freedomsI frequently address the Ten Principles of Preparedness as being a great road map to pursuing a self-reliant lifestyle. I assert that the 10 Principles are put in order of prioritization and that one will find the truth of these priorities in their day to day living as well as preparing for the more vulnerable  of circumstances. I’m satisfied a hundred times over and over with the completeness and the order of the prioritization as it’s applied to one scenario after another successfully. However…there is one key component in our lives that we must be mindful of in order to ensure that we can always apply these principles to our life and that is freedom. This key is often overlooked as a part of the Mental Preparedness Principle.

You have no freedoms which you are not willing to exercise

You’ve no doubt heard the statement “You have no freedoms which you are not willing to exercise.” It’s not just some clever trivialization of life in this nation. It’s 100% accurate. Without a comprehension of the foundation of laws in this nation as well as our unalienable rights which stand inherent, regardless of what some person with a pen has to say, then hope for the future or even just tomorrow is pretty bleak. Since I don’t take kindly to “bleak tomorrows” I can’t imagine being passionate about a self-reliant life without being just as focused on learning and exercising my rights and freedoms—and most importantly, protecting them. The nice thing is though, that learning and exercising is the best way to protect them.


I think this is my biggest worry about my fellowmen that keeps me up at night. (And if you’ve read any of my posts on freedomsFacebook, you know I stay up at night often. *wink*) There are so many of my favorite people that are making changes in their life but doing so without any awareness of  this component of the principle of Mental Preparedness. In my opinion, failing to work on this aspect is akin to stocking up on foods and tools without having any idea how to use them.

Why are your freedoms so important?

This problem is frighteningly rampant. Case in point–I can’t even begin to tell you how many panicked e-mails and Facebook comments I’ve had to wade through since Obama signed his Executive Order titled “National Defense Resources Preparedness” on a Friday night, March 16, 2012. So many wrote frantically that this new Executive Order meant that government officials can come in and take whatever we have that they want. Well, this belief is absolutely preposterous and spreading it only spreads baseless fear (which, by the way,  is not of God and thus doesn’t belong in our lives, IMO).  It’s preposterous because Executive Orders do not apply to every man, woman and child in the U.S.; rather they apply to the Executive Branch which oversees Federal employees and those living in Federal enclaves.  That’s why they are called “Executive Orders”. Remember folks, we don’t have a monarchy. If Executive Orders were able to just be written and declared as law, it would be an even MORE egregious influence on We the People than what King George was allowed to exercise in the mid-1700’s. We all do remember what happened with those efforts of undue influence, right? So, when you see this kind of stuff and you’re not sure it impacts you, then get sure—SURE, not panicked. O.K? (We’ll have to address this in greater detail later, friends)

 Obtaining freedoms that allow you to live off the grid

freedomsEarlier today someone posted on Facebook in response to an article I had highlighted and claimed that living off the grid was illegal. What? Living off the grid isn’t illegal, for crying out loud. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with that term, it typically entails a person able to live and thrive while relying completely on their own work efforts for their electricity, water supply, income—no credit or paper trail, and food supplies.) Sorry to bust the bubble of Machiavellian minds who would LOVE to make this kind of dream living illegal, but there’s not a single component of living in such a way that is illegal, unlawful (two different things, by the way), or even immoral.

So, what would I kindly try to say to such a person, who took a single article that she may have read on the topic as fact?  None of us can afford to be this naïve. It’s too late in the game for those kinds of jugular mistakes. None of us can afford to be bullied, and certainly not from those we believe to be our friends– because it does affect all of us. The loss of just one person that others are relying upon can mean the suffering of hundreds. Remember that before you so willingly fall for the Marketing Machine of Mediocrity. Unfortunately, one of the things that is most dangerous among a society which could be self-sustaining is allowing the little bit of doubt to creep into our hearts regarding one’s fundamental freedoms and liberties.

