Once Your Group Is Established, You Train

by L Michael Rusin

Once your group is established you train. Many of the members won’t have much skill but I always advocated they train every time we went to the retreat once they were officially members. We set up pop-up targets and we had a course we had people go through.

We did it with pistols, rifles and shotguns. One of the members was a machinist and used old fashioned car springs to spring up the targets into an upright position with triggers operated by trip wires or remote control. They were attached to fifty-five gallon drums embedded in the ground and filled with rocks. It was tough to set them up but they worked quite well. Eventually we added a few more here and there to change the course. More or less to make the scenario different.

One of the women was a good artist and she painted the targets. I did a few myself. Eventually we did one course with bows and arrow. It was fun and it truly got the Adrenalin flowing. In another area we had an obstacle course with puzzle problems incorporated in it to allow a team to work together to figure out how to do the puzzle of S.E.R.E (Survival, Escape, Resistance and Evasion) techniques. In another area we constructed a “Monkey Bridge.” We had an area set aside at the creek to demonstrate how to cross a fast flowing body of water. That was also where we did our fish traps.

Since we were adjacent a wilderness area it was easy to set up other small courses that we used to learn cross country navigation using a compass and a map. We didn’t have GPS back then. Other courses were taught as well such as making dead-falls, and other assorted traps.

We all learned fish trapping, making snares and so forth. One of the hardest for the women to get a handle on was to make a figure “4” trigger believe it or not. But the point is, once we were a group we planned weekend stays because there were things we had to build for the retreat and for ourselves. We tried to make games out of a few things to make learning fun and when you’re having fun you learn better.

During these outings we learned who could do what and what each person’s weakness and strengths were. One of the fellows was a Force Recon Marine and he knew a lot. One person served a tour in Hawaii and went to many Luaus and we roasted a pig in a pit the way he learned to do it while there.

As the people were learning we instilled in them a sense of urgency and the necessity to kill if one has to. One woman wouldn’t drill a target with a knife because it “Went against her principals.” I told her the target just finished raping her five year old daughter and she went to town on it.

If you are an ex-marine, you know that teaching how to kill is what they do among other things and you learn. Thus the essence of “Boot Camp.”

Most of your group will learn if given enough time, but you also have to instill in them the concept of loyalty, discipline and honesty within the group, and all of the members. The leaders will show themselves just by who they are and the group should be based on democratic principles instead of a totalitarian concept.

We had articles that were written out and they were signed and witnessed and every person retained a copy. Each person was a part owner in the retreat as well. To teach and instill the principals takes time, effort and patience on the part of the teachers. During the evening hours sitting around the campfire we all talked and we did a lot of “What Ifs type scenarios.” It all dovetails together to make it all click.

L Michael Rusin Author of the Novels: Avalon The RetreatAvalon: Beyond the RetreatCalifornia’s Child, and available soon: Avalon: The Reconstruction, “Wormwood”


  1. david davenport says:

    Sounds like a good idea.

    So, what went wrong?


    • Dave, what do u mean by “So, what went wrong?” I can’t figure out what u’re referring to.

      • PrepperDoc says:

        I think what he is getting at is, there are always bugs and negatives — he wonders what this writer experienced and learned from.

        • david davenport says:

          Quite right. It sounded as though they had got it all sorted, but he was talking in the past tense all the time, so it appeared that the arrangement had stopped or broken or something. I wondered what that might have been ‘cos it is potentially, a very big issue. Like getting a divorce. Who keeps the land? and the canned goods? and the ammo?, etc., etc.

          Something that everybody who is thinking of getting together with other people for a similar purpose should think about very carefully before they go in. I’ve never seen it mentioned on any prepping blog.

  2. Thanks for this article. I like the idea of group members training/ teaching each other various skills & things. It moves the group toward the goal of everyone contributing a skill or ability &/or doing what they can to advance the group’s agenda.

    I do not yet have a group. I do have a close friend in our area who’s a prepper & know a couple who are into self-sufficiency. I have spent time getting to know some of our neighbors & have an idea of which are honest & reliable & would be cooperative & a help in a crisis, & which would not. I know those who have guns in this neighborhood. Perhaps I’ll write an article sometime on developing relationships w/ possible group members & moving toward developing a group.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      That would be a great article. There have been some efforts on that before — there is a book on “mutual assistance groups”. You might put some of your ideas into action and then self-critique in an article so we find out what did well and what didn’t; also explain what YOUR characteristics are, because different leaders function in different ways. I’m a very-well-planned-out-leader, but I’m not a great LEADER — other people are better at coaxing people into working together than I. So I know my limits in a disaster scenario.

