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National Geographic's 'Doomsday Castle' family preps for 'the end'

August 13, 2013|By Rachel Miller
(National Geographic Channel )

"Doomsday Castle," the new unscripted National Geographic Channel series premiering Tuesday from the producers of the hit "Doomsday Preppers," is looking to put a whole new spin on the phrase "family bonding." Forget board games and Sunday night dinners -- American prepper Brent Sr. and his children Brent II, Ashley, Lindsay, Dawn Marie and Michael are coming together to build a self-sufficient, medieval castle to protect themselves from the chaos that the apocalypse will bring.

Although many predicted end times dates have come and gone, Brent Sr. and his family are on a mission to assure the world that there will be a doomsday -- it's just a matter of when.

They claim that the apocalypse will be triggered by an electromagnetic pulse, or an EMP. Elucidating this pending fate, he describes an EMP as causing a complete takedown of the power grid system, leaving mankind in the dark ... literally. The family of preppers asserts that the EMP will be prompted by one of two possibilities: a nuclear bomb being detonated in the atmosphere or the occurrence of a solar flare of high intensity (similar to what happened in 1859).

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Brent Sr., a retired infantry officer, began his doomsday prepping in the fall of 1999, inspired by suggestions that Y2K could lead to civilization collapsing. It was soon after this that his children were drafted into assisting their father in his dream of building a super-fortress to protect his family against the "end days." Although the family states that they are uncertain of when the end will come, they just want to be prepared, joking that if there is no doomsday, at least they’ll all have a "nice vacation house." Watch out, Medieval Times, a real-life version is opening up in the hills of North Carolina, and instead of jousting reenactments and enormous turkey legs they have working catapults and military Meals, Ready-to-Eat. Mmm.

Apocalyptic theories, medieval castles and survival training aside, what may be most intriguing about this family of preppers is how surprisingly normal they are, challenging preconceived notions of a hard-as-nails father and his brainwashed children. Instead, this family seems to center itself on love and faith, as Brent Sr. described his doomsday prepping and protection of his family as a "biblical obligation to God." Their charm and ideas about an approaching EMP could convince others others to start their own doomsday prep.


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