James Wesley Rawles

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James Wesley Rawles (born 1960) is a non-fiction author, survivalist-fiction author, economist, blogger, and survival retreat consultant. He has appeared many times on the Alex Jones show InfoWars. He has been called an expert[1] on survival and preparedness topics.[2] Rawles is a Christian who is a conservative, constitutionalist libertarian.[3]



Rawles was born in Livermore, California in 1960 and received a Bachelor of Arts|BA degree from San Jose State University. He was a United States Army Military Intelligence officer, serving from 1984 to 1993.[4] He resigned his commission as an army Captain, immediately after Bill Clinton was sworn in as President of the United States.[5] Rawles worked as an Associate Editor with Defense Electronics magazine in the late 1980s[6], and was the managing editor of The C3I Handbook and The International Countermeasures Handbook.[7] He worked as a technical writer through most of the 1990s with a variety of California and Nevada companies including DAZIX, Grass Valley Group, Oracle Corporation[8], and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). In 2005 he began full-time blogging. [9] Sometime after 2001 he relocated to a remote ranch at an undisclosed location "Somewhere in The American Redoubt.”

He is now a freelance writer, blogger and retreat consultant. His children are home schooled.[3]

Philosophical and political views

Rawles is an outspoken proponent of family preparedness, especially regarding food storage and his advocacy of relocating to lightly populated rural "retreat" areas.

Rawles warned about possible disruption that could be caused by the Year 2000 (Y2K) problem, and urged "an all-out effort" by programmers to be ready for the four digit date rollover.[10][11][12]

Rawles credits Mel Tappan as the primary influence in the development of his survivalist philosophy as well as the impetus for launching SurvivalBlog.com.[13]. Rawles has been called "The intellectual heir of Mel Tappan", and has been described as "...the survivalist voice of reason, following in the footsteps of Mel Tappan." [14]

Rawles was also strongly influenced by Robert Heinlein, Jerry Pournelle, Pat Frank, George R. Stewart, Mel Tappan, David Brin, Tom Clancy, Howard Ruff, Dr. Gary North, Ayn Rand, and Ludwig von Mises and by Military fiction, political thrillers and survivalist fiction.

Rawles was quoted by the New York Times in April of 2008 that "interest in the survivalist movement 'is experiencing its largest growth since the late 1970s'”. He also stated that his blog's conservative core readership has been supplemented with "an increasing number of stridently green and left-of-center readers."[15]

Economic views

In a Usenet post in February of 2001, Rawles fairly accurately called the bottom of the two-decade long bear market in the price of silver that had brought silver down from a high of $50 per ounce, to under $5 per ounce.[16] In the post, Rawles mentioned a potential low of $4.25 per ounce. It actually bottomed just a few months later (intraday) at $4.03 per ounce.[17]

As of January, 2008, Rawles stills sees silver and gold in "primary bull markets."[18]

Rawles predicts a deep recession or possibly a depression in the near future[19], triggered by a housing market collapse and an "implosion" of global credit and the derivatives market.[20]

Blog presence

Rawles is the editor of SurvivalBlog.com, a very widely-read and cited [21] blog on survival and preparedness topics. According to its statistics page, it has more than 220,000 unique visitors per week.[22] [23] The main focus of his blog is family preparedness for disasters. In his blog writings, Rawles recommends that investors put at least 25% of their portfolios into gold, silver, and barter goods.[24] He also advises his blog readers to store four year's supply of food[25] in preparation for future hard times, and "double up" with other families[26] to establish survival retreats. Rawles believes (as of his 2005-2008 writings) that the United States is headed for a hyperinflationary economic depression.[27] Rawles favors the abolition of the fractional-reserve banking system, and a return to the gold standard.[28] Rawles is also a proponent of Home schooling.[29]

