The temptations of being evil in post collapse situation

Jay and me always talk about stuff and think about next article to publish here. Last week he came home from driving somewhere at night and told me that he is not sure if he wouldn’t get “power rush” once SHTF. With power rush we mean that you take advantage of absence of law and order and play god in post collapse situation.

He asked me why I didn’t do that. Because of few reasons: I am not man like that, yeah I did shoot at people for fun actually, and also I have seen how some man gets destroyed after doing things like that.

Either go crazy or gets killed in gruesome way. So this kinda belief in destiny, karma and those things, helped me to stay away from dark side. Not in religious sense but its just general principle that I saw repeating around me.

So at the end what you do eventually hit you back in the head. Situation was bad enough so no need to make things worse.

To make things more understandable for you, I thought like Jay before war, I mean about that things. But as soon as you get involved in real sh!t you see that real things are different.

I thought I will be guy who makes decisions like god (I mean like “i will kill rape, steal, have fun”) but then I realized that when SHTF you are able only to make decisions in that small circle around you, I mean you just want to stay away from events like that, you do not want to risk anything and be part of creating more suffering.

In real SHTF people get killed so easily. Somebody who is about to get shot and knows this tried to bite the guy who shot him. It failed, but still.

Few times I already mentioned young guys (and some older too) on many survival forums, who have opinion that when SHTF it is something like mix of Mad Max movie and PC game, so all you have to do is to have gun and go around and take stuff from people and kill them and thats it.

It is not like that in real life. Doing acts of violence will shock you hard, and depending what kind of person you are deep inside and what kind of training you have be prepared to suffer consequences because of what you did.

Why people do bad things is question that is as old probably as mankind is.

Truth is that you do not know what kind of man you are and how you will act before you find yourself in SHTF situation.

You know that when times are bad all kind of scum crawl out to do their job. Kill, rape, torture, steal. But you may be surprised that monster does not necessary need to look like monster.

Gang members, criminals, addicts, they all gonna prey on people when SHTF and you will expect that of course.

But also expect that your first neighbour who is local bus driver for example, and your kids played with his kids, turns out to be sadistic maniac when SHTF.

SHTF may be his playground.

I knew lot of psychopaths who become „important“ in terms that they were deciding about life and death of folks and lot of them were nobody before SHTF, absolutely nobody, not even „decent“ criminals, point is that they always were bad deep inside, they just waited for their chance.

In most of the situations SHTF does not „make“ bad people, it just „pulls out“ the bad in them. They already were bad but often too scared because of laws to let all hate and anger and crazy ideas out.

I had many chances to maybe go easier through my time in war, but it would have required from me to do very bad things. I did not do it because I am not that kind of man.

Did I do some bad stuff? Sure, very often, but in order to survive and protect me and my family and not just for fun or to feel powerful.


During the period of my SHTF time I met all kind of folks, in all kind of situations. Bad people, desperate ones, lost ones, confused, dead ones.

After some time I had this idea that I know all kind of human characters, or even that I am some kind of „expert“ when it comes to knowing human nature in bad times. Of course I was wrong.

During one of the night looking for resources my neighbour gets caught by one of the enemy groups. He simply stumbled in the middle of dark in their hands, however stupid that sounds.

After they disarmed him and give him few casual kicks in kidneys they took him to their captain. Captain was big dude, dressed in brand new uniform, with rank markings and barret on his head. Completely in contrast with his soldiers who in short looked and smelled like animals.

Neighbour said that man looked and smelled nice, and always had smile on, but when he heard that his folks call him Baron he freezed. Baron and his unit were something like mercenaries fighting for anyone and against everyone, as needed.

They were quite popular for few things: they had private prison, their headquarters was something like mix between Roman and crazy seventies parties, with lots of women, violence, drugs and alcohol, but most famous thing was that they beat and kill for fun.

He asked my neighbour few questions, then start to beat him even before he answered it. My neighbour said that he stop with beating only after the few punches because he seen blood splashed on his uniform.

He looked disgusted with that blood on uniform and go to clean it with water while my neighbour lost one tooth in that few minutes.

His soldiers kick him few more times and then throw him in something that was before the war tiny weather observation post. Nobody came to check him all day, he spend it loosing and gaining consciousness. He awakened in the middle of the night because of strong noises, similar to shots, but not really shots. Then he realized that something was hitting that container where he was locked.

Through the small hole he sees soldiers running everywhere around, and laughing and screaming like they are having fun. Then he realized that Baron camp find itself in way of airdrops, and MREs were literally raining all around.

