There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 11:00
Part Two: The Con Artist Who Invented A Country
Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of per eye, just visitmylasikoffer.com to schedule your free consultation. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried true crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioral discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. And it's another episode of a podcast that I do. I have forgotten which one. Sophie, what is my job? You you you are a professional podcaster. You also does not sound right. I know what. Even when I said it, I was like. Yeah, you're Robert Evans, the host of behind the ******** show about the worst thing Ohio history and today. Ohh, I forgot it because of the head injuries. Well then I guess I should read this script that someone has handed me. And the script says that my guest today is Lacey Mosley. The script is right. Oh, I love a manufactured Jamaican airport. It's my favorite. Yeah, yeah. No, there's no air horn like the one you pretend to make with your mouth. It's that so, Lacey? How's it going? Good. The same, I assume because it's minutes after we recorded the first episode. Going good. It's nice to talk to people like I, on days where I have lots of podcasts, I'm like, oh, this is gonna be a long day, but then I'm like, oh, it's just talking to people I like. So then it's great. Yeah. Yeah, you know, I. I don't have many social outlets these days because of the plague and being an introvert, so yes, I too. I too get all of my social life by talking about conmen with my friends over the Internet. So thank you for being my con man friend. Yes, I love this. Wait, were you doing lots of socializing before COVID? I feel like you. No work. No, no, no. I was mostly hiding in a fortified compound anyway. So when. Gregor McGregor. Traveled back to London in 1821. He brought back with him his wife in a scheme that was, on the surface, very silly. The land that he'd been given was beautiful, but again, worthless from a financial perspective. It was a bad place to grow. It was completely uncultivated. So discovering like whatever resources might be there would take lifetimes worth of work. You'd have to cut through miles of jungle to even do anything. There were natives there, but none of the kind of cultivated infrastructure that Europeans looked for in colonial prospects. Remember, the most successful colonies that Europeans took were in places where like locals. They've been doing **** for a while, right? Like food was growing like **** was. They kind of had to just move in. And this is not that. This is like, this is actual, uncultivated country. None of this mattered to Gregor, obviously, because he he had no plan doing anything employee. His plan was to lie and pretend it was an actual independent nation filled with riches and fertile land and friendly natives eager to learn from British civil friendly natives. You know, natives we love when when the Brits come and take all our **** and give us disease. The natives loves us. Yeah, they love it. Oh, that doesn't sound like the. British name more than 40 times they did that. Lacey, smallpox, come over here. We we love to see it. So, uh, yeah, he. His plan was to drum up a media frenzy around his new country in Great Britain and sell plots of land back to gullible rubes. And then it wasn't really clear what he planned to do after that. But it was like, if you've seen the monorail episode of The Simpsons, that's kind of what he was going for, it seems like. So as it happened, Gregor landed in London during the best possible time to sell a fake Latin American nation to idiots. And I'm going to explain how this scheme got off the ground, but first I'm going to have to walk you through how stock trading worked in the 1820s, and this is a funner. Story than you might expect. So the idea of trading stocks is still pretty new in the 1820s. People have not been doing it in like a kind of recognizable modern way for a long time. The whole concept had arisen in London during the time of Queen Elizabeth, the first out of what was called merchant banking, the selling and trading of various commodities. Now this took off in the aisles because the continent of Europe spent basically the 1700s and 1800s fighting a bunch of horribly bloody wars, and the men who profited from those wars did all of their financial gambling. London because London was safe, right? People aren't getting over to England and doing their fighting, so it's a pretty good place to do your trading. So it was an English bank that managed the $15 million loan that let the US Buy Louisiana, and it was Rothschild's bank that loaned Britain and her allies more than £100 million during the Napoleonic Wars. Now. When those wars ended, the situation is kind of like it was for the US and World War Two, where everyone else is devastated and the British are doing alright and they kind of like wind up holding everybody's money at the end of that war. And so with the fighting over, you had all these rich guys who had more money than ever and they wanted to make even more money with that because that's the only thing rich guys do with huge piles of money. So they want to do, yeah, they're hoarders and they want to like, make more money and they so they they wanna like, gamble on something. And the Royal Exchange had for decades kind of handled. At gambling. But by the end of the Napoleonic Wars, there's way too much money for this tiny little exchange to handle. And it there was no, like, real regulation. And this this had started to become a problem. There were all these frauds and con men. And yeah, people were worried that the entire economy was going to collapse under, like, a whole bunch of giant grifts. And this had happened before. It had kind of happened repeatedly. As soon as people started trading stocks in 1720, there was something called the South Sea Bubble that started when the South Sea. Company bribed the British government with millions of dollars in exchange for monopoly on South American trade. The government needed that money for a different war with France. So they passed a bill to make this legal. And suddenly, all like the South