Is Living Off the Grid now a Crime?

Over the years we’ve covered numerous examples of how government officials from around the world have been systematically targeting those who choose to live an off the grid lifestyle.

From targeting self-reliant homeowners with antiquated zoning laws and regulations to forming special zoning boards that are designed to force people back onto the grid, there seems to be a war against self-reliance, and sadly it seems like the government is winning.

Off Grid Home with Solar Panels

Throughout the country government agencies are forming so-called “nuisance abatement teams” designed to intimidate and force Off Grid homeowners into giving up their land or abandoning their lifestyle. Believe it or not, people are actually being fined and jailed for choosing to live an off-grid existence.

Living off the grid declared Illegal in many areas of the United States

From Costilla County, Colorado trying to ban people from building off-grid homes or camping on their own land, to the federal government actually trying to make it illegal to live in a tiny home or off-the-grid RV, there are a growing number of government agencies attempting to regulate this lifestyle out of existence.

While the mainstream media continues to ignore the problem, a couple of independent media organizations and a few reporters have taken notice, and over the years we’ve tried to shine a spotlight on the problem. One of the first cases we covered was the story of how Off Grid enthusiasts in California were being harassed and targeted by their local government officials.

The deserts of Los Angeles County, California used to be a sort of mecca for those looking to live a more self-reliant lifestyle. But just like so many areas of the country, these Off-Grid residents are being targeted, arrested, and intimidated into to hooking back into the grid.

A couple of years back, Reason Magazine took a film crew out to one of these secluded desert towns in California and filmed some of the off-grid residents. From being threatened with jail time if they didn’t hook back into the grid, to actually being thrown in jail because the county didn’t like the look of their homes or land, the people in the deserts of Los Angeles County are being terrorized by their local government.

Instituted in 2006 by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors’ Nuisance Abatement Teams have been targeting and jailing residents for victimless misdemeanors and code violations.

Code enforcement teams have been hitting unincorporated areas of L.A. County hard, leaving local off-gridders unsure of what the future holds. Residents are scared that they may lose not only their homes but their freedom as well.

It’s a sad day when living off your own land becomes a crime. Please spread the word because cases like this are increasing at an alarming rate.

29 Comments

  1. Maggie Spruill
    September 3, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Goodness this is fast. Agenda 21 of the giant 2,500 page Obama Health Care Bill, passed by Congress so then we can see what is in it! Surprise, Agenda 21 is buried in there. It coincides with a UN ruling on Rural land that can be confiscated. We ain’t seen anything yet! Heartsick

  2. Sam
    September 3, 2011 at 10:09 am

    why do i get a feeling that this is somehow tied right into Agenda 21? its either that or back room deals to make the rich richer.

    where i live in the Bay Area, you cant do a thing to your home or property without pulling a permit. the county wants a permit for everything and will red flag you for the smallest infraction. this is how they make their money and they want more and more.

  3. TheNorthernSurvivalist
    September 3, 2011 at 11:16 am

    If born in a hospital, you are only free for a few hours at best. Then the parents are threatened by “authorities” if they do not get a debt certificate for their child they go to jail and the baby gets sold on the human slave market by the CPS and their funder Dyncorp. Freedom is inside you, but outside the rabbit hole it’s just an illusion.

    • Wil
      June 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      WTF…%$#@&*?

  4. Jetgraphics
    September 3, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Welcome to the People’s Democratic Socialist Republic of California, where that which is not mandatory, or forbidden, requires a license.
    Of course, since 1935, no enumerated American has the legal standing to absolutely own land as private property, it is reasonable that “Nuisance Abatement” be used to clear land of its current holders.
    Go read law. It should be available at any county courthouse law library.

    • Bob Lee
      March 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      Wow! You have it really great. Here everything is both mandatory and forbidden, with or with out the required license.

  5. Christina
    September 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I was forced to obtain electricity. I am in my early adulthood years. I do not own land at this point in my life. I rent. It is against county regulations in Oak Ridge, TN. to rent a dwelling to a tenant without them first obtaining electricity. I do not wish to have electricity in my home. I am a converted anabaptist, ( mennonite ) and this violates my religion, I do not want these ties to the world. I am not totally against the use of electricity, I do own a generator, and a few items that run on electricity. I just don’t want the house to be hooked up to it, and become a slave to it, and the world again.

    • WTF
      September 20, 2012 at 3:11 am

      But your “religion”lets you be online making yourself sound like a retard? Do us all a favor and STFU!

      • Sharon Bailey
        September 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm

        Why would you be so mean to this person who does not want electricity. This person is entitled to speak their mind and live the way they want. And to worship as they please. Why does their contribution intimidate you?

        • Sasha Densikoff
          May 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm

          Because WTF is a sheep like all the rest, and is intimidated by someone else that might think differently to them. Their thoughts and their resultant hate on this random person who simply wants to not have hooked up electricity (which is fair enough and doesn’t affect anyone else at all) is a result of the mind control the government has put in place.
          Hate everything that is different!
          We have been brainwashed to turn on each other! Lets turn that around and view the differences of others as a fascinating thing, and an opportunity to learn about it, rather than laugh at it.

