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The Free Will Haven concept for an intentional community has already been proven! A beta test site was established two years ago by an early partner to the Free Will Society, Ascension Arts, which was a consultancy firm specializing in issues relating to off-grid living owned by a stalking victim. They used their own limited funding to purchase a site which followed many of the guidelines established by Mr. Sweeney and the Society for good privacy/security. Meanwhile, Mr. Sweeney, himself homeless and living in a Motor Home, had taken up a similar remote rural location made available to him by friends. He was at that time, also being regularly stalked with harassment tactics by members of a drug ring unhappy with his interventions in their affairs.
While intending to instead join in at the Beta Site, the operator of Ascension declined to share the location out of fear, it is presumed, that if others knew the location, the project would fail once stalkers learned of it. The contention is basically flawed, because anyone can access County Public Records and learn of property owned under any given name search. It appeared symptomatic of other issues, however, as the operator also broke off all communications with Free Will Society after the Society provided money intended to help pay for installation of electrical power. This is explained only to be clear as to why Mr. Sweeney was not present, even as the operator had arranged for at least one other stalking victim to join in the venture and share the burdens.
The Beta Site successfully operated for some two years without stalking even though both residents had been habitually stalked even when relocating from one community to another, even where the communities were somewhat rural and lightly populated. The Beta site was well buffered in this respect, and counting Mr. Sweeney’s stalking-free location, over 2,500 stalking free victim days were logged. The concept works.
However, the operator also seems to have failed in some managerial way, as they have since been evicted for some kind of contract violation. Within months of that, Mr. Sweeney’s hosts where he was staying had to withdraw their support that they might sell their farm. Mr. Sweeney is therefore now looking for an ideal property for a new, full-blown Free Will Haven capable of supporting a large number of TIs in an intentional community. However, unlike the beta site, the full guidelines will be adhered to as best may be possible. Where the Beta site was purchased sight unseen and was not in a very pleasant location with respect to weather, Mr. Sweeney will be taking more care.
The original Beta site (above image) suffers the problem of having two homes within 600 feet, which is not sufficient in most cases to assure a secure feeling of total privacy. It was also directly accessible by a main highway frequently traveled day and night. The thick trees of the site helped, eliminating line-of-site and at least giving the illusion of privacy. But the property was long and skinny, and thus somewhat indefensible from observation should anyone stand at the property’s side edges. The weather was not great at the site, known to be quite dry and unable to supply rainwater the operator intended to rely upon with a special filtration system. It was also not terribly warm, the average high temperature less than 60 degrees.
Compare that to this ‘ideal’ but raw, unimproved site, which is actually a hilltop location accessed by an old logging road rarely used by anyone but hunters, which dead ends on the property. As the road winds about the base of the hill, good advance warning of anyone approaching is afforded, and fairly steep and heavily wooded terrain provides additional insulation. The nearest building of any type is miles away, and there are good, large open areas already served by the roads as shown in red, suitable for structures and growing crops, etc. Where the beta site was just about 1 acre in size, the hilltop location is some 20 acres, with only about 4 acres of useful area, keeping the cost roughly the same. The fly in the ointment, however, is that there is no power available on the logging road, as one might suspect. This site was chosen for illustration, only, of the kinds of issues considered in evaluation for privacy and security; it is critical that residence not only feel secure, but actually be secure.
Meanwhile, the Society is also looking at more costly solutions that would be much better than even the above. There are economically depressed farms and ranches available in Missouri, for instance, which are fully developed working properties capable of financial viability. Many include lakes or ponds, or waterway access right on the property, and all manner of wildlife from foul to mammals and fish; a supply of food provided by nature. It is possible to acquire as much as 160 developed acres for less than the cost of a decent home in the big city. Alas, we would require a significant donor, to acquire such a property, as no stalking victim is ever likely to be able to have suitable credit or cash in hand for such a transaction, and the Free Will Society is not likely to be in any different a position for quite some time. Sigh. Update: big things afoot. See newer posts.
Free Will Haven Life Style
The game plan for occupancy calls for residents to commonly arrive in some form of RV vehicle in which they may live short- or long-term. A typical RV is self contained, having everything needed for comfortable living for up to four persons, except there is little floor space for standing about as a group. They even typically have an on board generator for electricity, and their own large water supply. Residents would then be encouraged to consider building a Tiny Home of some sort for their long term comfort, should they like being able to have such floor space. Mr. Sweeney has established a very interesting page on RV and Tiny Homes and intentional communities for those wanting to learn more.
A tiny home would tend to feel more like a house because it actually looks like a house both outside and inside… just smaller. Those so electing would then be free to sell or rent their RV to a new resident who might find that a better option than buying one at their point of origin and driving it a long distance to the site. Having an automobile on site would be an advantage for shopping purposes, and be the preferred mode of travel over distance to say, a motor home or towed RV trailer. Tiny homes themselves, however, also tend to be portable and towable, once constructed, enabling the owner to take it with them if and when they left, or make it available to a new tenant by renting or selling.
That is important, because part of the Free Will Haven project intends the community to serve two additional primary functions beyond a place to live safely among people with common experiences. One of these, is to become a hospice, a temporary get away for stalking victims on an experimental basis, in part to let them prove it works to their satisfaction, but also, to hold courses in the defensive arts of privacy and security, such that should they return to their original homes, they will fare much better against their adversaries. It is hoped very few will see the need to stay indefinitely, and be able to return to society once more, perhaps with the aid of a completely fresh start in a new identity, akin to a witness protection program. Mr. Sweeney can help with that, too.
The other intention, is that Free Will Haven become a kind of factory, where the product is new Free Will Havens elsewhere in the country, and even abroad (if the reader lives in another country, by all means contact Mr. Sweeney about establishing a chapter, there). Residents who master the method of our madness who may have wanderlust or feel they would like to help spread the benefits, would be free to take their homes with them to found new communities of like purpose, elsewhere. Thus, as hospice, we would also welcome visitors from afar who wish to live among us for a time that they might do just that.
Anyone wishing to be a resident of Free Will Haven must first join the Free Will Society. To actually apply for residency will require a fairly detailed process to insure it does not turn out to be a mistake, either for them, or for the project. It not only insures compatibility of expectations, but of personalities. A careful review of the applicant’s personal situation is undertaken to look for any pitfalls which might otherwise go unconsidered, until too late. The success of relocation is of utmost importance to all concerned. Learn more, here.