Neighbors Fear Bear-Themed Compound Will Be Next Ruby Ridge

Alt-right comedian Owen Benjamin wants to create a “refuge” for his “internet friends” in Idaho. His neighbors, however, worry the rural site will become a scary militia haven.

Owen Benjamin

An alt-right comedian’s plans for a remote patch of land in Idaho have terrified his neighbors, who fear it could become a hostile compound or mark the start of a new Ruby Ridge-style standoff.

Comedian Owen Benjamin once had a moderately successful Hollywood career, landing roles in movies and TV shows and briefly becoming engaged to actress Christina Ricci. After moving to the right, he appeared on podcasts hosted by Joe Rogan, Steven Crowder, and Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire.

As his following among conservatives grew, however, Benjamin became increasingly racist and antisemitic. He repeatedly used the n-word at a February 2018 comedy show, and embraced conspiracy theories about the Holocaust, claiming that Adolf Hitler was only trying to “clean [Germany] of the parasites.” Benjamin’s broadcasts to his fans grew more erratic, seeing the one-time comedian embrace flat-Earth theory and recommend drinking turpentine as a medicinal cure.

Exactly what Benjamin’s intentions for the property in Sandpoint, Idaho, are has become a hot topic in Idaho’s Boundary County. Dubbed “Ursa Rio” by Benjamin, after the Moyie River that abuts the property, the land marks the culmination of Benjamin’s year-long plan to establish a gathering place for his fans As Benjamin and his supporters set up basic sanitation and housing on the property, Benjamin’s neighbors are getting nervous, urging local officials to step in and issue a cease-and-desist order blocking construction. (more)

Concerned residents near the Moyie River along Earl Lane Road spoke to county commissioners on Tuesday, May 25, about an alleged “Ruby Ridge style” compound forming in Boundary County. Elaine Duncan and eight additional residents provided documentation supporting their belief that the owners, Struggle Bear Corporation and Owen Benjamin, have violated the zoning provisions for the neighborhood. On the Great Bear Trail website, Owen Benjamin details a request for donations to his compound called BearTaria. “Donate toward the creation of a community campground with cabins and utility. Your name and email address will be added to an exclusive list that will be given access to campgrounds year round depending on space available.”

Bonner County Daily Bee

Source: The Daily Beast