Doomsday Preppers: Larry Hall

Our next prepper featured is Larry Hall, who is working on a massive engineering project in Kansas.
While I don’t agree with the execution of it, he has a pretty ingenious idea. He’s taking an old ICBM silo, sinking a few million dollars into it, and converting it into a survivalist’s wetdream: a multi-layer “luxury survival complex to deal with solar flares, worldwide economic collapse, or anything Mother Nature can throw at us”. These condos will be sold at a cool two million dollars each, and amazingly, he’s actually getting some bites from folks. I find this to be the most depressing profile this show has featured so far, and boy, do I have some issues with it.

He’s outfitted this steel and concrete tube with tons of security cameras, several perimeter fences, and enough armament to fight a small war. He claims it’s a “one-size-fits-all solution” to just about any problem that might arise…which is to say that it’s completely non-adaptive. That pretty much denies the best thing we humans have going for us—our ability to ‘roll with the punches’ and adapt to just about anything. It’s the reason you’ll find wildly different traditional societies in both the Arctic and Papua New Guinea, who are still thriving after tens of thousands of years. It’s only the civilized folks who think there’s a one-size-fits-all way to live.  I would guess this guy believes (like the rest of his culture) that the way the civilized world lives is the best and only way, and so there’s no point in trying to evolve any further, or do things differently.

In this case, Mr. Hall has even gone so far as to include a general store or grocery in his design, where people can go to ‘buy’ food (from the massive stash of frozen stuff they’re sure to have???)—not to mention the gym, movie theater, and jobs—just to maintain the illusion of normal civilized life for the inhabitants. Ugh.

As part of the construction process, Hall orders a 25,000-gallon water tank. Let me say that again: a twenty-five THOUSAND gallon water tank. That’s like a small municipal watertower, and it’s just waiting to fail. If they’re insisting on having that much stored, why not five 5,000 gallon tanks? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, dude. Either way, this amount is based on the assumption that the inhabitants are going to be like the average American and use 100 gallons PER DAY. Double ugh.

I didn’t see any mention of gardening space, or of water reclamation, and I kinda doubt they’re going to use composting toilets (although, I could be wrong). I’d like to know what their plan is for light—powered by generators, or piped in from the surface?
Of course, I’m still unsure if people are supposed to be living here full-time, or if it’s just a place to retreat to once stuff goes south.

At the end of the day, Larry hangs out around the trashcan fire with his workers discussing the imminent shitstorm about to hit the fan. Someone observes that “people are so used to this machine we call society being able to provide for them”…and yet Larry’s silo condos continue to mimic that machine in every way. Another one of the guys says that folks ought to “be prepared so you don’t have to deal with the alternatives!” I say no!, prepare by embracing the alternative!

My main problem with Hall’s silo project is that aside from the novel setting, it’s still conventional ‘Type 1’ prepping—the kind focused on stocking up pre-disaster with no way to replenish supplies should it become a long-term event, the kind designed to keep practitioners from having to make any real lifestyle changes, the kind designed to just delay the inevitable collapse of the unsustainable civilized way of life.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ben on 14 March, 2012 at 00:42

    how do i contact Mr.Larry Hall


  2. Posted by Anne on 23 November, 2012 at 12:06

    Hydrophonics and some type of indoor hatchery for food. I think he’s not thinking super far in advance, like what happens when his general store runs out? Offsite underground storage facility?


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