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Anarchist equals fool, conman and crook equals pseudonyms, pen names, aliases and also known as AKA in police parlance.

Except for George H. Smith. He is not a crook. I bought his books and got my money's worth.

So what is Wolf's real name? Sorry, so many people, including him, got conned. I won't say those duped had it coming, but whatever.

Yep, that must be why Serpico had nothing to do in terms of corruption right?

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Peter writes:

I won't say those duped had it coming, but whatever.

I will.

For a fraudulent transaction to take place, it requires equal parts of lying and the willingness to believe lies. This can only occur when all involved parties' values match. It is impossible when values don't match because there is nothing within the person to which the liar can appeal.

Greg

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Anarchist equals fool, conman and crook equals pseudonyms, pen names, aliases and also known as AKA in police parlance.

Except for George H. Smith. He is not a crook. I bought his books and got my money's worth.

So what is Wolf's real name? Sorry, so many people, including him, got conned. I won't say those duped had it coming, but whatever.

Here's the deal. Obedience is a choice. Moreover, most of life is ungoverned and ungovernable. No cop standing over my shoulder telling me what to write, or how to make coffee this morning, or who or what to love. I chose to live in a small, particularly free country with ineffectual police service and corrupt government officials. I liked it. There was no safety net if I made a mistake, and I made lots of mistakes. For instance, when my guard dog was poisoned I mistakenly attributed it to a neighbor's overly liberal use of rat poison, when in reality the dog was killed by my housekeeper so her gay husband could steal my car without being eaten by a Rottweiler. But freedom has an upside, no matter how many mistakes one might make. Edison made a mistake wiring New York City with high amperage DC for instance.

Joining Laissez Faire City was not a mistake. Nor did I become disillusioned or regret what happened in pursuit of a new digital nation beyond the reach of territorial governments, especially the United States, which claims sovereign power over its citizens (and other peoples and their governments) everywhere in the world. If you believe that you have an obligation of obedience to the sovereign United States, you're a modern Tory, incapable of understanding Howard Roark and Ragnar Danneskjöld.

The insistence upon characterizing LFC or its leaders as a "con" is a stupid slander. Personally, I don't mind. I failed to bring the rule of law to bear, no matter how eloquently and repeatedly I argued for it publicly and privately wtihin LFC. Revolutionaries at war with sovereign Government are loathe to accept limitation of their autonomous liberty, however reckless and unfair they may be in pursuit of their freedom. In this, freemen are a lot like wives. If I tried to tell my wife what to do, I'd catch holy hell and properly so.

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An old family friend lived in Costa Rica. Someone always had to occupy her house or thieves would enter and steal. That was the danger in the 1980s. It was (is?) a culture of stealing. Worse crime wasn't so much of a concern--then.

The culture of LFC seems to have been somewhat disparate and un-grounded. With today's technology you can more easily have a strong, interactive culture albeit spread thin geographically. As for getting like people together, Doug Casey has set up a private community in rural Argentina based on libertarian-types who are well to do. Other such types have done the same on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. I might someday visit, but I wouldn't move. I want more diversity and I want the United States.

If you are an American, that's the base. I think it's usually even stronger than one's religious sentiment. The typical immigrant, historically, has supposedly come to this country to become an American. It's hard to imagine moving to France to become French, but some expatriates seem to have come close. For instance, Josephine Baker in the 1930s and James Baldwin. I can't blame them; I blame their times. For white guys, there's Charlie Chaplin, but that was an involuntary, special case.

I think for most Americans it behooves them to think clearly about what kind of American they want to be and act to re-enforce that. For instance, a libertarian American--or, for stronger results, an American libertarian, even American AND a libertarian because that's what an American ought to be. I'm sticking with me as me and letting all the rest float around in the background. I was willing once to go to war on behalf of my country, I'll never wash that out, but need no buffing it up. Any young person thinking of joining up, however, should know that "American" will be deep-stamped into one's ideas and psychology, if public education hasn't already done that. That will be good for patriotism, but nationalism only if your brain is un-redeemable. All nationalists are proto-fascist assholes. I think they mostly disappeared after Pearl Harbor and died off in private.

--Brant

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Wolf writes:

Here's the deal. Obedience is a choice. Moreover, most of life is ungoverned and ungovernable.

This is a fundamental truth. The only real governance is self governance. The US government today exists as the just and deserved consequence of peoples' failure to govern their own behavior.

Just as people can choose to forfeit their moral protection and financial providence through their failure to self govern, so can a nation...

...and it already has.

