SURVIVAL AND THE PARANOID by Kurt Saxon (c) 1977

     "One suggestion; you should have the newsletter folded the 
opposite way. The large title attracts the attention of the mail 
people and people's family. I don't want everyone to know that I'm 
stocking up and thinking they can come to me for help. So please 
have THE SURVIVOR folded backside out"...
     ..."I'm also wondering if it is possible to have a 
subscription to your publication, THE SURVIVOR, and/or back issues, 
sent to us in plain envelopes, First Class, if necessary. Inasmuch 
as we live in a very conservative community, receiving your 
publication in a plain envelope would prevent alarming our local 
     The above two writers may not be clinically paranoid but they 
demonstrate the simple inconvenience of paranoia. Both are so 
afraid of their own neighbors that they will miss out on THE 
SURVIVOR. No big thing in itself. But what else are they missing 
out on just because they don't dare let their neighbors in on their 
     The term "paranoid" is used constantly but hardly understood. 
The clinical definition of paranoid is one with delusions of 
grandeur coupled with feelings of persecution. (A lesbian is a 
mannish depressive with delusions of gender-pass it on.) A paranoid 
believes he has gotten to the hidden truths of matters most 
important to him. He also believes that such knowledge makes him 
dangerous to those actually running things.
     Believing there are enemies all around, fantasizing about 
plots and such, gives him a feeling of importance, of being in the 
know. But that feeling of importance is counteracted by the terror 
of the realization that one's enemies will step on him like a bug 
once he learns enough to be really dangerous to them.
     Paranoids can't accept our social decline as a result of 
climatic change, surplus population, reduced resources, mental 
defectives and other natural influences which have been knocking 
out civilizations throughout history. No, paranoids see a plot 
behind the whole thing.
     Some group, easily identifiable to the initiated and aware, is 
manipulating civilization. Our collapse is imminent. THEY are 
destroying everything THEY can't control when the time comes. Then, 
THEY will step in, run up THEIR flag and assume complete control. 
THEY will then destroy all those who anticipated THEIR fiendishness. 
     Of course, these Agents of Darkness have sympathizers in every 
neighborhood. THEY are also entrenched in the Justice Department 
with links to every police station and dog pound in the United 
      So the idea of surviving civilization's collapse is actually 
incomprehensible to the paranoid. He may play at survival but THEY 
will win in the end. Of course, it all depends on security.
     To the paranoid, his only chance lies in secrecy. If a few 
hundred of the right type can survive, in spite of all the traitors 
planted in their midst, good will eventually triumph.
     The above doesn't fit every paranoid but too many hold to this 
general pattern.
     When I began THE SURVIVOR, an old man wrote to me about his 
homemade security system, his advanced age and his ability to 
survive whatever adversity might strike. I thought he was such a 
fantastic old man I wanted to share him with others as an example 
of self-reliance in old age.
     I printed his letter and address, thinking he would like to 
correspond with elders in like circumstances, or young folk needing 
a granddad figure. As soon as he got the issue with his letter in 
it he sent me a screaming note about how I'd exposed him to the 
world, lowered his property values and generally put him in jeopardy.
     I answered saying that no one else withing over a hundred 
miles of his town took THE SURVIVOR. If his homemade security 
system was offensive to a realtor or a potential buyer it could be 
taken out with no loss of property value. Nothing I said mattered. 
He was going to sue if I didn't take his address out of the Survivor.
     I told him his address would be out the next printing, he had 
no case and he ought to get his head read. This might have calmed 
him down except some reader had to go and send him a letter. This 
started him off again and we had another go-round.
     Nowadays I'd just have thrown his letters away, cancelled his 
subscription and forgotten him. But then I was concerned. I felt I 
had caused him anguish and wanted to make amends.
     However, once you've gotten on the wrong side of a paranoid, 
there's no making amends. I'm now part of the plot.
     Anyway, my point is that paranoia is not funny. It is also a 
serious drawback to anyone's attempts to survive or to better 
himself on any level of endeavor.
     Paranoia is simply exaggerated and useless fear. Normally, 
everyone is afraid at times. Normal fear leads to normal caution. 
But when fear becomes obsessive caution, distrust and universal 
suspicion, it becomes paranoia.
     For instance, say you decide to become a tightrope walker. If 
you are clumsy and awkward and hung over and strung out and normal, 
you will fear falling because of a lack of ability. If you really 
want to be a tightrope walker, you'll go over your shortcomings and 
eliminate them, thereby fitting yourself to become what you want to 
     But if you are paranoid, you will disregard any of your own 
short-comings. You will reason instead, that the Circus World is 
controlled by people who will feel threatened by any success you 
might achieve. Lest you become a star in their private world, 
they'll hire someone to shoot you off that high wire.
     So the paranoid is actually a self-imagined winner, beaten 
before he starts. If he isn't actually mentally ill, he has an 
overactive imagination, putting non-existent obstacles in his own 
path. Instead of developing his abilities, taking his lumps and 
successes as they come, he relieves himself of the challenge by 
stacking the deck against himself. He's really just a cop-out artist.
     Usually he has MBD (see Page 57) which keeps him in a state of 
arrested development. He's like a child who imagines himself the 
hero of his fantasies but sees his parents and elders as blocks to 
any successes he might achieve. An adult with this problem has 
lofty fantasies but replaces his elders with various authority and 
power figures who might feel threatened by his achievements. So he 
doesn't really try to improve his circumstances. In his fantasies 
he feels little guilt about being a loser. After all, if he weren't 
so magnificent and superior, would the forces of International Crud 
be united against him?