Sea Company stock rises to 10 times its value. And all of these Englishmen see, like, it's like with Bitcoin. Suddenly, like, Oh my God, that got worth so much more overnight. Something else has got to be like that. What if I invest in something else? And then I can get rich, too. And so there's like, anyway, speculation starts running wild and people start investing in some really stupid. And I'm going to quote from a write up in historic UK here speculation ran wild on all sorts of companies. Some lunatic, some fraudulent or just optimistic were launched. For example one company floated was to buy the Irish bogs, another was to manage manufacture a gun to fire square cannonballs. And most ludicrous at all quote this was an investment at the time for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but no one to know what it is. That's my kind of scam, Silicon Valley. They're like, if we tell you, then somebody's gonna steal it, but just give us money for the thing that would make it. Yeah. And of course the bubble burst and the entire economy collapsed and the government had to resign. So, like that had happened about a century before and people saw the same stuff starting to happen again and they got like really worried. So the more level headed citizens in England decided to make a system of rules and regulations to govern the selling of stocks so the country wouldn't be destroyed completely by reckless greed. And this is kind of. How the London Stock Exchange came about, and like there's, there's a lot more to the history than that, but that's more or less the anyway. So you get this Stock Exchange by the 1800s and it regulates trading, and only approved entities could list commodities for sale or sell commercial stocks of fraud was kept to a minimum, which is good for the economy but bad for people who want to get rich quick. Bad for fraud, bad for fraud. So the London Stock Exchange worked for a while to keep fraud in check. But then Napoleon loses his war and British the British wind up with all of the money in the world, and that kind of makes people reckless. So they start looking for schemes that they can't find on the London Stock Exchange because it's vaguely legitimate. And I'm going to quote from The Economist here to explain what happened next. The economy was expanding steadily, driven on by manufacturing. The cost of living was falling, with industrial workers wages rising. Interest rates drifted down, with the government borrowing more and more cheaply. The country was in an upbeat mood. The downside to all this was that investing in government debt, a staple place to park spare funds, had become boring. The market rate on the most popular British government bond fell steadily between 1800 and 1825. The government made the most of this, swapping its existing debt for new bonds that paid rates as low as 3%. All this gave British investors the incentive and the confidence to look for more exciting opportunities. One option was to lend money to governments that paid higher interest rates. Russia, Prussia and Denmark all had good credit records but offered a 5% return. So these this is what how it happens at first, as they start investing in foreign companies that offer more of a return than the government. And foreign bonds weren't traded in the Stock Exchange, so there's no regulation. Now, this is OK when you're investing in like, Denmark because Denmark is a real country and like you know that your investments not going to just like fly away, right? Prussia is not going to default on all of its debt, but right at this time, like this, this is, it's kind of an open place. Or a scammer could establish themselves and it's a scam is maybe the wrong way to put it, but less, less less safe bets start start being possible. Yeah. So all of these South American colonies that we've been talking about had been in the process of fighting wars against their colonial oppressors and winning them. And you start wondering, you start having independent South American states at this point, and and these are very new countries, and they just finished fighting these horrible wars. So they had a. Need for a bunch of cash. And all of these people in Great Britain are both obsessed with South America and they have too much money. So you get this kind of like perfect storm. And it starts with Colombia, which is the first new nation that comes to the people of Great Britain asking for a loan. They wanted £2 million and this is they offer and like they're willing to offer a 6% return rate, which was actually illegal in Britain at the time because it's too high, because it's too high. And the government's like any, any anything. To return that high has to be somehow, what, sketchy, right? But people fall for this and they like, they love it. They invest a **** load of money in Colombia and the way that Colombia has to, like the first country to do this is Colombia. So they they kind of go to an effort to convince people that they're legitimate, that, like, they'll be able to pay this back. So they print up all these brochures with lists of like, the revenues they expect to make and how good their tobacco market is going to be and how much gold and silver they're going to be mining as soon as the economy gets off the ground. So it seems like a stable investment. People go ******* wild for Colombian bonds, and the bonds run out almost immediately. And so people start like, yeah, people are very hungry for another opportunity like that. And so Chile comes up and Chile is like, well, we'd like alone too. And then Peru comes up next. And by the time Peru starts offering investments, they're not even telling people what natural resources they have to guarantee their. They're just being like, hey, we're ******* Peru. You guys want some of this ****? And they guessed correctly that like London was, no one was going to. Right. Like we just like Colombia. We just like, no, everything they said, that's what we're doing too, in Peru. Just give us the money. Yeah, we're of course, we probably have gold, probably. You don't know. **** it. Yeah, soil. Very rich. That's all. Great soil. Yeah, I saw plant the other day anyway. Yeah, give us the money. Now. These were not