Greg

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peoples' failure to govern their own behavior

I know quite a bit about that, having failed to successfully govern my own behavior more times than I can count.

"Freedom includes the right to make mistakes... Incidentally, doctors can be wrong, and so can engineers, and any specialists... To suffer through the consequences of one's own error is a proper part of the existence of a being endowed with free will." [Ayn Rand, private note quoted in The Journals of Ayn Rand]

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Greg wrote: For a fraudulent transaction to take place, it requires equal parts of lying and the willingness to believe lies. This can only occur when all involved parties' values match. It is impossible when values don't match because there is nothing within the person to which the liar can appeal.

end quote

I disagree in part. In simple transactions, the duped may have had no wish for the unearned. The fact that they did not detect duplicity simply means they believed the liar. But if it happens twice . . . Now in the case of complicated transactions as with Wolf or whatever his name is, it seems he participated in the transaction because he defended the thief. He does not seem repentant at all, in fact he still defends his actions. I think NB answered Greg's response quite well below.

Peter

From The Academic Associates Seminar, January, 1970, Nathaniel Branden.

Question: What is your opinion of the trend among certain alleged defenders of free enterprise to repudiate the concept of government entirely and to advocate instead what amounts to some form of anarchy?

Branden: Well let me say at the outset that I of course am an advocate of limited constitutional government. I'm in complete agreement with Ayn Rand's essay on The Nature of Government which appears both in her collection of essays The Virtue of Selfishness and was then reprinted again in her later book Capitalism The Unknown Ideal. Therefore I'm not going to here review the arguments for the necessity of a constitutional form of government since I assume you're all familiar with it and in fact agree with me on that subject. I think it's a very unfortunate trend which is seducing an awful lot of somewhat careless thinkers-- this trend among alleged libertarians to advocate what you correctly call anarchism. I think the motives differ from person to person. I think the motives of those who cooked up this idea are not necessarily the same as some of those who are seduced by their arguments. I think they do a very serious disservice to the cause of free enterprise because they put forth a position which is so palpably ridiculous that they just make their own contribution to putting the advocacy of capitalism in the category of a lunatic fringe.

And that's very unfortunate because some of the people associated with the anarcho-capitalist movement are not stupid. They can be very intelligent. They can be very articulate--some of them, not many. And they do a real disservice to the cause of rational capitalism. I think this is a movement that will have a brief vogue and will die in a few years. As people have a chance to mature and think the matter over I think they are going to realize that the arguments they have accepted are very spurious and they may look back with some feeling of embarrassment about this period of their intellectual development. I don't think the whole issue is of great social or sociological significance. I think it's an unfortunate phase. I think it will pass and I really have to say I think it's all pretty stupid.

Question: Well then, Dr. Branden, how would you answer the argument of these anarchists that, since government necessarily entails a monopoly on the use of force, such a monopoly can be maintained only by force and, hence, government always involves some violation of individual rights?

Branden: This, of course, is their favorite argument and their stock argument. In briefest essentials, I would answer as follows. Let's imagine, to make it very simple, that we--this group in this room tonight-- form a society and agree on the principles to be operative in the society in a political sense. We agree upon a constitution and a government is created for the purpose of carrying out the principles laid down in this constitution. Now, let us say that somebody new is born into the society or enters it from some other country, and he says: Look. I wasn't consulted, I wasn't asked my opinion about this system of government. I want to set up a competing system of government. How can you justify forbidding me from doing so and threatening me with jail if I don't go along with the present political order of things?

And my answer is the following. And remember we are talking here about a free system, about a government which is limited in its function to the protection of individual rights. Suppose that I am the spokesman for this hypothetical government. Then I would say to this person as follows: In this society, nobody is forbidding you anything so long as you do not violate the rights of anybody else in this society. That means, more specifically, if you want to form private arbitration agencies to settle disputes among people who will become your clients, you may do so. That happens even in our present society. You can form a private club or a private organization and lay down any kind of rules you want for your members. You will not be stopped until and unless you attempt to use physical force or fraud or some derivative against some fellow member of this society. That you have no right to do.

If you ever attempt to use force, let us say, in retaliation against a criminal, which you may have to do if the police are not available, you will be obliged to justify later your use of force and to demonstrate that it was, in fact, necessary. If you can justify it, you're in no trouble, any more than any other citizen of a free country is in trouble. So that so long as you don't infringe somebody else's rights, you can form any kind of organization you want. You can have your own arbitration committee, you can have your own system of penalties and fines and so long as the people who go along with your organization voluntarily agree to pay them, you have no problem. Your problem begins when you attempt to use force to get your way.