 Thwarted Fundamental Freedoms and Liberties

freedomsAs a perfect example of that, there was a story on the news this week about a teenager who was going through airport security in Salt Lake City. In an effort to make things go as smoothly as possible, she initiated a disclosure to the first TSA official she came upon, informing them that she’s a diabetic and that she has an insulin pump attached, which cannot go through the body scanner or it will be ruined. Well, the response of the TSA agent is fast becoming far too cliché for my taste; of course the TSA representatives responded like human beings and were mindful of her circumstances. I’m sure they had nothing but the best of intentions when they informed her that there would be no exception for her and she would have to go through the body scan machine. They were simply able to TELL her, with their chests all puffed up and their voices lowered to a growl, that nothing would happen to her insulin pump in the scanner and that it was the only option she had if she wanted to get on the plane. Yup, sure enough, the scanner incapacitated her $10,000 insulin pump, and though she was permitted to ultimately get onto her flight, the poor girl had to do so with a great deal of anxiety as she had no idea what to expect with a lack of insulin flow.  Can you even imagine the fear that she had to go through wondering if she was going to end up in an diabetic coma?? And yet if you watch the footage of the story you’ll hear her say that she trusted that the TSA knew what they were talking about and that they would protect her.

 What kind of freedoms have we given up in the name of security?

freedomsThe question is, do you believe in living self-reliance or not? Do you trust yourself enough to take care of yourself, to trust your instinct, to defend yourself? How about taking care of others? Here’s what I KNOW. I KNOW that you’re capable of trusting in yourself with these matters. You’ve just got to prove it to yourself.  That can only happen as you expose yourself to an independent, self-sufficient lifestyle each and every day, in each and every way. You can’t expect your soul to embrace that independent strength if you’re giving it conflicting information such as living off of welfare or telling others that living off of the grid is illegal, right?  There’s really no halfway about it. Anyone that’s doing it right will tell you it’s definitely a lifestyle, not some passing love affair or hobby.

 Defending Your Inalienable Rights and Freedoms

In conclusion, I’d like to share a story which displays a person who understands this premise perfectly. As some of you may know, my husband, Scott Bishop, is truly a Constitutional expert. It’s not something that’s just on his resume, it is his life. As such he’s often speaking and/or consulting with others so that they too can restore the freedoms in their life. One of his focuses is in assisting individuals in properly presenting, and even representing, themselves in their communications with law enforcement personnel—particularly when they are subjected to an unlawful stop. The story I’m going to share with you is NOT a “friend of my cousin’s girlfriend” kind of story. This is the account as shared by a “student” of my husband. I spoke with him directly to get the facts of the story, verbatim. The incident was also recorded by the subject (audio and video)—though the subject will NOT be making that recording public unless it becomes necessary to further preserve his freedoms.


freedomsSubject (we’ll call him Gary) was traveling in Orem last Wednesday afternoon as he was running some errands. He observed what appeared to be a “speed trap” in which an Orem law enforcement officer was pseudo concealed while “clocking” unexpected travelers in a 25 MPH speed zone; this was observed by the subject early on, on his side of the car. Not wanting to give the LEO even a snippet of an excuse to detain him, the subject slowed down from 23 MPH to 18 MPH—just to be on the safe side. However, as he was going so very slow, and the officer was in plain site to him, Gary was easily able to make eye contact with the officer. And he did indeed make eye contact as he thought to himself about the money-raising efforts of the local law enforcement. I’m sure he also thought about the fact that no traffic violation is ever legally valid as a crime, as a traffic violation in and of itself does not suitably meet the criteria of Corpus Delecti which requires an “injury, loss or harm in order for Corpus Delecti to be met and in order for a violation to be considered a Criminal act.


As is Gary’s habit when passing a mobile law enforcement officer, Gary looked up in his rear-view mirror and observed the officer flipping his car around quickly, turning on his lights, and speeding up so that he could catch up to Gary and pull him over. (You know, that the officer had every reason to believe that driving 18 miles per hour was just because he was actually an escaped criminal trying not to make any waves.) Gary complied with the request immediately by pulling over AND pulling out his cell phone so as to record the interaction.


When the officer first approached his lowered window, Gary immediately spoke up and informed the office that he was recording this interaction. The officer responded with a smirk.

Officer: “Do you have any idea why I pulled you over?”

Gary: “I have no idea why. I’d like you to explain it to me.”

Officer: (with an incredulous smirk) “You have no idea why I pulled you over?!

Gary:  “No; why don’t’ you tell me?:

Officer: “I was just wondering why you have such a negative demeanor?”freedoms

Gary: “Define what you mean by “a negative demeanor”?

Officer: “Well, I think you know what I mean…”

Gary: interrupts—“No, I need you to define that for me.”

