The Amer i can Redoubt 7Par tSer i es Nov .16-Dec.28, 2018
The American Redoubt Series Preparedness and Self-Reliance
By Bill Harp Reader Contributor Editor’s Note: This first article of the American Redoubt series focuses on the preparedness community and self-reliance — a key principle of the Redoubt as proposed by one of its original proponents, James Wesley, Rawles. Next week, we’ll take a closer look at how Rawles affected the movement. It is written by a contributor with personal experience in the preparedness community. The preparedness community is a diverse movement of many types of folks. They are united by the belief that modern society is far less resilient than most people think, that an unexpected calamitous event could sever access to the many systems that we depend on. With electric power, fuel, food, medicine, water and law enforcement cut off, the well-ordered social contract of civilization could slip away. The preparedness community understands how fragile modern society could be under these circumstances and takes steps to ensure a better chance of enduring such a life-changing disaster. Calamitous Events
Not everyone agrees on the what the calamitous events could be and what type of event is most like to occur. They fall into three general categories: natural, social and hybrid. Natural events could be floods; wind, snow and ice storms; fires; earthquakes; volcanic eruptions; meteors and electromagnetic pulses from the sun that could disable sensitive electronics and the power grid. Social events include financial meltdown, war, terrorism, cyber-induced energy grid failure, nuclear events and political instabilities. And then there are hybrid events such as famine and far-reaching disease outbreaks. In the Inland Northwest, you could add a serious chemical spill on the railroad or highway. Any of these events could have complex and difficult-to-predict effects on communities, regions, states or nations.
/ November 16, 2017
The event could be short term and local, or it could endure for years and be global in scope. Two popular expressions for defining events are TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) and WTSHTF (when the shit hits the fan). Response
What might be an appropriate preparation for a calamitous event? Well, that is the source of a lot of debate within the preparedness community. Some might buy a couple of how-to books, store 40 gallons of water and two weeks of freeze dried food in their garage and call it a day. Others might outfit a complete off-grid retreat in the North Idaho back-country along with a year’s supply of food, water, fuel and medicine. And, of course, there’s every combination of in-between responses. Each member of the preparedness community researches and decides exactly how they are going to prepare for a TEOTWAWKI event. Information Sources
Detailed preparedness resources and discussions are available online as well as in print. One internet site stands out in its quality and scope of information and its political and social philosophy. This is www.survivalblog.com, a web site operated by James Wesley, Rawles (author, founder, owner-operator) and Hugh James Latimer (managing editor). The more than 1.5 million unique visits per month indicates the massive and global level of interest in this site. Although many folks in the preparedness community may not share all the components of Rawles’s preparedness philosophy, he is widely recognized as a world-class authority on the preparedness subject. The Survival Blog website houses more than 27,000 articles on all aspects of prepping, offering a sort of one-stop shop of information. Enter the Redoubt
Rawles is credited with the invention of the concept of the Redoubt. The Redoubt identifies a geographic area (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the eastern halves of Washington and Oregon) as meeting
the requirements important to maximizing survival in calamitous events. Requirements include primarily conservative, agrarian communities; low population densities; far from large population centers; good subsistence horticultural potential; affordable property; low taxes; abundant wood-fuel and timber sources; diversified economies; minimum of natural disaster risk; excellent hunting and fishing; good and abundant water; no strategic nuclear strike targets and a minimum of governmental intrusion. North Idaho is one of the surprisingly few areas of the U.S. to meet these criteria. Many embrace the concept of the Redoubt as a political movement, too, and have moved to the Redoubt. Rawles’s thought leadership and philosophy can be reviewed at: https://survivalblog. com/redoubt/. In many ways, then, the Redoubt movement is a subset of the preparedness mindset. Many families who consider the threat of a TEOTWAWKI event have relocated to the North Idaho area. Existing residents, too, may consider themselves members of the Redoubt movement because of their preparedness mindset and sympathy for the Redoubt movement’s philosophy. Movement Genesis
Historically, traditional smallscale cultures and homestead pioneers developed skills and a
mindset oriented toward energy efficiency, appropriate technology and local food production. The preparedness movement draws heavily on these traditional skills and technologies. After World War II, the Cold War impressed on an entire generation the concept of preparing to survive a nuclear holocaust. A wave of blast-resistant bunkers mushroomed in American suburban backyards in the 1960s. In the 1970s and ‘80s, the term “survivalist” showed up in mainstream culture. It mostly referred to families that moved to rural homesteads to develop the skills and resources to survive life-changing events. The Rogue River in southern Oregon became one of first noted survivalist safe havens, due, in part, to the influence of Mel Tappan, perhaps the intellectual father of modern survivalism. The 1977 book “Survival Guns” by Tappan, along with his other works, influenced a generation of survivalists and thought leaders in the preparedness community. However, a defining moment came in the buildup to the Y2K event in 2000. As most may remember, there were dire warnings about the many ways that society could crumble if critical systems failed because they depended on a 20th-century year-date system (1900-1999) and were not prepared to accept “2000” as a date. Fortunately, a lot of smart people worked hard to patch critical legacy computer code, and disaster
was averted. However, en masse preparations took place, and out of this event came many of publications that supported the modern prepping movement. The Survival Blog website started up in 2005 when many of the current generation of preppers were scoping out the mountainous Inland Northwest as their potential new home. Natural and political disturbances on the global scene and disenchantment with the national economy and political systems precipitated this major preparedness social movement that has much in common with the back-to-the-land movement of the hippies in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The many parallels included growing your own food, practicing energy efficiency, reclaiming the mindset and skills of the pioneer generation and honoring the value of hard work and self-determination. The destination of both movements was a parcel of land. As geography would have it, our local community was right in center of what many considered an optimum location to shelter from a WTSHTF storm. Stewart Brand’s “Whole Earth Catalog” (first published in 1968 and the bible of the back-to-theland movement) and the Survival Blog web site (the core resource of the Redoubt moment) have a lot in common. Even a cursory review of preparedness websites will reveal articles on organic gardening,
< see REDOUBT, page 17 >
Profiles of the Redoubt
By Ben Olson Reader Staff Editor’s Note: Each week, we’ll feature interviews with people who identify with the American Redoubt movement that have reached out to the Reader. If you would like to participate in this series, please email ben@ sandpointreader.com. Athol resident Beth Baumann moved to North Idaho in the spring of 2016 in search of a place free from the “hustle and bustle” of her native Riverside, Calif. “My now-husband – my boyfriend at the time – we knew we wanted to get out of California,” said Baumann. “I knew that wasn’t a place I wanted to raise a family.” Baumann left southern California to attend college at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz. where she obtained degrees in political science and public relations before moving onto Washington, D.C., to intern for the American Conservative Union and CPAC. She was in charge of social media, strategy and registration. After moving back to Riverside and working for a small boutique PR firm for two years, Baumann and her then-boyfriend were eager to leave for greener pastures. “I lived in the same house my whole life,” she said. “I saw my neighborhood significantly change. We went from being a neighborhood where people were very family oriented, looked out for each other, to everybody keeping to themselves.” Baumann said North Idaho appealed to her because “it reminded me a lot of Flagstaff — that small town feel, but it had the conservative values I was looking for, that sense of community.” It wasn’t until after she had settled on five acres in Athol that Baumann heard about the Redoubt. “My dad actually mentioned it to me,” she said. “He emailed me this article and said ‘You should read this,’ and I was very intrigued by it. It was an older profile of the area done quite awhile ago that talked about (John Wesley,) Rawles and his idea of it, and how people are fleeing California and these liberal areas to the Northwest.”
Baumann found a job in publicity and worked as a freelance social media writer for Bearing Arms, a Second Amendment website. She later settled in as a social media staff writer for Town Hall. Being involved in the media, Baumann’s opinion of the coverage of the Redoubt is mixed. “Everything I’ve read (about the Redoubt) has been written by people who aren’t from here, who don’t live here,” she said. “I think that everybody instantly labels this area as a bunch of white, gun-toting racists. That really is the feeling I’ve gotten.” One of the most intriguing parts of the Redoubt movement to Baumann is the fact that it is a “leaderless” movement. “I don’t think the media understands that because they’re so quick to want to put a face and a figurehead on it,” she said. “That goes against everything the Redoubt stands for. The Redoubt is this idea about these people who really just want to be left alone, to do their own thing. They don’t want government to infringe. But there’s also this level of respect that I haven’t found elsewhere, where you respect your neighbor’s space and what they have to do, but you’re willing to lend a helping hand when needed.” While Baumann identifies with the tenets of the Redoubt, she calls herself a “homesteader light,” when it comes to preparation. “I have a garden and grow my own food,” she said. “For me, it was less about the doomsday prepper side of things and more about proving to myself that I can do this.” Baumann said she has always identified right of center in the political spectrum. “I always say I’m too conservative for the libertarians and too libertarian for the conservatives,” she said. “I fall into this really gray area of being conservative but also being libertarian in the sense that I just don’t care what people do. Let them live their lives.” While Baumann said she identifies as Christian, she isn’t a church goer: “I don’t identify as conservative because of religion. ... I believe in Christian beliefs and values, but a lot of my beliefs stem from the idea of individual-
ism and people making the best decisions for themselves.” Baumann’s libertarian side comes out most when it comes to social issues, she said. “I’m pro-life, but at the same time, I’m pro-life for myself,” she said. “I could never have an abortion, but who am I to tell another woman that she should or should not? I don’t live her life. I probably do have different values than some people on the abortion issue because I’ve been the victim of sexual assault, so I know the implications of that. ... There is more gray area than I think some liberals and conservatives want to admit.” When asked what she thinks about moderates and progressives in North Idaho who feel their communities are being changed by the influx of conservatives, Baumann said, “The majority rules. That’s one of the great things about America – we rule by majority and we protect the minority. If progressives don’t like what they are seeing, they have to get out and do the work. ... If they’re not happy with the conservative policies, then why stay in this area?” When it comes to racism and the Redoubt, Baumann feels the two don’t go together at all. “I think if you look at the people who naturally come here, yes, a lot of them are white,” she said. “For me, it’s never been about the race card. I don’t see it that way. ... I know a lot of people in the Redoubt are afraid of being mischaracterized. Their way of dealing with it is not talking.” Another issue that has polarized the region in the past few years is refugee resettlement, of which the majority of those who align with the Redoubt often oppose. Baumann admits she needs to learn more before coming to a decision. “As much as we don’t want to label everybody, we also have to be cautious,” she said. “Part of being cautious and protecting our citizens is looking at where these refugees come from and the religion they come from and the extremism in that part of the world. As much as I don’t like to lump people together, I’d rather be called a racist than to be blown up.” At only 25 years old, Baumann said being a millennial and
Beth Baumann. Photo by Ben Olson. a conservative gives her a unique perspective in the rapidly shifting political climate. “I know a few conservative Millennials who are unapologetically conservative,” she said. “It’s become more socially acceptable to go against the grain.” While she voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, Baumann said she “plugged her nose” while she did it. “I actually wrote in 2015 that Trump scares me as much as Obama scared me,” she said. “I thought he would legislate from the phone and the pen, and that he would do executive orders up the yin yang, and so far, I’m not surprised by anything I’ve seen. But I hold everybody to the fire. Everybody should be held to the fire, regardless of political party or position or if you voted for them or not.” Baumann has recognized a divide surrounding Trump, but added, “I think we are just as polarized as we were in 2008, just in opposite ways. ... But, I’ve had people who won’t talk to me anymore because I’m not on this MAGA train. It’s not that I don’t want to be supportive, but I’m going to call out any type of wrongdoing I see regardless of who it is. That’s how it’s supposed to be.” Regarding the Redoubt movement, Baumann said it has similarities with other movements in the past. “With things like the Tea Party and the Redoubt, I don’t necessarily think that these are new groups,” she said. “I think it’s the same group of people who get ignited every so many years and the name changes. Because they’re the same people you’re going to
see in your Republican Central Committees. They’re the people who are already involved.” When asked whether those on the fringe of the Redoubt causes harm to the conservatism in general, Baumann said, “Yes, 100 percent. I think it makes us all look batshit crazy. People like Alex Jones don’t speak for the majority of people. Yes they have their followers, but the average person is level headed. They just want to be able to have decent jobs, support their kids. They just want to be left alone. That’s what I take out of the Redoubt. We’re people who want to be able to express our constitutional rights. We want to protect the Second Amendment. We want to be able to hunt and whatnot, but that doesn’t mean that we’re all sitting around in our basements wearing gas masks and thinking of the latest conspiracy theories about how the government is going to kill us. I personally think the government serves a purpose. We need government for things like roads and whatnot, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be large.” Though she identifies with the movement, Baumann said she probably isn’t the typical Redoubter. “While I live in the Redoubt, I’m probably not the purest Redoubter in the sense of I’m not a doomsday prepper,” she said. “I’m not a conspiracy theorist. Yes, I believe that terrorists really hit the Twin Towers and that Sandy Hook really happened. While I do agree with a lot of the principles, I think that the conspiracy theorist side and doomsday-mad prepping in places ... hurts us in the long run because people don’t resonate with that unless they are that, and that population is so small.” November 16, 2017 /
< REDOUBT, con’t from page 14 > solar power and homemade water filters, a topic shared by the New Age back-to-theland counter culture of the ‘60s and the Redoubt world of preparedness post-2000. Of course, security is an important tenant of modern preparedness, so there are numerous articles on self-defense strategies in almost all the survivalist web sites. Media Representation
Much of the media representation of the preparedness movement focuses on the process of prepping and some of its more radical, somewhat unhinged practitioners. It is relatively easy for the media to point out the folly of stocking massive amounts of ammo and firearms for an expected Armageddon. Few articles have considered that the broader preparedness community’s inclination toward a more sustainable, independent lifestyle is a reasonable response to potential global societal disruption. The media also tends to consider the preparedness movement as a relatively homogeneous subculture with its own anti-society worldview. These representations have serious flaws and are based on a superficial analysis of perhaps a small minority of the community. The movement is far larger and more diverse than the majority of media may lead us to believe. Part of the dilemma is that urban media often have little insight
into the requirements for living in a rural setting with a self-sustainable strategy of growing and raising a local food supply or generating local energy. They focus on — perhaps exaggerate — the bunker mentality of the more visible practitioners and often ignore the larger group of folks that are, in many cases, friends and neighbors.