      • PrepperDoc, do u know the name of that book on mutual assistance groups?

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          Red C my dad was a fireman for 41-years, and the Captain for several of those years. He had a book covering this as there was and is a mutual aid agreement with all the fire departments. He’s retired but still has a lot of the books. I will check and if I can find it, I will post back and send it to you if you want it. Going over this weekend.

  3. I read comments that any precious metals would be automatically added to an existing IRA.

    The beauty of a precious metals IRA is that you may hold and control the precious metals. Keep them safe from confiscation. If they are added to you existing IRA in some bank then they really aren’t yours.

    Do not add any precious metals to an existing bank controlled IRA. Set up a new IRA that you hold and control. One possible source of information about how to do this is CB Mint. I am sure that Google will give you many other sources.

    • Having precious metals as part of a Prepper’s stash is an “iffy” proposition. Let me explain why:

      Most people do not know how to differentiate between counterfeit precious metals and the real deal. I speak from experience. I saw this happen in Africa many years ago. Another problem that poses a problem is, how do you divide a gold bar? How do you recognize platinum from silver? If you were able to do that, again, how do you divide the bars? I do advocate and recommend old American silver coins such as dimes, quarters and half dollars. If you can find them in quantity, silver dollars are also good, but there again, think of the cost you’ll be required to contend with . A gold coin is also helpful in terms of having smaller denominations to use for trade. I would only have a hundred dollars in actual face value if I was to determine to have any coins at all in American loose change. Last, you can’t eat precious metal. In a genuine crisis, food, bullets, a quality bottle of whiskey, medicines, food, garden seeds and a carton of cigarettes will be a lot more trade able than precious metals.

      Precious metal is also heavy to be carrying around. It gets heavier as you carry it. Thus, paper money came into being. I would also say this about precious jewels, can you tell the difference between fake jewels and the real thing?

      There’s a lot to think about. Many people advocate precious metals but I always wonder if they who are doing the recommending, have they ever been in a situation where precious metal was traded during a crisis? I have, and it is a real problem. Most people will not trade something of intrinsic value such a a quality handgun for precious metal unless they know for sure the metal is real. Once a deal is struck and the players walk away, usually it’s too late to find out you’ve been had.

      Common sense goes a long way when it comes to trading and barter. I would make precious metals very low on my list of things to hoard. Not only the points I have illustrated here, there is always the monetary consideration, precious metals are very expensive to purchase when the money can be put toward other things more utilitarian.

      Also, I’ll end this with the following;
      Everyone has an opinion about everything under the sun. Take what many tell you with a grain of salt. It is always best to check things out for yourself, never take someone’s word unless you know them to be a reliable source. As a Retreat builder, planner, a Survival Instructor and as the author of three books I speak with a some credentials. I also flew the Bush in Alaska for many years and as a contract pilot in Africa. I had to live pretty rough in terms of creature comforts for many months at a stretch, and that is what tempers a person’s soul with the experience of living like that. If you don’t believe that, go out into the bush for several months and live without any more than what you can carry and your initiative for making the basics work for you.

      L Michael Rusin

      • PrepperDoc says:

        Oh I’m sure you know a lot more than me, but maybe I can help with a couple of the questions. I basically agree with most of what you’re saying, and I certainly have plenty of firearms ammo and equipment.

        The purpose for precious metals may be to preserve wealth into the next era, rather than to barter for things you should’ve already had.

        Knowing the density of several elements, will help in distinguishing fakes. Archimedes kind of thing. Dividing can be accomplished either by melting or by sawing/cutting. I think silver dollars were cut up this way in early America.

