The different faces of fear

I can say fear was constant. Sometimes moved you and made decisions for you, sometimes was just as a reminder in back of your head. Fear from unknown, fear from pain, fear from minor things that can become disaster, things like cold or injury.

Just like with most of the things there is no rules, so fear is different for different kind of people, and not everybody react same. Someone can say that fear can kill you, yes I agree, but also fear can save your life. Fear can „do“ things instead of you.

I ve seen people doing some weird and crazy things just because they were terrified for their life or lives of their families. I seen man who beat two armed men with rifle, he was driven mad with fear, fear for his family what those two men gonna do to them. He did not even try to shoot , he just use his rifle as some kind of stick or baton, and beat those two guys almost to death.

He was not something like Chuck Norris or anything similar, he was terrified father. Fear just turned him into a monster.

When you find yourself in situation of life and death fear can just overwhelm you.

I was in situation where i needed to stay low and quiet while group of men go pass me, it was matter of life and death and I knew it. I remember my heart was bumping so loud that I was thinking „those guys gonna hear me, they gonna hear my heart“, I was breathing normally I guess but I remember that I thought I breath so loud and I was turning around and checking because I thought someone else is breathing behind me.

Later it got much easier. In first few situations fear controls you, after some times you slowly learn that you need to control fear. If you have enough time for learning that.

But again different people react different. But fear is always there. Over the time you learn sometimes to control it, and use it in your favor, as a extra power actually, as some kind of adrenaline pump starter. So you can do some things faster and better. This is the point you want to get to.

I am talking about ordinary man, not prepared, not trained.

What I learned for sure and what is pretty much obvious is fact that people did not get killed because they feared a lot, they get killed mostly because they reacted wrong, fear paralyzed them.

It is good when fear push you to act, run or fight, do something, do anything. It is bad when you get paralyzed.

First time when a gang came in some bigger numbers, in some form of attack I think harder thing for us was to realize fact that they have bad intentions I mean that they want to hurt us or kill us, after that fear took place, and that fear moved us to defend and to fight.

As i say later we all more or less learned to control fear and to somehow use it in our favor. Some did that better than others, some learned some did not want to.

One of my neighbour was normal guy, with normal life. He just could not understand that sh!t hit the fan and nothing is normal anymore. He was a guy who just payed to much attention to be law abiding citizen, never drove too fast, use seat belt, pay taxes, watch your language, trust the government.

Anyway when shtf, all kind of „police forces“ came up. I mean suddenly there were all kind of armed groups going trough town and doing things in the name of law or in the name of the „cause“ or whatever.

They rob, killed, mobilize people to fight for them. In those days for some people it was just hard to understand that law is gone, and there is something like „each men for himself“.

And each one of this group claiming that they have right to use force in the name of law and in the cause of protecting the people. Of course those armed groups were mostly just gangs more or less.

During our discussions in the first days of chaos, he stated to me that he can not go against the law, in other words he said to me if some police force came to his door and wants something from him, he cannot refuse it. Because those guys are the law, and he just cannot go against law.

I had other opinion, mine was more like who ever is armed and wants to enter my house is my enemy.

He just did not accept fact that times have changed. He was afraid to accept it, he wanted to believe that everything is fine and someone will take things into hands instead of him. He was this sort of the government will take care, some higher power will sort thing out guy.

When guys came to his door in the name „of law“ he just opened door and go with them, for „some talk in headquarters“.

After they rob him, he spent few months in their prison, working for them. I know that he was armed when they came, and I know that he could have tried to resist them, they probably in that case would turn back and find some easier target. But he choose to listen to them, he choose to trust them that they are law, and they are doing what is best for him.

I think he was just paralyzed by fear of the fact that he can somehow not abide the law. Even deep inside he probably knew that those guys are not any kind of law, he maybe just wanted to believe that everything is gonna be fine.

