Proselytizing Naifs - Seeking Veterans of Political Campaigns and others : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

By this time, every individual in America has heard much of y2k (except the 12 or 13 OJ jurors, who haven't heard anything about it.) But the overwhelming majority have taken little action.

If you want to proselytize naifs to *prepare* (forget the now emotionally charged polly/gi debate)what do you do?

I am finding the old sales adage of "You'll hear a prospect say no seven times before they say yes" to apply to y2k. I've been flooding acquaintances with e-mails of official statements. Today I sent the John Hamre memo threaded below. Last week I sent the Koskinen Asia statement along with the global commerce publication. I don't comment on the documents. The recipients are adults and can draw their own conclusions.

This activity is proving true Sen. Bennett's statement that the more you know about y2k, the worse it gets. The recipients are now (after numerous mailings) responding. They are concerned.

My neighborhood of 500 folks is a little different. I have so far passed out one flyer two times. I planned to hand out (stick to mailboxes) Red Cross and State Emerg. Mgmt. folders, but my e-mail experience is showing these government reports to be harder hitting. So I might change tactics and print out the more substantial of these documents for handouts.

The above is for your consideration. Now I need your assistance. I am thinking that persuading my area to prep. might be best accomplished (on a budget of zero dollars, which is the constraint) by using political campaign management as a model.

I am thinking about phone banks which will make several contacts with each household asking them to pledge to prepare for "X period" of time and then following up toward the end of the year to ask if their preps are in place. (Obviously, the phoners could provide other assistance if requested, but I'm just trying to sketch the big picture of what I'm thinking.)

If anyone with relevant experience (especially grassroots political organizing) has suggestions, please reply in this thread or reply to the Hotmail address listed below.

Also, if anyone in North Carolina, particularly eastern NC between Chapel Hill and the coast is willing to become involved in this effort, please contact me.

-- Puddintame (, May 10, 1999



Good luck on trying to get your community interested enough to become involved. I've pretty much given up on that. However, you might consider getting one of those Clinton pull-over masks to wear. I don't think the folks will believe it until they hear from the Prez.

-- Gordon (, May 11, 1999.


I've found that the "insurance" model argument seems to work the best, though even this has had only moderate success for me. Ask leading questions, such as "how much do you spend on life insurance per year? Car insurance? Homeowner's insurance? Fire? Flood? etc. "For roughly the same amount of money, you could have the same feeling of security that your family would remain safe from any food, water, cooking, or heating supply disruptions resulting whatever personal disaster befalls you. Just a little extra per week from the grocery store, gradually stockpiling..." "Money in the bank..." "Whatever happens, your loved ones won't be hungry..."

This may see like hitting below the belt for many, but isn't it true? If the arguement is made related directly to something most people can identify with on a regular basis (monthly bills), and is concrete enough to understand on a daily subsistance level, maybe it will work. For those will not listen, they are probably chronically late (or don't pay) for insurance anyway, and will never "get it." They will not plan for anything beyond next week.

Good luck,


-- Spindoctor (, May 11, 1999.


You sound tired my friend. Though I havn't tried as hard as you my results have been equally dismal. Have attended several local 2yk meetings but these very nice christian people seem to come for the hamburgers more than the problem. Perhaps the unknown is just too scary. I'm relatively new to this forum. Have learned a lot but can't figure out why there are so few participants. Think I'll start a thread on that subject. Take care---of yours first. Carlos

-- Carlos Mueller (, May 11, 1999.

Puddintame, you hit pay dirt! Guess who worked for the guy who taught Ron Faucheux. Guess who was responsible for hiring, firing, training, phone bankers and composing copy. Guess who then worked for a political campaign management firm. And after that worked for Clinton's buddies for a year. Guess who volunteered for other campaigns in between and after. And guess who, when she went free-lance, worked for all KINDS of New Orleans pols, including Supreme Court judge, sundry members of mayor's retinue, various other minor elected officials. And whose best friend and drinking buddy was a state rep. Without all that I lvied in New Orlans for a total of 13 years. Equivalent to at least one PhD in Poli Sci.

The mind and body are not what they were in the glory days, so don't expect me to get on the phone and convince people, but I'll gladly give you priceless advice and information!

