How are these libertarians helping veterans in need?
How are these libertarians helping veterans in need? Adam Kokesh returns to the program to discuss the brand new non-profit, the Homefront Battle Buddies, which focuses on offering a network and support system for veterans in need.
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to The Brian Nichols Show your source for common sense politics on the we are libertarians network as a sales and marketing executive. In the greater telecommunications cybersecurity industry, Brian works with C level executives to help them future proof their company's infrastructure for an uncertain future. And in each episode, Brian takes that experience and applies it to the liberty movement. And this is why we talked about being the trusted advisor you should be able to help us that expert guidance and all the opinions that I'm sure that you have and help lead them towards not just a decision but the right decision. Instead of focusing on simply winning arguments or being right. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and their application in the world of politics, showing you how to ask better questions, tell better stories and ultimately change people's minds. And now, your host, Brian Nichols. Well, Happy Wednesday there, folks, Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show. And thank you for joining us on another fun filled episode. I am in fact your humble host. And thank you for joining us today we are having a great returning guest and that is the one and only Adam Koch ash. And today we're gonna be talking about Home Front battle buddies him and his buddy Eddie Vallejo have gone out of their way to go and help veterans who have been impacted by our just disaster of a health care system in the VA how so by creating an organization that is not only creating a center in community, for veterans who are looking for help outside of the traditional health care systems, but also offering them alternative forms of treatment and medicines, a great conversation with Adam because he is truly answering right now where we're seeing a lot of vets who are looking for some help, a great conversation to be had. So onto the show Adam Koch ash here on The Brian Nichols Show,
man, I love streaming. I love connecting with you like this. Thank you for hosting me today and for this conversation for the opportunity to talk to your audience about home from battle buddies.
Absolutely. And right there. Adam Homefront, battle buddies. We are so excited to talk about that. Because I mean right now and let's kind of look at let's set the stage right? Why this is so important. When you look at especially and I've seen this in my circles, I'm from upstate New York originally, and it's in the Greater Fort Drum area. And I have a lot of friends who were veterans, and and they were crushed after what they just saw happen here this past year, with our just up and leaving in Afghanistan, literally looking around and asking one another. Was it all for nothing. And a lot of people have really facing some dark demons and it's really hit the area hard. So I know from my hometown, Adam, it's it's an area where we really are facing some personal struggles and we're looking for solutions and a lot of people out there are looking for solutions. And you along with your cohort there Edda Vallejo, you guys have gone ahead and got Homefront, battle buddies, which is giving veterans an alternative versus the go into a you know, regular pain pill pusher doctor and actually try to resolve some of these issues. So let's dig into this. What are Homefront, battle buddies? And what has been the response thus far?
Well, I want to start with a personal story if you don't mind, because this is very personal to me. I was in Fallujah in 2004. With the Marine Corps I was in combat. I don't want to you know, try to burnish my military credentials like oh, you know, I've been through the shit but I've seen enough I've experienced enough that I'm I've dealt with PTSD myself from that experience. And when I went to the VA, I was living in DC, at the time, was active with Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Washington, DC, VA hospital, the flagship of VA health care. And I went in there, because I was having trouble sleeping. I was I had a little, like involuntary memory recall. Sometimes I'd have I have nightmares, I wouldn't even remember them. But I wake up in the middle of the night, sit and pull up, right? Like, oh, where's my uniform in my rifle, I gotta be somewhere, you know that, you know, that kind of thing. And I just wanted someone to help me sleep through the night. And I walked out of the VA. And it's funny because I actually do get a prescription from the VA today, that helps me sleep, separate story. But it's, it's actually that I've gotten it through, not through the VA through other channels around the VA, to get to better medicine. But even then, in the case of that, I was given five prescriptions, and three of them had suicide listed as side effects.
