The Heyoka, according to Wikipedia, “is a kind of sacred clown in the culture of the Lakota people of the Great Plains of North America.” Further, the Heyoka, “satire presents important questions by fooling around. They ask difficult questions, and say things others are too afraid to say. By reading between the lines, the audience is able to think about things not usually thought about, or to look at things in a different way.”
From a preparedness standpoint. the Heyoka is both a survival concept as well as a role in society. The Heyoka is known to function as, “ both as a mirror and a teacher, using extreme behaviors to mirror others, and forcing them to examine their own doubts, fears, hatreds, and weaknesses.”
With the Heyoka concept in mind, I addressed many common prepper beliefs by running them through the contrarian ringer. Soon, it became obvious, to me anyway, that when the veneer is peeled back from popular prepper traditions, a different world appears. A world filled with contradictions and unknowns. From those observations grew what I call the 7 Deadly Prepper Sins. And here they are…
- Seeking like minds for your prepper group. The sin here is that rarely do like minds get along under stress, at least for very long. What would be better is to seek those with actual skills, those who are honest, and those add useful community depth. Collectively, a team of like minds may become the most dangerous enemy during a survival situation should you happen to find yourself or a family member at odds with “your” group.
- Stockpile barter items. The sin of a preemptive focus on bartering is that the future is not of your choosing, and deciding what will or will not be useful for others in the post-apocalyptic world is a hunch based on a guess driven by nothing more than wishful thinking. It’s best to gain skills that require you to remain alive to be of use rather than just waiting to be shot while standing guard over a cases of toilet paper and bottles of vodka.
- Believing that silver, gold and/or bullets will be the new currency. The sin here is expecting the complexities of a TEOTWAWKI economy can be summed up with a hand full of silver dimes. The reality is that anything with a predictable, useful and transferable value will require actually living in the situation to assess what is truly valuable. While some things are better bets than others, your time, money, and effort is better served the known practicalities of survival according to your prefered survival scenario rather than the imagined secondary effects of someone other than you.
- Stockpiling food you are used to eating. It would be a grave sin to live today like it’s already a survival situation. Eat healthy now while you can. Survival food is often high in sodium, calories and preservatives, not to mention expense. Eat fresh now, and save the MREs and freeze dried packages for the post-apocalyptic dinner table.
- We are nine meals from anarchy. The sin here is believing that there will be a predictable time frame in which you can get your survival affairs in order prior to a full-on collapse. Three days in fact. In reality, you might just have three hours, or even just three minutes. Depending on the situation, the variable of time before it all breaks loose is not subject to kitschy sayings or convenient timeframes. Remember, you are not the only one who will quickly assume the worst and act accordingly.
- Ending with three ways to make a fire. A fire is a hungry animal that needs constant feeding. Expecting that starting a fire is the end of your main concern is the sin. What is just as important as starting the fire is keeping fire burning which means processing wood. Lots of wood. And that processing usually involves tools, techniques, and time, all usually done before the first sparks fly off the ferro rod. So look beyond the lighters, matches and bow drill, and see the trees in the forest.
- Believing you are prepared. Having all the basic gear, a solid plan, and the highest bug out juju of your friends does not mean you are ready for a collapse or even a mild disaster. The thrill of turning your survival plan into action is an intoxicating drug to be avoided at all cost. If unrestrained, your prepping addiction will make you a facilitator of the dark rather than a beacon of light. It truly is that simple. So be careful out there.
Prepping, when viewed through the lens of Heyoka may have similar outcomes as more traditional applications of Heyoka to society. In fact, outcomes of applied Heyoka can,”provoke laughter in distressing situations of despair, and provoke fear and chaos when people feel complacent and overly secure, to keep them from taking themselves too seriously or believing they are more powerful than they are.”
Sounds like great survival advice to me. Or maybe it’s the worst advice ever.