The 1970s and the 1980s were interesting times for survivalist. The threat of nuclear war with Russia was a clear and present danger. Russia was in Afghanistan getting its butt kicked by a bunch of nomads. Duck and cover public service announcements were broadcast on TV. Soldier of Fortune magazine and American Survival Guide was the reading material of the day. But it was in the 1990s and beyond when things really got “interesting.”
When I was in high school (1982 – 1986), the dad of one of my friends seemed a little “radical” to say the least. If not radical, maybe just very, very paranoid. This was before I had very much knowledge or experience in stuff like the New World Order (NWO) and conspiracy theories.
This happened about 23 years ago, but I am going to try and tell the story the best that my memory serves me.
The father of my buddy had busted holes in the walls of the house, then stuck a rifle into the hole. He said if the feds ever come to get him, he wanted a firearm within reach. So there was a gun in the wall of every room. Even while sitting on the toilet there was a firearm within reach.
The dad stayed armed just about all the time with a Colt 1911 45 ACP. There were a couple of times where the dad was seen in town with the pistol. One time he was at a local grocery store when a clerk saw the pistol in his pocket – the clerk called the police. When the police approached the man, the son asked the officer if they could talk in private. The son told the police that his dad was a little “off” – and he was. The police officer was nice enough not to arrest the man, but made him leave the store.
Then there was the stories of the FBI watching his house, bugging his telephone, following him,,,,,,.
My buddies dad ran a small home based business and repaired small engines, such as lawn mowers and boat motors. I think this had something to do with making below a certain amount so he did not have to pay income taxes.
The family lived a very frugal lifestyle, ate a lot of cheap food (such as peanut butter), wore clothes that had holes in them, did not go to town very often. If memory serves me right, most of their food was out of store bought cans. This was so when the power was cut off very little food would spoil. I remember the family eating a lot of peanut butter and honey.
One story the dad told me went something like this – years ago he was away from home working on a construction job. Instead of renting an apartment or hotel room, he slept under his car. There just happened to be a panther living in the area. So the dad started putting food out for that panther and slowly tamed it.
About 3 years ago – 2005, 2006 or 2007 – I saw the dad at a local grocery store. He looked kinda rough and gave the appearance of being homeless. His hair was in a tangled mess, his clothes were dirty looking and he had a strange, almost lost look in his eyes. He is not homeless as I know where he lives and I see his car parked there on a regular basis. I did not speak to him, maybe I should have, maybe I am glad I didn’t.
I just can not imagine being so paranoid, as to believe that the government is watching everything that I do. It seemed that my buddies dad was obsessed that the FBI (or someone else) was watching every move he made.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, survivalist kinda wandered around (not literally). There was no real threat any more. There was no real enemy that we could point our finger at and say – they can nuke our cities. There was the AIDS scare from the 1980s and early 1990s where people thought the AIDS virus might mutate to where it was air borne, but that never happened. There was China, but they mostly mind their own business.
It was during the administration of George Bush SR. that were certain events that put the ball into motion, and its never stopped rolling.
The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990 was one of the most important events to affect the USA in recent history. George Bush SR. did not take care of business in 1991 and left Saddam Hussein in power. This forced George Bush JR. to re invade Iraq and finish what his daddy didn’t.
At Rudy Ridge in 1992 there was a stand off between federal agents and Randy Weaver. The wife of Randy Weaver – Vicki Weaver – was murdered by a federal agent who was never prosecuted for his crimes. Vicki Weaver was standing in a doorway, in plain view, unarmed, holding her child and a federal agent sniper shot her in the head. Vicki was dead before her body hit the ground.
This was a prime example of how an out of control government agency can act above, and without fear of the law. If a local police officer had shot Vicki in the same manner, the police officer would probably go to jail. But because it was a federal agent, nothing happened.
Conspiracy theories started going around that Ruby Ridge was a test to see how everyday people would react to hostage situations. That the whole thing was one large social experiment.
The invasion of the Branch Davidian compound in 1993, and the murder of innocent children by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) is another example. The invasion was supposed to be for weapons that had been illegally converted to fully automatic. But that was later changed to child abuse. During the trials that followed the raid, no such weapons were ever produced. Nobody at the BATF has ever been put on trial for the murder of innocent children. To certain grassroots organizations, the raid on the Branch Davidians was an example of an out of control government.
The BATF raid on Mount Carmel and Ruby Ridge were some of the reasons why Timothy James McVeigh bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.
Once again, conspiracy theories started going around that the Mount Carmel event was just one large social experiment to see how people would react. But this time, it was on a larger scale then Ruby Ridge.
Free trade and NAFTA was a hot topic in the 1992 presidential candidates, which were Bill Clinton, George Bush SR. and Ross Perot. In one of his campaign promises, Bill Clinton said that he would not sign the North American Free Trade Agreement – NAFTA. After Bill Clinton became president, the people learned that he had lied and had no intentions on keeping his promises. NAFTA became law in 1994.
Free trade agreements gave the everyday working man reason to believe that big business had bought the US government. Now jobs can be shipped to Mexico without fear of tariffs on imported goods. This meant cheap labor and massive profits for companies that sent their jobs overseas.
This belief that big business owns the US government was reaffirmed with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Talk show host like Chuck Harder started warning people of the dangers of free trade. I personally remember some of Chucks shows from the early 1990s. He tried to warn people about the trickle effect that closing factories and moving them to foreign counties would have. With no factories, the tax base would shrink. With fewer tax dollars, roads, bridges and social services will fall into ruin. And now here we are in 2009 and just about all of those predictions have come true.
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