A Cashless Society and the Implication for Preppers

This guest post is by Joe I. (aka village idiot) and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .

For the past few years the US Government has been trying, through fits and starts, to implement a policy whereby all its payments are made electronically into bank accounts or onto electronic debit cards. The Government recently announced that Social Security payments would all be either electronic entries in bank accounts or EBTcards by sometime in 2013. Payments to retirees are already electronic entries for the most part, and VA checks and other governmental payments will follow suit.

All these actions have supposedly taken place in an effort to save money, yet the savings are miniscule compared to overall spending, and it would take a great leap of faith for one to believe the government is in any way concerned about cutting spending. All evidence points to the contrary, so budget savings are likely a cover for the real reason behind these measures. The private sector has also had a hand in the push for the cashless society, and with the introduction of credit and debit cards have made great strides in the elimination of cash.

For banks and other financial institutions, the less cash they have to handle, the more profit they make. It takes less personnel, less space, and it is easier to handle electronic transactions as opposed to counting, distributing and storing cash. Almost all transfers of funds between financial institutions are already electronic.

There is less and less physical cash circulating in the economy, and the trend is headed toward zero. As preppers, we should be aware of what is happening, and what the implications will be when and if our society becomes basically cashless. Identity theft, fraud and hacking are already costing society hundreds of billions of dollars, and they will continue to grow in a cashless environment.

Law enforcement will be adjusting resources to deal with these issues, and less money and personnel will be allocated to fight traditional crimes of violence such as assault, burglary and theft. There will be choices for us to make if we wish to remain viable and independent, and if we wish to maintain our privacy.

I do suggest that people who receive retirement or assistance from the government get the checks delivered to their home if they qualify. Usually handicapped and sick people can get checks rather than debit cards if they can show a hardship. Naturally there are forms to be filled out, but it might be worth a try.

I. OPSEC

One of the major problems for preppers in a cashless society will be remaining anonymous and preserving operations security. And not in a military sense of the word, but just day-to-day living and working. In a cashless society every single transaction of life will be recorded on a computer server somewhere.

What and where you buy food, water, supplies, and all the accoutrements of life will be recorded, and it is very likely that there will be computer programs and algorithms that will automatically flag people who buy certain things or combinations of things that are not approved by a new breed of bureaucrat acting on a bevy of new regulations.

Certain foods, additives, beverages, antiseptics, medicines, and possibly the quantities purchased could be used to identify behaviors and traits in an effort to identify people who might be preppers. For instance, perhaps large purchases of garden seed would set off an alarm somewhere.

II. Freedom of movement

It will be impossible to move around the country without leaving an electronic trail, even if one doesn’t want to. Purchasing gasoline, buying plane or train tickets, restaurant and hotel transactions, and all aspects of travel will leave a trail easy to follow. Of course, travel alone probably wouldn’t have any implications for preppers.

But visits to certain areas will likely get one scrutinized, depending on whether there is tax havens in places one travels, such as certain parts of the Caribbean, or whether one visits some destinations in Latin America or Asia.

Of course, the average prepper won’t have to worry about tax havens and international travel, but some preppers will fall in this category. I don’t want to be too paranoid here, but I do want us as preppers to think about the long-term trends that are now developing and the new regulations being implemented by our government, such as the seizure of passports if one owes back taxes.

III. Healthcare

Another dangerous trend now occurring is the government takeover of healthcare. For years, the payment of insurance, fees and other costs of healthcare have moved more and more into the electronic arena and away from cash. Hospitals and other medical facilities have been in the process of putting patient records on computers for years, and now the government is forcing doctors to make patient’s records into electronic files.

It’s likely that one won’t be able to receive medical care in the near future by paying cash. And records will be made of every visit to the ER, every visit to the doctor, every visit that has anything to do with medical care, with all these records available for government regulators to see. Government programs such as Medicaid and medicare are taking more and more of the overall budget, and sooner or later rationing will have to take place.

The prepper’s strategy here will be to store certain medicines such as antibiotics and other critical drugs, but also to learn remedies that were successful in the past but have been lost in the Age of Modern Medicine. There are numerous books on the subject, and a google search will reveal thousands of possibilities. The Doctor’s Book on Home Remedies is one I like, but do the research.

People who know and practice home remedies will be in great demand in a cashless society. And make friends with a doctor, if possible. I have a personal friend who is a GP, and he is a prepper, although he doesn’t advertise that fact. And I have a nephew in medical school, a niece who is a radiologist and her husband is a nurse.

Given these facts what is a prepper to do? Here are some suggestions that will help, and hopefully allow a prepper to prosper, in no particular order.

A. Gold, silver, and junk silver coins.

A good strategy is to have a small amount of 1/10 oz. gold coins for wealth protection. One can also purchase 1 oz. silver eagles or maple leafs as both are well-recognized in No. America. The most important silver purchase if one lives in the United States are 90% silver coins that were issued before 1965. They are commonly called junk silver. The dimes are the most convenient, but quarter and half-dollars are useful as well.

Let me say that no one should buy any precious metals until they have their other preps in line. And remember, a prepper uses precious metals for insurance and protection, not wealth building. Precious metals are volatile, and trading in and out of them is best left to the experts. Always take delivery of any precious metals you buy. If you don’t have them in your possession, you don’t own them. Most companies have the option to pay you dollars in lieu of the metals if they so desire.

B. Bartering

A great way for preppers to prosper is to build up bartering networks. There is an art to bartering, and one gets better at it if practiced. I go to gun shows quite often and enjoy trying to trade and barter for ammo and supplies. Other places to barter are farmer’s markets and small businesses. Any small business that is locally owned should be on your radar as a barter opportunity.

C. Gardening and animal husbandry

A no-brainer, as raising food will mean one doesn’t have to get it elsewhere. Food security will be the most important aspect of life for preppers. Food storage will last for whatever time period one has prepared, but for the long-term only gardening and animal husbandry will provide a secure source of food. Raising chickens for meat and eggs is probably the most efficient use of resources, but goats for milk and meat pay big dividends as well.

D. Water

Of course, water for survival both for animals and humans is a must. A local, reliable water source is the single most important thing a prepper can have. It can come from a well, pond, creek, spring, lake, reservoir, or river, but the water must be potable. One has to have filters, chemicals or boiling available to them for purifying water, or a combination of the three. Water must be assumed contaminated unless it has been tested or has been consumed from a well for a lengthy period of time. Store plenty of water, but know that one can’t store enough water to last long-term.

E. Hunting, fishing and gathering.

There is no reason that preppers shouldn’t be taking advantage of hunting and fishing opportunities. Most states have generous bag limits for game and fish, so harvesting game that is plentiful, lean and healthier for you is a great strategy.

Fishing can also provide healthy protein, and with little expense one can store fish, either by freezing, smoking or pickling. Another strategy is gathering. Fruits, nuts and berries are mostly bought in grocery stores these days, yet in the past most people planted fruit and nut trees. They grow wild in many places now, so looking for old home places and cruising public lands can help one locate fruits and nuts.

Take a drive in a state or national park or preserve in the spring, and it is easy to identify the trees that are in bloom. Mark them for future harvest. It is not ethical to gather fruit and nuts without permission on private land, but most people would rather see someone use a product rather than see it go to waste. So ask, and give some to the landowner or manager of the property. You will not be disappointed.