Like I speak about many examples in my course people see what they want to see and especially when things get tough they try to look for good things in bad situation. Unfortunately if there are no good things some even convince themselves there are.

Lesson in survival and dying

I work in medical field and last week we had emergency that reminded me of something I first learned in my SHTF time. It is lesson in survival even if it helps also with dying.

So during my SHTF time. The night this happened started normal. I left my house right after dark. That night shelling was a lot. I had bad feeling, I remember that. Not that it was not normal to have bad feeling going out but this night I remember was worse.

Before shell hits, depending on shell, you have a bit time to hide. Not much, seconds at best. So you hide to stay not seen and when you hear sound of artillery you try to make yourself even smaller. Usually jump behind next pile of rubble or whatever is there.

Early that night I came to bigger street and some shells came down in front of me. I was still in ruined building hiding so no problem. I made it over street a bit later and then saw the mess. Woman, I do not know age had caught shrapnel to her body and face.

She somehow got in entrance of house and was lying there in shock. It looked bad. I did not know what to do. She tried to touch her face but there was not much left. She keep on saying she can not see. I told her to be calm and that help comes. It did not but I did not know what else to say. There was nobody to help and hospital with few doctors and few medication was in different part of city.

Then I took her hand that she stop touching her face. She became more quiet, almost relaxed. So I sit there, hold hand and she start talking about how nice place was before war. We sit and talk maybe twenty minutes, not sure if she really heard me and then she was gone.

I thought that holding hands has helped her to take last journey more relaxed.

I saw many people dying in my time in war and always try to give them gentle touch if they want. It usually has same effect. They get more relaxed and peaceful. Some want to roll up and left alone too but many more do not want to be alone.

Now when I work in emergency service I know how important that is. Last week we had emergency car accident with older married couple involved. Man ended up dead right away, woman survived. I hold her hand on way to hospital and few days later she remembered and thanked me for that.

This is not only for woman but for man too. If you still see and under shock you might feel like in bad dream, someone holding your hand can help you bring you closer to normal.

So if you can do anything to help do it, if you know first aid and nobody else already doing it, do it. Other than that show that they are not alone. Holding hand can work wonders. They are scared and do not want to be left alone.

This can make big differnce for someone even if it is in last minutes of life.

Survival of women during SHTF

JL is a female member of my survival course and she asked a lot of woman specific questions about my SHTF experience. I decided to interview women because of that. I can talk about my experience but women live often in different world of feelings and emotions.

I spoke with first woman named Una, now 52 (so in her 30s back then) who took care of her family during that time. I asked JL to send me some questions she had on her mind and she did. If you have more women specific questions write in comments. I recorded interview and translated to English (sorry my English not proper English).

Una started to describe her situation

My first and worst concern was what is gonna happen with my kids, I had two toddlers, and I did not have any clue what is gonna happen, or even what is gonna look like when hell broke lose. We did not want to believe it could happen. We heard the sound of big guns miles away and stories of violence, rape and murder but everything looked so peaceful.

At the beginning, actually right before everything started during my meetings with my friends and colleagues at work we discussed the deteriorating situation, and pretty soon I found myself faced with important decision: is it worth to send my kids to some more “secure” region or to some relatives to neighboring country, or keep them with me, and wait what happens.

I never had question am I going to leave this place, I found it normal to stay in my city, with husband, in my house. Looking back now I know it was big mistake.

If I want to describe my worst feeling trough all of that, it was not hunger, danger, fire, cold or anything like that. It was definitely the feeling of uncertain future, complete absence of feeling that I control coming events, I was helpless and just like a leaf in a storm. Anything could happen.

Anyway I choose to keep my kids with me, still do not know if it was right decision. Survival was tough even at places I planned to send them before everything started. I found out after everything was over.

Anyway they survived, but with some mental trauma like everybody else who survived.

Some of my friends who send their kids through some organization to other countries, had kids getting lost and disappear, and in some cases they found place somewhere else but the kids lost connection with parents. If parents survived they became strangers with each other.

