The third volume of John Mosby‘s Guerrilla Gunfighter series became available last fall. You can find it on Lulu.com through the following link Guerrilla Gunfighter 3: Training Drills for Building Skills. As the subtitle states, this volume is mostly shooting drills. Each drill gives you an introduction to the drill, the conditions to start, a list of performance standards, and some coach’s notes. Mosby divides his drills into three sorts: first, micro-drills to perfect one or two particular aspects of a shooting skill; second, macro-drills that exercise multiple aspects of the shooting skill; and, last, evaluation drills which don’t particularly improve any of the aspects trained in the micro- and macro-drills, but rather are used to mark your improvement or decline in shooting skill. This volume also has a foreward written by Pastor Joe Fox of Viking Preparedness.
In this older post from John Mosby at Mountain Guerrilla, he gives his opinion on how to start a preparedness group or how to build a community for mutual assistance, or whatever you want to call your group. People always ask us about how to go about starting a preparedness group at the preparedness expo and elsewhere. We’ve posted several other articles previously on the topic, but as usual John has his own opinion.
We spend a lot of time on this blog, discussing the importance of building what John Robb terms a “resilient community,” while I turn back to the more traditional “tribe.” One of the recurring themes that arises in the commentary to these articles is the inability of people to find and befriend “like-minded people” to band together with for protection and security.
If this is your problem, rest assured, Aristotle thinks you’re an asshole. In his Nichomean Ethics, after pointing out that friendships are essential to the human experience (another example of classical antiquity being smarter than the ‘retreat survivalist.’), Aristotle went on to describe friendships as having three fundamental bases.
The first type of friendship that Aristotle described is the friendship wherein we like someone because they’re simply enjoyable to be around. This is the college buddy that you still hang around with because he’s good for laughs, or because he throws great parties. Aristotle explained that this was among the lowest forms of friendship, and they seldom last any great length of time. They’re not what most mature people would describe as “real” friendships.
This friendship—whether you are the guy who enjoys hanging out with someone, or you’re the guy who people enjoy hanging out with—stops, the minute shit gets tough. It’s entertaining to point out that “laughter is the best medicine,” and we need court jesters, especially in times of stress, but if that’s the only value someone is bringing to a relationship? Meh.
The second type of friendship that Aristotle mentioned, was also a “lower” form of friendship. Today, most of us generally view this type of relationship as only being valued by people who are inherently pieces-of-shit. These are the relationships where one party (or both), find utility in the friendship.
Aristotle wrote, “Those who pursue utility….sometimes….do not even find each other pleasant; there they do not need such companionship unless they are useful to each other; for they are pleasant to each other only in so far as they rouse in each other hopes of something good to come.” It’s not necessary that either party to the friendship is being mercenary per se. It’s simply a matter that the motivation for being friends is “what’s in it for me.”
This is ultimately the issue for most survivalists and preppers trying to build tribe among other preppers. We look for “well, what kind of preps does this person have? Do they share the same political values as me? Will they help me fight the good fight, politically?” Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this; it’s a reason for developing a friendship, it’s just not the highest form of friendship, and when we’re building a tribe—from scratch, mind you—we need the highest levels of friendship, trust, and frith.
I repeatedly suggest a thorough, annual reading of Dale Carnegies’ “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and I stand by that. It’s important for people to recognize however, that Carnegie was writing for the businessman who needed to develop rapid, ultimately relatively shallow, business friendships of a utilitarian nature. You need to use those tactics, when meeting people, but you also need to go far, far past that step.
Aristotle also described the highest form of friendship. Considering that much of what we understand as modern, liberal (in the Classical sense, not the contemporary political sense) Western values are largely derived from Aristotle’s writing, it should be no real surprise that most people’s concept of what “real” friendship, at the highest level is, coincides pretty closely with Aristotle’s definition.
“Perfect friendship is of those who are good, and alike in virtue; for these wish each other well alike to each other…” Different from pleasure- or utility-based friendships, true friendships…the type of friendships that tribes must be based on (after all, remember, we’re talking about building a group of people that meets the definition of “kith and kin”) involve genuine care for the well-being of the other person/people, not mere ego issues.
This is not—as many anarchists would like to believe—a matter of radical self-sacrifice. It’s simply a matter of genuine concern for the well-being of the other party, regardless of the benefits to the self. This is the guy who stands up and teaches classes to his local survival group, not for his ego, but because he genuinely wants to pass on good information for the well-being of his friends, not because he’s getting paid, or because he needs to stroke his ego. This is the guy who shows up at 0600, on his day off, to help a neighbor get his crop in, and doesn’t ask anything in return, because he knows he doesn’t need to ask: the neighbor will be there next weekend, when HE needs a hand moving some furniture.
The problem that I see too often in the preparedness community is the “John, how do I find like-minded people to build tribe with?” questions we constantly get.
You don’t “find” like-minded people to become your friends. If that happens, it just happens, because you happen to meet like-minded people that you express a genuine interest in. The most important lesson of Aristotle’s discussion of friends is, looking in on-line communities for “prepper groups” to join is, how are you going to have a legitimate interest in the well-being of someone you don’t know?
You don’t know if those people in that group share your values. You don’t know if they share your work ethic. You don’t know anything about them…
Build your tribe by strengthening the friendships and relationships you have.
There are have been a lot of untruths about face masks circulating in the US during this pandemic from both the government and the public. One of the earliest lies came from the Surgeon General in an attempt to save the limited face mask supply for the sole use of health care providers:
Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!
Two months later, an article in The New England Journal of Medicine would repeat this falsehood:
We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection…the potential benefits of universal masking need to be balanced against the future risk of running out of masks and thereby exposing clinicians to the much greater risk of caring for symptomatic patients without a mask…
Both of these statements were obviously meant to cover for a lack of preparedness by both government and private healthcare for a large scale pandemic and resulting lacking of masks for everyone. They sought to soothe the uneducated public with the idea that they had nothing to fear while preserving scarce mask resources for front line health providers, knowing that masks would protect them. These ill-advised statements have come back to bite those who would try to limit the pandemic spread as many point back to these statements among others to counter government calls and mandates for universal mask wearing (whether such mandates are legal or not is beside the point). Of course, face masks are not 100% effective! No one is saying that they are. Can they install a false sense of security? Yes, they can. Properly worn masks should be coupled with other effective measures as a defense in depth against infection.
