Doomsday Preppers – Smart thinking or Doomsday Phobia

By Paul Pinkerton
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I’ve had many a conversation with people about Prepping and comparing it to being an outdoors person or a Bushcrafter, I had an email arrive the other day asking me to explain why there’s not more Prepping stuff on the website, after all it’s an outdoor site and we talk about survival…

It’s interesting that many people view it like this, personal I like aspects of prepping but I don’t have it in me to go the whole hog, or even half a hog.

It did remind me though of the article below that James Mandeville wrote a while back so I thought we’d include it here in case an of you are interested in the subject.


National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers – causing mass hysteria?

National Geographic TV Channel advertises as follows: “Doomsday Preppers explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, Preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality.”

It would seem that over 3 million people in the USA and countless unknown numbers elsewhere in the world are feverishly preparing for the end of civilization as we know it. But are they prudent and smart people, or are they suffering from Doomsday Phobia? Is there a growing doomsday mass hysteria fuelled by the TV series Doomsday Preppers? In this article I look at the phenomenon of Doomsday Preppers and ask the question: Are these “otherwise ordinary Americans” mentally disturbed, or are they the smart ones?

Doomsday Phobia

Doomsday phobia is nothing new. It is a broad category that can encompass any fear of the end of the world as we know it. What lies behind the phobia is not just the fear of dying (which it is ultimately) but includes a fear of suffering a period of severe deprivation and individual suffering that will culminate in the end of civilization as we know it. This is a fear of a global holocaust or a fear that locally the establishment will break down and everyone caught up in the disaster will eventually perish.

These fears stem from a single source or a combination of different sources ranging, for example, from global financial meltdown to a devastating pandemic disease. From an asteroid hitting the planet to nuclear holocaust.

Doomsday phobias are surprisingly common, occurring in some form in virtually every corner of the world. Basically, it is a fear of the unknown leading to death. Since doomsday phobias are relatively common, they are often exploited by the writers of sci–fi and horror stories. The best-known example is the 1938 radio broadcast “War of the Worlds.” This live radio broadcast claimed to follow an alien invasion that was occurring in New York City.


The broadcast was heard across the United States and lead to mass panic. In the 1990’s, the TV movie “Without Warning,” also about an alien invasion, caused fear and panic but on a smaller scale. The 2008 movie “Doomsday,” focused on the aftermath of a deadly virus outbreak, preying on our collective fear of an unstoppable epidemic.

Preppers — Historical

Doomsday Preppers make provision to prolong their lives by storing up food, weapons and by fortifying their homes to protect themselves from the horrors they firmly believe will happen. Throughout history, people have done the same thing. This is why people built castles to protect themselves from an enemy and possible annihilation. If you lived in a castle with a good supply of food and water, you had a better chance of survival than a peasant living in a hut in a field with only enough food to last a day or two.

Modern day governments made preparation to survive a nuclear holocaust. Central and regional government had their own underground bunkers, for example, at the former Cultybraggan camp in Scotland, a massive bunker constructed in secret to house up to 150 staff, sealed away from the outside world and protected from nuclear, biological and electromagnetic attacks. With its own BBC studio, canteen, telephone exchange and dormitories, the residents’ main role would have been planning for and overseeing the re-building of a post apocalypse Scotland.

English government had a massive underground complex in Wiltshire and several other secret locations. All these bunkers have now been sold off, or are currently on sale, along with bunkers built for the Royal Observer Corps and various missile silos. All remnants of the Cold War. The threat of nuclear attack hasn’t gone away, despite the end of the Cold War, but government in the UK obviously realized that in a post-apocalyptic society, there wouldn’t be much left to govern and they would not be capable of doing much to help any survivors. Most of those who survived an attack in a bunker would perish eventually and there wouldn’t be many people left to govern anyway and certainly, there wouldn’t be a taxable population!

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