The Givers and The Takers-What Will You Do When SHTF?

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As much as I wish it were not true, I do believe that within my lifetime, our society will reach a SHTF situation.  The nature and shape of this event is unknown to me but on some level, I dread the thought of the societal chaos that will occur, for better or for worse.

Now it may seem odd to include the words “for better” when referring to a SHTF situation but in looking back at history, it seems that advances in civilization have frequently risen from the ashes of chaos.  So, even though I may have to live through the disorganized and destructive forces of a global breakdown, the optimist in me is hopeful that the results will be beneficial to future generations – even if the generations may be hundred’s of years from now.

very-angry-mob

This leads me to the topic today:  What will you do if and when the SHTF?  Will you be a Giver to those that have failed to prepare?

As some of my readers have indicated, in today’s world there are people that will walk in to a McDonald’s and demand free food.  If it is not forthcoming, they shoot the place up, causing harm to innocent bystanders.  For these people, there is a prevailing mentality of entitlement with no mindset oriented toward hard work, moral ethics and the family values so well ingrained in previous generations.

So where does this leave the prepper?  Where does this leave those of us that have saved our money, planned for the unexpected and lived a life of self-sufficiency?  When SHTF do we share what we have with our peers that have lived the good life with no concern for tomorrow?  Do we open our homes and our hearts?  Or do we lock ourselves up within our well-fortified homesteads and say no, you are not welcome here?

This is certainly not a new topic but one that must be addressed on an ongoing basis.  Why you ask?  Well for one, food is becoming more scarce and more expensive on a daily basis.  Something as simple and basic as a single potato can now cost as much as $1.00 each.  A buck a potato?  Five years ago that would have been unheard of.  Fuel to heat our homes and to cook our food is becoming precious and consider this:  gasoline, the mainstay source of power for our transportation systems is running $11 a gallon in Europe.  It won’t be long until the rest of the world will pay that much and I don’t know about you, but that will certainly curtail my ability and interest in freely moving around by private vehicle.

During some recent travels to the city, I saw copious and conspicuous consumption.  It was sickening.  And yet the mention of putting away some canned goods and extra water for a “just in case” situation was met with either a quizzical look, a blank stare, or an “are you one of those nut jobs?” comment.  This came from folks with a new car in the driveway next to a mailbox overflowing with monthly credit card bills totaling tens of thousands in debt. These same folks were also dining at the newest and the most chic of restaurants and were routinely coming home with shopping bags laden with brand new designer clothes.  (And by the way, those designer duds are often available for a fraction of the price on eBay.)

I just do not get it.  And as generous of spirit as I would like to be, I find myself hunkering down and reminding myself that I can not and will not be able to help these people.  Even more significant, I don’t want to help them.  For the  moment and maybe forever, I am losing compassion for those that will not take the few steps necessary to learn to fend for themselves.

One thing I know for sure:  I will not be a Taker.  But when SHTF, I will also not be a Giver to those that have turned their thumbs down to those of us that have learned to be self-sufficient and self-reliant, no matter what.

How about you?  Will you be a Giver when society breaks down?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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Comments

The Givers and The Takers-What Will You Do When SHTF? — 39 Comments

  1. Gaye, thank you as usual for another great article to ponder on. I have seen both sides, I know there are people in my community who are quietly preparing and then there are those who are totally clueless as to what’s happening around them. The clueless people think they will be taken care of by the gov’t or they say they have guns and will just go take somebody elses’ food. (Don’t come to my house I have guns too). I have friends who I have tried to talk to, one couple is on board and totally preparing, the other couple is totally not. The couple that is totally not is going out of town for the weekend quite a bit, just bought an above the ground swimming pool for $4500 on credit of course. My point is, I would be more apt to help out a fellow prepper than to help out someone that is totally unprepared. With everything the way it is in the world right now how could you not, my internal alarms have been going off for about 8 months now. It takes time and money to prepare, my life is not totally on hold, “preparing”, but the majority of my free cash goes towards something or another that will sustain me if SHTF.

