We took the Christian Exodus website offline for a few months as an experiment.
When Christian Exodus began in 2004, it was simply a social networking thing that went viral before things like Facebook and YouTube existed. The whole idea of people of like mind coming together via online communication and alternative media; and organizing for planned migration, community living, and political change, was something rather new at the time. Many people have contacted us over the years, agreeing with the vision, but most of them unable to follow-through, due to things like mortgage debt and other entanglements.
What happened on the ground was very chaotic. Many people were moving to South Carolina, and acclimating themselves to the living situation there; but the personality type that was strong-willed and independent enough to move, was also the same type which does not play well with others. The closer people were living together, the more they were realizing that they didn't really want to live together. Theological disputes, personality conflicts, and other difficulties led to various confrontations and disagreements. While people unfamiliar with the situation were calling us a cult, those who were actually involved in the movement were so averse to authority, that there was no real cohesiveness. Many were also privacy freaks, and simply didn't want to be contacted by anyone.
The original vision had some degree of success, as there were people moving to the area, getting involved in local politics, and working to interpose and nullify government oppression. A good example of precisely the sort of thing that was originally envisioned, was enacted with some members who got involved to support a campaign to nullify Federal REAL ID, which mandated various biometric enhancements to State Driver licenses. When this was successfully nullified by South Carolina, other States followed suit, and the Federal government backed off on the plan. We found that there were deeper issues with our average membership, however.
There was a sort of Catch-22, where many of those who were willing to leave behind their home and employment, and extended family and friends, to move to a new place; were the sort of people who didn't have a home or job, and had already exhausted their social credit with family and friends. Those who were more responsible, and the sort of people who would be more agreeable to live with, usually already had a good thing going with a nice home, local sources of income, and commitments to extended family and friends; and so were not inclined to move.
So we changed direction, and sought to organize a network of independent Christian communities, regardless of whether they were in the South Carolina upcountry or not. We also tried to emphasize principles of independent living (self-employment, living without debt), that would better prepare people to be able to move, when the time came.
Over the years, the world also changed, such that online virtual communities of like-minded people became a common thing. This is a world disconnected from reality, however; as these social networks do not necessarily translate into actual boots-on-the-ground living-and-working-together communities of like-minded people.
As a test, the website was taken down for a while, to see what remained without it. People continued to communicate with each other, live and work together, and random people even contacted us, asking to join (how they got the contact information with no website I don't know.) So we will be putting up something new soon.
Keith Humphrey <firstname.lastname@example.org>