Episode-1242- James Wesley Rawles on Survivalism

James Rawles of SurvivalBlog.com

James Rawles of SurvivalBlog.com

James Wesley Rawles is a former U.S. Army intelligence officer and survivalist, and a well-known survival lecturer and author. Rawles is the editor of SurvivalBlog.com one of the nation’s most popular blog on family preparedness.

He lives in an undisclosed location west of the Rockies and is the author of the bestselling Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse, Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse, Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse, and a nonfiction survival guide, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It.

James joins us today to discuss Expatriates, he latest book that was published on October 1st. Today we will discuss James’ latest book and his personal view on survivalism and how that inspires the fiction that he writes and why he plans to continue to write but fictional novels and hard fact based guides as well.

I will also be asking James Questions Today Such as…

  • What do you see as the three most likely disasters that America faces
  • Why did you start writing novels before you wrote any survival manuals
  • What is the highest priority for family preparedness
  • What do you mean by well-balanced preparedness
  • What are the primary components to well-balanced preparedness
  • What are some the things that are most often overlooked by preppers
  • What segment of society might be hardest hit in a collapse
  • Is a US breakup during a collapse likely or at least possible
  • Will there be a 5th book in the “Coming Collapse” series

Resources for today’s show…

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98 Responses to Episode-1242- James Wesley Rawles on Survivalism

  1. Another interesting bit of history for episode 1242. In 1242, the Bear Inn opens in Oxford, England and still serves up pints today.

  2. Great show Jack! Thanks for asking Mr Rawles my quesion about his 5th book. Also, you mentioned the audio books. They are great, have helped me through some long midnight shifts at work!

  3. Duncan MacDuff

    Jack,
    Great show.
    In the comments for Episode 1157 I suggested that there might be a seventh virtue of liberty. In this show you and Mr. Rawles talk very clearly about it: Community.

    Seven Virtues of Liberty
    1. Honor
    2. Courage
    3. Strength
    4. Knowledge
    5. Vigilance
    6. Sovereignty
    7. Community

    “Human beings require other human beings, to simply be human. If you didn’t have other human beings you wouldn’t know how to speak, you wouldn’t know language, you wouldn’t know how to eat, you wouldn’t know how to feed yourself. To be a human, we require other humans, and the system has worked as hard as possible to create as much separation in each other and leave just enough connection to other people so that we can still function as damaged mentally ill human beings; so that we serve the system vs. the system serving us.”
    – Jack Spirko – The Survival Podcast – Episode 938 00:24:00

    Episode 260 12 Permaculture Design Principles and Alternative Views of Them…
    8. Integrate Rather than Segregate – or -Understand the Power of Teams

    “A GROUP OF PEOPLE TOGETHER CAN DO FAR MORE THAN THEY CAN DO AS A GROUP OF INDIVIDULES APART FROM EACH OTHER”
    – Jack Spirko – The Survival Podcast – Episode 260 00:40:00

    Best,
    Duncan

    • Modern Survival

      Community isn’t a virtue it is a concept.

    • Personally I would say a strong community grows as a consequence of the first 6 but I don’t think it diminishes its importance at all.

      Its second order good shit!

    • Duncan MacDuff

      Jack,
      Ok, I am wrong, it is not a virtue.
      I still say that there is a seventh virtue of liberty, I just need to keep looking.
      Keep up the good work.
      Best,
      Duncan

  4. Haha!

    Been waitin for this one for a while!

    Great episode!

  5. I’ve read some of his work. Mostly he comes off as if your not Christian you won’t survive. I also used to follow his blog. At times he seems slightly unstable. I am not one of those the sky is gonna fall type of people but I think you should be prepared for things life tosses at you.

    • Richard Morgan

      I would say that Mr. Rawles is a man devoted to his faith and that is the lense that he views the collapse through. While I dont think he means that only Christians will survive, but that through the virtues of caring for your fellow man and being your brothers keeper that it will be an less horrible time during a collapse. This taps into what Jack says in that community will be a force multiplier for survival in a collapse. Those that go it alone or without regard for their neighbors will have a lesser chance of survival. While Jack approaches it from a deist/agnostic view of community and charity, JWR looks at it from teh above mentioned view of christian charity. Same destination, but different roads.

      • I have no issues helping others. I plant various fruit, nut and berry plants around my area. I help neighbors with things as I can. It shouldn’t be a
        Religious thing.

        The devoutly religious people in my area are the most untrust worthy people on the planet. They will lie and cheat every path possible. I know of a youth pastor who instigated bullying, I know of a reverend that sells drugs and fences stolen property. Going on a global scale the former pope stepped down because it came out that he supported and assisted the maneuvering of priests so they wouldn’t have to face the consequences of child molestation.

        Personally I think religion is one of the biggest issues with our society to many people use it as another tool to look down on others. If we all attempted to treat each other with respect and dignity and left it at that we’d all be better off.

        The most moral person I know is an atheist he helps with many different groups mostly the homeless. And no 2000 year old myths mean nothing to him he’s a good person not for fear of an after life but instead because he feels that’s what is proper to do.