F. Networking

Right now is the time to get to know people in your community who could be of assistance in hard times. Get to know your doctor or dentist, make friends with the local farmers at the farmer’s market. Support these farmers if they grow something you don’t, or if you need extra.

Even if it costs a little more, spend a little extra and help the local farmer. Support people who grow organic, or use heirloom seeds for their crops. Shop and get your prescription drugs from a local pharmacist, not Wal-Mart or Walgreens.

Think local first, and if you can get it locally, do it. Make it a habit to visit with older people in your community, either by going to nursing homes or elder centers. Just about every city or small town has these facilities.

The elderly are a wealth of information on farming, ranching, gardening, sewing, soap-making, candle-making and many other activities that were common years ago. Seek out that information. You might just make a new friend as well.

G. Miscellaneous

I would just like to finish with a little advice. Don’t give the appearance of wealth, and don’t stand out. Be humble, be friendly, be helpful, and be a part of your community. No man (or woman) is an island. No one person will thrive in the new economy, but a collection of like-minded individuals can make life decent and livable, and survivable.

This contest will end on October 10 2012 – prizes include:

  • First Place : $100 Cash.
  • Second Place : $50 Cash.
  • Third Place : $25 Cash.

Contest ends on October 10 2012.

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About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.

Comments

  1. Great article, VI. I have thought a lot about things becoming cashless lately. And now that two companies have developed an item that plugs into anyone’s smart phone to accept debit/credit cards, I see it getting even closer. When I first started seeing those things advertised on tv, my first thought was “gee, now people don’t have to have cash for any reason, not even to pay your friend for something they picked up for you while they were at the store.” Something that we often times use cash for. I expect that it will not be long before these items will either be mandatory, or awfully inconvenient not to own.
    Lot’s of good things in your article.

    • village idiot says:

      Thank you for your kind words, DJV. A move to a cashless society makes it more difficult to prep in my opinion, but does help us think outside the box. We will need to come up with more strategies as the economy slides, I’m afraid. I just wanted to get folks thinking.

  2. VI, another good point you made was OPSEC. I have been trying to use cash for everything, just leaving enough in the bank for paying routine bills. My intention was for privacy. But almost every single store these days has some form of “loyalty rewards card”, that is still tracking my every expenditure, even if I pay cash. And then the cashier still wants, phone number, zipcode, etc. to check out. I finally had enough. Now I say “no thanks”. And when they ask for my “loyalty card” I tell them I don’t have one. And if they push it, I just have to say, “look, I’m tired of retail tracking and junk mail.” I think all of this is harmless enough as it stands, but it is still tracking. And it is designed, IMHO, to have us all so accustomed to tracking our every move that we don’t balk as it becomes more prevalent and more intrusive. Ok, I’ll send MD money for the rant!

    • Homeinsteader says:

      You are absolutely right, DJV. Cashiers and store employees are trained to be persistent in demanding that information, but, UNDER PRESENT LAW, can not REQUIRE it. That will probably change. I do exactly as you do – “just say no” and stand my ground”. The next one to speak – loses: first rule of salesmanship! ; )

      I recently made the mistake of purchasing things at China Mart using my debit card not long ago. A few days later, I have an email from China Mart “suggesting” other things I might like – based on those purchases!

      It’s benign enough for now – that WILL change.

      • Encourager says:

        We were at Harbor Freight and they asked for our zip code. I said we don’t give it out. The clerk looked dumbfounded and asked “Why??” I told her it was my choice and stared at her. Then she asked for my phone number. I just looked at her and said no. Then I asked her if it would be better if we just shopped elsewhere? The manager, who was listening at the other register, said “that won’t be necessary. Sorry to bother you.” and to her – “just ring her up”. I could have been in and out 3 times by the time that was over!

        I am CONSTANTLY having to educate doctor offices, dentist offices, even the Vet, that they do not need my social security number for any reason. They are so puzzled, as they say they use it for in-office tracking. The last time (at the surgeon’s office!) I had to explain that I used to work for Social Security, the # was never suppose to be shared, and it was actually illegal to use it as a form of ID. (Well, at least it was when I worked there about 35 years ago!) I also explain that they are probably honest, but if they ever hired temporary help, many temps hire on at medical facilities to obtain personal ID info on patients, all the more easy to steal the patient’s identity. I pointed out that it was all right there in the chart, right? Name, birth date, SSN, sometimes parents’ names (I left that blank BTW), address, etc. The woman in the surgeon’s office was shocked and admitted she had never thought that through. Hopefully, I educated her……there are just so many sheeple in the world, you just never know if you made an impact or not.

        • Encourager says:

          Oh, forgot! VI, great article. Food for thought! And I am going to the bank tomorrow and pull out more cash….

          • Homeinsteader says:

            What I love, Encourager, is when I see someone’s social security number printed on their checks! And I STILL see that once in a while! Amazing, ain’t it?!

            • Encourager says:

              Yes. Amazing isn’t the word…how about STUPID??

              We had some friends back in the 70’s that actually had their SSN AND their DOB AND their driver’s license number printed on their checks…yeah… told us it made it easier for them; they didn’t get asked for their driver’s license, etc, that way. They moved to Seattle in the late 70’s. Wonder if they still have that on their checks.

            • For several years I had my driver’s license number on my checks. When I went to reorder the checks, I talked with my branch manager and she suggested that I take it off which I did.

              About 20 years ago I visited my cousin while she was purchasing appliances for her new house. The state she was in actually allowed the stores to take a photocopy of both her driver’s license and major credit card in order to set up store accounts. I was shocked because in my state that would have been illegal.

    • Plant Lady says:

      You know, with most loyalty cards you don’t have to show ID to get one. So, my “imaginary friend” fills out all those for me with “her” info. And my MIL’s & grandfather’s “imaginary friends” fills out theirs (hehe). And we each have a couple more cards for “friends” we occasionally shop for…then I can divide up bulk purchases among “us” (since I always use cash), so one card isn’t showing a large purchase of anything. And you can get around those “limit 3” rules (hehe). If they want email, set up a hotmail or yahoo acct. just for this purpose…or even better, a different one for each loyalty card.
      And for those clerks who are getting a bit demanding about zip codes or phone numbers? Just make one up! To make things easy on yourself, write the “fake” zip code, phone # and email on each card.
      I had been buying a lot of ammo at walmart…until I saw one of my niece’s boyfriends there (with his friends) buying his first gun – a shotgun. I stopped to talk and tell him “the family” had standardized on Mossberg 500, rather than the Remington he was holding – and we got “trash-talking” brands. When I got home, my sister called, saying the boyfriend wanted to come over and visit and talk guns. Apparently the gun clerk at walmart had told him and his friends “Don’t mess with that lady, she is my best customer”. The wanna-be nephew explained and the clerk told him “she knows her stuff, listen to her, she is better stocked than we are”. OMG! I now can’t buy ammo at walmart unless a fill-in clerk is at the desk or have someone else pick it up for me when they are in town – or drive 54 miles one way to the next town. Its not just companies or the govts…clerks see and remember, especially when you shop the same few stores in a small area like this…and they talk!

