We just posted the latest American Survivor newsletter in the Members Only/American Survivor section. Paid members have access to each issue as they are published and scores of back issues for just $20.00 per year.
We just posted the latest American Survivor newsletter in the Members Only/American Survivor section. Paid members have access to each issue as they are published and scores of back issues for just $20.00 per year.
An update from James C. Jones, 6/18/2018
As many of you know, I have had two books in publication with Paladin Press since 2015. Unfortunately, the owner of Paladin passed away in 2016 and his wife elected to close the business. This left me and a lot of other survival and preparedness authors without publishers. Since Paladin closed rather than sold the business the copyrights reverted back to me. I contacted another publishing company and they immediately bought my two books to republish. In addition they advanced me on a third book that I was just thinking about at that stage. The status of the three books is as follows.
Beyond Survival will be republished as “Advanced Survival” in early October 2018 with a new cover and only a few minor changes. The publisher changed the title although I feel that the original title was more descriptive. It’s probably going to sell for about $20.00. I wanted to provide usable and practical methods of replacing each life-critical service that is provided by society and the grid under normal circumstances. There are chapters on what to do when the water stops flowing, what to do when the grocery store is gone, what to do when the fire department isn’t responding, etc. I illustrated each chapter and provided some background in how these needs were addressed a few generations ago. I also supplied an imperative “Storm Warning” chapter to validate the necessity of preparedness and self-reliance.
The Live Free Book of Total Survival will be republished as “Total Survival” in January 2019 with a new cover probably for $20.00 or $25.00. This book is more emergency or disaster related. I cover ten ways to do survival related tasks such as ”Ten Ways to Start and Maintain a Fire”, “Ten Critical First Aid Skills”, “Ten Self-Defense Techniques”, “Ten Ways to Acquire and Preserve Food”, etc. The book is fully illustrated and should give the reader a lot of usable skills and techniques. I cover urban, outdoors and general disaster issues based on my using my “Ten Principles of Survival”.
Both of the original books are still available from Amazon and Borders.
150 Survival Secrets should be out on or about February 2019. My original title was “150 Questions for a Survivalist” but the publishers elected to change the title, but the format is still question and answer as in “How can I survive an earthquake?”, or “What can I do to survive a civil disorder?” One-hundred and fifty subjects is a lot to cover. I touch on a lot of controversial topics. Some items are covered in a paragraph or two while others may run to ten or more pages with illustrations. While I covered the traditional outdoors, self-reliance and disaster survival subjects, I addressed ethical and philosophical issues as well. There are some detailed sections on the organizational aspects of preparedness groups and even some paramilitary information. This is probably the closest thing to a true survivalist manifesto or manual ever written. In fact, I was a bit surprised that it is getting published. Being that this is a new book from the publishers, they are planning a promotional campaign. I have no Idea about the price on this book yet. I do know that I am going to have a lot of work in November-December finalizing the formats and proofs and then again in early 2019 as it is published.