Published works

His first book, Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse, a novel, was first released in 1998. It was first released as Internet shareware in the early 1990s, and later published in interim form as TEOTWAWKI: The End of The World as We Know It, in the late 1990s.[30] The story is set in the near future and describes a period of hyperinflation and a socio-economic collapse. While it is a fictional story, it is essentially a survival manual dressed as fiction.[31] It was re-released in December, 2006 in expanded form. One early reviewer of the novel commented: "While it is true that the protagonists appear to be part of the religious right, it is clearly incorrect to stereotype them as intolerant racists or anti-government zealots."[32]. The publisher's synopsis describes the novel as "distinctly pro-Christian, pro-preparedness, pro-gun ownership, and anti-racist." [33]

His second book, Rawles on Retreats and Relocation, was non-fiction. It describes how to geographically select a survival retreat and stock it with key logistics.

His third book, SurvivalBlog: The Best of the Blog, Volume 1, was non-fiction. It is a compendium of posts and letters from the first six months of SurvivalBlog.

He also authored an action-adventure screenplay, loosely based on his novel Patriots.

Rawles also co-authored the Rawles Gets You Ready preparedness course, released in August, 2006.

He is also the author of numerous Internet FAQs, primarily on firearms topics.


  • Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse from Huntington House Publishers, ISBN 978-1563841552 (November 1998)
  • Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse (33 chapter expanded edition) from Xlibris, ISBN 978-1425734077 (December 2006)
  • The Survival Blog: The Best of the Blog, Volume 1 from CafePress, No ISBN (February 2007)
  • Survivors: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse, Atria Books (September, 2011)
  • Founders: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse, Atria Books (September, 2012)


  • Pulling Through (A feature-length action-adventure "spec" screenplay) WGAw (WGA West script registration service) #714352 (April, 2007) [34]


  • Rawles Gets You Ready from Arbogast Publishing, No ISBN (August 2006)


Some Internet FAQs and Reference Articles by Rawles.[35]

See Also

Related People

Related Movements and Organizations

Second Amendment Defenders of American Liberty

Other Related Articles


  1. Second Great Depression just weeks away, warns expert by Derek Clontz
  2. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/13/MNIL1008L2.DTL
  3. 3.0 3.1 SurvivalBlog Staff Biographies
  4. [1]
  5. [2]
  6. [3]
  7. [4]
  8. [5]
  9. [6]
  10. p_text_direct-0=0EB0477D786595EE&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM THURSDAY OFFERS A MINI-Y2K SITUATION, EXPERTS SAY The Sacramento Bee, September 8, 1999
  11. GETTING IN TOUCH WITH Y2K AND THE PROPHETS OF DOOM Press-Telegram, January 7, 1999
  12. "Do you live in fear of the millennium?", South China Morning Post, April 6, 1999
  13. SurvivalBlog.com
  14. http://www.survivalblog.com/2008/03/four_letters_re_use_of_force_i.html
  15. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/06/fashion/06survival.html
  16. http://groups.google.com/group/misc.survivalism/browse_thread/thread/91d596201f5f4099/00bfb0230b744507?hl=en&lnk=st&q=Rawles%2BCall%2BBottom%2Bsilver#00bfb0230b744507
  17. SurvivalBlog.com
  18. [7]
  19. [8]
  20. SurvivalBlog.com - Derivatives
  21. [http://charts.technorati.com/blogs/www.survivalblog.com?reactionsdaily
  22. SurvivalBlog home page
  23. [9]
  24. [10]
  25. SurvivalBlog.com
  26. [11]
  27. [12]
  28. [13]
  29. [14]
  30. [15]
  31. WND Commentary Five novels of freedom by Claire Wolfe, WorldNetDaily, September 30, 1999
  32. [16]
  33. [17]
  34. "Pulling Through" Screenplay
  35. SurvivalBlog.com FAQ list
  36. The Lowdown on AR-15/M16 Magazines by James Wesley Rawles, Fulton Armory
  37. The Lowdown on M1 Carbine Magazines by James Wesley Rawles, Fulton Armory, February 1998
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