The Disappointing American Redoubt

I've noticed a few things since moving to the American Redoubt (Northern Idaho) and I was wondering if I was the only one. I've noticed these things especially among "like minded" people in the area. Some of it is opsec, some of it could be shyness, some of it could be skepticism that we will stay, I'm not sure. But it's taken so far that unless you are family or a very good friend no one will have anything to do with you except for basic politeness and occasional conversation.
  • People are not directly friendly, only superficially friendly.
  • People are clammy and not very open about virtually anything.
  • People are unkind towards people who work in certain fields (my case computers)
  • People are very disorganized. This applies to the outward state of their homes and to the condition of the vehicles. But most of all to organization when it comes to community building and groups of mutual interest like neighborhood protection groups. Not to mention people don't know how to be on time or come when they say they'll come.
  • There is no outreach that is openly advertised.
  • There are no trainers in state that teach skills in a professional, organized, and advertised way from what I can tell. A little part time firearms training school in hidden in the hills doesn't count.
  • Everyone hides of their retreats.
  • Everyone is too busy to take time to network.
  • Ect.
We were told by people like Rawles or John Jacob Schmidt (isn't even using his real name) that there was community and organization up here, but that really only appears to be immediately around where people like them live. We don't see either one of them actively involved in a public (visible, at get together, at large events) way in the community, instead we hear them behind a microphone or behind a keyboard via a blog. We don't see leaders who tell people to come here then let everyone fend for themselves on their own little islands. 
I don't mean that we are struggling financially or even skill wise, but more socially and on a community level. I also don't want to imply I'm not grateful to people like Rawls or JJS, but I think there are a lot of people like us who feel like we moved to the wilderness on our own, especially those of us in the Sandpoint area, there seems to be more activity closer to Rawls and JJS closer to Coeur d'Alene. 
When I say things like "community" I don't mean I need to know everything you're doing. I don't need to know what preps you have or your action plans. I mean people getting to know their immediate neighbors, being friendly, offering to help, inquiring into developing mutual neighborhood protection. Where I live we live down a road, down a road, then down two more dirt roads. But we and our neighbors are isolated enough that we can easily have a community up here in the hills outside of town, We have met 3 neighbors since we moved here in April, they came to us, and pretty much implied we should be prepared and told us a little of their stories, we are like minded, but since then they haven't been back. We have since gone to one of their houses to buy chicken eggs and pork, which is great, but I've asked if we could speak about what the defense plan is for the community and I get stonewalled. The original couple who have been up here since the 70s put off an air of "you won't last so you aren't worth our time" kind of thing, I noticed this type of attitude develop especially after I mention the type of work I do (computer). We've also noticed an attitude toward those who are on-grid from those who are off-grid especially (we are the last one on our road who are on-grid, the rest beyond us are off-grid). It's more of a "you're a wannabe" kind of thing. Sure, my wife and I grew up in the suburbs, but we're not stupid and we learn quickly, we've learned a lot in the few months we've lived here and have been getting along just fine, we have grown our first bountiful organic non-gmo garden with no pesticides or herbicides, we bought a tractor and learned how to use it and several implements to improve the property, we have been cutting down trees and processing firewood, we bought our first 4WD truck and learned how to drive in deep mud, and a bunch of other things we only read about previously. 
So with all that said I want to sum this up and say that I wish like minded folk in the area would not be so standoffish and arrogant. Especially if you are like us and moved here from the city or suburbs. All the great authors and leaders in the movement preach community building at the local level and being good Christians friendly and helpful, yet we have seen the total opposite in many cases and a total lack of organization or leadership. We shouldn't have to jump through hoops and go through initiation to become part of the "community" or lack there of. That type of attitude just causes people to give up, clam up and do the same thing, or just leave for a my realistic community where people actually do what they claim (some places like that exist, but usually in states where the politics in the cites are ruining those states - like NC). Also, if you are going to take the time to teach a course, be professional about it, provide a clean and organized venue, advertise really well, and be on time. We need communities scattered around, not conclaves, not one man army wannabes, not arrogant people who look down on new people who are transitioning and trying to learn. People who want to provide a better way of life and community for their families without turning it into suburbia may apply. 
I know, the first one to complain get's the duty, and I will help, but I'm not a leader, I'm an instigator at best. ;-)
P.S. We did find a church, but even people who moved here for the same reasons are clammy and closed mouth. 
Devin St. Clair (North of Sandpoint off of Samuels Rd) 

