This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. (Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and Wyoming.) Much of the region is also more commonly known as The Inland Northwest.
Today, to bring any new blog readers up to speed, I’m presenting a special re-post of a background piece on the American Redoubt movement, by Alex Barron. It was originally published at the Charles Carroll Society web site in 2013, under the title: “The American Redoubt, Who the Players Are”.
I should also mention that Alex Barron has announced his candidacy for an Idaho State Senate seat. I believe that he deserves your vote.
The American Redoubt, Who the Players Are
The American Redoubt concept was created and popularized by the prolific writer James Rawles of Survival Blog dot com. Initially, Rawles advised people for preparedness reasons to migrate out of large cities, away from either coast to low population density areas. James Rawles packaged these ideas in what he called his Precepts of Rawlesian philosophy with his list of the most preferable States to migrate too. This is a very important piece for those studying the Redoubt movement. It spells out in very articulate terms what the issues are from a preparedness perspective, and forms the basis of the philosophy of the political American Redoubt. Of particular note in our fallen, politically correct culture is Rawles precept that racism ignores reason.
Eventually, James Rawles begin to advise people to move from increasingly militant socialist states for political reasons. If your family has no existing rural roots, James Rawles suggested moving to the “top three or four” states from his most favorable preparedness list, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana for political reasons. He coined the term American Redoubt to explain this concept. The American Redoubt a simple concept, it is called political migration.
In an interview by G. Jeffrey MacDonald published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Rawles was quoted as saying: “It’s time to distance ourselves from the vile corruptness that we see…. [The American Redoubt movement] is analogous 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.” There are many groups who have done this over the years including the Puritans; Native Americans moving West to escape the European colonization (I guess forced ethnic cleansing, but again I hope you get the point), Americans of African descent escaping the Southern forced racial apartheid system (racial migration?). Many, many groups move because of various reasons including political reasons. The American Redoubt is libertarian leaning Christian and Jewish traditionalist politically migrating from militant progressive secular states that are becoming increasingly hostile to their Christian based western culture.
The basic goal of political migration is to escape areas that are hostile to your culture and build new more benign communities. The political theory goes that if you start with States that are already overwhelmingly conservative libertarian, friendly to Orthodox Christian culture with fairly well maintained budgets and motivate enough like-minded patriots to move there, you could make them even “deeper” red state full of liberty-minded people, essentially redoubts of traditional American culture. All are welcome, no one would be asked to leave, but practicing conservative libertarian Christian and Jews are encouraged to migrate to these Rocky Mountain States. And this approach appears to be bearing fruit.
Sierra Crane-Murdoch reports in an article about Kootenai County, Idaho, “To outside observers, it may have appeared that the county swung along with the nation’s political pendulum. American voters leaned right in 2010, awarding Republicans a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. But in Kootenai County, Idaho, something far more enduring than partisan realignment had tipped the scales.
As English put it, the 2010 election marked “the end of an era” — not only politically, but demographically. Conservative newcomers, primarily from Southern California, had helped quadruple the county population since 1970. Allied with conservative North Idahoans, they systematically transformed the local politics. Pundits predicted that Californians’ migration to places like Kootenai County would have a moderating effect on the politics of the Intermountain West. The newcomers “are finding work in jobs unrelated to the traditional timber, mining and agricultural fields,” observed Timothy Egan, a Western correspondent for The New York Times, in 1993. Egan suggested that these “lifestyle refugees” would cause an “environmentalist tilt in the [Western] electorate.” But he overlooked a key detail: The counties from which these refugees came were the most conservative in California. They were, in fact, the birthplace of modern American conservatism — home to the John Birch Society, early evangelicalism, the 1978 tax revolt that led to property-tax limits in Proposition 13, and two years later, Reagan’s election to the presidency.
In 2014 the political shift continued. In an election cycle where the establishment Republicans savages the conservative libertarian wing of the party, out of eight contested legislative races in northern Idaho, seven ultra-conservative challengers and incumbents (aka Tea Party) won against more moderate Republicans. There are many groups and communities that are moving to the States of the American Redoubt. The overwhelming number of these organizations have no official connection with the American Redoubt movement but their motivations to set down roots in these areas that have low population densities where they can practice their orthodox and traditional Christian faiths are noteworthy.
Anabaptist. The Anabaptist seek areas that are somewhat removed from population centers where they can practice their Christian faith in peace and isolation. Montana has had a continuous Amish presence since 1974. The state’s five communities range from the oldest at Rexford (Lincoln County) in the state’s mountainous northwest corner to Rosebud County in the eastern Plains. Amish first settled in Montana in 1903, though that pioneer community has since ceased to exist. The current group of Montana Amish settlements includes four communities founded in the last fifteen years. The West Kootenai area, lying a few miles from Canada, is home to the oldest Montana Amish settlement. Rexford holds a yearly school auction in late spring. Saint Ignatius, Lake County-The single-congregation St. Ignatius community also features an annual school auction. Small Amish communities are also found in Jefferson, Fergus, and Rosebud Counties.