      • Modern Survival

        @Richard, do me a favor, don’t speak for me as to my faith unless you are going to get it right. Agnostic and Deist are not the same thing, not even close. It is actually a bit offensive as a Deist to be called an agnostic.

        • Modern Survival

          Those who dislike the comment above, I have a question for you.

          If you were a Christian and I said you came at life from a Muslim/Christian point of view would you find that offensive?

          In many ways being told that being a Deist is like being an agnostic is WORSE. At lease Muslims and Christians believe in God, the same one for that matter. This is true right?

          Well my friends an agnostic believes there could be a God but probably isn’t. If so God doesn’t matter, he is irrelevant to his creation.

          A Deist believes in God, period, one can’t be a Deist without that, it is the very definition, one that believes in a deity that created all things.

          So my friends of another faith, let me ask you would having your belief in God called the same as thinking God may or may not exist by someone speaking for you offend you?

          Hell you can tell me I am wrong, I am not offended. You can tell me you think I will end up in hell I am not offended. But brother if you are going to speak on my behalf, you better know my faith and not pretend to.

          Frankly I would prefer that you simply not speak for me, I am pretty good at doing it myself.

      • Richard, sorry for the down vote. I was meaning to down vote Willie’s ignorant hate-filled anti-religious diatribe that veered horribly off-topic.

        • I’m not hate filled nor completely anti religion. But I do look harder at trusting a lot of religious folks because of the ones I’ve had experience with.

          One of my good friends is a priest and I help a couple of the churches in my community when they need extra grunt help that their church goers won’t dirty their hands with like cleaning up limbs and such.

          And I said I speak from my own personal experience I was the one the youth pastor told his little bible thumpers that they should hunt down and teach me a lesson. The one who sells drugs is a cousin of my brother in law been to jail for it 5 or 6 times. A guy I went to school with is KKK and uses it as part of his whole I’m in the right. The people I know who are devoutly religious in general are not the people I will even associate with much less congregate with.

          But I don’t hold it against people on a personal level I just keep more an eye on them.

          The comment I made that it seems people didn’t like was that I stopped reading Rawles after a couple books and a couple years following his blog and he kept getting more and more into the whole if you don’t believe what I believe your gonna die.

      • And it’s not the same road JWR pretty well says it every chance he gets that if you don’t follow his faith your not trust worthy and implies in several places that you are inferior.

        Where should you draw the line on being a Christian. I’ve read the old and new testaments it says many times you should help and teach those who don’t follow your faith and at no point does it say anyone who doesn’t believe in the Same is inferior those words come from the Quran.

        If you truly follow the examples of Christ then you should
        Help and love others
        Abstain from worldly wealth in exchange for wealth in the after
        At all times should you act as a beacon of morals and never look down on another or judge them for their choices
        And anyone who would act against you should be treated as a beloved brother

        In all my years of dealing with various flavored of Christian I’ve only met one or 2 people who meet the above. One of which is an Athiest. The next closest is a Muslim who openly gave to anyone who needed it no matter their religion.

        How many of you can say you meet the above. If you want I’ll find the scripture numbers to show you thay infact it does say the above. But if your really a Christian you’ve read the bible for yourself one or three times.

        • I’m guessing the dislikes are because you can’t refute the statements and are mad because an athiest knows your religion well enough to know why hypocrites annoy him.

        • willie, you’re cherry picking. You left out many fine, fine Christians who do the sort of things to help others you talk about. Fr. Damian and the lepers, Mother Theresa in Inda, to name just two, and I’m sure there are plenty of protestants also. So you find that most Christians are sinners. You are wrong we all are. And so is everybody else. Do you know any atheists who hurt people instead of help them? Of course, you do. And they, like you and me, and everybody else, Christians included, need a savior. By the way, charity is necessary but so is sexual morality and public worship. Good luck on your journey my friend, and may it all end well for you.

        • Should have proof read. I mean to say we are all sinners, all of us, and in need of a savior. To set up an absolute standard of perfection is a straw man fallacy. You must ask, what were they like before they became Christians, are they improving, are they trying to improve, and again charity is a very necessary part (do you know what their other obligations are, or if they prefer to their charity without public display?) but so are sexual morality, public worship and many other things that go into the Christian life. Speaking of being judgmental, aren’t you a little guilty of that yourself? It’s an easy habit to fall into and that’s why Christ warns us against it. Try doing the whole Christian package before you criticize those who profess. It’s not easy. Again, all the best to you.

        • Modern Survival

          Hey man, speak for yourself. I am in no need of a Savior. I respect your belief but please don’t try to tell others what we need.

        • Everyone sans the former pope was someone I’ve dealt with personally. And I brought that up because I knew of a couple that where affected…

          I don’t ask for perfection people got on me because I said I didn’t care for Rawles because he pushed hate against those who don’t believe like him. To me that’s not even attempting to live up to the standards you claim to hold dear.

          I do my best to be a decent guy and let’s say you follow a religion about fish it says you should do a good deed every day and you do your best every day then I have no issues with you. Some days you may not accomplish your goal but your trying to be a good person.