Maybe one hour later one of the soldiers unlocks the door, came in carrying hands full of MREs asking him : “Are you hungry?“

My neighbour did not answer anything. Guy repeated question. My neighbour said „yes“. Guy kicks him in the stomach and asked again „are you hungry?“ My neighbour said „No“.

Guy said „f#ck it man, so much food is all around and you are not in the mood“ and left the room. He lost account of time, he remembered that they gave him bottle of water to drink but no food.

And then their leader Baron came in. He carried steel bar in his hand and had smile on face.

My neighbour said that it was clear that this time he is gonna beat him to death with that bar and he tried to make some kind of peace with himself and world.

Baron started to ask questions about his family, kids, where he lives and similar stuff. My neighbour started to talk in panic about everything and he mentioned my name.

Baron stopped and asked him again about my full name and how do I look. Neighbour tells him that we are neighbours and kinda friends.

He look for few moments at him and then called two of his guys and ordered them to help him to get on his feet. They put some big bag on his shoulders, very heavy for his state. Two of the guys helped him out of their camp. When they released him Baron told him „say hello to him“.

Neighbour walked some 200 meters like in dream, expecting to get shots in the back as a part of usual game. He said he tried to remember any kind of prayer, anything, but his head was blank. But nothing happened. When he was safe he checked bag and realized it was full of MREs. Small fortune. His weapon was there too, without bullets.

He also realized that during that 200 meters he peed in his pants, he said later it was because hits in kidneys, and I said yes, but we both knew that those 200 meters were longest 200 meters in his life.

Later when we met each other and when he tell me that Baron sends greetings to me, and because that greetings my neighbours life was spared I was surprised, because I knew that man from the bad stories, but I never met him.

Anyway we split the bag of MREs sure that it was some kind of misunderstanding about that greetings.

Years later, after all was finished, and lot of things forgotten, I read small news in newspaper. That famous Baron was shot to death in overseas country during bank robbery. He was living there for years under the false name.
His picture was there and his real name too.

I realized that we went together to elementary school, play football together, listen same music, once we fall in love with same girl. I was something like his older brother or protector because he was always kinda weak or scared of conflict.

We were friends, he was shy kid and I cannot remember he ever got involved in any kind of fight. He could not stand the blood. We lost contact after elementary school.

I had mixed feelings when I read that news and realized that infamous Baron from the war, and my shy school friend were same person. He turned out to be bad man, but again he spare one life maybe in memory of that school playground or Iron Maiden LPs. Weird.

Life has very strange paths, and some very strange ways to show you that somehow everything is connected.

When SHTF you ll see that man who have power and force are making decisions over life and death and it is kinda temptative and addictive thing.

Do not get caught in the thinking and acting that you are invincible or can play god just because there is no more law out there and you have gun. Sooner or later you are gonna realize that you are vulnerable and that there are meaner people than you are and you get what you give.

Stick with your family or group and try to survive. To survive you want to minimize your risks and playing those evil “games” is not worth it.

More about my experience during war in my survival course.

24 responses to “The temptations of being evil in post collapse situation”

  1. daniel says:

    thanks again for sharing your insight. and my small city, I’m very concerned that many vigilantes will pop up. I think America will be famous for her Barons when the shtf.

  2. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Very good food for thought, I also have wondered how people will act when The Rule of Law disappears. I think that a lot of people who have taken advantage of their position NOW will find themselves faced with people looking for revenge without the threat of retribution. Some Lawyers, judges, bankers, bad spouses or former spouses – put on a pair of lead boots and take a long long drive!

    • Abani says:

      Yes, there will probably be much revenge metted out, and frankly, for most lawyers, judges, and politicians in the western world it is richly deserved. I lived in the US for many years and never experienced the court system until my father (a doctor) was sued and destroyed by a drug addict. We were shocked at how corrupt the courts are. My parents and our entire extended family soon left the United Stasi of America far behind. That is one country that will have great blood-letting and scores settled when SHTF.

    • Walter Zoomie says:

      I may end up spendin’ all my money, but I’ll still be alive!

    • j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

      That last part of the baron turning out to be a very young aquaintance is a good lesson. My Grandfather taught me this early on – TREAT EVERYONE AS KINDLY AS POSSIBLE AND NEVER ASSUME A SUBORDINATE WILL ALWAYS BE ONE. Life is funny and how you treated them before Bad Times occurred will pay you back, one way or the other.