  2. I will do what I have been doing for most of my life. Taking care of myself. NO ONE ever stepped up to the plate for me, I was always on my own and I will stay that way. I WILL protect what I have, at all cost.

  3. I live in a very small subdivision (58 homes) on the west side of Houston, TX. We are surrounded by many apartment complexes with many entitlement types residing within them. We also have some nicer subdivisions just west of us. It will be tough to defend from the looters but, given our closeness as a neighborhood, we should be able to manage. Within our residential makeup, the is a former US Army officer with tactical experience, a former Marine and a current Marine. Also, some willing types (such as me) to do the hard part. I believe many of us will help each other out when TSHTF but some of us will not. The outsiders will find it difficult to waltz in and take what they want. I for one will be helping the neighbors I care about the most while some of the others had better start getting prepared now.

  4. The event that rocks civilization to it’s core is coming, no doubt about it, and probably very soon now. Those that are aware (the awakened ones) will be the survivors for the most part. What will it be like as society disintegrates?? No one really knows, we are only guessing, but the movie THE TRIGGER EFFECT, and the book THE HUNGER GAMES attempt to give us an idea. I certainly hope it doesn’t come down to the situations they describe, but both are well worth your time to see/read. The book is available at Amazon but the movie is hard to find due to it’s popularity and possibly censorship by the powers.

  5. Great blog today. I have to say that this is something that my immediate family has talked about. We are prepared to some extent but our extended family is decidedly not. They are consumers of the highest order and would soon wither and die if something happens to our just in time system.

    Two weeks ago northwestern CT was hit with a freak snowstorm and our town was without power for up to 9 days. The place was a mess with so many tree limbs and trees down it looked like a war zone (and still does). This was a reality check for us and for everyone else I’m sure. I grew up in a very rural area (and still have property there) where it is a half hour drive to the nearest anything. Consequently there was always a store of food and other comforts in the house because you never knew how long it really would be until the next trip to the grocery store. We all know how to help ourselves and our neighbors when a crisis hits.

    When this storm went through our daughter was in our house, building a fire in the fireplace, cooking her own meals and basically hunkering down for the long term. We were at our other property getting reports. She knew that the food in the refrigerator was good for a short while and systematically went through what she needed by loss rate. We were fortunate to have a gas stove and hot water heater on city water so we really were pretty well set up compared to our neighbors.

    The power went out on Saturday night, on Monday she called to say that the gas had been syphoned out of her car and her sister’s during the night (not a gas station open for miles around). And a “friend” of ours was there wanting some of our firewood to keep warm. (He apparently thought he could just roll in and take it). We decided to return home to help protect our daughters and what was there. We brought home a couple of chain saws and gasoline.

    My husband and I own a small business in town and drove around trying to see what the damage was and when we might get power back. In our adventures around town we realized that we lived among a huge population of people who were just waiting for someone to help them. They have no knowledge or resources. There were tree limbs EVERYWHERE and no one even outdoors trying to pick the stuff up. And those that were were using their lopping shears.

    I have a brother and sister in law that live practically next door and their solution was to go find a motel somewhere so they could go out to eat and watch the ball game – they drove for 3 hours and found no where to stay. This brought about a serious discussion about who we help and who we do not. We realized that it’s not only the “friends” that would take our supplies but also family members that would bring nothing to the situation. We have created kind of a hierarchy list of those we know and how they fit into our preps and it amounts to “if you aren’t bringing skills or supplies with you move along”. Sounds harsh, especially when you are talking close family but I know what I have and how long it will last with 6 members of my family.

    This power outage was a real wakeup call for many, many people here in CT but there are also soooo many people, including the governer who are trying to pin the blame on someone. All it’s made us do is take a good hard look at what we’ve done and what we could do in another disaster situation. We are also very aware of what kind of people surround us.

