Friday, January 30, 2009
Sick of worrying about the future? Then spare a thought for Jim Rawles.
Rawles, 48, is one of a rising number of “survivalists” — Americans hunkering down for what they predict will be a nightmare of economic failure, mass terrorism, pandemics and social chaos.
“The movement’s definitely growing,” Rawles, manager of the site survivalblog.com, told AFP by telephone from what he described as a survival-ready ranch “somewhere west of the Rocky Mountains.”
Survivalists have a long history in the United States. But what used to be the preserve of anti-establishment loners, cultists and gun nuts has gone mainstream.
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Government agencies are encouraging citizens to prepare evacuation plans and food supplies in case of myriad disasters.
Firearms, gold pieces, and long-storage food are reportedly flying off the shelves, and the Internet is flooded with sites like survivalblog.com, where the like-minded exchange tips on everything from marksmanship to cheese making.
“We’re seeing three times the number of readers we had just nine months ago,” Rawles said.
“The cross section of the readership is changing too. Before, most of my readership was conservative Christians. We’re seeing a lot more left of center.”
Experts say sparks for this phenomenon include the 9/11 attacks of 2001, government incompetence during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and now recession: people are more afraid and less trusting in government.
The more radical survivalists are getting ready for what they call EOTWAA, the End-Of-The-World-Armageddon-Apocalypse, or the niftier SHTF, as in Shit Hits The Fan.
Some literally expect the world to end. They have a date: December 21, 2012, which is based on expiry of an ancient Mayan calendar and predictions of rare astronomical activity.
This article was posted: Friday, January 30, 2009 at 2:26 pm