I knew it was going to be a good day when my coworker told me about the secret underground tunnel network that only the “elites” know about — and plan to use when all hell breaks loose. “And FEMA camps,” he added. “That’s a one way ticket.”

I agreed that I’d take my chances risking death in the wild over the “safety” provided within the walls of a FEMA camp. “Plus,” I joked, “they’d probably make all the fat people into soap and all the fit people into soylent to keep the power elite clean and well-fed in the new world order.” I tried to keep the mood light as this fellow and I were working together all day. I didn’t know how deep down the rabbit hole he wandered.

“The government will do anything for the chance to declare martial law,” he told me. The tone turned dark, but now we were getting somewhere. I shared my extensive knowledge of the emerging police state to eager ears. The Boston “bombing” came up. Just a fire drill, we agreed. Perhaps we’re just a “terrorist attack” away from some serious shit, we nodded. We returned to the secret tunnels – now it all makes sense. Once there is martial law, the proper individuals with access will slip down their own rabbit holes and reappear in places of power at appropriate times. Meanwhile, we’ll be tired and hungry in breadlines down at the FEMA camp, while the gate slips closed behind us. Click.

I’m not into the Doom Porn — those very profitable prophesies of economic collapse that are always lurking right around the corner. I’ve even written against it before. There is a thin line between Doom Porn — which can tie “conspiracy theories” together with just about any possible future scenario of hell-on-earth (and space!) you’d like to imagine — and actual human history, the documented things governments and secret organizations have done or written about what they plan to do. One might argue that these are also “conspiracy theories,” but really they’re just actual conspiracies. People with names like Rothschild, Rhodes, and Clinton have not been very secretive in writings and talks amongst their “colleagues” about their grand globalist plans. One is speculation; the other is observation.

I asked my coworker who he likes to listen to for his information. He seemed shy about it, so I told him I know about Alex Jones. He said Jones is okay but then named a few more shows, none of which I remember the names of. I wanted to roll my eyes, but then I thought, “You know, these sorts of shows can really open people’s eyes to important topics.”

Like how the big bankers, politicians, and crony businessmen scheme to devalue the currency and shift that wealth into their own pockets. It isn’t necessary to obtain a full economic education to understand that the value of the dollar goes down when the government “creates” money. And it’s no stretch to assume that big businesses and banks want to find ways to get that money. It takes a little economic education to dive into the business cycle and peak cheap oil, however.

But no, I didn’t lecture him on the evils of the Federal Reserve. We did not discuss politics or government policy or anything of that dreadful sort. I wasn’t prepared to grab my coworker on the shoulder as the scales fell from his eyes – “Come to the side of Liberty, my brother! Let us rejoice in the glory of Rothbard!”

Instead, we discussed our strategies for having extra food, storing some extra cash (and protecting its value), getting extra gallons of water in the pantry – oh, and weapons, for when the rat pack comes a-knockin’. Perhaps a life with less financial obligations is one easier lived — with or without economic and political catastrophe. And then there is mental strategy: in situations of high tension, such as one-on-one combat or a riot, simply reducing the aggressive energy of the antagonist can buy you enough time to escape without a fight. But yes, if someone is threatening you with a large caliber round to your belly, equal firepower is preferable.

We all have varying degrees of preparedness, and desires to be prepared. Some people like to geek out on gear and some people just want a flashlight that will work. I’d like to have access to some edible greens within a few steps of my door and some folks will buy barrels of seeds from ads in the prepper magazine. Some like to wonder if they could succeed in the dystopian future, while enjoying a drink on a Friday night and watching So-and-So’s Doom Porn Variety Hour. Some people get in shape, grow some food, and practice emotional resilience, while tucking extra jars of coconut oil under the counter every time they have a few extra bucks.

I don’t know if my coworker plans to vote for a president, or if he has an opinion on marriage laws, or whether he thinks cannabis should be legal, and I don’t care. What I find useful and satisfying to my quality of life is that I now know someone who is aware that he is within someone – or something – else’s sphere of control. That is, the attempt by some humans to group other humans into a homogenous, predictable collective for their own benefits. And that’s important stuff to be aware of, when you’re the one being led like a dog on a leash to its kennel.

And he knows, like I do, that all we can do is try to dismiss ourselves from the ruckus as much as we can – physically, intellectually, financially, and emotionally.

So I’d like to adjust my stance on Doom Porn a little bit. Perhaps it’s beneficial to have some friends who don the tin foil hat. I can pick his brain for valuable information. We can challenge each other. And we can make connections that strengthen the resolution we share: to be as free and happy as possible.