      • I too never like to give out that info at check out and just use a made up number. Also have “imaginary” friends fill out forms for the shopper cards etc. I do most of my shopping out of the town I live in just because my little town does not have the selection. Try to always use cash when I can. Get all my mail at a P.O. box to make sure no one else but me has access to it since I am out of town overnight freaquently . I even give out a fake name when at a food place etc that asks for my name to call out when item is ready, don’t know why just like to not call attention to myself. But I do notice eveyone else in locations wherever I go. Was in wal mart this afternoon and played a game of if shtf right after I left who would still be alive in 4 weeks. Out of my observations at wal mart at 2pm it was about 65% no and 35% propably. Seemed like a lot of the grossly obese and out of shape were shopping tues afternoon.

        • GeorgiaBoy says:

          Maybe I’m being paranoid but I can almost see a situation where filling out loyalty cards for imaginary friends could be viewed by an over zealous prosecutor as some form of fraud or identity theft. I know you’re not trying to defraud anyone, it’s not an official form, there’s no duty to give accurate info, etc. Food for thought.

      • Encourager says:

        Good grief! As if that wannabe nephew needed all that info about you! Well, maybe in a way it is a good thing. You are just gonna have to scare the pants off him once…when he shows up after dark uninvited with his friends. The sound of a racking shotgun does things to the bowels.

        • Plant Lady says:

          Oh, no…he is a good kid. And he has been hanging around for a year. After what the clerk told him and what my sister explained in detail, I don’t have to scare him – he really wants to learn and calls me now (hehe). Heck, if I had known he had any interest he would have been invited over to the back yard “aka The Range” before this. If he is going to be around, and buying guns, he needs to be trained…and gently guided toward being prepared.

          • Encourager says:

            Sorry that I went at that the wrong way, Plant Lady. Sounds like you will be his mentor. The fact that he wants to learn is wonderful. Open his eyes, give him wisdom and knowledge!

      • Hi Plant Lady,
        Not only clerks but home inspectors, plumbers, electricians, UPS drivers, movers and even furniture/appliance delivery drivers. Almost all of these have commented at one point on something I have purchased or had delivered. One point blank asked me if I was a prepper and another made some kind of end of the world remark while he was moving my rather large collection of “tools”. Sheeple may be sleeping but they are not blind. Be safe out there Pack.

        • Homeinsteader says:

          Sometimes I wonder if they are looking for “other preppers” – but, if that’s true, they need to be careful how they go about gleaning information, eh?!

      • Homeinsteader says:

        Smart lady! You CAN always get these cards using whatever name you like (including your own) but NOT providing sensitive information.

      • Give the stores their own phone number and zip code. Clerks won’t know what the store number is anyway 🙂

  3. Nice article. You bring up many things to consider. Another thing is that if you have a small home based business, you will have to spend resources to be able to charge people for you goods. Then there’s the little things, like tipping the paper deliverer, the kid down the street who mows your lawn, etc.

  4. I realized some years ago that there would eventually be some kind of government scrutiny to the electronic records. My SS is electronically deposited for conveniences sake because of the increasing number of assaults on the elderly to steal their checks or cash. My own grandsons frequently associate with these types of scum and more than once I have heard the remarks from their associates that grandpa and grandma must be rich. To their credit, my grandsons reply that they are not rich but have sufficient money to purchase all the ammunition they require and would not hesitate to shoot an assailant or intruder followed with the story of one grandson, having a key to the house, let himself in one night and went to the back bedroom to obtain a musical instrument. Since he did not identify himself when he came in and did not respond to my questions of who it was initially, when he heard the hammer of my pistol cock back, he rapidly identified himself. He was very close to getting shot and they tell their associates this. On the other matter about tracking your purchases, the items such as normal groceries, utilities and prescription medicines I pay for by card since they are already tracked and into the system. For my prep supplies, I had made the habit of drawing several hundred dollars monthly from the account and using this to cover my purchases from stores like thrift shops, etc that do not utilize cash registers nor written invoices. You can shop around and still find some that do business this way. Other purchases like ammunition and other track able items are generally purchased at gun shows out of state and brought home by means other than shipping. I try my best to keep from advertising those purchases. The fore mentioned ones that are already tracked you can do nothing about. I do have a small reserve of metals but doubt very seriously of the value of this if society goes completely under since their worth would be intrinsical at the most. However, based on the possibility of such happening, I have limited the gold amount and just like the silver have broken it up into 1tenth, 1 quarter, 1 half and 1 ounce quantities to facilitate purchases in case it is still worth something. I believe if this does happen, the ammunition, will be more of a medium of exchange along with other barter items like razor blades, disposable razors, etc than the metals.

  5. Generally, I’d say avoid the farmers market farmers. My experience is that many of them tend to be transplanted urbanites (not that there’s anything wrong with that, per se) that are going back to the land and living a simpler life.

    They have a 3-7 year lifespan as farmers (depending on thier startup capital and whether they have an off farm income), before they give up/go broke and move away.

    Best place to meet farmers that are in it for the longhaul is the local farm repair shop. If you have some piece of equipment that needs fixing or even a tire that needs changing, drop by one of those around 10 am. You can usually find 4-8 farmers sitting around trading info and drinking coffee while they wait for their equipment to b ready. There’ll be more of them on rainy days.

  6. Well thought out and well said. A trip to the grocery store is likely to be an event requiring special preps one. Be ready.

  7. Sounds like good advice to me. I totally agree!

  8. Taxes. If you spend less than the amount required to maintain your lifestyle, it is proof you are cheating on your taxes. Just ask the tip earners that have been prosecuted. Food. If you don’t spend the “right” amount on government approved food, no more and no less, you are cheating the government by raising your own and paying taxes on it, or you deprive your children of vital government approved nourishment. Ammo. You bought a large amount, you must be terrist.

  9. Tactical G-Ma says:

    VI,
    Good overview. However, many of us seniors dependant upon Social Security, retirement pay, IRAs, and 401Ks already bear the mark of the beast. Or in this case, the mark of technology. You say we should have checks sent to us, but when we were handling checks and cash, we were routinely robbed or worse, some postal clerk got rich. If the grid crashes, DH and I are hosed except for a little, and I mean LITTLE, stash and of course our preps. We will have goods and services to barter. But people should be warned: there are perils and pitfalls with however you manage your money.
    I was however, very relieved that when the market crashed, and thieves like the Maddoffs surfaced, people who were financially ruined didn’t commit suicide in droves like the last time.
    But then very few people I know have millions to invest. But us redneck, hillbilly, coonass, illiterate po folk are like cockroaches. We will be here long after the haves are gone.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      “But us redneck, hillbilly, coonass, illiterate po folk are like cockroaches. We will be here long after the haves are gone.”

      Lol. Love it! I do believe you folks will still be around when the elites are begging in the hills or swinging by their necks. 😉

    • Encourager says:

      Good grief, Tactical G-Ma, watch what you say! We earned our Social Security checks by paying into the system. Just because we get them, does not mean we “already bear the mark of the beast”. I consider the mark of the beast to be something that will damn us to hell for eternity and no matter what, will never be “marked”. You hit a nerve.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Encourager,
        I am truly sorry. I was trying to be funny and my twisted sense of humor fell flat as well as offended. It does truly scare me that someone somewhere is counting how much toilet paper I buy. Again, I apologize to anyone I offended.
        One last thought, yes Social Security is a retirement plan I have paid into since my 1st job. I couldn’t live very well without it now. But I was never given a choice and I am required to buy Medicare Plan B or my other insurances will drop me. That’s my rant for the day.

