We have been helping a few groups start-up some prepper groups. Some for simple networks and some are full-blown Prepper retreats. I was taken back by the social dynamics that is involved in many of these projects. We ran into all character types, from the folks that think the Government is the worst thing they have to fear to Total destruction of the world thru many different methods. It seems there were as many ideas of what folks believe or feel what exactly a network is supposed to be.
So lets start here, the Dictionaries define Network as “(NOUN) an association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual assistance, helpful information, or the like”
The Pirates Republic defines it as a group of like-minded people working together towards the common goal of Surviving any given situation that threatens the community or network of like-minded people.
Some people believe it is supposed to be a large massive group that has all sorts of talented people offering differing skill sets and others feel their network Consist of their buddies they play call of duty on the X-box with. Some are happy just keeping their network within their family unit and the people who offer the most likes to the kitty in the windows pic you served up last.
It doesn’t really matter because regardless of whom your group is formed it is of utmost importance that trust is the first and foremost requirement of all who join. after all everyone will be responsible for the security of the group. Security is the first rule of the day for everyone so be extra careful with who you choose to allow participation in this group.
Choosing wisely in those who participate is no small matter for a group leader. It falls upon these individuals to glimpse the future of the group and its intent. Although there is no crystal ball and much like parenting there is definitely no road map to certain perfection there is merely trial and error.
One thing that plagues most people who what to start a group is lack of knowledge where to start. as with many aspects of the Prepper lifestyle it is quagmire d by secrecy and well placed mistrust of those whom seek the ruin of a self-sufficient few. So this begs the question where do you begin?
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Step one is finding a single person in which you trust preferably you would trust them with your very life. this can be anyone you choose, but choose wisely because one day it may very well be in the hands of the one you choose. the one you chose can be anybody from family to friends but a vital prerequisite is they must possess a like mind as you. Many times there are those who you believe to be of like mind however, lack the same self-sufficient mentality as you foresee the groups ultimate purpose.
As an example, we worked with a group that was just starting and they numbered 8 in total 4 wanted to start a group for the purpose of self-sufficiency and they wanted to learn and grow in their knowledge of food production through Aqua-ponics, gardening, animal husbandry, land management. They not only wanted to grow in their own self-sufficient lifestyle but to assist others in their preparedness as well through the knowledge of food and water production but also security and group tactics etc but lets not linger, there is a point to be made somewhere in this drivel. these are the Sheep Dogs if you will.
A couple of the others were proverbial fence setters and would do with reluctance whatever they thought would best suit them basically rolling the dice and playing the odds. This is hardly the type of people who would be loyal to you or your group in the face of the enemy would you agree? These are the Sheep if you will. you may prefer the word “SHEEPLE”. I have been told this word offends people and turns them off of reading articles that refer to them as “Sheep” but things are what they are so lets move on.
The other two were basically the wolves, they had a plan of self-sufficiency which included using their tactical skills and train the rest of the group in security and military tactics and use those skills as leverage and the long and short of it is they would steal and extort goods from others and offer their services of protection. these are the most despicable of all those who choose to be self-reliant.
as you can see there was a huge discrepancy in the “mindset” of the initial members of the group. right from the start the members were brought together for their skills they could offer the group but the most important item was not considered. do they all share the same mindset? Skills can be learned but having different mindsets cannot be over come it is hard-coded within us.
lets look at what happened the group was formed based on individual skill sets rather than the shared mind-set of the group as a whole entity thus the leader of the group didn’t foresee the ultimate goal of the group and what it was to become. Now the sheeple of the group now what is planned and will use this knowledge to their benefit themselves. In that same thought process so to have the “wolves” gained knowledge of your intent so they to may use this to secure their own longevity at the cost of your group.
Grant it this proposal is not as simple in deed as it is in words but as I have said things are what they are.
Start with mind-set then move towards skill set, you will lessen the pitfalls experienced by many groups and thus mitigating the mistakes and concentrate on the attributes forming a group can afford you in the future.
Now as an added bonus for you reading types. Some time ago I scoured the interwebs and found some other forums talking about this very subject. the article was good but the comments to the article was the tell of the tape and makes my point. I am adding these comments to the end so you can see what others are thinking about this subject and should make you think about others.
this is Sheep Dog Like Minded thought process
“Here is something that needs to be touched on and that is group formation. I think that it goers without saying that if you are by yourself, you will have a much harder time in a situation that is one of extended duration. While you can certainly survive for short periods of time by yourself, the long-term prospects are much more difficult to prepare for.
For this reason then, I would suggest a group approach as the best one for long-term preparedness.
Groups provide several advantages over going it alone. First, of course, is company. Man is by nature, a social creature and having a group of friends and relatives around in times of crisis can be a great comfort.
Second is the sharing of skills. Not everyone can do all things well, and having people around who are better at doing necessary things than you are, allows you to concentrate on those things that you are good at. For example, cooking, medical, organization, farming, mechanics, communications, security are all skills that can be very useful in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, but very, very few people are good at all of them.
