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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Be careful who you follow, or admire, or get drawn in by.

I have not been a follower of Paul Wheaton, but am aware of him, slightly. This story was pretty eye opening, and we know that there are many crazies out there. This guy is about as narcissistic as they get. We have seen this kind of cult leader mostly as religious leaders. I would have imagined his set up to be an option for people who are looking for a community that is self sufficient and an escape from mainstream America.

The responses, which I am not including, are interesting as well, as they often can be.
I tried to change out the f words, but sorry if I missed any!

This guy has to realize that he was lucky to get out. Not everyone sees losing a situation or relationship as a blessing.

https://www.reddit.com/r/77nm7e/two_years_under_a_permaculture_slumlord (self.Permaculture)

submitted 5 days ago * by 40647906

There is enough detail and drama to fill a reality TV show. A modern feudal landlord clashed with his peasants. A tiny lively village is now a ghost town. Yet, unquantifiable value was still gained, regardless of how hard we were scammed. I invite you to come to your own conclusion. Ant village may be the perfect place for you to hunker down under a dictator, drink some rotten koolaid, and waste your savings.

In Fall 2015 I moved onto Paul Wheaton's property called Ant Village. I rented an acre to compete in the Ant village challenge. I built a cabin and lived in it. Two years later, at the end of this summer, Paul took actions to evict a couple of us in the village, threatened others, and most everyone has left. At one point I considered Paul a friend. But now, the guy forced us out of our self built houses. So I will attempt to share all the dirty secrets over the course of a few posts.

The tenants of Ant Village formed a union in the middle of this summer. We had three major concerns.

  1. Be less secretive (aka culty). Residents were prohibited from making friends with neighbors off our property. It was presumed that all people in Superior were evil and were out to get Paul. And if we made contact with them, they would remember we existed and come to get us. At one point I mentioned at a potluck that I talked with a guy in town who was building a passive solar house about my underground cabin. Paul exploded at me, often yelling, for thirty+ minutes about his psychotic paranoia. Before moving onto the property I was not aware of the secretive rule. We were not allowed to tell people where we lived. We were supposed to say "near missoula" an hour away. Even when friends and family visited I was supposed to tell them they had to be secretive and give them a form letter to read.
  2. Negotiate long term rental contracts. The plots were rented on a verbal contract. Which still qualifies as a contract in Montana. But it makes it much harder to have any future certainty. Paul threatened to raise the rent on one Ant when he came by to make a video for his profit. The Ant said Paul either had to pay or could not video. We had no idea what rent would be in a few years. It was likely to keep going up as we improved the village. We were likely to gentrify ourselves out because we had no wages.
  3. Earn Wages. Residents were prohibited from holding a job in town. We were not allowed to leave the property more than twice per week. We could work for Paul, but he only paid in scrip. Paul created a currency called fysh. Fysh were stored in some unknown ledger. It was always a mystery how many we had. But at least I did not have to pay rent this year because I had some mystery fysh from repairing vehicles. Those fysh could be used to eat some rice and bean meals. Many residents resorted to eating at the food bank.
Montana Tenant Law protects tenants that form a union. We weren't doing anything illegal. We were just voicing an opinion. And pointing out that certain rules were illegal. It is illegal for a landlord to evict or retaliate against somebody for forming or joining a union. It is not like we called in some national unionizing body. This was an adhoc union just for the simple legal protection. Paul held all the power, and we felt that maybe, if we came together he would realize and reason with us.

Anyway, Paul's lawyer forced us to leave. He claimed we were not tenants and had no legal protection. He even did it during the Sunrise forest fire when we were away and it would be hard to get legal advice. Ant Village had been under evacuation for several weeks. Paul and his lawyer gave us 30 days notice when we could not even be in our homes. We did not have access to our belongings or know when we could get them. It took a few weeks before I was able to get some straight answers from a lawyer. The tenants lawyer I spoke to said we were definitely tenants. Paul had to file a legal eviction with the sheriff. It is illegal to pay people in scrip. A landlord cannot prevent you from holding a job. By the time I spoke to her I already made up my mind to get out and had planned a move. It was not going to be worth the costs to take Paul to court. Instead, I publish this information hoping that less people in the future fall for his scams.