How did things start to change in your city?

Some very new emotions came up during that time, I was watching how city was dying slowly, together with normal behavior of people.

In the beginning people tried to stay together, I mean in the terms of neighbors helping each other. They had “normal” way of communication in the beginning. But as more bloody details, murder, rape and other crime became common trust faded and was replaced by fear.

Slowly people started to move away from each other and there was just us or them. Groups were not open anymore. No more welcoming.

I thought of my self as strong woman before, but that was before being without food and losing normal control of my life. I was teacher before everything, and of course I lost my job just like almost everyone. Nothing worked like it was supposed to work. I did not even have idea to continue to teach my kids at home, or try something similar, to survive took all my energy.

Did you have any ideas of how you would survive if you were alone or not?

I was with my husband and family and I think I would not have survived alone. Not because I’m weak spirited woman lacking will to survive but simply because what I saw and experienced was so different and “out of this world” that I would have not been able to handle it alone.

Being in family or group makes you part of something, if other depend on you and you have other who go through same unreal situation it makes you fight harder. I understand those people who gave up and locked themselves in to die.

Did you feel being a woman gave you any advantages or disadvantages?

For me I think it was better because I was a woman, I mean I was in a way protected from some of the hardest things, like finding food, resources or fighting. Hardest jobs were done by men, it was matter of luck for me. Woman are just more useful for certain kind of job like taking care of kids or wounded or sick people. Woman also have more feelings so some things like using violence does not come easy.

Did you realize how bad it would get?

No, definitely not, many times I thought this can not be worst and then it got worse.

Fighting for survival can reduce people to animal that we all are. Sometimes it was hard to still see that they or we are human. So much that we think makes us human is removed and then there is something very basic and brutal left. It comes as surprise that people can act without emotions like compassion that make us human. Since that time I never thought about humans like before.

How did the close people around you treat you?

I was protected, guarded in a way because I was a woman. It was not matter of some kind of gentlemen thing, I believe it was mostly about fact that I do my part of duties, like taking care for kids, food, trying to keep things clean etc. When I had to shoot, nobody would tell me: you are a woman you cant do that. Everyone in group had to function and people treat you good if you do.

What was your situation meaning how many people did you have as support, if any?

I spent that period in a group with 6 men, 3 woman and 4 kids.

What are you doing today that prepares you for any similar event or how did that change the way you live?

I have food in my house for several months, weapons and I am ready to leave everything at the first sign that something similar gonna happen. Everything.

Did anything happen that you handled differently than you assumed you would?

I was thinking a lot about that, and whatever I am gonna say it could be wrong. You get into situations that you can not imagine so there was no way to predict what to do. I saw hard man break and weak man be strong. Many people who showed off strength to the outside world before things got really hard were those who broke first. I think they build up a mask to hide their inner weakness.

I broke too but people still relied on me so I had to do my part. I kept myself together but the whole situation left big scars inside of me.

There were quiet and normal people like you [Selco] who managed to come out of all this stronger and who got used to situation faster and without much suffering. Maybe you were born for that I still do not understand people like you.

Were you concerned about hygiene and feminine body issues or would you say the lack of food water etc caused this not to be a concern?

How could lack of water etc not to be a concern? It was the opposite.

But over the time we learned that hygiene is not most important thing on the world, as dirty as that sounds. Other things occupied my mind, like with what to feed my kids, or how to make any kind of meal from very few things.

What did you notice that women did differently to handle the situation, if anything?

I know for myself that special way of thinking helped me. I just close my self in my own world, I mean with my thinking and worryng, and it helped me. When my husband was worrying about when everything would come to end, and what are the chances for that, or trying to find some useful information about that, my biggest concern was how to make dinner, or to warm kids.

It was not about “men in the house” thing, that he thinks about the big issues and I do not.

