Blood is Not Always Thicker Than Water: Why Some Family Members Shouldn’t Be Considered for the Prepper Group


This article will be a sensitive subject and a sore spot for many readers.  This piece is designed to provide “food for thought” for a difficult question that will arise for every family during their preparations.  I state emphatically that it will arise.  So many times, in our studies and preparations we approach things from a “dry,” pragmatic approach that accounts for everything in the manner of an accountant.  We figure out the dollar amounts of our canning supplies, figure out the logistical needs for the family, etc., and come up with totals on a sheet.

One thing not accounted for and factored into these calculations is human behavior and the effects that it has on the family and the family’s resources.

I have spoken with many people over the course of my time in the Rocky Mountains.  It seems that every family has their “Cousin It,” so to speak: A label I am employing to describe an incorrigible family member who has never “come around” in all the years of his or her life.  No matter what happens, you can always depend on “It” to remain constant.  Cousin It may have stolen, abused substances, been constantly combative or argumentative with family and neighbors alike…a “wild man with his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him,” so to speak.

The big problem is that most families tend to “incorporate” these incorrigible family members into their plans for preparation and survival.  They feel compelled to give it a try…never taking past behavior into account.  Another thing families do is “lie” to themselves: “Cousin It will be alright…he’ll change his ways when it hits the fan, and we’ll get everything straightened out then.”

No, he won’t be alright when it hits the fan.  Adversity doesn’t build character: it reveals it.

You are allowed to cut your losses on this one.  Look to history.  Lot’s wife wanted to persist in what she wanted and was turned into a pillar of salt.  The rest of the family moved on, without looking back.  Brining us to the way to deal with such a thing:

You do what you can until you can’t do any more…and then weigh the welfare of the group.

This is a tough subject, isn’t it?  You’ll have to search inside of yourself and what you believe in…but you’ll also have to be a realist who takes into consideration others who may not be able to make such a choice…others depending upon you to make the right move.  If “Cousin It” happens to be drunken Uncle Ed who beat his wife and children regularly over the past 20 years and still hits the bottle…do you want him in the fallout shelter with you and the rest of your family?  Or how about Cousin Tina who is addicted to Oxycodone.  Are you going to let her in?

You can try with these people up until the time that the “S” hits the fan: after that, you’ll have to cut your losses in the interest of preserving yourself and your family.

The saying that “blood is thicker than water” is true, and many times teams of more than one family will be ruined because one or more of the family members…incorrigibles, if you will…are factored into the teams when everyone knows full well they cannot be depended upon.  This is a serious issue that will take a lot of time to discuss among the family members prior to a final decision.  I strongly believe this should take place, and then there should be a discussion with “Cousin It” as a group…prior to a collapse event.  Afford the opportunity for a “turnaround,” but give it the time to observe the actual actions of that family member.

When it hits the fan, a decision will have to be made, and that decision is not something that will just affect “Cousin It.”  If things have not changed and he or she is taken in?  It may mean action in the future that can jeopardize the survival of the whole group.  Think it over carefully, and most importantly, think objectively and not just with the heart.  It may mean the difference between life and death for more than just one individual.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 20th, 2017
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15 Responses to Blood is Not Always Thicker Than Water: Why Some Family Members Shouldn’t Be Considered for the Prepper Group

  1. Craig Escaped Detroit says:

    I completely AGREE with you, that evil people, endless trouble makers, continuous
    idiots and other such problems, must be excluded from the survival plans.

    I also agree, that no matter how much we put up with those idiots when times are “good”, we have to CUT them loose when the SHTF. It does not matter if it’s a friend, relative, son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father… if they are the type of person with the attitude that can get OTHER people killed, then they have to be pushed away and prevented from entering the safety of the “prepper’s zone”.

    Yes, it will be painful for the emotions. The jerks will scream, cry, intimidate, become violent or use every possible trick to get you (and me) to “help them”. We’ve already seen how well they screwed up all their past gifts of help, so it’s time to admit defeat and push them out. There is an old saying… SINK or SWIM. Apply it.

    • Craig Escaped Detroit says:

      PS. You brought up the old bible story of “Lot” and his wife, “turned into a pillar of salt”.. (don’t look back), and you applied it properly.

