Conflicted Tuesday

conflicted-deck2-coverWe have worked out an exclusive deal with the publishers of the survival card game “Conflicted” where we will be posting one question per week from the deck for open discussion here on You can buy your own Conflicted Deck here and play it with your friends and family… Okay here we go…

After months of bugging out with your best friend, you realize that the food and water supply is getting low, and upon further investigation you find that your best friend has been secretly selling the food and water for money and ammunition. He has put you and your family at risk, as well as his own. How would you handle his betrayal?

Looking forward to the discussion in the comments below…

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of 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.


  1. bennettbf says:

    Cook him and eat him.

    If this doesn’t solve two problems at once, I don’t know what does.

    And then make a soup bowl out of his skull. Three problems. This solves three problems at once.


    • JC in GA says:

      I have to agree with Chris. Theft does not constitute a death sentance. Afterall, your choice made him your best friend. Did you miss something?

  3. lilmorse says:

    Take back from him to compensate for what he stole then kick him out of the group w/ the threat of death if he tries to come back. Have a schedule for guard duty in case he tries.

    • Oh, he’ll be back simply because he knows you have stuff. And he probably won’t be alone.

  4. Please take note my tongue is firmly planted in cheek….sorta.

    String him up with a sign painted with thief around his stretched out neck…

    • patientmomma says:

      Turn him over to the local muslims and let them practice sharia law for him.

  5. WESTPAC says:

    Since he has established himself as a total POS who cannot be trusted, it is time for a vote. Option “A” He takes a long walk in the woods, with only one of us coming back. Option “B” He gives over everything he supposedly received from his nefarious trading, we decide what he gets to take with him & he is shown the door. Option “C” Since he is a Good old Boy from the Cumberland Plateau & my BFF, he gets a butt whooping & we continue to trade with his connections.

  6. TO me, this seems almost equivalent to treason. With help, I tie his hands & feet, perhaps while he’s sleeping. If we have a vehicle, we blindfold him & drive him out to the county line, & drop him off in middle of nowhere w/ no supplies. & tell him all the food he sold is now his.

    If no vehicle, we try to find another way to get rid of him -maybe gag him & tie him to a tree, blindfolded, out in the middle of the woods, & then piss on him. or shoot him w/ the ammo he got for his food.
    BTW, we keep the rest of the ammo & money he got for the food.

  7. Dan Bauler says:

    Off topic: FYI, Amazon sells Elderberry bushes. They are shipped via Express mail and mine arrived alive and well.

    God Bless

    • Black Rose says:

      There are so many with different names, which one do I need for elderberry syrup?

      • Dan Bauler says:

        @Black Rose
        Both the U.S. and Euro versions are from the same family, much like “Granny Smith’ and ” Honey Crisp” apples are both apples. The bushes and leaves look the same, and both bear a dark purple fruit.

        Like apples, where many varieties can make a pie, I would think that syrup can be made from different elderberries.

        I bought “Adams”, the U.S. version of elderberry, hope that this helps.

        • Make sure they arent the white or red. Those are sold as ornamentals and the berries are poisonous. I purchased Jones and Adams variety from a nursery in Missouri and found one of the Mexican variety at a local nursery. Mine are growing, blooming and putting on berries right now. Planted them in late March.

        • Country Vet says:

          Dan Bauler/Black Rose
          Just want to make sure that you realize that it takes two different varieties of elderberry for cross pollination to set fruit. The Adams is usually paired up with a variety called Johns. These are NOT self-fertile.

          • Country Vet says:

            Also, forgot to mention (and I am sure that you know already) but be sure to watch the zones that the plants do well in. A plant adapted to the temps in Main will not do well in South Texas and vice-versa. There are some steps that can be taken to ameliorate minor zone differences, but be sure to stay as close as possible to the recommendations for best results.

    • Encourager says:

      If they grow in your area, they are probably growing wild. Why plant them? They can be fussy; they like damp, not wet soil, like on the edge of a wetland. But if too wet, they die. Too dry, they die. But when they are happy, you can get tons of berries. Pick before the birds get all of them! If it turns hot just as they ripen, the berries all fall off, almost overnight.

      Only harvest the ones with black berries, not red berries. The ones you want are called “Sambucuc nigra”.

  8. String Him up Traitor. He would not be my friend after that and he put me and my family at risk for selfishness. You can’t let him live as he would know to much and he may try and form another group with the people he has been trading with and make a deal to attack you and take what is left. He already proved he has no morals.

