READ IT ALL , and start adjusting your Mindset to what he has to say NOW instead waiting till LATER, which could not only be disastrous to YOU but worse yet to those who are counting on YOU to protect THEM.
This article was originally published by Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper
Selco interviewed by Daisy Luther
February 9th, 2018
The Organic Prepper
Read by 5,020 people
Are you prepared for the extreme violence that is likely to come your way if the SHTF? No matter what your plan is, it’s entirely probable that at some point, you’ll be the victim of violence or have to perpetrate violence to survive. As always, Selco is our go-to guy on SHTF reality checks and this thought-provoking interview will shake you to your core.
If you don’t know Selco, he’s from Bosnia and he lived through a year in a city that was blockaded with no utilities, no deliveries of supplies, and no services. In his interviews, he shares what the scenarios the rest of us theorize about were REALLY like. He mentioned to me recently that most folks aren’t prepared for the violence that is part and parcel of a collapse, which brings us to today’s interview.
How prevalent was violence when the SHTF in Bosnia?
It was wartime and chaos, from all conflicts in those years in the Balkan region Bosnian conflict was most brutal because of multiple reasons, historical, political and other.
To simplify the explanation why violence was common and very brutal, you need to picture a situation where you are “bombarded” with huge amount of information (propaganda) which instills in you very strong feelings of fear and hate.
Out of fear and hate, violence grows easy and fast, and over the very short period of time you see how people around you (including you) do things that you could not imagine before.
I can say that violence was almost an everyday thing in the whole spectrum of different activities because it was a fight for survival.
Again, whenever (and wherever) you put people in a region without enough resources, you can expect violence.
We were living a normal life, and then suddenly we were thrown in a way of living where if you could not “negotiate” something with someone, you solve the problem by launching a rocket from an RPG through the window of his living room.
Hate stripped down the layers of humanity and suddenly it was “normal” to level an apartment building with people inside with shells from a tank or form private prisons with imprisoned civilians for slave work or sex slaves.
Nothing that I saw or read before could have prepared me for the level of violence and blindness to it, for the lives of kids, elders, civilians, and the innocent.
Again, the thing that is important for readers is that we were a modern society one day, and then in few weeks it turned into carnage.
Do not make the mistake of saying “it cannot happen here” because I made that mistake too.
Do not underestimate power of propaganda, fear, hate, and the lowest human instincts, no matter how modern and good your society is right now and how deeply you believe that “it can not happen here”.
You’ve mentioned warlords and gangs in several of your articles. Were they responsible for the majority of the violence or was it hungry families?
Fighting of the armies through the whole period of war brings violence in terms of constant shelling from a distance from different kind of weapons.
For example a few multiple rocket launchers (VBR) could bring in 30 seconds the destruction in an area of 3-4 apartment buildings, and being there in that moment and surviving it gives you a completely new view on life.
Snipers were a constant threat and over time you simply grow a way of living that you constant scan area in front of you where your next steps gonna be. Are you gonna be visible and from where? Etc.
Most brutal violence was actually lawlessness and complete lack of order between different factions and militias, so in some periods there were militias or gangs who simply ruled the cities or part of the city where they were absolutely masters of everything in terms of deciding of taking someone’s life.
In lawlessness, you as one person could be really small and not interesting, or join some bigger group of people to be stronger, some family or militia or gang.
An example of a gang would be group of people of some 300 or 500 people who “officially” were a unit or militia and operate for some faction, but in reality they operate mostly for themselves.
That included owning part of the black market, having prison (for forced labor or ransom), attacking people and houses for resources, smuggling people from dangerous areas.
Violence from those kinds of group was the most immediate violence, the most visible in terms of SHTF talking.
If those people came on your door you could obey, fight, or negotiate, but mostly you could not not ask for help from any kind of authority, because there was no real authority.
In any society, no matter where you are living, there are a great number of people who are waiting for the SHTF to go out and do violent things. Small time criminals or simply violent persons who are not openly violent because system is there to punish them for that. It is like that.
Some gang leaders that I knew were actually completely sick people with a strange type of charisma that makes people follow them, weird situations that can happen only in a real collapse.
They are people who just waited for their time to rise.
Those kinds of people together with criminal organization that are already there in any city in the world will be the backbone of SHTF gangs.
Who were the most likely victims?
A very simple answer would be that the most likely victims were people who had interesting things without enough defense.
But it was not always that simple.
For example one of the first houses that got raided in my neighborhood, right at the beginning of collapse while there was still some kind of order, was a rich family’s home.
They had a nice house with bars on the windows, a pretty good setup for defense, and they had enough people inside so they could give pretty good resistance to the mob.
But they got raided simply because they were known that they are rich, so they were attacked with enough force to be overwhelmed.
It was not only about how much manpower you had and how well-organized defense of your home was, it was also about how juicy a target you were.
If you are faced with 150 angry people attacking your home because they are sure you have good stuff inside your chances are low, no matter how good and tough you are.
People who were alone were a pretty easy target and old people without support of family or friends.
It was not always about killing someone or violence. For example, if you were alone and without resources but you had something else valuable like some kind of skill or knowledge you could easily be “recruited” for some faction or group, not by your will of course.
What were some ways to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of violence? How do you recommend that people prepare themselves for the possibility of violence?
It can be done in steps, or in layers.
Do not be interesting (or attract attention) when the SHTF.
This means a lot of things, for this article I can give a few examples with shortened explanations because it is a huge topic:
Do not look like a prepper (before or after SHTF). There is no sense in announcing that you are prepping for EMP, civil collapse, apocalypse, or whatever. With that you are risking the probability that when the SHTF, people will remember that you have interesting things in your home
Your home should look ordinary. For example, if you are living in the city on a street where all houses look similar, there is not much sense in making your home look like a fortress. You’ll just attract attention.
Your defense should be based on more subtle means. Some examples are having means to reinforce doors and windows quickly when you need it, or to reinforce them from inside. Make changes in your yard to funnel possible attackers where you want them to be (trees, fence, bush…). You can make your home look abandoned or already looted.
Think about what survival is!
Survival is about staying alive, it is not about being comfortable at the expense of losing your life.
I have seen many times people lose their lives simply because they were too attached to their belongings (house, car, land, goods…) so they simply did not want to leave something and run in a particular moment.
Everything can be earned and bought again except life.
Forget about statements like “I will defend it with my life” or “over my dead body” or similar because the real SHTF is usually not heroic or noble. It is hard and brutal. When you are gone you are gone and there might be nobody to take care of your family just because you have been stubborn or trusted in movies when it came to violence.
To rephrase it: Be ready to leave your home in a split second if that means you and your family will survive, no matter how many good things you have stored there.