Convicted extortionist a key player in Idaho citadel project

Antigovernment "patriots" are fighting over one man's involvement in a plot to build a walled city near St. Maries

Topics: Southern Poverty Law Center, Idaho, Citadel Land Development, Patriots, Benewah County,

Convicted extortionist a key player in Idaho citadel project
This article was originally published by The Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Southern Poverty Law Center If you’re a band of antigovernment “Patriots” pitching a plan to build a walled city in North Idaho and manufacture handguns and assault rifles there, you might expect raised eyebrows, a little criticism. But potshots from other Patriots?

Potshots, indeed, are flying at III Arms Co. and its sister land development company, Citadel Land Development, the firms behind a proposed 2,000- to 3,000-acre III Citadel complex for as many as 7,000 “Patriot” families near St. Maries, in Idaho’s sparsely populated Benewah County.

The criticism is sparked by the fact that one of the key players linked to the unlikely-sounding venture is three-time convicted felon Christian Allen Kerodin, a Maryland contractor who has apparently used various aliases and whose birth name was Christian Hyman. His wife or partner, Holly Ann Kerodin, has been involved in questionable charity, counseling, publishing and other ventures that have failed, various critics say.

In the past few days, attacks on the much-ballyhooed Citadel fortress and its planned gun-building plant have come from Alabama Patriot leader and blogger Michael Brian Vanderboegh and survivalist author and so-called “sovereign citizen” James Wesley, Rawles. Rawles (who, like many sovereigns, punctuates his name in a bizarre way) generally is credited with coming up with the idea of building a fortified community in the Pacific Northwest — what he has called the “American Redoubt” — for Christian Patriots.

Kerodin, public records show, was convicted in 2004 of federal extortion, attempted extortion and possession of an illegal firearm charges. The accusations were filed in Virginia after Kerodin, purporting to be a counter-terrorism expert, attempted to coerce shopping mall owners in the Washington, D.C., area to hire him to develop better security. He served 30 months in federal prison and now can’t legally possess firearms as a felon.

“Who would want to go live in a community run by this guy?” Vanderboegh asked on his website, where he spends most of his time bashing the federal government. “Not that there’s a chance in hell he’ll even have a viable firearms business … let alone his Citadel (community).”

Rawles, for his part, said on his survivalist blog that he was “quite troubled to learn that the main promoter of Citadel III is a convicted felon.”

Kerodin “seems to imply that I’ve somehow endorsed his venture or that what they are doing fits in with my American Redoubt concept,” Rawles said. “I haven’t endorsed it, and he is not my buddy,” he added. “To the best of my knowledge I’ve never met, spoken or corresponded with the man.”

Rawles wrote that he has “nothing to do with” with the plans to build a walled fortress whose residents would make their living by manufacturing AR-15-style assault rifles and 1911-style .45-caliber semi-automatic pistols. “My only nexus to him is that he chose a piece of land that is in one of the states that I recommend for relocation. He has apparently tried to capitalize on my name,” Rawles said.

This week, Kerodin responded angrily on his blog, saying “Little Mikey Vanderboegh is attempting, once again, to hurt hundreds of Patriots, using me as a weapon.”

He asked if Vanderboegh had enough “courage to ever meet me face-to-face and repeat your written words,” and dared him to show up at a meeting on April 19, the anniversary of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. “Insignificant people like Vanderboegh will always seek to attack the winners in life,” the convicted felon sniffed. “For those Patriots involved in the Citadel project, march on!”

Kerodin has an assortment of antigovernment rants on his blog and talks there about changing his name when he decided to open a “small security consulting firm in the D.C. area.” “Knowing that I was certain to annoy various elements of the violent Muslim world, I went to court and legally changed my name,” he wrote in 2010. “The concept was that when I ticked off the Muslims and they came looking for me, they would not show up at my parent’s home or sister’s home, endangering my family.”

Kerodin’s associate, James L. Miller, who identifies himself as president of III Arms Co., also responded angrily to the project’s critics on the Citadel’s Facebook page. “Folks, we are being slandered by some very disgusting people, and that slander has been furthered by someone a lot of us probably both trusted and respected: James Wesley, Rawles,” Miller wrote.

“Mr. Rawles, without researching a single bit of the cut/paste hatchet job from a cancer ridden, soon-to-expire self-admitted communist, has insulted the intelligence of Patriots all across the globe,” Miller wrote.

Its promoters say that III Arms Co. “exists to help Liberty survive by dedicating revenue to build a community of Patriots, by Patriots, for Patriots. You can find us in the Citadel, Idaho.” Its website continues: “More than 40 American Patriots joined together to form III Arms and to build solid firearms with a purpose: Fighting Arms to defend Liberty,” according to its website, which already is taking orders for assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols.

“The Citadel will be a small planned community of 3,500-7,000 families of patriotic Americans who voluntarily choose to live together in accordance with Thomas Jefferson’s ideal of Rightful Liberty,” the website adds.

Christian Kerodin, listing an address in St. Maries, and Holly Kerodin, listing a Gaithersburg, Md., address, filed organization papers in November with the Idaho Secretary of State for Citadel Land Development LLC. In August, Holly Kerodin filed similar incorporation papers in Idaho and Maryland for III Arms Co., LLC.

Citadel is now accepting $208 “application fees” for Patriot applicants, who must pass a screening test to be accepted in the community Kerodin and his partners say they are planning. “Marxists, Socialists, Liberals and Establishment Republicans will likely find that life in our community is incompatible with their existing ideology and preferred lifestyles,” its website says.

“We hope to acquire our final destination for the Citadel during the summer of 2013, and break ground shortly after,” the Citadel backers say on their website.

