Vivos – Terrifying People in these Uncertain Times

Vivos is a life assurance solution for you and your loved ones to survive the next earth devastating catastrophe, terrorist or nuclear attack. Vivos network of hardened and nuclear blast proof shelters will provide for up to one year of autonomous underground survival. We invite you to join us and a community of 200 people, as a co-owner of the Vivos survival shelter complex closest to your home area from our planned network of 20 shelters. Where else would you go with just a few days’ notice?

You cannot predict, but you can prepare for the immediate future and beyond.

This is the assurance on the main page of the Vivos website.

First, I love that they called it Vivos. It’s like a Latin sledgehammer of survival to the face. CBS certainly seemed to think so too when they aired this uncritical fluff piece:

The story basically consists of an “analysis” of the Earth’s seemingly increasing anger. Then they imply that there’s something to this whole 2012 Mayan calendar thing, even showing clips from the movie 2012. About halfway through, the YouTube clip cuts to NBC’s more appropriate factual coverage, but rather than provide nonsensical analysis, they provide none at all. So I guess this is like comparing something awful to something less awful.

An interview with the inventor of the Vivos underground home system reveals that he is part of a group who believes the world will end in 2012 and has a secret bunker (apparently not so much secret) in the Mojave desert — the beginning of a planned network of bunkers. He cites recent social and political “anarchy” and the recent earthquakes as reasons to be concerned. Here he also displays some government paranoia:

Well, the government has facilities; they just don’t have them for you and me.

Oooh! Snap! He’s looking out for the little guy …who has $50,000 of disposable income and can pass a screening test that determines he is useful to the human race. Or for a relatively average 2-child, 2-parent family — $150,000. Who determines the usefulness of the children, by the way?

“Sorry honey, only your sister gets to go. I told you to do better in school.”

Yes, they say it’s going to cost $50,000 for a space in one of these bunkers (assuming they’re ever built) for adults, $25,000 for children. Pets are, inexplicably (considering the resource drain), free. And yes, for all their criticism of the government having secret bunkers for the “elite”, they’re screening people.

They claim to have received 1000 applications so far.

Let’s take a look at the promotional video so awesome that it allegedly convinced 1000 people to part with a lot of their money:

They must be right; just listen to that creepy music.

The main page (with a countdown, accurate to seconds, to the 2012 apocalypse — I think, guessing by the amount) more obviously tries to scare the crap out of people:

Eventually, our planet will realize another devastating catastrophe, whether manmade, or a cyclical force of nature. Disasters are rare and unexpected, but on any sort of long timeline, they’re inevitable. It’s time to prepare!

Ooooh, prepare for unexpected disasters. So that’s what I’ve been doing wrong. Incidentally, how am I going to get a flight out in time to save myself from the bombs that would be in the process of dropping? I doubt they are building a bunker here in rural NS. I guess I’m screwed.

Mousing over the word “governments” in their pitch gives me the following, ahem, information:

There are many credible reports that the government has been aggressively building deep underground hardened shelters for thousands of officials, certain military and the elite. … Conspiracy theory? Maybe, but judge for yourself with this enlightening episode of Conspiracy Theory, hosted by Governor Jesse Ventura.

I think that’s my favorite part. Judge whether this is a conspiracy theory by watching Conspiracy Theory (link to the YouTube videos of the relevant episode — hilarious and/or infuriating, depending on your mood). Ever the enlightened and unbiased source.

I’m not going to rehash why 2012 doomsaying is bunk (though it’s possible that the world could have some catastrophe that year, it’s no more possible than any other year just because some culture didn’t want to count forever), so I’ll leave the reader to consult past discussions for more background.

Rather I want to comment specifically on these end of the world “just buy into X with Y amount of money and you’ll be fine” schemes. First: I acknowledge that people are free to do what they want to with their own money. However, there are many red flags here. This does not appear to be an objective group, they are private (i.e., unclear regulations and obligations), they aren’t so much “do this just in case, I guess” as they are “do this because we’re all going to die in 2012 zomg!”, and it’s unclear how they plan to get a network of underground bunkers built before 2012 especially with only 1000 (alleged) promised “shareholders” so far.

I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but there is no way to guarantee that people are going to get what they pay for by giving Vivos money. When people are doomsaying and trying to sell you something, whether it’s something as huge as a $50,000 spot in a yet-to-be-built bunker or as small as a tinfoil hat, be skeptical. Remember, people said/did/sold the exact same things before Y2K.

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  • Kim Hebert

    Kim Hébert is an occupational therapist. She is interested in the promotion of science and reason, particularly regarding therapeutic health interventions. She blogs occasionally about occupational therapy and other health topics at Science-Based Therapy. Her hobbies are art and astronomy. **All views expressed by Kim are her personal views alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of current or former employers, associations, or other affiliations. All information is provided for discussion purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for consultation with a licensed and accredited health professional.