Dominion of Melchizedek

Dominion of Melchizedek
Micronation
Seal
Seal
Motto: Monotheistic, unity, peace
Anthem: tba
Status Current
Area claimed Various Pacific Ocean islands and part of Antarctica
Membership < 50
Date of foundation 1986
Leadership President Richard James McDonald (23 July 2003- )
Organisational structure Ecclesiastical state
Language English, Rusyn, Hebrew, Rotuman
Purported currency Dominion Dollar

The Dominion of Melchizedek (DoM) is a micronation known for facilitating large scale banking fraud in many parts of the world.[1] The president was Pearlasia Gamboa, wife of vice-president David Korem. Their activities were described by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica as “one of the most diabolical international scams ever devised in recent years.”[2][3]

Contents

Origin and Status

The DoM was created in 1986 by Evan David Pedley and his son, Mark Logan Pedley.[1] The latter also uses a number of pseudonyms, including "Tzemach Ben David Netzer Korem" and "Branch Vinedresser" (which is a rough English translation of the Hebrew). The Pedleys have published a translation of the Bible known as the Melchizedek Bible. During the 1980s the Pedleys were convicted and imprisoned for multiple various land and share-related frauds[citation needed].

The current President of the Dominion of Melchizedek is Richard James McDonald,[clarification needed] a lawyer and former law enforcement officer from California.[citation needed] Before becoming President of Dominion of Melchizdek, McDonald served as Governor of the Dominion of Melchizedek Bar Association and an Ambassador at Large.[4] McDonald believes people can claim "state citizenship" thereby giving them rights which differ from those of a US citizen.[5]

Supporters of DoM assert that it is an "ecclesiastical sovereignty," similar to Vatican City. While its flag incorporates Christian, Jewish and Islamic symbols, DoM has no established church or formally constituted religion, and most external observers reject the assertion of ecclesiastical sovereignty.[citation needed]

DoM also claims Jerusalem as its "homeland." The claim is based on the Biblical legend of Melchizedek, who is said to have been priest-king of Salem. However, as no person associated with DoM is known to reside in Jerusalem, and as the DoM apparently has no recognized means of enforcing its claim, this claim is also generally rejected.[citation needed]

During the 1990s DoM began to claim sovereignty over a number of Pacific islands, all of which were already the possessions of recognized states. DoM's claims include Taongi Atoll (an uninhabited possession of the Marshall Islands); Malpelo Island (a possession of Colombia, inhabited by a military garrison); Karitane Shoal (a reef submerged under 9 metres of water); Solkope Island (part of Fiji); and Clipperton Island (a possession of France). DoM also claims a large section of Antarctica. None of these claims are recognized by any established government.

The Dominion of Melchizedek website claims that it is a recognized sovereign entity. However, mainstream media outlets, including Forbes magazine and The Washington Post, have characterized it as a "ruse," and it has been described as "non-existent" by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.[6]

Recognition

An article in the Washington Post reported that DoM was "diplomatically recognized" by the Central African Republic, in 1993, but stated, "...you get the feeling that the Central African Republic would recognize the State of Denial if it had a letterhead."[7] An article in the Quatloos online anti-fraud site noted that "Melchizedek has apparently obtained some sort of recognition from some smaller states ... all of which are notable for their corruption. Claims that the DoM has received recognition from any major government are purely lies."[8]

As far as is known, DoM does not maintain a diplomatic mission or any other form of representation in the Central African Republic, nor is there evidence confirming the existence of a formal bilateral relationship of any substance. DoM's web site claims that it has since been "recognised" by Burkina Faso. No reliable secondary source has published a confirmation or denial of the claim.

Marshall Islands statement

In response to one of DoM's territorial claims, the government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands issued the following statement:

The Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands condemns the claims and activities asserted by (alleged) representatives of the "Kingdom of EnenKio" and the "Dominion of Melchizedek". The representatives making claims of separate sovereignty are not citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and have no right to make claims on behalf of Marshallese landowners. Furthermore, these representatives are making fraudulent assertions that violate the Republic of the Marshall Islands's constitution. The area of land and ocean which the "Kingdom of EnenKio" asserts as a sovereign nation separate from the Marshall Islands and (some of) the area of land and ocean which the "Dominion of Melchizedek" is asserting control over are areas within the geographical and political boundaries of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.[9]
—Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands has issued a diplomatic note to other nations, urging nations friendly to it not to recognize claims of DoM in the Marshall Islands. Remios Hermios, the recognised Iroijlaplap (chief) of Taongi, was later quoted on an Australian current affairs programme as saying he had granted DoM a 50-year "sovereign lease" over Taongi Atoll. However, as sovereignty over the atoll (as opposed to land title) belongs to the Marshall Islands and not to private citizens, the Iroijlaplap's action is generally considered to be null and void.[citation needed]