Preparedness Culture and its Adaptation to the Redoubt Movement
Preparedness culture crosses educational background, socio-economic class, religious belief, age groups and political philosophy. But the Redoubt movement, a subset of preparedness culture, tends to attract mostly conservative, libertarian, Christian practitioners. Most serious adherents practice very disciplined OPSEC (“operations security,” a military term for not communicating critical information that could be used against you — as in the motto “loose lips sink ships”). The preparedness community understands that it should not communicate preparedness strategies and intentions except to a very close-knit group of family and like-minded folks. Therefore, preppers cannot be easily identified. They generally do not speak about their beliefs in open forums and do work hard to ensure the OPSEC of their preparedness strategies. No one wants to be ridiculed or embarrassed because others don’t share their
beliefs, but that is not the primary reason for OPSEC. The primary reason is that, in a post-calamitous event scenario, a prepared family could become a target for hungry and desperate groups. Self-proclaimed preppers who do not practice good OPSEC are often ridiculed by others in the community as “armchair preppers.” Many, such as generations of homesteaders, farmers and ranchers are preppers by family tradition. Many of these folks don’t generally consider themselves an active part of the Redoubt culture. Another example of the wide diversity of prepping are Mormons, who include disaster preparedness in their religious doctrine. There are, of course, many outspoken preppers who are involved in other highly visible social movements. They represent a minority of the general community that thrives by ensuring that it stays below the radar. Rawles states that he is a conservative, libertarian Christian. Like Rawles, many who have come to the Redoubt follow a similar philosophy, but the preparedness movement, as a whole, is not constrained by these philosophical beliefs.
This overview introduces the preparedness community and its association with the Redoubt movement. Future articles will explore: •The history of the Redoubt and James Wesley, Rawles’s philosophy, as well as interviews with current members of the preparedness community •Redoubt sub-cultures and social implications such as regional, political and demographic impacts of the movement •The preferred media of the Redoubt •The religious foundation of the Redoubt •Lessons learned from preparedness and the goal of self-sustainability as a lifestyle choice. If you have moved to the Northwest in the past decade and identify with the Redoubt movement, we are interested in telling your story. Please feel free to contact publisher Ben Olson at ben@sandpointreader. com. We promise to treat you with respect and professionalism. Bill Harp is a technologist, geospatial analyst and cultural anthropologist. He is the former Director of Technology of Bonner County with a long career in defense and intelligence.
November 16, 2017 /
The American Redoubt Series
The Redoubt, as told by founding voice James Wesley, Rawles By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Writer
James Wesley, Rawles was not interviewed for this story. Citing bad experiences with the Coeur d’Alene Press and Spokesman-Review, among others, Rawles responded to my request with an email detailing how he’d been burned in the past by reporters associating him with extremists, racists and anti-Semites. “When there is such an overt war on against the truth, there is no point in using anything but my own words, in my own venue,” he wrote. “Thankfully, I have a blog with a wide circulation.” That blog is SurvivalBlog. It is read around the world and is what Rawles refers to as “a virtual community of some of the most brilliant people that you could ever meet.” He writes on the website’s “About” page that despite their differences, everyone on SurvivalBlog has an interest in preparedness. Beyond preparedness, SurvivalBlog is also the home of an essay titled “The American Redoubt — Move to the Mountain States,” which was first posted on SurvivalBlog in 2011 and last updated in May 2017. It boasts a tagline which reads, “Note: This essay launched The American Redoubt movement.” Thanks to this essay, James Wesley, Rawles’ name (spelled with a comma to denote his given and family names) is often associated with any discussion of the American Redoubt movement. However, in his everyday work, Rawles uses both his blog and personal consulting as platforms to help people get ready for TEOTWAWKI — “the end of the world as we know it.” That “end” could be brought on by any number of threats according to Rawles, including a plague or pandemic, terrorist attack, food shortage, monetary collapse and much more. 16 /
/ November 22, 2017
The proposed American Redoubt. Photo illustration by Ben Olson. Rawles is a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer and technical writer who has also published several fiction and nonfiction books on survival. In the prepper world, Rawles is a leading voice of authority. It is a fact that Rawles named the overall concept of the Redoubt with that initial essay on SurvivalBlog, and some would even say he could be considered the “leader” — though Redoubters take pride in being members of a leaderless movement. Rawles writes that the name “American Redoubt movement” derives from the “Réduit Suisse,” or Swiss National Redoubt: the Swiss government’s plan to defend against foreign invasion starting in the 1880s. A straightforward dictionary definition of “redoubt” yields results all referring to barricades, defense and perhaps most telling, “a secure retreat.” The origins of “redoubt” do not stem from the same roots as “doubt” or “redoubtable,” according to Merriam-Webster. The Redoubt movement is for those who want some chance at stability when TEOTWAWKI comes around, and according to Rawles, those people will be God-fearing Christians. “In calamitous times, with a few exceptions, it will only be the God fearing that will contin-
ue to be law abiding,” he writes. “Choose your locale wisely.” The essay names that locale — now widely known as the American Redoubt — as Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, eastern Oregon and eastern Washington. Rawles addresses the exclusion of Utah as unsuitable for feeding its own population, and the exclusion of the Dakotas because they aren’t very “defendable” in the case that a war breaks out. The initial essay provides a checklist for those looking to relocate to the Redoubt and some ways to appropriately settle in once they’ve arrived. Tips on these checklists focus heavily on some tenants of survivalism: self-sufficiency, practicality and emphasis on finding a like-minded community. The article has seen several addenda since its conception. These include an analysis of the parallels between Ayn Rand’s dystopian novel “Atlas Shrugged” and modern-day America, tips for finding a “prepper-friendly” church, a list of reformed churches in the American Redoubt and other notes. Oftentimes Rawles prefaces his articles with disclaimers meant to deter “hate mail,” which it seems he receives often. One such disclaimer can be found in the Redoubt essay
James Wesley, Rawles. Free-use photo. under the header “To Clarify: Religious, Not Racial Lines.” “I am a separatist, but on religious lines, not racial ones,” Rawles writes. “I have made it abundantly clear throughout the course of my writings that I am an anti-racist. Christians of all races are welcome to be my neighbors. I also welcome Orthodox Jews and Messianic Jews, because we share the same moral framework.” It is the racial aspects of encouraging people to move to a predominantly white area that has some critics questioning Rawles’ motives. In response, Rawles again emphasizes the religious drive behind the movement. “I’m a white guy,” he writes. “But I have much more in common with black Baptists or Chinese Lutherans than I do with white Buddhists or white New Age crystal channelers.” Beneath the tangible guidelines of food storage, self-sufficient energy sources, homeschooling and the like, Rawles’ writings — including the Redoubt essay — conclude with the reminder that a true Redoubter has strong faith. Prayer is as essential as land, food and water
for a genuine Rawles-esque survivalist living in the American Redoubt. “I am hopeful that it is in God’s providential will to extend his covenantal blessings to the American Redoubt,” he writes. “And even if God has withdrawn his blessings from our nation as a whole, he will continue to provide for and to protect His remnant.” Learn more about the ins and outs of Rawles’ ongoing work by visiting www. survivalblog. com, and go to www.survivalblog.com/biographies to read Rawles’ complete biography in his own words. While Rawles is considered the voice that named and “launched” the American Redoubt movement, there are two other predominant Redoubt characters: Alexander Barron and radio personality John Jacob Schmidt. The Reader will explore the lives and works of both in later parts of this series. Editor’s Note: Next week, we’ll talk about the religious aspects of the American Redoubt.