I think part of what you are seeing is due to the fact that most people that decide to live out in the hills do so because for the most part they want to be left alone. People closer to town or the city are naturally going to be more social since they are in regular contact with more people. Also there are more people around here that have a do-it-yourself/ self-sufficient kind of mindset. Not that it’s bad to do so but after a while it can start to feel like you don’t need anyone else. But if there ever is a nation-wide crisis event, we ‘re all going to need each other. Humans have always lived in groups and villages throughout history because we survive better when we do so. However people can also be a threat in a SHTF situation (the reason we have prisons today.) There are also plenty of liberals out there that are used to getting handouts from the government. So to some preppers there is a lot of trust that needs to be built before you are seen as more of an asset and less of a liability. Then again there are some people that just want to be left alone and until they see that can hurt them, they will continue to do so.

I agree, we haven't been here long and we decided to just settle down, do our thing, try to meet people as it comes up naturally and get to know the few people we know better. I just hope things get organized BEFORE something goes down... I understand people want to be self reliant, we're in that group too hence moving where we did, but we also recognize a strong need to have some sort of organization before chaos hits. Double chaos won't help anything and could get some people killed. Also, there are some people who have been here a long time I suspect are just full of it and I've been told by other locals that the guy I'm kitting of in particular is, but he has a following. Needless to say, I'm not going to be a lacky following someone who doesn't know what he's talking about. My wife and I are serious, we are actively getting training in every area we can think of from recognize leaders and experts, much of which requires us to travel out of state to sadly. If there are experts in ID for all the various training then they need to speak up, advertise, and get organized. I mean a great example is John Mosby, love his books and articles, but the guy can't even put a training schedule on his website for advanced firearms training (for years now), let alone respond to an email, so we are going to fly out to TN and attend Valor Ridge training. Anyway, eventually if we become knowledgeable enough maybe my wife and I will teach some courses and try to set up something professional instead of ad-hoc "I get to it when I get it" kind of stuff. The rest of the prepper/survivalist/patriot/self reliance community (namely just about the entire western side of North Carolina - Appalachian Redoubt) is making the American Redoubt look bad sadly. The prideful and often exaggerated "self-reliant/individualist" thing won't cut it for long, one man armies don't work. But we believe it can change, are still happy to be here, and hope people get on board. 
Mike, the above was by no means an attack toward you or anything, it's more observation if anything about the lack of organization we've seen here. Bar the self reliant individualist thing, even the "professionals" who teach courses and the like here are virtually non existent or incredibly bad businessmen/women. We want to be an asset, we are working hard towards that, we have been for a few years now, but since moving here we've gone into hyper drive and have been learning lots of skills and practicing them. Thanks for responding, I thought I just opened my big mouth and everyone is going to ignore me.  ;-)
God bless,

Hey, Devin!
Having lived in Black Mountain ("One Second After"), NC, I can relate to what you are saying.
And, what Mike said, above, is very true. 
The circle I was in during the 90's there was not the circle I'm in here, now, but it's true - there were plenty of attended (& advertised) classes.  Bulletin boards were rampant in the Asheville area and folks always had choices of what & where.  Networking was a common term and occurence.   Many - if not most - attendees were in their 30s & 40s, with an occasional older hippie thrown in.
The folks - like myself - that have ended up here in "this" movement are often 60+ and retired. 
Yes, folks are more to themselves here, that's for sure.  One neighbor finally nodded his head to me after ten years, and we "speak" now, after nearly 15.
There are groups, but under the table, in many cases.  I can tell you of several "leaders" who have been tailed, harassed, bugged & threatened.  Ruby Ridge is alive and well in many memories around here, and many of us outspoken folks have learned to keep a lower profile . . . More of a Francis Marion than a George Custer.
We've met, you're here at this site, and, by showing up at our gatherings (See you Thursday?) you'll meet more folks and other groups.  It's a slow, nibbling process, and the best way to approach it is to ASK, in person!

