This is the transcript of an interview I did 16 years ago.
Last month I was interviewed by Susan Fierror-Baig on the topic of Provident Living
I thought it would be good to post this interview here on my own blog.
Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in doing an interview on this topic.
1. Question: Why is Family Self-Reliance a key part of America winning the War on Terror and should we have some sort of WMD terror attack, how will Provident Living help?
Answer: If individuals and families will take care of themselves, the authorities can focus on the needs of those directly affected by the attack, whatever type that may be, even if power, water, transportation, or communications are cut off.
2. Question: What does it mean to be a Sovereign Family?
Answer: The family that is Self-Governed.
Follow up question: And in what areas of Family life does this Self-Reliance manifest itself?
Answer: In whatever area the family feels a need to focus. For us that included health care.
3. Question: Where is a good place for the average family to start?
Answer: Water storage, 72-hour kits, and a two-week supply of food.
However, all areas of life could be improved and that includes:
Literacy and Education
Financial and Resource Management
Home Production and Storage
Social-Emotional and Spiritual Development
Follow up question Where did your family start?
Answer: We put in a supply of food, organized 72-hour kits, and bought some Kitchen Tools.
I read dozens of survival books.
I then spent years becoming medically self-reliant. I gradually stopped using my medications.
We have raised our children without antibiotics and vaccinations, and they rarely go to the doctor and have never been to the dentist.
We try to live as if the medical/dental profession did not exist.
The most difficult thing I have ever done was to wean off of my Anti-depressants thirteen years ago. My husband also decided to go natural and stopped taking all of his over the counter meds. Now we use nutrition and herbal healing for most of what ails our family.
Later on, after I felt stronger, we added home childbirth to our list of Provident skills.
4. Question: How have your husband and children participated in this effort to live Providently?
Answer: My husband has been the voice of reason that kept us balanced as we prepared. It is easy in this day and time to take preparations too far, to live in fear and perhaps go into debt in order to prepare.
I believe sometimes going into debt is justified as when an individual or family decides to go into debt for extra schooling, knowing this investment will pay off in a better income because of an increase in knowledge or skills.
My husband kept us from taking too many extreme measures.
My children help every time we re-do our 72 hour kits, and they help us can and store the food as well as inventory it. They also love to eat the foods I prepare and they are my living testimonials that with good information and serious effort you can produce a healthy child without the help of any professionals.
5. Question: When did you decide to live this Lifestyle?
Answer: I started thinking about provident living during my teens.
I was raised in a family that practiced many facets of this life style and it was a natural progression to implement it when I left home. As we have learned line upon line the skills necessary for living without the help of modern medicine, education, and government welfare, a great feeling of confidence has been the end result of this effort.
6. Question: Why do you take living the Provident Lifestyle so seriously?
Answer: All my life I have studied the various scriptural prophecies from ancient and modern prophets. This knowledge coupled with my own dreams and promptings motivated me to start down this path.
In fact, I was reading the Bible one day in February of 1989, Matthew 24:19 to be exact. I had just given birth to my first baby and that month had celebrated my 21st birthday.
I was nursing her while I read this chapter. It is the chapter where Jesus is telling his disciples the signs of his second coming in the last days.
Verse 19 quotes Jesus as saying “and woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days”.
When I read that verse I just knew Jesus was talking about my generation of mothers and I also realized that I had to learn everything I could about birth and natural mothering.
Recent world events have just underscored the promptings to become self-reliant and warning dreams I have had over the years.
7. Question: What motivates you to keep preparing and adding skills?
Answer: The thought of my children being truly hungry.
When I teach preparedness classes, I always show our years supply of food to those who attend. I tell them this food is for my family and then I challenge them to do the same for themselves and their children.
Inevitably, some joker always says, “well, if anything happens I’ll just come to your house”. I always tell them, “No, you have been warned, this food is for my family”.
Follow up question – This brings up the question, If others were truly starving, would you share your food with them?
Answer: Yes, we would share with anyone who was hungry, but I would struggle to share with fellow Mormons because they have been warned for sixty years of the necessity of having a year’s supply of food. I would still probably share with them though.
8. Question: Why such an emphasis on preparation for nuclear war in your classes and on your web site?
Answer: The reality of our world demands that we get the facts and make some prudent preparations for any type of WMD attack.
Follow up question How did you educate yourself on nuclear war survival skills?
Answer: I read the book Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson Kearny three times and did all of the psychological preparations as well as the minimum pre-crisis preparations he recommends, like putting in a two week supply of potassium iodide tablets for my family. Recently we put together a shelter in our basement.