necessary. These were not all great investments. Obviously, all these countries do have natural resources, but Latin America was still fighting a whole bunch of civil wars. All of these countries were still fighting. None of their governments were actually really all that settled at this point. They had no credit history and nothing was known about the resources of these places or when they would start being the kind of seeing the kind of profits that all these British people were going to expect. Right. And it wasn't even possible to truly vet that all the men claiming to represent these governments were who they said they were because it's so it's like, who? Yeah, anybody. None of these nations are even recognized by the British government. So now I don't think that's the only path to being legitimate as being. No, no, no, no. Colonizers. However, I do think it's fun that it's like, yeah, we don't know who's gonna be in charge tomorrow. We are definitely. Yeah. War. Yeah. And if you are a British investor and your country doesn't recognize this as a country, that might be a sign that, like, OK, this maybe I should be a little bit more. I don't know. They weren't. Yeah. They invested a bunch of money in these places. And this is the London that Gregor McGregor the the Prince of Poier walks into an 1822 and the only disadvantage. Had when he was crying because he wants to do the same thing with poier. He wants to put it up for a bond issue and, like, get a bunch of money from people who are expecting it to be paid back. And the only disadvantage he has in doing this is that Spain had never owned his country. So one reason British folks were willing to invest in, like, Colombia or Peru is that the Spanish had fought like hell to hold on to these places. So even though they didn't know exactly what resources these countries had, they figured if the Spanish are willing to fight hard for them, there's gotta be yeah, exactly now. So police didn't have that, but it had an advantage that none of the Latin American countries issuing bonds in Great Britain had, which is that its head of state was in London and its head of state is, of course, Gregor McGregor. Yeah. So he immediately goes to the press like, that's his first thing. And he starts talking about how, like, basically talking at player is this like utopia with with undiscovered riches and stuff. And he, he has, he hires a bunch of assistance to write newspaper ads and leaflets and ballads to be broadcast by, like, street singers. London and Edinburgh and Glasgow to try to convince people hired Drake to sing about boy, yeah, he was like we popped him by his real thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every day that rhymes. We bopping bottles and Poyer every day. Yeah, that would make me go. It is ****. Yeah. **** that's good. I would go. So we have some examples of some of the ads that he hired. This one was published in the Glasgow Sentinel Sentinel, and I'm going to read it now. The climate is remarkably healthy and agrees admirably ably with the constitution of Europeans, many of whom having become much debilitated. By a long residents in the West Indies have been completely restored to health by a removal for a short period to the Bay of Honduras. The soil is extremely rich and fertile, bearing 3 crops of Indian corn in a year, and produces not only all the necessities of life and profusion, but is well adapted for the cultivation of all those valuable commodities which have rendered the West Indies so important, especially coffee, sugar, cotton, tobacco, cocoa, etcetera. So everything valuable grows here, and the climate makes you healthier if you're European, right? And everyone's coming here to. The island here, the land heals. The sick basically is what you said. Beautiful snake oil sales peels sick white people. Yeah, only white people. Don't worry, we'll only heal sick white people. Well, you know, it's it's kind of a thing at this. All the places where Europeans are making all of their money by selling and mining commodities kill Europeans in huge quantities because, you know, they're giving smallpox to the natives. But, like, they don't have immunity to, like, any of the local diseases either. So, yeah, there's a lot of reasonable questions that responsible men asked about this. Investment scheme. For example, Gregor, how do you plan to plan to repay this loan? And Gregor answered that Poirier had a lot of gold and it had all sorts of animals that could be haunted and had great soil, and soon there'd be a bunch of stuff for sale. And so when he said this, people were like, hey, Gregor, if Poyer has all this **** why has no one ever traded with it before? And Gregor's, like, well, the locals were too scared of getting the Spanish attention, and then Spain would colonize them and, like, they didn't want that. And so then they were like, well, why, why didn't Spain conquered poya? Like, they were right there and he was like. Well, there's mountains too. There's all these big mountains. Huge, biggest mountain you've ever seen. No one could get into it. And a really deep lake, like the deepest lake and honest lots of lake currents. Sharks. Lake sharks. Tons of sharks. Sky sharks too. Nobody could get it. So these again are all pretty transparent lies, but nobody was checking him out because people just have money to burn and they want to get in on South America. So the loan that Gregor wound up seeking on behalf of Poier was £200,000 just a fraction of what larger nations had asked for, but enough to make him very rich. It's the equivalent of about like $11 million or £11 million, I guess. Today. Yeah, it's a lot of money. So if Gregor had been an ordinary con man, he would have focused on just this grift. But by 1822, Gregor had gotten good at being a con man. And the loan was just his side grift. His real plan was to convince hundreds and hundreds and eventually thousands of English and Scotsmen to sell their property, buy land from him, and immigrate to Poier to help civilize it. Now, I should note here that there's some debate about whether or not he actually intended to try to settle in govern a new nation. There's some evidence that, like he did on Emily Amelia Island, he wanted to move