Another epic fail brewing in Idaho


Poor Idaho. What have you and your potatoes done to deserve this?

A group of survivalists wants to build a giant walled fortress in the woods of the Idaho Panhandle, a medieval-style city where residents would be required to own weapons and stand ready to defend the compound if society collapses.

The proposal is called the Citadel and has created a buzz among folks in this remote logging town 70 miles southeast of Spokane, Wash. The project would more than double the population of Benewah County, home to 9,000 souls.

Locals have many questions, but organizers so far are pointing only to a website billing the Citadel as “A Community of Liberty.”

My guess is that this one is never going to get far beyond that website. It’s kind of hard to feel truly convinced that you are living in a “Community of Liberty” if you have to wall it off from the world at large:

The website shows drawings of a stone fortress with room inside for up to 7,000 families. The compound would include houses, schools, a hotel and a firearms factory and museum. The gun factory, the website said, would manufacture semi-automatic pistols and AR-15 rifles — which would be illegal if Congress reinstated the 1994 ban on assault weapons.

Applicants must pay a $208 fee, and the website claims several hundred people already have applied to live in the Citadel.

The site also warns that not all would be comfortable at the development:

“Marxists, Socialists, Liberals and Establishment Republicans will likely find that life in our community is incompatible with their existing ideology and preferred lifestyles.”

Yup, it sure sounds free to me. But then what would I know? I’m one of those booga-booga evil socialists they think they have to wall themselves away from.

And by the way, the not-leader of this (cough) project sure sounds like a winner, too:

Kerodin, who declined requests for a telephone interview, was convicted in 2004 of federal extortion charges and illegal possession of a firearm in a case in which he posed as a counterterrorism expert and attempted to coerce shopping mall owners in the Washington, D.C., area to hire him to improve security, according to court documents. He served 30 months in federal prison.

So, yay! What better way to show how “free” you are now than to build a bigger prison wall, and make sure everybody conforms precisely to YOUR ideology, toting guns and being prepared to use them should society ever collapse? Yeah, that’s got “Community of Liberty” written all over it, for sure.

And yeah, I’m sure that stocking enough food and water for a year will be plenty. I mean, after all the major corporations who produce that food (and metal, and plastic, and so on) go under, this toy army is gonna be totally self-sufficient and up to speed for growing and manufacturing all it needs, right?

That is, if it doesn’t go belly-up first. And “communities” like this have a funny way of doing just that, even in mostly-white Idaho:

Such communities are hardly new, especially in northern Idaho, which has long been a magnet for those looking to shun mainstream society because of its isolation, wide-open spaces and lack of racial diversity. For three decades, the Aryan Nations operated a compound about an hour north of here before the group went bankrupt and the land was sold.

Then came another community known as “Almost Heaven,” founded in 1994 by Green Beret-turned-“patriot” movement leader Bo Gritz for those wanting a refuge from urban ills and Y2K concerns. That project crumbled when large numbers of buyers failed to move to the development, located 100 miles to the south.

The number of so-called patriot groups has grown since President Barack Obama was first elected, and the renewed debate over gun control is further deepening resentment of the federal government among such factions, said Mark Potok, a spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC tracks such groups.

Nevertheless, Potok noted, plans for these sorts of communities rarely come to fruition.

“The people behind the Citadel are like 12-year-old boys talking about the tree house, or the secret underground city, they’re going to build some day,” he said.

Good thing I don’t believe in this kind of “liberty”. I kind of like living in a world not composed of dead-end dingbats, don’t you?

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