No offense taken, just friendly discussion. I understand your discouragement, if only we could pick our neighbors beforehand. I fully agree we need to be more organized before something happens. I also agree the North Carolina – Appalachian area has some very good things going for it in terms of leadership and community that I would like to see more of here. The only reasons I chose Idaho instead is because there are so many nuclear power plants upwind in that area and a greater population surrounds. Hope you have fun at Valor Ridge, that looks like it should be some good training :)

Russ, yeah I've been learning some of that. Someone I know from NC actually knew a lot of the history of the different movements up here and explained it to me recently, very interesting. It's too bad most of the "leaders" who started said movements ended up being total fakes, liars, cheaters, frauders, and sell outs. But with that said I don' think that is representative of the people who have come up here. I won't be able to make the meeting Thursday, but possibly another time, I work a lot (from home) and it's hard to get out, especially with a 3 year old. But I may pick and choose some classes that are of interest, I wish there were some closer to Sandpoint, but understand everyone is spread out. If I ever learn anything well enought to think I can teach it I will let everyone know. ;-)

Mike, agreed. We also moved up here for the same reasons, population and distances from cities. Not to mention politics are much better here. We plan to homeschool our daughter too and the laws here are virtually non-existent, especially compared to NC. I mean we can even go buy raw milk (the few places that sell it in our area). Not to mention the few gun laws here. Oh, and defensable terrian (NC has it too). My wife and born and raised in TN, I lived there 12 years, so we do miss the Southern hospitality down there, but that isn't to say people aren't friendly here, they are more so polite, it's a mixture. None the less we're just going to continue to work at it and see what happens.

By the way, if any one is interested in advanced radio comms in the field (things like improvised antennas and the like) then NCScout from the Bushbeater blog is going to be giving a course in Hailton, MT in September. I'm excidely going, NCScout has a great blog with great information about a number of subjects but especially Ham Radio, he is a recent former Army SF Scout too so he knows his stuff. You do not need equipment or even to be a ham to attend the course, he states it is not a ham radio course. 

Here is the sign up info: 

Devin, once you've taken that class, I'd be really happy to have you share it with our INWPrep, CERT, Oath Keepers & Ranger Rick's groups.  That's how a rising tide floats all ships!

"People are not directly friendly, only superficially friendly."

Nothing quite compares to the smiling "blah blah blah, Bless her heart" knitting needle in the back discussions rampant in the south, so this is in no way unique to the American Redoubt.  My heartfelt advice is to get out more, expand your contacts, widen your horizons, and employ discernment.  There are, literally, people who will do anything for you.  The old adage, how do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  Contribute 110%, expect to get back 50%, and folks will trust you enough to give you 200%.  Make the time to participate, it will be worth it!

I may just do that if I feel I retain enough of the information learned to instruct people (want to do it justice). 

As for making my self get involved, you're right. :-)

Devin, thanks for starting a great discussion. 
Makes me ponder things I hadn't considered before. I definitely didn't think there were similarly-minded "prepper" types out there that would keep to themselves and make you "prove yourself". It's one thing to not want to disclose everything about yourself the first time you meet a neighbor, but to treat you as if you need to "prove yourself", "earn your stripes", "pay your dues", etc, etc is lame at the very least. Those people are NOT real preppers because if they were, they'd be reaching at any opportunity to strengthen the local community. At best they're poser wanna-bes. Maybe the so-called people "in the hills" want to be left alone, but the issue here is trust. I want to be away from people too to a certain degree, but that doesn't mean I go down in a bunker and only come out every week or two. Someone like that cannot be trusted in a SHTF scenario. At that point it becomes about me getting to them first before they get to me because who wants to have that kind of doubt in their mind. You don't just wake up one day after SHTF and sing kumbaya with that neighbor. If they're assholes right now, bet you they'll be 10x the assholes after it goes down. Little cliques are for Jr High and High school, not for grown-ups. In fact I'll go as far as to say that your biggest immediate threat will probably be from those types as opposed to any kind of gov't coming after you. Also remember many of the people out here, yes even in the boonies, are originally from California (myself included, kind of) so take that for what it's worth. If you look down on people all your life, chances are you will continue to do so because there's always someone that has less than them, is less skilled/educated at something, looks and dresses "less" than them. They move everything up here except for their attitude. I'm not up in Sandpoint but it's full of them all over PF and CDA so chances are good you're going to run into some of them in the most liberal city around here (no offense). Just remember the more contacts you make, the better your chance of surviving any kind of societal collapse. Don't convince yourself those people have any kind of excuse to be that way, they don't. Just take mental note, or on paper and work on getting your skills up. So don't sweat it man, there are plenty of decent folks in this group that are more than willing to help. I'm in the same spot as you in terms of getting to the meetings, but every time I've gone it has been great. Also, consider getting involved with some HAM groups, there's one in Hayden and people have been very friendly every time I've gone. Keep your spirits up and just be patient, good people will come your way over time, they're out there. 


INW Preparedness Training Community

Powered by GroupSpaces · Terms · Privacy Policy · Cookie Use · Create Your Own Group