Therefore, in conclusion, I argue that in the system we are advocating, the individual is not having his rights violated because he is not allowed to set up a competing government.

Question: Dr. Branden, a few members of this anarcho--capitalist group are advocating an alliance with the New Left. Can you offer any explanation of this rather bewildering position?

Branden: Well, when you talk about the members of the so-called anarcho groups who advocate an alliance with the New Left, there I would say they are examples of what I called counterfeit individualism in an article I wrote a number of years ago for The Objectivist Newsletter. I described this type in my book The Psychology of Self-Esteem when I spoke about the so-called independent social metaphysician, the people who are against for the sake of being against, the people who are rebels for the sake of being rebels, but who are not for anything. They are primarily against and their chief intention is to destroy. The so-called anarchists capitalists who advocate alliance with the New Left justify it on the grounds that they have in common with the New Left an animosity toward the state. Let's tear down the state, they say, that common goal is a bond between us more important than any intellectual difference.

What sort of intellectual or ideological differences are they willing to ignore? The fact that the New Left sees nothing wrong with the use of force to gain its ends. It sees violence as a perfectly valid instrument of political motion or political development. The fact that they are willing to cooperate, that is to say the anarchists, are willing to cooperate with the New Left, only tells us how little regard or respect they have for property rights or individual liberty or philosophical consistency. I think here you deal with the very lowest depths of the anarchistscapitalists---meaning those who are willing to talk about an alliance with the New Left. Maybe some of their followers are confused and have not thought the issue out very carefully. But here you deal--and I put it bluntly--with the real intellectual scum who are no more friends of capitalism or individualism or individual rights than a Hitler or a Stalin is. They are against this society or any society because they feel themselves to be outcasts and with bloody good reason because I doubt very much if they would find a place in any civilized society.

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I surely do wish all four years of Seminar would be transcribed. Nathaniel is at his absolute intellectual peak in these recordings and without most of the moral hubris infecting his NBI years with Ayn Rand. Rand herself seems to have hit a similar peak in the very early 1960s when she came with quite long and complicated answers to questions you'd not have (publicly) gotten later. Neither, of course, then soon went into much if any decline. Ayn hadn't written most of her essays much less begun work on ITEO. I have many audio tapes Nathaniel was turning out into at least the very deep 1980s. For him writing a book could be little more than to start talking, although, qua many of his books, I do take some exception. The first book after his wife Patrecia died was hardly one of his best--the one on romantic love (1980), but he was just getting his post The Disowned Self book-writing traction back. I'll always wonder and never know what books he would have written if she hadn't died in that drowning accident in 1977. I think his next wife, Devers, was a great write-your-next-book influence on him. Patricia was an actress and they had a lot of ins, social and professional, with the acting community in the 1970s. The great heavyweight karate champion and actor Joe Lewis was one of Nathaniel's best friends, if not best friend. I still remember Nathaniel doing a practice side kick. It was weak. He was just casually going through the motion. Nathaniel about Joe: "He could kill me with one finger."

--Brant

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transactions as with Wolf or whatever his name is, it seems he participated in the transaction because he defended the thief.

You have no personal knowledge or legal evidence of theft. Hearsay and conjecture prove nothing.

The law establishes limits of liability, enforceability of contracts, and the obligation of a fiduciary. Due process exonerates the falsely accused, as well as those who may be guilty but against whom no provable case can be made. [COGIGG, p.118]

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My apologies to "Wolf" on the issue of his being a filmmaker. I was wrong. He is one, or at least was one.

[...]

"Wolf" apparently wants the privacy of not revealing who he is or which filmmaking projects he has worked on, so I'll respect that wish and reveal nothing further about him.

That's gracious. Wolf DeVoon is a pen-name, a not uncommon device among writers.

I understand. My gripe has not been against the use of pen-names. As you say, many writers have used them. What many writers don't do, however, is indulge in the dishonesty of using their pen-name to promote, review and praise their own works written under their real name, or vice versa. They don't pretend to be someone else and refer, in anonymous voice, to themselves in the third person.

My gripe has been about the con man mindset of using an alias not to protect one's privacy from powerful bullies in government, but to scam people -- to pretend to be something one is not (prestigious, admired, adored, intellectually or aesthetically valued, etc.) in order to push a few self-published books or to stroke one's own desperate ego.

Considering that the Laissez Faire City folks used noms-de-plume or aliases doesn't imply anything sinister (except among the chief fraudsters, perhaps).