  6. I recall people fighting one another for cases of water not so long ago in a Boston suburb. People were grabbing as many cases as they could fit in their carts. Those without water were taking cases out of the carts of those who had it. People were being knocked down and the violence quickly spread to other types of beverages as people turned to alternatives. When the SHTF, there will be no “helping others”. The have-nots will demand and/or take what they need from the haves, if they can. Be prepared to defend what you have. Keep in mind if you answer the knock at your door, or even walk around inside your house, someone across the street can easily take you out with one rifle shot. Oh hell, I’m sure it would never come to that, right?

  7. Gaye,

    new tip for you. As you are I am very concerned about solar flares, i have been doing some research and found a great inexpensive way to construct a simple Faraday cage. Galvanized steel trash cans work just as well as expensive cages and hold a whole lot more. Just thought you might be interested in this. I’m heading to Home Depot to purchase several now. Stay strong and stay on the net as long as you CAN. no pun intended:)

    • You realize that garbage cans are not a faraday cage right? this is internet fantasy. You can however weld flexible steel cable from the can to the lid, and then add a heavy gauge grounding ribbon for the length it takes to get outside and then attached to a min 5 foot grounding spike. In addition if you have those cans set up properly you may add to them with a tight mesh six sided cage also grounded to the outside with the cans up on wood inside the secondary. That will work for all but the most extreme CME events at X25+.

  8. There are two problems with being a “giver”:
    One is that like welfare you cannot help someone by doing for them that which they should do for themselves. Our welfare system has destroyed millions and millions of lives. With no incentive to work they spend their free time doing drugs and committing crimes. How much better off would welfare recipients be if they had worked instead of taking welfare? Learned a trade instead of used drugs. Spent their hours productively instead of “hung out”.

    The second problem goes back to your statement about people shooting up McDonalds when the food runs out. If you become the nieghborhood handout house what happens if you are overwhelmed with people in need or when you run out? Will you become a victim because you can no longer provide handouts?

  9. My heart might say yes, but my mouth will be saying no; if necessary, at the butt end of a shotgun or rifle. It’s sad to say, but that’s just the way I believe it HAS to be! The time for talking and making preparations is now; soon, however, that simply will no longer be the case. And…if you open your pantries to one, how long do you suppose it will take for the word to get out that you have food and water and other life-sustaining items, while others do not?

    There’s the way things ought to be, and there’s the way things are!

  10. I agree 100%. I have been thru this many times over the years. For now, a friend may show up and I will give him my meal for the day. I will not give away the groups food. Been there and done that and those same people kept coming back because I owed it to them since I had it. That is the mentality.
    I miss a meal or two and I get real grumpy. Word to the wise, dont come back and take any more food out of my mouth. I also let them know if them or any other groups head this way. It will be ugly. They got the point and the so called friendship was over. I know where they stand and they know where I stand.
    RangerRick

  11. We’ve talked about this among immediate family. Unfortunately I see that same self entitlement syndrome all around us, and people just refuse to prepare. I would like to be able to give, but I know we would have to take care of our own first. There is no way to give and help everyone who had made the decision not to prepare. The difficult part would be turning away families with young children. I would have to wrestle with that. Again, our family would have to come first, and anything we are able to give would have to be done through the church or some other anonymous way. Good post with lots to ponder, SW.

  12. It would depend on the type of SHTF scenario it was. There are times when good people just don’t prepare sufficiently when things go wrong and they run out of personal resources, needing some assistance to get back on their feet. This happened to us back in 1985 and fortunately some friends helped us out. This was a SHTF as a major recession, local depression, that meant we were out of work and eventually out of money at a time three of us were very ill with medical bills that just kept increasing. Their help got us through a really bad patch.

    In a similar situation I would help others as long as I thought it was really going to make a long term difference to them. But if it was a TEOTWAWKI situation then I would have to hang on to my reserves as we need to be responsible for ourselves not only at the time of the problem, but for some time after until society gets back on its feet again. If I gave away our stuff then we couldn’t be self responsible.