    • userError says:

      Then you have to answer what you do with his family… his wife and kids. Would you string them up too; or cast them out without a chance to survive, because he was dishonest? After stringing him up, you couldn’t really keep them with you, they would hate you some fierce.
      I would covertly get control of all the firearms in camp, then send him and his family on their way.

      • JP in MT says:

        What family. It is not said or implied that HE has a family, only that I do.

        • tommy2rs says:

          ” He has put you and your family at risk, as well as his own.”

          Seems like he has a family there to me or have I been up too long? Insomnia, you know it, you love it…lol.

        • userError says:

          I read that as “…your family at risk, as well as his own (family).”
          If he doesn’t have a family, then I think your response below is a very good response.
          The only reason I would let him live would be so his wife and kids might not suffer as much… if he doesn’t have those, then that reason is mute.

      • So they can return and attack. Your idea is very flawed as well since he was trading with other people or did you seem to forget that. Unfortunately I would have to get rid of his family as he choose their fate when he did what he did.

        • userError says:

          Killing innocent women and children is not an option for me. It may cause more issues, but it is something I wouldn’t do.
          Is a group where you kill innocent people for the actions of another a place you really want to live?
          When SHTF, things will get hard, and punishments may be swift and harsh, but I think we have to maintain some level of humanity and morals.
          Just my 2/cents

          • I see your point but I have found weakness such as this causes more problems normally with the ending of your life. What people seem to forget is those children grow up with a grudge and they will come back for you. Or you can do what another person said earlier and take the man into the bush and pop him and say it was someone else. That works very well. But if you want to do the right thing and talk it out all you will get is problems. You also assume the wife was innocent who says she was not in on it. If the children are young enough you could keep them in the group but the too adults I would be very suspicious of.

    • axelsteve says:

      Team him up with that guy who just got back from afghanastan and let them figgure it out.

  9. tommy2rs says:

    Keep it to yourself, Then get him off away from the family groups on some plausible pretext, (water, scavenging run, scouting out bad guys, whatever) and put a bullet in his head. One shallow grave later it’s “I’m sorry for your loss but the bad guys got him”.

    A traitor is a traitor and deserves nothing but a traitors death. Now you either take responsibility for his family as well as your own or you invoke the “nits make lice” theory depending on how big a bastard you are.

  10. JP in MT says:

    my “best friend” has done 2 of the things he would know I can’t abide; he lied to me and he stole from me.

    In a survival situation these things take on a special significance. Trust is an absolute must. I con no longer trust this person. He is gone.

    As to how, that would depend upon a number of factors. The 1st is why did he do this? Was it to benefit the group or himself? If it benefited the group then so be it, and we discuss further actions along this line.

    If it was for personal gain, he loses, everything. I loose a partner, and gain his equipment. I also will not release a potential enemy, especially one that knows me and the way I think. And I don’t keep slaves.

    “Life is hard. It’s even harder when you’re stupid.”

    • Big Bear says:

      Excellent response JP! Couldn’t agree more except I would not accept his reasoning that his deceit was for the benefit of the group. His actions speak much louder than any words he might offer in an attempt to save his sorry butt! A difficult decision to be sure but once the trust has been killed ……… so will the betrayer.

      • Death….it is a bug out situation….he dies. How and where may differ upon the situation, but you can’t trust him.

      • JP in MT says:

        Big Bear:

        In my statement I meant I would give consideration if it actually benefited the group. Again the DW and I both agree that if he really was my “best friend” he would know how I feel about lying and stealing. So the repercussions would/should not be a surprise. I did miss the part about his family. Their status would have to be considered, there being insufficient information for me to make that call here.

      • Yea it benefited the group you didn’t want those women selling themselves to be around your kids did you?

  11. NemoSeto says:

    it depends, I don’t see how a water supply would be relied upon for months without being resupplied (bugged out). food would have been resupplied constantly if it were me involved (gathering/growing). this looks like an isolated bunker with only supplies being relied upon and no skill. I would ask why he did it, was he bartering with travelers to help them out and taking what they extra of in exchange for our surplus? I could see where ammo and cash could be a reasonable asset assuming cash still had value. if it went on for months he may have done it in small amounts assuming it would be resupplied long before food ran out (waiting for game migration to come by or the next growing season). I would need more info but there seems there may have been a sound barter thinking involved on his part (maybe he was stocking up on ammo for spring goose migration and planning to take dozens a day, I’m not a skilled hunter and in a group I would probably delegate those decisions to a better hunter).

