Could Glenn Beck Bring Independence to Texas?

“If you really wanna pass on the secrets, if you really wanna pass on truth, embed it in architecture,” says Glenn Beck in the January 10 episode of the Blaze. “That’s what I intend on doing.” The Dallas Observer‘s taking him at his word, speculating that Beck’s planning to build something like that radiant city in the screenshot above: it’d be a $2 billion master-planned community — with a theme park and an Alamo-inspired non-denominational church. It’d be called Independence, USA. And the Dallas Observer says it’d be in Texas.


Inspired, Beck says, by Ayn Rand and Disneyland — and he also name-drops Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin — this master of all master-planned communities would be . . . well, it’s probably said best on Beck’s website:

Independence, USA wouldn’t be about rides and merchandise, but would be about community and freedom. The Marketplace would be a place where craftmen and artisan could open and run real small businesses and stores. The owners and tradesmen could hold apprenticeships and teach young people the skills and entrepreneurial spirit that has been lost in today’s entitlement state.

There would also be an Media Center, where Glenn’s production company would film television, movies, documentaries, and more. Glenn hoped to include scripted television that would challenge viewers without resorting to a loss of human decency. He also said it would be a place where aspiring journalists would learn how to be great reporters.

Across the lake, there would be a church modelled after The Alamo which would act as a multi-denominational mission center. The town will also have a working ranch where visitors can learn how to farm and work the land.

Independence would also be home to a Research and Development center where people would come to learn, innovate, educate, and create. There would be a theme park for people to recharge and have fun with their families.

People would also have the option to live in Independence, with a residential area where people of different incomes could all come together and be neighbors.

Images: The Blaze TV

50 Comment

  • I don’t care what your politics are, but it’s extremely evident that this guy is a nutjob.

  • This sounds great. We can get all of the crazies in one place to leave the rest of us the heck alone.

  • In response to the guy with the vague real estate rumor, I was going to make a joke post about Mattress Mac converting Gallery Furniture (regretable Houston landmark) into an ultra-conservative Ayn Rand theme park. Kids would play carnival games upon arrival. The kids who did well would get to ride the roller coasters and eat hot dogs. The kids who did poorly would have to sweep up the place and eat sardine sandwiches. It looks like Glenn Beck may have beat me to it.

  • The Simpsons comes to mind here. Something about Lisa and a fruitopia…

  • For a libertarian paradise, there sure seems to be a lot of planning involved in this thing.

  • What the Glen Beck smoking…. oh that’s right, he thinks he high on god.

  • So he’s going to be a media guy in this small town? Mr. Beck, you don’t need media in a small town, you just need a group of ladies. News in small towns just magically outs itself. He should probably be a blacksmith or something else more practical.

  • “Commune”? Sounds communist to me. ;-)

  • A fitting place to develop it…right in bible land. I’m sure DFWians will love it!

  • What, he’s found a location on this planet?

  • I’m wondering if Glen isn’t hitting the alcohol again. He sounds like he’s drunk.

  • Wow! If it weren’t for the Alamo-shaped church, I would almost think that Glenn Beck had turned into a hipster!

  • I’m all right wing but Glenn Beck takes this waaaaaay too far. At some point you gotta stop at reason.

  • Too… many… ways… to make fun of this. Head… about to… explode.

  • Sounds a lot like the Heights.

  • This is a cover for an insane asylum right? RIGHT?!

  • If he is planning on burning down Dallas so that he can built his own version of “Neropolis” like Emperor Nero did, then I’m all for it. Especially if it comes complete with throwing Christians to the lions for amusement.

  • I think he probably lost most of his core audience with the “where people of different incomes could all come together and be neighbors” concept.

  • I have listened to Glenn Beck for the last several years, and watched the entire announcement show, along with the follow-up “Ask Glenn” special that aired the following day. I have had the chance to meet him, and despite what many say, he’s not as much a radical as he is a visionary.

    The location for Glenn’s $2 Billion project has not been determined, nor announced. During the show, and again during the Q&A show, he admitted that Texas is one of 3 possible states that he might end up building it in, but a final location will not be announced until the land deal is done.

    If you think Glenn’s idea is crazy – go back and look at Walt Disney, when he announced a part of his “Florida Project”. In the original concept of EPCOT – The “Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow”, Walt invisioned electric vehicles providing support for the community via underground tunnels, while monorails and pedestrian/bike trails provided transportation for the citizens. Of course Walt died before his vision was realized, and EPCOT instead evolved into the theme park that stands today.

    Glenn’s concept takes that unmaterialized idea, of moving vehicles underground, opening the “front yards” of neighborhoods to be green space for kids to play together, block parties to happen, and a community to come together. Unlike Walt though, Glenn actually talked of two underground levels, one serving the residents personal vehicles, and the other the delivery and support vehicles for the facility.

    The one piece that your article doesn’t mention is the “library” – located under the spire at the center. This research center would house many documents and historical artifacts from our nation’s history. Glenn and others have been collecting these pieces the last several years, and if it were not for him, many of them would have been lost. The educational center would serve as a place for people to come and learn, in the context of the historical documents.

