Over the last several years I have pondered the idea of separating myself, my family, and a willing group of "fremily" (friends like family) from the culture at large. A colony if you will. Yes, I know, hippie communes, Jonestown, Waco, etc., are probably the first things that you think of. Others immediately think of the Old Order Amish and Mennonite or German Baptist communities. Regardless, there is a growing interest in so called "intentional communities."
Honestly, I started thinking about the idea almost 20 years ago. The ever encroaching tentacles of relative morality culture worm their way into every facet of life. Many people lament this, yet, they also balk at taking big steps to end that influence. However, over the last several years, there is serious discussion, particularly in the more religious circles of the "Benedict Option." The concept means different things to different people. You can spend hours researching different opinions on the internet. Some folks believe it will cure society's ills, others see nothing but persecution of those who are outside of such a community.
Given today's technical marvels, many folks long for a real connection: with others and with tangible things. For some, all they need is their neighbor and a small garden. Others require more. There is concern for a concentration of power over the community by a select few. But we see this now in our nation at large. There are great discussions on how to set up communities in order to prevent this from happening.
Many people sense a drastic change coming down the road. Community and tribe can help survive such change. References to how knowledge survived during the Dark Ages usually give nods to the monastic orders and the communities that sprung up around such facilities. There are other people that are suspicious of anything "overtly" religious in the formation of such communities. It can be argued that there are morals in every society that do not require a religious background. That is a discussion for another time. Communities gather and grow due to many reasons.
One of the better explorations of how communities grow is in the Changeverse Series by S.M. Stirling. (A word of caution here: there is adult material in the series, along with a lot of Wiccan references in one of the communities created. I personally am not bothered by this. However, other may be. Still, the series as a study in the develop of tribes and communities cannot be ignored. S.M. Sterling did his homework.)
Detractors of such communities also argue that, at least from a faith point of view, that Faith's light is removed from the culture at large. Supporters would argue that the culture is too far gone and that these communities will be able to seed the destroyed remnants of society after the fall.
Below I am including more links to various articles on and locations of Benedict Option communities, both pro and con. Do your own research and study.
Benedict Option FAQs
The Benedict Option is Meaningless
The Benedict Option as Culture War
I Grew Up in the Benedict Option. Here's Why it didn't Work
Galicia Reconnaissance Report
New Catholic Land Movement
School for Conversion
St John Orthodox Cathedral and Community
Clear Creek Abbey and Community; Also this, one blogger's experience at Clear Creek.
The Benedict Option and the Lay Vocation