richard makes some good points with respect to the desirability of an informed and prepared neighborhood, but in the end it all depends on your particular neighborhood and neighbors. Because I saw the collapse coming in 2005 I sold my home in Northern Virginia at what the Washington Post called the absolute peak of the market and put the proceeds into physical gold and silver when gold was trading around ~$400 an ounce and silver at ~$7. BTW, the guy who bought my home tried to sell it less than a year later for significantly less and could find no buyers. My goal was to move to low cost Austin, Texas where I could be near my dad’s ranch which I could then get prepped to survive the coming economic collapse. Unfortunately my wife thought I had gone completely insane which along with other disagreements on the health of our children (She believes in vaccination, sugar, aspartame, fluoride and AMA monopoly medicine and I don’t) led to a divorce. Now I rent a single family home to be near my ex-wife and kids where I can spirit them to safety when the SHTF. While I have never been to Dr. Richard’s neighborhood the detailed description (cul de sac, all single family homes on relatively large lots, high income/ high IQ neighbors in a development of less than 400 homes in a somewhat rural area) sounds infinitely more survivable than mine.

My situation is much different. My neighborhood is a mix of single family homes and townhouses with a much greater density than Dr. Richard describes. The neighborhood is lower income / lower IQ as well. There is an apartment complex about a mile away and I once found a cocaine baggie in the parking lot while jogging through it one day. Unfortunately because I am so busy I haven’t met as many of my neighbors as I would like and the ones that I have met are essentially completely clueless to the realities of the world. My neighbor with the most raw intellectual horsepower is a software architect in IP security but he still hasn’t figured out that fire can’t melt structural steel and giggled when I tried to explain the realities of 9-11. He is morbidly obese, addicted to sugar and nicotine, and completely unarmed. Not exactly the guy you want to have your back fending off looters and brigands. My second smartest neighbor is an engineer for an IP hosting company. I spent 30 minutes one day taking him through the physics of WTC 7 and how 47 story modern steel framed skyscrapers don’t collapse completely and symmetrically into their own footprints at freefall speed defying the laws of physics. I thought I saw a glimmer of understanding but I never heard back from him. I am assuming he went back to the TeeVee set. When I jog through the neighborhood at night the street is lit up with the glow of flat screen mental prisons.

Anyone that has ever unplugged someone from the matrix understands how difficult and time consuming it can be to educate and free a single mind. I have a good friend who is an entrepreneur/small business owner and has held VP level positions at international networking companies. I have been working on him for years and even after his son had a febrile seizure 24 hours after getting vaccinated he is mad at me for trying to warn him and continues to see the same doctor that potentially crippled his son. My ex-wife has P.hD and I can’t get her to stop giving our kids fluoridated water even though the practice is opposed by 14 Nobel Laureates, 2,100+ health professionals, and the EPA’s own scientists through their union. If I can’t convince my own ex-wife to quit giving her kids water “medicated” with a chemical used as rat and roach poison which has been linked to lower IQ in 23 peer reviewed studies from around the globe then how I am going to educate and convince dozens/hundreds of acquaintances and strangers on the realities of the world.

So, since neighborhood survival is not an option for me then creating a survival retreat with a self-selected group of individuals is my #1 strategy for survival in an economic collapse. Compare some of the qualities and skill sets of our group and those we are speaking with vs. the TeeVee bums in my neighborhood.
• A general contractor who is a firefighter / EMT in his community with skills in general carpentry (framing, form, and trim), basic electrical, plumbing, HVAC, masonry, roofing, and siding. Skilled in basic small engine repair, hand tools, and appliances. He is taking classes in sustainable agriculture and automotive repair.
• A retired naval Commander (helicopter pilot) with special operation experience that has been working on his retreat for years.
• A world class software and information security architect.
• A C-level executive and former military intelligence officer.

All are completely aware, completely awake, completely armed, with good to excellent preps and are already in high gear improving their skills and doing what it takes to get ready for the coming collapse.
Now add the advantages that a remote survival retreat offers over attempting to survive in an area populated with completely clueless starving TeeVee bums.
• Security – Hidden from looters and brigands who would be more than willing to kill for your stored food and supplies.
• Rural Location – Self-sufficient agriculturally with farmers, dairymen, and cattle ranchers. Plentiful wild game and plentiful wild edible plants.
• Self-selected compatriots – Honest, trustworthy companions that are completely prepped for the collapse and have a diverse blend of excellent skills to weather the storm.
• Designed for a collapse – Wood stove, solar power, well water, fruit trees already planted, etc.

So while I wish Dr. Richard the best of luck I am headed to Galt’s Gulch with other members of the intelligentsia. It doesn’t mean that I am not willing and/or trying to help my neighbors, in fact I am having a large number of them over next week to try to explain the realities of the coming collapse but at the end of the day I must protect my family and myself and a self-selected group of intelligent people awake to the realities of the world secure in a remote retreat represents the best odds of survival.

Even if you are going to bug out here are some tips to help the folks who must prepare for themselves:
Educate, Educate, Educate – Give DVDs, send links to web sites like this, Virginia Prepper’s Network, SurvivalBlog,,, and When you pass along DVDs specify that the recipient must pass it along to someone else and specify that the next recipient must pass it along as well.
Share your Bounty and Improve Your Own Chances – I am sharing some of my storable food with a neighbor with the caveat that we would share when the SHTF. If I successfully bug out then they keep all the food for themselves. If I am trapped in the neighborhood then I have improved my chances for survival with diverse food stores.
Arm Them With Knowledge – Take your neighbor to the Appleseed Project and turn a rifle owner into a Rifleman.
Plant an oversize or community garden – Share the costs of sod, seeds, and the rental of a tiller.
Store Extra Preps for Friends and Charity – I have stored extra food for charity and even stored items like diapers and wipes for a low income couple who live in my neighborhood. I have cached food, money, and silver for the employees of my business as well in a location they can access in an emergency.