I agree that the use of an alias in itself doesn't imply anything sinister. However, the dishonesty of crafting an illusion of one person praising another, when both are the same person, does suggest a willingness to be less than above board. It suggests a mindset of someone who is willing to try to fool people rather than deal with them openly and with strict honesty. It implies a fudging and blurring of the lines, and of trying to take what one hasn't earned, be it money or respect or whatever.

Wolf has a pretty neat introduction to Laissez Faire City in a 1999 article, "The Midas Touch: Or, A Newcomer's Humble Appraisal of The Difference Between Laissez Faire City and Galt's Gulch."

It can seem a bit exaggerated or tall-tale in parts -- like when Wolf describes a Trump-ish barrier: "thick, reinforced concrete walls rising in tiers on the highest point for a couple hundred miles," but where he says he was deemed "artist in residence" of LFC, we can see how a pseudonym fit in with the ethos of LFC -- all for privacy, anonymity, and keeping the state or other spies out of your business. Knowing what went down in Costa Rica, it was a wise move.

Here is a sample wherein Wolf waxes lyrical:

Most of it was the doing of one man. He doesn't want me to mention his name, so let's call him Midas. I have never before in my life met such a brilliant rascal. If anyone ever deserved to be rich, it's Midas. He is passionately devoted to justice and private liberty, and I have no doubt whatsoever that LFC could not have happened, except for his determination to make real what Ayn Rand made fictionally hypothetical. Midas is a "renaissance man" in the best sense of the term. He hired me, for instance, as an artist-in-residence. My job is to stare out the window at the Pacific Ocean in the lap of luxury for a couple years and write a novel. More writers are coming -- to script movies, internet cartoons, and a continuing drama (soap opera). God knows what sort of production facilities are on the drawing board, because Midas is a seasoned Hollywood producer. Guys like him tend to do things on a grand scale.

I generally expect any writer to practice a little exaggeration or artistic romanticizing. When they cross the line into puppetry to stroke their egos or whatever, then I have to question everything that they write. And then, after having such doubts, when I do a little Google investigating and see a real shit hole that they described as a luxurious castle, alarms start sounding, and I can't help but wonder if they know anything other than trying to con people.

The mentioned "Midas" is, of course, the con-man James Ray Houston, AKA Rex Rogers, who died in prison.

Was Houston "Midas"? I assumed that "Midas" was Grabbe.

Wolf got close enough to this guy to observe him, be fooled by his cons, be employed by him. It would make a marvelous memoirish tale, the inside take on how the scammer fucked up putative paradise. Wolf was there.

We don't know that. We don't know who was a scammer and who was not. We have evidence of fairly recent dishonesty with the pen-name "puppet" stuff. That's a sort of con, and it has relevance as to character.

J

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The insistence upon characterizing LFC or its leaders as a "con" is a stupid slander.

Um, no, it's not a slander. Your saying that it is a slander is yet another instance of your displaying hypersensitivity and of giving off the vibe of being a con man.

No one has reason to trust or believe that the leaders of LFC were above board. Those involved aren't telling the tale of what happened, so those interested can't have their doubts soothed.

What does exist on record often seems nonsensical. For example, you yourself, Wolf, in defending the organization, have bragged and boasted about the brilliance and the talent of those involved, and you've written about the strength of the security, intelligence and counterintelligence systems, buildings, software and personnel. Yet the results were, what, that none of these geniuses or world class systems were capable of recognizing that the funds were being drained?!!!

Perhaps you have good answers to such questions. Until we hear them though, it is not unreasonable, and it is certainly not slanderous, for people to recognize that a lot of your talk doesn't pass the smell test, and for them to keep the suspicion open that the whole thing was perhaps a con perpetrated by people willing to blur the truth to one degree or another, as you've shown yourself willing to do.

In other words, start explaining and informing rather than squealing "Slander!" and adopting other victim poses.

J

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Was Houston "Midas"? I assumed that "Midas" was Grabbe.

After further review, I see that others involved in LFC call Houston the "Midas" of the operation.

J

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Jonathan eloquently wrote: . . . it's not a slander. Your saying that it is a slander is yet another instance of your displaying hypersensitivity and of giving off the vibe of being a con man . . . . and it is certainly not slanderous, for people to recognize that a lot of your talk doesn't pass the smell test, and for them to keep the suspicion open that the whole thing was perhaps a con perpetrated by people willing to blur the truth to one degree or another, as you've shown yourself willing to do . . . . In other words, start explaining and informing rather than squealing "Slander!" and adopting other victim poses.
end quote

I hope I never get on your bad side Jonathan :- ) Attempting to stifle our free speech is the initiation of force. Threatening to sue over truths uttered or written is the tactic of a totalitarian monster. And remember Jonathan this thread is in the humor section so I am sure you were talking about that prevaricating scam artist, Woof. Woof should be sent to the Gulag for re-education by his North Korean pals.
Peter

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Hey, Peter. This discussion is in the can. It's been canned. And where is the hell has Jonathan been threatening to do those things? There ain't no "totalitarian monsters" on OL.