  12. UrbanCityGirl says:

    He would have to go. Immediately upon discovery.

  13. mom of three says:

    Wouldn’t you know really what was going on? If this friend left more then what was necessary, wouldn’t you be asking questions? I can tell when food is missing in my house, I surely would know and I would never put resources together with other people and if they started to get desperate that would be our cue to leave. Unless they started to get violent, then I would take action.

  14. I think I would tell him to look at the pretty flowers, and do what I have to do to protect my own family.

  15. This is a tricky situation. He has put his own family at risk as well as me and my own. I’d want to first determine if his family knew about the situation or not. Based on the scenario, it seems likely that they didn’t know. And mom of three also makes a good point, how would it take so long to figure out that things were going missing? And what was this “friend” planning to do with the ammo and money? I would want to investigate and find out more before making a decision. But in the final analysis, this “friend” has laid the group open to attack/takeover by the people he’s been dealing with, has been dishonest in his dealings (why didn’t he bring this deal to the whole group), and can’t be trusted fully if at all in the future. Even if the family of the “friend” didn’t know and the betrayal is that bad, just saying “hey presto, off with his head” is not going to sit well, even if his family is outraged. I think that in a situation like that, his suicide would be the best option for all. It will probably be necessary for your group to move and make changes in security. Such a serious betrayal could not be forgiven without penalty and the dynamic of your group is going to be damaged because there will be a loss of trust, the death of the friend AND the death of the friendship. It could end the group as well.

  16. Fenland Prepper says:

    Send him and his family out with their possessions at gunpoint. When they are gone move location. My reasoning, you cannot shoot him or make him dissappear without some serious aggravation from his family, at the same time you cannot keep him. You also cannot in fairness put it on his children. So they all have to go and make it on their own.
    You move location because lets face it he may come back with his new trading buddies.

    • Fenland Prepper,
      Move location is fine if you’re living in tents. If however you have a long term, well stocked permanent BOL, then that might be impossible.

  17. snakehawk says:

    As a Christian,I should make him take his money and ammo and walk.But as a prepper,Survivalist,So that he doses not turn on me,”KILL HIM ON THE SPOT.”A REAL FRIEND WILL NOT TURN ON U.

  18. Sagewolf says:

    I would confront him and depending on his answer he may not be part of the living for very long. I may say he died in our defense while out scavenging needed supplies. This would be the only thing I would do for an old friend to keep his honor in the eyes of his family. The only thing I hope is that no one else in his family was in on this betrayal.

    If he was trading for the benefit of the group he should have let us know what he was doing so we could watch his back.

  19. Tactical G-Ma says:

    In a modern society broken rules are forgiven with penance. In a SHTF scenario, it’s life and death. There’s stoning, hanging, shooting. In pioneer America, rustling was punishable by hanging. That is how I would go. The problem then is vengeance by his family. If you don’t kill him or cast him or them out, you’re still facing vengeance. The only logical punishment is that the friend and his entire family drink the kool-aide. I don’t know that I could do it but I do have to protect my family.

  20. Judgemental Rooikat says:

    As he is obviously insane, has gone mad, must put him down like a rabid dog.
    They did it to Old Yeller, after all.

  21. Blood is thicker than water. Anyone jeapardizing my family would find themselves at the bad end of my gun. Its a tough situation. There is no mention of his having a family. If its just him then we would have to take at least half of what he acquired and send him on his way. If he has a family then its a different scenario unless they knew what he was doing. Sitting here Its easy to say I would shoot him as a traitor. I believe I would have to have been in the SHTF scenario, go thru all the hell that goes with it……
    OK, I’ve at here almost 30 minutes going over this and it all boils down to this, that we’re in wartime, its kill or be killed. I’d take his sorry ass out for a walk in the woods and I’d be the only one returning!!

  22. KS Judy says:

    First question: Why did you make yourself a refugee? Not a real bright thing to do.

    Next question: Why was I not paying attention to the fact the supplies were dwindling at an abnormal rate? You never blindly trust anybody, even your best friend.

    You have three choices: SSS (shot, shovel, and shut-up), walk away or wrestle control of the supplies from your ‘buddy’.