  3. Tim says:

    So in a real SHTF, did a lot of people get shot in the back? to me that is the best way to deal with someone trying to play “god” or causing trouble..

  4. Zulu Cowboy says:

    I found this post quite interesting. I’ve always thought that when society is without the rule of law…that good men should step into the breach, and enforce their own brand of justice. Good and evil are written into people’s hearts. If you’ve got a good heart…that will become evident in your actions. Same with evil folks. I’m sure the lines get blurred at times…and there are shades of gray. But I intend to help people if/when I can, and protect my family and neighbors if it’s within my power. Hopefully…I won’t ever have to BE the meanest mutha’ in the valley; but that will be determined by circumstance and the intention of those who cross my path. Anyway, some food for thought… ~

    • Tim says:

      What happens when the one doing good is actually evil? For example the Catholic church in the middle ages was the single most evil thing in the world with the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. Killing people at random in the name of your God is a sign of being the insane nutjob.

      I can see taking out quietly a trouble maker, that gang of guys that you see wandering around raping and stealing, set up an ambush and have a couple of guys put rifle rounds through them and leave the bodies in the street as a warning.

      But when the definition of troublemaker is blurred, and turns into hate crime, Target the jews, those people not my color, those wierd people down the street.. then you become the monster.

      People that do some of the most horrible things in the world are convinced they are doing good. Hitler and Stalin knew in their hearts they were doing the right and good thing for the world…

  5. Irish-7 says:

    I have lived my life under the belief “It is better to make friends than enemies”. Hopefully the Barons in my area will have fond memories of our interactions. As a leader in the military, I showed understanding, compassion, mercy and forgiveness for my subordinates. That could make a big difference on how my family is treated, should we have Martial Law when SHTF. I am confident that I would not commit heinous acts, or abuse power in a WROL situation. That is, to any innocent person, or to the folks that leave me and my family alone. I am highly vindictive, though. So, those evil people that attempt to do my loved ones harm, will get what they deserve. I am a veteran of multiple combat operations. I believe that will be helpful in dealing with crisis or disaster situations. Every person has a breaking point. I acknowledge that good people are capable of doing horrible things. I would credit religious faith for influencing my actions in life thus far.

  6. teapot says:

    Selco, your “small picture” as opposed to a “big picture” snapshot of life during the breakdown of society in your country is educational. and more valuable than the “big picture” presented in learned history books about the same. Although your experiences offer insight for which many people are grateful, I hope never to go through such experiences myself. All the same, thank-you for sharing those experiences.

    • Selco says:

      Usually only small pictures can give real stuff. Big pictures in books, TV shows, movies etc. are there almost always because some reasons behind, so actually can give you wrong ideas.
      Small pictures from real life always gives you real thing. Again usually it is not what most of the folks expect, or sometimes wish. Bit it is what it is.

  7. Suzanne says:

    Some will go nuts, but most will just carry on.
    I think many people will be nicer to each other, like they are when they are snowed in or when the road is closed. You will need each other more than ever, and I think it may be built into us to rally together in times of trouble. I have seen it happen. True leadership is often found in these circumstances, those who lead due to skills, and not because they crave power over others.
    Gangs have power because they use threats and force and fear against unarmed, always weaker victims. They are not going to like it when you have your own gangs, armed and protecting our communities far more effectively than tax collector cops who only count the bodies after the fact. I really think many of the modern problems in society are caused by a modern lifestyle. It leaves out too many people. Many people will be valued for skills that made them outcasts.

    You already HAVE most of these problems you fear, druggies,thugs, crooked cops, corrupt politicians bought by foreign bankers,poisoned food,air,water, and fictional money. You can be disappeared in the night, held forever, and never know why. You can have everything you own taken on an accusation of drugs, no proof required. Your kids can be taken by the state and given to others based on lies, and never get your day in court. Judges SELL children to detention corporations, even if they are innocent. Your own governments spy on you and sell your private data to foreign corporations. False flags, corruption, greed, bankster atrocities, and DHS buying millions of “kill your citizens” type ammo. Home invasions, car jacking, identity theft, kidnapping and holding captives as sex slaves for a decade, police murdering citizens without consequences, vote fraud, invading other countries to steal from them while murdering and raping women and children, poisoning them and your own troops, schools that treat kids like criminals and profit centers, employers that steal wages and refuse any health insurance, pro-lifers that murder people, priests that rape little boys so no one gets preggers, sex ed to groom kids for pedos, ….and on and on.