      • Good thoughts LMR, ty 4 input….a few more thoughts… one trick w/currencies is concealment. As will be the case w/items for barter. dde coins/dollars are not ‘silver dollars’- just another sandwich coin backed by full faith & trust of us govt-rite, not worth a cup of coffee post shtf – except maybe to the unwary. I’m thinking it more advantageous to have grain alcohol & dip (as opposed to any particular libation or cigars/cigarettes) as items for barter. A half pint stores in less space-and provides the kick sought; dip can be vacuum sealed, hence easily kept & is easily portable to the purchaser. Discretion & stealth paramount on the providers part!!!! PrepperDoc- I know pieces of 8 were easily divisible, hence their growth in popularity & wide spread acceptance. Also, gold coins were sometimes ‘shaved’ or purity diluted to keep more in the ‘counterfeiter’s’ larder. Dishonest but not unheard of. Market/trade locations may develop, depending on severity of shtf. Interesting…. Scripture says: ‘it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to Heaven’, so all wealthy will know eternal fire? NOT! The eye of a needle was a small portal in a city’s walls where travelers & their pack animals could enter the ‘safe harbor’ of a city (away from brigands & strumpets) after the city’s gates were on lockdown for the nite…..a camel would thus be ‘cajoled’ into passing through the ‘eye’…. not a simple task I’m guessing…. The farmers & ‘publics works’ (i.e., sanitation engineers, etc) would exit in the AM, relieving the guards around the crops & livestock & get busy with the tasks of the day…..omg division of labor & development of economies! Funny how much is in Bible, when we know it’s meaning….those not knowing history are doomed to repeat it? Sorry, got wordy again.

  4. “Head” knowledge is great. But knowing how to apply it is even more important.

    Take shooting, which he mentions. I know people who have bought a gun, studied the reports on it, calculated muzzle velocity and KEI (kinetic energy on impact), can quote prices of quality holsters and their benefits and detractors, and which ammo is reported to give them the best results. But they have never actually fired the gun, felt the recoil in their hand, or put themselves under any stress while firing it. Shooting a standing or even a reactive target at a range is a whole lot different than doing it while someone is/may be shooting at you.

    • Besides, during a stressful moment you will not have time to review the manual when something happens that you did not account for (and it usually does).

  5. Excellent article. I so wish there was a group around my area that would do something like that.

    • Start your own don’t wait for someone else to start one. Get my book Avalon the Retreat and it will show you how to do it.
      L Michael Rusin

      • For starters, I don’t drive and (obviously) I don’t own a vehicle. Second; I live in a community with limited public transportation. Third; I have disabilities that preclude certain physical activities.

        I have one “prepper” book written in fiction format. I think that is enough. I do have others that are non fiction.

        Will be coming back to America to help Americans fight?

  6. Chuck Findlay says:

    When I was growing up watching “The Walton’s” on TV (My parents liked the show so we watched it) I don’t seem to remember them running around in the woods like commandos shooting reactive targets.

    But they did work on autos, cut wood, fix the house, tend the garden and other homesteading things.

    My point (and I know most won’t like it because Hollyweird and prepper fiction porn books like Patriots make people think that is how it’s going to be and there is a STRONG attachment to your guns) is that any realistic guess as to what is coming is going to be a lot more like The Walton’s then Mad Max or Patriots. And the idea (again prepper fiction loves it) that government is going to go away is down right stupid. The US Government has spent billions and billions (if not over a trillion) to make sure it is not going to go away. People in power love that power, and will start wars to kill millions to keep power.

    How many times in the last year did you have to use your guns to save your or someone else life? Probably zero.

    How many times last year did you sit down to a meal? Assuming 3-meals a day, almost 1100 times. If you have a group of 8 people that’s 8800 meals. Argue all you want about guns, but food (and water) is more important after you get a few basic guns to protect yourself.

    Question: What one is more important, running around in the woods with an AR or planting and tending to a garden and learning to can the extra food for winter?

    Guns are important for sure, heck I have 20 or 30 of them (don’t even count them any more) but not so much as it seems people put importance in them. I know it’s fun to shoot guns, but it always seem they are put ahead of other things and many times money for expensive black guns tricked out with all kinds of toys bolted to them are going to eat up a lot of money that could help with other important things. A few basic guns (lots of list for this on-line) will handle what you may need and not cost an arm & a leg.

    Teach how to save seeds (this is the time of the year for that) how to collect rain water and filter it. How to drill a well (or extract water from the well you do have without the grid) How to filter water, how to repair a the water filter you do have. How to repair autos. OK you don’t have to swap motors (good to know but probably not in most peoples area of do do list) but there is a lot of things a person can do on an auto to keep them running and save the expense of an auto mechanic. How about teaching the woman that had the knife to dig a hole for a fence post and set a pole in it, string the fence wire and attach it with fence staples to keep animals out of the garden? Why should she do this? Because she may need to if others can’t. A hole in the ground and a fence pole is not fun or sexy to deal with as shooting a gun, but it’s important around dinner time and you want to eat.