    Personally I’m too old and decrepit to become a refugee (bug-out). Wherever I’m at IS my bug-out location. I also don’t plan on giving someone unlimited access to my pantry. I will cooperate for the group’s well being but only at my discretion.

  23. How very lax of you not to be keeping an eye on your supplies inventory better. I think when there is a group or even two persons a count of inventory frequently would have stopped this problem early on. You also need to know this information to keep your supplies replenished and what to use so you do not run out of something, using them evenly.
    As for killing a real flesh and blood human who you have been friends with,
    you might find this harder than you realize. Might want to think on it some more.
    Also did you have more food than amo-could it be they were worried about the safety of the group needing the ammunition more? Use the bullets and get more food. If you can’t hunt your going to run out anyway and what are you doing out there when you do?

    • Sagewolf says:

      Even if your friend was doing this for the benefit of the group he should have told you what he wanted to do for the betterment of the group not just doing it behind your back. This would help keep misunderstandings to a minimum. This would allow you to watch his back when dealing with these people. You might have a few ideas that would be better than accepting cash like actual supplies we would need.

      The scenario does say he has family of some kind doing everything together instead of him hiding it will keep you from telling his loved ones that a” rogue bandit” killed your friend when you take him out somewhere to end him for his betrayal.

  24. Hunker-Down says:

    He has violated the trust of every member of both families and stolen from their future well being. I would not ask him anything. He is a proven liar by his actions and any answer he gives for his actions would be worthless. Even if he did it for the good of the group, he did it behind everyone’s back, which jeopardized the goals and safety of the group. Confronting him would be a waste of time.
    He has to go. His family will never justify our response to removing him and will build resentment toward us over time. Even so, I cant dispatch innocent women and children, we will have to take the risk of their future resentment. He has too much knowledge about our strengths and weakness and cant be turned loose in the general area.
    He will be bound and gaged, and one night “escape”, 6 feet under.
    We will need to set up extra security for weeks as his trading partners may come looking for him.

  25. barberbill says:

    Since he is selling food and water (heavy items) for money and ammo (lighter items) it makes me think that he is planning to bug out. He is planning to move fast and do some shooting. I’d have to find out if he knows that something is going to happen that I don’t know about. His actions are obviously selfish or he’d have told me what he was doing. He would have to go, but unfortunately, somebody that knows that much about my security, my strengths and weaknesses would be far too dangerous to have wondering around. There is no way to banish him and be sure that he would not come back. The best of friends can become the worst of enemies.

  26. He betrayed me but I don’t think it deserves a death sentence. Nor would I want to make a determined enemy of him. I say split the blanket and go separate ways.

  27. Another vague card. They seriously need to work on creating some better defined scenarios.

    It would not have taken me months to recognize stealing was happening, but they make the assumption someone who has planned so diligently to stock several months worth of food would not be just as diligent in rationing and monitoring it. If I’ve become that lazy and careless with my food supply then I really shouldn’t trust my calculations which defines how much food is missing (if any).

    Is the best friend selling his ration of food which I assigned to him or stealing from the store of supplies? The card wants us to assume the worst, but it never directly says he is stealing from me. It just says he’s selling food and water while guiding me to assume it’s a betrayal. It sure looks like a betrayal on the surface, but that’s my initial reaction based on a perception which doesn’t have all the facts. What’s really going on here and what is his motivation? I should learn more before calling out my best friend with an accusation which would likely damage our relationship permanently regardless if I’m wrong.

    Is the best friend eating less than his assigned ration and selling the surplus? It’s definitely possible and I fail to see why I should care what he does with his ration after I give it to him.

    Why is he doing it in secret? The card wants us to equate secrecy with deception, but it could also be due to shame. Maybe he doesn’t like my food but doesn’t want to complain, but secretly trades it for something better. Maybe he requires more food than I am providing but doesn’t want to appear to be unappreciative, so he secretly trades a small bit of premium food for a larger quantity of inferior food?

    What’s he been doing with the money? If he’s trying to wheel-and-deal to increase his own food ration or to get a wider variety of food than I am providing then what’s the problem? If he’s willing to trade a part of his assigned ration in order to get other necessities like ammo and money (for clothes, equipment, or whatever) then why should I care? Maybe he doesn’t want to continue being a burden against my supplies and is willing to eat less of his ration in order to provide for some of his own necessities? A man likes to feel independent and able to provide for himself, even if only in very small ways.