Masks become less effective when they are worn or handled improperly – of course. And the issue is further complicated by the type of mask worn. N95 or N99 masks are much more effective at protecting the wearer of the mask than a simple surgical mask which is designed more to protect other people from you — though the surgical mask will still offer a little protection to the wearer. These complications are what lead voices in the government and the media to recommend not wearing masks. “It’s too complicated for the average citizen,” is what they think. You can prove them wrong with a little effort.
How to properly put on and take off a face mask:
The US tends to ignore research done in foreign languages, but research about mask wearing and its effectiveness have been performed, and the positive results known, for years. The Lancet recently published an article that surveyed some of these studies, showing the effectiveness of wearing face masks – Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis
The use of face masks was protective for both health-care workers and people in the community exposed to infection…Our unadjusted analyses might, at first impression, suggest use of face masks in the community setting to be less effective than in the health-care setting, but …we did not detect any striking differences in effectiveness of face mask use between settings…
The chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital says that these studies show “wearing masks decreases the risk by 65 percent.”
The above sums up some of the science of mask wearing in order to prevent the spread of contagious disease. Given the contradictory, illogical, and often untrue statements previously made by officials, it is understandable that people are distrustful of recent mandatory mask statements. On top of that, there is the genuine question of government authority to make such mandates. For a very vocal portion of the liberty movement, they have decided not to even try to sort out the science of mask wearing, and instead stake their lives on their believed right to infect whomever they please. However, just because a government official may not have any authority to tell you to do or not do something, that doesn’t mean that whatever they are telling you is a bad idea. So, in case science does not sway you, here are some voices from within the prepper/liberty/tactical communities, talking about mask wearing.
…What is interesting to me is how viciously partisan a medical issue has become. Of course, like I said last week, it’s not surprising. We live in a time in the imperial cycle when you can’t have a conversation about the weather without it turning into a political hot potato. That is what it is.
Our state recently finally got a masks in public mandate. Now, I get it, when the government tells people to do something, they don’t want to do it. I GET it. F… the government. I agree with that. I’m still wearing a mask, because I’ve been wearing a mask since before the government suggested it. I was wearing a mask in public when the government was still telling you that masks were pointless.
I had to go to the feed store the other day. As I was walking in, I stopped outside the front door to pull my mask on. An older farmer was walking out. He saw me adjusting the mask, and snarled, “You don’t have to wear that damned thing!”
“Mister, I don’t have to do a goddamned thing.” I replied. Admittedly, I was already kind of pissy, and his attitude didn’t help mine, at all.
“Well, why are you wearing it then!?”
“I’ve been wearing a mask since January—before you’d even heard of COVID-19, because I’m not a f’ing douchebag. I’ll keep wearing my mask.”
That old man stopped and looked me up and down, TWICE. I swear, you could see the gears turning, as he debated taking a swing at me!
Now, my response probably could have been less aggressive, but…
“I’m not wearing a mask, and I don’t care if the governor and the police tell me I have to!”
“F- those BLM and Antifa protesters. If they’d just do what the police tell them, they wouldn’t get shot!”
Breaking the law—and to be clear, I don’t actually have a problem with people breaking the law. For the most part, I encourage it, in many cases—is always a matter of scale and moral values. YOU may see violating the law—a city ordinance or a state ordinance—about wearing a mask as a statement about your individual rights, just like another person sees his ability to protest against what he perceives, rightly or wrongly, to be injustice, as his individual rights. You’re made because you’re being told to wear a mask. He’s mad because he’s being told WHERE he can protest (and, under the Obama administration, remember, there was a LOT of bitching about “1st Amendment Zones” from The Right).
(And before anybody gets all — about it, obviously I recognize the difference between an act of civil disobedience and a malum in se criminal violation that is violent…although I’d also point out that not following medical advice regarding the containment of a pathogen, during a pandemic COULD be interpreted, pretty easily, as a violent act…)
If you don’t want to wear a mask? I don’t give a s#@!. Don’t wear a mask. I’m not going to call the police on you, and I’m not going to get in your face, and go all Karen on you, telling you how you should be wearing a mask. I really don’t give a s#@!. MY family is wearing n95 masks, instead of just cotton masks, because we recognize that, while a cotton mask WILL help slow the spread of pathogen, if some huge f’ing percentage of people are unwilling to participate, then we need to focus on our welfare, so we can further decrease the chances of US catching the disease, by wearing a mask with better protective value.
Am I going to judge you for not wearing a mask in public? Of course I am. I believe that self-sacrifice for the good of the community is the foundation of civic virtue, and—like the Founding Fathers—I believe without civic virtue, there are no rights. Thomas Jefferson famously wrote a letter to a congregation of Baptists at Danbury, CT once. It’s often quoted, in part, but people overlook one part of the letter:
“Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced HE HAS NO NATURAL RIGHTS IN OPPOSITION TO HIS SOCIAL DUTIES.” (emphasis added).
This is the part that everybody likes to ignore, as they complain about infringements on their “rights.” People—on both sides of the supposed aisle—want to claim that the Founders were all about liberty, which is not untrue. What they overlook however—or intentionally ignore—is the fact that every single one of them, not just Mr. Jefferson, believed, as Mr. Jefferson stated above, if you don’t fulfill your social/civic obligations, you don’t HAVE any claim to “rights.” That’s because, while they did believe in “natural” rights, they also believed that man is “naturally” a social creature, and those rights evolve from his position within a society.
So, yeah, I’m going to judge the f!@# out of you. You know what? Who cares? You don’t know me. Most of you wouldn’t know me from Adam, if you saw me on the street. Why do you care if I judge you? Maybe, when people are getting angry about being “judged” for moral transgressions (and failures in civic obligation ARE a moral transgression, however you define civic obligations), it’s not because strangers are judging them, but because they are judging themselves, and realize they are falling short. I know I’m always my own harshest critic, even if others don’t always recognize that fact.
What I’m not going to do? I’m not going to tell you you’re a piece of s#@! for not wearing a mask. I don’t need to…
Aesop of Raconteur Report (also a healthcare provider, treating COVID patients in CA):
CA gov. Gabbin’ Nuisance re-closed 30+ counties yesterday, all because of the morons that think wearing a mask is the Mark Of The Beast, and washing your hands is communism.
