simpleunhookedliving

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Walled Patriot City in North Idaho is Part of Larger Redoubt Movement

The Benewah from the Golf Course

Mountains of The Benewah as seen from the St. Maries Golf Course.

News of a planned fortified survivalist city in North Idaho started trickling into the mainstream media this month. The Citadel is to be a self-contained walled fortress in the back woods of Benewah County near St. Maries, Idaho, according to reports gleaned from the Internet. A planned gated community on steroids for liberty-loving militia people, the dream is for Citadel residents to be able to arm themselves all the time and pursue “Jeffersonian-style liberty” while prepping for the end of the world as we know it.

KBOI2 Writer Scott Logan posted an article Jan. 16, 2013, saying he couldn’t find a warm body to interview, so he linked to a YouTube Video from NCRenegade.com, with a speech by Jim Miller, one of the project’s proponents. In the video, Miller says the centerpiece of The Citadel will be a firearms factory called III Arms Company, LLC.

“III Arms provides funding for The Citadel. The Citadel provides funding for itself. The more people you move in, the more arms. It’s one large loop.” The company filed its LLC with the Idaho Secretary of State in August of 2012.

Citadel residents age 13 and up will be required to be armed and able to hit what they aim at. It’s one of the qualifications for living there. The reason is not that the inhabitants-to-be are “gun nuts,” but they are firmly convinced that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can only be ensured when citizens are armed. That’s because history has shown that government officials, altruistic as they may seem, always turn into tyrants if given the chance. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

“Our current government is pushing, pushing and pushing. They’re refusing to listen to common sense and reason, refusing to let us live our lives, refusing us the liberty that God grants us as men,” Miller is quoted as saying in an online interview at guerillamerica.com. “Eventually, the line will be crossed and the only remedy will be to start shooting.”

“Getting the rifles and pistols into the hands of those who will make that stand with us when the time comes, that is our mission: To provide the tools to ensure Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness as well as ensure domestic tranquility.” Miller is the CEO of III Arms Company, LLC.

Benewah-Lake

Benewah Lake lies at the base of The Benewah, a rustic area near St. Maries, Idaho. Benewah was a Coeur d’Alene Indian whose band lived in this area.

The Free State Project

In the video posted by Logan, Miller indicates that the group’s interests go a little further than self-protection in an uncertain world. When speaking of the development in Benewah County, he refers to the Free State Project, where thousands of people planned to converge in one small state in order to swing the outcome of elections and create a stronghold for libertarian ideals. In the Citadel’s case, those ideas align with those of the Three Percenters, Miller said.

The exact number he expects to converge at The Citadel fluctuates from three thousand people to five thousand families, according to various statements in the video. “The idea behind the Citadel is having a secured location of three to five thousand patriots living in proximity of each other, that if something happens when the world does go to crap — and we all have a pretty good idea it’s going to hit eventually — when that world goes to crap, pull the gate up, you survive in that community, not unlike what castles and citadels used to do. The community lived in that area. The citadel was to protect that community.”

St Maries River

St Maries River view from the mountains behind st. Maries, Idaho

Benewah County’s population numbered 9,287 in July 2011 according to City-Data.com, and Miller appreciates the impact of so many people on a small county.

“Three to five thousand families walking into an area like that makes an impact immediately,” he said. “Walking in, not having to rely on the local community, well see, you can write your own politicians, you can write your own check, you can write your own methods of doing things.”

Hopefully all that writing will include a plan to maintain the dirt road to the property, as well as contingencies for fire, ambulance, and other basic services. Some people living along the road that leads to the Citadel property are unhappy with the specter of crowds and traffic in a remote area they live in because they love their privacy, peace, and quiet. Despite the traffic and never-ending gunfire from target practice, Miller thinks the locals will come to appreciate the Citadel.

“Those folks around you see that community, see people walking around with a gun on their hip and no one getting shot. They see people with jobs in a community that didn’t have jobs. They walk in and they see people enjoying liberty in its true form. That’s what we intend to do at the Citadel.”

He says project proponents were negotiating with county officials in order to seek out tax breaks in exchange for employment opportunities at the arms factory and the increased tax base so many new homes would create. Several times, he alluded to The Idaho Firearms Freedom Act, which promotes the manufacture of guns and ammunition in Idaho.