    Why is he acquiring ammunition? Did he run out? Am I not providing him with ammo and, if not, why not? If I don’t have enough ammo and he is trading food to acquire more ammo then isn’t that helping the group rather than hurting it? I mean, what is he going to do with that ammo but hunt (which puts meat on the table for everyone), defend against threats (which protects the group), or to rob others of their goods (which may not be ethical but it would help supply my group in the end).

    I like the idea behind these cards, but they consistently make assumptions, place the reader in vague scenarios, and leave out important details which are necessary to properly deal with the situation. I hope their 2.0 version of the card deck is a little better.

    • Sagewolf says:

      I think they left the cards a little vague for a reason. It allows us to add to the scenarios and flesh them out based on our experiences.

      • NemoSeto says:

        agreed, the card game is a game and people are playing it for fun, but (as Southernprepper1 said on his you tube channel) its also a good tool to test your friends and measure their mindset and personality in dealing with scenarios. what answer do your friends give? their answer indicates the way their mind works and how they fill in the blanks.

        from a lot of the posts I have seen on Tuesdays I think half the people here are lynch mob happy.

        • Have you noticed how many times these cards end up with people talking about cannibalism? It was the first response posted.

    • Mr. your reply is superb, just wanted to let you know that. Not to say that other posts aren’t good, just that this one made me stand up and clap 🙂

  28. Lake Lili says:

    Couple of things… nowhere does it say that (1) you are the sole decider of what constitutes a good trade (2) that all supplies are yours and only your decision counts (3) that this was not an issue previously broached (4) how do you know that your spouse and his don’t agree with his decision and that you are the one with a blind spot… How are you low on water and yet in a position to be able to trade? ON the other hand if you are king and its your castle and supplies and you took them in, then being royally ticked off and lopping off the peasant’s head is appropriate. ON the other had, you now have the means of hunting and defending yourselves.

    • In a group survival situation, decisions are not made in secret & kept secret from your best friend. If he was bartering supplies without telling anyone, that’s a huge problem for the whole group. It’s not a matter of who’s the sole decider of anything. It’s a matter of what’s best for the group & not just one individual.

      • Lake Lili says:

        I think that the point I was trying to make is that communication is a huge issue and that what I am terming a secret may in fact not have ben one at all and if he has been trading supplies that he bought and paid for himself, (1) he may not see discussing it with you as an issue, or (2) you may have all discussed you disagree but he believes that this is the correct course of action and so has proceeded or (3) perhaps you had a discussion about something along these lines, for you it was casual, for him it was a directive. Also what are his intents with the money and ammo -are you short on ammo… do you as a group need things that can only be obtained with cash on the barrel… Communication is the challenge of every group and if you are the leader, you have to be able to look at things from multiple aspects and be able to communicate clearly. He also may be tired of how you are directing things and be planning a take over…

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          Great point. If it was just his family and mine then it is my and DH’s decision to make. In a group, i would assemble a tribunal. Everyone deserves a trial. In this scenario life is barbaric, justice even more so.

        • Lake Lili, thanks for clarifying. You bring up some valid pts.

  29. Son of Liberty says:

    I like the idea of these cards as they make us think about difficult scenarios. They are, however, rift with holes and cause us to make assumptions that may, or may not be, correct. Like the small plane one steals and it looses 30% power, and two of the five passengers must jump to their death. Give me a break. A plane can continue to fly for a long distance on only 50% power.

    Too little information is often available for a truly informed decision. The value in these cards may lie in the ability to cause us to contemplate what we might do IF. And that choice can/should cause us to consider the various details that are left out of the scenario.


    Son of Liberty

    • I think the cards achieve exactly what they are intended to do. Get us to think.
      Yes the information is incomplete. In real life we have to make decisions every day and rarely have all the information we may want.
      We have to fill in the blanks ourselves. We do that based upon who we are at this time in our lives. The culmination of all we think we know and all we have experienced and how that is tempered by the view of the world we each carry inside.
      Today there are no right or wrong answers for these cards. In real life there may in fact someday be life or death, right or wrong answers.

  30. Sagewolf says:

    The problem is your friend did not at least keep you in the loop. It is best to let others know what you are doing your friend could have been killed while doing his trading. With him dead it would now be harder to protect your family also you don’t know that you have enemies near by that know you are in the area now.