          I should put quotes around “devoutly religious” because that’s what all these people who pay lip service use. I call father fid a servant of god. I don’t follow his faith but I respect him he does his best by everyone. And does his best to live what he preaches. I know of a couple is call servants that don’t wear the collar but most I know I use the quotes on because they are religious only when it’s good for them.

          Rawles reminds me of the bullies I know they try to shame you into falling in line with them.

          Btw the points I hit on that I asked if you did are some of the parts that I think everyone could stand to do. Even if your not religious helping others, not judging them for their errors or differences, loving them as a human enough so that if they need help your at least willing to help as you can.

          To many people in our society think it’s okay to push people down for a reason that means nothing, what does it matter if I don’t follow your myth if I help clean up your church grounds even though you won’t. Or you ridicule me for planting various plants around for the community as a whole to enjoy.

          I’ll elaborate on those 2 church near my house has a soccer field a tree fell over into it. I came over with my chain saw cut it up as best I could with my small chain saw and asked a couple guys if they could help manuever it onto my trailer. They looked at me like I was crazy even though the pastor had asked if I could load it up I had no need for it and was just going to roll it off in the woods. No one would come over one guy had the nerve to ask me if I’d split it and haul it to his house. I told him I didn’t have time but it would be up on the hill and I’d leave it on the trailer so he could move it over to his truck. Several months went by and he never came. Nothing was wrong with him I know him he just looks down on me because I don’t care to do manual labor for free to help out a neighbor.

          I planted a few apple trees and a couple other fruit bearers in a park nearby. I was laughed at because I was planting in the park for the common good. Btw all of those trees have since been cut down by someone and used in a bond fire.

  6. Jack, while Dmitry Orlov talks about the U.S. heading for collapse, were you and Mr. Rawles actually referring to Russian professor (and ex-KGB analyst) Igor Panarin, who predicted that the U.S. would disintegrate in 2010 after economic/moral collapse triggered a Second Civil War? http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB123051100709638419

  7. I really liked this interview and definitely get the impression that Mr. Rawles has a lot of knowledge and understanding to offer. Much more interested in reading some of his work now than I would have been not knowing his background and hearing his thoughts.

    BUT

    I sure wish he could wait his turn before talking! Occasionally guests seem to forget that they’re engaged in a discussion, not reciting canned answers as soon as they guess at what Jack is about to ask. It makes the interview very irritating to listen to and seems to be bad form given that virtually everyone listening to Jack’s show are interested in not only the guest’s opinions, experiences, etc. but Jack’s responses, elaborations, amplifications, etc. It seems like Jack is trying to feed him nice batting-practice fastballs he can hit out of the park but he’s already cut loose before the pitch is halfway to the plate.

    • If you listen to other things he does or his blog he comes across as he knows everything and no one else has any clue.

      • This can be an unfortunate byproduct of doing lots of short terrestrial radio pieces and tv spots where you might have three to five minutes or so to do the interview. It can be a hard thing to relax into an interviewer’s framework that is so broad as Jack’s or what Art Bell can now do on Sirius/XM satellite radio.

    • Part of that may be that his other interview he feels he needs to take control of the interview in order not to have the person running the show make him look like a loon. In this community mostly we all know who he is and what he does. So he doesn’t have to command the interview so much. Overall I generally enjoyed the interview, wish it could have lasted hours.

      • Never thought of that but I can go with it on some topics he is very intelligent and inciteful then he has a few that he seems like an extremist crazy. One reason I listen to jack is he isn’t like “the world is gonna blow up and if you don’t follow my thoughts your gonna die.”

    • Man we are sensitive aren’t we. Talking over someone happens all the time when you are not face-to-face and there are no visual clues telling you the person is finished speaking. Relax and quit picking nits.

    • I thought the interruptions went both ways (both of them interrupted each other) and it was not distracting nor a problem for me as a listener. It was a normal conversation.

      If I had one criticism it would be that I would have liked for even more of the interview time to have been devoted to hearing what the guest had to say rather than the host which we get to hear every day.

      • Modern Survival

        Scott, do you know what the word host means? It is up to me to run the show that does include pulling a guest back on track at times. All guests submit an interview outline, many times I must pull them back to their own agenda, I did have to do so here, more than one time. Perhaps if you read the guest form, it will make sense. Just click on guests in the menu bar and you then realize what I am working from with a guest. In this case more-so because Jim had a hard quit time, pulling him back was needed to keep him on track to answer the questions he wanted asked.

        Jim absolutely did talk over me and it was no big deal. I can tell you why, he does radio all the time. You get in a mode with that, there are hard time limits, music coming up on break times, hosts that do talk over you for real, etc. A guy that does that is in a mode of operation. I actually talked about this with him BEFORE the interview, he did his best but a habit good or bad is hard to change on a dime.

  8. Great show Jack, I was looking forward to this one. I know there are some Rawles haters out there but I probably wouldn’t have found TSP without JWR. His book, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, was the trigger to get me better prepared and a mention of TSP on Survivalblog led me to the TSP community, for which I’m grateful.