Profiles of the Redoubt
By Ben Olson Reader Staff
Sean Statham grew up and went to school in Boise. Seven or eight years ago, Statham and his wife came to the decision that Boise wasn’t working for them anymore. “We were tired of the desert,” he said. “I don’t love the summers down there.” Statham was originally born in Oregon, and his wife is from West Virginia and Tennessee. He said a motivating factor for leaving was to find a place that had more trees, shade and water. “We did a little research and looked at other areas of the Northwest where I could make a good income as a business analyst,” said Statham. “We looked at Portland, Eugene, Salem... but we also felt like we wanted a place with a smaller population.” Part of Statham’s research came from reading the writings of James Wesley, Rawles – the author of several books and caretaker of survivalblog.com, where one of his essays helped launch the idea of the Redoubt movement. “I’d read an awful lot of Rawles,” said Statham. “I really enjoyed his fiction. Post-apocalyptic is a favorite genre of mine. I was aware of his website and the kind of things he teaches and why he loves this whole area.” Statham said the factors that influenced his moving to the Northwest were mostly aligned with those that Rawles lauded on his website and writings – that the Northwest was a region with lower population and an abundance of water. “If power went out, Boise is a desert,” said Statham. “Water is not going to flow. We were also living in a subdivision. Life was really easy ... too easy.” The fact that Statham had close friends living in Cocolalla was enough to convince him and
Sean Statham. his wife to make the move north where Statham found work at Coldwater Creek. The couple moved into a place north of Sandpoint and began practicing self-reliance. “We’ve always kept a backup supply of several months worth of food,” he said. “We have redundant means of purifying water and filtering it. While we have an electric well pump that serves the house, it also has a manual pump jack that we could use to pump water into buckets. We also have a creek in the backyard.” Statham is on grid electric power, has central propane heating and connection via phone and internet, but he also has wood-fire heating and backup systems in case of any power failures. “I don’t think it’s likely that our grid is going to go down,” he said. “It’s possible, though, and the consequences ... ‘catastrophic’ doesn’t even come close to describing it.” Hailing from the urban area of Boise, Statham found that he and his wife had to learn new methods and life skills to adapt to their new rural environment. “There’s a pretty large divide between urban and rural people,”
he said. “(Urbanites) have lived in town all their lives and haven’t had to rely on those skills as much. … (Rural) skill and knowledge has been passed on from generation to generation. I don’t think you can live in the country without intelligence and developed skills. … But that goes the other way, too. Rural people have no knowledge of urban skills in the city. It’s setting us up into two different subcultures, and we often don’t understand each other on the other side of the divide. There’s demonization in both directions.” As a former Army intelligence officer — four years active, two years with the Reserve — Statham acknowledges that soldiers are trained to stay in tune with current events, and to also vet their news sources accordingly, a task that is becoming increasingly more difficult. He understands the power and necessity of an independent media, but notes that the media habits have changed in recent years. “Journalism has suffered from the pressures of money,” he said. “The news is not there to sell ads, it’s a public service. The Fourth Estate serves an important part of our system. Obviously that’s changed. Some of the most successful media outlets that have drawn the most people have the deepest agendas. How do we relearn critical thinking? How do we teach our children to not take things at face value? The first thing is to identify the echo chamber and stop consuming information from outlets that are skewed. I don’t need any reinforcement for my beliefs. I want objective information.” It was the Reader’s stated aim to remain objective during this series on the Redoubt movement that influenced Statham to contact the editors and agree to an interview. “I was impressed by the statement that you were going to do your best to be objective and
show fair representation of the movement, although I don’t know if we’re even members of a movement,” said Statham. “I know the term ‘like-minded people’ gets bandied about a lot. Sometimes that’s a dog whistle for things related to race or religion.” Statham acknowledged that while he identifies with the Redoubt movement in terms of self-reliance and geographic relocation to areas with lesser population and better living conditions, his political and religious views differ from what he considers the norm of the Redoubt. “My views tend to lean left somewhat,” he said. “Although they have been moderated more toward the center with age. I do have a military background, which colors my thinking. … I have a lot of friends that are dyed in the wool conservatives. I’ve been drawn to people who think differently because it’s more interesting.” As far as religion goes, Statham said it wasn’t a “big factor for the move. I won’t discuss what faith I adhere to, but it’s one of the larger ones.” When it comes to the Redoubt movement, Statham follows the happenings, but also recognizes that it’s not any organized type of movement, but more a philosophy that some agree with. “There aren’t any meetings,” he said. “We don’t go to monthly meetings of the Redoubt chapter or anything. I haven’t really met a whole lot of people where we pass the secret Redoubt handshake before.” One of Statham’s most pressing issues today is the polarization of the country and identity politics. “You’re either this or that,” he said. “That’s always been there, but it’s something that has been increasing the better part of my life. Trump’s entrance onto the world stage is enormously polarizing. I’ve been interested in politics since I was a little kid, but it really feels different now. There’s an atmosphere around
our politics that I haven’t seen before. I’ve had to make my political views as off limits as possible. I try to keep my mouth shut and filter my more strident views and only share with a small amount of people.” Statham doesn’t necessarily believe there is a big influx of right-leaning individuals coming to North Idaho: “I think the right has a strong foothold in North Idaho, but it’s not the only worldview that’s represented.” When asked whether race has had any impact on the Redoubt movement, Statham believes it has not. “I think we’re in an environment now where a lot more people are comfortable expressing views that not long ago were not welcome in polite society,” he said. “But as far as the Redoubt bringing an increased concentration of racists to North Idaho, I think those people are everywhere. I think they’re louder now, but I don’t think that’s why most people are here. They’re here because of families or any number of other reasons. I’d like to think that racism as a motive for coming here is a pretty small slice of the pie.” When asked his thoughts on the elected representatives that come from North Idaho, Statham said, “I don’t think they’re all that bright, to be quite blunt. They take the easy, lazy road, pandering to not the best parts of us.” For those interested in the Redoubt movement, Statham said the best advice is not to jump in over your head in the beginning. “If you’re motivated by the whole Redoubt movement mindset, start small,” he said. “Start with research. Don’t go buy five pallets of MREs. Do a lot of research before you start tilting your whole lifestyle. Try to find people who live in the way you want to live. There are all kinds of forums online. Most are not what you’d call ‘preppers.’ That’s just how they live. “Do a lot of research before you start tilting your whole lifestyle.” November 22, 2017 /
The American Redoubt Series KEEPING THE FAITH:
By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff
Faith and country
Nearly 500 people tromped through a muddy, rain-spattered parking lot the morning of Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, bound for the Bonner County Fairgrounds exhibit building. As raindrops hammered the roof above, the convivial atmosphere inside turned pious with a call to prayer. This was the Inland Northwest Freedom Festival, a daylong event boasting a high-profile lineup of Christian speakers advancing a central thesis: The United States was founded as an explicitly Christian nation. It’s a historic claim many secular scholars challenge, but the speakers made their case aggressively, starting with Rep. Heather Scott. A firebrand state legislator and lightning rod for controversy, Scott centered her talk on the American Redoubt — the migration movement by libertarian survivalists to eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming — and what it means for North Idaho. Her comments set the themes later speakers would expand upon. “Does anyone in this room not think God had a hand in the founding of this country or think the Constitution is not God-inspired?” Scott asked. The Blanchard legislator said that for Christians, the true source of peace and ultimate redoubt — or place of refuge — is in Jesus Christ. But she also praised North Idaho for the qualities that make it cherished by survivalists, particularly conservative Christian survivalists. “Our region has one of the lowest population densities, lowest number of natural disasters, least amount of abortions in the country and lowest rates of crime and secular unrest — not to mention plentiful amounts of resources like water, guns, timber, guns, minerals, guns,” Scott said, repeating the word “guns” to laughs from the crowd. “(Our region also has) a high density of hydroelectric dams and Christians.”
/ November 30, 2017
The role of religion in the American Redoubt Religion in the American Redoubt Like most amorphous groups, the American Redoubt movement is not a monolith, and that includes its adherents’ religious beliefs. But it’s undeniable that the Redoubt’s most influential personalities are outspoken Christians. Faith permeates the very roots of the Redoubt. In his famous 2011 SurvivalBlog essay that he claims launched the Redoubt, James Wesley, Rawles (sic) described the movement as an opportunity for “freedom-loving Christians” to gather along religious, not racial, lines. “Christians of all races are welcome to be my neighbors,” Rawles, who declined to be interviewed for this article, wrote. “I also welcome Orthodox Jews and Messianic Jews, because we share the same moral framework.” “I can also forthrightly state that I have more in common with Orthodox Jews and Messianic Jews than I do with atheist Libertarians,” he added a few lines later. Rawles devoted a Redoubt essay addendum to the importance of finding a prepper-friendly church. He recommends reformed churches that believe in the literal truth of the Bible, maintain a commitment to Christian charity and evangelize to non-believers. “I am of the opinion that finding a good church home is our Christian duty, and that it honors God,” he wrote. According to Rawles, individuals who move to Redoubt territory will integrate into a new community far more quickly by finding a church. He also believes that in the event of a nationwide calamity — known to survivalists as The End Of The World As We Know It — one’s church family will prove a bulwark against the ensuing chaos. “In calamitous times, with a few exceptions, it will only be the God fearing that will continue to be law abiding (sic),” he wrote. Rawles acknowledges on SurvivalBlog that religion can be a contentious topic among survivalists but holds firm to its importance. Responding to an atheist SurvivalBlog reader, Rawles argued that areas
with lower church attendance have a higher rate of property crime, which bolsters his belief that Christians, on average, will be more law-abiding in a societal collapse. He backed his claim by comparing the property crime rates in devout North Dakota counties against California counties with low church attendance. “My choice to live in a tightknit religious community is not a reflection on you as an individual (emphasis in the original),” Rawles wrote to his non-believing fan. “It is just a conscious choice, based upon statistical correlation and my strong conviction as a Christian, to do so.” Others disagree with Rawles’ conclusions on religion and crime. Writing for the LA Times in 2015, Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociobiology and secular studies at Pitzer College, argued that, with exceptions, highly secular countries like Sweden and Denmark have low crime rates compared to the U.S. Rawles isn’t the only voice of the American Redoubt with concerns about secular ethics and morality. At a Nov. 17 presentation to the Panhandle Pachyderm Club in Post Falls, Alex Barron, creator of Redoubt blog and podcast Charles Carroll Society, said the moral absolutes of Christianity stand in contrast to the moral relativism he believes pervades left-wing politics in particular and social institutions like the public education system in general. Under those perceived circumstances, Barron believes it’s not unreasonable to gather in like-minded groups and educate children in home- or private-school environments. Likening believers’ migration to the Redoubt with a gay person moving from rural Georgia to San Francisco, he told the Pachyderm Club, “(Leftists) somehow don’t understand that Christians, that pro-life (people), we are just as committed to our lifestyle as they are to theirs.” The End Of The World As We Know It According to Frederick Clarkson, a Massachusetts-based journalist, public speaker and senior fellow
of progressive think tank Political Research Associates, the marriage of Christianity and survivalism is not an invention of the American Redoubt. It echoes the Christian Reconstructionist movement developed by Cold-War era survivalists Rousas Rushdoony and Gary North. In his 1973 book “The Institutes of Biblical Law,” Rushdoony conceptualized how a new Christian society might rise from the ashes of nuclear war. “Rushdoony spent a lot of time imagining what a Christian society based on the Bible would be like,” Clarkson said. According to Clarkson, Rushdoony envisioned a reconstructed society in which civil magistrates execute Old Testament laws, identifying a wide range of religious and sex crimes, including heresy, blasphemy, idolatry, homosexuality and adultery. These were all capital offenses in Old Testament Israel, which he saw as a blueprint for modern America. In contrast to Christian Reconstructionism, Redoubt thinkers like Rawles advocate for libertarian ideals of self-reliance and limited government authority. But Clarkson observes that Rawles, in his founding essay, also invokes the religious idea of the “remnant”: a godly people who remain faithful in adversity. If the remnant keeps covenant with God, he will bless it, even as he punishes the rest of America for failing to follow his laws. Christian Reconstructionism’s influence waned in the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. But according to Clarkson, the widespread popularity of Christian eschatology, or the study of end-times prophecy based primarily on the biblical books of Revelation and Daniel, contributes to a continued Evangelical interest in disaster prepping. Popularized by Hal Lindsey in the 1970s and turned into a runaway success by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’ “Left Behind” novels, Christian dispensationalism offers perhaps the most popular eschatological interpretation. The apocalyptic timetable usually includes the rapture of born-again Christians into
heaven (exactly when this occurs is a matter of debate). A tribulation roils Earth with natural disasters, economic turbulence, widespread death and the rise of the Antichrist. And Christ establishes a 1,000-year golden age for Christianity, at some point returning to Earth and defeating Satan’s forces once and for all. Many eschatologists believe the end times are imminent. According to Clarkson, most consider the 1948 creation of the state of Israel a major fulfillment of biblical prophecy and a sign that the end is near. There are enough eschatologists in the survivalist community that Rawles, in a Feb. 1, 2008, SurvivalBlog post, lists them as something of a prepper subspecies. While Rawles considers an obsession with eschatology counterproductive, he said it’s not without merit. “... The Bible teaches that there will be a time of tribulation,” he wrote. “Be ready for it (emphasis in the original).” While the full influence of eschatology on the Redoubt is unclear, religion — Christianity in particular — plays a far more obvious role. It is baked into the motivations of the movement’s most influential figures. And for conservative Christians seeing trouble around the corner, the flight from blue states to libertarian lands of milk and honey is nothing less than a God-guided movement. As Scott detailed in her Freedom Festival talk, the Redoubt isn’t just about political disagreement — it’s about spiritual warfare. And the mountain states of the Inland Northwest are where many soldiers in God’s army choose to make their stand. “I believe God is drawing his people together and using his Redoubt to show his example of governance across the country,” she said.
The American Redoubt
As told by Alex Barron, ‘The Bard of the American Redoubt’ By Ben Olson Reader Staff As the self-described “Bard of the American Redoubt,” Alex Barron doesn’t often give interviews to the press. In fact, this is only the second interview Barron has granted about the Redoubt. He agreed to be interviewed only if we published his responses in their entirety without edits. Barron operates one of the three most popular American Redoubt websites, CharlesCarrollSociety.com (the others are James Wesley, Rawles’ SurvivalBlog.com and John Jacob Schmidt’s RadioFreeRedoubt.com). According to Barron, the blog is a view from a “Traditional Catholic, constitutional conservative, American patriot, in that order.” During a recent speaking engagement to the Post Falls Panhandle Pachyderm Club, Barron spoke of his history and his views on the American Redoubt. We sent him a list of questions to follow up after his speech, and we appreciate him sharing his points of views. Barron also requested a list of links to be made available for further reading, which we’ll include in the online version of this interview. Ben Olson: Can you give me a quick snapshot of your upbringing – where you grew up, what you’ve done for a ca-
reer, when and why you became politically active. Alex Barron: To summarize, I was born in Chicago, moved around a fair bit as a child, ended up back in Chicago, joined the U.S. Navy, then moved around a lot. My childhood included some absolutely horrid episodes. I served in the Navy in a non-combat position overseas during Operation DESERT STORM. I used the G.I. Bill to complete my four- year B.S. degree. I have worked in various companies and have run my own firm for more than a decade. I have visited Idaho for some years researching the area and moved my family, or “took the walk to freedom,” two years ago. BO: You said you grew up in Cabrini-Green Housing Projects in Chicago. Do you think this upbringing influenced your political ideology today? In other words, do you think your worldview might have been different if you’d grown up in an affluent suburb? AB: Being born in Cabrini-Green showed me that the government can be very wicked at times. I have watched the tyrannical Chicago government intentionally impoverish working-class blacks over a long period of time. It showed me that centralized bureaucratic government programs, even those designed to help often lead to misery. It proved to me that law enforcement, while doing a difficult and required job, can become tyrannical in its application. The projects became a poor black reservation not un-similar to the
poor Native American reservations. Wholly separate racial reservations representing generational poverty. I also understood that culture, politics and solutions are complex things. I was born in Cabrini-Green Housing Projects — specifically the 1230 North Larrabee part, or the “white projects.” I had the benefit of living in different areas outside of Chicago and returning to the Cabrini-Green area regularly and thus was struck with the difference early on and determined to offer something different for my children. BO: You identify as a “Traditional Catholic.” I’m curious if you see any discrepancy between the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20), which encourages people to spread the gospel to all peoples and nations, and the Redoubt, which encourages people to band together in like-minded communities and live in relative geographic isolation.