    I also have a question that I keep asking myself. My husband, myself and my grandson all need the same medication. I am stocking up on as much of it as I can. My grandson (9) has just a month’s supply at a time, though with about 3 weeks of extra put aside. If our medication supply was interrupted would I give him mine? Without it all our lives would be terrible, maybe leading to an early death. With a half supply we could limp along with bad symptoms. I may live for another 40 years. What is the greater good? Having it myself so I can share my elder’s wisdom or giving it to him as he hasn’t lived his life yet? I know there are lots of people out there who would automatically give it to their child or grandchild, but I’m not one of them, something that makes me feel a little guilty. Hopefully over the next couple of years we can put enough aside for all of us so it never becomes a problem. As I think about it as I write this we would probably ration it all out amongst the three of it, while scaling back the dosage as much as possible, given our symptom levels – but this wasn’t an automatic thought for me.

  13. I won’t be a taker either but I’ll sure find it difficult to be a giver (even to close family and friends) when they had every possibility to prepare just like I did. Who knows, maybe I’ll feel different in the future.

  14. We used to have the same philosophy, but as millenniumfly mentioned, our thinking did change over the years.

    I never thought the Soviets would go down without a (nuclear) fight, or that bioterror, EMP, Y2k, etc would have turned out to be non-issues. It seemed so obvious back then that we’ wouldn’t make it out of the 1980’s. Try talking to someone in the 80’s about how they’d handle a zombie apocalypse and you’d have been a candidate for a straight-jacketed trip to Bellevue on the disoriented express (Ron Harris, from Barney Miller, if memory serves). Now it’s just an improbable scenario, but rational enough for sober conversation.

    Most of the “us against them” thinking in the prepper/survivalist discussion today is the result of the economic circumstances in the world, combined with a new generation having caught the survival bug IMO. Maybe that thinking is even fostered by the PTB to keep us more worried about each other than about them? Then again, maybe that’s just my long-practiced habit of being skeptical and always looking for a conspiracy.

    Everyone’s in a different situation, and with different degrees of preparedness, resources, and location. As our personal preparedness situation changed over the years it was difficult to maintain a constant hard-hearted attitude toward the “clueless non-preppers that would be doomed to death by their inability to recognize and prepare for the obvious threat”. And as it turns out, their lack of a
    nuclear fallout shelter during the the cold war didn’t shorten their lifespan. Whether I was wrong altogether, or just early, doesn’t really matter. Things (and people) change. Now we stock extra for our friends, and have charity boxes designed to help extend the supplies, and hopefully the lives, of others.

    Everybody dies – including survivalists. How you live is the most important thing. Our plan is to be kind to those that just need help, and as ruthless as possible to those that would take by force. 30 years of planning would help anybody learn to be more proficient at both. Cupcakes or cl*ymores, as necessary, is our plan. God grant us the wisdom to select them correctly.

    • Thank you for your thoughts! I always find it interesting to hear about people who have been prepping for so long. I agree that how you live is important and will now be setting a little aside for charity myself. I agree with Gaye in almost everything she has said, however, it will be difficult for me to turn away people with young children. It is difficult to see irresponsible people having children and not only not preparing for disaster but not even raising and caring for their children while times are good. (A rant for another day!) I think that developing a way to help the children anonymously would be important. I agree with other commenters that people will rush you for your goods if you are providing handouts. I believe it is a lot like a person drowning, they will sink you in order to save themselves.

  15. It was a great article. It is the best I’ve ever read. It made such an impact on me I mentioned it to my friends. Have to agree with Survival Sue about internal alarms. Mine have been going off for the last month or so. Because of that I feel time is of the essence , short, so I have been buying what I need, made it a priority.Whenever I get spare cash I dedicate it to that goal. Don’t think it will be there if I wait too long. Agree with Sabre tooth. Have nots feel they are entitled and will take what they want. Story: a situation I was placed in in the military distributing supplies to refugees. They almost turned over the vehicle I was driving, and it was big, for the numbers of people trying to climb aboard the truck and take supplies. I ended up driving off Scary, real scary. It made fights at a grocery nothing. The ethical question that I have yet to solve is: little ones aged 5 thru 8 starving. I’m not married and have no kids, but I just don’t know how I’d handle a kid starving to death in front of me. A problem. Kudos to the author of the article . It was great.

