A group of American survivalists have proposed the construction of a medieval, fortress-style community in northeast Idaho, reports the Associated Press. The group’s website is calling for “patriotic Americans” to come live together in accordance with Thomas Jefferson’s ideal of Rightful Liberty in this new compound, which it calls The Citadel. It plans to bring 3,500 – 7,000 families together in a remote area about 70 miles southeast of Spokane in Washington State.
Christian Kerodin, the man behind the plan, is a convicted felon who spent 30 months in federal prison after being convicted in 2004 of extortion and illegal possession of a firearm. He was arrested for posing as a counterterrorism expert and attempting to force a shopping mall to hire him to improve security, writes the New York Daily News.
Kerodin presents the Citadel as a place where children will be “educated instead of indoctrinated,” and wants to let all Marxists, Liberals and Establishment Republicans know that “living within our Citadel Community is incompatible with their existing ideology and preferred lifestyles.” The websites writes that the chosen location in Idaho is ideal because of its low population density and wide open spaces, and asserts that those already living in the area will share the Citadel worldview of independence, self-sufficiency, and patriotism. The group plans on providing employment primarily though III Arms, a firearms company dedicated to “defending Liberty and America.” It also hopes to form its own bank with special Citadel currency consisting of gold and silver coins.
The Citadel’s construction has yet to commence, but locals in the rural area of Benewah County are fearful of what the proposed community may lead to. Gary Davis, who lives near the site, told the Associated Press that he’s worried about the type of people the Citadel might attract. “Nobody benefits from having a closed society move into their midst,” he said.
Survivalists first rose to prominence in the 1950s and 60s when many people across the U.S. built bomb shelters in their basements and backyards. However, smaller and more extremist survivalist groups can be found across the U.S. today with many organizations using the state of Idaho as a base. Founded in the 1970s, the Aryan Nations group, known for its belief in white supremacy and Neo-Nazism, was based in the town of Hayden, Idaho up until 2001. Nearby, the Almost Heaven group, a place established as free from government control, existed in Woodland, Idaho, until 2004.