AB: The American Redoubt is a political, not a religious, movement. Yet in my opinion, when Catholics send out missionaries, we don’t pick Rome up and drop it into the middle of the Amazon. You send missionaries out from Rome so you can support them while training the next generation of Christian missionaries. But what do you do when Rome is no longer Christian? I guess the grand proposition of the American Redoubt is we gain more as Christians and conservatives by banding together or cloistering in a “home base” or redoubt and becoming the political majority than staying spread across the nation as a vocal minority. Religious, political and cultural migration
has been explored in many recent works. One recent work that may be appropriate is “The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation” by Rod Dreher. Another book that explores this cultural/political separation is called “The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart” by Bill Bishop. Yet another great read on this subject is “Coming Apart: The State of White America” by Charles Murray. The American Redoubt is just one expression of this hypothesis. BO: In your talk, you often spoke about the divisions that exist in our nation. Don’t you think it’s counterproductive to say “No leftist could ever understand us.” Wouldn’t it further divisions to push back against anyone who leans left of center?
AB: I propose that we Americans have compromised all we want to in many areas. For example, we absolutely believe that life starts at conception and that individual “humans in development” should be protected from unjust violence. When a woman is making a choice, there is more than one human life that hangs in the balance. These principles define who we are. To “compromise” on this position would mean the destruction of our unique cultural identity. This holds for so many of the issues that now separate us; such as the role of government, the role of Christianity, objective reality, immigration, fundamental freedoms such as freedom of speech or the right to have and carry the arms necessary to protect ourselves from the state. Many of these questions are moral in nature, which have civic implications. We know what divides us, and neither side really can give up our firmly held moral beliefs without surrendering our unique cultural identity. BO: You say that there are three people authorized to speak for the Redoubt – JWR, JJS and yourself. Why are you considered one of the voices? Also, can you share the origin of the term “Bard of the Redoubt”?
Alex Barron speaks in Post Falls in November. Photo by Ben Olson.
AB: I would more accurately describe our position as “primary voices” or “thought leaders” of the American Redoubt movement, not as leaders. James Rawles of Survivalblog.com – the creator of the movement – has encouraged and promoted John Jacob Schmidt and me to fill the role of what the American Redoubt political migration movement is doing day-to-day within those established precepts. I describe myself as the Bard of the American Redoubt to suggest a wayward vagabond carousing through clubs, bars and churches spreading the word that we live in uncertain times in a nation that is increasingly hostile to our culture and faith and asking the question, “So what are you going to do about it?”
BO: During your talk, you said, “The left doesn’t talk about what unites us, but what divides us.” What will unite us? AB: We have a common American culture and language. For example the vast majority of us celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. The overwhelming number of us want to “do good.” Most of us actually value the Bill of Rights, and a representative form of government. Many of us are suspicious of large monopolies. The vast majority of us agree to punish the wicked and defend the innocent. We can start with a foundation of “we are more similar.” I think of it like France and Germany. We agree on 90 percent of life, but what we disagree on, we really disagree on. And those differences are becoming more stark and more ingrained. Now that more and more of us are “post-Christian,” we are using religious fervor with our political views. In my opinion this makes sense, as man is a religious animal. Even though the French and German people agree on a lot and can (now) live peacefully side-byside, I don’t think France wants to become Germany. I believe those things that still separate us are this culturally deep. Progressive America does not want to become red-state America, nor vice versa. If we did compromise on these core issues, it would be the end of
< see BARRON, page 16 > November 30, 2017 /
< BARRON, con’t from page 15 >
one culture or the other. You can read more about these different cultures in the book “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America” by Colin Woodard. This of course built upon work “The Nine Nations of North America” by Joel Garreau. BO: What’s your experience as an African-American in a movement like the Redoubt?
AB: The American Redoubt is fiercely anti-racist. We are actually attacked numerous times by racists. James Rawles gets hate mail regularly by white nationalists, separatists and supremacists scolding him for not “having more pride in his white race.” John Jacob Schmidt of Radio Free Redoubt is also extremely hostile to racists. We refused to be moved from this core concept of Christianity and individual liberty that all man can be saved through the Christian faith, (and are) deserving of equal human dignity under the Constitution and protection under the law. The overwhelming (majority of) people associated with the “patriot movement,” and the American Redoubt who I have met feel the same way.
BO: You say the Redoubt movement isn’t concerned with race, and point to yourself as an example, but wouldn’t you agree that the vast majority of those who identify with the Redoubt are white? Is it fair to talk about race in the Redoubt when most adherents are white? AB: The vast majority of the NACCP is black – that does not necessarily make them racists. And apparently, the NACCP actually exclude whites from leadership roles, even whites who want to help. From the people I have met the American Redoubt is much more racially diverse than people assume. The “primary voices” of the American Redoubt and the vast majority of the “patriot” movement are fiercely anti-racists.
BO: You also said that there’s nothing worse than when “leftists get a stranglehold on government.” Wouldn’t the same be true for the far right? In other words, do you support extremism as long as it aligns with your own ideology? Isn’t the “magic” of our democracy the ability to find compromise and establish checks and balances, so one special interest 16 /
/ November 30, 2017
doesn’t gain too much power? AB: You compare “leftist,” a fairly benign term for many people, and “far right,” a loaded term. Also, we are not a democracy; we were founded as a Constitutional Republic created by what we would now call fundamentalist Christians and those who didn’t mind living with fundamentalist Christians but were not so much into the religion, or “deist.” I stand for the absolute defense of traditional Judo-Christian values, the promotion of classical Western Civilization and the protection of individual liberty. Individual liberty can be defined by classic Greek and Roman understanding of the nature of man, along with documents such as the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. We want as much liberty as possible unless it is hostile to our deeply-held Christian values. We call this liberty under Christ. And we will work to defend and expand these principles. It is my opinion that politically and culturally, we are an angry, bitter married couple arguing about things fundamental to us, both armed with knives in a closet with no light. And we have started to poke each other. BO: How is the Redoubt different from or the same as other political migration movements? AB: Geography, and we are in general more conservative than the Free State Project but more libertarian than the Texas Republic. Please note that Montana was the state that came in second for the Free State Project.
BO: From your writings and talk, I’ve gathered that you believe it’s impossible to have any semblance of morality without some kind of divine foundation. Secular thinkers reject that premise, saying that morality is a human invention and designed to make life more tolerable for the biggest amount of people. Can you articulate a bit more why your version of morality should be considered the undisputed truth? Do you reject secular forms of morality? If so, why? What is deficient about them? AB: You can have “some semblance of morality” without Christian values, but it is questionable if a large group will agree on that morality, especially without the
heavy hand of the state. Without a common base of morality, we cannot agree on “what is good.” For example is abortion good, are taxes proper, and are traditional families good? Are President Trump or President Obama good men? Another example is what James Rawles suggests is in an extended grid-down emergency situation: If we did not have police minutes away what type of behavior we should “elevate” and what type of behavior “disgust” us would have to be agreed upon by the community. People who share some similarity of Judeo-Christian values may be able to come to an agreement more quickly without the constant force of the state to “maintain the peace.” John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” I believe there is validity in his concept. It is not “my version of morality.” It is the version of morality that the vast majority of Orthodox Christians and Jews have agreed upon for thousands of years. What we draw from it now are the concepts of Logos, the Ten Commandments, Calvary and the Golden Rule. What I believe provides a workable foundation for civilization is Orthodox Christianity, classic Western Civilization and individual liberty. BO: You said, “The left feels that if you don’t share their idea, you’re a racist.” Do you think you fall into a trap of oversimplified generalizations when it comes to religion?
AB: We all use generalizations to talk about most things to a point. Yet I feel at this time it is predominantly the left that attacks people’s character with terms like homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, racist or sexist if they disagree on “what is good.” For example, currently, it is the left which is often seen as opposing free speech. It is strange, because in the early 1980s (and before) it was the right who had a problem with freedom of speech. For brevity and using generalizations, this can be explained in simplistic terms as progressives tend to define terms like bigotry, sexism and racism in terms of “impact.” While conservative tend to define these same concepts in the terms of “intent.”
BO: Do you think the Redoubt movement has risen from the ashes of other populist movements (like the Tea Party, et al.)? What makes it different? AB: No, absolutely not. We are an evolution of the concerns people have on the direction of our nation. Our focus can be summarized as defense and promotion of orthodox Christianity, classic Western Civilization and individual liberty in our individual lives. Political expression is actually only a part of what I call soft secession. Soft secession can be defined as “informally withdrawing in some way from active participation in a socioeconomic system for the purpose of living a more self-sufficient life while forcing that system to change or collapse.” BO: You mentioned getting prepared to lobby for legalizing medical marijuana in Idaho. Is that an issue that you’re passionate about? Is this an issue that could possibly unite the right and left?
AB: Very dishonest media have suggested the American Redoubt and the broader “Liberty movement” or “patriots” are “far right.” In my opinions, the liberty movement and “patriots” can be more accurately described as neo-anti-federalist, libertarian-leaning conservatives who are primarily Orthodox Christians. The liberty movement is much more libertarian than many people think. The Liberty movement is all about shrinking the size and scope of government. We don’t just say that and then “grow the government more gradually” like most establishment Republicans. We actually want to shrink the size and scope of government. We are modern-day anti-federalists, not anti-government. The further that government is away from the people, the more suspicious we should be. This principle in Catholicism is called subsidiarity, or in Latin, subsidiarius. Thus, we are deeply suspicious of the federal government, less so of the state government and just show up at the local government and argue. Walk up to your average liberty-leaning conservative and talk about global governance, and the reaction is akin to antiepileptic shock. With these principles and background, things that many people who self-identify with the liberty movement could at least be convinced to listen that
are more attractive to “liberals” include judicial and prison reform, communications privacy, freedom from government and corporate surveillance, laws that promote small farms solutions, the end to asset forfeiture laws, police reform and yes, the repeal of the prohibition of marijuana. Not that most people in the liberty circles are overly excited about adding another legal intoxicant to our culture, but our deep opposition is to the far-away federal government having any say on what you grow in your backyard. BO: What’s the most important thing people should know about the Redoubt?
AB: It is a politician migration movement of primarily conservatives who feel disenfranchised or isolated in deep blue states. It is a response to more progressive states continually waging war on traditional Christians and conservatives and limiting the God-given rights documented in the American Bill of Rights. It stands for the defense and promotion of orthodox Judeo-Christian values, classic Western Civilization and individual liberty. It promotes soft secession and has a strong self-sufficiency streak. BO: This movement has been described as “leaderless” by several people I’ve interviewed. Is that accurate, in your opinion?
