chile

EDITORIAL, International Real Estate
The Fate of Galt's Gulch Chile
By Wendy McElroy - August 25, 2014

Many have wondered about the status of Galt's Gulch Chile (GGC), the libertarian community that was planned and sold in lots as a liberty oasis for those who wished to live freedom before they died. My husband and I purchased an option on 1.25 acres in July 2013. Others bought 10- or 25-acre lots and some invested in the agricultural side of the venture; extremely savvy investors committed small fortunes. GGC has been an unexpectedly wild ride since then.

Shortly after purchasing, I received an unsigned email through the webform of a site I maintain. It informed me that GGC was a fraud. One reason: GGC lacked water rights. In Chile, purchasing surface land and water rights are two separate processes. GGC is desert terrain, rather like California, and water rights are absolutely necessary for a community to be established. I responded to the email but the message bounced back to me. I did a search on the email's IP address and it became apparent that the sender had used an anonymizer.

I forwarded the email to the two joint owners of GGC. My inquiry was not hostile but it stirred quite a reaction. They immediately recognized the source as a former employee who had threatened to tell people "like me" about the problem if they did not pay him hush money. (The emailer was also an old movement acquaintance of mine.)

Fast forward through many unpleasant details… The man was paid off. GGC acquired more land, which had water rights that were both attached and transferable.

A GGC celebration was held in November 2013. The alleged purpose was for people to finalize the selection of lots and other paperwork. No selection took place because no zoning permits had been obtained. A GGC celebration was held this April, with my husband and me in attendance. Indeed, I was the opening speaker. (BTW, I have made no money from the project other than the speaking fee.) The alleged purpose was for people to finalize the selection of lots and other paperwork. No selection took place because no zoning permits had been obtained.

Unbeknown to most purchasers, dramatic changes had occurred behind the scenes. Through maze-like transfers of cash and authority, Ken Johnson took control of the project. I have sorted out most of the obfuscating tangle and I may soon be writing a history of the labyrinthine matter. For the moment, suffice it to say there is basis for various lawsuits; some are being pursued.

There will be no zoning for the 1.25-acre lots or other arrangements of less than 10 acres. Lots over 10 acres are beyond my ken. GGC is an environmentally protected area and it would take the political movement of heaven and earth to allow a community based on small lots to be officially approved. I had the opportunity to ask a question of the salesman who showed my husband and me "our property." I claimed it because I fell head over heels for the most beautiful tree I've ever seen. I felt an instant connection as though the two of us were old souls who had found each other. I could believe it, I could see it… waking up each morning and having coffee under that tree, telling it about my plans for the day. Months later, in a Skype conference, I asked the then-GGC-alienated salesman, "When you 'sold' us the property, when you printed out a photo from your phone that read 'Wendy's tree,' did you know you could not legally sell us the lot you were offering?" He said, "That is correct."

I suppose there is some comfort in being fleeced in good company, in being in the company of some of the smartest businessmen in the movement. I am not reassured. Perhaps it is because I am an Irish peasant and what reassures me is owning the land under my feet.

But something reassuring is happening. For a few months now, what I call "the founding fathers" have been trying to purchase all rights to GGC and to reboot. It is not just a financial investment to them. They want to live in a community with like-minded people; they want the promise of freedom. I don't know if they can succeed but I support them.

There are genuine problems that should discourage all and any from currently investing in GGC. For example – and just one of many, many examples – GGC owes immense debts to vendors in the closest town of Curacavi. Brad and I spent two weeks there and fell in love with the people, the town, the experience. But GGC owes hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to hardware stores, service providers… ordinary Chileans who are acutely harmed by the project's malfeasance. They will be and should be first in line for repayment from any legal actions. GGC is heavily encumbered with no good outcome in the near future.

I continue to admire the founding fathers of GGC and I do nothing but wish them success. I hope to be part of the resolution. But no one, no one should invest their hard-earned money in this venture before a resolution is clear. I don't want to have you on my conscience.

Posted in EDITORIAL, International Real Estate
  • Taqwa

    Hi Wendy,

    Thank you for sharing your experience there. I had read about the GGC earlier in a DB post. For me this provides a good example to help me understand how libertarianism works. Namely what do you do in cases like this of fraud or crime ?

    I very much like the libertarian ideas of voluntary participation. But I never understood how do you get around some sort of forceful governance in a case like this ? What would a libertarian solution to a problem like this look like, assuming those who committed the fraud stand fast in their effort to do so ?

    I am still learning about the ideas within libertarianism and welcome and thank anyone who would role play this out as a thought experiment to help illustrate how it would work in such situations. It is situations like these that have been stumbling blocks to my full acceptance of libertarianism.

    • bouf

      In instances such as these, you never trust more resources (money) than you are comfortable losing without having to shoot someone.

      • Jeff Berwick

        Shooting someone is a definite option here.

        • Sok Akowntt

          Wow. That much money, huh?

          Based on what I’ve seen regards “available” plots and “secured” water rights, and what I’ve subsequently read this morning, straight-up fraud seems a distinct possiblity. However, I hope that y’all have enforceable contracts and find a quick (and non-violent) path to restitution, for the sake of this project, and the possibility of similar future ones.

          • Sok,,,Yes, we have what may be one of the few enforceable contracts because “enforceable” means notarized in Chile. We have a contract with a notary’s seal on every page. Many purchasers were not so meticulous and I fear they have no standing before a court. Also…GGC was inviting purchases in bitcoins and gold. At least one Chilean court has ruled that bitcoin purchases are not valid because bitcoin is not recognized as currency. But even if our contract is enforceable…where is the money? There is a New Zealand entity, 4 different shells (that I know of), several land transfers… This is an incredible mess. And the most incredible thing is how long it remained silent. Brad and I kept looking at each other over coffee in the morning and saying “this can’t keep quiet any longer.” And, yet, it did. And, so, I didn’t.

          • Wil

            The silence from you and Jeff regarding GGC was loud enough to know something was going on. This is in line with my experiences, yet I thankfully didn’t buy. Thanks for speaking up.

          • Bill Ross

            With penalties, you may, if the “law” works, get your 10 acres, after all.

        • Maritha

          You guys need some serious damage control here. 🙁 I had wanted to play some tennis with y’all but the costs were out of my league. Guess being poor is a good thing. Nothing stopping anyone from buying land nearby but without all the restrictions and personality problems. This is why even the idea of going to church gives me the creeps. Too many people “up in my business” loses its appeal.

        • Jeff is engaging in hyperbole. It is one of his charms…but if you can’t see his face and the twinkle is lost on you, then you need to know “Jeff is engaging in hyperbole.”

          • honestann

            I hope that’s not hyperbole, because it shouldn’t be. When honest, ethical, productive, benevolent human beings attempt to treat dishonest, unethical, destructive, malevolent human predators like other honest, ethical, productive, benevolent human beings, the predators ALWAYS win. Furthermore, they have ENORMOUS advantages, and the damage they cause can continue and expand indefinitely. Until, in fact, human predators completely enslave mankind, which is the current state of planet earth. The appropriate way to deal with predators, once you KNOW they are predators, is aggressive, decisive self-defence or retaliation. Nothing else works, and nothing else can work.

    • Brad R

      Hi Taqwa, the question of how a libertarian society would provide police and judiciary services is a large and complex one, and you’ll get a lot of different answers. (For example, minimum-government “minarchists” argue that these are two functions which require a tiny state; no-government anarchists argue that these can be privately provided.) I’m not sure I’m up to the task.

      However, let me dispel the illusion that you’re getting effective protection from the government, with an example. Many years ago my pickup truck was stolen. All the police did was file a report. They didn’t get my truck back — well, they did find its stripped carcass a week later — they didn’t find, arrest, or punish the perpetrators, and they didn’t recompense me for the loss. My protection in that case was not from the police, but from my insurance company, who *did* recompense me for the loss.

      Many proposals for libertarian societies assume that insurance will be your first line of defense. I’d guess that it would even be possible to insure against the default of a contract.

      • Taqwa

        Thank you Brad R for the reply. I guess that makes sense, it will depend where on the spectrum of governance a society was setup.

        The minarchist structure is what I suspected would come about. But, I am curious in exploring a purely ‘private’ based one as you mentioned with insurance being one’s main recourse.

        I guess I have some reading to do…do you have any recommendations on where to start ?

        Thanks again

        • Brad R

          Taqwa, sorry, I really don’t have any recommendations for reading material. What little I know, I’ve picked up from short articles and from talking to libertarians over the years. I was hoping that someone else would jump in here with some suggestions.

          • deltajent

            More free material than you could read in a lifetime at the mises.org website. Go to the Literature section and search by author. It’s all free in multiple formats, or you can purchase the hard copy. I would recommend pretty much anything by Rothbard, but I suggest starting with either his “For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto” or “Anatomy of the State.”

        • gdp

          As a first start, there is always Rothbard’s discussion of private security and judiciary agencies from “Man, Economy, and the State”:

          http://mises.org/rothbard/mes/chap13.asp

          And the wikipedia pages on Private Defense Agencies and Libertarian Theories of Law are also not too bad, and contain links and/or references to the original source material:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_defense_agency
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_theories_of_law

          Googling on “Free-market judiciary” also turns up many online references.

  • gdp

    Dear Wendy — Very distressing news, and my deepest condolences to you, your husband, and all the other investors in the GGC who have been defrauded by Johnson and his cohorts in malfeasance. 🙁

    It boggles my mind that a movement dedicated to the foundational principle that all instances of fraud and the initiation of force are immoral appears to attract so many con-men. (I am thinking, for example, of several notable LP candidates for POTUS who came out of their campaign noticeable richer than when they went in. 🙁

    Perhaps it is because we are idealists, and con-men view idealists as “marks” because paying lip-service to those ideals gives the con a direct path for worming their way into the community and exploiting its members. 🙁
    It would seem to be yet another instance of one of the rather more unpleasant “laws” of ecology, that communities tend to accumulate parasites. 🙁

    Thank you for being so open about what has happened, and I share your hope that the remaining founders of GGC can manage to salvage something from this debacle.

    Again, my condolences. My heart goes out to you and all the others of the GGC who have been defrauded.

    • Jeff Berwick

      Johnson is not a libertarian. He fooled a lot of people for a while, unfortunately, including myself.

      • Ken Johnson

        I don’t believe in labels, which doesn’t equate to being a “non-Libertarian”. Labels are only as accurate as how well, or simply how, the “labelist” perceives or understands the meaning of the particular label he or she is throwing about.

  • Bill Ross

    sorry to hear that some crooks have taken liberties with you Wendy.

    If Chile is libertarian friendly, why not just form your own group, buy / split the land and have a ‘hood of your buddies and insiders? I did look into GCC, but considered it poor value, inflated because of the liberty hype.

  • Greg Jaxon

    Jeff’s sales pitch did nothing for me. Having traveled in Chile only once, I was depressed by their government’s intrusiveness in each transaction and every movement. Chilean law may be preferable to most Asian countries, but it derives from the continental
    civil law in contrast to British common law. Chile’s government has taken extreme measures against dissidents in their darker past, and I am not aware of any constitutional changes that prevent this from happening again. I’d enjoy the promised freedom almost regardless of costs, but this cannot come simply from talented land development… it has to come from political renovation of some domain. Jeff heart is certainly in a good place, but the pragmatics of realizing this dream may require another sort of effort.

    I appreciate the update, I’ve been curious.

    • Jeff Berwick

      The problems have not really had anything to do with the country of Chile itself. It has been due to management. I will continue to do whatever it takes (even though I have been removed of any ownership or control whatsoever for the last year, if not more).

      • honestann

        Jeff, I have been so impressed by your articles and videos, because you express so many ideas and facts so directly and clearly, without shading for your own comfort. That is rare, and always greatly appreciated. Perhaps the lesson to take away from this fiasco is… to always be as open, clear, direct and *immediate* with every issue. When worrying signs in any endeavor are expressed openly, clearly and immediately, the chances they will be resolved is better, and the chances others will be blind-sided by bad news later are greatly decreased.

    • Brad R

      We did quite a bit of research before committing to the project, and I was impressed by Chile’s high ranking for transparency and business friendliness, and its reputation for extremely low corruption. It is also friendly to foreigners who want to buy property. I think as a backlash from previous abuses, they have become very bureaucratic and finicky about paperwork and following the letter of the rules. I was surprised that we received a written receipt even for the tiniest transactions in Curacavi; later I learned that this is required by law. The biggest headache is probably opening a bank account, which is simply impossible for non-residents. On the flip side, we were pleasantly surprised at how little the state interferes in day-to-day life, and how little of North American hysteria appears there. In Curacavi and Vina del Mar we frequently saw children playing, unattended by parents. The house we rented was a testament to the laxness of building-code enforcement. We saw people selling produce and food informally from the backs of their trucks — and we did see police *buying* at one such, rather than hassling the seller. The only other times we saw police were (a) providing an escort to a wedding procession, and (b) handling traffic for a festival. It’s a far cry from Ferguson, Missouri.

      Yes, there was a darker past — but sometimes it’s those who survive such periods, who come out with an attitude of “never again.” (Look at post-WW II Germany, for example.) It’s a little disquieting to hear that there are still Pinochet supporters there — though we didn’t meet any — but overall I got the impression of a society where the rule of law is respected but not overbearing. Which is probably the best a libertarian can hope for, these days.

      • Greg Jaxon

        Thanks for the rebuttal. My travels were only in Santiago and Valparasio, and so were colored by the customs officers and by the way the residents’ SSNs were required in most transactions. One’s taxi destinations were logged with the passenger identities… As I said the Law is closer to continental Europe’s “civil” (top-down) law than to British (bottom-up) common law, and that tends to make all the difference to where you set down multi-generational roots.

        • Brad R

          That’s very interesting. We had rented a car, so we didn’t notice any logging of travel. And I didn’t see any transactions asking for tax ID numbers, but all we did was retail shopping. The customs officers at the airport were straightforward. We had declared that we were bringing in some food products (maple syrup, as gifts) and they didn’t even want to check our luggage — they just took our customs form and waved us through.

  • Richard Keys

    I have a vague notion that someone once started a ‘utopian’ community in South America sometime in the 1970’s, does anyone remember what happened?

    • Richard…you may be thinking of Doug Casey’s community in Argentina. Doug is a good friend and I would have chosen Argentina — as he urged me to do — but the nation is so iffy politically/economically and my husband is rock-solid against against relocating there. The last point pretty much trashes the chances of any relocation prospect. If I have to drug him to get the man over a national border….I mean, the logistics alone argue against it.

      • Ben

        No Wendy, he’s trolling you. He’s referring to the Jim Jones, the guy that started a community called ‘Jonestown’ for his cult in Guyana, a small SA country. He got them all to drink poisoned Kool Aid. I believe its where we get the phrase ‘drinking the Kool Aid’ when referring to blind, mindless followers.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones

      • Pete

        A shame, Wendy. We would have loved to see you at LEC. Love the place.

  • Gil G

    “We Libertarians will show the world. You’ll see.”

    • AngryMamabear

      Gil’s interpretation: One individual apparently screwed other individuals out of their money via deception. Must be because he/they are “Libertarians” (a political ideology/party). Really? Is there some political movement, “Republican” “Democrat” “Green” “Reform” “Socialist,” in which no one screws each other through deception? Please tell me what that is so I can join immediately. (Just kidding – I don’t join anything!) My experience, having previously (for naught) worked extensively from an organizational perspective with all of the above “movements” (parties) (and several others) is that in every case there are some/many members who do, indeed, deceive each other for personal gain and thereby humiliate and horrify the members with more integrity-driven ideals. Every one.

      These false paradigms continue, absurd though they are, because they are a convenient way for people to continue to look outward to assess blame rather than looking inward to assess their own personal integrity. If we’re to attribute an individual’s actions to his/her personal philosophy (which is always true), that’s easy, as it’s the philosophy of a majority of people (at least the majority of those with whom I’ve interacted): Personal greed utterly lacking in personal integrity.

      Of course, any even occasional readers of Berwick or McElroy already know neither is a Libertarian but those who choose to look at the world through a self-proscribed very narrow field of vision haven’t the tools with which to broaden their understanding. No point going there … [Gil, perhaps you’re not anti-libertarianism and you meant this tongue-in-cheek, in which case this statement does not apply to you but certainly does to MANY people who have a need to perpetuate the false paradigms that limit their ability to see.]

  • Ken Johnson

    Wendy,

    I should say that I am surprised by your article, but knowing that you seemingly support Jeff Berwick (owner of the newsletter you write for regularly) in somewhat of a blind manner, it possibly shouldn’t surprise me.

    As you read, from my reply to your email to me on August 21st (4 days ago), there has been no wrong doing at Galt’s Gulch, as you are pointing out.

    At the insistence of the 1st round Founders of GGC, I chose to remain quiet, which I, and the other Founders, had endless conversations about disclosing the actions of Jeff Berwick, as well as some of the TDV misfits (as I call them) whom assisted him with financial damages of GGC and months of delays, dating back over a year now.

    In the world that some of us inhabit, where the safety of the computer screen and keyboard seem to be all-protecting, and possibly all-knowing apparently, there seems to be a tendency for people to cling to rumor for something to stand behind or an enemy that they need to define (as you are trying to do of me apparently). The reality of GGC is far from what you are outlining. Yes, there have been some serious ups and downs, with many of them being created by Mr. Berwick directly, or indirectly via various parties. The are virtually no debts owed in the town of Curacavi, yet you claim there are hundreds of thousands of dollars in money owed. Do you have evidence of this Wendy, other than convenient rumor? Please do email it to me. I would be happy to inform you of what the true financial situation of GGC is.

    There are plenty of written correspondences of approvals being in process and/or soon to be achieved by the Chilean parties that I put my trust in, but their promises fell short of reality. This, in no way, correlates to what you are representing. The project has over 11,000 acres of land under title, as well as new agreements on other aspects of the project, which we have been working on diligently for a while now.

    As I outlined in my email reply to you August 23rd, there are many things that I have been working to complete for lots to be available to GGC clients, which I shared with the interested investor, whom you alluded to in your 8/21 email. I shared this information with him back in May/June of this year, while also communicating to him that all whom have put money into GGC should be given equity in the project, as well as a lot when approved. This idea, as well as others that I communicated to him, as well as other parties, were possibly taken as the ideas of others apparently, but that can only be assumed to happen when a party, or parties, have a vested interest in standing behind one story (which I have emails confirming), no matter what the truth may present as I release information that I was asked for months and months not to release about Mr. Berwick and some of his cohorts. There is a very long list of emails, messages and other communications from Founders, this investor, Mr. Berwick and others outlining and supporting all that I have said as truth. It is unfortunate that the truth is not the primary factor for your article here.

    Mr. Berwick told me in months past the The Daily Bell was going out of business and that they came to him to save them…or something of the sorts (it’s in my emails, if people want to see it)…so, I’m sure this post may have to get past the subjective sniff test to see the light of day. I’ve copied it, so it will be pasted on other forums, as well as a response to your article to GGC clients.

    To all of our freedoms,
    Ken Johnson

    PS – Anyone who would like information direct from the source, rather than from someone who is blindly loyal to The Dollar Vigilante (which is the project that I left due to misappropriation of funds and other issues), then feel free to email me at: kjohnson at galtsgulchchile dot com. We’d be happy to provide objective information outlining what has gone on at GGC, where it stands today and where it is going.

    • Ken…there is so much to refute in your email and dealing with GGC leaves me feeling exhausted these days. So I will just produce one black swan to counter your very, very strange claim that you owe nothing to the people in Curicavi…who are not rich, BTW, and are trying to feed their children. What you do to them is worse than what you do to me. Consider the local firm Fotosig Limitada. On July 18, 2014, the company filed a petition with the court on 5,800,000 Chilean dollars against GGC and you personally. It requested injunctions on your assets. Service was attempted on July 7 at Teatinos 251, Office 201 but the place was vacant. I spoke to vendors at the April “celebration.” Why do you think they locked the portable bathrooms and refused to let North Americans use them? Because you would not pay them for the honest labor and service they offered.

      • Ken Johnson

        Wendy,

        Fotosig has been paid tens of thousands of dollars for topography work on El Penon, as well as the two parcels in Lepe. They are in Santiago…not Curacavi. GGC staff frequents many local businesses and we fully understand that Curacavi is not a wealthy city. We do not take advantage of the local people, as you seem to believe. Fotosig is due one final payment, which is being made this week. All staff is paid.

        The information presented above by “Willie” is not accurate. I have been accused of many things with this project, but I have not taken money from the project, other than partial salary for a few months. The Teatinos address was the first law firm that represented GGC. That was simply an error on their part in the mailing. Not something devious, as you seem to think. The business address is readily available and we have spoke with Fotosig about their payment. The final payment due to them came about from a sizeable amount of work that was needed to complete the mapping that a Chilean engineer could not complete on his own. This engineer was brought in early this year by Mr. Del Real and it was represented to me that they would have the lots approved prior to the Celebration in April. This can be attested to by staff, emails and the like. I put my trust in the hands of Mr. Del Real and his team, that promised to have a long list of items completed for GGC, but that turned out to not be the case unfortunately.

        I’m not sure what you are referencing about the portable toilets. The company that handled that was paid in full.

        And, yes, I do think it would be great to offer all whom have invested in GGC to receive equity, which was communicated to the investor looking to take over management of GGC, which I have welcomed dating back months, but I haven’t been in a position to issue it, as there are talks to restructure GGC and matters to resolve with some involved before doing so.

        There have been many things that I was asked to not discuss with GGC clients, or the public, surrounding the actions of Jeff Berwick, John Cobin and others. I was asked to not do so, as some of the Founders of GGC felt it would be damaging for the project, but I felt otherwise. There are countless emails showing this on-going discussion amongst us.

        By the way, I sleep on a mattress on a linoleum covered concrete floor, while people attempt to make it seem as if I’m living the high life on others’ money. That simply isn’t the case. The Del Real family were brought into the project because they showed sincere efforts to help the project, but it turned out to be a bad decision on my part. I made another bad decision to trust our former “planner” whom turned out to not be a truthful person and his communications (realized after the fact) show that he was actually working against the progress of map approvals. Yes, sounds strange, but it is true.

        • gdp

          Given that the value of your word is currently under question, Mr. Johnson, why do you expect that any sane person would take you at your word?

          Anyone can non-verifiably CLAIM to be sleeping on a linoleum floor — even someone living in a penthouse suite! — but there is absolute no reason why anyone else should accept such a non-verifiable claim as “truth.” Especially if the person making said claim has acquired a reputation as a liar and a con-man.

          At this point, there is only one way you can redeem your reputation and prove that you have not been malfeasant, Mr. Johnson — and that is to OPEN UP YOUR BOOKS TO YOUR INVESTORS, AND SHOW THEM EXACTLY WHERE ALL THEIR MONEY WENT.

          Nothing less than COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY ON YOUR PART will suffice at this point, Mr. Johnson, because there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for anyone to believe that your unsupported word is worth anything.

        • Babaloo Machado

          Ken, Do you have any bridges in the desert to sell me?

    • Brad R

      Ken, if you are happy to inform us of the GGC financial situation, perhaps you can confirm this. I understand that a payment of roughly USD$2 million, for the property and water rights, was due in April. GGC did not make that payment, but negotiated an extension to mid-August, with the addition of a late penalty of roughly USD$300,000. (Notwithstanding this fact, you told us and others, personally, in late April that all GGC lands were owned free and clear, and that GGC did not have any outstanding debt.) I understand that GGC did not make that August deadline, but has negotiated a further extension with a further late penalty. So what payment is currently due when, to complete the purchase of the property and water rights, and what happens if that payment is (again) not made?

    • Bill Ross

      gawd knows why you got so many “likes”. You make an “argument from authority” based on emails purporting to “prove” X, but, no emails. A lexical analysis yields: you proved nothing, but did opine.

      • alaska3636

        I sense the tone and, easily accessible, Disqus activity of someone doing serious “damage control.”

        Why can’t I think of an honest person who has had to do “damage control”?

        That’s about all I care to say on this matter, except maybe…”Fascinating…”

  • Praetor

    Sorry to hear it, hate to hear about people being ripped-off. BUT, a friend of mine, a very good friend and a good person, now berried in the dirt 22 years, this man was a master sales man, he could sell you your own shirt over and over again until you realized it was your shirt in the first place. He had land deals going in Hawaii, in Fiji, Australia all over the pacific, they finally nailed him for mail fraud and put him up at Lompoc prison for 3 years at the time it was a country club more or less. He told me before you buy any land/home always do your “do diligence” and he explained to me what that meant. I have bought and sold 16 homes and land and I always do my “do diligence” as he instructed me to do. Not trying to sound harsh, but when it comes to land/home you must know everything about that land/home and every one involved in the deal it is very complicated, as the old saying goes, “They don’t make land any more” or something such. BUT, when it comes to your Oasis away for the troubled world, the dream can blind your eyes. Been there.

    • honestann

      Just for future reference, the term is “due diligence”.

  • mojo

    Weapons-grade ignorance Wendy

    • No mojo. Very diligent people had lawyers investigate for weeks. It was a very well orchestrated piece of work. You can blame me but I do not blame myself. I did due diligence as did other investors….one of them is an incredibly savvy investor who had a team of lawyers before plunging at least a million (I think it was more). As I said, throw mud my way if you wish. Believe me, I’m beyond caring about the project.

  • Opperdienaar

    There was also the strange thing that at the time Sovereign man closed their coomunity in the neighborhood, because of the water right issue at GGC. What was that allabout?

    • Jeff Berwick

      I think that was totally unrelated.

  • Jeff Berwick

    I will be making a public statement about what has happened in GGC in the last year in the next few days and I thank Wendy for valiantly coming forward with the truth in a public forum. As Wendy pointed out, many are working to rectify the issues but I have been shut out of anything to do with GGC for the last year and asked by the major investors not to come forward until there was a resolution. A resolution I am committed to seeing come to fruition as are the founding investors.

    • Jeff Berwick

      I also concur and advise that until there is a resolution that no one should invest in this project. Wendy and I will both inform you if/when (and I think it is when) that time comes.

      • Leslie

        My husband and I invested in a 2.5 acre lot at GGC in 2013. Thank you for the update and for giving us hope of a resolution. What was to be a place of freedom and peace now sounds like a place full of lies and deceit. We are not only heartbroken that our dream to live at GGC my not become a reality, we are heartbroken we may suffer a financial loss that would be extremely devastating to us. Please keep us informed.
        Love and peace,
        Leslie

        • Leslie, I don’t know what to say to you other than that my husband and I share your response. We would have loved to be your neighbors…and the founders are working on something that will vaguely resemble the original proposal. I hope for the best. I accept what is real. And I am pleased to make your acquaintance. Your friend, Wendy.

          • honestann

            One minor but important point. Until you know FOR SURE what the government will allow (with regards to lot sizes, lot numbers and structure limitations at the very minimum), nobody can actually try to restart the project in a legitimate way, because you have no way to make honest representations.

            As a practical matter, I encourage you and other interested parties to estimate and factor in the costs, difficulties, uncertainties and elapsed time that is likely to be required to untangle the ENORMOUS complexity of legalities involved.

            Further I must warn you that NO actual, practical, dependable way exists to find out what are all the promises and representations Ken Johnson made, especially verbal ones, or via private emails (since you can never be sure you get them all, even if he claims to turn them over to you).

            I don’t want to discourage you or others with hopes and dreams for GGC, but I do want you to be completely realistic about the likely costs, delays and uncertainties that invariably exist at this point. My personal reaction if I was in your position would be, “No way I’m willing to go through this”. To create an entirely new venture with zero connections to GGC will probably be infinitely easier, more satisfying, quicker, and definitely with infinitely less chance of unexpected bomb blowing up in your face along the way and into the indefinite future.

            Law sucks. Lawyers suck. Courts suck. Is this really how you folks want to spend your life, mind, attention, financial resources and what might otherwise be simply happy days for the next years or decades? A lost cause is a lost cause. A is A. Think about it. Best wishes to all. My condolences.

          • Fritz Knese

            Absolutely correct!! That is a major reason I advocate staying within the bounds of your own culture where one has a lot better idea of what is going on when buying property and dealing with local crooks…I mean government.

          • No offense taken, honestann, and thanks for your good wishes. I have had similar thoughts. There is no clear answer for me on this matter.

    • Yes, Jeff. I have high hopes for what I call “the founding fathers,” whom I respect, and for their plans of rescue. My post was prompted by learning that people were still investing in GGC. I thought *that* aspect of the project had closed down as I thought Ken had “lost’ or fired his entire marketing section. But the webpages still function and I guess that’s enough in and of itself. Thank you for preparing your own statement, Jeff. You have been a source of honesty and decency throughout this process. The only word I can say against you is that you may have been too patient, too quiet. Hell, I can say the same thing about myself.

    • John Kenson

      Will Jeff Berwick also be making a statement about his fraud in Paraguay? Recently TDV Passports was caught red handed selling bogus passports in Paraguay. Just Google search it, you will find it. Fraud in Paraguay and now fraud in Chile. If Berwick is selling it, I’m not buying it!

      • Jeff Berwick

        We had and do still have a relationship with Bettina Mueller in which we help people get Paraguayan residency and citizenship. What was reported was false and Bettina is now back to work as normal. There were no fraudulent “bogus” passports in Paraguay. All charges made by a confused client and reported on one website in Paraguay were investigated by the local authorities and dropped.

        • Too bad the resolution didn’t make the same rounds as wildly as the accusation.

          • John Kenson

            The only wild accusation were Jeff’s and TDV’s that you could get a legit Paraguay passport in 3 months, which is obviously horse manure. Ask any Paraguayan legal professional.

        • John Kenson

          You claimed you could get a Paraguayan passport in 3 months, the real process takes 4 years. You were just bribing someone to get the passport. Getting a passport in 3 months in Paraguay is not real and has no basis in law. Any Paraguayan lawyer will tell you that, its quite easy to see that the 3 month offer was in fact a scam. Have you refunded the money of the people who paid TDV passports for their illegitimate 3 month Paraguay passports yets?

  • Sure sounds like “what we have here is a failure to communicate”! I can’t comment one way or the other since I have no actual knowledge of the workings of this deal but it is clear from the comments of the interested parties that party B feels it has been slighted by party A and party A isn’t conceding the accusation. So who is right? Probably neither maybe both. I have found that with interactions between humans what one human thinks they are communicating is not what the recipient thinks is being communicated. So once again I would contend that most likely “what we have here is a failure to communicate.” While the human heart has a great capacity for kindness, generosity and charity, one should never underestimate the propensity of the human heart for deceitfulness should they? I only hope charity wins the day and equitable concessions are made to rectify any malfeasance intentional or unintentional.

    I have looked at Chile myself as a place to go to escape the coming tyranny of the U.S. government and while the GGC sounds enticing I believe one would be better off not being part of such a “community” but rather being more self sufficient while having an affiliation with like minded individuals in a cooperative manner – trading, bartering, etcetera. Maybe being more independent and not so tightly knit together by more than similar ideals might be preferable. As it has been said, “tall fences make good neighbors”. That’s just my opinion of course. None the less I understand the allure of such a venture and I wish you all well.

    • No, Jeff It is not a failure to communicate, it is a contract. Many people paid for a defined good to be delivered on a defined date…and it did not happen. It did not happen over and over and over again. That isn’t a failure of communication. It is breach of contract. The way to communicate is to live up to the legal obligation to which Ken committed. One of his purchasers is now living in his car rather than on the land he paid for. That’s not a failure to communicate.

      • Praetor

        That’s called a crime, theft by fraudulent means. Its no wonder the people down in those southern countries don’t much like us people of the northern countries (Americas), in all their dealings with us they seem to get ripped-off a lot. This does go to the crux of all human problems, the heart of man must change before any positive meaningful change can take place on our earth, where our dealings with each other are sacred and in those dealings with each other there is no room for lying and deceit. May the good providence over seeing our world bring this issue too a positive outcome. And may all lying and deceitful behavior be eliminated from our world.

        • Amen, Praetor. Amen.

        • deltajent

          Yes, well good luck with that, Praetor. I would love to see it too, but the heart of man is what it is and will not be changing any time soon. It is the libertarian/anarchist’s practical recognition of that unescapable imperfectness that sets us apart from the utopian dreamers who think that perfect people will come along someday to live in peaceful harmony with one another and “all lying and deceitful behavior be eliminated from our world.” Ain’t gonna happen, my friend. All that is needed for imperfect people to live peacefully together is for there to be a general agreement that aggression is always wrong and self-defense against aggressors is always justified; IOW, wide recognition of the non-aggression principle. Everything else is negotiable.

        • Fritz Knese

          It can be looked at as we “Norte Americanos” having lots of money but always wanting more thinking that the South Americans are basically stupid so scams can be perpetuated there easily. The major reason you don’t see more such scams is that the South Americans don’t have enough money to make it worthwhile. Note that here the suckers were mostly gringos. I imagine that the scam artists had at least tacit approval of the local government and were paying them off.

          • Rebecca Ore

            Even in Nicaragua (second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere), some people have serious money but they didn’t make it or hold it through three drastic shifts in governments by being stupid. Scams happen everywhere (Bernie Maddoff). North Americans come by money easier if they have certain training and skills (or the right parents) and tend to be more gullible than most wealthier people in Latin America.

          • Fritz Knese

            Most wealthy people in South America even more than in the USA stole it one way or another often with scams so naturally they will be more aware. As I pointed out before, neither Wendy or Brad are stupid, but their basic honesty makes it easier for scam artists to mess them over, at least before. I will bet they won’t be suckered again!

      • Ah, I see then. I would absolutely agree.

        • Thanks, Jeff. I didn’t mean to pound the point into the ground. You are gracious.

  • Bill Ross

    really “hope” this thread does not devolve to a pi$$ing match.

  • Danny B
  • It will be good for Curacaví, Chile and libertarianism when the truth is finally clarified and the drama comes to an end. This has been dragging on for far too long already.

    • Yes, Joe. Exactly. I liked everyone I met in Curacavi. We rented a home and had dinner with the owner whose dog we cared for. We shopped in local stores and became familiar with the people we’d know when we moved down to the area. They were lovely. I hope they will forgive and forget when the “founding fathers” rescue the project. I will be out there on the streets, extending my hand in friendship.

      • Fritz Knese

        That sounds well and good Wendy. Just please don’t forget that you really do not understand the culture there. I fear that the people who are friendly now can easily turn on you when the situation changes, say an economic meltdown devalues US and Canadian dollars so you are not an economic advantage to the Chileans. Even if you were to live there 20 years, to most you’d likely be those weird Canadians that they put up with to get their big bucks.

  • Jim Johnson

    The World as it might be smacks straight up against the World as it is. Keep working, folks.

    • Bill Ross

      more precisely:

      OUR world as we could make it, if determined enough smacks right up against the world as predators are determined to keep it.

      Its a contest of will versus won’t power and we, the fools appear to believe that logical persuasion as opposed to new actions leading to new consequences will prevail. And, to attempt to talk our enemies out of their predations while paying them to be so is “nonsense on stilts”.

  • Eddie Willers

    A large number of employees and investors received the following email. It was sent by a producer for an American television programme, who happened to work at GGC, in its early days. They were looking for people to interview for an upcoming show they are doing. It is titled, “Kenneth Dale Johnson, The Bernie Madoff of Bitcoin”
    ———————————————————————————————————–

    I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you are receiving this email because of your investment in or association with Ken Johnson and Galt’s Gulch Chile (GGC). What follows is a brief timeline of this project – a short summary of a much larger story that is still being written. This will be the first of many emails detailing the scheme of which you are a victim.

    In 2012, Ken Johnson and Jeff Berwick (The Dollar Vigilante) explored the idea of creating a community in Chile that would appeal to people worried about the financial and political stability of their home countries. Chile, they believed, would be a welcoming home for those of a libertarian/anarchist and free market bent, much as Argentina is home to Doug Casey’s Cafayete. Turns out that John Cobin (Host of Red Hot Chile) and his associate German Eyzaguirre also had plans to launch a community In Chile. When Berwick and Johnson met Cobin and Eyzaguirre in Chile in late 2012, they decided to join forces. Cobin and Eyzaguirre had tried to purchase land near Curacavi – a plot of land referred to as El Tranque (aka Freedom Orchard) – but could not raise the funds to fulfill the contract. Cobin and Eyzaguirre helped Johnson find a tract of land nearby – Caren, known locally as “El Penon” for a large rock formation near the crest. In exchange for finding the property and helping to facilitate the deal, Cobin and Eyzaguirre would receive $250,000 and 30% of the shares of the holding company. Berwick and Johnson would evenly split the remaining 70%.

    $1.75 million was raised from four Founders, known as the “First Round.” Within a month, the sale had been made for $1.18 million – the majority of the money that the four founders (funders) had put up. None of the founders was Johnson, Berwick, Cobin and Eyzaguirre, or any of his associates. They were just regular people who wanted to move to the proposed community. As quickly as the sale had been made, it was discovered that the land would be unsuitable for the promised development. They told the first rounders it would be subdivided into 3,000 parcels. Turns out it could only be divided into 12 parcels. And even those 12 had building restrictions due to the elevation and being zoned for agricultural use. To top it off, though there were water rights (surface only), there was very little water. Johnson failed to register the few wells that existed,within the required timeframe, making matters worse. The entire deal was a spectacular failure. Johnson would later place fault with Cobin and Eyzaguirre for misrepresenting the possibilities of the land. That should have been the end of Ken Johnson’s tenure as developer or manager of a community of expatriates in Chile. Instead, it was just the beginning.

    To rewind a bit, before the sale of Penon was registered to one of many legal entities tied to GGC, Berwick and Johnson managed to nullify their deal with Cobin and Eyzaguirre, and register title to the albatross Penon land to a Chilean entity – Inmobiliaria SA – that only they had 50/50 control of. Johnson’s swift move to oust Cobin would foreshadow Berwick’s own treatment by Johnson.

    In a display of pure brass, Johnson doubled down and found another property adjacent to El Tranque and Penon: a land known as Lepe. Without a penny to his name or a single investor, he negotiated a cash deal (to be paid in installments), agreeing to pay a staggering $6,850,000.00 USD for land and water rights. Now, why would the seller, Guillermo Ramirez, make a deal with a total stranger, from a foreign country, who had no money and no reputation? In short, he did so, because Johnson was offering him nearly 4 million dollars more than the price he had already agreed to sell the land for (to Cobin and Eyzaguirre). Locals were astounded by the pricetag. Some allege there was a kickback scheme between Ramirez and Johnson; this theory is buoyed by the fact that in addition to the inflated purchase price, Ken Johnson was to issue a 5% stake in Galt’s Gulch Chile to Mr Ramirez, when payments were completed. Still others believe this is just another case of a foolish Gringo being taken by a wise local who grossly overstated the value of the land, the profitability of the farm, and the amount of water. (Johnson would later exaggerate these already inflated figures to potential clients.) The actual amount of water is not known because Johnson, for a second time, going against the advice of his paid legal counsel, performed no due diligence. Not a single water test was performed.

    Upon hearing that his employee and partner had unilaterally entered into another hasty land deal, Berwick panicked. Johnson had no credibility or reputation. This entire venture was on the shoulders of Berwick. The initial debacle could have been enough to destroy his reputation. He had been heavily promoting the idea of this community, shared 50% of the holding company, and had even given Johnson 50% of his organization, The Dollar Vigilante. Ken was also doing other business development for The Dollar Vigilante, most notably a questionable Paraguayan passport program. Berwick apparently felt he was in too deep to turn back. And even though he had doubts, he continued to play the hand he was dealt, and went about promoting the community and stood behind Ken Johnson’s efforts to secure the additional land purchase.

    On both El Penon and Lepe, Ken Johnson paid a premium and did no due diligence. He did not sufficiently verify the zoning status or perform water tests, either time. And he did not commit a cent of his own money to either purchase. The same can be said for Cobin, Ezyzaguirre, and Berwick. Since Johnson had no skin in the game and he was not a public personality like Berwick, Casey, Black, or Cobin, he never had anything to lose. And, he would behave accordingly. At one point, the lawyer for the New Zealand trust – Evgeny Orlov – described Johnson’s behavior as follows: “Ken has accused almost everyone I know of extremely serious things whne he appears to be playing with his investors money like a child in a sandpit.” (2/26/14).

    In defending his rushed purchase, Johnson misrepresented to Berwick and other investors that there were several competing bids on the land purchases. He made it appear that time was of the essence in both deals; this high pressure sales tactic would later be used on potential investors. With Ken Johnson it was always: “We must act right away, the time is now.”

    His malfeasance would not be limited to acquisitions. His behavior would, within a year, alienate almost everyone who was associated with the project: partners, employees, professionals, vendors, the local community, and investors.

    Ken Johnson partners with someone, uses their money, time, reputation, and resources, and when they are no longer of use to him, he discards and vilifies them. And even though Ken Johnson has been the sole director of Galt’s Gulch Chile since inception, he has taken no responsibility for its continued failure and downward spiral. It is always everyone else’s fault.

    In April of 2014, Johnson showed his true self and his true motives. Even though he was not paying his investors, his employers, his contractors, or the landowner, he negotiated to purchase 51% of a company called Rio Colorado from a local “businessman” who had worked for the Chilean IRS: Mario Del Real. Johnson agreed to pay del Real the mind numbing sum of $8.1 million USD. This was to be a private, personal purchase for the sole benefit of Ken Johnson, having no benefit for, or relation to GGC.

    Let that sink in. Someone with no backers, a negative net worth, and owing millions of dollars, agreed to make a private purchase of this magnitude. Why did he think he would get away with it? Because he already had. Twice. It began with El Penon, then pulled it off with Lepe; now he figured he could do it again with Rio Colorado. When the money came due, and he was light $8.1 million out of $8.1 million, he decided to trade the equity, held by GGC.

    This would be tricky for a couple of reasons. First, he told his investors and clients that all shares were held in escrow. Second, it would need approval. Knowing this would not be possible without support of the board of directors, he simply named a new board of directors: the very family he was trading GGC’s assets to: the Del Real family. What was interesting about this maneuver is that it was done twice. Both times through official notaries. Each times with drastically different signatures, proving that at least one, if not both, documents are forgeries. The new, hand picked Board, had no assets, investments, or interest in GGC and were granted control of the entire project. Mario, after receiving over a quarter million USD, became majority shareholder; his daughter Pamela became managing partner, treasurer, and accountant. And, his children were each given 10% ownership. Since Ken no longer had the ability to receive international wires because he refused to identify the source of funds, Pamela Del Real’s personal bank account became the corporate bank account for GGC. Including bitcoin wallets, this would be one of more than 15 accounts used by Ken Johnson to receive client funds.

    At this point, I bet you are wondering, ‘How did this happen?’. How was someone with no experience, no reputation, and no money, able to pull off a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme? Well, first it took big balls. And each time he was allowed to get away with something, he got even more brazen.

    Second, he had a lot of accomplices. Some were willing, but most were unwitting.

    By aligning himself with established names, these accomplices gave Johnson an air of respectability. People saw that Johnson was aligned with people who they knew and trusted, so they transferred that trust onto him. Initially, it was his association with Jeff Berwick that raised money for the first land purchase. Later, it was his direct association with media personalities like Josh Tolley and Ben Swann that gave him credibility within the Freedom movement. Others were swept into his web when Johnson mentioned that he had worked with Jay Leno, Ed Begley, Jr, and Mario van Peebles. The fact that he was represented by the Carey Group, the largest and most prestigious law firm in South America, got many investors to let their guard down. This was a most curious pairing because Johnson actually paid these attorneys, with investor funds, to represent himself against those same investors. As recently as 8/18/14, Johnson forbade the Carey Group (and all of his former legal advisers) from sharing any information with GGC clients. And, ignoring their own code of legal ethics, they complied.

    In fact, to date, Johnson has never shared a budget, a financial ledger, a business plan, a mission statement, or any formal documentation with a single client. He refuses to reveal how much money he has taken in, how much money he has spent, how it was spent, how much money he has, and how much money he owes. He cannot or will not even say who owns the land and who is running the project. These are all very basic, straightforward questions that every client and investor deserves to have answered.

    I do not expect you to accept the story from an anonymous email. I implore you to do your own investigation. Do not make the same mistake twice, by taking another stranger at his or her word. Blind trust created this situation. Be accountable to yourselves and to each other. Do some research. Reach out and contact your fellow investors/victims. Email or call former employees, former attorneys, architects, builders, salespeople. You will find a single bond that joins them all. Every single one of them was lied to by Ken Johnson. Every single one of them was mistreated by Ken Johnson. And, every single one of them is owed money by Ken Johnson.

    Ask what he did with the millions of dollars that he has taken in. Ask how many bank accounts he has. How many bitcoin wallets has he used? Why did he pay over a million dollars for land that could not be divided or lived on? Why did he agree to pay $6,850,000.00 (over 8 million, after late fees) for land and water rights , when the owner had already agreed to sell them to someone else for only $3 mill USD? Why did he refuse to identify the source of his funding to his own attorneys and his own bankers? On more than 10 occasions. Why has he physically and verbally abused employees and issued “cease and desist” orders or threatened suit against more than 2 dozen current investors and former workers?

    Who owns GGC? Who is the managing director? Who holds the bank account or accounts that new investor money flows into? Who is the sales director? Who is the general contractor? Who is the accountant? Who is the attorney? Where are the financial records? Why has a master development plan or business plan not been created or approved? Why have farm and orchard owners not received dividends? Or any information, for that matter? Press Ken on why he has not fulfilled his repeated promise to turn the project over to the clients, whose money he squandered, in the percentage that they invested.

    On Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM, Ken Johnson wrote:

    Hi all,

    I have provided in depth information to a party involved with GGC whom has represented to me, and I presume to some of you, that he intends to invest into GGC and step in as the managing partner. I have welcomed his offer dating back to May and hope to move forward with him, should his intentions be forthright.

    When talking with him about moving forward with GGC, I recommended that it would be a great thing to offer all whom have put their trust in the hands of GGC to become equity partners of GGC. He didn’t seem to have any response to my suggestion, but in recent days I have seen communications emanating from a former tour guide of GGC that an “equity solution” was being offered, which made me wonder if he, or another, have taken my suggestion to those involved with GGC, as if this recommendation was their own.

    Anyhow, I am emailing all of you to let you know that we will be issuing shares in the GGC land holding corporation to all of you, in proportion to the purchase prices in your contracts with GGC. I am not doing this because I have taken this idea from others…but rather, I am doing so, as I am appreciative to all whom have put their trust in me and those whom are working to make GGC a reality. You all will, of course, also be granted title to the lot(s) that you have elected to purchase after GGC obtains formal approvals for the residential and farm lots, which we hope to have in 2014. If we are not able to obtain approvals for one, or more, lot sizes, that may have been put under contract with some here, we will then look into options of the next closest size in lots or another solution.

    Regardless of the events that have gone on with some whom have come and gone with GGC, and some of my own poor choices in the placement of trust, as well as some who may represent they want the best for GGC, but possibly don’t, we are here working everyday to improve the farm, work toward approvals and improve all aspects of GGC. I am confident that all here who want to live in GGC, as we have envisioned it, will do so soon.

    To your freedoms,

    Ken Johnson

    Managing Partner

    Galt’s Gulch Chile

    Moving Forward

    Here are a few unsolicited suggestions, from someone who left a great life and a job, to move to Chile, in the hopes of building this ambitious project. First, you have to accept that you have been conned. Most of you are probably not shocked by this news. Some of you understand the nature of investments, and know that there are not sure things. For others, this may be more difficult. But, you must accept that your money is gone. It was taken by a crook. A con artist without a conscience. He is a tyrant whose only power has come from the money that he has received from trusting investors. Needless to say, it is incumbent upon all of us to make sure that he receives no more. To do so would be abetting a Ponzi scheme.

    Second, you need to extricate that crook from the equation. With the amount of damage that Johnson has done to this project, the road to success is much longer and more difficult than it otherwise would have been. But, there is no doubt, in anyone’s mind, that as long as his claws are in GGC, there is absolutely zero chance of this community ever becoming a reality. He and Mario del Real have proven they will sell off every marketable asset GGC owns, while neither of them have ever put in a penny. Meanwhile, you all, the real owners, are left on the outside looking in. Federal authorities, in both Chile and the US, have been alerted to his actions, and are acting on them. But, a lot of damage can be done between now and the time that justice is served.

    Once he is removed, there will be a great deal of messes to clean up. Johnson has made enemies around the Curacavi region, in Santiago, the United States, and on four continents. He did this in the name of GGC. Whether it is through active marketing or total rebranding, the damaged parties need to know that there has been a clean break between Ken Johnson and the people he purported to represent. Finally, he needs to be replaced.

    His replacement should be everything he is not. This person should have experience. They should have references. They need to be bilingual. They need to be local, or have a knowledge of the local culture. Most importantly, they need to have their own skin in the game. Johnson behaved so recklessly because he had nothing to lose. He spent so frivolously because it was not his money. You need to align with an equity partner, whose success is tied to your own.

    Finally, there needs to be transparency and a system of checks and balances. Johnson kept this sham alive for so long because he was able to compartmentalize and separate so many parties; there was no transparency. He refused to introduce investors to each other. If he found out that clients were communicating, he denounced it as meddling. If employees talked to one another (ostensibly, about the fact that they had not been paid in months), he reprimanded them for “gossipping.” There was no oversight, no legitimate Board of Directors, no accountability. Secrecy begat tyranny.

    Finally, you all need to become involved. This should not be a passive investment. Get your asses down to Chile. Live on the land. Oversee the construction. And, take it upon yourselves to build this community into your own vision. All is not lost. But, it will be, if you do nothing.

  • Eddie Willers

    This pretty much sums up the situation you all were running from and the one you ended up in.

  • Eddie Willers

    The following article, by Paul Rosenberg, explains your current leadership.
    **************************************************************************************************************

    A FREE-MAN’s TAKE

    with Paul Rosenberg | July 24, 2014

    They Walk Among Us

    By Paul Rosenberg

    Here’s the bad news: Predators walk among us, and they are indistinguishable from normal people. These differently wired humans have a predatory advantage, and they use it. This is not a plot from a scary movie; this is real.

    I am deadly serious about this, though by the end of this column, I will also explain why there is also good news.

    These predators are called sociopaths (psychopaths in the clinical literature). They rather seldom damage our bodies, but they make careers out of bleeding our souls.

    I’m not trying to be dramatic, by the way. I was holding this subject for the next issue of my subscription newsletter, but the more I worked on it, the more I was convinced that I should publish some key points ahead of schedule. This is important.

    So, before we go any further, I’d like to give you two essential facts that will allow you to protect yourself from sociopaths. If you can remember these, you’ll avoid a lot of pain:

    1 in 50 people is a predator.

    At least 2% of the overall populace are sociopaths, and some estimates are double that. Perhaps 75% of them are male, though no one knows why. That means that at least every thirty-third man is a sociopath, and every hundredth woman.

    Most of us have a feeling that everyone has some goodness in them. This is generally a useful feeling, but it’s only true for 49 out of 50 humans. That last one is a predator without a conscience.

    I don’t like the sound of that any better than you do, but it has been proven over and over and over. We need to face the facts, and we cannot treat these people like we do everyone else.

    You must pay attention to inauthentic emotions.

    Sociopaths have a “tell” that gives them away: Emotions that are not quite right. They don’t have much in the way of positive emotions themselves, so they fake them. But they can never fake them completely.

    Authentic expressions of emotions are very complex, involving dozens of muscles, increased or decreased blood flow and pressure, pulse rate, posture, tone of voice, and more. Normal people are deeply familiar with these complicated arrangements and innately understand their patterns.

    The sociopath, on the other hand, doesn’t feel them and can’t grasp their patterns. He or she must mimic them. But because of the great complexity involved, the sociopath can never mimic them terribly well.

    So, you must notice inauthentic emotions, remember them, and not ignore them in an effort to be nice.

    The How and the Why

    There are a lot of things to understand about sociopaths, and we can’t cover them all in one column, but I will give you the basics, which are these:

    Sociopaths have a profound lack of empathy for the feelings of others. They lack the internal feedback system by which normal people monitor themselves. (Most people call this “conscience,” which is probably as useful a term as any.) Sociopaths do not have this and don’t feel bad about abusing other people. It’s not that they feel bad and ignore it—they don’t feel it at all.

    Sociopaths understand that they are different from normal people and learn to mimic normal behavior. This mimicry has a purpose: It gets the sociopath what he or she wants.

    The sociopath hides his or her difference. After letting it show a time or two—and probably being punished by a parent as a result—the sociopath covers up the truth and keeps it covered. But the reason for hiding it is not embarrassment (the sociopath doesn’t feel embarrassment), but because it hinders him from getting what he want.

    Since sociopaths have no empathy for others, making use of normal people feels just fine to them. Likewise, they feel no remorse.

    Empathy, as viewed by the sociopath, is a weakness, and he considers himself superior, because he isn’t burdened by it.

    Because they lack an internal feedback system, sociopaths are excellent liars. For example, they can often pass lie detector tests, since those tests register the effects of our internal feedback system, which they don’t have.

    A sociopath is likely to maintain a group of people who believe whole-heartedly that he is a good, kind, honest person. He’ll work in calculated ways to create and maintain that opinion in them.

    Here is what Hervey Cleckley wrote about sociopaths in his classic text on the subject, The Mask of Sanity:

    Beauty and ugliness, except in a very superficial sense; goodness, evil, love, horror and humor have no actual meaning, no power to move him.

    Now we come to the question of why sociopaths are this way, and we do have some answers.

    Recent brain scans indicate that sociopaths have unusually small amygdalae (the part of the brain associated with emotional reactions, decisionmaking, and memory processing). A region of the brain’s frontal cortex, called the orbitofrontal cortex, seems problematic as well. This region, which communicates with the amygdala, is also involved with decision making.

    So, the cause of sociopathy is almost certainly organic. Someday it should be curable with genetic engineering, but for now, there is no cure at all. That means that you have zero chance of talking a sociopath into behaving well.

    Trying to repair a sociopath tells him that you’re a ripe sucker, and nothing more. He’ll play along, tell you what you want to hear, fake the emotions he thinks you’ll respond to, and bleed you dry, emotionally and physically. And he’ll never feel a moment’s remorse as you finally contemplate suicide.

    Yes, I know this is dark stuff, but it’s better to be forewarned than to learn through harsh experience.

    Why This Is Actually Good News

    Considering that sociopaths make up 2% of the total population, and considering that a sociopath is responsible for several times more damage than the average person (I’d guess at least five to ten times as much), then… training people to recognize and avoid sociopaths would eliminate a serious percentage of human suffering.

    And it gets better. Aside from natural causes like diseases, the number-one source of pain on Earth is political systems. For today I’ll pass up the argument of whether states are necessary or not; instead, I’d like to make a simpler point: Governments, like all hierarchies, are havens for sociopaths. And governments have, over the last century, killed approximately 260 million people. (See Death by Government, by R.J. Rummel.)

    So, what would happen if millions of people, because they were able to recognize sociopaths, stopped empowering and obeying them?

    I’m trying to think of any single thing that would eliminate human suffering better than sociopath recognition, and I’m not coming up with much. Furthermore, it would be easy: websites, billboards, tiny radio and TV ads, flyers, handouts, and just about anything else could be used. The concepts are simple and potent, and the motivation to avoid pain is inherent in human nature.

    For far less than corporate charities spend, something like this would change the world… more, better, and faster.

    Something to think about.

    A Free-Man’s Take is written by adventure capitalist, author, and freedom advocate Paul Rosenberg. You can get much more from Paul in his unique monthly newsletter, Free-Man’s Perspective.

    • honestann

      Far more than 2% of humans are predators. The more precise number is probably 98%. However, one can easily become confused while making the judgement of who qualifies as human predator. Rather than write a long, involved, careful analysis here, let me just give an analogy. If you know a human being murdered an innocent human being, you call them a “murderer”. You know quite clearly that roughly 99.9999% of their life they are not pulling the trigger of a gun with the intent to kill an innocent human being. Nonetheless, you are perfectly comfortable calling them “murderer”.

      This is the appropriate way to classify human predators. Even many animal predators go days without killing another animal (chewing on the remains of their most recent kill, or chewing on plants until they get the urge for meat again). But you call them “predators” nonetheless, and you are correct classify them this way, just as you are correct to classify humans who murder innocent humans as “murderer”.

      Sadly, as a consequence of a great many factors, probably about 98% of humans take predatory actions. Anyone who advocates, sanctions, justifies or willingly pays [taxes] to human predators who call themselves “the state/government” steal from other humans, lock other humans who cause no harm to others in cages/prisons… are human predators. Just as certainly as someone who hires a hitman to kill someone is a murderer.

      Humans are hopeless. Humans are finished. All that remains is the last chapter, when we learn the exact mechanism by which they exterminate themselves. All I can say is, good riddins (except for the 2% who are not predators, who are nonetheless guilty of refusing to aggressively defend themselves and other non-predators).

      • Gitano

        1) “Humans are hopeless. Humans are finished. All that remains is the last chapter, when we learn the exact mechanism by they exterminate themselves. All I can say is, good riddins (except for the 2% who are not predators, who are nonetheless

        guilty of refusing to aggressively defend themselves and other non-predators).”

        2) “Law sucks. Lawyers suck. Courts suck. Is this really how you folks want to spend your life, mind, attention, financial resources and what might otherwise be simply happy days for the next years or decades? A lost cause is a lost cause. A is A. Think about it. Best wishes to all. My condolences.

        I have not commented to any article or person for years, but your comments indicate a rare level of reasoning.

        1) I have not seen anyone carry this logic to its ultimate conclusion since the late Jay Stuart Snelson (Taming the Violence of Faith) who said if humans don’t change from faith, force, and servitude to reason, trade, and freedom they will become extinct. And as you say, good friggin riddence.

