SURVIVAL AND THE PARANOID
By Kurt Saxon
"One suggestion; you should have the newsletter folded the opposite way.
The large title attracts the attention of the mail people and people's family.
I don't want everyone to know that I'm stocking up and thinking they can
come to me for help. So please have THE SURVIVOR folded backside out". .
. . . "I'm also wondering if it is possible to have a subscription to your
publication, THE SURVIVOR, and/or back issues, sent to us in plain envelopes,
First Class, if necessary, inasmuch as we live in a very conservative community,
receiving your publication in a plain envelope would prevent alarming our
local postmaster!". . .
The above two writers may not be clinically paranoid but they demonstrate
the simple inconvenience of paranoia. Both are so afraid of their own neighbors
that they will miss out on THE SURVIVOR. No big thing in itself. But what
else are they missing out on just because they do not dare let their neighbors
in on their preparations?
The term "paranoid" is used constantly but hardly understood. The clinical
definition of paranoid is one with delusions of grandeur coupled with feelings
of persecution. (A lesbian is a mannish depressive with delusions of gender--pass
it on.) A paranoid believes he has gotten to the hidden truths of matters
most important to him. He also believes that such knowledge makes him dangerous
to those actually running things.
Believing there are enemies all around, fantasizing about plots and such,
gives him a feeling of importance, of being in the know. But that feeling
of importance is counteracted by the terror of the realization that one's
enemies will step on him like a bug once he learns enough to be really dangerous
Paranoids cannot accept our social decline as a result of climatic change,
surplus population, reduced resources, mental defectives and other natural
influences which have been knocking out civilizations throughout history.
No, paranoids see a plot behind the whole thing.
Some group, easily identifiable to the initiated and aware, is manipulating
civilization. Our collapse is imminent. THEY are destroying everything THEY
cannot control when the time comes. Then, THEY will step in, run up THEIR
flag and assume complete control. THEY will then destroy all those who
anticipated THEIR fiendishness.
Of course, these Agent of Darkness have sympathizers in every neighborhood.
THEY are also entrenched in the Justice Department with links to every local
police station and dog pound in the United States.
So the idea of surviving civilization's collapse is actually incomprehensible
to the paranoid. He may play at survival but THEY will win in the end. Of
course, it all depends on security.
To the paranoid, his only chance lies in secrecy. If a few hundred of the
right type can survive, in spite of all the traitors planted in their midst,
good will eventually triumph.
The above does not fit every paranoid but too many hold to this general pattern.
When I began THE SURVIVOR, an old man wrote to me about his homemade security
system, his advanced age and his ability to survive whatever adversity might
strike. I thought he was such a fantastic old man I wanted to share him with
others as an example of self-reliance in old age.
I printed his letter and address, thinking he would like to correspond with
elders in like circumstances, or young folk needing a Granddad figure. As
soon as he got the issue with his letter in it, he sent me a screaming note
about how I had exposed him to the world, lowered his property values and
generally put him in jeopardy.
I answered saying that no one else within over a hundred miles of his town
took THE SURVIVOR. If his homemade security system was offensive to a realtor
or a potential buyer, it could be taken out with no loss of property value.
Nothing I said mattered. He was going to sue if I did not take his address
out of THE SURVIVOR.
I told him his address would be out of the next printing, he had no case
and he ought to get his head read. This might have calmed him down except
some reader had to go and send him a letter. This started him off again and
we had another go-round.
Nowadays I would Just have thrown his letters away, canceled his subscription
and forgotten him. But then I was concerned. I felt I had caused him anguish
and wanted to make amends.
However, once you have gotten on the wrong side of a paranoid, there is no
making amends. I am now a part of the plot.
Anyway, my point is that paranoia is not funny. It is also a serious drawback
to anyone's attempts to survive or to better himself on any level of endeavor.
Paranoia is simply exaggerated and useless fear. Normally, everyone is afraid
at times. Normal fear leads to normal caution. But when fear becomes obsessive
caution, distrust and universal suspicion, it becomes paranoia.
For instance, say you decide to become a tightrope walker. If you are clumsy
and awkward and hung over and strung out and normal, you will fear falling
because of a lack of ability. If you really want to be a tightrope walker,
you will go over your shortcomings and eliminate them, thereby fitting yourself
to become what you want to be.
But if you are paranoid, you will disregard any of your own short-comings.
