Image 1 of 12
Rachel Howerters,11, leads a cow to the family's multi-use pond outside their rural Canton, Ill. home. The Howerters are a self-sufficient family of six who have cut themselves off from the government and commercial systems, for their own political and religious reasons. Wendy and Tim Howerter have surrendered both their Illinois driver's licenses and Social Security numbers along with their children’s. The family also grows all their own food while producing their own electricity. A 1998 dispute with the Environmental Protection Agency over waste-management violations on their property led to the couple's views of the government and left the direction of the family's life in the hands of their God. Religion plays a vital role in the lives of the Howerters, who are members of an Oregon-based network of congregations and ministers called His Holy Church.