America, The Farewell Tour
America, The Farewell Tour
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If you thought you knew Chris Hedges–be surprised. The globally renowned Pulitzer Prize-winner gives us an entirely new view of a nation in crisis in a stunning book that holds both liberals and conservatives to account–as rousingly pertinent for Canada as for the disoriented US. Beautifully written, it clarifies vividly and unforgettably the forces at play in our times.In astonishing, tough, first-hand reportage, Chris Hedges draws on stories from inside communities across America and reveals how the hurricanes of change have allowed an array of pathologies to arise: the opioid crisis, the retreat into gambling, the corporate coup d’état of government, the pornification of culture, the rise of magical thinking, the emboldening of violence and hate, the plagues of suicides, and the global upheaval caused by catastrophic climate change. These are just some of the physical manifestations of a society unravelling. Such ills presage a frightening reconfiguration of our lives–particularly in the face of our neighbour’s degeneration as a world power.
Donald Trump rode this disenchantment to power. Hedges–who was unsurprised by Trump’s victory–shows how neither the left nor the right are addressing the systemic problems. Until the corporate coup d’état is reversed, these diseases will grow and ravage the country. A humane cry for a decent future, this remarkable book is our wake-up call to reality. “The title says it all. In powerfully reported chapters—including ‘Decay’ (deindustrialization), ‘Heroin’ (the opioid epidemic), ‘Sadism’ (the pornography-industrial complex), and ‘Hate’ (racism)—Hedges talks to the most oppressed and dispossessed citizens of an empire he thinks has not much more than a decade of life left.” —Maclean’s“Hedges flatly asserts that the nation named the United States of America is in its death throes. . . . He is a respected mind. . . . Hedges is trying to rally the troops to salvation.” —Winnipeg Free Press“In this no-holds-barred book, Hedges covers an America in crisis—from the opioid crisis to the current political situation, joblessness, breakdown of communities and more. A depressing, important read.” —New York Post“This is a difficult book to read. Brace yourself. Then read it. The things of which [Hedges] speaks are things that we should know and understand.” —WYSO (Ohio)
“[O]ffers the reader an unsentimental and brilliant diagnosis of our ongoing national malaise, and it goes off in your face like a truth-bomb—you want to look away, but you can’t, and dare not. . . . An unflinching look at the ‘corporate coup d’etat’ that has all but gutted the civic and economic structures of the United States, pushing the country toward inevitable collapse. Not one to pull punches, [Hedges] combines ground-zero investigative reporting with high-octane analysis to detail the disaster that has befallen us and its effects in terms of very real human suffering—rampant drug addiction, prostitution and gambling, to chronic poverty, the loss of manufacturing jobs and the rise of hate groups. . . . It’s a tough book to read, but absolutely vital.” —Eugene Weekly
“Chris Hedges wants us to face realities. Our society is unraveling, institutionally and structurally, and is being replaced by the corporate state of merging big business and government. Commercialism overwhelms civic values, impoverishes its subjects, and reaches into childhoods, bypassing parental authority. Poverty, addiction, gambling, and hopelessness spread like epidemics. Only we the people can reverse the disintegration of democracy by plutocracy. . . . Chris Hedges depicts the horrifying truths on the ground from which resistance rises to jolt us into an active, realizable culture of reconstruction.” —Ralph Nader
“Chris Hedges is perhaps today’s most important public intellectual, and America, The Farewell Tour is perhaps his most important book. If we as a society are able to move past our current ‘sickness unto death,’ as Kierkegaard put it, it will be in great measure thanks to books like this one.” —Derrick Jensen, author of The Culture of Make Believe CHRIS HEDGES spent nearly two decades reporting in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. After fifteen years at the New York Times, he now writes a weekly column for the online magazine Truthdig. His bestselling books include Empire of Illusion, Death of the Liberal Class and his classic War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. He is married to the Canadian actor Eunice Wong. They live in Princeton. It was a sweltering July afternoon when fifty protestors, many dressed in fatigues and wearing shirts that identified them with groups such as Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Bikers for Trump, the Alt Knights and a militia group called American Patriot the III%, gathered in a gravel parking lot in Deposit, New York. They had come for the “Second Annual Ride for Homeland Security.” Pick-up trucks, cars and motorcycles were adorned with American flags. Deposit, a depressed, rural community in upstate New York with a population of 1,577, is located at the confluence of the Oguaga Creek and the West branch of the Delaware River near the border of Pennsylvania.
