Ian moved to NH in 2006, as part of the Free State Project. He bought a house and set up a studio for his radio show. In no time at all, he became the leader of the subset of the Free State Project cult, known as Free Keene.
He's relentlessly shilled for Free Keene and the Free State Project. He's also been a big embarrassment to the FSP. Any time there was an obnoxious story in the news about the FSP, it originated in Keene. The Free Keeners did a lot of embarrassing stuff. They drew penises on the sidewalks of Keene with chalk. They vandalized the war memorial. They pranced around with cameras, harassing meter readers. They smoked pot in the park every day at 4:20. SO edgy. They had topless protests. They were people with no visible means of support, who fed parking meters downtown and called their activism "work." Some of them kept getting arrested.
They weren't a good image. And Ian - well Ian's image was pretty tarnished. In 2010, on his radio show, he espoused the opinion that there doesn't need to be an age of consent for adults wanting to have sex with children.
There were grumblings about that over the years. I grumbled about it, here at my blog, in 2014.
Then came Kyle Tasker. State Representative Kyle Tasker was arrested when he went to the meeting place he'd arranged over Facebook, for the purposes of having sex with a 14 year old girl.
Suddenly, sex with children is a topic of discussion in the state of NH. One of the first people to defend Kyle Tasker was Ian Freeman. And again.
Ian wasn't the only Free Stater to defend Tasker in public. State Representative Max Abramson was quite vocal on social media and in the comment section at the Union Leader.
Meanwhile, the Free State Project has undergone a transformation. They're now officially a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. They were promoting a campaign for the last few years to "trigger the move." When the FSP reached the magic number of 20,000 signers, the trigger would be pulled (an apt analogy for the armed miscreants) and just like that they would suddenly appear.
The Free State Project began in 2001, when Jason Sorens wrote a rant about gathering like minded individuals to move to a state, take over and dismantle the government, then threaten to secede from the rest of the nation. In 2001 they voted to move to NH.
Since then, the goalposts have shifted numerous times. They were all supposed to be here in 2006. Then they were all supposed to be here by 2010. It's 2016, and there are still fewer than 2,000 of them here.
But, Trigger the Move was good PR. They got tons of publicity, and one thing Free Staters love is publicity. Even the mainstream media began showing up at their big events like Porcfest and Liberty Forum. President Carla Gericke was a relentless media hound. She sued the town of Weare. She shrieked and sobbed at the City of Concord when they wanted to buy a Bearcat armored vehicle. She was a necessary figurehead for the FSP, given that libertarian groups are populated by mostly men, and those men are of a somewhat misogynistic persuasion. Having a very visible female figure at the helm was a way of eliminating the discussion of libertarian misogyny.
Carla Gericke, former FSP President
The move was triggered. And suddenly everything changed. Carla was kicked upstairs, and given a position on the board. Her image wasn't right for the new improved FSP. Millionaire businessman and NH-come-lately, Matt Phillips is the new president of the FSP. He moved to NH in 2014. Matt was an intern at the CATO Institute with Jason Sorens. The Koch funded CATO institute. Also on the board are Aaron Day - an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, businessman Rich Goldman, scientist and management consultant
Carla Gericke, Jason Sorens, and Matt Phillips
Back to Ian Freeman. Adult men advocating sex with children is not respectable or legitimate. The reaction to Kyle Tasker's attempts to solicit sex with 14 year old girls horrified most residents of our state. It happened at the same time the FSP is making their bid toward becoming FSP Inc. Ian's been an embarrassment for years, and suddenly, they have the means to ditch him. The FSP announced that they were severing ties with Ian's media empire, and that he was not welcome to appear at FSP events. He resigned from the FSP shortly thereafter. And right after all that, the FBI raided the Church of the Free Load and took a boatload of computers and electronic devices. The new story in the media is that Ian was expelled from the FSP, just as his buddy Chris Cantwell was expelled a few years ago. Both of them were victims of political expedience. Cantwell started making noise about how he thought killing police officers was a wonderful thing at the very same time Carla Gericke started shrieking in public about the Concord Bearcat. The Concord police chief called the FSP potential domestic terrorists on his application. The LAST thing they needed was for the media to discover that Cantwell was proving the chief right. So, they made a big public show of expelling him. Ian became a liability long ago - he just provided the FSP with an opportunity at exactly the right time, thanks to Kyle Tasker. I suspect we'll see more FSP house cleaning in the weeks and months ahead.
I can't help but feel badly for Ian. He's worked hard to put the FSP on the map for the last 10 years. He's been used and very publicly
cast aside by the very people he worked with and trusted.