suicide or suicidal ideations as side effects of the drugs they were trying to give me, tell me sleep at the VA, five minute conversation with a shrink, no getting to know me or community involvement, or you know, any other kind of therapy, or there's, here's five prescriptions, boom. And I walk out of that little brown paper bag, I was like, you know, what, this is, this is nuts. There's like, there's no way I am to be just as a patient, in general, being a conscientious patient. You know, when someone gives, when a doctor, I say something, when a doctor gives you a prescription, I do the research, you know, I read it, I start taking a medication, if I'm going to start taking it, like kind of in isolation and see what effect it's gonna have on me. If it's gonna mess with something else I'm using, or if it's gonna, you know, do this, you take five prescriptions at once, you have no idea what that's gonna do to your head. And I know, this is making the connection to the bigger issue all of a sudden, but think about 22 veterans suicides a day. Oh, yeah, a lot of people try to contextualize that, and say, well, compared to the civilian rate, well, it's not like new vets coming on with PTSD. It's older vets, blah, blah, blah. And and I'm not trying to like blow this up with some pull at the heartstrings. Like oh, yes, we have to do something. But yeah, we do have to do something. Because it's, it's frickin insane how veterans are handled in the mental health care system through the VA, and a lot of cases, guys who are in my situation, don't have the support of friends and a community of veterans. And, and aside from all the other political stuff mixed in with Iraq Veterans Against the War, it was a loving, supportive community of veterans who had no problem saying, it doesn't matter if it's legal or illegal, you should do what's good for you. And so I had access to cannabis. And it might be a bit of a stretch. But I I can't say that cannabis definitely saved my life, but it might have, because if I didn't have access to cannabis, I was instead using those prescriptions. Yeah, I could have down, gone down a very dark path with with those, as a lot of veterans are still doing today. And so I want to provide that opportunity for every veteran in America. And a big part of home from battle buddies, is the online organizing and the advocacy, and just telling veterans like, please, please, please, don't just trust the VA doctors without question, please, please, please consider the alternatives. Please, please, please value your life and know that there are Americans out there who want to help you when the government has failed you. And in so many ways. It's not even arguable is when the government failed the American veterans community. Yeah, no kidding. So for all the ways that government has failed us, eventually, with in person retreats, and every alternative therapy available with home from battle buddies, we want to serve America's veterans that way, and make sure ultimately, that we're the last generation combat veterans the world ever knows, because we believe that empowering veterans means empowering us to tell our stories, and to make sure that America and the world learn the lessons of our experience. And so while as an organization, we are a political obviously, I bring my political motivation into this. I believe this is important not just because I want it not just because it's community service, but it's priority for me, because I think it's an important struggle for everyone. And the model that we're creating for access to alternative therapies with retreats is you know, as we talked about with giving people that safe space, safe safe space, yeah, but that's not what I meant. The comfortable space to get. The left stole the word safe space like term I can't say safe space without invoking all that other nonsense. But yeah, to create a comfortable space for for veterans to experiment with cannabis with psilocybin, with MDMA, with ketamine. Everything that we can safely make available here isn't non profit. We're just a facilitator. But that's what we're facilitating here. And we want to empower veterans to, to explore everything that's available. And if veterans don't have the ability to do this, if we can't fight for and establish the that, that veterans have the right, what chance do the rest of y'all have as a second class citizens in the eyes of the state to enjoy your freedom? And and I think that, as a society as a whole, this isn't just a fight for veterans, by veterans. But I hope that everybody who believes in freedom sees the value in using veterans as sort of the the battering ram to knock down the remainder of the war on drugs.
And and one of the things you were going off, and I started to write down some notes here that it really just sparked something, because we always went through this COVID 19 Over the past almost two years now. Are we I don't know. Well, and I'm looking right now at well, veterans, right, we were talking about the lack of community love lack of the ability to talk to people who are experiencing the similar things. And I'm only guessing, but I would love to hear your perspective. I can only guess that this has only been exacerbated with COVID-19 veterans feeling isolated. Okay. Can you dig into that?
