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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How do you find like-minded people?

In response to my post Signs of the Times in which I showed a Nickel's Worth ad for preppers -- and the understandable suspicion most of you expressed -- a reader asked a very good question.

Here's her comment:

There is an article in the current Atlantic Monthly concerning an eerily similar ad. The article is titled Murder by Craigslist.

I know there are legitimate employers out there looking for reliable people but the world we live in is so scary.

One thing I have struggled with is building a community of like minded people. I am in suburbia adjacent to a large metro area. We will not move. My husband is not a prepper and I have a disabled child that can only receive benefits if we stay in the county we currently reside in. Also, I am responsible for aging parents. Obviously, we are never going to survive a grid down type of situation. However, with a gradual decline I think we have a chance if we are plugged into a close knit group of like minded people. The question is -- how do we find them without opening ourselves to a potentially dangerous situation? Would love some input from other readers.

This is a legitimate concern, so I thought I would seek everyone's thoughts. How DO you find like-minded people without opening yourself up to potentially dangerous situations? Let's hear your ideas.


  1. I can't find like minded people, I am an artist, all of those people think the economy if fine, I kid you not, Obama has done nothing wrong. I can't find anyone around me who isn't liberal so I keep to myself.

    1. I live within an easy short drive of you. There is also another nearby you as well.

      The problem is everyone around here is extremely cautious. Even when you think you know people, you have to ask yourself.... do I know them well enough that I want to be connected to them and risk everything I have if they turn out not to be who you think they are and they get into trouble?

    2. I know what you are saying, I just look at the Franklin paper and it is full of people doing all kinds of strange crimes excluding moonshine.
      Even one of the elementary teachers is going up for hiring someone to kill her ex and the school nurse helped her. Anyway maybe some of us could get together sometime, when the dark ages start, small groups will have to work together to survive, it may be harder to meet people then.

  2. First of all, look for events in your area that are aimed at preppers and attend them. Don't go looking for kindred spirits right away, just look to get plugged into the culture.

    Second, look for blogs of like-minded individuals in your area. OPSEC is important, but so is friendship. Make friends first and foremost, genuinely, without expectation of anything in return.

    Third, find a website that facilitates the formation of prepper groups. I have personally attended meetings of an alt-market group and a meet-up group. The meet-up group is going strong, the alt-market is dead, but I still hit that website. Meet in public places and don't ever share your personal information unless you are willing lose your OPSEC to that person.

    Four, make preppers out of your current friends. This is the hardest to do, because people who are already preppers understand the necessity of OPSEC, safety and have the survival skills you need. Your friends have the desire to help you, but no skills. Put out feelers to the friends you have who you know would genuinely care for your well-being in a crisis, and then see if you can carefully cultivate a prepper mindset in them.

    Five, feel out your family. Do you have family who might have a reasonable expectation of showing up at your house? If so, take a harder line with them. Tell them they are welcome to head your way, however, they are expected to store X amount of preps with you. That takes the burden of feeding them off your shoulders and adds another person to help with the hard work.


  3. We have found people through our Church group and also other family members who are like-minded, that we know well. We have been fortunate in that sense. I understand exactly what Sunnybrook Farm is saying...so many people laugh at the idea of being prepared.

  4. I stopped looking in my area. Most of the people I know aren't oblivious to what's going on, they are just in complete denial that anything can happen to them. Some are Obama fanboys, some think preppers are nuts, some think that whatever happens it won't be too bad. A small part of my family seems to be coming around, but none of them want to talk about it, as if that would bring it sooner. Wish I had some advice, but I'm like Sunnybrook, I keep to myself.

  5. I don't know really how to help, but my two cents are the following.
    when your out start listening for people talking about hunting, my experience is that some where in that crowd is some one of use. Out meaning out, parks, restaurants, etc.
    pick up a hobby that increases your chances of meeting these type of people. When you take a vacation go camping/RVing, go fishing, after a while you will get a feel for who knows what they are doing and doesn't.
    I really don't know what to say beyond that. Then you always have starting your own garden. My suggestion on reading would be "square foot gardening" by Mel Bartholomew.
    God Bless and best wishes,
    Palm City Girl aka Nicole

    1. Another good thing to do is start going to a local shooting range. Believe me, you WILL meet many like-minded people there! --Fred in AZ

  6. Unfortunately, for the person who asked you the question, I feel she has too many strikes against her right from the start.