        • Encourager says:

          I forgive you Tactical G-Ma!

          And I understand about the Medicare Part B rant. I need to do that before next May. I just hope the Medicare Part D is not as horrible as my current Rx coverage. It infuriates me when the Rx insurer tells my doctor what to prescribe and won’t cover what he wants me to take. That is just wrong!

          We have also decided to use cash as much as we can in all our prep purchases (and normal purchases). I, too, am tired of being tracked. That article about the TSA working with Walmart made me blow my top. I do not think WM will be getting much of my business anymore.

          • Petnumber1 says:

            Where was the article? I could only find a commentary on it and a video from a guy who said he saw it, not actually proof that it occurred. Could someone point me in the right direction so I can read it for myself?

  10. Bailbonds and lawyer’s retaining fees are (and probably always will be) cash-only; as it is the lawyers who run the govm’t I seriously doubt we will go truly cashless. However, the advice on the tracability of purchases is apt and well worth the consideration.

    • charlie (NC) says:

      Pawnshops, the poor man’s bank. There was actually a news piece on that on a local TV station recently.

    • Homeinsteader says:

      Not always on the lawyers, blogRot (I do not know about bailbondsmen). It really depends on how desperate the attorney is for $$$ and whether you have any “roots” in the community (will they be able to find you?). Personal experience, anyway. I needed to hire a lawyer for a family member who could not afford to do so (and needed a lawyer); one wanted X amount in cash, up front; I found another who was happy to take a post-dated check (it was necessary – but we’re talking about 4 days here – Friday until Monday, when a transfer could be credited to my account) and did the job for half what the first quoted, the first wanting cash only, and would not take a post-dated check (even though we had been in the community for years and owned our own real estate). Both practiced in our small community and were relatively well-known.

      Lawyers get to decide what their fees are, but do have some constraints based on “accepted practice”, as long as it doesn’t get into taking advantage of clients. An attorney taking advantage re: $$ of a client gets a bad reputation fairly quickly, and may find himself/herself invited to their State Bar Association to explain/defend their choice. Most don’t want to do that.

      On another occasion, I needed to hire a lawyer to get a problem neighbor off our property. Lawyer didn’t know me from Eve, but took my check and got right to work.

      The point? It pays to shop around – even for lawyers; I’m not talking about bottom line (be careful; “you get what you pay for” may apply here, too!), I’m talking about how desperate they are for money – that WILL translate into how well they serve the client.

  11. VI, what are you trying to scare me to get back at me for ranking on the Razorbacks? Great advice and this stuff does worry me. I heed your advice in some ways and then I am also lazy in other ways and do too much electronically. Stay safe!

    • village idiot says:

      Hahaha….no, d2, I wrote this article long before the tribulations of the Razorbacks. Rather sickening in many ways, but on the bright side I now have seats on the 35 yd. line for the Kentucky game. Small steps, d2, small steps.

  12. Homeinsteader says:

    Rev 13:15 And there was given to it to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might both speak, and might cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

    Rev 13:16 And it causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or in their foreheads,
    Rev 13:17 even that not any might buy or sell except those having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name.

    Rev 14:9 And a third angel followed them, saying with a great voice, If anyone worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark in his forehead or in his hand,
    Rev 14:10 he also will drink of the wine of the anger of God, having been mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath. And he will be tormented by fire and brimstone before the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.
    Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. And they have no rest day or night, those who worship the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.

    Rev 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go and pour out the vials of the anger of God on the earth.
    Rev 16:2 And the first went and poured out his vial on the earth. And a bad and grievous sore fell on the men who had the mark of the beast, and on those who worshiped his image.

    Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet doing signs before it, (by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast), and those who had worshiped his image. The two were thrown alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone.

    • Petnumber1 says:

      I’m probably wrong, but I have always believed the Bible’s “beast” is not a single person, but rather….money.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Pet1,
        I think there are tons of interpretations. Lord knows. I don’t. I just try my best to live the way Jesus wants and someday I will know.
        Sometimes it is hard to correctly express myself, especially written out since I am a bit of a smart alek. I suppose money is as good an interpretation as any. All I know is the bad guys are going to be marked in such a way that the good guys can identify them. But I think there are a few events to happen before that, if I understand my Bible right. I just want to be one of the good guys!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      HI,
      I wasn’t serioously considering that technology equals the mark of the beast but I am drawing the line when it comes to having a microchip implanted. I do feel like I have less and less control over my life and absolutely no privacy.

      And Scott G.,
      There are times in everyones life when one prefers to hear birds and smell flowers and see wildlife (not the human kind). Rather than the hubbub of Society. And I enjoy friends and family and hamburgers and playing at the lake. I think preppers probably come in all shapes and sizes and just like having a savings account, working out, or watching their cholesterol, are preparing for the “What Ifs”. And while I believe some are consumed with prepping others take it as apart of their lives. And I doubt there will be few preppers living alone or isolated from their neighbors should a catastrophe occur.

      • village idiot says:

        T G-Ma, I’ve drawn the line somewhere before the PTB get around to placing a microchip. But I like the fact that you’ve drawn that line.

    • axelsteve says:

      I mostly pay cash for my preps. No e or paper trail . If I get questioned by a cashier I just make something up. It has worked so far.

    • village idiot says:

      Home, just wanted to touch base and say hey. I saw on the other thread where you’ve been to north Arkansas. I’m headed there soon myself. Hope to see you one of these days. Busy..busy right now.

  13. SurvivorDan says:

    Nicely done village idiot. Thorough examination of the topic.

    Once again proving the village idiot is no one’s fool. 🙂

  14. Just a couple comments:

    About paranoia. Let me quote from the book, Catch-22. “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” One of the things I did in the Army in addiction to being a criminal investigator was playing bodyguard to NATO diplomats and the odd general. I once helped to guard Casper Weinberger and the Chancelor of German, Helmut Kohl. I learned that as long as you are mentally balanced, paranoia is a survival trait, not a handicap.

    I have no doubt that the government has been looking at the banking system, rubbing it’s figurative hands and cackling with glee at the thought of the control they will have over one of the most important aspects of our lives. It will be done through the guise of finding terrorists, organized crime and tax evaders. The PATRIOT Act is a prime example of this.

    The IRS already has a jump of those who barter. You are required to pay taxes on bartering just as if you were getting money. I was part of a barter network in the 80’s and even then I was “required” to pay taxes.

    If you want water and have the money, I seriously suggest you sink a well into the artesian layer. The water will never need to be pumped up for use and it will always be pure. It is a good way to eliminate the water wars that are coming.

    Nuf said about gardening, raising animals, hunting and living off the land.

    As for networking, I strongly suspect that the vast majority of preppers are introverts who are loners and networking makes them uncomfortable. However, this is vital. Personally, I prefer being an island, but a family alone is an easy target.

    Good article.

    • Encourager says:

      “but a family alone is an easy target.” I agree. And we are alone. Wish there was someway we could meet like-minded folk in our area, without blowing our OPSEC. Had a dream (rather a nightmare, woke up in a cold sweat) that the ‘family’ that lives around us, about 6-7 houses by now, decided when SHTF to just help themselves to everyone’s stuff, whether they were home or not. They kicked in our door and when they opened our bedroom door, I shot one of the sons of this family and killed him. It was the one I trust the least, an alcoholic mean SOB. Had that dream a few nights in a row, took it as a warning.

