My book Apocalypse Any Day Now came out in 2019. It’s about preppers and also different aspects of “apocalypse culture.” Working on the book is something I’ve thought about a lot while stuck inside sitting on my couch in this last pandemic year. One particularly memorable adventure while working on the book was taking an epic road trip out to Kansas with my friend Paul Kjelland to take a tour of the Luxury Survival Condos, a high end doomsday bunker built underground in a former Atlas F missile silo. After some back and forth emailing the condo developer, Larry Hall, he agreed to spare us some time to show us around in September 2017.
In this week’s Tea’s Weird Week podcast episode, I tell the story of the tour, some new perspective on the facility a year into the pandemic, and share some audio clips from the 3 hour plus tour we took. To pair with that audio, I thought I’d share some pictures– a few of these were featured in Apocalypse Any Day Now, but several haven’t been seen before. All these pictures were taken by Paul.
Literally middle America– Larry told us the Luxury Survival Condos, located in the middle of a corn field in Kansas, is about dead center of the continental United States if you were measuring west to east coast, northern to southern border.
After we were admitted through a barbed wired perimeter by a security guard, we entered through the condo’s blast doors– each door weighs eight tons of armored steel filled with concrete,
There’s a ramp that leads from the blast door area into the main condo complex and the hall is decorated with photos showing the construction process. Pointing one of these out is condo developer Larry Hall.
The swimming pool– not a typical doomsday bunker amenity. The facility has three 25,000 gallon tanks and a heavy filtration system.
Here I am taking advantage of the photo op after the waterfalls were activated. You can hear audio of this exact moment in the Tea’s Weird Week podcast this week: Episode 9: Doomsday Bunkers of the Rich and Famous (Revisited).
The lowest level of the structure, Level 15, has the movie theater, a $250, 000 room which has a state of the art projector (and a popcorn machine). We watched a clip of The Avengers down here. It was as high a quality (and maybe even better) than your typical movie experience. I haven’t been to a movie theater in over a year, by the way, and I really miss it.
I also really miss hanging out at bars– next door to the movie theater is the Flying Ace Lounge. We did not do shots down there– there was no booze stocked.
I thought this market level was one of the most interesting features of the survival condo. Instead of a simple food storage room, it’s set up as a miniature grocery store, complete with shopping carts so people can leave their units and have the experience of walking around, socializing and “shopping,” a sense of normalcy.
Another shot of a row of canned food in “Ship’s Store.”
Some of the tanks that will be used to breed tilapia and other fish in the giant hydroponics room, located in the former missile command center.
More tanks in the hydroponics room for growing plants.
In another rec area, we were shown this dog park, a place to take Fido when they have to go– the astroturf filters pee and the toilet in the background is for solid waste.
Another park of this rec area has a rock climbing wall, ping pong, foosball, and video games.
Part of the gym level.
Here’s half of a level that’s a library/reading lounge. The other half is a small classroom area that could accomodate maybe a dozen or so students at a time. As you can see, there wasn’t too much on the shelves when we visited. I did noticed Frank Herbert’s entire Dune saga was there, so that’s something.
This is inside one of the actual condo unit’s bedroom, 8 floors underground. Note the LED fake window next to Larry, designed to trick the brain that it is seeing outside on ground level.
The security control room, with monitors in all the common areas as well as the perimeter.
This room, the armory (or as I call it, the “fuck around and find out room”), unlike the library or bar, was well stocked. There’s a gun for every occasion in here as well as a stockpile of ammo and non lethal weapons.
This is how thick the silo’s walls are.
The different levels were a mix of “space hotel” clashing with “dystopian industrial.”
This is a lounge area with TVs, games, and a small kitchen. We sat down here to do an interview after the tour. You can find out how that went in Apocalypse Any Now and/or in the Tea’s Weird Week podcast!
Tea’s Weird Week podcast episode 09: Hear more of my thoughts on the Luxury Survival Condo experience, as well as some audio clips from the tour. Then me and Heidi discuss strange news including reports of Irish fae folk, glow-in-the-dark sharks, a catnip dispensary, a noise music confrontation, superpower reward money, and a bathroom mirror opens a portal to a creepy hidden apartment. Plus your last chance to win at trivia and we close out with a track by Alaska’s Eternal Cowboys, “Used Dreams.”
Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week episode 09: Doomsday Bunkers of the Rich and Famous (Revisited) (podbean.com)
Check out my books:
Apocalypse Any Day Now (there is a print, ebook, and audio version!): www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-Any-Day-Now-Underground/dp/161373641X/ref=sr_1_1
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness: bookshop.org/books/american-madness-the-story-of-the-phantom-patriot-and-how-conspiracy-theories-hijacked-american-consciousness/9781627310963
Tea’s Weird Week: 2020 Review (e-book): https://www.amazon.com/Teas-Weird-Week-2020-Review-ebook/dp/B08SGL97YJ/ref=sr_1_1
“System is Normal.”
Let’s review this long, long year of 2020 so far. It feels like Biblical plagues are sweeping the earth. In less than two months we’ve seen wildfires destroy Australia, the Doomsday Clock tick forward to 100 seconds to midnight, Antarctica heated up to 65(F) degrees (the warmest on record), a deadly outbreak of coronavirus (and a wave of racism, paranoia, and conspiracy to go along with the real threat) and a plague of locusts in Somalia.