    She is unwilling to relocate because she needs benefits from the state. FWIW, those benefits are going to disappear in a SHTF scenario.

    Her husband is not on board with prepping. This is a huge detriment that will not get better when TSHTF. Hubby will gladly find that there is always cheese in the government mousetrap.

    She is responsible for aging parents. In a SHTF scenario this will also be a detriment for her as she will have mouths to feed that aren't providing some assistance for the family.

    Now, this isn't callous talk. If she really wants to survive the coming calamity there are going to have to be some hard decisions to be made. She can't do anything about a disabled child or aging parents so they will have to go with her. She really needs to disconnect from the system that is providing benefits and get somewhere safer. Hubby needs to get with the program. Ask him point blank, "What will you do when little Johnny looks up at him and says he's hungry and wants something to eat?". Hubby needs to man up.

    The actual question was how to find other like-minded people. My first rule is to always keep my mouth shut and my ears open. We don't advertise how we live but do listen for others who are more talkative. Start with your inner circle...family, friends, people you go to church with. Listen for people who are concerned about the direction of the world. Listen for people who are working toward self-sufficiency. Ask questions to draw them out but don't tip your hand until you feel satisfied they are of like mind.

    Petra in Oregon.

    1. Many states will continue to care for the needy. When we moved to AZ many years ago, I had diabetes and failing kidneys. I could not get a job, although I tried diligently. (And lubing 18-wheelers wasn't the answer, although I tried it for awhile. 'Bout killed me!) I got great benefits from the state right after moving here, so that's not a valid excuse for not moving. --Fred in AZ

    2. I have to agree with Petra in Oregon. Being connected to services doesn't help the situation. Anyone truly interested in survival really needs to get their spouse on board, or seriously consider what changes that individual is willing to make.
      Be very careful with people as it is very difficult to really know someone. Case in point one of my neighbors whom I thought I could count on, while involved in a transaction, went way over the line to ensure they were in the MUCH better position. Even family member can and do take advantage.

  7. You're probably not going to like it, but the only reasonably safe answer is to build friendships over time with people from work, church, civic organizations, etc. and discover which of them already have similar viewpoints. You're unlikely to be able to magically "wake up" flocks of slumbering sheeple and convince them to begin taking effective action. This, at least, is my experience over the past 10+ years.

    I take care at work, for example, to tread very, very carefully in certain discussion topics, because so much of the prepper mindset requires you to self-assert your intention to become (at least somewhat) independent of government and other societal infrastructure support. This is anathema to so many people that even articulating such a concept in casual conversation can seriously degrade formerly good working relationships. After all, who wants to work with a lunatic-fringe bunker-inhabiting racist end-of-the-world nutjob?

    Luckily, my way of feeling people out is actually pretty straightforward because we live in a coastal area that has suffered recent hurricane activity. So just by asking innocent questions about preparing for threatening storms, I can usually (very quickly) separate folks that "Get It" from those that don't. Over time, the ones that "Get It" can then be questioned about longer-term "sustainability"-type items, like rain barrels, gardening, honey bees, chickens, etc., because these topics also appeal to granola-crunching tree-huggers (sorry, just a term of endearment!).

    So I always make sure to have plausible deniability if asked if I'm one of those "survivalists," by being able to emphasize other motivations for my questions, comments, or recommendations. Kind of like saying that the only reason you shop at Costco and buy in bulk is that your kids are eating you out of house and home. Which in my case happens to be perfectly true. But the point is, this approach offers an easy way out if you realize you've significantly mis-read someone.

    Anyway, I'm sorry if this reply was too long-winded; I hope it gives you a few ideas of how you might want to proceed.

