Last night was the premier of ′Training for the Apocalypse′ on NatGeo-TV. At first, I thought that National Geographic was just playing up to the popularity of their hit series, ′Doomsday Preppers′, but this was not the case. The one-hour show featured two main groups of people, that of Leland Freeborn, the Parowan Prophet in Utah and Fernando Antonio Selgeuro of Survive and Thrive in Philadelphia. In addition to these two principle players, we also have their cast of followers, and how each group is preparing for Doomsday and why.
Leland Freeborn is an exiled Mormon who lives in the small town of Parowan, Utah. His group of about 25-30 other exiled Mormons are concerned that nuclear war is just around the corner. Freeborn has been preaching his Doomsday scenarios for many years, usually predicting the end of the world every December. He also had predicted that nuclear war would start in 2009 on the Inauguration Day for Barack Obama. Leland offers free survival plans and sells bottles of potassium iodine via mail order. One of his former followers, Brian, was also featured in the show last night. Brian has had enough of Leland, who he thinks is a false prophet out to practice polygamy and live off the 10% tithes from his flock. Leland thinks Brian is also seeking to practice polygamy.
Fernando Antonio Selgeuro has a whole different view on things. Born and raised in the slums of Philadelphia, he ran away from home at the age of 16 following years of endless physical and verbal abuse by his parents. Since then, he′s been on his own and has become a rugged individualist seeking self-sufficiency. His natural tendency is not become involved with his neighbors, but lately he has been changing his heart on that matter. Holding a school for would-be survivalists, Fernando teaches everything from sustainable gardening of food to practical survival skills. The camera crew follows him during one camping expedition where students learn how to build a fire with a bow-drill and how to make a solar-still for purifying water out of leaves and a sheet of foil.
Training for the Apocalypse on NatGeo-TV also showed a few other people. Along with Leland Freeborn, the Parowan Prophet and Fernando Antonio Selgeuro of Survive and Thrive, we also meet a masked man who calls himself ′Anonymous.′ He talks survival turkey while wearing a full face mask, camouflage BDU′s and a bandolier for his many shotgun shells. We also meet some genuine Mayan Indians who now reside in Guatemala. Unlike the others, these folks are looking forward to the Apocalypse, we they see as a time of change and cleansing.