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.

24 Comments

  1. Brette Sterling
    September 5, 2011 at 9:40 am

    And send it to 60 Minutes!

  2. Gary Don Oliver
    September 5, 2011 at 9:52 am

    It looks like building departments are going on the cheat with the dirty cops in many jurisdictions. They care about stealing money from the public and nothing else, especially safety. In my experience the worst criminals in our degenerating economy are the cops. These days cops are hired to make a profit for the government, any way they can, and get rid of those that don’t produce for the government. All governments have become the Godzilla of old Japanese movies. Oregon cops can issue a completely bogus traffic cite, then commit perjury in the most ridiculous impossible lies in court and the judges convict anyway, as if it were both a conspiracy. I know. It happened to me in Oregon. In Oregon, don’t drive in your vehicle alone. If you want to know why, read the posts on: facebook.com/garydonoliver.

  3. Brette Sterling
    September 5, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Look at LA County’s website – it’s motto is “To enrich lives through caring and effective service”!: http://lacounty.gov/wps/portal/lac

    What phenomenal hypocrisy, as they turn LA County into a brutal, totalitarian enclave.

  4. Kaleb
    September 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I dont live anywhere near you guys, but if you decide to band together and fight back with force to keep your land, I will show up with my arsenal and friends to show your county po-dunk pigs what force is. DONT BE DRIVEN OUT!

  5. Tree Thunderchild
    September 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I’ve been making my own power from wind and sun for almost 40 years, growing most of my own food, saving my own seeds.
    I have had Social Services take my child in a fight that lasted over a decade (time not spent improving my living conditions, instead devoted to defending my right to be with my own child, still does not make sense just how that was ‘helping’ him or me).
    In around 40 years of making my own power (used being FORCED to live in town get a car get on the grid buy my food from a store, aka be “normal” to get my son back). I saved around $148,000.00 USD
    That money did not go into the hands of multi-trillion dollar corporations, but instead was used buying things I wanted or needed that PEOPLE made or grew better than I could.
    So that money went to support the local economy, not the mega corporations (my crime I guess that they had to take my child from me so he could not learn from his father?).
    So if the people are not FORCED to support mega corporations (monsanto, coal industry, nuclear industry etc)but instead are supporting each other, then the people prosper instead of the mega corporations? That should be a crime? Americans prospering instead of “serving” the corporations? Where you HAVE to buy their food, their power etc, so you HAVE to pay them for the right to survive?
    And those who sit behind desks who dont have the first clue how to take care of themselves, but force the people to pay taxes that support them…..
    If you have to bet your life on money, you are a SLAVE, these laws are only here to clearly make the population into slaves, and if you don’t like it your a threat to a government out to make you slaves?
    When the government fears the people you have freedom, when the people fear the government you have tyranny.
    So they take my child to force me to conform to a way of life that is completely foreign to me to make me a slave to a system destroying this earth and humans freedom…
    This confuses me, when they did not create me or this earth, both belong to the creator. And if I was the creator of this earth? I think I would destroy all those who destroy it, and the freedom the creator gave us, to serve the creator, not those who’s laws seek to force us to pay others to destroy the earth.
    Creator sent me to this world.
    But I am to serve others instead of my creator?
    Interesting…..
    This government has no cause to fear me, but does have cause to live in fear, of the creator.
    If it cant see that yet, then they need to open their eye while they still can.
    Sorry, but those who destroy this earth WILL be destroyed, that is not my wish, nor the wish of my creator, its what happens when you serve the destroyer. The power they think they hold, is not theirs, and the one who it belongs to, will have those who serve it, pay the price.
    This is not my law nor human law, its the law of the universe.
    I don’t hate those who serve evil in this way, I feel sorry for them.

    • Wil
      June 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Okay….W (rhimes with hut)….T….(rhimes with duh)…F (rhimes with duck)!

  6. Jill Ledet
    September 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    You have got to be kidding me, they are just completely getting out of control, they are not caring, they are exploitive, they want to know how you wipe.

    you can still live in town, and live cheap and organic, and people do it, people have a right to their life and to live holistically, and healthy.

    God what is happening here? Are we under attack again? They are using money as power. They just had a great article about living off the grid, about a farm family, and it was actually admired, why are they turning everything into evil. Oregon is twisted, always has been anyway, backwoods deliverance.
    Just pray that you are passed over, like in Passover. Pray to be invisible. There is something very unhealthy going on.

  7. Mark Bailets
    September 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I went through high school while living in the Antelope Valley. Riding my trials bike through the desert, i would see the self sufficient desert rats dotted at intervals out across the scrub brush. Inhospitable in the summer and liveable in the winter and spring, these desert rats deserve praise for having what it takes to live about as close to free as you can get in this country. It saddens me greatly to hear of their plight. what happens to them happens to us all because the world is interconnected. We as patriotic Americans can nor, dare not ignore their needs and requirements to be left alone and in peace. It is imperative that we unearth the reasons as to why this is happening and prosecute the criminals. This smells like it comes all the way from the sewers of Washington D.C. The people responsible should turn themselves into prison for at least 7 years and the cowardly law enforcement personnel should hang their collective heads in shame for what they are doing. Have they no conscience? have they no soul?

  8. Jill Ledet
    September 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    They are reaching inside your bowels, and pulling them out like in Braveheart.

    • Wil
      June 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      WTF?