    I know you were practicing other things but in 9 paragraphs, 4 of them were about guns. Almost 50% of this post is about guns and how to kill. And probably more then 50% as you talked about military guys and their skills. And the military is about killing people so my guess this is where you see their value, in gun use against people to kill them. How much of the gun practice was stalking, killing and then harvesting animals into food for the dinner table? Do you have air rifles (and lots of pellets) and do you know every bird on the planet is safe to eat? I know, there is not much meat on a bird, but you can shoot 20 of them in a few hours and they think they are safe 30-feet up in a tree. Even a kids $50.00 BB gun can kill a bird at 50-feet, a good Gamo can do it at 50-yards. And harvesting food is likely going to be a more realistic use for your guns then shooting brigands with Mohawks and Mad Max autos. Also air guns can keep you in practice for firearms and do it at a much lower cost then burning up ammo.

    How to barter is a skill to teach and learn that Americans just don’t do or know how to do. We buy new things from stores. Barter can be done now (part of my work every day is based on barter.) and there is always something you can’t do that someone else can do. Just as you have skills others don’t have and may be willing to trade for. Find a local weekend flea market and go there and even set up to sell things. Learn to interact with others on a personal level and try to get a feel for what makes trades happen. If you do set up make a sign saying you are willing to trade or barter services or products. This will get people to make offers that they would not otherwise make. We Americans just don’t instinctively think this way. The machine at large has driven it from us.

    I don’t do farm animals, but I do fix just about everything in a home and I trade some for eggs and veggies with a local guy that sets up at an abandoned gas station selling them and other things he grows. I stopped there and over time developed a good report with him and we talk. It took time but he and I are friends. He even has a few of my business cards to pass out to people if they mention something is in need of repair. I haven’t got a call yet, but like seeds it takes time for things to grow.

    It’s important to learn how, when and when not to use a gun. Practice with them but don’t make it 50% of your regiment as it seems it may be. So yea play with your guns and have fun doing it, but don’t get to think it’s as important as it seems most people make it out to be as you have to live a life while you are waiting for guys with those Mohawks to show up.

    I’m not trying to be harsh (as some here think I am) I’m trying to be realistic and being realistic means that life is more then prepping to kill invaders. Just as it is today, post SHTF life will be about all the things you do every day. Difference being you will likely have a handgun on your hip and a rifle close by as you live your life and be willing to use it then you are today.

    OK I’m ready, I can handle it. Tell me how I’m wrong.

    • You’re not wrong. You have confirmed that what I am doing is the right thing for my husband and me. I do own a gun, but use it for scaring off coyotes and raccoons from my chickens and ducks. Because I know that my skill with a gun is limited and I do not have the physical ability to do more, I look at the security for my home differently. I am more interested in getting to the next day, the next meal, the next wash day, the next garden season, etc. My husband and I know where to hide if we have to and where to go off property if need be. Those are the things we are preparing for. Chuck, you’re not wrong.

    • Chuck Findlay,
      When the grid and government breaks down you will most certainly need a weapon that will make you equal to a fanatic who wants to kill you for your shoes, your weapons, perhaps even your woman and children. A .45 will make you equal to any person on earth if there is nobody else to come to your aid.

      When the shtf, you will be on your own. If you’re with others you may have a chance, it depends on who comes for you and how many there are of them. Also, how well armed are they?

      We aren’t talking about the Waltons and their farm. We’re talking about anarchy on a scale most of us cannot perceive. You obviously have never been in a war or a battle situation where people are no longer thinking about milking the cow, they’re thinking about how much do you have and how they’ll get it from you. Reflect back on the Watts riots some 20 years ago. People were burned out, and maimed. One man was pulled from his truck, and had his skull crushed with a cinder block smashed down on his head. What was the reason for that? No reason, simply something to do. The only people who were not burned out were those who had weapons and stood their ground. They weren’t looted either.

      When there is no longer law being recognized by a large body of people or a few individuals in a given moment and situation, it isn’t a walk through the petunias, it is as serious as a heart attack. People will kill you for a loaf of bread if they are hungry or starving. They will crush your skull just to even up some misbegotten or perceived wrong you or someone of your race has done to one of them, even if it occurred 200 years ago. When the police are shut down for fear of their own lives, you will have to protect yourself. Most of those crimes that happen during anarchy are never prosecuted.