    What the heck are you afraid of? At least you will be allowed to defend yourself.
    You have not been civilized, you have been domesticated.

    • Agreed…. we should spend our time preparing by mastering skills and gaining knowledge that our forefathers valued – skills and knowledge that translate to self reliance!

    • SD Mule says:

      Way to lay it out there “straight and honest”, Suzanne!! You are correct on all counts, “see you on the beach”!!

  8. Chris says:

    Very good post, Selco. Not just about the ‘karma’ that waits for people doing bad things just because they feel like it. The part about how so trivial a detail as having once been friends with someone as a kid could lead a life being saved or spared. Life is flexible. Even after SHTF, life will stay flexible. Maybe you have to do bad things sometimes. Maybe you feel tempted to do what you feel you can get away with. There are two things to consider. #1) SHTF may end. When it ends, the people who heard about you may come to take care of you. Even if it doesn’t end, if you kill or hurt someone for no reason, their friends or family may come looking for you. #2) There is a whole, big world out there. You are one guy. Even if you have a gang under you, there is still a world full of people who might not like your ‘bad’ attitude. Do what you must, but not just because you feel like being a movie villain. In real life, SHTF to you, as well.

  9. Mark says:

    Thanks for this great article. Question: why don’t these guys get shot out? I know this sounds idealistic and naive, but where are villains there should be “heroes”.
    Sounds somewhat strange to me there was noone having a scoped rifle (not necessarily a “professional sniper rifle”) hunting down the leader(s) of these “evil groups”, or blowing up their place, backstabbing them when they are unaware, etc.
    Or some who does the same for the loot…

    How about that? Anything “really heroic” / “hero vs villain” event you experienced?


    • Legion says:

      I must concur. You would at least think someone would do it for the loot. Or maybe paid hitmen who killed leaders for supplies. Not necessarily heroes, just people who needed supplies and felt that these people deserved to die more than the nice family across the street who minded their own business.

    • Selco says:

      You are welcome Mark.
      Lot of the times they actually were killed, sometimes on some “interesting” ways. Point is that mostly they were killed by guys who were even worst, so nothing changed. When SHTF you gonna realize that things works on some different way then most of the folks imagine, so point is to stay low or die. Yea i knew few heroes, but they end up dead pretty fast.
      In some scenario, with proper preparing, group and location, right people etc. it is possible to make difference. But still it is hard.

    • SD Mule says:

      I would ask the same question now. Why doesn’t someone take out the pricks that are running the show now?? As Suzanne said above, “we have become domesticated”.

  10. x-soviet says:

    Why are many Americans so hopelessly naïve?

    Is it because of very high level of life for the last ~60 years, dangerously misleading Hollywood movies or something else?

    Sometimes think to myself, as great as is/was everything in this once Great country, similarly great and astonishing will be The Collapse.

    • john says:

      the collapse already happened. The current government spies on its own citizens more than it spies on the enemies of the country. The government is more afraid of what its own citizens will do when the dollar collapses than anything any terrorist could possibly do.

      • john says:

        Selco’s experiences are invaluable to all of us. I am in America and I want to say to other Americans reading this that the most dangerous threat to Americans is an economic collapse which results in anarchy and lawlessness. America cannot be invaded but America can go broke. When that happens the bad people will come out of their hiding places and will become warlords.

        Be prepared.

  11. john says:

    This has nothing to do with SHTF. But I knew a guy in highschool who was my lab partner in biology. He was scared to cut(make incision) on a dead animal. I did all the cutting and dissecting of the animals because he wouldn’t do it. I am old now and so is he. After highschool he went to college then med school and has had a long successful career as a brain surgeon. You never know what a person can become or what they can overcome. The guy who can’t hurt a fly, or gets beat up by girls, could become a powerful bloodthirsty warlord guilty of horrible war crimes.

  12. ttpm says:

    This is another excellent post. The level of violence and the length of war often leads to moral breakdown among most people.

    As a schoolboy, I was taught that the West were the good guys during WWII and that Europe rose from the ashes of the war stronger than ever. In general, that is true, but the devil is in the details.

    I am reading “Savage Continent, Europe in the Aftermath of World War II” by Keith Lowe and am shocked at the brutality of Western soldiers and our countries towards civilians after the war. The book covers approximately 1944-48. Axis soldiers committed horrific atrocities towards civilians, but the Allies were not squeaky clean, as a generation of us were lead to believe.

    For a clear view of what Selco has posted during WW II, read ‘Savage Continent’. History often repeats itself.

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