Collapse and Crash

This week someone close to me asked exactly the right question. It threw me for a loop, so I deflected and evaded it, not quite sure how to respond. I have been pondering it ever since – and concluded it is time to be completely candid. The question she asked was, “Has the storm already begun?” The short, candid answer is yes.
Social upheaval is a process, not a single event. It is somewhat akin to a tumor. When a tumor first appears, it is rarely noticed. As it grows, it can cause discomfort. It is a problem that needs to be addressed, but not life-threatening. There comes a point when it may go malignant. If caught early, it is still not fatal, but will grow aggressively and begin to eat away at systems that the body needs to function properly unless it is dealt with equally aggressively. Strangely enough, a malignant tumor is rarely painful in the early stages, giving it opportunity to grow even as it numbs the body to the danger it poses. If it is not caught in time, the only hope is radical surgery or treatments so aggressive that they, themselves, cause damage and distress to the body. With luck, those radical measures may defeat the malignancy, but if they fail, death follows.
I have a private vocabulary for the stages of catastrophic collapse. First there is the breaking of the storm. That is the when the tumor reaches the point where a routine examination would uncover it. The storm began in May of 2009, when North Korea ran another round of nuclear tests. I did not recognize it for what it was at the time. It was not until June of that year when Gabriel came and corrected me when I spoke of the storm breaking sometime in the future. He explained that N. Korea had not just tested nuclear weapons; it had invited observers from rogue Middle Eastern regimes to witness the test, in a bid to act as nuclear arms merchant and technical consultants to those regimes. This, he said, was the breaking of the storm. In the last year and a half, American intelligence services have repeated what Gabriel told me then; that representatives of Iran and Syria were present for those tests. It had begun raining internationally. I realize that when I speak of the Storm publicly, people think of the crash, so except with certain spiritual counselors and advisors, whenever I speak of the Storm now I say it in the context of the final crash so as to avoid confusion.
For me, collapse is when the tumor becomes malignant, the moment when the normal defensive mechanisms of the body are no longer capable of fighting it effectively. This too, is a process – and a very dangerous one. In the early stages, there is little or no pain – and the body’s systems continue to work almost normally even as they are being eaten away by the cancer inside. It is perilously easy to deceive yourself that nothing is really wrong at all. Our social and political systems began the process of collapse last May – and the malignancy was complete before the end of the year. A little thought experiment for Americans: if you had gone to sleep just a year ago today and not woken up until now, you would be stunned at our new “normal.” A year ago, you did not know and would not have believed that the IRS was intentionally targeting and harassing Christians and ideological conservatives. Today, the government not only concedes it, but seeks to institutionalize it as the soul of justice. A year ago you would not have believed that the NSA was intercepting every call and email anyone in America makes and storing them all in a massive data base. Today, it is the subject of jokes, but no one envisions stopping it. A year ago, if you were told that Obamacare would result in 6 million losing their insurance, at least a net gain of 4.5 million more uninsured than when it was implemented, the people who had insurance paying on average 40 percent more for the privelege with double the deductibles and fewer things covered, often losing their doctors and their hospitals, you would have considered it a right-winger’s ludicrous dark paranoia. That is the reality – and federal officials threaten to sue dying cancer patients who dare to speak publicly about what has happened to them.
My first real political job was as an aide to the late Congressman Robert McClory, the second ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee in the early 70s and the only Republican author of an article of impeachment against Richard Nixon. Let me review the three articles of impeachment against Nixon.
– First was the obstruction of justice article. This accused Nixon of failing to faithfully execute the laws duly passed by the Congress – and using the justice department to try to obscure investigations rather than honestly carry them out. Both Republicans and Democrats considered that a serious matter then. Recently, our current attorney general was instructing state law officials which laws they must NOT enforce. He has been held in contempt of Congress twice for obstructing investigations.
-Second was the attempted abuse of the IRS article. This article charged that Nixon’s aides attempted to use the IRS to harass major political enemies. He did not succeed because the then-honorable IRS refused. But the very attempt was considered impeachable. The IRS concedes it targeted Christians and conservatives – from 2009 on. Left-wing officials try to contradict the IRS’ own admission, and now try to codify the IRS as a proper agency to police acceptable speech.
-Third was the contempt of Congress article. This was the one my old boss wrote. Neither Democrats nor Republicans shrugged with indifference when administrations officials defied lawful Congressional orders concurrent with a lawful investigation then. It was an impeachable offense. Lois Lerner, who headed the IRS enforcement arm in the targeting of Christians and conservatives has refused to co-operate with Congress. They threaten to hold her in contempt. Does anyone believe that will have any consequences? The attorney general himself has been in contempt twice and he rolls merrily along.
The internal political safeguards of our system have collapsed. Those with power do what they will and dare you to do anything about it. If you appear on the radar screen of the administration, you can expect audits from the IRS and visits from the FBI, BATF, OSHA and whatever other agencies they can think of to sic on you. National Park Rangers, once nobly non-partisan in their devotion to our national treasures, gleefully acted as genuine brownshirts last fall, harassing veterans trying to visit open-air monuments and even holding a group of foreign tourists hostage in the west. And the watchmen who are supposed to protect your rights? They may howl a bit in outrage, but you are pretty much on your own.
Socially, even prominent Republicans such as Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Sen. John McCain came out in support of legislation that would fine, imprison or take their business away from Christians who refused to actively participate in celebrations of “gay marriage.” Not for refusing to serve gays, but for refusing to participate in their celebrations. The left has quite nicely hijacked the language of tolerance to enact their new Jim Crow laws against Christians. The aggressors are filled with passionate intensity while the guardians of liberty often can’t even muster an objection – and never an effective defense.
Our internal defense systems have collapsed. The social compact has collapsed. We continue forward for a time, like a car whose engine seized up while coming down a mountain. We continue to move, but it is only the residual momentum of a once vigorous vitality that is now dead that propels us. It’s already gone but we deny it because the car has not yet quit coasting.
About six weeks ago I went into a very deep funk for about three and a half weeks, dismayed at all that has happened and the sheer inability of even the best people to see it. I let things overwhelm me for a time.
What people are waiting for is the crash – the final stage of collapse when denial is no longer possible, even for the resolutely delusional. My friend’s pointed question helped me realize that when I speak of collapse, I had best confine it only to mean the crash, the last stage, for that is what most are hearing when I speak of it. But that, too, dismays me. For if you will not believe anything seriously is wrong or has collapsed until federal agents are at your door with the paddy wagon to take you to the FEMA camps, there is really nothing I can say that will be of help to you and you should look elsewhere for solace.
If you recognize the signs of the times for what they are and are willing to help others endure this great trial that is ALREADY upon us, then I have things to say that are useful. The rain is falling ever harder, the systems that safeguard us have already collapsed. If you are disappointed that it has not yet all crashed, you will be edified before more than a few months have passed. But if you wait that long to take it seriously, you squander time you could be using. I am going vigorously about the business of helping people prepare in a variety of ways.
When I got to Colorado almost a year ago, I was frantic to get things into place. My angel told me after about a month that I could do nothing big until the crash had already struck, but that the discipline and preparation from what I was doing would lay an invaluable foundation for that moment. As always, he was right.