The new publisher is Skyhorse Publishing of NY, NY. A much bigger publisher than Paladin. They publish a full line of survival related books. Go to www.skyhorsepublishing.com for more information
CAMP INDEPENDENCE 2.0
Camp Independence has been a signature-event for Live Free USA since the mid-1960s. Starting at Tippecanoe River State Park in Indiana with just a few members, the event expanded over the years to utilize the entire 38 building Group Camp facility with hundreds in attendance and even media helicopters dropping-in to interview Live Free officers and members. It is America’s original preparedness and survival expo and training event. Unfortunately, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources elected to close the Group Camp facilities in 2014. That facility was unique in that it offered plenty of family cabins, a big dinning and meeting hall and multiple other building for conducting classes and even scenario-based training. While we were not able to find comparable facilities anywhere else, we were able to rent an entire Boy Scout camp near Michigan City Indiana for the weekend of May 18-20, 2018 and conduct a new version of the event. The rental cost was about double what we paid at Tippecanoe and the income sources (e.g. Cabin rentals) was severely limited. We lost a bit on the events admission charges, but made some money thanks to generous participation in the Survival Stuff Raffle. The weather was cool and wet and this also impacted participation. While we had five instructors drop out at the last-minute there was still plenty of classes and show and tell for all participants. In fact several instructors never got to do their classes before the time ran out. We were not able to take advantage of the available archery and BB-gun ranges due to the rain and instructor shortages. Many past participants came expecting to have meals available as we did at Tippecanoe, but we had no one to volunteer to do this. Some of the best things happened around the shelter and the campfire in the evenings where networking and rededications where made. Whether we are able to continue to do Camp Independence next year depends on several factors (1) if the facilities at Camp To-Pe-Ne-Bee are available to us (2) If we have more dependable support for managing the event and conducting classes and (3) if we have a reliable team to provide meals. We also may elect to do smaller camp events at other locations. Of course the biggest requirement is that we can build on this year’s event to get two-or-three times as many participants. We hope to hear from members and make a decision by this September. Stay tuned.
Is America Headed for Another Revolution?
By James C. Jones
It has been 242-years since the original American Revolution. The Civil War was a geopolitical split rather than a systemic revolution. There was certainly a lot of “revolutionary” activity during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but these movements were limited to a small segment of the population. During these decades the vast majority of the population still shared a set of common values in a stable economy. The “Greatest Generation” that had recently made America great and defeated brutal and dictatorial aggressors was the dominant and stable force in American society at that time. The radical communist and anarchist forces that seemed to define those decades literally and figuratively, burned themselves out. However, many of these extremists and their divisive ideologies infiltrated our institutions and society. A recent issue of Smithsonian magazine headlined 1968 “The Year That Shattered America” and contained a series of articles about the events and movements of those times. While those times may not have actually “shattered” America, they left a collection of cracks that have grown and expanded to this day.
The United States Government is the oldest and most stable government in the world today. All of the governments of Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle-East have fallen and risen several times while the USA has stood and prospered. While many American attribute this to our values and the genius of our Constitution there are other factors that have historically contributed to our stability.
None of these stabilizing factors are true today. Multi-ethnic societies are inherently unstable. There is no longer an unlimited amount of real-estate, resources or jobs to absorbed even internal population growth. We are involved with and influenced by divisive and confusing foreign involvements and intrigues. Today’s American is more self-centered, dependency-oriented and less involved in community than any previous generation. The decades of centralized, big government have replaced responsibility with demanding, demonstrating and blame finding. The gap between the poor and the ultra-wealthy is disgraceful and growing. The internet now facilitates division rather than unity, conflict rather than discussion and even violence in place of the political process. Respect for the law and for American values has all but disappeared in many regions. These are harbingers of future revolutionary developments.
There is a growing number of religious, racial and political elements that are quietly preparing for such a catastrophe. There is a line in an old movie* about South American revolutions. The General storms into the presidential palace proclaiming “El Presidente, the rebels are in the suburbs!” to which the dictator says “the rebels are always in the suburbs”. We are becoming more like one of these “Banana Republics”
Effects of Revolutions
With the notable exception of the American Revolution, very few revolutions have ever turned out the way the revolutionaries expected or hoped for. Ask the Cuban’s or the Russians, or anyone from South America or the Middle East. While they may start out with high ideals, they usually are co-opted by the most ambitious and brutal participants to create a more corrupt and oppressive state than the one it replaced. There is an old joke that says that the first thing a successful revolutionary leader must do is kill all of the revolutionaries. If a revolution fails it justifies greater oppression and brutality by the state.
In short: revolution is not a good idea if it can be avoided.