      But the HISTORICAL accuracy of that tale, makes for a very interesting POLICE investigation (and bible research).

      Looking at it closely, even for a ROOKIE cop, the story falls apart. The end result of the investigation, shows that LOT lied, he actually MURDERED his wife and blamed GOD for the death. Lot ALSO raped his daughters and told the lies of the girls getting daddy drunk and raping daddy.
      How does a rookie detective arrive at these conclusions? Easy.. let’s look at the bible “evidence” (as well as cultural realities of the Middle Eastern men). ”

      ALL the following “conjectures”, are based upon the very real FACT that the entire biblical telling of the events, come ONLY from MEN (as women were NOT allowed to be the “record keepers”, nor to read and write, or speak out, etc. So all the bible events, are told ONLY by LOT. Any contradictory stories were not allowed to be told.


      1- Angels came to warn LOT of the coming disaster, but the city criminals wanted to rape the angels.
      LOT’s actions reveal that he was NOT a “God fearing man”, because LOT volunteered to “send his daughters out into the mob to be raped, to SAVE the angles from that fate.”.
      (This is your first, and BIGGEST CLUE.. because ANGELS don’t need the protection of mortal men, it is the ANGELS who have the POWER.) So this reveals that LOT is willing to sacrifice his “beloved” girls, for the sake of a stranger? And LOT obviously is NOT such a good and “loving” father, because NO parent would send their children to be raped and killed just to protect a stranger (who happens to be a POWERFUL angel).

      2- In those days (and often today), some men are known to molest and rape their little girls from an early age, and the wife is powerless to stop it.
      In those days, if a “wife” (often just a slave) contradicted her husband, she would get her head chopped off. (Still happens a lot in the same region- called the Middle East.)
      Consider, how back then, homes did NOT have “bedroom doors”, and people lived in one or 2 rooms… so that a “molesting father” would be well known to his “slave-wife”, but she has to remain silent or be killed by such a criminal.

      3-Young Females, don’t get pregnant until about the age of puberty. If those daughters were about the age of puberty, and had gotten pregnant, then by tossing them to the city-gang rapists, would get rid of the problem or at least provide an excuse for the pregnancies. (Just a bit of logical guesswork here.)

      4- The angels declined the generous offer of a loving father willing to easily throw away his girls.

      5- If the wife, was scorned by LOT as being TOO old (anything over 25 is often shunned by molesters who are pedophiles.) Or perhaps the wife had been complaining about LOT “raping” the girls. In any case, LOT may have wanted to be free from the “old” wife who was starting to complain.

      6- During the escape, Lot tells us that his “wife” was warned by the angels, to never look back. Lot tells us, she looked back.. and was “Killed by God” and turned into a Pillar of salt.
      The end result, is that the OLD wife, who may have tried to protect the girls from rape, was now “dead and out of the way”. God gets the blame and Lot is not questioned or tested for this death.
      NO worthy detective would allow such a story to go unchallenged.

      7- Later, when Lot is finally found (years later) by Jews searching for survivors, Lot is found living in a cave with his daughters and their babies. Lot tells us that he is a GOOD man, but his “evil daughters” repeatedly got him SO drunk, that the girls RAPED him many times, to create babies to repopulate the world because the girls (as Lot describes it) believed the world was destroyed and it was their duty to repopulate the world.
      This story that LOT told his rescuers, was accepted as fact, because NO man would ever rape his girls, and women are always evil and stupid. Lot was a “God fearing man”, eh?
      PS. if the girls has told the truth, guess how long it would take for their heads to be removed?

      8- Back in those days, they did not know as much about alcohol intoxication as we do today, but it often (not always, but very often) the case, that when a man is SOOO drunk that he has no control, it’s often the case that he’s not able to get an erection or has to PEE so much that sex is difficult or even impossible.
      A modern detective would add this to the investigation, and it may not have been possible to “rape” a very drunken LOT.
      And it is also forbidden for men to become drunk, (consume too much wine), because the bible laws forbid it, so LOT was NOT being a “good Jew” if he allowed anybody to force him to get drunk.

      Therefore, if he was ever drunk, it was his own choice, but more likely, it was his “cover story” to hide his crimes.
      THE END.

      • Rose says:

        so the bible is wrong and you are right? not so much. Lot was a scoundrel… the text makes that clear. and his daughters and his wife. the text doesn’t need your extrapolation.

