Why You Can’t Tell Your Neighbors That You Are Prepping

Social sciences can reveal fascinating things about human nature. If you read up on these subjects (psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc.), you can begin to better understand yourself and also better understand the people around you.

Which brings up a specific question that relates to you as a prepper: Have you heard of the Milgram experiment? It’s a famous experiment that sought to discover how people react to authority figures, and not just authority figures like famous leaders, but, specifically, people who have a position of authority such as law enforcement officers. Justin Gardner sums up the Milgram experiment this way:

Fifty years ago, psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted the Milgram experiment, which measured the willingness of study participants to hurt others, even when it conflicts with their personal conscience, in the interest of obeying authority. The results, published in 1963, showed that a very high percentage of participants were willing to follow orders and cause serious injury to others.

Now, you may be tempted to think that maybe the Milgram experiment was an isolated case with some strange, non-normal people. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Gardner has this to say about a more recent study,

Study co-author Tomasz Grzyb noted that the vast majority of people claimed they would “never behave in such a manner” as the original Milgram experiments showed, but nevertheless, their study “illustrated the tremendous power of the situation the subjects are confronted with and how easily they can agree to things which they find unpleasant.”

Gryzb concludes that things haven’t really changed, and “a striking majority of subjects are still willing to electrocute a helpless individual.”

Why does this matter to preppers? After all, the Milgram experiment takes place in a simulated prison environment, so this wouldn’t be an issue, right?

Unfortunately, this is not the case. The kind of blind obedience to authority that the Milgram experiment reveals everytime that it is replicated is the kind of blind obedience that will cause your friends and neighbors to turn you in to the government once they know that you are a prepper.

You might ask, “But prepping isn’t illegal right now. Why should this be an issue?” And the answer is because, historically, when governments get desperate, they seek to control the population and prevent those people from opting out of the system which they control. So, when the SHTF, you can bet that government will try to lock down. Martial law? Maybe. But, certainly, there is a good chance that they will come for you simply because you can be independent from their rule.

So, keep your prepping activities under wraps. Don’t advertise it because, when a disaster happens, you don’t want your neighbors to turn on you. You have a family who depends on you.

What do you think about the Milgram experiment? Comment below.


  • Bay0Wulf

    Actually in terms of keeping your prepping to yourself, I think Twilight Zone had an episode that is more to point.

    I’m not so worried about my neighbors turning me in to the “authorities” as I am about them trying to force you to give them what you have … or trying to steal it or …

    • Estell Newton

      I agree. They may turn you in but not until they’re already taken what they want from you, including your life. That’s why when the trouble starts I’m heading for the hills. It will be safer there with the bears than in town with people.

      • Tom Schuckman

        Smart idea ! I am already in the hills and deep forests, with the deer and the Bears…. LOL. My humble Blog: TOM’S JOURNAL.

    • longshorts3

      Prepper? Me? Bite your tongue! However, after some thought this becomes the difference between the “haves and the have nots”. The “have nots” always will try to overwhelm the “haves” to survive. If you have “prepped”, you absolutely cannot look any different than the ones who haven’t prepped. You will stand out like a searchlight in the darkness if you appear freshly clean and fed to others who are not. You do not have to open your mouth to stand out. The old saying “different is dead” applies here. AND, your NEIGHBORS are the biggest risk, they will steal you blind, then rat you out to the authorities. Civilization lost changes the way people treat others – it changes their mindsets practically overnight. You do not trade in anything, because you supposedly do not have anything to spare. Also, tell your family to say nothing to their friends about your preps, tell them it is their lives on the line, too. You cannot conceal from them what you have accomplished, but family sometimes slip when they talk with friends, sometimes boast about it. Reinforce the “forbidden subject” heavily, make them realize that they are in grave risk if they say anything about your preps. Yes, get them involved strongly in your preps, food storage, weapons, situational awareness, and SHTF situations, they are your workers, and maybe your soldiers if needed. Trust no one until they have proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that they CAN be trusted.

      A bit of advice: do not believe those TV programs that show huge castles or other visible “redoubts” as prepping, they are fools waiting to be taken. BLEND IN!