9. Question: How can others learn about this lifestyle?
Answer: My Web Site
I set up my web site with many provident living links. My site focuses on childbirth because as I studied the various survival books over the years, I felt that the facts shared about childbirth were poorly written by men who knew nothing about natural childbirth. The books would say things like, “When the mother starts pushing the baby out, help her to lie down on her back”.
The absolute worst position for a woman to give birth in is on her back.
Cultural conditioning has taught mothers that this is the proper position to give birth, perhaps not knowing that this position was developed by doctors to make things easier for them. Yet when mothers have the freedom to birth in any position they want, most often they will be standing upright in a semi-squat or on hands and knees.
Applying the medical: “drugs and surgery” model of childbirth to a survival situation could be deadly for the mother and baby because the many life saving backups for baby resuscitation and a blood supply to transfuse the mother may not be available in case of excess bleeding.
Doctors tend to be somewhat casual about cutting the mother with scissors and knives and using forceps, as well as pulling out the placenta after a hospital birth. All of these interventions can cause terrible blood loss in the mother.
Knowing a few practical principles about natural childbirth will really help.
For example; After the baby is born, if the mother will latch the baby onto her breast this will help to contract the uterus and aid in the placenta detaching safely.
A retained placenta can be a problem for the mother. In the hospital the doctors have Pitocin to help contract the uterus and help with bleeding, and they have a blood supply to transfuse the mother with in case if she hemorrhages.
Most doctors don’t know this, but immediate breastfeeding is a natural cure for post partum hemorrhage.
If the mother is dehydrated and cold she will also have a difficult time releasing the placenta, and so it is wise to have blankets on hand to wrap the mother up with the baby and a warm drink available to help with re-hydration and warmth.
*A great tip is to put a couple of blankets in the dryer as she is pushing the baby out and as soon as the baby is born have the mom and baby wrapped up in those warm blankets.
I have rarely seen these types of practical tips and information in the survival books I studied and I felt a need to share them in my own books and articles.
Gregory White MD wrote a book titled Emergency Childbirth, which is an excellent resource as well.
It is available on my web site as an E-Book. I also have links to a variety of sites, books, videos, and articles on the web that have been great helps to us as we have become educated about childbirth.
2nd International Husband/Wife Homebirth Conference organized by Jenny Marie Hatch in 2001
10. Question: Who has been the greatest influence in your life in regards to Provident Living?
Answer: My Mother. As I was growing up we studied the scriptures together and spent many hours discussing these issues. She also instilled in me a love of gardening and cooking with whole foods and has been a tremendous example of proactive living to not just me, but to everyone she has come in contact with.
11. Question: What is the most important thing to you?
Answer: Healthy babies.
12.Q How many children do you have?
Answer: Five; Michelle, Allison, Jeffrey, Andrew, and Benjamin.
13. Question: Why did you decide to give birth at home? Is this part of Provident Living?
I gave birth in the hospital three times – one birth was a c-section. I wanted to assure myself that I could do it alone without any help from anyone.
During a WMD attack hospital personnel and emergency workers may not be available to help with a birth as they will be caring for others, and having practiced at home, I knew my confidence would be much higher should that scenario play out. I also would not want to be in a hospital to give birth if it was filled with smallpox or anthrax patients.
14. Question: Weren’t you afraid to give birth alone?
At first we were both very frightened, but as the years went by and we mastered the knowledge and skills of home childbirth, our fear was replaced by a great faith in the miracle of natural unassisted birth.
Our first home birth did result in a transfer to the hospital right after my son was born because we could not get him to breath. I also hemorrhaged.
This experience truly reinforced the need to become educated about all facets of birth, especially the hour right after the baby is born. We learned a lot from that experience.
15. Question: How did you get your husband to allow you to birth at home?
We have had hours of discussion on this topic over the years and it ultimately came down to personal choice.
I was the one who had to give birth and he respected my rights of self-determination over my own body, and he supported me giving birth where I felt most comfortable.
When our fifth baby was born at home safely and perfectly in 2002 it truly satisfied my decade long quest to master this art of childbirth. I learned that I could do it alone and did not have to live in fear of any type of terror attack while I was pregnant.
16. Question: Do you live in a cabin out in the woods cut off from everyone?
Answer: No, we live in the suburbs of Boulder Colorado.
17. Question: Where were you raised?
Answer: Detroit Michigan.
18. Question:What are your politics?
19. Question: How can others get more information about Provident Living?
20. Question: What is your vision for the future?
Strong healthy Families, Communities, and Nations. I have adopted the vision of Isaiah the Prophet and am working and living for this day in the world. He said:
“And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days”
Isaiah the Prophet
I want to testify that before this day of longevity and all babies living to an old age, we will continue to have chaos and distress with some societal instability and it is for this reason that we prepare and live providently.