        2) Your advice is spot on. Having been involved with the new country projects of the 70’s, this GGC chingada is total deja vu. History does repeat and this feels like a time warp. A few well meaning people come up with a good idea and then in come the opportunists and eventually it all evolves into infighting and lawsuits. What did I learn from Minerva and Atlantis? Don’t get involved with any operation of more the three people. As Sonny Crockett said, “If you ain’t done the time with us, you ain’t doing the crime with us.” Light your own god damn fire and free yourself.

      • Fritz Knese

        Though I would agree that the percentage of predators is likely close to 98%, I strongly disagree that that means that humans are “finished”. In a truly free society the incentives to avoid predation would be high. Most predators would make the rational decision to be productive rather than take the big risk of death by trying various predator tactics common today. Humans have done quite well for thousands of generations being predators. That can easily continue for an indefinite future. It just requires channeling the predatory instinct into productive modes.

      • JohnnyGetYourGum

        “Good riddins.” Way to use the English language, honestann.

    • Fritz Knese

      In a truly free society such people would be likely shot for trying their various scams. It is only under government where such scum will rise to the top for bureaucratic systems reward the lack of empathy and ruthlessness of the sociopath.

  • Eddie Willers

    I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you are receiving this email because of your investment in or association with Ken Johnson and Galt’s Gulch Chile (GGC). What follows is a brief timeline of this project – a short summary of a much larger story that is still being written. This will be the first of many emails detailing the scheme of which you are a victim.

    In 2012, Ken Johnson and Jeff Berwick (The Dollar Vigilante) explored the idea of creating a community in Chile that would appeal to people worried about the financial and political stability of their home countries. Chile, they believed, would be a welcoming home for those of a libertarian/anarchist and free market bent, much as Argentina is home to Doug Casey’s Cafayete. Turns out that John Cobin (Host of Red Hot Chile) and his associate German Eyzaguirre also had plans to launch a community In Chile. When Berwick and Johnson met Cobin and Eyzaguirre in Chile in late 2012, they decided to join forces. Cobin and Eyzaguirre had tried to purchase land near Curacavi – a plot of land referred to as El Tranque (aka Freedom Orchard) – but could not raise the funds to fulfill the contract. Cobin and Eyzaguirre helped Johnson find a tract of land nearby – Caren, known locally as “El Penon” for a large rock formation near the crest. In exchange for finding the property and helping to facilitate the deal, Cobin and Eyzaguirre would receive $250,000 and 30% of the shares of the holding company. Berwick and Johnson would evenly split the remaining 70%.

    $1.75 million was raised from four Founders, known as the “First Round.” Within a month, the sale had been made for $1.18 million – the majority of the money that the four founders (funders) had put up. None of the founders was Johnson, Berwick, Cobin and Eyzaguirre, or any of his associates. They were just regular people who wanted to move to the proposed community. As quickly as the sale had been made, it was discovered that the land would be unsuitable for the promised development. They told the first rounders it would be subdivided into 3,000 parcels. Turns out it could only be divided into 12 parcels. And even those 12 had building restrictions due to the elevation and being zoned for agricultural use. To top it off, though there were water rights (surface only), there was very little water. Johnson failed to register the few wells that existed,within the required timeframe, making matters worse. The entire deal was a spectacular failure. Johnson would later place fault with Cobin and Eyzaguirre for misrepresenting the possibilities of the land. That should have been the end of Ken Johnson’s tenure as developer or manager of a community of expatriates in Chile. Instead, it was just the beginning.

    To rewind a bit, before the sale of Penon was registered to one of many legal entities tied to GGC, Berwick and Johnson managed to nullify their deal with Cobin and Eyzaguirre, and register title to the albatross Penon land to a Chilean entity – Inmobiliaria SA – that only they had 50/50 control of. Johnson’s swift move to oust Cobin would foreshadow Berwick’s own treatment by Johnson.

    In a display of pure brass, Johnson doubled down and found another property adjacent to El Tranque and Penon: a land known as Lepe. Without a penny to his name or a single investor, he negotiated a cash deal (to be paid in installments), agreeing to pay a staggering $6,850,000.00 USD for land and water rights. Now, why would the seller, Guillermo Ramirez, make a deal with a total stranger, from a foreign country, who had no money and no reputation? In short, he did so, because Johnson was offering him nearly 4 million dollars more than the price he had already agreed to sell the land for (to Cobin and Eyzaguirre). Locals were astounded by the pricetag. Some allege there was a kickback scheme between Ramirez and Johnson; this theory is buoyed by the fact that in addition to the inflated purchase price, Ken Johnson was to issue a 5% stake in Galt’s Gulch Chile to Mr Ramirez, when payments were completed. Still others believe this is just another case of a foolish Gringo being taken by a wise local who grossly overstated the value of the land, the profitability of the farm, and the amount of water. (Johnson would later exaggerate these already inflated figures to potential clients.) The actual amount of water is not known because Johnson, for a second time, going against the advice of his paid legal counsel, performed no due diligence. Not a single water test was performed.

    Upon hearing that his employee and partner had unilaterally entered into another hasty land deal, Berwick panicked. Johnson had no credibility or reputation. This entire venture was on the shoulders of Berwick. The initial debacle could have been enough to destroy his reputation. He had been heavily promoting the idea of this community, shared 50% of the holding company, and had even given Johnson 50% of his organization, The Dollar Vigilante. Ken was also doing other business development for The Dollar Vigilante, most notably a questionable Paraguayan passport program. Berwick apparently felt he was in too deep to turn back. And even though he had doubts, he continued to play the hand he was dealt, and went about promoting the community and stood behind Ken Johnson’s efforts to secure the additional land purchase.

    On both El Penon and Lepe, Ken Johnson paid a premium and did no due diligence. He did not sufficiently verify the zoning status or perform water tests, either time. And he did not commit a cent of his own money to either purchase. The same can be said for Cobin, Ezyzaguirre, and Berwick. Since Johnson had no skin in the game and he was not a public personality like Berwick, Casey, Black, or Cobin, he never had anything to lose. And, he would behave accordingly. At one point, the lawyer for the New Zealand trust – Evgeny Orlov – described Johnson’s behavior as follows: “Ken has accused almost everyone I know of extremely serious things whne he appears to be playing with his investors money like a child in a sandpit.” (2/26/14).

    In defending his rushed purchase, Johnson misrepresented to Berwick and other investors that there were several competing bids on the land purchases. He made it appear that time was of the essence in both deals; this high pressure sales tactic would later be used on potential investors. With Ken Johnson it was always: “We must act right away, the time is now.”

    His malfeasance would not be limited to acquisitions. His behavior would, within a year, alienate almost everyone who was associated with the project: partners, employees, professionals, vendors, the local community, and investors.

    Ken Johnson partners with someone, uses their money, time, reputation, and resources, and when they are no longer of use to him, he discards and vilifies them. And even though Ken Johnson has been the sole director of Galt’s Gulch Chile since inception, he has taken no responsibility for its continued failure and downward spiral. It is always everyone else’s fault.

    In April of 2014, Johnson showed his true self and his true motives. Even though he was not paying his investors, his employers, his contractors, or the landowner, he negotiated to purchase 51% of a company called Rio Colorado from a local “businessman” who had worked for the Chilean IRS: Mario Del Real. Johnson agreed to pay del Real the mind numbing sum of $8.1 million USD. This was to be a private, personal purchase for the sole benefit of Ken Johnson, having no benefit for, or relation to GGC.

    Let that sink in. Someone with no backers, a negative net worth, and owing millions of dollars, agreed to make a private purchase of this magnitude. Why did he think he would get away with it? Because he already had. Twice. It began with El Penon, then pulled it off with Lepe; now he figured he could do it again with Rio Colorado. When the money came due, and he was light $8.1 million out of $8.1 million, he decided to trade the equity, held by GGC.

    This would be tricky for a couple of reasons. First, he told his investors and clients that all shares were held in escrow. Second, it would need approval. Knowing this would not be possible without support of the board of directors, he simply named a new board of directors: the very family he was trading GGC’s assets to: the Del Real family. What was interesting about this maneuver is that it was done twice. Both times through official notaries. Each times with drastically different signatures, proving that at least one, if not both, documents are forgeries. The new, hand picked Board, had no assets, investments, or interest in GGC and were granted control of the entire project. Mario, after receiving over a quarter million USD, became majority shareholder; his daughter Pamela became managing partner, treasurer, and accountant. And, his children were each given 10% ownership. Since Ken no longer had the ability to receive international wires because he refused to identify the source of funds, Pamela Del Real’s personal bank account became the corporate bank account for GGC. Including bitcoin wallets, this would be one of more than 15 accounts used by Ken Johnson to receive client funds.

    At this point, I bet you are wondering, ‘How did this happen?’. How was someone with no experience, no reputation, and no money, able to pull off a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme? Well, first it took big balls. And each time he was allowed to get away with something, he got even more brazen.

    Second, he had a lot of accomplices. Some were willing, but most were unwitting.

    By aligning himself with established names, these accomplices gave Johnson an air of respectability. People saw that Johnson was aligned with people who they knew and trusted, so they transferred that trust onto him. Initially, it was his association with Jeff Berwick that raised money for the first land purchase. Later, it was his direct association with media personalities like Josh Tolley and Ben Swann that gave him credibility within the Freedom movement. Others were swept into his web when Johnson mentioned that he had worked with Jay Leno, Ed Begley, Jr, and Mario van Peebles. The fact that he was represented by the Carey Group, the largest and most prestigious law firm in South America, got many investors to let their guard down. This was a most curious pairing because Johnson actually paid these attorneys, with investor funds, to represent himself against those same investors. As recently as 8/18/14, Johnson forbade the Carey Group (and all of his former legal advisers) from sharing any information with GGC clients. And, ignoring their own code of legal ethics, they complied.

    In fact, to date, Johnson has never shared a budget, a financial ledger, a business plan, a mission statement, or any formal documentation with a single client. He refuses to reveal how much money he has taken in, how much money he has spent, how it was spent, how much money he has, and how much money he owes. He cannot or will not even say who owns the land and who is running the project. These are all very basic, straightforward questions that every client and investor deserves to have answered.

    I do not expect you to accept the story from an anonymous email. I implore you to do your own investigation. Do not make the same mistake twice, by taking another stranger at his or her word. Blind trust created this situation. Be accountable to yourselves and to each other. Do some research. Reach out and contact your fellow investors/victims. Email or call former employees, former attorneys, architects, builders, salespeople. You will find a single bond that joins them all. Every single one of them was lied to by Ken Johnson. Every single one of them was mistreated by Ken Johnson. And, every single one of them is owed money by Ken Johnson.

    Ask what he did with the millions of dollars that he has taken in. Ask how many bank accounts he has. How many bitcoin wallets has he used? Why did he pay over a million dollars for land that could not be divided or lived on? Why did he agree to pay $6,850,000.00 (over 8 million, after late fees) for land and water rights , when the owner had already agreed to sell them to someone else for only $3 mill USD? Why did he refuse to identify the source of his funding to his own attorneys and his own bankers? On more than 10 occasions. Why has he physically and verbally abused employees and issued “cease and desist” orders or threatened suit against more than 2 dozen current investors and former workers?

    Who owns GGC? Who is the managing director? Who holds the bank account or accounts that new investor money flows into? Who is the sales director? Who is the general contractor? Who is the accountant? Who is the attorney? Where are the financial records? Why has a master development plan or business plan not been created or approved? Why have farm and orchard owners not received dividends? Or any information, for that matter? Press Ken on why he has not fulfilled his repeated promise to turn the project over to the clients, whose money he squandered, in the percentage that they invested.

    On Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM, Ken Johnson wrote:

    Hi all,

    I have provided in depth information to a party involved with GGC whom has represented to me, and I presume to some of you, that he intends to invest into GGC and step in as the managing partner. I have welcomed his offer dating back to May and hope to move forward with him, should his intentions be forthright.

    When talking with him about moving forward with GGC, I recommended that it would be a great thing to offer all whom have put their trust in the hands of GGC to become equity partners of GGC. He didn’t seem to have any response to my suggestion, but in recent days I have seen communications emanating from a former tour guide of GGC that an “equity solution” was being offered, which made me wonder if he, or another, have taken my suggestion to those involved with GGC, as if this recommendation was their own.

    Anyhow, I am emailing all of you to let you know that we will be issuing shares in the GGC land holding corporation to all of you, in proportion to the purchase prices in your contracts with GGC. I am not doing this because I have taken this idea from others…but rather, I am doing so, as I am appreciative to all whom have put their trust in me and those whom are working to make GGC a reality. You all will, of course, also be granted title to the lot(s) that you have elected to purchase after GGC obtains formal approvals for the residential and farm lots, which we hope to have in 2014. If we are not able to obtain approvals for one, or more, lot sizes, that may have been put under contract with some here, we will then look into options of the next closest size in lots or another solution.

    Regardless of the events that have gone on with some whom have come and gone with GGC, and some of my own poor choices in the placement of trust, as well as some who may represent they want the best for GGC, but possibly don’t, we are here working everyday to improve the farm, work toward approvals and improve all aspects of GGC. I am confident that all here who want to live in GGC, as we have envisioned it, will do so soon.

    To your freedoms,

    Ken Johnson

    Managing Partner

    Galt’s Gulch Chile

    Moving Forward

    Here are a few unsolicited suggestions, from someone who left a great life and a job, to move to Chile, in the hopes of building this ambitious project. First, you have to accept that you have been conned. Most of you are probably not shocked by this news. Some of you understand the nature of investments, and know that there are not sure things. For others, this may be more difficult. But, you must accept that your money is gone. It was taken by a crook. A con artist without a conscience. He is a tyrant whose only power has come from the money that he has received from trusting investors. Needless to say, it is incumbent upon all of us to make sure that he receives no more. To do so would be abetting a Ponzi scheme.

    Second, you need to extricate that crook from the equation. With the amount of damage that Johnson has done to this project, the road to success is much longer and more difficult than it otherwise would have been. But, there is no doubt, in anyone’s mind, that as long as his claws are in GGC, there is absolutely zero chance of this community ever becoming a reality. He and Mario del Real have proven they will sell off every marketable asset GGC owns, while neither of them have ever put in a penny. Meanwhile, you all, the real owners, are left on the outside looking in. Federal authorities, in both Chile and the US, have been alerted to his actions, and are acting on them. But, a lot of damage can be done between now and the time that justice is served.

    Once he is removed, there will be a great deal of messes to clean up. Johnson has made enemies around the Curacavi region, in Santiago, the United States, and on four continents. He did this in the name of GGC. Whether it is through active marketing or total rebranding, the damaged parties need to know that there has been a clean break between Ken Johnson and the people he purported to represent. Finally, he needs to be replaced.

    His replacement should be everything he is not. This person should have experience. They should have references. They need to be bilingual. They need to be local, or have a knowledge of the local culture. Most importantly, they need to have their own skin in the game. Johnson behaved so recklessly because he had nothing to lose. He spent so frivolously because it was not his money. You need to align with an equity partner, whose success is tied to your own.

    Finally, there needs to be transparency and a system of checks and balances. Johnson kept this sham alive for so long because he was able to compartmentalize and separate so many parties; there was no transparency. He refused to introduce investors to each other. If he found out that clients were communicating, he denounced it as meddling. If employees talked to one another (ostensibly, about the fact that they had not been paid in months), he reprimanded them for “gossipping.” There was no oversight, no legitimate Board of Directors, no accountability. Secrecy begat tyranny.

    Finally, you all need to become involved. This should not be a passive investment. Get your asses down to Chile. Live on the land. Oversee the construction. And, take it upon yourselves to build this community into your own vision. All is not lost. But, it will be, if you do nothing.

    • Thank you, Eddie. I pretty much know who you are — so “hey there” — and I send you my respect for making this post. Thank you, again. I did not bring up how badly employees have been treated by Ken Johnson because it was a side issue to my main goal, which was to ensure no one else has to live in their car because they invested in GGC. And it is sometimes difficult to sort our what is real from a distance; for example, I don’t know whether he actually pulled a gun on an employee who said he was going home early.

      But Ken has harmed many people who were not investors. Just one story….when I spoke at GGC, my conference fee was waived, as it always is. I did pay for my husband, however. Because of a glitch at Paypal, the $200 fee went through twice. I immediately asked for one of the charges to be reversed and I was assured there was no problem. I dealt with a very nice young woman, whom I will not name because she has since joined the extensive list of people who have wantonly ruined GGC…or so the story goes. (Does Ken realize that, even if his absurd libels against employees are true, *he* was the one who hired each and every so-called miscreant. What does that say about him?) The woman was caught up in organizing the conference so we dealt with the matter afterward. Despite written confirmation of our arrangement, Ken refused to reverse the charge. So I registered my first conflict resolution request in over 15 years with Paypal. Come to learn that, despite its name, the Galt’s Gulch account was not a GGC account but one privately held by someone I’d not heard of hitherto. Come to learn (or at least to hear) that Ken approached another investor at the conference and asked her to use her various financial connections to facilitate a flow of money. The lady said, “hell, no.” Good for her. I drew a line in the sand on the $200 and it was only through the integrity of the young woman that it was refunded. But Ken was quite, quite willing to let an struggling employee take a real hit simply for being imprudent enough to give Ken access to a paypal account. I offer this small anecdote because it is one of the few incidents with employees of which I have first-hand knowledge. I do not doubt most of the other stories…but I did not witness them myself.

      • deltajent

        Wendy, I had a similar experience with the $200 registration fee when I attended the Spring Celebration in 2013. I didn’t bother to pursue it and just figured the $200 was insignificant compared to the $250k that I had already put into it. At the time I was still laboring under the delusion that Johnson was honest, if incompetent. But it was typical of the thoroughly unprofessional, disorganized operation from the beginning, and it has only gotten worse since then. Hopefully your expose and the many comments here have served to prevent more unsuspecting, hopeful libertarians to avoid getting snookered by this con artist. Hopefully we’ll be able to put the project back together on sound financial footing once Johnson has been driven out and proper management installed. Perhaps someday we can all sit under sunny Chilean skies, sipping one of the fine local wines or ales reminiscing together about these crazy misadventures we had to endure on our path to freedom.

        • Deltajent…I must thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful posts here. I think you were included in the email I sent to founders and other key investors in which I said “why does doing the right think feel so bad?” I know one of the reasons: I broke ranks and the ranks are composed of very good people who are doing the right thing as quickly as they can. It is interesting that you had the same experience with Ken Johnson on the conference fee as I did. I must admit to a bit of pettiness. I was damned and determined NOT to back down on this one because the man was starting to seriously annoy me. But I would have backed down if it had come to the innocent, duped fellow being charged the $200 against his credit card, which would have happened if Paypal reversed the charge. I would have backed down…but I would have waited to withdraw the resolution request until the 11th hour.

          I send you my regards. Brad says “hi” as well.

  • Bitcoin Barons

    WOW.

  • Naomi

    Thank you for sharing this, Wendy. I had been approached to be a part of the publicity team for the project, which I turned down. It was difficult for me to get information about the project, so what you have provided is tremendously helpful to anyone who has been approached to be involved in some way.

    • It was I who contacted Naomi as she says but it was on my own behalf for my own independent project, Fort Galt. I was not representing GGC or requesting her to do so either. The two projects are run by different people and very much separate from one another. I’m always available to discuss anything and answer questions to the best of my ability.
      No hard feelings, Naomi. The misunderstanding is understandable.

      • Gabriel, thanks for posting the explanation. I enjoyed meeting you in Chile and I hope the experience is a renewable pleasure. Good luck with Fort Galt.

      • Gabriel, if you haven’t already gone public to explain that, you should. Perhaps it would be best, also, to review these comments very carefully to track what was done wrong with Galt’s Gulch and then be very, very forthright with how your project is different. As of now, that is unclear. I made the comments that I did on your Reddit and Liberty.me posts because I thought you were associated, that Fort Galt was a re-branding effort by scam artists.

        • Yes, I can certainly understand why you must have seen it that way. No hard feelings. I’ll write an article of my own to cover all of this. Thanks.

  • Jeff Berwick

    I have created a page where all those involved in GGC past and present can communicate directly and trade information: https://www.facebook.com/ggcrehab

    • Ken Johnson

      The guy who held secret meetings, where those in the meeting signed statements that you would make me “go away quietly, or publicly destroy me”…or something of the sorts, now wants to attempt to paint over his involvement with past events of GGC.

      I was asked to not discuss your actions over the past year Jeff and I obliged those asking me to do so.

      There is a long list of things that you know you participated in that had direct negative impacts on GGC, those who invested in GGC, as well as me personally. You know that you never paid me what is due to me from TDV, which you still profit from today.

      As mentioned to you, and others in an email a few weeks ago, I was the one who wanted to offer you a beneficial interest in GGC, even though none of us felt that you deserved it, but I was promptly told that that should not be done. As you know, the on-going talks between you, Chris Serin and Robert Mish about a “settlement” to you, after you intentionally brought harm to GGC, did not involve me, so I am still not entirely sure what was discussed and if what was communicated to me was truthful or not. You demanded 35% of GGC in late 2013 and threatened me to my face with things that you said Mr. Serin would carry out if your demands were not met.

      Here is part of a little email chain between myself and one of the Founders, where he outlines some of his feelings toward you, which there are many more from the other Founders. I tried not to allow myself to get wrapped up in long email chains about you, or anyone, for that matter, as there has always been a mountain of work at GGC, which has proven to overwhelm me. I think you are quite a disingenuous person and I believe that you have lied to many people about GGC, TDV, BitcoinATM and other things, but I’m sure that goes without saying here.

      From: XXXXXXXXXX
      Subject: Re: Important–Almost forgot…..
      Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2014 15:55
      To: kjohnson@galtsgulchchile.com

      because he is a liar and conman who is broke and desperate

      From: kjohnson@galtsgulchchile.com
      Subject: Re: Important–Almost forgot……
      Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2014 02:55:13 -0300
      To: XXXXXXXXX

      JB quote in TDV blog:

      “By legally internationalizing my assets in 2006 I have probably saved millions in tax payments to the Canadian government… again, all legally. I quite enjoy knowing that I have kept millions out of their hands and in my own personal control. Who wouldn’t?”

      …so, please tell me why I am being pegged to return $140,000 that was paid to me from a company that………………owes me far more than that?

    • John Kenson

      Jeff I think you need to make a Paraguay rehab page to for all the victims of your recent Paraguay passport fraud too. Oh and don’t forget the Bulgarian passport fraud before that.

  • deltajent

    As painful and difficult though it must be to write this expose, I thank you for taking your principled stand, Wendy. As one of the four original investors, the “First Round Founders,” I have a perspective on this that few others have. I decided to invest in GGC without doing proper due diligence because I had known Jeff Berwick for several years and was impressed by his history, and supposedly the window of opportunity to get in on the ground floor of what I thought would be a profitable venture as well as an escape from Amerika was to be soon closed. I had never heard of Ken Johnson (and now wish I never had). I was under the impression that Jeff was the “boss” and Ken worked under his supervision. I only learned much later, much to my dismay, that Ken was an independent entity and that he and Jeff only had a gentleman’s agreement between them regarding ownership of the project–no written agreement or contract (that I know oaf). Gentlemen honor their verbal commitments, men such as Ken Johnson do not. Jeff had no control of the project so we investors were at the mercy of what turned out to be an unprofessional, incompetent, dishonest, lying sociopath.

    It was mere weeks before I started getting the run around from Johnson regarding legal paperwork establishing property title, ownership rights, other investors, corporate structure, etc. Ken operates by isolating involve individuals so there is a minimum of information sharing, thus enabling him to manipulate the story to various parties to prevent blame for mis- or malfeasance from accruing to himself. Eventually I was able to learn the identities of the other Founders and we began to communicate our concerns to each other, and I began to communicate my concerns about possible legal issues to Ken. His response was, to put it charitably, abusive and unprofessional. To say that he was unappreciative of the people who had provided the initial finances for his project would be an understatement.

    Ken Johnson, as we eventually learned, though totally incompetent as a businessman, is a skilled manipulator and liar, so he was able to convince us until earlier this year that, while not being perfect, he was the victim of circumstances and the misdeeds of others, mainly Jeff Berwick, whom at every opportunity was continued to be blamed for why nothing was being completed as promised and why the business was in total disarray. Blame was assigned to virtually every employee that Johnson hired, all of whom, according to Ken, were incompetent, dishonest, lazy, or crazy. Rather than accepting responsibility for gross mismanagement, Johnson to this day continues to point fingers at others.

    As the situation continued to degenerate, the Founders pled with Ken to seek mediation with Jeff to resolve differences, mend fences, and put the project on solid legal and financial footing. Ken states here, “At the insistence of the 1st round Founders of GGC, I chose to remain
    quiet, which [sic] I, and the other Founders, had endless conversations about
    disclosing the actions of Jeff Berwick, as well as some of the TDV
    misfits (as I call them) whom [sic] assisted him with financial damages of GGC
    and months of delays, dating back over a year now.” At a certain point, as things grew more desperate, Ken started to threaten to “go public” with all the dirty laundry, something that would certainly have sunk the project and our investments.

    Hoping that reason and professional assistance might yet prevail, the Founders did ask Ken not to make public the controversy and to seek professional help to resolve issues. Such appeals to reason and decency have always fallen on deaf ears, and likely always will until Johnson is forced out and the project put under professional direction. Today Wendy has done what we all have seen as the inevitable, given the failure to resolve the issues amicably. Some might argue that it is a bit late, others that it is somewhat premature, but sooner or later the truth would be known, and I respect Wendy’s conscientious concern that no more lambs are led to financial slaughter by this disreputable individual and thank her for having the courage and integrity to blow the whistle.

    There is much more to the story, but this is already longer than I had intended, so I will leave it here for now. I still believe in the Galt’s Gulch concept and the potential for living in a truly wonderful and exciting libertarian community in a beautiful setting with interesting, talented, and productive liberty-loving neighbors, but this project is on the rocks until Ken Johnson is no longer associated with it. There are a number of potential investors waiting for the situation to be resolved and for it to become a viable investment with profit potential, so we still have hope that it can be salvaged. One well-heeled investor with contacts and resources is putting herculean efforts into getting Ken out and responsible management in. Jeff Berwick, with his many contacts, is still waiting to assist with rebuilding. But, as much as it pains me to say it, do not invest your money in GGC now. Do not believe a word of Ken Johnson’s tall tales or accusations. Stay away for now but stay tuned.

  • Guest
  • Libertatis

    Wendy thanks so much for your honesty. I was very close to investing; you’ve saved me a great deal of heartache.

    • You are most welcome, Libertatis. Please consider GGC as an option when the rescue plan is realized. Really good people are working diligently.

  • Ken Johnson

    Here are responses to some
    of the inaccurate statements made about me below by “Willie”, the anonymous commenter. Please note that if I don’t respond to all of his/her
    comments, I in no way agree with what he/she communicated. My responses are being done from memory as I type this, so there may be information left out or not thoroughly outlined.

    



In 2012, Ken
    Johnson and Jeff Berwick (The Dollar Vigilante) explored the idea of creating a
    community in Chile that would appeal to people worried about the financial and
    political stability of their home countries. Chile, they believed, would be a
    welcoming home for those of a libertarian/anarchist and free market bent, much
    as Argentina is home to Doug Casey’s Cafayete. Turns out that John Cobin (Host
    of Red Hot Chile) and his associate German Eyzaguirre also had plans to launch
    a community In Chile. When Berwick and Johnson met Cobin and Eyzaguirre in
    Chile in late 2012, they decided to join forces. Cobin and Eyzaguirre had tried
    to purchase land near Curacavi – a plot of land referred to as El Tranque (aka
    Freedom Orchard) – but could not raise the funds to fulfill the contract. Cobin
    and Eyzaguirre helped Johnson find a tract of land nearby – Caren, known
    locally as “El Penon” for a large rock formation near the crest. In exchange
    for finding the property and helping to facilitate the deal, Cobin and
    Eyzaguirre would receive $250,000 and 30% of the shares of the holding company.
    Berwick and Johnson would evenly split the remaining 70%.



    -Via a referral,
    John Cobin contacted me in July of 2012, while at Freedom Fest. He said that he
    had a great piece of land that would be ideal for a real estate project, but
    that there was a current buyer with the land under contract, which he felt
    would not be completed, because this person was a close colleague of Simon
    Black and Mr. Black was out of the country until early November (or
    thereabouts). Mr. Cobin did indeed demand 20% of the El Penon land (the best
    part actually) and a very large “finder’s fee”, but there was never
    an agreement carried out for this, as some seem to believe. The property was
    listed publicly by a local real estate agent, whom was being paid 4% in total,
    yet Mr. Cobin and Mr. Eyzaguirre felt that someone would actually pay them a
    20-25% commission, and 20% of the land itself, on top of the real estate
    agent’s commission. Interesting, to say the least. A company was set up, via a
    power of attorney, signed by myself and Mr. Berwick, allowing Mr. Cobin to set
    up the company. He set it up under terms that were not agreed to, completing it
    the day of, or the day before, Mr. Berwick and I arrived in Chile in early
    November to purchase the land, which Mr. Cobin stated they have thoroughly
    researched already. This apparently wasn’t the case. Mr. Cobin was demanding a
    $6,000 per month salary for himself, as well as for Mr. Eyzaguirre, from Mr.
    Berwick and I almost from Day 1 of putting the land under a Promesa Agreement
    in early September, which I politely declined to agree to, telling him that if
    we worked out a deal to work with them, then we would discuss salaries for
    their work on development. Mr. Berwick and I arrived in Chile for the first
    time in late August, where we both were supposed to go look at the land. Mr.
    Berwick did not accompany myself, Mr. Cobin and Mr. Eyzaguirre, as he had
    company at the 2-bedroom hotel room (that he and I shared) from the night
    before. About 2-3 weeks prior to early November (closing time for the land),
    Mr. Cobin’s lengthy and demanding emails subsided, which made me wonder if he
    was offering the land for sale to another party, while representing myself and
    Mr. Berwick via Power of Attorney in Chile, with a company (Galt’s Gulch Chile
    S.A.) being created for the proposed venture. It was later confirmed, by the
    real estate agent and Mr. Eyzaguirre that Mr. Cobin was indeed working with
    another party on the purchase. This party was apparently Simon Black. It was
    confirmed that Mr. Black viewed the property, but I am not sure of his
    intentions of purchasing it, which he wrote about back then as I recall. Galt’s
    Gulch Chile S.A. was mutually dissolved by myself, Mr. Berwick, Mr. Eyzaguirre
    and Mr. Cobin, with a non-disclosure non-compete declaration also being signed
    and notarized by Mr. Cobin and Mr. Eyzaguirre. Mr. Eyzaguirre was reimbursed
    for his costs and time for the set up of the dissolved corporation in exchange for them signing the non-disclosure non-compete. Mr. Cobin
    has been quite adverse to GGC ever since, yet his own actions brought about him
    not being involved with GGC.

    ___________________________

    

$1.75 million was raised from
    four Founders, known as the “First Round.” Within a month, the sale had been
    made for $1.18 million – the majority of the money that the four founders
    (funders) had put up. None of the founders was Johnson, Berwick, Cobin and
    Eyzaguirre, or any of his associates. They were just regular people who wanted
    to move to the proposed community. As quickly as the sale had been made, it was
    discovered that the land would be unsuitable for the promised development. They
    told the first rounders it would be subdivided into 3,000 parcels. Turns out it
    could only be divided into 12 parcels. And even those 12 had building
    restrictions due to the elevation and being zoned for agricultural use. To top
    it off, though there were water rights (surface only), there was very little
    water. Johnson failed to register the few wells that existed,within the
    required timeframe, making matters worse. The entire deal was a spectacular
    failure. Johnson would later place fault with Cobin and Eyzaguirre for
    misrepresenting the possibilities of the land. That should have been the end of
    Ken Johnson’s tenure as developer or manager of a community of expatriates in
    Chile. Instead, it was just the beginning.



    -The information here is a lot of
    opinion and is quite inaccurate, as it pertains to all aspects of what is
    written. In my opinion, Mr. Cobin did indeed misrepresent various aspects of the land, which
    was then followed up with the first law firm in Chile not carrying out proper
    due diligence, though they stated that they had done so, which their invoice
    for payment was refused and then renegotiated when transferring to a new law
    firm.

    
________________________



    To rewind a bit, before the sale of Penon was
    registered to one of many legal entities tied to GGC, Berwick and Johnson
    managed to nullify their deal with Cobin and Eyzaguirre, and register title to
    the albatross Penon land to a Chilean entity – Inmobiliaria SA – that only they
    had 50/50 control of. Johnson’s swift move to oust Cobin would foreshadow
    Berwick’s own treatment by Johnson.



    -See above. The Chilean corporation,
    Galt’s Gulch Chile S.A., was mutually dissolved by all parties. There was no
    under-handedness on my part. Mr. Eyzaguirre was in direct communications with
    me, via phone, email and in person, stating that he no longer wanted to work
    with Mr. Cobin, due to Mr. Cobin being untruthful and dealing with more than
    one potential buyer/partner at the same time. There are plenty of emails
    illustrating all of this, plus signed and notarized documents. 


    ________________________



    In
    a display of pure brass, Johnson doubled down and found another property
    adjacent to El Tranque and Penon: a land known as Lepe. Without a penny to his
    name or a single investor, he negotiated a cash deal (to be paid in
    installments), agreeing to pay a staggering $6,850,000.00 USD for land and
    water rights. Now, why would the seller, Guillermo Ramirez, make a deal with a
    total stranger, from a foreign country, who had no money and no reputation? In
    short, he did so, because Johnson was offering him nearly 4 million dollars
    more than the price he had already agreed to sell the land for (to Cobin and
    Eyzaguirre). Locals were astounded by the pricetag. Some allege there was a
    kickback scheme between Ramirez and Johnson; this theory is buoyed by the fact
    that in addition to the inflated purchase price, Ken Johnson was to issue a 5%
    stake in Galt’s Gulch Chile to Mr Ramirez, when payments were completed. Still
    others believe this is just another case of a foolish Gringo being taken by a
    wise local who grossly overstated the value of the land, the profitability of
    the farm, and the amount of water. (Johnson would later exaggerate these
    already inflated figures to potential clients.) The actual amount of water is
    not known because Johnson, for a second time, going against the advice of his
    paid legal counsel, performed no due diligence. Not a single water test was
    performed.



    -I have outlining an offer from Eyzaguirre y Cobin S.A., that was made
    to Mr. Ramirez for the purchase of Lepe Norte and Las Casas. It was the same
    amount that GGC ended up agreeing to with Mr. Ramirez. $3.300.000.000 Chilean
    Pesos. The offer from Eyzaguirre y Cobin S.A. was presented by Tattersal, which
    is a large real estate broker in Chile. Eyzaguirre y Cobin S.A. had also made
    offers to other nearby land owners, but all of them turned them away, for
    various reasons, other than the owners of El Tranque, where they went on to
    promote Freedom Orchard, while it was under a Promesa Agreement with the land
    owners for six months. These payments were made to Mr. Ramirez’ company and I did not benefit financially from these payments, as your unsubstantiated rumors seem to suggest.

    ______________________



    Upon hearing that his employee
    and partner had unilaterally entered into another hasty land deal, Berwick
    panicked. Johnson had no credibility or reputation. This entire venture was on
    the shoulders of Berwick. The initial debacle could have been enough to destroy
    his reputation. He had been heavily promoting the idea of this community,
    shared 50% of the holding company, and had even given Johnson 50% of his
    organization, The Dollar Vigilante. Ken was also doing other business
    development for The Dollar Vigilante, most notably a questionable Paraguayan
    passport program. Berwick apparently felt he was in too deep to turn back. And
    even though he had doubts, he continued to play the hand he was dealt, and went
    about promoting the community and stood behind Ken Johnson’s efforts to secure
    the additional land purchase.

    

-The representations made here are misleading and incorrect. I have never owned 50% of TDV Media & Services LLC, unless I am, of course, unaware of this. Mr. Berwick agreed, via a gentleman’s agreement, to pay
    me 50% of the profits on all of the programs that I set up for TDV, which
    included TDV Wealth Management, TDV Offshore, TDV Self-Directed IRAs, TDV
    Passports (not all programs) and others. I was not paid, as agreed, which is
    the significant reason for Mr. Berwick and I not seeing eye to eye on things. I have been sent emails by Michael at TDV, containing screenshots of the TDV bank account shortly before Mr. Berwick came to me, yet again, stating that there were no profits from the programs that month, when in fact the screenshots of the bank statement showed otherwise.
    As per signed statements from third parties, there was an effort slightly over
    a year ago, involving Mr. Berwick, to purportedly purchase
    Lepe Norte and Las Casas via other investors, rather than the current investors
    or companies of GGC. This is documented and occurred during a bizarre chain of
    events starting in May/June of 2013, where Mr. Berwick was asked to end his
    involvement with BitcoinATM by the two founders of that company. He then seemingly turned his angst and paranoia from that experience onto me, prompting him to
    make unannounced visits to Chile, demanding meetings, “or else”. This is outlined in emails and messages. I,
    as well as the law firm, and GGC staff, met with Mr. Berwick, with the law firm
    being quite concerned with the threats that he made against the GGC project and
    myself, as we were simply down here working. It was a truly bizarre few months, and unfortunately has continued on through the present day, as there is plenty of things others don’t want known. More information came to light about Mr. Berwick’s actions and intentions more and more as
    time went by. Due to these events, it is my opinion that quite sizeable revenue
    was lost, leading to the restructuring of the land transaction with Mr. Ramirez, which is when the sizeable late payments were made.

    
________________ 



    On both El Penon and
    Lepe, Ken Johnson paid a premium and did no due diligence. He did not
    sufficiently verify the zoning status or perform water tests, either time. And
    he did not commit a cent of his own money to either purchase. The same can be
    said for Cobin, Ezyzaguirre, and Berwick. Since Johnson had no skin in the game
    and he was not a public personality like Berwick, Casey, Black, or Cobin, he
    never had anything to lose. And, he would behave accordingly. At one point, the
    lawyer for the New Zealand trust – Evgeny Orlov – described Johnson’s behavior
    as follows: “Ken has accused almost everyone I know of extremely serious things
    whne he appears to be playing with his investors money like a child in a
    sandpit.” (2/26/14).



    -As of the fall of last year, Evgeny Orlov, whom is a
    friend of Mr. Berwick’s was disbarred in New Zealand. I am not sure of the
    current status of this, or the exact reason(s) for it occurring, but that was
    the case when last checked. It is true that the first law firm did not carry
    out with due diligence what they represented that they did, as well as what
    they invoiced for, along with the same amount being invoiced to GGC by the
    Argentinian firm that referred me to the first Chilean firm. The Argentinian
    firm was referred by Mr. Orlov. The Argentinian firm’s invoice was for
    assistance with land due diligence, but they failed to perform it as well, yet
    represented otherwise. There are files of data on the water resource at GGC, as
    well as in the watershed’s of GGC, which outline decades of information on
    rainfall, river flows, farming data, etc., which has been provided to GGC
    clients and investors.

    
____________________________



    In defending his rushed
    purchase, Johnson misrepresented to Berwick and other investors that there were
    several competing bids on the land purchases. He made it appear that time was
    of the essence in both deals; this high pressure sales tactic would later be
    used on potential investors. With Ken Johnson it was always: “We must act right
    away, the time is now.”



    -More opinion. Lepe has a large watershed area, with
    virtually no water rights owned by other parties in the watersheds. The water
    rights tied to Lepe are 420 liters per second (l/s) underground (allowing for water wells,
    of which over 50 are presently registered) and 363.5 l/s from the river. 

    ____________________________



    His
    malfeasance would not be limited to acquisitions. His behavior would, within a
    year, alienate almost everyone who was associated with the project: partners,
    employees, professionals, vendors, the local community, and investors.



    -That
    is a matter of opinion, but there was some deep discord created, with many
    emails illustrating it, by the actions of Mr. Berwick, and whom I sometimes refer
    to as the TDV misfits, creating a divide at GGC between those who read TDV and
    those who don’t care about it. I, and others, have been amazed by the actions
    of some associated with Mr. Berwick, as well as his own actions, which he likes
    to keep his hands clean of as much as possible. There are great staff at GGC,
    but you don’t see or hear from them, because they are busy working, as many of those
    who are no longer here did not do, as they represented they would. 



    __________________________



    Ken
    Johnson partners with someone, uses their money, time, reputation, and
    resources, and when they are no longer of use to him, he discards and vilifies
    them. And even though Ken Johnson has been the sole director of Galt’s Gulch
    Chile since inception, he has taken no responsibility for its continued failure
    and downward spiral. It is always everyone else’s fault.



    -More opinion. I do
    take fault for bad decisions that I have made, such as trusting the wrong
    people with mapping and development. I have been duped more than I care to admit, that is for sure. You want to attempt to
    convince people that I have the intent of defrauding people, but things have
    been done in earnest to build a community, though the events of the past year,
    or so, have prevented that from happening at this point in time…which truly
    is unfortunate.

    
________________________



    In April of 2014, Johnson showed his
    true self and his true motives. Even though he was not paying his investors,
    his employers, his contractors, or the landowner, he negotiated to purchase 51%
    of a company called Rio Colorado from a local “businessman” who had worked for
    the Chilean IRS: Mario Del Real. Johnson agreed to pay del Real the mind
    numbing sum of $8.1 million USD. This was to be a private, personal purchase
    for the sole benefit of Ken Johnson, having no benefit for, or relation to GGC.



    -This
    venture was disclosed to all of the first round Founders, as well as quite a
    few of the second round Founders. Three Founders invested in this and all of
    them understood it was not a part of GGC, nor did it compete with GGC in any
    way. I am working to have their investments properly secured. I cannot comment more on this right now, other than to say that “Willie’s” comments are incorrect.

    • Ken Johnson

      I misread “Willie’s” name. I should have said “Eddie”

  • Ken Johnson

    Here are more responses to some of the inaccurate statements made about me below by “Willie”, the anonymous commenter. Please note that if I don’t respond to all of his/her comments, I in no way agree with what he/she communicated. My responses are being done from memory as I type this, so there may be information left out or not thoroughly outlined.

    Let that sink in. Someone
    with no backers, a negative net worth, and owing millions of dollars, agreed to
    make a private purchase of this magnitude. Why did he think he would get away
    with it? Because he already had. Twice. It began with El Penon, then pulled it
    off with Lepe; now he figured he could do it again with Rio Colorado. When the
    money came due, and he was light $8.1 million out of $8.1 million, he decided
    to trade the equity, held by GGC.



    -You seem to like to read minds, but your
    representations are false. Mr. Del Real, as well as his colleagues and family,
    wanted to participate in GGC because they communicated to me that they could
    greatly assist with efficient development of the project. I, as well as those
    from GGC participating in the meetings, believed that Mr. Del Real and the team of
    people whom he brought with him would be a large benefit to the GGC project,
    as he promised to get approvals on the map prior to the April Celebration,
    assist with accounting, farm management, legal work, etc. It seemed like a
    big relief, after having some bad experiences with past law firms, and
    some others. 


    ______________________ 



    This would be tricky
    for a couple of reasons. First, he told his investors and clients that all
    shares were held in escrow. Second, it would need approval. Knowing this would
    not be possible without support of the board of directors, he simply named a new
    board of directors: the very family he was trading GGC’s assets to: the Del
    Real family. What was interesting about this maneuver is that it was done
    twice. Both times through official notaries. Each times with drastically
    different signatures, proving that at least one, if not both, documents are
    forgeries. The new, hand picked Board, had no assets, investments, or interest
    in GGC and were granted control of the entire project. Mario, after receiving
    over a quarter million USD, became majority shareholder; his daughter Pamela
    became managing partner, treasurer, and accountant. And, his children were each
    given 10% ownership. Since Ken no longer had the ability to receive
    international wires because he refused to identify the source of funds, Pamela
    Del Real’s personal bank account became the corporate bank account for GGC.
    Including bitcoin wallets, this would be one of more than 15 accounts used by
    Ken Johnson to receive client funds.



    -The information here is false. Client
    documents on wires are obtained, but there is evidence of third party dealings
    to interrupt GGC banking, which is outlined in documents provided to me. 15
    accounts? Where do you come up with this stuff? There was
    one bank account prior to Pamela’s account being utilized. There are two,
    possibly three, Bitcoin wallets, which are all accounted for.

    ____________________________

    

At this point, I bet you are wondering, ‘How did this happen?’. How was
    someone with no experience, no reputation, and no money, able to pull off a
    multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme? Well, first it took big balls. And each time
    he was allowed to get away with something, he got even more brazen.



    -More opinion. 


    ________________________



    Second, he had a lot of accomplices. Some
    were willing, but most were unwitting.

By aligning himself with established
    names, these accomplices gave Johnson an air of respectability. People saw that
    Johnson was aligned with people who they knew and trusted, so they transferred
    that trust onto him. Initially, it was his association with Jeff Berwick that
    raised money for the first land purchase. Later, it was his direct association
    with media personalities like Josh Tolley and Ben Swann that gave him
    credibility within the Freedom movement. Others were swept into his web when
    Johnson mentioned that he had worked with Jay Leno, Ed Begley, Jr, and Mario
    van Peebles. The fact that he was represented by the Carey Group, the largest
    and most prestigious law firm in South America, got many investors to let their
    guard down. This was a most curious pairing because Johnson actually paid these
    attorneys, with investor funds, to represent himself against those same
    investors. As recently as 8/18/14, Johnson forbade the Carey Group (and all of
    his former legal advisers) from sharing any information with GGC clients. And,
    ignoring their own code of legal ethics, they complied.

    

-More opinion. I came here to build GGC because I believe in it. Your representations are very inaccurate.

    Carey Law was introduced to me by one of our first round Founders, as he, myself and
    others were not happy with the work of the second law firm utilized in Chile.
    I’m not sure how Carey represented me against investors. That wasn’t the case.
    They advised on properly correcting errors made by the second law firm and we
    were discussing their work on behalf of GGC, but a conflict of interests with
    one of their other clients arose that I felt was a problem. Carey simply asked
    if documents should be released to the second round Founder of GGC whom has
    worked to align people with much of what is being misrepresented here. They
    emailed me and we declined. This second round Founder has been offered all of
    the information they may need to make a decision on if/how to move forward with
    GGC, accounting, banking, etc. I have not hidden information from people, nor
    do I care to.
    
____________________

    

In fact, to date, Johnson has never shared a budget, a
    financial ledger, a business plan, a mission statement, or any formal
    documentation with a single client. He refuses to reveal how much money he has
    taken in, how much money he has spent, how it was spent, how much money he has,
    and how much money he owes. He cannot or will not even say who owns the land
    and who is running the project. These are all very basic, straightforward
    questions that every client and investor deserves to have answered.



    -This is false. I have invited the second round
    Founder to meet with me and go over all details of GGC for all to see, but have also been working to rectify things that benefit GGC for whomever continues on with managing it. 


    _____________________



    I do not expect
    you to accept the story from an anonymous email. I implore you to do your own
    investigation. Do not make the same mistake twice, by taking another stranger
    at his or her word. Blind trust created this situation. Be accountable to
    yourselves and to each other. Do some research. Reach out and contact your
    fellow investors/victims. Email or call former employees, former attorneys,
    architects, builders, salespeople. You will find a single bond that joins them
    all. Every single one of them was lied to by Ken Johnson. Every single one of
    them was mistreated by Ken Johnson. And, every single one of them is owed money
    by Ken Johnson.



    -This is false. As mentioned above, those no longer with GGC,
    for the most part, did not fulfil obligations to the project. Some out of bad
    circumstances…some from lack of communications to/from
    me due to all of us being overworked…some of lack of work ethic…etc. Those
    who do work everyday on the farm and with GGC work hard and you don’t hear from
    them, because they are busy working. I don’t run to them to issue statements of
    displeasure with former staff or clients or whomever. I just let them work. 


    ________________________



    Ask
    what he did with the millions of dollars that he has taken in. Ask how many
    bank accounts he has. How many bitcoin wallets has he used? Why did he pay over
    a million dollars for land that could not be divided or lived on? Why did he
    agree to pay $6,850,000.00 (over 8 million, after late fees) for land and water
    rights , when the owner had already agreed to sell them to someone else for
    only $3 mill USD? Why did he refuse to identify the source of his funding to
    his own attorneys and his own bankers? On more than 10 occasions. Why has he
    physically and verbally abused employees and issued “cease and desist” orders
    or threatened suit against more than 2 dozen current investors and former
    workers?

    

-See above.
    When wires come in, sales staff has always been instructed to collect a
    passport scan and a source of funds letter, which are then kept on file, with a
    letter then also going to the bank, outlining what the funds are for. When
    staff was organizing clients files in recent weeks, it became evident that a
    former longtime sales team member was not properly keeping client files, nor
    was our former sales manager. This has been addressed by our admin staff.

    
___________________



    Who owns GGC? Who is the managing director? Who holds the bank account or accounts
    that new investor money flows into? Who is the sales director? Who is the
    general contractor? Who is the accountant? Who is the attorney? Where are the
    financial records? Why has a master development plan or business plan not been
    created or approved? Why have farm and orchard owners not received dividends?
    Or any information, for that matter? Press Ken on why he has not fulfilled his
    repeated promise to turn the project over to the clients, whose money he
    squandered, in the percentage that they invested.



    -Feel free to ask any of
    these. Your intention is to paint a picture of someone stealing money, or
    defrauding people, as has been Mr. Berwick’s intent after he didn’t receive his
    demands. We work everyday on farm items and I have been working diligently to
    correct bad decisions that have been made, while awaiting meetings with those
    who state they want to come in and manage GGC, which I have welcomed for months
    now. 


    ___________________



    -By the way, I have shared a great
    deal of information with an investor who states he wants to turn GGC around. I
    shared with him the location of a possible solution for those who are awaiting
    smaller lots at GGC, which I also shared with a former sales staff member. I
    have been following this opportunity for many months, which was my hope to make
    a part of GGC. Now, it appears others may be taking credit for this opportunity
    and pursuing it. Oh well. Anyhow, I do hope that this opportunity does come to
    fruition for those awaiting lots at GGC, as that has always been my goal. I do
    believe that all who have put their trust in GGC, as well as myself, should
    have equity in the project and I would be happy to help in doing that, or to
    allow others to carry it out. I don’t seek to make large sums of money from
    this. I just wanted to have a nice place to live with clean water, food and
    energy. The pressure and workload though proved to be immense and I do hope
    that whomever carries on with GGC can make it fruitful in the near future.

    ______________________

    

On
    Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM, Ken Johnson
    wrote:



    Hi all,

I have provided in depth information to a party involved with
    GGC whom has represented to me, and I presume to some of you, that he intends
    to invest into GGC and step in as the managing partner. I have welcomed his
    offer dating back to May and hope to move forward with him, should his
    intentions be forthright.

When talking with him about moving forward with GGC,
    I recommended that it would be a great thing to offer all whom have put their
    trust in the hands of GGC to become equity partners of GGC. He didn’t seem to
    have any response to my suggestion, but in recent days I have seen
    communications emanating from a former tour guide of GGC that an “equity
    solution” was being offered, which made me wonder if he, or another, have taken
    my suggestion to those involved with GGC, as if this recommendation was their
    own.

Anyhow, I am emailing all of you to let you know that we will be issuing
    shares in the GGC land holding corporation to all of you, in proportion to the
    purchase prices in your contracts with GGC. I am not doing this because I have
    taken this idea from others…but rather, I am doing so, as I am appreciative to
    all whom have put their trust in me and those whom are working to make GGC a
    reality. You all will, of course, also be granted title to the lot(s) that you
    have elected to purchase after GGC obtains formal approvals for the residential
    and farm lots, which we hope to have in 2014. If we are not able to obtain
    approvals for one, or more, lot sizes, that may have been put under contract
    with some here, we will then look into options of the next closest size in lots
    or another solution.

Regardless of the events that have gone on with some whom
    have come and gone with GGC, and some of my own poor choices in the placement
    of trust, as well as some who may represent they want the best for GGC, but
    possibly don’t, we are here working everyday to improve the farm, work toward
    approvals and improve all aspects of GGC. I am confident that all here who want
    to live in GGC, as we have envisioned it, will do so soon.

    

To your
    freedoms,

Ken Johnson

Managing Partner

Galt’s Gulch Chile

    • Brad R

      Ken, you neglected to answer the question I posed yesterday. I will ask again. In your email you mentioned that the final payment for the purchase of the land had been renegotiated. So what payment is currently due when, to complete the purchase of the property and water rights, and what happens if that payment is (again) not made?

      • Yes, Ken. For once in your lifetime, do not send up an obfuscating fog of ad hominems and accusations in response to a straight, simple question. Please answer the one posed by Brad R. Please also answer my question that follows….people have been asking for refunds which is specified as their right in the purchase contract. No one has received one. Will you now, at long last, live up to that contractual obligation? You cannot be unaware that at least one investor is now living in his car because you gobbled up his money and returned nothing…not land, not a refund, and not the respect of a straight answer.

    • Orren Boyle

      “Conditions and circumstances, Jim. Conditions and circumstances absolutely beyond human control. We had everything mapped to roll those rails, but unforeseen developments set in, which nobody could have prevented.”

    • Fritz Knese

      I know little about you or this particular venture. I do know a bit about scam artists. Obfuscation is a primary means of keeping the suckers on the line. You seem an expert at that. People need to buy back in their own culture and fight to make it free, not go to Chile and be suckered.

  • Frank899

    I find it very disingenuous of Jeff and Ken to play the victims in all of this when he and Ken stole the name and business plan for Galt’s Gulch Chile from Dr. John Cobin. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are still owed to John and his partner for services rendered in finding the property Jeff and Ken took over.

    One of the worst things is that libertarianism has received a black eye in Chile.Freedom Orchard is still a possibility, but Chileans, especially in Curacaví, are very suspect now of those claiming to be libertarian. They are no longer assumed to be trustworthy.

    • Hello, Frank. I have never met John Cobin and I know little about the Freedom Orchard. Of course, I have heard the rumors of Cobin being ripped off by Ken Johnson but I have no knowledge of details. I do remember going into a small pharmacy in Curacavi just before Brad and I departed for Santiago to fly home…and seeing a newspaper with Ken’s face on the front. It announced his lawsuit against Cobin because of some frippery, like Cobin speaking badly of him. I bought the paper, of course, and it is also online http://www.elmauco.cl/entrevistas/item/400-gringo-de-lepe-sale-a-encarar-a-su-compatriota-john-cobin-y-anuncia-acciones-legales.html Apparently, Ken has also sued or threatened to sue the newspaper…thus violating one of the main rules of life. Do not sue people who buy ink by the barrel. I think an article about that lawsuit is available online as well. It is Ken’s SOP. Sue, threaten to sue…it is one reason why so many people were so quiet for so long.

      Oh…another reason. I was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement along with the papers to purchase land. It was such a restrictive agreement that I literally could be sued if I said how much I loved GGC. I refused to sign it. And Jeff Berwick stood up for me, calling the requirement ridiculous. I don’t know how many other buyers are legally restrained from saying so much as “hello” to Ken without rising a lawsuit. But I’m not.

      I wish John Cobin and Freedom Orchard the best.

  • Zehaas Sram

    It sucks to try to build a liberated community in a place with draconian water and zoning restrictions. I don’t know which country would constitute a good choice, but believe Chile was just a bad choice.

    • Hello, Zehaas. Actually, Chile has a great deal to recommend it. For example, you can open a business in one day and it has a solid reputation for being the least corrupt nation in South America. And, good God man!, the beauty. I understand your reservations — they are the same ones my husband and I discussed in detail — but nowhere is truly free and we were moving to be in good company as much as anything else.

  • Interesting. Someone has been using Tor to vote this article down. They (or I expect “he”) are using Tor because the site allows only one vote per IP address.

    • Bill Ross

      I allow free votes on my site. The “ratings” are pathetic, IMHO because the unproductive have more time and motivation to “not like” me. I find it amusing, and, my preferred target audience is free, as opposed to herd thinkers. Besides, I speak for me, not any group perspective, apart from ad-hoc groupings who may freely choose to follow my lead and form their own objective “terrorist cells”.

  • dooglio

    This is Simon Black’s venture, am I correct?

    • Brad R

      No. Simon Black’s venture is an entirely different project. If I recall correctly, Black’s venture is south of Santiago, not west of Santiago where GGC is.

      • NOYFB

        Something about Simon Black always seemed fishy to me. Not sure why but his stuff never added up.

        • Blank Reg

          I felt the same way about GGC.

  • Angela Richter

    Property ownership in South America is a tangled web. I’d not recommend it for anyone. They do not appreciate property ownership as we do. It is only for their elite, not us mere peasants. I’m amazed that anyone thought they could own property down there that could be developed.

    • This is incorrect Angela. Some countries have shady property rights. The Ecuadorian government, for example, claims ownership of all land in the country. It’s right there at the beginning of their constitution. Chile has strong property rights. And farmland has zero to little property tax. Like anywhere, you just need to know the law, or understand your risk, before putting any skin in the game. It’s far less onerous than the US though.

      • Angela Richter

        It is not incorrect at all. It is a well known fact that the ONLY way to deal with any authority in South America is the Aristocracy of Pull. Do any of you even know the history of South America? Someone saw something they wanted and allowed themselves to be sold an empty bill of goods and now they cry about it when everyone involved should have known a lot better. Wendy’s Tree, indeed.

        • deltajent

          And that would be different from the US how, Angela? You know, where all property is owned by the govt, pretty much the way it is anywhere there is a state. If you think you actually own your own property, stop paying your rent (property tax) and see who comes to throw you off *their* property. You obviously know nothing about Chile, Angela, so why waste everyone’s time here with ignorant opinions? Yes, perhaps we should have known better than to trust an *American* real estate promoter, but at least we’re not trying to get you or someone else to pay for our mistakes, so why the vindictive and callous insults? Wendy’s not crying over spilled milk, she’s crying danger, warning others not to get similarly burned by a lowlife *American* (not South American) because, unlike you apparently, she has a heart.

        • Perhaps you’re aware that any property management in the contemporary world is based on a feudal system anyway. Do you think you actually own any land anywhere (North America)? You do not. You might have some mineral rights, but not in the US (Not sure about Canada). You are allowed to work the property the state leases to you and improve upon it, as long as you do so within certain dictates. And you MUST pay them for the privilege. Think I’m wrong? Then cease paying your overlords their fealty and see how much longer you get to keep living on their land.
          Chile is no different, in this regard, although there is some argument that some of the uber-wealthy old families actually own property outright. However, property rights, at the sufferance of the state, are strong in Chile. And taxes are very low in most cases.

    • Fritz Knese

      Don’t be so hard on Wendy and Brad. It is easy to be blinded by the BS thrown at one by scam artists, especially when you are an honest person yourself. The fault here lies with the thieves both Chilean government that demand bribes for proper zoning in a damned desert and the con men using honest people like Wendy and Brad. You are probably like me and have seen the “used car salesman” approach all our lives and are thus immune to their BS. Not everyone has that kind of “luck”.

      • BeenThereDoneThat

        Simply not true. The government demanded nothing. It was the other way around as to who offered the bribe and the government declined. As to Angela’s comments, they paint to broad a stroke. Latin America is made up of very different countries and cultures. In SOME places “property ownership in South America is a tangled web.” In other places, such as Chile, it is not. Remember, Transparency International ranks both Chile and Uruguay as being less corrupt than the USA. Be careful with unresearched generalizations.

        • Fritz Knese

          I was not clear. I consider any fee one has to pay government a legalized bribe for they should not have power over individuals and their property. Permits are a major method governments use to control individuals.

      • Angela Richter

        I would like to think that anyone who is aware of Galt’s Gulch would know the axiom, “If it sounds too good to be true, it is”. Live Consciously my friend.

        • Angela, I knew there would be people who would use my decision to warn others about GGC as a weapon against my husband and myself…so I’m not surprised by your reaction. I ran the piece by Brad because I didn’t want to open him up to the casual cruelty of others. He said “yes” (obviously) because he always does the right thing.

          • Angela Richter

            I’m not using it against you. I’m merely pointing out that if you followed Objectivism as closely as you think you do you would not have fallen into the trap that others see so clearly. You wanted something to be a certain way, so you ignored all of the warning signs telling you they were not that way. You chose to not live consciously, choosing to live according to what you wanted to feel, rather than what the facts were showing you.

            I’m merely pointing out the false premise you followed this time so that in future you won’t be taken in again. Galt’s Gulch is not a geographical place, as much as we would all love for it to be. It is an idea that lives within all Objectivists and is a symbol of all we strive for. I would love to live in a community of like minded people, but the odds of that happening are pretty low. So I treasure the moments I do come in to contact with them all the more. I live in the now, not in some future that may never be. I make my Heaven where I am, refusing to live for it after I’m dead.

          • alaska3636

            Aren’t you the cat’s meow…

          • Angela Richter

            No, but I am the bee’s knees

  • M J R

    I am sorry that the process has been a roller coaster for you. I hope that it works out and thank you for the heads up. I was actually considering investing and was doing a little research. While I love Canada I am getting on and the winters are getting harder on these old bones.

    • Please don’t give up on the option. Some of the best people I know are working behind the scenes to rescue the vision. Until a renewed GGC is announced, however, you are wise to turn up the heat and endure the winter. I am not being glib…I live in Canada as well. Believe me, I’m never glib about the cold. 🙂

      • Fritz Knese

        I am pretty sure that you would never move to the USA, Wendy. The property you have there in Canada sounds very nice to me. But it is true that here in the Ozarks we have very low property taxes, very little governmental interference in much of the backwoods, and much warmer winters. I often can start my garden outdoors in early March here. The summers can be hot and dry, though not so bad for the past two years. Free men could do a lot worse than starting a community of like minded folks here where there is a lot of independent thinkers.

  • Keith

    Wendy, Brad and Jeff,

    Many thanks for your bravery in bringing this into the open.

    When we get scammed, it is all too easy to try to hide in embarrassment. You guys haven’t taken the easy route.

    To an extent, these scams are formulaic.

    Well known and trusted individuals are enlisted as bait for the trap.

    the twin tools of inviting pulicity on the surface and extreme secrecy below that surface are used to keep new people coming in and bad news from leaking out.

    The psychopath and narcissists tool of “gaslighting” is used to try to make you ignore your reasonable doubts and suspicions, to blame yourself instead of the abuser, and to doubt your own correct judgement.

    I think it was Claire Wolfe, who linked to this a few weeks back about a property development scam which was pulled on an Amish community http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-06-26/rich-amish-lured-into-florida-land-investment-scheme

    Check the similarities.

    I suspect that you’ll find more than just the ones I’ve highlighted.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. If the project can be rescued at reasonable cost, great! If it must be liquidated, I hope that the losses can be coped with.

    • Keith…thank you. Your analysis is dead on. I am getting some backlash from people who have invested, and their basic line of reasoning is “our reputations are on the line for having endorsed this project” — embarrassment, as you mention. I understand. Believe me, I understand. But these people need to realize that they are the good guys, they are the solution. People like Ken Johnson operate because people like me do not speak out. As long as they are silent, they are playing Ken’s game and the house will always win. BTW, all of us thought there were no more land sales. My husband found out three weeks ago that sales were continuing…and that’s what sparked the Daily Bell article. Also, BTW, and given how litigious Ken Johnson has been, the Daily Bell is pretty damned well on the side of the angels in publishing me. I could not respect them more.

      • Keith

        The threat of litigation is also a trick.

        In a court setting, the good guys will tell the truth, a psychopath will lie effortlessly.

        The judge, jury, magistrates or whatever, will assume that the truth is somewhere in between – hence the psychopath gains.

        There is also some rather interesting cognitive psychology at work against you which I’ll explain to you in an email, rather than give any psychopaths new ideas for how to manipulate and abuse others.

        On the subject of highly litigious individuals and organizations of individuals, I gather that the hacktivist network “anonymous” developed to get information out without its members being subject to gagging litigation from a cult started by a sci-fi writer.

        A big hug

        Keith

        • Again, dead on. I have dealt with a flat-out sociopath only once before. He wanted to go into arbitration over an alleged offense but there was nothing to arbitrate. I owed him nothing, absolutely literally nothing. My very acceptance of such a process would have been a victory for him because I would have been publicly accepting there was a matter that deserved arbitration. My email is wendyATwendymcelroyDOTcom

          • Keith

            I’ve sent it on. My address sounds like a critter you’d find in Chile.

    • NOYFB

      ^ This

      However I’m glad she told the story. What makes a free market work well is good consumer awareness which means exposing bad dealings, and bad dealers.

  • tgmolitor

    Did Berwick disclose that he had been forced out of the management and operations of GGC a year ago to his blog followers and prospective investors in GGC?”

    After all, part of buying into GGC is buying into Berwick.

  • Fritz Knese

    Wendy, I am so sorry. I know what it is to love a property and lose it, though at least you did not mix your labor with the land first as I did. I find the fact that you tell the story of what happened quite courageous. When I first saw the pictures of the property and recognized that it was high desert, I feared for the community’s success for in my experience good water is very necessary for any back to the land concept. Of course I realized immediately that the community was a non-starter for me since I know I would be unhappy in Chile since their culture is so different than my own. I ran into a similar problem in Mexico many years ago. For better or worse, I am a white USA citizen indoctrinated by a lifetime in my culture. By the way, surveys have shown in the USA that first generation immigrants are usually unhappy in a new culture, but their kids are better off. So I see going to Chile or any other country to be automatically bad. I think libertarian types should start communities here where they understand the culture. There are still properties in the backwoods that are affordable, with water, and reasonably close by car to town throughout the USA and particularly here in the Ozarks. Plus one need not learn a new language to talk to your neighbors.
    Scam artists are everywhere Lady. I hope you and Brad did not lose too much financially. But I also hope it is an object lesson for both you and those who read this article. When it seems too good to be true, it usually is a scam. Good luck going forward.

    • Thank you, Fritz. The experience has been exhausting and, for a year, it has consumed more of my emotional reserves than I care to admit. We were, after all, preparing to sell our farm, adopt out our animals (other than my dog of whom I am ridiculously fond)…there were hundreds (no exaggeration) of details we were facing, including telling family — which, thank God, we did not do. Please be assured that Brad and I will survive nicely on a financial level whatever happens. We’ll just have to work a little harder for a little longer. That’s the Ken Johnson tax on our lives. Unlike you, he makes life heavier, not lighter. Thanks for being my friend.

      • Fritz Knese

        It is my pleasure to be considered a friend of someone I admire on many levels. Thank you Lady.

    • deltajent

      Fritz, the GGC country in Chile is not high desert, at least not the way I think of high desert. It’s more like the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in central California: hilly with small rivers, fairly dry but with adequate rainfall, moderate climate described as “Mediterranean.” It’s really quite pleasant.

      More importantly, the culture change would definitely be a challenge for me and I suppose most folks born and raised Norte Americanos, but many, if not most, of us are not going there to enjoy the scenery, but to escape the rapidly metastasizing police state that the US is becoming. I hope I can live out my days here at home in the US near friends and family, but just in case things go from bad to worse, I want a back door out of this place. Ask any Jew who escaped Germany in the 30s what they think about relocating to a foreign culture.

      • Fritz Knese

        Being from Ohio originally, when I saw the photos of Galts Gulch it looked like high desert as in New Mexico to me. As for wanting a back door out when the police state gets even worse here in the USA, I totally agree. I just do not think it is pragmatic to go to a culture that largely hates North American whites as their perceived oppressors. The Jews who relocated from Germany obviously were better off than those who remained. However if the Jews had armed themselves and fought the Nazi oppression, perhaps WWII would have been averted. From what I have read most relocated Jews hated being where they were, but their children were far better off.
        Are you familiar with the organization Jews for the Preservation of Gun Ownership? I learned about it from reading Claire Wolfe’s The State vs. the People. He co-author was Aaron Zelman who, I believe, started the organization but is dead now. They promote the idea of being armed to fight the police state rather than acceding to it. I realize that running away is often pragmatic, however preparing for the possibility of upheaval is also pragmatic. The survivalist mentality has something to be said for it.

        • Blank Reg

          Sadly, Fritz, many of us are too long in the tooth to be front line soldiers in a civil war, which many of us see coming – hence the desire for a backdoor option. If the company I’m founding goes international as planned, I want to open a sales and support office in Santiago. That will be my backdoor. I have visualized reading about America’s final collapse on my iPad on a Valparaiso beach. Which is vastly preferable for me and mine than having to live through it up close and personal.

          • Fritz Knese

            Can’t argue with you about that. I am 62 and though I still pump iron my old body is pretty decrepit. I live in the backwoods off the grid and would hopefully avoid a lot of the problems of any minor upheaval. But anything major will mess with us all. Just keep in mind that those same Chileans that are so friendly to you when you have economic power can easily turn on you as a despised gringo if the USA implodes financially. I also doubt that the governmental types down there have any less police state mentality than they do here.

  • AnalRand

    “I suppose there is some comfort in being fleeced in good company, in being in the company of some of the smartest businessmen in the movement.”

    You’ve put your finger on the problem right there.

    • Fritz Knese

      Good point. When smartest businessmen means the best lying thieves, it shows that the culture of business has gone diametrically away from the concept of real free enterprise where integrity not dishonesty is admired and also pays with return business.

      • mrCurmudgeon

        Objectivism prizes survival of the fittest, not survival of the most honest or integrity-filled. That is why it breeds corruption. It is inspired by malice.

        Why do you think Ayn Rand’s biggest hero was serial killer William Edward Hickman?

        • Don Duncan

          Rand presented the first objective solution to the problem of subjective ethical systems. This was her biggest philosophical contribution for mainstream consumption. I think it was inspired by her desire to free ethics from superstition so all of us who value truth as a fundamental goal would have a moral code commensurate with that value. Objectivism prizes rationality as our only survival mechanism. Honesty and integrity are rational. Both make us fit to survive.

          Corruption is an individual choice, not a product of Objectivism.

          • alaska3636

            Honest question: How does Objectivism incorporate subjective value?

          • Don Duncan

            I’m not sure I understand the question. Are you asking how Objectivism allows for individuality? Or are you asking how Objectivism would view a non-objective value, i.e., a value without universal applicability, e.g., moral codes that vary? All moral codes are not as effective as guides to action. Some have flaws, as seen by the conflict and destruction of life. Since the purpose of a moral code is to maximize health & happiness (life) by giving us a guide for action, any code that does the opposite would be rejected as anti-life.

          • alaska3636

            This may not be the thread to pursue this, given how bloated it has already gotten…I have been interested for awhile now in certain tenants of Objectivism, especially as Objectivism tends to run towards the Austrian-style of thinking; but if I understand the premise of Objectivism (and I do not think I do, otherwise I wouldn’t ask), then the best way to organize one’s view of the universe is strict rationality.

            But, rationality can be defined in a number of ways. My understanding is that Objectivism implies that objective truth can be ascertained by which to organize one’s affairs; however, Austrian analysis gives us the insight of rational decision-making based on subjective value. The Mises example is the strict ascetic monk who, by denying himself certain worldly health and happiness, believes that he will be rewarded with a future afterlife of peace and joy. Given the premise (and it can neither be proved nor disproved), this is a rational choice for the monk to make, if he believes it. “Omniscience is denied man,” or something like that…

            So my question, to amplify, is does an Objectivist take a strictly materialist premise? Or can an Objectivist (I suppose there’s more than one type…) acknowledge both the “concatenation of natural phenomena” as concerns the physical world as well as acknowledging that consciousness can not be traced back to a strict materialist state and has (and may always have) an element of subjective determination?

            I think a clearer understanding of rationality is my intended thrust here, although I may just be poking a stick in the dark. If the question is still not clear, I will drop it for now, but any insight would be appreciated.

          • Don Duncan

            What you are seeking an answer to is complicated and would require more space than we should take up here. But it is worth the effort to pursue. You need to clear this up for yourself, if you value truth. A few quick points: There is reality, A=A. And there is our conception of it. Our conception can be incorrect, which only means we, humanity, have not perfected thinking. That is the most important task a philosopher can undertake. “… a clearer understanding of rationality…” is how you put it. And do not let anyone tell you certainty requires omniscience, failing that nothing is certain. That is a false dichotomy. Certainly there is certainty, and it does not require knowing everything, or nothing is certain.

            I recommend: “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology” and “The Virtue of Selfishness” and “For the New Intellectual”.

        • Fritz Knese

          Do not know about Ayn Rand, but objectivism actually would promote honesty and integrity in a true free market for those attributes pay off there with repeat business. The corruption you see as caused by objectivism is actually a result of a financial system which rewards corruption as ours definitely does.

      • SecularAmerican

        When smartest businessmen means the best lying thieves, it shows that the culture of business has gone diametrically away from the concept of real free enterprisewhere integrity not dishonesty is admired and also pays with return business.

        No True Scotsman.

        • Fritz Knese

          I do not understand your reply. Would you please elaborate?

          • SecularAmerican

            You’ve defined the bad qualities out of “real free enterprise,” axiomatically. This is an example of moving the goalposts, whereby the argument changes as the conditions change. Specifically it is the No True Scotsman version.

            By the way you’ve defined it, “real free enterprise,” can do no wrong.

            The problem is that in doing this, you’ve precluded from consideration that this is what enterprise free from government intervention looks like. That’s because you started with the premise that free enterprise can do no wrong.

    • Milty Freedman

      When “the smartest businessmen in the movement” are complete morons, you’ve got a problem.

  • Ian

    This irony right here? Delicious.

  • AnarchyPrime

    Galt’s Gulch Chile (GGC), the libertarian community that was planned and sold in lots as a liberty oasis for those who wished to live freedom before they died.

    A GGC celebration was held in November 2013. The alleged purpose was for people to finalize the selection of lots and other paperwork. No selection took place because no zoning permits had been obtained. A GGC celebration was held this April, … The alleged purpose was for people to finalize the selection of lots and other paperwork. No selection took place because no zoning permits had been obtained.

    Zoning permits! In what way could this place hold potential as a “liberty oasis?” It sounds like “FSP: Chile” with the addition of a real estate swindle. How can you have a “liberty oasis” when you can’t even get started without the state’s permission? Are the Chileans at least as receptive to the concept of individual rights as are Americans? I don’t think you’ll get very far in this sort of plan. I think a liberty oasis is going to take much more radical action. I think it’s going to take people who flaunt the laws, not follow them. It’s going to take outlaws. Obedience to the state cannot bring about freedom.

    • AnarchyPrime. Any country will have laws that determine land ownership requirements. There is no country that is anarchistic; indeed, it would be a contradiction in terms. We were — and are — people who wish to live cooperatively together in mutual support and fellowship. I could take issue with you here. I could ask why you are so brave as to post anonymously about the anarcho-cowardice of others who act in a manner that harms no one. But I will respect the pseudo you have chosen and assume that you are serious about anarchism. I will not attack a fellow anarchist…even one who takes the opportunity to kick me while I’m down. And, just to make your day a littler better, yes…it hurts. I hurt over GGC. Now is a good opportunity to kick me again. Because, you know, that helps freedom.

      • AnarchyPrime

        I didn’t intend that as an attack on you. It sounds like a nice place to live, and I wish you the best in finding a home where you are happier. But what sort of liberty oasis is going to arise in such a situation? What happens when you encounter a Chilean law that violates your rights? Is a small group of wealthy foreigners who try to insulate themselves from the rest of the country going to change things for the better through the legislative process? If you’re not changing the law, and you’re not breaking it, you’re obeying it. Where does the “liberty” part come in? To me this sounds like the plan is “move to Chile, try avoid interacting with Chileans.”

        • deltajent

          I can’t speak for Wendy, but for me it would be a move to avoid interacting with the out-of-control US bureaucrats who are becoming ever more violent and intrusive. Any American who thinks he lives in the Land of Liberty is thoroughly delusional. The fact is, people in many other places around the globe enjoy far more real freedom than Americans. Sadly there is nowhere on earth you can live that has not been claimed by some political collective whose controllers assume that they in essence own you. It’s just that they don’t try to control every aspect of your life as they do in the US.

          • AnarchyPrime

            Right, but I was wondering where the “Galt’s Gulch” part of it came in.
            “Miss Taggart, we have no laws in this valley…”

            On a separate note, I saw this on the GGC website:

            We also are the first, and only, large underground water rights owner on this river, before it reaches the farms that surround Curacaví, so we will always be first to tap into the water flow of the aquifer.

            I am curious as to how that could impact those farmers, and from where these water rights were granted.

          • deltajent

            Yes, well let me say that I’m not a huge fan of Rand and would probably have chosen a different name for the project if it were up to me, but “no laws” is something less than accurate in any case. I’ll have to admit that I never did get around to reading Atlas Shrugged so I’m not sure about the context of that quote, but what is usually mistaken for “law” is actually “statute,” the opinions of men and women pretending to be “legislators.” In a minimalist libertarian state, statutes would closer comport to law, but of course anything invented by man, rather than discovered, as natural law is, is certain to be fundamentally distorted.

            The huge error that most critics of anarchism make is to assume that “no ruler” means no law. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing precludes an anarchist from being a criminal, but anarchists who live by the non-aggression principle do not commit lawless criminal acts of aggression against their neighbors (or anyone else). Natural law will direct the actions of the peaceful and deal with the aggression of the non-peaceful.

            The water rights issue is complicated and I can’t explain it all here. You would have to study Chilean water rights “laws” as well as the legal details of GGC water rights to know what is what here. One thing I can assure you and that is that Ken Johnson won’t give you a straight answer on it; more likely no answer at all.

          • AnarchyPrime

            I understand the whole stateless law thing. I’m saying that calling a place “Galt’s Gulch” or a “libertarian oasis” should in some way, because there aren’t any libertarian nations in the world, involve changing or breaking the law, if that term is to be fitting. A place can be less oppressive than the US in most ways and still not be anywhere close to being libertarian.

          • deltajent

            Well, if by “nation” you mean government or state, wouldn’t you say that a “libertarian nation” is something of an oxymoron, perhaps a place where unicorns roam free? I take issue with political libertarians, minarchists, and constitutionalists as the definition of a state–a nation with a political government–is an organization that operates by claiming a monopoly on the use of aggressive force. If there’s one thing virtually all libertarians agree on, it’s that aggression is wrong, so how can someone support any organization of supposedly limited powers whose first act of allegedly protecting rights–its sole purpose for existence–is to violate those same rights by claiming the authority to take the property (by force) of those it claims to be protecting? If a government does not act by force and allows its “citizens” to freely refuse its “services” then it’s not actually a govt at all but an ordinary business providing valuable goods and services to willing customers which it competes for in the marketplace.

            Of course having a community founded on libertarian principles in the middle of a political govt puts limits on how purely the residents will be able to follow the philosophy, but as you say, a place can be less oppressive. The object is to move toward the goal, not to expect to attain it immediately, or to give up because we haven’t gotten there yet.

          • mary sunshine

            deltajent how do other founders get in touch with you?

          • AnarchyPrime

            Well, if by “nation” you mean government or state

            I don’t mean government or state.

            The object is to move toward the goal

            Again, I am asking how.

          • deltajent

            An excellent question. My answer would be education. Remember the saying, “ignorant and free never will be”? Until enough people learn that their own best interest and that of the people they care about involves treating others the way they wish to be treated and actually act on that knowledge, little will change. The principle that has to be passed from parent to child, teacher to student, friend to friend, is that aggression, the act of initiating violence against the innocent, is always wrong. Taking others’ property by force, i.e., theft, extortion, or fraud, violates that principle. Getting together with a bunch of your friends, calling yourselves a government, and changing the word “theft” to “taxation” doesn’t change it. I don’t believe there is a political solution because that in itself is the initiation of force.

            It really comes down to making a choice for personal conduct that comes through understanding and understanding comes through education. The choice is between choosing voluntary interaction or choosing to use aggression, between liberty and domination, between economic means of support or political means. Frankly I think the US has probably passed the point of no return and only a miracle could save this society from self-destruction, but the jury’s still out. The internet, the Ron Paul Revolution, websites like the Daily Bell–all these are powerful forces for reform through education, so I guess there’s still hope for America, but not much. Those of us who look back at political situations such as Hitler’s Germany and the Soviet Union are alarmed at similar developments in the US and are trying to make provisions to avoid similarly becoming victims. Others are just tired of being taxed and regulated to death. The reasons vary, but all who have invested in the GGC project are looking for the freedom to live as we choose.

            The GGC vision is one of a community of like-minded individuals who would support and encourage each other to live the NAP, learn how it works in community, and spread the message of non-aggression through contact with others and by being a living example in the local political setting. Unfortunately Ken Johnson has given the Chilean project a huge handicap by his decidedly non-libertarian actions and we’ll have to go back to square one to fix it if we’re to salvage our dream. But it doesn’t have to be in Chile of course, that’s just a choice that was made based on its unique situation.

          • AnarchyPrime

            An excellent question. My answer would be education.

            Educating whom, and educating them how? Are they going to be educating the people who can’t move out of the US? Are they going to be educating the Chileans with whom they will have minimal contact? Are they going to be educating people on how to obey the law in less-bad country?

            I think they found a nice place to live, and names/terms such as “Galt’s Gulch” are just for marketing purposes, not an indicator of a political strategy.

            Also, you really don’t need to go through the effort of explaining to me the NAP and all that other stuff.

          • deltajent

            “…names/terms such as “Galt’s Gulch” are just for marketing purposes, not an indicator of a political strategy.”

            Well, as for Ken Johnson, the con artist promoter and mismanager of GGC, I think that’s pretty much right on, but certainly not for the founding investors and the prospective residents. But as for education, like I said, it’s not a political strategy, it’s knowledge, and right here right now is as good a place as any to practice getting anyone who will listen to tune in and turn on and drop out of the political system.

            I’m a little surprised that you would be asking these questions if you’re familiar with the NAP and “all that other stuff.” Perhaps you have a better idea than everyone simply minding his own business instead of trying to run others’ lives? You sound as though you’re still looking to use state violence (political strategy) to try to solve problems. Political action itself is aggression when it’s connected with the state. But perhaps you already know “all that stuff.” You’re not advocating a social structure based on aggression, are you?

          • “Regulators commonly “attack” large corporations and demand ‘protection” (e.g. assess fines) for real or imagined wrong-doing. Often the corporation is able to pay the fine “while not admitting doing anything wrong.” (This truly illustrates the actual extortion involved.) In these cases, employees of the corporation are rarely subject to censure or other punishment. In the anti-trust area, where industries have colluded to set prices, there have been many cases where company executives (directly involved) were tried separately from the corporation and sent to prison (at least for a short time).”

            This is your crux graf. Corporate execs are being protected by the force of law (state power) from the consequences of their actions. The larger the corporation gets, the more corrupt its actions become. But there is no redress except regulation and fines. And thus corporations grow larger still.

            Most prewar companies in the US were relatively modest affairs. Even if they did get big, they rarely if ever broadened the way multinationals do.

            It is state-granted corporate personhood that expands the size of these entities, which in turn allows them to bankroll increased mercantilism. Get rid of corporate personhood and expose corporate leaders to personal liability and you would soon see a more logical and competitive business environment.

          • AnarchyPrime

            getting anyone who will listen to tune in and turn on and drop out of the political system.

            Drop out, but continue to obey it, right? That sounds convenient for the elites who run the system. One less thing they need to bother with.

            ‘m a little surprised that you would be asking these questions

            I’m not asking the questions you’re trying to answer.

            You sound as though you’re still looking to use state violence

            No, actually, I don’t.

    • Eddie Willers

      Reality has no utopia. There is no place on this Earth where you could buy this amount of land that has no government affiliation. These people were/are engaging in a noble experiment. Far more admirable to be the man in the arena, and to get pummeled trying to improve the world, than to be a troll on the internet, pointing out how the strong man stumbles.

  • cb75075

    Ughh can’t wait for the “Somalia is a libertarian oasis” crowd to pile on this.

    • TotallyRandomName

      No need, now we’ll just refer to GCC as a libertarian reality!

      • cb75075

        How’s Detroit doing? You know, the place run by progressives for 59 years?

        • freddy

          Detroit was / is run by liars and thieves for the last 100 odd years. Don’t be too gleeful, so is the rest of the world.

        • mrCurmudgeon

          Not as good as many other progressive cities and progressive states, for a complex host of reasons. Why do you ask? Cherry picking, maybe?

          Btw, Libertarianism currently only exists in a petri dish. Usually, once creatures evolve, they start working together; forming groups and becoming – like – societies. Libertarians want us all to crawl back into the muck.

          • TotallyRandomName

            Yeah, there’s a reason he didn’t choose to pick on the quite blue Silicon Valley, run by progressives for a long, long time. Cherry picking, indeed!

          • mrCurmudgeon

            I’m from Detroit. The city has many areas that are growing and certainly many areas that are failing.

            Overall, the problems in my hometown are deeply historical in nature; white flight, failing automotive industry, racial tension, urban sprawl, limited tax-base…etc. It didn’t fail due to “progressives” and it certainly won’t be saved by Libertarians. If the city ever rises again, it’ll be because the people worked together with the government to consolidate infrastructure and encourage growth within the community. Two things anathema to Libertarians.

          • cb75075

            The auto industry was in decline for decades. Since the 1970s. LBJ gave the city $400 million to be the model progressive city. Progressives had every card in their deck. A cultural center, the auto makers, trade hub, $400 million in fed grants… WHERE is the model progressive city? or are we looking at it. LEADERSHIP should have seen a decades long slow slide of the auto industry and changed its policies on taxation, regulation, pension promises. But Detroit just kept squeezing and squeezing. Tell us all what does that Joe Louis fist represent.

            The city most certainly is NOT coming back because of progressive ideas. In fact WHY aren’t progressive flocking to the city “to save it”? Fact is a lot of Detroit’s problems are due to poor planning, over taxation, over regulation, bullying of the auto makers by labor unions, refusal to allow bankruptcy to renegotiate contracts, corruption in government, affirmative action. Other cities lose industries and don’t collapse.

            The ONLY reason the PEOPLE are making things better is cause the gov si so bankrupt and depowered its basically out of their way. The GOV will do nothing but once more over tax and over regulate. Note all the come back initiatives are from PEOPLE and not the gov. Even PEOPLE are mowing the public lawns.

            If the city ever rises again, it’ll be because the people worked together with the government to consolidate infrastructure and encourage growth within the community. Two things anathema to Libertarians.

            Ok where exactly is that? Where are the great planners? I love this line. So the auto industry is in steady decline since the 80s (here’s a clue, Chrysler filed for bankruptcy) and YET where was this harmonious forced collectivism? What you describe is exactly what held Detroit back and caused its fail. Massive labor force in Detroit… where were the businesses lined up to use that labor? Could it have been all the progressive unions and local gov regulation, taxing and turning Detroit into a toxic business environment? You say you live there. How easy is it or was it to start a business in Detroit. How many weeks/month did you have to wait to get “approved”? Was there affirmative action regulating your labor force?

            Detroit is exactly what needs to happen to America. A gov so bloated and collapsed that its depowered and out of the way so the PEOPLE can rebuild and once more create prosperity.

          • mrCurmudgeon

            Again, you’re completely cherry-picking. There are many other VERY successful progressive cities and just as many successful progressive states. There are ZERO Libertarians cities, states, countries, or even villages.

            Why? It…just…doesn’t…work. Eating your own is not a viable social structure. And using Detroit as some catch-all to prove some nonsense anti-progressive agenda is lazy and disingenuous.

          • cb75075

            Why? It…just…doesn’t…work. Eating your own is not a viable social
            structure. And using Detroit as some catch-all to prove some nonsense
            anti-progressive agenda is lazy and disingenuous.

            Eat your own? Holy COW! That is progressivism in a nutshell. What the hell is redistribution of wealth or progressive taxation? Geez talk about self projecting. Forcing someone else to pay for education, health care, schools… how is that NOT eating your own?

            You are flat out criticizing this land fiasco as some sort of libertarian failure. So why can’t I point out Detroit run by democrats for 59 years, as a democrat failure.

            There are ZERO Libertarians cities, states, countries, or even villages.

            200 years ago there were no countries in which women had equal rights. I guess suffrage is impossible.
            200 yeas ago there were no socialist democracies… guess they are impossible.

          • Omegaman

            Government is violence. There is no working with violence.

          • mrCurmudgeon

            Not if your a sociopath. Sure.

          • cb75075

            You mean politician.

          • Don Duncan

            Govt. draws sociopaths because of the lack of accountability. Failed businesspersons also find a home there. Politicians need only be superficially appealing. Once elected, they have carte blanche. The smart ones use their power to gain more. Whatever “political capital” is left over can be monetized for personal gain.

            Detroit, once the most powerful, wealthiest city in the world, was slowly looted into bankruptcy. It is the future of the US in microcosm.

            A grassroots movement to rebuild Detroit will be in vain if the root of the collapse is not identified first. A rebirth would just start the looting all over. John Galt understood this. That’s why he did not volunteer to save the US, as he clearly could have. What would have been the point of the strike, in the first place, if he chose to go back to work, without a mass enlightenment, i.e., a paradigm change?

          • MPP

            You realize that actual scientific studies have found that *successful* businessmen are more likely to be sociopaths, right? Superficial appeal isn’t just useful in government, you know.

          • cb75075

            Silicon Vally succeeds in spite of progressivism. Don’t confuse the barnacle on the bottom of the whale for the whale. Look at the rest of the state. MASSIVE DEBT. Cities going bankrupt. Yeah a fine example of progress.

            You are cherry picking by ignore the entire rest of the state’s massive debts. Also how’s chicago doing? Billions in debt. Next in line for being the next Detroit.

            Yeah progressioves aren’t doing all that great. I kind of hard not the cherry pick when everything is a cherry.

            BTW what exactly is your complaint here? Some people got ripped off or contracts didn’t work out. What exactly are you actually debating?

          • mrCurmudgeon

            Yawn. Libertarianism: The solution to every problem, even though it can’t get off the ground.

          • cb75075

            Whenever you trade freely you are libertarian. Libertarian isn’t a country, its what makes society function. All of society works through voluntarism. We voluntarily trade. Its always around us.

            And the statist solution is always a collectivist mess. How’s that working out? 17 tril of debt. 100 tril of obligations.

            As I stated before, these people lost THEIR OWN MONEY. Progressives ALWAYS lose everyone else’s money and never take responsibility for that.

            YAWN

          • mrCurmudgeon

            So, your philosophy is so defunct that you are now claiming everyone is a Libertarian, that Libertarianism is like The Force? Wow. You guys are even more full of yourselves than I had previously imagined.

            “As I stated before, these people lost THEIR OWN MONEY.”

            It was stolen from them. Will they use *gasp* government agencies to try to get it back? How does a Libertarian sue?

          • cb75075

            Libertarian is NAP, Non-aggression principle. Its not a country or collection. That’s you’re simple thinking.

            It was stolen from them. Will they use *gasp* government agencies to try to get it back? How does a Libertarian sue?

            And how will I get my money back from the housing bubble crash caused by poor Fanny and Freddie management? Can I sue the fed gov? Can I put Barney Frank in jail? How do the people in Detroit get their money back on the failed housing property values? Can they sue the gov that failed them?

            When libertarians screw up its just between the parties involved.

            When progressives screw up, it hundreds of billions of dollars of OTHER PEOPLES’ MONEY that NO ONE CAN GET BACK.

            Here’s a clue… all that QE money paid out went to corporations and banks… think about that.

          • mrCurmudgeon

            “When libertarians screw up its just between the parties involved. When progressives screw up, it hundreds of billions of dollars of OTHER PEOPLES’ MONEY that NO ONE CAN GET BACK.”

            So you’re saying these GGC guys are going to pay back the local Chilean people? LOL

          • mrCurmudgeon

            The Fed Chairman, during the housing crisis, was a dude who actually SLEPT with Ayn Rand. You Libertarians had your chance. You failed.

          • cb75075

            Ah so lets ignore Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Frank Raynes, why don’t we. Yeah so how did that CRA work out. What “leader” and “planner” would continue to buy insolvent ARM loans and gaurentee them under the FDIC. The sad, glaring and humiliating FACT is the inventory of ARM loans went form 6% to 25% in about 5 years. There exists NO excuse for the fed and F$F to purchase those loans. PERIOD. Would you like to see the video of Barney Frank the great PLANNER telling people there is no housing bubble in 2005?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW5qKYfqALE

            Yeah that’s some mighty fine “planning” right there… masterful… with all OUR MONEY. Yeah great moral hazard. Oh and the same “nothing wrong with Detroit” mentality as the city melted into poo.

          • mrCurmudgeon

            “We voluntarily trade. Its always around us.”

            You know what else is always around us? Clean air brought to you by the EPA. And here you are just wasting it? 🙂

          • cb75075

            The EPA did not create the “clean air”. That was PEOPLE dealing with the clear air issues. ALL environmental battles are fought by PEOPLE and not the government. Government in California ALLOWED the dumping of pollution and encouraged it. It was the citizens who protested and demanded clean air that forced companies to comply. Gov came along way after wards.

            A grand example of this is bumpers on cars. We had bumpers on cars as far back as the model T but legislation only occurred in the 1970s.

            The EPA blocks every form of viable power generation on the planet. Where are you going to get electricity for green cars? Oil? Gas? Nuclear?

          • TotallyRandomName

            Despite the joy you get from cities that fail, CA is still one of the richest, most powerful states in the world, more than most countries. And it’s progressive as hell, especially compared to the more libertarian states that are dirt poor. Keep dreaming CA will fail, but don’t hold your breath, chump!

          • cb75075

            Oh so lets look at California or Illinois. Don’t have to cherry pick. In fact I doubt the progressves or republicans can come up with better examples. Libertarians did not put this country into 17 tril of debt.

            Note these people lost their own money, NOT the money of others.

            Voluntary cooperation is fine. Nobody denies that. Forceful collectivism is the problem. Its collectivists that want us to crawl back to a world of kings and queens telling the dumb serfs how to live. Society progresses toward the individual and not the collective.

          • Omegaman

            Why endorse violence and coercion?

          • Don Duncan

            Evolution to a more prosperous, happier society would be a libertarian society. You are correct when you point out a libertarian society does not exist, yet, nor has it ever.

            A libertarian, i.e., voluntary society, would have sub cultures existing and competing. The best, most evolved would survive, while the others would die out by voluntary choice. Now, under the present world collectivist societies, no choice, no experimentation, is allowed. All “choices” are made by the ruling elites, for “the common good”, with the ruled letting them get away with it. Dissenters are forced to go along with the will of the rulers, who have been given a blank check on power.

            Libertarians don’t want to force anyone to do anything, much less “crawl back into the muck”. We want to “live and let live”, i.e., be free to choose for ourselves, and let you choose for yourself.

            But if you acknowledge this, it makes the collectivist society look bad, look unfair, look like a bully. You also lose your strawman argument.

          • deltajent

            You should learn what libertarianism really is, mrCurmudgeon; I think you may be misinformed. Libertarianism exists in virtually every social interaction you have with the exception of those the state sticks its nose into. Every friendship, every business, is libertarian, operating through voluntary relationships. Only the state and other criminal enterprises operate over the barrel of a gun. Now *that* is crawling in the muck.

        • TotallyRandomName

          When it’s run by progressives and failing, you say it’s the fault of the progressives. When it’s run by progressives and wildly successful (like Silicon Valley), you say it’s despite the progressives. You, sir, are a hypocrite. And I already know what your toe-the-libertarian-line response is, so don’t bother. You’re like a copy/paste machine.

        • MPP

          Can’t name any cities run by libertarians, eh? Do you for some reason think that Detroit is the only city run by progressives? I can name many. And if you find some objective and reasonable measure of prosperity, I’m sure many of them will appear high on the list. But you can point to Detroit, so your worldview is confirmed, and all the progressive success stories are irrelevant. No need to worry about statistics when you have a sample of one.

          • cb75075

            Can’t name any cities run by libertarians, eh?

            Also can’t name any cities horribly bankrupted and turned into a toilet (Detroit run by dems for 59 years).

            Also can’t name any countries run by libertarian that murdered 25 million people in the name of their ideology (communism).

            Also can’t name any countries run by libertarians that keep people in perpetual slavery (N. Korea).

            Nope can’t name any countries.

            What exact progressive success stories? Ok how is Chicago doing? That’s run by proggies. How’s California doing and its cascading bankrupting cities? How’s that doing? And the cities that are not collapsing are they actually USING progressive ideas like universal health care? Seems like progressives control a lot of places that have all the ace cards and they keep screwing them up. I have no faith in the repubs but clearly progressives can’t tun anything well.

            Face it, US progressives are dinosaurs. You’re no where close to EU and Canadian progressives. Swedish proggies at least practice strict austerity.

          • MPP

            So basically you’re bragging about how libertarians never get any power?

            I could bring up the murderous Pinochet, but it’s irrelevant anyway.

            You move the goalposts around so much that there’s no point in naming any successful cities, because you’ll simply say that they’re not successful since you won’t give an objective measure of success other than “adherence to libertarian tenets”. So, name me some successful major cities (>1 million people) and then we’ll see how much they follow libertarian ideas.

          • cb75075

            Goa post has never moved. Always been at NAP. The point is there are no political solutions to these problems mostly because politics makes the problem.

            I will most certainly give an objective criteria. In the black, not borrowed into the next century, runs on the budget it takes in, does not block commerce with irrational and useless regulations.

            By your standards there is no such thing as failure. Is Detroit a failure, yes or no?

          • MPP

            I asked you to name some successful cities. Or do you claim that there are no successful major cities in the entire world?

            (btw, the term “irrational and useless regulation” is most certainly NOT an objective criterion, as those are subjective qualities.)

          • cb75075

            So your argument is if I cannot name one successful city and all cities are unsuccessful at some level then Detroit is the same as all other cities? So why don’t dems (or reps for that matter) ever take ownership for their mistakes? You actually think Detroit is a success? You have a real low bar on success.

          • MPP

            Detroit is just one city. It has a lot of problems, but it does not follow that progressive government inevitably leads to failure from just one example. There are many factors affecting Detroit, including Michigan state policies, national policies, global factors and the decisions of non-state actors such as auto companies. The local government also does not represent all progressives – the policies enacted by the Detroit government do not condemn different policies enacted by different progressives. And corruption in the Detroit government does not either.

            There are many, many cities with progressive governments, but you choose to focus on only one and argue that a sample size of one proves that progressive government inevitably leads to failure? That’s just shoddy reasoning. The fact that you continually focus on just Detroit suggests that you don’t have the statistics to back up your claims. If progressive government is always bad, you should be able to show it is, rather than just saying “Well, Detroit is a failure. Ignore the fact that basically all cities across the world have non-libertarian governments, and most of them have significant left-wing policies. Those don’t count. Only Detroit counts.”

            But if you name other cities as successful, and we see that they have significantly progressive policies, it shows that you’re just cherry-picking. So name some, and we’ll see how libertarian they are.

            If you want to say that no major city is a success, it just shows how absurd your ideology is.

          • cb75075

            Why don’t YOU name one of those progressive cities that are “successful”,

            Remember its progressives and conservatives with the shotty track record on efficiency. Ok how about the WHOLE US. 15 tril of debt 120 tril of obligations. 23 tril wasted on the war on poverty, trillions wasted on wars.

            You do know the US today spends more per capita from the fed on health care and they do not attain Norway style health care.

            Fact is US progressives are dinosaurs. They are too busy tearing down the normative. EU progressives BUILD THINGS. They aren’t fixated on creating policies merely to tear down what exists. US Progressivism cannot stand on its own. Its a rotting ideology. Its only meant to rot another ideology from the inside out. This is evident by the blocking mechanisms progressives use.

            So it will always be your job to justify the use of force.

            BTW I love how you have to go all the way to Sweden to get some example. Why aren’t you using any US examples of successful progressivism?

          • MPP

            Because I know better than to chase the moving goalposts. But here are some cities… Copenhagen, Munich, Helsinki, Vienna, Hamburg, Vancouver, Amsterdam, NYC, San Francisco, London, Boston, Portland. All have government at least as left-wing as the US Democrats. Is there no success among any of them?

            As for why I use examples from other countries – I’ve stated elsewhere that I’m not a big fan of the Democrats. Why should I use them as my example? It’s like me demanding you use a city run by the GOP to prove the worth of libertarianism.

            The reason I want you to pick a city is because you’ll have to stick to it, or backtrack. But you’re probably going to dodge and weave and never commit. Leading to the conclusion that there’s no city worthy living in by libertarian standards – or more realistically, that you don’t want to admit that non-libertarian government can work. Which shows how absurd you are.

          • cb75075

            The fact you named NYC and San Fran just made me laugh hysterically. You apparently don’t know anything about them. And look at your list. Over half are outside the US. Talk about moving the goal post.

            So your argument literally and I do mean literally is I cannot criticize Detroit cause all cities have something wrong with them?

            Again I don’t favor the repubs, not by a long shot but CLEARLY the progressives are not batting 1000 by a long shot.

            Oh and make no mistake, you american progressives are NOTHING like EU progressives. Not even close. You’re at least 50 years behind them. Sweden practiced austerity and that isn’t even in American progressive vocabulary.

          • MPP

            What does in or out of the US have to do with anything? Is your position merely that the Democratic Party leads to failure, rather than left-wing policies more broadly? Like I said, I don’t identify as a Democrat.

            Are there no successes among the other cities? Are there no successful cities at all?

            No, my argument is that Detroit is just one city and that it is affected by more than just the local government. Somehow the Detroit government, which has relatively limited power, shows the failure of all left-wing, non-libertarian policy. Yet many European countries have not gone the way of Detroit, despite being more completely run by left-wing governments. The fact that you refuse to talk about anything other than Detroit just suggests that you know that it’s not really representative. That’s why you laughed off that list, because you’d rather not acknowledge the good things about those cities and the fact that they’re all governed by non-libertarian, fairly left-wing administrations.

          • cb75075

            No I am not seeing any better management from the left or the right and your argument is based on the flawed logic that social problems are solved though management. They are unsolvable. One can only remove the arbitrary obstacles to freedom and happiness, its up to the individual to manager their own life.

            So sorry progressivism in all its forms is a failure since the premise of force is flawed. And I find people who praise Sweden know nothing about Sweden. Again can’t wait for those multi-generations of elderly to hit their upside down population pyramid. Sweden is just a country that hasn’t maxed out its credit card yet.

          • cb75075

            Plus I love how you give Detroit a complete pass. Run for 59 years by democrats… every ace card… and its a toilet and you do not hold gov management AT ALL in ANYWAY responsible FOR ANY bad planning? LBJ even gave the city $400 mil to become the model progressive city.

            So do you hold gov accountable for ANY mismanagement at all? Do you hold it accountable for thr 17 tril of debt? The 4 tril hole it put in our economy in 2008?

            So you want conservatives to have unlimited power to screw up all they like and never be held accountable for their actions? Cause we all know if Detroit had been run for 59 years by republicans you most certainly would.

  • gorge

    pro-ponography, at its best…

    • Omegaman

      What?

      • I think the troll meant pro-pornography but he/she is not good at spelling. When I was writing more in the feminism field, I defended the right to pornography — e.g. as an extension of freedom of speech in general and on other grounds as well. I think the troll is trying to somehow say that those who defend pornography (perhaps those who defend freedom of speech itself) deserve to be swindled in land deals. I guess if I were more of a prude, I would be more deserving of having contracts honored.

  • Guest

    Wendy, could this be an issue of ideologues blinded to the point they were duped? When I heard about the gulch project I was shaking my head hearing it was in Chile. A country not part of the freedom club that has a corrupt gov isn’t going to play fair. My assumption was the gov would let people buy in then come a seize the property outright and screw the investors knowing you have no recourse. I would think doing a gulch in Montana would be a far better idea. There is something to be said for a safer/stable business environment.

    • NOYFB

      I’ve been looking into Chile for many years and did plenty of homework before actually flying down to check it out. It’s not a corrupt third-world country by any means. It’s no worse than the US politically, and improving unlike the US which is sliding fast. It’s clean, safe and the economy is booming. I was last there in 2010 during The Big One and i’m still not deterred. If/when I’m financially able, I’m on my way!

    • Eddie Willers

      Of course it is. That is the very nature of any affinity scam

  • TotallyRandomName

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, the irony.

    • cb75075

      Yeah Detroit.

    • TotallyRandomName

      What I meant to say, was “The invisible hand of the market provided education
      where it was most needed, without any need for harmful government
      interference.”

      • cb75075

        That’s not what happened here. All societies have crooks.

        BTW did progressivism’s planning create the utopia called Detroit? Is that part of that grand social planning? And government provides education in America… why are we ranked 27th in the world with massive illiteracy.

        The hilarity of your response is you could at least focus on what actually happened as opposed to some strawman. How was a lack of education even involved in this? This is ripe for ridicule and you so poorly screwed it up with a strawman unrelated to the actual issue.

        • TotallyRandomName

          I’m still laughing!

          • cb75075

            Yeah so am I. The difference is these people lost THEIR OWN MONEY and take responsibility for that. They don’t force others to pay and lose other peoples’ money.

          • Omegaman

            Exactly.

          • TotallyRandomName

            Yup. A real libertarian utopia!

        • Intertubes

          Government doesn’t provide education in the countries ranked 1 to 26?

        • merl1

          The old “look over there!!” defense. hahahahaha you guys are world class rubes.

          • cb75075

            “Look over there” defense like the argued strawman argument about education? Still waiting for the ACTUAL debate to happen.

      • Omegaman

        No one is professing utopia. People just want to live without violence.

    • Scott W

      TotallyRandomName, Deriving pleasure from the misery of others makes you look like a sociopath. At least have the decency to keep your insensitivities to yourself.

      • TotallyRandomName

        Simple schadenfreude, my dear. Libertarians work so hard to keep as many morsels of the pie to themselves, I’m pleased as punch to see them lose some of it.

        • Diocletian

          Your schadenfreude is that of a looter who praises a fellow looter who duped Libertarians.

          I would be “pleased as punch” to witness you lose several of your teeth–preferably your life–to someone you try to rob of “the morsels of the pie” that he honestly earned !

          May someone serve you a big slice of the kind of pie that the maid served her “boss” in the movie, “The Help”.

          And help you wash it down with your own teeth and blood !

          • TotallyRandomName

            That’s awesome that you’ve reduced yourself to threatening physical violence. Congrats, you’re an animal.

        • Scott W

          Perhaps you should reread the Libertarian’s philosophy. Your terminology betrays your adherence to the brainwashing of the PTB.

          “the pie” — there is more than one pie, and more than one creator of pies. Libertarians acknowledge this fact and embrace it. They want the producer of “a pie” to be the consumer / distributor / owner of “that specific pie”. They don’t want ANY morsels from your pie; if you produced, you own it (as it should be).

          • TotallyRandomName

            This pie analogy has just gotten really stupid.

  • Jeff Berwick is as guilty as Ken Johnson with respect to scamming us. He made the agreement as much as Ken did. He is not a righteous victim despite what Wendy wants to say about him. He has had plenty of time to come clean with Eyzaguirre y Cobin SA and has not done so. Those that trust in Jeff Berwick will be making the same mistake and throw their money away once again. He made an agreement and and has not stuck with it. He has paid us NOTHING. He would now like to distance himself from KJ. Good choice but that fact does not change what he agreed with us. He scammed us. We set up a company with his team. He went around our backs and purchased the property with another company. Then he did not know how to deal with the local authorities or water rights and screwed it up. We would have handled all of those issues. That was our part of the business. They had no intention of including us. Jeff and Ken are scammers, plain and simple.

    • Curious

      What exactly were the terms of your agreement with Berwick and Johnson?

    • John…I am pleased to see you post here because you have a perspective that I have heard little about. BTW, I did not describe Jeff Berwick as a “righteous victim.” I’m a bit surprised by your saying I did when I wished you the best of luck with Freedom Orchard. I have no animosity or desire to tussle with you. I said I still trusted Jeff as a friend…and I still do. I have no reason not to do so. Can you post the details of the agreements you say have been violated? I am aware of some of the conflict with Ken but anything that fleshes out understanding at this point is for the best. Are you in touch with the rescue team at GGC?

      • Hi Wendy, no tussle intended. Please tune into Red Hot Chile tomorrow at http://www.overseasradio.com (noon ET). I will have a lot to say about Jeff and Ken. I will go through the violated agreements. The folks at the rescue team, although they have not used that name with me, have been in touch en masse. My guess is that they now see that they were duped by fraudsters and that they should have backed Freedom Orchard to begin with. I am truly a libertarian and our project is going to be what we want to do with a sustainable community. Why good people get drawn in by frauds is beyond me. But they do. Maybe we can all regroup now and work together? I think that is what the former GGC people and investors are thinking of doing. This is not about competition for me; it is about establishing a libertarian community and putting the GGC scam behind us.

        • Brad R

          Dr. Cobin, thank you for the link. I listened to your show today. The concrete details that I heard are as follows: you and your associate Eyzaguirre found a parcel of 1714 hectares, for a price of just under USD$1 million, that you brought to Berwick and Johnson. You asked a commission/finder’s fee of $250,000 plus 20% of the land. Berwick counter-offered 30% of the project, which you accepted as a handshake deal, and you have emails to document this. You have in fact received nothing. Is that an accurate summary?

  • Claire

    Wendy, I’m so sorry this happened to you and Brad and other good people. How heartbreaking. I’m even more sorry that scam artists seem to take over virtually every hopeful libertarian freedom project.

    FYI, I also know the “anon” who first tried to inform you about what was going on. While I’m not privy to all the details, he was indeed paid when he left the project, but not “hush money.” He says he was physically attacked and injured by KJ. Though I obviously wasn’t a witness, I’ve seen a photo of the injury. I know “anon” in real life and have always found him to be completely honorable, if sometimes a bit rough around the edges!

    • Hey, Claire. Thanks, lady. We’ll recover because this is just, well, “life” but it is *always* good to hear from you. The situation with the fellow I mentioned is complicated and — believe it or not — I was asked to arbitrate between Ken and the man…because everyone trusted me to be fair. Go figure. I was an aggrieved party and they were asking me to be the judge and jury. I avoided that situation like poison but I really *do* know what happened. I know Ken physically attacked the man (or is accused of doing so) but I also was privy to the pre-settlement negotiations, which Jeff Berwick conducted. The money was given on the condition of absolute silence. I also know Ken would never have paid him for injury from an attack but did so to secure the silence. I also know “anon” in real life and I’m not slamming him either publicly or privately.

      Again, thanks for your note, Claire. Brad appreciated it as well.

      • NOYFB

        FYI: I’ve found this site very informative, and its operated by an attorney down there. FWIW: I can not vouch for his services since I have not used them, but he’ll often answer a lot of questions on the forum.

    • Claire

      CORRECTION: I thought I saw a friend’s character being defamed by one of the execs of GGC. I know this person was paid when he went away. I know he’s tried to warn people. HOWEVER — he says it wasn’t him. He says there was another person in a similar position. That makes the situation even more sad.

  • James Hepler

    Sounds like a situation that only Ayn Rand could dream up! Lawsuits? John Galt does not approve.

    • Most of the lawsuits have been initiated by Ken Johnson who is not a libertarian or an Objectivist in any way. I have not engaged in any of them or in any of the proposed ones because I do not engage in legal situations that are optional and, frankly, I don’t see the point. BTW, this has nothing to do with Ayn Rand. I have my own criticisms of her philosophy, which I’ll be writing up for an upcoming Daily Bell piece, but there’s no reason to dig her corpse out of the ground to make a snide point.

      • James Hepler

        Ahh, so the Galt reference for the “libertarian oasis” must refer to Augosto Galt, famous Chilean poet. Thanks for clearing that up for me..

        • cb75075

          Ah so there is a land issue it magically stops being about libertarian… got it.

          • James Hepler

            I think you might have left out some words, but it wouldn’t appear that this reply was meant for me.

      • Bill Ross

        “upcoming Daily Bell piece”

        would be interested in your take on Rand choosing to use “selfish” as opposed to “self-interest” in objectivism, IMHO, an unfortunate choice.

        • Diocletian

          I believe Nathaniel Branden commented on Rand’s preference for the use of the word “selfishness” over “self-interest”. It’s likely in one of his books, or in a comment on his website. I can summarize his comment, with which I agree, but it’s getting late here, and I’ve had a very long day. Check Branden’s website first for yourself. He makes a cogent case for retaining the word “selfish”.

    • cb75075

      Lawsuits are perfectly fine. A lot of libertarians are minarchists. Some accept gov as a court system for example. And a lot of litigation can be resolved with third party arbitration. Occurs all the time.

      • James Hepler

        Who pays for the court system for such minarchist libertarians?

        • cb75075

          You use a court, you pay for it. I use a dance hall, I pay for it. I use a lawn cutting service, I pay for it.

          • James Hepler

            I wish you luck in your endeavors! Your point of view heavily relies on a level of honesty and benevolence that has not historically been demonstrated among men. I’m sure you will find a developing country in which to thrive!

          • cb75075

            Given people resolve these issues just fine in this society in a voluntary manner disproves the Hobbesian view. What part of a third party arbitrator is so hard to grasp?

            What happens when the gov rules unfairly (Kelo for example)?

          • James Hepler

            I never said I have a fundamental problem with your philosophy other than to point out what I said before, that it relies on things that have yet to be proven about people. You’re trying to fight with someone who doesn’t care enough to fight you.

          • cb75075

            I fully acknowledge there are liars and cheats. I don’t see how gov prevents them. But we’ll leave it at that.

          • James Hepler

            Government doesn’t at all. But they try to set up and maintain a system for which “Caveat Emptor” is not good enough. Can’t really blame them for it. You can feel free to disagree! I will certainly not be one to claim that what’s going on now is anywhere close to ideal. I just don’t have any faith that your solution is viable. It’s great that we can disagree!

          • cb75075

            While I agree some “illusion” of higher authority may be needed to convince some not to “sc.rew around” that does not mean that illusion is government.

            The current system could never function without voluntary interaction. How do you force 7 billion people to do things they don’t want to do?

          • highlanderjuan

            James, you think government sets up and maintains a system to prevent liars and cheats? If today’s government is any example, it, all by itself acts more like a crime syndicate than it acts like a representative and constitutional republican form of government.

          • James Hepler

            I can understand your interpretation. I apologize for not being more clear. I do not think anyone can PREVENT liars and cheats by any means. I live in a state where libertarians have convinced the state government to suppress credible data on ocean level rise so that landowners can withhold important information from potential buyers of ocean-front property. So I see the libertarian philosophy in some cases as opening a door for liars, cheats, polluters, exploiters, etc to do what they want. You can’t serve two masters, and if accruing wealth is what you do, then you have no vested interest in anything BUT that. Historically, it has taken government action, not market forces, to put an end to some pretty egregious actions. You are entitled to your perception of our current government, and while I do not think it’s perfect (and getting worse), I do not share your views.

            Forgive any future non-replies. I give myself time limits for internet arguing, and the clock is running out.

          • highlanderjuan

            Actually you can set up systems that discourage and minimize the problems of fraud. I made a post above that includes the steps needed. I believe the current federal government is infested with fraud, simply because there are none of these fraud prevention steps or systems implemented.

          • James Hepler

            I’m being honest when I say that I would be interested in reading your perspective on this, with all due skepticism of course!

          • And, yet, you are here. Don’t worry. it is hardly the first time I’ve encountered a hypocrite.

