Panic: Very Unhealthy

Fear mongering, as you should know by now, is one of the top ways that people or corporations get you to buy. This is true politically as well as economically, so it is always worth reminding ourselves that panic is a reaction that circumvents intellect. Sometimes it is certainly warranted, but (hopefully) not often. So, when being approached with an idea or a product that is presented from a fear-based perspective, always think twice and look closely.

Here is an interesting example that I came across online: Survival Joe’s Newsletter. It even comes with one of those handy newfangled barcode links for those of you who have a free smartphone in your hand as you read this.jbfy1-survivalj-qrcode-MEDIUM

Interestingly, has a very similar message (and with a much more professional video than you will find in the next example below, both of which are funny in completely different ways). Plus, it references zombies, which adds points, because it nods to the fact that fear sells in a rather nice self-reflexive moment. The sales pitch here is very slick, very watchable, and chock full of “facts” (albeit the kind that are presented in such a way as to imply you need to be afraid because the worst-case scenario could happen, and extrapolated in a way that makes things sound much worse than they are likely to be). The collection of eBooks being sold here for under $40 (marked down from $170) come with a money-back guarantee, so I suppose there is less risk involved with the download…

Some of the books included in the package price do appear to cover relevant and interesting information that could be helpful in the wake of any disaster (water purification and “survival gardening” are among the topics covered in addition to tips for living off the grid). In fact, it seems this product could easily be marketed in other ways that do not involve pandering to the fears of potential buyers; indeed, there are common sense, environmentally conscious reasons for offering the information purported to be in the eBooks sold on this site. This, of course, begs the question: “why rely on the fear tactics?” Answer: fear sells. If this were not true, G.W. Bush would not have enjoyed two terms in the White House and people like me might find something better to do with our Sunday nights. And now, the barcode!

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I find these barcode links somewhat novel, though I wonder whether I should be afraid of the looming technology of Big Brother when I use them. Who is scanning whom?

Speaking of barcodes, here is a smaller one for a much more frightening web site:


Scanning this barcode will bring you to the site for Cry 12, which promises you that there WILL be a huge disastrous calamity in the very near future. In fact, the video that greats you states right up front that “millions of people will die.” And neither you nor your family can escape. The video then goes on for about 20 minutes with floating text and deadpan narration that all but guarantees the worst things you can imagine happening right around you. Of course, there is a solution to getting through it all okay, one imagines even unscathed, by simply following the suggestions in the eBook being sold on the site (which the site claims is a whopping $937 Value ~ Today: Only $47).

Fear sells. I have no doubt that dozens of people have popped for the Cry 12 materials. Maybe you should, too, just in case. But not before asking yourself just what, precisely, you are buying into.

Of course, you don’t truly hit the ultimate in paranoia until you get around to web sites like I have a barcode for that site, too. Wait for it. It’s coming. But first, let’s think about the primal fear that drives the creation of a site like this. For it to even exist, someone needs to believe – passionately even – that their rights are being taken away by their government without their knowledge or consent. Okay, that’s a reasonable concern, given the history of the world. But to base the site’s claim that 300 million native-born Americans have given up their citizenship and Constitutional protections on Roosevelt’s New Deal is getting a bit preposterous.

But it all MUST be true, because there are “White Papers” to prove it. Five, in fact. At only $5 each. They can clarify the Who, Where, What, Who and Who for you individually, and are also available collectively for the amazingly low price of only $25. That’s right. You will get to learn why “The term resident is referred to some 5,000 times in the Nevada Revised Statutes. The term native-born Citizen is referred to ZERO TIMES!“ What it all comes down to is a “slight of hand” used to trick people into adopting “federal citizenship,” which the author believes removes your rights as a citizen of any particular State (as the District of Columbia is not a State). It is all strung together with a loose logic that requires a very strict misreading of legal statutes and an underlying belief that you really are not safe in your own home. It is real paranoia for sale. And here, because it is such an important issue today, is the super-sized barcode you have been waiting for. Enjoy.



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