The Hutterites also have long had colonies spread across central Montana.The Hutterites practice an extreme form of Christian community-based living and are absolute pacifists. The 19OCT2009 issue of the Mennonite Weekly Review reported that there were three Mennonite congregations in Wyoming with a total of 92 members. The two largest congregations were the High Prairie Mennonite Church in Carpenter (founded in 1991; 2010 membership — 52) and the Rawlins Mennonite Church in Rawlins (founded in 2002; 2010 membership — 30). Both congregations are denominationally affiliated with Nationwide Fellowship Churches. The third was a Church of God in Christ, Mennonite congregation, with ten members, in Washakie County. It is of use to point out that there are small numbers of Catholics in the American Redoubt who follow the Anabaptist model who are called Plain Catholics.
Catholic. One of the largest enclaves of traditional Catholics in America is based in Post Falls, Idaho. The Post Falls area has a parish, and K-12 boys only school staffed by the Society of Saint Pius the X. When the Catholic Dominican Teaching Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus of Fanjeaux from France looked for an unspoiled place to start a traditional K-12 school for girls in America they choose Post Falls, Idaho. There is also a parish staffed by the Fraternity of Saint Peter in neighboring Coeur d’Alene. One of the largest communities of Catholics who follow Sedevacantism is based nearby in Saint Michael near Spokane, Washington. When a large and growing order of cloistered (separate) traditional Catholic Carmelite monks searched for a remote area to start America’s first new traditional isolated monastery they choose Cody, Wyoming and named it the New Mount Carmel. The separate traditional Catholic Carmelites Sisters of Carmel of the Holy Trinity have their convent in Spokane, Washington. When a new traditional Catholic college that refuses all subsidies from the federal government looked for a place to start an independent university, they choose Wyoming, and it is called Wyoming Catholic College. It is the only college in America where cell phones are banned, but guns are encouraged.
Protestant. An influential pastor Chuck Baldwin moved his entire extended family to Kalispell, Montana and started Liberty Fellowship. His church is now extremely fast growing. There are many conservative Protestant Churches spread across the American Redoubt, and you can find them here. Also, there are a number very conservative Mormons and Mormon Fundamentalists living in North America, most of them in the Intermountain western states. They often remain hidden from most people because the federal government has persecuted them for their practice of polygamy.
This is not a complete list by far of the various social-ethnic religious groups who have made their home in the States of the American Redoubt. This also does not include the significant amount of conservative yet non-religious people who are politically active in the States of the American Redoubt. Each of these groups for their independent reasons decided to settle on the idea of moving to the conservative-libertarian, low population density Rocky Mountain States.
Back online, the idea of the American Redoubt was gaining popularity. Guerrilla America AKA John Mosby a Special Forces combat veteran who provides combat training courses to patriots and lives in the American Redoubt. He also runs his blog Guerrilla America that focuses on military tactics and support of the American Redoubt political migration concept. John Mosby, Samuel Culper and others grew that first blog into Forward Observer magazine.
John Schmidt an Army Special Forces veteran started Radio Free Redoubt, building a blog and a weekly podcast. John Schmidt continues his podcast but also now broadcast his John Jacob Schmidt show on traditional AM radio out of Spokane on KTW 630 AM. John Schmidt also started the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network (AmRRON) which is a network ham radio enthusiast who leans toward conservative libertarianism and support for the American Redoubt. John Schmidt and AmRRON run an annual disaster training exercise they call T-REX.
My name is Alex Barron. I am Navy veteran who has spent a lot of time overseas working at various Naval aviation and intelligence commands. I wanted to combine the American Redoubt political migration concept with a “hard Catholic identity” twist making it a take on the Catholic Land Movement. I called the blog the Charles Carroll Society in honor of Charles Carroll who was the only Catholic who signed the Declaration of Independence. On the blog, we have reoccurring themes of our own family’s journey from suburbia to the American Redoubt, the politics of why we are moving, homesteading and more self-reliant living. We have reoccurring segments such as Jackboot which documents the ever-increasing police and surveillance state, soft secession which are various ways for people to withdraw from this corrupt and unsustainable system and fight back against soft tyranny, the American Redoubt or Patriot Darknet (AmRD) where we share methods to communicate more anonymously and privately with computers and the Internet.
The Charles Carroll Society has a weekly podcast that I try to put out every Wednesday. I call the podcast and myself the Bard of the American Redoubt. I use the term bard, as a wayward vagabond carousing through clubs, bars and churches both spreading the word that we live in uncertain times in a nation that is increasingly hostile to your faith, so what are you going to do about it?