Frauds linked to the Dominion of Melchizedek

Over 300 investors in various parts of the world have lost money in purported investment, fantasy passport and employment scams run by several "banks" licensed by Melchizedek, including one operated by a supposed "diplomatic representative".[citation needed]

DoM apologists have suggested that there is no link between Melchizedek and the illegal activities conducted by "banks" it has "licensed"; however, in an address to the 4th International Financial Fraud Convention in London, 1999-05-27, John Shockey, a former special assistant in the office of the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, stated:

Melchizedek first came to my attention in June 1990, a few months after Mark Pedley was paroled from a 1986 conviction. Inquiries were received concerning bank names: Banco de Asia, Guardian Savings & Guaranty and Express Bank among others. Investigations that these entities had bank charters from the DOM and obtained through an entity named Consortium Finance Corporation headquartered in Lake Tahoe, California. Further investigation disclosed a principal alternately named John Hayden and Branch Vinedresser. Shortly thereafter the FBI took Branch Vinedresser into custody and revealed that he was Mark Pedley, who then was charged with violations of his parole.

In the same address Stockey also stated that: "The Dominion of Melchizedek is a fraud, a major fraud, and not a legitimate sovereign entity. Persons associated with the Dominion of Melchizedek have been indicted and convicted of a variety of crimes."[8]

At one stage in the early 2000s, DoM maintained a post office box address in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Coincidentally, one of the individuals identified by Philippine authorities in November 1998[10] as the ringleader of a series of frauds perpetrated in the name of DoM was John Gillespie, a former Australian felon who was convicted on the basis of his involvement in the Fine Cotton horse substitution racket during the 1980s. According to a media report originally published in The Nation (Bangkok) on 1999-05-30, "hundreds of Filipinos, Chinese and Bangladeshis paid up to US$3,500 to Gillespie's gang for worthless Melchizedek travel documents," and some had also paid significant amounts of money to obtain "government jobs" on one of the uninhabited Pacific islands claimed by DoM. The total amount defrauded was estimated at one million dollars. While the other gang members were arrested, Gillespie himself eluded capture.

Another fraud involving DoM is tied to Jeffery Thayer, who was the Governor of the Bar Association from 1997 to 1999 and the current General Counsel and Humanitarian Projects Coordinator.[11] Thayer practices law under a license granted by DoM, although he was disbarred in California. He authored the book, The Corporation Sole, Its History, Significance and Creation, which goes into the history of corporate soles. Thayer also teaches seminars on how to organize and operate a church or ministry as a tax-exempt non-profit religious corporation. As a result of his fraudulent activities, Thayer served time in a US Federal Prison.[12]

Lawsuit against CBS

In April 2000, CBS's 60 Minutes II, aired a report critical of the Dominion of Melchizedek. Prior to the program being aired, Mark Pedley claims he had a conversation with 60 Minutes II producer Janet Klein, in which Klein promised Pedley fair coverage of DoM. In the opening of the program, CBS made a claim that Pedley was a prophet. During the interview, Bob Simon asked Pedley if he was a prophet. Pedley replied, "I try to avoid making any predictions about the future."[13]

After CBS aired the program, DoM demanded a retraction of statements made during the program. As a result of the bad press, DoM filed a lawsuit (in their own judicial system) on 2000-05-09 seeking damages for libel against CBS in the amount of $1 billion. The lawsuit named Klein, Simon, and CBS as the defendants. On 2000-07-25, DoM entered a default judgement against CBS, claiming that the company failed to respond to the lawsuit. Because of the lack of jurisdiction of the lawsuit, CBS has refused to acknowledge the judgement.[14]