all these people out there so they could form the core of a private country. But he never actually tried to do this. And whether or not he intended to try and start a settlement, the plan was a con from the beginning, and evidence of this comes from the propaganda booklet he wrote to entice colonists to immigrate. It was titled poier sketch of the Mosquito Shore, including the Terraria Amelia Island. He wanted to move all these people out there so they could form the core of a private country, but he never actually tried to do this. And whether or not he intended to try and start a settlement, the plan was a con from the beginning, and evidence of this comes from the propaganda booklet he wrote. Would entice colonists to immigrate. It was titled poier sketch of the Mosquito Shore, including the territory of Poier descriptive of the country, with some information as to its productions now. He credited the writing of the book to Thomas Strangeways, a man who did not exist but was supposedly a captain in the Polian military, which also did not exist. Yes, fake friends name. Jenny Fakename, my good friend Jesus. The left, yeah. Fully looked so. The the booklet was a pretty good piece of con art. It it opened with an apology that the contents were very dry and serious and wouldn't be entertaining to ordinary readers because he knew that the intelligence and like serious men who would agree to invest in Poier wanted only the best information. They didn't want it to be flowery and interesting. They wanted serious facts. And that's all he was going to give you. So, like, First off, he's, he's being like, oh, if you're not really, if if you're expecting like like a lurid read like this is for serious people. So, like, clearly. If you're into this, you're a serious personalities. Yeah. Book is not for the pause. Yeah, not for Poland, dumb people, just the very smart. Yeah. So the book was a bunch of included, a bunch of, like, plagiarized descriptions of different plants and, like, lies about the growing season and also these very elaborate calculations for how much farms of different sizes and plantations of different sizes could expect to earn. And all of this was lies. But he, he did all, like, all of the math was laid out in a way that, like, oh wow, this has to be legitimate. He did a bunch of math. There are numbers in this leaflet, yeah. And these calculations went next to, like, things that were a lot less reasonable, like claiming that, like, it had more fresh water than anywhere else. And all of the freshwater rivers were also just filled with hunks of gold that you could pick up. And, like, it's this mix of like, yeah, it is very fun, very fun stuff. So wait, one question this point. Yeah, because you're he didn't hear it. Land that wasn't. Yeah, there's real land, but is there's real land? Yeah. That Poyer is the location of the land that he. Inherited? Yes. OK, got it. Yeah, yeah. You know what isn't? Fake land kind of grifted from. Where were you on your buddy? I don't know, Sophie. I don't know anymore. Let's just roll the ads. Don't be sad, Robert. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. 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My name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them, you can create change to be able to do it within podcasting. It's just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with speaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always feel like an ambassador for speaker, but that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with speaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart. So we're back. Uh, I missed the ads already, but we get to talk more about Gregor McGregor. So Thomas's guidebook included lengthy descriptions of the local natives, the local politicians, or the Polians Polynesians. I think it's yeah, Polynesians I think is the correct way in his description. The Poisions basically had no real culture of their own. Their culture was that they loved the British. Yo, he really sold that. The white man story? Yeah, he knew. He knew how to sell this ****. Like, he's not dumb. He knows his people. He wrote quote you like? Yeah, yeah, they love. They love you, yeah. He wrote a tradition has long prevailed among them, that the grey eyed people, meaning the English, have been particularly appointed to protect them from oppression and *******. He was like, that's as good grift. Yeah. All of the women are young and their breasts are right underneath their chin, and all they wanna do is marry an old, decrepit British man. Yeah, yeah, the olden the women won't marry young men. They won't **** anyone under 70. So yeah, he tells them that, like, these people are probably descendants of the Aztecs, so they're formerly civilized people who needed English help to rescue them from barbarism. Like, look, they were colonized once and they loved it. They were like colonization chefs kiss and they really wanted you guys to come back. Yeah, so yeah, he, he wrote. Quote they have repeatedly shown an anxious desire to acquire the arts of Europe as as manifest by their repeated invitations to the English to form settlements among them, as well as by their former offers to cede a part of their country to Great Britain, thereby showing that their aversion to Spain does not extend to all other nations of Europe. Yeah, can't wait for you white people to get here. You know they need you. They don't know how to have a country without you, said every indigenous population. Where are the white people? What are they getting? All we've got is this unspoiled country and like a culture not based on constant toil and like. You know, what we really need is some incredibly filthy cities choking to death on cold. How God, if only we had cold, tells Turlington. To pull up. We're ready. So yeah, he, uh, he also goes into length in his this book about like how how happy the natives are to be hired for basically nothing and how like oh, you just give them ammunition and they'll hunt all the food that you need. They love doing it. Like and also you know if you if you hire them and pay them, they never want raises like they're happy getting paid the same amount forever. They also want to be treated as