Officer: “I saw you shaking your head and…”

Gary: “And?!”

Officer: “Well, I just wanted to find out what was wrong with you…”

Gary: “There’s nothing wrong with me”

Officer: “So what’s the problem…”

Gary: “Have I broken the law or committed a crime?” (“crime” is a legally defined word. Gary used it here wisely.)

Officer: “No.”

Gary: “So am I free to go?”

Officer: (getting irritated with the interruption of all of these questions coming from the subject) “As soon as you answer my questions…”

Gary: “So you’re detaining me?!” (Again, this is a legally defined word. Gary is using it wisely to manifest he wasn’t just born yesterday with regards to his rights)

Officer: “No; I’m not detaining you.”

Gary: “So I’m free to go?”


freedomsThis back and forth continues in rapid fire back and forth 3 more times while the officer insists that he’s not detaining Gary and with Gary repeating the question as to whether or not he’s free to go or he’s being detained. (Remember, the person who’s asking the question always has the higher ground.) Finally, Gary recognizes the officers increasing irritation and gives him one more chance.


Gary: So, I’m free to go. (Not a question, it was a statement)

Officer: “Well, I haven’t finished asking my questions…”

Gary: So you’re detaining me. (again, not a question.)

Officer: “I’m not detaining you. (The magic words that Gary was waiting to hear)

Gary: “I’m going to leave then.


Gary then rolled up his window, turned on his indicator signal, looked in his side and rear view mirror for traffic, and then slowly drove away. As he looked in his rear view mirror he saw the officer simply standing there for a moment then get into his car and drive in the opposite direction.


Clearly it is not against the law for someone to appear that they have an attitude problem. Even if Gary had out and out growled at the officer as he passed, there wouldn’t have been sufficient cause to pull him over. Additionally, law enforcement personnel are NOT permitted to stop a person without reasonable cause. More important though, is that Gary knew his rights and freedoms, he didn’t get belligerent with the officer; he stayed in control of his own emotions, and most of all, he was familiar with his rights inside and out so that when the time came for him to use that knowledge he didn’t choke or have to get emotional.


I hope this helps you recognize a component of the Principle of Mental Preparedness and I hope that you are able to see how important this knowledge is to you being able to exercise all of your rights.  There are too many people trying to chop down our rights like a hot knife in butter. Our response cannot be lukewarm. It must be precise and internalized as clearly as our phone numbers. So while you’re spending money and time to get the “things” you need to enjoy a more self-reliant lifestyle, make sure that you take appropriate amount of time to internalize the freedoms that we are so fortunate to have in this nation and as human beings.



Melinda McCulley · May 11, 2012 at 8:00 am

So excellent…thank you…..I wish I had this knowledge when the police were beating and kicking my disabled son on my porch when he didn’t get up “quick enough” from a seated position.

    Kellene Bishop · May 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    oh….that makes me so mad when I hear things like this. This is why surveillance cameras for the front and back of the house entrances are a great idea.

Dawn Lisinski · May 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

I know this really has nothing to do with this topic specifically, but I wanted to thank you for you many blog posts, from them I have learned much. The thing that has been most helpful thus far for my piece of mind is trying everything out……………..1. to be sure it is something that I can do 2. to make sure it is something I will do……………3 and that it is something that is acceptable to those that will be living with me.

I just recently started canning, I started slow and even though it is more costly right now to do one can of items, I have been doing one of each and then a week later our family eats what was canned, if it was successful and something that we would eat under any circumstance, not just desperate times then I can in earnest. No point in wasting shelf space, time and money on items we simply would not eat.

I am applying this concept in all areas. Recently I got some of the buckets from Walmart’s bakery area and some $ store plungers and made us all little personal washing machines LOL…………even the 2 yr old is able to create enough action with the plunger, even on his “oops” panties that the clothes then just need rinsed and line dried. Now that everyone is familiar and capable at it, we don’t use it all the time, but there is still one in each bathroom for the homemade diaper wipes.

So again thank you for your 10 steps and also the advice to become familiar with everything that you will be using or doing or eating.

Oh yes we even made the wheat meat you suggested…………..I am comfortable making it, and although it is not likely something that given a choice I would pick first, the rest of the family was satisfied with the different ways I served it to them and it is something that I could eat.