“Idaho wants to be the gun capital of the United States. They want manufacturers to come in,” Miller said. “When Idaho said, hey, we want to start building guns, they were going to offer relatively lucrative reasons for coming, like most places do that want a tax base. We’ll bring you in, we’ll nullify your taxes for a couple of years, we’ll give you this, we’ll help you build a company because you’ll be literally funding our coffers at that point.”

Along with the coffer-funding, comes political clout. “When you start funding those coffers, you need to have people there to make sure that money is spent for things that really matter to you. That’s the whole reason for Idaho.”

Who are the Three Percenters?

The Three Percenters believe, like Lysander Spooner, (see Chapter 1, Section II, page 18) that government can only be kept in check by armed people. According to a YouTube video called Armed and Ready: Militia culture in America, Three Percenters made a stand on the banks of the Potomac in April 2010 to put the federal government on notice: “attempt to further oppress us at your peril.”

“Americans are beginning to feel increasingly less like free citizens and more like subjects,” David Codrea, Co-founder of Gun Truths and Citizens of America says in the Armed and Ready video, which was uploaded to YouTube Apr 21, 2011. It explains that the Three Percenters is a militia with its own flag, plenty of guns, and a manifesto that says it only takes three percent of gun owners to overthrow the government. “More and more of America’s 84 million gun owners say they’re tired of compromising on their right to bear arms.”

So, are local government officials excited about the prospect of their coffers being filled by the Citadelians and their gun factory?

St. Maries Idaho

A Jack Buell Logging truck drives over the St. Joe River in St. Maries, Benewah County, Idaho

According to news reports, no Benewah County officials have spoken with Citadel proponents. This despite the fact that in the NCRenegade video, filmed last year, Miller asserts that Sam and Holly Kerodin were in Idaho looking for land and meeting with state and county officials to discuss the project, as well as securing a storefront for a physical address. “

“They are meeting with them to decide what areas are the best to look. They’ve got, I think, either three or four county seats, county governments that they have set up meetings with to try to decide which county would offer us the best incentive for moving into their county.”

Benewah County Sheriff, Dave Resser, confirmed that the group purchased 20 acres of land in the county, but he hasn’t seen any other activity, according to a report by Jamie Grey of KTVB on Jan. 17, 2013.

The property, located in an area called “The Benewah” by locals, is currently inaccessible by car due to winter weather. The sheriff said neither he nor the county commissioners have been contacted by any group members.

County Commissioner Jack Buell runs the show in Benewah County, so he would be the person to talk to. Second would be Bud McCall. Both have served as Benewah County Commissioners since the mid 70s and you can be assured nothing important gets by them in their neck of the woods. Whether or not they would be forthcoming about any discussions is another matter. Land deals are still conducted within the bowels of the good old boy network in rural North Idaho, with little concern for Open Public Meeting protocols.

Benewah County has a Constitutional Sheriff

Dave Resser, formerly Shoshone County Deputy, recently ran for Benewah County Sheriff on a Constitutionalist platform and won. An article reposted from the St. Maries Gazette Record indicates that Resser had an epiphany about what his oath to uphold the Constitution really means when he attended the Constitutional Sheriffs Convention with 114 other county sheriffs in Las Vegas last year. Constitutional sheriffs are big on the people’s right to bear arms.

“The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) believe that the county sheriff has the legitimate authority to prevent federal agents from entering the county, or has the power to ask them to leave,” according to the Gazette article by Summer Crosby.

The Constitutional Sheriffs movement was started by Sheriff Richard Mack of Arizona. Constitutional Sheriffs Richard Mack and Jay Printz (Ravalli County, Montana) both filed separate lawsuits that challenged provisions in the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that required police to do background checks on handgun buyers. The sheriffs claimed the provisions were unconstitutional and protested being pressed into federal service. The courts agreed with them.

During his campaign, Resser said he would require all federal agencies to check in with him prior to conducting business in Benewah County. Does that include the BIA? I don’t know if anybody resolved how that Constitutional Sheriff philosophy plays out on the checkerboard jurisdictional reality that characterizes reservation lands in the Western US. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s reservation encompasses most of Benewah county, and the proposed Citadel would, incidentally, lie within its exterior boundaries.