          • James Hepler

            Whew, I’m glad I don’t have to worry!

  • I have a hard time believing anyone would fall for such a transparently crooked scheme. But there it is. There is no one easier to fleece than a right-wing rube. Karl Rove spent $200 million in 2012 to lose elections, and he got it from so-called “smart businessmen.”

    You people must believe in magic, or fairy dust. I live in a real world where I expect to work for my money. I am one of those patriotic “liberals” who served in the US Army, started and ran several businesses. I recently sold my business to my former employees, two Black men I hired fifteen years ago, minutes out of prison. I am a man who lives up to his liberal ideals.

    You want to move to Chile? Go. Please. The country I love and proudly served will be better off without you, and the collective IQ average will go up.

    • I worked for every cent I have ever made. I lived on the streets as a teenager and never asked government or anyone, anything for money I did not earn and have owing. You are way out of line. And, FYI, there is nothing about me that is right-wing. If you live up to your ideals, then good for you. One ideal you clearly do not hold is fairness to others…because, sir, I have done you no harm.

      • I am fair to others. As a patriot, I am appalled by the harm done to the country I love and served, by the type of people who subscribe to the Rand ideal of, “Screw you, I got mine.” You subscribe to that philosophy, which means you are opposed to mine.

        I help people who might not be as fortunate as I am, but who live in the same country and deserve my attention. As a Christian, I am bound by the words of Jesus, who said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it to me.”

        Ayn Rand was an atheist who didn’t care about anyone other than herself. I am a Christian and I do care about others.

        I am a job creator. The John Galts of the world are the people who got rich by selling American manufacturing capacity to China, screwing millions of hard working Americans. Then we blame the unemployed workers for some sort of moral failing because the factory was sold and they go on unemployement. Ironic, isn’t it, that just about the only manufacturing we haven’t outsourced is weapons? We can’t make a screwdriver, but Smith and Wesson makes fine pistols.

        I consider my Army service evidence of my patriotism. What’s the biggest personal sacrifice you have made for your country? Your attempt to flee the United States tells me all I need to know about your “patriotism.”

        Go. Please. Now.

        • anon

          You do know that she’s Canadian, don’t you? Idiot.

        • highlanderjuan

          Repack, you are filled with so much conflicting thought. You are not acting very Christian, nor are you understanding Ayn Rand, libertarian thinking, or voluntaryism. “The John Galts of the world are the people who got rich by selling American manufacturing capacity to China, screwing millions of hard working Americans.” Really? Did you ever actually read Atlas Shrugged? And what difference does Ayn Rand being an atheist make? Did you study any international history, finance, or law?

          You sound more like a Christian Zionist to me. What bible do you use?

        • Libertymike

          If you are bound by the words of Jesus, why do trumpet your patriotism? That is a sign that you are serving two masters; that you have dual loyalties and that you worship a false idol.
          Do you have any idea what the Tribute scripture really means? Do you think that Jesus would command his disciples to honor and serve Tiberius Caesar, a pedophile, a sexual deviant, a mass murderer and a man who saw fit to have his image on Roman denarii?
          You. Please. Go.
          SLAVE

        • cb75075

          Its the statists like you that create a hostile jobs market in the US that forces over seas enterprises. And the naivety that the world won’t turn into a world market at some point and borders become useless and meaningless.

        • mcloudsurfer

          Hey repack, Jesus also said, “Do not resist one who is evil. But if anyone strike you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;” and “Thought shall not kill.” So there’s that. Your religion isn’t Christianity(nor is mine), your religion is American Patriotism. You take as gospel anything your favorite news persons tell you, while ignoring the Bible, because patriotism beats stronger in your heart than Jesus, and this your previous post is evidence. You claim to believe that the unsaved are going to eternal damnation, and instead of preaching the gospel to Wendy to save her soul, you verbally attack her. And instead of going to face those “enemies” with a Bible in hand, you join the army to help enlarge hell with those poor unsaved Muslims. Eternal damnation for them, when you believe you are going to heaven for eternity when you die. Why are you trying so hard to preserve the things of this life, where “moths and rust doth eat away” instead of risking your life to “seek and save that which is lost? You don’t have faith in Jesus, because you would follow him if you did and seek souls for his kingdom. Keep being righteous in your own mind, but you are as cold hearted as they come, and certainly no Christian. Have a good day, soldier.

        • Diocletian

          You brayed,

          “I am appalled by the harm done to the country I love and served, by the
          type of people who subscribe to the Rand ideal of, “Screw you, I got
          mine.”

          In one sentence, you revealed that you know absolutely nothing about Objectivism except the propaganda that you willfully, mindlessly absorbed from your fellow religionists.

          You further brayed,

          “Ayn Rand was an atheist who didn’t care about anyone other than herself. I am a Christian and I do care about others.”

          I am an avowed, explicit atheist (I grew up in a christian household–I grew up and wised up since), and what you think you “know” about atheism wouldn’t fill a thimble if you seriously believe that atheism and compassion are mutually exclusive. That is as mistaken a belief as your belief that religion as such, especially yours–of course–has a monopoly on morality/ethics, as mistaken a belief as your belief that altruism (self-sacrifice) is a virtue, and that “selfishness” is an evil.

          No self-respecting human being sacrifices himself to others, or others to himself. Still less does he offer himself as a mindless, self-sacrificial “patriot” to a political entity designated as a country. Still less does he try to think himself superior to others merely on account of his military service and thus mistakenly believes that he is entitled to other people’s life and property because “he fought for their freedom”.

          Since each person has the right to self-ownership, no human being is the property of his native country and its government, or of any other country and its government. When a government becomes a threat to one’s liberty and property, as the US government has become over the past century–with the complicity of millions of so-called “Americans” like you who voted it into being the statist entity that it has become–the right and rational thing to do, the thing most conducive to one’s own freedom, well-being, and healthy survival, is to “go Galt”,

          You have as much of right to be free to stay in the USA as those like myself who truly understand what liberty means in theory and practice have to quit the USA and create a freer, more prosperous and peaceful life for themselves wherever on earth it can be realized.

          There was a time many years ago when the USA offered the opportunity for people–born there and from abroad–to live in liberty. Those days are long past, thanks, in part, to christian statists (a redundancy) like yourself.

          You and your statist ilk have brought the USA to ruin.

          You chased out entrepreneurs with your progressive, coercive taxes, and sociopathic regulations and controls, just as tyrants in foreign lands chased peaceful, productive people out by means of their destructive, murderous schemes, those same honorable, industrious people who immigrated to the USA generations ago.

          Yes, you personally had a hand in wreaking the USA with your statist philosophy guiding your every vote, whether it was cast for a Democrat, Republican, or sociopath of some other party, at any level of government.

          So, you stay in the USA and live with the products of your philosophy.

          As Rand would say, ‘Brother, you asked for it !”

        • Paul Byvtary

          And finally, you are not a Patriot. Not even close. You are a slob.

    • cb75075

      I have a hard time believing anyone would fall for such a transparently
      crooked scheme. But there it is. There is no one easier to fleece than
      a right-wing rube. Karl Rove spent $200 million in 2012 to lose
      elections, and he got it from so-called “smart businessmen.”

      The fact you think libertarian is right wing clearly invalidates your view of it. Libertarian is CLASSIC LIBERALISM. enjoy your socialism. I’m sure your collective IQ will go down given the track record of your monopolized educational system that ranks 27th in the world.

    • NOYFB

      Leave it to political trolls to take a personal story like this and turn it into an off-topic propaganda rant.

      • TotallyRandomName

        Thank god libertarians never do that in online comments.

    • This incoherent ramble was entirely unnecessary.

    • cb75075

      Do you accept that people DO have a right to separate themselves from your abomination collective? If your ideas are so great then clearly they do not require force to initiate them.

      • TotallyRandomName

        As long as you refer to our lives an “abomination,” don’t expect any pity when you get conned.

        • Libertymike

          He is saying that just because you are a slave that does not mean that you have the right to force him to be one. For all you know, he might pity you if you were conned. Did he say he wouldn’t?

        • cb75075

          Why should I pity people who endorse the use of force? These libertarians used their own money and resources and only harmed themselves. Progressives use other peoples’ money and resources and when they scr.ew up or harm people they never fix it.

          If you had voluntarily engaged in a progressive project that was all voluntary and you took the responsibility to fix it then I would have pity for you.

          Big difference.

          If your ideas are so great then clearly they do not require force to initiate them.

          • someguy

            “only harmed themselves” Materially false. How far did you read into the article before jumping down here to defend? The relevant section:
            “But GGC owes hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to hardware stores, service providers… ordinary Chileans who are acutely harmed by the project’s malfeasance. They will be and should be first in line for repayment from any legal actions. GGC is heavily encumbered with no good outcome in the near future.”

            Hundreds of thousands unpaid, no clear path to them “fixing” it apparent, you’re grasping at straws here if you’re ignoring those facts.

          • deltajent

            Someguy, I think you misunderstand. It is not the libertarian investors in GGC who owe the locals, it’s Ken Johnson, the definitely non-libertarian con artist who ripped everyone off, both investors and local businesses. Ken Johnson is the bad guy here, not innocent libertarian/anarchists like Wendy and myself. Indeed the businesses that have valid claims will be paid first before any investor will be able to reclaim anything.

          • Yes, deltagent, cb was clearly talking about the investors who only lost their own money. Ken was the one who scammed locals out of their goods and services; no one else even knew about it until lately. One of the most principled stands the founding fathers are taking is to repay the locals before anyone else sees a single cent. It is how it should be…even if it does not benefit me. You are contending with a total troll, I’m afraid, and that’s part of what’s going to happen by coming out into the sunlight with this matter. Pleased to have you by my side deltagent. As long as those of us who are trying to return money and dignity to people who have been stripped of both, it is good to like the person you’re standing next to.

          • deltajent

            Yeah, I know they’re mostly trolls, but my answers are really directed toward the honest folks who might not understand. The trolls give a good opportunity to lay down a few facts for the newbies to read and get an introduction to libertarian/anarchist philosophy. I usually don’t get sucked into these foodfights, but this one is both personal and interesting, so…

    • Commie Dearest

      You people must believe in magic, or fairy dust

      They certainly don’t believe in irony. It is amazing how much they cling to their ideology in the utter absence of any evidence for it and the rain of evidence against it that they swim in. I guess fish don’t know about water, either.

      • cb75075

        What exact irony? How is a bad land deal irony?

      • mcloudsurfer

        Irony? Wendy, and all anarchists that I am aware of, do not believe an anarchist society would be perfect. That is the domain of commies who don’t have the sense to realize that man is a incapable of losing his selfish nature(no way we would have survived without it). Therefore there will always be crooks. Anarchists just believe it is a more just society. Not that you care.

        • Commie Dearest

          “Anarchists just believe it is a more just society.”

          Is that what you tell yourself this dog-eat-dog world would be?

          • Diocletian

            Dogs don’t eat dogs, but statist governments, such as those which you advocate, have consumed millions of human beings for centuries. Given your political philosophy, and the sociopathic psychology necessary to subscribe to it, I will wager that you are an aspiring cannibal.

            The welfare state that you advocate, an entity dependent entirely upon looting implemented and enforced with firearms pointed with murderous intent at those being looted, for the so-called benefit of the recipients of the stolen property whose “needs” and poverty you worship and wrongly claim constitutes a valid claim to other people’s property and lives, is as “dog-eat-dog” as people can get.

            You display a very rotten epistemology–and a malicious character–by your equating looting, slavery, and slaughter with the concept of “justice” !

            You and Stalin and his ilk have a lot in common !

    • You do know that I’m Canadian, right, by birth and residence? Did you serve in the Canadian military? Or is omnipresent Americanism yet another hugely unwarranted assumption to which you are leaping because…well, the troll in you controls your decency and brains. Another assumption, BTW, is that I’m right-wing. It is difficult for you to be more wrong in one short post. But I’m sure you’ll be able to top yourself in the next one.

      • mcloudsurfer

        Lol! Wendy, I think you made his nose bleed!

    • Eddie Willers

      Explain how it was “transparently crooked”. Please, cite examples. All investors I know worked very hard for their money. Several are current and former members of the military.

    • Diocletian

      Left-wing rubes and self-professed “educated” Contemporary Liberals got fleeced when they voted for “The Kenyan One”, not once, but twice.

      The knife of duplicity can cut both ways because human beings occupy both sides..

      BTW, read Ludwig von Mises’ comments about the false “left wing/right wing ” dichotomy.

  • NOYFB

    This only demonstrates what I’ve been trying to say about people being individuals, and wear a “libertarian” label does not denote anything one way or the other about character.

    I inquired about GGC early on only because I had already been looking into Chile for several years before that. My interest in GGC was quickly nullified when i saw the prices. An already built home in Viña, Concón or Villa Alemana can be had for as little as $60-80k+. For a bit more one could get a beachfront condo.

    • Hi, Dana. Nice to see you in this forum. Brad and I talked about buying elsewhere in a foreign country but we wanted the community. I know or knew we were paying a premium for that nicety but we didn’t see ourselves living in such a foreign environment without people we could share a beer with. We are not xenophobes in any way. In fact…it was hilarious. Because Brad spent months with online language lessons to learn Spanish and I blew them off. We got down to Curacavi and he kept turning to me because the 3 years of high school Spanish came back to me in a flash and I was able to get us through a lot of situations. And then there was the afternoon when we sought a map of the area. He kept going into stores and trying to say “I want a map of Curacavi.” People looked at him as though he was crazed because what he was announcing was “I have a map of Curacavi.” Their natural response was…”and….” Long story short, after we made total but friendly fools of ourselves, we wanted to go home to people with whom we could kick back. I even have someone I will be…or would be…co-authoring with.

    • Auntie_Social

      I saw Galt’s Gulch some time back and loved the concept too. But for me too, it was the prices that made it an impossibility. Guess we’re lucky? I’m sad so many are being disappointed, though.

      • Commie Dearest

        Irony? Anyone?

        • Cruelty for the sake of cruelty, anyone? Ah…but you are clearly on the left and so your rolling in glee in the misfortune of others is actually an act of political purity. What a statist saint you are. And even better? You have the last word because this is the last such post I will make. I rarely engage sadistic trolls but I’m actually a bit numb to the situation right now and I’ve always wondered why people enjoy harming strangers. Nothing insider me resonates with that act so I simply do not understand you. You know, like laughing at parents when a child dies or ridiculing a disappeared dream that harmed no one. So, given you probably giggle at grief expressed at funerals, tell me what your emotional pay-off is. And don’t hide behind moralistic &*(^ about hating the free market or corporations. What do you get from kicking someone who has done you no harm, what do you get from inflicting harm? I’ve always wondered about people like you because I don’t understand the joy in inflicting pain. Everything inside me leans the other way. But, I guess, your existence explains why the world is such a cruel, cruel place. If I could understand you, then maybe I could understand that. God knows, I’ve tried for decades.

          • TotallyRandomName

            Look up above at your buddy rolling in glee about Detroit. You guys roll in glee about every single little failing of progressivism. So when you get it right back in return when you fail, you can suck it up.

          • anon

            Oooh, aren’t you the brave little progressive. Kicking someone when she’s down.

          • cb75075

            Can I point out that Detroit is hardly A LITTLE FAILING. And Detroit involves OTHER PEOPLES’ money and property. Did libertarians put a $2 tril hole in our economy due to the housing bubble? Did libertarians put the US into $17 tril of debt? Put us into 2 illegal wars? Both conservatives and progressives have done this.

            You seriously have an issue discerning force from voluntary behavior. Are you actually arguing that progressives using force against people to take their property against their will to fund progressive ideas is exactly the same as voluntary people USING THEIR OWN PROPERTY who screwed up?

            Sorry but a burned out toilet of a city like Detroit is HARDLY a minor little failing. Its scorched earth. Progressives couldn’t have done better to ruin that city if they would have nuked it.

            Taking others property for failed social experiments that cost billions if not trillions is HARDLY the same as some like minded libertarians entering into a dubious land deal WITH THEIR OWN MONEY.

            Failure WITH MY OWN PROPERTY is hardly FAILURE WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S property,

            Tell you what. Name who ELSE got hurt by these libertarians actions and I will TOP IT in ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE by the people who got hurt by progressive actions.

          • Bill Ross

            “Failure WITH MY OWN PROPERTY is hardly FAILURE WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S property”

            hah! to a socialist it is. You are expected NOT to fail with YOUR property, so they can STEAL it (allegedly THEIR property).

            for the same “reason” you are anti-social if you REFUSE to be a slave.

          • AnotherRandomName

            Ah yes. I suppose one slight difference is that progressivism relies on stealing money from people at gunpoint in order to implement ideas that are theoretically beneficial, whereas libertarian principles rely on making your own damn money in order to implement ideas that are theoretically beneficial.

            I’d laugh at anyone who made their own money too, if I was a thief.

            Speaking of which, would you mind having me over for dinner next week? I’m a delightful dinner guest.

          • Don Duncan

            Since Gov. Bradford’s Plymouth colony, collectivism (progressivism) has failed every time. No lesson is learned, no premises are challenged. Even when Bradford abandoned the collective charter’s mandate, and adopted private property, private plots, and discovered the miracle of free enterprise, turning a starving colony into a prosperous party throwing (first Thanksgiving) colony, the lesson is buried in the govt. run public indoctrination system. Progressivism relies on force or threat thereof, to inflict its policies. Libertarianism is a live and let live system, with voluntary social interaction as its fundamental principle. Yet it is attacked as vile, uncaring, predatory, and too dangerous to give a chance. Choice is too dangerous, so rulers will chose for us, the collectivists tell us, and the “common good” will be realized after eons of failing, because this time “they” will get it right. And by the way, if you don’t like to be ruled, you greedy selfish bastard, you can just go find another planet, because this one is taken by collectivists.

            Did the collectivists inherit earth? No. They stole it with lies and false promises. But they are not the main problem. The fools who keep buying the illusion of security by force, of protection by sacrificing freedom of choice, are sanctioning their own victimhood. Fine. If they stubbornly refuse to learn from experience (Detroit?), then they can continue to suffer. But they have no right to drag libertarians down with them.

            GGC, the would be libertarian experimental community did not fail. It does not exist yet. If and when it does, the collectivists will deny its success, as they deny the failure of their own philosophy.

          • MPP

            “Did the collectivists inherit earth? No. They stole it”

            See… the thing is… all land is stolen. Land ownership is where all property rights flow, since everything is made from raw materials that must inevitably come from the land. Libertarians base their philosophy on the notion that you can “own” land in some way that is not merely a legal construct. How do you own the land? And when someone comes on “your” land, you can kick them off why? And how do you kick them off? With violence. But you didn’t build it. And the person you bought it from didn’t build it either, and so on and so forth. In fact, in most cases the ownership came from exactly the sort of things you claim to despise: colonists and conquerors murdering natives and stealing their land, governments doling out favors to their cronies, thieves and swindlers. It’s turtles all the way down. And you pretend that because enough time has passed, you can pretend that claiming ownership is justice. “The Native Americans were massacred long ago, so really, this land belongs to me now.” The entire foundation of your philosophy is built on sand. The sad fact is that land ownership, and by extension, property is THE ORIGINAL initiation of force.

          • Don Duncan

            MPP: The foundation of my rights claim is built on the right to life as a human. By extension, the right to life requires work to sustain life, and combining work with the land development brings land rights.

            What is the foundation of your claim that only some people have property rights, e.g., people who died hundreds of years ago? Now that’s not just sand, that’s the Sahara Desert.

            How can I be held responsible and be punished for my ancestor’s actions? Your “original initiation of force” sounds like original sin, and is just as indefensible.

            Latest archaelogical findings indicate one of the largest, most advanced North American tribes, the Mound People, who built bigger burial pyramids than the Egyptians, were all dead from decease before the white man saw them.

            Raw materials, including land, do not create wealth. People create wealth, using raw materials and their minds, they build it, they build up wealth.

            “… you pretend…” No. You pretend unfounded assertions are fact and you can use concepts like “theft” and “ownership” while denying the concept of property rights. You commit the “fallacy of the stolen concept”.

          • MPP

            I don’t have an absolute opposition to the idea of property ownership, I just view it as having a different basis, which is why I don’t consider taxation to be theft. The notion that ownership and theft are ideas created by libertarians is laughable.

            I don’t see how the right to life as a human creates the libertarian version of land rights. You’re going to have to flesh that out a bit more. It also seems a bit problematic given that libertarians tend to deny that there’s any right to work or sustenance in modern society. Why should I, as a person born into the world as it is now, be denied the right to work and land ownership because of what people did before I was born? You want to say that somehow the right to life gives you the right to own land under the status quo which was created hundreds of years ago, but the right to life does not get anything for people born today who don’t already own land. You also seem to be suggesting that land rights flow from, essentially, subsistence farming, but that has quite a tenuous connection to a single individual owning millions of acres of undeveloped land and having the absolute right to do with that land what they please. If the land is undeveloped, it would seem that there cannot be land rights to it created by the process you suggest.

            It is not like original sin. The point is that your foundational belief, that people own land in some way that is not just a social construct, relies on accepting violence as justice at some point in the past. You want to make it about things that happened hundreds of years ago, because that’s more convenient. There are such things that have happened within the lifetimes of people alive today. For just two examples, Japanese-Americans alive today had their property confiscated by the government, and Israel contains plenty of land that was forcibly taken from Arab inhabitants. And for an example close to home, Ayn Rand’s family’s property was confiscated by the Russian state, and with the end of Communism, it is likely now in the hands of private individuals. Do you think those people are the rightful owners of that property?

            You’re also using some circular reasoning – how can it be punishment to return stolen property to the rightful owner? That’s presuming that you are the rightful owner in the first place!

            So, how long do they have to hold onto that land before you will say they have sacred property rights to that land? How can land now be in the hands of its rightful owners, yet the acquisition of that land was an injustice? Any point you choose as “long enough ago” is going to inevitably lead to the question “What if it happened just a month earlier than that?” It is arbitrary. It is necessarily arbitrary, because otherwise we’d have revanchism on a global scale. But it’s hard to paint something arbitrary as being a sacred right that must never be violated by taxes or regulations.

            Also, what do the mound builders have to do with anything? Are you trying to deny the fact that Native Americans were pushed off the land they lived on? The Trail of Tears wasn’t white people stealing Cherokee land, because other, different Native Americans died centuries earlier in Illinois? The only point is that tons of land in the US was taken by force.

          • Don Duncan

            MPP: “You’re going to have to flesh that out a little more…”. First, a libertarian is someone who adheres to NAP. That is all. There is no libertarian property rights, although I assume most would explain their theory of rights using the Objectivist ethics, since libertarianism experienced a resurgence of interest and began to grow bigger than it ever had before, after Ayn Rand. It was her metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, as taught in “The Virtue of Selfishness” and “For the New Intellectual” that I read in 1966 which inspired me to pursue the study of philosophy. The logic of her theory of rights grounded in human nature persuaded me as no other theory has. For example, I have found attacks and defenses of rights both flawed, without the Objectivist theory of rights. She gave us a sound theory of ethics. If you want the details, you will have to do the reading. This is not the forum.

            Everything else you attributed to me is your misunderstanding. Your mindset blocked understanding of my points. Until you understand the rights theory I proposed, communication will be difficult.

          • MPP

            The Non-Aggression Principle does not lead to the conclusions you want it to unless you include property rights in your definition of aggression somehow. It’s easy to say that I should not hit you, as that would be aggression. But how is coming and living on land that you claim belongs to you “aggression” unless you have folded in some notion of violating your property rights as being “aggression”?

            You need an account of property rights before taking actions which affect your property can be considered aggression. There can be more than one account of it – but you need an account of such rights that leads to the conclusion that taxation is theft, hence you need a libertarian account of it.

            But I understand if you would prefer to dodge the questions by saying I need to read Rand’s work or say I just misunderstood.

          • Don Duncan

            “There is no libertarian property rights” means I would not presume all libertarians have the same theory of property rights. It does not mean I think libertarians do not believe in property rights. So, when you launch into a refutation of your interpretation of my statement, you ignore the rest of my comment. You thereby create another “straw man” position to refute, which you did quite well.

            You continue to “misunderstand” or misrepresent my points. Which is it? I leave that for you to think about and the other readers to judge.

            You claim I “dodge the questions” and you know why. I claim I am answering the best I can. If you know something about me I don’t, please explain.

          • Diocletian

            Progressivism, by its very malicious nature, being solidly based upon a denial of private property rights, and by logical extension, all other legitimate individual rights, always leads to failure in practice because it is malevolent and factually flawed in theory.

            I congratulate those who insist on supporting Progressivism because they have achieved their failures. They have earned all of them, and they ought to bear the consequences of those failures on their own hides, at their own expense, not socialize the costs by having the government force everyone else via coercive taxation to pay for picking up the wreckage to which that philosophy leads, and rebuild everything on that rotten foundation, time and time again.

            What occurred in GCC was not a failure of libertarianism/voluntarism, but its promoters’ willful dereliction of its principles.

            When Progressives betray their principles, given their sociopathic mentality, they just turn around and subscribe to some other statist philosophy, which, by virtue of its false premises, will also inevitably fail.

          • NOYFB

            Yeah this is one reason forums like this can get annoying. Too many can’t just deal with the topic at hand and have to turn everything into some political soapbox. I generally stay away from political sites now, but I’m seeing the same tribalistic herd mentality over the FDR scandal too.

            People are indivuals! It was a group of individuals that pulled off this scam. Politics is not relevant.

            This is also why in any groups I’ve run in the past, I’d just whack off-topics comments and kick out repeat offenders. It keeps things civil.

          • Commie Dearest

            This person does not understand the direction from which the pain comes. It’s kind of sad, actually.

          • Diocletian

            Wendy,

            Helmut Shoeck’s masterpiece “Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior”, and Stanton Samenow’s insightful study, “Inside the Criminal Mind” might help you gain an understanding of this sociopathic mentality, expressive of a deep self-hatred and profound insecurity. What you are witnessing when you see or hear these poor excuses for human beings is a creature fully, willfully committed to his/her regarding him/herself as totally metaphysically impotent.

            And their misery loves company.

            Deny it to them.

        • cb75075

          Like what exactly? Please I’m interested in what you think is irony? How is a failed land deal some irony?

          • Commie Dearest

            Hmmm… what a puzzle? Where to find irony in “libertarians” being burned by a land-scam in South America? Yep, tough to puzzle out.

          • cb75075

            So libertarians are magically immune to scams. Please explain how this magic occurs?

          • Commie Dearest

            Well, it helps to understand the definition of irony, which you apparently do not.

          • Brad R

            Irony is the use of a word to mean the opposite of its literal meaning. For example, if I were to reply to your post by saying “oooh, what a brilliant insight”, that would be an example of irony, because your post is neither brilliant nor insightful.

            Happy to clear that up for you.

          • Commie Dearest

            Well, kind of. Try this definition: a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.
            plural noun: ironies
            “the irony is that I thought he could help me”
            synonyms:paradox, incongruity, incongruousness
            “the irony of the situation”

      • NOYFB

        My interest was more curiosity than anything. I really want to live near the ocean. Honestly I have no interest in any Utopian projects.

  • Anonymous

    “Zoning permits”?? I had doubts because I didn’t see a commercial district in the site plan. A self-sufficient community is a small town, because all of those functions are needed. Where is the big chain grocery store, the dry cleaner’s, the auto mechanic? Will the HOA and CC&R acceptable to the country club crowd allow someone to put out an engineering consulting firm shingle at home and meet with customers in his home office? Etc.

    • Well, first of all, I am not a country club crowd. I was born dirt poor and I’ve worked for every cent I’ve ever made. I want to raise my own food, live in a self-sustaining manner that harms no one, and wake up each morning with a sense of peace in my chest. If you resent that dream, it is your problem. To answer your direct question…Curacavi has two large and US-style grocery stores as well as many, many other outlets for food. And, yes, those who bought into GGC are not fools. They did due diligence with teams of lawyers as well as meeting with engineers.

  • cb75075

    Can the people criticizing on this forum explain exactly what the criticism is?

    How is a failed land deal any representation of failed libertarian ideas?

    1. This is a failed land deal with possible fraud. So what. No libertarian says there aren’t problems or criminals.
    2. The people involved invested THEIR OWN money. They never used someone else’s money ie from a tax payer which is force.
    3. They LOST their OWN money and NOT someone else’s. They did not force someone else to pay for a failed land deal. They are all financially damaged and these aren’t rich people.
    4. THEY got hurt and are taking the responsibility to rectify THEIR OWN PROBLEM. Again no initiation of force. THEY are dealing with their own problem.

    So HOW is this exactly some example of failed libertarian principles? In fact it represents how people should interact ie in a voluntary way using their own resources and solving their own problems.

    • CB, thank you. Truly,

      • TotallyRandomName

        Well, since Wendy is a self-described “anarchist”… I wouldn’t expect an anarchist to worry about silly things like contracts being enforced. Anyways, so, you ask, “how is this an example of failed libertarian principals?” IT’S NOT. It’s a great example of libertarian principals in full force — and that means you lost a lot of money. Enjoy!

        • Don Duncan

          You obviously don’t understand anarchy or “libertarian principals” or civility. Would you say that in person, face to face? Hell NO! I’m non-violent, but its assholes like you who make it difficult to remain so.

          • Diocletian

            @Don,

            Here is hoping that you are strong-minded and principled enough to manage to remain so in the white heat of an argument, for if you respond to words with physical blows, you have initiated violence and become a criminal.

            Let your opponent, the sociopathic statist (yes, I know that’s a redundancy) throw the fist, and thereby show his/her true thuggish colors, his/her desire to loot, rule, and enslave. Then you finish him/her off.

        • cb75075

          You apparently know nothing about voluntarism and anarchy. Seriously where did you get the idea that ignoring contracts is anarchy? Anarchy != criminal. Anarchy merely means no INITIATION of force.

          since you entire premise is absurd your statement is absurd.

          So you think every time a crime or fraud or a mistake is made that is a libertarian principle at work?

        • cb75075

          It’s a great example of libertarian principals in full force — and that means you lost a lot of money. Enjoy!

          Right cause nobody ever gets ripped off, frauded or lose money in a statist system. No Kelo ruling. No crashed markets due to bad gov policies. No gov taking of property. No burst housing bubble. No trillions of debt.

      • alaska3636

        Wendy,

        My heart is in my throat when I think about how this deal went down. I too was interested in the idea of GGC when I first read about it; however, I would never have been close to the necessary investment funds needed.

        I have heard of various family deals going south before I was born and the bitterness and confusion engendered still lingers today almost thirty years later. We truly live in an uncertain world, but the lessons here will be learned by a lot of people.

        • Thank you, Alaska. Brad and I have had a few deep discussions yesterday and today because the article was my admission to myself that the dream was dead. I hope something new can arise in its place and I am still working with the founding fathers to resurrect whatever can be rescued. My breaking ranks hasn’t scuttled *that*, fortunately. The people who were committed to GGC were good folk down to their core. Hell, I’m talking about them as if they are dead. They ARE good folk.

          • Praetor

            Land deals are never over, till you are done with them. The land you want (love) is still there. When the bad guy or guys are removed. The deal can still be made. It was for sale and is for sale. You just have to perceiver. I’ve had many deals go bad and after expending some money and time. Its kind of how it is, the cons are everywhere in land sales. Hoping you come out ahead on this one.

    • neither left nor right

      The funny thing is the lefties coming here should be praising Wendy for her altruism. She risked her reputation by blowing the whistle, so that others wouldn’t fall victim. What did she gain by that? All the so-called “humanitarians” do is take cheap shots. That tells me all I need to know about the left.

    • alaska3636

      I used to read and interact in a lot of comments boards but I have since, mostly, given up. I don’t know why people interact on boards in the negative fashion that exists so many places; I suspect that rationalizing un-checked premises and power-seeking behaviors are the culprit. When I was 16, I used to mess with people on chat rooms; some people grow up and take responsibility to varying degrees, some people never grow up.

      Troll behavior includes failing to recognize or obfuscation of underlying principles; many “political commentators” are just trolling…

      A lot of these people are going to hollow out the meaningful part of their lives by focusing on the trivial aspects that have been sold to them under false pretenses; some of those people are sociopaths that do the selling; others still will grow wiser and humanity will limp forward.

      You seem educated and open-minded, protect yourself from external threats and from poisonous worldviews who are the “misery seeks company” types.

      I appreciate your comments for the thrust at truth that they appear to be; others will find them threatening.

      This has been one of the more fascinating and disappointing threads at DB since I have been reading and commenting here (the last place I do such.) I feel like there is something “true” here about humans that I am missing…Something about different people with different premises talking past each other…Poof. It’s gone…

      • cb75075

        I engage to learn. I want to see what they throw back. There are a lot of rotten argument tactics out there and I think its good to be prepared. I have no intention of changing their mind. Its all about the audience and what cards I can force them to put on the table.

    • ToyotaBedZRock

      I think it was a stunning success of libertarian free market and what an actual free market would look like.

    • Galt’s Rancid Butter

      It’s not. It is an example of the success of Randian Libertarian principles. Everyone has the right to be fooled into buying substandard or defective merchandise. If it doesn’t work or it kills you, don’t buy from that supplier again and the Invisible Hand will punish the supplier and they will go out of business.

      Do your own research into product legitimacy. If you are still fooled and buy something broken, a Greater Galt has appeared.

    • SecularAmerican

      How is a failed land deal any representation of failed libertarian ideas?

      Not a day goes by on a political forum that a libertarian or ancap doesn’t assert the moral and economic superiority of their system and yet here we have a group of libertarians who are clearly being ripped off by their leaders and they are feckless to do anything about it. Just look at the apologetic language strewn about the article.

      THEY got hurt and are taking the responsibility to rectify THEIR OWN PROBLEM. Again no initiation of force. THEY are dealing with their own problem.

      By what?
      Oh, right:

      For the moment, suffice it to say there is basis for various lawsuits; some are being pursued.

      By availing themselves of the very systems they despise.

      • Eddie Willers

        Secular, that is a lie. There have been negotiations, facilitated by attorneys. But no lawsuits or govt intervention sought.

        • SecularAmerican

          How many of those negotiations were conducted under explicit threat of legal, state enforced, action?

          You don’t get to a settlement without one side having legal recourse against the other.

          Let me requote the article:

          For the moment, suffice it to say there is basis for various lawsuits; some are being pursued.

          You can’t pursue a lawsuit without a legal framework and a court system.

      • Mick Price

        “By availing themselves of the very systems they despise.”
        Because the government deliberately made any other recourse almost impossible.

        • SecularAmerican

          Because the government deliberately made any other recourse almost impossible.

          And what form of voluntary, non-violent, recourse has the government forbidden you from using?

          There are plenty of mediation firms.

          • Mick Price

            The only way to get someone to stop is to use the government’s “services”. Mediation firms only work if the other party gives a damn whether they’re right or wrong. If they don’t want to mediate they don’t have to.

          • SecularAmerican

            Wait, tell us about how you are all about non-violence and “voluntary” interactions and then:

            Mediation firms only work if the other party gives a damn whether they’re right or wrong. If they don’t want to mediate they don’t have to.

            That’s the whole point. Voluntary arrangements DO NOT work to deliver justice and contract enforcement.

  • highlanderjuan

    Fraud stats teach us that about 30% of the population is criminal and about 30% are honest. The middle 40% are situationally criminal or honest, depending on who is running the show. For example, the American government is acting like a crime syndicate because it is being run by criminals. In any adventure, it pays to set up and use fraud prevention systems. I suspect this was not done, but with hindsight, perhaps it can still save the project.

    Preventing fraud and corruption opportunities in any organization includes a series of five steps:

    1) having good internal controls
    2) discouraging collusion between employees and outsiders
    3) monitoring employees and providing a whistle-blowing hotline for anonymous tips
    4) creating an expectation of punishment
    5) conducting pro-active auditing of activities

  • Gee… If you can’t trust a bunch of greed-driven libertarians then who can you trust?

    — MrJM

    • cb75075

      Gosh little Billy. Lets trust the government instead cause they never lie.

      • ToyotaBedZRock

        When they file a lawsuit who do you think they file that with?
        A Government is an authority that can enforce community rules, without said rules everyone is free to scam steal etc.

        • cb75075

          A lot of settlements are done with third party arbitrators.

          • Dave

            and by what method is the arbitrators decision enforced?

          • Mark

            Guns

          • No, by agreement.

          • MPP

            And if they decide they won’t abide by an agreement that goes against them?

        • Well, a lot of people at GGC are not anarchists but minimal gov. sorts. I won’t be participating in any lawsuit. But the people who will be or might be are not violating their principles.

        • Mick Price

          “A Government is an authority that can enforce community rules, ”

          But they never do. Instead they make up their own rules that suit their friends.

          “without said rules everyone is free to scam steal etc.”

          You might want to google “Bank bailout” if you really think nobody is free to scam, steal etc. with government.

      • Don’t worry. That adolescent fantasy will work out some day. Some where. Eventually.

        — MrJM

        • cb75075

          Like the fantasy of planning society and managing away social problems?

          • MPP

            You’ll never make all the problems go away… Men… har du varit i Sverige? It’s actually quite nice there. It could use some improvement, but in many areas it shows real benefits coming from governmental policy. What place can you point to that’s even half as successful following your philosophy?

          • cb75075

            So if you cannot make all the problems go away then there exists no reason to cross the line and initiate force to try and solve the problems. In fact you simply cannot manage social problems away. Humans are not ants. Each individual has their own pursuit of happiness. Might as well herd cats.

            Since your claim of success is false I have no reason to show examples counter to it. $17 tril of debt is not success. $150 tril of obligations is not success. Illegals wars is not success. $5 tril blown on some war on poverty without eliminating poverty… no success.

            What is success is voluntarism. People do better when they have opportunity and can generate their own prosperity. WHY don’t welfare people all get better and get off welfare? Once they are on they are perpetually stuck. You subisidze something you get more of it. Note the US was more prosperous when it had less gov and less regulation and less interference. Somethings have gotten better but things like poverty coming down are due to prosperity and technology, not gov planning.

            Case in point, N. Korea is 100% gov planning and 0% freedom. How are the doing? I assume all poverty and social problems are fixed? Oh but that’s right. Everyone is “equal”.

            Libertarians succeed everyday when we interact voluntarily. Its all around you. You just ignore it.

            As for somalia you might want to read up on it. Its doing better since its socialist regime under Baree collapsed. The Somalian dollar is even used by some of the neighboring countries. ALL UN indicators went UP after the gov collapsed. Its not anarchy but it clearly shows when people are left to themselves they try and prosper not kill each other in some Lord of the Flies blood bath. Sorry but your Hobbesian view is ill informed.

          • MPP

            The impossibility of perfection is not an argument for doing nothing.

            And so, despite Sweden’s good standard of living, success in business, their cultural, scientific and technological achievements and societal satisfaction with the political system… Sweden can’t be considered successful. Because apparently only libertarianism is success. With such circular reasoning, you’re sure to convince people that becoming libertarian would help them in life!

            North Korea has nothing to do with what I would advocate. Not many people would hear Sweden and then bring up North Korea as if they’re basically the same thing.

          • cb75075

            Your first sentence is inaccurate. Sweden has not attained those things. It may have less problems in some areas but they are hardly some utopia.

            BTW all the things you describe could be accomplished with a prison. Is prison a utopia?

            Sweden is spending more than it takes in and its growing at an exponential rate. There are no swedish style countries that have had their systems for more than 80 years. Sweden has an upside down pyramid and high taxes and more younger people have to pay a higher share. In fact Sweden almost went bankrupt in the 90s.

            And the fact is Sweden accomplishes its goals through force. Now one could argue since Sweden is such a homogenous population that its pretty much what the collective wants… so it runs smoother. But the fact is these grand systems are forced payment through taxation and businesses are heavily regulated.

            Sweden also isn’t some hub of innovation. They don’t exactly push the boundaries.

            I think you need to research Sweden. Think about a person living off a credit card who merely has not reach the limit of the card yet. When multi generations hit their retirement and entitlement rolls then we’ll see how that country handles its issues. Again they almost went bankrupt in the 90s and they didn’t have a large portion of elderly on retirement back then. The funny thing is to survive they had to DEREGULATE and expand their markets by getting out of the way. PLANNING didn’t save them, market saved them.

            Now N. Korea is all gov regulation… so it must be a utopia, right?

          • MPP

            Sweden hasn’t attained a good standard of living? Could’ve fooled me when I was living there. Because unlike you, I actually know something about the place.

            No, they’re not utopia. I never said they were a utopia. Utopia is impossible. Do you have a point?

            Yes, they have taxes. But only if you accept libertarian premises does this become proof that they don’t have a good standard of living. You’re trying to convince people to accept your premises. If you want to do so, that means you can’t start with the conclusion that libertarianism is correct.

            Even if I accept your version of things, Sweden was not saved by the free market. Sweden’s market was and is still very much a regulated market. Since I happen to be in favor of a regulated market and am open to debate over how much and what type of regulations there should be, this is not inconsistent with my position at all. You’re the one who takes an absolutist position here – not me.

            Which is why, like I said, N. Korea is irrelevant. I don’t favor maximal government. Only if my position were that more government regulation is always good, and that any kind of government regulation is good, would it have any relevance. The fact that you like to make up arguments for other people is both dishonest and a logical fallacy. And precisely the reason why the other libertarians on here who defend you are just revealing themselves to be just as much partisan as anyone else.

          • cb75075

            Talk about arguing for others.

            I said Sweden hasn’t done all that technology stuff you are talking about. What cultural achievements? Please white women? As I said they may not be as bad in some areas but a country of 9 mil is hardly a country of 350 mil.

            Read up on Sweden in the 90s. Massive taxes. 65% for civilians, over 95%
            for corporations. Literally faced bankruptcy. They had to embrace
            market to get themselves out of their bind that meant LOWERING taxes,
            deregulating and getting out of the way of businesses. They have a
            higher free market index than the US. They were saved by REDUCING regulations. Unlike US progressives who are dinosaurs, Swedish progressives figured out you can’t strangle the golden goose and most certainly not for social justice/revenge reasons. Yes they still have large amounts of cronyism. Absolute I believe is 40% controlled by the state.

            Its you that is making arguments for me not the other way around. Or do we get to hear about Somalia.

            Sweden
            is imploding its just slow. They have an entitlement system that requires a
            population growth to survive. They have an upside down pyramid. Their
            taxes are very high, they have strict regulations. At some point they
            merely will be Greece.either Sweden cuts more of its entitlement system or they face collapse as they faced in the 90s.

            And what partisan? Your world must be so small. So anyone who disagrees with you is on some other team?

            Face it, progressivism is not a success. Its based on the same fallacy that conservatism is based on (you might as well get a hotel room and screw each other) which is that society can be managed. It cannot. We’ve seen the results of management… Detroit. And the fact progressives will not take responsibility for that fiasco given all the ace cards they had shows that progressivism cannot be trusted to manage. Neither can conservatism.

            You just can’t face up to the fact that your ideology leaves a trail of devastation. even IF Sweden model is a good model, US progressives could never implement it. Swedes take responsibility for their mistakes and their ideology is about building something not about petty revenge.

            Why do your ideas always require forced capitulation?

            Tell you what, why not explain why a national health care system can’t work in a voluntary manner.

          • MPP

            Sweden has a few of the best universities in the world such as Uppsala University and Lund University. I don’t think I need to bother looking up a list of Swedish scientific achievements just to satisfy you.

            I was talking to other libertarians. Your quality of argumentation is quite low, and the fact that others on here defend your arguments nonetheless reflects partisanship. They like to talk as if libertarians are immune to in-group vs. out-group thinking.

          • cb75075

            well I am arguing with someone with a quite low arguing style.

            BTW why don’t you proggies ever actually sell progressivism. Or are you like Bill Maher now and you just are going to force it on the rest of us.

            Why can’t we have a voluntary national health care system. why wouldn’t that work?

          • cb75075

            In fact WHY haven’t progressives created this Swedish system in the US? What’s the problem? We spend more per country gov wise for health care than even Norway. What’s with all the horrific mismanagement?

          • MPP

            There are many reasons why the US is not like Sweden. Your argument, however, is that government never does anything good, nothing good can come of a social democratic system. The US is not the only country in the world, you need to explain why Sweden works as well as it does if your ideology is true. Don’t try to shift the burden onto me to explain US history and politics as if that has anything to do with it.

          • cb75075

            I am not the one who wishes to initiate force for my goals. You are. That puts the burden on you.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNtyV0CXfzU

            The myth of Scandinavian socialism

            One thing I find about Sweden advocates is their lack of understanding or knowledge of Sweden. Sweden adopted a voucher school system in the 90s and the US is still playing school tyrant.

          • Diocletian

            Sweden ? Successful ?

            Yes, as a nanny state wherein everyone is a subject/ward of the State, and all feed off all in a nation-wide collective

            The reason that Swedes tolerate this arrangement is due to generations of Swedes living under a monarchy and thereby being conditioned to regard themselves as subordinates to the government. The reason that Sweden hasn’t gone down the toilet economically is that its taxes are far lighter on business income than on personal income.

            The USA was founded on a philosophy of individual sovereignty, personal liberty, and free markets. To the extent that that philosophy was honored, respected, and defended whenever individuals implemented it in the daily course of their business and personal lives, peace and prosperity were the results, and the USA was the most successful of any nation in that regard.

            The beginning of the attack on that philosophy occurred during the Civil War and the bloody push to maintain the collective Union, and accelerated in numerous ways thereafter, including government control of the railroads, the enactment of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1892), Lochner v. New York (1905), the creation of the Federal Reserve (1913), the imposition of a coercive federal income tax (1913), and the welfare state policies of FDR, and his Democratic and Republican statist proponents, and their statist policies ever since.

            People who subscribe to the philosophy of Classical Liberalism/Voluntarism are striving to re-establish and practice that philosophy because it results in theory and practice in a free and civilized society comprising peaceful producers and traders.

            A political philosophy of governmental looting, dictatorship, and slavery, such as that which has been practiced in Sweden for centuries, and in so many other countries, is not a means of achieving success by any rational, civilized definition of the term.

          • Cleggg

            Diocletian, you have no clue. The USA -was- the most successful, but today is falling rapidly. Our 99% class once owned 80% of this nation’s wealth (1978) but since the 1980s, Reaganomic supply side tax code has caused the loss of 37% of that wealth. It has been sucked up by the 1% class, and mostly the 0.1% class. This isn’t the “natural result of the free-market at work”. This is the result of a tax policy to suck wealth from the 99% into the 1%. This is the result, mostly, of the 0.01% creating fiscal law for benefit of the 0.01%.

            There is no “free market” that benefits everyone proportionately without good governance and balanced progressive taxation. You can’t tax your wealthiest (0.1%) citizens at profoundly lower tax rates than common 2%-ers and expect a healthy outcome. You will never have “peaceful producers and traders” without fair and proportionate government (see the U.S. period 1945-1980 for an example of fair and healthy all-class socioeconomic policy). Anything remotely resembling the Libertarian wet-dream you describe has ended in anarchy, or at best a kind of neo-feudal serfdom. Libertarian ideals are half-baked, selfish, me-first, and socially-Darwinic to a fault.

            The best human experience today, in personal freedom, in business climate, in happiness, and just about any other important metric, are found in countries like New Zealand. The closest country Libertarians have to their utopia today might be Libya, with all kind of regional tribes, and laughably ineffective central government.

            http://daviddegraw.org/peak-inequality-the-01-and-the-impoverishment-of-society/

          • MPP

            In other words, despite Sweden’s standard of living, success in business, their cultural, scientific and technological achievements and societal satisfaction with the political system…

            Sweden can’t be considered successful. Why? Because it’s not libertarian.

            Circular reasoning much?

    • Brad R

      You know, if this rescue plan succeeds, it may prove to be libertarianism’s finest hour. I know how this would be playing out if the investors were a bunch of Wall Street types — they’d be down there right now, putting attachments on the property, selling it off for whatever they could get to cut their losses, and leaving the local suppliers and the lot purchasers to go hang.

      But from what I’ve heard of the rescue effort here, the rescuers are as a matter of principle first ensuring that the local suppliers get paid in full. Then, even though they have no contractual obligation to the lot purchasers, they are insisting that the purchasers get a proportional stake in whatever can be built or recovered.

      I don’t know if they’ll succeed. And if they do, I don’t know how many cents on the dollar we might realize for our “investment”. But I’d rather trust these guys than the sharks that infest Wall Street and D.C.

      • Filthy Liar

        These people want to be those sharks though. They just don’t have the capital (economic or social). The secret of Libertarianism is that all those who espouse it want is to replace the old order with a new one where they’re in charge.

  • fnrr

    How many times have you bought the Statue of Liberty and other landmarks?

  • fnrr

    Somebody warned you that you had sent lots of money to scammers.
    Your response is to ask the (possible…) scammers if they are scamming you.

    Am I reading this right?

  • mojo

    Reading Berwick’s “explanation” email after Wendy’s was enlightening. The “founders”, Ken, Jeff, and apparently others including those “in the know” like Wendy apparently actively conspired to keep GGC’s major/critical problems secret for quite a while. Maybe criminal, maybe not, but certainly disingenuous – effectively sucking more people into the failure in the hopes of “digging out” of the problem. Seems to me they were all involved in some way, shape, or form in a ponzi-like scheme. I am not saying they were all actively scheming, I am simply saying that knowing what they knew and not saying anything shows questionable character. It appears Wendy caught some people with their pants down when her conscience finally helped her see she was actually hurting others by her silence.

    • Patrick Chapman

      Yes, whilst I certainly have sympathy for the position Wendy found herself in. Reputations will be lost or seriously dented in the aftermath of this and rightly so.

    • gdp

      As I understand it, Wendy’s “silence” was enforced by a Non-Disclosure Clause in the option contract, as was the silence of the other investors. Breaking that silence has opened her up to a potential lawsuit attack by Ken (albeit, she can counterargue that prior breach of the contract on Ken’s part has rendered that ND clause null and void).

      By contrast, what is Ken’s excuse for his lack of forthrightness and failure in his fiduciary responsibility toward his investors ???

    • Mojo. If you are an investor, then I offer my sympathy and I will give you advice in private email. If you are not, then your response is one reason why no one was willing to come forward before I broke ranks and lost friends for doing so. As to why…Ken J. kept saying he would sell to the founders and people would be made whole BUT we all had to shut up until that happened. BTW, maybe you did not read my post in which I explained that I’ve not made a single cent from this deal other than one speaking fee. So…continue killing the messenger but all that will accomplish is that there will be fewer messengers willing to take the risk in the future. I wish you well.

      • mojo

        I am not an investor in this project so I really have no dog in this hunt. I have followed Jeff’s emails/missives/rants for some time, so I am passively aware of GCC.

        Perhaps I was unclear in my post – I admire what you did and understand the potential (likely) repercussions of the decision to speak out.

        Frankly, if I had to find fault (which I do not have to do and probably shouldn’t since this is none of my business really) it would be with Jeff, not with purchasers of lots like yourself. In his email, Jeff made it clear that he had multiple decision points where he could “do the right thing” but he never did. Even now, after your post, when his back is against the wall, he appears to be playing the victim. He indicates multiple times that he “apparently owns nothing of the project.” Frankly, I would be more understanding if he still had an ownership stake in the project – then it would be him keeping quiet in the hopes of making good on his investment. Nothing particularly wrong with that if he thought Ken could turn it around. But if he truly owns nothing, then his silence over the last year seems like an act of aggression toward the very same people he planned to call neighbors…

    • deltajent

      Mojo, there was no “conspiracy.” As long as there was hope to salvage the project by forcing Ken Johnson to walk the straight and narrow, the Founders wished to keep the dirty laundry in the hamper and hope that it wouldn’t become necessary to air it. Once it became evident that Johnson was a lost cause because of his mental illness, was more than merely incompetent, and had possibly committed fraud, the debate started about when and how to bring this sorry mess to light to cause the least amount of damage to all involved. Because virtually all financial information was withheld from the Founders by Johnson (even though we had been demanding it for many months), we were unable to determine for sure what he was doing. Wendy, bless her, had the courage to follow her conscience and step out in front with this article. It pains me to see how many vicious, vindictive, hateful people have completely trashed her for her selfless act, and to shift the blame for one man’s (not a libertarian) criminality onto all libertarians and libertarianism. We Founders fully support her decision and only hope that no one else gets harmed and that this will bring an end to Johnson’s reign of terror and fraud. We will try to pick up the pieces and see that everyone is made whole to whatever extent possible because we still want to form a viable community.

      Are we any wiser for all this? Sure. Are we giving up hope on the libertarian/anarchist philosophy? No way. We still believe that, while self-defense is always justified, non-aggression is the key to a peaceful and prosperous society. And we still hold the dream of establishing a libertarian community in the beautiful Chilean hill country–a community where aggression is minimized and liberty maximized, where the living is healthy and people of good will are welcomed.

      • johnj

        Pretty classy trying to pin the fact that you got fleeced on the fleecer being mentally ill. Keep up the good work

  • Brad

    dang, these guys sound like total idiots and should stick to writing about investments and leave the real heavy lifting to real businessmen.

    • Brad…I’ve gotta tell you. I will be relying a lot more on my own advice/instinct in the future. That being said, people had lawyers and real estate agents doing due diligence and Ken managed to convince them of his solidity. For example, he hired the most expensive and respected law firm in Chile to handle GGC; it proved to be one of several law firms that were apparently never paid. Ironically, he used the money provided by the founding fathers to (later) legally swindle them.

      • Matt…chileinvestments.com

        Wendy- I’ve been warning people who asked me about GGC since about this time last year, maybe longer. Nothing added up to me (I’ve been dealing with foreign investors and land in Chile for almost 8 years now). My initial worry was always based on the quite obvious lack of water in Curacavi, the extremely suspect people involved from the very start and the feedback I was getting from some of my high-value clients who had been asked to jump aboard by the management of GGC.

        Then I mentioned the issue to a journalist friend…he started digging, and came up with a huge amount of info within days- all the lawsuits, the dodgy NZ contracts, the lack of notarised contracts etc. Any competent Chilean lawyer would have told an investor to run a mile- they would/should have done a thorough background check of any and all documentation pertaining to the project and there’s no way a decent Chilean lawyer would have advised their client to go ahead and sign anything. It’s not a case of an individual convincing a lawyer they’re on the up and up. If the documentation doesn’t add up, a Chilean lawyer will tell you not to sign, every single time.

        I honestly don’t know what went wrong with the lawyers people purportedly hired…my only thought is that people were hiring the same law firm to do the due diligence that GGC had retained, but that would be a massive conflict of interest that a firm like that would avoid like hell, so I can’t see that that was the issue. There’s no way that any half-decent lawyer in Chile would look at the paperwork from GGC and say to their client, “Yep, that all looks fine.” No way at all. So what lawyers were people hiring?? There’s an expression in Chile…Lo barato sale caro…Cheap ends up expensive…

        It’s honestly heartbreaking to know people have lost out. Getting scammed feels like a massive personal violation, whether it’s for a few dollars or a lot more. And the damage done to the small to medium scale foreign investment community in Chile is terrible as well. This affects my own business- if everyone hears about what’s happened, Chile will get a bad reputation, fewer people will come and fewer will invest. That would be a shame, because Chile really has so much to offer and it’s a country I’m genuinely proud to call home (and I’m also proud I’m able to call myself Chilean as I now have Chilean nationality).

        It is incredibly frustrating for me to have watched this happen. I would have loved to have gone public with what I knew a long time ago, but I had heard about a certain someone’s litigiousness (and in Chile, you can sue anyone for anything and you simply have to spend money to defend yourself whatever happens), so I didn’t. I told people who asked me privately my concerns. I hope I saved a few people from trouble at least.

  • Brian Cantin

    What a mess. I am very sorry to hear that you lost all that money.

    • Thank you, Brian. Your note is appreciated. The rescue team is quite active and powerful, and I hope for the best. This might turn out well even now… Lotsa lessons to be learned here. Take care, my friend…and poker buddy.

  • I wonder if anyone in GGC had considered using something like Spencer Heath MacCallum’s lease structure, found at http://www.freenation.org/a/f33m1.html.

    • Hey, Dwight. I have admired Spencer since reading his Art of Community which is a terrific book. I also knew him casually for several years and he was a very nice person…shy, reserved, but fascinating whenever he chose to speak. I also know that he and Ken Gregg organized an alternative to the Home Owners Agreements that were so popular in Nevada (where Ken lived). I presume you are referring to this alternative. I don’t know what the rescue agreement will look like…except in very broad terms. And it is probably premature to discuss specifics. Hell, I don’t have any right to discuss them given that I am not one of the people incurring huge lawyers’ fees to mend the situation. I would say, however, that I don’t think people could go wrong by following Spencer’s blueprint. I may send a copy of Spencer’s book to the main fellow involved.

      • Wendy, I am referring to his “Model Lease for Orbis”. I work for a company that owns and operates shopping malls, and had one of our Harvard-trained lawyers review that lease. He found it quite good. I don’t know if that was what Ken Gregg used as a basis for his HOAs. I’ll have to research that. I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of “Art of Community” and its author. I loved “Law of the Somalis”, which he edited. And I had the great pleasure of meeting and spending some time speaking with Spencer at Libertopia 2010. I had a recent related discussion with bionic mosquito about how a lease structure would make sense here: http://www.cantonmovement.com/governance-in-a-free-world-possible/, prompted by a line in a letter from Jefferson to Madison: “the earth belongs in usufruct to the living”.

      • What I was referring to was Spencer’s Model Lease for Orbis (see link in my original comment). I’m not familiar with the HOA project with Ken Gregg. I’ll have to research that.

        I totally agree with your assessment of “The Art of Community” and its author. I loved “The Law of the Somalis” which he edited. I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Spencer at Libertopia 2010.