You will reason instead, that the Circus World is controlled by people who
will feel threatened by any success you might achieve. Lest you become a
star in their private world, they will hire someone to shoot you off that
So the paranoid is actually a self-imagined winner, beaten before he starts.
If he isn't actually mentally ill, he has an overactive imagination, putting
non-existent obstacles in his own path. Instead of developing his abilities,
taking his lumps and successes as they come, he relieves himself of the challenge
by stacking the deck against himself. He is really just a cop-out artist.
Usually he has MBD (Survivor Vol. 1, p. 64) which keeps him in a state of
arrested development. He is like a child who imagines himself the hero of
his fantasies but sees his parents and elders as blocks to any successes
he might achieve. An adult with this problem has lofty fantasies but replaces
his elders with various authority and power figures who might feel threatened
by his achievements. So he does not really try to improve his circumstances.
In his fantasies he feels little guilt about being a loser. After all, if
he were not so magnificent and superior, would the forces of International
Crud be united against him?
Every paranoid, however, has sane moments the same as I do. He realizes that
whatever is really keeping him back, he is far behind and he is not very
happy. Maybe something got in his way during childhood which made him stop
testing the system. That is the key to it all; testing the system to see
what one can get away with.
All children do, and if their elders understand and do not over-punish, the
child will have a good idea what he can get away with and how far to go in
finding his limitations. But if a child has overly strict parents, or MBD,
punishment might be so severe, or seem to be, that testing the system is
not worth the effort or it may even seem downright dangerous. So the guy
reaches adulthood, either not trying anything, as an individual, or becoming
such a Secret Squirrel no one will ever know what he is doing.
This would be alright except the paranoid often tries to impose his own fears
on others who share his stated goals. This can be a drag, especially in my
Years ago I saw books hinting at do-it-yourself mayhem. They promised a lot
more than they delivered but suggested that any stronger stuff would be
suppressed. Well, I had dabbled in paranoid gutter politics for years and
did not believe such material could be suppressed. I set out to write, publish
and sell the most outrageous, potentially destructive manual ever created
on this planet. If interested parties had the power to suppress knowledge,
they would suppress the work you know as THE POOR MAN'S JAMES BOND.
Well, first I was talked to by the D.A.'s man and our local FBI agent.
Interesting. Then I was subpoenaed to a Senate hearing in Washington, D.
C. They paid my plane fare both ways, put me up in a hotel room with TV and
let me rave at a panel of bemused Senators. I had ever so much fun and got
a lot of laughs.
There was not one request that I stop publishing the material; there was
no threat to my person, my freedom or to my economic security.
I have sold about 40,000 copies of the work over the past five years with
no interference from anyone. Yet, I still get orders for the PMJB which are
wrapped in aluminum foil so Federal Agents cannot read them by X-Ray. Some
orders are so coded to protect the identity of the one wanting it, that the
book comes back marked, "Addressee Unknown". Paranoia!
Common sense might suggest that since it is legal for me to write it, publish
it and sell it, a customer can legally own it. Despite the fact that, to
the best of my knowledge, no one has every been hassled for owning the PMJB,
paranoids around the country consider ordering it the last thing they will
be allowed to do before being led away.
No matter. What really bugs me about paranoids is their attitude toward THE
SURVIVOR. THE SURVIVOR is not an underground publication. It is not political;
it does not advocate any sort of criminality or extreme social activism.
Nor is it pornography. THE SURVIVOR is a family publication. Plain envelope
Anyone really interested in Survival will have to drop all his paranoid
fantasies. The ones who inspired this editorial are too afraid of their neighbors
to have an effective chance at surviving.
Survivalists must examine each fear and eliminate it. There are enough real
things to fear without being hung up on imaginary fears.
Every fear is an unconfronted weakness. I am no longer afraid of the calamities
which face the general populace. I faced my fears and eliminated their cause.
At one time I thought my mail might be monitored. Instead of frustrating
the monitors by going out of business, I called my postmaster and had a long
talk about it, wherein it was explained to me how mail was monitored and
why mine was not.
I think everyone gets flashes of paranoia where he entertains irrational
fears. But rather than give in to such fears and work out elaborate habit
patterns to reinforce them, one should go straight to the source and control
Such an action not only eliminates a fear but makes it harder for new fears
to settle in. Practice makes boldness and the Survivalist must be bold.