What is Chris Martenson's motivation?

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kahunabear's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 20 2009
Posts: 3
What is Chris Martenson's motivation?

I watched and enjoyed Chris Martenson's presentation on youtube and agree with everything said about our current situation. It was very professional, but had a bit of an infomercial feel about it. Being very skeptical, I kept asking myself the question, "What is this guy selling?". I haven't delved too deeply into this website, but I did see some links to other sites that sell gold and a subscription to a newsletter. Also, the website has ads on it. Don't get me wrong. I am all for capitalsim and making money. I am just trying to figure out if there is some altruistic, greater good motivation behind this endeavor. Is Chris wanting to unite the masses for real change? Does he aspire to political office? Does he want to create off the grid self sustaining communities? I am not sure I understand his motivation. Can anyone here help me answer this question?

cat233's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 20 2008
Posts: 575
Re: What is Chris Martenson's motivation?


Chris is selling awareness, and your future and that of your grandchildren.  Read below, this will answer your concerns.  You see the ads because you are not a paid subscriber, become one and they go away.

Welcome to the site!



Hello everyone.

For the record, I am not enamored with the Youtube videos either.

I have long-planned, but never gotten around to, providing a full accounting
of the monetary flows and demands associated with this site.  Here's a down
payment on that effort.

The reality is that the advertising could not pay for unlimited bandwidth,
let alone the technical costs associate with running a site with this level of
daily traffic, not even close.  What we have is 2.5 terabytes of flow for
$279/month, but each additional Gb costs $2.  This means that the next Terabyte
would cost $2000.00 which is just not an affordable option for us at this
point.  The alternative is to get an unrestricted account but that would be
$2,500/month.   There are a few tricks to managing against this ceiling and one
is/was to move all the video files to Youtube (which absorbs the bandwidth on
their end relieving us of that burden) once we got close to the monthly limit. 
This is what we hit on January 26th.

Now that the site is growing, and we've got the podcasts developing coming
along, the bandwidth has been creeping ever upwards.

My decision:

We will be putting the videos back up BUT only if you are a
subscriber OR registered.   For folks that wish to remain anonymous, the Youtube
videos will have to suffice.

Along with this, I will be announcing a change in policy regarding
communications from this site back out to registered users.  In short, I will be
sending out occasional communications that could result in additional revenue to
support this site.  For example, when the new 3-DVD set for the Crash Course is
available, I will send that out.  Or I might send out a communication extolling
the virtues of being a site subscriber, or announce a membership special or

The bottom line is that I have heavily subsidized this site up to this point
and while I wish I was independently wealthy and could simply offer my best work
to everyone for free forever, that's just not the case.

So there will be more affiliate relationships, products developed, and other
revenue generating materials offered so that I can continue to keep this site
running, answer your emails promptly, develop new materials and keep the message

As of right now, there is myself, a few dedicated volunteers and 5 part time
staff.  To date, not a single dollar has flowed from this site's business
account to myself for salary or repayment of past investment.  Everything - all
revenues and donations - continue to be plowed back into making the site better,
more robust, and meeting the needs of an ever growing chorus of emails and
site-driven communication.

Since I don't want to cut back on keeping the site up and running and
providing the very best customer-response we can afford, I will need to bring in
additional revenue in order for this to be sustainable for me and my family. I
am now  4 years into this project without any sort of monetary reward and I've
gone a bit further than I probably should have

The good news is that without me drawing a salary, the site is running just
in the black.   That's a great first step.  Now I need to get my basic living
costs covered.  That's the next step.  And a repayment for past investment would
be the next goal.  Getting to a legitimate profit for my efforts would be the
final step..  

As I negotiate the delicate territory between moving this from a
mission-oriented affair into something approximating a monetarily sustainable
effort I ask for your patience, input and advice.

And thank you for your support to date.


pinecarr's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2259
Re: What is Chris Martenson's motivation?

Hi Kahunabear-

   1st, welcome to the site!

   I've been following Chris's site for quite a while now, and I believe Chris's motives are altruistic.  I believe he truly does want to help others become aware of the dire situation we're in, so that they can become empowered and make informed decisions to protect themselves and their loved ones in a timely fashion.  I have seen him state that before..I'm not sure where in terms of where to have you look for it.  I think you will find many people here at the site share this belief and will be quick to jump to his defense. But your question is a fair one!

   As someone who has been reading Chris's site for some time, I can tell you that he certainly does not appear to be in it for the profit.  Quite the opposite!  Chris quit a high paying job to follow his beliefs about the coming crash, and sank a lot of his own money into creating this site and the material on it.  (Check out the "About Me" button). 

   When the Crash Course 1st came out on DVD, Chris refused to charge more than cost plus shipping and handling, because he was so concerned about avoiding any appearance of "being in it for the money".  There were even folks on the blog who argued strongly that he SHOULD charge a fair price for his intellectual property, that he needed to do so to make a living.  But Chris would not back down on the "for cost" decision, as he was more concerned about maintaining the credibility and integrity of his message than on making back some of his expenses (although that is a legitimate concern that he admits he DOES need to address better in the future).

