If you're familiar with the "independent" derps in the tradition of Max Keiser & Stacy Herbert of Auroracoin, trollc etc ; or of Garrett J. Keirns "CEO, Principal Securities Analyst" & Robert B. Kelly III "CIO, Fixed Income Analyst" for "Surf Capital Management" ; or of Tom van Dyke, the "blood sweat and tears" bASIC scammer guy ; or any of the other fifty or so billion trillion scammers trying to run Bitcoin scams and getting eviscerated by my PR, then you're already cringing at what you already see in the mind's eye before even reading what I'm about to say. And right you are to cringe. If on the other hand you're familiar with none of that, please, for the sake of all that's holy, get familiar. Reading costs you nothing. "Investing" costs you everything you have. Pick the former, choose life, would you?
A few years ago Jeff Berwick and his merry band of co-conspirators (Redmond Weissenberger, Ed Bugos, Justin O'Connell, Wendy McLeroy and others) set about to creating a shill venue.ii Like this : How to make money on the Internet while pretending you know what you’re talking about and accumulating a legion of mindless followers - for fun and profit! And it worked, of course, because the Internet is full of narcissist maniacs with nary a hint of critical thinking.
Then a few years after that, he met his grifter soulmateiii, and proceeded to the actual scam. The supposed "idea" is blood curdlingly stupidiv as pretty much everyone immediately realised and numerous people actually bothered to point out. This, however, is no actual drawback : there's a very good reason spam emails are misspelled and the "ideas" of conmen are visibly and outrageously broken.v
And so it came to pass that the broken, dysfunctional nature of the scheme proposed didn't prevent significant "investment" pouring in over a couple of years. Which didn't go too well, of course, but since the chumps were still available they went for a second spin, which went equally poorly. And they'd be going for a third, and a fourth, and a fifth were it at all possible. I suspect however, judging by the recent CYA publications of the Dollar Vigilante scam ring, that they may have ended up with a little water in the fuel and the whole construction looks more likely to blow up than continue for a third spin. Not that they wouldn't do anything in their power to construct the impression a further spin is likely - whether it actually is or it is not likely at all it nevertheless has +EV for the scammers involved, as it pacifies the chumps either way.
Here's the article in question, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on Galt's Gulch Chile (cached today, just in case). And now let's proceed to some work on the text.
I have waited a long time to write this missive and it is with great regret that circumstances have reached a point that I now can and must.
As many of you are aware, throughout the first six months of 2013 I was trumpeting Galt's Gulch Chile and truly believed it would be an amazing place (and still do, actually, please read on).
This is what marks the author as dishonest. He is not an honest man accidentally caught in a web of lies crafted by another, wiser in the ways of the world. He is a dishonest man trying to negotiate with the truth, letting out as much as necessary in order to protect as much as possible of his own version of the world. So yeah, "he still does", please don't lose hope dear chumps because your misinvested hope is the fragile foundation for the entire edifice.
I was excited by what Doug Casey had created in Argentina (La Estancia de Cafayate) and had actually purchased there because I was so thrilled to see liberty minded people gravitating outside of the US to a place like Galt's Gulch in Ayn Rand's book, "Atlas Shrugged". I first wrote about La Estancia as being "Galt's Gulch" in 2011. I went on to talk throughout much of early 2012 about how exciting I found the concept and how I would like to do one myself.
Amusingly, this part is actually honest. To make things perfectly plain : your feelings are out to get you. Your emotions aren't worth a cup of warm piss. I don't care what you think about that, I even less care how that "makes you feel", and what's much more important than me and you : reality doesn't work that way. Take your clothes off, cup your hands, piss in the left and feel in the right, see which fills first. THAT is what matters. That. That only. The day you manage to fill your hand with feeling come back to me, but until that day, forget about it.
What's even more important : your hopes, your aspirations, your ideals aren't worth the mention. It makes exactly zero difference that you have "a vision".vi The world with your vision and the world without your vision is exactly the same, just like an over easy egg with some feeling sprinkled atop is exactly -but exactly - the same over easy egg as without. Exactly the same.
For your own sanity, for your own salvation if you believe in that, for your own moral well being if you care about that, for the sake of everything that's holy and everything nice and everything meaningful and everything else : don't be that guy. Don't be the "really passionate" retard, don't be the unable dreamer, the inept singer-songwriter, the "worldchanging" shut-in, the vocal nobody, the keyboard warrior, the teenager CEO, don't be any of this fictitious, imaginary, infantile bullshit. Don't be that guy for many countless endless practical reasons, which you happily ignore anyway, but chief of all don't be that guy for a very good theoretical reason that you can't possibly ignore : you can't be that guy. Nobody can. It is impossible to be that guy. The only guy you actually can be is the useful idiot, the exploited dreamer, the Lenin of this world.
Do you think you're better than Lenin ? Or perhaps you think Lenin didn't have a vision ? Or what exactly, what didn't he have ? Wasn't cultured enough ? Are you better read than Lenin ? Was he impure ? Man lived with the same woman his whole life, what exactly have you done ? Are you taller than Lenin, are you smarter than Lenin, you wrote more and better books than Lenin, what exactly makes you think you'll succeed where Lenin failed ?
Because yes, he did fail : for all his dreams and vision and passion and revolution and all that crap, for all his imaginations of free shiny happy people, he ended up playing shill for Stalin's grift. That's all he did, that's all he managed, a lifetime dedicated to your passion and emotion and feelings and nonsense. All it amounted to was less than a hill of beans. The result of all his tireless work (think you can work more than Lenin by the way ?), the prize for all his intensity was the worst atrocity in human history, the worst state in recorded memory, the thing everyone that ever met it wanted to run away from as far and as fast as possible.
That's what will happen to you too, because that's what happens, because that's how the world works. Whether you want it to or not. Whether you agree to it or not. Whether you even realise it or not. Irrespective of you, entirely and in all respects, what will happen is that you will meet a grifter and have a child, and that child will be disaster. Pain, sadness, hunger, death and human suffering of proportions strictly commensurate to your "drive", to your "ambition", to the clarity of your "vision" and the purity of your intentions. And we won't care. Nobody will care. You will be remembered as that shill that delivered the people who trusted you, the people that loved you, to some grifter or other. You will be remembered as Adonis-number.
And you will have a son, and his name will be Trotsky, and he'll be cursed to spend his life trying to fight for your memory, and to fail, and to die with a pickaxe in his eye socket. Is this what you want ?
Is this what you want for yourself, for your parents, for your friends and for the people that love you ? For all the people that ever hear of you, and for everyone that ever thought of, or admired, any of your great qualities ?
So fucking stop already then!
I had met a person named Ken Johnson in the late spring of 2012 at a conference in Palm Springs. He told me he was a recent libertarian convert and wanted to help me grow my business. We had begun to work together on some things. He told me he could sell "anything to anyone" and I liked that because we were in need of a sales and marketing department that was at that point non-existent for many businesses that I operate. It did start off well because when he spoke to people on the phone for a number of new businesses I had started including TDV Passports and TDV Offshore he immediately began to close sales. But it became apparent that we needed to grow the businesses and a sales team and so I left him in charge of that. That's when problems began. He created drama with all of our pre-existing and new staff even including initiating a physical confrontation with one person who we had hired.
So Ken is a salesman, says Jeff. But not the sort that works well with people - too intense for their needs. Makes sense.
You know what else makes sense ? Well, everything does, huh. Exactly what you'd expect this to be, shill met his grifter.
I always try to make things work out for the best (something I have learned not to do as much in the last few years with certain people for this reason) and tried to find a way to utilize Ken's sales abilities in a form where he did not have to manage a business or be involved with people.
So Ken is a salesman that can't be trusted to manage a business or be involved with people.
He had been telling me that his background was in real estate and that he was approached by a man named John Cobin about a property in Chile at Freedomfest in 2012. Cobin contacted Ken because he knew I was looking to get involved in my own real estate project.
This is probably a lie. Here's the thing : John Cobin is a shill just as much as Jeff Berwick is a shill. One has a website, the other has a radio show. One has the sort of social proof CV that makes muppets identify competence where there's nonevii, the other has the sort of social proof CV that makes muppets identify competence where there's noneviii. They're both exactly the same thing, and the grifter wouldn't be getting them together for any other reason than to see if they can work together, ie, if they end up quarreling like cats in heat or not. Generally the sort of derp that makes a good shill is trained extensively to "always try to make things work out for the best", but a good grifter takes no chances. Do you know how you take no chances ? By testing. Do you know what the most important part of testing is ? That your subjects don't know what you're testing.
Let me interject a story here. Not a month ago I was leadingix a human pack down the street, when we were accosted by one of these. His conversation starter was that he wanted to know where Avenida Corrientes is, which in the context was the rough equivalent of wanting to know where West Street is somewhere at the corner of Jay and Greenwich. This seemed well suspicious to me, so I tested him. Specifically, I went ten feet away from the pack, and invited the guy over. "'Cmere, I'll show you". He... wouldn't budge.
Now, if the guy's actual interest were the street in question, don't you figure he'd have followed me ? But if his interest were moreover the pack, wouldn't you expect that he'd stand glued in spot, continuing to eye them ? He didn't get beaten into a pulp merely because I didn't feel like ruining Italian silk worth good money with his blood worth nothing at all, but in principle he should have been beaten to shit. Were I not merely visiting here, or were I in the company of wise guys, he would have gotten beaten to shit, if for nothing else then for his debilitating idiocy of not actually managing to spot me for crying out loud. What, I look like a tourist ? Really ?x
That's a test. That's how a test works. So, of course Ken told Jeff that John had approached him. And then of course Ken told Jeff that the point of the meeting is for Jeff to evaluate a business proposal. All this so the actual point of the meeting, ie for Ken to evaluate the Jeff-John potential relationship, could be well served. The last thing Ken could possibly want is for a Jeff-John feud to bubble up right in the middle of his grift set-up. He has bills to pay, a number of girls giving him the lip for being such a bum, all sorts of expensive habits to feed, he can't afford to waste half a year on fucktard drama. Which - make no mistake about it - is what the shills count for, not just in my eyes, but in all the grifters', too.
Ken went down to Chile to take a look at it and was very excited about and he said I should get down there as soon as possible to see the property. I did and I was amazed at the property... and still am to this day. Anyone who has been there and seen it knows that it is perfectly located in a serene wine growing region and mountain valley about an hour outside of the bustling, modern metropolis of Santiago to the East and less than an hour to the best seaside resort in South America, Vina del Mar, to the West. And, located in what I had concluded was the most libertarian and growing country in South America. And the price seemed too good to be true. Less than $1.5 million for a very large property.
And there's a picture, too :
The only way one could be excited by this is if one was a complete idiot. But I mean, a complete idiot.
For one thing, "an hour outside" is a dead horse. Do you know what's "an hour outside" the bustling metropolis of Manhattan ? Everything, lol. The Bronx, White Plains, fucking New Jersey even. Everything's "an hour outside". So how much does the hour tell you, as to land value ? $min ? $max ? Forget it.
For the other thing, Santiago is neither bustling nor unbustling, neither modern nor ancient specifically. It's the 5mn strong capitol of Chile, and that's all it is. About half the size of either Rio or Buenos Aires, it looks exactly like half of either of these would look. It's been there forever, it gets by exactly like five hundred or so other cities the world over. It's about as bustling and modern as Leningrad, if you will.
For the final thing, what in the engineering hells is THAT! A fucking ravine, covered in drought tolerant vegetation, with no water in sight ? And with nothing whatsoever there ?! Are you fucking insane, man ?! Only someone that has no inkling of a clue as to the problems incumbent upon getting aqueducts and viaducts built, maintaining power lines, laying down foundations and so on and so forth in that type of terrain can imagine such a thing is exciting. Amazing is a better word, but the other way. I am pretty amazed, yes, but at exactly how wide the throats of fools are, to swallow a mountain like that.
Suppose you start cutting down forest for wood, admitting the Chileans let you do it, or you force them to accept it. Will that result in what, avalanches in the Winter ? Mudslides every Spring ? How do you build to mudslide, do you know ? It can be done, yes, do you know how it goes and what it costs ? How are you going to heat light buildings on a slope "an hour away" from the bustling metropolis ? "An hour away"'s worth of gas pipe is just about a billion dolars, give or take. You got it ? Good, then maybe you can find someone who will work for you honestly and not steal the money. The Chilean government can't, but you're much better than those filthy third worlders, what with being from the US and all. Right ? How are you going to build anything other than light wooden shacks on that slope, exactly ? Every acre built will require a cubic kilometer of concrete moved from "an hour away", do you have any idea what it costs to move a billion tons fifty miles ? In ten ton increments, you'll be there a while.
Do you have any idea what it costs to drill for water in that sort of clearly basaltic substrate ? Look it up. And then, IF, and that's a huge if, you're lucky enough to find water, you'll be stuck pumping it five thousand feet. Which means each cubic meter of water will cost you, even should you have the perfect engine, a megajoule and a half. The GGE is 33 KJoules, so there you go, 500 gallons of gasoline yields just enough power to get a cubic meter of water up to the faucet. Look it up, how much do you currently pay the city for a cubic meter of water ? Anything like $2`500 ? Well get used to it, it's so AMAZING!!1
Here's a hint : there's a reason mountain slopes are undeveloped all over the world, so much so that they're pretty much the only direct experience with "nature" you have. Guess that reason! And there's also a reason Chile mostly grows wine. Guess that one, too! What did you think, immigrants flocked on the Rio Grande and Rio de la Plata because they were fucking bored ? There wasn't a Jeff in their time with the "vision" to tell them what's what and lead them to a glorious life on the mountain side ?
We sat down for dinner in Santiago with John Cobin and his partner who had brought us the property and that's when things started to get strange. Cobin and his partner had some bizarre plan to zone a few thousand acres with 3,000 lots including golf courses, hotels and all manner of grandiose things. They actually had a business plan that went into the billions of dollars in revenue.
Who cares about expenditure when one has a vision of revenue before his eyes, right ? Thousands of acres, right ? Thousands of cubic kilometers of concrete, right ? Free, right ? Yours for a song, a dance, a dream... What could possibly go wrong ?
My first thought was that it would be terrible to turn this serene, perfect mountain valley into a complete suburban-like area. And my second thought was, "3,000 lots? Doug Casey has been operating La Estancia de Cafayate for more than five years and hasn't even sold 200 lots!"
I very much doubt he actually sold the 200.
Everyone at the table told me that it was a "sure thing" which I found preposterous. But then, Cobin, his partner and Ken started talking about putting a down payment on the property with a "rubber cheque". They were essentially saying that we would give the owner a cheque that had no real money backing it and then raise the funds to buy the property.
By that point I had had enough. "I don't do business that way," I said, and nearly got into a fist fight with Ken Johnson over it.
So he walked out and that was the last time he heard of either Ken or his friend John. Right ?
Well... no. Wrong.
However he and the others all assured me that this was "totally normal" in the real estate business to do... and over time they, and especially Ken, talked me into doing it. Ken told me, "this is how the real estate business works."
Excited by the property and the potential I decided to trust Ken on his knowledge of how to do real estate deals and we then raised the money with four key investors who we still to this day call "the founders". All were TDV readers and they were excited about the potential.
The man is lying. He must be. Unless his real name is Barbie Doll and he was having a very torrid, passionate, sexual affair with Ken, there is simply no way someone who got in a fist fight over check kiting with some random idiot he had just met turns around to think this is "totally normal". Sure, it is totally normal, as far as convicted felons go it's a rather common cause.
Also, people who are "excited about the potential" should be given a hundred lashes. Today.
I was assured that the property could be rezoned (at least somewhat)
Perhaps the meaning of "assurance" changed since I was in school. They changed the whole rest of the dictionary, what's one more word.
and that it had water rights and I returned to North America and Ken and I agreed we would be 50/50 partners on the deal (with a certain percentage for Cobin and his partner and for the founding investors) and I told Ken that I had no time nor qualification to operate or manage a real estate development so he would be the Managing Partner and that the plan was for us to bring in qualified people to help us develop the property as I brought in the marketing interest for lot purchasers. In other words, his role would be to do the real estate deal and I would bring in the investors and then we would find someone to properly manage the project and we'd both be mostly hands-off on the day-to-day operations.
Explain this to me. So, this guy is very fucking stupid. He has no clue whatsoever, of anything. He doesn't intend to put in any work, nor does he have any money. He deems this entitles him to 50%, in spite of other people putting in the capital, doing the work and managing the project. Why ?
No, seriously, why ? What is this, three teenagers outside the door of Malena, partitioning their entirely imaginary ownership of her even as she's laying with an actual man, some guy who doesn't even know who they are, what they're talking about nor would really care to find out ?
But wait, that's more! I had thought that we previously established that a) Ken was the salesman and b) he was no good with either people or managing projects. Why is the deal structured so that Jeff is now the salesman, and Ken has to deal with the people and manage the project ? I mean stupidity is one thing, but placing the tasks exactly across, giving everyone the job that most exactly matches his inabilities and lack of skill ? Make the baker butcher and the butcher bake, when the entire profession of the baker is to cultivate rots whereas of the butcher to avoid them ? What can possibly come out of this!
Unless, of course, the whole charade is entirely imaginary, like a dream, like a patch of preadolescent daydreaming in which anything can be anything else. Anything it wants to be! All the time!
That, as it turns out, was about the last time I had anything to do with Galt's Gulch Chile in terms of having any control (as I will explain below).
This is most definitely a lie. One always has the control of speaking the truth. Jeff could have written all this THEN. God knows I do. That's what being businesslike means. That. You weird me out with "rubber checks" and patent nonsense, you read on Trilema about how you weirded me out, and why, and how much. That is what businesslike is. This retarded shit where we're all "being friendly" for no reason and pretend like we're pretending all the shit is going swell in spite of our misgivings - misgivings that don't really exist until they become discursively useful - this isn't business-like. This is the exact opposite of business-like, this is the antithesis of business and nothing to like.
Very quickly after the purchase of the property I received an email from Ken that there was a lot of errors and the property not only can't be rezoned for 3,000 lots but only for 12! And, it had no water rights for much more than 12 livable units!
And you lied about it.
Yes, because that's why Ken told you this : so you'd be liable with him, because you knew. Tough tits, but honestly, someone this fucking stupid deserves everything they may get. Perhaps even more.
Ken told me it wouldn't be a problem and he'd get it fixed. And, while I had already begun to market the property I was generally okay in knowing that the four founders had bought a large piece of property that, at worst, they could live on and/or resell and no one would get very hurt from this mistake.
Yeah, here's a great idea, trust the guy that fucked it all up. Because that's how it works, he "fixes it". In the transactional lala-land these inept derps inhabit, the best person to mend your bones is not the doctor, but the thug that broke 'em. I can see it, "O, I was walking down the street and some guy punched me in the face and broke my cheekbone. So then I started crying about it and he said, Don't worry little girl, I'll fix it for you. So he clocked me once the other way, broke my other cheekbone too. And then broke my buttring with his peewee and the bad touch, and left".
A few months passed and there wasn't too much developing when I got an email from someone (not even Ken) in June of 2013 that he had just committed to purchase a property with secure water rights near the initial property for over $6 million... and it had to be paid in full within three months!
Ding ding, round two.
Also, he had hired some sales staff (all TDV readers) and all of them were emailing me telling me that what Ken had just done was crazy and he was trying to get them to sell a property that wasn't owned by GGC without any real details even about the property, how much water or water rights it had and whether it could be rezoned! They all said they were going to quit but Ken had begun to move forward and market it.
You remember, the puppet master that "wasn't good with people" because he got into a fistfight with some early employee that saw right through his bullshit. Jeff baby, if you weren't such a despicable, mendacious liar your bottomless stupidity would awe and amaze. Seriously now.
Being what I thought was a 50/50 partner with Ken on GGC (aside from the percentage ownership of the founding investors) I was shocked that he would do such a thing without even telling me.
What difference does it even make what he does, the percentage is the percentage, right ? Like, suppose you had a degree from some university. Why would you be surprised you can't do anything in your alleged field, not even the basics any intern that apprenticed with an actual expert can easy breeze ? You have the cert, after all. Right ?
I contacted my most trusted financial advisor
I have a number of advisors, on all sorts of topics. They are all trusted. The moment one isn't trusted anymore, do you know what I do ? I fire them.
But that's not how it works in the swamp the other half inhabits. What he means by "most trusted" is that the person is not, in fact, a qualified advisor. They're merely some other derp. Feeling trumps reality, right ? So, he feels good about this guy, what difference does anything make anymore ?
and asked him to go down to Chile with me to figure out what was going on. We met with Ken and GGC's lawyer at the time and asked if I was still a 50/50 partner with Ken on this project and he confirmed that I was.
"Ken baby, you still love yo baby's momma ?! Tell me you still love me Kenny, tell me one more time."
I then asked him if the founding investors knew about the deal and were comfortable with it and he told me they were.
Right, and then the mobster asked the undercover detective if he's an undercover detective, and the undercover detective denied being an undercover detective which constitutes entrapment. Right, Jeff Fuckwit Berwick ?
You don't have any sort of education past reading and writing up there in the US, and I have no idea where you make the women capable of having such stupid children, but it must be some sort of compost recycling procedure. There's just no way this occurs naturally, stupidity of this caliber has to be specifically selected for. Like big tits and stuff, this just can't happen by itself.
