In due course I will no doubt apply for citizenship and they’ll probably bury me here!
Here’s a wrap-up from 2014 with the latest gossip.
Can’t wait to read it? Sorry, nothing really sexy!
In short, the year was full of investigative blogging – Ormita, Bartercard, IRTA, Universal Currency and more recently the Tradeqoin scam.
The Camp Samoa plantation is ticking over, pigs, dogs and chickens all well fed.
I’m still broke but debt-free; now divorced; lost some friends but gained more from around the globe than I had before and have plans for another positive year in 2015.
There! Now, “what say you savage?”
Investigative Blogging has been the focus of this last year, 2014. It has been full of it!
In the first quarter of 2014 I finished a monster of a report (The Ormita Report) following a monster of an investigation into conman Daniel Evans and his Ormita fraud. I published it at the end of March. It was widely distributed throughout the barter industry thanks to the friendly team at IRTA who loved it to bits and talked it up. Shortly thereafter Ormita was no more and the conman was in hiding. He still is BTW although I can see evidence of him still snooping around.
I then launched into a string of posts and then questions that turned into investigations and more posts than I can count! Many of them exposed serious naughtiness in the barter industry. Bartercard launched an IPO with a dodgy prospectus and a secret deal with IRTA. I exposed that one and put the cat amongst the pigeons at both ends. Bartercard redid their prospectus and IRTA threw out a panicky media release trying to explain the unexplainable.
I dived into the nepotism and corruption at Universal Currency where IRTA was not playing by the rules, such as extending credit to the insiders, billing members who had long gone, raiding their members ‘funny-money’ till and hiding a whole bunch of stuff from their members. Extraordinary conduct from the self-professed industry watchdogs who don’t even have their own currency audited!
I then showed Tradeqoin’s crowdfunding campaign up for what it really was – a scam. They backtracked and down-graded their projections by some 90% as a result of my expose and then dropped their crowdfunding ask to a third of what they were seeking.
All in all it was one ‘hell of a year’ on the investigative blogging front.
On the personal side, Debbie finally signed our divorce papers and she is now free of her ‘problem man’. In a nutshell for those curious, our separation after a decade or more together is best summarised by the phrase, “It’s my way of the byway” to which, two and a half years ago, her answer was the latter with a one way ticket outta Paradise. Not my ideal solution to our long-term difference of opinion but that’s the way things are!
On the financial side, I’ve basically continued to live on capital – that makes pretty much five years of it, but the plantation produces well and the little cash that comes in from various people and sources keeps the wolves away – just!
My understanding of Samoa and Samoans has increased substantially in the last year and a lot of the festering problems from the first few years in Samoa are on the verge of being dealt with, which is great. I’ve culled a few ‘friendships’ in the process of making life easier and cleaner.
The Camp Samoa plantation is ticking over nicely producing coconuts, bananas and a variety of fruit way more than I can handle – lucky birds and pigs eh? I now have a little faleo’o on the hillside overlooking Camp Samoa. I like it. A faleo’o is a thatched roof house made of sticks on poles – very traditional Samoan it is!
All in All
A few events of note from the year. I’ve said a lot by way of my blogging and posting online. Much of it has been hard-hitting and somewhat controversial but incredibly as far as I know 99.999% has been dead right. I can’t think of one error of fact in hundreds of thousands of words. I put this down to a deliberate, conscious effort to deal with the truth and nothing but the truth. Getting things right is important to me.
There a couple of things that I would have said differently, there was a comment that I made in a LinkedIn post where I used a simile with Nazis or Hitler which in retrospect I probably went a little far in the heat of the moment. The IRTAcard post went down like a lead balloon in some circles but in others some were in total hysterics. In retrospect I would have made it a lot clearer in the post that it was humour. I never thought that anyone would actually believe it – but they did! My hints at satire were a little too subtle and I didn’t understand that American’s humour is a little less ‘refined’ (shall we say) than British!
