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In the first ‘Interview with Experts’ for a while, The Real Survivalists caught up with Jay Olliver again. A lot has changed for Jay since his last interview so it only seemed right to get him back to share even more of his huge knowledge base with us.
An Interview with Jay Olliver from the Paladin Network
Jay Olliver is one of the owners of the Paladin Network – he has been actively prepping for approximately 15 years – his background was as a Police Officer and his main goal is to bring the Prepper Community together through independent groups working together for a common goal. He is also actively trying to change the way the public perceives prepping, fighting stereotypes and attempting to change minds.
What has changed with you since the last time you spoke with The Real Survivalists?
I have had some massive changes since we last spoke, l parted ways with UKSN to move off in a more specific direction. It was a difficult decision to make to leave something that we had invested so much time and effort into. But, it was the right decision. I was humbled that several of the staff team decided to follow me when I left. Shortly after, we formed the ‘Paladin Network’, a private, secure community that is referral only. We formed 2 elements with this endeavour. The private community and a ‘Public side’ with a goal of changing the public perception of Prepping.
Tell us about Paladin Survival & Preparedness
Paladin is an organisation designed and built with several goals in mind. Providing community outreach to the public about prepping and survival skills. Maintain a private community for members to discuss, learn new skills and build bonds with like-minded people. As well as facilitating training with professional independent trainers and specific events. The name ‘Paladin’ means a champion of a cause. While the French word paladin means ‘Warrior’. As time went on, its meaning grew to include any chivalrous or heroic person. We do believe promoting prepping is a truly worthy cause. Our focus is 2 fold, Public & Private. The public side is tasked with raising the public profile of prepping. The private is a secure community of like-minded individuals for the purpose of information sharing and mutual support. We are a non-profit organisation with events and projects self-funded. Our services include general online guidance, private 1-2-1 consultation, as well as public seminars about Preparedness and the need for Survival Skills.
You also have started Prepper Intelligence – is this a part of Paladin? How is this different to Paladin?
As part of the overall development, we also launched a Facebook-based prepper information service called ‘Prepper-Intelligence’. It’s goal is for us to collate and share information from all sources, about news, events and incidents that would be of interest to the Prepper community. With this information we highlight key intelligence sources with the aim to keep the Prepping Community as informed as possible. (“Instructi Parati” – The Informed Are Prepared)
What do you think is the biggest risk to the world as we know it right now?
I think there are several factors contributing to the melting pot of chaos at the moment. Geopolitically there is a lot of uncertainly right now, which is dividing people more and more. US with Trump, UK with Brexit, seems you can’t say anything without finding someone thats violently opposed to you having a different opinion. But, the biggest risk at the moment in my opinion is the de-sensitisation of the public. Headings about terrorist attacks, school shootings, Gaza, chemical weapons and such seem to become a day to day occurrence, the public seem to tune it out. This makes it harder to see the wood through the trees.
If you had to pick one item from your bug out bag as the most valuable/important to you – what would you pick and why?
Going to have to give a sensible answer here – its got to be a Full Tang Knife – its the tool that lets you make all the other tools.
You must get asked for preparedness advice a lot – what is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Best piece of advise I was given was to drive the point home that “everyone’s survival setup is different” – you can get inspiration from others, from online lists, guides, articles, books or videos – but your gear and plan is your own – it needs to be personal – not generic.
What does Paladin offer that makes it different and stand out from other groups online?
Paladin is based around its members, each new member is referred to us by a current member. This means we are a lot smaller than some other more public groups. But we prefer a more secure, more private option. Each member is voted into the network by a council of network members. Meaning that representatives of the network get a say who is in the network. We have lot of members that are strict followers of OpSec – its why we make sure our public and our private elements function separately. We are also linked into PrepperPodcast.com with our Prepper-Intelligence Radio show, which allows us to step into another form of media – as well as the Paladin Livestreams.
What do you enjoy most about being a part of Paladin Survival & Preparedness?
I think the best thing is talking with people – In a single conversation we can dispose of Stereotypes and Myths about being prepared and present a reasonable case for why we do what we do. In recent years the level of understand around the need for prepping has increased significantly. People are starting to see it as we see it. Common sense solutions.
What is next for you? What prepper projects do you have in the pipeline?
We have just started a Prepper-Intelligence Radio spot on the PrepperPodcast.com, covering and analysing the weeks news stories and intel sources – so we will continue to develop that. We have just had our first simulated Bug Out Exercise. We setup up a 48-hour pandemic themed exercise in a remote undisclosed location. The participants were given minimal information prior to the event, meeting at a rally point before navigating to the location. They set out will complete Bug Out Bags, hiked into the location and spent 48 hours being put through their paces in tasks and exercises that tested their knowledge, physical, mental and team-working skills – with a focus on team communication. The feedback we got during and after the event was really positive so will be looking to complete more of these events in the upcoming future.
What is your favourite preparedness quote or motto?
Well, I have 2, but they kinda go well together …
– Carl Sagan – “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.”
– Edmund Burke – “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”