242 Comments

Another Christian grifter scheme gone south. Another day that ends in "Y."

Not to toot my own horn, but I was leery of the whole bitcoin thing when I first heard about it. Reminded me too much of the whole "something-for-nothing" cons which are a LOT older, though just as nefarious. And yeah, it's a Monday and yeah, I've had my coffee, but no, I really can't get all that worked up about another in what seems to be an endless parade of confidence games run by believers, aimed at enriching a few at the cost of the many.

Same stuff, different day.

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I agree with you: I've stayed well away from anything crypto. Give me solid, dividend-paying stocks any day.

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Warren Buffett said he wouldn't give $25 for all the bit coin on the planet. Warren is a somewhat better than average investor.

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I am a vastly below-average investor, and even I won't touch that.

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Good call. People are better off generally not taking any kind of advice from the clergy.

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Stocks are still a volatile option, but at least they are based on things that exist. Bitcoin is the product of a program running on some computers, bits of data, electrons existing on hard drives that I can wipe out with a strong magnet or a leaky water pipe.

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Wasn’t there some guy that had bought some crypto and put it on a secure flash drive then forgot the password. He ended up losing millions because he couldn’t open it.

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It's not that different than losing your wallet with U.S. Dollars inside, though maybe a little easier.

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I'm not sure this is the same story, but...

There was a guy who ran a crypto exchange. The thumb drive that went missing held tens of millions of dollars of *other* people's money. Then he suddenly went missing or supposedly died overseas (I can't remember which), and this widow couldn't find the drive or the codes to unlock it if they found it.

All of which is highly suspicious. I wouldn't be surprised if he suddenly got found in some out of the way pacific island, sipping drinks on the beach. However, as far as I know, that hasn't happened yet and authorities don't have any concrete evidence of wrongdoing. Just a set of circumstances which are somewhat hard to believe.

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Even in a movie that's an unbelievable plot.

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Actually, thumb drives and modern laptop drives aren't susceptible to magnets. And you can have backups of a crypto wallet, something you can't do with physical cash.

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But they are susceptible to water.

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So witches...are made of magnets?

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Only in Trumpland.

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Decent chance you can recover the data. Anyway, that's where the backups come in. (You do back up your files ☺)

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Are you allowed to back up cryptocurrency? Or would that count as counterfeiting?

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Or a down-on-his-luck comic bookstore owner finds a flash drive and wipes it so that he can sell it for a couple of bucks.

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Did Stuart actually do that? I didn't remember the Bitcoin episode ending that way.

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Yes.

Flashback: In the old comic book store four years ago, Stuart is cleaning up and finds a Batman flash drive (presumably Leonard's). He plans to erase it and sell it.

https://bigbangtheory.fandom.com/wiki/The_Bitcoin_Entanglement#Extended_Plot

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I do wonder, why is crypto valued in dollars and not crypto?

No one ever says, "I just bought a thousand Bitcoin worth of dollars."

That should tell us something about it.

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That makes no sense and tells us nothing. People don't say that they bought an ounce of gold worth of dollars either. USD is the global currency, so it makes sense that bitcoin is valued in it. It's also valued in Euro, Pound, Yuan, and every other major currency.

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That's the point. Currently, Bitcoin is not an actual currency, it's just a number that is dropped into your digital wallet that people speculate on. It's treated more like a stock that's not actually attached to anything except people's wishes.

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You can buy some things with it, but it's not a good currency. The transaction speed is too slow and the fees too high. It's more like digital gold than a stock. It is federally recognized as a commodity. There are other cryptos with high transaction speeds and low fees that could make for better currency.

The point, for you anti-crypto people, is that it's here to stay. Like most things it has both bad and good elements. It should neither be dismissed nor overly praised.

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True, but time will tell if it's solid or a bubble.

I haven't said I dislike it, cryptocurrency crazy and risky, so I am going to take the odd potshot at low hanging fruit, especially with new ones being created all the time. There is a huge number of cryptocurrency, most of it garbage, some of it more like penny stocks. Bitcoin is the one to rise above the rest.

The reality is anything of value is just what we agree upon. Some things are certainly more solid, but I suspect Bitcoin being added to ETFs is due more the influence of the wealthy taking huge gambles and wanting more stability. It's not like they can do their normal insider trading with it. Just look at the Gamestop stock freeze. That was done purely to stop the hedge funds from hemorrhaging more than they already had.

If Bitcoin were to take a sudden plunge (it's down as of this writing), I'm not sure it can be controlled in the same way Gamestop was. I'm not familiar enough with ETFs to say what protection there is. I do know they can be traded without having to pay capital gains tax, so that might be why they've been inducted into ETFs.