Precursors of Revolution
While conditions appear to be relatively stable as of this date, historically revolutions tend to erupt without much warning when a combination of long simmering disagreements and discontent are ignited. A few precursors that could set the stage for revolution-like developments include:
It is difficult to predict what kind of events will transpire between now and the 2020 elections, but chaos and conflict seem inevitable. It seems doubtful that ether side will accept the results of an election without active resistance. It is highly possible that there will be more than two parties and that we could have a president and legislature elected without a majority mandate. Instead of complacent inaction, survivalists should be taking this opportunity to focus on preparing for the hazards of 2019 and 2020.
Surviving a Revolution
Surviving during a revolution can be a tricky business. You have to cope with the effects of the violence on your basic safety and security while trying to stay on the right side or neutral in the conflict. Sustained revolutionary activities may result in a breakdown in law-and-order, sabotage or cessation of services such as running water, food deliveries, fire protection and medical care. The fundamental preparedness procedures that permit you to shelter in place or evacuate remain paramount, but defensive and even paramilitary equipment and preparations take on increased importance. The choices of survival tactics will depend on your political, economic and geographic environment at the time of any uprising. A few possibilities include:
Keeping your mouth shut, your eyes open and your powder dry is always a good maxim for surviving such turbulent times.
While I still regard revolution or revolution-like development as unlikely and undesirable, I can no longer exclude them from the list of “potential” survival threats. My study of history and observation of recent past and current events suggests that our nation is much less stable than in past decades. If the current trends of divisiveness, violence and discontentment continue the specter of revolutionary activities and even the fall of our way of life must be recognized. Responsible citizens must resist the temptation to be guided and motivated by media and internet divisive rhetoric and exhortations. We must do all we can to support responsible law enforcement, and community based volunteer organizations. But we must also plan and prepare to survive the effects of any kind of civil disorder, sabotage, crime and even revolution that may lie ahead.
LIVING FREE and GUN RIGHTS
By James C. Jones, EMT, CHCM and president of Live Free USA
Ultimately, gun rights are about the right to life and freedom. There is no point in talking about emergency preparedness, survival and self-reliance for an unarmed population.
Live Free USA began as a shooting club in the late 1960s. By the 1970s guns and gun ownership was under such assault that being a “gun club” in Chicago was impossible. It is probably impossible for any of our readers now to comprehend the level of harassment, persecutions, prosecution and prohibitions imposed on us in those times. It seemed inevitable that we would be forced to use muzzle loaders and cross-bows in defense of our lives and our freedoms. The NRA at that time was not a political force and liberals ran rough-shod over the constitution and anyone who sought to exercise the second amendment rights. Live Free broadened our activities to include survival education and civil-defense while keeping our gun related activity’s underground. The acceptability of shooting sports, concealed-carry and military-style rifles today has been achieved through decades of struggle. Since there are many great gun-rights advocacy groups today, Live Free focuses on our core survival and self-reliance mission, but remembering that the capacity for armed defense and resistance is an essential part of survival and self-reliance, I will enumerate some of our positions related to the issue of so-called military-style rifles that have been so maligned in recent weeks.
The ownership of so-called, military-style rifles with high-capacity magazines has nothing to do with hunting or sports shooting. It’s about citizens maintaining the potential to resist foreign or domestic subjugation and oppression. This does not imply that owners of such weapons are revolutionary, extremists or members of formal militias. They consciously or subconsciously accept the reality that the freedom and security of their families and future generations depends on maintaining the balance of force between the state and the people. Owners of these weapons have the upmost respect for the laws and the government, but they do so by choice and responsibility, not by fear and submission.
The major difference between the way American citizens think and the way subjects of other countries think originates from the fact that most other peoples were granted their liberties by the state and still believe that power flows from the state, while Americans fought for their freedoms and know that they are the ultimate source of freedoms and authority. This difference in origins creates an instinctual propensity to be armed or have access to arms that is not shared by citizens of other nations. It is no coincident that America has the oldest government on the planet and the most individual freedoms.
