The Modern Survival Retreat was obviously written in the wake of federal government atrocities at Ruby Ridge, Idaho and Waco Texas. Benson considers the greatest threat to the prepper / survivalist to be government use of force against American citizens thus his focus is preparing against attack by some alphabet agency.
As Benson states; “Today people must contend with a host of regulators, bureaucrats, and other officials who want to micromanage how we work, play, interact, and simply live. But make no mistake about it – if you attempt to defy these authorities in the open, you will be taken down, often at the point of a gun. You will lose your freedom, and you could lose your life.”
While the above statement holds truth, The Modern Survival Retreat offers little to combat the situation. I expected detailed advice on retreat location, construction, concealment, stockpiling, weapon choice and defensive techniques – unfortunately the book offers little usable advice in those areas.
I liked that the book wasn’t written from a tin-foil hat perspective. As Benson points out that you’re more likely to have a run in with the EPA, school board or local zoning commission than U.N. troops or black helicopters. These are the organization that can and will come against you taking away your freedom to do as you see fit.
There is elementary advice given for those wanting to drop from government view, but this is covered much better in other books dedicated to the subject.
The idea of anonymously owning a retreat with water well, 1,000-gallon propane storage, tractors, stacks of firewood, garden, domestic animals etc., that is off government radar is a pipe dream at best. I’m not saying it is impossible – but unlikely with limited resources.
As for defensive strategies when the government comes hardcore against you, I like the fact Benson is honest in his assessment that you’re screwed, with the only viable option being to run or surrender.
No matter how well-trained or equiped we are, if a government agency is hell-bent on taking your retreat, there is nothing you can do about.
Sure, you can put up a fight, possibly taking a few jack-boots down in the process but they’ll be replaced. Takeout a tank or APC and they’ll bring in two more. The best you can hope for is to escape to a new location before they ram your door.
As Benson points out no one will come to your rescue when you are surrounded and cut off by government forces – you will be on your own. Not only will you be on your own, you will be demonized.
Their public relations experts will put their own spin on things making you into the most dangerous, racist, skinhead, KKK, child molesting, drug dealing, survivalist (or prepper) who ever set foot in a bunker or compound.
What’s that you say. You’ve never been in a bunker or compound. Don’t worry as soon a their public relations experts release the story to the media your retreat – even if it is nothing more than a thin-walled travel trailer or plywood shack will be labeled as such.
While there are a few bits of information within the pages of The Modern Survival Retreat, I don’t think the average survivalist will find much of it of use in our present situation. I think Benson’s other book on retreats was much better and of more practical use to the survivor.
- The Prepper's Guide to Surviving the End of the World, as We Know It: Gear, Skills, and Related Know-How
- The Prepared Prepper's Cookbook: Over 170 Pages of Food Storage Tips, and Recipes From Preppers All Over America!
- Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man's Solution
- 31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness