I had previously asked this question about how the U.S. military would deal with a secessionist uprising from an organized coalition of werewolves, when I realized I hadn't thought very much about the other side of the coin. Most of the answers to the previous question also pointed out that it would be very easy for humans to reframe a question of supernatural independence into a matter of life or death survival for humanity, suggesting that the supernaturals would have to be very careful about how they did things.
Given this, my question is how could a group of supernatural beings go about declaring a chunk of what is currently the U.S. a sovereign nation independent of the United States?
The only work that I think ever addressed this question is Dance in the Vamipire Bund, where the vampires basically bought an island off the Japanese government by offering to pay off Japan's entire national debt.
Originally the plot idea I had was a coalition of werewolves banding together to try and declare much of the Rocky Mountain West an independent werewolf state, but I decided to make the question a bit broader to not just apply to the Rocky Mountain West or werewolves, since it could be applied to many different supernatural beings or regions of the U.S. The original idea was that a coalition of several groups of supernaturals compared notes, got tired of hiding (since maintaining the masquerade means they have to hide who they are, bars them from high-profile or high-paying jobs, and means most of them are economically not well off or forced to live in remote areas to avoid detection), and decided to form a secessionist movement to form a sovereign state where they can exist openly and in charge. They basically thought "if Dracula can set up his own personal duchy in Transylvania why can't we do it here?" Their reasoning for putting themselves in control rather than just trying to undo the Masquerade "Screw The Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers" and a heaping helping of arrogance and belief in their own superiority.
The only thing that was specific to the werewolf plot was they were going to try the Rocky Mountain west because that's where most of them lived and the sparsely populated but heavily mountainous and forested terrain would have favored werewolf guerilla warfare, and the U.S. would care a lot less about Wyoming or Montana seceding than New York or California. But it's possible that other areas might be better targets for a secessionist movement.
The only problem is the U.S. has had events in the past where regions have tried to secede and declare their independence. The government took exception to that and responded. Violently. The U.S. tends to be a bit twitchy about secession movements in the 50 states, and while secession movements do exist none are as widespread as, say, Quebec secessionists in nearby Canada.
Other parameters for the question:
- Prior to this, the setting was a pretty stereotypical Masquerade one. I.e., one where supernaturals existed among humanity but kept themselves hidden for fear of discovery. There isn't some "hidden world" government they can take over akin to Voldemort and the Ministry of Magic, the supernaturals mostly existed in a state of mutually agreed to secrecy with little higher organization until they decided to get politically organized.
- The supernaturals explicitly want independence from mortal governments. They don't want to "come out of the coffin" or have their civil rights recognized, they want to be in charge of themselves and have no mortal authority tell them what to do. They want an independent state and nothing short of that will appease them.
- The supernaturals explicitly want to be in charge. They want to set up a government that benefits them in some way. They either want mortals out of their territory or set up a system where supernaturals are in charge or at least "first among equals". Mortals in government are okay as long as they represent a minority, and they are willing to let skilled workers immigrate because they need skilled labor to make a country work. The supernaturals also have a bit of a problem with nepotism and clannishness (i.e., a werewolf is more likely to appoint pack members to a politically important position, or else appoint other supernaturals before mortals).
- The supernaturals have no innate need or compunction to harm human beings. They don't have to prey on humans to survive or have a natural urge to be cruel and subjugate them. As a result it's a bit harder to frame them as predatory monsters (like that's ever stopped propagandists before). Honestly quite a few of them simply think they can do a better job running a state than the government.
- The supernaturals have no broader social or governmental policies in mind beyond "we're tired of hiding from the mortal world and we want to be in charge". They'll do just about whatever it takes to get what they want. On the one hand, this means they could easily add or remove planks in their pitch as need be to convince other people to join their movement. On the other hand, it means they have no idea what they're doing. For example in the werewolf example I gave above there's a bit of a problem in their plan in that the region they're attempting to claim has few natural resources, is landlocked, has little useable water, isn't good for farming, and is sitting on top of quite a bit of coal, uranium, and oil that the U.S. government probably wants.
- The supernaturals don't have the ability to mass-brainwash the mortals or manipulate the government at the highest level. Which means they can't just hypnotize the heads of state into giving them their own territory, or use Illuminati-like shenanigans to get the heads of state to approve their demands. They have to use actual geopolitics. They do have actual powers that give them a massive force multiplier despite being a small minority of the population. They probably don't have the money to buy a state like in Dance in the Vampire Bund, but with the U.S.'s debt crisis you never know.
- Location probably matters. The U.S. government is probably going to fight tooth and nail to keep a major economic powerhouse like Texas, New York, or California in the Union, whereas they will likely be less aggressive with states that are less significant economically.
The biggest problem I can see is that the supernaturals are attempting to claim territory in which the majority of people living there don't feel the supernaturals speak for them and don't represent them as individuals. The supernaturals are going to have to either get the common people to accept their rule (somehow) or else get them to leave their borders en masse. While independence movements do exist in some states (e.g., Cascadia), most of these movements are based on the presumption that once the U.S. government leaves they will be able to theoretically set up a democracy that will be more sensitive to their needs, not become second-class citizens in a state that affords them less freedoms than they already have. "Don't tread on me" opinions may be widespread in parts of the U.S. but it seems likely most civilians would rather side with a far-off government that offers nominal representation than the supernaturals. Normal people might also dislike the clannish attitudes of many supernaturals.
In terms of whether this is story-related or setting-related, I'm mostly asking about the general tactics a group of supernaturals could even try to bring about such a result. I.e., is it even possible for the supernaturals to accomplish this (seems a bit unlikely to me), what would be necessary setting-wise for them to accomplish it, what areas could be most easily broken off, and would this have broader consequences, rather than the specific actions of one or a few individuals. For example, Dracula managing to claim sovereignty over Manhattan horribly breaks suspension of disbelief unless there is heavy handwaving. The conflict is basically to set up the geopolitical backdrop of the setting and the actual plot doesn't focus on the broad scale geopolitics but the fallout.
Yes, I do realize the smarter thing would be for the supernaturals to campaign for public acceptance and try grassroots efforts to get elected to positions in state legislature and governorship until you have one or more states that have a significant supernatural demographic and pro-supernatural policy. I never said the supernaturals weren't arrogant.