Be Wary of Intentional Survival Communities

One of the latest trends rising out of the prepper “movement” is a number of intentional communities coming to the surface. As far as I know, all of the ones I’ve seen mentioned are still in the planning stages. Glenn Beck recently announced his plan to build such a community.

At first blush, many of these projects sound like heaven on earth. Self-sustaining communities providing all their own food, with medical clinics, schools, shops, you name it. Each family has a home, presumably a newly constructed one, and neighbors who by definition would also be preppers.

Here’s the reality check though. First, these things aren’t cheap. To secure your spot will likely require an investment of several thousand dollars at the minimum, probably more like $15-20k. Most preppers I know don’t have that sort of liquid cash on hand.

Second, to pull this off, the company putting this together will need to gather quite a number of investors. What happens to all that cash you’ve tossed into the kitty if the project never truly gets off the ground? Do you have any idea how many lawsuits are filed in this country every year against contractors who failed to fulfill their end of the bargain? And those are just run-of-the-mill home remodels and new constructions. Here, we’re talking about the creation of an entire town, essentially from scratch.

Third, let’s say they do actually get everything built and folks start to move in. Who’s in charge? Despite claims to the contrary, there absolutely must be some sort of government in the community. There have to be rules or laws put in place, with consequences for those who violate them.

One of the things often trumpeted around with these communities is that their schools will teach the “truth” and they will work to “deprogram” children. Ok, but who are the ones decided what is the truth to begin with? What happens if you don’t agree with them? Sometimes I wonder if “deprogramming” just means swapping the software for a different one.

I’m not saying these intentional communities are an inherently bad idea. As my regular readers know, I’m a big fan of community preparedness and such. My concern though is if you are thinking of signing on with one of these groups, you need to do your homework and go in with both eyes wide open. Look at it from all angles and make the decision that is best for you and your family.

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

4 thoughts on “Be Wary of Intentional Survival Communities”

  1. Hey, I live in a neighborhood of people who are not totally aware, and I don't think I can depend on my neighbors a lot if TSHTF. So a purpose-built community appeals to me. But those who are creating these also need to build them in economically-viable areas, because not everyone who is going to move will be retired. They need to be in an area where a working person can find a job.

    1. either that or make them fall backs ( think "Helms Deep) in small agrarian areas where people can flee to incase of an emergency and vacation to before then , people in these plans would have already needed to contribute time or finances into the building of these communities and developed skillsets for fullfilling roles in them after a "shtf" scenario

  2. Your last paragraph should have been your second to avoid your post coming off as it did.
    If you’re not poo pooing the idea of the intentional community, don’t spend the whole post talking about the ‘zomg what-if!?’ only to end the post with “They’re probably not crooks, but – juss sayin…”

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