The protestors, several driving all night, planned to ride past a small community called Islamberg, an enclave of 200 mostly black Muslims in nearby Hanover, with 70 acres of farmland and woods. The community, with its modest homes of wood and cinder blocks along dirt roads, is a punching bag for right-wing conspiracy theorists.
The protestors milled about in the parking lot under the gaze of nearby State Police. Three counter protestors stood near a car and filmed the group. The event opened with a short prayer. A stocky man handed me a flyer titled, “Islam: A religion of peace?” It read:
Koran 2:191 “Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran 3:28 “Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” Koran 3:85 “Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” Koran 5:33 “Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam.” Koran 8:12 “Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Koran.” Koran 8:60 “Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.” Koran 8:65 “The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.” Koran 9:5 “When opportunity arises kill the infidels wherever you find them.” Koran 9:30 “The Jews and Christians are perverts, fight them.” Koran 9:123 “Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood.” Koran 22:19 “Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water, melt their skin and bellies.” Koran 47:4 “Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them.”
There are far more calls by the God of the Hebrew Bible and Christian Book of Revelations for holy war, genocide and savage ethnic cleansing than the Koran from the killing of the firstborns in Egypt to the wholesale annihilation of the Canaanites. God repeatedly demands the Israelites wage wars of annihilation against unbelievers in Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua and the Book of Revelations.
Everyone, including women, children and the elderly, along with their livestock, are to be killed. Moses ordered the Israelites to carry out the “complete destruction” of all cities in the Promised Land and slaughter all the inhabitants, making sure to show “no mercy.” From Joshua’s capture of the city of Ai to King Saul’s decimation of the Amalekites—Saul methodically dismembers the Amalekite king—God sanctifies bloodbath after bloodbath. “You shall not leave alive anything that breathes,” God thunders in the Book of Joshua, “But you shall utterly destroy them.” Joshua “struck all the land, the hill country and the Negev and the lowland and the slopes and all their kings. He left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel had commanded.” (Joshua 10:40, 11:15). And while the Koran urges believers to fight, it is also emphatic about showing mercy to captured enemies, something almost always scorned in the Bible where, according to Psalm 137, those who smash the heads of Babylonian infants on the rocks are blessed. Whole books of the Bible celebrate divinely sanctioned genocide. The Koran doesn’t come close.
Islamberg was founded in 1980 by African-American followers of the Pakistani Sufi cleric Mybarik Ali Shah Gilani. Gilani, who lives in Pakistan, urged his followers to leave urban areas and form religious communities in rural parts of the country. There are about a dozen communities across the United States adhering to Gilani’s teachings. There is no evidence of criminal activity taking place in the community according to local law enforcement.
This does not prevent Fox News and other right-wing outlets from referring to Islamberg as the center of homegrown American jihadism. Gilani is routinely linked to the murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was in Pakistan writing a story about the British national Richard Reid, known as the “shoe bomber,” and his possible links to Al Qaeda. Pearl believed he was being taken to meet Gilani at a restaurant in downtown Karachi on the evening of January 23, 2002 when he was abducted. A radical Islamic group beheaded Pearl in a gruesome video nine days later. Gilani was cleared of all involvement in Pearl’s death.
The Clarion Project posted a YouTube video in 2014 titled, “Guerilla training of women at Islamberg, Hancock, N.Y., headquarters of Muslims of the Americas.” The video showed blurry clips of women wearing fatigues and headscarves doing marching drills along a road and scrambling though underbrush carrying assault rifles. The .Christian Action Network calls Islamberg “America’s first Islamic government.” It charges that the children in the community are being groomed to be terrorists, that girls are denied an education, and anyone who breaks the community’s rules “are often tied to trees and whipped for disobeying.”
