"Survivalist Home for Sale," read the identical classified advertisements placed in several Idaho newspapers last July. "Appraised at $227,000, moving overseas, make me an offer." The ads detailed an impressive array of custom features.
"Survivalist Home for Sale," read the identical classified advertisements placed in several Idaho newspapers last July. "Appraised at $227,000, moving overseas, make me an offer." The ads detailed an impressive array of custom features. These included a commercial propane generator, "freezers with vacuum pack meat," and a 3,000-gallon water tank supplied by a year-round stream. The 2.5-acre property, according to the ads, is completely surrounded by "750 linear feet of 6 ft. high chain link" topped with barbed wire and razor wire.
The Survivalist Home's centerpiece, though, is without a doubt its "bunker," constructed of 8-inch-thick "concrete walls and ceiling, all reinforced with rebar" and "vented to allow air in through filtering system." The bunker's outfitted with a "Halon fire system" and "emergency escape hatch," and fully stocked with a "3 yr. supply of new clothing, food, paper products, cases of canning jars, wheat grinders, Geiger counters, potassium iodine pills, gas masks, chemical suits."
Interested parties were directed to contact "Big Mike" in Kamiah, Idaho.
Big Mike is Leonard Michael Molesworth, a tax protester who was convicted in 2005 of filing false IRS forms and obstructing tax laws. Molesworth stopped paying taxes altogether in 1999, then filed a so-called "sovereign citizen" deed — also known as an "allodial title" — on his own property, basically declaring it a tax-free zone. He also filed unjustified tax liens against local officials, a harassment tactic common among followers of the extreme-right sovereign citizen movement.
Molesworth told the Lewiston Tribune that he was leaving the country because he didn't like being prohibited from owning firearms as a convicted felon, and because his elderly mother, who used to live with him, had moved into a nursing home. He refused to say where he was headed.
"I've just been sitting here waiting to die, waiting for the bomb to hit," Molesworth said. Now, "I'm going to start doing something."