A right-wing "comedian" is planning to set up an armed compound in rural Idaho, and neighbors are concerned.
Owen Benjamin, who appeared in movies and TV shows before pivoting to right-wing podcasts, bought land in Boundary County where he intends to invite "internet friends" for various purposes, which have included camping, military training or living a back-to-nature lifestyle -- much to the chagrin of nearby residents, reported The Daily Beast.
"This poses a clear and present danger," said a Vietnam War veteran who lives near the land. "This is a commercial enterprise offering training in weapons and tactics and not a use allowed in this zone. There is no conceivable reason to allow this use. If we wait too long, it will be too late."
Benjamin told fans a year ago they could enjoy a "two-weeks vacation" on the property, which he calls "Beartaria," for $400, but then cautioned that his idea was more of a concept than an actual place.
"Don't plan your life around Beartaria at all," Benjamin told his fans.
Neighbors have pointed out the property has no access to utilities and is connected to a crude, narrow road that is maintained by neighbors who simply add more rocks to it, and they're worried about the possibility of organized military training that Benjamin has talked about.
"If you try to squat on my land when I offer you campgrounds, I have my own paramilitary squad," Benjamin said in one video.
"I'd have my own private paramilitary force, which is always a good thing," Benjamin said in another video.
But he insisted to The Beast that he was only joking.
"I do not have a paramilitary squad," Benjamin said in an email. "I was making a joke as a comedian. Unless you consider my goats and chickens a military."