February 5, 2009
Steven Collins

Some of you know what I mean because you also have seen these same reports being sent around on the internet. They have also appeared in various tabloids and publications (mostly ones with a right-wing tone) which some people have occasionally sent to me over the last decade. These reports allege that the US Government is building a network of “secret concentration camps” on abandoned US military bases all over the USA. Reportedly, these secret camps are being prepared to be activated as functioning cities within security fences or borders with their own hospitals, barracks, etc.  Some of the more lurid reports warn that these “concentration camps” will be used to house Christians when the prophesied beast power assumes dominion over the nations. Other reports warn that these camps will be used to quarantine American Moslems during a future great global war (much like the US government imprisoned Japanese-Americans during World War II). I even saw one report alleging the camps were being built to house illegal aliens during a “round-up” process.

These worst-case scenarios are within the realm of possibility, but allow me to offer you a more benign explanation which fits a biblical context.  Remember first that not everything you read or hear is true. Millions have learned that various reports and tales passed along on the internet turn out to be untrue “urban legends.” Almost nothing being reported on the internet is “under oath,” so be sure to take sensationalized reports with a grain of salt.  Also, Matthew 24:5, 11 and 24 all warn that deceptions will be common in the latter days. Revelation 12:9 prophesies the entire world will be deceived about many things in the latter days. II Timothy 2:13 warns that many deceivers will themselves be deceived in many matters.

My benign explanation for these secret camps (if they exist) is somewhat based in personal experiences. When I was younger (and much healthier), I worked in both the City Administrator’s and Mayor’s Office in St. Paul, MN during the Arab oil boycott when America’s energy supplies were under severe threat. One of my assignments was to work on an energy contingency plan the City Council was preparing. My part of the effort was to contact the major employers, manufacturers, hospitals, etc. to determine what kinds of fuel they used and how secure their supplies were. If things had gotten much worse, these fuel supplies would have been distributed according to a triage system based on what facilities had the greatest need. I would guess that every major American city was then making similar contingency plans. When I later worked at the Metro Airports Commission of Minneapolis-St. Paul, there were regular “disaster exercises” for first-responders to improve their abilities to respond to an aircraft disaster. I’m sure all major airports have such contingency plans. When the US Airways plane recently hit birds during take-off and made an emergency landing in the Hudson River, first-responders were there very quickly and ferry boats immediately changed their routes to rescue survivors. Why was there such an excellent response? These rescuers all had contingency plans which immediately went into action. The Pentagon has all kinds of contingency plans for various threat scenarios which might occur anywhere in the world. So does every other major government. When the Cold War was in effect, the US Government equipped bomb shelters all over the nation with geiger counters, food rations, etc. Russia and China reportedly still have elaborate public bomb shelters to protect their citizens in a nuclear war.

Romans 13:1-7, Titus 3:1 and I Peter 2:13-17 all comment on the obligations of governments and (Christian) citizens. [If you have not read my article about “Christian Citizenship“‘ at this website, I suggest that you do so as the principles examined in that article may affect your personal decisions in the future.] These scriptures make it clear that governments have an obligation to act to protect their citizens. No government does this perfectly and some governments on the earth are an absolute curse to their people (why does Zimbabwe come to mind?), but preparing for future dangers is a biblically-advised practice (Proverbs 22:3).

Those “secret camps” reportedly being built by the US Government on abandoned military bases may be part of a quite-reasonable contingency plan. There have been many terrorist attacks on many civilian locations around the world. These attacks have caused mass casualties, but they have not yet involved nuclear, chemical or biological terror attacks. Many official and private sources in high places have warned that it is not a matter of “whether” such an attack will occur in the USA, but only a matter of “when” and “where” it will happen. There have already been warnings about possible “radioactive dirty bomb” attacks, which, thankfully, did not occur. One involved the New York City subway system if my memory is correct.

To prepare for such attacks, FEMA and/or the Homeland Security Dept. should be making contingency plans re: how to respond to such a terrorist attack on American cities. If such an attack occurred in winter, there needs to be readily-available housing on a scale large enough to handle the evacuees of a major American city. It would be irresponsible not to make such preparations when such a danger exists. Constructing them on abandoned military bases makes great sense as no land needs to be purchased, basic facilities for large numbers of people already exist on such locations, and many have airfields or railway access. If the nation had to empty a large American city due to a terrorist attack (or imminent threat of one), it would be an excellent contingency plan which foresaw the need and had emergency camps available for large number of evacuees. These plans would logically remain “secret” and unpublicized as the government would have no desire to create a panic among civilian populations.

This blog is to reassure readers who also receive these reports of “secret concentration camps” being built around the USA that these “camps” may be emergency evacuee camps held in readiness to house people removed from a major American city in case of terrorist attacks. Such emergency facilities would need barracks, medical facilities, large kitchens, etc.

A final word about the “beast” power which truly is prophesied to have global dominance at some point in the latter days. The prophesied deceptions will get so intense that Jesus Christ warned even the strongest Christians will feel tempted to embrace and accept the beast’s system (Matthew 24:24). If the “beast” system was a Hitlerian one which put all Christians in slave camps, would you feel a strong temptation to embrace that system and believe it was from God? No, neither would I. I am increasingly thinking the “beast” system will be one which embraces all world religions in a “tolerant” approach which tries to unite the world’s nations into a single world government. To do so, it would preach inclusiveness, not Hitlerian supremacy stuff.

So, when and if you see those circulated reports about “secret concentration camps” being built around the USA, keep this blog in mind and realize that there may be a benign explanation for them.