About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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14 Responses to Collapse and Crash

  1. Anne says:

    I am going vigorously about the business of helping people to prepare in all ways”…….would you please briefly expand on this. Just to help us to help others.all hands on deck. Thank you Charlie.


  2. charliej373 says:

    Well, gosh, Anne, that is exactly what this website is about. I link to the Peppy Prepper to help people get some good temporal tips for self-sufficient living. This while website is about the spiritual preparation. I know folks sometimes want a step-by-step on what to do to avoid chaos. Well, no matter how well people prepare, they may have to flee. No matter how ill-prepared, some will do okay right where they are. I am more impatient than I used to be listening to people run their careful plans by me – for our propensity for forming detailed, formulaic, plans is part of the problem. We think if we just had enough information, we could solve any problem, so people restlessly look for more information. Be prudent, do not be surprised if your best-laid plans are overturned in an instant. I know it sounds stupid to prepare if whatever you prepare is probably going to up-ended. But, as experienced battle commanders know, every battle plan is upended usually within minutes of the beginning of battle. Even so, victory usually goes to those who were most prepared – provided they did not mulishly try to hold to their original plan. Why? The mental exercise of preparing gives your mind flexibility to adjust to and respond to whatever the circumstances are. But I really, really mean it when I tell you the step-by-step formula is:

    1) Acknowledge God.
    2)Take the next, right step.
    3) Be a sign of hope to those around you.

    Everything else I write is merely commentary on the matter.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. anne says:

    thank you. Forgot about the link to Preppy. I realize that the central point revolves around the 3 steps. also i hear so much of refuges in USA……not a thing here in Australia.
    I think your comment re probably plans up – ended is very good …..and going through the mental exercise gives your mind flexibility to adjust, not quite the shock perhaps.
    To me, spiritual preparation is the main and we can help others by sharing this …….get your spiritual life in order Just simply those words may have an effect.


  4. charliej373 says:

    Well, Anne, you know, I suspect those areas most heavily dependent on technology will have the most difficult time adjusting. America, in particular, has a great fall coming before it can get off its knees. You have some lovely cities in Australia, but in your rural regions, they already know a great deal on how to make do with limited resources – and to depend on each other. Or at least that is the favorable impression I get from everyone who has spent much time in the back country. So in a way, I suspect your country is already ahead of the game and has abundant refuges already up and running. All that is needed is the practical Christian character added to them to make them complete.


