Why you should care
Because people predicting the end of the world only have to be right once.
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James Wesley, Rawles is glad that you now know he’s out there, but he doesn’t care at all to have you know precisely where he really is. Which makes getting to him a skosh hard, involving as it did trains, planes and automobiles to places where another phone call would take you down one road or another until, so many hours later, you end up at an unmarked gate off a not especially noticeable side road.
Photos? Not allowed. Using his name in public? Pointless. No one living in his part of the country knows him by the name we’re using. And what’s with the arbitrary comma in that name? A quirk he picked up on the advice of none other than G. Gordon Liddy, Watergate co-conspirator and famous eater of rats.
But why is Rawles, a former intelligence officer and now a best-selling author, in this undisclosed hidden pocket of God’s country with its own water, heat, livestock, crops, rations, supplies, firearms and friends with helicopters? For the simple reason that submicron technology has made total societal collapse not an if issue but a when one.
We pull up to a table in a room with refrigerator-size gun safes in them, which, if the world is ending, sort of feels like one of the safest places to be.
“I’d be much more than happy to, on my deathbed, never having seen anything collapse,” says the tall, rangy Rawles, who is fitter than any man in his late 50s has a right to be, as we tour his redoubt. “And I’d hope for the sake of people I know who haven’t made the choices I’ve made that things work out well. I just see nothing indicating that they will, though.”
And there it hangs as we pull up to a table in a room with refrigerator-size gun safes in them, which, if the world is ending, sort of feels like one of the safest places to be (at least until Rawles starts talking lightning strikes and wildfires, inevitabilities this far off the grid). His home-schooled kids are buzzing around the rest of the house, and his wife is in the living room studying Hebrew. Things feel pretty good for a situation that, to hear Rawles tell it, is anything but.
But let’s let Rawles tell it.
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