      • Bay0Wulf

        Personally I qualify as a “woodsman” and have done so all my life. I figure to fade away. I can always come back to a cache on my own time. If you can’t be found you can’t be persecuted …

        Although in all seriousness, if they want to find you and technology is relatively undamaged, they can find you.

      • Tim

        quietly thin the herd

      • Tom Schuckman

        Very wise advice for these troubled times, sir ! I just posted similar thoughts, and I also thank God for all my Military training and adventures in Vietnam, etc. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding.” But also use Common Sense, and acquired knowledge/ skills. —Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 68-70.

    • Tom Schuckman

      That’s where a good 12 gauge shotgun comes in handy… for those who are hard of hearing, and those who are hard to teach. Sorry to state a fact, but usually women and children LOVE TO TALK, and brag. Sit down with the whole family for a “heart to heart talk.”

  • John Willis

    The old saying humans are the most dangerous animals in the woods applies ,, i dont really trust most people as thay have proven when you need em they are great for excuses , excuses are like you know .

    • Tom Schuckman

      John, I concur. In my long life of age 68, I only trust my combat Veteran friends and REAL Christians… who have kept their words and promises all their lives.

  • Lizfan

    I told my brother & his wife that I am a prepper. They live an hour away from me. Unless they blabbed to others they’re the only ones who know. & since my brother & his wife are convinced that prepping is a complete waste of time & money they probably didn’t bother blabbing it to others. If/when SHTF hopefully I will be able to get to their house.

  • Phillip_in_TX

    Just remember the old wartime saying “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” The best way to avoid any problems is to “keep your mouth shut.” This can be a bit more of a challenge if you have young children; however, it can be done.

  • nightspore

    The Milgram experiment didn’t take place in a “simulated prison environment”. It was made to appear as a straightforward laboratory experiment on learning and memory. Which made the results all the more surprising.

  • Tim

    imagine the intellect of 1963 compared to today…

  • Jeannie Carle

    I have a sort-of family member who is working very hard to become a serious part of “Homeland Security” – therefore – she’s watched me “undo,” “because it’s pointless”. The affiliations worry me – sooo I’ve “stopped the nonsense” of being a prepper.

  • Schwanger

    Taking a lesson from history. When Stalin, stole all the food of the Ukraine farmers. So, his communist machine would work. The farmers, who had no weight loss, who murdered or disappeared. If we ever get in that situation, you must become skinny, like the non-preppers or suspicion will arise.

    • Tom Schuckman

      I been trying to get skinny for a long time now !!

  • Schwanger

    I also, believe in hiding food in plain sight. Have a blackberry patch, some pecan trees, Oak trees, shitake mushroom plugs, artichoke plants, amaranth and such.

  • http://www.foxnews.com/ Houmid

    Arm yourself. And be prepared to kill your law enforcers and neighbors. Encourage them to make their own disaster storage; but don’t tell them what you have, or at least how much you have.
    Good neighbors are as prepared as you are. That said, you do want to have some material for trading; but only to others who have goods or services in proportion to trade.

  • Richard Schmidt

    Question Authority!
    Does not necessarily mean to oppose it.

  • Alleged Comment

    It’s the DUMBEST thing to tell your neighbors you are prepping unless you are the type that like being stupid and paying the FOOLEST price for stuff so you can brag to your friends how being STUPID is very expensive so you can palm yourself off as an expert.

  • Tom Schuckman

    Yes, I saw a video presentation of this years ago, and it’s so true. Since the weakest link in your ‘chain’ tends to rat your out — in your family or circle of “friends,” you MUST be very careful and DISCREET when telling/ and teaching your children NOT to talk about what the inside of your house looks like, and “what your parents HAVE !” Sorry to say, but you must teach your younger kids to be trained little Soldiers, if you want to survive and not get mobbed and killed by your good ‘Christian’ neighbors !! Most combat Veterans already know this fact of life. My Blog: TOM’S JOURNAL. My email: tschuckman@aol.com —Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 6 8-70.