The proposed patriot community is stirring a lot of interest and media coverage, spurred in part by the national gun-control discussion. It got a brief recent mention in the far-right Drudge Report.

The St. Maries Gazette, a weekly newspaper in the community, reported this week that county property records show that III Arms Co., LLC, of Meridian, Idaho, bought 20 acres at the head of Cherry Creek in October. “The property is served by a logging road and is not accessible during winter months,” the newspaper reported.

The editor of the newspaper, Dan Hammes, told Hatewatch that he has made repeated unsuccessful telephone and E-mail attempts to contact Citadel representatives. “I’ve gotten nothing back from them,” he said.

Christina Crawford, president of the Benewah Human Rights Coalition, said that many in her community question if the Citadel backers can find enough land and meet necessary water-rights and sanitation requirements.

“Benewah County has had the reputation in the past of being the Wild West, but that doesn’t mean building codes and health requirements will be thrown out the window,” she told Hatewatch. “Our concern is not only for the people coming in, but for the people already here.”

Although the Citadel backers have boasted that they already have several hundred families planning to move to their dream city, there’s no evidence that that is in fact the case. In any event, Crawford said, reports of the planned project have “alerted, I won’t say alarmed, people who live here.”

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 14
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Pilot"

    One of our first exposures to uncomfortable “Girls” sex comes early, in the pilot episode, when Hannah and Adam “get feisty” (a phrase Hannah hates) on the couch. The pair is about to go at it doggy-style when Adam nearly inserts his penis in “the wrong hole,” and after Hannah corrects him, she awkwardly explains her lack of desire to have anal sex in too many words. “Hey, let’s play the quiet game,” Adam says, thrusting. And so the romance begins.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Elijah, "It's About Time"

    In an act of “betrayal” that messes up each of their relationships with Hannah, Marnie and Elijah open Season 2 with some more couch sex, which is almost unbearable to watch. Elijah, who is trying to explore the “hetero side” of his bisexuality, can’t maintain his erection, and the entire affair ends in very uncomfortable silence.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Charlie, "Vagina Panic"

    Poor Charlie. While he and Marnie have their fair share of uncomfortable sex over the course of their relationship, one of the saddest moments (aside from Marnie breaking up with him during intercourse) is when Marnie encourages him to penetrate her from behind so she doesn’t have to look at him. “This feels so good,” Charlie says. “We have to go slow.” Poor sucker.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and camp friend Matt, "Hannah's Diary"

    We’d be remiss not to mention Shoshanna’s effort to lose her virginity to an old camp friend, who tells her how “weird” it is that he “loves to eat pussy” moments before she admits she’s never “done it” before. At least it paves the way for the uncomfortable sex we later get to watch her have with Ray?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Hard Being Easy"

    On the heels of trying (unsuccessfully) to determine the status of her early relationship with Adam, Hannah walks by her future boyfriend’s bedroom to find him masturbating alone, in one of the strangest scenes of the first season. As Adam jerks off and refuses to let Hannah participate beyond telling him how much she likes watching, we see some serious (and odd) character development ... which ends with Hannah taking a hundred-dollar bill from Adam’s wallet, for cab fare and pizza (as well as her services).

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Booth Jonathan, "Bad Friend"

    Oh, Booth Jonathan -- the little man who “knows how to do things.” After he turns Marnie on enough to make her masturbate in the bathroom at the gallery where she works, Booth finally seals the deal in a mortifying and nearly painful to watch sex scene that tells us pretty much everything we need to know about how much Marnie is willing to fake it.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Tad and Loreen, "The Return"

    The only sex scene in the series not to feature one of the main characters, Hannah’s parents’ showertime anniversary celebration is easily one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the show’s first season. Even Hannah’s mother, Loreen, observes how embarrassing the situation is, which ends with her husband, Tad, slipping out of the shower and falling naked and unconscious on the bathroom floor.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and the pharmacist, "The Return"

    Tad and Loreen aren’t the only ones to get some during Hannah’s first season trip home to Michigan. The show’s protagonist finds herself in bed with a former high school classmate, who doesn’t exactly enjoy it when Hannah puts one of her fingers near his anus. “I’m tight like a baby, right?” Hannah asks at one point. Time to press pause.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Role-Play"

    While it’s not quite a full-on, all-out sex scene, Hannah and Adam’s attempt at role play in Season 3 is certainly an intimate encounter to behold (or not). Hannah dons a blond wig and gets a little too into her role, giving a melodramatic performance that ends with a passerby punching Adam in the face. So there’s that.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and Ray, "Together"

    As Shoshanna and Ray near the end of their relationship, we can see their sexual chemistry getting worse and worse. It’s no more evident than when Ray is penetrating a clothed and visibly horrified Shoshanna from behind, who ends the encounter by asking if her partner will just “get out of me.”

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Frank, "Video Games"

    Hannah, Jessa’s 19-year-old stepbrother, a graveyard and too much chatting. Need we say more about how uncomfortable this sex is to watch?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Desi, "Iowa"

    Who gets her butt motorboated? Is this a real thing? Aside from the questionable logistics and reality of Marnie and Desi’s analingus scene, there’s also the awkward moment when Marnie confuses her partner’s declaration of love for licking her butthole with love for her. Oh, Marnie.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Vagina Panic"

    There is too much in this scene to dissect: fantasies of an 11-year-old girl with a Cabbage Patch lunchbox, excessive references to that little girl as a “slut” and Adam ripping off a condom to ejaculate on Hannah’s chest. No wonder it ends with Hannah saying she almost came.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>