As a lot of you know, there’s been a big hubbub of late over the fact that Max Velocity has gone to a paid forum for those who read what he writes at his website. As I told Max in a recent email, my original thought on this was that it was ridiculous, and made no sense. Upon reflection, I had to take my personal opinion to task because although I don’t see a need to do that with what I write on my blog as a “part timer”, that does not necessarily transfer over to what Max is doing with his full time gig.
As you know, I do this part time, and don’t need the income generated by what I write or what I teach to support my family, so it gives me more options. Max, on the other hand, does support his family with what he writes (books) and what he teaches in classes. Making his forum/blog, which in fact could be considered an extension of his books, into a “you must pay for knowledge” affair isn’t as ridiculous as I first thought. Most readers don’t realize that solid, detailed posts take hours to write.
I wrote an article for Sam Culper at Forward Observer magazine a while back, and guess what, I got paid for it. A lot of what was in that article came from previous blog posts or Survival Expos presentations I had written, so for me to say Max shouldn’t charge for his info is somewhat hypocritical. Do I plan on charging for what I write on my blog? No. But then again, that side of my life and income isn’t a requirement to support my family. If it was, my perspective would probably be different.
Shifting gears a bit, let’s talk about the “Movement”. Having had numerous conversations with a number of individuals whose opinions I respect, I’ve come to the conclusion that the “liberty movement” isn’t. Too many out there use the term “liberty” or “freedom” (you understand they are not necessarily the same thing, right?) to describe their version of “The Movement”. They only use those terms as a crutch upon which they will support attacks on those who disagree with them.
How can you say you are for “rightful liberty” in one sentence, but then espouse the phrase “First we kill all the muslims” in the next sentence? How can you say you are for “liberty”, but then say “Anyone who works for the Federal Government is a valid target”, simply due to their employment status as a cafeteria worker? How can you say you are for “liberty” but then give those Professional Instructors (guys who have worked to make it into a business) grief about not offering it for free (but it’s for libertah…right?)? The instructors have worked their asses of learning and doing the things they teach. They earned it and you can too, but at a cost. If you are truly serious about learning the skill sets of survival, you must pay for them.
I have given of my free time to help a number of people who called themselves “patriots”, only to have them shit all over me. I have learned some valuable lessons, a few of which are:
1) Most of the people that use the term “patriot” don’t know what the term “patriot” means in action. It’s just a term to give an excuse for their gear purchases, foolish actions, or something to call a blog to lure in the unsuspecting.
2) People who are selfish, self serving, and cheap (Tactical Welfare recipients) are not patriots from a practical sense. Once again, they use the term “patriot” like an EBT card, and wouldn’t understand the idea of “just compensation” if it hit them in the mouth.
3) If a guy says he’s a “patriot” or part of the “libertah” movement, them tries to “guilt” you into a discount or freebee, he is not a “patriot” or for “liberty”.
4) A commentariat that is more about making specious attacks on the writer than addressing the validity of what is written (with their “I would know” credentials) is neither “patriotic”, “freedom”, or “liberty” minded, and are probably legends in their own “youtube trained” mind.
5) Generally, “patriots” or members of the “Libertah movement” only refer to themselves by those terms when it is convenient and furthers the paradigm they are espousing at the time, and it’s usually used to evoke a response of “Well I’m for liberty, so I guess I agree.”.
These are just a few of the lessons I’ve learned over the last couple years.
My experience with these groups goes back over two and a half decades, and all I can say is the more things change, the more they stay the same. Nothing changes, just the actors and the roles they play. To the poseurs who want to look the part with the perception they try to give (try to look like “operators” but are only “multicam airsoft colonels”), get over yourselves and become a video gamer, it’s cheaper. If you are not willing to bust your ass (physically and sometimes monetarily) to learn skills that will save you and maybe your loved ones lives, you deserve what is coming.
If you are training hard (as hard as you can, you know what you can do and not do, who knows, you might surprise yourself), preparing yourself and your family, and you are always seeking to expand your knowledge base through academic (reading) or hands on (taking classes) study, good for you. Keep up the good work and don’t let the “negatives” around you bring you down or discourage you. I have no problem giving of my free time to help others who “Get it”, but unfortunately, now you have to prove to me that you do “Get it” and don’t just want “Tactical Welfare”, I learned that requirement the hard way.
Max is full time, and DTG, Mosby, and I are part-time at teaching different areas in the survival skill set arena. The difference between us and “Specialist Snuffy” who did four years in the Army and got out as an E-4 Specialist from a water purification unit, is that we all went further than the minimum in our training, and in our rank. We’ve all gone to the effort of building businesses that are geared for helping serious people with serious problems.
Teaching survival, whether wilderness skills, tactical skills, or just the prepping side is as serious as a business can get. People depend on us to give them real world solutions for the situations they believe they will face, and “Specialist Snuffy” can just give BS answers to the people he trains (a militia group for instance), and not be held accountable when someone says “That’s really not how it works”. We are accountable (“Specialist Snuffy” is not) and have professional reputations to consider simply because we have made our passion into public businesses. Although you can learn basics from “Specialist (E-4) Snuffy-Infantry” more than likely, he will not know how to pass on the info in a clear, efficient manner, simply because he was just starting to figure it out for himself when he got out. We do, and have posted the AAR’s to prove it.
All things being equal, who would you rather train with? Someone with professional teaching and leadership bona fides, or someone who was the epitome of what’s called the “E-4 mafia” (there’s a reason it’s called the sham shield). Worse yet, you might come across someone who talks a good game, talks about his supposed experience, but in the end has nothing to back up (bona fides) any of it, and attacks those who point out that his different stories aren’t jiving.
I’ve told you in the past that if you can’t afford to pay for training (you know what you can honestly afford, and your Starbuck latte habit is a poor excuse/replacement to not pay for legit training), find a friend or family member that was an NCO or Officer in Combat Arms (hopefully Infantry), and get them to teach you what they learned. One of the hardest parts of teaching SUT is putting it into “civ-speak”. Hopefully, they can square you away.
Why am I writing this post now? Two reasons. First, I think it is important to show solidarity with other Professional Trainers whenever possible. Two, because showing that even when you’ve had issues with someone in the past, it is important to get past some things, find that common ground that is there, and jointly address the issues in a frank and honest manner.
Get Trained, Get Prepared, in body, mind, and supplies. What’s coming with severely test us and cutting corners now in any of the facets of your preparations will bite you in the ass when the crisis strikes.
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE
Max Adds: I have discussed this topic at length with J.C., and we decided we would proceed with this post by J.C..