I am educated person, but worrying about small, everyday things I think helped me trough all of that, without going crazy maybe. My concern was for example when kid asked me “can you make pancake?” how to answer him and make something that only looked like pancake, and tell him something like “those are special pancakes”. Those were the little missions that kept me from completely losing myself like others did.

Did anything at all go the way you would have expected?

Nothing went as expected, actually I did not know what to expect. You can not expect too much when you find yourself in a completely new situation, deadly situation.

I lived day by day without too much hope or expectation, at some point you stop caring. I survived, my family survived, and that’s it. I do not know what happens next time everything goes to hell again but I’m ready now to accept whatever comes. I easily could not be here anymore like many people I know. This stays with me for life so I appreciate every day.

Did you have a source of spiritual strength?

I changed all phases, from completely not believing to completely believing and hoping that God will do something. I lost and gained faith many many times in that period. But yes, I think my kids and care for my kids gave me some will and strength to survive and live somehow normally. I think point of taking care for someone is really important in all this.

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I currently work on translating second, much longer interview I did with a woman who survived in a group of only women. Things were harder for them. I will post interview in members section in the coming days.

If you have more woman specific questions or thoughts share what you think in the comments. What do you worry most about as woman thinking about SHTF?

Online Security Matters

*Disclaimer: This is a guest post by Jay, the guy who created this website with Selco.*

Right now the Feds are looking into warrantless cell phone surveillance after a surpeme court ruling made them turn off 3000 GPS tracking devices.

That might have been the latest big news of a government slowly removing the rights of their citizen. That governments worldwide actively surveillance online communication is already old news.

Staying anonymous online

“According to current and former intelligence officials, the spy agency now monitors huge volumes of records of domestic emails and Internet searches as well as bank transfers, credit-card transactions, travel and telephone records. The NSA receives this so-called ‘transactional’ data from other agencies or private companies, and its sophisticated software programs analyze the various transactions for suspicious patterns”. Source

It is free to your imagination what “suspicious patterns” are. They might not target preppers today, but we don’t know what’s going in five years from now so it is needles to say, it is important to be prepared in this area as well. Better to take care of this now before they have an even more detailed profile of you.

If you want to stop worrying about who might read what or how your data is used then this is for you.

Let’s get started.

How the Internet works

If you want your computer to be able to use the Internet, it has to be able to send and receive data. It does so through a particular language called TCP/IP (or Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol).

The computers that host websites are commonly known as servers and just like your Internet access point (your home network, for example) they all have unique IP addresses, a series of numbers unique to your computer. (Visit this website or google for “my ip” to see yours.)

IP addresses make the Internet work because to exchange packets of data computers need to know where to get that data and where to send it.

Your Internet service provider (ISP) assigns you an IP addresses. There are two kinds of IP addresses: those that remain the same (called a static IP address), and those that change every time you connect to the Internet (called a dynamic IP address).

Your Internet service provider logs and stores your IP address for some months (or even years) depending on the country you live in and the the company’s own policies.

Your IP address is stored in case any authorities want to track the identity of a certain Internet user. In this case the ISP hands over the IP logs to the authorities which shows whose account was used.

Your IP address is also recorded whenever you access websites, send emails or do other activities online. If you prefer to maintain your privacy, there are a few steps you can take to truly remain anonymous online.

Let’s have a look what happens when you visit a website using a regular Internet connection. You enter an Internet address in your browser, let’s say the website of the Brazilian government. Your ISP routes this request to their domain name servers (DNS) which searches for the IP that corresponds with the Internet address you entered. The DNS returns the IP of the server where the Brazilian government website is hosted and establishes a route to it.

This route can go through many networks and it always sends your network IP along so at the end of this route the server in Brazil sees a request from your IP address and sends back the data you requested. That can be a certain web page, document or movie file for example.

Your IP address can be logged at every step of the process. Most likely the Brazilian government will monitor who visits their website, your ISP logs your IP anyway, and in between some other networks you come across might also log your IP address.

