Recently Oathkeepers published an article confirming that federal agents had went into an LDS storehouse in Tennessee and demanded customer lists and transaction information. While that story is still being ran down and confirmed, I thought I'd hit up the owner of MyPatriotSupply and get his thoughts on the matter, as he sells all manner of preparedness items to the survival and preparedness community.
What follows is a transcript of the interview. Please excuse any grammatical issues within the text as a speaking voice doesn't necessarily follow the same rules. The conversation went on much longer than this brief transcript. We covered a lot of ground and I was very pleased with what I learned of him. I think this is a man who can be trusted with your business. Hopefully I'm going to open up further communication with him on various other topics and we'll document that here as part of an ongoing series of dialogues with various Christians and patriots in our world today.
1. What were your first thoughts when you heard about federal
agents investigating an LDS storehouse in Tennessee and requesting
I wasn't surprised. We've heard of raids on organic and natural
food stores and SWAT teams going after the Amish, so it wasn't
surprising. We're past the point of shock and awe.
This is another maneuver we've become accustomed to, which may be
the goal, to get the public accustomed to it.
2. What does your primary customer demographic look like?
Mostly preppers and survivalists but certainly plenty of people who
are new to this. They've seen a documentary or listened to a radio
program that made them start thinking.
This is an awakening. We're seeing the next generation of preppers
and survivalists hitting the marketplace.
3. How are you currently set up to prevent privacy loss from either
criminals or the government?
We don't store credit card information on the server, as a business
rule. Small businesses and even restaurants are subject to identity
theft so we decided to not store the data and reduce the threat.
The nature of the internet though means we have to depend upon other companies, processors, and backbone infrastructure. Everything on the internet is ultimately trackable. They could get the information from other sources; they don't need me or the LDS to comply.
4. Good point. Since everything is trackable, what do you think the
motive may have been?
Possibly the results of a very specific investigation. They didn't want to show their cards and request a specific individual's information so they threw out a sweeping net. Or it could be just a plan to ruffle the public's feathers and get them acclimated to this sort of thing. They could just be testing the waters and seeing what resistance is out there to these information requests.
5. We're certainly seeing more of this lately. Where do you see
this leading and how does it impact your business?
Comes down to a choice. Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution? The government wants to test your loyalty to your customers. Ultimately this leads to a choice: where do you stand, what are your values, and what's your belief system? Are you willing to sell out your customers because someone shows up with a badge? A lot of businesses out there are simply in the business of making money. It's not in my mindset, but a lot of companies would just turn this info over without any questions. That would not be my standpoint.
I have a value system and a belief system that is very strong. If it came down to rolling over on my customers or closing my doors then I'd just close my doors. I never started this to be a millionaire; I started this to increase my family's self-reliance. It's a vehicle. I'm providing this as a service.
6. Your business name certainly takes a strong stand. What was the
thought process behind the name?
A patriot is someone who loves their country and their Constitution and the basic beliefs and values their country was founded upon. You don't have to be a veteran, a soldier, or anyone else. You need to be someone who takes care of your family. Anyone with that mindset is a patriot. The idea behind the name was that this would be a place where that person comes to in order to buy their supplies. Our logo really speaks to people. It captures the feeling of many of our customers, the old time guy with the rifle and the plow working the fields. A person willing to take care of themselves and provide.
It all comes down to personal choice. What side are you going to stand on? What are your beliefs? I wouldn't come out and taunt the government because that would be asking for trouble, but at the same time I know where my beliefs are. I'd rather close my doors than roll over. If you betray your customers you don't have a business. When someone gives you money you have a relationship with that person. There's a level of trust you have to uphold.