Prepping For Doomsday With Paster Joe
A Fun Video With Good Prepper Info
A lighthearted look at some prepper communities in the Ozarks
Prepping for Doomsday With Pastor Joe | Should You Be Afraid?
Jul 8, 2021
The collapse of society is coming. It’s inevitable. That is at least if you’ve read all the headlines about climate change, war, insurrection, nuclear tensions, the dying oceans, falling sperm counts. It’s a lot to handle. Zeke Spector travels to the Ozarks to meet with a religious prepping community to see what it takes not to be afraid of the world. Click here to subscribe to VICE: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE About VICE: The Definitive Guide To Enlightening Information. From every corner of the planet, our immersive, caustic, ground-breaking and often bizarre stories have changed the way people think about culture, crime, art, parties, fashion, protest, the internet and other subjects that don’t even have names yet. Browse the growing library and discover corners of the world you never knew existed. Welcome to VICE. Connect with VICE: Check out our full video catalog: http://bit.ly/VICE-Videos Videos, daily editorial and more: http://vice.com More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideo Click here to get the best of VICE daily: http://bit.ly/1SquZ6v Like VICE on Facebook: http://fb.com/vice Follow VICE on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vice Follow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/vice The VICE YouTube
Prepping For Doomsday With Paster Joe
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FULL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
-Give me your money. -Oh, my gosh.
-Hey, it’s Zeke, I’m riding in the back of a pickup truck
through a prepper community, and I’m trying to figure out
if we should be afraid at the end of the world so.
-I have been to one degree or another,
preparing for my entire life.
The father God is calling his people to the Ozarks.
-Demons and angels were real and Jesus wasn’t a pussy.
-People in the year 1,000 thought the world was ending.
People who saw the plague thought the world was ending.
I think it’s more relevant to your life to look
at what could be a natural disaster for you, personally.
-In New York City, nobody knows how to do anything.
You don’t have to use a lot of survival skills.
-Tourniquet, left arm. Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up.
Hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up!
You’re dying, hurry up!
-We have a phrase we use, I can be your best friend
or your worst enemy you get to pick.
[ Squeals, gunshot ]
-Clearly, we are gun positive,
but I like to say we’re not gun crazy.
[ Gun cocks ]
[ Gunshots ]
-Are doomsday preppers right on the brink…
…mysterious monoliths have been appearing…
-As clickbait headlines warp our view of the world,
we’re going down the rabbit hole to ask
how afraid should we really be?
On this episode — Doomsday.
-Store shelves nationwide are dwindling or totally empty.
-FEMA admits failures occurred in its disaster response
to Hurricane Maria.
-A ransomware attack forced a vital U.S. pipeline
offline over the weekend.
-There’s a lot of fear on the news these days.
With global pandemic, raging natural disasters,
and a fragmenting republic,
we’ve been forced to think about a possible scenario
where our institutions collapse.
I started hanging around the corners of the Internet
where doomsday preppers congregate,
and I stumbled upon the Viking Preparedness
YouTube and Patreon channels.
-The world is going crazy.
-What intrigued me about the former
Green Beret turned pastor Joe Fox
was his caffeine-fueled sense of urgency.
-Preparedness is a biblical concept.
You have to take steps now.
If you’re not ready, you’re in trouble.
-He also scared the shit out of me
when I told him I lived in New York City.
Feeling rather unsafe in my own home,
I went to meet Pastor Joe to learn more
about his lifestyle,
which did seem a little extreme to me.
But I also wanted to see what I could do in my own life
to be more prepared.
-Welcome to the Shofar Mountain. -Hey, good to meet you, man.
-You, too. You, too.
-I brought you some coffee from New York because I know —
I see you drinking coffee every morning,
big sips of coffee. -I do. So thank you very much.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah. -This is Shofar Mountain.
-It started out as an intentional community.
We wanted to live in a way
that would allow us to get closer to God
and it has become what was known in the vernacular
as a prepper retreat.
-And so everybody lives on here are Shofarians.
-All people who live here are Shofarians,
but not all Shofarians live here.
-Okay, right. -Does that make sense?
-Right. Yes, absolutely. -We call ourselves Shofarians.
It’s just a whimsical term we came up with.
-Well, it’s a great term. I love it. I love it.
So how many people live with you up here
on Shofar Mountain? -That’s classified.
-Okay, all right. -But a few.
-A few. Let me see — -A few families.
-More than a — a few families.
More than a dozen families? -A few families.
-Okay, all right. All right.
As a security measure, Pastor Joe was repeatedly vague
with some of my more specific questions.
-We call it operational security.