He was writing about wearing PPE (masks and gloves) back in April:
…people should be required to wear and use properly appropriate PPE, like masks and gloves, and given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own protection, and get out and about. I’ve taken care of 1-2 dozen Kung Flu patients already, at close range, using nothing more complicated than that. It works, and if I can do it, you darned sure can, if you have access to enough of the PPE to do it…
Aesop also commented himself on the NEJM article linked above back in May:
As a couple of posters have already referenced it, we’ll fisk this metric f**kton of bullsh…, er, rose fertilizer, originally posted in the NEJM a couple of months back, and unaccountably burped back up (or more likely, shat out) again this week.
1) That’s not a “study”. As it’s conspicuously labeled “Perspectives”, it’s sheer OPINION.
And we all know what opinions are like (and in this instance, for exactly the same reasons).
In this case, by an over-educated and under-bright pack of bumbling baboons.
2) The authors are clearly axe-grinding jackholes, their entire thesis is unsupported patent horseshit, and the purpose of wearing cloth/surgical masks (which is what 99.999% of people have on) is always to protect others from you, not to protect you from others, and anyone who doesn’t know that is not only a jackhole, they’re too stupid to be writing papers anywhere.
At their intended purpose, such masks excel, as they have for 150 years or so since they were pioneered for maintaining asepsis in surgery.
3) For bonus points, the Five Blind Mice who authored that codswallop have about 45 years of post-secondary education between them, and yet none of them noticed they contradicted themselves a couple of paragraphs after that corker:
“…fundamental infection-control measures.
Such measures include vigorous screening of all patients coming to a facility for symptoms of Covid-19 and immediately getting them masked and into a room;”
IOW, fundamental infection control is masking people to curb the spread of cough and sneeze droplets, the exact method of transmitting Kung Flu against which face masks excel.
Some people tell me I can’t fix stupid; I say I can, if you’ll let me use a big enough hammer.
Those five degreed jackasses should be horsewhipped until the whites of their bones show, and then be dipped to the neck into a vat of rubbing alcohol. Daily. For a month.
4) Don’t get fooled by something just because it’s posted by NEJM…
Chris Martensen of Peak Prosperity has been talking about the effectiveness of mask wearing since March:
COVID-19 is still a new disease. Currently, doctors and scientists are still figuring out how it works in the body and how to treat it. It will be a part of our lives in the future just like any other disease. Some people ask “Are you going to wear a mask for the rest of your life?” No. I won’t. But I will wear it until the disease is better understood, and there is a best practice for treating it other than putting the patient on a ventilator and waiting for them to die or there is some prophylaxis against it.
Even if you for some reason believe that COVID is no worse than the flu, as a prepper I hope that you have used this time to practice wearing a mask and for figuring out how many masks and other PPE you will need when a serious outbreak does hit. For example, I’ve learned around the head elastic banded masks don’t work well for me because of my huge melon head; the bands tend to break easily while donning the mask. I’ve found velcro masks work much better and are more easily donned and removed with less risk of touching contaminated surface. I’ve learned that you need a great deal more numbers of disposable PPE than I had expected previously. But if you’re not taking this disease seriously, then you probably won’t take the next seriously, either, so maybe it’s something that you don’t need to worry about in your preps.
John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla has been writing about Covid-19 for his Patreon subscribers for a few weeks, now. While he acknowledges the uncertainties, he tries to point out the things than you can/should act on regardless of other uncertainties. His articles on the topic are long, and the following is just a small excerpt. The most useful parts are on his Patreon and are worth a read.
…I hinted at it above, but further issues with this virus are coming to light. Among these is the already known/suspected possibility of reinfection, due to inadequate antibody production. In at least one study I’ve seen, of the test results that came back positive for antibody presence, in the NY population, only about 30% actually had adequate antibody presence to indicate even the possibility of immunity. So, despite around 20% of the population of NYC potentially having been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 already, of that 20%, only about 30% may even have any level of immunity to reinfection.
Second, there are increasing number of otherwise healthy patients (no previous medical history, no relevant comorbities), who have recovered from COVID-19, only to suddenly drop dead from stroke, later, because of blood-clotting caused by the disease. This seems to indicate another potential example of the lasting organ damage that can occur despite “recovery” that aren’t immediately apparent.
Finally, one of the claims that has circulated repeatedly, since the beginning, was the theory that summer time would find a reprieve from the virus, allowing us time to “catch our breath” and get ready for another round of the fight with it, come next autumn and winter. The problem with THAT one is that, well…the southern hemisphere (with the apparent exception of Australia, which is actually kind of an outlier for a number of reasons, mostly because of the level of lockdown they initiated early on) and the equatorial regions seem to be getting hammered pretty fucking hard…and their numbers don’t even account for the shoddiness of what passes as “record keeping” in those shitholes.
(1) This isn’t the fucking flu. If you still think it’s anything like the flu, choke yourself. Seriously.
(2) You really don’t want to catch this virus. By all accounts, it’s a fucking miserable experience, even with “mild” symptoms, in fit, athletic young people. Then, there’s the whole possibility of dying from it thing…That doesn’t even account for the possibility of “recovering” and then dying from a stroke a couple of weeks later.
(3) The “lockdowns” are politically and economically impossible to sustain for much longer. So, the numbers are going to increase, both in total case numbers, and in fatalities. Your goal should be (ours certainly is!) to avoid contracting it at all, and if it is unavoidable, to contract it as late as possible, so there has been more time to consider all possible treatment options, come up with viable, working treatments, and get the requisite materials into the supply pipelines to help (which may not happen anyway…).
