Remember Tom McMurrain? No? Oh, man, we wouldn't know where to start. Noni and teak scams. Imaginary tree houses with elevators for the disabled. An independent country that was to be "a physical and virtual community on the natural resources of ones and zeros". Yours truly discovered two arrest warrants against him for fraud in Atlanta, Georgia, which he vehemently denied. He even sued, lost, appealed - and before he could do any more damage he was indeed arrested and thrown in the slammer. So were several of his employees, by the way. His marketing director was wanted in Costa Rica for fraud and child sex abuse, for example. Other cases included boating under the influence, assault, more fraud - McMurrain ran a high profile robbers den in Panama under the name "San Cristobal Land Development".
Well, he's out of jail. And he's back! Up to no good, of course. We had a great time reading his blog, where he writes under the name of The Dalitomma (whatever that is):
In the hustle and bustle of Success and its many distractions, it is easy to forget our original state. It seems that the full time job of the IM is to be distracting us from realizing what we want most. The IM’s thoughts swing wildly from tree to tree like a monkey, drunk with emotions and opinions, the Entrepreneur becomes deluded by his/her shadow and forgets his/her true nature of flow; this is what I call the “Supreme-Entrepreneur-Syndrome”. When the soul of the Entrepreneur separates him/herself (seemingly so) from the flow of Success and tries to become an island to him/herself.
Is it Narcissism to think we are separate of Success…to think we can “beat” what our essence really is. The Entrepreneur falls in love with his/her IM and all its cunning ways. The IM creates theme parks with un-ending playgrounds that serve as a lifelong distraction to the Entrepreneur. Playing on the playground of our own mind, we become deceived, yes?
Ummm, well, we wouldn't know, really. Reading the info tab on McMurrain's Facebook page, it appears that McMurrain has become a sort of an indigenous Buddhist:
I have had cancer and I have been to prison...survived both...I have seen the desert that Jesus, Krishna, Mohammad and Buddha speaks of. It is a very lonely place, a place that you get to know your Self very well. The Bhagavad Gita (The Song of Love) describes a beautiful story of battle that all people face before they cross the proverbial bridge. If you are not aware of the battle that I speak of, you don't really know. I am fortunate in that I was able to see the depths of hell at such a young age. (...)
During my sixty three month journey through the desert I was befriended by a Lakota Chief who made me a medicine man and honored me with a Lakota name; 'Man Without Shadow'. There is a special place in my heart reserved for Yellow Knife, The White Buffalo Woman, Black Elk, the Lakota Sweat Lodge, the four directions, Father Sky, Mother Earth and the Story of the Sacred Pipe (Chanupa Wakan). Aho Mitakue Oyasin
With that said, allow me to summarize my life; I have been way down, then way, way up, then way, way, way down and now I AM.
It goes on like this for several paragraphs. But click the "wall" tab and the old McMurrain is back:
Do you want to earn $80,000 a month? Check out this video and Enroll in the hottest social netowrking community in the world - Video explains how: www.joinaachoo.com
So all these hellish experiences of going through the desert and having to deal with Yellow Knife and the White Buffalo Woman and Buddha only served to make him a better promoter of cheesy MLM schemes? We were, frankly, disappointed. It's not like McMurrain to piggyback on someone else's ploys. What happened to him in jail, we wondered? Did he lose his touch? Where was the self-proclaimed guru who once told his victims that "God had put it upon him to walk a straighter line" - a line directly from their wallets to his bank account?
Ah, but then Eric Jackson proved how wrong we were, and reported that Tom McMurrain has now acquired the infamous EscapeArtist website from that wackjob Roger Gallo (with what money?) and is offering to sell you a country of your own! We steered our browser towards McMurrain's latest purchase and, indeed, there it was, authored under his latest pen name "Tom Ocean":
Buy Your Own Country for only US$150,000. Escapeartist Can Sell It to You
Now you can be a Power Broker and influence people around the world by becoming the Managing Director of your own media empire!
Become your country’s “GO TO” person and enjoy life as a Media Bureau Chief. Wine and dine with those in the power structure of your country to attract foreign direct investment to shape the image and future of your country.
In 2010, you can own your own country and become a Media Bureau Partner with the most recognized name in International living: Escapeartist.
Now that's more like it! When we were finally able to stop laughing, we continued reading to find out what this offer was really all about.
As it turns out, for a small fee of just $150,000, you will be allowed to run your own version of the EscapeArtist website in another country. On top of that, you only have to give 50% of the income such a website generates to McMurrain.
It is basically a franchise offer, with the special feature being that there is nothing to franchise.
Maybe McMurrain doesn't know this since he was in the desert with his new Indian friends, but websites can be visited from anywhere in the world. So people looking for EscapeArtist will just go to the original and typically not some clone that will inevitably rank lower in the search engines. But that is of course not what McMurrain is trying to have his future victims believe:
With Escapeartist as your partner, you can live a life without boundaries.
Are you ready to own a country and be the voice of your country, on the global stage? If so, Escapeartist has a clearly defined formula for success though our exciting new Escapeartist Media Bureau Partnerships.
For over 14 years, Escapeartist has been the undisputed leader and authority for individuals interested in relocating, traveling, investing, working and retiring overseas. Without question, we put the word International in International Living.
The forward thinking commentaries of Senior Editor and Founder, Roger Gallo have inspired the “Escapeartist Dreams™” of tens of millions of people around the world to ‘jump over many ponds™.’ Now you can become the ‘Roger Gallo™’ of your own country.
We have to admit: We missed this classic bullshit McMurrain prose. Roger Gallo - just so you know - was such a forward thinker that he called McMurrain's noni and teak scam "the best retirement investment I've seen in twenty years!" That was of course before the whole thing spectacularly collapsed, McMurrain went to jail and everybody lost his money - except for Roger Gallo who had at least been forward thinking enough to cash in his massive sales commissions just in time.
Are franchises really that expensive, we wondered? We did a quick search, and guess what? If you're looking for a real McFranchise instead of the McNoni version: A McDonalds franchise - a real business instead of some wacky McMurrain scheme - costs only $45,000. And if you're attracted by the "underground" vibe of scam sites like EscapeArtist; why not consider a Subway franchise for just $15,000?
Of course those are much better deals than Tom McMurrain's scam - they are real, for starters - but even so we can't wait to see how our favorite noni hustler runs this one into the ground (he always does). Meanwhile, anyone interested in becoming an international media bureau partner for Bananama Republic and living the high life with movers and shakers and influence peddlers all over the world? Now you can!