Ultimately: the right to keep and bear arms” is an extension of the human right to self-protection that exists regardless of written laws. It follows that one must have the means to exercise that right. One cannot be expected to defend oneself against an armed assailant or an oppressive despot with anything less than what that assailant or oppressor may have. We could not exercise the right to free speech if we were limited to old printing presses while the government controlled the mass media and the internet. We could not exercise freedom of religion if it was limited to only ancient texts and methods. So we cannot effectively exercise the right to keep and bear arms if we are limited to anything less than the best and most modern equipment.
The constitution does not say “hunting being a necessity”, it does not say “the ability to resist crime being important” it says “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”. There is no ambiguity in this sentence. The second amendment is about military-style arms. We are guaranteed the right to own, keep and bear military-style arms by the constitution. The term “regulated” in the eighteens century was defined as well managed or well-maintained, but not regulated by law as the word is used today. The final four words “shall not be infringed” specifically prohibits any form of taxation or governmental action that interferes with this essential right. The founders did use the generic term ”arms” even though the contemporary “arms” were muzzle-loading muskets and swords. In fact they were referring to the “military-style” weapons of that time, but these were intelligent, forward thinking man who anticipated advancements and certainly wanted future citizens to “keep and bear” arms that would be equal to those of criminals, invaders and would-be tyrants of the future.
The missus of a right by a few does not justify the prohibition of that right to others. Trading freedom and responsibility for safety is the poorest bargain a people can make. Ask the Russians, or the Chines, or the North Koreans or the Mexicans or anyone from a hundred oppressed, depressed and crime-ridden nations that we do not want to live in. The loss of lives caused by a few evil and mentally-ill individuals is truly tragic, but cannot justify turning our back on the freedoms that were bought with the lives and sacrifices of generations of veterans. Yes, they died for the second amendment as well as our other freedoms and surrendering any of those freedoms is a betrayal of their sacrifices.
In a world spiraling towards increasing political strife, civil disorder, street crime, economic instability, potential epidemics, increasingly severe disasters and terrorist activities, only the most irresponsible and pacified citizen can fail to see their duty to be prepared to meet violent situations in the future. While the anti-gun movement may be lead (or mislead) by the youth, it is those between the ages of 15 and 25 that may most regret no having access to military-style weapon and ammunition just a few decades in the furfure. In fact one may want to consider purchasing additional such arms and ammunition to be stored and distributed in the future to the next generations that may desperately need them.
In Short: Any action that limits the access to modern, effective military-style firearms to law abiding citizens of the United States is specifically unconstitutional, philosophically un-American, and functional dangerous to the future of life and freedom for us all.
LIVE FREE USA 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Looking back and Looking Ahead, by James C. Jones, Founder and President
Most significant organizations are formally created with the involvement and support of financially stable, business and professional founders. Live Free USA evolved from a group of poor city kids who liked to go camping. We have established the year nineteen-sixty-eight as the formal start of Live Free USA because that’s about when we started practicing, advocating and educating for survival and self-reliance. The organization started as an NRA affiliated shooting sports club and expanded into other outdoor sports including rock climbing, caving, river rafting, primitive camping and archery. The potential for injuries and the need for first aid and safety training brought us to focus on survival related issues. Membership was primarily limited to the South-side of Chicago in the 1960's and the draconian gun laws and vehement anti-gun sentiments (much greater than today) made operations as a “gun club’ unsustainable so we evolved into a “sports club” but continued to do shooting activities out of town. The political turbulence of the late 1960's combined with the growing threats of the Cold War drew the organization into the broader aspects of emergency preparedness and self-reliance while we continued to conduct outdoor survival training as well. We also began to attract membership beyond the Chicago area. At this time we started publishing our survival newsletter. Originally titled “Directions” and mimeographed it became todays “American Survivor” a respected source of survival information for over 40-years.