--Brant

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Anarchist equals fool, conman and crook equals pseudonyms, pen names, aliases and also known as AKA in police parlance.

Except for George H. Smith. He is not a crook. I bought his books and got my money's worth.

So what is Wolf's real name? Sorry, so many people, including him, got conned. I won't say those duped had it coming, but whatever.

The insistence upon characterizing LFC or its leaders as a "con" is a stupid slander.

First of all, Peter, Wolf's other name is none of your business, although it shouldn't take you too long to discover it yourself. It should be obvious that Jonathan and I are not going to share it with you, especially since you are being pointlessly nasty to Wolf without it. Seriously, don't add suspicious mutterings about his own criminality. No one is accusing him of fraud -- let alone on the scale of LFC's Big Daddy Rex Rogers aka Midas Mulligan aka Big Ben aka Kay Ludlow aka "Silver King."

Wolf did no fraud. So fuck off with that implication, thanks.

To the rejoinder from Wolf, well, such sweet innocence ... it is simple fact that big daddy was a con man all his life, that he looted ATM, that he spent trust money wildly and had no intention of going straight after the LFC debacle. That he died in prison after pleading guilty to fraud is an indication that your testimony is fanciful and unconvincing, Wolf. It is no slander that convicted 'Midas' and bound him to prison. It was his own guilty plea and admission,

That said, it is a complex sordid history, and it makes me wonder why on earth you would whitewash big daddy 'Midas.' That is just bizarre coming from a 'philosopher of law' and a writer of constitutions and an OD and a general counsel (who appointed you general counsel and "proxy for the king" but the king Midas himself?), If you could not "repair the damage done by seven years of arbitrary rule" and if you couldn't prevent "a fatal grab for all the marbles," then what good was your lawyer's licence?.

This might explain why I can't find you credible on the subject of scams, cons, embezzlement, legal/administrative legerdemain at LFC; if you had a tenth of the law understanding you claim, you would have been a hound on the scent of malfeasance. Fraud is one of those things that is like murder to a libertarian. How sad that you were apparently gulled from beginning to end, and how pathetic that the legal instruments (constitutions) had zero application to the fraud under your nose.

That's the saddest/funniest part for me -- 'chief counsel to the king.' I mean, what legal authority can you claim, then or now? The pretension is off the scales. A lawyer writing two constitutions to 'save' LFC, while he had zero comprehension of the rot underfoot. That boggles the mind ...

I failed to bring the rule of law to bear, no matter how eloquently and repeatedly I argued for it publicly and privately wtihin LFC. Revolutionaries at war with sovereign Government are loathe to accept limitation of their autonomous liberty, however reckless and unfair they may be in pursuit of their freedom.

Bizarre. It's like you don't recognize the contents of a mirror. Reckless and unfair looks pretty good next to looting and lying under libertarian cover. What good are you at lawyering and your craft at the keyboard that you cannot provide a narrative of LFC that includes truths about King Rex?

Those crabby questions and pointed observations aside, I do hold out the hope that you and Jim Beam will shack up for a month and pound out a real rollicking tell-all of the doomed LFC, a roll of Kerouac/Hunter S Thompson thunder, a cinema verité masterpiece of truth and fiction. I think you got that in you, Wolf. Let any bitterness and regret spawn something fresh and alive.

That book could make you money, since no coherent LFC narrative has emerged and since there are still interested parties in the hundreds if not thousands. A 'true-crime' volume will always sell. I'll help you with the research if you can find an editor and agent. We can use the proceeds to buy you a retirement home near Nosara ...