David Evan Pedley

David Evan Pedley (born 1929-04-08 in Daly City, California) is one of the founders of the Dominion of Melchizedek. He wrote the Melchizedek Bible's preface, translated Genesis, Exodus, Matthew and parts of Revelation as his "gift" to the Dominion of Melchizedek according its "Introduction" which was first published in 1986. He also wrote the Glossary, which is called the "Key of David."[citation needed]

Pedley graduated from the University of California. He attended classes of Dr. Josiah Merriman, a doctor turned Christian Science Practitioner. Dr. Merriman emphasized the importance of resurrecting the Dominion of Melchizedek from antiquity.[citation needed]

After being convicted of several financial crimes in the 1970s, including stock fraud, Pedley was incarcerated. Pedley claims the charges were false and the result of a "witch-hunt" against him. While incarcerated, he started a cattle business, which Ben David operated for him in Los Angeles, California.[15]

Released in 1975, Pedley partnered with his son Ben David in a real estate enterprise in Northern California. Pedley came under repeated grand jury investigations that resulted in further indictments against him. In 1982, he and his son Ben David fled to Mexico to avoid arrest. Ben David was arrested in January 1983 by Mexican immigration for not renewing his visa. After being deported to the U.S. Ben David was held pending trial. David Pedley surrendered to Mexican authorities. While incarcerated in Mexico, Pedley apparently began work on the Melchizedek Bible which was written over a period of five years by hand and on a computer (which he received from his son Ben David).[citation needed]

While in Mexican custody Pedley apparently died, though the circumstances are not clear. A closed casket funeral was held in Altadena, California, in 1987. At the funeral, FBI agents approached the Pedley family and requested to fingerprint David Pedley’s body. This request was denied by the family and allegedly some government regulators believe that David Pedley is still alive.[10]

Mark Logan Pedley

Mark Logan Pedley (born 1953-07-19 in Los Angeles, California) (also known as "Tzemach Ben David Netzer Korem" and "Branch Vinedresser") is the son of David Evan Pedley. He served as the Head of the House of Elders, Vice President of the Executive Branch, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of DoM until elections on 2006-11-15 when Korem was replaced by Charles Balas. As a result of the elections, no member of the Pedley family any longer holds titles of authority in DoM. Pedley is the co-author of the Melchizedek Bible.[8]

He had his parole revoked by his parole officer in late 1991 due to a violation of his conditions. Pedley was released from his parole in July 1994.[16] In 1976, Pedley married Janith Marie Wardy. In 1994, Pedley married Pearlasia Gamboa, a Filipina-American who became the first president of Melchizedek.[16]

Pearlasia Gamboa


Pearlasia Gamboa was the first president of the Dominion of Melchizedek.[3] She is a Filipina-American business woman with numerous aliases who has been involved in controversial international banking, investment, and financial development transactions, including alleged bank fraud and securities fraud, from 1990 through 2009. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed against Gamboa in 2009 to stop her from selling securities of any kind again, and to reimburse victims of her fraudulent activities by which she enriched herself, calling her claimed Philippine gold mines and companies “empty shells”.[17] According to a United States law enforcement official, her “so-called ‘banks’ are involved in serious fraud, and we are watching them close.”[18]

Gamboa’s method of operation is to claim that she is highly religious (a “facade of religious respectability”),[19] to pretend to have wealth, to create associations with international fame, to use numerous variations of her names and aliases, and to pretend to own physical companies around the world, such as gold mines, biodiesel companies, and banks, which are actually only empty shells.[3][20][21][19] In 1995, after being investigated for fraud, Gamboa claimed a “religious freedom” by which she did not recognized the laws of the State of California, and she declared spiritual warfare on California’s Deputy Attorney General.[22] In 2002, the address Gamboa listed with the SEC as an address for two of her businesses was the largest residence in Beverly Hills.[23][24] Among Gambo's schemes was to defraud hundreds of Filipinos, Chinese, and Bengalis.[25] In 2009, Gamboa’s name was listed as one of the authors of a local newspaper claiming that her son, Hazemach, won a gold medal in a national Karate competition.[26] La Republica describes “a trap of luxury for the victims”.[2]

Use of aliases, fictitious business names, and corporate shells

The Washington Post newspaper describes Gamboa’s numerous aliases and company names as “names that change with kaleidoscopic ease and a history of more legal proceedings than 'Melchizedek' has syllables… getting to the truth requires a walk down a bizarre labyrinth that includes a home-brew religion…it appears to exist mainly so that money can be whisked through shell banks”.[3] The Indiana Star newspaper described her activities as being “like a novel full of global intrigue and biblical ties”.[27]