In the late 1960's we started doing annual training programs at Tippecanoe River State Park in norther Indiana. The park offered cabins and a huge training area for a reasonable price. This event evolved it what became the annual “Camp Independence” survival education event. We first rented just one cabin, but by the late 1970's we were renting the entire, 50 building facility including dining halls, shelters, an infirmary, showers and housing for hundreds of participants. We were able to conduct combination indoor and outdoor training programs, drills and scenarios that were beyond anything being done today by any survival organization. Camp Independence continued until 2015 when the Indiana Department of Resources elected to close the facilities. This was a major blow to our training programs, since no equivalent facilities existed. It is sad to note that the reason for closure was primarily that very few groups used it. The organizations that had previously held events and gatherings there have either disbanded or become less willing to cope without heat, AC and lights. To many folks Tippecanoe and Live Free were synonyms.
We really hoped to develop our own version of the facilities at Tippecanoe River State Park in the 1970's. We started selling shares of our “land fund” and doing car washes to raise money to buy some land. Against all odds, we managed to get sufficient funds to purchase 20-acres of beautiful wooded property in Wisconsin. We set up a camp area, rifle range, and other facilities and eventually acquired an adjoining 20- acres. We called it “The American Survival Center” (I still have the sign), but a combination of events forced us to sell it off in the mid 80's. One of the reasons that we do the paperwork to maintain our current not-for-profit, tax deductible status is the hope that we might receive a contribution, bequest or grant that would revive the dream of a true “American Survival Center.” Certainly there is a greater need than ever for such a facility with so many camp facilities closing.
The 1980's brought Live Free USA into the national and even international spotlight. We noted that the media was suddenly interested in “survivalists” but had been attracted to extreme political and religious groups who may have been practicing survival skills, but were not (in our view) real survivalists. Having been at it for two decades, we were far ahead of others in actual practices. For several years we worked to promote the true philosophies and practices of survivalism. Media helicopters landed at Tippecanoe and at the American Survival Center. We did dozens of interviews for radio, TV and major publications. We even talked on the BBC and Dutch TV. I was privileged to speak at the American Society for Civil Defense on two occasions. Through this publicity we built up a national membership and even some international members. We still had to manage with our very limited number of overworked volunteers and no significant financial support, and this severely limited our ability to build on our success or expand our programs. The cover of the 1986 issue of American Survival Guide was dedicated to Live Free USA's years of service. Live Free’s reputation, core group and missions were all established in the 1980's, but the preparedness movement almost collapsed in the early 1990's.
Although Live Free USA never considered nuclear war as the only or even primary survival and preparedness motivation, the public jumped to the conclusion that the fall of the Soviet Union was the beginning of the age of peace and security. All of the survival magazines soon ceased publication and all of the other survival organizations evaporated. Without magazines to advertise in we dwindled down to a small number of loyal national members and a hardcore group locally. We still held Camp Independence at Tippecanoe and got out our newsletter sporadically. In short, Live Free went into a survival mode of conserving resources and maintaining our local core membership. By the late 1990's support for preparedness and survivalist began to revive as terrorism, economic instability, natural disaster, epidemics and other obvious challenges began to be recognized by the public. Variations of survivalist such as the “prepper” movement and the “homesteading” movement began to emerge. At the same time the internet provided a new avenue for Live Free to outreach, network, promote and organize. The dawn of the Twenty-First Century brought with it multiple natural and man-made disasters combined with a matrix of potential survival challenges that established preparedness and survival education as a major requirement for the public. Some new preparedness magazines were in publication, and preparedness expositions were being held throughout the country.
The early part of this century has seen Live Free reestablish itself as the leading organization for survival and preparedness. While members can join on-line through our website at AmericanSurvivor.org, we still provide hard-copy mailings to all those who prefer that method. Our American Survivor newsletter remains the only continuously published survival publication from the 1970's and Live Free USA has been advertised in most national survival magazines in recent years. We have several active chapters and conduct multiple training events annually. Live Free USA and Live Free chapter groups have exhibited and presented at dozens of preparedness expositions. Unlike the 1980's when Live Free was the major focus of media attention and the public actually joined and participated in organized groups, today the internet fragments and dilutes the public’s attention on any one group and the public tends to prefer virtual rather than real involvement. Hard-copy publications are often replaced by a video or blog. There are literally thousands of survival websites and hundreds of survival and preparedness (for profit) suppliers and trainers. This has made it difficult for Live Free to grow as it did in the 80's, but we are an important part of the growing movement.