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BTC has been around for 16 yrs now. It has risen and crashed a few times, yet remains. It will probably continue see sawing for a while. I think the demand for ETFs is due to most people not wanting to mess with buying, selling, and storing it. You can buy gold ETF's rather than owning coins and bars. Anything can be made into one. It's also the big players wanting in on the action.

The price can and has been manipulated. Such is the case with nearly all commodities, equities, and currencies. I think the current plunge is largely due to selling the news. The expectation of ETFs was priced in well before they arrived.

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It's so obviously a way for criminals to launder money.

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The fact that all ransomware deals exclusively in bitcoins is telling.

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Jan 22·edited Jan 22

Well, most regular currency has not been linked to material goods for almost a hundred years now. There's nothing objectively preventing crypto from being like that: a very stable abstract representation of value (in this case, related to trust in the stability of processing power and blockchain, vs. trust in the stability of a particular nation-state).

However, in practice it certainly hasn't achieved 'stable' yet. Even the most legit crypto like bitcoin is highly volatile. But, I suspect that doesn't matter here, since the intended 'marks' of these con artists were people whose intellectual pie has 8 pieces of religion and 0 pieces of investment knowledge.

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“… run by believers …”

I’m afraid they only ‘believe’ in the gullibility of the sheep.

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No no no. All days end in g: mandag, tirsdag, onsdag, torsdag, fredag, lørdag og søndag.

How on earth does they manage to fool people like that? Again and again?

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You can tell that his parents drilled the mythical into him strongly if points like these are reached; Greg Locke being no different.

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I am all out of “thoughts and prayers” for the Christo-fascists and their chosen Grifters.

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Have you considered: "Tots and Pears?" 😁

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For these criminal scammers, I wish them 'cots and squares.'

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I already ate them all.

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I can't bring myself to have a whole lot of sympathy for people who take financial advice from a preacher. Not that their financial advice is going to be a lot worse than their advice on every other subject.

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I don't think Christian folks quite get that the good news was originally that God was going to show up and overthrow the rich, the powerful oppressors, and the authoritarian emperors and lift up the poor, the hungry, the prisoners, and the oppressed so they could enjoy good things.

It then became, we'll okay, sure that, but also Jesus had to die to redeem us. So keep trying to live a good and charitable life and keep enduring suffering from the rich oppressors. Jesus will be here soon.

And then "okay, we're the rich ones now... so God is good with that... the rest of you... well, keep doing what you're doing."

And finally, "Works don't matter. Salvation is a get out of Hell free card rewarded on your beliefs. Also God wants you to be filthy rich, so you can oppress the "heathens" and enjoy the good things of this world, so give me all of your money and miracles will happen."

I mean, it is rather remarkable that it's now 100% opposed to what it used to be. I suppose that was inevitable once the rich oppressive authoritarian fuckwads realized how useful it was to control the masses.

So it goes.

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Jan 22·edited Jan 22

MLMs, pyramid schemes, and so many other grifts largely prey on the religious. Why am I not surprised the crypto bros have joined the list?

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Jan 22·edited Jan 22

Impressive. The Regalados managed to violate 6 commandments to pull this off.

They put money ahead of their god. They made an idol of money. They took their god's name in vain (using his name to enrich themselves). They stole. They bore false witness. They coveted.

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And maybe some of the five that Mel Brooks broke on his way down from the mountain in “History of the World Part I.”

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I figure that was the tablet with "Thou shalt not fuck children"

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Yes, and the one that said: "Religious leaders will not grift for money," and "Nobody needs a firearm more powerful than a hunting rifle," and "Do not make ad hominem attacks on opponents."

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I would replace the last one with 'Thou shalt mind thine own fucking business if no one is getting hurt'

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That works for me.

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And along with coveting their neighbor's money, I bet they also did it on the sabbath.

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> "I bet they also did it on the sabbath."

When I was younger I did it twice on the sabbath.

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Jan 22·edited Jan 22

Cristers love a good scam. Not just the perpetrators, but also the ones being bamboozled. The sheep have no willpower whatsoever to resist being taken to the cleaners by godly get-rich-quick scams.

To both schemers and their gullible followers: Your Jesus preached against earthly wealth. You're supposed to be storing up riches in heaven. Your book tells you to set your sights on things above, not earthly things.

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They listen to that the same way they listen to Matthew 6:5-6 ... which is to say, not at all.

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The more religious a person is, the less likely they are to be a critical thinker.

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That is damned near axiomatic! Then, too:

𝐹𝑎𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑖𝑠 𝑛𝑜 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑜𝑛.

-- Ken Peters

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But gullible, trusting followers are told that giving to the church now is how you store up riches in heaven!

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It’s just too bad there isn’t this same kind of immediate financial consequence when these bullshit prophet scammers tell the gullibles that Trump is the anointed God King.