First bit of advice--recruit NCSU students, probably from the POli Sci Dept. Either talk to a prof over there or go see dept. sec. and ask if you can put up a flyer on the BB (have it with you, plus stapler and thumb tacks). Don't mention telephone work, tell them about it when they call you to inquire. Don't rely on e-mail, do it over the phone.

Am tied up with a few things right now but would be happy to help more in a week or ten days. E-mail me privately if you don't get a better offer.

-- Old Git (, May 11, 1999.

Spindoc: yep, my argument word for word: "your loved ones won't go hungry." If that doesn't stir them, nothing will. Puddintame: good luck: to paraphrase an old book--"the workers are few, and the harvest is sitting on the shelves."

-- Spidey (, May 11, 1999.

I was interested to hear you are from New Orleans - I was born and raised here in New Orleans. I realize the topic of this thread is not "bugging out", but I don't have your e-mail address. I was wondering what your opinion of the situation in New Orleans is - I take it you have moved to a rural area. We are thinking of buying a small piece of rural property around Sun, LA (about 80 miles from our home), setting it up with a mobile home, and then going there a few days before the rollover. So, this will be sort of a safety net - but we're wondering if it's safe enough!!!! Being from New Orleans, what is your opinion? (Sun is located northeast of New Orleans, close to Mississippi))

-- Scarlett (, May 11, 1999.

Sorry - the above post was directed to "OLD GIT" - forgot to put that!

-- Scarlett (, May 11, 1999.

This is MinnesotaSmith, author of the Y2K website My opinion about trying to warn the neighbors is summed up in the following articles from my site:

Warning The Neighbors

Here we go with another depressing discussion. I have found through repeated personal experience that the vast majority of people cannot yet be educated on this subject. They do not wish to hear about it; they effectively do not have the attention span to hear the case for Y2K being more than the phone company sending somebody a bill for $282 million. I believe that telling neighbors about Y2K directly is unlikely to convince them to prepare in a timely fashion (they won't get ready in advance of the panic). It will alert them to your presumed preparedness, and makes you much more likely to be targeted by them (or people they talk to...) for looting. To quote Dr. North: "They won't prepare, but they'll remember". I'm sorry, but directly telling your neighbors about the need to stockpile food risks your family's safety for no good reason.

One thing you can do: run off some particularly persuasive pages from the Internet (especially Dr. North's site), and maybe buy a copy of Michael Hyatt's The Millennium Bug or Ed Yourdon's TimeBomb2000, and leave it with no note on their front porch at 4:00 A.M. sometime. When they mention this incident, deny all knowledge, and give no opinion on it. Let them bring up Y2K in conversation, and be very cautious in your discussions with them on the subject. As a general rule, the physically closer to you someone you know lives, the less they should ever find out about your personal preparations for Y2K.

Warning Relatives or Friends

This section assumes that the people in question are neither permanent household members (in which case they are Family) or live within several miles of you (in which case they are treated as being in the Neighbor category).

I have found little correlation between age/education/intelligence on one hand, and ability to understand the implications of Y2K/willingness to prepare for it on the other, so you should have no preconceptions about someone's willingness to listen to warnings about Y2K.

In general, if someone lives and works a long distance away from you (at least one state away), you can probably get away (safety-wise) with divulging a great deal to them. You still don't want to tell them too much about your personal preparedness; saying that you are moving away from the city, getting a dog, storing "some" food and water -- this is probably enough. You should spend whatever Y2K discussion time you get with them covering 1) the reality of Y2K, and 2) what they might want to do to prepare. Remember, most people are still incapable of taking the whole thing seriously enough to make significant preparations. Being related to you (or having gone to the same school however many years ago) does not confer immunity to this tendency. Expect to hear "I really don't want to hear about it" or "I just don't think it'll be that big of a problem" or "some government guy on TV said he's confident nothing will happen" (the way Clinton was never alone with Miss Lewinsky) from normally rational people who don't know nearly enough about Y2K to be entitled to opinions on the subject. Cajole them into copying down some book titles and web site addresses, shrug, and go back to preparing your household. That's all you can do; you did try.

-- MinnesotaSmith (, May 11, 1999.

"I've been flooding acquaintances with e-mails of official statements."

