Preppers Should Question Everything – Readyman

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Preppers Should Question Everything

Posted on March 28 2019

The elite OSS of World War II lived by the motto: “Creativity is the greatest, determining factor of success and survival.”  


Creativity does more with less.

Creativity solves problems with novel solutions

Creativity doubts the status quo.

We are prepper/survivalists because we bring a healthy dose of skepticism. We don’t believe civilization is as stable as it appears.  We don’t believe government and big corporations are always telling us the truth. We don’t believe “the authorities” are necessarily going to be able to help us in case the SHTF.

How many times have government or big corporations told us “truths” backed by science and academia that turned out to be tragically wrong?  Cigarettes, cocaine, asbestos, Agent Orange, pesticides, nutritional guidelines, pork, eggs, butter, breakfast cereal… the list goes on and on. I worked for the government for decades and I’m not talking about conspiracy. I’m just talking about bad decisions.

Army Special Operations sent me to several schools to learn how to handle medical trauma on the battlefield. Those protocols have changed radically over my almost three decades of service. When I started trauma training, it was an emphatic truth that a trauma patient needed two large bore IV’s . Then, we were told to squeeze the IV bags to get as much fluid into the patient as possible. We were also instructed to never use tourniquets. Now in 2019, we've seen a complete reversal of policy: tourniquets come first and IV fluid replacement has been erased.

Many widely held truths, touted by people with letters behind their names, are later found to be corrupt or simply wrong. Skepticism and common sense could have saved millions throughout history. But human emotion—the “sunk cost fallacy” of marrying our minds to conventional wisdom—continues to reign supreme. We like to believe something, then stick there like a clam to the dirty, old dock.

Prepper/survivalists bring creativity and skepticism to the mix—breaking up the logjams of false certainty that plague us.

Abraham Lincoln was shown a repeating rifle in the beginning days of the Civil War---the Spencer Repeating Rifle.  (Abraham Lincoln would’ve absolutely been a prepper today, IMO.) President Lincoln was so impressed, he ordered a repeating rifle for every soldier in the Union Army.


But, the “experts” running the ordnance corps believed that if soldiers did not load bullets one by one they would waste their ammo. Conventional wisdom in the war department bureaucracy frustrated Lincoln’s order and probably prolonged the war, costing thousands of Union lives. Eventually, the Spencer Rifle found its way into battle and proved a devastating Union advantage, many years too late.

Those like Christopher Spencer who argued against the Union War Department weren’t obtuse. They weren’t unpatriotic. They were right.

We are those bull-headed contestants of the status quo. We are the ones who rock the boat. We are the thick-skinned wackos who constantly ask questions, even if we draw down disapproval down upon our heads.

We live for debate, engaging like gentlemen, honoring the rules of Socratic method. We eschew hollow meme-bashing—a tool favored by those who can’t be bothered to wade through data or engage in proper argument. We do pick apart studies and methodology and debate the proof rather than slandering personalities. 

As prepper/survivalists, it’s our duty to doggedly question long-held beliefs though research and testing. It's our role in our communities to be the men and women who seek out truths others fear—to challenge the sacred cows that others cherish.

Groupthink is death for us; silencing ourselves is unpatriotic. We encourage one another to joust with our dearest assumptions, rather than silencing novel thinkers with disdain.

We are the Christopher Spencers of the modern world. We see things others don’t (and we won't be distracted when the haters hate.)

Give us your thoughts below and send this to one of your friends who needs to hear it. If you’re a gentleman or lady and an unrepentant boat-rocker, there’s a home for you HERE. 

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  • Veronica: April 17, 2020

    Completely agree with everything you’ve said, but I had to comment on your beautiful writing. You are very talented! I’m excited to read more of readyman.

  • Teresa: December 12, 2019

    I found the article and the comments very interesting. I love history.
    Never been in the military, but was an avid back country camper and hiker. Age sets limits on how many rocks you can crawl over:).
    I look forward to reading more. Glad you all are out there.

  • Ken: April 07, 2019

    I get ticked at the “it’s the way we’ve done it so we’ll do it the way we’ve done it” or “they won’t do it”. Look at history and you’ll see few complacent souls. They upset the apple cart. Use your head (safety, thought vs impulse) but you’ll make it happen faster if you break the rules.

  • Steve : March 28, 2019

    This the reason I follow and listen to the people of Readyman. Most of the topics covered are out of my wheelhouse. I respect the knowledge here and I like having any of my presuppositions challenged.
    I did not tote a rifle in war (Navy man), I have never had to use a tournaqett, quick clot, Israeli bandage etc. These men have so I listen and learn thanks for sharing your experiences and knowledge.

  • Keith : March 28, 2019

    The article might have elaborated on the role the Christopher Spencer played in the development of the Spencer Rifle and his persistent and vocal advocacy of adopting the Spencer Rifle as the Official Rifle of the US Army.

    This information is not generally known outside of the firearms and prepper communities and is of “general” information that would be interesting to those outside of these limited communities.

    Just my two-cents.

  • Brian Reed: March 28, 2019

    There is an all too natural quality of human nature that simply wants to believe, “the way things are now is the way they always will be”. There is a strong psychological “comfort factor” inherent in this. Unfortunately, human history continues to belie the actual truth to this misconception, often to the tragic loss of those who cling to it. Not all Jews were murdered by the Nazis, but it was mostly those who were willing and able to “read the handwriting on the wall” and who fled Germany in the 1930s. As the saying goes, “they got out while the getting was good”. However, this requires a conscious intentional willingness to forfeit one’s “sense of comfort” for something decidedly “uncomfortable”, and to then act upon that. And because this does deviate quite significantly from the “herd mentality” of the “comfortable”, such people are historically ridiculed and criticized… That is, right up until the time things begin to go to pieces. And then, alas, it is too late for those who clung to their “comfort” to find any seating on board the Ark…

  • Shane Gericke: March 28, 2019

    Excellent piece of writing and wisdom. In Nature, species that don’t evolve and adapt to new conditions go extinct. Too many humans seem to believe that the “same old same old” will always suffice and become wedding to what authority dictates is best for them. The ads shown here prove otherwise. Thanks for posting this article.

  • Darrell Shawcroft: March 28, 2019

    Best thing I’ve read in a long time. Love “…[they] weren’t obtuse. They weren’t unpatriotic. They were right.”

    Love the old ads too. Hilarious to see they gave babies bottles of 7 Up and doctors weighed in on which brand of cigarettes were best.

  • Thomas Brandon: March 28, 2019

    Yep I received the same type of med training in the 70s and have seen it change. Came up against mindsets that said type of holsters we carried couldn’t be changed, etc. Open mind is necessary to survive and flurish. We need to challenge the status quo or we will become subjects instead of citizens.

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