Interestingly, I’ve noticed that nobody in a position of authority is claiming “we’ll have a vaccine in a few weeks!” anymore. Instead, they’ve switched to the 12-18 months timeline that some of us have been trying to explain to people for the last couple of months. Further, I haven’t done a lot of digging yet, but to the best of my limited research (thus far), there’s NEVER been a viable vaccine for a coronavirus. Not SARS-COV (the first one). Not MERS-COV. Not the Common Cold. None, that I’ve been able to discover. I’d love to see evidence refuting that…
There are a number of very real impacts coming down the pipe, as a result of this pandemic. While it’s becoming increasingly popular, in some circles (mostly on the Right, but I’ve seen some circulating on the Left as well), to blame all of the impacts on the lockdown/quarantine response to the virus, the fact is, most of us have KNOWN the system in place, as it was, wasn’t really sustainable in the long-term. Whether you were concerned about the political issues, the economic issues, the resource issues, or the environmental issues, the reality is, COVID-19 hasn’t “destroyed” anything. The lockdown/quarantine response hasn’t “destroyed” anything. This—whether the pandemic itself, or the response thereof—just gave the system the nudge off the edge of the precipice it was hanging off of.
I’ve seen a number of claims circulating that “the response” is nothing but a political ploy to avert blame for a “controlled collapse” of an unsustainable economic model. To that, I have three responses, which have guided my own response to the situation.
(1) Anyone who has been prepping for any length of time should have considered the impacts of potential pandemics. Especially in light of “Swine Flu” and “Bird Flu” scares in recent years, even those of us that didn’t spend much time considering it, have to have spent SOME time considering it. If you did, you knew—or should have known—that lockdown/quaratine was one of the major planning elements for controlling/containing the spread of pandemic disease. You would also have discovered that medical authorities—even contrarian medical authorities—around the world have warned, repeatedly, of the possibility—actually, the PROBABILITY, even INEVITABILITY—of an international pandemic of this scale. So, none of this is particularly surprising, either the pandemic itself, or the response thereto…
(2) The whole “it’s all a plan by the government to bail out the elites” would seem to have some grounding in possibility, when you look at the way the “Stimulus” has gone. Most citizens got their paltry little $1200/person “Please Don’t Riot Yet” checks, while hundreds of billions of dollars went to the banks, airlines, and corporations…again.
The fact that the Fed “shored up” the markets, with an infusion of newly created “money,” even as they’re predicting record unemployment levels and loss of up to half the US GDP in the coming months, would seem to reinforce that possibility. The markets crashed, but then magically rebounded, despite no real reason, other than the Fed pouring made-up money into them, would seem to give legs to the idea it was done just to give the “elites” the chance to get out from under their portfolios.
The problem I see with that argument—that it was all intentional—is that it would require basically every government in the world to be in on the game. That’s a pretty big stretch of the imagination. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I AM saying, it’s improbable. I don’t subscribe to that belief (which is not the same thing as saying the political and bureaucratic classes aren’t taking advantage of the situation to leverage things to their favor, as much as possible).
(3) The biggest issue with the whole conspiracy theory though is…”So what?” If that theory IS right, what impact does that have on YOUR ability to deal with the situation? What impact does that have on the ability of YOUR FAMILY, and YOUR COMMUNITY to weather the storm? Because, honestly? That’s all that matters, at this point. Anything larger scale is probably completely outside of your sphere of control anyway.
It certainly doesn’t do any good to bitch and whine about it. You’re not going to change it, by venting to your (probably) like-minded friends on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Far better is to use a little mental Judo, and simply refuse to focus on it. When you feel a rant or anger about it coming on, simply find something USEFUL to focus on. It’s not “suppressing” it. It’s acknowledging it exists (“Man, I’m really pissed that I think the elites are taking advantage of this!”) and then acknowledging that there’s fuck-all you can do about it, and moving on to something you CAN control (“Man, it sucks that I’m pissed, but I really don’t want to get my blood pressure all jacked up, so I’m gonna go weed the garden bed!”)…
This is an older article from John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla about building tribes or close, loyal groups. It’s from six years ago, but seemed particularly relevant at this time. I’m only excerpting a small part here as it is a rather long piece, but worth your time. As usual with Mosby, language warning.
…Whether we’re discussing Teutonic Europe, the Roman legions, Japanese samurai, American Indians, or modern soldiers, though, there is an underlying message of community, team unity, and focusing on the collective goals, rather than individual self-interest. The cliché of course is that soldiers don’t fight and die for country, Mom, or apple pie. They fight and die for the buddy on either side of them. They know that invoking their natural self-interest—survival–and running away to survive another day, puts their companions—their brothers, in greater danger. Loyalty to the group—esprit de corps—is the essnce of fighting morale. The faith that you are part of something greater than yourself—a legacy if you will—is what makes men do really stupid shit that we later look at as courage under fire.
I get asked regularly, “how do I form a tribe like this?” “How do I build this type of loyalty?” Unfortunately for those who want a nice, pat, pre-packaged answer, this loyalty is the result—not the cause—of the companionship developed.
How do we develop that companionship? By spending time together, trading “gifts,” and building relationships. There are no easy answers. Getting together once a year with a bunch of guys you meet on an internet forum does not “build tribe.” There’s no loyalty being built. To use the Germanic tribal terms we’ve been using, because you’re not building a real spirit of frith—intertwined loyalty to community laws—there is no commingling of “wyrd” or fates.
If you’re searching “survivalist meet-up” sites to find a group to join, you’re doing it the wrong way. Intentional communities—especially survivalist communities—just don’t work out. They all end up either being the result of some megalomaniacal f…er trying to create his own fiefdom, or the “rugged individualism” of the rich yuppies involved comes to the front, so no commingling of effort and fate and luck ever takes place, and the venture falls to pieces.
If you want to build a tribe, look around you. Where is your family? Who are your friends? Both my immediate family and my in-laws, live prohibitively far away from us. In a grid-down scenario, we’re going to be useless to them, and vice versa. Thus, we have to build new tribe, out of the people around us. We have to look at our neighbors; the good ones and the bad ones, and decide how they are going to relate to us when things get ugly. Do I have a neighbor—even one—that doesn’t have issues I dislike? I … doubt it. Are there neighbors I think are complete … that I don’t even want on the same planet as my kids, let alone in the same community? Absolutely.
There is a difference though. I can work with the first example. Either I can choose to ignore their idiosyncrasies that I dislike, and hope they do the same for me, or I can approach them and try to figure out a way to help them work past those issues (I hate the fact that I have neighbors too blind to see why they need to actually train with the gun they carry, rather than just carrying it. So, I try to get them to go shoot. I hate the fact that I have neighbors that don’t have any storage food. So I try to demonstrate why we have storage food. I hate the fact that I have neighbors who don’t do PT…so I do PT and then do things that are physical, hopefully better than them, to set an example).