      • Homeinsteader says:

        Teach a Prep 101 in a local church, no matter how small you start. If you have 3 people show up, be happy! Our first was 35, and we were ecstatic! But we would have been happy with 1. We now have a “local” network of like-minded preppers, and it is growing.

        • Encourager says:

          Good idea, Homeinsteader. Although for OPSEC, I don’t think it would be a close-by local church….

          • Encourager says:

            Gosh, do I sound paranoid???????? =>/

          • Homeinsteader says:

            We do close-by, local; we don’t use our real names (we make up silly, fun names and we tell people, “don’t use your whole name when you register or fill out a nametag – your first name will do – and we don’t care if you make it up; the people from that church know who belongs and who does not, so it’s not an issue for us), and we don’t answer questions we don’t want to answer. So far, so good. There are sometimes people in the group who know us, and we have already covered the importance of OPSEC with them, making sure they are “on board” before we agree to do this. In fact, we usually recruit their help in pulling off a successful event, and that seems to work very well.

  15. SurvivorDan says:

    I’m not paranoid….I’m perceptive.

  16. Wild Weasel says:

    Just be smart! As technology grows you will dragged into using as companies and people use it. Don’t purchase in large amounts that would raise a flag. The goverment doesn’t waste time on small fish. Operate within technology to best suit your needs, use technology to benefit you. Not using technology may draw more attention to you than you would like. Not saying you sign up for every rewards card but not all technology is bad. If they want to know what you are doing they will just follow you around.

    • axelsteve says:

      Wild weasel. I buy ammo in small doses mostly 100 rounds per visit. I do not buy big bricks or cans of ammo . I stagger my visits to different shifts so I do not have a pattern. I get a large part of preps at the dollar tree using the same tactics.

      • Another avenue is small gun shops. Most don’t have large quantities but have enough to by at a time and most love cash. Don’t raise any eyebrows buying a box or two at a time

    • Homeinsteader says:

      If you’ve been following news blurps in the past few months, it’s already too late to worry about “large amounts” – consider the reports of TSA personnel at China Mart questioning persons who purchased large amounts of “camping equipment’ – AT THE CHECKOUT – they were waiting for them. Didn’t matter how they paid. This is not an urban legend, as I understand, it actually happened. Their rationale? They must be Uni-Bombers going into hiding, or, some such thing.

      • Encourager says:

        Why would TSA personnel be at that store? Wouldn’t it be someone from Homeysecurity?

        • Homeinsteader says:

          I have no idea, Encourager…but the report was that they were TSA personnel, TOLD to watch the checkout lines at China Mart. I wasn’t there…did not personally witness anything…

        • Homeinsteader says:

          I did find the following (without spending too much time on the subject). Most of these seemed to have been posted 2010-2011; I found a few in which the content had been taken down. Hmmmm????

          https://riffenberg.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/tsa-drafts-walmartplans-for-schools/

          TSA DRAFTS WALMART,PLANS FOR SCHOOLS
          For months now the TSA has worked with private companies and state govts. to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. 230 Wal-Mart’s nationwide have programmed screens located at checkout counters to inform shoppers the federal govt. needs their help to capture terrorists. Funded partially by a 13 million dollar grant, plans are to expand the operation to 588 Wal-Marts, total.
          PLANS TO EXPAND OPERATION TO SCHOOLS & PRIVATE SECTOR
          The partnership has been expanded to,” American Hotel & Lodging Association, Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, sports and general aviation industries, and state and local fusion centers across the country.”Plans are to include the public school systems. Perhaps children will be encouraged to rat on their parents. Remember last year when the public was told to rat on anyone who criticised health care to the Whitehouse? Remember when Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius threatened the insurance companies if they criticised health care?This is an incremental step. Naploitano needs to justify why the TSA should be expanded. Make the population scared. Convince them,even Wal-Mart isn’t safe. Obama said he wanted a national police force that is just as powerful and just as well-funded as the military.
          December, 2011
          http://www.examiner.com/article/tsa-and-janet-napolitano-greet-shoppers-at-wal-mart
          TSA and Janet Napolitano greet shoppers at Wal-Mart
          • Department of Homeland Security
          • December 12, 2010
          http://newsjunkiepost.com/2010/12/12/homeland-security-and-tsa-fear-paranoia-at-a-walmart-and-airport-near-you/
          Homeland Security And TSA: Fear, Paranoia At A Walmart And Airport Near You

          This one has some choice language (warning!):

          http://www.sott.net/article/239084-US-Body-Cavity-Searches-At-Wal-Mart-
          US: Body Cavity Searches At Wal-Mart?

          • Petnumber1 says:

            I read about that campaign. To my understanding, it was a realization after 9/11 that people are basically sheeple and don’t pay much attention to their surroundings. The campaign was supposed to be about “waking people up.”

            I grew up in New York City, and I can tell you from experience, people, when they’re out in public, tend to retreat inward. They don’t tend to notice other people, respect others’ personal space, or even be that aware of their surroundings. Many Asians who come from large cities in China and even Japan act in much the same way – I guess it’s a way of protecting oneself from being overwhelmed by the crowds and all the humanity.

            Not saying this campaign couldn’t quickly go down a very slippery slope, but I honestly think anything we can do to raise people’s awareness of their surroundings, and encouraging them to speak up if they see something “off” is probably a good thing.

            I’m guessing they partnered with Wal-Mart because a large percentage of the population shops there at some time or another. You can’t reach that large percentage of the population with TV ads or any other PSA campaign.

            Note that there is a VERY big leap between a campaign urging folks to be aware and observant, and searching people’s bags or questioning their purchases at Wal-Mart. Does anyone have a credible link to an article about the latter?

            • Homeinsteader says:

              I did not grow up in NYC, but I’ve been in the ‘hood – several times. IMHO, what you describe IS a typical behavior there, but not in all parts of the country. I don’t think we “retreat inward” in the South, although I certainly DO see that everytime I’m in the Northeast. Love to smile, look people in the eye (but ya’ gotta be quick up there!) and say, “hey, there! how y’all doin’ today?”. Then watch them clutch their wallet or purse and skitter away. Yep. It’s a whole different world.

      • axelsteve says:

        I would just tell them to kiss my a$$ then. I am going on vacation. This does not look like an airport to me .

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Here in Arizona THEY would be awfully busy checking out camping/prepping supplies buyers. Mormons, ranchers, preppers, farmers, militia folk, etc.
        Good grief! I hope that’s not true.

      • Encourager says:

        Another thought ~ how can TSA just go through your packages? Don’t they need a search warrant?

        If wallyworld is participating in this, they have just lost my business, for good. I can shop elsewhere. I wonder if they are going to start doing that at Sam’s Clubs since they are owned together with wallyworld. If so, I am going to have to find a Costco within driving distance. Sheesh. It seems if we don’t make a stink when stuff like this happens, they just keep it up and get worse. What is a patriot to do???

        • Homeinsteader says:

          I don’t believe they do need a search warrant; I believe that is covered under the Patriot Act?

      • Encourager says:

        Homeinsteader, can you get me the source of the story about the purchase of camping equipment? I did a Google search but came up empty.