In other words you are nothing more than a spammer. I always get a chuckle at people trying to "proselytize". Waving their "The End Of The World Is At Hand" signs an shaking their fists at the "herd". Get another hobby... "On January 1, 1999 they will experience many more, and it will be much more difficult to sweep them under the rug. On April 1, 1999 we will all watch anxiously as the governments of Japan and Canada, as well as the state of New York, begin their 1999-2000 fiscal year; at that moment, the speculation about Y2K will end, and we will have tangible evidence of whether governmental computer systems work or not."-- Ed Yourdon

"So, of course I want to see y2k bring down the system, all over the world. I have hoped for this all of my adult life." -- Gary North

-- Y2K Pro (, May 11, 1999.

Who yanked your string?

-- Puddintame (, May 11, 1999.


Regarding the Y2K Pro reaction above, you would think he'd be happy to hear that we have so little success in bringing others onboard. Anyway, I just wanted to add a bit more to my comments. I have tried intensely to get something going in our own little community. I have given presentations, and invited others who were even more knowledgable to give a presentation. I have used video tapes and reprints of official reports. While I get an occasional convert, what mostly happens is this: The audience does "get it" and reacts in an excited way about the information. They talk amonst themselves and ask further questions. They decide they will do some preparations. After a day or two of talking with "others" they decide that they overreacted to it all and since there is no other Official Govt. warnings being issued, they will back off and just "wait and see." Some people even feel you are possibly off in La-La land yourself, as I imagine Y2K Pro does. This is the sad end results, time after time after time. I mention all this because I've been there. The lack of reaction can be somewhat draining to your health and planning. While it may be possible to get some real action going in a college environment, I think Matt Vaughn recently posted enough information on the frustration of a "college kid" trying to get "adults" to pay attention. However, what you are trying to do is commendable. Good luck.

-- Gordon (, May 11, 1999.

Scarlett, I lived in New Orleans (mostly Uptown near Tulane U) for about 13 years but I'm not from there. However, if I were living there right now, I'd do exactly what you're doing. New Orleans isn't safe at the best of times and has a very large percentage of residents living at or below the poverty level. If there's the least problem with Y2K it won't be fun to live there. My son moved across the lake about two years ago (Mandeville), mostly because of the crime problems.

Sweetie and I live in Durham, NC, not ideal for Y2k problems but safer than NO. We didn't move from NO because of Y2K, we moved because it's not a high-tech job area and Sweetie does computer stuff.

We miss NO very much--except for the crime, but I hear that situation is tremendously improved. Still, not enough to make us want to move back. And the poor old city is overdue for a bad hurricane. . .

A word of advice--after you buy your property, one of you should change your drivers license to reflect the new address. You may need it if push comes to shove. A lesser alternative is to make sure you carry with you some evidence that you own property at that address--recent utility bill, last tax bill, that sort of thing.

Good luck!

-- Old Git (, May 11, 1999.

"Y2KPro" still hasn't told us whether he's a snake that can fly or a bird that slithers on its belly. . .

-- Hardliner (, May 11, 1999.


you're way over my head! Everything I've done has been based on personal contact: I pass info to 15 people who each pass info to anywhere from 5 to 15 people who each pass info...and so on...

May God richly bless your efforts!


-- Arlin H. Adams (, May 11, 1999.

Old Git: Thanks for responding, and thanks for the good advice about having some proof of residency. That was one thing I had not thought of. :-)

-- Scarlett (, May 11, 1999.

You might try appealing to those who have lived through major disasters...they know it can happen to them. Then you will have allies. Also, structure the preparations as both for Y2K and for hurricane/tornado/ice storm/earthquake/whatever.

I understand your frustrations...but it also helps if you have some credentials (I have 33 years in the computer industry) and other credibility (as with family members).

Remember, even Noah could only save his could Lot (and he missed out on his wife and sons-in-law!).

-- Mad Monk (, May 11, 1999.

Our local community groups used the UTNE Reader. The local fire chief is a retired electrician who has invented a cheap panel affair for power cut-offs necessary for generators. Only costs about $100 and it meets code too! (The other electrician in the valley refers all y2k business to him because he is a DGI with moral scruples.) The fire chief hands out the reader to his customers. It is also available for purchase on the counter at the local pharmacy. I believe some churches bought them for their people. I put local y2k task force literature on the counter at work. The more merchants who do this, the easier it is to get the word out locally.

I wish I could get my Dad to GIT. He produces educational videos for AARP.

-- gonnabe (, May 12, 1999.

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