second class citizen. Ohh they love it. Can't get enough of being second class citizens. You know what they said to me the other day? They were like, what if we had a system of segregation here? Wouldn't that be grant? They said? They said to me, me, McGregor. They said we are tired of opportunity. Yeah. Love it. So he also lied about the present extent of European civilization. Employer claiming that a forgotten load of British settlers had already set up like a nice, orderly European city in the country that was its capital. Like there's already a white people city waiting for you. All you gotta do is land there. You'll have workers, you'll have a nice city with a bunch of comforts, like, it'll be fine. All you gotta do is set up your, your, your farms. They're ready to just be planted and you can just get start making money, right? McGregor, you said the city. You said the city is called White People City. Yeah, white topia. It's full of fuller. Fuller, full of nice white people. Things it's got, I don't know, John Mayer is always there. He never leaves. Kinda forever. Selling white conda. Ohh, I love it. Yeah, condos as far as the eye can see burritos with no spices at all. It's amazing. I love that you thought that. Do you think I said condo? Yeah, like what? Kinda forever white condo? Ohh, that's that's better. I thought you were making a comment about white people's famous love of condos. Super shaking her head, Robert. So hundreds and hundreds of people sign up and they all start paying him a ton of money for acreage. He's he's making money hand over fist for this land that these people had never seen. And the bulk of his volunteers were Scotsman, because Gregor finally figures out how to con his own people. Yeah, starts at home it it starts at home, yeah. The historians have spent a decent amount of time trying to tease out why Scottish people were particularly vulnerable to this scheme, and there's an interesting paragraph in the BBC on it quote. According to Columbia University psychologist Tori Higgins, people are usually more likely to be swayed by one or or other of the two motivational lines. Some people are promotion focused, they think of possible positive gains in some prevention focused. They focused on losses and avoiding mistakes. An approach that unites the alpha with the Omega appeals to both mindsets, however, giving it universal appeal. And it's easy to see how Macgregor's proposition offered this potent combination. He published interviews a national papers, for instance, touting the perks that would come from investing. Settling employee, he highlighted the bravery and fortitude that such a gesture would demonstrate. You wouldn't just be smart, you would be a real man. The Scottish Highlanders were known for their hardiness and adventurous spirit, he wrote. Poier would be the ultimate testing ground. A challenge and a gift. All-in-one. Gotta love toxic masculinity. It's like, are you going to move to Poyer, or is **** **** small? And yeah, I'm working on using that grip. Like, are you too much of a coward to get into a gunfight with the FBI, ATF, DEA, SWAT team? Like? Ohh. I mean, if you don't wanna get into a gunfight with the FDA, then don't move to my compound and die for. Yeah, what's wrong with you? I mean, that's what's wrong with you. Ohh, you're a coward. No, that's fine. It's cool to be a coward. That's cool. Yeah, like you don't have like, the cool people are gonna go die fighting the FDA. You don't have to. Because you're not cool. You can live the rest of your life knowing that you're a lame mask. Yeah, yeah, knowing that you suck. So it is also speculated that one reason the Scots were particularly interested in this is that they were jealous of the English and all of their fancy colonies. And there was also a manner of honor at stake here. In the late 1600s, hundreds the Scots had tried to start a colony on the Gulf of Darien near Panama, and it was a poorly LED **** show, and basically everyone either died or were conquered by Spain and Scotland invested. Only 20% of all of its money in this game, which kind of destroyed the entire country for years, so. They were bad at colonizing. I kinda like that for them. Yeah, yeah, it it is nice about them. I mean, they're good at being the soldiers of colonial oppressors, cause that's how the British did a lot of their yeah. Yikes. Before that, before they had African soldiers to fight for them, they had Scotts to conquer the chunks of Africa and then hired African soldiers to fight under Scottish officers. It's this whole. It's the whole thing. Yeah. They're not dumb. So yeah, you would think that having been a part of this like giant scheme that had crashed the entire economy and cost a bunch of people their lives would have actually built like a cultural immunity to schemes in Scotland. But it just made them feel like they had a shame to wipe out. And McGregor took advantage of that. He pointed out that colonizing Poier would like this will wipe out the shame of Darien. Like nobody's going to be talking about Darien because you're going to have played. People are gonna be like, oh those Scots, they're so good at colonizing. So Gregor was flooded with applicants and he happily set to work, hiring and refitting a small fleet of boats for the journey. The first one set sail in September with 70 immigrants aboard. These were to be the vanguard. They were there to prepare the way for everybody else now. Gregor of course, stayed behind to prepare the next wave of ships, and in his stead he promoted the most gullible of the settlers, commissioning a former British Army officer named Hector Hall as Lieutenant Colonel of the fictional Second Native Regiment of Foot. Gregor even generously made him the Lieutenant governor. Two, and granted him a 12,800 acre estate that again, absolutely did not exist, he said. You're king of everything now get to work. Now do all the stuff for me. So the 2nd wave of colonists would depart in November after their ship was refit to carry 250 people. And while Gregor waited, he designed and printed his own Polynesian currency and started handing it out to columnist in exchange for their gold from the land that never was. Quote. The new world of their