    All I ask is to be informed I don’t want to be ambushed by trouble. Even if he is selling his share to get what he wants just let me know. I don’t want to kill a friend because I think he has betrayed me because of a misunderstanding.

  31. Hey MD, haven’t stuck my head out in awhile. Just wanted to tell you I recently bought your book 31 days to survival. Good job son! Well written and well laid out. Everyone should read it. Oh, I am keeping my Television. I need something to watch my Dvds on! ha ha ha ha your friend the rat

  32. Country Vet says:

    Wow- this is a sticky one. Before we bugged out as a group ( I am presuming it is MY group), it would have been made very clear that no supplies are to be diverted under any circumstances without my approval. I am therefore going to have assume that he is up to something, and something not for the good of the whole group. I would keep it to myself and then we would have to go on a hunting trip, etc. where the “bad guys” ” get” him. Return home and offer my condolences. No sense in traumatizing his family any more than necessary with the details.

  33. Northernwolf says:

    Invite Hannabel over for dinner

  34. Don Duncan says:

    Of course betrayal arouses great anger. But afterward, I would be curious. How did I make such a mistake befriending him? What clues did I miss? Am I ignorant of some mitigating facts?

    Knowledge is power, therefore I would need to gather information to answer these questions. I would have a long, serious “sit-down” with him. I would ask him what he would do in my place. I would ask him what punishment he thinks is fair.

    I would point out that friendship is more valuable than the booty he accumulated, therefore he has acted not selfishly, but self destructively.

    After taking emotion out of the picture, and listing all my options, I would choose a response. Assuming survival is the goal, there is no substitute for using your head (thinking things out).

  35. D in MN says:

    Do we need the money or ammo? I would ask why he did this. And if it is for a desire just to have money and ammo and nothing else, he will have to go. He was not a friend if he jepordized my family or his.

  36. patientmomma says:

    A best friend would not put both our families at risk; therefore this untrustworthy person is no longer a BFF; he, nor is family could NEVER be trusted again. Your former friend’s secret bartering of life sustaining items for bullets, gold and silver has put your location in jeopardy, the BOL is now compromised. His trading partners will want more and they will eventually come to take what you have. They will not be kind to your family when they come.

    In the Old Testament, when God sent the children of Israel into the promise land, He commanded they kill all people- men, women and children. I’m told by Bible scholars…. this was because of the generational hatred that would result if the families were allowed to live. Also to keep the tribes from adopting ungodly ways learned from survivors.

    My gut says they must be eliminated because you can never trust him or his family because they know all things about you. While I might be angry enough to shoot the betraying thief, I could not shoot his family. Evicting them only brings them back again with more undesirables. Requiring your own family to bug out transporting food, water, guns/ammo etc., to an unknown location and possibly meeting up with others of whom you know nothing is also very dangerous. Transporting the family to a FEMA camp will just bring the Federalies to your location. Very difficult situation with no good answer.

    • Sagewolf says:

      I would not want to get very close to a FEMA camp. If my luck is bad I may be encouraged to stay against my will. If this happened it would leave my loved ones without my help. Besides a FEMA camp would most likely be a death sentence for anyone that enters. Even a traitor does not deserve a death like that it would be better to shoot him and tell his family a raider got him.

  37. k. fields says:

    People do stupid stuff – and under the stress of bugging out for months, people’s actions may become extremely illogical. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad people, they may simply be having trouble dealing with the stress. That’s what this scenario sounds like to me. Your friend is needing to acquire tokens of stability – goods he can hold on to, that won’t be eaten or drank leaving nothing.
    Does trading limited food and water for money and ammo, an action which puts his own family at risk, seem rational to you?
    This person is your best friend and you and your family decided your best chance for a future was to team up with him and his family – I’m sure that decision wasn’t made lightly and after months of bugging out and depending upon each other, you are all still together and have survived. That says a lot.
    Dealing with stress related disorders is going to be a major problem after SHTF, and definitely something to think about ahead of time. So, what do you do? First, you get over your initial knee-jerk reaction to kill the bastard and sit down, as 2 equal families, and talk it through. Find out why he feels money is more important than food and get everyone to express openly how they feel about the actions. He may or mat not see he has been acting illogically, but the important thing is for everyone to discuss it and decide, as a group, what the next step should be. It may very well be the end of your friendship and cooperation and each family will end up going their own way, but killing your best friend (and probably his family too as I’m sure they would try to stop you) would be as illogical as the original crime.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      This may sound really cold but people who crack up are a liability. People who do not conform to the standards of their group are a liability. This is truly survival of the fittest. And our minds are what has put us at the top of the food chain. There must be seperation of wheat from the chaff. There will be seriously difficult decisions to be made and if you don’t make those tough decisions, you are a liability.