Here at home in the US of A, where to even begin, seriously? I’m about one headline away from getting into Mad Max gear and running down the street with a bug-out bag yelling “THE END IS NIGH!”
Maybe this is all for the best in the long run. A new book titled The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene by Professor Patricia MacCormack of Cambridge. It apparently makes the argument that the only way to save the planet is for a mass extinction to happen. That’s an oversimplification, I know– I haven’t read the book, but it’s on the old reading list. I’m interested to read it, but can I handle it?
I think I know what I got a case of.
While I was working on my book Apocalypse Any Day Now, I learned about an ailment one prepper author called “doomer fatigue.” It’s a stressful depression you feel when you burn yourself out thinking about how incredibly screwed the world is. As I worked on the book, I researched ideas about the world ending, from the ridiculous to the frighteningly plausible. It was tiring. When I did interviews for the book, I sometimes joked I was going to cleanse the palate after the book was done by reading nothing but Hello Kitty. Haw haw, Tea Krulos sipping merlot, soaking up some kawaii! Good joke. Everybody laugh.
I know there is still hope. I think I’ll shake this doomer fatigue off. Usually going for a walk, some good music, and a dose of Vitamin C helps. Maybe I’ll pick up that Hello Kitty comic I was talking about.
Please Clap Dept.: Speaking of Apocalypse Any Day Now, author Linda S. Godfrey wrote about it in a post about books and bookmarks here: lindagodfrey.com/2020/02/17/mark-my-words-5-books-i-love-and-finding-the-good-parts
I have a new YouTube channel for my upcoming book, American Madness. Please subscribe here: www.youtube.com/channel/UCoFCwzjjghaVXSWUwEZx27g/playlists
My upcoming book American Madness features a journey through conspiracy culture, including QAnon. It’s out August 25, 2020 from Feral House. To pre-order: CLICK HERE
“For some reason, though some of his observations are alarming, whenever I read Tea’s work I feel better because of his level-headed reportage and humor.” –Lee Gutowski, editor, Riverwest Currents
What a week for the Trump Crime Family! Trump grants clemency to fellow Hair Club member Blago (who announces he is now a “Trumpocrat”), tells Rush Limbaugh to “never apologize” for his homophobic comments, and his former adviser, 7-time felon conspiracy theorist Roger Stone, got sentenced today to 3 years, 4 months in prison, less than half of the Department of Justice’s 7-9 year recommendation. Meanwhile, we’re still keeping track of every time Trump retweets or promotes a conspiracy theory, theorist, or media outlet.
83.) Feb.10: Sometimes it’s hard to tell if something is the promotion of a conspiracy or just a straight-up lie. At a rally in New Hampshire, Trump tells the crowd he lost the state because “hundreds of buses from Massachusetts” were sent in full of people committing voter fraud. There’s no evidence of mass voter fraud in the 2016 election.
Source: “Trump Baselessly Claims He Lost New Hampshire in 2016 Due to ‘Hundreds of Buses’ From Massachusetts,” Talking Points Memo
84.) Feb.13: Trump on former advisor and conspiracy theorist Roger Stone: “significant bias at the ‘Justice’ Department,” quote marks his.
85-96.) Feb.19: An 11 streak tweetstorm retweeting posts by Tom Fitton and his organization Judicial Watch including ones where he talks about “draining the Deep State,” the Spygate theory, and talks about Roger Stone’s “miscarriage of justice.”
That’s all the analysis I got for today. Like I said, doomer fatigue.
For a frightening read on the upcoming tidal wave of misinformation, lies, fearmongering, and conspiracy theory in the 2020 campaign, I recommend: “The Billion Dollar Misinformation Campaign to Reelect the President,” McKay Coppins, The Atlantic.
The #TrumpConspiracyCounter is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TrumpConspirac3
Good sales of my most recent book, Monster Hunters (which has seen a boost of publicity and public appearances this month due to the Halloween season, it’s available for purchase HERE, at my public appearances, or wherever fine books are sold) have led to a deal signed with my publisher for a third title, which will have a 2017 release date.
This third book, which has the simple working title of The End, will be about what can be loosely summarized as “apocalypse culture.” It’ll have three parts: the first will look at predictions about how the world might end, either completely or at least to such a degree that our status quo will be radically different. The second part will be about how people are preparing for such a life altering time. The last part will look a bit beyond the end of the world as we know it and what our lives might look like.
As usual, I’ll be trying to get a good mix of different perspectives. I’ll be talking to people that call themselves preppers, homesteaders, militias, survivalists, ecological scientists, statisticians, potential Mars colonizers, religious prognosticators, artificial intelligence programmers, and who knows who else might show up. Suggestions? Feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to this good news, I also am currently shopping around another title I’ve been working on slowly over the last five years. I think it is really good and I’m looking forward to see what my happen with it. I’ll be posting here with more info when it happens.
Last, the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference is going to happen again in 2016, and we’re zeroing in on a venue and dates. We’ll likely be making this announcement at on October 30 at www.milwaukeeparacon.com!
And now….back to work.