There are hundreds if not thousands of prepper video on YouTube. If you haven’t already tried it, just do a search for SHTF or WROL and you’ll see what comes up (and that doesn’t include “survivalist”, “prepper”, “survival”, “economic collapse” etc). The videos range in quality from someone with a PC cam and a headset microphone just talking about various topics to well made hands-on discussions on a range of topics. And many YouTube video preppers have large followings. I will say that I have subscribed to a couple of prepper channels and have learned several good things from them, as well as saying that I don’t always agree with the opinions expressed.
Recently I watched a video from a non-prepper woman that was a response to a well known and followed prepper. I won’t mention the preppers’ screen name since I do not want to be critical of him per se (the comments in the video and that follow can and do apply to many other YouTube preppers as well), though if you have seen any of his videos you will likely know who he is based on the description.
I also will not be posting the response video in question nor a link to it because it is a very profane, racists, reverse-discrimination, extremist (to the left) point of view. I don’t have to give her further audience. Therefore I will need to describe her criticisms for you.
However, putting those negatives aside for a moment (and I am not dismissing them), I do think she makes an interesting point. And one that I too have wondered about while watching some of these videos, seeing the types of equipment and quantities of equipment these preppers show.
In the response video the woman was very critical of how the prepper presents himself based on his appearance in the video, as well as his surroundings and props, and manner of speaking. In short, her point was she doesn’t believe he can be for real. She believes that he (and I presume some others) are just ‘too good to be true’ (my paraphrase). She believes that he and others are a ‘set up’ to purposely give false or misleading information. A “patsy”. Or to make others come out of anonymity and expose their beliefs and preps for possible legal action late if/when a disaster happens
And she raises several good questions.
The particular prepper she was responding to usually presents himself sitting in front of a wall-size American flag, on a woodland patterned sofa, holding a large AK style rifle that is adorned with all sorts of high-end accessories (holo sights, front grip, drum magazine, etc), and wears a battle vest with each pocket bursting with loaded 30 round magazines (and is that body armor under the vest?). Clearly the camera is on a tripod in front of him as he does his presentation.
The woman raises several points of which the 3 main ones are:
- Where does he get the money for such a weapon setup?He is a young man, best guess in late 20’s. By his own words he recently was discharged from a tour in the military which is notorious for poor pay. The woman “doubt’s he’s an investment banker” (her quote). While I presume he’s single and no kids (anyone married and/or with kids will tell you they have no money!) that battle rifle and outfit alone must cost at least $2,000. And that’s before all the ammunition he shows in his preps.Plus, that isn’t his only weapon. And that is in addition to other equipment and preps he shows in his videos.
So where does a 20-something who apparently only ‘worked’ in the military get the funds to purchase such equipment and supplies? And when did he have the time while serving in the military to shop for, purchase, and organize these things?
I suppose he may have had help from friends or family with the purchases. And who knows – maybe he is independently well off! (Though at the risk of judgment, I doubt it) Normally I would say it’s no one’s business where someone else gets their income (unless you’re going to try to prove they got it from illicit activity). But I do think this is a legitimate question. Not just of this particular prepper but others as well.
- Why would he present himself in such an open and clichéd manner on YouTube?In all his videos his face is clearly shown, he isn’t trying to hide or be anonymous. That and his ‘battle ready’ character is such a cliché for anyone who wants to believe survivalists are nothing more than good ol’ boys with big guns that can’t wait for a fight with the government.In this day and age of near paranoid security, one would think he’d be a little concerned for getting a visit from DHS, FBI, NSA, ATF or a dozen other Federal (or local) agencies. Not that he is violating any laws per se (that I can tell, I don’t know the details of the status where he lives – for all I know that gun and accessories might just be a good looking fake movie prop!) nor has he made an overt threats but some of the things he has said can, in today’s world, at the very least get him on a ‘watch list’.
He is clearly expressing very patriotic ideas. So as a patriot he may feel he is protected by 1st and 2nd amendment rights as well as the spirit of the Constitution. Unfortunately, in this day and age that and $1.00 will get you a small coffee at best. While you and I may not care, or at best just roll our eyes, such an appearance is a very strong and extreme imagine in today’s PC word.
It’s a delicate subject: Stand for what you believe in and face the possible harsh consequences, or, try to remain under the radar and be part of the problem instead of the solution. I can’t answer that. But I do I agree it is curious. Very very few other on YouTube take it that far.
- He speaks too clearly, too well prepared to be an ‘armature’ video producer.The prepper is always well spoken, clear, no stuttering, no “um” or uneven speaking. He seems extremely well prepared with what his is to say, almost professional.This too is a very subjective criticism. Some people are just better public speakers than others. You can’t tell that by appearance alone. And he does seem to have notes in front of him, which is a very common speaking technique taught in every high school.
For these reasons she ponders if this prepper and others are legitimately just the guy-next-door or are ‘pasties’ to provide disinformation and false efforts. A bit tin-foil-hat-ish but you have to consider the source.
Nevertheless, points 1&2 I tend to agree with in so far as wondering those points too. I am much older than many of these preppers with more of an established professional career. Yet even so I can’t afford the kinds and quantities of equipment and preps these people seem to have. Even if I cut all entertainments and anything extra out of my life I wouldn’t be able to afford these items in the quantities they seem to have. It would take me years to accumulate all the items, if at all, presuming I paid for them all myself.
At the risk of putting on the tin-foil-hat myself, there is some logic to the idea that maybe, just perhaps, in today’s world preppers are seen by some to be a threat. Or perhaps a “problem” to be addressed. In that light, it is a time proven technique to place mis-information and false leaders inside such communities.
I am not making any accusations about this or any other prepper on YouTube. In fact, the above criticisms aside, I find little wrong technically with that these preppers are saying. Certainly well with topics of discussion.
I believe the point is a warning to preppers: Be careful about who and what you see on YouTube. And who you associate with. Always be cautious.