And then my advisor and I stated that this deal should not move forward, in any respect, until all the water rights were fully tested and that the property could be rezoned. Ken told us that he had done that for the most part and would complete it all soon but assured us it was fine.
I assure you you're a tomato. Who're you gonna believe ?
O, wait, you're gonna believe Ken, because he says what you want to hear, right ho ? Well done, I'm sure there's a prize.
Since I had already brought in thousands of leads to GGC throughout 2012 and the start of 2013 and Ken had begun to market this new property that GGC didn't even own I was very distressed. However, at the same time, the amount of interest was staggering. I knew there would be demand for a project like this but I was amazed how much interest there was. Ken again told me that this is just how these type of deals are done and that GGC would have no problem pre-selling the lots to pay for the land. He also told me that he had negotiated a deal in such a way that even if the full payment can't be made in time that we could extend it.
Why do something for the poor unfortunate simple souls that naively trusted you ? Fuck them, right, Ken's gotta be upheld, protected and defended to their detriment because... why, Jeff ? Why does Ken have to be upheld, protected and defended to the detriment of the people that trusted you with their savings ? He's the loser, he can't work with people, he can't manage, there were lots of errors, he can't even sell to the degree you had to do it, why ? What did these people ever do to you, for you to treat them so ?
Did it seem like a good idea at the time ?
And so I decided that since I was already roped into this by association I had two choices. To stop promoting GGC and go public with the reasons why I was uncomfortable or to continue to promote it and hope it works. I chose the latter and very quickly money began flooding into the project and I began to think that maybe this would all work out and maybe Ken really knew what he was doing.
That was around August of 2013. From then on things got worse and worse.
"And I still kept my mouth shut about it - FOR A WHOLE YEAR!"
The entire staff of GGC (mostly salespeople) had all threatened to quit (and most did quit except for one) because they were all libertarian free market anarchists and they disagreed with the way Ken was doing business. He was pre-selling lots that the property was not zoned for. He was not properly setting up the company nor even making any rational business plan for the company. He was just taking in money and often not even sending anyone a signed contract in return.
I wouldn't mind hearing from one of these guys, actually. If anyone knows anyone please be so kind as to forward, thanks.
I became very upset by this and many other incorrect business dealings I saw him doing and I told the "founding" investors that this had to change immediately or I would have to withdraw my name and consent from this operation. A fight, of sorts, went on for quite a period of time and finally I stated that if Ken did not start operating correctly that I was going to go public with what I saw were many issues... which would in effect surely have killed the project.
Oh, right. And then he said to the one cookie left in the cookie jar, "listen here cookie, if you don't desist from my constant chomping and chewing and eating of you, I will be forced to observe the jar is now empty so best not do that."
Ken had been telling the founders that all the problems that they were hearing about (staff quitting, problems with lawyers who wouldn't work with Ken, constant legal actions, problems with bank accounts that threatened to close GGC's accounts if the money coming in from offshore was not properly accounted for under 'money laundering' laws amongst other things) were all caused by me. None of them were as I had nothing to do with any of them but at that time the founders sided with Ken and believed him that I was the cause of countless problems.
Makes perfect sense, that's exactly what the scammer would do, and that's exactly when his confederates start spilling the dirt. Remember the Bitfinex scam, that one time the Ken of that outfit (Giancarlo Devasini) got the John of that outfit (Raphael Nicolle) to oust the Jeff (Ianov Farsaciu) of that outfit ? Yeah, that one's going for a very glorious third spin these days, it worked much better than the Chile Galt Gulch thing. It doesn't change what it is, there's no difference between a washing machine that spun three times and one that spun two times. In either case, once the machine's done spinning you're cleaned out.
Ken had convinced them, like he had originally done with me, that he knew what he was doing and so they put their trust with him. And, at about that time, Ken let me know that he had transferred all the properties from the original company in which I was a 50/50 partner into one in which he was essentially the sole owner (even excluding the founders who invested the original funds)!
Anything may be forgiven but welching on a certification deal. God forbid you stop saying Jeff is important, hell hath no fury as a narcissistic muppet forced to confront reality to the detriment of his ego.
Hey Jeff ? You're stupid. I'm not just saying this for X Y Z reasons you imagine. I'm saying it because you are. Really.