dreams suddenly became a very real world as the men accepted the Kazakh dollar notes with the coat of arms, the Crest of the Bank of Poier, and the promise that on demand or three months after sight in the option of the government to pier one hard dollar. Will be paid to the bearer at the Bank office in Saint Joseph. The people who had bought land and who had planned to take their savings with them in coin were also delighted to exchange their gold for the legal currency of Boyer. Yeah, he he loved to print a money. Ohh yeah, to print money. McGregor did. He's a young take. Give me your real money. I'm gonna give it to you. It's a good scheme. It's oh, you got to get on a boat. All that gold's heavy, you know? It's not heavy. These totally real dollars, these books. Oh yeah, real as hell they are. So just as the refitting neared completion, disaster struck. See the the financial market that had gotten so bullish in investing in all these South American bonds started to get a little bit like antsy because the Colombian government base. Basically, the Colombian Government wrote a letter or something to England being like, hey, you know, the guy who's been saying he's our representative, like he didn't actually have the right to to to ask for a loan. Yeah, we don't know. We we're not really sure what's going on here. So this worries the people who had invested shitloads of money in Colombia. And like a panic takes a hold of the market and this spreads to the holders of Chilean and Peruvian bonds. And they start to be like warnings in the press that people might like, yeah, people might have, might be about to lose all of their money. So the bubble bursts and people stop buying Gregory's bonds, which he had not sold, all of the bonds he was trying to issue. So he's in a cash crunch now. This didn't halt colonization because he had a bunch of money. That he'd gotten from these people who were buying fake land from him. But so he had to, like, Rush along and send, you know, hundreds of people off on these two boats and then travel back to London to find a way to grift more money. And it's funny the way he does this, he meets this, like, British Army officer who's like a very rich and famous man in London and offers him a place to stay. And Gregor becomes good friends with him. And he's like, hey, I'll make you the ambassador to poier if you like, help me get some bank loans and ****. You can be the other king we have. Yeah, kings. So while he's doing this, the first shipload of colonists land at Poier in early 1823, and they were immediately surprised by a couple of things. For one thing, there was no European style capital right at the edge of the harbor like the drawings that Gregor had showed them had depicted. In fact, there were no signs. Yeah, no roads, no buildings, no signs of what they called civilization at all. And there's also no signs of the friendly natives that they've been promised. We're eagerly awaiting them. You know, people that they see at first, the first wave of guys splash ashore and they're just kind of baffled. The lane's beautiful, but it's completely undeveloped and there's no way to like. There's no clear way to make farms there. You'd have to chop down hundreds of trees and, like, put put in soil and everything, like so. Yeah this would not have been an impossible task. Like obviously you could have turned this land into land that had farms and **** on it it if the expedition there had been filled with people who are like ready to do that. Like a bunch of experienced woodsman and young farmers who like were were used to hard work and expecting it. But the party that Gregor had sent to be the first people in the Poier consisted of only a couple of veteran soldiers and younger farmers with any sort of experience with hard work. The rest of the party was a mix of lawyers. Artisans, a banker and one young man who Gregor had promised would be the first theater director on the island of Poison Ja Rule. This is the first fire. Yeah, there's a Ja Rule. Yeah, and there were some other farmers, but most of them were old men who, like, had hoped that they'd get to retire in a place that Gregor had promised, that he Gregor had told them that, like the climate empoyee extends the lives of English people. And then there were clerks who were supposed to staff the empty government offices in a capital that did not exist class and who were told, like, you want to be aristocrats, you move here, you can be like the new aristocracy of this new country. And then, like, there's no country. Sorry, but you are still aristocracy. Look, you you can rule that tree. You can rule, yeah, those leaves. You're the richest guy in the woods according to the fake dollars I gave you that you can use nowhere because there's no one here you cannot use. So there were people, there were natives, and some of the natives were friendly, but others weren't. And, like, none of them had any desire to work for white people, like, because they were doing their own thing. They were like, well, like, we're fine. We already have lines like, what do you guys are all dying like, we don't, we don't want to. Like, nobody wants to take advice from. You should not be that easy for white people to think that people want to work for them. They're like, of course they wanna work for us, for nothing. They wanna be exploited. Right? Come on. Well, this is where we get to the thing about this that is. This is a beautiful piece of historic irony, because all of the white men here, they weren't particularly bad within sort of the context of their cultures. But they all had the same thing that basically all white Europeans had, which is this belief that, like, they inherently knew how to be civilized in a way that other peoples of the world didn't. And like, that's why they should take all this land from these people as they knew how to civilize it. And so finally a group of these people who believe that they were, who believe that they were going to help a bunch of poor. Non white people learn how to be civilized. This group of people finds themselves in a land that's actually truly wild and undeveloped. And so that was like, OK, guys like, you're here or you're going to make a civilization now can you