      • k. fields says:

        So, you would kill him (and his family) because he acted in a way that didn’t conform to YOUR ideal? And who is judging your actions – are you so very sure your judgement has not been impaired by the stress from months of bugging out?
        EVERYONE is going to “crack” as you put it in some way if there ever is a massive SHTF event. I don’t care how well prepared you feel you may be right now, the change is simply too massive. Some will partially shut down, some will become accident prone, others will be hyper-vigilant to the point of paranoia, others may experience hallucinations from lack of true sleep, but hopefully you’ll be around people you trust that will understand and help you through those times.
        Our minds put us on top of the food chain because we learned to use them to reason, not simply react. If we lose our ability to discuss, to listen, to reason, to understand, to show compassion and to help one another then we are no better than a pack of feral dogs who will turn on each other at the slightest provocation. And that is not my idea of surviving.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          K. Fields
          He jeopardized the safety of the group. Certainly warrants a trial and in draconian times, draconian justice. I don’t know that I could follow thru but it would put an end to the leak and any acts of revenge. I am speaking logically. In reality it would take a heap of prayer and soul searching before putting anyone to death.

          • k. fields says:

            OK, fair enough – but let’s change the scenario a bit.

            Now the offending party isn’t your best friend but your son.
            After bugging out for a couple of months with your son and his family, you discover he has been selling food and water. You know your son would never intentionally do anything to endanger you or his family, but the fact remains that he has.
            Do you kill him or try to reason with him and understand why?

            If you would try to reason and understand, why should your son be treated differently than your best friend in this instance?

  38. I would probably make a deal… half of what he obtained, then I give him a supply of rations and take away his ‘key’ to the other supplies. It will be hard to trust him afterward but we may need him, strength in numbers. It would be a bad idea to send him packing if he knows our security plans and what supplies we have and where they’re hidden. He may return with new ‘friends’ looking for all the goodies. Maybe let him keep what he got but restrict access to the supplies. It’s gonna be tough because we all will make mistakes, or do something dumb hopefully we would find a way to deal with the issues that pop up.

    • Big D,
      Good point. When you think about the air force personnel who can launch our nuclear missiles, they need both authorization codes, and two keys. Perhaps the supplies storage building(s) should require two keys from the start, so that only two people conspiring could perform such an action. Additionally, there should have been an initial inventory and anything removed or added should be signed in or out. This scenario while weak in its description may help all of us think of not only what to do, but how to avoid it in the first place.

      • I like your Point OhioPrepper redundancy would be best as a learning tool. Then it takes all the responsibility from one person to two.

      • OhioPrepper,
        Signing items out is a good, easy way to keeping inventory of the supplies so we know what is needed to be replaced, as well as keeping things from ‘disappearing’. Also if people or family have their own stores separate from the ‘community’ supplies they will feel safer. Plus if one supply is lost the others can help. If you’re doing what is required to help out, security, gardening, repairs, medical help, etc., then you get to a share from the general store. It should raise a red flag if the same person is running through their stuff quickly or not contributing to the resupply, or is acquiring a lot of gear separate from everyone else.
        With two keys needed to enter the supply room that will ensure that the temptation is reduced to help yourself to a little extra and may deter someone from helping themselves when others are busy.

  39. I don’t have many friends, just a lot of aquaintenances. And of those I would not invite any of them into my family group. Spell out at the beginning what will happen to those who put their self gain ahead of the others and if violated well then they made their decision and suffered the consequences

  40. Benjammin says:

    My best friend is my wife. Other than her, I would only trust my daughters to blend resources with in a SHTF situation. It would seem any of them doing such a thing would be as counter-productive for them as for me, so if they make such a choice, I would assume they feel it was in their best interest, and therefore mine. If my wife and kids feel they need to sacrifice my resources to provide for themselves, I’d be saddened, but would not hold it against them since their welfare is my ultimate objective anyways. I wish them well as I perish.