  17. If you plan to harvest state or national parks, make sure a ranger doesn’t see you because they will fine you. If things get bad some of the parks will probably close, in which case you might be able to go unseen.

    • Encourager says:

      It is my understanding that in Michigan you can pick berries, etc on state land. I even had a DNR employee point an area out to me. I have also taken berries with a leaf cluster that I didn’t know what they were or if they were safe to eat into the DNR office for identification with no problem. We have a lot of old farms that have been bought by the state, the houses and outbuildings razed and the land left to go natural. Many places have old fruit trees and berry bushes that have not been pulled out.

      Just called our local DNR office and he said there was no problem picking berries, mushrooms, apples or wild grapes on state land.

      • Homeinsteader says:

        Just make sure they haven’t been spraying, which they often do.

        • Encourager says:

          The areas we go into are not sprayed. We don’t pick along paved roads, and rarely, dirt roads (because everything is covered in dust/dirt). We pick Elderberries on the edge of the wetlands (swamps in English). We have a road a ways from us that was the victim of a dispute between that local township and the DNR over who needed to replace the worn-out bridge. Since all the land surrounding the bridge belonged to the DNR, the township wouldn’t budge. So the DNR closed the road, putting up barriers on both ends where their property was. We walk that road that nature is taking over and pick to our hearts’ delight.

    • village idiot says:

      banaras, my strategy for gathering in State and National Parks is to always ask the Ranger, and then give them some of the bounty. I’ve only been refused one time. Most people would rather see someone harvest something rather than watch it rot. And one should never get all of a nut or berry crop in one place, but leave some for the animals.

  18. Take a look at the Gramm, Leach, Bliley Act of 1999 S.900 H.R.10, where the fed has mandated all financial institutions to remove all modem access into their networks by February 2007, forcing encrypted Internet access only.
    This was presented under the disguise that “modem access” is not secure, while we all know that Internet is infinitely more secure :-/
    How much more secure is removing the phone line from a modem than 24/7/365 access via the world wide web?
    That is because the ‘listeners’ can listen over the WWW wire easier than over the PSTN modem lines.

    As for ‘the beast,’ we are in an international currency and a global language already… all the 1’s and 0’s going over the wire.
    Our credit cards, drivers licenses, bank cards have RFIDs in them and people are already being implanted with microchips, along with their pets.

    I prefer to pay by cash whenever possible, and if they ask for ‘rewards card’ or ID, I just say no thanks… if they insist, I walk out leaving everything at the cash register… if my cash is not good enough to unquestionably purchase their wares they can return the items to the shelves themselves.

  19. riverrider says:

    great post vi! the main motive ,imho, is not tracking us but making sure we render unto the irs. they see cash as unpaid taxes. cashless enables them to get their grubby paws on every dollar “owed” to the beast. they WILL waste time with us small fish because they will have the time thanks to technology. they already ARE wasting their time on us small fish. irs raided, arrested, and fined a ten year old that raised and sold bunnies, even though he made zero proffit from it. the list is endless of similar abuses. their hypocricy knows NO bounds. we must cast off the beast, and soon, or be slaves to it forever.

    • village idiot says:

      Thanks, man, and I certainly can’t disagree with your prognosis. Slaves…yes, it’s entirely possible given the bent of the people in charge now. We need a drastic change.

  20. Thanks for the article – many things to be aware of and to think about. The tracking of purchases is a concern – and though it may be not a big issue, I was also sispleased to learn of Lowe’s and Home Depot and others store’s program to keep track of your plant purchases so that you can get a free replacement if it dies – you don’t need to keep the receipt or anything. Neighbors and others are rejoicing over how “wonderful” the program is and how easy. Hmm, I see it as one more thing they keep track of and though I have no reason to hide it, I don’t take advantage of it. I agree that such things are getting us used to just giving out info.

    Also, several places – especially anything medical, has been routinely asking for social security numbers. I have been leaving it blank and am not always challenged.

    Another thing that we have noticed is that as we live in a big city – cameras were put up a few years ago at major intersections-at first they said it was just to monitor traffic and would “never” be used for ticketing. Uh huh. Well, then they started mailing out traffic tickets from the info on those cameras. Well, have you noticed the sharp increase in cameras and microphones – that are NOT at major intersections. We are finding it very difficult to plan any routes that exclude cameras and I see that as another way to track us. So glad we do not have the Onstar “convenience” in our vehicle as it seems to be another control and tracking measure. We need to keep our eyes open although I’m not sure what we can actually do about it. It feels like the vultures are circling.

    • Don’t know how many of the wolfpack watch the show
      “Person of Interest” but I don’t think we are too far off that level of survailence right now especially in the bigger cities. With the ability and clarity of survailence cameras now avilable and the ablilty to store the info on hard drives at remote locations even some cabin 150 miles back in the woods is able to be viewed. How many of the pack have systems on their places with remote viewing possible. If so and you are transmiting a signal somwhere it can be viewed and or hacked by somone else. And cameras can be hidden in anything now days. Some of the places I have worked at we had cameras in what looked like sprinkler heads that could pan and zoom anywhere needed.

    • Frugal, the stop light cameras were for ‘safety’, however when they are installed the timing of the traffic lights is changed to increase the amount of tickets issued thus inhancing revenue,taxes,.
      I work in auto repair, any vehicle after 1996 ,obd 2, has info stored in its computer that can be used as a ‘black box’. The next generation of computers will broadcast info to the state or federal government, including law enforcement officials for the purposes of safety,speeding,swerving,etc and enviromental impact onboard monitored emmissions.You will simply get a summons in the mail, if you dont comply they can simply remotely shut down the vehicle.
      Onstar will already do so when contacted by the police for suspected illegal activities,stolen car, police chase.
      A friend of mine had the police pull him over to tell him that he was suspected of being involved in an accident. He was seen on camera racing another car on the highway the other car spun out into the guide rail.That was not what happened, the other vehicle was just passing him he wasnt racing anyone and didnt even know what happened. It took all afternoon to get it straightened out, no charges but a waste of time.

  21. Petticoat Prepper says:

    You are right about “quantities purchased ” being a flag. I’ve a client whos Uncle bought all the sugar he needed for wine making and canning this summer in one big order at Costco. They reported him to AFT and they showed up at his door.

    Good article for scary times.

    • Homeinsteader says:

      Wow! Seriously? Oh, heck…none of us are surprised.

    • Encourager says:

      What would he use sugar illegally for? Am I missing something?

      • PGCPrepper says:

        Large quantities of sugar = possible moonshiner! Look it up.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Encourager,
        Shine?

        • Encourager says:

          ohhhhh…duh.

          Didn’t think of THAT. But what a GREAT idea! Don’t you use lots of sugar for wine, also? Elderberries were dried up little raisins this year. But NEXT year….yum, Elderberry wine, oh, just for medicinal purposes, of course!!

      • Plant Lady says:

        Moonshine or other potent potables…

        That is why you need lots of fruit trees, grapes, berries, grain, etc!

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Potassium chlorate mixed with powdered sugar produces a vigorous exothermic reaction. When confined in a container and fused, it would have obvious uses. Personally I just sugar for cookies and such.

      • riverrider says:

        its been illegal to buy large qty of sugar since the twenties. nothing new there.