        I work for a REIT that owns and operates shopping malls. I asked one of our lawyers to review the Model Lease, and he found it to be quite good, making a few changes because he’s a lawyer. I find that leasing in general has a greater appeal to me, especially after reading Jefferson’s letter to Madison where he says, “the earth belongs in usufruct to the living”. http://www.cantonmovement.com/governance-in-a-free-world-possible/ We are all of us mere tenants (not really owners), passing the world along to the next generation. Ownership of land by people is a bit of a misnomer.

  • pjb1

    I hear this sort of story over and over again. I myself participated in a co-op that fell apart. There is something to be said for going it alone and buying your own land. It’s just like Governor Bradford’s history of the Plymouth Plantation:

    “The experience that was had in this common course and condition tried sundrie years and that amongst godly and sober men may well evince the vanitie of that conceite of Platos & other ancients applauded by some of later times that ye taking away of propertie and bringing in comunitie into a comone wealth would make them happy and florishing as if they were wiser then God.”

    It’s bad enough having to share (and constantly negotiate) the ownership of a property with a spouse, even with all the close ties implied by that – never mind having to share ownership with people you mostly don’t know, even if they are supposed libertarians like you.

    • Jano Szabo

      Spot on. When possible, disable the state by routing around it.

    • deltajent

      pjb1,
      Maybe I didn’t understand what you’re saying, but GGC is not a co-op or communitarian arrangement, it is a development pretty much like any planned community with individual lots subject to CC&R agreements. Common areas, roads, and utilities will be owned by the development corporation which is owned by its shareholders and services will be purchased by the individual lot owners. Only those who choose to share ownership of a lot will have anything like you describe. You are correct in your observation that such common property or co-op arrangements rarely, if ever, work out.

    • Diocletian

      Since one does not truly have absolute, sovereign ownership of land and its improvements (i.e. unlimited allodial title) anyplace on account of coercive property taxes, escheats, eminent domain, zoning restrictions, etc. arrogating to a government total control and, therefore, factual ownership, leaving one with mere de jure privilege of occupancy/stewardship–not ownership–in the form of a title deed, I see no sound reason conducive to my exercising my legitimate individual rights to invest in any kind of real estate. I prefer instead to rent from those who are willing to play the fantasy game of “home ownership” or being “landlord/lady”, and convert the difference between what I pay in rent and what I would pay on a mortgage, maintenance, etc. into something that I can truly own and far more easily transport and conceal from attempts at seizing it: precious metals.

      Places like GCC can only exist where unrestricted allodial rights prevail, and taxation is unconditionally voluntary. Chile Honduras (Roatan) and Argentina (Cafayate) do not offer those conditions.

      Until such conditions exist someplace (I’m not holding my breath !), I will rent and keep my business transactions as uncomplicated and involving as few people as possible, doing my own due diligence (one is responsible for being one’s own expert0 and maintaining my sovereignty over my person and property in any contractual agreement.

      In short, I will go it alone.

  • Bill Ross

    this appears to have become a limitation of libertarian philosophy and libertarians are crooks thread, when in reality it is a matter of fraudulent behavior and breach of contract by some who have adopted the camouflage of self-professing themselves to be libertarians. Well, it is apparent: they are known by what they do (violated non-aggression principle).

    The only thing this has to do with libertarian is the “bait” in the bait and switch fraud of GCC.

    And, those who claim libertarian philosophy cannot “handle this” are completely neglecting the fact that the law also cannot and, when due process is (if ever) complete, there will be no victim restitution because the law will have consumed all equity, and, if anyone goes to jail, it will also be at public expense. Private profit, public loss.

    • Brad R

      Bill, you are so correct that the law cannot handle this either. I’ve been ripped off before. Once a customer went bankrupt, sticking me for thousands of dollars in unpaid invoices. Bankruptcy law protects the debtor, and ensured that as an unsecured creditor, I was last in line to be paid. Result: I received nothing — more “senior” creditors got it all.

      Another time a customer in the U.S. decided he didn’t want to pay my final invoice. He was in the U.S., I was in Canada, and any attempt at contract enforcement using the law would have cost me far more than I could afford (or could have recovered). The State, and its legal system, didn’t do a thing to protect or reimburse me.

      You write it off, you pick yourself up, you dust yourself off, and you carry on. Every businessman knows to budget for this. In the retail trade they call it “shrinkage.” Wendy calls it the “Ken Johnson tax”, a term I intend to adopt for those losses that you incur from dishonest or unscrupulous actors…and for which the State offers no remedy.

  • David K. M. Klaus

    Wendy McElroy (a native of that part of North America known as “Canada”, for those who mistake the phrase “continental United States” to mean “United State continent”) is as decent, gentle, and warm human being as one is likely to find in either of the American continents. She is not the false stereotype of a Randite but a generous, kind person who would be one of the first to likely *volunteer* to help her neighbors in a time of trouble. She is not stupid, she is not a clay pigeon for con artists, she is not spiteful or mean. Her patriotism is like Robert Heinlein’s, to the whole of the planet, not just a piece of land within a government’s dotted line on a map. She and her husband trusted people they knew who themselves trusted people they knew in turn — that level of people turned out to be not worthy of that trust, who cheated those who trusted them, creating a domino effect which fell upon them. She is not violent, she is not cruel — what she is is an honest radical who is trying to intellectually create an alternative way for human beings to deal with one another, a way with reason, a way without coercion, a way without violence, a way without one person or group of people trying to run the lives of others of different religions, sexes, ages, or amounts of melanin in their skin, by “the content of their character,” as the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it. Her decency and concern for her brother and sister human beings is far greater than many self-described “Christians” who would convert by the sword, or steal from the honest well-off who have earned their wealth through the sweat of their brows and the use of their minds. She has no patience with those who would use the power of government to rig the marketplace to become rich by stealing wealth through the strokes of pens.

    For her honesty here she has been subjected to hateful trolling, holier-than-thou pronouncements by those who serve in armies which invade lands on the other side of the *planet*, in a nation which ideals today are the very opposite of those who founded it, and by those who misinterpret the teaching of the Man who is the basis of their own religion.

    The lot of you should be ashamed of yourselves. *Have* you no shame? Have you no *decency*? She and her husband are victim of what would be considered a crime under any ethical standard on this Earth, and all you do is point and laugh. The lot of you collectively appear by your own words to have done less for the human race than she has.

    She and her husband are my friends and I honor them and commiserate with them as I would any victim of fraud.

    David K. M. Klaus

    • Bill Ross

      Wow! Second that and, I only know Wendy by her writings and several emails. A credit to morally aware humanity. And, what goes around, comes around. Clearly, she is a leader and has inspired your loyalty and “rallying to the defense”

      dunno what attracted all the leftist mental midgets to this thread, sniping at their betters and carrion eating, reveling in misfortune. It is truly sick.

    • Thank you, David. You have been a good friend for a long time. Brad sends his gratitude as well.

  • Travis Hamilton

    It’s one thing to be an economic theorist who ran highly profitable enterprises or made very lucrative investments, but here we have a struggling Hollywood screenwriter who had zero business mgmt experience and yet she was championed as a Sage of Free-Market Capitalism. It’s amazing how her rhetoric deceived so many folks.

    Too many critics of Ayn Rand would rather dismiss her books and ideas as laughable, childish, and hackneyed. But she can’t be dismissed because Rand is the name that keeps bubbling up from the Tea Party crowd and the elite conservative circuit in Washington as the Big Inspiration. The only way to protect ourselves from this thinking is the way you protect yourself from serial killers: smoke the Rand followers out, make them answer for following the crazed ideology of a serial-killer-groupie, and run them the hell out of town and out of our hemisphere.

    • Bill Ross
    • cb75075

      And what do we do with the progressives who steal other peoples’ money and bankrupt the nation? Do we jail them?

      Tell you what. Why don’t you actually name what’s so dangerous about libertarian thinking that it requires “smoking them out and running them out of town”. And I’ll top it in orders of magnitude with what collectivists have caused.

      BTW Rand wasn’t libertarian.

      • The Bundy ranch is a prime example of when we should have used armed drones domestically.

        Libertarian extremists are the number one domestic threat to the USA.

        • cb75075

          Really show an example of this. Other than two loons who shot up a diner, where’s the threat… oh that’s right… disobeying the “authority” is the real threat now isn’t it.

          Bundy had full rights and that’s over 200 years old. Look at a map of what land the fed has laid claim to in Nevada. Over 89%. By what right does the fed have to lay claim to that much land? And they NUKED THE HELL OUT OF IT. What a joke. They claim to care about turtles then use that land for weapons testing. and that land was covered in millions of bison for hundreds if not thousands of years. Those turtles never died.

          Oh BTW, Harry Reed was REAL interested in that land Bundy was grazing on. Gee I wonder if Reed was using the fed to push other people out of the way.

          • “Bundy had full rights and that’s over 200 years old. ”

            Um, no did not, he lied. His family did not even touch that land till the 1960’s.

            He was a dangerous idiot who should have died via Hellfire missile the moment the libertarian extremists he chose to surround himself with turned guns on the local sheriff.

          • cb75075

            Yes so you label libertarians as dangerous yet YOU wish to solve a land dispute with a missile.

            Who is dangerous?

            Wow so how dare someone disagree with the government, huh?

            I’m aiming to misbehave. You go right ahead and send the tanks.

          • They pointed guns at officers of the law, they should all be dead or in prison right now.

          • cb75075

            They defended what they though was their rights and land which any progressive would also do. The fed has no authority to seize 89% of Nevada. Please show where in the constitution the fed has the authority to seize that. By president if the ranchers were allowed to graze there in the past they can graze there. The turtle excuse is shear garbage.

            Yes we libertarians are dangerous cause 1) we ill say NO and 2) we can destroy ANY progressive and conservative argument with facts and logic.

            So yeah we’re dangerous to your use of force.

          • Oh, so you don’t believe in the Supreme Court which has upheld the constitutionality of the BLM?

            Don’t hide behind a constitution if you don’t believe in the supreme law of that land sparky and we won’t laugh so heartily at you deluded libertarian manchildren calling yourself constitutionalists.

            Supreme court decides what is constitutional, not someone like you.

          • cb75075

            No I do not believe the supreme court has the right or power to overturn the constitution. Given that rational the supreme court could rule in favor of slavery.

            The supreme court also ruled in favor of KELO which I am sure you agree was a horrible violation of property rights.

            The supreme court is to OBEY the constitution. It does not arbitrarily alter it.

            Is KELO constitution and ethical?

          • “No (sic) I do not believe the supreme court has the right or power to overturn the constitution. ”

            Er, have you actually read the constitution and comprehend it at even a basic level?

            The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is constitutional, not random person on the internet. If you want to challenge their interpretation you will need to either have the legislative branch impeach the Supreme Court justices or you can bring a new amendment to the Constitution. Your personal opinion is irrelevant.

          • cb75075

            I know the constitution better than you. You apparently are unaware that the constitution is not a rights granter but a federal gov limiter.

            The supreme court is one of the three checks and balances of the constitution. While it may rule on constitutionality it cannot merely whimsically by pass the constitution as it sees fit. KELO is a grand example of this abuse.

            http://constitution.findlaw.com/article3.html

            Please actual READ Article 3. The supreme court does nor change the constitution nor whimsically discards it. Kelo and ACA are both violations of the constitution even though the supremes ruled for it.

            I’m sure your like loves rulers telling you what to do but clearly that does not apply to the rest of us. The supremes cannot merely rule all lands belong to the fed which BLM is apparently doing.

            Again given your reasoning the supremes could simply outlaw guns or bring back slavery and you’d mindlessly obey that.

          • Lol, you are simply wrong.

          • cb75075

            Please rad the article 3. I gave you a link. The constitution is a fed gov limiter not a rights granter.

    • Mick Price

      “but here we have a struggling Hollywood screenwriter who had zero business mgmt experience and yet she was championed as a Sage of Free-Market Capitalism.”

      Ok, I’m sure you’re going to start actually critiquing her ideas at some point.

      “The only way to protect ourselves from this thinking is the way you protect yourself from serial killers: smoke the Rand followers out, make them answer for following the crazed ideology of a serial-killer-groupie, and run them the hell out of town and out of our hemisphere.”{

      Run them out of our hemisphere? Wow you’re a really violent asshole you know that? Are there any serial killers in your area who kill people of your race? Because I think I know who the police should be looking at.

      • Her entire metaphysics on basic human traits is wildly incoherent.

        In her metaphysical worldview — I refuse to call it a philosophy — all poor people are borne to poverty and yet all geniuses and men of industry are self-made men. How is that possible?

        • Mick Price

          Where did she say that “all poor people are born to poverty”? Or anything like it? And no she never said that all men of industry are “self-made men”. In fact one of the chief characters in Atlas Shrugged, no wait, two of the main characters are not “self-made men” at all. One of them isn’t even a self-made woman. So given that you’ve done bugger all research we can all ignore your moronic opinions.

          • She believed in a natural law that some are born to rule over others, yet she at the same time said that man can only become great through “rationality” or objectivism.

            Which is it? On one hand she believes in Aristotelian-style predestination and on the other hand she thinks a cribbed version of Nietzschean will to power is correct. Those are diametric opposites.

          • Mick Price

            “She believed in a natural law that some are born to rule over others,”

            Nope, she didn’t believe that anyone was “born to rule” she believed that you should be ruled as little as possible. And in any case I didn’t ask what she believed, I asked WHERE SHE SAID IT. A f***ing quote or it didn’t happen.

            ” On one hand she believes in Aristotelian-style predestination”

            Where does she say anything like this? Quotes or it didn’t happen.

            “on the other hand she thinks a cribbed version of Nietzschean will to power is correct.”
            Where does she support anything like a “will to power”? She believed that people should be allowed to interact freely, and saw the lust for power as a neurosis.

          • I’m not responsible for your education on what is common knowledge about Ayn Rand.

          • Mick Price

            I don’t care what’s “common knowledge” where is your evidence that it’s TRUE? If that is what she believed then, given her penchant for repeating things over and over, you should be able to find several quotes to prove it. Or just one. Otherwise you’re clearly lying.

  • Patrick Chapman

    Yes, I am appalled at Jeff’s lack of responsibility in all this. I am quite sure he can garner it back in time. But owning up to what he clearly let slide has left a deficit in terms of his reputation.

    • Facundo Merciadri

      But but… poor Jeff! Didn’t you hear his victim cry? He is such a fool that was fooled to believe and angel will fix the problem… only if he remained silent and “hope for the best”… maybe his fault was not hopping so hard, maybe he didn’t read The Secret!!! And… oh, what a hero for the libertarian community is this Wendy girl! She is so brave and libertarian that accepted a contract that had restrictions to free speech. So, what else could be expected than to remain silent about this fraud even knowing more victims will follow.But, oh yes, she advocates some detailed principles… but now we know she did the opposite. Nothing new under the sun, more of “do as I say, not as I do”

      • cb75075

        What did Wendy do that was hypocritical? You do know this whole article is about Wendy discussing the situation and not remaining silent.

        • Facundo Merciadri

          It was arround a year of silence. Should I explain you everything? Come on!

          • Bill Ross

            Add 1+1: Chile is a very litigious place and worse, civil law (no principles). The contract that Wendy and other GCC marks signed contains a non-disclosure (silence) clause. Jeff is using the Ponzi “proceeds of crime” to legally intimidate ANYONE who may speak up or dispute. Wendy and others were trapped in this legal position for a year and, by speaking up, until Jeff is smited and neutralized, Wendy bears legal liability for “breach of contract” in Chile.

            It appears to me that Wendy agonized over the conflicting legal “demands” and, her moral duty to caution others regarding the GCC scam for the year of silence. It was not an easy position to be in, and, unlike socialists with their false pretexts of “greater good” at someone else’s expense, Wendy actually choose “greater good” at her OWN expense.

            If ONLY we had MORE morally aware people like Wendy, or, at least stastically significant intelligence to recognize and follow such leaders. Mental midgets can only snipe, but offer NO alternatives, apart for “shoot the messenger”.

            Seems to me, rather than Chile being a haven for libertarians, perhaps we should banish all the lawyers to there:)

          • Facundo Merciadri

            Bill Ross, an old timer here at the Daily Belly. Don’t need to explain me how things are here in Argentina and Chile, I know it first hand and it may not be that litigious it depends on details I don’t know. Anyway, are you trying to defend an ICON of the liberty-minded community (supposed to give a good example to the community and that maybe some younger dudes could take her as a role model) and who FIRST accepted a contract that wasn’t in line with her principles and then “waited” for around a year to speak the truth even knowing that in the meanwhile more victims will follow?? You are more of the same, keep rolling with the pseudo free-minded, the belly, Ron Paul and Moses Institute 🙂

          • Bill Ross

            well, you must be morally impeccable, implying that you would have and Wendy should have immediately abandoned self-interest and a big financial hit in order to do the alleged “right thing”. It is a fact of life that if you allow yourself / interests to be significantly harmed, well this detracts from your ability to live your life (and, do good, if that is your choice) in the future. Only an idiot can ignore the survival imperative.

            Wendy, by signing the “non-disclosure” was acting in good faith, trusting the “chain of trust” reputations (see my spiel regarding reputation, this thread) of those involved. She had “no clue” she was being defrauded and trapped into a position of “aiding and abetting”.

            The “lesson” I take from the GCC fiasco is this matter is NOT about libertarian, apart from the “bait” in bait and switch and Wendy’s courage and honestly, as a human being “putting herself out there”, a target for all the socialist snipes, pretending moral purity and criticizing her best attempts to deal with a very difficult situation.

            It is very easy to criticize without proposing alternatives (constructive). Wendy is discussing, dealing with and attempting to solve a REAL problem. My kinda gal. She has made the RIGHT choice:

            competing by excellence (high road) VERSUS competing by destroying the competition (low road)

          • Facundo Merciadri

            I never claimed I was morally impeccable. We all make mistakes and we, as libertarians should speak crystal clear about sensitive things and as soon as possible. But Wendy defending Berwick? Give me a break. Please, let me quote you: “It is a fact of life that if you allow yourself / interests to be significantly harmed, well this detracts from your ability to live your life (and, do good, if that is your choice) in the future. Only an idiot can ignore the survival imperative.” So poor Wendy it was a matter of basic survival needs!! In that case many people will have donated some bitcoins to buy her food so she may keep been a good person and bringing good to the world. Ok, you’re right, I’m an idiot. That’s why I’m answering your comments.

          • Facundo…you actually made a reasonable post above, which did not sound like vicious hate mail meant to attack my husband and me personally, so I will answer your message. Two factors prompted the timing of my article. I held off for a bit because it looked like the rescue attempt would be successful and everyone involved would be made as whole as possible. But, I was told, the negotiations required “privacy.” The founding father did as much and well anyone could have but the negotiations (to date) produced nothing. Then, as I said, I recently discovered that GGC’s marketing department was still active. Given the information black-out imposed by Ken J., it was difficult to know the real situation. But I could not have new investors on my conscience. Hate me for that, if you wish.

            BTW, I think I realized a point of confusion between us. I was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. I refused.

            On one point, you are flatly out of line. NO ONE tells me who to be friends with or not. That’s akin to telling what to say and what to think. And I am not a substitute for any argument you may have with Jeff. Berwick. You want to beat Jeff up, then go to his site and do so.

          • Facundo Merciadri

            (I had problems with my internet, hope this’s not a duplicated message)

            Now it’s hard to belive/know what was the details about the timing and the details in your possible delay on going public.

            You refused? Wow, I’m the idiot then, so if that’s the case I’m sorry and I want to retract that in particular remaking how bad was my mistake, after I’ll try to figure out how/why I assumed that.

            What happened to me when I saw your publication was that I guessed it may have other hidden intentions/messages, maybe you have more information and if you are not restitued of some damages as you may have expected you could publish more details affecting targeted people.

            What’s your opinion about Berwick post “THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY ON GALT’S GULCH CHILE” ?

            I couldn’t find any line with some kind of “it was my fault/mistake to do/be…”

            Last, I’m sorry if I’m being a jerk, the freedom club is making me feel sick and the brutalist inside me is showing up. Thanks for telling something to Tucker.

          • Facundo Merciadri

            Wendy, here is your quote, it was my mistake, so sorry! somehow I forget about the line ” I refused to sign it.” The complete quote for any otherone reading this: “I was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement along with the papers to purchase land. It was such a restrictive agreement that I literally could be sued if I said how much I loved GGC. I refused to sign it. And Jeff Berwick stood up for me…”

          • You are making false assumptions. Brad and I had been reassured that the marketing department of GGC had been dissolved and there were no more investors. That turned out to be another lie. And when we found out about it…that’s when I wrote the article. And as for a contract…there’s nothing unlibertarian about accepting any terms that bind only you. Nothing whatsoever. It is a bizarre criticism.

          • Facundo Merciadri

            Another Lie!! Everything is a lie, everyone is a liar!… except Wendy and Jeff of course, the poor innocent victims! Hey, that strategy was first pulled by Jeff, I was expecting something better from you, maybe there’s no other alternative. You r supposed to be an exponent of free speech among other free-minded values. But now you see, credibility is hard to earn and easy to lose. The next you’ll say it will be all the truth? Or you will wait another year to disclose more secrets? You started defending Jeff who acted recklessly and accused everybody to be liars. Now you say that you’ll not use the police forces of the state… and you expect people to take your word. The parody continues in the freedom club…

          • Brad R

            Ah, another Monday morning quarterback. And from your very second post, you reveal that you don’t know anything about the timeline of events; you haven’t a clue as to who knew what and when. Yet rather than attempting to diminish your ignorance by ascertaining some facts, you instead declare immediate judgment from your lofty perch of moral superiority.

            Alas, in order for me to care about your opinion, you have to earn some credibility…and you have started yourself off with a substantial deficit in that department. I can’t imagine how you could now convince me that any judgment you pass is either well-considered or just.

          • Thanks, Brad. As you know, it has been far, far less than a year that we had any solid information of wrongdoing…but the fellow’s attack on you simply made me wash my hands of the man.

          • Facundo Merciadri

            Yeah, Brat, here: “around a year of silence” I said that been the source Jeff Berwick post: “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!

            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.

            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.

            I contacted my most trusted financial advisor 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. I then asked him if the founding investors knew about the deal and were comfortable with it and he told me they were. 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.

            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.

            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.”

          • Brad R

            So, you’re blaming Wendy for what Jeff Berwick knew? You’re losing still more credibility, here.

          • Facundo Merciadri

            No, I’m playing with the idea, Brad, and now that I read myself I noted that wasn’t clear, sorry. Let me clarify. Jeff knew it since around a year. The question is: When Wendy gained awareness of the situation? Was she lied, cheated into believe bla bla bla??. Or is there more excuses coming from her part? is she honest and is saying all? Who knows… In the meanwhile she was all about “Jeff is a friend”. Well, at that time Verwick doesn’t even tried to write about his faults. Now he did and I’m led to believe that it was only because the public demanded it and there wasn’t another better way for him to go. Like it or not, Wendy should be crystal clear about her opinion on Berwick, as I asked before. But maybe she wanted to keep him as friend at that moment. Which it seems to me to be a bad idea. Now that berwick acknowledge his faults, Wendy, do you think he should also state that he should pay with his own money for his own faults?? Hope you do reply this question this time.

          • Brad R

            Wendy has already answered your question upthread. She learned in early April of 2014 that Jeff Berwick had left GGC. She just recently learned that people were still investing.

          • Facundo Merciadri

            Ok, thanks, Brad. Sorry again for been such a jerk, I’m feeling kind of paranoid within the freedom club.

          • cb75075

            So they didn’t air their dirty laundry for a year. Care to tell us about your financial woes online? could it be they though things would be straightened out? Maybe they gave the parties a chance to fix things. Yeah could be they could have told others “whoa don’t invest cause of problems”. But I’m not seeing the hypocrisy here.

  • max

    My two cents about this mess:

    1) I am very sorry for Wendy and the other prople who are likely to lose money in this. Caveat emptor, true, but normal people still have sympathy for fellow human beings, I don’t particularly like schadenfreude.

    2) Of course all this trash against libertarianism is out of place. It is just a case of fraud. Thankfully, our ideals are shared by millions of people, it is natural that swindlers sneak among us, and they are actually not libertarians by definitions (they do not follow the Nap), just as they are not honest by definition.

    3) If I understand correctly what happened, and with all due respect, I have to say that I am flaggerblasted by the apparent level of naivete showed by the original investors. You say that you contracted the services of one of the best law firm in Chile to do the due diligence. I can’t understand how they could not point out basic facts like the water rights or the unfeasibility of individualization of smaller plots for regulatory reasons; I think you might have a case for suing them. Also, I don’t understand why the original partners did not choose an arbitration court instead of using statist courts.

    4) I understand the attractiveness of a community of like-minded people. I actually think that the future of the movement is in creating a lot of small oasis of liberty, in line with Spencer Heat and Spencer McCallum writings. I believe in this “anarchozionism” approach, to use the phrase of Rothbard, because I think it has much higher odds of success than hoping to dismantle the state through the electoral process. But I would probably choose places more attractive than Chile. I know the rule of law is fairly strong there, at least compared to other Latin America countries, but it does not strike me as a particularly libertarian environment, and it is far away for most potential customers, who are from the US. Why not New Hampshire, for example?

    5) By the way, I live in Honduras, and I am very much involved in the “Free-cities project” here. We are apparently very close to the moment in which the legislation (already approved) will be implemented. If this happens, and I have reasons to believe that it might over the course of the next 3-4 months, a few libertarian friends and I will try and set up a project like this in Roatan, a beautiful island in the Caribe. A Zede (the legal name of the legislation, for “Zonas economicas de desarrollos especiales”) has real quasi-sovereign powers. Just a few examples: 1) Hondureñan police cannot enter the premises, the police must be provided by the promoters of the Zede. 2) The promoters choose the law, it could be the hondureñan law or anglosaxon common law. 3) The judges (both civil and penal) are appointed by the promoters. 4) The level of taxation and public services are defined by the promoters. In my case, for example, I am thinking of a per capita tax of half a ounce of gold per year, the same for any person that decides to come to live there, without any other income, sales, or other form of taxation. The only public services provided will be only the police and the judiciary, at least until somebody decides to start competing security businesses and arbitration courts, at that point the taxation will go down to the level needed to pay for the relationship with the host country (Honduras). If you ask for how we think to make money, the revenue model is based on leasing the land, including 99-years or longer leasings. 5) The promoters choose the currency: it can be lempiras (the hondureñan currency), dollars, gold, bitcoins, cows, or any combinations of those, or simply let anybody there to chose how to settle their transaction, the latter being what we have in mind.

    I am sorry if this post starts to look like a sales pitch, but I am very excited by the idea. If people with reputation like Wendy or Walter Block like the ocean, we have a open post as Judge 🙂

    Massimo Mazzone (massimo@fahorro.biz)

    • Bill Ross

      “open post as Judge”

      Lets save Wendy and Walter for the “really” important jobs, such as pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, so we can all be trading partners and “collateral beneficiaries”. Any primary school graduate is competent to be judge, so long as vigilance is in place to insure their compliance with the “rule of law”:

      http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/c1/34

      only idiots need to pretend to be intelligent. The “law”, as currently “interpreted” is no different.

      • max

        Bill, the sanctity of voluntary contracts is the cornerstone of the world we dream. I agree with you that any person with good common sense could be a judge (or arbitrator, if you prefer the word). But people with reputation have a competitive advantage in a function that is essential to any society. Unless Wendy or Walter have other skills that I ignore (launching the next Facebook, for example), being arbitrator is probably the job that maximizes their income and value for them and therefore the society, assuming that they do not dislike the job. Moreover, I really hope that is going to be a very part-time job, because we will be able to get along with minimal frictions, so they would be able to keep teaching, writing and generally pursuing their dreams. Un abrazo.

        • Bill Ross

          “people with reputation have a competitive advantage in a function”

          only because “reputation” saves the due dilligence of “checking the facts” and, testing for competence. If true, it has value since it saves time and energy (life, the higerst value), if false, or someone “builds a rep”, just to position themselves for “breach of trust”, well, this lack of due dilligence can get very expensive.

          bear in mind that this thread is very much about misplaced trust in “reputations”.

          as to Wendy and Walter, I leave it up to them whether they would want such an odious “job”

          as to Facebook, IMHO, value wise, it was a pump and dump investment “scam”. As to its utility, social media is a supreme time waster, but does have the “value” of providing information regarding who is interacting with who, a crucial piece of intel should “someone” wish to crush any “division of labor” re-evolution.

    • Don Duncan

      The web site would not load.

      I have read that the govt. won’t let go of control. I expect this. Mike Oliver tried to do this 40 years ago and couldn’t find any govt. that would sell land and give sovereignty.

      • max

        Don, unfortunately (but naturally, I’d say) we are not talking of real sovereignty in the case of the Zedes. According to the Zedes law, any zede has to follow the constitution and the international treaties signed by the State of Honduras, and it would be naive to think otherwise. This puts huge limits, especially in terms of personal liberties. No drugs, no abortion, no euthanasia, etc. But it allows a lot of latitude in terms of economic liberty.

        In the very short-term, the organ that will give the “charters” (they don’t like the word, but it is really a kind of charter) gives me a lot of hopes, because is packed with real libertarians and/or heavy-hitters. Examples: Alex Chafuen, Morton Blackwell, Grover Norquist, Richard Rahn, Mark Skousen, Barbara Kolm (the complete list is here: http://eleutera.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Comisi%C3%B3n-para-la-Adopci%C3%B3n-de-Mejores-Practicas-1-PDF.pdf). We potential investors met many of them at the recent Freedomfest, and they are committed, after all, they have put their names at stake.

        The medium-term is what I am very concerned about. Honduras is not a place with a tradition of respecting the rule of law. Once the fixed investments are in place, most politicians will have the temptation to see how to loot it. We have three years with the current president, who put a significant part of his political capital on this thing. After that, we have to assume the politicians will increase pressure.

        In the long-term (let’s say after the next presidential elections) the defense will come from the people living in the zedes. Our own project is insignificant for this matter, but other projects involve some serious money invested in light-manufacturing in the mainland. They should create tens or even hundreds of thousands of jobs. These people will have an opportunity to live for the first time in a place without the highest murder rate of the world and with a decent administration, being private. They will still be able to vote in the Honduran elections and with them the people they will support through internal remittances. They will form a sizeable political block, and they will keep the populist left of previous president Zelaya from occupying the zedes with violence.

        It is in the very long-term (let’s say in ten years), that the possibilities are getting very exciting. If the zedes are succesful, most of the Hondureñans will move there, and the State will need to start to be efficient or it will simply lose all the revenues (think about it as a national galting out). It is not inconceivable that most of Honduras will be transformed into a bunch of many semi-autonomous zedes, and that the central state will lose significance. At that point, some Zedes might even offer substantial cash to the State in exchange for full sovereignty. If you think about it, it would not be very different from the process that created the great republics of medieval Europe, like Genoa, Venice, Amsterdam and the cities of the Hanseatic League.

        I was discussing this with a friend a few months ago, and he pointed out how this process could be similar to what some of the old abolitionists proposed to end slavery, before the Civil War. Just buy out our freedom.

        I know it sounds like an impossible dream, but still I have hopes. The traditional nation-state built on buying the consensus of the masses through wealth-redistribution is positively broke. This could be a natural solution.

      • max

        Oops, sorry for the site. Up and running again, now. By the way, it is the site of one of my companies, it does not have anything to do with the project discussed, I just happen to use that mail.

  • Jano Szabo

    Was the land already improved in some way? If not, you’re faced with the almost unavoidable moral hazard nowadays of endorsing a chain of title originating in some phony state land patent. Then you’re forced to “develop” the property to recover your investment.

    Ideally, the land would be offered for homesteading under the rules of the Lockean proviso and/or Ostrom’s rules governing common pool resources. But this requires a certain level of voluntary consent, which probably is unlikely where population densities reach some critical threshold.

    Anyway, congratulations for putting your money where your mouth is, for whatever that’s worth.

    • Eddie Willers

      The land has been a profitable farm and lemon orchard for decades. There has been some infrastructure improvements made to the main clubhouse and roads.

  • shieldvulf

    No one is easier to con than an ideologue.

    • straightlinelogic

      One group is easier to con: people without ideas.

      • shieldvulf

        OOO! I so want to play poker with you!

    • cb75075

      Actually people with no ideals are the easiest. Those “one person’s right is merely another person’s wrong” types.

  • FreeYourMindinSC

    It should be noted somewhere that GGC is not / has not been the only freedom community in the works in Chile. There is, for example, Freedom Orchard ( http://vergellibertad.wordpress.com/ ), located in roughly the same region (near Curacavi) but being set up by people I personally know to be honest. One of its founders severed all ties with GGC long ago.

    I live in Santiago, Chile and am married to a Chilean, so I know the country somewhat. A concern no one seems to be talking about is that Chile is a civil law and not a common law country. Bureaucracy is slow and insufferable, because under civil or statutory law, every single thing must be documented according to a statute. Also, Michele Bachelet’s leftist policies are already damaging what has been healthy in the economy here. Unfortunately, unless they can work out creative ways of dealing with the Chilean government, libertarians seeking to establish independent colonies where they can establish and live out their ideals may find themselves wanting to look elsewhere before too much longer.

    One reason all freedom communities are struggling is not due to a civil law government, however, or the occasional scam artist who enters the picture, upsets the applecart, and causes an entire way of thinking to be cast in a bad light, but the enormous amount of denial about the ongoing collapse of the Land of the Free, where over 400 people were killed by militarized police in just one year.

    • Thank you, FreeYourMind. That’s a valuable perspective. I’ve been watching the politics of Chile, and I’ve not been pleased with the direction. Compared to anywhere else?, you may ask…and good question! I was offered a very attractive deal in Argentina but the political developments down there made my husband absolutely adamant about not going… So that’s that.

    • Crypto HB

      You, and the author of the article above, prove the advantages of Libertarianism. We do not claim that a Libertarian world will be free of scam artists; quite the contrary. We acknowledge they will exist, but that the free market, as you are proof of, will weed them out. A successful version of a Libertarian community, will be evident by the reviews from individuals. Primarily, those that have taken the biggest risk, yet have the most to gain or lose. After careful analysis of the risks and rewards, the rest of us will be able to determine whether or not we wish to also invest in such a property, free from the consistently negative and rarely positive, effects of government. The benefits for the early adopters, in return for being our canaries in the coal mine, are increased profit motives and/or individual satisfaction.

      This is the free-market at it’s finest. Even while detractors claim it as proof the concept fails.

    • Just look up the wonderful freedom colony of “Colonia Dignidad”, which is pretty infamous in Chilean history.

      Where do you live in Santiago? Vita Cura? Las Condes? Ñuñoa?

      Given that this utopia is off Route 65 from Santiago to Valpo y Viña del Mar, it is hardly this idylic community…

      • FreeYourMindinSC

        Hi okojo. I shall make a point to do so today. I used to live in Las Condes but moved to San Miguel in January of this year. (My wife-to-be & I looked in Ñuñoa because she has relatives there but neither of us were impressed with what was available given our price range.)

        I don’t think it is fair to refer to these as Utopian colonies, although maybe that was true of Colonia Dignidad — until I look it up I won’t know. These were places being built as relative safe havens, where people could (for example) grow food without being harassed by federal agencies. Sadly it is getting more difficult to expatriate; I’m told the cost of just getting a passport is higher now than when I obtained mine (2008), & the price on renunciation just skyrocketed. That will be the strategy. Don’t criminalize emigrating, just price it out of reach of all but the very rich, most of whom are loyal to the status quo.

        Chile is a land of paradoxes. On the one hand, you’re right (in your other post). It takes much longer to get things done here because of the nature of civil law; & this country’s business culture has evolved to accommodate the belief that people will lie, cheat, steal, make promises then not follow through, etc. It took four months to sell my old place, whereas in the U.S. it would have taken less than a week. This is not a free society in any Anglo-American sense, libertarian or otherwise.

        On the other, we don’t fear the police here. They don’t get violent without a very good reason (there are historical reasons for this you are probably aware of). It isn’t hard to start a business here. And although it’s clear that Bachelet’s policies have already damaged the economy, I don’t think Chile as at risk for the sort of problems we see in, e.g., Argentina, or the destabilizing we’ve seen in Venezuela. Chileans are a very resilient people. And while we’ve seen an increased police / security presence since the bombing in Estacion Escuela Militar last week, especially in travel centers (metro stations, bus stations) it’s going to take more than that to cause the sort of national panic that makes nations vulnerable to police state conditions.

        As to whether or not Chile is the best place to attempt the kinds of safe havens GGC & Freedom Orchard represent, the jury is probably still out. At least I hope so. As Wendy asked, Then where? It’s a good question. Whatever the saying about unscrambling eggs, we really needed to consider the problems that were taking the U.S. further & further from the Constitution over two decades ago. Some of us warned, & no one listened. I wrote a book about the effects political correctness would have. Every prediction I made has come true. Now it’s too late, & there aren’t many places to go.

        • Best of luck living in Santiago, and being a Santiguense. I know San Miguel a tiny bit, because if I remember correctly, I used to buy topo maps from a store there.

          On your question, I don’t think you will like my answer, but here it goes.

          Whether the communities are Freedom Orchards or Galt’s Gulch Chile, one has to look at them as farms first, and communities second.

          Working Farms and Working Ranches are tough to run. The romantic version working the land on farm wears very thin and very fast.

          If you look at any planned agrarian community, they tend to wear out after a couple years, when true believers get tired working back bone labor on a farm. It is backbone, no matter it is chirmoya fruits, beekeeping and almond trees, because it takes a huge effort to make an income on it.

          There are plenty of hippy communes from the 1960s to early 1970s that either disappeared, or survived because they threw away the ideology, and work the commune as a structured business enterprise.

          I know that GGC won’t work, and Freedom Orchard is trying to be much more realistic, but it most likely won’t work either…

          Both won’t work because they need to recruit more locals to live there besides work there as day laborers. There is no way recruiting libertarians from North America to live off Route 68 is going to work for a couple reasons..

          First, the lifestyle that most North Americans want, and especially those addicted to the Internet, is not feasible around Curacaví. I realize they are wired and up to date as places like Santiago, but they don’t have the electrical grid nor the sewers, road making equipment, etc. to placate a bunch of Norteamericanos with their energy hogging ways, like 24 hr. internet access and chatting, satellite plasma TV watching and fortified compound.

          Second, Chileans are not going to look positively or understand why this group wants to be isolated, mingle to a minimum, accept little or blend in to Chilean Culture and way of life, except with some pisco drinkng.

          Chileans are not going to accept the premise that this is a group of freedom loving individuals, who want to live in harmony with nature and the surrounding community. They will see this group, as a bunch of paranoid end of the world doomsayers Gringos/Güevones, who live in a heavily fortified community, who reluctantly use Chilean Pesos to pay for anything and rather use Bitcoins. (which the Chilean Gov’t, no matter it is RN or Concertacíón led, will not accept, and view it as basically money laundering) Who will demand a huge amount of public services to prop up their community, (electricity, road work, sanitation services)

          Paved Roads are expensive, like sucking up all the expenditures in yearly budget expensive. Try to drive on muddy and washboard roads yearly, (which I have through much of Chile, especially in Región X, aka Región de Los Lagos) makes these residents at the imaginary GGC or Freedom Orchard hope there are some really good auto and truck mechanic in Curacaví…

          Can a community you would like be feasible and prosper? sure it can, but you will find out, that for community to survive, it has to tinker with the core principles that were the foundation of the community. I am stating this from knowing about communes, utopian communities in the US in the 19th Century like New Harmony, Indiana, etc.

          Also, most of these recruits/hypothetical homeowners, are most likely want to purchase a second home in these libertarian communities in Chile. If they are mainly Norteamericanos/Gringos, they most likely will get bored or stop visiting/vacationing there, because it is a problem with second home ownership, whether its is a time share ski condo in Deer Valley, Utah or a planned ideological community in Chile.

          Buena Suerte con su vida en Chile. Tengo celoso. Ciao

          • FreeYourMindinSC

            I need to acknowledge & thank you for posting one of the more informative comments on here, however discouraging. I haven’t had any direct involvement with GGC or FO although I know a couple of the players originally spearheading each. I came here for different although not totally unrelated reasons; I’ve no interest in farming, although my wife & I may be doing some gardening this year. These sensible objections need to be out on the table where they can be discussed openly & frankly. Accordingly I’ve C&P’d the bulk of your comment (except for the first couple of paragraphs) into a separate Word file for archiving.

  • Don Addison

    Let me get this right. Libertarians who want no government interference in their lives are planning on suing other libertarians who ripped them off. What court will hear these lawsuits in their government free construct? Isn’t there a code of “social contract” or something that says libertarians will only fleece non-libertarians by selling them overpriced coins and survival supplies?

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      This community was billed as “Free from the oppression of the over-regulated…society”. Well, this is what no government regulation looks like! Why are they complaining?

      Oh, well, I shouldn’t be too surprised. Rand happily glommed onto the government teat after a lifetime of extorting others to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

      • cb75075

        Right cause progressives NEVER get ripped off in land deals.

        • Don Addison

          But libertards have the social contract that wouldn’t allow them to rip others off

          • Blank Reg

            There is no social contract. That is a fallacy and always has been. Show me where I signed it. And show me where the OTHER party (the state) has ever lived up to the alleged terms.

          • Don Addison

            Wow. That was an excellent attempt at deflecting attention from the subject being discussed. The state ripped off nobody. A shady investor ripped off his customers and creditors. It’s something that should never happen in a truly free market where everyone follows the tenets set before them by the Goddess Ayn. What a shining example of a free man whose only desire is to profit from others money.

          • Don Duncan

            Wow! This is an example of Objectivism explained after passing through a collectivist mental filter. You say a lot about yourself, nothing about Objectivism.

            I thank you for making the Objectivist argument indirectly by incoherent ridicule.

          • cb75075

            Is that sarcasm cause seriously a $17 tril debt pretty much constitutes a “rip off”.

      • Storm

        You should consider familiarizing yourself with the facts before ranting and celebrating harm to innocents. This occurred within and in no small part because of government regulation. Most of the hurdles that those who are trying to salvage the project have to face are due to government regulation. Without those protections (for the guilty) and regulations we likely would not be hearing about this nonsense.

        All your post does is demonstrate a major character flaw on your part., well more than one to be honest.

        • MPP

          The regulations seem to include water rights. Well, this land has no water. Who would you get the water rights from? People who “own” some rivers and lakes, yeah? Well, when they sell that water, they might dry out the land downstream, damaging those people’s land. Do they own all the run-off from the mountain streams? Who owns it really? Should the water belong to whoever’s land it falls on first? Why should that be the case? What is the feasible libertarian solution to this problem that doesn’t ignore negative externalities, such as affecting the water and environment in places downstream? And is that actually better than the way governments tend to handle water rights?

        • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

          What? Do the bootstraps you told other people to haul themselves up by not to your liking?

          • Storm

            You are not using the basic tenets of logic and evidence to which all honest intelligent people are beholden. Offer up evidence and at least valid arguments if you want to address what has actually been said. Short of that you are tilting at windmills.

    • cb75075

      No there maybe some people who lean libertarian who may sue. Some are seeking other alternatives. And civil issues can be resolved with third party arbitrators.

      But you know the one thing none of them are doing is using the gov to take tax dollars from others through force to pay for their ideas.

      • Don Addison

        From the article “For the moment, suffice it to say there is basis for various lawsuits; some are being pursued.” So if they’re pursuing lawsuits they’ll be using the government to get their money back? Right? The government enforcing the results of the lawsuits is force…right?

        • Using a state court system is not a choice I would make but for those who advocate limited government — and most of the people at GGC seem to do so (except Ken who is no sort of libertarian) — for minarchists, using a state court is fully in line with their principles. And, again, as cb keeps points out and you ignore, there is the non-trivial point of people spending their own money, not money stolen from others.

          • Facundo Merciadri

            “Using a state court system is not a choice I would make but for those who advocate limited government ” Maybe her husband advocates limited goverment 😉

          • My husband is a thorough-going anarchist. This will be the last response I make, BTW, because publicly going after someone’s spouse or other family member in order to take a cheap shot is so far out of line, nothing else will transpire between us.

        • cb75075

          You apparently missed the word “some”. Not all these people are anarchists. Some are just minarchists or small gov people.

          BTW if my house catches fire I am still forced to use the gov fire department since the gov monopolized fire service. If Chile monopolizes dispute management to a court system then they are kind of stuck using the courts now aren’t they? If the gov monopolizes the police then I am kind of stuck relying on the gov police when my house gets robbed now aren’t I? If gov monopolizes building of roads then I am kind of stuck driving on those roads now aren’t I?

          And retrieving one’s stolen property via force is self defense, not the initiation of force.

          Seriously this is the best criticism you have? Really?

          They took their own money and got screwed in a land deal. THEIR OWN MONEY. Unlike collectivists who STEAL others money then BLOW THAT MONEY then never even pay it back or go to jail or even say “I’m sorry” then hide behind some good intentions or social contract excuse.

    • Eddie Willers

      This could not be more inaccurate. There has not been a single lawsuit by an investor and none are planned. A few employees and sub contractors have sued Ken Johnson (not a libertarian) for unpaid wages.

    • Christian

      There’s nothing inherent in tort law that requires a state. The fact that they are suing before a state court (if they do) is because the state has arrogated to itself the sole arbitration of disputes. In a free society, there are likely to be competing courts, judges, or boards of arbitration (as there have been in different societies). The state is not a necessary institution to the rule of law, though it is the most common modern form.

      The point is that it’s neither hypocritical nor unreasonable to sue, and were a different institutional frame in place, then they would use that, as all humans have used dispute resolution mechanisms in their society to resolve disputes peacefully if they can (because violent resolution is costly).

  • Praetor

    To all the Keynesian Progressive Hate Trolls. From, (Tolstoy’s: Letter to a Hindu).
    My hand has sowed love everywhere, giving unto all that will receive. Blessings are offered unto all my children, but many times in their blindness they fail to see them. How few there are who gather the gifts which lie in profusion at their feet, how many there are, who, in wilful waywardness, turn, their eyes away from them complaining with a wail that they have not that which I have given, them, many of them defiantly repudiate not only my gifts, but me also, me the source of all blessings and the Author of their being.
    I tarry awhile from the turmoil and strife of the world. I will beautify and quicken thy life with love and with joy, for the light of the soul is love, where love is, there is contentment and peace, and where there is contentment and peace, there am I, also, in their midst.
    So, you hate filled Keynesian Progressive Troll nation, continue on with you your dividing the human race into Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Liberal, Socialist, Communist, Black, White, Asian, Jew, Muslim, Christian, Women, Men and any other way you can divide the human race. Whom is your master, just be truthful. Remember this, don’t come to my house. Fouls with no Souls.

  • Milo Cloudsurfer

    Thank you Wendy for coming forward. There are people who will use this to try to crumble the libertarian movement that you and many others have worked hard to build, but I believe the damage will be minimalized thanks to your good moral character. I appreciate what you do and will forever be in debt to you for the work you have done. They can talk all they want, but those of us who have this philosophy pumping through our veins will never be swayed by their name calling, red herring, slanderous arguments.

    • Thank you, Milo. These last few days have been…”interesting” in the Chinese sense of that word. Are you familiar with the Chinese curse? — May you live in interesting times. I think I’m going to wander off and be boring for a while. Nice to know you’ll be around when I wander back.

      • Milo Cloudsurfer

        Haha! I was not familiar with it, but I am glad that you will not be defeated by this. If you disappear for awhile, you will be missed by many. I would respect any decision you make. It’s easy to judge people when you are sitting in the back seat. Turn here Stop there. Do this or that. Well, why don’t those people just drive their own cars?! They are driving on the sidewalk, running people over, while criticizing people that maybe touched the center line.

  • MAQ

    WENDY.
    Soy el responsable del Medio Ambiente en GGC, eso significa; que trabajo para Conservar y acrecentar la valiosa Biodiversidad de las tierras de GGC, estas tierras son las más valiosas que existen en la Cordillera de la Costa, de la zona de Santiago, estos cerros son más antiguos que la Cordillera de los Andes, por eso su exclusiva Biodiversidad, las Orquídeas que viven en sus cerros atestiguan mis palabras. Las montañas que componen esa cordillera de la costa tienen una antiguedad de unos 80 millones de años, los Andes sólo tienen 3 a 4 millones.

    Gracias a GGC y la visión de Ken, estas montañas están siendo cuidadas con efectividad metro a metro. Protegidas de los mineros y sus contaminantes actividades, también de los Cazadores y sin duda lo más importante resguardadas de los incendios forestales.

    El Gobierno de Chile, también sabe el gran valor Ecosistémico de esas montañas, porque producen Servicios Ambientales como; Agua, Aire y Suelo que son de un gran valor para la Región Metropolitana de Santiago, por eso el Gobierno es tan complicado con los permisos, y esa actitud del gobierno es justamente lo que prueba que se debe seguir adelante con el Proyecto GGC, y yo apuesto por Ken, que ya realizó su aprendizaje y tiene las energías necesarias para sacar adelante GGC, no niego que tiene un carácter endemoniado, pero esa energía ahora la esta enfocando hacia la continuidad de GGC, un nuevo Director de GGC, obligadamente requiere de su propio aprendizaje, eso sería un mal negocio para todos. JEFF; tu tienes razón, el Proyecto Galt´s Gulch Chile, no es desechable.

    Manuel Hermosilla.

    • Translation…I am responsible for the Environment in GGC , that means ; I work to preserve and enhance the valuable biodiversity of the lands of GGC , these lands are the most valuable in the world in the Cordillera de la Costa , in the area of Santiago , these hills are older than the Andes , so its unique biodiversity , Orchid living in the hills attest my words. The mountains that make up the coastal range have an age of 80 million years , the Andes only have 3 to 4 million.

      Thanks to GGC and the vision of Ken , these mountains are being effectively maintained meter by meter . Protected miners and their polluting activities , Hunters also without doubt the most important protected from the forest fires.

      The Government of Chile, also knows the great value of these mountains Ecosystem , Environmental Services as they produce ; Water , Air and Soil which are of great value to the Metropolitan Region of Santiago , which is why the government is so complicated with the permissions , and the government’s attitude is precisely what test should proceed with the GGC Project and I bet Ken , who already made ​​their learning and have the skills to move forward GGC energy, I do not deny having a devilish character, but that energy now is focusing towards continuity of GGC , a new Director of GGC , necessarily requires their own learning , that would be a bad deal for everyone. JEFF ; you are right , the Galt’s Chile Gulch Project is not disposable .

      Manuel Hermosilla.

      • MAQ

        Gracias Wendy por la traducción.

      • Manuel…has GGC solved the problem of having sold so many 1.25 acre lots that cannot be zoned as 1.25 because of environmental restrictions? In essence, GGC is (or was) selling land it cannot deliver.

        • MAQ

          Estimada Wendy

          Te puedo probar con documentos, que Adolfo Aguirre, exJefe de Proyecto de GGC, que trabaja en el Departamento LARES de la Universidad de Chile, nos metió en este gran lio, el habla un perfecto Ingles, por lo tanto, no tenía contrapeso para comunicar a Ken, sus muy elaboradas mentiras, además logró crear una gran fisura en el equipo de GGC, lo que impidió realizar las correcciones a tiempo.

          Estamos trabajando duro y con tremenda presión para reparar todo el daño, y entregarles el GGC prometido.

          Por otro lado el gobierno tiene todo el derecho de proteger estas tierras, pero nosotros estamos trabajando para convencerlos con argumentos muy creativos y también muy sólidos, que GGC no es una amenaza para la Conservación y sobre todo para la mantención de los Servicios Ambientales, que para Chile como país Minero ahora son muy necesarios y valorados. Gracias Wendy, por aceptar mi punto de vista ambiental. A mi me interesa que gente cómo tu, honesta, idealista, que actúa de buena fé, nos ayuden a conservar esas montañas y sus otros habitantes.

          En resumen, la Conservación de esas montañas requiere de muchos recursos y gente valiente y en segundo lugar dinero, y ustedes viviendo en ellas, permite alcanzar tal ideal..

          • Brad R

            Google translation:

            Dear Wendy  

            Here I can prove with documents, Adolfo Aguirre, former head of Project GGC, who works in the LARES Department of the University of Chile, got us into this huge mess, the speaks English perfect, therefore, had no counterweight to communicate Ken, his elaborate lies, also managed to create a large crack in the GGC team, which precluded timely corrections.

            We are working hard and with tremendous pressure to repair all the damage, and give them the GGC promised.

            On the other hand the government has every right to protect this land, but we are working to convince with very creative and also very solid arguments that GGC is not a threat to the Conservation and especially for the maintenance of Environmental Services, which Chile Mining and country are now much needed and valued. Thanks Wendy, for taking my environmental perspective. I’m interested in people like you, honest, idealistic, acting in good faith, help us conserve these mountains and its other inhabitants.

            In summary, these mountains Conservation requires many resources and brave people and secondly money, and you lived in them, can achieve such an ideal ..

          • Brad R

            Dear Manuel:

            Are you currently working for GGC? When did you last speak with Ken Johnson?

            Estimado Manuel:

            ¿Está trabajando actualmente para GGC? ¿Cuándo fue la última vez que habló con Ken Johnson?

          • MAQ

            Estimado Brad, yo soy el asesor ambiental de GGC, también de los vecinos de Lepe y Carén, etc. hablé con KJ,para informarle sobre el resultado de las denuncias encargadas por GGC, sobre unos mineros que instalaron un lavadero de oro, en el Río Puangue aguas arriba del proyecto GGC, esa gestión fue exitosa, La CONAF y la DGA, (Bosques y agua) luego de un juicio sumario administrativo, se logró expulsar a los mineros, todo muy a tiempo porque estaban lavando oro con arsénico y mercurio. gracias por ver la otra lucha por el Ecosistema GGC.

          • Brad R

            Google translation:

            Dear Brad, I’m the environmental consultant GGC also neighbors of Lepe and Caren, etc. I spoke with KJ, to inform you of the result of withdrawals ordered by GGC, on miners who set up a gold washing in the River Puangue upstream of GGC project, that effort was successful, CONAF and DGA (Forest and water) after an administrative summary judgment, we were able to expel the miners, all very timely because they were washing gold with arsenic and mercury. thanks for watching another fight for Ecosystem GGC.

  • Keith

    The Free State Project is still not a scam. Nor was it ever a scam. Just throwing that out there for anyone looking for liberty in their lifetime 🙂

    • Facundo Merciadri

      Maybe is not, but there are a lot of Ron Paul fundamentalist maybe other minarchists/conservatives maybe of better quality 🙂

    • Keith…the Free State Project has two big drawbacks for me. First, it is in the United States and I cannot see myself building a life there. Second, and this may be something of a misconception on my part, most people I’ve heard speak of the FSP have stressed the ability of libertarians to vote people into office. And I won’t vote. But you are correct. I am convinced the FSP is on the up-and-up.

    • Fritz Knese

      It is not a scam, but it is a joke. The people of NH who proceeded the FSP basically now hate libertarians. To accomplish their goals libs must use the state which they oppose thus making them guilty of hypocracy. And by gathering into a relatively small area libs are making it easier for the state to round them up when the time comes.

  • Facundo Merciadri

    Probably I’m dumb and slow but for other peers like me: Wendy has a jobby with Jeff and other here at The Daily Bell… I’m wondering if Anthony Wile is following this novel and what could he be thinking now…

    • I freelance at both places, it is true, as I write for many outlets. If Anthony wants to weigh in, then I’m sure he will. You seem to be trying to stir something up…including the strange choice to call me a “girl” rather than a woman. (In one of your posts below.) But, then, that may be how you talk to all women, there may be nothing at all personal in the word.

      • Facundo Merciadri

        Sorry for my kinky english. It seems to my that the freedom club is not so much about telling the truth as to compromise, that’s why I’m trying to bring discomfort to Anthony who maybe reading all this. But, honestly, it’s not personal. I’m just tired of the Moses institute kind of friendship with the church, Ron Paul, etc, etc. I think I’ve expressed all my concerns and that it’s impossible now to take what you say without asking before if it may be a lie. due for example to your friendship with Berwick. Oh, that reminds me another thing that may be of interest for the dear readers: I don’t know the details but maybe Jeff and Doug Casey are friends too and… WHO IS ROMERO FAMILY!!! I feel really bad about this community, most of freedom club seems to be it’s own parody and that should make all of us sad.

  • Blank Reg

    I checked out “Galt’s Gulch” about a year and a half ago. The whole project smacked to me of hubris, with a touch of tilting at windmills. The flowery language seemed contrived, and there were too many unanswered questions. It’s not the first time someone tried to take something from a novel or popular entertainment and make it real. There are people who want to build the USS Enterprise with 21st century tech. Good luck with that warp drive and artificial gravity.

    But perhaps I’m being too harsh. The “Galt’s Gulch” moniker from the novel was a bit tongue in cheek at best, and reminded me more of the film The Fight Club – first rule: you never talk about it. Perhaps if the promoters had taken that approach…and done their homework more in advance…and tried not to “go big” before they were really ready…

  • akeynesawareness
  • You know, I have seen quite a few people make gleeful posts about how GGC proves libertarian to be a scam, a fraud, etc. The opposite is true. The founding fathers were officially shut out of GGC and they have no contractual obligation to pay old debts to service providers in Curacavi, to pay back salaries to former employees, or even to compensation investors like me. In any resolution that occurs, they could dissolve GGC and set up a new structure. But they are shouldering the obligation to pay back what people have lost and putting the little guys at the head of the queue…and they are doing so because it is the right thing to do. The lesson here is the opposite of what critics claim.