The second example? Well, I can either hope that they get killed off, or be ready to do it myself if it becomes necessary. Writing off every single person in your community though, is either arrogant hubris, or sheer stupidity. Unless you live, completely alone, in a hermitage on a remote mountain in the Himalayas, if you can’t find a dozen, or two dozen, or more, neighbors in even a small community, that you share interests, concerns, and values with, you need to take a serious look in the mirror. As bad as things are in America today—and make no mistake, I think they are … horrendous—if you think there are not other people in your community who are just as concerned, you’re a [not nice name]…
If you’ve followed the writings of Mountain Guerrilla’s John Mosby (or other reading in insurgency or counterinsurgency), then you will already be familiar with the concept of the auxiliary. In this article at American Partisan, Johny Mac also writes about the auxiliary. Auxiliary typically refers to the portion of a population which provides clandestine support to an insurgent or guerrilla force or to underground resistance. With certain politicians talking about sending national guard troops to forcibly search and take people’s property (and, of course, destroy those who “do not comply”), these topics are getting active discussion in these “United” States.
John Mosby has written about both the underground and the guerrilla in his two volume Reluctant Partisan series. He also talks about the auxiliary in those books, but it does not have its own volume as of yet.
With the continuing events happening within the Washington DC Inner Loop and in states around the country, my worst fears of civil strife are sadly coming to fruition. Yesterday, I sat there sipping my morning cup of coffee watching Senate Leader McConnell’s response to the two articles of Impeachment passed Wednesday night in the US House and realize frosty times are ahead. After all, sometimes drastic measures are needed to save the patient being wheeled into the trauma center.
The Rubicon has been crossed for me. I am done writing letters to my legislatures, the men and women I voted into office to uphold the US Constitution and represent my voice. All my focus now will be directed towards the training I will need for the up and coming conflict (s).
Many of the readers here are in a similar situation as I am. Looking ahead, I will be 64-years old in 2020 and what can someone my age or older do when civil conflict comes knocking at my door you may ask? You like I, need to focus on becoming part of The Auxiliary.
The first time I read about The Auxiliary was over at SurvilvalBlogwritten by Hugh James Latimer. The article really got me thinking as to what part I would play in my community during a civil conflict. It will not necessarily be running a gun, although I can do that. Heck, I can give many millennial’s a run for his or her money in that respect. No, running a gun will not become my role in the up and coming conflict. My role will be one of The Auxiliary. Let’s look at what that means for me – Maybe you too.
First, it means an honest assessment of my strengths but more important, my weaknesses. Once I determine my strengths, I need to get out there and train the folks who understand their weaknesses and are seeking their own training.
Second, I need to get out there and address my weaknesses by seeking out additional training from others willing to give it. Whatever the cost will be in money or time, it will be worth it. Are you willing to do this or is your normalcy bias going to guide your future?
I will continue my training with NC Scout and his platoon of trainers along with other trainers that offer classes not just in running a gun but in; Preparedness, medical, radio, Intelligence, physical training, et cetera. Then I will offer my acquired skills to help the folks who will come late to the party…
Mountain Guerrilla: Development of the Auxiliary
Mountain Guerrilla: Auxiliary and Support Functions, Part One
Mountain Guerrilla: Organization and Development of the Auxiliary
Mountain Guerrilla: Building Auxiliary Cells
Mountain Guerrilla: Formation and Organization of Resistance Movements
US Army: Tactics in Counterinsurgency (pdf 6MB)
US Army Special Operations Command: Undergrounds in Insurgent, Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare (pdf 1MB)
This lengthy piece comes from Mountain Guerrilla blog‘s Patreon page. This one is a public posting, so no Patreon membership is required to read it. Some people get turned off by the way John Mosby writes; try to get past it. Mosby consistently writes insightful commentary. You may not like what he says, but think about it before rejecting it, and you may find your mind changing. In this article, Mosby talks about supposedly prepared people who ended up not being prepared for simple disasters and the kinds of things you can do to be self-sufficient in a way that makes you prepared for these short term disasters.
One of the things I’ve spent a lot of time and bandwidth on is pointing out the inanity of focusing preparedness on some potential future cataclysmic event that will bring about The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI)… like overnight, total economic meltdown leading to a catastrophic failure of modern society, EMP or CMP destroying the electrical grid, terrorists detonating “dirty bombs” in multiple major metropolitan centers, zombie or other pandemic disease outbreaks, and the like are cool to theorize about. The problem is, they’re cool to theorize and fantasize about because they are so unlikely.
That’s not to say that it wouldn’t be super convenient. That sounds facile, but it really isn’t. Sure, the idea that “90% die-off” of the American population being “convenient” seems ridiculous. The idea that spending the rest of your life in a tooth-and-claw fight for sustenance and survival would be “convenient” seems like something a testosterone-poisoned teenage boy would claim. The reality is however, compared to the reality we are facing, the popular images of “TEOTWAWKI” are exactly that: they’re convenient.
You wake up one morning, and nobody, anywhere, has any electricity. The banks and banking computers no longer work, so nobody, anywhere, has any money left, and those who did have a couple hundred or thousand in cash, stuffed into a pair of underwear, are … out of luck, because every quickly realizes that cash is valueless. You no longer have to worry about soccer practice, band recitals, or math tutors, for Little Suzie and Sam, because it’s time to crawl into the Crye Multicam jammies you bought, strap on your plate carrier, load and zero your 1970s vintage, Belgian-made FN/FAL with wood furniture (because real men carry rifles made of wood and steel, by Gawd!) and iron sights, and prepared to defend hearth and home, and the virtue of the little Missus!
No more fighting about what’s for supper, and whether we should eat at home, or go out, because we’re going to be living on beans and rice for the next year. No more worrying about who is watching what on television, because the power grid is down, and the satellites got fried by the CME too, so there’s no DirecTV, even if you did have a generator to hook the television up to. No more worries about making it to the gym to work out, and try to treadmill that “freshman fifteen” you put on your first year of college….twenty years ago, because it’s going to be physical labor from now until you die, trying to gather supplies, and cut and split wood.