The third advantage is that of expense in getting prepared. Groups have more bargaining power than individuals and they can quite often get things cheaper. If everyone agrees on some common calibers for example, ammunition can be purchased in large quantities, and thus everyone’s expenses can be pared. Food would be another example. Purchased in bulk, it is much less expensive because there is less packaging, hence less expense in producing. Also off-brands have much less advertising expense, and their quality is usually comparable to well-known name brands. Also you can afford a much greater variety, hence a better-balanced diet.
These are some of the advantages of groups in SHTF-type situations.
Now, here are some things to watch out for.
First, you don’t need nut-cases. Some of these people can cause greater apprehension than the folks outside of the group. Rambo types, for example need not apply to any group I want to be part of.
Second are those with serious mental problems. I worked at Boeing in Renton a long time ago and when I was there, I had the unfortunate experience of working next to a gal who was actually psychotic. (And no, I did not drive her batty. She was that way long before I knew her. This gal saw people watching her that weren’t there. That type of psychotic.) Weed these people out.
Third are those people who are very insecure and think that they have to prove something all the time. This can cause a lot of friction within a group, and is to be avoided whenever possible.
Those who won’t pull their own weight should be avoided as well.
How would such a group be organized? They can be organized on a family basis, or a group of friends or maybe even through an internet forum. (hint! hint!) I would suggest that any group be confined to a specific geographic area, because in the event of trouble, you want a central rallying point that everyone in the group easily can get to, someplace to count heads as it were. For example, if someone in the group has a farm outside the beaten path, the members of the group could agree to meet at the farm. In this case, the farm could serve as both the retreat and the rallying point. Try not to make it too far away though, as you want everyone in the group to have a chance to get there. I would say that a retreat should not be any more than 100 miles from any one member.”
this is the thought process of Wolves
“Groups can also be formed into “raiders”. In the absence of laws, anything goes. Im about surviving, not rebuilding. If shtf across this nation groups would do well on both sides, good or otherwise.”
Wolf? Maybe a Mutt?
Groups would be necessary, the trouble is you would have to have some basis of trust in forming them, thus, IMO to be most able to succeed, it would need to be well established before SHTF.
I have always scratched my head at the lone wolf, bug in type city preppers. It would only take two people working in a group to relieve them of their preps.
OPSEC is imperative to the success of a group when not caught in a quagmire of indecision, how do you grow a group without stepping outside your comfort zone and vetting individuals out. Try some people on for size and I don’t mean wear their skin you freaks. this is a comment from someone who just wants to wait it out, digging a foxhole when the shooting starts is moronic!
“I think everyone agrees that having those around you to work with is a great asset, however, although I talk and interact with many, I don’t trust many. There are a few whom I’ve talked to and have agreements with in the event we need to lean on each other, but aside from that, if you aren’t family, you are on the outside.
It’s funny to hear those who have known me for years reference coming to get help in a time of need, but to their surprise I won’t be around and I won’t have anything for them. They are too cheap/lazy to prepare for themselves, and I’m not doing it for them.
I think necessity would help some groups to form at a later time, but again, building that trust is HARD and prepper types tend to be type A personalities who don’t play well with others. True leaders have an A personality but know how to relate to those following them. I don’t find many of those in my daily activities but always make a note when I do.
Here is a comment that proves the point of parallelizing with analyzing, you do nothing because of the fear of doing something wrong. The only shame to be had is doing nothing at all!
“The biggest problem I have found is the initial formation of a group. I’ve been unable to figure out a good way to vet potential members, and probably just as difficult is determining where to meet the members. Online people talk big, but many are just full of hot air. Offline, I tend to stay home rather than venture out, so I don’t meet many people, not that I’d know where to look.
With that in mind, what are some good methods of meeting like-minded individuals in which a group could possible gel? How do you avoid the blowhards? What’s the best way to vet potential friends and extended family? I can only imagine that’s what they’d become over time.”
Now we are getting with the program here is a perspective group leader“For me, it’s about what you bring to the table.
What is key? Everyone I have plans with were all meet away from prepping while doing activities we were both interested in. Hunting, fishing, building structures, mechanical, etc… After getting to know them personally I could understand their strengths and weakness an only then brought up the idea of prepping together.
I also take in to account the thoughts and beliefs of their spouses. I need to understand who might go nuts first, as they are the weakest link.
You would be amazed how many have ideas but either don’t feel comfortable or know where to start. Just talk to people. Most of neighbors are useless, aside from 3 the rest couldn’t get themself out of a wet paper sack. Several of my closest friends live in other outskirts.
Just start talking with those you are closest with”
there were a few more but this was the cream the rest are mediocre and some were just plain idiotic spouts of nonsense from sofa soldiers who are still angry because their mom starting charging them to rent out the basement.
I hope this article was informative and helpful however, i will have to end it here because sand is getting in my keyboard.
The Pirates Republic is made up of Men who Do SOMETHING because the only thing necessary for evil to thrive is for GOOD men to do nothing!
Do Something today because your tomorrow may be counting on it!