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William dot Scherk wrote: First of all, Peter, Wolf's other name is none of your business, although it shouldn't take you too long to discover it yourself. It should be obvious that Jonathan and I are not going to share it with you, especially since you are being pointlessly nasty to Wolf without it. Seriously, don't add suspicious mutterings about his own criminality. No one is accusing him of fraud -- let alone on the scale of LFC's Big Daddy Rex Rogers aka Midas Mulligan aka Big Ben aka Kay Ludlow aka "Silver King." Wolf did no fraud. So fuck off with that implication, thanks.
end quote

First off, what does the dot stand for in your name, William? A person’s name is my business. It is more than a common courtesy to give your name and not be deceitful. I’m being nasty? I have been exceedingly thoughtful but he never answers direct questions. That nattering nabob of negativism mutters. Woof is threatening to sue if anyone speaks, speculates or seeks the truth. We can’t connect the dots of a criminal enterprise of which he was a partner? Where’s the investigative reporter in you now, Mr Shirkypants? To threaten to sue, in such an instance, is the use of a type of force. It is intimidation, not reason. It is censorship. If he was the chief lawyer of a criminal enterprise, promoted a criminal enterprise, engaged in a criminal enterprise . . . that is not an implication, but it is my desire to hear the unvarnished truth. And for the record I have only spoken about the wording in The Freeman’s Constitution, with a few wise cracks thrown in. And I in no way assumed Jonathan and you were connected and if you said you were both Canadians I would not be surprised. Luckily I get 10 cents every time a Canadian or a Joirseyite visits my thread.
Peter

Notes:
Time's have changed
Our kids are getting worse
They won't obey their parents
They just want to fart and curse

Should we blame the government?
Or blame society?
Or should we blame the images on TV?

No, blame Canada, blame Canada
With all their beady little eyes
And flappin' heads so full of lies

Blame Canada, blame Canada
We need to form a full assault
It's Canada's fault

Don't blame me for my son Stan
He saw the darn cartoon
And now he's off to join the Klan

And my boy Eric once
Had my picture on his shelf
But now when I see him he tells me to fuck myself

Well, blame Canada, blame Canada
It seems that everything's gone wrong
Since Canada came along

Blame Canada, blame Canada
There not even a real country anyway

My son could've been a doctor or a lawyer it's true
Instead he burned up like a piggy on a barbecue

Should we blame the matches?
Should we blame the fire?
Or the doctors who allowed him to expire?
Heck no

Blame Canada, blame Canada
With all their hockey hubbabaloo
And that bitch Anne Murray too
Blame Canada, shame on Canada

The smut we must stop, the trash we must smash
Laughter and fun must all be undone
We must blame them and cause a fuss
Before someone thinks of blaming us

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This might explain why I can't find you credible on the subject of scams, cons, embezzlement, legal/administrative legerdemain at LFC; if you had a tenth of the law understanding you claim, you would have been a hound on the scent of malfeasance. Fraud is one of those things that is like murder to a libertarian. How sad that you were apparently gulled from beginning to end, and how pathetic that the legal instruments (constitutions) had zero application to the fraud under your nose.

That's the saddest/funniest part for me -- 'chief counsel to the king.' I mean, what legal authority can you claim, then or now? The pretension is off the scales. A lawyer writing two constitutions to 'save' LFC, while he had zero comprehension of the rot underfoot. That boggles the mind ...

Perhaps Wolf, like the person calling himself Sonny Vleisides here, believes that "lottery products" and similar schemes such as those that Houston sold, and the Ponzi type of method that he used, are perfectly legitimate "business" practices and would not be considered illegal or immoral under DeVoonian Law?

Perhaps Wolf thinks that there are little DeVoonian legal technicalities that somehow make Houston an innocent hero who was persecuted by big bad meanies who were irrationally out to use their government power/force to punish "business" leaders who were only providing the wonderful service of fucking people over?

J

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And I in no way assumed Jonathan and you were connected and if you said you were both Canadians I would not be surprised.

Seriously? What have I ever said that sounds even remotely Canadian?

J

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"Wolf" apparently wants the privacy of not revealing who he is or which filmmaking projects he has worked on, so I'll respect that wish and reveal nothing further about him.

That's gracious. Wolf DeVoon is a pen-name, a not uncommon device among writers.

I understand. My gripe has not been against the use of pen-names. As you say, many writers have used them. What many writers don't do, however, is indulge in the dishonesty of using their pen-name to promote, review and praise their own works written under their real name, or vice versa. They don't pretend to be someone else and refer, in anonymous voice, to themselves in the third person.

I did see where Wolf2 provided a review of Wolf1, and where Wolf1 provided a book-cite to Wolf2. This used to be called log-rolling, where a reviewer would review the book of the reviewer who reviewed his book. In this case, of course, there is only one log-roller and he has four legs.

From Wolf1 and 2's point of view, a Wolf-A has to promote or cite the work of a Wolf-B and vice-versa, so there will be a few places where there is overlap. If you are itching to have a review of a re-issue of your movie, and nobody steps up to the plate, what's a wolf to do? The writer commends the filmmaker and the filmmaker commends the writer. Marketing!