  9. SAMUEL TUCKER
    September 5, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    IF STUFF LIKE THIS THING CALLED FREE SPEECH WERE REMOVED I DON’T WHAT I WOULD DO. BUST MOST PEOPLE DON’T CARE BECAUSE THIS DEALS WITH SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE. YOU PEOLE OUT THERE THIS COMMING DOWN BEING LORDS AND serfs FIGHT BACK TOOTH CLAW AND NAIL THERE’S GOT TO BE RULE IN THE CONSTUTION TO USE AGAINST THESE LORD’S. THE ONLY BEING I WILL BOW DOWN TO IS LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. AND IF I WANT TO LIVE IN BLOODY MUD HUT OR TENT OR WHATEVER I WILL DO SO THE HOUSE I LIVE IN COULD BE BLOW AWAY IN A SINGLE STORM ANI’T GOING TO STAY SOME DAMN FEMA SHELTER WITH SOME ASSHOLE TELLING ME RULES

  10. Rono
    September 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    All of u here sem to be free thinkers. And hope, would like to see the USA led by one of us! VOTE Ron Paul!

  11. RadarRecon
    September 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    It’s California. Whada ya expect?

  12. stop the lies
    September 6, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Thanks Obama for your BIG GOVERNMENT. Thanks for spreading the wealth. You know taking money from hard working Americans and giving it to lazy welfare breading machines. I know it was your whole intention to bankrupt our country through the welfare system just like your mentors explained it. Thanks dems for not vetting this foreigner, and ruining our country. If anyone things this is only going on in LA your wrong. Have you heard complaints about prisons being built and then never opened. That’s because they are for us when we don’t conform, get vaccinated, grow your own food. They are accepting applications on the homeland security website. We the Pursecuted.

  13. John
    September 6, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Monsanto wants to criminalize organic gardens

  14. SAMUEL TUCKER
    September 6, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I THINK THESE PEOPLE LIVING ON THE FRINGE ARE ONE’S THAT ARE PROVING HOW EVIL GOVERNMENT CAN BECOME. THIS IS JUST A SMALL EXAMPLE OF WHAT’S IN STORE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE FORCED TO BEND THEIR KNEE TO THE MANY ANTI-CHRIST’S OUT THERE. JUST WAITING NOW TO SEE HOW MANY PEOPLE START STANDING UP FOR THEIR RIGHT’S TO LIVE AS THEY PLEASE. JUST THINK HOW BAD IT WAS IN THE PAST DISATERS WHERE PEOPLE LOST EVERYTHING AND NOW THERE OUT ON STREET WITH NO HOME AND NO HELP AND THEY HAVE TO LIVE IN TENTS LIKE OTHER’S DO IN THE 5TH WORLD?

  15. Rebecca
    September 6, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I keep waiting for them to feel the need to tear down the Kill Bill church… it’s a landmark and a “go to” spot. It’s a harsh environment – we lived about 3 miles from the church until 2009. To me it makes no sense at all…this “code violation” crap. In the city of Palmdale they fine you if your lawn is dead yet if you use too much water (say to keep your lawn green) they also fine you…. always citing ‘neighbors are complaining’. Hell the people that live out by the church HAVE NO NEIGHBORS. It’s complete bullshit.

  16. "'---->
    September 6, 2011 at 10:38 am

    just maybe the indians should start makeing the goverment move off their land an back to england an take whit them the ones back with them that they bought with them it was our land an they stold it an killed for it

    • tracie
      February 22, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      That would be nice and only those of us who want to live as the natives did will help ship them back to england

  17. "'---->
    September 6, 2011 at 10:39 am

    so their for the land dose not belong to them

    • Wil
      June 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      No….therefore the dosage was too high.

  18. billofthenorth
    September 6, 2011 at 11:55 am

    It’s all about gov’t control, code enforcement forces you to spend money for which you need to work and pay taxes on, same with buying health care you don’t want.

  19. Bill Porter
    September 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    It’s our government on the rampage. WAKE UP AMERICA!

  20. steve citron
    September 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Most of the comments I see are really misinformed. I happen to live where so much of this is taking place, and the truth is, it is folks that have found someone’s property not occupied. And SQUATTED on the property. No sanitation, no right to squat there, just find an old travel trailer, or old van/school bus/beat up RV, and squat. The land owner is appraised of the situation, and low and behold, the fact of ownership comes to light, so the county must enforce the trespass law. The squatter moves off, or goes to jail for drugs/making dope/failure to register as a felon/sex offender/children in danger or not attending school. The LAND OWNER is charged with removing the offending trash, fixing the sanitation problem, and the neighboring properties are taken for a huge drag through decending value of property. No one wants to punish anyone for wanting to live a self sustaining lifestyle, just to do so within the law.

    It has cost me several thousand dollars to get the trespassers off of my land, and the Sheriff could not put the female in street, as she had minor children, and that was their own Mother!! So, when CPS took the kids to foster care, the woman went to jail, and was also charged with contributing to the delinguentcy of her kids, but 4 drug charges, and a warrant for “soliciting” outstanding, as well as being in possesion of a stolen weapon, and assualt on a Sheriff’s deputy.

    Many folks here in the high desert of L.A. county live off of the grid, and do so legally with water trucked in, and septic systems CORRECTLY installed. If the sanitation is not kept legal, we get nitrates in our well water, and THAT is the only water we have. In fact we truck in 1000 gal a month for drinking, as the wells are now too high in nitrates from illegal squatters.
    So, the other side of the coin is do so LEGALLY, and you are not just welcomed, but encouraged.

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