Gamboa has operated under various aliases and business names, described by the Securities and Exchange Commission as being a “woman with multiple aliases”, and by the Washington Post newspaper, “names that change with kaleidoscopic ease”.[3][21] Aliases include Bae Catiguman, Bae Katiguman, Princess Bae Katigumen, Bae Cat, B. Cat, pbc, Rebekah Mesaleah, Elvira Katiguman, Elvira Catiguman, Bae Elvira Gamboa, Pearlasia Gamboa, Ming Zhu, Pearlasia Korem, Pearlasia Grace Gamboa, Grace (Pearlasia Gamboa), E. Pearl Asian, Elvie G Gamboa, Elvira G, Elvira Gamboa, Elvie Austin Gamboa, Elvira G. Austin, and Maria Gamboa.[3][21][22][28]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Quatloos!
  2. ^ a b ““A trap of luxury for the victims of one of the most diabolical international scams ever devised in recent years””, “Dominion of Melchizedek” Ghost State, (”una trappola di lusso per le vittime di una delle piu diaboliche truffe internazionali mai escogitate negli ultimo anni”, 'Dominio di Melchizedek' Stato Fantasma Sull), La Repubblica, Massimo Lugli, March 15 2002 (15 maggio 2002), page 5 (pagina 5), Section:Rome, (sezione: ROMA), [1]
  3. ^ a b c d e f THE RUSE THAT ROARED, Washington Post, November 5, 1995, Richard Leiby, James Lileks
  4. ^ self-published source
  5. ^ rjmintro
  6. ^ "Litigation Release No. 16368". Securities and Exchange Commission. 1999-11-23. http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr16368.htm. 
  7. ^ Richard Leiby and James Lileks (1995-11-05). "The ruse that roared; It's war! Island nation targets France in Ruthenian missile crisis". Washington Post. 
  8. ^ a b c Quatloos
  9. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Circular Note 01-98
  10. ^ a b not the actual source
  11. ^ self-published source
  12. ^ Dominion of Melchizedek-Jeffrey Thayer, Burney Brushears-Gamaliel Ministries, Bethel Aram-Elizabeth Gardner
  13. ^ "Fantasy Island". CBS News (CBS Worldwide Inc.). 2000-04-10. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/04/10/60II/main182244.shtml. 
  14. ^ Press release
  15. ^ David Pasztor (1996-05-02). "Scam Without A Country". Dallas Observer (Village Voice Media). http://www.dallasobserver.com/issues/1996-05-02/news/feature_full.html. 
  16. ^ a b John Shockey, Former Special Assistant, U.S. Comptroller of the Currency
  17. ^ SEC Sues ZNext Mining and its Principal for Fraud and Registration Violations, United States Securities and Exchange Commission Litigation Release No. 21084 / June 12, 2009, Securities and Exchange Commission v. ZNext Mining Corporation, Inc. and Elvira G. Gamboa, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Civil Action No. CV 09-2611 (VRW), [2]
  18. ^ “an astonishing series of worldwide swindles”, Cyber Nations with Real Repercussions, Asia Times, Feb 17, 2000, James Knight, [3]
  19. ^ a b Presentation of Mr. John Shockey, Former Special Assistant, U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, to the 4th International Financial Fraud Convention in London, May 27, 1999
  20. ^ “District Anti-Mafia Directorate in Rome, to defeat a matter of fraud of enormous proportions… 200 Italian victims of the scam… Elvira Gamboa, well-known international crooks, and varied financial structures in England, USA, Australia and France… the real scam. A plurality 'of banks around the world - entirely fictitious… fake company directors' going back and forth with great displays of wealth, so that the customer is convinced… International Merchant's Reserve (IMR), headquartered in Via Appia Nuova. A very similar name - an acronym identical - to the International Monetary Reserve, the governor of the Dominion…”, “Si articola cosi' l'operazione "Mulciber" - dal nome di colui che costrui' il palazzo del Diavolo all'Inferno - sgominata dai Carabinieri di Roma. Due anni di indagine, sette ordinanze di custodia