The demonization of the rural community of Muslims eventually promoted racists to act, illustrating the deadly convergence of the alt-lite and the alt-right. The FBI aborted a firebombing and armed assault on the community planned by Robert Doggart, a former Congressional candidate from Tennessee in 2015.. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. On June 2, 2017, Johnson City Police arrested Ramadan Abdullah, forty miles from Islamberg, and seized multiple pistols, assault weapons, and about 10,000 rounds of ammunition ranging from .38-caliber to armor-piercing incendiary rounds. Law enforcement officials did not link Abdullah with Islamberg. The Clarion Project, however, claimed Abdullah was one of the founders and that his weapons were for the “guerilla training compound.”
Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a “fight-club ‘fraternity’ of young, white, pro-Trump men to defend free speech rights by ‘alt-right’ leaders and engage in street fighting,” publicized the Clarion Project’s report.
“This past month there was an arms bust in Johnson City, New York down the road from the compound,” the Proud Boys wrote. “It was later confirmed that the man in question was indeed headed to Islamberg, and the weapons were needed to ‘protect themselves’ against an upcoming ‘biker rally’ (that would be us).”
The prospect of a gun battle with radical Muslims may have discouraged members from attending, according to Konstantine Dee from Queens, a 32-year-old Proud Boy at the protest.
Still, the “Second Annual Ride for Homeland Security” managed to attract a larger turnout than the year before, when only five members of the American Bikers United Against Jihad showed up.
These types of rallies and events acculturate and groom white racists to carry out acts of violence.
Daniel Peters drove nearly four hours to join the ride past Islamberg. He works six days a week from home in New York City as a computer network manager, starting at 7:00 am and sometimes not finishing until 11:00 pm.
When Peters joined the Oath Keepers last year, it was a relief to finally “not feel alone.” He called Islam “an evil cult” and denounced the prophet Mohammad as “a very bloodthirsty, sadistic killer.”
“Historically, either they kill you or you kill them,” he said.
He conceded that the Muslim population in the United States was small but noted that when the Europeans came to America they were also numerically a minority.
“Look,” he said, glancing at the State Police who flanked the road towards Islamberg. “They’re setting aside the traffic for us and everything. I feel like I’m in a Bill Clinton convoy.”
“History is filled with collapses of civilizations,” he said. “What happens in America, is the price of food will sky-rocket. There’s going to be some kind of long-term disaster. For long-term survival after a disaster, it requires a community for security.”
He said the impending collapse was a major reason he joined Oath Keepers.
Much of the drive behind the rise of alt-right and militia groups is the fear of societal collapse. They contend that once the electric grid goes out it will trigger a race war. They must be armed and prepared with stockpiles of food, water, supplies and ammunition to fight off the hordes of black and brown people that will descend on them from the chaos of urban areas.
A few months earlier, I had traveled to Logan, Utah to a “prepper” convention where those preparing for the impending collapse to heard talks and purchased survival material, including ammunition.
Suzanne Freeman, a portly grandmother, stood in a livestock pen in the Logan fairgrounds. She held a microphone attached to a portable speaker that rested on a small folding table. I sat in the bleachers with about two-dozen, white, middle-aged men and women. She said she was the mother of ten children, with three grandchildren. She described her near death experience in 1999 after suffering an ectopic pregnancy.
She said she felt her spirit rise up out of her body during surgery, and hover in the left, upper corner of the hospital room. She was able to look down on her body and the working surgeons.
“I thought, ‘I had to get back,’” she said. “I had seven children and three grandchildren. I thought, ‘I am not going to leave my body. It just isn’t time for me.’ My youngest was a year old. Maybe he was two. I started to go back. I felt this grip on my arm. It was like a bungee chord. It stopped me cold. I knew exactly what it was.”
“I’ve always wondered, would I recognize Jesus?” she asked. “I knew exactly who he was. I wasn’t exactly thrilled to see him either,” she said smiling.
“I panicked when I saw Jesus,” she said. “I didn’t want to go with him. I have seven kids, I can’t go. He says ‘Come with me.’ I’m like, ‘No, I have to go back.’”
“I remember I could feel his feelings and hear his thoughts,” she said. “I felt his love for me. But it didn’t matter. I said, ‘I’m not going with you.’ He says, ‘But there’s people who want to meet you.’”
I look around at those in the bleachers to gauge their reactions. The onlookers do not move or speak. The millennialist or Chiliastic belief – the doctrine that Christ will return to earth and rule for a thousand years – has a firm grip on the imaginations of many in Utah.