No more dealing with attorneys to battle it out with the neighbor over the boundary dispute because one of you built the privacy fence incorrectly. Now, you can just smoke check the dude with a thirty caliber round from your FAL, because the police are no longer working. It’s not like you have to worry about him fighting back, because he’s “sheeple,” and you’re pretty sure he doesn’t even own a gun. You’ve certainly never seen him carrying one, and he doesn’t have any cool guy gun bumper stickers on his truck, like you do.
Yeah, it would be convenient.
Reality is dirtier, and far, far less convenient. Reality is PG&E shutting down the power grid to millions of people, for weeks, because they’re worried about lack of infrastructure maintenance causing runaway wildfires. Reality is those wildfires happening anyway, and closing down your “Bug Out” route, because of traffic congestion, as everybody else tries to flee the dangers at the same time.
Reality is a tornado sweeping across two counties, knocking power out to thousands of homes, and sending 300 year old oak trees through roofs, and blowing barns and sheds into the next township. Reality is the electric company subsequently telling you that, “Yeah, your power is going to be out for awhile, because we’ve got several hundred miles of line to replace, and you’re at the bottom of the priority list. Oh, you have a newborn baby? A disabled grandmother living at home? Not our problem. Sorry.”
Reality is a winter storm blowing in and knocking out the power for the next week, as temperatures plummet to single digits, and nobody in your subdivision has a wood stove for back-up, because covenants in the HOA agreement.
Reality is what happened to parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas this summer, when the Arkansas River flooded to historic record levels, and destroyed entire communities worth of homes.
I have a friend who lost power recently. Their power was out for a week. They ended up going and staying with family, because the weather was cold, and they didn’t have any back-up systems in place at the house. Dude is one of the most all-around competent, handy, people I’ve ever known. He’s a super hard worker, self-employed, and has dozens of employees. He’s genuinely, just an all-around competent dude.
This friend has tens of thousands of dollars worth of guns. He wears a concealed pistol everywhere he goes, and he keeps a rifle locked up, inside the cab of his truck, along with a plate carrier, “just in case.”
I asked him, “Why do you carry a gun?”
“Well, because there are bad people in the world, and I can’t rely on the police to be on hand to protect me and my wife and kid!” He’s right. It’s a really good answer. It’s solid. It’s legitimate.
“Cool. So, why don’t you have a back-up generator wired to the house? Why don’t you have a woodstove in the house, and a couple cords of wood in the backyard? What if, instead of a storm knocking out the power for a few days, this had been THE EVENT? What if your family had lost power too?”
He didn’t have an answer. Most people I’ve had similar discussions with, over the years, haven’t had answers…
I lost track of this item coming available. I knew that John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla had finished this second volume of his Guerrilla Gunfighter series, but at that time it was not yet available on Lulu.com where he publishes his books. Here is Guerrilla Gunfighter Volume Two: Preparedness Rifle and Carbine. $60 plus shipping and tax.
Mountain Guerrilla Blog author “John Mosby” is back, with the second book in the Guerrilla Gunfighter series. Focused on practical, general-purpose applications of the rifle and carbine, this book includes critical issues such as positions, trigger control, multiple target scenarios, and drills for training for real-world use. Learn to shoot your rifle or carbine faster and more accurately. Covers not just modern semi-auto fighting rifles, but lever actions and pump guns as well. Whether you’re a new prepper, an old survivalist, or a militia member trying to make your group better, this book has everything you need to begin building a coherent training plan.
John Mosby of the Mountain Guerrilla blog has some thoughts on permaculture. He’s mentioned a few times in other articles, but here are two blog posts of his where he spends a bit more time expounding upon its goodness.
First is a “From the Library” post from July 16, 2019.
I get a lot of questions about why I’m so gung-ho about Permaculture, since to the newcomer, it appears to be a “society” dominated by social justice warrior liberals. While that’s not entirely inaccurate as an observation, it’s really a simplistic approach, and ignores the inherent value of the Permaculture concept to not only survival, but tribal culture.
My general, semi-humorous answer is, I’m gung-ho about Permaculture because I’m…lazy. The ideal behind permaculture, for those unfamiliar with it, is that it is “permanent agriculture.” To whit, it involves planning and planting, in such a way that requires minimal human interference, to maintain continued useful production for decades. This is contrary to standard agriculture that requires annual replanting, fertilization, and all the related tasks and inputs that go along. I like the idea of not having to work too much to produce food, because I’m…lazy.
Really though, if we’re being serious, from a preparedness perspective, this makes sense for resilience. In a post-grid environment, I suspect I’m going to be awful busy. If I can reduce my task load then, by planting a resilient, low-maintenance food production system—a food forest—now, that seems like a no-brainer to me. It’s more labor-intensive in the front end, especially if you do it like I do, without using power equipment any more than necessary, but the back end pay out is brilliant.
In an speech he did before he died, called “Liberation Permaculture” (If you do a Google Search, you can find audio files of the speech. It’s well worth listening to.), the late Toby Hemenway, author of my favorite Permaculture book to date, Gaia’s Garden, made the point that Permaculture is really the ultimate guerrilla/insurgent/survivalist form of food production, and it is incredibly anti-totalitarian…
And the second is Permaculture for Preparedness
Permaculture is famous for its ethics and principles. These are the basic guidelines along which permaculture was codified by Mollison and Holmgren. Sadly, many readers have limited themselves to second, third, and even fourth generation permaculture teachers and writers, and much has been lost in the translation, so to speak. People have learned a shallow understanding of the tactics and techniques of permaculture, without really understanding the strategy or operational capabilities.
An example of this in preparedness can be seen in a comment I received a few months ago, in which a reader lauded the discussion of alternative energy, food production, and other aspects of daily living in a post-industrial environment, but wanted me to focus on the “partisan” aspects, by which I assume they meant the cool-guy action figure gunfighter stuff. The problem with this is something that all too often, people who have never had to plan an operation, let alone write an OpOrder, overlook: you can only “operate” so long without support in the form of food, equipment, and shelter. There’s a reason, after all, that an SF ODA has engineers and medics, as well as weapons sergeants. As a mentor in SF once asked me, “What do you call an A-Team made up entirely of Bravos?” The answer? “An understrength Ranger Platoon.”
