A group of super rich Americans have been preparing for the collapse of civilization by building underground bunkers and reinforced safe rooms, and one Trump adviser is getting ready to flee the country.
Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley billionaire turned Donald Trump adviser, managed to become a citizen of New Zealand in 2011 even though he’s never lived in the island nation. In 2015, he bought a sensitive 477-acre lake front property only available to citizens of the country.
Thiel, who co-founded PayPal, managed to become a New Zealand citizen without leaving California because lawmakers in the island nation decided his wealth and philanthropy efforts constituted special circumstances. He was granted citizenship at a private ceremony in the country’s consulate in Santa Monica, California.
The venture capitalist joins a growing list of super rich Americans who are preparing for a doomsday event amid fears of a popular uprising and collapse of the government.
This elite group of wealthy preppers is concerned about a collapse of society fueled by political instability, class warfare, and civil unrest as former Facebook product manager Antonio Garcia Martinez told CNBC.
“You just need so many things to actually ride out the apocalypse. I think people who are particularly attuned to the levers by which society actually works understand that we are skating on really thin cultural ice right now.”
New Zealand has become a popular location for super rich preppers looking for a bolthole to escape a collapsing American economy, as LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman told the New Yorker last week.
“Saying you’re ‘buying a house in New Zealand’ is kind of a wink, wink, say no more. Once you’ve done the Masonic handshake, they’ll be, like, ‘Oh, you know, I have a broker who sells old ICBM silos, and they’re nuclear-hardened, and they kind of look like they would be interesting to live in.’ “
These super rich American preppers snatched up some 1,350 square miles of New Zealand property last year, four times as much as in 2010, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Thiel joined this group of super rich preppers when he bought a piece of New Zealand lake front property in 2015 intended to shelter him if doomsday ever comes.
Last week, the New Yorker chronicled a number of the super rich preparing for the end of society including Hoffman, venture capitalist Tim Chang, former Yahoo executive Marvin Liao, and Reddit CEO Yishan Wong.
They’re part of a group of super rich preppers who connect on private Facebook groups to trade survivalist tips like keeping a helicopter fueled at all times and stocking their overseas vacation homes with food, water, and motorcycles.
Some members of the elite prepper movement, like Reddit founder Steve Huffman, are even having elective surgery to prepare for a doomsday scenario, either natural or political, according to the New Yorker.
“If the world ends, and not even if the world ends, but if we have trouble, getting contacts or glasses is going to be a huge pain in the ass.”
The super rich aren’t the only ones preparing for the collapse of society and getting ready to leave the country over fears of a doomsday scenario. After Donald Trump won the presidency, more than 13,000 Americans applied for residency in the island country, 17 times the normal number.
It’s a bit ironic that Thiel is among the number of Americans preparing for the collapse of society given his role in Trump’s transition team, but the billionaire describes it as insurance and there are many in Silicon Valley who share his view.
It’s not likely the U.S. economy will collapse, but with all their wealth it only makes sense to prepare for doomsday.
Do you think American society is on the verge of collapse?
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]