      People very get good and very fluid when they practice something they may need to know someday in the future. Is it not better to know how to handle a situation that could be life threatening rather than think, that isn’t what the Waltons would do. We aren’t talking about down on the farm. I am addressing in my article what we did to eliminate boredom and to learn how to work together as a team. Fire departments and police do it and so do sports teams and people who study dance. Repetition is the key. When you know what to do you do it and you don’t have to think about it. If you pause to think about something rather than react instinctively, you’ll probably wind up dead. Survival isn’t a game, it is dog eat dog.
      L Michael Rusin

      • PrepperDoc says:

        I think you’re both making very useful points

      • ” Reflect back on the Watts riots some 20 years ago. ”

        The Watts riots were in 1965. Perhaps you were thinking of the Rodney King mess, 1992? The hardest hit area was Koreatown. This riot was more a race fueled issue than a SHTF. A lot of damage nonetheless.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          I saw that and thought it would just focus on my correction and not the issue at hand if I said something.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            But the Watts and King riots were local events as were the Ferguson riots.

            Will that go nationwide, a small maybe, but even with not owning an AR I feel I will do OK.

          • Correct on Watts etc. All of those were started by blacks based on perceived racism…which was fueled and abetted by liberals.

            I can definitely see a LOT of racial backlash if the SHTF. South side Chicago will definitely go up in flames, as will Gary, IN. Those that escape the south side will plague the burbs. They’ve already done over stupid crap.

            A prelude of things to come. I can see Mexican and black gangs going at it and after whites. They already have. The Muslims will also have their go. America is sitting on a hotbed of an all out race war. However, because most are city based, I feel that part of a SHTF will be short lived. Self annihilation in many large cities will happen. CYA time.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        (Chuck Findlay,
        When the grid and government breaks down you will most certainly need a weapon that will make you equal to a fanatic who wants to kill you for your shoes,)

        It’s not when, it’s if and a very small chance of that if.

        Government has spent a LOT (A really LOT) of money to make sure it’s going to keep it’s power. I don’t see it going away. It will become more uncaring and more inefficient in it’s task, but the idea people will go around killing others and get away with it is a dangerous thing. If you kill someone you will at some point have to answer to the powers in charge. It may take a while, but there is no statue-of-limitations on murder. If you kill someone you will need to not be seen doing it, dispose of the body where it can’t be found , and not be seen doing it and keep your mouth shut taking the deed to your grave. And if other bad guys come among, do it all over again. And if other bad guys come along, do it all over again. And if bad guys come along, do it all over again. What chance do you see this working out every time where no one knows it’s been done? And in your grid-down you have to do it with no power tools. I recently dug out a water pipe in a home with just a shovel, 2 of us did it by hand because it was in a spot where no power tools could be used. It was an all day job, it’s hard work, not something you are going to do much grid down.

        People like order not anarchy, they will form local groups to police their area if (big if) the government goes away. Even if the normal government takes no interest in the pile of bodies, someone else in a police position will.

        Where has the government (in a civilized modern world) ever just stopped to exist?

        I’m not saying to have guns, but to devote 50% of your time and energy to them is not productive. A group that does this as apposed to being focused on food production more then guns are going to run out of food. What happens at this point? 3 things, first they die from no food, second they hire out as mercs to provide security for those that were smart enough to plant food and have animals. (not a long-term thing as anarchy won’t last and at that point you get fired from your job with no skills like farming that will do you any good) and third they use the guns to go take food from others by force, not a good chance of staying alive doing this as you are now the problem that has to be put down.

        But honestly assessing the chance of a Mad Max or Patriots situation will have most of us figuring out that Mad Max is just a movie, not a prediction. So food production is just as (actually more) important then a tricked out AR. Heck a Ruger 10-22 can hit a pop bottle every time at 150-yards (do it every so often with my 10-22) If it will do that almost any gun, even a 22 will kill someone at reasonable range. My point is that you don’t have to buy high-dollar guns to be able to get by as a prepper.

        In the end I’m not saying to not prepare I’ve been doing it since the late 1980″s) but you have to have a balanced approach to it, and I did not see that in the article. It was at least 50% about running around shooting reactive targets. If we do get SHTF guns will be with you 100% of the time, but they will not be 100% or even 50% of what we will be doing.

        • PrepperDoc says:

          Yep. No food=starve. Takes lots of time / work to grow food. No defense = die; while shooting is quick, planning & building defense & skills takes lots of time / work to bring about.