    1. Your long winded comment is exactly how it is for us in my house, that is why I didn't find it long winded at all, very true fact, we too live in the Hurricane State "coastal area" and I always start my conversations with "the reason we do what we do" is to be prepared and it is a good conversation starter to see how others view it or to see what others may be doing...We moved from Washington State 14 yrs. ago, so the Tree hugger verbiage is only appropriate and I still use that term..hehe, We buy bulk, I have a small garden "we live in town", I have a rain barrel & compost bin, I am even thinking of sneaking a few chickens into our life..shhhhhh ! But your whole post is very logical and true to fact, I enjoyed reading it and enjoy Patrice's Blog as well :)

    2. Anonymous:

      We live in the northern side of the midwest in the suburbs of a large metropolitan area. Our suburb just recently "legally" approved us to get chickens. We've had them over a year! We just did it and no one knew the difference. Keep everything clean and you'll have no issues. Our privacy fence helps alot too! We too have a garden and it seems to get bigger every year. We are hoping to get to the country but if not we are doing what we can to help ourselves. Money is tight but we are trying to pay off a large debt load( stupid, I know) and still put supplies up. One step at a time as someweeks are better than others!


    3. Lisa, it is great to read your reply and to know there are other people like us trying to live life a little more simple and learning to do what we can to be more self sufficient, we too are trying to pay off a heavy debt load & mortgage and eventually get out to the Country, so it isn't stupid at all,I completely understand..Thank you so much for sharing the info. on your chickens, how many do you have? Do you have a large back yard? That is my next project :) Shannon

  8. Personally, something I have considered is going to Meetup.com for my area and finding groups that meet that share similar traits of what I am looking for. Ideas of such groups include...

    TEA Party Groups
    Libertarian Groups
    Shooting Groups

    People may be able to think of others, but these were the ones I thought of. Next attend some of the meetings and simply meet people. Eventually you will find you are either in the right place or wrong place and establish connections accordingly.

  9. We have the same essential issue. Our state & general area is very liberal. We are quietly "doing our thing". I'm not quite to the state of paranoia yet that I've read about. I actually read how we should go do our shopping (for prep supplies), come home, open the garage door, pull the car in, THEN and only then empty the car. Obviously if we were in a real big city, had loads of neighbors watching our house...well..okay.
    We are retired so the "budget" is very small for anything other than everyday items. Slowly, slowly, we'll get there.

  10. We have a large-ish, very loose, network of people that are like minded. Some of us have a close friendship, some only marginally know each other. We literally met ALL these people through Project Appleseed. My husband is a former 'Red Hat' - state coordinator, actually! Now he instructs with a few of these like-minded people through their own private marksmanship school. Appleseed has a quality program in some states, US Rifleman's Association (USRA) is another good organization, NRA has women only shoots for any level of shooter... just get out there put a few downrange and meet some people!!

  11. I guess we're lucky to have a least on other couple in our neighborhood who are like minded on this preparedness subject. Our families certainly don't think it's important.
    After seeing this though, I remembered a blog entry elsewhere that made me really think twice about who I would trust. I hope it is okay to post the link here, but I feel it is a good read.

  12. If someone is careless enough with their OPSEC to the point where you can figure out they are into self-sufficiency / prepping then they will be as careless with your OPSEC once you've opened up to them.
    I've some friends I suspect might be preppers but we're each too cautious to risk opening up to each other.
    It's a classic catch22 situation.

  13. this is an area fraught with difficulties.
    last time i called to order checks the person 'assisting' me suddenly demanded, 'are you changing your buying habits?'.
    this so surprised me that i answered without thinking.
    of course i said 'no', but after i hung up i got madder and madder. how many of this fifth column have infiltrated every simple everyday activity?
    if i hadn't been reading these columns on the internet i would only have been shocked by the clerk's rude nosiness. i wouldn't have seen beyond it.
    i'm not in a position to do much prepping but i wouldn't tell anyone if i were. someone mentioned on a web log that his one daughter is a chatterbox. loose lips do sink ships. if you have a jabberer in your family do not be forthcoming about your ideas even to those closest. they mean no harm but a moment's thoughtlessness....
    as one writer said, he mentions a t v show about preppers and waits to hear the comments when scoping out people and their opinions and characters. he was surprised by the ideas put forward by those he thought had a strong morality.
    i recommend asking God to show you whom, if any, to trust. you can put out the fleece three times. remember to wait for undeniable confirmation before taking any steps.
    do what you can, and pray. prayer is a conversation. after you have said what you want to say don't forget to listen carefully for God's reply before hanging up the receiver!!
    love in Jesus, and may the God of Abraham preserve us and our children,
    deb harvey

  14. Compromising OPSEC to a certain extent seems necessary to the extent of dropping enough hints that others, who are looking also, will understand when "canning", "dehydrating", and even "perimeter security" are casually mentioned. Being totally private, while expecting others to be less so will have you passing up opportunities and never knowing.