Pow wow dancer at Coeur d'Alene Casino in Worley Idaho

Coeur d’Alene Casino Pow Wow

Relations between Benewah County officials and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe became strained after the tribe’s ascendency in North Idaho’s financial and political circles during the past two decades. Before that, they were too downtrodden to be perceived as a threat. But the success of the casino has empowered the tribal council to pursue a number of initiatives that impact non-tribal people living in the reservation and frankly, those folks have said they are worried the Indians are trying to “take over,” and “steal their land.” The settlers want to retain enough political power to block whatever moves the tribe might make to assert its authority.

The majority of Americans, including constitutional survivalists, are ignorant about Native history and tribal sovereignty, so they tend to parrot the “why should we give anything to the Indians” rhetoric. Perhaps the influx of 10,000 allies is an attractive possibility for the Benewah County power structure.

The American Redoubt

Idaho is part of an area considered a safe haven by survivalists and constitutionalists. Dubbed the American Redoubt, the area that encompasses eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, western Montana, and Wyoming is being promoted as a point of retreat when the banks fail, the power grid goes down, and martial law is declared. Redoubt adherents are moving to the area to distance themselves from the “corrupt influences of the Washington DC Beltway” and to set up a defensible area for when society collapses.

An interview published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch with movement founder James Wesley Rawles, a former Army intelligence officer, says the American Redoubt movement is compared to the Puritan exodus from Europe. “They couldn’t fit in and said, ‘We’re going to move to completely virgin territory and start afresh.’…In effect, we’re becoming pistol-packing Amish,” he said. Manifest Destiny, take two?

Luckily, both Rawles and Citadel proponents are outspokenly anti-racist. If that is the case, there is room for a crucial dialogue between this new wave of federal government-hating immigrants to the Northwest, and Indian tribes whose existence is interwoven with the federal system. A dialogue that is particularly relevant when the armed anti-government resistance plays out within the boundaries of Indian reservations.

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9 comments on “Walled Patriot City in North Idaho is Part of Larger Redoubt Movement

  1. Razor in the Benewah
    January 28, 2013

    So I get called a “coward & liar” And no way to defend myself. Guess we know whos side your on.

    • simpleunhookedliving
      February 9, 2013

      No, all I’m saying is please don’t use this particular place to argue. Use it for intelligent conversation about ideas that address this question: All things considered, how then shall we live? Thank you very much and God bless.

  2. simpleunhookedliving
    January 28, 2013

    The question I want to focus on is: How then shall we live? All things considered, what choices are the most expedient at this time? I am interested in exploring why a walled fortress in the woods is attractive to people, if they have the right to build one, whether such a community could work, and whether the interior boundaries of an Indian Reservation are the most appropriate choice. I’m not going to provide space for personal arguments, which is why I removed Razor’s most recent comments. The latest submission was devolving too much into ad hominem argument which can be done elsewhere.

  3. Kerodin (@Kerodin)
    January 26, 2013

    Razor posted the above email to Cindy Agidius, a member of the Idaho Legislature.

    I submitted an email directly to Ms. Agidius and to date I have not received a reply. To date, not one single person has come forward and claimed any wrongdoing, except for ideological enemies such as “Razor” and Leftist media. Almost exclusively these people hide behind anonymous screen names and never offer a single shred of evidence of their claims. For instance – “Razor” never offered one single name of one person who claims to have been “scammed.” Yet bloggers are all-too-willing to print accusations without demanding a shred of evidence.

    “Razor” did not offer proof or evidence because he can’t do it. He is a liar and a coward. Razor – do you have the integrity to reveal your name to the public? My name is on my work.

    Ms. Agidius: You labeled this project as a scam, and directed your comments at me personally. Yet you have not responded to my email, you have not had the courage to publicly voice your opinion, your Attorney General has not supported your baseless, factless assertions. I am posting my email to Ms. Agidius below to the public record.

    ~~

    Ms. Agidius,

    It seems you are falling victim to hyperbole and deliberate lies from Leftist media and people who have no facts regarding the Citadel Project.