Why does this matter?

Open to attacks

First of all, people can try to access your network if they know your IP address and have some knowledge of network security and how to find loopholes in that security. So if you visit a website that is run by a group of hackers who want to spy on you or steal your data, once they have your IP address they can start breaching your network security.

Of course today it’s usually not a single person sitting somewhere and trying to take down individual computers. Instead, the whole process is automated and IPs are collected and networks are scanned for possible loopholes or backdoors.

(Having a router at home instead of being connected with your computer directly to your Cable / DSL / Internet modem can prevent some of the more common network attacks by the way.)

Once a backdoor is found, usually a small program is installed that can be used to install larger malicious programs on your computer, monitor your keyboard input, take screenshots, or hijack your browser.

These infected computers are often then used to attack other computers, or as a base of operation for more serious crimes. Needless to say, you don’t want this to happen to you.

Big brother knows what you are doing

The second reason you might not want your IP address logged is that it makes it easy for the government or any other authority to monitor your activity online. I personally have nothing to hide, but still do not feel I want to be profiled by some data mining software and judged for what kind of person I am depending on the websites I visit.

If the government really wants to it would be very easy to find preppers. They just have to look at the Internet activity profiles and filter out people who frequent certain websites.

So what can you do?

You will want to set up a virtual private network (VPN). You create a direct encrypted connection to another computer and from there you access the Internet. Because of the encryption your ISP has no idea what kind of data you send or receive.

It also hides your IP address, because your home IP address is not visible on the Internet and instead just the IP of the VPN server. You share the VPN server IP address with other people so there is no way to identify what websites you are browsing (because it could have been someone else too).

Here is how using the Internet without and with VPN works

[flashtag path=”https://shtfschool.com/imgs/secintro.mp4″ image=”https://shtfschool.com/imgs/secintro.png”]

New Online Privacy Course

In our new Online Privacy Course (FREE for all current Selco – One Year in Hell members) I will walk you step by step through all details of how to set up a secure home network, use the Internet without being tracked or profiled, establish safe emailing practices, make your local data storage safe, use encrypted voice over ip connections and more.

You learn what really works and not some security theater b#llshit that is spread by many who just spend a few days searching on public websites for security information. Yes, that pisses me off because feeling secure while not is even worse than not being secure and knowing about it.

There is a lot of false information out there. If someone is serious about security and recommends services like hidemyass or hushmail they have no idea what they are talking about or even worse, want to give you a false feeling of security. Both these services have cooperated with authorities which led to arrests of people in the past, so they can not be considered safe.

In our course you will really get to know what’s going on. This goes so far that I will show you how cyber criminals in the US and Europe are set up and operate. What works for them to not get caught, does work for normal people like us who simply want to keep our freedom as well (and is 100% legal if you just skip one step of the cyber criminal setup).

If you Google for VPN providers you will come across a lot crap providers. Many are actually logging your local IP address (to protect themselves) and therefore can hand it over to authorities if they are pressured to or receive a court order. This is security that is none.

In the Online Privacy Course you will learn what to look out for when choosing a VPN provider. You will also get a list with VPN providers who have a true no logging policy – even when their servers were seized by authorities, no users were identified (because without logs, nobody can be identified…).

Besides that you will also learn about several of other possibilities to make your communication and data bulletproof.

If you think this is not possible, you did not check out the course. I show you how can stack layer upon layer of security in a way that makes it simply impossible to get to you (VPN’s are just part of the puzzle).

Right now the course is free for everyone who is member of Selco’s Online Course. So if you sign up today you will get access to both courses.

You will get video tutorials and step by step instructions with screenshots for everything but if you have any questions or anything is unclear I also answer questions in our forum. If you did not know, we also have a 30 day money back guarantee because we are confident you will like what you learn.

Current members

You will see the link to the course in the members area menu on the left.

You might have to logout and login again that your permissions are updated and you can access the new area.