          Bosnia good example of SHTF modernity? Katrina / New Orleans ? I think Katrina showed gov can effectively cease within the boundaries of a severely affected area…..EMP offers severe effects over HUGE swaths of America, so does massive race war (civil war) and so does nuclear war…. Large swaths of nation (entire quarters) could cease to have any effective “governance”.

  7. TYVM 2 L Michael & MD for this info. Expect rough spots appears to be rule 1…. but good leadership & direction can overcome deficiencies…. kinda like a wagon train heading West years ago….

  8. & Spiritual direction!!!!

  9. We need to train and prepare for all events. Run around on the treadmill real hard then shoot outside. With a gun,pellet gun or airsoft gun depending on your location. This will simulate high stress situations. Set everything else up,gardening,water. Learn medical/first aid, mechanical,canning,hunting ect. All knowledge will be needed in a shtf scenario. Having a plan and practicing drills set up muscle memory so under stress you can react without thinking. Train on because a slow reaction could cost you or your loved ones their lives.

  10. All the training might help aginst wandering small groups or fleeing refugees (unless there ate too many) 100-200 desperate people will overwhelm most defenses . Trying to stand off a attack by well armed / trained solders or police well you don’t stand much of a chance …they have the liberty to isolate and destroy…
    Even if you have 20 well armed people they can always bring bigger guns or in worse case just use air cover…
    Not being seen or found will be the best defense ….

  11. the spanish dubloon, aka ‘pieces of eight’….. a well established ….until form of money in ‘the colonies’ (north, south & central America & the Caribbean). It could be easily divided into, you guessed it, 8 pcs, hence the ;mill’ 1/10 of a cent eventually, until 1913-my vote for worst year in American history. The quarter was 2pcs/8.

    • my bad…..not the mill (1/10th of a cent, an actual monetary unit prior to 1913) but a ,bit’….. hence a quarter is ofttimes slangily referred to as ‘2 bits’….. also please ‘blue pencil’ out the word ‘until’ above, seems I need adhere to yesteryears journalism classes more religiously, particularly editing. Sorry.

  12. Chuck Findlay says:

    Off Topic Post Here

    I ran across this ad on U-Tube, this guy is amazing.
    Not many people like him, a truly good person that is making a positive change in the world.

  13. You form a group of neighbors because of their proximity and advantage of the homes closeness. What would you do when one or two refuse to participate? I am sure they would expect protection when a threat presents itself but feels that they dont need to assume any cost or train so we would have a cohesive action when needed.

    • Grampa:

      Some time ago we has a series of discussions on this blog with a person who had set up a “neighborhood watch” with most of the neighbors. As I recall they set up alarms and surveillance. One or two “families” refused to participate and actually tried to sue to get included in the protection without having to participate physically or financially. Thankfully they lost.

  14. seems hero Spencer Stone (helped thwart train shooting in France recebtly) was stabbed outside nightclub more recently. Expected to recover, 4 wounds to chest read some reports. 2 Asian men believed to be the perps, film caught them leaving scene. Some reports say it was a gay bar. Amazing the stories which pop up when I looked this story up on search engine.

  15. I wrote the “Train” article a number of years ago. It wasn’t my prime intention to cover everything one must do once a Retreat is organized and the people are beginning to not only train but to stock it. It was a narrow field showing those who aren’t Retreat members what to do in a given situation not an overview of all things.

    We did a lot more than simply train. Someone mentioned building the brain muscles. That was an important aspect to our training. Once you do something over and over it becomes automatic.

    In terms of training to kill another human being, it may become necessary if the shtf. Too many people have forgotten about the woman Kitty Genovese who was murdered in a neighborhood street. She screamed and pleaded for help and no one came to her rescue or so much as made a phone call to get her help. That was in 1964. Another woman in Ohio was raped in broad daylight and no one came to help her either, her assailant Anferney Fontenet, a 15-year-old boy, was arrested at his house, where he lives with his mother and sister. It happens all of the time. If either of those women were armed and had the training to defend herself, these two crimes would never have happened.

    I disagree that it won’t be long term. I think it ill be. The government will probably survive regardless of what happens. In the Middle Ages society crumbled and the standards of living collapsed. Not only living standards but education as well and eventually people forgot the world was round. It could happen again. However,the present government will be overwhelmed and it will concentrate on taking care of itself and not the ordinary citizen as they did during Katrina. I can see a feudal system developing and becoming a reality where War Lords control areas and they will be merciless.

