SURVIVAL THINKING by Kurt Saxon  (c) 1979

     On page 617, Dave Font asks for an article on how to think; or 
how to put together all the confusing issues working up to the 
crash into a set of workable rules. Throughout the letter columns 
many have expressed confusion over how to handle all the 
conflicting attitudes between survivalists and standing up to the 
scoffing of non-survivalists.
     So many have said they felt alone in their thinking until they 
read my works or those of other professional survivalists. Others 
told of the walls they ran up against when they tried to convince 
friends that civilization was in real trouble.
     What I'm going to try to do in this editorial is set up a 
system of ideas which will give the survivalist a feeling of 
rightness in his stand. I'd like to establish a kind of 
belongingness among individuals who are widely separated.
     No one likes to feel he is alone in his thinking, unless he is 
a paranoid fantasizing that he's the only one who has the truth. 
Paranoids in the field just stumble on it. Without survivalism, 
they would just as likely have fancied themselves in contact with 
beings from outer space who would take them off the planet at the 
last minute.
     But normal survivalists need a set of common sources of 
identification so they will not think they are paranoid. Also, such 
an identification would be useful in keeping the survivalist from 
getting discouraged when people scoff at his preparations.
     Well, the survivalist is a loner by necessity, now. There are 
no real groups to join, no armbands to wear, no dues to pay, no 
demonstrations to participate in. So a survivalist can easily feel 
very different from those around him without being able to focus on 
an identifiable organization sharing his thoughts and ideas. This 
can make one lonely, indeed.
     But there is no need for loneliness. There are more potential 
survivalists around than you think. In fact, just about everyone 
with any sense shares your fears, but has not as yet seen a reason 
for optimism in the face of increasing adversity. This optimism is 
what sets off the survivalist from the non-survivalist.
     Let me first explain to you that you are not alone in your 
anxieties about the future. I will also point out why your scoffing 
neighbor is even more afraid of the future than you are. I'll 
describe him in an analogy which will let you know how afraid he is 
and why he finds a kind of refuge in scoffing at your preparations.
     Let's say that your neighbor bought a plot of land and built 
his dream home on it. When it was finished he believed his security 
was assured. Then he went to get it insured.
     The insurance agent looked at a geodesic survey map of that 
area and found the house to have been built on a major earthquake 
fault. No insurance. No fire insurance, lest a tremor break a gas 
main or cause an electrical short and cause a fire. Anything that 
might happen to the house, except something like a burglary, could 
be blamed on a tremor. The agent went on to explain that the area 
is due for a quake any time. Maybe in a month, a year, three years 
at most, since geologists have kept records of periodic quakes in 
that area.
     So what does your neighbor do? He has sunk all he has in that 
doomed home. He can't afford a new plot or the price of moving the 
house to it. he can't sell it since anyone with the price would 
also have the sense to ask why it wasn't insured.
     If he were a survivalist, he would sell the house and fixtures 
to a salvage company or to a party who had another plot of land and 
the money to afford moving it, either at a terrible loss. Then he 
would take what little he had, move to a safer place and build a 
shack. But he is not a survivalist so he rationalizes that a quake 
will not hit in his lifetime. He develops an ulcer, takes up 
bedwetting, gets a prescription for valium and says, "This is the 
best of all possible worlds."
     Don't you realize by now that the average person who has given 
you the horse-laugh has built his house on an earthquake fault? How 
many of those scoffers have everything they own, their lifestyles, 
their jobs, sunk in this floundering system?
     They know what's going on. They watch TV the same as you, read 
the same headlines, pay the same inflated prices for food and 
everything else. They just lack the guts to get out of the trap, 
even if, like an animal, they may have to chew a leg off to get 
free. Can you blame them for looking for pie in the sky, rather 
than sacrificing all they now hold dear to survive the coming crash?
     Of course, I've pointed out in previous editorials that the 
change need not be so radical. But too many non-survivalists seem 
to believe that facing the whole picture would be too frightening 
and find it easier to hope for relief from sources outside 
     My northeastern subscribers know many who had to dig their 
cars out of record snows. The changing weather patterns have wiped 
out the properties of hundreds of thousands of families in America. 
Even Carla Emery's entire farm was washed out of existence by a 
recent flood. But Carla toughed it out and is on her way back. How 
many thousands are still living in government supplied trailer homes?
     Everyone knows that the surplus population, the increasing 
government and technological incompetence, Moslem fanaticism in the 
Middle East, communist crap-stirring worldwide, etc., is bringing 
world civilization down. They know this, but refuse to admit its 
application to their own futures. Any guy you meet in a bar, after 
a few beers, will say the world is going to hell in a handbasket. 
But the next day, he'll go on whistling in the dark, as usual.
     The only difference between a non-survivalist and you, is that 
the non-survivalist lacks the confidence to prepare. He will scoff, 
rationalize, call you paranoid and then fall on his knees before 
the TV evangelist and ask Jesus to save him.
     Barring that, he might join a political extremist group and 
set out to save the world by bombing a politician's flower box. He 
might lose himself in drink or drugs. In his anxiety and 
frustration he might batter his child. He may go into a mom and pop 
store, shooting the old couple and taking $50.00 from the register. 
He may turn to mugging. Losing himself in degeneracy, he might try 
to crash the Guiness Book of Records by scoring the most rapes in 
his area. You'll also find him in a leather club, beating or being 
beaten. He may sexually abuse children. The fag bars are also 
filled with people who say you're full of baloney. These are the 
self-doomed, the damned and the undisciplined. They know the end is 
near for their kind and before they go, they're going to indulge in 
every primeval, infantile fantasy they've ever entertained.