      • Craig Escaped Detroit says:

        A closed mind is actually a wonderful, comfortable place to reside. It never has to deal with uncomfortable, new, or challenging ideas or facts. It gets upset with such things.

        I am not the first person in history to see these troubles with Lot, as this type of discussion goes back hundreds and hundreds of years.
        If I took the time to dig all the way into the deep literature (and had access to it, such as the Vatican vaults and Hebrew university vaults) about it, I’m sure we’d find ancient scholars before the time of Jesus who debated the very same issues.

        The bible is filled with such things that are upsetting to people who want to dismiss anything that questions the bible’s pages.

        Accepting the bible as 100% perfectly true and unquestionable, creates big trouble when you come across things such as Judges 1;19 where it says 100% for sure, that God LOST the battle against the valley people because they had the iron chariots (and suddenly, the all powerful God has lost his power because some valley tribes combined chariots, iron and horses.)
        Or, if ALL sins can be forgiven (as promised by Jesus), but if there is an “unforgivable sin” (blasphemy against the holy spirit), then either Jesus was a liar, or there is NO such thing as a sin that can never be forgiven.

        Or, if God can make the entire human race, make all the stars and planets, and heal all diseases, etc, .. many people ask “Why does God’s power suddenly fail when faced with amputees who have never seen a single one of them healed by growing a new limb from the stump?” Does God hate amputees? Are their prayers useless?
        Asking in Jesus’s name won’t work for an amputee?

        Part the Red Sea? No problem. Open up the earth and swallow the sinnners? No trouble. Turn water into wine? Easy peasy.

        Grow a new arm or leg from the stump? Oh,, I’m busy right now..come back next year.

      • Rose says:

        so your intention is to undermine the Word of God. The Messiah message was completed and the scriptures have a unifying message over centuries. Word of God is Messiah.

      • Craig Escaped Detroit says:

        Your comment about “undermining the word of God” brings up a much more important problem.

        In MY mind, my idea of a real God, is SO PERFECT, so advanced, that his words would be SO great, that NO questions from a mere mortal man with average intelligence could possibly undermine any part of the narrative.

        I would NOT want to worship or believe in a God that must rely upon other people defending him. If some religion or book is filled with so many flaws and contradictions that a few good questions can undermine it, then it SHOULD be and MUST be undermined until we can dig deeper and find the real God whose words are so perfect that undermining is NOT possible.
        I have a very strong internal faith, but it’s NOT based upon the flawed bible. If my faith was based on a book that raises so many valid questions, then I’d be very upset and defensive. So I consider myself to be a “Faitheist” (not Atheist).. my faith exists in spite of the troubling questions and contradictions contained in the bible.
        As the bible has parts that fall down, my faith does not fall.
        Any REAL God, would be big enough, smart enough, and so well developed, that he (or she) would NOT need anybody to defend him or his words. He can do it himself.

    • L. A. McDonough says:

      Agree completely, I have recently cut off casual friends because they do not meet my expectations on logical thinking and common sense. Only like minded should be in your circle. Drop out of all civic org, churches (home church instead) and patriot activities at this point as the country is trashing down hill. Patriot groups are infiltrated with bad guys, stick with small groups well known friends, relatives who agree to stay low key.

  2. Christian Gains says:

    Simply put by General Sherman, before the “MARCH TO THE SEA”; he stated the infamous: “WAR IS HELL”! BUT!

    The GOOD of the TEAM is ALWAYS what is the determining factor! Incorrigibles, self-centered, delinquents, addicts, and unsaved MUST BE PRAYERFULLY exhorted & warned…ONCE! Then, IF THEY endanger, or compromise the TEAM, (depending on the severity of the danger), they MUST be either given a LAST ADMONITION & WARNING, OR simply sent out, to fend for them selves!

    (BUT! In doing THAT, the TEAM MUST realize, — and MAKE THE PROBLEM PERSON KNOW), that they CANNOT return, or they’ll be shot as a intruder! They have LOST their RIGHTS within your TEAM, and are NOW an undesirable, OR an enemy, depending on what the majority of your TEAM determined.