Jesus, she explained, “busted out laughing. With his laugh, it stopped me cold from the temper tantrum I was having. It was so wonderful. We always hear the Lord is perfect. He has the perfect laugh. It was so beautiful I stopped what I was doing. I was in awe. He laughed for a while.”
Jesus promised her she would be able to return. He floated with her up to heaven. They entered the gates that were adorned with a “cameo” of Jesus. She saw family members who had died and her ancestors.
“I saw this man dressed in 1800 clothes,” she said to the audience. “His arms were like this,” she said stretching out her arms, “and he was walking fast. He came up to me. I knew exactly who he was. It was Joseph Smith [the founder of Mormonism]. He shakes my hand really excitedly. He says, ‘I have to shake hands with the lady who actually told Christ no.’ He jumped over and did a back flip. Joseph Smith really did do that in those days. I’m sure he was a hyperactive child. Good thing he lived on a farm. It must have got the wiggles out of him. I distinctly remember thinking his pants doesn’t match his jacket. Later on, two or three years later, David Lindsay’s paintings, he painted a picture of Joseph Smith with blue jacket and brown pants. I told him he got it wrong. He had a brown jacket.”
She also saw Brigham Young “behind him with a top hat.” Brigham, she said, told Smith “Now is not the time!” for back flips.
The audience laughs. Most are well versed in the histories of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormons, and Brigham Young, the second president of the church.
Those in heaven lined up to shake her hand. Jesus commanded her to write about her near death experience and her visit to heaven when she returned to earth. She saw angels. She saw Jesus’s life pass before her from his birth to his crucifixion.
“His arm is around my shoulder,” she said. “He loved me so much. I could feel his pure love aiming towards me and I didn’t feel like I deserved it.”
“I was shown the last days,” she said. “At first I did not see any particular areas of the damage. I saw a flood. I saw infant babies floating down the river. We’re picking dead bodies up and this infant was alive. I really hope I’ll never be at a flood scene picking dead bodies from a freezing river. I’m hoping it was just to show that there are disasters and Heavenly Father does take people home. There’s always miracles. Some beautiful, wonderful miracles that are meant to happen for people who are meant to survive it. It doesn’t matter where you live, God will protect you if that’s what’s meant to be. In the end you will hear the spirit to be led away. We’re all human. We all need to learn that. It’s vital. I’ll just say this. There’s a lot of miracles in the last days. He has a plan. No one knows the plan but Heavenly Father. We just have to take it step by step.”
“I saw the founding fathers,” she said. “I met with them. Thomas Jefferson really struck me as a really good man…He was the first one to have a church in the White House. They claimed he cut up scriptures but he actually made a scrapbook of what the Lord said. He cut up the Bible and posted it on some other paper only of what the Lord said. I saw him write the Declaration of Independence. I saw Moses standing next to him whispering in his ear.”
“Do you guys have any questions?” she asked when she finished.
A woman raised her hand.
“What did Jesus look like?” she asked.
“His hair was brown with auburn and blonde highlights,” Freeman answered. “He had a Jewish nose and deep blue eyes. Joseph Smith had blue eyes. The blue eyes intrigued me.”
“Did you see the Second Coming?” someone asked.
“It’s not as clear for me,” she answered.
“I do have gifts [for seeing the dead],” she said. “I went to a funeral… this person comes to me. He sits on top of his flowers on his casket and just looks at me and, la-di-da! Finally I had to tell him, ‘You behave, it’s your funeral.’”
“Did you have a question?” she said pointing to a man. “I swear I thought I saw you had your hand up. It was your spirit I guess? Just kidding.”
“I talked to Mary, Mother of Christ,” she told us. “She was a very lovely lady. Very small. Not Jewish features. Blue eyes. She said there is a place—she had to get permission from Jesus—and she took us there, a place called the reassigned children area. Aborted babies go there. If someone who is pregnant makes a choice not to have the child, those children have a choice to come back and have a body.”
Freeman’s talk ended. The audience filed out respectfully. A few stayed behind to chat and ask more questions.
There was no debate in the Logan fairgrounds about the looming end times. The short hand they use for what is coming is TEOTWAWKI—“The End Of The World As We Know It.”