    • I too would not have found TSP and Jack if it were not for JWR mentioning TSP on Survival Blog. Thanks Jack and Jim!
      -Jeff

  9. Awesome show again jack, agreed with his analogy of the times we love in, but also he does like to command the discussion, I’m guessing from his years as a intelligence officer, still a great show, I think this is good food for thought as we grow with the notion that this “government ” will fail at some point, thanks again jack!! And thank u Jim, -upper Pacific Northwest living on endorphins-

  10. I wish I had asked this question, but it was too late. What makes Mr. Rawles think that the Redoubt is the best place to survive a collapse or lights out event? I understand the pros of low population density and the defensible position of the Redoubt, though I have my doubts how well it would do against air strikes. However, the cons, in my opinion, outweigh the pros. The Redoubt is practically landlocked, it has cold weather and a short growing season. I think Texas has a much better chance of surviving because we have a grid and great weather plus access to the Gulf, but I may be biased.

    • His blog goes into a lot of detail on locations some I can agree with others go into the less logical. One time he’s pushing community others he’s against it. I got away from him a bit when I started noticing it was more his idea of community that some locations didn’t meet.

      Like I said some things he says are intelligent, articulate, and inciteful… Then sometimes he goes into if you don’t think I don’t your wrong or at least that was the impression I got.

  11. Willie:
    Re: your comment at 0834-
    You’re painting with an awfully broad brush.
    As a simple exercise, substitute your choice of any race/color in place of “devoutly religious” and read it out loud to yourself.
    Sounds pretty offensive doesn’t it.

    Your bigoted view of religion adds nothing to this conversation.

    • I have religious friends but because of the ones I’ve grown up around I’m less likely to trust them but I don’t care what religion or even lack of one when you start telling me I’m wrong and evil because I don’t follow your myths chances are I’m going to think your not the type of person I want to be around. I also know people who think if don’t follow their myths you should either be deported or put to death. He’s southern baptist he used to be just racist until I started telling him Jesus was black now as a white athiest male he has included me to his list and because of me a few others have been added to include a catholic priest. (For the record I’ve known this guy since like kindergarten around 9th grade he got on the racial supremacy cart and we deverged paths.).

      I don’t care about race, creed, nationality, sexual preference or even political views just don’t push them on me. If you want a discussion I can go with that but if your gonna try to convince me of your side it can not include a belief show me proof.

      And the best discussion I had on religion was with a catholic priest who also had a degree in astrophysics. Amazingly intelligent articulated and at no point said “well you have to have faith” or quoted scripture. Concise well thought out scientific arguments for religion. (This was also the priest Larry wanted to kill because we had well thought out arguemdents on Jesus being black. And Larry only had nuhuhh.

      • Willie, why do you get so worked up about someone discussing their spirituality, as JWR does? It appears you have the problem. If someone with strong Christian faith offends you then maybe you should ask yourself why.

        • Modern Survival

          I think people get more out of sorts with Rawles because he often infers that people who are not Christian are not to be trusted, etc.

      • Exactly what modern survival said I used to follow Rawls and have a couple of his books but the more I read and followed his blog (around 2 years) it got more and more into if you don’t believe what I believe your wrong and gonna die. It was one of the reasons I found TSP Rawles had a blog entry about how jack was taking the wrong approach on a lot of things. And since I was thinking Rawls was taking the wrong approach I looked jack up.

      • HAHA! “I’m not bigoted, I totally have (insert term here) friends”! I love it.

  12. It was great to hear Rawles and your questions were great. A friend of mine read one of his books and the first thing he and his wife did was get Lasik’s surgery. While it’s true Rawles does recommend not putting things off and gives eye surgery as an example, I got the impression that Rawles was a little extreme. He came across in this interview as rational, realistic, and not some extreme survival wacko like he came across in his book “How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It.” In his books he emphasizes moving out west but in this interview he wasn’t so dogmatic about it.
    Great job Jack!

    • I didn’t want to list specific books.

      Parts of teotwawki book were great others had that other tangent feel I refer to. I recommend at least looking over his blog and website. Take the parts that sound reasonable and apply them and run hard on the topics that seem out there to you.

  13. Remember folks, JWR is from the “old school”… I remember reading “Patriots” back when it was called The Gray Nineties, or TEOTWAWKI or whatever when it was back on usenet. (How many of us even remember usenet?) Rawles was there and spreading a preparedness message though the high times of the nineties. So show some respect!
    That said, he IS old school… as in the cold-war shaped his outlook, and that is prevalent in his writing.

    Jfin

    • Modern Survival

      What do you mean show some respect? How the hell did we get to a point where you only are showing respect to a person if you don’t disagree with them or challenge any of their ideas? How do we get to a point where it is OK to challenge idea but not if they are religious ideas?

    • I have patriots my issue wasn’t with a lot of it. In the novel anyone non Christian is looked down upon and even going to the point of acting like something is wrong with them because they have a different set of myths.

  14. I enjoyed the interview and I read his blog even though I don’t always agree with him and I’m definitely not a christian or even religious. I’ve been treated like a lost lamb or morally inferior my whole life by religious people, so it goes in one ear in out the other. Don’t care. I do think he’s very knowledgeable about a lot of things and I enjoy listening and learning from him. The Survival Podcast is more to my taste but that’s a subjective call and I’m just glad that there’s something for everyone to open the door to preparedness. The more people on board, despite some small differences, the better.

