The coming bad years

The coming bad years, economic collapse, and the end of the world as we know it.

Now that got your attention, didn’t it?

Sensational headlines sell, and that’s why people use them, but reader beware, people have been predicting “The end of the world as we know it” for a long time and it’s a moneymaker for a lot of them.

Bad days do come and go, so you should get prepared, but you don’t need to buy a lot of sensationalized “How To” books to do it.

Let’s take a look at the last 78 years of doomsday

The 1930 and 50s

The Cold War Civil Defense Programs promoted public atomic bomb shelters, personal fallout shelters, and training for children, such as the Duck and Cover films.

Survivalists cite the Great Depression that followed the Wall Street Crash of 1929 as an example of the need to be prepared.

The 1960s

Increasing vulnerability of urban centers to supply shortages and other systems failures caused many people to promote individual preparations.

Harry Browne began offering seminars on how to survive a monetary collapse in 1967, with Don Stephens providing input on how to build and equip a remote survival retreat.

Cuban Missile Crisis caused many people like my parents to build bomb shelters.

Robert D. Kephart began publishing his Inflation Survival Letter (later renamed Personal Finance). For several years the newsletter included a continuing section on personal preparedness. It promoted expensive seminars around the US on similar cautionary topics.

Don Stephens,  preparedness consultant, and survival bookseller popularized the term retreater to describe those in the movement, referring to preparations to leave cities for remote havens or survival retreats should society break down.

The 1970s

Howard Ruff warned about a socio-economic collapse in his 1974 book Famine and Survival in America. It was published during a period of rampant inflation in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. And championed the claim that precious metals, such as gold and silver, have an intrinsic worth that makes them more usable in the event of a socioeconomic collapse than fiat currency. Ruff later published milder variations of the same themes, such as How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years, a best-seller in 1979.

Colonel Jeff Cooper wrote on hardening retreats against small arms fire. Corners with this simplified implementation of a Vauban Star are now called “Cooper Corners” by James Wesley Rawles, in honor of Jeff Cooper.

In both, his book Rawles on Retreats and Relocation and in his survivalist novel, Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse, Rawles describes in great detail retreat groups.

In 1975, Kurt Saxon began publishing a monthly tabloid-size newsletter called The Survivor, which combined Saxon’s editorials with reprints of the 19th century and early 20th century writings on various pioneer skills and old technologies. Kurt Saxon used the term survivalist to describe the movement, and he claims to have coined the term.

For a time in the 1970s, the terms survivalist and retreater were used interchangeably. While the term retreater eventually fell into disuse, many who subscribed to it saw retreating as the more rational approach to conflict-avoidance and remote “invisibility.” Survivalism, on the other hand, tended to take on a more media-sensationalized, combative, “shoot-it-out-with-the-looters” image.

The Personal Survival Letter, published by Mel Tappan, was deemed by some to be one of the most important on survivalism and survivalist retreats in the 1970s. The majority of the newsletter revolved around selecting, constructing, and equipping survival retreats. Following Tappan’s death in 1980, Karl Hess took over publishing the newsletter, eventually renaming it Survival Tomorrow.

The 70s also saw survivalists established their first online presence with BBS and Usenet forums dedicated to survivalism and survival retreats.

The 1980s

In 1980, John Pugsley published the book The Alpha Strategy. After 28 years in circulation, The Alpha Strategy remains popular with survivalists. It is considered a standard reference on stocking food and household supplies as a hedge against inflation and future shortages.

Howard Ruff’s published his book How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years.

Bruce D. Clayton publishes a book called Life After Doomsday, which coinciding with a renewed arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, marking a shift away from economic collapse, famine, and energy shortages—which were concerns in the 1970s—to nuclear war. In the early 1980s

The 1990s

Interest in the survivalist movement picked up during the Clinton administration due in part to the debate surrounding the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the ban’s subsequent passage in 1994. 

The interest peaked again in 1999 triggered by fears of the Y2K computer bug. Many books warned of widespread power outages, food and gasoline shortages, and other emergencies such as planes falling from the sky.

The 2000s

Another wave of survivalism began after the September 11, 2001 attacks and subsequent bombings in Bali, Madrid, and London.

The fear of war, avian influenza, energy shortages, environmental disasters, global climate change, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina, also increased interest in survivalism topics.

During The Great Recession of 2008, many books were sold, offering survival advice for various potential disasters.

Online survival websites and blogs became popular discussing survival vehicles, survival retreats, emerging threats, and survivalist groups.

Economic troubles emerging from the credit collapse triggered by the 2007 US subprime mortgage lending crisis and global grain shortages prompted a broader cross-section of the populace to prepare.

The advent of H1N1 Swine Flu in 2009 piqued interest in survivalism, significantly boosting sales of preparedness books and making survivalism more mainstream.

Gerald Celente, the founder of the Trends Research Institute, identifies a trend he calls “neo-survivalism.” Average people were now making smart moves in intelligent directions to prepare for the worst.

The 2010s to Present

National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers emerged recently to capitalize on the growing Prepper movent and, in the process, made a lot of preppers look like idiots in the minds of the viewer.

The 2012 doomsday phenomenon was a cash cow for booksellers that warned of a range of cataclysmic or otherwise transformative events that would occur on or around December 21, 2012.

The years following have seen many doomsday predictions come and go just as they have throughout history. The latest one said the end of the world as we know it would happen on December, 21, 2019. And it did not happen. Author Davis Montaigne predicted:

“On December 21, 2019, survivors will experience the first day of a pole shift – when the entire surface of the planet will shift out of position and move over the more fluid layers beneath the crust. Over the next few days, this will cause earthquakes and tidal waves and volcanic activity, which will almost completely destroy what is left of our civilization,” Montaigne predicts“There is a mountain of evidence in historical, geological, and biological records showing such pole shifts have happened before. Even the Bible describes them repeatedly. I think that we will experience another pole shift for the week following December 21, 2019, getting worse each day until the natural disasters culminate on December 28 – Judgment Day.”

Oh well, better luck next time, Davis.

Bad days will come, they always do, and one of them very well may end it all, but don’t live in fear. Be prepared and enjoy your life on this amazing planet we call earth.

Here is a long list of other predictions if you are interested.

Most of the information above was referenced from