  22. FemaleUrbanPrepper says:

    Last week at work we get an email – They are replacing the vending machines. This week…they basically put in a self run cafe of sorts with fresh produce, salads, yada, yada, yada. The catch? You must get a little card and load it with cash (you have to give your first and last name to register the card) or with your cc because the machine does not give change. So basically I can’t even use cash at the “vending machine” anymore. :-/

    • Homeinsteader says:

      That will also help them track purchases for “marketing” reasons, of course. ; )

      • Homeinsteader says:

        Oh, and wait until they institute mandatory “health guidelines”. They’ll use this data for such.

  23. Unfortunatly electronic transactions are now the norm,everything that you purchase,or search, or even look at, is recorded for ‘advertising’ purposes. That info is being shared and tracked by a number of companies and the government,without a warrant. Although I like the personalized ads too many times the feds show up at the wrong peoples door,harrassing the innocent while the bad guys find a way around the ‘flags’. All of this monitoring ensures that we pay all the taxes and fees to the government,we are even supposed to pay taxes on traded or bartered items based on their dollar value.Using cash sounds like a good way to avoid being tracked, but since even before 9/11 the use of cash is outside the norm and draws attention.New facial tracking cameras are on the way so that no matter what you buy or how you buy you will be watched,and lets not forget warrantless drones overhead.
    Privacy is soon a thing of the past if we continue down this path. The bad guys however will still be out there.

  24. Tactical G-Ma says:

    All you old timers can back me up on this. In the late 70s and again in the late 90s precious metals skyrocketed then took a nosedive. Beware it may be about to happen again. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

    • Tactical G-Ma:

      I know that I don’t advocate PM’s as the be-all-end-all but I have been putting spare cash into PM’s for the last 10 years or so. I emphasize that is spare cash! For me it is safer than the market, paper money, or even bank accounts.

      I am constantly working on prepping in the areas that are required for immediate, short-term, and long term survival. Food and equipment, then the means to protect it from weather and other people. Still working on the correct property and getting my BOV squared away.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        JP,
        I am sure you and the more sophisticated preppers have contingencies for contingencies. Just heard on FoxNews today that demand has really gone up. I remember people back when who jumped on the gold wagon and wound up needing to sell before recovery. In other words, some buy high and sell low. I just wanted to pass on what I heard.

        • Tactical G-Ma:

          That’s why I try to stress, you invest in things like PM’s with surplus money. I was lucky that when we had a no-notice need for cash, I got $1840/oz for gold and $38/oz for silver, so I didn’t have to take out a loan. I just wouldn’t count on that happening.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Indeed. I remember that. I escaped the gold surge at about $700/oz in the 90s. I’ve bought a little silver lately but I don’t want to buy silver at $35+ and watch it crash to $6.50. I had a friend who bought 1000 oz of silver at $30/oz in the nineties and rode it all the way down. Sick…
      I believe I will stick to guns, ammo, tools and such. Maybe more collectibles like 33rd 9mm mags, 50 and 100 rd .223 mags and other high capacity mags.

      Oh how boring only investing in guns and such…….hee-hee!

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        SD,
        When I hit the lottery you and I can go shopping together! My DH shakes his head whenever I get a catalog or magazine cause I want at least one of everything! Lol. (In the hunting section, that is.)

    • Wild Weasel says:

      The gold bubble is going to bust! Then watch the value of the dollar.remember you heard it here.

    • riverrider says:

      and its never been worth zero, unlike paper.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Gmomma….. Rightolla! I was there for the 79 surge and didn’t buy in. I started in the early 90s. Now about PM bubbles….. I take note that each time there is a declared ‘bubble’ the price goes up…. then ‘crashes’ wayyyyyyyyyyyy down to a HIGHER …. low. for the ‘glass half empty’ crowd… Your to late to get in under $6 bucks an oz.! PMs are for the other side of a bad situation. If your buying in to make a fast buck…. or a slow one…. your not ‘Prepping’… your investing. JP in MT has it….. “Spare Cash”

    • village idiot says:

      Oh, I remember it very well, T-G-Ma, just like it was yesterday. I was one of those speculators who bought silver contracts on margin, and day after day of limit downs and margin calls just about made me a nervous wreck. I did finally get out, and what had been a tremendous profit turned into a small loss. It could have been much worse. I take delivery of my PMs now.

  25. VI, great insight, man! Based on this well written article I’ve switched to cash for all my prep purchases. Additionally, I’ve switched to making a lot of little purchases vice one or two big ones. One gets so desensitized to buying with credit/debit it’s like second nature and OPSEC goes right out the window.
    I’d like to mention one thing involving para Echo – trapping. There are a great many Utube video’s on trapping. Some really stupid ones, as well, so choose what works for you. Traps might be a better focus for folks thinking about poison food baits for people. Traps are in the woods or water 24/7. They do the looking and killing for you giving you time for other things just as important. They can catch fur bearers or fish and all you have to do is gather the bounty. Having said that, trapping is about the numbers. One can set a hundred traps and only one or two will produce. I’ve found that bungee cords can take the place of a limb or bent over sapling giving the trapper a bit more flexibility on placement.
    Thanks for your contribution, man!

    • village idiot says:

      Appreciate those kind words, and I’ve basically done the same. I make smaller and more frequent purchases of prepping supplies, and I go to multiple locations.

  26. Georgeislearning says:

    yet we come here and post all our preps, weekly:-)
    Just sayin

    I bought this , this , this , and that, ps oh yeah this too.

    At first I was doing the same, couldn’t wait for the saturday post to share my goings and doings. Then I stopped after realizing what I was doing.

    I said I was paranoid in one post and someone responded with paranoia means you’re insane. Well got me to thinking if I was or I wasn’t. I don’t think I am. I prefer to think of it as cautious now.

    I gave up on prepping, lost all my guns and ammo in a boating accident and sold all my gold and silver to a pawn shop.

    0.o

    BTW great article, thanks for taking the time to share. Good stuff.

    • Not everybody posts what was done weekly. I know that seems to be a large percentage of posts here, but I am a believer on keeping your mouth shut about specifics and only discuss generalizations… For those that have already laid out all your cards to date… too late… oh well.
      I have not owned guns in over 15 years, I have my FEMA recommended 5 days supply of emergency food and water, I have a bow and some arrows to get me some rabbits and squirrels, and after losing a job, I too had to sell all PMs in order to pay bills.

    • Encourager says:

      So sorry to hear of your loss, Georgeislearning. Hope you had insurance on the boat, at least. Probably not seeing you had to sell all your gold and silver to buy another boat. Blessings!

  27. village idiot says:

    Thank you for your responses, my kind friends. For some reason I can’t explain(I think the devil made me do it), I agreed to take on a full-time job, and it has completely taken all my time and energy the past 2 weeks. I will try to respond to some of your kind thoughts later tonight. Thank you, MD, for posting my article.

  28. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Well Georgeislearning, we must gaurd against this as a compulsion and make it a process of planning for the future.
    Our government encourages disaster preparedness. As for the rest, they know the firearms I own because I had to register to buy them. They know I am a member of the Republican Party. They know I am a card carrying member of the NRA. They know I am Baptist. They know I am a decorated veteran, my DH is a decorated veteran, and my DF and FIL are decorated veterans, not to mention tons of relatives oh and the LE. Now from being on this blog they also know I grow vegetables, freeze meats, and can jelly like a crazy person. What more can they learn? I observe OPSEC from the general public because I fear someone might try to take advantage of me. I am sorry for your losses but I hope you continue preparing for your future.