    An email you shared with someone calling himself “Razor in the Benewah” was just published publicly, in which you accuse me of orchestrating a “scam”, and further you seem to think that the Citadel Project intends to settle several thousand families on a 20 acre parcel of land. The absurdity of that premise can’t be rationally discussed.

    Rather than become argumentative regarding your un-informed conclusions and your knee-jerk accusations and defamation that a “scam” must be the answer, we invite you to read and comprehend the actual details of the Citadel Project on the official website. You call yourself a “strong conservative” yet you engage in defamatory commentary without a single fact or a single conversation with any member of the Citadel project.

    I hope you will have the integrity to correct your public record until you have facts.

    Christian Kerodin

  4. Razor in the Benewah
    January 22, 2013

    Thank you for your email.

    This is an interesting subject. I have done some research on this group and I have come to the conclusion that the organizer of this group is most likely trying to scam folks on the internet by asking them to send him $250 to “reserve” their spot in his compound.

    There are several other significant challenges this group would have to deal with, first- I can’t imagine 3500 to 7000 families on 20 acres and I understand no one seems to be able to identify where this 20 acres is. Secondly , the infrastructure for that many families, i.e., water rights that may or may not have to be permitted by the CDA Tribe, a sewer system that would need to meet the approval of the Health Dept. would also be a challenge. When looking at their plans on the internet, one wonders where the money might come from to build such a “Citadel”-it would be very expensive. I just don’t think it is going to happen. Having said that, I am keeping in contact with your county commissioners and will keep an eye on this as things progress.

    Keep in touch and thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent you in the Idaho Legislature.

    Cindy Agidius

    Representative Dist. 5

    Well well. Just got this from another local. Seems to be moving up the food change. Sucks I cant even take credit for this news.

  5. Razor in the Benewah
    January 22, 2013

    ” Mr. Razor has, on occasion through his comments, offered some incentive towards us purchasing quality fire extinguishing equipment for our factory and residences. Seems it might not be just his temper that flares up when he is disappointed with someone in your area. Any suspicious fires lately? ”

    Huh?

  6. James L. Miller, Jr.
    January 21, 2013

    Not a bad job at all. Well researched, you seem to have put some time and thought into this as well as clear concise method of delivery. Some time this year, I’d like to give you a chance to do a face to face with us if you’d like. I think it would be beneficial for all of us.

    One thing I must remind you, Benewah County is but one of the areas that have been researched. We have looked seriously at others as well, but they have managed to stay a bit more covert.

    Plans have been discussed within our organization, but no plans have been made to develop our land in the county as of yet. It is also correct that we have not yet filed plans to do so. Yet. The 20 acres was priced reasonable, and could easily be resold to one of our members, or put back on the market within our community. Consider it an investment as a sounding board, as well as the possibility of a nice piece of land for a very scenically located factory.

    Understand a business of our size does NOT need daily deliveries to remain a viable operation. Does anyone think that we wouldn’t have our own stored supplies for operations in case we can’t get in or out for a few days? Does anyone think we would not have equipment or ability to get ourselves in and out of an area like that? When it comes to snow, does anyone in the area own a snow removing business, and could they not be hired to remove the snow on the roads to our business if we couldn’t do it ourselves? As with any place else on the planet when weather hits, things don’t stop, they just slow down for a few days. How else do businesses in your area handle snow? Do you just wait for it to melt, or do you move it yourself?

    Weather is the least of our worries. Homegrown, self-professed saboteurs seem to be our biggest concern at this point. Mr. Razor has, on occasion through his comments, offered some incentive towards us purchasing quality fire extinguishing equipment for our factory and residences. Seems it might not be just his temper that flares up when he is disappointed with someone in your area. Any suspicious fires lately?

    Based upon some time in your town, and current boots on the ground in the area, the St. Maries area is still a good choice for us. Whether or not the men and women of St. Maries and the rest of Benewah County want us around, want to work with us, or work against us, that has yet to be decided. If we can help put some life into the local economy through salaries, taxes and sweat equity, who really loses?

    Thank you for a reasonably fair article.
    Jim Miller, President, III Arms Company.

  7. Razor in the Benewah
    January 19, 2013

    If your smart you’ll run like hell away from these people. I live here & this will not turn out well for you.

    http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/hbo/2013/jan/18/splc-felon-linked-ni-walled-city/

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