Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Con Man's Dream! Think Big When Going Over to the Dark Side

A father / son team of convicted felons actually did this in the early 1990s. The Dominion of Melchizedek, a totally fictitious, sovereign nation was located on an uninhabited Stoll owned by the Republic of Marshall Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Columbia, South America. President of this island nation rip-off was the son's wife, who reportedly lived in California. It was purportedly a quasi-religious society governed by a "House of Elders." It had a complete financial system with phony banks and stock exchanges. It sold citizenships, insurance and stock licenses.. It sold diplomatic passports, religious grants, business licenses.. And, it had an embassy listing in Washington, D.C., Unbelievably, it was actually "recognized" by an African state. (One can only question what these officials were smoking at the time these documents were signed.) This mighty little nation even had the boldness to declare war on France for nuclear testing. (The mouse that roared?)

The sum of the Dominion's activities ran amuck. Cataloged by John Shockey, former U..S. Comptroller of the Currency, these included: taking deposits, investment sums and fees, and issuing worthless "guarantees." Also, making loan commitments, verifying and "authenticating" values of other Melchizedek entities which issued hundreds of millions of dollars in worthless debt instruments which were used to obtain real money loans and were exchanged in real brokerage houses for real value securities.

Amazing is the fact that--despite excellent, detailed exposure in articles run in Forbes, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal as long ago as the early 1990s--this monumental scam is still up and running, more than 15 years later. The Dominion's web site--www.melchizedek.com--was clickable as of press time of this News Release. Endless? Limitless fraud? On and on, into perpetuity? Where does it all end? Or, does it? one might ask.

Breakdown of the system in its ability to restrain giant scams seems to be the key to success for this con man's dream. In his book, Six Hours Past Thursday (www.sixhrs.com), author, Jack Payne, goes one application better. "This nation-building exercise is entirely illegal," says Payne. "It's blatant, in-your-face, outright crime. From the opposite side of the fence my book tackles another broken system," he goes on, "Our cumbersome, snail-moving legal system. Converse to Melchizedek, this system is rife with opportunities for entirely socially acceptable, non-jailable 'legal' crime." His novel weaves the story of how a Chicago mobster, with the aid of a con man, creates such an entity, a gambling island Mecca, ala Monte Carlo, off the coast of Florida.

"From fiction to reality! How close the gap?
Really! In this vast setting, a world stage, it's amazing the scale on which such shell games--such completely nutty mind games--do not only operate but flourish. And, when you have no moral compass with which to navigate," concludes Payne, "the sky is your only .limit."

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