Yeah, I can't say it's been good for veterans during this time, especially for veteran suicides. One of the things that, you know, again, staying away from anything that's that because I have I have very strong political opinions about COVID. And, and everything else, kind of keep out of this. But one of the things that I think is universally frustrated about the situation with COVID is the isolation and the lack of understanding of data because data is being withheld. So, we only have a vague sense of how bad things are for Americans as a whole in terms of mental health, with COVID lockdowns, shutdowns, and the ongoing economic hardships around it. A lot of veterans, you know, like myself on on disability from the VA at least have some stable income during this time. But the isolation has not been good. And one of the things that I'm concerned with is the misreporting of statistics. I know this is this is this is on the edge of the political, but because a lot of deaths are being falsely attributed to COVID, you know, people who test positive for COVID are listed as COVID deaths, we're actually seeing the other things that veterans die from, like suicides not being properly counted not being really accounted for and addressed in all this, a lot of veterans are, you know, in the Cavalier category of attitudes towards COVID, being relatively young and healthy, and, you know, I've, I've been exposed to so much, and I've been shot up with so much, whatever, it doesn't matter, you know, that kind of stuff. And so I think, you know, a lot of veterans are able to maintain that. But for even for me, during this time, it's like, Wait, now going to the VA, is that much more of a pain in the butt, like, really, I got, I gotta, I gotta go through COVID hoops, and I gotta wear a mask, and I gotta wait longer. And he's ill I know, that sounds like silly, you know, kind of just little aggravating stuff. But for veterans who are already, you know, very reluctant to use the VA, it's like, one, one more big thing we got to deal with. And I will say one of the things I got, I'll give a shout out. And this is this is partly for the sake of home for a battle buddies here in northern Arizona, near Ashford, we have an amazing independent clinic in town called Owlchemy. apothecary with a registered nurse Daniel night. And he does an incredible job. And so I'm hooked up with him through the VA where the VA pays for me to go see him as an independent provider. And that's one of the things that we want to do, especially during this time, is help veterans navigate around some of those hurdles and find better ways is a you know, a lot of this is marginal stuff. And it sounds like it's not a big deal. But in the aggregate it really so when you say like, you know, there are 22 veterans suicides a day. Well, how many of those could have been prevented? If if those guys had just had better access to mental health interventions three years prior? You know, it's not like, oh, well, the VA sucks so bad. He killed himself, but it's like, well, he was dealing with depression and then alcoholism and they had this thing at the VA, but he was on a waitlist and then he got put off and then this other thing happened with his family. and then COVID it. And then he lost that last bit of support. And then he gave up and committed suicide. You know, it's a lot of contributing factors like that. And right now the VA is a source of a lot of headache and frustration, and COVID didn't make it any better. So all the more important now than ever before to create this sense of community of veterans outside of official channels, absolutely.
I go back to my day job as I'm a sales executive here in the greater telecom cybersecurity world. And one of the things that we focus on is making it easier for medium to large businesses to access cybersecurity solutions, because the threats that are out there are so severe, and they've been increasing exponentially. So I look at it makes sense, from the business perspective, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to get the services in this case, the cybersecurity solutions they need. But look at Veterans and to your point, Adam, it's
your government and you don't have any competition, screw the customers, right?
Well, and that's the part of the problem is that we don't have that incentive in place to really have these alternatives. And that's why what you're doing with Homefront, battle buddies is so important. So let's dig into creating these easier to access alternative solutions to veterans. So if I'm a veteran, I'm looking for help. And I'm going to home from battle buddies, what can I expect to experience my start off step one?
Well, let me tell you, first of all, we are very new as an organization. And right now we only really have one active program for vets that come to us. And that's our internship residency program. As we build out our facilities and our organization to be able to provide the complete array of services that are part of the homefront, battle buddies vision. Right now, we have an awesome program director with Ed Vallejo here, who's an Army veteran himself from the Vietnam era, just post Vietnam. And he is over overseen interns who come here who want to live and work and enjoy sort of the non program benefits of the facility and what Homefront battle buddies has to offer. Once we get established, we and we already have a phone number, you can look it up. It's a Google Voice number that goes to Ed's phone. I'm sorry, I don't know what else on my head. Basically, what we'll have one 800, Homefront, battle buddies or something, right. But you go to home from battle buddies.org, you can look all this stuff up, you can get in contact with us. And what we want to offer