  At various points, Chris and some of the folks helping him have solicited ideas from those of us reading the site re how to bring in revenue to help pay for costs, without turning people off.  The "Donate" button alone wasn't doing it!  The ads you see were one of the suggestions given.  People who subscribe don't see ads (one of their bennys). 

   And yes, Chris does promote community-building as one of the main solutions we can push for. 

   As for whether Chris has some political motivation, like running for office eventually, I don't think so, but I guess that's only a question he can answer.  But I hope he's too smart to do that...look at how Ron Paul is treated! 

   Nope, I think Chris and his wife Becca are just really smart, really good people.  I think if you stick with the site for a while and see the kind of people it attracts, you'll get a good sense of them.

kahunabear's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 20 2009
Posts: 3
Re: What is Chris Martenson's motivation?


Thanks for the response.

My wife and I enjoyed listening to the presentation, but kept saying it looked like an infomercial. We listened for 40 minutes and waited for the "big sell". It never came and that really intrigued me. It sounds as though Chris' intentions lean primarily toward getting the word out and paying the bills is secondary.

I am a long time cynic and skeptic and have become fairly bitter about the inability of the mainstream to see the need for change. Most sites I frequent are equally bitter. I like the way Chris puts a positive and optimistic spin on our very dire circumstance. Also, the few posts I have read here seem to indicate a thoughtful audience with good intentions.

I will try to spend more time here to learn more.

Are there any big picture goals of this group or is most of the emphasis on protecting and providing for our families in an uncertain future?



pinecarr's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2259
Re: What is Chris Martenson's motivation?

Hi Kahunahear-

    I can't speak for Chris, but my impression is that his main focus right now is on making people aware of his message in the Crash Course. I think he'd like to get enough people aware of the situation we're in to get a national-level (international-level?) discourse going about the real issues we face and how to address them.  So a lot of Chris's energy is focused on trying to get the Crash Course DVD as broadly distributed as possible, encouraging people to show the Course locally, on getting the Crash Course on You-Tube for a wider audience, and on doing a recent PBS special in Massachusetts (hoping it will be picked up by other PBS stations).  Here's the link to the PBS Station if you want to check out Chris's video on that: http://www.wgby.org/podcasts/index.html (see bottom of page there).

   But meanwhile, Chris does support people sharing ideas on how to prepare on the site, and you will find huge numbers of threads where people share ideas about planning for their family or community.  There are lots of threads also on key (and sometimes controversial) issues that those of us trying to better position our families are concerned about, as well as threads where people share pertinent information and links they've found that they want to share with folks here.  It's a good community!




Woodman's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
Re: What is Chris Martenson's motivation?

Much appreciated was that Chris provided in his first podcast the answer to my question on the purpose of the website, which he indicated was to get the message out.  From meeting Chris and and Becca at Rowe, this is certainly genuine and in turn motivates me to spread awareness.

suesullivan's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 305
Re: What is Chris Martenson's motivation?

Hi Kahunabear,

I had the same reaction when I first found Chris' site. I found his material quite compelling, and yet I wanted to know when the pitch would come. When I found the crash course, the 20th and final chapter hadn't gone up yet and I waited to reccommend it to people I knew until he finished it and I saw that he wasn't gonna charge for access to that last chapter.

 Having been reading here since September, I have absolutely no qualms about Chris' motivation or intention. It's clear to me that he's trying to save the world his children will grow up in, and he's poured tens of thousands of dollars worth of his time alone, if not that much actual money, into this effort. (I especially appreciate the patience his family must have for this endeavor!)

 And I also appreciate Chris' efforts to stay positive and focused on what can be done in these times. I can find it difficult not to become fixated on crisis thinking when I educate myself about the current economic situation, and that's neither healthy nor a useful place to take action from.


Welcome to the site, I've found it to be hugely valuable, and while we are struggling with a drop in income right now, I do subscribe every other month to get caught up on Chris' podcasts and subscriber reports, as well as to simply support the site.



unadilla's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2009
Posts: 6
Re: What is Chris Martenson's motivation?

I suggest that the 'infomercial' quality of the Crash Course may be more in the nature of powerpoint than anything else.  I am a natural skeptic, but my opinion is that Martenson is genuine and sincere.  If he believes in his own presentation, then spreading awareness and motivating greater numbers of people to start thinking and making changes to enhance resiliency for the future is of far, far more value to his own well being than making a quick (and devaluing) buck will be, even if he bought gold with those bucks as fast as they came in!

poisonivy113's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 8 2008
Posts: 81
Re: What is Chris Martenson's motivation?

I think Chris's main motivation is to make as many people aware of and taking action around the issues raised in CC.

After all, the more of us who do things like cut back on consumption, the less likely the worst case scenario is.


kahunabear's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 20 2009
Posts: 3
Re: What is Chris Martenson's motivation?

Thanks for all the replies. I am convinced that Chris is an honorable guy with good intentions.


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