The Citadel: LARP for Wingnut Conspiracy Theorists

arTopMag_engrave“Yes, I’d like to live in some teenager’s map of a modern version of a Dungeons and Dragon’s walled city, please. I know it bears no resemblance to anything even remotely defensible from the historical record but I’m willing to pay $208 to a convicted felon for just the privilege of applying, and an as yet unknown sum annually to lease my rather-less-than-an-acre for my entire family. I’m sure that will allow us to be self-sufficient and save us against some as yet unspecified “grid-down, economic collapse scenario”. Rush me my application form now, please, I certify I have way more money than sense!”

That’s got to be the thinking of the rightwing libertarian nutbars considering signing up for The Citadel, a “redoubt” based on a fantasy medieval-style walled town being touted by the likes of FOX News and the Christian News Service today. The Fox story ledes:

No Liberals Allowed: Group To Build ‘Live And Let Live’ Community

A group of like-minded patriots, bound together by pride in American exceptionalism, plan on building an armed community to protect their liberty.

The group, named Citadel, intends to purchase 2,000 to 3,000 acres for the project in western Idaho. The community will comprise of 3,500 to 7,000 families of patriotic Americans who “voluntarily choose to live together in accordance with Thomas Jefferson’s ideal of Rightful Liberty.” …

Here’s the concept map of this libertarian fortified paradise, from their website. It looks like it was drawn for an ahistorical game of Dungeons and Dragons.

Live-Action Role Playing For Wingnuts

Live-Action Role Playing For Wingnuts

This is genuine Live Action Role-Playing for libertarian conspiracy theorists. Although the website says that “The Citadel is not designed to withstand any direct .Mil or .Gov attack. Nor is the Citadel, in any manner, attempting to provoke any government entity”, the funding vehicle – III Arms – prints on the side of every gun it makes (AR-15s, natch) the phrase “if they mean to have a war let it begin here”, uttered by Captain John Paarker, to his Minute Men on Lexington Green, April 19, 1775 in the kick-off event for the Revolutionary war. Draw your own conclusions.

To be a member of Citadel, you must sign a “Patriot Agreement” detailling the terms of residency. The bulk of the terms set out in that agreement involve firearms, the proficiency of everyone in the community over the age of 13 with firearms, self-defense drills and militia preparedness. Despite living in a faux-medieval walled compound, everyone has to go openly armed if they go into the town center – one wonders who they’re meant to be protecting themselves against. Other wingnut citizens who might go off the deep end and are heavily armed, perhaps? It’s certainly not going to be the tourists the website says they hope to attract as an economic adjunct to the arms factory that will be the town’s primary employer.

Tbogg did some reading and discovered that the founder and primary mind behind this venture, and the arms company, is one Christian Hyman, aka Sam Kerodin. In 2004, Kerodin was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and a $6,000 fine for extortion. After setting himself up as a security consultant, Kerodin had tried to shake down shopping malls by publicizing that they were especially vulnerable to terrorist attacks unless they paid him not to do so.

Seriously, what’s not to love if you’re a reality-challenged rightwing libertarian conspiracy nut with a hankering to LARP out your delusions of being a rugged survivalist badass? Of course you can trust Citadel, who only own 20 acres on a mountain in Idaho so far and aren’t even sure that’s where they want to build, with your money…

Jeff and the Protein Wisdom crowd do love it, of course.

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • It’s all good as long as there are no government regulations that hinder freedom-loving fracking development on the site. Hopefully it will be downwind of a Koch brothers-owned coal-fired uranium enrichment plant. God forbid the over-reaching hand of government steps in when multinational agribusiness diverts their water supply in that arid part of Idaho to grow potatoes. Or paves the roads linking their paradise to the outside world. And medicine. Or delivers their mail. The government would probably want to charge for that, and we couldn’t have that now. I wonder why they chose a remote section of Idaho instead of, say, Camden NJ, where they could re-enact the Alamo with the locals? The only problem I see is if someone accidentally discharges a firearm, and they instantaneously go into vigilante mode, killing everyone inside like a Monty Python skit come to Jonestown.

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