Abstract: God, Guns, and Guts action-adventure novel about surviving an economic collapse of the United States and subsequent lawlessness and invasion by the 'New World Order' crowd. Has a significant didactic component.
Keywords: book review, fiction, survival, economic collapse, new world order, God, guns, guts.
book cover
Title: TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It)
Author: James Wesley, Rawles, James Wesley Rawles
Publisher: Clearwater Press
Date Published: 1997
Pages: 326
Bibliography: 17 entries
Click below to buy the book
[Book price/availability varies]



To Buy This Book

Barnes and Noble does not carry this book. Please contact the publisher Clearwater Press or the author James Wesley, Rawles directly.

REVIEW by Orville R. Weyrich, Jr.


One of my favorite series of books as a child was Swiss Family Robinson and its sequels. This story is similar in that it also portrays a group of people pulling together to survive a major disaster (ship wreck or collapse of government and infrastructure) without outside assistance. It is different in that protagonists in The Swiss Family Robinson had no pre-planning, whereas the protagonists in TEOTWAWKI were members of a "survivalist" group, who by virtue of ten years of preparation for "something bad happening" (they didn't know exactly what), they were 90% prepared for disaster when it struck.

This is not a children's book, however, and folks like Handgun Control Inc. will certainly have a hissy-fit upon reading it. On the other hand, the protagonists use their weapons responsibly, in self defense, the defense of others, or the defense of the Constitutional government against foreign invaders (in the guise of the "New World Order"). Their actions appear to be consistent with St. Augustine's concept of a "just war" and Christian charity.

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. Nearly every statistically significant ethnic and religious background in the United States is represented within the protagonists. They go out of their way to deal honestly with people outside their group, even when nobody is looking, and do not start out the book with a grudge against the Federal government.

Although the character development in TEOTWAWKI is not as smooth as in Swiss Family Robinson , the strength of the novel lies in the questions that it provokes and the possible steps which it illustrates for mitigating disasters. In the following sections I will mention a few of the questions which come to my mind.

Why Worry?

While most of us have little fear of becoming ship-wrecked, concerns are reasonable about:

While all of the above may have a relatively small probability of happening, it is also unlikely that you or I will be run over by a cement truck tomorrow. Nonetheless, most folks feel that it is prudent to buy life insurance. By the same token, it is worth considering what kind of preparations are reasonable against the possibility of any of the above catastrophes occurring. Just as it is possible to be "over-insured," it is possible to allocate too many resources in preparation for unlikely disasters. Each person and family must decide for themselves how much of their resources to set aside "for a rainy day." Unfortunately, far too many Americans are living pay-check to pay-check, and have little or no ability to prepare for possible disaster. Note that many of the above disaster scenarios have the potential to overwhelm the government's ability to respond, thus leaving individual citizens to their own devices to cope with the situation. As long as the disaster is localized, government help can be expected. But if the problem becomes systemic, well ... you're on your own.

With that dismal thought in mind, we need to face the stark reality that anything which seriously disrupts the infrastructure can reduce food, water, and energy production to the point that the "carrying capacity" of the environment will be exceeded, resulting in large-scale death unless the infrastructure is restored quickly enough. Given a prolonged hiatus, people will start dying, and people will become desperate and violent.

Charity Versus Self-Interest

What should those fortunates that HAVE put some food, water, and fuel aside do when confronted with a general melt-down of society? On the one hand, civic duty and Christian charity would suggest sharing whatever reserves are available. On the other hand, jumping in to save a drowning swimmer can pull both the original victim and the would-be rescuer to a watery grave. While it is easy to say that the "Godly" thing to do is to share equally with all who are in need, it is far harder to condemn your children to starvation by sharing your finite supplies without reservation with all comers. Is deadly force justified to protect the food supply of your family? If the government decrees that all stored food supplies be turned over to authorities, should you comply? This is a moral and legal dillema which is not easily answered.

To Arm or Not to Arm

As part of their survivalist mentality, the protagonists did accumulate a large stock of guns, ammunition, and explosives, and were clearly pushing the law to its limit, if not beyond. In the scenario which played out in the story, these preparations were very prudent and served the protagonists, their neighbors, and country at large very well when push came to shove. But in the real world, their peaceful intentions would not have mattered to Federal authorities the ilk of those who have been called "jack-booted thugs" for their activities at Ruby Ridge, Waco, and elsewhere. Recognizing this, we can come to the conclusion that in the real world, a trade-off must be made between the prudence of laying in sufficient arms to defend oneself in a worst-case melt-down of civilization, and the prudence of not accumulating a sufficiently large arsenal to attract the attention of the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco. No-knock raids, tanks and CS gas can ruin your whole day.

This issue is especially important if you fit the alleged government profile of "threats" that has been attributed to Janet Reno but not confirmed (but which seems very consistent with news reports about government "interventions"):

A cultist is one who has a strong belief in the Bible and the Second Coming of Christ; who frequently attends Bible's studies; who has a high level of financial giving to a Christian cause; who home schools for their children; who has accumulated survival foods and has a strong belief in the Second Amendment; and who distrusts big government.

Any of these may qualify [a person as a cultist] but certainly more than one [of these] would cause us to look at this person as a threat, and his family as being in a risk situation that qualified for government interference.

In other words, if you lay in a store of food for a rainy day, home-school, or exercise your First Amendment rights (are openly Christian or criticize the government), you would be prudent to not exercise your Second Amendment rights, unless you want to have a plague of jack-booted thugs visited upon your family. In the event that you opt to forgo your Second Amendment rights in order to safely exercise your First Amendment rights, you can only pray that should the crunch come and civilization disintegrates, some Second Amendment folks will take your family under their protection.


Overall, the book is an interesting read, and leaves the reader with much food for thought. Your conclusions may differ. In addition to the philosophical questions which the book raises, it is a rich source of practical information to consider when making your own plans for survival. My yellow hi-lite pen was very busy while reading this book.

I have taken this program and I highly recommend it to all health-care providers - Orville R. Weyrich, Jr PhD NMD.
Functional Diagnostic Medicine banner ad
For more information, see: The CSI Report and Video and Become a New Patient Magnet

Copyright © 1998     Orville R. Weyrich, Jr.