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

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.



View Comments (49)
  • 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 …

  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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: [email protected] —Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 6 8-70.

  • 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.”

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Rule Number 1: If your neighbors turn on you when the SHTF, they’re not your neighbors, they’re your enemies threatening your life. Exterminate with extreme prejudice.

  • I have warned my neighbors to prepare. In doing so, they know they alone are responsible for their own survival. I am morally correct, but also at risk. God will take care of it as He already has many times in my life…even if it comes to loaves and fishes. I also teach wild edible and medicinal plant classes. You never know when you will need this… I taught my kids and made sure they learned it. I also paid them to watch THRIVE .. THE best documentary for waking up your neighbors and family I have ever seen. It’s uplifting and teaches how to take back our power without violence. Now has over 75 million views and growing. We are winning.

  • Cannibalism will be the only way to survive. (1) Eat all your neighbors first. (2) Eat all available livestock no longer protected by aforementioned neighbors. (3) Supplement your prepped food stocks with wild game that should be readily available now that you have eliminated much of your competition by eating them.

  • IMHO a more recent study would be worse, instead of better! Our schools have been indoctrinating our children from pre K through college since Harry Truman, or before, with the new world order agenda. The indoctrination in lieu of education increasing with each administration until George W Bush’s indoctrination slogan of NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND – turned into what Obama’s 8 years proved to be, which should have carried the honest slogan of NO CHILD SHALL ESCAPE INDOCTRINATION by Obama’s blatant “in your face” common core “politically correct” crap!

  • Not having a lot of space or money prevents many of us from doing much prepping and throws one back on using their greatest tool for prepping. Common sense should tell the preppers, if they are on the run, they aren’t going to be able to backpack enough food or water to last for weeks, much less months, so use your brain to learn what you can find to help you survive without having to take from your neighbors. Knowledge is harder to steal than food and can save your life in a survival situation.

  • WW, Well, I certainly see your point, and even with many “gifts,” talents, training, and 2- tours in Vietnam –Combat: 68-70, etc., And many of us STILL fall into snares and traps ! But I still have a handy FM [Field Manual] 21-76, U.S. Army Survival Manual. plus my Dad’s super old, “Blue Jackets Manual,” from his WW-2 experiences in the South Pacific –Navy, and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to direct me. You work with what ever you have at the time, and make due. In my case, I could stand to LOSE 100 pounds, and then I would be better off ! –LOL. Email: [email protected]

  • My humble Blog: TOM’S JOURNAL, usually has LOTS OF GREAT survival stuff in every post, and we all love to save money when we don’t have much, Miss Wonder Woman. Please out my posts, sometime, soon. —Tommy Schuckman. “Jesus is Lord.”

  • BayOWulf, I hear ya, and I agree with ya ! Hide your stuff and your activities, but try to be friendly, but don’t tell about what you are really storing up for, in your spare time, and teach your children well ! Very few folks really know me and what I am all about, except what they real in my personal/ but public Blog: TOM’S JOURNAL. My address: [email protected]

  • Just visited your “Tom’s Journal” and find it interesting. Tried to comment on it to you but not sure it was your site or mine, but said my account couldn’t send it. Do I have to subscribed to you for something to come through?

  • Yep – as the yam dankees say: Use it up – Wear it out – Make it do or do without! Liked those Murphy’s Laws too. Quite often get reminded of them in my life Have learned to say: Lord, thank you that this is the worst thing to befall me this day but have to fess up – often follows a D— or OS!

    If you know anybody still having PTSD or other stress problems,

    my first suggestion is a good
    stress Tab (vit. D with C) Beminal 500 is a good one and take one tablet with meals and at bedtime. CBD oil along with it own’t hurt anything..

  • Sounds good but do you also recognize dock, burdock, poke, dandelion, wild ginger, redbuds, locust blossoms., honeysuckle blossoms, etc If not, wise up!

  • Thank you so much for visiting my humble Blog !! How kind of you ! Actually, you just need to I.D. yourself before leaving a comment, otherwise ‘some people’ like to take over and congregate there, with crude manners, etc. So just go thru that simple procedure and comment all you like. you could also become a followers, or just give me your email address, and I could forward you my blog posts, if you like. [email protected]
    I live in the U.P. of upper Michigan, and plan to get married, soon. I am so blessed to have a nice, kind, great lady who cares for me. —Tommy Schuckman. –Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 68-70.

  • IIDVAGUE. those devious are trying to cover all fronts, and since starfvation is a part of their plot to annihilate 95% of the worldwide population – good ld Monsanto has come up with GMO corn seed, GMO grass seed, and now holds 3 patents on glyphosates (Round Up herbicide) – the last one being as an antibiotic. Probably not any ore toxic as other medications, thevaccine program, sodium fluoride im our water supply, MSG & aspartame and other toxins in our food chain, – but still don’t want to take any of the stuff for any reason!