AB: I do not feel the term “leader” is accurate. Perhaps “primary voices” or “thought leaders” is more accurate. But the concept that the American Redoubt is completely “leaderless” is ridiculous. If a couple of random Redoubters asked for a bunch of patriots who self-associate with the American Redoubt concept to show up for an event to defend liberty, they might get a small number of people to respond. If the “primary voices” of the American Redoubt put a unified effort into encouraging patriots to show up somewhere and defend liberty, it is my opinion you would get a much more robust response, ergo there are those with more influence in the movement. Alex Barron runs the blog CharlesCarrollSociety.com, is a Navy veteran and a “Traditional Catholic.” You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Redoubt Series Location, location, location:
What Redoubters are looking for when establishing a ‘survival retreat’ By Ben Olson Reader Staff Writer
Editor’s Note: In this final explanatory piece on the American Redoubt movement, we discuss what the ideal characteristics are when folks are looking for a piece of property. Next week, we will begin the second half of the series, which will explore the politics of the Redoubt and the effects the movement has had on the political environment of North Idaho. For those seeking a place of refuge in the so-called American Redoubt region, there is no shortage of resources to explore in setting up a “survival retreat.” From the movement’s founder James Wesley, Rawles’ (sic) SurvivalBlog.com to local real estate agents like Todd Savage of American Redoubt Realty, detailed information is readily available for anyone willing to do the research. In his blog post, “Introduction to the American Redoubt Migration Movement - Move to the Mountain States,” which he claims launched the Redoubt movement, Rawles outlines a checklist for people to follow in preparation for moving to a retreat locale. “Buy land that maximizes your self-sufficiency,” he wrote. “Make a clean break by selling your house and any rental properties. You aren’t coming back.” For Savage, it’s essential to outline a clear plan for his potential buyers on a website he operates called AmericanRedoubt.com. “The key elements of any retreat property search are: Locale, location, water, food, energy, defense (and) safe storage,” wrote Savage. “After the retreat is built then you’ll need to properly stock it with Preps (pre-positioned supplies).” Savage said the search for a retreat locale is the most important aspect to consider: “This single decision, normally the very first in the search and in accordance with your threat assessment, will often
/ December 7, 2017
be responsible for your long-term success and happiness.” Of course, there were people deciding to build retreats long before the Redoubt movement. Lloyd Wallace has lived all over Bonner County for 65 years, the past 22 of which have been spent on a defensible piece of property west of Hope. “My geographic location-isolation was not my choice,” said Wallace. “I was born in Spokane and ... my family’s economic situation demanded that we be self-reliant or go without.” Wallace believes the Redoubt movement is a throwback to a lifestyle that goes back to the founding of the nation. “We have been on this self-sufficiency quest for at least 50 years,” said Wallace. “It started with growing our own health food in the 1970s because we didn’t have money for health insurance.” Over the years, Wallace has slowly turned his property into a haven which he feels is secure from any outward calamity. He positioned a driveway gate strategically near a steep cliff area to prohibit vehicles from entering the property, built garden boxes, planted fruit trees and berry bushes and began work on a hydroelectric-power production system that draws energy from a nearby creek through gravity fed pipes. “What I built is a water motor that needs neither diesel nor gas nor propane,” said Wallace. “It does not have a lot of moving parts to wear out, just two bearings and a shaft that rotates. It does not pollute, does nothing to the water to contaminate it. It only borrows the mass of the water and its weight and is not excessively noisy to the environment.” Wallace’s hydro power system is primarily used to heat his home, which is also connected to the grid. However, Wallace’s system includes a 5,500-watt inverter that returns power to Avista, which they store as a credit for him to use during the months of August through October when water flow
Lloyd Wallace adjusts the flow of his hydroelectric power system. Photo by Ben Olson. in the creek is at its lowest. “It’s a lot of work, but it comes with the lifestyle,” said Wallace. “It becomes easier if you direct your whole existence around it, but I’ve found you have to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.” Savage agrees that, after locating a survival retreat location, water is the most important aspect to consider. “No matter how spectacular the property, make sure there is some type of primary water available,” wrote Savage. “Most rural properties will have either a drilled water well or a hand dug well with a cistern. ... If you find a property in your price range that has the ability to install hydroelectric power, and it meets all the other criteria on the list, BUY IT. Hydropower is the most sought after power source for most Preppers.”
Savage said that of all the prospective buyers of retreat property, most are interested in going off grid. “About 35 percent actually achieve this within the first year,” he wrote, “And about 50 percent within two years. It’s expensive if done right, but so very worth it when the grid goes down.” For Savage, there are three distinct and primary property attributes that must be considered which all work toward the goal of becoming self-sufficient: “Abundant year-round water + alternative energy + sustainable food production = a property worth defending. It’s that simple.” Next week: the politics of the Redoubt and what effect the movement has had on North Idaho.
Where are they coming from? We asked Todd Savage of American Redoubt Realty to share some insight about his prospective buyers seeking to build a survival retreat in North Idaho.
Reader: Where are most prospective buyers hailing from? Todd Savage: California, Florida, New York State and Washington (Seattle area) are the top four that we receive clients from.
Reader: What are some of the more common questions asked of you by prospective buyers? Todd Savage: 1. What does it cost to register my vehicle in Idaho? They normally whistle and laugh when they hear an average of about $60. 2. What firearms are legal in Idaho? Answer: There is NOT ONE firearm that is banned in Idaho. Period. Yes, machine guns, silencers (suppressors) and hand grenades are legal here, they just require actual ATF paperwork. 3. How do I move my guns and ammo safely across the country to my new homestead? Answer: SRC (Survival Retreat Consulting) has helped transport confidential items for clients, for a fee, of course.
Profiles of the Redoubt:
The Redoubt Realtor
Todd Savage details the land sales that drive the migration movement
By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff
The American Redoubt has many components — political, philosophical and religious. But if there’s one element the movement needs to exist, it’s land. For the past several years, Todd Savage has been doing good business providing Redoubt adherents with exactly that. Operating under the banner American Redoubt Realty, Savage specializes in connecting clients to ideal properties for self-sufficiency — or maybe, just maybe, surviving the calamity known in Redoubt circles as The End Of The World As We Know It. One of the more visible members of the American Redoubt, Savage came to national attention in 2016 when he was included in a Washington Post profile of the movement. Outspoken, frank and rarely without a firearm close at hand, he fits the popular image of the Redoubt faithful. Savage makes no apologies for lifestyle decisions that might shock coastal sensibilities, like the loaded rifles he keeps in easy access near his children’s bedrooms at their off-the-grid homestead 18 miles east of Sandpoint. “We moved here because we wanted to be around folks that were libertarian/ liberty minded like us and identified with the goals of being self sufficient and prepping,” he wrote in an emailed response to questions. In many respects, Savage’s journey to the Inland Northwest mirrors the that of the clients he now serves. In the early 2000s, he and his family enjoyed an affluent life in California but were disturbed by what they perceived as a transforming culture. “We didn’t quite ‘fit in’ with the changing landscape,” Savage said. “We were libertarian Christians who homeschooled, refused to poison our children through vaccinations, owned evil black rifles and supported what would one day be known as the Blue Lives Matter movement.” In 2003, Savage experienced a fateful meeting with James Wesley, Rawles (sic), the novelist and blogger credited with launching the Redoubt in a 2011
Left: “A day scouting property with a client in the Yaak River Valley, Montana.” -Todd Savage. Top: “One of our doors at home, next to the children’s bedroom so they can have fast access to them. Yes, they are loaded.” -Todd Savage. Photos courtesy of Todd Savage.
blog post. If 2011 was the formal birth of the Redoubt, however, Rawles was planting its seeds long beforehand. He advised the family to give up urban comforts in favor of a more sustainable lifestyle. “Maybe we were like the ‘Original Redoubters’ before there was a ‘Redoubt.’ Who knows?” Savage wrote. “Either way we are eternally thankful to Mr. Rawles for his guidance and support making out move here.” The Savages’ exodus from California established a blueprint for helping clients with similar priorities. “Those we have interacted with have fled their old locale due to rising crime rates, taxes, aversion of the political environment, inability to home school their children, own and carry firearms at their discretion,” he wrote. But finding the perfect homestead is no simple task. Savage provided a five-page document they send prospective clients to gauge their needs and priorities. It covers everything from sun exposure to heating methods to the availability of rifle and pistol ranges, as
well as other concerns like acreage, distance from towns or emergency services and home style. As is often the case with real estate deals, reconciling the reality of price ranges with the dream home is often an issue. “Finding the right property is as much about the client as it is the property,” Savage wrote. “Getting to know the client is important to be able to scout and find the right property.” One thing is for sure: There are enough people interested in putting Redoubt principles in action to keep business humming. Savage estimates his office works with 2,700 revolving clients a year who are interested in a move to a Redoubt state — eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Of that number, about 75 to 80 per year make the move. Savage said approximately 70 percent of that number move to North Idaho and the rest to Montana, with a handful choosing Wyoming instead. As for the cultural and political ideas that animate the Redoubt, Savage said it’s all about guns, God and freedom.
Frustrated with the tenor of mainstream politics and a perceived overbearing nanny state, Redoubt adherents see the western states as a last bastion of a libertarian lifestyle. “In the event of a foreign invasion, the American Redoubt may well be the last stand for America, and Redoubters will lay their lives down for it,” Savage wrote. “This region truly is the ‘Last Refuge of the American Patriot’ as we say.” The growing political influence of the American Redoubt has provoked cries of alarm from many Idahoans, Republican and Democrat alike. But to Savage, the political energy that underpins the Redoubt isn’t wielded as a weapon. He sees it as a defensive measure shielding a rapidly disappearing American way of life. “The people that make a strategic relocation to the American Redoubt region are here to PREVENT a transformative effect on the region,” Savage wrote. “We want the area to stay liberty-minded and conservative.” December 7, 2017 /
The American Redoubt Series Ruby Ridge to Redoubt:
A brief history of anti-government sentiments in North Idaho By Ben Olson Reader Staff Editor’s note: Before delving into the political ethos of the Redoubt movement, we will first examine the politics of North Idaho from the perspective of Ruby Ridge to today. The political psyche of North Idaho was very much influenced by this event, echoes of which awoke a new level of mistrust in the federal government across the nation. To be clear, these are separate movements with distinct precepts from the Redoubt, but past ideologies in North Idaho influenced a climate that can still be felt today. In August 1992, the powerful arm of the federal government reached for unassuming cabin owner Randy Weaver near Naples, Idaho. Categorized later as a miscalculation of federal force over a charge of selling an illegal sawed-off shotgun, the event later known as the “Standoff at Ruby Ridge” would leave a lasting impact on the way some citizens viewed their federal government. The siege at Ruby Ridge, which led to the deaths of Vicki Weaver, 14-year-old Sammy Weaver and Deputy U.S. Marshal William Degan, would go on to influence the political complexion of North Idaho for decades to come. With the rise of the militia movement and the formation of hundreds of patriot groups across the U.S., distrust of the federal government grew during the 1990s. While the Tea Party movement brought many disaffected Republicans under the same banner of limited government, increased controls over immigration and Second Amendment rights, others chose to opt out and joined political migrations in the interest of establishing ways of life aligned with Christian conservative principles. A History of Dissent Mistrust of the federal government is not a new phenomenon in U.S. history. In the “Whiskey Rebellion” of 1791, farmers opposed a federal tax placed on distilled spirits by President George Washington. Protesters 16 /
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were said to have used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting the tax. The dispute culminated in 1794, when a federal marshal arrived in Pennsylvania to serve writs for those who had not paid the tax. Over 500 armed men later attacked the home of a tax collector, forcing President Washington himself to lead an army of 13,000 militiamen to quell the rebellion. Sixty years later, ongoing disputes between the Union and slave-owning southern states led to secession and outbreak of the Civil War, which claimed over 600,000 American lives. In modern times, anti-government feelings began to emerge around events like Ruby Ridge and, shortly after, the siege at Waco. Ruby Ridge had a profound impact on the thinking of those whose beliefs aligned with Christian conservative principles. It demonstrated in many people’s eyes a federal government that had far exceeded its authority and mandate. Many viewed their response to what began as a supposed firearms violation as excessive and railed against the chance of it happening again. “The whole complexion (of this nation’s far-right politics) was shaped to some extent by Ruby Ridge,” said Heidi Beirlich, the Director for the Intelligence Project for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that has studied extremist groups for decades. “I think without Ruby Ridge, we wouldn’t have had McVeigh’s attack in Oklahoma City. We also probably wouldn’t have had the intensity of the militia movement as it arose in the early ‘90s and spread all the way through the 1990s.” The modern militia movement, with strong roots in American history, was a self-help movement dusted off in response to this perceived federal overreach. Beirlich said a gathering in Estes Park, Colo., just two months after the standoff at Ruby Ridge helped launched the movement. Led by white supremacist and former Grand Dragon of the KKK Louis Beam, the United Citizens for Justice banded together to demand criminal indictments against the
A chart showing the rise and fall of anti-government groups across the U.S. Courtesy of SPLC. government agents involved in Ruby Ridge. Over 150 Christian Identity believers and others gathered while Beam addressed grievances against the federal government. Followers of Christian Identity believe only Germanic, or Anglo-Saxon and Nordic people, are the true descendants of the ancient Israelites, and therefore are the only people who can achieve true salvation. “Because the white race is God’s chosen race, only whites have immortal souls and/or all others are eternally damned and cannot obtain salvation,” reads a document entitled “Christian Identity Movement” prepared by the FBI. “The federals have by their murder of Samuel and Vicki Weaver brought all of us here together under the same roof for the same reason,” Beam told the crowd. “For the first time in the 22 years that I have been in the movement, we are all marching to the beat of the same drum.” As the actions at Waco and later Oklahoma City transpired, the movement gained steam, laying ground for the formation of hundreds of militia groups across the U.S. “(This meeting) is viewed by
groups like SPLC and the Anti-Defamation League as having been the defining moment that launched the 1990s militia movement,” said Beirlich. “We had anti-government groups in the 1970s as well, which were broadly organized under the term posse comitatus, but the quickness for which the militia anti-government movement grew in the late 1990s, where it went from almost nothing to 858 groups as recognized by the SPLC in 1996, is astounding.” The list grew under President Barack Obama in 2012, spiking at 1,360 groups recognized as “anti-government ‘patriot’ groups” by the SPLC. The Platform of the Patriots Central to any militia movement or patriot group is the idea of limited federal government. Lawrence Reed of the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation sums up the argument for limited government as thus: “With regard to government, at the ‘core’ of our core principles are these unassailable truths: Government has nothing to give anybody except what it first takes from somebody, and a government that is big enough to give you
everything you want is big enough to take away everything you’ve got.” The line of thinking is that more regulating agencies mean more regulations. More regulations lead to excessive taxes to fund social programs viewed by many on the right as unnecessary. In other words, the more they give, the more potential they have to take it away. Another issue that unites the militias is immigration, with most patriot groups supporting secure borders and only carefully vetted legal immigration. Those who come into the U.S. illegally would not enjoy the rights of American citizens. “The one thing about the modern-day militia movement, traditionally is, this is not a hate movement,” said Beirlich. “They say it’s not about race, it’s about issues.” However, as Beirlich pointed out, many on the extremes show evidence of a growing anti-immigration stance centered around the Islamic faith. “The amount of anti-Muslim rhetoric that you find now on patriot websites and forums is incredible,” said Beirlich. “It frankly doesn’t sound any different in many cases as our anti-Muslim hate groups.”