    • Do you remember that 2 page tear down of why anyone who wasn’t Christian wasn’t to be trusted. That was the last time I went to his blog.

      • Willie, we get it already. You don’t have to keep repeating yourself.

        As for me I do not object Rawles’ Christianity at all. I do object to his Calvinism. How is that for stirring the pot!? LOL (^_^)

      • @Dawn: Eugh, he’s a Calvinist? No thank you, sir.

  15. I’ve been waiting for this interview for 4 years. I discovered Rawles before I discovered Jack and TSP.

    In fact, though I had been reading Rawles for awhile, I was looking for something a bit different, hence me seeking out a different type of message about survivalism (from a different messenger altogether). Rawles’ faith is very important to him and he does put it out there in his novels, and in his blog. Though I disagree with him on spiritual matters, I have the free will to not read his blog or his books. I choose to read all of his books immediately upon their release, and to read his blog only sporadically these days.

    Generally speaking, I thought the interview went well. Actually, I’ve heard about 5 Rawles interviews, and why I liked the TSP one the best is because Jack knows what he is talking about (whereas many of the other interviewers that speak with Rawles are not really survivalist-minded).

    Still, even though Rawles is a great person to interview (with an incredible amount of knowledge), I find that Jack’s interviews with folks like Paul Wheaton are the best…if only because it does not feel like an interview at all. It is just two passionate maniacs talking about what they love.

  16. Great Show..Although reading his list of lists has prompted me to write a little bit more in-depth one for my household and “team.” I do have to say I’m putting my faith in Heavy G…. As for the religion thing, I’m all over the Ancient Astronaut theory. To me it makes more sense, and ties in the worlds religion and mythology (except Islam) better than any other reasonable conclusion. With that said however, Deism is my second choice if I am proven wrong about the aforementioned theory.

  17. I’m finding it amusing how many people are disliking my comments that I dislike Rawles because he anyone who does not follow his myths are less of a person.

    • Just a thought, but do you think you may be reading too much into what JWR promotes? Given your past experiences with Christians and all.
      -Jeff

      • Read some of his blogs. I may and I won’t deny it but he had several long winded rants basically calling anyone not one of his someone who could not be trusted and should be avoided at all cost. It struck me way to close to the way white supremacist go on and their kind ( I think using a religion positively is fine but when you use it against others it becomes an evil)

        • Modern Survival

          Quit beating a dead horse man. At this point you seem to just be baiting shit and it is starting to piss me off.

  18. Rich Sliwinski

    Steelers need some prayers. Ha ha

  19. The survival community needs to welcome people who are interested in SURVIVING, not pick apart every persons idiosyncrasies because they do not have exactly the same faith, beliefs, ethnicity etc as you do. The importance of have a community of people who are willing to survive is more important than their faith. In Patriot Rawles had a character who was agnostic and a Jew if I remember right (Its been a few years since I read it) The main points are actually very similar between the TSP and Rawles Survival blog. Don’t try and start a family fued with your closest relatives because they don’t believe everything that you do. I live in a very strong Morman area and I could not be happier that they are my neighbors, even though I have no interest in joining their church!

  20. Good to hear more from JWR. He is actually one of the main reasons I started taking prepping seriously. I saw it but did not fully realize the state of our current state. His book Patriots was an eye opener. It/he opened the door and I went thru it. I have thanked my friend many times for giving me this book he thought I should read.
    I would add 1 change to his threat assesment. Iran using an EMP. Scud in a tub…

  21. I enjoyed the interview and I hope you have him again. I agree totally with his feeling that you need to be able to own the night. I started serious prepping before I found your show, I focused on long term store-able food (9 months of Ezekiel mix grain for my family of 5), iodized salt, vitamin C, weapons and ammo. Then I realized debt reduction was an essential component and set things up so that I was required to pay down things as quickly as possible. After all that I found your show. LOL, as you say over and over, Murphy found me and kicked me in the teeth about a month ago.
    So many things that are still a priority, night vision, perennial food production, body armor, emergency medical equipment (including dental equipment).
    While I can stack functions on the night vision because I raise feeder pigs to slaughter weight and the neighbor recently caught a 350lb black bear on his trail cam I think food forest (grapes, seaberry, arctic kiwi) is a priority for spring. Perhaps I’ll have to moonlight as a security guard to make both food forest and night vision happen by spring and keep up with the debt reduction.
    So many things to do but once again it was a great show Jack.

    • Ask around your area sometimes people will give out seedlings. It’ll take a bit longer to get started but it’s free to cheap. I take apple seeds and sprout them in cups and get them large enough to plant… Then plant a few here and there. I figure if I get enough apple, pear, hazelnut, and black berry bushes going I’ll never want for food. I’ve got sprouts planted on farms as far away as 50 miles. Just don’t plant in someone’s horse pasture as horses will kill themselves eating fruit . Other than that most people will thank you. Just knock on the door hey do you care if I put some apple tree or whatever sprouts out. I’ll put a bit of corrugated pipe around them to mark the location. I’ve never been told no. Churches and places like that make good planting spots as well.