is something with two, two things that are really unique. We're in the realm of veteran service organizations right now. And and some of the stuff we're talking about isn't that unique? Like we want to offer a comprehensive benefits consulting program. First of all, it's a judgment call. And right now, Ed and I are going through the initial training and developing this program to be able to, to do this to run a hotline as home from battle buddies, so that you can call up and say, Hey, I'm a veteran, run down the list for me, help me figure out everything I'm eligible for that I'm entitled to as a veteran, according to the government, according to non government organizations, according to legal privileges, according whatever and help people go through every single thing that that might be applicable to them. And there are different organizations doing their own versions of this. We think that because we are approaching this from a libertarian understanding of government, we are going to be uniquely capable of providing something that is more comprehensive, for example, you call the VA? Yeah, they'll give you everything the VA offers, and they'll send you to some other people, but are they going to tell you every single tax break that you're entitled to or home loan opportunity, or veteran, you know, benefit that comes with with something outside, they'll tell you, you can get you, you get a free meal at Applebee's on Veterans Day, and I'll tell you stuff like that. But we want to dig into the bigger stuff in terms of benefits consulting, like and showing people all the little loopholes and tricks and working the system, like with Alchemy apothecary here, I wouldn't have known that this was an option, if I hadn't seen the bulletin board here in town and ash work, and then pursued it and figured out the process, you know, with their help. And then, you know, had to navigate the VA say, pay them. And so they can take care of me instead of me having to go to the VA hospital that in our case is an hour away. So benefits consulting. Right now. We're just getting started on that. But I think that's something that we can provide in a unique, empowering way that really no one else can or no one else is currently and even if they are, there's not enough of it. Second thing here with the online services and community, we were going to be creating a forum online and that sort of next round of fundraising. Next round. By the way, our website is set up home from battle buddies.org And you can donate there, we are a registered, licensed to operate as a nonprofit for tax deduction purposes 501 C three, so anybody who can donate, we also want to help people I should say, Take tax deductions with this Of course, we don't want people to pay any more in taxes than they absolutely have to, which really should be zero. But again, very, very into the political here. So if you want to volunteer, if you want to donate right now we're building a gym and a greenhouse. On the lower level of our property. Here, we have 10 acres in the mountains in Arizona near ash work. So anything that people want to donate or contribute to building the facility, we want to give you the receipts for tax write offs, deductions, etc, etc. So while we're doing this, the next building out the online organization includes building out a forum and it's not just a put up a bulletin board, make it look like Ron Paul forums, and, you know, if you build it, they will come. No, it's a serious, you know, start up an online community. That means having moderators and, you know, regular content, and people that are from our organization, who are helping people with their questions, and then it's a forum for veterans to come. And part of, again, part of the the unique value of this because there's a lot of competition in this space. And we're not pretending that everything we're doing is brand new from the ground up. But we're hoping that with an online forum like that, specifically, with the intent of censorship, free pursuing alternative therapies, no restrictions event like we as a 501, C three, we follow the law, precisely right. We don't want to compromise our 501 C three status, but we facilitate veterans, doing and talking about illegal things. And we are we are happy to say that, you know, even from a harm reduction perspective, we are able to do that legally. And so we are fostering that conversation, where veterans can discuss cannabis, although, at this point, you know, it's it's more about delivering it and empowering veterans to use it in a practical way. But MDMA, psilocybin, ketamine, anything else they want to discuss, we want to encourage that. So home from battle buddies.org, we're going to be building out a forum there. In virtual programs, one of the things that a lot of veterans have found beneficial, myself included when I got back. And when I was first getting involved with Iraq Veterans Against the War, there was a lot of creative writing. And there, there was a lot of art, art therapy is an important means of expression. This really gets to, for me, what's what's foundational to this experience is talk therapy, because it was so important to me, by the way, I'm going over a lot and going back here, sidebar, historical origin of the brand Homefront, battle buddies. I came up with that when I was active with Iraq Veterans Against the War in Washington, DC, and home from battle buddies was our weekly peer support group therapy talk session. And