  16. All these posts are eye-opening. This is how I have finally, after 3 years of prepping, resolved this issue for me.
    I believe Noah was the first prepper–he warned and noone listened for 500 years as he built the ark.
    And never forget; God shut them in. I believe God closed that door for Noah to alleviate any guilt for Noah.
    If God can close the door that was opened for 500 years, we can not answer the door when knocked upon and be within our christian rights to save ourselves.
    I guarantee that if I begin handing out food, the other 9 families on this street and the 5 on the adjoining street will have me and my dh very hungry in a short time.
    Be a Noah–warn, as Glenn Beck said is our christian duty, and then it is in their court. They have the resources we all have–in fact, those with tv have more than I have; we have no tv.
    How stupid can one be to grocery shop or even retail shop and see the prices increase each week and not put it together??
    Yep—I won’t be a taker, but I’ve also decided to not be a giver. It would be a death sentence.
    I’m a Noah. Peace…JayJay

  17. Good article, but I have noticed (at least around my community both church and neighborhood) that there is one more group out there. They have the mind set that even though they see all the signs of global break down they figure it is best to wait and see. They figure when all hell breaks loose they will at that time run to the gun shop and load up on ammo and then run to the store and load up on food and water and just throw the hole mess on a credit card and be prepared in a day.
    I am on a limited budget so my prepping strategy has been to set small attainable goals in a number of categories then as they are reached expand those goals. in my prepping I have made allowances for those in my community that will be caught with their pants down (so to speak). I would rather hand a neighbor a ten pound bag of rice and a stove to cook on (and in doing so gain allies) rather then wonder if that same neighbor in a panic will try to take my supplies by force.
    We all need community in order to effectively survive long term Urban Disaster, and I truly believe what we will soon be faced with is going to be a definite long term struggle.

  18. Shame on all you that don’t want to help. I know for a fact that if the young mother down the street with two babys under 3 years old and a husband serving in the Army comes knocking asking for something to eat, there is no way in Hell I’m going to refuse her! In fact, I’ll probably share what I have with anyone that really needs it. When the supplies run out, que se ra se ra……

    • Despite my firm belief that some people (the have-nots) will most definitely take advantage of others who have, I have such mixed emotions about these types of possible scenarios that I’m just not sure how I might respond. Like yourself, it would be extremely hard for me to turn away a hungry mother and her children. Truthfully…I’m not certain I could look a starving woman and her children in the eyes, turn them away without offering food and water, then be able to live with myself afterwards. I only pray to God that I never have to be placed in that particular situation.

      Your scolding has given me additional food for thought. Take care.

    • It is a nice thought, but you have not been there or done that.Give your food away and starve with the rest. 40 years of experience being in place’s most sane people are trying to get out of.If you really want to help, talk with them NOW and help them prepare before it is too late and you all die.
      Best of luck, RR

      • I agree that helping them now will make all the difference! Also, coming up with a plan in your community to help people like these will be your best bet to protect your family from harm. You are ultimately responsible for them and being generous during a SHTF scenario can put your family at risk. What about them, do they not have your allegiance?

  19. I have to agree. The Book says to give them water. Then they are sent on their way. The ones who have chosen to do nothing have not earned the right to continue to cast their shadow nor have any of the generations of their offspring. Harsh But real. The wheat and the chaff will be separated at some time in the future.