Those are classified. I won’t tell you.
What happens if somebody came in here,
would you just kind of stop them here and say, hey.
-We have — we have stopped people in the past.
And honestly, I think I’m a pretty nice guy.
I mean, as things go,
I’m an asshole with trespassers.
-Yeah, this is a good time.
Let me ask you what you have on your — on your hip here.
-I mean, I’m just carrying a handgun, it’s a glock.
-Where you’re carrying a glock? Okay.
-Yeah, everybody carries glocks. -Are you always armed?
-Yeah. -You never leave house.
-I never go anywhere without a gun.
-Okay. -There you go.
Just don’t point the muzzle anywhere.
I asked Pastor Joe to show me some of these firearms.
-I’ll have to come back. -Okay, let’s do this load.
-I have too many guns to carry in one trip
that makes me a survivalist.
-And it’s always he was elusive in his answers.
I can ask you how many guns you have?
-Enough. I’ll be back. -Okay.
-But he was willing to show me a basic
preppers firearm kit.
This is an assortment of… -Prepper firearms.
-Okay, and it’s not your full inventory,
this is enough of — enough — this is enough.
-It’s enough to get the point across.
-These are the types of firearms
that someone who’s relatively serious about preparedness
would probably have.
-I think with a lot of folks today,
they might just say, oh, I’ve got a glock
and I’m good to go or I’ve got an AR-15,
I’m good to go. Why do you have such —
-Well, they’re all tools and they all have a purpose.
And while you can drive a screw
into a piece of wood with a hammer,
it’s not the best tool to do that.
-Sure. You could do everything with an AR-15, right?
You could be whole defense, you could be hunting.
-I mean, technically
you could kill any animal in North America
with a .22, I mean, honestly.
But when it comes to a fight,
if you have to shoot a lot of bullets and reload,
you need the ability to have a magazine fed weapon
that you can reload fast and so
that’s why I have it.
-Pastor Joe invited me to join some other Shofarians
at their shooting range
to learn more about why they train.
-Cody is our range officer.
I’m going to be the safety officer.
-So we’re just going to start with pistols.
Focus on the fundamentals.
Give me one shot and we’ll do that a couple of times.
-We’re good guys. I think you’re probably a good guy.
We don’t get to pick when bad things happen.
Bad guys get the pick, right.
You and I aren’t going to walk around
starting stuff with anybody,
but we don’t control the bad guy.
And we train everybody.
-Take your time. Look at the sights.
-As I watch some impressive shooting skills
and even got a brief lesson on how to aim and unloaded AR-15…
-You want to lean into the rifle
almost like, you ever played football?
-Yeah, yeah, well, no, I didn’t. Sorry.
-I’ve seen it done before. -Correct. Very similar to that.
-I still couldn’t quite understand
what exactly they were preparing for.
What scenarios create these so-called bad guys?
What do you think about when you go,
oh, I got my eye on that. -Well, we’re biblically focused.
And so, in the Bible we can read about the end times.
And I believe, we believe, we could be on the cusp of that.
And if that happens, it’s chaos. Society will break down.
There’s at least two places in the United States
that are going to be nuked, it’s biblical.
And New York City’s one of them.
And it’ll happen like that.
Somebody maliciously takes down our power grid.
Some really smart computer guys are like…
[ imitates keyboard clacking ]
Well, what do you do in America with no electricity?
Think about it, America would go into chaos.
And our response to COVID, I’m not real impressed with.
I was raised with just
that whole we need to be ready for things we can’t control.
And then I went in the military on some special forces.
I’ve been all over the world.
I’ve seen things that fall apart
and I see how people who are prepared for it
and roll with the changes and do okay
and people who are just like, oh, my God,
I can’t believe this happened, they they just get dealt with.
And I don’t want to be dealt with.
[ Rooster crows ]
-As part of not being dealt with Shofar Mountain
is based on homestead model,
which stresses the importance of self-sufficiency.
The property includes multiple bug out cabins
that serve as modest shelters when shit hits the fan.
-This will probably end up being like a bedroom of some kind.
It’ll get finished. -Okay.
They’re small, but it beats a tent.
-Some more permanent residences for Joe’s family.
So the six people who sleep in here.
-Uh-huh. There’s some kind of big bed theory or something.
I don’t think they’re doing that anymore.
But like, they’re a very tight family.
-An active garden.
-And this little thing here is fennel.
It’s really sweet and kind of, you know what it tastes like.
-Oh, that’s perfect. That’s perfect. Oh, my gosh.
And lots of stockpiled goods,
including these buckets and barrels of food.
-Beans, rice, corn, stuff like that.