Stacks of the magazine American Survival were scattered around the fairgrounds. On the cover, a man with a pistol tucked into the front pocket of his cargo pants held up a compass in front of a huge military-style truck. Articles included, “On the Move: How to Build an Alcohol Stove,” “How to Hunt Ethically,” “Can You Really Trust Your City’s Resources?” “How to Get Off the Grid Now,” and “Dental Distress: How to Deal with Mouth Pain When a Dentist is Nowhere to Be Found.” Inside were ads for water filtration systems, survival knives, and weapons such as Del-Ton’s AR-15. There were also, curiously, ads for pills to treat erectile dysfunction including Viagra, Levitra and Cialis, all marketed as “Men’s Lifestyle Medications.” These “lifestyle” ads featured the head of a bald eagle and an American flag above three plastic pill containers.
One article was headlined “Discovery Channel’s ‘Naked and Afraid’ Star, E.J. Snyder, Shares His Top 10 Tips for Staying Alive.” Snyder, whose nickname is “Skullcrusher,” was shown naked with a burlap bag slung over his shoulder covering his genitals. A KA-BAR military knife dangled from a rope around his neck. He had a salt-and-pepper beard and held what looked like a burned-out torch in his right hand. The tips offered by the former soldier included “Find Water,” “Create Your Weapons” and “Keep That Iron Will.” A box at the end of the article gave his contact information and how to sign up for his survival courses.
One of the survival trucks, known as the “Plan B EMP-Proof 1986 Expandable 6×6 Command Center” was parked inside the building. I walked up a metal ramp and stood in the back. The truck was customized from the frame of an old military truck. The survival trucks, which can cost as much as $500,000 depending on the amenities, usually come with a stove and refrigerator that are hooked up to solar panels and batteries. The trucks are called “bug out” vehicles with the assumption that in an emergency a family can climb into one and “bug out”—flee into the wilderness to survive.
Many of those in the fairgrounds speculated that North Korea, or perhaps China, Russia or Iran, was building a satellite that would be used to detonate a nuclear weapon over the United States to trigger what they called an EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, that will kill millions and wipe out much of the country’s electric grid. In this scenario the electrical grid will be down for as long as a decade.
Chaos and anarchy will swiftly envelop the country. Roving gangs of predators, who I sense from conversations were poor people of color, desperate for food, will terrorize rural white America. Those who did not retreat into fortified bunkers with crates of food, water, weapons and stockpiles of ammunition would be killed.
A popular item at the Fairground stalls was the “Faraday bag” to protect electronic items such as cellphones from the crippling electromagnetic pulses.
There is no evidence that such a weapon exists. But proponents, who have drawn elaborate diagrams and charts, buttress their dark predictions with the Book of Revelation, The Book of Mormon, dizzying numerical sequences and astrological charts. They also peddle the “Blood Moon Prophecy” – the belief that four consecutive lunar eclipses and six full moons in between that began with the April 2014 lunar eclipse and ended with the lunar eclipse on September 2015 is divine proof that the apocalypse is approaching. The leaders of the Mormon Church denounced the “Blood Moon Prophecy” but it finds wide acceptance among survivalists.
I found Brandon Mysliwiec, 30, and his sister, Telly, 27, sitting in camp chairs in a corner of the fairground building. Mysliwiec was the organizer of the weekend. He was from Evanston, Wyoming and ran a store that catered to survivalists. He had six children. He said he had stockpiled enough supplies, including 30,000 pounds of wheat and “hundreds of blankets,” for his extended family of 36, to survive for seven years.
“I have solar panels and generators for everybody,” he said. “Walkie-talkies for everybody. Toilet paper alternatives. We’ve got first aid. You name it, we have it.”
He told me his entire extended family, including the older children, owned weapons and practiced shooting.
“My father’s AR-15 doesn’t do more than my 30-30 does,” he said. “There’s no difference. The AR-15 is a .223, so there’s much smaller bullets, which makes it less lethal but more accurate.”
Mysliwiec, like nearly everyone I spoke to at the fairgrounds, said God spoke to him directly.
