Another Libertarian Cult Compound in the Making

This one comes not from Glenn Beck, but from a group of “patriots” who are nothing more than glorified Doomsday Preppers.

via TPM

A group of self-appointed “patriots” are moving forward with an idea for a planned community of several thousand families of “patriotic Americans” in Idaho, a project named The Citadel, envisioned as a “martial endeavor designed to protect Residents in times of peril (natural or man-made).”

“The Citadel is not profit-driven. The Citadel is Liberty-driven: specifically Thomas Jefferson’s Rightful Liberty,” the group organizing the project says on its website. “Marxists, Socialists, Liberals and Establishment Republicans will likely find that life in our community is incompatible with their existing ideology and preferred lifestyles.

Their language is slightly different in some ways and very similar in others, but I view these new “liberty” retreats that are popping up in the same way that we may view the militia movement of the 1990s or even the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas.

From my perspective it’s what you get when you mix the hysterical rhetoric of the NRA and the conservative entertainment complex with the psychosis of so-called sovereign citizens, and I would not be shocked if they suffer a similar fate after they drink their own Kool-aid and begin living under the assumption that they are exempt from the law.

A major difference between the 1990s and today is that today they have a lot more money, a lot more guns, and a lot more exposure in mainstream politics thanks to the likes of Fox News and Glenn Beck who are making millions of dollars by legitimizing this alternate lifestyle and view of the world. And because of this quasi-legitimization, their ranks are swelling.

From the Southern Poverty Law Center’s latest report on the “Patriot movement.”

The antigovernment “Patriot” movement has experienced a resurgence, growing quickly since 2008, when President Obama was elected to office. Factors fueling the antigovernment movement in recent years include changing demographics driven by immigration, the struggling economy and the election of the first African-American president. In 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 1,274 anti-government “Patriot” groups that were active the prior year. Of these groups, 334 were militias and the remainder includes “common-law” courts, publishers, ministries and citizens’ groups.

Generally, Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the “New World Order,” engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines. Antigovernment groups do not necessarily advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities, though some have. Many warn of impending government violence or the need to prepare for a coming revolution.

If there is a group of Americans that anyone should be afraid of, it’s these people. People who consider Alex Jones to be a heroic figure.

I would caution liberals who dabble in libertarianism to take a good, hard look at what exactly that kind of ideology enables.

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  • http://twitter.com/tlavely Tony Lavely

    “… protect Residents in times of peril (natural or man-made)”

    Isn’t Idaho kinda close to the super volcano that is Yellowstone? That will be an interesting thing to “protect” against.

  • RegLib

    I would never advocate locking these loons away behind walls. But if they want to do it themselves, who am I to object?

    • MrDHalen

      The problems arise when they have kids locked up behind the walls as well.

  • Ned F

    I went to the Citadel website (http://www.iiicitadel.com) today because this has been all over the blogosphere this week. I designed the same thing when I was twelve, but mine was way cooler as they left out the heliport and artillery in the towers. What, no drawbridge? In my unscientific opinion, I’m blaming the rise in these Patriot groups entirely on the internet. These guys, like the Communists and Socialists from the early 20th century, were generally confined to basements, cranking out their pamphlets on the mimeograph machines, and self publishing manifestos that were only seen by those like-minds that sought them out. Nowadays, it’s well, out there for all to see. They’ve always been there, but now we’re exposed to it constantly, and we can’t help but spread the jaw dropping news around. At the same time, it’s harder for them to fly under the radar, and if they ever get this thing built, and I doubt they will in the Citadel case, you can rest assured it will be hard to hang out in the “American Redoubt” with all the noise of surveillance drones overhead.

    • RegLib

      On your recommendation I had a look at their website too. A few things that jumped out at me:

      - They are celebrating “American exceptionalism” by walling themselves off from the rest of America?

      - They advertise no HOA, no property taxes, no credit checks. Yeah, there’s a neighborhood I want to live in.

      - They say they will finance their community with a firearms company that gives all its profits to the community. Umm, isn’t that Communism?

  • Brutlyhonest

    Colbert covered this last week. You should link the clip as it’s his usual gold!

  • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

    All cults are pretty messed up but these aren’t the Amish, Shakers or Mennonites.
    These are paranoid whackjobs with advanced weaponry and are no different from Jim Jones, David Coresh, Aum Shinrikyo or Charles Manson.
    Isolation is the only way they can exist and we have seen this play out time and again. Religious dogma, guns & fear are their tools and you can bet there are multiple wives and child fucking going on again.
    These are dangerous cults and I can’t understand how they can be tolerated in 2013.

  • bphoon

    At first blush, it sounds about right for Idaho…

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    There is also speculation that it really a grifting scheme to take the paranoid sets money and it will never get built. There is an artists rendering of the layout and it’s ridiculously stupid…….no way to grow crops, no hospital, towers too far apart…it’s a comedy gold mine.

  • trgahan

    Like Beck, these groups only have four more years to fleece as much money out of these wackaloons as they can, so they need to up their game with these “libertarian community” schemes.

  • http://twitter.com/JaniceGW Janice G Washington

    It’s just a matter of years before the next Jim Jones/Jonestown “religious” cult disaster happens. Yes, there will be idiots who will drink the “kool-aid” and commit mass suicide to prove a point(s) to absolutely no avail.