  6. dyarb
    September 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    If this is their land and they bought it free and clear then why don’t they sell it to the county association. I haven’t seen where they were offered any money for their property. Why are they trying to run these people off their own land. I would offer to sell them the land for a really large amount of money. If they don’t want to buy it, then they should leave the land owners alone.

  7. frank sherman
    September 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    we owned some lots on lake granbury for several years,we used them for vacations, and would park our motorhome there for three or four weeks a year. later we put a large camper trailer on the property,hooked up to public water and electric.after hurricane ike washed our town away on bolivar penn. we moved a mobile home onto the property to live here full time.thats when the BS started.we needed a septic system.we called a company that does this and got a permit.they dug a test hole and said we could have a regular septic tank and drain feild for about thirty five hundred.when thet started to install the system they said there was to much rock and we needed a green system. the price went up to fourty five hundred. when we tried to get a permit the county said we needed an arobic system.now the price was sixty five hundred.after their inspector came and looked at the plans they decided we needed another fifty feet of land for the sprinklers so we had to buy another lot for three thousand.the price went from thirty five hundred to ninety five hundred. just to take a dump!! we need a few more regulations, say maybe for the amount of air we breath (take short breaths they are cheaper)now i want to install solar panels but i will have to put up a privacy fence so they wont offend the neighbors.and guess what? i need a permit for that to.

  8. RockingHorseGuy
    September 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I’ve always looked at the building permit process as the government’s way of keeping any eye on their property, that you rent from them. No, you don’t own your property, unless you have gone through the Land Patent process described above.

    If you rent, you must continue to pay rent, or you will be removed from your property. If you are purchasing your home, you must continue to pay the mortgage payment, or you will be removed from your property.

    But once you have paid off your mortgage, you must continue to pay rent, (property taxes), to the true owner of your home, or you will be removed from your home. Now, the amount of the rent is always determined by the value of the property, so if you want to make improvements on the government’s property, of course they want to be involved, to make sure that the improvement is one that they approve of.

    Once you pay them for their approval of your plan to improve their property, then they come and inspect the improvement, and add it’s value to the value they have listed for that particular piece of their property. Now their property is more valuable, due to your making improvements, and they can raise the rent to reflect the increased value.

    And you thought this was a free country. Don’t forget to pay the rent on your vehicle, either. Keep voting for Republicrats, it’ll only get worse.

  9. HH
    September 3, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    A lot of my neighbors are refugees from California and are just that. Left with what they could from an over regulated system and came here to Missouri where in the county you can do pretty much whatever you want without permits. I wired my own house… the extent of code? The power company asked me to make sure I had a ground rod on my end. The hobbit lady down the road? Lives in a prefab garden shed lovingly called the hobbit house. Other neighbors store water they get from the creek or when its dry buy it from me. There are a few old timers living in cabins you could only access by horseback that never have had running power or water and.. they like it that way.

    Its not zoning. Its not code enforcement. I doubt it is even because they stand to make money off the land. They fear you. They fear anyone who can stand on their own and tell mother government “I do not need you” They know if a mixed bag of “desert rats” can do it others will go.. “Hey we do not need the government either”

    You have the right idea. I work in communications. I know how fragile the system is. I ask people “what will you do when you wake up and flip the light switch and the light does not come on? When there is static on the radio? When your cell phone says no signal? The gas station is out of gas? The grocery store is closed? Then what? The infrastructures set up to bring us these resources are more fragile than people think.

    • Sasha Densikoff
      May 6, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      If this was Facebook, I’d “like” your post. :D
      I think you’ve got it there in one, mate!

      I do not live in America (thank fk, lol!) but since Australia seems to follow and copy closely what America does, (even the failed things, go figure) I am always deeply interested in what goes on in your country. They’re trying to bring in fracking here, did you know? I hope it never goes ahead. I already know of it’s dismal failures.

      I am trying to make others think of those sort of questions as you just stated (what would you do if you had no electricity, no internet, no mobile service?) but I am often though of as some conspiracy nutter instead.
      Oh well…it’ll be easier just looking after myself, anyways. :)

  10. sharpinla
    September 3, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    How dare you live free and independent of the corporation.

  11. Russell Malcolm
    September 4, 2011 at 12:37 am

    The basic flaw in all thsi is that these SERVANTS are just that, SERVANTS. Our servants they do as we instruct, they do not control us, dominate or have any authority over us. Who the hell gave the mandate to them because WE the bosses did not? Im in NZ and have had a gutsfull of these empire building buracrates thinking they are in control. Wrong! wipe the parasites out, buy whatever means.

