UPDATED BELOW - Got a thousand bucks to spare? Why not sink it in the latest bullshit initiative coming out of the ranks of the Escape Artist fraud machine?
Hurry up! We're selling out rapidly! Come to Panama where money grows on trees! We're having a conference where we're going to "force-feed You Millions Worth of Internationalization & Investment Knowledge and Make You a Master of the “Six Flag Strategy” – So you can protect and grow your wealth in the global financial bloodbath that’s starting right now."
Yes, dear reader, it's that time of the year again. Escape Artist - you know, that website where convicted scam artist Tom McMurrain is the "international marketing manager" - is organizing the Global Escape Hatch conference in April, in Panama. It's for people who want to know about such things like hiding assets, getting a second passport, investing in noni plantations and treehouses, laundering money and so on.
So what do you get for your $997 fee? Says the website:
So stop beating yourself up! Given the options you’ve had in the past, it’s not your fault. Your luck is all about to change – How?
“Get-It Straight From
The Horse’s Mouth”
“The BEST Asset Protection and International Investors Are Going To Lock Themselves In A Room With YOU for 4 Days and Reveal All Their Tried and Tested Tactics and Strategies… That Actually Work!”
If you wanted to learn a subject…I mean REALLY learn it, which would you rather do?
A) Read a book written by the #1 expert on that subject, or
B) Take that expert to lunch, “hog-tie” them to their chair and refuse to let them leave until they told you everything you ever wanted to know about your desired subject?
The answer is obvious, right? (Ok, you might want to pass on the “hog-tying” part, but you get the idea.)
Obviously it would be better to get the information “straight from the horse’s mouth” as opposed to reading it – or worse – finding out the hard way you’ve just made a deal with an unscrupulous character.
And it’s no different when it comes to investing around the world and protecting what you’ve worked so hard to earn…
You can either try to figure it all out on your own, or you can go to the experts themselves and listen to what they have to say – live and in-person.
Well, if that scenario excites you, then I have very good news…
“Water-Boarding Us Would Get
You Less Information”
We're sure you can't wait to sign up for these four days of horse-whispering, force-feeding and water-boarding. And just to make sure that nobody misses out on this tremendous opportunity, Bananama Republic can now proudly announce that we have someone on the inside of this already historic event so you won't have to miss anything!
Problem is: The IRS will also be more than a bit interested in this get-together of tax cheats and escapees. In fact, we would be more than just a little bit surprised if the fine people who attend this crock-filled event would not get some extra attention from the many IRS tax men stationed at the US embassy in Panama.
Mind you; we think that paying less taxes in the US is the patriotic thing to do. No more funding of crazy wars and foreign invasions. Makes absolute sense to us. But this asset protection and tax avoidance business is, by its very nature, private. It's not something that anyone with half a brain would be plotting and scheming together with 150 people they don't know. Hell, if you're serious about it, you don't want to know anyone about what you're really up to, least of all the scam factory of Tom McMurrain & Co.
Should you, however, have some pressing reasons to share your asset protection intent and plans with the IRS, Homeland Security and some established crooks - and Bananama Republic of course - by all means do sign up. See you in Panama!
UPDATE - Oh my, the organizers - some people from something called "Global Wealth Protection" where, oh brother, you can become an insider to avoid the next global crisis - of this conference are upset. Bobby Casey, who is about "impenetrable asset protection", angrily wrote on Facebook that we are not real journalists because Tom McMurrain was sacked two years ago from Escape Artist, which was sold. Well, excuse me. That would then probably be why McMurrain is listed throughout the Escape Artist website in various capacities like "International Marketing Manager" and whatnot. Even after "big changes" were made in 2013, according to the website itself, Tom McMurrain and his alter ego, "Tom Ocean", continue to be featured widely.
"Outdated pages," Casey says. And so does one Domingo M. Silvas III, who claims to be the new owner of Escape Artist. Who knows? The "about" page doesn't list any principals and at Escape Artist they have a looooong track record of using fake names and front men. Ask Roger Gallo. Surely there must be a reason why the website hasn't been made up to date in two years time? All this is supposed to make us believe that Escape Artist, under presumably new ownership, is now an upstanding venture and no longer in the business of selling scams and frauds, then? How smart to make that widely known by leaving everything exactly as it was for over two years!
Anyway, this is the kind of bungling and bullshitting - if not just outright misleading - that is at the back-end of this escape hatch get-together. A real confidence booster!
UPDATE 2: Shit-panic under the escape hatch! Various people now claim that we are all wrong - again - in saying that Escape Artist is one of the organizers of this escape hatch event. Among them one Paolo Natale, and someone called Brad Wesley, whomever that is. But it's them who are wrong. At least according to their own website. read it here, and scroll down to the very last line where it clearly says:
"Join us at the 5th Global Escape Hatch conference presented by Escape Artist and Global Wealth Protection."
It doesn't get any clearer than that now, does it? Or maybe that's also an "outdated page" from two years ago?
Are these people as amateurish managing other people's assets as they are in their organizing and communications? Probably, yes. You know, dear reader, we'll stay with the lingo for today and offer you a real insider secret. For free! Read on:
We all make mistakes. We do too. And we always learn something from them. Because, if we make a mistake writing something about a company or people that are for real, you know, like serious business people or whatever, they will normally write a polite email, point out the error, and we'll just correct it. Maybe there are some questions back and forth, but that's it. Nobody gets hurt.
On the other hand, there are those who start yelling and screaming at you immediately, calling names, make (legal or other) threats. One common and rather boring ingredient is also to question if your author is a "real journalist", usually wrapped in some petty attempt at smartness or snark. These communications, if you can call them that, always make up in drama for what they lack in facts. They accuse you of writing things that you didn't write, try to feed you a load of gibberish or just omit anything even remotely factual in favor of lies and distractions. At some point there is the inevitable "nobody reads your website so we're not worried", usually after a full day of extremely worried hysteria.
Here's the secret: With those individuals or companies, there is always something very wrong. Rule of thumb that has never failed us. When they start with screaming at you, wake up the investigative desk.
With our escapees it's the same pattern. First thing I hear from them is they're raving on Facebook and trying to post angry rants right here in the comments, containing all of the above. Even the legal threats came out immediately: This Paolo character wrote in an email that, "I am not some asshole that threatens lawsuits, and plus we are not in the US so who the fuck knows what the laws even are here, but in the US, you would potentially be in big trouble." And then something about how we would have "defamed the officers and owners of Global Wealth Protection." And that while we didn't even name them.
Conclusion: Something is very rotten with this Escape Hatch Houdini crowd. Participate in this wacky event at your own peril.