    There are many ways to approach a survival situation and there are as many ways as there are scenarios as to what you should do before, during and after ordinary society may or may no corrode. I choose to take the extreme method and prepare to hunker down on my Retreat, with enough food and weapons to insure my survival. There are still no guarantees any of us will survive regardless of what we do to be prepared. I don’t pay car and home insurance because I expect my car or home will be damaged or wrecked. I pay it just in case and so should you.
    L Michael Rusin

  16. Idaho Mama says:

    You speak in past tense. Is the retreat/group still in place? If not, why not? If it is, how is it (the team) preparing/adapting/growing with regard to current domestic and world events?

    Is Avalon the Retreat the first book? How much detail does it go into with regard to setting up a survival/post shtf retreat? Is it fiction or non-fiction?

    Thanks for a great article and for getting some good strategies and thought processes started.

    • Avalon The Retreat is a fictional place where people restored an old 19th century Dude Ranch which was off the grid. When World War Three begins and is a nuclear war those residents go there and are safe from the war. The story has been said to be a blueprint for setting up, stocking and protecting a retreat. The second book, the sequel called Avalon Beyond the Retreat takes up where one ended. I am currently writing the third book and final of the trilogy.

      My book California’s Child has been on the market for a little over a year and has been on Amazon’s Top 100 Best Seller’s List for almost the whole time. Here lately it slips off but is back on it a day or two later. It is a book of fiction but based on factual events.

      In terms of my present day and real Retreat, it is real, off grid and very well protected with getting in to it or out of. There is ample water and the growing season is 365 days a year. We use several green houses to grow our food. The structure we call the community center is about 8,000 sq. ft., and is completely off grid but has running water, hot water and electricity. We watch the current events and can head for it if something very large happens, Perhaps an economic collapse to the US or the dollar. If it is big, we will head for safety.

      Right now we grow about 500 pounds of food in one green house and there are others in the process of being built. Each member family has their own. We have range cattle, pigs, chickens and a few goats. We call it a Survival community rather than a retreat. It will have a small clinic, a school and a storage and animal shelter barn. We aren’t done yet.

      I was a key participant in putting together three retreats many years ago. Two of the three are still in operation and the third was dissolved because it was a party farm owned and financed by a young heir to a large fortune. As it turned out, it wasn’t a survival retreat at all, just a place to go have fun, lots of free love and drugs. Syphilis swept through the compound and it was closed down by local authorities after someone wound up in the hospital. The other two went on and are still going strong. It was based on family.

      They build old harnesses for wagons and stage coaches, saddles, wagon wheels and wooden casks. Hand crafted wood toys, violins, guitars, cellos, and banjos. They sell these things on the internet. They also grow a lot of vegetables, nuts, hay and grain for livestock and are heavy producers of honey. They sell the food at a farmers coop and at food markets on the weekends.

      I d not stay in contact with them anymore but I know they are still around. They built Yurts to live in and made looms to weave their own rugs with, and they also make hand crafted furniture which they sell in New York City through a broker. They were afraid at the time nuclear war was going to come about so they built their own retreats completely off grid and began building and making machinery that was 19th century technology. Such as water wheels and so forth. None of their children went to school in the public sector and one of the children is a leading Pediatrician and another was an aeronautical Engineer for the Boeing Company. Both went to the University of Washington for their degrees and were tops in their respective classes.

      L Michael Rusin

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        I don’t want to live back in the 1800’s with 19th century technology, I want to have as much of the modern world as I can. Or at least the good parts of it. Electricity is wonderful and provides many great things, why not have solar power to use things like lights, refrigeration, computers and lots of other electricity-based things?

        I would imagine the harshness of a 19th century life is what helps many of the survival communities fail. If bringing the modern world into the community makes life easier, I have to imagine it’s cohesion is going to be better.

  17. Chuck Findlay says:

    If you don’t have the money to stockpile supplies you can go to Yale University and learn how to loot people for the stuff you need.

    Or at least learn how to cart off big-screen TV’s…

    Sad that they have classes like this…


    • Chuck; Many universities are having classes like the one in your post. Yes, it is sad. Schools, from elementary on up, have become socialist if not Marxist with too many far left teachers/profs.

      If anyone speaks out against this behavior, they are immediately labeled a racist. Even more ridiculous, if you mention you are a survivalist/prepper in public, you are thrown in with the white supremacy/skin head groups.

      Sad, sad times indeed.

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