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Joel M. Skousen is an American conservative political commentator non-fiction Survivalist author, and retreat consultant who specializes in preparedness topics, particularly survival retreat and fallout shelter design and construction, as well as in what he calls "strategic relocation." Skousen is the founder and chief editor of World Affairs Brief, a weekly news-analysis service. He has offered in both North and Central America consultation regarding architectural and retreat design.
Skousen has written several books. including Essential Principles for the Conservation of Liberty, Strategic Relocation—North American Guide to Safe Places, The Secure Home, Survival Home Manual: Architectural Design, Construction, and Remodeling Of Self-Sufficient Residences and Retreats, and How to Implement a High Security Shelter in the Home. He also published a booklet titled 10 Packs for Survival, which he has also posted to several web sites.
Skousen designs and consults on hardened retreat homes, often including fallout shelters with HEPA air filtration systems. In the book Dancing at Armageddon: Survivalism and Chaos in Modern Times by Richard G. Mitchell, Jr., (2001) Skousen was quoted: "'You never want to make a house look like an obvious fortress. Those who want in can always move up a bigger gun. There is no way you can design a home to withstand RPG (Rocket-propelled grenade) rockets and tanks. I design these homes so you virtually cannot tell inside or out that they are any different from a conventional home.'"
Because of its low population density and diverse economy, both Skousen and survivalist writer James Wesley Rawles  recommend the Intermountain west region of the United States, as a preferred region for relocation and setting up survival retreats.
Skousen was raised in Oregon and later served as a USMC fighter pilot during the Vietnam Era. During the 1980s Skousen was the Chairman of the Conservative National Committee. He was also the Executive Editor of Conservative Digest.
In late 2007, Skousen gained attention when he gave his support to Ron Paul rather than to fellow LDS church member Mitt Romney in the 2008 US presidential campaign, in a widely-circulated YouTube video clip. After John McCain became the Republican Party's presumptive nominee in early 2008, Skousen also endorsed Pastor Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party: "As Ron Paul goes back to Congress to continue the fight there, I believe Chuck Baldwin is the person to continue the fight during this election cycle and beyond."
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