And as time consuming and a giant PITA, with everything I plan, do or cook and even knowledge that I have (ie my nursing background) I have been putting on paper and laminating, because although something seems simple and thoughtless currently, under high stress people tend to forget the simplest things, also as God has not shared my timeline with me there is no way to know how long I might be with my family and I do not want them left with supplies and no knowledge of them or how to use them.

    Kellene Bishop · May 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Sounds like you’re VERY wise in your consideration of foods (and other essentials) for your family. And frankly, even if it is just one can, the process of doing so is no doubt building up your confidence with such efforts! I wish EVERYONE would do this.
    Thanks so much for your comments. They help balance the riff raff comments that are always aplenty. 🙂

Elizabeth Laumas · May 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Great article! I need to work on knowing my rights a bit better.

Quiverfull4x · May 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm

This is invaluable information, thank you. Question…. If you are stopped and have a CCW and are carrying, I was told to place you hands outside of your window and inform the officer of the weapon’s location. Ask the officer if you may hand him your CCW and drivers license. What would your knowledgable husband, Scott advise on this? Thanks!

    Kellene Bishop · May 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I tell people to place their hands at 10:00 and 2:00 on their steering wheel with their fingers extended and tell the police officer once he approaches the car that you have a CCW and where the firearm is.

Virginia · May 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I really appreciate the intelligence of this post. It is clear, thoughtful, well-presented and instructional.

Phyllis · May 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

Karen Fredlund · May 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Good article. I am curious why the guy felt the need to say he was recording the conversation? A jerk off might decide to confiscate the cell phone and then he has no recording and we all know many cops do whatever so I would be leary of that.

Brad Graves · May 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm

This is indeed one of the better articles of yours. Informative (as they all are), but especially applicable and empowering. I have not had many reasons to talk to a police officer, but in all fairness – I deserved each one. I guess I have been lucky so far!

Becky · May 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm

In 1987 a little town know as Paradise CA, I picked up my step-daughter, and her friend from high school. The speed limit was 25 MPH from the school to the market where I was going before heading home. I saw a Paradise police car behind me, and did not think anything about it since knew I was not breaking the speeding law or other vehicles driving codes. When I reached Sawmill Market, he pulled in behind my truck and turned on his lights. I was so startled at first, then peved at him for blocking my truck, I was in the process of getting out to go shopping when he shouted stay in your vehicle do not exit. Talk about embarrassed, since I knew I had not broken any laws. He asked for my license, I asked did I break any laws? No response from him, but he asked again for my license, I gave it to him. I said loud enough for everyone in the parking lot who were starring at us that I had not broken any laws. He ran my license gave it back to me, no appology for the inconvience to me. The only thing I could figure out is he thought I was a teenager. Boy, was he shocked.

    Kellene Bishop · May 12, 2012 at 1:13 am

    I wouldn’t have surrendered my license until they could answer my questions. I would have asked again and again “are you detaining me?”

    Sakura · May 14, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Your comment reminded me of the time when I just purchased an expedition. A highway patrol in Davis County pulled me over. I gave him my info, then he asked who the vehicle belonged to. At first I didn’t understand, but when I read your comment it made me realize that maybe he thought I was a 32 yo teenager! This happened to me one more time in Moab. Now I’m a little older and understand my rights better that I would ask if I’m being detained.

Connie · May 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Well done, Kellene. Thank you. This is something I am sorely lacking in my preps. I always read your posts to get the “truth” of recent articles on the political fronts because if I read/listen to other posts it feels as if Doomsday is already here.

Could you please ask Scott this question for me: If he could pick just one, what book would he recommend we read to get started on learning more? Do they make a book for “Dummies” re: Constitutional Rights/Law – something basic that a layperson could read and easily understand?

I wish I lived in Utah so I could become his student. Hey, maybe he should write a book or do online classes! Just sayin’

    Kellene Bishop · May 12, 2012 at 1:11 am

    There isn’t one book, but I could suggest that you start with Frederick’s Bastiat’s book, The Law.

      Connie · May 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      Thanks. I just ordered it for my Kindle – 99 cents!

Jill Pruitt · May 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Thank you for great information. It’s something I plan to rehearse in my mind over and over so that the correct legal words roll off my tongue like my children’s names. I tend to go blank under stress so practicing this is good preparation. More articles like this please?

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