WEB EXCLUSIVE: True Freedom in New Modes of Living

Dome Living

By Mark Anderson

AMERICAN FREE PRESS takes the time to meet the people and explores the ideas that point toward a brighter future, in which today’s collusive corporate-governmental machine weakens, and the people take constructive responsibility for establishing, maintaining and expanding freedom. Recent road stops in Texas and beyond showed this writer that the worldwide economic tremors rocking various nations are shaking some people out of complacency, so remedies can be found beyond just elections and legislation, focusing on the realms of shelter, water, energy, nutrition, medicine and agriculture.

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Upon hearing that a Tennessee couple lost everything when their home burned to the ground and firefighters watched but did nothing, David South, the founder of Monolithic Domes in Italy, Texas, was appalled. This pioneer in making fireproof dome-shaped stone structures—whose concepts on safer and better living are spreading like wildfire—knows such things do not have to happen.

According to recent local newscasts, a woman named Vicky Bell and her mother both made it out of the Tennessee fire alive and well, but because they had not paid their subscription fee to the area fire department in Obion County, Tennessee, the responding firefighters kept their distance and just watched the dwelling burn.

South said government fire policies across the country are a patchwork of different codes, and that it’s becoming increasingly clear that homeowners whose dwellings meet with fire departments’ disapproval are marked in advance as undeserving of total fire protection.

“I’ve got a dome built in California where the occupants did not install sprinklers in it,” said South, who also heads the Domes for the World Foundation to help disaster victims around the world with self-reliance in their shelter needs. “So the fire department put them on notice that they will not respond.”


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While noting that the state of California is intent on forcing most or all homeowners to install internal sprinkler systems, South added, “Sprinklers have never been proven to save a life—they’ve been proven to save some property—but never a life.”

During interviews with AFP, South and his staff reported on the progress being made at another of their entities, the Monolithic Dome Institute, to educate the nation and the world about their vision—which includes revealing the pitfalls of living in traditional “stick-built” homes and similar conventional housing that subject occupants to major risks in strong storms and other disasters, along with increasingly heavy energy, taxation and insurance costs. And the vulnerability of standard dwellings to fire—a circumstance which strengthens the chokehold that insurance companies have over people’s pocketbooks—is a major issue.

The dome phenomenon is growing—so much that in “The 40 Point Plan,” a new futuristic movie by Eric Williams that reportedly offers a bold vision toward world recovery, Mr. South’s Dome structures, which are designed to last for centuries, are expected to play a role, though the exact extent is not yet known.

“We’re coming up to 4,000—in 52 countries and 49 states,” South said, when asked how many Monolithic stone domes, of any type, have been built to date—ever since he built his first one as a potato storage unit in 1976 in his birth state of Idaho.

The Dome Institute teaches people how to build their own dome dwellings; or the institute can build part or all of a smaller unit, such as a dome cabin, load it on a flatbed trailer, and truck it anywhere accessible by road. While cabins are used for small residences, bought or rented, there are medium and large dome homes, agricultural storage units, school gymnasiums that double as community storm shelters that have been shown to withstand an F-5 tornado, and other configurations and applications. AFP visited the Italy, Texas gymnasium, an impressive structure that may someday be powered by its own wind unit.

The essential thing is that these patented domes are made of a special concrete mixture combined with insulation materials. Moreover, there are new cylinder-shaped wind-turbine units that happen to operate ideally on top of such domes. These units are far more efficient, far less expensive, and profoundly easier to install than the tall “bird swatter” wind turbines now heavily in use, which many say are noisy and hazardous.

The new turbines, on the other hand, are maintenance free, silent and generate power at much lower thresholds, as AFP saw at an early December turbine demonstration by inventor Joe D. Shepard of FTC Energy out of Florida. His son David builds what he designs. Since their turbines are made of aluminum and stainless steel, they are corrosion free. And because each dome can hold a turbine of the appropriate size, dome dwellers need not access the regular electric grid for power.

When you add stone “grow domes” to the mix—in which a dome’s internal environment is controlled year-around with the proper lighting and water systems, to allow for up to six annual harvests of tomatoes and other food crops, anywhere, anytime—a path away from huge energy and agricultural conglomerates is blazed—toward a world in which the use of imported and overly processed foods can be trimmed back steadily, and perhaps eliminated altogether where appropriate, at least in terms of too much dependency on such things by the populace.

Furthermore, along with the components that make up the above innovations, do-it-yourself water purification systems, for in-house use and to carry when traveling, are part of the new future being envisioned, where large, centralized water systems that add fluoride and other chemicals to public water supplies are less relied upon.

“We’re getting away from fire as a problem, and we get away from wind [in storms] as a problem – it’s tornado safe; it’s earthquake safe. It’s an absolute paradigm shift in construction,” South summarized, speaking of the domes.

Also, AFP passed through Columbus, Ohio, where the organizers and vendors at the Dec. 8-10 Acres USA organic farming conference offered an array of products, innovations and presentations that collectively blaze an even bigger trail, by showing how to deal with often tyrannical farm regulators, how to achieve better crops and robust health, and to inspire a turning away from the extreme over-reliance on highly processed foods, pharmaceutical drugs, standard medical surgeries and other conventional modes of living that are wreaking havoc on society physically, morally and economically.

All told, if freedom is more than the absence of tyrants, then these and other American innovators who work day and night on solutions will play a significant role in a better tomorrow.

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