do it? And of course not. They all completely ******* collapsed because there was nothing for them to just take over and steal. They actually would have had to build civilization from the ground up and none of them were ready to do that. They're like, look, we did that once and then we stole everything from everybody else and we didn't like. People like 1000 years ago did that once and we've just been kind of coasting, like, I'm gonna be honest, yeah, we stole guns from China and it's been easy. So some of this was the fault of the Lieutenant governor, who refused to lead his party to higher ground and build permanent structures. See, midway through the unloading of the equipment they brought a storm that hit the coast, and the captain of the boat that dropped them there used this as an excuse to abandon them and sell the rest of their stuff. He and the governor, yeah. The governor couldn't believe he'd been abandoned and he wanted everyone to stay close to shore because he thought a boat was coming back to rescue them, that there had been some mistake and he's there is one. There is like there is like an actual town that's like a several days journey away. That's where like the actual king of the Mosquito Coast is based out of. And like there's some civilization, you know, by the European terms there, but it's not very big. They don't have any interest in taking these people's money and they certainly like when they they they talk to this guy who has supposedly this king. Who supposedly made Gregor Prince? And he was like, I don't know what the **** you're talking about. Like, I gave that dude some land, but like, I was not like, nobody. Nobody wants you all to civilize us. Like, what are you what's what's going on here? Yeah, so they're kind of ******. Yeah, you know who isn't kind of ****** though? 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Was it cruel to animals, like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people? And so alleviating poverty is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Ohh, we're back. So these people have just realized that they've been grifted and that there's no country for them and that they're alone in the wilderness with dwindling supplies and so for months they did very little. They were just kind of waiting for the second colony ship and a chance to escape. Some of them hunted for meat, others dug holes in the sand to collect semi drinkable water. They didn't have any rum which was used to clean water back then. So everybody starts getting sick. And eventually the second boat does arrive, along with 250 new colonists. And you know, they realized that something's gone wrong, but the boat that took them wasn't hired to take them back, and they didn't have any money because they're only money is fake, so they're all stuck, too. So I had to try to finesse on that, but I've been like, y'all pull out or whatever this place is called is great y'all just go head up that way, OK? I'm going to go to the boat. So they're they're a little ****** with all the new blood that's just come in. They briefly try to, like, build permanent structures. They try to chop down pine trees and float them on the river down to their camp, which is the thing that like people do. That's how you get big trees. That's how you moved them in this. And that would have been a good idea if they'd known what they were doing. But you have to drain the pine resin out of a tree like that before you can float it, because otherwise it won't float. All their logs sync, so they realize their mistake and they start tapping the resin out of pine trees. Which takes a long time and doesn't isn't done before the rainy season. And because they're dumb, they throw all the resin away rather than using it to seal the roofs of the huts that they built. Because again, they don't know what the **** they're doing. So the rainy season comes and they all get soaked and they all get sick and all their kids start to die, and then the old people start to die. The guy who got like one of the real tragedies is that there was a guy who Gregor Condon to buying his way on, who was a Shoemaker and was promised he was going to be the first Shoemaker, and all of Poier would like it to. Yeah, which he was. And he shot himself to death. When he realized he'd been gripped, it blew his brains out with a musket. Yeah, very sad. So all of the people who were supposed to be in charge of this endeavor, all of the professionals, the former military officers, the civil servants, the kind of the people who are planning to be the aristocracy of this new society, completely failed to take a hand in building an actual survivable settlement. Instead, they vested all of their hopes in the Lieutenant governor, who made regular trips to the only settlement employee. Try to find some ship to take them home. They didn't. They they they just had no interest in actually attempting to make the best of their circumstances because they didn't know how to bring civilization to a place. They just knew how to exploit people when there was already civilization, David Sinclair writes. Quote they had been led to believe that they would find homes in or near a great city that was essentially European in style and peopled by men and women like themselves, including English and Americans. In the event, the only people they found living in Poier, aside from the natives, were two eccentric Americans named. Murray and Winship, who had built themselves a farm in the hills behind the Black Lagoon a couple of years earlier. I kind of think those guys might have been gay and just like escaping Murray and a world. I love it. Yeah, well, this is just the like, we're gay. The world's terrible. Let's go live alone in the middle of nowhere on a farm. It seems like it. Yeah. Yeah. It's a good good. I wish, I hope things worked out for them. I don't know anything else about them. So. It was hardly surprising, then, when the likes of Colonel Hall, the civil servants, the officer class and the manager of the National Bank of Poier realized that they had been comprehensively duped. Their first thought should have been to escape from the inhospitable wilderness in which Macgregor's deception had deposited them. On the