Then, in November of 2013 GGC was about to have its first event. The timeline to pay off the property had passed without full payment, but as Ken said it would, it didn't appear to be an issue and it had been extended. I continued to tell them that if Ken continued to have full control of this company it would be a disaster as he simply has no ability to manage staff or operations (as of today nearly 100 people have likely worked for GGC in one form or another and about half have quit and the other half have been fired... I believe there may be 1 or 2 new people working there now whom I am sure will either quit or be fired).
Best for any one of them if they never go back to the US. Either out of pure libertarian conviction and hatred for the evil statist government, or else because warrants. Same difference, right ?
It's this sort of "well meaning" scum that's the biggest problem actual intelligent people face. So here's a thought : humiliate a "well meaning", feel good idiot today. You're serving your ideals that way much more than by being annoying to some random low level law enforcement officer. That guy's not the system. These derps however, they're the system. Definitely.
I wasn't even invited by Ken or GGC to the event but the person Ken hired to manage the event just assumed I was still involved and she invited me... so I decided to go. I was surprised at the success of the event. There were a number of new staff members, many of whom seemed very competent, the event was well managed and planned by them and there was quite a large crowd of past buyers, the original founders and many who had come to look at buying.
"And I didn't as much as whisper a word to anyone, because I prefer the appearance of everything being okay to anything. Anything whatsoever. For instance, if someone fell into the sea and I was on a boat with a rope in my hand, I wouldn't throw them the rope. Instead, I would nod smilingly and approvingly, and tell them soothing words about how everything's going to be alright. Because if I did throw him the rope, he'd probably buck and struggle which is indecorous, and besides it would be tantamount to admitting he's in trouble in the first place, which can never, ever, under any circumstances be allowed to pass."
I spoke with Ken briefly and met with a few of the original founders and they told me they were happy and relieved to see that Ken had done what he said he was going to do and had made it a success. I continued to question the ways in which he was doing it (many of the lot purchases came in the form of a loan to be repaid over a number of years - a little ponzi-schemish for my liking) but even though I apparently had no ownership or control of the operation I was relieved to see that it wasn't a total disaster and even had the look of being a success.
Nice try beautiful, but whether you present it as having had control or not, the fact is you share a lot of the responsibility. Like it or not, it's on your head, and it won't go away. That's what this article is all about : it's here to ensure that Jeff Berwick, Redmond Weissenberger, Ed Bugos, Justin O'Connell, Wendy McLeroy and the rest of the merry band of scammers involved in this particular scam have no future among businessmen. Not anymore than Max Keiser, Stacy Herbert, Garrett J. Keirns, Robert B. Kelly III, Tom van Dyke, Trendon Shaversxi and so forth.
Soon after the event, however, things again went off the rails. Nearly every single person who had been hired and who I deemed to be highly competent to run and manage GGC quit or was fired. The stories started coming in on how horribly he had treated them and how many were not even paid for their services.
This somehow made me think of Josh Rossi.
I again went to the founders and expressed my concerns that a change needed to be made with Ken in full control of the operation and running it about as poorly as could be conceived in terms of accounting, management, staffing, continuing to sell lots for zoning that was not approved and so on.
The founders, still quite happy from what they saw at the event were very concerned but told me that Ken had agreed to having a board of directors including them that would control major decisions, doing a full accounting of all income, expenses and liabilities for them and that zoning would be approved "any day now".
I told them that I had no faith that Ken would do that as he had told me similar things for nearly the entire year prior and never did anything he said he was going to do.
This sounds so Bitcoin-y it hurts.
They all asked me to leave the project, have nothing at all to do with it and that once they had it under control they would find a way to compensate me for my involvement. They told me to just take my losses (my total losses of expenses, loans and money taken by Ken that I had given to him in exchange for a separate deal that he reneged on is approximately $500,000).
I only regret it's not more, ideally Jeff Berwick should spend the rest of his days in abject poverty for the crime of having thought his "vision" trumps reality ; I certainly hope he never sees a dime of any ill gotten proceeds for his crimes, and there's no doubt in my mind that restitution in any form from the grifter to the shills is immoral.
Exhausted by the entire year of extreme drama and stress I decided at that point just to take the losses and let them run it and have nothing to do with it... since that was really my only option anyway. I was also left with a dilemma on what or how I should publicly state this.