This organization started with a number of handicaps that most organizations don’t have.
When I retired from my day job a few years ago I determined to give a final push to get Live Free to a point of sustainable growth and solid operation. I traveled to many preparedness expositions, wrote for many magazines and put aside some personal priorities in favor of building Live Free. We have had some notable successes, but I am disappointed that we have not attracted more young leadership and outside financial support. Illnesses and age among our core members has begun to seriously degrade our operations. Developments in the next 12 to 24 months will determine the future of the organization. Live Free USA is the only tax-deductible, not-for-profit organization in the United States (maybe the world) dedicated to healing people prepare for survival situations and become more self-reliant. Certainly, there has never been a greater need for what we do, yet our existence is in jeopardy.
I welcome everyone's suggestions and participation as we go forward. Please consider attending our 50th Annual Meeting on March 24th at 1:00 PM in Cabela's Conference Center in Hammond IN.
With all of the tension around North Korea, I thought it would be a good time to update and republish an article about nuclear survival. Back in the 60s-80s Live Free did a lot of nuclear war survival training and we helped several Civil Defense organizations. In fact, I spoke at the American Society For Civil Defense convention in Las Vegas. I had to follow Edward Teller (inventor of the H-bomb) on the speaking schedule. Since the end of the Cold War nuclear survival has been ignored, but there are many scenarios for limited and semi-limited nuclear exchanges. While we have a lot of other more probable and even more catastrophic hazards today, nuclear weapons remain part of the treat matrix. Because this article is long and illustrated I have included it here as a PDF file
More Surprises and the Spiral.
The Subject of our July/August issue was “Surprise Disaster”. Does four major hurricanes and two major earthquakes in the same region in the same month qualify? Other recent American Survivor headline topics included “Severe Weather”, and “Descent into Chios”. We seem to be right on target with our materials. I was looking at a 1970s copy of our newsletter and the headline was “The Coming Age of Terrorism”. Prophetic. Too bad that so few people read our publications.
The recent multiple disasters verifies our predictions about a disaster to catastrophe spiral. There is no such thing as recovery once the magnitude and quantity of disaster outpaces the resources and economies of the civilization. The emergency management agencies were exhausted. The Red Cross was forced to recruit literately off the street to get help. The public’s ability to provide contributions dwindled as each new demand occurred. State and national governments were forced further into debt. Housing prices are predicted to rise as material and labor goes towards replacing home instead of building new ones. Puerto Rico’s utility companies had already field for bankruptcy before the hurricanes struck. All of the funds from “recovery” and response must come from infrastructure improvements, security and safety agencies and from maintenance of the very systems that protect us from the next disaster. This spiral of more disasters, less capability and a weakening economy is unlikely to take us to a safe and prosperous future.
NEW LIVE FREE USA CHAPTER IN VIRGINIA
Dismal Swamp Preppers (Norfolk VA Region)
Contact: Tim and Carol McCann
Description: We are a small but active group of friends that are working together to learn from each other, teach each other, and be able to depend on each other if times get rough. Our focus is on building community, providing both classroom style and hands-on training, and generally learning self-sufficiency while sharing. A good portion of the classes are based on group input and sharing.
Our Motto is: Survive. Thrive. Help Others. Help Yourself. No matter what your goal is in the prepping process, this site will help you connect with others of a like mind.
Our past meetings have been classes on the following:
Future Classes may include:
This article covers the survival challenges of children and adolescents from the survivalist viewpoint. A slightly modified version will appear in a future issue of American Survivor, but it is a subject of such importance that we decided to post it in advance. We hope that our readers and our chapter groups will make this a subject for discussion and action.