Some of America’s richest citizens are buying into a fast-growing movement of well-heeled doomsday survivalists or “preppers” investing billions of dollars to prepare secretly for the global apocalypse. The increasing number of billionaires who are participating in the doomsday “prepper” movement by acquiring elaborate and expensive getaways in isolated and remote spots of the world is causing concern among observers, with many asking whether America’s elite know something the rest of us don’t.
The public obtained valuable insight into the fast-growing movement, consisting of billionaire Silicon Valley and Wall Street preppers who have been secretly buying up vast tracts of land in New Zealand, following an incident involving Peter Thiel, the billionaire founder of Paypal, Vanity Fair reports.
Petehr Thiel, who gained notoriety in the mostly liberal Silicon Valley as a libertarian and Donald Trump supporter, recently paid $10 million for a 477-acre estate in New Zealand’s isolated Southern Alps.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) February 1, 2017
The acquisition sparked a public outcry, according to CNN. Some New Zealanders alleged an invasion of the country by American Silicon Valley and financial sector billionaires. Amid the outcry, the New Zealand government released a document that revealed that Thiel was granted citizenship under “exceptional circumstances” that side-stepped the normal process for granting citizenship to foreigners.
Thiel later reportedly enthused about his “great pride” about being a citizen of New Zealand, saying that he has “found no other country that aligns more with my view of the future,” according to the Daily Mail.