And we’ve done the math so you could think of two of these
is basically a year’s supply of food for one person.
-You know, before you said on the porch,
you said you’re I think you said a hardcore prepper, I think,
is that the term you used? -Okay.
-What does that mean exactly?
-Well, I guess there’s a spectrum, right?
I think a prepper
would probably have a couple of months worth.
So, you know, they’ve got a little bit of food.
They’ve got some gadgets. They have a bug out bag.
Okay, that’s a prepper.
We’re at the other end of the spectrum.
We’re trying to be self-sufficient.
I call us neopioneers, kind of like the Amish with guns.
-The Amish with guns. Okay, okay.
Finally, Pastor Joe, showed me the newly added longhouse,
which serves as a meeting place for the congregation he leads.
I’ve seen this building in your videos.
Right, we have our services in here,
but we also have like community classes in here.
-I knew the Shofarians believed in Jesus,
who they call Yeshua,
but there were several instances of Judaism
I couldn’t quite wrap my head around.
We’ve got Hebrew writing here. -Yep, Israel.
-And the Shofar here. -Yeah.
-But you still talk about the Bible.
So what exactly is it —
-You want to know about my religion?
-Yeah, I guess, yes. -There you go.
Okay, so we firmly believe in, when I say believe,
it’s too small of a word that we know.
God, the father, laid down the rules
that he wants everybody to live by,
and that’s called Torah, right?
So 613 rules, you got to live by these rules.
And he sent his son, Jesus Christ, who said,
follow me, dun, dun, dun, dun, and the whole Christian schtick,
if you will, there we put the two together,
-Because we don’t think there’s any difference.
We’re getting to heaven, if you will,
by the grace of God, through the blood of Yeshua.
That’s what we believe.
-What makes it so much more advantageous for you
to be here in this community? -First of all, is the Ozarks.
Many people, not just me, have the same feeling.
The father God is calling his people to the Ozarks
as a place of safety for what’s coming.
And here’s the thing about the Ozarks.
We have everything we need,
but we don’t have anything in abundance
that anybody strategically wants to control.
-Wanting to get a better sense
of how big the Shofaran community was,
I drove a few hours south to meet a second group.
We’re about to go meet up with T.J.,
who also goes by Bear Independent,
where what’s in his bear camp around here.
And he’s another kind of satellite campus, if you will,
of the Shofarians.
One tribe, but multiple camps.
I can’t say what town we’re in.
But it’s tiny and it’s not a lot going on.
Hey, man, how are you? Good to see you.
Hey, how’s it going? -Hey, how’s it going?
-Good morning. -Hello.
-Hello, hello, I’m Zeke. Nice to meet you guys.
-How you doing?
-My name’s T.J. Morris. Bear of Bear Independent.
-So what’s your connection to Shofar Mountain?
-There are multiple camps.
If you’re near to us, then you’re in bear camp.
If you’re near to Pastor Jones then you’re in mountain camp,
so forth and so on.
-You’ve got the tattoos, you play the drums,
you like whiskey.
And you don’t strike me as the stereotype
of a Bible thumper. -Bible thumper?
-Of a holy man.
-Well, point blank, Jesus wasn’t a pussy.
Straight up, everybody in this group
would first and foremost acknowledge
that she was Yeshua Mashiach, that Jesus is the Christ,
but there’s something deeper here
with what we’re doing, other than the fact
that we’ve all agreed to mutually assist one another.
If the shit hits the fan, bro, like, that’s great.
But I’m not living for doomsday. I’m living for Tuesday.
-Across town, T.J. showed me his first aid company
that he runs with other members of bear camp.
-Well, this is Refuge Medical.
We are a first day supply company
and training organization.
-There are many okay first aid kits.
There’s a handful of great ones.
And ours is one of the great ones.
-We do, in fact, to have it with me.
-Oh, you do? -Yeah.
-Oh, where is it? -Yeah, bring it.
Yeah, bring it.
-It’s very little. I’m going to have them look at it.
I hope they don’t judge me, judge us too hard.
-Wow. You knew exactly just by looking at that.
You knew what that is.
-Do you know how to put a tourniquet on?
-You want me to put a tourniquet on me?
-Tourniquet, left arm! Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up.
You want me put a tourniquet on myself? Okay.
-You’re dying! Hurry up! -You’re bleeding to death.
-You’re dying. Hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up!
Hurry up! Hurry up!
-You really have to know your supply.
-Bet you feel his pulse.
-See, I got a pulse. I’m still alive, right?
-You are all the way dead. -[ Laughs ]
-You’re going to love this feeling.
-Actually constrict that. Feel the difference?