“I literally had words thrown in my head,” he said. “It was a few years ago. I was probably 28. I am Mormon. I had a dream, I won’t go into that, but after the dream I woke up and sat there and pondered a few things from my dream. And then I literally had words coming into my head. I don’t know if I can say it exactly word for word. It was inspirational. But basically it said I needed to find a way to help people get prepared.”
Mormons are instructed by the church to stockpile food and supplies for the second coming.
He said he tells survivalists to buy 300 pounds of wheat. It is less than $100 dollars and it can keep someone alive for a year, he told me, if they eat a pound a day.
“It’s the cheapest way,” he said, “although you’ll hate it.”
“The best thing to do for water is just keep two weeks of water,” he said. “A gallon a day per person. Get yourself a good filter.”
He had Faraday bags made by Tech Protect for sale on a folding table along with products he manufactured, including essential oils for medicinal use and fluoride-free homemade toothpaste.
“You should have seeds in your storage,” he went on. “If our infrastructure is knocked out, you’ll need a way to survive until the infrastructure is rebuilt. What if your year supply of food runs out? You need to have something to do. Eat off your storage while you plant your first garden.”
He said survivalists should form groups of about 100 people to defend and sustain themselves.
“I’m happy about a collapse coming,” he said. “I see the way the world is now. I’d rather have it collapse now and start over.”
“We do believe tribulations is a cleansing time,” he went on. “There are plenty of people who will die specifically to be cleansed from the earth.”
Telly, who has two small daughters, had to cope as a girl with the anxiety that comes growing up in a household preparing for the apocalypse.
“I grew up with my dad talking about it,” she said. “I felt my whole life I was living in a state of crisis. I developed a lot of anxiety…I was scared. I had panic attacks. I had anger problems.”
I walked outside the fairgrounds building. Dan Weatbrook, a Mormon truck driver from Garland, Utah who started work each day at 4:30 am, was cooking pancakes on a wood-burning “Rocket Stove.” The 700-pound stove had a four-foot griddle and a 3-foot oven. It sold for $5,850. He was handing out small pancakes on white paper plates.
“I was driving up one morning and this spirit said to me to feed a lot of people with no electricity,” he said. “That’s the only instruction I got. Certainly before that I had never heard of a rocket stove. I became interested in it. It was no accident.”
“I believe what the prophets say,” he said. “I believe what the Bible says. There’s going to be hard times. The Book of Revelations is very specific.”
He looked at the stove, which resembled a black box with two vertical pipes at the back.
“What makes it sound like a rocket is the roar,” he said. “They use a lot of air and a little bit of fuel. Rocket stoves are all over the Internet.”
He handed me a paper plate with a warm pancake on it. He said he began to construct his stoves for a few hundred dollars apiece.
“We have eight children,” he said. “We lost twin boys. We have six married. And 18 grandchildren. So I make 10 stoves. Then I pat myself on the back and say, ‘Ah, I’ve done it.’ The spirit comes back and says ‘No, go bigger.’”
“At the end of one year, when we lose electricity nationwide, ninety percent of Americans will be dead,” he said. “How many people in New York City? They’ve got no food. They’ve got no way to cook. You need to get away from big populations as quickly as possible. Just read some Revelations. That happened in Katrina in New Orleans. Three days and you got cops in Wal-Mart looting.”
He said he grew much of his own food and raised chickens. He quoted from Chapter 46 of the Book of Mormon.
“I will tell you when it is time to flee and when it is time to arm for war,” he recited.
“Then in chapter 48,” he went on, “it says you protect your land, property, and people. So I spent the last two and a half years, and many, many thousands of dollars, and [I’m] armed for war. I buy lots of guns and bullets. They are AR 15’s. Pistols. My neighbor is a big hunter, he has lots of guns.”
James Vierra, in another animal pen inside the building, described the aftermath of an EMP attack.
He cited The Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack, which estimated that within 12 months following a nationwide blackout, “up to 90 percent of the U.S. population could perish from starvation, disease, and societal breakdown.” Urban areas, he predicted, would descend into savagery with the collapse of law and order, the loss of drinking water, refrigeration, heat, air conditioning, and telecommunication. Food stores would be looted and emptied within a few days. Gas stations, fire stations and hospitals would cease to function.
