Bunkers 'R' Not Us: Correcting Boston Magazine’s Take on This Movement

Sunday, July 4, 2010, 12:33 AM

The End is Near, Inc.

This is the title of the recent full-spread article in Boston Magazine about me, my work, and our community. It’s due out in hard print on Sunday with the Boston Globe. It is already available online here.

Unfortunately, the article relies too much on sensationalistic stereotypes and includes some troubling distortions.  My chief concern is that the story, told through a very few limited, out-of-context, and edited quotes, paints a picture of Becca and me as doomsayers with a bunker mentality.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

We somewhat reluctantly agreed to have our whole family included in this very public article, opened our home for several days for the effort, and are now wrestling with the impacts that will stem from the fact that our best efforts have now been tagged as “The End is Near, Inc.” - an unfortunate mischaracterization that completely misses what we are really about while implying that we do this for the money. 

And though the editor has agreed to remove it in the online edition, the print edition contains a 100% Photoshopped creation of me in a bunker, instead of the actual photo that was taken of me in my (completely normal, albeit messy) home office.  We did not have a chance to review the content or the images prior to publication, which will never happen again.

Look at what they did with a gray screen shot (before, then after) without ever indicating that they'd do such a thing, let alone seeking my permission:

Yikes.  To be completely clear:  I do not have a bunker, do not know anybody who does, have never advocated that anybody build one, and utterly distance myself from the cultural stereotyping that is implied by the idea of a bunker and all associated imagery.

I can say that I’m disappointed, but I can’t say I’m terribly surprised. The article’s publication has been an important learning experience—it’s reminded me how difficult this story is to tell to the average person.  It’s a challenge to get most people to understand that while change is inevitable, it’s only bad if we fail to adapt on time and on our own terms.

The irony here is that Boston Magazine intended this to be a positive piece on the impact of my message and the large audience that it has resonated with to date.  But in relying on easy “survivalist” stereotypes to frame the story (bunkers, Mad Max references, etc), they’ve succeed in missing the forest for the trees, conveying an image in polar opposition to what we actually stand for.

The work here has been so successful because I strive at every turn to leave my opinions and beliefs out of it, which helpfully clarifies the picture for people.  In allowing belief-based slants about preparation to color this article, Boston Magazine has missed out on the fact that what people really want and need right now is truth and the facts. 

People are worried these days and have legitimate reasons to be.  We need to meet that concern directly and honestly while offering helpful information and guidance for building a positive future.

The most unfortunate thing about this is that Boston Magazine missed out on a really big story.  The movement that’s building around this material is not a fringe thing.  There are millions of people - from across the socioeconomic spectrum - thinking about this and changing their lives because of it.

My goal through this work is not to guide people to build bunkers and isolate themselves, but to invest in their communities, strengthen their resilience, and create a world worth inheriting.  Along the way there are indeed some necessary, steps that I think everybody should undertake as individuals, but only as an insufficient set of first actions along a continuum that moves us from being relatively isolated into connected, resilient communities.  I made this abundantly clear.

I am not a part of a group "devoted to spreading the preparedness doctrine," but a card-carrying member of a movement that seeks to build a national narrative that makes sense and that is sustainable.  We understand that awareness precedes understanding and that both must come before actions.  So, yes, we seek to raise awareness as a first step.  After all, somebody has to.

If you want to help us in changing the tired story that the mainstream media repeatedly chooses to tell about this message, then I’d encourage you to read the article and comment or write to the editor to tell them what this movement is really about.  If you do take the time to send along your thoughts, I would ask that you make them as factual, calm, and collected as possible. 


Chris Martenson

Mailing Address

Boston Magazine

300 Massachusetts Ave.

Boston, MA 02115

617-262-9700; fax 617-262-4925; editorial fax 617-267-1774

Letters to the Editor

Write to our mailing address, c/o Letters to the Editor, or click here to send an e-mail. Please include your full name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address.

Endorsed Financial Adviser Endorsed Financial Adviser

Looking for a financial adviser who sees the world through a similar lens as we do? Free consultation available.

Learn More »
Read Our New Book "Prosper!"Read Our New Book

Prosper! is a "how to" guide for living well no matter what the future brings.

Learn More »


Related content


Vanityfox451's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Bunkers 'R' Not Us: Correcting Boston Magazine’s Take ...
soulsurfersteph wrote:

People, I know it's tempting to want to go out and trash Pagan's Wikipedia page, but if she gets attacked too much, her next article will be "How those Crazy Chris Cultists Stalked Me Online" or some such nonsense. Let her be. She's not worth it.

Hi Steph,

That isn't my reasoning toward Pagan Kennedy' Wikipedia page. There would be value in updating the account, as it appears to be outdated, based on present events. Simply put, if Wikipedia isn't drawn upon soon, I will personally put it to task.

There is a president at stake here, and it is one that has been proven to lack honour. It is obvious to anyone that has read her article that she hadn't taken the time to watch the Crash Course, let alone digest so much as a tiny amount of its subtle nuance.

I'd very much like Pagan Kennedy to become a "Patsy" Kennedy. Yet, my intention isn't a public castration, she's achieved that for herself in this community. I would simply like to draw upon her stupendous ignorance, and use it against her as a weapon.

I am fully tired of reading posts from people who appear super glued to their seats in front of their computers. I've read all of your worthy posts and don't consider you one of those however.