  22. Matthew N Gooseneck

    One of my favorite interviews.
    I do wonder why he uses that comma after Wesley.
    James Wesley,Rawles

    • Modern Survival

      It is a sovereign citizen thing, I don’t think it holds water in any court of law but some seem to think it does. Has to do with a person’s name on a government document making them in effect a corporation. Google it.

    • JWR does not use the comma as any sort of sovereign citizen thing.

      He uses it to separate his given name, which belongs to him and him alone, from his family name, which does not.

      • Modern Survival

        Um that is a sovereign citizen thing, that is the exact reason given.

        • Exact reason given by him? Where? I don’t believe it.

        • Modern Survival

          I never said James said a thing, you said that he does this because, “He uses it to separate his given name, which belongs to him and him alone, from his family name, which does not.” and I said that is exactly the reason Sovereign Citizens do this.

          I am sorry if you can’t follow that? You are saying what James says, I am saying what Sovereign Citizens say about a comma in the name is the same thing. They do this because they believe, (incorrectly I should add) when you change your name to Fist Middle, Last from FIRST MIDDLE LAST you change the legal structure of your name to one of a private individual. Because you “separate your given name, which belongs to you, from your family name, which does not” and hence are no longer a “corporation” and not subject to many laws and requirements of the United States which only apply to corporations, not to people.

          Now does James do this for this specific reason, I have no idea but based on his writings, his deep assertions in Partiots about sovereign citizenry and the fact that the sovereign citizen movement states the same thing you say, well it sure looks that way. I mean you did read Patriots right?

          There were two soliloquies in there that pretty much made the case for sovereign citizenry.

          By the way I have no issues with the concept of individual sovereignty, I have done shows on and advocating it. I do think many of the claims made by the movement (you don’t need a drivers license to drive for example [um in Patriots by the way]) are incorrect and people taking such advice are likely to end up in jail or worse.

          The truth is you do not need a DL to drive, but you do need one to drive on a PUBLIC ROAD and no amount of lower case in your name or use of commas is going to change that.

        • Jack – sorry I didn’t follow you. You said “that is exactly the reason given” but didn’t say by *whom* and I don’t know enough about the sovereign citizen movement to know they used commas in their names at all (Wiki mentions colons but not commas). Since we were talking about Rawles I reasonably assumed you were talking about him.

          The only explanation of his comma I’ve ever seen was given by him on his site, where he explained it was to separate the portion of his name that’s his from the portion that is his family’s. It comes across more as respect for the family’s name – an acknowledgment that he shares it with others – than anything else.

          He has said on his blog that sovereign citizen assertions will get you nowhere and has threatened to sue someone (Southern Poverty Law Center?) who accused him of running a sovereign citizen blog.

          I really don’t think he’s a part of that movement.

        • Modern Survival

          Well that is good to hear, but you can see how many might make the same conclusions I did. I wonder if the comma has something to do with Calvinism?

          Anyway, if there is a lower form of life then the ilk at the SPC I don’t know who they are.

          Personally though on sovereign citizenship I feel that the radical side of that movement and the groups like the SPC have ruined the term.

          I am not a member of the “sovereign citizen movement” but I do see myself as a sovereign citizen. Why? It is the nature of all government power in the US.

          All authority in this nation lies with the citizen, it is then entrusted and loaned to anyone with authority, elected, appointed or otherwise. That is the nature of a republic. We need to be teaching people about their individual sovereignty in that way, but the term has been slandered and maligned.

          I really did think James was somewhat involved based again on Patriots, glad I was wrong and I apologize for it.

  23. I like Rawles very much. His blog has a lot of good information from very knowledgeable people. I find it a bit slanted to the old school survivalist school of thought as opposed to the TSP or Ferfal’s view. A lot of the posts on Rawles blog are excessively long and some seem a bit of an echo chamber. That said, he is a pioneer in this movement. I also like Selco’s blog (shtfschool). His take on a collapse is first hand, and often debunks some of the preconceived notions some survivalist keep on repeating.

    I liked the interview, but it came across as a calculating, much like to boxers in the first round getting a feel for each other. Perhaps, Jack, you should invite Rawles again to get on more familiar terms and both drop the guard a little.

    Thanks for everything.

    • Modern Survival

      Wrong on two counts.

      There was no boxing match, no agenda, hell I was leading James down the path he requested. All guests fill out a form, other than the questions from the audience I worked in, all the questions were ones he asked to be asked.

      Two, I don’t think Jim has any first hand knowledge of collapse. Working in a MI facility and analyzing data, is not first hard knowledge of anything. I respect his views and agree with almost all of them that are not religious anyway. That doesn’t mean he has been in “first hand” situations, period.

      His assessments are no where near as reality based as say Joe Nobody, Ferfal or Selco, not even close. Nor are mine. First hand is first hand, not reading data collected by others and fed to you in the way your overlords want you to see it.

      • If it works out, I would like to hear more interviews. I think it would allow more time for you two to discuss more in-depth on interesting topics.

    • I don’t think I implied in my post that Jim had any first hand experience of a collapse. If anything I like his blog more for the homesteading posts than for the survival advice.