If we approach the discussion of Permaculture from the UW perspective, the focus on Permaculture begins to make considerable sense from both an operational and a strategic perspective. If we define our UW strategy as “We don’t have to win. We don’t even have to not lose. All we have to do is make sure our supporters and the unaligned populace both know that we’ll still be here when the enemy is gone,” and we define our strategic goal as “cultural and genetic survival” rather than “individual survival,” then the permaculture approach begins to make even more sense…
…Another factor that makes Permaculture valuable is that it recognizes that human’s do not have unlimited ability to manage. That limit is often the factor that bottlenecks productivity. Permaculture’s solution is to break the property into “zones” based on how often then need to be attended to and order them in rational ways.
For example, the path between your door and the mail box is walked at least once every day. It is the ideal place to plant everbearing raspberries and strawberries or edible flowers. Bringing in the mail would also mean bringing in a small basket of fruit for dessert or for your morning cereal.
Conversely, “the woods” might only get visited a few times a year for gathering nuts, hunting or cutting wood for fuel and construction…
John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla blog has an article titled “Let It Come in My Time…” which talks about some differences between people who are “preppers” versus people who simply focus on living as self-reliantly as possible. As usual, it’s a good read. Certainly there are preppers who try to live self-reliantly as a preparedness strategy, but there are also people who practice self-sufficiency simply because that is what they want to do and how they want to live their lives.
“I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.”
The above is from Thomas Paine, that literary firebrand and antagonizer of the aristocracy of England, the Early United States, and France, during their Revolution. It is one I have often heard voiced by preppers and survivalists, even as they beg for one more month, or year, to “finish prepping.”
I shut my personal Facebook page down the other day. It was just getting to be too much of a time suck, and I found myself getting embroiled in discussions that I knew, before I typed the first letter, were utterly pointless. Before I did though, I noticed a conversation on Sam Culper’s page that involved a couple of long-time readers here. I’m not judging anything that was said, necessarily, but the crux of the conversation was, “voting for POTUS’ re-election in 2020 is necessary, despite his current trend towards supporting stuff I hate, because it gives us a few more years before shit really unravels.” I am only mentioning it, really, because I was specifically cited by two of the commenters.
While it’s no secret that I’m not particularly enamored of POTUS (I wasn’t particularly enamored of any of them in my voting lifetime…, but that’s really not even relevant. Was he better than the alternative? Maybe. Possibly.
The point I’m going to address is really pretty simple. It is the idea that “we have to elect XXX because it will give us a few more years to prepare for the inevitable collapse/civil war/etc…” It is an argument that I’ve heard for, well, honestly? My entire life. In this case though, one of the commenters specifically mentioned that not everyone is as well-established in their preparations as my family is.
I get it, I really do. I’ve got a pretty sweet little DoomStead set up. We produce enough meat to supply all of our meat needs. I need to get my pasture fenced in, so I can add a couple of beef cattle, but we do more than alright…
Following up on the recent post about newly approved by the CoTCCC tourniquets, John Mosby of Mountain Guerrilla has written a piece – Tourniquets, Chest Seals, and Pressure Dressings, Oh My! – discussing med kit you should be carrying if you are carrying a firearm.
Tourniquets get a lot of digital bandwidth in tactical and preparedness virtual circles. Rightfully so, since they’ve demonstrably saved a …ton of lives over the last two decades of combat. Unfortunately though, in the process of bludgeoning a deceased equine, in order to overcome decades of medical institutional inertia about the supposed hazards of tourniquet use, many people—myself included, unfortunately—have neglected to make it a point to discuss the surrounding issues.
Let’s start with this, just to get it out of the way:
If you carry a gun, and you’re not carrying a tourniquet or two, you’re either LARPing, or you’re a… idiot. The fact is, a “gunfight” implies bilateral ballistics, and the enemy gets a vote. If you assume your one box of ammo a month “practice” regimen means you’re automatically a far better marksman than the bad guy you are going to end up in a gunfight with, well, I’ve got an 8 ounce jar of fairy dust I’ll sell you cheap, and it’s guaranteed to make you stronger, faster, higher flying, and generally more attractive to members of your preferred sex.
Sure, you COULD try using your belt or handkerchief or what-the-…-ever to improvise a tourniquet, but experiential research and laboratory study both pretty clearly demonstrate they are a piss-poor substitute, and don’t work particularly well (which is not the same thing as saying they DON’T work, AT ALL. I know people who have saved lives with improvised tourniquets, and you may too. Both they, and their patients, probably would have appreciated a manufactured, quality, tourniquet).
That having been said, we’ve got to look at the circumstances surrounding battlefield wounds, versus our likely circumstances, to see if tourniquets are even MOST of the answer, let alone all of the answer.
John Mosby at Mountain Guerrilla blog has some good thoughts (as usual) posted on the reasons for and benefits of home schooling versus public schooling titled Off-Grid Education. Below is a brief excerpt from the article.
…Public schools can teach knowledge. Whether the knowledge they teach has any relevance to the real world, past the primary school grades, is open to debate, but the fundamentals of education: reading, writing, and arithmetic, the public schools CAN—and traditionally HAVE—done a reasonably good job of. The thing is though, any functioning adult, with the willingness to do so, can ALSO teach those, and will—in my experience—do a much better job of making them accessible to the child, than a school teacher.
My seven year old is an age-peer with second graders. She is currently reading Wildwood Wisdom, by Ellsworth Jaeger. Slowly, but she is reading it, and she carries it with her, all the time, reading sections that interest her, or come to her attention because of something she sees around the farm. Wildwood Wisdom, for those poor, sheltered souls unfamiliar with this classic of woodcraft, is a 474 page tome on outdoor living skills, written in 1945, and generally targeted at teenage and adult readers.
She also does basic arithmetic, including addition and subtraction, and is working on multiplication. She has also written letters and notes to friends and family, on paper, with pens and pencils.
It COULD be argued that we are a special case, because I have a post-graduate degree, and formal training in pedagogy, but that would be a bullshit argument, because people have been teaching their own children how to read and do arithmetic and write, as long as there has been reading, writing, and arithmetic. Again, ANY parent—or interested, functional adult—can teach the same basic knowledge that a public grammar school teacher can. From there, learning is—or should be—largely self-directed anyway. Sure, kids should probably know the basics of things like the Scientific Method, and Civics, etc, but guess what? If you know how to read, you can learn those things by….reading…and all it requires is interest. If that interest is not present, no amount of threats about “failing,” “bad grades,” or “permanent records,” is going to create that interest in a “student.” You know who does a good job of eliciting interest in young people about any given subject? The adults they are familiar with and respect, who display an interest in that subject…not public school teachers.