other hand, there can be no doubt that part of the tragedy of Poyer was the failure of the men, who, through their societal position alone, would have been regarded as the national leaders of the group, to adjust to the uncomfortable and dangerous circumstance created by Macgregor's lies, and to show some of the capacity for leadership that might have been. Expected of them instead when the conditions they found on their arrival did not correspond in any way to those promised. They took the view that because the authority conferred upon them by McGregor was obviously as bogus as the country he described, it was no business of theirs to try to compensate for his betrayal. Basically, they totally dropped all responsibility when they thought they were going to be in charge of a country that was already ready built. They were. They were ready to be responsible. When they realized they were in a dangerous situation, none of them were willing to do anything. They took all their badges off through the jacket, down. No, no, I'm not in charge of ****. What are you talking about? Yeah. And there's there's a part of this story that kind of reveals how fundamentally hollow the social structure of the British Empire really was. These colonists had been left in a bad position, but not an unsurvivable one. They had a years worth of food rations. They had two doctors, medical supplies, tools, and guns. They could have built a survivable community, but they weren't a community. They had no desire to be one. They were a bunch of people who wanted to get rich quick and make non white natives do all of the hard work, as one survival survivor of the expedition of the expedition, James Hasty, later noted. I do not wish to say anything rashly, but instead of attending to make us comfortable, it seemed as if everyone was for his own hand was in it for himself. Even the boards and timber used for fitting up our births in the ship were mostly sold or delivered. Basically like they they had this wood that was used to build births in the ship that they took out of the boat when they landed to build homes with. But instead of building homes, the people in charge sold. It's that they could buy some manner of luxuries from the local, like they're like nobody took care of each other just like this complete it was. Every man for himself now a couple of the braver souls left to make a 500 mile journey to a British colony in Honduras to try to get help. And this was noble for them, but it meant that like the most decent and competent men in the whole expedition weren't there anymore. So by the end of April, as James wrote quote, sick sickness and despondency was so general that few were able or willing to make any exertion. And I am sorry to have to have to add that many of those who were still well plundered instead of assisted their sick brethren and likewise plundered the public stores. Anything they could conveniently lay their hands upon. So they robbed them? Wow. They were planning to rob other people. They wound up robbing themselves, and in the end, more than 2/3 of them died just a couple of months. Yeah. The traumatized survivors were eventually rescued by a passing ship, which was fortunate, because as they were rescued, Gregor had dispatched five more ships filled with like 1000 other people, men, women, and children to a colony that had become a graveyard. The British Navy was thankfully able to recall these boats before anyone else. Died. He was still sending people over there. Of course he was. He's a grifter. He ain't done grifter. Maybe he thought the first people would actually just buck up and start building something so that by the time the other people got there, they saw something was in progress that did not happen. Yeah. Yeah. If I keep sending people over, eventually it will be true that there's a settlement there, right? He's not wrong. Yeah, because they'll die otherwise. Yeah. So by autumn of 1823, the story of what had really happened at Poyer had hit London, and Macgregor's response was to do what McGregor did retreat. Yeah, he fled to France, where he tried to do the same trick again, and it tried to get more colonists to go to poier he he got about 60 people to sign up and pay him. But even thankfully, like Paris isn't that far from London, right? The authorities there figured out what was happening, and they got they got wind of what was going on, really, when French settlers started applying for passports to a country that wasn't real. So there's an investigation. He gets imprisoned, but being McGregor, he's able to kind of get himself out of incarceration. But that was his last trick. He was left in financial debt to his investors, and his repeated attempts to find more buyers for his fake Polynesian bond failed to sell for some inexplicable reason. He tried to go back home to Edinburgh, but he was caught by some of the people he'd conned, and he was forced to flee Scotland for the only place that would accept him, Caracas, where he was still a war hero. And his status is that guaranteed him. A kind of a place to live, basically, but not much more. He died penniless in December of 1845. Wow. Yeah, he had come up so much. If he hadn't just gone for that last. I'm gonna sell y'all afraid country. He could have just lived his life out. Rich. Yeah, $200,000 or pounds like. Wow. Yep. Can't stop, won't stop. Cancel. That's that's the scammer thing, right? Yeah, yeah, probably all get caught because, like, you have to be able to walk away. It's like gambling. You have to know when you're up, you just gotta leave to tell you when. And gambling, there's no other way to win a gambling but leaving. Later. You wanna, well, plug your pluggable? Speaking of scam, yeah, this would be like robbery. You like comedy scam got his podcast. You could buy me a DIVALACI diva Lacey on all platforms. Robert, when they find you. Oh no, no, I can't be found. I'm in the ******* hills. Yeah, that's what I thought. Yeah, but you can. You can find this podcast, that ******* pod, on all the things. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break your handle the hosting creation distribution. And monetization of your podcast go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.