cautelare emesse dalla Direzione Distrettuale Antimafia di Roma, per sgominare un giro di frodi di proporzioni enormi… 200 italiani vittime della truffa - A gestire praticamente l'intera operazione, Tzemach Ben David Korem e sua moglie Elvira Gamboa, notissimi truffatori internazionali, e variegate strutture finanziarie in Inghilterra, Stati Uniti d'America, Australia e Francia. Nell'operazione sono rimasti coinvolti circa 200 italiani, la maggior parte dei quali residenti nella zona di Taranto, per una cifra di circa 1,5 milioni di euro… 200 italiani vittime della truffa - A gestire praticamente l'intera operazione, Tzemach Ben David Korem e sua moglie Elvira Gamboa, notissimi truffatori internazionali, e variegate strutture finanziarie in Inghilterra, Stati Uniti d'America, Australia e Francia. Nell'operazione sono rimasti coinvolti circa 200 italiani, la maggior parte dei quali residenti nella zona di Taranto, per una cifra di circa 1,5 milioni di euro… La frangia italiana dell'intera operazione e' fisicamente incentrata sulla International Merchant's Reserve (Imr), con sede in via Appia Nuova. Un nome molto simile - un acronimo identico - alla International Monetary Reserve, del governatore del Dominion. Quattro esperti della finanza illegale, Bruno Adamu, la convivente Carolyn Ann Russel, Maurizio Cremona e Marco Dibari (ma quest'ultimo ha cambiato diversi nomi negli ultimi anni) si occupano giorno per giorno di procacciare e servire clienti.”, Cronaca. Operazione Mulciber, una colossale truffa internazionale sgominata dai carabinieri,RAI News 24, [4]
  21. ^ a b c “woman with multiple aliases”, SEC Ties Gold-Mining Shares to Empty Shell, Courthouse News Service - Jun 15, 2009, [5]
  22. ^ a b “Pearlasia, president of the Dominion of Melchizedek, has declared war on a California deputy attorney general.”, NATION WAGING “SPIRITUAL WAR” ON STATE OFFICIAL, Sacramento Bee - Feb 13, 1995, [6]
  23. ^ First Canadian American Holding Corp • 8-K • For 1/7/02
  24. ^ ”1156 Shadow Hill Way (“at that time the largest private residence in Beverly Hills)”, Beverly Hills, John Bruce Nelson Real Estate, [7]
  25. ^ “They had duped hundreds of local Filipinos, Chinese and Bangladeshis to pay up to $3,500 for worthless Melchizedek travel documents they were told were ‘internationally-recognized passports’”, Cyber Nations with Real Repercussions, Asia Times, Feb 17, 2000, James Knight, [8]
  26. ^ "The local product trains at The Karate & Fitness Place USA under the direction of Sensei Tom Westernoff. Hazemach", Local Boy Qualifies for US Karate Team, by Tom Westernoff and Pearl Asian, La Morinda Weekly, July 22, 2009, [9]
  27. ^ “The story of the mysterious financial company and state regulators' efforts to shut it down reads like a novel full of global intrigue and biblical ties”, Indiana Trying to Expel `Phantom' Asia Pacific Bank, Indianapolis Star, Nov 9, 1994, SP Dinnen, [10]
  28. ^
    • ZNext Mining to Open Its XYZ Gold Processing & Refinery, Znext self promotion, [11]
    • ”Pearl Asian… Hazemach”, Local Boy Qualifies for US Karate Team, La Mirinda Times, Tom Westernoff and Pearl Asian, July 22nd, 2009, [12]
    • “PearlAsia also known as Elvira Gamboa”, Indiana Trying to Expel `Phantom' Asia Pacific Bank, Indianapolis Star, Nov 9, 1994, SP Dinnen, [13]
    • “Elvira Gamboa, goes under the name ‘Ms Pearlasia’, the president.”, Fiji's cyber secession, Craig DeSilva, Asia Times, February 5, 2000
    • BLACK FOREST INTERNATIONAL. LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Plaintiffs. v. LEGENT CLEARING LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; … GAMBOA PROPERTIES, INC., an Oregon corporation, PEARL ASIAN MINING INDUSTRIES, INC., a Wyoming corporation, E. PEARL ASIAN, A.K.A. ELVIRA GAMBOA, A.K.A. BAE KATIGUMAN, [14]

External links


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