      Regarding the boxing comment it was a figure of speech to express the rather scripted nature of the interview. I’m not placing blame on anyone, it just came out like that. I did like the subtle way in which you questioned Rawles about his investment advice on silver.

      • Modern Survival

        You must be emotionally attached to Jim somehow.

        1. I totally forgot about the silver thing, it was an audience question. I didn’t even remember it until after I was done producing the show.

        2. Every interview is done exactly the same way, again click on the guest link at the top bar of the site.

        You are just reading things into this that don’t exist, it must have something to do with your preconceived expectations. Anyway Jim has an open invitation to return, I doubt he will do so often though.

        • Now you just made me laugh. I don’t care much for Rawles or his flavor of survival. I believe you somehow read on my original post that I said he had experience with a collapse. He doesn’t. That’s why I posted the second time. Regarding the silver question, I agree with you. Silver is not a good place to park money short-term, even if the price is beat down which is what Rawles gave as an excuse for his recommendation.

          No sure what preconceived expectations you are referring to? I don’t have a dog in this hunt. If it’s any consolation to you, it’s your podcast I’ve been listening since episode 3 almost daily. So don’t get so defensive :) And no, I’m not emotionally attached to you either.

  24. I have probably listened to 400+ TSP episodes in the 13ish months I have listened to the show. In comparison I have read Patriots, Survivors, and am currently on the last few chapters of Founders, and have visited Survival Blog probably about 4-5 times a month on average (not very much). I see the good, the bad, and the ugly in both Mr. Spirko and Mr. Rawles but you know what, I respect both men deeply. I see both of these men as mentors. They are both players on the same team but at different positions.

    This is what I say to the haters above: If you don’t like someones stance on something ignore it. If you like it run with it. My take is that they are both trying to help us think (Jack more so but that is because I listen to him more) and put ourselves in a better place

  25. As a Christian I find it amazing how everybody is quick to beat up on Rawles for his faith. The only “religious” thing he said was God Bless at the end of the show. I would say his only fault was cutting Jack off half way through a point he was trying to convey. Jack you have more patience then I have because that always drives me crazy. I also noticed that no Christians scoffed at the “Pagan Prepper” in the comment sections for her show but some how Rawles was not afforded the same respect. And for Willie if you really believe in what you say why then do you feel a need to leave 17 comments. “know what you believe and why you believe it”

    • Modern Survival

      I don’t think anyone bringing it up was talking about anything in the interview.

      Look contrary to what right wing radio tells you, most of us who are not of your faith don’t mind that you have it. We don’t even care if you talk about it as long as you don’t tell us how we are wrong because we don’t agree. The comments here (some that went to far and I had to put the k-bosh on) stem from many and I mean many of Jim’s writings that infer that unless you are a christian or messianic jew you are not to be trusted. He can believe what ever he wants and I certainly didn’t bring it up on the interview it would serve no point.

      BUT this is something Christains need to understand, if you start putting others down, even if it isn’t your intent, they are likely to respond. When they do they are not putting your faith under attack or some other nonsense, they are simply disagreeing with your assessment of THEM. You have no right to insult another person or infer that they should do as you do, and not have them respond. When they respond and disagree with what you said, you are not being disrespected, insulted, etc. You are being disagreed with.

      There should be no special set of rules for religion. If you want to bring it into the conversation, specifically with negative connotation about those who don’t believe as you do, you are subject to the same objective response as any other set of ideas or ideals. Flatly saying people should avoid living near non Christians and that non Christians should not be trusted if the shit hit the fan, qualifies for this. Rawles has done both, multiple times.

      • Exactly. I found TSP via Rawles and have read his blog for several years. It was very disappointing to read his comments on atheists (I’m one). However, I still check his blog most evenings, though I skim most articles, because there is a lot to learn from him. I find the links at the bottom of each day the most interesting. How have his comments affected me WRT to him & his blog? Where I would have bought his books just to support him, I don’t do so now. In reality, it will have no effect on him but it’s a small way I can express my opinion. Oh, yeah, and I didn’t bother to apply for the wife job either! ;)

  26. This was a great opening interview with a man who is a pioneer in the subject. The follow up interview should be even more entertaining. It was obvious from the interruptions that this could blossom into something much greater than a blog and podcast. Both gentleman have some pretty good ideas on community and how to get ‘er done in a collapse. I’ve worked in societies for years post collapse, and building a community now during “normal” times is critical. The how to get this done is very interesting, and this interview alluded to many of those points. Great show Jack and look forward to more.

  27. Interesting interview. Never heard of Mr. Rawles until this interview, but I don’t really live and breath this stuff. Just looked over his website, I was wondering what this Redoubt stuff was all about. I will need to dwell on his thoughts before coming to any conclusions.

    I can see that his beliefs can really rub people the wrong way. As a Christian, I see it all the time, I have never understood it, and will most likely never go down that road (never say never, right).

    My one criticism to other believers is that they don’t provide enough grace for others and especially for non-believers. That lack of grace is what causes the split between people and the wall building, and when that begins, we have failed God once again.

  28. I have heard that Texas has their own electrical grid before, but this was the first time I’ve heard it mentioned after I read up on EMP attacks.
    Has Texas the ability to harden their grid against EMP?
    What would it take to do so?