    There's a website (probably not new to lots of Rural Revolution readers), called Homesteading Today that has a forum called "Survival & Emergency Preparedness". Every now and then someone will hold a meet-up for their area. I'm sure there are other similar sites, but so far we've made several contacts with folks who think like we do.

  15. I grow food because I like food that tastes like what it is supposed to. I don't consider myself a "prepper"
    I also have heard that gardening has been proven to help people cope with traumatic things, which another reason I started. I have to say that I am coping with things better, whether its a placebo effect or not its had the desired effect.
    Finally I garden cause for some reason watching a plant push its way out of the ground makes me smile.
    who says you have to be convinced the government is up to no good to do something? Bunch of malarky.

    1. PalmCityGirl, you could be right about the state of our government. The rest of us could be wrong. I believe the difference is that we (and our loved ones) are prepared to be wrong.
      Montana Guy

  16. A gun forum I read has a survival and preparedness section. I was stunned to read some of the posts. The ones whose preps are to have guns so they can take what they need... They were excoriated by the members and banned from the board, but be careful who you trust.

  17. I agree with Survival Skvez. Also beware of confusing self-sufficiency with being survival minded. We have found many who are striving to become self-sufficient, which is good, yet they will be easy prey to the unprepared hoards. The Amish are a good example of this. Good indicators of survival-minded folks are that they tend to shoot regularly and focus on skills/training and not gadgets.
    Montana Guy

  18. "Obviously, we are never going to survive a grid down type of situation. However, with a gradual decline I think we have a chance if we are plugged into a close knit group of like minded people."

    There is no way I would want to partner up with this family. She is looking for someone to help her, meaning "do" for her. Like the vast majority of Americans, she has no concept of what self-reliance, self-sufficiency, or wanting and having a strong skill base is.

    Where there are two people, there are three opinions. As far as I am concerned, "A community of like mined people" does not exist. You will only really know a person when the grits hit the fan. Then it is too late.

    1. looking for like-minded people when your husband is not on board is like buying a wedding dress when you don't even have a boyfriend

  19. I have found that as I just live my life and do what I do people ask me questions. I am so conservative compared to so many people I come in contact with, but they are still interested in my food supply, my emergency plan, my homemaking skills, my parenting style, my budgeting, my water storage and my knowledge of current events. My influence may not be winning me conservative friends or a circle of like-minded people, but little by little they are becoming more like me without even realizing it. Another thing that has drawn people to me and my family is our work in the community. Lots of people don't like to believe that people like me help out at animal shelters, adopt foster children, rescue animals, help the homeless, etc., etc., etc.

  20. This person is 1 of 5 and isn't thinking it through. Commendable to stay wehre bets for child but needs to prepare anyway. How far are they from parents? Do they have cellar, root cellar? Are they near major highways? She will need to watch extreme couponers as cover, then nobody will think her stash of things is odd. The coupon people have stash that will last forever. She may cite solar thermal activity in the news for taking people off grid for years as reason to collect flashlight batteries, lanterns, propane, etc. She should get old fannie farmer cookbook and old canning recipes and say she wants to try like the pioneeers.

  21. People from urban areas who typically encounter the same sorts of natural disasters aren't always prepared; I'm thinking of recurriing things that you know are going to happen, like hail, rain, snow, mudslides, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, whatever happens in your area. I suggested to a friend who has children and lives in an area affected by wildfires that something as simple as keeping a couple of cases of bottled water in the trunk of her car would help a lot; not thinking of fighting fire, just that if she has to pick up and go or the water at home is undrinkable she's ahead of the game. And she's a member of one of those shopping warehouses; they must sell huge bundles of water bottles.