My gripe has been about the con man mindset of using an alias not to protect one's privacy from powerful bullies in government, but to scam people -- to pretend to be something one is not (prestigious, admired, adored, intellectually or aesthetically valued, etc.) in order to push a few self-published books or to stroke one's own desperate ego.

I just can't go this far. The privacy aspect holding over from LFC days is indeed weird to my eyes. That the 'king' was Rex was Midas was scammer James Ray Houston, who is dead, seems obvious now, so why preserve his anonymity after death?

The 'desperate ego' acts are more akin to vanity in my eyes, and since I am vain too, I can see the value in overstating one's wondrousness and splendour. Luckily, my critics have been generally just over the years, or at least fair, so I have learned not to toot my horn too loudly except when about to run into someone.

Considering that the Laissez Faire City folks used noms-de-plume or aliases doesn't imply anything sinister (except among the chief fraudsters, perhaps).

I agree that the use of an alias in itself doesn't imply anything sinister. However, the dishonesty of crafting an illusion of one person praising another, when both are the same person, does suggest a willingness to be less than above board. It suggests a mindset of someone who is willing to try to fool people rather than deal with them openly and with strict honesty. It implies a fudging and blurring of the lines, and of trying to take what one hasn't earned, be it money or respect or whatever.

We can put it to Wolf, I guess ... "Why did you praise your own work as a different persona at Lulu/Rotten Tomatoes/Whosis/Whatsit?" If I were him I would say, "Look! Look over there! A flying dog! Wow!" and kind of edge away from answering. What can you say ... it may be embarrassing and difficult to explain. Who participates in their own scourging?

Wolf has a pretty neat introduction to Laissez Faire City in a 1999 article, "The Midas Touch: Or, A Newcomer's Humble Appraisal of The Difference Between Laissez Faire City and Galt's Gulch."

It can seem a bit exaggerated or tall-tale in parts -- like when Wolf describes a Trump-ish barrier: "thick, reinforced concrete walls rising in tiers on the highest point for a couple hundred miles," but where he says he was deemed "artist in residence" of LFC, we can see how a pseudonym fit in with the ethos of LFC -- all for privacy, anonymity, and keeping the state or other spies out of your business. Knowing what went down in Costa Rica, it was a wise move..

I generally expect any writer to practice a little exaggeration or artistic romanticizing. When they cross the line into puppetry to stroke their egos or whatever, then I have to question everything that they write. And then, after having such doubts, when I do a little Google investigating and see a real shit hole that they described as a luxurious castle, alarms start sounding, and I can't help but wonder if they know anything other than trying to con people.

I agree with the notion that a couple hundred miles of mountain fortress walls described were some hundred miles from the truth, a couple hundred miles of thick hooey, but that ain't my biggest beef. I just think that the truth of LFC and its ups and downs will be ever more wonderful than the fiction or the whitewash ...

Wolf is not an old man yet. There are works in him that may still come out and surprise us. If he is or performs as a bit of a scoundrel from time to time, this too might be part of the larger-than-life persona he prefers to highlight.

I say all this as a published writer in a defunct Vancouver LGBT monthly and a weekly local newspaper in Chetwynd BC, and as director/writer of one student Super-8 effort and one or two videos that went exactly nowhere back in the day, and which I have no access to. And as one who very much appreciates the Pura VIda of Costa Rica, though having only visited once.

I envy Wolf his seven years (or less) in that lovely land of (mostly) lovely people.

A person’s name is my business. It is more than a common courtesy to give your name and not be deceitful. I’m being nasty? I have been exceedingly thoughtful but he never answers direct questions. That nattering nabob of negativism mutters. Woof is threatening to sue if anyone speaks, speculates or seeks the truth.

No, Peter, it is not your business. Like several handfuls of us here, our real names are obscure, for reasons not always apparent. Some of us have gone for many years on multiple forums using pseudonyms. It is not a state crime. It is not an ethics violation. It is not deception. I thought I made it clear that I will preserve Wolf's privacy against those like you who would likely broadcast it and cause embarrassment. If you weren't so incompetent at the use of the internet you would have already figured it out.

To your second point, I must have missed it. Was it not simply stated that to name and shame LFC's founder-king AKA Whosit is a form of slander? If that suggestion or description is a threat, then I am Marie of Roumania and you are the Princess Anastasia in a paisley handbag.

What makes your form nasty is the insinuation that Wolf was part of James Ray Houston's crimes. That is awful bullshit and not borne out by any fact. Take your nit comb and go inform yourself about LFC and Wolf's part in it ... I consider him to have been gulled by Big Daddy. That is a far long fairway from being a criminal himself. So, kindly fuck off with turning up the knobs to malicious nonsense.

