New Utopia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

29 Jul

The project was publicised by various media outlets in Europe and the United States. In an article about fake nations, Quatloos.com called “New Utopia” a “fake nation scam”.[1] The micronation was also briefly mentioned as a scam in a Business Week e.biz online article[3] and in a Wired News piece;[4] the latter noted, however, that “Turney… firmly maintains his intention to build the archipelago paradise once he raises enough cash”.

Long operated a Web site to promote the so-called micronation tax haven, which he claimed was to be constructed on concrete platforms at the Misteriosa Bank 115 miles west of the Cayman Islands.[5][6][7] He offered US$350 million in unregistered bonds[8] and also promoted a currency purchase program by promising returns of up to 200 percent.[5]

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) termed New Utopia a “fraudulent nationwide Internet scheme”,[1] and complained that Long had made “material misrepresentations and omissions concerning, among other things, the status of construction of the project, the companies associated with the project, the safety of the investment, and the status of the Commission’s investigation into his activities.”[2] The SEC’s case against Long (SEC v. Lazarus Long) ruled against Long in 2000, ordering him to pay a disgorgement of US$24,000, the amount he had collected thus far.[2] The latter condition was subsequently waived due to Long’s inability to pay.[8] Long continues to maintain that the project is real and offers ‘charter citizenship’ to individuals who “contribute” at least US$10,000 (recently increased from US$1,500).[9]

New Utopia’s “UK Pro Consul” was interviewed by Danny Wallace for his 2005 BBC2 series about micronations, How to Start Your Own Countryin which he claimed the country’s sovereignty had been recognised by the ‘Principality of Thaumaturgy’.[10] New Utopia is also now recognised by The Principality of Vanuatu.[citation needed]

Structure

The social model and trade system would have been hyper-capitalistic, modelled after the writings of Ayn Rand, Napoleon Hill, Robert Heinlein, Dale Carnegie and Adam Smith.[11] Long also promised that the tiny nation would have a clinic better than the Mayo Clinic, a casino modelled after the Monte Carlo Casino, and “the ultimate luxury spa”.[11] Residents would live in one of the 642 apartments and condos that would be built.[12] It would have been a tax haven, with all services paid by a 20% tax on imported consumable goods.[12]

Founder

Before creating New Utopia, Howard Turney had been introduced to the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) by an anti-aging doctor. He was so impressed with the results that he became an advocate of the hormone and he created in February 1993 a longevity spa called El Dorado Clinic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. In 1995 he changed his name after Lazarus Long, a recurrent character in Heinlein’s novels who goes through several rejuvenation treatments in order to live hundreds of years and eventually become immortal. Also around 1995 he stopped injecting HGH in the El Dorado clinic because of the corruption of local officers, and he moved to the US. A few years later he had to stop injecting HGH also in the US when doctors stopped prescribing due to illegal doping in sport. Then he tried to fund New Utopia, a place where the government couldn’t tell him what he could do and what he couldn’t. But in 1999 the SEC closed his bond offering because the bonds were unregistered with them.[13] He dedicated the rest of his life to the creation of New Utopia.

Lazarus Long died on 26 April 2012.

via New Utopia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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