  • Storm

    I have been following the GGC project for quite some time now, and I certainly see no reason for the hateful attacks from those who are condemning libertarian efforts to find freedom in this unfree world. The problems are that GGC has had are not unique to any libertarian effort, but are simply those problems that arise in many human efforts. That these problems exist show that the current statist situation allows for and perhaps even encourages such behaviors as the actions of Ken Johnson which are now coming out. These events and harm did not happen in a libertarian paradise but rather in a statist paradise. So to those who would condemn this as being a libertarian problem, I would suggest thinking twice and asking yourself why your beloved state and its innumerable regulations and draconian punishments did not prevent harm to innocents, as your rhetoric promised.

    • Bill Ross

      “did not prevent harm to innocents, as your rhetoric promised.”

      hah! “Fairness” (equality of results, independent of contribution) is what they “promised”. So far as I can tell, they have delivered: equal misery for all.

      the Lesson: Be careful what you ask for, and, don’t expect others to “deliver”. Tend to your own garden – Voltaire

  • axelbeingcivil

    Where there’s hope, there’s scam artists.

  • Storm

    When Wendy told me that she and Brad were buying into GGC, I almost immediately put pencil to paper to draw up a house that would be uniquely their own. Thanks to a long standing friendship I have some idea of their lifestyle and interests, thus their needs for a house. Within a couple of days I was able to show them some rough sketches of a unique little house with workrooms for each of them and a courtyard bordered on three sides by this modest but comfortable home. I planned the kitchen around the way that they use it. I fit in the unique features they mentioned that they wanted, while adding in a few more of my own including a walk in root cellar/pantry. I sincerely was looking forward to building or at least overseeing the construction of this home designed just for them to fit their own unique life.

    I too was hoping to be able to start up a new design and building business in or near GGC, where I could showcase the tiny homes and unique natural building methods I have been working with for the last several years. These plans obviously have been changed for the worse thanks to the more than questionable actions of a few key players, but I remain hopeful that those who sincerely believe in this vision of GGC will be able to find a way to make it happen.

    Regardless there is nothing negative about having such dreams and goals. There is no reason to be negative about peoples hopes and dreams. Certainly there is nothing positive or helpful in the mocking some statists here have been doing. It takes a special type of person to steal and defraud others, the very same sort of person who likes to kick others when they are down.

    Fortunately these jabs being thrown here by a few trolls are not going to diminish my drive to live free and peacefully. They cannot destroy the future with their childish barbs, they can only reveal their own shallow and hateful nature.

    Whether in Chile or elsewhere I will one day see these homes built, my own and with any luck Wendy and Brad’s as well. In fact I expect to see a great many new homes and new lives starting in the future somewhere freer than the States, Europe, or Canada.

    • Thanks, Storm. I vividly remember sitting at our kitchen table with you and being amazed by how quickly you could change the design to accommodate every detail we threw at you. People who are interested in the sort of smaller house with which you are so fascinated (and why) should read the article I based upon you here http://dailyanarchist.com/2013/10/28/the-politics-of-small-houses/

      I like your insight about the statists who are here to spew hatred: “It takes a special type of person to steal and defraud others, the very same sort of person who likes to kick others when they are down.” I think that about captures it. They would get along well with Ken, I think.

  • Ignatz

    Don’t know what you can do without a Government that can enforce laws against fraud. Oh, well. Looks like you’ve been bested by a superior capitalist.

    • This has nothing at to do with laissez-faire capitalism, as you well know. And Ken J. is not a libertarian. Your criticisms are so feeble that they do not even have content to answer. There is no “post” in your post. If you really wished to discuss how a laissez faire society or anarchist one would deal with land purchases and disagreements…well, that’s worth discussing. As it is, you are being vicious for the fun of being vicious, and the only thing it reveals is your character.

      • Commie Dearest

        No true Libertarian, I guess.

        • cb75075

          This issue has nothing to do with libertarian.

        • Don Duncan

          When you capitalize the “L” it means a party member. Small “l” is for the philosophy of NAP. As an “ex” capital “L” since 1980 I admit my membership, action, contradicted my philosophy. That’s why I quit.

          Since limited govt. has not ever existed, and for good reason because it is impossible to grant a monopoly of power, and limit it, meaning retain the sovereignty of the people who gave it away, then “limited govt.” libertarians are inconsistent (confused) and will someday become voluntaryists (anarchists).

          • Commie Dearest

            waterman hemisphere red ballpoint pen…

            Whatever that means…

        • Storm

          I understand that you are merely trolling and have not bothered to familiarize yourself with the facts, logic, or even basic morality, but in this instance you should really try to understand the core concepts. Do a bit of research on the concept of philosophical identity. The No True Scotsman fallacy occurs ONLY when per accidens traits are assumed to be per se traits.

          Per se traits are those traits without which an X is not an X. So take a square for example. A shape that lacks four equal sides and four right angles is not a square. These are per se traits of squareness.

          Per accidens traits are those traits which may adhere to a concept or entity but which do not define it. So staying with the square example, red would be a per accidens trait of a particular square but is not a defining trait of squareness.

          Rather than wasting your time and life with hatred of others and trying to bring misery to others through that hate and ignorance, consider letting it go. Consider studying these subjects and accepting that other people are not your property to dictate how they may live. Consider basic respect for persons and that reality alone determines what is true. Doing so will help you be much happier and lift that cloud of hate under which you seem to live.

          Best of luck.

          • Commie Dearest

            Thanks for the review, perfessor. And just let me say, if libertarianism or Libertarians actually had a set of hard and fast per se traits, your bloviation would be relevant.

            In addition, I do have compassion for my fellow human beings, including those innocently harmed by our way of life. The whole idea behind community is the mutual benefit of all members. Without that, it’s just dog-eat-dog. Great for the winners, but for everyone else a nightmare.

          • Storm

            Don’t mistake your ignorance of respect for persons for lack of defining traits of respect for persons. Here is one: NO ONE has the right to dictate how peaceful persons will lead their life.

            If you had compassion for those harmed by your “way of life” then you would not be advocating it. The fact that you advocate direct and intentional harm to others proves beyond any hint of any doubt that you lack compassion. I do agree that your approach is that nightmare, so why not explore respect for persons as a viable, practical, and moral alternative to the enslavement you are advocating?

            You miss that every single one of your attacks applies to your faith, but not to respect for persons. You lash out at a straw man creation that has no resemblance to respect for persons, but closely resembles the world you envision if only you were given the total control you seek.

            Regardless, you are attempting a red herring to distract from the fact that your claims have no merit and do not apply to the position you pretend to be attacking. From just an honesty, accuracy, and integrity point of view, I could not imagine holding onto those attacks and beliefs were I ever in your shoes.

            If you decide to engage others civilly, honestly, and reasonably I am sure that I and others would be happy to suggest resources so you can avoid such obvious gaffes in the future. Until then, understand that your trolling does not fool anyone, nor convince them that the emperor is actually wearing new finery.

          • Commie Dearest

            Oh, you poor misguided soul. You don’t realize that your utopia has never, ever worked out in the history of the world. What you dream about will not lead where you think it will, and this land scam is just one example of how wrong-headed your beliefs are. But, as for any member of a faith-based ideology, no amount of experience or data will ever change your mind. You will always attribute failures of your myopic ideas to someone’s fault. You’re just like the communists who say that the Soviet Union was a failure because they just didn’t do communism right. I pity you, but there is nothing I can do to help you.

          • Storm

            1. I never argue for any utopia. You must be thinking of communism which requires a fundamental change in human nature and the nature of morality in order to even begin to get off the ground.
            2. Anarchy has existed contrary to your claims. Perhaps a bit of reading of history would help you understand this fact. Look into ancient Ireland, the the americas in places, and of course Zomia which accounted for over 100 million people for over 1000 years. Far better situation than any of the communist efforts and there were no mass killings unlike the norm for communism.
            3. There is no faith in examining reality to determine what is true. Clearly you are not familiar with the work of Bernard Gert, or with logic or morality at all. Notice that while you make baseless claims you never offer any hint of any support for them. I and others cite very specific and verifiable examples while you just deny and preach your faith.them
            4. You cannot logically condemn respect for persons because under total state control (your dystopian dream) a con man is using the state to prevent a successful voluntary community. A basic introduction to critical thought would help you avoid such obvious gaffes. Google “Straw man fallacy” to begin to learn why such attacks fail to hit the mark logically speaking.
            5. I will take you at your word that you lack the skills and knowledge to help others, but that ought not prevent you from acquiring those skills and knowledge. There are a great many resources available to teach you critical thought, logic, civility, honesty, respect for persons, and of course history. Avail yourself of them or ask for help from us. You will find that we are a very generous group of people particularly when it comes to ideas.
            6. All you do is preach your faith, and yet ironically you dismissed refutations with “So some guy on the internet says.” Surely even you can see the amusing irony coming form you. You are not even trolling well by troll standards. Try this: Use the actual arguments, examples, and claims that others make as your starting point instead of making up whatever you feel like making up. Then use reason and evidence. Of course were you to do these simple things then you would not be trolling you would be engaging in sincere discussion, and if you allowed that reality determines what is true, then it might even be an honest intellectual discussion.
            7. Finally if you are going to call someone myopic, you should at least be able to see and account for more than they have. You prove that you are not familiar with logic, history, or morality and call others blind because you cannot see what others have already seen clearly and can objectively verify. It only makes you look more foolish than you already do when you make such assertions, particularly since you not only do not but cannot support any of your claims.

            Remember that you are not fooling anyone but yourself.

          • Commie Dearest

            What a moronic reading of history. You need to go back to school if you think those were a) peaceful and productive or b) had no government. That’s the problem with your ilk. You believe any shyte that supports your wild idea that banding together and forming rules to allow all the thrive is some sort of threat to you. Near as I can tell, it is a “gripe-based” movement. Everyone in it has some pet peeve about what the law makes you do, so your “solution” is to do away with the government. And, of course, the Feds piss you off most, because they have the most sway (i.e., you can’t move away from them without leaving your beloved USA and if you do you end swindled by land fraud in S.A.). But everyone of you has a different gripe about the government, but quite ready and willing to take advantage of other parts that benefit you. So, combine ahistorical knowledge with gripes and magical thinking and you have “libertarians.”

          • Storm

            Commie, notice how you use only insults and mischaracterizations but cannot offer anything that is accurate or substantive? The historic record is clear, and it fails to match your claims. My position in no way matches your straw man characterization.

            As for the idea that theft, murder, rape, coercion, and other harms are not harms, well you will have quite a long and hard battle to make that case. First you will have to show that the law of identity and the law of non-contradiction are invalid, and even if you were familiar with logic you could not do this.

            As for your dishonest claim that I take advantage of any part of government, well my response is simple: PROVE IT. Cite where I have done so.

            Until you can understand that other people are not your property to use and dispose of as you wish, you cannot advance.

          • Commie Dearest

            I’m sorry, but a few mischaracterized anecdotes about poorly documented societies does not stack up against millennia of recorded history. Your little cult is sadly misguided and doesn’t even know it.

          • Storm

            More unsupportable claims but per usual no substance. And of course you have not and cannot support any of your claims, attacks, or insults.

            You are so eager to try to insult those who respet the inherent worth of others, and you are struggling so hard to try to convince someone that your dystopian views are true. Since you refuse to be civil or honest, and since you have never once relied upon sound reasoning and evidence, I can only conclude that you must be trying to convince yourself alone. Perhaps you think that if you deny reason long enough and repeat your mantras long enough someone, perhaps even you, will start to believe them.

            Try this, drop your faith and adopt reason. Accept that reality determines what is true, even or perhaps especially where it stands in the way of that faith.

            Your admitted mischaracterizations won’t change history. Your insults and dodges won’t change reality. Your dishonesty and incivility won’t change any thinking person’s mind. Why avoid your burden of proof? Why avoid all of the refutations? Why deny reason and evidence? There is naught to be gained by your irrational methodology.

          • Commie Dearest

            Yeah, as if the natural growth of feudalism for centuries in documented history is some obscure information I need to like to. What a tool!

          • Storm

            Yes clearly you don’t need evidence to support your ridiculous and baseless assertions. Reality is foreign to you. Saying that because feudalism existed in one place at one time no other forms of existence could possibly have ever existed at any time or place is not reasonable.

            Try adopting reason.

          • Commie Dearest

            Yes clearly you don’t need evidence to support your ridiculous and baseless assertions.

            Yeah, if you consider most of recorded history baseless.

          • Commie Dearest

            Also, you might enjoy this read. If a bunch of “libertarians” who consider themselves the “throbbing engine of the world” try to emulate characters in a badly written novel by creating a fantasy called “Galt’s Gulch” and end up taken in a land-fraud scheme, the oldest in the book, and you don’t see the irony in that, I don’t know what to say to you. You’re uneducable.

          • Storm

            Another error you make in your haste to hate is that if libertarianism/respect for persons had no per se traits, then you cannot attribute ANY traits to it. You cannot refer to it, because there would be no “it” to which to refer. In your hasty unconsidered claim, you offer up a clear contradiction: That which has no traits has the traits which you attribute to it (falsely of course).

            The fact is that you have no right whatsoever to dictate how any peaceful person can or should live. You do not have the ability much less knowledge to determine what path is best for them. None of us has that knowledge. We can each only determine the best path for ourselves given the values and knowledge that we have. As long as that path harms no other person, there is no basis upon which anyone is justified in interfering.

            You may hate that I work voluntarily with my neighbors to improve all of our lives, you may loathe the fact that we make the entire world a better place through voluntary association and respect for persons, but even so, you have no right to prevent any voluntary association. You have no right to steal our property and burn it. You have no right to lynch us for being the wrong color. You have no right to decree that because we are your hated “class” you have a greater right to our lives than we ourselves do. And therein lay the difference between respect for persons and your faith: We will not interfere in your life as long as you are not harming innocents, but you would assume total control over our lives UNLESS we agreed to harm innocents.

            No one has the right to dictate how a peaceful person will choose to live, no matter how high your negative emotions towards them. No matter if you don’t like their skin color, their car, their religion or lack of it, or any other irrelevant factor. Nothing short of harm to an innocent can be the basis for preventing any action of any individual. You don’t know, nor could you possibly know, what is best for another person, so the presumption of omniscience in your faith is clearly a false presumption.

          • Commie Dearest

            Nice try. You threw a lot of words at what should have been a small issue and failed miserably to address it.

          • Storm

            Sorry you failed to understand the simple principle that you have no right to own other people, that words must have referents in order to have meaning, and that the No True Scotsman fallacy clearly does not apply. None of this is complicated and I was not unclear, so perhaps you should consider a remedial reading course or an introduction to logic.

      • MPP

        So how *would* you prevent such behavior?

    • cb75075

      If the gov has monopolized dispute management then clearly there isn’t much choice as to the path of dispute management. If the gov monopolizes fire departments then I pretty much have to call the fire dept if my house is burning now don’t I? If gov monopolizes roads then I pretty much have to use those roads now don’t I? If the gov monopolizes health care then I pretty much have to use that health care now don’t I?

      BTW if we are forced to pay into the gov monopolies to support them then clearly we have a right to use the service we were forced to pay for. How is it fair that I have to be forced to pay for social security then cannot get my own money back?

  • Adkkszuvljc

    So question, what’s with all the racism in your ideology? Is it because Ayn Rand was a nazi? I bet it’s because Ayn Rand was a nazi. That would explain Ron Paul’s ties to the KKK…….

    • Nazis are socialists. The KKK was started by members of the Democratic Party.

      You should ask Obama why he is associated with a political party that lynched blacks for daring to vote Republican.

      • You know, Democrats *never* get that clearcut historical point…the Republican Party was the anti-slavery one; the Democratic Party was pro-slavery. I remember someone laughing in my face because I said “I respected the roots of Republicans more than that of Democrats.” It was the laughter of the historically ignorant who was determined to remain that way. BTW, I have few illusions re: most of the Republican opposition to slavery was self-interested…but some of it may well have been principled. And the respect I grant Republicans for their roots lasts about 5 seconds. Thanks, Kristophr. It is nice to be discussing an historical point. Always kinda perks me up.

        • Michael

          This is a dumb (as well as uninformed and boring) argument that ignores changes over time.

          • cb75075

            Yes it ignores the racism practiced by democrats all through Jim Crow and how racist democrats like Strom Thermon. who filibustered the CRA. then jumped to being republican cause they saw they were on the losing side of history and then contaminated the republican party.

            BTW keeping bla.cks perpetually on dependency for 70 years is pretty much the most horrific form of racism next to slavery.

          • MPP

            So why do you think black people keep supporting Democrats? Give me an explanation for that that isn’t dripping with racism. Like black people can’t see through your BS. It’s just a bunch of stuff Republicans tell themselves to make themselves feel better. “We’re not really racist. The Democrats are the racists. If only those blacks weren’t so stupid and ignorant, they’d see the truth.”

          • Sean Ryan

            Its funny how you Leftists trolls can’t get it through your heads that the VAST majority of libertarians don’t give a crap about the Republican Party. Insult it all you want, just don’t pretend the Democrat Party is any better.

            It reveals your utter incapability to think outside the little “Right/Republican VS Left/Democrat” box which your ideologically-bound minds are trapped in.

          • MPP

            1. I was responding to a specific claim and specific person, not arguing that the Democrats are my favorite people nor saying that all libertarians care about the GOP. It certainly appears that *cb* cares about the GOP. Pay attention, please.
            2. The Democratic Party IS better than the GOP. It’s still kinda crappy though, I’ll give you that. I wish there was a true, viable democratic socialist party in the US, because I would vote for that over the Democrats in a heartbeat. I’m no Democratic die-hard, most of them are some combination of corporate shill, warmonger, spineless, sell-out, etc. But they’re still better than the GOP.
            3. I’m very capable of thinking outside the “GOP vs. Dem” box. You libertarians just delude yourself that the only reason people aren’t adopting your philosophy is that they’re trapped in tribal GOP/Dem thinking or they just haven’t heard of it yada yada. I don’t care whether you like the GOP and vote Democrat all the time – I’m still going to tell you that libertarianism is stupid.

          • Sean Ryan

            Of COURSE you think the DP is better…just like the other idiots on the ‘other’ side think the RP is better. You prefer to eat Rottweiler crap and those on the ‘Right’ prefer German Shepard crap…what a difference. But, I guess pretending the Dems are better allows you to rationalize supporting lying, corporatist, warmongers like Obama and Hillary, eh?

            For Leftists to continually accusing the RP of being seriously racist in the year 2014 is just so played out at this stage…its a statement that the Left really has no better argument than name-calling and is simply engaging in the basest kind of pandering to blacks. And, I doubt cb gives a crap about the RP either, but (like me and so many others who oppose Left AND Right-wing authoritarianism) we’re just sick of your intellectual laziness, dishonesty, and character-assasination tactics: “You disagree w/me so that means you’re racist/homophobe/misogynist/anti-poor/anti-children.” This is SO DAMNED BORING!

            The ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ are no longer even pretending to be about ideas, principles, or societal advancement based on sound reasoning/ethics…you’ve devolved into a ridiculously immature and close-minded Team Democrat VS Team Republican mentality. Its embarrassing for you to crow about how ‘unpopular’ libertarianism is and how ‘cool’ you are for rooting for Team Democrat–what is this, Jr. High? Being an abolitionist was unpopular too (19th century abolitionist political parties pulled in about the same vote % that today’s Libertarian Party does), at one time, and I suppose they had to put up w/the same kind of ridicule libertarians put up w/today.

            You say LIBERTARIANS are “deluded”, but wasn’t it the Left who swallowed (hook-line-sinker) all that ridiculous talk about “Hope And Change” (transparent and empty campaign rhetoric which almost every libertarian saw right through)? You fools went INSANE over Obama, crying in the streets and on TV, and carrying on as if he were the 2nd Coming…it was one of the most embarrassing and frightening spectacles I’ve ever seen and it made the Religious Right look sane in comparison.

            And you finish off w/this gem:

            “I’m still going to tell you that libertarianism is stupid.”

            It really doesn’t get any more childish than this, does it? There is such a wide chasm between intelligent/informed/peaceful libertarians who are capable of rational thought and dumbed-down/ignorant/violent mainstream ‘Leftists/Rightists’ who mindlessly worship the state as a kind of god, that I sometimes wonder if libertarians are genetically-advanced freaks who are forerunners of what humanity will be like after another few 1000 years of evolution…

          • Great post, Sean. Hear, hear.

          • Sean Ryan

            I don’t even honestly know what the Left stands for anymore. They’re not anti-war anymore…they’re not anti-corporatism anymore…they’re not pro-civil liberties anymore…they make vague criticisms of “the 1%”–while supporting “1%er” Democrat politicians (Obama) and “1%er” Leftist elitists (Bloomberg)–and kvetch about “greed” (while greedily trying to get their hands on OPP)…

            The ONLY faux-principle they seem to adhere to is hating Republicans and ‘the rich’ (notice how they’re dehumanizing people who have more $$$ than them–unless, of course, they’re ‘rich’ folks who have the Proper Attitude) who refuse to be demonized/victimized by the Left.

            All the ones I’ve talked to post-Obama have become nothing but apologists for whatever the state does. The most popular ‘progressive’ rag in my community couldn’t even muster the courage to oppose the militarization of our local police force (but, of course, they’re for “common sense gun-control” to be imposed against the serfs) and has mostly ignored the transgressions of the Obama admin.

            Then again, Progressives have traditionally been the biggest supporters of totalitarianism, as evidenced by their early support of the likes of Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin. At this point I would expect the Left to support ANYTHING (and I’m talking about things like concentration camps and summary executions) the state would choose to do, esp. if the Democrat Party were at least partially in control.

          • MPP

            “OF COURSE [I] think the” party which aligns more closely with my ideological beliefs is better, even if it is still quite a ways off from what I would prefer. Ooh, you really got me there. I am able to distinguish between two choices, I’m such a sheep.

            I wasn’t accusing anything. I was addressing cb’s frankly idiotic argument that the DP is the real racist party because of things that happened 50+ years ago. If you want to claim to be the grownup in the room who’s sick of intellectual laziness and character assassination, then stop giving cb a pass because he’s on your side.

            You complain about character assassination before attributing a bunch of things to me that have nothing to do with me. You keep saying things “I” do that I didn’t do, from me saying anything about Democrats being “cool” to me supposedly fawning over Obama. Yes, when you make up shit about me, I certainly do look ridiculous, and Wendy comes and pats you on the back and calls it “great.”

            lol@putting yourself on the same level as abolitionists though. Like I said, delusional. People can’t disagree with you without being the moral equivalent of slavery defenders, apparently?

            You complain about me calling libertarianism stupid as childish… Before saying that non-libertarians are unintelligent, ignorant, violent and worship the state. So you can add hypocrite onto delusional.

          • Sean Ryan

            I don’t even honestly know what the Left stands for anymore. They’re not anti-war anymore…they’re not anti-corporatism anymore…they’re not pro-civil liberties anymore…they make vague criticisms of “the 1%”–while supporting “1%er” Democrat politicians (Obama) and “1%er” Leftist elitists (Bloomberg)–and kvetch about “greed” (while greedily trying to get their hands on OPP)…
            The ONLY faux-principle they seem to adhere to is hating Republicans and ‘the rich’ (notice how they’re dehumanizing people who have more $$$ than them–unless, of course, they’re ‘rich’ folks who have the Proper Attitude) who refuse to be demonized/victimized by the Left.
            All the ones I’ve talked to post-Obama have become nothing but apologists for whatever the state does. The most popular ‘progressive’ rag in my community couldn’t even muster the courage to oppose the militarization of our local police force (but, of course, they’re for “common sense gun-control” to be imposed against the serfs) and has mostly ignored the transgressions of the Obama admin.
            Then again, Progressives have traditionally been the biggest supporters of totalitarianism, as evidenced by their early support of the likes of Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin. At this point I would expect the Left to support ANYTHING (and I’m talking about things like concentration camps and summary executions) the state would choose to do, esp. if the Democrat Party were at least partially in control.

          • Sean Ryan

            You voted for Obama…what a hero you are!

          • MPP

            Obviously that doesn’t make me a hero. And voting for Gary Johnson, or not voting, or whatever you did, doesn’t make you a hero either. An individual’s vote is of little consequence, but I choose to base mine on maximizing alignment with my ideology among the candidates that can win. You’d like to pretend that this means I endorse everything Obama does, but all that shows is that you’re incapable of nuance.

            But go on defending cb and other idiotic arguments that happen to be made by libertarians, it just goes to show how you’re so above herd politics. Or maybe you’re more like everyone else than you think.

          • cb75075

            Bl.acks support demcorats because of the dem parties strategy of making them dependent on democrats for welfare and affirmative action. Basically the repubs were pushing bl.acks away while the dems enticed them with welfare. As LBJ said “I will keep them n.gg.res voting democrat for the next 150 years”.

            Ok so why don’t schools teach that the democrats practiced Jim Crow in the south. That democrats started the KKK. That democrats blocked the CRA? Note schools are run by progressives and they teach their version of history.

            Dem politics is an US vs Them strategy. They alienate white voters in exchange for minorities.

            How do you explain democrats supposedly helping bl.acks for 70 years with welfare and now bla.cks are stuck on welfare and are worse off than when they voted republican after cra? Fact is if dems are helping bla.cks you’re doing a piss poor job of it. More like keeping them dependent so they have to vote democrat. Same tactic used on Hispanics.

            Bla.cks are smart so WHY don’t they have economic power like Asians have? Why do democrats treat them with lowered expectations. The attitude bla.cks can’t succeed without democrats hand holding them. Its dems who practice the racism of lowered expectations.

            70 years helped by dems … why are they the poorest group in the US? Why are there no fathers? Why are most bl.ack families single moms with multiple kids collecting welfare checks?

          • Commie Dearest

            It’s not dumb, it’s disingenuous. They really believe that if they keep saying Democrats (they were Southern Democrats, but they fail to make this distinction for fear of rousing their bases’ ire) used to be pro-slavery and ignoring the migration of the racists to their own party, they’ll fool enough people to “win” the argument in their heads.

          • cb75075

            Not going to make the distinction since there is no distinction and you cannot alter history. The racist contamination came from the democrats. Plain as day in history. It was the democrats who were pro slavery. Remember the repubs fought the south partially on slavery AND ratified the CRA.

            No matter how you weasel this the old south racists were democrats. Not going to go away.

            And its the democrats who have kept minorities stuck on welfare and hand outs for over 70 years. Yes that is pretty much slavery and its underhanded.

            What I love about you proggies is the more you put up these arguments the more you just get egg all over your face. I hate the repubs but clearly the democrats are so dripping with racism they can’t even see it.

            Trying to alter history is just disingenuous. BTW the dem strategy of making people dependent on dems to get votes is far more underhanded.

          • Commie Dearest

            And where do you disingenuously believe all those racists went?

          • cb75075

            You mean the racists FROM YOUR PARTY?

        • Commie Dearest

          Emphasis on the was. Now we have those pro-slavery people as spokesmodels for the Republican side of the aisle, where they’re not afraid to talk up Obamaphones, lazy blah people, and conspiracies about that one’s birth certificate.

          • cb75075

            Ok what exact pro-slavery? Its the democrats who want hispanics to cross the border cause they know they will vote democrat and want them to work the low wage jobs.

          • Commie Dearest

            Says some idiot on the Internet, without proof.

          • cb75075

            Sorry the truth hurts. Which party wants a soft border knowing the hispanics will vote democrat?

      • Ignatz

        And if you polled Republicans and Democrats NOW if they support the Civil Rights Acts, what do you think the results would be? It’s not 1892. NOW.

        Richard Nixon pursued the “Southern Strategy” – an open appeal to racism to turn the Deep South Republican. It’s not a coincidence that the Republicans are rapidly becoming a regional party of the states of the Old Confederacy.

        • cb75075

          So then what is the point of dredging up the past on racism when it was democrats who put Jim Crow into place and the racist zoning laws. When do democrats own the past mistakes they made as opposed to trying to club everyone else over the head. Ignore history to suit your own purposes much?

          As for opposing CRA, you will find that first of CRA was made to stop the GOVERNMENT from being racist. Secondly title 2 explicitly does not make discrimination in restaurants etc ILLEGAL. It makes it actionable in a civil case that the gov cannot throw out. Racist judges were tossing out civil cases of discrimination so title 2 forced courts to prosecute any CIVIL racist charge.

          The opposition to CRA may come from some racists but the most part its from people who feel a business should be allowed to run their business as they wish and the gov cannot dictate who their patrons can be. Also the glaring hypocrasy of some businesses that cater to some groups pretty much shows the CRA is applied to a one sided advantage. Yes if I do not think a ga.y marriage is legit I should not have to bake a wedding cake for a ga.y couple.

          As for the southern strategy check the article

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

          Though the “Solid South” had been a longtime Democratic Party stronghold due to the Democratic Party’s defense of slavery before the American Civil War
          and segregation for a century thereafter, many white Southern Democrats
          stopped supporting the party following the civil rights plank of the
          Democratic campaign in 1948 (triggering the Dixiecrats), the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, and desegregation.

          So again stop ignoring the democrats OBVIOUS skeleton in the closet. The repubs suck donkey balls but clearly the democrats are NOT standing on Mt Olympus when it comes to race. The southern strategy worked cause Nixon appealed to RACIST WHITE DEMOCRATS. Note RACIST WHITE DEMOCRATS. Let me repeat that again – RACIST WHITE DEMOCRATS

          Just remember the democrat strategy was to get bl.acks so addicted to gov aid that they pretty much had to vote democrat. As LBJ said “I’ll keep those n*ggers voting democrat for the next 150 years”

          • Commie Dearest

            Don’t be disingenuous. Those people migrated to the Republican party a long time ago. You know it. I know it. The Republican party knows it because they intentionally wooed them to their side in order to win elections.

          • cb75075

            Yes the strategy was to woo them. Bad republicans. But ultimately those people were democrats and the racist democrats to boot. So that’s not a piece of history you can erase. Basically the source of racism is the democrat party.

          • MPP

            You’re talking like being a Democrat is genetic. It’s not. It’s idiotic to say that racism came from the Democratic Party. Racism started *long before* the Democratic Party and it has a long history in BOTH parties. They changed their registration, they’re Republicans now. How in the hell does this idiotic argument result in Democrats being the real racists and Republicans coming out clean? Because the racists used to be Democrats? Really? That’s your defense? Actual, current racism in the GOP is excused because Democrats used to do it?

          • cb75075

            They came from the democratic party due to the thinking of democrats. People belong to parties due to their like minded views. It has nothing to do with genetics.

            Ok if you’re going to give the dems a pass then you clearly cannot claim republicans are inherently racist for the same reasons you give dems a pass.

            Fact is those racists CAME FROM the democrat party. THEY WRE DEMOCRATS. They pretty much only voted republican cause bl.acks were pushed out to get their votes.

            How the heck does your idiotic argument make republicans racist when
            1) the racists came from the democrats (strom thermon anyone)
            2) The dems created Jim Crow and practiced racism at the state and local levels in government. (Huey Long).
            3) The republicans fought the civil war in part to stop slavery.
            4) The republicans passed the CRA with the dems blocking it. (Strom Thermon).
            5) The republicans sent marines to the south to make sure bla.ck students could attend high school.

            The list goes on.

            Your whole argument is that republicans are racist cause ALL THE DEMOCRAT RACISTS piled into their party. But those people were DEMOCRAT RACISTS. You can’t get around that. Weasel it anyway you like. YOUR DEMOCRAT RACISTS contaminated the republicans.

          • Commie Dearest

            No, ultimately they became Republicans (Strom Thurman, anyone? Anyone?).

          • cb75075

            Yes a scumbag racist democrat who swapped party. All you are doing is showing how the repubs got CONTAMINATED by racist democrats.

            Ok so if the principle of republican is so racist then WHY did the republicans fight the civil war against the racist south? WHY did the republicans ratify the CRA? Why did the republicans send marines to southern states to escort bl.ack students into higschools while democrats like Huey Long stood outside with a baseball bat saying “no nigg.er is gonna get in our schools”? Geex, pretty helpful to bl.acks for a bunch of racists.

            I love this. The genesis of the racism CAME FROM THE DEMOCRATS. Strom Thermon was a damned DEMOCRAT when he filibustered the CRA.

            You just can’t win this. Its all racist democrat voters. Racist democrat politicians. Its the basis of democrat thinking.

          • Commie Dearest

            Contaminated? You apparently want to forget about the Southern strategy that the Republicans employed for decades to bring these folks into their party. I know it’s painful to realize and it feels better to call them Democrats even though they aren’t any more, they’re members of your beloved fold and, in fact, are responsible for Republicans’ lock on the South these days. Pretend all you want, but it doesn’t change the facts.

          • cb75075

            Note the phrase “aren’t anymore” as in THEY WERE DEMOCRATS. Its you that can’t stand the pain that your party has a horrible history of racism that your revisionism can’t sweep under the rug. KKK, Jim Crow, Blocking CRA.

          • cb75075

            Yes the repubs did but the fact is they are merely racist democrats who vote republican. The racism still has its genesis from the democrats. The dems have so many skeletons.

          • Commie Dearest

            I love that “Libertarians” are really just Republicans and so vociferously defend that party.

      • Adkkszuvljc

        What’s past is past; I’m asking about now, today, this minute. Right now your beloved Ron Paul is receiving money from the KKK. Why?

      • Commie Dearest

        “The KKK was started by members of the Democratic Party.”

        Whose progeny now belong to the Republican Party (viz., The Southern Strategy).

        • cb75075

          But they are democrats who contaminated the republican party. No way you can escape that.

          • MPP

            The Democratic Party isn’t some hereditary thing where you’re related to all former Democrats. They’re just arbitrary institutions. There were plenty of shitty Democrats in the past, and some great Republicans too. It just happens that now racists tend to support the Republican Party, and no amount of whining about the racist history of the Democratic Party is going to change which party appeals to racists NOW.

          • cb75075

            Ok that’s fair enough so can we stop dredging up the past when clearly the democrats have a whole lot of horrible skeletons in their closet. As for racism toady, you’d have to prove repubs are racist. Simply not supporting someone is not racist. And grabbing a few cherry picked examples is hardly racism since I can easily produce democrats who are the same. There are still southern democrats who hate bl.acks.

            So what exact racism?

            That mantra is what you dems keep preaching and then you ask how you’re manipulating hispanics and bla.cks to vote dem? So republicans not wanting the border wide open and Mexcio flooding the welfare rolls is racism?

            Please would love to see and example of TODAY republican general racist policy.

          • Commie Dearest

            The are racists the Replicant party embraced.

          • cb75075

            They are VOTERS the republicans traded bl.ack viters for. I’m not defending the repubs but the dems today are pretty much doing the same thing. They are trading white voters for hispanics and bla.cks. So the same strategy, just different groups. The dems are soft on the border to let in hispanics they know will vote democrats especially after the dems make hollow promises and bribe them.

          • Commie Dearest

            Nice try.

    • cb75075

      Ron Paul also had a secret volcano hideout with a giant laser beam.

      • Hey, cb. If you are curious about the unusual number of truly moronic comments and baiters, the article was posted pretty much in its entirety at the Gawker, which is hardly sympathetic to libertarianism. What can I say? The left hasn’t believed in or practiced civility for many years now. On the other hand, some of *your* posts have made me laugh.

      • Adkkszuvljc

        Funded with all the payments from the KKK, I suppose. Why does your ideology allow for that in the first place?

        • cb75075

          You mean the democrat run KKK?

          BTW I am not a Ron Paul supporter nor do I consider him a libertarian.

          And the number of dubious supporters of the Clintons, Obama etc would be shocking.

          • Adkkszuvljc

            Psssst, there’s no such thing, hope this helps.

  • Danny
    • Brad R

      Thanks for the link. That was very interesting (and sad, too).

  • Sean Ryan

    Wendy, I’ve also read Jeff’s GGC article and this part really bothered me:
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    “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.”

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Even assuming Jeff is being honest here, there are still some big problems w/this statement.

    First off, Jeff wasn’t “roped” into anything. He was perfectly capable of walking away and warning others to do same–which he readily admits (“…I had two choices. To stop promoting GGC and go public…”). He made an INTENTIONAL decision, by his OWN admission, to withhold vital info from potential investors–he looked the other way instead of whistle-blowing.

    Jeff is ADMITTING here that he had serious doubts OVER A YEAR AGO about a project he attached his and TDV’s name to and which he recommended to people who pay for and rely on his advice. If he’d spoken out earlier, maybe more peoples’ money WOULDN’T’VE “began flooding into” a shady real estate deal, and there’d be fewer people having to deal w/this clusterfarck right now.

    Jeff also ADMITS that “things got worse and worse” after the money began flowing and he STILL didn’t go public w/his doubts!

    And, much as I hate to say this, we should all be VERY skeptical about the timing and sincerity of Jeff’s coming-clean article–one day after your article appeared at TDB! His hand was obviously forced by your GGC expose, so was Jeff REALLY coming-clean or simply spinning his part in this debacle?

    You still consider Jeff a trusted friend, which is your choice, but I think he’s getting a pretty easy pass from you and far too many of his audience members on this fiasco. Remember, at BEST he used incredibly poor judgement in withholding relevant info from people who trusted him and in partnering up w/a scam-artist.

    • Sean, you raise valid concerns. When Brad and I finalized our plane travel to GGC for the Fall Celebration in April — Chile’s seasons are different than in North America — the first person we contacted was Jeff because I wanted to schedule a dinner together or the like. It was in early April because we took advantage of last minute booking in order to get cheap tickets. It was not until then that we learned Jeff was no longer involved in GGC. What I’m not willing to do, however, is to throw a friend under a bus on a public forum. I will ask Jeff several questions when next we meet and I’ll do so privately. Again, I do not dismiss any of the concerns you raise. If you do not feel similarly constrained by a need for privacy, I hear there is quite a discussion at the Dollar Vigilante. I haven’t been there myself because this is a considerably upsetting matter and I am just about to take a vacation from it all.

      • Sean Ryan

        I understand and respect your discretion.

        Thanks for the info on GGC.

  • Premier Moocher

    Sounds like a lot of rational egoism going on there! Hoorah for those objectivists scamming people out of money and harming local people in the names of their own selfish interests! I’m sure if Ayn Rand were alive today, she would be applauding this whole debacle as she eats her meal bought with Social Security money.

    • cb75075

      Who was harmed other than the people who paid in? I’m still waiting on some facts about those so called hardware store vendors who got supposedly ripped off. Even so that’s the fault of the scammer not the fault of the people who paid in and were scammed.

      As for SS, if I am forced to pay into SS against my will am I not entitled to the money I was forced to pay in?

    • Sean Ryan

      LOL…states murdered 250 MILLION people (not counting wars!) in just the 20th century…and all people like you do is make lame rationalizations for it. But a libertarian is involved in a shady real estate deal and you’re all righteously indignant?

      GTFO

  • Hi all. Brad and I just had a talk in which he made a compelling point. It is emotionally difficult to talk all day about being scammed, which is embarrassing, and losing a dream, which is disheartening. So I thought I’d take this evening and tomorrow off. Then Brad said, “But you are the only one answering questions about GGC right now and the whole point of the article is to make sure people who need the information are getting it. So I’ll continue answering posts here as long as the inquiry is civil and the information is something I haven’t promised to keep confidential.

    • cb75075

      I saw this gawker article
      http://gawker.com/ayn-rands-capitalist-paradise-is-now-a-greedy-land-grab-1627574870
      And they mention some local people got frauded. Not accusing you or any other fradued participant but is there some legitimate info on this?

      The upshot, McElroy learned, is that Galt’s Gulch also “owes hundreds
      and hundreds of thousands of dollars to hardware stores [and] service
      providers” in the nearest town, “ordinary Chileans who are acutely
      harmed by the project’s malfeasance.”

      Clearly this is the fault of the people committing fraud and not the people participating but I’m a little suspicious on that dollar amount. I’ve done construction in the past and never entered into projects costing 100s of thousands without down payments or half up front etc and this seems fishy especially from some hardware store. I can’t imagine some local hardware store HAVING hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets to give away at all let alone on credit or promise.

      • Brad R

        It’s a lot of vendors — building supplies, caterers, audio/video production, to name a few — and a lot of employees. One vendor alone sued for unpaid bills of about USD$10,000. We’ve heard of employees being stiffed for 5 to 10 thousand. And there were unpaid legal bills to three or four law firms. Add it all up, over a period of more than a year, and it cracks the $100k threshold pretty quickly.

        • cb75075

          Yeah but not “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars”. That’s pretty inaccurate. And its not YOU causing this, its GGC which the article implies the libertarians caused this and some of the critics here flat out accuse libertarians of bilking town’s folk.

          • Brad R

            Well, it has to be somewhat inaccurate; it’s an estimate based upon partial data. And it’s certainly the case that the Gawker has no love for libertarians, so they’d love to portray this as evil libertarians, rather than calling it the work of a con artist with libertarians as the victims. Whereas the truth is that it’s libertarians who are working to get the town’s folk paid.

          • Cb…This is what I’ve heard from sources I trust. He owes 4 legal firms huge bills and he hired a series of expensive consultants with pull. He has about 20 employees that he fired with a regularity that most of us use to say “hello” in the morning and many of them have not been paid. I heard today from one who is owed just under $10,000. The construction of buildings, water reservoirs, etc. was done with material from Curacavi hardware stores and with Curacavi labor. They are creditors. When Brad and I were at the Fall celebration, there were at least 30 locals working the gig. There were 5 people alone parking cars and directing traffic with about 10 people in the kitchen. He owes food vendors. The debts have been accruing, I am told, since 2012. This does not include other debts such as loans and balloon payments of water rights.

      • Eddie Willers

        Not defrauded. Just not paid in full for work performed

        • Adkkszuvljc

          So, ‘defrauded’.

          • cb75075

            Well if they get finally paid, no.

          • Adkkszuvljc

            IF. As it stands, they were defrauded.

    • Storm

      Do what you must for yourself. Clearly there are some truly hateful and ignorant ideologues who are posting here just to try to kick peaceful people while they are down. Don’t let them get to you. They are most likely jealous of the existence of hope and opportunity and so try to destroy both at every turn. They clearly are so angry that they are not able to prevent peaceful and happy lives that they will take whatever joy that they can in destroying anyone that they think that they can harm.

      You are doing the right thing, as you have always done. This alone will piss them off. Stay strong my friend.

      • Sean Ryan

        “Misery loves company” and the crab-syndrome…

  • Christian

    Thanks for posting this Wendy. I don’t know Jeff as well as you, but I do trust his intentions. I appreciate your earnest and clear depiction of the situation as you see it. I’m sad for those who have been fleeced, but I am rather uplifted by the story of their attempts to make things right, even though they were fleeced. It jibes very well with my experience of libertarians who are deeply invested in the core principles – they are usually the first to gather and join together in mutual beneficial cooperation to resolve things in a way that satisfies their ethics, despite what detractors depict of them.

  • anon guy

    Legitimately not trying to troll here: do you not realize the irony? If what you say is true, people were strongarmed and decieved out of their investments, (which I assume is pretty much par for the course in an ayn-rand inspired wonderland) and their only recourse is to file suit… with whom? Why, with the nanny state we all love to hate, of course.

    • Hello anon guy. I recognize your question as non-trolling. I am an anarchist and I am not participating in lawsuits. But most of the founding fathers (and probably most of the investors) are limited government sorts and so their use of courts is not irony but living up to their principles. They believe one of the few legitimate functions of government is to adjudicate legal disputes.

      • jtkennedy

        As an anarchist I don’t see a moral bar to using (not abusing) the legal monopoly, any more than with using the monopoly roads. I’d call the fire department if necessary and even call the cops in very rare situations. It’s not my fault they’ve imposed monopolies.

    • cb75075

      Why do you assume that’s their only recourse? And if the state has a monopoly on dispute resolution then aren’t these people stuck using the state?

      Nothing about libertarian means no one can get ripped off.

      I think your viewing this in a very shallow way.

    • Sean Ryan

      Claims to not be trolling…refers to GGC as “an ayn-rand inspired wonderland”…and, the state maintains a monopoly over the legal-system, so I’m not sure how damaged parties filing a lawsuit is “ironic”.

  • Bad KJ

    Ken Johnson leaned towards bitcoin because it could be transferred around so easily and no banking record. So bitcoin comes into his wallet, he does whatever he wants. He does Abilene by any internationally money laundering laws. So a dishonest person like Ken Johnson can move that bitcoin around, put it in a personal wallet. I heard he had more than 10 different wallets. That’s one part. The more problematic part of the use of bitcoin for this is Chile’s legal system does not regard bitcoin as a currency so those that try to sue Ken under the terms of there contract because the legal system does not see bitcoin as tendering consideration. So buyers loose and Ken Johnson now has thousands/millions in bitcoin that he scammed.

    • Commie Dearest

      What do the buyers loose? Their purse-strings?

      • Their hard-earned money. My father had an 8th grade education and made a living with his hands. If I managed to make enough money to buy a modest piece of property, then I’m not going to apologize for it…certainly not to the likes of you who seems to hate anyone who works hard enough — and I mean 12 hour days — to buy what they value most. Freedom. You know, for 5 years my best friend was a Marxist…and then she died. So I know that communists can be decent, caring people. You make that conviction on my part into a lie each time you post. If you are a communist, why do you make communists look like cruel, uncaring thugs whose idea of political action is to attack others who have done them no harm? Frankly, I think it is deficit in something within you as a human being and not attributable to ideology.

        • Commie Dearest

          Oh, you meant “lose” not “loose.” Why didn’t you say so?

    • Bad KJ. You raise an important point. Chile does not recognize contracts paid by bitcoin and so it is doubtful whether people who paid in that manner can sue. Also Brad and I have a notarized contract because Chile does not recognize a land transfer that is not notarized. And then there seem to be quite a few people who went the informal route and did not fill out the paperwork to verify their purchases. I do not know precisely what is going to happen but I do not think I have not-misplaced my confidence in the rescue team. I hope I can soon let people start to know why I have confidence.

      • Don Duncan

        Remember “trust but verify”? If you analyze that slogan it makes no sense. To trust is to assume honesty, which needs no verification. To verify, is to prove beyond a doubt, which requires no trust. That said, in practice, when money, and promises/assets change hands, there is some of both, because of time constraints. The balance should be very heavy on verification, regardless of who you are dealing with. I speak as a voluntaryist who trusted fellow libertarians with 10s of thousands over the ’70s decade, and got ripped off EVERY time. I did not verify. It happened again with family twice, for over 50 grand, once in the ’90s and again in 2006. The only time I did not get scammed is when I stopped working and handled the sale of my house personally, in 1990. If I had trusted the RE profession, I would have gotten 31% less, not because of cheating, but because of a conflict of interest. Brokers want a quick sale (time is money) not the highest price. Also, most are incompetent at pricing in a quick moving market, as I learned when I challenged their “comps”.

        As for GGC, it looks to me (from what I gather here), that KJ did not perform his job. He told me at FreedomFest that he did all the work finding and securing the land. Now I learn he did not find it, he took over from someone who did, and did not secure the subdivision or water rights. What he did do, was promote the hell out of GGC, raking in the money, and paying out only the minimum to continue the scam of everyone he dealt with. This could not be an accident. It takes skill in manipulating all kinds of people.

        How hard would it have been to do his job? Did he get in over his head, and try to cover it up, hoping to somehow overcome the zoning/water problems? This would be a best case scenario, giving him the benefit of a doubt, which is what Jeff did. It now appears that trust was misplaced.

        What should be done now? Someone will have to go and live in Chile to investigate and unravel this Gordian Knot, or maybe just cut out KJ and start over, accepting huge losses. Either way, GGC may be finished.

        I was going to invest but my wife stopped me. I agreed to wait because I did not trust any govt. to allow a sovereign community, especially a foreign one. I would rather invest in an uninhabited island, or a seastead.

  • Charles J Gervasi

    Even though this project isn’t working out, I’m glad someone is trying to build an enclave of liberty.

  • Sean Ryan

    Its funny to see all the little Leftist trolls out in force, gleefully making fun of others’ misfortune (SO much compassion!)…as if the state is some sort of perfect entity…as if fraud is exclusive to libertarians…if you guys were cops, you’d walk past a child being gang-raped in an alley in order to chase a libertarian jay-walking 3 blocks away, LOL…

    • cb75075

      Given the massive damage the leftists did to Detroit, Illinois, California, Chicago… yeah they aren’t on Mt. Olympus that’s for sure. I’ll take a couple of libertarian losing their own money vs progressives stealing other peoples’ money and not even being accountable any day of the week.

      • Sean Ryan

        Yeah…how about that Democrat congress bailing out the banks?

        What about all that “Hope And Change” talk back in 2007-09 that turned out to be utter horse-manure–which Leftists got scammed into supporting?

        Let’s see, whats worse…a real-estate deal gone bad, or millions of people killed and trillion$ wasted and ‘lost’?

        Leftists need to be taking a long, hard look in the mirror before criticizing libertarians.

        • Brad R

          I am reminded of the Democratic Senator and (later) Governor Jon Corzine, who managed to “lose” $1.6 billion of his investors’ money. (Literally. He claimed they couldn’t trace it; as though it just went poof into mid air.) As far as I know, Corzine has never done a single day in jail for misappropriation of customer funds. But then, he’s well connected in D.C. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Corzine

          • Sean Ryan

            But Wepubwicans Awe Wacists!

        • cb75075

          Exactly. Massive financial damage with other peoples’ money and not one “I’m sorry”.

    • Robert

      I would not make fun of someone who accidentally stuck his hand in a toaster. I will however laugh gleefully at someone who keeps doing it while telling me I’m the idiot. Libertarians are the living embodiment of lacking cognitive dissonance. At its core it requires people to be rational to function while blaming every problem in existence on laws, regulations and governments refusing to acknowledge the existence of laws, regulations and governments is because people are not only irrational but will scam you in a heartbeat and we need a system to protect people. And no, I’m not saying the current one works even close to perfectly or does not need some fairly massive retooling.

      Bitcoin is the pinnacle of it all. A currency/totally not a currency that’s totally anonymous except for the part where in some cases you need to provide a handscanner to use one the “ATMs” totally safe unless say the Magic the Gathering Online exchange runs off with all your play money while yammering about the evil bank overlords that have those nasty laws and regulations that prevent or refund you if you get stolen from. I also don’t lose everything I have if I lose my checkbook, lose your encrypted thumb drive or put in the washing machine and lose everything? Well sucks for you then.

      Is the ‘system’ broken? Absolutely. But when something has problems you work to fix them not burn the entire thing to the ground because guess what? You’ll end up having to build a new one anyway.

      And sorry but naming something Galts Gulch that only existed in a book because it had infinite energy technology and a cloaking device is going to make people laugh.

      • Sean Ryan

        Yes, because GGC libertarians are the ONLY people to ever be scammed, right? The final fate of GGC hasn’t even been decided yet, but you’re here ADMITTING your “glee” that people YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW may lose substantial $$$, all because you don’t like their philosophy…your ideology has made you mentally-ill.

        You wanna talk about people being stupid and falling for the same scam over and over and over, look at the people who participate in the political process who re-elect federal incumbents (no matter how terrible they are and no matter how many times they ignore “the will of the people”, LOL) at around a 90% rate–even most congressman who voted for TARP, despite it being wildly unpopular, were RE-ELECTED! Look at the people who rationalize their own (and their children’s) enslavement to see the real suckers. So, please don’t talk to libertarians about “cognitive dissonance”…we’re surrounded by insane statists and are VERY familiar w/it.

        Bitcoin, unlike the govt.-enforced Federal Reserve cartel debt-money, is VOLUNTARY. Don’t like or understand it, think its a scam? Don’t use it! One would think you’d have more pressing matters to comment on these days…but, again, this is what statism does to your character. I’m sure you’d be equally gleeful to see Bitcoin holders (many of them are poor 3rd-worlders who’ve been victimized by their govts. via currency debasement and are desperate for a stable alternative) wiped out, eh? What I’m seeing from Leftists in this comments section is nothing but the crab-mentality and a total lack of empathy for others. Really sick.

        I’ve been hearing the same old, boring crap about “fixing the system” for decades now…you might as well be talking about ‘reforming’ slavery, LOL. If the system “burns to the ground” it won’t be because of the people pointing out the system’s wickedness and inherently unsustainable nature…it amuses me to see people insinuate that ‘insignificant/irrelevant’ libertarians are somehow capable of overturning the current order. Let’s get real here: the VAST majority of people, like you, support the status quo and this nonsense about ‘fixing’ things is just empty talk…you’ll continue marching into the voting booth and voting for the same old corrupt and/or ineffective politicians/policies…and nothing will change or get better. I mean, my god man, how many more “Hope And Change” scams have to occur before you marks wake up?!

        Hey, maybe instead of a silly name like “Galt’s Gulch Chile”, they should’ve picked something serious and majestic like “United States of America”…LMFAO…because there’s nothing funny about people believing a corporate governing body (USA) has magical, god-like powers to eliminate poverty, unfairness, crime, and generally be all things to all people…talk about UTOPIAN idealism!

      • Sean Ryan

        Yes, because GGC libertarians are the ONLY people to ever be scammed, right? The final fate of GGC hasn’t even been decided yet, but you’re here ADMITTING your “glee” that people YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW may lose substantial $$$, all because you don’t like their philosophy…your ideology has made you mentally-ill.

        You wanna talk about people being stupid and falling for the same scam over and over and over, look at the people who participate in the political process who re-elect federal incumbents (no matter how terrible they are and no matter how many times they ignore “the will of the people”, LOL) at around a 90% rate–even most congressman who voted for TARP, despite it being wildly unpopular, were RE-ELECTED! Look at the people who rationalize their own (and their children’s) enslavement to see the real suckers. So, please don’t talk to libertarians about “cognitive dissonance”…we’re surrounded by insane statists and are VERY familiar w/it.

        Bitcoin, unlike the govt.-enforced Federal Reserve cartel debt-money, is VOLUNTARY. Don’t like or understand it, think its a scam? Don’t use it! One would think you’d have more pressing matters to comment on these days…but, again, this is what statism does to your character. I’m sure you’d be equally gleeful to see Bitcoin holders (many of them are poor 3rd-worlders who’ve been victimized by their govts. via currency debasement and are desperate for a stable alternative) wiped out, eh? What I’m seeing from Leftists in this comments section is nothing but the crab-mentality and a total lack of empathy for others. Really sick.

        I’ve been hearing the same old, boring crap about “fixing the system” for decades now…you might as well be talking about ‘reforming’ slavery, LOL. If the system “burns to the ground” it won’t be because of the people pointing out the system’s wickedness and inherently unsustainable nature…it amuses me to see people insinuate that ‘insignificant/irrelevant’ libertarians are somehow capable of overturning the current order. Let’s get real here: the VAST majority of people, like you, support the status quo and this nonsense about ‘fixing’ things is just empty talk…you’ll continue marching into the voting booth and voting for the same old corrupt and/or ineffective politicians/policies…and nothing will change or get better. I mean, my god man, how many more “Hope And Change” scams have to occur before you marks wake up?!

        Hey, maybe instead of a silly name like “Galt’s Gulch Chile”, they should’ve picked something serious and majestic like “United States of America”…LMFAO…because there’s nothing funny about people believing a corporate governing body (USA) has magical, god-like powers to eliminate poverty, unfairness, crime, and generally be all things to all people…talk about UTOPIAN idealism!

  • dumbasses

    Lol If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

  • A note of clarification because I’m seeing some inaccurate statements floating around…which is bound to happen with an emotional issue and a flood of partial information. As I mentioned in the article, GGC does have water rights because two of the three parcels have such rights attached and they are transferable; this is how the lack of water rights for the first property was corrected. I continue to have water concerns — e.g. flow rates, etc. — but I believe these aspects of the property can be worked out and worked out well if the rescue team is permitted to operate. My purpose is not to cast doubt on the viability of GGC as a concept or a property but to make sure people do not make the same mistake I did and invest in it before there is management in place that can handle the challenge. I continue to believe that GGC has the potential to be a dynamite community…maybe under another name though.

  • Good morning, all. The Galt’s Gulch Chile site has “gone down” and its URL now returns the message, “Error displaying the error page: Application Instantiation Error: Could not connect to MySQL.” I believe the website was the main way new people contacted GGC and made purchases/investments.

    I can no longer spend so much time on GGC. I’ve been providing a time-consuming free service, and real life is starting to tap at my window with some persistence. I will post significant new developments as/if they occur so that purchasers/investors can check here for the current status. So, good luck to everyone. I hope we all become part of a solution. Meanwhile, here are other resources upon which people can draw.

    https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/GGCResidentsForum This is for purchasers/investors to talk to each other and it requires an invitation, which can be requested. I do not use this group because Ken Johnson is a member and used to monitor it. The group I use is one for which I have no authority to issue invitations.

    There is proposed litigation coming out of Colorado; the attorney there is “Marla C. Underell” marla AT underell-law DOT com. As I understand, there are a few other currently active suits and the pursuit of criminal charges v. Ken Johnson in Chile itself but I am vague on the details as litigation is not a path I intend to take.

    Jeff Berwick has set up an active GGC Rehab page on FB. https://www.facebook.com/ggcrehab

    The GGC FB page is still up and has not updated since July 18 but questions can be posted there, if people so wish.
    I’ve been told that the page recently took down all its advertising and sales links (I cannot confirm this). If GGC did so, then it may be because it is far more difficult to have FB remove a page as questionable when it does not actually sell the “products” that people are calling fraudulent. https://www.facebook.com/galtsgulchchile

    • Sean Ryan

      Is there a way people can donate to you for your services?

      • Brad R

        If you feel so inclined, there are both Paypal and Bitcoin donation links on Wendy’s home page: http://www.wendymcelroy.com

        • Sean Ryan

          Thanks.