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Sandpoint saw an example of an anti-immigration reaction in 2015 when Bonner County Commissioners unanimously voted to oppose Syrian refugee resettlement. No program for the resettlement of any refugees had been considered in Bonner County at the time. When the Sandpoint City Council later considered an opposite resolution welcoming Syrian refugees, over 100 people swarmed the council chambers to vigorously protest the action. The council ultimately voted to kill the motion. Finally, strong support and application of the Second Amendment is another key issue that most often unites those on the right. In what was viewed as a major victory for Second Amendment rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in any militia for traditionally lawful purposes, such as home self-defense. “(That verdict) is an outcome of (the militia) movement as well,” said Beirlich. “I would argue this movement has influenced the Republican party substantially and helped propel the NRA to the position it has today. That Second Amendment interpretation hadn’t existed before, so some would argue our entire relationship with guns in this country has been influenced by this particular movement.” Second Amendment supporters, on the other hand, argue that the right to bear arms has always historically been a personal right, and that it is only in the polarized environment of modern times that the Supreme Court was required to rule that the Second Amendment applies to all citizens. Bush, 9/11, Obama and the Rise of the Tea Party Beirlich contends that the party which holds the presidency often influences the rise and strength of militia groups and also affects the general mistrust of the federal government. “These groups sort of wax and wane based on whether Democrats are in office or not,” said Beirlich. With the election of George W. Bush in late 2000 and the subsequent terrorist attacks carried out by Al-Qaeda on Sept. 11, 2001, the nation appeared to pull together in order to heal the wounds afflicted by a foreign terrorist group. Beirlich said that “although the
anti-government movement went a little dormant under George (W.) Bush, it sprung right back to life with the same themes and the same grievances when Obama came into office.” The election of President Barack Obama in 2008 was followed by an economic downturn known as the “Great Recession” in which U.S. – and ultimately world markets – were sent into a downward spiral thanks to widespread failures in financial regulation and the practice of toxic mortgages that tanked the real estate market. As a result, the U.S. endured years of high unemployment, low consumer confidence, a decline of home values and a marked increase in foreclosures and bankruptcies that led to increased federal debt, inflation and rising food and fuel prices. In the instability following the recession, with anti-federal government feelings rising again under a Democrat president, a new conservative populist political movement called the Tea Party emerged. The catalyst for this movement came in early 2009 when CNBC commentator Rick Santelli referenced the Boston Tea Party in response to Obama’s mortgage plan relief, which amounted to a federal “bailout” to protect banks from failing on a large-scale basis. The segment went viral, and within weeks, Tea Party chapters popped up across the country. They were promoted by conservative pundits like Glenn Beck, who called for a platform opposing excessive taxation and governmental intervention in the private sector while supporting strong immigration controls. Tea Party chapters also pushed back against the government-mandated health care plan Obama had been proposing. The libertarian timbre of the movement drew many disaffected Republicans under the Tea Party banner, and the anti-government tone resonated with the swelling militia chapters across America. “Originally, most Tea Party concerns had to do with what was going to happen with financial crisis,” said Beirlich. “But it quickly became subsumed by anti-immigrant politicking.” Beirlich said the Minute Man Movement of 2005-2006, which saw an influx of private citizens patrolling the southern U.S. border for illegal aliens, eventually found a home within the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party ranks were also teeming with “birthers,” or individuals who believed Obama had been born outside the U.S. and
was not eligible to serve as president. Proponents of the conspiracy theory included dozens of members of Congress, television political pundits and future president Donald Trump. Trump maintained his claim against Obama until just before the 2016 election when he stated that Obama was born in the U.S., although recent reports claim he may still harbor doubts as to the former president’s birthplace. The Tea Party ranks swelled to their highest levels during 20092010, with over a third of the nation identifying with the movement. When former vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska in 2009, many viewed her as the new unofficial Tea Party spokesperson. In the 2010 midterm elections, the New York Times identified 138 candidates for Congress with Tea Party backing, all of whom ran as Republicans. Over half were elected to the Senate and a third to the House. Many of today’s household names in politics were elected into office with the help of the “Tea Party Express,” including Sen. Ted Cruz, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Rand Paul. “The Tea Party took up anti-government stances and became a transfer point of anti-immigrant and anti-government thinking into the full GOP,” said Beirlich. “You didn’t see the full flourishing of that until the 2012 election when the platform for the GOP included things like Agenda 21.” Agenda 21 is a non-binding action plan first proposed by the United Nations (UN) in 1992 to support social development issues such as poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice. George H.W. Bush signed the voluntary pact in 1992. Opponents of Agenda 21 view it as a “globalist” ploy to deny private property rights, undermine U.S. sovereignty and force citizens to move from rural to urban environments. The UN has traditionally been viewed by the Tea Party and the conservative right as a threat to national sovereignty and personal rights.
A current snapshot of recognized anti-government groups in the US. Courtesy of SPLC.
One of the most outspoken critics of Agenda 21 is American Policy Center president Tom DeWeese, who in 2015 described the resolution as “a new kind of tyranny that, if not stopped, will surely lead us to a new Dark Ages of pain and misery yet unknown to mankind.” “Agenda 21 began to be seen out of the propaganda of the anti-government world as a socialist plan to take over the country to enforce all these crazy environmental rules and take our cars away,” said Beirlich. “Glenn Beck even wrote a novel to resist Agenda 21 ... but, that conspiracy theory ended up in the GOP platform. Mitt Romney had interactions with Kris Kobach from Kansas about putting anti-immigration stuff into the platform. The Tea Party rose up about the financial issues and very quickly started taking up these extremist ideas and eventually became like a funnel from the far right on certain policies into the GOP.” Beirlich said the Tea Party generally fell out of favor as a protest movement because it ultimately became accepted within the framework of the Republican party. “The argument is that the Tea Party became subsumed by the GOP,” said Beirlich. “There was no need for a Tea Party chapter if the GOP is responding to your concerns.” In “Steep: The Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party,” UC Berkeley’s Center for RightWing Studies program director Christine Trost wrote: “A key lesson of the book is to not think of the Tea Party as this separate thing, but to understand it as a core element of the Republican Party. It’s really a question of the future of the Republican Party. Is the party going to be taken over by a very conservative, very active base that’s been growing over the last 30 years, or (is it) going to leave ... and
go someplace else?” Political Migration Movements Reacting to what a growing number of people viewed as a toxic system, various political migration movements arose around the country over the past several decades. In the 1960s and ‘70s, tens of thousands participated in various agrarian movements across the U.S. known collectively as the “Back to the Land” movement that called for people to take up small tracts of land to grow food on a small-scale basis and live in closer harmony with the land. The Free State Project is a libertarian movement begun in 2001 that called for at least 20,000 libertarians to move to New Hampshire in order to make the state a stronghold for libertarian ideals. Twelve “free staters” were elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 2010, 11 in 2012, and another 15 in 2014. Christian Exodus is a political-religious movement first proposed in 2003 that called for “thousands of Christian Constitutionalists” to move to South Carolina to “accelerate the return of self-governance based on Christian principles,” according to their website. The group called for “personal secession” by “disentangling from society” by promoting home schooling, going off the electric grid and instituting self-sufficient farming practices. The movement largely fell off the map in 2013. “The Back to the Land movement was political, but it was almost like personal politics, like ‘I’ll get my life straight by going back to the land and living in a better way,’” said Beirlich. “It was a hippie kind
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IN FINE FETTLE Eggnog is a superfood
By Ammi Midstokke Reader Health Columnist
For a while now, thanks to Dr. Oz and other preachers of panaceas, we’ve been hearing about these incredible wonders of the nutritional world: Superfoods. But what exactly is a superfood? Since science has neglected to take part in the discussion (because there is no science to back up this marketing jargon), we’ll be left to break it down linguistically:
By this definition, superfoods merely need to taste good (a wholly subjective assessment) to qualify as a superfood. Which is why I am adding eggnog to the list of superfoods. The claim of a superfood is typically inspired by a particular food’s high density in a nutrient or vitamin that correlates to a positive result in a random study by a bunch of guys in lab coats. We know that correlation does not mean causation. Yes, there are studies that show people who eat a ton of broccoli have lower incident of colon cancer. Does that make broccoli a superfood? It does if you’re buying an overpriced broccoli-kiwi superfood smoothie. If we assess the actual science behind that statement, we’ll note that broccoli is high in fiber, which aids in regular bowel function, which aids in avoiding inflammation, and inflammation correlates (and is indicated as a cause in some cases) to colon cancer. But broccoli-chomping people also belong by default in a lower-risk demographic: People who actually eat vegetables. I found no studies singling out Brussels sprouts or people who eat papyrus as a nervous tendency (also a high-fiber substance). Most superfoods we see mar18 /
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Ammi Midstokke with Freya the Brown Dog.
keted have been given this prestigious sham title for particular qualities, such as “anti-oxidant” powers. In fact, wine gets that trophy all the time, but lemons and blueberries offer just as many, have additional fiber, and don’t shrink your brain or cause a hangover. Anti-oxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidization of other molecules. Oxidization leads to something we know as “free-radicals.” Much like their name indicates, these guys cause a sort of internal chemical revolt that leads to cellular damage. Damaged cells that start to reproduce equal cancers. But oxidization is also a natural cycle within our body, only high levels of it, or excessively low levels, can led to trouble. We increase our level of oxidative stress by: fighting with our spouses, eating too much sugar, being exposed to toxins — yes, the ones even in your shampoo — and over-training. Or even just training. Those of us who meet any or all of those criteria may want to increase our consumption of foods higher in anti-oxidants, or superfoods, or what we’ve basically always known by their more traditional name: Fruits and Vegetables And eggnog. How does eggnog qualify? Oh ye,s folks, I even have science to back this claim up. First, it’s very good, or pleasant; excellent.
Second, if it is made with real eggs, especially the farm-fresh, happy-chicken kind, it is loaded with Vitamin D. This fat-soluble vitamin will not only help you avoid rickets, but also aids in balancing the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body essential for maintaining bone health. Studies also show it supports immune health, can reduce symptoms of depression and is a key factor in weight optimization. Eggnog doesn’t help with the latter, of course. Now that we’ve established its validity as a superfood, let’s learn how to make one from scratch so you can avoid those packaged, processed, sugar-laden varieties and serve your holiday guests with a cup of health instead. Ammi’s Fall Down Real Soon Now Eggnog Courtesy of Jimmy Akers, who shared his recipe with me decades ago. I have since adapted it to my dairy-free ways. •12 egg yolks (set the whites aside) •1 liter coconut milk •1 can full fat coconut cream •1/2 c sugar (or creamed honey) •Dash of vanilla •Freshly ground nutmeg •Enough bourbon to enjoy your relatives Whisk egg yolks in a bowl until creamy, add sugar and vanilla. Then coconut cream and milk (you can use whole milk and whole cream if you eat dairy) and mix. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff. Fold into top of other mixture, grind fresh nutmeg over the top and serve. Ammi Midstokke can be reached at email@example.com.