We can’t connect the dots of a criminal enterprise of which he was a partner?

He was not a partner, Peter. You are edging past the line of stupidity now. Please fuck completely off with these insinuations. They go beyond the guidelines at OL to past nasty. Kindly moderate yourself.

Where’s the investigative reporter in you now, Mr Shirkypants? To threaten to sue, in such an instance, is the use of a type of force. It is intimidation, not reason. It is censorship. If he was the chief lawyer of a criminal enterprise, promoted a criminal enterprise, engaged in a criminal enterprise . . . that is not an implication, but it is my desire to hear the unvarnished truth.

His 'fiction' is that he was a lawyer in the first place, you dolt. His self-appellation as chief counsel was poetic. As far as I know, Wolf has no law degree. He has never claimed one. My references to such license were mockery.

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Wolf writes:I know quite a bit about that, having failed to successfully govern my own behavior more times than I can count.

That's the only way to learn, Wolf. :smile:

No one starts out free. Securing our personal freedom is a lifelong challenge, and can only be obtained by striving to be worthy of it. No one who doesn't first learn how to govern themselves will ever taste it.This moral principle is why all collective Utopias fail.

Collectivism's greatest attraction is to people who don't live lives deserving of freedom. They believe the lie that it is possible to achieve in a group what they cannot achieve as an individual.

The closest thing to a Utopia I've ever seen is independent ethical stand-alone self-governing sovereign individuals who have already secured their own freedom, doing business with each other because they share the same values... and that already exists right here and now.

So this is what I do:

I can say "FUCK YOU" to the government, because I govern myself.

I can say "FUCK YOU" to the healthcare system, because I take care of my own health.

I can say "FUCK You" to the insurance system, because I self indemnify by becoming personally financially responsible for the consequences of my own assumed risks.

I can say "FUCK YOU" to the government education system, because I learn on my own.

I can say "FUCK YOU" to the credit/debt system, because I'm 100% solvent and never need to borrow money.

I can say "FUCK YOU" to the banking system, because I fund my own business ventures by investing in myself.

The two most expensive words in the English language are "Fuck You", because they mean you're leaving for good and can NEVER go back.

So DON'T EVER burn that bridge until you've first built your OWN. :wink:

Greg

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none of these geniuses or world class systems were capable of recognizing that the funds were being drained

Drained by whom? How much? How do you know for a fact that funds were drained?

p.s., be a good egg and PM me some evidence of "puppetry" s.v.p.

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none of these geniuses or world class systems were capable of recognizing that the funds were being drained

Drained by whom? How much? How do you know for a fact that funds were drained?

Hmmm. I think maybe you've forgotten what you've written on the subject? Then again, that's a good point: Should I be trusting you as a reliable source of what happened? Probably not.

p.s., be a good egg and PM me some evidence of "puppetry" s.v.p.

Um, ick. I'd really rather not have any private contact with you. I'll happily share the evidence publicly here at OL though, if you really want to see it and discuss it.

J

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it is simple fact that big daddy was a con man all his life, that he looted ATM, that he spent trust money wildly and had no intention of going straight after the LFC debacle. That he died in prison after pleading guilty to fraud is an indication that your testimony is fanciful and unconvincing, Wolf. It is no slander that convicted 'Midas' and bound him to prison. It was his own guilty plea.

Willilam,

Let's simplify things by calling him Rex. He operated a lottery. The Feds deemed it wire fraud and arrested his son.

Rex took the fall. It had nothing to do with Laissez Faire City, other than the fact that Rex paid in over $3 million in cash, some of it proceeds from the lottery -- roughly a third of all paid-in LFC working capital. He stole nothing from LFC's founders or deep pocket backers. ATM operated like a bank, accepting deposits and making loans. There was a run on ATM, fueled by panic, after Orlin seized all the privacy software that Rex spent millions of his own money to develop and launch. He was a brilliant man, operating outside of the law, accused but acquitted previously. There are worse things than breaking the law, you know, like collaborating with the Clintons and Alan Greenspan.

Without Rex and a handful of key investors, there would have been no Laissez Faire City, no prospect of a new nation, either in a territorial enclave as originally hoped, or as a cyberspace "virtual" city populated by anonymous freemen. It could be argued that Rex was a drunkard, a tyrant and spendthrift. Yet he worked every day for seven years and did everything humanely possible to attract top talent. He had a weak spot for anyone who had been wronged and he read every word I wrote, not that those aspects were directly connected. I quarreled with him repeatedly.

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