Values and beliefs have no place—whatsoever—being taught in public schools. Period. Values and beliefs are cultural artifacts depending on religion and cultural worldviews. It MIGHT have been possible, once upon a time, for teachers in small, rural communities, who attended church with the local community, and spent their social time within the community…and ideally, was raised within the community…to effectively teach values and beliefs in a schoolroom setting, but I have to be honest…
John Mosby of the Mountain Guerrilla blog has some thoughts up on getting your garden started – Guerrilla Gardener: Some Thoughts and Observations on Vegetable Food Production (Or, Gardening for Knuckle-Draggers).
One of the truisms of gardening is that “Your first year of gardening will result in abject failure.” There’s so much to learn, about the plants, about starting seeds, about your local soil conditions and what amendments are needed, about weather and climactic conditions, etc.
We had gardens when I was a kid. We successfully raised rocks, tomatoes, rocks, okra, rocks, and peas, as I recall. Of course, as any gardener will tell you, those are some of the simplest crops to raise in a kitchen garden. In fact, they’re so easy to grow, you could almost grow them without even planting them (especially the case with rocks…).
After leaving home for the Army, I had never had a garden. Hell, I’d never had a potted plant.
My wife had never, as far as I know, had a garden in her life.
So, when we decided to start raising most of our own food, to increase our sustainability, my first instinct was to raise small livestock: chickens, rabbits, etc. Of course, I’m a meat-eater, both literally and figuratively, so that makes sense. My wife on the other hand, likes her veggies, and we want the kids to eat well-balanced meals, so a garden, it was decided, was a necessity (And, to be clear, by “it was decided,” I mean, HH6 said, “We’re going to plant a garden this year!” and I responded with, “Roger that, boss!”)
So, as is my norm, when confronted with a new, unfamiliar—foreign—mission, I started doing my “Area Study” research. I dug out a couple dozen books on subsistence gardening, organic gardening, no-till gardening, and etc.
Let me set your mind at ease: there’s a metric …ton of material available out there on gardening, and it’s fair to say that any given reference book on the subject will contradict what every other available reference book will say.
In the end, between our research, and my wife and I bickering about differing visions for the farm’s production, here’s what we ended up trying…
John Mosby has a nice article up at Mountain Guerrilla about Seeking Sustainability in Preparedness, expounding upon the importance of not having just a store of stuff built up but being able to survive and thrive without such a stockpile on your own skills and sustainable living habits. Getting to a self-reliant, sustainable lifestyle is difficult and takes time and trial and error. Patrice Lewis will be talking about some of that in her two talks at this year’s NW Preparedness Expo. Mosby talks about it frequently on his blog. This article is not short, but, as usual with Mr. Mosby, it is well worth the read.
…One of the recurring themes in preparedness circles is the argument over the nature of any impending disaster. One of the original theories in preparedness of course, is the idea of what was once referred to as a multi-generational collapse. This is a collapse of such magnitude that it will take multiple generations to recover from, if in fact, recovery is even possible.
In recent years, of course, while people still talk about the “remote possibility” of this, it has become equally popular, in many circles, to dismiss the idea of a multigenerational collapse as unrealistic, and urge people to focus on more immediate, “realistic” disasters of short-duration, like hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.
Without arguing the fact that wildfire, tornado, or earthquake is a far more immediate, and pressing concern for most folks, I WOULD point out that these are pretty simple to mitigate, and there is a well-developed set of basic planning considerations for doing so in all of these, because people have dealt with them for the entire existence of humankind…
We need to develop mitigation plans that address the continuance of life, through the duration of the emergency, even if it stops being an emergency, and just becomes “life.” (Which, long time readers know is my view of where we are any-fucking-way.)
We need to be looking at food production. We need to be looking at producing light and heat. We need to be looking at long-term trauma and chronic illness medical care. We need to be looking at educating our children and grandchildren, so they don’t revert to full-scale savagery. We need to look at maintaining—or more accurately, recreating, culture.
We need to stop looking at “survival,” and start looking at “Sustainability.”…
This is an old post from John Mosby at the MountainGuerrilla blog. In Auxiliary Functions within the Tribal Structure, John lays out some of the important functions that can and should be performed by those members of your close-knit group who are too old, too young, or too infirm to help with more strenuous activities in the context of a resistance movement, should such fate ever befall you.
…By fulfilling those roles that the auxiliary has historically fulfilled in a resistance, that do not require the fitness or physical capabilities of the guerrilla force or underground, members of a tribe can still contribute worthwhile efforts to the security of their tribe, thus “earning their keep.”
An individual’s specific contribution to the efforts has—and will—depend largely on their socio-economic status, roles, and their occupation…a farmer or homesteader may “only” provide assistance by providing extra harvest to feed the guerrilla force or underground, or to sell on the local black or gray market, in order to help finance tribal operations. On the other hand, the farmer may end up providing barn space for a way-station on an evasion corridor, or for use as a guerrilla hospital.
Regardless of the specific role the auxiliary tribesman plays in the effort, it is critical to understand that the success of their efforts depends on their participation in such operations remains clandestine. The secret must not be kept only from rival organizations, but even from apparently friendly or supportive neighbors who do not enjoy the trust of being part of the closed circle—innangard—that is the tribe. Even other members of the tribe, outside the leadership, may not know exactly what the auxiliary offers the tribe. Keeping this information compartmentalized, even within the innangard, can reduce the chances that someone will inadvertently reveal it to someone that does not “need to know.”
While there is really no task that the auxiliary might be able to perform, to support the tribe’s efforts, there are a number of roles the auxiliary has traditionally played that still offer a significant role for members of your tribe to contribute to your efforts of autonomy.
Security and Warning
One of the best efforts your auxiliary tribesmen can offer is the same that the elderly and young children, not ready to be warriors yet, have always provided a tribe. They can act as a physical security and warning system for the tribe. From simply standing watch during training exercises and meetings, to organizing and directing sympathizers into networks to observe, record, and report on the activities of other organizations—rival or not—in the area…