  • StormChaser

    In my best frame of mind, I don’t think I’d have it in me to attempt to weed through the leftist trolls to get to all of the well-thought, liberty-minded comments that I know are here. 30 minutes and I’ve only gone through a handful of comments and sub-threads. I think there exists no tonic strong enough to endure the ugly and snide pleasure people get from the misfortune of others. I expect no more from such people. So, enough of that…

    I applaud you once again, Wendy, for your integrity in your work. How easily you could twist the details, throw a colleague or fellow anarchist/libertarian under the bus, or drop the subject altogether. But you maintain an honest stance…the opposite of what the trolls do.

    So moving forward, I wish you better outcomes and look forward to your successes in liberty, security, and happiness.

    • Much appreciated, Stormchaser…or should I say “Stormcatcher”? This time around, however, I got angry a few times but anger is a relatively clean feeling compared to many reactions to such ugly attacks. And I have a girlfriend who keeps telling how much she loves it when I lose my temper so I always know a great email is going to waiting for me soon. Rather like your emails.

      • StormChaser

        Love your response as I was just telling my better half how much I love it when you get angry – as you did here. Fighting Irish, eh?

  • Sean Ryan

    One thing the Leftist trolls won’t have to worry about is the libertarian investors in GGC demanding (and getting) a taxpayer-funded bailout (which Obama AND McCain both paused their campaigns to shill for) like the banks and other connected corporations got from the Democrat congress back at the end of 2008.

    • cb75075

      How dare these libertarians put their own money into a project that failed then take responsibility to fix their own problems. They SHOULD BE stealing money from tax payers to pay for Solyndra so a few millionaires like Al Gore can get richer then go bankrupt on the tax payer’s dime!

      THE NERVE!

  • BTW, according to bitcoin/reddit, Ken J. and GGC will be offering an official response to my article and, perhaps, to Jeff’s. Or is it to Jeff’s and perhaps to mine? The bitcoin people got upset by the allegation that GGC was a bitcoin scam and they contacted GGC to explore what happened. Not sure who they talked to but the message was, “there will be an official response but it will take some time to write.” Well, it has been 6 full days since my article appeared.

    • Storm

      Well give them time. All you had to do was tell the truth. They are having to come up with creative fictions…

    • Ken Johnson

      I’m waiting on the links to the Bitcoin/Reddit forums/comments, so that I can respond, in a similar manner that I did a few minutes ago. There has been no scam of Bitcoins. The funds brought in via Bitcoin have been accounted for and are reported. All Bitcoin that came into GGC that was exchanged into Chilean Pesos has been accounted for by the exchange that carried it out. Such funds were used for on-going expenses, renovations, etc. I have not taken any of these Bitcoins for my own. Never have…never will. There is one wallet in use, which we only hold about 10 BTC. Nothing more to say than that.

      The large disruption with GGC has been misrepresentations regarding approvals from Adolfo Aguirre, Mario Del Real, etc. I trusted them, which is my decision and my fault. Had I known they were not being genuine with their statements and actions, I would not have done business with them.

      Jeff Berwick’s and Chris Serin’s actions of last summer, holding private meetings to plot how to purchase GGC land through another company, and investors, created massive setbacks for GGC. I see people questioning what, and when, Mr. Berwick knew things about GGC and why he didn’t disclose them, if he did know.

      Well, he knew full well what happened with GGC last summer, and onward, because he was fully involved and fully aware of his actions that harmed the project, no matter how he tries to paint it in each new blog that comes out.

      What people should be questioning about a “Bitcoin scam” is BitcoinATM, which Mr. Berwick claimed to be the Founder of back in early 2013. He was asked to end his represented involvement with BitcoinATM at meetings in San Diego with the two Founders. BitcoinATM, as far as what Mr. Berwick communicated to me, was nothing more than a used ATM machine with some Bitcoin conversion softward installed in it. The two BitcoinATM Founders purchased this for $5,000, or so I was told. This is the company that Mr. Berwick emailed Fox Business News and other news outlets about, so as to “capitalize” on the Bitcoin frenzy when Bitcoin soared to $240, or so, in early 2013. He even went on to state that they were in manufacturing to install the “world’s first BitcoinATM” in Cyprus. That, of course, never happened…because the manufacturing didn’t exist, nor did the company for the most part.

  • Samuel Gompers

    @Wendy – IMHO the project started without the necessary planning. Also I think that this kind of ‘liberty’ must be pursued alone, or with even-minded people. Old fashion ‘capitalism’ doesn’t works anymore.

  • I am moving this response from a person who works for Ken Johnson as an environmental consultant up to the top so that it is not buried in the comment section.

    MESSAGE BEGINS. Google translation: Dear Wendy Here I can prove with documents, Adolfo Aguirre, former head of Project GGC, who works in the LARES Department of the University of Chile, got us into this huge mess, the speaks English perfect, therefore, had no counterweight to communicate Ken, his elaborate lies, also managed to create a large crack in the GGC team, which precluded timely corrections.

    We are working hard and with tremendous pressure to repair all the damage, and give them the GGC promised.

    On the other hand the government has every right to protect this land, but we are working to convince with very creative and also very solid arguments that GGC is not a threat to the Conservation and especially for the maintenance of Environmental Services, which Chile Mining and country are now much needed and valued. Thanks Wendy, for taking my environmental perspective. I’m interested in people like you, honest, idealistic, acting in good faith, help us conserve these mountains and
    its other inhabitants.

    In summary, these mountains Conservation equires many resources and brave people and secondly money, and you
    lived in them, can achieve such an ideal ..END MESSAGE

    • I thank you for your gracious response. As much as anything, purchasers and investors are frustrated by the utter lack of information coming from GGC, and messages such as yours are appreciated. I would be interested in seeing the documents you mention on Adolfo Aguirre. I can be reached at wendy AT wendymcelroy DOT com.

      Please do answer a question I posed to you before. Do environment laws prevent Galt’s Gulch Chile from being zoned into 1.25 lots? I am going to put my message through a Google translator. I apologize in advance for any clumsiness in wording that results.

      Le doy las gracias por su respuesta amable . Más que nada , los compradores y los inversores se sienten frustrados por la falta total de información que proviene de GGC y los mensajes como el suyo son apreciados . Yo estaría interesado en ver los documentos que usted menciona en Adolfo Aguirre . Puedo ser alcanzado en wendy AT wendymcelroy DOT com.

      Por favor, responder a una pregunta que hice a usted antes . ¿Las leyes de medio ambiente impiden quebrada de Galt Chile de ser zonificada en 1,25 porciones ? Voy a poner mi mensaje a través de un traductor Google . Pido disculpas de antemano por cualquier torpeza en la redacción que resulta .

      • MAQ

        Dear Wendy, for such a complex subject, translations of Google, creating confusion, I also ask you a little patience and good faith. With regard to whether the law allows plots of 1.25 acres, yes you can, but how that information is part of my professional knowledge and professional knowledge of the team of specialists who make up my team, so I can not give details, in any case, as I explained to you in detail, these lands are the most valuable of the capital Santiago, so after GGC bought this land, everything has been so long and complex, I personally believe that we have great hidden rivals, they can be large mining companies, which are after the gold in these mountains, or other investor, who after so much information related to the environmental wealth, we open our eyes, so we want to finish as soon as possible to talk over the issue with the order to care investment GGC.

        Ken I communicate with daily, by email, so that the two can translate …… all too often complicated, so multidisciplinary environmental issue that is linked to other issues subdivision, water, biodiversity and geography, etc., my strategy is teamwork, and confidence among its members, and concentration in thousands of technical details that; I repeat would be bad business for you reveal through this means, the important thing is that we are working hard and intently. I like the GGC project and think it will work in my life, and I’m happy with that challenge, only I can not make, tell me, you join me in this adventure,, real life where hard work efficient and forceful , is the key to our (all) success.

        Estimada Wendy, para un tema tan complejo, las traducciones de Google, pueden crear confusiones, yo también te pido paciencia y un poco de buena fe. Con respecto a que si las Leyes permiten parcelas de 1,25, acres, si se puede, pero como esa información es parte de mi conocimiento profesional y del conocimiento profesional del equipo de especialistas que componen mi equipo, por eso no puedo entregar detalles, en todo caso como ya te expliqué con detalles, estas tierras son las más valiosas de la Capital de Santiago, por eso luego de que GGC compró estas tierras, todo ha sido tan largo y complejo, personalmente creo que tenemos grandes rivales ocultos, pueden ser las grandes Compañías Mineras, que van tras el oro de estas montañas, u otro inversionista, que luego de tanta información relacionada con la riqueza medio ambiental, le abrimos los ojos, por eso quiero terminar a la brevedad de hablar más del tema, con el objeto de cuidar la inversión de GGC.

        Yo me comunico con ken todos los días, por email, para que los dos podamos traducir, …… demasiadas veces todo se complica, por lo multidisciplinario del tema ambiental que está unido a otros temas de subdivisión, aguas, biodiversidad y geografía, etc., mi estrategia es trabajo en equipo, y confianza entre sus miembros y mucha concentración en miles de detalles técnicos, que; te repito sería mal negocio para ustedes revelar por ese medio, lo importante es que estamos trabajando duro y concentradamente. Me gusta el Proyecto GGC, y creo que será el trabajo de mi vida, y estoy contento con ese desafío, sólo no lo puedo realizar, dime, me acompañaras en esta aventura de la vida real,, donde el trabajo duro, eficiente y contundente, es la llave de nuestro (todos) éxito.

        .

        • Brad R

          Dear Manuel:

          Thank you for your reply to Wendy, which answered my question. We were concerned that no one had heard from Ken Johnson recently.

          I have been told that you are a highly regarded environmental consultant in Chile, so I am pleased that you speak so favorably of the GGC property. We hope the management problems can be solved soon.

          Estimado Manuel:

          Gracias por su respuesta a Wendy, que contestó a mi pregunta. Nos preocupaba que nadie había oído hablar de Ken Johnson recientemente.

          Me han dicho que usted es un consultor ambiental de gran prestigio en Chile, así que estoy contento de que usted habla tan favorablemente de la propiedad GGC. Esperamos que los problemas de gestión se pueden resolver pronto.

          • MAQ

            Estimado Brad. Gracias por mirar hacia el futuro, su actitud positiva me permite trabajar con más fuerza en procurar el éxito de GGC.

      • Ken Johnson

        Hi Wendy,

        We will be releasing information on Adolfo Aguirre, Jeff Berwick, and others, whom have done some quite damaging things to GGC dating back to last year. I am still in talks with Josh Kirley’s attorneys. Some of the information posted here by him, or Ann Zimmer, under an alias, has been brought to his attorneys’ attention and is being taken quite seriously, as the information is inaccurate and quite misleading.

        I have not stolen money from the GGC project, nor from clients or investors.

        You work with/for a person (Jeff Berwick), whom has a long history of damaging GGC and many clients/investors of GGC and other companies, but you seem to be avoiding looking into that possibility, just as many of us have avoided it when starting to realize things in our lives haven’t been what was represented to us on television or elsewhere.

        I began sincere talks with Josh Kirley in May of this year, and actually months before that on a casual basis, for me to step aside with GGC, as I am burned out and I have made some bad decisions in trusting Adolfo Aguirre and some that followed him. I also understand that GGC has been mismanaged, but it has not been out of complete incompetence or underhanded intentions on my part, as many here want people to believe. Unfortunately, after I alerted Mr. Kirley, his attorneys and some of the Founders of GGC, about my concerns with some parties in Chile, whom represented to be working in the best interests of GGC. The manner in which Mr. Kirley handled it thereafter, after I warned them in writing of concerns that were arising, is something that must be questioned by you and others, because the representations made by “Eddie” are not true. There are plenty of emails showing what I am discussing. I don’t have a magical blog, such that Mr. Berwick believes to have, where his next blog creates a new version of the “truth”. I stick to my principles and I have put far too much trust in people whom I then sometimes (the ones making their claims heard now, in concert with one another) don’t handle in the best manner after too long of witnessing them not doing what they represented. You emailed me 2-3 days before you posted this commentary, rather than replying back to me, as I would think should have been done. I told you that I was still in talks with Mr. Kirley, as well as other investors, but you apparently took this to mean something bad. Not too sure why? I’ve been waiting for constructive talks with Mr. Kirley for months, but am only witnessing assassinations of my character. Much of what has gone on since I have started talking with Mr. Kirley has been carefully planned and it amazes those of us working at GGC, while people thousands of miles away conjure up the worst of what they possibly can think of that could be going on, while avoiding my requests to talk with anyone about the subjects. I have emails that have been sent to me of Mr. Kirley and Ms. Zimmer emailing GGC clients/investors bits and pieces of my emails, taken out of context many times apparently or misinterpreted, in order to stir up the hornets nest, rather than simply setting up an audio or audio/visual conference call with me, as I have welcomed for months. This, to me, and others, is disingenuous to the core.

        I have never had the intention of taking people’s money and not fulfilling what we have hoped to achieve here. I put my trust in Adolfo Aguirre, whom has lied to a great deal of people involved with GGC, to cover up his lack of sincere efforts and progress on his promises to obtain legalizations for 1.25-acre, and larger, lots in Lepe (GGC). There are written communications to/from him showing that his intentions were not as he represented to GGC clients, investors, or myself.

        All of the information on accounting, including Bitcoin (there is only one GGC wallet with Bitcoin in it…totaling about $5,000 USD), has been ready to transfer to anyone seeking it, but every time that any information is provided to Josh and Ann Zimmer, it is then twisted and used in manners that are not in line with achieving resolution peacefully, but rather, to hope that people such as yourself, bring out misinformation, to apparently destroy me, and others, in the process, for the financial gain of others.

        Current zoning is 10-hectares in Lepe, but it was represented by Adolfo Aguirre, as well as others prior to him, and those who came after his dismissal, that we are able to have 5,000 square meter lots (1.24-acre) approved, which is the standard approval size for rural areas in Chile. The misrepresentations made to me have been about the environmental overlay in the area, which Adolfo claimed to have handled in March (which he didn’t) and then to have Mr. Del Real and his engineer, claiming to have approvals in order in April (which they didn’t) via SAG, which is the agency that handles most approvals for land parcels and subdivisions in Chile. Mr. Del Real failed to disclose that one other agency would need to be included in the process, taking a longer amount of time for all sizes of lots.

        As of tomorrow, the farm subdivision, which was submitted in October of last year to the city, sat with no progress, or work, under Mr. Aguirre’s watch, has been revised and will be re-submitted for approvals, which the city has stated would be approved quickly now that the confusion brought about by Mr. Aguirre has ended. The map was retrieved by the architect working on the 10-hectare parcels and was revised a bit, to the city’s liking. The 10-hectare lots in the hills of GGC will then be worked on, along with the already reviewed and ok’d (by CONAF) roads, for approvals. Following that, 5,000, 10,000 and larger square meter lots will hopefully be tackled by whomever is running GGC.

        I am working on moving forward with stepping aside, but as I do this, I am also working on GGC in areas that have suffered. All funds that have come in have gone to the project. Not into kickback schemes, as some are accusing me and others of. There has been such a long long list of inaccurate accusations, that it is virtually impossible to reply to all of them. I cannot possibly have time in my day to follow all of the unfortunate gossip that has exploded from the release of your opinions on GGC. I still don’t quite follow the reason, as it came almost immediately after I replied to you, letting you know that I have been working to step out of GGC for months now, but Mr. Kirley chose a different path to achieve this, which was not what he represented.

        As far as my abilities in business, I do have my faults, that is for sure. I do apologize for not as many communications as possible to you and others, but I believe it is safe to assume that nobody thousands of miles away can begin to understand the amount of pressure, stress and workload that has been involved here. I bit off more than I can chew, but that was not my intention going into this at all. The actions of Mr. Berwick last summer, which you caught the tail end of, via Mr. Sandfort’s bizarre ramblings, started a domino, or snowball, effect with some of those who came and went. There are signed statements of Mr. Berwick’s ulterior motives, crazy ideas and plans. In July 2013, Mr. Sandfort cornered Tatiana Moroz, while she and others were visiting, to let her know that other investors were going to purchase Lepe, among other things. I found this out from Ms. Moroz at Freedom Fest 2013, to then return to Chile with Mr. Sandfort attempting to concoct charges that I physically abused him. I never physically abused him. THIS is what he was seeking to extort money from GGC for…not “hush” money, as you referenced it in another post here, as if we were paying him to keep quiet about activities at GGC. Mr. Sandfort demanded $60,000 USD, “or else”, just as Mr. Berwick demanded 35% of GGC in November of 2013, along with a six figure payout…”or else.” After Mr. Berwick’s secret meetings to try and purchase Lepe with investors outside of GGC, leading into him, Mr. Sandfort and Mr. Neudorf, scaring off many credible and very interested investors, things were put into a state of financial stress at GGC, but we kept moving forward to work on the project, albeit with the wrong Chilean associates (Mr. Aguirre, etc.). I fully believed that we would have approvals by April of this year, as was represented to me, but I was misled. It was my fault for believing some here on our approvals. I don’t try to avoid that, as some seem to think. I regret doing so, as it has brought about a great deal of stress to all involved with GGC, but I beg of you to look into Mr. Aguirre and others a bit more. I am happy to send you information about him and others.

        I have not released a lot of information about Mr. Aguirre, Mr. Berwick, and others, as I tend to just walk away from people whom I have no respect for (which can piss off those who I walk away from…John Cobin, Mr. Berwick, Mr. Aguirre, etc.). I have more important things to do with my days here, and no time to do so, as many things here are egregiously time-consuming…meetings in Santiago, after sitting in hours of traffic, hours waiting at notaries to process documents, handle issues with the farm, staff, etc., keep tabs on approvals…and now the barrage of misinformation coming from those seeking to benefit from my demise.

        About the time that Mr. Berwick was plotting to upend the GGC land purchase in August, Tatiana Moroz and Erin Gallagly had come down. Ms. Moroz wanted to become GGC’s sales manager, and as some have mentioned recently online, she wasn’t quite suited for the job, as her focus was her music (which is fine, but not what was needed for a sales manager). She wanted to invite Erin Gallagly to join her as co-sales manager, which she did. Unfortunately, and as is shown in many emails, Ms. Moroz did not focus on sales, as she promised, leaving a massive amount of work, and stress, to Ms. Gallagly. Erin is a good person, but sales and organizing the sales team, in my opinion, was not her strong suit, which also was made more difficult with me not being able to lend as much time as I should have. I offered that she stay on in another role, which she considered for a week, or so, before leaving for a hiking adventure in South America with her long-time boyfriend (unannounced to GGC), Ronald Monroe, whom she said was a friend who wanted to come down to work in sales. I found that bit of non-disclosure to be a bit disingenuous, but chose not to make it known, until here. Ronald was given a $600,000 sale of a lemon orchard by Erin, which I carried out most of the information transfer with the client. A bit of favoritism over others for her long-time (undisclosed) boyfriend? Possibly, but we will never know. With regard to Ms. Moroz, I was informed that she had sued, or threatened to sue, a liberty conference in the US (North Carolina, possibly?) because they didn’t pay her $1,500 on time and that she also sued, or attempted to sue, a sweepstakes company for leading her to believe that she was going to win the sweepstakes. I cannot verify this information, but possibly Ms. Gallagly can, as she was one of the sources who brought this to my attention. I had conversations with Ms. Moroz about her not handling sales, as was needed, and that marketing may be better suited for her. I discussed this with her, before she came down to Chile in October of 2013, which she agreed would be good for both parties, so I terminated her co-sales manager contract, while letting her know that we would set up a marketing contract for her after the Spring Celebration, which coincided with her sales contract termination date. This is outlined in simple emails from me, to her, with copy to Ms. Gallagly.

        For the Spring Celebration, GGC spent about $100,000 on a production company camera crew to come down, as well as various liberty speakers, which have been referenced here. During their visit, Ms. Moroz threw emotional tantrums about her mistreatment at GGC (on videos on file), but there was no communication of such “mistreatment” to me, from her, leading up to this. Ali Sherman was hired shortly before Ms. Moroz came to Chile and, in hindsight, Ms. Sherman seemed to stir the pot with Ms. Moroz quite a bit and was overheard by some of the liberty speakers and entertainers whom came down, as calling them “a bunch of celebrity wannabes”, as Ms. Sherman was on speakerphone with Ms. Moroz. Ms. Sherman turned out to be a dismal choice for an admininstration staff member, as her work week at GGC was limited, by her choice and excuses, to about 3-4 hours per week, while being paid a full-time salary. She claimed to be working from home, but it now seems that she was more interested in stirring up the waters, than calming them, when needed. I was not available to witness much of this, as I was usually tied up in meetings and other things, which did lead to communications to suffer between myself and staff. I do know that and I do know that many whom have come and gone at GGC are good people, though they, as well as myself, did not see eye to eye on things or they (in my opinion) did not live up to their promised actions.

        I could get into details of Wil McAlister being somewhat of a toxic person, in my opinion, (as I’m sure he thinks of me) as well as running up a $5,000 USD cell phone bill on the GGC cell phone he was using, which he refused to pay. He also didn’t complete any videos for the Fall Celebration, which he insisted GGC should buy him a round trip airline ticket to stay for, while his wife flew home ahead of him for a family celebration.

        I could go on about Sandy Sandfort, but I will let signed statements, emails and other communications about him from Mr. Berwick, Mr. Sandfort himself and others, outline his bizarre involvement here. He pleaded with me and Mr. Berwick to bail him out of his troubles in Panama, which I finally did after Mr. Berwick’s recommendation. It was a bizarre experience with him living in the GGC condo from day one…that is the best way to sum that up.

        Anyhow, I am not here to defraud people, as you, Mr. Berwick and others seem to want the public to think. It simply is not the case. Not being able to handle managing others is something that I can be accused of, because it is not my strong suit in the least bit.

        More to come.

        Ken

        • Storm

          Ken, as a spectator to the collapse of this project, I have a simple question. If you are as lily white as you portray yourself, why do you avoid all questions asked of you, and ignore the overwhelmingly damaging evidence that others have provided?

          Why do you refuse to take responsibility for your actions, or barring that stop withholding the property and funds from those who LONG ago requested refunds? These were simple actions you could have taken months ago, and in fact you obviously repeatedly told people that you would honor the contracts that they signed with you, but all the way you clearly had no intention of refunding their hard earned money. Why?

          • Ken Johnson

            It is my hope to refund money to those seeking a refund, which is being worked on now. The refund requests were orchestrated to occur simultaneously, which I believe involved Mr. Berwick, as well as “Eddie” from this forum. The reason for this is clear, but I don’t care to get into that. The TV producer looking to do a show is more than likely the one that Tatiana Moroz brought down, costing GGC $50,000, for which they never created a sizzle reel. Tatiana seems to crave attention, as do Jeff Berwick and others in the online world…and if that attention comes at the price of someone else…it is my estimation that it is of no matter to them.

            I have agreed, for months, to step aside and let others manage GGC, but still to this day, those trying to paint a picture that I am resisting this still stick to their inaccurate story of me not wanting to. I welcomed new management at the start of this year, with hopes of them bringing the map to a reality, but they were not truthful with this. I passed this information on to the American investor (Josh Kirley) who is already invested into GGC, alerting him to concerns that I, and others, had about the Chilean parties involved. He then took my information directly to them, stirring up a shit storm, rather than resolving things. This is also occurring with his, and his assistant’s, emails to GGC clients and investors, as they pick through my old emails, grabbing sentences, out of context, then commenting on who they should send them to to get them pissed off at me. There is one below for you to see. If this isn’t disingenuous, then I don’t know what is.

            I’ve been addressing GGC’s issues while all of this has been going on and whether I remain for another day, week, month or longer, I will work to attempt to complete GGC and/or refund money to those who are not happy with GGC. I don’t owe you, or the public, a financial disclosure, as that is not proper business. I have offered full accounting to those requesting it, but they are attempting to represent otherwise in this forum. It is sitting at the accountant’s office, as well as the attorney’s office, awaiting sincere parties to get it.

            What is the overwhelmingly damaging evidence? Rumors and comments about my personality?

            There will be a mailer sent out to all GGC clients, investors and the public shortly, outlining what is going on at GGC, and what has gone on. Much of it is most definitely not what has been regurgitated over and over here.

            Just because I haven’t had the chance, nor the time, to reply to all of the comments attacking me, does not mean that I am representing that I am lily white, nor does it mean that the comments about me are true. Jeff Berwick has been attempting to defame me for quite a long time, knowing that his actions of last year, into this year, with GGC, as well as TDV and other ventures, are not at all what he is representing. I am not perfect and I have not been good at managing an overwhelming project. I have not stolen any funds. I have not had any intention of defrauding anyone. That is plain as day to those who work here. Those who no longer are involved had some interesting personalities and skills, or lack thereof, which didn’t jive with what I believe GGC should be…which is…people being self-reliant, rather than relying on me to confirm or direct everything that happens. I have hoped to have people working here that can simply carry on with what is best for GGC, using their best skills, rather than to sit around like bumps on a log, waiting for someone to hand them money or a client to talk to, or for others to have to ask them to help on the farm or whatever it is. Having TDV market GGC attacted a lot of “anarchists” who seemed to think that even private enterprise rules equate to “statist” rules for some reason. In my world, it doesn’t, but in theirs it did. Those worlds don’t work too well together.

            Anyhow, have a good night.

          • Storm

            Several problems here not the least of which is that you dodge the questions.

            The refunds were DUE months ago. Delaying those refunds was a breach of contract, as you should know. However you just admitted to orchestrating a delaying tactic apparently as merely that.

            Yes from what we can tell OTHERS who are opposing you, are trying to develop a refund strategy, though in truth that would be a generous good will gesture rather than a refund since they were not the recipients of the funds, you were.

            The reason you have violated the contracts and refused to refund the money seems pretty clear, but that does not answer the question asked.

            There is no reason for any red herrings. Nothing in my questions raises any issue about television, only about admitting culpability and actually answering questions about your own actions and decisions.

            You could “step aside” immediately. You do not need permission to do this any more than you needed permission to honor the contracts and refund the moneys of those many investors who you have repeatedly lied to concerning refunds. Why not return the money you took from them?

            You could have provided that financial accounting many many months ago, so why have you not offered it? I have not made any claims concerning Berwick, as you can easily tell. This is yet another red herring on your part to try to distract others into blaming Berwick for YOUR choices and refusal to return the moneys paid directly to you personally. Answer the questions.

            You’ve certainly had many many months to answer the questions asked of you, so the pretense that you have not had the time to answer the legitimate questions and concerns is quite obviously dishonest.

            The project is a modest one. Certainly nothing that any general contractor much less developer would ever call “overwhelming.” Furthermore the simplest aspects were never even worked on, and yet you knowingly offered false promises. This is not a management problem, but rather an integrity problem. Why did you refuse to return the money as was explicitly stated in the contracts? Why do you refuse to do so still today? Why do you refuse to return the money to GGC and simply leave? So no one else wants to live in the Ken Johnson Fiefdom? SO what? Just return the money and leave.

            At least answer why you cannot answer the questions…

          • Fritz Knese

            Looks like he figures to keep the funds through obfuscation and BS, typical tools of the conman. It is good you are calling him out, but I doubt it will make much difference. Crooks are not in the money giving back business.

          • Storm

            One of the major points I am getting at is the fact that you hold all of the cards and held all of the cards MANY months ago when this flood of refunds were requested but you directly and obviously intentionally violated the contracts and refused to return the funds. Why? Why not do the right thing? Why not treat people with respect?

            How difficult (physically) would it have been to write out checks to the great many people who simply exercised legitimate clauses in their contracts? No one else had this power or was in a position to honor or violate the contracts, so why the clear and undeniable choice to violate the contracts rather than honor them?

          • Storm

            No answers to the simple questions Ken?

            Why didn’t you honor the contracts and return the money to those who requested it?
            Why did you sell property that you could not by Chilean law sell?

        • McAlister Williams

          Ken it is utterly amazing at your ability squirm, distort and bully your ways out of such unbelievable failures. You show zero accountability for your own actions other than underhanded finger pointing “I was wrong and made a mistake by trusting this person” BULLSHIT.

          How about all the nights where you would go out and spend 500+ on dinner and drinks.. How about the casinos? How about the time when a potential founder was staying with you, you skipped out on a sales meeting that YOU CALLED, had everyone show up and wait on you and an hour later you tell everyone meet you at the pub.. All of us had taken cabs again to get where you were to show up and you already be drunk..

          Then you proceed to buy everyone drinks and food like a college kid w daddies credit card.. Only to leave just before the bill comes, incredibly drunk you drive team members home… And leave the bill to the founder to pay.. (The only person there w enough money on him) over $500 US.

          And here is the clincher, when he asked for his money back… YOU tell him “I could be charging you for staying at my apartment but I don’t” and held out on paying him back for weeks..

          Lets not mention the fact that you told the guy “if you buy a lot I will make you a manager” he replied, I’ll do one better i will buy a founder lot.. A few days later you ask when he is going to send his gold, and he asks for an agreement in writing for terms of management position and you say “that’s just a title, it doesn’t mean anything I could give a title to anyone”.

          This is just one small example of literally hundreds just like it. Id be happy to start getting some of the people you have screwed and lied to to start doing video testimonials, or I have all the email chains I’d be more than happy to forward to people who would like to read it word for word as the events unfolded.. As you ignored my emails when I called out unethical business practices of Ken C and you said to me “what do you want me to do, he makes sales” in front of Ron, Diana and the potential founder.

          Or I can forward the email where you claimed I owed 1500 not 5k phone bill… Or where you tried to cut me out for standing up to you and get me to turn in equipment without refunding the money I paid out of pocket for it, much less the money we agreed upon even though I did twice the videos our agreement stated.. As a token of my integrity..

          Lily white you are def not.. You are a person completely unqualified for the position you have manipulated your way into and have bullied and snaked anyone who has pointed that out to you. This is why even now when the overwhelming majority have agree they do not want you leading the ship you cast lead blame them point fingers and do everything except the right thing which is take responsibility for your failures and let someone else step in..

          YOU have failed this project ken, YOU are the guy micromanaging and controlling every thing… YOU are the guy, through sheer incompetence or utter neglect have severely damaged this project, and anyone who continues to believe you deserves exactly what they get, because there has been far too many red flags raised.

          • Ken Johnson

            Here is the January 11, 2014 email to you that was never replied to. We were both mistaken on the amount that you owe for the bill. It was actually about $4,000 USD. The airline ticket that you didn’t reimburse GGC for was about $1,500, I believe. Hope that helps.

            Will,

            Please submit payment of $1.999.923.52 CLP at either the law firm, which you have the address, or at the condo in Las Condes, which you have been to numerous times.

            Also, Nathalie is obtaining the receipt for the airline flight that GGC paid for you, so that you could create a Spring Celebration video while in the US. This will also be needed immediately from you as well.

            You are welcome to make payment in Bitcoin. We will send you a wallet address, if this is your preferred method of payment.

            A response will be needed by Monday.

          • McAlister…I am staying out of discussions here but I would appreciate your forwarding “all the email chains” that you mention in your post. I am archiving as much as I can about GGC. wendy AT wendymcelroy DOT com. Thank you.

          • Mcalister Williams

            Will do.

            Here is an excerpt from the stated potential client whom claims spoke w you Wendy.

            “Regarding GGC — there is no sense rehashing this unpleasantness. Let me thank you, however, for exposing the reality of the situation I had with Ken J (and actually Ken C also) and I appreciate you having the courage to tell the truth and back me up. It may not affect a scumball like Ken J, whose projection of other’s shortcomings is indeed pathological, but I have learned that exposing the truth is always the best way. I know that it why you CC’d so many others. Getting this out may help others who have been rationalizing and justifying this bizarre behavior from a man (Ken J) who actually does have some positive qualities, but is overwhelmed by some pernicious realities. I can’t see any way for this thing to work long term as long as he is involved. I have developed a friendship with Wendy McElroy, and have tried to carefully warn her of some possible outcomes that may affect her and her husband’s decision to start a whole new chapter in their lives. But that is a story for another time.

            Thanks Will for skillfully enunciating your perception of the last five months of your life. I’m sorry just like you that it didn’t work out the way we hoped. Good luck in the future, and keep me informed of your family. I want to be remembered and included as a friend and someone positive in your life. Say hello to Tiffany and express my appreciation for the past and hope for the future. See you on FB occasionally…

            All the best,

            JG”

      • Ken Johnson

        March 18, 2014 @ 21:32 Adolfo E. Aguirre wrote:

        The service contract was made with this guys.

        Felipe Artigas
        Alberto Cardemil

        The
        problem is that the american guy (gringo) and his American associates
        are the same kind as Cardemil and Del Real. And that is way my interest
        was to get their money and leave. The problem is, that between
        Americans and Chilean “Fachos” ( any person who is on the opposite
        government from the democrats) control Chile, from there the necessity
        of a political strategy and inevitable want it or not we are surrounded
        by the people who controls the country.

        I
        will appreciate if you can help me to make a list of useful politics
        books, like the ones you mention from the mining and Bachi book. There
        are some young people in Curacavi who are interested in getting politics
        education. I do remember some, but you are more up to date on the
        matter.

        • Ken Johnson

          Here is another written communication from Adolfo Aguirre about him working AGAINST the “gringo” (me) and the Americans. In this email, he is asking Gino Sturla to pressure Mario Osses, whom was good friends with the Mayor’s deceased father (the former Mayor), to make GGC’s approvals more difficult.

          You may note, that Adolfo Aguirre, the planning director, is stating that 450 lots will be at GGC. This is what he represented the entire time he was there…that, yes…they could be approved. He then later said, on March 26, 2014, that legalizations were in place, but in fact, were not.

          March 2, 2014 Adolfo E. Aguirre wrote:

          (Verbiage to Gino Sturla, requesting that he get the below information to Don Mario (Osses)):

          Don Mario,

          The projects that fails or abandoned the project once they sold all the plot
          lands, they are characterized for not providing services:

          Feasibility and Engineering of water to drink

          Sewer System

          Light

          Considering you contacted the mayor in regards with the GGC project I want to ask you for a favor:

          Please, tell the mayor, as your idea, that from the three services that any
          community needs; GGC at least insures and be responsible of the water of
          all the plot lands before they approved anything. Nothing approved. That as a proof of the minimum seriousness of the “Gringo”

          A hydraulic study on how to provide water to the three sectors of the
          project, not only will protect Curacaví and he Region of the
          responsibilities of a bunch of new plot land without water, but it also
          will quantify the impact to all those new users in the Basin which is
          necessary considering that 450 luxury homes with swimming pools
          will have a great impact to all neighbors down ravine and the existence
          of water in the future.

          Finally, any change in the use of the
          land should be analyzed under the scope of natural resources. An
          impartial technical environmental research that measures the natural
          population of the land. In legal environmental language a “base line” from which we can decide the loading capacity of a natural
          habitat, and what is possible to do on it. This two things can clarify
          the environment and responsabilities that corresponds to the GGC Project
          and the minimum that the Municipality should require in order to
          protect the native forrest, protect the Curavavi community and not be in
          conflict with the current environmental law.

      • MAQ

        Estimada Wendy, no entiendo su dirección de email., puede mandar otra alternativa, gracias.

        • Brad R

          Estimado Manuel: la dirección de email de Wendy es wendy @ wendymcelroy . com

          • MAQ

            ok gracias por su dirección de email.
            Recién leí su comentario sobre que Usted esta cansada, de éste escenario de contienda por GGC, no hay problema porque el equipo de GGC, seguirá trabajando dura y responsablemente por cumplir los compromisos que tiene GGC, le pido que descanse y luego retome el hilo de nuestras conversaciones por medio de su email.
            Solidariamente Manu.

    • MAQ

      Translation: Dear Wendy, The elaborate lies were made by Adolfo Aguirre. Not Ken Johnson. Ken Johnson has been honestly working for GGC and its investors. People are lying about Ken Johnson right now. Adolfo Aguirre was not honest. Others were not honest as well, whom were at GGC (Jeff Berwick, John Cobin, German Eyzaguirre) Mario Del Rel was also dishonest about subdivision approvals in March and April after Adolfo Aguirre was found to be lying to GGC.

      • Brad R

        Dear Manuel:

        Thank you for informing me that you work for GGC. I repeat my previous question: When did you last speak with Ken Johnson?

        Estimado Manuel:

        Gracias por informarme de que usted trabaja para usted GGC. Repito mi pregunta anterior: ¿Cuándo fue la última vez que habló con Ken Johnson?

  • Jeff Berwick has posted an article entitled “Penance” in which he does the one thing everyone wanted: he said “It was my fault.” http://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2014/8/30/penance-the-weekend-vigilante-august-30-2014.html

    • John Kenson

      I call BS on Jeff Berwick.

      Here is Jeff Berwick pumping Galt’s
      Gulch Chile on freaking Bloomberg TV on November 15th, 2013…when he
      definitely knew of its serious troubles, yet he is pumping it on mass
      media anyways.

      Staying silent about a bad investment you
      previously lured people into is bad enough, but pumping it on mass media
      is an entirely a different level of malfeasance.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/video/the-future-of-bitcoin-regulation-EsCwfEqGRkSe01bDPMk56A.html

      • In case people are wondering what the Kenson email is about, Jeff’s penance said he was “out of the project” and silent about it in August 2013.

        • John Kenson

          Hello Wendy,

          That is exactly my point.

          If Berwick went silent in August 2013 and clearly knew about the severe problems, then why was he talking up GGC a couple of months later on the mass media?

          Don’t you see something wrong with that?

          Thank you for your reply and your courage.

        • jtkennedy

          Wendy, I didn’t find that in the Penance article, just mostly very vague timelines. I did see Berwick plugging Galt’s Gulch as late as December. He was silent about problems but still promoting the project on Russia Today. And he did not disclose that he was no longer involved with the project. Wasn’t it kind of morally required to disclose at that point that he was no longer with the project, instead of painting a rosy picture of it?

          • Hello. I do not know what is morally required of Jeff or anyone else in terms of speaking out. I found out in April 2014 that Jeff was no longer involved — he was the reason I bought into GGC — and I spoke out on the Daily Bell shortly after I discovered people were still investing. I’m not going to speculate on a public BB about the morality of a person who has been my friend. My husband and I have been damaged as much as anyone and we had no involvement in the administration of GGC. Other than a speaking fee for a lecture, I made no money whatsoever. Believe me, I understand your concern. But I decline to comment and I am so tired, so very tired of doing the right thing. As of Monday morning, I am just going to peacefully live my life for a while and leave doing the right thing up to other people. I am not trying to take a swing at you…honestly…but you know that saying “Evil triumphs because good people do nothing.”? Well, I’m a good person who had nothing to gain by speaking out…and I have literally vomited every day since writing the article, and largely because good people are killing the messenger or demanding I turn on others. Good people do not speak up because other good people rake them over the coals for doing so. As I said, and sincerely so, this is not aimed at you. Your question is legitimate….and one I don’t intend to answer because, well, I’m out of here. I’ve given links to information sources for those who have a vested interest. But I will no longer be supplying info or answering questions. It was an act of good will without personal profit and I’m so very tired of throwing up. Good luck everyone.

          • Facundo Merciadri

            I’m sorry to hear that you’re throwin. I think it’s fair for you to take a break, after all you did some brave things that it may produce large benefits to the free-minded community. Thank you!

          • jtkennedy

            No offense taken.

            FYI I’ve been told by someone i consider reliable that Berwick was promoting GGC at Porcfest XI, the last week of June, and was quoting prices in the $125K range, acting like he was fully engaged in the project. This doesn’t square at all with the idea that he’s been silent on the project for a year.

          • This post has led me to do research. I am no longer a part of the Dollar Vigilantes. It sort of gives me a twinge but I think it is the proper thing.

          • Brad R

            She may have been referring to the “Good, Bad, and Ugly” article.

  • Racionalist

    The only way to get your money back: go to a court of law.
    Your ideologism is so deep that you’d rather lose your money instead of going to the courts of the state.

    • I don’t get it. Usually people excoriate someone for selling out their principles for money. You excoriate people for living up to principles that harm no one rather than selling the principles out for financial reward? I guess your principle is “whatever brings me a dollar.” That’s kind of sad.

      • Racionalist

        You don’t want to recover your money? It´s ok for you….. If you have been victim of a fraud it is a principles issue?

        • Racionalist

          In chilean law, everything that were published in a properties business is automatically part of the contract. If they published that there were water rights and are not, it is automatically a fraud. If they said you the lots are of this size and are not, it is automatically a fraud. And everything they told that is not true, it is a fraud in chilean law.

          • Look, racionalist, I will assume you are not just here to chortle and attack because you enjoy viciousness oh so much. It is difficult to prove intentional fraud in a contract. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to even compel disclosure, etc. I will say no more but you are misrepresenting the situation. I now know more about Chilean law than I ever wanted. So chortle and jeer in response if you really are that vicious a human being. But remember…even if my acts were foolish — and very savvy businessmen went first, I assure you — even if you think me a fool, I’ve harmed no one but myself.

        • Of course, I want to recover my money and I am attempting to do so…but I will not violate my own principles to do so. It is not a difficult concept to grasp, racionalist. I have stated about 20x in this thread that I am an anarchist and I will not use the state court system. Sorry that this brings contempt from you…or, rather, just let me ask…what the hell is wrong with you that you are so bothered by my having principles (harming no one) that I will not violate? What the hell business is it of yours whether I chose to use the state court system? If limited gov. people believe in the court system, then they are consistent with their principles in using it. Now leave me alone. I’m not a punching bag.

          • Robert

            You’re harming the next one or dozen people who will get scammed becaue you are so blinded by ideology. I’m sure the next person or dozen people who are taken by this scammer will realize your refusal to help stop him because of your principals will be soothed by that.

          • Storm

            Do you realize how absurd that accusation is? Clearly there is no harm whatsoever tied to Wendy’s decision to not use a weapon which already harms innocents: government. Furthermore did you read the article? How do you reconcile your attack with the article and her explicit warnings?

          • Brad R

            You drooling idiot. Ethical, financial, and logistical considerations aside, do you really think that filing a civil suit in an obscure court in Chile is going to warn more people than publicizing the situation widely throughout North America in the media?

          • MPP

            Publicizing it is good. If it’s not done a year after the fact.

          • Fritz Knese

            I for one appreciate that you will not give in to the temptation to try to use governmental courts to get your rightful money back. Of course, Brad is correct that publicizing widely is a far better warning than filing in an obscure court. Still, I kind of wish you could get the crooks attention by a judicious use of force, which I think here would be ethically justified though not pragmatic. But, damn, it sure would feel good!!!

  • Nathan Youngblut

    Hello everyone!

    My name is Nathan Youngblut, I am currently employed by Galt’s Gulch Chile. In light of all of the current controversy online surrounding GGC, I have decided to share my experiences and opinions on the subject as an investor, a current part-time resident, and an employee.

    I arrived to Santiago in August of 2013 as an exchange student through Universidad de Andres Bello. The following month I learned that Tatiana Moroz, a friendly acquaintance of mine, was living in Viña del Mar and working for GGC. We had a couple of conversations over Skype and shortly after I made arrangements for a tour of GGC with Ken Carpenter. A few weeks later I visited GGC again.

    Swayed by the natural beauty of the land and understanding the great location and the idea behind the community, I decided that I wanted to invest in a quarter lot. I then attended the Spring Celebration event from October 30 to November 4, attended by Jeff Berwick and several other employees, investors, speakers, and potential clients.

    One night in early December I was invited out to a few drinks by Ken Carpenter. It was brought to my attention that a couple of employees had recently left GGC, and after some persistence, KC helped me acquire a position contacting the backlog of thousands GGC clients.

    At this point I learned that Jeff Berwick was no longer officially involved with GGC and that there was a complex history between him, Ken Johnson, and John Cobin. Each of these three men present a very different story of the situation and their initial agreements. What problems these individuals may have with each other did not concern me because I saw Ken Johnson moving Galt’s Gulch forward with progress.

    A few very active months passed and I witnessed only a couple of major problems at GGC. There was an incident with mismanagement of the farm’s water pumps and irrigation system and a simultaneous delay in the property’s subdivision.

    Adolfo Aguirre, a very charismatic Chilean environmentalist, had been working on completing the subdivision for months before I was brought onto the team. Although I saw him working each week with maps and GPS data, nothing was materializing. There is now evidence that Adolfo never had any intention of ever completing the subdivision and was actually making political maneuvers to damage the project.

    Shortly after this was discovered, a team of engineers and architects were brought into the project by Mario Del Real. I spoke with several of these individuals on multiple occasions and it is now clear to me that they similarly misrepresented both their intentions and their abilities to perform.

    Manuel Hermosilla, a very respected environmental consultant, has recently stated publicly that the subdivision process has also been delayed because of the protected biological and environmental aspects of the land. Whatever the exact reasons, the delays in the subdivision and other problems suffered by GGC are ultimately the fault of Ken Johnson due to mismanagement.

    Because of these delays and what may have been poor communication to clients, there are emotionally-charged accusations of fraud and other criminal actions. I am unaware of the details of the agreements between the Founders and Ken Johnson, but it is ignorant to claim the general operations of GGC to be total fraud. Dozens of employees work day-to-day continually improving the organic farm and preparing certain aspects of the community for development.

    The Promise of Sale (Promesa de Compraventa) contracts used for the purchase and sale of property at GGC state very clearly that the property is currently in the process of being subdivided into smaller lots and that the titles will transfer thereafter. The first phase of the subdivision should happen VERY soon.

    As I understand it, the biggest concerns come from those investors wishing to exercise the refund clause of their contracts. The Promise of Sale contracts state that after the final maps have been approved, a refund will be given if the buyer is not satisfied with the choice of available lots. If the government approval is not received in two years the buyer also has a right to a full refund. Although it has not yet been two years, nor are the community maps finalized, a few clients are already demanding refunds.

    I believe that in the near future, whether under current or future management, Galt’s Gulch Chile will make good on its agreements. Newly created property titles for the subdivided parcels will be ready for transfer and those still demanding refunds can be reimbursed.

    As we all know, a pressing issue currently affecting the project is the proposed transfer of ownership and management of Galt’s Gulch as a corporate entity. Ken Johnson, founders, investors, and staff all support such a transition. I have no reason to believe that the intentions of those stepping forward to take over are not genuine, but I do have concerns about this transition because of the size of the project and the numerous relationships and complications involved.

    That said, I hope that negotiations between Ken Johnson, the founders, Josh Kirley, and other investors are swift and productive. We all know that the worst option, for every party involved, is a drawn-out lawsuit and litigation. This would damage resources of both the individual investors, the Galt’s Gulch company, and the project / community as a whole.

    Assuming that such a transition takes place in an honest fashion and that the parties stepping forward are serious about leading this project, the future of this community will be very bright.

    Anyone involved can feel free to reach me directly at nyoungblut –at– galtsgulchchile -dot- com to privately discuss this situation in more detail.

    • No.

      • BTW, JS, my no was directed at Youngblut, not you. A lot of us want to holler at a lot of GGC people.

    • JS

      Nathan,
      Would you mind passing some contact info on for Ken Carpenter. Would really like to holler at him. Thanks in advance!

    • People are contacting GGC about a refund. And, no, I am not making subtle reference to myself. I await your response to their requests that GGC lives up to its contractual obligations…ones in which you are becoming entangled through representation.

      BTW, you say, “As I understand it, the biggest concerns come from those investors wishing to exercise the refund clause of their contracts. The Promise of Sale contracts state that after the final maps have been approved, a refund will be given if the buyer is not satisfied with the choice of available lots. If the government approval is not received in two years the buyer also has a right to a full refund. Although it has not yet been two years, nor are the community maps finalized, a few clients are already demanding refunds.” You are specifically referring to my contract because I had that provision of two years written in. Please confirm that you are specifically citing my contract. Also please explain why Ken Johnson is requesting people to ask for refunds when you essentially say NONE are due.

  • Filthy Liar

    I really appreciate you identifying the other idiots who also got scammed as some of the smartest businessmen in the movement. Warms the cockles of my heart it does.

    • You picked a perfect pseudonym. Probably because you know yourself so well.

      • Filthy Liar

        It’s mostly so people can make clever jokes about my name. Yours wasn’t particularly clever. Maybe a three out of ten.

        • FreeYourMindinSC

          Example of what I was talking about above.

          • Orson OLSON

            “Many of us have concluded that the average leftie has sociopathic tendencies….” I have. (‘Nuff said.)

  • FreeYourMindinSC

    Reading over this comments section, I can’t help but notice the number of (presumably) leftist trolls who come in here. It is one of the marks of a sociopath that he/she kicks people in the face (figuratively speaking) when they are down. Many of us have concluded that the average leftie has sociopathic tendencies, which come out in comments sections where they can post anonymously, without consequences.

    Everybody knows The Daily Bell is a libertarian-leaning-towards-anarchist website. So what are you “progressives” even doing here? Why do you even care what happens with Galt’s Gulch Chile? You can only be interested in one thing, & that is to cause trouble: the definition of Internet trolls. You are certainly not contributing constructively to the conversation. Go away! Your hate blasts are neither needed nor wanted!

    Libertarians make mistakes just the same as everybody else. They never claimed to be perfect. Every so often, a sociopath gets in their midst. Libertarians don’t put their sociopaths in public office, however. (Is there really any doubt that Obama, the Bushes & the Clintons are all sociopaths?) I don’t think Libertarians can take credit for having screwed up an entire country as badly as you “progressive” lefties have screwed up the U.S., with your affirmative action / “diversity” programs, your political correctness, your Obamacare, your Common Core, the list of the areas where you’ve screwed up just goes on & on. You are a tiresome lot, whose ideas have been discredited so many times we have lost count. Probably being unemployable, it is small wonder all you seem able to do is come onto Libertarian comments boards & insult people or otherwise spread your hate around.

    • Thanks, FreeYourMind. I agree that libertarians are human beings. The main difference is that I will be eating any loss I incur and taking responsibility for it rather than looking for tax dollars or shifting responsibility. The way the investors/purchasers are handling this matter should be a vindication of libertarian principles but I think that would be too honest and bitter a pill for the trolls to swallow. I truly appreciate your post.

    • DesertSun59

      Your premise is false. Thus, your entire argument is a fail.

    • MPP

      Trolls take disingenuous positions specifically to upset people. Leftists posting dissenting opinions on your site does not make them trolls. There are some trolls in this thread, but it seems like a lot of you are considering anyone who disagrees to be a troll. Wendy even called a post where Sean basically said that non-libertarians/non-anarchists are stupid, ignorant and violent a “great post”. Which just goes to show how much dissenting opinions are needed around here (and how hypocritical the complaining about leftist insults is).

      • Sean Ryan

        No, the Leftist trolls on here are doing three things (and it has zero to do with “dissenting opinions”):

        1. Gloating that complete strangers (many of them of fairly modest means) have apparently been victimized due to fraud/incompetence. These are the SAME people who claim to be angered by the middle-class and poor being fleeced by the “1%”.
        2. Pretending they’re “scoring points” against libertarianism by claiming that pursuing recompense via the state legal system is ‘hypocrisy’…as if the victims have any kind of practical alternative. This is like saying that prisoners in concentration-camps who complained were ‘hypocrites’, since they ate the food the nazis provided for them.
        3. Making the idiotic insinuation that this whole mess somehow ‘proves’ that libertarianism is w/o merit. If a few libertarians being scammed by GGC discredits libertarianism…then what do 10’s of MILLIONS of Leftists falling for Obama’s “Hope and Change” bull-crap do to Leftism/Progressivism/Liberalism?

        As bad as ‘conservatives’ are, the Left is, in many ways, actually worse. I’ve at least been able to kind-of debate w/conservatives, but Leftists are a whole other kind of irrational and fanatical…

        • MPP

          Or just maybe you’re missing something, which is why you think leftists are irrational and fanatical, despite very many intelligent people being leftists. Your only explanation for the fact that socialism is far more popular than libertarianism is to claim that all those people are idiots. You don’t seem to be the least bit interested in why leftists disagree with you, writing off the opinions of many, many accomplished and thoughtful people as lunacy. Perhaps this is why you can’t debate with them?

          And then, hypocritically, you get whiny when they insult you.

          • Sean Ryan

            Still no substance…

      • whatevs

        The Internet rules: disagreement = trolling
        No one wants debate, they want to be coddled and agreed with
        People defend their private fantasy words
        discuss only with others who share that world
        beliefs free of evidence
        learning free of understanding
        deranged idiocy on the rise

    • nobodobodon

      If it’s any comfort, the libertarians that troll progressive blogs aren’t much nicer than the progressives that troll libertarian blogs. Though I agree it’s pretty distasteful. (And that’s coming from a progressive that came here for a little schadenfreude.)

  • Ken Johnson

    This is an email sent out to all GGC clients yesterday. It outlines the status of the project, as well as the steps being made to offer refunds to all whom are requesting them. There are some people resisting these refunds being issued, whom are operating under the guise of wanting GGC to make progress, though are actually just sticking to a false storyline unfortunately.

    It has been an interesting couple of weeks. I have chosen not to get involved for the most part with all of the misinformation and false accusations being told on various blogs and online forums.

    I have spent time putting together a long list of past information that pertains to those whom have brought a great deal of harm to GGC, as well as my views on such situations. It is a very difficult thing to put together, as there has been a long list of strange events that I don’t think most of you would believe, if put into a movie. I won’t get into those details here. I am rather writing everyone to outline what is being completed for the project now, after some hinderances of this year have been taken care of.

    We are presently in the process of liquidating some of the registered water rights that are tied to GGC. This process will allow GGC to cover the final payment on the land/water assets of GGC, as well as address refunds to those seeking to exit the project, due to delays in progress on lot approvals. The water rights, as well as the water resource, have been topics of rumor online and it seems that most of my critics believe that I have been untruthful about the amounts, or that they don’t even exist. They assert that the land was grossly overpriced, even though the purchase price was based on a formal offer from parties working on a failed neighboring project, and that the water value is next to nothing. They are entitled to their opinions, regardless of their factual accuracy. The water rights assets are in such large quantity at GGC that they could not possibly be used by the GGC residents, as the 783.5 liters per second of registered rights available to GGC are enough for tens of thousands of homes.

    I have read some of the accusations on the Internet about me and they are highly misleading and inaccurate. I have never had the intention of keeping funds from anyone who doesn’t want to be involved with GGC. It is our current goal to assess all requests for refunds, in the order in which they have come in, and pay them out accordingly. Upon doing so, the project will then utilize the remaining funds from the sale of water rights to further improve the farm and invest in the completion of approvals and community infrastructure.

    Unfortunately, the former planning director of GGC did not live up to the promises that he made to me, and others, at GGC. It is my fault for hiring him shortly after the purchase of Lepe Norte and Las Casas and I am working to complete what he promised as best can be done with those who warned me about his intentions. There are some written communications from him that outline his intent to make GGC’s approvals more difficult, and also outline his disdain for Americans coming into the Curacavi Valley, and Chile…among other things. He represented to me that GGC would have 450 lots approved in 2014, but that turned out to be an inaccurate representation on his part…be it intentional or in error. The parties that followed his involvement also turned out to be a bad decision on my part, though it is nothing like what is being represented online. I have worked diligently, alongside GGC staff, to handle that situation as well, with the best interests of all whom have trusted GGC with their hard earned money.

    The subdivision of the farm have been submitted to the city as of last Monday, which our environmental and planning manager, as well as our architect, expect to have completed by the end of September, assuming all is okay on the city. We have a high level of confidence that it will be, as our team has met with the city planning department prior to the submission to ascertain why the farm subdivision map was left to linger while the former planning director was with GGC, and to assess what the city needs to see the completion of the subdivision through in an efficient manner. Now that we are on the same page with the city again, things are moving forward, as they should have been in late 2013, into 2014. This will allow for 50 hectares to be transferred for the GGC farm soon, as well as the five lemon orchards to also transfer to the GGC clients awaiting them. This is great to see. The work on the 10-hectare lots for the other areas of GGC is being worked as well, which we hope to have submitted for review sometime in October. The proposed smaller lots of GGC are being assessed as well. Unfortunately, our former planning director, and those who followed, made promises that were too rosy for reality and I am hoping to have more information on the smaller lot approvals in the next 2-3 weeks. Those who are not seeking to await the process with these lots are asked to contact me direct and we can discuss a refund with you.

    We have made mention of a 15-acre 3-Megawatt solar greenhouse at GGC in our last two farm updates. This project is still moving forward, regardless of the recent organized array of detractors and it should be a tremendous benefit to the GGC farm and the community, creating copious amounts of fruits, vegetables and fish, with only a fraction of the typical water needed (2-5% of normal requirements). Further updates will follow. The farm is in a fragile state right now, as sizeable revenues from further investment were steered away by Ken Carpenter, and others, in May and June, leaving the lemon crops vulnerable to sacrificing a sizeable portion of the 2015 harvest due to lack of funds to cover proper organic fertilization, pest applications and pruning.

    As you may have noticed, the GGC website has been down since the coordinated articles and blogs came out a little over a week ago. The site was hacked and we feel that we know the parties involved, but have chosen to let their actions lie and simply switch hosting and server companies. We will be posting a simple 1-2 page information page, with photos, about GGC when the 5-day wait period for hosting/server transfer has run its course. We have no plans of sales offerings via the abbreviated website.

    As I have mentioned in a past email in late July, it is my intention to offer equity in GGC to all whom have put money down on lots, and whom also plan to stay in the project, as approvals are worked on. I passed this idea on to a party whom is representing that he plans to invest further into the project and take over management. I do strongly recommend that those who would like to move forward with the equity issuance do contact me for details, which I hope to have done by next week. It is best for you to take issuance in the current land holding corporation, prior to any new entities, or management, being put in place, so as to insure your proper share being protected from third parties seeking a higher share than is deserved. I welcome new management at GGC, as some here are hoping to see, and have communicated this, back in May, to the party whom has organized somewhat of a character assassination of me in recent weeks. I know that I have not been the best manager with staff at times and have erred in judgment with parties here in Chile. I, as well as staff, are working everyday on GGC, though the actions of others in recent months to suffocate GGC funds has been quite damaging for the health of the farm and the project as a whole. I do apologize for the delay in getting an update out, but it has been quite shocking to see some of the accusations flying about online from anonymous commenters, as well as those whom have brought harm to GGC in the past.