At that point, however, there were numerous people who had bought and all were incredibly excited about the project. The founders and many buyers asked me to just say nothing about what had happened and move on and let them build this project with Ken who had made them all countless promises.
For this reason I have not talked about GGC for nearly the last year.
Good call, enjoy your accessory-after-the-fact status!
I'm going to skip the remaining mile of goop, it's neither important nor even interesting, except for one prophetic phrase :
This will come to a resolution one way or another. This is not the last you will hear about Galt's Gulch Chile.
- By far the more important part of that series being The psychology of the bagholder. Please, read it! Re-read it! Don't be one of them! [↩]
- There are two parts to the modern Internet confidence scam, and they are the shill and the grifter. The shill builds the list of idiots, delivers them to the grifter for fleecing, after which plays the victim and offers to further "help them" by "giving information", as if he's not helped & informed them enough already. The idiots, being idiots, actually fall for it again, and delay proper action (which in this case always is, filing complaints with the police) to "wait" and to "see". As if there's anything whatsoever to see and any conceivable reason to wait.
Meanwhile the grifter throws the money out of the train and runs off. It's a more physically intense sort of job, but you don't need to work for nearly as long at a time. If you watch boxing, the shill is the manager, setting up fights, and the boxer is the grifter, delivering the punches. If you watch the Nature Channel, the shill is the pack of she lions, tiring out the buffalo, and the grifter is the head lion, delivering the killing blow. The buffalo being, of course, you. [↩]
- One Ken Thompson, supposedly - you will notice that since the shill is here to lie and obfuscate, whereas the grifter is in principle dedicated to making himself scarce, it is always a dubious proposition to take the shill's version as to the grifter's identity at face value. [↩]
- Here's a discussion of just exactly why. [↩]
- That reason being - the most expensive thing for the chumpatron manager is the high functioning retard, the sort of guy that while retarded enough to almost fall for it, is still smart enough to figure out something's amiss. This makes the con man waste resources on dead ends, and since the whole affair is a margins deal this is also pretty much the only way to stop him. Think extraction : if there's gold in the land, no Indian treaty, no guards, no snow or icy wind of Winter, no inconvenience whatever its kind or nature is going to stop the prospector. If, however, it costs a dollar and a dime's worth of gold to get a dollar's worth of gold out of the ground, well... that's that, the rush ends right there. Same exact thing with the chumpatron : you can make all the laws you want, you can put whatever guards and safeguards wherever you wish. For as long as a dollar's worth of fool can be extracted for less than a dollar's cost of effort, the chumpatron will be humming happily along.
Intelligent people aren't much of a problem for the chumpatron manager, because they're immune to him, and they know it. From the height of that invulnerability they can at most be amused at the entire thing, much like the elephant bull would look at the lion pack slinking by. What does he care ? It's not that the bull would chase the lions or anything - it's that the lions would never chase the bull. They know they don't stand a chance, they know they'd be simply wasting energy for no return, so they don't do it. See, in order to win a war it's not enough to have the better army : you have to also get the enemy to engage it.
Meanwhile actually dumb people, the sort that "invest" in the confidence game aren't a problem at all. They've already invested, it's theirs now, they perceive they have more to gain by maintaining the charade than by defending the truth. What is this truth bullshit, being foisted on them, threatening their narcissistic self-delusions ? A fie upon this truth! Why can't reality change to conform to their consensus instead ? A fie upon this reality! Why do other mean people keep insulting them and threatening their ego ? A fie upon these other people! You see ? Works just fine. [↩]
- Read the whole Kamuela conversation. It's a gem. [↩]
- Jeff Berwick's only claim to fame is early involvement in Stockhouse.com. [↩]
- John Cobin was a professor of economics in Chile. [↩]
- Because that's what I do, and if you have a problem with that you can't walk with me. Simple enough. [↩]
- Your takeaway from this story might just as well be that unless you're a wiseguy yourself, you're in no position to open your mouth or get involved once someone you know to be a wiseguy puts the smackdown on some random third party.
Sure, maybe they're violent, out of control sadistic maniacs. Maybe. Not your call. For all you know, maybe they saw something you didn't see, because you're stupid and they aren't. Always a possibility, neh ?
Or fail that, you know, they were probably just jealous because the nobody was competition or something. Right ? [↩]
- Here's a fun fact : it was me that first called that ponzi scam a ponzi scam, through my forum PR. Isn't history a blast. [↩]