  12. THatGuy
    September 4, 2011 at 1:34 am

    before everyone gets up in arms talking about the government apocolypse and all that self righteous Slippery slope “the world is black and white” mumbo jumpo, I’d like to remind you that the Government is not one big horrible monster. its several people with several opinions (thousands or millions more like it) doing A job. For instance the Gov. people who give me my drivers licence are not these horrible people, and the president or congress is not responsible for a few county officials getting the wrong idea about their responsibilities and being stupid. In fact thats WHY the nation government gets so involves, because its citizens are so intent on screwing each other over. People murder, steal, or take advantage and harrass each other so the government has to make laws. I Believe in small government, but if you act like the Government is some evil monster that is trying to perpetuate itself through the suffering of others, you are an idiot.

    Government exists because people are generally horrible to each other. Dont blame America for this, Blame Americans.

    • John Frye
      January 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      On a basic level, I agree with you. The government was established here to see to our needs and to protect our rights. Where we differ in opinion is that I believe that the government was established “By the people, for the people”. The government seems to have gotten that backwards. GREED is the source of our problems. Greed for money, greed for power, greed for land, and greed just for the sake of greed. If “We the people” want it to stop, we have the power to make it stop. VOTE! Vote on every law. vote at every election from the dog catcher on up. Find out who the bad boys and girls are and never let them hold office again. Probably just as important, make sure EVERYONE knows why people are being voted in and out of office. The people have many powers. We can removed officials, law enforcement personnel, judges, just about anybody but it won’t happen if we don’t make it happen.

  13. Terlingua Girl
    September 4, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Come to Terlingua TX (Brewster County TX) we’re off grid friendly.

    • Bob White
      March 18, 2012 at 4:06 am

      Hello Terlingua girl:

      I am thinking about buying land in Terlingua and raising goats. Is that viable there? Also is there a community of any sort there?

      Thanks,

      Bob White

  14. Dusty
    September 4, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Land of the sheep … Home of the slave … that’s what the want of us and the ‘sleeple’ are all the while oblivious … sad

  15. Dale Bennington
    September 4, 2011 at 6:47 am

    We do not have to worry about those In Washington if they want the land give it to them thats just less tax dollars they get.

    Most Importantly always remmeber any thing our tax dollars buy

    we the American people then own. Jsut Look right now to any city county or goverment building or lands own by GOVERMENT.

    No re taxes can be collected. This is simple The Goverment can not tax its self. They are in fact insolvent they dont own anything its owned by We the American People

  16. Amsoil, Phil Beigbeder
    September 4, 2011 at 7:12 am

    You can feel the end times, we own nothing……you do not own your car, just the right to use it…..read the fine print….I feel that the grinding machine that defines present day life is about to choke on it’s own volition …it may be the best thing to happen in a long time

  17. frank sherman
    September 4, 2011 at 8:06 am

    i donate two days a week to a group called people helping people we run a thrift shop and use the income to give food to the needy.i recently spoke to an elderly lady who could not afford her house anymore but had a small peice of land.she set up a tent and fixed it ut to live in.this was a wall tent and was very sturdy.she is very independant and able to care for herself.we gave her furniture and camping gear to make it liveable.i just found out the county condemed her land because she had no water or septic system.they moved her into a shelter were she has no say about her life at all.the look in her eyes told the whole story,she wont last very long.our goverment is so good at making our decisions for us. please say a prayer for this poor lady who just wanted to be left with her pride and dignity.

    • tracie
      February 22, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      Tell that lady she can come build a cabin on my land in Alaska if she can handle the winters. We fish, hunt and chop wood. Plenty of supplies tell her.

  18. Suzette Gordon
    September 4, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I love this site and want to share with my friends. I wish these people would have filed a class action law suit against the government.

  19. dave
    September 4, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Nate wrote “My land lord can’t even walk onto the property I own without notice.”

    Nate, if you own the property, you no longer have a landlord.
    I started complaining about this shit 20 years ago when it took me 3 days and cost $400 to have 4 screws put into a wall thanks to Sacramento Bldg. Dept.

  20. Angela Rios
    September 4, 2011 at 10:11 am

    How are the government’s actions legal? Who is policing BIG BROTHER? These people are living off their land, and not living off the government. What’s wrong with that? What next? Are they going to target gardeners and force them to destroy their tomato plants? We can’t allow the government to continue their bullying! These government thugs should go after those corporations who are polluting the earth with their toxins, such as Monsanto who is polluting our food supply and our topsoil, the water companies for putting chemicals in our water (when they could easily purify it through distillation), and all the others who are spraying chemicals in the air and destroying nature. Talk about a nuisance; I am offended by this toxic warfare and it is infringing on my health as well as the health of all Americans and ALL of nature. THIS IS WHAT THEY SHOULD FOCUS THEIR EFFORTS ON FOR THE WELFARE OF ALL AMERICANS. Picking on those who are self-sufficient and simply living on their land, not bothering anyone is thug mentality, trespassing and bullying people to destroy their property! I don’t believe the story about neighbors complaining either; it’s just an excuse. PEOPLE NEED TO STAND UP FOR THESE PEOPLE AND THEIR RIGHTS TO STAY ON THEIR LAND AND KEEP THEIR PROPERTY.

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