From left, Nevada Assemblyman John Moore, Idaho Rep. Heather Scott and Idaho Rep. Judy Boyle speak to reporters outside the Malheur Wildlife Refuge during the standoff. Photo by AP / Rebecca Boone.
of thing. Christian Exodus was more radically political. The whole idea ... was to get enough people to take over state politics and decide what life is like for fellow citizens. It’s more of a citizen action than Back to the Land. It’s all about reordering the political process.” Ruby Ridge Redux A 21-year grazing dispute between Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management erupted in early 2016 when Cliven’s sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy led a group of armed supporters in occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge building in Oregon for 40 days in protest of the federal government’s court decision against Bundy. The plight of the Bundys quickly became a rallying cry for patriot and militia groups who viewed the situation as another instance of the federal government’s overreach and regulatory practices oppressing the rights of private citizens. The Bundys and others who follow their fringe line of thinking followed a philosophy that combines Mormon theology, apocalyptic endtimes beliefs and Constitutionalism outlined in the famed “Nay Book,” which is condemned by the Church of Latter Day Saints. Supporters of this philosophy disputed the ownership rights the federal government had in the first place on BLM grazing land. “That’s the situation that is the most reminiscent of Ruby Ridge,” said Beirlich. It wasn’t just militia and patriot groups that turned out to support the occupation of the federal building. The Malheur standoff also gained support from elected officials from surrounding states, including appearances by Idaho state representatives Judy Boyle, Heather Scott and Sage Dixon, Washington state representatives Graham Hunt and Matt Shea and Nevada State Rep. Michelle Fiore via telephone. Beirlich sees the attendance and support of elected officials at Malheur as a troubling circumstance. “When political figures get in-
volved actively, they give credence and essentially endorse the views of these people,” said Beirlich. “That is very problematic. It makes it a much more volatile situation.” Juries have been reluctant to convict the participants in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation, although there were several guilty pleas. The actual convictions resulted in prison, fines and supervised release and probation. No prison terms exceeded 18 months. From Ruby Ridge to Redoubt While the events that occurred at Ruby Ridge happened over 25 years ago, the anti-government feelings that rose from its ashes continue to affect the political complexion of North Idaho and the rest of the nation today. Through the rise of the militia movement, the birth of the Tea Party and its later acceptance within mainstream GOP ideology, and the increased number of people participating in political migration movements, it showed there was a populace hungry to free themselves from what they viewed as an oppressive federal government. The end goal: to remake their vision of a harmonious society in an agreed upon location, to practice elements of self-reliance and prepare their loved ones for the possibility that the house of cards could eventually come crashing down. In 2011, James Wesley, Rawles (sic) wrote an essay on SurvivalBlog.com that he claimed launched a movement to the American Redoubt. Eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and Wyoming held promise because of its lower population density, reduced risk of natural disasters and a political environment that was growing more protective over individual freedom and liberty. In next week’s issue, we’ll discuss the political aspects of the Redoubt movement specifically, and examine the impact it has had on North Idaho’s political environment.
The American Redoubt Series The anatomy of a one-party state: How Idaho has become more conservative since the 1990s
By Ben Olson Reader Staff Editor’s Note: In last week’s political article we discussed some of the factors that contributed to a building of mistrust for the federal government after events like Ruby Ridge and the siege at Waco. This week, we’ll focus on North Idaho and discuss the rightward shift that has occurred since the 1990s, while also taking a look at how the American Redoubt movement has affected politics in the region.
hen Cecil Andrus was elected governor in 1970, Idaho’s political complexion was more balanced than it is today. Described as a “lunch-bucket Democrat,” Andrus gained national attention for being one of the first western politicians who sought office on a platform of conservation. He also enjoys the distinction of being the last elected Democrat to serve as Idaho’s governor. Though the governor’s office would be controlled by the Democrats for 14 years, the House and Senate had been under Republican majority since the early 1960s. However, legislatures were known to work with colleagues across the aisle on everything from education to infrastructure in those days. All that seemed to change in the 1990s when Idaho began its slow transition from purple to red to the deep red state it is today and the Republican party began dividing on ideological lines. 16 /
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What caused the shift? The short answer: Californians. The long answer: It’s complicated. Southern California was beset by a series of disasters in the early 1990s, including a devastating earthquake, the Rodney King riots and a recession that left many scrambling to pick up the pieces. As a result, the state lost 1.8 million more people than it gained between 1992 and 2000. During that same period, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona collectively gained 1.4 million more than they lost. It is estimated over half of the immigrants that settled in Idaho in that period came from California. Former Democratic lawmaker and Hope resident Kermit Kiebert remembers the good ol’ days when Democrats and Republican worked hand-in-hand on the issues. Kiebert served in the Idaho Senate for District 1 from 1975 to 1987. He spent six of those years as minority leader. In those days, District 1 usually sent a Democrat to the statehouse, but that all changed in the mid-1990s. Kiebert says it was thanks to an influx of out-of-town conservatives. “What happened over time is we got a demographic change,” Kiebert said. “We went from being more policy-oriented to more of an ideologue community.” Kiebert believes people migrating from states like California had a direct impact on the shift in Idaho politics. “We had very few minorities here
as compared to a lot of other places,” he said. “That seemed to draw a lot of people that were very much more radical in their views with respect to race and politics. A lot of retired policemen and firemen that moved here were very, very conservative and very, very Republican. They took over the Republican party pretty much in total and organized themselves very well.” As Kootenai and Bonner counties became identified as “resort communities,” more and more retirees flooded the area. High Country News estimated in 2013 that more than 500 California police officers had retired in North Idaho, most notably Mark Fuhrman, who committed perjury during the O.J. Simpson trial. “It’s amazing,” said Kiebert. “These people are now anti-government, but they’re all on a government pension. That’s a little bit of hypocrisy there, you know.” Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Dan English has witnessed the rightward shift first hand. Serving as Kootenai County Clerk for 15 years, English monitored more than 100 local elections and began noticing in the mid-1990s that less and less Democrats were being elected to office. “It was in 1993-1994 that there had been a lot of Democrats in Kootenai County and North Idaho,” said English. “There was more of a balance. Then, they really took a thumping.” Like Kiebert, English also attributed the rise of Republicans elected to office to outside influences. “I don’t think a whole lot of folks who were already here changed their minds too much,” said English. “We’re a retirement, resort community, so we attracted more folks moving here from Southern California ... I think it wasn’t so much from the inside out that people were changing, but from the outside.” English said the Idaho GOP’s decision to close its primaries in 2012 was another reason why the margins between parties widened. With a closed primary system, voters registered as any other political party would no longer be allowed to vote for GOP primary candidates. “If you happen to end up as anything but a Republican on the general election ballot, you’re kind of out of luck,” he said. “Our closed party registration had diminished voter turnout in the primaries, therefore it has probably hurt Democratic chances also.” With a closed primary system,
voters registered as any other political party are no longer allowed to vote for GOP primary candidates. English said he feels Idaho’s primaries should be open to all party affiliations. “If (the GOP is) going to have a totally closed primary, they ought to have an inter-party process and, most importantly, pay for it,” he said. “But if they’re going to use public funds, and I know they do, it really seems like taxation without representation because every taxpayer pays for that election. ... If they’re not willing to sign up for party registration, they’re being excluded from the process. I think the deliberate point of it was to reduce voter turnout.” By 2002, English realized he was the only registered Democrat to hold office in Kootenai County. Recognizing he was an endangered species, English decided to have some fun with his campaign. “We made up some wooden nickels with ‘Save the Last One’ on them,” he said. “I’m the last Democrat who turned out the lights of the Kootenai courthouse back in early 2011.” English said that while certain parts of Idaho had always strongly identified as Republican, the situation today is too imbalanced. “The idea is not to reverse it the other way, but to somehow, eventually, get a little closer to the middle,” he said. “There are a lot of people that want to have some middle ground again.” English said the closed primaries furthered a fracturing of the Republican party into the “main street” or moderate Republicans and the ideologues on the far right. The closed primaries also influenced a term bandied about in Idaho: “Republican In Name Only,” or RINO, which refers to Democrats that switch party registration to Republican in order to vote in the important GOP primaries. “The ironic thing is, some Republicans are now seen as RINOs,” he said. “Are you Republican In Name Only because you’re to the left of what it used to be, or the right of what it used to be?” The Rise of the GOP
When Idaho state senator Shawn Keough first ran for District 1 in 1995 as a Republican, she was entering a long-held blue district comprised of lunch-bucket Democrats. “When I first ran for office, Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone and Benewah Counties’ elected officials were predominantly Democrat,” Keough wrote. “They
were fiscally conservative, looking out for the underdog and considered themselves more as independent and less as affiliated with the Party in my observation.” The 1996 fall election saw a rush of Republicans take the statehouse, which included Keough. In 1991, the Idaho State Senate was split evenly between 21 Republicans and 21 Democrats. The Idaho House seated 56 Republicans to 28 Democrats the same session. Ten years later, Republicans held 32 seats to the Democrat’s three while the House had seated 61 Republicans to just nine Democrats. Though Democrats picked up a handful of seats in the statehouse during the early 2000s and 2010s, the discrepancy continues to this day. “I was inspired and encouraged to run for office by a number of individuals in our community including folks like Mike Boeck, Erval Rainey, Pete Wilson, Darrel Kerby as well as others,” wrote Keough. “Rep. Jim Stoicheff also was an influence even though he was of the opposite party than me.” After serving Idaho’s District 1 for more than two decades, Keough believes the term “conservative” encompasses a wider spectrum of ideas today than when she was first elected. “’Conservative’ meant being fiscally responsible, balancing the budget, less government and/or local government closest to the people was a better government than Boise and D.C.,” she wrote. “Today it also means much more and is defined differently and through the lens of the person defining it. For me, conservative remains those items above and being responsible and grounded in common sense.” One of Keough’s challengers in the 2012 and 2014 primary was Danielle Ahrens, who is currently Legislative District 1 Republican Chairman for Boundary and Bonner County. Ahrens picked up 30 percent of the GOP primary vote against Keough in 2012, but in 2014 she had increased her vote share to 46 percent — not enough to win the primary, but a sign of the effect Ahrens had on conservative Christian voters. To Ahrens, being a successful politician means knowing and listening to constituents’ concerns. “It’s incumbent on leaders in the community to sit down and talk with one another,” said Ahrens. “As the saying goes, ‘If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.’ If you’re running for office, it’s incumbent on
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you to listen.” Ahrens said the divide in the nation today is not conducive to a productive government. “The polarization is crippling us,” she said. “If we’re doing what’s right for our kids and grandkids, it’s incumbent on us to set up a better society.” Though Ahrens withdrew from the 2016 GOP primary to make way for Republican candidate Glenn Rohrer — who earned 44 percent of the GOP primary vote that year, but lost to Keough — she has again entered her hat in the 2018 District 1 race. “(I decided to run because) I love people, I love serving people,” said Ahrens. “My whole family has been in public service. ... Our motto was ‘Service Above Self.’ ... I have a matrix of values and ideals I take from the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and my faith, but I also value other peoples’ ideas coming into the mix.” Ahrens said she is energized by the Redoubt movement because it shows a resurgence of people becoming involved in their government again. “Any cultural movement in tribalism is fascinating to me,” said Ahrens, who holds degrees in psychology, business and a minor in cultural geography. “People gravitate where there are other people of the same values, principles and ideals. ... The Redoubt movement is a rebirth of those ideals.” When asked what impact the Redoubt movement has had on North Idaho politics, Ahrens said it has made “a tremendous difference. My passion is getting conservative Christians in office. Virtually anyone getting into office now is a conservative Christian with Redoubt values – God, family and country.” Election of the Ideologues
According to the Idaho Transportation Department, 7,356 people surrendered their out-of-state driver’s licenses in Bonner County between 2011 and 2015. Of the total amount of people changing their licenses to Idaho, 46 percent hailed from California and Washington – 3,400 of the 7,356 total. During this time period, Idaho’s District 1 began saw the inclusion of candidates that were running on platforms of less regulatory government, Second Amendment rights and issues aiming to strengthen state rights over federal influence. After Sage Dixon edged out incumbent Republican Rep. George Eskridge in the 2014 primaries for House of Representatives District 1B race, he went on to win the general election with over 65 percent of the vote. “I, and those who encouraged me to run, felt that we needed conservative representation in our State Legislature,” wrote Dixon. “Two primary issues were the State Health Care Exchange and reclaiming Idaho lands for Idaho hands.” The District 1A seat went to outspoken Heather Scott of Blanchard, who used the 2014 win to bring more conservative values to Boise. Running on a platform that bespoke of losses to freedoms amid constant overreach of the federal government, Scott gained a loyal following among the conservative mindset.
