An Occitanie land agency has blocked the purchase of land in a 200-hectare estate by members of the One Nation conspiracy movement.
It comes as local residents launch a petition opposing the project.
Since September, two members of One Nation – which has around 2,700 members – have been trying to raise €750,000 to transform the Domaine de Domenac in Sénaillac-Lauzès into a One Lab “laboratory of free experimentation aimed at creating new ideals.”
One Nation co-founder Alice Pazalmar and her partner Sylvain Charles took to YouTube to explain their project, describing an “oasis” for “emancipated human beings” where members of One Nation can “live and be in complete simplicity.”
INFO - #Société : Dans le Lot entre Cahors et Rocamadour, le groupe #antisystème et #complotiste #OneNation projetterait de s'installer dans le département ce qui inquiète le village de Sénaillac-Lauzès. #complotisme pic.twitter.com/5efyHlrzLn— FranceNews24 (@FranceNews24) October 7, 2021
One Nation is an anti-system movement which rejects all authority it describes as being “illegitimate.”
Members attempt to distance themselves from the administrative and legal structures of society, believing that there is “a network of high-ranking people in the upper echelons of this world who [are a] threat to our children.”
The group communicates through Telegram, an instant messaging app which offers end-to-end encryption and the option to permanently delete text and photographs after a period of time.
Ms Pazalmar – real name Alice Martin Pascual – is a Covid sceptic and anti-vaxxer who has withdrawn her children from school and is believed to be living with them in a van.
One Nation launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for their One Lab “oasis,” but having collected €273,000, it was closed down earlier this month. Its 650 donors are now being reimbursed.
Après analyse de notre équipe, nous avons pris la décision de suspendre la collecte du projet Oasis One Lab. Plus d'informations ci-dessous cc @GDarmanin @MarleneSchiappa @SarahElHairy pic.twitter.com/QFjgM6VzPl— HelloAsso (@helloasso) October 7, 2021
Occitanie’s Société d’aménagement foncier et d’établissement rural (Safer), the government-controlled land agency, has now exercised its pre-emption right to the agricultural land on the Domaine de Domenac estate, is actively looking for farmers who might want to acquire the plot.
Safer agencies have a right of pre-emption – or first option to buy – on most rural property that comes onto the market in France.
Notaires dealing with a property purchase must therefore contact the Safer to ensure that they do not want to buy the land. If they do, the original buyer is obliged to give way to them.
Yesterday (October 24), One Nation published an update on their website which stated that: “One Lab will no longer be created in Sénaillac-Lauzès, as a war has been declared, even if only on one side.
“We would like to warmly thank the current owner [of the estate] for having given this project a chance. Unfortunately, your property will not become the centre of art, science and life as we had imagined.”
However, “This is not the end for One Lab,” they added. “Its existence will continue to be nourished in the kingdom of our imagination until the day when a place welcoming the exact nature of our vision presents itself.
“This utopia is perfectly attainable.
“We wish good luck to anyone who seeks to stop this great, nascent wave of love and of common sense, which has drawn its power from the invisible depths of the ocean of life.”
‘A nightmare’ for Sénaillac-Lauzès
The residents of Sénaillac-Lauzès, a village of around 130 inhabitants, were “very concerned” by One Nation’s plans.
“This is a nightmare,” Sylvie, whose name has been changed for her protection, told BFMTV last week. “We are all starting to find out about these people. All you have to do is look at their websites or videos to realise that they are cranks who have some absurd and incoherent ideas.
“Sénaillac is a small village mostly made up of people who are elderly and therefore vulnerable.
“It is an area full of fragile people, and in my opinion these people are well aware of this. That is why they want to set themselves up here now.”
Esteban [name changed], who has family members who have been involved with sectarian movements in the past, said: “I know how [sects] are able to put people into a state of complete mental dependence.”
For several weeks, this retiree has been urging his neighbours to be vigilant.
“I tell them: ‘be careful, don’t let yourselves be deceived. It might seem that we are dealing with people who are completely harmless or even sweet, while behind this façade we have people who know very well what they are doing. They are anything but naive.”
Ms Pazalmar and her followers “do not believe themselves accountable to anyone. If there are any laws to which they must submit, they are entirely ‘natural’,” historian Valérie Igounet, joint director of Conspiracy Watch, told Le Monde.
“The ideology is in the same vein as the ‘sovereign citizens’ movement, which promotes conspiratorial beliefs surrounding ‘legal name fraud’ and tends to question the reality of the state in which it lives.”
Local residents have expressed their objections to the One Nation project in a petition which has collected more than 1,500 signatures to date.