    Your federal government still lists marijuana and Indian Hemp CBD oil as schedule 1 drugs, which by definition cannot have any medicinal uses whatever – yet the CBD oil from Indian hemp already has the reputation of helping 42 different medicinal uses ranging from PTSD, seizures,Alzhemers, Parkinson, cancer, etc and your fedeeral government is said to hold 3 patents on the CBD oil that it says is useless for medicine! What’ll- What’ll I

  • What is, “Beminal 500 ?” I have studied Healing herbs for over 40 years, and use them often, every day, and they help. Reading the Psalms and Proverbs helps me, too. I reach out and try to also help other combat Vet’s with their PTSD issues, fully realizing that the corrupt VA system failed us for so dang many years, including now. We combat Vet’s, including my brothers in arms — from Vietnam era, are “dropping like flies” these days, and few people even care. Thought: “If we don’t take care of each other — who will ?” That may be another reason why we Vietnam Vet’s really love bear hugs !!
    I worked at AMC/ Chrysler Motors for over, 30.5 years, with good pension and bennies $$, but also saw so many of my comrades in Arms die already…… sad.

  • Ha! ! But my Fiancé is already helping me to lose the needed weight now, but cooking a NORMAL meal at home, instead of eating out, and then over eating…. and it works. I was a “power lifter” most of my adult life, and very strong, but after I retired at the tender age of 54, in 2002, from Chrysler, I started to put on too much weight, also because my knees were so pained with OS –arthritis, and now with 2– replacements, and that didn’t help too much, either.
    But eating a sensible, NORMAL, meal, means that you won’t over eat later in the day when you are super hungry from fasting/ starving yourself.

  • WW, Where did you get that Info ?? I would love to read it and post it. If you feel that you can trust me, please send this Info and Intel., to: [email protected] — and I am always looking to increase my circle of friendship.

  • Please send me the Link to that Info. My email: [email protected] —Indeed, Father God WILL take good care of us, IF we Believe and bend knee, and confess His Son, Jesus Christ. I also write a Christian based Blog: TOM’S JOURNAL, and share the Gospel with everyone I contact and bump into, every day. Here is a great place to buy an inexpensive KJV Bible, to read and study from:
    Have a nice day. —Tommy Schuckman

  • I am growing poke and harvesting the seeds, as we write. Poke is great, can grow in shade or sun. And is somewhat drought resistant.

  • Corrected my typos on above to explain it’s B complex vitamins and stress (and I have worked and talked with enough vets to know war is hell) and prolonged stress from anything drains the body of B vitamins, so makes sense we need to replace what we are lacking to be healthy. Tn. hillbilly here, and don’t know about you but getting a little weary of the natural alternative doctors who are only interested in telling you about helpful herbs that grow in S. Africa or Bumpuck, Egypt and want to sell you 3 – 6 or more container at $40 – 100 dollars each. My preference it to teach the individual to take control of their own health. On the subject of herbs, my poke berries are just now coming in and I suspect they grow there also. Start taking them as soon as they ripen (birds will be pooping purple all over everything LOL). Dehydrate or make an extract or tincture from any excess or crop. These berries are the best of natural arthritis medicine and according to a physiology professor at VU, they also throw the body into gear to fight (boost the immune system) so should help any problem you might have health wise.

    Know what you mean – you didn’t happen to know a 6’4″
    chopper pilot in NAM that became a XRAY tech after getting out did you. Worked with him so long it was like losing a brother when he died!

  • At 68, you are still a spring chicken! Sometimes I wonder why my parents taught me to respect my elders – done reached the point it is getting harder and harder to find an elder to respect. LOL

  • Anyone who is dumb enough to advertise that they are prepping is inviting trouble should the brown fecal matter hit the fan.

  • I am not sure my neighbors would want to know my activities. Their perception is that of my being a red-necked cowboy who has delivered all three of his kids, now all grown. Hearing that my eldest was delivered in a Motel room and the third one, the one with the cord wrapped around her neck was delivered in a church has created a persona non gratis character. The ubiquitous perception that my sanity is challenged, I am one to be avoided. The fact that I engage in home canning in city parks and on the sidewalk has not impeded creation of an illusion of penurious eccentricity. My firmly held religious beliefs not being mainstream augments perplexing observants.

  • More than one ‘woodsman’ on the lam from the authorities has discovered it is a lot more difficult than they thought to live in thre wilderness permanently as compqared to part time. One of the most difficult aspect of it is the fact that if you try to live on rabbits and deer you will starve to death. You need the amino acids and other components available only from vegetables, and those kinds of vegetable grow only in areas suitable for farming — which most likely are already being farmed. And BTW … if you are farming, your security perimeter doesn’t exist.

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