There would be no telephone service or radio and television broadcasts. Credit cards would be useless. The destroyed electrical transformers, most made by foreign companies, would take years to replace.
“When it comes down, it creates the Compton Effect,” he said, as he showed the crowd a slide of what the EMP attack would look like. “The photon gamma rays released from the nuclear device come into contact and knock a free electron loose. The loose free electron gets charged and magnetized at the same time. That’s what makes it so deadly. It attaches to our natural magnetic fields on the earth. It starts to spin.”
“If the blast happens at night and it’s a clear night we’ll see the blast,” he said. “By the time we see the light it’s already done. The lights won’t work anymore in the house.”
He spoke in pseudo-scientific jargon about “the elements of ATMP,” the “E1 pulse and “SCADA” or “Secured Communication and Data Acquisition.”
A man asked if an EMP weapon had ever been used by the U.S. military.
“It’s classified,” he answered curtly. “There’s nothing that’s been released to the public. I have tried to acquire some information on this. I have been denied access.”
“Include Heavenly Father in your plan,” he advised. “If I’m in a situation where I need to protect my family with physical force, the Lord is behind me.”
He warned that “gangs” from cities with “military grade weapons” would roam the countryside.
“I have a rifle that I can shoot at 1,200 yards,” he said. “I might be spending a lot of time on my roof. Unless they have a drone and can see my laying there, I can reach them.”
“So the main threat will be foreign, from China or Korea?” a man asked.
“No,” he answered. “I believe it will be domestic because we are at a turning point for a revolution.”
He said that he believed when the populace rose up in revolt the US military would be ordered by Washington to use EMP weapons to shut down the nation’s power grid.
Preppers are not limited to white nativists but, as the New Yorker reported, includes the wealthy on the East and West coasts who pay $3 million and more for a luxury post-apocalypse apartments in a decommissioned nuclear missile silo in Kansas. Silicon Valley billionaires have bought up thousands of acres of land in the Mid-West and in remote parts of the globe such as New Zealand where they too plan to hole up and wait out the apocalypse.
This fusion between preppers and the alt-right has the common denominator of nationalism, xenophobia and racism.
 See “Deposit village, New York,” United States Census Bureau, https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml?src=bkmk.
 Laila Kearney, “A tranquil Muslim hamlet in the Catskills – until the attack plot,” Reuters, June 1, 2015, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-islamberg-insight/a-tranquil-muslim-hamlet-in-the-catskills-until-the-attack-plot-idUSKBN0OH1D920150601.
 “US Islamist group arming up in anticipation of Trump, report claims,” Fox News, November 29, 2016, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/11/29/us-islamist-group-arming-up-in-anticipation-trump-report-claims.html.
 Peter Finn, “Khalid Sheik Mohammed killed U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl, report finds,” Washington Post, January 20, 2011, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/20/AR2011012000057.html.
 “Guerilla training of women at Islamberg, Hancock, N.Y., headquarters of Muslims of the Americas,” Clarion Project, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxoykqCSruY.
 “America’s First Islamic Government,” Christian Action Network, https://can-test.squarespace.com/blog/2013/12/13/2nd-placeholder-postadminchristianactionorg.
 Ryan Mauro and Martin Mawyer, “Exclusive: Jihadi Cult Associate Arrested in NY With Firearms Stockpile,” Clarion Project, July 2, 2017, https://clarionproject.org/exclusive-jihadi-cult-associate-arrested-ny-firearms-stockpile/.
 “New Alt-Right ‘Fight Club’ Ready for Street Violence,” Southern Poverty Law Center, https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2017/04/25/new-alt-right-fight-club-ready-street-violence.
 PawL BaZiLe, “Proud Boys visiting Islamic training ground in NY this Saturday,” Proud Boy Magazine, July 2017, http://officialproudboys.com/columns/proud-boys-visiting-islamic-training-ground-in-ny-this-saturday/.
 Adam Gabbatt, “Five anti-Muslim protesters and 400 peace supporters meet at New York rally,” The Guardian, May 16, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/16/anti-muslim-protest-bikers-new-york-islamberg-peace-rally.
 Evan Osnos, “Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich,” New Yorker, January 30, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich. CA
|1 × 6 × 9 cm