a big part of getting over PTSD for veterans is just taking things that are in your subconscious and rattling around and controlling and affecting you in ways that you don't want and understand taking it and articulating it. So that it can be front and center in your conscious mind for you to be able to process and art. And creative writing is often a way to get to things that you didn't know were there. Or that you really have to dig and, you know, marinate and express through through art to be able to get to come out in that same therapeutic process. So creative writing as a program online with them from battle buddies and publishing, we're going to be publishing my as of yet unreleased war memoir as one of the first books with the homefront, battle buddies publishing program. So we have that to look forward to as we get involved with more, you know, online organization, and we get to step up some more. But then the, the sort of crown jewel, of the services that we are offering with home from battle buddies is the week long retreats. And this is a model we're still developing because it's not something that we take lightly to say, hey, yeah, come for a week and we encourage you to do whatever, you know, crazy drugs you want to do. No, that's not what we're talking about. It is going to be like I said, a very, very safe space, you know, comfortable space for experimentation. So for veterans, who maybe have never even smoked cannabis to be able to come out for a week and say, Hey, we've got an all expenses paid for for you. There's going to be a cannabis caterer there was going to give you you know, every possible form of cannabis that you could ingest, as well as give you some coaching and how to use it. You have a week with no responsibilities and you have people looking out for you. And so you can figure out a way to use it to your benefit. And similarly to the extent that we can with with with doctors. A lot of ketamine has already been administered in clinics all across the United States. As you know ketamine therapy for depression. And with with medical supervision, we want to be able to offer that here as well in our one week retreats. So going back to, you know where we are now, we're just starting to get our website fully organized. It's really coming together beautifully, we've got our board of directors, we've got all of our paperwork. And as we are building out the facility, which I mean, we just, we just planned out the, the development here, which is very exciting. Thank you for putting up the website, there, you can see some of the existing structures we've got here. And that picture there on the homepage is from our board members retreat from a couple months ago. So we just plot it out, where we're going to put a gym, and a greenhouse. And the the great hall the barracks, building the lodge, is we're probably going to call it the lodge from from battle buddies, which will be a big meeting room with, you know, a kitchen attached as part of that. And 12 Comfortable dorm rooms is our what we're calling them dorm rooms, essentially, in terms of, you know, functionality, but safe rooms that you know, like their thermal mass, mostly soundproof, very comfortable spaces that allow our guests to do whatever they need to do here to get the most out of their their week long retreat experience with home from battle buddies.
Adam, it's so great, my friend, thank you so much for joining us today. And obviously, you know, what you guys are doing over at home from battle buddies is so important. And I think right now what we're seeing is people are looking for solutions. And this is why I'm so thankful to do what I'm doing and to have the conversations that we're having right now. Because I think you have far too many people who who've only looked at the only real option being complained. What was me and you're actually giving solutions and showing people that there's a path forward. And you don't have to just sit and complain about how things are, you can build the solutions in the future you want to see. So with that being said, I want to give you a platform here as we wrap up. What would be your direct pitch to the veterans who are listening today? What would you want them to know?
There's a difference between being a warrior and a soldier. And while we, as veterans are all at some level warriors, who volunteered to put our lives on the line, to defend our fellow Americans, that noble spirit was perverted into being soldiers. Warriors for hire. While a warrior is someone who was willing to put their life on the line to do the right thing. A soldier is someone who kills for politicians, or helps in the larger organizational machinery. To do that. This country still needs its warriors. We don't need any more soldiers. But we need you to be the best warrior as you can be to serve your country to serve humanity. And right now, there are so many of us who have been disempowered by our military experiences. And home from battle buddies, is one way that I hope we can reclaim our own individual spirit as warriors. So that as a community as a warrior class, in America, we can go back into service of our communities, our nation of humanity, and make the world a more righteous place a more peaceful place a more just place. And that has to start from being the change that you want to see. So I hope you'll join us home from battle buddies.org, you can sign up there to volunteer to donate to be a part of our current internship slash residency program to help build the facility and the vision for this organization to do everything that I have laid out, that we know is necessary to make sure that the world learns the lessons, as painful as they may be. That we have learned ourselves through our experience with militarism, and ensure that we are the last generation of combat veterans the world ever knows, and that the warrior class is restored from a place of serving politicians to nobly serving the people. So I hope you'll join me in that again, Homefront battle buddies.org. Brian, thank you for the opportunity. There any veterans who are listening please share Check us out, send me an email, you can email from battle firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find us on Twitter at Homefront BB. You can find you can donate on the website if anybody wants to contribute. If you want to get involved in any other way, please reach out. We are a new organization. We need all the help we can get right now. And we are looking to grow. We are looking to get more people involved. So again, Brian, thank you for the opportunity to speak to your audience today.