    Glenn’s idea is indeed an ambitious dream. His hope is to make the facility “self sustainable”, and he is investing his own money into research right now that he hopes will make that piece of it a reality. In fact, his intention is to make his Irving, Texas studios one of the first facilities that will harness the technology his “American Dream Labs” is researching.

  • ….Because it worked SO well for Jimmy and Tammy Faye Bakker. Texas, please keep your crazies to yourself.

  • I can’t wait to read the deed restrictions!!!

  • Ayn Rand and Disneyland?

  • Sounds pretty utopian for something that ultimately would turn out to be just another office park next to a gated community. The people that live there will work somewhere else and the people that staff it will live somewhere else.

  • Nutjob big time….uses god to get those crazies out there to listen…moved to Dallas and now he thinks he owns Texas..He is a fake and a fraud…big time….

  • What JD and David said. The rich ones won’t want to have to mix with the staff.

  • HDtex, neither Bakker nor Beck are Texans. Like so many, they came here. I wish we could send them back.

  • Comparing Glenn Beck to Walt Disney? Please. Beck’s idea of a “theme park” is basically the Woodlands. That sounds like a real fun time, lemme tell you. My favorite line:

    “The town will also have a working ranch where visitors can learn how to farm and work the land.”

    I’ll take Space Mountain, thank you.

  • @19 Looks like Beck’s PR people have arrived.

  • Michael Jones, after admitting to being a follower, you compared Glen Beck to Walt Disney. Walt Disney? I just hope this thing happens and it happens in Collin County!

    Do you think a bunker will come standard? And how about extra pantry space? There’s no way a family of 6 has enough room for their fruit loops and end of days rations in a standard pantry.

  • Also, a library/indoctrination/research center to teach the context of historical documents as interpreted/presented by Glenn Beck?! Underground roads to keep the service people out of eyesight!? Commun[istic] green space *shared* by neighbors!? Are you serious? This is straight out of the Onion! I had to read that post twice. Please let this happen!!!

  • I wonder how long one would live in this paradise before being invited to the town square for a big Kool Aid toast.

  • The people who might be willing to consider living under this Glenn Beck Utopia would not be willing to forgo their SUV’s and F-150’s, their big box stores, their twice-as-large-as-it-should-be televisions/DirectTV, their #5 meal at Whataburger, or their massive house/isolationist mentality and the cheap energy they get to power them. Oh yeh… also living next door to that poor family is scary, let alone having to socialize with them.

  • Michael Jones, thanks for providing some actual insight into what he’s talking about. There wasn’t much detail in the story and sadly, no real info on the comments. Most of the comments were just “DDER DERP! LOL! GLENN BECK SUX! DERP DERP”.
    I’m not a Beck fan and don’t really follow his “antics” (for lack of a better term). Maybe Beck has lost his mind but to me, big ideas are always interesting — crazy or not.
    (Not trying to offend my swamplot friends, just saying there was not a lot of the normal interesting feedback on this story that I’m used to seeing on others)

  • This is the best story & comments thread EVAR.

  • This PROVES Glenn “Mush for Brains” Beck is a dictatorial,fascist,commie fruit cake. He’s a prime example of what excessive drinking/drug abuse does to the brain.Anyone who supports/believes this twerp, you deserve what you get. Which is ripped off, fooled and duped.See the awesome take down Jon Stewart did last night on the ‘Daily Show’.It’s spot on. No wonder Fox dropped Beck: another epic right wing FAIL. His “planned” utopia would fit right in the DFW Metroplex: it’s so very Stepford Wives.He claims he’s a true American,but this place reeks of classist,elitist,uppity nouveau riche,condescending,NON American insecurity !!!

  • Reminds of a “Britney” Speers designed version of Hitler’s plans for a rebuilt Berlin: Germania.

  • If you really want to give people a taste of American liberty, why would you build a master-planned community, where decision-making is taken away from the residents? Build a normal town with democratic institutions of government – a city council, school board, zoning commission, etc. Lay out the town on a grid – that way, no neighborhood is closed off and people grow up there with the feeling that everything in life is within reach.

    The centerpoint is trickier – do you go with the traditional town square with courthouse, or does the typical imposing courthouse create too much sense of the power of government? The grand centerpoint in the rendering looks a little fascist to me; too much “bow down before this.” Maybe center things on an avenue instead of a square or circle and that way diminish the power of any icons. The courthouse can be consigned to a side street.

    Actually, the original layout of Houston did a pretty good job of conveying American ideals.

  • @Cody,
    There are 3 ~10 minute videos with much more detail under the Dallas Observer link above. Watch those and please come back with your analysis. Thanks.

  • @Cody
    I agree. Beck’s ideas seem extremely off the wall and overly planned for someone who claims to be libertarian. However, some of the comments here certainly qualify as crazier (e.g., supporting this planned community if and only if, they get to watch Christians die en masse).

    Why don’t you just go ahead and provide your analysis? “Go read this _____ and after that you’ll agree with me” gets pretty old after awhile.