When I look back on the year and ponder the successes and failures it was a big one for building my online credibility in some circles (although not openly in some of course!) especially the ones that matter to me. When it comes to laughs, there were a few but the big one has to be Ron Whitney’s response to a Dutch question. I can’t help but crack-up when I think of the email that Ron Whitney (Executive Director of IRTA) sent to TradeXchange in the Netherlands when Jacob asked him what he thought about my blogs exposing Tradeqoin as a scam. The context was that after extensive blogging revealing nepotism and corruption within the IRTA operations, the IRTA team could only claim that “Dennis lacked credibility”. I mean what else can you say when your reputation is being nailed to the wall daily?
When Ron answered Jacob with the same sort of response, I laughed my head off, because of course we could all see that Tradeqoin’s prospectus was a nonsense. That they totally rejigged their entire valuation (down by a million Euros), business projections to a tenth and crowdfunding ask slashed by two thirds as a result of the blogging that “In the opinion of IRTA and UC” lacked credibility was and still is hilarious! Of course it showed IRTA for what it really is – an old boys network all looking after each others’ interests (and backs) without a hint of integrity – but, whatever! That’s just who they are and the way things go. I’m sure that IRTA thinks I set them up and used Jacob to entrap them. In fact I knew nothing of Jacob’s question until after Ron had responded and he sent it to me. We really had a good laugh together. He’s a bit of a character!
The new year
In a business sense I will keep on with commentary on the barter industry and alternative currencies. That’s NOT good news for IRTA and Tradeqoin if they both continue with their current modus operandii as there will be more information coming to light which they will not want out there. For example there will be concerns from IRTA if (dare I say it, when) the GETS Summary Report gets into the public domain. There is VERY good reason why IRTA’s lawyers hammered GETS with a serious threat if they released it! There’s also VERY good reason why the IRTA Executive also suppressed it even from their own Board and only gave them a shortened ‘censored’ summary!** Likewise with Tradeqoin. Rob van Hilten will NOT want more factual information about Tradeqoin’s memberships to get into the public domain, especially in his target market, the Netherlands! I predict that both of these things will happen in the New Year to their probable gross consternation.
More and more people are wanting me to get serious with Bartercard, some talking of trying to “take them down”. If there are enough people around who are motivated, this is a possibility although it’s not a simple, “Yeah! Let’s go get em!”. Bartercard builds their business on illusions – essentially talking about how great and wonderful they are, when in fact they have a grossly inflated currency, and conduct themselves an inch short of the law (sometimes arguably over it), and certainly way outside the norms of ethics as most of the world would want to apply the term. Investigative blogging with a concerted effort to expose their immoral predatory practices could be quite embarrassing and perhaps lead to events that could “bring them down”. There’s SOOOO much ill-will out there towards them and SOOOO much evidence of their skulduggery that they will have serious problems if someone took them on with a professional website and Social Media presence that simply shared all this information. I’m not into destruction. I want to build things and people up to make the world a better place, but as you can see from my clear intent to take Ormita fraud down*, when given the support and enough motivation to do so, I’m not averse to taking on the crooks head-on.
At home here, I’d like to marry and have a family, probably locally. Hopefully this can happen in the new year. I’ve been in Samoa for five years and have thus far deliberately held off personal integration (taking on a Matai title and/or marriage is the normal way for a Palagi to integrate with a village personally) although I have had extensive engagement at village level around both islands.
Camp Samoa (and other lands I have access to) are ready for foreign investment and it is possible that next year could be the year that others join me in what we are doing here. A lot of people are worried about the way things are shaping up in the Western society – increased conflict, economic troubles, health and environment issues, the police-state and of course the trend to globalisation and the NWO. Samoa has a unique offering. It’s a challenge culturally, not an easy thing to adjust to but I can and do bridge that gap for others. It’s an area I’m interested in. We’ll see how it all shapes up.
And of course blogging is always a part of life for Tenisi.
See you on the other side of the New Year!
* My original intent was to write The Ormita Report and simply expose the facts. A few months into the investigation as I found the extent to which the fraud affected others adversely, in January 2014 I determined to do everything I could to close it down. Thankfully I achieved that goal when the software provider, Time Management terminated their services.
** This is contrary to what IRTA President claimed, which is that all IRTA Board members got a copy – both digital AND in print prior to their Cancun conference. I believe that this was an outright lie from a President who has proven herself to me to be rather ‘economical with the truth’ in the past!