    • Modern Survival

      Grids are already far more protected at their core from EMP and CME then hype would lead you to believe. The level of either really necessary to totally take down the grid pretty much can’t be hardened against. EMP attacks are something you should put far onto the very back shelf of your concerns. They make great novels but the reality is far from the hype.

    • EMP is of concern for no one. The level of energy needed is so great, even to knock out the electronics in your car, that it is a non-issue and money waster.

      When an EMP event does happen, I don’t think even the best prepared person is ready for the aftermath.

      You can worry about EMPs when every other loose-end in your life is settled.

      • Modern Survival

        Yep, as Steven Harris said doing a horrible impersonation of Yoda, “once down the path of EMP you step, forever will it consume you”.

      • Knocking out the electronics in your car is a heck of a lot harder than causing massive damage to an electrical grid.

        We know that solar can take a grid down because we’ve seen it happen. Planning for at least short term (days to a couple weeks) power loss should be on the list for every person who relies on power.

        • Modern Survival

          Be prepared for power to be out for short to long periods of time, check, absolutely.

          Concerning yourself with EMP attacks or a grid shattering back to the stone age CME, nope, don’t waste any energy or time on that for one micro second. Every speck of energy that goes into this could have gone to something actually productive.

  29. This conversation really took off :) Rawles is certainly a polarizing figure and I’m fine with that because I refuse to be forced into choosing a pole. His target audience is Christian preppers and that’s fine with me. He’s found a niche. I’m just glad to see people with different beliefs and who target different audiences able to come together and share information that will help everyone.

  30. “Without community you’re sunk.”

    Wise words. Great interview.

  31. I found both Jack and Jim at about the same time, back in the early road rage days of the Podcast. In the event of a total breakdown, if either of these men showed up on my door stop, I would be able to welcome them in and feed them well and safely due much on what I have learned from both over the years. That being said, I very much enjoyed this interview as a conversation between two people I respect and have learned much from. Both have things I don’t agree with, but for me that takes nothing from what I have gained from them. Great show!

  32. I’m so sorry for the Willie’s we cross in life, we have similar ones in a greater number, trying to guide us all today!
    Sonny

    • Modern Survival

      Perhaps just perhaps Willie’s are not the problem, but a symptom. Do you doubt that he knows the people he claims to? If this is one’s exposure to people of faith what opinion do you expect them to have? Let me tell you in some parts of our nation the people he describes are the majority. Those places still exist.

      Or another way, is Willie any more wrong to not trust Christians then say James is for not trusting non Christians?

      Now if you don’t dismiss that question, it gets right at the heart of the matter!

      FTR I say both are wrong, VERY WRONG, again BOTH. To not trust a man due to what he says he does or doesn’t believe is short sighted and myopic. I judge a man as trustworthy based on what he does, not what he says. It is easy to say words, it is much harder to live your life based on what you say.

  33. One thing about Expatriates, People in many of theses other countries all own everything they have and most of the population grows their own food. So, it seems to me that in a grid down/economic collaspe little changes. Further, I think its about personal responsibility. If you privide most of your own needs you will be ok no matter where you are; for the most part. Honestly, there is no-one around here that is trustable or resposible and that makes this ‘community’ much more dangerous than a population of farmers in a other than first world country.

    • Modern Survival

      Yea I don’t agree with Jim’s take. I can’t speak for the book, haven’t read it but I pretty much bet I won’t agree with it either based on what he said here.

      Jim sadly does seem to have an us and them view and therefore seems to figure everyone in the world does as well. On some level us and them is universal but the key is what is “us” to a community.

      I have spent time with people away from cities in the following nations…

      Panama
      Ecuador
      Costa Rica
      Honduras and
      Peru

      I have been to other places but for short durations or in such a military mode that real assessment of the communities was impossible.

      I have to say I would feel quite comfortable in a rural area in any of these nations as long as I had been there a while before a major global collapse.

      First in most of these places these people would not know or care if the dollar collapsed. They would just stop using it and use something else if they even use it at all right now. They do in Panama and Ecuador but in the hills no one uses money much.

      Second in all these nations I was made welcome very quickly. I was offered places to sleep by people I had just met who worried that I might not have made arrangements yet and might need a day to adjust.

      I walked though a town where a party was going on in a private residence one time in Honduras, I was practically drug into the place and offered a beer and once they knew I spoke some Spanish I was practically taken in as a member of the town if not the family.

      Don’t get me wrong, there are places in all these nations where just having blonde hair and blue eyes makes you a target, I can say that about the US too though, can’t I?

      Third, in these nations if you own land or lease land and live there, you are not an outsider, you are part of the community. It is almost instant. The big thing is to speak their language, at least to try to. Many speak some English and are quite happy to meet you half way on the language barrier if you simply try.

      This isn’t true of many places in America today. Try moving to Appalachia! Your grandchildren might be accepted as no longer being seen as an outsider.

      Again I have spent some quality time in all those nations, actually been there. Spoken to people, stayed in non tourist areas, etc. Most people who think you will be in danger in such areas haven’t been there.