Random facts, gossip, and opinions

  • People were allowed to build their own composting toilet only if it was pauls design, which is a fail.
  • The poop barrels still had visible toilet paper and poop 2+years later. Nothing composted.
  • This does not meet the county's sanitation standards (which even allows for outhouses).
  • We were only allowed to eat organic food. So the poop would be organic.
  • There is a structure with ~50 barrels of human waste stored called the willow candy warehouse.
  • Paul has the most natural stockpile of human waste around. Maybe he has a scat fetish.
  • Mice would climb in and out of the poop barrel. Flys would easily go in and out.
  • Every time we entered the lab (property were ant village is) we had to open a huge metal gate.
  • The gate was locked. The lock would get iced up and stuck regularly.
  • We had to immediately relock it behind ourself. Keep others out... or us in.
  • The ant village challenge prizes were removed because one competitor had to go be with his father as he died of cancer during the competition's winter.
  • The bermshed had two collapses during construction. One worker fell through the roof during the collapse. I heard pictures of sagging and broken timbers were censored from permies.
  • Paul threatened to kick out one of the Ant's girlfriend because she would not listen to 200 podcasts.
  • Paul would not visit the lab for 2 months at a time in winter. Paul never stayed on the lab after dark.
  • I have never seen pauls overalls dirty
  • Paul closed a historically public road that crosses his property. It accesses national forest and connects two rural neighborhoods. It has rightfully upset many longtime neighbors.
  • A third forest service road that accesses the lab mysteriously (paul minion?) had ditches dug in it and trees fell across it to keep people away/in.
  • The earth bermed cabin known as Alerton Abby(or wofati 0.7) should be condemned. The building is unevenly sinking. There is massive deflection in supporting beams (>6 inches). The doors constantly don't work because they become out of square. The spring snow melt caused a mud slide that collapsed a section of retaining wall. Rodents live in the walls and shit everywhere (including on the cookware). There is too much dirt on the roof! At least double what is recommended in Mike Oehler's engineering tables. Some sections of the roof (where the low points of each gable meet) have ~5+ feet of dirt on top of them.
In July 2017, the sheriffs department raided our property. A visitor had reported somebody's children to CPS. I think all 8 of mineral county's deputies, 2 highway patrolmen, and a forest ranger stormed the property with warrant. And hands on their guns. They kept referring to the property as "the compound." They would ask every new person they met where their guns were. They seemed to think we were a militia. It felt like this could be the next Ruby Ridge. We were all put under temporary arrest until all the children were found. CPS was willing to set this woman up with shelter in town for her and her children. They also said she could bring her kids back once she had 4 walls a roof and a door for them to live in. I hear that Paul said she could no longer be on the property because he did not want the government checking on them. Sounds like discriminating against a parent with children.

Nice things

  • Few other places I could have gone on such an adventure for 2 years.
  • Paul let me sell my cabin. It fetched $900.
  • Paul finally paid me real dollars for a bounty I completed in 2016.
  • Jocelyn hosted and cooked for tasty potlucks
  • I'm probably a spiteful dick for writing all of this
We used to get along all lovely. But now I got kicked out. And maybe you guys wonder why all the ants stopped posting on permies. Its because wheaton labs is a slum city. And anything not inline gets us shadowbanned from permies. I am now off the property and can speak freely. **** permaculture and **** my permaculture reputation.

Jim
 

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I'm purposeful wording the following in generalities for OPSEC.

I was a member of a club that promoted a sporting type activity. A team of married couples were the Leaders, Organizers, backbone and did 80% of the labor. Everything progressed smoothly and the club continued to grow until a new member offered the use of his property.

The use of the new members property would allow for more parking, more participates, more everything. The Club voted, approved moving to the new location and a handshake deal was reached with the property owner.

The Club provided all of the money and all of the labor to rebuild.

The Club's philosophy was they were doing this activity for fun for it's membership and as long as the club's finances broke even they were happy.

All went well the first few years until the Property Owner saw the opportunity to make money and said, "Thank you for the improvements and Goodbye" to the Club.