    The KEY factor here is NOT “COMPASSION” for the weak…It’s GENUINE CONCERN & CARE for the TEAM that is still united…and agreed.
    One of the MOST COMMON & NORMAL problems that TEAMS that I worked with, was “back-biting”, or “murmuring”…(generally a spiritual problem of self-righteousness) — a person believes that THEY have the better qualifications than the TEAM leader, and are constant in their defaming or belittling or undermining comments & opinions….WHICH THEY USUALLY will NOT express to the WHOLE TEAM, but to individuals that they realize are undecided, & weak, as to who IS right…best…more qualified.

    This Spirit has to be PRAYERFULLY dealt with, first one on one, then 2 or 3 with the problem case, and then before the ENTIRE TEAM, and FINALLY, if the problem persists, they have to go! Not harshly, nor rudely, with kindness and caring, BUT ABSOLUTELY MUST GO! No more “chances”… It’s OFTEN TIMES a heart breaker, BUT! AGAIN! The CENTRAL ISSUE is maintaining the TEAM INTEGRITY & UNITY!

  3. Stuart Cockerham says:

    Even Jesus foretold that he came to bring division and that during the tribulation period that some family members will betray their family to the evil forces of the anti-christ to be put to death. Some vices might be taken into consideration and even over-looked, if they are struggling with them and not dwelling in them, but a spiritual litmus test may very well be necessary. Good points though JJ and something we all need to take into consideration.

    Might be high time to give those members a last chance choice for changing their ways, but if we wait til later, those who betray will cost people their freedom and lives and their actions of betrayal will likely have just as serious consequences. I’m just saying…

  4. Rumplestiltskin says:

    Great article. I’m glad someone has the temerity to speak to these types of issues. In this day and age it will be doubly difficult to bring family members around with what may be called logical arguments. Many do not want to make those types of decisions because their supposed Christianity gets in the way or making life or death decisions. When the SHTF, passivity just won’t do and wimps need to be told point blank, get with the program or they’ll be thrown to the wolves.

    The really hard part is, “FOLLOW THROUGH”. If you don’t maintain your resolve you will be overrun by sniveling snowflakes who believe they can feed the world with Mana from heaven, as well as children who believe money grows on trees. In a survival situation everyone will have specific tasks suited to their talents. If they refuse, out the door they go. Either they take their place or die. Simple Really, maintain your resolve to protect the family at ALL COST.

  5. Oldalaskan says:

    You put out about Cousin IT, mean drunken BOB or others not joining your family group. But, what will you do they know where your retreat or location is. As for cousin IT he could team up with other like minded people and come visiting in force and mean drunk BOB could during his sober periods stand off and snipe at you. What to do without creating turmoil within the family? I know what I would do if there is a total breakdown and rule of law is no more. But how many other people would be able to live with themselves for doing what would be necessary?

  6. L. A. McDonough says:

    If their kids are over 16 and their attitude doesn’t line up, they don’t need to be included. They are a security risk and will drag the group down.

  7. Large Marge says:

    The author makes a common misinterpretation:

    Each taker of a BLOOD OATH understands the lifelong commitment of the group members.

    The WATER OF THE WOMB is mere happenstance. Family members might have some commitment… but that is transitory compared to the OATH OF BLOOD.

    BLOOD OATH always supersedes the coincidence of two or more individuals related by parents or grandparents, etc.

    BLOOD OATH is chosen.

    WATER OF THE WOMB is not a choice… and is often forced on non-committed individuals.

  8. Bolofia says:

    Excellent article. I’ve been through this painful chain of thought a number of times and always come back to Mr. Johnson’s conclusion. There are several categories of family individuals that I would exclude and/or prevent from a survival group. Anyone that:
    is drug dependent
    has a history of being lazy
    is never willing to accept responsibility for their actions
    has a sense of entitlement
    exhibits poor personal judgment on important, as well as routine, matters
    exhibits any range of unsafe behaviors

    Any one or combination of these characteristics is a disaster in the making for a group that is trying to survive. I’m not talking about relatives that lack specific skills. Those can be learned if you have the right attitude. And, I’m not talking about relatives who have a physical condition that prevents certain types of labor. Their innate character, knowledge and experience may far outweigh what they lack in strength.

    My bottom line is that I will tolerate no one that has the ability to endanger the survival of my immediate, nuclear family. Period.

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