Why not read Pagan' book The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and Other True Stories on line as I have yesterday, so as to acclimatize yourself to the kind of trite cr*p that is considered to be readworthy enough to give opportunity to write a hatchet job on Dr Martenson' work in a mainstream magazine?

I would have given my high teeth, and without anaesthetic, to have been given the opportunity to spend several days in Chris's company, so as to write a valuable article for mainstream review. You can be certain that even though the message I would have written would have been brave to many circles, it would at least have been worthy of payment. After all, I've done my homework forward and backward, and can walk the walk and talk the talk.

I also advise anyone wanting to comprehend the level at which Pagan has stooped, to watch the 43 minute John Pilger film at post #96 of this thread, so as to fully realise what journalism isn't, and what journalism is ...

With the greatest of respect to you Chris ... 

~ VF ~

RedShift's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 6 2008
Posts: 25
Media Propaganda Machine Lies Exposed

Once again, Chris Martenson provided a great service to the people, the thinking and caring ones anyway, in revealing the true nature of the national media: distorters of reality, transmitters of false signals, imagineers of the hallucinated future.  The media continues to promote the myth of America being the "richest and most powerful nation on Earth" while deflecting any serious attention and discussion about the $13.1 TRILLION dollar national debt,  Unending Global War, resource depletion, militarization of police, environmental poisoning, destruction of the middle class, and the rising tide of discontent and anger around the planet.   The Banksters, with the full cooperation of the media, are leading a misdirected and blinded public to a point of crisis - an artificial crisis of their own creation - in order to take possession and full title to the collateral:  the people, their wages and their personal properties.  This tragedy recently occured in Argentina, but the media will never reveal it to educate the Americans about the dangers ahead. 

All Americans will receive their "financial restructuring" from Banksters with no recourse, except those wise enough to consider the advice of people like Chris Martenson: get out of debt, liquidate Wall Street paper and use the proceeds to invest in yourself, your family and neighbors, become a producer rather than a simple media-obediant consumer.

Thanks yet again Chris, and do not be too concerned about potential damage to your effort by this media assassination piece.  They remain exposed for what they are: propagandists and servants to our would-be oppressors and feudal lords.  The truth is getting out.  Let's keep going!!!! 



















RedShift's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 6 2008
Posts: 25
Media Propaganda Machine Lies Exposed

(duplicate post removed, apologies)





cmartenson's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5693
Re: Bunkers 'R' Not Us: Correcting Boston Magazine’s Take ...


Here's an email I just received.  For the record, I truly think that the best approach here, and always, is to be as clean and clear as we can be.  That is, keeping our emotions out is important.

I am happy to provide this opportunity for Boston Magazine to get their views and clarifications expressed with precision and clarity.    The distinctions they draw between the role of the author and the Magazine are important towards understanding how things work and who does what.  I am always grateful for the opportunity to learn more.


As you know, the story about you in the current issue of Boston magazine has generated a lot of feedback on the magazine's website, And while we normally take a hands-off approach to reader comments, I’ve noticed a couple of recurring ideas amid those remarks that I want to address, especially as they pertain to the author of the piece, Pagan Kennedy. Pagan was not responsible for the article's headline or the subheadline, and any criticism of her over either is misplaced. Same goes for the photo illustration that opened the story. The concept, tone and execution of a story's artwork are determined by a team of editors and designers here at Boston after a writer has completed his or her work. I have no problem with readers critiquing Boston magazine. In fact, we encourage people to share their thoughts on this or any other story we publish. However, I think it’s unfair for a writer to be disparaged for something for which she wasn’t responsible, and I would appreciate it if you could post this message on your website or faithfully relay its contents to visitors there.

Andrew Putz
Boston Magazine

mainecooncat's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 7 2008
Posts: 488
Re: Bunkers 'R' Not Us: Correcting Boston Magazine’s Take ...

The response of Boston Magazine, I think, indicates that they perhaps bit off more than they could chew when it came to their collective and sloppy misrepresentation of Chris Martenson, his work, and his followers. I would imagine that with most cases of poor journalism there isn't enough of a constituency, so to speak, to generate a well-deserved backlash -- but in this case there was. Good goin', gang!

But to the point here, and I won't belabor it any more than I have to.

The part of the article that Pagan wasn't evidently responsible for -- headlines, graphic layout, etc. -- stunk and was misrepresentative to the point of dishonest. So whoever is responsible for it deserves whatever disparaging remarks their unprofessional work generated.

And when it comes to the parts of the article that Pagan was responsible for -- the writing and tone of the article -- she also deserves whatever disparaging remarks her lousy work generated.

Please don't cry us a politically correct river BM and try and flip the tables so that you're the party who's been mistreated. If anyone here has been disparaged it's CM who honestly and sincerely let you into his life and work.

capesurvivor's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 963
Re: Bunkers 'R' Not Us: Correcting Boston Magazine’s Take ...


Thanks for that informative post. I'm a Boston Magazine subscriber and now realize that it is ALL about selling magazines, not informing the public. Ms. Kennedy's reportage plus BM's editorial policy combine to produce...well, the stuff that goes into hot dogs when they aren't all beef, 100% kosher. I'm sure that your message  is being more fruitfully disseminated here and elsewhere. Good luck in Northampton; I'm afraid seven hour RT is too much for me tomorrow and I'm already in the loop. I did email several folks there about it.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments