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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.”

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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