    • Petnumber1 says:

      I agree, Tactical G-Ma. There’s a fine line between protecting our OPSEC to the degree we can and understanding that we can’t get along in this world if we take it overboard. The gov’t knows how much I make, how much I pay in taxes, and what bank accounts I have. I withdraw a lot of cash because I like to pay for my preps in cash whenever possible, so I’m probably on some list somewhere…but it’s either that or use credit cards, which I don’t like to do. And I never buy enough at one time to raise any flags. I fly a lot for my job, rent cars, etc., so my info is all out there. They know where I live, how many people are in my household (at least as of the census a couple years ago), and if you type my address into Google Maps, you can get an up-close view of my house and property…even down to being able to identify what kind of trees I have in my yard. They know what kind of car I drive, how long I’ve owned it, where I bought it, and what my driving record is. They know when and where I’ve been treated, who my doctor is, what I’ve been treated for, and what medications I’m taking. They don’t need my SSN for this – it’s easy enough to cross-reference the other info if they really wanted to. They also know which political parties I’ve voted for over the years. They don’t know about all my firearms because several of them were given to me or bought privately, and I refuse to get a carry permit because that’s where I draw the line – if they come after guns in the future, I don’t want to stand out as someone who has firearms – weighing the risks, I’d rather take my chances walking around unarmed for now. As far as my community and neighborhood go, they think I’m a fine, upstanding citizen who throws fun backyard parties, camps out in the backyard with my grandson during the summer, babysits for neighbors when I can, enters my canned and baked goods at our county fair, volunteers for the neighborhood watch, and occasionally speaks on completely innocuous subjects at the local junior college. Now and then, I even take cookies to the fire department and police station. I’m not thought of as eccentric or “different” – just another yuppie with a 9-5 job, a nice family, and an immaculate front yard that could compete with any in the neighborhood.

      In other words, when TSHTF, I’m not going to be anywhere near the top of anybody’s priority list of potentially dangerous citizens. If they start going door-to-door to the 132 million households in the US, we’re all screwed, no matter how well we observe OPSEC, and just by virtue of living in society, they already have essentially everything they’d ever want on me anyway. So what’s the point in worrying too much about it?

      “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”
      – Helen Keller

      • Petnumber1, greatpost. And you too, Tactical G-Ma. I feel sure it is way too late for any of us to stay under the radar. We have all been tracked for a long long time. But, like you said, I think we are a long way from top priority on anybody’s list. I think our OPSEC is mostly for protection from Zombies – in whatever form they should happen to arrive in – thieves, sheeple, unprepped relatives, etc.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Pet,
        I know identity fraud and computer viruses stealing our information are a growing concern since we are globally connected. I do like using the internet especially skypeing with my babies and grand babies who don’t live nearby. I trust some of the more reputable companies to order from over the net. Amazon is my favorite.
        I certainly know why you don’t have a carry license. We have to conform with our environment to stay under the radar. Just the opposite here. Everybody carries, everybody hunts.
        A serious breach of OPSEC here would be setting a box from a flatscreen TV by the road on trash day. That’s an open invitation for unwanted guests.
        Since you travel a lot you know that it is a dangerous world and predators live and lurk everywhere. God bless and thanks for your good perspective.

        • Petnumber1 says:

          Sigh, I know, me too. As much as I try to use cash, I actually work for a huge global internet company, so I spend about 75% of my waking hours online…and shop a LOT. I’ve worked for the same company for 14 years…since the internet was just a baby, it was all open, and internet privacy wasn’t even a gleam in anybody’s eye. So yeah, I’m all out there already. 🙂

    • Homeinsteader says:

      If you buy a used firearm from a seller you happen into, however…..through some personal contact….

  29. Notsomuch says:

    Being blessed to be able to keep cash on hand I had my eyes opened (again) to a common sense matter. A fellow shooter pointed out he keeps mostly small denomination bills, pointing out if you show up with a $50 or $100 bill guess how much that item you want or need will cost in a post incident environment. I’ve since been to the bank to convert to the smaller denominations hopefully I won’t pay $50 for a loaf of bread.

  30. The issue of the cashless society addressed in this blog entry is of critical importance to all those seeking to lower their profile and to obtain a higher level of security. Such is the case not only against any possible future encounters against government per say, but also against any other people that you might ever have to encounter in the future.

    As the saying goes, “it is better to have privacy and not need it, than to need privacy and not have it!”

    Obtaining privacy is something you do when everything is going just fine and dandy, and when you believe that your life is running smoothly and problem-free.

    Of course, “cash” plays an important role in this process. And, many of the points made above are good ones indeed just so your readers know.

    Personal privacy requires these two elements – technical and non-technical. BOTH are required to at least an appropriate level. One without the other is most often insufficient.

    Technical aspects require knowledge of IT, computer systems, security, cryptography, etc to a satisfactory level.

    Non-technical aspects require STREET-SMARTS….i.e., the ability to use “untruths” (not lies per say), and there are times when you will need to mislead other people/organizations in order to obtain a HIGHER level of personal privacy. I have written at length in my own book on just “how to” do this. I have also discussed the issue of “ethics” behind it, for those of you who are believers in Christ.

    A few notable authors that have written (albeit) good books on “personal privacy” do not actually have backgrounds actually performing investigative functions in government. I do have that experience, and I can distinguish which “privacy tactics” are useful and which ones are “overkill.”

    Authors that advocate “overkill” (i.e. EXPENSIVE) privacy tactics will cause you to go broke no doubt. My experience has taught me that the government/private sector is NOT as “all seeing” as you might necessarily think. Sure technology is growing exponentially, but the reality is that people still have to operate the technologies and learn how to use them, and that part of it is behind the power curve from all that I have seen and experienced.

    If you listen to Alex Jones and believe EVERYTHING he says, you might indeed become broke trying to protect yourself from every boogy man that might possibly pop up! The reality is, you do need to be able to protect yourself from the more important threats that do exist, and so your job is to focus on those first and foremost.

    Jason

  31. Encourager says:

    Okay, Pack. I am getting kinda nervous about my supplies. Is there a program online somewhere that I can type in what I have and it tells me how long it should last? I know that is going about it backwards, or is it? I want enough on the shelves to get me through next April, at the least.

    And I have not inventoried my freezer in over a year. I know I have a lot of beef in there and quite a bit of chicken. And lots and lots of frozen veggies. Some fruits, not enough. Also lots of nuts. I also have some prepared meals (there are just two of us so I freeze extra servings for a meal later).

    Right now, I want to see how many months of ‘dry’ storage I have. Thanks for your help!

  32. This article is another addition that hasn’t been brought up since I”ve been here, and it is great information. I have suspected eletronic money was going to dominate the world since it came along with it ID theft, yet I prepared for it by using cash more, saving silver coins, and never paying for things on-line with a credit card since 2008.

    I keep my “digital” money at a low enough amount to pay bills and cash checks. Besides the IRS can take your money on a whim these days, along with other theives hacking into your accounts. Somehow these entities are identified as the same class…..I rarely use credit cards…the more you are out there with the card debt or credit, the more chances you will get it stolen.

    • Homeinsteader says:

      Credit card purchases can give off the information you want them to have as well….just sayin’….

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