  5. David says:


    I found your blog through a friend about 1 week ago and have since passed it on to a few others. I have read through many of your blogs and the comments that follow. My family and I (roughly 50 of us) have felt the prodding of the Spirit to prepare for the last several years and have been making preparations both physically and spiritually off and on ever since. We have established a large organic heirloom garden, put in a hand well, installed a wood burning stove, and are currently building a greenhouse. We have also been canning ALOT. However, I will be the first to admit that we have often found ourselves fatigued and sometimes wondering if we are crazy, because we have expected something to have happened by now. That being said, after reading, I realize that the signs are indeed all around us, but they are more subtle than we were expecting. I applaud your courage and thank you for spreading this message as it is not an easy one to spread due to ridicule and other such things.
    I (we) do have one thing that I would like your input on though… We often come to this paradox: Do we stay and help (we live in a decent sized city in Indiana) those who would be in need, or do we flee? I see the need to help others, though I am not sure what type of help would be needed. However, I also have my wife and two year old daughter to think about. I am an overprotective father, and if any harm were to come to them due to my decision to stay I am not sure what I would do.
    As you can see, I am quite conflicted, truly we are all conflicted on the above decision. I/we have all prayed on this many times. Quite frankly we must not listen very well, because none of us can hear the Lord’s response. Any input that you might have, no matter great or small, would be appreciated 🙂

    God Bless!


    • charliej373 says:

      Hi David. Well, the Lord is not going to take responsibility for the decisions that are yours. That is part of why there is free will. He very rarely does that for me – just tells me to make a decision. He expects us to be responsible for ourselves and take initiative – while offering it to Him. Then He can gently guide us.

      Do the most right thing you can think of, remembering that your first duty is to your family, those little souls God has given in to your care for a time. Don’t worry about getting it wrong…if you do, once you are moving, acting, God can gently guide you and put on your heart the right paths. But anyone who is waiting for God to tell you plainly what you should do next, you have a very long wait. He expects you to act with fortitude and resolve and then He can gently guide you. But you get nothing until you make a decision and get moving.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Patricia says:

    Based on a recent comment I went back to the beginning to read all your posts. I am as far as this one. The comment on FEMA camps: are we to assume that you mean it literally? Also, for those of us who have been active in politics and have realized it is all for naught but kept doing our duty, are we all in peril for camps? And do you foresee any lessening of the state’s onslaught of the unconstitutional assaults on our liberty with the election results last night?
    Thank you.


    • charliej373 says:

      My best friend, a judge, and I often joke that we just hope we can get a cell together and a deck of cards. There will be an intensified assault on liberty – but as I have also said, repeatedly, Patricia, it is not going to work out as they plan. Nefarious forces have a plan. So does God.

      Liked by 1 person

      • NancyA says:

        Sounds like a most definite “maybe!” LOL

        I recently read a book called _German Boy_, a memoir of a man who was a refugee in his own country as the Russians came in at the end of WWII. The privations were dreadful, and the sights and experiences this boy and other children lived through certainly give one pause . You’ve said, Charlie, that it will be worse than what we imagine if what we imagine is the world war with a bit of the depression and some famine thrown in or something like that. But what struck me in reading that book was how much the man, as a boy, relied upon memories of good deeds done for them, and in them, God’s action for him and his family, to help him through those times. They could not prepare, but we’re suddenly cast out and fighting for their lives and dignity. It’s the best my imagination can do… but it helps me … to know that all we really can do is trust and do the right thing with whatever we face. Others have before.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Patricia says:

    Just checking but are you speaking to my in your best motherly tone? 🙂


  8. Laura Lowder says:

    Here it is, more than a year and a half later, and we’ve become so numb to these things going on that I was surprised, reading them again. We’ve quit fighting — we’ve quit seeing. Maybe it’s that nearly every day brings in something new to be shocked about?

    I’ll be emailing you later — maybe later in the week, or even the month, certainly not today — because you are challenging me on many GOOD levels. Thank you – –


  9. LisasMania7 says:

    IF I were to allow anything to annoy me greatly about any of this. (Which I pretty much don’t gladly), it would be everyone’s “wait n see” position.
    As there’s so much work to be done.
    BUT, I’ve always likened myself to The Little Red Hen, who alone does all of the planting, harvesting, milling, and baking.
    Luckily for all, I have a huge capacity to forgive (an Italian who is NOT tormented by the vendetta thankfully), so everyone still gets to eat the bread!!!
    NOT that anyone is spared hearing whining & un-followed through threats.~~~~

    Just growing in holiness.
    Everyone sucking out any of my grace earned.

    Liked by 2 people

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