  20. Seems to me that you will need to decide who is going to be of benefit after the fact. If the lady down the street with two little kids is healthy, and able to help with the animals, and gardening, canning, etc., then all well and fine, she can even come and move in with me/us. But the gal and her husband down the street, who send their kids out without ever checking to see if they are OK, drink, smoke and party on. Well, when the kids are at a certain age they can’t be helped, send them on down the road. They won’t help, throw stones at my livestock. Use my water, hurt my chickens. They won’t/aren’t welcome. I think you have to take this on a totally individual basis and trust in God to grant you the wisdom to tell the difference.
    Never, never, never reveal how much you have to anyone. Some one wants to barter ammo for a pint of whiskey, sure wouldn’t bring out the whole fifth. Need a meal and then go on your way? Well, I got a few beans and a kelbasa sausage. We can make that into soup. Not the whole pack of Kelbasa and certainly not my buckets of beans!
    We will definately need to use our heads.
    He who doesn’t not work, does not eat.2Thes3:10

  21. I am quite torn on this. I know too many people who refuse to open their eyes. Outright refuse, and they’re arrogant and mean in their convictions. Those who refuse to do anything to help themselves. Like my neighbor on disability who is quite “able” to work, but chooses (and admits) instead to drink a twelve pack every day and enjoy “retirement” on the taxpayer’s dime. Should this person or people like them ever need help, I absolutely would not lift a finger for them. I would let the die before I’d help them. I don’t know what the karmic return would be but I know I wouldn’t help certain people.

    If however, the many good folks around me who routinely give without expecting anything in return ever needed help, I’d be there in a heart beat.

    I am still conflicted though and I don’t enjoy having to separate people into two separate groups as I have done. It’s tough for me to admit that I’d actually let certain people perish. But I honestly believe that if I helped them they would always expect help rather than step up and contribute. They don’t now in good times, and I can’t imagine they’d do anything different in bad times.

    I really wish we didn’t have to think like this, and prep like we are. What a shame.

    Great article. Thank you for reminding me that sometimes, good people get down and we must help those who truly need helping.

  22. If you follow Christian teachings, you will help those that didn’t know what was going on ,and therefore fail to prepare. Those that DID know what was going on AND failed to prepare will not be helped by me. If you told them to prepare and why….

    “When you go into a town and they will not hear your message, shake off the dust from your shoes when you leave as a sign against them”

  23. I’m lucky cause most of my family is on board. If ya want some real hard info on this check out.
    http://www.shtfschool.com It’s a site run by Selco who survived the Kosavo war. Oh I don’t get any money or anthing else for posting this. Just what he went through… it will tweak your mind.

  24. I gave up trying to alert friends and family several years ago and am now considered a “nut job” by almost all of them. I have conducted countless hours of research on the upcoming catastrophe and have found that this event occurs on a regular basis; every 3657 years. The native people of the world all know about it, the Hopi Indians in New Mexico for one. They refer to it as an “earth cleansing” and
    God only knows Mother Earth needs a cleansing right now. Just look around at the sad state of affairs it is in….. The survivors of this cleansing will be those that are “ready” for it and are now currently living in a “safe zone” which is a place at least 675 feet above sea level, preferably 1300 feet. The Missouri Ozarks is such a place. To check out the safe zones in the world go to this link: poleshift.ning.
    God bless all.

    • First off, ANY site that has as it’s first two posting rules,

      1.No debunking and disruption. Debunking and disruption will lead to a ban. If you do intend to embrace any main establishment lies you will be suspended without any explanation. REASON paid debunking teams can completely disrupt discussion, as has occurred elsewhere.

      2.No debating the reality of Planet X and the validity of ZetaTalk. REASON paid debunking and desire to ‘say it ain’t so’ make valid discussion impossible, else.

      I would take with a train car load of salt.

      I don’t disbelieve in “planet X” but if you won’t even ALLOW reasonable debate about it, your site is rubbish.

      I DO believe that this planet has been destroyed and “remade” many times in it’s history (it even says so in the Bible) and that this planet WILL be destroyed and remade again. Whether it’s by the Planet Nibiru or just a super volcano, only God knows for sure.

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