Think you can trusted that friendly 100% supporting acquaintance, friend, business partner or family member? That's wonderful. GET IT IN WRITING!
 

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Those were some interesting series of events. I see lots of people lead astray by charisma or the promise of hope. Heck that is how Obama got elected, twice! Either I am too cynical or too headstrong or too independent, but I am not one to follow anyone else that hasn't proven themselves to be worthy of my trust. I am more likely to start up my own cult, or militia, or society than to join one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Those were some interesting series of events. I see lots of people lead astray by charisma or the promise of hope. Heck that is how Obama got elected, twice! Either I am too cynical or too headstrong or too independent, but I am not one to follow anyone else that hasn't proven themselves to be worthy of my trust. I am more likely to start up my own cult, or militia, or society than to join one.
I can see you as a leader of one, and some of us would think you are pretty trustworthy. As humans, we all have our flaws and weaknesses. Power is something that many people can not handle.
 

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I am lucky, I have land, so I can build & work on all these things with out being a someone mercy. Well there DW, but that not likely to change after 33 year.
Besides she has a contract that sides she gets at least half of everything I own.:rolleyes:
 

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I can see you as a leader of one, and some of us would think you are pretty trustworthy. As humans, we all have our flaws and weaknesses. Power is something that many people can not handle.
My official title at work is Deputy Chief of Administration, which means I run all the day to day operations of my agency and everyone but the Chief of Police answers to me. I am the youngest DCA in the history of my department. When the Chief offered me the position I was disinterested. I asked him why he wanted me to be his DCA (a pretty powerful position that usually went to someone in their 50's with 30+ years on the job) and he said I had a proven track record of success and because I did not seem to want the promotion. He said he did not trust people who were too eager to climb the ladder and too confident in themselves. He also said he liked that I was a government employee that did not like the government. He considered that a sign of common sense and integrity. :)
 

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I went over to permies.com . that paul guy is all over it. Reading his post he really thinks his poo don't stink. Just reading what he wrote makes me want to punch him in the face. Condescending, arrogant, completely full of ****, all ways i would describe him!
Also i agree with Crabapple and the chief!
 

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A few years ago our church was told by the state (and our insurance co.) that if we wanted to opt out of gay marriage requirements we had to have a church vote and add it to our church bylaws. This was more of a protective measure against lawsuits than anything else. After some discussion we voted by a 97% margin that requests for same sex marriage would be denied under most circumstances. We also voted at the same time that you had to use the restroom that matched your biology. Again, just as a protective measure.

A very charismatic and well loved College-Ministry Pastor did not agree with the vote and started to quietly try and garner support for his way of thinking. Eventually he thought he had enough followers to bring the issue back to the table. Like many left leaners he way overestimated the resistance he would face and he decided to jump up on his high horse. The church rejected not only his attempts to make the church "tolerant" but also his continued employment. Convinced his high horse would lead him and many of the congregation to a newer more enlightened church, he rented a space and opened his own. To my surprise approx. 30-35 people left (many of them young couples and/or college students) to join him with several others considering it. More people than the number of people who actually voted against the measures. Our lead Pastor made it clear that we would not be focusing on politics, tolerance or other feel good social justice measures in our church. We would be focusing solely on Christ Jesus. That ended the departure. The new Church of Political Correctness (as I called it) even picked up a couple dozen or more new members and seemed like it might actually take off. However after a few months the pastor of the Church of PC soon learned that no matter how charismatic he was or feel good his messages were, if no one put money in the collection plate they could not pay the bills. Soon they were forced to close up shop. A few people came back but most joined other churches, surely in part out of embarrassment. Some just stopped going to church anywhere. That pastor is now a salesman for a local product distribution center and has services in his basement for the 5-6 people who stuck with him. So you're right Weedy, be careful who you follow.
 

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I went over to permies.com . that paul guy is all over it. Reading his post he really thinks his poo don't stink. Just reading what he wrote makes me want to punch him in the face. Condescending, arrogant, completely full of ****, all ways i would describe him!
Don't ya just hate it when Red beats around the bush, about how he feels.