And then this is how tight it should be.
-Watch his face. -See that face? Here it is.
-Ow. -See that?
-Then that goes through
and then this goes across there.
-Feel the difference?
-What do you feel in my pulse? -Nothing.
-Really is my arm, like, uh… -That’s the point.
-It’s supposed to restrict
the flow of blood from here down.
-Yeah. Yeah. Can we take it off now?
-If it doesn’t stop the flow, you haven’t saved your life.
-And look, you see all the veins.
-Yeah. Yeah. -That’s how it should be.
-See that? That’s how you know it’s working.
-Real quick, yes or no.
Are you guys afraid of the end of the world?
-I’m not afraid. -Anybody?
Anybody here afraid? Okay.
-This is not a fear.
-It’s not from fear. It’s common sense.
When you know something is going to happen,
where you have a reasonable suspicion,
why would you not prepare for it?
-Anybody who thinks that the government is capable
of managing a crisis, Hurricane Katrina,
it is not physically possible for the government
to take care of everybody on a large scale crisis.
Because of those experiences, we’ve been able to figure out
how to address those needs for ourselves
that should something happen,
we’re not at the mercy of the government.
-Now that I had a better understanding
as to why the Shofarians valued self-sufficiency,
I asked the Foxes to show me some basic survival tricks.
Sister Kate showed me a day in the life
of running a homestead.
-So we’re going to take this big brush pile
down to our chicken run.
-Back boys. Oh, sorry. Oh, no.
And taught me how to milk a goat.
-Think of it like a water balloon
and you’re squeezing the water out the bottom.
There you go. You did it. -Oh!
-Look at you. There you go. Perfect.
Oh, wow. That’s just amazing.
With that, you could feed yourself.
You can have goat’s milk, you can have goat cheese.
[ Bleats ] -That was lovely.
And considering I don’t own a firearm,
Pastor Joe showed me how to defend myself
against bad guys with some rather unsuspecting objects.
-And there’s all kinds of things you can do with this.
Of course, you can use teeth.
Picture scraping my eyes with it.
I can come up here and hit you in the neck
like this and rip the face. -Yeah.
-Use this like a hook and hook them here.
-Or somebody’s got you like this and you just reach back.
Ta, ta, ta, ta, ta, ta, ta.
-Ahh, ah. -See?
See? And it’s nothing, right? -Yeah.
-But it’s like get off me. -Yeah.
-Like that, like step in there.
You’ve got a table full weapons here
but for self-defense you don’t even need all this.
I mean, you’re — you’re more lethal with a comb
that I am with an AR —
-They’re called environmental weapons.
-The more time I spend with the Shofarians,
the more I realize how this type of lifestyle
was not as extreme as it was prudent.
You know, I’m surprised by how normal everything is here.
You and your husband watch Netflix.
You both have a really good sense of humor.
You’re both — you’re both —
you’re both very charming individuals.
-Oh, thank you. -I don’t know.
-I’ve just you know,
I think it’s really easy to to be able to — on paper,
to be like these people must be some sort of cult,
out of your minds.
I don’t know. The Waco people or something.
-[ Humming ]
What is the perception that you get from other people
and what’s the reality?
-Okay, so we’ve been called Amish mercenaries.
We’ve been — we’ve been called gun toting Bible zealots.
But yeah, I consider us more kind of ’50s style
mom and dad, kind of “normal.”
-Who’s to blame for this kind of for —
for troping you out, if you will?
-There are movies that would portray people like this
as very extreme
or just add dimension to what we actually are.
I mean, all we’d have to do is, you know, be more gun-friendly
or a little more extreme in our political views.
And then you could kind of have an argument for extremism there.
-As my time with the Shofarians came to a close,
I was ready to return to New York
motivated to ensure my own safety should chaos ensue.
I was, however, still having difficulty
imagining a life that balances preparedness with paranoia.
You know, for certain folks, it’s really easy to sit around
and watch the news all day
and get really into the survivalist mindset
and just say, okay, I’m not going to interact with
this world because it’s going to end any day now.
-And then just essentially waiting around for…
-Chaos. -For chaos.
-When I will rise and be — right.
But we should prepare as humans on at least two axis.
Chaos could be around the corner.
And the other one is you’re going to get old
in a relatively normal society,
despite the fact that you don’t like the government.
It’s going to pretty much go along as it has.
And so, you ought to have a plan for that besides,
you know, buckets of beans and rice
and an arsenal of firearms or something.
And so, you do have to play on two axis,
which means if I have $30 of disposable income,
do I buy mutual funds or do I buy rice and beans?
-Yes. You should do both.