    I have not taken money from GGC in any kick back schemes, as some allege. Nor have I taken any Bitcoin that belongs to GGC. All Bitcoin transactions have been accounted for by the companies that have purchased GGC Bitcoin, as requested of them, with receipts on expenditures always being kept by myself and requested of by staff to also keep, so as to supply to the accounting firm for the company records. Those making accusations to the contrary are grossly mistaken with their comments.

    With regard to current zoning in the area, I have shared this information all along with the first round Founders, as well as Jeff Berwick, Chris Serin and others. The maps displayed in the sales office have been what I have hoped to have at GGC, but unfortunately some people formerly involved with GGC took advantage of my naivety in trusting their planning advice, leading things astray.

    • Note to readers. The liquidation of “some of the registered water rights” only came to light because I circulated to other investors an email sales solicitation that GGC sent to real estate entities in Chile. One of the recipients sent it to me immediately. I sought and received permission to circulate the email, BTW. The fellow was happy to grant permission because he said Ken Johnson was making it difficult for other real estate sellers to make a living in Chile, he was ruining the reputation of Americans doing middle-level business in Chile, the lack of payment was making the locals despise foreigners who came down to “profit”, etc. It should be remembered that the country is like a small town with a modest population and debacles, like that of GGC, have a deep impact. In essence, I keep hearing from business people in this area who say, for the sake of people like us who are transparent and open, please resolve this as quickly as possible.

      Also remember that the area is a desert, similar to California. Without water rights, there can be no community nor can there be the lemon groves in which some (other) people invested. I have seen many conflicting reports on “flow rates” etc. — with the reassuring emails from GGC always saying “there is no problem, zoning is on its way, water is abundant. For many months, “zoning has been 15 days or 3 weeks away” while people put the sale of their houses and their lives on hold. How many times can a person hear the same reassurance with no results and keep believing it? I stopped at about 3. I have no reason whatsoever to believe anything in KJ’s letter. Nor has anyone, anyone, anyone received the refunds mentioned so prominently. If KJ can produce one name of one valid investor/purchaser who has received a refund, then I will certainly post that name (after checking it out) as a counter-example of what I am saying.

  • Tecumseh

    When I first found out about GGC it sounded too good to be true. Wendy, thank you for posting this update and then placing it on the forum found on the Atlas Shrugged Movie site (where I found it). It sounds like a typical quagmire of good intentions meets greed meets politics. There is some irony to be found in this and it’s quite easy to see and even humerous (although not to those who have lost money, I’m sure). I can honestly say the only reason I didn’t invest is because I didn’t have the money to do so. I had lost track of this project as a result and figured I missed the band wagon due to being broke. If the politics can be sorted out and the greedy parties paid off then it sounds like there still might be a future here. I don’t believe all hope is lost.

    On another note I am starting a development for like-minded libertarians like myself. Mine is pretty simple, save a pile of money and buy a ranch somewhere in the mountains. Build an “earth-ship” (Google it) to live in on the property. Done. Oh I don’t need any of your money because I don’t own the ranch property. I am also working on Galt’s motor that he built, hope to have this one done before the next market crash. My entire progress will be posted online once I acquire the supplies I need (I need to save another $2000 for some custom magnets before I can start the magnetism experiments) and the finished product will be free for anyone who wants it. Someday you will have a box attached to your house that will provide all the power you need and it will take no fuel to operate.

    Kindest Regards to Humanity,
    Tecumseh

    • racknstack

      The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    • Filthy Liar

      I genuinely wish you luck, regardless of how unlikely I think your success is.

  • Eddie Willers

    I am not being cruel, here. But, does anyone else see the terrible irony here? People from all over the world, attempt to form their own community, free of govt influence and oppression. And, their utopia is headed by a tyrant. Far worse than any of you were fleeing. They guy takes all of your money and refuses to tell you how he spends it. He demands total transparency, including your financial records, but refuses to provide any of his own, or the community he has taken ownership of. He does a shitty job, has a 90% disapproval rating, then asks for a bonus and demands a generous severance package. He is your most soulless CEO and your most totalitarian autocrat, rolled into one crooked package.

    • DesertSun59

      Apparently, every generation forgets that utopia is a dream and the supposed ‘oppression of the US gov’t’ is ‘true’.

    • Sean Ryan

      What I find funny is how ignoramuses like yourself–who know little-to-nothiing about GGC or libertarianism–think you’re being clever w/the kind of garbage you’re posting.

      “Utopia”…”free of govt. influence/oppression”, lol…why do you small-minded Leftists continue saying this crap?

      Obama has killed how many innocent people (including many children) via drone-strikes, etc., and you’re crowing about the “tyrant”, “soulless”, “totalitarian autocrat” REAL-ESTATE AGENT?

      To compare this admitted fiasco to the fascistic/communistic police-state the USA and West has become simply reveals your mental-illness.

      • Please keep it civil. No more name-calling. We’re going to start to moderate this thread more aggressively.

        • Sean Ryan

          Seriously?

          You’ve had Leftist trolls gleefully celebrating the misfortune of GGC victims from the get-go and you’re calling ME out?

          C’mon DB!

        • Sean Ryan

          “Civil”…like the Leftists who are crowing about the people who lost $$$ due to the GGC debacle?

      • racknstack

        Sean, I’m curious to hear what your definition of libertarianism is. Do you want government involvement and services? Do you not? Do you want to pay taxes, do you not? You point fingers at people and say they have no clue of what libertarianism is all about, yet you fail to define it. From what Eddie is saying here, it sounds pretty damn logical to me.

        • Sean Ryan

          IMO, the non-aggression principle defines libertarianism. It means you don’t have the right to impose yourself on others, and fancy political titles don’t give anyone ‘special’ privileges either.

          Now maybe YOU can tell us what ideology YOU ascribe to and then we can pick YOUR beliefs apart…I’m sure it won’t be hard to find the inconsistencies and hypocrisy…

  • J. Edward Tremlett

    “I suppose there is some comfort in being fleeced in good company, in
    being in the company of some of the smartest businessmen in the movement

    No, there really isn’t.

    I remember, back in the 90’s, there was a project to make a floating island retreat called “Oceania”
    that would be a Libertarian paradise. They had ads in National Review,
    amongst other places. It went nowhere, largely because of lack of
    interest, but if you go to their website, and read Final Words, you’ll
    see this:

    ” In retrospect, the biggest problem concerning The Atlantis Project
    was lack of interest. Lack of interest and the fact that its precepts
    were based in Libertarian politics. The Libertarian party is small
    in number and too few members have the financial resources to bankroll
    their beliefs. The poor performance of Libertarian candidates throughout
    the nation is reflective of these sad facts.”

    And
    that, I think, about says it all. In my experience Libertarians are idealistic
    daydreamers who are easily swayed by junk that speaks to their romantic
    notions, but, for all their vaunted prowess in detecting BS from on
    high, fail to smell a scam aimed directly at them before they’re floating in it.

    Having said that, I AM sorry you will not get your tree. Dreams are fragile things, and it’s tragic when they fall apart.

    • Sean Ryan

      What about the Leftists who placed all their faith and dreams on Obama and “Hope And Change/Change You Can Believe In”?

      The insanely high standards Leftists/Statists hold libertarianism to is funny, considering the non-existent standards that exist for your own ideology.

      • J. Edward Tremlett

        (a little late to the party on this one)

        Well, I didn’t have all my faith and dreams on Obama. I hoped that he would be an improvement, and by and large he has been. Not a perfect President, no, but after 8 years of Bush/Cheney I think we could have been better served by a talking cactus and his trusty tin can full of worms.

        But I think we’re all better off for not having been cast into another Great Depression, courtesy of Bush’s last minute course corrections that Obama had the good sense to pick up, run with, and improve upon, don’t you? What would your side of the aisle of done? I shudder to think.

        • Sean Ryan

          Sigh…another Obama fanboy…sad…

          • J. Edward Tremlett

            No, “Sad” is where we all wait in line for five pound blocks of half-rotten cheese from the Canadian Red Cross because the dollar is worth 600% less than it was in early 2007.

            And if we’d left things up to the sort of people who got fleeced by the Galt’s Gulch people, that’s exactly where we would be.

  • I joined this discussion, because I read about some sort of Gait Gulch colony in Chile. I was curious where exactly this utopia was located.

    I am curious, because I used to work in Chile, mainly around Santiago, Chillán, Temuco, Puerto Montt etc.

    Seeing that this little scam is around Casablanca, a big wine growing area, I would hardly put one penny into this fantasy.

    I also know business down in Chile. It isn’t Mexico, but it isn’t the US either. Chileans have a long history of dealing with foreigners who want to start utopia communities, from Colonia Dignidad to Doug Tompkins buying huge tracts of land in Southern Chile.

    Before you think that the Chileans are trying to rip you off, or some of the Chileans hired for development are stiffing you, it is far from the truth. They do things differently, and you will find it is hardly the libertarian ways of doing things. Permits and development are slower, unless you one is building a financial giant’s building in Providenicia (ie Santiago)

    • Sean Ryan

      Its amazing how morons keep throwing out the word “utopia”…

      • Desculpame, Chancho. Vaya al otro lugar ser un culeado.

    • Brad R

      I haven’t seen anyone claim that any Chileans were trying to rip anyone off. If anything, quite the contrary: the report is that some Chileans got ripped off (were not paid for their work) by the North American(s). The organizers of this project are not Chileans.

      I’m curious, what is it about the Casablanca area that triggers your alarm bells?

      • I should apologize a tiny bit. When I first read the comments to figure out where was GGC was located in Chile. (I have travelled and work in much of the country) and what were the problems with the development. I was reading Ken Johnson’s comments about feeling backstabbed by I believe, Adolfo Aguirre, who was tied to the development and probably the environmental impact for residential development of the land. I was more commenting about this, when I read some of Ken Johnson’s comments, and I have seen and heard from Gringos many times about this while doing business in Chile, especially property development, (mainly down South, in the Mapuche/Temuco region and Los Lagos Region) It seems that Adolfo Aguirre turn against Ken Johnson as other have done because Ken Johnson was incompetent and way out of his league..

        The area including the Santiago Metropolitan area to the coast is a mediterranaean climate, very similar to Southern California, probably a bit cooler because of the Humboldt Current coming up from Antarctica. (the water off Viña del Mar is pretty cold, but so is the water off Southern California) This is not the greatest place for water accumulation. Summers and Autumns are hot and dry, while winters are mainly rainy but rain comes in one or two bursts, while much of the water drains into the pacific.. One doesn’t have the reservoirs or the aquaducts that has made the agricultural valleys in California the powerhouses they are in agri business.

        So water is the key, and if water allotments are zoned for farms and vineyards only, not for large residential communities, it is not possible to develop this farm (GGC) which it is, a farm.

        If one wants to do a property development in Chile with North American taste, (large homes, satellite tv, high speed interweb, clubhouses/community centers, etc. etc) it is better to head down south and off ruta 5, or South of Chillan, where water becomes less of a problem, (sort of like the climate Northern California north of SF compare to Southern California, which Chile emulates, as does much of the Mediterranean region in Europe and North Africa)

        • Brad R

          No apologies are necessary. Now that you mention it, I do remember Ken Johnson complaining about the actions of Adolfo Aguirre. I ignored that, because it seems like Mr. Johnson has complained about almost everyone who has worked for him. I have not met Mr. Aguirre, but I have no reason to doubt his honesty or competence.

          Yes, I noticed that the climate there is very similar to Southern California, and yes, that makes water very important. From the information we have seen, there was sufficient water for GGC. Many of the residents were planning to build “eco-friendly” homes with such features as solar power, greywater recycling, and the like. And I think that residential use requires less water than agricultural use.

          Thank you for the suggestion of going south off ruta 5. I doubt that I will ever be in a position to develop property in Chile, but perhaps someone else reading here will benefit from the knowledge.

          • Solar power isn’t cheap. The photovoltaic cells needed to maintain a large residence is going to add up to the costs of construction, compare to solar power only for hot water. They will pay out in years to come. Chile has lots of solar power, but if you want certain photovoltaic cells, etc. they may be bitch for importing them..

            I don’t know the specific water issues allotments of these farms in the area, but it probably depends on the overall size of the community. However if a metropolitican area like Santiago can do fine during El Niño cycles, Curacaví region should do fine.

            Even with residential development, if one is going to work the farm, there is going to be a huge amount of farm runoff, even with organic farming, such as wastewater and organic fertilizers etc.. ditto with the infrastructure for ofther effluence.

            I am not stating development is impossible, it is a nice climate, good agriculture for products with some heat and drought resistance, close to a growing Santiago metropolitian area, but there are some huge hurdles to overcome, ignoring the Ken Johnson imbroglio..

          • Brad R

            You are correct: solar power isn’t cheap. If I recall correctly, the payback period is on the order of 10 to 20 years. There are Chilean firms specializing in photovoltaic installations.

            Yes, there are many hurdles to overcome, and a significant investment required. One of the original attractions of GGC was that they appeared to have the team, and the financing, to make this happen. Unfortunately, most (possibly all) of those people have been fired, and most of that financing appears to have been squandered.

          • I read this development proposal..
            http://www.mediafire.com/?77v7qgiirsn8har

            I was shocked by this, absolutely shocked. This is hardly a feasible plan in property development in Chile, nor would the the local leaders allow this in the short period of time that the principals in this development were pushing very hard. From little that I have seen, I think this turn from Ken Johnson being very incompetent to Ken Johnson pushing an affinity scam. Developments like this, takes years to get approval on the regional and local (communa) level in Chile.

            Farming is a very rough business. One key to farming is having some idea if one’s products can be sold locally, which helps with overhead costs. As Ken Johnson mentioned in one of his posts on this forum, the lemon groves need maintenance, why? because it takes most waking hours to keep a farm working and being productive. Any slacking can wreck a crop.

            What is also fantasy in this report, is the market for the agricultural products,(honey, lemons, etc) (assuming the market is North America and other OECD countries) Chile has many free trade agreements, but what kills the profit margin, along with price once the goods go to overseas market, are not tariffs, transpost costs make the products very expensive or eat up profits) It is beyond pure fantasy, as much as manipulation to get prospective clients to give out money to this affinity fraud.

            The infrastructure for roads, electricity, waste disposal, irrigation for this project/land development are in the tens of millions of dollars/hundred of millions in Chilean Pesos.

            My guess is that Ken Johson squander most of the money via gambling and off shore accounts. I am guessing the best possible scenario is to get retrieve much of the money as possible in order to get pay off those who were ripped off.

            I am sorry that all of you went through this. I had my rough patches in doing business in Chile and Argentina, and I hope you can go travel down there, especially in the Antipodean summer.

            It appears that Ken Johnson is still attached to this project/monster of his creation, (I read the VICE article about this debacle) there should be a criminal investigation of him, because I fear the worst, given he refused to open the books or give up control for many months now..

          • Brad R

            okojo, thank you for the link. I do not have time to read it now, but I will later.

            It is probably best that I do not express, here, my personal opinion of Mr. Johnson.

  • Zhu Bajie

    So, why trust and admire people after they’ve cheated you? “Though he slay me, yet shall I love Him”?

    • ChileDoug Kizerian

      That is what I was thinking.

  • Jaro

    Hey peoples, most people don’t realize that EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES. I.e. the United States is a corporation and has NO AUTHORITY unless you CONTRACT with them. Which means that Americans are STILL sovereign, they just don’t know how to cut the contracts they have with US, inc. If you wanna be able to tell the corporate US enforcers to F-OFF, go on a path of LEARNING here: http://sovereignwarriors.ning.com/

  • Uncertainquality

    Libertarian sociopath fleeces libertarian extremists who think everyone should just fend for themselves.

    Ironic that fending for themselves now involves government courts to deal with the problem that individuals fending for themselves have little recourse for dealing with bad faith actors in a completely free & ungoverned marketplace.

    Perhaps there’s a lesson in the actual value of:
    Government
    Rule of Law
    Pooled Risk
    Regulated Finance

    • Kennon Gilson

      A small-l libertarian is an applier or user of Libertarian tools, no more. To call them extreme is pretty odd.

    • Sean Ryan

      You know little-to-nothing about libertarianism.

      Please STFU.

      • racknstack

        No, see the point he’s trying to make is that libertarians scream about excessive government involvement….but when one libertarian completely defrauds another libertarian, your only option (short of shooting said fraudster and taking what he or she owns for your own) is to go through the court system….that very excessive government involvement you all scream about. I find it hilarious.

        • Brad R

          There seems to be, in many posts I’ve read here, some confusion about what “libertarianism” entails. Perhaps I can help. Libertarians can be roughly divided into two camps — “anarchists” (no government) and “minarchists” (limited government). There are also “objectivists”, followers of Ayn Rand’s teachings, who dislike being called “libertarian” but overlap somewhat with minarchists. Both minarchists and objectivists see three, and only three, valid functions for a state: police, courts, and national defense. So there is no contradiction whatever in a minarchist libertarian or an objectivist seeking to use the courts in this matter; they are remaining true to their principles.

          (Indeed, I expect the minarchists to start using this case as an example when arguing with the anarchists — “See, we were right, you need a government-run court system.” The anarchists — among which I count myself — will likely counter, “Yes, we agree on the need for a court system, but believe it can be privately provided.”)

          But when you say that “libertarians” (instead of “libertarian anarchists”) are being inconsistent for using the courts, you reveal that you are unaware of the tenets of libertarianism, and of one of the movement’s major historical conflicts. Which I think was the point Sean Ryan was trying to make.

          • racknstack

            Your response was helpful. Thanks so much for clarifying.

        • Sean Ryan

          You find it hilarious that victims of fraud would seek recompense via the govt. MONOPOLIZED-BY-FORCE legal system? Would you also find it funny if a libertarian rape victim pursued her attacker via this same system?

          You’re ignorantly/trollishly running your mouth about libertarianism, always attempting to put libertarians on the defensive, because your own ideology is so terrible.

          • racknstack

            Brad R’s response was helpful. Yours was not.

  • amsuedwithabsurdity

    After reading Jeff Berwick’s version of events, I don’t understand how anyone can call him or any other of the investors “some of the smartest businessmen in the movement.” However, Wendy deserves praise for finally blowing the whistle on this debacle and being the most intelligent investor in GGC.

  • Michael Smith

    I do not understand that last sentence, “I don’t want to have you on my conscience.” What does conscience have to do with anarchy or Randian Libertarianism? John Galt applauded fraud and if you were moocher enough to be taken in by a fraud that is entirely your own fault. You are responsible for no one but your self, and so no one could possible be on your conscience. Hopefully, when you get your chance to force Ken Johnson to return your money at gunpoint, you will remember that anything that happens to him is not on your conscience.

    • Kennon Gilson

      Nonsense. Like the author at addictinginfo, you’re way off. My answer there: ” Mr. Parker here smears Rand not mentioning AS is about opposition to a NAZI-based regime ( which he thus appears to favor) and that Rand expressly forbade using the Galt community in the book as a model…and neglects to mention the community does not meet Libertarian standards for such eco-groups.

      For actual information on the founders, doings and principals of the venerable Libertarian movement, check out the Libertarian International Organization or LIO at http://www.libertarianinternational.org


      There is no quote where John Galt applauds fraud that I’ve read. The Libertarian movement is all about conscience–respect for rights and voluntary solutions.

      • Nunyer Business

        I suspect Michael thinks that it’s ‘fraud’ to keep your own money and to avoid those who would steal it from you. So, I suspect Michael thinks John Galt ‘revels in fraud’ when he suggests that those tired of being stolen from remove themselves from a situation where they have constant violence used against them by the state.

    • Sean Ryan

      Mikey, please point out the libertarian philosophers who promote fraud/theft as an integral part of libertarianism…

    • Nunyer Business

      Michael, no libertarian ‘applauds fraud’. And neither did they do so in Atlas Shrugged, that I am aware of, and I’ve actually read the book. The philosophy of libertarianism has nothing to do with ‘everyone for themselves’ or ‘that no one could possibly be on your conscience’. Please stop promoting incorrect propaganda. Libertarianism is about no one special class being able to use VIOLENCE against others for necessary services. For instance, do you understand the concept of charity? Charity is a ‘free market’ function that is outside of the government. Libertarians simply promote charity over theft to help people. It always baffles me that people think that decrying violence is somehow ‘selfish’, while advocating a special class of people who are allowed to use violence against peaceful people is somehow ‘compassionate’. Last I checked, using violence against peaceful people is the antithesis of compassion, while giving to charity and helping people out willingly is the actual definition of compassion. I fail to understand how theft that is used to murder children in foreign countries can be ‘compassionate’ while decrying such theft is somehow ‘selfish’.

  • Michael Smith

    And I don’t understand this either “But GGC owes hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to hardware stores, service providers… ordinary Chileans who are acutely harmed by the project’s malfeasance. They will be and should be first in line for repayment from any legal actions.” Again, the ‘heroic innovators’ are the only important people in this scenario and if that means the so-called ‘ordinary’ people are little more than moochers who deserve to be taken advantage of. It is their own fault that they fell for a fraud just like the investors. Ken Johnson should be celebrated for his masterful plan to increase his wealth and that is all that matters.

    • Sean Ryan

      Are you capable of making an actual point?

      How does KJ’s greed compare to the greed of govts. which ROUTINELY steal trillion$?

      How does GGC’s incompetence compare to that of govts. which ROUTINELY ‘lose’ billion$?

      Get the log out of your eye first, Lefty…

  • Sean Ryan

    The Leftist trolls on here are doing three things (and it has zero to do with “dissenting opinions”):

    1. Gloating that complete strangers (many of them of fairly modest means) have apparently been victimized due to fraud/incompetence. These are the SAME people who claim to be angered by the middle-class and poor being fleeced by the “1%”.
    2. Pretending they’re “scoring points” against libertarianism by claiming that pursuing recompense via the state legal system is ‘hypocrisy’…as if the victims have any kind of practical alternative. This is like saying that prisoners in concentration-camps who complained were ‘hypocrites’, since they ate the food that their National SOCIALIST German WORKERS’ Party (i.e., NAZIs) captors provided for them.
    3. Making the idiotic insinuation that this whole mess somehow ‘proves’ that libertarianism is w/o merit. If a few libertarians being scammed by GGC discredits libertarianism…then what do 10’s of MILLIONS of Leftists falling for Obama’s “Hope and Change” bull-crap do to Leftism/Progressivism/Liberalism?

    As bad as ‘conservatives’ are, the Left is, in many ways, actually worse. I’ve at least been able to kind-of debate w/conservatives, but Leftists are a whole other kind of irrational and fanatical…

    • Roger Hall

      A bunch of false equivalences doesn’t change the fact that when it hit the fan, and all these “rugged individualist” were taken they immediately talked of lawsuits, which naturally will take place in taxpayer funded courts. Instead of whining about liberals, how about you tell your fellow Libertarians to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and realize this is just the free market at work? And try not to think about how all of them lacked the courage of their convictions when they needed the government’s help?

      • Sean Ryan

        2. Pretending they’re “scoring points” against libertarianism by claiming that pursuing recompense via the state legal system is ‘hypocrisy’…as if the victims have any kind of practical alternative. This is like saying that prisoners in concentration-camps who complained were ‘hypocrites’, since they ate the food that their National SOCIALIST German WORKERS’ Party (i.e., NAZIs) captors provided for them.

        Oh, and “rugged individualism” (its funny, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a libertarian ever use this term to describe their self…just a stupid phrase that Leftists always toss out as a put-down) doesn’t mean you let someone steal your stuff…and fraud isn’t a function of the free-market either. You know as much about the free-market as you do about libertarianism…LOL.

        Leftists who voted for Obama shouldn’t be lecturing libertarians about anything. Leftists–whose ideological legacy includes Hitler/National Socialist Party, Stalin/Soviet Socialism, Mao/Communism and their 10’s of MILLIONS of murder victims–shouldn’t really be doing anything but non-stop apologizing to the world for what their insane, extreme collectivist ideology has done to humanity.

        Leftists who are focusing on a few people (who they ASSume are all libertarians for some reason, which I guess makes them less-than-human in the eyes of these Leftists) being apparently defrauded in Chile are cowardly little people looking to move the focus away from the very real totalitarianism/war/evil (torture, children being killed, etc.) being done by the USGovt. as well as the massive failure of Leftism itself.

        Its easier to pick on the few libertarians who exist in the world than attempt to hold those in power accountable or critically look at Leftism, isn’t it?

        • Roger Hall

          Well, Libertarians obviously *need* to be lectured. When reality invades their little selfish fantasies they immediately demand the government step in to help them, as is the case here with Ms. McElroy who promises legal action. I’m sorry these people were so gullible, and they must now resort to using government resources paid for by taxpayer dollars to try and get their money back. Your frenetic attempts to deflect this onto liberals is as sad as it is transparent. This event only helps solidify my opinions of Libertarians: You’re a groups of clueless, angry, hypocritical children without an ounce of self-awareness. And when it hits the fan, you all lack the courage of your convictions. I actually wish the project would have been a success, and we could have shipped you all off to bumble-** nowhere Chile and leave the US to people who actually want to build a society that’s more than just a selfish, self-interested Randian faux-Utopia.

          • Brad R

            Perhaps it is unreasonable to ask you to read all 747 comments on this thread (as of this moment), but if you were to do so, you would learn that Ms. McElroy has specifically said that she will not be pursuing legal action. It is others who are doing so; she’s merely reporting that fact. (And as I have commented downthread, for many libertarians legal action is not a violation of their convictions.)

          • Sean Ryan

            Its just plain unreasonable to expect any kind of intelligent or sane conversation w/a violent, extremist, Left-wing ideologue…

          • Brad R

            Perhaps, and perhaps not — sometimes people can surprise you. But I try to write, not just for the person I am directly addressing, but also for the audience of readers. Because this article has been posted on several left-wing news sites, we have an unusual number of visitors from the left, many of whom have only the understanding of libertarianism that they have received from their comrades — in many ways, a poor caricature. If I can convey a more accurate picture of what libertarianism is, and what libertarians are like, then — even if I don’t change any minds about the issues — I might in a small way engender a more informed, more intelligent, more civil, and (ideally) more cordial discussion.

          • Roger Hall

            Sound advice and something we should all strive to follow in our online exchanges. Thanks for the reminder.

          • Roger Hall

            So. you’re against “childish name-calling.” yet you let countless insults fly without the slightest hint of self-awareness. You’re a zealot and you’ve attached this ideology to your ego – that’s dangerous. Some advice: Take a lesson from Brad R. He seems reasonable and his method of outreach and engagement is infinitely more effective than yours. I do have a Libertarian friend, so just because I come here and poke fun at this misfortune doesn’t mean I discount the entire ideology. So, again tone down your anger and outrage and you might actually come across as something other than a lunatic. Best of luck.

          • Nunyer Business

            Personally, I AM 100% attached to the ideology, and a complete zealot about it, that no one has a special right to commit violence against peaceful people. I do not see this as a bad thing. I consider it ‘moral’ to oppose violence against peaceful people. It’s also interesting that you admit to ‘poking fun’ at misfortune, when, if libertarians did the same thing, for instance if we ‘poked fun’ at cuts in welfare, most liberals would have an utter heart attack and claim that we are horrible people for it. So I’m curious why it’s moral for you to poke fun at someone’s misfortune, but it would be immoral for libertarians to do the same thing?

          • Roger Hall

            What are you talking about? Who said anything about “violence against peaceful people.” Not me, so I don’t know who you’re responding to. And yes, I will poke fun at hypocrisy whenever I see it. If you see me personally having a “heart attack” when someone ‘pokes fun’ at cuts in welfare, you may call me out on it then. Until then, you are creating strawman arguments (assigning a position to someone and attacking that rather than what was said) and logically they are invalid. So, if you take issue with something I’ve actually said, I will be glad to respond. But I won’t address any of the points you invent yourself.

          • Nunyer Business

            Roger, the political process is, by design, violence against innocent people. For instance, take any political issue that you support, no matter what it is, whether it be minimum wage or a system of national defense, and ask yourself how that policy is enforced. It’s enforced through threats of violence against anyone who refuses to comply with this arbitrary dictate by your chosen politicians. EVERY policy and every politician that you advocate for is entirely and 100% based on violence against innocent people. This basic truth is why I am a libertarian. I do not support the use of violence against peaceful people who simply commit the ‘crime’ of disagreeing with me. Therefore I cannot and do not support politics, a ‘state’, or politicians. I do not claim the right to ‘own’ anyone or their property such that I can use violence to get people to do what I wish them to do or to force them to give up their property for ‘the public good’, whatever that arbitrary, subjective, and entirely unmeasurable statement means.

          • Sean Ryan

            I’m very reasonable, I just don’t like Left-winger trolls who imagine themselves to be well-informed and intelligent people who spout hateful and ignorant BS about libertarianism…if you’re too intellectually lazy to contribute something of value, please keep your pie-hole shut.

          • Roger Hall

            Tell me something Sean: when you tell people online to shut up, are you often successful? Ironically, it was one of your countless liberal bashing posts that first provoked me to post here. You don’t get to decide what is and isn’t of value (last I checked you had 37 upvotes to my 39 so if my posts aren’t of value what does that say of yours?) I have a challenge for you: See if you can make it through the day without posting some long rant about how much you hate lefties, and I will not say one thing against libertarians. Do you think you could do it?

          • Sean Ryan

            Tell me something Rogers: When you make fun of people who’ve been defrauded and actually EXPECT them to simply allow the defrauder to break his contract to them w/o consequence…how do you think that makes you look?

            When you come on here and crap all over libertarianism (and every libertarian)–about which you know nothing other than what you’ve read about it at Salon or Huffpost–because of people being defrauded, what point do you think you’re making?

            When you attempt to debate w/people far more knowledgeable than you about economics/philosophy/history/politics by name-calling, constructing strawmen, and engaging in non-stop fallaciousness…how foolish do you think you look?

            If you’re not serious about this stuff and think you’re accomplishing something by voting the straight Democrat-ticket every election, fine…if you think electing Obama makes you a forward-thinking ‘progressive’ go ahead and pat yourself on the back…I get it, thinking is hard and most folks these days aren’t cut out for it, after all you’re a product of the govt. school/obedience-training system…just don’t pick fights w/people who can easily wipe the floor w/you…

          • Roger Hall

            Out of respect to the request of the moderator, I will not take the bait here. Good luck with your proclamations of superiority. I’m sure they will win you lots of friends and respect.

          • Thanks.

          • Nunyer Business

            So, people who oppose violence are somehow ‘violent extremists’, while people who advocate theft and extortion in order to murder children in foreign countries are somehow sane? You have a bizarre sense of the concept of what a ‘violent extremist’ is.

          • Brad R

            Actually, I believe Sean Ryan was referring to Roger Hall as the “violent, extremist, Left-wing ideologue”. The threading in this comment section can be a bit confusing at times.

          • Sean Ryan

            Leftists who wish to impose their utopian views on society via the legislative process are, indeed, violent extremists…esp. those who vote Democrat and support Obama.

          • Roger Hall

            I know it’s not really fair to force you all into a corner. But please see it from my point of view. I pay taxes, many thousands each year. I don’t worry where every single penny is going because I have plenty to spare. I don’t mind paying for things I don’t use, and government waste doesn’t keep me up at night or turn me into a raving online lunatic like some. So, to me Libertarians are too extremist. So when they simultaneously want to live with little regulations or government interference, then when something goes wrong they run to the safety of that which they disdain, I will call BS. As I see it government is an unpleasant necessity. To try and eliminate it or starve it of money so that it is completely ineffective to me is unreasonable. My friends are mostly liberal, all are hardworking, tax paying citizens who put FAR more into the US treasury than they will ever take out. But that’s the price of living in the US as I see it. I have pretty much anything I’d want and to sit around grinding your teeth over government waste and poor people on welfare is to throw your life away. But that’s just me I suppose.

          • Brad R

            In the first place, every libertarian that I know pays taxes. It is an ongoing debate within libertarianism whether an anarchist, having paid for those services, should use government services, or whether that money should be just viewed as stolen and never to be recovered.
            But that is somewhat academic, since Wendy is not “running to the safety of that which they disdain” to resolve this; she is, according to her principles, working toward a private resolution. You seem to think this is deserving of criticism.
            Bear in mind also that this entire venture was one of libertarians “putting their money where their mouth is”, as the expression goes. Rather than campaigning to eradicate those services which you regard as desirable, they merely sought to remove themselves to a place where the burden of government, while still present, is more tolerable. I would hope that people using their own money, and no one else’s, in order to more fully live true to their principles, is something you might find worthy of a modicum of respect, even if you regard those principles as misguided.
            Finally, as a side matter, I am somewhat shocked that you can speak of “bumble-** nowhere Chile” with such disdain. I take it that you have never traveled to Chile, a modern and prosperous society, and that you carry an inaccurate and unflattering stereotype of Chileans (or perhaps South Americans in general). Such prejudice is unbecoming. Is this the image you wish to present of yourself?

          • Roger Hall

            The comment of “bumble-** nowhere Chile” was obviously hyperbole and meant as humorous. You know as well as I do it was not meant as an insult. Really Brad R? Just when I was beginning to like you…

            Anyway, to your other points: if libertarians want to use their own money to remove themselves from society, I’m all for it. We don’t like you and you certainly don’t like us. But, again, this whole ordeal shows how unrealistic the libertarian ideology is. The abject selfishness and sociopathic ideals that are the foundation of the belief (oh, I know you like to go on about “self-determination”, “limited government” and letting the free market govern itself. But as I see it you’re a group of people who are greedy, self-interested to a breathtaking degree and in the end, hypocrites as you benefit from the services every day that you don’t want to pay for.) I paint an ugly picture I know, but that is simply how you are viewed. I see very rich people who don’t want to pay taxes and angry non-rich people who are looking for someone to blame their problems on (Sean Ryan is a good example of this impotent fury)

            But to me, its an ideology without much of a future. Sure, the tea-baggers have made it more mainstream, but they’ll end up doing more damage in the end. So, good luck with your future endeavors, and enjoy the benefits of living where you do. I’m happy to pick up the tab for your indignation.

          • Brad R

            Your remark was not obviously hyperbole, or I would not have commented on it. Far too many bigoted remarks have been excused with “aw, it was just a joke.” I expected better of a self-proclaimed liberal.

            I know that some Chileans are reading and commenting on this thread, and I am embarrassed for the Daily Bell, that your remark has appeared here. I would be embarrassed for you, but that seems pointless, as you don’t seem to be the least embarrassed or apologetic yourself.

          • Roger Hall

            Oh, get real. If you want to defend your ideology, then do so. But if you want to focus on an off the cuff remark please allow me to, again, to call BS. And I’m sure any Chileans lurking in these threads can defend themselves if they are offended, and they don’t need you to speak for them.

          • Brad R

            Goodness, your condescension knows few bounds. “Scads of Chileans,” indeed. I do not need to speak for them, but I do feel the need to apologize to them, on behalf of the North Americans on this forum who do not share your attitude.

            And I am not posting to “defend my ideology,” certainly not to one as misinformed and prejudiced as yourself. I will chime in to clear up a point of confusion, as I did below in my response to racknstack, but I’m not inclined to offer a tutorial in elementary libertarian philosophy. Frankly, you have displayed so many errors of knowledge that I begin to doubt that you have a libertarian friend, and it matters not at all to me “how [we] are viewed” by you in your ignorance. I now think Sean Ryan had your measure at first reading; and though I do not regret attempting to be civil to you, I now suspect it was a waste of time.

          • Roger Hall

            Oh, I think I understand Libertianism all too well, which is why I find it so repulsive. It’s basically attempting to intellectually justify complete and utter selfism under some phony guise of self-determination. You don’t care about anyone but yourselves, and I find that morally reprehensible. That’s why the folly of Gault Gulch is so telling. Many of you were burned by the principles you all hold so dear. So, insult me all you want. At least I can look my fellow liberals in the face knowing they won’t plunge a dagger in my back when I turn away. Clearly you cannot say the same. Enjoy the company of your ruthless and selfish brethren, but sleep with one eye open. They’ll burn you if they can.

          • Sean Ryan

            More projection from the violent, Left-wing extremist…you’re an expert at committing endless logical-fallacies too aren’t you?

            If you weren’t such an incredibly hateful person, I’d feel sorry for how disconnected-from-reality and brainwashed you are!

          • No name calling please.

          • Sean Ryan

            OK…I’m out of here…

            DB is hassling me for calling a D-bag a D-bag but allows Leftist trolls to non-stop slur libertarianism and make fun of victims of fraud…

            Ridiculous DB!

          • Your arguments are logical and pertinent. You don’t need to call names. As stated earlier, we are moderating this thread more closely now.

          • Sean Ryan

            Yeah, no nastiness coming from Roger Hall, eh?

            And yet he’s still posting unmolested from you…guess you’ve got a soft-spot for nasty Left-wing trolls…

          • Roger Hall

            Do you know what Persecutory delusion is Sean? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecutory_delusion

          • Guest

            Wow. I mean. Wow. Do you have idea what this post looks like? So insulting and angry. You have the audacity to call me an “incredibly hateful person?” Son. You need help. All politics aside, just as a another human being who is concerned for you, please seek some counseling before you do violence to yourself or others.

          • We missed this one. Again, to the both of you, please stick to the arguments and stop personalizing them. Thanks.

          • Roger Hall

            You’re right. I’m sorry. Will delete.

          • Sean Ryan

            More projection bro…and, LOL, please don’t pretend you’re concerned for me…since you–along w/your Lefty pals–have shown you take GLEE in the misfortune of others…

          • Nunyer Business

            Obviously, you have zero understanding of libertarianism. The basic underlying concept of libertarianism is that non one has a right to own you or use violence against you. How is it ‘repulsive’ to not believe that you own everyone else to the extent that you can use violence against peaceful people simply because they disagree with you? Because that is the basic tenet of government and politics- they ‘the state’ owns you and your property, and thus can use violence against anyone who disagrees with them. That is the entire basis of every political stance.

          • Sean Ryan

            I’ve always found Leftists to be the most dishonest, ignorant, and close-minded people to engage with…they’re literally impervious to reason/evidence/facts…and I’ve found Left-wing sites to be far more aggressive than conservative or libertarian ones in censoring dissenting opinions (esp. the more intelligent/libertarian comments)–its like the disseminators of Left-wing propaganda realize they have to shield their Useful Idiots followers from inconvenient truths…

          • Nunyer Business

            I agree Sean. I find that they are so invested in being ‘peaceful’ and ‘loving’, but they are so brainwashed that they are ‘doing good’ through politics that they entirely refuse to look at the consequences or outcomes of what they advocate for. For instance, the nation has not heard a PEEP out of the leftists on war since Obama was elected because they refuse to criticize anyone with a (D) after their name for any reason. Their entire persona is wrapped up in being a democrat that they cannot criticize anyone who identified with their political party, no matter whether their actions conflict with their morals or not. Instead of rectifying their contradictory beliefs, they simply ignore them. Even better, many turn on you and call you violent for pointing out their contradictory advocacy for violence. They claim that my POINTING OUT of their violence is violence, but that their advocacy of actual, literal, physical violence is not violence at all, but ‘peaceful’ and ‘compassionate’ behavior! It’s really baffling and can only be explained by a lifetime of brainwashing.

          • Sean Ryan

            One of my fav YT vids shows just how clueless and spineless liberals are:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skw-0jv9kts

            I just don’t know how one gets thru to Leftists who actually BELIEVE we live in an economic system of “unrestrained/unregulated capitalism” (which is news to all the kids who’ve had their lemonade stands shut-down by govt.)…to them the 100,000’s of Federal/State/Local laws/regs simply don’t exist.

            CONGRESS (with a DEMOCRAT majority) bailed out the banks and these idiots went to protest on WALL ST. and voted for OBAMA (who shilled for the bailout) and the SAME Dems who did the bailout???

            The federal govt. wages non-stop war and these idiots blame the oil-companies, LOL…

            Guantanamo is still open and torturing people who’ve been convicted of no crimes…but not a peep from the Left these days.

            We could go on listing the hypocrisy and just plain ignorance of Leftists all day…

            IMO, deep-down, the Left realizes they’ve become nothing more than Useful Idiots for the Democrat Party and status-quo…so they spend all their time attacking libertarians so as not to have to defend their own wretchedness.

          • Nunyer Business

            Yes, I love the ‘unrestrained capitalism’ part… when the only companies that are the problems are the ones that are cronies who spend billions to lobby, and get the regulations they desired so they could put their competitors out of business. I point out the fact that there are MILLIONS of regulations preventing the ‘average Joe’ from starting a business, which makes it so that only smarter than average people are able to even contemplate managing the dizzying byzantine maze of bureaucracy required in order to start a business. When I point this out to my liberal friends, and tell them that their advocacy for such regulations FAVORS the big businesses they claim to hate and put them SQUARELY in the camp of the rich, instead of addressing their advocacy of regulations that prevent average people from starting a business, they then claim that I’m just a ‘libertarian making excuses’ for being poor (I’m not poor, but they ignore this). They refuse to address the ISSUE, that regulations keep the average person poor and unable to work for themselves, and so end up on welfare or working for the rich who make money from their inability to work for themselves.

            John Taylor Gatto (who is in no way a ‘libertarian’, but simply a former teacher who finally woke up to the con of public education) has a wonderful tome on how public education, from it’s inception, was designed to keep the populace stupid, and that the literacy rate of Americans has decreased by over 30% since public education was instituted. This is part and parcel of the liberal mindset that refuses to see their own policies keep people stupid and enslaved to the rich- who they then claim to hate, while their every policy benefits them. What utter stupidity they exhibit when they refuse to see facts in favor of their false preconceived notions, and refuse to look at outcomes, in favor of intentions,while the outcomes are the exact opposite of their intentions.

            http://mhkeehn.tripod.com/ughoae.pdf

          • Sean Ryan

            Love JTG…heard about him on School Sucks podcast.

            Another thing that cracks me up about Lefties is how they say they hate “the rich” (totally arbitrary term), yet this hatred doesn’t extend to “rich” Left-wingers like Obama, Clinton, Pelosi, Huffington, Bloomberg, Soros, or others, like celebs/athletes who spew Lefty talking-points, etc…

            And it always amuses me when Lefties claim the richest people aren’t paying their “fair share” when, in fact, they’re shouldering (despite being a small political minority) a much larger share of the tax-burden than poor people are.

            Facts just don’t matter to Lefties…

          • Nunyer Business

            They ‘claim’ to hate cronies but when it comes time to bail out banks or automotive companies, they are first in line to vote for it, and they LOVE any cronies that call themselves ‘green’. They claim to hate war, but not only reelect warmongers like Obama and justify HIS wars as being ‘out of his control’ (despite the fact that he’s the CIC and could recall the military on the spot without even the slightest need for approval by Congress or anyone else), but DEMAND the institution of taxation that pays for cronies and war.

            I even have arguments with this one guy who claims to hate war, hate the rich, hates cronies, believes that 911 was an inside job perpetrated by the ‘elites’ and believes that Obama is merely a puppet of the elite and is being ‘forced’ to do what they want him to do on pain of assassination as that suffered by Kennedy, however, he still DEMANDS that the government that perpetrates these atrocities still is ‘necessary’, even going so far as to say that government is ‘not a problem’!

            What!? Not a frigging problem! You believe that the top people in government commit terrorist attacks against US citizens for corporate profit, and you believe Obama is a figurehead to be used for profits of the elite, but the institution that creates and fosters TERRORISM against US citizens, robs them of their wealth for corporate profit and war, and has murdered 30 million innocent people since WWII for corporate profit is NOT A PROBLEM!!?? Geesh, such amazing levels of indoctrination; it’s utterly baffling.

          • Sean Ryan

            IMO Stockhold Syndrome is at play…its easier for people to ignore reality than to believe they’re little more than domesticated tax-cattle being harvested by TPTB for the benefit of TPTB…that and 15,000 childhood hours of forced training in govt. schools.

            I’ve related the figures on democide to LOTS of statists…and even 100’s of MILLIONS of folks murdered by govts. makes no impression on them.

            Human sacrifice, as I said, is a core tenet of statism.

          • Roger Hall

            Let me prove you wrong, son. Brad posted this: http://c4ss.org/content/28216

            And, to be honest, left-libertarianism is something I could actually support. If one of you all had simply come out and explain it we might have found some common ground sooner. But instead you’ve just been an insult machine. So tell me again how I’m “impervious to reason/evidence/facts.”

          • Sean Ryan

            I’m sorry, but I just am not good at dealing w/insane people who make light of complete strangers being defrauded…someone who clearly has no ability to think/communicate logically…its hard to imagine finding common ground w/someone who clearly came here w/one intention: to troll his betters (libertarians).

          • Nunyer Business

            “Tea-Baggers” as you derogatorily call them simply because you disagree with them, do not in any way preach ‘libertarianism’. You are badly misinformed and/or are just pushing incorrect propaganda for your own purposes. The Tea Party are firmly Big Government conservatives who want Big Government solutions.

            And it’s a sad state of affairs when people like you believe that people who want to end violence are the unrealistic ‘bad guys’ while the people who perpetrate violence to steal and use it to murder children and put peaceful people in cages are the ‘good guys’. It can only be a lifetime of indoctrination that causes people to accept from the government what they would reject from the mob. No one would call anyone ‘hypocritical’ if the mob came into your neighborhood, stole from you, used it to build a sidewalk, and you used said sidewalk in order to live your day to day life, while at the same time opposing the theft that built the sidewalk. It baffles me why anyone would see this is a perfectly reasonable solution to not be trapped in your own home because the mob created a violent monopoly on a service, but they call it hypocritical when opposing government. It’s illogical and assumes that the entity has a right to violently monopolize such services. My criteria for knowing whether something is violent or not is whether I would accept such a situation if the mob did it. So, would you accept it as being good and right if the mob stole your money and used some of it to build a sidewalk, then used the rest to murder children in foreign countries? If not, then why do you accept such a thing from an entity as long as they call themselves a ‘government’? If the mob allowed you to choose who will steal from you and called themselves a ‘government’, would that make a difference in your support for them?

          • Sean Ryan

            Statists are FAR more indoctrinated than the most extreme Red-State, born-again Christians…this is what happens when children are forced to attend govt. schools for 15,000 hours from the age of 5-18.

            Left-wingers are the worst of the true-believers…the radical Islamists of the statist religion.

          • Sean Ryan

            Jeesh…talk about psychological projection…

            You’re really a perfect example of an insane Left-winger!

          • Nunyer Business

            Sociopathic ideals of voluntary solutions to societal problems? But violent solutions to those problems are ‘sane’? How utterly bizarre that you actually believe that violence is sane and non-violent solutions are ‘sociopathic’. Only someone entirely up to his eyes in Stockholm Syndrome could believe such nonsense. It’s a sad state of affairs when government indoctrination camps have completely arrested any semblence of critical thinking skills such that the vast majority of people think that violence is ‘sane’ and non-violent solutions are ‘sociopathic’. Wow.

          • Roger Hall

            Y’know, I’ve been debating people who hold very different ideologies from myself for many years. Perhaps it’s not fair to judge Libertarianism based upon the posts of the people I’ve encountered here. But tell me this: Do you all think you’re helping your cause? The amount of insults I’ve had thrown at me is really incredible (yes I’m not innocent, I’ve been insulting too.) But as a group, the three posters I’ve had exchanges with only has only further degraded my opinion of Libertarianism. You three men (ok, two – I’m pretty sure Sean a just a kid) have so easily called me ignorant, indoctrinated, lacking in critical thinking skills, and too many other insults to count. Why? Why are you so angry towards me? I’m a decent guy, pretty bright and self-aware. But to you I must seem like some kind of monster; the enemy incarnate. The one that’s ruining your life and your nation. Nothing else explains your anger and hatred. Truth is, I’m not. And I think on some level you might actually know this. But I suppose this is the nature of online message boards. Anyone who wanders in to our comfortable place and says things upsetting to us and we’re on them like a hive of killer bees. I’m pretty sure the years will change you all, and you might find the opinions you hold so dear to grow less appealing as you age, as you become more isolated and insular. Maturity has a way of doing that to a person.

          • Brad R

            I presume that I am one of the three to whom you refer. If you look back at our exchanges, you will see that I was civil to you until this post of yours http://thedailybell.com/editorials/35591/Wendy-McElroy-The-Fate-of-Galts-Gulch-Chile/#comment-1597833044 in which you referred to the “selfishness and sociopathic ideals” of libertarians, and called us “greedy, self-interested to a breathtaking degree and in the end, hypocrites”. You’ve also called us “repulsive,” “morally reprehensible,” “ruthless,” and “selfish.”

            Based solely on your posts in this thread, I have called you ignorant (based on your dearth of knowledge about libertarianism, which has not deterred you from pontificating on the subject), and prejudiced (both towards Chile/Chileans and towards libertarians). I also implied that your remarks about Chileans were bigoted and condescending. I think I have used each of those terms with precision, and I think that your posting record here backs me up (even though you went back and edited one post after I complained). I also called you misinformed, if you regard that as an insult.

            Perhaps you are truly unaware of how rude and obnoxious your posts have been. I have encountered such people, that believe they are rationally debating when they are hurling insults right and left. I get along quite well with non-libertarians, and on message boards I strive to be civil until I am given adequate reason to be otherwise. I don’t require a “comfortable place” or an echo chamber. My views have stood the test of debate for decades, junior.

            I’m not overly concerned about your opinion of libertarianism being “further degraded,” since it was obviously pretty low to begin with, based (as I have demonstrated, e.g. with left-libertarianism) on a wealth of misconceptions. If I were to judge liberalism by your posts, I’d say you were damaging your cause. Fortunately, my opinion of liberalism is formed by my liberal and progressive friends, so it’s easy for me to view you as the exception rather than the rule.

            As for how others might view me…I’m content to rest on my posting record here.

          • Roger Hall

            Ok, I will admit I’ve given as bad as I’ve gotten. I do regret some of the things I’ve said. You, Brad, however lost me when you conflated a clearly off the cuff remark about Chile into some kind of slur. I could call anywhere bumble**. Antarctica, for example. Does that mean I’m insulting the penguins? I saw that, and still see it, as very cheap and disingenuous. It didn’t work and you got mad. You’re still mad. That said, I did read your article on left-libertarianism and thought it made some good points. But I see that as now as a completely separate ideology from libertarianism, hence my lack of knowledge of it. Elements are there, true. But in the article itself it makes clear that it’s not the dominate belief in libertarianism and faces skeptisicm and marginalization. If you want to make any of those dreams a reality, I’d suggest you disassociate your belief from the anarchists and the virulent anti-government element that is the public face of the ideology.

          • Brad R

            You know, when someone points out that I have made a remark that is offensive to some group, when I was not intending to do so, my usual reaction is something like “Oh my goodness! I didn’t mean that. I apologize, and I withdraw the remark.”

            You, on the other hand, stood by your remark, calling it “hyperbole” and now “off the cuff” — as I called it, the aw, it’s just a joke defense. (Need I point out that closet bigots often reveal their true feelings with “off the cuff” remarks?) It would have been simple for you to say “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything bad about Chileans.” Instead you took my complaint as a personal attack, and doubled down. This is not the response of a mature person.

            As a side note, you might be surprised to learn that a lot of left-libertarians are anarchists. You have a lot to learn about libertarianism.

          • Roger Hall

            If I said something offensive I will own it and apologize. In fact in my previous post I did just that, no? The fact that it offended you doesn’t mean it was offense. If it did you have very thin skin. Or rather, thin skin for people you feel can’t defend themselves (which, ironically, is kind of bigoted.) Again, I think you jumped on it trying to score cheap points when most sensible people would have let it go. You clearly hold yourself up as some kind of paradigm of reason. But to me you come across as more narcissistic than bright or reasoned. You accuse me of doubling down. Well, Brad, I could level that same charge at you.

          • Brad R

            For your information — and feel free to review the postings — this is the first time you have apologized for that remark. Thank you for doing so.

            You may also recall that in a four paragraph response to you, that was the last and least of my points (mentioned as an aside, not as part of the argument). Yet it was the paragraph you responded to first, and most forcefully. One might conclude that I had touched a nerve.

            And still you continue with insults. I do not consider myself a “paradigm of reason” — I do sometimes fancy that I set a small example for good manners, but occasionally they slip. Nor do I consider myself “narcissistic,” but again, I am happy to let others form an opinion of me based on my posts here. Your opinion matters not at all to me.

          • Roger Hall

            Ah, here we see the perfect example of reading what you want to read rather than what is there. I apologized for previous insults and rude behavior, but not for an innocuous comment about Chile. You may withdraw your thanks and retain your indignation.

            But, let’s shift gears here. I have a simple question. If libertarianism is such a great model for organizing a society, why are there NO libertarian nations? And why do the experiments always end in abject failure? The Chilean Gault Gulch fiasco is a perfect example. Then there’s Operation Atlantic, which also failed. Atlantis 1 and 2 (Fail 1 and Fail 2, rather) Sea City and a few others. Why does the Utopia that libertarians promise always fail so spectacularly?

          • Brad R

            To be precise, you said: “I will admit I’ve given as bad as I’ve gotten. I do regret some of the things I’ve said.” You regret some, unspecified, statements. Pretty vague and weak, I’d say.

            It can be argued that the U.S. was, at its inception, a libertarian nation. Why it failed is a subject for prolonged debate, and I don’t have the answer. Perhaps Sean or Nunyer feel like obliging you; I don’t.

          • Roger Hall

            So, let me get this straight: You’re more than happy to argue whether or not I insulted Chileans, but when it comes to explaining why libertarianism fails each and every time a society is founded on it, suddenly you’re going to punt to your cohorts? Talk about the emperor having no clothes. Let me give you a dose of reality, as clearly you need some: libertarianism won’t work. It’s been attempted by many, with lots of money, effort and enthusiasm behind it and it has fallen on it’s face every single time. It is just bad luck? Or an inherently flawed ideology? I’m guessing the latter. But seeing as you don’t have the courage to even muster a feeble explanation, I have no choice. Brad, you might have some liberal and progressive friends, but I would be very surprised that, when your back is turned, they don’t laugh at you and your childish idealism rooted in fantasy.

          • Brad R

            You seem to be a bit slow on the uptake, so I’ll try to spell this out carefully. I do have an interest in the decorum of this comment thread. So I will occasionally — not always — post when I see someone being offensive. (And despite your attempt at creative definition, you were offensive.)

            As a matter of goodwill, I will also clarify small points of confusion for new posters, or when I feel that others reading might benefit, or to make a secondary point.

            But as I said three days ago, http://thedailybell.com/editorials/35591/Wendy-McElroy-The-Fate-of-Galts-Gulch-Chile/#comment-1597944083 I have no interest in “defending my ideology” or getting into a protracted debate with one as ill-informed and hostile such as yourself. It’s not a matter of courage; it’s just that you bore me, and I don’t think you’re open to a civil discussion.

          • Roger Hall

            If you can’t defend it, you can’t defend it. Don’t pretend you’re somehow above it all. That’s just a cop out. The reality is that libertarianism, when attempted, has fallen on it’s face each and every time. You’re very like the religious people I sometimes debate. They have no proof, no application of their beliefs that can be empirically proven. But y’know, I’m just not enlightened to see what they see. You are no different sir. You have belief without merit and live on faith without facts. Your ideology exists only on paper and online message boards. Whereas I can point to successful nations with liberals policies at their core, you have little more than a collection of whack-jobs and greedy rich guys trying to avoid taxes to show on your side. If that’s who you choose to side with, I can’t stop you. But I can call BS that, when confronted with the grim reality of applied libertarianism, suddenly you can’t be bothered.

          • Brad R

            Leaving aside the question of historical examples (since I am not a historian), what a peculiar argument you advance: X has not been done, therefore X cannot be done.
            We are fortunate that you were not around to advise the Wright brothers. Or Edison. Or Babbage. (And no, I am not comparing myself to them.)

          • Roger Hall

            Or rather X has been attempted several times and failed, so at what point do we realize X, as we understand it, won’t work? True, it was an unfair question, but it would have been fun to see you take a stab at it. I suppose I could have asked you why no one has adopted World of Warcraft as their model of society and you’d had about the same chance.

            I’m sorry Brad, I don’t know why I’ve given you such a hard time. Believe whatever you need to and I should be happy that you’re at least thoughtful when it comes to selecting a political ideology. Many people aren’t. As long as LIbertarians aren’t blowing up buildings or shooting people in the street do and act as you see fit.

          • Roger Hall

            And Brad, I gotta hand it to you. You were able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Even I’d have to say you were getting the better of me the last few days. But one dose of the reality that is applied libertarianism and the massive and total failures therein, and you folded like a government issued umbrella (man, I wish I’d thought about this angle days ago. It would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.)

          • Nunyer Business

            I’ve not insulted you at all. Calling you violent when you advocate violence is calling you names? And telling you the truth about your violence invalidates the reality that you are advocating violence? I suspect that your reaction to having your violence pointed out to you when it’s in conflict with your lifetime of indoctrination is similar to the reaction of people in the south who had been slaveowners their entire life being told that blacks were humans and not beasts of burden. Sorry, but it’s a fact that you advocate violence. I’m sorry that upsets your world view of your being a peaceful, loving human. But you cannot be a peaceful, reasonable, and moral person and advocate for violence. It’s interesting that you don’t address this fact, but instead, you focus on your emotio