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Lawyer and “practical prophet” Russ Voorhees designed Heritage Farms 2000 as a refuge from the anarchy he believes will result from the Year 2000 computer bug. According to its Web site, Heritage Farms offers its sanctuary for only the nominal deposit of $1,000 on a five-year, $10,000 lease to begin on Jan. 1, 1999 (assuming the dollar is still worth anything then). Where is this paranoid’s paradise? Not in Sully County, South Dakota. Though originally deemed the “perfect” site by its planners, the county planning commission rejected the application to develop this “model village for the new millennium.”

“They didn’t really have their ducks in a row,” says Karen Wilcox, Sully’s planning and zoning administrator. “The whole thing seemed kind of shaky…. People were concerned.” In fact, she adds, “We filled the courtroom that night.”

Concerned, but not, it seems, paranoid. According to Wilcox, Voorhees could point only to “lots of interest” in the project, not to any lots leased–in fact, he didn’t even own the land.

The Heritage Farms 2000 Web site calls the rejection of a permit a “snag,” and claims that the residential site will be “ready for move-in by the summer of 1999.” For her part, Wilcox is unconcerned about the glitch that may end civilization. “I mean, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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