;):)
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am a fan of the Fouchomatic off grid family on youtube. They went to Weaton labs for a perma culture class and did a polite but definite don't go there video.
I have watched some of their videos and haven't seen that one. I am going to go look for it. If I find it, I will post it here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
This video? I just watched the video. They are doing their best to be diplomatic and to keep themselves from being sued by P.W. I don't need to go check P.W. out after their warning.
I have a friend who over the years was offered jobs at two different schools where friends of mine had worked. Both schools had narcissistic, abusive leaders. I told friend, but she was sure it would be fine. In both instances, it was what I had warned her about, and in one, it was so much worse, that she quit in February.

 

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I have to be honest, I had no idea what permies was, who Paul Wheaton was or any of the other drivel discussed in this thread but I will say it sounds like a pile of crap. I wasted 5 years working on another person's property and preparing in a group on a private owned piece of land for a BOL until purchasing our own homestead property and even then hoped that we could simply expand into two BOLs in separate locations. As soon as we moved onto our place the person who owned the BOL blew up over trivial BS and our moving our property off of his land and it ended the relationship. OPSEC had been blown over the years anyway by people who came into the group and then left after not towing the line so it really didn't matter in the end anyway. I made a thread about the failure of the Group and BOL idea but can't find it now that this forum has moved. Anyway, these collective group things almost always fail for one reason or another and either become communistic, socialist,(which is pretty much the same thing)run by a totalitarian or just plain fail due to non participation or lack of opsec.
 

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Bad idea to build on someone else's land anywhere or set up self reliant anything there either. Here in Australia anyway you have no legal rights and they can kick your WA tootsie to the curb any time they like unless of course you have a fairly iron clad legal document specifying terms and conditions.

We have been offered 3 like opportunities or so they were called. Option one was to build on others land and grow all the vegies and food and build a home. The couple involved in this could not work in an iron lung and can't even keep their house tidy or for that matter habitable in my opinion.

Option 2 build a home on a property with others also doing the same thing, husband is not adverse to polygamy at all, but obviously I am. Council is trying to access their land as they have built an illegal dwelling on it and so have others so when and if he does let them on the property the most likely outcome is that all the homes there will be ordered to be demolished and council approval sought.

Option 3 to build a home on a couple's property and do all the vegetable gardening and food growing. Couple have themselves a really rundown property that they don't have the money to renovate and the wife cannot cook in the kitchen at all as the husband has pulled it apart 2 years ago to renovate it and it is still the same :rolleyes: .

All I can say is no way and no how are we taking up any of these options and if anyone else is thinking of joining a community then my advice is don't do it as it will all end in grief in the end :D .
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
The idea of having a group is altruistic and could be a great way to potentially survive in a SHTF or End of the World as We Know It situation, if all parties can work together in a good way. If there were to be a leader, it takes someone who can do it in a fair way.

One of the problems with groups will always be OPSEC. If I belong, I will want my family to be able to come when it hits the fan.

There is a man who runs a group in south central Colorado, whom I met briefly. He has a property in a fairly small city where people in his group meet up. He is a retired contractor and with his sons, has built a decent compound a few miles away, that only his family knows the location of. Every family involved is expected to have X amount of preps. He told me that people in his group have been together for years, and at a certain point he did a surprise visit to all of his members. He wanted to see their preps. Well, guess what? Some were way behind in the requirements, expecting that they would depend on other members. The members had all contributed to a common source way south, and he returned all of their contributions to them and dismissed them from his group.

One thing he suggested to me was to store lots of salt. It is really inexpensive, can be used for preserving and may become as precious as gold again.
 

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Salt, sugar, coffee, liquor and chocolate are things you can trade even if you don't use them yourself. Chocolate bars don't keep well but the powdered chocolate milk mix does. Bakers cocoa keeps well too and you can use it to make chocolate treats with too. The other four are easy to store.
 

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In England you can rent lots(allotments) for gardens.
I have land & thought about doing something like that, but I did not want to have to refer disagreement & most people in driving distance of the land have land for garden.
So I never did anything.
Not good OPSEC.
 
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