The American Redoubt is a strategic relocation movement first proposed in 2011 by best-selling survivalist novelist and blogger James Wesley Rawles which designates three states in the northwestern United States (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming), and adjoining portions of two other states (eastern Oregon, and eastern Washington) as a safe haven for survivalists, conservatives, Christians and Jews. Kim Murphy, a reporter for The Los Angeles Times summed up one motivation for the movement: "For a growing number of people, it's the designated point of retreat when the American economy hits the fan. When banks fail, the government declares martial law, the power grid goes down." The same article identified Rawles as "the guru of the movement."
Summarizing one of his reasons for formulating the relocation strategy, Rawles, who is outspokenly anti-racist and pro-Israel stated: "I'm often asked why I make such a 'big deal' about choosing conservative Christians, Messianic Jews, or Orthodox Jews for neighbors. The plain truth is that in a societal collapse there will be a veritable vacuum of law enforcement. In such times, with a few exceptions, it will only be the God-fearing that will continue to be law-abiding. Choose your neighborhood wisely."
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 inside the Washington, D.C., Beltway... [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." Rawles advocates a gradual demographic consolidation through political migration to the American Redoubt, but predicts that the federal government will "hammer" any states that attempt to secede under the current political order. Rawles also stated: “People who recognize that they are of the [Christian] remnant, that they are God’s elect, will in increasing numbers choose to vote with their feet.”
The American Redoubt concept was endorsed by former presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin, who had recently relocated his entire extended family to western Montana. It also soon inspired the launch of a weekly podcast by Christian Libertarian journalist John Jacob Schmidt, called Radio Free Redoubt, as well as a volunteer network of amateur radio operators called AmRRON (the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network) established in 2012.
In February 2012, The Seattle Times characterized the American Redoubt movement as appealing to "a growing number of people" but, citing unnamed "analysts", concluded that as of that time "not all that many so far" had actually moved to the area. In April 2012, the business/arts columnist for The Ferry County View, a weekly newspaper in Republic, Washington (located inside the Redoubt region) was critical of the Redoubt movement, characterizing it as driven by fear. By contrast, in October 2013, The 700 Club aired a news segment that favored the American Redoubt relocation concept. In an aside, the news story mentioned how the growth of the movement has even inspired the minting of silver coins.
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