  41. Dave in Georgia says:

    Let us consider charity? One can’t eat bullets and silver. I believe I should give until it hurts. Maybe my best friend feels the same and at least he received something of valuable in return. I know this isn’t charity. We would talk about the situation and together come up with a plan for future giving. He is my best friend. I am half of this relationship. I must take half of the responsibility. Work it out.

    • Give till it hurts is hard to define as you don’t know the future. If the shtf you may be limited to food resupply on a seasonal basis.

  42. Our group was very carefully picked, and groomed. We have ex-special forces, doctor, plumber, carpenter, organic farmer, electrician, pastor, teachers, engineers, and several more, but each has a specific role and the loss of any one would be a huge loss. Also no one person knows the location of all the stashes, so while the retreats supplies may be dangerously low, it would not end up being a life and death situation. There are of course many variables, but it boils down to can you afford to have someone there you can’t trust, and is their worth to the group greater then the potential for harm. While I own the property and am considered the leader, if it was my best friend I believe I would have to put it to a vote that I would abstain from.

    One other thing, I prep to see my friends and family through hard times without loosing our humanity. We have weapons and will fight to defend what is ours or protect innocents and loved ones. We also have more raised beds, green houses and animals then we need for ourselves, both so our group can grow and to help others. When I see people talking about shooting their best friend in the back of the head then deciding if his innocent wife and kids get to live, I have to wonder if the reason we need to prep isn’t because that exact attitude. I know hard times are coming, and we my spend many nights cold and hungry, but we will still love, we will still sing, and we will come through it still the fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, and friends (ditto for girls) we are, or we will die being them. If you sacrifice your humanity for a few extra years (or a few extra dollars in the case of those ruining our economy) did you really gain anything or do you just get to hate a little longer?

  43. I would try to find out who besides my best friend knew about the trading. They would be put on partial rations until they made up for the missing food and water. Small kids would remain on full rations even if all adults were hungry.

  44. He has robbed from his friends and showed no remorse for the danger he has exposed all of us to. These are the times that will try a man’s soul. He knew the rules when he became a part of the group. He is expelled from the group, taken blindfolded far from compound, left blindfolded and tied loosely to a tree with one can of tuna. Oh and by the way “thief” is branded on his hand as a warning to others that he can not be trusted.

  45. Once again a scenario with a big hole. The ammunition I could understand; however, what is the use of money, unless of course the country is still operational and this is just a bad economic depression.
    As for the friend, my first inclination would be to kick him out on his own; however, there is amention of a family, and the scenario doesn’t establish any other details on how much he and his family contributed to the BOL, the supplies he was bartering, etc. This would require a lot more information and a lot more thought before making any rash decisions. In short, there once again isn’t enough information to make a valid conclusion.

  46. I forgot to address the issue about the thief’s family. They’re his family so they go with him. Each member is given one can of food and are shackled to the man. After he frees himself he can help them. The ammo belongs to the group. If he came with a weapon he can keep it but only with enough ammo to fill a mag and he will have to look for it because it is hidden within 20 ft. of where he is tied. He and his family is given a chance to survive but know that death awaits them if they find their way back to the compound

    • Riverwood says:

      A “scorned”thief with a weapon and ammo and no where to live is a dangerous game to play.

  47. Riverwood says:

    Late to the party this week.
    I’m a very mellow and generous person, but, betrayal pushes all my “dark side” buttons. If things were so bad that I had to abandon my home for life on the road, my tolerance level would be extremely low to non-existent.Pure survival mode.
    1) all his goods, weapons, ammo and money are forfeit to the group – everything!
    2) branded as thief- visible on check (hard to cover up)
    3) banished with only the clothes on his back, and a bullet to the leg
    (will slow him down for a time) with the understanding that he’d better head for parts unknown – next time we meet he’s dead on sight.(or if we hear he’s plotting revenge – I’ll come hunting him and his family) He f’d the wrong person. He’d be lucky if I don’t cut off his hands and cut out his tongue.
    4)the “family” goes too (no way the wife wouldn’t notice the extra cash and ammo or his heavily laden “forages” into the woods) (“sins of the father”etc). Their fate is in other hands than mine, not my problem.
    I’m not worried about his trading partners, he has become a huge liability and has nothing to offer them, but questionable info.
    These would be the things I’d do if I was in a very good and generous mood, if I was in a dark mood things would be way, way worse. If he was my bestest buddy he will already know how I’ll react and it won’t be a surprise to him or his family.

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