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The number of suckers far exceeds 1 per minute.

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To be fair, there are more people on the planet than when Barnum said that.

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𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑏𝑙𝑒𝑚 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑅𝑒𝑔𝑎𝑙𝑎𝑑𝑜𝑠 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑡𝑜𝑜 𝑑𝑢𝑚𝑏 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑘 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑎𝑔𝑒-𝑜𝑙𝑑 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑏𝑜𝑜𝑘. 𝐼𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑎𝑑 𝑜𝑓 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝐺𝑜𝑑, 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑚𝑖𝑠𝑒𝑠 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑏𝑒 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑑𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑛𝑜 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑜𝑟 𝑎𝑐𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑏𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑦, 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑠𝑜𝑙𝑑 𝑎𝑛 𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑡. 𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦’𝑣𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑐𝑎𝑢𝑔ℎ𝑡.

It's probably more trying to stop the hemorrahging of young people, so they added the "cool new thing" to the basic grift.

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They got greedy. They already had a low overhead grift by being an online church; they thought they could get way more by dipping into the crypto world. But they didn't cut and run before the authorities caught up to them.

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“Ultimately, this cryptocurrency was just like every other form of Christian media. It was marketed as an alternative to something the secular world already offered but ended up being a cheap, if not worthless, imitation. Still, the people at the top of the pyramid reaped the benefits all thanks to the Christians who were even more gullible than them.“

Cryptocurrency is a worthless scam, there have only been situations like this surrounding crypto since its inception. The only people who have ever made money off crypto are the con artists creating and selling it. Reality is, crypto is taking a page out of the religion handbook, not the other way around.

I do have to say my only surprise comes from how long it took for a religious grifter to partake in the scam.

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I guess their theology is "The Lord helps those who help themselves." To their followers' pocketbooks.

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"The Lord helps those who help themselves" is found nowhere in their bible. Oopsies. :)

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Neither is Jesus described as looking like those German Renaissance paintings.

Incidentally, The Bible was written in ancient Greek. "Man shall not lieth with man as with other men" was written in ancient Greek to say "Man shall not lieth with boy as with other men." It's a commandment against pedophilia, not homosexuality.

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"It's a commandment against pedophilia"

Yet another one they don't follow.

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The only "commandment" they're interested in is "Make all checks payable to...."

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Who writes checks anymore? I've barely used 2 books of checks in nearly 6 years at this address.

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Well, the people who support televangelical grifting bring them (or pay cash) at the big event at the Civic Center or the megachurch.

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Some Aramaic and Hebrew...but mostly Greek.

And that's pretty much how the Greeks swing (or swang).

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I am informed by a classical scholar about the Greek...but yes, Aramaic and Hebrew would be there, too.

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Sorry I went into that rabbit hole. Bible=collection

Bits of Jewish scripture, Talmud, and Vogue magazine.

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Vogue, at least, has its moments.

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If they were better at praying then they wouldn't have to worry about anything. Is not the lilies in the field worried not or some shite like that? Go back to prayer school. Worst prayer skills I ever saw.

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Praying doesn't work, so they decided to prey instead.

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Thoughts and preyers.

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Tots and preyers.

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lol that's good. I was trying to come up with something different, but I'll steal that instead.

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Tots and taters.

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I’m reminded of an old sign that many pubs in the U.K. used to display at the bar “We have an arrangement with our bank. They don’t sell beer and we don’t cash cheques”. Seriously, there’s surely a case for much more financial scrutiny where religious organisations start trying to get into the finance business. The conflicting interests are enough to have any half decent lawyer, in fact any professional, screaming and shouting warnings.

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That's the thing with Christian organizations: they don't like scrutiny, and especially not secular oversight. They think that, because they're associated with something supposedly "holy," that's all the more qualification they need.

Ummm ... about that...

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Similar signs used to be found in pizza places back in the day, here in the U.S., usually to discourage people from trying to pay for their pizzas with checks. I actually remember one such sign at a pizza place back in the early 1970s, when I was in college.

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"Now, a Colorado pastor and his wife have been sued over a crypto-currency scheme in which they raised over $3.2 million from more than 300 people...for a product that was deemed literally worthless."

"Literally worthless" pretty much describes Christianity, all right. Oh wait, you meant the crypto. My bad. ;)

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The Regalados of this world prey on Christians who are under-educated and financially illiterate. When it comes to crypto, most of us don't have the knowledge and expertise to get involved in it. Some, like our niece, dipped into bitcoin at the very beginning, watched it soar, and when it got to nosebleed levels, sold out and never looked back. Taking advice from online preachers like Regalado is guaranteed to be a disaster.

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Warren Buffett is one of the greatest investors in history, and he won't touch crypto.

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