     Every paranoid, however, has sane moments the same as I do. He 
realizes that whatever is really keeping him back, he's far behind 
and he's not very happy. Maybe something got in his way during 
childhood which made him stop testing the system. That's the key to 
it all; testing the system to see what one can get away with.
     All children do, and if their elders understand and don't 
over-punish, the child will have a good idea what he can get away 
with and how far to go in finding his limitations. But if a child 
has overly strict parents, or MBD, punishment might be so severe, 
or seem to be, that testing the system is not worth the effort, or 
it may even seem downright dangerous. So the guy reaches adulthood, 
either not trying anything, as an individual, or becoming such a 
Secret Squirrel no one will ever know what he'd doing.
     This would be all right except the paranoid often tries to 
impose his own fears on others who share his stated goals. This can 
be a drag, especially in my case.
     Years ago I saw books hinting at do-it-yourself mayhem. They 
promised a lot more than they delivered but suggested that any 
stronger stuff would be suppressed. Well, I'd dabbled in paranoid 
gutter politics for years and didn't believe such material could be 
suppressed. I set out to write, publish, and sell the most 
outrageous, potentially destructive manual ever created on this 
planet. If interested parties had the power to suppress knowledge, 
they would suppress the work you know as THE POOR MAN'S JAMES BOND. 
     Well, first I was talked to by the D.A.'s man and our local 
FBI agent. Interesting. Then I was subpoenaed to a Senate Hearing 
in Washington, D.C. They paid my plane fare both ways, put me up in 
a hotel room with TV and let me rave at a panel of bemused 
Senators. I had ever so much fun and got a lot of laughs.
     There was not one request that I stop publishing the material; 
there was no threat to my person, my freedom or to my economic 
     I've sold about 40,000 copies of the work over the past five 
years with no interference from anyone. Yet, I still get orders for 
the PMJB which are wrapped in aluminum foil so Federal Agents can't 
read them by X-Ray. Some orders are so coded to protect the 
identity of the one wanting it that the book comes back marked, 
"Addresse Unknown". Paranoia!
     Common sense might suggest that since it's legal for me to 
write it, publish it and sell it, a customer can legally own it. 
Despite the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever 
been hassled for owning the PMJB, paranoids around the country 
consider ordering it the last thing they will be allowed to do 
before being led away.
     No matter. What really bugs me about paranoids is their 
attitude toward THE SURVIVOR. THE SURVIVOR isn't an underground 
publication. It isn't political; it doesn't advocate any sort of 
criminality or extreme social activism. Nor is it pornography. THE 
SURVIVOR is a family publication. Plain envelope, indeed!
     Anyone really interested in Survival will have to drop all his 
paranoid fantasies. The ones who inspired this editorial are too 
afraid of their neighbors to have an effective chance at surviving.
     Survivalists must examine each fear and eliminate it. There 
are enough real things to fear without being hung up on imaginary 
     Every fear is an unconfronted weakness. I'm no longer afraid 
of the calamities which face the general populace. I faced my fears 
and eliminated their cause.
     At one time I thought my mail might be monitored. Instead of 
frustrating the monitors by going out of business, I called my 
postmaster and had a long talk about it, wherein it was explained 
to me how mail was monitored and why mine wasn't.
     I think everyone gets flashes of paranoia where he entertains 
irrational fears. But rather than give in to such fears and work 
out elaborate habit patterns to reinforce them, one should go 
straight to the source and confront it.
     Such an action not only eliminates a fear but makes it harder 
for new fears to settle in. Practice makes boldness and the 
Survivalist must be bold.
     A guy hiding his survival preparations might as well forget 
it. His neighbors are more important to his chances than any 
survival gear. The neighbors I'm talking about are working people 
who are acquaintances and potential friends. I'm not suggesting one 
share his plans with welfare bums, winos, dopers and general trash. 
No. I'm talking about decent people who simply don't share our 
views at this time. These people will come around to our way of 
thinking in time. 
     The Survivalist's early preparations will give him status in 
his neighborhood as things get worse. The neighbors will listen to 
him in the near future if he will only give them the chance to 
agree with him now. But if he automatically writes them off as 
hostile and potential looters, that's exactly what they'll be when 
things get really bad.
     I think some of you get survival preparations confused with 
having a fallout shelter. If you had a shelter and your neighbors 
didn't, you would be severely mobbed in the event of a nuclear war. 
Your neighbor's lives would depend on getting in. But an extra 
supply of food, weapons and trade goods in your home would not give 
rise to panic. There would be nothing immediate about it.
     There won't be a government message saying that everyone with 
a stock of survival goods will live and those without will die, 
period. There won't be a stampede to your place. Before things get 
bad enough for your neighbors to loot you, they will still have 
time to imitate you, although not as cheaply or with your wide 
     But let's say you're a real Secret Squirrel and have made your 
home a storehouse of arms, food, etc. No one knows and finally the 
system collapses and your nieghborhood goes through the turmoil you 
might expect.
     Now your neighbors, who you've considered enemies, have 
managed to fight off some bands of looters and are setting up 
neighborhood defense and help organizations. Instead of being among 
the leadership, you are simply one who shares what they have 
because they think you are in need.
     You're in real trouble because if your neighbors find out 
you've been holding out and taking help from them, they'll shoot 
you. If you don't take their help, they'll find out why and shoot 
you for holding out.
     Your only real chance now is to give your neighbors the 
benefit of the doubt or move to an isolated farm. In any event, the 
more allies you have, the better your chances. But if all you see 
now are enemies, that's all you'll see when you need friends the