Awesome. All right, Adam Koch ash, we'll include all the links in the show notes. So folks, if you want to go ahead and follow Adam to continue the conversation, you can go there. Also, if you want to go ahead and support the awesome organization that is yes. In fact, Homefront, battle buddies. Yes, it'll be included. Hit the artwork in your show notes. It'll bring you right to Brian Nichols show.com, where you'll find today's episode plus all 370 plus other episodes including the transcription of today's episode with that being said Adam Koch ash thanks for joining the program. Have you checked out the new Brian Nichols show collection over at proud libertarian head the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash shop and you can grab some amazing Liberty swag that will definitely help pique some interest from our good ideas don't require force snapbacks Alexa overthrow the government T shirts question everything mugs and of course are ever popular. Don't hurt people don't take people's stuff bumper sticker, The Brian Nichols Show shop over at proud libertarian has all the Liberty swag you need and hey, if you're looking for more awesome Liberty apparel, check out the rest of the amazing proud libertarian store while you're over there and be sure to use code TNS at checkout to get 10% off your entire order. That's right 10% off your entire order from proud libertarian, including everything over at The Brian Nichols Show shop and all you have to use is code TNS at checkout one more time, head to Brian Nichols show.com forward slash shop and check out the brand new Brian Nichols show store over at proud libertarian and use code TVs at checkout for 10% off your entire order. Already folks, that's gonna wrap up our conversation with Adam Koch ash, Homefront, battle buddies. If you want to go ahead and learn more, go ahead and make sure you click the artwork in your podcast catcher. Like I said at the outro there of the episode, it'll bring your rate to today's episode where you can go ahead and learn more you can go ahead and follow Adam on his social media but also find more about Homefront battle buddies. And yes, of course, you can go ahead and find the entire transcription of today's episode. And of course, go ahead and give me a follow up there as well at be Nichols Liberty side. No, did you go ahead and catch our amazing episode yesterday we had 20 Cody returning to the program and he was giving a shout out to candidates and particularly those in the conservative and libertarian camps, how to resonate with your average voter based on the things that they really care about. Is that not what we talk about here on the program on the regular I dare say it is. So with that being said, if you did not get the chance, make sure you go back and check out yesterday's episode with Kenny Cody. And by the way, thank you to everyone who's going out of their way and giving us a five star rating and review. Otherwise coming up on Thursday tomorrow. Yes, it's going to be one of our fun solo shorts and it'll be with yours. Truly. We'll be going through some of our morning sales. huddles make sure if you have not had the chance yet to go and subscribe to the morning sales huddle, head over to the Brian Nichols show.com rate the homepage you can sign up five days a week in your inbox. Yes, all the things I'm teaching my sales funnel on a daily basis that's helping us hit their metrics and helping them achieve the things they want to see in their life hitting their goals. We can help you to head over to the Brian Nichols show.com and sign up for the morning sales huddled today. Otherwise, folks, thank you for joining us on today's episode. That being said, it's Brian co signing off for Adam Koch ash. We'll see you tomorrow. Thanks for listening to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at the Brian Nichols show.com If you enjoyed today's episode, don't forget to subscribe. Want to help us reach more people? Give the show a five star review and tell your friends to subscribe to find us at Brian Nichols show.com and download the show on Apple podcast Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow me on social media at V. Nichols liberty and consider donating to the show at the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash support. The Brian Nichols Show is supported by viewers like you. Thank you to our patrons Darryl Schmitz, Maura Stanley, Michael Lima, Michel, Mankiewicz, Tony John's, Fred, the caster and the we're libertarians network. audio production for The Brian Nichols Show is brought to you by dB podcast audio Learn more by emailing enquiries to WM at dB pod audio.com.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Adam Kokesh is an American libertarian political activist, radio host, and author.
Kokesh was a U.S. 2020 Libertarian presidential candidate running on the single-issue platform of an "orderly dissolution of the federal government."
Kokesh is a former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant, serving in the Iraq War in 2004. Upon his return from Iraq, he became an anti-war activist and an advocate for Iraq Veterans Against the War. He emerged as a radio talk show host in 2011 when his TV, radio, and web access show Adam vs. The Man.
While in jail after his 2013 arrest stemming from his civil disobedience at Freedom Plaza, Kokesh began work on his book FREEDOM! Kokesh got the idea for the book while reading other libertarian tracts during his stay in jail. The book advocates for the use of cryptocurrency and claims the safest populace is a well-armed one.