     In short, the people of this planet are going mad through 
anxiety over situations they can't cope with. Oh, you're not alone 
in your anxieties. Your special kind of aloneness simply manifests 
itself in facing reality, while those around you are going 
collectively mad.
     A bit of Black Humor I like is the idea that the only one who 
keeps his head while those around him are losing theirs is the one 
operating the Guillotine. You've got to be in control. You've got 
to approach everyone worthy within your sphere and tell them they 
can ride this out.
     Don't preach at them or argue. If they can't handle the 
situation, you're wasting time best spent on someone else. Instead 
of making a debate of the issue, show them that you have a plan 
which helps you to face the same problems inflicting them. Compare 
your respective situations and show them they are not alone and 
there are answers.
     I remember joining the John Birch Society in 1964. They would 
create chapters made up of citizens who met in the members' homes 
regularly. There they would discuss many of the problems which have 
since grown into major concerns today. They talked over coffee and 
made it like a cordial little party.
     The only thing wrong with them was they blamed all the 
approaching troubles on the communists, especially the Russians. It 
seemed that every bit of international and domestic skulduggery, 
all economic woes and even teenage acne were caused by the 
Russians. (I still get bulletins from various alert patriots 
explaining how the Russians are behind the bad weather, even though 
Moscow is being mobbed by peasants coming in from the countryside 
for meat. Russia's weather has been worse than ours, causing major 
crop losses. Dumb Russians for ruining the world's weather and 
thereby starving their own people). 
     The Birchers finally went out of business; at least, I haven't 
heard of them for years. They told what was wrong, and quite well. 
But they offered no solutions except to write letters of complaint. 
Also, they blamed the communists for everything and our own system 
for nothing.
     Even so, their ideas of local chapters where concerned 
citizens could get together was good. Survivalist chapters might be 
the answer to the need for community preparation for harder times 
     If you would like to start a survival chapter in your area, 
I'll give you a few pointers on how to get started. First, put a 
classified ad in your local newspaper. Such ads cost very little. 
Put it in the "Personals" column and keep it running until you have 
the group you need. You might word it like this; "Survival Seminar. 
If you are worried about inflation, government bungling, job 
security, the decline of the world's systems, etc., call --------".
     Of course, before putting in such an ad, you must have a home 
suitable for such meetings. The Birch meetings I attended were in 
middle-class homes with plenty of couches and easy chairs. The 
refreshments were coffee, cake and cookies and general goodies 
served guests dropping in for a little talk. Nothing fancy.
     When people call up to enquire you can tell them it's just a 
non-political get-together to discuss individual and group 
preparation to make it through the worsening conditions facing the 
community. The discussions will deal with saving money on foods, 
starting home businesses, storing commodities soon to be in short 
supply, etc.
     If they seem interested, tell them your address and the 
evening of the meeting; Fridays are best. If a caller begins to 
argue and tell you everything is fine, you're talking to a boob who 
is so locked into the system he can't consider an alternative. He 
called because he's afraid and hoped you were some sort of phoney 
who would reinforce his hopes that his fears were unfounded. He's 
too far gone. Tell him politely that he must have had something 
else in mind and wouldn't enjoy the group and then hang up.
     The ones who have the guts to act will be receptive. They are 
the ones you can count on for a good discussion. They may not 
accept all your ideas, nor you theirs. But such discussions will 
consolidate the worries your visitors have in common. Then you and 
they will learn to think concerning those survival issues 
confronting those in your area.
     You wouldn't need to begin your first meeting with the rougher 
aspects of survival. You could emphasize the logic of learning 
alternative trades, dozens of which are in the four volumes of THE 
SURVIVOR. Not one of the visitors could reject them all.
     You might also emphasize buying in volume or even creating a 
food cooperative. The way this works is for everyone to list what 
they regularly buy. Then you could arrange for a visit to your 
nearest food wholesaler. Upon getting the wholesale prices for all 
the week's order, you could collect each member's share for what he 
will take. That way, the group would get all their food at 
wholesale rates. There are thousands of such community food 
cooperatives around the country and that's the best way to start a 
survival group.
     You could also broach the idea of buying commodities by the 
case or the gross to resell or barter later. About three years ago, 
Johnny Carson jokingly predicted a shortage of toilet paper. There 
was nothing to it but a lot of people took him seriously.
     One old lady panicked and bought 1000 cases of toilet paper. 
It finally dawned on her that there was no shortage. However, she 
had the cases stored in an outbuilding. A few months ago she 
decided to sell them back to the wholesaler. She got back over 
twice what she originally paid.
     This system would work with anything and is far more sensible 
than putting money into a savings account. A member might buy 100 
cases of 50 book cartons of matches. Another might buy several 
gross of packets of sewing needles and spools of thread. Razor 
blades, safety pins, office supplies such as ball point pens, 
pencils, erasers, etc., would be relatively cheap by the gross and 
would rise in value over the months ahead.
     You can get such commodities wholesale from jobbers listed in 
your phone book or even from your local stores. The store owner 
would be glad to knock off 10% on cases of canned goods and such. 
And if you use the product regularly, you can be sure the price 
will have risen by the time you had used half the case.
     The above money-saving ideas would immediately interest a 
general survival group and make them more receptive to your ideas 
on the harsher aspects. To get them to accept the harder stuff, you 
could sell survival books to the members. For instance, you can buy 
30 of my books in any selection for half price. You could resell 
them to group members and make a profit or just enough over to pay for
refreshments. You could work the same arrangement with other 
survival book publishers and your members would assemble fine 
survival libraries and think more your way as the weeks went by.
     In a short time, you'd have a gung-ho survival group, the kind 
of which so many of you have been wanting. Not only will you have a 
fine survival group, but in helping others to think survival, you'd 
be getting your own thinking squared away. You and your group would 
then be the most stable force in the community when the crash 
finally comes.