  • Isn’t this the exact opposite of what a libertarian would elect to build? Beck would essentially be planning everything for everyone, no? What’s the incentive to move there, someone from a large entity (corporation, government, etc) telling you what you can and cannot do? This seems very forced and lacking in any kind of natural growth…kind of like Brasilia, Brazil tinted with Conservative colored glasses.. how ironic.

    Michael Jones – I just have to say Disney built his theme parks for the purpose of continuing his brand and making money…I assume this isn’t the point of Beckland… How is all of this going to get paid for? Are they going to charge everyone for the green trails and monorail every time they use it? Or will it be a collective pot from which a small group of influential people will make decisions on when and where the money will be used? Furthermore, who is allowed to take part? Can I come with all of my friends and create a co-habitation house or is that against the zoning rules(created by a small group of influential people)?

    Seems pretty anti-libertarian if you ask me.

  • There’s one big problem. No matter where he goes in the U.S., his little commune will be under the watchful eye of Barack HUSEIN Obama, as well as the jurisdiction of local and state governmental entities that are known to allow LIBERALS and ATHEISTS to hold elected office.

    I suggest he build in a nation with a culture that is more hospitable to rigid right wing theocracy, such as Iran or Saudi Arabia.

  • @eiioi
    My “analysis” was already provided earlier on. My message to Cody was based on the fact that he’s complaining about the lack of substantive comments without adding a substantive comment of his own. Get over yourself, dude.

  • I hear that there is some open land near Waco. There is some smoke damage, but nothing that can’t be fixed with liberty!

  • This intersection of politics and real estate development is very interesting. Usually, it’s the other way around – can’t get building permits from the gov, community opposes some road or building, corruption with a builder and a politician, etc.

    So I wonder if Glenn Beck is doing this primarily to:
    1. Make a political point, and thereby increase his fame in this manner.
    2. Make money in real estate.

    Also, I think we should set up a poll of some kind to see how Swamplotters think this will end up. Here are some possibilities:
    A. The development is a commercial failure even before it starts. He blames government officials for conspiring against him and causing this failure.
    B. Beck, or possibly some other charismatic fellow, leads a cult-like group in this compound (political though, not religious), and there is eventually a standoff with the Texas Rangers or the ATF.
    C. Many people move there, but the place falls apart because they are so distrustful of gubmint that they can’t even sustain a working HOA.
    D. Great success!

  • #44, you forgot E – all of the above!

  • @Mel, Ha, I guess I should have clarified: D. means great success for Glenn Beck, not for the rest of us.

  • Funny….He’s already a member of a crazy cult…..Now he wants one of his very own. Please promise to secede for realz when this gets built.

  • Two surprises here, for me: One, I’ve not seen Glenn Beck before — does he always dress that way? That’s so unfortunate. And, continual puzzlement at the identification of Ayn Rand with freedom and light. Whittaker Chambers:
    “… a materialism of the Right and a materialism of the Left, first surprisingly resemble, then in action tend to blend each with each, because, while differing at the top in avowed purposed, and possibly in conflict there, at bottom they are much the same thing.”
    He provoked the National Review crowd when he wrote that in 1957. The full review remains worth reading, unlike anything Ayn Rand wrote:

  • luciaphile: You don’t feel some of Ayn Rand is worth reading? I believe one of her books (Atlas Shrugged) is the second most read or printed book of all time (second only to the bible). So it might be your feelings are not universal.
    And while I don’t agree with her 100%, I’ll love her for this line alone:
    “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” (from The Fountainhead. And summarizes my feelings when I fight with the city to improve my neighborhood)

  • Cody: I’m well aware of the resurgent appeal of Ayn Rand, after she had become mainly a stage passed through by the young, shallowly encountering her for the first time. Now her stock seems to be rising even as people have happily embraced statism. I don’t discount the lingering uncertainty about the direction we’ve gone, but I am sorry to see the fanatical Ayn Rand resuscitated as an alternative. Approaches may differ, but her hatred of tradition and, as Chambers noted, her materialism — her approving view of “naked self-interest” — really mirrored that of Marx. The conservative movement was right to drum her out fifty years ago. For myself, I feel intuitively that anyone who wrote as badly as she does, can’t have a mind worth attending to. I’m afraid that is my prejudice, and I can’t defend it, but I’ll never depart from it. More signally, the doctrine of “aesthetic selfishness” is dangerous more for its reach than its fancifully ‘logical’ foundations, whose weakness — nonexistence — others have convincingly demonstrated, although I grant you, that her “thought,” once you get beyond the bright shiny part about individual freedom, is so ugly, eugenics and all, that it has not always brought out the best rigor in its opponents. Owing to my own particular concerns, the legacy of hers I dislike most is the idea that Industrial Man has such capacity to alter nature that he stands outside of nature; that we’ve come to the end of nature.
    Others have written much worse than she, perhaps, but even if one generously considers her only mediocre, it is disquieting that she has become the Bible for so many.
    So, simple answer: no.