About 15 years ago, I coined the common-sense phrase: 'premeditated, or dissimulated, closed-market swindle,' in order to deconstruct all Ponzi schemes, pyramid frauds, money circulation games, chain-letter scams, etc. However, although a few commentators have used my term (sometimes without attribution), a 'closed-market swindle' is not yet defined in law. That said, it is universally accepted that lying to, or withholding key-information from, people in order to take their money, is fraud which is a form of theft. Common-sense also reveals that, by 'passing any law, but failing to enforce it, has the effect of authorizing the very crime which you are trying to prohibit.'
The lie which is fundamental to all 'closed-market swindles' is that people can earn income by contributing their own money to participate in any alleged 'profitable commercial opportunity' which is secretly an economically-unviable fake, due to the fact that the alleged 'profitable commercial opportunity' has been rigged so that it generates no significant, or sustainable, revenue other than that deriving from its own participants. For more than 50 years, 'Multi-Level Marketing' racketeers have been allowed to dissimulate closed-market swindles by offering endless-chains of victims various banal, but grossly-over-priced, products, and/or services, in exchange for unlawful payments, on the pretext that 'MLM' products and/or services, can then be regularly re-sold for a profit in significant quantities. However, since no gang of 'MLM' racketeers has ever proved that 'MLM' wampum has actually been regularly re-sold to the general public for profit in significant quantities,'MLM' participants have, in fact, been peddled infinite shares of their own finite money.
In the final analysis, other than their ephemeral external presentations, internally there is no real difference between all closed-market swindles; for any alleged 'opportunity to make money,' wherein (when challenged, and/or rigorously investigated) the promoters are unable to provide
|Sergei Panteleevich Mavrodi
(Сергей Пантелеевич Мавроди b.1955)
If you search for Sergei Mavrodi on Wikipedia, you will find him initially described as a Russian 'businessman and financier.' However, the only truthful part of this exciting comic-book story is the fact that he was born in Russia; for, in reality, he is (without a shadow of a doubt) a megalomaniacal psychopath .
Sergei Panteleevich Mavrodi is suffering from a chronic mental disorder resulting in paranoid delusions of grandeur and self-righteousness, and the compulsion to pursue grandiose objectives.
Classically, Mavrodi believes himself not only to be a historically significant businessman and a financier, but also a morally, and intellectually, perfect Russian super hero who has been chosen to free humanity from the slavery of the evil world financial system. Indeed, if you watch the above video from 2011 (in which Mavrodi quite-openly admits that he is on a mission to destroy the pyramid scheme known as the world financial system and that his chosen weapon of mass-financial-destruction, is another, even more powerful, pyramid scheme), it beggars belief that he is not already locked up in a secure hospital.
In the aftermath of the unexpected fall of the Soviet regime (which left millions of ordinary Russians, particularly pensioners, facing destitution as the buying power of the once-protected rouble collapsed, and hyper-inflation took-hold) Mavrodi (an importer of office equipment) stepped-forward in the role of economic saviour and instigated what was soon to become one of the most-extensive closed-market swindles of all time, known as 'MMM.' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMM_(Ponzi_scheme) . It has been estimated that between 1992 and 1994, 30 millions ill-informed Russians were deceived into giving a total of several billions US dollars to Mavrodi and his criminal associates, in the deluded belief that they were all going to receive a future reward of 1000% (to be paid annually).
Typically, Mavrodi began to make the truth increasingly unthinkable, by using some of his ill-gotten gains to buy media advertising (including a series of humorous television commercials) as well as obtain public association with popular Russian sports, charities, celebrities and opinion-makers.
In 1994, Mavrodi's offices were raided and he was arrested for tax evasion, but although millions of angry victims were left out of pocket, he avoided being held to account by getting himself elected to the Russian parliament. During his election campaign Mavrodi steadfastly pretended that the Russian government was trying to destroy 'MMM' in order to steal the company's money, and that 'MMM' investors would only be paid out if he could influence the government from inside the political system. However, no pay-out was forthcoming, and Mavrodi's immunity from prosecution was cancelled in 1995. 'MMM' was finally declared bankrupt in 1997. Mavrodi then went of the run until he was arrested in 2003. During this time, he spread a rumour that he'd gone to USA. In reality, he'd probably never actually left Russia. Indeed, it is now believed that Mavrodi had been hiding in Moscow, protected by a well-rewarded gang of former Soviet intelligence agents/thugs/racketeers who had access to a labyrinth of safe-apartments.
With the help of a relative, Mavrodi instigated another closed-market swindle in 1998, this time known as 'Stock Generation.' His new scam was nothing less than an Internet-based counterfeit stock market. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_Generation, but it was dissimulated as a 'lawful gambling game' and was targeted at greedy Americans and W. Europeans. Largely because of its deliberately-incomprehensible linguistic, and mathematical, presentation, the essentially-simple closed-market swindle known as 'Stock Generation,' initially duped a United States District Court in Massachusetts, but it was closed-down by the United States Court of Appeals, when common-sense was finally applied in 2000. Few of Mavrodi's estimated 20 000 and 275 000 victims, complained even though they lost a estimated total of at least US$5.5 millions.
Following his arrest in Russia in 2003, Mavrodi was initially sentenced to 13 months prison for holding a false passport. He was subsequently convicted of fraud and tax evasion, and was released from a penal colony in 2007.
Since 2011, Mavrodi has been running a closed-market swindle known as 'MMM 2011' or 'MMM India,' in which countless victims have been deceived into buying effectively-valueless pieces of paper printed to resemble an authentic, valuable currency, the so-called 'Mavro.'
There are even 'Mavro' coins.
Amazingly, Mavrodi openly-admits that 'MMM 2011/ India' is a pyramid scam. He is widely-quoted as saying : 'It is a naked scheme, nothing more ... People interact with each other and give each other money. For no reason!' However, since Mavrodi's 'MMM' organization has exhibited the universal identifying characteristics of a cult, his activities are neither original nor unique and, consequently, they cannot be fully-understood in isolation.
In 1938, the ‘Nazi’ leader, Adolf Hitler, had held absolute power in
To give readers some idea of the scale of his thinking, Voegelin’s Major work, ‘Order and History’, began to be published in the USA in 1956 when he was aged 54, but it remained unfinished when he died 31 years later. In simple terms, Voegelin was as a philosopher-historian who took an elevated, and broad, view. He observed that, throughout human history, there have been periods of mass-alienation... following wars, revolutions, plagues, natural disasters, economic depressions, etc. ... during these periods, dangerous manipulators (acting like ancient, Gnostic Prophets by pretending moral and intellectual authority and offering some form of Utopian existence in the here and now) who at other times might be dismissed as absurd crackpots and charlatans, have found it much easier to become accepted as authentic Messiahs and to acquire a mass-following.
Thus, Voegelin, not only described, but also predicted the arrival of the latest generation of economic alchemists, like Sergei Panteleevich Mavrodi.
David Brear (copyright 2013)