Real estate developers with links to far-right groups are marketing a rural haven for likeminded Christian nationalists fleeing ‘cultural insanity’.
One 460-acre area was snapped up for about $900,000 in 2022, and the other 170-acre tract for $1.03 million, property records showed.
They were bought by Kentucky Ridge Runner LLC with the backing of venture fund New Founding, both sharing the same leadership.
Both entities espouse far-right ideology and spend considerable time denigrating a mainstream America they claim is overrun by the ‘totalitarian left’.
The Highland Rim Project is two parcels of land in rural Kentucky either side of Burkesville, near the Tennessee border, carved up into dozens of lots
Instead they promote a remote ‘aligned community’ where buyers can ‘disappear from the cultural insanity of the broader country’.
‘With the rise of remote work and rural broadband, and crowds of people looking to leave the city and return to a more sane lifestyle, an opportunity presents itself,’ Ridge Runner wrote on its website.
‘There is an opportunity for people to build new types of communities built around shared values and the American way of life.’
New Founding boasts that it ‘explicitly oppose[s] DEI/ESG and the bureaucratization of American business culture’ and bet on ‘customers disfavored by corrosive ideologies’.
Joshua Abbotoy, a managing partner of New Founding and, along with his father Mark, partner at Ridge Runner, said ‘most of the leadership is going to be led by Protestant Christians’ and hoped to spread wider.
‘The aspiration is that long-term down the road, 20 years from today, we continue to do this. We’re regionally focused – we can expand from there to states,’ he said.
How the project would retain its ideological purity among residents without falling foul of regulations, other than aggressive marketing, is unclear.
It is illegal discrimination to refuse real estate sales on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, familial status, or national origin.
Joshua Abbotoy, a managing partner of New Founding and partner at Ridge Runner, claimed the left was out to destroy projects like his because they were viewed as an ‘existential threat’
Responding to online criticism of the project, Abbotoy claimed the left was out to destroy projects like his because they were viewed as an ‘existential threat’.
‘They will stand by – no, they will cheer – while Bill Gates/foreign investors/private equity buy up Appalachia and terraform it into a globally homogenized pile of slop, obliterating its customs and traditions and dispossessing the locals,’ he wrote.
‘Of course, they have myriad of their own affinity-based communities; the “gayborhood” in any American city is an example of this. But they fear right-wing America becoming culturally self-determinative.
‘Show any sign of life, and they will dispatch ghouls like these to descend on your small towns and make you international news.
‘They are angry because some people, somewhere, however modestly, had the gall to envision a future in which they have no input.’
Abbotoy insisted the developments complied with the Fair Housing Act.
One development, The Bend at Cumberland River, is 7.5 miles southwest of Burkesville was bought for $1.03 million.
Half the 170-acre area is divided into half and three-quarters of an acre lots costing $45,000, with a few cheaper ones and those with ‘premium view’ up to $60,000.
These lots all extend right up to the river’s edge and there were plans to build a community boat ramp and pavilion.
The other half was put aside for community buildings such as a church, school, and recreational amenities.
Longhollow Acres, advertised as a ‘rolling 550-acre farm’ includes 460 acres bought for $900,000, and the rest belonging to another owner
Though not far from the river, these plots are in valleys between forests known as ‘hollers’ that form ‘very private fortresses’ for those fleeing civilization
Longhollow Acres, advertised as a ‘rolling 550-acre farm’ includes 460 acres bought for $900,000, and the rest belonging to another owner.
Though not far from the river, these plots are in valleys between forests known as ‘hollers’ that form ‘very private fortresses’ for those fleeing civilization.
Ridge Runner said they were not only perfect for hunting and farming, but also ‘prepping’.
The development has 17 lots, mostly three to five acres starting at $39,900, along four premium lots of 93 and 126 acres – and a massive property for $399,000.
Both areas will have underground fiber-optic internet enabling work-from-home, electricity, city water, and access roads all ready to go.
New Founding said developments like Highland Rim were in opposition to ‘dominant corporate ideology’ and ‘designed to free us from censorship and bureaucracy’.
‘Today, a left-wing ideology attacks natural distinctions, traditional norms, and our nation’s heritage,’ it read.
‘It is profoundly anti-human, eroding the very foundations of human excellence and undermining entrepreneurial initiative and economic success throughout our society.
‘This ideology is pervasive: culture, politics, and certainly business – including the startup and venture capital space. Founders and investors are increasingly pressured to conform to its demands.’
Joshua Abbotoy’s father Mark (pictured) is managing partner at Ridge Runner
Instead, it claimed to be ‘pro-human’, unlike the left, believing that people were ‘made in the image of God’ and born to ‘exercise dominion’ over the Earth.
‘We reject trans-humanism and all other anti-human ideologies,’ it claimed.
‘Family + virtue + great achievement combine as building blocks of civilization that allow people to live well; we reject leveling ideologies that seek to impose false concepts of equality and destroy all unchosen duties.’
The company claimed to be pursuing its vision despite a ‘totalitarian effort by the left to capture institutions across our society and use their power against dissenters’.
‘We are also directly attacking the left’s efforts by rejecting their taboos and doing business with people they tell us we must ostracize,’ it read.