Her political career rose sharply in 2015 after a North Idaho veteran in Priest River suffered a stroke and found that his name had been added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by a health professional. When a person’s name is added to the NICS, they may be in jeopardy of losing the right to own firearms if a mental health inspection deems it appropriate. Scott urged her followers on social media to gather in front of the vet’s home to stop the VA from confiscating the man’s guns. Dozens turned out, including Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler, and most marked the protest a victory when the VA announced it would not be conducting an inspection of the vet’s home. “With your direction and support, I stood as the tip of the spear on the House floor in fights against crony capitalism, special perks for elected officials, the insertion of international code into our state law, and the unconstitutional use of our tax code to legalize gay marriage,” Scott’s bio reads on her website. While a darling of the conservative right, Scott’s controversial actions and statements have often enraged both Democrats and moderates throughout the state. In 2015, Scott was photographed posing next to a Confederate battle flag at a Priest River Timberfest event. In 2016, she was removed briefly from her committee assignments after she claimed female members of the Idaho House got leadership positions only if they “spread their legs.” Scott was reinstated to her committee assignments a month later after she wrote an apology to the House. After armed militants occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge building in Oregon, Scott accompanied Rep. Dixon and other conservative representatives from neighboring states to conduct “a fact-finding mission” in the area. The Bundys were protesting the right of the federal government to own the land in which they had assessed the Bundys grazing fees in the decades before. More recently, Scott again made headlines after reposting an article defending white nationalism on Facebook in the wake of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. During the 2016 election, Scott boycotted a candidates forum sponsored by the Sandpoint Reader, telling her followers in a Facebook post that the forum was a “trap” where conservative candidates’ words would be twisted. Scott defeated Democratic challenger Kate McAlister with more than 62 percent of the vote. Rep. Scott was contacted but declined to comment for this article. A Sign of the Times
Whether the influx of conservatives from locales like southern California and coastal Washington came as part of a migration identified as the American Redoubt or independently, it’s clear the body politic of North Idaho has shifted right. What’s more, the split within the Idaho GOP — with moderates on one side and conservative ideologues on the other — showed that this shift was not reversing any time soon. Keough first came into contact with the
A graph showing the amount of Republicans versus Democrats elected to the Idaho State Senate from 1975 to 2015. Graph by Ben Olson. Redoubt movement in 2015 while running for reelection to District 1. Keough was facing candidate Glenn Rohrer, a conservative with a large following among Redoubt adherents. “Someone sent me a link to a web page called the Charles Carroll Society that had published ... a piece (that) claimed all sorts of things about me, how I thought, why I picked the colors of my website, what I said and why I said it that were very inaccurate and outright lies,” Keough wrote. “It was – and remains – a very inflammatory piece.” Keough said she had never been approached or contacted by Alex Barron, the author of the piece and so-called “Bard of the American Redoubt.” “The piece is accurate commentary from a non-progressive perspective,” wrote Barron when asked for comment. “Shawn Keough is affiliated with the Idaho Republican Party but is rated D by the NRA, F (31 percent) by the Idaho Freedom Foundation and Idaho Chooses Life reports she is not a defender of the rights of unborn children. She represents an Idaho State district that appears to be much more conservative than her voting record.” “Frankly,” Keough wrote. “It was astonishing and disheartening to me as the map on the page and the writings made it clear that my home area was being promoted as a place to withdraw from the world and to dig in for some inevitable catastrophe. Further, it espoused plans for how to ‘take over’ and reform the governments from local to state by electing people like the authors so that our area could be changed to fit their ideals. ... So much hate, anger, fear, and no wish to find out about us who lived here or to assimilate and become a part of the community as most who move here try to do.” English sees the Redoubt influx as a sign of further imbalance. He believes when any institution – be it government, the church or a nonprofit organization – only caters to one point of view, many are left out of the process. “It sounds like a very deliberate move from all over the place to come to one place with the intent that they can take over through the legitimate process and control the body politic,” said English. “For the folks that are getting taken
over, they’re not too wild about that.” While Dixon agrees that migration has nudged Idaho to the right in statewide politics, he believes the trend began long before 2011. “However, I think that equal light should be shed upon migration from the left and how it has affected our local jurisdictions and our traditional issues in the state,” Dixon wrote. “California and Washington are by no means conservative states.” 2018 and Beyond
Whether Idaho will continue its shift to the right in 2018 or, like in the recent races in Virgina and Alabama, will see an increased influence from other parties is anyone’s guess. Some, like Kiebert, think the wave has begun to break. “It still is possible (for Idaho to elect a Democrat to the statehouse),” said Kiebert. “Down south where you’ve got better-informed voters like in the city of Boise, I think District 19 will be all Democrats. ... I’m hoping we’re heading back that way. This is really not helpful for a state or a nation the way we’re polarized now.” For English, the time is ripe for the rightward shift to normalize somewhere closer to the middle. “I am sensing quite a stream of energy and interest,” he said. Dan’s wife, Cory English, in fact, just filed with the Secretary of State to challenge Republican state senator Mary Souza in District 4. “She’s plans to make health care, education and other social justices her main issues in the campaign,” said English. “People, especially those from outside our area, don’t want to think we’re just 100-percent Republican. There’s a whole range of folks who think otherwise. Even if we don’t win, it’s very important to get the message out there. If you say nothing, it’s pretty much the same as going along with it. I think you’ll see some action this next year.” Next week’s piece from a guest contributor will try to answer the question of why those who identify with the American Redoubt are moving to North Idaho. December 21, 2017 /
The American Redoubt Series Why the Redoubt? Some insights into the motivation for strategic relocation By Bill Harp Reader Contributor Editor’s Note: This is the final piece in the American Redoubt series — an essay by guest contributor Bill Harp. We thank all those who contributed and talked with us during this series. Read the whole series on the Reader website. “Vote with your feet” is the rally cry of many voices in the Redoubt. I mentioned in my previous article that the Redoubt is a geographically-centered, socio-political demographic movement often coupled with strong religious roots. It is also a subset of the larger and diverse global preparedness community. In that previous article, I mentioned the different variables that families take into account when they consider strategic relocation to the Redoubt and why our neck of the woods is considered an optimum destination. I also reference the Redoubt section and Precepts pages on SurvivalBlog.com that explain, according to the site’s editors, how folks embracing the concept of the Redoubt share certain beliefs, philosophies, principles and intentions. And, of course, there is now at the Sandpoint Reader a corpus of well-researched articles on the Redoubt movement. Why the Redoubt?
What is missing is a discussion on why a family would go to the trouble to move to the Redoubt. An even more profound question is why a pioneering subset of American society decided to change their lifestyle and geography, often leaving their friends, family, home and community, and “voted with their feet” to our region. Relocating is one of the most significant life-changing events that families undertake. No simple statement can explain or account for this socio-demographic shift. It is also important to recognize that not everyone who identifies with the Redoubt movement has relocated here. Redoubt identity can be classified into four main groups. 1. Those who have lived in the Redoubt area — perhaps grew up here — and have adopted Redoubt 14 /
/ December 28, 2017
philosophy. 2. Those who have moved here full-time in the last decade or two. 3. Those who are planning to move here or who have some toehold in the Redoubt but have not made the full-time transition to living in our area. 4. Those who strongly identify with the Redoubt philosophy but live somewhere else and don’t really plan to move here. Why would a family uproot and move to the Redoubt? If we temporarily discount the unilateral and primary concern for surviving a calamitous event, there is a constellation of other beliefs and conditions that guide a family’s decision to relocate. As you can imagine, there are no simple answers, so let’s explore some potential reasons for this active demographic immigration from outside the region. Strategic relocation to the Redoubt: religious and faith-based community
A fundamentalist Christian orientation of like-minded practitioners is often a critically important relocation factor for many families. The community church also forms an important institution for not only worship but social interaction and education, so any potential location should have a church with a fellowship of like-minded folks. Minimal political and regulatory intervention
Regulations and taxes have become increasingly cumbersome in many states. Reasons can be, in part, due to larger population densities, environmental concerns, government finances and safety precautions. California building code, for example, is notoriously controlling. In comparison, Bonner County does not enforce a building code. You need only a relatively inexpensive building location permit to build a home. This permit has few regulatory requirements, such as a safe driveway, a consistent address that supports 9-1-1 emergency response, building setbacks and protection of certain critical habitats such as wetlands. This is in striking contrast to
most U.S. counties that have a litany of complex requirements, bureaucratic forms and inspections you need to satisfy to build a home. Taxes are also relatively low. Although Idaho does have a state income tax, property taxes are moderate to low, and insurance, such as auto insurance, is about the lowest in the U.S. If you look at Idaho code on any issue and then compare to the code for the equivalent subject in other states, you will find that Idaho code is often one-tenth the volume of code for most other states. This suggests considerably less regulation. Libertarianism and constitutionalism
Many folks who embrace the Redoubt have strong libertarian and constitutionalist philosophies. This is the belief in having the unfettered ability to practice the freedoms written into the Bill of Rights and with a minimum of intervention from all forms of government. These freedoms are considered inalienable human rights that pre-existed before political systems and therefore cannot be revoked or modified by governments. Many folks of the Redoubt believe that the government has grossly overstepped its constitutional authority and infringed upon these inalienable rights. They feel that the federal government, in particular, has damaged its contract to hold “We the People” as the highest authority in the land. Therefore, relocation strategy would include those areas where libertarianism is valued and where there is respect and belief in strict interpretation of constitutional authority. Respect for the Second Amendment
The Redoubt community largely believes the Second Amendment, which guarantees the rights of citizens to own and bear firearms, is increasingly under fire. For them, state support of non-restrictive Second Amendment rights is critical because a “calamitous event” could bring chaos and social unrest. Under
those conditions, self-defense would be an important skill and necessary right. Other states such as Colorado, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Minnesota and Virginia ban or regulate certain semi-automatic rifles and/or standard-capacity magazines, reducing one’s options for self-defense. This is in stark contrast to Idaho, which recently legislated that all residents in good standing have the legal right to the concealed carry of a firearm without a state permit. Idaho regulations do not, in general, limit the use of firearms in a more restrictive way than provided for by federal regulations. Education and homeschooling
Many Redoubt families are very concerned with the nature and quality of their children’s education. Some wish to homeschool and do not want onerous homeschooling requirements. Idaho has recognized the right of parents to homeschool. Some families want to send their kids to schools that recognize religious principles and have faith-based curriculum. Others want to send their kids to a public school where parents have a significant say in school priorities and who support school boards that favor certain values. For example, a school board that favors local control — rather than state or federal — over school activities. North Idaho in general favors all these options. Crime and social unrest
Urban areas tend toward higher crime rates. Any analyst might say
that crime rates indicate not only the propensity of crimes but also a wide variety of other social ills. These could be inadequate finances for law enforcement and public safety, poverty, inadequate housing, poor educational systems, lack of jobs and dysfunctional local government. A low crime rate, especially crimes against person and property, is a key indicator of an area’s health. The Redoubt, specifically in rural environments, has low incidences of most crimes. With low crime rates comes a low incidence of a broad spectrum of co-related social unrest. Therefore, the Redoubt’s low population densities and relatively few major metropolitan areas add to its desirability. However, while Sandpoint’s violent crime statistics are average for the state, the property crime rate has increased 25 percent since 2011, putting it at the top of the list for property crimes statewide. Nearby Coeur d’Alene also has the distinction of the highest violent crime rate in the state, with 344 violent crimes reported per 100,000 people for 2016. Conclusion
Strategic relocation to the Redoubt is a major life-changing decision for a family and is based on a wide variety of factors. We have discussed some of the more significant underlying concepts. The mission of the Redoubt can be summed up as: A movement seeking to create a community of like-minded individuals that share the concept of preparing for a calamitous event. This event will require communal collaboration and a strong measure of appropriate technology oriented towards significant self-sufficiency for an indeterminate period without many of the goods, utilities and services upon which we currently expect and depend. Bill Harp is a technologist, geospatial analyst and cultural anthropologist. He was Director of Technology (emeritus) of Bonner County and has a long career in defense and intelligence.