21. Question: If we have a prolonged disruption in services because of terror, what will be the greatest need?
22. Question: If society had to go a week, month, or a year without normal goods and services, which commodity will be in highest demand?
Breastmilk. Most families cannot afford to have more than a months supply of formula on hand. I predict that should we have a long-term disruption, mothers milk will be the food in highest demand.
23. Question: How can mothers prepare for breastfeeding?
Get educated. Read the La Leche Leagues, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Go to a series of League meetings.
Practice now 100% breastfeeding with no supplementation with your current babies. It is not an easy thing to do and poses many challenges for parents. Nursing my babies 100% has been one of the most difficult skills I have ever mastered.
24. Question: What about those families who don’t have the resources, or more importantly, don’t have the foresight to prepare?
I have a challenge for everyone who is listening to me right now. I challenge you men: husbands, fathers, grandfathers, neighbors, etc. to put in the survival supplies to keep the women and babies you love safe, fed, and protected.
Just do it.
Most men think of guns and ammo when they start to prepare. But you will need water, food, and a way to keep your family warm.
If you think you may father a child sometime in the next 20 or 30 years during the war on terror, get a few good books or videos on natural childbirth and breastfeeding.
Put in a supply of cloth diapers. Get a months supply of food and water. When you have that, get a six-month supply and then a year’s supply.
Just do it.
Because food is typically the women’s domain, I have met men who would like to prepare who feel paralyzed to know where to start because their wives adamantly refuse to “let them” store the food and learn provident skills.
Your wife will thank you when she has some supplies on hand to feed the children with, and some books to educate herself with.
The Victorian age cast a dark pall over the woman of the west and robbed us of our birthright of traditional skills and female arts.
Most women even today know very little about natural mothering. Until she is able to face this reality and help you prepare, just go ahead and get the supplies and books.
I have observed over the years that it is nearly impossible for women in their childbearing years to even face the reality of these types of disruptions in services. The thought of having to give birth and care for a child without doctors, drugs, epidurals, baby formula, antibiotics, and vaccinations is absolutely unthinkable for most women.
But in a matter of hours our fragile society could easily regress 200 years.
Don’t judge your wife, daughter, sister, grand-daughter, or the young female neighbor who laughs at you when you try to talk about these things. As a pregnant woman they simply may not have the capacity to face reality right now.
The only reason I was able to do it is because I was raised thinking about these things, and have had years of psychological preparation, always thinking, planning, imagining life without modern medicine, education, and commerce.
Your loved one may not have the luxury of years of coming to terms with these things. She may not be able to even have a conversation with you about it, or may shut you up or change the subject if you try to talk about it.
This denial of reality is actually a divine mechanism to keep her in a place where she can nurture her children during pregnancy and lactation, because if reality is just too harsh, why try?
Why eat well or exercise or even make plans for a child’s future if that future is just a nuclear holocaust?
Education about nuclear war is what will dispel this fear and help the mother to come to terms with the harsh realities of life during the war on terror. But this will take time, and we may not have time.
So, it is the job, responsibility and duty of the men in our society to get educated, put in a few simple supplies, and be prepared to nourish and protect the ones you love.
I don’t mean to be sexist about this issue, but it is just something I have observed after teaching dozen’s of classes. Don’t get angry with these women, just put in the supplies that will help them and their babies.
Older women have a much easier time facing the facts about the fragility of our world.
You who are listening to me today, stop trying to convince the young women around you that life could change in an instant, and instead, just put in some supplies to share with them when the time comes.
When life is cut down to the bare minimums, it is amazing how few supplies are truly necessary to sustain life. Water, food, and shelter are it.
Babies need so little to thrive. They need to be kept clean, fed, warm, and dry.
Use your imagination to think about living in your home for a month with no outside water, electricity, or the ability to travel anywhere to buy anything.
Make a list of the supplies that you will need to survive for that time. As you take the first steps of water storage and a little food storage, it is amazing how much easier it is to continue on thinking about the supplies and skills you will need to survive.
I challenge those of you who are listening to me right now, today, to begin your preparations. Don’t delay, don’t allow yourself to be deluded into thinking our world situation will change.
We are more at risk for a nuclear attack than at any time in our history.
This is not something to run from.
We Americans need to face this reality head on and realize the responsibility we have to prepare.
We have been promised in the scriptures that if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear. I can honestly say that I have no fear about the future. We are happily living our life, and if terror comes, we will go on living and face whatever happens without paralyzing fear.
Read the Introduction to this Blog