The III Citadel Controversy - SurvivalBlog.com
The name "III Citadel" came into the limelight last weekend, when The Drudge Report posted a prominent link to a CNS article by Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr.. In a nutshell, a man identifying himself as "Sam III" who is somehow loosely associated with III Arms (a legitimate company, in West Virginia) started a patriot community building project, somewhere east of St. Maries, Idaho. When I first heard about it in November, I made just one short and noncommittal "this sounds interesting" mention in my blog. (A post which I just removed.)
Two days ago I was quite troubled to learn that the main promoter of Citadel III is a convicted felon. (That, according to the SipseyStreetIrregulars blog.)
In the III Citadel web page and blog, Mr. Hyman /Sam Kerodin / Christian Kerodin / Sam Kerillion / Sam Hellesponte / Sam III / Nom Du Jour seems to imply that I've somehow endorsed his venture or that what they are doing fits in with my American Redoubt concept. I haven't endorsed it, and he is not my buddy. To the best of my knowledge I've never met, spoken or corresponded with the man.
For some background, see:
"Citadel." Convicted extortionist's latest con gets huge play on Drudge.
Three-letter frog in Kerodin's pocket? Anecdotes of the Kerodin career. A convicted extortionist. Turns out his real name is Christian Hyman.
Again, I have nothing to do with Mr. Hyman. My only nexus to him is that he chose a piece of land that is in one of the states that I recommend for relocation. He has apparently tried to capitalize on my name. According to the SipseyStreetIrregulars blog, Mr. Hyman "persuades folks to invest" in the project. My advice: Beware of III Citadel!
In closing, I should point out that III Arms is a separate entity and to the best of my knowledge they are a legitimate and reputable company. - J.W.R.
As I've mentioned before, I share some strong reservations about the Citadel community plan and the group's leadership. (Namely, Mr. Kerodin.) Our friend Patrice Lewis, who lives in the same county, recently wrote a cogent summary, in her excellent Rural Revolution blog. Some of the comments that follow are thought provoking.
A fundamental flaw is that they plan to lease shares in a walled community, rather than sell clear title to individual lots. Without private land holdings by the individual members, this wouldn't be much more than a hippie commune--albeit a heavily-armed hippie commune.
I know the region quite well. In fact, it is not far from where my first novel (Patriots) was set. The subdivision, zoning and permit requirements in Benewah County are favorable to development. (Much better than in adjoining Latah County, where there is a 40 acre minimum parcel size, for subdivision.) There are now permits required and a building code is enforced, but agricultural buildings are exempt.
Outside of the sprawling National Forest, the only large tracts of land around there (usually no more than 640 acre sections--see the checkerboard pattern of sections in the Forest Service maps) are mostly held by the big timber companies such as Potlatch. The largest tracts and the most affordable (per acre) are mostly in high elevation country which have serious access problems in the winter and are pitiful, agriculturally. (Again, because of the elevation, which means a short growing season.)
Generally, the big tracts of land don't go on the market until after they've been logged. Bit I must mention that these days, the loggers no longer do many clear cuts, and they have special cutting plans required near streams.
While I do recommend the lower-elevation portions of the region, I don't think that the current Citadel plan has much chance of success. And as long as ex-felon Mr. Kerodin is in the leadership, I cannot endorse it.
jrs - something I ran across